Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chicken Jerkey Treats- FDA Warning

I just saw a news article about this today, but then I looked on the FDA website and they actually released a statement in November.
Here is the FDA statement from November
Here is a newer caution that basically says the same thing

They are cautioning people about feeding ANY chicken jerky or chicken treat from China.  There are no recalls because they can't tie the illness specifically to one brand or product because dogs are becoming ill after eating many different brands and products of chicken treats from China.

So be on the lookout.  Many imported chicken jerky treats are branded in a way that makes them look like a natural, organic, local product.  So be sure to check out the label on all of your jerky and jerky-like chicken treats.

It can never hurt to periodically check out this FDA website for a list of current recalls.  Even for someone like me who feeds home made raw my dogs are still given treats, chews and occasionally a pre-made meal when traveling or being boarded.

One final edit after publishing this post- If you have children, food allergies, a compromised immune system, or really if you eat any food at all you should probably check out this FDA website to make sure you are not eating any recalled food yourself.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Words We Know

I was thinking today about how I can't wait until the puppy knows all the stuff Copley knows.  That got me the thinking how much she does know and how that should get some credit.  I decided it would be fun to make a list of everything she knows, perhaps this will become a monthly series...

I'm So Smart

Having been with us for 3 months Kerrigan knows reliably-
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Leave it
  • Stay (her stay is only like 4 seconds long, but she gets the idea)
  • Off
  • UhUh (stop what you are doing and do something else)
  • To wait at the door until released with "ok" whenever going in our out either on leash or not)
  • Crate
  • To wait until released to eat out of her bowl
  • Touch (Touch her nose to a hand)
  • Go Pee
She is learning-
  • Roll over
  • Spin (as in spin in a circle)
  • Quiet
That is 11 commands soon to be 14.  I think that is quite good for a puppy her age.  She is also showing signs of being a little bit smarter than her brother, having figured out how to open doors that are ajar and her crate door when it is closed but not latched.

I'm Smart Too

Copley is right.  Here is a list of words he knows: Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Up, Off, Leave it, Wait, Hold On, Eat it, OK, High Five, Other Paw, Dance, Upstairs, Downstairs, Crate, Bed, Out, Heel, UhUh, No.  Then specifically from obedience: Front, Finish, Left And Agility: Over, Tunnel, Tire, Table, A-frame, Walk It.

In case you were not counting that is 31 English words that mean something to him.  Not half bad for a dog.

More than tricks or words it is the polite behaviors like waiting to eat, waiting at the door and waiting to go in and out of the car that I have been most anxious for the puppy to learn.  Luckily Copley leads well by example.

Hopefully next time I make a post like this Kerri will know lots more!

Grandma and Grandpa Visit #2- Less dogs more sheep

After we got back from Joshua Tree we had a lot of other adventured while my parents were here.  One of the most exciting things was this-
That is a fuzzy picture of the 30 or so bighorn sheep that ran across the road, then we watched run through a valley and over a ridge.  When I stopped the car we were probably only 20 or so yards from them, but it took some time to pull out the camera.  In all of my time living and traveling in the southwest I have seen a total of one bighorn sheep, a long long way away, running.  At least we are pretty sure it was a bighorn sheep.  So this was a real treat.  Luckily for Copley (who has a less than rational fear of hoofed animals) the dog's didn't bother looking out the window to see them.

Then we went on a walk where Kerrigan whined, pulled, barked and even growled at a stranger.  This then incited Copley to do the same and his uncharacteristic pulling resulted in me almost falling and then yelling at them.  Since dogs don't understand yelling Kerri carried on but I think Copley got the drift and straightened up.  Or at least he knew I was upset and I became the center of his attention.  The walk back was much more pleasant if only because Copley was right by my side and I decided I would just let the 5lb Chihuahua pull all she wanted without trying to correct it.  She was in a harness, I was trying to enjoy myself, I don't think much harm was done.

Kerrigan is so good 90% of the time, but sometimes she just reminds me that she is still just a puppy and sometimes she will act like it.

Here is a picture of us on the walk (At Valley of Fire State Park- Don't think I mentioned that yet)-

Overall though this post should probably not be about the dogs.  The landscape was beautiful and we saw lots and lots of petroglyphs.  All of these pictures are taken by my Mom and she got some good shots while I was dog wrangling.  This canyon is a really amazing place.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Bone

Copley was out hiking today so I was home with the puppy. She ate a big breakfast but a little later I gave her this bone for doing a trick.  She carried it around with her for over an hour before she ate it. In this picture she is just staring at it.

If Copley had let a treat go this long without eating it I would have assumed he was dying. That dog never refuses food but Kerri is a little more careful about what she eats.

I was curoius how things would go when Copley got home; if she would let him have it, put up a fight, or eat it really fast just so he couldn't have it. But then Kerri got hungry and ate it so I guess we will never know.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa Come to Visit!

This week Copley and Kerri's "Grandparents" came to visit!  We took a trip to Joshua Tree National Park in an RV.  Overall Kerri loved the drive, getting to cuddle with us the whole way out, but was freezing cold when we got there.  Copley huddled under the kitchen table in the RV looking just miserable for the whole ride but had a great time when we got there.  It would have been nice if they both had a good time the whole trip, but that was not to be.

This is Kerrigan wearing both a sweater and a jacket and still looking cold.  I am glad we don't live in a place that really gets winters.

Copley here is demonstrating his newest thing.  Since getting the puppy he has started getting up on tables to sniff food and other such things.  It is a little annoying but at least he gets off when I say "off".  At home I have him just about broken of the habit but on this trip he was in full "take advantage of these new people who don't know the rules" mode.

It did warm up eventually.  Here is Copley enjoying some well deserved time soaking up the sun.  Joshua Tree National Park is beautiful during the day this time of the year.  We were lucky it was the middle of the week because all of the camp sites were reserved for the weekend.

Copley and my Mom climbed up this big rock.

 This is a Joshua Tree.  We were at Joshua Tree National Park after all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Furry Friend Visits

We had a visitor today and I got lots of cute pics of the doggies playing.

Copley ready to get in on the action

Most pictures looked like this

Watch out for visitors pouncing from above   

It is always important to thoroughly sniff visitors behinds

Why wont my dogs look at the camera all cute?  Tired of having their pictures taken perhaps?


Running through the house

Visitors are tiring, Kerri stops for a drink
Copley questions why I keep bringing dogs to the house who disrupt his sleep schedule

I will leave you with one marginally cute video.  They were a little tuckered out by this point.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Cards

I just made an appointment to get Copley's picture taken for our holiday cards.  We decided not to have the puppy in them this year because this is a super cheap in-mall photo studio who only does pets once a week.  I do not think they will have the expertise/patience/time to get a good shot of them both.

They have props, but we have to provide the outfits.  I took some great photos of Copley in 3 different hats I got from target for under $10 total.  Please let me know what outfit you all think would be the cutest.  You have to use your imagination because they still have really long drawstrings that need cut and one still has a tag (oops).  I also will be getting a red collar or something to go with whatever outfit we choose. 

We have to choose from (as modeled by a recently woken up dog)-
Holiday Ruffle
Winter hat and scarf

Santa-type hat

House Training

Kerrigan is doing great!  I thought I would post an update on everything she has learned in the months we have had her but then I went on a rant about potty training so I guess I will be making this into two posts.

She is 99% potty trained.  I really don't get why people think potty training a puppy is so hard (ok I do get it but it has way more to do with the stupidity and laziness of humans than the inability of their dogs to learn).  It really was not difficult at all.  Only thing it required was consistency and near constant supervision when she was out and allowed to run around.  When we could not watch her we kept her in a playpen, when she was out we made sure to take her to pee every hour or so.  When she went outside she got a treat, if we caught her going inside we said no and brought her outside really fast.  Once she started scratching at the door to go out we tried to wait until she asked before taking her out, gradually letting her go longer and longer before making her go outside in the hoes that she would ask first.  As of the last few weeks we have only had accidents when she asks to pee but we are not paying attention to the door.  She has such tiny paws and they make so little noise.  I was thinking of getting a bell but am worried Copley might REALLY enjoy ringing it.  Oh, and she also knows the command "Go Pee" and will squeeze out any pee she can, that's handy for when we are about to leave.

She also is we we pad trained.  That has been a big help with her as a puppy but not something I think I will continue into the future.  We did it because she can only hold it for a few hours and sometimes we have to leave for longer than that.  Right now she is doing good holding it for 4 hours during the day while we are gone, or 6 hours at night while she is asleep.  When we leave for 4 hours or less she is crated, more than 4 hours and we leave her with a pee pad in her pen.  When we first got her our limit was 2 hours, but she has been doing a lot of growing since then.

So in summary- housetraining is not rocket science.  There may be the occasional dog that is difficult to train and of course puppymill survivors (they are a whole different story) but other than that it is not hard.  I really have no patience for the many many people out there who have had dogs for a year and they still are not housetrained.  I blame 99% of that on laziness, ignorance and general stupidity.  For the 1% of you out there with dogs who really are genuinely having trouble with potty training despite your absolute best efforts, don't be offended, keep up the good work.

A woman I take agility class with told me that her boss would only hire people who had successfully housetrained a puppy, but unfortunately they can't ask people that in their interviews.  That is probably sound logic as housetraining is a simple task overall but requires the virtues of patience, persistence and control of rage even while sleep deprived.

I will leave you with a video of Kerri showing off.  You sill see she waits at the door until released then goes immediately to her potty spot when I tell her to.  I left out the actual peeing part, it seemed a little gross for the blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One Dogs Bed is another Dogs... Bed

Continuining on with the theme of this post I have taken this picture. While Kerri is sleeping on Copley's toys, Copley has taken up residence in Kerrigans way too small bed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween- A few Days Late

Me and Copley decided to leave the puppy home with Ben and go out for a night on the town with some friends.  It was a Howl-O-Ween costume party.  Copley was a rapper and I was a tiger.

I love the last picture.  He is making such a great face and you can see his studded collar and hooddie so well!

We had a great time at the party, although Copley did get into a lady's drink.  That was fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


It all started when we saw a sign at the farmers market saying "Meat Goats- $100."

Next thing you know  I have an entire goat carcase sitting on my kitchen counter.  I am not one to turn down reasonably priced local meat for both me and the dog.  We spoke with the farmer who was happy to kill and skin the goat.  He also was gracious enough to give us the head and all of the guts in a bag for the dogs.  There are really no words to describe this journey, so I shall do it with pictures.  I have omitted the really gross stuff.

The counter after being sanitized with bleach.

Cutting and organizational tools.

We started with the bag o' organs.  It was frozen in two week
supplies for Copley, this is one of the packs.

After we were done with the organs we re bleached
the counters before starting on the goat.

Some of the prime cuts of "people meat" being trimmed.

Back, neck and pelvis bones for the dog's chewing pleasure.
Finally all packed we have: People meat- several lbs of stew
meat, two shoulders,two racks of ribs and scraps for stock +
Dog Meat- Several poundsof meaty meat, liver, lung, heart,
kidney, spleen, tripe, stomach, lots of meaty bones
to chew on and a head (not shown).
The first cooking project- goat stock with farmers market
veggies and fresh sage from the herb garden.

One question I have been asking myself after all this is "Why don't people eat more goat meat?"  Or more specifically "Where do all the baby milk goats go?"  As you may (or may not) know milk animals are constantly pregnant.  Be it a cow, goat, sheep, whatever, if you want milk from that animal you need it to have babies to stimulate lactation.  When the baby animal is born it usually is removed from it's mother (with varying degrees of humaine-ness, think before you eat veal) so the milk is all available for the farmer to harvest and sell.  Some smaller and more ethical farms allow the animals to stay with their mothers, loosing out on some milk but keeping things a little more natural before the babies are sent to slaughter.  Either way there are lots of baby goats out there being born to milk goat mothers.  A few of the female animals are kept around to become milk goats themselves and even fewer males are kept around to keep the females pregnant.  With goat cheese being so popular there must be lots of little goats sent to slaughter.  WHERE DO THEY GO?!?!  You can't buy goat meat at the supermarket, you don't even see goat meat in dog food.  That is particularly puzzling with the new "novel meat" anti-allergy craze in dog food.  If I can get emu meat dog food, why can't I get goat?

This puzzle is still unsolved, so if you know where the baby goats go, please let me know.

One Dogs Toy is Another Dogs Bed

Observe- Kerrigan uses Copley's squeakey toy as a bed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Introducing Kerrigan!

The puppy finally has a name!  It is Kerrigan or Kerri for short.

Settling on a name proved harder than it was for Copley.  With Copley we were still incredibly homesick for the east coast.  We named the little guy after a subway station that we both went through almost every day while living in Boston.  It has a nice ring to it, people out here have no idea how to say it and everyone back in Boston thought it was just perfect!

With this puppy it has been much harder.  We went through several names and didn't like any of them.  On Wednesday we settled on Flora because my husband likes plants a lot and frankly we were tired of coming up with other names.  I even got a name tag engraved that said Flora.  All along I knew it was not that great.  For starters I just could not imagine yelling "Flora" out on an agility course and on top of that no one would ever get the plant connection because Flora is also a normal woman's name.

Luckily last night after observing that we only really called her puppy and were totally ignoring Flora a friend of ours suggested a great idea for a name.  Kerrigan.  It is the name of a character in a video game both of us play.  The petite but feisty lady is turning out to really live up to her namesake, so long as she avoids being mind controlled my an alien race everything should turn out just great!

Unfortunately for some reason I seem to be taking a lot of shit for this name.  Kerri seems like a perfect name to me, short, sharp and easy for her to learn, plus it is cute and has a connection to something both of us like to do.  So what I named my dog after a video game character?  My other dog is named after a SUBWAY STATION and no one seems to think that is so strange.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We got our new puppy!  She is a little chihuahua, weighing in at a whopping 4.2 LBS at 13 weeks.  We got her from the city shelter where according to their website they had 243 dogs available and 60 were chihuahuas.  So if you are interested in adopting a Chi and live in the Las Vegas area you should know Lied animal shelter (aka The Animal Foundation) has plenty.

Here she is!  I keep trying to take pictures at night, when the light is not so good, I promise better pictures tomorrow during sunlight hours!

The puppy says hi!

Copley asks "What have you done to me?"

The little lady was having some trouble with the raw chicken so we gave her a break and are cooking it.  At this point she is getting fed three meals a day of seared chicken (very rare) and yogurt in a kong along with a multivitamin, calcium supplement and a pro-biotic.  The hardest thing about these is that they are miniature amounts.  One of the supplements she gets 1/16th of a teaspoon split into 3 meals!  How do you even really measure that?
 If her tummy manages to stay settled we will be adding some veggies and some kinds of fattier meat tomorrow.  The vet said she is a little skinny for a puppy, but that is expected after four days at a shelter.  I could probably use starvation tactics to get her to take the chicken raw, but since we have the calcium supplements as a raw bone replacement we can go on with cooked meat until she gets a little weight on her.

That is all for now!  I will be doing more updates on the puppy very soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Copley's DNA Test

As previously mentioned we got the results of Copley's DNA test.  Here are the results-

At first glance these results seem a little crazy.  It gets even crazier when you realize the Doberman part of the mixed breed ancestry is only 2% away from the threshold that would have caused the report to say he had a purebred doberman grandparent!

But lets think about this for a second.  We know Copley is a long nosed breed of dog crossed with a short faced breed from his severe under-bite.  Based on our observation of other "puggles" we had determined he was probably only 25% short faced dog.  So 25% pekingese, I can handle that.

Next lets look at the chihuahua part.  We always comment that he has the fur of a "desert dog" plus he does have tiny, tiny feet for his size.

Now for the mixed breed that is mostly doberman.  He does have a deep chest like a dobe and something would have to be thrown into this mix to give him a little size boost.  At 22lbs and lean he is over twice the size of a normal chihuahua or pekingese.

So what do you think?  Are these pictures of a Chihuahua/Pekingese/Doberman?