Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sherman & I had a sleepover at my Mom's house tonight. She is keeping him while we are on vacation and I just wanted to make sure he'd be OK w/ her cats. They have been harassed by Kevin's Golden, Shamus and Mom is a bit leary about having dogs in the house w/ them. Sherman was pretty good. Movement causes the need to chase but he's pretty good with Leave It and I kept a leash on him the whole time. They shouldn't have a problem with him.

We went to visit my Grandparents and Sherman proved what a great therapy dog he'd be. He's very calm, doesn't jump, parks himself right next to you for rubs. He showed off a little w/ some of his tricks...high 5, lay down, "spring" (where he jumps up to a sit from a down), speak. Everyone was very impressed. We'll probably go for the TDI later this year. I think I'm gonna enroll him in Shelley's CGC class starting at the end of September.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It really sucks when you finally have to admit to yourself your dog is getting old. 3 different Vets at my Practice have estimated Sherman to be anywhere from 9 - 12 as of today. I like to think of him as 6...the BCHS said he was a year when we adopted him & that will be 5 years next week.

But if I'm gonna be honest with myself...I have to face facts. He is closer to 10ish. He's a spry 10ish...but his age is starting to show. He's slow getting up from laying down. He tires after about 20 minutes on a walk. He's good for about 5 minutes of playtime till he gets bored & goes to rest.

I told Sherman he had to live to be at least we have another 10 or so years ahead of us. But at what price?

He still loves a good hike in the woods & as long as he's able...we'll go. We'll just keep the hikes short.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What a doll! Love the jowly lips!

It continues to be HOT...Shermie gets his 20 minute walk around the block b/c he's such a good boy...

But the girls continue to be in Boot Camp.

Loose Leash all the time. Penny is WAY too smart for her own good & this is a piece of cake for her. Lola is taking some time & is still a bit we're working when there aren't a whole lot of people around & I'm making a HUGE deal when she doesn't react to the normal "spooky" stuff...people, dogs, cats, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, etc. It's becoming less & less & I think we're almost home free...

They are so damned cute when they're pooped! Lola loves to lay on the tile in the bathroom...

& Penny's favorite spot is on the deck...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I bought these chicken feet from Hare Today and they've been in my freezer for a couple months. I finally brought a bag out today for the dogs & let me tell you...they are repulsive!

Lola thinks they're Deeelicious!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's back to Camp Bow Wow for the Sprout. She just loves it there. She's too funny...when it gets too crazy, she seeks safety on the A frame...

This was her buddy for the day...she like 'em big!

And when she's tired...she rests...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lola had graduation tonight from Shelley's class. I now officially have another dog that makes me look better at this training thing than I really am! I haven't done diddly w/ Lola all week (other than usual day to day stuff & the LLW) and she was superb. I concentrated a lot on rewarding her for automatic attention. In addition, there was a 2 year old right next to us that she desperately wanted to play with. Every time she got the glimmer, I told her to Leave It and she plopped her butt down and stared at me! Yahoo.

We also won the graduation game. Somewhere along the way Lola has learned Stand...on cue. Interesting. I've spent very little time on this. She's such a smart puppy! We still struggle a bit w/ her laying down on the SitStay, but I just need to put more time into it. Can't expect her to learn if I don't teach her, can I?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It continues to be HOT (temps in the 90s) and none of us have had much motivation to do much of anything.

I am still working on Penny & Lola's LLW and am determined to keep at it until this pulling stuff is extinguished. I've actually been having a lot of success w/ my own little version Penalty Yards as opposed to Be a Tree (which just wasn't cutting it). I'm forcing myself to be more patient and it's working well. I realize it's going to take some time & am OK w/ that. The girls are just happy to be getting some one on one time w/ me.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It is HOT! Temps have been in the 90s this weekend & while I'm not complaining, the dogs are not happy!

They are all pooped!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Guess who is a therapy dog!!!

Penny!!! This was the second time we've taken the test. Last time she failed b/c she pulled the little old lady out of the chair during the supervised separation. But not this time. She was not thrilled when I left, but she held her SitStay for all three minutes and didn't whine once. Three cheers for out of sight stays!!

We did have to do the Dog to Dog w/ a dog we knew & Penny does NOT all (Brady, an awesome Yellow Lab that Annette & I had in class...Yep, she hates him. He was all wound up when he came in & she snarked at him.)! Figures. There were 4 other dogs there that she loves. But all of our work on attention paid off. She gave him one (teeny, tiny) hard stare and then looked up at me when I asked her to.

I'm so proud of her (and me too LOL!). I even had one of the testers tell me that she wishes her dogs worked like Penny...happy & enthusiastic.

We'll be taking a new class at the WPHS, Dynamic Dogs. It's for TDI dogs to get used to doing therapy visits.

"Dynamic Dogs is a class for dogs who have completed Super Puppy, CGC/TDI class or have already gotten their TDI license and are ready to get started in the community. This class addresses Doggy Etiquette for Community Sites, and improves handlers’ skills for traveling politely with their dogs in many new places. This is a perfect class to help dogs increase their confidence by visiting many community sites across Pittsburgh. These visits allow handlers of dogs who have gotten their TDI to gain experience with TDI visits. The first two weeks of class are held at WPHS, the first is orientation with NO DOGS. The remaining weeks are scheduled in community sites. The class is limited to 8 dogs, and participation in the community visits is at the discretion of the instructor"

Marsha's teaching it & we love her so it should be fun.

Congratulations Penny!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lola had class tonight. I almost didn't take her b/c one of her eyes has been red & goopy. But I talked to the vet & I'm to flush it 4x per day w/ Tears and keep it dry w/ cotton. She's not contagious as S&P are fine so I figured she could use the practice.

Boy am I glad I took her! First of all, Shelley (and her asst. Darla) both reminded me that Lola is very young and most likely will grow out of this reactive stage. Just keep working w/ her & take it slow. That made me feel better. Second...she was outstanding. We worked a lot on eye contact & name recognition. Her stays are getting better although, my homework is to stop the DownStays & only work on SitStays this week. Lola tends to slide into a down after 6 or 7 seconds of sitting. We did 2 recalls...the first one she flew to me like she was shot out of a cannon. The second started that way, but I am no match for another puppy she's been playing bowing w/ all night. She eventually did come though, so I was pleased. Her heeling & LLW were great too. I just need to keep plugging at it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Heeellllloooooo Adolescence! Ready to go yet? ~sigh~

Lola is in, what I believe (and hope) is a fear period. She is freaked out by the smallest thing (Ex. she can no longer eat next to the fridge if I open the comes no where near her, but she runs out of the kitchen if I open it) and is reacting to anything and everything that moves. Walks have been put on hold while this passes and I've been working w/ her out on the front deck on attention, name recognition and eye contact. She is stellar on all of these in a low/no distraction environment (in the house, in the backyard, etc). But hit outside & she forgets everything. Selective attention. So I'm gradually moving her outside...starting w/ the deck. We'll then move to the front porch, then the front yard, then the sidewalk in front of the house & so on & so on. I'm learning a lot w/ her. Patience for one...and to take things slow & not push her. She doesn't need a 20 walk every day and I'm not forcing myself to take her on one if she's not ready.

I've also been having success w/ Penny & her reactivity w/ other dogs. I've been having her Sit & Stay when I see the dog and as long is it's across the street, she'll squeal a bit, but no barking, lunging or flipping out.

We're going for the TDI again on Saturday. I'm very confident that she'll do wonderfully on most everything and somewhat confident that she'll handle the supervised separation OK. Debby suggested cueing her to Stay when I leave & I tried this w/ Annette last week. She didn't make a peep, nor did she move. She didn't take her eyes off the door, but that's OK.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The 4th of July weekend was pretty lazy. We really didn't do a whole lot of anything.

The pups hung out on the deck...

And practiced their down-stays...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Penny & Apache had their obedience demo at Robinson Mall today. As they didn't advertise much, the only people that stopped to watch were shoppers. But Penny was tremendous. Even though she was very distracted, she did everything I asked of her.

One thing we had practiced was Penny in a down-stay & Apache jumping over her. It was very impressive when we first tried it, both for Apache's jumping & Penny's attention. At the demo, she stood up right as Apache was sailing over her. Fortunately for both of them, his range is stellar & he managed to make it over w/o even clipping her. It was pretty cool.