Real Giardia = Fake Grass

Josie, little poo nibbler that she is, got giardia twice in two months, so we decided to restrict her outside time to the front porch unless we’re standing directly over her, watching to see she doesn’t eat poo or grass. It shouldn’t be forever, but apparently this is a bad year for giardia.


I bought a rug made of artificial lawn.

I used the fencing that we used for her puppy pen, and I find that little square of green with the white fence hilarious.

It has quite a stink, with the rubber backing, but one day in the sun lessened it considerably, and reviewers say that a week or two should air it out completely.

Musette doesn’t care about the stink, or maybe she likes it.

I think cats are essentially paint huffers, with their love of burying themselves in packing peanuts, etc. Musette actually walked across our floor while the polyurethane was drying, and we have the barely visible prints to prove it.

If we decide we don’t want to use the rug anymore, there’s no reason we can’t install it outside. We have a terraced area that it would fit exactly.

Looks pretty real, doesn’t it? One thing to know about artificial grass. Real grass feels cool on a hot day, because of the water evaporating out of the ground. Fake turf can get hot in the sun. We have an awning for the front porch, so it doesn’t matter.

P.S. Musette isn’t fat, but she is older, so she spreads more, doncha know. Also, fur.


Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board

With the weather too cold to walk much, I decided to get Josie one of those dog treat puzzles. Many years ago, I got one of those clear acrylic balls that you load with treats and the dog rolls it around until some come out, and she was not a fan. She’s not much into balls, and treats that are in a container are off limits, and she is not much of a rebel – more of a groveler. So I gave that toy to Carly’s Shih Tzu, Roman, and it was a big hit. Roman is not a groveler, and when he wants the ball refilled, he carries it in to where his people are and slams it down on the floor.

For Josie’s second foray into treat-oriented puzzles, I bought the Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board. It’s an intermediate puzzle, which I figured Josie could handle, and wasn’t terribly expensive at about $12.25. The reviews were positive, unlike those for the puzzle made of pressed board of some type, which had cut some dogs’ noses. Ouch. Also, beging plastic, this thing is very washable.

It came with very specific instructions, and I followed them to the letter. Make it positive, don’t pressure your dog, give it treats just for interacting with the toy. I left the sliders partway open in the beginning, and she pushed them with her nose at first, but then moved on to using her paw. I had taught her “touch” just a few days before, and that helped. She would touch the yellow lever and I would take a treat from the compartment and give it to her, so she could see there were more in there.  Eventually she opened it quite by accident, and I told her it was all hers and gave her an even higher-value treat in addition. I got it about a week ago, and it’s taken her this long to get really good, mostly because she’s not bold, and had to get used to plastic things making noise.

I wanted something that would entertain her without me being there, and that hasn’t panned out yet. Josie is very submissive, and I still have to reassure her that it’s okay for her to just take food out of this. I imagine she’ll get over that in time, but she’s not going to be opening kitchen cabinets anytime soon. Ever, really.

One final thing – Josie weighs 3.5 pounds. This puzzle is a great size for her, but I’ve seen some by the same maker that have large cones that can’t be knocked over, and she wouldn’t be able to get her bitty mouth around them to pick them up. Just an FYI.




Fluffy, and also wuffy.

Josie O wasn’t always keen on brushing. When she had her puppy coat (thin and cottony), she preferred the Li’l Pals slicker brush with widely spaced, rubber-tipped wires that didn’t feel prickly on her skin. When she got her adult coat, those rubber tips started to pull on all that hair, so with more fur to protect her skin, I switched to a fine wire slicker brush with no tips – the JW Pet GripSoft slicker brush. Musette la Plume, my cat,  has the same brush and loves it.


Give me that windblown look, please.

I feel pretty.


Time to play now.

The first brush she would tolerate.

Josie’s adult brush. Both my pets have the cat version, but I’ve linked this photo to the dog one.

First walk with the dog sling

I’ve been wanting a dog sling for a while. They’re handy in crowded situations where a Chihuahua might get stepped on, but I didn’t know how much use we would get out of it, so I didn’t want to spend a lot. Then I found this sling from Outward Hound, only $26.52 with shipping.

In addition to this sporty yellow-orange, it also comes in pink or blue. At first it seemed kind of big for a 3.5 pound Chihuahua (it says it can hold dogs up to 15 pounds), but essentially it conforms to the shape of your dog.


Also, you can put a snuggle sack in the bottom, for extra warmth, and it’s still plenty big enough. The exterior is made of rip-stop nylon, and the interior is like the woven exterior of tough nylon suitcases. That was a definite plus, as many of these slings are lined with slippery acetate-type fabric.


For a few days after I got it, I would put Josie O in it and walk around the house a little, giving her treats. Then today, it was snowing so hard, I decided to give it a whirl. So I stuck her in a sweater and off we went.


Since it was snowing and daylight, I could barely see my phone screen. I also had to take one glove off, which kept getting in front of the lens.


The sling has two harness tethers, one at each end, with plastic clips that you squeeze to open. Interestingly, there’s also a strap across the bottom, which you could use to tie down a particularly obstreperous dog. The sling folds into a nice flat package, and I use that middle strap to hold it together. You can see those details on the product’s page. There’s an itty bitty zipper pocket on the outside that’s big enough for some money and a key, so if you want to carry more than will fit in your regular pockets, you’ll need to make modifications or carry your purse in addition. The shoulder strap is both long and adjustable, making it good for short and tall people.

I’m happy with the Outward Hound Sling. It’s gender neutral, works for a variety of dog shapes, looks very sturdy, and was inexpensive compared to everything else I saw.