Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pooches: Making Friends!!!

WOW!!  I don't know why it took me so long to find them but OMGsies, (I only say that when I'm really excited) there is an amaaaazing dog walking/training group right here in Los Angeles!!

Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners (or LARPBO) is a Meetup based pittie group here in LA.  Of course, they're open to all breeds coming along for the fun but focus on pitties.  They have two (TWO!!) training sessions every weekend that are super affordable ($10 per dog WHAT!?!?) and a whole giant core group of people who meet to go on group walks and do social outings.  They're dedicated to speaking up about bully breeds, training owners to be responsible dog owners, and creating a community of people who are all equally in love with pitties.

Basically, I believe we may have found our pack.

Nigel and I decided to check out the pack walk at LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) last night. Sorry, most of the pictures are of the back of his head because he was so distracted by all the pooches!  Also, I'm still learning to use my camera so many of the pictures are pretty dark.
Lamps installation at LACMA
There are cute little paw prints on the path!
"What ARE they doing?!"  (They were playing on the statues and "placing.") 
Will look at camera for noms. 
Nigel is admiring the lamps art installation
Nigel had a chance to see the trained pooches do cool things like "place" on a ledge and stay until they were "okayed" to jump down.

Overall, the pack walk was a great success!!  Nigel got to meet some poochy friends and got out at night which as many of you know, can be very distracting for doggies.  Even more exciting is the fact that the group is SO welcoming and helpful that they have encouraged us to bring Miss Reactive Maggie to the training class on Saturday.

So, a new adventure begins for the pooches.  We'll keep you posted about Maggie's first class!

Anyone else have any fun weeknight adventures?!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weekend Update!

Well, to heck with the bloggy gods for losing my draft of our weekend update.  :-/

Anyhoo...the pooches had an amazingly exciting weekend!

Nigel started obedience classes.
Sittin' pretty on his "mat"
Then, since Miss Mags was at daycare, Nigel went on his first outing to a local mall where doggies are welcome.  He chilled while we at The Counter, a yummy customize-a-burger joint.

They even gave the mister his own water! 
On Sunday, the pooches got to run free in our friends' backyard.  They were STOKED!  (Yes, be jealous, we had a barbecue outside in the sun at the end of February.)

Holy moly, look at that tongue! 
I LOVE RUNNING! (And tackling Nigel) 
We brought a few beds for the pups but Nigel preferred the bed sheet our friends use for painting.

 Then, we were told that we needed to get rid of the dogs by Sunday night.  WAIT, WHAAA?!?  Our downstairs neighbors were evidently VERY unhappy that the dogs clicking toes were click-clack-clicketing very early in the morning.  Crazy phone calls with our landlord ensued but thankfully, four $10 rugs from Home Depot have temporarily solved the problem.  We'd like to move soon anyway, so this is not the hugest deal but just annoying.

The pooches, however, believe that these rugs are big doggie beds that have been added to our home.  I caught Nigel trying out 3/4 rugs while I was cooking and even Maggie took a turn chilling on the new fuzzy rug.

Thanks for all the new beds!
The cool part is that the pups seem to really like being able to use the space in the hallway that was just floor before.  Now it's doggie friendly.

They were both so pooped from all the playing and running and jumping that the rest of the weekend pretty much looked like this.

Successful weekend!!  We're excited for this coming weekend when we have some family visiting. 

How was your weekend??!  Any big adventures!?!?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gear: Boots and Barkley

Wow - where did this week go?!!?  I'm not really sure...but hey.  The pooches are continuing to do well and become best fraynds.  They're both laying on/next to me as I write this post and goodness, it's hard not to get caught up in their adborableness.

We wanted to share an AMAZING find with all of you!  We heard from a friend that you can find some good dog gear at Target or Ross sometimes.  So, I headed to Target to find a new crate pad for Nigel (since he ate his old one the old bed randomly exploded into his crate) and I found a really nice, plush and cozy one at Target.  We didn't know if we could trust him with a bed in his crate but this one at Target was only $15!  That's way cheaper than the one we got for Maggie at Petco and it's mushier and softer.  Win win!!  It's held up great and Nigel really likes his crate pad!

Turns out that Nigel, in his quirkiness, only likes to chew beds that are left on top of his crate (note to husbands everywhere...making that mistake once is forgivable...twice is just a waste of money).  He also sleeps on his crate pad upside down each their own.  

Have a great weekend!!!

Where do you unexpectedly find great dog stuff!??!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Adventures: Echo Park on a Sunny Day

Maggie and Nigel have been nagging us to use a gift certificate I got for graduation last year.  So, thanks to my mom and sister, we headed out to Echo Park for an adventure!!
The pups are all dressed up and ready to go!
We started out the adventure with a quick trip to Elysian Park.  It's a giant beautiful park near Dodger Stadium.  Of course, we only got to stay for about 10 minutes because Maggie saw dogs and started reacting pretty strongly.  Evidently, she's really not in a place yet to be out and about with other pooches.  But we did get some really cute shots of them!

 Then we finally got to use our gift certificate at a charming gourmet grocery store called Cookbook.

These sandwiches are AMAAAZING.
The best part about taking the pooches on a grand adventure is that they were very chill for the rest of the day.  Both slept most of it and were great models in the afternoon when the sun was streaming into the apartment just right!

Just a boy and his antler.
You'd do anything when you see this face, right!? 

"I know, I'm adorable."
 Later, it was time to sample the feast we purchased.  It was all quite delicious but we think our favorite (besides the cheese because really, who doesn't love cheese!?) was the lamb meatballs.  The sauce had cinnamon and something sweet in it and it was delicious.

Anyone else have a grand adventure this weekend!??!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Humans: What I've Learned (So Far)

(One of our titles for the blog starts with "Pooches," so I figured that if I was going to post about us humans, I should make an appropriate title.)

I was reflecting on all the things I have learned in the last four months of being a mom to furbabies.  

1.  Being in charge of another living being is HARD.
This one is pretty obvious but having dogs while growing up is wayyy different than being a dog owner.  I knew it was a lot of work but between feeding, walking, playing, training and medical visits, having a new dog takes a lot of work!  We get up at 5:30am just to make sure both pooches get a good walk in and have enough time to eat and settle before I have to leave more than two hours later.  We sometimes feel badly that they're crated for 7 hours a day right now but then we remind ourselves that it isn't a permanent solution (hopefully) and that the alternatives for them were much grimmer.

2.  Patience
If you have met a dog owner who said that getting a dog from a shelter who was untrained in all ways DIDN'T require patience, they are either the most patient person in the world or lying,  Housetraining requires patience, teaching a dog manners like walking nicely on leash takes a boat load of patience, working with a reactive dog takes patience...basically, a whole lot of patience.  And I'm a better person for it.

3.  Priorities
The pups really force us to keep our priorities in check.  Do we really NEED that new thing we wanted to buy or would we rather be able to buy that (insert that dog item we've been talking about) instead?  Do we really NEED to go out for a fancy dinner for Valentine's Day or would we rather go camping with the pups and spend the money on a campsite for a night?  

4.  Discipline
Man, I am just a SOFTY!  Or at least I used to be.  I am so patient with students sometimes that people ask me how I can let them get rowdy without yelling.  The truth is that I'm just uncomfortable as a disciplinarian.  I used to be not so great at setting rules and sticking with them but the pooches force us to do this.  No playing on the bed?  Then kick them off right away.  No jumping up when we're trying to feed you?  Then you have to wait until you calm down to get the food.  I have to constantly remind myself that the dogs need structure and boundaries and that's really good for all of us.

5.  Dog stuff
After reading countless online articles, blogs and books about dogs, dog behavior, reactive dogs, multidog households, avoiding fights in multidog households, resource guarding, etc. I have realized that I know something about dogs now!

What else have YOU learned?!