Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Dog Park and 'Mark'

Bryce and I took Bigby to Cosmo dog park today. Cosmo dog park is my favorite dog park because it has the man made lake and my dog loves to retrieve in the water. 

Today's trip was quite annoying. Another reason I love Cosmo dog park is because generally the people there are chill. In my opinion the dog park is the place for a dog to be an all out dog. They're off leash, they're aloud to run as much as they want, they can get wet and get their ball as many times as they want. They are also allowed to be rambunctious and and play with other dogs. 

Bigby sleeping on the laundry. He does this every time I do laundry.

I don't know about your dog but for my dog, normal dog play consists of the following
  • running after (chasing) and being chased by other dogs
  • running side by side with several dogs
  • putting his front paws up on other dog and letting other dogs putt their paws on him
  • the occasional wrestle where Bigby is on his back or Bigby has another dog on their back
  • and the jowl and ear grabbing. 
  • Also the occasional play growling. Which, by the way, my dog is a hypocrite about. He will think it's fine to play growl and be vocal sometimes but if another play growl or get vocal his tail goes between his legs and he shrinks in fear. 
Bigby has always played this way and is generally very submissive. Today at the dog park it seemed like no one wanted there dog to play with other dogs. Now Bigby is a retriever and he spends 80% of his time at the dog park retrieving his ball from the water but he also really likes to play with the other dogs. And today no people wanted their dogs to play. Just run and retrieve. It was obnoxious. If my dog started to tease their dog into play they'd get on my dog to come back to me or leave their dog alone. I'm sorry but if you don't want your dog to interact with other dogs then the dog park is the wrong place to be.

Now my Bigby is bulky for a lab. (see below)

Today it seemed that the other dog owners at the dog park interpreted my dogs bulkiness to be meanness. My dog is not mean. He's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever owned. Even with my tiny 4 pound chihuahua, Fergie. Yes he'll use his mouth when he plays. Today however he didn't and the other owners were still snipity. So I came home and googled, 'normal dog play behavior', because I've always been told that sensitive inhibited play bites are normal. Especially around the jowls and ears. So, the first thing that popped up in my google search was THIS. Notice the, "Plays the “bite-each-other's mouth” game.- This is normal play behavior., this is what I mean by jowls. See, other dog owners, it is normal play behavior. Today, when a dog started doing it to my dog it was okay but when Bigby started to play back and respond, it wasn't okay. 

Worn out after the dog park.
It was just frustrating. I suppose my purpose of this post is to say, if you are going to go to the dog park, RELAX. Your dog does, so should you. Don't go to the dog park if you don't want any other dogs around your dog.  Not aggression but mouthing with gentle teething of other dogs is normal dog play behavior. Especially around the mouth. 

Bigby retrieving his ball. 
One funny thing did happen while we were bathing Bigby at the cleaning station before exiting the dog park. I'll start by telling you that when I was teaching my dog to retrieve I also taught him to 'mark' what I wanted him to retrieve for me. I say 'mark' and he stops what he's doing, tuns back to look at me and focuses on what's in my hand so he knows what to bring back to me. This way if there's a green ball, a red ball and a blue ball, and I throw the red ball, he knows to bring me back the red ball. Or if there's several toys on the floor and I throw his squeaky rope, he knows to bring me back his squeaky rope as apposed to just any toy on the floor. I take a special orange ball at to the dog park. A ball that he can squeeze in his mouth without breaking, so I make him 'mark' it before I throw it. It just so happens that the word, 'mark', will always get Bigby's attention. If he's all the way on the other side of the dog park and I want his attention I yell, 'mark' and he automatically looks to me. So, today I'm bathing Bigby and this guy stops and says, "hey, what's your dogs name?", "Bigby", I say. He frowns and says, "oh, there was this big male yellow lab over there that I swear they were calling Mark and I thought it was your dog.". I laugh and say that my dog but his name isn't Mark. The man looks confused and I explain that 'mark' is a command I give my dog to make him look and see what I want him to retrieve. The man started laughing and say, "my name is Mark and I've never met a dog named Mark before. I thought it was a first, but that makes way more sense. Who ever heard of a dog named Mark?" and walked away laughing. It made the trip to the dog park much better. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I am the youngest of 11 children. 7 of us are girls, 4 are boys. I have 40 nieces and nephews on my side. 23 are girls, 17 are boys. I have 1 nephew on my husbands side. My family is girl heavy. All my nieces and nephews are special but lately the boys have made laugh. I love them. I remember something specific about all of them. (dear sisters, if you son isn't pictured or mentioned, it's not on purpose.)

Mitchell with 3 or his sisters. 

Chandler, He's the oldest. All the others look up to him. He rocks. However, he was by far the most obnoxious toddler to babysit. His catch phrase was, "your not the boss of me".

Booker and Ike


Booker. Booker's my buddy. No, seriously, I say, "Booker, who's my buddy?" and he says, "I am".
This is Jarem and Trigg. Their older brother was babysitting them soviet russian style. These 2 are super smart. Too smart sometimes. Love Trigg. He used to sing the 'scary song'. By which he was referring to the Phantom of the Opera song. LOVE

Trigg, he also squints his left eye just like I do. 

Tate, the one who duck taped Jarem and trigg in the previous picture. 

They are constantly being pressured into letting the girls do something. They're good sports. I think they might even like the attention. But Shhh. 

This is Asher is his Halloween costume. Isn't he adorable! He's Clark and Margarets youngest. She has some awesome videos of him laughing on her blog.

 This is my first nephew on Bryce's side. Jace Carter Christiansen. He's adorable. And so far, nice and snuggly. 

And this is my twin sisters latest and greatest. Everett. That's his big sister Lexi holding him. It's a funny picture.

Everett again. Isn't he super cute. I need to make some memories with this one.

I have some really funny quotes I remember from my nephews. I think my all time favorite quotes are from Kevin. My sister Joys second boy. He had such a fabulous speech impediment. He grew out of it though. 

They're all taller then me by the time they're 12. Then they aren't as funny. But I love them. Chandler is the oldest out of all my nieces and nephews. I respect him. He's a good kid. I should say man. He's a man now. That's weird. I hope they always know they can count on me. I hope they always know they can call me in the middle of the night and I will listen. I hope they know if they don't want their mom to drive them somewhere, or can't. I will. They make me laugh. I hope they never stop trying to make me laugh. I love them.