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Friday, August 25, 2006

Sleeping Cats and Dogs

My family always had pet cats when I was growing up. Flash, Brownie, Shadow, Whiskers (can you tell we were given the privilege of naming them?) My sister and I would compete for the pleasure of a guest cat sleeping on our respective twin beds - enticing them with small, mouselike movements of our feet. As the cat would jump from one bed to the other, trying to see if there was really a mouse under the covers, we would get wilder and wilder in our competitive moves until the cat would become frightened and leave the room completely.

If I did happen to get a cat to settle in (kind of like hooking a fish), I'd try and move around it very carefully so it would stay - pulling first one leg up and then the other when I needed to roll over so the cat wouldn't be put upon to move. Sometimes, I'd sleep in a scrunched-up corner of the bed all night so there was plenty of cat room available, only to wake up to find their half of the bed empty. When I sat up, I'd see a small contented black shape in the middle of my sister's blankets. I'd been abandoned at some point of that needlessly uncomfortable night.

Now I have a dog that likes to sleep on the bed. A big, space-hogging, cover-immobilizing dog and, of course, I'm thrilled. I've tried and failed to get other dogs to sleep on a bed (one slight move and you lose 'em) so I was surprised by Honey's sleep agreeableness. But, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's a breed trait.

I don't have any real data to back that up - mainly a random sampling of pitbull owners who've told me it's true of their pit, too (For example, this shot of Marty's pillow pooch, Luca.)

But I think it could be a breed thing. I know (first and second hand) that miniature dachshunds are burrowers which translates into burrowing under the covers whenever possible. (Here's a picture of a friend's long-haired mini-dachshund, Claude, not really demonstrating that fact but he is so cute I thought I'd use it anyway.)

If burrowing is a breed trait for miniature dachshunds, it's not too much more of a leap to say that spooning is a breed trait for pit bulls, is it?

Other unscientific evidence:

1) In the article Choosing the Right Dog Bed for Your Pit Bull Terrier by Tim Amherst, he says, "Your Pit Bull will probably prefer sleeping with you... (And, just so you know, he does follow it with, "...but that's not always a good idea.")

2) This is the picture on the homepage of The Real Pit Bull. 'Nuff said there.

3) Doggie News, a dog news round-up that publishes some pretty entertaining happenings in dog world, posted this survey from Sealy that shows two out of three people sleep with their dog - at least sometimes. Okay, this isn't about pits in particular but - you know some of those have to be pitbulls, right? The survey also asked who's more disturbing to sleep? Well, "...overall 51% say it's their partner who's the disturbance, while 38% feel it's their pet." But, that's a whole other topic.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Action-Packed Pit Bull

I was going through old emails and I found a lot of pictures of Honey sent to me by her Burbank doggy day care Bow Wow Bungalow (which I have written about before since I am a huge fan). The photos reminded me what a great life this slightly spoiled dog has (although I just saw a little bit of Pet Pads on HGTV and I'm happy to say I am a mere amateur in the Spoil-Your-Dog category of Ways People Can Overdo Almost Anything).

What became obvious is Bow Wow Bungalow is giving Honey a good background in Greco-Roman Wrestling, an Olympic event:

Honey started as a mere observer keeping a close watch on the technique of others.

Her first actual match entries were in the 0 - 15 pound dog category.

Initially, she was called out by a puppy.

I have to say Honey didn't seem quite ready for the blurred-action, ears-flying intensity of the bout. The small audience seemed distant -- maybe even a little embarrassed.

Her subsequent matches in the little dog category seemed to go a little better...

(Here, I think she's coming into her own with the use of intimidating facial expressions for a more theatrical match. Is there more TV in Honey's future?)

I was happy to see Honey then put in some time with Prinn, the on-staff pro. Prinn seems to have a good teaching method - talking the class through it even while demonstrating some one-on-one moves.

At this point, Honey seems to have gained a tremendous amount of confidence. But there's a problem. Although she's ready for the larger dog weight class, she still seems a little unclear on how to initiate a match...

While she's working on this minor problem, I'm afraid I can see how the whole "stage mother" thing can happen. I've already started looking for a suitable photo of her for when she takes her place with other wrestling greats like Karelin and Westergren:

What do you think of this one?


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dog Collars

It all started with Goth's new electric-blue collar.

Goth is a very sweet Rottweiler-Weimaraner mix that lives next door and she's a friend of Honey.

Goth had some initial reservations about Honey and her demanding muzzle-kissing and otherwise enthusiastic greetings but, Honey was not to be denied. Goth finally had to give into Honey's charms and now they have a great time. Goth comes out to play in the yard, they run together to greet the dog passersby and Honey has Goth's back when Goth must warn the world of the dangers of streetcleaners. And, it's nice to see that, even though Goth has some years on Honey, she often is the one to get the games going with circular leaping and a doggy playbow.

Honey also needed a new collar and I wanted one that was as flattering on Honey as Goth's. I also wanted something a little feminine because, even one litter later, Honey is called "he" by a lot of people meeting her. Well, the pickings were quite slim at the pet store and at her daycare. All kinds of collars for smaller dogs but not much for a bigger neck. I did find this one which, I didn't think was great but I thought was very friendly looking - and, it is reflective at night.

Our friend Marc really hated it though and went out and got her a different one. His thinking was, rather than getting a contrasting color, a collar should match her fur. I think the one he bought does look really nice on her - but, is it feminine? I don't think so. I even think it looks somewhat military, like a camouflage design, although it's called "moss."

So I'm continuing to look - online now. My only real requirement is that it is a "breakaway" collar. It's a requirement at both Honey's day cares and it is supposed to help prevent accidental injuries or worse that apparently are not uncommon in the home.

I've found some beautiful ones at Mrs. Bones . A lot to choose from but I'm partial to these:

Orvis has some collars that aren't as pretty but are very practical. You can personalize them with your dog's (short) name and telephone number

and even find one that glows in the dark.

I also liked quite a few from The Pampered Pup. A collar with bees on it for a dog named Honey seems very cute (too cute?). And who wouldn't like a dog wearing daisies?


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Going On and On

I was talking to a neighbor about blogs and I told him I have one. I wrote down the address and he said he would take a look at it when he had a chance. I don't tell that many people that I know about my blog so it made me curious to read it from the point of view of someone who has met me.

Well, I read a couple of posts and I realize - wow, I really do go on and on about pitbulls. I mean, I knew I did but not quite how repetitive it sounds. Pretty soon people will be crossing the street when they see me coming - and it won't be because of Honey.

So - I'm going to work on it. But, I could be worse...really. What if I were buying Honey dog treats like these:

Or, furniture like this:

But, that doesn't mean I won't keep looking for something for Honey at Paw Palace. Their stuff is too great.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Celebrities with Pit Bulls

The LA Times had an article on pit bulls today. It said trainers, animal shelter staffers and rescuers are seeing a trend: increasing adoptions by families, professionals and others. It also said "Many who own or rescue pit bulls want to rehabilitiate the image of a breed they believe has been unfairly maligned." One rescuer said the pit bull is "an exceptional family pet...People who tend to believe they're scary have been educated by the media."

Mainly it was a positive article. That is amazing in itself. Maybe, this breed that gets so mistreated, that is a huge percentage of the population of kill dog shelters will catch a break.

They also talked about some celebrities who have pits. Normally, I would ignore the celeb references but in this case it might help find more pups good (if slightly star-struck homes) so:

*Rachael Ray had a pit bull named Boo that died in 2005. She now has a pit named Isaboo.
*Jessica Biel has a pit named East.

*Jamie Foxx has two pit bulls.
*Jon Stewart has two pit bulls and a cat.
*Jessica Alba has a pit bull puppy.

*Ira Glass has a pit bull.
*Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson have a brindle pit named Penny Lane
*Veronica Mars has a pit bull named Backup. (Okay, she's not a real person but the show is named after her.)

I'm not sure what kind of effect any of this has on people but I did learn one thing: There are a lot of sites of pictures of celebrities and not enough of their dogs.