Monday, December 27, 2010

snowstorm Boxing day 2010

Here's a little fun in the snow - more pics in another post

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh Dear!

Bugsy has slept all day.

This is a rare occurrence and in this instance I attribute it to the dark, gloomy weather and we were all up about 4:30am.

This is very, very bad.
The next four hours or so will be a challenge; how to entertain and tire a 105lb ball of energy in the house (its pouring outside)

We've played some hallway fetch - until he cracked the tennis ball in half.
We played a bit with the intellibone toy.
we did some basic obedience - why is he always so obedient when we 'do' obedience but never any where else?
He's now watching the birds from a second floor window.
Thank goodness for birds!

Uh oh its too dark to watch birds and longer so he's just arrived and dropped a slipper on me.
Its going to be a long night!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The story of Pepper - and more amazing dog facts!

Pepper is female Labrador Retriever mix that is approximately seven years old. She’s had a tough life but she’s survived. In fact she has done better than survive and now she is on her way to winning the lottery and finding an awesome forever home where she’ll be kept warm and safe, get some belly rubs and lots of walks. She deserves the best life a dog could have at this point, let me tell you why……………

Her first owner left her in the care of a friend. This 'friend' kept poor Pepper tied up outside 24/7. Eventually she was taken away from that person, but was passed from home to home and once again found herself tied up outside 24/7.

Fortunately she was taken in by Animal Control who delivered her to a local rescue group – she needed to become healthy, as she had become obese. Pepper has been lovingly cared for in an experienced foster home, where she lost a lot of weight by careful management, and is now much healthier, although there is more weight to lose.

Recently, Pepper moved to a loving foster home in Raleigh, with two dogs and cats and even a young adolescent human.

It’s hard to imagine why someone would tie her up outside; she is sweet, housetrained and quiet, she is friendly, loves her crate, asks to go out and gets along with the resident cats and dogs.

Bugsy has had the honor of walking with her a couple of times and he clearly is enjoying his new friend. He stops from time to time to give her a kiss or two and she accepts his silliness.

This pretty girl has the softest, kindest, sweetest eyes you can imagine. There isn’t a hint of her ugly past in those eyes, just a look like, “I am so lucky to be alive and in a house with loving people and fun dogs and walking several times a day.”

There is thankfulness in those eyes and joy, pure unadulterated joy.


She epitomizes the amazing heart and soul of dogs. She doesn’t seem to bear any scars of her past abuse just joy for her fortune in this moment. Humans can learn so much from dogs, and this sweet girl will bring many smiles to whomever provides her forever home. She doesn’t resent humans though she has a right to, she is just thankful for the nice ones.

Pepper I am happy to know you and am looking forward to walking with you and your foster mom and watching Bugsy sneak in a kiss here and there as you wait to find the right home.

Pepper is fostered through Best Friends Pet Adoption, who are based in Cary, North Carolina. More information about Pepper and the other dogs and cats in their care can be found at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dogs are fascinating

I'm a long time people watcher who has studied how people learn and relate and process so it is quite natural I suppose that I now thoroughly enjoy studying the same aspects of dogs.

Bugsy the lab rat LOL

He is a quirky beast so there is always some new reaction or behavior to watch, however some of the things that fascinate me have been him since day 1.

He is such an intent sniffer, for animal scents not food. Its the time of year that a lot of animals are on the move and mating season for deer (rut).

His eyes are glazed over, his nose to the ground, stopping some times to lick a blade of grass that he is sniffing, he puffs his cheeks and salivates. He skips over invisible obstacles and carefully surveys the area. His gait is smooth and quick.

None of the above is interrupted by border collies or schnauzers barking, the snarling pug, the baying of a lonely beagle, of a chocolate shake strewn across the ground.
He does hesitate for a moment to say hello to a father, son and GSD but quickly is on the trail again.

But then as we near the last turn towards home - he hears two dogs he knows going at each other and he snaps to attention, and his body becomes taut. He begins to whine and wants to investigate. These two are pack mates and he has played with them within the confines of their fenced area, which is where they are now, although not visible to us.
He stays on alert but will not budge until the sound ends. His nose to the air he sniffs vigorously a few times, becomes still for a moment...............

Then nose to the ground and he's off again.

I so wish I knew what his nose and brain were processing, but being an inept human, I'll have to just watch him and enjoy the ride.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing 'Find it'

Here's a little video compilation of Bugsy playing his favorite game 'find it'
This is the first time I've used the box and hat as further complications.
As you can see he wasn't fooled LOL

His normal verve was missing but we hope its back soon.

At the end of the video after his last find, he decides the scent of squirrel is much more interesting than the toy - that's my boy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

well its back to square 1!

Some followers of Bugsy's romp through life know he has a 'thing' for geese.
It's not a good 'thing'.
We've worked for years around bodies of water.

First we had to convince him that water was fun

Then we had to work on the idea that swimming was not only doable it's fun!

Then he discovered geese.

And ever since all trips to water are fraught with tension.

But we worked really hard and he became very disciplined, able to ignore ducks and geese and retrieve his Dokken with vigor.

Unfortunately a few weeks ago we went to the lake with a friend and the change in routine and some geese that wouldn't swim away led to his worst, or for him best, chase yet. He went so far out and was clearly not interested in coming back that I had to get the rescue boat after him. Sigh.
Instead of being tired from having swam about 1/2 mile he had a silly grin on his face and continued to play with my friend's dogs.

Two weeks ago I took him to the lake and tried to do some Dokken retrieves and he wasn't that interested but did a few.
Yesterday we had wild goose chase number 2.
He had zero interest in the Dokken and was just looking for geese. When some came around the corner he took off ripping the rope through my hands and that was that.
After swimming about 500 yds one of the boaters heading out asked if I wanted a lift to go get him.
Um yes please, sigh.

We had attracted an audience at this point most of whom were concerned for his safety (I had put his life vest on so I wasn't too worried) and were pleasantly surprised that once he was towed in, he was still wagging his tail and thrilled to meet some new humans.

So its clear that the Dokken's job is over - well for now anyway. I'm going to have to come up with a new plan to retrain his discipline around his beloved or hated geese.
Pray for me, not sure how much more my heart can take!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Walking smart in darkness

It's that time of the year when the mornings are dark as are the evenings. Our neighborhood has very few street lights and no sidewalks so we are very aware of poor visibility and sharing the road.
Since I am a natural geek I take precautions to attempt to be visible.
I wear a high visibility vest with reflective stripes. I have reflective bands around my ankles and I try to wear light colored clothing.
Bugsy being dark would be impossible to see for drivers so he has a reflective collar, a white mesh vest with reflective stripes and a red light that attaches to his collar.
I am still very aware that we are likely to be barely visible until the vehicle gets fairly close.

Please no matter what color fur your dog has take some precautions - safety before fashion.
There are many reflective collars available, the light I have is by RuffWear but others abound and get an inexpensive safety vest for yourself. I've seen the latter at Walmart, farm supply stores, and various other places.

I was reminded once again of how poor the visibility is when I drove home last night about 9pm and I didn't see a man walking two labs until I was nearly on them.

I love my cool dark walks but I do all that I can to make them safe - you should too!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween and Dogs - play it safe

A few safety tips copied from an Honest Kitchen email:
Halloween Safety

As you prepare for Halloween this year, keep these safety tips in mind to help keep your animal companion out of harm's way.

1. Guard the Halloween candy — chocolate and certain sweeteners such as Xylitol can be fatal for pets so be sure to keep your Trick-or-Treat stash stored safely and out of reach. Remember that empty plastic and aluminum wrappers can be just as dangerous as the candies themselves.
2. If your pet does consume a large amount of chocolate or candy, make a call to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for guidance. If in doubt, take your pup or kitty to the vet in case medical intervention is required.
3. Don't take Fido Trick-or-Treating — Many pets can be frightened by unusual sights and sounds that come along with Trick-or-Treating, so keep them at home for their own safety. Nervous pets can feel very alarmed when kids in costume try to pet them, and this could result in a fear based bit in extreme cases.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

well that was clever

Yesterday Bugsy did his normal nuisance behavior at about 3pm desperate to get my attention.
When he does this and I have the time, I grab the clicker & some Charlie Bear treats and do a few minutes of training.

I had a hide-a-gingerbread toy (its a house with three small toys that go inside the house) and his intellibone toy. The latter is a center piece with five rings that go over the center and the dog must remove the rings.

He does both of these very quickly so to make it a bit more interesting I decided to toss the small gingerbread toys around the room after he removed them and told him to 'bring it'. 'Bring it' is a term we use in various situations but not in this context prior to yesterday.

By using the clicker I got him to bring me one of the gingerbread toys, for this he got a charlie bear treat. Then something amazing happened - amazing to me anyway - he collected the two remaining toys and brought them to me - not one at a time. For this he got a higher value treat (Zuke's)

We then moved on to the intellibone. First I had him remove the rings for which he received a treat, then I tossed the five rings around the room and told him to 'bring it'.

He brought me the first ring - earned a charlie bear
Then he brought me THREE rings! - earned a few charlie bear treats
Then he brought me the last ring and the center piece to earn the Zuke's treat.

I don't know enough about dogs to know if this is unusual behavior but it sure impressed me.

I did the intellibone with him a few more times and each time he at times brought a single ring and others brought 2-3 rings.

I admit I thought this was way cool

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Even Bugsy has some quiet moments

Most of the time I describe Bugsy (accurately) as insane. Anyone that meets him would say the same.
But my boy has a sweet side of him that he reserves for me and sometimes my husband.
Earlier this evening he huddled up close to me and nuzzled his head in my neck and worked himself under my arm. So gentle, so CALM and peaceful.
Wonderful moments.
He has an amazing scent about him - not very doggy, not of shampoo, just his scent. I can't really say what it smells like but it is a nice smell. A very nice smell. A smell you can only detect when he's up close.

I cherish these quiet still moments all the more because of his inability to be touched as a puppy. He was over a year old before I could pet him without him getting up and trying to initiate a game or mouthing me. It took even longer before he would lay still for my husband. Sometimes he even lets a friend snuggle him must to the surprise of all witnesses.

Thanks for the quiet sweet moments Bugsy I hope that we can enjoy them for a long time to come.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Yup there's been lots of fun of late. We finally have consistently cool mornings and evenings. The days are still too warm for insanity but hey even the Bugs needs a nap on occasion.
He's been out and about and playing with his girlfriends and sneaking into people's homes (not really I was told to open the door a bit and their dog would come out but instead Mr. Greased Lightning flew in and said hi to all the inhabitants before being captured and escorted out).
This morning as per usual he had his Sunday playdate with his girl Izzy. They are always good for a laugh and today didn't disappoint.

He greeted Izzy with kisses - but she looks not too pleased with his breath or something

We did have one not so happy moment when Izzy decided that sharing his ice cube treat was not good enough. (I put some cheese or bacon bits or other yummy in a 32oz yogurt tub and fill it about halfway with water before freezing. It makes a cool low cal treat and he loves to gnaw away at the ice) At first Bugsy was so happy when she came over to join in,
but then she really went after him and we had to break the treat in two and then all was right again. Poor Bugsy he always wants to share and he usually has his treats stolen and/or gets ripped into!

Very happy to say there was no issue once we had two hunks of ice they ate their ice and went right back to being silly best buddies!

Monday, September 6, 2010

He did it!

We are enjoying a little break from the heat with lows in the 50's so I decided that it was time to take Bugsy on a hike.
Somewhere different, green, and with water access
I decided to go to Raven Rock State Park and was really pleased with the trails, the day, the people we saw, and the Cape Fear River.
The trail we chose, OK I chose it LOL, was 5 miles and labeled 'moderate'.
We haven't done any trails in well over a year due to his knee so neither of us is tip-top shape but I thought I was in decent shape.
This is leading to this; we were very tired at the end!

I was getting a bit concerned about his legs but I didn't see him limping just tired. No limping last night or today, just tired legs.

Well not so tired, in fact we just had a Bugsy move - we blocked the doggie door that leads from the porch to the free world because a friend was coming by and we didn't want him charging the car to greet them.
So she pulled in the drive, he realized who it was and he leaped over the footstool in front of the doggie door, hit the porch door which swung open, but instead of going out of the opening door he dove through the doggie door as the door was swinging open, so he nearly crashed into the house windows but didn't.

Now one could say is a bull in a china shop and no doubt he is but he is a darn agile bull LOL = INSANE

Thursday, September 2, 2010

chocolate and your dog

Just a quick post to share an informative article on chocolate and dogs. Most dog owners are aware that chocolate can be dangerous for their canine buddies - this is a chart of which types of chocolate are more dangerous

Friday, August 27, 2010

He's a water dog now!

I've been taking Bugsy swimming about 2x a week and he is loving it more and more.
This summer has been crazy hot so it provides a nice way to exercise that isn't too hot.
He still has a strong interest in the ducks and geese but he has decided that it is loads of fun just to chase his Dokken duck.

Bugsy do you want to go swimming?

OK OK let's go then

Are you paying attention?

Come on let's do a proper retrieve

Forget just have a bit of fun Bugsy!

As you can see he really loves to swim now - amazing from a dog that at first we didn't think COULD swim!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dear Bugsy..............

I take you for a walk/bike ride/hike or swim daily.
I have done this since the day (December 11, 2005) we brought you home.
Why do you get so excited each and every day for this walk - as if it is the first one you have ever had and you have been desperate for it?
I promise as long as you are healthy enough to do some exercise we WILL do some!
There is no need to spin and whine.
No need to open the closet door and steal socks.
No need to fly down the stairs and bang the door knob to go out.
No need to spin around me licking me while I put my shoes on.
There is especially no need to lick my sunglasses - this only delays the activity because I have to clean them in order to see.

There is also no need to rush down the driveway as if shot from a cannon. You can actually keep your brain attached to your body and WALK
I know walking isn't really your thing, but trust me its good. And you will actually get places faster because we won't have to stop every two feet and wait for you to back up.

So my dear Bugsy please try to relax just a bit - I can still tell you are happy to get out and about without the whining and spinning!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

woohoo this may be significant

I took Bugsy to the lake this morning and worked him hard (he loved every minute of it). He loves swimming for his Dokken duck!

The really important part is that after nearly 45" of swimming sprints and being a goofball jumping up and down in the soreness.

Yup no soreness.
No shoulder tenderness
No groin/psoas soreness
No limping

He has been fine and raring to go all day.
I am very happy
Very, very happy

Thursday, August 5, 2010

so many happenings - so few posts

My bad!
No way I can catch up on it all so I'll talk about some highlights -
or in Bugsy's mind lowlights.
A few weeks ago I went to visit my family in NY leaving him behind with my husband. He loves my husband a whole lot but he misses me terribly when I leave.
Rumor has it Bugsy spent the week under the dining room table, LOL
He'd come out to eat and go back under. It was also a very hot week and I think that is one of the cool spots but he's not been under there much since my return.
Bugsy, Bugsy, Bugsy!

He has also upped his hunting prowess - the week I was gone he found the rabbit's nest and caught the mom and 6 babies.
My husband was completely freaked out and wound up having nightmares. He believes that Bugsy ate at least three of the babies.
So very sad but also part of the cycle of life and a good reminder that dogs are not humans in furry coats.
Bugsy goes and checks that spot daily - just in case they come back or he missed one I suppose.
He also caught three moles last week - he seems very depressed that there aren't any others to catch.
BTW I haven't seen any rabbits in our yard since the massacre either.

The mourning doves better beware as they are some of his favorite prey, at least historically he has released them unharmed.

Another major happening I will write up in a separate post
Apologies to those who check in I will promise to post more regularly!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Moles, cicadas and Bugs :o)

We had an interesting walk/run this morning.
As per usual we started out fast. There were a couple of homes being worked on but that drew no attention. I jumped when the guy fired up the circular saw about20 ft from us, but not so the Bugs.
About 1/2 mile from home we were trotting along and he stopped abruptly. He whipped his head around and went over to a patch of grass.
He stared at the grass, tilting his head every now and then.
You could almost see him thinking "hmmmmmmmmm what is that?"
I tried to move him on but he was in deep listening mode and was immovable.
Then he POUNCED!
Leap, bang!
Sod went flying with a violent swipe of the paw............
In went his nose
Out came the mole

Fortunately I was able to take the mole (now dead) from him and get moving again.
To the homeowner sorry about the hole, I put the clump of grass back.

Then as we neared home he nearly stood on a cicada. That prompted a little play that ended badly for the bug because the big Bug has determined cicadas to be very tasty. Yuck.

Oh and lastly we were then come upon by a rude owner running with her two small dogs on flexi-leashes both of which came at us - Bugsy didn't like that much. Hopefully next time she'll reign them in.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Understanding Bugsy

Apologies in advance this will be a longish post.

Bugsy will be 5 in September - we will have had him in our lives for 5 years in December. I would have hoped I would have figured out and accepted some of this years ago but hey - we've gotten there. So here it goes.

1) He has no use for going slow. I think if you could ask him he would say he hates walking. Trotting with a few sprints thrown in seems to be his natural rhythm. We have tried various methods, collars, harnesses and tricks to get him to walk. He will humor us and walk a few feet, nicely, with a loose leash. Then he gets a whiff of something and he trots. Oblivious to the task of walking.
Bugsy from here on out I will do my best to kick it up a notch. I do have to look out for your knees but we'll go faster and quit this 'walking'

However please slow down in the house, when I see you fly down the stairs it really stops my heart. I know you've put your TPLO behind you but pal I will never be able to, so humor me on this one and slow down.

2) He should have been an experienced bird dog handler and hunter's dog. He hunts and works non-stop. I believe if he had consistent outlets for his prey drive and that from early on it was worked on he wouldn't have been so troublesome. As it is we constantly try to manage the prey drive and contain it. I have in the last year worked on using it more and it does make him more balanced. Unfortunately keeping/getting control over him while he is 'hunting' is exceptionally difficult to try to implement at this stage.

3) He should have always had at least one other dog to live with. He is a pack animal and yes he sees himself as leader of that pack. His happiest moments are with other dogs, always have been. Fortunately we always seem to be able to find him a buddy to run with at least once a week. This helps but again I will state he'd be more balanced if he had his own canine pack.

4) He needs challenges thrown his way regularly. Intellectual challenges. We do a fair job of this I think but I wish there were more interesting classes to go to or groups to attend. Obedience isn't his thing (LOL) but I think classes in which he was active and asked to achieve things would be great. I realize it is late but perhaps we can do some basic agility with him.
He loves to learn and gets excited when he sees the clicker or one of his intelli-toys come out of the closet. He doesn't just want to 'play' he wants to learn. I have always known this too but I have better skills to deploy now.
I contacted various agencies in the first month that we had him because I was able to see that he wasn't 'just a pet' sort of guy.
Wow am I glad no one was interested in a mutt!

5) He has extraordinary pain tolerance. Seen this over and over and in case you think it is just me when I picked him up the morning after his TPLO, the girl came around the corner with him and when he saw me he started wiggling and attempted to sprint to get to me. She laughed and said, 'wow he really loves you' and 'I've never seen a dog the day after surgery so stable and happy' LOL Oh and she also told me he took his Fentanyl patch off a couple of minutes after it went on so he wasn't too doped up.
I have heard so many stories of dogs crying and not being able to sleep for the pain. He was just my Bugsy, happy and alert during the day and asleep at night.
So when he limps or yelps it really, really hurts. Pay attention to it, take note and watch him like a hawk.

ah well that is all I can think of for now.
Thanks Bugsy for hanging with me as I learn who you are and how to work with you. You are a good boy and I love ya lots - even if you give me fits at times!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dog walking etiquette

It is unfortunate but our neighborhood has seen an increase in reactive/impolite dogs and walkers. Used to be that everyone knew the basics of controlling their dog and being aware of others out walking.
These days way too often dogs are on LONG leashes and allowed to pull and lunge toward other dogs with their humans not paying attention and/or not doing anything to stop this behavior.
I've discussed this with several other people who agree that it is getting worse.

So when I saw this from Pedigree I thought it was worth posting
Etiquette for City Dogs

It isn't that difficult to:
Ensure your dog is close to you when approaching other dogs/humans -
Lunging towards other dogs just isn't cool!

Pick up after your dog - I find it hard to believe that you'd be OK with dogs pooping in your yard, why allow yours to poop on others' property?

If you want to allow your dog to meet other dogs - ask first. Its all about being polite.

I really didn't think much about meet and greets with other dogs when my dog was younger but after a few incidents where a careless owner let their aggressive/reactive dog get way too close, my dog sometimes acts out.
It is something that I work on regularly and also something that makes me quite sad as before that one dog was consistently allowed to threaten us he thought all dogs were wonderful.

Please don't let your dog be impolite!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bugs and bugs

Although some don't believe it Bugsy is not named in honor of his affection for bugs. We were struggling to find a name for him, I was calling him to me, and he just sat there scratching himself. I queried whether 'he had bugs' and he came running to me.
LOL so I called him Bugs. DH wasn't too pleased but Bugs or Bugsy as we usually call him is a perfect name for him.
About this time every year the cicadas start to be available on the ground or are low flying, clearly slowing down and nearing their end.
Bugsy has been fascinated by them forever. And he loves, loves, loves to play with them.

Today he had his first play with a cicada this summer. We were out walking and nearly stepped on it.
Oh he was thrilled!
His tail was wagging vigorously and he ever so carefully touched the silent bug. And that caused it to rattle or buzz.
Oh he looked at me like "oh ma I never thought I'd have this fun again"

Each time the bug stops he touches it. When it becomes less active he gets a little firmer with his touches.
Once even a mild "whack" doesn't wake it he tries to awaken it with a nip.
Ah well if it isn't going to play any more I will eat it.

And so he does.
RIP cicada number 1 of 2010.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the heat is on!

Woohee it is hot folks - been hot all of June really but this week is especially hot
So keep an eye on your furry friends, they can't deal with the heat as well as us.
There is a bunch of essential information here

Some of the things I do for Bugsy are:
only walk him very early (pre-sunrise) or after sunset
I wet him down prior to his walk/run - the best parts to wet are their underneath, groin area, armpits, & feet. I do these and then wet his back for good measure LOL

After our walks I fill his kiddie pool and he stands in it (Oh how I wish he would lie down in it) and he has a huge drink. I splash the water underneath him again making sure his groin area and armpits get wet.

I don't let him out for long during the heat of the day. For some bizarre reason he will go lay on the deck and bake himself so I limit this.

In the evenings when he goes out I often give him one of the ice treats I make with an old 32oz yogurt tub water and cheese. This helps occupy him for a bit and cools too.

He basically sleeps all day which is highly unusual for him so he is raring to go when it cools a bit.
A few energy burners -

I tend to not just throw his meal in his bowl - I use some sort of kibble dispenser to occupy him.

I do some indoor training and/or games.

The heat really limits his activities and he is a dog that needs activities so the above are simple ways that I try to use up some of that unused energy.

Here's an interesting tidbit - a short single coat dog is the worst in the heat as double coats insulate from cold and heat. Obviously darker colors absorb more heat. So if you like me own a short single coated dog who is dark in color be very aware of them overheating

Oh and of course dogs with 'pushed' in faces (think bulldog) have extra difficulty breathing in the heat.

Lastly watch you dog's tongue - sure it is normal for it to lengthen with exertion but watch the color as it shouldn't go too dark and also watch for when it will widen. If you see your dog's tongue dark red, extended and widening it is time to stop what you are doing and cool them off. For more specific details read that link above

Sunday, June 20, 2010


the busy times continue............ sorry for the lapses in posts
The high heat is here to stay so we are constantly looking at ways to exercise without spontaneously combusting..........

In a Bugsy funny he has decided that the best position to drink from his outside water bowl is to stand on the steps and reach down to it.
Don't ask.
Today he tries this maneuver while his friend Izzy is here and although I am not sure exactly how it happened he managed to tip the water bowl on his own head.
It was hysterical as he looked at me like whoa how did that happen.
But he didn't stop drinking or wagging his tail as I replaced the bowl.
One crazy dog I tell you

Monday, June 14, 2010

getting back to normal

it has been a busy time here but we have been getting back to our routines starting yesterday. I think Bugsy was going to disown me if I didn't give him a good walk so we went for a long way this morning.
I sure wish I could get him to stop tracking all the time - he seems to be 'hunting' which I don't need. Don't have any ideas about how to change that though
Other than that not much to say. I still think he isn't 100% but can't figure it out.
Also can't comprehend why he thinks it a good idea to go lay in the sun on a day that is well into the 90's.

He is happy to have his normal schedule but he misses our boisterous and fun guest who brought him lots of stuffies and played with him all the time.
Such a poor neglected dog

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Woohoo extra humans at my place!

We have some guests this week including a retired dog handler from a major police force and Bugsy is super happy with this development. We are too, but we just don't show it in the same exuberant way.
For me it has been wonderful to talk 'dog' and to get an experienced outsider's view of Bugsy.
The dog handler is very impressed in many ways but just had a ton of fun playing find it in the yard in the dark with B.
I feel validated in a way to hear someone who has worked with amazing and intense dogs talk about my silly mutt with such respect.
I plan on getting as many tips and suggestions as I can off this guest before they leave next week
These are also the first guests that I don't have to constantly manage Bugsy for - they are perfectly capable and happy to take care of themselves and he has been very well behaved

Monday, May 31, 2010


Some of you are aware that I have been very worried about his other knee, last week I took him to the surgeon and he declared both knees healthy. Some of the things we are seeing MAY be due to spondylosis which is a form of arthritis that attacks the spine. I hope that isn't the case but we will be taking extra care from here on out.
Otherwise he is good to go and ready for fun!

Speaking of fun I bought him a new toy last week - a so-called intelligent toy - well after the first session with it I thought we had finally done it. We had a toy that would take a bit of time for him to figure out.
Second time with his toy

We will continue to search LOL

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My trip to the beach

Whew my human is lazy - I had to keep on her about getting this out there, so without further ado......

My trip to the beach was great!
In the car I look out the window the whole time. I can see out the window while I am lying down so that keeps me out of trouble. Apparently lots of dogs just sleep - I get way too excited for that!

Once we got to the beach place my mom took me out to the ocean and sand. In the ocean I saw something moving around so I caught it, it was a baby shark - so I was told - and I had to drop it and my human put it back in the ocean. Whatever!
This was my shark, please note my paw prints next to it.........

This is my beach, isn't it pretty?

I did lots of exploring, my dad is very good at this too so we look at things together....


I remembered that it is fun to dig in sand.
It is very exciting even though you don't always find the crab



I give it my all!


Another really good thing about the beach is you meet lots of friends.
This year my two favorite friends were Mac and Doc.

Mac was just 1 yr old but he was a good swimmer and he really, really loved to fetch the toy from the water.
He loved it so much he got kind of sick so I didn't get to play with him again. That was a shame because he was so nice and lots of fun.

The next day I met Doc. We played a different game and chased each other around the beach. We were already pretty tired when my dad took this video.

So as you can see going to the beach is lots of fun. There are a lot of things to do and also lots of fun new dog friends to play with.
I would love to live at the beach, I bet I could even catch a pelican when my human wasn't watching!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

through thick and thin

I know that anyone that reads this blog knows that I love my crazy oversized mutt. Probably too much..............but it is what it is.

We are off to the beach tomorrow.
Bugsy loves the beach and we love that we can take him there. Unfortunately we learned last year that no matter how much fun the boy has all day long - he does not want you to leave him in the room and have fun without him.
Last year he howled for hours when we left - I was horrified when I found out.
We thought it might be separation anxiety but that just doesn't make sense. He may be very happy to see us come home BUT he never minds when we leave. Well unless we are going for a walk or run or bike ride.
So it is fun anxiety - he is letting us know he is not OK with us having fun without him. And there isn't any training we can do with that. I mean we leave him and he howls.

Today I have pulled together most of the things we are taking and he is ready to fly every time I move. This is not Mr Chilled Out - I so wish he would relax and not constantly try to predict my next move.......

Which brings me to what this post is about - My little Bugsy just is who he is. I try and have tried to change him to a more relaxed dog. And I suppose he is. At least now when the mood strikes you can sort of snuggle him. No chance of that when he was young, so it is an improvement. But he really is still always ON.
I wish I could help him to be less stressed, but whatever he is, I love him.

Monday, May 10, 2010

hopeful thought, thank you Tina

Today a friend - an internet friend- had her dog put to sleep due to a heart condition. It is a sad moment but also a kind end to an amazing story. My friend works at a shelter and last August this old brown dog was turned in and in poor condition and health. It was thought she would only live a few weeks at best. My friend decided she didn't want this old girl to die in the shelter so she took her home.
She was heartworm positive and had a host of other issues but his old girl had life in her and warmth and love and joy. My friend gave her a home and nursed her to better health. Little Agnes the old brown dog got toys and a bed and scrumptious healthy food. She never met the huge contingent of "Aunts" she had scattered across the country but she knew they were out there.
And as her heart faded she got the best care possible.
But when it became too much for her, my friend took her to cross the bridge with dignity, with an owner, with love.
Powerful stuff.
Amazing stuff.

The stuff that helps balance the ugly part of humanity - the people that mistreat their dogs and the ones that give them up because they had a baby or because they don't have time or some other typically self-centered and lame excuse.
I understand that not everyone can afford the very best food or thousands of dollars for specialist veterinary care but dogs can get by on much less - but they do need love.
They need some of your time.
Dogs - unlike cats - are truly companion animals - we humans made them such.
They want a place to sleep, inside with you.
They want to join you for a walk or a silly game in the back yard.

I could go on but I'll stop, however I will say this........
If you are thinking of getting a dog, be honest with yourself about your dedication level. Dogs need training and exercise and time and love.
Their lives are short in comparison to ours - in my opinion each of their moments bears more weight than each of ours for this reason.
A dog will love you unconditionally do not take advantage of this, treat them right. But before you get a dog, ask yourself how much you are going to give to that dog? If you are unwilling to do the training and exercise and deal with slobber and hair and puke, please don't do it, dogs deserve better.

Tina, thank you for restoring some sense of the good part of humanity for me. I get a little overwhelmed but the bad sometimes.
Run free and breath free sweet Agnes!

Friday, May 7, 2010

he's a cwazy one!

just a few ditties......
He found a piece of snakeskin last night. This is always comical in that he absolutely HAS to have it but it is clearly the most terrifying thing he knows.
I picked it up for him and still leery he grabbed it, threw it down, pounced on it and then proceeded to eat it.
Found the rest of it this morning and was less intimidated this time :-)

He's been very active this week and it is tough to tell if he is sore or in flat out pain or just tired. Sure wish he could talk

And lastly he is a constant source of smiles - even when I want to wring his neck! An online friend lost their fairly young dogue de bordeaux yesterday. So very very sad. And a reminder that these furry pups aren't with us long, always remember to enjoy them.
Run free Talus you are already missed

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

so good and so bad

Oye! In the last few days I have been reminded as to why I haven't done more obedience with Bugsy. I am trying to teach him a few whistle commands to use on the goose patrol job. So far it kind of goes like this..
"hey Bugsy want to do some learning?"
oh yea oh yea ha ha ha lets go lets go
I am so excited!
me? well um OK
(shockingly he does - there is movement involved therefore it is acceptable)
tweet "sit"
he did it - happy dance woohoo, treat
this again? er well OK
tweet "sit"
reluctantly he sits - lots of praise and a treat
sniff sniff hmm what's that over there - oooooooooo its a squirrel, got to get it, hey look I found a piece of wood.

I go and get his high value toy.
Oh mom awesome we are going to play woohoo spin spin I am so excited
tweet "sit"
I throw the toy and release him to get it
He charges after it "tweet tweet" (means bring it back)
He does, tweet "sit"
He does (big smile)
Oh yea baby he's got it
We try again, I release him to get it, whistle him back, he heads back, I tweet/sit he sits - incredible
then when I go to take the toy he grabs it and runs
and runs and runs
he circles back to show it to me
nanny nanny poo poo - I'm sure he said that

Eventually I get it back and make him sit to the whistle. Which he does but with his back to me.
Whatever mom - are we done yet?

Me - "I could ring your neck"

But I love you too much so I won't

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

a bike ride!!!

Today Bugsy had his first bike ride since last summer!!!!!!
Only a half mile but he was thrilled :-)

The hardest part seemed to be getting acclimated to the bike again.

Time will tell if it was OK or not.

Monday, May 3, 2010

second day and other musings

gosh I am just not keeping up!
Saturday morning I decided to take Bugsy to the course again. We started with some basic obedience as we made our way to where the geese tend to hang out. He once again quickly realized what he was there to do and took off full speed right at them.
He kept going and going. He was well out of my sight and I was fairly panicked. Then I saw him making his way up the ninth fairway still chasing the geese who were headed towards me.
When he did finally return to me the grin on his face could not have been bigger. When I came home I used google earth to figure out how far he ran, approximately 2000 yds (a mile is 1760 yds)
He kind of looked like this - just hotter and happier :-)
Happily I saw no indication of pain at any point in the day.

He also on Friday had his first playdate with his girl Izzy since the day before his TPLO
there was a lot of chasing and a bit of this

They only had a few minutes together but once again I was thrilled that I saw no limping. He's tired but OK - for now.
Oh and he is happy
and that folks is what it is all about!

Monday, April 26, 2010

1st day on the job!

Bugsy was recently asked to clear the geese off of a golf course. He couldn't dream of a better job so this was very exciting indeed!
Today we had our first attempt at it. The problem is always going to be calling him off the geese, definitely not finding them or chasing them.
As if sent as a message when we left our driveway this morning a single goose was walking on the neighbor's yard. The windows were open and Bugsy was on high alert immediately. I stopped and let him really scent it. I told him "goose" & 'good job'.

We carried on towards the golf course which takes us passed fields of livestock and um geese. Once again he rose to his feet, nose to the air and took it all in. Goose.

He was thrilled when we got the golf course and all this wide open space.
Then he saw 4 geese. He slunk down to panther mode and stalked them, edging closer. Then I did something (not sure what) that sent him.
Oh dear Lord after being dragged halfway across the wet fairway I let go. He was on a tear, and they weren't hanging around. He went after each one until the left. After a bit of sniffing, he responded to my whistle and returned to me.
"good job", treat, and "let's go"
From that point forward, he knew exactly what he was sniffing for, no doubts at all.
Off we went.
Then he heard them, high above. You could see the energy and intent in his body.
They landed and he started creeping.
This time they took off well before he got there. (clearly already realizing he means business)
Oh and so did he.
He took off like a rocket as they headed towards the murkiest pond you can imagine.
GULP! No Bugsy!
Not a chance.
He launched over the reeds/high grasses and about 20 feet into the pond, swimming with an intent that could not be missed.
Me= ACK! Thinking of snakes, snapping turtles and the slop.
I whistled and whistled, called his name.
Not a chance
He was pissed off and on a mission.
Fortunately after some time he got tired (the geese neared the side of the pond and flew over his head to the other end again)and my encouragement that he was done he decided to come out of the pond. He was absolutely exhausted. I was a wreck.
OK bud let's call it a day..............
We got home he pooped and launched into major zoomies.
Then he got a quick bath which was followed by more zoomies.
I love my new job mom!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Pawzzle

Sorry folks I have not been very good about keeping up on things - I have many toys to review, thoughts to share and a link to an awesome show but all in good time ay?
Today I want to tell you about Bugsy's new toy - The Pawzzle
I reluctantly bought this product - reluctant because every kibble dispensing toy has frankly been too simple for Bugs. Generally they take longer to fill than for him to empty. And this toy wasn't cheap so I was taking a risk in my mind.
Thankfully it has worked out superbly. He loves it.

This is certainly more difficult than any other ones we've tried. There is only one hole in the inner ball which is about the same size as his kibble (his kibble is not uniform so I have to break some of the larger ones) and the inside of the inner ball isn't smooth so pieces get caught in the inside of the inner ball. Also the hole in the inner ball has to hit one of the holes in the outer ball in order for the kibble to come out. So its a challenge.

I could see a dog getting frustrated easily and some dogs I would think would just destroy the outer ball to get to the inner ball. Also Bugsy's head/nose is so big he can't reach the smaller ball through the outer ball - most dogs will be able to do that.

He loves these sort of things so even when he first got it and would roll it and roll it to no avail he kept trying.

It would be easy to enlarge the hole on the inner ball to make it easier to get stuff out. For now Bugsy loves it just the way it is LOL

Here are some short videos of him playing with it

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today is the big day!

Yup its the 2010 Dog Walk! Its sunny and not too warm and the turn out is bound to be HUGE!
Bugsy got a bath and has a new collar and is raring to go!
The fund-raising total is ginormous and not nearly done yet, we are so proud of the SPCA and so proud and honored to be a part of it all.
Thank you to everyone that has sponsored us, I don't like to ask for donations but this is different.
I'll be back later with photos!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Final week to sponsor us!

Bugsy's favorite day of the year is here!
On Saturday we will be walking in the 2010 SPCA of Wake County Dog Walk. This is an enormously successful event and rightfully so.
The money all goes directly to the support of animals in need in the county - of which there are 10's of thousands.
From the top to the bottom, the people that make up the SPCA of Wake County are amazing, demonstrating an unparalleled dedication to homeless animals and animal protection.
We have been walking in this event since 2006, this will be our 5th!
The first year Bugsy was about 8 months old and had the time of his life. He is a happy boy, but never happier than when he is in a congregation of thousands of people and thousands of dogs.
Please join in the fun if you are local - the weather looks to be wonderful - you can walk with or without a dog
or if you can't make it
please consider sponsoring us
scroll towards the bottom and you will see a box and my name Karen Lee, click on that and you are good to go!
Karen & Bugsy

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mr Prissy lets his hair down

well not really but bear with me on this one, LOL
Bugsy has always been an exceptionally neat dog, carefully skipping over mud and other than digging for moles he doesn't play in the dirt, puddles sometimes yes sometimes no, and he hates to do a down or sit on concrete or at the dog park, etc. if that gives you some idea.
OK now jump forward to - he always rolls on the floor after eating a raw meal, to me an indication of, "oh yea baby that was good eating!"
So tonight after having a wonderful meal of emu drumstick he went outside with me and rolled on the grass.
Over and over. He would get up and shake off some dirt and bits, stop and think and then he was back on the grass rolling.
Woohoo he can act like a dog! :-)

Now don't get me wrong I am not hoping this progresses to rolling in stinky stuff but I did think gosh he is finally chilled out enough to roll in the grass.
Good boy Bugs!
First you realize you can poop on your walk and don't have to hold it until you get home and now this.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The social butterfly

I have been very remiss in not reporting the happenings here in Bugsy's world. Sunday, Easter Sunday he got a very special treat. He got to ride in a pickup, in the cab, with his head out the window licking the neck and ear of one of his favorite humans. When we stopped he was at his girlfriend Bella's house.
Bella is a beautiful golden retriever that is about a month younger than Bugsy. They grew up together and the 'kids' were his first and only experience with kids until about 15 months ago. He has always seen all the humans at that house as his humans too.
So the excitement was immeasurable - his first play date since November AND his first play date with Bella in goodness knows how long. They ran and ran and kissed. A little wrestling but mostly running and loving. The joyfulness and the intense emotion brought smiles to all of us, heart warming smiles.
AND he was tired but OK afterward.
Then this week he has walked with Campbell, and Max & Annabelle a couple of times and said hello to Bowie and Cody. He's so happy, he could burst!

Remember that dogs are social creatures, they want to be with their humans and they want to be with other dogs. It is important that if your dog hasn't been socialized that you start the process slowly but for the vast majority of dogs it turns out to be a very good thing!

an older picture of Bugsy and HIS Bella - its love I tell you

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Stages of dog ownership

Dog ownership is much more complex than it seems from the outside. People that don't have dogs or that do but don't do anything with them tend to see owning a dog as a simple thing.
I did, I admit it.
I mean you get a dog, you train it a bit, feed it, take it to the vet and pick up the poop. Simple.
What I and I think many, forget is that dogs are living creatures with individual personalities and development stages and needs, just like you and I.

The above means that for most of us dog owners, training is an ongoing thing. As your dog traverses through the stages of its life you will need to review some things or work with a whole new behavior (or 20 LOL).

OK so some of you may be saying I wonder what this post is all about. Its just about walking through life with my boy Bugsy. I am not sure whether he has entered adulthood or it is a response to the whole surgery experience but I am noticing a calmer dog, a slightly more obedient dog and a dog that is more peaceful.
The other night our cul-de-sac was full of young kids running, screaming, using bikes, motorized scooters, you name it.
This has been a situation where he would need to go inside because he would want to be running with the kids so much that he would be running the line and getting way too worked up.
Not the other night. He watched them and was alerted when they shouted or cried or screamed but he didn't get agitated. DH & I were watching in amazement. He would watch intently and then go back to grazing the grass.

Anyway back to my original thoughts on this subject it has been an eye opener to realize the appropriate energy and effort of 'good' dog ownership. You must grow with them and know who they are and what they need.
Bugsy is not the dog I grew up with nor the neighbor's dog. He is a unique (you can say that again) individual that I am responsible for.
I love that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The beast sleeps.....................

Yesterday was a Bugsy day from beginning to end. You've already heard about the suet block on the head it continued from there to be just a crazy day & night.
He was wired and mischievous until the very end.
Strangely when he decided to settle down for the night he made a nest of my sweats and slept next to the bed, next to me. This is very unusual behavior as he chooses to sleep in his crate down the hallway or his bed downstairs.
We were having horrible storms all night and he would pop up at various times and nudge me. Um yea I heard it too.
Today he just can't seem to wake up. Clearly his wild weekend has caught up with him.
All he does is move from bed to bed and immediately fall asleep.
Seeing that it is a dreary, rainy Monday who can blame him!

whew I iz vewy sweepy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bugsy the gun dog

Although we will never know exactly what is in the mix we know he has some sporting breed in there that loves birds and doesn't mind a bit of noise - you know a gun dog or a bird dog.
Today someone gave DH an air rifle to check out and he started 'shooting' it (no bullets) in the yard.
Bugsy right next to him. Whatcha got Dad?
So I get an idea to have DH 'shoot' the duck and get Bugsy to retrieve it. It was going to be brilliant.
I went and got his Dokken Duck still wet from our trip to the lake earlier. Grabbed Bugsy by the collar and had him sit next to DH.
DH shot the gun.
I tossed the duck.
Bugsy ran.
The duck hit the suet block in the bird feeder.
The suet block hit Bugsy in the head.
He picked up the suet block and took off running.
Grabbed the duck while still holding the suet cake in his mouth and was off, not to be caught.
The suet block had fallen a good distance onto his head, so his head was covered in suet and seed. Including in his right eyebrow so he kept blinking.
Unthwarted he kept prancing and blinking with his suet and duck.
Presumably my hysterical laughter wasn't conducive to him giving me either the duck or the suet.
DH shaking his head, "you two are a pair."

Once I got both the duck and the suet block (which I put back in the feeder) it was time to return to our garden work.

So clearly Bugsy is a gun dog unbothered by the gunshot nor having a suet block fall from 15 ft onto his head.

Good boy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

bits and pieces

The arrival of Spring means many things - going swimming at the lake, a change from mole hunting to catching morning doves, and welcoming a new kiddie pool.
Yup we've done all three now.

Last year I was too late on the kiddie pool search and they were all sold out so Bugsy had to make do with a leaky old pool all summer. Not this year, he got a brand new bright yellow pool. Very high fallutin' now!

Then yesterday morning right before I was leaving for the day he went out and caught a morning dove. They honestly must be the dumbest birds on earth. I have lost track of how many times he has caught them and I presume the 'couple' we have are a returning couple. He never harms them but still you would think they would move on!

Lastly almost for documentation purposes I report that he is still limping on and off. It seems that 3 days in a row walking/running is the max before he winds up in pain again. I feel so sorry for my boy. He just wants to feel good again - everyday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I finally went swimming again!!

well it took some doing but my humans finally took me to the lake again - actually it is the first time my dad human took me swimming.
He just took pictures though, my mom human was in charge of the duck.

The beautiful, smelly, floating duck -
my beautiful, smelly, floating duck!

Look how nicely I wait for her to throw it
then I have to swim to get it
then I have to swim with it in my mouth
and I bring it all the way back to mom human

This is the best game ever!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

wow that wuz a loud visit!

Poor Bugsy - yesterday started with being charged by two large german shepherd dogs and ended with a loud non-stop barking dachshund house guest who wanted nothing to do with him.
Some friends of mine were driving up the east coast and I was glad to say sure stay with us. What I didn't know is that their dog isn't trained very well and isn't friendly to other dogs.
She snarled, growled and barked at him. He brought her a toy, grrrrrrrrrr. He would go away from her and lay down and she would bark non-stop. He'd come back and she'd growl.
We wound up having to keep them completely separate.
This was very stressful for Bugsy - he wanted so badly to play.
OH well big guy you did really well with the charging GSD's and even better with the unpleasant house guest.
But from here on out, you bring a dog to my house it better be one that plays!

Monday, March 15, 2010

he's flat out crazy!

happy to say we had no limping after his long walk yesterday - woohoo doing a happy dance!
We did just a short walk today (1.5 miles) and admit to wondering when or if we will ever get back to doing our thing day in and day out. Fingers crossed the day comes soon!
Upon arriving home DH was heading out for his walk and Bugsy decided to do some zoomies. Unfortunately this led to two major leg splaying spills.
It is a good thing my hair dresser has been making my highlights lighter and lighter because the gray hair is taking over!
He seemed a little confused as to how it all went awry but he wasn't any worse for the wear. Save the mud that was all over his bad leg and butt!

Then he spent the rest of the day very lethargic. Only to awaken at about 7 pm when he asked to go out, found an empty tissue box in the garage and decided to run around the yard tearing it up and giving it a death shake.
Then he found the remains of his stuffed duck toy and finished that off.
I was able to coax him back in only to have him drink an entire bowl of water leaving about half on my kitchen floor.
Just yuck!
A face only a mother could love - I assure you

Sunday, March 14, 2010

making new friends ..............

and going for a really long walk on a pretty Spring day.
Some of you may recall that I believe Bugsy has lost some confidence in the last year. I mostly attribute it to feeling weak due to knee pain and then having to go through the surgery and restrictions. Whatever the cause he has certainly shown himself to be less confident and this has meant he has at times been reactive on leash.
The reactivity hasn't been consistent but I have been working hard to get my Bugsy back.
Over the last few weeks we have joined some other walkers with their dogs as we do our daily stroll which seems to distract him, he is clearly more relaxed walking in a pack.
We've also been reading "Scaredy Dog" and "Control Unleashed" and doing lots of short training sessions.
Which brings me to today. DH & I went out with Herr Bugsy and shortly after leaving our street I noticed one of the neighborhood ladies out with her two very large german shepherds. Bugsy wanted to run up and meet them but I kept him fairly slow.
By the time we caught up to them, they had met up with 3 labs so when we arrived there was Bugsy surrounded by 5 large dogs all sniffing his butt.
It was all fine and the only sadness was when we all went our own way.
It was my Bugsy of old whose greatest joy in life was meeting a bunch of dogs.
I felt such a wonderful sense of joy and relief.
Later in our walk we passed some runners and then we came upon a small dog that was slightly excited and barking. At first I didn't like Bugsy's body language - but then it softened and the tail wagged furiously so we went to meet this little guy too.
So all told we met 6 new dogs and he was wonderfully happy and relaxed with all of them.

We also did our longest walk since well before surgery. He was very tired and clearly sore towards the end. When we got in I gave him Traumeel and he rested. At the moment he is out stalking squirrels so I believe him to be fine.
When he gets up tonight for his final business of the day we will know for sure.
Hopefully the limping of last week is behind us and we are now on the path to a play date!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

dew claws = thumbs, really they do

Last night Mr Bugsy was driving me insane wanting something to do. I was busy and didn't want to play.
I know shameful!
So in a moment of inspiration I decided to wedge a deer antler in a kong ball.
Aha this will sort your busy butt out.
Oh and it did for a good few minutes. It was fascinating to watch him remove it.
His successful technique included using his dew claws extensively - his thumbs I call them LOL

Unfortunately for me, having removed it once when I put some peanut butter in the ball and blocked access by wedging the antler back in, he just took the antler out and ate the peanut butter.
Oh well have to find another idea.

I'll try to get some pics or video of it, kind of cool to see him work his magic!

Edit to add this picture - had the wrong lens on my camera but you can see the grip he has on the ball - with his dew claw!

Oh and last night for the first time since last week he didn't limp when he got up

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

those blasted squirrels

Hey this is Bugsy writing my own post for a change. My human is always talking about my knees, I DON'T CARE ABOUT NO STINKING KNEES, I have things to do!

Like...........keeping those squirrels off the feeders.

This is what happens when I am not out there doing my job

It is flat out crazy and makes me very mad.
If my humans let me out I carefully creep up on these furry little creatures and scare them!
bwa ha ha ha
They run and scramble real good!
That is fun but I can also keep them away from a distance. Its easy I just lay down in the grass and keep my eye on those bird feeders.
Mom says the birds are good but not ones called 'grackles' so I chase them too.

Back to the squirrels - this is the look I give the squirrels to keep them away


Monday, March 8, 2010

Feels like a lake day............

After another not very restful weekend day I have had Mr. Bugs doing nothing today but he is getting VERY antsy now. He was still a little stiff-legged last night but not as bad.
It is about 65* and sunny - the lake is beckoning.
Is it worth squeezing a trip in?
15 minutes or so of unadulterated fun?
Hitting the bank and gas station on the way home?

Oh I think it is

No it wasn't a lake day :-(
The lake was closed so poor B was all psyched up and no where to go.
Fortunately a friend and her daughter stopped by which was super duper exciting - he once again got more activity than I would have liked. We'll see what he is like later...........

Saturday, March 6, 2010

a day of rest - not!

I thought that I would keep Bugsy resting today to see if that helped whatever is causing him to limp.
Well you know what they say about best laid plans............
First since it was so nice out he had to spend much time wandering the yard.
Then I thought I would do some training and have him do his cavaletti's (walking over hock high hurdles)to work his mind and see if that helped his gait. He did that but he whole time he was like, "we go walkies now?"

So I put him inside so I could go for a run.
Then when I got back he wanted out.
This is how it went all day. He was like a shadow for me - I think he didn't want me to slip out for another run without him LOL
Anyway he spent hours wandering the yard and pacing and looking and sniffing.
Tonight to finish his day he went out and caught a mole. This wasn't just any old mole. He had detected it this morning but it was just outside his range (e-fence) so he just stood there pointing at it and whining.
Poetic justice that he got it tonight!

Friday, March 5, 2010

please no!

We have been so happy to be able to do normal length walks (2-3 miles for us) day after day with no apparent soreness and then bam! The other night when he awoke to go out for his end of the night business, he limped.
Wait a minute, which leg are you favoring big guy? Oh no way not the left one - gulp.
So he rested the next day, seemed fine so he had an evening walk.
When he awoke for end of the night business, limping.
head down, please no, yup favoring the left leg - the good one.
I am desperately hoping it is just sore. I cannot in no uncertain terms go through another surgery at this point, nor can he. So send us some good vibes please?

Poor guy had finally got to play with his cherished stuffed duck again and we were preparing to allow him a short playdate.

Come on Bugsy be OK - you so need to get back to having fun!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

we have made it!

Last week we reached the 16 weeks post op point. This is significant for TPLO dogs in that unless there have been difficulties dogs can now return to full activity.
Slowly of course but they can really start the return to normalcy.
Bugsy has been fortunate in that his recovery has been fairly smooth with a few scares and hiccups but nothing too extreme.
He has been building and building since the day he came home.
Yesterday and today he did 3 mile walk/runs and although tired is no worse for the wear. In fact he came home today and ran some zoomies post walk and continued to be silly inside including his very first leap off the stairs -GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
It has been nice to not have to remind him to not do that but clearly we need to stay on him.
I think next week we will have our first short play date.
So all in all we are real close. Now to work on his confidence as he is lacking in it for the first time in his life.
Its always something

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dublin Dog collars

Every once in a while something really neat happens, here's one instance:
A while back I saw (in a photo) a dog wearing a neat collar and being told it was a Dublin Dog collar. Never heard of them.
Fast forward to about a month ago I was in a TJMaxx/Homegoods and saw Dublin Dog collars. Wow they are really, really nice!
And in a rare fortunate moment I see they have XS and XL (clearly why they are in a closeout store). I look at the XL and wow it sure looks BIG. Real BIG.
The size says it starts at 23". Well 23" should be just about perfect, but boy this thing looks huge.
Sure enough when I got home it was ridiculously big. That collar did not start at 23",it was more like 26".
So I returned them - um yea they were so cool I bought two.
Then I went on to the dog forum I am a moderator for and complained about the sizing. The Large ends at 21" so there is a huge gap between them.

Well will you believe this - the founder of Dublin Dog collars joined the forum and responded that they were redoing the sizes and there would now be an overlap between L and XL.
Now that is customer service!
He also pointed out that they have a 'recycling' program which goes like this:
If you donate a collar to them (which they re-gift to a needy dog) they will give you 15% off the purchase of a new collar - how great is that!

Oh and should you decide to get a Dublin Dog collar - trust me you will love it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Its a good thing we love him

Goodness me Bugsy has been an imp all day. OK he did rest for a little bit but he sure let me know that he was bored and he is lucky that I have a good sense of humor.

After dinner I took him for an additional walk and he has now been sound asleep for over an hour. He is so deeply asleep that I cannot imagine how I will wake him.

He is either really on
or really off.
But it is wonderful to have my boy back

Sunday, February 21, 2010

a busy week

Bugsy had a very fun and busy week. My sister came to visit and brought her children ages 6 & 9. I cannot express how joyful Bugsy was to have his own children 24/7. His over-excitement made him difficult to deal with at times so he did have crate timeouts but it was all good until the morning they left. Bugsy stole the younger child's hat and gloves and wouldn't give them back. There were tears and I felt terrible.
Sometimes it isn't easy to be 105lbs of excited energy.
Here is a typical grin:


I wish there was a way to help him be more relaxed and normal when we have guests but he just doesn't seem to be able to. At 4.5 yrs old I am not holding out much hope for it to change. He is so anxious and overstimulated that it stresses everyone. He winds up exhausted afterwards.

After having a good rest yesterday he returned to his norm today.
He had the longest walk of his recovery, helped his Dad human with yard work, and supervised Mom human doing housework.
And got a bath
And watched his crate get moved from the living room to the family room.
Whew - a busy day to end a busy week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

what am I going to do with this boy?

Yesterday we awoke to more snow - this pleased Bugsy immensely and I have the photos to prove it!

In light of yesterday's insanity I tried to take a nice slow walk with him today and then have him rest. The walk wasn't as slow as I hoped and the resting well...........
he did hang out inside and watch the world go by while baking in the sun for some time.
However at about 6pm he asked to go out. There are a few ice patches so DH went out to observe him.
DH then came to tell me that he feared Bugsy would make a break for it as 6 deer were across the cul-de-sac. I said OK I'll go out the front door and keep an eye on him.
Well I did and we watched the deer enter the woods.
Then all hell broke loose.
Bugsy launched into major zoomies with DH & I stood statue still and telling him to slow down. Not a chance.
He ran and spun and turned and ran, eyes bulging, tail tucked, butt on fire.
Not sure how long it went on or what it happened or why it stopped. I went in at some point thinking, "Oh dear I didn't want this to happen today!"
When the boys came back inside Bugsy had a huge drink and then I told DH to get a certain treat out - this treat prompts Bugsy to do into his crate.
Worked like a charm and several hours later he is still asleep in his crate.

I suppose we simple humans will never understand why dogs run zoomies or why they stop. I just wish he would stop for a while and wait until he was definitely healthy enough to do this.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Turning a corner

Earlier this week I was worried enough about Bugsy limping each evening that I spoke to the surgeon who said, "fairly normal, try more anti-inflammatories." But we can't take Rimadyl or other NSAIDs so I tried walking him less. Still limped at night. Did more stretching, did more cavalettis, still limping. Then I added Traumeel (the holistic anti-inflammatory) in the morning as well as at night and wala!!
Since starting that regime, two things have occurred, he isn't as stiff at night, and he is ready to fly instead of walk.
The last two days have been FUN! He wants to trot most of the walk and I just do what I can to keep up. He sets the pace, he stops when he wants, etc. This has led to him being downright joyful. He has picked up large branches and chewed and carried them as he is trotting, bringing smiles once again to passersby, and causing me to laugh hysterically as I try to keep up.
Then today when we got home he launched into the craziest, wildest, silliest zoomies we have experienced in a very long time. He was leaping over shrubs, turning tight corners, running with an even gait, tail tucked and eyes wide open.
That's my boy!
That's my Bugsy doing his daily zoomie.
We have turned a corner..........
Join us in our relief

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Help write the legislation - dogs on the patio!

Way back in August some fool decided to re-interpret the laws giving eateries the right to allow well-behaved dogs to accompany their owners on outside patios.
Finally it is coming to the crucial time of writing the legislation.

Locals if you can attend the meeting at 10 am on Feb. 16 in room 1A-201 in the DENR building at 2728 Capital Blvd, Raleigh

If you can't attend, please voice your support here:

which will accept comments through April 5th

Help keep dogs on the patio!

Here's my previous post

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A little hint of Spring

Today we walked 2 miles.
The snow & ice have mostly melted and the birds were very active.
Bugsy was walking like old times, we were relaxed as we enjoyed the sounds of nature. At one point he stopped to sniff something and right next to his foot was the early shoots of someone's iris plants starting to emerge.
I couldn't help but feel like we too are starting to emerge from this healing process and the hint of our joyful walks, hikes and runs was evident as we strolled.

Good golly 13 weeks later I can finally really see that light at the end of the tunnel.
Here's to continued, uninterrupted progress so that in Spring we will be really be back.

Monday, February 1, 2010

a day of rest, may be two

I am happy to say that Bugsy's day of snow zooming concluded without injury to his leg, he was however very fatigued yesterday and still seems to be a bit tired today. Stamina just isn't what it used to be, not yet anyway.
It is very icy out now so although I hope to walk him today it won't happen unless we get some significant melting.

We did some Cavaletti's (walking over hock high hurdles) and will do some more later to reinforce proper lifting of his legs.

Only other thing to add is that apparently 3 inches of snow and 2 inches of ice do not protect moles from beastie. I took him out for a wander of the yard and he stopped suddenly. his tail went up and started twitching.
And then he pounced, dug a bit and walla, a mole.

I'm sure that someday they will learn to underground tunnel in someone else's yard LOL Until then he will catch them with joy and vigor.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Zooming in the snow

Not much to say about these pics and videos.
Basically he loves the snow. This means that when you open the back door he flies out and keeps running until you convince him to come back in.
His leg held up really well although he is very tired now.

a cute compilation of still shots made into a video

A whole bunch of pictures

A so-so video

Friday, January 29, 2010

a little video of hill walking near the lake

and of course he needed to mark a tree right at the beginning :o(

Bugsy is now 12 weeks post TPLO and as hyper as ever!
I decided to take him to the lake (this is the road that leads to the lake & boathouse) because it is 2 miles of significant hills. With the added bonus of much to smell which means that he is so engrossed in sniffing that his gait is very good.

He had no problems with it (happy dance)and is now sleeping soundly!
We are in for severe weather over the next few days so this was the most taxing and tiring route I could think of.

I wish I could have video'd his stalking a gaggle of geese that for some reason were walking up the road towards us. They saw him at about 50 yds and started in the opposite direction and then all took off.
Its true geese, he really doesn't like you.
He was on fire for the last 1/4 of a mile hoping to see them again.
There is something about geese that make them his very favorite birds ;o)

Now let's hope that this storm doesn't make it impossible to walk him for several days. His progress has been so good

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hey mom the mail is here.....

Bugsy does have his serious side which is displayed when he has a job.
One of his self assigned jobs is to tell me that the mail lady has delivered our mail.
Everyday without fail he will come find me and nudge at me insistently, tail wagging, with a look of 'hey it happened'. I'll ask him did the mail come? and the tail wags faster.
If I choose to not get it immediately he sighs heavily, and lies down next to me. But only for a moment.
Then he will nudge and nudge until I go get the mail.
There is no way you can continue doing what you are doing with beastie trying to convince you to get the mail, so I go get it.
Now that my office is on the third floor I thought he might not do his job, HA! Today I was working on things and he came to get me.
Good boy Bugsy, good boy
Oh and go slow on the stairs OK?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

he just can't stop zooming

It is wonderful to see BUT it really stresses his leg and he winds up clearly tired and weak every night. Wondering if I should try harder to prevent it - at the moment I try to slow him with a command or divert him with a promise of a kong - each has minimal impact.
I guess I will call the surgeon and see what he has to say. I know it is important that he continue to build his muscles and increase his stamina, I just don't want him to do to much too soon. I've cut back slightly on his walks but today we went back to two miles.
Today he launched into zoomies three different times -
Run baby run!!

It seems that with each run, each zoom he gets a little more of himself back.
Just can't stop smiling!

Now Lord please don't make us go through this again for a long time, OK?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I decided today was the day to allow him some slack off leash. And it didn't take long for him to take off.
He had a few test runs and then he really went for it!
He ran and ran and did some figure eights and ran some more.
He came right at me and dodged me at the last second
Ah it was like old times LOL

Best news is that he was fine afterwards. DH took him for a walk, about 1.5 miles and he seems fine.
Happily he is fairly subdued and his soul seems to have greater inner peace today.

11.5 weeks post surgery we may just be getting our lives back
and our happy crazy zooming boy!

He reminds all of us to run,
just because you can

Friday, January 22, 2010

a great day in Bugsy World!

On our way in from getting the newspaper this morning beastie was able to snag a mole
and he 'took care of it'
and he let me dispose of it!
This earned him a large knuckle bone for his breakfast. num num
For those that don't know, Bugsy is a mole specialist, he loves to catch them and excels at it but hasn't had much opportunity since his surgery to 'take care' of the mole population. Thus they are making a huge mess of our yard. One down and probably 2 to go!

After consuming his knuckle bone I took him for his walk and he did 1.5 miles!!!!!!!!!
I wasn't going to go that far but he looked really good so we kept on.
Woohoo folks he is on his way back. He rested afterwards and no limping.

Then after he had opportunity to rest this afternoon I decided to do a 1/2 mile walk with him. Again no limping. We will see how he is when we get back home tonight but I am so very pleased.

So he caught a mole, ate a bone, and walked 2 miles.
That is about as good a day you can have in Bugsy World (since his surgery anyway!)
Since its Friday lift your glass for him and continued health.
Good boy Bugsy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

we got lucky on that one

I took Bugsy to the vet the other day for a few vaccines and for a blood draw to check his thyroid levels, while there I had the vet check his knee, he detected nothing unusual. Whew.
Make that

Then the vet checked Bugsy out completely. And asked, "how old is he now?"
4.5 years old
"wow he looks great"

Now don't get me wrong I think Bugsy is in decent shape (he was in better shape prior to surgery) but I got the impression that at 4.5 he should be a mess.
Again I know that big dogs age quickly but wow 4.5 seems young to me.
I feel kind of freaked out that his condition would merit that comment. I feel for the other dogs out there who apparently have nasty coats and bad teeth.

So readers take care of your pooches. Check their teeth and give them some nice raw bones to chew to keep their teeth nice and clean. Walk them as much as you can and no fatty treats. Just because your dog is cute when they beg doesn't mean they should get something to eat and it definitely doesn't mean they are starving despite how desperate they look LOL.
Keep your pets lean and fit, check their teeth, keep their nails short. Brush them regularly and make sure you feed them a healthy food.
I'm glad Bugsy 'looks great' but I don't think it should be the exception

Sunday, January 17, 2010

we've had a setback

It happened. I suppose it was rather incredulous that the wild and crazy Bugsy would have a straight run at healing but we were. For over 10 weeks.
And then it happened.
I'll try to leave out some of the unnecessary details.
Basically DH was playing with Bugsy and Bugsy got very excited and ran down the hardwood floor hallway and into the tiled kitchen, upon seeing DH he attempted to make a quick 180* turn and it happened.
His bad leg splayed out at the worst angle imaginable.
I was furious and sick to my stomach all at once. DH was oblivious and thought I was being ridiculous when I punched the granite countertop. I didn't know what else to do.
Bugsy clearly was in pain and thought he was in trouble at the same time.
DH - well I could have strangled him.
At this time we are unsure of what damage has been done. Damage has been done though.
He is limping as badly as he did in about week 2. He is reluctant to stand on the leg and was generally morose all yesterday and much of today.
I gave him some Traumeel yesterday and last night.
I don't see or feel swelling but I can see that my poor boy can't walk the 1.25 miles that we were doing. Never mind the extra .5
He labors up the stairs and is flat as a pancake.
I am heartbroken. We were getting so close to earning a little freedom.
I am going to take him to the rehab vet early this week and hopefully they will be able to assess if he did serious damage or it is just a minor setback.
Send us some good thoughts - especially my poor boy.
He has cooperated through all of this. All he wants is to run free and be joyful and pain free.
I promise Bugsy we are going to get there