Sunday, July 25, 2010

Astrea gets a new house....

I hate buying things for the dogs unless their on sale. I'm on a budget, and I know whatever it is, it will be chewed, scratched and played with to death. I've been keeping my eye on this little house at Petsmart for a while. Marked down from around $80 to $19.98. Today I went by just to see if they were still there and there was only 2 left. I couldn't put it off anymore. I broke down and got Astrea the house. Her favorite thing at daycare is the play structure, but we don't have room for something like that, soI thought this was a good in between. Astrea loves to sleep curled up in a little ball, so she will love sleeping in the house. And for climbing, she can go on the sun roof.
It smelled like plastic and wood finish and she was a little unsure at first. So i put a yummy, yummy treat on top so get her to climb on. It took her about 5 minutes but she finally did it. Here's a short video showing her triumph.


p.s. it's laundry day. that's why there are no sheets on my bed.
p.p.s. when i win the lotto (not a big one, just like $5000) and i can afford the bedroom set i want, i'm going to paint the house black and make her pillows for it out of the same fabric as my bedset so everything matches perty. and if i don't hit the lotto, i will just have to save my pennies, either way, it'll happen soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm so spoiled....

For about the past week it's just been Astrea and I at home. Jameson has been with his grandparents while his mom is training for a new job. I've been telling everyone how spoiled Astrea's been this week. She's been getting all her favorite treats, we've gone to the dog park almost everyday (We opted for a walk this morning), and she's just loving having everything to herself. When I first adopted Astrea at night she would nest in my hair and sleep there. I woke up every morning with a huge mess of hair, but I loved it. When she decided she wanted to be a big girl and sleep in her own bed at night it made me a little sad. This morning we were laying in bed trying to decide whether it was time to get up or not and I took my hair down and let her play in it for a while. She was hilarious burying herself in it. That's when I realized that I'm really the one being spoiled having her all to myself this week.

I've been having so much fun with it just being her and I. Everday when I get home from school we wrestle, which I never get to do anymore. We've been playing tug of war before bed at night. She's been cuddling with me when I take my nap. Today she played mean kisses with me, one of my favorite things she does. I don't know why, but it makes me die laughing. She makes her mean face and then acts like she's gonna bite you, but then gives you a kiss instead. Usually i can get one or two out of her, but today she's just giving them left and right. Right now she's passed out next to me. She looks so cute.

I will be happy when Jameson and his mom come home, I'm getting kind of bored being without human conversation, but I'm really happy that we've got to spend some time alone. And in an effort to continue spoiling the poo out of her while I can I think I'm going to go buy her a new bed tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Confessions: Animal Hoarding

So I swear, the other day when I was talking about hoarders, I had no idea that this show was just about to debut. It's called Confessions: Animal Hoarding and it airs on Animal Planet. It's by the same people who do Intervention, so I'm hoping that means the show ends with the people getting help. Astrea has a little bit of a barking problem when there are animals on t.v., so I haven't watched it yet. We're working on the barking (constantly) but, I find its just easier sometimes to not provoke her and wait until she's asleep to watch something I know will get her going.

But - back to the show. On the first episode one guy has 30 cats. I cannot imagine living with 30 cats. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by two dogs. Speaking of, the other woman on the first episode has 8 dogs, but, she at one point had over 100. WHAT?!? How does that even happen. Do they walk on each other? Seriously, how does that happen? I'm kind of afraid to start watching the show, I know it'll suck me in and I won't be able to stop. But what I hope happens is it raises some awareness of the problem so people will recognize this type of behavior in their friends and family and get them some help.

And hopefully tomorrow Astrea will take a good long nap so I can watch the show...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Campfire Kids

We took the dogs on their very first camping trip this past weekend. It was my first camping trip in several years, an unfamiliar camp site and since Jameson can be a little too curious sometimes, we were a little over prepared for the dogs. It worked out in our favor though. Although we didn't use nearly anything we brought for the dogs, for the dogs, our "doggy first aid kit" came into great use for us humans!

The dogs had a wonderful time. Astrea was spoiled with almost unlimited freedom and Jameson was free to play during the day so long as he could handle it. Sometimes Jameson has no concept of boundaries, so after he tried to chase a truck down the road we realized he needed a little more in the way of restrictions. But he was pretty ok with it. When we first arrived Astrea was tied up with Jameson while we unpacked and got set up and she was not happy. Jameson on the other hand was plenty happy exploring what was within his reach.

I got up with the dogs early each morning and they went crazy running through the clearing just next to our campsite. They jumped through the creek, found sticks to play with, rolled in the dirt and all around just had a good time. On the first day we made a hike down to the reservoir, unfortunately we were unprepared for that. There was no shade and little beach, so although Astrea and Jameson liked playing in the water, it was much too hot for them. So as soon as they were over playing in the water we went ahead and just took them back to the campsite.

Of course, I took tons of pictures - all of which are on our flickr page, but here are a few of my favorites.

Come on, let's go!!!

Jameson trying to scavenger up something yummy to eat.

My dirty girl after running through the creek and then rolling in the dirt.

Just lounging...

mmm i want to get me one of those hotdogs.

Where is the best place to sleep by the campfire?

On top of your brother of course!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Be the Change Challenge

Be the Change for Pets is a movement created by the passionate BlogPaws community. It represents the collective actions of a dedicated group of pet bloggers and members of the online pet community determined to make a difference in the lives of pets. The "change" our community members make may be as seemingly small as a blog post about a homeless pet, a $1 donation or an afternoon volunteering at a shelter. Or it could be as large as starting a new organization to raise awareness about Spay and Neuter programs. It might be silly, like eating dog food to raise money for a shelter, or it could be serious, like lobbying to change breed specific legislation or other anti-pet rules.

Be the Change for Pets is about each of us doing our part to help animals across the globe and to support others in their efforts. It's about working as a team, overcoming challenges and celebrating triumphs together. It’s about love, commitment and dedication to making a real change for animals in need because even the smallest contributions become a movement when added together. We invite our community, the brands we buy and animal lovers everywhere to join us, each and every day, to "Be the Change" we all want to see.

We're packing on the pounds
for our next Be the Change
for Pets challenge!

How to Participate

  • Find a shelter or pet food bank near you and call to find out whether they accept food donations. (For people in the US and Canada you can search for a local shelter and pet food bank here.)

  • Print out the BTC4Pets flier then head over to your local pet supplies store to pick up a bag of food.

  • Drop off the bag of food at your local shelter or food bank and have someone take a picture of you with the bag and flier.

  • Write a blog post, tweet (with #BTC4Pets) and share on Facebook your pawsome achievement to inspire your friends to do the same. (Of course you can always write two blog posts -- one calling your friends to join you in the food drive and the second talking about your group's trip to the shelter!)

  • Post the picture of yourself donating the food and a link to your blog/twitter account/Facebook post to the Be The Change for Pets Facebook wall along with the pounds of food donated. We'll add this amount to the total food/supplies donated so we can all see our impact!

  • Want to take the campaign to the next level? Find out how to start a pet food bank on a shoestring budget.

Can dogs have night terrors?

So our dogs have issues when they sleep, its no secret. They sleep in crazy positions, crazy spots. Astrea hates to have her butt and tail touched. If you touch her tail or butt while she's sleeping you may lose a hand. Easy fix though right - just don't touch her butt or tail.
Jameson is the one with the real issue. It happens pretty frequently that he will be sleeping, jump up start barking (and get Astrea riled up in the process) and then start to cry. It's bizarre. We can usually get him calmed down faster than Astrea so its never been a huge concern until the other day.
The doggies and I were taking a nap on the couch and everyone was in their respective spots. Astrea on the arm of the couch, Jameson curled up keeping my tummy warm. Jameson was having a very active dream. I could feel him "running" in his sleep. Then out of nowhere, he jumped up and started attacking Astrea. I pulled him off of her and off the couch and before I could even orient myself, he was back on the couch on top of her again! I threw him off again and sure enough, right back on the couch attacking her. Poor Astrea was in a ball in the corner of the couch confused as can be. I pulled Jameson off again and as fast as I could (trying to beat him to jumping on Astrea again) found the squirt bottle and as he went for her started squirting the hell out of him. He was soaked before he finally backed off, looked at me like I was crazy, walked to the end of the couch, curled up and went back to sleep like nothing happened. Astrea was totally confused and buried herself in my hair, something she use to do frequently as a puppy.
So am I crazy, or is that not weird? So seriously - does Jameson need a xanax before bed or what?!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog the Change...

Today is July 15, 2010. It's a good day for me. Twelve years ago I saw my favorite band live for the first time. I always have a good feeling on July 15. Today is also the day animal bloggers across the internet are blogging for a change for animals. Next week is the Dog Days of Summer donation drive for shelters around the world. For me, I decided the Sacramento SPCA needs my help right now. Following the surrender of 200+ animals in Kern County, most of those animals were brought to the Sacramento SPCA. I'd love to say I have millions of dollars to donate and help these animals. I'd also love to say I could adopt some of those animals. I can't. But I can do something - just as all people can. So what am I doing?

The Sacramento SPCA has a "wish list" of things they are always in need of for the animals. Simple things - towels, blankets, toys, food - with 200 or so new animals in their care, I'm sure the Sacramento SPCA is even more in need than ever.

So... I'll be cleaning out my house this week. Pulling all our extra blankets and towels and toys and packing them up for the Sacramento SPCA. Additionally I will purchase dog and cat food to take down, as much as I can afford within my budget. I figure the least I can do is help as much as I can.

Also - this year I decided to get involved more at school. So I am the current Vice President of the McGeorge Animal Law Society (MALS). This week were meeting to continue planning out events for the upcoming school year. MALS has been on campus for three years now (i think) but has not made a splash yet on campus - we want that all to change this year. We want to get people involved volunteering for local shelters, amp up the on-campus adoption event that MALS has been known for and do whatever we can to help animals! I'm really, really excited to see what comes of this!

So - am I doing it all and fixing it all, no. I realized in the past year I need to stop thinking I can save the world on my own. I'm doing what I can to help right now. In the future I hope I can do more. I encourage you to do what you can do - no matter how big or small - to help an animal (or animals) in need.

Wonder what other bloggers are doing and saying to blog the change today?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hoarders: Animal Edition

So I'm obsessed with the A&E show "Hoarders." It freaks me out and makes me clean my house. It also makes me consider the things that I hold on to and what I throw away. Mostly I'm incredibly intrigued by the human mind, how it works, how it misfires and what pushes people to these points. Where does the mind click over into that point where you just can't see that all the "good" you think you're doing is in fact, damage. I always giggle when I think of the crazy cat lady on the Simpson's, but the truth is - there are people like that out there. Just in the past week I have read several articles about the authorities intervening:

Animal Control Recovers Cats from Citrus Heights Apartment

Accused Animal Hoarder to Have Over 150 Animals Removed

200 animals seized from a Kern County woman's home are on their way to the Sacramento SPCA.

57 Cats Found in Mobile Home

So here is my question, how does this happen so frequently? Why is it that the shelters continue giving the animals to these people? Shouldn't these people taking tons of animals be followed up with in some way? How does someone get 50 - 100 animals before someone alters the authorities? If my neighbor had 50 cats in her house, I think I would know. I would have to be pretty oblivious to not know. I know every animal in my immediate "neighborhood." I may not know their names, but I am aware of their presence. Even the ones who aren't going on frequent walks or out into the community areas.

I realize there is little to no regulation of rescue groups in California, but when is this going to change? There is a line that's being crossed frequently from helping to hurting animals. Now I realize not all these animals are suffering, but many are. Shouldn't the hurt outweigh the handful of animals that are helped? And I'm not naive, I know that even the most perfect rescue group may have sick animals and may miss a diagnosis before an animal is adopted out - but this is just out of control.

Maybe I need to go into politics and work on legislating for regulating animal rescue groups.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy 5th of July!!

They say that 4th of July is the scariest night of the year for dogs. I believe it. Lots of popping and loud noises. People. Parties. It's crazy. Tons of dogs tend to run away. We went into 4th of July knowing this, so we were prepared! We were going to a BBQ at Brianne's old house and we knew the dogs could escape the back yard. So we brought our big gate with us to the BBQ so we could allow the dogs to run in and out of the house and backyard without getting out and running free into the world of the neighborhood. So we got to the party set up the gate, let the dogs free and had fun. There was another dog there, Faddeus. A super cute husky pit mix. A big lover. Astrea was flirting her tail off with Faddeus. We were all having a fun great time.

Then I noticed that people were going to the garage to get drinks two ways. Through the house or through the outside door. This wouldn't have been a big deal if people closed the door from the house into the garage, but left open it became the perfect opportunity for our escape artist Jameson to take a tour of the neighborhood. We tried to keep the door shut, but inevitably there were times it was left open. We weren't sure if Jameson would take the opportunity but given his history there was a good chance he would go exploring on his own. It didn't take too long for him to prove us right. After one friend walked his wife to the car to head home he found Jameson hanging out in the front yard.

As the night wore on the doggies played and we kept an eye on Jameson to make sure he was staying out of trouble. And then he scared the life out of his mom. Or rather, she scared herself. We tend to do a "dog check" every few minutes when we're in new places with the dogs. We just like to keep an eye on them and make sure they're being good. So we did our dog check, didn't see Jameson. So we did a sweep of the house and yard. No Jameson. Checked some of the play spots they found in the yard. No Jameson. It was a good twenty minutes of looking for Jameson. There was a minute there that the panic of going home with only one dog set in.

And then someone came running out of the house. Jameson was found. Jameson was being a good boy. We're always telling him to find a quiet spot and lay down when he's tired and he never does. Well he finally listened. He had gone into the master bedroom (Brianne's old room when she lived at that house) hopped up on the bed, curled up and was sleeping. When we checked the bedroom (more than once) we didn't see him tucked into the pile of covers. Unfortunately for Jameson being a good boy doesn't always work out in his favor. After that we were watching his every move even more carefully.

4th of July wasn't all scary though. The dogs had a wonderful time. So wonderful they slept in the back seat the whole way home with no protests. Its usually a battle to get them to stay in the back seat on longer car rides. Then they slept until 10am the next day. A big change from their 6:30 wake up call for breakfast.


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