Saturday, August 1, 2009


We got to go to the beach the other day. It was Lily's first time and she actually liked to go in the water. I don't like to go in the water...I'll get my feet wet a little bit but I'd much rather run around, dig in the sand, and chase bugs and birds!

Beach = Love.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lazy Momma: Trip to Chicago

So Mom has been very, very lazy lately but we have been so busy! We went to Chicago for 5 days and well...Lily has taken up A LOT of Mom's time lately. Mom is still trying to give me lots of extra snuggles and kisses and attention but she's not trying hard enough!

We went to visit my Pomeranian buddies, Parker, Jack Jack, and Bebe Belle, and their Momma, my Auntie Katie, in Chicagoland last week. We had tons of fun! I rode on the airplane under the seat in front of Momma in my airplane bag. I was a very good girl in my bag. I never make a sound and people are always very surprised to hear that "there's a dog in there???"

While in Chicago we were very busy. I spent two days working at Parker's Pets (my buddy Parker's store):

It was pretty stressful for me so the second day I even had to go in the bathroom for a while. I did get some yummy doggy ice cream and a bully stick in there to keep me busy though.

We also went for walks and I got to meet two other puppies that we know from Dogster, Rondo and Gretta. Parker, Jack, and Bebe's grandma is doggy sitting for them while their Mom is in Bulgaria. Rondo, is a black and tan long haired Miniature Dachsund and, Gretta, is a Cocker Spaniel. I didn't like them at first but I got used to them after a bit. Here's a picture of us all:

Left to Right: Mia, Parker, Rondo, Bebe Belle, Gretta, Jack-Jack

It was nice having alone time with Mommy without Lily trying to get in the middle of us. I was so relaxed on the first night that I laid in bed like this:

We had a great time and lots of great food (dog and human alike). My favorite were the yummy bison ribs and Mommy's favorite was a yummy chicken dish at Mity Nice Grill.

We are all exhausted tonight so that is all for now. I'll try to bug Mom so that she'll post about today's agility class tomorrow!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Crazy, Crazy Day

Today was a pretty crazy day. Lily's first puppy class started today and is an hour before Mia's. I packed everything up really early and we left about 30 minutes early to make sure we had time to set up before class started. I also brought my Mom along just in case.

It's an hour drive out to the boonies where our trainer lives and has her training facility. The plan was for Lily to ride in a crate in the car and Mia to ride in the back seat next to her. Lily REALLY did not want to be in the crate and absolutely would not stop whining and barking. She was so stressed that she knocked the crate over on to little 9 lb Mia. I had to pull over and get Mia out from under it. Lily's crate was all wet on the inside from her drooling so I decided to just let her sit in my Mom's lap. The rest of the drive was much calmer.

We arrived 20 minutes early and went inside to set up. The plan was to have Mia in a covered crate because I knew she would be freaking out and barking a lot with all of the strange (and large) new dogs there. I put her in the crate before the first dog came in so she didn't even get to see him. She barked quite a bit during the class but usually only when one of the other dogs barked. She actually did a little better than I thought she would.

Things went pretty smoothly until my Mom took Mia out of the crate while I was across the room and one of the "new" dogs was still in the room. She had a total meltdown (I wasn't really surprised because of how stressed she was from being in a crate for an hour when she could hear other dogs barking and moving around). It took about 10 minutes for her to calm down once the dog left. She couldn't even concentrate on me enough to have her turn on the first run we did. By her second turn she was happy and wagging her tail. She went on to do better than any of the other dogs in class.

We worked a lot on serpentine again and added dogwalk, weaves, and tunnels.

Mia did really well and didn't have much trouble with it at all. She was very enthusiastic. Although she wasn't thrilled about the dogwalk she did it on leash with just a little encouragement.

Next week we have to miss class because we will be in Chicago. It'll be a nice little break for Mia and I to spend some extra time together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Next week on Thursday, July 16, Mommy and I are going to fly on a plane to Chicago to visit my Auntie Katie for a few days. I've been to Chicago twice now. Once we drove and the other time (in January) we flew. Luckily, Southwest Airlines has started letting pets fly in the cabin. This is perfect because Southwest has cheap fares and has direct flights from Houston's Hobby Airport and Chicago's Midway Airport. Both of those airports are much closer to our house and Auntie Katie's house than the main Houston and Chicago airports.

We're going to stay for about 5 days and hang out. We'll probably also go to Indiana for a bit too. I get to visit my Pom buddies, Parker, Jack Jack, and Bebe Belle.

Lily is going to stay at home with Daddy. Hopefully they will make it through alive and the house won't be torn to shreds.

Parker and I in Galveston when he visited in March.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

Mommy didn't work on Thursday so I didn't get to go over to Nana's and Nana was a bit upset. Mommy decided that she would drop me off at Nana's while she went with Daddy and Lily to their party.

I got tons of Nana cuddle time and got to play with Emma and Kiba for a bit!

I am a little jealous that Lily got to see my Auntie Lauren but their dog, Max, would have scared me so I think it was for the best!

Lily and I have been playing more and more. She knows how to get me to chase her and I have to admit it's a little bit fun.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Don't tell Mom and Dad but...

I played with Lily today. I know, I know. What is wrong with me? She's an impostor, she sleeps in my bed sometimes and she likes to sit in MY Momma's lap. I do have to say that after deciding it would be okay to play with her that I like her a lot better. We even slept on Daddy's lap and chest together and I didn't growl at all.

I'm going to try to keep it a secret for as long as possible that we played...I don't think that they saw me but they might have. We were playing chase. I like to be the chaser, not the chasee. It was actually a lot of fun.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Agility Class: June 28, 2009

Today we did a lot of straight line work. Mia was really stressed out because there was a new dog in our class doing a make-up (an Aussie named Blitz). She had a total meltdown - something we haven't seen her do in quite a while. I got a barrier set up so she couldn't see him and got her to settle down on her mat. Blitz was very fast and because of that he was loud when he did the weave poles, teeter, and a-frame. The noise was really stressing her out so I started dropping treats right before he got to any of the noisy things. It seemed to help but she was still stressed. I had to up her rate of reinforcement during the sequences but she was still disengaging from me and sniffing and doing stress shakes. At least Blitz's Mom didn't mind. He has trouble with all of the distractions during trials so class with Mia was good practice!!

Mia completely crashed when we got home. She's usually pretty tired after agility but tonight she was exhausted (I'm looking forward to this effect once we get Lily in her obedience class).

That's all for now. I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of Mia at agility but here's a picture of the girls together that I took last night:


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Side Effect of New Little Sisters

So aside from the usual jealousy and general "I don't want anything to do with you unless we're not in the house or car" we've experienced one positive side effect to having Lily around. Mia can be extremely hard to motivate in training sometimes. Since I've been doing so much training with Lily, Mia has been extra interested in doing lots of extra training too! I'm definitely very excited about that!

I had them both working on "touch" today side by side. I've been working with Lily a lot on her retrieve (all the better to wear her out with!) so whenever I start collecting the balls Mia knows that Lily is about to start getting treats and runs over. It's pretty cute. Mia is really smart and can be quite manipulative, it's just hard to gauge what motivator will work best for her because it changes day to day (complicated Little Miss Prissy-Pants)...

On July 12th Lily will start her Puppy/Basic Obedience class. It will be from 3:00-4:00 (the hour before Mia's class). The plan is to crate Mia with a cover during Lily's class with hopes that Mia won't be completely stressed out and bark like a crazy lady. I'll be bringing my Mom with me the first day just in case so that she can take Mia out to the car and keep her occupied there if it is too much for her. I'm not worried about Lily sitting through Mia's agility class...I will bring a couple of frozen stuffed Kongs and hopefully after a few licks she will be passed out anyway.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Does this count?

While working on Mia's "go to mat" behavior today she gave me this:

Does this count Momma?

Nice try.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Agility Class: June 21, 2009

Agility class was fun was really easy for me and really hard for Mom! What a nice change! She had to do all the work.

The jumps/tunnel were set up like this:

We had to do all kinds of crazy combinations of jumps with tons of front/back crosses, etc. Mom tends to still have a hard time getting her feet to move the right way but she's getting better!

It was easy peasy for us dogs as long as our handlers were doing things correctly. I had tons of fun and even watched Kiefer (the German Shepherd) have his turn only about 5 feet from me. I watched him completely relaxed like this on my mat:

Mom was pleased!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Busy, Busy

So yeah...sorry I haven't posted in a while but we've been a little busy...

All because of this:

My new "sister" (Read: The Imposter)

I still don't like her much (she's been here since June 8) but she's growing on me a little bit.

I should be around more now that we are getting a handle on our routine and Lily's potty training. You can follow her on her new blog, Lily the Rottie.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Agility Class: June 8, 2009

In agility yesterday we did some verrrry long sequences (i.e. I, the human, was very out of breath) and I was very pleasantly surprised with how well Mia did. She was a little iffy at first because one of our trainer's Border Collies, Mac, was crated in a corner of the building. It didn't take her long to get over that though (I think he ended up going to sleep).

We both also mastered the art of the rear cross. I have an especially hard time getting all the footwork down and usually have to have them demonstrated before I can do them correctly but I think I understand now, lol. Have dog go on and cross behind the sounds simple but IT'S NOT.

Mia did the a-frame again but that was with a lot of help from our trainer...Mia was a little reluctant.

I brought her bed again but also brought Mia's new mat just in case. I'm glad I brought it because as soon as Mia got settled into her bed she did not want to get out of it again! So I will just be bringing her mat to class now!

Mia watching Ritzy from her mat.

On a lighter note, I snapped an amusing picture of Mia's brother's cuddling on her fluffy pink mat the other night.

Noche and E-Man being bashful.

This Sunday will be our one year anniversary of taking agility classes! We have come such a long way!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mia and Her Mat

Mia here...Just a quick update today because Mom has a zillion videos to watch for her summer school class. Fun!

She decided that she doesn't want to lug my bed around everywhere when we're proofing and eventually to agility trials (if that happens) so she decided to get me a smaller, lighter, cheaper mat.

Mia on her mat.

Mom bought it this morning and so far we've done three 5-10 minute training sessions with it. Mom was very excited when she got it out the third time and I ran over and slammed myself down on it. Apparently, that's a very good thing! I'm definitely getting the hang of it though and tonight we will start doing the Protocol for Relaxation on it instead of just on the floor.

Also on the to-do list for this weekend are working more on my finger targeting (something Mom has been LAZY on for the last several months) and Leave It. We might even go on some extra walks to see if we can find any kitties to practice looking at.

Hopefully Momma will get enough done this weekend that we can get some video of our training sessions!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Belated Birthday Present and First Day of Relaxation Protocol

Back in October I went to the H.H. Backer pet industry trade show in Chicago, Illinois. I bought Mia a leather "Choke Free" harness with the intention to have my Mom (Mia's Nana) do some decorative beading on it. We both kept putting it off but I finally got off my butt and ordered the beads I wanted a few weeks ago. My Mom finished the harness on Sunday and it turned out beautifully!

In other news, Mia would like me to report that the first day of Dr. Overall's Protocol for Relaxation was spectacularly easy, boring, and tasty! She kept looking at me like I was doing some sort of crazy dance but was happy to be getting lots of treats!

I have to be at work early so that's all for now!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Agility Class: May 31, 2009

In agility class today we mostly worked on sequences with things set up at tricky angles. Most of the sequences were jump, tire, weave poles, tunnel, and then teeter or dog walk. Mia did pretty well but for some reason just did not want to do the tunnel today. At all. I think she only did it twice by herself without help from Rachel, which was very odd for her.

One of the dogs in our class is a Belgian Tervuren named Ritzy. She is absolutely gorgeous but is very, very nervous. When she gets worried she takes off and runs around the room. Each time she came close to us I would feed Mia little treats as long as she wasn't growling. By the end of the class instead of looking at Ritzy when she came near us, Mia, looked at me! Yay! Improvement!

I did end up bringing Mia's infamous bed to class. The whole point of bringing a bed or a mat is to help the dog relax because the dog is already conditioned to relax on the bed/mat at home. The bed helped a lot...maybe a little too much because towards the end of class Mia didn't want to get OUT of bed! We all ended up having a good laugh about it though.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Private for Reactivity

On Friday morning, Mia and I had our first private with her trainer to work on her reactivity. She is very reactive to other dogs and cats (especially big dogs). It is a problem that I think I have let get away from us for far too long.

The first thing we worked on was counterconditioning Mia to the door opening and closing. Our trainer has a big training building on her property (with air conditioning!!) and Mia has learned that 90% of the time when the door opens a dog is either going to be coming in or going out. We noticed that she starts to react as soon as she hears the door start to creak. The plan was to drop a small handful of food on the ground right before the door creaks. We did several reps of this and then Rachel went and got one of her dogs, Glory.

While we were waiting for her to return, I worked with Mia on laying down on a mat (from now on I'll be bringing her bed to agility and privates to help her relax). We had barriers set up so that Mia could not see her. When Mia was calm we would have Glory appear from behind the barrier (or alternately, I would move the barrier out of the way so Mia could see her). She would get clicked and treated for looking at her. Unfortunately, Mia's threshold at the moment is pretty low so we didn't make a whole lot of headway.

Our homework for the next two weeks or so is to start Dr. Overall's Protocol for Relaxation and to work on more systematic desensitization with other dogs in more random situations (i.e. parked outside of the vet's office, the park, petsmart, etc.). She also reccommended scheduling a consult with a veterinary behaviorist that teaches a reactive dogs class at her facility. So we may do that depending on how things go.

We've got a long road ahead of us but it will be worth it! Tonight we went over to my parents' house for dinner and a movie. Mia is always excited to go over there.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beach Day!

Mia here...this morning Mommy, Daddy, and I went to the beach. We had so much fun! I spent lots of time running, digging, chasing bugs, and swimming.

Looking out at the water.

Bug Chasing!

Wet puppy!

Wet Mia

In motion.

Watching the men fix the trash cans.

Shake it off!

Mom got some video on her cell phone but unfortunately it's in a weird format that doesn't want to be uploaded anywhere.

Tomorrow I have my first private with our trainer to work on my reactiveness so I'm sure Mom will want to post about that. It's time for us to go to bed because we have to be over there first thing! Goodnight!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rained Out

This morning we didn't get to go back to the beach because it was raining. So we probably won't get to go until next weekend sometime.

The rain had cleared by about 7:00 p.m. so we decided to go on a bike ride with Mia. We have a route that we ride through the neighborhood behind our apartment complex that ends at a park. The ride to the park and back is about 4.5 miles. Unfortunately, we went during peak dog walking hours and Mia was really stressed out and barking a lot at the other dogs. So we've decided that until we work on her reactivity we're going to have to stick to trails only (during the evenings at least) and steer clear of the neighborhoods.

Chase and I still got a good workout and she had fun when there weren't any dogs or cats around!

Getting ready to take off from the park.

Sniffing around at the park.

Must sniff this patch of long grass.

Resting while we put away the bikes.

Fun times!

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Harness

Today Mommy finished making me a new harness! It is made out of a really pretty pink and brown damask print fabric. She also finally finished a harness for my buddy, Parker.
The new harnesses and leashes.

Parker and I in Galveston at a restaurant!

She has a few plans for more harnesses and leashes. The next one will be denim with rhinestones (she'll probably be making that one this weekend). We also have pink/multicolored paisley fabric, brown and pink paisley, and Mom has her eye on a few other fabrics at the store.

I'm going to have a harness for every day of the month. Yeesh!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hidden Beach

Mia here...Today was such a fun day! My Auntie Katie ordered my bike trailer around noon on Tuesday and it was delivered on Wednesday afternoon! The apartment office is closed when Mommy gets home from work so she had to wait until this morning to go get the box.

We got a medium sized Hunter K9 pet bike trailer. Mommy said that the assembly was very easy (all of the pieces were together but the bike trailer had to be unfolded and had the wheels put on).

Before we left we loaded up on water bottles, my travel bowl, sunscreen, my 20 foot leash, and several towels. Then we hit the road. I was so excited to finally be going with them when they took their bikes out. It was a five minute drive to the park where we parked the car and then we got everything out of the car and set up and took off down the trails. I had a blast and as long as Daddy didn't get out of my sight I was happy! If he tried to go in front of Mommy I got worried and started whining.

We had about a 1.5 mile ride to the beach from where we parked. Mommy and I had never been to this beach before (Daddy just found it yesterday) and we were pleasantly surprised! The beach was really nice! It was very clean, there wasn't any litter around, and there weren't very many people there either. This beach was better too because it didn't have such high waves. (Unfortunately, Mom forgot her phone in the car so we didn't get any pictures but I'm sure we'll be going back again some time this weekend)

We stayed for about 45 minutes but then we had to leave so Mommy could get to work on time. I swam a little bit and we ran around for a while. I had tons of fun! I love the beach and now that we don't have to drive 30 minutes to get to one I'll get to go more often!

Riding around in the parking lot .
(Note: I am tethered in the trailer; I cannot jump out.)

That's all for now. Mom and I are going to go crash in our new king sized bed. It's sooo comfortable!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Homemade Treats!

So Mommy finally got off her butt today and made me some new treats! I get a treat every night before bed and every once and a while during the day. For these treats Mom usually gives me biscuit type treats and likes to make them herself when she has the time. For training treats we use an assortment of softer treats that I will talk about later.

So today she decided to try a new variation of a recipe that she has used before. Warning: These treats smell REALLY good while baking!

Herb Cheese Treats
1 cup brown rice flour (we also sometimes use potato or oat flour)
1 egg
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and roll out dough to 1/4" thickness. Use a cookie cutter, knife, or a pizza cutter to cut dough into shapes. Place shape cutouts onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let the treats cool and store them in an airtight container.

The ingredients. (Note: Mom meant to grab the brown rice flour
at the store but somehow ended up with white rice flour)

The dough.

The dough rolled out!

Lots of itty bitty treats.

The treats in the puppy cookie jar
(Note: These are not all of them)

Mom is not a huge fan of grains in my diet but she likes to bake so I get some treats with grains/starches. I also get treats with grains in them over at Nana and Grandpa's house. When I do have grains she likes to choose "good" grains. Many dogs have allergies to wheat and corn and mom suspects that I may have some sensitivities to them too. So we try to steer away from those two and use either rice, potato, or oat flour. We generally do not use any kind of raw food for treats mostly because it would be very impractical. Mom tries not to worry too much about the kind of treats I have (although she doesn't want me to have really junky ones) because they make up such a small part of my overall diet.

For training treats we usually use softer treats because I can eat them a lot faster! This leaves more time for training (and more treats)! We use a variety of treats for training but some of our favorites include Ziwi Peak Venison (we just use the regular daily cuisine food), Zuke's Z-Filets (chicken), Artemis food rolls, turkey hot dogs, string cheese, and cheddar cheese.

Mom and I are all cuddled up in our brand new king sized bed so I think I'm going to go to sleep. Auntie Katie ordered my bike trailer today so it should be here soon! I will be very happy when I can go on biking adventures with Mommy and Daddy!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Raw Eats

Mia eats a prey model raw diet. This means she eats raw meat, bone, and organs modeled after what she would eat in the wild. I know a lot of people may find it hard to believe that a little dog could eat like this, but she can! The myth that small dogs cannot eat raw is a popular one. However, the only slight change I have to make for Mia is that she only eats smaller, more pliable bones like poultry, fish, and rabbit bones. All other meats are fed boneless.

Mia weighs about 9 lbs at her ideal weight. Yes, that is large for a Chihuahua but she is not overweight. She eats about 3-4 oz a day and we follow a model of about 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ. She eats a variety of meats including beef, pork, lamb, venison, goat, chicken, duck, turkey, quail, and salmon. Mia is not a big fan of organs (other than beef sweetbreads) so I usually have to disguise them in some way (i.e. grinding them up with ground beef) or sear them.

A sample weekly menu might include:
Sunday: 3 oz chicken (including bone)
Monday: 4 oz boneless beef
Tuesday: 4 oz boneless lamb
Wednesday: 1/4 turkey neck
Thursday: 3 oz salmon
Friday: 1.5 oz beef liver, 1.5 oz lamb kidney
Saturday: 4 oz bone-in ground venison

Mia's kitty sibling, Noche, also eats prey model raw (E-Man would too if he wasn't so picky).

Today, I cut and portioned up two whole chickens and about 12 lbs of boneless beef chuck roast. Here was the end result:

Chicken & Beef On Mia and Noche's Freezer

The interior of the freezer.

I put meal-sized portions into small plastic sandwich bags and then place those bags inside a big 1 or 2 gallon freezer bag that I label. This way I don't have all of the smaller bags swimming around the freezer.

Here are some of our favorite raw feeding links:

Myth: Toy Breeds and Small Dogs Cannot Eat a Diet of Raw Meaty Bones

Myths About Raw Feeding

Tom Lonsdale's Raw Meaty Bones

Dogster Raw Forum

Raw Fed Cats

Yahoo! RawFeeding Group

Yahoo! RawCat Group

A raw diet takes a lot of research starting out and should not be taken lightly. It is important to formulate the diet correctly and to provide lots of variety. If you are interested in starting a raw diet I suggest you research, research, research. If you are not willing to do the research but still really want to feed a raw diet there are high quality pre-made raw diets available to purchase like Nature's Variety, Primal, and Bravo.

Mia exhausted after a nice meal of boneless beef.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fake Yawns!

Mia here...I guess something is wrong with Mom's newer bigger memory card because it wouldn't transfer the video from last night either! Oh well, today we took another one and it's still a pretty cute video.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stupid Camera

Mom got some REALLY cute video of me fake yawning last night trying to get treats and for some reason the video won't upload onto the computer! So she is going to video me again to try to catch some more. Apparently it's adorable or something.

Sorry about that. Hopefully we'll get a video up tomorrow morning-ish. We're off to bed...Mom has to go to the dentist at 8 am and then a funeral at 10.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Mommy has decided that she is going to buy a bike for this summer so we can go on adventures!!

This is the trailer we are looking at getting to attach to her bike:

Hunter K9 Bike Trailer

I think it will be lots of fun. This way we can all ride the trails together and maybe even bring a picnic lunch. Or we can ride along the seawall in Galveston! It should be a fun time!

Mom is done with finals!! She is excited that she gets a little breather before she starts summer school on June 1st. She will be taking Intro to Clinical Psychology. Luckily, it is an online class so she won't have to drive all the way into downtown Houston for class everyday.

Mom also talked to my trainer at agility on Sunday and we are going to start my behavioral privates next week. I'll go once a week for 30 minutes or an hour (depending on how I do the first day) for as long as I need it and Mom can afford it. It's a bit pricey but she knows it will be worth it in the end!

We have been working on getting my yawn on cue. Tonight will be the third night we work on it. Mom may post a video sometime later this week showing my progression. I still don't quite get exactly what she wants me to do but I'm offering the behavior more often now!

That's all for now! Mom has to be at work at 10:00 so I better get to bed!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Climbing Mount Everest

In my never ending quest for procrastination I put together a video of Mia doing the A-Frame today.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Trail Walkin'

Mia Mommy and Daddy finally took some time out from studying and we went on a long walk through the trails that run along Armand Bayou near our house. It was a lot of fun but it was really hot and the trails were a lot longer than we expected. It was a fun little adventure though!

Mommy and Daddy had to carry me part of the way because I was getting really tired and because of this:

and this:

As we were walking the trails we came upon a few bridges:

We saw lots of birds (and even a snake swimming in the water, luckily it was far, far away!):

We ended up here:

There was also a park near the beach where we rested and took pictures with the bluebonnets:

At the end of the trail we took a picture in the pretty gazebo:

Afterward we all went for snow cones and I got my very own:

It was definitely a good time! Now I'm going to go sleep, probably for the rest of the night!