My New Life as a City Dog

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I got a star!!

March 2nd 2012 6:13 am
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for my birthday yesterday. thanks so much!

Mommy can't believe i am now 8. Really, am i 8 years old? Of course i still think i am a puppy, but there is some more grey around my mouth. Although i did not get to celebrate much yesterday. I am having some tummy troubles - mommy thinks its because i probably licked something on the grass or sidewalk when we were out for a walk, which i like to do (and she usually yanks me away when she sees it but sometimes i get away with it). Anyway, now i am on a diet half raw food and half rice, with some pumpkin mixed in. It seems to be helping. If its not gone in a few more days, mommy will take me to the vet.

Btw, did i tell you that pumpkin is the most miraculous tummy fixer ever? 99% of the times, whenever I have any tummy trouble, just a little bit makes things so much better. And it tastes pretty good too.

 

Long time no news

February 2nd 2012 1:33 pm
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So hello again!

i have been telling mommy to write an update for a while and she has been too lazy. So finally here we are.

We have not written in over a year and a half, and a lot has happened in that time. But the bottom line is, i am still happy and healthy:) I am now around 95 pounds, so i do look like a german shepherd beefcake, he heh. That's quite a bump from when mommy first got me, at 73-74 pounds. I think the weight gain has been a result of switching to better food, and may be also because i am now a middle aged doggie....

Several months ago, mommy switched me to a raw food diet. The main reason was frankly LUMPS! Yes, over the last year and a half, i have had several lumps. Usually small (under 1 inch diameter). 1 did rupture, and kept rupturing every few weeks - and would turn into a bloody mess and i would have to keep going on rounds of antibiotics. There were 2 other lumps about a year ago that looked fishy - we were lucky they were not cancerous (yet). One was growing on my back and felt hard to the touch (like a pebble), and the other was like a big black wart at the back of my leg. Fatty lumps are pretty common for GSD's like me, but there are so many different kinds of lumps a doggie can get....Anyway, i have had 2 surgeries so far to remove the said lumps, to make sure i don't end up with cancer. But it freaked mommy out. She did not want this to turn into a regular annual thing, where every year we get a cancer scare and i have to go into surgery to remove lumps. There had to be a better way....

Mommy was talking to another friend, whose dog died of cancer about a year ago. By the time he passed, her poor doggie had almost 20 lumps all over his body which the vet always told her not to worry about and that they were benign. By the time they figured out they had turned cancerous, it was too late. Anyway, after his death, mommy's friend did a lot of research and then decided to switch her remaining dog to a raw food diet, and immediately many of her health issues (like high blood pressure, itchy skin etc.) were gone. I guess doggies are just like people - if you eat a lot of processed food, your body will eventually catch up with you. So mommy decided to do the same thing for me - and hey i am not complaining! I will take this nice raw stuff over kibble any day - i love this food! as soon as she puts it down in my bowl, i make sure it's gone - and i can't say i was that enthusiastic over my kibble diet.

Mommy says the main difference is - we are not really seeing many new lumps coming up, like before. And even when i do have a lump, it does not seem to grow any more. So may be this will help end this cycle of surgeries after all - we will see. Btw check out my recent photo - i am bigger, but i like to think i've packed on some muscles:)

 

Happy birthday to me!

March 1st 2010 8:59 am
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Today is my birthday, so this is a good time to reflect on the new me.

Now i feel pretty good about myself. I have actually gained even more weight - mommy is thrilled. I am up to 85 pounds now. And, i like to think, its all muscle - my ribs are still palpable beneath the surface and my waist it still small. So mommy is very happy overall.

Couple of months ago, mommy switched my food to Taste of the Wild Salmon. I used to have a matted area on my back that I scratched more than any other part. Well, the salmon flavor is suppsoed to be really good for skin and coat, and looks like that's true. Within 6 weeks of the switch, my coat is now evenly shiny and soft and looks very healthy - no more matted spots! I just don't scratch or itch as much as before either - amazing what a difference your diet can make.

The only think mommy is wondering is whether i am turning into a crankly old man. Well, i am not really old, but that's what she is thinking....You see, before, whenever i met other dogs, i always wagged and said hello. Nowadays, about 1 out of 3 times, i snap at them. I don't growl or bite - i just kinda get cranky. I tell mommy it's because they are annoying me, but she still is not crazy about this new me. I don't do this when we go to dog parks or someone's house with a bunch of dogs - only when we are out walking and we run into someone else with a dog. So she wants me to chill out and play nice . So may be that should be my goal for the new year.

 

Am I walking enough?

September 21st 2009 11:48 am
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The other day on the Dr. Oz show, a lady and her pooch were featured. She was quite overweight, and her doggie was also obese. Dr. Oz did an analysis on both, and determined both were at severe health risks due to overeating and sedentary lifestyles. According to Dr. Oz, for every 10 pounds of weight, a doggie should walk at least 2 blocks a day.

So the next time we went for a walk, we started calculating. We take long walks in the mornings - evening walks tend to be very short. So mommy was calculating - usually every morning, we walk between 20 t0 25 blocks. If we do 40 mins of walking, it's like 20 blocks. If we walk for an hr, its more like 25. These are not huge city blocks like you would see in downtown manhattan - they are residential blocks, but they are not tiny either. Well, he did not define "blocks" so I guess we are on our own on that one!

Are you walking enough?

 

I am the Life of the Party!

April 29th 2009 6:47 am
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Mommy took me to a neighborhood bbq last sunday. When we first got there, i did not know what to do. I kinda checked the place out, felt a little shy. But by the end of the evening, i somehow turned into the life of the party! I was just wondering around, sniffing people, saying hi, and every one would just pet me! So when people finally decided to sit down to eat, the chairs were laid out in a circle, and i actually went right to the middle of the circle and made that my sitting spot!

There was a guy at the party - he told mommy he did not like dogs and she should keep me away from him. So she kinda did. BUt after hours of seeing me jsut wandering around and hanging out, even he was smitten by me:) Mommy is very happy that i was such a perfect gentleman - and i had a blast too! Check out my new picture from the party - i found a veyr comfy and coo spot in the backyard!

 

Return to routine

March 7th 2009 7:25 am
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Mommy was out of town for a few days. So i stayed with Miss M. She dropped me off yesterday morning, and i went straight to mommy's room and woke her up! Anyway, now that i am back, mommy is trying to reestablish my routine. What seems to be off is the feeding schedule.

Mommy thinks Miss M probably freefeeds me. So when mommy gave me the meal this morning, i just took a sniff and walked away, even through its feeding time. Its probably going to take a few more days....On the positive side, spring is finally almost here - today it feels like the 60's, almost a 35 degree jump from a week ago!

 

Night and day

February 16th 2009 6:18 am
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We went to the big field at First and New York Ave NW. I like to go there and run around, and it makes mommy laugh. Its a big field but its fenced, which is nice. This time there was already another owner and a dog in there - a large and completely black-coated german shepherd named Night. Night saw us and came up the fence , tail wagging and curious.

Mommy asked the owner how Night did with other dogs. The owner said he did not know for sure, soe he put Night on leash and we came into the field, with me on leash.

But now Night had changed. He was staring at us intently. His body was now in a more of a crouching / lunging position. He did not bark or growl - just kept looking. His owner was holding him back, but he is a powerful dog - and at the moment, very different than the doggie that came up to us. wagging, from the other side of the fence.

The difference was like night and day. Mommy decided to turn around and leave - we will go back there tomorrow.

 

A change in scenery

January 24th 2009 10:20 am
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Mommy was watching Dog Whisperer last night. Cesar Milan was asking a dog owner - does he walk his dog on the same route every day? Well, Cesar recommended he change the route once in a while, because then it is a bit of a challenge to the doggie, gets them used to accepting new environments more easily, be more curious etc.

So on our walk this morning, mommy decided to try out some new streets, that we usually never go to. At first I was a little confused - since we always turn at certain street intersections. But I was just curious - smelling everything, checking things out....Mommy will plan to do things like this every few days.

 

Surviving inauguration day!

January 22nd 2009 3:03 pm
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Well, its been a couple of interesting days!

First of all, we started seeing the National Guards around the neighborhood, almost 3 days before the big day. Sometimes 8 to 12 of them, marching in synch, walking up and down the streets. So we walked past them a few times on New Jersey Avenue. The city felt as secure as a fort. A humvee was parked in front of the fire station on NJ Avenue. About 10,000 National guardsmen had arrived in DC from all over the country to help execute the inauguration planning, along with thousands of police officers as well.

New Jersey Avenue, btw, is one of the only 3 or 4 Capitol View mainfares in the enire city - i.e. you can stand on New Jersey Avenue and see the Capitol building in the end. It's only 2 blocks from the house, and once you start going down NJ Avenue, Its about a 30-35 min walk to the capitol building.

Then came night before inaug - and we had guests. Belen Aunty and Mo Uncle came to stayw ith us. And next morning, early on, every one was gone - mommy landed inauguration tix and took off with Mo uncle, Belen aunty went to see teh parades for a party right off the Pennsylvanie Avenue parade route. It was like 15 degrees outside, so I was happy to stay put. Everyone else bundled up BIG time and took off - Belen Aunty by 6 am, mommmy and Mo Uncle by 7. By the time they got back later, they were all excited and exhausted! Mommy had grand plans to watch the inaugural ball stuff, but she crashed before 9. But I still got my two walks for the day, and got to see a lot of the people going to and back from the inauguration, all excited and happy.

Congratulations and welcome to the Obamas - i hope i get to play with their new puppy!

 

A cleaner new year!

January 4th 2009 6:36 pm
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Mommy wanted to start the new year off with a clean house.

The biggest problem, of course, is all the hair everywhere - it's the floor. The house is basically all hardwood floors. Since I have been trained to stay off furniture, usually that's not where the hair is.

So instead of going crazy cleaning all day, mommy got us a robot to do the job.

Yep, now i have a new buddy in the house - the iRobot Dirt Dog. He sweeps and cleans up all the hair and dirt and other stuff all over the house. Its always shocking to see how much stuff he picks up, even when you think the floor looks clean. He is not a vacuum, but his brushes sweep 1,00 times a minute - who can compete with that?? Def not mommy! He is primarily designed for hard surfaces, but can handle low pile carpet - we have a very small kilim and he did clean that very thoroughly, but was a little too interested in eating the fringes, so mommy had to keep an eye on hm. The darn thing is about $125 - not bad for a robot that cleans your floors by himself every day at the press of a button!

I was a little scared of him at first, but now i am fine - i just stay out of the way any time he starts coming towards me. But no, i didn't try to chase him or bite him, so that's good so far...

Mommy is ecstatic - what a great way to have a clean house AND a hairy doggie like a me at the same time, without killing herself with constant cleaning or allergies! So lets see if the little fella lasts. If he does, a cleaner house could be an easy new year resolution to keep:)

 
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