BUTTERFLY BORN & CHALLENGE WRAPUPS–Behind the Paw #5

Thanks to Jodi of Heart Like a Dog and Freighter, Storm & Thunder’s Mom from 2 Brown Dawgs for co-hosting this week’s Follow-Up Friday Blog Hop, the blog hop that lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend…

follow-up-friday

 

First off, you have to go check out today’s Pet Friendly Friday Photo Challenge on the Go Pet Friendly Blog!  I am so excited…My picture was chosen as this week’s Challenge Photo…if you can guess where I am you might win. I won this challenge last month and the prize is a gorgeous calendar. Go check it out!

Gizmo at Bok Tower 1

If you remember my Butterfly Birthday post you saw the video of a very energetic Gulf Fritillary caterpillar spinning his chrysalis underneath my friend Beth’s BBQ grill. Well he’s hatched and now he’s a butterfly. Beth started watching carefully on Sunday and finally, on Tuesday morning she went out to find this…

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He’s hanging onto his chrysalis in the morning sun drying his wings. After the imago (*VBP*), or adult stage emerges , a butterfly cannot fly until its wings are unfolded. A newly emerged butterfly needs to spend some time inflating its wings with blood and letting them dry. Some butterflies’ wings may take up to three hours to dry while others take about one hour. Beth waited for over an hour to see this guy’s wings unfold, but he was still drying when she had to leave, and when she got back a couple of hours later he’d already flown off. Vaya con Dios Mr. Butterfly

30/30 Challenge Wrap-up

On January 1st we began the 30/30 Challenge gauntlet thrown down by the Adventure Weiners of You did What With Your Weiner.  The idea was to walk with your dog for 30 minutes every day for 30 days.  we’ve posted a ticker every day charting our progress, and as of yesterday we’d managed to walk on 28 of the 31 days, which gives us about a 90% completion rate, and I’m declaring that we were successful. We’ve changed how our day begins and now the  walk is the focus of our morning ritual. Gizmo has come to expect it and if I get busy elsewhere he stands by the front door and taps his bell to remind me.  My car has been in the shop on and off for about half the month (hidden electrical issues that are stumping mechanics) so we’ve  walked to some of our errands in the neighborhood instead of driving. The best part is that we’ve both enjoyed our walks so much that Gizmo is now a registered participant in Idita-Walk 2013The Idita-Walk is an event to promote physical fitness in the spirit of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  The challenge of the Idita-Walk is to walk an average of 30 minutes a day for 35 days between February 1, 2013 to March 31, 2013 for a total of 1049 minutes. You can walk any combination of minutes and days as long as you reach 1049 during the 59 days of the Idita-Walk. We log our minutes online, and when we complete the challenge successfully we’ll get a neat pin.

2013 Idita-Walk Lapel Pin Art

We’ve got a brand new ticker going to chart our minutes, and we’ll be adding it to our posts so you can see how we’re doing.

Train Your Dog Month Challenge Wrap-up

January was also Train Your Dog Month, and we signed up for the Train Your Dog Challenge over at Something Wagging This Way Comes. We worked on two separate and unrelated behaviors this month and have made good progress with both of them.

Since Gizmo and I often hike with him off lead it’s exigent (*VBP*) that he knows and understands the command “wait”.  I use  “wait” when I want Gizmo to just stop moving and not proceed until I tell him it’s OK. We’ve practiced this on our morning walks. Every time we come to a street crossing I tell Gizmo to wait, and use the “stay” hand signal. I have not required him to sit or be at heel, just that he stops moving and waits. Starting out with just a few seconds, I’ve built up the time to a minute or so and I’m pleased to report that he has learned the command and now has a fairly reliable “wait”. We’ll keep working on this one since I haven’t really proofed it…I’m not sure what would happen if something irresistible, say a cat running by, occurred. I’m hoping to have some proofing opportunities during the next two months of the Idita-Walk.

Our second behavior involved grooming. Gizmo really hated being brushed…in fact when he saw me go to the drawer where I keep the grooming tools he’d run and hide in his cave under the end table….and don’t even ask about nail clipping. I decided it was time for us to develop a grooming routine. Every evening I would place him in my lap and gently brush/massage him with a Zoom Groom. Once he became comfortable with that I added a few minutes of actual combing with a FurGOPet to break up any snarls and remove his loose undercoat. I experimented with different pressures and strokes and learned what felt good to him and what he didn’t much like. We gradually built up the time until I can now comb and brush him thoroughly with no complaints, wriggling or having him trying to get away from me. In fact, if I don’t get started early enough he’ll jump into my lap and paw me to groom him. Things were going so well I decided to up the ante and try to add nail clipping…I gently zoom-groomed him to get him good and relaxed, then gently lifted a paw and quickly nipped the nails…I didn’t go for perfection or get them as short as I’d like, but at least I was able to nip the points without a major battle.  We’ll be working more on this one and in time I hope I’ll be able to use my Dremel on him to round and smooth the nails to where I want them.

Overall, I consider the training challenge a work in progress. We’ve come a long way on both behaviors, and have some goals for further training. Check out the Train Your Dog Month Challenge blog hop to see what everyone else worked on and how they did.

Thank to Savannah’s Paw Tracks , Texas and our pal Jetty for their cool new Vocabulary Building Project blog hop. Check it out…lots of great new words to learn there.

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About Gizmo

Hi! I'm Gizmo...a handsome terrier-about-town with a distinct point of view. I will write about whatever interesting things come across my desk, appear on my twitter feed @GizmoGeodog, or meet me out on the geotrails. I love to geocache cause it takes me to all the wild places & I can get back to being a real dog. I care about all my brofurs & sisfurs who haven't found their own forever homes yet, & raise funds to help them whenever I can. My girl brought me home from the shelter & together we explore our world. I do my best to make her smile, & she does her best for me. We are a team.
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49 Responses to BUTTERFLY BORN & CHALLENGE WRAPUPS–Behind the Paw #5

  1. Wooah, this butterfly looks like chocolate – I’ll bet his zoological name is vanillis chocolatus :o) I’m always confusing hand signs – if they show me their hands I jump on them because I think they have a treat for me ;o)

    • Gizmo says:

      It doesn’t really show in the picture, but the white actually shines silver in the sun…It’s very pretty and so different from the bright orange top side of the wings…Hand signals can be confusing Easy but I watch them carefully cause you’re right…you never can tell when there’ll be a piece of hotdog or liver treat hidden there

  2. emma says:

    Good job on the walking! We log 1-2 hrs a day everyday no matter what. Not only us dogs, but mom also expects and looks forward to it. Just finished a 20 min walk at -15F, it was wonderful! Like that training idea for Gizmo, I am going to tell mom about it since I never like her grooming me, maybe something like that would work for us too. TGIF!

    • Gizmo says:

      OMD Emma…-15*!!! You are a braver dawg than I my furriend…It was in the 30’s here this morning so Momz decided we should wait for the sun to warm things up…we’re going out soon she says, right after she bundles upGrooming was no fun at all fur me till this month…now I know that it can feel good as long as Momz go slow and is gentle with her brushing…and I like having the snarls and undercoat cleared out…Our coats are a lot alike so maybe it will work for you too Happy Friday!

  3. I love that flutterby, I’m’z waiting to see’z where thoze buzez are ( the one’z all satnding up’z ) xx000xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    • Gizmo says:

      It’s really beautiful in person Molly…I love seeing bunches of them together in the sun…I put the link to the post about the ‘buses’ over on your blog 🙂

  4. Sounds like a highly successful time on all counts. I love the “walk your dog for 30 min” one – so good for the dogs and their slaves

    • Gizmo says:

      It’s been a good month for challenges…I feel like we accomplished most of what we set out to do and it’s motivated us going forward…and Gizmo loves that we have regular walkies now 🙂

  5. Jodi says:

    Thanks for joining the FUF blog hop, WOW you’ve accomplished so much this month! Give yourself a giant pat on the back.

    That butterfly is so pretty, how long did it actually take from the time he cocooned himself to the time he emerged?

    I can’t wait hear how Gizmo does with the dremel, we have one but I haven’t tried it on either of the dogs yet. 🙂

    • Gizmo says:

      Sunday would have been 14 days, so that’s when Beth started watching carefully…She went out first thing every morning to try and catch the emergence…it was early Tuesday morning when she got the photo, so a total of about 16 days start to finish…I got the dremel years ago and used it on my Lab and my GSD…Murphy the Lab would actually fall asleep with her head in my lap while I dremeled her…i don’t think I’ll ever get that far with Gizmo, but we’ll try and get him to at least accept it without a fight

      • Jodi says:

        I think it’s amazing.

        I also commend you for having your dog comfortable with the dremel, I hope Gizmo will learn to tolerate it. 🙂

      • Gizmo says:

        Thank you Jodie!

        I think with some time and patience Giz will learn to be comfortable with it…I just have to be patient with him

  6. Yikes grooming, nail clipping…..wish I was like the buttefly and could fly away. Thanks for the bread link. We’d never heard of bread in a can before. Goes to show, the world is a big place, yet so small. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

    • Gizmo says:

      Yeah Molly, grooming can be kind of sucky, but I’ve learned that it’s a whole lot better than {{the bath – HORRORS!}} I want to fly away from the tub every time…I do try hiding but Momz always finds me and even my best “sad puppy face” doesn’t change her mind…Momz remembered that brown bread in a can from when she was little…she tried it once, just to see…it was pretty yucky Happy Friday!

      • Callie, Shadow and Ducky here…Happy Saturday, Gizmo! Mom sez she remembers the canned brown bread from her childhood, too. We think she said she saw it at the store the other day. Woof, Woof, and Woof!!!

      • Gizmo says:

        Hi furreinds! Glad you stopped by today…It’s such a fun day on the slopes 🙂 Momz remembers it from when she was little and lived up north but hasn’t seen it in years…guess it’s not big down South *pawwaves*

  7. Wow, those are some wonderful things you have going there! Just spending a little time on a consistent basis for training makes a big difference. Mom says that “somebody is always training somebody”. (She means that if she is not training me then I am training her.) Good luck friends!

    Your-Almost-Year-Old-Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    • Gizmo says:

      Iz true…at first I didn’t like the brushing at all, but after we did it fur a while it started to feel good and I wanted more 🙂 I train Momz to get the treat jar out of the fridge fur me…she’s getting pretty good at it now Happy Friday!

  8. Will and Eko says:

    That photo of you looks like it was taken on the set of The Lord of the Rings! Very awesome shot.

  9. I luvluvluv Follow UP Friday cuz I don’t get around everywhere all week, and that butterfly is really special. Thanks Gizmo for sharing and especially thank you for mentioning our new VBP blog hop and pawticipating. paw pats, Savannah

    • Gizmo says:

      I’m so glad you got to see it Savvy…Momz loves your VBP hop and will be part of it every week…it’s so much fun 🙂 Just hoping Miss Lori rejoins us all soon…We miss her and Jetty and JJ

  10. Hey Giz! Hi Miss Beth!
    Sorry for the delay in visiting today but we are FINALLY done with our “work”. Phew!

    I say you did pawesome on the 30/30 challenge! Remember, 90% is still an “A” grade!! And wow you learned some cool new things during your training challenge. Ma says you both should come try and train me now. BOL

    Well, hopefully I’ll chat with you soon. Don’t forget our sledding day tomorrow!
    *high paws* Oz

    • Gizmo says:

      Finally got all those copies made and delivered…whew! I bet you’re glad about that…Hope we do as well on the Idita-Walk…you and Oz can do our walkies with us on the 15th 🙂 Momz sez she’s happy to train you Oz…you come live with us a few weeks and we’ll take care of everything mua ha ha! We’re all rady fur sled Day…we’ll be “on the hill” as soon as Sarge opens it TTYS

  11. Wow! It’s been a busy week. Thanks so much for sharing your pet travel photo with us and for the link. It’s a great shot and we’ve already got some correct answers!

    • Gizmo says:

      We were very excited to be selected and love being able to share the link…You might have made it a little too easy with one of your clues, but no matter, it’s all good fun…we’re curious if a fellow Floridian will be the winner

  12. Ann Paws says:

    Very cool that the butterfly hatched! I think it’s pretty cool that you got a picture of it too.

    • Gizmo says:

      Yes it was amazing…Beth was so vigilant, checking on it constantly…she texted me the photo as soon as she got it and was disappointed that she couldn’t stick around long enough to watch him open his wings…maybe we’ll get another chance

  13. 2browndawgs says:

    That butterfly is beautiful! Congrats on your photo being chosen. That is very cool. Love the idea of wait at street corners. 🙂

    • Gizmo says:

      I’ve been waiting to blog about the event we were at when the picture was taken, but didn’t want to spoil the contest…We were very happy to get picked…”Wait” is not one of the most complicated things, but it sure is proving very useful

  14. Cotton says:

    What a cool liddul butterfly!
    Cotton

  15. Shiva & Jaya says:

    Hullo!
    We also stand at the service of butterflies as Purrime Ministettes of Planet Purrth. Unfortunately, them not asked questions for Question Time.
    You did. It been answered.
    XXXX

    • Gizmo says:

      It’s a good thing that the noble PM’s serve humble butterflies as well as citizen kittehs…Time to see the answers to Question Time

  16. Roo says:

    What a gorgeous butterfly you watched come into the world Gizmo! 😀

    Hey say yaz on the slopes. You two look like you’re havin so much fun! Now why didn’t I think of a sled with bumbers? Woulda coulda shoulda butt dinna. Y’all know first aid?

    Waggin at ya,
    Roo

    • Gizmo says:

      Roo…Been dodging you on the slopes all day pal…You sure are one speedy downhill dawg! How’d you learn so much about snow…Oz and I are the newbies on the slope fur sure…Whoooooosh!

  17. Oh the butterfly is beautiful! I have never seen one that color before!

    • Gizmo says:

      The upper and lower sides are so different…The underside is that lovely brown and silver…The top is bright orange…Nature is amazing!

  18. Loy says:

    Geez, Gizmo, you and your human have been busy, busy, busy! Congrats on the photo win and for learning the ‘wait’ command. Thanks for sharing your butterfly experience. Does your mom keep a butterfly garden in your yard? About the only thing we get to see hatch are locusts (cicadas–yuck!) I, too, like your follow-up Friday. With all my baby-sitting these days, I don’t get around as much as I’d like. Happy VPB and Saturday!

    • Gizmo says:

      We don’t have a butterfly garden, per se, but we do grow milkweed for the Monarchs…it’s both their food and host plant…and we’ve got a large plumbago bush that the Zebra Longwings seem to love…I’ve tried passion flower vine but haven’t managed to get it established yet…I just love watching tehm, so try to include a few plants I know they’ll like

      • Loy says:

        Way cool. Every spring I think I’m gonna plant some butterfly plants and never do. Maybe this year. By the by, Gizmo, you and Bunny, the greyhound inspired me, I have just signed up for the Idita-Walk, too. Happy Trails to us all! LOL

      • Gizmo says:

        Loy that is super! Are you registered in your name or Y’s? Gizmo is the registered one…He’s #64 on the Doggie Roster…Best of luck with it and let us know how it’s going for you

  19. Great round-up Gizzy! And big congrats on winning the photo contest:-)

  20. I have to say butterflies are fab. If only they didn’t have to start off life chewing up my baby plants. Whimsical nature. Learnt something new again today…pumping blood into wings 😀

    • Gizmo says:

      I love watching them in the yard so I don’t mind sacrificing some leaves for the privilege. Most of what they eat here are plants I gorw specifically for them so it’s OK

  21. Stewey says:

    Hi Gizmo – my name is Stewey, and I just found your blog!
    Your butterfly pics are absolutely beautiful!!!
    It’s nice to meet you!
    Stewey

  22. Pingback: The Most Fun Way to Tire Your Dog | Something Wagging This Way Comes

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