Thursday, December 27, 2007

Picking up Poop

One of the less glamorous parts of owning a pet is cleaning up after them. For many pet owners (the ones who don't have acres of land) it is a necessity to periodically pick up poop in the yard. Many cities also have laws about cleaning up after pets on a walk, at a dog park, or generally anywhere that is not your own house.

Although a simple plastic bag will suffice for most cleaning duties there are a lot of products on the market to help with this dirty task. We have a handy bag holder that attaches to the puppy's leash. I do not normally go for items who's alternative is free and easily available, but avoiding the embarrassing (and illegal) "my dog just pooped on your lawn but I forgot to bring a bag on this walk" scenario is worth $15.

At many dog parks this bag holder is unnecessary. That is because the bags are provided in dispensers by trash cans, to encourage responsible ownership. I recently found a link to a free sample of these Petpick-ups. The best part about the site is the cool animation up top of a man walking his dog, although I watched for about 5 minutes hoping the animation would show his dog relieving himself, alas I was let down. The link I found though a new blog I've picked up: All About Labradors.

Anyways, this post was prompted by Finn relieving himself on the patio again. We have a small yard with plenty of space for him to go on the grass, which he has been doing without a problem for almost 6 months now. Then, last week, he started going just wherever. He is making no attempt to go on the lawn anymore and our once safe for stocking feet patio is now a mine zone of Finn's excretment. I am not sure what to do. We never really trained Finn to go on the lawn, he just did and now I'm worried that he may be deciding that's not what he wants to do any longer and there is no training I can start up again to reinforce that I want him to go on the lawn. Hopefully we can figure something out before I stink up any more of my socks or shoes.

If you have any input on getting a dog to go #2 in a specific spot, I would love to hear it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dog Blog Links: 6th Edition

It's been a good week, what with Christmas and all. We took Finn with us to the beach on Christmas Eve for a "Christmas Photo", it was his first time seeing both sand and waves. We were able to snap some nice shots which I'll post later in the week, but I also got this one, memoralizing his first sandy paw prints and his ability to lay down on command and look at the camera when asked (A trick that is under appreciated in dog literature.

Also with the Holidays came a flood of themed posts. These are all the ones that I starred in my RSS reader.

The Chocolate Dog Blog: A Pet Christmas photo contest winner. No pictures of Finn were submitted after what he did when we put his hat on.

Polka Dot Pup: A great photo of a lab with a jingle bell collar. Bear has one of these too, it gets old very quickly.

Mama Doggy Love: A great dog santa outfit (I told you a lot of these posts were all Christmas themed).

Huskee Boy: With antlers and presents any dog is happy.

Bark Blog: A review of how owners view there pets (hint: they are mostly on the nice list, despite where they might pee)

Dachsies Rule: A wish of Merry Christmas from some dachshunds in Texas.

Amber's Personal Diary: Amber shows off what a real Christmas feast looks like.

The Days of Johann: A cute holiday pet video featuring a host of adorable puppies.

Boing Boing: (Okay it's not a pet blog but still) A "K-9" Gingerbread house (a la Doctor Who)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Do you get a dog a Chrismas gift?

One of the things to determine as a first time pet owner is how to integrate the pooch into routines and traditions. Around the Holidays the decision seems to be more; "How much will the dog be involved?" rather than; "Will the dog be involved?" One site I found notes that it's best to include the pets in the planning process so you can avoid Holiday decorations that a dog or cat will destroy. As for presents, according to a few articles anywhere from 55% to 2/3 of pet owners buy holdiay gifts for their pets.

Beyond the fact that over 90% of people consider their pets a part of the family (which should be reasons enough to get a gift...assuming you are of the majority that exchanges gifts).The Pet Effect Blog has an amusing list of reasons why a pet should make your Holiday shopping list. Number three is:

#3. He reminds you that there is still good in the world.
It’s easy to forget. People cut you off in traffic. Some creepy guy stares at you non-stop in the subway. Your boss is a jerk. Your cab driver overcharges you. It’s enough to want you to shut the world out and hide on your couch all day. But when you get there, you’re greeted by someone who thinks the world of you, and who only wants to make you happy (oh, and maybe a nibble of whatever it is you’re eating).
For making me smile an extra 10-15 times daily Finn was placed on my shopping list without a thought. Not only does this mean our tree will look a little more festive (more stockings get hung, and more presents to put under the tree) but it also means that I KNOW I got someone a gift they will love. It's easy to buy for a dog that thinks a dirty sock is the cat's meow, and thinks the cat's meow is.... well... pretty cool too.

To help with the gift giving though Petco has put on a great holiday season sale. We went yesterday and picked up a few things for the bear.

Mostly we just wanted to fill his stocking, but I guess we decided his stocking wasn't big enough, hence stocking number 2. No big deal though as everything was only a couple dollars.

To help pick out a good gift for a dog take a look at this article, about gifts under $10, or check out the top dog gifts at Squidoo.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

List to Santa

It's been a while since I've posted. In that time Finn spent a week at Cage Free K9's, and got to see his first rainy day (Los Angeles doesn't get a lot of them). To celebrate he did what feels right during ugly weather... he slept.

Other than that we have been preparing for the holdiays. Finn got his own stocking this year, as a gift from a family member, and is eagerly awaiting his chance to tear open a gift. I Came across a touching letter to Santa from Johann The Dog and thought I would make one for Finn. He is still a puppy so his compassion is not that of a more mature dog, but his list is as follows .

1.) A massive quantity of leftover Filet Mignon

2.) Something to chase other than a cat or a cricket; the former is getting boring the latter is losing it's tastiness

3.) That that maybe this toy, is that a toy!?!

4.) 16 hours a day to sleep (Isn't this on everyone's list?)

5.) More rocks in the yard to dig up and chew on

6.) A trip to the beach

7.) Not to be dressed up anymore

The list isn't the only way the dog is getting in the Christmas spirit. Here is Finn getting dressed up for the Holidays. He got a lot of cool clothes this year, the bee costume, his shalom pup, some gear from our alma mater, duck themed pajamas, and this great hat and shirt. The shirt, by the way, says "Dear Santa, The Cat Did It." This isn't exactly true, coming from a guy who has torn apart a roll of paper towels, pooped in the garage, given me a bloddy nose by jumping into bed while I was sleeping, and stolen my seat on the couch 1000 times. It's alright though, cause he's so darn cute. Overall he is still on the nice list, and we'll make sure he gets something more than just a lump of coal (although he would probably love a lump of coal).

Like I said, not being dressed up is on his list. Here is the picture of him showing his displeasure with his hat. The more appropriate place is in the mouth, and as such that hat is now his new favorite toy. It's too bad too he's not a costume fan, cause I think he would make an great Rudolph.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dog Phsychology: Does Reading a book help.

We've tried to do everything we could to be prepared for the responsibilities of dog ownership. I've done more research on vaccinations, socialization , training techniques and general dog psychology then I did for most of my college courses. It seems that some of this work has started to pay off, or we are just very lucky, Finn is very well behaved.

The "research" of course consists of a number of mediums. I devored everything given to us by the breeder, which got us through the first week. Then I plowed through a number of online articles about raising a dog, health issues, and quick tips. After that I moved onto the massive packet of instructions provided by our dog trainer. Once I got through all of that I reorganized my RSS reader with about 45 dog blogs (and counting... let me know if you have one I should add).

Now I've taken to reading dog related books for all of my pleasure reading. There are a few guidebooks for dogs in Los Angeles, a pretty solid book of tricks (it helped teach Finn fetch and roll-over) and most recently I finished my first novel length reading; The Other End of The Leash, by Patricia B McConnell. TOEOTL (because I like acronymns) contained a broad scope of information with a chapter on translating primate to canine to how to deal with the loss of a pet. Although there were no earth shattering secrets, like a certain frequency of wistle that causes a dog to immediatly drop what it has in it's mouth and come sit by its master, the underlying message of the book helped me to better understand what Finn really thinks about me. I always knew dogs were preceptive but I didn't even think about all the extra "cues" I am giving him when I say commands; the angle of my head, what I'm wearing, or the fact that even saying a command may be confusing ,because dogs are such visual creatures.

Overall mcConnell does a great job of showing that she really is knowledagble about pets. The Ph.D is for her studies in applied animal behavior. Her own dogs are sheep dogs and help her take care of a flock as well as protect her farm. In my eyes a person who can train a dog to care for and protect a bunch of animals instead of trying to play with them (ie Finn) must know what they are doing. I have a stack of other books I will be getting to at some point, but if you are looking for one that will help you better relate to your own pet you may want to check out TOEOTL.

Hopefully I'll be able to suggest a bunch of other books next week. We are going on a cruise tomorrow. Finn is going back to Cage Free K9's, where he'll be get as dirty as he did during LosAngeles huge rainstorm the other day, but at least he'll meet some friends.

If anyone knows some good material (blogs, novels, magazines) let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dog Blog Links: 5th Edition

It's been a while (and some of them are now dated) but I wanted to post some links to sites I read and enjoy. These are all blogs I have on my RSS feed, or appear on search results I subscribe to.

Amber's Personal Diary- A Christmas photo shoot (thanks for all the comments!)

Pop Dog Blog - A dancing dog. Solid video, there are other fun things on this site and you can even get a pet portrait for the holidays. (also thanks for all the comments Simba!)

Google Blog Search: Golden Retrievers- How to Reduce Golden Retriever Dog Shedding (note: this is not a blog per se but rather a RSS feed of a standard search. To add it just do a Google Blog search for a term then in the results on the left side click Subscribe)

Johann the Dog - A Green Dog Blog and the actual site of a green dog (here's a green toy that also made my search results)

Big Paw Blog- Haloween costumes for pooches(I said some of them were dated)

Pappy's Dog Blog- A sweet costume for a little Jack Russell Terrier (I wasn't kidding, Halloween was like a month ago)

LabTails- Baby Puppy's are growing up quickly, and I'm sure they are double that size now

Mad About Labrador Retriever's- A nice look at the reasons to get your pet spayed or neutered.

Speak! - An amusing comic about dog blogs.

Sparky's Blog- Embarrassed by peanut butter, the ultimate enemy of a happy puppy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Can I Eat It? What a dog thinks

As many pet owners know there are only about 3 questions a dog ever thinks about.

1.) Is it time to sleep?
2.) Can I poop here? (I'll spare you this picture)

3.) Can I eat that?
Of course the answer to all of these questions is an unequivocal, YES!. The above picture is what used to be a perfectly good door mat. In 4 months Finn has never bothered to even give it a second sniff, but starting yesterday he decided it was his new chew toy. This is especially bad because the mat is rather old and crumbles easily, which has led to a blanketing of small black pellets all over the lawn. It's my own fault, I'm sure, as I guess Finn is getting bored. He had been limping recently so we cut back on the walks, but clearly he is getting antsy. I'm afraid now I have to throw the mat away. We've got some "keep pets off" spray I will try first, but I'm not sure how well it works. It smells like a pile of poop , which I'm afraid may attack the dog more then it will repel him. Oh well, I guess it's good he went the chewing route on this one. It sure would be obnoxious if he answered question number 2 on the doormat.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving with the family. How does your dog fit into traditions?

For our Thanksgiving Finn joined us as we traveled to my parents. The day was a huge success and everyone loved having Finn join in the festivities. In the morning a small group of us (9.5 people) went out to the Lafayette Resovoir for a 2.75 mile turkey trot. Leash laws were in effect and there were tons of other dogs around so my pace was established by Bear, who did well the first 2 miles but died down the stretch.

After the run we returned home where Finn joined us in watching some football and even got into the action a bit, playing fetch with his cool football toy. A baby gate was needed to keep him out of the kitchen (not that he was in the way, but everyone gets kicked out of the kitchen on thanksgiving unless they are making something). When we finally sat down to dinner Bear really showed his manners. I told everyone he would not beg for scraps or be a bother, but only if we ignored him. Everyone did and no less than 2 minutes later I had to ask the question "Where's the dog". The answer, he was under the table, asleep. He stayed there for 3 hours until we finished dinner and moved to the couches for the tryptophan coma/sleep.

The whole experience was a great success, and when we left my madre even montioned "It's nice to have a dog around the house". I don't know if it was nice enough for them to get another dog, but it made me realize how big a part of my life the little Bear has become. It is fitting that Thanksgiving was the first holiday Finn could be a part of, because he is one of the things I am so thankful for. Now that he has been integrated into our world it would make sense that we start to develop traditions that Finn can be a part of.

Should we dress him up as a turkey for thanksgiving? Make sure he gets a stocking at Christmas? Teach him to bark out the chorus of Auld Lang Syne? Or make sure that he eats soda bread and corned beef on the eve of his birhtday (St. Patrick's day)?

What fun traditions does everyone out there have with their pets, leave a comment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Car Rides

Today we are taking Finn on his first big car ride. In the past he has been great about going in the car. We don't let him stick his whole head out the window, that's unsafe along with riding in the bed of a pickup, but he loves poking his nose out the window. Until now the longest ride he has been on was about 30 minutes. Those rides were 1) when we first took him home; and 2) When I took him to Will Rogers to go hiking.Yes this picture has nothing to do with the car ride, but I like it so it's here.

Today's trip is going to be around 5 hours, assuming the traffic isn't terrible (big assumption). Typically when I do this drive it is a non-stop event unless I get some drive thru food along the way. Today, however, we know we will need to make a stop to let the kid relieve his bladder. He may be able to make it but we don't want to test that theory. We've got his bag all packed (treats, food, stain cleaner and he is ready to go.

To help I've collected a few articles with tips on making a car trip with a pet a positive experience. I do not anticipate any problems, but you never know. At least at the end of the trip Finn will get loads of love and attention from my family and tomorrow will be filled with turkey scraps and a nice long walk (to work off the turkey scraps). Happy Thanksgivning to everyone.

Help my Dog is afraid of the car.

Medical information on pet car sickness and stress

General tips on making a car ride less stressful

First time car trip tips (this doesn't apply but any first time tips should apply to subsequent trips as well)

Remember to aclimate your dog to the car. It shakes and bumps and is probably very confusing for someone who poops on the lawn.

What NOT to do when traveling with a pet. Espically if you plan to run for president, PETA does not like this sort of stuff.

Online Review: 1-800 Pet Meds

So I finally got to try out 1-800 Pet Meds. I've seen commercials for years and it always sounded like such a great deal. Turns out they do have a nice little operation going, even if it isn't that great of a deal. I got Finn's flea medication, this time for big dogs, and a stretchy frog toy just for fun. The medication was not overly expensive but it was about the same price as I paid at the Value Vet clinic at our local pet shop, so there was no real advantage (espically since there is no wait and the Value Vet is less than a mile away). The frog was just an after thought and I got it because it was only 6 bucks, but I am unimpressed by the selection of toys. Sure I should have seen that coming, seeing as how the name is PetMeds and not PetToys (which is a google arbitrage style site) . My only other complaint is that it took a while to get cleared by vet to get flea medication. It's flea medication, does that really need to be a controlled substance? Anyways After about a week, the order did finally go through, and a few days later the shipment arrived. All in all I like the site and I will be using it again.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cats and Dogs

Finn has finally started to get along with the kittens. One of them still plays with him sometimes but generally speaking they don't bother each other. It was another step though that it was possible to take this picture.

Also, to everyone, happy thanksgiving. This will be the first time Finn joins us on a trip. We will be going to my parents house for turkey and cranberry sauce, and Finn will get some good eats too. Not too sure how he'll handle a 5 hour drive but I guess we will see how this goes.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hollywood Pooch

Bear had his first Hollywood moment months ago when he met Sly Stallone on a walk. He was on his morning run (with his madre) Rocky stopped and commented on how cute he was. Too bad he doesn't have any new movies coming out, but if I hear Rocky IX is in production you better believe I am submitting Finn's head shot to someone.

His second big screen moment came more recently.
We decided one night to take a long walk into Westwood village and bring Finn along. We didn't realize there was a premiere, all that we wanted was some Mr. Noodle.

As we neared Mr. Noodle we realized there was a lot more foot traffic then there normally is, but the real giveaway was the massive red carpet, closed down road and paparazzi.

After ordering we sat outside, trying to catch a view of some stars . Unfortunately we were a bit early, so there were no star sightings, but one of the photographers did snap a picture of Finnegan. If you see pictures from the premiere of Gone Baby Gone, and there is one of a really cute golden retriever, you know who it is.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dog Thief

Although the title may suggest that someone stole a dog, that is not the case. Rather, it appears Finnegan may have stolen something.
The toy seen here is NOT something we bought for Finn, and we have no idea where it came from. It's possible that the neighbor dog Ozzie brought it over during a playdate, but I can't remember him every bringing anything more then energy (he's got a lot of it). Other than that the only theory is that one of the gardeners found it around the yard and assumed it was Finn's.

I'm sure it is no big deal, the toy is pretty beat up already, but I don't want Sir Finnegan to be the cause of some neighborhood drama. Luckily for us there will be no evidence of this "crime" within a few days thanks to Finn's new "big bear" teeth. He can chew through anything now, and he does. It is a daily occurrence to see him out on the lawn with a circle of toy stuffing around him.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

AKC Registration and more Paperwork

Paperwork. I never knew a dog would require so much of it. Okay it may not be that much but for someone who takes a week to organize sending out a simple letter it is a feat.

First the was the contract we had to sign to get Finn. No problems there as it was exciting to have a puppy, plus the packet of information we got from the breeders was necessary and appreciated. Of course included in that packet were some of Finn's medical records, which is where thigns get messier. Each Vet trip requires a diagnosis sheet and a bill at minimum. Because we have pet insurance there is the added need for duplicates for everything. I would go my normal route of getting .pdf's of everything or saving it on a computer but I have yet to get to a scanner and the Vet does not offer this as an option (although I did not ask, I will next time now that I thought of it). Maybe one day they'll be able to put it on his microchip.

It is more than just the insurance. Finn also had to be registered with the city of Los Angeles, which required I send them a copy of his neutering and all his vaccinations. Then we needed another set of records to give to the nice folks at Cage-Free K9's where Finn will be staying while we are out of town. Our trainer needed a copy when we enrolled him in class too.

What's more Finn is a pure bred Golden Retriever so we had to certify him with the AKC, which required yet another set of vaccination records. Turns out sending them records is just the beginning. In return we get a whole novel's worth of E-mails, Coupons, Pedigree's (3 Generation) and tons of junk mail that I'm sure is on it's way as we speak.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Even though he already had his bee costume, "we" got Finn another costume for Haloween. There was no trick or treating for him, because Haloween is such a scary time for pups, but he did run around the back yard dressed like this.
Can't guess what he is. He is Shalom Pup. At least the thing only cost $13.00.
That picture is just another view, but it has a lot more of the Haloween feel thanks to the "ghost" (better known as someone moving quickly, trying to control a puppy who really does not like his new hat).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bionic Dog: MicroChipping a Pet

Big Brother is making his presence felt, even in dogs. When we got Finn neutered last week we also had the vet implant a microchip. These little RFID chips can hold a single number, a la a bar code, that corresponds to important data (name, address, phone number). The chip can be scanned and the number identified in case Finn every runs away. There does seem to be some problems with this though. Some shelters don't have scanners at the ones that do may have a scanner that is unable to read all the types of tags. Here is a good article explaining some of the concerns over microchips. We went with HomeAgain as our chip provider. I must admit this was not necessarily a thought out decision as much as it was relying on our vet to give some good advice. This is the chip they put in all their pets and I must assume since they do, the shelters in the area will be able to scan for this type of chip.

Even if getting Finn a microchip is not a fail safe for getting him back, at least it ups the odds a bit. I don't think this lazy bum is going anywhere, but we are not taking any chances. Now we just have to remember to pay for the service every year. Sure it is only $15, which is the last thing I'm worried about paying, but it is a little annoying that they don't just charge $100 or something up front and track the pet for a lifetime.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How to play fetch

So it turns out not even golden retrievers automatically know how to fetch. They need to be taught how to play. Thinking about it now that seems obvious but before I had a dog capable of fetching I did not think about this. I've been reading some good books about training, and one of the best ones 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge , and Bond with Your Dog has a great suggestion for fetch. It is so simple it's almost insulting.

First take a standard tennis ball and cut a slit into it. I used an exacto knife to split open the ball about 2 inches.

Next squeeze the ball and slip a few treats inside. Using something smelly is best (Natural Balance Dog food rolls seem to work well).

Now toss the ball a few feet away. Finn noticed that it smelled right away and after pushing the ball around for a few seconds grasped it in his mouth and brought it back to me.

Get the dog to drop the ball, either he'll do it natuarally, he knows drop, or you can bribe him. Once he does squeeze the ball to release a treat.

Finn picked up on this trick very easily, as he normally does when we take the time to teach him correctly. The hardest part of training is being consistent. Luckily Finn is willing to put up with human mistakes, and although he may be confused or frustrated, he sticks with it.

Also because I have the picture and it is a Sunday, here is Finn supporting his favorite team. Who Dat! Geaux Saints!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Growing up Bear

Finnegan recovered from his surgery really well. We were able to take him out of his cool hat so he could meet my 2 year old cousin and then we took the hat off for good after day 6. He doesn't seem to interested in his stitches anymore so that is good. As far as the dysplasia goes we are forgoing the surgery. Our thinking (and backed by the Vet) is that there is no reason to do surgery on a dog that shows no signs of problems. Except for the X-Rays there is nothing to suggest that Finn has bad hips. We'll make sure to monitor his activity and read up on all the proper treatment (more on that in a later post) but he is a growing puppy and we just don't want to immobilize him for a month while he is still developing. We just want to make sure he enjoys his life and I just can't rationlize a preventive surgery that does not guarantee a fix.

The pumpkin above is only the start of Finn's October character. He already has two Haloween costumes (in addition to the Bee Costume). Below is a picture of his oversized rawhide bone, he deserved it after all he went through last week.

In other news we will be going on vacation soon, unfortunatly Finn will not be joining us. We are going to board him. We've looked around and we're pretty sure we found a place he will like. He is there right now. We took him this morning for an "interview" and decided to leave him for the day to make sure he will be able to handle it in a few weeks. It is stressful to leave the Bear with folks we don't really know but hopefully he will be okay. He seemed happy waltzing around sniffing all the other puppies, so long as he comes home free and clear of any markings it looks like a hit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No Longer a Puppy.... Neutering

Today was the big day for Finn. Bob Barker would be proud. Everything went well, he had no adverse reaction to the anesthesia and he even got a cool microchip. The one bummer came with the news that the x-ray's they took showed signs of some bad hip dysplasia. We knew this was a possibility even though his parents had no problems. This is not really a sickness but it still does cause some concern. More to come on this subject in later posts.

In other news our dog trainer Caryl Wolff of Doggie Manners is a candidate for MyFox L.A.'s award for Best Dog trainer. I already gave her a vote, she helped make Finn who he is. That is a very good thing. If any one sees this and wants to throw her a vote please do, she has my recommendation.

Good thing we have trained Finn, it keeps his mind sharp so he can figur things out. Like how to walk around with a cone on his head. Here are the requisite pictures of Finn and his cool neck accessory.
There have been no problems post-op so far. He walked form the car to the back yard, ate some food (hand fed of course) and chewed a bone for a little while. The cone does confuse him a bit and I think I caught him sleeping standing up a few times.

I'll check on him a few times tonight, but from what people have said he should be fine. Still, I worry.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dog Blog Links: 4th Edition

First off, thanks for all the input and corrections everyone in the comments. And thank you Tish (of Blogsweluv) for the rave review. It has been an exciting week for Finn, enjoying what is left of his adolescence before the big chop. The past few weeks have also been hectic for me, but I did make sure to scan the blogs and below are some of the things that caught my eye.

Our Furry Family: Murphy a border collie gets a whole flickr album from his version of the classic "blow bubbles at the dog" game.

My Paw Prints on the Web: A ten minute video of a really well trained puppy.

Lab Tails: The new puppies are now four weeks old.

Johann The Dog: A comprehensive list of all dog related holidays. There is even a google calendar you can add for yourself.

Pop Dog Blog: Simba barks at a overturned recycling bin, and asks what everyone else barks at. (Finn has barked twice, we have no idea what prompted either bark).

Love is a Four Legged Word: I like this blog overall and scrolling across pictures like this is why. You just have to think that is a cute dog.

Dogs Eye View: Some great quotes about dogs. Lance Armstrong sure doesn't like it if your pet wants to LiveStrong.
My Doggie Says: A small puppy with a soccer ball. Tell me this doesn't brighten your day.

As always let me know if there is something I should add to my Google reader.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Getting a Puppy Neutered

I scheduled Finn's neutering apointment for two weeks from now. It was a bit sad, the little guy has no idea what we are doing to him. But alas, it is the law in California that pets must be spay and neutered (there are some exceptions). The surgery has the added benefit of controling Finn's hormones and staving off behavioral problems. Hopefully seventh months turns out to be the right age for Finn, but I don't want to put it off any longer and risk having him get hurt running around the neighborhood looking for a girl. He is not as innocent as he looks below, I know he has the energy to go crazy.

More on spay and neutering and some common questions. Any tips for helping Finn have a smooth surgery? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dog. Meet Ocean.

We finally took Finn to the beach. It was last week acutally, but it was still too long of a wait for a California boy. Santa Monica is a great place but unfortunately they don't allow dogs on the actual beach. The pictures below are taken at the top of the cliffs up by Ocean Ave. Catalina was visible and we got out there about 30 min. before Sunset, so at least the long wait to see the ocean was worth it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Good Dog Nicknames?

We recently began calling Finnegan "Bear". It is fitting as he is kinda like a giant stuffed bear. He is great to have lying around, it means there is always a pillow or foot rest or large furry object to pet. Having the puppy is like having a shadow. Whenever one of us walks up or downstairs Finn is there to make sure we have some company. Best of all, he curls up on the couch or bed the way a proper dog should.
Bear fits him. The teddy bear look coupled with his ferocious teeth and huge paws make referring to him as a large forest beast are a no-brainer. He sure acts like a wild dog sometimes, which is good so long as he does it in the right places. Here is the hole he dug in the side yard (a place he is encouraged to dig).This massive crevasse was the result of twenty minutes of puppy energy. Bear was walking around afterward with mud up to his underbelly and all over his nose. Of course his tail was going wild too, all proud of himself he was. As he should be though, dogs should dig. There are a whole list of things dogs should do and digging is an accepted part of this list. Also on the list, going nuts for bubbles. Espically the dog bubbles kind that are beef flavored. Okay so this may be one thing a bear would not do, but then again I've never seen a bear interact with bubbles. For now climbing couches, and eating food shaped like fish (Beneful) will be the reasons for Finn's nickname. I just hope he doesn't mind being called Bear.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dog Costumes

Although it is NOT haloween somehow Finn was recently given a "bee costume". I am not a big fan of dog costumes, but Finn does make this thing look damn good. What is even better is that there is a website dedicated to pictures of dogs in bee outfits (Thank you Dan Qualye, I love the internet). There has been a lot of other fun and exciting things happening in Finn's life (first trip to the Ocean, first massive hole dug in an area of the yard that we don't care about) that I will be posting about this week. None of these posts will embarrass Finn though. We need to make sure he is well taken care of and in high spirits because he just passed his 6 month birthday which means we have to cut 'em off. Such a shame. Anyways here are the pictures.
If anyone else has good dog costumes of knows of a good idea please comment about it. We need to make sure we are prepared for the real Halloween.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dog Hike in Los Angeles

Last weekend we took Finn on his first real outdoor experience. Until now we were worried he would tire out or simply be to hyper to enjoy the outdoors, but he proved he is ready. The park we took him to was Coldwater Canyon Park and it is also home to the environmental group Treepeople. Although Coldwater is a small park (45 acres) it connects to a series of other parks that together are over 1000 acres. The paths there are wide dirt paths and are friendly to a variety of activities. We encountered lots of other dogs, a few cyclists testing there uphill abilities, and at least one hiker carrying a baby on his back. Our adventure started at the top of the hill where we parked, just off Mulholland. After weaving our way down a few steps we got to the main path which we followed until it ended at a paved cul-de-sac. There we sat for a few minutes and let Finn drink water; he was panting a bit and we wanted to make sure he stayed well hydrated. on the way back up the hill we stopped and snapped a few pictures (partly because it was a nice view and partly because Finn needed to stop and collect himself).

Friday, September 7, 2007

Dog Blog Links: 3rd Edition

Here's some more links. Again all of these are in my Google Reader and have been starred for some reason.

The Very depressing story I'm warning you, it's a shame animal shelters do so much good work but the most press when they make a mistake that kills.

A Spiritual Dog Blog: Pet owners will appreicate the cartoon and can defiantly relate to the pets "have me trained" feeling.

Lab Tails: The puppies are getting big fast. There is a great video of all of them wandering around and trying to speak. If you think they are cute you may be able to get one over at the lab tails new breeding site.

Pappy's Dog Blog: Funny video of a dog enjoying a sweet slide.

Polka Dot Pup: A review of some useful items to help keep a dog cool during the summer months.

Pacco de Mongrel: There is a dog catching competition, if that's your thing, if not sign the petition to stop it.

Love is a Four Legged Word: A top ten list of why dogs and cats are better than kids.

Precious Moments: A cute little dog acts out how a chick is hatched.

Big Paw Blog: There is a well written and amusing list of things your dog does when you leave the house.

A Service Dog's Journey: A dog takes in a ballgame, those are the perks when you are a working pooch.

Ranger the Dog: Ranger was up for the Grand Marshal of a Fido walk. Unfortunately there was some shady voting so he's only a runner up. (Sorry I didn't post this sooner ranger)

Amber's Personal Diary: Amber lets us all know how she learned the shy trick. (We'll be teaching Finn this and many more tricks someday)

Pug Blog: Just a funny sign. This pug also has one of the best toys ever, Pluto.

Pop Dog Blog: A little late on this but Simba like my list of ficitonal dogs and added a bit with a top five list of cartoon dogs. I agree pretty much across the board.

As always I'm looking for more to read so if you have a site or a suggestions please let me know via comment or e-mail.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Dog Toy Squeaks Too Much

Over the long weekend my parents came to visit and we wound up going to the grove. Since their farmers market is great we went there and were able to make a stop at the Three Dog Bakery. While there we picked up a few treats for Finn and my madre got him a toy. Normally I love to get Finn a new toy but this thing is a blanket that has 25 squeaky things in it. 25! That is just uncalled for. There is no reason to give a 5 month old puppy something that can make 25 sounds all at once. Needless to say this is Finn's new favorite toy and I've had to take it away from a few times this week so I could concentrate. It is a great toy though because he is just so happy when he's making all that noise, he never barks so he needs to get it out.

In the pictures you can see Finn took to this toy right away(pdf). He is going so crazy the picture was blurry.

This toy is also great to throw, it flies just like a frisbee.

The grandparents