Monday, November 25, 2013

DIY No-Sew Snood Pajamas

Traditionally, a snood is one of those old school nets that women would use to hold the back of their hair. Fugly. Nowadays, a snood is a kind of head scarf thingy, like if a knit cap and a scarf had a baby. It's not uncommon to see sighthounds wearing snoods since those breeds tend to get cold very easily. Well, guess who else is temperature sensitive. Yup, Princess Zainey and Sir Bolt. While Zainey is just a high-maintenance diva, Bolt actually has very little fur on his precious neck. They both like to be covered with blankets when they are cold - the only problem with this is that every time they get up, the blanket falls off. Problem solved - enter the DIY fleece snooded-jammies!
DIY victims 
Super easy to make (see lame instructions below), these can be as simple as you like (just cut and wear), or made fancier by adding a fringe edge, seems, or embellishments. Right now, ours are the cut and wear variety, but a quick trip to the craft store will fix that. Either way, you already get one bonus finished edge since the pant cuff is now the top of the snood.

I love it! These are lightweight enough to wear around the house and warm enough for naps. It's perfect for the dog that likes to burrow - just pull the snood up around the muzzle and voila ... instant coverage!

Materials Needed: old pajama pants, scissors, and a glass of wine. Seriously. That's it.
(Make sure the pant legs are big enough to accommodate your dog's girth and that the material has some give for comfort and is visually forgiving for a raw cut edge - fleece is best.)
(Click to enlarge)
A couple of notes: 

'I don't thinks we iz in focus'
~ Cut the body length first and fit the former pant leg/now pajama body on your dog before you decide on arm hole placement - that way you can see how much 'snood' you want coming over the head and then mark the arm holes. Even though I did this, I still managed to screw up and put the arm holes on Bolt's PJ's too close to the head hole (I apologize for using such technical terms) and now his snood is really just a super tall collar.

~ If your dog is long like Z, you can include part of the waistline elastic in your design which adds a little 'grip' to the hind end area of the material.

'WHAT?! I can't hear anything'

~ Don't expect a flawless piece. These aren't going to be perfect, but they will be FREE. The snood portion fits well on Z, but the body is a little more form fitting than I'd like. The opposite is true for little B - his snood is very loose and airy, but the body fits well, like a little nightgown.

~ Start larger and trim from there. You can always cut more, but you can't glue it back together. Keep the PJ's big and then re-cut and re-size as fittings indicate. I cut a damn arm hole too big, so I ended up doing some sewing.

~ Boy dogs have a penis! I've always had girl dogs so I forget that boys need special accommodations for their potty sticks. I wanted to leave Bolt's gown longer for more warmth, but a wet tummy area after a trip to the backyard reminded me that boy dogs can't have their tummies covered. Whooopsy...pee-peed PJ's!

~ Don't leave dogs unattended in clothing. They can twist, get limbs caught, panic and injure themselves. I forgot to take these off of them last night and woke up with Burrito-Bolt! Ha! Of course, it's only funny because I was there to fix it. (It really was cute though  - like a fleece chimichanga with ears!).
'I iz seriously so cozeeee in here'
So, there you have it! Cold weather DIY for you and your dog! Now, go grab your favorite sh*t stained pajama pants that you were gonna toss out and re-purpose them into wintertime snooded-jammies for your dog!

Voted Most Romantic - Bolt
p.s. The best part...I still have the pajama top, so now the dogs and I have matching family PJ's! Fancy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

(Thank you interwebs for all the Ryan Gosling memes that get me through my days!)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Girls Gone Wild!

This is my idea of a girl's day out. No spas or shoe shopping or talk about relationships and feelings. Ugh - yuck - no! For me it's all about dogs, open trails, stickers in my hiking shoes, and a good friend who get's it (Wuddup, Patty!). It's been a while since we've been able to have one of these somewhat strenuous, but completely awesome, off-trail, off-leash, dirty days with our girls, and Z and I have both missed it! Just the sight of our friends waiting in the parking lot last Sunday brought uncontrollable whining from the backseat (Z, not me - I was the one driving this time). Sure, there was the usual snarky moment from Z toward Soph when we got out of the car, but that's only because she loves her soooo much; she just has a weird way of showing it!

Get outta my way, slow poke!

Conflicting schedules and 'second children' (our bratty-blonde-bimbo-boy dogs) have kept us from doing much of the girl thing, but when we do, there's something we've both noticed - our 'little girls' are mature dogs! They've grown up. Of course I can't speak for Patty, I'm mainly speaking to my own situation, and this is how I see it... Yes, the girls both have a quirk or two, but their awareness level and demeanor are just so different from the boys. And wow - they have actual attention spans! Is it age? Gender? Probably both. Sorry for being sexist (not really, but I think I'm supposed to pretend like I am), but while the girls can be a bit bitchy (I'm looking at you, Z), the boys can be flighty air-heads and just a little dense at times.

You know how, let's say two people in a relationship are leaving to go to a friend's place for dinner... while the woman is getting everything together and talking on the phone and grabbing a bottle of wine and putting on lip balm and feeding the cats and yet (annoyingly) still has to remind the guy that's just standing there to grab a jacket???.... Well, the differences are kinda like that. One's quick, in control of the situation, and tuned in to everything going on. The other one - not so much.

It's a generalization, so what. I'm not saying it's like that all of the time with people or our dogs. Here's more on that though - while the above scenario is unfolding the energies of both parties are very different. While one might seem to have a higher anxiety level, the other might as well be watching cartoons somewhere in the back of his head. Neither is better, just different ways of processing, I suppose - just like our girl vs. boy dogs. I appreciate Z's cunning brain, intelligence, and nowadays - just her general awareness of what is going on. I also appreciate Bolt's softness, innocence, and wonderment of all that is new to him.
I'm fine here - just leave me...I'll live off the land.
This must be what it's like when other people have human babies - you think you know what you've got and then that second child comes in and throws highlights all over the things you never noticed before. The only real difference I can see is that my kind of kid can poop in the woods - Yea for me, I win again!

[Side note: Google the above subject and you'll find plenty of opinions on male vs female dog personalities, temperament, and learning. Here's a 2009 article by Patricia McConnell that basically sums up some random beliefs and ends with 'we don't really know until there's more science' (remember, no stamp from a guy in a lab coat = no proof, either way), but it does start with this well known gem - “If you want a good dog, get a male. If you want a great dog, get a female and cross your fingers.”]

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Man in the Middle

in·ter·me·di·ate (adjective) \ˌin-tər-ˈmē-dē-ət\
: occurring in the middle of a process or series
: relating to or having the knowledge or skill of someone who is more advanced than a beginner but not yet an expert

Bolt 'graduated' from Intermediate Obedience this week. Yea! Despite missing three weeks of class and practice and having to cram some make-up in at the end, they let him pass. I thought we might have to repeat the level for obvious reasons, but not only did we pass - the instructor told us we could skip Intermediate II and go straight to Advanced. Wow and Ha Ha! That comment was made after we performed well last Saturday. Since then, we have had two more classes that confirmed for me that we will not be skipping any levels, but will continue to lay the most solid foundation we can. While it's not impossible to go back and work on things at a later time that aren't as solid as you'd like, it's just better if you take the time to get it right the first time. A dog that knows it's doing the right thing when being given a command is more confident and therefore easier to train in the long run. It's a deliciously tempting offer to 'skip a grade' and I can see the allure, but I've seen too many people drooling over what an instructor's dog can do that don't seem to want to make the investment (time and money) to get the same results with their own pups. I don't want to be that student.
Also, I know the reality of our situation - we may have a break before the next class starts, but I just don't practice with Bolt as much as I did with Z when she was going through similar classes. (Isn't that the way it always goes with the second child!?)
Maybe the teacher's offer was just a test to see if I'd take the bait ... sooooo many trainers over the years have pounded it into my head time after time - take as much time as you need to get SOLID and RELIABLE results before moving on. I guess I was the one being trained all along! Yea - I pass, too!
Celebration Beer for Bolt! (not really, don't turn me in)