Starting on the first of February I officially put my pet-sitting on hold and started babysitting my two grandsons LJ and Declan. What a wonderful decision this was!!!
It is so much fun doing crafts and activities with LJ! Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing…
LJ is so proud of his little flower garden. He waters it every day.
He also LOVES to play with Play-Doh. Now you might think these are carrots in the garden, but no. They are pancakes with honey bottles and cinnamon shakers :-)
And he plays with his color wheel.
We made caterpillars out of egg cartons,
And every week we make LJ’s favorite. Oatmeal muffins!!!
Making shapes with popsicle sticks,
It’s also such a joy to watch his little brother Declan grow and develop. I can’t believe he’s already almost six months old!
I had one last pet-sitting engagement. So for a week the other Grandma and Grandpa came up from Portland to watch the boys while I watched Brody & Calla. We had a couple of nice sunny days when the pups could enjoy being outside.
What a beautiful place this is!
But most of the time the pups prefer to snuggle in their blankets on the couch.
LJ was in pre-school but I was able to bring Declan to stay with me for one afternoon. It was nice to have him. I had really started missing the little guy!
Calla was fascinated with him!
So for the next year or so, I’ll be posting more about my grandsons and my life away from pet-sitting. Of course I’ll be sure to include a few pet related posts as well. I hope you’ll bear with this proud grandma, and enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them!
Xander, a blind pug who lives in Oregon, might just be the most inspirational dog you’ll meet. The one-year-old pug, who lost his eyes in an accident, has been raising spirits as a therapy dog.
Rodney Beedy, who adopted Xander in January 2013, said that he and the people at the Klamath Animal Shelter spotted the pug’s potential almost right away. “‘He’d make a really good therapy dog. Look at his temperament’, they told me,” Rodney told the Huffington Post.
Rodney, who owns seven other pugs, said that he wasn’t sure if he could handle another dog but after talking it over with his wife, Marcie, and showing her the dog it was an easy sell. “She just fell in love with him,” Rodney added.
One of the groups that Xander has been working with is Klamath Lake Cares, a group that helps children who have suffered abuse.
“We’re bringing Xander in to let him comfort them before they start in on the investigation or a doctor sees them,” Rodney explains.
He also visits daycares and schools with the local chapter of the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project. Rodney explained to the Herald and News, a local paper in Klamath Falls.
And it seems that Xander isn’t just good with kids. Rodney recalls a recent visit to a retirement home where Xander sat with a woman who was recuperating. “He was laying on the bed and she was coughing. If you give a dog a kiss your whole face will be full of slobber. He just has this way of giving you a little kiss. Kinda like telling you that everything is going to be fine,” he said.
At home, Rodney points out that Xander is just like any of his other dogs. “He doesn’t act like a dog that has no sight. He runs around here and does different things just like a sighted dog. He goes in and out of the doggie door. He figured that one out in one night,” he explained.
By Ron Nurwisah
The Huffington Post Canada
Bigger Breeds Are Here To Stay! Large Dogs Dominate Most Popular List
New York, NY – Labrador Retriever lovers have spoken! The American Kennel Club (AKC®) announced today that the intelligent, family friendly breed has taken the #1 spot on the most popular list for the 23rd consecutive year, the longest reign at the top in AKC history.
“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – have been on the rise during the past five years,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008.”
In addition to the Lab holding strong to its top spot, the French Bulldog has seen a sharp rise in popularity over the past decade, with a 323% increase in registrations since 2003. The affectionate, easy to care for Frenchie rose three spots this year to number 11, its highest position since the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1898. French Bulldogs are known to be loveable lap warmers and are easily adaptable to city or suburban living due to their easily groomed coats and minimal exercise requirements.
2013 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd
3. Golden Retriever
6. Yorkshire Terrier
AKC News (Friday, January 31, 2014)
Bringing home a new puppy is undoubtedly an exciting time in life. They are cute, silly, cuddly, and loads of fun– until you have to clean up an accident.
Fortunately, puppies are quick learners and can be potty-trained within a matter of days with the help of a consistent schedule and an open-minded owner!
Housetraining a puppy takes a bit of patience and puppies need to be taught the correct and incorrect places to eliminate. By following these steps, you’ll be on the right track to a fully potty-trained puppy.
Step 1: Go out frequently
Puppies have small bladders and should be given regular, frequent opportunities to go outside for a potty break. As they grow older, they will be able to hold it for longer periods of time, but new puppies should be taken out about every two hours. Keep watch on your puppy just in case he begins to pace or is seemingly sniffing around for a spot to “go” so that you can hurry him outside.
Take your puppy outside to a preferred spot and tell him to “go potty.” It may take some time, but as soon as he goes (even if it’s just a little) be sure to praise!
Tip: Take your puppy out immediately after he wakes up, after each time he eats/drinks, and after play sessions.
Step 2: Reward for a job well done
By praising your puppy every time he successfully goes potty outside, you are positively reinforcing desired behavior which means he is more likely to continue going potty in the correct place. Give verbal praise or a treat immediately after your puppy has finished his ‘business’.
Tip: Wait until your puppy has finished eliminating before offering praise. If you praise your puppy while he is going, it may cause a distraction and prevent him from finishing.
Step 3: Get into a routine
By introducing your puppy to a regular eating, sleeping, potty schedule, he will quickly learn to expect certain activities at certain times of the day. Your puppy should be receiving meals 3-4 times per day, so make sure that these occur at the same time every day, followed by a potty break after each meal.
Putting your puppy on a consistent schedule will help him learn more quickly, and he may even alert you when it’s time to go out.
I have been spending the last several New Years Eve’s in Portland, Oregon pet sitting two adorable Italian Greyhounds, Luna and Reilly.
I love these two little ones so much and enjoy each and every minute I spend with them. Luna has had a bit of a decline this year and is now blind and deaf. Along with her having prosthetics on her two front legs, you might think she would be having such a hard time. But not Luna! She has managed to learn how to navigate around the house and yard, and she even still enjoys playing with her treat toys with Reilly.
This year my sister Kathy came down from Washington state to spend a few days with me and the pups. She immediately bonded with Reilly and they were pretty much inseparable during her stay.
Reilly is just the sweetest little boy. He loves to cuddle with me, but he also loves to cuddle with and groom Luna. Is this the sweetest picture ever?
On New Years Eve Kathy and I went out to see the Christmas lights on Peacock Lane. This is a tradition for Kathy and I. We’ve gone out to look at lights for many years. Some years with the kids, then with the grandkids, some years just the two of us. We even went out one year in our PJ’s! Peacock Lane is an entire block with every house adorned with lights and decorations for Christmas. It was really beautiful!
Then we went out to dinner at a local family restaurant. The waiter was a nice young man looking forward to finishing his shift and going out with his friends. When we were ready to leave, Kathy decided to leave him a $50 tip! She put the tip on the table and we left. From the parking lot we were able to see him pick up the tip and all excitedly show it to the hostess. What a fun, unexpected treat for him. That’s my sister for you. You just never know when she is going to do something crazy and wonderful!
A couple of days later we took a drive to Stevenson, WA and to the Scamania Lodge for lunch. A friend of ours had told us about it so we decided to take advantage of being in the area.
We had a delicious lunch while enjoying the beautiful view of the mountains and the Columbia Gorge.
Next we crossed the Bridge of the Gods back into Cascade Locks.
Kathy had read the book ‘Wild’, the story of Cheryl Strayeds’ journey of walking the Pacific Crest Trail and was really touched by it. She was thrilled that we were right at the trailhead so she had to get a picture next to the trailhead sign.
A movie is being made of her incredible story and it was actually being filmed here in November. Reese Witherspoon is playing Cheryl in the movie.
Cheryl ended her hike at the Bridge of the Gods, walked down to the East Wind Drive-In to get an ice cream cone and reflect on her journey.
So of course Kathy wanted to experience having one of the huge, delicious chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirl cones to finalize her bonding with this amazing story. Well, needless to say, she didn’t get quite the serene experience that Cheryl did. As soon as Kathy was handed the huge cone, it ended up on her lap!
She rescued the cone and dumped it in a cup. As we drove away in laughter she ate her cone with a spoon and decided this was probably as close as she would ever get to experiencing the life of Cheryl Strayed.
I’m sad to say that one of my special pets that I have had the pleasure of taking care of during my wonderful job of pet sitting has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Little Alex was a sweet little girl and had the fortune of living with some awesome, loving people. A couple of years ago Alex became almost entirely blind from an illness but she forged on and was able to adapt and live very comfortably. It was amazing.
Alex had a wonderful life and just recently, at the ripe old age of 17, it was time to make the difficult decision to let her go. I will miss you Alex. Rest in peace my friend.