I made arrangements to breed Oscar a few months ago, hoping to have an Oscar son. All that was left was waiting for the female to have her 2nd birthday and pass her health clearances. Yesterday, in a last-minute switch, the breeder informed me they were going with a different dog, as they decided on a dog that had litters before. This was crushing, as I had put aside money for showing Oscar’s son, arranged things with the dog walker, pushed back my vacation time to be with the puppy, and was in the process of buying a SUV for multiple swissies. Last fall, Oscar was supposed to be bred to a different female, but she had failed her clearances. We realize there are bumps in the road, but words can not express how disappointed I am. I write this post with the hope we can reach out to a swissy owner with a female looking to be bred to Oscar. We love going to dog shows, and I would love the chance to have Oscar’s son to show. People offer me showdogs all the time, but there is nothing I would treasure more than having Oscar’s son. Plus he would love having a puppy to play with.
This weekend I had to stop by the bank to finalize some things for another property that I am purchasing at the Beach. When I mentioned I was with Oscar, the banker asked me to bring him inside. I brought Oscar in, and he received a nice big treat! The Community Bank of Delaware was a great experience for both me and Oscar. Is your bank dog friendly?
After a cold winter, there’s still some snow left on the beach on a 50 degree day.That is not stopping Oscar from enjoying his beach time at Dewey Beach! The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, who enjoys rolling in both the snow and the sand, ran up and down the beach loving the new combination of sand and snow. Luckily, cleaning up Oscar after the beach was not as difficult as I thought it would be.
Oscar and I enjoyed Dewey Beach last weekend, which is one of only a few year-round off-leash dog friendly beaches on the east coast. During his beach time, the Swissy met up with three Bernese Mountain Dogs and had lots of fun playing with them!
Then the idea came! What if Dewey Beach held a Mountain Dog Weekend in either May or September, which would be filled with the Greater Swiss breed, Berners, Entlebuchers, and all of their big dog relatives and friends? The sight of all of these different types of mountain dogs in Dewey Beach enjoying the sunset with their owners would make a great picture. I envision activities such as a costume party, yappy hour, first aid classes, how to build a cart, carting lessons, and maybe even a sheep herding lesson.
Please give us your feedback if you would be interested in this type of a weekend at the beach! We can be reached at oscarthegrouchdog @ gmail.com (removing the spaces).
Hurricane Sandy ruined Oscar’s Halloween last year, and only a few people were able to see his gator costume. No hurricane this year was going to stop the Swissy from trick-or-treating. Oscar happily showed his tricks for some treats around NYC. The Swissy’s costume was not unique. The second largest dog in his building also had the same costume. I guess there are only so many triple XL dog costumes available!
Oscar also participated in the Seawitch Halloween Parade in Dewey Beach the weekend before Halloween this year.
Oscar won Best of Breed last Sunday. The points he earned from winning also helped him achieve his bronze Grand Championship! The dog show was at Mercer Park in Princeton, New Jersey, which is one of the nicest dog show locations in the area. With amazing weather, the show was packed with people either showing their dogs or just bringing their dogs to the park.
As we were driving home, Oscar and I got stuck in traffic heading to the Lincoln Tunnel as a result of the Hoboken Music festival. As a reward for Oscar’s hard work, I parked the car, paid the steep parking fee of $20 and the swissy had the chance to walk around for an hour and make some new friends. Once we got home, Oscar was exhausted and slept until the next morning.
Oscar went to the eye doctor for a check-up last Saturday before the Swissy party. While he has received a normal rating in the past, it is still very important for dogs to get check-ups as a preventative measure. The process was very simple. The assistant and I held down the 120 lb. greater swiss mountain dog (“aka Oscar The Grouch”) to keep him from moving as two eye drops were inserted into each eye. Oscar was probably wondering what was going on. We then brought him into a room where the eye doctor, Dr. Catherine Nunnery, examined the Swissy with different magnified views and lights.
While waiting on line, we met with breeders as well as people who do not plan on breeding their dogs. Everyone there believed that an eye-checkup was important. It’s also inexpensive at around $30-$40.
When looking for a breeder, the eyes of both parents (for any breed) should be recently checked and rated normal through OFA or CERF. If the breeder last had the dog’s eyes examined a few years ago, you should wonder why they are not being re-evaluated for such a quick, inexpensive test?
As for other tests for Swissies, remember to only accept puppies where both parents had OFA Passing Ratings for Hips, Elbows, and Shoulders. You have to trust the breeders for grey areas (epilepsy, temperament, bloat). The four above tests (Eyes, Hips, Elbows, Shoulders) are not grey areas. They do not guarantee a healthy puppy, but they increase your odds. You can get to the OFA’s website by clicking here.
Oscar and I attended the semi-annual Mid-Atlantic Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (MAGS) club party this past Saturday. With many swissies in attendance, Oscar had a great time meeting and playing with new friends. There was an adorable swissy puppy named Frankie who everyone (including Oscar) fell in love with. It was not a warm enough day for people to swim, but apparently it was for some of the swissies. We would like to thank Katie and Randy Markley for hosting the party.
Oscar is very thankful for all of the birthday wishes that he received today. The Greater Swiss Mountain dog celebrated in style this afternoon, with a beer squeaky toy and a singing birthday cake toy, a birthday hat, and many treats courtesy of Petco. It is hard to believe that Oscar was a miracle baby only three years ago. Most of his brothers and sisters died during his mother’s emergency caesarian operation. The only three survivors were Oscar and his two sisters. The moment I saw him at 3 weeks old, I knew that he would be the swissy for me!
Every time we passed by Ralph’s Italian Ices last year, the employees would give Oscar treats, and I would get some of their amazing ices. On our walk today we passed by, but they have not opened yet for the season. Oscar went on strike and did not understand where his treats were. I had to trick him by putting a treat in the usual spot, and he jumped up as if they were open. Unfortunately, I did not get my ices!
We would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and Passover! With the nice weather in NYC, look out for a giant “bunny rabbit”, also known as the greater swiss mountain dog that will be strolling around town on Easter Sunday.
Today that bunny rabbit took a four mile stroll around midtown. He walked from Murray Hill to Macy’s Herald Square and then down to Madison Square Park and back home. Oscar had his exercise and met new people on this great spring day!
On Sunday, Oscar and I went for a walk at Madison Square Dog Park. We usually just hang out outside of the dog park area because the ground has too many dirty pebbles. However, this time was different. Oscar met another Swissy, Nellie. It was love at first sight, and Oscar did what any other teenage dog would do by barking until he got her attention. If Oscar did not say hello to her, it would have been a long walk home. The pictures tell the rest of the story, but of course there was drama. I usually carry Oscar’s treats in a shopping bag. Before we left the park, a random dog jumped up and ripped the shopping bag, so it was raining treats for all of the dogs! Once that trick worked, he kept trying to repeat it.
As we were walking home, we met someone who knew Oscar from his website! We also met some new fans, and Oscar got called Snapple. Snapple is the name of a female Greater Swiss Mountain dog in our neighborhood. I guess the Swissies are taking over Manhattan now!
New York City finally has spring weather, and everyone is outside when Oscar goes for a walk. A typical spring walk involves Oscar saying hello to the mail lady, performing some tricks, and getting a treat in return. We usually walk 1½ miles to Madison Square Park. On our way to the park, Oscar stops at all of the outdoor eateries looking for people who want to see his tricks for more treats (which I will provide for them to give him). Once we reach the park, the swissy will say hello to the other dogs. My only issue with him is when it is time to leave the park. Oscar will spread all four legs to say I am NOT leaving!
Many New Yorkers head to Florida for the Winter, and Oscar is no exception! The Swissy arrived in the Orlando/Ocala area at 3 am this morning, and he has a full two weeks of Dog Shows and fun in the sun ahead of him. Perhaps, Oscar The Grouch will have a chance to see the real Mickey Mouse instead of the Times Square version.
Living only a few blocks away from the United Nations, there is always something happening. Today, there were Israelis and Palestinians protesting on opposite sides of the street. Oscar walked on one side of the street where a bunch of Palestinians played with him and said what a handsome dog he was. As he crossed the street, Oscar gave his thoughts to a Channel 5 TV reporter, who is interested in getting a Swissy of his own. Then while walking home, Oscar was petted by Israeli protestors. If both sets of protestors can agree on Oscar, perhaps there is hope for a Mideast peace accord!
On Friday night, midtown got power back; however the elevators where Oscar lives are still not working. Living 40+ flights up, the Swissy and I are refugees stuck at a hotel. The problem starts tomorrow as I need to go back to work. An elevator repairman just arrived at the building this morning as we walked by, so we are hopeful the problem finally gets fixed today.
Still evacuated from his home in Murray Hill, Oscar The Grouch is making new friends and is continuing to make Times Square his new home. Hanging out with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Oscar is quickly becoming a Times Square fixture. It has been a long week, displaced by the storm, but getting to spend the week with my Greater Swiss Mountain dog, has brought a smile to my face.
Oscar The Grouch wishes all of his fans a Happy Halloween! Oscar is using the evacuation from Hurricane Sandy as a good excuse to see the Times Square area. However, wherever the greater swiss mountain dog goes, he seems to meet new fans. The usual question, “is that a bernese” got replaced by “is that an alligator?”
Last night around 9pm the power, water, and elevators went out when the neighborhood’s transformer blew up. While waiting the storm out, we were told it could be a week before power is restored. We booked a room at the Westin, as seven blocks can be the difference between power and no power. However without elevators, the task was getting Oscar down over 40+ flights of steps with the only light a flashlight. Somehow we did it and now the swissy is resting from his ordeal.
The hurricane is about to strike and all the grocery stores are either closed or have long lines & empty shelves. A corner store appeared to be out of everything that could be shared by father and swissy, except for an entire 12 pound turkey. The store owner wanted $10 a pound but I bargained him down to $80 for the entire turkey breast. If the storm is as bad as predicted, we have turkey. With most fast food stores (McDonalds, Subway) and restaurants closed for the next two days, if you are in need of a turkey sandwich, look for this swissy.
I received an invite to a private early screening of the Dark Knight Rises (great film and Robin shows up at the end). Even though the dog walker came for three walks, I still felt guilty leaving Oscar home alone since I was at work all day. After the movie, I rushed home to find Oscar rising from a deep sleep. With Oscar well rested, we walked by the movie theater to see a line wrapped around the block for the midnight showing of Batman. As we walked past the line, Oscar made many new fans. The line also passed outside of Petco, which was closed, and Oscar kept trying to get in hoping for some treats.
Oscar would like to wish all his friends and fans a happy July 4th! For the holiday, Oscar went to Dewey Beach. Dewey is one of the few beaches on the east coast which allows dogs in the summer, but only at certain times. So the Swissy took the scenic route, walking by the bars and meeting new fans, waiting for the beach to open to him. Then Oscar wasted little time and headed to the beach to meet new friends to celebrate the 4th.
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.