Photohound URBAN DOG BLOG

Where a picture’s worth a thousand woofs!

Thunderstorm Update October 25, 2007

Filed under: My dogs,Pit Bull,Pit mix,Thunderstorm Anxiety — photohound @ 2:50 pm

As we close out the extended Florida summer, I figured I’d update anyone who probably doesn’t care on Maya’s thunderstorm anxiety. We broke down and brought in an animal behaviorist from U of F Veterinary School (my once-to-be alma mater until I realized I hate math) whom I had met a couple years ago at an event. Dr. Curtis is extremely nice, knowledgeable and has provided much insight into Maya’s “issues”. We brought her out here for a consultation and have been corresponding via email and the Target pharmacy ever since.

In keeping with tradition, there was no immediate solution for the ol’ “My” as I call her- amongst other things, depending on my mood and what she’s destroyed. Her first batch of drugs, at the maximum doses worked like a piece of craft glitter might work to freshen your breath. I started to become depressed at the amount of money spent on hiring a dog therapist.

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We started doing mild exercises with her aggression and general craziness resulting in slow (VERY slow) progress but noticeable things nonetheless. Here’s a tip for dogs that go CRAZY when you have visitors. Maya for instance will bark and jump up on you (but never snapping or biting) scaring the pants off anyone who we invite into the house. Even when pronouncing her utmost joy at your arrival, her voicebox sounds like you’re about to get eaten, she can’t help it but it’s disconcerting to the newcomer. And if you’re mildly cautious about dogs, then forget it- she takes total advantage of the fact that you know she could have been one of Michael Vick’s “pet” projects.

The behaviorist suggested that each time someone comes over, we put Maya on a leash and walk her outside to greet the visitor. Then we all walk in together like a family returning from a joyous picnic. What do you know, it freakin’ worked! Now, I take absolute pleasure in bribing my friends to come over with the guise that I have cupcakes, later telling them they are actually part of my master plan to cure my dog of her demons. Luckily, I have pretty swell friends who now call before they pull up in the driveway and wait patiently for Maya & I to go greet them. There is no more knocking on doors and creating a circus and (using Andy Rooney’s voice) I Like That.

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Oh yeah, the storms. Maya is now on a Hollywood House-Wife cocktail of Prozac and Clonazepam that makes me understand why we are a nation addicted to prescriptions. It’s working and the fact that one of those is on the $4 prescription list at Target just makes me want to run through the streets throwing confetti.

Prozac is Maya’s daily regimen.  The Clonazepam gets dipped in peanut butter whenever it may rain and will henceforth be used every day next summer, believe you me.  Clonazepam is used to treat a wide range of afflictions from seizures to manic episodes to schizophrenia so if Maya ever gets diagnosed with anything else, I’m sure this ol’ pill will take care of that too. Importantly though, IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING!!! A calm Maya sitting still, watching the rain without panting, pacing or acting ridiculous was a sight my husband and I are still catching our breath over. Woo hoo!! We don’t like solving issues with drugs but when you have exhausted everything else and may possibly have a few shreds of sanity left to make a decision, that’s what you decide. In this case, we are all content for the time being and are nervously looking around each time we see a cloud hoping things still work like they’re supposed to.

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Congratulations Maya- you are a champ!

 

Gracie

Filed under: Cavalier — photohound @ 1:48 pm

As you might already know, I love Cavaliers because they have floppity feet and bon bons for noses and I just want to eat them up after they’ve been dusted with chocolate flakes. Gracie was certainly no exception.

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She allowed me to get to know her on two conditions…She politely demanded that I scratch her belly at every opportunity and present her with delectable treats when not performing said belly scratching activity.

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I couldn’t stop squealing over her as she was such a wonderful little being. Very confident, sweet and wonderfully spoiled. How can you not spoil something with eyes like that, I mean seriously?! A huge cuddle bug in a little body. Squeeee!

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Gracie loves her cushy doughnut bed (mmm…doughnuts) and rather enjoyed when I choo-chooed her around the living room floor in it. To her, it was just another day on a gondola. She also has a brand new sister (of the canine variety) who silently watched us with her giant moon eyes. The only thing that can share a trophy with Cavalier cuteness is a Cavalier who’s 8 weeks old (more squealing). When little Sophie gets older, hopefully she’ll become one of my models too. Thank you Gracie’s Dad (Brent) for giving Gracie’s Mom (Laura) a happy birthday that I got to participate in. It was a pleasure to work with all of you. 🙂

 

Callie & Bonnie October 18, 2007

Filed under: dogs,Labradoodles,Uncategorized — photohound @ 3:14 pm

Callie is the wonderfully incredible Mom of Bonnie. She’s also the wonderfully incredible Mom of the puppies seen further below (several posts down). I got to come back and photograph Callie and the puppy that her human Mom & Dad decided to keep. Oh joyful day!

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Callie is so cool and patient and laid back. She is a great Mom, she likes to use the outdoor coffee table as a chaise lounge and loves treats!

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Then there was Bonnie, whom I couldn’t look at without singing the Fraggle Rock theme song.  Gosh, I miss that show.  Both her and her Mom were not actually born but created in Jim Hensen’s workshop as far as I’m concerned. That’s why I love them- because they are living muppets…and hypoallergenic (as labradoodles are known to be) to boot! I had to restrain myself from tying strings around their paws and putting on my own puppet show- ha ha!

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Bonnie has incredible character and although she wasn’t in the bunch that I photographed before, she is part of the same litter and I found it really neat to be able to come back and see how much she’s grown. Still a puppy, of course, but she has discovered and LOVES squeaky toys. She’s a very fast cruncher of treats and that’s how she squeaks a toy, rapid succession. I was laughing out loud.

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She is also now potty trained and can sit and lay down on command. Baby genius? Who cares, she’s freakin’ adorable and I’m very happy to have worked with the both of them. Very fun!

 

Soprano

Filed under: German Shepherd,Great Dane,Pit mix — photohound @ 2:50 pm

Soprano was rescued as a puppy by his loving parents who have made it their duty to spoil him for all his days. He is a 110 pound concoction of several somethings who planted himself upright in my lap on several occassions- ha ha! He loves to be loved.

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Whisked away from a more-than-questionable environment, Soprano now only drinks filtered water (I passed the test on that one :-)). Don’t try and trick him either, his parents tell me, or else he’ll stand at his bowl and stare at you until you fix the problem. There is a complete absence of any threatening bone in his body as all he really wants out of life is to roll over to have his belly rubbed. Hand-feeding him dates and fanning him with palm fronds would also be just as acceptable.

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The type of exercise he prefers involves digging a hole to Tibet via his favorite corner of the yard and then slumping down for a cold-Earthed snooze. He LOVES the dirt.

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He also loves ice cream! His Mom makes homemade ice cream treats that he REALLY enjoys. Yum Yum! It was great to work with him and his awesome parents- thanks Kim & Felix! And, Soprano, thanks for the super fun session. BA-DA-BING!

 

Sandy & Dexter October 15, 2007

Filed under: Basset Hound,dog photo shoot,dogs,Lab,Yellow Lab — photohound @ 5:07 pm

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I got to spend several lovely hours with two brothers who couldn’t be more different while both being totally awesome! Sandy is a yellow lab who LOVES to tear stuffed toys to shreds, play a mean game of tug-o-war and own the pool. He loves belly flopping!

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Dexter, the basset hound is of the more low-key variety who prefers lounging on the outdoor chaise, reading the breeze and generally not partaking in such carrying on. If he could talk, we would discover that he is an intellectual who has answers to many of life’s questions.

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I did see him do a doggie sprint lap around the yard with his cute little legs but after that it was time to sit and ponder the universe.

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These guys were SO cute and SO sweet all I could do was give them kisses squeal over them. 🙂