Saturday, July 31, 2010

100 Posts!

The My Dog Forest blog has officially reached 100 posts! Forest was thrilled to hear this news :)

I would like to thank the puppy for providing so many adorable photos and writing material for this blog.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Poop Scissors

I never saw a chapter about this in any of our dog training books. It would have been considerate if someone had given us a heads up about purchasing an essential doggy accessory…Poop Scissors.

As we have yet to train Forest to wipe his own butt, sometimes we have to complete this task for him. Usually there are just some ugly remnants hanging on his fur, and a quick dab with a paper towel is all that’s required. But unfortunately there are times when a paper towel just ain’t doing the job (forget cleaning up spilled milk and stovetop grease, if I ever see a commercial where a mother cleans up puppy poop with her magical Bounty towel, I’m buying that freaking product).

Yes, every now and then, Forest somehow manages to embed his puppy waste into his butt hair, and then it’s a job for the Poop Scissors. Nick and I have become so accustomed to this chore that we routinely remind each other to double-check Forest’s butt after he poops. Today I decided to start using the command “Butt Check” with Forest so he’ll stop squirming when I lift his tail for inspection.

And no, we didn’t buy an expensive pair of scissors that were specifically designed for this job. The Poop Scissors are just an ordinary pair of office scissors that now have the sole purpose of clipping turds out of Forest’s hair. I did a quick Google search and surprisingly didn’t find any certified Poop Scissors for sale. With all the stupid dog items out there, like this one, you’d think someone would have patented Poop Scissors by now. Hmmmm...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Potty Bell

I haven't posted about potty training lately because, HALLELUJAH, Forest hasn't had an accident in the house for the past couple of months (besides that incident in April). We were really struggling for awhile, but I thinking the turning point came when we bought a potty bell.

We decided to get a bell after constantly finding Forest sitting at the front door waiting to go out (and we had no clue as to how long he had been waiting) or a puppy puddle on the kitchen floor. We thought it would be helpful if Forest could somehow signal when he needed to potty, but without barking or whining. We found two different types of potty bells: one was bell attached to a piece of rope that would hang from a door knob, and the other was free-standing bell that kinda looked like what you would ring for a bellhop at a hotel. We decided to buy the latter because we thought it would get really annoying to hear a bell ring every time we opened the door (plus we figured it would confound Forest).

After we bought the bell, we had to tackle the task of training Forest to use it. Similar to his crate training, every single time we took Forest outside to potty, we would first lift his little paw and gently push it down on the bell. Theoretically, puppies are supposed to eventually learn that ringing the bell automatically gives them a free pass outside, but we found that the word “eventually” is relative. Most of the books we read and the websites we looked at said that it may take a few days to a few weeks to train your puppy to ring the bell when he needs to go out. Ummm, it took 2 freaking months to train Forest to use the potty bell. After the first month, I felt like a complete jackass. An Albert Einstein quote kept repeating in my head "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Damn straight.

I’ll admit it, I almost gave up, but the crate training experience gave me hope that someday Forest could understand what the potty bell was for. Then, one day, Forest accidently rang the bell by licking it. YAY! Doggy got a lot of treats and praise. He quickly caught on after that and was ringing the bell every time he went out.

Of course, Forest soon learned to take advantage of the bell and rang it every time he wanted to go outside, not when he needed to go outside. Hear some kids playing outside? *RING* Want to go chew on some grass? *RING* Just desire some attention from your parents who, gasp, haven’t looked at you for 30 seconds? *RING*

So Nick and I had to retrain ourselves to not let Forest out every time he rings the bell. I think we’ve finally reached a nice equilibrium. We totally ignore Forest if he’s gone potty recently and rings the bell. If Forest hasn’t gone out in awhile and rings the bell, or if he loiters around the bell and persistently rings it, then we know the puppy really needs to go potty.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fuzzy Photo of the Day

I don’t know, I think kids would have a lot of fun with this thing...

By the way, Forest DESTROYED this MilkBone ball in less than 5 minutes. Piece of crap.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

We love you, Forest *Updated*

One year ago today, baby Forest left the breeders, his doggy Mom and Dad, and all his liter-mates, to join a new family.

Wow, truly the best decision we ever made.

*Update* Conversation with Nick after I published this post:

Nick: “Wait a minute, what about when I asked you out? That was a damn good decision.”
Me: “True, but that was your decision, just like saying Yes when you asked me out was my decision. I’m talking about our decision to get Forest, as a couple.”
Nick: “OK…then our decision to buy the new TV was a close second.”

Touché, Nick, touché.


Thursday, July 22, 2010


We had a little incident today. After picking Forest up from doggy day-care, I made the slow journey home through rush hour traffic. About half way back to the house, the car in front of me suddenly braked, forcing me to also slam rudely on my brakes. I stopped without hitting anyone, but heard a whoosh from the backseat. I turned around (as I was safely stopped at this point) and found Forest on the floor. Yep, the puppy had slid right off the backseat. To make matters worse, the passenger seat was positioned pretty far back, so Forest was kinda stuck behind it. Traffic started moving again so I couldn't help the wedged puppy, who finally managed to crawl back up onto the seat. The poor doggy hid in the corner, shaking with fear, for the rest of the ride home.

So now I'm contemplating buying a dog seatbelt or restraint. Recently a local car accident made headlines because the car flipped a few times and a doggy passenger was ejected. The hurt puppy ran away from the accident and wasn't found for a few days. I had thought about buying something for Forest then, but Nick reasoned that such an accident was unlikely to occur to us so the purchase was unnecessary. But after today's scare, I think I'm going to have to seriously consider it…


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fuzzy Photo of the Day

Lordy, this is a lot of hair…it's like Forest's face merged with his torso. Puppy, where's your neck?


Monday, July 19, 2010

Sock Monster

As I've mentioned before, Forest usually doesn't chew on our stuff, but he LOVES to slobber all over our socks. Forest has found socks in our house that I never knew existed. He always attacks my feet when I try to put on a pair. Forest has even snuck into the guest room and stolen socks out people's luggage.

But I think I may have pinpointed the moment this obsession started. Forest had only been living with us for a few weeks when he found a pair of my socks in the garage. I had recently mowed the grass and my socks were covered in grass and dirt so I tucked them in my mowing shoes and forgot about them. Forest dragged those stinky socks into the yard and drooled over them the entire afternoon.

Nom nom nom...

Action shot - Forest is going to DESTROY this puny sock.

"It's my sock now, understand?"


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fuzzy Photo of the Day

Forest, honey, I love you, but your big puppy head is blocking Top Chef. 


Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Adorable Carry-On

There was a seemingly endless waiting period (about 1 week) between the first phone call with the breeder's when we made a verbal contract to become Forest's new parents, and that wonderful Saturday morning when we brought the puppy home for the first time. I spent most of that week buying dog supplies and freaking out. Although Nick was very emotionally supportive, he was of no physical help during this shopping extravaganza, mostly because he was out of town that week on business. But when he was back in town, he refused to enter a pet store like PetSmart or PetCo because of the whole dog-allergies-might-kill-him detail. Whatever, after researching dog breeds and agonizing over this decision for almost two years, I was more than eager to take on all shopping responsibilities.

A slight distinction for non-dog folks out there: a dog crate and a dog carrier are usually two different items. While a dog crate is used for sleeping and potty training, a dog carrier is used for, you guessed it, carrying the dog. A little puppy has little legs and gets tired easily, so you end up carrying him around a lot. Plus puppies are susceptible to a lot of diseases when they're young, so sometimes you want to take a puppy to a public area but don't want him to run around where he could get infected. Thus, a need for a dog carrier.

Of all the doggy products and accessories I bought, the dog carrier was by far the most difficult item to pick out. Seems simple, right? Just find a small bag with handles and/or strap to carry a puppy around in. I also envisioned carrying Forest onto an airplane one day, so the bag had to meet FDA size regulations. Although most of the bags I found technically met the before-mentioned criteria, they were also either pink or sparkly or had "Sassy Bitch" written on the side. Not really Nick's style.

After searching the internet and visiting several stores, I finally found a plain black bag with mesh sides and both top and side zipper openings. It was the perfect carrier for baby Forest.

Little puppy curled up for a nap in his carrier.

Forest loved playing in his carrier and would often strategically place numerous toys in or next to the carrier for immediate access.

 The puppy also loved to chew on the carrier. We considered ourselves very lucky because Forest rarely chewed on anything, so we allowed him this one indulgence.

But soon came the day when the carrier was no longer necessary.  Forest has received all of his shots and vaccines so we don't need to worry about isolating him. And although Forest will never been a marathon runner, he can take long walks and doesn't need to be carried any more. So for the last few months, the dog carrier has been locked away in the basement…until this week.

While planning an upcoming trip to Colorado to visit my folks, I started thinking about maybe taking Forest with me. I'm going to fly, and hate the idea of Forest suffering in the luggage compartment, so this trip would require carrying the puppy on the plane. Yay! I just so happened to have bought the perfect carrier less than a year ago. So earlier this week I dug out the carrier to double-check the dimensions before booking my flight.

Carrier size vs. Southwest regulations -> close call but I think the carrier could have fit under the seat. However, Carrier size vs. Full-Grown Doggy size -> no question, Forest is the champ.