Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Guy's New Crate

I have been extremely neglectful about posting! Probert turned 6 on Halloween and everyone else is doing great! Here's a picture of Probert in his new crate that Dan magically found in the garbage on the exact same day that I was going to buy Probert a new crate! Look how much he loves it! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Greta, sound asleep (despite all of her enthusiastic barking, she does indeed rest at times).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bark Bark Bark

The browns remain stoic and unaffected in the face of an enthusiastic barkeroni.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Over the past year or so, Greta has grown particularly picky about eating. The biggest problem with this is that when she doesn't eat, she gets sick. Out both ends. And there's sometimes blood. This is unpleasant enough for Dan and I, but has to be even worse for her. The problem could usually be solved just by making absolutely sure that she ate her meals, but I recently took her to the vet to see if there was another problem.

Come to find out that GSDs often have digestive issues and now we are in the middle of trying to diagnose hers. It could be as simple as a parasite (though none shows up in the tests) or as complicated as IBD. For now, she is taking some antibiotics and just finished her first course of dewormer, so we'll see where things go from there. I'm happy to report that she's been eating well, at least, and hasn't had any issues.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm told it's very very common in GSDs, especially!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Upsidedown Dogs

At the beginning of June Probert and I taught Doga as a fundraiser for One Tail at a Time rescue in Chicago. We had an awesome time with a full class and the Fido to Go dog food truck even showed up at the end of class so the Dogis could get  treat!

Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I had a wonderful (Dog)Mother's Day with my browns and my lovely step-woof, Greta! Here's a picture of us.

It has since then suddenly become summer in Chicago, with temperatures into the 90s! Probert has been protesting this shock to his system by exploring the cooling properties of different areas of the yard. Yesterday, he tested things out by flopping in an old wooden storage box in the corner of the yard. He is such a weirdo.

A funny thing about this is that I think this is the first time I've ever seen him actually lay down outdoors. Someone is finally becoming a dog after all this time!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Introducing the Ladies

This may sound funny, but in the nearly 1.5 years that Dan and I have been dating, we have yet to fully integrate our dog packs. Well, mostly we have avoided fully introducing Maizy and Greta, our two bossy ladies.

I had a gift certificate for some dog training and we recently used it to meet with a trainer and work on the relationship between those two and I have to say, it was very promising!

So, now we are taking them for walks and letting them in the yard together (with Maizy on a leash still) and things are going great. Greta is getting confident enough that Maizy is not annoyed and Maizy is realizing that she cannot be the boss of everyone.

What a great spring it's going to be!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday, Wrigs!

Today Wrigley turned 6 years old! I can't believe he's lived with me for over 5.5 years. He's such a wonderful, joyful pup. Happy birthday, Wrigley Beans.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Well! I have really neglected to update since the last time I posted, I was headed off to Japan! As it turned out, our flight landed in Japan exactly one minute before the earthquake occurred. We were taxi-ing along the runway when the plane began to rock severely. The long and the short of the whole story is that Narita Airport was closed so they couldn't get us through customs and after a 14 hour flight from the US they then kept us on the plane for about another 10 hours on the ground before we could file into the airport where we then spent the night sleeping on the floor among thousands of others. After a long ordeal, we finally made it to our hotel and were able to see some of Tokyo, but the city was not itself. We really loved Japan, though, and I hope we can go back again sometime!

During all of that, the dogs were well taken care of back at home! They loved staying at Canine Crews in Chicago and made these paw paintings for St Patrick's Day.

They were thrilled with life when I picked them up and spent the next 24 hours sleeping like logs. I can tell that they were having a great time! They already have another appointment to stay at Canine Crews in a week when I am in LA (where I will hopefully not encounter any earthquakes).

Monday, March 7, 2011


Well, in just a few short days I am off to Japan on what I think is a very well-deserved vacation! The dogs will be on vacation, too, on their first ever trip to a boarding facility. I put a lot of care into choosing a place for them and I am optimistic that everything will work out well in my absence. Nervous, but optimistic. It will be really good for all of us, I think, since I have never boarded them and need to lighten up and it will be a good "out in the world" experience for the browns. Cutting the cord... I will report back on how everyone does.

Last week at Doga Maizy was such a pill that this week I put in an untested rookie. Probert was up to the challenge and made a LOVELY Doga companion. He taught a wonderful class and he just might be my new Doga co-teacher.

My boyfriend brought over this poster for Probert this weekend and hung it above his crate. Probert came in from playing outside to see it for the first time, walked straight into his crate and stood there staring at it. I think he likes it!

Last week was my friend Flo's birthday and we surprised her with this photo (which was a huge pain in the butt, let me tell you!). ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


We woke up this morning to a drift of snow taller than all three browns, including Maizy, which is really something! Fortunately, Wrigley was there to plow ahead and lead the other dogs in a single line around the yard until they found a place where the snow was low enough to do their business.

Later in the day, we went out again to try to shovel our way to the garage. It was no easy feat as most of the snow had drifted to that side of the yard, but I finally got the walkway shoveled out.

Maizy and Wrigley helped by eating what snow they could. Probert helped by getting a ton of snow stuck inside his new hat (which may not be the answer for snowy weather).

Judging by the huge pile of snow at the end of our alley, which has been either plowed from the street or deposited by those neighbors digging out their cars, I will not be getting out of here anytime soon. We'll see what tomorrow holds!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We are in the middle of a THUNDERSNOW here in Chicago and it is windy and snowy as all get out. I am about to take the dogs out for their final potty of the night and hope that none of us blow away. Earlier, about 40 minutes into our blizzard watch, we went outside and I took these photos. It now sounds much worse outside than it was when these were taken!

Check out Probert's new JAFCO flexible vinyl "hat." We've only had it two days, so we'll keep using it before reporting back on it's functionality.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Probert's "Hat"

I have neglected to post about my decision to start muzzling Probert when he is with "the pack" because so many people react so negatively to it, but I'm ready so here it is. I have posted a few photos of Probert in his "hat" (we don't use the "m" word) on my personal Facebook page and have gotten some very mixed reactions. I understand that it is sometimes difficult to see a dog in a muzzle because it makes them "look mean" or for any other reason. For the first month after I bought Probert's muzzle, I couldn't even put it on him for any amount of time, but I finally dove in and now I am very used to seeing it on him and know that underneath, he is still my sweet little guy.

Probert has a history of redirecting in stressful situations (in the yard, something outside the fence usually) and biting Wrigley. He has done Wrigley some serious damage and in the interest of preventing that from happening (on the occasion when it does happen) and also in not isolating Probert from the pack, I bought him a muzzle. Since buying it several months ago, there have been two incidents when it has prevented him from doing any damage when attempting to bite Wrigley and the rest of the time, it allows him to interact with the pack like a normal dog and without my worrying about what "could" happen - so it's doing its job.

So, despite the "scary" exterior appearance of the muzzle, I have to say that it's one of the better decisions I have made for the health and happiness of all of my dogs. In the interest of looking a little less "scary" (and preventing further wall-gouging and painful leg-bashing from the heavy metal one) I just ordered Probert a new JAFCO clear flexi vinyl muzzle, so we'll see how that one works when it gets here. If anyone is interested, I will be happy to report back! In the meantime, please don't be too quick to judge a dog (or his person) by his hat!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Old Lady Gains A Year

The matriarch of the brown dog pack got another year older on Saturday! Maizy Anne is now seven years old! Even with an arthritic hind end, she is LOVING our Chicago weather and is showing up the younger dogs racing around the backyard like she's got springs in her paws!