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Toy Time!!

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We love reading our fellow pittie blogs.  We get so many ideas for fun and exciting things to do with our pack. So when Love and a Six Foot Leash posted about making a homemade toy for their super duo, we thought why not give it a shot.  I had extra fleece sitting around from my dog bed project.  A little back story on me, I love crafts and projects but I am horrible at finishing them.  I am what many may call a procrastinator.  I call it just being an artist. So I decided one afternoon to give it a try.  I wanted something a little more durable than just a braid so I thought why not try using those skills I learned in high school making friendship bracelets. 

Just used a simple over under knot

I chose a fun floral pattern I had lying around and cut it up into 6 strips.  They were on the thinner side in order to make the knots successful.  I put all 6 together and made a knot at one end.  Then I used the over under knotting technique to make the rows.  I did forget that you are supposed to double knot on each strand to avoid curling.  I’ll try to remember that for next time.  It did make a fun curl in the toy which I think the dogs liked. 

It makes nice tight rows of knots

I made it pretty long because we have a lot of short, small toys and I wanted something they could really tug at.  I was very impressed with my finished product.  Now to see what the dogs thought.  Buddy was the first test. He LOVES to shake toys around.  Just smacking himself in the face.  This was no exception. 

Getting the official "Buddy seal of approval"

Next was to test it with the Buddy and Bella duo.  The love to pay together but haven’t really had any good long pull toys.  They had been using Buddy’s boomerang but that left very little room to pull.  I thought for sure they’d get the point that they could be far away from each other.  But instead they thought it was great to bite it as close to each other as possible.  Even thought that didn’t go as planned they still LOVED their toy. 

This is how they thought it should be used

Devo isn’t much of a toy player.  He prefers to coddle his toys and love on them.  By the time it was his turn for the new toy he just grabbed it and walked around the house with it.  He’s such a shorty that it would trail behind him or between his legs.  But he walked so happily with his head held high.  I haven’t gotten a photo of him with it yet but trust me, it’s adorable.

So, all in all, homemade toys are very successful.  I probably used a couple bucks worth of left over fabric.  Now a few weeks later it’s still in 1 piece and is played with daily.  M loved to play tug with Buddy. It’s long enough that we can use the couch arm as leverage and actually win the game!! Next craft project… making something with a squeaker for Devo. 

The final product

A Case of the Mondays

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I came downstairs this morning bright and early to go to work. It was Buddy’s night to sleep out on the couch. Well someone sure had the case of the Monday’s because he sure didn’t want to get out of “bed”.

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Must be rough being a pup. As I was making my breakfast he eventually strolled into the kitchen to be let out. And took his sweet time outside smelling the warm air. Then came back in and went back to bed. What a life.

Learning to be Prepared

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I read many blogs related to pitbulls and dog ownership.  Many have posted information about what supplies they bring on their walks. Two Pitties in the City did a great post about preparing walking bags.  I did take tips and started to carry a bag with me as well.  But there was one piece of equipment I didn’t think we would need.  We mostly walk in our quiet neighborhood.  We almost never encounter another dog and if we do they’re usually on the other side of the street with their owner.  I do this on purpose to avoid any bad interactions.  So on the list when it mentioned bring a spray such, a citronella or bear spray, I figured I would never need that.

That was until this past Saturday afternoon.  Bella and I were on a little easy stroll around the neighborhood.  The weather was beautiful and we were just enjoying the fresh air.  As we were heading back home we took a side street back to the main road.  As we near a house with a garage door open I hear this door chime go off and before we knew it this large, black, fluffy dog came charging up on us.  I freaked out but Bella remained calm.  She sniffed quickly and I said enough and started to slowly back her away.  But this dog was not having that.  He pushed himself up underneath Bella. She just looked at me with these terrified eyes.  I screamed for the owner to come get their dog.  See Bella is not an instigator, but she will fight back. She has gotten into a few little scuffles with the boys when they get a little toy possessive.  I was terrified she was going to bite this dog out of fear.  I have nothing to stop it. This other dog didn’t even have a collar on.  I screamed again to come get their dog.  They finally came out and said they were sorry.  Bella and I walked back home.  I praised her for acting so well and I was so very thankful I wasn’t walking one of the boys.  They would have for sure started a fight on impact. 

This event made me realize that you can never be too prepared for even a quick stroll in your own neighborhood.  You can trust your dog but you can’t trust others. It’s terrifying to think that my dog could seriously be harmed or harm another when just on a walk.  From here on out I will have a bag fully prepared for every walk we go on.  Hopefully to be more prepared if an incident like this were to happen again.

We’re still here

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We are still here around the blogosphere.  Life has just been super busy as of late.  I took on an extra project for work that took up a huge chunk of my time outside of work.  That along with the holiday and other things going on I just hadn’t a moment to think.  I did manage to find time to take some adorable Easter photos of the pack, only to not be able to find my camera cord.  I will fix that problem ASAP.  Still working on the creation of the Explorabull group. Hope to have some more members joining us soon.  We did our own little “pack” walk with two of the dogs, in two separate groups, just to see how it feels. (before this we only would walk the dogs individually believe it or not).  It felt great being able to have two at once.  We can’t wait to get a real Explorabull group running.

Stay tuned this week. More great posts to come!!

He’s really gone

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I thought I was doing really well with Lance being gone.  I guess not having to “not” see him every day it really hadn’t sunk in.  I had to go down to my parents last night and I thought it was going to be fine.  It’ll just be a little different.  I walked in the door and see his bed is still laying behind the chair in the living room but not big fluffy Lance in it.  Ok, a little sad.  I walked in and said Hi.  My dad got up and went to grab something.  He handed me a paw print.  It was Lance’s paw print.  The vet ever so kindly sent them 4 prints of his paws.  I just about lost it. Even sitting here typing this I’m fighting back tears.  He’s really gone.  I’ll never see him again. Never sit in that black chair and have him run waddle up to be pet. Never have him lay under the table at my feet.  Never have him bug us at the big family meals for food.  I thanked my dad for sharing that print with me.  I’m going to print up a photo of my Lance and frame it all nice.  That way I can see him every day and remember all our wonderful moments together. 

My Old Man Lance's paw

I got in the car today (I am borrowing my Dad’s for the weekend) and while driving to work I look out my right window while doing a lane change and see his nose prints.  I just lost it.  I don’t want them to ever wash those away.  They’re his little marks on the world.  His little doggie nose art.  A week later and I feel the wounds are so fresh. I really do miss him.  I just hope wherever he his, he’s running chasing balls and chewing on bones.  That’s really what he loved more than anything.

My First Boy Love

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I have been an animal lover of as long as I can remember.  I would always pester my parents to let me get a pet.  I’d do reports on how I would take care of them, walk them, clean up after them, etc.  I tried so hard to let them get me a pet.  We had a dog and a cat previously when we lived back East, but once we moved out West we were petless.  I tried for years to convince them and then to my surprise, the summer before I started high school, they said yes.  I couldn’t believe it!! I was so excited and did searching online to figure out what breed we would get.  I dreamed of a small to medium-sized dog, fun to play with, and a great snuggler.  Then one Saturday morning I woke up and was told we’re taking a little drive down south to get a puppy.  I was so excited!!!  When I asked what kind of dog it was, I was shocked by the response.  We’re getting a Golden Retriever.  See there was this movie, I’m sure some of you have seen it, called Air Bud.  It’s about a basketball playing Golden.  Yup, Air Bud is the reason we got a Golden.  That and they’re amazing with families. 

So off we went on our 1 ½ hour drive to pick out some puppies.  I already knew it was going to be a boy but we were able to pick out which boy we wanted.  We arrive to the house and walk into a room in the back to see a pile of soft, fluffy, wiggly puppies.  I just wanted them all.  I jumped in the middle and let them lick all over me.  Now was the hard part, which one to take home.  I immediately saw this little dark one sitting in the corner away from the siblings.  I asked if that was a boy and they said yes.  Picked him up and knew he was the one.  Then the owners came and said, “oh no, you can’t have that one.”  I was so disappointed but continued to look.  There was this little light-colored one chewing on Dad’s shoelaces.  He had little light lines on his shoulders and was so fluffy.  We decided since he picked Dad we’d take him.  We packed him up in the car and headed on home. 

On the ride home we started to talk names.  We really hadn’t planned anything so we were trying to come up with something really great and original.  Now a little embarrassing background on me, at this point in my life I was obsessed with this little new up and coming band called N’SYNC.  Yes that is right, N’SYNC.  I had watched a behind the scenes special and remembered the member Lance talked about how the second he’s on the tour bus he passes out.  I looked down and our new puppy sound asleep in his crate.  They both had golden blonde hair and fell asleep in the car. I made the suggestion and it stuck.  His name would be Lance and it fit him perfectly. 

That summer was amazing.  I had a brand new puppy, I was starting high school, and life was good.  That summer my sister and I went to band camp for a week.  The last day your parents drive up to pick you up.  I was so happy to see my little fluffy puppy, yes even more than my parents.  I took him over to meet all my new friends, and of course all the boys I had crushes on.  Everyone loved Lance and Lance loved everyone.    This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

Stay tuned for the continuation of Lance’s legacy…

It’s Never Easy

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It truly is never easy to say goodbye.  No matter how long you have prepared yourself for that one last time, it still hurts like a ton of bricks.  Later today we’re saying goodbye to our long loved family dog Lance.  We all knew the time was coming.  He is an elderly, almost 14-year-old, Golden retriever with severe allergies, hip dysplasia, thyroid disease and basically no teeth.  He now struggles to stand on a daily basis.  It is time to let him go.  I was told the decision had been made this weekend and I really didn’t have any emotion about it.  That was until last night when it really hit me. This was it.  No more big ball of fur laying next to my feet whenever I go to visit my parents.  I will post a little eulogy tomorrow when I can gather all my thoughts.  For now I want to say I will miss you Lance but I will never forget you.