Tag: dogmom

The Great Alabama Blizzard of 2018

The Great Alabama Blizzard of 2018

Two days ago, we woke up to probably like 3 to 4 inches of snow. I live in central Alabama, so snow comes very rarely and always leaves us in a panic, but it was nice to look at! I had the day off work, as the streets were frozen over and the government closed all the bridges going into the city due to ice, so I just stayed home with the puppies!

Disclaimer: the reason we panic when snow comes is because we don’t have all the resources available to us here that most of you in the north have. No one has ever salted the roads before a snowstorm. I don’t even know that we have people who could do that this far south. They put lots of dirt down on the roads AFTER the ice showed up, but we had no way to treat the roads beforehand. If you go into bigger places like Atlanta and Birmingham, you’ll see big tents on the side of the road every fifteen miles or so, and those tents are filled with salt. The cities DO have those kinds of resources, and have been pretty good about using them in recent years, but I don’t live in a big city. We don’t have big tents full of salt. So the roads ice over, and no matter what anyone says you just can’t drive on ice! Schools, businesses, and entire city governments shut down. Roads are closed. In my county, every road and bridge was deemed UNPASSABLE by the county government for two days. I learned this week that if you drive on closed roads or roads deemed unpassable and you get in a wreck, your insurance WILL NOT cover it! I know right? So we all stay home and play in the snow instead.

Anyway. Here’s some photos of my dogs playing in the snow. It took some time, but eventually they all learned to love it. Gidget, especially, loved the snow.

She would stick her whole head into the snow and then come inside with it stuck all over her face
Gidget and Abel. Abel was the snow’s worst fan. He does not handle the cold well so he spent most of the day inside.

She would also pounce on the snow, and it would puff up in her face, and so she’d pounce again, and it would puff up some more, and she’d keep pouncing. It was super cute.

Gidget and Dennis
Dennis is my brother’s dog. He didn’t really understand what was going on but he still had a good time.

Gidget and Dennis chasing Lou. Lou was also not a fan of the snow. My poor short-haired puppies.
She just had the best time of her life. She’s from Oklahoma so she probably remembers snow from her puppyhood.

Winter Wonderland! It’s been many, many years since the snow actually stuck to the roads!

 

Painting – With a Twist!

Painting – With a Twist!

This past weekend, I went to a pet portraiture class with a dear friend of mine. While I certainly did not miss my calling in the world of art (see previous post – I am not artistic!), I had a lot of fun in the class and came home with a decent painting of my sweet little Dot nugget, who passed back in December 2016. We had to submit in photos of the pets we wanted to paint beforehand, and when we got to the studio, they had set out charcoal sketches of all our pups (which, of course, I didn’t snap a good photo of).

The first step we were given was to paint in the background and the paint the shadows on the pets – the teacher called this the “underpainting.” I have another painting of our pup, Mac, who passed in June 2016, that was given to me by the same sweet friend I went to the class with, and it has the green-red-yellow-blue primary colors thing going on. It’s on display in our living room, so I was trying to match this color scheme to that one, although the green ended up being waaaay darker and my colors are all patchy and the yellow/orange/blanket wrinkles thing is questionable.

See my reference photo down at the bottom on the table?

After we finished up the shadows, we added in the highlights and the base color. It was tough mixing the right color for Dot’s fur – it was made even tougher when you consider the fact that I’m colorblind! My friend, bless her, was helping me determine which colors on my palette were the correct ones to use.

“I’m ready to go out on patrol, sergeant – I’ve got my camo face paint on and everything!”

At this point, Dot had started looking a little like she was in the military – she had a camo face paint thing going on, so the sweet teachers came over to hep me correct the color and lighten her up a little bit.

Ahhhh that’s better.

I got to start adding in her fluffy puppy fur on her sweet little head and ears, and that was super fun and turned out really cute.

Eyes before highlighting

Once we started adding the eyes and nose, it all really started to come together and look like my sweet little Dot Dot.

Eyes after highlighting!

This is the finished product that I brought home, and I’m pretty proud of it given my considerable lack of artistic talent! The teacher said, “For a single color dog, she definitely has a lot of colors!” The photo I had brought for reference had a lot of play of shadow and light, and even though at first glance, Dot was predominately the lighter tan color, when you really started to look you could see the black and darker brown places, especially on her face and ears. To be completely honest, I didn’t even realize she had a little ‘stache until I was painting this picture.

But, here it is! The whole class was a ton of fun. They do pet portraiture classes on the last Sunday of each month, so we’re going back again in September!

Dog Days

Dog Days

So here’s the thing about having dogs, if you’re anything like me. You kind of get obsessed with them. You follow them around the house trying to snap adorable photos. You want them to snuggle you and you want to hug them (even though dogs don’t like hugs) because you just love them so much. 

Gidget playing fox in the woods.

Thanks to my school schedule, my dogs are on a “school schedule,” too. They get up around the same time every day (usually between 4:30 and 5:30 AM), because that’s what time I get up when classes are in session (I do the bulk of my schoolwork and studying in the wee hours of the morning, when the house is quiet and I can think).

Sweet Louby Lou. He is the main perpetrator of the early wake up calls.

Lou is the main one who will get up. He sleeps in a dog bed right next to my side of the bed (I know *heart melting*), and his thing is to wake up early AF and shake his big head so that his ears flop around very loudly. It’s better than any alarm, but still irritating when it’s a Sunday and all you want is to sleep for just like two more hours.

Charlie, who will wake up and go pee on things in the house if I don’t let him outside quick enough

Lou’s head-shaking, ear-flapping, lip-smacking early morning stretching will wake up Charlie, who sleeps in bed with us. He has no qualms whatsoever about getting out of bed and going to pee on things in the living room if I don’t get up and let him out. I mean, he has no qualms whatsoever about peeing on things in the living room on a regular day, too, but he’s much more likely to do it in the wee hours of the morning because he’s been sleeping all night and now he’s awake and he’s got to go right now.

Gidget, who will also wake up and pee on the rug in the living room. In her defense, she’s still a puppy.

Once Charlie is awake, six times out of ten Gidget will also wake up (the other four times I’ve got to literally push her out of bed – she also sleeps in bed with us on my side, between me and the edge of the bed, and she is sometimes not a morning dog at all).

Aww, so sleepy.

So if Gidget wakes up and gets out of bed, that is 100% a wake-up call, because there is a 100% chance if she is out of bed and I don’t let her out that she’s going to pee on the rug by the back door. In her defense, she is still a puppy and doesn’t have quite as much bladder control as the other dogs. So, I know at that point that I have to get up no matter what. And once I’m up, I’m up.

Abel, as we say, is “just happy to be here.”

Abel is always, 100% of the time, the last one awake. He prefers to sleep on the couch in the living room (he likes to sprawl and also he doesn’t like dog beds), and it will sometimes be hours after the rest of the dogs and I get up before Abel will finally come moseying into my office. He is totally unbothered by the sound of us all being awake, by the other dogs coming in and out the back door, by lights being turned on…

He makes a terrible guard dog.

Abel doesn’t wake up for anything except for Abel things. If we have people come in the door, Abel will barely raise his head to acknowledge the change in capacity in the house. Gidget and Charlie are going nuts, barking and racing to the door and thoroughly investigating the new people. Abel, however, will always be totally unconcerned. Someone could break into our house in the middle of the night and rob us blind, and Abel would be sleeping on the couch and wouldn’t even utter a single bork.

Abel getting ready to nap in his favorite spot

But, Lou is the same way. Aside from his early-morning potty wake ups, he’s not going to be bothered with intruders, either. Some people get pitbull-type dogs as guard dogs or watch dogs, but let me be the first to tell you, they make terrible guard dogs.

Louby is not a guard dog. Don’t be fooled by his big block head and 80+ lbs of muscle. He is only a threat to bumblebees.

Gidget and Charlie make much more appropriate guard-and-watch dogs than do the pibbles. As small dogs with a complex, they feel like they’ve got a lot to prove to the world, so they’re not afraid to back down. They are the first ones at the door anytime someone is coming in.

This is a guard dog. She will attack with a tiny-dog rage that burns with the fire of a thousand suns.

Of course, they won’t actually attack (Charlie does bite hands but that’s because he’s excited to see you and not because he wants to eat you). But they (especially Gidget) are the only ones that will bork at little noises and alert us to the presence of possible intruders, ghosts, or suspicious-looking pillows.

This is also a guard dog. He will have an attitude about it but he’ll still kick some intruder ass.

It is so good to know we are protected-ish in the event of a break-in. Unless the thief has food. Then all bets are off.

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Gidget the Fox Dog

Gidget the Fox Dog

Gidget is an almost-one-year-old corgi (?) mix. Last year, we lost two dogs (Mac and Dot) in a span of six months, and my soul was crushed. I saw Gidget on AdoptAPet in December and it was love at first sight. Even though she was at a rescue in Oklahoma City (a 13 hour drive from me, one way!), I sent in my adoption application and had my fingers and toes crossed for an approval. A week before Christmas, we received notice from the rescue that our application to adopt her had been approved, and my brother and I made a 24+ hour round-trip drive to pick her up and bring her back home to Alabama.

Gidget weighs in at just over 20 pounds, but she thinks she’s at least 40 pounds! She has no fear – she wrestles with Lou and Abel like she doesn’t even realize they are at least twice her size. She will do anything for food, and she’s a great snuggler. We can only guess about her actual pedigree, but our best guess is corgi/shepherd/chihuahua mix. We just call her our little fox dog!

Abel the Pocket Pibble

Abel the Pocket Pibble

Abel, also known as Sweet Baby Abes, came to us in September 2014 from a friend of ours who runs a veterinary clinic in our area. Abel had come down with parvovirus at six months old and his previous owners, unable to foot the bill for treatment, abandoned him at the clinic. We stopped by and met him once while he was still staying at the clinic and absolutely fell in love. He was underweight as a result of the parvo and filled with worms because he had never had any vet care prior to this, but he walked right into my husband’s arms that first night and nuzzled into his chest, and we knew from that moment that he was ours. Once he had made a full recovery, we had him fully vetted and neutered and brought him to his furever home with us. He’s had his ups and downs since then, but he’s our Baby Abes and we can’t picture our lives without his goofy little face.

Abel loves to snuggle. His favorite is to be the big spoon; he will get in bed right behind you, lay down on his side, and drape his leg around your body. He weighs in at a compact 45-50 pounds.

 

 

 

Lou the Blue Pibble

Lou the Blue Pibble

Lou is a seven-to-eight year old blue pit mix that we found at the local animal control in 2012. His age is an estimate, but we guess he was about two or three when we got him from the pound. He was picked up by animal control officers in bad shape – about twenty pounds underweight (clocking in at a mere 62 pounds) with patches of hair missing all over his body, heartworm positive, and wearing a chain-and-padlock around his neck in lieu of a collar. The animal control officer went so far as to tell me if I take him home, I had better keep an eye on him because he had been “eyeballin'” the smaller dogs in the run across from his at the pound.

As it turns out, Lou is the sweetest, gentlest dog I’ve ever met. He has since grown back all his fur, been treated for heartworms, and weighs a health 80-85 pounds. He’s allergic to practically everything, so he eats a special grain-free, limited-ingredient food, and it’s still a constant battle to keep his skin in good shape but I think we’ve finally found the magic formula! He loves to chase butterflies and bumblebees, but he’s definitely slowing down as he gets older. His most favorite thing is just to find a comfy place to lay down and sleep. He’s got a dog bed in our bedroom, in the living room, and in my office, all of which are loaded down with additional pillows and blankets. Lou is the first bully breed we had ever had any experience with, and he couldn’t have been a better ambassador for a breed that often gets a really bad rap.

 

 

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Charlie the West Highland Terrier

Charlie the West Highland Terrier

Charlie is our six year old West Highland White Terrier. He was our first dog, and we got him as a teeny pupper in May 2011. He is affectionately known as King Charles, because he thinks we exist to serve and satisfy his every need (and he’s technically not wrong). Other nicknames include Sir Charles and, our particular favorite, Charlie Moo Bear, aka Charlie Moo aka Moo Moo aka Moo Bear aka Charlie Bear.

Charlie is the only pup who came from a breeder, but she had us jumping through hoops to be able to call him ours! It took almost two months of proving to her that we were fit to be pet parents before she finally approved our application – at the time, I was a student and my husband was active-duty military, so she wasn’t sure that we would be able to devote the proper amount of time and care to a puppy. Finally, though, we were able to bring him the tiny little fluff ball of joy that has grown to be the number one pup in our home.

Charlie dominates our home and has the biggest personality of all our pets. He’s filled with that breed-specific trait called “westietude”, and he’s not afraid to let you know that he’s the one that really runs the show around here. Even though he’s not the oldest of our pups, he’s definitely the wisest, and he’s a master manipulator. He knows exactly how to get what he wants when he wants it, and we wouldn’t have him any other way!

 

 

 

 

 

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