Monday, July 30, 2007


I probably shouldn't but I have to admit that I hate canned dog food.

I hate canned cat food as well, but that is not an occupational hazard at this time.

I hate the smell of it, the look of it, and I really hate it when I get it on my hands. I particularly hate it went it is made to look like human food while still smelling like dog food.

My friends and I were talking at the pool about things that gross us out. I declared that once you had been through pregnancy, child birth and the first year with any baby, you just didn't have a 'gross-out' response left in you. But I still really hate canned dog food.

Bad PUG Shots

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's PUG DAY at the Ranch!

Yes, we are completely over run with pugs. I have been racking my brain trying to remember if I have any other 'pug' clients or are they all here this weekend. The only one I can come up with is Chug, the CHUG - CHichuahua, PUg mix.

Pug, the pug.




Though not a pug directly, Shadow has had two litters of Puggles. So she counts as part of the Pug family. Seeing how tiny she looks now only makes me realize how hugely pregnant she was when she was here last. I was a nervous wreck that weekend. To mangle a movie quote, "I don't know nothing about birthing no puppies!"

I am really impressed with how Shadow has gotten her girlish figure back. She has had 2 litters of 7 puggles each. I only had two kids and nothing went back to where it came from after that.

The pug tails have me completely amused.

I think this tells me that Pug is not all Pug.

This is Odie uncurling his tail. I didn't realize they could do that. It is pretty amazing to watch. I didn't think I would be able to get a picture of it, but it turns out that having someone take a picture of his tail, was enough to make him tuck it.

Speaking of tucked tails, Parker is making himself a nervous wreck. He is the biggest dog here and he is scared of everything. He had his tail tucked so far on the first day, I though he was giving himself a wedgie. I don't know why he is intimidated by all these little dogs, his brother is Odie, it is not like he never saw a pug before.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I have had a Pooh Bear, a Piglet, an Eeyore and finally a Tigger. Does his name ever fit him.

Friday, July 20, 2007

If you have a bad habit, please don't pass it on!

Boozer likes to scratch up the dirt and fling his poop when he is finished. This is a pain for me. Flung poop is much harder to retrieve in its entirety. Plus, the last thing I need is more of my play yard turned into dust. We finally had some rain and the dust turned back into dirt. The basic running and chasing will turn it back into a dust bowl in no time, Boozer, don't help it along!

And really, did you have to teach the technique to Flip, Sassy, Hank and Maki?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Getting the Hang of this Place

Sassy and Cleo have really adjusted to this place and very quickly too. They made friends right away. On the first play time, I called and they came right up and went right back into their kennel. They had some trouble with me closing their door that first night, but they had the kennel routine down pat by the second day.

That is when Cleo started to get just a bit too comfortable. She has gone from a little skittish the first day to 'Small and in Charge' by the 5th day. She is barking and running and trying to boss everyone around now. She has another 5 days to stay and I figure she will be trying to boss me around before she goes home.

The oddest game of Connect the Dots, I have ever played.

I have a dog that walks and poops at the same time. I thought that was pretty weird. Though, it does make it easier to determine which of my two dogs made the mess in the house. A pile means one dog, and a line means other.

I discovered that my dog is not alone in making lines of turds, a lot of dogs do this. Today, I have one that takes it to a whole new level. I will spare you the photos, but this dog managed to leave a dotted line of dog poop about 20 feet long. Like I said, oddest game of connect the dots that I have ever played.

This dog also walks and pees at the same time, now that really is a talent.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Goofy Has Lost His Mind

Of all the dogs in the kennel, he has decided to stalk Flip. Now, Goofy has never attached himself to anything bigger than a bread box before. In all honesty, he usually sticks to smaller than a loaf of bread. What the attraction that brought on this perverse pairing, I will never know.

When it first started, I was worried that Flip was going to give Goofy hell and I was going to have the fight of my life on my hands. Nope. Flip is acting like all the other, much littler dogs - he is just trying to stay away from Goofy with not a lot of luck.

I decide this has to end when Flip won't even come out of his kennel. I grab Goofy's collar and attempt to steer this mountain of fur into the far side of the play yard. Goofy turns his head put his whole mouth on my hand to tell me 'NO!' Oh, I am so sorry buddy, you don't get to tell me 'no'. Goofy promptly spent that playtime in time-out in his run. I figured he would learn a lesson about who is in charge and Flip would get a chance to relax. Nope. Flip decided to go back to harassing Sassy who wants no more to play with Flip than Flip wants to play with Goofy.

See, dogs are really like 2 years olds. They know when they hate something that happens to them, but are completely incapable of seeing that same bad behavior when they themselves do it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


That is Sassy looking at the camera and Cleo having a meet and greet with Yanni.


At first I thought it was a dog, and then I tried to tell myself it just has to be some garbage that blew into my bottom pasture.

No, it's neither - its is two dogs, two boxers to be exact.

They are hunker down in the creek bed watching my sprinklers going on the pear orchard. Now I find my industrial agricultural irrigation system to be fascinating, but why do these two dogs?

I called the Animal Shelter to see if anyone had reported their boxes missing, but no luck. They don't look familiar to me. They are still down there, looking like they are ready to pounce. Aren't they going to get the surprise of their lives when they finally leap and their prize is 40 feet of aluminum hand line.

My Pill Giving Skills Seem to be Deteriorating

I have lost my touch. First, I forgot Eunice's cheese chunk to hide her half and pill in. I figure I can use the gray from her dinner, no problem. Problem, she just licked that pill clean and returned it to me - twice. So I had to resort to the traditional method: get the dog to open their mouth by pushing their lips down over their teeth. That didn't work that well with Eunice and I barely got her mouth open. Once the pill is in the dogs mouth, you have to hold their mouth shut until you see their tongue poke out - that means they have swallowed. Eunice is a very patient dog, she out waited me twice before I finally got the pill down.

I will never forget Eunice's cheese chunk again.

Then there is Henry. He did good for the first three days. He and Lucinda would eat their vitamins right out of my hand and Henry would lick up his pain pill from my fingers. On the fourth day, he decided that he didn't want the pill, so he knocked it to the ground and let Lucinda eat it. Fortunately, my dog takes the same pill so I could replace those doses.

I try a new approach. Henry eats so fast, I will just drop it into his breakfast. That worked for two days until I noticed he wolfed down breakfast but left one piece of kibble. Hey, that was not kibble, that was his pill. He obviously doesn't need it for eye sight or sense of smell.

I thought I would have to resort to holding his mouth, but I tried putting the little pill on top of the vitamin tablet and he ate them together. Thankfully he went home before I had to come up with another way to get him to take his pills.

For my own dogs, I used to use cheese, but I found that peanut butter works better. Every morning one of my dogs has to have 2 pills. I put PB on a knife and she licks it clean. I did used a spoon, but you have to wait much longer to get a clean spoon back than a clean knife. I get a second knife and give my other dog a PB treat, just to be fair. We have been doing this every morning for months now and yet every morning the second dog looks that peanut butter over very throughly to make sure I am not trying to slip a pill in on her.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Have Not Lost My Doggie Karma

I was a bit freaked out about the cancellations last weeks, plus the no-shows, and then the people on the waiting list who were not thrilled to hear I had room for their dog. I was wondering what I had done to wipe away all of my doggie karma. I really started to worry when I wasn't getting any new calls to fill 3 empty kennels I now had for a holiday weekend.

Then BB's Dad called and needed to put BB back in her reservation, she had gone home early. That is when I realized that I had not lost the doggie karma, it had been holding out so that BB could come back. Within an hour of BB's call, I had all the kennels full and was turning people away again.

Seeing Double, Almost

Don't you just hate it when someone wears the same outfit as you to a party.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Forest Fire in Indian Canyon

I was just outside grilling dinner and watching the forest fire. It started yesterday afternoon with a lightning strike in the late afternoon. They had it under control last night. Today, it seemed really hazy and smoky in the early afternoon, but at dinner time it came back with a vengeance. The fire was much bigger and the smoke much blacker. It is almost 7 o'clock now and it looks like it might be under control again.

Hard for me to tell how far or close the fire is. Is it on this bluff or somewhere much farther behind the bluff. All in all, its too close for me.

The New Dog Gauntlet

Remy seems to handling all the attention pretty well.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Doggie Butts

These were the first two pictures I took this evening. It really looks like I was trying to photograph just their rear ends. Okay Owners, can you identify your dog from its derrière?


I thought the flash might help me capture the bedtime action but instead it turned all my charges into demon dogs.

Eunice, You Are a Girl!

I keep telling her this and she just keeps on insisting on lifting her leg and marking everything that will hold still for it.

I am losing Eunice. She is moving away on me. Her mom got a new job and I can't decide which one of the set I am going to miss more.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I am having another weird calendar week

It is the Fourth of July and I have empty kennels. That is pretty weird. Actually, I have had the 3rd and the 4th open all along. It is this weekend that has been sold out since May. I had a waiting list of seven dogs long when I stopped adding to it. That turned out to be a mistake.

I had a cancellation last week and I started calling the wait list, most people had made other arrangements. That in itself was weird, most times people cancel their arrangements and bring the dog here if I get an opening. But in the end, I filled the slot with Tessie.

Only, it turns out the Tessie was already on the calendar for this weekend. I only noticed this double booking on Sunday. So someone calls and I once again have a full kennel and tell anyone who calls that I have confirmed everyone for this week and I don't bother to write down anyone on the wait list. (besides the bottom of the calendar page doesn't have anymore room for wait list entries)

This is when the unexpected started to happen. BB got picked up on Tuesday instead of Sunday. And then the dog that I had gotten in to fill Tessie's second kennel canceled on me.

So here I am with 2 empty kennels on the one weekend that was so solid I wasn't taking anymore names, trying to wrack my brain and remember the names of the dogs or owners that called recently. Not much luck there.

The owner of another dog that is due this morning, called last week and I have been trying to call them back with no answer. I tried again last night and their phone number is disconnected. I am thinking that will be one more empty kennel.

This is the problem with having to say 'no' all the time. People stop trying. We will see if I get any calls today from last minute travelers.

Either the Doggie Karma will prevail and I will fill back up or I am going to get a vacation this week.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I got some bad news

One of my favorite dogs has died. Izzy was a great dog, a real player. He had so much fun whenever he came here, and so did all the other dogs. I, in turn, had a great time watching him.

The last time he was here, about a month ago, he just wasn't acting like himself. He was being very timid around the other dogs, fearful even. This was just not the 'life of the party' dog that I was used to getting. Izzy was more known for his high speed and lack of steering.

My thought was that Izzy had been attacked by another dog. I have seen a dog bite turn the most socialized dog into one that just spends all of its time anticipating the next bite. It is really sad.

I asked his mom about his behavior and she too thought he wasn't himself lately. She thought that either he was sick or that the neighbor kid had been mean to him. She was going to take him to the vet. Her call the next day was a shock to me, Izzy was really ill. He had gotten some of the tainted dog food and his kidneys had been damaged. The vet was taking care of him and she thought he would be okay.

I spoke to Izzy's mom on Sunday, checking on Izzy's place on the waiting list. I asked how he was doing and she said he still wasn't himself, but okay. I got on the phone to double check all the reservations hoping there would be a cancellation for Izzy. He is one of my favorites.

She called me last night, so that I wouldn't call her with an opening for Izzy. His kidneys had failed and she had to put him to sleep. I am so sorry about Izzy and his mom, it is a really great loss.

This is the only dog that I know of that was killed by the bad dog food, but my heart goes out to any owner who lost their dog.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Taste of Her Own Medicine

Lucinda has finally been out Lucinda'ed.

We finally have a dog bigger, bouncier, and more persistent than Lucinda. A standard sized poodle named Chico. It is funny to watch Lucinda suffer from a dog that is playing a bit to rough and won't get the message that she would much rather be playing with BB.

Unfortunately, irony is lost on dogs.

They are very much like the average toddler who will wail when another kids comes up and swipes his toys, but fails to see the problem in his own bad behavior when he does the same thing.

That level of self awareness must show up in kids around age 4 or 5. I can't quite remember when my kids finally got the concept that if I don't like it happening to me, I shouldn't do it to others. I have never seen a dog get that message.

The other dogs do seem to have a sense of 'just deserts' as they seem to really be enjoying watching Lucinda getting some.