Check your Chip day!

We’re back from a self-imposed hiatus just in time for Check your Chip Day, with THUMPER!


You’ve actually met this lovely fellow before, but he’s now been rechristened Thumper in honor of his most expressive tail wag. Once a wag starts going, his entire body wags with him. It’s pretty much the cutest thing, except for his habit of rolling on his back and hanging out upside down, or that great gaping grin of happiness.

There’s a lot that’s cute about him, to be honest.

We’ve been rather quiet around these parts as we’ve been very busy adding Thumper to our household. (More on that to come!)

I wanted to, thanks to a reminder from Lulu and Christie over at Life with Beagle during the #BlogPawsChat, chat about microchips on this here Check your Chip Day. A microchip was always on my list of things we had to do for Thumper, no question about it, but I hadn’t really talked about why.

Just a small list of things that I worry about when it comes to the dogs and their getting lost:

  • We live in the Bay Area. If we ever had an earthquake, and we weren’t with them, there’s a chance they’d have to escape the house on their own. From there, how would we find them again?
  • If there was a fire and firefighters rescued them, they could end up at a shelter. How would the shelter know they were our beloved pets?
  • If there was any kind of catastrophic incident where they had to be evacuated and were separated from how, how would we be reunited?
  • If a car backfired, and they ran off in fear, I’d hope a kind person would help them. If they did, how would they know who to call?

Microchipping, of course! It was SOP that any time an animal was brought in, lost or injured, to the animal shelter and the veterinary office that I worked at, the first thing you did if they weren’t traumatically injured was scan them for a chip. We were able to reunite many a worried owner with their beloved pet that way.

We could have done a microchip at a number of places: the vet when we went in for a check up; the shelter during their microship specials; some cities will hold microchipping days.

Given that Thumper was a bit of an unexpected, and unbudgeted, surprise, cost was a major concern. What I was happy to discover after leaving a Pet Food Express one day, was that they and Pet Clubs host Community Veterinary Clinics where some of these routine services are discounted.

I’ll talk about the vaccines at another time, but the microchips were so reasonably priced at $10/chip.

The clinics in this area are run by VIP PetCare, the visit was quick and easy but the clinic folks made sure to ask about any relevant medical history before we committed to anything, AND they register the chip to your name and address for you. I couldn’t have asked for an easier experience. Of course, I did have to guilt-buy a toy for Thumper afterward because I’d forgotten about how big that needle was. 😉

More information on the variety of chips out there by Ask Dr. Ann.

Bottom Line: No matter where you have it done, please make sure to chip your pets!
And have your vet scan them at their regular exams whether that’s once a year or very two years to make sure it hasn’t moved too much.

Phrases that are totally commands (unconventionally speaking)

HufflePup licks his paws.
“Stop licking.”
Knock it off.”
Lick. *glance*

Jodi and I love our pups, deeply, but found ourselves rationalizing some of our more … creative, shall we say? commands.  Where regular commands aren’t so effective, variety .  I’m pretty sure we’re not alone here.

Knock it off! = Stop Licking
NOSE!! = Get your nose down from the table there!
That’s MY kibble. = I mean, that’s my cereal and you can’t have it.
DUDE = For the sixth time, sit.

From @kolsnotes

Chillax, Man = go lay down
Cool It = Quit jumping
Get Bent = Quit leering at my plate I know you’ve been fed.
STEP OFF = when Kol is torturing his brother.

From @introvertedwife

Lay down = You are annoying the crap out of me.
Upstairs = Do you want to wear a sweater?
Peanut Butter Bone? = drool

Training: “stay” or “wait”

Huffle’s good at sitting when you’ve got something good for him (and he checks, don’t think he doesn’t!) but “stay” has been a massive hurdle we’ve yet to overcome in our past three years with him.

I’ve had some limited success with “wait” lately. There’s a golden hour in the afternoon when I leash him up for our walk, and ask him to wait while I fetch my shoes and the mail to be dropped off:

Touch his head, “wait”.
Walk behind him, touch his back, “wait”.

He’ll crane his head to look behind him a little, but about 30-40% of the time he’s willing to wait til I come back which is pretty great!

Disappointingly though, he simply won’t ever do it for his Da so I look like a lying liar when I brag about it!

I could wish he’d learn to be a little more like these pups ….

Tag, you’re it!



You might not believe it to look at him but Hufflepup’s occasionally got scaredy-dog sort of tendencies. There are specific things that, where other dogs would have their hackles up, he has his safe place. Where other dogs have Fight OR Flight, he’s mostly had Flight and Faster Flight.

When he first came home with us, we thought that he’d like a crate but his foster mom said that he’d only ever gone into the crate to eat; apparently he was submissive to the other foster dogs and didn’t care enough about his food to protect it, so she fed him in a crate.

So instead of jumping to conclusions, we gave him the run of the place to see where he’d be most comfortable and where we could squeeze in a crate. He very quickly claimed the closet as his DogCave, sleeping there during the day while we were away at work, dashing in there when he heard strange noises or if someone was evil enough to ring the doorbell.

Over the last several months, he’s graduated to an intermediate safety: me.

Now, remember, Huffle’s a daddy’s boy. He’s ALL about daddy. But when it comes to things being scary? He comes to me and leans for all he’s worth, til I go investigate the wrongness. If he’s really uncertain, he pins me to the spot to make sure I’ll keep comforting him.

He’s learned a lot more confidence this year, but Mama’s feet are still the second safety zone.

Pet friendly hotel review: Pacific Gardens Inn



TravelDogWe didn’t have great high hopes for the hotel in this area because the Asilomar Conference grounds have a reputation for being rather grubby and seriously bare bones: bed, lamp and table.

We were so pleased to find that the Pacific Gardens Inn was much more welcoming than the stark lodgings I’ve heard described and the pricing was even more reasonable than most! Win-win. Because of all our travel, we are pretty price sensitive.

Our room had both a fireplace and popcorn popper, which we loved, but quickly realized that Huffle was against them both with a vengeance.

He loved lounging by the fireplace until he realized what it was for, then he couldn’t press himself against my legs hard enough. It was too late at that point, we were committed to the fire, but

You should be aware that the walls are relatively thin if you’re easily disturbed. Our neighbors had a barker who would announce the arrival or departure of anyone passing by our doors, but it didn’t bother us. The human neighbors hushed their pup when she started up so she wasn’t constantly barking the whole time, and occasional barking is fair enough when you have dogs.

They had one table on an outdoor patio so we took breakfast al fresco with Huffle, just the way he likes it, sharing the table with an older couple and their dog. I personally don’t tend to socialize much but it was a good way to get a seat and get to know some fellow travelers briefly. They, and we, think this a great bet for the Monterey Bay Area.

Pacific Gardens Inn
701 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
(831) 646-9414

Check-in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 11:00 a.m.
Pet Fee: None!
Includes a wine & cheese reception in the evenings and a continental breakfast; free WiFi.

Notes: This was written based on past stays that we paid for, this was not a sponsored post. This is part of the Pet friendly hotels series.