Running with Squirrels

fostering dogs that need it most

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Pittie Renovation Crew: Demo

Now that we are all up to speed on proper construction attire, we jumped into the first step … demo!  Reese is a little hesitant when it comes to demo because in addition to being a smarty pants, he is also a wussy pants.  The loud bangs and crashes make him nervous, so he prefers to supervise this stage from a distance.  McMuffin on the other hand, was all about it.  I pumped a little Pearl Jam from the boom box and off we went!

Oh man ... what's that thing?!?

Well it sure does taste badass ... let me swing that beast!

McMuffin ... Master of Demolition!

After a few hours of ripping up old tile and tearing out warped particle board subfloor we made it just in time to catch the sunset out on the deck with a few cold beers … what a great day!

Pittie Renovation Crew: Safety First

As I mentioned last week, it’s time for McMuffin to get her feet wet in the renovation biz because we do a lot of that around here and she might as well learn a little something while she is hanging around.  Reese is already ahead of her in his apprenticeship after helping me completely tear out and rebuild the hallway bathroom a few months ago.  In order to make sure he was paying attention and remembered the rules, I started out with a little test …

Reese, what is the first rule about renovating?

Safety first dude! Always rock out with your PPE in place ... that way we don't have to make ANOTHER trip to the doctor like when you didn't wear goggles at work and got a metal shaving stuck in your eyeball. If your trusty assistant had been there ... something like that NEVER would have happened!

Of course, Reese nailed the answer without hesitation.  I had every confidence that he would for two major reasons.  #1 … Reese is a smarty pants.  #2 … and even more so than #1 … Reese is a big time rules follower.  You set the rules and he follows, and he is even known to tattle on anyone not following the rules (like when Mom tried to sneakily break the no human food rule and give him a piece of popcorn, which he promptly carried into the other room where I was watching TV and dropped in my lap … rules are rules Mom).

Anyway, back to the story.  After Reese showed us all the proper first step, I asked him to help get McMuffin ready while I gathered supplies.

Ok McMuffin ... first you slide on your eye protection just like so.

Hahahahaha ... no way geek squad ... goggles are for losers and you look ridiculous ... I'm way to cool for that!

Daaaaad ... McMuffin won't put her goggles on ... (see, I warned you about the tattling)

After some strong convincing, McMuffin decided she would try them on … after all she didn’t want to miss out on the adventure.

Of course, a stickler like Reese has no tolerance for horsing around on his jobsite … so he immediately gave McMuffin the crazy eye when he caught her playing with toys.

Are you SERIOUS?? A toy ... we are working here!

As you can see, we have some competing personalities here.  It will be interesting to see who gives … will McMuffin straighten out and get down to business or will Reese have to chill out a bit and have a little fun along the way.  Only time will tell, stay tuned …

keeping my end of the bargain

Foster dad got me all excited last night when he told me he has a few days off of work and we get to do all kinds of fun stuff while he is home.  As part of the deal, he made me promise to get extra rest and dream up lots of fun things to do so that we can take full advantage of our mini-break.  I don’t want to risk screwing this up so I’ve been trying really hard to keep up my side of the deal …

"I sure hope he is resting his throwing arm because I want to try to break the world lacrosse ball fetching record!"

So far I am the most excited about playing in the yard, eating all the new fresh grass that is popping up all over the place and needs tasting, sunbathing, eating ice cubes on the warm deck, and playing tug with my bro Reese.

However, I must also admit I am super pumped about another new trick foster dad promised to teach me.  See, he has been talking about some funny thing called “tiling the foyer”.  I’m not so sure what that means but I asked Reese, who is a real handy dog and professional DIY assistant, and he told me I’m going to learn all about mixing thinset, using a wet saw, grouting (which apparently is totally different from growling), and the most fun sounding of all … DEMO.  Reese learned all of this stuff last year when he helped renovate the bathroom and said it’s a lot of fun … plus he said dad will teach us a bunch of new four letter words when things don’t go “as planned” … can’t wait!

Dishwashing Extraordinaire

Few things bring the paws pitter pattering to the kitchen faster than the sound of the dishwasher opening.  Behind this door is a magical world full of delicious smells and food remnants that must be inspected to the fullest …

This is hard work for sure ... but somebody has to make sure everything is loaded properly!

mmmmm ... low sodium V8!

Don’t get me wrong … V8 is a good find, but it’s really not on the level of some other deliciousness found in the magic cave.   You know he has found the good stuff when crazy eye comes out!

Jackpot! Sauce stirring sticks!

Booyah! Quesadilla cheese stuck to the plate!


After slurping all surfaces, Reese turns to me and whispers in a loving manner … “your secret is safe with me Dad, and I promise I won’t tell Mom, but you really suck at pre-washing the dishes and I love you for it!”


Reese is pretty juiced that Spring is here!  He’s been working out indoors all winter getting ready to show off his kangaroo-like hopping ability …


Pretty impressive if you ask me.  I’m about 6 ft. tall and he clears my head no problem!  It’s even more amazing that this is from a sitting position, with a running start he can go much higher.  Not bad for a 70+ lbs. fat head!

He is trying to teach McMuffin the proper technique, but she prefers to hang out with her friend The Gnome and not bother herself with acrobatics.


must love snuggling

While there are tons and tons of reasons that we love McMuffin and are so happy we decided to bring her into our home as a foster pup, there is one particular trait that sticks out above the rest.  No matter what time of day, what other activities or distractions are present, sitting on the floor or on the couch, McMuffin ALWAYS wants to snuggle.  Not only does she want to snuggle, she also happens to be an expert at finding the optimum position.  Usually this position is beneficial for both the cuddler and cuddlee, however, we must admit there are times when she puts her wants ahead of yours and tries to lay across your face.  Unfortunately, we have yet to capture this in a photo … and actually it is surprisingly difficult to capture a snuggle with a camera, as it is usually just out of reach and who could disrupt this face …

So if anyone out there has a soft spot next to them just waiting to be occupied by a warm, cuddly, loving pittie … we’ve got your girl waiting right here with us.

In the mean time … we’re taking advantage of all the snuggle time we can get.


Spring is in the air

But McMuffin is still keeping an eye out for those evil cold winter days that try to sneak their way into the Spring sun bathing schedule …

Quick ... get me one of those drinks with a mini umbrella before it gets too chilly out here!

double dog walk in the park

When McMuffin first arrived at The Ranch it was clear that she needed some work learning how to properly walk on a leash.  She envisioned herself as a sled dog in training and wanted to use every opportunity to perfect her trade.  Unfortunately for her, foster mom and dad had no interest in preparing for the Iditarod.

Because her neck is fatter than her head, we figured out pretty quickly that a standard collar was too easy for her to back out of.  Our first attempt was to try a Martingale collar which served it’s purpose of keeping her from slipping out when walking on a leash, but was virtually useless in deterring pulling.  After speaking with a trainer and observing some other pups in obedience class, we gave the Freedom harness a try.  I have to say I was originally impressed with the design and sturdiness of the collar.  McMuffin liked the harness too … it had soft padding in all the right places and fit just right … perfect for Iditarod training!  Despite every effort to make the harness work, we just couldn’t get everyone on the same page.  Not every tool works for every dog and all dogs are different, so please don’t take this to mean you shouldn’t try the Freedom harness for your perfect pups in training …

Next up, the gentle leader head collar.  We followed the directions to properly introduce McMuffin to the strange feeling of the collar and totally lucked out that she had no objections to it.  While she still pulls a little bit here and there (especially when there are fun distractions like other dogs around), we have found it to be a great tool to help us get closer to loose leash walking with a Martingale collar (the ultimate goal).  One thing we did notice was that the strap that goes across her nose was rubbing off the fur under her eyes.  A few minutes on Google and off we went to CVS to pick up some moleskin to minimize the skin rubbing.  $1.75 later, her hair has completely grown back and we have no more uncomfortable rubbing!

But what is the best part about finding a tool that allows us to take “non-training mode” walks while still discouraging dog sled pulling behavior … being able to walk two dogs at the same time!

one hand!

It’s really been a pleasure to take them out together.  Additionally, it has helped McMuffin start to learn how to chill when other dogs are walking by because Reese emits his chill-out-dude-other-dogs-walking-by-ain’t-no-thang vibes.

Welcome to our block!

Grandma Guestpost: Reese’s thoughts on a special kind of love

First of all, let me tell you the best part … my Grandma loves me … a lot.  She let me up on the furniture and gave me tasty treats long before Dad allowed it, and even lets me sleep on the bed with her and Grandpa when I stay at their house.  Grandpa sometimes even moves to the couch if he thinks ‘I’ need more room!  Grandpa loves me too, and laughs when he wrestles with me on the floor … he’s pretty strong for an old guy!  Grandma buys the best toys, and also introduced me to the best game in the world … squirt the hose!  Even when Dad says, “don’t let him get all wet before we get in the car …”, Grandma sees the disappointment on my face and gives me an extra couple of squirts.

Grandma likes to work in her garden, and even though I like to dig in the dirt too, Grandma prefers that I sit on her front porch with the flowers.  That’s me and Sam.  Grandma can’t take the Christmas garland down because there are little birds nesting in it … I’m not allowed to bark at them.

Sam’s in heaven now, but we all remember her with a smile … she got in lots of trouble!

Grandma recently adopted Gracie, and she’s pretty cool too, but she doesn’t play much.  She’s happy just cuddling in her new forever home.

I know that if I’m patient while Grandma digs in the dirt, she will throw red ball for me in the back yard, and finish it off with a game of ‘squirt the hose’.

I have my own pool too, and Grandma throws my bone in there because she likes it when I blow bubbles!

Then it’s into the house for a nice rub down with a soft towel, and onto the couch for a happy nap.

In the winter, Grandma bundles me up in her favorite scarf …

and on especially chilly days, she makes a bed for me by the radiator with her favorite quilt.

So, that’s life at Grandma’s house … pretty sweet, huh?  Could life get any better than this?   I’m glad you asked, because “YES, it CAN!”  You see, I have two wonderful grandmas, and two wonderful grandpas, and they ALL love me the best … I know that because it says so on the tag Grandma gave me … see?


I’m watching you …

Ever get that feeling that someone is watching you?  I don’t understand how it works but every once in a while, when you think you are all alone, you get that strange sensation that something is out there …

I experienced that very sensation the other day out in the yard, as I gathered some sticks that had fallen after some heavy winds.  Certain that I was the only one outside, I continued to collect sticks but for some reason just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched … and then I realized why …

The founder and CEO of the Pittie Stick Chompin’ Crew was supervising my handiwork.  At first he tried to pretend he was minding his own business …

But I caught him sneaking a glance once in a while to make sure he knew where I was hiding all of this favorite “yard bones” …

Stay tuned later in the week for a guest post featuring Foster Grandma and her adventures in pittie day care!


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