Tag Archives: Oscar

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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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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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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Oscar Goes Agili-doggin’!

Hello blog-o-sphere! Oscar-man here. I know, I know, it’s been awhile since I shared my wonderful bloggings with you, and I’m sorry for that – really, truly I am! It’s just that I have had a very busy 2014 so far. So very much to accomplish!! First, I had to do some serious snuggle-hiding through a Polar Vortex,

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Then, I got my vicious chompers cleaned at the doggie dentist, and I had to get a needle in my arm! Ouch-a-bunga!

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I’ve spent lots of time perfecting my “insisting” face. This is the one I make when I simply must have something from the human-folk.

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I must be getting good at it, because they’re starting to catch on.

Also, I had to turn FOUR!

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Not to mention, my hosting duties were called into play when I had to entertain various guests this spring, including my Aunt Amy.  Don’t we make a cute pair?

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Don’t let her face fool you, she loves my sweet kisses.

So as you can see, my year has been jam-packed with activity so far. Surely I would be ready for a break, wouldn’t you think? Well THINK AGAIN! This Oscar-man is ready for some FUN!  And I knew exactly what sort of funs I wanted. I had to listen to my silly brother go on and on about all of his funs he had during his agili-doggin’ last year, and I just knew that being the older-bigger-smarter-taller-better-looking brother, not only could I do anything silly brother could do, but I could probably do it way better. I So I begged Momma and Daddy to take me to agili-playground so I could have some fun too. And guess what?  This Oscar is taking to the Agility Course!!  And kicking it’s tail, if I do say so myself.

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Well I mean, OK, maybe I am a little bit scardy-pants about that weird tube thing, but after I saw that my Dad wasn’t scared of it, I put on all my braves and I ran right through there!

By the end of my agili-class, I am going to kick my silly brother’s tail and jumpings and runnings, you just wait and see!

For more information about Agility Class with Dogs & Kat, check out dogsandkat.com.

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Adventuring With Dogs

Last weekend I bravely embarked on an adventure with Oscar and Cooper that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time – a canoe trip.  It’s something I was pretty sure the dogs would enjoy, but I’d been putting it off for a long time because frankly, I didn’t know exactly “how” to do it.  I was nervous I wasn’t prepared for taking the dogs on such a journey, and I was worried because I had no idea how they would handle it. However, on this particular weekend, my adventurous spirit got the better of me and I thought, “I’m just going to do it.” So I rented a canoe, strapped it to the ol’ Honda, and off we went.

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Foster dad was otherwise engaged so I grabbed two of my girlfriends, one of whom is a total outdoor nut and is on the river often, so I at least had her to rely on as the expert of the canoe part of the trip. The dog part would be up to me. I resigned myself to the fact that the first 45 minutes or so of the trip would probably be pretty horrible, until the boys and I got our rhythm down.

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I was right. The first 45 minutes totally sucked.

Oscar almost drowned. Well maybe not actually nearly drowned, but he sure freaked me out.  The canoe probably freaked him a bit at first, because one of the first things he did as we pushed off was jump right out in the middle of the river.  Now, Oscar has been swimming plenty of times, and is very at home in the water. But, at this particular point in our journey, there was nowhere in sight easy to pull off to the shore and hoist him back into the canoe. So, poor Oscar had no choice but to swim along side the canoe until we could find somewhere to pull over. It was definitely the farthest he’d ever swam, and I thanked my good sense that I had put him in a life jacket with a handle on the top. Picture me carrying an Oscar suitcase over the side of the canoe as he paddled along. He did not jump out again.

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We nearly lost Cooper over the side as he tried to eat the splashing water. Cooper has a thing for splashing water, remember? However I think he learned from Oscar because we managed to keep him in the boat.

We nearly lost both the boys on a stop, after they swam to the other side of the river and scrambled up a steep bank. This was easily the scariest moment of the day. After Oscar abandoned ship and we nearly lost Cooper over the side as well, we decided we needed to pull off and regroup. We found a nice little pebbly area and pulled the boats up onto the rocks. It looked like a great secluded spot where there was “nowhere for the dogs to disappear off to,” and they could splash around and release some energy.  Well that was a foolish thought. Almost immediately both Oscar and Cooper bounded into the water, swam to the opposite side of the river and climbed out onto some slippery rocks. Too nervous to jump back into the water off of said slippery rocks, Oscar just froze and Cooper scrambled up the steepest river bank I had ever seen – I would have thought there was no way he could have gotten up there, but he proved me wrong!  Thankfully he was responsive to my calls and came back down (who knows what was at the top??), but he still didn’t want to swim back across the river. So, I did what any momma would do, and went to the rescue of my boys in need. I waded across to collect them.

Once I got out into the river I realized it was traveling faster than I thought, so even if the boys had jumped in to swim back across, they would have ended up way down stream. Thankfully the water only came up to my waist so I was able to keep two feet on the river bottom, and coaxed Oscar and Cooper off of the rocks into the water. I held onto their life jacket handles as they swam along beside me back safely to shore, where they stayed safely clipped to their long leashes for the rest of the trip.

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Cooper peed in the boat.  Yep, nothing else really to say about that.

So what did I learn?  Lots. First of all, no matter how good of swimmers I think they are, life jackets are super important for the dogs. No, not important – necessary. Oscar and Cooper are both great swimmers, but I can’t shake the feeling that something horrible could have happened if they hadn’t been wearing them. Shoot, if for no other reason than ease of picking them up, they are the best money I’ve ever spent on dog stuff. Both Oscar’s and Cooper’s vests were from Outward Hound, and they worked perfectly.

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Second, they boys have to stay leashed. As much fun as it is to let the dogs run around on their own and let them swim and play at will, the fact is that they don’t have enough off leash training for me to trust them to stay close, even in what I think might be a safe atmosphere. Even after we returned safely from the other side of the river, Oscar tried to swim over again. This time, since he was on a leash, I could gently spin him around and bring him back to our side.

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Third, seating arrangements: at first, I thought it would be better if my friend sat in front of the canoe, and for me to sit in the back so I could keep an eye on the boys. As it turns out, the person in back is pretty dang important to things like steering, and you know, going. I was so distracted by the dogs most the time that we ended up hitting trees, rocks, and even spinning completely around backwards. After our regroup, my friend and I switched positions and I sat in the front but faced backwards. That way, if I had to stop paddling to keep a dog from jumping out or something, it wouldn’t matter as much as if I had been in the back.

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The last thing I learned is that there’s always going to be a “first time” you do something new with your dogs. You can live in fear and worry and wait until you magically know that everything will go perfectly, or you could realize that some things are impossible to predict, prepare as best you can, and just jump in. I would absolutely take the boys canoeing again. Next time, it still won’t go perfectly, but it will go a little better. And a little better still the time after that.  Hey, even by the end of this first trip, I had two dogs laying down in the canoe. And that’s pretty darn good.

Plus, then they came home and did this…

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….can’t beat that!

So, now I ask you guys…what kind of adventures to do you go on with your dogs, and how did your first time go? How did you prepare, practice and get better?  Or, what’s something you’ve wanted to do with your dog, but have put off because you’re nervous about how it will go?  Please share your canine adventurings below!

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Cooper’s Christmas Vacation: SNOW!

Cooper is a Southern dog. He was picked up as a stray in Nashville, Tennessee and thrown in the slammer. Foster Dad and I busted him out, and he’s been living with us in our home for the past year. Cooper has never left the state, and has certainly never seen snow.

"I dunno 'bout da snow, but I know I like da sunshine!"

“I dunno ’bout da snow, but I know I like da sunshine!”

All that changed on our Christmas trip to Ohio.  Ohio got hit with a crazy snow storm the day after Christmas, and we could not wait to get the dogs out into the snow to see how they’d like it. Oscar has seen snow before, but not to this extent. This was that miserable nice heavy, wet, big-flake snow that accumulates in inches with a quickness and sticks to every surface it touches.  Miserable to drive through, but beautiful to look at and wicked fun to play in.

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Luckily for the boys, Ohioans are used to this sort of weather event and were not impressed. Most people did what any sane normal person would do, and hunkered down inside with a bottle of bourbon. But not us, oh no sir – we had very important business to conduct. We had to introduce a Southern dog to SNOW!

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We found a deserted tennis court, and after doing a perimeter check to make sure all the gates were secure, we unclipped leashes and let ’em at it.

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They. Had. A. BLAST!

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The boys already think that Foster Dad hung the moon, but after that day their admiration for him reached new heights when he came up with a new Most Fun Game in the World Ever – catching snow balls.

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Foster Dad and I haven’t had this much fun watching the dogs play since the Mud Bowl.

The boys could have been out there all day, but remember how I mentioned that the snow was super wet and heavy? Yeaaaaaaah that means it melted as soon as it hit me and Foster Dad, leaving us soaking wet and freezing. So after about 30 minutes we called it a day, but it was plenty enough time to wear the fur-kids out substantially.

That is one tired Oscar-man.

That is one tired Oscar-man.

And what’s the best part about getting completely tuckered out in the freezing cold? Snuggling up on a cozy warm hotel bed for a nap.

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So in summary, according to the boys…SNOW = FUN!

If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, his adoption fee will be waived thanks to a generous donor! Please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

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Cooper’s Christmas Vacation: Hotel Dog

Foster Dad and I are both originally from the great state of Ohio. Though we don’t make it every year, we love being able to go back up there around the holidays to visit family and friends, and possibly get to see some of that horrible wonderful winter weather that we moved down here to avoid.

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This year, for a variety of reasons, we thought it would be easiest for all parties involved if we stayed in a dog-friendly hotel during our trip. And thanks to a friend who works there, we got a great room for only a couple bucks more per night than it would have cost us to board Oscar. Shout out to the Capitol Square Holiday Inn, you guys rock!

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It was never in the original plan for us to bring Cooper with us on this trip. Since Coop is a foster dog, Agape Animal Rescue makes arrangements for him whenever we go out-of-town. However, the best laid plans of mice and dog owners…. anyway, there were several things that contributed to our decision to travel with Cooper. First of all, it was the holidays, and of course all the boarding places were pretty booked up. Though they would have pulled it off, it would have been tougher than usual for Agape to find somewhere for Cooper.

Oscar investigates the Christmas decorations in the hotel lobby.

Oscar investigates the Christmas decorations in the hotel lobby.

Secondly, Cooper had his tooth pulled just a couple of days before we planned to leave.  He was going to be on a slew of medications and have his food softened while he recovered. We would have felt horrible dumping that situation on someone else, plus, we’re parents! We worry about our fur-kids. So, since we had the hotel room booked anyway, we thought heck – bring him along!

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Just like with human kids, they key to keeping travel with pets stress-free less stressful is preparation. We pre-measured out enough food for each meal, packed up all of Cooper’s medications as well as a doggie first aid kit, we even brought strategic cleaning supplies and towels just in case there were any, uh…”accidents.” We made sure each of the boys got brand new toys to keep them occupied in the room.  They each got new stuffies, and Oscar got an antler too.

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Unfortunately, Cooper was on a strict “no antler” regimen while his mouth healed, but he didn’t seem to mind. He loved his new stuffed fox so much that he slept with it.

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We also made sure to bring some familiar pieces of “home” with us. That meant they got to snuggle up in their own blankets.

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Finally, we kept the rules consistent to when we were at home. They eat their meals in separate rooms at home, and thankfully we had a suite so we were able to feed them in different rooms at the hotel as well. At home, they have to sit and wait politely before they are allowed to eat – ditto for the hotel. We allow the pups on the furniture at our house, so we let them have the run of the hotel room too (sorry if that’s not cool, Holiday Inn).

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At home, the pups sleep in our bed with us. So, naturally….

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…again, sorry Holiday Inn.  They don’t shed! (much)

Oscar has stayed in a hotel with us before, but this was a “first” for Cooper. We honestly had no idea what to prepare for, or how he would act.  Fortunately, overall I’d say we did pretty well. Cooper had a great time with all the new experiences of the week (check back later to see how Cooper did city-walking, and how he feels about snow!) Let’s be honest, as long as he’s with His Pack, Cooper is happy and having a great time. So would we do it again?  Well, hopefully Cooper will be adopted before we get the chance!  

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If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

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