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.
Oscar was not able to attend the Eukanuabu dog show, but was sure to make it to the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center during the month of December. A Swissy dressed as Santa Claus in front of the Christmas Tree made all the tourists swarm to get their pictures taken with Oscar Claus!
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.
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.
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!