Friday, August 28, 2009

Nails on a chalkboard...

Oh my lord...remember chalkboards? Remember to upset people, others (i.e. me) would scratch their nails on the chalkboard & people would cringe?? Well, my bully version of nails on a chalkboard is licking!! Lick, lick, lick, lick...aggghh! MAKE THEM STOP!

Doc is a paw licker (I think it's allergies), but has gotten better. Vivi loves to lick Howie, Doc & the no particular order. Howie was never really a licker...would lick Doc every once in awhile, but recently he's really become quite the licker & it's DRIVING ME CRAZY!!

We did recently change their food, I'm wondering if he's allergic to it? However, his folds have been much less yeasty??!! Of course! Sometimes it feels like I'm in a middle of a never ending science experiment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Three Random Things

First, I've updated the site with some new photos in each of the bully's pages. As well as updating the show page with this past weekend's show summary & photos. Hope you enjoy the updates.

Second, The Cutest Dog Competition contest has changed so now you have to register to vote. I'm guessing it's because some photos had thousands of votes within a few days. I mean, maybe it's possible, but those dogs weren't the cutest in my opinion! Hahahaha! I hope you are able to register & continue to Vote for Vivi!

Third, the St Paul Minneapolis Bulldog Club is holding it's 2nd Annual Bark in the Park Bully Fest on Saturday, September 19th at Lakewood Hills park in White Bear Lake from noon-3pm.

It's open to all breeds & the cost is $10/family. There will be carnival games for the kids (2 legged & 4 legged), agility course, dog information station, kissing booth (from bullies of course), bully boutique & a food booth. There is also going to be a micro chip clinic put on by Inver Grover Animal Hospital as well.

This is all to celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Month! Hope you can make it!


Proud BullyMomma Moment!!

Ahemm...just wanted to share that my bullies are going to be in a calendar!! It's a bulldog calendar put out by Bulldogs World & I couldn't be happier!! I know there were probably hundreds of great photos to pick from (so many that they actually put together 14 different calendars) so I'm just happy one of mine made it!! I wasn't even going to enter until a friend prompted me so I just quickly sent a few cute ones...or at least ones I thought were cute anyway! So thanks Jen!!

The bullies will be July in the "K" version of the calendar! This was the photo that was chosen!
It's funny to me because I decided I needed to have 4th of July photos on the 4th of July & quickly set up the "studio" (aka sheet for background) in the dogs room because it was too hot outside. I did the "shoot" with the dogs separately at first, using treats to get their attention & then added the props. Doc was by far the best model I had that day, but then I got brave & put all 3 in their t-shirts & viola! Got a few good shots!!

Anyway, just had to share my proud bullymomma moment!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Green Beans Work!!

This week Doc went to see Dr Jim for his annual check up. I was looking forward to see how much weight he lost since May. We cut back his food & added green beans as a filler. He loves the green beans, but we haven't done as much exercise as I had hoped we would...but I'm happy to report Doc lost 6 pounds since May!

Yay Doodle!!
We'll continue to have him eat green beans along w/his meals & incorporate as much exercise as possible in order to get those last 2 pounds off of him. Hopefully we'll be just as successful in the next couple months as we were in the last 3. It took 10 months for him to put those 8 pounds on, so I'm glad taking them off isn't taking that long.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why not Doc?

Some of you may be asking, why I don't walk Doc every morning like I do Vivi (& will now have to do Howie). Well, it's simple really...he's not much of a walker! He's more like a dragger & honestly, that's not how I want to start my mornings & it's not how I want to have his experience with walks.

Plus, every road in our city is under construction & he has very sensitive feet. He doesn't like anything but grass or debris free roads under his feet. I had a very hard time walking him this winter when the roads would thaw & then was so painful for him.

So, Doc does get walks, just not in the mornings before work! Sometimes you just have to pick your battles & understand what your bully does/doesn't, will/won't do...and if that is not a quick walk in the morning, so be it! Afterall, he is a bully...and they can be (GASP) stubborn!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

10 Weeks in Rehab...

and what does Howie have to show for it?

-A special "space" in the living room, that still works very well for time outs & voluntary quiet time by all 3 of the bullies.
-A leg that the fur is still trying to grow back...he looks a little loppsided.
-A scar that actually isn't nearly as long/ugly as I was expecting.
-New toys from Momma & Daddy
-About 5 extra pounds!

Dear lord! I brought him on a walk this morning because he asked me to...he did. He went up to the door after I brought Vivi for her daily walk. So we walked. Not too far mind you as he's still rehabbing (longer walks everyday), but it was the first time in quite some time that he was in front of me...I know, I know..."who's walking who" right?

Well, he was excited to walk & he wasn't pulling, he was just in front of me...and that's when I noticed it!! His normally svelte (no really, for a bulldog he was svelte) body was no longer & instead I see this itty bitty butt & his barrel chest rolling from one side to the other!! JUST LIKE DOC'S!! YIKES!!

I didn't have time to weigh him this morning before I left for work, but I'm guessing it's at least 5 extra lbs on that boy of mine. Of course I don't want this extra weight on him & for a semi-split second I thought, "huh, he IS almost 2, maybe he's finally filling out like they said the English lines would!" But I know better! It's weight gain, not English lines!

So now, both Howie & Vivi will be getting morning walks before I leave. Vivi, to hopefully give her enough activity so that she isn't totally bored & wanting to eat something she shouldn't & Howie, to lose the weight....ah heck, both of those work for me too!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swimming Bulldogs

I decided to venture out to my in-laws this weekend & take Howie & Vivi swimming in their beautiful pool. It would be great rehab for Howie & I was just interested in seeing how Vivi would do since she now likes to make "bubbles" in our little kiddy, it was nice & hot & humid so what's better than swimming?? I decided not to bring Doc for a few reasons 1) He HATES to ride in the car & I didn't want to stress him out, 2) Last year he wanted NOTHING to do w/the pool at Grama & Grampa's, 3) I was going by myself & figured I could control 2 on my own, 3 would be a little more difficult & it was bad enough I was inviting myself & 2 dogs over, I didn't feel like asking my in-laws to dogsit while I was in the pool too (although I know they would have--they love bullies).

So off we went to Grama Judy's & Grampa Steve's pool! Howie & Vivi were quite excited w/our little field trip. When we arrived I set up my portable kennel. This kept the bullies contained when one was swimming w/me & again, didn't have to worry about anyone feeling like they had to dogsit AND more importantly, no bullies fell in the pool while not wearing a life jacket (we only have the one...will have to get another). Howie & Vivi didn't mind sharing the kennel at all & were very well behaved the entire time!

I took Howie in first because his swimming was more of a necessity, where Vivi's was more for fun. I didn't get any photos of Howie swimming this time...but I'm sure we'll be going again & I'll get some then. He did great & really used his back legs well...which is exactly why I wanted him to go swimming. He did jump in at one point to go after a ball & of course more or less sank, but I was right there to pull up on the vest faster than he would have floated up! He was a bit taken aback, but continued on his swimming ways!!

Then it was Vivi's turn...put the vest on her & brought her down by the pool. She wasn't so sure about the whole thing.
So I lifted her in & away she went!!
And away
And away
She just kept trucking along like she's been doing this her whole life. She was SOOOOO fast!! I just kept laughing the entire time because she just kept zooming one way & another!
I let her swim around for a couple minutes & then decided to give her a little break. Swimming can be a totally stressful situation for bullies. It's not a natural thing for them to just swim! So I wanted to make sure she was ok & had a little break. I helped her out of the pool & just let her settle down for a bit.
I thought she'd go running in the opposite direction of the pool. Instead she just stayed on the side & watched us. She obviously wasn't afraid or anything so that was good. She, too, watched the ball & eventually jumped right back in! Again, of course I was right there to help her float up, but she just went on her merry way & swam around some more!

Overall, both Howie & Vivi had a great time at Grama Judy's & Grampa Steve's pool! Vivi had such a good time, she kept walking around the yard w/the life vest on!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I did it...I caved in...

and entered Vivian into a Cute Dog photo contest!! Hey, the grand prize is ONE MILLION DOLLARS!! Heck, I'd be happy to get one of the weekly $500 prizes. So please, I'm begging you, please vote for Vivi! She's cute right??

You can vote once a day for every photo you like, so Vote for Vivi daily! The contest goes through October (for the love!) so I may solicit more votes from you later, but in the meantime put it on your Outlook calendar as a "To Do" everyday k?

Here's the link, you can even save it as one of your favorites! See, voting is easy!

Thanks for voting & sorry this blog turned political on you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Week 8 starts today!

I'm not sure where the last 2 months have gone. It will be 8 weeks ago that Howie had his CCL surgery next Monday, but since we start rehab the day after surgery, we're already on the last week of official rehab! CRAZY!!

The last 8 weeks have not only gone fast, but really have been a lot easier (at times) than I expected. I really think that having the x-pen with the kennel in the living room really helped with the crate rest that Howie needed while recovering. We never felt that we were punishing him by keeping him his space & it also worked well when Vivi went into heat.

The last two weeks of rehab included daily massages (which he still hates) & two walks a day that we need to keep increasing the length of time each day. We're up to two 15-20 min walks a day now. With the return of summer here in Minnesota, I'm thinking we should go visit Grama Judy & Grampa Steve to go swimming at their pool! Swimming is a great way to rehab a knee injury!

Howie still somewhat favors his leg that he had surgery on, but for the most part, does indeed use it quite a bit. In the video below, you can see how he is using it, but he's still adjusting himself when he sits. It doesn't seem to be causing him any pain, so I'm still not worried, but he is still doing it. Maybe it will just take some more time...after all, the recovery period is 6 months long.

Enjoy the video...I was just playing around with some obedience commands I have watched Sandy do. (I know I'm not doing the commands right, but they seemed to work??) I was impressed with Howie's natural follow commands when food is involved of course. We have worked on the "side" command & I use it when we walk, but that's the only thing we've worked on. I'll give it a few more weeks, but I think I'll start him with some obedience classes soon so we can start working on some rally titles for him.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Contact solution, baby wipes & Malaseb pads...take your pick

For those of us with bulldogs, we know how important it is to keep their folds clean & dry. Recently, Howie's nose rope has been nasty yeasty!! I think it's because of the ingredient change in his food...I actually contacted the food company & they called me back. I was surprised & impressed with their customer service & while, yes, some of the ingredients changed, they didn't INCREASE any of the old ingredients that I thought would have caused problems (i.e. potatoes). So...I'll keep my eye on it & see if it gets any better now that fall has arrived in Minnesota already. (Boo! Hiss!!)

I'm a self-proclaimed gross know, I like to pop blackheads, peel sunburned skin, clean out the clearly, cleaning folds is right up my alley!! I use a couple different products to clean the bullie's folds. It's surprising how many human products I use on my dogs. For their folds I use multi-purpose contact solution (Target brand of course !). It has boric acid in it & that helps dry out the folds. I just pour some on cotton rounds, wipe out the folds, look at the grossness (to make sure it was a success of course) & then use a dry cotton round as a follow up. I usually do this every morning when I'm getting ready for work. The bullies have to get ready too! Surprisingly, they don't mind much.

Unscented baby wipes have multiple uses at my house...all dog related!! They're good for cleaning out folds & ears, cleaning up the leather couch (pee-pee jucie ewwww) & of course cleaning the bullies' bums if needed. I use unscented because if they are scented, it could cause some irritation...don't want that.

My new favorite product for folds are Malaseb pledgets. Sandy sent me home with some a few months ago to use on Doc's skin (he had some weird crusties on his belly) & she warned me if Vivi's nose rope was anything like her momma Jazz's then I'd need these pledgets! Pledgets is a fancy word for pad apparently. They are the size of a cotton round, but are wet (think acne pads). They work so well because they contain antibacterial & anti fungal ingredients as well as Vitamin E. I really like them & they work well. I actually just found a great deal for the Malaseb pads on pads for $6.79. I ordered a few sets so I don't run out.

Some say because of the special cleaning bullies need they are "high maintenance"...I don't see it that way. I just see it as just something that has to be done in order to keep my bullies healthy. No, cleaning folds can have a high gross factor...even when you clean you know I LOVE it!