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!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An adventure...

Today Probert and I headed out with the intention of stopping by our local Walgreens, which was scheduled to participate in the Photo shoot fundraiser for Best Friends. Unfortunately for us, we got there and nothing was going on!

So, on to plan B, we stopped at the pet store where we met some friendly strangers, took a short walk around the park, and then headed over to our favorite dog bakery, the K9 Cookie Company! Probert remains unsure about the baker there, but is mighty interested in watching him. I am sure if we keep going back, he will warm up. Also, Probert is a big fan of the cookies and muffins that we get there.

We still managed to have a fun couple of hours together even if things didn't go as planned. I will have to take a picture of Probert myself since we couldn't get it done today. It will be coming soon.

Tomorrow Maizy and I get up bright and early for the Run for Their Lives walk to raise money for PAWS Chicago! I am really looking forward to it (Maizy, too). We'll share pictures when it's all over!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Crate Portraits

Maizy trying to ignore me.

Wrigley licking his crate.

Probert showing off his mangled crate bars (time for a new one).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Measle's Animal Haven on TV!

Please check out the segment that ran today on the Mike and Juliet show about BSL in the US. Robin Laux, who is the founder of Measle's Animal Haven and was Probert's foster mom is a featured guest!

In my opinion, this is a subject that is much too complicated and has too many myths and subtleties to be discussed fully in such a short segment, but let us know what you think!

Monday, September 15, 2008

"VICKtory to the Underdog"

Today I had the total pleasure of running across the preview for the new documentary movie "VICKtory to the Underdog" about pit bull rescue, BSL, and the people who speak out on their behalf.

The movie stars tattoo artist Brandon Bond and actors Danny Trejo and Michael Berryman along with many others. The preview reminded me, as my dogs do every day, about why pit bull rescue is important, why being a responsible pit bull owner is important, and about all of the dogs out there who didn't make it.

I think this is definitely something that I will be picking up when it becomes available. I hope it helps change some people's hearts and minds.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Deliver Me From Poop

So, in the years that I've lived with dogs, I have learned that the worst thing about living with dogs is their poop. Dog poop is pretty gross. When you are hanging out in the backyard it is inevitable that one of my dogs is going to poop somewhere near you or perhaps upwind of you and then you will have to either smell their poop or move in order to continue enjoying the great outdoors.

However, this has all been taken to a new level with Probert's horrific Crate Poops. I am not sure what gets into his little mind, but from time to time Probert decides that the place to unleash is right there in his crate. Sometimes by the time I have found the poop it has been sufficiently tapdanced in so that it is now also on the walls, the carpet, Probert, and in and around every bar of the crate.

This morning I woke up to a Crate Poop and let me tell you, the smell about put me off breathing for the rest of my life. The last thing that I want to do when I first wake up/first get home/ever anytime at all is clean poop out of ever nook and cranny of a crate.

I should have known when I adopted him that Probert was made this cute for a reason.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Maizy Bear

Maizy and her dad, 2005.

I hope that all of the other pups out there are enjoying the start of football season in the US! Maizy, for one, is suffering from some post-traumatic stress from this Sunday's game. After we came home from her test, she spent most of the day napping in the middle of the living room floor. Little did she know that once the Bears game started, Brown Dog Dad was going to jump up yelling several times, jolting her out of sleep and leaving her to look around the room in bewilderment. Eventually, I took pity on her and put her upstairs in her crate where she could rest peacefully. I hope her heart will recover.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Paging Doctor Maizy...

Today was a big day in the brown dog household! Maizy and I had plans to head out today to the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights. As a part of their big family fun fair, they were also offering testing for Therapy Dog International.

Since Maizy passed her CGC test, I have wanted to get involved in working as an emotional support therapy dog. Basically, she would be able to visit hospitals, retirement communities and spend time getting pet and giving love.

So today we showed up early so that we could go for walk, check out the area, and generally get comfortable with the surroundings. We ended up getting there really early and parked about a half mile away so that we could take a stroll. We met up with the volunteers who were setting up and decided to continue our walk. Since we had some time, I called up my grandma to chat until it was time to take the test.

Maizy's big day!

Test time came and we watched the volunteers get set up and watched one dog run through the test as a trial. Then we signed some papers, paid our money, and it was our turn first! The process of the TDI test is very similar to the CGC test, with a few different elements. The test was being held outside as part of the fair. It was full of distractions, including a mini train full of children going around the perimeter, complete with whistle and yelling kids!

Maizy did great at her test, however, and in the end, she passed! I am the proudest Brown Dog Mom on the planet. We have to go to the vet to get some paperwork signed to send in for her official registration, but then we're all set! We are welcome to come back to visit Lutheran Home or we can establish a relationship with facilities in our area to visit there. I am really looking forward to taking Maizy on these visits. On our way back to the car, we walked through the fair and Maizy was very friendly and well-behaved. She cozied up to people in wheelchairs so they could pet her and let children hug her like a giant teddy bear. I think she is going to be a GREAT therapy dog!

In the car ready to head home!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Faker Bean

Wrigley is a dog who loves water. I mean, LOVES WATER. If the hose is out, he's there. When you're filling up the water bowls, he's there. If you walk into the bathroom... well, he's already there standing in the tub waiting to see if you just happen to be turning on the faucet please?!

So, it is funny to know that he hates the rain! Yesterday when Brown Dog Dad got home, he went to let the pups out. Maizy and Probert went outside, but Wrigley stuck his head out, saw that it was raining, and ran back inside! BDD went after him and found Wrigley standing at the top of the stairs, refusing to come down. When BDD tried to coax him, Wrigley had a response. He slowly lifted up one of his front paws, holding it like he was injured, and made a sad face. Nice try, buddy. BDD went and got him and brought him outside to potty.

So, Wrigley would like to ask the rain rain to please go away!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pit Bulls, No Lipstick

The Brown Pups are not sure what to make of Sarah Palin's comments last night about the "difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull." Having never met a hockey mom, they are assuming that these "hockey moms" must be cuddlebutts with insatiable lickers.

I will let the pups continue to believe that, because I'm sure they'd be shocked to know that there are people out there who continue to use their breed as a negative descriptor (attacking, vicious, unpredictable, etc).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Run for Their Lives 2008

As the Dog Mom of three rescue dogs, I happen to think that dog rescue is very important. There are so many dogs out there who deserve a chance that it's heartbreaking to think about all of the dogs who die each year without ever having a real family or a toy or even a name!!

It is in the spirit of helping out other homeless pups that Maizy and I are going to participate in the 8th Annual PAWS Chicago Run for Their Lives on September 28th. We are doing the 4k walk portion, as dogs aren't allowed on the run (and Brown Dog Mom is not much of a runner, anyway!).

If you are feeling generous or have some extra change jingling around in your pockets, please consider donating. All of the costs of the event have been covered by corporate sponsors, so 100% of personal donations will go to help rescused animals.

Visit us and donate here!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What's in a name?

It might not seem like it, but we put a lot of thought into naming the brown dogs. I mean, a name is a big deal, right? So I will tell you about how the brown dogs got their names.

When we adopted Maizy, we had been considering getting two dogs, a male and female. During that time, we had been thinking of names for a "pair" of dogs and came up with Miles and Maizy, the kids from the John Candy movie "Uncle Buck"! As it turned out, we only got our Maizy, but the name just suits her.

Wrigley was harder to name. We thought of naming him Miles, but when we met him, it didn't fit. I wanted to name him after something else related to Chicago, and preferred something related to Chicago sports. I desperately wanted to name him "Sweetness" after Walter Payton's nickname, which is a totally appropriate name for Wrigley (and a cute name for a pit bull, I thought), but the Brown Dog Dad did not agree. After going through all kinds of Chicago Bears-related name ideas (Halas, Staley...), we ended up on the Cubs and Wrigley. He wriggles, so it fits, though I think there are a lot of dogs in Chicago named Wrigley! His name was more original in Philly, that's for sure.

And what could be more appropriate than to name a little underdog, fight-for-his-life pit bull doggie after one of the most notorious fighters in the history of hockey... Bob Probert. A lot of people told me that Proby was a terrible nickname for a dog, but it works okay for us. Also, Bob Probert played for Chicago and for the Detroit Red Wings, which is my hometown!

In case you prefer the visual to the written description, I will provide the following graphic that depicts each dog with their namesake...