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Earlier this week I was walking Honey in the park by my office. A mom sitting at the playground shouted out, “Hey, aren’t you the person who used to walk a little puppy around here?  What happened to it?”

I replied, “She’s right here” to the dumbfounded woman. “That was six months ago and she’s nearly grown up.”

All I can do is shake my head.

Golden Retriever Puppy

How do you get from this...

Golden Retriever Puppy

...to this in six short months?

On unrelated matters (that are considerably less cute), I’ll be trying to move Something Wagging This Way Comes to its own hosted site. And I’m more scared of computers than I am of heights, small spaces, and people who wear underwear on their heads and sing show tunes (I’ve seen it; believe me, it’s scary!).

So keep looking. We’ll be back soon at our new site! Wish us luck!

Golden Retriever Puppy with Mums

This is way too long to pose for a picture. Especially at a dog show with so many interesting smells.

Over at the NPR website, you’ll find a different documentary posted each day this week. These are finalists in the Vimeo video contest.

Today’s video, Last Minutes with Oden, is the very touching depiction of Jason saying goodbye to his dog Oden. Here are the alerts: Jason uses some coarse language in the video. And Last Minutes with Oden is about exactly what you think it is, saying good bye for the last time at the vet’s office.

I watched it knowing the tremendous grief it would bring. And it led me to reflect on what a tremendous gift dogs give us to make it worth enduring this pain over and over again. I can’t say anything more that doesn’t come across much better in the short film.

I’m having trouble getting the code to embed. To view the video on Vimeo, click this link.

I’m not very mechanical. That’s why, when my car breaks down, I rely on the same method to repair it every time: take it to the mechanic and try to reproduce the problem. I never can. Voila! It works every time.

The same thing happens with my computer. A glitch comes up. I try to demonstrate the problem for our IT guy and I just can’t reproduce it. Problem solved.

What does that have to do with puppies? Well, I blogged about Honey suddenly becoming whiney in her crate. Since then, she hasn’t whined once. Problem solved!

Now maybe I should write about her enthusiastic jumpy greetings of every stranger!

Golden Retriever Puppy Smiling

So that's what they mean when they say they're going to "fix" their dog--they just write about him.

Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping

See, I can sleep just fine on my pillow.

The day we brought Honey home, she whined for less than a minute before falling asleep in her crate by the bed. At 3 months old she was already sleeping through the night! She was a perfect puppy.

What happened? Here are the steps:

1. Puppy swallows squeaker.

2. Puppy goes to hospital for squeaker removal. Her recovery schedule includes being woken at 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to eat.

3. Puppy comes home with a disrupted sleep schedule and a bad habit.

Or at least that’s all I can think of.

Ever since Honey has come home from the hospital, she’s been more likely to whine in her crate. Loudly! And no, we don’t ever let her out of the crate while she’s whining. She’ll stop for a day or two and then start up again.

And I’m beginning to wonder if she should be crated at night at all.

I never crated my previous dogs. In the first case, I should have. It would have saved me a $1000 couch, $300 worth of cookbooks, several stained floors, and a couple of dog fights.

When we brought Shadow home as an older dog, she was so calm there was no need.

So now that Honey is a teenager, should the crate go in the attic? She goes to her crate easily without much fuss. She sleeps in her crate at my office. But Honey doesn’t seek out a crate as a refuge. Like most dogs, she’s perfectly happy on the floor, or on the couch, or on somebody’s lap.

And we’ve had to reorganize the bedroom furniture in a funky way that House Beautiful would never approve just to fit the crate at all.

Is it time to banish the crate? What do you think? Do you have a crate permanently for your dog? Or did you stop using it after housebreaking? Does your dog prefer the crate? Or do you prefer it? Any and all advice will be considered.

Or else we’ll just banish the crate to stop the whining.

Doggie Bloggie Award Sage, over at The [Mis]Adventures of Sage, has given Something Wagging This Way Comes a Doggie Bloggie Award. As a treat, it’s almost as yummy as liver! Thank you.

Of course, with gifts come responsibilities. And receiving a Doggie Bloggie has a few   rules:

1) Thank the person who gave the award and link to them.

2) Name 10 things about yourself–creative, weird, enticing, whatever.

3) Award 15 doggie bloggers–whoever you think deserves this regardless of whether     they are old or new.

4) Share the love with the doggie bloggers you award by commenting on their site.

5) Finally, have a great time! After all, doggies are nothing if not fun!

So here are my 10 things. Or 5 things about me and 5 things about Honey. After all, she does write the captions:

About Me:

  1. I don’t have a tv or a cell phone but I love my computer.
  2. I love the smell of sleeping dogs.
  3. My strangest job task ever was to order cadavers for medical students learning about trauma surgery.
  4. Every time I pass a dog I sing out, “puppy!”
  5. I love the water and regularly swim and kayak. That’s why I adopted a Golden Retriever–to enjoy the water with me.

About  Honey:

  1. Honey does not like the water and doesn’t swim.
  2. She will, however, go for a kayak ride.
  3. Honey’s sister Goldie is a move star. She has a small part in a movie called The Red Lunchbox, coming this fall.
  4. She loves to sit on laps and cuddle.
  5. Honey likes to play tug even more than she likes to fetch.

And here are 15 dog blogs I enjoy reading on a regular basis (in no particular order):

Dog Blogging with Luna

Will My Dog Hate Me?

Dog Foster Mom

Raising Ruby

Pompei’s Progress

Puppy in Training

Boulder Dog

3 Woofs and a Woo

Ohmidog!

Pawcurious

Sugar the Golden Retriever

Wild Dingo

The Thundering Herd

Cleo’s Day

Dancing Dog Blog

So enjoy visiting some terrific dog blogs! And stop over to visit Sage.

Golden Retriever Puppy Chewing a Stick

Thwaank You! Oops, I forgot. I'm not supposed to talk with my mouth full.

Golden Retriever in Kayak

I'm Adventure Dog!

Who would have ever thought that this would grow into that?

Golden Retriever Puppy

Do you want me to come home with you?

Dirty Golden Retriever Puppy

Bath? We don't need no stinkin' bath!

  1. Make sure your dog actually needs a bath. Frequent bathing can irritate a dog’s skin so ask your vet what’s best for yours.
  2. Have fun and treats in the area where you’ll be giving the bath. For example, if it’s your bathroom, use that as your new room to play tug. Or practice tricks, if that’s what your dog enjoys.
  3. Have everything ready for the bath before running any water. There’s no need to leave your dog wet and shivering in the tub while you look for dry towels.
  4. Put a sturdy mat on the tub floor to keep your dog from slipping and sliding.
  5. Allow your dog to get into the tub on his own, if it’s safe. Do this without planning to run any water so your dog can see it as a fun game.
  6. Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold for your dog.
  7. Provide a distraction to keep your dog entertained while you’re bathing her. My favorite trick is to fill the soap dish with peanut butter (see the picture below).
  8. Use soaps that aren’t too “perfume-y.” Think of what a dog thinks smells good–it’s probably not lavender and peppermint.
  9. Rinse your dog thoroughly. If you don’t have a spray attachment, use a pitcher.
  10. And the most important tip of all? Start making your dog feel comfortable with the idea of a bath long before you need to give him one–I’m talking weeks! Bath time will be much easier for your dog, and for you.

    Dog Eating Peanut Butter

    Yum! Bath time sticks to the roof of my mouth!

Today the United States Border Collie Handler’s Association (USBCHA) is streaming the finals for their National Sheepdog Competitions. Visit the National Sheepdog Finals webpage. When you click on “web cast” you can register to bring up the stream. Competition began at 8 a.m. and will run until there’s a winner.

I watched yesterday and was amazed at the handler’s ability to communicate with his dog simply through whistles. It was the result of many years of work, I’m sure, and inspiring to watch.

Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping with Toys

Herding toys is hard work. I'll leave the sheep to the big dogs.

Hound and German Shepherd Mixed Breed Dog

This Post is Dedicated to My Formerly Less-Adoptable Dog, Shadow. I Miss Her Everyday.

Today is the last day of Petfinder’s Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week. This is their campaign to bring attention to the many pets who may wait a long time for their forever homes–because of special medical needs, old age, and even their color or breed. Many wonderful pet bloggers have posted this week on this issue and brought their own special spin to the issue (Check out here and here to find two of my favorite posts on adopting older dogs–my personal soft spot.)

But what Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week doesn’t address are the many dogs in foster homes with people trying to help them become adoptable at all. Someone in a shelter or rescue group meets a dog that has great potential. But they have some major issue that prevents them from being adopted. Sometimes it’s resource guarding. With others, it’s sensitivity to other dogs. And some have aggression issues with people.

Two blogs I follow highlight the challenges in working with these dogs (and yes, I know I need to update my blogroll to get more of these sites listed).

First is 3 Woofs & a Woo. Blogger, The Food Lady (it’s nice to see a dog guardian who understands her place in the universe), posts beautiful photos of her Border Collies and Woo (a mystery BC mix?). In this post, she tells of the challenges of helping her foster dog West become less reactive to strangers while managing her life, her other dogs, and the unplanned circumstances the world throws at her.

Second is Dog Foster Mom. Laurie posts about her work fostering pets with all the joys and sorrows that go with it. She has a great sense of humor that comes through in her writing. And Laurie has Ziggy.

Ziggy is deaf. Ziggy is a pibble mix. Ziggy is incorrigible. Recently Laurie had to board her own pet Remi out so she could continue to work with Ziggy and stay within the dog restrictions of her subdivision. Laurie has amazing commitment and passion for fostering.

So when you’re thinking of adopting a less adoptable pet, say a little thank you to the many shelter workers, rescuers, and foster parents who work so hard to help un-adoptable animals become less-adoptable animals (and hopefully, someday, adopted animals).