Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ceramic Mugsy found at a Antique Shop!

My mom found this little guy in an antique shop. I'm not sure if he is worth a whole lot but he is market JAPAN on the bottom. I tried to see if I could find a similar one for value online and I have found pieces that range from $10.00 USD to $325.00 USD like this one. They say that one is a French bulldog, but I think he looks a lot more like an OBB. There are quiet a few items for sale on eBay that look a lot like the breed but are named as Boston terriers or French bulldogs too. It could be the start of an obsessive collection for me! Happy online shopping.

Sleeping Dogs II...note the magic rug!

Aren't they sweet! It was a zen like moment for me...peace and quiet.

As promised here is a scoop with the rug. If you feed your dogs treats on a rug and only allow them to eat them on the rug, they will not muss up your house. It proved to be a bit more difficult with two dogs, even with two rugs but it is a nice training technique and they do love to go sit on a rug now. Training the trainer is difficult sometimes so we are trying to be diligent. I guess people eat at a table during dinner and this has helped them keep the dog away from the table. Note to self...dinner table, hmmm.

So next week Mugsy is graduating from puppy class and we get to play puppy poker. Everyone bets dog cookies on your pups ability to do the assigned command, and they have to vote before you do. He is very focused at class, more than at home, which is odd but I think he will do well. I'll let you know after Monday. UPDATE!!! Mugsy Passed and is on to Good Manners II.

One last thing, as far as OBB temperament. Mugsy is a growler much like a French Bulldog or Pug, he talks and A LOT, especially when things are not going his way. For example when he's sleeping all cozy on our bed and we pick him up to put him in the kennel. When we first got him he was nasty, but he has grown out of that. The trainer suggested giving him a cookie while picking him up so he identifies getting picked up as a good thing. Soon we may not be able to pick him up since he is getting heavy! It is very interesting to see the difference in training techniques and while I started using corporal punishment when we first got him I am getting much better results with the positive reinforcement and food incentives. Mugsy is very intelligent and now that we trust each other we are able to communicate. He is starting to know right from wrong. Our trainer mentioned the comprehension of a dog trained with corporal punishment versus positive reinforcement is about 70-85% to 95%. Training has been wonderful! If you live the in the western twin cities, puppy good start is awesome! I have read a few disturbing posts out there in cyberspace and thought I should share my experience.


Having a dog and a nice garden too is easier said than done. Mugsy and Azia love to play and tear around in the back yard, so I am working on moving some of the plants around this fall so we'll have better success this next summer. I found some website that offer some helpful information.

Check out these links to learn more.

Flowering Gardens Made Easy

Your Yard and Pet Safety

Dog Houses

The photo above is large enough for a desktop screen saver, click the image, then right-click and choose set as desktop screen saver.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Guest OBB's! Q: Guess which one is Mugsy's full sister?

Emma (black-brindle/white), Mimi (tan/white) & Buddha (brindle/white)
A: Okay you're right, Mimi is Mugsy's sister. Isn't she sweet!

Too bad we live so far away or I'd take a picture with them all at the same time, especially since Mugsy is 22.5 pounds and Mimi is 14 and their bodies are the same shape. Kent must be having lots of fun with three puppies at home, hopefully they wear themselves out.

We're off to puppy class tonight, if I learn anything extra special, I'll pass it along. Oh! I did forget to tell you all about the magic rug. Full report later after tonight's class.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dog Logic: Behave Now, Think Later

Image: Robert Dickey
My RSS feeder displayed this article: Discovery Channel :: News - Animals :: Dog Logic: Behave Now, Think Later. I found it rather interesting. I often wonder what my dogs and other pets do while I am not at home. Once during a construction project my big dog who is rather protective of our home ran through an unfinished wall unknown to the garage door installer who thankfully was a dog person dealt with the suspicious chow like a champ! We advised him to just leave and we'd be home asap; he choose to talk the pup back inside and no incident happened. Now had we been home, would she have been that nice? We are still working on making nice with the Schwann's man. She's a sugar bear as Mugsy has learned. I'll share my new trick later this week - it's called 'Park It!'

The article also linked to an Animal IQ Test, I will have to try it once Mugsy turns one next June. I can try it on the big dog now - I'll update this post with a score when I have one.

Grading Dog Food

Someone on the OBB Development Board posted the grading scale below after the recall fiasco awhile back and I dug it up to share with you. I'm not sure where is originally came from but I think it is handy and it points out some of the undesirable things in dog food. You may have noticed the grocery stores are filling back up with new and improved 'labels' on familiar brands claiming natural ingredients and some there are some new comers to the pet food and snack aisles as well. I will print this out and bring it with me to the store to see how the improved measures up or if they are taking advantage of the situation. I hope they are truly improving the quality of the food they manufacture so people on all budgets can afford to feed their pets the best. My dog pal Delilah is a English Mastiff going on 13 and her keeper swears it is from feeding her Canidae. He thinks its worth every penny--lucky girl! I have noticed the better quality of food I give my dogs the less I am cleaning up in my yard--BONUS! We are still using the Merrick brand and I am fine with Nutro Super Pet Food *wink* in the Natural Choice version even if it scores lower than human grade food. Huge improvement in the dogs skin and coat after I switched from diamond brand foods. I have talked to many people who use it and agree. You can't beat the price but you will have to clean up a few more piles in the yard on the Nutro in my experience.

Giving Dry Dog Food a Grade: Start with a grade of 100

For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points

For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points

3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points

For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points

If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewers rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points

If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points

If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points

If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points

If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points

If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points

If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points

If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points

13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point

If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:

If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points

2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points

If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points

4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points

If the food contains fruit, add 3 points

6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points

If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points

8) If the food contains barley, add 2 points

9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points

10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point

11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point

12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "" as 2 different sources), add 1 point

13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point

14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point

94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D

Some additional links:
ASPCA PET FOOD RECALL RESOURCE CENTER they are continuing to update any new issues coming up. The most recent post is about chicken jerky and safety for dogs--dated the end of September. If you have an issue with a food here is the list of numbers by state to call to place a complaint with the FDA Consumer Complaint Center.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hee Hee! - From Star Tribune paper today.

Click the image to read it larger. Buckles is especially funny! So true...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Saved by the Kong...

Full at last! We've been having lots of fun filling the Kong with stuff. Especially dog friendly leftovers. Yum! By the way Mugsy is 22.5 pounds and no fat, Dr said. Muggles! I hope I'll still be able to pick him up at full size.

Mugsy likes to sit as close to Azia as possible, sometimes on her, Azia permitting.