Friday, December 31, 2010

RIP Mulder, CH Pebwin's XPDNC OS SDHF

I just learned of the passing of an incredible Golden Retriever, “Mulder”, CH Pebwin’s XPDNC OS SDHF, is Hush’s great grandfather. Mulder was incredibly influential to the Golden Retriever breed. His off spring can be found competing in a variety of venues, and he is in the pedigree of many winning show dogs today. Mulder embodied everything a Golden Retriever should in temperament, and was known for passing this on to his off spring.

RIP Mulder.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Belated Election Day!

As you all know, I work in politics, and I acquired Hush during the three busiest days of my political career. I am so slow posting these pictures from election night, but it is fun to look back and see how much she has grown. We had a wonderful office celebration with great food (BBQ, ribs, delicious sides, desserts, and plenty of beer and wine) while we watched the election results come in. We really put in insane hours leading up to the elections, and this celebration was a very special way to reconnect with one another, and our friends and loved ones (who were also included in our celebration). So without further ado, HAPPY belated ELECTION DAY!!!

She was such a tiny little cuddly ball of love when I got her. She is now much, much, much bigger!

My boss left me in charge of decorating for our party. Our firm is non-partisan, and he wanted me to decorate with both Democrat and Republican accessories. As you can tell, I decided to use my creative license and editorialize our decor a bit. Here I am with my Weepuplican!

Isn't this a great picture? I was inspired by this photo of Am-Can. CH Nitro's Boy Wonder carrying American flags in a parade.

But, trying to get Hush to hold an American Flag in a photo was a bit of a failure.

This is one of my favorite photos from the evening. When I bought my puppy supplies, I purposely bought a blue collar and red leash knowing that Hush would be spending her first three days with me in the office.

I know, I know, there is no dog in this photo, and this is a dog blog, but because politics are such a huge part of my life, I thought I'd share this photo of me watching the returns come in. I look so serious!

One very important trait in the the Golden Retriever breed standard is jet black pigment. I love this photo because it captures Hush's coal black nose, and the dark pigment around her eyes. Her eyes look black here, they are really a dark brown.

The first 3 months of a puppy's life are the make or break months for socialization. My goal was to introduce Hush to 100 different people before she turned 12 weeks. By bringing her to work, she was able to meet over 50 different people in only 3 days!

Hush was very interested in the receipt in my co-worker Leah's hand.

One of the great things about my office is it is all carpeted! The carpeted hallways are perfect for playing fetch with a puppy, because they provide plenty of traction during retrieves.

While I was between places to live, my dear friends Frank and Annie rented me (and my two dogs!) their guest bedroom. I look terrible in this photo, but I am so grateful to have two incredible friends in my life that I'll post it anyways.

That party was so much fun! Goodnight, readers!

Friday, December 24, 2010

T'was the Night Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the forum

Not a creature was sleeping, not even a Golden;

The stocking were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Santa Paws soon would be there;

The kitties were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of catnip danced in their heads;

With Arry in his headphones and I on the sofa,

Had just settled down for a TV marathona;

When out in the dining room there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the davenport to see what was the matter.

I sprung round the corner in a lightening flash,

Skidded across the floor and landed in a splash;

The lamp on the breast of the newly mopped floor,

Gave luster and shine to what was below;

When what to my wandering eyes should I see,

But eight disengrated bulbs looking back at me;

Next to them two Goldens so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment they had their favorite pick;

But then from above we hear a voice deep and jolly,

The voice rings out, It must be Santa Paws, by golly;

The Goldens they scrambled to the front door with glee,

Leaving Ma on the floor like a swatted down bee;

The doorbell it rang and a package heard dropped,

The Goldens they barked and they barked and they barked.

Santa Paws Santa Paws, yes he had finally came,

Then he whistled and shouted and called them by name;

Heal Beethoven, Heal Marley, Heal Benji and Buddy!

On Marmaduke, on Lassie, on Yellar and Snoopy!

Then in a flash with a wag of their tail,

The team went away with more to mail;

The Goldens ran back with stories to tell,

Eyes bright with joy but on deaf ears it fell;

I scolded and pointed to the fallen bulbs,

But the Goldens denied any action at all;

Must have been the fat man Mom with all of his dogs,

For we love all things Christmas, even the logs;

To my puter I headed with a story to tell,

With a log and a click I knew all was well;

To family and friends, and yes, furries on paw,

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas to All!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Road To The Breed Ring:

I am very excited to announce that on January 18th, Hush and I will be starting Beginning Conformation Class! Typically, the trainer of this class likes dogs to be at least 6-months, and Hush will only be 5-months, but because she will only be teaching the course this winter she is making an exception. I had the opportunity of meeting with the trainer last week after puppy kindergarten, and she is fantastic. She shows Chow Chow’s and is an AKC judge, who seems to be a wealth of knowledge!

So you ask, what is Beginning Conformation Class? Basically, this will serve as an introduction to conformation (dog showing, like what you see on TV when you watch Westminster) for both Hush and I. The class is geared towards anyone who is a novice and has never shown a dog in conformation, or has limited experience. To ensure all students receive individual attention, the class is capped at only 10 students.

The course covers:

  • Familiarity with breed standards and their importance
  • Canine anatomy terminology
  • Proper equipment use for exhibiting specific breeds
  • Show procedures and attitude
  • Movement patterns
  • Ring appearance
  • Good sportsmanship

The course is 6-weeks long, and will be the first step in preparing us for the show ring. After this class is over, another class will start on weekends, where each Saturday will be like a mock show to get dogs used to having dogs standing in front of and behind them while being shown.

I can begin showing Hush at 6-months in AKC puppy classes. I already have one show planned on our calendar in June, in Traverse City, Michigan, where as you know, Hush came from. Whether or not this show will be our debut, only time will tell!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Don't Kill Your Dog With Antifreeze!!!

With a cold front hitting much of the country, and snow blanketing many cities, it’s a great time to be outside with your favorite fur friends for play time in the fluffy white stuff! But, with the cold weather, one potentially lethal substance seems to be everywhere: antifreeze.

It’s in windshield wiper fluid and coolant, which I know I personally seem to be buying in droves these days. If your car is leaking coolant, it can be dripping on your sidewalk, or you may store your extra bottles in a corner in your garage. Please, be extremely careful. Do not let your dog lick your driveway, or anywhere antifreeze may have leaked from a car, and make sure to keep products containing antifreeze far from reach of pets (and children), and your garage locked. Should any spill, clean up every last drop.

Antifreeze has a very sweet taste, which makes it particularly attractive to dogs, who do not realize the substance is toxic. Ethylene Glycol is added to antifreeze to lower freezing points, and is the sweet smelling and tasting chemical making antifreeze lethal. Just a teaspoon of antifreeze can quickly cause a small dog to go into kidney failure and be lethal, and not much more is needed to kill a large dog.

I know when I think antifreeze, I automatically think of its uses in automobiles, but we can’t forget our holiday decorations that may contain it, too. Snow globes are very popular this time of year, and these tend to be manufactured in China. Like many products from China, snow globes are transported to this country on large cargo ships. To prevent the liquid inside of the globes from freezing (which would cause the glass globes to break), antifreeze is added during manufacturing. Keep your snow globes out of your pet’s reach this holiday season, and should one break, make sure to thoroughly clean up not just the broken glass, but the liquid as well.

Remember, with all of our decorations and holiday treats, dogs are tempted to counter surf or jump on tables this time of year. Because of this, it is extra important to never leave a dog unattended in a room, or within reach of a surface holding a snow globe. The sweet scent and flavor of antifreeze is just too good for many pets to pass up, and the results are almost always lethal.

Should your dog show signs like staggering and vomiting, immediately check out your veterinarian. For extra precaution, companies like Sierra produce less toxic propelyne-glycol-based antifreeze.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Neighbors

If you read my blog, you probably own dogs, or love dogs, or want a dog. Or, you are one of my few non-dog readers keeping tabs on me through my dog-related exploits and posts. If you are the latter, you probably know my name is Lydia, and I blog under the name Miss Muddy Paws, and knowing these facts puts you in the minority.

My new condo is filled with dogs, and the people on the end of their leashes seem incredibly friendly and welcoming. My neighbors (of the human variety) regularly walk dogs for one another, and swap dog sitting duties if someone is going out-of-town. I have gotten to know them quite well – on the first floor, we have Marley, on the second floor there are Jessica Simpson and Milly and Hush, the third floor is home to Gus, and a pitbull, whose name escapes me. I can also name eight of my neighbors in other buildings.

When I walk around the corner, Retrievers in-leash, I can hear people talking, “There’s Hush-Puppy, and the other one is Milly. They live on the second floor of X building.” I’ve quickly learned which dogs are ones that can play with mine, and which are a little less-social. In my interactions, I sometimes garner little tidbits about their owners. The hound Hush loves to play with has an owner that works most weekends; Jessica Simpson’s owner adores Colbert and disapproves of my “Warning: Dog Bites Democrats” magnet on my car; Gus’s owner is engaged; the husky-mix is owned by a man who drives a BMW; Marley’s owner recently re-did her hardwood floors; Nellie’s owner has top-secret clearance. If this sounds like LSAT prep, it’s not, it’s my life.

I’m sure at some point in time, we’ve exchanged human names, but the names we most frequently use are our dogs’. Most of the details about our lives come from exchanges about our dogs, and a conversation almost never leads with human-questions, unless it has to do with the weather.

Having dogs has afforded me the opportunity to get to know my neighbors, I know them much better than my non-dog-owning roommate, Sydney, but do I really know them? Or, do I simply know the canines of the condo complex? It’s one thing to know the names of the dogs at the local dog park, and not their human counterparts, but, has this been taken too far when the same holds true for my neighbors?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Award: Bad Blogger

I am the worst blogger ever! If there was an award for bad-bloggers, I would get it! So much has been going on.

First, I moved on Tuesday. I now live in a lovely little condo complex in Arlington, on 14-acres of beautifully manicured lawns, with well established trees, and a river… did I seriously just discuss the “well established trees”? No wonder I’m single.

The complex is extremely dog friendly, and I love it! Moving has really monopolized the majority of my time, and I will be very excited when everything is set up. I’ll post pictures as soon as my apartment no longer looks like a national disaster area. I have so much stuff, so I’m implementing a lot of down-sizing and space-saving tips I’ve learned on all of the blogs I follow, and am debating ordering the shoe rack DC Gop Girl blogged about.

Second, I am currently trying to get a new job. I know, controversial whether or not to put this out on the worldwide web, but my boss knows about my endeavors, and fully supports my career so I’m going to go out on a limb and own up to it, at least on the blogosphere.

Third, as you all know, I have a puppy. I really did not grasp exactly what I was getting myself into with getting Hush. Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the best decisions of my life, but I now really understand first hand why you should never get a puppy on a whim. I researched puppies, breeders, training, and just about everything dog related for over three years, and am still blown away by the amount of time and work involved in having a new puppy, especially if you care as much about training as I do.

I promise to return to blogging regularly, just as soon as possible.