February 25, 2016

Lessons From My First Dog

Although she's been gone for two and a half years now, sixteen years ago today I adopted my dog Lasya from Larimer County Humane Society in Fort Collins, Colorado. I was finishing up my final semester at Colorado State University, applying for jobs all over the country (and in fact I turned down a dream job offer at The Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York after I adopted her because it was a live-in position and I could not bring a dog). It was the worst time to get a dog. My relationship was on the brink of ending, and we'd just lost our incredible family dog - a German Shepherd mix called Ripley - tragically young to a rare form of canine leukemia. It was the best time to get a dog. Like all my dogs since, I picked her out from an online picture in the early days of the internet. I'd always loved my grandparent's chow mix, Brutus, and she reminded me of him. Besides, I was a bit of a goth back then and black pet hair matched all of my clothes.

February 24, 2016

When Only Both Will Do

dog with two bones

 The dog’s agenda is simple, fathomable, overt: I want. “I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with that, kiss you. There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied. 
Caroline Knapp

Boca's wants are clear and true. She wants what you're having. She wants to lay in the nearest sunbeam, or on either monogrammed dog bed (she can't read, so Ruby's is fair game, too). She wants to sleep in, but only after breakfast is served. Most of all, she doesn't want to have to choose - she wants to have her bone and chew it too.

February 23, 2016

Ruby Reviews: Raw Paws + Giveaway

The Ginger Sisters were given the opportunity to try some food & chews from Raw Paws Pet Food recently. Raw Paws Pet Food is an online retailer of thoughtfully sourced raw food, including meaty bones, organ meat, pre-made complete raw diets and single ingredient chews. They have a large selection of common and novel proteins and even make a grain-free kibble. Their starter packs and auto-ship plans take the guesswork out of raw feeding whether you are a dedicated raw feeder or are interested in supplementing your dog's rotation diet.

February 17, 2016

Puppies Were My Valentines

woman holding two husky mix puppies

No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you've come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.

Remember that pet store protest group I joined last summer? Well, huge stuff is happening and you can read all about it on our Facebook page. To make a long story short, these beautiful blue-eyed girls are some of the first Paws on the Ground Colorado rescue puppies that will be available in that same local pet store as we assist in its transition to a humane model. I am grateful beyond words to be involved with this incredible project, witnessing tangible change. I've been helping with transports and got to shuttle these darlings to their foster home on Saturday evening. Truly one of the best Valentine's Days ever.

February 10, 2016

Imploring Gaze

It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.
Albert Einstein

Ruby is continuously asking, a creature of curiosity. Her short stature means that she's always looking up, up, up, with those bright amber and grey eyes, those large inquisitive ears. She wonders what I'm doing, when will that include her, when will I pick up the caterpillar toy or say the magic four-letter word that begins with a 'W' or go upstairs so she can follow with her nose at my heels or sit on the purple sofa so she can nestle into her favorite spot in my lap. In a bigger way, she asks if I'm listening, if I love her more than yesterday, if she's taught me something important, if she brings me joy and the answer is always, always, always yes. 

February 1, 2016

Klutzy Trick Training

Ruby's paw target - her precision is far better than mine!

I have always been a klutz. I knock my elbows and knees into things, I drop stuff constantly. Once I managed to drop a quart of paint in the middle of a Home Depot aisle and it came open and splattered all over another customer's shoes and pants. I believe the color was Mortification Taupe. I am frequently apologizing to my poor timid Ruby for my incoordination and bad timing. She cowers whenever I drop something noisily on to the floor, and as the last person picked for team sports in school, I've dealt some pretty terrible throws when playing fetch with a ball or her Frisbee. She's stuck with me, though, and we muddle through clicker training together, something that requires good timing and on-the-fly finesse.