Take Me to the City!

Socialization Corner- Jackson Hole, WY

 

I take Butter to a new city anytime I have the opportunity. A new city presents  obstacles and opportunities to socialize. Today we are featuring Jackson Hole, WY on our way to visit family. This was not only a break for Butter, but had some great opportunities for new experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we are visiting a new city with Butter, I attempt to look at the city with a new set of eyes. I like to think of “agility” and all the different events and tasks dogs will do. What can be a new surface, odd shape, weird texture and how can I expose Butter to this? I do this for three reasons.

First, I want to grow our relationship and trust.

Second, I want to continue training in all opportunities.

Third, it is good socialization since I do not want Butter to be scared of different situations and act in a negative manner.

I always bring treats and do positive reward based training through these new opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Jackson we found many opportunities including statues, benches, covered walkways, wooden paths, small enclosures and of course cars, people and animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previously Butter had been around children statues and had licked their hands attempting to get pets. This time she seemed to recognize they were statues and just sniffed them. I guess she really does learn from these moments!

At times, Butter can be embarrassing such as trying to get pets from every person, but I continue taking her to the city with the hope that someday she will be better. It is hard to remember that she is just a puppy at times.

Despite her desire to have many people pet her, I have noticed that there are specific people Butter will do anything to get to. At first I found this to be mortifying as she pulls me towards them. Lately, though, I have noticed that Butter knows what she is doing. These people always seem to connect with her, have a story about a lab they have loved or just love dogs and desire a connection. Other times she could easily access a person we are passing and she ignores them. She is amazing in ways I will never fully grasp. I just hope I can learn to listen better and keep her from jumping up on people!

When Butter is not embarrassing us, I am doing my best to take her place. For example, when getting a picture of Butter on the bench (seen previously) we managed to gather a crowd of about 6 people. They stood there watching us for about 5 minutes. Since I know I am a little silly with my ideas, I just ignore it…unless they want to pet Butter of course. Without a doubt, taking Butter places always pushes me out of my comfort zone.

For Jackson specifically, I found it a great place to give Butter a break and push her mind by having her participate in the different tasks we came up with. However, I did not find Jackson to be the most dog friendly place as many of the parks have signs that read “no dogs” posted. Restaurants are in tight places on main street and it is rare that you find outdoor seating  areas. I feel this would be a good place to have two people (if you bring your dog) so that one can go into the restaurant or store while the other stays with the dog.

Whenever we go to the city we respect the signs,  do not leave Butter in a hot or cold car, bring poop bags and leave areas cleaner than we found it. Please continue to do the same as we do not want more and more places to have “no dogs allowed” signs keeping us from enjoying a great city.

 

 

One click from you, donation from Butter!

Please vote for Butters costume!

If we win this contest we will donate what we would have spent on the photo shoot to our local humane society! Please help us win by clicking “like” on Butters photo.

https://m.facebook.com/photosbyfearless/albums/1927602300900816/

Thank you to fearless photography for your support to our local humane society with this event!

Check out fearless photography on Facebook. All photo credit to them!

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We Love Farmers!

Socialization Corner: Farmers Market

In my town we have a great farmers market with produce that is irresistible. This farmers market is busy with plenty of dogs, people and children. If a farmers market near you is dog friendly, it is a great opportunity to socialize a dog!

This was the first time Butter had visited the farmers market and it brought many new and old challenges.

We went in the fall season when the farmers market is starting to be less busy. Although there were plenty of people and distractors for Butter to learn from, we had enough room to walk around and do some training. Butter still found a flying table cloth and mirror wind charm to bark at, but with less people around, we could properly discover this table cloth, reward calm behavior and work through our barks.

Going when the market is less busy allowed more places to sit and we spent time in the middle of the market following commands and relaxing in a distracting environment.

Don’t let this sweet face fool you. She was just dumpster diving, that is why she is licking!
She is pretty cute despite her yucky dog taste!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few things I did to help ensure success include going on a walk in the morning before we went to the market, getting to the market before our friends to follow some commands and bring lots of treats to help keep Butters attention on me.

Love this trick because she has to follow multiple commands. I also love her ears as she jumps to get the treat. 

Sweet friends. We challenged ourselves more by inviting her good friend Rizzo! 

 

Happy “Howl”oween!

We wish everyone a spooky, but safe “Howl”oween.

Love, Butter

This toy has a bottle in it, so she has been loving it none stop. Crunch!
We made her a spooky “Howl”oween collar.
An eyeball monster.
Lastly, a fun Spider!

Dog Lover’s Idaho

Auger Falls

 

 

 

 

 

Canyon Springs Road, Twin Falls, ID, 83301

Auger Falls is in the Snake River Canyon by Twin Falls, ID. To find the parking area: Drive down the grade, towards Centennial Park. Before you enter the  park, follow the road going to the left and drive by the golf course.  Continue past the golf course onto a gravel road and you will end in the parking lot.

With this as the view from the parking lot, it is obvious that this will be a beautiful hike.

We have hiked Auger Falls multiple times and typically about a dozen or less people are present. There is good parking, no charge and an outhouse when you arrive. There are no garbage cans, but you should still leave the area cleaner than you found it. Be prepared to pack out what you pack in. After you begin the journey there are no other amenities, it is just nature. The most wonderful thing about Auger Falls is how you can feel as if you are out of the city, when you are just a few miles away.

So many miniature waterfalls and beautiful colors this time of the year.
From the “Eagle Trail” you can take small paths down to the edge to look at the falls.
The “Auger Falls” trail will also bring you to this beautiful view.

All of the trails are clearly marked and the trails are kept with little debris. All the trails are dirt, unless you go onto the road (not open to cars) that is gravel. The main use of these trails appears to be for mountain bikers and some hikers.

If you walk to the look out (cliff edge) and back you hit about 4 miles. I have done this twice using my phone to track my mileage and both routes ended at 3.8-4.0 miles. All the trails I have walked on have been easy with only a few mild inclines. There is a lot of brush on all sides and you will want to have long pants to protect your legs from brush and ticks. There may be snakes in this area depending on the season, we have seen them before.

This is the ending of the trails when you hit the cliff and can see down the canyon. Worth the four miles!
Such a sweet face.
There are a lot of photo opportunities on this trail.
You can access this bridge if you follow the road. We have looked at it in the past, but I feel this view is even better!

Today we started on “Homestead Loop” linking to “Eagle Trail”, “Koda’s Trail”, “Haunted Forest” and ending on “Porcupine Trail”.  With many trails it is possible to make a hike long or short in this area. If you prefer to be by the water  stay on “Homestead Loop”, “Auger Falls” and “Eagle Trail”. If you prefer to see the water and then other views of the canyon, including a few small ponds, follow the other trails mentioned above. No matter your choice, it is all beautiful and fun to explore.

Clearly marked trails.
“Homestead Loop” has this old building.
Silliness on the trail. They love to play. I always try to stop and give Butter some love when we are hiking.

Butter give Auger Falls 4 paws up!

Butter only has 4 paws… so 4 paws up is the best.

 

 

Dog, Halloween, Monster, Budget!

Monster Dog Costume Tutorial Featuring Butter

I am making my way through “no spend October” and when I decided I wanted to make Butter a costume I looked in my house to find the options. I ended up deciding that an old t-shirt of Matt’s, google eyes and felt can make a cute monster costume. Here is a tutorial on how I made Butter her budget friendly monster costume for $2.00 (I did not have the microfiber car wash gloves from the dollar tree):

Find your supplies:

  • Old t-shirt
  • Felt
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Something to trace circles (two sizes)
  • Hot glue
  • Google Eyes
  • 2 dollar tree microfiber car wash gloves
  • Elastic

Step 1: Mark the t-shirt

Make sure that you place monster eyes in places that would be visible when your dog is sitting or standing.  Have the dog sit or lay down, mark or remember the different spots on the t-shirt that need eyes. You can use a pencil. *If your dog does not like having the t-shirt on, you may work on this before you attach the items. We used lots of treats to get her comfortable. 

Step 2: Make the Eyes

Taking the different colors of felt, cut out two circles (one big and one small). Using a hot glue gun, glue the felt together and the three eyes on top of the smaller circle.

Step 3: Make the Plates

Draw two sizes of plates onto a piece of paper. Cut these out to use as stencils. Cut out two pieces of felt from the same color for each plate. Glue the same colored felt pieces together leaving the last 1/4 inch without glue.

Step 4: Finish the T-shirt

First, glue the plates onto the back of the t-shirt in a straight line. Start with the large plates and then add the small plates. To glue, open the bottom 1/4 inch that was left without glue, add glue and place on the shirt with flaps open (see picture). Then glue the eyes onto the shirt.

Step 5: Make the Hat and Feet

Cut the microfiber gloves keeping the top square only. Take one of these and cut it in half (this will be the feet). Set these aside.

Using felt, cut six large white circles and three small black circles to make the eyes. Glue one large white and one small black circle together to look like eyeballs. Glue the second white piece of the back of the eyeball leave the bottom 1/4 without glue. Similar to the plates, open the bottom flap, place glue on the flaps and then put them onto the the hat piece with flaps open.

Take elastic and cut two pieces that would work to keep the feet piece on. Then cut two pieces to keep the hat on. I did not measure, just guessed and then adjusted as necessary. Glue the elastic onto both the feet and the hat. Try them on to make sure they stay on your dog. *Again, see if your dog needs training to tolerate these pieces. Butter did not mind the shirt, but did not like the hat or shoes.

You are finished! This is so very cute…even if Butter thinks it is silly looking. Hope to have better pictures for you closer to Halloween. Happy “Howl”oween.

Catch This!

Sunday Walk With Butter #3: Catch.

Today we worked on catching treats, which may seem pretty silly. The reason we do this fun trick is because Butter has to do multiple steps that work on all the basics. Pay attention, sit, wait, catch and then keep walking.

Catch: Sit and face the owner, then catch the treat.

In this video you can see the many commands she goes through to get to the “catch” part. Sorry about the second one, I did not get my treat out previous to the video. oops. 

“Catch” is something that my husband worked with Butter on for many weeks and she is getting pretty good. When going on a walk today, I felt this would be a great trick to continue since it brings many commands into one fun game. Butter gets to jump after a treat, so it does not get any better in her eyes!

To teach this trick, start in a distraction free environment. First, ask your dog to sit, while holding a treat up in front of you so that your dog can see it. Then you will ask them to wait and take one or two steps back. Next, toss the treat and say “catch”. I will admit, I do not always say “catch” since she is motivated to jump at the thrown treat without a verbal command. I also do not use this game for the “catch” part. Butter’s Dad will say “one, two, three” when he throws the treat to give her notice.

On walks, I do the same routine we practiced above, but in a distracted environment. I do not let go of the leash, but I do step back so I can work on all aspects of this trick.

This does take slightly longer to do when you are walking since you have to stop each time, however, it is worth the time since you are working on many important skills.

 

 

Bears, Rodeo and Hunting, Oh My!

Butter’s Week In Pictures

Butter went to her grandparents farm for the week with her Dad. I sent the camera and this is what I received. Thank you to J who got me the picture of Butter with Lady!

Lady and Butter had a great time playing!
Butter took many naps when she was in the truck for the rodeo and hunting. She also found plenty of loves during breaks!
Loving the snow and the view!
She loved the snow so much she refused to get in the car when it was time to go.
Butter would slide and slide and slide
She blends in pretty good.
They ended their trip with one “woof” at the bear. She then lost interest and went back to bed.
She stayed in the car the entire time they saw the bear and so did the humans. We do not take any chances when bears are present. 

 

Hope all of our viewers had a great week with pretty views!

A Puppy and a Messenger Bag.

Socialization Corner: Puppy Walks

With Butter gone this week at her grandparents farm I thought I would do a flashback to when she was super small!

When Butter was a puppy we wanted her to explore her world safely. Due to only having some of her shots, we were not taking her into public areas. We took her to our family’s homes, took her on rides in the car and gave her walks in a messenger bag to help her explore her world safely.

First, we took her to our cabin so she would enjoy new smells, different environments and meet our family. She found her love for pinecones. We knew the dogs who went to the cabin were all vaccinated and no dogs had been sick with Parvo in the past.

We did the same thing with Butter going to her grandparents farm. We will explore this more in a separate post.

Exploring the trees

The other thing we did is take her on walks in a messenger bag. This served two purposes. 1. Got her out into the world safely. 2. Got her walking since she was small enough she would only walk half a block…maybe.

Butter going on walks. She was so tiny!

Through finding safe and alternative ways we were able to socialize Butter quickly with lower risks. Always consult your vet if you have similar ideas to ensure your puppy will be safe.

What did you do when you wanted to safely socialize your dogs as puppy’s? Would love to know more great ideas!

Reusable Swifter Sweeper Floor Mop Wipe Tutorial

Environmentally Friendly Butter:                           Swifter Sweeper Floor Mop Wipe Tutorial

Butter is posing with the microfiber mop

Since Butter is on vacation this weekend I will try something new, a tutorial! She will be back next weekend for her Sunday walk.

 

I love using these reusable wipes and have found them to reduce my household costs, increase my ability to help the environment, clean my floors effectively, and they are easy to make. You don’t even need a dog to use these! Assuming you already have a sewing machine or serger and sewing supplies (needles, thread, pins, ruler, scissors) the cost of making both the cloth diaper and microfiber wipe is about $30.00. Even better, you might already have some of these supplies such as the floor mop or cloth diapers in your house, reducing the cost by about half!  I found the most expensive item was the cloth diaper since they only come in packs of 3 or 5. I used most of these diapers to make mop wipes, but there are many other things you can do with cloth diapers if you look online. The following cost estimates were found online, but all of these items can be purchased at most local stores:

  • Swifter Sweeper Floor Mop Starter Kit: $15.00
  • Microfiber wipes: $1.00
  • Cloth diaper: $12.00
  • Elastic: $3.00 (for both large and small sizes)

When Butter was first brought home and learning to be potty trained she would go on our hard kitchen floor on top of wee-wee pads. Although she was typically pretty good,  I did not want to have my house smell and so I would mop weekly (or as needed) to ensure nothing was left on the floor. Now, I am thankful I do not need to mop as often, but just having a dog in the house increases the frequency of necessary mopping and my costs.

To save money, I got a pack of microfiber towels and a pack of cloth baby diapers and made them into reusable mop wipes. I did not want to keep buying one time use wipes. These have worked out well.

When I need a quick clean up for Butters hair, a mop without chemicals or just a sweep, I use microfiber cloths to do this. I also use them instead of the dry swifter wipes to pick up the hair previous to moping. You can use these with water and it will make your floors look great, minus any chemicals. These are very inexpensive to make because the dollar tree has a pack of two for $1.00. After using these once, I place them into the washing machine and wash them before my next cleaning day.

I bought cloth diapers because I knew that they are good at absorbing and are durable. I use these for traditional mopping and have really enjoyed them. When I am ready to use them I get them wet and wring them out. Next, I use a natural cleaner that I put directly onto the floor in the area I am mopping. After that, I mop my floors adding more cleaner if needed and changing to a new wipe once the original is dirty.  Once a wipe is dirty I place the wipe into the washing machine and wash it before my next cleaning day.

Now to the good stuff:

Butter is always helpful! She is writing the measurements and keeping the extra microfiber safe.

Materials:

Microfiber cloth or cloth baby wipes: two 6″ x 12″ pieces

1/2 inch wide elastic*: two 5″ pieces

1/4 inch wide elastic*: two 8″ pieces

scissors or rotary cutter

Serger machine or sewing machine*

Ruler

Swifter sweeper floor mop

Step 1: 

Cut the diaper or microfiber cloth into two 6″ x 12″ pieces, placing them on top of each other. You will keep these two pieces  layered the entire tutorial to make a double layer. Once cut, set aside. See the pictures below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2:

Cut two pieces of large elastic to 5″ lengths and the two pieces of small elastic to 8″ lengths. Set them aside. See the pictures below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3:

Gather the layers and the 5″ large elastic pieces. Pin the 5″ large elastic pieces with the edges lined up along the length of the wipe. Pin both pieces of elastic to one side of  the wipe. Wait to pin the elastic to the other side until after the first length of the wipe has been sewn. Place one large elastic piece about 1″ from the top and the other about 1″ from the bottom of the wipe.

Using a 1/4 inch seam, sew from the top of the wipe along the entire length edge attaching the elastic to the layers. This will attach the two wipe layers together and the elastic.

Repeat on the other side. When sewing the elastic onto the other side allow the pad to bunch because the elastic will end up stretching when it is on the mop head. An example of the bunching can be viewed in last two pictures of this section. See the pictures below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4:

Pin the 8″ small elastic to the edge of the width of the wipes about 1″ from the sides. Pin and sew one side, before pinning the other side to reduce difficulty with bunching.

Sew a 1/4″ seam along the entire width edge to secure the two layers and the elastic.

Repeat on the other side. The pad will be bunched in almost half on the second side. This ensures the elastic will stretch when on the mop, holding it securely. Allow pad to bunch naturally. See the pictures below.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5:

You did it! Trim any thread coming off and try it on your swifter mop.

The finished product. Even Butter likes it!

 

 

 

 

*If you are using a sewing machine use a zig zag stitch going back and forth over the elastic  and on the edges. You may consider sewing the entire edges a few times to ensure you do not have fraying when they are washed multiple times.

*Elastic: If you want to use left over elastic you can, just make sure they are the right length. It is best if one is thicker than the other.

This is what happens when you are sewing and it is almost dinner time.