Monday, February 24, 2014

Minimalism and Dogs

Lately, I have become fascinated by the minimalist movement. I have been reading through archives of The Minimalists, Becoming Minimalist, and Zen Habits. I gave away a bunch of clothes, threw out unneeded stuff, and have been paring down my books as a result and I am already feeling lighter and happier with less stuff weighing me down.

As I was going through our closet in the office, I came upon the dogs' possessions and had to stop for a moment. I thought to myself, "How much do our dogs REALLY need?"

We have somewhere around 7 collars and maybe 8 or 9 leashes for two dogs. This is partly because we were figuring out what worked best for us but why keep old leashes around that we don't use when we could donate them to a local shelter?
"I like going 'naked' anyway! Less to get in the way of cuddling."
"You're not going to throw away my antlers though, right!?!?"
"I am still skeptical of this minimalism thing but just keep my blankies. I love those."
I settled on a minimalist dog possession list: a crate or bed out front, 1 bed each in our bedroom, 2 leashes each, 2 collars each (one for daycare because they get smelly), some medications and treats, shampoo and a brush, bowls for food and water, a few toys, and some extra things for when we take them camping (like their snoods, hoodies, bug lotion, travel water bowl for the car, etc.) and of course, poop bags. They don't need any more than that and yet I have a full drawer packed with stuff that I keep for them "just in case" I may need it.

Don't get me wrong...hoodies, jackets, rain boots, those are ALL necessary when your dogs are walking around Chicago in nasty snow storms (hey Miss M and Mr. B!) but our California dogs don't need extras right now.  I love that some of you out there have room to make a full closet of doggie goodies but we just don't have that space in our current home,

Do you keep a wardrobe for your pups or do you tend to lean towards minimalism?

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Post No One Likes Writing

I have read a LOT of dog (and more specifically pittie) blogs since adopting Maggie in September 2012.  So, I know that it's perfectly normal for dogs, especially those who are still learning their manners and who are in "delicate" stages of reaching adulthood, to sometimes cause trouble or have a rough patch.

Welllll...we're there.  Mr. Nigel was temporarily suspended from daycare about three weeks ago.  He was chillin' with the other dogs, towards the end of the day, and a dog bumped into him and he went and started a fight.  Thank GOODNESS that he was the only one who had a nick in his ear and one other dog got scratched but jeez, I almost had a heart attack when the husband called to tell me.

Sigh.  They told us that he had been getting a little "cocky" at daycare.  He was sort of bullying other dogs and him and Maggie were being rotated into the playroom throughout the day because they were kind of ganging up on other playmates (my babies??!?!  I couldn't believe it).  Our trainer at daycare is awesome and he called my husband and basically said that it was only temporary, hopefully, and that once we brought Nigel back in for a lesson with Maggie and talked about what may be causing his weird aggression, he could be temperament tested again and come back to daycare.

I had so many emotions that day.  I was so happy that he didn't hurt any of the other dogs (him and Maggie have had a few scuffles and he's a strong dude).  I was so mad because I felt like we could be doing more to make sure that this hadn't happened (obviously not rational to think that I could have totally helped avoid it).  I was upset to think that maybe we were bad doggie parents or that Nigel was getting some kind of aggressive attitudes as he began to reach maturity.

The next step is to take him in for a lesson on Saturday and figure out what we can do to teach him that that behavior is totally unacceptable.  Then, we just have to go from there.  Hopefully we can find a way to show him what's right and what's wrong and be able to give him the experience of hanging with dogs.  And if not, we'll continue to love him to pieces and teach him what's right in every other part of his life.

Anyone else experienced anything similar?  What did you do after an event like this??