June 25, 2010

Rockwell & His Purple Ball

Rockwell loves to pick up his purple ball ever since we ran it over and dented in the side....

We always warn guests that this is not a "kick" ball but a very hard sided ball, because several people have ran up to it, expecting it to be a soft sided ball, and it is not! 

The marks on the side are teeth marks, from when the ball was completely round. Rockwell would try to pick it up using the "belly button" of the ball in the middle (shown below). He would hook one tooth in the ball's belly button and then try to wrap his jaw around the ball to pick it up. Sometimes he was successful, but it took many tries. 



March 22, 2010

What's Going on Under There?

Rockwell has been very good with Rachel. The other day I set up a "play station" for her to play with toys as she sat in her bumbo seat. Rockwell was very interested in what was going on.





February 22, 2010

Rockwell the Racer

While home on maternity leave, Rockwell and I had plenty of time to spend outside in the daylight and the snow. He LOVES playing with his red and purple Jolly Ball when there is snow on the ground. On this particular day, he was enjoying the fresh 6-8 inches we got and he was running all around the yard. I took these photos he was running toward me!

December 15, 2009

Santa Baby

Here's a photo of our current "baby" with Santa.


December 11, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

This Christmas will be a very uncertain one! With my due date on the 28th, we contemplated getting a real tree, but we like to wait to put up a real tree until the middle of December. I figured that was "cutting it too close" and since we have no free weekends in December, I put up the artificial tree this past weekend while my husband was working. The tree is nothing too special, a small, cheap one that I purchased for my apartment while in college. It works for the occasion.

Rockwell wasn't too interested in helping this year, he did walk back and forth with me to the garage to bring in all the boxes, but mostly he just sat and watched or relaxed on our bed in the bedroom. I was able to get a few photos of him relaxing next to me while I decorated.



November 11, 2009

Stroller Inspector

Our dog, Rockwell, is a very unique dog. He frequently wants to be by your side and next to you whenever you work on any sort of project - planting flowers, scrubbing a spot off the floor, hammering a nail, changing car oil, etc. We frequently call him the "inspector" when he works next to us. Some names we have given to him are Health Inspector, Quality Control Inspector, Safety Inspector, Closet Inspector and most recently, I call him the Stroller Inspector.

My friend and I went shopping at Buy Buy Baby over the weekend and she was looking for a stroller for her daughter. We probably spent about 45 minutes in the stroller department, checking out features, folding and unfolding strollers, gawking at the expensive ones we could never afford and then she set her eyes on a basic umbrella stroller that fit her budget. We played with the stroller and after the store saleswoman told us all we needed to know about the stroller, I was already sold on it and figured I should get one if she does not. Well, at the end of our shopping trip, we both got one.

I took the stroller home, took it out of the box and showed my husband. I rolled it around the island of our kitchen to see if my dog was the least bit interested in it and he was not. But after I "parked" the stroller by the couch, Rockwell decided he needed to give it a full inspection. I snapped these photos of him inspecting the inside of the stroller.



November 06, 2009

5 Minutes & 2 Treats - Pregnany Update #34


Before paying for, and sitting through, a very disappointing 2.5 hour class on Preparing Your Pet for Baby, I decided Rockwell would not be allowed into the nursery. He can stand in the door/doorway and wait and look in, but he is not allowed in.

One weekend Dan was helping me put together the crib and we decided it was time to start training Rockwell to stay out of this room. I believe our task of keeping Rockwell out of the room took 2 dog treats and 5 minutes. When Rockwell would wander through the doorway, we would simply stand up, say, "out" and direct him to the doorway. I would then return to the crib assembly and when Rockwell tried to come into the nursery, I would say "out" and direct him to the door again. At one point, when he went out the door very quickly, I gave him a treat. After about 5 minutes, he got the idea. And when it was all said and done, we spent 2 treats on our training.

Occasionally he tries to come in, and I tell him out and occasionally give him a treat. For the most part, he will just stand in the doorway. If I am in the nursery for an extended period of time, he will lay in the doorway.



March 08, 2009

A Thorn in My Foot

The other morning when I let Cletus in from outside, I noticed a small stick was stuck in his collar. This is just classic of my old wise dog. He is always wandering into the woods. Often times he comes out with sticks, burrs and leaves stuck on his fur. He is our wandering old man.

Cletus walked passed me as I opened the door and he continued into the kitchen as I followed him. My breakfast popped out of the toaster and I went past Cletus to get my hot english muffin. I ate breakfast, got dressed, brushed my teeth, packed my lunch, medicated the dogs and then went back into my bedroom to put on my shoes to go to work. As I was walking back into the bedroom, I stepped on something. I screamed, "Ouch!" and looked down at the floor to see what I stepped on. I wasn't able to find anything right away, so I got on my hands and knees and rubbed my hand across the floor. I came across a stick. the same small stick that was in Cletus' collar. It was only about 1/8" in diameter and 3 1/2' long, but upon closer examination, it had thorns on it!

I spent many, many years as a child trying to avoid the "picker bushes". Whether it was my grandma's rose bushes or the shrub in the woods my sister and I got into when we went to cut wood with my dad, we did everything we could to avoid the scratchy, thorny branches. And now, today, as an ADULT, and INSIDE my home, I stepped on a picker bush! 

February 14, 2009

Geriatric K9s

Geriatric. A nice way to say old, needs care. I have two dogs, one is old and the other is getting old.

Cletus is my geriatric dog. He's going to be 12 this May and he is a Rott, Lab, Shepherd mix. He doesn't run anymore, but once in a while he'll take off after a rabbit in the yard. As always he is unsuccessful, but in general, he is in excellent spirits.

Cletus has arthritis, lacks cartilage in his legs, has a fatty mass on his hind leg, and a large growth on his neck. He has a pill box and takes Fish Oil, Glucosamine, Rimadyl and Tramadol daily. But lately, he's added grunting to his list of old age ailments. He grunts when he sits down, grunts when he gets up, and grunts when he stretches. We find it quite humorous.

I call Cetus, C.P. for Cletus Perrine, but he has also adopted the name Wise Man. Dan called him Old Man back in the day, and I called him Old Wise Man. I then thought Old wasn't very nice, so now he is just known as Wise Man. He's a stinker like that, too. He frequently wanders into the neighbor's yard and nabs their dog's toys and raw hides that were abandoned. He trots back home as if he has a prize in his mouth.



Rockwell is my getting old dog. He will be 8 this August and is starting to get worn out! He'll go and go and go for days, but once he rests, he needs at least a day or two to recover. He'll lay in our bed and sleep all day after he spends an entire afternoon outside with us or at the race shop. Yesterday when I came home, he didn't even greet me at the door. I had to go visit him in the bedroom. There he was laying on the bed, as if he was a sick child.

Fish Oil and Glucosamine are in Rockwell's pill box and we give them to him to prevent or slow the usual arthritus and bad joints that are associated with large breed dogs. He doesn't show any obvious signs of aging, but lately, he has had a flatulence issue. He breaks wind when he runs, when he eats, when he jumps on the bed. He passes gas while watching TV (yes, he actually watches the TV) and when he is riding in the car. And the stench is horiffic. Silent or as loud as a human, Rockwell used to look back at his behind when the air escaped. Now he just continues doing what he was doing as if nothing had happened. I'm convinced this is a sign of old age since we haven't changed his food or diet at all. Now I'll have to see if he starts grunting.




December 25, 2008

Doggone Great! Faux Shearling...

I love my dogs and obviously talk about the, photograph them and baby them. I wouldn't trade them for the world, but sometimes, I with they were smaller.

Rockwell weighs in at 118 lbs, and Cletus tops the scale around 99 lbs. Rockwell has short hair, Cletus has long hair, Rockwell is the younger Big Fella, Cletus is our (Old) Wise Man. Each of them is alike and different in so many ways. They remind me of children. You hear parents describe their children as this one being the drama queen, that one being very particular, the other free spirited. In this case, I describe both of them as being too big, or having too much hair because I want to get them each a sweater.

Yes, I want my dog to have a sweater or shirt to wear. But I run into several obstacles. Cletus has long hair and is hot all the time, therefore he's out for a sweater. Rockwell has short hair but is too big for any of the "normal" dog attire they sell in local retail stores. He qualifies for the "Big and Tall" dog clothing only for sale on the internet and I'm too cheap to buy them! But yesterday I received the Doggone Great! Faux Shearling Dog Coat flyer in the mail!


They had an XL size that would only cost me $14.95 plus $3.95 for shipping! What a deal! All Rockwell had to do was fit into the 22"-24" category. I found on the flyer how to find his size: Measure collar area to base of tail to determine size.

I broke out the tape measure and tried to get Rockwell to stand still. It was difficult since he wanted to eat and smell and lick the tape measure. I managed to measure him at 28"-30", depending on if he had his head up or down. Bummer, again he missed out on this fabulous Faux Shearling Coat! What is Shearling anyway?

Maybe it's for the best, I still have the money in my pocket and with Rockwell's shape, it may have fit him from neck to tail, but could have been tight around the belly. Then there is the other obvious reason not to get him a coat, he would probably hate it and try to tear it off his body!

December 24, 2008

Rockwell & His New Ball

Ever since Rockwell and I have known each other, he has had a purple jolly ball and he loves it. It's a basketball size ball that is very very hard. It is made of plastic but it doesn't bounce well and Rockwell pushes it across the yard with his nose. There is an area in which the ball is "plugged" shut and Rockwell tries to pick up the ball with his teeth using the indented plug area. Quite often he is not successful, but he does keep trying.

Rockwell's purple ball has been stuck under Dan's shed platform that takes up part of our driveway. Since the snow has fallen, the ball is there until the spring when we can move the platform, so I bought him a new jolly ball for Christmas the other day. I'm over wrapping presents, so I gave the ball to him when I bought it. The new ball is red and huge. I haven't measured it yet, but I think it is the 14" size. (The purple ball was 10").

It's fun to watch Rockwell with his ball in the snow because when he rolls it across the yard, it gets more snow covered and gradually gets larger like a snowball you roll in the snow to make a snowman! Then he attacks it with his mouth and breaks off the snow. One year we came to the conclusion his lip or tongue got stuck to the frozen ball (just as Flick's tongue got stuck to the pole in the movie A Christmas Story) when there was a bit of blood on his lip and on the snowy ball! Don't worry, it didn't even phase him!

To my surprise, Dan took photos of Rockwell and his ball outside the other morning!


Rockwell licks the snow off the ball.





Rockwell tries to bite the ball to pick it up. 

If you have clicked on the jolly ball link above, you'll see that there is a "Rockwell-like" spokesdog at the bottom, proudly displaying his jolly ball! And although they seem expensive, both jolly balls are worth the money. The soft ball is indestructable. Rockwell has teeth marks all over his Tug-n-Toss but the ball has not deflated or fallen apart and it doesn't squeak!

December 22, 2008

Photos with Santa

I'm a supporter of Last Chance Rescue (LCR) in Howell, therefore, I always try to take part in their events and donate money and supplies to them. We had a donation box at our wedding and even gave part of our wedding loot to LCR. Me missed the event last year, but this year I made sure we took part in photos with Santa in which all proceeds went to Last Chance Rescue.

I found bandannas for Rockwell and Cletus the day before the photo session, so they wore festive green bandannas that had all sorts of dog and holiday sayings printed on it in white, red, sliver and black ink. It was a blustery cold day, but we made it out and after just four photos, we had the prized one. 



December 13, 2008

K9 Blood Drive


We recently made an appointment for Rockwell to donate blood. Yes, blood. When I tell people Rockwell donated blood, they ask, "For what?" He donated blood just has humans do, to help others. Others being other dogs who may need blood because they are sick, for surgery, a transfusion or for any other unforeseen accident that may occur.

So, on a snowy, cold, slippery Saturday, we drove to the Midwest Animal Blood Services in Stockbridge, Michigan. We filled out a few forms, Rockwell was weighed, his temperature was taken, and a small sample of blood was nabbed from his neck. This sample was to rule out any obvious issues and diseases he may have.




Rockwell then moved into the donation room, where four people helped keep him on the table. He did very well on the table. It was necessary for everyone to hold him down for the entire donation period so the needle would not come out of his neck. He was relatively happy on the table, he passed some gas, drooled on the floor and got lots of attention from me. He donated 400 mL of blood total. Enough to help at least two, maybe three dogs!


After the sample was taken, his neck was wrapped in a bandage, and he was sent home with a bag of treats, new toy and a fabulous bandanna. 



We will receive a full profile very soon and there is a chance Rockwell's blood will not be usable if he has any health issues. One is 15 dogs is considered a "universal donor" which means they can donate for every different dog blood type. Otherwise, just like humans, dogs have several different blood types and they can be very complex.


After reading this, I hope you realize pets need blood, too! It's usually something we don't think about until something happens to our pets! I'm not saying you should run to your vet to bank your dog's blood (like Kramer on Seinfeld) but I am suggesting you look into the possibility of your pet being a donor. Cats qualify, as well as horses and cows, and possibly other animals in metropolitan areas. Check around, you'd be surprised, there may be an animal blood bank in your area, or coming to your area soon!