Monday, December 20, 2010

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Cabbie Loves/Cabbie Doesn't Love So Much

Cabbie is very explicit about what she loves and doesn't love. I would actually use another word for "doesn't love," but it's a very strong word, and we want to keep this upbeat.  Plus I think it will be a nice record down the road to see if her likes/dislikes have changed or evolved ☺

Anyways, here goes~
Cabbie Loves:
  •  Treats
  • Of any kind
  • Especially cut up, baked $.99/pack Aldi hot dogs (our trainer suggested them and they are much cheaper than the treats sold in pet stores)
  • Apples

  • Kongs We love these treat holders and Cabbie loves to spend time extracting her treats from them.

  • Carrots (and Celery-though she makes a mess with it)

  • Raspberries ( arguably her very favorite )
  • Bananas
  • Frosty Paws ( Ice-Cream-like safe treats for dogs )
  • Anything we hold in our hand that she might think is a treat
  • Walks
  • Her Reindeer - who now has a nub for a tail and has lost it's squeak. She loved him to death. And by loved I mean shook around like a rag doll or rabbit she may one day catch in the back yard.
  • Playing in the backyard with our neighbor's dog, Cole.  They were not instant BFFs but now Cabbie can't wait to sprint to the back fence to see if he is out in the backyard.  He is a very sweet American Bulldog who is about two months younger than Cabbie, but growing very fast.  They like to run back and forth along the fence together over and over. And over. And over.

  • Her Grandma and Grandpa who puppy-sit her when they aren't busy so she doesn't have to go in her kennel (see Doesn't Loves).
  • Cuddling
  • Just about anything that involves being with people!
  • Oh, and Peanut Butter, how could I forget Peanut Butter? She has her own jar :) She seems to prefer creamy over crunchy.
Cabbie Doesn't Love:
  • Her kennel. This is an understatement.  We hear stories of how other people's dogs love their kennel and it becomes their comforting place.  Maybe Cabbie is going to make a huge change in the future. I, however, believe she will always know there is a chance we could be leaving when she goes in there. I hope some day she isn't so anxious in her kennel, but we've had her over a month and everyday I come home and she's sopping wet from slobbering on her self all day barking and trying to get out. Poor thing.  She has already ruined a leash that was accidentally left on top of the cage, and a pad that was brand new and put in there to comfort her.  In an hour of being left alone it was torn up. *Any suggestions to help with this would be greatly appreciated*
  • When her mom or dad pet any other animal. She's a very jealous pup.
  • Baths-she won't look Bob in the eye after he bathes her. Lucky for me, she doesn't detest the blow-drying and brushing as much as the actual bath.
  • Being alone for any amount of time what-so-ever.
If anyone has any experience with pups and these situations, please feel free to enlighten me!  Enjoy the week!
♡ Amanda

Thursday, December 9, 2010

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O Christmas Tree

This is my first Christmas with a dog since I was about 10 years old.  I grew up with 3 German Shepherds and 1 American Eskimo (all at different times).  I have had 3 cats while living in my home, but I have quickly learned that one 8 month old German Shepherd puppy has the potential to be a tad more destructive than 3 adjusted adult cats.

In years past, I have had to pick up each of the ornaments that I hung on the bottom foot and a half of the tree off the ground at least 14 times-per day.  It was like Izzie, Ellie, and Peanut thought they were new festive toys with which they should play and bat around! Here is a cute picture I got of Izzie and Ellie the night I decorated our tree:

They have always loved it under the tree.  This year, however, there's a new sheriff in town and Cabbie is her name.  She learned quickly that the kitties like to lay under our tree and she goes directly to the tree and looks underneath any time she is loose in the house. (we keep her on a leash and let her drag it around most of the time.  Sometimes we have to pick it up and keep her with us until she settles down.) The cats, in return, have learned that Cabbie always checks under the tree and therefore never lay there anymore.  

This is good for me, because I might not have to pick up all of the ornaments each day, although I do feel bad that they can't be Christmas kitties relaxing under the tree.

It looks like, though, I will be trading in kitty ornament playing for doggie total tree destruction.

I went to a girl's night at Corso's a couple weeks ago and was inspired to do something different than I usually do with my tree this year. Corso's always has the most beautiful arrangements and decorations.  They had this pretty toole (sp?) going around the trees on display. They had a few different trees with different color schemes and next to the trees were all of the items used to decorate them.  I am a traditional Christmas person and chose the red for our tree! I came home excited to use it and decorate our new, real, Christmas tree!

I spent close to an hour arranging the toole so it fit around the whole tree, was appropriately spaced, and looked right.  It looked pretty good for one of my creations.  Although I truly appreciate beautiful home decor, I am not very good at DIY creations.  I follow a fun blog written by a friend's daughter-in-law.  I think she is talented and has lots of great ideas in home decor-her latest Christmas pictures are so cute. Check her out here: 1551 Transformed.

I try, but nothing ever turns out how I envision it.  This time, I felt pretty good about the tree and the toole. I wish I would have gotten a picture, but I figured I'd have time as it would be up all Christmas season.

That was my first mistake.

Cue destructive puppy.  It only took one trip around the tree looking for kitties for Cabbie to come out looking like this:

Really, how could I get mad? Maybe she thought she needed a scarf?  Who am I to interfere with fashion?

I tried putting the toole back a few times but soon realized my efforts were futile.  So I had to change plans.  I decided to try the trendy practice of draping the toole from the top of the tree and weave it through the branches on the way down.  Again, it has not turned out like so many other beautiful trees I've seen, but it will do for us. 
I like it ok, and so does Cabbie :)

Merry Christmas! Hopefully you will have time to enjoy your family and friends over the next few weeks! 
P.S.  Peanut has not yet made a blog appearance because she has made herself scarce around the house as of late.  She is adjusting the slowest of the 3 kitties to Cabbie and finds various places around the house where she can perch and look down on Cabbie, yet where Cabbie can not get to her.  Here she was today on the top shelf in the closet:
poor peanut :)

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Run, Run, Rudolph!

We ran our 2nd annual Reindeer Run in Lakewood, OH last weekend.  Bob, his sister, me, and some other friends ran in below freezing temperatures, along the lake at Lakewood park.  We have made it a tradition to wear some type of holiday attire.  Last year and this year we wore cute antlers!  I thought that would be silly for a dog to wear, so I got Cabbie a more functional sweater to keep her warm, and also a fluffy jingle bell collar. Much more fitting, don't you think?

Here is a picture of the sweater, because it was hard to get a good shot of it while she was wearing it.
Here she is on our way to the race.  I know many of you won't believe me (that's assuming enough people read this to constitute "many") but she does not hate this outfit.  She always looks like this in the car. If she sits up and looks out the window, she gets car sick (which did happen on this day, about 3 minutes before we parked the car-Poor thing had to run on an empty stomach!) (thank heaven for our Kurgo car seat cover. I really like it-it's waterproof, cleans up easily, and has saved my car seat more than a few times from Cabbie. It's actually called the Wander Hammock, but it can be used by putting the front part down along the seat and since Cabbie doesn't try to jump in front with us, we just keep it down)   Anyways, here she is in the car:
She was much better once we got out of the car, see:
Much happier, don't you think... I'd say even a little proud of herself.  

This year, though, the cold was somewhat bearable because it was nice and sunny:
This was after the race-All smiles.
Before the race, however, was a different story.  Cabbie is such a great dog. We love her to death and really feel that we hit the jackpot as far as finding a good dog to rescue and join our family.  She is sweet, gentle, listens as well as you would expect an 8 month old puppy that you've had in your home for about a month.  And let's be honest-she's beautiful.  I know this because people tell us this and swoon over her everywhere we go. :)

She changes a little, though, when other dogs are around. She barks and gets very antsy when she initially sees other dogs.  She eventually settles down, but it takes a bit. The dog trainer suggested that her anxiety/excitability with other dogs probably is due to her being out on the street as a stray. He explained that she probably only had negative interaction with other dogs, as they probably attacked her or tried to fight her for food or places to sleep.  That is very logical to me, but I never would have thought of that! He says we will just need to help her gain confidence by providing her with positive interactions with other nice dogs.  Anyone reading this who would like a doggy play date- let us know :) 

So, anyways, at these races that we do, there are always a lot of runners who bring their dogs. We were very excited to begin this with Cabbie. I've always wanted to be a runner (jogger) with a dog :) I had her all ready- sweater, fluffy jingle bell collar, training collar, leather lead, and blue doggie bags (incase we needed to make a pit stop).  Everyone we passed oohed and ahhed over how cute she looked. 

We started the race and Cabbie was so overwhelmed.  She wanted to run with everyone there, kept weaving all over the place and cutting people off, and started barking like crazy. I'm sure people were mumbling under their breath and cursing that "stupid lady for letting her dog run amuck and get in everyone's way." Thankfully, I had my earphones in and my music was playing so I just smiled and mouthed "Sorry" to all of those from whom I received glances (dirty looks-what happened to the oohs and ahhs?!). Also, it was probably a good thing we went with the sweater, I think some people couldn't help but smile at Cabbie in her cute, festive outfit.  

I tried to let most of the crowd clear out and we sort of trotted along as I tried my best to keep Cabbie next to me and away from other runners.  She did not settle down until about a mile in.  At one point, Bob thought it would be a good idea to get an action shot of us.... you can tell how happy I was with our crazy puppy and her antics. Here she is coming back into the street and weaving in front of me:

Like I said, she eventually settled down and we had a nice run together for the last two miles.  Here we are doing much better as we head to the finish line:
So, I would categorize our first race together as a quasi success!  We made it and had quite a bit of fun, and have an amusing little story to tell :) 

Friday, December 3, 2010

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Pound Puppies

Now, if you're a child of the 80's as I am, when you saw the title of this post you were probably thinking of these little cuties:

I had a couple of these myself! 

But no... I'm referring to the pups at the pounds all over the country! I have a soft spot for animals and if Bob would let me, we'd probably have adopted 5 more when we brought Cabbie home in November.  Even though I know that we can't feasibly have another dog in our house right now, (we also have three cats that I have had since I bought and moved into my house 7 years ago) that doesn't stop me from looking at the available pooches at the nearby shelters and pounds! Wouldn't it be great if they could get homes for these cold months ahead and to have a family for the holidays? This is topic that is so near and dear to me, that I wanted to take the time to share some information!  Nothing pulls at my heart strings like poorly treated or homeless animals!

I just thought I'd take a minute and share with you some of the sweet little (and not so little) K-9s available right now! Maybe you might like to give one a home!? 

We found Cabbie at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter . Right now there are over 60 dogs waiting for a home at this shelter!  Here are some of my personal favorites!

Isn't she sweet? You can get information about Lulu here:

Awe! Can you imagine what a good grooming and some love would do for her!?

Look at those ears!

So cute!

She is a beautiful Sheppard/Shar Pei Mix- the volunteers at the shelter can't say enough good things about her! 

So anyways, I just thought I'd give it a shot. If you're like me and you love animals the way I do, it may be hard to look at the pictures without wanting to go rescue one! Perfect! :)  

But seriously, we had a great experience with this shelter specifically. They take great care of the animals there and have volunteers that come daily to interact with and exercise the dogs.

Cabbie was a little sick when we picked her out and they nursed her back to health, spayed her, and bathed her multiple times while she was at the shelter.  Now she is a happy new member of our loving household!  

See!? Doesn't she look happy! :) No really, she's great! She lays like that with or without her Ohio State winter boots!
Cabbie at the shelter before we could bring her home!
So anyways! We have had a great experience rescuing our pup. I hope these and the others at local shelters get loving homes soon!

One more I have to mention. There is a sweet old 10 year old Golden Retriever guy at the Erie County pound.  If we had a little more room at home I'd take him in a second! I really hope this one gets a home soon and can have a wonderful, loving last couple of years!

He goes by Laddie apparently.  You can see his petfinder add here:

Really? How does he not have a family that loves him?
Oh, and one more thing... Most local shelters are in need of lots of donations:
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Collars and leashes
  • Laundry soap, bleach, and other cleaning supplies
  • Dog or Cat Treats
  • Bowls
  • Food
  • Toys and Plastic Bags 
  • Litter
  • Garbage Bags
So if you can't give a pet a home right now, maybe you could help by donating some of these items?! 

Thanks and that's all for now!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

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devil dogs?

It has taken me a while to decide on what to entitle this blog.  According to wikipedia, "The term "Devil Dog" is a very common nickname for all Marines. "Devil Dog" is historically a well accepted term of endearment." I have also learned that it can be a derogatory term among Marines as well.
I chose to be somewhat light-hearted and apply the positive connotation of Devil Dog as my blog is about my life with my fiance who is a 13-year veteran of the Marine Corps and our actual dog (Cabernet-we call her Cabbie for short)-whose presence as a literal "devil" dog is yet to be determined.  No really- she's sweet- but she's also a 50 pound puppy!

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Well, I have thought about blogging for quite a while.  I have read lots of blogs of all topics for some time now and have really enjoyed it!  Each time I sat down, however, to create a blog of my own I came back to the thought of, "Who wants to read what I write?" My answer to myself was, "probably no one."

Although I'm a teacher, I'm not much of a jump-in-front-of-a-crowd type of person. Don't get me wrong, I love social settings and being around lots of people, I have just never been one to enjoy being the center of attention or to be put on the spot.  Blogging, to me, feels a little bit like being up on stage and performing for a crowd, hoping to win them over.  Lucky for me, there's a good chance my auditorium is empty! I still have that feeling of, "who cares what I'm writing about," but now I just figure if they don't care, they won't read it (empty seats)! Which means, I'm basically just writing to record the happenings of my life as it unfolds.

I'm hoping it will be a nice place to look back and remember the day to day or week to week occurrences that don't always make a scrapbook or Facebook photo album (who am I kidding, just about everything makes my Facebook)

So, if you are reading this, I hope you enjoy it!

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