Princessface Maizey Hates Spring cleaning

"Do you know why we have to do this spring cleaning thing? It's soooooo boring!"

"I give up my Crazymomlady just wont stop cleaning! Sigh. . ."

Your regularly scheduled program of regularly scheduled training posts will return shortly. . .


Wordless Wednesday: Maizey Makes the Best Pillow


“My Name is Magnus and I’m a Shoe Monster”

Just A quick post to beg some training advice.

"Shhh. . . Don't tell my Crazymomlady I got another shoe!"

Magnus is obsessed with shoes. I’m considering getting him professional help as he this obsession is now bordering on addiction.

No shoe is safe in our house. Several times a day he proudly prances in and presents me with a shoe dangling from his teeth by the shoe lace.

Want to kick off your shoes after work? Well he wants us to, so he can quickly grab one as his spoil. Want to leave your muddy shoe at the door on the mat to dry? Oh, he will be thrilled to drag that muddy shoe through the house trailing mud as he goes.

He has yet to ruin a shoe, he isn’t chewing them up, but rather thinks they are some kind of prey to sling around and shake to death by that convenient string laced through their neck.

So here is my question, can you train a dog to have his own shoe? Can I give him an old shoe, such as the one I have been watching him drag inside, outside and all around for the last hour, and let it be his? If I let one shoe be an acceptable toy am I setting myself up for a lifetime of shoe management and containment? Do all shoes have to be off limits, total shoe zen by default?

If it is possible to explain, “This ONE shoe is yours, but all the rest of the shoes are mine” how do I train that?

His joy over his shoe right now drives me to ask this crazy question and my faith in all of your expertise lets believe you will have an answer for me!


Walking Challenge

A challenge is, “A test of one’s abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking.”

So far the 2011 walking challenge is living up to its name for me. Testing my abilitity to not be a wimp about weather, my resources of winter walking gear, demanding I get out there and walk with the pups and certainly stimulating me to do so.

I’m so glad I made this a year long challenge. It seems much less about the miles and much more about just getting the dogs some exercise. That’s not to say I’m not technically behind in the one mile per day quota. With 48 days of the year gone I should have 48 miles. The 9 miles completed is not too close to 48.

The great thing is I don’t feel behind and thus overwhelmed. I hope the challenge is having the same effect on all who are participating. We have all year to get those goals accomplished.

My Favorite Walk So Far
Did you know elephants lived in the desert? Well, one does anyways. His name is George. In my life all my favorite elephants are named George.

My family has a long history with George. My grandparents used to live close to where George has lived for what I suspect has been thousands of years. When we would visit my grandparents they would take us on a walk to see him.

It became somewhat of a tradition to gather up the family and hike up to see George. As we got close my grandma would excitedly say, “Can you see it? Can you see the elephant?” Everyone could see him, he stands tall into the desert air. A red sandstone giant against a deep blue sky.

Everyone but me that is. In the fashion of children who don’t want to let their elders down and don’t want to be left out of the fun I started saying I could see our friend George. What I could see was a tall stack of red rocks sticking up from a relatively flat desert area, it did not look like anything resembling an elephant.

So this trip I decided to come clean. I admitted my childhood inability to see our friend George decided to walk up and visit him again.

We started out in warm sunny weather through deep red sand. Passed dormant winter rabbit brush and sleeping sage brush.

The dogs loved the freedom of loose long lines and no side walks to dictate their route. I loved the quiet desert air with only the sound of our footsteps and the chattering of my aunt and mom to listen to.

As we approached George towering into the sky, waiting for us like an old loyal friend the only thing missing was my grandma’s excited voice asking me, “Can you see the elephant?”

It’s hard enough when we see our 4legged family limited by age, but far worse when our 2legged family can no longer clamber around with us as they did in their younger days.

Thankfully my mom took up the torch and piped in right in time, “Can you see it? Can you see the elephant?”

And I could! I could see George stoically observing us from on high. What a relief!

Now I can check a couple more miles off my Walking Challenge goal, have another nice memory of another nice walk, and know I kept a family tradition alive.

"We're waiting, please tell us your stories!"

How ’bout all of you? How is the walking challenge going? Do you have any fun, motivating stories or tips to share? Is there any suggestions or requests you have to make this challenge easier for you?

If you have a walking story post of your own share it with your progress in your comment and I will post the links so we can all hop through and see how we are all doing. Most importantly now is the time to update us on your progress, so leave any miles with your comment too.

If you’d like to join the Walking Challenge we welcome you. Just set whatever goal seems realistic for you and your 4legged friends and I will add you and a link to your site to the sidebar.


We Were Splogged!

I had to take a brief hiatus from blogging this week to learn about splogging.

A splog is a spam blog where someone takes content from your blog and reproduces it for the purpose of increasing traffic to their blog without actually doing any of the work.

Unfortunately I was splogged this week. Fortunately I was splogged by someone that apparently didn’t realize what they were doing was illegal and was very cooperative to remove the ten posts they had plagiarized and posted on their site.

It was a shock to click a pingback and find 10 of my posts on someone elses blog, along with randomly inserted pictures that were out of context and not one link, not one word of credit given to me.

Lessons From and For 4 Legs is all original content. It’s not like I think it’s the most important, life changing information out there, but it’s a creative process that by law is my property. Needless to say I didn’t react to the shock of having it stolen very well.

I always appreciate the people who think our experiences are worth siting on their blogs. I appreciate it even more when they give credit and links where due.

However, it can be a nightmare to resolve getting splogged so there are a few measures you can take to protect your blog.

Of course at the top of the list is a site wide copyright line. Mine is at the bottom of the page, you can also insert a copyright line to every post. RSS feeds are notorious for getting splogged so including excerpts, or summaries, can help protect you that way. Copyrights on all photo’s are something I have been lazy about, but will now be included.

Thankfully this was an easy fix for me, but plagiarism in the blogisphere is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s good to know how to protect these stories we share.

For us its back to Training Levels training, eye doctor appointments for the squinty eyed Maizey, some big Magnus news is in the works, and coming soon an actual Walking Challenge update. Got your miles started yet? Count them up we are ready to hear all the exciting walking stories!


Thankful For Maizey

It was nice and warm when we got to our Trips and Travels destination so we took a little walk this evening. None of us even needed jackets!

The trip down was uneventful and nice. I’ve come to realize I’m at the point in my life where uneventful is actually what I want. I have enough events day to day, I’m ready for some boring.

The only excitement happened when we stopped for for a puppy potty break and a spot of lunch.

We met a bear! Maizey was sure to let us know there was something with four legs in the immediate vicinity. Even Magnus The Brave wasn’t so brave in the face of this ferocious beast.

"Look Crazymomlady this big, scary bear wants treats too!"

I am seeing some signs of the second fear imprint period in my brave boy. Nothing major and he recovers quickly with a few c/t’s for courage. Such was the case with both my 4legged friends today while they faced their fears and befriended yet another new 4legged animal.

4Legged Lesson
Remember Magnus’ puppy socialization list? By the time he was 16 weeks old he:

  • Met 60 new people plus two occasions of crowds of 20 or more
  • Had 27 unique experiences or locations
  • Played with 28 puppies or safe adult dogs
  • Experienced 17 different surfaces
  • Played with 22 different objects
  • Exposed to 9 different fast-moving objects
  • Exposed to 24 different noises
  • Ate out of 18 different containers
  • Ate at 7 different locations

It stands to reason Maizey’s socialization list would be similar in length and thoroughness. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Cleaning out my dog file today I found the “List of things Maizey needs to be socialized to.” It had 15 items on it. 15! I’m almost ashamed to admit that, but at the time I was almost the only person I knew that even had a socialization list.

Somewhat to her detriment Maizey was my guinea pig with puppy raising and clicker training. I wish I knew then what I know now, she may be a vastly different dog.

Today’s 4legged lesson: let your pups teach you all they can as fast as you can learn. You never know what they are preparing you for.

One good thing about Maizey, she has been a thorough teacher in two short years and the lessons she has helped me learn are helping me with Magnus now.

I see so many contrasts in them and fear imprint periods are too big of a subject for this post, but what I will say is what I didn’t know for her she has taught me for Magnus. For that I’m grateful.

I know now what to do when he is hesitant about things, I have so many more skills to help him through this critical period of his life. For that I’m grateful.

The other 4leged lesson of today: it’s okay to not be brave all the time and I’m thankful for my Princessface Maizey and all she has forced me to learn.


Trips and Travels

I like to travel. Not as much as I like to stay home, but a trip now and then is fun. Especially if my 4legged friends get to go.

Traveling is a lot of work though. Especially if my 4legged friends get to go.

We are going on a short trip this weekend. I have family coming into town and we all become snow birds and get out the city to a warmer clime.

I guess it’s the home body coming out in me, but today the staying home option seemed like a lot less work and a lot more fun.

I’m sure it’s not, and I will be thrilled with the projected 60 degree temps, the sunshine, long, leash free walks in the desert, good food and good company. . . hmm. . . this is looking better after all!

It’s not the first trip I have taken with the two fluffy pups together, but I’m wondering how it will go. Crowded house, four dogs, lots of family coming and going. . . hmm. . . maybe staying home is a good idea after all.

So how ’bout all of you? Do you travel with your 4legged friends? If so, what do you do to make it a fun time for all? Bring on the travel tips! I’m sure I need them if I’m going to make a success of traveling with an adolescent boy puppy, and a Princessface Maizey.