Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#40)

Happy hump day!

I like to talk.  There is no denying I love the chit chat…I can (and do!) have a conversation about anything with anyone.  You are probably wondering how I work primarily with animals all day long.  Just because the conversation is one-sided doesn’t mean I don’t still blabber on!  (Just ask my husband!)  I ask the dogs I walk how they are doing, what their parents are up too, or why they are barking.  And yes, more than occasionally a human will walk by and think I’m simply hilarious.  I like to think the dogs enjoy it!

Now, I have a human to constantly converse with…my son!  I think of the days when he will be able to back talk, or tell me how embarrassing I am.  Those days are far off, and in the mean time, I love to chat with him.  I tell him what I’m doing, what we’re about to do, or why he is being a “silly head”.  If those baby books are right…and talking to your baby increases his vocabulary…my kid is going to ace the SATs by age 2.

The sad thing is, today I found myself narrating what I was doing…out loud… with not a dog or baby in sight!

Time for the cute dog pic of the week….

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We know why this pup is named Godiva…so sweet we want to eat her up!

SERIOUSLY!?  Is that even a real dog?!?  Our friends over at Royal Pet Care (@RoyalPetCareLLC) tweeted this picture to us….and I literally said “AWWWW” out loud.  (At least there was a dog nearby; I WAS talking to her!)  They have an awesome pet blog of there own (check it out here!)  All of our dog-and-cat-lovin’-readers in the Boise area should check out their website and give them a call if they are heading out of town!

That one picture contains enough cuteness to last you through the rest of your week!

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Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#40)

Happy first Wednesday of the month!

This week, I officially went on maternity leave.  (A big THANK YOU to all my clients who have been understanding and flexible about this change!)  Only a few days in and I’m feeling a wide arrange of emotions.  At the beginning of the week, I was feeling just plain sad.  The dogs I hang out with every day truly feel like my friends.   Not only am I sad that I’m not seeing them every day – the thought of not seeing them for 3 or 4 more months is heartbreaking.

Today, the word I would most use to describe my emotional state is frustrated.  I don’t know if I decided to take a leave of absence at the perfect time – or if my body was just holding on until I gave it a break…but this week even the slightest task feels like a major chore.  Bending down to fill the dogs’ bowls for their dinner leaves me breathless and sore.  Walking laundry from the dryer to the bed for folding feels like running a marathon with 20 lb dumbbells.  With a to do list as long as my arm…frustrated about sums it up.  I’m use to walking miles and miles through the elements with energetic dogs!  How can a quick trip to Walmart exhaust me??

The one thing I’m doing a lot of is reading…reading every baby book I can get my hands on!  Surprisingly, many of these books center on the same principles as the dog training books I’ve read.  More on that later…  (In the meantime, check out my own new parent advice here!)

…now it’s time for cute dog pics!  These shots definitely cheered me up…hope they put a smile on your face today and help you get through the rest of your week!

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I wish everyone who had an irrational hatred of pit bulls could meet this sweetie pie!

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…and you said dogs don’t smile!

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When you look up “puppy dog eyes” in the dictionary…

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#39)

Happy middle of the week at the end of the month!

I feel like all I do these days is prepare prepare baby boy’s room, prepare my dogs for the life changes they will be facing soon, prepare my business for the upcoming months. Oh yeah, and somehow attempt to prepare myself!!

I’ve come to believe that dogs and puppies really are the best way to prepare yourself for a baby. Now, now…I know what all you moms and dads out there are thinking. (Probably something along the lines of “Hahahahahaha!!”). But hear me out. A puppy (or new dog) is this little living creature you bring into your home who you must protect. They need constant supervision, they can’t tell time (as in – knowing when sleeping time is!), and they don’t understand proper potty etiquette. And while I’ve heard crate training your newborn is frowned upon…I think we can all agree that all this boils down to one thing – patience. Patience born out of love.

That’s just one more reason I’m thankful for the dogs in my life!

I’m also thankful for adorable dog pictures!!! They seem to de-stress me like nothing else! (Along with cute dog videos…did y’all see this?).

Our pictures this week were submitted by our Twitter friend Clay over at Cool Dude Air Conditioning (@TheCoolDudeAC)  Here are two of their FOUR rescue pups.  (Looks like they enjoy pool time!)  Check out their blog at www.cooldudeac.com…and make sure to give them a call if you you’re here in Houston and find yourself with a busted AC or heater.  Who wouldn’t want to support a dog rescuin’, dog lovin’ company!?

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Lily!

 

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Lily & Ally

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#38) – Special Announcement!

Happy day before Valentine’s Day!

This is an exciting (and scary and a bit sad) time over here at Wags & Whiskers.  My husband and I will be welcoming a new addition to the family soon…and this time I don’t mean 4 legged.  I’m pregnant!  Obviously, it goes without saying this is this is a joyous time for me…just as I’m sure it is equally obvious as to why I am scared out of my mind.   I say it is a bit sad because (at least for a few months) I will be forced pull back from the business and essentially stop working.  Years ago, when working meant sitting in front of a computer, behind a desk, next to a constantly ringing phone…months off from work (even when that meant facing a screaming baby) would have seemed like a dream.  Now, work is something completely different.  Work is something I love.  Work is dogs.

Not to say that I shouldn’t put family first.  When Baby Boy arrives, I’m sure my perspective on work (heck, on life!) will change dramatically.  But I can’t imagine my life without caring for dogs.  Clients – daily walk service will be suspended as of March 31, 2013.  Pet sitting will continue as long as I am able (I am due at the beginning of May.)  Please contact me as early as possible to book pet sitting services.  Regular clients should have already received written notification, but please email me with any questions or concerns – jessica@wagsandwhiskershouston.com

And what of my own dogs?  Amigo is relatively new to the family – but as an attention hog and professional lap warmer, I think the adjustment might be a bit hard on him.  Then there is Buffy.  Buffy…my “first born”, my constant companion, my coworker.  Buffy seems forever adaptable. Both my husband and I are sure that our baby boy and Buffy will become the best of friends.  Buffy has been my savior through my pregnancy thus far – knowing when I need a shoulder to cry on, when to take her brother in the other room to play so I can get some alone time, and when to simply sit by my feet to let me know I’m not alone in this.  (Not to discount my amazing husband…but unfortunately he does have a job!)  The wonderful thing about love is we have an infinite amount to give – and I don’t think Baby Boy will diminish the love I have for my four-legged kids.  

For the next few months, you might see more blog posts on kids and dogs….and how to prepare everyone for such a life changing event.  I would truly welcome any personal advice, any books to read, or any articles/websites/resources to help me and my family. I have been able to find very little so far…but I know you, you fabulous blog reader you, have the knowledge and experience to guide me into this new phase of my life.

So today’s Wags & Whiskers pics are all courtesy of my own two pups.  I want to celebrate all they have done for me in the past….all they do to support me now…and all they will do for my family in the future.

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Buffy

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Amigo

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Sibling Love!

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Sorry, Mom & Dad, no room!

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#37)

Happy mid-week!

I always felt sorry for families without pets.  Well, let’s be honest – I didn’t just pity them…I wondered what the heck was wrong with them!  I can understand busy parents not wanting to take on a pack of dogs (in addition to a pack of children), but a cat?  A guinea pig??  A mouse???  It seems like such a fundamental part of family life- something that every child should experience.  I always wondered what would become of those kiddos that grew up in a house where everyone walked on two legs.  Could they ever truly become “dog people” or “cat people”?

The answer is YES!  I realized in a recent conversation with my husband that they absolutely, positively can become pet lovers.  I must admit, the fact that my husband lived in…and had always lived in…a pet-less home was a big concern for me.  Could I love a man who did not love a dog?  I have never in my 31 years lived without a pet.  (Except for maybe the first month after I moved to New York City.  Poor and living in a tiny TINY apartment in the Village I lasted about 30 days before I went out and bought myself a pair of mice.  I took them everywhere with me – they even flew home with me for holidays.  Those two little mice…well, they are another story all together!)

My husband now is officially converted, though I will never know if it was by me or by our first (of what is surely too be many) pets, Buffy.  Even he now freely admits he doesn’t understand households without dogs.   I even know one or two friends who, despite a canine-free upbringing, now are what one even might call “crazy dog people.”  It warms my heart to know that – despite your age – you are never too old to be ensnared by the love of a dog.

Not so hard to believe if you look at these faces…

 

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Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#36) – Holiday Edition

Hats

The “winning” shot that graced our Christmas cards this year!

Happy Wednesday before Christmas!

All of us here at Wags & Whiskers want to use this midweek blog post to wish you a happy holiday season.  This time of year we like to spend extra time with our families (friends, clients, and loyal blog readers – we consider you part of our extended family!)  We also, of course, consider all of our furry, four-legged friends part of our family as well.  If anything, I find myself spending MORE time with my two pups than anyone else.  Between get-togethers, shopping, working, and traffic…my husband and I seem to be spending less time together…while Buffy & Amigo are here to help me with baking, wrapping, addressing, and decorating.  (And, yes, I use “help” in the loosest sense of the word.)

Personally, this is the time of year I feel like my job isn’t actually “work” at all.  When pooch parents head out of town for the holidays, I always consider it a huge compliment when they entrust their furbabies to me.  I don’t think that dogs and cats understand the true meaning of the season…but I absolutely believe they can sense our excitement (or is it stress?) and know that this time of year means something special.  I go out of my way to make sure that (even if there family isn’t their) they feel extra love and cheer!  Let me tell you…they give that extra love and cheer right back!

This year, for the first time, I decided to do a personalized Christmas card.  Not believing any of my friends or family wanted to see a boring old picture of me and my husband, I enlisted my adorable pups to be models.  I probably took over a hundred pictures (and only about 5 of those could even be considered for print.)  I decided to share some of the many photos I snapped in front of our own Christmas tree with you.  Hopefully they will bring a smile to your face and fill you with Christmas cheer!

Happy Holidays!

Matching Sweaters!

Matching Sweaters!

 

My Christmas Angels

My Christmas Angels

 

Festive Amigo

Festive Amigo

 

Holiday Buffy (one of my all time favorite pics of her)

Holiday Buffy (one of my all time favorite pics of her)

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#35)

Happy 20 days until Christmas!  (Yikes!)

This week seems to be the week for itchy skin.  Guess it’s not just us humans that suffer from skin issues when winter comes!  First, my neighbor tells me one of her friend’s pups has mange, poor guy.  That gave me the idea to research some natural remedies and give everyone a little education on that horrible condition that affects so many neglected dogs.  (Check out our post on mange here.)

Then, my sweet girl Buffy got a little scrape or bug bite or something on her paw.  “No big deal.”  I thought.  Dogs’ bodies are like our own…they are amazingly effective at healing themselves.  BUT SHE WON’T STOP LICKING IT!  It has been a constant battle with her…a battle I am forever loosing.  It is no stretch to say this one centimeter wound on my dog’s front right paw is affecting everything from my sleep to my marriage.  Please do not think I am a bad parent by not taking her to the vet immediately.  Let’s be real here – if it were something that I was unsure about or seemed to be a seriously condition, I would not hesitate to take her to our wonderful vet.  A little scratch, though?  This seems like something I should be able to handle at home.  I’ve tried bandages, socks, exercise, constant distraction, natural deterrents (lemon juice and vinegar around the area)….and just today broke down and bought Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray.  Have any of your tried it?  I will keep you updated on how it works.  (I would welcome ANY and ALL advice on what to do about this licking issue!)

But you don’t stop by this blog on Wednesdays to hear me complain!  You stop by to see the cute dog pics.  Who am I to disappoint you?!?

Mara Jade Pup

Mara Jade (who you might recognize from one of our previous Wags & Whiskers Wednesday posts) turns 5 today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARA JADE! We know your mom Leslie (@walkiesdoggies) is making sure you have an awesome birthday!

 

Magnum

Look at this handsome fellow! Wags & Whiskers client, Magnum, is a true Jack Russel….which means he has LOTS of energy. (We are wondering how his mom got him to sit still long enough to snap this pic!)

Biscuit

Here is Magnum’s sis, Biscuit. She is much more of a cuddler (if you couldn’t tell by this shot!)

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#34)

Happy mid-week!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week?  After that – all the holiday craziness will break loose.  Did you know that Americans will spend about 5 billion dollars on their pets this holiday season?  Sounds crazy, right? But everyone I know buys gifts for their dogs and cats.  I always buy presents for my mom’s pup, and she buys them for mine.  What do you think – do we spend too much on our pets?

Here at the Wags & Whiskers blog, we are hard at work trying to find you the best deals from pet retailers around the country.  If you have your own bakery, pet supply store, specialty boutique, or shop on Etsy and would like to be included in this year’s Wags & Whiskers Paw-liday deals…shoot us an email (blog@wagsandwhiskershouston.com)  Make sure to include your contact information and website – and we will send you all the details.

But before you start stressing about your grocery list for next week (and where the heck is that recipe for your grandma’s pumpkin pie!) – take a look at these cuties.  Guaranteed to brighten your day!

Our Twitter friend Leslie (@walkiesdoggies) and owner of Walkies Doggies (check out their website www.walkiesdoggies.com) sent us this pic of her husky Mara Jade. “She’s a goofball!” Leslie told us…as if we couldn’t tell!

Blog reader Paula emailed us this pic of her family member, Hanna. Hanna is often mistaken for a puppy, despite being over a year old. We hear she is always getting compliments on her beauty when she is out walking…we can see why!

Wanted to throw in one kitty pic! I snapped this myself at a client’s house Make sure to follow me on Instagram if you aren’t already!

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#33) – Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween!

I’m not sure who is cuter on this holiday – dogs or kids!  I’ve seen some pretty adorable pet costumes this year…we will have to see the adorable-ness the trick-or-treaters bring tonight.  Just remember, not all dogs are fond of this loud, door bell ringing holiday.  Don’t feel  bad about confining a not-so-social pooch to a back room.  You might hear some growls and barks, but I assure you they will be much less anxious away from the hoards of kiddos hyped up on chocolate.

The ASPCA has a great list of Halloween Safety Tips that are definitely worth a read before the festivities begin tonight.  The Humane Society has also complied a great list of ways to Spare Your Pet the Spooks this Halloween.  Remember, that while you surely wouldn’t feed your dog chocolate intentionally, you might be so distracted by the costumes and excitement, you miss your furbaby jumping up on a counter or sneaking candy from careless child.  (Refresh your memory on why chocolate is so bad for our pups here.)  Make sure to keep your bowl of candy high and in your sights the whole night.

But now…for the pictures you’ve all been waiting for…

 

Seriously…this has got to be one of the best homemade dog costumes ever. I am not a fan of Honey Boo Boo (still not even sure who she is) but this is absolutely amazing! Thanks to client Alicia for sending this one my way.

Wonder Dog to the rescue! (And the cutest Minnie Mouse)

Buffy (as a beautiful princess) and Scarlett (as the cutest pumpkin alive!)

 

 

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday WELCOME (#32)

You’ve made it half way through your week!

In a post about heartworm, I mentioned a recent trip to the Houston S.P.C.A.  As many of you readers and friends guessed, my husband and I did not leave empty-handed. I would like to use this Wags & Whiskers Wednesday post to introduce you all to the newest member of our family, Amigo!

Meet Amigo!

This was not a spur of the moment decision (as adopting a dog NEVER should be), but rather a plan that had been forming for a while.  Our beloved Buffy had…and I write this in the most loving sense…become a lazy bum.  Where there once had been endless energy there now was never-ending napping.  A girl who had been eager to start every day was now impossible to drag out of bed.  I don’t think it was depression; I think it was simply a “well, there is nothing better to do” mentality.   My husband and I felt that despite the hours and days our work schedules allowed us to spend at home with Buffy, we just weren’t enough fun.  Give her another dog to play with, though…and she would romp until she dropped.  Hmmm….we thought….she needs a friend.  Enter Amigo. 

Like typical siblings, they always want the same toy at the same time (despite the fact that there are more than enough for both!)

I won’t lie and say it has been totally and 100% easy, but for the most part….the transition has been smooth.  I waited to formally introduce Amigo to my blog readers because…to put it bluntly…I wasn’t sure he would work out.  This 14 pounds of chihuahua mix stole our hearts from the moment we laid eyes on him.  (He was literally the first dog we saw at the shelter, but someone else was taking him out for a “get to know you” walk.  Disappointed, my husband and I assured ourselves we were walking into a building FULL of adorable pups…but there was something about him that we just couldn’t shake.  Luckily, those other people were stupid enough to put him back in his cage!)  From the get-go, we agreed the final decision would be made by Buffy.  If Buffy didn’t like him, he would have to go to back and we would try another pooch.  I was constantly asking “Do you think Buffy likes him?” and “So, are we going to keep him?”

After about a week of asking, my all-knowing, ever-patient, sweetheart of a husband turned to me and said – “Do you really think there was ever a chance that we (and I’ve no doubt Buffy was included in this “we”) would ever take him back to that shelter?”

I wasn’t even fooling myself.  He was exactly right.

And Buffy and her Amigo have been inseparable ever since!