Monthly Archives: April 2012

Hogan’s Modelling Debut

Hogan in Toronto en route to Ramsden Park.

A couple of days ago, we learned that Hogan had won a contest to model Canada Pooch‘s new 2012 fall/winter coats, so today I took him to Ramsden Park in Toronto for his photo shoot.

There were a lot of other dogs there, which I admit made me a little nervous since Hogan doesn’t always place nice with others, but for the most part, he was very well behaved. Bella, an adorable pug or pug mix (also a rescue) and the poster dog for Canada Pooch, took a real liking to Hogan, and he was quite tolerant of her, even when she was getting treats from me.

Hogan and Bella









Shortly after we arrived, Hogan was measured (in public—traumatizing!). He had six coats to model, so once it was determined he was a size 16, he got to work strutting his stuff. Of course there was some primping necessary. Then he had to pose for the photographer.

Eve, the pattern maker, and Jacqueline, Canada Pooch's founder, getting the right fit.

Ariel, the photographer, getting her shot.










Between costume changes, Hogan made sure to pee on every tree at least once. He also peed on a lot of grass and eventually, despite my best efforts, on the very raincoat I chose for him. Hope he wasn’t trying to tell me something!

Hogan enjoying some downtime au naturel between costume changes.

Hogan in the raincoat I ultimately chose for him (it was a tough choice, though!).










Hogan’s penultimate costume change was into this fantastic fleece-lined hoodie (below, left). It says “Canada Pooch Athletics” on it. Isn’t it adorable?

I love this new hoodie that's coming out!

Hogan in his last coat of the day and, of course, Bella's not far away!




And at the end of the day, Canada Pooch presented Hogan with a fantastic loot bag of toys, treats, and a blanket. Not bad pay for a mere hour of looking cute for a camera!

Hogan enjoying one of his new toys on the way home.

Cora and Dusty’s Gotcha Day!

One year ago today, we officially adopted Cora and Dusty, so today we celebrate their gotcha day! I bought balloons and party hats and made heart-shaped pumpkin and sweet potato “pupcakes”! (I quartered the second recipe on this page.)

Happy Gotcha Day pupcakes!

The doggies all got to sit at the table to see their pupcakes.

Unfortunately, the balloons are too high to see.

And then they did a sit/stay on the floor to eat their pupcakes (except Cora, who decided to stand/stay). Mmm mmm good!

Don't they look sweet in their gotcha day hats?!

Nick’s Observations on Babysitting Our Babies

Nick shared with me some observations he made about the dogs while he was babysitting. He definitely now knows them all pretty well—his comments are spot-on! He also posted some videos of them to YouTube!

“Dusty is very much a hunting dog.  When walking out of the house, either the front door for a walk or the back door to the backyard, he bays like he is charging with a pack of beagles behind him. He is also the most playful. He will take a toy and rub it in Hogan’s face, usually after dinner. This can cause problems because if he plays too hard, he can get sick. So a few times, I had to distract him with belly rubs or some other way to keep him from bouncing off the walls.”

Video of Dusty and Hogan playing

“Hogan is a bit of a lone ranger. I take that it’s because of his past as a stray. However, he looks for love. Once while on the couch, I was typing something on my phone and when I was finished and put my phone down, Hogan was sitting there staring at me. He then jumped up into my lap and turned over for a belly rub. When you get a good spot, he will use his paws to hold your hand there. He will also follow Dusty around when in a new environment, like my backyard.” [Hogan hates to be without Dusty. The two have really bonded, and I think a lot of Hogan’s confidence comes from Dusty’s proximity.]

Video of Hogan trying to make the comfy couch even more comfy

“Cora. I feel very privileged to be in the ‘Cora club.’ It took about 24–36 hours for Cora to realize that I wasn’t going to hurt her. Once I gained her trust, she really became a different dog. By different dog, I really mean a normal dog. She would come up to me with her tail wagging, usually looking for belly rubs. When I would stop rubbing her, she would do a high-five action to say ‘come back and give me more rubs!’ It really is a night and day difference. She no longer stayed in her ‘safe spot’ on the loveseat in the office and would settle in the living room with me and the boys, watching the NHL playoffs. That was unless the boys were playing or making a commotion; then, she would split like a banana.” [Can’t blame her for that!]

Video of Cora shyly looking for affection before bed

Nick has made it so much easier for us to leave the dogs to go on vacation. Of course, getting home from vacation will always be half the fun of going in the first place!


Return to Dogville

Nick had his hands full walking the three dogs but all went well!

We had a fabulous vacation in Las Vegas and came home to happy, healthy, well-cared-for pups thanks to our dog-sitter, Nick. They were happy to see us, but they’d all (even Cora!) obviously bonded with Nick, too, and were sad to see him go.

Cora just hanging out in the living room.






Nick is now part of an exclusive club of people who have seen carefree, kooky Cora. She woke him with tail wags in the morning and danced around excitedly at meal and treat times. Few people have seen her like that since she hides when “strangers” (even strangers she’s met many times) are at our house.

Friday was a nice day, so Nick took the dogs to his house to hang out in his backyard. Here's Dusty next to Nick's family dog Casper's memorial stone.

Not only did Nick do two walks a day with the dogs; he also cooked chicken for them when he ran out of what I’d prepared and took them on a road trip to meet his mom (she really liked Hogan!) and sniff around his backyard for an afternoon. We obviously weren’t the only ones enjoying a vacation!

Our holiday was fun, but I sure did miss these dogs! It was nice to get home to them (albeit 15 hours later than expected—damn Air Canada). Big thanks to Nick for doing overtime with the dogs, too!

This is the kind of endearing behaviour Nick may have glimpsed around 5 p.m. (walk time) each day:

A Vacation without the Dogs

As I write this, I am only a few hours away from leaving my babies for a short getaway. It’s not the first time we’ve been away from them, but it will be the longest.

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary since we met Cora, and today marks the one-year anniversary since we met Dusty. On the 16th, it will be a year since we began our extended visit with the two of them, which is the day they “moved in,” although their adoption didn’t become final until the 23rd.

Dusty and Cora at the beach in Toronto with their friend Mumford when Mumford's mom and dad were babysitting them

In that year, we have left Cora and Dusty with friends for two nights (June 2011) and with Kathy of TAGS for one night (December 2011). This time, we will be gone for four nights. We’re working our way up to a full-fledged vacation, and we’re hopeful that Cora will get comfortable enough with our new dog-sitter (Nick, who occasionally writes for this blog) for us to leave her for a little bit longer next time.

They're such troublemakers! Hope Nick can handle them!

However, seemingly just to increase my anxiety about leaving, Cora started showing signs of lameness yesterday afternoon. I noticed a bit of a limp but figured it had been in my imagination when, at walk time, she seemed perfectly normal, wagging her tail excitedly and trotting happily to the mudroom to get her harness and leash on. Once we got to the end of the driveway, though, she wasn’t moving so well. Her left hind foot was pointing in and kind of crossing in front of her right hind foot. Her back end was wobbly and shaky. But she wanted to walk, so we went a few houses down the street. When we turned around to go home, she wanted to continue forward, so Wes had to carry her to the house.

Fortunately, we have a fantastic vet clinic, and they squeezed Cora in so we could get some sort of care for her before jetting off. My big fear was a neurological issue, but when Cora walked at the clinic, she was walking nearly normally, although showing some signs of pain. But the vet said that neurological issues aren’t on again/off again, so it’s unlikely to be that (whew!). Also, Cora’s reflexes were pretty good overall.

They've promised to be good for the babysitter!

We don’t have a diagnosis, but the vet thinks it may be muscular. We’re hopeful that’s all it is. We massaged Cora last night and again this morning, and in both cases, she was moving better after a light massage.

On the upside, Nick won’t have to walk all three dogs after all since Cora is on light exercise only. We hope that after a day or two of taking it easy, Cora will be good as new! In the meantime, poor Nick is going to have to deal with my texting him a whole lot to get updates on her.

As for the boys, they’ll be just as happy with Nick here as they are with us. Dusty and Hogan really are the easy ones!

What do you do with your dog(s) when you go on vacation? Do you find it hard to leave them behind, too?