Sunday, October 30, 2011

A study in dog language


Dogs Just Want to Have FUN!

Did some jump work finally with Sally, Brody  and Thea - a variation of TajMutt's wraps ... both did it well - and just got faster and faster - Thea shot past the jump wrap back once but considering the last time she did any agility at all was June I was impressed.
The video was taken about an hour later. I thought about videoing the jump drills but this was more fun anyhow!

Monday, October 24, 2011

wonderful walks ... and dead deer

A wonderful weekend of walking, working on fitness and helping Sally make great choices around STAY and HERE. We worked in the garden, planted bulbs and walked and walked some more.

Close up of a lovely stump

The dogs are great trail blazers

The sun was lovely across the fields

Can you see the lake view? It was hard to take a decent picture into the sun.

The view another direction from the same spot the lake view picture was taken,

And as promised - the dead deer.  He was in the field right behnd the schoolhouse and attracting coyotes way too close  so we decided we'd better move him back further into the woods.

He was quite amazing to see up close

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Portrait of Brody


My my dear friend Shelly of On Dragon Wings did this beautiful portrait of Brody.
It's been hanging up in a nook I keep threatening to turn into a home office.
If anybody needs a gift for a fellow animal lover she does amazing custom work!

wisdom from our kitchen ...

fitting for agility too eh?

Worked on stay today with Sally - did she ever need it! Postively a quiver she could hard hold steady when a stick was thrown - she eventually settled and did some nice work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finally ... Gracie Two

You knew her as Quiz - as did I.
Got the picture with a very short note today saying we love her and she's growing daily.

Look at her ears!!!

Love this dog so glad she's landed on all four paws!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

finding balance ....

Where did my balance go?
Sally got a little work the last two nights:
  • did 3 teeters  last night
  • tonight worked on fetch, stay, start line set ups - all in our hallway

it was great to find force the time for that - and force really is the word this fall ... too many things to fit in and too little time to do anything  but work and survival.
If I don't make agility/training time I'm going to get grumpy! (and Sally will lose her mind!)

We do basic fitness on the weekends and the dogs get their basic maintenance walks. Sally also goes to day care twice a week and gets 20 minutes of extra free play in a yard with someone throwing a ball for her on those days. That keeps the crew fairly fit and relaxed in the evenings but it doesn't further training or do anything for me. It was nice to find balance two nights in a row! Must try to keep at it.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

cross country agility .....

the weather truly sucked this weekend - rain and wind interspersed with sun and WIND - the thought of setting up formal equipment to work agility seemed way out of reach however that didn't stop the agility addicts from practising their agile skill sets - at the farm yesterday and at paradise today.

clambering up and down huge rock piles - as the water was very high and there was no beach to speak of

Leaping, jumping


Chasing sticks (and chewing them)

Full body work out dealing with the wild wind

Everybody had a riot and fitness work was accomplished without much effort on my part!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Yeah  - just like like in the Road Runner - except real, furry, fanged and unhappy.

We surprised him (or her?) and he shocked us.

In leaping away from us he got his paw caught on a fence - briefly- but that gave Sally and Sampson time to get within four hysterical feet of him. Big T got to within about 8 feet of him. Luckily at that point he got free and went bounding through the forest with no sign of damage done.

not our coyote - ours had not just hackles raised but full body piloerection happening though
he had the same lovely face showing 

Sally and Sampson did both recall off him. They bolted past us though and while I did nab Sally,  Sam turned and followed the coyote trail for a few very long minutes (honestly probably not even two full minutes - but seconds seem like forever sometimes). Thank heavens for ongoing, consistent recall training. I really do have to wonder if ANY dog would have recalled off the coyote immediately and laid down quietly while the coyote RAN away. Brody was perfect - he didn't make a sound or even look at the coyote so I don't think his perfection can really count.

I found it really interesting how completely worked up both Sally and Sam were - Sally can go and out of high drive pretty easily usually and I often hold her when she appears to be aroused with little effort. When Sam was down the trail after Coyote Wild and Big T walked in the same direction Sally truly lost her mind - she actually pulled me over while she squealed and fretted. Brody was being held by my little finger as he had NO interest in the coyote at all. Sally is an extremely submissive dog (which is why when I realized I would have to chose one dog to focus on I chose her - I hoped the slightly bigger more assertive Sampson would not invite any attack from a coyote - or coyote friends)

I was deeply, profoundly grateful that Thea had chosen to stay home by the warm fire while the rain and wind lashed us today. We had a great walk but the 4 minutes or so of coyote interaction were alarming to say the least!

A soaked Sampson relaxing in the field after his great coyote hunt

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

and what exactly have we accomplished?

Two years ago this weekend  Sampson joined us - a little smaller than Sally and a sweet, if worried boy, he slid into our hearts in a way that I wasn't expecting. Kidney diseased, resource guarding, soft mouthed, hard headed, anxious, dear, sweet boy  he has added significantly to my skills as a shaper. He also cuddles beautifully and entertains well too!

Sally joined our family five years ago today. Words fail me often with Sally. She is my teacher, my joker, my challenge, my joy.  The learning curve with her has been so steep it makes me dizzy at times.
I cannot imagine life being complete without her in it.

an unusual candid shot with three of the gang in it!

I am so very thankful to be surrounded by such a loving family Big T, Ma, Pa, the multiple Jeans, and all the young uns... and all the furred and feathered family too.

Monday, October 03, 2011

very cute dog/kitten interactions

yes this is our life - often ... rarely is there a camera in hand though ...

Thea and Sally love kittens
Brody hates them
Sampson thinks they are better than puppies ...

the kittens are Pumpkin and Melon - suffering from URI and needing to grow - but eventually will be looking for homes ...

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Perfect pooches....

  • snaps when you wake him up -and has made contact
  • has been known to mark in a new house
  • will not tolerate being groomed with anything approaching grace
  • cranks off at poor Sampson
  • doesn't tug unless he feels like it
  • has been as little as .2 seconds overtime on course

  • has one of the most piercing barks on the planet
  • will chase cats
  • will eat cat food
  • gets underfoot
  • is afraid of the teeter
  • is bossy
  • hates the rain
  • began her competetive career by getting stuck in a tunnel (after freezing on the start line)

  • is walked on a sensation harness
  • can open the fridge, garbage cans etc
  • eats everything she can get her mouth on
  • is loud
  • is bossy
  • scratched my fil's arm right open leaping up on him
  • barks at strange dogs on leash occasionally
  • wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to go out -often
  • has IBD
  • has allergies
  • has had zero point snookers classes, and accumulated more faults than I thought was possible

what kind of perfect is this?

Our kind of perfect - loving, trainable, entertaining, joyful souls who enrich our lives in measurable and immeasurable ways!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

a little of this ... and some of that ...

Linked to  a new blog today - "Supernova" - disc dog stuff - not something I aspire to but Angelo's addiction to his sport - matches my agility addiction - and I am friends with his sister. Not that Angelo knows I exist - but he and I moved together towards positive dog training and his sister was hearing about what he was doing as she watched my journey. Interesting for her!

Maybe we could try disc? I don't have to bring it back to you do I?

You asked about 30 hamsters - it was actually 31 that day .. and 15 more have come in.. 46 in total 6 placed, 4 in what will likely be permanent foster homes .... so hopefully I won't have to be a crazy hamster lady for much longer!

I have been involved in large number rescues of various species over the years - too many cat hoarders to count - we brought in 38 cats one day though (very sadly that whole group ended up being euthanized - doing that gave me a whole lot of understanding for how compassion fatigue can overwhelm shelter staff.) The Misener's puppy mill bust at about 240 dogs was the largest dog intake I've been on the front lines  for - 80 hours in less than 2 weeks and it sure didn't feel like enough.

I like the fields way better than the cages in the mill I was born in!
(likely Miseners in a weird confluence of fate)

 I also provided the landing pad for a 26 dog intake from the basement of a pet store. 18 Boston Terriers, 1 Italian greyhound,1 whippet, and 1 french bulldog spent a couple of nights with me until we got more foster homes lined up. (We were able to have foster spots for the chows and shibu inus before they arrived at my house- thank heavens). 100 budgies arrived on our door step (thanks to my Dad's help in transporting them). Luckily a friend had unoccupied office space for 3 weeks - which gave us time to assess and sort them. By the end of the three weeks Shelly and I each ended up with about 25  and that somehow seemed OK! I also spent 2 weeks organizing and then driving about 130 guppy babies to new homes when a true animal lover moved into a house to find an abandoned fish tank full of guppies waiting for her!

46 hamsters really doesn't seem like that many!

especially when we are all so cute!