Now that Amanda and I have started our own pet supply business we’ve decided to incorporate this blog into the company website.  Please visit the official 2 Feet 4 Paws blog and update your bookmarks / links / subscriptions.  All articles from this blog have been archived at the new site.

Thank you for reading Why Dogs? over the past year and we hope you’ll continue to enjoy our writing at the new location!

#53 – Amandrew Puppies

I’ve been slacking in my photos of the week.  We’re looking to move this blog and merge it with our business blog once that is up and running.  We’ll eventually transfer posts from here to there and when we’re ready for an official move a post will be made here.  Until then we will continue to post here as time allows.

Vicky’s Pet Connection has a litter of eight puppies currently available for adoption.  They’ll be ready to go to their new homes next week but applications are being processed now.  Their mom is named Amber Lee.  Vicky typically names puppies so that they start with the same letter as their mom.  This helps to keep track of litters and moms when multiple litters are being adopted at the same time. 

We helped Vicky name this litter and since they all began with the letter A Andrew and I have some namesakes.  The two puppies named after us look similar.  Andrew is the biggest in the litter and Amanda is the smallest so it’s fitting. 



Vicky’s Pet Connection has many “good saves” throughout the year.  Pregnant dogs, sick dogs, and those who have been at the shelter for a long time.  This is Nikkie.  She had been at the county shelter since the middle of November.  Picked up by animal control as a stray no one looked for her.  Vicky pulled her out on Monday.  The person transporting her from the shelter met Vicky at the Critter Cottage so I could take some pictures for a Petfinder profile. 

Nikkie is definitely one of those good finds.  We of course wonder why her family never looked for her or why she was purposely let go to become a stray.  She knows some basic commands.  You can tell that she’s a good dog that just needs some attention, especially after being at the shelter for so long.

She paced around at first but after getting something to play with and chew on she settled down.  She was friendly with everyone.  It’s like she was relieved to be out of the shelter and appreciated being rescued. 

Nikkie will remain in the VPC program until she’s adopted.  Hopefully this won’t take too long.  She does have some strikes against her being black and between 4-5 years old.  But hopefully someone will be looking or an older, trained dog for their home. 

We fostered Peanut in July 2005.  We was about six weeks old when we first brought him in.  He was brought into the shelter.  It’s unknown why he was without littermates and a mom.  He was very small weighing under five pounds. 

We had him for about a week until he was placed with another litter Vicky had around the same age and size.  She wanted to make sure he didn’t come down with anything after being abandoned and at the shelter before risking the other puppies in her program. 

We were able to foster Peanut again about a month later.  He was the last of the group of puppies he was placed with so being a single puppy he was placed back in our care.  We didn’t have him for too long before he was adopted again. 

Starting in 2008 I would like to post a photo each week that is dog related.  It may or may not be taken during the week that I post. 

I present Beacon and Haven at the business the end of December.  We stopped in to change some lights and brought the dogs with us.  They’ve both been there before but this time they got to see cats up close and personal. 

I went to do cat chores and one of the cats in the room ran out.  Nikki is known for wanting to try and escape the cat room and wander around the store.  But this time she was in for a surprise – two labs.  

Beacon and Haven went over to her and sniffed but didn’t do anything else.  Nikki wasn’t too sure about two big dogs.  She quickly made her way back to her room.  And since then she hasn’t been as eager to get out. 

There are two cat rooms.  The dogs kept looking in one or the other.  They would whine.  They would scratch at the floor and door.  They wanted to play with the cats. 

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re aware that dogs are awfully intelligent animals.  But did you know that they are smarter than the people who write this blog?Amanda and I brought home a couple of new rubber balls for the pooches tonight.  One was an original OrbeeTuff Orbee Ball and the other was the OrbeeTuff Snowball.  We plan to test them out as fetching toys as well as gauge their durability and decided to let the dogs choose which one would be “their” ball for the play session.

When we play fetch with both dogs at the same time, we’ve found that it helps if they each have their own toy to retrieve.  Since Haven has a smaller mouth than Beacon, Haven tends to prefer smaller toys for fetching since it’s difficult for her to grab a large toy in midair.  Beacon has no trouble with this and seems to like these big toys.

Ever curious, we set both of the new balls on the kitchen floor to see which one each dog would choose.  Being such smart humans we wisely concluded that Beacon would go for the much larger Orbee Ball while Haven would select the small Snowball.  Additionally the Snowball has a minty smell to it and Haven loves the smell of our dental floss (she likes to lick the residue off of our fingers!) so our predictions seemed pretty close to a sure thing.

Beacon lived up to our prediction – he trotted straight over to the large Orbee Ball, snatched it up in his big mouth and trotted away happily.  Then we put the balls back in place and let Haven have a turn.  She walked over to the Orbee Ball, sniffed it, then turned and picked up the Snowball.  We were correct on both counts!

Or not.  After grabbing the Snowball, Haven then turned back to the Orbee Ball and somehow stuffed it into her mouth along with the Snowball!  Haven ran off to the family room, clearly very pleased with her haul and leaving us humans in the dunce corner.

Of course a dog would choose more than one!   Wouldn’t a child do the same thing?  Take both toys, not just one.  Not only are dogs like Beacon smart enough to recognize that bigger toys are generally reserved for him, dogs like Haven are smart enough to realize that two toys are better than one.  Amanda and I hadn’t thought about that option and Haven made us feel like fools.

Next time you set up an experiment for your dog, prepare to be surprised!  Your dog may be very smart, even smarter than you.

#48 – The Furminator

Since we’re now running a pet supply store we’ve done even more research on pet products.  One of the things we’ve been wanting to try is the FURminator.  We sell these in the store and wanted to be able to speak with knowledge about them.

I’m glad we purchased one to try out on our dogs.   We got a lot of undercoat out of them the first time.  We’ve noticed that when we pet them there aren’t puffs of fur flying.  There aren’t nearly as many furbunnies on the hardwood floor.

So while I sound like I could be in a commercial, I really do like this product.   It’s easy to use and doesn’t take a lot of time, especially if you use it regularly.  I even brushed one of our dogs with a comb that we’ve been using before using the FURminator.  And I still got a lot of fur out!

#47 – 2 Feet 4 Paws

I have been neglecting this blog for a while.  But I have a good reason.   Andrew and I started our own business!  We now have a pet supply retail store called 2 Feet 4 Paws.  We sell cat and dog supplies as well as wild bird seed. 

The retailer at the Critter Cottage, the store front that Vicky’s Pet Connection opened the end of July, moved out.  Andrew and I thought about the opportunity to open our own business and went for it.  We did a lot of research and discussing before making the final decision.  We’ve been open for a week now and things are going well. 

Our partnership with Vicky’s Pet Connection is a good one.  We’ve been volunteers for them for a few years now.  We do a lot of various things for them.  We have interest in the plight of animals in need of rescue.  

I will be working at the store as Andrew will keep his full time job.  We’ll both work Saturdays and evenings.  We’ll be able to answer VPC related questions.  We’ll be able to offer one-on-one interaction with customers, something that’s lacking at the bigger pet supply stores.  We also are focusing on healthy food and treats for cats and dogs as well as products that are good for the environment.   Once we have a website up and running we’d also like to incorporate online sales of items in our store to help boost profits and exposure. 

There is a lot in store for us and 2 Feet 4 Paws.  I’m sure we’ll be writing about it from time to time.

#46 – Four Dog Days

Toward the end of October we watched one of our former foster dogs for a few days. I’ve kept in touch with her mom who was going to be out of town on business. She asked if Andrew and I would watch Amber. Amber was one of our favorite foster dogs from March of this year. We didn’t have to think twice before saying that we’d gladly watch Amber.  We knew months in advance when she’d be with us for a visit.  We were planning on being foster dog free during that time.

But plans changed, as they often do in rescue.  We were fostering Teddy.  He was getting along well with our dogs.  He was easy to have in the house.  So we decided to continue to foster Teddy while Amber was with us!!  A week before Amber’s stay we had a play date with all four dogs at our house.  We wanted to make sure that everyone would get along.  They did.

So from a Sunday morning until late Wednesday we had four dogs in the house.  Teddy and Amber loved playing together.  Even Haven got in on the playing.  Beacon played a bit but he was more content hanging out by himself.

The first day that Amber was with us she and Teddy played for about six hours straight!!!  Non-stop running here and there.  Even if they were tired they would play while on their sides on the floor!  After that they were tired and realized that they could both relax.  All of the dogs behaved themselves.

They’d all sit and wait for dinner or treats.   Teddy and Amber followed the rules of the house.  Beacon and Haven helped teach them the ropes.  While it was hectic at times keeping track of four dogs, it wasn’t too bad either.  We hope that we have the opportunity to watch Amber again sometime.

#45 – Brotherly Love

Last month Andrew and I fostered Teddy.  He was a returned dog.  Originally he was adopted last fall when he was about 10 weeks old.  A retired couple adopted him.  The husband had a stroke and lost movement on one side of his body.  His wife needed knee replacement surgery this summer.  A neighbor kept Teddy for a couple months but the couple eventually decided that they couldn’t keep him.  

 Vicky took him back.  These circumstances weren’t the typical excuses we get for people wanting to return animals or even give them up if they weren’t adopted through VPC.  Andrew and I became Teddy’s foster home.

Interestingly enough when Teddy’s litter was young we fostered one of his brothers.  He was the last puppy left in the litter so we took him in.  He ended up being adopted by friends of ours in the area.   So we’ve been able to keep touch with Manitou. 

We took this opportunity to get the two boys together.  Manitou and Teddy loved playing together.  It was fun watching them interact.  It’s like they knew they were related.  It’s like they were having a reunion.  Their style of play was the same.  They even look very similar.  In the photo Manitou is on the left and Teddy is on the right.

We fostered Teddy for almost four weeks.  We were surprised he lasted that long because he was such a good dog.  We didn’t mind having him in the house at all.  Having him longer than a typical foster dog we were able to get together with Manitou a few times. 

Teddy was adopted the beginning of November and went to a great home.  He’s now named Coke and has a canine sister and some feline siblings as well.