Happy 10th Birthday to Our Little Girl

 

It’s so hard to believe that our Cricket was once this tiny:

10th birthday use Bday 1

And that she is turning 10 years old today!   Cricket will always be our little girl.  At 10 she is still extremely active, happy, and healthy.  We hope she will be with us for many, many years to come!

Happy Birthday, Sweetie.

A word from the birthday girl:  Momz has had company this weekend, so I haven’t been getting the attention I thought I would for my birthday weekend!!  On top of that, she was all involved in planning a big BBQ for Saturday night for about 20 of their family and friends.  I thought this weekend would be all about me!

So once again Momz is the mischief maker.  Well, OK, there was a special meal with leftover chicken and fresh local corn off the cob for supper last night, and more talk of that AND maybe steak for my birthday dinner.  And all those people that came to the BBQ?  Lots of them threw our ball for us, even two cute little girls.  But then we had to go downstairs while they ate dinner and had a bonfire.  Well, yes, we were pretty hot and tired from playing and the A/C was on down there, plus we got treats for going down so I guess it wasn’t too bad.  As soon as they got back in the house, we all got to go back upstairs and hang out with some of our aunts and uncles for a little while.  So I guess it wasn’t all bad….plus I hear talk of a special dessert tonight and maybe a gift.  It’s been a pretty good birthday weekend after all, and we’ll be sharing some pictures of my pawty later this week!

cricket 10

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Thank you to our blog hop hosts Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.  Please visit them and the other participants through the links below!

Black & White Sunday – Togetherness

 

When sitting at the kitchen counter recently, I looked down and this is what I saw:

Togetherness 1

Togetherness 2

We hope you are enjoying some togetherness this Labor Day weekend, and have a Happy Black & White Sunday!

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Thank you to our blog hop hosts, Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dachshund Nola. Please be sure to visit the participants through the links below!

Why Do Dogs Whine?

 

We’ve taken to calling Luke “Whiner Baby” lately.  He’s not the first dog we’ve had that received this nickname….Kobi and Moses were both called that at times.  There is a pattern here….these are all of our past and present male dogs.  Now I’m not saying the girls don’t whine at all, but the boys seem to whine much more.

So why do dogs whine?  There are many possible reasons:

  1. Anxiety (including separation)(look for other signs of agitation such as panting or pacing)
  2. Pain/discomfort
  3. Seeking attention
  4. Submissiveness/appeasement to other dogs or people
  5. Excitement when greeting people

Whining is another form of communication for dogs, the same as barking.  They learn when they are puppies that whining will get them attention from their mothers.  If your dog starts whining, the first thing you might want to do is try to figure out why.  If it comes on suddenly or is persistent, with no obvious reason for it, you should take your dog to a vet to be sure the cause isn’t from pain or discomfort.

Kobi used to whine whenever he rode in the car.  He LOVED riding in the car, and the only thing we could ever figure out was that he just saw so many things and he wanted to go everywhere he saw.  His whining would ratchet up a notch if he saw people or other dogs.  Kobi loved everyone and we really think he just wanted to see them.

I took a short video to demonstrate Luke’s whining, and you’ll figure out like we did exactly why he does it.

That is his most common place for whining….he wants to play with those toys up by the TV.  This was learned behavior from one of his sisters:

Whine collage

The only time Cricket whines is when she wants to play with those toys.  Sometimes on a weekend morning we’ll be trying to relax in bed and watch the news for a bit, and she’ll be downstairs staring up there and whining.  So we know Luke learned it from her.  I think that I can honestly say we have never heard Sheba whine.  Apparently that’s just not a way she chooses to communicate.  If she ever does, we’ll definitely be concerned something is wrong.

Luke also will whine for attention at other times.  He often does it when my husband and I are in the office on our computers.  He wants attention, or someone to play with him.  He sometimes whines after my hubby leaves for work, and I think it’s just that he’s sad his Dad left.  However, he also on occasion whines when he needs to go outside….so he is definitely trying to tell us something then, and we’re wise not to ignore it!

So what to do about a whining dog?  There are ways to train them not to whine, just like you would try to train out any unwanted behavior.  If they whine when you get home from work, maybe you can distract them with a toy.  If it is appeasement whining, maybe you need to work on building their confidence.  Anxiety and separation anxiety are issues that you need to deal with anyway, and there are many ways to do that.

Luke play

For a dog who whines for attention like Luke, the recommendation is to ignore him, and then reward him when he’s quiet.  Now my problem with this is that he feels like he’s not getting enough attention, or enough play time, and he’s trying to communicate that to me.  I feel like my response should be to give him the attention or play time that he wants and needs.  That is what I try to do….but I usually try to wait until there is a break in the whining, and step in then, so as not to reinforce the whining too much.  If I’m going to give him one of the toys that he wants by the TV, I make him sit or lie down before he can get it.  There are times that I really do just need to be doing other things so I just tell him to be quiet and no, we’re not playing right now.  He usually does quiet down, so he does know that it won’t get him what he wants every time.

Obviously, more play time, exercise, and attention will give him less reason to want to whine.  Although there are days when he’s had a lot of play time, and he just doesn’t want to quit!  He is only 10 months old after all, and he has a lot of energy.  I think if he were a human child, he would frequently be saying “I’m bored”!

If you’d like to learn more on this subject, here are some good articles where I found most of my information (click on title for link):

Why Does My Dog….Whine So Much?  Vetstreet
How to Curb Whining in Dogs, WebMD
Canine Whining Decoded, VetDepot

Do your dogs whine?  Do you know why?  Do you think male dogs whine more than females?  Share in the comments below!

fitDogFriday_180x150We are joining the FitDog Friday blog hop.  A fit dog is a happy and tired dog, and they have less reason to whine.  So perhaps a little more exercise is just what our whiney dogs need.  Thank you to our blog hop hosts SlimDoggy, To Dog With Love and MyGBGVLife.  Please visit their sites and others through the links below to learn more about keeping your dogs fit and happy!

Wordless Wednesday – Hijacked Again

 

Last week my hubby and I were on vacation.  Our first day was spent going out for a drive and shopping so of course we brought home some loot for the dogs and cats.  We also found Luke a new school while we were out so it was a very successful trip!

Loot

Luke really wanted those Kong Wubbas, especially the yellow one, but that one was for swimming so he couldn’t have it.  We had planned a swim day, but our visit with our grandchildren got extended and then it rained, so we never did get out.  If you saw Sunday’s post, you know what happened with the red Wubba…..Luke and Sheba lost it to Cricket.

Then, to add insult to injury, this happened:

Sam Wubba

MOM!!!! Sam is playing with my toy….not fair!!!

Note Luke’s nose off to the far right in both photos!

Sam Wubba 2

“Hee hee hee….it’s all mine, you foolish dog!”

Poor Luke just can’t catch a break!

Aw, don’t feel too bad for him, here he is having fun with the red one, all by himself!

Finally....something is all mine!

Finally….something is all mine!

WW badgeThank you to BlogPaws for hosting the Wordless Wednesday blog hop!  Please visit the other participants through the links below.

 

Smoochies for Smooches

smooches-allWhat a cute name for dog treats, right?  Everyone was happy to receive these chicken and cranberry Smooches from Chewy.com to give a try.  We’ve heard nothing but good things about The Honest Kitchen, and looked forward to finally giving one of their products a try.  It’s difficult sometimes to come up with a new angle for writing a treat review, but since Luke is a very kissy boy, I decided maybe we could trade some of those kisses for some treats!

Smooch 1

Yahoo!!  New treats!!

Yahoo!! New treats!!

As you can see, the dogs were very excited and anxious to give these treats a try.  They put on their sweetest begging faces:

Smooches, please??

Smooches, please??

I was excited as well, because Smooches are:

  • Hand baked with ingredients including free range chicken, organic virgin coconut oil, and aged parmesan.
  • Wheat free (made with barley flour).
  • Only 2.3 calories per treat!  That means more for everyone!
  • Heart shapes with just the right amount of crunch.

The side of the package says this:  “A Smooch is a kiss and cuddle combined.  It’s a lingering moment infused with a lot of love, and something we think every dog deserves.”

So I decided to trade smoochies for smooches and here’s how it went:

Smooch Cricket Sheba smooch Luke smooch

I think you can tell how much they liked them by the kisses they were willing to give (Sheba is a little more reserved with her kisses so we couldn’t get a shot of it).  They were definitely a hit!  More smooches for everyone please!

Chewy shippingAs always, when our choice was made of what to review from Chewy.com this month, this guy showed up at our door lightning fast!  I am always amazed with how fast their shipping is, especially since it’s free over $49.  Their selection is amazing, and you can save even more money using their Autoship program.  Their friendly customer service is open 24 hours per day.

Chewy White

the honest kitchen logoA little about the Honest Kitchen:  It is a small company started in 2002 in Lucy Postin’s kitchen, to help her own dog with some health issues.  Many employees bring their dogs to the office with them!  They use human grade ingredients in their products, and as much organic produce as possible, with no GMO’s.  We hope to try many more of their products in the future.

 

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We are joining the Tasty Tuesday blog hop.  Many thanks to our hosts Sugar the Golden Retriever and Kol’s Notes.  Please visit the other blogs through the links below for more tasty treats!

Black & White Sunday: To the Victor…..

 

….Go the Spoils

The spoils:  a new red Kong Wubba

Kong 5

Kong 4

Sometimes when Sheba and Luke are playing with a toy, the play devolves into bitey and snarly face, and they take their eyes off the prize…..

Kong 3

Kong 2

Kong 1

Happy Black & White Sunday! Thank you to our blog hop hosts, Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dachshund Nola. Please be sure to visit the other participants through the links below!

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Buried Treasure

Yahoo!  Look what I found!

Yahoo! Look what I found!

Nothing gets Luke more excited and happy than a new toy, or better yet, finding something in the house or yard unexpectedly.  If he discovers it’s something I don’t want him to have, he quickly turns it into a game of keep away.  My only recourse is to go get a bag of treats and do a tradeoff.  He knows what “leave it” means, but he doesn’t think it applies when he’s having fun.

I think he digs around in the yard looking for buried treasure sometimes.  He shows up running around with the strangest and most unlikely things (that was part of what precipitated our much needed yard cleanup).  Not too long ago he got into the vegetable garden area where he is not supposed to go (he doesn’t know yet not to tromp all over the plants).  The next thing I knew he came romping out of there with something in his mouth.  I couldn’t tell what it was.  I got the bag of treats to do a trade off and here is what I got:

sock

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you might remember that our late beagle Kobi often wore Pawz dog boots and also little “slipper socks” (non-skid pet socks) to help him with traction in his hind legs.  This is the second time Luke has found one of these socks in the yard since Kobi’s been gone.  The socks were mostly for in the house, and the Pawz for walking, but if the yard was dry we would let him wear the socks outside.  He often came back in without one or both.  We would usually find them when cleaning up the poop in the yard, but apparently over the months he wore them we missed some.

Kobi sporting his color coordinated Pawz.

Kobi sporting his color coordinated Pawz.

Having a snooze with his little socks on!

Having a snooze with his little socks on!

It makes me a bit sad when Luke unearths these treasures, but it also brings a little smile to my face with fond remembrance of how cute Kobi looked in those socks.  There’s another unusual thing about these.  The ones Luke found in the yard aren’t the only ones lying around.  I have a tote in my closet with grooming supplies and extra Pawz and socks, some used, some never used.  That’s not so unusual, but there are others in other odd places; one in a drawer in my writing desk in the bedroom, another in a closet on a shelf, and a pair in the garage.

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I don’t keep a lot of mementoes around.  Dishes and things that were Kobi’s personally have been put away.  There are some photos of course.  This is one of my all time favorites of Kobi with my hubby and our Lab mix Maggie from a lot of years ago when we used to hike with the two of them:

Kobi Maggie frame

We buried Kobi’s ashes in the memorial garden, because I simply couldn’t look at them every day.  Some people can do that, but I just can’t….it keeps the grief too fresh for me and I can’t move on with daily reminders like that.  But there is something about these little socks and Pawz that I can’t seem to put away.  I haven’t moved any of the ones lying around from their various locations, even though there’s no reason to leave them there. They could be washed and put away in that tote with the other clean and unused ones.

One single Pawz on the closet shelf....

One single Pawz on the closet shelf….

...And a pair in the garage, still dirty from our last walk.

…And a pair in the garage, still dirty from our last walk.

 

Maybe one day I will finally pick them up, but if I do, I hope soon after that Luke will unearth another of these treasures from the yard and bring it to me.

 

Red Herring and Beans, Beans, Beans

No, it’s not Tasty Tuesday and I’m not sharing a recipe today!  We have been overloaded with beans though….I got a little carried away planting green and wax beans in the garden this year.  Luckily for us, Luke LOVES beans, raw or cooked.  (Sheba will eat them cooked but she’s not as excited about it).

Luke and beans, beans, beans.

Luke and beans, beans, beans.

For those of you who love mysteries, you might know what a red herring is, when it’s not a dried smoked herring that has turned red from smoke.  It is a clue in a mystery that is intended to mislead or distract you from the real issue.

How does all of this tie together?  Almost two weeks ago I held a contest for one of my readers to win a box of assorted treats.  You had to guess what treat Luke was eating in this photo:

Luke treat

I gave you this photo as a hint:

No, it's not the stick!  No sticks in the house!

No, it’s not the stick! No sticks in the house!

However, one real clue was in the first photothe fact that I was cooking (pan on stove).  The second photo included the second clue, and inadvertently, the red herringLuke with a stick.  Only the stick was not intended to be the clue.  The clue was in the background:  our bean plants on the other side of the fence.  I swear, I did this totally by accident.  When I was headed down to take a photo of Luke with the bean plants, I needed something to get him to go where I wanted him.  The stick was the closest thing at hand, so I threw it towards the bean plants and then took some photos.  The fact that he was chewing on the stick in that photo made everyone think that the treat he was getting was a bully stick.  That was perfectly logical, but just not right!

Luke enjoying his beans!

Luke enjoying his beans!

Our follower Edie Chase, however, guessed closer than everyone else.  She guessed that Luke was eating vegetables, and even though she went further and said carrots which was incorrect, she still came closest so I’ve declared her the winner.  Congratulations, Edie!!   (I am going away for a couple of days but I will contact you when I get back for your information so I can get the treats on their way to you).  Thank you to everyone who played our little guessing game!  Sorry about the red herring!

In the next photo, Luke is sitting outside the fence waiting patiently for me to throw him a bean as I’m picking them!

Beans - waiting at fence

We also want to congratulate Jenna, who writes the blog Love is Being Owned by a Husky.  She won our giveaway for a Fido Float life jacket, which we gave away as part of our Summer Safety Series last month.

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I felt a little mischievous about the red herring, so we’re joining the Monday Mischief blog hop.  Thank you to our blog hop hosts Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies.  Please visit them and the other participants through the links below!