City Hounds

Just sniffin' around…


We have some interesting pairs in our household.

Red & Ruby

Best friends... most of the time

Ruby was adopted to be “Red’s dog.”  We wanted a playmate for Red, and she seemed to be the perfect fit.  However, as she’s gotten older, she’s developed a pretty strong personality of her own.  She can be a bit of a bully, and there are definitely days when Red wishes he was our only dog.  I would say these two are more like siblings then best friends.

Frodo & Sam

Frodo & Sam: Co-Conspirators

Frodo and Sam are from the same litter, so have never been separated.  They really are best friends.  They play together, sleep together, groom each other.  They occasionally have a little spat, but they reconcile quickly and all is well again.

Red & Steve

My two guys

Despite the fact that I’ve done most of the dog-care from the beginning (walking, feeding, etc.), Red was Steve’s dog from the start.  He loves me, without a doubt, but he idolizes Steve.

On the other hand, Ruby is my dog.  I was the one who pushed for a second dog, I picked her out and trained her (not always well…) and she’s my buddy.  Steve has had to work to bond with her, and they’ve come a long way in the past few months.  I’d love to develope her into a a dog I could take a lot of places with me.  I think the potential is there, but her confidence is still lacking.

Unusual Pairs

A truce?

Cleo is the oldest pet in the house, the one we’ve had the longest.  She undoubtedly wishes she was the only pet.  Her BFF, her brother Bast, died at age 6 from cancer.  Steve fell in love with the two little kittens in the vet’s office where Bast was treated and insisted Cleo would be lonely without companions.  I was less-than-convinced that Cleo would be happy with the new additions, but I have in.

I was right.  Five years later, Cleo still dislikes Frodo & Sam.  She also dislikes Red and Ruby.  It’s tough to say who she dislikes more.  But occasionally, in order to get some cuddle time, she calls a truce.




November 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walking the Walk

Our dogs are pretty high energy dogs.  Red loves to laze around, but he gets restless after a bit, and he needs to get out and get moving.  Ruby doesn’t relax much.  She’d pretty much rather be doing something all the time.

So, walking is an important part of our daily ritual.  But I have to admit that I’m not always in the mood.  Now, once I make myself go, I’m always glad I did (well, except that time that it was so cold that Red turned around and dragged me back home, but otherwise…).  Still, there are times when it’s hard to get motivated.

Our morning walk

The worst times are when I’m really stressed, really busy, and/or not feeling well.  The month of October was pretty rough, with a lot of migraines & allergy trouble that resulted in little to no motivation to walk.  It was easy for me to put it off: “the weather’s so nice they can be out in the yard most of the day,” or “Ruby is going to daycare and Steve can take care of exercising Red, so it won’t matter if we walk or not.”  Yeah, good excuses.

I’ve gotten back on the ball, though, and boy, can I tell the difference.  When our walks get inconsistant, it shows in the dogs’ on-leash behavior: they put their noses to the ground and they pull.  There are so many new smells that they can’t resist.  This, of course, makes the walk a whole lot less pleasant for me.

But when we walk twice a day and reinforce good walking behavior, they’re wonderful to walk with!  I can control those noses and we have a great time.  Walking with coonhounds is pretty much ongoing training: you always have to be more interesting than the smells.  So, if I’m on the ball (like I have been lately), I don’t leave the house without liver treats in my pocket.  They’re smelly enough to (usually) redirect the noses right up to where I want them to be.

This is when walking is my favorite part of the day.  It’s a great time to stretch and get some exercise, but it’s also a great time for thinking.  My rule is no talking on the phone/checking email/texting and no music or books on tape.  Just me and the dogs.  It’s our time together, and I treasure it.  I watch our neighbor talk on the phone while she walks her dog and wonder if she realizes what she’s missing.

We even walked after last year's huge snowstorm.

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment