Monday, January 30, 2006

Year of the Dog - Watch where you step!

As I was reading about the Year of the Dog, I decided to read up on my year. I am a 'Dragon'. So is my husband and my son. My daughter was born in the Year of the Tiger.

Doesn't sound like we have a very ferocious household. But according to the charts, 'Dragons' and 'Tigers' get along just fine.

The one animal that a 'Dragon' will never get along with is a 'Dog'!


Sunday, January 29, 2006

2006 Year of the Dog

Happy Chinese New Year!

Since it is the Year of the Dog, I order boxes of custom printed fortune cookies to give away to my clients. I am taking a bag full to the first graders. I am making a little presentation to my daughter's first grade class on Chinese New Year and I had to do some research.

The holiday runs for 15 days; from the New Moon to the Full Moon. I didn't know that. I was reading the personality description for all 12 of the zodiac animals. People born in the Year of the Dog are supposed to be Loyal, Honest, yet very stubborn. That does sounds a lot like my dogs. It is said of all the zodiac, 'dogs' make the best friends.

So here at the Yawning Dog Ranch wish you many 'Dogs' in your life.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hi, I'm back...

I'm frozen, and I am back at it.
So far this morning, I have taken out the dogs in the kennel, taken out the garbage, taken the kids to school and have microwaved the same cup of tea four times already.

Everything seems to be back to normal.

My husband told me when I got home that I had, "an easy week at the kennel."

Oh, no! Don't say it out loud. If you say 'no doggies', the doggie gods will here you and send you emergency drop offs, last minute trips, and 'oh, I forgot to call for a reservations'.
It is only 11:33am and the week is filling up.

Never say NONE!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The stuff you need to cover with your dog but no one tells you.

Some of these things I heard about in time to use them on my dogs as puppies, others fall into the 'when I have another dog, I will definitely do' category.

While your dog is still a puppy,


Touch his ears, paws, and tail

Get them used to brushing

Bother them while they are eating

Take toys away from them

Make really loud noises around them

Take them for rides in the car

Have bikes ridden near them

Expose your puppy to puppies, dogs, cats, and kids

You should be able to do all these things without the dog complaining. (growling or snapping)


Play tug of war, eventually they will get big enough to win
Let them jumping up with out you asking them to
Continue to be afraid of loud noises, the car, a truck, bikes, other dogs or kids.

You might want to remember these things when you have 'real' kids.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Once you have trained the dog; teach your kids the same commands.

I mentioned before that there are 6 commands that every dog should be taught.

Turns out that they apply to your kids, as well.

Before they leave your nest to enter the public school system your kid should be house broken, and know the following commands, no matter what form they come in. SIT – if you don’t want to send the kindergarten teacher screaming into the night, your 5 year old should be able to sit still for at least 15 minutes without the assistance of a cartoon. STAY – same idea but can involve standing as well. Practice this is the grocery store. ‘STAY with the cart, I forgot to get the milk.’ (Let me know how it goes, my kids haven’t mastered that one and the dogs only stay if they forget why they are lying there and fall asleep.) COME – Now for the kids I recommend ‘come here’ or ‘please, come here’; because they know you use that phrase and that tone on the dog and so do the neighbors. But like the dogs, the kids should get over to you after you ask once, not after you have called all the kids and dogs for a 5 block radius and the veins are popping out on your neck. GET, FETCH – kids version. ‘Will you get me…my book, the remote, your father?’ And like COME, you should only have to ask once. BRING and GIVE are really only for the dogs, as a rule the kids are not going to make you yank the remote out of their teeth. GIVE IT TO ME – now, you will use that more than you ever realized once you have 2 children. GET IN THE CAR – this is a phrase my dogs live for. They will get in other people’s car if the door is left open for more than a nanosecond. My children, however, are a very different story. There have been many morning spent yelling, ‘SOCKS, SHOES, COAT, CAR!!! LET’S GO! LET’S GO! LET’S GO!’ Usually all said at the top of my lungs and 5 minutes after we should have been pulling out the driveway.

Now a bit of advice on how to train your children; I went to a dog trainer that used choke collars to train the dogs. Worked great on the dogs, but it will definitely get you a call from Child's Services if you try it on the kids.

Monday, January 16, 2006

THE RULES for Kids and Dogs

I have been trying to cover the basics of doggie etiquette with my kids.

Ask before petting.

Only pet in one direction.

Don’t pull their tails, Don’t open their ears, Don’t have anything to do with their mouths.

Don’t tease the dog (including ours).

Don’t bug them when they are eating.

Don’t wake a sleeping dog, especially by landing on her. (also applies to a napping mom)

That growl is a warning that you are hurting the dog.

If you don’t want your whole head licked, don’t come down to the kennel.

A friend of mine’s son was teasing their dog endlessly. And she had told him over and over again that eventually the dog will bite him. Obviously, this message was not getting through because the teasing continued. Finally, SHE bit her son and told him the dog will bite harder. Now, I don’t recommend this particular method of child discipline, but he did stop teasing the dog.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I am going on a dog-free vacation.

I am off to my parents. They really just want to see my kids, but I am the only way to get them to Arizona.

My parent's don't have any pets since Mandy died. Mandy was a cat that lived a very long time. From kindergarten into grad school. I never had a dog as a kid.

(you will have to hear the 'my parent's really did send the dog to live on a farm' story of my brother's dog. It is chapter: The Seven Great Lies of Adulthood of my baby and dog book. Yup, I am writing a book. This blog is just a way of collecting new material)

So when we go to Arizona, my kids look for other people's dogs. So do I. Whenever we take a walk or go for a ride in the golf cart, we have to stop at any dog out for a walk. I have taught the kids to ask the owners "What is your dog's name?" and "Can I pet your dog." Funny thing about this is that my daughter does not start with a 'Hi' or 'Hello'. She starts with asking to pet the dog. We get quite a few, "My dog doesn't like kids." or " be petted." or "...strangers."

These statement never deter my daughter for a second. It puts me on alarm, though. I don't get this. We asked, nicely I might add, and you said your dog is not friendly; yet you are bringing it to my kids and having them put their heads in your dogs face.

Now most of the time, the owners are surprised at how much their dog likes my kids. But really folks, if you dog doesn't like kids - WALK AWAY.

If your dog is nice, well trained, and under your control - there isn't going to be a problem. Why are you apologizing for your dog's bad behavior before it happens or that isn't going to happen. There must be something to this phenomenon - it is like people apologizing for their messy house that is in perfect order.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The 6 commands your dog should know...

And you are going to have to teach it.

Extras that will make your life a great deal easier, but harder to teach. And for my work, not essential for boarding purposes.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Are you a Doggie-Mom? I am.

Are you a Doggie-Mom?

Before you got pregnant, did your parents refer to your pets as the grand-dogs?

Did they buy the dogs Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or Valentine’s Day presents?

Did your dog get cards addressed to him? Or did he send out his own Christmas cards?

Once you announced your pregnancy, did anyone ask you if you were getting rid of the dogs?

And did you tell them that your parents didn’t get rid of your older brother and sister when you were born? I did.

At your baby shower did all or at least most of the baby clothes have dogs printed or embroidered on them? I bet the ones you buy for new moms do.

Did you get more than one copy of ‘Go Dog Go’ or the Carl books?

Did your new baby get any teddy bears or do you have enough stuffed dogs to have a Westminster STUFFED Dog Show?

Well, I am one, too.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

while I am away from the kennel...

Since I will not have any funny dog stories to tell, I thought I would hand out some advice on dogs.

Free Advice, worth every penny you paid for it.

So check in over the next week for tips on dog training, kid training, and parent training.

Have a nice week, I will talk to you when I get back to Utah.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Welcome back Ladies...

I missed you.

So it seems that you cannot get all three of the ladies in one photo - ever.

Monday, January 09, 2006

kids and dogs are they really that different?

Not as much as you would think.

This is the premise of the book I am writing. If you are a doggie mom or dad; you are the parent. Everything you learned while training your puppy, will serve you well in raising a baby.

Or as I think of it, why am I repeating all the mistakes I made with the dogs.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Size doesn't matter

I have decided, through close, thorough, and completely unscientific observation, size does not matter in dogs. It seems that they don’t really have a good grasp of their actual size. I often see tiny dogs playing with giants. Hysterical to me, oblivious to them.

It is quite the match up here at the ranch today.

In one corner we have Maki, the mastif-laborador cross, and in the other, Sissy, the jack russel terrier.

Mastidor verse Little-Bit, looks like a even match to me.
Though Sissy is getting a pretty good coating of dirt. There may have to be a call against Maki for excessive use of mastif spit. We will have to check with the referees.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

As I mentioned before, some dogs just can't let go.

If you don't let go I can't throw it again.

- Throw me, Throw me.

Maybe I should check with your mother before I do that.

- Throw me, Throw me.

Definitely checking with your parents.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I want you to meet Roxy.

Roxy is one of my regulars. She is a boxer. She like to play soccer with me and can actually play soccer with a tennis ball all by herself. And she has a 'thing' about gloves.

As in, "LOOK! glove! eat it! eat it! eat it!"
Which always leads to me trying to pull my hand out of her mouth yelling, "LOOK! hand! hand! hand!"

I understand that she feels the same way about socks. At home, she pulls off socks the moment anyone take off their shoes.

Now I can use the glove thing to my advantage. I have thrown a glove into her kennel to get her to go in. She doesn't chew on it at all - she just doesn't want me to wear it.

Regardless of her glove fetish, I will always have a soft spot for Roxy. I think it was her second visit with us. Roxy got dropped off a few minutes after 7am. She was handed off to my husband in the driveway as her parent's drove to the hospital for the birth of Roxy's baby brother. Baby brother number two is due to arrive next Friday. So, we are ready for the doggie hand off again.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's lonely down on the ranch...

I only have one dog staying with me this week. She seems a little lonely. I get worn out when the kennel is full, trying to keep up with all the dogs and all the cleaning. But it is harder work when it is empty. I feel bad that the doggies don't have anyone to play with and I end up spending more time with them.

Things will fill up and go back to normal after this weekend, but it really odd to be relativily dog-less for a week.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Another visit from The Ladies

I have to try and get a picture of my Ladies. They are three black scottie dogs, ranging from really tiny to pretty small. They make me smile just to see the three of them together. I have tried to follow the story of how their mom came to own 3 dogs, but it complicated and involves dogs bought by her daughter and then given to her. I am still lost. I also still don't know which one is which. Which is why, Susie, Sarah, and Chloe, are The Ladies.

Besides they remind me of little old ladies in black dresses. They just need little black purses with gold clasps to hold in their laps. Just like my Gram.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Someone must have done an analysis of mounting behavior in dogs; it just doesn’t make much sense to me. I see it everyday. I read somewhere that it is just part of how the alpha male establishes his dominance over the other males. Okay, fine, one thing though…why is it the females that are doing it most of the time?

And it seems that even the nerdiest of high schoolers gets the basic logistics of sex right. (even if they might never get a shot at using the information, at least until they go off to college with all the other nerds) but dogs are just ALL OVER THE PLACE! I try to be helpful…I tell the dogs:
‘Honey, that is the wrong end.’
‘You can’t really get anywhere with the side approach, but ‘A’ for effort.’
‘Eunice, you are a girl! Really!’
‘This is not a dating service!’
And back to the unaware of their own actual size: Scooter, the poodle of love, trying to woo a mastiff named Diamond. Such an optimist, he only can make it to her ankle bone.

And my all time favorite… the dog train. I’m sure you can picture that.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I am flattered but you know I'm married...

besides these mix species relationships never work out.

Actually, I am not really even that flattered. Chico has worked his way through all the female dogs, a couple of the males, and one doggie bed before turning his 'romeo' eyes on me.

Brings a whole new meaning to 'puppy love' doesn't it.