Thursday, August 28, 2014

Brooks' Books and Giveaway- Dogs Rule Nonchalantly

Brooks' Books Pet Book Reviews and Giveaway


Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly
by Mark Ulriksen
ISBN 978-1939621108
Pub. date 9/30/14

Good news! You can enter to win a copy of this book at the end of the post.

"There's nothing happier than a happy dog," writes Mark Ulriksen. And there's nothing more entertaining than an entertaining book about dogs--happy and otherwise.

Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly is a humorous and heartwarming look at the everyday interactions between dogs--big, small, frisky, lazy--and their caregivers. As you turn the pages, you'll find yourself smiling, and nodding in agreement.

"While puppies can melt your heart, getting an older dog does have its advantages." --Mark Ulriksen
This spoke to me, because my husband and I rescue senior dogs--they fit our quieter lifestyle, so I see the advantages of an older dog. At the same time, I'm babysitting my son's four month old puppy, so my heart melts every day between 9 to 5. Whether you share your home with a puppy, senior, or middle ager, I bet you'll agree with this statement too.

"Whether you've been gone for 5 minutes or 5 hours, they'll greet you like you've been gone for 5 years."- Mark Ulriksen
I love the author's comment here, because this is one of my favorite qualities of dogs, and I've also found this truth in my research on the human animal bond. You need only look as far as your own dog waiting for you at your front door to appreciate this sentiment.

Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly is illustrated with the author's whimsical paintings of dogs created for The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, and other magazines and private commissions, together with new paintings created especially for this book. Mark Ulriksen is an illustrator best known for his work for The New Yorker, where he has more than 40 magazine covers to his credit. Mark lives in San Francisco with his wife, two daughters, and their chocolate Labrador, Henry.

I spent a good deal of time pondering the title of this book, and I think it's fitting. Dogs are relaxed and subtle in the way that they capture our hearts. And while dogs rule nonchalantly, this book portrays the bond between humans and dogs humorously, truthfully and yes, ...nonchalantly.

This is a beautiful book that will make you want to run to wherever your dog is sleeping (probably on your favorite chair) and give him a big hug!

Here's a little video. Then be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win the book!

Dogs Rule Nonchalantly - Kickstarter from Mark Ulriksen on Vimeo.

Now for your chance to win a copy of Dogs Rule Nonchalantly! Enter the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Full Disclosure: I was provided with one copy of Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly to review and one for giveaway. This in no way influenced my review. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Play with Me- The Pros and Cons of Dog Play

Dogs need to play, in some way. After all, life isn't all about eating and sleeping. Most dogs love to play. Not all dogs like to play with others. Not all dogs play well with others. Kelly doesn't like to play with other dogs, but she enjoys playing with toys, and interacting with us for a little tug or catch, or just some good ol' belly rubs and tickles.

Belly rub, please.

For the most part, play is positive.
Play is healthy, providing good exercise .
Play develops bonds with others.
Play teaches dogs etiquette and rules of behavior with one another. An adult dog teaches a puppy when Bitey Face is acceptable play and when he's gone too far. Ike is a very patient teacher and lets puppy Zeke gnaw on his lip, neck and legs for quite some time before telling him to scram.

What I like about dog play is when two or more dogs run after each other full tilt, ears flying. Pure joy!

 What I like is when dogs play Keep Away and make quick, sudden changes of direction.

What I like is when a dog play bows and the other dog responds, and I feel smart for understanding the body language.

What I don't like about play is when it sounds like two wild bears in the woods.

Okay, I really don't like Bitey Face, but I'm learning to accept it as the way some dogs play.

Can play go too far?
This is a question I've asked repeatedly since I've been babysitting puppy Zeke. Especially with two senior dogs in the house. Kelly made it easy--she made it clear that she's the boss, and at 13 years old she has no interest in playing with a young whippersnapper, and furthermore, he'd better stay out of her way. And he obliges.

Ike is 9, very laid back, very submissive, very, very gentle. He lets Zeke climb all over him, bite him all over, shake his limbs, and steal toys out of his mouth. It's all okay with Ike.

I like when Zeke takes the toy out of Ike's mouth, then Ike takes it back out of Zeke's mouth, then Zeke takes it's usually very gently, very calm and sweet. They're playing, sharing, and the give and take is equal.

What I don't like is when Zeke hangs onto the fur on Ike's neck and shakes really hard.

I don't like finding scratches and marks on Ike's skin because of the puppy's sharp baby teeth and nails.

I don't like that Ike doesn't tell the puppy off just a little more often.

But I've learned not to step in and interfere unless Ike seems in distress, or if Ike is trying to get away from Zeke and can't, or if the play seems to escalate into a fight.  If this happens at any point during your dogs play, stop them, distract them, separate them, give them a break. I've given Ike and Zeke a few breaks when Ike seems tired, but otherwise they've never seemed to be agitated or upset.

What I like is when dogs are clearly having fun. Can you see them smile?!

What I like is when they sleep comfortably, peacefully,  afterwards. Maybe dreaming of another play date.

Do your dogs like to play? What is their favorite type of play with other dogs? Have you ever worried about how rough the play becomes? Do you have a dog who doesn't like to play?

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Dog Did Something Dumb

Golden retrievers are generally considered bright. At the very least, they are extremely trainable because they are so willing to please. But for some reason, I only have come to live with the golden retrievers who are a few milkbones short of a box. And I mean that with all the love in the world.

Who, me?

Brooks, for example, was the sweetest, gentlest, kindest, most amazing golden I've ever been lucky enough to share a home with. But he couldn't turn himself around if he walked into a corner. This is true. After a surgery, when he was wearing the cone of shame, he got himself stuck in the doorway and just stood there. He didn't back up, he didn't try to maneuver out. He didn't even bark or whine for help. He just stood. Thankfully, I was home and could help steer him through the doorway. I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't been home, how long he would have stood there.

Here's Brooks with his cone. I think he's asleep.

Well this brings us to Ike. Last night, Ike got stuck under the bed. Yup. Stuck. Under the bed.

About 3am I was awakened by the sound of toenails scraping against a wood floor. If you are anything like me and have a crazy imagination and also are afraid of anything that moves after dark, you can imagine what sprung to mind when I heard the sound of toenails scuttling under my bed. What kind of creepy eight-eyed slimy green monster was under the bed, anyway?

Turns out that Ike had somehow gotten all 70 pounds of himself under the bed, and couldn't get out. Ike has his own cozy bed to sleep in, and he usually starts out there, but during the night he might get up and sleep in Kelly's bed, in the hall, or on the floor beside our bed. Since our bedroom is pretty small, there isn't much wiggle room between the bed and the wall, just enough space for a golden retriever to lay down. But if he wiggles in that wiggle room, then somehow he must push himself under the bed.
I know. It happened before.

Ike hasn't quite got the hang of this bed thing.

So I got up and pulled Ike out from under the bed. He didn't do anything to try to help me out either, just laying there dead weight. I pulled his hind leg a little and part of him slid out. Then I crawled around to the front and pulled a little. I had to reach under the bed and lower his shoulder so that it could fit back out from the bed frame, and pull on the front end a little more. This was no easy feat with me crawling around on my hands and knees in the dark. But I got him out, and he wagged his tail and jumped up on top of the bed.


Much safer. I only hope he won't fall out of bed.

Has your dog done something silly, or let's face it, dumb, lately?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Paws to Reflect

Ike and Kelly enjoyed a paws to reflect at Lake Champlain in Vermont.  I think Ike wanted to jump in for a swim. Do your dogs prefer swimming or watching the view?

We're joining Wordless Wednesday.