Shelby puts up with a lot. We must dress her up a lot, because she's learned to sit still everytime we put something on her, and whip out the camera. Here she is wearing Steven's baseball cap, folded in half so it fits her head.
The bacon train
Steven and I are decorating the house for Christmas. I setup this train set for the tree that we will eventually buy. The scale of the train makes Shelby look like Godzilla. Thanks to a few bacon bits on the caboose, Shelby delicately followed the train, and picked off the treats. I was really hoping for more of a B-grade monster movie effect, but alas, Shelby is not destructive enough.
The gravy wars
Shelby has turned out to be quite a finicky dog. This is partially our fault, but that being said, sometimes I will add gravy for dogs into her dry food so that she will eat it. Here's a little comparison I made between two brands of gravy I found at the store. VitaGravy chicken flavor and Healthy Essentials cheese flavor. Not an exact comparison, since the flavors are different, but Vita Gravy doesn't have a cheese flavor, and Healthy Essentials doesn't have a chicken flavor...so I test only what I can get.
First up: Vita Gravy
This stuff looks pretty good to me. It looks like a blended chicken stew. I gave this to Shelby for a few meals in the evening when she is usually most hungry. The first few times, the gravy worked, and Shelby lapped it up. But now, she's lost interest, and walks away from the bowl just as if there were no gravy at all. It took about half a bottle for Shelby to get bored.
Second contender: Healthy Essentials
Shelby has had Healthy Essentials before, but a different flavor. This one claims to be good for skin and coat, and Shelby has never turned down cheese in her whole life, so I gave this a try. She's only had this flavor a few times, but she seems to like it. She usually skips breakfast, but when I added this gravy, she ate at least half. Not ideal, but not bad. Shelby has tried the Hip and Joint gravy as well, and she likes it.
Third contender: Gerber Beef Baby Food
Someone at puppy class recommended using baby food as a reward. So I bought a little jar at the store. It's probably a bit high calorie, butI figure it would be interesting to try. I mixed a generous teaspoon into Shelby's food. She scarfed it! She loves this stuff. In fact, she sees nothing else when the jar is out of the fridge. If I make a hand motion to "sit" she doesn't see it, because she's only looking at the jar. It was fun to watch, but I hope I haven't caused any behavioral problems because of this. I'm mentally picturing Shelby obsessively licking the food off a newborn's face. :P
Whimpering in the car
Shelby loves car rides, but she hates being separated from us. Being restrained in the back seat makes her unhappy, and she whimpers. Most of my car trips with her take abou 30 minutes, which is a long time to hear dog whimpering. Sometimes I open the window so that she has something to distract her. This works, except now that it's winter, I'm not such a big fan of having all this cold air blowing around the car...so I put up with the whimpering instead.
This time, I brought one of Shelby's favorite chew bones with us. It's pretty hard for her to whimper when she's got a mouthful of bone. It completely worked. She not only didn't whimper, but she appeared to lose all interest in everything else going on in the world.
Longing for the bird
This is Shelby's first Thanksgiving. We celebrated at mom's. While everyone was busy preparing the rest of the meal, Shelby intently watched the turkey. I somewhat expected her to do this, so I made sure she didn't get into any trouble. The last thing we needed was an overeager pug pulling the tablecloth to get to the sweet roasted bird. Shelby was good. She looked, but did not touch.
After we carved the turkey, she got a few pieces in her bowl (on the far right of the photo).
Pug skin and coat
Fawn pugs are typically double coat, and black pugs are typically single coat. Since Shelby's dad was black, and her mom was fawn, I think Shelby is partially single and partially double coat. I'm not sure if this is genetically possible, but it sure seems like it. Steven and I noticed this first in the summer, when parts of her body shed at a different rates that other parts. And now we're noticing again as Shelby's winter coat is growing in. Shelby gets a more pronounced darker stripe down her back and hind quarters where she is single coat. The fur is coarser. I think maybe she only has the guard hairs back there. There are lighter areas that starts around her neck and continues down just behind her front legs. This area seems like it has a soft white undercoat. I really don't know if being partially single coat has made any difference in her shedding. It still seems like a ludicrus amount of hair comes off this pup.
A cozy sweater
Mom's second sweater prototype worked out nicely. Shelby learned quickly that wearing it got her lot of attention. When we were sitting around the dinner table (ignoring her) she brought the sweater and dropped it at Steven's feet. And it worked. It took about 30 seconds for her to charm her way into Steven's lap.
Shelby vs. Stuffed Shark
We bought this little stuffed shark on a visit to see the great white shark Monterey Bay Aquarium. And ever since I've brought it home, Shelby has had her eye on it. For months I've kept it on a file cabinet that it out of Shelby's sight and reach, and I think she eventually forgot about it, until Friday night, when she discovered it sitting on my pillow. She was very alarmed, but I'm very happy that she didn't jump on the bed, and waited for us to show her the shark. Click here to watch Shelby defend us from the shark.
The deck is covered in leaves, and Steven went outside to tidy up a bit. Shelby helped....sort of.
Maybe she'll grow into it
I visited mom the other day and much to my surprise, she had knit Shelby a holiday sweater! It took her 2 days to develop this prototype. I was so impressed by the quality, and the fact that my mother knew how to knit at all. I had heard that she used to knit when I was very young, but that everyting else was neglected whenever she was working on a knitting project. So she stopped knitting, until she retired. Now she has lots of time to spoil Shelby like the grandchild Steven and I haven't given her.
The sweater was quite large for Shelby. In fact, it could probably fit a second pug in it, which prompted me to remind mom that Shelby is not nearly as fat as she thinks. Steven and I do think the sweater is darling, and are going to try to shrink it in the wash. Maybe then it will fit a little better. Meanwhile, mom is on her second prototype for Shelby's sweater.