December 31, 2009

Puppy New Year!

Here's to ringing in the New Year with your best pals! Our wishes for a happy and healthy 2010 to all of our friends!

December 27, 2009

Rubber Chicken In A Bikini

I can't not devote a post to Christmas 09's favorite toy. Scrambled to get your paws on a Zhu Zhu Pet? So sorry. You missed the boat. WE have Rubber Chicken In A Bikini. An instant favorite.

The attention to detail, quality, and sheer glamour of this gal is insane. This is one ridiculously first-rate Rubber Chicken In A Bikini.

But don't be fooled by her jaunty swimwear and impeccable pedicure. She's a bad egg. No matter how my little Ruby innocently gnaws, the whole thing plays out like a lurid chapter in a dime store novel.

Complete with accomplice.

Three times have I run frantically through the house toward the sound of screaming bloody murder...only to find it was Rubber Chicken In A Bikini.

Set us back $2.98. Worth every penny.

December 24, 2009

December 20, 2009

Trip To The Salon

I love taking Ruby out in public. It's fun and challenging, we both learn something new each time, and I get to meet and speak with a lot of people. But as I mentally plan our outings, a few fill me with utter dread. Right smack up there at the top of the Terrifying List – the trip to the salon.

What? Getting a haircut, you say? Seems easy enough, no? Think about it for a minute. Imagine the potential horror show of a puppy in a beauty salon. I don't mean those dainty little furballs tucked in the armpits of starlets and socialites. I'm talking about handling forty pounds of adolescent Lab while I'm wrapped in that plastic poncho which might as well be a straitjacket, inches away from people who really REALLY care about INDIVIDUAL STRANDS when they get their hair cut. Look, if you had Edward's scissorhands flying around your head, would you want Tigger at the next chair?

I enjoy avoiding disaster when I can. And I've mentioned before, the best advice for raising service puppies is, "Set them up for success." This goes for raisers, too. I don't want my nerves bouncing down the leash. Ruby has been a handful lately, so I knew that we were not quite ready for the overwhelming atmosphere of one of those large and busy chain salons. Luckily, my stylist, Selma, recently took space at a new salon with individual rooms. When I made my appointment, Selma very kindly asked if I would like to bring Ruby before I could even suggest it. Selma is an animal lover and a saint.

When we entered the salon, Ruby tried to pull me down the hallway. We're working on this, so each time she'd pull, I'd stop. But as soon as I'd stop, she'd poke her snoot into a room. She startled a woman getting highlights; we quickly moved on.

We were a little early, so as we waited, Nosy caught the show in the room across the way.

When Selma was ready for us, Ruby got overly excited and started jumping around as I expected. Selma knew not to pet Ruby and she gave her a chance to investigate the room. Even though it was private and we closed the door, Ruby found everything inside fascinating.

As I sat down and Selma and I chatted about my cut, my chair slowly started to spin on its own and made a full circle; Ruby, of course, had crawled underneath to explore and taken me for a ride.

(I'm not sure what she's looking at here, but it might be a poor, defenseless lock of hair.)

Yep, she scarfed down some hair. As soon as we caught her doing that, Selma swept the hair aside. Ruby chased the broom. That's when Ruby was relegated to the other half of the room. At first she was indignant at being out of reach of the excitement, but eventually she calmed. Very, very proud of her for being able to settle herself at a distance from me.

(Not thrilled with the magazine selection, guess she's an Angelina fan.)

With Ruby finally chilled out, we got in the swing of things...then the UPS guy knocked at the door. I silently (mostly) swore at his timing, then hopped out of the chair and prepared for the worst. But when Selma opened the door, neither Ruby nor the UPS guy paid the other much attention. After he left and I sat back down, I glanced over and noticed Ruby nibbling at the package. I told her to leave it; she did.

Ruby's at my feet while I blow dry my hair every morning, so I think she found the sound familiar and comforting. When we got to that part, she just sat there eyeballing me. Maybe she was just enjoying how ridiculous I looked.

Thanks to Selma's infinite patience and good humor, the outing was a success. And I got a fantastic haircut! At the end, I tried to get Ruby to stay still for a second so I could get a shot of the two of them. Ruby cooperated...

for a second.

December 19, 2009

December 18, 2009

Holiday Shopping

While we were in that furniture store, we happened upon some dog beds. I thought the Broncos one would be cute for watching the games with dad (even though he's a Jets fan), but Ruby had other ideas.

A dog who knows what she wants. How could I refuse this face?

She got comfortable...

and stayed that way.

So, we bought Ruby the bed that she had picked out.

However...the bed smells AWFUL! It was wrapped in plastic so we couldn't tell, but when we got it home, the chemical smell of the foam was strangulating. We thought airing it outside would help, but no luck. Don't be disappointed, Roo. Santa knows you've been a very good girl and his sleigh just might make an extra stop in Maine on his way to our chimney...

December 16, 2009

December 13, 2009

Oh, The Injustice

Where Ruby is allowed to go:

Where Kiva is allowed to go:

Ruby insists this is downright unfair.

I've tried to explain things to her. "Look, lovie, sometimes you are allowed places that she can't go, and she is allowed places that you can't go." But there's just no reasoning with puppies.

December 9, 2009

Lunch: The Abbreviated Version

It started out serenely enough, like this...

and this...

until this...

inexplicably hurled itself off the table.

Sometimes, when they're twitching in their sleep, little yellow puppies are having riotous dreams that the heavens open up and big, buttery, chicken pastry meteors crash into their worlds.

Sometimes, dreams come true!

Looks like we'll be needing a little more work on "leave it."

December 7, 2009

All In The Family

A few weeks ago, a friend in the service dog world sent me a link to a fantastic video. She knew I'd be very interested for two reasons. One is that Ricochet (aka Rip Curl Ricki) is a truly amazing golden retriever who was to be a service dog, but became a SURFice dog – click the video below for her inspiring story and for a fun and wild ride!

The other reason? She and Ruby are related! Their shared lineage is through Ruby's mom, Bridget, but it's easiest to just say that in human terms, young Ricochet would be Ruby's "great-aunt!"

Ricochet is a shining example of the many phenomenal service dogs in training who, because of certain traits or tendencies, ultimately wind up following a different path. They may not become service dogs, but they contribute to their communities in ways equally as profound. Just like Rip Curl Ricki, these change of career canines excel in so many ways; they help to raise awareness, assist in fundraising efforts, and many become therapy or facility dogs, skilled companions, search and rescue, even avalanche dogs, just to name a few.

I asked Judy for permission to post her video and we are delighted to raise a paw and high-five "Aunt" Ricochet!


December 3, 2009

Tuckered-Out Thursday

Cold, cold morning with flurries on the way. I'd love nothing more than to snuggle back in for a few hours, but I have a lot to do and many hours before I see bed again. (Shout-out to my pillow. I miss you.) So let's hand it over to the Roo Crew, starring Ruby's sister, Racine, living the dream.

Thanks to Joyce for video of the Tinies.

December 1, 2009

Santa's Little...Helper?

Well, we set up the Christmas tree this weekend — I really don't know how we ever managed on our own before Ruby came along! Her standards are exacting:

• Confirm varietal excellence

• Supervise installation crew

• Approve materials

• Verify stand is to code

• Inspect trunk positioning for precise verticality

• Micromanage clean-up

Well done, Ruby! In fact, she did such a great job, we let her choose the first ornament to hang on the tree. She snooted around in the box and came up with this one. We thought it was a very good choice.