3/31/2011

Dog Parks Aren’t For Me (Sorry Hank)

The concept of Off-Leash Doggie Parks is appealing. A reasonably well maintained, fenced in place where I can run around really fast with my ears flat against my skull, sniffing pee mail and chasing after my best buddy, Hank Bacon, while he plays flingyball.

The reality of a Doggie Park is not appealing. Case in point – My Sunday Morning.

Diana and I went with Hank Bacon and his Mom, Kristina. We went to a well-known park in a largish city east of Seattle around 10:00 am on a lovely, sunny morning.

We always go to the Small Dog area. I’m little. I’m only 11 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 13 lbs. Hank Bacon is taller – and weighs more, but he’s not that big either. The rule at the dog park is for dogs under 16 inches at the shoulder and not more than 20-25 lbs.

Seems reasonable. But if you do a quick calculation – dogs 2x my size are allowed. That calculation is considerable.

We had the place to ourselves for almost ½ hour. Soon two Shi Tzu’s came to play. They were really nice and friendly. After the prerequisite sniff greeting, they ran around and played with their human and Hank and I went back to flingyball and flingyball player chasing. No big deal.

Next, two standard American Eskimo dogs arrived. Their owner left them on leash while in the pen area. They growled low in their throats, their fur was up all and their tails were in the extremely confident position, way up on their backs.

We sniffed each other and they growled louder. I started to bark nervously and ran back to stand by Diana. Hank Bacon stopped paying attention to flingyball and came to see what was going on. His ears went back and he very stiffly greeted them.

As soon as the Eskimo’s were released from leash, they went for me. They chased me and I started to run because it seemed like fun - at first. I didn't know.  I'd never been attacked before.

Diana and Kristina saw immediately what was happening and intervened. Diana called me and I came back quickly. She grabbed my harness and clipped my leash on. Hank Bacon came right away - back to Kristina's side - and sat down while she clipped his leash on too.

The two white dogs kept coming and tried to run me over - even though I was standing still. One blocked my left, one my right.

In a flash of an eye, Hank Bacon stepped between them and barked. He barked so loudly and intensely they backed off, backed off for a second. Just enough time for Diana and Kristina to take complete control of the situation and rescue me.

The whole encounter took less than 30 seconds. Diana and Kristina scooped us up and we were out of there. Out of the enclosure that had seemed such a good idea, but had turned into a space I couldn’t escape from. Out of the reach of two dogs that should not have been there, should not have remained on leash becoming more and more aggitated, exhibiting aggressive behavior towards others, and out of the once perceived fun zone.

I’m probably never going to get to go back. Hank rescued me and I thank him deeply. I thank Diana and Kristina for having done their research and knowing the danger signs, for being so aware of our surroundings that they saw trouble immediately. I thank my lucky stars that things turned out as well as they did.

I, however, am still growling. I do not like the choice foisted upon me. Go to the off leash doggie park and risk possible injury or go to my local park and remain on leash, limited but safe.

Not fair. Not fair at all.

^ . . ^

Woof!



3/23/2011

Anipal Book Club - White Fang - Post No. 1

I like to think of myself as a wild and ferocious doggie.

I visualize myself as a small dog that has successfully overcome great obstacles to be where I am today. I bark in the face of danger, I do the stiff legged grass scratch thing after each trip outside, and I regularly assign my rope toys to an early retirement. I expertly patrol my house and yard on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Hey, you don’t see any purple elephants in the area, do you? Yeah, see. I’m good.

Anyhooooo….Not so ferocious it turns out. First chapters of Jack London's White Fang have given me a wakeup call to the realities for my much bigger cousins in the wild:  

     I do not live outside, in horrific weather;
     I do not work hard pulling a sled;
     I do not fend off wolves on a nightly basis;  
     I do not have to outwit and hunt down my food just to survive; and
     I do not suffer in a world where a victory for me is a defeat for another.
  

I do have to keep Mom reading this story to me, though.

I NEED to know what’s going to happen next!

^ . . ^
WOOF!

3/15/2011

Ellee & Dozer - Look Alikes Need A Home

Today is Petfinders Adopt The Internet Day.  Read all about it here:


Soooo, I'm going to stop gloating about my wonderful Gotcha Day.  I'm going to dedicate this post to other Miniature Pinscher/Chihuahua mixed pups that look a lot like me.   I want them to have their own Gotcha Day and bark about it on their own blogs.

At first I thought I would talk mostly about Dozer.  He also looks like me and has been looking for a home of his own for a while now also.  I regularly post a tweet about him getting his own home.  He is in foster care with Rescue Every Dog (R.E.D.) in Port Angeles, Washington.  Know anyone who wants to help a great guy?  Here is his link on Petfinder:


Instead, I decided to dedicate the majority of my post today highlighting a dog in foster care with my rescue group - Northwest International Pet Rescue (NWIPR).  They saved my life - literally. NWIPR is an all volunteer, registered Non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. 

I pasted Ellee's bio from NWIPR's post on @Petfinder because there isn't much more I can add other than:

WHY DOESN'T SHE HAVE HER OWN HOME?

MEET ELLEE
Hello, I am Ellee. I am so happy to be out of the shelter. I am a sweet, loving, elegant, and quiet little girl. I love to go for walks and I ride wonderfully in the car. I enjoy meeting new people and like to get pets and attention. I get along well with the other dogs in my foster home and like playing with the other dogs. However, I seem to prefer my humans. I am a loyal girl who enjoys sitting with my person and being next to them. I like to follow my foster mom or dad around. I am crate trained and I house trained. I am a spectacular companion and very loyal to my people. I am a gentle little girl with a great demeanor. I also did wonderfully in the bath and also for my nail clipping. I would do well in almost any environment (apartment, home with yard, etc) and with or without another dog in the home. Please consider adding me to your family.


FOSTER UPDATE
Ellee is an amazing girl. She is incredibly loving and very sweet. She hardly barks and is just an excellent companion. She loves her people and enjoys meeting new people. She loves pets, playtime, and snuggles. She has wonderful house manners and is full of love for her family. She likes playing with the other dog in her home, but most of all her people. This girl is remarkable!

HISTORY
Ellee has arrived from an overcrowded WA shelter. NWIPR was asked to pull Ellee and find her a great home. We are so glad to have her join us in rescue.

HEALTH
Ellee is spayed/neutered, rear dew claws removed, microchipped, wormed, flea treated, current on DHLPPC, Bordatella, and Rabies.

NWIPR DISCLAIMER NOTICE
The information contained within this pet’s biography is based on observations from the current foster home. NWIPR is very honest about the pet’s behavior and needs (and provides up to date information), we cannot guarantee they will behave in the same manner in a different environment with new owners as individual household dynamics vary greatly.
 
Well, isn't she something?  In a perfect world, both Ellee and Dozer would be living with me.  I just about have Diana and Michael talked into adopting another rescue dog.  In the meantime, please pass their information on to anyone who might be interested in doing the right thing for wonderful doggies in need. 
 
You can have your own Sasha!

3/14/2011

Gotcha Day Special Gifts

There are tons of wonderful people in the world. I am fortunate enough to know some of them.

My dear English friend, Yoda, sent me a cake and flowers. Aren’t they lovely?






@MissPishPosh A cake for you with love from me xx on Twitpic
                
@MissPishPosh Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, h... on Twitpic
My pals Teddy & Mischka cooked these "with their own little paws"








Michael and Diana threw me a big party. Diana decorated the house just for me:
















My buddies Katie the Pug and Hank Bacon came over and helped me celebrate and we each had our own tiny slice of cake and doggie ice cream (“Frosty Paws”): 









During the hugely successful, mega exciting #DudeFest #PawPawty on Twitter, my friend Teeny lead everyone in a round of Happy Gotcha Day (same tune as Happy Birthday). Sweet!







From my friends Ted and Issac in England, I received a lovely card, a picture of those two handsome men and this:














Holy Hedgehog, Batman. There is no way Diana will let me play with this beautiful toy. No way. We have named her Corrine and she lives on the same bookshelf as Trickster Raven. Corrine is covered under Destructo Gang Master Rule #1.







I received so many good wishes I was overwhelmed. Thank you to all who already knew what this day meant, to those who have just learned, and to those who will have their own Gotcha Day celebrations in the future.



















Nom Nom Nom





3/07/2011

PawPawty Prize Blanket

Diana and I like to participate in the Pawpawties on Twitter to raise money for animal related charities.  @frougaldougal and his amazing humans started these fundraising events a few years back and they just keep getting bigger and more successful with each one.  

Every year tens of thousands of dollars are raised and awareness is increased for the charities that have been selected to benefit from the generosity of people on Twitter.  We don't have a lot of money, but we know how to crochet.  So, we try to donate a blanket as often as we can.  

We made this blanket for @RICH_THE_PIRATE.  He won it during the SantaPaws Christmas Eve Pawty.  It is an exclusive Sasha Snuggle.  Diana and I picked the fleece and the wool/bamboo blend yarn just for him and his wonderful Mum.

We hope he gets many, many years of enjoyment from this blanket.  We sure had fun making it.


Spring? Maybe?

Here, amongst the weeds, a sure sign of spring - Crocus

3/02/2011

Anipal Book Club - Pride & Prejudice Post No. 2

I loved this book.

Secret? Diana has read it many times.  Most evenings we read together before we go to sleep.  We read P & P together last summer.

So, I knew all along that Wickham was dastardly and Mr. Darcy a night in shining armor.

So, I knew that Lizzy and Mr. Darcy would be together in the end. I knew that they would see the best in each other and give each other a second chance.

But I didn’t know how to think about each of them in my terms until I figured out that some humans enjoy dogs and play fetch really well and others, well, others just don’t.

How well a human interacts with dogs and how willing they are to play fetch constitute the basis of my First Impressions. Lizzy probably does like dogs and would play a really good game of fetch. At first, I didn’t think Mr. Darcy would like dogs or play fetch and I probably would have ignored him. My loss, because now I think he would be top notch. Best ever.

True character isn’t always revealed when you first meet. I can come across as a bit barky and opinionated at first. I am, but I am also loving, kind, a bit of a mooch, funny, terrible at playing fetch and really good at playing tug-of-war.

If you only met me once, say at a dinner party or while I was at the Vet, away from my comfort zone on the sofa, you might not have a very good first impression of me either.

Sometimes the key to fully blossoming into relationships is to be open to change and new interpretations on how life is and accept that you might not know everything.

Being a rescue dog, I have the first part down. I have lived change.  Every now and then home, warmth and family becomes a shelter, coldness and strangers.

I’m still working on the second part - the accepting that I might not know everything part. Thankfully, my story isn’t completely written.