Dogs dressed up

It’s Hogan’s Fourth, Fifth, or Maybe Sixth Birthday–Kind Of!

Today, we celebrate Hogan’s second birthday with us. Since he’s a rescue, we don’t know his real birthday or his real age, but he was guessed to be two or three when we adopted him (although, judging by his energy level, he’s always seemed much older), and we decided, in honour of his Mexican homeland, his birthday would be Cinco de Mayo. (See last year’s celebration here.)

So to celebrate our littlest one’s special day, we went for a very long walk by the beautiful Pickering waterfront, where Hogan encountered many other dogs and yet was on his best behaviour ever. Normally reactive on-leash, Hogan did almost no growling, instead looking up to his dad for treats, the behaviour we’ve been encouraging since we first adopted him and hired an animal behaviourist to help us deal with his reactivity. It’s taken some time, but he’s finally mastered this behaviour!

Hogan thought that since it's his birthday, he should be allowed to drive today.

Hogan thought that since it’s his birthday, he should be allowed to drive today.



We stopped for pictures in a field of dandelions


Of course, the doggies got lots of treats.

And we had to have water breaks, too.

And we had to have water breaks, too.

One last picture of the birthday boy before leaving the lake

One last picture of the birthday boy before leaving the lake

Tired doggies ready to go home for the birthday treat.

Tired doggies ready to go home for the birthday treat.
































Back at home for their afternoon snack, I treated the dogs to tacos (unseasoned beef, cheese, lettuce, and a dab of sour cream inside tiny flour tortilla shells) in exchange for pictures in sombreros. They all really enjoyed this treat (the sombreros, less so)!


Cora was having a particularly tough time waiting to enjoy the birthday treat.

Cora was having a particularly tough time waiting to enjoy the birthday treat.

Whereas curious Dusty opened his taco, sniffed and then ate the bits separately, Hogan opted to put the entire thing in his mouth. Our little Mexican boy knows how it's done!

Whereas curious Dusty opened his taco, sniffed and then ate the bits separately, Hogan opted to put the entire thing in his mouth. Our little Mexican boy knows how it’s done!









And to top off Hogan’s birthday, we will end the day with a family agility lesson this evening! In the meantime, Hogan’s engaging in his favourite afternoon activity—napping.

All in all, I think Hogan is finding today to be the best birthday ever!

Halloween 2012

Last year, Wes and I had ideas about what costumes we’d like for the dogs, but we didn’t have time to make the costumes ourselves, so we ended up with store-bought ones, which were cute but not necessarily well matched to our dogs’ personalities (click here to see last year’s Halloween pictures).

This year, however, we made sure that we would have time to make the dogs’ costumes. We decided last year what costumes would be perfect for each of them. And this past weekend, just in time for Halloween, we sewed, glued, and tie-dyed, and here’s what we ended up with. (For those of you who follow us on Facebook, I’m sharing different pictures here than I shared there.)

“Soy un chico muy bueño! Cookie?”




When people learn Hogan came from Mexico, they usually respond, “He even looks Mexican!” So we decided to honour his heritage with a poncho and sombrero (and tequila shot glass).












“Yep, I’m the sheriff in these here parts, and don’t you forget it.”














Not only is his name “cowboyish”; Dusty just has a cowboy swagger about him. The sheriff badge wasn’t part of the original plan, but it really does complete the costume—and it suits our Dusty.










“Peace, love, Clomipramine. Yeah, man.”















Cora is our flower child. She is a gentle, peace-loving soul who often seems just a little out of it (I say that with love).



























And here are the three of them, wagging their tails, knowing they’re adorable in their costumes and looking for the treats they always get when we put them through such craziness!

Sheriff Dusty, Señor Hogan, and Cora (a.k.a. Moonbeam)

Bloopers, Part 1

People often ask how I manage to get all three of my dogs to pose so nicely for pictures. First of all, they typically respond well to treats, so bribes are a requisite. Second, the pictures worthy of showing you are never the first ones I take. Out of 15 or 20 shots, I’ll have one worth putting on the blog.

Today I am sharing some of the bloopers from Hogan’s birthday celebration. You can see the two “good” pictures by clicking here. And here are some of the other ones:

Dusty: “It’s a long way down.”
Cora: “Is that a dead bird? Mmm…dead birds.”

Dusty and Hogan: “Where’d Cora go? Do we still have to stay here?”

Hogan: “Hey, I can climb right up on the counter from here.”
Dusty: “There’s nothing on this plate. I thought all plates came with good stuff on them.”


Hogan: “Cora’s back. I must growl.”
Dusty: “I’d really like to pee on that cactus.”

Dusty “Is Cora bartending? Tequila for everyone!”
Hogan: “I’m just going to sit here till we get treats. Surely we’ll get treats for this!”

Happy Made-Up Birthday, Hogan!

The birthday boy

We adopted Hogan on July 1, 2011, but instead of celebrating that date as his “gotcha day,” as we did for Dusty and Cora on their adoption anniversary date (click here for more about that celebration), we decided to invent a birthday for Hogan—and what better day to celebrate our little dog from Mexico than Cinco de Mayo?

Enjoying the trails at Greenwood

So this past weekend, we dedicated a day to the dogs in honour of Hogan’s third (we’re guessing) birthday. We headed off in the morning to  Greenwood Conservation Area, only about a seven-minute drive from our house, for a nice long walk along the trails there. The dogs sniffed and peed and pooped to their hearts’ content! They really enjoy going there, but because of the bug population in the summer, we have a small window of time that we can visit Greenwood, so we’ve been taking advantage of it recently.

Hogan checking out the pinata

After many attempts, we finally got a decent shot of all three dogs with the sombreros, the cactus, and the pinata!





Later in the day, we brought out the inflatable cactus and the sombreros and went into party mode. Wes had bought a pinata, which I filled with doggy treats in hopes that Dusty and Hogan would play tug of war with it and open it. No such luck.

But we did get pictures! And, really, for us, it was all about the pictures. And they did get the treats after I opened the pinata—and for them (surprise, surprise), it was all about the treats! Everybody was happy! Happy birthday, Hogie Bear!

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.