Monday, March 23

The Case of the Popping Pop Pop

Went out last night to look at a wedding venue....

Came home to find shredded baggies that used to contain dog food on the floor. The dog food was from Roofus's recent kennel stay, so there was 4 cups of dog food in there.

Laying passed out next to the bags, with his tummy obviously full and with a sleepy, self-satisfied grin on his face, was Popper.

He normally gets 2/3 of a cup a day. He got his punishment today - pooping all that massive amount of food out. But he was awfully cute with his fat belly last night. :)

Saturday, March 21

Another day, another dog...

I skipped yesterday for dog walks (I know, I feel horrible that I did) and only walked Roofus today since the other boys had a long "dog tricks" workshop this morning.

Yep - another dog. This time a yellow lab who delighted in zooming all over, often into the street. His owner was quite incompetent - she'd have him caught, and *somehow* he'd get away again.

Luckily I was watching for it so I slipped Roo's gentle leader on him right away before we got remotely close to the dog. I had been using only a regular harness because Roofus does seem to enjoy the walk much more and I don't worry about breaking his neck!

Come on, people, be responsible for your pets and keep 'em inside where they belong!

Thursday, March 19

I just want to walk my dogs...

Spring is well on its way, and with it those warm temperatures we've all being longing for since mid-October.

For me, spring means a chance to get out and walk my dogs regularly again.

Honestly, I think every year I romanticize about how great it is to walk the dogs. So relaxing, so healthy... yeah, really, it's a nightmare.

I can overlook the fact that my dogs aren't the easiest animals to walk. Several are reactive and go nuts if they see another dog. One is extremely protective. One is leash aggressive. One pulls me down the road regardless of gentle leader, sporn harness, or any other training device and method. One dog teaches all the other dogs that walk with her that walking on the sidewalk isn't a necessity. One dog ONLY eats poop on dog walks. One dog barks furiously for the first five minutes of the walk before calming down.

I can deal with all that. I've even adjusted so that I walk my dogs in shifts - usually three or four walks - no more than two dogs at a time and sometimes just one. Heck, I even figured out who keeps their dogs outside all day, or on a tie-out, and I plan my route to avoid those houses.

What I can't deal with, is folks in my neighborhood who can't keep control of their own dogs, so I'm always encountering off-leash pets.

Yesterday, I was walking my Old English Sheepdog down the road for a 2 mile jaunt. Next thing I know, this rottweiler mix bolts out of his house and heads straight for my dog. Roofus is EXTREMELY social, loving, and friendly to other dogs - but he's also very protective of mommy, and running madly up to a dog out on a leisurely stroll is not good doggie manners. Roo was all riled up, jumping, barking, but thankfully on a Gentle Leader. I was wary because the dog was too big for me to punt if he wasn't friendly. The woman came up pretty quick though, apologizing, saying he just slipped out when she opened the door. Sigh...

Today, I was walking Popper and Blossom. A little background on my Blossom... she's a 14 year old dalmatian-border collie rescue dog, who is almost completely deaf and is very leash aggressive. Leash aggression is different from dog aggression, to an extent - she only dislikes strange dogs when she's on a leash. It's weird, I know. She came that way. She was also quite a scrapper when I first got her, so I know she can inflict damage when she wants to, which is also a problem.

Of course, we encounter not one - but TWO offleash dogs. This time, a pair of bullmastiffs. Now, they did seem to be the friendliest bullmastiffs known to man. But that doesn't matter when I'm walking a leash aggressive dog. The woman, who was chasing her dogs around (ironically right across the street from rottie lady) called and apologized about her loose dogs (one wearing a leash, one not) and tried to recall them. I said, "That spotted dog is dog aggressive! There's going to be a dog fight!" I don't know if that sped her up or not, but Blossom chose that moment to snap and snarfed at the mastiff who was sniffing her. Normal dogs do not like being snapped at. This particular dog was no exception. It began snarling, growling, and starting to lunge at B - I was pondering what action I was going to take to keep the two dogs apart when the owner grabbed the dog from behind - no small task with a large, angry dog - and I had my two gone lickety split from the situation before anybody got hurt. Blossom may not be the best behaved dog in the world - but she was on a leash and thus under my direct control. We shouldn't have to worry about being accosted by strange dogs.

That's TWO days in a row we've encountered large, loose dogs. It's aggravating that I'm trying to enjoy the time with my dogs, as well as the sunshine and fresh air, but I can't - I have to constantly be searching for loose dogs. I'm going to have to buy a can of doggie pepper spray... there's one called Direct Stop I'm going to try. It's amazing how many people in my neighborhood can't keep their dogs in their houses... I've never had my dogs slip out like that. And my dogs come when called. As Mad-Eye Moody would say - Constant Vigilance!

Tuesday, March 17

Havoc's New Shower Perch

I have wanted a new shower perch for Havoc, my severe macaw, ever since she discovered how much fun it was to rip the suction cups off the wall and go crashing down.

At the Mid American Exotic Bird Society Fair, I found these "activity gyms" that are actually meant to go on your window. They keep the bird occupied enough that I figure she'll be too entertained to gnaw on the suction cups. The price was a bit steep ($45), but after a year of waiting and wanting, I purchased one last week. I call it "the monstrosity."

The perch is roughly 30" tall, and it sticks out at least 20". If you know how large a severe macaw is, you can appreciate how big that perch is from the photos! It makes showering with Havoc a bit precarious, because she's the type of parrot that waits for an opening, and then attacks. Luckily for me, she seems to be more fascinated with biting the shower curtain than me... at least for now. She absolutely loves those little chains. She'll put one foot on them, one on the perch, and dangle off, flapping her wings madly and screeching with joy as she gets sprayed.

I really like that the perch is of a size I can use with my other, smaller birds. And, because it's so big, I can shower with multiple of the littler parrots, like both my plumheads at the same time. Even my quaker and the two plum headed parakeets all at once. I have four cockatiels, and they would all fit on there comfortably as well.

The bad thing about having a parrot shower playgym is that it takes up a lot of room and is a storage problem. The normal, pet store collapsible parrot shower perches just fold back into the wall. This one takes up about 1/3 of my shower. It's great that I can put it in the birdroom when the blinds are up, and it's another parrot playgym for the birds to fly onto and look out the window.

So far, though, it's really great. Havoc hasn't gotten hold of those suction cups yet, and really likes having more room and more things to do while she's showering.

Monday, March 2

Good Lord it's COLD Outside!

Sheesh, I wake up this morning to a winter wonderland - everything's white again! I know the weather forecast said it's supposed to be in the 60s by this weekend, so it was rather shocking. I really want to take the dogs for a nice long walk, and get back in the habit of daily walks, but I am sooo anti-cold that it's going to have to wait until the weekend.

I just wanted to remind everyone that our Corgi Chaos Store, which has an amazing selection of Pembroke Welsh Corgi t-shirts and gifts, is on Twitter! You can follow Merlin as he twitters about new designs, corgi experiences - and of course, his usual disgust with us "stoopid hoomins." He even chats about starting dog agility from a corgi's perspective! It's a lot of fun, so be sure to check it out.

Slowly but surely, new parrot kawaii designs are being added. You can find a great example of our Rose Breasted Cockatoo T-Shirt, pictured here. We have kawaii cartoons for the majority of our parrot species, it's just a matter of getting them added into our Cafepress store. So if you would like a species added that we haven't gotten to yet, just e-mail or msg us and we can put that one up right away.

Each design features fat funky text in assorted colors, usually blue, pink, green or teal, with the parrot cartoon on the right. It always reads, "I Love my Parrot Species" with, of course, "parrot species" being replaced by the actual species of parrot. These are really fun t-shirts & gifts for bird lovers, so be sure to check them out at Menagerie Mayhem!