Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daily Walks

I've been trying to get back into the routine of a daily walk. I had been getting a bit slack in that area. We take the same general route every day & last year this one house had a "crazy dog" who runs the edge of their lawn & right by continuously until we've passed. They must have an underground fence or something. Anyway, we hadn't seen him all spring until yesterday & considering the circumstances my crew did well. Not so much any barking but more growling & "panic" in their movement. Of course, they weren't sure if the dog was going to come attack them or not so I get that especially since the movement of the other dog was also panic as he was running back & forth.

Today as we turned the corner off our road I see a woman walking her dog. This woman I know & I also know her dog walks off leash (wonderfully I may add). I see the dog watching my crew as we got closer & again, a lot of growling, mostly from little Maxwell and all of them were running around amongst themselves being unsure of the strange aproaching dog but that was about the extent of it! SOOO much better than that first walk this season we met a dog, if you readers probably remember. hehe The dog (which is a yellow lab btw) walked up to my crew & just sort of let us walk passed. I didn't stop until we were just passed him & then I stopped to chat with the woman for a few short moments. Apparently her dog is "terrified" of small dogs because at one point a small dog jumped in his face or something or other. I could never have guessed...he did great & was calm the whole time which in turn helped ease the severity of panic in my pack.

The point of my blog today is I believe, even though we've only had 2 group meet ups, that it is helping! I totally see an improvement & I'm so hoping to continue to do so as we do more & more meet ups & we continue our walks & meet more dogs along the way! There is hope!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Maxwells 1st Annual Appt.

After Maribelle's disruptive behavior the last time we headed to our vets I opted for Maxwell & I to fly solo at this appt. I'm always so nervous about how my pups will react because they're all a bit leary of strangers. Both Matilda & Maxwell have displayed fear aggression at one point or another and Milo & his charging unsure humans. Maribelle, well, as I've said before, just has a lot to say to people/dogs.

Anyway, Maxwell, his harness, collar & tags weighed in at 6lbs even. I mention the "add ons" because being so small they're sure to add on a few oz, kwim? I did have a concern about his ear tips being dry/loosing hair. This has been going on for quite a while. It was nothing that I had major concerns about because it hasn't gotten any worse & doesn't bother him at all so I hadn't brought it to their attention just yet. I've actually noticed Matilda has the same sort of problem as well but hers isn't so bad or maybe we can't notice it because of her darker skin? Anyway, the vet went on about thyroid problems, etc & how we could test him for that, if that didn't come out positive than they could do a biopsy. For a little dry skin & little hair loss I didn't really want to go into that if at all possible. He shows no other symptoms of thyroid problems but of course, if he develops them I'm all for having him tested. She did however, suggest giving him some Welactin on a regular basis. I didn't ask but I'm thinking it could be beneficial to the other pups as well and I have heard many people talk about a fish oil suppliment.

I was very proud of Maxwell though. Besides him trying to continually burry himself in my armpit he did very well. Nervous of the handling/exam? Sure. But he didn't as much as show his teeth or make a peek during his blood test & vacs so I was very happy! And his ole toofers look FANTASTIC which thrilled me since my other 3 all have teeth issues. And his cherry eye, still protruding a tad but as I told the vet it has really improved as it is now in more than out (like it was before) and when it is out it's not sticking out as much as it used to. Perhaps with some more time it will completely resolve on it's own. One can hope anyway. As long as it doesn't get worse so it needs surgery - that's the important part!

I leave this with a cute picture of my little snuggle buddy, Mama's boy. Appropriate for his little "adventure" the other day. This time...he is prepared for a little hike. hehe

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mari & the Memorial Day Parade

Maribelle really never has been around large crowds of people so I figured I'd take her into the first parade solo just in case she decided to put up a stink & bark at everyone she saw like she generally does when she's out. To my surprise she took to the people wonderfully & even allowed pets with out much fuss at all. She was happy to see other dogs but did bark a few times. She "met" one beagle very nicely but the second time she sniffed the same beagle she charged him. Then she charged another medium sized dog & a pomeratian (who I swore could have passed for anothing long coat Chi...except for that pom tushy & tail hehe). Hmmmm.... Is she insecure or being protective of me with the charing??? Saying that she could be in viewing distance of the other dogs & even was relatively close to a few with out any problem at all but as soon as they sniffed was when she had an issue. I SO want to continue with our dog walks/play dates & hope hope hope we get more members join in some meet ups!

At any rate here are a few photos of Miss Maribelle at her first parade. Getting a dose of socialization PLUS.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Matilda & Fort Knox

We had a family day yesterday & headed to Fort Knox in Prospect, ME (a nearly 2 hour ride). We decided to take Matilda with us & being as she doesn't really care for riding it was a bit of a first. For the first hour she was shaking, breathing heavily & seemed really hot. Any longer rides we've been on she's done fairly well but with her in my lap I think through her for a loop because usually she has the entire front seat to herself. Anyway, I kept giving her sips of water & wiping her down with a baby wipe (the sun was directly on her & with her dark fur made it worse!). I was getting a little worried but we finally stopped at the Lincolnville beach for a stretch/break & she LOVED it! We walked on the beach for just about 10 minutes & it was just enough to loosen her up & then she willingly got back in the car & was fine for the rest of the riding - even on the way home.

Our first stop at the fort was the observatory in which Matilda wasn't allowed up so I stayed at the base & waited with her. She sat next to me on a rock next to the road & enjoyed watching the people & cars go by. A few motorcycles even went by & Matilda didn't flinch!! If you know Matilda you know she seriously dislikes motorcycles.... So I was very pleased about that!

Onto the actual fort - she had a BLAST. Going through the dark tunnels, up & down the stairs & through the tall grass....she was obviously having a great time. I'm so glad we decided to bring her. The only time she was the least bit nervous was when we saw another dog at the gift shop but she didn't put up too much of a fuss. Just sort of avoided her a little bit.

Our trip did get cut short by our little escapee, Maxwell. Apparently we should have taken him along for the ride as well.

Here are a few photos from the outting....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Tale of Maxwells (Mis)Adventures

6AM- My day started off normal. I was curled up on moms pillow and she had her head below me on the mattress. She finally rolls out of bed so I figured I'd go lay down with dad. Finally, I had to pee so bad I forced myself out of bed & out the doggy door....

7:30 AM- Something then seems a little off. Dad was still home but the girls were taking showers. I've still not been offered my breakfast (even though I usually refuse it). Mom is still on the couch though so I guess it's okay. Maybe they just forgot to feed us.

8AM- Mom finally hand fed me a bit. Hmm, usually she doesn't care if I don't eat. I know I'll get some snacks in a while odd! Now mom is taking a shower.

8:45 AM - OH! A leash? I'm going for a walk?! A ride?! Wait!! Where are they all going? They have Matilda but forgot me!! I tried to go outside to see where they were going but for some reason our play area is much smaller. Now there is only room to potty - what were they thinking?? I guess I'll wait inside - they should be home soon.....

11:45AM- ALERT! The door! CRAP, not my family. I've seen her before but I don't trust her. I'll bark & growl from under the high chair until she goes away like I usually do. But were is my family?? If they don't hurry I'll go find them myself!

NOON- Now wait a minute - that's an idea! I go outside and look for a way out. Something has to be wrong - they never leave me here alone with out Matilda to keep a lid on things for this long. I'll go find them & bring them home. I know I can get over this fence dad put up. It's much shorter than the other side - I'm glad dad hasn't finished it yet or else there is no way I'd be able to climb out! YES!! Freedom!! I know exactly where they are. After all, we go this way all the time on walks. Should be a piece of cake! Wait, why are there people following me? I know those people, I hope they leave me alone because I really need to find my family.

12:05PM (and 1/4 mile from home)- Those people are still following me. What is up with that? Maybe they want to go for a walk too? Hey, here comes a truck, I'll follow that guy since he's going in the right direction. But wait, I can't keep up. I'll keep going anyway. I'm sure they are on the same route we take for walks. I should seem them any time!

12:15PM (and 2/3 of a mile from home)- There they are again following me, I'm going to go hide now - maybe then they'll leave me alone.

12:30PM (and 1 mile from home)- The coast is clear. I keep on my route but what's this?? A DOG! A big dog! Here he comes....I need to hide. Oh were is my family? I'm not leaving this spot. This dead bush will keep me safe for now.

1:30PM (and in the same spot as before)- I'm getting scared now. I'm still all by myself but I have been watching that same lady walk back & forth calling out my name. I can't go yet, I still haven't found my familiy but our walks never last this long. I may never find them after all.

2:20PM (and still in the same spot as before)- Whats this? It sounds like my mom but I don't trust them. I'm not sure if it's really her.

2:25PM- Now that sounds like my dad...and Ivy? No, it can't be. I know it's probably those people again looking for me. I must stay here - I've just GOT to find my family.

2:30PM- I hear them again. The lady that sounds like mom is yelling & I'm sure she's yelling my name. And I hear dad & Ivy talking too!? I stumble in the leaves a little bit in excitement & mom see's me. She asked if it was really me. I look back - I look very close & sniff the air. She tries to come close to me but I'm not possitive it's her just yet so I decide to leave my bush & run a little bit to one side. But not too far. Just enough to keep my distance. I sniff a bit more. I look at what I'm sure is dad & Ivy at this point and then I see her. MATILDA!!! I knew for sure it was my family that I had found. I run up & I just couldn't contain myself. I'm sure they won't mind me peeing all over them - after all they did seem pretty excited about me finding out where they had been all day.

2:45PM- I'm so excited to be home & I can't help but whine yet they throw me in the sink for a bath? Mom said I was covered in black fly bites and a few scratches. She also said a couple of my foot pads were torn. I knew they hadn't felt right since running SO FAST on that pavement. If only they knew how hard I was trying to find them. I'm happy I finally did. I think the night would have been pretty scary out there by myself in the woods being as I am only a small 5 1/2lbs. Especially since mom told me it was supposed to storm tonight with that loud thunder & lots of rain. I found them just in time and can now get back to my nap.

With licks & tail wags,


PS. Mom also told me that they really hadn't gone on a walk but had gone on a "family trip" to Fort Knox or something like that? And that they were almost 2 hours away! Well, I guess it's just a good thing I spoted them after they got home & decided to go for a walk....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Some Light Shed on our House Guest & Our New Website!!

First of all - I'm so glad Lacie went home. I'm saying this not even because of her peeing. Her peeing "problem" made perfect sense when I found a few spots of blood on our floor yeserday & on came that "ah ha" moment! She was going in heat! I say I'm glad she went home because both times yesterday she entered the kitchen (we usually keep the kitchen/living room entry gated) our unneutered Zander was attracted to her like a strong magnet. He nearly plowed over my sister in law & my grandfather when he was carrying Lacie out to leave. YIKES! It gave us a small look at what we have to deal with when Miss Maribelle comes into heat. Good part is he didn't seem to cause too much of a problem until she came into his "area". So hopefully he doesn't put up too much of a fuss when Mari is in long as we keep her in another room. Wishful thinking? Probably. LOL But at least his overweight rump can't get over the gate....

Secondly - I bit the bullet & made a website for my crew!! It's still a work in progress & I'm really wanting to get a different picture of the crew for the main page but feel free to check it out & leave a comment in the guest book! ;o)

And the Holly Oak Chihuahuas? It's just the name we chose to put on their registration papers in case we ever decided to breed and I didn't want to have to register a second domain in the future. (CRAP! - NOTE TO SELF: Mail out those registration forms today - it's only been over a year for 2 of them & their papers have been filled out since we got the pups. Not to mention they're technically not registered until you send in the papers. ) So with out further adieu....

Holly Oak Chihuahuas

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Whoa, it's Thursday Already??

So much for my plan to daily update on our little house guest! This week has flown by! The good news is, the whole entire pack made it through the week w/o any teeth flying or "too" many words. The bad/good news is I've realized just how lucky I am with my crew of Chihuahuas!!! The first few days Lacie was a doll - didn't even realize she was here. Starting Tuesday - she started peeing on our floor. This is a typical Lacie behavior, so I hear. But during last years 3 week visit she had no accidents what so ever - even my grandfather was surprised! This little lady is as spiteful as you get! I know some people say dogs aren't spiteful but I beg to differ. Just to give an example:

I came home with some lunch, took Lacie out to pee & sat down on the couch & proceeded to eat. I don't allow my dogs to beg & Lacie was no exception. So I simply told her to "go" in the next room as I followed her until she was there. She was good - only tried once to come back & then got the hint. So I check on her after 2 minutes & there she sits "smiling" at me with a small pee puddle right next to her. I ignore it/her & finished eating. Went to clean it up & such. Not 30 minutes later I look again & there are 2 more pee spots! I've caught her in the act a couple times but she's so quick, I've more than once soaked my socks. Grrrrr....

Yes, I've taken her out every 2-3 hours (she is almost 4 years old) which is accessive if you ask me but I know that's what my grandfather does so no problem. This little 4yo Pom has whizzed on my floor more in the past 3 days than my entire pack has in the past 6 months!!! Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze!!

So needless to say I'm sort of excited to not have to clean up pee anymore. LOL Otherwise she's been great. Aside of course from being a totally bag to my dogs but hey, I can't say mine would behave the same if they were in Lacie's situation. And I'm sure she misses her "Papa".... But it is good to know my pups can & will accept another dog into their pack w/o much trouble at all. All you need is a nice long walk to start, a little pack leadership & they're good with whatever you want to dish to them! :o)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Annnd a Little Early... :o)

I just had to share as Milo has made it his personal mission to get this Prissy Pomeranian to play! I don't know who I feel more sorry for. You can hear them "exchanging words". Milo is talking to her & she's barking/growling back as she burries herself deeper down into the couch cushion. hehe

**Excuse the mess btw! I must remind the girls how to take care of their clothes before going to school in the morning.

A Little Late

So I wanted to update daily on how it's going with our little house guest. Yesterday was just nutty and I started my day off with out a good nights sleep (and that was following 2 nights that I worked graveyard shift). So needless to say I was beat all day and didn't get around to blogging. Miss Maribelle & I headed out bright & early with my mom & her Golden Retriever Holly. It was a spa day for Holly-Holl. We dropped her off at Pawz & headed back to grab a coffee & visit with a friend. Knowing that Maribelle has been getting increasingly more prone to car sickness I had a small garbage bag opened & ready "just in case". She did great except for a little water spit up on our friends couch. We spent a lot of time in the road so I thought she was doing well. The second we leave my moms house in MY vehicle - she proceeds to vomit THREE TIMES! Poor Mari! I guess she was waiting until she got back into the comfort of her own car before letting loose. LOL

So after getting home we began to set up a few new "items" for the doggy play area. I scrubbed out the girls old sandbox & the puppy pool (with the help of my darling Ivy), and got them all set up in preparation of our second round of socialization - the dog meet up group I've organized. The hubster & Ivy had gone shopping yesterday & got some bones to burry in the sand along with a Halti for our big dog. I don't want him to miss out on the socialization since he loves to play & walk yet he is a puller. Being as I was planning on walking 5 or 6 dogs I just couldn't deal with the pulling & the head harness works WONDERS for pulling...

So 2pm rolls around & the majority of the folks who I'd expected didn't show up. Being as it was a yucky morning (and had JUST started to clear off) I wasn't surprised but between the 6 dogs I had, my mom & her Golden & my step mom & her Basset Hound - we had quite a gang! It, as it always is, was a noisey start. But my crew quickly got into their traveling mode & blended right into the rest of the pack just fine. They have only seen Holly a couple times so to them, she was a new dog which really is the most important thing. And Sadie - while they see (and bark at) her every day - they aren't generally in a "pack" with her. So I think we accomplished something!

After walking 2 miles (and passing 1 strange dog with out *too* much trouble I may add!) we came home to a little play time in the new sand box & poll. I didn't get any photos from our "meet up" but I did take a bit of a video of the pups playing in their makeshift beach. ;o)

Oh & I will add - ZERO aggressive "confrontations" between Milo & Lacie. WHOOP WHOOP!! Actually, Milo was the first to initiate play with Lacie. He was unsuccessful as Lacie still doesn't go there but at least there is peace between them all & I can breath easy.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cool Dude

I've literally been eyeing this hat ever since we got Matilda last winter. Finally I decided to spend the $8 & while it's too big AND too small (does that even make sense?) for Maxwell - I at least got a cute picture of him stylin' it.

And then there were 5....

Well, for a few days anyway & it's actually 6 if you count our big dog, Zander! Last year when we doggy sat Lacie (my grandfathers almost 4yo Pomeranian) it was just Zander, puppy Matilda & Lacie. Lacie isn't exactly a social dog. Never really learned how to act around other dogs & avoids them all she can. Matilda went nuts trying to play with Lacie last year but Lacie wouldn't have it. She'd scream if Matilda got close as if she were dying - didn't bit or nip but just screamed. Matilda of course thought *that* was great & it encouraged her to try harder. LOL

Things this year are different with her visit. The obvious change, we've grown 3 dogs larger. But also my pack leadership since "finding" Cesar Millan. There is a significant difference in Lacie as a result and she's only been here for 3 hours! At first arriving I took all 5 little dogs for a walk. Lacie, being the anti-social that she is, had a hard time walking IN the pack. She stayed all around the perimeter of everyone else trying to avoid getting too close. This we'll work on as the week goes on. I believe her being here is as good for her as it is for my pack of Chi's to get used to another dog being around as they aren't very social either. Lacie is absolutely spoiled by my grandfather which isn't a bad thing per say but it's resulted in a yappy (like I've already said) anti-social dog.

Anyway, when coming back from our walk - I put all the pups in the play area outside to get a bit used to each before bringing everyone inside. I kept a VERY close eye on Milo as when he meets other little dogs he attacks them & actually managed to grab & pull out a big wad of Lacies fur a few weeks ago. I did catch the "glare" a couple times but quickly corrected it & so far, no "episodes" at all and hopefully there won't be.

I plan on taking the pups for a daily walk this week (I've been super slack lately with this!!) and tomorrow we've got another local dog meet up. This time, at my home, so all my pups will be able to attend, including Lacie! It should be fun & good for them all!

I did manage to get a picture of this weeks "pack". Matilda is a tad put out with Lacie as of right now. I think it's got to be a female thing as she did this with Maribelle as well. She's not nasty or anything but gives me dirty looks if I'm holding Lacie and when I tried to sit her next to Lacie as well...she didn't exactly want to but did because I "asked" her to.

OH & Lacie ate some doggy jerky! This may not be a big deal to most but Lacie has never taken any sort of treat from me (with the exception of cheese). So either she's getting comfortable here already .... or the doggy jerky was just way too good to pass up. ;o) Not to mention her "yapping"? Basically non-existent. She is responding to corrections like a champ & seems very influential. Even hubby is impressed! I think this week is going to be a good experience. I guess it will give us practice for when we are ready to add another. hehe

Leave it to Maxwell to blink...that Chihuahua has his eyes closed more than open! LOL

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Collars!

Would you believe that we've had Chi's for over a year & never have bought them a nylon collar? Sure we've had harness galore (I'll never go w/o a Puppia harness on a walk!) & some nice fabric collars from Park Avenue Dogs but no regular nylon collar!

So, the girls & I ventured out to the The Animal House in hopes to find a couple matching collars for the girls & boys. The boys were easy but the girls not so much. I couldn't find one that would match both Maribelle's & Matilda's coat colors (I'm so particular like that!). So I settled on a couple different designs & I think they look splendid!

So about our little outting - I figured Maribelle needed the socialization (the little yapper that she is) & I knew Matilda would be a perfect influence since she doesn't make a peep when out & about. Both girls were great until the clerk approached us to see if we were looking for anything in particular. Then Mari starts in. Every person she laid eyes on she'd start barking despite my corrections. I must look & sound like a fool but oh well. One lady, god bless her soul, stopped & asked if she could pet them. I replied "well, you can put your hand down for them to sniff but they may not let you pet them". And she did. Mari kept growling/barking & Matilda just looked at her like she was growing a second head. I explained that Mari, while sounding not so friendly, wouldn't bite. She just has a lot to say. She stood & talked for a minute before walking off thanking me. Next time I need to remember to THANK THEM for taking the time to stop. I think we need more people like she, to be more understanding of our little dogs who just need the extra time & socialization. But I have to admit - it would be a bit intimidating & I can't say as I'd stop & take the time with a little yapping dog. PRE-Chihuahua anyway. Now knowing - I'd certainly be more apt to give them the chance.

I did not leave the store until Mari was quiet. She had some treats as I held her by the cash register - she even giving the clerk a little kiss. As long as the exit each "situation" quietly & happy I'm sure it will get easier & easier.... But this little Maribelle is giving me a run for my money...errr, patience. LOL

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You just never know....

You just never know what will rub these Chi's the wrong way. This toy for instance, on any given day is one of Maxwells favorite toys. We've had this toy for a few weeks now. It's been played with, dragged through the grass & dirt (they love taking some of their favorite toys outside to play with or chew on them). But for some reason, this morning this specific toy was laying just the wrong way in maybe just the wrong place & Maxwell just didn't trust it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Daddy Love

Maxie & Matilda show some daddy love. And as you can see Matilda is a little protective of her daddy (she'll playfully chase the other pups away but still...) Even though I've tried for the past year to try to get him to stop the behavior - I think he likes the attention! She doesn't do that when anyone else is holding her. Then, when Maxwell comes over she gets mad & leaves...typical Matilda! LOL But she is such a daddy's girl...and that is just too sweet.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pretty as a Picture...

...or a "painting". :o) I should be napping this morning but I was just playing with my photo program a bit & thought I'd share my pretty girl....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Milos 1st Annual Appt.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting someone to get bitten at Milo's annual vet appt this morning. I was told after his neuter last spring that he had to be medicated before even being medicated (???) because he wasn't being very friendly?? He's been known to charge some people he chooses not to care for though most people he does very well with. Well, he did FANTASTICALLY at his appt! He was obviously scared & you could see the question in his eyes of "what the hell are you doing to me?" when the vet was doing her exam. And the eye check he totally was trying to avoid at all costs as it would have meant some sort of eye contact with a complete stranger. But he survived all that plus his blood test & Rabies vaccination.

He got an "A" from me & from the vet except for he is to loose 1lb. The little tub has managed to tip the scale at 10lbs 6oz! (which I suppose is the fault of his humans technically) He'll always be a big Chi but my jaw nearly dropped when they told me his weight - me, being in denial thought he was still at 9lbs. ;o) It should be an easy fix - we switched their food recently to a grain free food & did not changed the serving size. I'm quite positive all the Chi's have put on some weight because of this since with this grain free food you aren't supposed to feed them as much. So hopefully in a couple months he'll be back to his 9lber self!

Here is the Star of the day - Mr. Mi-mi being as cute as he always is....

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chiquita Banana....

They love their "nanas".

Socialization Take 1 Update!

I don't know if this is a coincidence or what but Maxwell has been a nut today! Usually a few times a week (or sometimes once a day) he'll go into this kissing frenzy where he'll sneak behind me & nibble on my ears & kiss me to death just all wound up excited like. Today it has been several times! He's just so cracks me up! I think the little socialization he got yesterday has made him a bit more sure of himself. I definitely need to keep this up...and do it more often! Got to keep my "kids" happy! hehe

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Socialization Take 1

So in light of Maxwells not so social behavior, I began a dog meet up group. We had our first meeting today for a walk. At first site everyone barked at each other - you know it's a part of that meeting head on thing I believe. Maxwell growled as well. But it lasted all of 5 seconds it seemed & then everyone got along splendidly! I only brought Maxwell & Maribelle along since I was feeling a bit under the weather & didn't want too much chaos but after starting I wish I had brought the other 2 Chi's. Oh time for sure! Here are a couple snaps from our first meet up - I'm hoping next time we get a few more people and pups to join! But for the first meet up, my two Chi's, a cute little Pomeranian & a happy Japanese Chin was just perfect. :o)