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ballwalkpark is back

After a week long vacation, the pack is back! First of all, huge thanks to Sara and Gretchen for covering for me and taking pups to the park. It made me smile every day to see the pics they uploaded on facebook of my dogs at the park. I’m sure they didn’t even notice I was gone!

Mr. Cooper was so wiggly he could hardly contain himself. He wiggled the whole way from his apartment to the car. Apparently he was so excited when Sara picked him up that he peed a little. I was happy I didn’t have to clean up pee, but a little hurt that I didn’t get the same level of excitement from him. Cooper has two days left with ballwalkpark until his mom is on summer vacation and then he moves back to Chicago at the end the of summer. We have to make every last minute count!

Otis, Bonita and Lola are totally in sync walking down the path. They look like a synchronized swimming team or something. Lucky shot! We spent a lot of time at the water today and Lola swam half-way across the lake to get lost balls. Ok, not really half the lake, but really really far! Bonita likes so hang out way far out and tread water, swimming back and forth between other dog’s tennis balls, picking them up and dropping them for the next one. Otis is the strongest most powerful swimmer, when he decides to drop the ball. If you ask him to drop it, he sinks his head down really low and kind of sulks away and drops it when he thinks you’re not looking. Funny pups.

Arten made a new best friend - Oscar, one of Sara’s golden retrievers. He could not get enough of Oscar! See my facebook page for more of those two - they were hilarious. They would chase each other round and round in circles, then go and lay under the trees together to catch their breath. I think Arten has a thing for dogs that are equal (or at least near) his poofiness.

Chip got to play with the new version of the Jolly Ball - he LOVES it even more than the last one. With this ball, not only could he do his circus elephant/core workout (see facebook pics) but he could also persistently ask me to throw the ball so he could fetch it. Best of both worlds! I bet he was a tired one today….

It feels great to be back - I started missing the dogs when I dropped them off after my last park trip before vacation and have been looking forward to seeing them since! Thanks for making my first day back so fun and easy :)

Posted on June 14, 2011 and filed under Uncategorized.

Can dogs predict the end of the world?

Can dogs predict the end of the world? Not to say that I believe in all this Rapture talk, but Cooper was definitely acting strange at the park yesterday! And no, there weren't any bugs to be chasing..... Although I don't know if I would count on Cooper to predict the fate of the world, but it is pretty funny to watch!


Posted on May 21, 2011 and filed under Uncategorized.

Happy Mother's Day for Dog Moms too!

I ran across this today and had to share it. Happy Mother's day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who have children that are bit hairier than others and walk on four paws!This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick dogs in their arms, wiping up barf laced with edible and inedible things and saying "It's okay baby, Mommy's here."

Who have sat on the floor for hours on end soothing dogs who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with dog hair on their suits, unexpected scratches on their wrists and poo bags in their purse, coat pocket, pants pocket and all other pockets.

For all the mothers who make their own dog food and treats. And all the mothers who don't.

This is for all the mothers who go to the special pet stores to collect the proper treats, food and toys no matter that it take 3 stops and 50 stoplights.

This is for all the mothers who taught their dogs to sit, come and stay. And for all the mothers who opted for sit.

This is for all the mothers who teach their dogs agility and obedience and actually understand that it needs to be FUN!

This is for all the mothers who took their dog to the vet assuring them that there would be no needles only to be told they need a blood sample.

For all the mothers whose dog has gone missing and was returned because she had the forethought to have chip put between its shoulders.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Ever available treats?

The ability to answer the door, hold back the dog and deal with a phone call all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache you feel when you walk out the door to your job every Monday through Friday knowing that 2 eyes are boring into your back?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread when you hear the sounds of heaving at 2:00am?

Years later, the guilt that won't away when you have no other choice but to put your friend down?

The emotions of motherhood are universal, and so this is for you all. For all of us...

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them everyday that we love them.

Posted on May 8, 2011 and filed under Uncategorized.

Adventure of the soggy doggy - 4/25

Today was a wet one - to say the least! The dogs were drenched and muddy, but we had the park to ourselves for the most part with was pretty fun. The morning crew consisted of Arten, Otis, Chip, Tucker, Bonita and Cooper. We played a good game of fetch up in the main field - Tucker was my award-winning retriever - catching the ball almost every time, flying through the air to beat the other dogs. On the way to the water Chip found a stick, or a small log, to carry along with us. He didn't that long... but he did get several comments by impressed park patrons passing by - "strong lab".

While at the water, Tucker continued to be ultra-retriever bring two balls back in at once. We've all seen dogs do this, but I was really impressed with Tucker because he is so small I didn't think they would even fit in his mouth! Proved me wrong.

This is what Otis considered a ball and carried around with him for the whole park trip. Of all the tennis balls in the park, he decided this was the one to hold on to. What a simple man.

The morning crew had a great time and piled into the truck as the soggy doggy mess that they were. Off to get the next group!

For the afternoon, we had Milkshake, Cooper, Bonita, Stella, Pepper, Dexter, Maggie and Lola. I don't know that I have ever taken this exact combo of dogs before, but it was a great group. The perfect mix of dogs that wanted to play, chase, retrieve, and even bring the ball back.

You'd think Bonita and Cooper would be tired from the morning trip, but they were still chasing and wrestling like the two little teenage lovebirds that they are ;) Pepper interfered for a round or two, but it would often lead to humping which I had to break up - too far!

Milkshake and Stella were in charge of the orange Chuck-It ball. Maggie had the big blue ball. Lola had a variety of tennis balls that she would pick up and then go hide in the bushes so nobody else could find them.

All the puppies got a rinse off today - we didn't manage to have one decently clean dog at the end of the trip. Everyone was covered in mud! Including myself - I got in the car and noticed I had a huge swipe of mud across my cheek. I wonder how many people kindly decided not to mention that!

Here was the highlight of my day..... Mr. Cooper had a long day of playing very hard in the rain for a combined 3 hours. When we got in the car to finally go home he would not stop shivering (not abnormal for Viszlas - they have thin skin and very little fat) and wrapping him in towels like I usually do wasn't helping. I felt so bad for the little pup that I put him in a sweatshirt I had lying in the back of my truck. It fit him just perfectly and he curled up and went to sleep in no time - but not before I got an excellent picture of my little goof ;)

Jambo's Dog Park Debut! 4/22

ballwalkpark's youngest pup, Jambo,  made his dog park debut today! At first he just stuck right by his mama's side but it didn't take long for him to gain his confidence to go and run with the pack. He had excellent recall, Jennifer uses the command "touch" and that little man would come running from anywhere when he heard that. Good boy!

After only a few minute of romping around the park with the big kids, Jambo was exhausted. Luckily, he got his second wind, and then his third wind, and was able to keep up just fine. The first friend he made was Mr. Cooper, no surprise. Cooper offered to share his Chuck-It retrieving toy with Jambo - he didn't quite understand the game but appreciated the gesture. Jambo was very curious - sniffing lots of butts and greeting lots of humans.

As we were walking through the park, Chip offered to give me the retrieving toy, a trick I have fallen for many times. He either wants to just show off his prized possession, or wants me to attempt to play tug of war, at which I always lose. I just can't put my whole body into and make it a fair match like Milkshake can.

Finally, the moment we had been waiting for, Bonita and Jambo found each other! They are from the same breeder and from the day Jennifer contacted the breeder and found Jambo the parents have been dying for the pups to meet. They rolled around the ground and wrested and played for quite some time. Is there anything cuter than two golden puppies rolling around?

After Jambo went home, Bonita kept the party going with her buddy Cooper. They ran in circles around the mounds and wrested. She even invited Cooper up to the top of the mound - where the princess usually likes to rest and observe. What are we going to do without Cooper - always the life of the party :)

We stopped by the water bowls for a quick slurp - all the chasing gets you pretty thirsty! Check out Milkshake's tongue! That thing probably dries out flapping in the wind like that - gotta rehydrate! After a water break we were off to the truck - concluding another great week at the park.

I am so glad that Jambo and Jennifer had such a great first park experience. He is going to be such an awesome little park dog! He has lots of big brothers and sisters to watch out for him and show him the ropes. Jennifer should be a proud mama - she has put a lot of work and love into this little man and it shows!

Adventures of ballwalkpark 4/21

We had two great park trips today - the dogs were happy, playful and on their best behavior. The sun does wonders for all of us! Our first trip was with the infamous four Viszlas: Miles, Oliver, Cooper and Walker, also Chip, Coco, Chesa and Otis! We headed into the park with our two favorite orange chuck-it balls. Unfortunately, we  have two ball hoarders, Ollie and Otis. Ollie will drop the ball to be thrown pretty frequently, but he is so fast he ALWAYS gets it, and Otis just holds onto the ball and works up a nice frothy mouth.

Chesa and Cooper found a gift from the "park gods" - a pink frisbee-type ring. Cooper wore it as a necklace and Chesa played tug of war with his neck. After Cooper gave up on this game, Chip took over wearing the frisbee necklace and Chesa played with him. Some of our best finds have been from the park gods. The rule is (at least the way we play it - for best "park god" karma) is you can play with the toy as long as you're at the park, but you can't take it home with you. That toy most likely won't be there when you come back, but something else will be!

The low point of the morning trip was when I threw the ball down the narrow walk way leading down to the water, and it bounced off Ollie's nose and went all the way over the fence! It was tragic. Ollie sat and cried at the other side of the fence for a good five minutes. We finally got to moving again and only a few minutes later Ollie stole a ball from June's dogs. I tried every trick I knew with the string cheese to get the ball back, but Ollie wasn't going to risk being ball-less again. We put the ball on June's car before we left - Thanks June!

Cooper was my co-pilot while we dropped off the morning group and picked up our afternoon dogs. He caught a quick nap. What a rough life. There's a story as to why Cooper rides in the front seat....but we will save that for another post.

Our afternoon trip was just as great as the morning - I was worried that with such asmooth morning trip the afternoon may be doomed. Not true at all! The second group was Beaudy, Maggie, Tucker, Stella, Pepper, Dexter, Milkshake and Cooper (again). This group was all about fetch, fetch, fetch. We had our trust orange Chuck-It ball (managed by Mr. Milkshake) and the giant blue Jolly Ball (managed by Miss Maggie).  And we were off to the water for a great swim! Even Cooper got in the water!


Posted on April 22, 2011 and filed under Uncategorized.

Otis for the holidays

As with teachers, parents and coaches, I feel it is not appropriate for me to say that I have a "favorite" dog in my pack. To be honest, I love each and every one of my dogs. They all have their own special traits and quirks that make me love them for different reasons. Now, with that being said, Otis has a very special place in my heart. He is an English Bulldog/German Shepard mix (or "Ger-Bull") He is an 80lb, blocky headed chunk of drool and love. I have been lucky enough to watch Otis while his family is out of town, or even if they are in town, but have company and take me up on the offer to have Otis out of the house and not drooling in their guests lap at the dinner table....

Otis and I have become quite attached - he never leaves my side! He follows me at the park, he walks me to the door when I drop him off at home, he follows me around my house to bed, to the couch, anywhere.....

I have recently declared Otis my Holiday dog. I have been lucky enough to have Otis stay with me every holiday for the past six months. We went camping on Whidbey Island for 4th of July, he helped me Trick-or-Treat on Halloween, picked up the leftovers on Thanksgiving, celebrated my birthday with me, and most recently, shared Christmas day with my family and I.

As we were having a little family picture taken on the couch, complete with Bailey and Bambi, Otis felt he should be included as well. As Michael was snapping the picture, Otis just leapt up on the couch and got in on the action! More the merrier, right?! I love that dog :)




Posted on December 30, 2010 and filed under Uncategorized.

Dog gets electrocuted on Queen Anne Ave -- Goodbye Sammy (via sammysbigheart)

This is so sad, but I think it's important that any dog owner reads this story. We are so so sorry for Sammy's family - what a beautiful dog and what a tragic loss.

Hi, my name is Lisa, this blog was started in memoriam of my beloved dog Sammy, who I just lost in a terrible tragedy.  This goes out to all dog/pet lovers, owners and anyone who would like to help spread the word in keeping our pets safe while walking on the streets.   On Thanksgiving Day my beloved Sammy died, a victim of electric shock from the street.  Needless to say, I am devastated beyond words and heartbroken.   He was my best friend, my … Read More

via sammysbigheart

Posted on November 28, 2010 and filed under Uncategorized.

Got a smelly dog?

Next time you are threatening your dog with a bath or find yourself resistant to give him the cuddles and love he deserves due to the offensive smell, check out the collar first! I find most of the time that my car/house/life is smelly extra "doggy" it is because one of my pups is wearing a dirty collar! Yes, they do need baths too, especially in Seattle winters, but that is not always the problem. I have tried many times and many ways to wash and clean these collars and leashes to rid of the smell, but nothing seems to fully take away the problem. The solution? Dublin Dog Collars "all-style-no-stink" - they are made of a material that rinses clean in seconds and doesn't harbor bacteria. They are only about $20 and will outlast any traditional nylon collar. I consider it a Seattle dog essential, right up there with the Chuck-it! Btw - it is a constant battle for me to be a clean freak and a dog walker/lover at the same time, so check back for more tips on having 8 dogs around yet trying to keep my house and car dog hair/muddy paw-free! If you have any tips, please do share! (Clean freaks love that kind of stuff!)

Posted on November 10, 2010 and filed under Uncategorized.

He just lifted his leg....

Yes, that's right, one of my dogs lifted his leg and peed on a poor innocent man at the park! I was talking to this man (he is a park regular) and by the time I noticed what the dog was doing I couldn't move/get the words out fast enough to stop him! This dog is one of my best behaved and oldest clients - I have no idea what got into him! So, besides the fact this poor man had to walk around with pee on his leg, and it was an extremely awkward experience for all, it was pretty damn funny!

Posted on November 8, 2010 and filed under Uncategorized.