Sunday, July 31, 2011

silly sunday

This is a cell phone video.  Chewy stuck his head inside one of his toys, and either couldn't get it back out, or didn't want to.

And here is Chewy at the pond yesterday.  He caught the zoomies a couple times there, but I wasn't able to catch it on my camera.  He loves the pond area.   I had to carry him back to the car, because he didn't want to leave.

Friday, July 29, 2011

new class

I'm trying very hard to keep Oreo's routine as normal as possible during our big move.

So, why don't I bring him to a new agility class at a brand new location?

Sounds like a super idea! Right? (that's sarcasm folks)

OK, the past two weeks, I've been contemplating withdrawing from the class.  Wanting to eliminate any potential stress.

But.....this new location is so close to home (both my old and new home), that I wanted to give it a shot.

I went in thinking...if he freaks out, I won't bring him again.

Well, Oreo, my little rock star, didn't freak out.  He did have some issues about getting out of the car, but that pretty much happens anywhere we go.  Once he got out, Oreo did an amazing job.

I arrived early on purpose. We wandered a bit. I fed him lots of treats.  Sat down on the lawn with him and watched the earlier class doing some sequences.  Then I put him in his ex-pen to kind of absorb the atmosphere from a safe place.

Meanwhile, Chewy tried to pick up some more girls.  From a little yorkie to a white german shepherd, he was loving all the girlie attention.  He reminds me of my freshmen boy students, raging hormones!

At one point, a woman went over to the ex-pen and tried to interact with Oreo, I simply said,"Please ignore him.  He'll feel better if you ignore him."

The instructor overheard me and said, "Yes, he's shy, talk to Chewy instead."

I think the woman was a bit put off, but she did move away.

Oreo's class will be going through Linda Mecklenberg's jumping program.  For this class, all the dogs (about 6?) were in the ring at the same time.  Each of us working on one jump obstacle.

This was fantastic for Oreo.  All the other people/dogs were busy doing their own thing.

Oreo did all the exercises fabulously. The instructor even asked if I had already read the book.

"No," I said.

"Well, you two are naturals!"

It was a wonderful night.  I've missed doing agility with Oreo, and I think he did too.  He's such an awesome dog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

you bought a house for your dog?

Yes.  I did.  I bought a new house for my dog.

Well, that's not the only reason, but Oreo set it forth in swift motion.

For years, I have been dreaming about owning a house with lots of privacy and land and maybe some chickens.  Jeff has been wanting a place with room to build a big garage.  Flat land to store trailers and other big boy toys.

I've scoured the real estate section of our paper every Sunday. Searching for our dream piece of the earth.

We've gone to a few open houses, but nothing ever seemed worth giving up what we had.  We love the house we live in now.  Put lots of hard work and love into making it perfect for us.

But.....there are the neighbors.  Neighbors very fond of chain saws.  Neighbors who build 2 story, air conditioned play houses, 6 story tree houses right on our property line, while their own house is falling apart.  Neighbors who argue non stop.  Neighbors who have late night parties, right outside our bedroom window.

On Saturday, Oreo saw a kid running around the playhouse early in the morning.  It set him off, and sent me to my computer.

I saw a new house on the market.  Read this description:
Special Opportunity to purchase this Unique Hidden treasure. Travel over small bridge to private hilltop home. Surrounded by Beautiful tall trees. Secluded and close commute to Albany. Spacious 1776 sq ft home with open floor plan, Vaulted ceiling, White kitchen cabinetry, Private Bath & deck off of masterbedroom. Attached garage w/mudroom and Full finished walk out basement. Great piece or property to relax and enjoy Nature!

Brought the computer to Jeff and said, "I just found our new house."

We set up an appointment for the next day. Spent Saturday on Google Earth ogling our new house from every rotated position possible.

Saw the house on Sunday, and nervously made a low ball offer.  An offer we knew we could live with. If they didn't take it, then it wasn't meant to be.  We still had a house to live in.

They countered with an amount way too high for our comfort level.  So, we went up $5000 on our original offer, and they agreed. 

Like us, they had bought a new house a few miles away from their present one.  They loved their house, but their kids wanted to be in a kid friendly neighborhood.  They were moving for their children.  I thought, hmm, not so different from us. Kids leave home, dogs die, but you do what is good for your life at that moment.

Oreo will have a rough few weeks as we pack and move.  However, I know once we settle in, his life will improve. 

And when I wake up in the morning, look out my windows, and see nothing but woods, my life will improve as well.  I'm so excited, yet nervous.  Change is hard for me.  Having my life in chaos in really hard for me.  I have a difficult time going away somewhere for the weekend, preferring to stick to my routine.

But, sometimes you have to seize the moment or you'll find yourself living with regret for not pursuing what you really want in life.

If I don't blog as much as usual the next few weeks, you'll know why. I'm packing up 16 years of my life!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

tricky t-day ~ frog legs

Part of Chewy's distance puppy class has been learning the "frog leg" stretch.  Much easier to teach Chewy than Oreo, since Chewy still splays his rear legs out like a frog occasionally.  However, Oreo has been catching on, and knows what to do now.  Chewy will do it on a verbal cue alone, Oreo still needs a slight lure.  I think Oreo will get there in a few more sessions.

Here is a bit of them learning, and the finished product.  It is hard to see Oreo's stretch, because of all his hair, but watch for his white paws.

Monday, July 25, 2011

misty monday~land's end & fairy houses

Here we are at Land's End, Bailey Island, Maine.

Misty was in her astronaut jacket.  Both dogs attracted a lot of attention outside the gift shop.  Oreo hid under the bench, while Misty allowed people to give her some lovin'.

We also hiked the cliff trail in Harpwell. The trail was pretty much uphill for ten miles (OK, maybe it was only 1 mile), and the cliff is actually 150 feet above the water. 

Before we reached the summit there was a sign saying "Big drop off, put dogs on leash!"   They weren't kidding.  What a spectacular view.  Unfortunately, our camera's memory card went kaplooey, so all the photos we took on the top of the mountain were ruined.  Major bummer. I would've loved to have that photo of Misty way up high.

We did get to take some photos of the fairy houses nestled in the woods though.  Here is Misty looking for the fairies.  (Click on the links to see and learn more about the fairy village).

Friday, July 22, 2011

fun friday

Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions yesterday!  It's nice to know I'm not the only person with a one sided dog!  I appreciate every one's training tips, and have already gotten started.

It's been unbearably hot & humid the past few days to do much of anything outside.  I didn't go to Oreo's new agility class (L. Mecklenberg jumping skills) last night, because the heat index was 101! The instructor said she is going to extend the class an extra week so that everyone can get the full content.It's 5:55AM right now, and already 80!  I might as well be living in Louisiana.

Better to be lazy indoors.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

wasn't expecting to have to train this!

I've inadvertently conditioned Chewy to only walk on my left side.  Great for rally, but not so great for agility!

I had Chewy at puppy prep class the other night, and he got all stubborn and cranky when I tried to walk him on my right side to send him into a tunnel.

The next day on our morning walk, I noticed he NEVER walks on my right, and when I tried to encourage him to do so, he sat down and refused to budge.

Ugh! So, this week, I'm trying to click and treat whenever he walks toward my right side.  Not happening very often.  I can't believe I didn't notice this sooner.

I think I'm going to start walking him around the yard/house on a leash with a cheese stick in my right hand, and see if that helps.

If anyone has any other idea, I'm willing to listen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

tricky t-day ~ 4 in

I've had both dogs working on getting all 4 paws in smaller and smaller containers.  Every time we practice, all I can think about is the hokey pokey put your right foot in, put your right foot out....especially with Oreo.  He puts his back feet in/out so much, and seems to be having trouble holding the position.  I'm hoping after his next trip to his chiro he'll make some more progress.

Chewy, on the other hand, has done amazingly well!  I'd like Chewy to get in one additional, smaller container, but here is where they are so far.

Monday, July 18, 2011

misty monday ~ vacation in Maine

Here are some photos from Misty's first trip to Maine. You'll see Misty had no trouble getting into relaxing vacation mode.
Waiting for special treats from the food lady.
finding a cool place to nap
couch time after watching the sunset
Hanging out on the lawn with daddy
eating kibble and lobster by the fireplace

Queen of Sunset Cove

Saturday, July 16, 2011


After Oreo's rally class today, I brought Chewy to the pond area to play with the big dogs...mostly border collies, with a lab, shepherd, and a couple airdales mixed in.  He had a very good time exploring, watching the big dogs dock dive, and he saw sheep for the first time!

Chewy seemed really interested in the water (there were little fish swimming around), but he never got a toe in.  He would stretch his way in....putting the "frog stretch" we've been learning in Silvia's class to practical use.


Hangin' with the big dogs

On the chance he's jumping off.

He got his nose wet from other dogs shaking off.

I've never brought Oreo in the pond area, because I'm not sure how he would act around the other dogs. After today, I may try it sometime.  The other dogs really didn't seem to get in anyone's space, because they were too busy having fun.

When we got home, my neighbor's kids/friends were playing loudly, right along our property line.  This is always tough on Oreo.  I put him on a leash, and did some desensitizing stuff.  Eventually, he calmed, stopped barking, and was giving me consistent eye contact. I took him off leash and sent him to pee (something he can't do when scared).  I was so proud when he lifted his leg and emptied his bladder.  We ran inside right away for a whole bunch of turkey deli meat.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2 on 2 off

Chewy is learning so many new things everyday!  Silvia Trkman's class is really helping me stay focused and organized.  Otherwise, I'd have a difficult time figuring out what to teach him next.

Look at how quickly he caught on to the 2 on 2 off concept (back feet on object, front feet on ground).

I was amazed. Not sure why you tube cut off my subtitles, but I think you can figure it out.  This was our first session.

I think my dogs can do this all day long!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

tricky T-day ~level 2 rally moves

Well, Oreo hasn't had his own tricky t-day in a few weeks.  So unfair.

Our rally class has started practicing some moves for Level 2.  I'll show you a few in this week's video.

One is the 180 degree pivot.  I think this one is harder for the handler than the dog.  Your feet pretty much have to remain on the ground and touching each other the whole time.  Oreo prefers the left turn, which is odd.  Most dogs have a harder time with the left, because they have to swing their back end around, rather than just following along.  Oreo has done so much back end work that it is easy for him. You'll see I have to reset him in heel position when we go right.

Monday, July 11, 2011

misty monday~maine

This is a gem.  No audio, fuzzy picture, but it is a video of pure joy.  This was taken during a vacation in Harpswell, Maine.  Oreo was about 8 months old, Misty about 8 years old.

We were lucky to find a rental house with a huge fenced in yard, and stayed there two years in a row.

That is how I want to remember Misty! 

Come back next Monday to see more photos as our Maine series will continue.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


"My Mommy says that I look like a ridgeback, because of the way my fur looks."

"Geesh.  I've got a broken ear, only half a white collar, an Eddie Munster hairline, cateye liner on, and now THIS!"

"I'm going to hide under here until she stops making fun of me. My self esteem is going down the tubes."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

every Chewy needs one of these

Because I have nothing better to spend my money on, I bought a hot button that sounds like Chewbacca.  Chewy is quite taken with it, and is driving me crazy.

It is intended to be used as a "bell" to let me know he has to go potty.

Chewy is a slickster.  Whenever Oreo is chewing on something that he wants, Chewy runs to the door and presses the Mickey or Chewbacca button (or both!), which makes Oreo drop his toy and run to the door.  Chewy then runs to the toy and takes it!  I don't know why Oreo hasn't caught on to this yet.

Friday, July 8, 2011

fun friday!

Easy way to entertain a puppy!

What happened to blogger?  Everything is different!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

disc work

I try and get Chewy up on our balance disc a few times a week.  He's been on our peanut as well, but he's so enthusiastic, I don't trust him not to try flying off the thing.  With the disc, he can get up on it without help, and I'm trying to encourage safe dismounts.

Here's  a clip from a recent session. I'm not doing much of the typical "ball work", because Chewy gets too excited if I start luring him this way and that. I figure he's getting a bit of the benefit from merely being on the disc. Plus, he is getting used to things moving under him, for future wobble board/teeter work.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

tricky t-day ~ bang

I've been teaching Chewy the classic "bang" trick using toys as his reward.

He is a bit distracted in the video (Oreo was chewing on something yummy), but he still was able to perform for me.  There is a lot of playing in between each "bang", but I edited most of that out.

Yesterday, Jeff and I went to a local ski resort, Jiminy Peak, to play on their alpine slide and mountain coaster. It was super fun.  Hoping to go back and do their zipline course.
mountain coaster

alpine slide

Couldn't take photos while going down the ride, since I had to control the thing.  We did each ride twice, so we could go faster the second time!  The slide is like a bobsled, and the coaster is, well like a coaster, but you control how fast you want to go.  Of course, we wanted to go the max 23mph!  FUN!
going up!
The nice part was both tracks wove through the trees, so it was pretty.
It was so peaceful riding up the chair lift to get to the alpine slide.

 There are a ton of windmills on top of the mountains. They cause a lot of controversy around here, but I think they are so pretty.

Here is the one at the summit:
I see this windmill on my way to agility class.   First time I got to see it up close.
Hard to see, but on top of the mountain in the distance are at least 8 windmills.
can you see them?
And a great sign...with a lot of truth to it.
Jeff got stuck behind a slow person (surprisingly, it wasn't me!) at the end of his ride, kinda ruined his screech to a halt finish.

There was a sign at the top of the alpine slide that read, "If it starts raining, get off the track and walk down."

They must mean it, because the ride was delayed opening due to water on the track.