Thursday, December 31, 2009

Toby’s Strangest Search Keywords of 2009

Toby Time is slowly but surely gaining popularity (Go Toby!) and probably the best part is seeing all the strange ways visitors make their way to this site. Here are some of the strangest things people searched for in 2009 that led them to Toby Time:

can cavalier king charles wear a harness

Toby’s response: Yes, they can. In fact, they should!

cavalier king charles pumpkin

It is strange how many times people found Toby through variations of this search, including: cavalier dog pupkin, cavalier king charles spaniel pumpkin carving, cavalier king charles spaniel pumpkin carving template, cavalier king charles dogs in pumpkins, and can dogs eat pumpkin stem. Toby’s response to that last one: Yes, and apparently to no ill effect – see my Halloween blog post for proof!

how much is it to get king charles sprayed

I’m not sure what this person is trying to do, but I know this particular cavalier does not particularly like to be sprayed! On a related note, the person searching for Toby spray should know that Toby smells rather bad most of the time and any spray derived from or inspired by him would most likely be less than desirable.

1st birthday king

I hope this person was able to find what they were looking for on Toby Time.

bison and king cavalier spaniels dogs

I like to imagine Toby romping through a grassy prairie with a friendly herd of bison.

cavalier king charles spaniel heart problems how old can they vomite with this

Oh dear.

cavalier king charles spaniel puppies named toby

Well, this person is very specific about what they want. At least they came to the right place! Similar, but stranger, was the person who searched for: dog that looks like toby. What were they hoping to find?

holistic organic king charles cavalier spaniels

Mmm, that makes Toby sound tasty.

my cavalier king charles spaniel eats socks


psychedelic spaniel

Surprising. Understandable, but surprising.

when did king charles the first have ice cream

This person obviously got terribly lost on the Internets. In case anyone else is similarly lost: “Ice Cream, as a dairy delight, first came into popularity in the 1600’s. The story goes that Charles I of England's cook had acquired a Chinese recipe for ice cream and presented it as an after dinner desert [sic.] at a state banquet. Charles I was so impressed that he wanted this delicacy to be served only in his palace, and offered the cook 500 pounds a year to keep the recipe secret. However, this didn’t happen. Charles I was soon beheaded after coming under some serious unpopularity, and the “secret” recipe of ice cream was out.” See here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Three Training Books for Dog Owners

How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (Revised)

This is the book we used when housebreaking Toby. It’s a quick read and it seemed helpful for us because we had never housetrained a dog before. Now I hear about other dogs who still have accidents in the house even though they are over a year old and it seems hard to believe because Toby is so perfectly housetrained.

Good Owners, Great Dogs

I got this book to help with having a dog because I am a cat person by nature and wanted to make sure I didn’t wind up with a really badly behaved dog due to my own ignorance of how a dog should be treated. Growing up we always had pekingese dogs that were allowed to do whatever they wanted and they would always bite us and make messes all over the house. If I was spending so much money on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel primarily to get the well-mannered, friendly personality, I certainly didn’t want to ruin it by not knowing how to take proper care of him! I think this book was really helpful because now numerous people have commented that Toby is the friendliest dog in the world. He has proven himself around cats, random children on the street, strangers, and even pet rabbits. This book teaches you to be a confident owner without resorting to over-the-top Caesar Milan “pack leader” dominance tactics.

101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog

This book should probably be the next one purchased for Toby. He does know a few tricks: sit, lie down, stand up (on his hind legs), wait, and jump. However, he only does them when he wants to do them, and he is overly food-motivated. His attitude is definitely “What’s in it for me?”! I think he is smart enough to learn tricks, and he definitely wants to please people, but being so full of energy it is hard for him to concentrate if there isn’t a treat involved.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful

With the holidays, work, job searching (ugh!), etc., etc., Toby has not had an update in awhile! The weather here in Chicago predictably turned miserable, but unlike last year, this year Toby was fully prepared with new winter coat and dog boots.
Toby's winter boots and coat
Tell me again why I have to dress in this ridiculous outfit?!
Oh, right. Blizzard.
Toby’s new winter coat fit perfectly in length and strap size. However, the back strap was placed a little too far back and had to be adjusted. Before it was adjusted, I took Toby for a test run outside in the coat. He went to his usual spot and just looked up at me like “You really want me to go with this thing on? Well, ok, but you are REALLY not going to like the result!”
For Christmas one of Toby’s owners got a remote controlled helicopter. It has been terrorizing all the animals ever since.
Seriously, do not fly that thing over here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiny Cushion

This cushion is actually part of a larger dog bed, but of course Toby removed it. He has been trying for an embarrassingly long time to balance himself on this tiny cushion, and finally, success! He does seem a little annoyed. It's not like you don't have five other beds and blankets, Toby!

For example: the Sinister Cat Bed from Ikea:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Annual Vet Visit for the Whole Menagerie

A cavalcade of animals went for their annual vet visit the other day. Toby, being the young one, was unexpectedly the healthy one of the bunch. Of the cats, Sedgwick's weight seems to be spiraling out of control, even with its diet. She must be doing some secret eating on the side. Her main problem was an ingrown claw that she never lets us clip. Fortunately it was not infected. Gamera still weighs more than Sedgwick but is a bigger cat, and she has made some progress and lost a little weight. Her surprising new health problem is the development of a grade 2 heart murmur. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owner always expects the DOG to develop the heart murmur, not the CAT! Gamera is getting pretty old though, so it may be related to that. The plan of action right now is to wait three weeks and get a new examination when Toby gets his booster shot.

Toby's Health Update

Toby's heart sounded excellent, which is a good sign for a Cavalier. His hips and weight are also fine. He did have a small ear infection in one ear, which of course required a $43 tiny bottle of ear medication. Toby, being a sensitive type, of course hates getting shots, so we were going to go with a 3 year rabies vaccine. He ended up not getting it that day because he needed another vaccine that required a booster shot in 3 weeks. So he'll get the rabies vaccine then.

Importantly, the vet said that they are seeing increasingly high occurrences of Leptospirosis in dogs in the Chicago area. Surprisingly, these outbreaks have not been confined to large dogs or dogs in rural areas; they are affected all breeds and sizes of dogs from all over metro Chicago. Leptospirosis is a disease that dogs usually get from coming into contact with infected wildlife, so it is strange that urban dogs and smaller breeds that don't go hunting, etc., would be exposed to it. Unfortunately the disease can also be transmitted to humans. It affects the liver and kidneys and can be quite serious, even fatal in 10% of canine cases.

So, if you are in the Chicago area, definitely consider adding the lepto vaccine to your dog's annual regimen, even if you think he is never around wildlife or in situations where he might be infected. The vaccine requires one shot up front and then a booster shot three weeks later.