Saturday, October 31, 2009


Maisey is a true pibble...she loves to give kisses.

By kisses I mean she loves to tackle you and lick your face until it is dripping, or you manage to hide your head under the nearest safe harbor (aka a pillow).

For example:

If you dare make one sound while she's showering you with her affection things get a little dicey. She is so beside herself with love and glee that she starts nipping at your nose (and not in the Christmas-y Jack Frost way...). Don't let the smile on Babs' face fool you, this isn't exactly a desired behavior for a dog as solid as Maisey. The thing is, we had the hardest time training her to get down. She just gets too damned excited to be redirected.

Well, if you can't beat 'em...train 'em to do it on command!

I give you "Maisey, hug."

Yes, we trained our dog to clamber up onto our shoulders and lick away. You would think this would lead to more of the same...out of control licking, a couple nips at the nose.


Instead, we combined the lesson in "Masiey, hug" with "Maisey, get down," making sure to give that command way before her head exploded from the exuberance. Her need to be socloseshecancounttheporesonyournose is met and our need for boundaries is met too.

Mission accomplished. Go Team Awesome.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Shout Out to My Sisters: Halloween Horrors!

I am a child of the seventies as are, naturally, my sisters. One of our greatest annual rituals was to pull this LP* out of the stack every Halloween:

The B-side** was played on Halloween night for the benefit of the trick-or-treaters. Dad would put one of the enormous stereo speakers in the window for maximum effect. The B-side featured the classic rattling of chains, squeaking of doors, screaming of people, and wacky futuristic space-machine noises.

But the A-side, oh the A-side.

The A-side was a creepy story narrated by a man who had inherited an "antebellum mansion" and was going to visit it for the first time, of course, on Halloween night. Our favorite taglines were the moaning ghost asking "my baby... have you seen my baaaaabeee... MY BAAABEEEEEEEE..." and of course (in re the narrator's car as he makes his narrow escape), "start, darnit it! start!" (such language, hah!) We could, and did, recite the entire story by heart.

A few years ago, my sister Tracy went on an e-bay search for Halloween Horrors and we agreed that if she won the auction, I would buy a turntable*** to play it on. She did, so I did. Not only did we remember the words some 30 years later, but the record still scared the sh1t out of us. The best part was playing it for my niece and nephew, who were just as enthralled in the 2000s as we were in the 1970s.

T & Nette, I salute you and the memory of Halloween Horrors!

PS - Have you seen my baaaaabeeeee?

ETA - Link to the story! Give it a listen!

* for the younger readers, "LP" stands for "Long Play" record, as opposed to a "45" that contained only one song on each side.

** A "B-side" is the "back side" of a vinyl record. You know life is good when you have "time to play B-sides"

*** A "turntable" is a magic machine that played big, black, vinyl records.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mama's Boy

Lucky Bunny's got exactly one trick. He receives kisses upon request. You say "kiss kiss" and he'll lean his sweet forehead in.

Sometimes, he'll ask you for the kiss.

Sweet, sweet boy.

Vintage Gypsy

When you see a dog every day, it's easy not to notice just how much she's grown. We adopted Gypsy when she was around four months old, so she wasn't tiny, but she was puppy goofy. Below are some great shots we took in the yard after she'd been with us for a few weeks (Fall '08).


Notice the bizarre front and rear paws... plus the awesome ears!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lap Dog FAIL

Maisey, like most Pibbles, has no concept of her size relative to the rest of the world. She really tries to get as close to you as caninely possible. This pic was taken on her first camping trip (last spring). It was really cold.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Guest Pup: Cousin Bella

Did you know that the American Shelterhounds have a cousin? Sweet Bella is also a Shelterhound! Maisey and Gypsy were lucky enough to vacation at Bella's house for two weeks last August, when Bella was just a bitty puppy. She's grown up a bit!

I give you Bella:

Here she is in her Halloween costume:

Finally, have you EVER seen such cute doggie toenails? I'm in love with them!

Gypsy and Maisey say, "Hey Bella, can't wait to see you next summer!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wistful Monday

We've had a super rainy (and by "rainy" I mean "snowy") fall here in Minnesota. I can't tell if the dogs look glum because of the foul weather, or because The Squirrel hasn't made an appearance.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Miss Maisey Dances For Her Supper

Her enthusiasm for dinner knows no bounds.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Battle: Antler

At any given time, we have 2 or 3 antlers hanging around the house for the dogs' chewing pleasure. Naturally harvested antlers are an excellent source of nutrition for dogs and are a great treat for "power chewers" because they take so long to chew down.

Last night, Gypsy got out one of the antlers.

Naturally, Maisey wanted a piece of the action. The following photos capture what we see nearly every evening. Multiple times.

And finally, we have a winner! For now, at least.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lucky's Life Philosophy

When in doubt, groom.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

At Least One of Us is Looking Forward to Winter

Gypsy... BIG FAN of winter weather. These are some highlights from last year, all taken at the dog park.

This is a rare photo of Gypsy playing fetch. She usually prefers to watch other dogs chase after balls, then pounce on them and steal the ball.

Could she BE any cuter?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Summer Memories

Maisey gets her peanut butter on while camping.

Gypsy delights in the Best Stick Ever of All Time.

Maisey noms on a rawhide stogie.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Remembering summer

This is what happens...

... when two dogs have differing opinions on what time nap time is.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Irony: Maisey the Squirrel

Fall has brought Maisey a new hobby: obsessing over squirrels. In fact, she seems to believe there is One Squirrel, a very busy guy. She will bark like a mad fool in the sun room and when The Squirrel disappears from view, she will barrel through the house at lightning speed to get to the patio door because she is convinced that The Squirrel is now in the back yard. Invariably, some squirrel is in the back yard, so her obsessive barking continues. (Hot at her heels is always Gypsy, who barks merrily along.) It is loud. Like Spinal Tap 11 loud.

So, for fun, we dressed Maisey as The Squirrel for Halloween.

This is the ONE clear full-body shot we got of her.

Most of the shots looked like this:

At this point, she is calm, because The Squirrel is safely out of sight:

Look closely and you can see a treat in Meg's hand. Note that Maisey's lower jaw is quivering in anticipation of said treat.

This glare is almost as frightening as her broccoli farts.

And finally, Maisey in her "Get this thing off me or Imma cut a bitch" pose.

Cute Overload: Gypsy the Turtle

It's Halloween here at Casa Shelterhound! Like any good lesbians who have dogs instead of children, we've outfitted the girls in spiffy costumes. Lucky the Cat, of course, is exempt from such things, as his dignity is far too important to the operation to risk on such an enterprise.

When I envisioned the whole costume-the-dogs-and-do-a-photo-shoot thing, naturally the first step would have been tidying up the living room, devising an attractive back drop, then posing the dogs in clever and amusing ways.

Instead, it went like this: Oh, let's just get the costumes out. Oh, let's just try them on. Oh, holy shit they're cute. QUICK GRAB THE CAMERA BEFORE THEY TAKE THE COSTUMES OFF!

So, I give you our messy living room, and Gypsy the Turtle:

Don't you just want to eat her up? I'll bet she tastes just like chicken.

Meg is fixing Gypsy's "hat" here, but it looks more like, "BOOP! GOT YOUR NOSE!"

Gypsy trying to retain a modicum of dignity.

I think she's trying to cough out some turtle costume fluff here.

ZOMG, DEAD from the cuteness.

PS - for those reading via Google Reader, yes, I may have originally posted this as "Gypsy the Frog" on account of the fact that I really, really thought it was a frog costume. Until Meg read the post and was all "Um, B? Gypsy's a turtle." Oops. Either way, the French would cook her.