Archive for the ‘animals’ Tag

Foto Friday   5 comments

A few great photos taken while Rocky & Selena were visiting the “Grans-Spa” last Wednesday.

Credit: Norm Ritter

If you look closely, you’ll see Miss D’s photo tote bag in the background during nap time!

The Escape Artist   9 comments

Selena escaped last week.

Don’t let her fool you. She may look adorable, sweet, and tiny, but Selena is far from innocent. She is an Instigator, a Troublemaker with a capital T.

 

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Who, me?

 

While three of the four sides of the backyard are fenced with 6-foot wood picket fencing, the fourth side is simple wire fencing. Two-thirds of that wire fencing is still good. That’s the section installed by the neighbor behind us. The final third of the wire fencing was sloppily installed by the previous owner, as part of the contract when Mommy bought the place ten years ago. How long it’s been breached is anyone’s guess. Miss D was not an escape artist.

 


 

But Selena noticed the hole immediately. Mommy has spent the last month in denial. Procrastinating and pretending neither Selena nor Rocky would want to wander. No, not these two sweet innocents!

But sure enough, the other night Mommy was getting dolled up for dinner out with friends. She let Selena and Rocky out into the back yard, told herself, “They’ll be fine. They haven’t tried to escape once. I don’t have to watch them every minute,” and went back inside to finish getting dressed.

Five minutes later, Mommy calls the dogs in. Here comes Rocky! … Where’s Selena? … WHERE’S SELENA?! …

Mommy could hear her tags jingle-jangle, but she was nowhere to be found. She took her opportunity and escaped through that back fence! SELENA!!!!! SELENA!!!!

Mommy was in a panic! Have you ever tried to find a tiny black dog, at night, in a muddy wooded area, while wearing dress slacks? Finally, Selena came bouncing back into sight, no shame, no remorse. So, happy ending?

Almost. For a truly happy ending, Mommy had to pay a visit to the local hardware store.

  1. 50 feet by 4 feet wire fencing? Check.
  2. Six 6-foot metal T-posts? Check.
  3. T-post driver? Check.
  4. Fencing pliers? Check.
  5. Gloves? Check.
  6. Safety goggles? Check.
  7. Feeling powerful and able to do anything? Check.

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New wire fence for the win! Oh, and the glow-in-the-dark dog collars should arrive next week.

Selena – 1, Mommy – 2

Like mother like son   1 comment

Mommy’s legs are going numb. But they’re just so darn cute. 

  

Posted December 28, 2015 by iloveschnauzers in A day in the life, Schnauzers

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Happy Howlidays!   4 comments

Merry Christmas! So, Selena and Rocky got their first bit of mail! Mommy’s good friends sent us some Loot! LootPets to be exact! Selena got a space-y t-shirt while Rocky got a new collar and a spaceship tag to match.

They also got a “FireFly” food dish, which was perfect timing, because the grandpawents needed a second food dish for when we come visiting. And they also got some freeze-dried beef liver treats. Yummy! Lotsa Loot!

Selena and Rocky also got some new squeaky toys from Mommy’s friends. Yay! They are now their new favorite toys. One is a bear that is filled with knotted rope instead of being filled with polyfiber. Very tough and perfect for two dogs who fight over their toys. Plus Mommy found some tennis balls with squeakers in them. They’re balls and they squeak! Selena’s mind is blown! It’s just so gosh-darn EXCITING!

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day visiting the grandpawents. Rocky especially enjoyed the stairs. He’d run up them then bounce down them really fast. And repeat!

It’s been five years since we’ve had a dog who could climb stairs and who wasn’t terrified of them. It was fun to watch and the sound of Rocky racing down the stairs made Mommy smile.

Selena followed him a couple of times, but didn’t seem as enamored by the stairs as Rocky was. Granted, she’s smaller and the stairs were more of a climb for her than they were for Rocky. She did invite herself onto every available lap in the room. Whether the owner of said lap invited her up or not!

We humans also enjoyed playing with the dogs and their new toys, throwing them across the room and watching the two dogs fight over who brings which toy back. Most of the time both dogs brought the same toy back, fighting over it the entire way. So cute! Everyone enjoyed watching these two play.

On Christmas Day, the humans went to see the new Star Wars movie. The dogs stayed at the grandpawents house and only had one minor (though large) accident while we were out. I think Rocky probably panicked and did… well, what panicked dogs do. At least he chose an obvious and open area which was easy to clean and didn’t damage any rugs or carpets.

Now we’re back home and both dogs seem relieved to be somewhere familiar. After about half an hour running around and re-familiarizing themselves with everything (it’s Mommy’s bed! There’s the water bowl! My pillow! The crate! The other water bowl! Yay!) they are now zonked out on the sofa next to Mommy.

On a side note: Interestingly, Rocky was wearing his harness/seat belt when we left the grandpawents place, but was not wearing it when we arrived home. Hmmmmmmmm….. how’d he do that?!

Posted December 26, 2015 by iloveschnauzers in A day in the life, Schnauzers

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One week in…   3 comments

I had forgotten what it’s like to have a dog without mobility issues. When I went to pick up these two crazies, I put Selena in the car then went to grab Rocky. Meanwhile, Selena jumped out… I forgot! Miss D hated the car and couldn’t get in or out of the seat on her own. I’d lift her into the seat and she’d scooch her butt into the seat and park there. Nothing could move her.

Rocky sat contentedly in the back seat, with his seatbelt on. Selena wiggled out of her seatbelt early on and spent the entire ride home exploring the car. Under the rear seat, on top of Rocky, straddling the front and back seats, the front passenger seat, whoops! Red Light… under the front passenger seat, back to the rear seat… She wanted to sit in my lap, but I do not drive with a dog in my lap and was having none of that, young lady! Thank you very much. phew! She’s gonna be a handful!

Selena is obsessed with squeaky toys. Rocky enjoys them too, but mostly nudges them with his nose rather than picking them up in his mouth. Except for one. It’s a mushroom. Small. Soft. Squeaky. He really likes that one. Selena likes them all. And she wants them all! Especially whichever one Rocky currently has…

One squeak and I’ve got the attention of both of them, wherever in the house they are! Miss D (and Checkers before her) was never really into toys, except for the remote controlled ones. She didn’t like the squeak. It was a noise and noises are scary! Sometimes she’d play with a couple favorites. She also liked the mushroom. And the hedgehogs. I think it was the wiry “fur” on the hedgehogs she liked. And a crab. She took all the stuffing out of the crab and near the end, she’d simply carry that crab around the house, taking it with her wherever she went.

And BALLS! OMD, Selena LOVES balls! Well, I should say tennis balls, because she has no interest in the smaller rubber ball. Rocky will chase them too, but he mostly does it because Selena is and invariably will let her take it.

Miss D chased a tennis ball once. Then she realized it wasn’t food and lost interest. Forever after, if I threw that ball, she’d just look at it then look at me, as if it say, “Why’d you throw that away? You don’t expect me to get it, do you?”

These two are also more cuddly than Checkers or Deita ever were. Miss D would follow me from room to room, but was content to keep me in her sight. Selena loves to be touched and will often bump your hand with her nose or bury her ears into your chest to get you to pet her. Rocky is less subtle. He simply lies down across your lap or stands on your lap with his front paws on your shoulders and leans in, like a hug. OR, when Selena took the prime spot next to Mommy, Rocky simply climbed onto the back of the sofa and wrapped himself around Mommy’s shoulders, like a really heavy scarf. Every night this week, I have slept in a schnauzer sandwich. One dog on either side bumped up against my body.

One thing these two have in common with Miss D. They are vocal! They love to tell me what’s going on. And once they get going, soon talking turns to singing. I swear, there must be some Beagle in Rocky’s family tree. That boy can HOWL.

In just the last couple of days, they’ve learned “shush!”. I started to use the standard “quiet!” command, but in the heat of the moment I find myself saying “shush!” so “shush!” it became. Oh, well. Whatever works, right? They know “sit”, “stay”, “no”, “down”, “drop it”, “off” and “come”. Though they tend to ignore “come” unless they happen to be coming anyway.

Selena reacts to other dogs the way Miss D did. Not to the same extent, and it’s much easier to distract her and get her to refocus on whatever it was we were doing before the dog distracted her. Rocky reacts vocally, but he doesn’t have the same intensity nor the snarl/lunge thing. I plan to call a trainer later this month and nip this thing in the bud before it reaches Miss D levels.

Today, I took each dog on a separate walk through the neighborhood to see how they do on their own. They seem to know the basics of “heel” but Rocky is a puller and Selena wants to wander. Too bad I’m not running anymore. I think Rocky would enjoy it. He wants to go at a pretty fast clip. Poor Selena. When I walk them both together, Rocky is constantly pulling to go faster, and Selena is running on her little legs trying to keep up. I think they both enjoyed their one-on-one time with Mommy today.

A few photos from our first week together.

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News!   12 comments

It shouldn’t be a surprise to any of our dear readers that Mommy has been tentatively searching for new dogs. Not to replace Miss D, because she’s irreplaceable. But grief is different for everyone and Mommy’s has been all-consuming. It’s too quiet! There’s no friendly face popping up in the window when I come home. I dropped Cheerios on the floor and there was no one there to lick it up! But I helped my friend walk her three scotties a few days ago and that was wonderful!

I’ve been holding back, waiting. I could take home a dog from the local shelter today. What about this one? Or maybe that one? No. “Maybe” means it’s not right. It’s too soon. 

So I closed the computer and wrote my wish list

  1. Schnauzer of course
  2. Not too old but not too young either
  3. A bonded pair, or two individual who are friendly
  4. Not from an abusive situation (Miss D was and it takes a lot of patience to earn trust)
  5. Low maintenance, no special needs

Miss D, you know I love you. But you know you were high maintenance. Fear of loud noises, new objects, strangers, physical disability, cushings, prescriptive diet. I’m ready for some low maintenance doggie loving. 

Remember when I said it’s too soon? Well, when your wish list is personified, dipped in fur and dropped in your lap, you don’t hesitate. You grab it and hold on tight!

So, I’d like you to meet my new roommates: Selena and Rocky. She’s 6, he’s 4, she’s his mom and the Instigator of any Troublemaking. She’s little at 11 pounds. Checkers old things fit her perfectly. He’s a big boy at 19 pounds. Miss Deita’s things fit him. So turns out I already had two of everything!

The three of us are going to get better acquainted.

   
That’s Selena on the left. Rocky on the right. 

   

Posted December 4, 2015 by iloveschnauzers in A day in the life, Schnauzers

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The Bug   3 comments

Today’s WTF moment brought to you by… the Bug.

When I first posted this video to Facebook in 2014, I included this caption “This bug is the most fun, if Deita would just put it down! (And yes, my house is a mess. Have you met Miss D?)”

Miss D loved her treat toys. Well, okay, Miss D loved food. Period. But early on she learned that if she picked the toys up and shook them, she’d get more treats faster than if she rolled the toys along the floor as designed.

This time, however, I distracted her mid-snack with this tiny remote-controlled bug. Her reaction was above and beyond my expectations, though. It started us down the path of searching for appropriately sized remote-control toys: bugs, mice, trucks, cars.

Remote-controlled dog toys were total and complete failures. Have you ever noticed that dog toys are all centered around “fetch” and “chew” and “tug”? And all remote-controlled dog toys are balls. Miss D simply stared at these, as if asking, “WTF am I supposed to do with this?”

But cat toys? Cat toys are the BEST! They center around “hunt” which was Miss D’s favorite game. Sadly, cat toys are made for cats, who hunt by stalking and pouncing. Miss D hunts by stalking, yes. But she also chases, picks things up in her mouth, shakes them, and tosses them across the room. Cat toys are simply not made for this type of play.

The first generation of “the bug” latest two days. We had so much fun, Mommy bought a second generation, which lasted about two minutes. This was going to get expensive.

So we started looking at kids toys. After all, remote-controlled cars are made for little boys who can be even more destructive in their play than dogs. Unfortunately, most remote-controlled cars and trucks are simply too big. Miss D would stalk and chase the one small truck Mommy bought, but she couldn’t pick it up in her mouth the way she wanted to. So truck hunting was almost more frustrating than it was fun. In the end, she figured out a way to pick it up by the wheels. Bye bye truck!

Mommy then found a bigger toy car. It was fun to chase about the room at first, but it was too big and Miss D lost interest quickly. So we went back to cat toys.

The third generation of the bug was actually a “mouse”. It was bigger than the bug and had a little tail with a feather (well, it is a cat toy after all) and lasted about two weeks. The fourth generation was nearly identical to the third and lasted about four months. The secret was that Miss D would pick this one up by the tail to toss it across the room, so the body didn’t get crushed between her jaws like the others. Although, it was nearing the end of its life recently too. The last couple times we brought it out, it could only move forward in circles, and even that was jerky.

Still, if anyone from the cat toy company is watching, we sure would love a doggie version of this bug. One with a body a little more indestructible!

Apologies for the video quality. I shot this with my iPad, but I’m no Scorsese. At 1:31, I finally catch up to Miss D and remotely activated the wheels, which generates the reaction you see.

 

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