RSS Feed

Tag Archives: whippet

Will My Whippet Puppy Ever Grow Into His Face?

This post was supposed to be about running and it was to be dedicated to my sister, Amy, who will be running her first half marathon next year.  But I must take a detour because my whippet puppy, Finn, has some serious issues going on with his face that I must address.

Last night I hopped into bed and right behind me was Finn (yes, we let our dogs sleep in jump on our bed).  It had been awhile since I took a good, long look at Finn so when face to face with the little guy, I couldn’t stop laughing at what I saw:

whippetsmile

I saw a little 5 month old puppy with a mouth full of brand-spanking new, over-sized adult dog teeth.  I should have known he’d be getting some grown up teeth when I started finding his puppy teeth around the house…I just didn’t realize the new teeth would be so huge!

No matter what angle I looked at him, I thought he looked hysterical and I could not stop laughing at the little fella.  What the hell happened to my adorable pup?  He looks like a total dork now.

And the dorkiness does not stop with his sparkling smile.  Anyone who knows a whippet puppy understands they have these enormous whippet ears that can stand at attention like no one’s business.  Well, Finn’s got a nice set of those too!  They are RIDICULOUS:

whippetears

I guess that, like babies, puppies go through stages and I believe that’s what is happening to Finn…he is going though an awkward stage.  Fingers crossed it won’t take long for him to grow into his face.

In the meantime, Finn may look like a dork dog, but he is my dork dog.

Making A So-So No Sew Fleece Coat for your Dog

I found a super easy no sew fleece dog coat pattern that I have modified a bit to include a tiny bit of sewing for the sake of durability.  That’s why I call it the ‘so-so’ no sew pattern…there is some sewing if you do it my way.  If you’re interested in NO sewing,  www.thewhippet.net site has an easy pattern… here’s a link (scroll down to the “No Sewing Skills? section).  If you want to make a similar but more durable version that requires minimal sewing, read on!

The great thing about this pattern is it’s not complicated, it doesn’t have to be perfect, there’s a lot of eye-balling involved, it doesn’t cost much and it’s great if you have a growing puppy because when he outgrows it, you’re not out a bunch of time and money.  Keep in mind the original pattern was designed  with the whippety type of canine in mind but I think it can work for other dogs as well.

Things you’ll need:

  • A dog.  This coat will not work on a small child.
  • Fleece.  A yard should do, depending on the size of your pooch.  Or, an old fleece blanket will do the trick too.
  • Scissors.  For cutting. 
  • Marker.  For marking your pattern.
  • Velcro sticky back squares.  These will keep the straps in place.
  • A sewing machine (or a friend who sews) if you use my So-So No Sew method.  That’s it!

WITHOUTCOAT.JPG

Sew, let’s get started (see what I did there?).  These instructions are based on the So-So No Sew method which involves sewing.  

  1. Wash and dry the fleece.  I never do this because my puppy, Finn, grows out of his coat before it even needs to be washed.
  2. Measure Fido from the base of his neck to the base of his tail.  Write it down.
  3. Measure around the “deepest” part of your dog’s chest.  Add a couple of inches.  Write it down.
  4. Fold your fleece in half lengthwise, right sides together, so that you draw the pattern below on the wrong side of the fleece.
  5. Here’s what the pattern looks like. patterncutout
  6. Using the first measurement you took (base of neck to base of tail), measure that along the fold of your fleece.  This is the part of the coat that covers your dog’s back. 
  7. Do some artistic free-style drawing and draw the doggy butt curve, then use your second measurement and draw the long straps. These will wrap around the deepest part of your dog’s chest.  Then finish drawing the pattern as outlined above.  Trust me, it’s a lot of eye-balling.  I’m a perfectionist and when it comes to this part of the process, I have to give myself a little pep talk that goes something like this, “It’s okay if it’s not perfect.  You’re not trying to win any awards.  Finn won’t know.  His doggy friends won’t even notice and if they do, screw them.  Just eye ball it girl.  You can do this.”  Go ahead and use my pep talk if it will help!
  8. Keeping your fabric as is (right sides together), sew the little area that will go against Fido’s neck (see diagram above).  I use a 1/2” seam but it doesn’t really matter….unless you use a 4” seam.  Don’t do that.
  9. Try the coat on your pooch, wrap the straps around his chest.  The ends of the straps should be on top of his back area.  Figure out the Velcro sticky back placement then stick those suckers on.  I always sew them in place for extra reinforcement.  You will want to do the same if you want the coat to last longer than a day. 
  10. DONE.  Your adorable dog has a winter coat to wear…until he outgrows it or wears it out.

finished dog coat    modelpuppy1

WARNING:  I found out what bored puppies do while waiting for a coat.  This little guy went around the house and brought me his toys, some tissue, my scarf, a lone sock and some ripped up paper.   Way to get attention, Finn.

boredpuppymess1

Like I said in my other blog, this will not win any fashion awards but it will keep your darling dog a little warmer!  So whether you make a no sew or a So-So No Sew coat for your pooch, they will be happy and warm and will look sew darn cute (see, I did it again!).

If Zombies Invaded Puppy School

I don’t talk about this much because I worry people might think I’m immature or a weirdo or something.  Deep breath.  Okay, here it goes…At the tender age of 45 I am finding myself totally into all things zombie.  No…I’m not into them like that.  I’m not a perv.  I’m into them the way normal people are into them:

Anyway, while attending one of our puppy school sessions, I was looking around at all the super adorable pups (except for that yippy yappy Chihuahua) and I thought, “What if zombies invaded the puppy school and turned all the puppies into zombies?”  Now let’s be real, I know people think about these things, I’m the only one brave enough to admit it.

So here’s how I think a puppy school zombie invasion would go down:

Puppies BEFORE zombie invasion:

cutehuskynormalgoldiewhippetpuppynormal

SITKA                             GOLDIE                                    FINN

Puppies AFTER zombie invasion:

sitkazombiepupgoldiezombie2zombiepupfinn

Yes, this is how I spent my free time tonight…turning puppies into zombies.

It’s almost Halloween folks so everyone go get your zombie on!!

Puppy Love – The Honeymoon is so over

I feel a little bad about writing this but the whippet puppy honeymoon is O-V-E-R!  I know, that probably makes me a rotten person to be tired of all the puppy crap so soon (figuratively and literally).  I wrote about being THAT lady…the one who unconditionally loves her perfect little pup…and I do love my pup.  I just no longer think he’s perfect.  He’s a puppy punk sometimes.

The little dude has no respect for the weekend sleep in tradition.   He’s up at the crack-o-dawn ready to go as if it were a Monday or Thursday.  Seriously, why doesn’t he understand that Saturdays and Sundays are the only two days we can chill a little in the morning?  Is it asking too much to just sleep a little longer?

And why is it that house training was great the first week (so much, in fact,  I thought he was borderline genius) and since we have been “working” with him, he has more accidents in the house?   I don’t think they’re accidents at all.  I know he knows how to tell us he has to go…He does it 95% of the time.  That other 5% of the time he’s thinking, “Screw you guys, I’m going wherever I want to go.  That’s what puppies do, sucka.”  That’s disgusting.  Bad puppy.

And why does he have to chew on used tissue?  We have allergies in this household so we are always using tissue.  We have tissue in every room of the house.  Why does he have to find it, pull it out of the trash and chew on it?  That’s gross.  Bad puppy.

And then there is the whole Ninja Puppy thing.  How can he disappear so fast?  One second I see him and know the situation is under control then the next second, Poof! He’s gone…vanished…out of sight.  We had to barricade 4 different areas of our house to minimize the places he can sneak off to and do Lord knows what.  I don’t understand how, while under our strict supervision, he ninjas his way over to the wrong side of the barricade then looks at us like he pulled off a trick that would leave David Copperfield in awe.   It’s annoying.  Bad puppy.

To help with our puppy woes, we are going to puppy school.  It’s really for us humans because the instructors seem to think puppies are perfect (ha!) and humans are the ones who need training.  During class last week, we (the human family members) were paying close attention to the instructor, while Mr. Finn, on the other hand,  was taking a ‘cat’ nap during class.  Very rude.  Bad puppy.

It might seem like I don’t like my puppy but I really, really do.  He’s still adorable.  I even made him a little puppy snuggie to keep him warm during the chillier fall days.  The snuggie won’t win any fashion awards but it could win an award for the easiest darn dog garment to make EVER.  You need fleece, scissors, measuring tape, marker, Velcro square sticky back thingies, and a sewing machine.  It’s supposed to be a whippet fleece coat no-sew pattern but I opted to sew the area by the neck and add Velcro to the belly straps instead of tying it.  So there were some adjustments I made to the pattern.

Start off with some cozy fleece…

cozy fleeceThen end up with this rockin’ garment:

whippet coat  whippet fleece coat

I just measured Finn (along back and around chest), sketched out my version of the pattern on the fleece with a marker, cut it out, sewed the neck area, stuck on some Velcro square sticky back thingies on the ends of the belly straps and it was done in less than 30 minutes.

See, I really do love my puppy.  He is teaching me patience, he is keeping me on my toes and he is keeping my mind distracted so that I don’t freak out about my upcoming half marathon.  That’s awesome.  Good puppy.

Puppies make me stupid, running makes me sore, wine makes me happy

That pretty much sums up this past week. This puppy parenting stuff is exhausting. I’m pretty sure it destroys brain cells at a faster rate than any kind of drug out there. I’m left with no energy for running, or cleaning, or anything for that matter. My brain is like a blob of goo.

Last weekend I took my son to his long awaited soccer game (3rd game of the season) only to end up at the wrong field. Once I discovered that mistake (a mere 20 minutes later…remember, I’m a little slow) we hustled to the car to head off to the correct field. One problem…I dropped my car keys somewhere on the field. My frantic son miraculously recovered  the keys and we are on our way. One other problem…I had no idea where I was going.  I’m new to this soccer mom stuff and had never been to this field, let alone to the part of town where said field was located. I pulled over every 10 minutes to look at my stupid ‘smart phone’ with no luck.  I even asked Siri but of course she couldn’t understand me.   Long story short, my son never played in the 3rd game of the season because we never made it to the field and I blame it on the puppy.

momentsofstupidity

On a happier note, I did manage to get my 10 mile run in today!  My goal was to finish in under 2 hours which I did…barely (1:58).  I’m pretty excited about that because I nearly talked myself out of it….soooooo close to not doing it. With my first half marathon 2 weeks away, this was not the time to blow off a run.

As usual, at the end of the run I was glad that I did it but I’m pretty sore right now. Weird things hurt…second toe on left foot, right ankle, left knee and both arms. Why my arms? I have no idea. Maybe I was swinging those guys with way too much enthusiasm.  Maybe I was trying to take flight.

When I returned from my run at 10:00 am, I enjoyed a piece of pizza and a cup of coffee. Breakfast of champions.  After that, I took an Advil then took a much deserved nap.  I love naps.  I was invigorated when I woke up so I used that newfound energy to do something fancy with my hair.  I was going for this look:

hungergamesorg Katniss from The Hunger Games

But got this look instead:

napoleandynamite Deb from Napoleon Dynamite

I couldn’t pull this look off as well as I could when I was 12 years old.  I stopped fussing with my hair and put that energy toward something more productive…Making wine!!!

I’m not sure if I mentioned that I love wine so if not, let me say it, “I love wine.”  Today was a great day because it was CRUSH TIME!  We make our own wine each year and it’s a fun family affair. We pick the grapes from our vines, de-stem and crush them old school style (by hand) then my husband does some scientific-like stuff and we watch the grape juice turn to wine!  It will take awhile (a couple of years) until we can drink it but cracking open a bottle of homemade wine with friends and family is always worth the wait.

crush Gdestemming

Lesson here – Stupidity and soreness will come and go, but happiness will last forever as long as you’ve got some good wine handy.

7 things to never do while running on a treadmill

Before I share my profound safety tips, I will say that I have no special treadmill safety training nor do I claim to be an expert on the subject.  I am just a gal who likes getting on the treadmill and when I do, I seem to come up with some pretty thought provoking stuff.  You might read these tips and think, “Yeah genius, I knew that”, or you might think, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that??”  Either way, I hope a little piece of safety information stays with you on your next treadmill journey.

7 Things to NEVER do while running on a treadmill

  1. Do not eat baby carrots while running on a treadmill.  They are a known choking hazard and can kill you if they go down the wrong pipe.  I know we technically do not have “pipes” that go down our throats but that’s what we say after we’ve recovered from a choking incident, “It went down the wrong pipe.”  Sometimes we say, “It went down the wrong thing,” which makes “pipe” seem like a much more technical term.   Eat your baby carrots before or after the treadmill.  Do not eat them while running on the treadmill.
  2. Do not drink martinis while running on a treadmill.  Sure, you may get thirsty but if you try to drink a martini on the treadmill, it will spill because those glasses have REALLY wide rims and liquid splashes out quite easily.  And don’t even think about drinking it out of a sippy cup.  That’s just criminal.
  3. Do not try to moonwalk while running on a treadmill.  Today I was on the treadmill and Michael Jackson’s song, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” came on and I SOOO wanted to break out in a moonwalk.  Couple problems:  One, I don’t know how to moonwalk and two, even if I did, I wouldn’t know which direction to do the moonwalk…toward the front of the treadmill or toward the back.  It’s complicated and possibly dangerous.
  4. Do not paint your nails while running on a treadmill.  Enough said.
  5. Do not invite your dog to join you while running on the treadmill.  I just don’t think it’s safe.  Is there really enough room for both of you?  What if your dog wants to go faster than you?  What if your cat, Fluffy, walks by?  If your dog really wants to go on the treadmill, you should take turns.  Humans and dogs sharing the treadmill is a disaster waiting to happen.
  6. Do not bend down to pick something up while running on a treadmill.   I’ve dropped my ear buds, my tissue, my safety clip, you name it.  I always forget that by the time I bend over to pick the item up, it has been flung off the back of the treadmill at warp speed.  Well, maybe not warp speed but at least 5.4 MPH.
  7. Do not listen to the wrong kind of music while running on a treadmill.  This is not really a ‘safety’ tip, just something I thought of and wanted to share.  Music can be a big motivator.  Whether it’s a catchy little ditty or a lyrical masterpiece, music can have a profound impact on a person’s run.  Here are a couple of songs that ended up on my running playlist and need to be removed ASAP:   Tired – by Adele, Harder to Breathe – by Maroon 5, Another One Bites the Dust – by Queen.  Bye bye songs.

I’m sure there are other things you should never do while running on a treadmill but these are the ones I could think of during my 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Maybe number eight should be, “Never try to think of things to never do while running on a treadmill.”

Happy, safe running!

QUICK WHIPPET PUPDATE:

Puppy Finn is still adorable

whippet finn

Training & treadmills & puppies, oh my!

Whew!  It’s been a quite a week of training and treadmills and puppies.  I might be exaggerating on the training and treadmill parts but the puppy part…that’s been crazy, man.

TRAINING

My half marathon is coming up and my training time is going down.  I’m pretty sure that’s not how the training books describe the training plan at this juncture.  On Labor Day I did an 11 mile run (miracle in my book) and I pretty much thought I was a rock star.  But then I had an epic allergy situation take place for the next few days and I was out of commission.  By Thursday, I was off my game.  I ran out of steam.  In less that a week I felt like I broke the awesome little running habit I formed.  So, what do I do when I need a  little kick in the butt?   I spend some quality time on Pinterest and look at the Health and Fitness page and ooh and ahh at the beautifully fit bodies, the really cool exercise routines and I promise myself that one day I will make that spinach-banana-chia pet-whatever smoothie.  Yum.

TREADMILLS

I got over my “I don’t want to run anymore” mood when I looked at a calendar and counted only 3 more weekends before the half (well, that and the Pinterest fix).  That was a nice tasty dose of reality…just as tasty as that chia pet smoothie, I bet.  Anyway, I tried running outside but the air quality was very poor due to fires in Central WA.   I busted out my trusty inhaler, ditched the outdoor runs and instead did some running on the treadmill.  I even did an 8 mile run.  EIGHT MILES on a treadmill!  Not a lot of interesting scenery but I felt great and was proud that I accomplished that goal.  I made fantastic use of my treadmill time and watched an episode of Rookie Blue, listened a bit to my audio book (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and I came up with a genius idea for treadmill manufacturers.

Instead of a calorie counting feature, there should be a feature that counts how many adult beverages you just earned.  Let me break it down:  Let’s say a glass of white wine is 130 calories.  As you’re running on the treadmill, burning up those calories, an image of a wine glass starts to appear.  As you burn more calories, more of the wine glass image is revealed.  Once you burn 130 calories, your treadmill lights up the entire wine glass image. BAM!  You just earned yourself a guilt free glass of wine. When you burn 260 calories, two wine glasses light up.  Guess who gets two glasses of wine tonight??  And it doesn’t stop at wine.  You can program it for martinis, margaritas, cosmos, whatever floats your boat.  Anyway, I thought it was an amazing idea…Award winning stuff.

PUPPIES

So when I’m not coming up with ways to revolutionize the world of treadmilling (pretty sure that’s not a real word), I am busy with being a puppy mama which leads me to the Whippet Pupdate:  Finn, the whippet puppy, is ridiculous.  We cannot take our eyes off of him for two seconds.  I’m not exaggerating.  We can take our eyes off of him for one second but not two.  He’s crazy fast and just disappears in a flash.  It’s like his super power…We don’t even know how he does it.  One second he’s at your feet, the next second he has vanished into thin air.  Here’s a typical conversation at our house:

Me:  Who’s got Finn?

Husband:  I thought you had him?

Me:  I thought YOU had him!  Garrett!!!  Do you have Finn?

Garrett: What?

Me:  Do you have Finn?

Garrett:  No.  I thought YOU had him.

Me:  Crap.  Where’s Finn??  We gotta find Finn.

This conversation takes place 4 or 5 times a night.  It reminds me of “The Walking Dead” when the adults always lose Karl.  Karl is probably around 9 years old roaming around unsupervised in a land full of ravenous zombies.  He’s the one and only child on the show that the grown ups must keep an eye on but Karl ALWAYS manages to disappear. Seriously grown ups, how can you lose Karl?  If you’re a fan of all things zombies, you’ll love this show.

Anyway, back to Finn…

finnplaying Finn looking playful

finngarden Finn looking thoughtful

finncollar Finn looking just plain adorable

Finn is a great addition to our family but I can’t wait until he’s old enough to start running with me.  Then it will be Slow Girl and really, really fast dog!  He will be the perfect solution to my “I don’t wanna run blues.”