Monday, December 30, 2013


Our Christmas photo shoot did not go nearly as well as our winter photo shoot.

It was morning and we were all still pretty groggy.

Gina kept stealing the treats off camera but would not stay still long enough to be on camera.

The hats kept falling off. I tried taping them on, but it didn't really work and both dogs were pretty miffed.

Once I got Norman's to stay put, he held his pose but Kaya kept tipping her head back just far enough to make her hat slip off again.

And if I told her to stay seriously, she'd stay but then she'd bulge out her crazy eyes.

I did manage to get this one which was pretty sweet.

Has anyone else every tried to take pictures of dogs in santa hats? What's your trick?

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Monday, December 16, 2013


I think for the first time in my life I have actually finished my Christmas shopping before a mad dash to the mall on Christmas Eve and lots of stress. Norman has been a rather good shopping partner as every store apart from food stores seem to be dog friendly these days. Hey, there's one bonus of a struggling economy!

Norman @ Urban Outfitters

Of course we always need a shopping break so we went to the park to enjoy the nice weather.

I cannot complain about our spring-like temps but it does make it feel a bit less Christmas-y. But I think we are planning a January trip to the snow!

We also did a holiday photo shoot! Hopefully I'll have time this week to put them all in a blog post because they are too cute. A great blend of why are you doing this to me expressions with oh! a treat for me! looks.

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013


When going over the nicknames I use for the pups, I forgot to mention a major one I have been using since they were young! As I've said a lot in the past, most of our outings are off leash so they are used to a lot of recall. Sometimes I need to call both of them at the same time. Instead of calling them individually by name, their collective name is Puppies!

They always come running with glee when I call this out.

I wonder what people might think when I call out puppies! and two 60ish pound dogs come barreling around the corner.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013


I recently wrote this post about the dogs' and Gina's nicknames. One thing I didn't get into is how interesting it is to see their reactions to their nicknames vs. their actual names.

The thing I have realized about nicknames is that once animals learn them, they always respond the them positively. As much as I have heard trainers say never to use your dog's name when you are scolding them, it is pretty much impossible to do. Your first instinct when your dog or cat is doing something wrong, is to yell out their name to try and get their attention. Though unless I was to start saying ilovekaya, Chubbie Wub Wubs and Squeaker in an angry tone, all they know is that life kicks ass when they hear it. It's definitely been helpful in positive training exercises.

When Shaka was around I was working with her a lot on her fears, nerves and doggy depression. At first, I instinctively used her nickname, Honeybee, whenever she was super excited and happy so she made a really positive connection to it. Later on, I realized it was helpful to use it when she would tense up and it would make her feel more at ease with the situation. I loved getting her all riled up and happy using her nickname because she was usually so mellow, it was such a great feeling to watch a withdrawn dog get super psyched about something!

Sometimes nicknames come in handy for Kaya and Norman too. If they are losing interest in a training exercise or distracted when we're out and about, I can throw out a nickname and they look at me like, "Who me? Oh! Hi! Awesome, yes, yes yes!"

And once in a while I like to say, "Squeaker! How dare you?" to Gina when she's up to no good...only to make myself laugh because let's face it, she doesn't give a damn when she's in trouble.

Have you found nicknames to be useful in training or do you keep them just for silly times?

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Another trip to the airport meant another trip to the beach with the pups! This time we arrived at sunset. I was worried that it would be too cold but it was still in the mid 50's so I put on a hoodie (I always have a spare in my car), rolled up my jeans and we were good to go!

I only wish I had to decent camera to capture the true beauty and intensity of the sunset but I got some decent pictures with my iPhone.

The crappy thing about a sunset is that it only lasts a short time and it's gone before you've had enough time to enjoy it.

But the awesome thing about about a sunset is that it only lasts a short time and so every time you bend down to take a picture, the landscape looks completely different.

And just when you think it can't get more does.

Even some of the blurry pictures turned out pretty cool.

I'm lucky I live on the west coast because I know the east coast has some beautiful sunrises, but I could never get up early enough to enjoy them!

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