Friday, March 29, 2013

Foster Friday: Serena

 
Hi!  I'm Serena and I'm Corbin's newest foster sister.  We may have had a bit of a rough start, but he's starting to like me more and more.  I even got him to play a little bit!  He tells me that my Diva ways get on his nerves, I told him to suck it up and deal with it.  Because, I am a Diva.
 
 
I mean, really... what's not to love about a beautiful girl like me?  I have gorgeous long, white hair and stunning blue eyes.  I look good in any color.  I'm a well behaved girl who is house trained, crate trained and I know quite a few commands already.  Oh, and I'm super smart.
 
 
I also have a bit of a silly side.  I like to play and "bop" Corbin on the head with my paw.  I jump and skip and I almost did a back flip the other day while I was playing!  I'm still perfecting that move, although every time I try it, foster momma lady says I give her a heart attack.  I will need some continued training when I find my forever family.... I can be a bit mouthy, but in this past week alone, I've learned that it's not a good thing to do, so I've just about stopped.  But, foster momma lady says that my new family will need to continue to enforce it by giving me other objects to chomp on besides human arms and wrists.
 
 
I can also use some follow up leash training.  I really enjoy long walks but, foster momma lady thinks she's smarter than I am and that my walking skills are not what they should be.  I try to tell her that I'm the smart one in the house and jumping and tugging at the leash is the proper way to do things.  She says she's smarter than me and that I need to learn how to walk nicely next to her like a lady.  Do you believe that?  She indirectly called me unladylike!  How rude.
 
 
Anyway... that's me in a Nut Serena Shell!  Beauty and Brains... what more could you ask for?!  Oh, a super sweet personality and an excellent cuddler?  Well, you're in luck, because I have both of those things too!  Tomorrow is my adoption event, so wish me luck!  I sure do hope that my perfect forever home comes along!  The momma says it has to be a forever home that understands and has experience with the Husky breed - I told her I'm the Diva breed, but whatever!
 
*Wink*

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wow!

The momma took over the blog yesterday and discussed some of my misbehaviors.  I, personally, think she totally over reacted... but, isn't that what momma's do?
 
Don't you think you exaggerated JUST a tad?
 
She was right about one thing though, I DO enjoy training time!  Know why?  Lots of yummy noms.  And, secretly -although, now it's no longer a secret- I love being told what a good boy I am!  And, I really do love the hide and seek game we play.... the momma always makes me think super hard about where she's hiding!  And, ya know, it might come in handy some day if the momma ever runs off and gets lost in the woods!  Although, I must admit, my sniffer is no where near as good as K├╝ster's!  But, I do get more yummy noms when I find her, so I search really hard.
 
Noms that look like pizza!
 
I was glad to read all the comments and support and know that the momma and I are not the only ones going through a training lapse!  Dontcha know that in just 24 hours, that blog post became the SECOND most read blog post of all time for Oh, Corbin?!  Seriously, it's only about hundred views away from our most popular post to date: You call me a Pit Bull like it's a bad thing.  I guess people really like reading about my misbehaviors!
 
I'll be working REAL hard on my misbehaviors.
 
Reilly and Denny's momma did remind MY momma that the Prednisone I'm on can also cause me to show some extra aggressions.  The momma did remember learning about that least year when I first started taking the steroid, but it's slipped her mind recently.  There has been a change in my attitude since starting it, I used to love playing with other canine friends, but now I'm a little reserved and save my playing energies for fetch with dad.  But, odds are looking like I'll have to be on some amount of Prednisone for the rest of my life to keep my back ouchies at bay... so the momma and I will need to learn what part of my misbehaviors are the drugs and what part is the Corbin being a stubborn smart pooch. 
 
It'll be an adventure for sure!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No more excuses

A post by the momma:
 
Have you ever found yourself making excuses for your dog's behavior?
 
"Sorry, he's acting that way because he's not feeling well."
 
"I think he must be having a bad day..."
 
"He's not a fan of the vet's office."
 
"Oh, sorry, you caught him off guard!"
 
"He's normally a good dog, he's even a Canine Good Citizen!"
 
"Oops, you're standing kind of funny and frightening him."
 
"He doesn't really like short people, or tall people, or people of average height..."
 
"You must smell funny."
 
In reality, what I should be saying is: "Sorry, I haven't been giving my dog the proper attention and training that I should be, and, because of my lack of responsible pet ownership, my dog has spiraled down a windy road of misbehavior."
 
Me?  What's wrong with my behaviors?
 
That's where I'm at. I'm not saying that Corbin is a horrible dog, he's no where near that, nor am I a horrible owner.  I just haven't been the best owner.  When we adopted Corbin, we knew we adopted a life long commitment of training and enforcing positive behavior. Last year with his mystery pain, we slacked off on the walks because he wasn't allowed much exercise while we tried fixing the problem. But, when we were able to start exercising him more, we had fallen out of the routine of daily walks and it was hard to get back into it. So, as an awful dog momma, I'm here to admit that Corbin has not had regular exercise or training in over a year.
 
There, I said it.
 
It wasn't bad at first... his back pain kept him at a lower energy level and he was satisfied with a hard core game of fetch in the back yard. Plus, we've done a lot of training with him, so it took a while for him to realize no one was going to enforce it. A day without a walk turned into a week without a walk, turned into a month without a walk and so on. He's been walked, just not on any sort of a regular basis. Then, my mom had back surgery and I was distracted by that, so Corbin's lack of training continued. And, my dad was hospitalized, diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away 5 weeks later last fall... so, that took up all my time and energy. Learning how to accept and deal with my dad's death still takes up a lot of my time and energy, which also causes Corbin a lot of anxiety.
 
See, momma... we've practiced SOME trainings.
 
Now a year has gone by. A year of minimal walking and minimal training. We've gotten lazy and his behavior has slowly been getting out of hand... Corbin's behavior when visitors come to the house has gotten slightly worse each time. It was such a subtle amount worse each time that it was hard to detect until all of the sudden you realize the dog who used to calmly sit in the kitchen to wait for people to enter the house and his signal to calmly greet them was now enthusiastically flying nose first off the couch into the face of your family and friends. The dog who used to be able to greet and socialize with other dogs was now growling and unfriendly to nearby pooches. Seeing other dogs often happened at the vet, and since we were still able to bring foster dogs home, I excused it by believing he was upset and uncomfortable at the vets. But, I started realizing that it's not just at the vets office, and he was starting to develop a problem that I needed to correct.  I needed to stop making excuses and do something. 
 
His energy level has also changed. After his last back flare up in January, the steroids have really helped his pain. So, he's feeling good and his energy is back to what is was before any of this happened. After a year of a pretty calm dog, I was pretty unprepared. And, since he's a little cranky around other dogs, having a foster to play with him was no longer an acceptable outlet for his energy.
 
Bwahaha, I run this place.
 
So, here I am... realizing that my lack of a simple 10 minutes of training a day, or a 30 minute loose leash walk a day has resulted in Corbin pushing his limits and being allowed to get away with his misbehavior.
 
What am I going to do to correct it?
 
I like Kongs and dental chewies... it takes the edge off of my energies.
 
Well, for starters, Corbin has been getting a little less food in his food dish and instead getting a frozen Kong when I leave for work with a mash of veggies and meats. We've been able to cut out enough food in his meals to make up for the calories in his Kong so he doesn't get chubby. This is a bit of mental activity for his crate time when we're away. I also recently ordered a Kong Wobbler, which I've heard so many great things about. Corbin will be getting his dinner out of the wobbler, more mental work. And, on days when it's raining or muddy and fetch or walking isn't available (Corbin's not a fan of being wet)... we play hid and go seek in the house. Corbin does a sit/stay in the kitchen and I hide throughout the house, call him, and he has to come find me.  It may sound silly, but it tires him out WONDERFULLY and we play it quite often.  Plus, he really seems to enjoy it.
 
Does this mean I have to put my snood into summer hibernation?
 
Now that the weather is getting nicer, it's more enticing for walks. So, hopefully we can get back into the routine of daily walks. We also have a great park near us where we used to meet up with some other dog friends for walks on the 3 mile trail. We'll be calling Maggie Mae and Max soon to have them meet us!
 
We worked with a great trainer when we first adopted Corbin and learned a lot of great techniques, so we know what needs to be done to get these issues under control again. But, I also enjoy doing training classes with Corbin and like the opportunity to learn more. So, Corbin and I are set up to attend a "Focus and Self Control" workshop at our local shelter in a few weeks. It's a one time class, 2 hours long. I can't commit to a 6 week class at the moment, so this sounded like the perfect class to get us back on our feet.

Shhhh, momma.  The Corbin is perfect.

I know the Corbin shown to you on the blog is just about perfect -and he is.  But, just like with any dog, he needs to continue to be set up for success and continue to have limitations and expectations.  For Corbin, it really is just 10 minutes a day of training: practicing sit, stay, down, wait, etc.  And he loves it, he loves training, he loves walks, he loves to work.  So, although life has gotten in the way recently, I still find time to brush my teeth, shower daily, do my laundry, comb my hair... training my dog should be one of those things so stuck in my routine, I don't leave the house or go to bed without doing it.  Corbin deserves that.  And, it clears my head... something I could definitely use some more of.  He knows his commands so well, it's not a frustrating experience for either one of us.  And, what's a better feeling than working on the communication and bond with your favorite 4 legged friend?


We'll keep you updated on our progress the next few weeks!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meet Serena

Hi Friends!
Meet my new foster sister, Serena!
 
Now, I know Serena doesn't look anything like a Pit Bull, but, I assure you... my house of foster kids does not discriminate!  We're an equal opportunity foster home.
 
 
However, I did deem Diva Serena an honorary Pit Bull while she's staying with us.  Serena reminds us a lot of our friend Lightening, from the Woos.  And, I'd like to thank the Woo Momma for giving my momma some advices on husky kids. 
 
 
I mean, just how are we supposed to play bitey face when I always get a mouth full of white fuzz?!  I'm a little baffled, but we're learning to get along. 
 
Now, I must admit, because honesty is the best policy, I was not a fan of Serena when she first came.  Our normal introduction period took a lot longer than it usually does, but we finally settled down Saturday night.  Then, Sunday morning when we were going out for morning potty time, I kind of got a little grumpy and snapped at Serena.  Ok, well, if we're being honest, it was a little more than snapping... and I waited until I was JUST out of the momma's reach when I did it.  But, she wasn't far away and broke up our little tiff rather quickly.  It's the first time I've done that, and I'm pretty ashamed.  But, I'm happy to say it was a one time little glitch and Serena and I are A-Ok now.  I don't love her like I loved my Sophie Snuggles, but we get along well enough that she can stay with me until she finds her forever home.
 
I'm thinking she'll find her perfect home quickly!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sicky Snuggles

The momma wasn't feeling good yesterday,
so, this was her view from the couch all day long.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

What the heck?  Why is it Spring and I have 6 inches of new snow???
 
 
PS. My friend, the Doodlebugger, has his own advices column at their blog, Love and a Six Foot Leash.  Go check him out today, my former foster sister Sophie snuck in a question before she took off on her forever home!  Plus, lots of other great advices every week!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My & My Dad

Today is my dad's birthday!
 
I love my dad because he has a boat.
 
And he has a cool car that I get to cruise in.
 
And because he throws my ball.
 
And because his lap is big enough for me to fit!
 
And he makes it comfy to watch out of the window.
 
And because, without him, my family wouldn't be complete!
 
So, Happy Birthday DAD!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Appreciation of two great Pooches

 
Today has been declared Pip & Puddles Appreciation Day... and what two bloggers are more deserving of their very own day????
 
No one, that's who!
 
I'm not good with the sappy stuff... but here goes.
When I started blogging, I never dreamed this whole blogging world existed.  But I was welcomed with open paws.  Pip and Puddles were two of my very first blog friends, and they've continued being fantastic friends throughout my 2.5 years of blogging.  Few have brought us more laughs.
 
 
I'd like to say thank you, to my two great friends, for being just that.... great friends.  And, always putting a smile on my face!

So, join me in celebrating Pip & Puddles Appreciation Day!  We'll be enjoying the festivities and watching Pip get awarded the Blogville King of Cheeseburgers and Miss. Puddles get awarded as the Blogville Queen of Merriment and Mayhem. 
Cheers to you, our King & Queen!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Letters to a foster dog: Sophie Sofa Snuggles

A post by the momma:

Quite a few of our fellow foster blog friends write letters to their beloved foster pooches after adoption.  I've long admired their letters and have decided this would be a tradition I would copy from them.  Little did I know how difficult it was to put all those emotions into words.... but I gave it a shot.  So, here's my letter to my Sofa Snuggler....

Dear Sophers,

I can't tell you how easy I thought writing this letter would be.  Then I sat down, and my mind went blank.  What is there to say to you?  This took me a while.


We loved having you in our home.  We weren't expecting to foster, but I just couldn't bare letting you stay at a boarding facility.  So, home you came with me.  Your ability to understand Corbin's limitations when you first came was amazing.  I was so worried you'd jump on him or upset him trying to play when he knew he couldn't... but you just seemed to know, and you respected what he could and couldn't do.  As the weeks went on and his back started feeling better, you seemed to know that, too.  And watching you two bound and play in the yard made me so happy.  Corbin hasn't been playful in quite some time, it was a welcome site to my eyes.  He enjoyed having you around.  We all did.


We loved having you on our couch.  We hadn't fostered since Brutus was adopted in October, so I was longing for a snuggle buddy.  I know you preferred Adam over me, but you didn't lack in my snuggles when I needed them.  I loved having you as my reading partner, snuggled up with a blanket.  No one snuggles quite like you. 


We loved watching your little ears.  Up, down, sideways, back, up.  They were like little radars and I always wondered who's signal you were trying to read.  And, your wiggly butt.  That little butt wiggled so much, I swore some days it was going to fall right off.  But, you loved to wiggle.  "Sit" = wiggle wiggle wiggle. Although frustrating when trying to do some training, who could refuse to smile at that wiggly butt?!  And the pout on your face when we finally nailed the "sit" and you realized sitting means no wiggles.

I know you'd rather be wiggling, Sophie.

We love seeing you loving life in your new home.  What a journey it has been for you, Sophie.  From a starved, mange covered, chained 6 month old puppy, to a healthy, soft, snuggly 1 year old house pup.  I know you're thankful for life.  You can see it in your eyes, they lead directly to your warm soul.  I know some things in this life you'll never take for granted.... couches, kisses and snuggles.  I thought you'd get scooped up my some great family right away, but you stayed with us for a little longer than I expected.  I have no complaints, you are a fantastic friend.  I couldn't be happier with the home you picked.  I know you'll be loved and cared for and given all the snuggles in the world.


Have a great life, my Snuggle Lover.  I'm honored to have been a small part in your magnificent life.

Love,
Your foster momma, Jenn

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Emmett & Sophie

This picture makes the momma giggle.
Can you see the Corbin lingering in the background?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Snow Days

Before Sophie went off on her new adventure, we had some fun in the snow we got on Friday!  My twinner buddy Emmett was visiting for the weekend, too, so we sure had a blast!  I won't say much, but I'll just show you all the fun we had, okay? 

Sophie found half a ball hidden in the snow, then I stole it.
 
I love running in the snow!
 
So does the Sofa dog!
 
Uh... I'm not quite sure what's going on here.
 
She's got the cuteness.
 
 
Shhhh, I was JUST regripping my ball, but don't you like my toothies?
 
Sometimes she thinks she can fly
 
Then I went inside to warm snuggle up with dad
But Sophie kept playing
 
She loves to play, even when she's alone!
 
 
 
Then Emmett showed up!
 
We all had a blast!
*Emmett is wearing a red collar and I'm wearing my blue collar*
*Sometimes even the momma and Heather couldn't tell us apart!*
 
We had a nice little 3 way tug with half of a toy football.
 
Neener Neener Neener
 
Then Emmett and I stayed home....
 
While Sophie leapt her way into her new family's hearts!