Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bunny returns

The open space beyond our fence is a favorite walking path for dog owners and wild creatures alike. So, the boys regularly patrol the yard, marking the outer edges to let all who pass know who's territory it is. 

The boys are quite comfortable with the parade of Canada geese and selected dogs which pass by their property. They've given a "free pass" to these ones and simple watch as they go by. Unknown dogs get a bit of a bark but nothing much. Bruiser absolutely despises the collies that walk past and lets them know it with barks, grunts and frantic marking.  Rocki comes along for moral support on each of these outings, but doesn't make a sound. He'll mark for good measure, but isn't really sure why.

But nothing gets the dogs on guard more than when bunny comes back to town. Bunny is not afraid of them...he sits on the grass outside the fence and watches them. Bruiser will growl and mark and run around, and bunny just sits and stares, his little nose twitching and all his sense alert. Rocki wags his tail which further infuriates Bruiser. How could his brother let bunny come so close? Bruiser is not sure what to make of bunny. At times he is actually wagging his tail. Perhaps he wants to play? Other times he'll try to be menacing with growls and barks. But no matter what he does, bunny just sits and stares.  So as fall draws closer and the rabbits begin foraging for food to get them through the winter, Bruiser is on guard to let bunny knows where he stands on his territory. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Loyal Shih-Tzu

My little Rocki (aka Munchkin) is just over 2 years old and still follows me around like a shadow.

If I'm in the basement, he's at the top of the stairs with his tiny face peering down. If I'm on the couch, he's on the floor next to my foot. If I'm sitting on the floor, he's curled himself around my legs. If I'm having a shower, he's patiently waiting outside the door until I come out. If I'm upstairs working, he's at the bottom or the top of the staircase waiting with the patience of a saint.

Bruiser is a bit more independent but still exhibits the same traits. He's always around, but he's a little further back.

Shih-Tzus are loyal - they are always there keeping you in sight. They may not be right next to you, but be assured as you're going about your day, they're in the room or just outside the room watching and waiting for you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Strange Habits

The other day I was watching television and my oldest was going nuts. He kept going to the footstool, grunting, and coming back to me. Back and forth...back and forth. This went on for about five minutes. He usually does this if one of his toys is missing, but the stool is so low that there couldn't possibly be a toy underneath.

I figured he was just having an episode and tried to ignore it, but he got louder and more insistent. It was obvious I could not watch television in peace until I discovered what was going on.

So I went over to the footstool, moved it and sure enough - there was one tiny kibble of dog food under the stool. Bruiser promptly grabbed it, ate it in a split second, and went along his merry way. I might mention that the boys had a pile of dog food sitting in their dish. But Bruiser absolutely had to have that one piece that was under the stool.

And that's the Shih-Tzu. When something is theirs, they want it and they want it when they want it, and you will have no peace until they get it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Breeding for Money

I found some information this morning while having coffee and surfing the web. It's videos and reports on puppy mills. Hard to watch but I think necessary to inform people just how awful the conditions are in puppy mills. The articles and videos were compiled by a reporter and photographer who went undercover.

"It's the stench first. Then you recognize that buzzing sound. It's flies swarming around the dirty cages where the puppies live, around the green scum that floats in their water bowls." more...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What kind of flooring is best for small dogs?

I need to replace the carpet in the family room that adjoins the kitchen. So with two little boys who spend the majority of their time in the family room, one who is very obedient and one who pees sporadically in the house, what do you choose?

I was recently at a family wedding and a friend of the family owns a flooring store. I asked him this question. His immediate response was "vinyl". So in the picture, I have vinyl flooring that looks like hardwood which I put in our basement. It looks great and cleans easily, but what happens if I decide to put real hardwood in my living room and dining room which lead into the kitchen and family room? Will it look stupid? I go back to my research...

I asked the breeder of our dogs because she has dark hardwood throughout her home, including the kitchen. She said she loved her hardwoods and would never have anything else. She has one Shih-Tzu who had two litters of five puppies and she regularly dog-sits for our little guys and others who have bought puppies from her. Her floor looks fabulous. Okay...file that away and keep digging...

I spoke to my mother's real estate agent. I asked him "laminate or hardwood" without mentioning dogs. He didn't hesitate when he said "hardwoods" because he said that in all the houses he has seen, laminate tends to buckle and move after 5 years and the floor basically needs to be replaced. Hmmm...I'm thinking that I need to do more research...

I have ceramic tile in my entry where Rocki decided that marking the territory was a really great idea. It cleaned like nothing, even the grout. No fuss. After cleaning a couple of times, he never went back there so obviously I got the scent out. My flooring looks great and there is no odor. Ceramic tile is great in a kitchen and can run into the family room. So perhaps ceramic tile is the way to go?

I don't know...I'm still trying to decide because flooring is not something you change each year like toss cushions. Once you pay the price and put it in, it's there for awhile. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hurricane Gustav - What About the Pets?

Thankfully there is hope this time around for all the pets in the danger zone. Thanks to shelters and other organizations, the pets will not be left to suffer the storm on their own.

If anyone wants to make a donation towards all the people and organizations rescuing pets, I found this link: