Posted by: Kristin | May 25, 2011

like father like (furry) daughter

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Posted by: Kristin | May 8, 2011

mulch for Mother’s Day

Well, hello, summer-like weather. We’ve missed you. But I think we all agree you came on a bit too strong this weekend. The almost 90-degree weather was a little more than we bargained for.

Of course, that didn’t keep any of us, Kona included, from spending lots of time outside enjoying it. Turns out, it was prime mulch munching weather – as demonstrated below – for the pup, while Alex and I spent most of yesterday doing yard work. (post continues below)

Despite becoming a panting mess and looking for shade within a half hour of lounging in the sun, Kona insisted on being outside anytime she had the chance. And when we took her out for her first bathroom break today, she decided it was a prime opportunity time to stretch out in the grass and refuse to come inside.

But all that time outside made for one tired pup inside. She’s been an angel. So we treated her to a romp (dragging the long lead, essentially “off leash”) in the park this afternoon. She obeyed like a champ and stayed nearby the entire time. Best of all, we found a HUGE pile of mulch. (post continues below)

Even though it’s Mother’s Day, yes we’re those people who consider themselves pet “parents,” it was probably one the best gifts Kona could ever imagine. With that in mind, I hope all the mothers reading this post have the chance to enjoy their very own “mulch pile” today!

Posted by: Kristin | April 24, 2011

egg-citement in the park

HAPPY EASTER!

Alex and I didn’t have any big holiday plans this weekend, so we headed over to the neighborhood park with canine in tow to check out the annual Easter egg hunt. We kept our distance from the major “egg-citement” – yep, that just happened – but it was still great practice for Kona to be around lots of people in a public place. (post continues below)

waiting for the hunt to start

We took her out on a 50-foot lead, which we often let her drag around in hopes of training her to stay nearby when she’s “off leash.” If she runs away, which hasn’t happened yet, we’re able to grab the lead before she gets very far. When she wanders out to the end of leash, we give it a little tug and call her back. (post continues below)

And back she comes! After the initial egg hunt mayhem, which included a wailing fire truck siren and many screaming children, we didn’t pay too much attention to the action. Instead, we played with the plentiful sticks we found in the park. (post continues below)

Almost as soon as the egg hunt started, it was over. And that meant lots of people walking by the picnic table where we were hanging out. Judging by her wildly wagging tail and on-high-alert posture, Kona desperately wanted to greet each person she saw. However, she obeyed our commands and showed incredible restraint without either of us holding on to the leash. (post continues below)

"PLEASE pay attention to me, people!"

But even without the furious sprints toward every person who walked by, all the Easter Day activity made for one tired pup.

Posted by: Kristin | April 4, 2011

last-minute pick: Huskies

Who else is loving this all-dog NCAA Tournament Championship game?

About a half hour ago, just before tipoff of the game between the University of Connecticut Huskies and the Butler University Bulldogs, Kona pondered her pick. (post continues below)

Yes, I just happened to have a “husky,” actually Howl the Wolf from the Beanie Babies collection, and a bulldog, from my Drake University days, at my disposal. Kona’s decision was swift and decisive, in favor of the Huskies. (post continues below)

But I’m not swayed. I’ll still be cheering for Butler – the bulldogs, the underdogs, and hopefully the top dogs.

Posted by: Kristin | April 3, 2011

new friends, chew toys and personality to spare

It’s been an exciting couple of days for Kona. She enjoyed visiting with Alex’s brother, and reacted exactly as we expected. (post continues below)

Alex took the day off work Friday to spend some time with Spenser and do a few chores around the house, so Kona got to spend a lot of time outside on a sunny 60-degree day.  Then, yesterday, we had errands to run in Colorado, which meant Kona was able to burn off some energy at Doggie Day Camp.

She was excited to see her old friends, the employees there who know her by name, and made some new ones, including a giant schnauzer named Mulligan! (post continues below)

PetSmart was having a sale on Nylabone products too, so it was Kona’s lucky day. We stocked up. But we’ll be lucky if this haul lasts us a month, because she goes through even the toughest chew toys like crazy. Obviously, this leads to a steep chew toy budget, but it’s worth it if it keeps Kona from destroying other things, like our furniture. (post continues below)

Our final puppy purchase, a new collar, was more of an impulse buy, but it looks great. It’s a good compromise for me and Alex, as it’s not only “girly” (for me – and Kona, of course) but also “outdoorsy” (for Alex). Kona’s not a fan of wearing canine clothes, nor would we want her to be, so we try to find dog collars with a little personality.

Success.

Posted by: Kristin | March 30, 2011

Kona’s castle – the guest room

Well, the guest bedroom is clean, except for a rather large furball, and ready for visitors – just in time. Alex’s brother, Spenser, who’s on spring break from college, will be our guest tomorrow night. Spense, I swear we didn’t let Kona go under the comforter.

We haven’t hosted any overnight company in months, so I have a feeling Kona is going to be standing at the basement gate Friday morning waiting for her “uncle” to wake up.

Thanks, in part, to the handy dog-deflecting gate, the guest bedroom is pretty inviting. In fact, it’s the largest bedroom in the house. But don’t judge the paint color; it came with the house. Feel free, however, to be impressed by the homemade headboard. (post continues below)

There’s even room for a small study, complete with our (in)famous green leather recliner, where Kona catches up on her reading. (post continues below)

Like what you see? That’s the idea. I know Kona would love to have you.

Posted by: Kristin | March 12, 2011

Kona’s castle – the living room

Seeing as how Kona pretty much rules the roost around our house and many of our friends and family haven’t made the trek “out West” in a couple years, I thought I would start sharing some pictures of her in different rooms (as they’re clean of course; you understand).

The living room is probably her favorite place in the house, especially since we started letting her lounge on the couch. (post continues below)

It’s comfortable in the living room, but there’s not a ton of spare space. (post continues below)

Somehow, though, she finds room to sprint from one end of the room to the other, and around the dining room table if she’s feeling especially spunky. (post continues below)

Kona’s big, fluffy dog bed is in the living room too, though it rarely stays in one place, as she loves to drag it around and wrestle it. She’s even tried to hoist it onto the couch a time or two. Now that’s just greedy. (post continues below)

It’s a good room to play fetch in, but only if we can thread her toys through two doorways into the office. If not, the game gets interesting. Also interesting is the scene when we close the living room drapes. Kona can’t handle not being able to look out the big bay window. And, as a result, this is what we get.

Posted by: Kristin | March 3, 2011

Flat Kona hits the pool

We’re home from our trip to Austin for the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Texas. Alex, Flat Kona and I were there cheering on Alex’s brother, Spenser, who swims for the University of Missouri. Go Tigers!

Among other races, he swims the mile. Yes, the mile. It takes even the fastest swimmers about 15 minutes to complete. I wonder how long it would take a water-loving dog like Kona to swim that far.

With any luck, we’ll be able to resume swimming lessons in a few short months, though I think we’re well past the lesson stage. It’s much more likely we’ll end up having to chase Kona down as she swims a mile away.

Posted by: Kristin | February 25, 2011

puffy puppy

I’m checking in today from Austin, Texas, where Alex and I are in town to attend his brother’s last college swim meet. But, thanks to Kona, I almost didn’t make the trip.

Right now, she’s probably the life of the party at her favorite PetSmart PetsHotel. The 24 hours leading up to her scheduled check-in time Thursday morning, however, were less than enjoyable for all of us.

First, Kona got sick in her crate around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. Then, during the following lunch hour we came home to find her “eyebrows” so swollen that she could not look up with either eye and could hardly see out of her left one. I wanted to both laugh and cry because her mostly pitiful antics, like running into furniture and looking sad, were also somewhat adorable. (post continues below)

Kona's left eyebrow protruded most notably, but this is as wide as she could open either of her eyes.

At the same time, her symptoms were worrisome, as they suggested she was having some kind of an allergic reaction. I gave her one milligram of Benadryl per pound, as instructed by my friend who’s a vet tech, and loaded her up to head to the veterinarian. (post continues below)

The swelling reduced slightly thanks to Benadryl, but her left eye still looked pretty awful.

After examining her and noticing a case of hives in her ears, the vet determined she was having an allergic reaction. To what, we will probably never know.

It’s unlikely she ate something to cause the reaction, as she’s on a limited diet and crated while we’re at work, but it’s possible she found something on the floor while crumb-cruising the kitchen. Or she may have been bit by a bug outside, as we’ve enjoyed some warmer weather lately, or a spider inside the house. Either way, the result was not pretty.

But a corticosteroid shot to relieve the irritation and reduce the swelling did the trick. And by bedtime, she was looking almost normal. The vet said to monitor her progress, but he assured me there should not be anything more to worry about. He also prescribed some medication to be used only if the swelling and hives appeared to be lingering on Thursday morning.

Luckily, they did not. Though I struggled with the decision to board Kona anyway. After much debate between me and Alex and energetic signs of wellness from the pup in question, I decided to send her to one of her favorite places, as planned (though I opted for shorter playtimes than usual).

Of course, I called to check on Kona as soon as our flight landed in Austin and found out she looked great, hadn’t needed any medication and was loving her shortened playtimes.

I expect nothing less from the little rascal, but I could have done without the panic less than a day before leaving town. Just sayin’.

Posted by: Kristin | February 19, 2011

best in show

Earlier this week the Westminster Kennel Club crowned a Scottish deerhound the winner of its annual dog show. You rarely see deerhounds, or many of the other dogs in the sporting, working or terrier groups featured on television that night, but that didn’t stop Kona from taking in the entertainment. (post continues below)

Golden retrievers are part of the sporting group. And, as usual, the golden didn’t even get a second look from the judge this year. I don’t know much about how the dogs are judged, but I’m often disappointed by how little I get to see of the goldens in these national shows.

Perhaps golden retrievers are just too common. After all, a few weeks ago, they claimed the number five spot on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds. Though their popularity is down slightly over the past decade, as they ranked number two as recently as 2005. Interestingly, boxers and dachshunds, our neighbors to the east and west respectively, also showed up in the top ten.

But goldens still rank ahead of Shih Tzus (number ten on the list), so they’ve got that going for them.

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