I received a super awesome treat in the mail this week!
Over the weekend I finished a couple of quilts that I’ve been working on. These are scrappy quilts, using up the ridiculous amount of small pieces of fabric that I’ve amassed. I decided that these small pieces were taking up too much shelf space, so it was time to do something with them.
I have a bunch of these that I’ve been working on assembly-line style, first piecing together the scraps by relative size and then those pieces together and then those and so forth, then added the applique, then made the quilt sandwiches, quilted, and then did the binding. I finally hand-finished the back side of the binding on these two over the weekend.
This BT head raw-edge applique is something I came up with myself and I’m pretty proud of how it looks. I did each one in a different fabric combination, so there’s a lot of variation on these. I’ll be donating them to the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue for fundraising – but for the moment, isn’t Coraline a cute model?
The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet by Victoria Stilwell
First up: I haven’t seen any episodes of the author’s TV show, so I don’t have any previous experience with her or her style. She takes the approach that we should try to understand our dogs and where they’re coming from and maintains that punishment isn’t effective (because dogs’ brains don’t work the same way humans’ do), both of which I think make sense. She also notes that if a person tries to be the dominant “pack leader” (as espoused by some other TV dog trainers), they end up as the “socially incompetent bully” rather than fostering a healthy environment within their house. This also makes sense! She also encourages each person to figure out what works with their dog and go with that type of training. Not every dog will respond equally well to clicker training, problem-solving exercises, shaping, or any other type of training; it makes sense to figure out what works in each case and go with that. Above all, “no matter how we choose to humanely and effectively change our dog’s behavior and teach necessary life skills, we should always respect the dog’s autonomy.” I heartily agree!
Stilwell covers some history and gives a brief overview of the basics of dog behavior, body language, emotions, motivation, sensory learning, aging, and more. A few tips are included here or there, though this book is primarily informational rather than overtly instructional. Plenty of references are provided at the end of the book and though I don’t feel qualified to judge the science included here based on my own (lack of) knowledge, the sources cited seem to be legit. If nothing else, dog-lovers will enjoy the super adorbs dog photos throughout this book.
full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books
I am super predisposed to love this book – it’s got dogs, it’s got cute tiny things, it’s got fiber, and it’s got making stuff. My only complaint is that there isn’t a Boston Terrier included among the two dozen breeds here. (The cuteness of the other breeds is off the charts, though, which almost makes up for that.) I haven’t done this type of wool needle felting before, but the instructions are clear and detailed, with lots of tips at the beginning for getting the necessary techniques down pat. Each pup is assembled from a series of smaller pieces (legs, bodies, heads, and so forth), which seems like it would make achieving the overall look easier. I don’t have a source for this type of wool locally (that I know of! If you know otherwise, please share!) but I hope to find some in the future so I can make some of these little cuties.
Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books.
K got me this adorbs little Boston Terrier toy for xmas.
How cute is this thing?! I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it before or had even heard of it – my BT-realia-sleuthing skills must be rusty! But I’m glad they were, because this was a super fun surprise.
Coraline has been welcoming Hermione to our home with a huge amount of playing.
They both love to play, which is awesome for them and for us (as we all know, a tired dog is a good dog). There’s lots of chasing, which I am not great at capturing on video since they move so fast, as well as tussling and bitey-face.
We are so pleased that they get along so well!
This weekend we adopted a second dog: Hermione!
Isn’t she adorable? We adopted her through the always-excellent Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, as we have all our dogs.
She loves to snuggle, as you can see. She’s about a year and a half old according to the vet’s best guess, and a few pounds lighter than Coraline. They get along terrifically!
She knows a few commands and we’re working with her to learn the ones she doesn’t yet know and to learn the routines we like to keep around the house.
Because we now have a gate to the back yard!
For some reason the previous owners put up a privacy fence but never finished it with a gate. Who knows why!
Anyway, we’ve been living with a make-do bit of snow fence on loan from Susan, and now it feels like such a luxury to have a gate that you can open and close!
The company we hired did a very nice job, I think, the same one that installed the continuous seamless guttering on our house, fabricating something to match the existing fence. We’ll have to wait to stain it (from reading online it looks like we should probably wait until spring – any expert opinions on this topic are welcome!), but the former owners actually left us the can of stain from the rest of the fence, so we know what we need to match as best as we can. We will likely re-stain the rest of it at the same time, I think, since it needs it. I need to do more research on it this winter.
In the meantime, though, I’m very pleased! We are hoping to adopt another BT sometime soon so Coraline has a playmate, and having this gate in place means we’re ready to go when we find one who would be a good fit.
It’s a gorgeous day outside, so we decided to brave the apartment complex dog park (more of a run, really) even though it is super muddy and gross. (Apologies for the not-great photos throughout this post. My phone camera can only do so much with a wriggling puppy.)
The minute we let Coraline off the leash, she took off running laps around the area, making sure to run right through the middle of the disgusting, stinky mud pit near the entry gate every time. Bits of mud were flying up everywhere, but it did not seem to bother her in the least. She mercifully did not manage to jump up on either of us.
There was, of course, all kinds of other fun to be had: poo to be smelled and shooed away from, leaves stuck in the mud to try to pull free, soggy limp sticks to try to shake, and many many spots to mark.
It’s so nice out! It feels like a reward for having made it through all the dismal days of winter.
Even before we got back to our apartment, it was clear that it was bath time.
While water is one of our favorite things, we do not like it when it is on our face.
We will put up with a good toweling off after bath, though, when it comes with kisses. Now she is all snuggled up under the exploding TARDIS blanket, happily worn out and ready to nap until dinner time. We are all very much looking forward to being able to go to the future Mount Pleasant Dog Park when it opens later this year!
You might not think that adorable Coraline is a ferocious beast.
And you’d be right. But she’s got teeth!