A fun weekend of water skiing and banana boating was scheduled for me, but at the last minute, Oscar’s plan to participate in the dog show fell through. Unfortunately, the hotel that I was staying at does not allow dogs. Almost cancelling my plans on my birthday weekend, I thought of a great idea. What if I changed my weekend plans to one day instead of two days, send the swissy for consecutive sessions at his gym, and they watched him overnight? Perfect! I dropped Oscar off at Water4Dogs, the Equinox/New York Sports Clubs for dogs. He took his swimming lessons and stayed in a room that they made up for him. I figured he would be so tired from his workout that he would fall asleep as he usually does afterwards. The next morning he went for another swim session, and then I picked him up. Children go to camp over the summer, so why not a swissy?
Like most New Yorkers, Oscar prefers a shower instead of a bath. Ever since he was given a bath at home as a 10 week old puppy, Oscar The Grouch has lived up to his name, refusing to step into the bathtub. It is not an easy task to fit a 120 lb Greater Swiss Mountain puppy into a bathtub, especially when he will not even step foot into the bathroom. Oscar expertly uses all his weight pulling and wiggling skills to not get near the area.
Oddly enough, Oscar is okay with the hose, and will even try to catch the water in his mouth. As long as the weather is nice, the bathing situation works out. Watch below as Oscar gets shampooed and hosed outside of my friend’s house in Staten Island so that he could look his best for the dog show.
Oscar The Grouch is very grateful for this Father’s Day. Over the past few months, Oscar’s grandfather (David’s father) has been having heart issues. On Wednesday he had heart surgery, and the swissy is very happy that everything went well. There were many days during his puppyhood when Oscar stayed with his grandfather in Brooklyn, and they both would of been devasted if the surgery did not go well. Oscar looks forward to his grandfather’s release from the hospital once some post-surgery issues clear up.
Some dogs would be content to just relax at the beach for the weekend. Not Oscar. On the drive home from the beach, Oscar & David stopped in for some sheep herding fun. Over the Christmas break, Oscar received several Sheep Herding lessons. Remembering his training, Oscar put the sheep in their place. Afterward he celebrated with two female Australian Shepherds who were cheering him on.
Sheep Herding is not just for swissies. Many dogs can enjoy doing it. The trainer we used is Chris Davies in the Delaware area.
During Oscar’s second day at Dewey beach, the swissy went for a nice run on the beach with his new friend Kody the Golden Retriever. On his way back to the beach house, Oscar dropped by the Starboard, a bar/restaurant that is known for their Sunday brunch, and picked up a Starboard dog collar as a souvenir.
Most New Yorkers head to the beach during Memorial Day weekend, as it signifies the beginning of summer. Oscar is no exception,
and joined David this weekend at Dewey Beach, which is on the Delaware Shore and about a three hour drive from NYC. Once he got in town, Oscar wasted little time and headed to the beach to watch a beautiful wedding and roll around in the sand. Then the Swissy took the scenic route back, walking by the bars and meeting new fans. Oscar is becoming so popular that people from NYC who were on vacation in Dewey Beach, shouted “that’s Oscar” to their friends.
If you are planning a dog friendly vacation, David and Oscar highly recommend going to Dewey Beach. This is one of the
few beach towns that allows dogs on the beach. Dewey Beach is like the Hamptons, but for the Virginia/DC/Maryland/Delaware area. If you decide to vacation there, be sure to say hello to the swissy!
Being a typical New Yorker, Oscar wanted to go the gym to get in shape for his upcoming summer dog shows. David, who used to be a personal trainer, knows that swimming is one of the best exercises. Oscar and David went to Water4Dogs, which is a water sports training center for dogs. Oscar’s trainer, John Larson did an amazing job teaching Oscar how to swim. He kept on reassuring Oscar that he could do it and within a few minutes, the swissy was swimming up a storm. Taking only a few breaks, Oscar got the workout of his life, building up muscle and burning calories on the first of his soon to be weekly swimming lessons.
If you live in NYC, I highly recommend Water4Dogs. They have a social swim, so you may see Oscar The Grouch, greater swiss mountain dog there.
For a video of Oscar doing the swissy swim:
Over the past month, Oscar has knocked on Rocco The Bulldog’s door several times but quickly becomes a sad swissy, as Rocco has moved away. This week a new neighbor moved in, Dexter The Golden Retriever puppy. Now after every walk, Oscar wants to visit Dexter to see if he can play. Dexter is just 10 weeks old but it looks like the start of a great friendship.
Oscar being a social city dog, loves busy NYC weekends when everyone is out celebrating especially Cinco De Mayo. As Oscar walks by El Rio Grande, the neighborhood Mexican Restaurant that is dog friendly, he takes some pictures with his new fans. Oscar then reunites with an old friend, Charlie the Cockerpoo. We found out that when Oscar was a puppy, he was in the same day care as Charlie. The tired swissy later headed home to see another dog in the elevator wearing jeans and a t-shirt!
Last night, the weather was great outside. Oscar is his usual swissy self saying hi to people and dogs from the neighborhood. Walking down the block, Oscar goes to say hi to another dog, a 10lb munchkin sized dog. Well this munchkin bit his nose! Seeing some blood and scrapes along the rest of his nose, I took no chances. Rushed upstairs to grab my wallet and drove as fast as I could with Oscar to the vet before they close. The vet cleaned Oscar up and gave him some animax so the wound can heal faster. I will be using that in conjunction with Snout Soother (nose balm for dogs) to speed Oscar’s recovery. I learned my lesson to always be on guard and have some basic dog first aid supplies like Animax handy.
On Monday, Oscar The Grouch went to Madison Square Park. At the park he met Jim who lives in Washington state and owns two female swissies. While in NYC, he wanted to meet Oscar. Jim told me about all the agility he does with his swissies, which may be something to try with Oscar in the near future. While at the park, Snapple, the female swissy (Oscar’s crush) stopped by causing double swissy trouble as other dogs passed by to say hello.
Oscar loves visiting stores with me. When I trained Oscar, I made sure to have random people, especially store workers give him dog treats, which I provided to better socialize him. Happy that Ralph’s Ices (best ices in Manhattan) has re-opened, Oscar tried to place an order for dog treats. The worker happily gave him his order, as she did not want a “grouchy” dog at the window!
With great weather today, Oscar walked to Madison Square dog park. Oscar is usually the only Greater Swiss Mountain dog at the park. Today there happened to be two other swissies there. First Oscar met Jack, an older male swissy. Then right after Jack left, Snapple (a female swissy aka “the girl next door”) came by. Unfortunately, by that time, Oscar was tired from the two mile walk and from playing with all the dogs that passed by.
Oscar loves being around my nieces and nephews. While Jessica is wondering what the fuss is about, Mikey runs in for the hug to welcome his cousin. Then Danielle and Mikey watch Oscar show he’s happy to be there by doing the “swissy roll”. For Mikey’s next birthday gift, should I give him a swissy puppy like Oscar?
Oscar says hello to his neighbor Henry, the Toy Poodle. From the pictures you will notice how well Oscar behaves in the elevator, which comes from training. When you get a puppy, the first thing you should do is expose them to every type of surface and environment possible. I read a story about a greater swiss mountain dog who was never exposed to elevators as a puppy, and once it grew up, it was too late to become adjusted. By the time Oscar was 3 months old he was exposed to elevators, grass, nyc concrete sidewalks and traffic, the beach, and baths. Although he never got used to baths (even for treats), Oscar behaves like a typical New Yorker during the rush hour elevator commute in order to do his business.
With amazing weather in NYC, it was either go to happy hour or take Oscar for a walk (yappy hour). Of course, Oscar comes first. But this walk was different. Only two blocks away from home, we ran into another swissy. For Oscar it was a dream come true. After saying hi, he then realized that the swissy was a female, “Snapple”. He then introduced himself by rolling around in the street. Oscar and Snapple stopped street traffic for an hour as everyone was asking if they were best friends and how amazing they looked together. Two girls stopped by that work at Sesame Street and were able to meet the other “Grouch” in town. Of course, someone passing by asked the question, “Are they Bernese Mountain Dogs with a haircut? They were answered by, “they are Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs!”. Oscar could not get enough of Snapple, and looks forward to seeing her again soon. For a short swissy video of Oscar & Snapple: http://youtu.be/sbv2q1V27fk
With great weather came another long walk. This time Oscar passed by Ritzy Canine, the day care Oscar attended from 2 to 6 months of age. At 6 months he was old enough to be left alone, with a dog walker twice a day. Oscar didn’t remember anyone who worked at Ritzy until he saw Jose. As soon as Oscar saw him, he gave him the “swissy hug” (a 120lb puppy jumps up to hug you) followed by cries of pet me. Jose always gave Oscar extra attention when he was a puppy. Jose became so close to Oscar, that if he was working Oscar would go on strike and refuse to move for a block or two. Well after seeing Jose, history repeated itself. Till the next block Oscar didn’t want to move, hoping to play with Jose some more.
Jose also had some video footage of Oscar’s 1st day at day care. http://youtu.be/SFlRNe0zJFM
It’s feel like spring outside! Oscar and dad went for a long walk, every block I visited we’d hear the same questions- “Bernese”? “Greater Swiss Mountain Dog” or “Swissy” I would respond. At the end of the walk we went to the dog park where Oscar caught up with Dakota the Great Dane. Dakota will soon take Oscar’s place as the largest dog in the neighborhood. Just 4 months ago Oscar was 4x his size as they wore the same Halloween costume, Oscar (size 3XL) and Dakota (size XS).
After 10 minutes of being at the dog park, drama happened. There are two doors upon entry to the park so the dogs don’t escape. Someone didn’t care to close the first door while opening the second. If I didn’t say something all the dogs were going to run to the street. No apology or anything, the person looked like he couldn’t care.
Not taking it as a sign it was time to leave, a few minutes later, more drama. Someone new arrived with their dog and their canine immediately ran at Oscar to try to bite him. I kept on pushing their dog away from Oscar, willing to take the bite to protect him as the dog kept on coming back at him. At least the owner apologized, but it was a scary experience. Oscar continued on with his day.. enjoying the slight breeze and mild weather.
With Oscar at dog shows most weekends, a weekend off allowed him to catch up with his friends at the dog park. A dog park in New York City always has a great mix of puppies/dogs and people you get to meet, along with some characters. One woman thought it was normal for her 4 yr old dog to hump everything it saw. A second lady was telling me how her group would be having a huge protest at the Westminster show because they switched sponsors from Pedigree to Purina (for more uplifting ads). I wanted to ask her if she knew the show was last week, but figured it would be better to walk away.
This afternoon Oscar walked by Hotel Pennsylvania posing for pictures with the editor of Dog Fancy Magazine and assorted tourists as best he could. After all, Oscar had his eye on a berner passing by. Each tourist would ask if Oscar was a shaved bernese mountain dog or a large version of that new breed (entlebucher). They were each explained Oscar The Grouch is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.