Lazy summer play with Roland

Play date with Roland
Roland!

This past weekend, we had Roland (aka Pyrrha’s BFF) over for a play-date. But we forgot that dogs are SO lazy in this Southern, summer heat… and so there was a lot more lounging than playing going on.

Play date with Roland

Still, I know the girls always enjoy having a friend over — even if everyone was fantastically lazy.

Play date with Roland

Play date with Roland

It’s always nice to have Roland visit, because Pyrrha is so familiar with him that I’m never worried about how she might react when he comes around. She is always at ease when Roland is over.

Eden is still learning how to chill out when dogs visit. We usually help redirect her insane barking and leaping by giving her a ball to chomp on; this keeps her engaged without going overboard and, importantly, it keeps her quiet.

Play date with Roland

Does your dog have a best dog friend? The kind of dog that you’re always at ease about?

New toy joy (review of Planet Dog Glow for Good ball)

Another way dogs are like little kids: Anything NEW is the BEST THING EVER.

Planet Dog ball review | Doggerel

I mean, look at these dorks:

Planet Dog ball review | Doggerel

Planet Dog ball review | Doggerel

So when we got the Planet Dog Glow for Good ball in the mail from Chewy, the girls were more than a little excited.

Planet Dog ball review | Doggerel

Notably, Pyrrha was really into this ball, and she normally doesn’t go wild over toys like Eden. When we adopted her, she had never played with toys before, so it took her a long time to warm up to them. Which is why these photos of her reveling in the new ball just melt my heart:

Planet Dog ball review | Doggerel

Planet Dog ball review | Doggerel

Eden, however, has a really strong drive for retrieving, so I knew she’d enjoy any new ball. “Enjoy” is putting it lightly; the dog didn’t let this particular ball leave her mouth for about three hours after she stole it away from Pyrrha. Amazing. She’s totally obsessed with it.

Planet dog ball review | Doggerel

The ball is squishy but strong, and Eden hasn’t chipped any part of it off, even after hours and hours of intensive fetching and chomping. It also has a minty aroma, which is intriguing to me. And the ball glows in the dark, which is pretty wonderful if you have an all-night fetcher. Furthermore, there is a hole through the middle of the ball, which could be stuffed with small treats or a narrow chew (about the thickness of a Sharpie marker). And it floats! Which is a great feature if you have water retrievers. Even better, 100% of the proceeds from the ball go to support Planet Dog Foundation, the company’s nonprofit that champions service dogs.

The Glow for Good ball in the 3″ size currently sells for $12.54 at Chewy.com.

Planet Dog ball review | Doggerel

In short, we were thrilled with the new toy, and we will definitely be shopping for Planet Dog products in the future! I’m impressed. And I daresay the girls are too.

Does your dog have a favorite ball? Have you ever used a Planet Dog product before?

Disclosure: We were provided with this ball by Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.

Pyrrha has a play-date of her own

One of the interesting results of having a second dog in the house is that Pyrrha’s play style has changed. Since adding Eden, she has (1) become more testy in our yard when we have dogs over, and (2) become less engaged in play, particularly if we’re not in our yard.

Pyrrha and Fiona get to play

Both of these consequences have been interesting and frustrating at times. This past week, we had to take care of Fiona for the evening, and I decided I’d just take Pyrrha with me. (Side note: Eden’s play behavior with Fiona has become increasingly untenable. Essentially, she takes advantage of Fiona’s strong submissiveness, and won’t let Fiona off the ground for the first 10–15 minutes of every play-date. This, obviously, has made Fiona rather fearful of her. We’ve been trying to work on this, by helping Eden calm down with a “pack walk” — with Fiona at a distance, and they only get to greet each other when Edie is in a calm, collected state — but it’s still a work in progress.)

Pyrrha and Fiona get to play

That said, Fi and Pyr had a lovely evening romp together. It was fun to see Pyrrha really enjoy herself with another dog (without her pesky little sister tagging along). She actually played with Fiona, something she hasn’t done since Eden joined the family. Pyrrha seemed genuinely happy to play chase and tag with Fi, and Fiona just adores Pyrrha (kind of like a little girl looking up the cool, older girl in school). It was very sweet to see them together.

Pyrrha and Fiona get to play

In short, the evening was a good reminder that it’s sometimes a good thing to break up the sisterhood and let the dogs do things on their own.

Do your dogs behave differently when they’re not with their canine siblings? Do you ever create solo outings for this reason?

A visit from Georgia

We enjoyed beautiful spring weather this weekend — and a visit from my in-laws and their pup, Georgia!

Happy George
Happy George!

Isn’t she just too cute?

She is such a precious little “pocket golden,” and it’s always fun to see what a naturally different disposition she has than our shepherds. Georgia, for instance, is SO much more interested in human beings than the GSDs. Georgia wants to be touching a person at all times. Pyrrha and Eden would prefer that you kept your hands off them, for the most part, and they are usually too busy patrolling the house and yard to worry much about deep, emotional human interaction.

Pup friends! A visit from Georgia.
Georgia and Edie!

This was Eden’s first time meeting Georgia. Their initial meeting did not go so well. Georgia showed up at 9 pm, so meeting in the dark backyard + Eden finding it all very unexpected + barking and lunging = not a great introduction. To help Eden calm down, we took all three dogs on a walk and kept Eden a fair distance from Georgia until she could calm down. The walk helped, and within about 5 minutes of returning home, the little ones were playing like best friends.

Pup friends

All three dogs were great together over the weekend, and we were thankful for our secure backyard, where they could hang out and play together while the rest of us worked in the yard and prepared our garden beds. (And planted an extra tree to continue forming a hedge/barrier from the neighbor kids!)

Tail smack
Tail smack! Makes me LOL. Pyrrha looks possessed.

I think Eden’s crazy barking freaked out my in-laws, but Georgia knew how to handle the psycho puppy, and they played nonstop all weekend. Eden’s play barking also reduced considerably over time, once she seemed to figure out that Georgia was not going to leave any time soon. Pyrrha tended to do her own thing, but all three dogs were just beat at the end of each day. Which was the best. We could have a peaceful dinner while all three fuzzy monsters slept soundly on the dining room floor.

We hope Georgia will come visit again soon!

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.

Only human

(c) James Walker Studios. Pinned from my dogs board.
(c) James Walker Studios. Pinned from my dogs board.

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”

— Charles M. Schulz

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I love this quote, and the photo! Wow. Can’t get over it. (Photo by James Walker Studios, of a rescue border collie in the swirling snow. What a deep, intense gaze this dog has!)

Hope you are enjoying peaceful, cozy winters with your pups! I for one am really thankful that the sleet and slush and snow has cleared up and that we have clear (if cold) skies.

Last play-date at this house

This past Sunday, Roland came over for Pyrrha’s last puppy play-date at the old house.

Last Locust puppy play date
Rollz.

As I’ve mentioned, Pyrrha has been neglected lately, due to the craziness of our lives and the all-consuming task of packing, so this was a much-needed play session. Sunday was also so cold (sunny but a high of 34 F, which is too cold according to me), so it was nice to let the pups burn off some energy while watching them from the comfort of the sun porch.

Last Locust puppy play date
An invitation to dance.
Last Locust puppy play date
An aggressive-looking kiss.
Last Locust puppy play date
A paw in the face.
Last Locust puppy play date
Flying ears and tails.
Last Locust puppy play date
Romping.
Last Locust play date! These cuties. #pups #gsd #roland
Besties!
What goobers. #doglife #funnydogs
What goobers.

We’ll miss this yard, but we’re certainly excited about continuing the play-date tradition in our new space!

Last Locust puppy play date

Dog-sitting sweet Roland for the weekend

We had the pleasure of dog-sitting Roland this weekend. He’s a regular at our house, and we love having him. As I’ve mentioned before, he and Pyrrha get along beautifully, and Roland is very fond of Guion. He’s a very easy keeper, and we were very glad to have him around to romp with Pyrrha. She’s needed some canine company lately!

Flying dog wars. #puppypals
Flying dog wars.
Pyrrha is delighted to have Roland stay for the weekend! #puppypals
BFFs.
The very devoted kitchen watch. #roland #dogsitting
He’s a very devoted sous chef.
Someone's been having fun in the yard this morning. #roland #dogsitting
And he likes to play in the mud.
Roland has helped himself to the armchair. #doglife
And curl up like a bunny rabbit on the chair.
Nap time. #roland #doglife
Such a cutie!

We love this weird little dude! We’re always tempted to keep him when he comes…

In any event, he’s a good model for the kind of second dog we’d be looking for: Very mellow, affectionate toward Guion (even preferring Guion over me), relaxed with all kinds of people and children, loves to play with Pyrrha. One day, we hope to find a Roland-esque pup of our own!

Play-date with Josie the German shepherd

Playdate with Josie

Sunday, we had a much-needed play-date with beautiful Josie. Josie is a 1-year-old German shepherd from a well-respected local breeder (Blackthorn Kennels), and her human mama was the one who bravely brought us our very first foster, the hulking sweetheart Brando.

We have been talking about getting our shepherd girls together for a long time, so I’m glad that it finally happened!

Playdate with Josie
What’s your name? (Cracks me up.)

The girls had a great time together, as you can see! They wore each other out quickly, which was wonderful.

Josie has a comparable play style with Pyrrha, who can be a little bossy with other girls. Josie didn’t mind, however, and was able to perfectly match Pyrrha’s love of wrestling and chasing.

Playdate with Josie

Playdate with Josie

Playdate with Josie

We hope to have sweet Josie over again soon! We always love making new dog friends.

Playdate with Josie
Pretty shepherd girls.

Puppy play-date at dusk

Last week, we had a bunch of young ‘uns come over to romp: Howie and Fiona joined Pyrrha and Trina for an early evening play session.

(It was getting dark, and I am still a bad photographer, hence all of the blurry photos. These are the best ones I got, seriously.)

Blurry puppy play-date
Meet and greet.

Pyrrha, at 2 years of age, was the oldest dog in the pack, and so there was lots of fun, floppy puppy energy!

Blurry puppy play-date

Trina was a little nervous about everyone at first, but after about 5 minutes, she warmed right up. Howie and Trina particularly seemed to enjoy each other, and Pyrrha was obsessed with Fiona. It’s funny to me how they kind of pick their “favorites.”

Blurry puppy play-date
Sharing the water bowl.
Blurry puppy play-date
Sallie goes with the puppy who matches her hair color.

Despite my poor photography skills, I think everyone had a great, tiring romp. Nothing better than an exhausted little shark (cough, cough, TRINA).

We’d love to have this bunch of puppies over again soon!

Blurry puppy play-date