5/17/11

Toby's Bed!

One of the benefits of taking a couple days weeks months off was that it gave me the chance to gather some ideas for posts! Like this past Christmas!
When I first got Toby I got him a simple crate mat, a thin "sheepskin" covered layer of fluff. He was so thin that i knew he had to be uncomfortable on such a hard surface and I felt bad. So for Christmas I decided to buy him a new, better bed. I set out to do my shopping and soon became very discouraged. His kennel is 23 by 34 and none of the beds were the right size! I wanted to get him a foam bed so that he would have better cushioning and the only ones I could find were several inches too big or too small. I was about to buy one that was a few inches too small for about 25 dollars when my mom suggested that we look into making one. We went out to a craft/fabric store and checked the price on foam padding. It was pretty pricey! So we went home and found a store coupon online for half of any product! I got a piece of 2 inch thick foam cut to the exact size of his kennel. we found a very cute, machine washable fabric, and a zipper for just under 25 dollars! We brought it all home and my mom sewed the fabric and zipper into an awesome and removable cover for the foam pad! (She is really good at this stuff!)

On Christmas morning Toby got his new bed and loved it! If I bring it out to another spot he always lays on it, before he would just lay on the floor if his mat was out. The fabric we chose wasn't super durable and now has a few little holes, but I know that if it gets too torn up we can make a new one for just a couple bucks!

5/14/11

It has been a long time!

I was reading another dog blog today and I really missed posting here! I am going to make this one of my homepage tabs so that it will remind me to write! Today I thought I would write about the boys' vocabularies. Toby's is mostly taught to him intentionally with a few self taught words, Todd on the other hand only cares to learn certain words.
Toby knows: inside, out, bed, go potty, come on, off, come, sit, down, stay, heel, roll over, crawl, spin, hold, shake, high five, wave, settle, walk, car, wait, leave it, get a drink, dance, okay, penguin, ball, toy, get it, no and of course, good boy!
Todd knows: car, walk, potty, outside, inside, come on, dinner, dance and good boy. He sorta knows/is working on: sit, spin, kennel, wait and off.
Not to mention they both know their names! Each of these words has a specific meaning to them, and the same word may mean something different to each dog, to Toby "go potty" is something I say when we are outside and he needs to stop playing for a minute and focus on doing his business so that I can get back inside before the neighbors see me in my pjs and messy hair at noon. To Todd "potty" is something I say when he is standing at the door for the billionth time that day and I am asking if he actually wants to go out or if he is just watching for cars he thinks are coming to see him.

1/28/11

It's been a while!

I really got off track a while back! I haven't posted in forever!! But today I noticed something I just had to write about, even if it makes me sound like an ad for Canidae...again! I compared Canidae to the grocery store "value brand" today (I will leave the brand name out we will call it Brand X). I am amazed!! Canidae costs me 42 dollars for a 35 pound bag. Brand X is 20 dollars for a 40 pound bag, way better deal right!?! WRONG!
Right now on Canidae, Toby eats 2.5 cups a day. If I fed him Brand X, he would eat approximately 7 cups a day!!! That "way better deal" just went out the window! And if that's not enough, take a look at just the first 5 ingredients:
Brand X - "Ground Yellow Corn, Soybean Meal, Whole Wheat, Beef Meal, High Fructose Corn Syrup"
Canidae - "Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice". 
For those of you who don't know, when it says "meal" after a meat that just means the water has been cooked out already. A meat "meal" is good, "by-product meal" not so good, and those show up later in Brand X's ingredients but not Canidae's.
Moral of the story, compare labels before you decide which food is a better deal, you can usually do this online too, much easier than in the store.

PS I am going to try to start posting at least once a week again.

10/29/10

Todd goes "swimming"

video
Yeah, we love Todd... but he is not the brightest! Maybe we can turn it into a trick though!

10/21/10

Coats!

As the daily temperature drops many of us start to consider buying coats for our dogs. Toby made it through last winter only shivering one day, so I know he will be fine without a coat. Todd on the other hand, has already shivered this fall! It was about 50 degrees out and  Todd was out for a few minutes, since it often gets much colder around here during winter, we plan on getting Todd a fall sweater and a winter coat. None of us are big fans of dressing up dogs but it's apparent that he would appreciate the warmth! But not all dogs will tolerate or need coats. Toby would tolerate it if I thought he needed it but his undercoat keeps him warm and his top coat keeps him dry. If you have thought about getting your dog a coat put a little research into it, see if his breed (or main breed in the mix) has a good winter coat or not, watch for shivering as the weather cools down. You also don't want to start putting on the coat too early. If your dog was hot during the summer he will be hot in a coat during the early fall.

10/13/10

Technical Difficulties

My computer has been causing lots of trouble for me lately so I got out of the routine of writing for a while, but I am back and hoping to get back in the routine again!
Toby and Todd are pretty much best friends now! Todd seems to have bonded most with my dad, a little odd considering he is home the least, but he is always staring at the last door dad went out. His crate training hasn't gotten much better but his house training has reached the point that I can trust him to sleep in my bed so that I can get a full night's sleep again! Toby has taken the new dog situation very well, only developing one new bad habit; when Todd barks at the door, so must Toby.
As it starts to cool down I plan on posting about cold weather tips, tricks and products I have found and new ones as I discover them. If anyone out there has any requests/ideas for new posts I would be glad to hear them (Mom, I already have your ideas on my list).

9/14/10

Tired!

The past couple days I have been working at a nearby golf course with my dad. Getting up at 5:40 and shoveling dirt for five to seven hours is NOT easy! I have been so exhausted! Luckily, Toby and Todd have been helping me out by playing with each other all the time and wearing themselves out so our walks are easier! It's hard to believe that a couple weeks ago these two could hardly get near each other without getting into trouble! They are playing together very nicely these days. Todd's crate training is making progress...slowly but surely. It is always much easier if he is worn out, but that is usually only at the end of the day. Now that the boys are getting along much better and Todd is house trained I usually don't have to put him in his kennel during the day. If I do it is because I am leaving and then I don't have to listen to him bark so it doesn't stress me out as much as it was. He has started barking a little when people knock or come in but since that is new I should be able to stop it before it gets too bad. Over all things are going great with the boys!