Sunday, December 02, 2007

Abby, FD FDX

Abby had her first flyball tournament today! Even though I had to drive in a freak snowstorm at 7am to get there I still had lots of fun and I think Abby did too. She did really *really* well for her first tournament. She ran clean in all 5 heats of the first race but then noticed the other dogs in the 2nd race. She tried to eat one of them once but ran very nicely after that, and ran nicely again in her next race. By the last race she was done, though, and she freaked out completely when she realized there was a *gasp* MAN boxloading! He happened to be the same man who was boxloading the whole time, and who had fed her cookies in between races, but STILL. How *dare* he call her to come get her ball?

We ended up coming in 1st in Div 4. Yay! Unlike at agility, at flyball you get prizes. We got lots of food (dog food, obviously!) and some cool tug toys.

My fingers are crossed that Abby doesn't think that the next line of jumps in agility are flyball jumps!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We only have one toy.

Ryan found his old Sheepy toy.

And of course Abby suddenly had to have it.
Plan A: Tug

Plan B: Get really mad and bite Ryan's head.

I win.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Teen Angst

I confoozed. I like cookies.
You have got to be kidding me. What do you have to be confused about? All you do is run around like an idiot with your tongue hanging out. You don't have to worry about the short 2-legged squealers or the tall deep-voiced monsters. Don't be stupid.

But da happier I get, da less cookies I get. I don't get it. I run around fast cuz I'm so happy and I grab stuff to show becuz it's so cool! Den I get told to lie down. Like right now. I like cookies. I want dem.
Imbecile. Cookies come to those who work for them. You have to figure out the rules of the cookies. For example, if you scream a lot, you get a cookie when you take a breath but only if you hear the word "shutupowmyhead" first.

I like cookies. Dey fall from sky?

What was that about Border Collies and intelligence? He makes my mutt brain ache.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Drive or Driving?

Yesterday I wrote that Ryan seemed to be getting more drive as he matures. I guess he felt the need to show me that he actually wants to be driving, since I left him in the car for a while today and he ate my gear shift and my emergency brake. There may be more damage but it's dark out so I can't tell yet.

There is now a crate in the backseat of my car again. He should be in a crate anyway for safety since I'm sure he'd chew a seatbelt off of himself in a matter of minutes.

*Don't kill the puppy. Don't kill the puppy*

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Fetch Machine..kind of

Today was the first day that Ryan was really into playing fetch at the dog park. Usually I'll throw the ball a few times and he half-heartedly retrieves it, then decides that there are lots of other things around that are more fun. Today, though, he raced after the ball over and over and kept lying down in wait for it to be thrown. He really is starting to get some drive!

Mr. September

I don't think I ever mentioned that I entered a few photos of Ryan into TDBCR's annual calendar contest. One of the pictures ended up getting enough votes to be in the calendar!

TDBCR Calendars

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Who is that handsome lad?

It's Ryan all grown up! Well, not quite. He's about 8 months now and while he looks a lot more like an adult, he sure doesn't act like one! He's 20.5" and 40 lbs - I'm still going with my guess of 45lbs full grown. Hopefully he won't get any taller though because I'd like to start him in 16" specials in agility, I think. If he gets even half an inch taller then he'll have to jump 22" specials.

As for his mental maturity...let's just say I can now see why people say that adolescent Border Collies make you want to shoot yourself, or them, or possibly both. Ryan would be moving *constantly* if it were up to him. After a two hour hike, some back yard fetch and a meal's worth of training, Ryan will still lie on his bed in a forced down all shifty eyed looking for his next target. As soon as he's released, he's running around the house looking for a toy to destroy. I love kongs. I love raw bones. I do not love big shiny white teenage Ryan teeth.

Ryan also has a very annoying habit of grabbing onto pant legs when he is overjoyed while greeting someone. He needs to have a toy in his mouth or he just keeps grabbing tiny little mouthfuls and letting go before you can tell him to stop.

So far he hasn't shown any of that "typical" adolescent dog behaviour or suddenly having no recall. His recall is actually very good, and he has a split second "lie down". He is going through a spooky fear stage right now though. Dogs are even scarier than they were before (after 3 puncture causing face attacks and multiple non puncture face attacks it's no wonder face to face greetings are a bit scary). Strangers are all of a sudden a bit scary too. I plan to do a bit of hanging around outside the mall this weekend with Ryan just to get some people to feed him treats. I am hoping and thinking that this is just a phase but I don't want to take any chances.

Abby the super dog continues to be the crazy little athlete. We are doing agility classes twice a week and flyball practice once every couple of weeks. We've got our first flyball tournament coming up soon! We're still working on the box turn and on a fast run back to me. I haven't quite figured out what will get Abby really running back to me. She is usually too pumped up to eat (but I should try something delicious like cat food brownies) and the ball wins over any tug. She would probably run fast if I run full speed away from her but I don't think that's too practical in a tournament.

Abby's been doing well with other dogs lately, I've noticed. She is much more inclined to give a warning snarl than to launch a full on attack like she used to. We go on group hikes with my dog walker friend every morning with 8 dogs total and she's been great on those. She also has quite a few boyfriends - she's in love with Tycho (of course) but also with Fyvish and Tyler! The little tramp!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

At the beach

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Abby the agility star!

Abby made an agility comeback this past weekend at our club's 'away' trial (we all went camping at the trial site - lots of fun!). We had 1 lone Snookers Q this summer, but other than that it had been a looong time since any significant numbers of Qs. I guess Abby decided it was time to step up our game...on Saturday we had Steeplechase, Standard, Snooker and Gamblers. Steeplechase was a gong show. I got us lost. It was the first run of the day, though, so that was ok. I also got us lost in our Std. excuse. In Snooker we didn't get far enough in the closing. Then, in Adv. Gamblers, Abby Q'd. She was the only dog to complete the gamble AND she got the highest number of opening points overall and won us a bag of kibble* (* more about how this kibble became useful coming up). On Sunday, we had Team, Standard, Gamblers and Jumpers. In Team Abby ran clean but her partner didn't. She Q'd with a 1st in Standard, and Q'd again in Gamblers. We ran clean in Jumpers but were 2 seconds over time...and I'm not sure that any of the dogs ran under the 35 sec. time limit. It was a very very fast course time. So now Abby is a Masters Gambler - woohoo! Also very scary...

Now onto why the prize kibble came in handy - I agreed to foster 5 half BC puppies that desperately needed out of the shelter. They are very cute...of course. Also very much work. They are now the Movie Stars - Depp, Walker, Sandler, Vaughn and Jolie. They get speutered tomorrow and hopefully adopted very soon afterwards. They've been here since Thursday and my life is consumed by "puppies out, puppies in, puppies fed, puppies out" etc. *over and over and over*. At least they sleep all night. Ryan seems to think he's part of their litter. Wherever they go, he goes. Abby is being a good momma dog. She tells them to shut up when they are noisy in their crate and they have to stay still politely for her to sniff them as she pleases.

Ryan is just over 6 months and I can see him starting to listen a bit less than before. He's in a rally-o class so I'm finally teaching him to heel. Also to 'stay' since I haven't really taught that formally. I know, I know, bad puppy mom. He went through what seemed to be a bit of a fear stage the past few weeks where he would let out a "woo wooo WOOOOO" when we saw dogs out on the hiking trails. I made sure to treat him whenever he saw dogs and his barking seems to have stopped. He is still very much a puppy in his greetings with dogs and with people. Squirmy and licky and in your face. I'm just happy that he's so friendly :)

His growing has slowed down quite a bit. I found out that one of his brothers is 48 lbs - Ryan is only 31 right now! He's just a bit taller than Abby, so he's probably 19" or so. I have a feeling he still has some growing to do. My guess is he'll end up at 45 lbs. I'll just have to wait and see!

This Sunday was "Hyperbowl" - a reunion of everyone associated with the BC rescue. I was thinking about leaving Abby at home but I ended up taking her, and I'm glad I did. Even though there was a field with probably close to a 100 dogs and little kids running around and people with chuck-its, she was really good. I think there was just too much for her to focus on so she just decided to focus on me mostly. I barely saw Ryan - he was off running around and then flopping over for naps. He did get put on sheep for the first time. He is apparently pretty good for his age and he might have some talent when he's a bit older. That was pretty exciting for me and it's something I'd like to continue with him. I like the idea of doing different activities with Abby and Ryan. I will probably start agility with Ryan, but I might also like to do therapy work with him and herding while staying with agility and flyball for Abby. Ryan has a lot less drive than Abby. He concentrates and listens well but when we go out people don't stop and stare and point at him like they do with hyped up Abby. I can't remember if I wrote in here that one woman at flyball said she'd never seen a dog as "on" as Abby. Sigh.

Speaking of Abby, some of her 'bad behaviour' has returned. She jumped on people on the trails on 2 different occasions. I need to go back to bringing really good treats and keeping her close and then calling her back when we see people. I'd been lazy since she had been so good lately. I do have hope still that eventually she'll be able to ignore runners. In general her self control has improved so, so much. In the past she would have never been able to hold a 'down stay' while there were 5 fast puppies racing around, or 50 BCs chasing a ball. Now, though, she can do it. So I do have hope. It's just so hard when you make so much progress and then have a huge backslide.

Monday, August 06, 2007

He's got legs!

Would'ya look at the legs on this guy?? They are growing so much faster than the rest of him right now!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Raising a Puppy = No Time for Blog

So I guess my plan of tracking Ryan's puppyhood in this blog has kinda failed since I've been way to busy with him and Abby and everything else to write anything at all!

Ryan is now just about 5 months old and is starting to act more like a dog and less like a puppy. I'm liking him more every day - I've decided I'm not much of a puppy person. I liked him all along, obviously, but now it's finally like I got the dog that I wanted so much and not just a bouncy ball with sharp razor teeth in a little furry suit. I haven't done much 'trick' training with Ryan. We work on practical things all the time, though - loose leash walking, waiting in doorways/crates/the edge of the sidewalk, sit, down, stay, leave it, out. He graduated from puppy class a month or so ago and we're now doing a puppy agility class. We've gone to that twice and we're learning to touch a target (not so hard since he already knew a hand touch) and doing the tunnel and chute and table. Ryan loves the tunnel and is able to find the entrance even when it's curved away from the direction I'm calling him through from (if that makes any sense). In between the puppy class and the agility class we went to a few Rally-o classes but I ended up doing the courses with Abby and just taking Ryan out in between turns to meet the other dogs and practice paying attention to me with stuff going on. He's been going to daycare once a week and that has been great for his confidence around other dogs. Now he runs up to pretty much every dog and throws himself onto his back in front of them.

I'm still doing flyball and agility with Abby. Both are going really well - I'm completely addicted to flyball and am going to try and continue it when I move back home. Abby gets it now and I don't even have to have her on leash at practice. She stays in a 'down' until it's her turn to run even with all these ball crazy dogs running past her. I hope her good behaviour continues in the fall...she's been doing so, so well lately. She's been fine with all the guests we've had over and I haven't felt like I have to be super vigilant. She goes right up to most of them and demands a back massage! At agility she has been very good about ignoring the other dogs, and she's been just amazing at flyball. I really like the agility classes here and I think my handling has improved a lot this summer. It's nice to work in a big, open field. We do a lot of front and back crosses and I'm finally teaching Abby proper targets (nose touch instead of just the 2020 stance so she'll be able to do them without me right there). We went to a 4 hours distance mini clinic on Sunday and got lots of good tips there. It'll be hard to move back to doing agility in a tiny indoor facility in the fall...

Tycho came out here to visit us and he and Abby were soo excited to see each other! Ryan was pretty excited to meet Tycho, too, but Tycho didn't feel quite the same enthusiasm.

Ryan is almost as big as Abby. Abby is about 18" at the shoulder and Ryan is about 16-17" this week. Abby weighs 28 lbs and Ryan is probably about 24 lbs though I haven't weighed him in a long time. He has a nice silky coat now - no more puppy fuzziness. I've been told he'll have a medium rough coat and I'm hoping that's true - the less grooming the better! I'm not sure if his ears will prick. They aren't mini ears anymore like they were when he was tiny, but they aren't huge and floppy. His left ear stood up at the beginning of June for about a week and his right ear stood up 3 weeks ago for about a week and now they are both kinda airplane ears. We'll see what they decide to do. His freckles are really dark now and everybody comments on his beautiful colouring....they also all think he's a cattle dog mix because of his ticking. I guess no one has seen a ticked Border Collie before! In the past 2 weeks Ryan started getting some adult teeth. He now has all adult teeth in the front on top, and a few on the bottom in front.

Ryan is completely (knock on wood) housetrained now and has been for quite awhile now - at least since he was 3-4 months. He sits by the door and whines to be let out. I'm not sure how long he would sit there before he went off somewhere else to pee since I never test that out. He's pretty good about not puppy biting. When I get home he goes and grabs something to carry around or else I shove something (other than my dirty socks..which he loves) in his mouth. He'll go to his bed now from across the room when I tell him to and he stays there when I tell him to, although I have to remind him that he's staying there every few minutes unless I give him a bone to chew on. He still hates being held down on his back and makes the most awful noises when I do it to him. I should work on it more often...he doesn't really fuss about it, just makes that terrible noise. He also screeched his head off while getting a bath in the yard this weekend. The neighbours must have thought I was murdering him. Abby thought so, too. She started screaming at me to try and get me to stop torturing him. It was quite the racket.

Ryan's still eating kibble instead of raw like Abby because I like to do training with him at mealtimes and I still stuff his breakfast in a kong for him when I go to work. I think I'll put him on raw eventually but for now kibble works well. He seems to be allergic to chicken in kibble, though, so he's on lamb. He got a rash all over his belly when I put him on chicken kibble.

Speaking of raw, our entire freezer is filled with llama right now. One of the professors keeps llamas on his property and we killed one for a project. I got to cut up an entire leg for Abby - she is one happy and lucky dog! It was her birthday yesterday. She's 3 years old - wow! Time really has flown by.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I'm too tired to write much of anything tonight so I'll just get straight to the pictures. Ryan is almost 12 weeks and his ears are starting to do some funny things!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The puppy is getting big!

The sleeping through the night continues! We had one lapse where I caved and gave Ryan water right before bed. Big mistake and it will not be repeated! Other than that, he sleeps from around 9:30-6:00 every night, and then lies in his crate and chews on a bone from 6:00-7:00, when I've been getting up.

This week was full of lots more socialization, and we've still got plenty to do. We went to the pet store a few times, and to the university campus. Abby's agility class was this week and there is flyball tomorrow. We also went to an agility trial all afternoon.We have to work on meeting lots of other dogs since Ryan is still nervous of them. He growled at a lab puppy that we met today (that was very in his face, but no excuses for 10 week old Ryan!) so he definitely needs to meet/play with some pups his own age! We also need to work on resource guarding prevention every night, I think, since he tried to guard a chicken back from me last night. Also toenail trimming and grooming, since he'll probably have a rough coat and will have to get used to being brushed.

This morning we went for a really nice walk/hike. Abby ran the entire time - she was so full of energy! Ryan didn't have to or want to be carried at all. He walked for the whole hour and only flopped down for a couple of breaks (one of which happened to be into a gopher hole!).

I'll have to measure him again. He must have gained at least 3 lbs - he feels really heavy when I carry him! I'm not sure whether I can say he's better about being restrained on his back. He still puts up a huge fight, but I think I can probably get about 10 seconds of quiet not compared to none before. He really isn't very cuddly but I'm hoping that has to do with how hot it is out...I want him to learn to love cuddling! This week he learned 'leave it', 'out' and 'touch' (the palm of my hand). Abby is working on touching a target to improve her agility contacts. I'd better get on that tonight - it's my homework for Tuesday!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

So Tired!

Phew, having a puppy is hard work! Things are settling down a bit now that I've got a schedule for Ryan. A couple of nights last week he was waking up at midnight (I was going to bed around 10:30), 4 and 6 am. The last two nights he slept from about 10:30 right until 6 - progress! I took him to the vet to be weighed yesterday and he's at 9.5 lbs at 8.5 weeks. I need to measure his height too - I swear I can see him growing! He is almost tall enough for Abby to hump now :D She keeps trying, but he's just too short.

The two of them play all the time now. Abby sometimes gets a little rough with the paw slaps, but Ryan seems to take it and can almost hold his own. He does circuits of the living room with stops under the table and the desk where he knows Abby can't jump on him. Then, when she isn't looking, he runs up to her, yaps in her face and runs off again. What a little brat! He's going to be trouble, that's for sure!

Did I say he hadn't cried yet in my last post? HA! This puppy is LOUD. He can make more noise than Abby! He yaps and howls and screams and cries when he isn't getting what he wants. He hates being held upside down, or restrained in any way really. We're working on that all the time, and I think he's made a little bit of progress. He yaps in his crate in the car for the first 5 minutes of the ride, but then quiets down. He definitely has a mind of his own and is pretty independent - he already goes off and explores parts of the yard where he can't see me.

He learned 'sit' and 'down' this week, and also what the clicker means. He catches on fast, but his attention span is about 2 seconds long! He can also go up and down the stairs in front by himself. He's had a few accidents inside when I wasn't watching carefully - just pee though. In general he pees as soon as he's standing on grass, and I don't think it will take too long for him to get the idea of house training. We're working on bite inhibition and I think he's starting to understand that when I shriek he has to tone down the biting. Abby is helping with that too - when he gets too wild she either grumbles at him or leaps up and walks away.

We've gone lots of places for socialization this week - the park every morning (although it's usually empty), the pet store, a doggy daycare (where he'll go when he's 3 months, and where puppy classes start next week), a busy coffee shop, a skateboard park and a kid's playground. I'm working really hard at this, so hopefully he'll be used to lots and lots of strangers and dogs and the noisy city. So far he seems a little wary of bigger dogs, but I'm sure he'll get over that when he's a bit bigger himself, and when he starts class/daycare. He is also scared of people holding objects when they try to pet him (ie. little boy holding bike helmet). I'll have to carry more strange objects around the house and practice calling him, and then get strangers to do the same thing. He'll approach anything for a piece of liver, so that makes things easier.

His schedule during the work week is a walk from 7:00-7:45 (off leash at the school field with Abby) and then running around the house and a bit of training from 7:45-8:05 while I get ready for work. He's in his xpen with stuffed toys, a potty box, his crate, kongs and a treat dispensing toy from 8:05-12:00. He gets about a quarter of his meal stuffed in kongs and the other toy. I come home for lunch for an hour and we play in the yard and the living room, then I'm gone again from 1-4:45 or so. He gets another quarter of his meal in the toys for the afternoon. When I get home we go out right away to meet people/dogs in a new place. Abby comes in the car and we usually stop to play fetch on the way home. They both get their dinner at around 6:00, and I haven't let Ryan have any water the past few nights past about 8:00. I've also kept him up after a short nap right up until bedtime, and that seems to have done the trick for getting him to sleep all night.

Tomorrow the annual CAPPDT conference is being held nearby so I'm going to go over there and check out the marketplace. I'm still waiting to hear whether dogs are allowed inside and I'll definitely bring Ryan in if they are. Abby starts agility next week so that will also be a good socialization opportunity.

Off to enjoy the sweet, cuddly, sleeping puppy!

A Very Big Update

My original plan was to get a puppy in May...then, I decided to get an adult and I got impatient and started fostering in February. Well...I guess I caught puppy fever, because look who arrived today:

Ryan, as I've named him, is one of a litter of 5 male puppies that came into TDBCR. There is another tri, a split face, a black and white, and a dark brown pup. I think they also had a red and white sister who was sold before the puppies came into rescue.

Ryan was put on a flight this morning at around 7:00 am and I picked him up at 12:15 pm (hour time difference, though, so he was in transit for about 4 hours I think). When I picked him up, he was lying in his crate happily chewing on a bone, and when I opened the door he came right out and bounced/rolled around on the grass outside.

I am completely in love with my little Ryan and he's only been here for 9 hours! Come to think of it, that might be why I'm completely in love with him :P So far he hasn't had a chance to do anything wrong - no accidents (lots off pees and poops outside and lots of praise for that!), no chewing anything but his toys, and no crying. I'm sure the crying will start tonight when he realizes he isn't with his brothers anymore.

Abby isn't sure what she thinks of him yet. She'd really like to play rough with him, but he is too little to play like that so I think Abby is pretty frustrated. She keeps getting really excited and racing full speed around the yard and taking flying leaps over him, while he lies on his stomach chewing a toy and wagging his tail. She keeps pawing him in the face, but he doesn't seem to mind that. She hasn't corrected him for anything yet - she just warned him to stay away from her bone and ball. She did roll him once while trying to play and then she looked completely shocked when he screamed.

Ryan is next to me passed out right now...oh the cuteness! He's got so many freckles all over his nose and the tiniest ears in the world. He weighs about 7 lbs and is between 7 and 8 weeks old.

We went to the school field tonight and Ryan flopped around with a stuffed toy while Abby played ball. A family came to the playground with a Golden and 2 girls on bikes, so Ryan got to meet them. He seems to be nice and outgoing and runs right up to everyone. On the way home we met a girl with her cat on a leash, so Ryan met the cat too. It was a perfect cat to introduce a puppy to - he was nonchalant about a puppy sniffing him. Ryan was a bit unsure of the cat but some liver treats took care of that.

I'm going to have to work really hard to bring him everywhere for socialization since there are way less dogs and people around here than there are at home (and I'll be here for Ryan's whole critical socialization period). I contacted someone about puppy classes who is supposed to be really good. I'm also planning on taking him (and Abby) to lots of agility trials and maybe flyball trials to meet other dogs and dog people. We live right by the university, and I can bring him to work sometimes so that will be good for meeting people.

I just took a break and played with the dogs, then took Ryan out for a pee before bed. He is now screaming his head off in the ex-pen. This will be interesting - my first puppy :D

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Exams and moving

Well that was a rather long break in blogging! Last term I wrote more during exams, but this term I was way too stressed out to even consider updating. I'm almost done now, though, so I finally have time for a little update.

Will/Max is still here, but somebody is coming to meet him tomorrow. Fingers crossed! My plan had been to update here with his progress, but that obviously didn't happen. I haven't had a ton of time to work with him, either, but he is definitely more comfortable these days. He still likes to stay in my room most of the time, but he now loves going to the field and he isn't afraid when the girls play ball. In fact, he has decided that chasing them is a lot of fun, so he gets put on the leash during the fetch sessions and he gets to run the rest of the time. I found out in the last week that he knows "up" and "lie down". He still drags a long line, but I can get him to lie down and he'll stay there while I go to clip his leash on. He's also much more likely to come back to my side now when I call him (as opposed to running the other way, like he did in the beginning). I switched him to raw a few weeks ago, and that's going well. He loves his food, and he is getting over his fear of plastic crinkling since his food comes out of a plastic bag every day.

There's one week left before I drive halfway across the country for my summer job. I'm going with my roommate, who is (very very sadly) going to have to transfer Mia to a new foster home. I've come to really love Mia, and it's going to be so sad not to have her around anymore. Abby will miss living with dogs, too. Maybe I'll find my 2nd dog this summer. I sure hope so!

The dogs have had a great time during this exam period. For the first week, we were bringing them to a new park every morning for an hour or so. That was a nice break for me too because the same field day in and day out gets pretty boring! This past week, when the stress levels got higher, we were taking them down to the beach (it doesn't take long to get there and they tire themselves out pretty fast).

Today, Abby and Will haven't been out yet since I had my hardest exam. But that's ok, because it's time for agility class and a long hike tomorrow!