It’s Show Time…

When I am not blogging about dogs, volunteering for dog rescues or going to dog training classes, I am marketing a couple trade shows. My company owns a dozen different trade shows all over the country and I work on two commercial marine shows (think Deadliest Catch) and one food show (think Top Chef). Well, both commercial marine shows take place in the next month. I will be traveling to Seattle and then New Orleans, back to back, for two weeks. And, in the meantime I am super busy at work trying to get every person we can to come to the shows (oh, and there’s Thanksgiving just around the corner too)!

So why am I boring you with all this information? It’s to say that I need to take a break from the blogging for a bit. I am so stressed with work, and working with Anna on her training, and finding time for the Mr. and Nola, that the added stress of writing posts is making my life tough. I love blogging, but I feel like if I don’t have time to put quality posts together, it is not fun. I can’t come home after working 8 hours, walk the dogs, make dinner, do things around the house and then spend 1-2 hours writing a post.

Don’t worry, I will be back, just when I have more free time to dedicate to it. I might even have time to sneak in a post or two, but just not with any regularity. I love Mr. & Mrs. & Nola Kisses, and I hope that I am not disappointing you all. I really appreciate all your comments and the the support I’ve gotten since starting this blog. I will still update our Facebook page, so make sure to ‘like’ us if you haven’t already.

So, for me it’s show time….for the blog, it’s more like a time out.
Don’t forget that Anna is still available for adoption. We will not be taking a break from finding her a perfect forever home, so make sure to pass along the word, of if you’d like to adopt her fill out an application with Almost Home Rescue.

Guest Post: Third Time’s a Charm: Angus

As you may or may not know, in addition to working with Almost Home Rescue, the Mr. and I work with the Bully Underground Rescue Network. Laynie was our first foster through BURN and we had nothing but great experiences with them. When I asked them to cross post Anna, hoping that anyone specifically looking for a pittie would find her on BURN’s site, I also asked if they had any dogs I could blog about. My contact there told me that Angus was being fostered by Sarah, a volunteer in Portland, who just so happens to be the one who did our home visit to get approved to foster! I reached out to her to see if she wanted to write a guest post and she did. So here are Sarah’s thoughts about her current foster, Angus.

I’d like to introduce our guy Angus. He is our third foster dog through BURN (Bully Underground Rescue Network) and the third time really is a charm! Angus is a young black lab mix, we’re guessing about a year old and we really can’t say enough great things about him. He’s goofy, playful, smart, energetic, eager, good-natured and did I mention goofy? It is really so hard to believe that anyone could abandon such  a good heated puppy.

Angus surprises us over and over with his amazing listening skills. We might have low standard from his “mind of her own” foster sis but when we ask or tell him something he actually does it. My favorite is when you ask him where his ball is and he goes on the hunt. He is also so smart and fun to train because he desperately wants to please. Just this morning when I called upstairs to my husband that it was time to go Angus promptly walked into to his crate and plopped down.
Angus wants his forever home so bad he’ll pretty much do anything for it. He promises to love whole heartedly, cuddle like it’s his job and always be up for an adventure.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words here are a few more of my favorites of Angus.
If you are interested in becoming Angus’ forever home just visit him on Petfinder.

Running with Dogs

Nola loves to run. If I didn’t know better I would think she is part greyhound. I on the other hand, really only run so that I can eat french fries and not gain 500 pounds. But, running with Nola, knowing how much she enjoys it makes me happy. We have been running buddies since she was leash trained. I love it. I don’t even have to wear headphones when I run with her, just having her there keeps me going.

I’ve had some recurring knee issues (from an old college field hockey injury), so I have been hesitant to sign up for any official races. My pain is jut so unpredictable that I didn’t want to get 1K into a race and not being able to run anymore. However, when I saw there was a 5K that allowed dogs right here in Portland, I had to sign Nola and I up. The Bayside Trail 5K is in fact the ONLY race in Maine that allows dogs. This was going to be both Nola and I’s first 5K ever.

On race morning I was excited and nervous. Along with my knee issues, sometimes Nola just doesn’t feel like running with me. She would really rather run without any type of restraint. I knew I could not run 3 miles pulling her and propelling myself. My only goal was to not finish last.The race start was at the ferry terminal in downtown Portland. Although it was 8 am the first weekend in November, the weather was great. It was sunny, and a bit chilly, but not too cold. There were over 70 dogs and 145 people lined up ready to go.

That’s Nola and I on the right.

Nola was getting a little anxious with all the other dogs in such close quarters at the start, but once the horn sounded to begin she was in heaven. She ran pretty fast, and I did my best to keep up. We passed several people and kept a pretty good pace all the way through. Since there were no mile markers and the route was one I wasn’t totally familiar with, I had no idea how we were doing. My knee did start to hurt at what turned out to be 3/4 of the way through, but Nola was doing so well I couldn’t stop!

Nola and I trying to pass another runner. This was the beginning, so I was feeling good!

Are we at the end yet?

Nola is so happy…me, not so much at this point.

The end of the route brought us to a newer part of the Bayside trail, right behind our favorite dog store, Planet Dog. PDog was also one of the sponsors of the event, so it was nice to see friendly faces of the PDog staff as volunteers along the route. They all know Nola and were cheering us on! As we approached the finish chute I could not believe what the clock said: 27 minutes! I have NEVER run 3 miles that fast, ever. It was definitely the adrenaline of running with so many people, combined with the fact that Nola pulled me right along that allowed for such a quick time.

Celebratory kisses!

Nola’s turn!

Our official time was 27:12 and we finished 48 out of 144. We beat my goal and had a great time doing it. I loved seeing all the other dogs and their people. Nola did so awesome and the whole experience was amazing. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Nola posing for a post-race pic!

First Snow!

Although the calendar still says it’s fall, we got a bit of a Nor’easter last night. The first snow in Maine unofficially signals winter is not too far away. So, this morning I got out my winter boots and my iPhone to capture the dogs in the first snow of the season. It is easy to make assumptions about fosters (they had a rough life, they’ve never known love, etc.), so I am hesitant to say this is Anna’s first time in snow, but being from Mississippi, it’s probably safe to say this is her first encounter with any real accumulation of snow.
At first she seemed hesitant, I’m sure it was cold on her ‘Southern’ paws. But then she discovered just how fun it really is and her and Nola had a quick play session.

I took both dogs for their own separate walks so they could have a bit more time to enjoy it.
Nola has always loved snow, in fact we have a nickname for her just for the winter: Snow-la!
On one hand, I hope we will be able to see Anna enjoying more snow, but on the other hand, I am hoping it’s her forever family that gets to discover the joy of watching her go crazy in the white fluffy stuff!
Have your dogs ever experienced snow? Do they like it?

If you or someone you know would like to make snow angles with Anna all winter, fill out an application through Almost Home Rescue.

Nola Muffin Monday: Frolfing with Daddy

I love to play frolf with Daddy. What is frolf you ask? Why it’s Frisbee golf of course. If you still don’t know what it is, I’ll explain it to you.
First, we get in the car and drive to this really big field. Then, Daddy stands in a certain place and asks if I’m ready. I crouch down in my best “I’m about to run as fast as I can” stance and then he throws the Frisbee.
I think he is trying to hit the big metal post with the chains, but he never hits it the first throw.

So, I go and pick it up and bring it back for him so he can try again. Sometimes he throws it in the trees or the long grass. I think he is trying to test me, but I always find it.
We do this about 18 times. Some of the metal posts are in the woods, some are up on top of hills, and some are out in the open. When we’re in the fields, Daddy likes to hide behind the hay bails. He doesn’t think I see him, but I do.
Frolfing is so much fun because I run and chase until my tongue is hanging really far out of my mouth.
Most of the time it’s just me and Daddy, but Mommy came this time because she wanted to get away from Anna wanted to join in the frolfing fun. She doesn’t throw any Frisbees though, she just walks with Daddy and takes my picture. I had a good time, and boy was I tired. I love frolfing!

Book Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know

Since becoming a dog mom two years ago, I have read every dog book I can get my hands on. So, when I was contacted to review a new dog book, Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know, of course I said yes!

When I received the book I had high hopes for several reasons. The reviews on the cover from Steve Martin and Tony Schaloub were encouraging. I loved the shape of the book, and the colors and illustrations. The book is written from the point of view of 11 different dogs, and as you can tell from this blog, I love to pretend I know what dogs are thinking. Some of my favorite books (A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey) are written from the canine point of view. Here is how the book’s website described it:

Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know answers the questions that dog owners have asked for centuries. The book is a collection of 115 humorous essays that reveal the truth behind some of the most baffling canine behavior, their hopes and dreams, their grudges and pleasures, and what they really think about us humans.

After I started reading, my high hopes faded a bit. The book is divided into different essays, that alternate between the different dogs. I wish that they had kept each dog’s stories together as it was hard for me to remember their stories and I had to keep flipping back to the page with their bios. I also had a hard time buying into some of the stories. For example Sarge, a German Shepard who kept getting ‘fired’ from his jobs, which basically meant he kept getting abandoned by owner after owner. Maybe I am just too sensitive about stuff like that, but it made me sad! I did enjoy a few of the stories, especially Axelrod the lab and this thoughts about life as a dog.

As many of my fellow dog bloggers mentioned about the book, I would have loved to see a pittie as one of the characters. There was a bulldog and a boxer, but a pittie who explained why she loves to snuggle, or how she was upset that everyone was scared of her for no reason, might have been a good step in helping the reverse the stereotypes out there. But, I know there are hundreds of breeds and the ones represented in the book are some of the most popular.

All in all, I am glad I read the book and was asked to review it. Although I don’t think it was my favorite dog book, I did enjoy it. It was a quick, entertaining read and was very visually pleasing. If you are looking for a light-hearted book that will give you a few laughs and has cute dog photos throughout, you will enjoy Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know.