Thursday, December 31, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect

I've been fighting the urge to do a year end post. It was not a great year because we lost so many friends and our own Miss Morgan, but I've decided to move ahead and just let 2015 go. Instead I'll let you in on a little problem we're having with Miss Norma Jean.
Portuguese Water Dogs are expert counter surfers. It seems to be in their genes. Fudge broke the habit at an early age when he pulled a towel off the counter. Drying on the towel were several pieces of pottery and a couple broke. That scared the boy into giving up the habit.
Samba, on the other hand, started early. At three months she wasn't tall enough to reach the counter, but she pushed a chair over and was able to reach a plate of cookies. Once they have a success, there's no stopping them. She grabbed a newly opened container of Ben and Jerry's which she shared with Fudge and her best score was an entire turkey just out of the oven. I got that one away from her before she had a chance to eat it.
Samba passed the surfing gene to all her pups. Noah grabbed a piece of lasagna of Rob's plate, right under his nose. Sky stretched for and devoured an entire box of frosted sugar cookies. Bailey has managed to reach several bags of dog treats which she usually shares with her sisters. I've received reports that Gracie helped herself to a take out Mexican dinner while her Mom's back was turned. Each of them check out the counters a couple times a day and I am always reminding Rob to place things out of the reach of those stretchy legs.
This week Norma Jean who checks the counters regularly, made her first score. Rob decided to have a mid-day snack of coffee and a muffin. He put the lemon raspberry muffin on a plate and walked across the room to microwave a cup of coffee. I walked into the kitchen to see Norma Jean standing on tippytoes and eating the muffin from the plate. I yelled and Rob turned in time to save about half his muffin.
Well, after a fine score like that, an enterprising pup isn't going to give up. We were both careful to put anything edible out of reach till yesterday when Rob made himself a sandwich. First he took a nice hoagie roll and covered it with cheddar cheese. He left it on a plate while he cooked up some sausage with onions. When the sausage was ready he carried the pan over to the counter where he'd left the roll, but no roll and no cheese. Also no Norma Jean. The others were standing there watching him, but Norma Jean was in another room finishing off her cheese sandwich.
Now she thinks she's a pro at this counter surfing thing and we have to watch her constantly. During the evening, when everyone else is snoozing in front of the TV, I can hear her checking out the counters. I know most of you are probably aghast at the idea of your dog standing up at the kitchen counter reaching out a leg and pulling a plate of food toward them, but that's normal life with a Portuguese Water Dog. Just ask anyone who lives with them. So I'm trying to think up a way to discourage the girl. I may have to  dig out the shock mat again so that when she touches the counter she gets a shock, but Samba used to stand on the thing and thought it was just a pleasant massage, so that may not do it. I'll let you know if I win this battle.
Now bring on 2016 and we all hope it's a good one for all of Blogville.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Here's a holiday riddle for you. What do you get when you combine a well used back yard and 13 inches of rain?

Answer: an Olympic sized mud pool.
Yes, it's been raining for days here in Missouri and I don't mean a nice gentle rain, I mean continuous cloudbursts accompanied by thunder and lightning. As you can imagine I have some rather unhappy dogs who at times have to be dragged out the door to take care of business.
So what does one do with nine restless, unhappy, damp dogs?
  Lots of treats.

 I know the whole country is having weather issues, so I won't whine about our rain. We're safe and warm and mostly dry and sending wishes that all of you are also safe and warm.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Is For Pups

Merry Christmas everyone! This morning we intended to carry on with our custom of letting the dogs select their own toys from the toy box, but it took a different twist. Santa filled their toy box with new stuffies and balls.
Ordinarily when they come running into the room, they can't wait to claim a toy or two or six.
Today the Porties all looked in the box and each of them picked out a toy, but they quickly lost interest.
The younger dogs, Sebastian and Mackey were super excited about all the new playthings and kept going back to the box over and over again till it was empty.
 Sydney stayed outside to play in the warm December weather, but did get her very own toy presented to her. She didn't have to push and shove and get all upset. We're trying hard to keep her stress free.

While the other dogs checked out the counters and splashed water all over the kitchen, Sebastian and Mac had a great time with their presents.
 Everyone had several treats thru the day, so at dinner time I decided to give them something to sooth their tummies.  I mashed up a large sweet potato.
Then I stirred in some rice. Dr B has recommended this mixture when any of them do have upset tummies.
But for a celebration, today I added some pieces of turkey and some parmesan cheese.
  Mix it all together and stir it into their kibble and watch them devour it.
 And to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Hi Everybody,
I'm confused. It's really warm outside and last night we had thunder boomers that woke us all up. Aren't we supposed to be having nice quiet snow?

Anyway, even with the goofy weather, we know that a special day is coming soon. I'll tell you how we know. Yesterday Mom and Dad made a huge pot full of our special food. They made enough for all of us to share it.

Next clue... the door to the laundry room is closed. That door is never closed but we saw Mom and Dad carry in some giant bags and they didn't let us inspect them. Very mysterious!

A few minutes ago this arrived.
The biggest clue is that overnight our toy box disappeared.

I'm ten years old now so I know what all these things mean. They mean that Santa Dog is going to be coming to our house soon. That also means we all have to be very very good dogs and we're trying.

Mom says she has a bunch of things to do so we may not get another chance to wish all of you the most wonderfullest holiday and we hope Santa brings everything on your list.
Your very good pal, Fudge

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas At The Bridge

It's always so hard to say goodbye to one of our fur friends, but yesterday was an especially sad day as we said goodbye to two of them.

In the morning we heard that Rising Sun Short better known as Sunny left for the bridge. Sunny was, I believe, around 14 years old and had been thru and beaten some very serious illnesses. She was a super girl who did many activities with her people but her very favorite was swimming. We'll all miss her.

In the evening we learned that another special friend had departed for the bridge. This time it was Frankie de Tabby. Frankie was a special guy who ruled the cottage in England where he lived. He was especially good at training puppies to be good citizens. I think Frankie was actually a tiny person in a cat suit and I will miss seeing his sarcastic posts on his blog. Frankie was almost 21 years old and has earned a permanent place in our hearts. Rest in peace, little man.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Dinner Preview

Hi Everybody,
It's raining cats and kittens here. It started last night and just keeps coming down harder and harder. It's looked like  night time all day today. We're all feeling a little sad that we can't go outside without getting soaked, so that's why Mom decided to cheer us up with a preview of our Christmas dinner.
You see, last week Miss Sydney at our favorite place, sent a whole big box of this stuff. It's Merrick Venison Holiday Stew. It has venison, which Mom promised is not reindeer meat, red jacket new potatoes, carrots, zucchini, peas and red delicious apples. Doesn't that sound delicious?
 Mom thought we should wait till Christmas to try it, but Dad said we should try it sooner and let you all know how it tastes so you have time to get some for your own Christmas dinner.  Then when the rain started, Mom figured we could use a special treat.
 So tonight we waited outside in the rain while she fixed our meals. Doesn't this look good? It has huge chunks of meat just like the stew Mom makes for her and Dad.
 She spooned it into our kibble.
 Then it was time for the big taste test. She opened the door and all us wet dogs came rushing in to eat. Mom wanted to get good pictures of us eating, but Noah was the only one who sat and waited for the camera to snap.
The rest of us just wanted to dig in.
 That was excellent!! Even Syd got some, though that was a mistake. Mom tries to keep Syd on her own limited diet because she doesn't want her going on strike for better food. But in the spirit of the holidays, Mom forgot and gave Syd a spoonful of stew and she thought it was great. Remember Syd, it's holiday stew, not everyday stew.
If you'd like to try this wonderful stew, just give a call to Chewy and they'll send some right out. Tell them Fudge sent you.
Your pal, Fudge

Chewy sent us a case of Merrick's venison holiday stew at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review. The dogs all loved it and will be happy to have it again soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Warm December

Our weather has been unseasonably warm lately. It's hard to remember that it's mid December. Two mornings ago when I got up early to let the dogs out the sky was bright red. I ran  inside for my camera but by the time I got back outside it had changed and this is what I saw.
 The next morning I had the camera with me, but the sky was just a dull gray.

The red berries on the nandina are festive.
And of course the Christmas cactus is still going strong.
I reminded Rob the other day when the thermometer hit 70, that when we were house hunting in December 17 years ago, the temperature was almost 80 degrees. I think that was the last time we had such a warm December.