Sunday, November 29, 2009

our last 2 trips to Minooka

Here are some photos from our last two trips to Minooka. I know I've taken more than enough photos of my dogs here, but it helps to keep me entertained while we're there.
On this day, my dogs were testing out their new Land's End fleece jackets.

It was pretty muddy and I had to wash them when we got home. At least they looked good!

Keeley and Teagan always have a good time at Minooka.

The next time we went, the dogs wore their Xmas tee shirts that their grandma bought for them. In the small dog area, lots of people commented about how cute their shirts were. I guess small dog folks just understand more about dressing up your pooch. People in the big dog area always make rude remarks about what my dogs are wearing. They just don't get it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My what a big mouth you have!

Well, my dogs have been on a totally raw diet for 2 weeks now. It seems to be going really well. The only thing that they don't like about it is that they only get fed once a day. I guess that's going to take them some getting used to.

PK, our SATZ trainer, said that the reason Keeley was so smelly was because of his diet. I guess she was right (haven't I learned yet not to doubt PK?) because just within a few days of this new diet, Keeley already started smelling a lot better.

Teagan continues to make quick work of her chicken leg quarter, while Keeley requires a little assistance. For Keeley I break apart the drumstick and thigh and then cut some of the meat off in strips. Apparently Teagan is a savage beast and Keeley is a refined gentleman when it comes to their eating styles. Keeley likes to savor his food, while Teagan just about swallows it whole. Could they be anymore different?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Tee Shirts

Here's Teagan and Keeley modeling their new Xmas tee shirts that their grandma just bought them. I think they look adorable.
I know it's a little early for Christmas but it is cold outside and so my dogs have been testing these shirts out all day.
I was hoping I could get a good photo of them for holiday cards, but as you can see, I didn't have much luck. Well, there's still plenty of time so I will try again later.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Romare!

Romare came to visit us today! He's like the repeat guest star of this dog blog!Remember a couple of months ago, I reported that Romare, who is only 6 years old, needed a double hip replacement? Well, I've got good news to report now: it's looking like he may not need surgery after all! After talking with the vets, his dads decided that they'd first try everything else before resorting to hip replacement. Romare is on a special diet and he's already lost 1.5 pounds. He got medication for the pain and he's also getting a lot of exercise. It seems to be going well because Romare is acting more like himself. He has problems going up and down stairs and needs help to get up on a bed. But hopefully he will continue to improve and these things will get easier with time. So that's the good news!
The bad news is that Teagan continues to have issues. Everytime I tried to love up Romare, she went psycho killer on him. I guess she's just really insecure. I don't know if she was jealous of him getting attention from me or if she thought she needed to protect me from him. Teagan ended up spending the majority of Romare's visit locked in her crate. This is really distressing because Keeley always loved having dog pals over for visits and playdates and such. I hope we can get this problem corrected by March or else I don't know how we'll be able to manage a doggie birthday party if she keeps acting like this.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aptly named

Keeley was looking really rough around the edges and was probably a little past due for a haircut. So yesterday Keeley got groomed. His name means handsome and I think I choose his name well because he's looking mighty handsome!

Arg, now I've got to give Teagan a bath. Maybe I can get Unkie Rob to help...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Playtime!

Here's Keeley and Teagan playing out in their yard. We've been having some really nice weather for November and the dogs are taking advantage of it.
They're playing chase and tug with their little orange Hurly.
They love this game but they only stick with it as long as I'm playing with them too.
I love my silly dogs!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lapham Peak with Unkie Rob

Today we drove up to Lapham Peak with Rob. Keeley and Teagan love going on adventures. They were so excited, they couldn't even hold still for a picture. They wanted to get our walk started right away!
This year Keeley made it all the way to the top of the observation tower. If you remember, last year he was afraid to go up very high. The view is great up here!
We got started on the Ice Age Trail.
Now that we're having a spell of warm weather, all the squirrels are active again. Teagan is determined to catch a squirrel to impress Keeley, but so far she hasn't had much luck.
It was a really nice day but the sun didn't break through the clouds until later in the day.
Keeley and Teagan got to meet a couple other dogs that were hiking at Lapham too. Meeting other dogs on walkies is the best!
We switched trails a couple of times and ended up on this nice paved one that they just call the Accessible Trail.
Then after a while we decided to follow the signed back to the tower where we had parked the car.
Now that the dogs were tired, they were able to pose nicely for a picture with their Unkie Rob.
It was a nice little outing.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Minooka with Unkie Rob

We got an early start this morning and headed out to Minooka. You can see from these photos that Keeley and Teagan are already getting along better since doggie bootcamp. Teagan is a little less aggressive towards Keeley and Keeley is more empowered now and stands up for himself more.
We were surprised to run into Keeley's friend Kirby there. No not our DWB friend Kirby, but a frenchie named Kirby that Keeley plays with at doggie daycare.
Also, Unkie Rob is in town for his yearly visit. Keeley just adores him. And this was his first time meeting little miss Teagan.
I know Keeley loves me, but sometimes I think he would have been happier if a guy was his owner. Keeley just really respects men more. How did I end up with such a sexist little dog!?! Woe is me.
Anyhow, the weather today was absolutely gorgeous! Rob really lucked out.
We walked around the park 3 times and then the pups really started looking tired.
Keeley was especially tired out and is still sleeping it off as I'm blogging now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Doggie Bootcamp

On Friday and Saturday we went to doggie bootcamp with PK. Things were getting out of hand with Teagan's resource guarding and fear aggression. We needed an intervention because we were scared for Keeley's safety. Plus she had growled meanly at the kids that came to our Pumpkin Carving Party the week before and she probably would have attacked them had I not been there holding her back.

PK was Keeley's SATZ trainer when he was still a puppy. SATZ is a way of communicating with your dog using simple language so that you can get along in harmony. For more information, you can check out PK's website: For Love Of Dogs. For Keeley this was a SATZ refresher course, but Teagan had to learn everything for the first time. It's a good thing she's so smart and was able to pick it up rather quickly.

With SATZ, it's sorta like that game of Hot & Cold that kids play. You know like, "You're getting warmer. Warmer..." But instead of saying warmer or colder, we use the letter X since it's an uncommon sound in English. So if I tell Keeley to come here to me, the whole time he's moving towards me I'm saying "X, X, X, X..." and if he turns away then I stop giving him that guiding signal. It works really well.

The first thing we worked on at bootcamp was to get Teagan to stop barking and growling at people. This took a lot of work since she's a pretty darn vocal little girl. Whenever she'd bark, we'd all run into a different room and close the door leaving her alone. Then we'd make a lot of noise in praise of Keeley for NOT barking. If Teagan wanted us to come back, she had to be quiet. At one point she almost bit one of PK's assistants in the butt as we were running out of the room because of her growling.

Next both Keeley and Teagan had to learn to wait at every door until I told them they could go through and also to not run up ahead of people on stairs since that could be dangerous. My dogs still need a lot of work on this at home now since old habits are hard to break. They also have to come to me immediately if I say "Here" because that's a safety issue too.

Another aspect of SATZ is "Get Easy". It's like this, basically dogs have 2 options every time they're in a scary situation: Fight or Flight. SATZ gives them a third option of just relaxing until the scary thing has passed. That's what "Get Easy" is. We need to practice this everyday till it's second nature for my pups.

Amazingly, Teagan excelled at this at bootcamp. Since she had growled at kids a lot, PK made her get easy while there were loud and fast moving kids in the same room. Oddly, Keeley who loves kids, was the one who had a hard time with this. We kept having to do it over and over until he got it right.

Another great thing Keeley and Teagan are learning is to "Check In". When they're off leash, they're supposed to "Check In" with me, meaning that they run past me and make eye contact. They have to learn that it's their job to watch me, not the other way around. We've still got a lot of work to do with this but I can see it's going to be great once they master this. I won't have to worry so much anymore.

Keeley and Teagan are also working on walking with a loose leash. I'm walking each separately until they're really good at it. On Sunday, Keeley walked the best he's done in his entire life. I was so proud of him!

And Teagan is also learning not to jump up on visitors. She really needs work on this. Sometimes when people ask what breed she is, I tell them that she's part jumping bean. She's got so much energy!

Already my dogs seem to have a new respect for me. At first, I wasn't thrilled about having to go to bootcamp but I think it's really paying off big time. People always say how cute my dogs are, but now they're going to be saying how well behaved they are!

I think that's about it. Oh yeah, I was also going to talk about some other changes around here. First, Teagan is back to sleeping in her crate since she lost the right to sleep in my bed. She may regain that right sometime in the future if she continues to do well with this new training and learns some manners. I've told her that she's relied on her looks for far too long and that now she has to learn some discipline.

The second change is my dogs' diets. Teagan had been eating Narure's Variety Instinct grain-free kibble and Keeley was eating that kibble in the mornings and Nature's Variety raw medallions in the evenings. But now both dogs have been switched to an all raw diet. This morning they each had a raw chicken leg quarter, the bones and everything. I thought it would take them a long time to eat something like that but Teagan was done with hers in about 5 minutes! I almost threw up in my mouth because the sound of her gnashing up the bones sort of grossed me out.

Also I was worried about the bones since anytime Keeley swallows anything larger than a dime, he throws it up. But so far, so good. There's no throw up yet. It's so weird to be blogging about puke but I know all you DWBs understand.

I'll end this rather lengthy post with a cute picture of Keeley that I took a few days ago.

Dog Park at Estabrook finally open

Whoops! I've been really falling behind on my blogging lately! I can't blame Mitch for that but I do blame Facebook. I was all set to blog about the doggie bootcamp that we attended last Friday and Saturday when I realized that I had started this post about Estabrook 3 weeks ago and never got around to finishing it. That's lazy I tell you! So I decided that I better finish this before starting another one. Here goes:Alright, so we finally heard that the dog park at Estabrook Park was open for business. Keeley, Teagan, and I went to check it out.
This dog area was supposed to be open by Memorial day, but didn't actually open till sometime after Labor day. That's very behind schedule if you ask me.
I think Keeley and Teagan thought it was okay. But I'll say that there's not much too it. It's supposed to be 3 acres, which in my opinion is already fairly small for a dog park. Plus once you subtract out the small dog area, the entrance gates, and the pavilion, it's probably more like only 2 acres. There's already a few mud pits too. I'd like to know who is in charge of planning these things. Do they even have a dog themselves? Have they ever been to other dog parks? I just think it could have been done so much better.
At least Keeley and Teagan enjoyed it for variety's sake. They like going some place new. There weren't many dogs there to play with but Keeley still had fun sniffing everything. I would think that for being so small that people could at least clean up after their dogs a little better. I was disappointed that there was poop everywhere. I really had to watch where I stepped.