Friday, August 5, 2011

Bette Davis Eyes

I usually win a staring contest with my mom. 

Look into my eyes . . . you are getting sleepy, very sleepy.  

Global Pet Food Outlet: Our Favorite Place to Get Dog Food

When I first got Chopper I thought the only downside to having a bigger dog was that I couldn't find as many outfits or put him in a bicycle basket. (He still has to wear outfits that was part of the deal when I got him - he got a home, bed, food, etc., all he had to do in exchange was wear outfits. I've had to have some custom made and make some myself but he wears them without complaining.) Another downside is that I can't pick him up when he's barking at something like you can with a small dog - hence all the training. Anyway the other real downside is that they cost more - more to board and more to feed.

In terms of the feeding, when we started out I bought Chopper some real cheap food. It was six bucks for a whole huge bag. That didn't last long and Chopper now eats organic and grain free food. He also gets organic and grain free treats. I think the change is diet has been great for him - it helps his attitude, his coat and I think long-term he will be a healthier guy. The downside - it costs a lot more to keep all that bad stuff out of his dog food. His wet food was about $2.79 a can and his big bag of dry food was upwards of $40 a bag.

On top of that I couldn't find a place that sold both his wet and dry food - so that meant two different stops for dog food. I usually couldn't go after work because there wasn't enough time so that meant schlepping Chopper all over on a weekend to buy his food. Not to mention that some of the bigger chain stores in West LA seem to have the worst customer service. One doesn't even have carts. How are you supposed to get a 35 lb bag of dog food, a case of wet food and assorted treats to the cashier and then your car (forget it if you are also lugging around a 70 lb dog who is trying to shoplift the treats from the open treat bar)? It was usually a disaster.

Then a friend turned me on to Global Pet Food Outlet. They had just opened a store in Culver City (I think they've been in Torrance for a long time). This place is the heaven of dog food. They have all the good brands (we use Party Animal wet food and Before Grain dry food) and it cost so much less than everywhere else. They have carts, they are open to 9 p.m. and Chopper behaves himself in there every time he goes (this may be my doing). The treats are also a good price too. They have a parking lot upstairs and there is an elevator so you can take your cart right on up. Also everyone there is so friendly. I like to stop by before I take Chopper to a class at the Zoom Room and we can usually get in and out in five minutes.

They also seem to carry an extensive collection of raw food in the back - there is a wall of refrigerators. I don't know much about that as Chopper doesn't seem to do well with raw food so we haven't tried it. But I never seen as much variety anywhere else in LA.

Also no open treat bar so that's one more day Chopper stays out of the slammer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Sew Doggy Cape

I don't sew - I wish I did. My high school did not offer a home economics class but instead I took wood shop, stain glass and jewelery making. I wish I could add sewing to my list of skills. I thought by watching Project Runway I could learn but that didn't work.
What I can do is glue. And cut. So when it came time to make Chopper a rainbow cape for his birthday that's what I did. I used some other shirts of his to get the right length and figure out how to attach it around his next and penciled out a pattern on a large piece of red felt.

Next I just divided it up and cut out the stripes. I used felt glue (which I did not know existed the last time I made Chopper a felt outfit and this stuff is so much easier to work with than other glues I tried).

You can see where I just glued the Velcro on in the neck closure.

A little dry time and voila! An easy (but slightly time intensive) cape. I'm thinking I could easily make him a Super-Chopper cape next.

I had to use Chopper's stuffed gorilla as a model as he was not cooperating

Then on his birthday I just slipped it on him. It would sometimes wiggle to one side so I'm thinking if we make another one we may need a tummy strap as well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Agility III - Week Four

Well we are more than halfway through Agility III (for the third time) and Chopper is making some wonderful progress. Half the battle with him is always getting him to not bark at the dog he has decided he hates in every class for the entire class. This time he knew all but two of the dogs - one doesn't pay any attention to him, which is what he prefers, and the other is a giant puppy that wants to be his friend. Chopper does not want to be that poor dog's friend.

After Week 2 was spent with that dog running over and Chopper barking at it and then all the dogs barking - I decided to take Chopper for a nice walk before class. Sure he would be tired and maybe not run as fast (but speed isn't' really his thing to start with) but maybe he wouldn't be the problem child in class. The other dog went for a walk first too - so everyone was a bit calmer.

Last night was even better (we went for a walk and the dog food store). Chopper went through all his runs almost perfectly (but with some lazy jumps) and waited for his turn very nicely (albeit while eating a treat every three seconds). The other dog appeared exhausted so she stayed in her own area. All in all we had a good class.

I think Chopper is ready to go back to Agility League - he could be a contender if he would just go a bit faster. The stopping and scratching or running to the water bowl doesn't seem to happen anymore (now that I said that he will inevitably do both next week) so his time may improve just by not taking breaks. Either way he enjoyed it but I get a little competitive and wanted him to be a little faster. Chopper is whatever the opposite of competitive is and some of his medicines that help him be calm also make him slower. So looks like we are going to be slower.

Busy Summer

I've been super busy this summer.  First, my grandpa came to visit and we had to entertain him for a week.  We went to the beach and Starbucks a lot.  I love Starbucks.  My mom lets me eat the crumbs from a scone. 

Then we started Agility 3 a few weeks ago.  I have done that class before but there is no more Agility to take.  And the best part is that Mumble is in the class and my other friends Peach and Zelda who I have known for a long time.  Since before Mumble was even born.  There is also another dog I know from my Scent Discrimination class.  Plus two other dogs that I'm still getting used to.

Then last week I had to be boarded because my mom went to Disneyland for the whole weekend.  And Mumble had family visiting - so he's bragging about his kid all over the place.  His kid threw me some treats so I think she's ok. 

One of my favorite treats is also growing in our garden - tomatoes!  My mom will pick them off the vine and give me one.  Yum!  The best tomatoes I have ever eaten. 

The best part of the summer is walking at the beach even after my mom gets home from work!  And getting frozen yogurt for a treat.

Hope you are all having a fun summer too!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chopper's 5th Birthday Party

So now that it has been over a month since Chopper's birthday I am finally getting around to sharing some pictures. We had a rainbow themed birthday party (mainly because I wanted to try out all these rainbow recipes and crafts).

We made sure everyone knew it was Chopper's big day.

I made Chopper this cape for his party and I ordered him a crown from Young Urban Puppy for the occasion.

I decorated and made sure there were plenty of birthday sweets.

There were lots and lots of sweets.  We still have some of those Oreos laying around.

Rainbow birthday cake.

Rainbow dipped Oreos - really sweet but super cute.

I really liked the way they looked.

Rainbow dipped dog bones were a big hit!

Pupcakes!  The pupcakes came from Sprinkles and I added the Chopper heads and rainbows!

The whole dessert table!

Yes this was all a little overboard - but I had the tablecloth already and it kind of went from there.  Plus you only turn five once.

Chopper's favorite treat was the people rainbow cake - I only got one shot of the inside and it was me bribing him with the top of the cake I had to cut off to make the cake nice and flat. 

So Chopper wasn't the only one in a rainbow outfit there were corsages for the doggy guests!

I made these corsages with some felt, glue and Velcro.
Chopper's favorite part aside from the cake was opening his presents - this dog figured out how to do this at his first birthday - we haven't seen if he can open a wrapped present yet but I have a feeling it wouldn't be a problem.

I think Chopper got a little tired of having his picture taken but he looked so cute in that hat I couldn't help it.

Chopper got some birthday blues.

Dreaming about all the cake he was going to eat.

A few weeks after all this it occurred to me that Chopper looked like someone famous in that hat.

Yep - I made my dog look like Jughead.  They have the same appetite and both have long noses (although I think Chopper's looks better on him) - so I am surprised it took me this long to figure it out.