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.