July 18, 2017

Exercise For My Brain While We Exercise On Our Walks

I've been doing this thing over on Instagram. If we're connected there, you will possibly have already seen it. I call it "A Pup and A Plant Series." On our walks, I try to remember plant names, then I take a photo of Rita next to the plant, and try to do a little word-play caption.

I've done quite a few, so here are a chunk of them.

Rita and red roses.

July 11, 2017

Our Dog Is So Nutty: The Lemon Candy Caper

Rita, as I've mentioned before, is very picky. She's not much of a beggar because of it. Even things that normal dogs love (peanut butter, yogurt, etc.) don't get her excited. And there are some things she flat-out hates, like anything citrusy.

So one day when she took an interest in these sour lemon hard candies on our coffee table, I was curious as to why. These were definitely a novelty (I'd never bought them before) and she's usually interested in new things so I thought maybe she was just checking them out and making sure they weren't up to no good.
All threats must pass inspection.

June 27, 2017

Painting Pup Portraits in Acrylics

This past week my sis invited me to her house for a painting day. It was my first time painting pup portraits with acrylics, and it was a lot of fun.

Before we starting painting though, I had to get some kisses from my sister's adorable pup Stella.

She wasn't totally thrilled with being a model for my photography, but she looks so darn cute on this turquoise chair... I couldn't resist snapping some pics of her! (Because: turquoise. And what's better than dogs + turquoise!?)

June 20, 2017

When You Ask the Universe For Something, Be Specific

A couple of years ago, I saw a turquoise gnome in someone's front yard. I know you're not supposed to covet your neighbor's goods... but, damn, I coveted that gnome in my heart...

Mainly because I'm obsessed with the color turquoise, as this photo demonstrates...

June 13, 2017

A New Adventure in Old Town

The hubs and I are members with the Temecula Olive Oil Company (their oils are fantastic!), so once per quarter I get an email that our oils are available. Rita always comes along with me to pick them up at Old Town - a historic State Park, here in San Diego, considered to be "the birthplace of California."

We've been many times, and we always take a nice walk before stopping in at TOOC, which is dog-friendly so Rita always comes along in and gets a treat.

Well, this time when we were walking around waiting for TOOC to open, I noticed a shaded grassy area and, since it was a hot day, we headed over.

The first thing I noticed were the beautiful jacaranda trees. (So pretty! But so messy!)

June 6, 2017

A Little Adventure In Big Bear Lake

Recently we went to Big Bear Lake, which is only about 2 1/2 hours from San Diego, for a quick getaway. Big Bear was very dog-friendly, with leashed dogs welcome on the trails and on many restaurant patios.

There seems to be a by-law in Big Bear that there must be one carved wooden bear for at least every other house. (This guy was one of my favorites.)

May 23, 2017

Running With The Doggy

Not to be confused with Running With The Devil. (Personally, I'd rather run with my dog.)
I love my new running shoes. And my running buddy!

May 16, 2017

Our New Family Member. Or "Everybody Loves Carson." (Well, *I* love him anyway...)

Rita has come a long way since we first got her. We don't know if perhaps someone hit her with a stick or something in her past life on the "mean streets," but when she first came to us she would run away whenever I got the broom out.

And that was often, because: shedding! (Look at the pile of dog hair I've got going in that photo. No, wait - don't!)

May 9, 2017

My Dog Is A Walking Contradiction. Literally. Like, On Walks, I Mean.

Rita is... kind of odd sometimes. (Okay, a lot of the time.)

One thing that's odd about her is that she doesn't really like strangers... and yet, when we go on walks, she often turns up people's walkways as if she wants to go say hi. My normally antisocial dog starts acting social.

April 25, 2017

San Diego: Come for the Breweries, Bring Your Dog!

San Diego is well known for its craft breweries - there are well over 100 of them. (141 by this count!) If you like craft beer, this is definitely a mecca you'll want to visit one day.

And the good news is, you can bring your dog! Many of the breweries are dog friendly, and you can find a good list here, and a few additional places on this list here. One brewery we really like that isn't on either of these lists is Duck Foot Brewing.
And I cannot lie!

April 18, 2017

Your Face Is Going To Freeze That Way

Did your mom ever say that to you? Mine used to when I was a kid. I've been saying it to these two nuts a lot, since they play a lotta bitey face.

Most of my pics of them are just a blur, but I got a few where you can at least get the gist of the bitey face/ear/leg games they like to play.

April 11, 2017

Knowledge Is Not Bliss, But It Beats Ignorance!

A few weeks ago, I noticed a spot in Rita's armpit. It felt like a scab stuck in her hair, so I tried to pull it out, but then realized it was attached. I gave it a few days, thinking it was just a scab that wasn't ready to fall off.

When it was still there a week or so later, I figured we better get it checked. It was small, and I thought it was probably just a mole or skin tag, but made an appointment anyway. The night before the appointment, I took this picture of it.

April 4, 2017

Rita: "I Can See the Mother Country from Here!"

I really wanted Rita to be saying "I can see Mexico from my house!"... but technically we can't see it from our house. But we can see it from some spots in our 'hood.

(That's Mexico waaaay in the background.)

March 27, 2017

Book Review: #LOYAL from National Geographic & #TLCBookTours

I was contacted by TLC Book Tours and offered the chance to read and review "Loyal: 38 Inspiring Tales of Bravery, Heroism, and the Devotion of Dogs" It's rare to have a solicited post on Pooch Smooches, but this book called to me so I asked them to please send me a copy.

March 21, 2017

Signs of Spring... And Other Signs

Spring is officially here!

It's showing up in our yard, where our ice plant is very happy after all the rain we've had.

March 7, 2017

A Tale of Two Kitties. (Okay, Really, Cats. Sorta.)

Rita "met" two "cats" this past Sunday. Normally, she hates cats, which you may recall if you've been following the blog for ages, because there was the time we took her to visit my sis, and Rita went ape over not only the actual cat in the house, but also this stone cat looking down from a bookshelf.

February 28, 2017

Around Here, We Love An Under Dog

We usually cheer for the underdog here at our house. That doesn't always work out too well (take the recent Super Bowl for instance...). But we do have a particular favorite "under" dog...

Here she is under "cover":


February 21, 2017

Tap-Dancing Dog

This girl LOVES to play with her Himalayan cheese chews. Almost as much as she likes to eat them. (Those of you who are on Instagram have probably already seen this.)


Love that entrance!

February 14, 2017

Better A Beach Day That Starts Bad And Ends Well

A couple of weeks ago, we had a day at the beach that started out great and ended badly. (Due to a DADO* with his uncontrollable dog off leash at the on-leash beach.) But I don't want to talk about that because it makes my blood pressure go up. Instead... let's visit a day at the beach that started out badly and ended much better!

The other day, we got to the beach and it was not only super foggy, it was really high tide. Like, only-a-narrow-slip-of-beach-to-run-on-in-some-places high. There was tons of stinky seaweed all over the beach. (Dog heaven, right?)

February 7, 2017

At Least The End Is Getting Closer

We've had a wee break from the construction for our kitchen remodel, for various reasons, but now that that workers are back, Rita just... can't... even...

January 31, 2017

January 24, 2017

Stress-Eating Our Way Through the Remodel

As I mentioned last week, we've just started a kitchen remodel. And, naturally, Rita and I are both finding it stressful.

I have to keep Rita closed up in the back half of the house since she doesn't like strange men in the house (neither do I; and even if she did like them, they're constantly coming and going out to their trucks and leaving the door open, so either way - she's on lock-down).

She's mostly okay, but when she hears them talking too loud (or whistling - she HATES whistling for some reason!), she gets upset and starts barking.

A little shot of spray-cheese is just the thing to take the edge off and put her in a much calmer mood!

January 17, 2017

Under Construction... Almost

We here at Chez Pooch Smooches are on the eve of a kitchen renovation. (Ugh.)

Rita and I have donned our safety goggles and hardhats (not pictured) and are ready for the work to begin!

January 10, 2017

It's Like Living With a Mastiff Sometimes

My nephew Leo the mastiff often goes around with a drool rag tucked into his collar. He's a big sweetie - and he's also a big drooler!

Here he is demonstrating two techniques at once - the "strand" and the "bubble." Impressive.
Good job, Leo! (Photo credit: my bro)

January 3, 2017

New Dog Picture Books for the Collection

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a nice holiday season. Ours was lovely with too much food but lots of long walks (and a few runs) to try to counteract all the calories. Now it's back to the ol' routine...

I thought I'd share a couple of fun dog picture books we got for Christmas. We have a lot of dog books, but there's always room for more, right?

First of all, thanks to Jan at The Poodle (and Dog) Blog for mentioning Zen Dogs by Alex Cearns before Christmas. I got a copy for the hubs for one of his presents.
LOVE the cover!