Daddy’s Boy

“Are you looking for something?”  I was on the phone with Kevin and all I could hear was a banging like drawers being opened, rummaged through and closed.
“No, Ray is playing with his shoulder bone, throwing it up in the air and chasing it,” he said.  “I brought my laptop down here to the kitchen so I could work while he plays.”
This, people, is a huge breakthrough.  Usually I hear about how much attention Ray demanded while Kevin couldn’t get his work done, but after the fab weekend we just had, I think Kevin and Ray have really bonded.  They spent Friday together and had some quality dad and lad playtime, spent some nice time together Saturday while I volunteered with SmilingK9’s at the Pet Expo and on Sunday we had a little family retail therapy trip.
The Pet Expo was wildly busy and SK9s had some monster traffic.  Our gal Sparkles had several suitors vying for her affections and I’m told we had five-count ‘em- five applications on her this weekend.  Let’s keep everything possible crossed that one of these applicants turns out to be her One.  The talented Laura also made tutus and donated profits to the rescue and they were such a hit the people were flocking to the booth not only to smooch pooches but to purchase these beauties.
Sparkles in her adopt me vest.

Tutus were a huge hit!
Sunday we had an Open House since we are still pretending that the house is for sale still hoping to move.  Asia went to the mall which left me, Kevin and Ray to make plans.  I don’t worry about the cats because they hide during the entire time and even though Ray is not a barker and is great in his crate, I don’t want him home when strangers are traipsing through.  When I suggested to Kevin that we take Ray to PetSmart, I knew he was reluctant in his agreement.  This trip was actually the first time Ray and Kevin have been in a vehicle together and I could tell that Kevin was pleasantly surprised at what a good rider Ray is and when we got to PetSmart we spent a little time in the grass for bodily functions before shopping, 
We had chosen a newer and smaller PetSmart to visit and were rewarded with a wonderfully positive trip.  I’ve written before about his mad social skills and also that he is maturing, and getting better at interactions, which helps tremendously.  The other thing that I sometimes find hard to see is the self confidence issue, or lack thereof. Because he is such a happy little boy at home, I sometimes lose sight of what some of his other behaviors signify.  He is a “greeting wizzer” sometimes and it is not uncommon for him to tinkle a little whenever meeting someone new or seeing someone he hasn’t seen recently, like a few days ago.  He also tends to roll over for belly rubs immediately which of course is adorable, but we are trying to get him to not be so immediately submissive and stand like a big boy for greetings.  
So Sunday at PetSmart, we didn’t actually encounter any pooches face to face, but he was met and greeted by and loved on by at least four employees who were able to pet him and come away with nothing more than a hearty tail wag!  At only one point did Ray try the old belly roll but before getting on the ground we reminded him to stand like a big boy and the employee helped keep him standing so we had some major success.   I know Kevin was not only surprised but pleased with the ease and fun of the trip because little Ray-Ray scored a big bag of toys from his daddy. 

We hope everyone had a super weekend as well.

Are you Sirius?

You would think that living with Ray since he was a six pound baby in January that I would be able to anticipate how fast he grows, but alas, I am a slow learner in that department.  Maybe like all moms I lament that my baby is growing too fast although I’m very happy that his maturity level is also growing.    When we brought him home I had two collars for him because I didn’t actually measure his neck and kept guesstimating the size, both of which seemed enormous.  He has been wearing his purple click lock collar this whole time and we finally took it off a couple of weeks ago since it seemed to be getting tight. 
I thought I’d be able to switch easily to his purple buckle collar but of course that is too small already and has never been worn.  Time to donate, I guess.
What I’ve been waiting for is his growth rate to stabilize a little so that I could order his first Sirius Republic collar and naturally, I waited too long.  My big plan was to have his next collar already here on deck so that when he outgrew the purple one he’d have his new one all ready.  But, you may have noticed that he has been rather naked lately around the neck.  It took me forever to narrow down what fabric I wanted and after only changing my mind forty-two times or so careful deliberation, decided on Candy Dots with purple embroidery. 
I figured it was a little twist from his usual purple collar and a nice transition to his big boy collar, one of which will be more like this, especially for football season.  (Did you think we just named him Ray because we’re boring?)
In the meantime, I love this collar and so does Ray.  I feel like it is kind of understated but still fun and naturally the quality is tip top.  Kevin, however, thinks it is a girl’s collar.  What do you think?  Does it look “girly” to you?   Of course, Sirius Republic is seriously  awesome and a portion of this sale goes to the wonderful rescue who gave Ray-Ray such a great start in life, SmilingK9’s.  (code RPSK99)
Does your pooch have a collar wardrobe? 

ChurpiChews

I have a reputation among our friends for liking “wierd beer,” meaning I like trying different ones, although I do have my favorites.  I’m adventurous and enjoy trying new things.  I also can rock a margarita like nobody’s business, though don’t tend to during colder months, but that might just be beside the point.

As far as trying different things are concerned, I also like to provide Ray with a variety in his life as well.  Since he isn’t a beer drinker, his variety comes from toys – mostly chew toys.  “Dogs like body parts,” said Heather, one of our pet-wellness Gurus.  So far, Ray has enjoyed antlers, bully sticks (cow and bison), hearts (pig, duck and sheep), hooves, tail, trachea, pig ears, tripe, and snout (moozles).  These all have various amounts of lastability and I am always looking for healthy safe chew toys to keep him occupied for certain lenghths of time.

              

Our latest find is not acutally a body part-it’s a ChurpiChew which is made of Yak milk, salt and lime juice and is kind of a very hard cheese that softens as the dog chews it and supposedly lasts a long time.  One of our Puppy class teachers recommended it last night while I was stocking up on other treats.

I gave it to him this morning and it seemed to hold it’s shape for the hour our so he worked at it, so I’m eager to see how long this will actually hold up to Mr. Pit Bull Mouth.  See?  He is like Mama in liking a little salt, a little lime, only he prefers Yak milk to tequila. 

On an unrelated note, Dahey found his forever home yesterday!  This is a picture of the puppy fam from way back when.

Sad Eyes

Sometimes, it gets to be too much a lot to deal with and most of what I deal with is self-inflicted.  I “like” a lot of animal welfare sites, rescue sites, dog blogs, and general pet awareness because I choose to “like” them.  The beauty of the internets is that I can read or not read as my time and preference allows and my reader feed lets me keep current with my favorite blogs.
If I choose to, I can comment by clicking into the site or just move on to the next and if I want to save it for later, that option is available as well.  There have been a few pages that I’ve “liked” and later found not so much to my liking and some that I rarely followed that have since become favorites.  Everyone and everything changes and evolves and I will admit that some of my opinions have changed and evolved based on what I am reading at the time.  There are some great viewpoints out there which are well written and based on the tone and tenor in which they are written, I have paid attention and in the process have learned a thing or two.
No sad pictures here, just a quick plug for Ray’s bro, Dahey.
I must admit though, I am more apt to skip over the URGENT TIME IS UP posts and I didn’t even realize it much until recently.  I might read the first couple of lines or glance at the picture but while I do what I can, I know I can’t save even a large handful of deserving animals.  I read that the sad stories are highly successful for fund raising, but happy stories and stories of overcoming adversity are more successful in affecting positive adoption rates.  People give money to help solve a problem but when adopting, they still want a companion rather than an “issue” or a sad story.
And a plug, for Mama, too.
I’m guilty of it myself.  Knowing I can’t do this or that, I pull out the checkbook and appease my conscience or in desperation try to appeal to the heartstrings.  I don’t really have a point to make with this post, I just saw yet another picture of yet another sad-eyed pooch and thought yet again, “am I doing enough?”  I don’t honestly know the answer to that question but maybe I’ll ponder it while losing myself in the chocolate gaze that I love so much…
Love bug

Feline Friday-Adoptable Chloe

Beautiful Chloe will be at the Mega Match-a-thon tomorrow.  If you are interested in adding this lovely lady to your home, we hope to see you there tomorrow.  You can read more about her here.

Along with Chloe, the following pooches will be in attendance: Rider, Mitzi, Lottie, BamBam, LuLu, Lola, Sparkles, Chewie, Keelin, Sausage, Addyson and Pursey.

Be sure to stop by and you may be going home with the greatest love of your life.

Ready to Sparkle

The last time I had a guest blogger, Ray wrote a little bit about his fun weekend and we got a lot of good feedback from that post.  It was so popular, that I thought I’d have another guest writer today.  This is Sparkles, Ray’s birth mama.
Hello folks, yes, I am Sparkles.  When my foster mama brought me home, I was in pretty rough shape.  I was a teen mom, being only seventeen months old at the time and having my babies out in the freezing cold.  I tried my best to keep them warm and safe and had them in the only cover I could find-a bush with leaves on ground.  Really I tried my best, but some of them just didn’t make it.  When my Katie-mama brought me to her house she helped me have my other two babies, and she told me to be brave because after tonight I would never have to go through this again.  I’m glad, because even though my four surviving babies are cute and sweet, they nearly killed me.  But I’m not going to dwell on the past and on the negative.  I’m sweet, single and looking for love. 
I’ve been through a lot and people tell me I had a rough start in life, but wanna know something?  I hardly remember the bad days anymore.  I’m so happy now and even though I absolutely LOVE living at Katie-mama’s house, I heard that I would love it even more in a forever home of my own, so that is what I’m hoping for.  But here’s the thing:  I was once sad and skinny and someone even said Sparkles as a name did not fit me.  That is only because of my past.  I am happy and wiggly and waggly and ready to love.  I will show my new people my sparkly personality and lavish them with so much love.  But Sparkles here is a Diva.  I don’t want any of those icky things that they call “cats” in MY house.  I need to be the big deal, A-number one doggie in the house.  I also kind of want my own stuff.  What’s mine is mine and I’m not too good at what they call “sharing” just yet.  Hey, a girl’s gotta eat and when I want to eat, I want it all for myself.  What?  I need to keep my muscles fed.  And muscles I have.  I have some gorgeous, rippling leg muscles.  I would totally love going for walks with my people.  I would love doing anything with my people and when I want you to pet me, you’ll know it.  I will grab your arm with my paw to let you know that it’s Sparkle-time.
Do you know someone who is looking for a single, active, loving companion?  I bet they’re looking for me right now.  Let them know I will be at a singles bar adoption event on Saturday at H.O.P.E in Fort Wayne.  I’ve got no more babies to raise,  I’ve already had my no-more-baby-mama-operation and I would happily go home with you Saturday.  I’m a little easy but no longer sleazy.  Think about it.

One Step Forward

Just like Yin and Yang, and for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction, great days are often followed by not so great days.  While we had a wonderful time over the weekend playing, yard working and just chilling, we had a pretty rough time last night.
I know a big part of this is that Ray is still such a baby, which I tend to forget sometimes.  He learns things so quickly and is eager to win treats gain approval so I forget there are limits to how much fun and excitement he can really bear without getting over stimulated.
Last night the weather was still so beautiful and warm so we headed off for a walk down the street which started off well as usual, but  all of the cars zooming by and all of the smells along the way sent his poor little sensory self into over drive.  We spent a miserable few hours minutes trying to relax enough to get back home without too much trouble and the fact that my feet and hands are pretty much intact and that I didn’t actually cry are good signs.  Back at the house Ray ended up in a time out in his crate which really did him and me a world of good.  A few minutes for everyone to calm down, relax and reset were just the ticket.
Tonight we venture back to that wonderful world of puppy class.  This, I’m sure, will consist of corralling the wild beast while trying to learn our lessons to be practiced at home but there are only two more sessions.  I just need to make a note to expose him more often to various types of stimulus in small doses and not get too wrapped up in the obstacles. 
On a brighter note, this is a picture of Sparkles, Ray’s mama.  Isn’t she beautiful?  Sparkles is a sweet gal who is open for adventure and looking for love.  Her baby-mama days can be classified as pretty much one and done so now she is ready to be your baby love.  Contact SmilingK9s for info, if Sparkles could be the light of your life in your no-cat household.