Thursday, July 26, 2012

Way to Go Miranda Lambert!

I think Miranda Lambert is fantastic. I started following her on twitter after I learned about her love for animals. Not only has she adopted animals in the past, she recently fostered a litter of puppies!

Miranda Lambert is happy – six times over!

Earlier this month, Lambert rescued a litter of 7-week-old German shorthaired pointers from outside an Oklahoma day-care facility where they had been abandoned.

She fostered the six puppies – Conway, Jackson Brown, Cabella, Bentley, Whitley and Ms. Danks – and on Monday, the country star brought the last remaining pup to its permanent home.

"Just dropped the last puppy with her new family in Jersey," she Tweeted, with a photo of the pooch and her new family. "Bye bye (Ms.Danks) Lilly!"

Lambert, who has many of her own dogs at home, Tweeted on July 3 that forever homes had been found for the pups through her Muttnation Foundation animal charity – but she encouraged people who had been interested in the dogs to adopt elsewhere.

"If you weren't able to get one of these sweet angels … please visit your local shelter!" she wrote on Twitter. "Don't forget … love a shelter pet! Y'all rock!"

Source: People.Com

Monday, July 23, 2012

ERMAHGERD!

So being unemployed I have a lot of time on my hands. I try hard to fill my day with legitimate tasks - applying for jobs, playing with Astrea, cleaning, organizing my life, reading, crafts - but there is still plenty of time for mindless internet surfing. I love everything on the Cheezburger Network, and the Ermahgerd meme is one of my absolute favorites.


See more on Know Your Meme

As much as I love the original ermahgerd girl above...the ermahgerd animals that have come out since are even better. So, here's a few that make me giggle...

funny dog pictures - I Has A Hotdog: SERMER TAIM

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our hearts go out to Howard and Beth Stern

This past week Howard Stern and his wife Beth lost their dog Bianca. It's such a difficult thing to go through, and we are definitely sending positive thoughts to Howard, Beth and anyone who has had to go through the loss of a pet.

howardbethtwit

biancastern

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sometimes my neighbors just ruin my day...

I'm better now, but yesterday was one of those days where I just hate my neighbors. Not all of them. Just one in particular. So this is me ranting about that neighbor.

I try to always preface stories like this by saying, Astrea is by no means perfect. She barks at the tv, sometimes she has selective hearing, and when she wants to get to our favorite place to play she lets go of all her leash manners. But for the most part she's a good girl. She plays with other dogs in our little community and has made fast friends with some of our people neighbors. She likes most things on her terms, but I generally do not have to worry about her.

Bird watching...

For the past year we have gone out regularly to let her play and chase the birds by my neighbors house. When we first started I kept her on a retractable leash and went with her so that she learned where her boundaries were. From there we would do limited times off leash, until we worked up to our current system of off leash the whole time. I know it's risky to let her play off leash in a place that isn't designated as an off-leash dog area, but we know everyone over there now and it's generally fine. Letting her play off leash has totally improved her recall, she knows the boundaries of where she can run and if she goes outside her boundaries or doesn't listen, it's game over and we go inside. This has all worked fine, no problems at all - until recently...

I'm not sure when they moved in, but it's only been in the past couple months that we've dealt with them. So who are they? They are the two nastiest, meanest dogs I've ever met. They're both small dogs - one is a yorkie and the other is (I think) a maltese. They bark, charge, growl, and snap at everyone and everything they come across without any provocation. And if you get to close, watch out, they will bite you. To make matters worse, this neighbor walks the dogs on retractable leashes, but doesn't reign them in. And from what I've seen, doesn't discipline these dogs at all. They go insane and she, in her happy little voice tells them to stop, but gives them no consequences. She drives me crazy.

I'm so happy!

Our general protocol when we're playing outside is this - Astrea plays for an hour (depending on the weather) while I sit and watch for people and other dogs. If I hear someone coming I call Astrea over and keep her on leash until the coast is clear and she can play again. Sometimes I'm overly paranoid and we sit on leash for a few minutes because I think I heard someone, but no one comes. Yesterday morning we were having a great time. The weather was perfect, good breeze and lots of birds. A neighbor that I've never met came down with her two dogs and they played with Astrea for a few minutes. One of the dogs sat and cuddled me while Astrea and the other chased. After they left our friend came out and gave Astrea a treat and all was fine and dandy. Great start to a Monday morning, until the evil dogs came.

Normally it's not too bad when they come by. I put Astrea on her leash, she sits there, they bark at her and their owner drags them away. Once I know they're gone, I let Astrea off leash and she plays for the rest of her time. Yesterday morning however, she was apparently fed up with their crap. I hadn't got her leash quite on her when the dogs came at her and she went insane. I had a good hold on her, but she wanted to go after these dogs. She was barking and trying to lunge, and of course the woman is doing nothing but dragging her dogs along. So I put Astrea's leash on her, I'm telling her to stop and then I tell her we are going inside because it's not ok to act like that. (Yes, I talk to Astrea like she's a human.)

It probably would have been fine, but as the lady was dragging her evil dogs away from us she looked at me and said, "No it's ok, we aren't coming back through here, she can stay and play." I don't know what snapped in me, I guess I was fed up with their crap too because before I knew what I was doing I kinda yelled at her. Nothing horrible, but I just lost it a little bit. I don't remember my exact words but it was something to the effect of - NO, Astrea can not stay and play because it is not appropriate for dogs to act like that, there are consequences for her actions and I do not let my dog go unpunished. She of course is still trying to tell me it's ok, and I'm walking away still yelling over the barking dogs that she is not allowed to continue to play if she is going to act out. Based on the look she gave me, she was either shocked that I give my dog consequences, or realized I think she's a jerk because she doesn't give her dogs any.

Once we got around the corner and completely away from them I felt terrible. Not for yelling at the neighbor, but that poor Astrea got yelled at and lost her playing privileges. I was also embarrassed because I thought all the neighbors over there heard Astrea go crazy and me yelling. Part of the challenge in playing in that area is trying to not disturb any of the neighbors. I take Astrea's collar off (but not her harness) and I generally just snap or clap to get her to come to me. Our goal is to be as silent as possible. So to have Astrea go barking mad, and I guess me too, it just killed everything we work not to do. It also ruined the rest of our day. I was in a bad mood and everything seemed to go wrong. It was one of those days that you just need a cupcake or an ice cream.

Luckily, things did get better. We went on a walk later in the day and although the landscapers were still working, I let Astrea play for a while. I talked to one of the neighbors and she said she heard the dogs barking - but because everyone knows those dogs are jerks she didn't think anything of it - THANK GOODNESS! So, we're going to try again this morning, and hopefully it will be a better day.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Excuse me, I'm writing...

Well, Ora has decided it's high time she sat down and wrote her novel. It's the story of a lovely, intelligent cat who is orphaned and then held captive by an insane, over-excited dog. She says the working title is, "Beauty and the Beast," but I told her that's already been taken so she's thinking of something else. I'll let you know how her writings progress...
novel

Friday, July 13, 2012

And now to Kitty for the weather...

I had to watch this video twice simply because I was so amazed with how well the reporter kept her cool! Check out this stray cat that decided he wanted to make an appearance on the local news.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kiss from a rose...

Ok, I'll admit, I love to sing to Ora and Astrea. In fact, all my pets, including Sancho and Jameson, have songs that I wrote just for them. I'm generally totally sober when I sing to them, but this guy... well a little liquid courage made him give his cat the gift of song.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Before you send your dog to day care...

One of the things I did when I was planning to get a dog was start looking for internet forums that I thought would be of help to me. Although I have lots of friends that have dogs, I wanted to reach out to more people with more/different experiences so I knew I had a place to go when I had questions. The forums that I'm a part of have been invaluable in answering my questions or making me feel like I'm not crazy when it comes to the weird things my pets do.

Recently I saw this post and thought it was important to share with you all. The author has asked to remain anonymous, but is a former doggy day care employee and wanted to give a little insight to what things were like at the day care they worked at, and may be the case at yours. Please take a minute to read through this and keep these questions in mind before you sign your dog up for day care.

I know a lot of people trust doggy day cares because they have positive training classes and the staff are friendly always greeting the dogs nicely - but that doesn't mean your dog is treated the best when you're gone. Where I was employed a trainer was brought in to teach positive reinforcement classes, but the owner and the employees did not employ the same techniques while working with the dogs. I've talked to plenty of other ex-employees that have worked at centers and have had the same experiences I have. Here's a list of 10 questions you should ask if you're shopping around for a doggy daycare or boarding place for your pet:

1.) What experience/qualifications does the owner of the facility have? What experience with dogs do the employees that will be handling the dogs have?

2.) Do they use bark collars? (Ask specifically about bark collars, and then ask about both citronella and shock/electronic.)

3.) How do they deal with a dog that is being a bully or misbehaving? What do they do if two dogs are getting along with all the other dogs besides each other?

4.) Do they remove collars and harnesses during playtime? If they do, how will they move dogs around if they need to move a dog? If they don't, do they leave chain/prong collars on?

5.) Do their employees have rules about how to treat/correct dogs?

6.) Do the dogs ever get breaks?

7.) Are the dogs ever scruffed? Are they ever pinned to the ground?

8.) What do they do if a fight breaks out? How do they prevent fights from happening?

9.) How are dogs introduced to the group?

10.) If a dog is injured and the owner is unreachable, what do they do?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Adopt an adult cat FOR FREE!

Are you looking to add a new kitty to your family? Here's your chance! Now through the end of August, all adult cats (over one-year-old) are FREE at the Sacramento SPCA.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! We're laying low today, no plans. Just hanging out and making sure Astrea doesn't lose her mind when the fireworks go off tonight. We did go camping over the weekend with our friends and Astrea's cousin Daisy. Look how cute they are:

camping2
Barking at our neighbors

camping3
This was their favorite spot to roll in

camping
Taking a little nap with Daisy's momma.

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