Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fit and Fabulous Over 40

So I recently (and quietly I might add) celebrated another birthday milestone. This birthday, unlike others, catapulted me into the over 40 category. A lot of my younger friends have been trying to cheer me up with typical statements like "you're only as old as you feel" and "42 is the new 22." Is that a fact?! So in attempt to recapture my youth I decided to embrace my fit and fabulous 42 year-old self (7 years old in human years) and here's what unfolded:

1. Recovery rate has a whole new meaning: Back in the good old puppy days I could go on a 10 hour play bender and still have energy to spare! Now? A 3 mile hike with The Paw Pack sets me back half a day. Maybe I should look into orthotics...

2. Receding fur line: While I continue to push the high activity envelope I have been noticing I'm losing more fur in the process. Call it coincidence but in my opinion being a balding yellow lab over 40 would not be a good look for me.

3. Weight gain: Now this is partially my fault as I have a daily toddler feeding source at my disposal, which contributes to my expanding waistline. But despite my high activity levels I am starting to think I will never be a size medium again.

4. Keeping up with the Joneses (AKA The Paw Pack): I used to get so thrilled to go crazy with my friends everyday at the park and now some days all I want is a nice peaceful walk followed by a giant nap.

My parents tell me to buck up and stop acting like an old man. I suppose they have a point. I have a lot to live for and so what if I need to modify my routine a bit to make a 7 o'clock bedtime? Let it be known that I can still outplay any of you puppies out there! Although don't expect to see me at the park the next day or maybe the day after...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Paw Pack Party Circuit

Being the ambassador for The Paw Pack Adventure Club comes with many responsibilities. In addition to the mundane tasks of paperwork and picking up poop there are some perks to my job. Recently my parents gave me the enormous task of organizing our annual pool party for our friends. At first I was ecstatic; what a great idea! I had visions of doing endless cannon balls into our pool with my friends, followed by an afternoon of leisurely napping and sunning ourselves on our deck. I was hit with a nice dose of reality though when my parents informed me that my friends would not be invited but that I'd be hosting their parents and potential new Paw Pack members. After a long debate over the guest list, which involved me pouting a bit, I realized that it's only fair. My mom hosts daily playgroup parties for my friends so the least I could do is play with her friends. For those of you who plan to assist your parents with parties let me give you a few tips about party etiquette:

1. Food is plentiful. There was every type of food imaginable at our party except kibble. Since there were so many people milling around there's less food supervision and more of an opportunity to sample the goods.

2. Dog cannonballs into the pool are prohibited; human cannonballs are welcome. This one is just plain unfair and I'm convinced that my dad just didn't want me to show him up with my skills so I was indefinitely sidelined with the babies.

3. Guest greetings. Slightly different than greeting my friends. Most of my parent’s friends do not want to be sniffed nor do they want to be forced into scratching my butt. I hardly think I'm asking for much; I am hosting a party for them and deserve a thank you!

4. Cleanup. Quite the production and it takes more than a handful of poop bags. My favorite part of cleanup is pre-washing the dishes; they can't say I wasn't helping!

Overall I think my parents were happy with my party planning.  We had a nice day, good turnout and most importantly they didn't embarrass me in front of my friends’ parents. I feel confident I've set the bar for future social events!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Barrell Rolls

I have to admit I am quite a talented dog if I do say so myself. I have perfected the art of sit, stay, act like a bear, head down and my parents personal favorite...leave it. However, one of the more advanced tricks I have yet to perform for them is to roll over on command. It's not that I can't; I'm perfectly capable of rolling over but it seems silly to me. Unless I have an itch on my back or I'm sleeping I see no point in performing the trick. The other day my little sister decided to one-up me and started doing barrel rolls on the floor. I watched in amazement as my parents yelled with excitement while she huffed and puffed like an out of shape dog trying desperately to reach her goal of grabbing her toy. I had to chuckle; here she was doing all this work and not even getting rewarded with food?! What fun is that? And why were they getting so excited anyways? They never get that excited when I do a trick. I even tried to help her out since it was clear she was struggling and attempted to relocate her toy closer to her hands; my parents were not impressed. Maybe I'll surprise everyone and bust out a few new tricks like "fetch the baby” and "guard the baby" and really impress them...that should guarantee me treats AND a toy...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paw Pack Parenting

So it's been awhile since my last post and I'll admit every time I have a free moment from playgroups, eating and babysitting I'm in need of a giant nap! Life has certainly become more hectic for me with a new baby to look after and while I have been used to a life of peace, quiet and leisure the past 2 months have been anything but that! Through hours of observation and babysitting I've come up with a number of realizations, tips and tricks that I hope will be helpful for any of my friends that will be faced with the joys and challenges of parenthood:

1. Babies, like puppies, cry a lot. When my parents have exhausted all options for soothing I have found that a few gentle licks to the face soothes even the crankiest of babies.

2. The boppy pillow is not just for the baby; it is multifunctional and primarily serves as a perfect napping pillow for me and my dad during those sleepless nights.

3. Although tempting the following items are NOT dog toys: pacifier, socks, hand mitts, burp cloths and of course diapers. Stuffed animals are up for debate and while I hardly think she'll miss any of her stuffed animals at this point I've already gotten the standard lecture from my parents to keep away from the toy shelf.

4. The term "feeding time at the zoo" has taken on a whole new meaning. I'm a 2 meal a day dog and polish off my meals in less than 5 minutes yet maintain a 90 lb stature. My sister feeds around the clock for up to an hour at a time yet she is the size of a pug; how does she manage to stay so little??

5. Her bathroom habits are a true mystery to me. She produces a lot of gas and smell but I have yet to see physical evidence of anything. I have noticed a large white can in her room that seems to swallow diapers and cleverly designed to keep me from investigating her messes. Why she can't go to the bathroom outside like me is a whole other battle I'm losing with my parents...

6. Selective hearing is a daily requirement. While typically reserved for my parents I have quickly learned to drown out all of the baby cries and any other commotion she causes. Burying my head under the boppy pillow works wonders..

7. Sharing is key: Being a first born I was certainly used to having my parents undivided attention so it's no surprise that it has been very hard to deal with not being the top dog. I'll admit I have done my fair share of seeking negative attention by running away to friends houses, destroying household items and upping the ante on my whining but the bottom line is she's here to stay and I have to share my parents!

While parenthood has proven to be a great challenge I love my little sister and am happy to report that she's been accepted with open paws among the other pack members and we are looking forward to the next 2 months and what excitement and challenges she has in store for us!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Change is Good...Right?

So it's the beginning of a new year and per usual I've been hard at work outlining my goals and objectives to in order to expand my pack. One of the biggest obstacles that I'm still trying to come to terms with is the impending arrival of my new sister. As most of you know I'm allergic to all forms of change in my daily routine. My parents have been hard at work over the past 9 months introducing me to new sights, smells and above all rules intended to make my life easier when she comes home. I don’t know if any of you have had the pleasure of welcoming a baby into your house but I have to say I'm very anxious about this change; I mean where do I begin?? Do I immediately enroll her in The Paw Pack Puppy Program, throw her into playgroups and hope she can learn by example? It worked for all my puppy friends and took a lot less pressure off of my job. Do I have to share my toys and treats? I'll admit she seems to have quite the stockpile of treats in her room; I might have to swap out some of my used ones for hers before she arrives...I'm sure no one will notice. Will I have to be her dog nanny 24/7? For my friends who can't be off leash my mom simply hooks their leash to my collar and we walk together...I suppose that could work except I'm not sure if she'll arrive with her walking skills intact. What if she doesn't want to eat and sleep on my schedule? I get super cranky when my feeding schedule is off and I shut down all playtime after 7 pm; if she needs evening entertaining my parents are just going to have to step up and help; I mean really...I can't do everything! Most importantly will she be held to the same standards of rules, boundaries and limitations that I have to follow? If she gets her own rulebook then my parents and I are going to have a serious chat about fairness. Well I suppose there's nothing I can do but try and embrace this new change, pray she doesn't take away all the attention from me and hope she realizes that I will always be the boss of her…

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Paw Pack Phobias

I've come to the conclusion lately that the more time I spend with my friends the more I am privy to witnessing some of their unique quirks. I'm not talking about the usual stuff like always needing to carry the biggest stick possible while walking or the tendency to indulge in mud-pies at the park; I'm talking about their strange phobias. Some of my friends are spooked by the usual things; shadows, doorbells, garbage trucks, vacuums, the automatic trash can at my house, and even my mom's potholder mitts! But as we are approaching the holiday season it's come to my attention that some of my friends are genuinely spooked by the ghosts, witches and scarecrows that have been decorating households and lawns all over town. I can't help not making fun of them; I mean clearly these figures are fake but nonetheless some of my friends proceed to bark, growl and run the other way when coming into contact with them. In any event I suppose phobias are not something to be taken lightly especially since my mom pulled a fast one on me and spilled the beans to all my friends on my secret phobia: Mirrors. Anytime my dad shoves a mirror in my face asking me "where's the puppy in the mirror" I break out in a sweat, tuck my tail between my legs and hide in the next room. In 5 years I have yet to locate this yellow puppy he speaks of; trust me I've spent lots of time looking for him! I think what scares me the most is not that I'm seeing another dog I can't find but it's the fact that half of my dad's body disappears when he holds the mirror in front of me; it's enough to give you dogmares for months...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


There comes a time in every dog's life when he needs to feel a sense of independence. For the past 5 years I've been under the watchful eye of my parents and after spending time with some of my friends I've come to the realization that my parents can be really strict at times. Some of my friends get to rule the house, come and go as they please and hardly ever have to ask permission from their parents to visit friends. I thought to myself one day; why shouldn't I be able to make my own rules; after all I am 5 years old; practically an adult! So for the past month I've been pushing the envelope a bit and taking field trips over to my friend Rocky's house. We have a great system set up; he sends out a special bark letting me know the coast is clear on his end and I strategically make my yard exit when I'm out going to the bathroom. As soon as my parents look away I'm off. I have to say there's no better feeling than breaking the rules; at first I was just going to visit occasionally but lately I can't help myself and visit him daily! Usually Rocky and I's social visits are cut short by one of my parents arriving to take me home. Let me just say there's nothing more embarrassing then your mother driving up in her car; giving you "the look" and herding you home...I've tried explaining my case to them; it's not like I'm going on a bone bender or hiking across state lines; I just need to be able to have a little more freedom. Maybe they'll loosen the reigns when I'm 6...until then I'm on house arrest...