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About Sasha'sMom

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 04/01/1977
  1. OMG! Sasha's new EasyWalk arrived in the mail about, oh, 30 minutes ago! I am loving it already! Of course, we had to fit her, but then off for a slooow walk around the block... she hasn't heeled like that since, oh, the instructor was watching in puppy class! (Hopefully it wasn't the brisk run earlier today that did it, but usually no) We've been using the Gentle Leader on her since she was a pup, but she HATES it and acts like she's mortified to be seen in it and terribly annoyed that it's on. Not to mention, she rubs her nose in the ground for the first half-mile of our runs. So anyway, I'm really excited about this... and had to tell SOMEONE, because this is a big deal for me. She's a terrible puller, and I prefer to out-engineer her (which seems to be the best way.) This way, we can actually go for a stroll! Yay! Danielle
  2. My GSD got a chipmunk once, and the "pack" managed to kill a rabbit once and a squirrel once as well. (It was awful! Sasha did most of the chasing and killing...and we were out of town and our housesitter called and said that he'd been chasing her around the backyard to try to get the squirrel's dismembered head away from her...) He's never let us forget that. We do discourage it, and it's why I always make noise just before I let them out in the morning, just in case there's a stray cat within our fence. When we run, as long as I see the cat first and command "leave it," or "not your cat" they are fine. They have two cats who boss them around at home and they all know who's really in charge. Now, they do get a lizard about once a week between the three of them. There are little anoles everywhere here, and the squirrels are mighty scrawny. We do try to stop it, but the lizards really are everywhere.
  3. I use the Gentle Leader. Sasha is very strong and walking her is like maneuvering on a Nascar circut. I also usually walk all 3 of mine at once, so have developed a system which works really well. My setter/lab was also a big puller, and with the GL on (and sometimes off now), she has a perfect heel. Sasha still sort of hates it, but has figured out that she gets to go for a walk or run if I pick it up. I am going to look into the easywalk harness, too. To be perfectly honest, I've also changed... more often than not, we go for runs now. A mile or three with the crew wears them out, is better for me, and there is MUCH less pulling because we're going at a good trot. (I should clarify - I'm not a runner. It's more of a slow jog. I hate running. Really. ) The only problems I really run into are the occasional cat or off-leash dog. Little me with almost twice my body weight on 3 leashes trying to get a cat is not a good thing!
  4. Guilty. The pack are definitely our babies. We don't have any human children, and I don't know that we will. We use "mommy" and "daddy" occasionally when talking to the dogs (ie where's daddy?? Go get him!) but as we've referred to each other by pet names for so long, it was a pretty easy stretch. And yes, both my parents and his are the grandparents to the grandpuppies. We don't have a lot of friends with kids, so there isn't much comparing. Danielle, Nik Grumpy-butt, Sasha-wigglebutt, and the Sassy-frassy-Lassie. (Nicknames ever evolving, of course!)
  5. I don't know that I'd specifically rule out anything. I grew up with a bossy Westie, and just figured that's how dogs were. (My mom did a great job training her, I might add.) When I was looking for my first dog as a "grown up," I never imagined that a scary looking brindle GSD mix (probably some pitt in there) would win out. He's my baby, but I love the wide berth people give me when we run. And then I never thought I'd end up with a Border Collie. (Lord only knows what she's mixed with, but I'd bet chow, actually.) And then the dumbest, sweetest dog on the planet smoozled her way in through hubby's weak defenses. (Lab/setter) So really, I don't know that there's anything I would go out of my way to avoid, given a good temperment and a good fit into the household. (Cat-approved, of course.)
  6. I figure that I take about 30 pictures for each good one I get. Thank goodness for digital cameras! And I do wish that my crew would tolerate the vacuum a little better. Rather than just standing there or barking at it, they collectively think "AAAK! THE NOISY-THING! RUN FOR THE HILLS!" and run butt-tucked away as fast as they can.
  7. We bought our current house in a crazy housing market when it would have been much, much, much easier (and cheaper) to get a condo. And then we dropped several thousand on a 6' privacy fence to keep the jumpers in (when we should have spent it on the leaky roof!) To make it even more obvious, we bought both this house and our last home with the most important factor being a place to put our massive saltwater aquarium. Make your housing decisions based on you and what's important to you. And if a dog is important to you (duh), make it a priority. I don't know what I would do if I lost my 3 babies like you lost yours. Of course I do... get another dog. Silly me. Good luck, Danielle, Nik, Sasha, and Sassy
  8. My vet recommended trying it, as Nik, the resident GSD is getting on in years. My mom bought it for him - she swears by it. I use the Sam's brand (Maker's Mark) Glucosamine/Chondroiten complex. (750 G / 600 C) The bottle says humans get 2 pills a day. So my 75 lb GDS gets one pill a day. I toss it on top of his food, and he gobbles it down. The girls are both barely 3; Nik is 8-10. I think it's helped him, although he's always raring to go. I just noticed (like, yesterday!) that the NutroMax large breed has it already added. I have been feeding regular NutroMax, so I picked up a bag to try. (Littlest dog is 45lbs, so that should work.)
  9. All 3 of mine are rescues... and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm glad I missed the interview... "Solo hugs" are pretty similar to what my guys get... except Sassy. She's an attention whore and will take anything you dish out. Sasha has grown to learn that it means Mommy might let her on the bed or give her something really yummy. We've handled her a lot since she was a puppy so she'd get used to us messing with her ears or paws. Nik wasn't ever keen on them, until one day on a walk a couple of years ago that our 6 year old neighbor walked up to him and threw her arms around his neck. It wasn't a squeeze, and very loose, but definitely a hug. He'd never, ever shown any aggression and always been great around kids, but we freaked. He just stood there with a goofy look on his face, tail wagging. Thank goodness! Mr. Katz probably doesn't get puppy kisses, either.
  10. Good luck you guys. We are new to this hurricaine thing, but Dennis sure made us think about it. (We're much more used to tornados) Be safe, Danielle
  11. Nik (GSD mix) spent 7 months in a shelter before I found him. Sasha was dumped in an industrial part of town and found by our neighbors. She was about 6 weeks old, and had 15 big ticks on her. Husband insisted we keep her. We think she's a BC/chow blend, but Lord only knows what else is in there. Sassy (Irish setter/lab) was an urgent rehome. Her prior owners (down the street) had let her out, and let her be picked up by animal control. Another neighbor (we have great dog-loving neighbors) recognized her and got her out. Family said that they didn't want her back. Rescuing neighbor calls in tears not knowing what to do. We agree to home her temporarily. Darned husband falls in love with her. That was last year. Those are the dogs. The 2 cats came from the humane society. And the lizard (yes, there's now a lizard ) was also inadvertantly rescued from her prior owner after she wouldn't eat what he fed his iguanas, and he tried to return her to the pet store. Husband who happened to witness the exchange stepped in when the guy said he'd just take her home and let her starve to death. So that's it. I am trying to get through to husband that the ark is full, but he's a pushover when it comes to a sad story.
  12. This is Nikolai, my heart dog. He spent 7 months at a no-kill shelter before finding us, and is the best dog I could ever have. He's about 6 or 7, and he's been with us for about 3 years. This pic was taken during some exasperating puppy days. This his her royal highness, Sasha Wigglebutt. She was rescued at about 6 weeks old. Someone had dumped her in a field and my neighbor found her and a littermate covered in ticks and very weak. She's about 20 months old now, and is thankfully outgrowing some puppy tendencies. And last but not least, our Sassy Lassie. She was surrendered by our neighbors, who were pretty much neglecting her. She's a Setter/Lab mix who "was too much trouble." She's a love sponge, and a lapdog. (And that's Ion the cat in the background. He and his sister Ginger came courtesy of the KC Humane Society.) All Adoptees/Rescues here...
  13. Well, you might be surprised... (in a good and happy way) I went to a shelter and told them I wanted a big ol' lap dog - no puppies, please. They said "A-Ha! Someone for our Nikolai!" And BAM (to quote Emeril) a match made it heaven. Of course, I had looked at a different shelter at first, and insisted on seeing a few other dogs at the one where Nik was, but for the most part, they knew him, and knew what home he would fit into best. They knew he was housebroken, older, walked well on a leash, was cat-safe, etc. And because I knew sort of what I was looking for, they were able to put two and two together. And yes, that's how it really happened! He was by far the easiest, although he has some dominance issues and is terrified of lightning, he's never had an accident in the house, is crate trained (although he has free reign now), and is good with female dogs. While he wasn't good with puppies, we've worked to socialize him, and he's actually pretty good around other male dogs now. He was also the only one that I picked out - hubby (the softie!) fell for the other two ladies who joined us later. I'll also add that we certainly looking for more dogs - they came to us through weird circumstances. Sasha (who we didn't know was part BC until she started growing) was a PITA - and still is, as she's only a year and a half old. So much for that whole "oh, she's likely Chow - she'll be calm and collected." Yeah, right. Adding dog #3 was a bit trickier, although she and Sasha bonded pretty quickly. She was already 2, housebroken, but quite skinny and starved for attention. She's also dumb as a post. Actually, hubby likes to say that she's dumber than a post, because posts know "stay." Still, she's a lapdog, and isn't happy unless she's halfway on top of one of her humans. She's also a great companion, albeit a little clingy. Am I rambling about my dogs? Imagine that?! Hm... seeing as they are my children, just humor me. Anyway, Brookcove's description is right on - let them check you out, and you check them out. Good luck, Danielle
  14. In that case, I hope you are able to find some good groups out in Texas.
  15. I can only speak to my own experience, but after deciding that the time was right for me (I should say "us" - but husband was mostly just "informed" that we were getting a dog) I found myself in the same boat. I ended up visiting a couple of shelters, and found my heart dog, who is lying at my feet at this very instant. He'd been there for nearly 8 months (thank goodness for no-kill shelters), and he sort of picked me. He's a scary looking GSD mix, but is a big teddy bear underneath it all. He's the best companion I could have ever asked for. My BC came to me about a year later as a rescue (she was barely weaned and dumped), and the setter/lab cross - another rescue that hubby fell for - a year later still. I am still thankful and grateful for the shelter and rescue people, and will start there every time I need to add another family member. But no more puppies. Been there, done that. I know there's a NC BC rescue - and there are surely other groups out there. I would only add that if your husband isn't familiar with dogs, to go slowly and keep him involved. Good luck! Danielle, Nik the Boss, Sasha wiggle-butt, and the Sassy Lassie
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