Friday, May 27, 2016

Overcoming the Couch

Up until a a month ago, Teddy loved to snuggle-up on the couch with one or both of his humans. It was part of his evening routine. He would wait patiently until we were seated and then ask with his eyes if he could come up too. Up he'd hop and curl-up on someone's hip. 

I loved that time. Seemingly overnight, this has changed. He'll come up if we insist on it, but he'll only stay a moment and then, tail tucked, he'll slink away. My mind boggles at this change of events, but I do know that sensitive dogs can be affected by something that a human is completely blind to. I've racked my brain. Did he jump up and hurt himself on something? He must associate it with some negativity, but I just don't know what that might be.  

We're at square one with this. Using praise and treats to help him start feeling good about being up on the couch with us again. It hurts my heart to see my poodle uncomfortable with something, especially when I don't know the cause! In every other way and in every other place he is as happy as a clam. But, in order to move forward, I have to put my pity party aside and tackle this new couch aversion head-on. Teddy loves to be praised and he loves treats, so I'm sure we'll get back to the time where we are snuggling happily on the couch together. It just takes patience and love, of which I have both.

Although D'Art is in the foreground in this photo, I had to use this photo to show Teddy's sweet face in the background as it perfectly sums-up his normal demeanor - happy and loving! Besides, D'Art looks pretty handsome too!
Update - since writing this post a few days ago, Teddy has come up on the couch for snuggles successfully when asked. We still have to invite him, but that's progress!
Has your dog ever developed an inexplicable aversion to something?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wordless Wednesday (almost) - Get It!

We have this one ball with rubber spikes that Teddy can't stand the feel of in his mouth. He'll catch it, if thrown, and then promptly drop it. In comes D'Art to save the day! When commanded to 'get it', he promptly retrieves the ball on Teddy's behalf!

Such a helpful boy!

PS - Tomorrow is the last day to enter our draw for three great prizes! Check it out here.

Friday, May 20, 2016


Wildfires seem to be a part of our lives earlier this year. Last weekend I came across a helicopter team applying water to a forest fire. Having heard the news of a horrific wildfire in Fort McMurray Alberta, Canada, my heart jumped when I saw smoke and flames on the hillside. These things can grow in the blink of an eye. It made me stop and evaluate what I would do if I had to evacuate my home, and how I would conduct myself for the best safety of the poodles.

Helicopter bringing water to wildfire.

I know what I would grab if I have to leave at the drop of a hat - passports, legal documents, special paintings and photos. But what about the poodles? What do they need? They gain comfort from their own belongings so I would absolutely grab their beds, food and favorite toys. I would also bring their rabies certificates, as having them allows me to travel out of the country if I need to.

Another important factor for me to consider is that the poodles are adept at picking-up on emotions. As a result, I would do them (and me) a disservice by losing my cool. If I stay calm, they have a better chance of staying calm too. This is especially important in an emergency, when I need their compliance more readily than usual.

Lastly, I would absolutely bring a few large bottles of water and my doggie first-aid kit. It doesn't take long to miss fresh water when you need it. What's more, in an emergency you have little control over if and when you can get to a vet, so a basic first-aid kit is essential.

All in all, it is probably fair to say that I would bring more for my boys than I would for myself. But then again, who am I kidding? That's no surprise!

Let's hope none of us have to deal with an emergency, but what about you? What would you bring for your pup if you had to evacuate your home at the last minute?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Happy Anniversary!

The end of May marks the first anniversary of the Forest Poodles blog! Hurray! It's been such fun being an active part of the pet blogging world. I appreciate each and every person who stops by to read what we're up to. Thank you!

Hear ye, Hear ye, get your anniversary giveaway entry now!

What's more, June 1st is when we celebrate the poodles' birthdays. D'Art will be 12 this year and Teddy will be 8. In celebration of our anniversary and their upcoming birthdays the poodles and I have a few of our favorite things to giveaway to one of our readers! Here's what's up for grabs...

For the pups...
D'Art's pick: One bag of Yummy Chummies! They smell stinky, but I'm told they taste amazing!

Teddy's pick: One glow-in-the-dark Plant Dog ball. This ball makes playtime in the winter doable and oh-so fun!

For the humans...
Eliza's pick: One box of Yorkshire Gold tea. As the daughter of a Brit, I've been drinking a mug of strong, black tea with milk every morning since I was a teenager. I'm a bit of a tea snob, so I buy this brand online for my morning cuppa and it can't be beat!

We hope you'll enter to win the pack of goodies! The draw closes on Thursday May 26th and I'll announce the winner on Friday May 27th. Thank you for joining us on our adventures for the last year. Here's to the year to come!

D'Art is ready to be done with posing!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Campfire

We've been having dinner around the campfire more often these days.

Some of us are just here for the food.

Wait, is there more food?

While others just like to gaze into the woods.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Go Fetch

Life is too busy. I know that is a statement we can all relate to. Spring is especially busy around here with more gardening, more outdoor projects, more tasks we put off all winter, more honeybee activity, more chicks, more eggs. Good thing I love it all. Anyway, all that on top of normal 'adulting' and I'm left with too little time to try new training goals with the poodles. That said, bless their sweet souls, they don't mind so much what we do as long as it sometimes includes balls and walks and treats. This month's positive training blog hop is all about play and although we haven't played anything new or creative recently, I do still try to get outside once a day to play fetch. Teddy lives for his ball. His world blurs when he sees that ball. D'Art likes it too, but in a less obsessed way.

 My biggest training goal these days is consistency...for myself. I want to be consistent with how my husband plays with the poodles and how I do. Consistent commands, expectations and praise. It's me who drops the ball sometimes (pun intended). I find myself talking to the poodles in run-on sentences instead of sticking to clear statements. Where my husband might say "come...good", "sit...good", "give it (the ball)...good." I might say "Teddy please come here, good boy, sit, down, sit, good boy. Give it...give me the ball, would you please give me the ball? Teddy, drop it, DROP THE BALL...thanks, good boy." Poor Teddy. How confused must he be! So, for the last week or two I've really been thinking before I speak and I've noticed a difference. Where before he would hand the ball over to my husband at first request and I had to pry it out of his jaws, now he gives me the ball when I request it too. No prying required!

As for D'Art, he likes to play chase. So he tends to keep the ball and I just chase him around the yard. Then, when his old bones get too sore he plonks himself down and watches everyone else. The ball is second to just hanging out with his family as far as he's concerned.

Happy May everyone! Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers