Friday, December 30, 2011

Chasing Shadows

G and I headed over to Riverside Park today to enjoy the unseasonable warmth outdoors - earlier this week, we had to break out the full-length down coat just to walk around the block!

I caught this cute picture of G and my shadows while we were sitting on the park bench, enjoying the last few moments of 2011. What a year! I can't believe how fast it has flown by and all the things we have done.

Wishing you, yours and your fur-kids the happiest, most peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to Execute the Perfect Photo-bomb by G

Even when the camera isn't turned on her, G somehow has a keen ability to photobomb the background of my pictures. This should have been a "and now a word from the cat(s)" entry, but G just couldn't help herself - so instead, please take some pointers from her on how to stealthily sneak into a background undetected:

  1. Wait until your human isn't paying attention 
  2. Casually glance up from your sleeping position
  3. Longingly stare into the camera lens
  4. Wonder why your human isn't taking a photo of you
  5. Think: Cats?! Who needs cats - they just sleep all the time!
  6. Sigh audibly so that your human understands your disappointment

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Snoozin' Goose

Had to do a double post today because I'm having withdrawal from my blog (and I got some pretty cutie pie pictures of G over the holidays)!

Fashionista: Pittie Fan-wear

For better or worse, G is subjected to my love of my hometown, Syracuse - and since we are number 1 in basketball right now (yes, I'm knocking on wood!!), I thought it might be high time to get G some serious 'Cuse duds for Christmas. G is obviously totally indifferent, however, I've had my eye on this sweater for a few months now. I've held off on purchasing it, lest I totally jinx the team (at times, I am a typical Syracuse pessimist), but I finally caved when I was home for the holidays visiting my grandma. I spotted the doggie sweater at the mall and for $14, and I thought, what the heck!

Well, I bought the adorable sweater and it fits G like it was made for her! Now that we are back in the city, it's the perfect weight/warmth to use right now as it's between 40-45 degrees during the day. We've been back less than 24 hours and G has already made 3 friends on account of people reading her sweater and saying "Hey, I went there!" or "Hey, I'm from there!"

I've been struggling a bit with feeling lonely here in the city as of late and it's been a really nice to have a quick conversation starter involving 2 things I love - G and the 'Cuse. Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Time

G and I are headed to visit family during the coming weeks and I'm very excited that she will be able to play with her three (human) cousins for Christmas. The kids, ages 3, 2 and 6 months, know G is coming and have  been very busy "preparing" for her arrival.

First, G is scheduled to sit at the dinner table next to 3 year old during Christmas Eve dinner (in spirit at least).  2 year old has already purchased G a Christmas present to open so that G won't feel left out. And finally, we've decided that 3 year old and 2 year old and possibly even 6 month old will have to assist me in taking G for a walk so that "G" is tired out (read: everyone is going to need nap time when I'm through!).

So funny to hear how the kids are planning for G's visit and I can't wait to see everyone!

Any special holiday plans in the blogosphere? :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

We're Still Here!

Phew! What a nutty week it turned into! I had the privilege of working unreal hours to get a few projects out before the end of the year and G and I have been hunkered down trying to make it until Christmas!

That being said, we didn't forget about the blogosphere and we missed our daily postings - so we will try not to make what happened last week a habit. :)

That being said, if you'd believe it, this is our 100th post (wow!) and I have to say that this little "project" has really turned into something amazing and enriching for both G and I. To have a record of all these little daily happenings and musings is really neat. To be able to share it with you all (and have you respond!) is truly the cherry on top!

We really appreciate all of the support! D & G

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Good Doggie Bed

I consider myself a bargain shopper and if I can't find a bargain, I will immediately go for either quality or efficiency. My shopping instinct extends to my pets and "their" belongings as well, so when I set off to find G a quality dog bed, the idea that it had to be G- and cat-proof was at the top my list!

As I've mentioned before, the very first doggie bed I purchased for G was a Milk-Bone $10 affair from the corner Walgreen's. While the decision to get a dog was not a last minute one, I had a sneaking suspicion the puppies would make quick work of any more expensive bed I purchased:

And that they did. Not a few hours after these photos were taken, the stuffing was all over the floor, it smelled like puppy piddle and that bed was in the garbage chute.

Needless to say, I've gone through my fair share of trying to find the right bed for G. As she was growing up, I typically found her fluffy blankets to snuggle on instead of committing to a bed because I knew her "accommodations" weren't long for this world (thank you puppy teeth!).

Last year, as G was gearing up to celebrate her 3rd birthday and had finally calmed to the point that I didn't think buying a nice bed would be an exercise in futility, I began to research the perfect bed for her. Now, I am an L.L. Bean aficionado and I just love their stuff. It's practical, durable and guaranteed for life. Not to mention, they also offer free shipping with no minimums and, for L.L. Bean cardholders like myself, monogramming is no extra charge!

With something like a dog bed, I knew a lifetime guarantee was key, so I ended up purchasing the dark green (Loden) denim rectangular bed and inscribing "Goose" on it (G's nickname). I knew it would last for awhile as our previous dog, Luci, had a similar L.L. Bean denim dog bed that was around for about 10 years.

The best part of the bed is the heavy-duty denim that easily zips off to clean in the laundry - no special care. With cats, this is especially helpful, as when the bed is not in use by G, you can usually find a cat taking advantage of its services. It's also nice because whenever the cats feel like getting sick (which is a fairly normal occurrence with hairballs), they love to place it right in the center of the bed. The denim is durable enough that it never leaks to the under-padding and I can quickly wash it in less than an hour.

Oh, and from the looks of it, G finds the bed pretty comfortable too!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Positive Pittie Press

Stumbled across this link today for the calendar For the Love of Pit Bulls and thought I'd share it with everyone. So cute and another example of dressing up your pooches - reminded me of all of the outfits Mr. B and Ms. M from Two Pitties in the City have modeled!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday Snoozes

G is what I like to call a Hard Sleeper. She truly dedicates herself to the task and always gives 110% and last night was no exception.

G exercised her "Little Red Riding Goose" look for a bit while she twitched and chased after what I can only imagine are a plethora of orange stuffy toys in Dreamland:

She even inspired her feline "brother," M, to get in on the act by once again showcasing his controversial "Playgirl Pose" in the background.

I have to surmise that G knows she's headed to daycare on Monday mornings, so her intense sleeping rituals are preparation for the ridiculous amount of playing she'll be doing in just a few short hours!

Friday, December 2, 2011

TGIF: How to Lose a Fluffy Toy in 10 Seconds ...

This was my birthday toy from daycare all brand new and fluffy - can you see the pure joy and longing in my eyes?

This was my fluffy toy about 8 seconds into our lovefest (notice: my head was moving too fast for my mom's screen to catch it!):

Finally, I am a fulfilled prettie little pittie, looking over all that I have accomplished in such a short time, in this, my fourth year on Earth. I even smiled for the camera! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday to my Goose!

Today is G's 4th birthday and I cannot believe it has been 4 short years since she came into my life. Happy Birthday, Goosie!!

The first night she and L were with me, I was totally in love and totally scared (puppies were SUCH a responsibility). I remember when the Mayor's Alliance volunteer handed me G to whisk away from her car to my apartment, G fell fast asleep on my shoulder. I looked at my mom and told her "I'm in love!":

L, G's sister, was also feeling mighty sleepy that evening and sacked out in my arms later on:

G even did her signature stretccccch when I put her in her bed (which was destroyed by puppy teeth a mere 12 hours later):

But then, finally, the two kiddos woke up and haven't stopped playing since! Gosh, amazing how time flies!!

P.S. Here are some very curious kitties!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving

Just wanted to pass along our Happy Thanksgiving wishes, albeit a little late, to everyone in the blogosphere! G and I were actually separated for Thanksgiving (sniff) as I went down to see my dad in North Carolina and she stayed in the city with my mom for the week, but it looks like she had a pretty good time regardless:

An interesting story from my time away: I received a call from my doorman on Wednesday evening (I was at a bar in Cary, NC watching my dad's band and a basketball game) saying that my neighbors were complaining about G barking. He added, "It sounds like she's in distress."

As G is the only dog on the floor, I immediately called my mom (who happened to be at the basketball game I was watching on TV) and told her to get home to handle this. We were both confused because G had her Cit collar on and doesn't typically howl any more in regards to separation anxiety.

Well, by the time my mom made it home - having had to leave the game around half-time - it was clear that the barking wasn't G at all. There is a dog that visits an apartment a few doors down and he/she was simply howling. When my mom called me on the phone, it sounded like the dog was in my apartment it was so loud - and, yes, the dog was clearly stressed out.

I felt very bad for the pup and for its owner - it's never fun to get complaints from neighbors. I will say finding out that it wasn't G did provide a ton of relief, but I was still pretty ticked at the doorman/neighbors for not using their ears to realize the barking wasn't coming from my apartment at all (and thus, making my mom come home early from the game). What can you do?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hungover ...

G is still pretty hungover from daycare yesterday - as evidenced by her constant snoring this morning!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Walking "Club"

G and I had a wonderful experience yesterday together when we met up with a co-worker and her pittie to go for a long walk around the neighborhood.

As I've mentioned, G has been struggling with leash reactivity (although this weekend, she was an absolute angel and even let other dogs - big and small! - greet her on-leash) and being a general Sass-a-frass to other pitties, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to knock off two birds with one stone. My co-worker's pittie, P, also has various leash reactivity and prey drive issues, so this walk was truly an educational experience any way you sliced it!

Lo and behold, both P and G were absolute angels - walking respectfully near to each other, while only give brief side-long glances at each other. P even sniffed G's bum at one point to zero reaction from G!

To be able to have two alpha-prone pups walk together (closely) for an extended period of time with no issues was so fantastic. Something my co-worker said during our outing really stuck with me: "You just want them to succeed so badly and achieve their potential." And when they do succeed - man, your heart just wants to burst!

We both agreed that we are definitely going to go walking together again and may even bring along my co-worker's other pup, D. I'm super excited and can't wait to get these guys together again (calmly)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Parkin' it with my Pittie

This past weekend was packed with gorgeous Northeast autumn weather. G and I woke up bright and early (that daylight savings time is still messing with me!) on Saturday and off-leashed for a bit in Riverside Park. It was a wonderful experience because G, when onleash, actually allowed all sorts and sizes of dogs to greet her. We've had some trouble with leash reactivity when greeting other pups, so I was thrilled with this progress!

Around noon, G and I headed to Central Park to meet up with my friends and listen to a lecture on Andrew H. Green, the city commissioner who is credited with creating the NYC grid system. My friend, who is getting her PhD at Rutgers in American History, loves this type of thing and it couldn't have been more enjoyable (and interesting)! G was an angel throughout the entire lecture, sitting or sleeping in the grass and listening attentively.

G even had a sip of my cider (part of the ceremony for Mr. Green) when we did a toast!

Because it was such a gorgeous day, we walked the bridal path for a bit after the lecture and I got this amazing shot of Central Park (click to enlarge). As much as I can complain about city living, I think for once, I have to admit, I really love New York:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Model Cab Behavior

I've posted before about riding in cabs with pups, and proper doggie etiquette (personal opinion) for those rides. G and I are intimately familiar with the whole cab process as most of my friends happen to live on the Lower East Side (diagonal across the island of Manhattan from our apartment)!

The other day after flagging down a cab to come back home, G demonstrated how to impress cabbies by laying down calmly on the floor and going to sleep during the ride home. It's funny - I find she's a little like a toddler, who can get really discombobulated when initially getting in a car, but after a few minutes, the movement tends to lull her right to sleep!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sleeping with G

G has slept in my bed since she was reliably housebroken (so about a year old).

I've posted before about what a fidgeter she is, but last night was really "busy" for her. Since I've added my winter comforter, it makes the bed extra warm. Since it does get so warm, I tend to keep a fan going to ensure the air is circulating in the room. Well, this leads to G going in and out and in and out of the covers - getting too cold when she's on top of the covers and too warm when she's under them.

Since she's not allowed on the couch's any longer, nights are the one time that we can curl up and snuggle together and I'm really hesitant to make her sleep on the floor. I just don't want to miss out on that time together. That being said, it's getting harder and harder to deal with her restlessness (which ultimately becomes my restlessness).

Still, potentially having her stay the entire night on her bed, is becoming more difficult to resist:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

and now a word from the cat ...

I had thought my cats were the worst litter scrapers ever, until I stumbled upon M, sitting in a freshly poured pan of litter this weekend, looking ... dare I say ... stoned.

At least this explains the sheer volume of litter I find on the floor on a daily basis - they're using it as a sandbox!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Doing Our "Home"work

As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, I have been quietly investigating apartments here in NYC. On Tuesdays, G doesn't go to daycare or have a walk during the workday (it's her day off!), so I took the opportunity to take her with me to visit a potential apartment after I got home.

The place we wanted to walk by is about 11 blocks north of my current apartment. I've actually never gone that far north of where I live and so I was feeling a bit unfamiliar with the neighborhood and what I would encounter. I have to say, in instances like this, I am so glad I have a larger dog that I can take with me at dusk. As a female, living (and usually walking) alone, it's a bit of insurance to have G with me.

So, anyways, we toodled up to apartment and, lo and behold, the neighborhood was fantastic! It was very vibrant, a lot of foot traffic and, being a stone's throw from Columbia University's front gate, there were a diverse assortment of folks all of over the place. I was so relieved!

We spoke a bit with the doorman of the building, who was very friendly, and on the return trip even received 3 compliments as to how beautiful G was within 2 blocks - wow, that's never happened! That being said, I'm feeling warm fuzzies about the potential of this apartment and hope all goes well when I actually get to look inside tomorrow evening (G won't join for that adventure). Fingers crossed and positive vibes welcome!

Phew - I'm tired now, too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Owning and Renting with Pets

As I have been somewhat lazily looking at the possibility of owning (in conjunction with my mom) an apartment versus renting, I've been getting more and more familiar with the NYC real estate market.

Overall,I've been relatively pleased with the amount of pet friendly sales there are both on the UWS and elsewhere. However, there are numerous examples of "Sorry, Fido, no dogs," or "Pets approved on a case-by-case basis." To date, I've tended to skip these case-by-case ads as I don't want to fall in love with an apartment, only to be rejected by the size or breed of my dog.

That being said, I currently live in a rental building which is actually zoned to allow pets of all kinds, including dogs, cats, birds, pigs, etc. When my mom initially moved into the building, there was no pet policy whatsoever - they didn't even ask and if you showed up with 4 dogs, they didn't really care. Recently, as I've stumbled across listings for rentals in my building, I laugh because I've seen things like "Dogs under 40 lbs." or "No pets." I know for certain none of this is true (we have a Bernese Mountain Dog in the building) and is, in fact, the error of the broker listing the property.

These minor errors give me hope that, should I continue looking at apartments for sale, I should expand my search to include those properties deemed case-by-case. Who knows what lies beyond an innocent error in the apartment summary?!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fashionista: Tummy Warmer

With the fall in full swing, the days are getting crisper and cooler, and my short haired pup needs some light protection from the elements. It's not yet cold enough that she can don her full winter coat, so we typically put on her Tummy Warmer from Voyagers K9 Apparel. It's light and breathable, but the soft felt-like material keeps cozy and warm on those chilly fall days.

Here's G sniffing her way through Central Park this Saturday in her comfy, tan-colored Warmer. I specifically picked the light tan as it tends to match her ginger coloring nicely!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Snuggle Butt

A direct consequence of off-leashing or long morning walks for G (and me!) is that she comes back to the apartment thoroughly pooped! With the colder weather now upon on us, she loves to come home, drink some water and then promptly pass out on her couch wrapped in a blankie (or in the below case, my sweatshirt).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


One of the things I love about NYC is the off-leash policy in designated city parks. From dusk until 9am the following morning dogs are allowed to roam around off-leash 7 days a week.

As I've mentioned before, G and I used to do this almost every weekend when we lived in Midtown East because we were so close to Central Park (it's the reason she ended up in the book!). Alas, as we've moved several times since, I've let the off-leashing fall by the wayside a bit. Not only are we much farther from Central Park, G actually ends up sleeping in on the weekends with me and we usually don't really get up until a little after 9am anyway.

To be honest, the other reasons I haven't done as much off-leashing as of late? First, her recall to me is not always the best and I get nervous when she doesn't listen if I need her to come. Further, the last time we off-leashed in Central Park, she got into a tussle with another dog and I ended up getting a large gash on my hand when I tried to pull them apart. Instead of addressing the issue, I instead just stopped off-leashing.

Well, this weekend, we awoke bright and early around 6:30am and I thought, "What the heck, let's give it another go." As her training has been going very well lately, I decided that this was as good a time as any!

G and I made our way over to Riverside Park and G had a ball playing and sniffing in the trees. We practiced coming back to me on command and I made sure to give her lots of praise. She gently greeted other dogs and ran all over the place (including through some extra large mud puddles) and was overall really great!

The only minor issue we ran into was that I had called her to me after she got a bit of a ways away. In her excitement at being outdoors, she came running toward me and full throttle. Another dog who was running off-leash with its owner near by, suddenly sprinted toward her as if to chase (I'm thinking the other dog may have had a high prey drive and though G was chasing something) and came over barking. G was a bit confused and perceived the dog as a threat - she began barking and actually ran into the dog in her haste.

I remained calm and told her sternly to come to me and she immediately finished barking and trotted over. I was very proud her ability to listen, even in a tension-filled situation. I again praised her for listening and we headed home!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

The New York City Avon Breast Cancer Awareness walk was this weekend and ended up going right by our building. G and I decided to go out to show our support to the walkers (although full disclosure: I didn't quite realize what a dramatic fashion event this walk is! G was totally underdressed and didn't have a stitch of pink on her - I totally should have planned ahead!).

And I got this amazing blooper shot - can you believe the length of that tongue??!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fashionista: Autumn Collars

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I ordered G a super adorable, super fancy collar for fall. As we are working on our manners especially diligently this month, I figured a pretty new necklace was the perfect reward for both G and I.

Here's G modeling her new collar in the fading afternoon sunlight (earlier and earlier!). She must be really proud of it, because I heard an elderly lady comment to her friend as we passed, "Well, now, I have never seen a dog smile like that!"

Warm fuzzies!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A(nother) New Daycare (Part 3)

As I mentioned in the last post, these last weeks have been a bit nuts. Why, you may ask? Well, last Sunday I received a text message from G's daycare, saying "Hi! We decided to move from our 94th Street location yesterday. It was a last minute decision, but hope G can still come to our 60th Street facility." Last minute? I would say so - I had already laid out her jacket/leash for daycare the next day!

Per usual, I immediately went through a range of emotions - angry, sad and anxious. It seems over the past few months, affordable daycare options in the "upper" Upper West Side are dwindling fast!

To ease the tension last week, I scheduled additional walks with G's fabulous dog walker as I began my hunt for the third new daycare in 6 months. I've considered just sticking to walks, but G really looks forward to and exhausts herself at daycare so I consider the money very well spent.

After Googling like a crazy person, I found a day care one block south, on 93rd Street. It was definitely more expensive and much more formal than other daycares, but it had received many good reviews and had been operating successfully for many years.I called and, lo and behold, they offered a package that would allow G to attend twice a week for the same price as her old daycare! Not to mention, it was a much cleaner and more reputable location. I was thrilled!

G went in for her first day this past Saturday (a half day to test things out) and she was extremely well-behaved. She was even given a Nylabone and quietly chewed it in the corner after I left (well, after 10 minutes of where-the-heck-am-I? barking). She also attended daycare for the full-day and overnight on Sunday and things when swimmingly! She even came back smelling like a clean, yummy pup (something I've found is not always a given at boarding facilities).

So needless to say, G now has steady daycare again and all is right with the world (phew!). To be honest, one of the first questions I asked when I called the new place was if they had a 5 year business plan (I am over all these changes!). The owner said to me that they plan to stay on the UWS for as long as possible and are even looking to expand. Fingers crossed they stay in the same location!