Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweet Hummingbird Nest

This is a non-doggie delight.  After a short annoying commercial, you will be taken to a nesting hummingbird live-cam.  Lovely.  Years ago when my husband and I were at school in Berkeley there was a hummingbird nest right outside our bedroom window.  This is even better!  Isn't the nest beautiful?  Can you imagine building something that complex?  If Mama isn't in the nest, she'll be right back. 


Would Henry completely disrupt the mama and eggs?  Yep, but not on purpose.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Blanket

I know.  Another baby picture?  Sorry, I can't help myself.  When I revisit his "baby" album on my computer, I can't get over the changes.

Henry was the scared pup in the litter.  When too much wrestling was happening, his rescue mom said he would distance himself from his siblings and hide out in his crate.

I could see that when I met the litter of pups, but the day I met Henry, he gave me the most kisses, so of course he was mine.  He still gives me tons of kisses and is excited and happy so see me every time.  It doesn't get much better than that!

Here is Henry in his sweet, darling munchkin disguise.  In the photo to the left, he is seven weeks and still living with his Mom and siblings. I brought him a blanket to sleep on in his rescue home.  They all used it until heading for his forever home in our house at eight weeks.

The idea is the whole doggie family sleeps with the blanket so all of the scents come home with Henry.  It is all about making the little guy comfortable and reassured when he comes to his adopted home. Cutest little guy ever, right?

Henry will be ten months old in a week!  He now has great cozy beds in several convenient places -- but he still drags his baby blanket out of his crate to where ever he has chosen to park.

He is just as cute as the baby Henry but is almost grown up - I am told he will be officially a big boy at twelve months.  I find it difficult to believe Henry will ever really be an adult.  True, he has not piddled on the floor in ages - except now and then when I missed his door hints.

But still - he drags that blanket out of the crate; he buries his nose in it; he uses it to pillow his head; he teases us with it to play tug a war.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Delicately Put

There is just no easy way to tell this story.  Henry and I love our walks but something seems to be going on here.  The pup walks politely at my side (most of the time) all chipper and cute.  When I stop, he stops and sits at my side (...again most of the time).  His gorgeous dark eyes focus on his Human as if perfection is his normal.  Very nice so far. 

The last two days, Henry has given his perky, happy walk a new addition.  Yesterday he decided the moderately busy cross-walk at California and Second Streets was the perfect spot to take a poo break.  With cars at each of the four stop signs, Henry braked and did his thing mid-crossing.  Jeesh.  This is a first for me.  Blushing, I collected the gift with my little blue striped poop depository.  Two of the four drivers looked at me with chuckles and sympathy.  The other two were definitely not dog people. 

Stepping up the theme:  Today Henry and I did the uptown Whittier walk.  Beautiful sunny day.  Lots of people out so we could work on socialization.  Warm enough that I was walking with a cold blended coffee instead of my normal hot drink. 

You guessed it of course.  Right in the intersection of  Philadelphia Avenue and Bailey Street, opposite a popular every table occupied outdoor-seating cafe, Henry chose mid cross-walk once more as the best possible place to do his business.  At least this time only two cars had to wait - but the sidewalk diners more than made up for that.  No, I did not photograph either event. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Spot!

Henry and I spend time checking out other doggie sites on line.  One of our most visited is Oskar's site (his human, Pam helps him out with his postings.)

Henry is feeling very excited - we got a posting from Oskar!  Oskar has invited Henry to be featured on PetBlogsUnited.  Of course, Henry's head has swelled.  It has grown three sizes since the email came.

This is Henry racing back to re-read the post!  So full of himself.

Dropping the Other Shoe

My amazing Henry is such a smart boy.  It has been a continuing theme for him to clench his little teeth around one of my shoes declaring ownership.  I am barefoot by preference, but our floors are chilly, especially in the winter.  So, I have shoes and socks here and there, kicked off when I park myself in a comfy warm chair.

This is, naturally, a great opportunity for the boy.  Henry grabs the shoe or sock and quietly trots off to attempt dismantling the thing.  My shoes are not all that fragile and his teeth are not all that aggressive so no shoes have actually been lost in his efforts but lets face it, this is not a habit we want to encourage.

When I notice my shoeless condition and attempt a retrieval, Henry thinks it is the best game ever to play keep away and then finally tug-a-war.  Hum....Henry's Human is really not being a good trainer.

He is just getting to the point where he realizes his true potential!  With determination he can actually rip his stuffed animals up and scatter the stuffing just like his dog-cousins up North.  It does take him days instead of minutes, but the potential is there.  He is finding it very cool to "operate" and extract the squeaky bit in those toys.

It is clearly time to establish the "mine" and "his" rules if I want to keep sets of shoes instead of an occasional left or right only.  He is a quick learner.  We will get this done!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lets See.....

Puppy class last night!  Henry's friend CC and my friend Barbara were absent.  Henry was so disappointed ... until the selfish little fellow realized that he would get our trainer, Charlene, all to himself.  Since he would happily follow her into the dark (he still needs a nightlight at home) he was delighted.

We have our List of the Week.  Here is what we are going to do:
1.  Work on the "crawl" trick. This is really cute. 
2.  Work on meeting people (.... and behaving politely).  Still a challenge, but he is getting better when the "met" person appears unexcited. That rarely happens.  Dog people are happy to meet dogs.
3.  Work on stay when I leave sight.  I think this should be an easy one.  He does a long down and stay when I am in sight as long as there is a treat on the floor for after the release.
4.  Work on "collar".   That's when Henry comes and allows me to catch his collar.  Super handy for this guy since he loves to run away and make it into a game!
Personal challenge:  Work on down and stay from a distance.  We've been trying that sporadically  with really poor results.  We need to do this one for safety in case he gets away from me again on our busy street.

Now, my gift you all of you!  After two days of rain, rain, rain, Henry and I walked to the local Starbucks (to motivate the walk for me) and to the local pet store to buy a rain slicker for Henry.  As you all know, this guarantees that there will be absolutely no rain anywhere in Henry's world until he outgrows the jacket.  You are welcome!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Seriously Now

I didn't realize!  Figuring out the best "Henry" food is a huge challenge. A real surprise is that there is so little  control over the ingredient sources.  The component percentages might be fixed, but the sources are not.  One lot might be made from human grade materials - and the next imported from who knows where made out of questionable stuff.  They are not required to tell the consumer. 

While cruising the Internet, another large frustration has been that it is not always obvious who funds the sites.  The same food raved about on one site is often panned on another and I don't know enough to tell why - other than that they are, perhaps, funded by a source that counts the various ingredients in ways that pump their product score.

I did find the following source. It seems to give lots of information in an unbiased way. The explanations are clear and there is a lot of information connected to the gradings.

Check it out if you have time and tell me what you think.


Good Boy

We went for a walk home, back from Starbucks.  We cheated.  Henry and I were dropped off - but we chose the uphill trip home for our walk.  That counts for something, right?  Two miles and I had my Startbuck treat - all Henry got was Wellness training goodies.  Not really fair. 

Demonstrating he was still full of energy, Henry insisted on play time in the yard so I thought I'd share his handsomeness.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Then and Now

Henry and I went back to visit my teaching buddies today.  Of course everyone recognized he was a handsome fellow - but it did make me reflect.

My boy was born on March 31st and I met him seven weeks later. He is nine and a half months old.   At this point I can only vaguely recall life without the furry fireball. 

I am not forgetting that I've gone through rolls of paper towels and bottles of "Eeeuw" spray. Great for cleaning up small errors in puppy judgement.  I do realize that he has become my post-retirement early morning alarm - even on the weekends.  Before Henry I had the weekends off!

Just in case you did not realize ... dogs are not like cats.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yummy Stuff

This is Henry's evil twin... "We will call him Clark. He will grow and grow.  Will our Mother like this? We don't know."  (credit to Dr. Seuss)

Henry has shown that he will do anything for goodies.  Today he was more than eager to walk the four mile round trip to PetCo.  He scored two sacks of his favorite training treats.

These kids!  Henry also wanted the colorful squeaky duck (I was very tempted on that one),  the sack of mini-rawhide chews and the whole display of small tennis balls.  Greedy little guy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Homesick

Henry's human grew up in Washington State and always enjoyed the winter.  The northern family and friends are currently experiencing winter and are sending along jealous-making photos.  First came temptation from the Toutle.  Roger sent me photos of Bambi's mama and her husband. See them in the top left photo - way down there enjoying dinner?

Then came the gorgeous winter scene from San Juan Island on the top right.  It would be fun to see Henry romp in the snow make puppy trails in the white. I'd have a real excuse to dress him up in winter gear!

I am winter-jealous - so we went for a walk.  We picked up coffee at the Coffee Bean and started our explore.  There are benefits to Southern California.  Many trees are in glorious bloom.  The orange trees are full of fruit.  Henry enjoys his sunshine filled walks - me too.  

Am I still jealous?  Yep.  There is something about the weather of your youth.  Crunchy snow, crisp air, bundling up for walks.  Lovely.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Henry and Friends

Have to tell you!  The cookies are such a hit.  I just break off a little piece and Henry will do whatever I need.  They are his favorite and so healthy. Nice!  I divided them up into sets of six and froze the sacks.  He only gets two cookies a day, so that was necessary to keep them from spoiling.  So easy, I just transfer the next sack to the refrigerator when the current zip-lock runs out. 

We made a trip to Arlo's house to share cookies with him -- and to start the painting of Otis' clubhouse.  So, of course it rained.

That was okay.  Henry needs his dog time. He and Arlo chased each other all around the yard for several hours.  Huge bonus: I got treated to Dana's spinach quiche and a delicious salad plus a great visit.

Now the serious stuff:  Henry's friend, CC and the cute little newby pup both missed the Monday class, so lucky us, we received one-on-one instruction from our fantastic trainer. My #1, among multiple "get busy with" efforts, was "appropriate behavior meeting strangers".  This is for both dogs and humans.  When we are out walking, Henry is to sit politely when approached.  This goes under the heading: I will believe it when I see it.

So, Henry and I are going uptown to walk.  Lots of people to walk by, and fair number of dogs too.  Wish us good luck! I am sure the cookies will make Henry behave in a mature and gentleman-like manner.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Puppy steps!  Henry will now do a sit from the down position!  You have no idea how amazing that is.  He will also shake hands...well, um...he paws at the hand holding the treat.  He is even getting better about being at heel!  Will he pass the companion test....well, nope, but he has earned the following:

 Puppy Treat:

Mix three small jars of baby food (chicken or beef flavor), 9 tbsp powdered milk, 6 tbsp ground flax seed, and 8 tbsp wheatgerm. Roll into walnut-sized balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 10 to 13 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the bottoms look a little brown. Refrigerate to store.

Remember that these cookies, while healthy, do contribute extra calories. So just one or two a day is enough for your "good boy!"

And on the fluffy head front, I've trimmed the little guy's hair again.  He is back to punk rocker.  His uncles made him feel insecure with the rubber band topnotch.
It is terrible how self conscious our families can make us.  Please, don't worry.  Henry is strong.  He can take it.  He trimmed to show those big beautiful eyes - it was not the peer pressure.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Henry did not know about Ladybird from "King of the Hills."  When Billy and Momo's human Misumi  mentioned the aged pup, Henry did some research.

Henry especially likes Ladybird's red bow and thinks this is just more ammunition justifying a puppy topknot. Since Ladybird is old and deaf, Henry shouts out a "thank you!" and now wants to become a "King of the Hills" fan.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Just Saying....

Dancing Merengue Dog

While my training of Henry is ongoing....I am not going to attempt to emulate this amazing dance duo.  The main reason, of course, is that I would not look nearly as cute in that dress and that Henry spends most of his dressed time nawing at his outfits.  Both would be a definite down during our "Dancing With The Stars" gig.  If you have not already seen it, click on photo to see this twosome!

We are working on our current obedience class.  This is the "advanced" class.  It is followed by a test possibly earning Henry the moniker "companion dog".  Hum....you ask, "Isn't he already."  I guess not.  He has to to all the following stuff:
Oh, and that list has to be done without a food treat bribe!  ....time for our morning training walk.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sick with Pup

When adopting my little rescue pup, I signed up for sickness and in health - right? I envisioned tending Henry with motherly devotion and rushing him to the vet if it was needed.

It is not needed right now - and hopefully never.  He is full of piss and vinegar.  So ready to go and do any and everything.  I, on the other hand, have had three days running with a spotty throat and a desire to do little but sleep.  Henry is so bored!

No doing the nature trail, no walking by all those doggie fences where the other pooches talk to him.  No  trips to PetSmart to practice our lessons. He is showing his boredom by barking at the cats, standing by the door to be let out.  Barking at the neighbors through the fence. Standing at the door to be let back in when I don't go throw the ball.  Refusing to come in when I open the door and just offering me a look of expectation.  The guilt is almost overwhelming...but not quite.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hakuho. Henry's New Hero!

Henry is a fickle pup. My sister, Misumi suggested that Hakuho might be a more appropriate hero for Henry.

So we researched - and I must say Henry and I both agree.  The new grand champion, Hakuho is ringing honesty and family values back into a sport that has suffered under the taint of illegal gambling and ties to organized crime.

Henry also likes Hakuho's topnotch, his two darling children and his beautiful wife. 

Emailed - from brother #2:
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with Henry's ponytail! Unless you don't want him to be laughed at by all the other dogs, if that is a concern I'd ditch the doo before leaving the house. If you and he really need to see past the bangs, scissors will take care of that. I'd also agree with Stephanie on the retired lady thing. Must be a SoCal thingy!"

Henry's comment: "Told you so!"