Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm Tired.

When Rusty comes home from doggie daycare, it's lights out for a few hours. He might or might not get up when you open the back door...
But his poor paws... they must be so sore from running around all day!
Um. Yeah. I think he needs a nail trim.
Ok, so notice where his back leg is. IT'S ON MY PILLOW. MY PILLOW.
Ahhh... Rusty... I wish I could sleep all day sometimes! What a bed hog....

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Pool

Ahhh.. finally... a cool place to lay down on a hot day....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pickle Butt

Rusty has the new nickname of Pickle Butt.

Last night I was trying to open a jar of pickles unsuccessfully and so Bimmer Man had to open it for me. Meanwhile, we're trying to work on Rusty's fear of pots and pans so we have him sit near us whenever we're in the kitchen.

As one of us is practicing focus on obedience with Rusty, the other one gently makes the pots and pans swing together, or wash dishes loudly, clank glasses together, etc... We are trying to slowly get him used to the scary (but not really) sounds of the kitchen. This is total desensitization to a dog that has never been inside before. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to e-mail me and I can go into further detail about his fear reactions and his fears. So we use treats, praise, toys, whatever we possibly can to make the kitchen and its utensils a fun place to be. Jerky works well, so does boiled chicken. And um, if you're out of treats, pepperoni works too.

So I hand over the jar of pickles and Rusty stands up (he likes his butt rubbed... I know... get your mind out of the gutter!).

Bimmer Man tries to open the pickles. Doesn't work the first time.

So he totally tilts the jar to get a better grip and it pops open, spilling pickle juice all over Rusty's butt.

And so Rusty had the lovely scent of pickly juice on him last night.

He needs a bath.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Your Bed!

How many times does Rusty lay on the couch when he's supposed to be on his bed?

Umm... we're not good owners there because he does it every day. But he chews on his toys and gets his Kong on his bed. We've made his dog bed a good place. New toys = only on the dog bed.

So when visitors come over, do we want Rusty to go to his bed and stay there until we say it's ok? Yes, we definitely do. What if it's the UPS guy with a package - like new shoes! I don't want Rusty running out the door, barking or being a general MONSTER. Instead, I'd like him calm, relaxed and in his "safe spot" in the living room.

So to teach On Your Bed you'll need:

1. Dog bed
2. High value treats
3. The Dog
4. Clicker (if you use the clicker)

Step 1. Start off with lots of room around you. Place the dog bed in between you and the dog.

Step 2. With a treat, lead Rusty onto the dog bed and say "On your bed!"

Step 3. Lead him into laying down.

Step 4. Once his body is laying down, click and treat.

Step 5. Repeat several times.

Remember - dogs do get bored easily, so once they learn it, you're going to have to switch it up a little bit. Bring the bed into the kitchen, the bedroom and outside. Dogs don't generalize, so if you want to make sure that Rusty knows how to do this in several different places, make him do "On Your Bed" with different beds and in different places. Just make sure that you let Rusty know which bed is his to begin with (what if there's more than one dog? You want them to have their own spots, so in that case, always use the same dog bed).

Here's a short video that explains it a little more - just make sure that your dog is in the laying down position, they'll have an easier time when you put them in a stay.

Have fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FYI: AKC Mixed Breed Program Details

Here's a link to the PDF explaining more.

It's interesting - one step in the direction of calling mutts dogs. Hmmm... Agility would be good for Rusty - he'd gain more confidence and in turn, most likely wouldn't be afraid of garbage cans on the street anymore.

Unfortunately it looks like "mixed breeds" are still stand alone classes, not really incorporated into the purebred classes.

Oh, well. I think most mixed breed dog owners are just happy to have their dogs! If I run across anymore articles, I'll post the links.

The ORKA Chew Toy

Rusty loves his interactive toys, especially his Tug-a-Jug which I have to refill at least once a week (I put two cups of kibble in it - he can use the extra food!) and now this new toy.It's called an Orka chew toy. Two ends are hollow and go through the entire toy - meaning you can fill it with treats. If you fill it with softer treats but that are larger, Rusty has a hard time getting them out but it keeps him entertained. There are two other ends which don't go all the way through, but you can fill with peanut butter and it lasts a little bit - but definitely not as long as a frozen Kong.

Total time lasted: 21 minutes

I haven't really used this as a throw toy - because it is hard so it would break a window, the Wii, a vase, the TV, whatever. I'll take it outside later this week and see how it does at the park, but it does float which is sort of why I bought it in the first place. When Rusty moves to Minnesota, he's going to need something to chase in the lake.

Perfect! I just hope that squirrels don't swim!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Need A New Dog Bed?

How cute are these? Totally eco-friendly and made from recycled materials, these plush and comfy dog matts are super cute.

I have to think twice about ordering one for Rusty - simply because of the price - $110 for an extra large bed. I'm all for eco-friendly and what not, but man, does eco-friendly cost more than I wanna spend! I guess that's the drawback to having a large, 77 pound dog. It's size. And big beds cost more. And so do the big treat toys too. Go figure!

There's free shipping on orders over $75 so don't be shy about ordering from Muttropolis. They have a variety of toys, collars and leashes (take a look at the hemp stuff!) and they even have a cat section too!

(Plus, if you sign up for their newsletter, you get 10% off your first order!)

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

They Even Shaved His Junk!!!

Poor Rusty. He was so dirty from two days at daycare, muddy from the rain. It was time for a grooming.
And so he went.
Where they shaved his feathers. And his junk. Seriously. Look. Normally, you don't see his junk!
And so he gets a little embarrassed at times of his new hair cut.
But you know, when there's a squirrel, he doesn't mind. There's less wind resistance when he's running across the yard.
Have you ever seen a dog lay like this? He splays his back legs out - sometimes to the side, but mostly to the front.
Oh, Rusty MONSTER.
With your skin problems...
And your shaved junk.
I absolutely have to teach you how to stack. Because you do it - just not always when I want you to! Normally, he feathers all along his stomach and he rear legs. He usually has longer fur around his ears and feathers along his front legs.

Never again will we go to a groomer who has a love affair with the shaver.

The Obama Dog

Way interesting - right? Um, kind of. It's a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo. I wonder if they'll hire a behaviorist or if they'll go an obedience class like the rest of us!

The dog was a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy who has three of his own - according to this article on

Bo is super cute - but I'm more excited to see how the training will go! And what the dog bowls will look like (where will it eat in the White House?) and if they bring it to doggie day care!

Good luck with the training! And have fun! Don't forget the Frontline Plus or the heartworm pills every month!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who Wants More Coupons?

For Petsmart:

$15 off your next in-store purchase of $60 or more


10% off your next online purchase of $50 or more (Online coupon code = BEST10)

Click here!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is Your Doggie A Shelter Survivor?

I'm totally tempted to get this for Rusty - HA!! He's a definite shelter survivor and I think that it'd be awesome to display that loud and proud! I just hope that it fits!

You can purchase it here from Punk Rock Dogg. And it's only $19! What a deal!

Do You Get the Wellness E-Newsletter?

If not, then you can view it here!

Generally I'm not much for pet product newsletters - especially because with any health issue they're going to solicit their own products.

There's also printable coupons! Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter for next month!

Treats: lamb Jerky

Solid Gold Lamb Jerky.

It smells like jerky.

It looks like jerky.

Um, No, I haven't tasted it yet but it looks like it'd taste great!

In any case, it's great for dogs with limited diets - meaning there's no fillers and this doesn't have any crap in it. At the local pet store (ok, really it's Petco) they just started selling more natural and limited ingredient dog food. Very exciting! It makes the better foods for dogs more available to dog owners.

In any case:


Lamb Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Cracked Oats
Tapioca Meal
Lamb Liver
Phosphoric Acid
Unrefined Brown Sugar
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder
Natural Mesquite
Potassium Sorbate
Vitamin E

Hmmm... definitely not going back to any other doggie jerky...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Too bad it wasn't blue!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Wait! I gotta open the door!"

Do you talk to your animals like I do? I tell Rusty about my day. And sometimes I think he actually understands me.

But he doesn't speak human. And generally, I can kinda make out "dog" and his expressions, but you know - I'm not a mind reader!

And Rusty doesn't understand when I have groceries, a purse, cell phone, dog leash and keys in hand. And here's the importance of the command "Wait." He sits and waits for you to do whatever you're doing until you say he can move.

So it's a little different than STAY. Stay means stay. Wait means, don't move but you're going to move soon - pay attention to me.


What you'll need:

Door that swings towards you
6 foot leash
The dog

Step 1: Look at the door - you're going to have to make a rough judgment at how far it swings out. You don't want the door hitting you or the dog.

Step 2. Walk up to the door giving ample room for you to open the door and put Rusty in a SIT on your left hand side.

Step 3. With your left hand, swing it in front of Rusty's face (basically, do the robot with your left arm) and say, "Wait."

Step 4. Rusty's eyes will follow your hand movement, so as soon as your done with the hand signal, turn your body to face your sitting dog and back towards the door making sure that Rusty is NOT moving.

Step 5: If he moves, repeat from the beginning until he doesn't move.

Step 6: Open the door, you can either face the door or the dog - just make sure Rusty doesn't move. (Remember, what if you had groceries in your arms? A baby? Open can of pop?) Make sure he understands that yes, in a minute he can move, but not now!

Step 7: If Rusty moves, repeat from the beginning until he does NOT move.

Step 8: Go through the door, either backwards or forwards (this is the most tempting part because it looks like you're leaving him!!!).

Step 9: If Rusty moves, start from the beginning.

Step 10: After you make it through the door, then you can say, "Thank you! Rusty, let's go!" and Rusty is free to follow you.

So, that's WAIT.

Pretty easy? Kind of? It works well for getting in the car, "Wait! The door's not open!" or going to someone else's house, "Wait! The screen door's NOT open!" or just unlocking your own door to your house.

Remember - dogs don't generalize, so practice wherever you possibly can!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Calming the Separation Anxiety

It's hard. We know it. Rusty knows it.

You're leaving and it seems like FOREVER. But really it's not. It could be 5 minutes. It could be 5 hours.

But still - Rusty thinks, "Momma? Why are you leaving me? Don't leave me!!!"

But work calls and it pays the bills. What do we do to calm separation anxiety?

Work at it every day. Little by little.

1. Practice by just leaving room. Every day. At random intervals (Ok, commercial breaks during Grey's Anatomy or The Young & The Restless). For 10 - 30 seconds.

2. Dogs don't have emotional feelings like we have emotional feelings. They don't know the words, "It's OK." They think that loves & kisses = that's an ok behavior to exhibit because I'm being rewarded for acting this way.

3. Ignored Rusty completely 5 - 10 minutes BEFORE LEAVING and 5 - 10 minutes AFTER RETURNING. That's the most important.

4. Give treats when you leave. Make it fun. Fill up Kongs with peanut butter, yogurt, treats and then freeze. They last pretty long too - so you give the treat before you leave and voila! Instant entertainment and distraction!

5. If you crate during the day (we do at night and also randomly during the day), make the crate fun and exciting with a "new" toy every time and calming by making it relaxed. Rotate out the toys you have, whether it be different tasting chew toys, rope toy or a busy toy. Then make the crate nice and comfy to encourage sleep (The distraction is for when they wake up or right when you put them in). Put a lavender satchet on top of the crate or use a scented room spray. It helps.

These are our Top 5 tips for Rusty.

He's come a long way. He still barks at the door if I go to the car, but that's much better than where we used to be!

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's Been Nuts! And Anxiety..

Rusty started Intermediate obedience classes and just to our luck - there's another dog that's been rescued has some of the same problems! Ok, so it's not really lucky, but as owners we can compare and contrast what works and what doesn't, especially with skittish dogs that have separation anxiety. (Oh, I HAVE to blog about what we've done to combat anxiety!)

It's a super cute Dalmatian that has anxiety around people. It needs personal space much like I do. I back away. And I back away fast. Sometimes I back into walls trying to get away, so I know exactly what this dog feels like! If you put a hula hoop around me, well, that's my bubble. You can't come into my bubble unless I give you the cue to come in (like I want to give you a hug).

But Bimmer Man and I are pretty good therapy people for dogs. To ease this Dalmatian's anxiety all we got to do was or sit and just be. We could either pet the dog on its back (started at the top of the shoulder and petted in one long stroke down to the tail) or give treats. The Dalmatian would either sit or stand right next to us.

The reason for working on this - because the Dalmatian is going to be in a show in two weeks! How cool is that? And it's also an anxious dog. So, this exercise will definitely help in the show ring and in every day life.

By the end of the day, the Dalmatian was pretty content around either of us (but around Rusty is a different story, still a little anxious around other dogs and Rusty isn't really a good "therapy" dog for other dogs yet!).

I've decided that I like intermediate class much better than beginner! There's not very many dogs, so class gets tailored to what we want and what we need to work on.

So much fun!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Indiana Rescues

So from my previous post, it makes me so frustrated that an owner would lash out at their animal instead of surrendering it. There are so many rescues and people that would be happy to take an unwanted pet.

Or for example - you get a puppy and forget how much work they are. They pee and poop all over your floor and instead of taking the responsibility for crate training and hours upon hours of house-training, you just give up your pet.

Learn the responsibilities of a pet and take your time deciding. It'll be worthwhile in the end.

A fabulous source of information is the Indianapolis Humane Society, which is where this list of rescues comes from.

A Cause for Paws
(317) 773-7112

Adopt a Lab Indiana, Inc.
(765) 254-1552

Airedale Terrier Rescue
(317) 259-7701

Alaskan Malamute - Indiana
(317) 756-7269

Alliance for Responsible
Pet Ownership (ARPO)
Central Indiana
(317) 774-8292

Americas Basenji Rescue
(317) 507-6540
American Brittany Rescue
(812) 288-7075

Animal Protection Coalition
(765) 659-5209

ARK Foster Care Program
(765) 246-6332 ext. 20

Australian Shepherd Rescue

Basset Hound Rescue
(765) 572-1050

Casa Del Toro (Pit) Rescue
(317) 346-0391

Cats Haven
(317) 925-7001

Central IN Boxer Club Rescue
(317) 841-8139

Central Indiana Lab Rescue
(888) 882-1900

(317) 475-1174

Countryside Animal Rescue
(765) 649-7944

Delaware County SPCA
(765) 284-5606

Echo White Shepherd Rescue

Exotic Feline Rescue
(812) 835-1130

Ferret Rescue & Halfway House
(765) 349-0265

Friends of Ferdinand
(888) 612-7402

From the Heart Rescue
(317) 340-7947

German Shepherd Rescue
(317) 736-0446

Great Dane Rescue
(317) 823-4166

Great Lakes Mastiff Rescue
(206) 202-3543

Greyhound Pets of America
(317) 354-6858

Golden Retriever Rescue

Hoosiers Helping Homeless Pets
(317) 767-0660

Humane Solutions Inc.
(317) 840-5540

IN American Eskimo Rescue
Indiana Horse Rescue
(765) 659-5209

Indiana House Rabbit Society
(317) 767-7636

Indiana Scottie Rescue
(317) 539-2273

Indiana Sheltie Rescue, Inc.
(317) 984-5737

Indianapolis Poodle Rescue
(317) 541-9202

Indy Friends of Animals
(317) 294-8199

Indy Great Pyrenees Rescue
(317) 251-3179

Indy Homes for Huskies
(317) 251-PAWS

Jericho Society
(317) 745-5174

Kentuckiana Pug Rescue

Last Chance Reptile Rescue
5135 N. Post Rd. 116, Indpls.

Love of Labs, IN
(317) 727-7392

MidAmerica Border Collie

Moon Wind Stables & Rescue
(765) 676-5798

N. Lights Sled Dog Rescue

PAWS, Inc.
(812) 490-1039

St. Bernard Rescue
(317) 787-4334

Second Chance Rescue Inc.
(317) 483-1858

Sheltie Rescue - (SRCI)
(317) 824-1226 or 885-1838

USA Defenders of Greyhounds
(317) 244-0113

Wags Stray Animal Foundation
(317) 335-7354

Weimaraner Rescue

Another Case of Dog Abuse in Indiana

Sometimes I just can't read the headlines in my Google Reader. Especially when it comes to animals.

And I know, there are horrible people out there who just leave their animals for dead.

Ugh. I'm glad we got Rusty. We save one dog from a horrible life.

I hope they find this person and prosecute him to the extent of law.

(Though I do have to say, the Indy Star doesn't have the best reporters. They don't exactly report the whole story with all the news that they have, so unfortunately I doubt we'll see any follow up in the newspaper. Dang.)

E-Mail from Bimmer to McTatty

From: Bimmer Man
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 11:05 AM
To: McTatty
Subject: Re: Puppy

Rusty would not poo for me this morning but he peed. He also barked and lunged at a dog that a guy on a bike had on a leash - this cause the guy on the bike to crash when the dog pulled to get at Rusty...oops. He was being a real shit!

Oops. I think the Rusty Monster needs to go to daycare...