My Dogs on My Feets!

I have lots of socks with dogs on them, even some with German shepherds in particular. Thanks to Socksery, I now have a pair with MY specific dogs on them!

I’m impressed with how good the images look. I provided Socksery with a photo, and they did the cropping and the placement. I also love that they have a selection of bright colors. And omg, they’ll even put a Santa hat on your pup!

I will say that they fit like novelty socks, rather than performance socks, but you can see that they have reinforced toes and heels. I’ll keep you updated whether my big toe pokes a hole through it. I’ve had that happen more than once with novelty socks, even on the first wear!

If you’d like socks featuring your pooches . . . or your cat, or a human face for some reason, here’s a 20% coupon code, from me to you: SOCK20


Year in Review Part 2: Leo


Leo recovered from his November 2017 TPLO surgery like a champ. At his eight-week X-rays, we learned that his fibula had broken during his recovery, but had already been healing for a few weeks, so there was nothing to be done, except feel completely devastated about my failure as a nurse. But he didn’t care. He was fine. Except for the part where the drugs made him start a couple of scary fights with Mia, and redirected a bite on my upper thigh that bruised and took longer to heal than Leo’s fibula, and the fact that I could not trick him into taking his medicine, so several times a day I had to force his maw open and shove a pill down his throat and hold his mouth closed until he swallowed… Those parts were trying.

But big picture, the surgery was a success and there were few complications. He enjoyed six adorable sessions on the underwater treadmill.

Unfortunately, it’s very common for a dog who tears a cruciate ligament on one knee to wind up tearing the other. And it appears, that’s where we are.

In late November 2018, more than a year since the surgery on his right leg, Leo’s regular vet did a thorough physical exam on his left leg and found nothing at all to be concerned about. A week later, after a brisk run-around at the dog park, Leo started toe-tapping with his left leg.

It comes and goes, and when we went back to the surgeon, they couldn’t tell for sure, but he probably has a partial tear on the left knee. Some people treat this with what’s called Conservative Management where you crate rest the dog, maybe get them a brace… but with a 100-pound dog, it’s only a matter of time. I couldn’t bear to watch him limp around the house, even occasionally, if I knew there was a surgery that could fix it.


So, he’s scheduled for surgery January 11, where they will X-ray and scope, and assuming his cruciate is torn, he will have TPLO number 2.

I went into the surgery consultation thinking this is the preferable outcome, because it’s something we can treat. But it’s also a major surgery with an eight- to twelve-week (at least) recovery period. Add to that Mia’s continuing care needs, and it’s a lot.

Which makes me all the more grateful for all the adventures we had this year.

Here’s us on Christmas Day:

And here’s us on New Year’s Eve:

Our Christmas Tradition

Every year we take the dogs to a tree farm and pose in front of our tree before Rob cuts it down. Following on my earlier post this week, Leo continues to impress me. He sat down, even lay down, while I set up the tripod. People walked by, and I did reward him with cheese, but I don’t think I had to.

So so proud of my little bug. Mia’s no slouch either.


BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog HopHope you’re all having a festive December so far!

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Big Leo goes to camp

Not much to report for this Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, and I’m being negligent for Walk Your Dog Week, since I won’t be seeing my dogs for the rest of it.

Instead, let’s celebrate my good boy Leo. I’m so proud of the dog he’s grown up to be. Yes, he’s leash-reactive and barks up a good game. But he’s come so far thanks to counter-conditioning. More importantly, he’s predictable, which makes him easier to manage. And he is very well-socialized with other dogs. 

We had a full car when we dropped him off at camp. I sat in the front seat, with him on the floor at my feet. He couldn’t see anything out the window to bark at, so he didn’t need his Calming Cap.


(Aside: Rob was describing the Calming Cap to someone recently and discovered that Leo’s picture shows up in a Google Image search.)

When we arrived at camp, some senior Golden retrievers barked at him from the yard. Leo did not bark back. He walked politely into the lobby with me and was perfectly charming to the lady at the desk. 

Which way’s my room?

For the first time, I feel calm about his being away at camp. (This is his fourth time there.)

Of course, my being relaxed about it probably means something terrible will happen. 

Ha ha ha. Sorry, that’s not very positive of me, is it?

Positive TrainingThis post is part of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Tenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. The hop happens on the first Monday of every month, and is open for a full week – please join us in spreading the word about the rewards of positive training!

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Mia’s Spring Preview

Fall fell pretty hard this week, but before the rains, Mia and I discovered a newish tulip statue in Mount Vernon. I would have loved to get a selfie with her, but as it was, I had to lie on the ground to get the shots of her close to the statue.

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Carcass Beach gets a new name

That semi-private beach I take my dogs to … secretly I’ve been calling it Carcass Beach.

See, the first few times we went there, we found several – several – deer carcasses. This beach is near a hunting community, so my guess is that people strip the meat and hide they plan to use, and discard the carcasses on the beach. Kind of gross, but since fish carcasses provide nutrients to river systems, maybe the deer carcasses are good for salt water.

carcass-beach mia

Mia sniffs some bones that have been pretty well picked clean. No new carcasses lately.

Earlier this summer, we discovered this huge piece of driftwood, which my friend Leigh Bardugo pointed out resembles a dragon. Upon our return last week, the driftwood told me the beach’s true name.


Henceforth, we shall call this place Dragonwood Beach.


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