Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm not sure if you can see the depth of this hole that the dogs have dug...when Penny is at the bottom digging, you can only see her little nubbin'. Penny & Lola have a little system going. Penny gets deep in the hole & kicks the dirt out...and Lola is right behind her moving that dirt so it doesn't go back into the hole.

This was their designated dig spot, but it 's gotten so deep we're (aka Scotty) gonna have to fill it in so it doesn't cause foundation problems.

The girls also search for treasures in the ferns...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Class tonight was Sssooooo much better. Lola was a bit barky at first, but I had the Gentle Leader on her & that helped. That is until she decided to play drama queen and throw herself to the ground or fling her head back in forth till I thought it was going to pop off. But that didn't last long.

We started working on attention (I'm still just using her name rather than a word and it's working very well) while Annette was going over some stuff. And I got her to focus on me while Apache was doing the demo for graduation games. We did some heeling, recalls, sits, downs and stays & she was wonderful. She's responding well to "Leave It" if I get it out before she obsesses and I managed to keep her focus on me when the Fox Terrier was close.

I feel rejuvenated!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Some wedding photos from the big day!

The ceremony at Phipps...

Kevin & Katie at the Inn

Riding on Molley's Trolley

My Mom, Carl, Kevin, Katie, me & Scotty

The Hurley clan...Uncle Rich, my Dad, Aunt Kathy, Aunt Patty, Karen, Aunt Mary, Uncle Cliff, Aunt Betsy, Mark, me, Bird, Katie & Scotty

The bridal party at the park

Me cheesin' it up.

Friday, September 15, 2006

This is Kevin's wedding weekend so Lola goes to Camp and Sherman & Penny have to deal w/ being neglected (just kidding...they're fine).

Here are some pics from the rehearsal dinner:

Aren't Scott & I a cute couple?

My Mom & Carl...

Carl & Pastor Clement...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I've actually done a good job all week of working with each of my dogs. Ideally I would give each of them 1/2 hour of my undivided attention each day. I managed this 3 days this week...better than nothing. Sherman gets his beloved neighborhood walk & we do practice basic manners, attention, automatic sits, recalls, etc. But mostly he just walks & pees on stuff.

Penny & Lola had a couple of LLW & training sessions. Penny is still doing well w/ her leash manners & we started advancing on behaviors I've been slacking on...Stand, Finishes, longer
Stays w/ more distractions & distinguishing cues. I also do lots of targeting w/ her because she LOVES it.

Lola is doing better with LLW & I'm doing better about working her within her threshold. We can make it 80% of the way down the block before she starts to lose focus. Up to that point, she is fabulous. Lots of attention, very loose leash, staying close to me. But we hit the last house on the street & I lose her. So I turn around & head back down the street. We'll get there. We also worked on Heeling, Stays, Finishes & Targeting.

By the end of the week though, I just wanted to go on a walk. No training, just a plain old walk. I took Sherman & Penny together & she pulled a bit at the beginning but quickly remembered her job. Then I took Lola out on a Gentle Leader (which she was less than thrilled about, but forgot about quickly) and it was a God-send. It was the nicest walk we've had since she was a puppy. I refuse to use it as a crutch as it's easy to forget about the training & just manage things (which I did w/ Penny & have regretted)...but it's good for occasional use.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Little Miss Full of Herself and I went back to class tonight. I should have known we were in for trouble the minute we got out of the car. Lola was barking & lunging at all the other dogs, flailing herself around at the end of the leash & generally being a total brat. ~sigh~ How the hell did this happen? I've done everything right with this dog...super socialized her with people and dogs as a teeny puppy, enrolled her in 1/2 dozen classes, taken her lots of places to experience lots of things and done training at home with her almost everyday. It must be my destiny. I went through all of this with Penny...I didn't however, create the monster that she was. It's just frustrating to take so much time & end up with the same thing. Maybe it's a Boxer thing, maybe it's an age thing, maybe it's just me & I suck at this. I don't know. Lola is lucky that I love her & will continue to put in the time to make her as perfect as Penny. I must say...working through all of these issues is very fulfilling when your hard work pays off.

Anyway, one of our new things is little dogs. There is a Bichon, Fox TerrierX and a Cairn Terrier in our class...and of course, Annette had Chip (affectionatly referred to as Demon Dog). Lola's never really been around little dogs and she's decided that it would be best to eat them. Well, probably not, but she gets so overstimulated when one walks past her she loses her mind. After about 20 minutes of sheer frustration (and Annette reminding me "YOU wanted this!!") I decided to put what I've learned reading all of these damn training books & break out the Peanut Butter (which I carry w/ me in a food tube & use if I need the "Big Guns"). I did open bar/close bar with Lola, which is essentially, little dog is near...Lola gets PB; little dog walks away, PB goes away. This actually worked pretty well if the little dogs weren't too close. We need to do more work on this & I may try to find a small dog class I can participate in (at a distance, of course) to work on desensitizing her.

By the end of class, I was exhausted.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The nice people at Pup-peroni had a photo booth promotion at Sandcastle & emailed me this picture of Lola & I. She's a riot!

Merlin looks pretty cool cruisin' too. Debby was off to the side playing in the tumbleweeds.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Lola & I went to Sandcastle's Last Splash of Summer w/ our friends Debby & Merlin. Getting her into the park was a bit of a challenge b/c she was very worked up and barking & lunging at every dog in site. Had I been by myself, I would have taken a long time making it to the front gate by backing her up when she flew into a fit. This is very effective for her, but takes time & I didn't want to hold Debby & Merlin up.

Lola was a bit hesitant and basically hung around in the water up to her elbows for a while. She eventually got a little brave & started to swim.

You really can't tell in this picture, but she did NOT like swimming. She actually panicked and tried to crawl on top of another dog. I stayed close to her & pulled her off him & she then tried to crawl up my body. Our swimming was done for the day after that as she wouldn't even go into 3 inches of water.

She did enjoy a yummy Frosty Paws after the swim.

And then she jumped in the trunk when we got back to the car. She was ready to go home.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lola has a tumor on her toe. I noticed when she came in from outside last night that she had a large red bump on her back right foot. After concluding that she didn't have a broken toe (my first thought), I thought perhaps she got bit by something. It was a large, raised, red sore that can only be described as a raspberry w/ fur on it. She wasn't limping or favoring at all so I decided to wait & call the vet the next day.

Dr. Fitzgerald knew what it was right away (although she did entertain my thought that it was a bug bite after my eyes became the size of pieplates when she said the word "tumor"). The exact diagnosis is Canine Cutaneous Histiocytoma (Wow that sounds scary! For more info, see Apparently it's pretty common and appears in only a day or two. The tumor is benign & should disappear on it's own, but if she's chewing it or it becomes a problem for her, they want to remove it. Let's hope it goes away soon b/c she does not like the spray I have to apply 2-3 per day.

Poor little toe!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Well, we're all settled back into our routine and Lola is B-A-D bad!! She's lost the concept of being housetrained (she peed in my shoe & has pooped in the house multiple times). She has also completely lost all concept of LLW ~sigh~. I tried to take her on a walk & wanted to murder her after 15 minutes. She was failing around at the end of the leash like a fish. None of my old tricks worked. Back to the drawing board. I just need to start back at the beginning and take it slow.

Penny fortunately has not lost the concept & we had a wonderful walk around the neighborhood complete with lots & lots of attention and zero pulling. We even passed 3 different dogs w/o one single outburst. That's my girl. I did have my treats & clicker w/ me as I was unsure if she'd have forgotten all of our hard work. It was a good move on my part b/c I rewarded a lot of attention & loose leash at the beginning & then phased them out by the end of the walk.

Sherman was very happy to be back to securing the neighborhood. He's getting very good at automatically stopping at intersections & while I still have to cue him to sit, he does it w/in a split second of asking.

Friday, September 01, 2006

We picked Lola up from Camp on the way home from the airport. Sherman & Penny aren't getting picked up till the following day, so Lola will be an only dog for 24 hours or so. She was so pooped she didn't really seemed to phased. She seemed to have a great time at Camp and was very excited to see us.

I took advantage of an extra day off work & took her out to North Park again. She had an absolute blast & ran her little butt off. She is great with all of the other dogs (a welcome change from S&P) and makes a point to always check in with me.

After she was good & tired, I went out to my Mom's to pick up Sherman. He was bouncing & wiggling around like a little puppy. Apparently he was miserable in the basement (a huge Duh??!! moment for me...Sherman was petrified of our basement & wouldn't step foot in it for the first 3 months we had him) so my Mom moved him to the garage where he was happy as a clam. I really think he liked the peace & quiet. He really only slept there & stayed there while they were at work...other than that he was pretty busy. He went to the park 3 times, to see my Grandpap, laid in the sun & "hunted" while my Mom & Carl worked in the yard. But he seemed pretty happy to be going home.

Penny apparently also had a great time. So much so that she seemed rather depressed to be away from her buddy Baron. She got to show off the "snarl & snort" for her Grandpa Don & played musical pots w/ her roomates. She seemed more happy to see Sherman than Lola, but happiest to see me & Scotty the most.