Blog Archives - RasZoBai
 
Happy Friday Everyone!

Yes...I know it's not Friday (I'm not crazy). Clearly it's Wednesday. It's true! Your computer will back this up- scroll your mouse over to the time on the bottom right hand of your screen. It's okay- go ahead. You see? It says Wednesday!

I am leaving for Florida tomorrow morning, and because of this I am waltzing around my office with the joy and pride that only Fridays can bring. And so for me, on this beautiful warm day, it is Friday. And because I am in this lovely Friday mood, I thought I'd share some a funny story about the Bailster.

Disclaimer: There are a few moments in this story that I was unable to capture with film. Although when a thougth bubble pops in my head, I've been told that others do not see the tiny little clouds form to display my thought process. Thankfully I've had YEARS of experience re-capturing these moments with Microsoft Paint (thank you University!). And here I was sure I'd never get to use this hidden talent!
 
Our story begins yesterday (Tuesday. Or Thursday. Depends who you ask). We have been desperately trying to come up with a way to get Bailey to communicate to us when she needs to go to the bathroom. She doesn't bark, so the "bark like a crazy animal at the front door" approach won't work. We've got her on a schedule, BUT let's face it- no one really pees on a schedule.

It starts off like this.
It's important to act like going outside to pee is the absolutely most fun, most amazing thing you could ever do. After making the world's biggest deal about peeing on the grass, I usually get this response from Bailey.
And so I thought about using the bell training. Essentially you train your dog to hit the bell when they want to go outside. It's awesome for non barkers like Bails. Usually you hang a bell somewhere, which allows the dog to ring it I imaging her ringing it quite diplomatically. British almost. Something like this.
But the reality is a bell hanging from a string in the front hall would not last two seconds in our house. Rascal, the almighty cat protector would massacre that bell. It would never see it coming.
So I sat for a moment to contemplate my situation, and BAM. The solution was so simple! I would buy a bell that you have to hit- like the ones they put at hotels for you to ring when there's no one at the front desk. If the people in Staples could see my thought bubble, they would have been so impressed.
I ran home. Well not really. I didn't run. I walked.....OKAY. I bused. Anyhow, I burst through the door. I couldn't contain my excitement. I was dying to get on this bell training and teach Bailey how to communicate. I even deemed it "The Bathroom Bell" (creative- I know). I would ring the bell, then immediately give her a treat- I wanted to associate something good with the sound. I then placed it on the ground and put a bunch of treats around it like this (good news- I have real pictures for the next part).
And as I turn around to show Bailey how wonderful and magical the bell is with it's circle of treats, I find her hiding in the corner in the cat bed.
And to top it all off, when I go back over to the bell, this is what I found.....
Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Its a cat. EATING THE DOG TREATS. Let me show you one more time....
And where is Bailey in all this?
Well there you have it folks. I don't know what the future is like for the Bathroom Bell. I do know that my cat will eat anything. I have a dream that one day, my tiny little black pooch will walk on up and somehow tell me "Mom. I have to pee. Right Now". We've all got to have dreams. And this my friends, is mine.
 
Bailey was featured as the Dog of the Week on the Ottawa Dog Blog! To view this post, click here
 
This weekend is très busy in my world, and so I won't be able to blog about anything pet oriented as I won't get to see them this weekend. Boo!
Our dance school has a very big dance competition this weekend. That, my friends, is where my mind, body and soul will be all weekend long. I figured I'd write a little bit about Highland dancing. I know it has nothing to do with my pets- sorry!
Highland dancers voluntarily wears things like kilts.
Not to be confused with this.
Two TOTALLY seperate forms of dancing. Mine comes from Scotland. The other from Ireland. People seem to ALWAYS get the two confused.
See, highland dancing isn't very well known outside of our tartan community. Unless you're Scottish, been to Scotland or are obsessed with it, chances are you probably don't know what highland dancing is.
It is a difficult sport, that requires a lot of dedication, drive and passion.
Highland dancers are so intense, we make young children dance over swords!
So if you're ever at a Highland Games, take a moment to check out the dancing. I promise it'll be worth your time!
And yes, I plan on bringing Bailey to all the Highland Games this summer. She's even got several tartan bandanas ready to go :)

Have a fabulous weekend!
 
Top Reasons That I Love My Dog
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1. She is SO happy when we come home. It's true what they say- dogs are always excited that you're back. Cats? Cats don't care that you're back, they care that you're able to now feed them.
2. When I say "Watch" in our obedience class, she stares at me for minutes, hours even!
3. She barks in the sleep, but barely makes a sound when she's awake
4. Sometimes, when she goes to jump up onto the couch, she farts. Not silent farts- loud ones. Hilarious
5. She can communicate solely by raising her ears up and down.
6. She will grunt incredibly loudly if you make the slightest movement while she's sleeping.
7. She wags her tail with her entire butt.
8. She knows that when Scott puts on his suit that we'll be leaving for the day.
9. From the minute you walk in the door, she doesn't leave your side.
10. She takes over the bed each and every night. Although I complain, I don't really care. I kind of love it.
11. She has loved us since the minute we brought her into our home.



 
We have been enjoying our level one obedience classes at the Ottawa Canine School for the past few weeks. It has been great for Bailey to get used to some different smells and get a little more socialized. My partner in crime now has to work on Saturdays, and so I've been bringing the Bailster to the classes on my own. I really look forward to them- it's amazing to see the progress she's made. Makes you feel like it was worth every penny!
I have noticed though that my competitive nature has really come out at the classes. You see, I have this intense desire to be able to do everything the instructor asks in record time. I love demonstrating and always quickly offer up the red leash in my hand. The only problem is my dog is NOT competitive and does not like being the centre of attention at all. It took me about two classes to realize that trying to throw Bailey into the centre was terrifying her! Once I accepted the 'it's not a competition' part, Bailey began to come out of her shell.
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Patiently waiting for class to begin
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"I think I'll go and say Hi"
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The crazy lizzard tongue. I was getting the treats ready for class and she heard the sound of the bag opening!
Both dogs worked so hard that they were given a few minutes at the end of class to burn some energy. I'm fairly certain it was a game of tag!
 
Thank the Lord- It's Friday!
My brain is already on weekend mode- we've got class #4 for Bailey's obedience training. I'll try and remember to take some pictures this time (and be THAT embarassing mom!).
In the meantime, I thought I'd leave you with some fancy smancy pictures of Bailey and Zoe.
Looks like someone figured out how to use the black and white feature on her camera :)

Have a FABULOUS weekend daarrhhlings
 
I knew when it came time to adopt a dog that I wanted a lab. And not just any lab, I wanted a black lab. Personally, I always found that black dogs were so striking in appearance, and have the cutest little faces. And so, I was pretty shocked to find out about something called 'Black Dog Syndrome'.

Black dogs in shelters are commonly overlooked because they're not as 'flashy' as the dogs with lighter fur. Over the years, black dogs have been associated with either evil or 'being bad'. They don't photograph as well as others, and are likely to be passed over while possible dog owners are viewing profiles online. And last but not least, black dogs are commonly thought to be only big breeds dogs, which sadly are not adopted as quickly due to their size. In the end, black dogs have a harder time getting adopted, and are often some of the last to leave the shelter.

I've begun to notice the amount of black dogs on rescue websites. Like a crazy person, I spend my morning scanning dog rescue websites looking at the dogs available. I have to say- there are quite a few black dogs. Some have been there for weeks. I really truly hope that their fate isn't being tested because their fur is dark.

Thankfully, the ever insightful Google led me to two great sites that are dedicated to educating people about BBS.
The "Black Dog Rescue Project" has created a site with many resources for people to educate themselves on black dogs. Here is a little taste of their sentiments towards the cause

The black dog is the underdog of all rescue dogs. Maybe they don't photograph as well as lighter colored dogs. Maybe it is because Hollywood teaches us that black always represents the bad guy. Maybe it is because many of the larger breeds that tend to end up in shelters and rescues are predominately black. Whatever the reason, placing a black dog in a local shelter is usually a death sentence.

"Contrary to Ordinary" Black Pearls of the Dog World site includes a saying that I really love

"Making a difference- one black dog at a time through education, awareness and action- Please adopt responsibly based on a personality and lifestyle match"

Really, the above should be applied when looking to adopt a dog. People need to research the breed(s) and make a decision based on the dog's personality rather than the shade of their fur. A dog is a dog- doesn't matter if it's a golden retriever, red heeler or black lab.

Besides, if William and Kate can adopt a black dog maybe you should consider it too. They're royalty, you know...

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I'm a black dog, and I approved this message!
 
Well! I must say that clearly my Sophie the Australian Cattle dog is NOT living up to her full potential.

Several people have been telling me about this book. It's about an Australian Cattle dog that gets tossed overboard and survives on her own for five months. Oh, and her name is Sophie. That's right, just like my Sophie (or my parents Sophie. You get the idea). Here is a quick summary of the book.
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The story that became a global sensation, now sold for film, of Sophie, the amazing Australian cattle dog who fell off a yacht, was feared lost, yet swam six miles through shark-infested waters to a remote Whitsundays island where she survived for five months.

When Jan and Dave Griffith's beloved cattle dog, Sophie, fell overboard from the family yacht during rough weather, she feared the worst. But Sophie, a true Aussie battler, wasn't going to give up that easily. She swam six miles through shark-infested waters to a remote Whitsunday island where she survived for five months before being miraculously reunited with her amazed owners. Sophie, a highly domesticated dog, had been living ferally - and surviving. Yet one glimpse of her owners when they were reunited was enough for the old Sophie to re-emerge.

This is an amazing, inspirational story of survival, loyalty and what binds animals and humans together
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What? Cattle dogs named Sophie can do what on their own? Shark infested waters?
You're really going to have to up your game there Spoofy.
C'mon Sophie. Hasn't this inspired you to get up and challenge yourself? Live each day to it's fullest?
Don't you want to tackle each day like you've been thrown overboard and need to survive on your own without people buying you food and yummy rawhide chewies?
Yup. Didn't think so......
 
Alright, I suppose it's time we get down to business.

One of the reasons I wanted to begin this blog was to a)talk about my pets non-stop and b)share Bailey's progress. Bailey is an extremely shy pooch, and has been working very hard on becoming more social. Since bringing her home in August, we've made an effort to bring her with us everywhere. It was actually because of her shy and timid personality that we looked a little further into what her past was like. I didn't like what I found as I began to dig a little further, and simply decided that whether she was from a breeder or a puppy mill, she deserved the right to be properly socialized.

Men, particularly strange men seem to scare Bailey the most. Since the beginning of her life with us, Bailey was able to be around two guys in particular; Scott (her faja) and my dad. Since the beginning Bailey has been head over heels in love with my dad. I think it's because he is a genuine pet person, and she recognized it early on (you should see her reaction when we go for a visit. She doesn't know what to do with herself, she's so excited!). Slowly we've gotten her accustomed to other male family members and have finally seen a few tail wags when they come over. And recently she's really begun to warm up to some of Scott's male friends (yay for progress!). But still, my cute little dog seems to freeze up when a strange man walks by. And so, we continue to bring her to dog parks and other dog friendly public places to help ease her intense fear of men.

Oddly enough, one of Bailey's biggest problems is that she's super cute. Because of this, ALL strangers want to come up and pet her. Sure, I think it's great for her to meet new strangers and get used to new smells, however I want her to do this on her own terms. A lot of work can be set back by one idiot over stepping his boundaries. It's easy to see when she's nervous- that tail swings right up between zee cheeks and she avoids eye contact. This past fall I was out in the morning walking with Bai. We live in a condo surrounded by other condos, particularly one that has construction going on every morning. I wanted Bailey to get accustomed to the loud sounds and opted to stay calm while walking by the noise hoping that my calm demeanor would rub off on her. So far, it had been working, until a very tall construction worker called out to me asking about my dog. I replied with one word quick responses hoping he'd get the drift that I wasn't in a mood to chat. I suppose somewhere in there he took it as an invitation to cross the path and try and pet my dog. Of course, Bailey panicked, got the leash out of my hand and ran across the street along our usual path. I couldn't decide whether to punch the worker where the sun don't shine or run frantically after my dog (which I obviously automatically did anyways). It was a horrible way to start my day! Since then, I have a hard time getting her to go around that corner where the construction site it. She's seem okay to go that path with Scott, but not with me :(

And so now, my lovely dog owning friends, I ask you this. Has this ever happened to you? How can I help Bailey get over her fear of the construction site while walking with me? I feel like I've failed her; she doesn't feel safe with me walking that part of the path. And sadly, we HAVE to cross that section to go on our walk and cannot afford to move until the fall. Any tips??