The Good Dog Blog

Welcome to the journey of discovery that we have embarked upon…

Way back in the year nineteen-hundred and ninety-seven, we opened our life and hearts to the sporting breed dog, known as the Vizsla. And… as we welcomed “Tucker” into our home, he became a major fixture in our landscape… and we would not have it any other way.

This blog is not just about reflection and the incredible life we have with Tucker… but also about the journey of adding a second Vizsla to our little world and opening up our hearts to take in an adopted dog by the name of Bodi.

UPDATE: 6/15/10 – As time goes by, life changes… We have now welcomed Oliver to our little menagerie, Tucker has moved on to the Rainbow Bridge, Bodi has mellowed into a simply incredible companion, and we continue moving back and forth through the little minefields that are created for our pleasure…

We would like to welcome you all aboard and enjoy the journey with us!

Vizsla Country

Walking in the CreekIt’s been quite a while since we last posted, taking some time to get outside and breath again, sometimes it is vital to survival to step back and see what is really happening in your life and how to better it!

This post is about Jim, Bodi and Oli getting out and spending some time just running, wearing themselves out and using their natural talents to pick up smells, enjoy the outdoors and see what Colorado looks like before we regroup and take on our new challenges.

Galloping through the meadowAs we were looking for a good spot to pull off, Bodi and Oli’s excitement levels were going through the roof. Pulling off and opening the door was just the start – Letting them off to just explore to their hearts content, that is the very best!

It’s funny how quickly the Vizsla comes out as they are off running, dropping down into the creek, hopping through the deep brush (you just see heads popping up as they get a look at the scenery) and just basically getting worn out while picking up all the smells of the countryside.

This is Vizsla country!

Oli’s Day Out With Dad

Wow, my first post of 2013… Time flies by, luckily big things happening, hopefully more time to post to The Good Dog Blog.

Because a lot of my work is based in an office I take Bodi whenever I get the chance to take one of the boys.  Being older, he is quite a bit more calm, he just doesn’t let things get him excited at work.  This makes things easy when I am working, but I always feel a little guilty about the fact that Oliver doesn’t get those… Daddy and I… days.  Usually when Oliver and I go for a walk, or actually anywhere, it is with Bodi to get them both out.

Today I decided to take Oliver for a bonding day, spend some time, go for a walk, and spend a few hours just doing our thing.

Is it just me, or what, but is there anything more beautiful then a Vizsla full of excitement, let off leash to just run and romp.  These are the moments where all four paws rarely are on the grass at the same time – spinning and jumping.

Oliver did great, stayed within calling distance, came when called and always kept his head clear so when I called he was ready to respond – fun stuff, and absolutely a joy to watch and be a part of.

Afterwards, we swung over to a new Restaurant/Coffee/Wine place called the Stonehaus. The place is very dog friendly, which Oliver really appreciated, set up as a working Winery with outside benches, Stone Pizza Oven and Fountains, which Oliver and I both appreciated. The people here are fairly mellow, and very nice – dogs don’t bother other people, really a nice layout to relax a little.

Oliver also got to enjoy the Fountain in the Vineyard without upsetting anyone – he was fascinated by the water and I thought for a second he was going to dive in and cool off – he didn’t, although it wouldn’t have bothered me (don’t know about the Stonehaus).

Really a great day out – Oliver had fun, we got to bond, and we got to enjoy a great local hangout that we will definitely enjoy more often.

The Sunbeam Monster Strikes Again

The boys both got hit by the Sunbeam Monster!  Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr….. this monster is nasty!  He feeds off of innocent doggies!!!

The nice thing about this…. is that Bodi and Oliver are so close… almost like they’re actually loving each other… weird!

Bodi and Ollie enjoying the sunbeam...
Bodi and Ollie enjoying the sunbeam…
Sunbeam monster!
Sunbeam monster!
Sunbeam monster got to my boys!
Sunbeam monster got to my boys!
The boys have accepted the sunbeam monster and decided to give into it!
The boys have accepted the sunbeam monster and decided to give into it!

Vizsla Boys and Their Toys!

Just wanted to share this… Bodi and Oliver enjoying one of their favorite toys…. a stick from the backyard is one of the best (and cheapest) toys ever!

Bodi… stick boy No. one!
Ollie… stick boy No. 2!
Bodi enjoying his stick toy!
Ollie enjoy his stick toy!

The Eyes Have It!

Oliver is the energizer bunny of Vizsla’s – always ready to run, always ready to hunt – no fear, dives into everything head first and never worries about the outcome.  Of course, many of you will say – that is the standard Vizsla style (and for the most part, the majority of sporting dogs),  and you would be completely right in that.

Unfortunately this has caused him (and us) some problems in that his eyes are particularly vulnerable to  being injured, the bushes, sticks, rocks and our legs don’t seem to give to much when he hits them with his face, and the most tender spot are his eyes.

After too many visits to the vet to have him looked at, and too many times having to put a cone on his head to try to protect him while he is healing – we decided to get a pair of Doggles.

As you can see, he looks great with them – he doesn’t seem to think so, and tries to rub them off of his face whenever he gets a moment to think about the fact that they are there, but I think they look great (and everyone else seems to comment about them – positively so far).

They seem to add some protection, at least they spread the hit over a broader area, which is good.  You can tighten them to fit, and the chin strap holds it in place.  From what we can see, the comfort is pretty good – but we aren’t wearing them either, so…

The biggest problem is just that we need to be more proactive and make sure that he wears them, then he will have a chance to get used to them and hopefully won’t try to slip them off of his face.

More info to be shared in this review as we use them…

The lazy dog days

As the days go by, Bodi and Oliver have become friends… I won’t say great friends, Bodi always has a little bit of animosity towards Oliver – just that little edge, but all-in-all it’s much better.

The two have taken to “owning” the sofa as they collect the last rays of sunlight in the late afternoon.  As you can see, Oliver thinks he is a cat, and just walks all over the top of the sofa.  Bodi thinks he is human, and owns the seat in it’s entirety.

Last night, as they both got into bed, Bodi did his usual – jumping into the bed and laying down at my pillow.  This is his normal “get into bed” routine.  Bodi lays with his head on my pillow and tries not to move so that Oliver can’t steal his spot.  He moves over to the center of the bed when I get into bed.

Oliver, as his normal is, leapt into bed and headed towards the pillows, then veered over and lay down with his butt on top of Bodi. Six months ago this would have caused an explosion from Bodi, now Bodi accepts his fate, and closes his eyes to sleep.  We’ve even caught Bodi getting up at times to move closer to Oli, it’s nice to see.

The only time Bodi does not follow this routine is if he feels he might get under the blanket and sleep for a while.  This, he learned from Oliver – When we first got Bodi he would never try to get under the blankets, Tucker always dove for the blankets and would actually push the blankets off of us in the middle of the night as he tried to push his nose under them.  Bodi tried not to get covered up – he was so out of shape that 2-3 minutes under the blankets and he would be panting like he had run a marathon.  Now, he will slide under the blankets to lie next to us on the sofa, and will sleep most of the night with a blanket over him if the night is cold enough.

So, even though we can’t say that all is perfect… we can say that all is on track for a much more perfect finish.

A visit from an old friend?

It’s been just over a year and a half since we lost Tucker… Seems like forever – and still seems like yesterday.

Nancy And I joke about Tucker still being here, in spirit – you swear that you hear him when you know nothing is there – you catch a glimpse out of the corner of your eye, go to see what Bodi or Oliver are in to, and find them asleep on the sofas – the little “mind” things.

This morning we awoke and walked into the hallway to see Tucker’s blue light on his collar lit up. We got this light for him so that on night walks we could see him easier. Everyone we walked with and saw knew Tucker was coming from afar as they would see “The Blue Boy” walking up.

Tucker’s collar has hung from that door since we lost him, and this morning his blue light was on – makes us happy!

I thought I would share this poem again, not mine, but very touching – and appropriate…

I stood by your bed last night …I came to have a peep.
I could see that you’d been crying,and you found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear, “It’s me. I haven’t left you. I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here”.

I was close to you at breakfast… I watched you pour your tea.
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to touch me.

I was with you at my grave today… you tend to it with such care.
I want to reassure you. That I’m not lying there.

I walked you towards the house as you fumbled for the key.
I gently put my paw on you…I smiled and said, “it’s me”.

You looked so tired as you sank into your chair.
I tried so hard to let you know that I was sitting there.

It’s wonderful for me to be so near you everyday,
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away”.

You sat there quietly, then smiled… I think you knew
That in the stillness of the evening I was very close to you.

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to meet you and we’ll stand there side by side.

I have so many things to show you ! There’s so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out, then come home to be with me.

Written by:  Colleen Fitzsimmons

A Walk in the Park

Great walk with Ollie this morning!  Took him to Cypress Park here in Newbury Park, CA.  Beautiful park just a few blocks from our house.

This morning we encountered a few critters along the way…. birdies, squirrels and lots of lizards.  Oliver was in full hunt mode.. as you can see from the pics below.  This little guy loves the thrill of the hunt!  Enjoy the pics!

Lizard in the tree
Trying to catch that lizard
"Oh wait, there's a birdie over there"!
"I'm going to catch it... "
"Wait... something's over there now"!
Locking in on a lizard.. full point
Gonna get it!
The lizard slipped away.. darn!
"What the woof"?


Helping with the Laundry…

What Vizsla… (or any dog for that matter) does NOT like the warm laundry straight out of the dryer??



Tucker (bless his sweet soul) loved the warm, clean laundry (and his teddy bear too of course).  When I would empty the basket out on the bed, he would jump up and dive right in surrounding himself with the warm, fluffy clothes.  He would scoop them up under himself and lay down right in the middle of it all.  Ahhhh… this was pure bliss for the little guy… almost as good as the infamous “sunbeam”.

Now Bodi and Oliver both have carried on this tradition… Bodi pretty much does the same thing that Tuck did, except he’ll burrow underneath the clothes instead of laying on top of them.



But Oliver has taken it to a whole new level!  He’ll come running down the stairs to the laundry room, when he hears me open up the dryer.  He hasn’t tried to actually crawl into the dryer… yet!  So he has taken it upon himself to just climb into the laundry basket, on top of the warm clothes, curl up and go to sleep.   What a little cutie!

Ollie sitting in the basket
Ollie laying down in the basket
Ollie looking over his shoulders


Ollie waiting for Bodi's move
Bodi tries to join Ollie in the basket
Ollie going to sleep in the basket


Thanksgiving wishes… from Bodi & Oliver’s perspective…

"All we really want is the turkey"


So let’s talk turkey… Okay mom & dad… We want turkey!  We want turkey!  We want turkey!  That’s what Thanksgiving is all about for us.   It’s all about the bird.  That big, juicy, yummy bird that mommy spends HOURS preparing for us every year (a BIG KUDOS to mommy for doing this JUST for us!)  Wow… she is making that bird just for us and no body else gets ANY!  That’s right!  When that bird comes out of the oven.. we are going to be on that thing like a buzzard on a gut wagon………… huh?  Well… we’re not even sure what that means.. but if it has anything to do with MEAT.. we’re on it!!