Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Newfie vs. Rottweiler

Thatcher and cousin Blaise (my sister's dog) have become pretty even-matched competitors in the game "fetch". Newfies are not known for their speed, and Blaise is a petite, agile Rottweiler. She's quick like a cheetah and can outrun Thatcher nine times out of ten. But Thatcher has one strength that Blaise lacks - he watches where you are throwing the ball. Blaise gets so excited with the anticipation of the chase that she forgets to keep an eye out on what direction you're launching the ball in. She usually sprints ahead, then remembers to look for the ball. Thatcher, on the other hand, holds off on his full gallop until he sees which way your arm is pointing towards. The ironic part is that unless both dogs are chasing the ball, neither is. Whenever I try playing fetch with Thatcher alone, or even Thatcher and Boden together, he gets bored after a few tosses. Thatcher and Blaise thrive on trying to beat each other, and can keep going dozens of times when together. Poor Boden is neither fast enough or focused enough to stand a chance with either of the older dogs, so we play a little game of mini-fetch with him on the side between tosses for Thatcher and Blaise.

The aftermath

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yoga at your own risk

On weeknights it can be so difficult to find time to go to the gym. I usually rush out of work and head home right away, to where the dogs are usually pretending they've had an even rougher day than me. I hate leaving them to go work out after I've already been gone all day, but I also need to do something after sitting in front of a computer all day. So to tackle this dilemma, my sister and I decided to try out a home yoga dvd. Yoga is all about relaxation and meditation. We knew in order to get any quiet time, we've have wear the dogs out first. After work, we took the Newfies and her Rottweiler for a swim in our pool to get some energy out. We always throw the ball all the way across the pool and make Thatcher and Blaise take turns bringing it back. Blaise used to be able to keep going much longer than Thatcher, but Thatch has been getting back in shape with this new form of exercise. He's been bouncier, happier and has much more endurance. We've been counting how many times they each go after the ball, and tend to lose track around 25. Boden will fetch a couple of times in the shallow end, but doesn't enjoy swimming far distances. Instead, he prefers to sit on the pool ledge and watch the other two. So after they finally got tuckered out of swimming, we went inside to set up for our yoga time.

Because Boden's front leg is still bothering him and he's gimping around, we allowed him to stay in the room with us while we did yoga. We can't leave him and Blaise alone unsupervised because their wrestling gets pretty wild, and I don't want Boden's leg getting worse. We gave Blaise and Thatcher bones and blocked them out of the room with a baby gate. With all the dogs seemingly settled down, we started the dvd and tried to get into the zone. We got about two minutes in, when Blaise started whining outside the door. We told her to hush and pressed on with our "relaxing" flow. She then proceeded to cry for the entire 40 minutes. Nothing would stop her. Every 30 seconds or so, we would just hear this sad, pathetic crying. And that's just what was happening outside the room. Mr. Boden thought my yoga mat was placed on the floor for specifically for him. He kept rolling around happily, right under my legs, forcing me to awkwardly stretch around him and fight for my balance. At times he would playfully bite my hands or ankles, assuming that I was on the floor just to entertain him. So I can't quite say our yoga practice was a success, but at least we have plenty of room for improvement. Making through five minutes without having to scold a dog would be a good start. Until next time.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Grass in the desert

With monsoon season and the little bouts of rain we've been getting, something delightful has happened in our backyard: a tiny section of grass sprouted up. It's scraggly and thin, but it is a definite greenish patch of grass. I thought the Newfies would appreciate it more than I do, but they just keep going over and chomping away at it. They seriously will not stop eating it. I can't understand why they want to eat such a precious commodity. I would love to plant grass in our whole backyard, but it's so dry that it would likely quadruple our water bill to try and keep the grass watered. For now, we'll just have to settle for the sad little patch we have that we're stuck sharing with every single insect in the yard.

That's basically all the excitement around here except for yet another health concern with the Newfies - this time Boden. Last Friday I came home from work and Boden was limping pretty badly. I felt his leg, from his shoulder to his paw, and can't seem to find where the pain is coming from. He's pretty clumsy, especially with the slippery tile in our house, so I decided to wait it out a couple of days and see if it improves. In the meantime, I've been excluding him from our daily walks. I have to admit, walking just Thatcher is so much easier than walking both dogs at the same time. He just happily meanders alongside of me, content to be an only dog for these 20 minute outings. Boden is a mess when we have to leave him behind, but I don't want to risk making his leg worse. I'm giving it another couple of days, but I've scheduled a vet appointment for later this week just in case. Once again, I find myself wondering how people with kids do it. Every time I get one dog all taken care of, something happens to the next!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Crazy cousin Blaise

Since moving to AZ, the Newfies have gotten to spend a ton of time with Blaise, my sister's Rottweiler. Although they get along pretty well, she is definitely a different breed from Thatcher and Boden. Where they are mellow and slow-moving, she is spunky and tightly-wound. We always joke that she is Tigger and they are Eeyores. Blaise has endless energy, so as hard as they try, my boys can't keep up with her for too long. One area she really shows them up in is the pool. Thatcher and Boden prefer to glide into the water and swim gracefully so they don't get splashed. Blaise is a jumper and will fly half-way across the pool to get at whatever toy is thrown. We have to make all the dogs take turn when playing fetch in the pool, otherwise the Newifes don't stand a chance.