Tag Archives: dogs

Stuff my dog has eaten

The first in what I hope will be a brief series chronicling items that my 9-lb Chihuahua-terrier mix has chewed or eaten.

  • Lamp cord (floor lamp, thankfully not plugged in)
  • Pashmina scarf
  • Xbox ear bud cover
  • PlayStation earpiece
  • Various receipts
  • ABC (already been chewed) gum found on walks
  • Glass – found on a walk, but I quickly traded her for a training treat and averted disaster

We’re back in obedience class, so hopefully we’ll find some new techniques to reinforce the command “Leave it.” I read that it is a common Chihuahua trait to steal things and to snatch anything that falls on the ground. “Leave it” works when we place her food on the floor or if we play a game with a treat. But if we drop anything (edible or otherwise), she’s quick to snatch it and run. She’s responding well to the class so far, so I’m hopeful that we’ll make progress for her own safety’s sake.

It’s kind of funny to guess what the colorful blob is in her poop (there was an incident with crayons left on the ground outside our apartment), but I could certainly live without that game. It’s also really gross and sad when you have to help pull the poop out of her butt because the string she ate is still partially inside her. I’ve developed quick reflexes when it comes to spotting and blocking wrappers, string, gum, and other delicious garbage on our walks.


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Still going…

We had some setbacks, but pups and I are still on our fitness regimen. We’re repeating the first few days of Couch to 5K just because there were some bad days. We awoke Friday to find a light mix of rain and snow, with temps in the mid 20s. Of course, I did not check the temperature before we went outside. So we went outside, pups naked as usual and me in shorts and a T-shirt.

In the desert, there were two options in the morning: warm or HOT. So I got out of the habit of checking the weather since it didn’t vary. Now that we’re in Colorado, there could be clouds, rain, snow, or hail. It can be 80 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next. I’m re-learning to visit my friends at http://www.weather.gov for current conditions and the daily forecast. I’m also remembering that I can look out the window or go out on the balcony to check the conditions as well. (In the Coachella Valley, our blinds were always shut because the sun was so harsh and would wake us up at 5:30 AM.)

Anyway, back to the cold snap. The dogs did not cooperate. They wanted to sniff everything. They shivered. They darted back and forth across the sidewalks, putting cyclists and runners in dangers of tripping on a leash. And I was freezing. So we headed back inside after they did their business, and I hopped on the stationery bike. I still followed the C25K program, pedaling faster during the ‘run’ portions of the workout. I sweated more than I’d sweated during our jog/walks. It felt good.

I think the bike will be a good alternative when the weather is rough. Our building has a fitness room with treadmills, but the bike is more entertaining to me.

Things found on our walks:

Instead of a list, I’ll share photos of a strange sight we encountered recently. As we approached the park, I noticed what I thought was litter strewn across the park.


As we got closer, I realized that the ‘litter’ seemed to be methodically placed, and each piece was uniform in size.

Then we saw it up close and realized that it was foam of some sort. It was throughout the entire park.Image

The dogs sniffed it once but left it alone. I hurried them along and tried to avoid walking on the grass in case the foam was toxic. When we returned for later walks, the foam was still in place six hours later and hadn’t dissipated. I noticed tire marks indicating that the foam might have some from the exhaust pipe of a vehicle.

Anyone got an idea about what they might have sprayed all over the park?

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Couch to 5K

Day 3.

I’m still doing it.

My running partners (Pierogi and Uszka, pictured below) are not helping. Born and raised in the desert, Uszka has discovered the delicious joy of eating clumps of mown grass. I’ve discovered the frustration of stopping mid-run so she can vomit the grass back up. Pierogi throws in a few extra sprints when she spots a squirrel (another creature the pups never saw in the desert).

Today our cool-down became a sprint when they spied a squirrel running from a trash can with a tortilla. Small game and carbs are Pierogi’s two favorite things. (She learned to love the latter when we lived behind a pizzeria. Ravens would ravage the dumpsters and leave pasta and pizza bones around the neighborhood for her to find.) The idea of a squirrel burrito had my pup riled up. Luckily for the squirrel and for me, squirrel and tortilla made it up a tree trunk before we could get to them.

I think I’ll end my C25K posts–or heck, ALL my posts–with a list of things found on that day’s walks. It could be interesting, and who doesn’t love lists?

Recent walk finds:

  • dead rat
  • dead pigeon
  • homeless man trying to sleep in what he thought was a hidden area beneath some bushes
  • belongings of another homeless person
  • a pile of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Dogs tried to eat four of those five things.

Did I mention we’re enrolled in a leash-walking class?



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Applying the shrink ray

Everything needs to get smaller in my life, and none of it will be easy.

I realized last week that we have moved into the smallest apartment that we’ve ever lived in–not counting the time we shared my studio apartment for 3 months before we officially moved in together. We’ve always had two-bedroom apartments until we moved back to Denver into a one-bedroom place. It’s a great place, and there’s really plenty of room for two. But in six years of larger apartments, we’ve accumulated enough stuff to fill those two bedrooms, living rooms, dens, and the garages we had to go with them.

In addition to accumulating possessions, we’ve also accumulated POUNDS. Rural and suburban living, driving everywhere, and living in a climate where it was too hot for physical activity contributed to weight gain. So now we’re in a place where we need to scale down. We did a good job of shedding possessions before we moved, but there’s still more to discard. We’re working on it.

Today I also started on the effort to reduce my physical size. The two of us discussed a fitness plan last night, which will include exercise bikes, Wii Fit, and hiking. And this morning I started the Couch to 5K program.

Each morning I walk our two small dogs (17-pound Pierogi and 10-pound Uszka). They don’t like their new dog park, so they don’t run around much. Our walks are their only exercise. So I thought that doing the C25K with them would help us all get some cardio without overworking anyone.

Day One went…okay. For the uninitiated, C25K starts with alternating periods of walking and jogging. For most of the 30-minute session, the dogs were good about walking and jogging at appropriate times. But since moving to Denver, the pooches have discovered fascinating things like long grass and squirrels. A squirrel spotting resulted in an extra sprint; some delicious grass stopped us abruptly; and there were two tricky moments where I learned to jog in place while picking up dog poo.

To keep us accountable, I’ll try to post about our C25K progress here regularly.


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How to walk a dog when it’s 115 degrees outside

It’s been 110+ in these parts…every day. How does an apartment-dweller give a pet a potty break during daylight hours in such weather? Here’s how:

  1. Pull car up to apartment door.
  2. Go inside and put pup into car harness.
  3. Carry dog from door to the car.
  4. Strap dog into the car.
  5. Drive approximately one block’s distance to the grassy park.
  6. Carry dog from car to grass.
  7. Walk with dog around the grass, careful to rein her in when she tries to walk along the concrete part of the park (which she will be compelled to try often).
  8. Once the pup does her business, lead her back toward car.
  9. Carry pup from grass to the car and strap her in again.
  10. Drive back home.
  11. Carry pup from car to the front door.
  12. Enjoy a glass of cold water; give the pup a large ice cube to play with.

Whew! I chose my apartment because it was close to the park and to a a dog park (just a bit further up the road) and because it featured desert landscaping. I still appreciate both, but I hadn’t thought that dogs can’t walk on concrete or asphalt in high heat. Since my pooch refuses to wear dog shoes, I’m left carrying her for her daytime pee break. Once the sun is down, a temp of 105 is more bearable and we can go to the dog park for a little play or take a real walk.

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Three Things (well, two things and a rant)

Huh. It’s a tough week. I feel like I’ve been walking in waist-deep mud the last seven days. I’m not absorbing much info, and I’m napping a lot. So I’m not going to number things this week since there wasn’t a lot of concrete learning happening.

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Weekend recap

Happy Monday to my lone remaining reader!

The weekend was a quiet one, unless you count the excitement I experience over the latest version of the Evernote program. For a listmaker/notetaker like I am, it’s an amazing tool. The latest incarnation is a vast improvement, and it rocked my world. I use it mostly to copy recipes instead of saving them as pdfs or bookmarking them. Bookmarks fail when a blog closes up or the page moves. PDF files are just not as convenient, since I have to print them or use my laptop in the kitchen.  Until I get the old iMac back in the kitchen (as I did in my previous apartments), Evernote is incredibly handy. I can cut and paste recipes from the web, then access them in Evernote on my phone. I can shop for ingredients using the recipe from my phone or reference the instructions while in the kitchen.

I used Evernote to shop for and to create a recipe for franks and beans, which I left simmering in my Crockpot all day. It was an attempt to make use of the Wagyu beef hot dogs I bought on a whim. They were incredibly salty, so I made the franks and beans without salt knowing the dogs would provide all the necessary salt. Put over some brown rice, it was…just like any franks and beans. For me, that is not a good thing. I hate franks and beans. The sweetness is too much, not to mention the fact that I hate hot dogs.

In other news, the pupster was a master pupil in obedience class this weekend. The command we worked on was “settle,” which requires dogs to do nothing but relax, which is opposite what most commands require. That makes it rather confusing to some dogs. Not to Pierogi. She is a master a chillin’ out.  She needed no learning curve. Here’s an example of her in chill-out mode. Note that she is not rolling around in the pic; she is frozen in that position, sleeping.


Not much else occurred this weekend, other than a dinner out for mediocre Thai food. I’ll have to work to make this week blog-worthy. I’ll do my best!


Filed under Dog ownership, Life in Coachella Valley, Productivity