Monday, December 29, 2008

Storytime With Maizy

After seeing our picture in the paper on Wednesday, I admit that I was a little nervous about storytime today at the Oak Park Public Library. When we came in and asked the security guard where to go, he said "is that the dog from the pictures" and then I saw pictures of us on 11X17" paper posted all over the children's section of the library. Wow! All went well, however, as no dogs or kids were harmed and everyone had a good time. Maizy and I were sequestered in a back office where we waited while the librarian read books to the kids (a very young crowd) about "good dogs." Maizy fell asleep and let out a mighty "woof woof!" when she was startled awake by the door when the librarian came to get us. I went in and introduced myself and Maizy. I ended up keeping it short because the kids were very small. I talked about how Maizy is a good dog and that pit bulls are good dogs, I talked about how she is a rescue dog, I talked about her training requirements and what she does as a TDI therapy dog, I talked about how she doesn't get paid, I talked about the three things we always have on a therapy dog visit (her tag, her bandana, and her ID card), and most importantly (probably) I talked about the right way to approach and pet a new dog. All of the kids did a really great job with letting Maizy sniff and petting under her jaw and not on top of her head. She probably met about 30 kids and their adults, it was quite a packed house. She was a good dog and hopefully we will be invited back to the library again sometime!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Life with Dogs

The other night, I was laying in bed on the verge of sleep. Wrigley was already snoozing between the Brown Dog Dad and me and in the darkness I hear a *fart*. "Wrrriigleyyy!" I whisper and I feel the quick wag of a tail in response before we both settle back down to sleep.

Life with a dog...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"The Good News Out of The Bad Newz Kennels"

There is a fantastic article in the new issue of Sports Illustrated about the Michael Vick dogs. A must-read for pit bull lovers and haters alike (click the image to read it).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday-Themed Maizy Torture

Oh, and they light up, too. :)

I Rescued A Human Today


Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.
Written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog's professional dog trainer. Janine's passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2008 Rescue Me Dog;

Thursday, December 18, 2008


There hasn't been much new going on these days. The dogs are enjoying the snow, Probert is still occasionally escaping his crate, Maizy is therapeutic, and Wrigley is the sweetest guy on four legs.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to take Maizy to our local DIY dog wash facility. I figured that the $15 for an hour of water, shampoo, towels, brushes, etc was better than trying to do it in our own bath tub. Maizy really needs a bath before we start out at the Berwyn Public Library on Saturday where we are doing a program that the library has called "Read to Maizy." I figure if Maizy is going to be snuggled up with children, she could at least smell good. Anyway, I will let you know how it goes.

Wrigley has developed a new talent: catching snowballs. When you toss him a snowball, he will catch and eat it. It's really really cute and I will try to get a video of it one of these days when I'm home while it's still light out.

Puppy Probert will soon be the recipient of a shiny new drop-pin crate. I am hoping that he will not be able to escape this one, and for his part, he's getting an upgrade in crate size to the same size as Wrigley. Faaaan-cy.

Anway, I just wanted to share a short update. I will have pictures next time!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Working Maizy

Maizy's new bandanna!

Things have been going very well with Maizy's therapy dog work. We've now visited at the local assisted living facility a few times, and she has been getting more comfortable and better at making herself accessable to being pet by people with limited mobility. It is true, however, that people who wouldn't bother to move for any other reason, will move to pet a dog. Great physical therapy, even if it isn't in her job description.

This week Maizy made me especially proud when she didn't bat an eye at an older man waving his cane at her threateningly. Puppy Maizy would have had a fit, but with reassurance, she remained calm and did her job.

Here are some pictures of Maizy recovering from work on Monday. Those seniors are exhausting!

On the day after Thanksgiving, Maizy was lucky enough to take a trip with me, my mom, and my stepdad up to Michigan to visit some family members. She was a great dog during the trip. Our first stop was to visit my grandma who has recently moved into an assisted living facility. Maizy was a good dog and visited nicely with all of the residents and didn't get into any trouble.

Our second stop was at my other grandparents' house where Maizy played with kids and met lots of new people. She also ate a lot of snow out of the yard.

Here is a picture of Maizy with my parents.

0 Days Without An Incident

Despite our best efforts, Probert is still finding ways to escape. I am on the hunt for a new crate for him, since his is all but destroyed (it is pretty old, so it's probably time time to replace anyway). I am looking for a non-collapsable crate, as I think that he might be less likely to escape from that.

Additionally, Probert is finding ways to create havoc from inside his crate. Last week he moved his crate up against Wrigley's and pulled Wrigley's entire twin-sized blanket into his own crate through the slats. Earlier this week Probert had barfed on his usual queen-sized comforter, which I had cleaned and set outside his crate (a few feet away) until I could wash it. I came home from work that day to find that he had pulled an entire queen sized comforter into his crate through one small slat... and then de-fluffed it. Seriously, the dog is a maniac!

The good thing is that nothing major has been distroyed in Probert's recent outings and I have also figured out that leaving the TV on for the dogs does wonders to keep them calm while we're away. Yesterday I came home and went upstairs and they weren't even waiting for me, they were all curled up sleeping without a clue that I was even in the house.

We'll see what happens today!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Day, Another Escape

As I came home from work today and opened the door, I instantly smelled the smell of dog poop. I opened the interior door and found a smiling happy pup to welcome me home - Probert.

The little master has escaped his crate again! Today's adventure included tearing up the bag of trash from his previous adventure and leaving me a kingly poop on a pillow he took down from the couch (in addition to two other poops).

And so, further crate-reinforcing will be done. I took a picture of the clip that he broke in his last escape.

In better news, here is a cute picture of the pups begging food from the Brown Dog Dad.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Maizy and Probert

What an eventful week we've had! On Monday, Maizy and I started out volunteering at a local "assisted living" facility. It is lovely there and we had a good time meeting with residents as they came and went from dinner. I think once people get used to us being there each week, they'll spend more time chatting.

Maizy did make one great friend though. As we were leaving, a group of ladies was sitting at a big table doing crafts. One liked Maizy a lot and so Maizy went over to see what she was doing. Maizy was sitting between two ladies as they stuffed fleece pillows and petted her. Maizy, who couldn't stand it anymore, slooowwwwllly reached her face over into one lady's lap and gently, with just her front teeth, snatched a corner of the pillow, pulling it back towards her. The ladies laughed and told her she couldn't eat that! She tried to steal the other lady's pillow the same way and when she was foiled again the lady said, "That's okay! I don't like doing this stuff either!" So funny. I think we are going to have a good time there.

In other news, I returned home from work last night to find that Probert, the unstoppable juggernaut, had escaped his crate! This time he had to actually snap through a metal clip to escape, so I'm not even sure how that happened. During his time out in the house he:
-pooped 6 times on the floor
-tore up a pillow form
-made a pile of shoes and hats on the living room floor
-got into the second bedroom and tore open a bag of cat food
-brought the following into the bed: four stuffed ducks (mama, daddy, and babies that I've had since I was a baby... only mom survived), a stuffed rat, a comic book, a box of treats, a bag that used to have a rawhide in it, his collar, the top that I practiced yoga in yesterday, my socks, a pair of neatly-folded jeans, and Wrigley's blanket which was extracted from Wrigley's crate without the crate door being open (Wrigley's crate was moved several feet during this process) - the only things destroyed from this list were the ducks, and anything that was paper or plastic

Seriously, that guy is a maniac!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marley and Me

If you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely check out the trailer for the new movie Marley and Me, based on the book by John Grogan. The Brown Dog Dad and I were laughing out loud watching it. Reminds me of a young Maizy...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas Card Time!

Once again little model Probert is wagging his tail for the camera to bring in the donations for the rescue that saved his life! Check out his Christmas card design for Measle's Animal Haven and buy a pack of 10 cards for $15.

The back of the card has Probert's bio written by a volunteer at the rescue. It reads: "Proby is our featured Love-A-Bull. Proby is a Measle's Animal Haven success story. He was rescued from an owner who used him for target practice. When he coudln't hit him, he backed over Proby with his pickup truck and then shot fireworks at him as Proby lay writhing on the road. After physical and emotional rehabilitation at Measle's Animal Haven, Proby was adopted into a caring and loving home.
Proby spends his time snuggling with his new family, wrestling with his new siblings, and enjoying his aspiring career as a dog model."

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Bad and the Good

There have been two pup stories in the news lately that have touched me. One is about the horrible situation that happened at High Caliber K-9 Kennel in Youngstown, Ohio. The story (with graphic pictures at the end, so don't scroll down all the way if you don't want to see) is here. For a more personal approach to the story, you can also read a webpage made by the family of one of the dogs that was starved to death at the Nitro Foundation.

The other story is one that I just saw tonight and that nearly made my heart leap out of my chest with it's adorableness. It is about how a stray pit bull saved a woman and child from a knife-wielding attacker. As the woman made her escape in her car, the dog jumped into her back seat. If he is not claimed as a stray in five days, her family plans to adopt him. I think that's so amazing. Read it all here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cuddle Probert

As previously posted, Probert can be a maniac in his crate. Sometimes when I come home, I will find that during the day Probert has moved his crate across the room next to Wrigley. He did this a few days ago, I moved him back, and the next day he was over by Wrigley again, so we've left him there. I am trying to think of a new crate arrangement in the bedroom since Wrigley and Probert seem to like being together.

Here is a picture of the previous crate arrangement and the one with Probert's changes (please excuse Maizy's breakfast in the second one, which she's flung all over the floor).

Don't ask me exactly how he does it because I don't know, but they seem to be happy with the new arrangement.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Three Birthday, Probert!

The day we met the wildman. At his foster home in Ohio.

When we adopted the dogs, we didn't know any of their actual birthdays, so all are "made up." Halloween seemed as good a day as any to celebrate Probert's birthday, and today he officially turns three years old! When we adopted him, he was 11 months old and had suffered some pretty serious abuse. He hasn't totally shaken his fear of strangers, but he gets braver and happier every day!

First night in his forver home.

Probert's first birthday. A (dog) pizza party with his brother and sister!

Probert on his first birthday!

A recent picture. Holiday-related doggie torture. I swear, he is so patient. Love this guy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Little Trouble Probert

As you may or may not have noticed already, Probert is a total handful trouble maker. That doesn't change the fact that I love his little butt dearly, but boy is he a problem sometimes. Yesterday I came home from work and it was one of those times. Apparently Probert has perfected the skill of unlatching his crate and I came home to find a happy dog bouncing around a house filled with gas. He must have jumped up at the stove and turned on one of the burner knobs during his unsupervised romp around the house. He also pooped in the living room (twice), and knocked in the gate to the cat room. Other than that, the house was surprisingly in tact. I am mostly just glad that he didn't explode the house, to be honest.

So, it was an hour or so of fans and open windows (not good for late fall in Chicago!) to air the house out and then Probert and I picked up the Brown Dog Dad and went to the store to buy clips to further reinforce his crate doors. I joked that going to the store was his punishment because he is scared of strangers, new places, etc. Sorry little man, you couldn't be trusted at home so you had to go.

Anyway, now I am fairly confident that Probert is sufficiently locked up at home and I have big plans to come home today to a non-exploded house with no errant poops and no loose puppies. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Speaking of safety, check out the HSUS article on keeping your pets safe this Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 A Day

Lately, I have been trying to feed the dogs some fruits and veggies with their dinner. So far so good, because they love broccoli, eggplant, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, and many others. Last night I had the idea that maybe the pups would like the glop that comes out the butt of the juicer (there was not a lot, just a little since I was only making one glass of juice - apple, orange, strawberry). Well, Maizy and Probert both love the glop that comes out the butt of the juicer, but Wrigley looked at it like his kibble was RUINED and pouted at me until I took it off and fed it to Maizy. Sorry, Beans.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yoga Mala for Pet Rescue

One more (important, but aren't they all!? hehe) post for tonight to promote an event that I am organizing here to raise money for some very deserving rescues! If you are in the area, please come! If you know of someone who may be interested, please pass it on!

Click here for a larger version of the flier.

Officious Therapy Maizy

This week we received our information packet from Therapy Dogs International making us (Maizy and I) official members!

Our info packet was very informative and gave me some good ideas about where we might like to volunteer. Now begins the (hopefully not too) difficult process of finding a place that we like and that likes us!

I will start making calls tomorrow and be sure to let you know where we end up!

(I blurred out Maizy's ID number so that no one would steal her pawdentity!)

Every time I talk about Maizy's TDI or CGC certifications, I am reminded of Sammy Davis Jr Jr, the "Officious Seeing-Eye Bitch" in the movie Everything Is Illuminated (which you should see if you haven't)!

Discovery News features Pinups for Pitbulls!

Check out our friends from Pinups for Pitbulls on Discovery News! Carla Lou and Baxter are fellow brown pups!

Pinup Girls Pose for Pit Bulls

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tomato Season

Something is going on with my tomato plants that is making them all drop their tomatoes to the ground before they're even ripe. I think the tomato plants gave up on leaves and stems a month or so ago when we had a bunch of rain, but the tomatoes keep coming from somewhere. This makes it prime tomato-stealing season for the pups. Not a day goes by that I don't have to kick someone out of the garden only to see a blur of brown fur fly by with something red (or green or somewhere in between) in it's mouth.

Maizy perfected the art of tomato stealing earlier in the summer when she also successfully snuck a tomato into the house, as evidenced in this video...

Also, please notice that Wrigley is the sweetest thing on four legs and is perpetually confused about where everyone else gets such great stuff. It rarely occurs to him that going somewhere he shouldn't be (in the garden!) is an option!

(P.S. I'm back! My trip was excellent, but I admit to sitting on a bench near the dog park missing my pups on more than one occasion! I am glad to be home.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Heading Out

Hi Friends,

Just a note that I will be out of town visiting NYC starting tomorrow through Monday, so don't mind the lack of brown dog updates! There will be plenty to share when we get back.

Also, wish the Brown Dog Dad luck in taking care of the pups by himself while I'm away. He's going to need it (especially with Maizy, who sees me as the only authority on anything in the house)!

See you later!

The Kitty Cat Mafia

Updated pictures of the other furry members of the family, Justice and Hannibal. This is where they hang out while the brown dogs are on the loose.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dog Yoga = Doga

Follow this link to watch a great short film, Doga by Andrew Cooke. Really funny stuff!

Also, I think that the Brown Dog Dad and I have taken Cornholio to that little dog park pictured in the movie when visiting Manhattan. Always anti-social with his own species, Corny totally hated it. He was happy to make friends with the hot dog vendors on that trip, though!

Puppies, Indeed.

I took this picture a few weeks ago for a "what do you look like right now" web meme.

I thought that you all would appreciate the greatness of my shirt.

You can get your own by contacting the fine people at Measle's Animal Haven. Available in a variety of sizes and colors.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Svana Yoga*

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about how my pets affect my yoga practice. I have learned to be very patient, flexible, and unattached when practicing with a flopped cat or a 75 lb pit bull mix flopped on my mat. Check out what my yoga practice looks like with my best friend, Maizy.

*"Svana" is the sanskrit word for dog.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pups in the Backyard

Since Wrigley and Probert don't especially love to leave the house, I'm sorry that I don't often have much new scenery to plop them into for pictures. Hopefully their cuteness makes up for the lack of creative staging! Here are some pictures taken when Maizy and I got home yesterday.

The end of Wrigley's tongue appears to be stuck underneath the rest of his tongue. Perplexing!

Miss Tired Maizy.

Mr Fast Probert.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Run for Their Lives 2008!

Today was a big day! Maizy and I (along with my mother in law and cousin in law) headed out to participate in the PAWS 8th Annual Run for Their Lives and it was the most fun we've had in a while!

Repping for our friends at To Hell and Back Pit Bull Rescue.

We headed out early, but ended up stuck in some traffic along Lakeshore Drive with the huge amount of people who were also coming out for the event. When we arrived, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of people and dogs that were there. Thousands of dogs of every size and breed! It was amazing. We signed in and grabbed some free breakfast and started on the walk. We started walking a bit after the "official" start, and were there in time to see the 8K runners coming back to the finish line. We cheered them on as we walked. They looked experienced! We were only walking 4K.

Along the way, we decided to take a detour at the Montrose Dog Beach. Maizy was SO EXCITED that she about pulled me into the lake, so I decided to let her off her leash to run with the other dogs. She went nuts, she was so so so excited. Chasing other dogs, racing into the lake... Unfortunately, she caught site of a parasailer out in the water and was running along the shore line chasing his path. She was so caught up, that she ran right along the end of the fence (the fence only goes so far out into the water) and I had to jump the fence to chase her and releash her escaping butt. Thus ended the dog beach adventure.

Maizy running with her new pack!

We finished the rest of the walk relatively uneventfully. We saw so many other dogs and people, it was so much fun. Normally in any given situation I am the "crazy dog person", but I felt a kinship with all of these other crazy dog people who cared about rescue. It was a great environment.

Dead from walking. Poor Miss M.

"Mom, I am tired."

At the end of the walk, there was more free food and Maizy took a nice long rest. We were going to leave when I finally caught sight of the dog massage tent. I took Maizy for a nice long dog massage from a local spa. She could not get enough. The spa doing the massages claims to be dog-friendly, so maybe one of these days Maizy and I will do a spa day! That's my idea of fun!

Maizy appreciating the finer things in life.

After the massage, we saw that there was a Pet Intuitive there and I HAD to see what she had to say. We waited in line for a long time until we could see her. She told me that Maizy came from a farm or a place with a lot of grass. She was born there and stayed there for a long time until she found me. She said that Maizy is happy and that she and I are on a life's adventure and spend all of our time together (she is right about that). I asked if Maizy remembered "our little boston terrier." The lady asked for his name and I said, "Cornholio". She laughed and looked at Maizy and said, "No wonder you couldn't give me that... you can barely say it." So, Maizy can't say Cornholio, but she said that Corny is still with her... teaching her things. If you knew Corny, you know that he is notoriously stubborn and difficult, so I'm going to have to ask him to please STOP teaching her things! :D

Anyway, I didn't really know what to ask the Pet Intuitive, but she (or maybe another one) is going to be at another event in Chicago in October, so I will have to think of more questions. I am not sure if I believed what she was saying or not, but it was sure interesting!

Maizy makes a new friend.

We came home and played with the boys in the backyard before coming in, eating, and crashing for a couple hour nap. What a long morning we had, but so much fun!!! Thanks, PAWS!