The boys.

It has been a little stressful around here the last few days. Toby and Todd are having a hard time learning how to get along and Todd is being difficult about crate training. The first day he was here Todd was doing fairly well at crate training. He was going into it for hot dog bits and sleeping in it very well. Unfortunately he can't be supervised 24/7 and we had to put him in his crate longer than he wanted to be there and now he is only getting worse. He won't go all the way in on his own and if you shut the door and get up to leave he starts whining then barking. I have tried feeding him his meals and treats in there, giving him a bone to chew in there, a kong type toy stuffed with food, I even tried putting a little device in my room that is supposed to stop barking. Nothing is working. I have tried going back to the basics of crate training but before I can get anywhere we all have to go out somewhere and he has to go in his kennel. His stress is even stressing Toby out.


Todd is here!

Todd got here this afternoon. He seems to be settling in well! He walks well on a leash, is calm in and out of the house, is taking well to crate training, and likes the food we have for him. He does need a little house training work, but it should be taken care of within a few days. Toby wasn't sure about him at first and now he can't sniff Todd enough! The next few days are going to be pretty busy, Todd doesn't know any commands as far as I can tell but he is pretty well behaved :) I am looking forward to doing some learning myself.


National Dog Day!

Tomorrow (Aug 26) is National Dog Day! So give your dog a special treat and maybe make a donation to a shelter/rescue. We will (coincidentally) be celebrating by adding a second dog to the family! Todd will be arriving tomorrow and we couldn't be more excited to meet him! Toby of course has no idea what is in store but he will soon understand why there is an extra kennel in my room that is too small for him!


Update on Reuben

Reuben was our featured adoptable dog a couple weeks ago. The IHS just announced on their facebook page that Reuben's IDAPI class has graduated and Reuben, along with some others, is available for adoption! As an IDAPI dog owner I know that these dogs make great additions to the family! They are already trained in the basics including house and crate training. All you have to do is maintain and build on that foundation! In over a year, Toby has only had three accidents in the house, not bad for a dog adjusting to a new home and schedule! From day one he would go into his crate on command, he also knew sit, down, stay and come! These dogs not only know commands but they know how to learn. The more Toby learns the faster he learns new things. When I first got Toby, I could not get him to Roll Over but I taught him more tricks and worked on his basic training with him and now Roll Over is nothing!


Been busy!

Haven't posted the last few days, we have some relatives in town getting ready for my cousin's wedding Saturday so we have been pretty busy.
Toby and I have been getting ready for Todd's arrival! Kayleen, who will be his owner, is in college so she is trying to save any where she can so we have been buying what we can at yard sales and with coupons. So far we have saved over 30 dollars of the initial supplies cost! A new kennel would have been about 25 dollars, we got one at a yard sale for one! All it needed was to be hosed down and the gate/door needed WD-40. A new leash would have been six dollars, we got one for 25 cents. Bowls we bought at the dollar store and he had a collar already. He will be eating the same food as Toby and we just got coupons for that! For chew bones we are buying Busy Bones and cutting them down to his size, normal price they are $2.85 for 2 full size, but with coupons we can usually get the two pack for 85 cents! So far I must say we are doing a pretty good job at getting a dog on a budget!


More to love!

A few days back I posted about how much (and why) I love Toby's dog food, Canidae. This Friday he ran out of food and I went to buy another bag. I had gotten an email with a coupon from Zamzows for five dollars off any purchase of 25 dollars or more and the 35 lb bag of food I buy qualified. I got to Zamzows and they were out of the 35 lb bags of Canidae so I had to buy a smaller one. It was $23.99, one dollar short of qualifying for the coupon, so I started looking for something that cost a dollar.
Toby has always treated all food the same, it is all really, really good. I usually just use his kibble for treats but every once in a while I like to get him something different.  So I was looking at whatever treats I could buy a pound or so of in order to use my coupon, when I spotted a bin of biscuits that said Canidae on them! I knew Canidae made quality food so I trusted them to make quality treats. I bought enough to be able to use my coupon and headed home.
As usual, Toby gobbled up the treat I gave him after he gave me a high five, and I set the bag of treats on the counter. Later, I was in the living room talking with my family and out of the corner of my eye I saw Toby looking at the bag of treats on the counter, he had only counter surfed for food once and got in trouble so we have never worried about him taking food off the counter. Suddenly he hopped up on his hind legs and put his feet on the counter so he could sniff the bag of treats! Startled, I told him, "No!" and he dropped to the ground. Not two minutes later he did it again!! This time I told him, "No, leave it!" and finally he left them alone.
They have clearly become Toby's favorite treat (I never thought he would pick a favorite food) and they are also my favorite treat because I know they are good for him. Plus when I looked them up on Canidae's website I found out that the factory they are made in is wind powered! Just one more thing I love about Canidae!



This is Honeycomb! She is one of four puppies still waiting to be adopted from the Canyon County Animal Shelter. They are just over two months old and are Australian Cattle Dog mixes. They are also just a few of the puppies at the shelter right now.


K-9 Health Solutions

k9healthsolutions.com is a website shop run by a former police K-9 handler and his wife, the shop features supplements and other dog products. Right now they have several items on sale including Nylabones starting at 25 cents. In addition to having some awesome sale prices K-9 Health Solutions also writes a blog! They have many dog advice posts, treat recipes, product and blog reviews, Ask Rakker (their dog) and more! So if you are all caught up on Mixed Up Mutt and have some free time check their blog out here. And be sure to come back here and let us know what you think! :)


Amazing Animals

I know this is a dog blog but when a story like this comes up you just have to share it! 

Some say the cat should have been put down rather than remove all four legs but this cat seems very happy and healthy and the vet is clearly looking for just the right home for her needs so I am very happy with the results :)


Toby gets a friend!

A year and a half ago, if you had told me that my parents would allow a dog to live in their house, I would have had you committed. But as luck would have it they have not only allowed Toby to live here but are now going to allow a second dog! Now that I have had time to figure out this topsy turvy new world I seem to be living in, Toby and I are getting ready to welcome a new member to the family!
Todd is a little chihuahua mix (not a breed my family would normally go for, but this one sounds great). Most likely, Todd's owners could no longer afford him, so they drove him out to the country and said farewell. Luckily for him, Maggie lived nearby! Maggie found him and took him home. Unfortunately her mom said they couldn't keep him, so Maggie started looking for a home for him. She had told my sister Kayleen about him but knew that Kayleen could not have him at her house. Knowing my love of dogs very well, Kayleen showed me his picture and told me that she was already attached (though she hadn't met him). Feeling bad for the little guy, we decided to give it a shot and ask our parents if he could live with us. Amazingly enough they said "Yes" and Todd will be here August 26th.



This is Reuben! Reuben will soon be available for adoption from the Idaho Humane Society! He is a sweet lab mix who loves tummy rubs and petting! Reuben is currently in the IDAPI training that Toby went through! That means when he graduates and is available to adopt, he will know his basic commands, house training and crate training, and maybe a few tricks! Learn more about him and the program here.


Love it!

Every once in a while you find a product that you just love! I LOVE my dog food! It took me a lot of research, and time to find a really good food for Toby and a few months ago I found something great! Lots of dog foods you find these days are full of corn and grain fillers when many dogs are allergic to these grains and  we all know dogs are carnivores. But to feed your dog a home made diet, raw or cooked, is time consuming and complicated, so most of us choose to feed whatever kibble we can afford.
When I first got Toby I was feeding him a popular brand's "natural" formula, the ingredients were decent (top ingredient was meat, no by-products etc) and I could manage the price. He was doing pretty well, but I was feeding him a lot more than the recommended amount for his weight just to keep his hips from sticking out. I knew that with his active lifestyle and being part whippet would keep him thin, but his ribs showing some was my limit. He was otherwise completely healthy so I knew it had to be his food that was the problem. So I tried another brand. No change. That is when I went on Dogster and asked around about affordable, quality dog foods. Several brands came up that sounded good but were pretty expensive. There was one brand that many people suggested that sounded great but I couldn't find a price or a store that listed it online, Canidae.
I was about to just give up and stick with what I had, when I saw that Canidae's website said they only sold to independent stores, not big corporate chains. I clicked on their store locator link and entered my zip code. Zamzows popped up, the one place I hadn't checked. So I ran out to Zamzows expecting to be shocked by the price of such a great sounding dog food, and I was. It was significantly cheaper than what I was feeding him!
-  More after the jump -


Toby and Kashka

7 years ago my family got a kitten, and named her Kashka (Russian for cat, more specifically a girl cat), it turned out she was a he but the name stuck. Kashka was an outdoor cat, but after a 280 dollar vet bill after he wandered off for a couple days, he became an "outdoor" cat, meaning he lives in the garage and comes in the house sometimes.
After being the center of all pet attention for six years, Kashka was not too thrilled about Toby moving in and cramping his style. Toby on the other hand is fascinated by Kashka. Toby loves sniffing him until Kashka smacks his nose (no claws out though), and then Toby acts like he is surprised and tries again. I personally wanted them to be comfortable with each other and if not make friends at least live in harmony since Toby frequently goes into the garage with me and Kashka likes to come in the house when he can.
So I had to figure out how to train a cat! Not an easy task! Dogs are happy to do any trick they can for a "Good Boy!", cats want to get something for doing something that they wanted to do in the first place.
I tried kenneling Toby and letting Kashka wander the room and get used to Toby's presence, I tried kenneling Toby and putting bits of ham and turkey near his kennel to entice Kashka over. Kashka sat by the door ready to bolt.
So I was just going about my business, and letting Kashka get used to Toby at his own pace, when I saw a little progress (Toby and I went out to the garage and he and Kashka sniffed each other nose to nose) I decided to try something new. I took Toby out to the garage and got him some food. Kashka was laying on his big box that is just taller than Toby's head. I grabbed Kashka's favorite treats and alternated giving Toby a piece of food and giving Kashka a treat while they were about a foot apart. I slowly had Toby move closer to the box and kept feeding them. Within minutes I was able to put a cat treat and piece of dog food in the same hand (one on each side of my palm) and Kashka and Toby would eat them, nose to nose! They may not be best friends, but Kashka seems more at ease these days.



On the Dogster blog today, there is a post about dog growls and their different meanings. The Dogster blogger then asked if readers knew their dog's growls. It got me thinking about Toby and his growls. When I thought about it I counted three situations where he growls and the more I thought, I realized that they all sounded different.
The easiest to distinguish is his play growl. I have only heard it a couple times when he was really into a game of tug. It is a much lighter growl and sounds a lot like my "grrrrr" (yes, I play growl when I play with my dog). His other two growls are more similar, and more intense. One is the growl he uses when he hears someone else in the house at night (I think he thinks we live alone), or when someone comes in the front door unannounced day or night. This growl is more intense, and deeper than his play growl, but still short and to the point. The last growl is the most intense. Toby doesn't like strange dogs, this is something we have been working on since I got him, and though he has improved he is not a social butterfly, yet. His third growl is the one he uses before he goes after a strange dog who has come too close. It is deep, loud and intense.
Toby is definitely an example of why puppies need to be well socialized and adult dogs need to keep being socialized. It has taken a year to get Toby to a point where I can introduce him to a new dog. Even now it takes time and preparation to get him to sniff a new dog long enough to realize they are not a threat. But it is all worth it every time he makes a new friend. He loves his dog friends so much! Once he makes a friend he is always ready to play with them, he shares his toys, and waits patiently for his turn for a treat. My goal with him is to get him to a point where he can go to the dog park and play fetch, and I believe it is possible, with more work and time.


Kong Wobbler

This looks like something Toby would love, mainly because it involves food! And I would love it because it would keep him occupied for a few minutes and slow his eating! It sits up on its own until the dog nudges or paws it, then it wobbles, and rolls, and the food bits come out the small hole. Plus they say that the unpredictable movement keeps it challenging! Unfortunately, like many good dog toys, it's a little overpriced for me right now! But perhaps I will save a couple dollars here and there and pick one up!


Draw the Dog

I am sure most of you dog owners out there can think of one or two funny stories about your dog, why not submit them to Draw the Dog! Draw the Dog is a fun site that makes daily (minus Sundays) dog cartoons! Readers send in stories about their dogs to inspire these enjoyable cartoons that "draw themselves"! Toby starred in a cartoon back in April check it out here and while you are there wander around the site a little, check out other cartoons, submit your stories/pictures and maybe have a laugh!