Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two birthdays, two birthday cakes-one for humans one for canines

So if you checked the blog and saw the last entry 10 Years of Perfect Pug Love you know that Tubby  turned 10 on March 29.     Anyway, in my last entry I really didn't get down to the celebration of his birthday, just a general tribute to him.   One extra nice thing about Tubby is he and I share almost the same birthday, mine is March 26.  So this past weekend we celebrated our birthdays together.

Here is Tubby with his Dad

And with Mom

When celebrating a dog's birthday it is always good to remember that if you make a tasty doggie cake your dog wont mind as much when you put a silly hat on them and take their picture (something I always do).  Here is the recipe for the cake I made Tubby this year.

                           Tubby's Perfect 10 Peanutbutter, Banana and Carrot Cake
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Generous cup of all natural peanutbutter
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • Milk (only as much as is needed to moisten batter)
  • Vanilla yogurt for frosting

Preheat oven to 350

 This cake is pretty much impossible to mess up (as are most dog baking operations).   Stir together the flour and peanutbutter and then add the mashed up banana and honey and stir again.   Add the beaten and eggs and stir again.   My batter was dry at this point so I added a little milk (just enough to moisten).

 Pour the batter into any greased appropriate sized pan (I used a disposable 8 inch square cake pan but a round pan or a loaf pan would work as well).   Bake for about 25 minutes.    Let cool and frost with vanilla yogurt.  This is a very crumbly cake so it doesn't look that pretty but my dogs went crazy for it!
The finished product served on a Star Trek cake plate

Chomp Chomp

Tubby Definitely Approved

The doggie cake really wasn't my thing, though perfectly edible for people of course.  I prefer a bit more chocolate preferably with a bit of booze or caffeine.   When I was a teenager my favorite cake was  a Chocolate Whiskey Cake from Mrs. London's Bakery and Cafe in Saratoga Springs where I grew up.   This cake from Lora Brody's book Chocolate American Style is the closest I've found and the cake I made for myself to celebrate my 33rd birthday.

Boca Negra Cake With Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream,

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used  Ghiradhelli chips), coarsely chopped
    1 1/3 cups
    superfine sugar
    1/4 cup whiskey (or more to taste)
    1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces, room temperature
    5 large
    eggs, room temperature
    1 1/2 tablespoons Wondra Flour
Preheat oven to 350 and put a full kettle of water on to boil.  

Line an 8 inch cake pan with buttered parchment paper and place it inside a larger baking pan.

Put the chocolate chips in the work bowl of a food processor.  Bring the whiskey and the sugar to a full boil over medium heat in a small heavy sauce pan,  stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves completely.  Pour the sugar syrup into the food processor through the feed tube and process for 12 seconds.   With the processor running add the butter one piece at a time, followed by the eggs one at a time (crack them into a liquid measuring cup to make adding them easier), and finally the flour.    Process 15 seconds.   

Pour and scrape the batter into the cake pan.    Place the larger pan containing the cake pan on the middle oven rack and then pour the now boiling water from the kettle into the larger pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the cake pan.  Bake 30 minutes.   Let cake come to room temperature before inverting on a cake plate.  You can serve it at room temp or after being refrigerated.  It keeps several days.   I like it with cream fraiche whipped cream.    

Cream Fraiche Whipped Cream
Whip the heavy cream in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer until it forms peaks and then fold in the creme fraiche.  So good!

 In addition to the Peanutbutter Banana and Carrot Cake Tubby recieved several gifts (of course I would have liked to shower him with thousands more but sadly I am of limited means).  Here is what he recieved.
  1. party hat from the Etsy store I Lick You.  Not much fun for the dog but looks cute and Tubby enjoyed eating the treats we fed him to get a good picture of him in it.
  2. A dog bone toy from the store Olive Green Dog.  It is all natural and was made by craftswomen in Nepal (a fact I am sure Tubby appreciates as a worldly and eco-conscious dog).   I can't say how much I love this store.  All the toys are all natural and safe which is important when the reciever of the toy is going to spend lots of time chewing it.  Best of all if you sign up for their email news letter you get ten dollars of an order of 50$ or more on your dog's birthday.  I already made a second order for Bob's upcoming birthday.
  3. A rabbit stuffie from simply fido
  4. bow tie collar from the Etsy store Tux & Tulle 
  5. A bag of herring EVO dog treats
You can probably guess what Tubby's favorite gift was: that's right number 5.   The dog bone toy was a big hit with Bob though as he promptly stole it and took to chewing it on the couch.  

Surounded by his presents, and yes I did buy Star Trek themed kid's party decorations they were on sale from Birthday Express and I couldnt resist.   

Here is a good shot of the adorable bow tie, with Scooter the cat in the background

Taste testers await their cake

We then settled in for a nice relaxing evening spent watching  one of my favorite movies The Wrath of Khan on the couch.

All in all a successful birthday (here are some pics from previous years).

    Tubby and Ping on Tubby's 9th birthday

    Tubby and Bob on Tubby's 9th birthday

    Dr. Zira really does not like wearing party hats, don't worry I took it off right after we took this picture and this year I didn't subject her to the torment
    Tubby and his best canine friend, little brother Norbert

    This is Tubby on his fifth birthday
    Tubby on his eigth birthday

    3 partying pugs celebrating Tubby's 8th

    Mom and Tubby on his 8th birthday
    I love how they squeezed together for this 9th birthday shot, I really miss Bingo and I think Tubby does too.
    Passed out after celebrating his fifth
    Tubby and his blueberry cake on his 9th birthday

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    10 years of Perfect Pug Love

    "None are as fiercely loyal as dog people. In return, no doubt, for the never-ending loyalty of dogs."
    Linda Shrieves


    So here it is the big day, Tubby's tenth.  A day I've been looking forward to: I love celebrating with him and treating him to something special, and also dreading a bit, for there is no denying Tubby is getting older. I can't believe how fast time has passed and my wiggly puppy is now officially a canine senior citizen.  I've spent nearly a third of my time on this earth in Tubby's company and every day I've spent with him he has enriched my life in innumerable ways.

    Dogs are definitely a model for aging gracefully and Tubby of course is unfazed by getting older.    He gets up each morning brimming with the same joy and enthusiasm.  So in honor of Tubby's tenth I've compiled a list of ten things he loves (warning: there may be some projecting and anthropomorphizing in this list)
    1.  FOOD-(AKA: ummies, umm umms, kibs, patties, treats, biscuits, cookies, etc).  Tubby celebrates life as unending banquet where nearly everything served is delicious.  He is not as frantic an eater as Bob or Ping (who seem to gulp down food without even tasting it), but he is definitely a fairly indiscriminate gourmand.  Every morning and evening when his bowl is filled with his Nature's Variety raw patties he leaps and runs like a puppy and barks with joy.  His joy at eating another meal seems to be roughly equivalent to that of a human who has won the 3 million lotto jackpot. 
    2. LEASH-I have a lot of dog books and magazines that advocate the importance of training a dog to sit politely when he or she sees the leash, and I do see the point: it makes getting the leash on easier, it teaches the dog some self control, it prevents a needless chase around the house, etc.   However, Tubby (who knows how to sit very well by the way) never sits for the leash.  Instead he leaps and spins with joy, thrilled at the prospect of going on an adventure.   For awhile I made a half hearted attempt to train him to sit politely for the leash, but the truth is I love to see his joyful reactions.  When he sees the leash he is like a puppy again.
    3. CAR-We didn't have a car for the first 6 and a half years of Tubby's life . No matter though  from the day we brought the car home from the dealer Tubby has leaped into it eagerly.   To Tubby the car means trips to the park,  the beach, the woods, dog parties, etc.  If your dog doesn't love the car then personally I think you are probably driving him or her to the wrong places.
    4. WALKS (aka walkies)-An opportunity to explore, sniff, pee on trees, kick up rocks and run on the grass, whats not to love?  A walk with a dog makes you appreciate the most mundane things,  Of course like many pugs if there is any sort of inclement weather Tubby is firm in his decision that he is not going outside.
    5.  The Bed (by this I mean the big bed, i.e. the human bed). The first night John and I brought Tubby home he cried in his crate.  Well we couldn't have that and  this was the result 
    Tubby's love for the bed hasn't changed a bit.   He cuddles up in there every night with my husband and myself and Norbert, Ping, and Bob (Dr. Zira chooses to sleep in her crate on the floor of our bedroom.)  Tubby is also fond of an afternoon snooze and is always eager to take nap with anyone who is interested, but he prefers not to sleep alone.

    6. TOYS-One thing that has changed about Mr. T as he has gotten older is he is less interested in toys then he used to be.  As a youngster he would shop for himself pulling a toy that struck his fancy off the display (usually a toy that made some sort of obnoxious noise.)  Of course we had to foot the bill for his selections since Tubby never caries cash. While these days he is less likely pull a toy of the store shelf or to run around the living room floor in pursuit a squeaky money or a shrieking stuffed parrot, he is still eager to leap and grrr and play tug when we are lying in bed reading or watching TV.   Its great to see him playing like a pup again. 

    7.SOFT THINGS-(sofas, love Seats, dog beds, pillows etc.)   Tubby has an unerring eye for the softest seat in the house.  He will knock the couch cushions down or move pillows about to make an especially soft spot to rest on.  There is nothing unusual about this of course dogs, like us, are creatures of comfort and woe  is the dog never allowed to stretch out on the family couch.  The pug though, in particular, was born into the lap of luxury.  One of my pug books, Pugs in Public by Kendall Farr, reports that in the past when pugs accompanied the royal family on hunting expeditions, they didn't walk like the other dogs but where carried out to the field where they then spent the time reclining on silken cushions.  Tubby would have fit right in. 

    8.PARTIES-I strongly believe that Tubby is a party animal he is definitely much more social then I am.   He loves going to gatherings and meeting new people and definitely can work a room.  This is one reason Tubby enjoys his pug meet up group, NNJPE, a room full of pugs and people who love pugs  and a treat table, whats not to like? 

    9.MOVIES/TV SHOWS THAT FEATURE DOGS BARKING- Tubby really gets excited when he hears barking on TV.  He runs around the house looking for the offending canines and barking in response.  He always seems very pleased with himself when they stop barking,  I guess he concludes that he has scared them away!  We have an ample DVD collection and some of Tubby's favorite  movies and TV shows include: The Wizard of Oz, Up, Milo and Otis, Babe,  The Omen (he loves the barking hell hounds) and season 5 of the TV show Supernatural (the DVD box sets' menu features the sounds of hell hounds barking, Tubby also loves all of the episodes that feature the hell hounds). 

    10. HIS FAMILY-Spending time in the company of his family human and canine and feline alike is what Tubby loves the most and we love him. 


      Saturday, March 26, 2011

      Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop

      Today its Saturday so its the day of the saturday pet bloggers blog hop hosted by two little cavaliers check it out to see lots of great pet blogs with adorable pets.

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      Lyme positive-Oh no!

      As pet owners, or guardians if you prefer, we are often forced to make difficult decisions for our animals.  After all the pet can't choose its food or health care or toys or training or living environment.  Some people probably find making the decisions pretty easy.  They just immediately go along with what the vet advices or using the training techniques their friends use, others like me are prone to agonize.   So when I have to make a big decision, or when I make a wrong decision, I get pretty upset.   On Wednesday we got some pretty bade news about Norbert.  He has Lyme disease.  

      You wouldn't think that Lyme disease would be that big a risk for an urban dog, or at least I didn't.  After all we are surrounded by concrete.  However, ticks are everywhere in north east and if you walk your dog in parks or ever take him or her into the woods you are exposing them to ticks.  We got Norbert the C6 titer test almost as an after thought because  my husband had removed a tick from him last fall. At the time I called the hospital and misheard the information the receptionist told me.  I thought they said to test in 6 months, but really they said to test in 6-8 weeks.  So I didn't ask for the test until now.   Since Norbert has been acting totally fine I certainly didn't expect a positive result.  I was shocked and very upset when Norbert's tick titer, which measures antibodies in the blood against Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases, came back with an antibody titer of 290 for the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi.   Over thirty is considered positive for Lyme disease so even though he is completely asymptomatic Norbert's titer was very high.

       Lyme disease can cause joint problems, lameness, fever, kidney disease or even failure, and sometimes heart problems.   As I read of these things online I was completely sick   I blamed myself for using a natural tick and flea product on Norbert,  Bug Off Garlic, from Spring Time Inc (I do think the product has worked on fleas and some dogs on Frontline get Lyme disease anyway),  I blamed myself for walking Norbert in woody and grassy areas, for not getting him the Tick titer test sooner.   I basically blamed myself for everything.   Thankfully, Norbert had blood work on Thursday to check his kidneys and other organs and it came back normal, the same as routine blood work he had in February.  Its still possible that the Lyme disease has done some damage to his kidneys, since less then 25% of kidneys have to be functioning to show changes in blood work.  However, since he is acting normal and his blood work is good our vet at Westside Animal Hospital, thinks we caught it in time.  Right now our vet doesn't think Norbert needs a urinalysis, but I may do that in a month or so.  I plan to put him on one of the lower phosphorus kibbles recommended on the dog aware website.  The website is a godsend for anyone with a dog with kidney problems.

      Norbert will be on Doxycline, an antibiotic, for 28 days and then his tick titer will be re-tested.  If its still above normal, which is likely since its so high, he will need a longer course of antibiotics.  I  hoping that we caught this in time, but I  have learned from my mistakes and am going back to using Frontline (I stopped using it due to my concerns about its toxicity) April through November.  I will also check every inch of my dogs for ticks every time we go for a walk.   Make sure you are careful and don't make the same mistakes I did.

      Sunday, March 20, 2011

      St Patrick's Day-Belated

      St. Patrick's day came late this year for the little urban hounds.  Today was our local pug groups (the fabulous Northern New Jersey Pug extravaganza) St. Pugtrick's day meet up.   So Tubby, Ping, and the non-pug Dr. Zira attended.  They got dressed up in green, Tubby and Ping wore their outfits from Mia Pia's closet and since Zira is not too into clothes she wore a t-shirt.

      I love to cook so I always like to bring something for the dogs or the people or both.  John was participating in a bicycle race yesterday for Brompton Folding Bikes so I was home alone and had some extra time to myself to devote to baking.   For the dogs I came up with some beef flavored biscuits. I call them Beefy Baby Bones since they have beef baby food in them.

      Bob sat in the kitchen the whole time I worked on them waiting for them to come out of the oven:

      Here's the Recipe

         Beefy Baby Bones
      • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
      • 1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
      • 1/2 cup wheat germ
      • 2 small jars of beefy baby food (I used Gerber stage 1)
      • 1/2 cup canola oil
      • 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water
      • 1egg
      Preheat the oven to 350 and put the rack in the center.

      Pour the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir together.  Add the baby food and mix.   Pour in the oil and mix again.  Pour in the bouillon water and stir well.  Finally add the egg and stir.  (If your dough is too sticky add a bit more flour or oats and if its to dry add a little more oil or water, exact proportions are not too important in this recipe). 

      Dump the dough out onto a well floured board and roll or pat it to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.   Cut out shapes with a well floured bone shaped cookie cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  (Note: if you don't want to cut out shapes you can roll the dough into balls and flatten them slightly to make round cookies).  Re-roll or re-pat until all the dough has been used.  I got about 25 medium bone cookies from the recipe.

      Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, rotating once.  The bones are done when they are lightly brown and slightly firm.   (Note: One nice thing about these cookies is they are pretty soft and chewy.  Tubby and Dr. Zira are not crazy about hard doggie cookies so I try to make softer ones).

      Here are my hounds sampling them, they all loved them! (please ignore my hideous lazy Saturday getup).

      I also decided to make something for the human attendees in honor of the holiday.  In the past I have usually made Nigella Lawson's chocolate Guinness cake for myself and John on St. Patrick's day but you can't easily bring a cake to a meet up and portion it out so I decided to make Dave Lieberman's chocolate stout cupcakes.  As an added bonus they were pretty inexpensive since the focus of his show is quality food on a budget.  Here is the recipe:

         Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
         (You can make these a day ahead and refrigerate them which is what I did)
      • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Valrhona cocoa powder which is pricey but delicious, a 1/4 lb cost       $2.50 at whole foods which isn't too bad).
      • 2 cups sugar
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • Pinch salt salt
      • 1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness) Note: Don't worry the alcohol is destroyed in the baking and you just get the flavor)
      • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
      • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      • 3 large eggs
      • 3/4 cup sour cream
      • 1 (8-ounce) package  cream cheese, softened at room temperature
      • 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
      In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
      In another medium mixing bowl, combine the beer melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
      Line 24 muffin tins with St. Patrick's day liners or grease the tins. . Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Note: The only problem I had is that the batter is very runny so it is a little messy, make sure you lock your hounds out of the kitchen so they don't lap up any spilled chocolate.
      Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

      Cream Cheese Frosting
       (This was pretty good, previously I used Magnolia Bakery's recipe for cream cheese frosting in all my cupcakes).

      In a medium bowl with a mixer beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

      Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and some St. Patrick's day sprinkles.

      At meet up the Beefy Bones where almost all gone and where probably a bigger hit then the cupcakes, since those where for the dogs and as all pug owners know a pug is never to busy to eat.  With the humans its a different story, who has time to eat with so many adorable puggies.

      Here are some pics from the meet up.  It was great to see so many pugs showing the Irish spirit but it was hard to get decent pics with them all running around!

      Finally, since I didn't have this blog last year I can not resist showing these pictures from last St. Patrick's day (that year we didn't attend the meet up but we got some great pictures at the house).


      These last two are my favorite.  We Miss Bingo so much.   These pictures really capture his personality.  He was such a funny little dog.  We put a bully stick in the empty Guinness for the pictures and our other dogs ignored it, but Bingo was determined to get it out!  Don't worry though, we took it out and gave it to him right after we took the pictures.

      Saturday, March 19, 2011

      Saturday Pet Blogger Hop

      We all love our pets- so why not share the love
      Check out the blogger hop hosted by two little cavaliers-absolutely adorable!   Click below to see lots of great pet blogs

      Friday, March 18, 2011

      Japanese dogs stay together in midst of Tsunami

      Animal lovers often respond to stories about dogs in a disaster because it is something we can connect too.  I was moved to tears during Hurricane Katrina by a woman who wept while standing in front of the rubble of her apartment building repeating again and again "my dog was in there."  I could clearly put myself in her place and understand what she was feeling.

      Obviously the human disaster in Japan is beyond comprehension.   Thousands of people dead and radiation leaking from nuclear power plants that may kill and sicken thousands more.  So even though I am possessed of a boundless love for canines, preferring them to most people, I recognize that the trials of two dogs are insignificant in the face of this disaster.  However, as an animal lover I automatically think of the effect this disaster will have on animals, and on how loosing or being separated from their pets will effect the human survivors.  Which is why I found the widely circulated video of two dogs who survived the disaster so touching.

      The two Tsunami dogs appear to be a brown spaniel mix and some sort of white spaniel type dog, possibly a Clumber spaniel.  After surviving the disaster the two dogs stand in the wreckage of what was once their home.  The white dog was badly injured but his brown friend wouldn't leave his side.

      Here is the video clip

      Here is an English translation (courtesy of a post on dogster of what the camera crew is saying)
      We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty.
      He has a collar. He must be someone’s pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid.
      Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead.
      Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright.
      The dog is protecting him.
      Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay.
      I can’t watch this. This is a very difficult to watch.
      Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive.
      Yes! Yes! He is alive.
      He looks to be weakened. We need to them to be rescued soon. We really want them rescued soon.
      Oh good. He’s getting up.
      It is amazing how they survived the tremendous earthquake and tsunami. It’s just amazing that they survived through this all.

      The white dog is recovering in an animal hospital and the brown dog is in an animal shelter in the nearby city of Miro.  Hopefully their devotion  will be rewarded and they will be reunited with each other and with their owners (if they in fact survived).      Some people might say that the attention played to these two dogs moves the focus away from the human suffering and loss in Japan, but I would argue that seeing that these two dogs survived and stayed together gives us hope for the country as a whole.

      The importance of dogs in our lives and the role they play in our families can be underestimated and that's why its so crucial to try to reunite them with their owners after a disaster.  Here is a photo of a man reunited with his dog that says it all

      If you want to donate to the Japanese Animal relief effort you can donate to

      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      Dog lover songs

      A while ago Bark magazine ran an article called Pop! Goes the Dog about the influence of dogs in popular music.  It was pretty interesting and they published a play list of songs-which I promptly looked up and listened too.  These two where my favorite.

      As a side note dogs as non judgemental beings generally love your singing (or at least withhold comment)-even if its awful, which I assure mine is!  So why I am not actually confessing to singing to my dogs, they are the only living things on earth that have any chance of hearing my singing voice.

      Listen to this playlist: Urban Hounds

      Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Introducing Urban Hounds

      I'm a thirty something (early thirties!) dog loving urbanite (though I'd rather be in the country) with an overwhelming passion for anything canine related.  I share my city  home with it's small fenced yard with my five dogs, 3 cats, and one wonderful husband.  When people here about this menagerie there most common reaction is-Yikes farm!  I find it quite peaceful, the best family you could have.   Of course dogs aren't  my whole life, Im a teacher, a bibliophile, oenophile (got to get those big words in so I sound smart!), a foodie, a sci-fi fantasy nut, and  DVD addict, but as the photographer Roger Caras said: "dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole."  That's certainly the case with me, and since I've always liked writing and since everyone has a blog, including a few of my friends  I decided to jump on the band wagon and start a blog dedicated to my wonderful companions.   I don't expect many followers, spending all my time with my dogs has made me a bit short on companions of the human variety, but I'd like to be a voice for some of those urban hounds out there-after all the life of a city dog can be just as rich and rewarding as the life of a country dog.  Plus I'm one of those vacation loving teachers (just kidding!, I work very hard and I love  my students) and have a fair amount of free time on my hands.

      So without further ado-The cast of characters

      Tubby-Age almost 10-Birthday 3/29/01  male pug

      Turn Ons: Food in all its varieties (i.e. the banquet that is life), leashes, walkies, the car, licking his siblings ears, the couch, kicking up dirt and rocks after he pees

      Turn Offs: dogs he passes on walks (even though he likes other dogs), empty food bowl. the rain

      Norbert (and also my husband John) lab mix (dog not husband though husband works in a lab) age  guestimated birtday July 7 2002.

      Turn Ons: Red Bad Cuz toy, sleeping in on weekends, the car, walks, bagels

      Turn Offs: Dog walking past his yard, tall men in hats, dogs larger then him

      Ping-female pug-age 7-guestimated birthday May 15 2003

      Turn Ons: Food in all its varieties (i.e. the many splendid banquet that is life), snuggling with her humans, her brother Tubby's arm pit (she loves to lick it-don't ask why!), running on grass

      Turn Offs-Rain and snow!

      Bob-bulldog  age 3 Birthday April 16, 2007

      Turn Ons: Anything in his food bowl, walks, snow, all manner of balls(particularly soccer balls), butt scratchies, his best friend Norbert, the clicker because the clicker means trick training and that means treats!

      Turn Offs-Dog parks (he is not a fan), my husband's bicycle, buses passing him on the street,cold hot dogs (only grilled  for him thank you very much!)

      Dr. Zira-brussels griffon age 12-birthday 12/5/1998 Gotcha Day(adoption) July 12, 2008

      Turn Ons: Soft dog beds, the heating vent, kibble and treats, rolling in dirt and leaves, fluffy white dogs, her late brother Bingo
      Turn Offs-the groomer, waiting for her breakfast (she is an early riser), rain and snow

      Bingo-In Memory-pug circa 1996-November 30, 2010 Gotcha Date: May 19, 2008
      Bingo was fostered by us and then adopted by us from Adopt a Buddy pug rescue, his owners abandoned him at a high kill shelter at the age of 12 or 13 he had cancer, was incontinent, and was partially paralyzed but he was a wonderful LOVE PUG
      Turn Ons: Food in all its form (he was a classic food hound pug), beds, his stroller, people (he loved everyone),his sister Zira

      Turn Offs-The animal shelter, cancer of the spleen and liver

      Supporting Characters-The Urban Felines

      Baby-Age 11-Birthday 11/01/00

      Turn Ons: Wet cat food, blankets, warm surfaces

      Turn Offs: Dr. Zira, the vet, the carrier

      Scooter Age 9 Birthday- October 2001

      Turn Ons: Pounce Treats, feather toys, Norbert, Tubby
      Turn Offs-Dr. Zira (he is a pretty mellow cat overall)

      Ernie age 6 05/2004 

      Turn Ons-Food, hiding in boxes, catnip

      Turn Offs-the vet, animal shelters, medicine, ring worm, waiting for breakfast

      So thats all of us!  One big happy family-oh and here is a picture of mom too!