After tomorrow, the header of this blog will change. (At least it should when I actually take the time to do it.) The fabulous Swissies of Downers Grove are moving! Yup, that’s right. We will soon be the fabulous Swissies of Galena, or something like it.
We decided it was time. We’d like to add more Swissies. We’d like to be out in the country where there’s space, hills, etc. Heck, the humans would like to retire before we are dead. So a job was procured (for me), a house was found, and the move is scheduled for tomorrow. What was initially something that would happen in 3 to 5 years is happening now. It took just over a month to plan.
Anyone want to buy a house in Downers Grove? I happen to know of one, and it looks really good with Swiss dogs.
Before I get started, I would like credit. Yes, I’m posting again today. That makes it two days in a row! I guess the good thing about taking 7 months off from posting is that I’ve got a lot of saved material that I can use.
I believe the last time I was posting with any amount of regularity, we were trying to find a good food that worked for both dogs. Well, Ozzy in particular, seeing that Indy can eat almost anything. Ozzy’s excessive flatulence only got worse after he got fixed (November), and we’ve struggled with it a bit since then.
We moved them over to Taste of the Wild High Prairie formula. It worked well for a while. Ozzy was still gassy, but his poops were (mostly) solid, and his coat looked great. And Indy looked wonderful, for a change. Then all the Diamond-produced food recalls started. At first, Taste of the Wild wasn’t included, but then, of course, it was. Our bags were not affected, but I was determined to move off of a Diamond-produced food. I considered Fromm (again), Acana, and a few other brands. I got smaller bags. But the whole time, I was mentioning to Dan that I really thought raw would be the way to go. After a few weeks of mushy poops and gassy Ozzy, he finally agreed.
The initial plan was to ease into the raw feeding. We intended to split the feedings (one raw, one kibble) for a few weeks, and then move them onto full-time raw. At that point, I started traveling again, so Indy and Ozzy went raw almost cold turkey after 4 days of partial.
The intent was to start them on chicken backs, then add other chicken parts in. Well, I couldn’t get chicken backs, so they started on skin-free, bone in chicken breasts. I cut them into slightly smaller pieces of Ozzy but left them as-is for Indy. It took a couple of days for Ozzy to get used to it, and then we stopped cutting his food. We tried leg quarters too, but they didn’t seem to sit too well with Ozzy right off the bat, so I was able to procure some backs. At each meal, they get a chicken back, yogurt, and a few tablespoons of Olewo (carrot formula).
They are now two and a half weeks in, and I’m glad to report they are doing very well. Ozzy’s gas is almost completely gone, and his poops are much better. The amount of poop in the yard has drastically reduced as well – go figure. And let’s not forget that Ozzy’s water consumption is way down due to the water content of his food.
And even better, they’re both happy.
The gorgeous weather here over the past few days has meant lots of walks for the dogs. On Saturday, we experienced a first.
Not only did we have to stop every 15 feet for the “what type of dog is that” questions, but we had three separate instances of stalking. Well, sort of stalking. Cars pulled over and parked, people jumped out and called after us. They’d yell something along the lines of “OMG, is that a Swissy??”! And then we’d proceed to answer questions for 15 minutes.
This is a good thing. I’m glad to see that people are more interested in Swissies. And they seem to be coming prepared with the right questions. And yes, they seem to be doing their research. I just need to remember to bring my business cards with me so it’s easier to keep track of them.
And it’s a good thing that this always happens with Ozzy.
Sunday, September 4th, 2011 | Dogs, Indigo, Ozzy | 2 Comments
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Since Saturday was a bit too hot for either dog to take a decent hike, (and since walking was about all I could do since I hadn’t had any delicious carbs in 6 days) my walking companion was my camera. And you.
We have a few different routes we’ll take. I try not to take the dogs on the same route each time we go for a walk. I think it’s important for them to experience different smells, sounds and people. The one you are joining me for is one of the prettier walks that takes us through the woods and the downtown area of Downers Grove. It’s a good walk for Ozzy when it’s 60 to 80 degrees with no humidity. If it’s cooler, we’ll add at least a mile to it to make it the same as Indy’s standard walk.
Let’s get going.
Here’s a look down our street as we near our first park. The brick road makes it prettier than our block.
There tend to be lots of shady spots for Swissies at this time of year. It’s a good thing.
One of my favorite things about this walk.
It’s called Prince Pond.
Downers Grove has lots of parks and areas like this. This is probably the best one in the village, in my opinion.
OK, time to move on.
It was actually a lot of fun to walk around this way. I noticed so many things that I don’t normally when I’m walking the dogs. This was one of them.
This is an area outside an assisted living center. We’ve stopped here before because some of the residents like to pet Ozzy. (Indy, notsomuch.)
Even the bank area is pretty.
We have a train that runs from the western Chicago suburbs (that’s us!) into the the city. Of course, there are freight trains too. We got lucky and didn’t get stuck on this walk.
Townhomes – city living in the suburbs. About a block from the train.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m in the south. Not sure why.
I know where most of these are on our routes. This one happens to be a great family with a golden retriever. The fence is in the front yard too, but the dog never charges us when we walk by. And it doesn’t go all the way up to the sidewalk.
Ahh, another favorite part of this walk. This is the one area in my town that I’d love to move to. If I could afford it. And if I could take my neighborhood with me.
And yes, it’s the woods. Not just an area with a few extra trees.
Look – a creek! Or is that pronounced “crick”?
Never underestimate shade.
These people have the most gorgeous front yard. They love gardening. I do not.
A trail to the forest preserve. Too long for Ozzy at this time of year.
One of the exit routes from the woods (pedestrian only for this one) leads us to my mom’s church.
One of the best things is to walk by on a Sunday when there’s a service. If the weather is right and the windows are open, you can hear the congregation singing hymns. It’s one of the most peaceful and pleasant things. Otherwise, if we time it just right, we may go in and visit grandma. She is out of town now, but we ran into some of her friends and their kids outside today and they had fun with a very well behaved Ozzy.
I find it cool that people with students at Downers Grove North High School in athletics will frequently display these in their front yards.
It’s sad that the village actually has to post this.
The new band shelter.
There’s been a band shelter here as long as I can remember. This one was built over the last year to replace one that was about 30 years old. On Tuesday nights in the summer (weather permitting), they hold free concerts.
More interesting stuff for you. Downers Grove is one of the few cities in the US that has a cemetary on the main street.
We walk by, but never through with dogs. I don’t think it’s respectful. You know Ozzy would pee on every one of those graves.
The wine store. Ozzy got drunk here (kidding!), as a puppy.
A cool store.
One of my favorite places.
And every dog in Downers Grove’s favorite store.
The Barkery was having an adoption event for the West Suburban Humane Society on Saturday. So we spent a few minutes there. Polly, a Border Collie/Sneaky Neighbor Dog puppy was there and available. She was quite calm.
Inside, there was a gorgeous puppy (Beth, one of the Barkery’s owners is fostering). I am bad and cannot remember the pup’s name.
This is Shiloh. We actually met him last year at a dog park when he was a wee little puppy.
There were a few kittens available for adoption as well. Too bad I’m allergic.
I love that Downers Grove still has a book store.
And we have a gorgeous movie theater. Second run.
Everyone’s favorite vet. We love that they are walking distance – just about 4 blocks away.
Check out the wildlife!
And Dobby, the adorable dog around the corner.
Which means we’re home! Are you tired?
Thanks for reading!
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 email@example.com. 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!
Friday, August 26th, 2011 | Dogs, Indigo, Obedience Training, Ozzy, Random Stuff | 6 Comments
Yup, we’re almost 3 years old! Which means there will be some give away. I just haven’t decided exactly what yet. Although I do have one thing already.
I’ve been thinking about the last year of blogging recently. It’s definitely become harder to keep up the pace, especially since I haven’t really been doing much in the way of dog events. I hate to say it, but there are a few things that have happened in the Swissy community since a little before we got Ozzy that have kind of put me off of being involved. So we’ve been hanging on our own, doing stuff with friends and not clubs. I’m not sure if that will change or not.
One of the great things that has happened in the last year (other than Ozzy in general) is finding an obedience school (Wiggles-n-Wags) that we can call home. I’ve taken Ozzy through 3 separate classes there, and Indy has 1 week left of her first class. It’s been difficult over the last several years trying to find a place that I was comfortable. Someplace that didn’t use methods I wasn’t comfy with (correction only), and with trainers that could actually teach me something. And it’s nice not to feel judged for my choices or my shy dog. It’s such a great thing for all of us.
So there you have it – my babblings for the day. Please check back next week for the announcement about our anniversary giveaway!
This could make me thousands, possibly millions of dollars! For this week, I have learned the secret to getting your Swissy to be obedient.
Are you ready for it? Maybe I shouldn’t put it here. Hmm…
OK, I’ll tell you.
This requires that you have at least two Swissies in your household. One should be older, and it should already have gone through obedience and know the basic commands, even if they have no desire to demonstrate that for you. You’ll need to take the younger one to class after class, watching him get good at many things, but being a holdout on one major thing. Like a down.
Next, you should decide that the younger Swissy, in this case it’s Ozzy, should take a little bit of a break for a while because the human (me) thinks he might do a little bit better after he has his parts snipped off. Since the older Swissy, in this case Indy, has been getting increasingly better with obedience while you’ve been training the younger one (Ozzy), you need to take them to a round of classes. (Indy started her Tricks class at WnW training this week.)
So now you are doing your “homework” with the older Swissy in the evenings. Or whenever you can. You separate yourself from the younger dog so that you can work with the older dog without interference. (Other than whining from the hall or the other room.) After about 5-10 minutes of work with the older dog, you switch and work with the younger dog. Otherwise, he’ll get all pouty, and we can’t have that. (There’s nothing right about a teenage Swissy throwing a hissy fit.)
You start running through your puppy pushups – sit, stay, stand and the ever elusive down. If you’re household is like mine, down has been the holdout for every Swissy we ever have. They will only do it with food (or a correction in the old days) until you hit that magic point.
All of the sudden, it happens. It’s crazy! The younger dog goes into a down with a verbal command! Is it a fluke? You don’t have food in your hands at all. There may not even be food in the room. So you praise him like crazy and try again. And shazaam! It happens again. And again, and again!
At this point, I think it’s best to end the current obedience session with your Swissy. End on a positive note, then try again a few hours later, or maybe the next day. Oh, and it does work with the ages reversed as well. Young Swissy getting continuous work is definite motivation for the older Swissy.
It may even work with other breeds. And husbands. (Wait, I think I only have one of those.)
So what do you think – will I make millions?
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 | Dogs, GSMD Rescue Fundraiser | 1 Comment
Kind of scary to think about, isn’t it? I feel like 2011 just started, and we’re more than halfway through.
You know what 2012 means, right? No, it does not mean another Paula Dean Holiday Eats special magazine in the store, although I did see one on Saturday. (Really? I’m still wearing tank tops and shorts. I don’t want to think about what I’ll make for my fam’s Christmas dinner!!!)
It means another Swiss Lick fundraiser calendar!
Yup, you heard me. Another. We’re doing it again. And this time, it would be awesome if we had more pictures from the Swissy community to include. We had a bunch last year, but it was still about 30-40% pictures of Indy, Ozzy and Gryffin. We’d like to include your Swissies too.
So here’s the scoop. I can include 3-4 pictures per month, and a 12 month calendar seems to work the best. If you have something to send me, contact me here (or via my forum or Facebook) and I’ll tell you where to send them.
Oh, and the sooner you send them the better. I’ll start putting it together in mid-September.
Hosting a dog forum in addition to a blog sometimes confuses me. I know I posted beach pics somewhere, but it wasn’t here. So sorry it’s taken me a while to show you pics!
Swissies must approach the water very carefully.
They also like running up and down the beach, but they prefer it to be a game of chase.
Although I’m not entirely sure who is chasing whom.
There are brave Swissies, like Indy, who will venture into the water.
Although it did take her a few days to figure out the waves. In the meanwhile, she got splashed in the face a fair bit.
Ozzy would periodically get bored, and when Indy came out of the water with the ball, he’d try to eat her.
Hmmm, how to get the humans to throw the ball again. Maybe if I keep staring at it?
Yup, that worked.
Ozzy did not go much further than this.
He did like the water, but he never warmed up to the idea of waves crashing on the shore. They freaked him out a bit.
Happy Swissy Girl!
Tired Swissy Boy.
Yes, we are on vacation. And yes, I am posting. I am weird that way. Have computer, have wireless, might as well post!
First things first…Friday was the Long Drive Day. It was supposed to be about 15 hours long, but ended up at 16.5 due to an overturned diesel tanker (and subsequent closed road/traffic jam). This made me realize two things. First, when your Navigon GPS with add-on traffic pack doohickey tries to redirect you, listen to her. (Or maybe your GPS is a him?) They are right. Second, my dogs are freaking awesome. The two of them were so good in the car, I almost forgot they were there. Seriously, I had to check back a couple of times to see if they were breathing. I figured they would be good for at least 6 hours, but over 16? Crazy, crazy good.
OK, so now that I’ve explained to you how awesome they are, I’ll move on to the other things. Yes, they are enjoying the house here on St. George Island. And they are being pretty darn good in the house. We take them for walks, let them play on the beach, etc. Today was day 3 at the beach, and we were initially thinking that today might be the day Indy would go all the way in the water since the surf is calm. After some coaxing, it didn’t seem as if that would happen. So instead, we got the two of them rampaging up and down the beach (extremely good off leash, btw), to wear them out. Then Dan threw a clam at me. Or something like a clam. It still had someone living in it, so I tossed it back in the Gulf. And Indy followed it. All the way in. (It’s not at all deep here, but she could at shoulder height in about 5 feet.) Then I went in and she followed. She actually swam!
Before you ask, no I do not have pictures at this time. Yes, I will be taking pictures. But I do not have a waterproof camera, so I have to be a bit careful.
Check back later! We’ll be here in paradise.
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