Chiquita and Chiya!

Last weekend Aaron and I visited my parents and I got my puppy fix satisfied in the form of Chiquita and Chiya. Being the lovey dog she is, Chiquita believes that no guest should sleep alone or wander the house unescorted.

I love it when she shows me her beautiful feathered ears.
“Excuse me, but do you have any food to share? No? How disappointing…”
Chiquita did this habit with her previous owner too and we’re not sure why. I think it’s cute.
It’s a hard life being a spoiled Fur Person.
Those ears! That face!
Here you can see Chiquita’s tail in action. I just called her a pretty girl and she was thrilled about it.

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day! While I may have cats currently, I am in fact an equal opportunity pet enthusiast. For many years my family had Miniature Schnauzers and I still harbor an enormous soft spot for that breed. Dogs do so much for their humans, so it is only natural that we take some time today (and every day!) to celebrate and love our canine companions.

My parents now have two rescue dogs: Chiquita (aka Chica and Pretty Girl), a Kooikerhondje, and Chiya, a Tibetan Spaniel.

Look how cute they are! Chica is an extraordinarily good girl with great manners and an earnest, loving personality. Chiya is a sassy little diva. Both are highly snuggleable, as I can attest.

In addition to their two cats, my Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Jan have an unlikely trio of rescues: a Border Collie (Legend), a Great Pyrenees/Lab mix (Storm), and a Great Pyrenees (Kuma).

Legend is…enthusiastic to say the least. Who could resist that face?

Storm is a big, lovable galoot. His tail can clear a coffee table in one swipe. He thinks he’s Chiya’s size, which leads to hilarity.

Kuma (Japanese for “bear”) looks like a canine polar bear! Check out that fluff!

Do you have dogs? What do you love about them? Please share in the comments!

DOGust and Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

Happy DOGust everyone! And, whew, it is HOT. So obviously it’s time for indoor parties. Do you throw birthday parties for your pets? I have friends who celebrate their dogs’ birthdays. However, if you don’t always know your dog’s birthdate. Thanks to the efforts of the North Shore Animal League and the ASPCA, the month of DOGust and the Universal Birthday for Shelter and Rescue Dogs came into being!

Photo courtesy of Pexels

At a loss at how to throw a DOGust-worthy “pawty”? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. If you’re going to have any outdoor activities, do it early in the morning and in the shade. Dogs can get overheated and sun- or heatstroke.
  2. Offer lots of water to human and canine guests to keep them cool and comfortable.
  3. Don’t forget refreshments. Peanut butter treats would be a good idea, or, for the ambitious, a bone-shaped puppy cake.
  4. Provide splash time in a kiddie pool and lots of toys so everyone can play. If some want to play inside, that’s okay too.
  5. In lieu of presents for your pup, request that guests make a donation to a local shelter or rescue group. This can be cash, supplies, time, or skills!
  6. For party favors, all the canine attendees could get bandanas.
  7. Remember to take plenty of snazzy photos!
  8. Have fun!

Photo courtesy of The Dodo

National Purebred Dog Day

Growing up, my family’s pets were Miniature Schnauzers. My parents elected for the breed because, among other factors, they wanted a small dog that did not shed and got along well with children. Our Schnauzers made excellent family companions, jogging partners, foot watermers, house guardians, and general bundles of exuberance and bed beards. Over many years, we had four: Murphy, Mimi, Rabita, and Dottie.

We bred Rabita (Spanish for “little tail”, Rabi for short) once, resulting in six puppies, one of which we kept (Dottie). Although Rabi certainly chose my mother as her designated person, I have incredible fondness for her because she was such a character. Imagine a prim, fussy, utilitarian, uptight, and old-fashioned British nanny and put it in a Schnauzer. Basically Rabi was the canine version of Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham from Downton Abbey (and I mean that in a good way). She positively brimmed with vibrant personality, especially when she scolded us in Schnauzerese when she caught anyone out of bed past what she considered bedtime. Plus she had Flying Nun ears and an incredibly smoochable head.

Photo courtesy of The Daily Shep

Dottie was a happy-go-lucky mama’s girl who thrived on being in the center of the action. She hopped (my family called it “bing-binging”) in the middle of a run and liked flaunting her belly to the world as she napped. One of Dottie’s favorite pastimes was charging into an enormous pile of leaves and temporarily hiding in the heap, smelling everything and having a grand adventure while doing so.

Photo courtesy of Greenfield Puppies

On National Purebred Dog Day, we should celebrate all dog breeds: herding, hunting, bird, gun, companion, hounds, pointers, scenthounds, setters, sighthounds, sled dogs, spaniels, spitz, terriers…the list goes on. The development of these breeds have fascinating histories. If you would prefer to adopt rather than purchase one from a reputable breeder, you can find many purebreds needing a home in animal shelters or through rescue groups.
How can you celebrate this holiday? Spend some quality time with your dog, whether it is a round of fetch, a long walk, a thorough belly rub, or kissysnuggles on the couch!