Pees Like a Big Boy Now!

My baby boy is growing up! It was a day of firsts today and my heart just doesn’t want to accept the reality: He’s not a baby anymore!

December 15, 2012 – 6 months old

Embee’s Stupendous Flying Man!

It started this morning with a text to Mary Beth that said, “I think Calvin is starting to mark!” My next text was to his Auntie Nikki and said, “We need to talk!” Calvin just marked! Aaaah! Nooooo! Eeeek! Aaaaack! Aaaargh!”

That pretty much sums it up! I have never had an intact male dog before. Magnus was an early neuter, by the rescue at 8 weeks, so he doesn’t even lift his leg to pee. (I would NEVER do that again, structurally I can see how it was detrimental to him.) Summit lifted his leg, but I don’t remember him marking really. He was double cryptorchid and neutered at 10 months, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. I really don’t know anything about living with a dog who marks! Thus my dramatic texts this morning.

Then this afternoon it happened! He lifted his leg to pee! I am so silly, but I got all emotional about it. I mean he pees like a big boy now! It’s pretty funny cause he doesn’t have good balance and his aim stinks so twice he almost tipped over and once he fell off the curb. I know I shouldn’t laugh, but it made me chuckle.

That wasn’t the only first though. Right after that he came in and hopped right up on my lap with NO help! It was like all day he was telling me, “I aint no baby!” I actually got teary eyed when he did that! I just can’t believe how grown up he is.

He never really went through an observably change at his 14-16 week fear imprint period. I noticed a few small changes, but nothing really notable. So this is the first real developmental change I’ve been able to see affect him.

I could tell he didn’t feel himself today. He was SUPER needy at the store. Barked up a storm while I was with customers for the first half hour or so we were there. Then every time I picked him up he would just burrow in to snuggle my neck. I know he’s not feeling quite himself when he’s that snuggly at the store, normally he’s all about play, play, play there.

We’ve been having so much fun. Walks in the snow, classes, training new tricks and foundation skills. He’s just a blast. He’s got Magus playing and it just makes me laugh. Maizey went though a couple of days where she had just had it with him so he transferred his attention to Magnus and now they go out together and just chase and run. Today they were tugging together. I bet they would be crazy players if Magnus hadn’t got sick when Calvin was little. Oh well, they are making up for lost time now.

He’s as wonderful as every oowie gooey gushy post says he is, even if he is a pee monster now! Each pup sure does come with their own set of lessons and today Calvin’s is lesson is to teach me how to deal with a marking BOY dog!

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Walking Challenge 2011

My first walking challenge was 30 miles in 30 days. There were some really special walks in that first challenge. Actually I hardly remember a walk with my 4legged friends that wasn’t special in some way.

Sure we got tired sometimes, but challenging myself really got me moving after Maizey’s surgeries. As I already freely admitted to being a self confirmed energy hoarding sloth walking the dogs as much as I should can be a challenge in itself. I find that committing to a certain number of miles really forces me to get out there on the days when I otherwise may find an excuse not to.

So no more excuses! This year the challenge doesn’t end! Walking Challenge 2011 is on!

A year long challenge may sound daunting, but we all agree exercise for  our pups is a year round priority. Okay, it’s true, exercise for me should be a year round priority too. So a year long challenge makes a lot of sense.

I found in a 30 day challenge if I got behind in my miles it was hard to catch up so a year long challenge is more flexible. Weather, health, work, family or anything else distract us from getting out there with our pups, but in a year there is time to catch up. Time to plan ahead for some extra miles on some days, or a special training walk on others. In a year “real life” won’t derail my challenge, I can always catch up when the day isn’t so ‘rainy’.

Rules
The rules are: there are no rules. I do these challenges for myself, but find if we have support cheering us on it helps us get out there even more.

I call it a walking challenge, but it doesn’t have to be walking: biking, swimming, skateboarding, surfing, running, crawling-whatever floats your boat, as long as it is activity with your 4legged friend is fine by me.

Joining is simple, just leave me a comment in any post or email me privately and I will add you to the list in the 2011 Walking Challenge sidebar widget. Then when you complete miles leave them in a comment or email them and I will update the list.

Now I am open to suggestions here, but I was thinking I would do a regular post about the challenge, perhaps monthly, or even bi-monthly if there is enough support. If you have a blog and do a walking challenge post I will link to your post so we can all get revved up by each others progress. Perhaps you need suggestions on what to do, or perhaps you have some suggestions for the rest of us, if so post those on your blog or in a comment here so we can all support each other.

As far as miles go feel free to set your own bar. I chose 365 for the simple reason it is just a mile a day, but I know I don’t walk my pups everyday and rarely for just a mile. It made sense to set the goal as something easily achievable, I can always do more! So set what works for you. If you want I can list your personal goal with your progress.

I think we can all think of those special walks we had with our 4legged friends. The peaceful ones, the one with a training triumph, the sunrise or sunset that was stunningly beautiful. Perhaps it was that special location or a personal triumph that made it memorable, but whatever the reason it was having our 4legged friend there that made it all better.

So lets get out there! Lets make 2011 the year we look back on with many more fond memories of active time spent with our pups!

From a recent walk in the snow

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Maizey Gets More Exercise Than Meeka and I

As promised I filmed Maizey on the oblong ball. We are just beginning so this flick basically just shows her being introduced to the ball, hopping up on the ball and doing some basic sits, downs and turns as I gradually increase the movement of the ball.

My main problem at this point is keeping her OFF the ball, she loves it so much and already! After only 3 sessions of less than 5 minutes each she is quite confident. I actually have to hide it now or she will just keep begging to play!

I am certainly a beginner at this and have learned as I usually do, by reading and watching others. So I guess this is my disclaimer statement, do this at home at your own risk folks! Really it is important to have an idea of your pups abilities and not push them. Just like any exercise program we 2leggers might start it is good to proceed at your 4legged friends pace.

A video I hope to add to my collection is Get On The ball Two by Debbie Gross Saunders. Having not seen it I can’t recommend it yet, but its seems to be very informative on the subject. This is a great preview of her video. Also from her is a clip on choosing the right ball.

Another one I enjoyed because of the range of dogs it showed using the balls was Core Conditioning For Dogs. All you Great Dane handlers out there check this out!

So here is my slim knowledge on the subject what about you? Have you used a ball with your pups? Would you like to? What to you see it being useful for? Any tips for me on my exercise ball handling skills would be welcome too!

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Maizey Gets a Workout

Maizey has a new exercise routine. Although she doesn’t quite understand how a constant flow of treats while she uses her new exercise equipment is going to help her with her girlish figure.

But she sure thinks its a great game. All she has to do is jump on this big blue ball and bingo her crazymomlady starts shoveling in the treats.

"You got the treats ready crazymomlady? Cause I'm gonna hop up there!"

I am completely sold on the physioball workout for dogs. A few minutes on this ball, a regular human oblong exercise ball, and she is ready for nap. So far she is doing sits, down, and turning around, but we are taking it super slow on account of her knees. Hopefully I can put up some video this weekend.

"My crazymomlady has totally lost it now-she thinks this is good exercise! She is so easy to get treats out of!"

I wanted to get a photo with Meeka too, she won’t be using the ball, but she thinks the whole thing is pretty interesting. Unfortunately my keep Maizey safe while shoveling in the treats and positioning Meeka for the photo all while aiming and focusing the camera skills could use some real practice! (Maybe we should have contest for practicing that!)

Due to my poor multi-tasking skills this is the best I could do tonight:

AAAHHH. . .I'm ready for more treats crazymomlady!"

"Look out she has that flashing box on her face again!"

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