Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to say Happy New Year everyone!  We have been very busy this week but did manage to get away on a hike, you really gotta love the weather in Southern Nevada, hiking in December in a t-shirt.

In other great news today I got everyone food and little Nova ran right into her pen and waited eagerly for me to drop her bowl.  I couldn't believe it!  Up until now food time has been either me trapping her in the pen without her suspecting or me crating all the other dogs, then putting her food down and hiding until she went into her pen.  Then I would sneak over and shut the door while she wasn't looking so she didn't drag chicken all over the house.  Today she literally ran into her pen and sat wagging her tail waiting for food!!!!!  Small victory I know, but I am excited anyway.  This means she knew that being confined in there was a good thing, knew that waiting patiently would get her the food and was comfortable enough to sit there while I walked directly towards her and put it down.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone!  Or happy Tuesday to all the non-Christians out there.  We had a great morning here.  Things were quiet it was just me, Ben, Kerrigan, Copley, Nova and foster dog George.  Our celebration started last night when I did my baking.  Thanks to cake mix that came in this month's BarkBox the dogs got some baked goods too.

 This "Puppy cake" mix was really cool.  It is made in the USA with only a few ingredients and is colored with beet powder so it gets our seal of approval.  The recipe called for 1 egg, 3/4 cup of water and 3tbs of vegetable oil, similar to most human box cake.  I decided to use coconut oil because I know my dogs love the taste of it and it is pretty healthy.  The recipe seems to have worked out just fine but I did have to melt the coconut oil because it has solidified in this winter house temperature.
 I had a gingerbread man cake pan so I used that to make little cupcakes!  They are perfect for my little dogs plus they are festive for the holidays.

 Here they are iced with the unflavored yogurt frosting that came in the pack.  Not only were they cute but they also were a big hit with the dogs.  Keep in mind Copley and George would eat ANYTHING so that is probably not saying much but Kerri will walk away from food sometimes and she gobbled these right up.

Now we come to Christmas morning.  First the dogs helped us open our gifts....  Yeah "helped."  Here are Copley, Kerri and George "helping."

Nova was petrified of the present opening process, just like most things but she did get in on the action when we opened the dog presents.  I think my dogs might actually have gotten more stuff than us this year.  First we opened a package from our friend Mosby and his humans

 We got two cool toys and some chew sticks, I think they were tendon wrapped in chicken?  At least that is what they looked like.
Nova is doing so much better.  Looks how brave she is in this picture!  She is still very uneasy around people but she is making so much progress.  When I think about how she must have spent last Christmas I almost could cry.  Now she gets to spend the rest of her life happy, well fed and well loved.  This is only the beginning for Nova and I hope next Christmas she will be able to wear a tacky sweater like Kerri and cuddle up next to the family on the couch while we watch TV.  If I could take all of her scared away right now I would, but these things take time.  Her life only gets better from here on out.

Back to the presents you will see Kerri modeling the contents of the stockings.  Each dog got a crinkly holiday toy and an organic oat and peanut butter dog treat.  The rats also got one of those treats, they are a big fan of anything with oats in it.

Nova LOVES her crinkly toy and has been carrying it around her pen.  You really never know what she will love and what she will be pitch terrified about.  Also you may be asking why there is a pillow in the chihuahua palace?  It is because my amazing husband has been waking up at 5 AM every night to change Nova's pee pads and to lay down in there and sleep for a few hours so she can get used to us but still be in her safe place.  That's right, Ben is sleeping in an X pen on the floor to help out a scared chihuahua.  I love my husband.

The last gift I have pictures of (there are more toys too, but I am slow releasing those) is Copley's favorite.  My parents sent out 6 HUGE braided bully sticks.  Even Kerri likes getting in on the giant chews.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nova Update

Hey everybody!  This is going to be a bit of a dry post.  I really want to keep track of Nova's progress, and what we are doing.  I guess I could keep it in a journal but perhaps it will be helpful to others rehabbing a scared/under-socialized dog.  Keep in mind I have NO IDEA what I am doing here.  I am not a professional and when I have trouble I either call one or read a book on it.  Unfortunately there are not many books on this.  In fact most seem to say this in one way or another; "before you decide to adopt a scared or under socialized dog think very hard about it.  It is a bad idea.  They will probably bite you.  Don't do it.  You doing it?  Yeah, your an idiot.  But hey- if it works out they will love you forever."  So that's that.
Lets get to Nova day by day.

  1. Friday December 7th:  This was Nova's first day.  Her rear legs were still wrapped up and she was very scared.  She wouldn't leave the crate but I gave her a pee pad and water in there.  I knew she wouldn't eat with me around, so when I left for an hour I put in 4oz of cooked chicken coated in a pro-biotic digestive enhancer and some calcium supplement made for home-made diets.  When we came home she had peed all over herself so we took her out and cleaned the crate up a little bit.  While I was doing that I put her on the couch next to me and she did cuddle up to me and the other dogs a little bit.  I think she was just scared and cold because that was the most actual contact she has tolerated since being here.  Our potty training plan had not developed at this point but she did make a run for it out of the crate and huddled next to it.  She peed there- and while that seems like a bad thing I think it was a good sign.  Even with the pad in her giant crate she really, really does not want to use the bathroom in her living area meaning she will be easy to housetrain!  Win one for us.
  2. Saturday December 8th: A lot of the same as Friday, she stayed in the crate the whole day and today I gave her 5oz of cooked chicken with supplements (weighed before I cooked it).  She ate it while I hid in the garage.  Today I also picked up some Wellness 95% meat cans and have been giving her a Kong stuffed with the 95% Chicken every time I leave.  She did get up and sniff Kerrigan and was showing a little life.  Unfortunately I had to grab Nova and take her to the vet for a bandage change on her back feet.  I was able to corner her in the crate and grab her but it was a traumatic event for her.
  3. Sunday December 9th.  Sunday was a good day.  Nova was still hesitant with me around but I guess while I was out for a few hours she ran around and played with Kerrigan!  She also started taking treats from Ben and particularly likes these crunchy Zukes treats I got.  While I was out I got a thundershirt- that is a whole post of its own.  But the good news is that it worked.  I put it on her and she came out and was hanging on the couch near me.  Today I only seared her 5oz of chicken a little bit, it was her first mostly raw meal and she ate it with me in the other room.\
  4. Monday December 10th: Today I had to catch Nova again to get her to the vets for a bandage change and to get her stitches out.  She was pretty shy but was ok when I grabbed her.  Unfortunately she ignored me for the rest of the day.  She did grab a moose antler and drag it out of the toy box to chew on.  That was exciting because she was brave enough to do it and also because Copley let her chew on it without getting grumpy.  He really seems to feel for Nova and is more tolerant of her than he usually is, almost treating her like a puppy.  Today was also when we decided we were keeping her for sure.  She also ate 5oz of raw, bone-in Cornish game hen, her first official raw meal!  She chomped it like a champ.  I think Nova is used to eating whatever she can get her paws on without a whole lot of opportunity to be picky.
  5. Tuesday December 11th:  This was a lot of the same but we did have one breakthrough!  Some friends from out of town came over and Nova was very curious about them.  She has taken to sitting on the couch next to us as long as we don't touch her but she was accepting being pet on the butt very well.  Ben took the opportunity to gently scoop her up and she snuggled into his arms for a bit.  Eventually something spooked her and she ran away but I think it was the first time she actually enjoyed the warm and petting that came with being held.  I even have photographic evidence!  It is only cell phone pictures because I turn off the sound and flash so she isnt startled.
 There is the Nova update, I am only behind by 11 days now...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays!

 Happy Non-Denominational Holiday Gift Giving Season!  Whatever you celebrate this time of year I hope you are doing great.  Things have been very busy around here- you know new dog and all- so this will be quick.  I wanted to share our holiday decorations and how we get the dogs in on the action.  I am sure I will be posting a picture of all of our dogs gifts, they are looking to be plentiful this year and I didn't even buy many of them.
 Stockings- right to left- Ben, Annie, Copley, Kerrigan, Nova
 Holiday biscuit holders!
 Kerrigan's paw print and the "Family Rodents 2011, Nick, Bean, Tubbs and Sandy"
 Copley's Paw Print
And our holiday BarkBox!

Thank you all for reading this blog and encouraging me to continue blogging through this year.  I have plans to share with you Nova's progress day by day and I have been writing it down but time to edit and publish it is not here right now.  In the meanwhile enjoy Christmas!  We sure are.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


We volunteer for a local dog rescue.  As you might remember that is how Ben fell in love with Chihuahuas and we got Kerrigan.  Well down on their luck chis are sort of our soft spot over here.  I saw a picture of this girl and I immediately offered to foster her (can you guess why?).  Funny thing is the picture said she was a he, but that is neither here nor there.  It turns out that this girl and her two dead puppies were found in the back of a tire store where they had been living for at least a few weeks.  She was caught and brought to a vets office but they were filling up for holiday boarding and she needed somewhere to go.  The rescue warned me that she might be a runner and to watch my front door so I knew she might be a bit scared, but when I showed up I saw the most frightened chihuahua I have ever seen in my life.  This little girl is just a shaking pile of defeated dog.  From the way she acts at home it is apparent she has never lived in a house before and everything scares her.  

The far dog is Nova
I knew immediately she was not a foster dog, she was a forever dog.  She needs a home with stable dogs her size, no children now or ever, a person who is home a lot, and owners with lots of dog experience.  She needs a secure yard and no access to the front door, and while money is not everything she could certainly use someone who can afford a behaviorist and later group classes.  She needs a home where everyone in it is 100% on board and all of the family members love dogs, and people who realize it may be years or never before she is confident enough to be in a busy place.  How many homes are like that?  Mine is so she is staying.  Nova has been let down for the last time.  The people who she learns to love next will be the ones she grows old with.

I realize you can not rescue every dog.  I have let many fosters I love dearly, some even with special needs, go to their forever homes so I can do it.  I can recognize that dogs need our help not our pity and that being a foster failure means I can help less dogs in the future but Nova is special.  She is ours.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Guest Blogger- Mosby

Mosby is the dog, not the blogger.

I have been thinking a lot lately about why we adopt our dogs when we do and how we pick them out.  Most dog bloggers are seasoned dog people who have been rescuing or breeding or competing for some time and know their dogs very well.  What were you thinking when you got your first dog though?  How did you pick them out?  I think about Copley, picking him out of a row of kennels.  It was such an arbitrary thing that ended in us having one of our best buddies living here!  When some of our good friends Kayla and Lee decided to adopt a dog I knew I had to get them to write a blog post for me.  Here it is-

Lee and I have both wanted a dog for many years and when we moved to Las Vegas early last year, we decided to find one as soon as possible. That took a bit longer than expected. Knowing that we both wanted a larger dog, our first two apartments were just too small and unable to provide the kind of life we wanted to give our dog. We thought the end was in sight once we finally bought a house and had the space necessary to raise a dog...but alas, work got in the way as we entered a crazy installation period for our show. Finally, on November 16th, Lee and I decided we couldn't wait
another day longer (in fact we had to wait two more days) and went out that day to find the dog that would join our family. After consulting friends (Annie) and Google-ing our shelter options, we decided to check out the LIED Shelter.

I had anticipated the excitement I would feel as we started down the first corridor of dogs but was completely blindsided by how emotional I got seeing all those dogs stuck in kennels. I was in tears by the time we got out of that first corridor. I knew we would only be saving one dog that day and couldn't help but wonder about the future of the rest. Almost every dog we saw got excited as we approached and tried their hardest to touch, lick, and play with us through the glass. It just broke my heart to know that some of these trusting and loving creatures had been abandoned and may never get a home.

We finally made it through every corridor of dogs and had narrowed it down to the three dogs we felt we had connected with the most. The first one we went back to was a young female pit bull who was adorable and seemed like she would be playful and friendly. She was definitely a possibility, but we wanted to revisit the other two before we made our choice. We got no further than the second dog, named "Sarge" at the time. When we got to his kennel, we didn't see him at first and made some noise to see if he was just outside. Sure enough, he came bounding back inside to greet us. "Sarge" was stopped short, however, when we realized he somehow managed to get his paw tangled up in a leash. He went back and forth between trying to get to us and trying to release his paw, all the while smiling and wagging his tail. We knew at that moment that he was the dog for us. We found a shelter attendant and got her to take him out for us. Although it was hard to keep is attention as he was so excited to just be out of that box and in fresh air, we could tell that he was well-mannered and playful. Soon after that, Lee and I signed the adoption papers and told "Sarge" we'd see him in two days to take him home.

The next day we went around and gathered the necessary "new dog" supplies: bed, food, toys, treats, kennel, more toys, etc. We just couldn't wait to bring him home. When we picked him up Thursday morning, he had on his "cone of shame" from being neutered the day before. "Sarge" was just as adorable as we remembered, especially since his cone severely effected his spatial sense and he was running into everything. The constant sound of the cone scraping and hitting everything around him was both annoying and hysterical as he was investigating the house and yard later that day. After much deliberation and settling on "Porter" for a day, we finally gave him the name we had picked out for our first dog months ago...Mosby.

Two weeks later, as I sit here typing this and Mosby is trying to get in my lap and get all of my attention, Lee and I couldn't be happier that we found this dog. He is smart, playful, loving, and together we are working on obedience and patience...on both sides. We will be having our third session at Smarty Paws this week which has already taught us so much about training a dog. Mosby's obedience and attentiveness improves everyday and soon we hope to start him on a raw food diet. All in all, Lee and I couldn't have asked for a better dog and we are so happy that Mosby has joined our


Thanks Kayla!  Mosby is a very luck dog!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When To Adopt?

Copley 2.5 years ago on day 1 with us

I have a lot of posts in the works (one guest post even- how fancy of us) but I just wanted to throw this out there.  Is there EVER a good time to adopt a dog.  Even if you were on a breeders waiting list forever isn't a puppy just always going to be a giant pain in your side for a while?  You either have lots of work, or you need to clean, or you wish you had an extra 20 grand to put that "dog room" addition on the house or whatever.  What about rescues?  Do dogs ever fall into your life when it is just the best time ever to get one?  I don't think so. Sometimes I think you just have to take the plunge because you can always think of an excuse not to do it.

On very special occasions I think an animal ends up in your life because you were the only person meant to have them.  I don't believe in a singular higher power- but I do think that things happen for reasons that are beyond us sometimes.  Oddly enough I only have ever felt this way about one of our animals, her name was Patches. 

Baby Patches
Patches is a story for another day.  What do you guys think?  When a dog comes along that just calls your name do you take the plunge (sorta like we did with Kerri)?  Or is that all made up gobbly gook and things should be better planned out.  Did your dogs all come at good times?  Or were you a little bit overwhelmed and second guessed you decision all the way home from the pound?

Friday, November 30, 2012

BarkBox Review

Hey everybody!  I have decided to review Barkbox again this month because it IS that time of year when everyone is looking for gifts and I am so happy with BarkBox I think it would be the perfect holiday present for the doggie friends in your life!  If you are not familiar with BarkBox you can read my other reviews for August and SeptemberAs always you can use my link to get $5 off your first box!
I have been more than happy with the boxes these last few months.  We get fun treats, fun toys and cool other stuff to try out.  Whatever I don't like I just bring to adoption events and drop off with the other foster families- but that is actually not very much stuff.  I think in the long run the boxes are actually saving me money because I wait to buy dog toys until I see the box so I am not doing a lot of over shopping like I usually do.

Lets get down to reviewing the box!
  1. First the treats.  They were Fruitables brand- we LOVE fruitables around here.  Mostly I buy them for the rats but these soft treats were a big hit with the dogs too.  My dogs are not terribly excited about the more biscuit-ey style of fruitables but they loved these.  Plus they were a festive pumpkin flavor for the holidays!  Fruitables are made in the USA with good ingredients so they pass my rather rigorous inspection process for good treats.
  2. Acadia Antlers.  We have gotten antlers before from BarkBox, and just because we love antlers ourselves.  The antler this month was a antler on a rope and the dogs loved it just like they love every antler they see.  Despite it's size this antler has lasted a long while- but it may have something to do with the giant moose antlers we just got distracting the dogs.  Either way this gets a big thumbs up from us!
  3. Mr. Barksmiths Cool Treat Smoothy.  This was fun I guess and the dogs like it and it has good ingredients but I don't think I would buy them.  They are just fruit puree in a cup.  I can puree my own fruit and freeze it for much cheaper than these things are.  For inclusion in the BarkBox they are cool, but other than that ehhh.
  4. Bionic Bone.  This bone is a huge hit!  In fact I would recommend them to people with dogs who like licking stuff out of kongs and the like.  It is very similar to a kong in that you can freeze it and stuff stuff in it and it is somewhat indestructible, but I like it because the holes seem a little more ergonomically designed for a dog to get their tongue into.  Copley can really lick this clean all the way down.

That was all of the "stuff" in the box but this month we also got a $10 gift card for Mr. Chewy, a $10 gift card for Dog TV and $10 off dog sitting at  That is $30 worth of free stuff!  The dog TV is really fun/cool/love it and that will be getting it's own review soon.

Overall I must say this is my favorite BarkBox yet!  I think the company is really listening to its subscribers and they are making a better and better product every month.

*BarkBox did not pay me for this review, I signed up on my own, but if you use my link I do get free stuff.  In addition though you get $5 off so it is a win-win.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness

Wee Thump is one of our favorite places to hang out.  First of all it has the biggest and coolest Joshua Trees in the world.  Second the trails are flat and fun to walk and there is rarely anyone there. 

My father in law came to visit and we all went for a little hike.  Southern Nevada is getting so beautiful right now.  The weather is PERFECT and we can't get enough of being outside.  Too bad I work in an industry that locks me in windowless rooms for the holiday season.*  I won't bore you with too much description because I am too busy to write anything right now, but lets pretend the pictures are so great they speak for themselves.  You should just be happy I managed to hobble together 10 minutes to write a blog post.

One final thought.  Wee Thump has a lot of cactus bits and spines on the ground.  I recommend paw protection if you have it.  Copley says "always be prepared"!


We love the gulpy!

*Don't worry- I don't work retail, so it is likely I will survive black Friday.  Also I work for myself so I have no one to complain to but me and my own calendar.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Look, I found a Deer in the backyard!

If you have a dog this color and want to do this costume next year it is really easy and really cheap and long as you have a patient subject!  It cost me about $6.

For the spots I used white finger paint.  Finger paint is non-toxic and washes out really easy because it is meant for toddlers who sometimes eat it.  Copley is a very calm dog anyway, so he stood pretty still for the painting.  While it was drying I gave him a bully stick to chew and had him sit in the sun.  His collar is an old collar I sewed felt leaves onto.  The leaves came off a thanksgiving centerpiece that got wet lest year and was ruined, I saved the leaves and there you go!

The finger paint came off in about 30 seconds in the tub.

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Treat Swap!

This last week I did a treat swap hosted by Nola and Cole!

My swap partner was the super cool Kourtney of The Queens Kourt and her two pups Lucy and Rossi!  They sent us a really cool package from a local dog bakery.

 The treats were a big hit! 

 I love the Holloween themed ones-they are cut into fun shapes for the holiday.

 As you can see George the foster dog (still looking for a home- visit for more information) LOVES the treats.

And for the toy.  Oh boy is this one a hit.  It has a different kind of squeaker that claims to work even if punctured.  That may be true but the best part of this toy is that it is really easy to squeak.  No matter where Kerrigan's tiny little mouth grabs the thing it makes noise.  She hasn't stopped going nuts for it in days.

Want to see what I sent over to Kourt?  Check out
Also if you like this blog you may also want to stop by my doggie friend Nola's blog at, she is a lot of fun and eats a home-made diet just like we do!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Culturally Disconnected Copley

I have a little story to tell you about Copley's name.  See when we got Copley we were really, really missing Boston.  Culture shock is a real thing.  Me and my husband are not sheltered people.  He has lived on three continents and I have lived all up and down the east coast of the US.  But you know there is something about the West that is just different.  Moving from Miami to Maine was probably similar but I was a bit if a clueless kid.  I still feel great when I fly into MIA and see those palm trees and that beach.  Boston fit me like a glove.  The art museums, the history, riding the subway, the theater, the food.  The impressionist gallery in the MFA.  Ben had different things but it was the same idea.  We both loved Boston and often talk about how much we miss it.  Vacationing in DC and working in Central New York and Southern Maine let me see the whole Atlantic and I have to say I think there is something that culturally connects most East Coasters.  Maybe it is the history, or the art or the fact that the mayflower landed over there but there is just something about it.  Out here, at least then, we hang out with a lot of East Coasters or people who's parents are East Coasters (maybe I should say Coaster because sometimes I think people from the Pacific Coast are practically New Yorkers themselves).  Now a few of the people I would count as our very best friends are from the West but it wasn't the case when we got Copley.

Most of the time I see the strange cultural disconnect coming.  Then there are the times when I bumble forward thinking that I am doing something perfectly normal or looking for something that I think is common and everyone looks at me like I have three heads.  Copley's name was apparently one of those things.  John Singleton Copley was a Boston born early American painter.  I GUARANTEE you have seen a painting of his.  He did lots of portrates of people who were famous figures of the American Revolution (Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams etc...).  His pictures are all over the National Gallery- and if you have been there you may have even seen his self portrate.  It is also the name of a hotel, a square and most importantly to me an MBTA station.  Every day (sometimes twice and if I was going out at night then four times) I rode through that subway station.  Once while me and Ben were dating I even got food poisoning and threw up in a trash can in Copley station!  Needless to say me and Copley station were good buddies.  Maybe it was because I became so intimately familiar with the station, or my constant trips to the Museume of Fine Art but when we got Copley and named him there were two facts I seemed to think were true.
  1. People could properly pronounce the word Copley.
  2. Everyone knew who John Copley was,
The first time someone read Copley's name and said "cope-ley" I literally laughed at that person.  How silly!  Cope- ley- isn't that vet tech a moron.  Then the vet came in the room and read the chart "Coop-leigh."  WTF was going on.  How can no one pronounce this word!!!!!  Then came "what in interesting name?" or "oh are you a history buff?"  Seriously people?  I am not a history buff.  I even had to wikipedia the guy before I named my dog to make sure he didn't do any horrible stuff I would want to know about.  Not a history buff.

P.S. I thought I published this like a year ago, but I guess not, cause I found it in drafts on my phone app.  Lets see how the phone formatting goes too!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Adoption Day Kerrigan!!

This picture = Kerrigan Exactly
Happy Adoption Day!!!!  One year ago yesterday we brought Kerri home from the shelter.  I can't believe it has been a whole year with this little gal!  Lets recap the highlights of this year-
What a year right?!?!  To celebrate I threw a party!  We had pizza and cupcakes and plenty of human friends over.  Here are some pictures- mostly of food because lets face it- food is easier to photograph than excited dogs.
 My new obsession is fondant so I rolled some out and cut out bones and hearts to decorate the cupcakes with.
 The cupcakes all decorated!
 Close up of the cupcakes!  I almost got dog cupcakes but the bakery is so far away and I figured these vanilla cupcakes are probably equally as bad for the dogs so I gave them each a little bit of vanilla cake without frosting.
 These were Kerris gift.  You can see how much she loves that little dinosaur in the first picture.  It is the green blur in her mouth.
 Mmmmmm, pizza.
 The whole spread.
 The dogs wait patiently to get a chance at their pizza.  (I don't feed my dogs pizza every day but it was a special occasion and since I made it from scratch I knew there was nothing tooo bad in it, just a little fattening.)
 This was about 2 seconds after they were released.  Notice Kerri is GONE, Copley has decided chewing is for loosers and George bumbles on oblivious to his surroundings as usual.

PS- Yes, foster dog George still lives here!  If you live in the Las Vegas area and want to adopt this adorable goofball visit for more information.  He deserves a great forever home.