Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Come into my parlor

This morning we got a big surprise. We were all set for a traumatic day, for Fran and for the dogs. Our 25+ year-old furnace and air conditioner are being replaced. Many strange men in and out of the house all day.

We were ready with our plan of sanity - crate the dogs. Kongs and Tanzanian Mountain Balls all prepped with kibble and peanut butter, just waiting for the HVAC truck to pull up.

But the guys were early and the plan fell apart. I was getting dressed - just barely decent and I vaguely heard the door open and people walking around.

Our wonderful little yappers didn't make a peep. Three men tromping around the house, up and down, in and out, and the dogs just wiggle at them and follow them around.

It's a very good thing that the mere presence of dogs is known to be a deterrent to break-ins. If anybody ever tells you that Brussels Griffons, Boston Terriers, or French Bulldogs are decent watchdogs, you have my permission to call him a liar.

Monday, August 28, 2006

But is it barkworthy?

I think I've mentioned that Roc loves tv. Which I only feel slightly guilty about, since he's a dog, not a baby, and I'm very happy, indeed, that I don't have to incur the expenses of a college education for him.

The only problem is that he's really, really loud about liking tv. When something comes on that he's particularly excited about (Any animal, whatsoever. Any animated anything from anywhere. Any sports play. Unusual sounds. And, on occasion, the weather map) he lets us know with ear-piercing barking. He is, indeed, a little yapper.

So we've created a command for him. He's only allowed to make noise if we decide the program is "barkworthy." He barks, we look up and say "not barkworthy." And, believe it or not, it works! If we tell him it doesn't merit his attention, he turns away.

Of course, the down side is that we're excruciatingly fair to the little guy. Some things are, in fact, barkworthy. All animals. Many sports plays. Some animated commercials. But not the weather map. We had to draw the line somewhere.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friends Visiting

I was going through some folders on my computer and noticed that I had downloaded these but hadn't printed them, or mailed them, or even edited them. So I thought you would enjoy seeing them. A friend visited the house a while ago with her two Border Terriers, MacDuff and Robbie.

Here are Dax (our French Bulldog) and Robbie

Golly (Brussels Griffon) and MacDuff, life-long friends - born on the same date!

And, here's Golly - just because it's a cute picture!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nothing Better Than a Sleepy Dog

As you steady GollyLog readers know, I give Ceilidh a medicated bath every week. Not because I want to or that she's dirty, but because she has an immune disorder which makes her vulnerable to skin issues. And because the bath is very stressful for Ceilidh (actually everything is stressful for Ceilidh), after her bath we have a timed play session. 10 minutes, no more, and certainly no less. Her sibs sometimes join in the fun. And after the walk after the play session after the bath, Ceilidh crashes. Yesterday it was literally. She didn't even wake up for lunch. Don't worry, I woke her up for mealtime!

As I watched my lunatic dog sleep, I thought that it just doesn't get any better than that! When Ceilidh is sleepy, she's mush. You can touch her paws, look in her ears, even kiss her spots! All of which is impossible when she's awake. Roc was sleepy yesterday as well - he had training Tuesday evening and was still recovering. When Roc is exceptionally tired, he sleeps with his head tucked under so that he's on his forehead. Too cute.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Little shoes = better heeling

After I saw the light (okay, an anvil dropped on my head) and I realized that Roc was scared of my enormous sneakers tromping on him during heeling, I went out and bought these adorable little shoes.

What makes them particularly perfect, aside from having a nice Velcro strap, is that the tops look like charming little Mary Janes, and the soles are like athletic shoes. No slipping on the mats. The shoes were the hit of training class - one friend even ran out to get a pair for herself. And she doesn't even have little dogs! But she does show her Salukis in conformation, where you have to get more dressed-up than in obedience. And to show Salukis properly, a little-bitty woman like Janie has to hustle around the ring. Not worrying about slippage is a good thing!

Anyway, the true test of the shoes was last night's class. Roc seemed to heel closer to me when I wore the shoes, but I wasn't sure if I was imagining things or not. So last night I didn't wear them. I wore the sneakers. And I got my answer. Roc heeled a mile wide. From now on - it's the little shoes!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Isn't it wonderful when you can get your dogs to play nice together?
Even if she does look manic?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Give a dog a bunny?

Dax has a pet.
Or she thinks she does, anyway.

There's a little rabbit who lives under the shrubbery in our front yard. Naturally, it likes to nibble on the grass in the front yard. And Dax loves to watch it. She runs out our door to the chain-link fence at the front to see if her bunny is there.

Which is all very, very cute. Bunny outside fence, French Bulldog inside fence.

But rabbits aren't exactly the smartest animals on the planet. This silly rabbit sometimes decides that the grass is tastier on Dax's side of the fence. It wanders into our back yard, where it's chased by four dogs in hunting mode. So far, it's faster. Which is a very good thing, because it can't seem to remember how it got into the yard and races back and forth until it finally locates the gate it can squeeze under.

You would think a rabbit could remember that crossing the fence is a bad idea. Or maybe it just needs the exercise.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Do They Think We're Nuts?

Do you ever wonder if your dog thinks we're nuts, observing some of the goofy things we do. I mean, the whole washing in the morning thing. I told you about Golly's bath a while ago, and how much she didn't enjoy the experience. What's she thinking as she watches me wash my teeth, face and hair every day? (Yes, I let the whole crew in the bathroom for this ritual. Roc is less likely to bark when he's cooling off on the tile.)

Or putting clothes on. And different ones every day. Golly and Roc hate wearing clothes - even a sweater or coat in the middle of winter. Ceilidh tolerates it (sometimes). And Dax absolutely loathes her coat. So, here we are putting different clothes on every day. And sometimes multiple layers! We're crazy - at least according to Golly.

And then there's watching TV. We'll have to tell you about Roc and TV, but that's fodder for another day. We're sitting in front of a box in the family room, not moving and watching it. Golly doesn't get it. Ceilidh just naps.

How about exercising? I'm lucky enough (?) to have room in my basement for a pretty good-sized exercise area. And I have to keep motivated with exercise videos otherwise I don't do it. Naturally the dogs have to be with me. I've persuaded them to lie on various dog beds or other pieces of furniture so they aren't kicked. But, what must they be thinking?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On this day in history...

Today is the anniversary of the day that started it all. Our very first dog, Spunky, was born on August 15, 1967. He was six weeks old in this picture. I was nine.

We'd begged our mom for a dog forever. She finally agreed because she didn't want us to come home from school to an empty house. Mom had to work full time - she was a widow at 36 and we had a nasty habit of wanting to eat every single day.

It was a different era. There was no such thing as a "latchkey kid." We were the only kids from a single-parent family - divorce was still scandalous. We didn't have a clue we were different - we had friends, family, and our wonderful Boston Terrier puppy.

I'm rather horrified by all the mistakes we made with this dog. And astonished by how well he turned out. When you know better, you do better. I'm sure our dogs of today are grateful we're highly trainable.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Born to model

Unlike Roc, every time you point a camera at Golly, she's cute. I think she knows she's being immortalized and she has to look her best; cute face, ears forward, flattering angle. She just reeks of princess, doesn't she?
Even when she's hot and wet (which sounds much sexier than it actually was), Golly's photographs come out cute.

Unlike Roc, who just looks silly - ears back, ovesized tongue hanging out the side. And catch the paws facing in opposite directions.

This is why I was so darn pleased with the cute Roc shot. Finally - I got it!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Right Hand Doesn't Know...

As those of you who have been reading the GollyLog know, we recently moved Golly Gear. Just a mile down the road, but still a move. So, Hope and I are tired, cranky, stressed and generally out of sorts. Except to our dogs, our customers and sometimes each other. Business continues, orders are filled, desks are put together, and files are sorted out. And, orders are placed to suppliers as new stock is needed. Every time we place an order we tell the order-taker we have a new address and to please make sure our order has the proper address. Simple, right?

Not so much. Twice in the last two days shipments were attempted at our old address by UPS and FedEx. Apparently the order-taker noted the new address but didn't change it in the UPS or FedEx system. The right hand (shipping) didn't know what the left hand (billing) was doing. And the brain was not engaged at all. I'm looking forward to the day when our "new" address becomes our "current" address.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A face any mother would love

I think Roc is adorable. I've always thought that, which is a good thing, because he's my dog and if I don't think he's wonderful - who will?

The issue was that he never, ever looked good in a picture. Either he closed his eyes, moved, put his ears back - the boy always did something strange to mar his attraction. But I finally got a good picture. This is what Roc really looks like! Isn't he cute?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ceilidh's First (and Last?) Agility Trial

I've been writing over the last several weeks about Ceilidh's and my Agility Classes. Our challenges and triumphs. Well, this last weekend we took the plunge and were entered in our first Agility Trial. I'm not a complete newbie to the world of dog shows, having titled Golly the princess in obedience, but Dog Agility is totally different. Lots of big jumps and other large obstacles. The judge stands in the middle of the ring waving his or her arms around whenever the competitors do anything wrong, and someone off to the side notes how many fists and fingers are in the air. (The objective is to have as few as possible.) Unfortunately the judge was waving her arms a lot when Ceilidh and I were in the ring.

I think Ceilidh may have been a little intimidated. In the picture above, Ceilidh is the tiny little Boston Terrier blur jumping over that huge jump. The jump height was perfectly appropriate, but the jump itself was enormous, and the middle of the jump was much further away from me than she was accustomed to!

So, while there were no ribbons for Ceilidh, we had a bonding weekend. And one of our best friends and her Border Terrier got their 4th Master Agility Champion title! So exciting, and we were there to see it!

You can see Ceilidh in her crate at the trial, looking too tired to even play with her beloved Latex Soccer Ball.