Although I will miss my old car (Big Red), I have to say that I truly love LT!
After reading the title of this blog, some of you may be wondering why does Erin love L.T., who is L.T. and (more importantly) does Ryan know about L.T.? The good news is, I am not cheating on my husband of almost 3 months. In fact, Ryan loves L.T. as well. So the next question to answer is, who is L.T.???? L.T. stands for 'Little Toaster'...the name of my new car. That's right, I finally broke down (because Big Red broke down) and bought a new car. I never thought I would leave the dealership in a 2010 Honda Element. In years past, I would make fun of these cars and call them bread boxes and toasters on wheels. However, when it actually came to needing a car that could do everything I wanted, I kept coming back to the Element. First, it has an easy-to-clean urethane floor, as well as water resistant seats. No more having to worry about spills and messes. Just get a hose and spray it clean. Second, the Element has back seats that can fold flat, fold up and to the side, or can be removed altogether. This means that not only can there be tons of room in the back (taking the seats out), Ryan and I can sleep in the car if it starts to rain while we are camping (folding the seats flat). The third (and most important to Ryan) awesome thing about the Element are the accessory packages that can be purchased for it. You can get a dog package, kayak rack, bike rack, etc. It's nice to know that my car can grow with our changing interests and hobbies.
Although I will miss my old car (Big Red), I have to say that I truly love LT!
While house and dog-sitting recently, I came across the gentle leader. Tucker (a Parker son) is a typical energetic, happy springer boy. This also means that he can pull and tug on a lead as if he had Saint Bernard powers! The family went out and bought a gentle leader so they could enjoy walking Tucker without injuring their shoulders. I had heard about and seen gentle leaders before, but had never used one. Since I am a woman of science, I decided to put this new head collar to the test. I took Tucker for his morning walk using just a flat collar and then for his evening walk, I used the gentle leader. Well...I am a believer now. I LOVED how much more control I had using the gentle leader. No more did he drop his head and dig in for a strong pull on the lead. As soon as he tried to muscle his way forward, the gentle leader pulled his nose back around so that he could no longer push forward. I was also amazed to find out that the dogs wearing the gentle leader can still pant, drink water or retrieve tennis balls. I am definitely hooked! I will also encourage anyone who has a headstrong dog to use the gentle leader and take control of the dog walk.
Although it is not football season...it will be here sooner than we think. I myself, am not a huge fan of football, but do have fun with the cookouts and tailgating that accompanies said sporting event. I had, incorrectly assumed, that tailgating was just for us humans. Boy was I wrong! On a lab lunch walk today, the subject of doggie backpacks came up. Jessica, our technician, mentioned that her dog Sutton had a tailgating vest. Of course I had to ask, "What's a tailgating vest?!" Apparently our furry companions can help us out at tailgates or cookouts by carrying spatulas, condiments or even an ice cold beer. Whoever came up with the tailgating vest was genius! As soon as I can, I am going to order a vest for Justin. I can see him now, the hostess with the most-est!!
Yesterday in Chapel Hill, NC the temperature soared to a sweltering 100 degrees! After battling the heat for the past week, I decided it might be a good idea to write a few tips to help keep your dogs cool and happy in the summer. I urge my readers to add their comments and tips as well.
Erin's Tips for Cooler Dogs
1. Water is a dogs best friend. Just like you, your furry friend needs to stay well hydrated. In fact, during these hot months dogs can drink twice as much (or more) than they do during the winter. Always have fresh cool water readily available. If you have multiple dogs, like I do, I recommend using a doggie water cooler. The container I have holds 3 gallons at a time, but you can buy other sizes to fit your dog or dogs. You can find these containers at most pet supply stores.
2. Ice, Ice Baby! Most dogs love ice. Not only is the cold cube a great way to keep your dog hydrated, but it can also double as a fun new play thing. You can even get creative with your doggie ice cubes. One local store, LocoPops, has incorporated dog friendly popsicles to their menu. LocoPops makes frozen treats from chicken or beef broth frozen onto a rawhide stick. Very clever and easy to do yourself if you want to give it a try.
3. Baby pools aren't just for babies any more. If you are having problems finding a dog friendly lake or river, never fear. Just get a baby pool, fill with cool water, and watch your four-legged friend splash around and have a blast. If your dog is a little hesitant to enter the pool, jump in yourself and show your furry companion how much fun the water can be.
4. Shade and Shelter. Always be sure to provide your dog with shade and shelter from the sun. Whether you are outside for a BBQ or taking them to the park, try to stay as much in the shade as possible. Also, keep dogs inside during the hot afternoon. Limit their outside frolic time to the early morning or late evening hours.
So my good intentions of setting aside a few minutes each night to write an Eastern blog turned out to be just that...a good intention. So much to do and so little time. Instead of a day-by-day recap, I can do a super abbreviated account.
Thursday: Saw lots of friends. Got called an old married woman! Set up, completed final grooming and bathing. Quick shower before welcome party. Good food, long meeting. Early to bed.
Friday: 13 hours of showing!!! Good placements and/or cuts with ALL of the dogs we took. Fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Saturday: Sleep deprived and sore. Now that I'm 30, my knees don't work as good as they used to! Again, placed with ALL the dogs I took and again made a cut with Peyton in breed.
Final recap: It was great to see and catch up with all of our friends. Look forward to next year!!!!
It's that time of year again. The weather is scorching, the storms are unpredictable, I turned another year older (gulp) and Eastern is fast approaching. Since this is the first year of the Wynmoor website and blog, I figured I would give a semi-detailed description of our trip. Through wins and losses, rain or good weather, I will give my account of the 2010 Eastern.
To begin my account of Eastern, I must start with the preparation for Eastern. Even though we are a small family based kennel and breeding program, I find myself with six dogs to show. So much for keeping it small and simple! With the idea of an easy relaxing Eastern thrown out of the window, I started the preparations with grooming. The first five dogs (Malcolm, Kumbe, Bella, Stash and Amber) took a combined 8 hours to trim. This really isn't too bad...less than 2 hours per dog. However, when it came to Peyton, my semi-speedy grooming came to an abrupt stand still. You see, Peyton's last show groom was in April (double gulp)...and he grows hair like a yeti (triple gulp). When all was said and done, it took me 6 hours to completely and satisfactorily trim him. How do you explain to your non-doggie friends that you spend six hours cutting, plucking and sculpting hair on your dog?! More importantly, how do you explain it and not sound completely insane?!!!!
With all dogs trimmed, I joined Mom at her house in VA on Tuesday. After making our list and checking it twice to ensure we had scoops, dog food, food bowls, grooming supplies, towels, generators, blow dryers.....we loaded our white Chevy van (affectionately known as Moby Dick). We settled in for the night knowing that we had a long day of traveling on Wednesday.
Well, here we are....Wednesday, the beginning of our journey to Warwick, RI. As I type, we are in Pennsylvania, getting closer to Harrisburg. We will be stopping over in Millford, CT before continuing to the show site. Except for the obscene amount of trucks on I-81, things are going well. All dogs are settled in with their toys and Mom and I will be starting an audio book by Charlaine Harris. She is the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books which are the premise of the awesome HBO show, TrueBlood. So as we become enveloped in a world of vampires and werewolves, we will slowly make our way north for the always awesome Eastern!
“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.”
Last week my labmates told me about an event at the Carolina Inn that takes place every Friday, aptly called "Fridays on the Front Porch". As if live music and beer was not enough of a draw on its own, but you can also bring your dogs. But which dog to take? At the time, I had both Amber and Justin. Although I knew Justin would have a blast, I couldn't help my imagine him bolting after something, leash in one had, beer in another and me drenched and bruised when all was said and done. So after a few seconds thought, I decided to take Amber.
As Friday approached, she was cleaned and brushed and ready for our night on the town. We got there and of course all eyes were on Amber. There may have been other dogs there, but none quite like Amber. Not only was she one of the few pure bed dogs, but she was THE only show dog there. Since my dogs are my kids, I'm allowed to brag just a little! She was the most well behaved dog there. She sat by my side while men, women and children came up to pet and fawn all over her.
Two hours and two beers later, I packed Amber up and took her home. On our drive, she looked over at me from the passenger seat. There seemed to be a smile on her face. Not only had she enjoyed the mounds of attention, but I think she truly liked being out with me...just the two of us. I smiled back at her, patted her on the head and said, "Next week girl...next week!"
This story comes from a friend at work. She has a beautiful Golden Retriever named Sutton. One weekend my friend and her roommate grilled out bratwursts. They decided to grill the whole package, which consisted of six, so they could have leftovers for the next day. Between the two of them, they ended up eating three bratwursts. The time came to clean up and they brought the leftovers into the kitchen. The food was placed on the counter, far enough away to keep it safe from the dog. They then went back outside to clean up the grill. Since the warm North Carolina weather was so nice, they stayed out just a few extra minutes, enjoying a nice cold beer. Finally, they decided to head back inside. My friend went to take a shower, thinking the roommate would put the food in refrigerator. After the shower, the roommate asked my friend if she had put the food up. My friend said, “No. Was I supposed to? I can do it now.” The roommate looked at her and then pointed to the counter. Before them, lay a spotless counter without even a crumb to be found. As they looked around, they noticed Sutton sitting near the edge of the kitchen with a look of utter contentment. Apparently the smell of freshly grilled bratwursts was too enticing to ignore. With backs turned, Sutton decided he was free to help himself to an early birthday present. No more leftovers!
Move over Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell there is a NEW dog trainer in town. Who is this new trainer you may ask. It’s none other than my husband, Ryan McGlothlin. You see, when we first moved in together, there was a slight adjustment period. Oh, no…not for us. It was Ryan and Parker who needed to adjust to each other. You see, before Ryan moved in, Parker was the “man of the house.” He got all of my undivided attention as well as getting the prized spot in bed next to me. However, when Ryan moved in, things changed just a bit. For one thing, two people and a dog did not fit comfortably in a double bed.
I guess you could say that Parker did not take the change well. As way of letting us know his true feelings toward the situation, he would lift his leg. But his marking was not random or arbitrary. No, he was very deliberate in where and what he marked. Now, if you’re thinking he was only peeing on Ryan’s things, you would be 100% correct. None of my stuff was touched, but Ryan’s jackets, shoes, clothes, bags…all took a hit. We scolded Parker each time we found a drenched item, but to no avail. Parker kept up the bad behavior. Enter, Ryan the dog behaviorist. He said he had had enough and if Parker peed on one more thing, he would take Parker’s favorite toy and pee on it and see how Parker liked it. Now, I’m sure at some point we’ve all made this threat but very few actually follow through. Ryan, however, is not one of the “few.” That’s right! One day after we discovered a freshly marked jacket, Ryan said, “I warned him,” and went running upstairs. Before I could stop him, there he was in the bathroom…peeing on Parker’s prized toy!! After he had left his mark, he handed the toy over to Parker. To my dismay, Parker willingly took the toy and pranced around the apartment with it in his mouth. I shook my head, thinking this was the craziest thing I had ever seen. However, crazy or not...IT WORKED! From that day on, the marking stopped. In fact, from that point on Ryan and Parker became the best of buds.
And now you all know why I married Ryan…because he won the peeing contest!
A blog of useful tips, funny stories, and my crazy thoughts. Enjoy!