Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Gimp.

Poor Miss Ava has become my Wondergimp Pup within the last few days. Sunday we had a playdate with Jake, my friend Cati's lab mix, and then on Monday we had to get the dreaded rabies shot. On our playdate she managed to slash her front right pad, giving her a bit of a limp, and now she's favoring her back right leg after the rabies vax. Ugh. I hate vaccines. But that's another matter entirely.

Sunday with Cati and Jake was great though! Since we don't have a dog park anywhere, we use the local high school's football field. There's the football field, two softball fields, a tennis court, and a walking track. If we're lucky, we get there when no one is using the tennis court and we can let the dogs off their leashes to play. So far, yesterday has been the only time that someone else was in the tennis court so we just walked around the walking track until they left. I'm thinking that might be where she picked up the slash in her pad, but I'm not sure. If I think back on it, she limped a tad bit as we were walking around, after she pulled me through a patch of mud and I hit the ground with a lovely split. It was only two or three steps though, so I assumed she was trying to get the mud off her paws, just like I was trying to get the mud off my pants xD

After our laps around the field, we finally got into the tennis courts. Since the gate to it wasn't made to fit to the gateway very well, we've got a system down pretty well. Cati takes Jake's leash and ties the gate shut while I set out their water stuff where they hopefully won't tip it. "Hopefully" is the operative word in this situation, seeing that Ava usually flips the bowl and then lays in the puddle to cool off. She's such a resourceful little thing! Its amazing!

Her and Jake get along so great together though. I don't know what I'd do if we didn't have him and Cati to hang out with, honestly. Everyone else that I know has small dogs, with the exception of one friend and my grandparents. My friends are convinced that Ava is a monster dog who doesn't want to play with their small dogs, but would rather tear their heads off and nom on their brains. Its insane really because Ava has never once shown any aggression while playing with anyone, but she hasn't been allowed to play since she was about four months old. Cati and Jake are the only playdate that we can have regularly, and our only means of socialization except for random meetings at the vet, petstore, and the bigger park that's farther away. And, even better, Ava and Jake are about the same size and age so they're perfectly matched. Ava's a bit taller, but she's leggier and must more nimble. Jake's shorter and built more solidly, so he's more of a battering ram. So they can run themselves silly playing, collapse for a while to cool off, and then do it all again. Its awesome! I've never seen two dogs play so hard together. And all the while Cati and I can sit on the ground by the gate and watch and catch up since we hardly ever see each other. Yesterday I introduced her to Dogster on her iphone. I've gotta get one of those things - they're so spiffy! I wish I would have remembered my camera because I could have gotten some amazing pictures.

Monday was a different story though. First of all, I hate vaccines. They make me nervous and they piss me off because they're so overused and so few people know about the dangers associated with them. We've always been really lax with Snickers' vaccines and Ava will be too. She's due her yearly booster cocktail of poisons soon, but I have no idea if I'll be able to get titers or if I'll have to just skip it altogether. But anywhos! Ava's been due her rabies shot for about six months so I went ahead and got it yesterday. It went off without a hitch, which was a huge load off my mind because I was so paranoid about her going into anaphylactic shock since she seems to be a pretty sensitive pup. But she didn't and she even screamed at the vet while they trimmed her nails afterwards, so I knew it was all good. Then we hung around for a little bit to talk to the vet about her heat cycle and to make sure she didn't have any immediate reactions since I live so far away. After that I took her to the petstore to pick out a nice big braided bullystick for being good. Its like a little kid that has to go get shots and gets an icecream cone afterwards, isn't it? I also got a few nommy cans of food for our trip and a free bag of Taste of the Wild! Since we bought our 12th bag of TOTW a few weeks ago, our stampy card was full and I returned it before the card ran out on the 31st so viola! Free $45 bag of bison and venison filled nommies for Snick and Ava.

And then today, Ava was whining at 5am and woke me up, which is odd since I sleep like the dead and she usually has to stand on my head to wake me up. Then she starts favoring her back leg and won't even sit or lay on it. Right now she's wrestling with her deer antler while Snickers tries to steal it, but I'm going to make her a cold compress in a few minutes and then call the vet tomorrow if she's still limping. I might update this with pictures later, but right now, she's not even looking good enough for pictures. Poor baby.

Later this week we're trying out Belly scRubs, a sorta self-groom groomers that opened about an hour away from home. It sounds like a long drive, but when you live where I live, nothing is closer than forty-five minutes away. And they clean up the tubs when you're done! Ava's blowing her coat right now - for the first time, I might add - and there's a whole new level of fluff in our house in addition to Snickers' usual fluff deposits. Ava's getting ready for a roadtrip this weekend so I really want to make sure that she's defluffed as much as possible since its just rude to let her make someone else's house into a snowglobe.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nommies in the mail!

We got some wonderful doggy nommies in the mail the other day! Enough to keep Snick and Ava satisfied for a little bit, anyways. It's really weird to think back to how the dogs used to be before they learned to equate delivery men with treats. Snickers, being the huge gentle giant that he is, has a bit of a scary-big-vicious dog bark and he would literally scare anyone dropping by to deliver anything. He wasn't menacing, but he just barked to let us know that he was seeing something outside - and that something that was outside generally got scared. But then the magic happened and one of those "somethings" outside gave me a cardboard box holding 100 bully sticks and everything changed. Now, if someone comes to the door, they still bark and all, but if said person has a cardboard box....Well, the barking stops and the tail-wagging begins. Now they don't even tell us when the Fedex or UPS guy pulls into the driveway, so half the time I don't even know when something is delivered. But anyways, I'm babbling. Sorry! Onto the goodies!!

First, we got a Merrick Hungry Dog Value Pack - aka the awesome grab-bag of goodness. Its two whole pounds of awesome, namely in the shape of random Merrick treats. I was a bit nervous to order it because, being a grab bag, I was afraid that I'd get a two pound bag of just pig ears or something. Which would suck. But it turned out pretty good. There’s a bunch of stuff that is apparently quite tasty but I have no idea what it is. I'm thinking lung puffs and pig snouts, but I'm not entirely sure. There's also quite a few really thick bullysticks that are about six inches long, a huge bone of some sort (that I'm going to throw out or give away. But still!), several tendons, some tails, and a ton of little chunks of stuff that looks suspiciously like jerky. I haven't tasted the jerky-esque noms to be sure though....The best part? It was only $7.85 online, which is way way way cheaper than I've ever seen the bags before, even at my usual online shopping places!

Then we got a boatload of Zukes Mini Naturals to replenish our stock. I was really excited because I found them supercheap, compared to local petstores anyways. I paid less than $3.35 for the Salmon noms and $2.85 for the chicken noms - compared to the up to $6 price I've seen locally and online. I got multiple bags, but still not as many as I would have liked to get for that price. And did I mention that the shipping was .99 cents? Yes, it was. Awesome.

If you haven't heard about Zukes treats before, they're great. They have good ingredients with no corn, by-products, and other such nasties. Plus the mini naturals line of stuff has small bite-sized treats that are perfect for training and are good and moist. I have yet to try any of the baked treats because I haven't seen them stocked anywhere locally yet, but I'm sure they're great as well. My pups have also had the fillets and jerky that go over great too, but I prefer the little tiny treats that I can pop in a Kong ball or use for training. You do have to be careful though because there's a line of Power Bones, which supposedly boost energy. We haven't tried them, but I've almost accidentally bought them before because they look like the other bags. We'd be in trouble if I gave some of those to Ava though...Jeebus. I can just imagine the world ending or something like that when she has more of an energy spike than normal. I think it would probably look something like this, only in better quality -

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hey everyone! I just wanted to put out a quick apology note for not updating in while. There's some sorta virus going around and guess who caught it! So, uhm, yeah. I might not update things for a little while. Sorry D=

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lessons From a Husky to Her Human

Ava is an amazing creature. She's only just over a year old, fairly petite at under fifty pounds, and doesn't even have thumbs. But the weird thing is that she a much better person, so to speak, than many people that I know and she has taught me so many things in the short time that I've had her - all of which without meaning to, I'm sure. She's like no one else that I've ever encountered and is such a little blessing.

{lesson one}
Don't be so worried about everything because it really doesn't matter. Live your life for right now and enjoy the present. The past is over and done with and you have to move on from it. The future hasn't happened yet and there's no need to neglect the present to perfect the future.

You're sleepy? Okay, find the comfiest spot you can and take a nap. No, it doesn't matter that its one o'clock in the afternoon and everyone else says you should be awake and chipper. You're sleepy now, so sleep now. You see a squirrel that you want? Well chase it! Go for it! Who cares if the other dogs stare at you? You know they'd just love to be chasing what they want and to be completely in the moment and enjoying it, but some stupid human won't let them because then the human might be embarrassed in front of all the other humans. So what if you don't catch the squirrel and everyone knows it? You had fun doing it! And so what if your ass jiggles as you chase it down? So? You still had fun doing it! Feeling really good? Take a victory lap, just because you feel like! You're happy so flaunt it and let everyone else know because, chances are, happiness is catching and everyone could use a bit more of it.

You're living right now. Right. Now. So make the best of it and enjoy it! Don't worry about who stares at you because they'd probably be doing the same thing if they were brave enough to.

Things I Can't Live Without - Bamboo Leashes

There's something kinda new that I've been wanting to do and, with any luck, I'll actually remember to update it. You see, there's just certain things - dog related, of course - that have spoiled me and that I really can't imagine not having anymore. Hence the "Things I Can't Live Without" series. I wanted something catchier, that I could make a nifty word out of, but I just couldn't think of anything. TICLWO/Ticlwo isn't so bad, right? Right? xD But anyways, onto the first thing!

My first review goes to the Bamboo company's Quick Control Leash + Seat Belt Latch. Simply put, I adore these things. What is it? It's a leash. An adjustable leash. With a seat belt latch. And its reflective. And it has a padded handle. And a pocket. And its epic.

That's Miss Ava's leash in all of its hot pink glory. Its adjustable so you can shorten it for car rides to keep your pups in place, then lengthen it for walks. Or, if you're lazy like I am, you can stretch it all the way out at all times. According to the website, the six foot version spans from 66-78" while the three foot version only adjusts from 30-42" and would work well for keeping your dog right by your side in traffic and such. I prefer the longer leash, personally =] Ava's not totally leash trained (okay, well, she's a complete and utter puller), so a shorter leash might help with that, but I still prefer the long one.

Speaking of pulling, there's the padded handle that I mentioned earlier. Its actually really quite awesome and very comfortable. Even when I'm walking Snickers, who thankfully doesn't pull, or when Ava isn't pulling, its still nice and squishily comfortable. Under the handle, there's a bit of Velcro that wraps around the leash and hides a decently sized zippered pocket. The pocket would be the perfect size for some keys, although my keyfob is too big for it since I have a few too many cute keychains on it...Anyways! Its also big enough to stuff some cash into, probably an ID card and/or credit card, although I've never tried it. Its very handy, really.

About halfway down the leash, there's another Velcro enclosure. This one covers the seatbelt latch, which is the most ingenious part of the leash. Simply crack open the Velco, fold out the buckle and snap it in place, then fold the Velco back into place when you're done. I've found that the Velco also makes for a good grip when you need to suddenly grab the leash and keep your pup closer. There's even instructions on a tag sewn into the little Velcro pouch so it really is totally idiot proof!

So, where can you buy them and how much does the sheer awesomeness cost you? Well, if you're near a Big Lots, you can probably find them for $5, like I did. I think they've been discontinued, or so Jefferspet says on their listing where the leashes cost $7.77 for a short one and $10.37 for the long one. You can also find them on Amazon for about $13 for the long one. Most places don't carry a blue one for some odd reason, so I actually went on Ebay and found Snick a brand new blue leash for $9.

So, to sum it all up -
{+} seat belt keeps pups secured while your drive
{+} handy pocket so you don't have to carry much with you
{+} reflective for night walking (or when you lose it under the couch and have to use a flashlight to find it. Not that I've done it or anything...)
{+} padded handle for comfort, especially with pullers
{+} extreme durability and, so far, fray-resistant
{+} reasonably priced
{+} pretty colors @.@
{-} can prove hard to find

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walk and Wag 2010

This past Saturday was the local Walk and Wag, hosted by Little Victories. It was the 7th annual walk, I think, but it was the first one I'd ever been to. It was great!

Since most people won't have any clue what I'm talking about, Little Victories is the only no-kill animal rescue in my area and they've done so much both for animals and in the way of educating people. They're still fairly new, but earlier this year they began construction on a permanent shelter building on the land they bought a few years ago. Up until now, about 200 larger dogs and puppies have been living in outdoor kennels while all the cats and small dogs lived in various foster homes. Every year Little Victories puts on two walks to raise money and the Walk and Wag is the only one that you're supposed to bring pets to. The Walk and Wag is also the only event period for owners and pets to organize and enjoy each other's company. As you can tell, where I live, things aren't terribly pet-friendly.

But anyway! We all had so much fun with it. My dad went with me because its a bit tough to walk both Snickers and Ava at the same time, so he handled Ava while I handled Snickers. I was a bit worried about Snick because he tends to be shy around other dogs at first, but he was perfect! And Ava, of course, pulled and tugged on her leash to no end, but she still had fun. There was a beagle puppy that was quite taken with her and they played for about ten minutes, with her being her usual vocal self and attracting plenty of attention. It was great!

You've gotta love the way Snickers' poo bags are flapping in the breeze as he walks!

Towards the end, Snickers was so tired that he was trying to pull me to the car. Poor old guy.

And Ava was pulling, well, just because. As usual.

We met another Ava too! The little girl heard us telling Ava to sit for a picture and came over to announce that her little sister's name was Ava too. Ava was great with meeting her first toddler, until she spotted someone with treats in the opposite direction and the ADD took over!

She then discovered the fountain. She wanted to swim so badly.

Here she is rocking her 3pooches harness/collar/ID holder from Etsy. That thing is amazing! Its just so hard to get a decent picture of her because she really doesn't hold still long enough to snap a picture. I had to take a bunch to get one where she was both sitting still and looking at me, which is probably why she looks so pissed in the last one.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Very First Blog Post

First blog posts are always kinda awkward, I think. I never really know what to put, so I think we'll go with introductions. Sound good? Good c:

I'm Myndi - your designer, photographer, and blogger. None of which I'm a professional at, though. I'm currently an undergrad student with a few more years to go before going to grad school and, with any luck, coming out as a veterinarian. Ultimately I want to become a large and small animal holistic vet with focuses on small animal (mostly of the canine persuasion) nutrition and possibly genetics/reproduction. Animals are, and always have been, my passion. My current critters offer a lot of inspiration to me on everything and you'll see them often here.

On the other hand, I love designing things! I've always liked decorating and I'm drawn to bright, jarring colors that pop everywhere. When I was little, I spent more time designing and decorating my Barbie's houses than actually playing with them. When I was a little older, I spent all my time decorating my Sims' houses, but the poor things never really got to live in them. Now that I've gotten into crafting, I'm able to really customize and decorate! A good deal of the stuff that I make is centered on my pets and the fact that most things you buy are so generic and plain looking, especially if your dog weighs more than five pounds! So, I wanted to change that and started making things for myself that were functional, decent looking, and sized up from the norm and, hopefully by the end of this summer, I'll have my Etsy shop up and running!

Snickers and Ava are my lovely, sometimes unwilling, models.
Snickers is an 8 year old German Shepherd/Husky/random mix. He was a few months old when we adopted him from someone with an oopsie litter and he's since grown into a 96 pound lapdog.
Ava just turned a year old less than a month ago and is 100% Siberian Husky (which, I'm convinced really means that she's 25% cat, 75% loose fur, and 100% pure energy) from a rescue. We adopted her when she was 8 1/2 weeks old and took a nearly 24 hour roadtrip just to get her.

Ava models most of my things that need modeling since everything is mostly feminine. Snickers doesn't seem to mind a pink sweater or something every now and then, but after neutering him as a puppy, I'd like to leave him with a tad bit of masculinity and dignity if at all possible.

So, welcome and I hope you enjoy everything =]
Even though there's not much here yet xD