Preppin’ the Pup!

Among other things, we’ve been busy prepping this big guy for our little Bambino on the way.  We’re sorry we haven’t been around much! … ok ok … like at all… chock 116 edit

Mostly, we’ve been working on Chocko’s basic obedience, leash walking, and bestest house manners…but we’ve also been doing a crap ton of reading.  We read articles, books and tons of info on the interwebs, especially how our keyboard pals Chick & Dude prepped for their own little human puppy.

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We’ve even been listening to babies,babyprep 016

and sniffing babies,

Yes, that's a used wet diaper thanks to good neighbors

Yes, that’s a used wet diaper thanks to good neighbors

and looking at things that LOOK like babies

fake babies are pretty interesting to this guy

fake babies are pretty interesting to this guy

But the best practice of all, has been meeting babies.

Mama A and Baby E

Mama A and Baby E

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Now Chocko wasn’t this calm the whole time… this was the only few minutes I felt I could take a step back and whip out my iphone for a few quick pics to share with you guys.  Mostly he’s just really excited/overstimulated/curious about toddlers…Luckily, our Bambino won’t come out crawling around so hopefully that’s a plus!  He gets sorta anxious/starts panting and whining because he wants to be all up in baby’s face and we won’t allow that. The more exposure now, the better, but I’m still hopefully when it’s OUR baby he’ll be a little different… time will tell!  Huge thank you to mamabear A and her mini human, E for helping the Chockster with more exposure 🙂 thanks friends!

For those of you out there that have brought a human baby home to your adult dog- how were you feeling before?  And how did that rank to what actually happened?  I’ll be honest and say it’s one of the biggest stressors for me- making sure this is as easy of a transition for the furkid as possible, and making sure I’m setting him up for success.  I’m hopefully I’m going overboard for no reason at all, but I guess that’s still a good thing! I’d love some feedback from you all!

Chocko gets Sirius about his collar

You all know we are HUGE fans of Sirius Republic, right?  I mean how could we not be?  Aside from making our favorite style collars (the martingale) at a wonderful price for a custom fit, they give back so so much.  Free “adopt me” embroidery on collars for fosters, and adopt me bandanas?  Not to mention the fact that they donate a ton to rescues nationwide (particularly ones with a focus on pitbull type dogs- wahoo!)  So, we basically love them.  Like loooooove them.  And Chocko has a crush on Chilly (he likes the older ladies), but don’t tell him I told you!

So naturally we’ve been drooling over the new line of leather collars, but leather always seemed so intimidating…you know how some people buy that nice sports car and keep it in the drive way, wash it, but never actually DO anything with it because they are too scared they will ruin it?  Leather intimidated me, so I never took the leap…

Until we got a special surprise in the mail!

The Freebird

The Freebird

Doesn't the color compliment my furs?

Doesn’t the color complement my furs?

Since this was a gift, we were very open to whatever would compliment our brown boy best.  We maaaay have mentioned we had our eye on the Freebird (though the Guinness is also right up there in the favorites department), and it arrived in the ‘tan’ color (there are several different leather colors you can choose from).

Check out the detailing on the collar

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I love that there are two D rings; the way it falls on Chocko, one hangs in the front and one in the back of his neck, which makes it perfect for both leash clipping and tag/ID clippings!  That is a huge perk in my book.  I also love the details in the wings and peace signs, how cool!

And you can’t ignore how handsome he looks in it, right?  I mean all he needs is a cigar and a card table, and maybe a glass of Scotch  (ew, forget the Scotch, but you get my drift), and his new alias could be The Underboss.

"You talkin' to me?"

“You talkin’ to me?”

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Are you interested in looking as dapper as this guy?

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Then head on over to Sirius Republic and get a collar of your own!  And here’s a special code for 10% off your order: CHOCKO – expires this Sunday, 3/31!

 Now onto Leather Care

I asked about what I needed to know, since this would be my first experience with a leather collar.  Here’s the response I got:

“The collar comes to you “finished”, which just means we have applied conditioner and finishing products to weather/waterproof it. Care is really easy, in fact if you don’t do anything to it, it should last beautifully on its own, although a little bit of conditioner occasionally will help it look and feel great. Just take some conditioner (we use Fiebing’s brand, but any leather conditioner will do), rub it into the leather for a few minutes with your fingers to help the leather absorb the conditioner, wipe off any excess with a soft rag. It can get wet, just make sure you wipe it off after. Don’t leave it to dry out in the sun or soak it in water for an extended period of time. If it gets dirty, wipe it with a damp cloth. Leather is such a durable material, with a little bit of care and common sense, it will last nicely for many years (I actually prefer the look and feel of older leather). 

I’ve also updated our website to include leather info and care, check it out here:http://www.siriusrepublic.com/leatherinfo.html.”

Wow, that doesn’t seem too complicated now does it?  And I have to agree, I prefer the look of old leather!  So now that I know we won’t break and ruin it, we’re off to wear in our collar!  Hope you enjoyed all the handsomeness.

**The Freebird was a gift to us and all the opinions in this post are my own.  Seriously…awesome freakin’ collar!**

Did you know? Chocko works out.

I mean by looking at this bod, did you have any doubt?  Chocko hits the gym, and often.box

Luckily for him, he just watches us all working hard and huffing and puffing.  He just gets to stand around looking like a model athlete (body by PB Kongs?  Should we market that?)

Body By Kong

Body By Kong

gym edit“OK Dad, I’ll Watch, you lift”.

But the truth is Chocko doessss work when he goes to the gym.  He works on box jumps (they come so naturally!) and staying on top of them till he’s released.

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He also gets to socialize off-leash, in a controlled environment, with some of his buddies!  Like him, a bunch of the girls like to play rough, so when they do play, we like to practice ‘stopping them’ verbally, and putting them in a sit-stay for a time out to catch their breath.

Here he is with Chloe, working on a down-stay.  photo-2

So in actuality, he does ‘work’ when he goes to the gym, just not like us.  He mostly stands around wondering why we kill ourselves with these things calls burpees, box jumps, double unders, deadlifts, and hang cleans…amoung other things 😉

***Please excuse the quality of these photos!  Most were taken with an iphone with terrible lighting!***

Flirting with Mollygirl

Flirting with Mollygirl

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?

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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!

Check Check, 1 2 1 2

Hello interweb friends, are you still out there?  We’re here!  We are alive!  We are doing well. 🙂  and we hope you are too!

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Chocko has been spending lots of time at the gym (more on that later) but we wanted to make sure you were still out there because we have some exciting things to share in the next few days!

Have a great week!

More bottle pups

Boy, do I love me some bottle pups- from a distance, of course!  Well that’s a lie, I like to get up close and personal with them.  Sniff their puppy breath, rub their bellies, let them canoodling in my arms…. BUT I like to give them back.

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It sure does take a special person to handle a litter of bottle pups.  Unfortunately, when a litter like these 5 adorable pups show up alone, or with a mother that can’t (or isn’t) caring for them, their only chance of survival is going to a skilled and knowledgeable foster home who (this is the kicker) is WILLING to raise them, as their mama, for the next few weeks.

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Do you have any idea what that means?!  I sure didn’t, until I started taking pictures of the first litter of bottle pups I posted.  It means, at first, feeding them every two hours, even over night!   Just like a newborn human.  Unlike a human though, there are 5 mouths to feed, not one.  It means doing laundry, every single day.  Stinky laundry.  When puppies are very young, their mothers do all the feeding and cleaning, so a mama with a litter is usually a whole lot easier to care for then a litter without a mama.  You care for the mama, the mama cares for the pups, done deal!  But, no mama?  Tough luck.  These pups need cleaning up around the clock (who’s going to invent puppy diapers?!)

It was unsuccessful at getting all 5 to look at me at any point - still cute though!

I was unsuccessful at getting all 5 to look at me at any point – still cute though!

These little cuties also happen to have a pretty bad case of kennel cough- that’s rough when you’re only 3 weeks old.  Luckily, our fabulous MABB puppy extraordinaire is there to look out for these snotty, whiney, soft, cuddly balls of fur until they are ready to be adopted!  They are somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks old right now, so hopefully in a month or so they will be healthy, well socialized, exuberant 8-week old pups!  Keep an eye out for these fabulous five in a month or so!

The three boys

The three boys

Handsome chuncker!

Handsome chuncker!

Fostermama's favorite, the lil runt...such a sweety!

Fostermama’s favorite, the lil runt…such a sweety!

It’s beginning to look a lot like winter

It’s beginning to look a lot like Winter and this boy isn’t a lover of the cold.  He gets excited and wiggly for his morning walk, as usual.  He sits down for me to put his leash on, my coat, and grab a poop bag, but then… I open to door and he does a double take.  “Do I really want to head out in the cold?” his face says.  snood

With some urging, he happily comes along, but it’s clear as day that he’d rather the sun and warmth.

Thankfully, he and Knox were the same size, so we were able to use Knox’s favorite winter coat for Chocko!  Chocko seems to enjoy wearing it just as much.

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What works for us, is that it zips along the side torso, so we don’t have to worry about big blocky heads getting in the way of a snug fit.  And speaking of snug fit, I think that’s exactly why they both loved it so much.  Knox used to get irritated by baggy clothing, but if something was night and tight on him, he didn’t mind it at all.  We think Chocko feels the same way!  So the Ruffwear Cloud Chaser is our favorite of all the coats we’ve tried so far.  It’s like a softshell tech coat, for dogs!  And it gives a bit, which is nice so you can stretch it to zip it but it goes right back to a snug fit, which we think works best from our personal experiences.

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Do your pooches wear coats?  I know we loooove seeing pics of Miss M and Mr. B over in Chicago all dressed up in warm gear.  After all, they are the cold weather experts!

We also decided to invest in a snood (and of course, a new seasonal collar) from our favorite doggie outfitter, Sirius Republic!  Chocko is still getting used to wearing it, but once the temps really drop, I’m sure he’ll appreciate our investment into his wardrobe… even if he doesn’t just yet 😉

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Hope everyone is staying warm and toasty!  So share with us, what’s your most essential winter wear for your pooches?

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Two Fabulous Dogs

On Saturday I got to spend some time taking pictures of two adorable adoptables from Mid Atlantic Bully Buddies… Peony and Micah (aptly named in honor of the Jewish holiday)!

I love taking photographs of adoptable pups.  It’s one of the fun ways I get to do my part in the process of helping these dogs find their forever homes.  I feel a terrible pang of guilt that we’re still not fostering.  Chocko’s just not ready yet.  But here’s my eansy weansy tiny contribution.  And I get to meet some great dogs, get some sloppy kisses, and work on my ever evolving (and hopefully improving) photography skills.

Now onto our two adoptables (I have no double they will go f.a.s.t.)

Peony

She’s beautiful, sweet, easy-going and is ready to dish out kisses to anyone she meets!  For a dog that’s only about a year and a half, her energy level is pretty impressive (as in very calm).  She’s an example of a dog who showed terribly in a shelter enviroment due to stress…but out of the shelter and in your arms?  I can’t imagine a dog that could ‘show’ any better.

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And then there was this meaty boy,

Micah

Seriously, how handsome is this bachelor?  Only about a year old he’s a small, compact tank of a boy with a beautiful set of eyes (they make me melt!)  He’s energetic and interested in the world!  A dog ready to start the next chapter of his life and forget what brought him here.

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Two weeks with Tyson

Guess who had his best buddy over for a 2 week sleepover?  Yup, Tyson was with us for almost two weeks while his humans were on their honeymoon!

So what were the boys up to?  Well they had to get all their zoomies out before Hurricane Sandy arrived, so along with their gal pal Molly, they did exactly that.

Tyson was on storm watch duty, but this was apparently exhausting.

So it was a whole lot of butt snugglin’ and hibernating when Sandy finally arrived, which was fine with us!

They graciously took turns being the butt cushion, of course.

They even got some snuggles in with the humans. 

We are thankful and happy to report that we survived Sandy with no real damage, but our hearts go out to those who suffered and lost during this terrible storm.  There are many places and people near and dear to our hearts that have suffered and we continue to keep them in our thoughts.

Chocko is officially a superbassador for Stubby Dog

We could barely contain our excitement, and the difficulty not to announce this to you all until today!  Boy was that tough.  So now we are officially introducing, Chocko the Super-bassador, part of the Stubby Dog Superhero Team!

It was about a month ago when we found out and it was published on Stubbydog.org.  Here we are, for your confirmation:  Official StubbyDog Superhero Squad!  So what exactly is the Stubby Dog Superhero Team?  It’s a team of amazing dogs from across the country, with a few common goals.  Below is taken from StubbyDog.org:

“Superhero, Superhero in Training or Super-bassador: each role plays an extremely important part in the StubbyDog super community.

Together this “super” community is on a mission, specifically to:
Place 5,000 dogs in need of good homes
Reach 25,000 different media outlets
Educate 100,000 on responsible dog guardianship
Inspire 1,000,000 “rediscoveries”
… and motivate an infinite number of smiles!

Our goal is simple: for people to no longer view pit bulls as a special category of dog – but, instead, as individual dogs. ”  stubbydog.org

I love the goal!  It’s so simple, right?  I mean a dog is a dog is a dog, but with the program, not only are all these pitbulls dogs, they are superheros!

There are 3 categories.  Superheros – extraordinary therapy dogs spreading good cheer and love with big pittie smiles

Superheros in training – Like the elite squad, but just awaiting their certification or a bit more training,

and Superbassadors – super passionate and super motivated advocates dedicated to spreading good pitbull cheer!

Now this boy of ours, who we adopted only 12 weeks ago, should be very proud of himself!  He is certainly my partner in crusading around to advocate and help change the minds of people every day.  I also have some very ambitious goals for him in the next year… I won’t share those with you yet, but it seems that being honored with the Superbassador-title is a great place to start!  I am very proud of him to say the least.

We’ve got some excellent events coming up that we are excited to attend and help spread the good word of the Stubby Dog Superhero mission!  If you’re in the area and want to come out and help support our efforts and meet Mr. Chocko, here’s his October line up of events:

BARCStoberfest 2011

All of the above events are dog friendly, so if your well-mannered pup is up for some fall fun (and it IS National Pitbull Awareness Month!) bring ’em on out!  And don’t worry, we’ll have the full report on all of those events, and of course there are some others in the works as well!

Happy Pitbull Awareness Month!

Love, Chocko and his support team. 🙂