A quiet autumn with the dogs

We’ve been enjoying lovely weather lately, and the dogs are content. What more can you ask for?

Snapshots of backyard living:

Fall on the backyard

Honey baby

Odd allure of morning glories

Princess P

My only minor concern involving the pups is that Pyrrha has developed a small, strange little sore on her upper and lower lips. We’re in touch with the vet about it, and we’re switching up some routines to try to rule out possibilities (wound from rubbing/digging, allergies, autoimmune disorder). I’m sure she’ll be OK, but I feel kind of obsessive about it. I’m a hypochondriac on behalf of my dogs. Can anyone else relate??

Anyway. All will be well. How have you been spending your fall days?

Springtime in the backyard

We had a beautiful weekend of yard work, and the dogs spent all day outside, basking in the sun, chomping on sticks, and playing with each other (and some other pups; pics to come soon).

Playing in the yard with the girls

Playing in the yard with the girls

Playing in the yard with the girls

Playing in the yard with the girls

Playing in the yard with the girls

I love watching them play together. Most of the time, they’re just peacefully coexisting in the house, but in the yard, they like to go wild and play chase and wrestle. It always warms my heart to be reminded that they actually like each other (even though they will still grumble from time to time, like any pair of siblings).

Playing in the yard with the girls
This crazy baby just started her womanly rite of passage.

Our news, as of this morning, is that Eden started her first heat. Which is kind of a bummer, but also maybe a good thing, because I keep hearing studies that confirm that waiting longer to spay is beneficial for dogs, especially large breeds. Guion called me five or six times before I showed up at work this morning, and when I called him back, thinking some terrible emergency had happened, he said, “Um, there are all of these little blood droplets on the floor… and Eden can’t stop licking herself…” Well, there you have it. “I think you need to take her on a girls’ weekend and explain the mysteries of life to her now,” he said. Guess so! Also wonder if I should buy her some ice cream and some fashion magazines so she can curl up on the couch until the cramps subside… 😉

Playing in the yard with the girls
The side of the fence that we want to make a privacy fence. Exhibit A: The trampoline.

What happened in your households this weekend?

Weekend play-dates with Roland and Loki

The dogs enjoyed a busy, action-packed weekend, which included two play-dates.

On Saturday: Play-date with Roland!

The good dogs at the play date. Eden not included.
Roland and Pyrrha greeting friends.

All the dogs seemed kind of lethargic about this play-date; they shuffled around each other and seemed generally sleepy. But at least they got some time outside together, checking each other out and just chillin’.

Play date with Roland

It was a warm, humid day, so maybe the temperatures slowed everyone down?

On Sunday: Play-date with Loki!

Play date with Loki
The young stud, with slobber.

Play date with Loki

Both girls were ECSTATIC when Loki showed up.

Play date with Loki

Pyrrha hasn’t seen Loki in a long time, and this was Eden’s first time meeting him — and her first play-date with a dog who was significantly larger than herself. Needless to say, they were both very enthusiastic about the presence of this handsome dude.

Play date with Loki

Play date with Loki

Play date with Loki

Play date with Loki

Play date with Loki

Play date with Loki

Play date with Loki

Play date with Loki

Play-Date Behavior Question: Eden has the very annoying habit of incessant barking when a dog comes over to play. I think it’s a bark that stems from excitement/overstimulation, but it’s super-annoying, and I think it really unnerves some dogs. What can we do to help her with this? Have you ever experienced this in your dog?

Play date with Loki
Three happy (begging) pups.

Gardening with dogs

Having a garden and having dogs: Is it possible?

New garden beginnings and dogs

We love dogs, and we love gardening, and sometimes, I feel like these two loves are at cross-purposes with one another.

Exhibit A: I planted a forsythia bush and two blackberry bushes in our yard. My naive self thought, Hey, the dogs aren’t too interested in watching me plant these things; they will probably leave them alone.

Result: I go inside for 30 minutes. Come back out. Little Demon Child (aka Eden Loretta) has ripped out a blackberry bush, strewn it across the yard, and chewed the root ball in half.

Solution: Guion fenced off the back portion of the yard to make our garden area.

New garden beginnings and dogs
New garden fence.
New garden beginnings and dogs
Raised beds in progress. Right now, it looks like we’re making mass graves.

He also installed tree cages around our fledgling shrubs in the dogs’ part of the yard. For now, the cages have seemed to deter the dogs from getting at the plants. My only fear is that when we take the cages off, once the plants are mature, is Eden going to go back after them?

New garden beginnings and dogs
Dog-proof (hopefully) cage around forsythia bush.

I really want to plant along this side of the fence, because the neighbors have, like, 30 children and several terriers who run around off-leash and make Pyrrha CRAZY (and the kids terrify her). As Jessica (My Imperfect Dog) predicted, Pyrrha is unleashing her fear/anxiety about the kids/dogs beyond the fence onto unsuspecting Eden. So, I want to create a hedge, and we’re now contemplating making that side of the fence solid (e.g., so the dogs can’t see through the slats at all).

New garden beginnings and dogs

All that to say, this crazy yard is still a work in progress. The garden fence is very sturdy, and the dogs are respectful of it, so that’s something. But how do you handle this tension, between your yard and your dogs?

New garden beginnings and dogs
Don’t trust this one.

Do you garden? If so, what are your tips for salvaging your garden while still allowing your dogs to frolic in the yard?