Monday, December 6, 2010

Lola and The Doggie Door

My dad decided to try a doggie door for Otis and Bear this winter.  It is much easier than opening the door every 5 minutes letting them in and out and in and out.  I think many of you know what I am talking about.  None of the dogs, including Lola, have ever used a doggie door.  So it required some teaching.

I stood outside and my dad was inside.  We showed helped each dog through the door and they all got it.  Well kind of.  Bear figured out how to go in and out.  But he had some issues getting back inside through the doggie door.  It was hard for him to push himself up on the ledge and then through the door.  But he could do it if he needed to.  Otis had a few more issues.  If we pushed the door open for him, he would go in and out.  But he would not use the door if he had to push it open.

And then there is Lola.  She had it down after a couple of times.  She loved it so much that she would stand with half of her body inside and half out.

She was content.  She could be in both places at once, no matter where the action was.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lola and Bear - Part 2

Here is what happened the second time Lola and Bear met.

When we get to my dad's house everybody is excited.  Lola can't wait to see her Otis and my dad, and Otis is excited to see me (and kind of excited to see Lola).  And now add Bear into the mix, who is excited because there is a new person and dog.  We knew from the get go, that we both needed to watch Lola and Bear closely.  We did not want anything going on. We let them smell each other and could tell immediately, that they were both acting uneasy.  (My dad and I both know Lola's queues and could tell she was uneasy.  Which is not a normal thing for her)

We finally realized Otis was not helping the situation.  (Poor Otis, he is stuck in the middle.)  He was somewhat excited about what was going on and that seemed to make Bear and Lola more excited.  We moved Otis inside to see what would happen. Lola and Bear sniffed each and then just left each other alone.  One step in the right direction.  Or so we thought.

Later, Lola and Otis were chasing the ball.  They both love this.  And while we were throwing the ball, Bear started getting excited.  He started getting into the mix.  As he was doing this, we realized he was very uneasy about Lola and Otis playing.  And it got to the point where started going after Lola in an aggressive manner, and we had to separate them. Bear seems to think that the playing is aggressive and reacts as it is an attack of some sort.

After this happened, we decided that we needed to try something different.  So we decided to take them for a walk together.  This actually went really well.  They would walk right next to each, bump in to each other, and even have there noses touching while they were smelling things on the ground.  And there were no problems.  And neither one was nervous.  Both were very happy to be on a walk.

Going forward, we will keep working on getting these two more comfortable with each other.  We think walks are a good way to start and work from there.  But we know it it will be an on going process.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lola and Bear (Mr. B) - Part 1

I introduced Mr. B to all of you a few weeks ago.  And first things first, Mr. B has been given a new name, Bear.  I am not sure where Bear came from, but he is responding to his name and seems to be fine with it.

If you remember, Lola and Bear were not fast friends.  When we first met Bear he was nervous and unsure of Lola and went at her a couple of times.  And then it starts to snowball.  It is strange though, because this has never happened with Lola before.  She has always been good with other dogs.

I think it comes down to Bear never really being socialized with other dogs.  (Obviously not his fault.)  99% of the time he is good with Otis,  but I think part of that is Otis. Otis is such a low key dog, and for the most part could care less out about other dogs.  But when Lola gets mixed in, aka high energy, we think Bear is overwhelmed and does not understand that Lola and Otis are playing and not being aggressive.  And when Bear sees it as aggression it leads to Bear snapping and going at Lola and then it snowballs.

So over the past month, Lola and I have made a couple of visits to the crew.  And it has been interesting. 
Come back tomorrow for the story of the second time they met.  (It would be a really long post if it were all in one.)

And now the picture.  If you notice, Bear has now taken over the couch and will not give it up, and Otis is stuck on the floor.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Words Lola Knows

We all know dogs are very smart. And I have to think that all of our dogs know certain works besides commands.  Lola knows some too.

That is a big one.  I can just say walk and she is up and ready to go.

Of course Lola would know the word eat.  She is always ready and will not pass up food. 

CAR! Want to go for a ride?
When she hears this, she knows she gets to go somewhere.  And where ever it is, she is happy to go

When I say park, Lola knows exactly where to turn and go to get to the park.  She loves the park.

And of course Lola knows the word squirrel.  When she hears that word she is on full alert and ready to hunt.

Lola also knows the names of her buddies.  I can so "Otis" or "Nina" and she will get so excited.  She has to know it means play time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Commands Lola Knows

When Lola was a puppy I put her in obedience training.  And we still continue to use some of that training. 

I think this is one of the first commands that is learned by most dogs.  And Lola has this one down.  She knows she has to sit before she gets her food or a treat.  I make her sit before we cross streets when we are walking.  And  I make her sit before somebody can come up and pet her on a walk.

These two go hand and hand.  Down is lay down. She only knows this from a sitting position, but hey, she still knows it.  I use this one when I am giving her treats are trying to get her to relax.  And the settle, is adjusting so her legs are in a more comfortable position.  I also use this one when I am giving her treats.

This is one I use before she can eat.  She has to wait and when I say ok, then she can eat.  I also use wait on walks a lot.  If I am cleaning up after her, or there is a dog in front of us, I will tell her to wait.  She knows she can still sniff and look around but she cannot continue walking.

This one is pretty obvious.  She must stay until she is released.  I will use this with treats or walking if there is another dog coming towards us.

Leave it is a big one and she is really good at it.  I use it when I drop something that I don't want her to eat, like a pill, and on walks.

In I taught her myself.  When we go for I ride, she does not get in the car until I tell her.  And that is when I say "IN" and motion in with my arm, and in she goes.

What other commands does your dog know?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Walk

It has been so nice here lately, it was in the 70s both Saturday and Sunday.  With this nice weather it made for some great weekend morning walks.  It was warm enough that all I needed was a light sweatshirt.  And Lola loved the nice weather too.

It has been so warm here, and there are still plenty of trees with leaves on them.  And I love the way the leaves look on the ground.  And the sound they make when you walk over them.

And there are plenty of trees that have lost all their leaves too.  It makes me kind of sad.  They look so bare and empty.

But the bare trees make it much easier to search for and chase squirrels.

And running and crunching through the leaves is so much fun.

And it was so nice that when we got home Lola when out on the porch to enjoy the nice weather before the snow that is reported to be coming this weekend.  I think Lola could sense it wanted to spend most of the weekend outside.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Back

Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2:00 AM. So don't forget to set you calls back tonight at 2:00 AM.  Or before you go to bed, which ever is easier.  Obviously, we will not be waking up at 2 AM to set our clocks back.  I am sure we will be fast asleep and we will enjoy our extra hour of sleep as well.

And now on to the Blog hop

Friday, November 5, 2010

Neighborhood Friends

One thing I love about having a dog is the fact that I pretty  much have to get up and take Lola for a walk.  And one think I have loved about our walks is meeting people in our neighborhood.  I don't know about you, but it can be hard to meet all the neighbors.  It seems like you usually meet a few people right next door or across the street, but it is hard to meet people a couple blocks over.  And to top it off, I get home from work and just want to relax, not go knocking on doors to meet people.  And they may think that is a little strange.

I have found with Lola, it has been very easy to meet new people in the neighborhood.  I mean really how could this face not make you smile.

Lola has a few buddies in the neighborhood, an English bulldog, Lulu, (who ignores her for the most part, but Lola loves her), a Saint Bernard, Jake, (they love chasing each other) and a couple boxers, Flin and Nina.  The best is when they all get together.  They all have a great time.  Lola can spot them a mile away and gets so excited when she knows her buddies are out. 

I think I see my friends!  Time to play!

Lola also loves seeing her human buddies.  She knows exactly where all of them live.  (There is even one couple that is nice enough to buy dog biscuits for the whole neighborhood, even though they don't have any dogs.)  She will stop in front of each of their house to see if they are home and want to come say hi.

Are you there?!  I want to say HI!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Doggie Bloggie Award

Thanks to Rescued Insanity for giving us the Doggie Bloggie Award!!  We could not be more honored!  And I love what was written about Lola, "It sounds like Lola and Shiva may have a lot in common."  It is always good to know that there are others out there that have gone through the same thing and understand. 

Here are the rules of the Doggie Bloggie Award:
1) Thank the person who gave the award and link to them.
2) Name 10 things about yourself-creative, weird, enticing, whatever.
3) Award 15 doggie bloggers-whoever you think deserves this regardless of whether they are old or new.
4) Share the love with the doggie bloggers you award by commenting on their site.
5) Finally, have a great time! After all, doggies are nothing if not fun!

Here are the 15 doggie bloggers I am passing this on to.  And they are in no particular order.  They are all great entertaining blogs. 
Maggie Mae
The Portuguese Water Blog 
Babies and Beasts
Dear Human Society Dog Blog
Dog is God in Reverse
Levi Mac
Murphy's Law
Scout's Dog Blog
Oh My Dog!

Here are the 10 things about myself.
1.  I am a numbers girl.  I love tracking and graphing things to see how things change. I know I am a nerd, but I just loving tracking things with numbers because you can learn so much from it.

2. I love craigslist.  For the past 2 to 3 years, I have been going through all my crap stuff and sold so many different things on craigslist, from clothes to games to electronics, and everything in between.  

3.  I love the company and people I work for.  I work with some very strong personalities but  we all seem to fit together like a puzzle and have a great time together, even when we are working.

4.  I love to read. And I read a huge variety.  Everything from Harry Potter (which I LOVE), the Shopaholic series when I need something fun and quick, more serious and in depth novels, and non-fiction, including math and science, economics and history.  I feel like there is so much to learn out there and books are a great way to learn new things. 

5.  I just started doing volunteer work this fall that benefits woman and children in my community.  I have had such a good life and have had more than I could ever want and need as a child, so I thought it was important that I give back to the community in some way.  And so far I am really enjoying it.

6.  I LOVE  I love getting free money for just using their search engine. 

7.  I usually read the blogs I follow in google reader.  I have separate folders set up and read them in a very specific order.  I know it is very strange.  I think it maybe my little bit of OCD. 

8.  I am a horrible spell.  And I mean horrible.  I am so grateful that there is now spell check.  I don't know what I would do if I did not have it.  So, I you see anything misspelled in my post (and I am sure there has to be some) please give me a pass. 

9.  I am a huge Cubs fan, (Yankees are my second team) and I know next year will be our year. 

10.  And if you have made it this far, I thank you.  I only had 11 posts last month, so I am going to work much harder on posting more this month. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Voting Time

It is that time of year again.  Time to vote.  And if your area is anything like my area, there is an onslaught of campaign commercials.  And if you are like me, they are probably driving you crazy and you cannot wait for election day so you no longer have to hear or watch them.

I received a mail in ballot, and completed it last week.  I  know there are a lot of things going on in politics right now and I think it is important to get out there and vote for who you think will do better for our country.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What Scares Lola

With Halloween this weekend, I thought it was a good time to talk about things that scar Lola. You would think with her tough appearance (some may disagree) and the fact that she is a bully breed she would have no fear.  With somethings that is true, but with others not so much.  Lola has some strange fears and dislikes.

One thing Lola has always been afraid of is water.  But not the type of water you are thinking.  I have taken her swimming before and she was not a fan, but she was not afraid of the water.  She is afraid of sprinklers.  Yes sprinklers.  I have no idea why.  But ever since she was a puppy, when we would walk and there was a sprinkler on, she would do whatever possible to avoid walking through the water from the sprinkler.  She will walk in the street, try to completely stop, whatever.  I have finally managed to get her to a point, where we can run past it.  Otherwise, we have to walk completely around it.

Another thing she is afraid of is umbrellas.  One day it was raining, and she needed to go out, so I figured why not open the umbrella when I went out with her. Big mistake.  I opened the umbrella and she freaked out and ran inside.  It took quite a bit of convincing to get her to go out after that.  And now, whenever I get the umbrella out she freaks out.  I was just trying to be nice and keep her covered from the rain, but it was not appreciated.

She is also scared of the baby gate.  A lot of dog owners I know get baby gates to prevent their dog from getting into trouble.  I put the baby gate at the stairs to the basement (there is no door).  There is just too much for her to get into down there.  Whenever I get it out to put in front of the stairs she gets very timid and backs away.  I know where this fear came from.  When she was a puppy, the gate fell on her.  She jumped on it and it fell.  Ever since then she has been terrified of it.

She is also terrified of skate boards.  I think it has to be the noise that scares her.  She goes into this state of confusion, where she is not sure if she should chase it or hide. 

What are somethings that scare your dogs?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Is Here

And it is about a month late.  (Which makes me happy.)  It has been unseasonable warm in the Denver metro area this fall.  It as been mostly 70s and high 60s.  Which I love.  It has been so warm that most of the trees were still green and had there leaves.  But this week, fall finally seemed to hit.

There are a nice variety of trees in my neighborhood, which makes for some beautiful fall colors.

I finally turned the heat on this weekend.  I was sitting on the couch freezing.  I went to see what the temperature was in the house and it was 63.  A little too cold.  So on went the heat.  But it has still been pretty warm during the day, so the heat has not been coming on much.  Which I love, because that means there will be a cheaper heating bill.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Great Walk

I know last week I bragged about how well Lola did on a walk, and now I have to brag one more time, (and then I promise I will stop for awhile.)  We went for an afternoon walk this weekend, and there was a woman walking with a little boy and a dog.  I could tell from quite a distance that the dog was walking the woman rather than the woman walking the dog.  And I know a lot of us have been that person, so I decided to walk in the street so we would be out of the way.  When we walked past the woman, she commented on how well behaved and in control Lola was.

I know a lot of other people have said this, but it is great to know that we are representing the American Bulldog and the bully breeds in a positive light.  And it makes me proud to know that we can show people that bully breeds can be great dogs.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vet Visit

Lola had a vet visit last Friday.  It was nothing serious, just a comprehensive exam.  I am happy to report that Lola is healthy and doing great.

The thing I find funny is the way Lola acts when she goes to the vet.  She absolutely loves it.  I have never known a dog who loves the vet as much as Lola.  And the thing I love, is the fact that the vets, techs, and front desk employees all LOVE Lola.  They think she is great and treat her so well.  With the comprehensive Lola is dropped of for the day.  And I feel at easy when I drop her off because I know how well they treat her and how happy she is there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Good Girl, Lola!!

Do you ever have one of those moments where you dog did something so well and you are just so proud, that you can't quite get it out of your mind?  Well, I had one this weekend.

We were going for an afternoon walk, like many other people.  And up the street on the same side, I saw there was Great Dane puppy.  (Well, puppy meaning probably 7 or 8 months, because he was pretty big.)  He made his dog sit, so I decided to cross the street so we were out of the way and he could continue with his dog.  So we cross, and I had Lola walking beside me.  As we continue walking, I told her to "leave it".  We kept walking and we started passing the puppy on the other side of the street.  I said "leave it" one more time.  As we walked by the puppy started barking and jumping (I know he wanted to say hi) and the poor owner was trying to get him to calm down.  And through all of this Lola just kept trotting along beside me not even paying attention to the dog across the street.  I could not believe that she did not even care.  She is usually gets excited when other dogs are excited.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Lost Dogs: A Review

I never really planned on reading The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant, but I saw there was an e-book at my library so I decided to give it a try.  I had nothing against the idea of the book, and I actually thought it was great that somebody wanted to write about what these dogs went through, but I thought it may be too difficult to read.  I was right in someways, but I was extremely wrong in others.

There are three parts to this book, and the first part was by far the hardest to read.  The first part, is about the investigation of the fighting ring. And I have to say,  there are some very specific details.  I actually skipped part of the first part.  I could not bring myself to read the horrific details that some of these dogs went through.  And the one part I did read, about what Michael Vick did to a dog was so horrific that I actually started crying.

Once I got to the second and third part, it was much better.  I could not put the book (or more correctly my nook) down.  I was hooked.  Gorant focused on specific dogs and told their stories, from the shelter, to foster home(s) and beyond.  I felt like I was right there with the dogs as they went through their troubles and triumphs.  I was especially drawn to Jonny Rotten and Jasmine's story.  Two very different dogs and situations.  But in both cases the humans that came in to help these dogs did amazing jobs giving them the love and affection and attention they never had.  They gave them a home and made them special.  

Jim Gorant did an amazing job of telling this story.  I felt like I could feel the different personalities of each of the dogs.  I felt like I was watching each dog.  I was laughing and crying throughout the story.  There are hilarious and sad moments.  Gorant, did a great job giving these dogs a voice and face.  They are no long the Micheal Vick dogs, they are Jasmine, Jonny, Sweet Pea, and so many more.

I would highly recommend this book, to any dog lover.  You will cry, but you will also laugh, and in the end I am sure you will love it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lola's Kong Mishap

As you have seen before Lola loves her Kong wobbler and is pretty good at getting the food out.  Well, she has has little mishap the other day. Lola came over to me with a look of desperation.

It first got stuck under the coffee table.

It is right there! Get it out.  There is still food in it!!

I got it out from under the table and Lola went right back to getting the food out.  I loosened the top and she can usually get it off and get the last 2 or 3 pieces out.

Then I got the same look of help me again.

I can't get it

 Then the bottom part of the wobbler got lodged under another piece of furniture.

I got it out for her and she made sure to get those last pieces of food.

Needless to say, it was a rough night with the wobbler.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Toys, Toys, Toys

Since Lola is currently my only child, I feel it is necessary to shower her with love, and affection and toys.  You have to make sure you child is happy, right?  So, of course, toys help with this, right.

Trying to get to the tennis balls.

Once Lola hit her destruction phase I thought toys would be a good distraction from the couch and other items.   So I started buying her all types of toys. She has everything from ropes to Kongs to balls to Nylabones.

Small selection of toys.

I think you have all figured out by now that Lola has jaws of steel. She can destroy almost anything.  And toys are right up there on that list.  I have come to point where I can tell by just placing a toy in my hand whether or not it will survive.  And let me tell you there are not many that survive.

There is a small piece of good news to this story.  Even though she destroys the toys, she does not usually eat them.  She usually tears them up in pieces and spits them out.  And then I go around picking up the pieces and trying to find the toy to throw away.   But, if have she is happy and had a good time with her toy. And really what more can you ask for.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing Mr. B

I got a call last week from my dad telling me that they are now a "Two dog family".  Otis has a new brother, Mr. B.  My dad was at a local end of summer festival and they had a bunch of dogs from shelters they were showcasing in hopes of finding them homes.  For whatever reason it was decided that Mr. B should become part of the family.  But it was not that easy, it was a 4 day mission trying to track the dog down after the festival.  But he was found.

Apparently, Mr B was picked up from a shelter, a few days before he was to be put down.  He was then taken to a no-kill shelter for a few months, and was moved to another no-kill shelter for another month.  And then he was showcased at the festival.  He is a black lab mix.

He is not in perfect health.  He is very overweight.  He is between 90 and 95 pounds and should probably be between 60 and 70 pounds.  He is about 8 years old.  He will be going on a diet and going on many walks to get to a healthy weight.

He is sweet around people, but he seems somewhat defensive and on edge around other dogs.  He is ok, with Otis, since Otis is so mellow, (although I was told he growled and snarled at Otis a couple of times).  But he was a bit on edge around Lola and her energy level and went at her a couple of times.  We put a stop to that very quickly.  But we think it will take sometime for Mr. B to be comfortable around Lola and her energy level.    Lola was fine and just left him alone after he went at her.  I think she knew and sensed what was going on and knew it was better to just let him go to sleep on the couch.

There will be more updates on Mr. B's new life (and diet).  We hope that once Mr. B is at a healthier weight and adapts more to his new home he will be more comfortable around other dogs.  I think he has had a rough life the past year, (and perhaps longer) and just needs to learn that everybody around him just wants to love him, (Lola and Otis included). 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Toys

The pictures need a little explaining.  Lola's toys are kept in a tote where she has access to them whenever she wants.  One day last week I came home and found this.  I am not sure if Lola was looking for a specific toy, or if she just could not decide.  She either found what she wanted or just gave up.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bath Time

Lola has been shedding up a storm lately.  I think she must be losing her summer coat.  (That may not be true but that is what I like to think.)  So I decided it was time for a bath.  Lucky for me, Lola does not mind baths at home.  (I do take her to the groomer periodically, but that can be expensive, so I give a bath at home sometimes too.)  First thing I say, is "In".  And she jumps in the tub.

Then it is time to get wet and washed.

I feel so naked without my collar.  Can we get this over with. 

She is very good when it comes to washing her.  She just stands there and lets me lather her up and get her nice and clean.  After the bath it is time to dry off.

Do you really need to take picture Ma?
And since it was a nice hot summer fall day, I thought it would be easier to just go for a walk and get dry by the sun.

I have to say going for a walk, and getting dry by the sun was much easier than pulling out the blow dryer. Now, Lola is nice and clean and white again.  And hopefully it will help a little with the shedding.