#TBT Christmas 2014

We’re breaking all the rules today! Here’s why:

I’ve been a total Grinch this year and have not put up a single Christmas decoration. I may have used up all my Christmas spirit last year, when I hosted the holiday at my house. This year I’ll be traveling and didn’t much see the point, so all my lovely decorations stayed in their boxes.

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I never shared any holiday photos of the boys from last year, when I had one of the most kick-ass trees I can remember. Shame on me, and what a waste!

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This week’s Throwback Thursday just happens to fall on Christmas Eve, so we’re changing it to Throwback Tuesday!

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So with that said, from our house to yours… Merry-Happy-Jolly-Christmakwanzacha to all, and to all a good night!

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Dogs Vs. Celery

Hello, Blogosphere!

Quick update: everyone’s great! OK now that the catch-up part of this post is complete, on to the main event: a video of The Boys eating celery.

You know how parents love recording their human kids trying new foods for the first time? Human kids really aren’t my thing, but I decided I wanted in on that action. So without further ado, I bring you Oscar & Cooper’s first interaction with celery.

I love this video so much for so many reasons, mostly because this it is a great representation of each of their personalities. Cooper approaches life with reckless abandon, and is immediately trusting of anything his Person throws his way. Any time I offer Cooper a new food to try, he gobbles it up, no questions asked.

Oscar on the other hand has a much more discerning palate. When faced with a new culinary adventure he approaches it cautiously, examining every angle before diving in. The smell, the texture, and the size of the tasty nugget are properly considered before ingestion can take place. Even then, sometimes the new food won’t make the cut. (Ex: The Great Failed Raw Carrot Experiment of 2012.)

And of course when all else fails, just rip it apart!

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I Ain’t Scared…

Yoooouuuuuuuuuu guys…..I was going to do a Facebook post for you all about this, but I am just too excited and the gravity is too huge. I have news of the most epic proportions that I had no choice but to dust off this ol’ blog and share it with you. The most EXCITING thing has happened!

This dude…this adorable precious furry little ball of anxiety, can finally cross something off his “I am terrified of this!” list.

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After three years, Cooper has successfully been desensitized against…

The Evil Blender.

Cue the fanfare and trumpets!

Ever since Cooper came to live with us, he has had a very long list of Very Scary Things that will send him into a barking hackled nervous frenzy. The Evil Vacuum Cleaner, The Evil Mailman, The Evil Paper Shredder, The Evil Dog Barking on TV, The Evil Next Door Neighbor’s Car Door, The Evil Lawn Mower…to name a few.  And until recently, The Evil Blender has been on this list, which was not the most conducive to mom’s morning smoothie routine.

So how did I do it? Nothing fancy, just simple good old-fashioned repetitive (very repetitive) treat training. Cooper was asked to “sit” on the rug in the kitchen while I used the blender. I would keep eye contact with him, call him a good boy, and start with very short blending bursts. At first it was just for one second. I turned it off before he could react, offered sooo much praise, lots of pets, “good boys” and most importantly if you’re as food motivated as Cooper: treats!

I gradually over (many) weeks increased how long I could run the blender without stopping and giving him a treat, making sure to go very slowly so we didn’t back-slide. Of course, Oscar was right there for brotherly moral support – and treats of his own – every step of the way.

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And holy cow you guys this morning…Cooper actually got up and walked away to get a drink of water while I was using the blender. I’d call that a MAJOR win for the Coops, and I am absolutely bursting with momma pride. So with this momentous milestone, we are now officially demoting The Evil Blender back down to ordinary kitchen appliance status, and it will from here on be known as simply “the blender.”

This is a big day.

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New Year, New Medical Emergencies!

Happy 2015, blogosphere!  Wow, we’ve been pretty radio-silent since August, huh? Well I’d love to say we’re making a New Years resolution to post more often, but who are we kidding? Thanks for sticking with us through the quiet times!

So, we had a little adventure over the weekend! Cooper came in from playing outside with a minor injury, with some major bleeding.

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He split his back toenail right in two! If you recall, Molly Tamale had a similar injury when she was with us, so we knew not to be extremely worried, but we also knew it needed attention. And naturally, since it was after hours at our regular vet, off to the emergency clinic we went…

The staff at Nashville Pet Emergency Clinic were wonderful! They took great care of our little man, and were even understanding when we explained that he’s not a fan of other animals. They cleared the waiting room of their feline welcoming committee and got us right into an exam room. In true Cooper-fashion, our brave little warrior showed no pain and distress while waiting to see the Doc. He was just excited for an outing, and that ever-wagging tail never stopped.

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Little Coop was sedated while they trimmed back his nail to the healthy quick, stopped the bleeding and wrapped him all up. I remember thinking, that’s a lot of bandage for a little toe nail! But at least it stayed put.

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Once we got home Cooper was pretty loopy for the rest of the day. He kept falling asleep sitting up! Cooper got lots of snuggles and lots of rest, and by the next day he was good as new. And still – never showed any signs pain or discomfort. Such a little Cooper-trooper!

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While a trip to the emergency vet is never fun (or cheap!) we’re certainly glad we have a great facility like Nashville Emergency Vet available to us. They’re open every night and weekend, so even though we hope we never need them again we’re sure happy they’re there. Never a dull moment around here!

I feelz better!

I feelz better!

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Pool Day

Oh my goodness, another record…Four months of silence on the ol’ bloggity-blog!  **hangs head in shame**

I promised you dear readers that we weren’t going anywhere, that even though we adopted Cooper and are on a semi-permanent hiatus from fostering, that the blog would live on. So, thanks to a gentle nudge from one of our favorite blogs, live on it shall…

You guys, is it hot where you are this summer? Because in Nashville, it is HOT. We are finally to a point in our ongoing backyard project where it’s becoming a usable space, and what better use to put it to than to help keep the pups cool on a hot summer day?

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Oscar loves the water, we know this for sure. Cooper is OK with it, though not quite as enamored with the wet stuff as his brother. We were interested to see how he would like his very own pool. So we dusted off the ol’ Sirius Republic water-doggin’ collars and a kiddie pool and let the magic happen. Oscar’s reaction did not surprise us, though it appears that Coop was much more interested in his old dear friend, the garden hose.

And of course what’s any good pool day without a little sunbathing?

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One five dollar kiddie pool =  two happy pups.

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How do you keep your pups cool in the summer? Are they water-lovers like Oscar or would they rather keep their paws dry like Cooper?

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Busy Bee

We have been lucky here in Nashville to have had some bee-you-tee-ful weather in the past few weeks. After being cooped up all winter, hibernating and hiding from the Polar Vortex, we have been taking full advantage of it!

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All of the walks and sun-loungings in the world cannot compete with Cooper’s favorite spring time activity: chasing carpenter bees.

We’re not too surprised Coop enjoys passing his time this way. The bees are big, slow-moving tempting targets, and Cooper has displayed similar tendencies with water hoses and snowballs. Although, I have a feeling that the first time he actually catches a bee might be the last time he attempts it!

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“Imma getchoo, bee.”

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Oscar’s Adventures in Agility: Week 4

We decided to put Oscar in agility class for a few reasons. Cooper has been getting a lot of attention with his TTouch sessions, and his own round through agility and other training classes. Poor Oscar, being the perfectly calm confident good boy that he is, has been getting left a home alone, bored out of his gourd, while Cooper got to go out and have all the fun! No freakin’ fair.

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“Le sigh….”

The second, and if we’re being totally honest here, probably the main reason we decided to put Oscar in agility class is that even though on the whole he’s a pretty well-adjusted guy, he does have his kryptonite: the kitchen floor. For some reason the tile just freaks him out. He’s fine if he has his next non-tile surface in sight – he can go from rug to rug in a straight line, no problem. But if he has to round a corner, fuhgeddaboudit. It simply cannot be done without plenty of whining and whimpering and “COME SAVE ME!” panic.  Seriously, it’s embarrassing.

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So our goal with agility was to help Oscar gain some confidence on unfamiliar surfaces. For the first few weeks, as we expected, Oscar did great jumping over and running through things. But the obstacle we just knew would give us trouble was on the horizon – the dreaded teeter totter. Thankfully, dog trainer extraordinaire Kat Martin is no dummy, she knows that you don’t expect (most) dogs to just jump up on something like the teeter totter with no preparation. So, we work up to it. Enter: the wobble board.

The idea with the wobble board is for Oscar to associate the wobbley-ness with Very Good Things (i.e. hot dogs). Oscar was pretty nervous starting out, so at first anytime he just put his foot on the board he got rewarded. There were other dogs in the class who just walked right over top of it and off the other side completely unphased – obviously, we’re not quite there yet.

Luckily, as much as the wobble board (and eventually the teeter totter) will take some serious work, Oscar seems to be a natural at the rest of the obstacles. After just four weeks, we could not be more proud of his progress. Check out our boy:

Of course we’re not flawless, but he’s totally killin’ it, and that tail never stops wagging. Oscar and Dad and I all had a total blast during this class, and we can’t wait for the next session to start!

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“Imma make that wobble board my b*tch, just you wait and see…”

For more information about Agility or other training classes with Dogs and Kat, visit www.dogsandkat.com.

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