Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: They Will the Death!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Being Thankful...And It's Not Even November!

I was thinking last night now lucky we are to have Coco.  I am so thankful to whoever let her go.  I don't know if it was a hard decision for them or not.  Maybe they got tired of her eating everything in sight. Maybe they couldn't afford to feed her, or maybe she just had too much energy for them.  Whatever the reason, I'm glad they didn't keep her.  And I'm so thankful that she's all ours!

Photo by Stuart Rochford Photography

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday at Grandma and Grandpa's House

Yesterday, mommy and daddy spent the day on the golf course, and Coco had to spend the day inside.  Since she was such a good girl, I took her over to grandma and grandpa's house to play.

Grandma has a blue ball just for Coco.

Coco likes fetching.  Fetching is her favorite. 

A moment for a rest.

The concrete is so cool.

Taking the ball for a little rinse.  Every. Time.

Waiting for the fetching to resume.

Got it!

It is a good thing mommy has a good arm!
Coco wins!

We love that grandma and grandpa live so close!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Remember this 90s cartoon from Nickelodeon?  Well, this morning I was reminded of it when I spotted this anomaly in bed:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sporn Halter: The Verdict

After taking a few walks with our new Sporn Halter (remember the trouble?), I can say with confidence that it DOES help with pulling.  And the padded arm loops are soft and do not irritate her at all.  And there is no way she is gettin' outta this without my help!

Here is the bad side:  It was pretty complicated to get on the first time.  Once I got use to it, it wasn't too bad. However, it is still hard to adjust so that it is just right.

Overall, I think this is a keeper.  We won't use it every time we go outside, but if I feel I'm going to need extra control or on long walks, this will be our choice.  

sittin pretty.

nice and comfy

here you can see where the leash attaches

Monday, July 22, 2013

See You Soon, Cousin Madam

Today is cousin Madam Star's last day with us.  We will miss her and her grumpy face. And
her clickity clacking nails.  And her snuggly hanging down neck skin.  And her frito feet. And her deaf howl. And the lazy, yet so cute way she glides down the stairs.

Madam will, no doubt, miss her Uncle Bill.  They have a special relationship.  I don't think Madam will miss Coco too much; I'm pretty sure she is ready for a break.  But we had tons of fun together!
Mommy, Coco and cousin Madam Star.
Photo by Rochford Photo

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Super Coco to the Rescue!

This morning after our walk, we both went back to bed.  Not too long after that, Coco started barking her head off, running up and down the stairs and giving me her most urgent howl.  Eventually, I got the idea she wanted me to go downstairs (she employs similar tactics when she wants the leftovers on the stove). As I sleepily sauntered down, I saw a little black patch of something outside the back door.  Coco rushed to the glass and sat down, whining at me the whole time.

It was Coco's sissy, Pookums, at the back door.  Pookums, an indoor cat, was not supposed to be outside the house.  And Coco knew that.

Coco channeled Lassie this morning by letting me know her little sissy was outside in the dangerous, dangerous wilderness that is our yard.  Thankfully, sissy was herded inside, and all was well. Thanks to Super Coco!
Longing for the great outdoors

Friday, July 19, 2013

Can She Learn 160 Words?

I read that Stanly Coren, dog expert, says that the average dog learns about 160 words.  I don't know how to tell how many words Coco "knows", but I decided to list how many commands she's mastered:

go get it
where's your ball?
go get daddy
on your bed
on your mat
roll over
let's go!

I think that is about it, but we are trying to teach her to turn the light off.  That is proving to be more difficult than "shake."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On Its Way: The Sporn Halter

We have always had a hard time finding a collar/harness for Coco.  She is quite the problem child when it comes to walks: she pulls, she backs out of collars, and she has bald spots on her chest and armpits that get really irritated.

We tried all different kinds of contraptions.  Her least favorite (but maybe my favorite) was the front leading harness.  Once that thing went on her, she pretty much refused to walk.  She stopped, then laid down.  And the face she gave me, it looked like I had just broken her little heart.  I couldn't keep it after that, so it went back to the store. On the bright side, it did stop the pulling.

Here is when we were trying just a basic collar.  When she wasn't getting her way, she would simply back her head out of it, no matter how tight we fastened it.  Family photo by Rochford Photo

I have been researching collars/harnesses relentlessly ever since she came home with us and have never found one that meets our needs.  I am hoping the Sporn Halter will do the trick.

Based on the research I've done, the Sporn Halter helps with pulling.  And the way it is shaped, it won't hit her cute little balding chest.  Also, it has padded-like arm pieces so her little pits won't get chafed.

It should be arriving in the mail today and I'll report on its effectiveness after we've tested it out some.  My hopes are high for this one!

See the Sporn Halter!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dog Steals Woman's Heart!

Photo by Rochford Photo

This is one of my favorite pictures of Coco.  How could anyone not love that face?  Even when she is howling at 2 in the morning, I still love that face.  Even when she has eaten her 10th, 11th, 20th spatula.  Even when she is chasing armadillos and opossums.  And even when she eats frogs, I can't help but love that face. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

House Fulla Dogs!

Cousin Madam Star is back with us for a while.  Coco is pleased.  And rowdy.  I think Madam misses her mommy, but we are all managing.  Can't you tell?

Madam loves this spot on the chair (remember this?) She slept there last night after Coco kicked her out of the big bed.

No matter what Madam Star does, Coco is always watching.  

Sissy takes advantage of Coco's attention being on someone else.  Finally, she doesn't have to entertain Coco. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

3 Weeks and Counting...

Coco has been partaking in a little experiment, unbeknownst to her, of course.  For the last 3 weeks I have left a pair of shoes right by the door.  I wanted to see if she would tear them to shreds.  Or if she would bother them at all.  In the past we haven't been able to leave anything anywhere near where she could get it.  She is, after all, a goat (read about it here).

I am proud to say that she hasn't even moved the shoes!  They are my running shoes so they are stinky and ripe for eating, but she has left them alone.  Of course every other day I use them and then when I'm finished I set them right back where they were.

I know I might be testing fate more than testing her, but I feel like this is a big step in our lives.  It is like your kid cleaning her room without being asked. Somewhere along the line, I did something right.  Or she just grew out of the Capra aegagrus hircus phase. 

Untouched shoes

Monday, July 8, 2013

Coco Puffs!

When we first got Coco her name was Scarlet.  We, of course, decided that Scarlet just was not going to do.  Now that I think about it, the shelter probably gave her that name because of the scar on her face.  But after we decided on Coco (read about that one here) the list of nicknames grew

Coco Puffs
Pretty Girl
Coco Pie
Coco Louise
Puffy Poo

I don't think Scarlet would have been as fun to variate.

Falling asleep standing up
Waiting for a snuggle
Trying to snag crumbs from Daddy
Playing around
Roaring like a lion

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Americans Love Their Dogs

According to the U.S. Institute for Canine Studies, Americans spend about $1400 per dog, per year.  If that doesn't say I love you, I'm not sure what will.  This amount has been increasing steadily since 1994.  Most of  the spending is on food and vet bills; however, we spend a good portion on grooming and treats (American Pet Products Association ).

But this isn't a new thing, loving our pets.  Americans have been dog's best friend since the beginning of people in America, and at every point in our history, we have looked to our pets as guards, companions, a sense of pride, and entertainment.  What would America be without them?

Presidential Dogs
For as long as Americans have been electing presidents, those presidents have been bringing their dogs into office.  According to Pamela Redmond Satran, 25 presidents have owned dogs.  George Washington had an American Staghound named Sweetlips. FDR named his great dane, President. Calvin Coolidge had a staggering 12 dogs, a presidential record.  Warren G. Harding owned the first celebrity dog; his Airedale terrier named Laddie Boy, was featured in newspapers of the day and attended cabinet meetings ("Do you Have a Dog in This Election? Pets Are Presidential")
Picture from: Dog Art Today

Celebrity Dogs
Over the years, we have made our dogs celebrities.  Whether it is our favorite actor toting his/her pet around Hollywood or famous TV dogs, Americans love to make dogs famous.  From TV's beloved Lassie to Oprah's cocker spaniels, Sophie and Solomon, dogs in the public eye are a source of entertainment for Americans.  Many times the popular breed in the media becomes the popular breed for the rest of us.  The new breed trend seems to be heading toward the boxer.  Lamar Odom and Cloe Kardashian and J.Lo have recently acquired boxers.  According to the AKC, boxers have been holding steady as the 7th most registered breed.  Will this number go up in 2013?  My guess is yes.

Dogs in The Revolutionary War
Dogs during war time can be an important part of morale for those fighting.  Many who fought in the Revolutionary War brought their dogs from home to help keep them company.  According to Hugh G. Harrington, dogs could be essential for survival.  Many dogs would help find food and ward off wild animals (Unleashing the Dogs of War).

During battle, George Washington came across British General Howe's dog.  He returned the dog to his owner and won the respect of Howe.

It is no secret that Americans love their dogs, so while we are celebrating America, why not include our dogs!
Happy 4th of July from Coco!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It has been raining here, off and on, for what seems like months!  Coco hates going to the potty in the rain, but she will.  I know a lot of dogs are scared by thunder, Coco however, is not.  She is afraid of a whole slew of things though:

insects in the road
leaves that look like insects in the road
the cat hiding behind the chair
old ladies in hats
people on bikes
sometimes her farts

While I hate to see her scared, it is pretty funny to see her jump up in the air!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Don't Waste Your Money: A Review of the Worst Toys

We've spent a lot of money on dog toys.  I mean an absurd amount.  We spend, on average, $10 a month on toys for Coco.  At first, we had trouble finding toys that could stand up to her constant chewing and gnawing.  Eventually, I got good at recognizing good materials and workership.  I researched and researched to find the best toys for her.  I did, however, have to go through so many bad toys.  And I wasted so much money!  I've mad a list of toys that didn't quite meet our standards.

1. Kong Wubba:  This fetch and tug-o-war toy made by the Kong company seems like it would be extremely durable.  That assumption could not have been more wrong!  I thought that since it was made by a company with such a good reputation, it should be fine.  However, Coco had the outer shell off in minutes flat.  There are two small balls inside that a dog could easily choke on, even if you are watching it.  One good thing is that Coco loved the outer shell!  We played with it for a while after it was destroyed.  She liked flapping it around. For the price, it is a huge disappointment.

2.  Kong Genius Leo:  This toy is supposed to keep the dog's attention and serve as a treat despensing toy.  It can be played with on its own, or attached to another product to make it more challenging.  The fatal flaw with this toy is the hole in it.  Coco was able to get her mouth in the hole and use it as the weak spot to destroy it.  This lasted a whole day, maybe.  

3. Goughnuts This toy is expensive.  On the positive side, it has a lifetime guarantee! I had very high hopes for this ring, which is made of hard rubber.  And it has lasted...however Coco doesn't like to play with it.  I think it is too hard for her.  It is too hard to throw inside and it bounces awkwardly.  Even when outside, she seems to shy away from it.  That being said, I'm sure that dogs who like to just sit and chew something probably would love this.  It was not for Coco.  And I was sorry I spent so much money on it. 

4. Buster Food Cube Coco loves a good challenge. And food. That's why I thought the Buster Ball would be perfect for her.  Since the ball is made of very hard plastic, Coco gets scared by it rolling on our hardwood floors.  Even though she knew there was food in it, she wouldn't go near it.  I encouraged her until I was blue in the face.  Even let her have it when we weren't home, but she just let it sit there.  I've heard good things about this toy, but I'd like to warn everyone, this is not appealing to all dogs.  Coco LOVES treat dispensing toys, but not this one.  I ended up returning it. 

5.  Tug-a-Jug Normally, we love Busy Buddy toys.  The squirrel dude is one of her favorites; however this tug jug was a bit disappointing and certainly doesn't live up to the company's name.  In trying to get the treats out, she chewed off the rim of the jug, which is just hard plastic, and was able to get the entire rope out.  Granted, she got the treats, but the jug went in the trash, after just one session.