Sunday, October 28, 2012

I had a tail-wagging Howl'oween!

I love Howloween! I get to eat treats and play dress up.  I think my mom likes the dress up part more than Solo and I, but we don't mind the attention when wearing cool looking costumes. This year my brother and I attended three Howloween events and wore a variety of costumes.

image by Vernon Jacobs
We  attended a Howloween Birthday Bash with our social group on October 21st. We had a furtastic time hanging out and shopping at Okashi Barkery. We took photos with all of our friends and ate as many treats as we could.

I loved the Trick or Treat bar. I was always sniffing the floor and did lots of tricks for the lamb lung treats. Solo spent most of the time on the pink sofa while posing for pictures. My brother is a little hamball when posing for pictures.

we tried on clothes that made us look stylish, woof.
We also enjoyed posing for photos with Vernon Jacobs and singing happy birthday to all of the October, November, and December birthday pups. Our friend Jun hired Vernon to take Howloween pictures in celebration of her birthday. Thanks Jun! You can see all of the cool photos by Vernon on my facebook page.
Solo getting a bday kiss from his girlfriend Jun
Solo's birthday is in December too. He was one of the extra special pups who celebrated Howloween and his birthday during this one big event.

mom clowned around with us too
A week later, Solo and I attended Gussied Up Dog Boutiques' 9th Annual Doggie Social and Costume Parade in Willow Glen. Solo and I strolled up and down Lincoln Avenue with our friends and collected many tasty treats. There were 19 places to pick up treats, coupons, and look over merchandise. The last stop was at Gussied Up where we received a raffle ticket. We did not win any raffle items but the bag full of treats was good enough for our tummies.

Our parents also received a big piece of cake at the end of our trick or treating excursion. Kim, owner of Gussied Up, knows how to spoil us and our parents. Woof woof!

hanging outside of Gussied Up with my canine friends
Our last event, Strut Your Mutt Howloween Pet Parade and Costume Contest, was held in Palo Alto's Town and Country Village. Registration for each dog was $20 and one hundred percent of the proceeds went to the Humane Society Silicon Valley. We did not mind our $40 registration fee since the money would help save animal lives. After we paid, we each received a goodie bag and waited for the festivities to begin.

anyone need some ketchup on their hot dog?
The organizers were a bit overwhelmed and canceled the parade because too many dogs were in attendance. We were bummed the parade was canceled but each dog was able to walk across the stage for the costume contest. We did not win but we did like the head scratches by the fans after our fifteen seconds on stage.

we saw a flapper and a witch
Jun sparkled in her furmaid costume and crown
After the event, we visited Touleh Pet Boutique and ate crunchy cheese treats with our friend Jun.  They were tasty. Eating treats is pawesome and eating twice as much during each Howloween event is doubly pawesome! Woof, woof!

put a fork in us. we are done
I love, love, love Howloween and cannot wait for more Howloween next year.  This was my brother's first Howloween and he had a blast. The only thing we need is a bigger trick or treat bag for next year... nom nom nom!

Who are we wearing? So many costumes and so little time to wear them all. Here is a breakdown of what Solo and I wore for each Howloween event. Solo and I wore clown costumes by Pampet USA while at Okashi Barkery. While attending Gussied Up's Howloween event, Solo wore a blue one-eyed monster suit and I wore a skeleton suit both by Casual Canine. I got creative and wore a chicken hat with my skeleton costume half way through the Gussied Up event. I borrowed the chicken hat from my cat roommate Nibbles. While in Palo Alto, Solo wore a Heinz ketchup costume by Rasta Imposta and I wore a hot dog with ketchup costume by Casual Canine.

Solo's favorite outfit - the clown suit
My fav - I liked my chicken bones costume
Keep wandering.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bark for a cure and Iris! Woof woof!

Walking for canine cancer is the only way to wander around in October.  I know many pups like to wander around on Howloween and eat treats, but raising awareness for canine cancer and honoring a dear friend is on the top of our October to-do list.

 (left to right) Clyde, Solo, and I resting before the walk
My brother and I participated in Morris Animal Foundation's annual K9 Cancer Walk on September 30, 2012. The entire event raised over $53 thousand dollars for canine cancer research! Solo and I walked the long and short course. I completed the entire 2.5 miles in 45 minutes.  My brother had a harder time.  He is only 10 months old so his little paws were tired after a mile.  Solo spent the rest of the time sitting in mom's Soft Touch Pet Pocket while I finished the walk for both of us.

Our dear friend Iris was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. My brother and I were saddened by the news. Our friend Clyde is Iris' little brother. Clyde walked with me last year and this year we chose to walk in honor of Iris. October is also breast cancer awareness month so we knew we found the perfect moment to support Iris.

"we walk for Iris and canine breast cancer"
Mom printed out signs for all of us to wear. We also wore pink to help make our awareness of canine breast cancer known to others. Many humans and canines were shocked to hear about Iris having breast cancer. I admit it. Sniff sniff sniff. I had no clue dogs could get breast cancer until I heard about Iris. I then learned that unspayed dogs have a 26% chance of developing mammary tumors. That is a shocking statistic, hhoowwll.

Iris in decorated surgery bandage
Iris had one surgery to remove her mammary tumor found earlier this year. She has recovered from her surgery, but doctor's have found another tumor in another one of her mammary glands. Iris and her family are currently discussing future medical options with her veterinarian.

Solo and I were honored to walk on behalf of Iris at the K9 Cancer Walk. We wish her all the best and a speedy recovery in any future medical decisions. We love you Iris! Woof woof!

Iris Margaret Boots - You are our superwoman!

Keeping wandering.

Who are we wearing? We made our outfits this year. Solo and I visited our local thrift store in search of 0-3 month old baby shirts in pink. I found two identical pink tank tops for Solo and Clyde to wear. They have the same wooftastic foster mom and I thought it would be cool if they wore matching outfits. I found a pink t-shirt with a picture of a mouse on the front for myself.

Mom shortened my shirt and resewed the sleeves. She also shortened the belly section of Solo's tank top, tailored in the sides, and resewed the straps. We liked being the only dogs in pink homemade shirts. You will definitely see us in pink again next year!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What type of harness do you wear?

I love to accessorize with my outfits.  I can add a cute collar or a cool hat to my clothing ensemble.  I have lots of choices when pulling together an outfit but I always need to wear my harness.

side view buddy belt in bamboo
Harnesses are the greatest invention for dogs.  Any dog with trachea, neck, and/or back problems should consider accessorizing with a harness. I am a Yorkie with a long body.  I am 12 inches long from the nape of my neck to the base of my tail. My brother Solo also has a long body and measures at 11 inches long. Our long bodies and sensitive tracheae are the main reasons why we wear harnesses.

my bro and I sleeping comfortably in puppia
I have tried on a variety of harnesses in my lifetime but only two harness designers have appealed to my inner bark.  Puppia and Buddy Belts are two of my favorite harnesses.

puppia in camo
I like my Puppia harness because of the soft fabric and quick release snaps. I have one complaint about the Puppia harness; I have to push my head through the harness when putting it on. I don't like to mess up my hair while squeezing my head through the neck hole. This is why I tried out the Buddy Belt.

buddy belt in dogzilla
The Buddy Belt is a step-in harness.  I do not have to push my head through in order to put on my belt.  More importantly, the Buddy Belt comes in a variety of cool colors and textures.  My favorite color is Lagoon and my brother likes Dogzilla.  Similar to the Puppia, I found one thing troublesome with the Buddy Belt. The leather stretches very easily.  I now buy my buddy belts a half size smaller. This allows me to break in my Buddy Belt while maintaining a tight fit.

puppia in camo (right) and buddy belt in bamboo (left)
I have been asked on numerous occasions if I cough or choke while wearing my harnesses. I admit I am not the best walker. I like to pull on the leash at the beginning of my walks.  I know, I know. This is a really bad habit but I cannot help myself.  I love walks and get really excited.  I always choke when I pull on the leash.  My Puppia harness covers my lower neck and my entire chest.  This causes a lot of strain on my trachea and my neck.  This even happens when I wear my Buddy Belts. The Buddy Belts only cover my chest but I still cough due to the strap that cross my chest.

One day, my friend Jun overheard my mom talking about my pulling, choking, and coughing habits when taking a walk.  Jun recommended that I try a choke-free harness.  They are designed to sit low on a dog's shoulders to eliminate pressure on a dog's neck and throat. I had to try this out for myself.

cousin Obi trying on Jun's choke-free harness (this is his happy face)
I ran to my iBone and ordered my choke-free harness from Sassy Pup.  There was a wide variety of colors to choose from. Each harness also comes with a paw print or flower embellishment.  I think the paw and flower adds a cool flare to the choke-free harness.

I received my harness within a week.  The choke-free harness slipped on nicely.  I stepped into the harness and mom attached the velcro straps against my shoulder blades.  I immediately noticed that the choke-free harness sat 1/2 inch lower on my chest when compared to the Buddy Belt.  The harness fit over my clothes nicely and was very comfortable to wear.

walking for canine breast cancer in my choke free harness (right)
I have taken over 10 walks in my choke-free harness. I also walked two miles in my harness to support canine breast cancer. So far, I have not choked or coughed while wearing my choke-free harness.  Plus, I don't push my head through and the leather is not stretched out. This is definitely a harness I could wear every day, to every occasion, and with every outfit.

choke free black with paw print
I highly recommend the choke-free harness to any dog.  Order one and try it out. As an added bonus, the choke-free harness is Made in the USA and comes in a variety of matte and shiny hues. Keep wandering while accessorizing with your choke-free harness. Woof!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

YTNR Smoky Award Nominee - Solo Nho Xiu

Every year the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue (YTNR) holds an annual meeting for the board members and friends of the organization to meet and discuss all things Yorkie.  I have never been to a meeting but I read all about the annual event in the October YTNR newsletter.

A month after rescuing my brother, my mom and I received a letter asking for a Smoky Award nomination.  Each year YTNR gives a Smoky Award to one lucky Yorkie rescue.  I jumped at the chance to nominate Solo for the Smoky Award. I think he is awesome and wanted to showcase his Yorkie awesomeness to the organization.

I told mom that I would take care of the letter. I worked day and night on the letter with minimal treat breaks. I finished the letter, located a few pictures of Solo, sent in my nomination along with the pictures, and crossed my paws.

Dear YTNR Board Members,

My name is Chewy Nho and I would like to nominate my newly adopted brother for the thirteenth annual Smoky Award.  My brother’s name is Solo Nho Xiu but YTNR knows him as Milo. I believe my brother should win this year’s Smoky Award for four furtastic reasons.

First, Solo showed extraordinary levels of self-control during our first 24 hours together.  I first met Solo on July 15, 2012. My mother and I drove from Sunnyvale, CA to San Diego, CA to pick up my little brother. This was my longest car ride, 10 hours. You could only image how my newly adopted little brother felt.  He did not know who I was, he did not know who mommy was, and he did not know the smells of our car.  He was very scared but he did not bark, whimper, or shake. He maintained his fear by sitting close and bonding with me immediately. He sat right next to me while we drove from his foster home to the hotel. I loved every minute of it too. While at the hotel, we sniffed around the room to check everything out. Solo showcased his self-control again. Solo did not go to the bathroom in the room. He held his potty until Mommy took us outside. Since that first night, Solo has traveled all over with mommy and I.  We take rides around the city and visit our local dog boutiques. He especially likes our weekly visits to the mall and monthly play dates too.

The second reason why Solo should receive the award is due to his linguistic skills. I am a bilingual dog.  I know some of my commands in English but most are spoken in Vietnamese.  Solo was very patient with mommy and I while he learned the new language.  He often gave weird looks to indicate his confusion but he was patient and tried his hardest. After a few weeks, we was sitting and lying down when hearing mommy’s commands in Vietnamese. We are currently working on stay. He is a smart little brother and has already mastered the 10-second sit and stay. Real soon Solo will be at the 45-second stay. It took me awhile to get to 45-seconds but I know Solo will get there with ease.

Solo has overcome much in his 8 months of existence. He has traveled from breeder, to shelter, to foster home, and now to his forever home. Solo has met a variety of people and animals too. He is a true animal lover and this is my third reason for why Solo should receive the Smoky Award.  Mommy was worried that Solo might be scared of our cat, Mooch. I have loved cats since I was 8 weeks old.  I told Solo about my feline friend, that he lives in the backyard, and I love to play chase with him.  I was not sure how Solo would react to seeing Mooch for the first time.  I know Mooch is friendly but I would hate it if Solo tried to eat Mooch during this first encounter with him.  I decided to walk Solo out to see Mooch for the first time.  I walk up to Mooch and sniff the air.  Mooch does the same. That is how Mooch and I greet one another.  Then it was Solo’s turn to greet Mooch. Solo walked right up to Mooch, they touched noses, sniffed each other on the face, and Solo gave Mooch a great big lick on the nose. Mooch sneezed and cleaned off the slobber on his nose with his paw, looked at Solo, and walked away. After that moment, Solo and Mooch have become great friends. They run and play tag without any signs of fear or aggression. They just have fun. I guess that first kiss should have been a sign of how much they would love playing with each other.  To date, Solo has sniffed and liked every canine, guinea pig, hamster, and rabbit he has met.

Lastly, YTNR should award Solo with this year’s Smoky Award because he is a great traveling companion. I take Solo with me everywhere. Within the first month of Solo’s arrival, he met all of my closest doggie friends at a variety of doggie socials and play dates, eaten with other dogs at three dog friendly restaurants, wore 5 brand new outfits, worn a lot of my clothes too, raided the toy box over a 100 times, and traveled to the ocean to watch a parade… woof woof woof! My brother knows how to be a good dog and enjoys my busy lifestyle. While we are sniffing around town, Solo rarely barks when out and knows the quiet command in Vietnamese. He has not urinated in a pet store, wag on wood. He also enjoys hogging all of the room in our stroller too. After one walk in the stroller, Solo was in heaven and never thought twice about putting paw to tile during our weekly visits to the mall. Solo is a great traveling companion and knows how to hang with the big dogs. He is truly a perfect brother.

Woof woof! I believe my brother should be the recipient of the thirteenth annual Smoky Award.  Solo’s unquestionably self-control, his ability to understand multiple languages, his animal loving ways, and great traveling skills highlights his versatility and unique personality. My mommy and I love Solo very much and are very happy to have him in our lives.  I even featured him in a very special blog post,

Thank you for considering Solo Nho Xiu for this award. I think he is the most pawsome brother a Yorkie could ever ask for!  He is definitely #1 in my dog bone book.

Woof and a wag,
Chewy Nho

My brother did not win the Smoky Award but he did like his official YTNR Smoky Award nomination certificate. He felt honored to be nominated and enjoyed reading my nomination letter. He gave me a big kiss on the nose for my efforts. Thanks bro, and right back at ya ... LICK!

I love my brother.  There is nothing better than sneaking up and scaring him on a dark night, stealing his treats when he is not looking, and blaming him for the holes I dig in my mom's garden. BOL! Just kidding. All joking aside, my brother is a great addition to my family.  A big WOOF WOOF to YTNR for saving my bro.  If the organization did not take care of him I would have never found him.

Keep wandering.