Friday, February 28, 2014

Pixel's Special Moments with Mommy - Early Morning #RecipeForMoments

Pixel Snuggled in her Mommy's Arms with her sleepy head on Mommy's neck & shoulder, the first day they met
Mommy and I have an incredibly strong bond. We've shared that bond since the very first day we met, and it has only grown stronger and more special with each passing day, month and year. This month marks 6 happy years that we've been together! We love each other so much and share special moments every day. Special moments are important in any relationship and should be sought out because they strengthen the love and friendship we share with another.


In celebration of these special moments, I'm taking part in the BlogPaws #RecipeForMoments blog hop. Now, what makes a good  "Recipe" for Special Moments? They are as varied as they can be. No two recipes are exactly alike. Over the years, Mommy and I have created many different types of special moments together...moments we share throughout the day and week, some year after year. We cherish each one and never take them for granted. Some things get better with age, or with time, and that statement couldn't be more true than with Mommy and me. I'd like to share one of our very favorite special moments...our very first moment of everyday.

From the very first day I came to be with Mommy, I've slept with her in our bed. It was "her" bed on day one, but I quickly made it "our bed". When she's on the bed, I have to be there also. Plain and simple. I snuggle with her for naps, when she's sick, and of course every night I lay up against her, lay my head on her arm, and go to sleep knowing I am safe, warm and eternally loved. We sleep all through the night like this. What a perfect start to a wonderful recipe for a special moment.


Pixel Smiles while getting her belly rubbed by Mommy in the morning
Our wake up routine is a very slow, gentle way to start the day. When we wake up in the morning, the very first thought in my head is "Oh my goodness, I get another day with Mommy!" Mommy's very first thought is "Oh my goodness, I get another day with sweet Pixel!" Believe it or not, I am still snuggled up against Mommy from the night before, but once I see she's awake, I immediately roll over on my back. I rub my eyes with my paws and coo little puppy sounds through my smiles, all the while Mommy is loving on me and rubbing my belly.


Our recipe for these early morning "special moments" is simple: we mix two hearts that love unconditionally, dozens of little kisses from both of us, endless smiles and we blend it all together with lots of cuddles.
Mommy gives me little kisses, I give her kisses back. We talk to each other and she tells me how special I am to her. It puts smiles on both our faces as we share this very special love wake up call.




Pixel laying on her back smiling on the bed with her eyes closed and paws up
After we've snuggled, given kisses, talked a while and nuzzled each other's faces, I have to seal the love fest with something that I know will ensure Mommy is "marked with my love" all the day through. I roll on her! Yes, I do. Sometimes I roll on her arm, or her long hair, most often it's just symbolic as I "roll" on our blankets, but the meaning is clear and I MUST do it every morning. Our morning snuggle routine is one of our most cherished special moments of the day together.





Here is a special video that Mommy took a couple of years ago, where she was able to capture our early morning special moments love fest together.


Here's another video of me giving Mommy good morning puppy kisses. I never run out of affection for her!



So, what's your special "recipe for moments" with the ones you love? I'd love to hear about it. It can be most anything, because no matter what your recipe for special moments are, as long as the moments are seasoned with love, the recipe will be truly delicious!










Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Joy of No Tail Pain Today - Pixel Plays in Celebration

I've been dealing with an especially difficult tail nub nerve pain time since Valentine's Day, hence my lack of blogging, but Monday I was a different dog! I finally got some real relief to where I was a bundle of Pixel fun with Mommy, who was working from home. I spent LOTS of time bringing her toys, dancing into the room with a different toy each time. I had her in hysterics! Never mind that she had meetings all day as she worked from home. She did take a few breaks to indulge me and my Kong Wubba playing self. Here's her favorite photo that REALLY shows how much better I was feeling.

Pixel peeking through the flying flaps of a Kong Wubba toy while playing with her Mommy


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Joy of Being Mommy's Special Valentine

Pixel Blue Eyes wishes you a Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine's Day friends! I surprised Mommy today by pulling out, of all toys, my special "Puppy Love" red heart toy and brought it to her. I knew that she would know immediately what I was saying to her...that I am her special Valentine and she is mine. She absolutely loved that I brought this to her. We know each other's hearts because we were meant to be. Isn't it wonderful to have a special Valentine who just happens to be your soul mate? Mommy sure is mine!

Pixel says "I love you Mommy" with a super big for her Mommy
        

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Joy of Awards - Nominate Pixel for a BlogPaws 2014 Nose to Nose Award


Image of Pixel Blue Eyes dreaming of winning a BlogPaws Nose to Nose Award
I am a little dog with BIG DREAMS. Right now, a big dream of mine is actually possible, but I need the help of all my friends...so gather 'round, and let me tell you about it.
By now everyone should know how much I love BlogPaws. They are the premiere pet blogging and social media company that brings pet bloggers, pet parents and pet companies together to do wonderful things all in the name of us pets. Well, "Awards Season" is upon us and the BlogPaws team is currently taking nominations for the 3rd Annual Nose to Nose Awards. I am both a pet blogger and what they call a "micro blogger" (someone who uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter as part of their online presence), so there are several awards that I am eligible for. They have a total of 12 Nose to Nose Awards!!
Pixel Blue Eyes imagines that her name will be listed among the final nominees
I went to my very first BlogPaws conference last year, in May 2013. I remember sitting in the audience during the 2nd Annual BlogPaws Nose to Nose Award show thinking, "I wonder if I, Pixel Blue Eyes, will ever get a chance to be one of those winners..." Well, now is my chance!
The knowledge and friendships I've gained from being a part of the BlogPaws community, my experiences at the conference, and the opportunities I've gained from all of this has been extraordinary. I have grown so much as a blogger and can't wait to do even more!

Writing this blog for you has brought me such joy and I hope that I've brought some joy and laughter into your life as well. I'd be honored if you would consider nominating me for one (or several) of the awards. It's really easy to do, and I will give you all the information you need below.








AWARD CATEGORIES (that link to the quick and easy nomination forms):












IMPORTANT INFO YOU NEED TO NOMINATE PIXEL BLUE EYES:

Blog Writer's Homepage:  www.pixelblueeyes.com
(For No Tail Left Behind, it's www.NoTailLeftBehind.com)
Contact Name for Blog Writer:  Jenny Lewis
Contact Email:  pixelblueeyes.blog@gmail.com
Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/pixelblueeyes
(For No Tail Left Behind, it's www.facebook.com/NoTailLeftBehind)
Twitter page:  www.twitter.com/pixelblueeyes
(For No Tail Left Behind, it's www.twitter.com/NoTailLeftBhind)

HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS OF CATEGORIES I AM ELIGIBLE FOR:

Best Humor Blog
How often do I make you LOL, BOL, or even MOL (meow out loud)?

Best Blog Post
Here's some of my personal favorites that were a huge hit, along with the direct link to each post!

In Search of Long Lost Kibble - A Pixel Adventure
http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2013/05/in-search-of-long-lost-kibble-pixel.html

The Joy of Adventure - Pixel Tries Her Paw at Being a Survivalist
http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2013/04/the-joy-of-adventure-pixel-tries-her.html

A Twist of Fate on Pixel's Wordless Wednesday
http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2014/01/TwistFatePixelWordlessWednesday.html

The Joy of America's Independence - Pixel and her Sisters Get Into Character
http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2013/07/the-joy-of-americas-independence-pixel.html

The Joy of the U.S. Constitution - Happy Constitution Day!
http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2013/09/the-joy-of-us-constitution-happy.html

Pixel the Prison Pup Tells Her Tail
http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2013/11/happy-halloween-pixel-prison-pup-tells.html

The Joy of a Pretty Day - Pixel Dances in the Sunshine
http://www.pixelblueeyes.com/2013/07/the-joy-of-pretty-day-pixel-dances.html

Best Design
Whether for my Blog, Facebook page, or Twitter page...you know you like it.

Best Pet Blog Photo
(Look through my blog or Facebook page to choose your favorite)
See below for STEPS on how to get the photo link/URL for the ones you want to nominate

Best Pet Micro Blogger
(Do you enjoy my Pixel Blue Eyes Facebook and Twitter pages? How about my No Tail Left Behind Facebook campaign page? Well, they both count here, so why not nominate them both!

Best Cause Blogwww.notailleftbehind.com
(Through this educational campaign, I educate about the dangers of tail docking. I've helped hundreds of docked tail dogs and their families, shared lots of important information on how tail docking negatively affects dogs, and changed the hearts and minds of several breeders who no longer dock puppy tails thanks to learning from my Facebook and online campaign. I myself live with chronic nerve pain and permanent health issues due to my docked tail that was taken before I adopted Mommy.)

A panel of professionals will judge the candidates based on creativity, expertise, and performance. NOTE: During nomination, participants will NOT be required to garner votes or drive likes to their social media sites. Whew! Thank goodness for that!

QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE NOSE TO NOSE AWARDS:
1. Anyone can nominate a blog. That means YOU my friend.
2. There is no limit to the number of nominations you can make! As many blogs and as many nominations as you'd like.
3. Bloggers are judged on their expertise, creativity and performance in one or more of the 12 categories. 
3. A group of distinguished professionals in the industry will review and judge ALL the nominations and select the chosen final nominees for each category. There is no "daily voting" or anything like that. You just nominate the blog for as many award(s) as you wish in a short form available on the Nose to Nose nomination page. Each nomination must have it's own form filled out. (RULES)
3. Nominations WILL BE CLOSED by 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.
So get those nominations in as soon as you can.
4. The winners will be announced at the 2014 BlogPaws Conference in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night, May 10, 2014 during a glamorous live broadcast award show and banquet.

Image of Pixel smiling big at her friends
STEPS ON HOW TO GET PHOTO LINK/URL TO NOMINATE A PHOTO:
1. Select (click on) a photo you like in my blog or Facebook page. It will open up sort of "above" the browser window.
2. Right click on the photo and select "copy image URL".
3. Double check that the link works by pasting it into a new window or tab to see if that exact photo shows in a new window.
4. After verifying you copied the URL correctly, paste it into the "Best Pet Blog Photo" nomination form.

Okay friends, I've given you all the information you need. Now, go and nominate Pixel Blue Eyes and ALL your favorite blogs and photos for the 2014 BlogPaws Nose to Nose Awards!!


Monday, February 3, 2014

The Joy of Positive Pet Training - How Pixel the Trick Dog Got Started


I love doing all my tricks with Mommy. She's my one and only trainer, and has been all my life. Mommy has always been so positive, encouraging and fun to work with that I love to make her smile, laugh and be happy with all the interesting tricks I can do. I look at my training as a team effort, because I am after all half of the team. But how did my trick learning all start? And what is Mommy's technique?





Image of Pixel as a puppy reaching out to her Mommy
I was a good, sweet, loving puppy and it was true love at first site for us. As with any puppy though, I needed some training. Mommy used an approach that sprung forth from her mind clear out of the blue while I was actually doing something that was not a very good behavior to emulate, way back when I was a puppy. She took a negative behavior that she wanted me to stop, and turned it into my very first "trick/command", essentially taking a negative and turning it into a very positive thing. Here's what she did...






When I first adopted Mommy, she was in her last semester of college as a non-traditional student (she was much older than everyone else) and had a tiny little apartment near the school. She had no kitchen table, so she would often eat dinner on the couch while watching a little TV before studying or working on projects. I would sit next to her at the tender age of around 3 months old or so and try to get her to give me food by swotting my paw at or on her plate. I made a bit of a mess a few times, let me tell you. She kept telling me no or stop or whatever she would say, but I often kept doing it, so she'd put me down on the floor to make me stop. Mommy really wanted me with her on the couch though to be near her and visit, so one day the proverbial light bulb went on, and she suddenly thought, "What if I turned that bad behavior into a command or trick?"

For each subsequent meal, Mommy had a small bag of puppy treats. Any time I did that swap of my paw at her plate, she would say "SMACK", then give me a treat and say "Good Girl!" She consistently would say "smack", give me a treat and say "Good girl", each time I swapped my paw at her plate. It didn't take long before I caught the connection. One day she said it before I did it and had her hand in front of me. I made a big smack on her hand with my paw! OH my goodness, it was a celebration!! I got treats, hugs, good girl accolades, it was amazing! As time went on, I got better at doing it as a command. And more importantly, because it became a game, and I liked pleasing Mommy, I no longer swiped my paw at her plate. To this day, I can sit right next to her, even on top of her, and not reach for her plate. Her consistent love and patience in her training accomplished two things:
1. She trained OUT of me the bad behavior with positive reinforcement.
2. She trained into me my very first command or trick word.


Image of Pixel being super happy and smiling big when doing her "Smack" trick
Eventually, "Smack" became about five different tricks, each with a different word. I promise to go into how you can expand one trick into several in another Positive Pet Training post. But you have to start with one, and master it. Then you can expand. Several of my tricks are actually behaviors or actions I did on my own, and Mommy "reverse trained" me by turning them into commands that I can now do instantly with one word or phrase. My most beloved trick, of course, is my toothy smile. Mommy came up with the word "Sneer" as my code word. It was a trick that Mommy helped me master because I did it naturally. I just needed guidance with doing it on command.









Here's some quick "Positive Pet Training" tips from Mommy Jenny
to make it fun, successful and easy:
1. Choose one word or phrase for each trick/command and do not deviate from it. Always use the same word/phrase.
2. Keep sessions of learning short and fun. No more than about 5-10 minutes, though you can do it several times a day if you wish.
3. When first starting a new command, be patient when they don't get it. And if they even a little bit start to do it when you say the word, immediately give the treat and the good dog praise. You can fine tune the correction and finer details of it later, but they need to know they are succeeding early on so they keep trying.
4. Use tiny little bitty treats, so your dog does not get chunky from learning. Mommy has used gluten free rice cakes that can be broken up into very little pieces, or Rice Chex. You can also use one or two dog bones smashed up into tiny pieces (a ziploc bag and a mallot works wonders). The crunch is great for us pups, no matter how small the piece is, and there's hardly any calories.
5. If frustration creeps in during training from either you or your dog, stop and do something else. Play a game of pull toy or run around the yard. Always keep it fun with no stress. If the dog thinks they are "in trouble" they can get frustrated and either lose interest or become insecure.

**SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE**
Some tricks take longer to learn than others. It depends on the dog, it depends on the trick, and it depends on the consistency of the training. Mommy believes it also can depend on the history of the dog. It took me over two years to learn the safety word "WAIT" with Mommy. Wait" means "stop doing whatever you are doing and freeze so Mommy can pick you up". It can save a dog in many instances, including stopping them from eating something bad for them, making them stop in their tracks as they are running towards the street, or perhaps prevent them from stepping into a freshly broken glass of milk that fell to the floor.
For some reason, I thought I was going to get punished with that word and what it meant, so I would run away from her every single time. I would even cower when I finally DID stop running away, etc. Mommy always made sure that once I stopped and/or let her pick me up, it was always such a positive response from her. She'd never punish me for not listening, or not "waiting". She just ensured that when I finally waited, I was praised, reassured and loved on. She just kept working with me on it until I truly mastered it. She never gave up, never got mad at me, but was firm in her "WAIT" voice. Now I do it right away, and I still get all the praise and loving hugs in the world after I do it.

Image of Pixel freshly groomed and smiling as she talks about positive pet training
If Mommy and I can succeed with positive pet training, you can too! It can take a while, but the rewards are incredible! Now that I have so many cool tricks, I sometimes like to give Mommy 2 or 3 tricks at a time, just to keep her laughing.
Now, go have some fun with your dog. Learn together, laugh together and remember, always keep it positive!








Here is one of many videos that Mommy and I have made of me doing my tricks with her. You can tell we both have such fun! Go to my YouTube channel to see more amazing Pixel pet trick videos. And don't miss my "How does a car go?" trick video either! You'll be laughing so hard just like Mommy is in the video.







This "Positive Pet Training" blog hop is hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Dachshund Nola and Tenacious Little Terrier. Visit some of the participants below to see how they train their pets in a positive, fun way.
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