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Thor Has Left Us…

Our beloved English Mastiff, Thor, left this world and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the afternoon of September 30, 2018. He had developed behavior issues that we had chalked up to him being so old. 10 1/2 years is pretty much ancient for an English Mastiff! The vet told us that he was as a healthy as a horse, but it turned out that he had a brain tumor that wasn’t noticed until it triggered a stroke on September 29. Our sweet, gentle furry baby boy lost all cognition and was in intense pain, and he would never get any better. Pain medication helped with that part of it but nothing could heal the damage to his brain, so we decided it was time to let him go be at peace. That was the single hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and even now, almost 3 months later, I am still crying as I write about it. I miss my big puppy so much every single day!!

I don’t like to consider myself prone to depression, but I must admit that I’ve definitely been in a “funk” ever since that day. It’s so hard to move past that loss. It’s not really depression, it’s a real rut that I’m climbing out of, slowly.

I’m wanting to work on a memorial video for him, but it’s proving challenging! We had years worth of photos and videos stored on an external hard drive, which took a nosedive. I was able to recover the data from the drive but it’s all scattered with no organization whatsoever and not much time to work on cleaning up the crap from the stuff to save. BUT, it must be done before I can get his puppy pics and photos from up until about a year ago. Videos too. With my current health, mobility, fatigue, and pain… it’s hard to muster the energy to do much of anything after I get the house, my son, Pogo and John taken care of. John had to have surgery on his elbow just 5 days after we lost Thor, and it still causes him a lot of pain and mobility problems. As for me, that’s enough material for an entirely different post! LOL! But, for now, just know that Thor’s memorial is coming. It’s just taking longer than expected. And we miss him dearly.

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Pogo Is Settling In!

Our new puppy, Pogo, is settling right in! Pogo is a puggle, which is a Beagle/Pug cross. He seems to idolize his big brother, Thor. Thor is our 10 year old English Mastiff, who puts up with his puppy antics fairly well and even breaks down and plays with him occasionally!!

Pogo came home at 8 weeks old on April 3, 2028. He will be 14 weeks old tomorrow and is weighing in at a whopping 11 pounds (compared to his 175 pound big brother)! He is cute, adorable, stubborn, mischievous and MUST be the center of attention at all times! He loves to dig! He digs anywhere he can, even if he is just digging on someone’s leg….ouch! LOL

He loves to snuggle and has developed a fondness for one of our Brown fleece blankets as his preferred spot to snuggle… And occasionally we catch him chewing on it. LOL!

He loves to play and even will play catch, bringing a toy back for us to throw it for him. But not every time. But that’s okay, he enjoys fetching AND playing keep away!! He’s learning to keep his teeth off of skin and other things that he shouldn’t bite on. He’s also great with his crate training! He goes in at night with a couple of bones and stays mostly quiet all night long. He even doesn’t mind going in his crate while we eat dinner, which gives us some peace from his energetic puppiness while we eat our evening meal.

99% is going great!

That remaining 1%? He pees. A lot. Sometimes, he wanders around the house while peeing. If you don’t give him attention when he wants it, he pees. If you leave him alone in a room without him being in his crate, he pees. He randomly went pee on my son’s foot today while trying to get him to play. A friend came to visit later. Pogo got into a running fit of excitement. I had to mop the living room to clean the pee that he spread out as he ran.

Did I mention he pees a lot?

But everything else about him is totally awesome. We love him, despite the pee.

When Thor was a puppy, he didn’t pee THIS much. But he did tend to pee all the way to the door when he was about to go outside until he was almost a year old. Seriously. At the time, it wasn’t funny at all…. But we still laugh about it now! LOL.

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Getting a New Dog (Part 2): Size and Breed

Okay, you have made the first two big decisions: 1, to get a dog and 2, you chose between selecting from a reputable breeder, a rescue group or animal shelter. Now it is time to look critically at yourself, your lifestyle, your family and your home so you can determine what type of dog to look for.
Continue reading Getting a New Dog (Part 2): Size and Breed

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Creating a Healthy Pack

Creating a healthy pack is essential for having one or more happy, balanced and well behaved dogs. It doesn’t matter if you have one dog or 20, a pack is the foundation upon which to build all of your training, discipline and family.
Continue reading Creating a Healthy Pack

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Doggie Emotions, Nature & Instincts

Yes, dogs have emotions! They are creatures of instinct but they also have emotions and can have strong emotional ties to their pack and human family. Before you can help your dog to be a truly happy and balanced animal, you must first understand their instincts and emotions. By understanding why your dog does what they do, you can also understand how to change that behavior in a way that is more natural and easy to accept. Continue reading Doggie Emotions, Nature & Instincts

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Getting a New Dog (Part 1): Rescue or Breeder?

In this installment of the “Getting a New Dog” series, we will go over the first big decision, after the decision to get a new dog of course! This could be the biggest decision that you make:

Should I go to a rescue group or animal shelter for my new dog or should I go to a breeder?

Let’s go over the pros and cons of both options: Continue reading Getting a New Dog (Part 1): Rescue or Breeder?

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Dog Training “General Technique”

The first step to dog training or therapy is obedience training. I get asked by a lot of people how to teach their dog to sit, how to teach their dog to walk on a leash, etc. While there are some tried and true techniques for these tasks that I will share, I will also share a general training technique that you can apply and this will help you to teach your dog nearly anything that you want them to learn. Continue reading Dog Training “General Technique”

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Intro to Behavior Issues in Dogs

Even puppies may have some behavior issues and without a doubt, most older dogs do as well. When you raise your dog from a tiny puppy, it is usually pretty easy to recognize behavior problems early on and nip them in the bud easily before they become a real problem. I will discuss puppy training in another article, as the techniques for puppies are somewhat different from those with older dogs. Continue reading Intro to Behavior Issues in Dogs