Friday, December 28, 2012

A very Curly Tailed Christmas...

For our Christmas Holiday Sabe, the Curly Tails, and myself traveled to Iowa to see my family and friends.

I have to say the dynamic duo are quite the seasoned little travelers by now. They are getting pretty good at mellowing out for a long drive in their crates. We stayed at a hotel and they were stellar guests.

They loved the king sized bed...

They attended the Christmas festivities at my mom's on Christmas eve and the next day at my aunt's for Christmas. They met my mom's little rat terrier was all good other than a little scuffle over a toy between Fritz and Watson. 

In my usual scatter brained packing mode I forgot to bring a camera for pictorial evidence of the awesomeness of Menchi and Watson on vacation in Iowa. *sigh*

There was a little mishap when Menchi managed to tear one of her nails off her back paw when we first arrived at the hotel. With her usual stoic acceptance she never even made a was the fact that she suddenly left little bloody paw prints that alerted us to the fact that not all was normal. Surprisingly it was not the blood-bath I thought that something like that would be. I have kept a close eye on her and the new nail has started growing out and no infection occurred.

Neither Watson nor Menchi seem to have a love for snow. Both of them seem to be of the opinion that the cold white powder is to be mostly avoided. They hate wading out into it and as soon as it gets past a certain depth they will head for the warmth of home at warp speeds. I have not tried to take them to the park since it snowed to see how that would go... Perhaps that is an experiment to perform in the coming week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The fine art of being lazy...

Menchi is working on perfecting her lazing about skills.

This morning she actually refused to get out of bed with me and Watson when the alarm went off. Instead she gave me a look and laid her head back down staying in her warm spot.

It took ten to fifteen minutes before she decided to finally join us downstairs. As much as she likes to lay on the bed she likes being with us more and it was becoming obvious that all the passive resistance in the world was not going to bring us back to bed ;)

It is hard to talk yourself out of bed when your dog is so comfortable there...makes you want to stay and curl back up too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We have returned...

We are back to our regularly scheduled lives after spending Thanksgiving with Sabe's family.

The Curly Tails had a good time... there are lots of bunnies around the yard of Sabe's family home :) They also love his younger brother Steve, who is a sucker for a cute doggy face.

Watson had a few games of "get the dog" with Sabe's dad as well. That silly dog just loves to be chased. He was a good boy mostly ;) He had an obsession with the dishwasher and tried to be very helpful when people were loading the dirty dishes.

Menchi as always was a sweetheart...everyone loves the squishy dog :D

Both the dogs did awesomely while traveling...they are becoming quite the accomplished little road warriors.

Next trip will be home to Iowa for Christmas with my family...

Also I should have gotten some pictures...I suck!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holidays with the Curly Tails

...and so the Holiday Season begins.

Tomorrow we pack up Menchi and Watson and head to St. Louis for Thanksgiving with Sabe's family.

On the way Watson will sing us the songs of his people and Menchi will show that she can perform whale songs when she gets bored. They would rather not be in their crates for the ride is what they are saying. Safety comes first for little dogs on long trips!

Once we get there they will be released to wreak havoc upon a normally quiet that is usually basenji free and peaceful. The busybody will make sure that he makes up for those basenjiless times ;)

So Happy Turkey Day too all of you out there...we will see you after the basenji apocalypse is over.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Safari in our office...

So last night I am in the kitchen working on dinner...

Sabe calls out from the office...since I did not quite hear what he said I wander into the living room and he meets me out there with the news that Watson has found a mouse.

The boy had indeed located a mouse and flushed it out of hiding...but he had not gotten a hold of it. He was still looking for it in one corner when it had already went to hide in another.

In order to try and prevent a wild hunt I went on mouse safari. It took a few tries, but I was able to capture the beastie. I evicted it from the premises only to be told by a friend later that this likely means it will try to find its way back. *sigh* So yes, feel free to giggle at me...

Maybe next time I will put the mouse in the ring with the basenji instead...and if that fails the cat will be happy to do her job.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

And sometimes...he is just a jerk...


I love my dogs... I adore Watson. The way you can see him thinking. How clever he is. How sweet he can be...

Sometimes though my sweet boy is replaced by this cranky, controlling jerkface...

His latest offence was actually while we were volunteering at the dog fair last weekend :(  He has always been good with crowds and people...but last Sunday he got to a point when he decided he was done and turned into snark monster. I am not sure why, but he ended up spending the rest of the day sleeping in his crate.

He did seem a bit stressy that morning...but he usually handles stress well. Maybe it was still a blowback to being sick the week before and coming back to his normal self after a course of antibiotics.

Had he still shown signs of feeling unwell I would have never brought him... Had he ever shown signs of not enjoying these events I would not have brought him...but we have done this before and he always loved all the attention.

Maybe I am just a horrible owner and this is somehow my fault?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lure Coursing Picture Time

Here are some of the photos that were taken the day of the BCOSW picnic earlier in October. Proof that the curly tails get out there and do things other than lounging in the lap of luxery on the sofa :) This event took place at the Lure Coursing Fanatics facility in WI. They also provided the photography. I am going to invest in at least a couple of prints of each dog :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nothing much going on here...

It has been quiet around the curly tail home the last few weeks.

There has been a quite a bit of the brigade's least favorite weather...chill, rainy days. Even energetic Mr. Watson gets sleepy and just wants to hide in a fort of pillows when it gets like that.

We are still waiting on the pictures from our lure coursing adventure at the beginning of October.

Watson and I are volunteering at this years Dog Fair the adoring public can admire the handsome boy. That will be happening at the beginning of November.

Menchi and I are contemplating going for her CGC soon...there is a class coming up at our favorite training place.

That's it...that is all I got for now...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Picture Time

 Watson was watching the other Bs and Menchi is watching the coursing.

 The only Chicago picture that is half way decent.

 Menchi squints into the sun...

He is so handsome...and he knows it!

The Curly Tails party like rockstars...

So we have had a busy weekend...

Friday was the day. Menchi traveled all the way to Chicago to see Dr. Vidt. Watson came along for support. Menchi thought that the doctor was a very nice man. He checked her out thoroughly and gave her his blessing. The news was good she does not need eye surgery!

We went from the clinic to visit with our Chigacoland friends Colin and Andrea. They have a retired racing greyhound named Fiona...who quickly decided that the curly tailed brigade was invading the castle and went to hide in her crate pretty much our entire stay. The humans however were delighted by the invasion and the curly tails got lots of attention all around. I tried to get some pictures, but unfortunately the light was not with me and they all turned out badly :(

We stayed through Saturday and left in the afternoon to return home. We did not stay there long...the next morning found us on our way to join the local basenji club for a fall picnic and some lure coursing in the Kenosha area.

It was Menchi's first time ever at an event with other dogs :) Babygirl did very well... It was also her first time trying lure coursing and she loved it. She even got to run as a brace with Watson a couple of times. The basenji folk were impressed with the peiby. She was also the first shar pei to run the lure at Lure Coursing Fanatics.

Watson of course dove right in and ran his little heart out :)

The day was filled with basenji noises and beautiful little faces waiting for their turn to get a crack at the "bunny".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It has been glorious...

We may have had a stinking hot summer, but so far our fall is more than making up for the icky summer weather. It has been gorgeous.

I have been trying to get the curly tails out to the park as much as possible. There have been a great deal of other dogs for the social basenji butterfly to play with while the more cautious shar pei observes.

Unfortunately no one holds still long enough for any pictures...

On October 5th it will be time for a trip to Chicagoland for Menchi's appointment with Dr. Vidt. We shall find out if our babygirl needs eye surgery or not. Watson gets to come along for moral support. We also have arranged to visit our Chicagoland peeps.

On October 7th we are hoping to go to the Basenji Club of Southeastern WI's Fall Picnic. It will be held at the Lure Coursing Fanatics and there shall be free coursing. I want to see what Ms Menchi makes of the lure... Watson will no doubt squee with delight :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

In which Watson amazes and astounds...

We had a plumber come into the house today as we were blessed with a bit of a plumbing emergency.

The dogs as always were thrilled to have a new person to poke at. The guy took their attention in good humor. He had never seen a basenji before and I mentioned to him to keep an eye out as Watson is a bit mischievous.

Menchi watched from the living room and Watson of course was right up in the man's business supervising.

I went and was working on some stuff in the kitchen.

Suddenly I hear the guy go "Hey!" and start laughing... I came into the living room to find Mr Watson on the couch with a screwdriver that he had poached from the plumber and dragged off. The man was pretty entertained by the whole thing. He was amazed when I told him that this is not an isolated thing. I mentioned that as a puppy Watson regularly stole Sabe's wallet and tried to make off with it :D

That's my boy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When things go bump in the night...

Here is what happens...

The paternal body gets out of bed to stumble to the restroom. Basenji lifts head, blinks sleepily, contemplates stealing the warm spot left behind, then creeps back under blanket and leaches my heat. The Shar Pei continues to snore blissfully.

The maternal body exits the bed to stumble to the restroom. Both dogs come awake the instant I leave the bedroom. Two dogs congregate by the bedroom door to await my return. The basenji makes sure I know that they know by periodically scratching noisily at the door from his side. If I delay too long and go over my alloted time, to say pet the cat, I can hear pacing and grumbly basenji noises drift down the stairs.

I return to the room to have a basenji immediately check my credentials. Then the shar pei cleverly positions herself to block me/ trip me on my way back to the bed in the dark room. I pet the shar pei and she returns to her spot and resumes her beauty-sleep. The basenji meanwhile occupies my spot on the bed and needs to be jostled gently to move over. I settle down. The basenji does the patented doggy sleep dance...lays down...gets back up and asks to go under the blankets. The sleep dance happens again...the basenji resumes sleep with heavy sigh.

Life is hard when you are a little dog!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ode to my Basenji

I want to talk about Watson today :)

Basenjis are unusual little dogs. I often meet people that don't know how quite to take Watson. To me he does not seem that odd, but I do admit that sometimes he is more difficult to read than most dogs. It is like being a primitive breed he speaks dog, but with a somewhat different dialect :)

That being said he is also one of the sweetest dogs I know. A spaz at times, but also fun, endlessly clever and entertaining.

It is said that Basenjis are aloof, but it is more that they are often not overly demonstrative in their affections. Watson for one loves to touch. He likes to cuddle up and lean against me. His main way to express joy is his yodel. This noise has startled people that never heard it before. I have had to assure friends that the loud "Baroo" is a good sound.

We do call him Snark Monster and Dragon Dog... Like many of his breed he makes his opinions known. He does not appreciate being woken suddenly, startled, forced, or handled roughly. Me, I like a dog with opinions and a bit of spunk.

Watson definitely has his on mind on many things. It makes training "interesting" at times. He likes to interpret, embellish, and, improve on commands (at least in his mind). Also he wants everyone to know that stays are for suckers!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Plan...

So we have worked out our approach to Menchi's possible need for eye surgery.

Step one will be to attempt to get an appointment to consult with Dr. Vidt in Chicago. He was recommended to us by several other Shar Pei owners on the Shar Pei forum I frequent. He is a well known Pei expert extraordinaire :) along with Dr Tintle (who is in NY I believe).

I will try to get the little Miss an appointment for the beginning of October...why the wait you ask? Mostly because September is a terrible month for us finance-wise. September is time for car insurance renewal and other necessary evils.

Sabe was a little surprised by the choice of a vet that is about 2-3 hours out of our way, but most of the Pei friendly vets that are listed in the WI area are not much closer.

Maybe we can make it a fun trip too... We have friends in Chicago-land. We should visit them! :)

Now to see if we can get an appointment with the Shar Pei Guru of Chicago...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

We were hoping to avoid this...

...but it is looking like Menchi might need entropion surgery.

We knew getting a Shar Pei that it was a definite possibility that the dog might develop the condition. Many pei puppies have their eyes tacked during puppy-hood and many of them still end up needing corrective surgery.

We went to the vet for a skin infection this morning and Dr Miller took a look at her eyes because she was tearing a bit...which has been the only sign we have had. Teary eyes are also a common thing for the breed and can be due to placement of the tear ducts, allergies, and other sundry things.

Dr Miller would like us to take her for an evaluation by a veterinary that is now in the plans asap.

Luckily we have not had any of the more serious or alarming side effects associated with entropion. Menchi is not showing signs of severe pain and discomfort. She is not holding her eyes closed. She does not have corneal damage or irritation. To make sure it stays that way we are putting ointment in her eyes now to protect them.

We will not be able to get her in to see a specialist until October...Dr Miller feels that this should be fine. Then we will know what to do next...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Well guarded...

Menchi is a little guard dog. She proved it again last night. There were voices outside on the street that did not belong there after bedtime. She immediately stood up into her guard stance and gruffed and grumbled stern pei warnings.

She stood down after I told her it was okay and that she was a good guard dog.

It is the cutest thing seeing her little 30something pound frame all chest out with legs firmly planted. Security by Shar Pei :D

Watson's reaction and effort... He lifted his head off my pillow decided Menchi had things well in had and went back to his beauty sleep. The only intruders he is excited about is bunnies in our yard and strange dogs invading his territory.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Picture Time

Went to the park today and actually got a couple of pictures of the brigade :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why do we do it?

I follow and belong to a couple of online forums. One of them is a Shar Pei specific board where owners, breeders, and even a wonderful veterinarian that has dedicated her life to this breed exchange information and stories.

Sometimes it is sad to read some of these updates. Shar Pei are considered a heart ache breed. Like some other breeds they have suffered for the way they have been bred to bring out specific traits that make them the dogs they are.

I often get the question from other dog owners, my vet, and, even some of the people that know Menchi and love her,  "Why did you get a Shar Pei knowing how heartbreaking it could be?"

It is a good question...why do those of us that have these breeds go and bring these dogs into our homes? Why are we so dedicated to them despite the pain we face when things go wrong. In some of these breeds it is not even a question of will things go wrong...more of a question of when.

We have been pretty fortunate with Menchi so far, but she is also still a young Pei. So far we have only struggled with a bit of skin issues and cutaneous mucinosis. There are far worse things that can happen to a Shar Pei. There is the dreaded Shar Pei Fever, Amyloidosis, Mast Cell tumors, and other types of cancers just to name a few possibilities. None of these things can be tested for by the breeders as of yet.

Why are we prepared to love a dog knowing that there may be such grief in it for us. I mean even with the healthiest of dog breeds we go into it with the knowledge that we will invariably have to say our goodbyes far too soon.

I think the answer is simple...What they offer us in return far outweighs the aches and hurts! I know that Menchi has been one of the most stellar little dogs to grace my life. I will cherish every minute I get to share with her, even the painful ones.

As always love balances everything...and as always it doesn't always make sense to others ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Oh glorious day...

...the other evening it finally got cool enough for us to take a trip to the dog park. Not a moment too soon since the basenji was in danger of either loosing his little mind due to boredom or his life due to his inventive ways to try and aleviate that boredom!

It has been so hot that it has simply not been fit for man or beast to spend any extended period of time outdoors, much less engage in activities out there.

This week has been a little when it is cool enough in the evenings at least we can head out and get some activity time in.

We met some fabulous little dogs at the dog park this week too. There is a pair of Tibetan Terriers that are regulars. These two are just a goregous and fun pair. They are black and white and look like they are wearing little tuxedos. They are both sweet as sugar. I have not had the pleasure or opportunity to see TTs up close and personal before... I am glad I got this chance! Really great little dogs!

Our Tibetan Mastiff friends were also present for their evening stroll. I think these guys come to the park almost every day.

Maybe we will head out there again tonight...and maybe I will be moved to bring the camera ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I am the enemy!

Menchi's skin is clearing up nicely with the antibiotics. However, she still needed a bath today. She is so not a fan of this current weekly bath regime.

She sits in the tub and looks like a sad panda once she is soaped up and has to wait for the shampoo to work it's magic. It makes me feel like I am a torturer and this is Shar Pei water torture.

After her bath she shuns me for at least 30 minutes unless I have food in my hand for her. I am a wicked, evil bath demon...and therefore to be avoided!

The whole this is for your own good and it will make you better excuse leaves little impression on the Shar Pei goddess.

Watson also runs from me when I exit the bathroom after Menchi's dousing. He makes cunning Basenji evasive maneuvers...even though I am not even trying to catch him for a bath >.<

I currently feel like public enemy number one here!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Curly-Tails would like some rescue please...

Today they were horribly abused and are seeking an owner that will not douse them with water and soaps for "their own good". :D

Of course as usual the picture of the boy is slightly out of focus...he never stops moving and is difficult to get photographs of.

Menchi had a vet visit yesterday and was handed the dx of having a staph skin infection and some antibiotics for the next two weeks...that was one reason for the bath to soak her in some nice antibacterial shampoo. She is also going through a spectacular moult. Shar pei seem to do nothing half way...not even blowing their coats >.<

Watson is offended that he also had to suffer bath time, but hey, if the bathroom is going to be a mess I am going to make it worth my while!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Picture time

 Look deep into my want to feed me all the treats!

 Get my good side!

 I are pretty!

 Okay I am done with the pictures!


 No pictures!

What did I say? Go away...sleeping!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Curly Tail Adventures

Today the Curly Tails and us headed out on a hike with Watson's breeder and one of her basenji's. We get to do this every so often since she lives close by :)

We explored the Wisconsin countryside for about 3 hours. We had a few adventures along the way...

First let me say there were insects galore out and about...we all have a few mosquito  and fly bites to show for our fun.

First the dogs managed to flush a wild turkey

They were pretty sure they were about to score the biggest chicken any of them had ever seen...but the turkey made it to a stand of trees and was safe.

As we ventured on we made friends with a little smooth green snake

The little guy was hanging out and I managed to pick him up so we could get a closer look at him. The dogs never even noticed him :)

By the end of our hike the dogs were nice an tired... Menchi had been ready to be done for about thirty minutes by the time we got back to the car...she kept stopping and looking at us as if to say "Are we done now?"

Even the basenji's were more than happy to climb back into the air conditioned cars.

The rest of the day the curly tails have spent in happiness and exercise induced coma...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Today is a very important day...

Today is the day Ms Menchi came into the world.

One year ago today her mama Presto gave birth to three beautiful little jellybeans.

Menchi and her sister Annabel with whom we exchange regular emails :)

Menchi when we first brought her home

Menchi as we know and love her today :)

Happy Birthday to my Baby Girl!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I did with my day off this week...

I once again left my poor curly tails home alone today...

...but it was for a good cause!

I am part of a couple of different online forums. One of them is a basenji breed related forum. One of the little dogs there was in trouble and needed help getting to a new home. So along with another member I got to be his chauffeur through the wilds of WI and into IL and IN where he was safely placed with his new owner whom he traveled the rest of the way to his new home in MI with :)

Meet Diesel... a gorgeous, one year old basenji! He was a wonderful traveler and is a sweet little soul.

Wish him good luck in his new home!

Bewildered curly tails...

So last weekend was the first time ever that the kids were left without both Sabe and I. We were out of state attending a wedding.

I had arranged for an in-home pet-sitter. We have a friend that was kind enough (and brave enough) to come stay with the brigade. Arrangements were made with the vet in case of emergency and treats were stocked :)

Even though they were a little confused, and were looking for us out the window a lot the first day we left (the pet-sitter let us know this) they seem to have weathered the experience just fine.

The home-coming was an outburst of joy from both of them. I am used to Menchi going crazy with happy when even one of us returns after an outing without her...but even Watson was doing a basenji happy dance :D It is nice to know we were missed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The best laid plans...

So I was really looking forward to last weekend. I was going to take the dogs on the two hour trip toward the Illinois border to head to the all breed lure coursing club and the BCOSW fundraiser that was being held there on Saturday.

Watson was going to do what he loves his heart out. Menchi was going to get her first try at chasing a lure.

Somewhere the universe chuckled kindly and said "look she is droll"!

Thursday evening I remark to Sabe "Hmmm, I seem to have a bit of a sore throat. I should get ahead of this. I am taking some Nyquil and going to bed."

Friday morning at the butt-crack of dawn...two hungry dogs attempt to make me rise so breakfast can happen. My throat was on fire and that was after something had stomped on it, clawed it, and submerged it in acid just to be sure. Swallowing was impossible and talking pure torture.

The zombie lifts it's very heavy head and pokes a claw at Sabe "Croak, groan, mumble, mumble." Which seems to have translated to "Can you please get up and feed the dogs...I am too sick to move." Because, like the saint he is my boy friend got up and took care of the canine and feline needs of the household.

When consciousness intruded again on my fevered delirium a couple of hours later it became clear that work was not going to happen that day and I dragged myself to the phone to let my boss know.

The incoherent thought process happening was something like "Well it is only Friday if I stay mellow I might still make it to lure coursing with the dogs tomorrow." Are you laughing yet? Someone sure was...not me though. I was dead for the rest of that day.

I was in capable paws though... Dr. Watson was applying basenji body heat directly to me at all times as we slept the day away. Menchi was using an ancient Chinese secret involving dog drool and shar pei cuddles. I am sure it is a great cure in Eastern Medicine, right up there with dried Tiger penis and powdered Rhino parts.

Alas it was not to be though...even with all their curative canine powers combined I was still laid out on Saturday and most of Sunday!

No Lure Coursing Event for us...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Today I would like a moment of your time... draw your attention to an affliction that runs rampant in the dog community. I am sad to say that I too suffer from it.

I am talking about the dreaded "Puppy Fever"!

Many of us dog folk fall prey to this condition. It is characterized by the almost unquenchable need for a cute, cuddly puppy of just about any breed/mix you can think of, a glazing of the eyes when we see a puppy or a picture of a puppy, memory lapses as to how terrible actual puppies can be, grabby hands syndrome when in actual proximity to a puppy, and vicariously living through others that actually are in possession of a puppy currently.

There is no known cure!

Having a puppy will alleviate the symptoms and cause a remission. Once said puppy grows up symptoms often return eventually. Onset of symptoms after puppy reaches adulthood are correlated directly to how naughty the puppy was while in the puppy stage...the naughtier the puppy the longer it takes for the symptoms to reoccur.

Having a puppy at any time can expose you to this condition. In some people it seems to have the opposite effect and immunize them against ever wanting another puppy and having them seek out young adult, adult, or even senior dogs when adding a canine member to their household. It is not known what causes some individuals to react this way and fend off Puppy Fever.

Beware the infectious agent that is a cuddly puppy!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All is well... the land of the curly tails.

They do not know it yet, but this weekend they are left to their own devices with Sabe. I am going to Iowa for my friends bridal shower.

We often try to take them with us when we have to travel somewhere...they are pretty good little travelers :) Since Sabe is staying at home though it is easier this way.

In other plans there are a few coursing events coming up at the end of May and in June that are within reach for us. I hope I get to take Watson to at least one or two if our schedule and cash flow permits. I want to try and get him his JC eventually. I would also like to take Menchi to an all breed lure coursing event to see what she makes off it. :)

Menchi just graduated her advanced obedience class... lets face it though both Chi Chi and Mr Perfect still need a lot of work before I ever try to take them even into a rally event. Both seem to be going through a stage in which the feel that stay is somehow optional. Also the heeling needs work...lots and lots of work. They like to give me a run for my money...the joy's of owning clever and independently minded dogs!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The trials and tribulations of Menchi...

Last night we had a rough night...

Not quite sure what happened, but either some bug stung/bit Ms Menchi or she came in contact with something her system disliked intensely. The result was a painfully swollen and red muzzle and facial area. She also was insanely itchy...poor little soul.

Of course these things like to happen after hours when all the good little veterinarians have gone home to their own families and pets. I considered the emergency vet option...but they would have just given a steriod shot and suggested benadryl...

So we grabbed the benadryl and dosed the suffering soul and cleaned her puffy face gently to apply some calamine lotion. It took a while, but once the itchies slowed down she settled in to sleep.

I examined her closely this morning and the area looks normal. No more swelling or redness. So I gave her another benadryl since she still seemed a little itchy and fed her breakfast. If she had still looked like an angry puffer fish we would have had a nice trip to see the vet for that steroid shot.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What is in a name...

If most of you good folk are like us then your pets have names and nicknames...

In our case here they each even have several nicknames, not only that, but the all know their names and their nicknames.

Watson goes by a couple of aliases around the house. He was labeled big brother when we brought home Menchi and "Brother" has stuck as a nickname. I often call him that and he responds to it. The most generic nickname he has is probably "Buddy" because he is my buddy.

He also goes by "Babyboy"...the label that is used when he comes for cuddles...and the less flattering "Snark", which is applied in moments when he has decided to be true to his Basenji rebel nature. I also often refer to him as my "Barnacle" or "Barnacle Dog" because he sticks to me like one :)

Menchi is of course "Babygirl"... To many of our friends she is the "Sock Puppet" or "Hippopotimus Puppy". My most often used names with her are "Squishy", "Chi Chi", and the ever popular "Chunky Monkey". The last three she listens to just as well as her name...

The most odd nickname in the house goes to Autumn the cat...we call her "Banana" and she will come to that when called. She also listens to the shorter "Nanners". To our friends she is known as the "Ghost Kitty", mostly because they know she exists, but many of them have never seen her. She is pretty shy.

To me all these various names are all little facets of my guys...little pieces of their wonderful personalities expressed and shared as best I can with the world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pei day :)

So we did make it to the dog park on Monday was so busy though that I did not want to divide my attention by trying to get pictures ( safety first).

After many months of never seeing another Shar Pei it appears this Monday was Pei day at our favorite dog park. We encountered not just one or two, but four other Shar Pei total. Three of them belonged to one family and also came from the same breeder as Menchi. We had a good chat with the other Pei owners.

We also saw the pair of Tibetan Mastiffs again that we had previously encountered. Those dogs just get more awesome every time I see them. I totally want to get one...if I can ever afford to get a humongous dog that will be it!

Someone also told Watson how amazing he if he didn't know this already (it is pretty much a Basenji birthright). He was playing with an Aussie and a Chow mix, doing laps around me and the other owners as we chatted, and impressing the people watching with his athleticism and agility. When he stopped the Aussie's mom crouched down and pet him and noted "He is not even breathing heavy...what an amazing, little creature."  Watson happily soaked up all the admiration.

Friday, April 20, 2012


It has been about three weeks now since Menchi managed to injure her shoulder. She was on pain medications for a week and has not limped since. I am thinking it may be time to see how she does with some off leash exercise now.

If the weather cooperates this weekend we will have to test this theory. Most of this optimism comes from her moving normally around the house and playing without gimping with her brother...the rest of it stems from all three of us going stir crazy.

Leash walks are okay...and we do them occasionally...but for real exercise nothing beats a nice off leash romp in a safe area!

I sloemnly promise to try and remember to bring the camera if we get to head out this weekend and get some new pictures for all of you in the curly tail fan club. Now there is a club I should really start...mostly because we can not take a walk without my guys being stopped at least once so someone can ask about one or the other of the pair ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Off the pain pills...

So Monday Menchi too her last dose of the pain killers that Dr. Miller prescribed for her gimpy shoulder. So far so good. Her condition has not worsened again without pain control and she has continued to move soundly.

I gave the doc an update today and we are doing the wait and see. If Menchi were to start limping again it would be time for an x-ray.

Keep your fingers crossed that the peiby baby is going to be all healed up soon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poor Menchi...

...she is just not high on Lady Luck's list these days. The other day there was the beagle incident...and now she has a sprained shoulder.

We went to our favorite park yesterday, because it is large enough for them to run off leash and me to get some walking in. Everyone had a good time. Then last night I began to notice that the peiby was moving a bit on the gingerly side.

This morning we woke up and she was very obviously favoring her left front leg...a call to the vet later we were on our way for Dr. Miller to check her out.

She is on pain killers and her activity is going to have to be restricted...

Keeping her still is going to be a challenge...getting the basenji to let her be still is going to be a near impossibility!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Could have been worse...

...could also have been better.

We went to a new dog off leash area today. The plan was to meet up with our friend Sam, her son Ben, and their puppy Frankie. The goal was to work on Frankie's social graces. That part worked out just fine.

The part that was not fine is where a lady failed to restrain her reactive beagle and he bit Ms Menchi on her fluffy little muzzle. He got her good enough for there to be blood...but luckily did no real damage beyond a couple of small cuts. No stitches or vet intervention needed. Just TLC and antibiotic ointment. Thank the powers that be!

Now this particular dog had also growled and threatened a couple of dogs prior to his pouncing the Squishy. We were actually trying to move further away with our little gang, but his owner did not get the hint. *sigh*

This is the dark side of the dog park...things like this and worse can happen. Not everyone is in tune with their dog or with dogs in general. Or observant, or careful, or even considerate...

My dogs like to play and run off leash...they enjoy the company of other dogs. Generally most of our experiences are positive and happy ones. Sometimes though I ask myself is it worth the potential risk?

It's a hard question to answer...

Happily the mishap with the beagle did not sour Menchi on the rest of the fun to be had. Once the beagle vacated the premises things were safer. A lot of other folk and fun dogs showed up. The curly tails and Frankie had a good romp with a corgi, some setters, a white GSD, a boxer, a basset, and several canines of mixed origins :) 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Out for an evening stroll...

Took the curly tails out for a late romp and stroll around a big park here in the area last night. We ended up running into a glorious pair of black and tan Tibetan Mastiffs. Watson responded with his usual fearless interest. Menchi is intimidated by dogs that are much larger than her, but these two were so calm that she got used to them after just a few moments.

I loved them. I have always liked the breed from afar, but meeting them in person was quite the awesome. If I ever were to have a large breed these guys would be at the top of my list of possible candiates.

I don't think I have ever seen a more zen pair of dogs :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012


This was the first day training with Menchi in advanced obedience. She never ceases to amaze me. We had all the dogs off-leash for most of the class and she just orients on me so well. She free heeled for the very first time and she did a great job for a 9 month puppy.

Meanwhile Watson was destitute, because he was left home crated all alone. Sabe is out of town so there was no one to keep him company while his sister was off being a rockstar.

I made it up to him after class we picked him up and went to a new dog park. This is a huge park and they loved it. Watson got to run to his hearts content out there. We got to meet a little Frenchie named Thelma who was very intent on following us for a while. She was adorable :)

The curly tails had a great day...and they have been passed out since we got home from the park.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meetings of the intimidating kind...

Menchi met a dog that really impressed her the other day... She learned that they make them bigger, rougher, and more intimidating than herself ;)

We met a very nice Akita...and the wrinkly goddess was a little bit cowed by the big guy.

Watson waded in with his usual takes a lot to humble a Basenji.

Trouble in the land of the curly tails...

Not all is well here...

When we went for the yearly heartworm testing this week Watson came up positive for Lyme disease. He has had no symptoms, which is good. It could mean that he was exposed and that his system managed to handle the infection on it's own...but treatment with a 30 day course of Doxycycline is still warranted.

He started on the medication now I am crossing my fingers that his system will be happy to tolerate the whole course without nausea and vomiting. He gets the pills with one of his meals and I am adding yogurt to try and help his tummy through this.

Dr. Miller wants have him vaccinated as soon as possible since the immune system does not gain memory from Lyme.

I am worried...and Watson...well he is being Watson, which means he is a dynamo of bouncy energy and naughty doings. It's pretty much impossible to keep a good Basenji down!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring fever...

The glorious weather, they can both sense it. Watson especially has a bout of spring fever going on. It causes extra naughtiness on his part if left to his own devices. He looks for outlets to all that stored winter energy...

Menchi is a bit more low key, but she also wants to be outside more. Even if just to stand there and sniff the air.

Heaven help those with young, active dogs in spring...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Joy :)

One of the great things when you own and train dogs are those moments when you have been working on something together and it finally clicks for the dog after you have both been frustrated and struggled with a particular exercise/trick without much improvement for some time.

Down/Drop is a struggle for many dogs. Some don't like it because the cold floor on their bellies is icky, some do not like hard surfaces to lay on, some just do not like this exercise period. Menchi was struggling with this one. It did not click for her was I was asking her for. We tried different ways of approaching it, but she became frustrated with it every time after a few tries and we would move on to another exercise that she could do and succeed with to keep training fun for both of us.

The other night it suddenly clicked. I decided to try a down/drop on a whim...and behold here is Ms Menchi sliding to the floor. It is hard to describe the feeling that comes with this...jubilation is a good word for it. Joy for the dog, joy that you work as a team, and are communicating, just sheer happiness, and pride.

Menchi earned herself a big jackpot of treats!  The down/drop needs some work...but the hard and frustrating times with this exercise are past us.

Watson has also had a struggle. His is with the heeling... It is boring to him. So I was immensely pleased when in our last intermediate class the heeled beautifully. He is showing improvement and happiness in working with me. It means alot from a breed that is known to be very  indenpendently minded.

I love watching the wheels turn and the thoughts move across their faces when I work with them. My dogs are a joy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

I am being shunned...

With the weather as indecisive as it has been we have had snow and freezing tundra type weather followed by sunshine and warmth...which of course means lots of mud!

Even with their short coats the curly tails managed to get quite dirty and the Sock Puppet seemed somewhat itchy last night and today. This bode good can come off an itchy Shar Pei. So baths were called for.

Now both these dogs do not have even the remotest love for water. Watson is convinced that he will melt on contact and acts like he is being immersed in acid. Menchi will make astounding leaps and contortions to get away from the tub. It's like wrestling an alligator >.<

She managed to escape only once today making a fantastic bound over my head and flying out of the bathroom like the devil was after her. Oh, the joy of chasing a soapy dog around the living room...

I won though they are both washed and sparkly clean...I and the bathroom are soaked...but the dogs are clean!

Watson is quick to forgive...but the pei is shunning me as only a pei can...that is what you get living with dog royalty...

Friday, February 17, 2012

10 things...

So I was roaming around one of my favorite blogs last night: The Pioneer Woman

I go there because I enjoy her recipes and she tells some entertaining stories. Part of her site is dedicated to her basset hound Charlie. Last night I found her post about the 10 important things she loves about her dog. It was a droll and sweet read.

It made me think about some of the things that I love about my dogs that will have a non-pet or non-dog person raise their eyebrows and shake their head.

Ree talks about her dog's smell... I can so totally identify with that. I know my dog's scents and I like their doggy smell. most people probably...but I think to many dog owners a pretty normal thing :)

We are just odd in some ways. Many of us meet even for the first time and the discussion will sooner or later turn to dog food and what everyone is feeding and why, and how good is said food.

Poop is another thing...we watch what comes out the back end just as much as we pay attention to what goes in the front. We analyze what we see visually for color and consistency to ensure that our dogs digestion is on the right track. Not only that, but we feel it is perfectly okay as a topic to discuss in polite company. Gross...probably...but one of the things we do as pet owners to monitor the animal's health.

Often times just the way we talk about our dogs makes normal people look at us a bit funny...even worse when some of them see us talking to our dogs.

That's okay though...I am proud of my crazy. I am even prouder of my dogs :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I am troubled...

I have always been a dog person. I wanted nothing more as a kid than my own dog. I have had mutts and pure bred dogs and I have loved them all. I followed this year's Westminster show and got to thinking...

Like anyone in our dog sphere I see things and hear things that are connected with this common interest in dogs. Some of the things I see and hear I find worrisome.

The increasing tendency in some breeds for the show dog to be something so different from say a working member of the breed is a sad thing to me. Is not the ability to do what the breed was created to do paramount to the standard that the dog is supposed to be judged against?

The peke that won Westmister this year looks more like a wobbly hair-sausage than a dog. You can not even see his gait when he on earth can you judge something you can't observe?

The breed winner in the collie ring is the offspring of a know merle to merle breeding...a breeding that was done with the full knowledge of what the risks to the resulting puppies would be (blindness, deafness, other possible genetic defects, non-viability of puppies). In order to try and breed a stud that the breeder would find desireable.

I am of the strong belief that I should never do anything that betrays the trust of my dogs who depend on me for their lives. It is my responsibility to keep them happy, loved, healthy, fed, and safe.

Should that not still be at the core of things for someone that shows and breeds their dogs? I believe so and I know that the people that I got my puppies from feel that way. So why are there people out there that seem to feel that it is more important to win in the show ring that to safeguard the lives they have taken in their hands?

Don't get me wrong I am so not anti breeder or anti pure bred dogs...but I just can not seem to align some of these things  I see and hear with a love of dogs (or the betterment of the breed in general in some cases).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nothing says we missed you like...

So when Sabe and I were in the discussion stages of the plans for our puppies together one of the many things we carefully thought about was the size of the dog(s) in question.

We liked Malamutes a lot... We met several of them and really enjoyed them, but we learned when dealing with Maeve's troubles that a dog that large was not right for us. Maeve was only 50 lbs and we were already having a lot of struggle being able to help her when her rear legs stopped working properly.

Also we wanted to be able to take our dogs when we traveled places and that is easier with smaller rather than larger dogs.

That being decided I still wanted a dog that is a little more solid and not tiny and petite. We settled on the around 30 lbs range.

We are now learning that there is one drawback (at least for Sabe) to the size of dog we ended up with... The Curly Tails are just the right height that when they bounce up to greet him after a long day they manage to target that most tender of boy areas almost every time O.O

I guess nothing says welcome home like a good punch in the groin...

PS: For the people that do not know Maeve was our aged rough collie that passed away September of 2011.

Thursday, February 9, 2012