Archive for the 'pugs' Category

I am going to smash that ice cream treat right in your face.

I like to sit on one of my legs most of the time at my desk.  An old boss kept saying, “don’t do that, it’s not good for you!” to which I said, “you shut your dirty mouth!”  No, I didn’t say that.  I moved off my leg.  But damnit, I can only sit in that perfect at-your-desk position for so long!  

I happen to be wearing green patent flats today, which is important to note for the purposes of both fashion AND what I’m about to explain.

Really, there’s only so long I can sit at my desk and not move, so even if I sit on my leg, I need to eventually go back to the standard way of sitting.  So I usually am able to just slide my foot out from under my other leg and put it on the ground.  Except that today, because my shoes are made from patent, and because I sit in an imitation leather chair, and because I am in the office with only one other dude, my shoe happens to make a sound exactly like a grotesque fart.

 

So basically that happened like 2 minutes ago, and I was so shocked by the sound, that I just dragged my shoe across the chair in hopes that it would just make more squeaks so that I didn’t sound like I was going to have a burst of explosive diarrhea! 

Aaaand I didn’t want to directly address the awful noise I made, because my co-worker isn’t terribly talkative….

So that’s my afternoon, in a nutshell!

On another front, I was walking Zelda last night and everything was fine until she saw some Lassie sort of dog and started to make little “I am going to go apeshit in 10 seconds” noises as we passed the dog, and so I just kept on walking briskly, and then the woman walking the dog was like, “Aww, what’s wrong with your dog?”

“She got attacked by a lab at a dog park, so I am doing rehabilitation work.”

And as I am trying to walk away, she edges her hand towards Zelda, expecting me to walk over to her and let her pet Zelda and “make it all better.”

“Sorry, I’m doing rehabilitation work, I’ve got to be moving on.”

and I speed walk away.  But seriously, I can sort of see why someone would want to pet Zelda as she’s making those noises, but when I TELL YOU that I am doing rehabilitation work, why would you think I’d walk right up to you, and the dog that my dog is starting to freak out at?  Do you think my dog will just “calm down?” if she gets to smell your dog?  Um, and did I mention that this woman’s dog BARKED at Zelda, thus beginning a louder squealing process?

“Oh yeah, I can see that your dog clearly doesn’t want my dog near it, so sure I’ll just come right over and talk to you about what a poor dog my dog must be, and that because she’s making all this noise I am a terrible dog person.  In fact, why don’t I just bark in YOUR face and see how you react?  Or maybe I’ll just scream in your face in short bursts so you can see what it’s like for my dog to see other dogs.

Fuuuuuuuck.  It’s like sometimes you don’t even bother because some people can be pretty stupid, but then other times I kind of go, “Seriously?!  Is this how people think?!  I am going to slap every stranger I see.”

Or maybe I should just slap other stupid dog owners?  Like every time someone wants to pet Zelda when she is barking I will just smack them across their face.  Or maybe just like put my palm against their nose and puuuuuuush them away.

“SORRY, NO DOG PETTING.”

I ought to take up walking the pugs at like midnight so I don’t have to deal with other dogs.  Damnit!

There’s nothing I can do

Tonight is one of the few times I’ve wanted to punch out a complete stranger.

After maybe 10 minutes of training with the dogs in the lobby of the building, I take them out into the park in front of my apartment building, which is basically just a cement area. Good training ground, no?

And they were doing SO good. Listening to commands. Sitting. Turning when I turned.

And then the shit hit the fan.

While I am working with the dogs, this woman comes by with her fluff dog (I have no idea what kind of dog it was). I think, okay, she’ll pass by, as my dogs are sitting really nicely. But no. She stops. And my dogs turn and see this dog. And smell the dog, and then Zelda starts barking. At this point I say, “okay, this is nice, but I am training my dogs and you need to move along and get out of here because my dog has been attacked and I am working with her.” To which this lady kind of giggles and stands there with her dog.

Then Zelda starts screaming.

“SERIOUSLY, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE.”

She doesn’t move.

I say the same thing about 10 times. She doesn’t move.

At this point Zelda is FLIPPING OUT, Winston is trying to get to this other dog and slips out of his harness.

“GET OUT OF HERE! SERIOUSLY! YOU ARE SCARING MY DOGS. THEY DON’T LIKE OTHER DOGS!”

I am basically saying anything to get her to go away. She doesn’t go. SHE KEEPS STANDING THERE AND LAUGHS A LITTLE LAUGH WHILE WINSTON CHASES HER DOG AND ZELDA SCREAMS.

I manage to corall Winston and sit on him (gently, don’t worry) and I am aaaaalmost screaming at this woman, “GET OUT OF HERE!” while waving my hands in an away motion. Now you might think, why didn’t *I* get out of there? Well because my dogs are flipping out and one of them is out of his harness and I can’t move because I am sitting on my dog, and it basically took 10 seconds for Zelda to go from calm to apeshit scared.

I can’t believe that just happened. I wanted to just shove this woman over. She clearly didn’t speak English AT ALL, so the whole time I am motioning “AWAY!!! AWAY!!!!!!!!!” and she DOESN’T GET IT.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. Not only is it embarassing, it’s EXTREMELY stressful for the dogs, and I couldn’t help them because this woman WOULD NOT LEAVE ME ALONE.

I want to scream, myself now! I’m just thinking, WHAT ELSE COULD I HAVE DONE?! I don’t think I could have done anything else and not ended up shoving this woman away from me. And what’s worse is that if it were someone who understood english, it would have been fine, but somehow the one person walking there dog by me happens to not speak a WORD.

I need to go punch my bed.

Doggy Deal of the Century

Since a few of you had questions in the comments section about this magical trainer of wonder and delight, I thought I’d make a post about it, just so you get the information, and can find it again!

 

So basically I think someone  just happened to be talking about the all-magical Cesar Milan, and how he was on Oprah and was totally bitchin’ with dogs and used a lot of positive reinforcement to get the dogs to listen.  So cut to me buying The Dog Whisperer book by Cesar Milan, and then ordering the DVD of Season 1.  In short, I love Cesar Milan, but I don’t know that watching his show will help if you have a specific problem, because I think each dog is different, and I can tell you from experience now that it is a completely different thing having someone come into your home and see your dogs going nuts than it is to watch a DVD and then try some training.  Also, I am not entirely sure what The Dog Whisperer book by Cesar Milan is trying to accomplish?  Basically I didn’t even finish the book because you learn everything that he says in the book in Season 1 of his show.  I don’t think I learned anything new by reading (most) of that book.  

 

Then I thought, okay, if there’s a Cesar Milan, there’s got to be dog trainers that are like him that solve specific behavior issues.  So I went to my trusty friend the internet!  I am a google fanatic, and (if I may say so) I am pretty good at finding information through the internet.  The first time I looked I think I was in Calgary, so I was googling “dog training Calgary” and “Personal dog training Calgary” and “dog daycare calgary” and sometimes if you go to google maps and just write “dog, city, state/province” you can get businesses related to dogs to pop up on the map view.

 

I believe the first site I came across was Bark Busters.  They come highly recommended and have a really good reputation.  They are also available in many cities, so they are easy to contact.  So I think I contacted the Calgary Bark Busters and got a quote, but by that time I was thinking about moving, so it wasn’t a top priority on my list.  Then we moved, and moving to a huge city kind of takes up a lot of your time, Anyhow, a variety of things led me to keep the dog training thing in my mind, but I wasn’t getting around to it.  So I checked books and magazines to see if I  could maybe avoid the cost of paying someone an arm and a leg to come see the dogs, but really, I didn’t find anything effective.  That’s sort of something I think that might just be me, because I’ve used other tactics from books to train the dogs and they’ve worked fine for doing things like teaching the dogs how to hi-five me and other glamorous and exciting tricks.

 

Winston’s barking became enough that I thought it was time to look up a trainer again.  So I looked up ‘Vancouver dog training’ and other similar terms and again Bark Busters came up.  I found the Vancouver address and emailed them to get a quote.  This is the place, that after tax, would cost $1,100 for both dogs.  Clearly this is out of my price range, so I had to decline.  The woman I talked to was generous enough to offer me last year’s rate, bringing the cost to something like $750, but that’s a large chunk to pay out all at once, so clearly I couldn’t go with that place.  I’m not saying that these people wouldn’t do a great job, as I would have hired them if I had the money.  What they do is come for an evaluation and watch you with your dog, then they make suggestions, followed by training and a lot of follow-up, and that price is the full price for your dog for life, so if you ever have any questions about your dogs behavior through it’s entire life, you are covered.  I think that’s a really wonderful offer, because you’re looking at say 12-14 YEARS of coverage, and who knows what will happen in that time.  I should also point out that $1,100 is the cost for TWO dogs for life.  I think that one is like $700?  You know, just in case you have the cash to spend.

 

Then I figured it was time to maybe shop around and get quotes from like 4 more places before I actually make a decision (as I was contemplating saving the money for Bark Busters).  I emailed a dog training place in Vancouver who referred me to Hot Diggity Dogs (which is the one I went with).  I explained my situation and the things I’d need help with, and she (eventually, I think it took maybe a week or two as she lost my email) got back to me with a price and let me know that depending on how well the dogs respond, that I might need 2 or three sessions.  Anyway, this woman (Donna) quoted $75 a session (not based on # of dogs) plus tax.  So, HELLO, MUCH CHEAPER!  I checked the website and her accreditation and whatnot and decided that even if she maybe didn’t help me too much, that really I was only out $75, which in dog cost terms, is like a trip to the vet.

 

So on Monday she came to my house and watched the dogs for a bit, and then we worked for about 2 hours on various issues that the dogs have and then we took the pugs outside so that she could see Zelda flip out at another dog (as she’s done to large dogs ever since she got attacked last year by a lab).  That was probably the worst part, as I am standing with two dogs that are both SCREAMING at the trainer’s black lab, but in reality, she needed to see what I go through to know how to help me help them.  Plus, that was probably one of the last times I will have to be in an embarrassing situation like that, which is a relief!

 

It’s not all a quick fix, as I clearly am going to need a few months of training with the dogs every day to get them properly trained for what I need them to be doing/not doing, but I knew that going in.  It’s the real life tips that will save my sanity, and have been doing so over the past few days!

 

I am happy to report that Winston’s barking just in the past say, 24 hours has reduced by about 75% just using the tips she told me.  We’ve also gone from both dogs tugging the hell out of their leashes to really ZERO with Winston and just a little with Zelda (as she has a fear of manholes that we’re working on).  Winston was the bigger problem though because he would be SO EXTREMELY EXCITED that he would just tug and tug and even though he’s just a pug, he is a little tank of a dog (as Donna put it), and he can still pull with enough force that it becomes difficult to walk him at all.

 

I’d say if you have tried things like books and videos and they aren’t helping, that seeking out some help is a great idea.  Shop around!  The second place I contacted USED to do in-home training and help, but they stopped, so they suggested Hot Diggity Dogs to me.  People in the “dog business” are usually all connected through the conferences and such, so you may want to just try calling a recommended dog training facility/school/daycare and see if they know someone who could come to your house and help you with your dog(s).  I found that most of the dog training places also stated that they did private lessons and at-home lessons, so I think it’s all a matter of just asking the place if they can do what you need.  If they can’t, they will likely know someone who does.  Once you’ve got a few quotes along with an understanding of what you will receive as far as training/write-ups/reccomendations and reading material suggestions, then you can make a good decision about what will fit your budget/needs.  I managed to find someone who came to my house, worked with me for 2 hours, listened to all of my concerns, made suggestions and showed me “how to” do all of the things she was suggesting, and also left me a folder with several articles and suggestions of reading materials/harnesses/leashes/treats as well as her contact info in case I have further questions.  She is also going to contact me next week as a follow-up to see how the dogs and I are doing, and all of that came to $75.

 

I’m sure the great deals are out there for other provinces/states, you just have to dig a little to find ’em!

 

Good luck!

The Long and Pug of it

Well, I didn’t want to cry over any commercials yesterday, so maybe the medication is starting to work?  No no, wait, it’s because I had a dog trainer/whisperer come to my apartment yesterday to help me with my little troublemakers!  She was rather delightful, and managed to Cesar Milan the hell out of my dogs.

It was like watching a movie watching this lady show me what to do.

“Whose dogs are these?!  These can’t be my dogs!  They are behaving SO WELL!”

And you know how people on those dog “help me” shows always look like they feel like terrible people (well, most of the time)?  Yeah, I was thinking I AM A TERRIBLE DOG MOMMA! while she’s telling me what I need to do to help them.  I know I’m not a bad pug momma here in the real world, but when you have a certified dog trainer prancing your dogs around like they should have been cast in Best In Show, you start to feel a little bad.

I would really do anything to help them be happier, healthier pups, and this woman charged a very reasonable, dare I say LOW fee considering the help I got.  Also consider that another company said they would have to charge me $1100 total for both dogs. Excuse me while I shit a brick and then use that brick to break into a bank so that I can pay these people. Then watch me hand a MUCH MORE REASONABLE $75 to this woman that came to my apartment last night.  HELLO?!  PRICE DIFFERENCE?!  If that’s not an example of the Free Market at work, I don’t know what is.  Can you imagine that there is no regulation on pricing?  Someone out there is paying THOUSANDS of dollars when I am paying $75?!  Good thing I shopped around!

And don’t forget the very generous tip I gave to this woman of a full pug’s worth of hair all over her clothing!  She’ll be able to build her very own pug!  I am so generous.

I didn’t want to cry I was so happy about her helping me, however, I did want to give her a kiss on the mouth because seriously?  It was so nice to have someone come and see me in my environment and be able to examine how the dogs are in their home.  I think the training worked a lot better because they were nice a comfortable as well.

I guess the only surprise that came wasn’t even mine, it was the dog trainer’s, when she noticed that both of my dogs like to stand on the coffee table. And the side tables.  And window ledges.  Hey, Winston happened to learn that from our cat and then passed it onto Zelda, I can’t help it!  She saw one of them on one of our side tables and was like, “Well that’s new!”  Yes, they enjoy taking the place of coffee table books.  What of it?!  Okay, they shouldn’t be allowed to do it, but I just think it’s really funny when they do, because they sort of look confused as to how they even got there, and how they’re going to get down without wiping out.  Don’t worry, they never wipe out (just in case you were going to call Animal Control).  I do enjoy the quizzical look they give though.

“WHA?  HOW DID I GET HERE?  WHAT IS THIS BLACK MAGIC?!”

Maybe someday I’ll even get to walk the dogs, dare I say it, off leash (in parks, as I don’t know, I don’t really like not having them strapped in when we’re walking on the sidewalk).  One can dream…

A Pug Lover’s Christmas Wish List

On the advice of Goodboy Norman Featherstone’s Mom, I have made a list of the top things that any pug lover would enjoy this Christmas.  And I’m not talking cheesy, lame pug things.  I am talking about hip items for the every day pug owner who likes to show their love for all things pug:

A pug luggage tag.  Tired of never knowing which suitcases are yours?  Why not slam your luggage with pug-themed things?!  I think this is absolutely adorable, and I’d likely just clip it to my purse or something in an attempt to show my pug pride!

 

Or how about maybe a HUGE pug magnet for the fridge?  I love this, and I’m sure it would bring hours of entertainment to see my little puggies bark at this thing!

Or maybe these silver plated pug salt and pepper shakers will be your delight in the dining room?

 

Of course no pug lover can go without her antique pug necklace while she’s at all those Christmas parties!

Or if a classier version is more your style, check out this sterling silver, gold, or white gold bracelet.  I like the simple lines of the pug, and I think it makes wearing your pug pride look really beautiful, not cheesy.

Maybe you’re into a more casual pug love, eh?  How about this Pug Power t-shirt?  I own a t-shirt from this place and it’s really great.  Comfy, lots of colours to choose from, and pretty reasonably priced!

Maybe a fun and whimsical pug painting?  I love the tongue sticking out on this one!

My favourite item that I own and recommend is the Living With Pugs book. This book was highly recommended by my pal, Amanda, and is one of the nicest pug items I own. It’s a great coffee table book, and a really informative book on the breed. The photography of pugs in the book is to die for, it’s absolutely gorgeous as well.

Hopefully this gave you some good gift ideas for the pug lover in your life, or you know, since a lot of you like pugs, I mean, you can always pick something up for yourself, right?!

Happy Howl-o-ween!

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So I gave the dogs whipped cream…

And it was pretty much everything I thought it was going to be.

Messy

Funny

Snorty

Barky

Oh the sweet love of driving your dogs crazy with mainly all sugar!

On another doggie note, does anyone know how we can get Winston to roll over?  I put Steve in charge of teaching this to Winston (because he wants to outshine his brother’s new dog at Christmas), but he can’t seem to convince Winston to do it.  We can get him to sit, and then lay down, but I can’t get him to roll onto his hip, and when Steve tries to *lovingly* roll him over, we get this reaction that kind of says, “HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME…..ahhh, I am right-side up again.”

We can’t even convince him with food.  FOOD!  THAT’S THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS!!!  If he won’t do it for food, I mean, what the hell can we use?  I mean, I waved a $20 bill in front of him, but he didn’t seem to want that either.

Maybe I should show him a photo of a dog in heat??


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