Sunday, April 18, 2010

The House that Daddy Built

Now that Gus is over 2 years old, we decided it was time for him to have his own dog house. He's lived inside his whole life, except when we're gone when he usually stays outside. Except when it rains and he stays inside or in the garage. You get the point. Plus, there are going to be some big changes in our house soon, so he needs a place he can go to to stay dry and warm.

After much debate about what type of dog house to buy, Mike decided he was going to just build him one. Let me tell you, I am so proud of this dog house! It only took him a weekend to build, and it looks so good! And the best part about it is (other than that I get to paint it) is that Gus seems to like it. (This is a big deal coming from a dog who cries when we put him outside to go potty.) But we threw some treats in there to get him interested, and he's been going in and out of it since yesterday when it was still being built, so there is hope for him yet!

Below are some pictures of the house being built: 

 Putting the shingles on...

Finito! Gus likes!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

March of the ... whaaaaaat?

No, I'm not talking about March of the Penguins. But I am talking about a penguin.

I had a dream the other night that has stuck with me for some odd reason. I usually have pretty weird, vivid dreams. Par for the course, I guess. But I don't think much of them after I wake up (aside from "That was weird").

Imagine this:

Me, Mike and Gus are at a county fair. Only it's in someone's trailer house and I don't ever see any rides or anything. So we're coming up a long, narrow hallway and we see a penguin walking in front of us. We try to grab Gus before he runs after the penguin, but it's one of those things that you see happening in slow motion... like you try to stop it but it's just too late. Fast forward. Gus attacks the penguin and tears his head off. Blood gets on the wall of whoever's trailer we are at. I feel sorry for the penguin, yet at the same time I frantically and quietly (if that's possible) walk back down the hallway and try to clean up the blood before the people who own the trailer see it. I feel sorry for the penguin again, but it's now dead and outside. Thanks, Mike, for taking care of that.  We leave before anyone sees us and gets mad.

I've been laughing at this dream all week for so many reasons. A) When do I ever think of penguins? B) Gus eating a penguin?! It would have been normal if it were a squirrel or bird or even a cat that I dreamed of, but a penguin?! 

Come to think of it, it's actually kind of morbid now that I think of it. Definitely tops the chart of one of the craziest dreams I've ever had.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Volunteering and stuff

After hearing about Gus the Whiner, you might think what I'm about to say is ridiculous. But, I digress. He really is a good dog most of the time.

For months and even years now I've been thinking about ways that I can volunteer someplace. My biggest problem is that there are many places that I would like to volunteer:

- Arkansas Children's Hospital
- Our House homeless shelter
- Various animal shelters
- Church
- St. Jude's 

You get my point. True to my personality, with so many options, I haven't made a choice as to where. I get new ideas all the time. For instance, I read in the newspaper a while back about this high school girl who was involved in animal-assisted therapy, and it made me want to do it. So I researched it a little bit and put it off. (Again - too many options. See my dilemma?)

So the other day, out of the blue, I signed up to volunteer at Children's. I really think highly of Children's and so this was my top choice. I've often heard and thought about being one of those volunteers who just goes up there and holds babies. Who doesn't like holding babies? Or volunteering to read to kids or something of that sort. I believe in volunteering because I think it can be very rewarding.

As I was signing up, I came across the options that you can choose to volunteer for, and one of them was animal-assisted therapy. So I thought to myself, "Just do it. You already know that you want to, and it would be a fun activity for you to do with Gus."  So today I went online to the Delta Society ( and ordered the book to do the home-study course in becoming a Registered Pet Partner.

I've heard somewhere that dogs love having a "job" to do - whether it's participating in dog shows, taking agility classes, being 'therapy' dogs, whatever. They enjoy having something to do. And I really think I will enjoy it, too. I can really see myself loving it.