Monday, July 27, 2009

Lack of updates is a good thing!

We've been so busy having adventures that we have been severely lacking in updates!

Our latest endeavor is the launch of a new social networking site for dog owners in the Rio Grande Valley. Since getting Audrey I've been on the constant lookout for new and exciting places to take not only her for weekly socialization, but my other dogs as well. This new site is designed so that other dog owners can post about their adventures and we can all keep updated on dog-friendly/dog-related events in the RGV. Check it out at:

In two weeks Mackenzie and I will be debuting in AKC Rally Advanced at the Corpus Christi Kennel Club/Obedience Club of Corpus Christi's annual show. I'm really really excited.

Audrey is progressing quite nicely in the Looks department. Her feathering is coming in on her front legs and a tiny bit on the back legs, and she is finally filling out slowly. As for her personality she is still a demon when I'm not here (or so my parents tell me). But she has her glimmers of greatness. I'm guessing once both of my parents go back to work we can get back to our normal routine.

She is still hesitant allowing people to pet her/approach her but in general she is recovering from being startled or wary much faster than even a few weeks ago. Speaking of a few weeks ago, Audrey went on her first trip to the Beach (South Padre Island) and she had a blast. She was a perfect little traveler and earned the nickname Angel the whole weekend. She loved walking on the beach and walking into/jumping over the waves.

We still go to the bar every Thursday and we just started walking at the World Birding Center last Friday and I hope to take her there at least every week or every other week. Assuming she doesn't fall headfirst into the pond again. :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

K9 Kayaking

Just a quick picture of Mackenzie and me on our two minute kayaking adventure. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

To the best Dad in the world!!

On Father's Day we celebrate not only my Dad's special day, but also the day we brought Spencer home, exactly 4yrs ago. Dad's best Father's Day gift EVER. :)

A wonderfully unexpected Mariachi Band!

Audrey and I went for our usual evening walk and met the white Spencer-looking dog down the street again. And again She was a bit hostile towards Audrey but they were fine. Her owner, one of my neighbors, asked me "She's a Lab right?" To which I replied, "No, she's a Field Spaniel." And then we walked away. C'mon, a Lab, really? Is that going to be the most common guess?

We continued on down the street and the recent trend is that the 2nd half of our street is over run by people letting their big fat labs and little white terriers loose in their front yard (ie: the middle of the street). So we turned around and started coming back home.

Another of our neighbors was talking to my Mom so Audrey said Hello and acted quite friendly. There were tons of cars in the street and we noticed there was a lot of bustling at our next door neighbor's house. We heard the wailing of trumpets, violins, and guitars and singing of a Mariachi Band and we naturally went to investigate.

Audrey's initial reaction was to bolt, but I held her leash close and we huddled next to the next door neighbor's fence and she got comfortable enough to sit with me and we listened to the Mariachis play for a while.

After that we walked on down the street and much to our excitement the Mariachis were done playing and started walking toward their van to pack up. Their van, conveniently, was parked right across from our driveway. We stood and watched them drink their waters and smoke their cigs and I asked if we could say Hello. I told them my dog was just a baby and quite shy and they should all say hello to her.

They were all super friendly and whistled and baby-talked to my beautiful Cocker Spaniel. Audrey on the other hand flipped out about the giant harp, trumpets, cellos, violins, and of course, their Mariachi outfits. After a lot of flipping out and nearly escaping out of her collar, I picked her up and allowed them all to pet her. They were very nice and she allowed them to pet her.

As it turns out, my family knows the main trumpet player so he came into our yard to say Hello to my Mom and Dad and I guess Audrey figured since he was on our yard he was less scary. She went up and sniffed his outfit, his trumpet, and his hands but balked a little when he bent down to pet her.

I think she did pretty well considering a Mariachi Band full of strange outfits, loud music (they played a little of the Harp while they were packing up in the street), big men, and large instruments would probably initially freak out even the most stable of dogs. Well, most dogs anyway, Mackenzie was raised with the Cornell Marching/Pep Band so she's used to pretty much everything musical/instrument-related.

Overall, it was a really great socialization opportunity that I imagine a lot of dogs never get to experience. I love the Valley. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wonderfully Unexpected Visitors

Since its already summer we are looking forward to several Wonderfully Unexpected Visitors (WUVs)! The other day marked the beginning with my best friend from high school stopping by unannounced as I was getting ready to leave for work. Then tonight Mom's BFF from work stopped by complete with her 10yo + 2yo Yorkies.

She rang the doorbell (duh) and of course that sent the dogs into quite the tizzy (they LOVE hearing the doorbell because that means - WUVs!). Whenever WUVs ring the doorbell Dad makes a big deal about opening the door and inevitably 1-4 dogs will run out the door depending on how many are loose in the house at the time. The good part is that their main goal is to greet the WUVs whether its the pizza man, the post man, cable guy, or someone we actually know, so once they are sniffed and cleared for entry into our home, everyone comes back inside to complete the greeting rituals.

Our dog's usual doorway greeting rituals-
Mackenzie: BARK BARK BARK sniff BARK BARK BARK sniff BARK BARK BARK x infinity
Spencer: sniff sniff OMG I NEED TO BRING A TOY TO THE HUMAN!!!!!

In this case however, since she had her two dogs there was the initial sniffing of human + dogs then Spencer went into total Terrier PLAY mode. Whenever he and April/Audrey/Mackenzie/Anyone play with him or he gets excited he starts spinning and snapping the air. So all I see when she is trying to come inside is April hopping up to kiss her, and Spencer spinning at the dogs and Mackenzie obviously barking her silly head off.

Finally they came in and I put everyone outside. Audrey was in her crate so I let her out and she did her usual wigglebutt shuffle all the way down the hallway because she knew someone was here. Once she saw that OMG THERE ARE DOGS IN MY HOUSE! she was totally comfortable with our WUV (who she has met a couple times before). She went right up to our WUV and her dogs and said hello and acted all cute and wiggly trying to get the younger Yorkie to play with her. After a few minutes I let her outside and traded for Mackenzie to come inside while everyone else stayed outside.

We gave our canine guests some of their favorite Greenies smart biscuits (and of course Mackenzie had to partake since they are our dogs fav biscuits too) and Mackenzie allowed the dog cookie jar to hang out on the coffee table without guarding it. She even let the younger Yorkie sniff her bum for several seconds. She was an incredibly gracious hostess.

I think its great that all of our dogs are so welcoming to both people and other dogs into our home. Our guests on the other hand may not always appreciate four overly friendly dogs climbing all over them and the furniture (yes, my dogs will not only JUMP on YOU, but they will also JUMP on the furniture, OMG such ill-trained dogs!) so usually we'll let them greet guests 1-2 at a time with the rest outside and/or crate and rotate. With WUVs though, since we don't know when they are coming over sometimes we will *gasp* have all 4 dogs loose in the house when they ring the doorbell. So here's to a summer filled with WUVs!!!

Blessed Puppy

Every one of our dogs has been to St. Jude's Church in Pharr, TX to get sprinkled with holy water. There is a lovely outdoor walking area and places to pray. We usually go to the store, buy four candles (one for each member of our family), light them and place them in one of the prayer areas and blessing the dogs with holy water.

Mackenzie went when she was a baby, Spencer when he was a young puppy, even April shortly after we adopted her. Since the last time we had been there they had posted a sign that dogs weren't allowed.

We arrived and parked and I had noticed a little dog running around the baseball field across the street while we were driving in. That same dog ran across the street straight toward us when he saw Audrey jump out of the car. So I yelled at him and scooped up Audrey in my arms while kicking and screaming at him. This dog would NOT leave us alone. So I was yelling at the dog and we were all trying to scare it away (it seemed to be a nice friendly dog, but being a stray, we didn't know if it had any communicable diseases) when finally Mom opened the car and I was able to get her umbrella to keep him away.

Once we had scared the stray dog away we walked through the gates and over to the holy water and blessed Audrey (she was of course scared of what we were doing - sprinkling water over her head- and wanted to drink the holy water instead). We stayed for a while and she sat nice and quiet while people were praying. It is quite a far drive to St. Jude's plus we ran a couple other errands while we were out so overall she was out with us driving around, and running errands for probably 3 hours. I don't know whether it was the holy water or not, but she behaved beautifully all the way home.

Oh and tomrrow I am going kayaking with Mackenzie and some other friends and their dogs. It should be a fabulous day. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Approximate number of times Audrey has been called:

Cocker Spaniel: I stopped counting

"Spaniel?": 10

Irish Setter: 3

Chocolate Lab: 3

Labradoodle: 1