Posts Tagged by Fetch
|April 7, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Music, Pup culture, Training/Behavior, Videos|
Rusty and I just had a long talk. We’re owning two words: “crazy” & “bitch”.
Personally, my poodle buddy loves a bitch who thinks outside the box. That’s his play style: outgoing; smartly switching up his game, including your style, too; with tons of give & take. I’m happy to fill that role for him as best as my 2-legged human self can. We aren’t interested in a “normal” game of border-line obsessive, robotic fetch. He’s met labs like that. I’ve met teachers like that. Don’t color outside those lines; don’t stray from my game; and don’t speak your mind. That’s quite insane, actually. Bonus: If you’re a human chic swimming up that stream, you’re sadly labeled a bitch.
“Crazy” is in the eye of the beholder.
Usually, that beholder is ignorant, insecure and/or envious of originality & spontaneity. They’re eager to label others as abnormal to soothe themselves. So then who’s wacko? No one. (Unless you’re just card-carrying, certifiably cra cra.) We’re all individuals doing our thing. March to the beat of your own drummer. After all, that’s why we’re here, isn’t it? Shine a spotlight on your crazy & share it. It’s charming, creative & downright adorable – and it’s all uniquely yours. The world’s a better place for it. Normal’s way scarier than a big box of crazy. Normal strikes me as Stepford-y creepy.
Let’s take a break to watch what most of my clients would call “crazy” canine behavior:
That pup’s not nuts; he’s very, very happy. (And gifted; he should be doing parkour!) He’s livin’ large, being himself because that’s all he knows how to be. He’s completely unencumbered by the fact that his human is about to put him up on YouTube. While you probably wouldn’t want that pittie party happening on your upholstery, you found yourself smiling, didn’t you? You’re not alone. This vid went viral for a reason. His “crazy” is charismatically contagious. I want in on that couch game!
Rusty disagrees with me on this one, but we can’t forget our feline friends.
Watch Simon perfectly depict a scenario played out in every cat-blessed house @ around dark-o’clock each night. This chaos causes my bleary-eyed, sleep deprived clients to wonder if Kitty needs Prozac:
Kitty’s not psycho. Cats are crepuscular (more active @ dusk & dawn). And they’re master human trainers. They quickly learn that normal nocturnal behavior pays off big: you get up & feed them just to calm them down. Mission sanely & smartly accomplished!
Back to “bitch”, please. Gals, the sooner we own this one, the better. I’m uber comfy with it, and so is Rusty.
If you want to get your crazy on, you have to be bold. You have to believe in yourself. You have to live, laugh & love like no one’s watching. And so what if they are? It’s your life. Guys, you might want to try this decidedly feminine definition of “bitch” on for size, too:
“Being a “bitch” means….
I stand up for myself & my belief. I stand up for those I love. I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my way. I won’t compromise what’s in my heart. I live my life MY way. I won’t allow anyone to step on me. I refuse to tolerate injustice. It means I have the courage & strength to allow myself to be me. So try to stomp on me, douse my inner flame. Squash every ounce of beauty I hold within. You won’t succeed. If that makes me a bitch, so be it. I embrace the title. I’m proud to be a bitch.” ~author unknown~
So, a “crazy bitch”? Sign me up for life. As long as I’m being true to myself, it’s all good.
Rusty reigns me in if I get off track. In fact, just the other night, after I… um… let’s say had to be someone I’m not, Rusty put his paw down. As I tried to calm down to sleep that night, Rusty chose an awkwardly unusual sleeping position. He curled up as far away from me as he could get, with his back to me. I reached out to him, selfishly hoping that making contact with him would relax me. But when I touched him, he growled softly. (Don’t jump off the ridiculously erroneous dominance theory deep end here.) He didn’t growl because he thinks he owns the bed, or me, for that matter. He growled because I had unnerved him with my earlier rare & unpleasant personality change. Touching him while I was still upset was indeed selfish because he had already distanced himself from me. Message sent & received, Rusty. Sent & received.
What’s next for Rusty & his human sidekick?
We’re working hard on a project that will bring this blog to life. If we were normal, coloring in the lines & playing someone else’s game, our project would fail before it flew. The hell with normal. What is that anyway?!
Cheers to crazy, bitches! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|September 28, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Recipes, Soul food, Training/Behavior|
It was a peaceful day at our house.
I was writing, and Rusty was sleeping in his cup bed on the ottoman-with-a-view by the window. Rusty stirred, got up to turn around in his bed, and screamed in pain. The sound went through me like a knife. Pet-parents, you know what I mean: I swear I felt his gut-wrenching cry in my soul.
What on Earth just happened?!
Rusty raced into my office, and, for the first time ever, hid out of reach in the corner under my desk. I followed him, only to find him shaking in pain. Had he been bitten by a bug? Had he tweaked a toe repositioning in his bed? Whatever it was, it was bad. I knew we’d be racing to the vet as soon as I could talk him into putting his pain aside long enough to put his faith in me.
Off to the vet we went.
Of course, it was off-hours for Rusty’s regular doctor. So I nervously drove to the 24-hour vet hospital. We parked. Rusty hopped out of the car and strutted into the place like nothing had ever happened. (Typical, right? Adrenaline’s an amazing pain mask.) He was hostile to the sweet nurse who took his temp, but he made up with her. No one took his response to the indignity his poodle butt had just endured personally. I sat on the floor with him as we waited for the vet. Would I like the vet? How sharp would her diagnostic skills be? Would her approach be invasive or compassionate? Aware that Rusty would absorb my feelings & thoughts, I hoped for the best & remembered to breathe.
When the vet entered the room, I knew we were in good hands.
As she sat on the floor with us, I was relieved to see a familiar face. I worked with her as a veterinary nurse decades ago, so I knew that Rusty would be helped by one of the best vets in the county. The course of action she recommended was pain medication & a wait-and-see approach. If he didn’t improve, she would explore a tentative diagnosis of masticatory myostitis. Fortunately, her initial assessment paid off. The acute pain of unknown cause was in his jaw. But Rusty rallied without further treatment, thanks to a savvy, discerning vet. Fingers & paws crossed, it won’t be back. Whew.
All better, right? Not quite.
Poodles are smart; that’s one of the many things I adore about Rusty. While he was healing, he learned to keep his mouth shut to minimize discomfort. So that meant no chewing, no fetch, no catch, no tug, no yawns, and no smiles. Long after he was pain-free, he was still play-free. Rusty lost his poodle mojo.
When I was a kid, I badly injured my foot in a bicycle accident.
I limped around for months. I learned to rely on my good leg, exclusively. One day, as I was walking down the hall, I lost my balance. Not thinking, I planted my injured foot on the floor to steady myself. Ouch?! That would surely hurt like hell……wait a minute. I was pain free. I had learned not to try for fear of pain. By sheer accident, I realized my mistake: learned helplessness.
Learned helplessness is a powerful force.
Why try if I’m comfy right here? After all, last time I checked, trying hurt. Or trying was hard. Or trying led to mistakes others punished. Sound familiar? People and animals experience this. As a trainer, it’s my job to know when to coach a pet and guardian out of learned helplessness. Can they physically do it? If so, what’s holding them back? Often, it’s a “truth” that the owner has created for her & her pet. Really common “truths”: My dog doesn’t do stairs; I have to carry him. Or, my dog’s a picky eater; I have to hand feed him. Or, he doesn’t listen to me unless I have food in my hands. People believe these “truths” and act them out with their pets, day after day. Pets rise to our expectations. Expect less, they give less. Change your truth & expect more, and your pet will rise to the occasion. Bonus: this works with family members and coworkers, too!
Learned helplessness had a grip on Rusty.
I knew he didn’t hurt anymore, so it was time to push him. What to do? Hmmm….. got it! When we adopted him, he obsessed over bell balls to the exclusion of all other toys. We gradually took them away so he could discover the joy of exploring a full toy box. Time to rekindle the obsession: bring the bell ball back! Since Rusty LOVES new toys, I went on a shopping mission…..
I armed myself with an arsenal guaranteed to revive poodle mojo.
Bell balls; small, squishy Raspberry balls; crumbly, healthy treats; and a ridiculous pink flamingo decorated the house. (I don’t buy my rough & tumble poodle pink toys. My issue, not his; I know.) Rusty needed to chew & shake toys again. Pink aside, the flamingo was perfect: flat, soft, squeaky & flappy. I called Rusty, then shook the bell ball. He lit up like he’d found a long-lost friend! He grabbed the ball, carried it into his bed, & left it there. That was anti-climactic. But he had opened his mouth to carry the ball; I was on the right track. Later that day, I rang the ball again. This time, I give him the Raspberry ball. It’s smaller, grippable, squishy, and crazy bouncy. Rusty was in love! Soon he was fetching, catching & chewing – all with one toy. He completely ignored the heavier, larger bell ball. (Fine with me. That thing’s a Hartz product, made of toxic, reactive Chinese rubber.) The next day, I jingled the bell ball again. His eyes wide, I gave him the pink flamingo. Poodle heaven & mission accomplished: He shakes, chews & carries that thing with him everywhere! He hasn’t looked back. Woohoo!!
Thanks for reading about how we conquered pain, fear & learned helplessness. We hope it helps you & your pets!
Ready for the treats Rusty promised? In honor of our post praising the power of balls, I made some balls. The first recipe celebrates Rusty’s health:
Rusty’s Peanut Butter Granola Balls
1 cup uncooked organic rolled oats (not instant)
1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 Tbsp. flax seeds
1/8 cup grated coconut
2 1/2 Tbsp. grated carrots
1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 Tbsp. honey
1 egg, slightly beaten
5/8 cup unsalted, unsweetened organic peanut butter, @ room temperature
3/8 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 325. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly grind the seeds together in a food processor or coffee grinder. Combine all the dry ingredients, including the grated carrots, in a medium bowl. Heat the coconut oil & the honey just until they’re liquid. Blend the peanut butter & the yogurt in the food processor. Add the egg, oil & honey. Process again.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry in the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon. Shape into 1 1/4-inch balls & place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the balls so they brown evenly, and bake for 15 more minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Cool on a rack. Store them in an airtight container. If they’re not gobbled up asap, freeze ’em!
Makes about 3 dozen. ~Adapted from The Bark~
With oats & peanut butter left, I made these uber-easy treats for my newly gluten-free hubby. Balls for both the guys in my life, I say. And pink flamingos all around! That really needs to be a girly drink, right?
No-bake Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup organic, rolled oats (uncooked)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup unsalted, sugar free organic peanut butter, @ room temperature
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate for an hour so the mixture is easier to work with. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, either in the frig or @ room temp. (I like my balls cold. Yum!)
Makes about 16. ~Adapted from So, How’s It Taste?~
Do you say “can’t” & “won’t” when you think about yourself or your pet? How about “never” or “always”?
Negatives & absolutes are rarely truths. They are often symptoms of learned helplessness. Challenge them: break out of that rut! Have you and/or your pet conquered ruts? How did you snap out of it? What got you going & lit you up? Do tell! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|September 26, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Seasonal, Uncategorized, Videos|
So how was your summer?
Mine was poodle pawesome, but not canine cray like these pooches.
They are howlin’-at-the-moon lunatics. Settle down, dawgs. Settle down.
What?! Cats, too? I need a summer do-over, dawgs! ~Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|September 13, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Videos|
Apparently, I’m not the only one who makes a fido fool of myself after my poodle butt’s been knocked out.
Check out this classic stoned-dawg fetch fail:
Mom says humans do it, too. At least I recognized my peeps after I got my teeth cleaned. Jeez!
Mom & I BOL’d at this pawesome parody. Well, mom LOL’d; she doesn’t bark. Silly humans. ~Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|May 15, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Videos|
Hey, pooches. Poodle, here. I got game. Check it:
But life’s not always poodle-perfection. I’ve had my fido fails.
No shame in that. Can’t get game if you don’t do a few fails, dawgs.
Guess what? I’m not alone. Sometimes us pups just forget how to dog.
Then our peeps put it up on YouTube. So have a good BOL @ yourselves & move on.
Ya feel me, fidos? Cool. ~Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet