Pool Party Time!
It had been a while since we had brought out the kiddie pool, and we weren't even sure if they would remember it. They pretty much just picked right back up where they left off last year.
We have gotten to the point again when I start questioning the wisdom of living in Texas in the summertime. I like Texas in general, but summers are just not always fun. So what do you do with this many dogs when it's too hot to even go to the beach?
Pool Party Time!
It had been a while since we had brought out the kiddie pool, and we weren't even sure if they would remember it. They pretty much just picked right back up where they left off last year.
Unfortunately pool parties don't last very long at our house because as soon as they've played in the water for a few minutes, they are nice and cool and ready to play. So this happens:
Then this happens:
And the water ends up looking like this:
Luckily there's plenty of entertainment inside too. There's napping, kitties, napping with kitties.
Of course, in all fairness, the kitties nap pretty much everywhere.
Kitty B takes first prize for napping in odd places. She decided that Dad's computer was pretty comfortable. While he was trying to use it.
Sundays vary around our house. Some Sundays are very busy. This Sunday seems to be shaping up as a very lazy day. As I write this, all of the puppies are asleep- all three of the girls are snoring away on the couch. Kitty B is curled up asleep in her crate beside the couch, and the big cats are sleeping upstairs. I would get Kitty B back out and let her sleep on the couch too, but if I open the door to her crate, everyone is going to wake up. So I am just letting them all sleep.
A Costco opened up recently not too far away. I had never been too interested in Costco before- I figured it was basically just another Sam's... Then I went into the Costco during the grand opening. Now we end up going there almost every week. They have really good puppy treats, among other things. Last time we were in there, they had kitty trees. Our big cats like their kitty trees and use them a lot, so we decided to get another one for in the living room. I didn't think that Kitty B was big enough to really use it. Boy, was I wrong. She can go all the way to the top, which is impressive because it is 5 1/2 feet tall! Kitty P and Kitty S have decided that they like Kitty B and play with her every chance they get. They even clean her. I really wasn't expecting them to accept her like that, but I am glad that they have. Here are some pictures of their kitty tree antics.
The puppies still really like her, but sometimes they have more important things to do than to pay attention to kitties- like tearing up boxes. Kitty B is smart. She has realized that if the puppies are out, she can climb up the kitty tree and they can't reach to slobber on her. She likes the puppies, but they do tend to slobber on her a lot while licking her.
Yesterday, Mom and Dad went to visit Mom's niece and her kids. It was a nice visit, and I just had to post this picture of one of the boys having a meaningful conversation with his dog.
Have a happy lazy Sunday.
So.... Last night, Dad went out with the puppies so that they could use the restroom before bed, only to be met with this:
She ran straight to Dad, but then Miss S chased her under the gate. Dad was very concerned about such a little kitty being outside alone and got Mom to go out and catch her. Mom was absolutely not convinced that we needed another cat. The puppies are very convinced that we need another cat, and she is convinced that she is Dad's cat. Kitty S and Kitty P are not impressed. We made her a little bed and set up up with food, water, goat milk and a litter box on the back porch. The puppies were way too interested for it to be safe to bring her straight into the house. Plus, she's not potty trained yet and hasn't been to the vet to get checked for worms. For right now, she has a screened in porch all to herself. Of course, she has been in the house several times already- on Dad's lap. She has met Miss B, Miss M and Mr. M. Miss B is the best with new animals. She's the most hyper when it comes to playtime, but she's the most submissive and laid back in general. She was interested in the kitty, but only just smelled her a little and then went about her business.
Miss M was convinced that the kitty needed to be her toy. We disagreed and kept her calm while watching the kitty on Dad's lap. Mr. M was surprisingly gentle with her. He was a little jealous that she was on Dad and decided that he needed to sit in Dad's lap too. The kitty was content to sit back and play with his ears.
She is very cute, I must admit. She has bursts of energy- running all over the place and playing with everything. Then she crashes. Currently, her favorite napping spot is a big flower pot. We probably should have called her Flower. Instead, we are calling her Kitty B.
Notice the ferocious yawn above, and then the crash position.
How could you say no to something this cute?
We think we might be in for a chilly winter. The cats have been putting on quite a bit of weight lately. We are glad. They were so skinny when we got them that they looked funky- especially Kitty P with her crooked tail.. They are finally starting to look like normal cats. They have been pretty cuddly lately too. They jump on the bed with us every chance they get- much to the delight of Miss M.
Miss B and Mr. C have been trying to nap on the bed every chance they get as well. Most of the time I just let them. They don't sleep on the bed at night. They have their own pillows in our room. So being allowed on the bed is a special treat.
So, one of the things we have learned about puppies, or rather re-learned, is that boxes are way cooler than regular toys. Every time we get a box, the puppies make it their personal mission to shred and flatten it. We don't mind. It gives them something fun to do and breaks the box down at the same time. Before we had puppies, we had to break our boxes down ourselves. Notice how the pieces of the box are nice and small. They weren't even done in this picture. We ended up with small pieces of box all over the dining room and living room, but all we had to do was collect them and put them in the bin- no folding and jumping on boxes or pulling them apart. The puppies take care of all of that. They are a box demolishing machine!
Of course, the cats weren't about to let the puppies have all the fun. Kitty P sat under the table grabbing the odd piece of cardboard that happened her way. Kitty S stalked the puppies from the table.
Lately, Miss M had been a little disappointed in the kitties. Kitty P still doesn't want to play with her, and Mr. M has turned into a kitty hog, who doesn't want to let Miss M play with Kitty S. She hasn't had much kitty play time lately and was very sad about it... until today. Mom and Dad decided to take a short nap mid morning and let Miss M nap on the bed with them. At one point, Mom got up to get some water, and the cats followed her back into the bedroom. Kitty P wasn't interested in sharing the bed with a dog, but Kitty S jumped right up. Miss M was soooo happy. She got to snuggle the kitty a little and the kitty started playing with her- even chewing on her foot anytime she would take it off of the cat. We usually feel like the puppies are being too rough with their heavy paws, but the kitty purred the whole time, so apparently, she was okay with it.
Kitty P has been warming up to the puppies a little bit, but they don't trust her. She has scratched them a couple of times and even drew a little bit of blood on Mr. M when he got a little fresh one day. Today, she tried playing with the puppies several times- batting at their legs when they would walk by where she was laying on her back under a bar stool. The dogs didn't pay a bit of attention to her. I think they felt like it was a dirty trick.
The puppies have all been doing really well with their training and are getting better at leaving things alone when told. They have had lots of practice at "Leave it," this weekend. Miss M got to leave a frog alone. Miss S and Mr. C got to leave the trash can alone several times. Mr. M got to leave the sign in sheet for Dad's classes alone. Miss B has been trying her hardest to be good- which takes a lot of effort, and all of the puppies have been listening better in general. We were surprised by Miss M yesterday. She doesn't really like going into her crate and most of the time tries to run into the other room. If Mom is in the other room and Dad is putting the puppies into their crates, Miss M usually runs to Mom, hoping for Mom to let her stay out. So yesterday, we went to put them in the crate for breakfast, and Miss M started walking out of the room. Dad said, "Miss M. Go to your crate." It wasn't in a rough voice- just a normal speaking voice. She stopped, turned around and walked right into her crate. Mom closed the door, but we were so happy with her that we let her right back out as a reward.
We thought about taking the puppies to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Easter, but their two legged cousins were going to be having an Easter Egg hunt, and we are pretty sure that our puppies would find all of their eggs and eat the candy before the boys even had a chance. The puppies are very skilled at finding small plastic things to chew on. We bought them some of the Easter egg toys at PetsMart a while back. They had the plastic eggs torn open within minutes and had removed the squeaky toy inside. Unfortunately, they were more interested in the plastic eggs than in the fuzzy toy and proceeded to chew them into tiny sharp pieces, which we then had to pick up before they could eat them. So an Easter egg hunt would have been a bad idea. Plus, it was rainy today, and we didn't really want to go anywhere. Instead, we played in the house.
As an aside, our puppies have a habit of rearranging holidays. At Christmas time for example, we can have a tree, but presents underneath it are risky, given their love of opening boxes. They actually save us quite a bit of money at Halloween. We decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to have candy for trick-or-treaters. The puppies like people, but I don't think they would understand the costumes. I think it would freak them out too much. So instead, we save money and our waistlines by not buying candy- which is handy since we usually end up with way too much candy left over.
We've come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with our cats. They are not normal. First of all, cats aren't supposed to like dogs. Kitty S meows looking for the puppies when they are in their crates. She even goes and lays by Mr. C's crate some times. The vet joked with us last time we were there- after they pooped their kennel during the car ride, again- that they weren't scared of 5 pit bulls but they were scared of the car. It's true. There is something wrong with them. They beg for food in the kitchen. Whenever Mom is cooking, the puppies keep her company in hopes of a handout- which happens fairly often in the form of peanut butter or a puppy treat. If the dogs aren't all already in the kitchen and Mom starts cooking, the cats both come in and stretch up on two legs to try and see what she is making. They meow in hopes that she will give them some of whatever she is cooking- which does not work. Apparently the kitty Jedi mind tricks don't work on Mom.
If we eat in the living room and the puppies are in their crates, Kitty S jumps onto the couch and tries to take food off of Mom's plate. It doesn't matter how many times she gets put on the floor, she jumps right back up again to see what's for dinner. Neither of us have ever had cats that do that.
On top of that, they play together. Cats don't usually pay much attention to each other, but these two play. And by play, I don't mean that they lounge around and lazily bat some small fuzzy toy around. They really play- like puppies. Mr. M and Miss M have an ongoing game where they chase each other through the house at top speed. They run into the living room, jump on the love seat, bounce off it it back onto the floor and take off running into the other room again. The cats do the same thing, but in our bedroom and hall instead. They are actually doing it as I type this. They jump on the bed. Then they fly off the bed, chase each other down the hall at top speed, turn around and chase each other back to the bed, where it starts all over again. There are no toys involved. They aren't fighting. They just play, and they take turns being chased. Just like the puppies.
On top of that, they like dog food. I get that the dogs would like the cat food- it's stinky. I get it. But not the other way around. The other day we fed the dogs in the kitchen just to practice eating all together. The cats were waiting patiently in a safe spot behind a bar stool while the dogs, who were paying absolutely no attention to the cats, were waiting for me to put food in the bowls. As soon as I set Miss S's food down, Kitty P (the one who only just tolerates the dogs), came out from behind the bar stool and went boldly right over to Miss S's bowl. Now, Miss S is normally the one who has been notoriously greedy with her food. The cat came right up and started smelling the food. Miss S paid no attention to the cat and just kept eating. The cat decided not to press her luck and took a few steps back, where she sat down and watched Miss S eat. One day, after putting some wet food into the puppies' bowls, I put the spoon down near the cats just to let them smell it. They licked the spoon clean! If pieces of dry dog food end up on the floor, they eat that too.
Maybe our cats aren't weird and times are just changing, but I doubt it. Cats these days!
The cats are really getting more comfortable with the puppies. The other day, we let Miss B take a nap with us in the middle of the day. The door was open, and Kitty P came running in and jumped on the bed- not realizing there was a dog there. Miss B lifted her head and acted like she wanted to investigate, but Mom put her hand on Miss B's head and she calmed back down. Kitty P just paused briefly and then plopped right down and went to sleep, less than a foot away from Miss B. We were shocked.
And did I mention that the cats like to chase the broom just like the dogs?
Today was a big day for the puppies. We started out by taking the kitties to the vet for their booster shots. The puppies of course, love going to the vet. They got to visit with everybody and got weighed. I think secretly they were making fun of the kitties on the way back because the kitties had to get shots and the puppies didn't. Mr. M slobbered all over the vet's wife- giving her kisses all over her face. Miss M tried to run and visit with a small dog that came in. I think she is just happy when she sees animals that are smaller than she is. Normally she is the small one- although at the rate she's growing, she isn't going to be the smallest for much longer.
After we went to the vet, we decided that the weather was just too nice to stay home. So we dropped off the cats- they were just glad to be home again, had some lunch, then loaded the puppies back into the car and headed to the beach. The puppies' trainer recommended trying the gentle leader head collars to keep the puppies from pulling so much on the leash, and last time recommended a tandem leash to put two dogs on a single leash instead. The tandem leash is actually really cool because now we can hold 3 leashes instead of 5. The gentle leaders are great. They really cut down on the pulling. Today's walk on the beach was unlike all of our other beach walks. Normally they get super excited and pull so hard that I can't wear any rings because the leash handle squishes my fingers together and it hurts. With the gentle leaders and tandem leashes, we had the smoothest walk ever. I was even able to wear rings without getting my fingers bruised up. Once we got the hang of the tandem collar, Mom started working with Miss B to get her to stay on the same side of Mr. C the whole time.
They did really well. There were some distractions, which is fairly normal at the beach. At one point, Mom looked over and saw a wing sticking out of Mr. M's mouth. He had found a small dead bird on the ground and was proudly carrying it along like a trophy. He really didn't want to let it go. We haven't gotten to "drop it" yet. Mr. C and Miss B are actually pretty good at "drop it." We worked with them quite a bit on "drop it" when they were small, but somehow, we didn't get that one taught to Mr. M and Miss S. So Mom had to reach in and get the bird out of Mr. M's mouth. Although to be fair, Mr. C and Miss B have never been tested with something as tempting as a dead bird.
After our beach walk, the puppies were tired and happy. We were enjoying the walk too much to stop and take pictures. So I didn't get any good shots of us on the beach, although at several points, all five of the puppies were walking side by side in a line. It was great. All I was able to take a picture of was the sleepy puppies in the car on the way home.
We've decided that our cats are a little off. We're pretty sure that Kitty S thinks she's a dog. They both follow us around like the puppies do- at least when the puppies are not all in the same room with them. They are getting more and more relaxed though and part of the time, the puppies don't even pay any attention to them anymore- which is excellent. The kitties have started bringing us presents some mornings. Grandma and Grandpa have cats that spend part of the time inside and part outside. When they bring presents, it's usually in the form of something dead- like a squirrel or a bird or a bug. Our cats are inside all of the time, and thankfully, there isn't much to hunt inside. This is Texas, so we do get the occasional tree roach, which we call cockroaches. They are horrible! They are about 2-3 inches long and fly! Mom isn't scared of spiders or snakes or any of the usual offenders, but cockroaches.... That's a different story all together. Anyway, the cats have killed a couple of those. Luckily, the puppies chase them too, so Dad has a chance to get them before Mom comes across them unexpectedly.
Anyway, back to the cats bringing us presents. Since there isn't much to hunt, they bring us dog toys instead. We try to put the dog toys in their toy box most evenings, but lately, we have been waking up to toys just outside our bedroom door in the morning. The puppies don't mind, and immediately pick up the toys and carry them back to the kitchen, where they get dropped in favor of checking out kitties instead.
Yesterday, the puppies were playing inside ( it rained again so playing outside wasn't an option) and Kitty S went to sleep on the edge of the dining room table. Mr. M was playing and then noticed the cat. He got quiet and went over to sniff her and make sure she was still okay. As soon as she moved a little, he went back to playing with the other puppies. We are constantly amazed at how sweet the puppies are with each other, the cats and us. Miss S got fussed at the other day and went and laid down on the floor in the kitchen- sad at having gotten in trouble. Miss M went over to try and get Miss S to play. When Miss S didn't act interested in playing at all, Miss M got a very concerned look on her face and started licking Miss S as if to tell her everything was going to be okay. She licked her muzzle and then went about cleaning her ears. She did the same thing to Mr. C when she found him napping in the dining room. They are such sweet dogs! The more we get to know them, the more I wonder how anyone could believe all of the negative hype surrounding the breed.
This is the reason they couldn't play outside yesterday. The entire yard pretty much looked like this. I was surprised they didn't have a ton of accidents in the house. I mean seriously, I wouldn't want to potty in that!
Today, the yard is still a swamp. It isn't raining anymore, but it will be a while before everything dries out. I really wonder if this is any indication of how summer will be. Some years, it rains a lot in the spring and then turns into a desert for like 5 months with little or no rain. Some years, it rains in the spring and then again in the summer too. I guess we will see.
For now, though, we have been playing inside.
When the kitties sleep or play on the dining room table, Mr. C likes to stay right beside them, and chills out on the rug underneath the table.
Mr. M decided it was time for a cuddle. When Miss B saw that he was getting cuddles, she didn't want to be left out and came to get cuddles too. Mom of course loves it when the puppies want to cuddle and was happy to oblige.
With the yard as wet as it is, we can't always take the puppies out together because they will run around in the mud and get dirty when they are feeling playful. Dad took the puppies out a couple at a time this afternoon, and the ones that were inside paid really close attention to what was going on outside.
As an aside here, we kept wondering why the glass kept getting all smudged up on the lower part. This explains that mystery.
Based on when we rescued Miss B and Mr. C and how old they were when we took them to the vet for the first time, we estimated their birthday somewhere near the middle of March. So, today, we celebrated their first birthday- although we may call their birthday March 17th instead. Somehow, the Ides of March seems a little odd for a birthday. Anyway, a birthday celebration seemed in order for today. It has been super wet outside for a really long time now and without the yard to run in, we were all getting pretty bored.
So, what do you do when you want to celebrate a birthday but you can't play outside? First, we gave all of the puppies a bath, and then we made coconut bread. The puppies love coconut, so they were very glad to help lick the spoon when it was time to add the cream of coconut. They were also very glad to help eat half of a loaf of coconut bread, I mean, taste the coconut bread. We didn't do a very good job of planning ahead, so we didn't have any birthday hats. Instead, we put pirate bandannas on the birthday boy and girl.
What did the cats think about all of the birthday celebrations, you ask? They did what any self respecting cat would do... they took the opportunity to sneak into our bedroom and take a nap on our bed.
First time pitbull owners who found two pitbull puppies abandoned on the side of the road and decided to adopt them...And then loved them so much, they decided to get two wonderful mastiffs.