Friday, April 30, 2010


A couple of quick brags:

Ryan was a superstar at agility last night. He is so consistent and FAST! I really *really* hope that doesn't change (doubt the speed will - it's the consistency that I'm a little worried about as he starts loving the game even more). He missed one contact and backed himself right back onto it, missed a few weave entries but then redid them within 2 tries perfectly and was just so good about responding to all of my cues. We would do the same sequence with front crosses if I could get there and rear crosses if I got behind and he responded just as well to both. I think he is ready to be signed up for Regionals! I love running him. He is happy all the time and will take whatever reward I have to give him with enthusiasm. He has never lost his brain more than a quick 'lie down' break will fix and even that rarely happens.

Abby's brag has been that she is going for runs with me a lot on a trail that used to be impossible to bring her on. Half of it has fencing on either side to protect the plants and I think that used to make her feel trapped when joggers or bikes would come through (even though the trail is pretty wide). I still don't trust her 100% but (knock on wood) she has been *so good* lately. She hasn't even glanced at people and has even ignored a horse and a few exciting fetch playing dogs.

I chalk it up to maturity, a lot of desensitization and "look at that" games, having a brother as a punching bag (sudden wrestling seems to coincide with stressful situations), and me being a lot stricter/sterner with her. If she ignores me and takes off to scream at an exciting dog she gets a very stern "lie down" for about 10 seconds and then I release her. So far she has never gone back to whatever was happening before her little time out. I think I used to be afraid of traumatizing my "poor little rescued scared shy dog" with any strict tone or correction of any kind. It was only when I noticed that not all of Abby's reactions were fear based and that there were a lot of times when she was just plain being a bitchy jerkface that my interactions with her started to change a bit and she really started to improve. I don't want this to sound like I started jerking her around by the collar and scruff shaking her - nothing like that! I think it's more that I used to be so soft with her and not clear enough with my expectations for how she was to behave. Once I started expecting certain things (no, you do not *ever* chase people or scream at-bite dogs playing ball) those things started to happen.

I also cannot speak highly enough of the book "Control Unleashed". So many good ideas in there!

I was looking back at some stuff I wrote while looking for a 2nd dog and how I thought it would let me appreciate Abby more instead of trying to force her to be the "bring anywhere" dog that I wanted her to be. It really worked! When I want a dog to bring somewhere with lots of people or dogs or anything, I grab Ryan. I don't feel sad anymore that Abby isn't that kind of dog - I appreciate her for the many many qualities that she has (super athlete do anything you ask velcro dog who is 100% attached to just me? that's my Abby!). I feel very lucky that everything has worked out so well.

Love my nutty mutts!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beach Weather

It's getting to be that time of year again!

And that means plenty more...


Maybe YIP isn't quite the right description for it.

She's too cute! I can't actually get mad at her. It's a problem.

She knows it!

Instead I just make Ryan sit on her.

Two dogs on a log.

They were both so happy to swim in the ocean again. Unfortunately Ryan is a little overly enthusiastic in his swimming and he ingests quite a bit of salt water....which comes out looking exactly the same as when it went in about an hour later. I call it...

Shih Tzu?

More like Puke Tzu.

Ok that was a terrible joke. True, though. That's Jazz, who I looked after for the weekend. Sweet innocent Jazzy who never causes any trouble.

Well, I guess Jazz decided that he was tired of being the good dog. Sometime while I was at work on Saturday he climbed onto the kitchen table and ate about 4 bars or 9 ounces of milk chocolate. I got home and he looked a bit funny but I thought nothing of it...until he vomited a giant brown puddle onto my carpet. That's when I noticed the small brown shavings on the carpet and saw that my chocolate stash was gone. I found the wrapper in the couch. I panicked (Jazz is tiny!!) and looked up the toxic dose online and found out that he'd eaten under the toxic dose. I had no idea when he'd eaten the chocolate so I thought that inducing vomiting was probably pointless. He thought otherwise and proceeded to vomit on the dogs beds and then all over the balcony when I put him out there. There's nothing like cleaning puddles and puddles of chocolate vomit to make me perfectly fine with the fact that my chocolate stash is gone.

After all the vomiting he seemed to be feeling fine. You'd think I would have learned to keep the tables and counter clear, right? Nope. I took everything off the table but didn't think to clear the counter (again, Jazz is tiny!! but apparently quite agile). I went out for an hour yesterday afternoon and came back to a broken ceramic dish knocked off the counter and a very fat and ill looking Jazz. He'd eaten his entire bag full of liver treats as well as Abby and Ryan's large bag of cookies and treats. All of that somehow didn't make him vomit and he seems to feel fine today. Needless to say I *finally* learned my lesson and cleared all food from all surfaces.

I bet Emma is going to be surprised to hear about Jazzy's antics when she gets back tonight!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

River Rocks

what did you say, Abby?

Beezer is showing off how big and strong he's getting by balancing precariously over the rushing river.
He still has that disproportionately long tail though...

So long, in fact, that Abby seems to think it's a jump.
It may look like everyone had a case of the crazies but really it was just Abby.
Amigo was looking on very patiently from her rock.

Until her brother tried to shove her off it.

Found new rock. Throw pleeze?
Ryan was pretending to be all studly.

Tag and Tizo are the real studs though. Well, stud and studette.

Errr...maybe not.
Come on, ladies. This is the real stud.
Cody. Miniature Poodle extraordinaire.
Look at that 'do.

Sweet faced Meego.

Funny faced Ryan with his new Pug friend.