A Weekend with Gremlin

Well wow, did that go well!gremlin ruby 014

Chocko’s actually extremely similar to Knox with other dogs in the house.  He sees them as friends and wants to cuddle, play, lick and romp around with them.  There has never (knock on wood) been an issue with other dogs in the house (or Kittens for that matter).  As a precaution, we keep toys and kongs and feedings separate, but since it’s near impossible to keep a 2nd dog in this house totally separated for more than a few hours, I’m thankful he’s so welcome to sharing his home.  The one thing he doesn’t like to share is his mama- he’s quite the attention snob- so we easily fix that by not showing any attention to either dog while they are together, and that seems to work like magic.  Chocko’s most pride possession is me (flattered, really), though I wish it wasn’t so.  If I were to guess what he would resource guard, if push came to shove, it would certainly be me.  So we just eliminate that (me giving physical attention to the dogs) completely.

Gremlin, aka Rudy

Gremlin, aka Rudy

So, the weekend in review: here’s a batch of un-edited, blurry, and fun snapshots of these two.  I love interpreting the body language in some of these still frames; I could watch dogs interact all day if I had time.  And I did for a while this weekend.  I’m just amazed about how much they ‘say’ without words.  What do you interpret these pictures to communicate?

gremlin ruby 004 gremlin ruby 008

gremlin ruby 012 gremlin ruby 042 gremlin ruby 044 gremlin ruby 117 gremlin ruby 119 gremlin ruby 120 gremlin ruby 121 gremlin ruby 124

They hit it off pretty well.  Rudy came in a bit shy and intimidating by Chocko’s overzealous excitement.  She certainly seemed more comfortable in the chair, above Chocko, though she learned to trust him pretty quickly.  He was often seen on his back swatting at her face, giving her his best, “How could you resist this hot bod, sweet little lady”.  Like I said, entertaining to say the least!  I’d chalk up the weekend to a big ‘ol SUCCESS.  And it made me love the Chockster just a teensy bit more.  🙂

If your looking for a pint size pocket gremlin pittie, fill out an application for this lil Rudy girl!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Need help with your Laundry?  I know just the thing you need…

Yup, in this house we need to count all 4 kittens before we start a load.  The love the laundry machine and sneak in when we are loading.  They also love the laundry basket…. this makes a headcount …1, 2, 3, 4…. necessary before pressing the start button. 🙂

Dinner al Fresco ala Kong

A few months ago it was Bodie enjoying an early spring dinner al fresco via the Kong Genius:

Now it’s the Bug who’s enjoying an oddly cool June evening dining al fresco (well this was last week if you want to get specific).  What do we love about feeding our fosters out of these toys?  The list is almost endless, but here’s our top three favorite reasons for using Kongs:

1) Mental stimulation!  Check out the concentration here, demonstrated by the Lovebug:

yup, it’s hard work getting the yummies out.

2) Pacing— we’ve had several very skinny pitties, and know what they all had in common?  They scarfed.  As in ‘blink-and-the-bowl-is-empty’ scarf.  Sometimes they need a lil help pacing.

3) Nosework- inevitable.  Sometimes I’ll hide the kong, then they really need to use their nose!  But not always…often the learn to pick it up and slam it on the ground, creating a big mess.  But do you know what is great about the big mess?  They need to use their noses to clean it up!  (Hence all the al fresco dining).

Even Miss Booger Face can use her nose to sniff out all those yummies.

Here are a few more adorable pics of the Bug enjoying her dinner.

My favorite–the upside down pose

How do your pooches dine?  I’ve also heard that gatorade bottles area good ideas (make sure to take all the plastic pieces off)— an idea from our Chickerdoodle friends!  It’s on our to-do list!

Kitties.

I promised only one kittie post this week.   They are doing great at 7 weeks old!  For those of you who read the last kitten post, it’s actually this guy who’s my favorite!  

He’s just such a ham!  He loves to cuddle and play.  All of the kittens arrived to us at 3.5 weeks hissing!  It was adorable really, like who could be scared of a ball of fur weighing a few ounces?!  Needless to say, they have come a long way and actually enjoy human attention now.  The beauty of fostering.  These guys needed socialization and that’s what they got!  But Hammie here, flourished.  He was meant to be a King living in the lap of luxury.  🙂

Mama continues to do an amazing job wrangling her curious kitties.  They are still nursing, though are less and less interested every day and eating more and more food.  They are doing great with the adjustment!  

Her favorite spot is smack in the middle of the hallway upstairs, on the rug.  She’s such a sweet mama.

Here are two of the boys cuddling– they have the ‘just nursed’ buzz going.

And how beautiful is he?  We can tell the boy and girl apart by their eyes.  His are the lightest blue!  Hers are a bit deeper.  And when all else fails, we hold ’em upside down and check that way 🙂

Hope you all have a great weekend!  And thanks for putting up with the kitten invasion.  Don’t worry, there will be a beautiful canine face arriving on Sunday 😉

Meow?

What?  This is a DOG blog…

I know I know… but see, we’ve been dog-less (for the most part…more on that later) since our Girlfriend left us.  And though we said we’d take a few weeks off… I brought a few things home from BARCS the other day…

Introducing:  Blackie

Dora and Diego (aka Frick and Frack)

And King Tut (aka THE Ham)

Of and of course their wonderful mama… Mama.  Well I think her really name is Becky, but we call her Mama.

She’s such a good Mama.

You know, personal fact about me (I don’t give those out too much).  I love dogs, and I always have.  But growing up, we had cats!  Yes…one at a time.  But I had a wonderful cat name Patrick (of ‘junk yard’ lineage my dad would joke… well, not entirely a joke since he did find him in a junk yard in the Bronx).  This cat was HUGE.  I put my mom on a mission of finding a picture of me from growing up, but no luck yet.  I’m laying on our front porch with Patrick (all black) sprawled out beside me… he’s almost my full length in that picture, from what I can remember.  And I was about 5 or 6 years old.  He was insanely large, long, and fierce.  Every dog in the neighborhood was afraid of him.

He was hit by a car unfortunately when I was about 7, and our neighbors found a litter of kittens not too long after, on a country road in upstate new york.  I think all but 1 had died.  The last little kitten was my Mojo.  He was such a special cat!  He lived about 18 years.  His markings just so happen to be pretty similar to you-know-who.

What can I say, I like my boys dressed up in only the finest… Tuxedos never go out of style.  In my head I like to say those two are cuddling together ‘on the other side’ but who am I kidding, Knox would have probably chased Mojo up a tree, and Mojo would have whacked him good for it.  But, they both LOVED the lake.

Anyway, though I’m a dog person 100% of the way, I figured we give cats a whirl.  Easy peasy right?  Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but yes, much easier than a dog!  They will be available for adoption when they hit 8 weeks, but if you know anyone who’s interested, send them my way!  They are about 5-6 weeks now.  I can’t believe how much their personalities differ….I do have a favorite, but they are all loves and all hilarious.  Any idea who my favorite is?

Dear Knox, Part III: The Legacy

Dear Knox,

I’m so sorry it’s taken me a few days to write this, bud.  I thought I’d have it all ready for you on Wednesday, but here it is, Thursday night and I’m having trouble even starting.  I think the other two posts about how you found us, and what our lives turned into, were a lot easier.  This letter is to say goodbye, and I think that’s where the struggle is.

Knox, you have done so so much for a whole lot of humans and animals, and I’m very impressed by that.  After all, that was your doing, not ours.  I was shocked to see your face everywhere on Monday (blogs, articles, and facebook pages).  What a celebration of your life; an honor really.  How did you do that?  Boy, you’re busy up there.

But the thing is, aside from how proud I am for you… this past week, none of that mattered to me.  I.miss.you.  So much.  My heart is heavy and it aches for you.  I’ve felt every kind of emotion this past month.  I felt angry, confused, sad, guilty, helpless, lost… you name it.  I’m a planner bud, you know that!  You messed up my plans… some day you were going to be the most perfectest big brother to a human baby, that was my hope anyway.  Thinking of you in that way, and knowing now that won’t happen… it just makes me so sad.  You were part of my plan.  A big part of it.

I, of course, was confused about why this rare, horrible and ruthless killer (ultimately you died of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia) had to take you down so terribly and so soon.  I felt helpless that we couldn’t fix you.  I felt guilty when I worried about money.  I felt more than sad for you, when you were suffering.  It was suffocating; I felt like until you were free of this sickness, I couldn’t breathe.  I was unsure at first, but a wise friend told us,  “It’s that look that says, ‘I love you, but, I’m tired, really, really tired and I can’t stay any longer’ – they just tell us with their eyes.   You will know, or already know.”

Those last 24 hours, I knew.  You let us know that you were tapped out.  You couldn’t fight anymore and as soon as I knew that, I had a great desire to let you go as soon as possible.  But knowing you were going was absolutely devastating.

I was frantic to find someone who could come to the house.  The last thing I wanted was to stress you out and drag your weak body to a vet’s office.  Of course that T from MABB had the answer and hooked us up with a vet she knew of (she helps at the SPCA and that’s how we got hooked up with her).  It was a quick phone call to a mobile vet we’d never met before. She was willing to come in a heartbeat.  We were so thankful.  Finally something to be thankful about… ironic, isn’t it?

You mustered up all the energy you had when she arrived, and got down from you chair to give her a few wags and licks and welcome her into our home, like you were a pro at doing (you didn’t even know she was a vet, not that you ever had problems with vets).  B picked you back up and laid you down in you most favorite spot.

Sharing your favorite chair with B this past fall

We rubbed you head and surrounded you with love.  We tried so hard to stay strong for you, but who were we kidding, you were the strongest out of us three.

It was the most peaceful ending we could have given you, and I’m glad we had the opportunity to pay you back in this small way.

You left us behind, and way too soon.  But we are better humans for knowing you.  I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.  Thank you for influencing who we are as human beings, and for teaching us to forgive, to forget, to live in the moment, and to embrace the signature Knox Zest for Life.

I know you are free now, to run and play and roll in the grass (the good kind, not this stinky, patchy city grass).  I’m relieved you are no longer suffering, but instead enjoying your favorite things… you had so many favorite things.

You leave with us your Legacy.  You, inside of our hearts.  Our hearts that are forever changed.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Dear Knox, Part II: The Journey

Dear Knox,

You were a smart boy, picking us.  Just like we were a smart couple, picking you.  After bringing you home, you really taught us what it was to learn the meaning of ‘responsible’.  We grew up because of you.   We got you through a nasty case of demodex mange that despite keeping much of your hair, you had a lot of trouble getting rid of.

Playing with your buddy, Foster (and your mangey coat!)

You had countless belly troubles, and oh yea, some of the worse separation anxiety anyone had ever seen (let alone us, who knew nothing about it).  It was about six months of consistency (5 dog beds, 2 crates and a bazillion kongs later) that finally made you realize we would never really leave you, not for long anyway.  It was torture hearing you yelp, cry and scream for us when we left for work day after day; but we were SO proud of you for finally understanding that we’d be back for you.  Always, bud.  ALWAYS.

And fun, there was so much fun!  You, my Baltimore-city-picked-up-running-the-streets-of-North-Ave Boy, got to experience the country!  And boy did it suit you!  I think your most favorite place in the world is the lake.  You’ve been both summers and you LOVE it there.  You hunt for sticks most of the day (even mastering the art of snorkeling), and sun yourself on the dock in the afternoon.

snorkeling for sticks

You sleep so well there since you don’t stop from sunrise to sunset.  I’ve been visiting the lake since I was only a few years old, but it has a special meaning to me now.  I think I’ll always have an easy time finding you there.

You’ve traveled to Rhode Island, New York, St. Michael’s (MD), The Outer Banks, D.C., and a ton of local day trips to hike and swim.  I loved how well you did, everywhere.  If you were with us, all was good in your world.  My easy boy.

Running with your buddy, Tyson in OBX

And Change minds?  Hell Yes you did.  Just within out close circle of family and friends, we got the “YOU got a WHAT?!?!” when we brought you home… but look at the love in these faces now… these people ADORE you now. 

And of course, the fostering.  It was because of your needs at first.  It was a debt, actually.  We needed so much help with the mange and anxiety and everything else.  I told ‘T’ (that sweet gal that runs MABB and basically saved your life a bazillion times since this mama knew nothing and T always had the answer), that once Knox was settled in, we’d give it a whirl.  After all we certainly owed her (let’s pretend I didn’t email her every other day with ridiculous questions…).  Well, who would have guessed, you were the best damn foster brother that ever could have existed.  You were playful with the puppies and let them walk all over you, you gave space to those who needed time to warm up, and you comforted those who were unsure at first, about many different things (like steps and crates and city buses).  I never did capture in a photo, but both Eve and Lola looked at you CONSTANTLY for reassurance.  It was amazing how calm cool and collected you were knowing that you had your lil girls to look out for.  And that wild Buddha man, what a personality!  But you helped him contain himself when appropriate, and you really helped him get over his separation anxiety a lot faster than you did (and can you believe his was WORSE?!)  His new mama owes you a big thank you for that one!

You’re weekends were filled with ‘stooping’ and ball at the park,

Enjoying the grass after some nice fetch at the park - your favorite way to start a Saturday morning

followed by evenings of snuggling up close.

What a trip you had buddy… this journey through life was anything but ordinary.  They guessed you were born sometime in August 2009, but we know your life didn’t really start until May 17th, 2010.  You really lived it up and when it finally came time to lay you to rest, it brought me peace to know we gave you every ounce of love, affection, and experience we could.

I hope your enjoying sun, grass and endless tennis balls and bully sticks right now… I love you sweet boy.  Tomorrow, bud, I’ll tell you all about the Legacy you’ve left behind…

A Tear for Annie

 Annie’s Story

I just wanted to share this.  Many of you may have already read about Annie, but for those of you who have not… this is her story, and it is perfectly written by Ashley, the founder of Lucky Dog Rescue. 

Just over a year ago, I had never even heard of the concept ‘fostering dogs’.  Now, I’m completely amazing by how far beyond this concept, people go.  It’s inspiring.  Thank you.  To everyone who goes above and beyond for these guys.  For Annie.  For every dog that is put down because of kennel cough, because of space.  Reasons so insignificant, yet so devastating in consequence.  We certainly can’t help them all, but each one we do, is a step in the right direction.  Thanks for inspiring me today, Annie.  A piece of you lives on in all of us that are remembering you today.

Handsome boys.

Seriously… dogs are cute… but these two?  I cannot handle. 

They snuggle.

And play.

And charm us away.

Those eyes!  Buddha’s got these hazel grey eyes that are just mesmorizing.  And his love for toys?  wow!  Can you see the stash he keeps around him?  Despite how much he loves them, he shares them wonderfully!  He’s a charmer on the streets.  Snuggling up to people walking by just to get a pat on the head.  He easily rolls over for belly rubs and is totally housebroken (yay!).  We’re working on getting him used to the crate.  A small project in order to make him THE most perfect dog.  Because, he’s certainly pretty close…