Saturday, April 28, 2012

Olive the sidecar dog

While Donna and Tim were on the East Coast doing good - we had Olive at our house for the week.  Since she did so well as a house dog we have decided to keep her on as a foster dog to see just how much progress she can make.  Sooo....
Olive went for her very first sidecar ride today.  Dogs that live in my house inevitably end up riding in the sidecar.  It is how we get around - it's almost a necessity.  It helps that our own dog, Rube, was seemingly born to ride in a sidecar.  He shows the new kids how it's done.

We were worried that Olive would be uncomfortable with the harness or the doggles or the noise of the bike...but as you can see, she took to it like a pro.  The worst part was getting the sunblock on those pink ears of hers!!
Enjoy.  We sure did.

Olive all geared up with harness and doggles ready to go!!

Here's our rig with two monkeys - Double Trouble indeed!

Ahhh - the sun!  The breeze in your face!  What a day!

Faster! Faster!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

sunday school

Little Rooney went to school aka Pit-Ed class this Sunday and sat in her crate on the sidelines watching the bigger dogs go through their paces. That's not to say that Rooney didn't learn anything. Rooney's schooling took place AFTER Pit-Ed class ended. Pit-Ed trainer Donyale, "celebrity" elderbull Muggy, barn youngster Gris Gris, and the Kikster were on hand to help teach little Rooney her lessons.

You see, little Rooney recently spent a week being a part-time office dog and the biggest challenge was walking from the parking lot to the office building. So many distractions! The smells (oh, a flower - oh look, is that squirrel poop?), the sights (what's that big metal thing over there? who are those people walking by?), the sounds (what's that noisy machine flying over my head?) and the tastes (mmm, that stick looks mighty yummy!!). Not only the distractions, but this thing attached to her called a leash was foreign to young Rooney who was used to running free in the safety of the big yard at the barn. And a flight of stairs! Woa - kinda scary for a little pup. A five minute walk took almost half an hour!

Oh, by the way, once in the office, Rooney was a perfectly behaved little office dog. Here she is showing how to do a great down-stay.

So after consulting with the Bad Rap trainers, we devised a plan. The plan:
1. Help Rooney learn to walk on a leash by doing a group walk ie. monkey-see-monkey-do
2. Practice good-manners / social skills in public places ie. at a busy restaurant

We added the second part of the plan because most families want to be able to take their youngsters (two legged and four legged) on outings to public places - and be able to behave appropriately.

Rooney's skin is a little sensitive right now and she can't wear her collar, so after some technical difficulties with the fit of the harness which had been donated by a kind co-worker, we adapted and used the car-seat harness. Rooney was then attached to long suffering elder-bull Muggy and with Gris Gris by her side, off we all went on our group walk to the restaurant.

Here's the gang getting ready to help Rooney learn the ropes.

It took a little while for it to register in her puppy brain, but the light finally went off on our return with Rooney trotting along with the gang at a nice, brisk pace. I'm proud to report that yesterday, Rooney took a short neighborhood walk alone WITHOUT stalling out or stopping every few feet. We're going to continue to work on her leash-walking skills, but this lesson was a great start. Yay for the power of teacher dogs and the "monkey-see-monkey-do" plan!

As for our outing at the local eatery - our pooches were a big hit. So many ooohs and aahs from passersby, not only because of their striking good looks but for their wonderful table manners as they sat on the benches with us. One little girl commented "oh look mommy, it's a doggy party!".

Here they are showing off their excellent social skills.

Gris Gris is checking out Donyale's udon (looks pretty yummy!) and doing a great job of "leaving it".

Muggy seems to be daydreaming about something delicious herself. Maybe a piece of chicken or a nice piece of steak?

And look - there's Rooney, sneaking a peek at the action in the street while the Kikster drinks her miso-soup.

The plan was a success and after the lessons were over, it was time to head off to my home for the final part of the plan.....practice at being a couch / lap dog.

Well done Rooney, and thanks to our gang of helpers.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Olive the house dog

While Donna and Tim went out of town we invited Olive to stay with us for the week. "Us" being Uncle Rube, Catfish Jones, Joey, Spanky, Nancy and Erich.
We are happy to report that she is an amazing house dog and has been the perfect guest and "go-everywhere" dog. Here are a few snapshots of her week with us:
Olive riding shotgun

Olive and Catfish Jones the "office dogs". Uncle Rube was too busy sleeping - er- working to participate in this group photo.

Olive the garden gnome.

Olive the kitchen helper.

Uncle Rube, Catfish and Olive after a hard day's work.

.Olive finding out about these things called "kitties". Here she is with her new friend Joey.

Monday, April 16, 2012


While Donna and Tim are in Ohio, the barn pooches are practicing house dog skills with various barn volunteers. Little Rooney is camped out with my family for the week, and has charmed my elder-girl who's just amazed by her puppy antics.

Today as they played in the yard, Rooney showed me just how photogenic she is - from any angle. And we have a twofer - dueling brindle booties! Check out these pics.

Here Nina shows Rooney some interesting stuff in the shady area under the trees. Look Roo, isn't this cool??

Hmmmm, what's this? Roo sees Nina working for treats and decides she better check it out!

Sneaky puppy.....while Nina practices down-stay, Rooney's trying to steal Nina's treats. What a cute little stinker. Move over Beyonce - this little girl is canine bootyliciousness!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Olive - Porch Dog

Olive earned some down time after tearing around the yard this morning.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

rooms with a view

Something new at the barn this week: Doggie doors, so the girls can finally enjoy their very own front porch (ie, outdoor kennels). Yay!

Tallulah's not so sure where that scary 12" drop off will end.

But hey, maybe this sunbathing thing is worth it?

Olive says, "Are you sure I'm not stuck out here?"

Okay then. I think I could get used to this. Mmmm. Sunshine, fresh air. Squirrels!

oh doh! too much Blink.

Two days before our big adoption event, Miss Blink decided to raid a bag of kibble and make a few alterations to her fine figure. Thanks to a fast and a few good poo-poos, she went back down to Blink size in time to meet the public. But we couldn't help but snap a shot of her looking miserable in her Halloween pumpkin disguise. B-U-R-P!

She's finally starting to attract a new wave of adoption interest since we started listing her as a Boston Terrier mix on petfinder. Before then, our fine pit bull shoppers who were insisting she was a 'Pocket Pit' would give her a cuddle, then turn to us and proclaim, "But she's not a pit bull!"

Us: "But that's what we've been trying to tell you!" - Doh!

Oh Blink! You'll find your way soon, you little imposter girl.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

office puppy

According to an article in the US News, "a recent study found that dogs in the workplace seemed to help reduce job-related stress for their owners and make work more satisfying for other employees who came into contact with the dogs."

So yesterday, barn pup Gris Gris headed into the office to lend a paw or four to "reducing job-related stress and improving job-satisfaction". It also gave her another chance to practice her blossoming people skills.

The electronic door was a little scary at first but Gris Gris made it past with the encouragement of a few chicken pieces, then up a flight of stairs (woo hoo, what fun!) and into the busy office area.

No trash can was left un-inspected, every office with an open door was visited, interesting smells everywhere were checked, and butt-scritches and ear-rubs were accepted from folks who were happy to leave their monitors for a few minutes of puppy love.

I thought I saw a co-worker taking pics to send her husband and checking out the adoption policy on the Bad Rap website (hmmm...)

It was difficult getting pictures that weren't blurry since little Gris Gris was a-wigglin' and a-squigglin' from all the attention but here she is sitting pretty for some air-kisses from my office-mate, Russ Siciliano.

And after all the meets and greets were done, hugs and kisses exchanged, it was time to take a well earned nap in a quiet, dark corner. Well done, Gris Gris, well done!