Monday, March 2, 2015

Burning Up My Energy... (Video, DIY Flirt Pole)


I have a lot of crazy energy.  It is not unusual for me to tear around the living room at turbo-speed or to grab a rope toy and dance a whirling dervish. 

Hey!  When you live with people who play Spider Solitaire for fun, a terrier's gotta do what a terrier's gotta do!

And since I can get a whole lot rough (ruff?) when I play with people, Grandma did an online search of ways to help me burn some energy. What is a google?!?

She found this thing called a flirt stick.  Grandpa says it looks like a horse lunge to him.  These people use words that mean NOTHING to me! 

Anyway,  the grandparents went to Lowe's and the Dollar Tree to pick of a few things.



1/2-inch PVC pipe, about 4 feet
Duct Tape
Nylon Rope (thin enough to fit through the pipe) about 12 feet
Dog Toy



Slide the rope through the pipe and tie a knot, leaving an 8-inch tail.  This will become part of the handle.



Tie a knot at the other end of the PVC.  This will keep the rope from sliding back through.




Find the start of the Duct Tape.  This is harder than it looks!




Fold the short tail up and back on itself and begin taping it down.  You can stop here, but if you want it pretty (and I do want it pretty), continue to wrap the tape all the way to the end of the pipe.



Tie the toy tightly to the end of the rope.  You may need to adjust this depending on the length of your dog's leash.

And this is how you use it...

video


I love, love, love playing with the flirt pole!  Liam calls it my butterfly.  Whatever it's called, it is fun!  We have a friend who trains dogs for a living and she thinks this is a fantastic thing for me to do.  Not only does it help me burn off energy, it engages my brain. 

And when you are a very smart dog you MUST engage your brain.  Smart, bored dogs can become very destructive.

I still have a lot of energy but this can tire me out enough that I can concentrate better when we practice our calm commands.  The calm commands may be more boring but they are the ones that get me treats.  I'll do just about anything for a treat.  Except get in my crate. 

I'm way too smart for that trick!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meeting the Family...

Mom's brother came to meet me and I guess I made a good impression because he came back with some more people a couple days later.  Of course he liked me because I did a few tricks and stayed pretty calm. 

And then there is the fact that I'm totally cute!

Meeting people can go either way, though, because, as Grandma and Grandpa tell me, I need to learn to be gentle.  But sometimes I forget and do things like jump, scratch, and nip while I'm playing.  I am a puppy so I will eventually learn.

Hopefully.

So Uncle Zack, Aunt 'Manda, Levi, and Liam came for a visit.  I liked them immediately!

Levi took control right away...



Liam took a little more time to warm up, but he eventually took his turn playing with me...



Everyone played with me!!!



We ran and jumped and got a little wild.  Grandma wasn't very comfortable with all that so she was glad when Levi and Liam decided that we should all take a nap together.

In my bed.

We tried and tried to make everyone fit, but it just wasn't working out.  I think it was because of Wallace, my pet pig.  He is such a bed hog!



All good things must come to an end.  The boys didn't want to leave but it was time.  I was getting way too wild.  I scratched Levi's face and nipped Liam on the back.  I shouldn't have done that. 

They invited me to their birthday party, though, so I guess all is forgiven.  But I wasn't allowed to go. 

Something about "manners" and "opportunities to reconsider my actions" was mentioned.

There are just so many things to learn!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snow Days...

Brrr!
It has been really, really cold since I came to live with Grandma and Grandpa.  It isn't so bad when the sun is shining, but when the wind is blowing... WOW!  My short hair just doesn't keep me warm.

But there is this thing called "housebreaking" that I'm learning so I have to go out in the cold air. A lot. Every day! 

I haven't had any accidents since my third day here and I want to keep up the winning streak.  And it makes Grandma and Grandpa REALLY happy when I take my business outside.  So out I go.

And then one day... Snow.

Snow?  It looked sort of fun.
 


That snow stuff looks like fun!


But it wasn't!  It was colder than ever outside!  No wonder Grandma and Grandpa take so much time putting on coats and boots and hats and gloves every time we have to go out.

This snow stuff is NOT as fun as I thought it would be.
Grandpa helped me make some paths through the snow so that I didn't have to be in the deepest parts.  And I learned to enjoy it for a few minutes at a time.  I can make my own snowballs AND throw them for myself! 

But when it is time to go in, it is time to go in!  My skin gets so red when I am out for more than a few minutes.

So I jump in my bed and get under my blanket to get warm.

Gettin' warmed up.
And before you know it, it is time to go out again.

 
 
I saaaaaaid.... It is time to go out again!
 
 

 
 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Settling In...

Of course one of the first things that I did when I got to my new home was take a bath.  I was partially covered in poo, remember!

I stood very still and was very polite.  I wanted to make a good impression! 

Mom had sent a package full of my stuff ahead of me so I had my bath toy from when I had lived with her.  She is such a thoughtful Mom!

After I was all clean, Grandma and Grandpa gave me some of the other things Mom sent me and a couple new toys.  The orange bone with the treat inside is really fun!


New Toys!


Determined to get that treat!


After a while of chewing, and because I was so tired from my trip, I decided to check out my new bed.  And the bed felt sooooo good.  It didn't take me long to be completely zonked out!



Comfy new bed.

 
After a good night's rest, it was time to do a little more exploring.  The blanket and t-shirt that Mom had sent me were just out of the dryer (they got dirty on the car ride home) so I dragged them to my new bed. 
 
I heard Grandma say something about my bed looking a lot like my Mom's bedroom when she was a teenager.  I wonder what she meant by that?...
 


Friday, February 13, 2015

Flying to Grandma's...

I knew something was up on Wednesday night. 
Everyone was giving me extra loves and Mom was nervous.
I was right!
Mom had to leave me at the Little Rock airport at 4:30 the next morning.
I watched her walk away.
She cried.
I was okay, though, because I trust her.
She told me that I was going to Grandma's house.  This Grandma person sounded pretty amazing!
 
Somewhere up in the sky I heard them say "Atlanta".
"Atlanta" wasn't Grandma's because "Atlanta" wasn't any fun or cozy.  It was loud and nobody even petted me!

The next thing I knew, I was up in the air again.  This time I was headed to "BWI". 
I had no idea what that was, but I was sure hoping that it was taking me closer to Grandma.

I had already been in my crate for almost 12 hours when my airplane landed.
More loud noises.  More being jostled around.

And then I heard it... "Cheesecake!"
My name!  Someone said my name!
But it was a man, not a Grandma.
Oh, it was the GrandPA!  Mom told me about him, too!

Grandpa sounded so nice, and when he bent down to talk to me I knew he was good.

But I was still a little scared so I resisted coming out of my crate.

Grandma was talking to me just like Mom talked to me.  But I was nervous.

But Grandpa finally got me out and I was so happy!!  I was glad to get out of that crate.  It smelled like a cow barn.  I've never smelled a cow barn before, but Grandma assures me that it did, indeed, smell like a cow barn.


 
 
 
 
For the rest of the drive home, I slept on Grandma's lap. 



I knew this was good because these people cuddled me even though I was partially covered in poo. 
So they must love me, right?  


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Introducing Cheesecake...

Hi there!

My name is Cheesecake.  I am an American Staffordshire Terrier, which is a type of pit bull.  I began my life very likely in a puppy mill.  My family may never know for sure, but all signs point to that.

Cheesecake at 6 weeks old when she (unknowingly) met her future Mom.
 
I was taken away from my dog-mom at 6 weeks of age and given to someone who didn't take me for any veterinary care, didn't do any kind of responsible training, and decided to get rid of me when I required too much money and work. 

The best thing that my first owner did for me was to introduce me to a friend of his who loves dogs.  He left me with her a few times while he was gone for long periods of time.  So I bonded with her.  And she took me in when the likelihood of me ever finding a nice home was almost zero.

She was so afraid that I would become a bait dog for a dog fighter.  Who else was likely to take a pit bull with no shots and no housebreaking?   Dog fighting is a popular sport where I'm from.  And that's what people do with "undesirable" dogs like me.

I went to live with my human mom on a Tuesday night.  Since she wasn't allowed to keep animals in her apartment, her cousin agreed to keep me while she was at work.  I had other dogs and kids to play with so I was really happy!

On Thursday evening I started vomiting.  Mom had my first vet appointment scheduled for Friday morning but the vet thought the vomiting was caused by a food allergy.


Cheesecake before her first vet visit.
Not so.

By Friday evening I was very sick.

Mom took me back to the vet on Saturday morning where her worst fear was confirmed.  I had parvo.

Parvo is deadly.  Very deadly.  I won't go into details here.  Google it.  An $11.00 vaccination from Tractor Supply would have prevented my suffering.  Most puppies only survive parvo by being put on IV fluids.  But my mom couldn't afford for me to stay at the vet's office for a week.

So Mom and her cousin took care of me, syringe feeding me with water, Pedialyte, and broth for days.  They worked hard to save my life!  And the veterinarian was so proud of my Mom.

Cheesecake after she recovered from parvo.


So what's a dog's Mom to do when she isn't allowed to have pets? (She did get permission to temporarily keep me as long as she never left me alone in the apartment)

Send her to her own Mom, that's what!

It took a little over a month to get me caught up on my shots to the point of being able to fly to my Mom's Mom and Dad, who agreed to foster and train me until Mom could find a suitable place for us to live together. 

In the meantime, I got a case of demodectic mange (a sure sign of an irresponsible puppy mill breeder!)  This type of mange is purely hereditary.  The vet said that it should clear up on its own soon but gave me some medicine to help it not itch so badly.

And now, on February 12, 2015, I am on an airplane to meet my grandparents.