Well I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but I’m not going to lie, my personal fears have held me back. Will I be good enough, will people want to read what I write, what will I talk about, and the list goes on and on. But today I decided to say “screw it”. How will I know if I never try. If I fail, I fail, but at least it won’t be because I didn’t even try.
First a little about myself. I’m in my early forties and happily married to my highschool sweatheart. I work full time, struggle with the normal day to day stresses in life, but overall we have a pretty good life. We don’t have any children, but we do have 2 furbabies. A mixed breed dog named Rosco and a Dogue de Bordeaux named Brogan.
I love to cook, struggle with cleaning (it’s not my favourite thing to do), love photography, paddle boarding (or really anything involving water), animals (especially my dogs), reading, and most recently learning about essential oils and incorporating them into our day to day life.
My goal is to share some of my interests and ideas with all of you. Maybe some of my ideas, recipes or hints and tips will help someone else out. Or if nothing else give you a little escape from your reality.
We are definitely in the teenage “years” with him now. Haven’t introduced any new tricks because some days it’s like he can’t remember how to do the basic commands. So we just continue to reinforce all the things he does know how to do. I know we just need to be patient and consistent while he figures out boundaries and what he can and can’t get away with, but some days it’s really frustrating.
His recall is still so good if we are off leash and he isn’t 100% confident about where he is or where we are going. But in the yard and house he has very selective hearing, unless you have treats, then he has the best hearing in the world. I guess we should be thankful that he is food motivated. Brogan never was, so it made him harder to work with.
He has one more week in his 6 pack of “introductory swims” and since he is continuing to improve and absolutely loves it we are going to get him another 6 pack. He is so funny, when I make the appropriate turns to get to the pool he starts to cry, and he can’t get in the building fast enough. Getting in the pool takes a little coaxing, but once he is in he seems to love it. He has more confidence than skill, so I’d like to make sure that matches before he is swimming at the lake. He thinks he can just jump in, then gets sidetracked from swimming to try to shake the water out of his ears. That doesn’t go well when you are over your head 🤪
I have continued to do weekly pictures of him and Rosco so that we can document his growth. He is still getting taller each week, and is perhaps starting to fill out a bit, but definitely doesn’t have much “mastiff” look him yet. Perhaps in time we will see more width and less height, and a little bigger head, but if not, that’s okay. We absolutely love him. He is so affectionate and cuddly, and goofy with people he knows. His confidence is getting better with new people, but I think that will be a work in progress for a very long time.
He has become a real “road runner” and as soon as you grab keys for anything he races to the door so he can come. He is a great traveler, so I’m happy that when my job goes back to normal and I’m on the road more we won’t have to worry about him. We have also stopped kenneling him when we leave. He has been a great little guys with that. Nothing has been destroyed or stolen, I’m sure he spends a lot of time crying, but he cries about everything that doesn’t go exactly his way, so I don’t judge that for success or failure.
This is a recipe I found in a community cookbook and have tweaked it to our liking and now I’m sharing it with you.
1 lb lean ground beef 2 eggs 1/4 cup rolled oats 3 Tbsp onion soup mix 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp butter 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1/2 cup milk ham Swiss, ,Gruyère cheese, emmental or mozza bread crumbs
mix beef, 1 egg, rolled oats, onion soup mix, and salt. shape into thin patties about 3″ in diameter. place ham and cheese in each. roll up jelly roll style covering ham and cheese. beat egg, dip in egg, then bread crumbs. fry in butter. brown on all sides.
transfer to over and bake at 350 for 25 min.
meanwhile mix mushroom soup and milk and heat on the stove.
Serve beef roll ups with the mushroom soup mixture like a gravy.
We have tried a lot of different ways to make pork ribs and I’m pretty sure this makes the best fall off the bone ribs.
Start by removing the membrane off the back of the ribs if your butcher hasn’t already done that for you. It really makes a huge difference in how tender your ribs are.
Next season with your favorite spices. We like blackened Saskatchewan, cayenne pepper, black pepper, steak spice and a little chilli powder.
Start your smoker and leave it on smoke. Once it has fired and is ready to go place your ribs curved side down (meaty side up) on the smoker and leave smoke for 3 hours.
Pull the ribs off and set your smoker to 200-225. Wrap your ribs in tinfoil with beer and seal. I usually do 2 racks, so I use 1/2 a beer in each and wrap them tightly and then put them back on the smoker for 2 hours.
Take the ribs out of the tinfoil (be careful the steam from the beer will be hot) and place them back on the smoker. They will be easy to break apart at this point so be very careful when moving them.
Now the easy part…baste repeatedly for an hour with your favorite barbeque sauce. We generally use our homemade bbq sauce, but whatever you like works perfectly.
After an hour they should be ready to take off the smoker and enjoy.
Kane is officially 6 months old. He has suddenly decided that he is brave and independent, which means he doesn’t always have the best recall…
I expected that, so we just continue to work on it. He is still pretty good, but went from 100% to 90%. We will get back the missing 10%, we will just have to work hard with him. Teenage years are tough with puppies. And it’s easy to get frustrated and angry, but we are working on making it a big deal when he does it right…And correcting him when he doesn’t.
We have also continued with his swimming. He is learning to love it. He cried and almost dragged me into the building when we got there this past week. I hope that by the end of classes he loves swimming and is capable enough that we don’t have to worry about him at the lake.
We are continuing with daily training sessions. Tip over is coming along nicely, so we may add something new in the week. He will be a little trickster soon.
Kane also had a play date last weekend with a boxer puppy. He had so much fun, but it definitely showed that although he has a lot of energy he is no where near where a boxer is. He was exhausted in 1/2 hour and his friend Jax still had energy to spare.
We have also been working with normal grooming things, he loves his baths, tolerates ear cleans and nail trims and teeth brushing. With practice and consistency I’m sure he will love them all.
We had a long weekend and the cabin this last week, which meant a lot of extra walks with the dogs. The weather was beautiful so Kane loved ever minute of it. My husband likes ice fishing so we walked out to where they were fishing and hung out there. 4km of walking in the snow and Kane still had energy to burn. I was really impressed with how close to us he stayed. I very rarely had to call him back, he would explore for a bit then come back to us.
His recall is still so good. I will make sure we keep rewarding that so that it stays consistent. He is getting more adventurous on our walks, so I need to be confident that he will always come back when he is called.
I also finally made time to take him for his first introductory swim. He is a terrible swimmer, and was very nervous at first, but in no time at all, with a lot of treats, he was going in the pool and the instructor was working on correcting his form so that he does become a good swimmer. I have scheduled him in for 5 classes so that hopefully by the time we have summer weather he is a confident swimmer and we don’t have to worry about him in the at the lake.
I also said we would add in a new trick every couple of weeks. This week we are working on tip over (where he goes from lying down on his chest to laying on his side). He caught on very quickly and we are practicing a couple times a day…some days more. I find that I use tip over all the time with my dogs. It’s handy for nail trims, and to let kids that are nervous meet them, not to mention vet exams. We tried sit pretty last week, but his balance isn’t very good yet and he spent more time falling over. We will let him grow up a bit more before we start that one.
Kane is officially baby teeth free…which means we are really working on his tooth brushing. He is okay with my finger and toothpaste (specifically formulated for dogs) and okay with the finger brush. We haven’t moved onto the dog toothbrush yet, but will in time. I always brushed my 2 rottie’s teeth and they both loved it and then with Sloan’s health issues I didn’t even try…then 2 puppies next meant I was too busy keeping them out of trouble to think about dental care 🤪. However I think it is very important to do and your vet clinic can definitely help you get started.
The other thing we worked on this week is nail trims. He used to be such a sleepy puppy that I could just do it as soon as he was asleep and he didn’t even wake up. That changed in the last couple of weeks 🙄. So I was getting my husband to hold him and feed him treats while I trimmed his nails. This week I figured I’d try something different. I waited until he was really played out and then put peanut butter on a spoon and while he was busy licking that I quickly cut all his nails. I was done before he was done his spoonful.
A few warnings about using peanut butter…
1. Make sure it isn’t a sugar free variety and check the ingredients to be 100% sure it doesn’t contain xylitol. As that is extremely toxic to dogs.
2. Please please don’t follow the video that was going around showing people wrapping their heads in saran wrap and smearing peanut butter on it and then cutting nails. In my opinion that is putting yourself at so much risk to get your face bitten. If you accidentally cut a quick or scare them while doing it your face is right in their biting zone. Smear the peanut butter on the floor or put it on a spoon like I did, but never put it on your face.
Since Kane should stop changing so quickly now I’m going to start including tips and tricks we have learned throughout the years. Hopefully some of our experiences can help someone else with their dog/puppy.
Wow, he is 5 months old. It’s hard to believe how fast the time has flown by and how quickly he is growing. He is still struggling with meeting new people, but we are working on it as much as we can. He will get there eventually because I do see improvement.
The past couple of weeks he has been teething like crazy. Seems like daily we find a new tooth on the floor. Or take it out of his mouth because he is rolling it around like something he isn’t supposed to have. He now has lost all but his canine teeth (The fangs) and those usually come out at about 6 months. Then we will be done with teething.
This week we are working on wait. He is getting better at it, but it will be something that will need continued practice. He catches on to new things quickly, so I’m going to start adding a new “trick” every couple of weeks…or as soon as the one we are working on seems solid. I really enjoy working with him. He is crazy food motivated and very eager to please.
I’m looking forward to summer when we can enjoy longer walks and not worry about slipping on ice. Right now the warm weather has made for icy streets and sidewalks if you try to go in the evening.
We have always been “practicing” for tooth brushing, but I didn’t want to do too much more than rub my fingers all over his mouth while he was teething so much. This week we introduced a finger brush and toothpaste. He did really well with it. It is so important to do a lot of puppy touching when they are young so that they are comfortable with people looking in their mouths and feeling around, same with feet, eyes, ears and really all body parts. It will make it easier for your vet when they go in for exams and vaccinations and it will also make it easier and faster for you to notice any changes or lumps or bumps.
Kane has definitely gotten more brave and WAY more energetic than he was in past. He drives me a little batty now when he is bored. Thankfully it has warmed up and we have been able to do longer walks and he can play outside with Rosco in the yard too. I am also very grateful that he is easy to tire out with training. Working from home means I’m around all day with him. He is a lazy bones in the morning and generally only gets up at 8:30am, which gives me an hour to enjoy my coffee in peace and quiet. When he does get out of bed he goes outside and then snuggles with me until noon. When I get up to make my lunch he figures it must be time to play and wrestle and generally make a pain of himself.
After I’m done eating I usually do a little training session with him and sometimes that plays him out enough for a few more hours of cuddles and sleeping while I work, but sometimes it’s not enough and he bugs Rosco until he comes and plays with him. I’m very thankful that Rosco is such a great big brother and will play with Kane for hours on end.
We also finished our puppy classes this week. I’m sad that they are over, it was an outing for me, and I’m happy to say I learned some new training tricks, which I will share in future posts. Kane also loved them, the first class I had to coax him in, the last few classes he cried to get in because he was so excited for them.
Because he is so young (as all the pups in this class were) the trainer recommended that we all work with our puppies on what we learned, but don’t start another class until they are a couple months older. Which fits with what my plan was. I want to put him in swimming and do that for a bit and then we can figure out what class to do next. I know I was very interested in the scent tracking class that they offered and I think Kane might really excel at agility. However, he is young, so we will make those decisions on what we should explore next when he is a little older and his brain can hold focus for more than a few seconds 🙄
The one thing that we NEED to focus on with him is building confidence when meeting new people. This last bit he has started “bluffing” at new people. He kinda barks, but it’s more a puff when he blows his cheeks up and backs up when he meets new people. If they keep coming for him he barks and backs up. Tail between his legs the whole time. I find if people ignore him he warms up faster, but most people see a puppy and want to say “hi” right away, so I am getting people to offer him treats and get him to sit or shake a paw for them. That seems to work almost as well as people just ignoring him until he comes to them. The problem of course is that due to the covid19 restrictions in our area it is hard to get him to meet new people consistently. The trainer from our puppy classes suggested bringing them to pet stores, which I think is a brilliant idea and I will try with Kane next week. Stay tuned for how that works for us.
The cold has not broken, and this week Kane was absolutely crazy. He was full of energy and trouble almost all day today. He is a bit of an energizer bunny and not being able to get out and burn off some of this energy has made him a little bit of a nut when he is awake.
He is still a cuddle bug when he isn’t racing around like a maniac and he is a sleepy head in the morning, often getting out of bed an hour after the rest of us. It’s kinda comical how tired he is in the morning.
We have 1 more week of puppy classes left and then we have to figure out what we want to do next. He enjoys it and so do I. It’s an outing for me and a way for him to meet new people. I also love training in class settings because it helps him learn to listen to me no matter how much fun he could be having paying attention to other puppies and people. I’m trying to decide if I want to do more obedience, agility or swimming next. I have to pick something new or we won’t be doing anything, because I think everything is booking up pretty quickly. Apparently everyone got a covid19 puppy.
It’s looking like it might warm up this weekend, thankfully because it’s been a long stretch of not being able to do anything. No one but Rosco likes the cold weather.
He gets his last vaccinations next week. I’m anxious to see what he weighs. He is getting close to Rosco’s height, but is definitely still a lot leaner.
Well technically he is 18 weeks old tomorrow (how is he already 4 1/2 months old) but as of today he is still 17 weeks, and I’m writing about this week, so the post title still works 🙄
This past week has been brutally cold…like -40 without wind cold some days, and since Kane barely likes -10 we have done no outside activities. He runs out, goes potty, and races in as fast as his cold feet will get him back inside. It has led to him being a little less sleepy and a little more crazy in the house. But that’s okay, I feel his pain. I’m going stir crazy too.
Because it was so cold we worked on our training and this week in puppy classes we moved to the next step of “leave it” and he caught on first try and nailed it each time since. No matter how much more we have challenged him. We haven’t practiced loose leash walking either, but he was a rock star at that in class too. He even got compliments from the trainer on how well he was doing. He is very eager to please, and crazy food motivated, so it makes it much easier to train.
To try to help him with some of his excess energy, and boredom, we also started some treadmill training. The first step is supposed to be just stepping onto the treadmill, but the first time I had him walking on it at a slow speed. The second night he wasn’t as focused on what he was doing, so didn’t walk on it as well, but would still get on, take a few steps, let himself slide off the back and then go again. So we will continue working with him on that. It’s not as nice as getting out for a walk with him, but it will definitely help when he is full of energy and it’s too cold to burn it off.
He is about 44lbs (I picked him up and weighed us together, but he was a little squirmy, so that’s just an estimated weight) and is almost as tall as Rosco. It’s crazy how fast he is growing. We have a group chat with his siblings and it’s amazing to hear about all the similarities between the litter mates. Genetics definitely play a big role in their personalities.
He definitely has more energy than our Bordeaux’s did, but we are really enjoying him.