Thursday, May 29, 2008

Introducing Ms. Dutchess!!

She arrives on Sunday, I just wanted to give everyone a quick look at her highness!

She's so pretty!!

It'll be nice to have another lady in the house. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cool water training trick

I found this neat water training trick over at Welcome to the Happy Haus. Pretty cool for those of us that have dogs that abhor water and after 4 years still can't swim (that may or may not be me....). So I stole it from Charity and am posting it here. But I don't feel that bad, because she stole it from someone else. :)

She took pieces of hot dog and held them underneath the water to help her newfies get used to putting their faces under the water. Then she laid the hot dog pieces under the water and sent her newfies bobbing for hot dogs! I've got to try this. Cody absolutely HATES water of any kind on his head. Which is random considering his dominant breed is that of a water dog. But hey, I'm not judging. This is the dog that has given himself bladder infections from holding it for 36 hours because it was raining. We finally bought him a rain jacket with a hood so he will go potty when it rains. Any trick to help him acclimate to the water is much much appreciated. So go check Charity's blog and try it out. I promise to post pics or video once I try it out. It's guaranteed for at least a few laughs. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cody's Brush with Fame

I mentioned yesterday that Cody had a photo shoot last weekend. It's true, my dog is now officially famous. Kidding. But hey, can't a Doggy Mama be proud of her kid? I was cruising Craigs List for potential rescue dogs like I always do when I spotted an ad looking for black rescue dogs to be spokespeople (spokesdogs?) for a new up and coming awareness site called So of course I had to submit pics of the Codymonster, I mean how can a proud Doggy Mama pass that up? It's like waving doughnuts in front of a cop. I heard back from Heather and lo and behold we were picked! Whoop! 

Fast forward. I'll admit it, Saturday came and I was a wreck. Knowing Cody's propensity for misbehaving in crowds, I was terrified that Heather was going to look at me like really? You thought HE was well-trained? Thank God everything went fine. Cody fell in love with Heather's dog Sugar and even attracted a crowd with his stunning aquatic acrobatics. People always love watching his water backflips. I'll try to get a video of it this summer for you bloggy friends out there. 

The cool thing was I went to the shoot on Saturday terrified and walked away with a nice solid connection in Heather. It turns out that we have the same passions and the same business background. She decided to take her marketing and sales expertise and put it to use helping shelters find new and innovative ways to market black dogs to the potential adopters and therefore reduce the number of black dogs that fall victim to euthanasia. Way cool. Naturally I offered to help whatever way I could. (Again with waving the doughnut in front the cop analogy.) Go check it out, it should be live in late June. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gettin' a new foster!

We're getting a new foster! I love getting new fosters, but at the same time I get kind of nervous. I don't really know why, but I just do. They usually go really well. But I'm always worried about if they don't...

She's a pretty GSP named Lucy. She's coming to hang out with us because she doesn't like cats and doesn't like girl dogs. Both of whom I don't have. So we shall see. Pics to come. 

Ah Memorial Day...that wonderful long weekend

Oh the extended weekend. How I love thee. Three day of nothing to do but futz around and spend time with my two boys. This was the first weekend DH had off in 2 months. That in and of itself was awesome. Cody and I spent most of Friday and Saturday digging in the garden. Or more appropriately I was digging and re-planting the garden and Cody was diligently trying to convince me to throw his frisbee over and over and over and over again. Let me tell you, it gets rather difficult to shovel dirt when every 2 minutes a frisbee appears in your dirt pile. After an hour of his desparate attempts to convince me to throw it, he resorted to setting it on my head when I was trying to plant my flowers. Oh the fun never stops. I'll post pics tomorrow.

The other random thing was our participation in a photo shoot for
Cody was selected to be a spokesmodel (spokesdog?) for a new org promoting black dogs and helping shelters out with the resources to adopt out more black dogs. It was interesting to say the least. DH took some photos, I'll post em' later. They really liked it when they figured that Cody will backflip for waves. I'm sure we'll get some gems. Now I can say that it's not just me that thinks he's cute.

Man I feel like this post is boring. Sorry about that. Creativity not flowing tonight. I hope to be wittier tomorrow. We'll have to see about that.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I wanna go outside!

Sitting here in my cube makes think of this face....
....and how much I would rather be at home playing outside with him. Oh the sun does wonders for my productivity...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good Morning - yeah right...

Alarm goes off at 5:30am. 
Me: Hrumpf! *hits the snooze button*

Cody: WHOOPEE!! It's time to get up! I know I know let's sit on mommy's head and see if she likes it. *proceeds to sit his butt on daddy's head and put
 his feet in mommy's eye sockets* 

DH: What the h***??

Me: Argggg. Get off a me! *tries to seal self off under the covers*

Cody: Oooo Oooo they're playing with me. Let's dig mommy out of the covers!! That's fun!! WHOOPEE!!! *starts digging the mommy out from under the covers, simultaneously scratching every spot on her face and pulling out her hair*

Me: *the pleading begins* Cody please let mommy sleep for another 10 minutes. Please!! Mommy is tiiiiired. 

Cody: She's talking that means it's time to get up! I know! I'll get so excited I'll make myself sneeze all over her face!! She likes that!! *SNEEZE*

Me: gross bud. I get I get. I'm up. 

Good morning to me. 


Monday, May 19, 2008

Designer Dogs

I worked an adoption event yesterday and sometimes I swear you see that strangest people out there in this world. Holy cow. I was assigned to collie/sled dog mix named Luke and he was gorgeous. Well this lady approaches me and goes, "Oh is that one of those designer dogs? A Colliedoodle?" First off I have never heard of a colliedoodle, ever. Second of all, there are no such things as designer dogs. Do you really want to know what a labradoodle or goldendoodle or puggle is? It is not a new breed. It is a mutt!! The definition of a mutt is a dog that has more than breed type in its lineage. Hello? That would be a goldendoodle or whatever doodle. It's a glorified mutt! So I tell her no it is not a colliedoodle (?) he's a collie mixed with some sort of sled dog. And then she has the balls to say to me, "I only own purebreds, I have two goldendoodles you know." Oh if only I could have said what I was thinking. Really you have purebreds? Oh gag me with a spoon. Puhlease.

So now I have decided that I too have a purebred. His name is Cody and he is a borderador, border collie lab. Leave me a comment and tell me what you have. It's funny, try it.

This is Luke. He's up for adoption and would love a home!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Home Visit - The good, the bad, and the ugly

So the home visit went ok. The lady who came out to see us was pretty nice, although she brought the BIGGEST golden retriever that I have ever seen in my life. Cody took one look at him and then looked at me like, "Mom, why are you bringing a horse to visit me?" He was fairly well behaved, only growled and nipped at Robby (the GR) once. The lady got really nervous but all was well. Personally I think the funniest part was when she asked us what we would do if we came home and our foster dog was standing on the kitchen table. DH and I looked at each other and then looked at her and said, "It happens all the time here...." She looked so shocked. For pete's sake we find him on top of the refrigerator. That's right, ON THE REFRIGERATOR! Now if that doesn't qualify us for doggy foster care, I don't know what does. Once you've walked in the door to your dog's face peering down at you from the top of the fridge, I am pretty sure that you can handle anything.

The strange part was when she decided to walk around our house and point out every little hazard to dogs. Like I don't know that dogs aren't supposed to eat lotion. Please. She even went into my bathroom....that was a tad weird. But other than that it went well. Now that we've cleared that hurdle, it's on to practicing for Cody's upcoming photo shoot. That's right, I'm going to be a stage mom. More on that later...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home Visits - Will the good kid show up or the bad kid?

Oh man is it tense over at our house today. We just got notified that our official home visit to be a certified doggy foster home is tomorrow morning. Of course we just happened to be in the middle of a home remodeling project, but hey who am I to complain? Here's the part that makes this mama nervous. They are bringing a 100 lb golden retriever to the house as part of the visit. Cody is not always the most well-behaved when it comes to giant strange dogs invading his territory, in fact a lot of the time he goes into full on sulk mode. What if he tries to growl off the invader, what if he jumps on the tester, what if she looks at us at like "who let you adopt a dog?" Oh man, I really don't want to have the bad kid on the proverbial playground. I suppose one could say this is the downside to being a fully involved Doggy Mama, I feel  like I get judged based on the behavior of my Codyman. Oh god what if people think I'm a bad mom because he jumps?? Am I being illogical? Probably. I just can't help it. Oh the neuroses of being a Doggy Mama.... I'll post an update tomorrow. If my head hasn't exploded from the remodeling stress and the stress of trying keep an over-exuberant fuzzbutt from attacking the tester.

My bad-kid.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Good doggy cake recipe

If you're like me (and even if you're not) sometimes you like to do something special for your pupper's birthday. I found this recipe for a dog safe cake and it's really easy. 

1 egg
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey (optional)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup whole wheat or white flour
1 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 6 cup ring mold. (I use a regular cake pan.)

2. Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, honey in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan. 

3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely. 

Dogs love it! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cody + Kids = War

This weekend on Mother's Day (couldn't have been more fitting) my Codyman had a breakthrough. A breakthrough that got his momma so excited she cried a little. I'm not ashamed to admit it either. Before I let you in on what exactly got me this excited, let me fill you in on the background of the Cody vs. Kids war. 

When we first got Cody 3 years ago, we were hoping to have a typical happy go lucky, easy-going lab mix. You know the kind, good with kids, loves to swim, likes to lounge and loves to play ball. Well we got the last one, but that's about it. The first time my nephews came over, Cody got so agitated he ran around my apartment in circles. Whoops. That progressed to nipping at their ankles when they ran around, which when you're 2 and 4 is all the time. He won't herd anything else, but when it comes to kids oh boy. From there we started barking obsessively at all short humans. If a kid makes a sudden movement, Cody tries to catch them and hold them with teeth. Needless to say this does not go over well with the average parent. He never tried to hurt them, it's just instinct. 

This brings me to the milestone. On Sunday my nephews and Codyman played tennis ball nice and sedately for over 2 hours with no one getting nipped!!! This has NEVER happened before. I totally cried. It's one more step in my baby's growth. Now we just need to work on the obsessive barking......all in due time I suppose. 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ode to Doggy Mamas Everywhere

Here's to you Doggy Mamas! We are the unsung heros in this culture of families with 2.5 children on suburban streets with picket fences. We are the ones who are not afraid of conversations revolving around smushy poops and how to fix them. We are the ones who drop everything to run to the store and buy the best bones our money can buy because our babies "just don't seem happy." It is us who stand outside in the pouring rain at 5:30 in the morning urging our "kids" to go potty. We are the brave souls who venture to the dog park in 20 degrees below zero just so our "kids" can socialize and play ball to their hearts content. Dare I say it, but we are the ones who hand cook our dog's dinner just so they can have the best nutrition.

Some may say that we are obsessed or think we're weird because we don't have "normal" kids. To them I say, "Oh yeah? Have you ever tried to get a urine sample from a dog in your front yard? Didn't think so." They've got nothing on us. We are the few, the proud, the Doggy Mamas.

To all my fellow Doggy Mamas: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! You deserve it.

Thanks to my Codyman for letting me be his all-time Doggy Mama.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Foreclosure crisis - Silent Victims

I know there have been some news stories about this, but it really didn't hit home until yesterday. One of the groups I work with has been so slammed with incoming dogs, that yesterday we received an email saying that we are going to have to stop taking dogs for the time being. At least 75% of the last 100 dogs we've taken in since January have been surrendered because of home foreclosures or people about to lose their homes. 
So I started to do a little research about it and HOLY CRAP this is a HUGE problem. ABC News did a piece on it and man oh man.  Not only are shelters getting crammed with dogs and cats,  but adoptions are really slow because of the current economic situation. So now the dogs that we are taking in have nowhere to go. This can only mean one thing....euthanasia rates will go up. That is NOT O.K.!!

This is a problem that no one really thinks about but that is well on its way to overwhelming and crushing the rescue community. So if you can, help us out!! 

P.S. Cody treed his first squirrel today!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Great Dog Food Debate

This is a debate that has been raging in the dog community for ages. What is the best dog food for your dog? The real answer is whatever works best for your dog's health and taste-buds. While I was not "cursed" (I would say blessed, but hey that's just me) with a picky dog, some people do have to spend a fair amount of time finding a dog food that their dog will eat. 

For the first year or so that I had Cody I was feeding him Purina One Lamb and Rice. I assumed that because it is the biggest brand of dog food out there that it was good for him and he was getting all of the right nutrition. Au contraire my friends. Purina One is actually a really crappy food, full of corn fillers and fat and overall really hard on the digestive system. Well if that doesn't make you feel like a bad mother right? So off we were on the hunt for good dog food. We've tried a lot of things and finally settled on Nature's Variety. It is an off-shoot of the raw diet. It's all natural meat and veggies with no fillers. It's got double the nutrition and as an added bonus has cut down on Codyman's gas, which if you've even been privy to you know that's a BIG bonus. 

Nature's Variety doesn't work for everyone, so below is a list of dog foods that I like: 
Solid Gold
Nature's Variety
Dr. Harvey's

There are two downsides to feeding your dog highly nutritious dog food. 
1. It costs more...sometimes up to $15 more a month
2. You can't shop at the big box stores (PetSmart, PetCo) because they don't carry these high grade foods. 

If you're in MN, try these stores:
Chuck and Don's Pet Food Outlet (they are REALLY good about supporting rescue groups)
Urbanimal (really funky and cool)

Bottom line: Getting new dog food can be a pain, but good nutrition is the best investment you can make in your dog. Believe me, I've seen what even a few weeks without good nutrition can do to a dog, especially if they are still growing. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Constant Battle - Husband vs. Wife

Almost any female animal rescuer knows my pain. You know what I am talking about... I always want to take on one more and he says hell no! I just can't help it, I love to help any homeless dog no matter the inconvenience or problems they cause in our life. I want to fix them and make them happy and find them a better place to call home. Intellectually I know that I can't save them all, but I sure as hell can try. This is where the conundrum comes in. How do you balance family life and fosters? How do I keep my husband happy and still do what I love? Will it ever stop being a struggle between man and dog? Probably not. But I've got to do what makes me happy and maybe he can get used to it. Wishful thinking I know...

But if fighting with my husband means saving a life, maybe it's worth it.....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Loose Stools - Gross I know...

I know, it's a heck of a title right? I was talking to some family members this weekend when I was in TX and the subject came up. We're a family of dog lovers, what can I say? I mentioned that 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not the filling, just plain canned pumpkin) in both meals works wonders at firming things up a bit. It surprised me that some people didn't know that. My step-mom said, "Now THAT is something that should go on the blog!" So dear readers, here it is.

If your dog has loose stools, 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin in both meals for 3-5 days should do the trick.

Disclaimer: This trick is for loose stools, NOT diarrhea. That calls for a different tip entirely. We'll hit on that lovely yet so common subject later.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

List of Destruction

People wonder how I know so much about dogs for having no training. That would be Cody's fault. He has presented every training challenge and scrap of patience in the world. His path of destruction has been spread far and wide. Think I'm kidding? See the (partial) list below.

3 feet of electrical wiring

2 lampshades

Pyrex dish

Statue I received in South Africa

A King size pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Easter Eggs PLUS the wrapping and plastic bag

5 lbs of margarine

20 plastic Easter Eggs full of chocolate (he climbed trees to get those)

2 1/2 lbs of sand out of Lake Pokegema in my DH's hometown

Tin can of green beans (not the beans, just the can)

Jumbo box of Tums

2 lbs of fudge

A cheese cutter from Sweden

At least a dozen loaves of bread

So the bottom line is this: You think YOUR dog has problems? Talk to me. I bet I can give you some advice. There's a pretty good chance that I've been there.