Handled BY Grace

And Crosby.

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Our dogs are running a muck right now. We are getting man-handled by them. I guess dog-handled….

I honestly don’t know what their deal is. The last two months they have been going crazy.

Between Tom and I, we really try to get them active whether it is me walking them or Tom spending time with them a little extra in the backyard. And with the weather turning around, they are getting a lot more time outside to get those jitters out.

But seriously, our couch can’t take anymore abuse.

We have lost two couch cushions to our sectional. In their defense, I think they are pawing at it because they are “nesting” to make it more comfortable, and in the process they accidentally rip a hole. And once a hole is made, they see the candy (stuffing) inside that we have been hiding in there and decide to throw a party.

RIP couch cushions.

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For the past month, every morning I come down to a pile of poo and a pee spot because Grace couldn’t wait to go. But she also neglected to try to wake us up. Now I get if I was the only one she was trying to persuade to get out of bed to let her small bladder outside (I could sleep through a train going through our bedroom), but Tom is such a light sleeper that he would hear her if she tried. She just doesn’t. She just takes a dump in the corner of our living room, like she is obviously trying to hide it. Mind you Tom also lets them out late so it’s not like she has to wait for hours to go outside. For example, all last week he got home around 2:30 am and would let them out, but inevitably there would be a nice pile waiting for me at 6:30 when I make it downstairs for breakfast. And yet she can make it all 8-10 hours during the day when we are gone with no issues.

Now we have had issues in the past with Grace’s anxiety. Until we had Crosby, she had to stay in a kennel because she tore our house up like she was robbing the place. She was a lot better once Crosby came around, and we only had minor issues crop up every once in a while.

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So in the last few weeks when we would also wake up to the bathroom and baby trash tipped over and ripped through, I thought Grace was the culprit.

That is until last week when I was at the dining room table and watched Crosby tip over the downstairs bathroom trash and pull out a poopy diaper to snack on. APPALLED!

I felt bad for getting after Grace for the past couple weeks, because it appears that Crosby has been getting in on that action.

Let me tell you cleaning up ripped up baby diapers is the worst. And not because of the baby poop. Whatever the Pampers Swaddlers is made of makes it look like a thousand little rubbery squishy beads exploded on the floor.

Then it was only confirmed that Crosby was indeed our trash digger when a couple days ago he barfed up a half eaten diaper. And then I walked in on him last night doing it again…

Seriously?

That day I cleaned up some type of bodily function from everyone but Tom before I left for work.

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Crosby has also started barking at nonsense at night time. It is like clockwork that once I put the baby down at 7:30, he barks/whimpers at us until we let him out every 5 minutes. And then when you let him out he just stands on the patio barking at the neighbors.

Besides it being spring, there really isn’t anything different that we have been doing that would explain this behavior for the past month. We saw this before Tom started at PD, so his schedule change doesn’t make sense. Honestly I feel that we have been able to get them out more which is usually what works when they get stir crazy.

I know that it must be an attention thing because this behavior is only happening when we are home. They have been perfect when we aren’t home. I just don’t know what to do differently. We give them a lot of attention, but I wonder if they are just now becoming jealous of George. I don’t know if it is now that George is older he doesn’t just lay in a Rock N Play or sit in one spot so they see us giving him more attention by playing with him more. On the plus side though they never take any of his toys or mess with him. They are just taking this anxiety out on the trash. That jealousy is all I can think of, but I don’t know how to help them see they are loved and needed more than we already do.

All I know is, I need some grace and patience do deal with Grace and Crosby right now. I feel like I am cleaning up more after them than I am for George.

They really are spoiled and get a lot of perks around the house. Exhibit A:

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Anyone have similar issues? Advice? 

The Furry Ones Are Four!

Today is Grace and Crosby’s birthday!

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Actually, we for sure know it is Grace’s birthday, and since we didn’t know Crosby’s we just said that they are the same day since he is estimated to be the same age.

Here is to 4 years kids!

So what have we done since last year’s birthday?

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Weight

  • Grace-73 (Um Grace, when did you get so big?)
  • Crosby-78

Commands

  • G-sit, shake, and down. She will not do the down if there are other dogs present or too many people to make it a show. She will do the sit and shake for anyone (and any audience size) as long a treat is involved. Tom can get her to bark at the front door by saying “Who is that?” over and over again.
  • C-sit and shake. He gets really anxious though and is not patient for treats. He will also shake when he thinks he is in trouble.
  • They both can follow directional commands like “go downstairs” or “come out” when you point to where you want them to go.
  • Most of these are all the same as last year. They have learned nothing new…mostly because we are lazy and don’t teach them anything new.

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  • G-She has been really bad the past few weeks. I don’t think we have had a night in the new house where she hasn’t made a mooky on the kitchen floor. So we usually have a nice surprise in the morning because she doesn’t sleep through the night. She is a huge cuddler. She wants to be all up in your face when she sleeps. And she is like a boulder once she settles in. So you better get comfortable before she nuzzles up to you.
  • C-He is a fantastic sleeper. We never have issues with him. He can snooze through the morning. He will only get up for Tom. He has only recently started cuddling while we are sleeping.

2014-06-07 14.44.15Food

  • They both eat Iams Proactive Health. They are good about sharing bowls and never fight over it.
  • They both will eat anything in the form of table scraps, which has made them ridiculous beggars. It doesn’t help that Tom gives them part of his meal whenever he eats.

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  • G-Her anxiety has been in overdrive since we moved, so she has been having some issues. Hopefully once the holidays are over, we can all settle into a routine.
  • C-We really haven’t seen many issues with him. We think most of the trash pulling we have seen is instigated by Grace, but we can’t be sure that he doesn’t join in.
  • We still don’t leave them in kennels. And just recently, they have been able to stay out of kennels while they stay at the grandparents’ house too!

2014-10-27 08.29.55Bad Habits

  • G-She is a trash digger and a pooper. She could stop that at anytime, and that would be great. She also hates going outside when it is raining. Snow is no problem, that is like candy from heaven. Rain, however, makes her dainty and prissy. We have to lift her and carry her off the porch to go potty when it rains. She also barks at the air moving outside. She apparently found her voice while at Ft.Campbell because she never barked in Iowa.
  • C-He has started barking for no reason at night while we are just hanging out.

2014-10-15 17.01.49Loving

  • G-She is so sweet with George. While she may be a rock as a cuddler, I love that she wants to be close.
  • C-He is just a sweet man who listens so well.

2014-08-24 22.08.23As Siblings

  • They actually do really well together. They play and then clean each other. You will often find them snuggled up together in the most adorable ways.
  • Last spring they had a few scuffles, but they haven’t had any issues together lately.
  • They do like to wrestle around they house and play tag. I think they love the space in our new place and the carpet. It makes it easier to romp around and chase each other.

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  • G-loves anything she can rip (ropes and socks). She also loves balls, kongs, and bones. She is good at going after toys, but not so good at picking them up and bringing them back.
  • C-we have eliminated all toys except nylabones. He is a power chewer. He has even ripped through a Kong, which are supposed to last longer than 2 months. He would chew up a toy into large chunks, and then Grace would come after the chunks and choke on them. So we decided that the best avenue was just to stick with Nylabones.
  • They also think that George’s things are their things.

2014-10-09 19.20.44Year 3 Accomplishments

  • We became a family of five! They are pretty good big siblings!
  • We also moved them to Missouri.

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  • G-She is super shy if she doesn’t know you. However, if she knows you, she is crazy! She turns in a U shape and just bounds around until you love on her. She is so patient and gentle with kids. I can’t wait to see how the relationship with George blossoms.
  • C-He is not shy at all. He will come up to you for a kiss almost immediately! He has been nonchalant with G-man, but he did get George’s first pets the other night.

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  • G-Loves to play with any dog she meets. She also thinks she likes cats, and she will try to find them in Grandpa and Grandma’s house. They are all her BFFs to her and is never shy.
  • C-He does not like other dogs at first. He is super protective and is very skeptical of them at first. So we have to slowly introduce other dogs to him and then he is fine.
  • They both do fine with their cousin Presley, who is a little Chihuahua.

2014-02-18 22.18.37Funny things they do

  • G-she whimpers so pathetically. It’s kind of like a whine/gurgle/dolphin speaking. She is the best behaved dog if you are eating in front of her.
  • C-He takes toys away from Grace. He was also super protective of me when I was pregnant. He loves licking you and cleaning you. When my mom stayed with us, he would lick her hair straight up while she was sleeping.
  • They both love toilet water, which I find disgusting and Tom will purposely leave it up so they can have at it.

2014-05-24 22.56.08To my dear sweet pups, happiest birthday! We love you dearly, and you have made our lives so much better!

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Puppy Love

Everyone wants to know how Crosby and Grace are reacting to Little G.

Our first response is great and better than expected.

When we left the hospital before George, we brought home his little nursery hat so the dogs could get a whiff of him before we brought him home.

Crosby thought it was a toy and snatched it out of my hands.

Oh boy.

That’s enough to make you nervous.

When we brought him home, they tried smothering him with kisses. Then they didn’t really know what to think.

Who is this new puppy we brought home? And why does he get held all the time?

(I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality. Dogs don’t know how to stay still for a camera.)

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Now they have gotten used to each other for the most part.

The dogs don’t react when George cries.

George doesn’t react when the dogs bark, even right near his head.

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Crosby does not seem interested in George most of the time. He kind of keeps his distance, unless he is trying to sneak in a full head lick. We try to discourage his licking because he is a little rough when he licks us. When he licks George it’s like he is trying to make him a bobble head.

Grace, however, wants to be near George All. The. Time. She loves to dote on him. She never is very far from him and is so sweet with her kisses.

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The other night Tom and I were laying in bed doing our nightly routine of watching the baby monitor for a few (more like 10) minutes to make sure that G is doing ok in his crib before we fall asleep ourselves. We hear this weird noise on the monitor like a scratch, but George wasn’t moving. We scrolled the monitor out a little to see a paw reaching in between the crib bars. We pull it out even more to then see Grace try to GET IN the crib. She had put her paws over the top of the crib like she was going to jump in to cuddle with G. I laughed so hard I could barely breath.

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It is probably my favorite moment since bringing George home.

Once he is in a big boy bed, we are sure Grace will be cuddling with George more than us. (That’s fine with me because that means more space in our bed!)

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Until this last weekend, we didn’t have any issues with the dogs grabbing dirty diapers or George’s toys as their own. Our family was here this weekend, so I think they just got over-excited with all the people and couldn’t control themselves. That is the only time a diaper or toy has been grabbed. In Crosby’s defense, the toy did look like it could pass for a dog toy. George got his first stuffed animal this weekend, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous that it may become a chew toy in the future. So hopefully they stay away from it!

Grace does try to lick all the spilled milk off the burp clothes and bibs. I will pull one up and find it so wet from her trying to get all the taste off it.

We try to give the dogs intentional attention so they don’t get jealous. And as soon as I am released from the doctor to get back to exercising full force, they will get their daily walks again. I think it does help that I am home all day with them so they do get attention that they weren’t getting before anyway.

George is now three weeks old, and so far they have done really well together. I can’t wait to watch their relationship blossom even more as G gets older.

I just know they are going to be best friends.

Were you best friends with your pets growing up?

Confessions

I feel like all of my posts lately have been baby related, so I figured I would do something a little random and make some confessions to you.

Also I make no promises that a baby won’t be mentioned.

1. I confess that I have been struggling as a dog mom lately. We have been having some chewing issues lately when Tom and I are out. (Clarification:  That is Grace and Crosby with the chewing problem, not Tom and I.) And I don’t know what else to do because our go tos are not working. We are on the struggle bus.

2. I confess that I am also tired of cleaning up Grace puke, which has been an all too common occurrence because she eats too fast and chokes herself.

3. I confess that Crosby has stolen my heart with how he follows me everywhere. He could be sound asleep on the couch but if I get up to do anything he jumps to be my sidekick and protector. I think he knows the baby is coming. (Maybe that’s why they have been nutso…)

4. I confess that I get sucked into TV shows (especially those that I binge watch) and sometimes forget that it is not real life. When I watched The West Wing, I was really confused that it wasn’t real news.  Right now, I seriously think that the characters of Bones are my real life friends. I am totally a scientist…

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image via

5. I confess that stores bringing “back to school” items on the shelves makes me want to buy lots of pretty notebooks and planners.

6. I confess that it does not fully feel like summer to me because I have yet to be in a floating device in a lazy river (real river or swimming pool river). I have been to both a river and a swimming pool, but the floating device is clutch in my summeriness.

7. I confess that I have to set the alarm to account for a cushion because I will hit the snooze button. There have been periods of my life where I had to set it at least an hour ahead because I would hit it that many times…now it is just one. That’s what I call progress.

8. I confess that sometimes I forget what I write in the blog. Then when I am having face to face conversations and people reference something I said, I will think “How in the world did they know that about me??!?!? CREEPER!” Then I remember I am a blogger and am grateful that people actually read what I write.

9. I confess when someone says, “Smile” for pictures, even if I am not in it, I will smile for the camera that I am not in front of. I find myself cheesing up even when the staging is occurring on TV or I am behind a mask.

10. I confess that my favorite part of our prenatal class is making mental bets on which person wont make it to the break to use the bathroom.

11. I confess that this morning I put my contacts in the wrong eyes, so my eyes were attacking the contacts all the way to work this morning until I realized what I did and switched them. The prescription is drastically different in both eyes, so it is amazing that I made it to work alive on that blurry vision. You know it’s going to be a good day…

Can you relate to any of these? Any confessions you want to make?

 

 

 

Traveling with Fur Children

We have had our fair share of road trips this past year.

We also are not ones to leave the dogs behind. For the most part they are a packaged deal when we leave our house for an extended amount of time, unless they are staying with the grandparents or as was the case in Iowa we had friends and students watch them in our absence. (Man I miss those dog sitters!)

This does complicate things a little bit because we have to be able to problem solve what to do with them. Here are some questions to ask if you are traveling with dogs.

1. Can you have them where you are staying?

2. Do they need to be in a crate when you leave them alone?

3. How often can they be left alone, and how does this fit into your plans?

4. Do they need to meet a certain activity level each day, and is this attainable?

5. Does your dog have any special needs that may be impacted by travel?

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We do not kennel our dogs because we are afraid they (mainly Grace) will revert back to when we first got her with her separation anxiety. Some people swear by kennels and have found really great places to leave their dogs while they travel. This for us is just not a feasible option. You must know your dogs and figure out what is best for their personality.

We have found that even though we do not crate them at home, this is something we have to do while we are traveling. We don’t need anymore dog-shaming for these two. They get into quite a bit of trouble when they are not in their crates when we are out-of-towners. Although our last trip home, Grace did Houdini herself out of her kennel and for the first time ever there was no damage to the room she was in. Dare I say my little girl is maturing?

We also quickly learned that hotels are not Crosby friendly. Since we normal do not leave him in a crate, he barks anytime he hears a noise while in said crate. Unfortunately in a hotel, the noise never really stops. We had to leave a wedding early because the hotel kept calling to complain that our dog was barking. Whoops…

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So you need to know your dogs and figure out the best plan for your trip.

As a side note, if you do stay in a hotel, make sure you look at the hotels policy. Not all hotels are dog friendly or they have restrictions on size and number of pets. If they do allow pets, more than likely there will be a non-refundable pet deposit. You may have to pay this fee for each night AND for each dog separately, so make sure you put that in your budget. This can rack up fast if it is per night.

Our dogs are really good in the car, but I know that many dogs get sick on car rides. If your dog is one of those queasy ones, make sure you plan for stops and medication if needed.

We try to make the ride as comfortable as possible. We have a cargo carrier now that we put most of our luggage on so that the entire backseat is left to their leisure. We put tons of blankets down, although they usually end up all in one spot once they start playing around back there. We make sure they have a few toys so they can be distracted a bit. We also keep a small water bowl out for them as well. If our trip is longer than 5-6 hours, we will plan to have food for them as well.

They have their own luggage too. I pack their walking leashes as well as extendable leads for potty breaks. There are treats and toys a plenty in the bag as well. We also pack tons of carabiners to help secure the kennels. (Our dogs are escape artists…)

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You need to make sure you account for stops and what is the most convenient stop with a dog. If I am by myself, I try to stop at more rest stops because I can get in and out a lot faster and not leave the dogs in the car as long. It is much better when Tom and I are together, and we can take turns which makes the dogs less anxious about being left alone. We also try to get them out as often as possible to stretch their legs, but you also need to be mindful of cars and area of grass. I have stopped at some questionable places with a patch of grass that is the size of my kitchen table. You make it work, and then remember to never stop there again.

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We have been pretty fortunate to have such good travelers. We have had to make adjustments over time to find a perfect rhythm with them in cars and our destinations.

We wouldn’t have it any other way. They are a part of our family.

I mean seriously, why wouldn’t you want to take these faces with you every where you go?

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And of course you get some amusement by bringing the furbabies along, like sitting on your sister’s face.

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Do you travel with your pets? Any other words of wisdom when traveling with the furkids?