Monday, July 25, 2011

Mad Dog 3/18/2000 - 7/16/2011

(Photo by Marsha Kingsley) 

It's so hard to say good-bye to one of your kids. 
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to save them, 
you just can't, and you need to let them go. 

That's how it was with our Madeline, 
AKA: Mad Dog. 

We can only guess what caused her illness, 
autoimmune disease we believe.
Mad had been involved in the Georgie Project,
Her body was shipped to Utah for the necropsy,
(an autopsy on dogs).  
This might give us some answers, 
or maybe just more questions. 

Mad was 11, not young to some people I suppose, 
not not 'old' by our definition either.

I suppose Mad was lucky, 
she never lost her sight, or hearing.
She never acted stiff, or sore. 
She had a happy, healthy life.

Mad came to 'train' with us for some water work 
when she was 2 years old. 
Bill and I decided if she didn't get along with our
other PWD, Nina, she would need to go back.
They bonded immediately,
and were best friends. 

Mad's first exposure to water wasn't a good one. 
Mad in fact, was a very poor swimmer at first. 

We took Nina and Mad out to the local pond.  
This pond has a pretty steep drop off. 
I tossed a bumper for Nina while Bill held Mad. 
Mad was barking and honking (she had the funniest honk).
She was so excited and wanted to play!!

I had Bill hold Nina, and tossed the dummy 
about 10' out.  Mad leaped into the water with 
reckless abandon, which became her trademark.
Unfortunately, both Mad and the bumper were now under
the water and all I could see was her white eyeball below
the surface.  YIKES!!!
She was nothing if not resilient. 

Hind site being 20/20, we would have 
introduced her to water differently.
It didn't dampen her love for the water at all. 
She LOVED water training & never failed a water test.

(Photo by Marsha Kingsley) 
Mad taught us many things. 
She showed us that it doesn't matter the age
of the dog, they can bond with a new family. 

She would always let us know when it was supper
time, as she'd grab a toy and drop to the floor and 
roll on her back.  If you didn't take notice, she'd do it again.

 She let us know that there's always time for a quick game of ball, 

and that life was too short not to have your own cup of ice cream.

She loved to sit on your lap, and thought that
was where she should be.  There were times
Bill never made it down to the sofa, before she was
already launching herself into his lap.

Mad didn't see any point to wading pools. 
While the BCs would play, she was  asking 'WHY'??

Mad was the official face washer of Seeker. 
He would put his face in front of her to wash, 
she was always willing to help out. 

Mad was the most easy going around other dogs. 
She was never confrontational, and got along with everyone.

We will miss you Mad.
We still can't believe you're gone.

If there is a Rainbow Bridge, I hope you are 
there now, with your best friend Nina. 

Hugs to you both.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Don't Fire Until You See The Whites Of Their Eyes"

We don't live on Bunker Hill!

We do tend to see a LOT of the white part of Nettle's eyes!

If you think it's scary should try living with it!

(Bonding with TONY!!)

She's the Queen of covering up the air condition registers with her body!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What Is A Tug Toy???

Nettle's Favorite Tug Toy

 Have you ever thought about what a tug toy, 
(or training toy) should be?

Does it have to be purchased from a store?
Does it need to be fuzzy and soft?
Does it need to have a handle?
Does it need to be a certain length?
Does it need to come in bright colors?
(Preferably Orange????)

The answer to all of the above it NO!

Nettle didn't 'come with' a tug.  
In fact, she almost 'failed' that segment of her 'puppy test'. 
(I'll say it again, I don't put much weight on puppy tests)

Tugging for her was/is a challenge.  
"I don't feel like it"
"I'd rather have......"
These are just a few of the responses I got.
I had two choices.
I could give up and just use food, 
or I could get creative and put some 'work' in to building a tug.

I strongly feel that tugging is very important in training.
So, the obvious choice was to put some effort into building it.

My first task was to decide what she found reinforcing.
She likes her stuffed toys, but those are for a "party of one".
She likes toilet paper, but, not very tuggable. 
She loves paper, again, not very strong.
Plastic bags are a blast!  
She loves to grab the poop bag at the end of the leash.
(Note to self - Check for holes before using!)

My plan at first was to weave a plastic grocery sack into
a long tug toy.  This would give her something to tug on she likes, 
and give the plastic bag a little more durability. 

In the meantime, I happened to use the last paper towel.
So, guess what I did with the empty roll?
I 'beat' the puppy, and she liked it!
A tug toy is born!

(Yes, I had to label it so Bill wouldn't throw it away!)
Otherwise I'd have to unroll a whole roll of
paper towels to get another one.

We kept the tug sessions very short.
We stopped when she was tugging vigorously.
We stopped when I said so, not her, and 
I made a big deal of putting it away.

She'll now tug with it before she eats, 
with her fresh chicken meat sitting right in front of her, 
and she'll tug again after she's done eating. 

Don't think the didn't take work, but it DID work!

So, if you have a puppy, or dog that won't tug,
maybe you haven't looked hard enough for what interests them?

This week we'll work on avoiding 'toy biasis'.
Then we'll work on 'tug any time, any place'.
Both of these are so important.

In the meantime, save yourself a little money and find a
tug toy your DOG likes....not necessarily what YOU like.

(Think how much fun a Christmas 
Wrapping Paper tube would be!!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thank You Dawn for running Seeker today!

Dawn agreed to run Seeker today.
She's never run Seeker, but she was willing to give it a try. 

Seeker has ran with someone else a year ago, 
so I knew THAT wouldn't be a problem!

I e-mailed her 'directions', the Do's and Don't's of Seeker.
As I looked at the 'incomplete' list, I decided 
that I sure do have a LOT of rules!
For me, consistency is important! 

They smoked Jumpers!

Standard, well....Seeker didn't follow the 'plan'. 
I think, he might have testing Dawn a bit.
First he ran through the A-Frame, then topped it 
off with a run through teeter!
Seeker was saying,
"You're NOT the boss of ME!"

Um, I guess he was wrong, 
as Dawn carted his little black and white butt
back to his crate.  
Good thing he's NOT a Great Dane!

Hopefully she'll be willing to run him tomorrow!

Hey Dawn, see if he'll do his 'hike it' trick for you.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sprinkler FUN!!!

Got home from MN about 7PM.
Nettle was in an X-Pen all day....


Nettle and Seeker having FUN in the Sprinkler!

 Seeker's NEW favorite GAME!!

I do wonder if Seeker didn't 
If Nettle would? much of behavior is
learned from mimicking other dogs?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Meet Nettle!


A  12 weeks old black curly Portuguese water dog.  
We've had her two weeks now and we've had a 
heck of a time finding a name.  
I really like the name Geilie, and 
I still find myself calling her that.....
but, I'm sure I can be taught!

Presently we are working on –
Pivot or Perch work
Wrapping around a pole
Crate Games
Pottying on a leash – especially important for those of us that travel!
Basic Good Puppy manners
Chase Games
Meeting new people, canines, cats and birds. 
And “Being Quiet” in her kennel. 
This ones seems to be her biggest challenge!! 
Thankfully she’s quite in the van while it’s moving.
Seeker LOVES her!
Mad and Kruz think she could go back now!
She's able to find EVERY stick in the yard!
Seeker's Tail is taking a BEATING!!!
Our hoses are now all SOAKERS! 
Thanks to the holes she's put in them!
Trust me, she is NOT bringing this toy to ME!
 Party of ONE!
She's such a little FREAK!!
See Below!
You have NO IDEA!!!

We now need help with a Registered Name!!

It's from the "Q" litter!

I personally feel Q should be SKIPPED!!  
Kind of like the 13th floor of the hotel!!

A couple ideas thus far....

Kalista's Quick Get A Net
Kalista's Quite The Catch