Dogs dressed up

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?!

Knitted Dog Sweaters Anyone?

These are the sweaters I knit for the Durham Humane Society. Dusty is modelling a high-neck sweater, and Cora is modelling a hoodie.

I recently knit hoodies for Cora, Dusty, and Hogan, as well as a couple of dog sweaters I donated to the Durham Humane Society through Misty Dawson’s photo-shoot fund-raiser (pictured above) and a hoodie for a friend’s Yorkie. Now I’ve decided to offer dog sweaters to order, with proceeds going to the Animal Guardian Society (TAGS), the rescue from which we adopted Cora and Dusty. Below are more pictures of the hoodies I’ve knit. Add a comment if you want one (for dogs 40 lbs and under only—the pattern doesn’t go any bigger than that)!

Jake in his new hoodie

Cora modelling the first hoodie I knit (for DHS).

Hogan in his sweater. His has dark blue trim.

Dusty's hoodie is a special size to accommodate his long back and deep chest.

Cora looks pretty in her new purple hoodie.

Dog Booties

Over the past couple of weeks, three people have asked me about our dogs’ boots. We were stopped this morning, too, by a man who thought they were the cutest things on Dusty in particular. His enthusiasm about them was kind of funny! We bought Pawz boots, which we put on the dogs either when it’s wet out or when there’s an insane amount of salt on the sidewalks (most of the time) to protect the pads of their feet from both the cold and the salt. With Pawz, we can go for a longer walk on days like today, when the temperatures are fairly mild, but the slush- and snow-covered sidewalks would leave the dogs limping in no time. (We discovered these booties a few years ago and actually used them on Roxie in the house because she had back issues, and we figured the sliding around on our hardwood floors was potentially contributing to them.)

Focus not on those scary eyes of Cora's but on the booties. Cute, huh?

We have found there to be many advantages to Pawz:

  1. If we had one dog, we could probably buy just one 12-pack for an entire winter season. At under $20 for 12, these are probably the cheapest dog boots on the market.
  2. The dogs walk perfectly normally in them (see video below). They don’t pick up their feet extra high or stick their legs out at odd angles, as I remember Roxie doing in other kinds of booties (which, although laugh-inducing for humans, probably really bothers the poor dog!). Here’s a hilarious video I just watched of a dog trying to get around in those other kinds of boots:
  3. As Pawz says on its site, the boots are thin enough that dogs can feel the ground still, making them less likely to feel terribly insecure in them. (This is probably why #2 is the case.)
  4. The rubber prevents some sliding (not all, but some) on the ice, which is important when you have a dog with cruciate ligament issues (like Dusty), and even to help prevent such issues.
  5. We could affordably buy two different sizes for our odd dog with the big front feet and small back ones (Mister Dusty again), rather than having to buy two different sets of four and use just two of each.

I used to put the Pawz on Roxie by myself because she was small enough to support in my lap while I put the booties on from behind her. But with three dogs, all larger than Roxie, it really takes two of us to get 12 paws covered with these things. The dogs generally freeze in place as soon as the boots come out, so to manoeuvre them (the dogs, I mean), two sets of hands are helpful. Saves time too. Between putting coats and boots on all five of us, it takes more than 10 minutes for us to get out of the house. The dogs are patient enough, but we really want to limit the prep time to maximize the walk time!

To prolong the life of the Pawz, we keep a plastic container of baby powder by the door. We dry the outside of the booties, turn them inside out and dry the insides, and then put them in the container. Then, before putting the booties on the dogs, we shake off any excess powder and turn them right-side out again. We’ve had to throw out only one booty so far because it got a hole in it. Not bad.

In this video, which I took at dusk (so it’s a little dark), you can see that the dogs walk pretty normally while wearing their Pawz. They didn’t need their coats since it was above zero. (That’s a sight—I’ll have to get video of that, too.)

Canada Pooch Pooches of the Week

Cora and Dusty are Canada Pooch’s Pooch of the Week!

Doesn't she look cute?

I learned of Canada Pooch back in October or November, when I entered a Toronto Pet Daily contest to win a Canada Pooch coat. At that time, I also submitted Cora to be the Pooch of the Week. I was contacted by the founder of Canada Pooch, who loved that we had adopted an older rescued dog. Oddly, I ended up winning the coat, and it’s beautiful!

Dusty in his new Arctic Adventurer Canada Pooch coat

We bought a Canada Pooch coat for Dusty, too. His is blue and doesn’t have a hood (it’s called the Arctic Adventurer). It looks great on him! Hogan has been wearing a hand-me-down, but he’s outgrown it, so I think he’ll be getting a Canada Pooch coat soon, too!

Our First Three-Dog Christmas

We don’t know whether any of our dogs has celebrated Christmas before, but we suspect they haven’t. It would have been nice to do a full-on Christmas for them, but we weren’t hosting Christmas Day, and since we don’t have little kids running about, we decided not to put up a tree. But the dogs did get to participate in other Christmas traditions.

They “helped” us wrap gifts.

Whatcha doin', Daddy?

They sniffed at their stockings.

Hmm...this kind of smells like it's for me, but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it.

(None of them opened anything themselves, though—not like Roxie used to do.)

They chewed on their bully sticks, their favourite stocking stuffer.

They're done theirs already. I'd better get chewing before they come over here and try to get mine!

Then we opened up their new tunnel.

What are those crazy humans going to try to make us do now?

We had to toss treats into the tunnel to get the dogs to go in, and most of the time they came back out the same way instead of going all the way through. It’ll take more practice. After the tunnel trial, Dusty and Hogan decided to play a game they already knew well: tug-of-war.

Look at all the new toys we have to tear apart! Hope they don't expect us to do it all in one day!

Then we packed up the dogs in their Christmas collars and took them for a drive to my brother’s.

Where're we goin', Daddy?

At my brother’s, Dusty and Hogan explored, while Cora lay nervously in the living room, being sketched (but otherwise left alone) by my nephews.

Maybe if I play "statue," everyone will think I'm not real.

The artists at work









Back at home, the doggies, pleased with their progress on destroying their toys, settled in for a long winter’s nap.

Look what the boys did, Mom!

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas.