Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Winter arrived earlier than usual and temperatures dropped fairly quickly in a short span of time. Gabe n Arch did not have a chance to acclimatize to the new weather, so for the past week or so, they've had to bundle up when going outdoors. Archie just freezes up when he's cold ... he sort of winds down like a mechanical toy and eventually becomes completely immobile. Gabe is a little tougher, but I've had to swoop in and hoist both boys up a few times, to get them back into the house.
Today was about -20C/-4F. We were able to play outside for about 5 minutes at a time, twice. Finally! Cabin fever is reigning. Fights are breaking out. Mittens are getting eaten. I think we're all looking forward to the predicted milder temps this weekend.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I've been a fan and subscriber of Modern Dog magazine for a few years. I also "like" them on facebook. On facebook, they recently asked fans to submit photos of their dogs in Hallowe'en costumes. I submitted the one of Gabe as Michael Phelps and Archie as the hot dog. They selected our picture and it was featured on the Modern Dog website.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
When Gabe joined our family, our household was a little different. My mom and dad were still with us. They lived on the main floor of the house; I lived upstairs, in an apartment my parents fashioned out of the four bedrooms that were originally up there.
Gabe had no problem coming up the stairs to visit me, but he absolutely refused to come down on his own. I tried it all. I left him up there for hours by himself. I left him up there and fried bacon on my mom and dad's stove and then sat at the bottom of the stairs eating the bacon while Gabe looked down at me. I put a piggy puff on each riser, hoping he would follow them down. Another day, I did the same with caramel corn. (Neither were foods I would normally share with him.) I put his leash on and tried to walk him down, hoping it would give him a sense of added security. When Gabe was two, I took a vacation; while I was away, my dad tried to train Gabe too. Nada.
At the time my dad passed away, Gabe weighed over 60 pounds. I carried 60 pounds of dog down the stairs several times a day. Worse, for some reason Gabe feels the need to kick off once we hit the bottom riser, as if he's diving to safety. I had numerous bruises and even more scratches.
When Gabe was 3, we finally moved downstairs for good. I rented out my old apartment and became a (much!) younger version of Mrs. Roper. Gabe rarely had a reason to go upstairs over the next few years. Whew!
About a month ago, I was installing a window air conditioner upstairs. My current tenant is pretty awesome. The dogs love him and he loves them back. Gabe and Arch came with me for the install. When I was finished, I gathered up my tools and told the tenant I would come back for Gabe, since he couldn't go down on his own. The tenant said, "No, I'm sure he went down already."
I peered down the stairwell and sure enough, there was my big galoofus, at the bottom of the stairs! Sadly, though, I missed him in action.
This week, a new fridge was delivered for the apartment. The tenant was at work, and asked me to oversee the delivery. After the delivery guys left, I let Gabe and Arch upstairs so that they could sniff all the new smells the delivery guys brought in. And before I knew it, I actually saw Gaberushka hoofing it down the stairs. Ahhh! I ran and grabbed my camera, and made him come back up, so I could capture this Kodak moment.
Honestly, I think it's the dogpark. I think Gabe's gotten so much confidence from the new dogpark experiences that it's carried over. You'll notice though, that he hugs the wall pretty tightly on his way down. He's pretty smart, my boy.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
We've been having crazy weather this summer, with a phenomenal amount of rain. Archie is scared of thunder, so while Gabe is lounging on the sofa, looking bored, Arch is huddled in his tent, shivering and panting. But, when the sun does break out, Arch is more than happy to work on his tan.
Posted by Jacki at 11:06 AM
Sunday, June 6, 2010
He's 6 today! My big galoofus.
I'm painting my kitchen and in the mess I lost the cable to download pictures from my camera. I'll post some from today as soon as I am able.
Gabe started the day in a frisky mood, stealing my shoe and daring me to chase him around the yard. He got in some good naps - both indoors and out - before suppertime. I cooked us all bbq steak and baked potatoes for the birthday feast. Afterwards, we went to the dogpark. Gabe's new friend Luca was there, so I'm sure that was a high point of the day, as was his wallow in a mud puddle. And I do mean wallow, even dipping his nose in and tossing mud in the air. Ay-yi-yi. Yes, I had to drive him home like that. When we got home, I presented him with his gifts - a big bone and a toy (a stuffie with a squeaker inside, from the dollar store; it should last about 2 minutes once he decides he needs to get the squeaker out). Luckily for Archie, everything comes in "twos" on birthdays here, so Arch shared equally in all the loot.
We topped the day off with a much needed bath. The birthday boy is now snoring beside me.
Happy birthday Gabe!
Posted by Jacki at 11:14 PM
Monday, May 24, 2010
After reading Brad Pattison Unleashed, I felt it was time to take my boys to the dog park. Gabe has not been well socialized and it became a Catch-22. He wasn't socialized because I was scared to take him to the dog park, but because I was scared to take him, he wasn't socialized. I had hoped that obedience classes would help (we went when he was 3), but the instructor didn't really care about socializing his class (meanwhile, in the puppy class next door, all the little ones were chasing each other and tumbling around, making friends).
Gabe was my main concern, but I also worried about Archie. He spooks easily and doesn't listen to me when he's in that scary place in his mind. He was also a fence-jumper when he first joined our family, determined to see the world, and I'm not convinced that wanderlust is totally eradicated.
However, Brad Pattison makes strong arguments for taking your dogs to the dog park. His arguments make sense, and it was something I've always wanted to do .... I just didn't have the confidence - in myself, or in my dogs.
My worries were largely for naught. Gabe barks a bit when we get there. I think it's mostly excitement, "Whoo hoo! I'm here! I'm really here!" His fur stands up sometimes when dogs sniff him up, but he pretty much puts up with it. He even put up with a very rude pit bull that was absolutely determined to hump him. (Gabe was extremely embarassed by this, sitting down and hunching up, looking sheepish - his body language was clear, even to me!)
Archie was not impressed the first few times we went. He kept running back to the gate, wanting to go home. He doesn't do that anymore, but he certainly sticks close by. And, both of them give me no attitude when it's home time - in fact, they usually head to the gate before I do.
I'm proud of my boys - and you know what? I'm proud of me too. I regret that it took us this long to do it, but now that we're there, we're not turning back.
We went again this weekend, and met up with Annie and her family. Annie was a foster beagle who lived with us from November 2008 to April 2009. It was lovely to see her and her people, and her brother Zeus too :-)
Posted by Jacki at 11:52 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Posted by Jacki at 5:18 PM