Monday, May 29, 2006

Scotty & I had a very nice Memorial Day at home. More working in the yard, but it looks awesome!!! It was still hot & the dogs loved being outside w/ us.

I took some pictures while they were out there. My pups are so cute.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

It was another HOT's been in the 90s all weekend. It's amazing how the heat really tires the dogs out. They don't run around much...just hang out in the yard w/ us while we work. But the end result are 3 very tired pooches.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Class was cancelled due to the holiday so Lola went back to daycare. They were all so happy to see her & were amazed at how big she got. Scotty worked in the yard all day, spreading mulch and it looks great. It was HOT (perfect as far as I'm concerned).

Penny gets so hot, yet refuses to see shelter from the sun. She loves to lay in it & bake.

I drove up to the New Castle dog show to pick up an order of meat from Hare Today. Annette left me 2 messages that the lady wasn't gonna make it but I missed her calls. It was very interesting to see all the different dogs and vendors. I walked around a bit & pick Sherman up a new Lupine collar w/ turtles on it. Then I drove home & picked Lola up at daycare. She was pooped! I love Camp Bow Wow!

Friday, May 26, 2006

I took the day off so Mom & I could have our annual gardening day. Every year my Mom graciously comes over to help me weed out my garden and assists me in planting some new Perennials. I have no idea the difference between a weed & a new seedling so her presence is much needed.

I love to tell the story of our first year at the house when I was prepping the front flower bed to plant some petunias. I was tilling the dirt & said to Scott "What the hell did they plant so many onions for? There must be 100 onion plants in here!!". So I pulled them all out & we had no tulips that year.

Well it was spitting rain all morning so Mom & I went to the nursery & then to lunch. By early afternoon it had cleared up enough do to some planting & it only took a couple hours to get the garden in pretty good shape. Just some mulching & we should be looking good.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A bird has made a home on one of the ferns off of the front deck. I've named her Trudy & I think she's a finch (actually, I have no idea what she is...but if I had to picture what a finch would look like, it would look like Trudy). She has laid 4 eggs & I'm trying very hard not to disturb her, but I take a peek every so often to see what's going on in the nest. She doesn't seem too bothered by the dogs or me. She just hangs out on the chain or in her nest.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Last night, Penny & I met Annette at the shelter to practice some agility stuff. The Agility Games class starts on 6/14 and we thought it would be fun to goof around and run through some of the equipment. Penny had a great time, as did Apache & Cheyenne. She hasn't done agility in a long time and was kind of rusty, but she picked it up quickly. Annette gave me some really good pointers. She also volunteered to run me through the stations of an obedience trial to see how much work we'd have to do. I need to work on the Stand this week and then we'll see. There is a fun match on 6/17 I think I'm gonna go to just to see how Penny likes it (and how I can deal!!)

Lola's housetraining problem seems to be correcting itself...thanks to some good work from Scotty & I. He's been really great about taking her out (a LOT) when I'm not home & for the first time, ever, I really yelled at her when I caught her peeing on the carpet. Up to this point, it was just "UH OH....outside!" But she's old enough now to know better...she just didn't want to get wet (little priss). But we're doing a lot better & I'm hopeful.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Well the rain started and continues to fall ~Ugh~...~double Ugh~. I hate rain...hate it, hate it, hate it! I've got flowers to plant, I've got a yard to clean up, I've got dogs that need to learn how to walk nicely on leash! ~Ugh~!

But all is not lost. While Project LLW is on hold until the rain stops, I'm still getting some training in. Lola's been to two classes in 4 days. She's still a maniac, but it is taking her less & less time to calm down. She just loves everyone & everything. She desparately wants to play w/ the other dogs & there are quite a few that would make great playmates for her. She's just gonna have to suck it up. We've been doing some clicker work at home too. More attention & reinforcing heel position. I'll but much happier when I can take it outside. We have a big house, but little rooms.

Penny & I have been working some too. I'm concentrating right now on her having a very clear understanding that Sit & Down are two different commands, longer stays and straighening out her automatic sits (she still swings out). Penny has a pretty clear idea of where heel position is, but I've also been doing quarter turns and Heeling against walls to reinforce it.

Sherman was feeling kind of icky over the last week & has been grouchier than usual. He & Penny actually got into it on Saturday. First time in over a year & the first time it started when I wasn't in the room. I was able to diffuse the situation pretty quickly and no damage was done. For the next 24 hours however, Sherman wouldn't let Penny near him. He would growl every time she came in to the same room & she was obviously bothered by it. I promised her I wouldn't let him hurt her & she thought it was a good idea to stick to me like glue for a couple of days.

Sherman is back to his old semi-grouchy self now and is waiting for the rain to stop so he can resume patrolling the neighborhood.

Lola has competely forgotten that she should be doing her business outside and not on my carpet. ~sigh~ I cut her some slack after her spay as I know they move her parts around and her bladder is probably sore & weak. But it's been 2+ weeks and she just doesn't like going out in the rain. Well...tough toothpicks! I'll stand out there for a 1/2 an hour under my umbrella until she does her business. It's up to her how long we have to be out there. Let's hope she catches on quick. Cleaning up pee is getting very old!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Some random pics...

Lola at daycare (no wonder she loves it!!)

Lola's mom & dad (Jessie is the fawn & Buster is the little mini w/ the cone on his head!)

My beautiful diva dog...

Sherman Snuggling.
Checkin' out the back yard..

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Day 2 of Project LLW...

Penny loves this. She really does. We are, after all...working. I had to stop about 10 times on the walk & not at all on the 2nd half of the block. Right now, I'm using the clicker. When she pulls, I stop...she turns & when the leash is completely loose, I c/t. I also c/t when she is in a position I like (not right next to me but a couple feet in front w/ a completely loose leash). This walk takes us past the vet's office, which gives me an opportunity to practice Leave It w/ other dogs. She hasn't had one flip out in the past 3 times we've worked & we've seen 1/2 dozen dogs. That is major progress for her & I'm thrilled!

Lola's progress is not going so well. She is a brain dead adolescent right now. I called the Vet b/c her spay incision is starting to puff & she is really broken out. I thought it was almost like razor burn b/c they shave her before the surgery. I just wanted them to check it out & put my mind at ease (I'm a worrier!). On the walk down, she was a maniac. She just didn't get it...she pulls, I stop. She pulls, I stop. Took us almost 10 minutes to get 1/2 a block to the vets office. The office was packed. She was obnoxious...barking & whining & bucking at the end of the leash. I made her sit in my lap & settle and that helped. Turns out, she has skin infection. Dr. Moore indicated it was Pyoderma (huh??? I love doctors.), which is an infection caused by staph bacteria (I googled it). She's on antibiotics for a week & has to take benedryl 2x per day. The walk home was much, much better (train a tired dog! Duh!). I only had to stop once. We'll just keep at it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Day 1 of Project LLW...went better than I had anticipated. I suppose I should clarify this whole thing. I am very lazy. And training a dog to walk nicely on leash is so boring and does take a considerable amount of time. I don't want to put the effort into it...especially if there is equipment that will enable me to just get a decent walk in. So I tried the Gentle Leader, the Halti, The SENSEation Harness, The Freedom harness, The EasyWalk harness, the Good Dog collar & a prong collar. Sheesh...I have enough equipment to start my own store!! All work fine at first, but Penny eventually learns how to manipulate her body so that she can pull. Fortunately, the one thing she's never really been able to pull on is a regular old collar (at least not for the last few years) because I never walk her on one!! So I won't have to break a habit that she's had for 4 years.

So...Penny & I started our walk and it really didn't take long before she accepted that she will not be allowed to pull. And what she really liked...when the leash was loose, she got treats! I will not be walking S&P together for quite a while. Penny loves to lead and having to compete w/ Sherman will impede any progress we may make. I'm guessing it'll take me two weeks to make it around the block w/o having to stop. She's a quick study.

Lola's walk went just as well. It is boring & it does take time...but now that I'm committed, I truly believe it will be worth it. Her problem is she has sooooo much puppy energy right now & gets very excited when she sees people, another dog, a squirrel, a bird, a leaf blowing in the wind. She forgets what her job is. Well it's my job to teach her.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday morning was dedicated to the dogs. Sherman & I took a wonderful 45 minute walk around the neighborhood. This is truly one of his favorite things to do in the world and the spring in his step when it's just he & I is undeniable.

Lola has officially begun her LLW training. I'm not one of those dog owners who requires their dog to heel the entire walk. I want them to sniff & enjoy the walk as much as I do. So far, Lola has done well on the Easy Walk, but she's started pulling on it as well. Enough is enough. Time to get to work. Didn't take long for her to figure it out...leash is tight, I stop. We're gonna do the same short block every day till that darn leash is loose the entire time. Then move on.

I decided to take Penny to the park. We had a really nice hike until we ran into a gaggle of deer. There were about 5 of them & she, of course, went nuts when she saw them. So we turned around & went back the way we came. She also has the nasty habit of pulling on leash. I bitch & complain about it all the time. What's that saying? "Don't complain...Train!". And that's exactly what I plan on doing. Time to get off my ass after 3 years & finally teach her how to walk politely on leash! Penny will be on the same LLW training plan as Lola. She gets plenty of exercise running around in the yard w/ the Sprout so I'm not worried about that.

The pups hung out on the front porch all afternoon soaking in the sun. It was a nice Sunday.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Shelley was unable to teach class tonight & asked if I would cover for her. No problem...this is a very nice class & I'm pretty comfortable teaching clicker. So I took Penny as my demo dog. I just love her to pieces. Other than hating the crate (which she found to be very beneath her), she was perfect. We reviewed Sit, Down, Attention, Touch & started Heeling & Stay. It was a fun class.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lola is & sound. Her surgery went well & I had her microchipped in addition to the spay. She doesn't seem to be too phased by the whole thing. She's taking the stairs & jumping on the bed much slower & she's napping a lot, but that's to be expected. She's been, by far, the best of the 3 w/ their altering. Sherman acted like we'd removed a lung...hanging his head low for 3 days & peeing on my leg in protest. Penny was very sore and was more lethargic than Lola. I suppose puppies are more resiliant than adult dogs.

Sherm & Pen have been rather unsettled in Lola's absence. Penny in particular. She's been searching for her and when I accidentially called her Lola on Tuesday (I'm constantly calling all the dogs by a different name!), she looked around for her. Sherman was visably happy to see her when she returned. That was short lived, though. 4 hours later...things are back to normal. The pups are lounging on the porch...enjoying the spring sunshine.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Lola has her spay tomorrow, so tonight I had to take her to the Vets. She doesn't come home until Wednesday. I took a 1/2 off at work to get her home & comfortable.

Penny had graduation tonight. Annette had prepared a mini test for the dogs to run through which mimicked the CGC/TDI test. Penny flew through it w/ flying colors...until the end. She blew it on the Sup. Separation again! I could hear her wining in the hall. She never would have passed had it been the actual test. Guess we'll just have to keep at it.

Annette did take some pictures for us

The Golden next to Penny is Levi...she really likes him! I'm the one in the black sweater.

The ACD in the front of this picture is Cowboy. He has made incredible progress in the time we've known him. He is very wary of strangers and does not like to be handled or away from him Mom. We were all able to pet him by graduation.