Happy Anniversary? Birthday?

Friday, September 2nd, 2011 | Alex, Beowulf, Dogs, Gryffindor, Indigo, Ozzy | 3 Comments

Or maybe it’s Happy Blogiversary?

Either way, Indy, Ozzy and I (plus Alex, Gryffin and Beowulf) have been doing this for three whole years. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, as I have definitely enjoyed writing.

To celebrate, we’re doing a giveaway. It’s not the same as the past two years – it will not be based on comments. I haven’t been blogging enough to do that, methinks, and I want it to be different. So, we’re doing a trivia contest! Which means one lucky person will receive some gifts from Indy and Ozzy!

I’ll bet you’re wondering what gifts Indy and Ozzy could possible give you that aren’t bio hazards, right? But never fear, I monitored their online shopping, and I think we’re good. The winner will receive a couple of things, but some are not determined yet. I will wait to see the size of the winner’s dog so they don’t end up with something bigger than their dog. Suffice it to say that those prizes will be Indy’s and Ozzy’s “favorite things”. (Ozzy is a HUGE Oprah fan…)

The one prize I know for sure is a Mountain Smith K-9 Cube, valued at $60.

It’s quite neat. It includes:

Drop down food tray
Collapsible water bowl with PEVA waterproof liner
Collapsible food bowl with cinch cord
Removable PEVA lined Food container for overnight stays
Removable interior divider
Unique top pocket access to plastic baggies
Two side mesh pockets for tennis ball carry
Soft sided Frisbee

Hmm, maybe I should keep it for myself. But the dogs really want one of YOU to get it, so I guess not.

So, on to that trivia contest thing. Here are your questions.

Why are we called “Swiss Lick” Swissies?
What particularly gross thing of Indy’s did Gryffin eat? (Yes, it made him sick.)
Who won our first anniversary giveaway? What did they win?
Who was visiting on Indy’s second birthday?
Name one thing I learned from Gryffin?
What did Beowulf receive for the Christmas of 2010?
Where did Ozzy take his “Puppy 2″ class?
What did the 2010 anniversary contest winners receive?
Name one thing I wish breeders did with puppies before they go to their new homes.
When did Indy get fixed?

Submit your answers to me via email at All entries must be received by 10am central time on Wednesday, September 7th. In there is a tie, the winner will be chosen at random from the group of those with the same number of correct entries. All the answers can be found in blog posts over the past 3 years.

Good luck, and thanks for reading!

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Ozzy updates

Friday, August 13th, 2010 | Alex, Beowulf, Dogs, Gryffindor, Indigo, Ozzy | Comments Off

You know, it occurred to me that I’ve been posting lots of pictures lately, but I haven’t given too much detail about life with Ozzy. I’m sure you all love the pics, but I think I’ll just talk about him and how he’s doing. It may come out as one giant stream of consciousness…my apologies in advance if it comes out as goo.

Ozzy is a fantastic dog. To be honest, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. He’s a well-mannered (well, usually), happy dog. He has a fantastic appetite, hasn’t chewed on stuff he shouldn’t (unless Indy counts) yet, and has been very easy with house training.

Actually, I jokingly mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I should rename the blog to “The Daily Swizzle” because on average, that’s all we get. We’ve had a few multiple-accident days, but he will go for four or more days without having any at all. He knows he’s supposed to go outside, and he has very good control for a Swissy. He just hasn’t figured out how to tell us he needs to go. We are pretty good at watching his signals, but we don’t always get him out in time. Of course, it happens during or post play, right when we are trying to usher him to the door. He’ll get there soon, I think. (Or is it I hope?)

Ozzy is doing very well in our household in general. I do believe I’ve mentioned before that Indy loves him, but it’s important to note that I believe Beowulf, the old curmudgeon, actually enjoys his company. I have caught them cuddling and – gasp – playing just a little bit.

His socialization is going quite well. We have completed four weeks of Puppy K, and I believe he is the star of the class. Perhaps that’s what happens when you actually work with your dog on the basics before class starts, and when you work with him daily when it’s going. I could be wrong.

There is one thing about him that worries me. While Gryffin was a great dog for obedience because he WANTED to please us, Ozzy is just plain smart. The obedience comes quickly, and he enjoys it. But I have a feeling he’s doing it because he wants to and he likes it, not because it makes us happy at all. The reason this is worrying is because this is how Alex was-extremely smart, frequently extremely obedient, but cunning beyond belief. While I say I’m worried partially in jest, it’s not all funny-although I don’t believe this is the end of the world. Put Alex’s mad skillz into a dog that will likely end up near 140lbs and tall enough to graze counter tops, and you can see why we might have issues. I guess this means training, training, and more training.

In other news, the small puppy (we brought him home at eight weeks and around 13lbs) is no longer small. He’s around three and a half months old, and weighs in at 37lbs. Our vet met him this week and believes he’s around a quarter of his eventual size. We initially thought it was possible that Ozzy may end up on the smaller side, but we have since revised our opinion. Please send help.

That’s all for now. I hope all three of my readers have a fantastic weekend! Stay cool!

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Missing Alex

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 | Alex | Comments Off

It’s a sad week for me for some reason. Today I’m remembering and missing our old Beagle, Alex. We had to put her to sleep one year ago.

Again I ask you to give your dogs extra belly rubs and of course, food, in Alex’s memory today.

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Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 | Alex | Comments Off

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Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 | Alex, Beowulf | Comments Off

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Thinking of Alex

Friday, July 17th, 2009 | Alex | 1 Comment

Yup, I’ve been getting a bit teary eyed again.

People have been posting pics of Swissies and Beagles, or just Beagles, in the various forums I belong to. It’s making me happy and sad. I love to remember her, but it makes me tear up from time-to-time. I shouldn’t be surprised, right? After all, this is the first dog I ever lived with. She’s the reason I have been on daily asthma and allergy meds since fall of 1996. I did it so I could live with her, and later the other dogs, without having major allergy problems.

I have a cute picture of her on my monitor that I found in my desk drawer in the office shortly after she passed. It’s old, because there’s carpet on the first floor, and that’s been gone for 6 years. She’s not super gray, and she’s chewing on a toy. She hadn’t played with a toy in ages, but it’s nice to see her with one. It reminds me of how she was before she started deteriorating.

Yup, I still miss her.

Competitive Weight Pull

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 | Alex, Beowulf, Gryffindor, Indigo, Random Stuff, Uncategorized | Comments Off

I’d like to clear something up for any of the non-Swissy readers. Weight pulling for dogs, competitive or otherwise, is not harmful or mean to the dog if done correctly. We’ve hooked Gryffin up to his weight pull harness many times and had him pull a tire up and down the street. We get the standard laughs and giggles, but we also get the mean glares and the “that’s so cruel” statements. Some dogs, like Swissies, are bred to pull. It’s part of their history and it’s certainly not mean. If you are one of those people, take a look at Gryffin’s big, happy smile when he’s dragging his tire around and then tell me if you still think it’s mean.

Now I’ll get down to business. Weight pull for dogs is a competitive sport with rules and regulations. And titles. It was originally introduced in the US in the 1970s. If practiced correctly, your dog will build up stronger hip, leg and shoulder muscles, which potentially means less stress on the joints and possibly a longer, healthier life.

There are different types of weight pulls, which means different rules and organizations. Some weight pulls are held on snow or railroad tracks, while others are held on natural surfaces like grass or dirt, or even carpet or concrete.

Pulls are broken down into different weight classes. If it’s an all breed pull, you’ll see about eight classes – 0-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-80, 81-100, 101-125, 126-150, 151 and over. You won’t see a small dog (aka squeaky toy) competing with a Swissy. There are awards for most weight pulled and what dog has the highest weight per pound.

When your dog is ready to compete, he’ll be at the start line, while you (or the handler) will be at the finish line. You can use any voice commands and signals to call your dog to you, but cannot use any treats or toys to entice your dog towards you. You must stay behind the finish line at all times. Your dog has 1 minute (which may vary depending on the governing organization and type of pull) to get the front of the sled/cart/etc across the finish line. If you are not disqualified, you will advance to the next leg. If the dog is unable to complete, it is common for them to get a little “help” and praise so it is still a positive experience.

In order to get started pulling, for competition or fun, you need to get a freight or weight pull harness for your dog. Gryffin has a nice one with his name embroidered on the side. Indy doesn’t yet, but since she’s approaching 18 months and will not grow too much more, we will be buying her one soon. Sadly, Dan cannot remember where we ordered our harness, or I would tell you where we purchased it. Many people will recommend a Siwash harness. Nordykn in the Pacific Northwest also comes highly recommended.

Once you have the harness, you should get your dog used to it. Put it on, walk around your yard a little with it with out any weight. Once they are ok with it and not nervous, you could move on to a little weight. We went to our local tire store and picked up a used tire for about $10. Dan attached a hook to it so will connect to the harness and will drag flat. It’s pretty light, so it’s just a beginners training tool.

If you are really serious about getting your dog a weight pull title, I would suggest getting involved with a local club event (the Lake Shore Club has 1-2 per year) to get started. You can also look to an organization like the International Weight Pull Association (IWPA) and their associated clubs. They can help you come up with a good training plan in addition to learning the rules of a pull.

Swissies are not allowed to start competing until they are 18 months, but you can start them on a harness and light weight before then. Harnesses are not cheap, so I would suggest looking for a club event or training class that has harnesses you can borrow for the duration of the event until they are closer to 18 months old.

If you would like to see some pictures from a Lake Shore Club weight pull from a few years ago, click here.

Otherwise, I’ll leave you with a previously posted picture of Moose from a weight pull in January.

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It’s been a week

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 | Alex | 3 Comments

Will I be making anyone depressed by writing this? I hope not.

A week has passed since we had Alex put to sleep. I don’t feel like tearing up whenever I see a picture of her, think about her, or see anything to do with Beagles. I miss her, but I’m happy that she is at peace and not in pain. I’m sure she’s found a never-ending supply of Portillo’s Chocolate Cake at the Bridge. And I hope she found her old friend, Samantha the Beagle.

The pack order hasn’t really changed in our house. I think Alex withdrew from the pack a fair bit on purpose since late last summer. She felt weaker and knew her end was coming, so it must have been a natural reaction on her part. So I think the dogs had already adjusted to the loss for the most part.

The one thing that has changed is the volume level. It is very quiet, unless Indy is playful or talkative. In the past, Beowulf would bark once or twice at something and stop, but it would get Alex started screaming at something, but she had no idea what. We would also get the screaming banshee Beagle at mealtimes, and she would get the other dogs all riled up. I guess things are more peaceful in the house now.

I still periodically think I can hear her snoring. Am I crazy? Last night, I was working on the computer in my office when I swear I heard her from behind me in her normal place crammed between the weight set and the wall. But when I looked, it was empty.

Despite my ramblings, I’m doing fine. I just feel that I need to mention from time-to-time that I miss her. I only really cried for one day, and there’s part of me that feels that is not enough. Sigh.

RIP, Alex

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 | Alex | 1 Comment

It’s a sad day in our household. We had to put Alex to sleep early this morning. She had a seizure, although it seemed kind of like a stroke to us. She was still seizing when we got her to the e-vet 20 minutes later. We knew it was time. We’ve known it was coming for a while–we were just waiting for the sign, and this was undeniably it.

Alex was a sweet girl. Over the years, she really took care of me. She was velcro dog when I was sick, was always happy to see me when I got home (there was a chance of food, you see), and was one of my best friends. She will be missed.

Run free, Alex! And body surf. Don’t forget to body surf.

Happy Birthday Alex!

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 | Alex | 1 Comment

Our beagle is 15 today! She’s an old girl. She will celebrate by sleeping in the sun. And there will be birthday treats. They just might be tomorrow…

Happy Birthday old girl!



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