A little off topic – An Old Dog CAN Learn New Tricks

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I know I haven’t posted much lately.  But as some of you may know I got engaged back in February and the BF and I are planning a June 14, 2014 wedding.  I am making a ton of recycled projects for our big day, but I don’t want to share them as I’m hoping for them all to be a surprise.  Anyways, my flea market trips have continued as i search for more little lovelies to include at our wedding.  I will continue to post on items I find, but decor posts will be limited.

I do however want to share progress on Bubba’s training.  As anyone with any type of terrier knows they LOVE to bark.  Bubba is my silky terrier, that I got when he was just under a year old.  Bubba had very little training before he came to us.  Like all terriers, he is high strung and I’m pretty sure he has ADD.  He has trouble focusing and loves to bark (all the time).  He loves to bark at the television which is becoming a particular annoyance.  I think his favorite shows are Duck Dynasty and Bone Collector, but just about any hunting show or anything on animal planet will do.  I have tried loud noises, high pitched beepers, the Thundershirt, and unfortunately our next step was a shock collar but I just didn’t have the heart.  All of the above things worked briefly, but he got use to them so not a long term solution.

With the BF and I now talking about children in our future, I knew we were going to have to do something with Bubba.  I had reached out to a few local training clubs, but was told he would not do well in a group session since he is an adult dog and would need individual training, which has been hard to find in Northern NY.  On one of my flea market trips, while walking back to my car I saw the sign on a car door for 4 Paws Training.  I found her contact info on Facebook and called that day!  Maureen is owner of 4 Paws and we setup a consultation at my home so she could meet bubba in his environment.  Everything went great at our consultation, I was so impressed when Maureen was able to get Bubba to sit within a couple tries, something the BF and I have tried many times before.   Basic training seems to be the key to getting Bubba to stop barking, learning how to sit will eventually work towards him sitting on a mat/bed and staying until I release him, so if he is barking I will send him to his mat.

The best part is this is also training me, to be what Bubba needs.   I successfully for the first time ever got Bubba to sit this morning 6 times, with only a little assistance.  That is only with 2 days of training.  I have been trying to work with him for 5-10 mins explicitly on training morning and night every day.  Then I try little things in between, in his normal routine.  Having such quick results has really inspired me that the barking will end!

Also Bubba doesn’t really enjoy playing fetch must and some of his barking may be due to boredom.  Bubba will play for maybe 5 throws if that and doesn’t want to anymore, but I never know what he really wants from me.  He wants to play but not fetch!  I knew that silky terriers were bread for hunting mice, rats, squirrels and other small vermin.  Which makes sense after he brought a dead squirrel onto our bed one night this winter!  I ordered Bubba some squirrel scent and I am going to start hiding his toys for him to find, instead of fetch.  I think he will love this!  The scent should be here next week so I will give it a try and let you know how it works!!

For all the terrier owners, there is HOPE that your dog can stop barking too and professional training is so worth the money!

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Saved by the Thundershirt – A Dog Lovers Miracle

Well since for some reason I can’t get the photos I wanted off my digital camera to blog about what I really wanted to.  I am going to blog about the Thundershirt.  Every one has heard about my little wild man, Bubba.  Bubba is a silky terrier that like a lot of little dogs likes to bark all the time.  We were at the end of our wits with him and I had tried everything except a shock collar to get him to stop.  I feel really bad shocking a 10 lb dog so I was willing to try anything.  Also from what I have read if the barking is caused by anxiety, most times “punishing” the dog has no effect.  I originally saw the ad for the Thundershirt on TV (which yes I know a tv infomercial) but after doing some research online, I found mixed reviews it worked for some but not others.  I think a lot of Bubba’s barking issues were due to anxiety so I decided to give it a try.

Above is Bubba in his Rugby Thundershirt.  A Thundershirt is an anxiety pressure wrap and for Bubba it seems to work.  It is a neoprene type material that fits fairly snugly.  I have had it for almost a week, which is definitely long enough for him to get use to it.  He is a lot calmer and barks a lot less.  Granted he still barks at the occasional passing car or if another dog is in the yard, but it is definitely not to the extent that he barked before.  I don’t make him wear it all the time. When we go for a walk, when he is home alone, or when its just me at home and he is being good, I leave it off of him.

Thundershirt comes with a 45 day money-back guarantee, so it is worth a try.  I ordered mine through Amazon which has an awesome return policy anyways.  Bubba’s was  little pricey at $44.95 for the rugby edition, but so far it has been money well spent.  For all the dog owner’s that want a humane way to stop the barking, give it a try!  If it doesn’t work for you send it back!

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New Recycled Cuff Bracelets

I received a custom order from a friend, she wanted a yellow and orange bracelet which is so far out of my color schemes I have been creating but turned out beautifully.  The large yellow rose is a recycled soda can and the large white/orange rose was a vintage brooch I found at a flea market. 
Another turquoise creation: 
My new favorite quote which I’m going to try to incorporate into a bracelet, so be on the look out for it :).  
Vinyl Wall Decal Sticker Art - Learn to Dance in the Rain
Vinyl Wall Decal by wordybirdstudios
I have some other new items to showcase throughout the week, but didn’t get to take many photos last night as I was installing my little dog Bubba’s in ground radio fence from PetSafe.  Installation took a long time but bubba has probably a little over and acre to play in.  He is currently terrified of the fence :(, which is really hard for me, but this is for the best so he doesn’t get hit by a car.  I will be sure to update you on the process.  
My geeky side has also come out this week.  I am going to try to fix my iPhone 3G I ran over with my car. It needs a new LCD, glass and touch screen digitizer.  Hopefully I can manage to change all of this myself.  Wish me luck!
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Etsy Shop: PheonixThread

I think for all of us who do not have kids out there dressing up our dogs is a good replacement.   Poor little Bubba has endured the t-shirt yarn sweater as well as other things I have created for him to wear (like his Christmas Bow Tie).  Etsy Shop PheonixThread has this down to an art.  She creates dog clothes out of upcycled garments, which makes her another one of the great recyclers out there.  I fell in love with the I Love NY dog tee, but its white so Bubba would have it a mess in less than 10 minutes, but I did request a black one if she ever comes across a black I love NY tee to upcycle.

Upcycled dog tee - I heart NY (Medium) - green, sustainable, handmade from old t-shirt
Upcycled I Love NY Dog Tee – $19.99

I will definitely be keeping my eye on this shop and I suggest all you pet lovers do the same!

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Etsy Shop: PheonixThread

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I think for all of us who do not have kids out there dressing up our dogs is a good replacement.   Poor little Bubba has endured the t-shirt yarn sweater as well as other things I have created for him to wear (like his Christmas Bow Tie).  Etsy Shop PheonixThread has this down to an art.  She creates dog clothes out of upcycled garments, which makes her another one of the great recyclers out there.  I fell in love with the I Love NY dog tee, but its white so Bubba would have it a mess in less than 10 minutes, but I did request a black one if she ever comes across a black I love NY tee to upcycle.

Upcycled dog tee - I heart NY (Medium) - green, sustainable, handmade from old t-shirt
Upcycled I Love NY Dog Tee – $19.99

I will definitely be keeping my eye on this shop and I suggest all you pet lovers do the same!

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Sweet Potato Dog Bones – Bubba loves them!

I am fed up with buying rawhide, I am not sure why it costs $10 dollars or more for bones and now with 2 dogs it has gotten quite expensive and really isn’t good for them, so I found a different option.  I was reading an article about how much dogs like sweet potatoes so I cut a whole sweet potato in half and then sliced it about 1/4 inch thick, placed the slices in one layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and baked them for 3 hours a 250 degrees and shut off the oven and left them in there over night.  The end result was a drier chewy slices.

Bubba went nuts for them and I didn’t get to give one to Annie, but I will tonight.  They need to be refrigerated.  I bought 3 sweet potatoes for $2.47 and will probably get at least 30 treats from them, so much cheaper and healthier than rawhide!  Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Dog Bones – Bubba loves them!

I am fed up with buying rawhide, I am not sure why it costs $10 dollars or more for bones and now with 2 dogs it has gotten quite expensive and really isn’t good for them, so I found a different option.  I was reading an article about how much dogs like sweet potatoes so I cut a whole sweet potato in half and then sliced it about 1/4 inch thick, placed the slices in one layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and baked them for 3 hours a 250 degrees and shut off the oven and left them in there over night.  The end result was a drier chewy slices.

Bubba went nuts for them and I didn’t get to give one to Annie, but I will tonight.  They need to be refrigerated.  I bought 3 sweet potatoes for $2.47 and will probably get at least 30 treats from them, so much cheaper and healthier than rawhide!  Enjoy!

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Bubba’s (AKA Mr. Bubbles AKA Bubba Gump) Christmas Tuxedo

While shopping at Wal-mart last week, I saw the cutest little christmas tuxedo for dogs, it was $10 and made from the cheapest fabric, so of course I thought, why don’t I make one myself for Bubba!  That was last nights project.  

To make the bow, take a 10 in x 10 in piece of fabric (I used lovely green and red plaid), fold it over in thirds, and then sew the edge.  Adjust the tube so that seam you have just sewn is in the middle and then fold it in half and sew the end.  Adjust the smaller tube so that the seam is in the middle again, now you will have a small rectangle with no raw edges or seams showing on the front side.  Take a small strip of the same fabric about an inch wide, fold over the raw edges and sew to create the strip to hold the the bow down.  Wrap the finished strip around the rectangle of fabric to compress the middle to create the bow, make adjustments as needed.  Sew the strip of fabric in the back to hold the bow together, this needs to be as tight as possible so they bow won’t shift.  Trim off an extra part of the strip.  Now for the “collar” portion, I used Bubba’s current collar for the size and created a  finished 1/2 inch strip of fabric about 1 inch longer than his collar.  To attach the strip to the bow, I fed it throw the strip that was used to compress the bow.  To create the labels, I took two pieces of white fabric (size depends on how big your collar needs to be) and created them the same way I created the initial rectangle for the bow.  Then with a hot iron I folded over and pressed the rectangles for the lapels, then sewed it to the plaid collar strip and it was done.  I didn’t have an velcro at home last night, so I had to tape it on Bubba last night.  Forgive me for the pictures, the hardest part about working with Bubba is getting him to hold still, the pictures aren’t the greatest but you get the idea.  
I will try to take pictures again once I make Annie a Christmas outfit as well and of course hers will include ruffles! 
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Bubba’s (AKA Mr. Bubbles AKA Bubba Gump) Christmas Tuxedo

While shopping at Wal-mart last week, I saw the cutest little christmas tuxedo for dogs, it was $10 and made from the cheapest fabric, so of course I thought, why don’t I make one myself for Bubba!  That was last nights project.  

To make the bow, take a 10 in x 10 in piece of fabric (I used lovely green and red plaid), fold it over in thirds, and then sew the edge.  Adjust the tube so that seam you have just sewn is in the middle and then fold it in half and sew the end.  Adjust the smaller tube so that the seam is in the middle again, now you will have a small rectangle with no raw edges or seams showing on the front side.  Take a small strip of the same fabric about an inch wide, fold over the raw edges and sew to create the strip to hold the the bow down.  Wrap the finished strip around the rectangle of fabric to compress the middle to create the bow, make adjustments as needed.  Sew the strip of fabric in the back to hold the bow together, this needs to be as tight as possible so they bow won’t shift.  Trim off an extra part of the strip.  Now for the “collar” portion, I used Bubba’s current collar for the size and created a  finished 1/2 inch strip of fabric about 1 inch longer than his collar.  To attach the strip to the bow, I fed it throw the strip that was used to compress the bow.  To create the labels, I took two pieces of white fabric (size depends on how big your collar needs to be) and created them the same way I created the initial rectangle for the bow.  Then with a hot iron I folded over and pressed the rectangles for the lapels, then sewed it to the plaid collar strip and it was done.  I didn’t have an velcro at home last night, so I had to tape it on Bubba last night.  Forgive me for the pictures, the hardest part about working with Bubba is getting him to hold still, the pictures aren’t the greatest but you get the idea.  
I will try to take pictures again once I make Annie a Christmas outfit as well and of course hers will include ruffles! 
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