Tuesday, January 31, 2012

tricky t-day ~ hug2

Previously, I've shown both my dogs learning how to "hug" an object.

Now, we've kicked it up a notch!

Oreo is learning how to hug an object while in the sit up/beg position.  Next step....have him catch and hug an object in sit up position!  Of course, that requires me throwing something.  We all know how well that usually goes.

Simply getting Oreo to hug something, in a beg, has been a challenge.  Took me weeks to get him to stop trying to do beg, penguin and hug at the same time!  He kept falling over.  Silvia noticed that if I held a treat to Oreo's nose, he was able to stay still.  She encouraged me to continue doing that until he realized that I was looking for duration without movement.

With that advice, we've made a lot more progress.  We'll put off working on penguin until we have this trick down pat.

Chewy has had the hardest time learning "beg".  For some reason his hind end seems very rolly polly, like a panda. When I asked him to sit up, he would either stand on two legs (something he's very good at), or fall over.  This week, I think he finally is getting it.

I'm also working on having Chewy pick up an object with his mouth and then hug it.

Chewy knows what I want him to do, but is having difficulty with the mechanics.  He keeps hitting the bottle across the room. 

Oh, just watch the video already.

I switched out the bottle for an empty paper towel roll this week.  Chewy is having much more success with that.

Monday, January 30, 2012

misty monday~the end!

These are the last photos of Misty, taken a few days before she died.   We were very lucky that Misty's illness came on suddenly.  I feel Misty led a good life up until her last two days.

These photos speak for themselves.

This is our last official Misty Monday (although don't be surprised if she pops back in now and then).

Thanks for taking this year long memorial journey with me.

Misty will always be in my heart. She was a sweet, easy going, gentle spirit, who always had a tail wagging grin.

I miss you Misty~girl, especially our cuddles on the couch and your loud sighs of contentment.

Oh Misty, remember when we used to call you "tank", because you pushed Munchkin out of the way whenever I showed him any attention? You were a girl who knew how to get what you wanted.  You charmed every one.

I remember the first day I saw you.  It was love at first sight.  I said to your daddy, "Look how she prances!"  Then, you proceeded to prance down our driveway,toward the busy road, and Daddy had to chase you down.

I don't know how your previous owner gave you up, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

Misty, we will never forget you. You were, without a doubt, the best dog ever.


April 29, 1998 - January 24, 2011

Saturday, January 28, 2012


The weather is beautiful today!  All the snow is gone, and we have sunshine.

Had to get the weave poles outside and see how Chewy would do.

After watching some of Silvia's foundation videos, I've been using two food bowls, one at each end of the poles.  The hard part, for me, is getting to the other bowl before Chewy is done eating the other.  I'm happy with Chewy's progress.

Next, I'm going to try and do some harder entries.  I did one in this video, but I don't think I brought him back far enough, and he missed the entrance.  However, he did line himself up afterward. I'll do better next time.


Both dogs tested positive for anaplasmosis yesterday.  It's a tick borne disease, similar to lyme. Chewy tested stronger for it than Oreo.

The vet prescribed doxycycline for a month. Then, they will have bloodwork to check their white blood cell counts.   The vet was optimistic since we caught it before the dogs were symptomatic.  Still kind of a bummer though.  I had never heard of anaplasmosis, but I guess it may become as big a problem as lyme in my area.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

tricky t-day ~hmmmm

Yea, still have nothing, but next week....well, we'll see!

Monday, January 23, 2012

misty monday~birthday

Misty never made it to her 13th birthday, but she got to do all sorts of stuff during her 12th year!

Here is a little video of my sweet girl


Sunday, January 22, 2012

yay for snow!

Got just enough fluffy, white snow to cover up the ice in the backyard! The dogs and I have been taking advantage of it. Weird how 29 degrees can feel balmy, but it does.


Friday, January 20, 2012

yet another weave update!

Diana gave me some great suggestions for sending Chewy through the weaves.

In this video, I put some liverwurst on a target that I placed at the end of the poles.  Then, I sent Chewy through, ran to the end and fed him some more on the target.

I think you'll see he is now driving to the end!  Yay!


I'd love to try this outside, but we had snow/melt/ice/snow and some more snow tomorrow.  Not enough snow to be anything but a bother.  Where is the real snow already?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

weave update

Chewy was working real well on his channel weaves at the widest setting.  I decided he was ready for the next step.

I moved the poles inward to the next slot.  You may not notice a difference, it is quite slight.

At the new setting Chewy did real well inside (for food), but when I brought the poles outside, with a fun toy, things didn't go as well.

Chewy loves his toys, and I was always way too late throwing the toy.  Plus, the fact that I was holding the toy on the same side as the poles, or flailing it around wasn't helping.  It was distracting Chewy.

I really learned a lot about my lack of skills by videotaping.  Luckily, Chewy is a very forgiving dog.

Oreo's acupuncturist asked, "Why does Oreo have a bald spot on his back?"

I think if you watch this whole video, you'll find out....


I'm trying to make weaving as positive for Chewy as possible.  Don't want him to get stressy about being correct.  I'll take my time, and I'm sure his accuracy will improve.  I'd rather him have fun than be perfect all the time.

We also did a channel set at class this week.  That was fun!  Chewy did pretty well.  I think he knows his job is to run between the poles, but still occasionally pops out a bit early.

Chewy is such a goof in agility class.  He LOVES contacts and will put himself in the two on/two off on any equipment available to him.  However, he is having difficulty stopping at the end of the board if I allow him any sort of momentum.  Then, he realizes, "Oops!  I forgot to stop at my spot!" and puts himself back on the equipment in the position.  Adorable!

Our instructor says that as his muscle memory develops, stopping his momentum will be easier.  Boy, will I need him to stop his momentum if I am to catch up with him!

I think we need to start working on the teeter at home.  Sometimes, Chewy is very confident about it, then other times, I see him hesitate at the pivot point. I don't think it will be an issue, but I want to create lots of positive experiences in short spurts.  Hopefully, my teeter isn't frozen to the ground!

Chewy seems to learn a lot from watching Oreo. My plan is to put Chewy in a crate and have him watch to Oreo on the teeter.  I bet that will help a lot!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

tricky t-day ~ come back next week

Oreo and Chewy talked it over, and decided that their Mommy needed a break.
With any luck, tricky t-day will be back next week.

Monday, January 16, 2012

misty monday ~ achoo

I came across this video of Misty on youtube.  It makes me want to lie down on the floor and rub her belly.


Oh Misty~girl, you were the best.

Friday, January 13, 2012

deer antlers!

A few weeks ago, we won a wonderful prize from Caren over at Dakota's Den.

Deer antlers!

My two hooligans have never had deer antlers.  However, they constantly track deer on our walks.  Of course, they bark their heads off whenever they spot a deer as well.  It's funny, because a lot of times, I see them sniffing like crazy, I look around and spot the deer, but the dogs don't.  They know the deer are there, but if the deer stand still they are too camoflauged for the dogs to notice.  The deer and I end up having a staring contest with each other!

Anyway, I was really excited to see how my mutts would react to the deer antlers.

Here is a video of their first sample.....Chewy got total zoomies over them at one point, but I only caught the tail end on video.


Thanks Caren!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

tricky t-day ~ first weaves

Some of you got a sneak peek of this video, but I thought I'd share it here as well.

I got my new set of weave poles this week.  Set them up right away, and hauled them outside.  Who'd thought we'd be working outside in January? Not me!  But we are having a really mild stretch of weather.

Got out a special toy, and spent 2 minutes sending Chewy thru the channel.


When I watched this video I saw that Chewy really doesn't like me grabbing his collar, so I didn't do that next time.

Looks like I'll be learning a new trick ~ how to throw a toy in a straight line.

Once Chewy gets the idea of running through the channel, I will gradually move the poles closer to being in a straight line.

Monday, January 9, 2012

misty monday~job training

"Little Oreo, I must teach you how to keep an eye on things.  Squirrels, neighbors, cars, motorcycles, leaves blowing, and anything else that moves, or has the potential to move, MUST be watched and monitored.  Also, try and look regal while you are on the lookout.  Got it?"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My big boy Chewy

A lot of people have been commenting on Chewy's "bigness".  While, Chewy does look larger than life in the photos, has grow a ton since I got him, Chewy's a mere 15 pounds (Oreo is about 17).

Chewy is the same height as Oreo ~ 15 and a quarter inches.  Chewy looks taller than Oreo, because he's 20x fluffier!  Plus, his head may sit a bit higher.

So,Chewy is bigger than some shelties, but he's much smaller than my Misty girl.

We were a bit worried that Chewy would be somewhat of an ugly adult dog.  I may be biased, but I think he turned out pretty darn cute (even with the Eddie Munster hairline). Not as cute as Oreo, but he's not going to win any ugly dog contests.

Since Chewy's over 15 inches, he'll be jumping 16 inches in agility. Somehow, I don't think that will be a problem for him!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

tricky t-day ~ first trick video of 2012

Lots of tricks in progress!  I think we may be working on too many at the same time!

Chewy is doing amazingly well with jumping on high, small objects.  Had to backtrack that one with Oreo, because he lost his confidence at some point.  Now, I am getting better jumping from Oreo, so hopefully, we will progress.

One trick both dogs got was alternating front legs (with paw high in air).  A pretty basic, easy trick to teach.  Oreo is really close to learning alternating back legs.

Hope you enjoy.  We aren't perfect, but I think it is cheerful.  I left out my attempts to teach my dogs to "clean". Not going so well.  I guess the dogs think they deserve a maid, and mopping is beneath them.  Snobs.


Finally broke down and ordered a set of channel weave poles!  Hoping to teach Chewy to weave over the next couple months, or at least get him to run thru the channel.  That should be entertaining.  Wish me luck.  Jeff thinks Chewy is too crazy to learn them.  He may be right.

Monday, January 2, 2012

misty monday ~ outdoor napping

Misty loved to rest her head on the railing.
Misty's favorite place though was the rocks.  She would dig down for the cooler earth.

The spot fit her like a glove.

 Always shady, always cool.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The gully

Last year, Rob at a gardener's diary, took photographs of the same tree at the beginning of each month. I really loved this series of photos, and how the tree never looked the same from month to month. Looking forward to his new series this year!

Wanting to try this myself, I've been searching for something to photograph. Something that I knew would be dynamic. I love the single tree idea, but all the trees around here are in clumps.

There is a certain part of our wooded path that I find breathtaking. However, though it is 50 degrees today (weird), I know the odds of us being under three feet of snow come February first are high. Would I be able to reach it?

Therefore, I decided to photograph our gully from the edge of our deck. My favorite part of the gully are the fallen trees with moss growing over them. The moss seems to be the constant, while everything else will surely change throughout the year.

Since we've only lived here since September, I'll be seeing the changes for the first time, along with you.

Here is my first photo in a series of 12:

Pretty bleak, huh?