Saturday, August 29, 2009

PUPSICLES for a hot day!


It is hot here in Southern California, we have been a bit bored, and there are a lot of fires in the area so there is a lot of smoke in the air. Really not a nice day to do agility outside, so we pulled out our pupsicles and had a little treat. These are nice, I like my dogs to get a variety of foods, these are a little sweet, they are cool and the dogs have fun with them on a hot day. Alicia and I made some a few weeks ago and this is the type of thing that you do not need to follow a reciepe exactly just throw in some ingredients and wing it, they always turn out really good or at least the dogs seem to think so. This is also a good use for fruit that is almost overly ripe.


3 cups plain or vanilla flavored yogurt
2-3 ripe banannas
some strawberries or mixed berries
1 tbs honey
we are not that exact so we threw in some peaches as they were in season, you can really throw in any type of fruit.

MASH it all up (I used the food processor) and pour the liquid into ice cube trays, or little dixie cups. Put them in a freezer, if you are using ice cube trays you can pop out the ice cubes and put them in a bag and then use the trays to make more. If you use dixie cups then just peel the cup paper off before you serve the pup their pupsicle treats.


The receipe for this is from my holistic vet
3 cups plain non fat yogurt
1 cup unsalted peanut butter
1 tbs. honey
Combine ingredients. Pour Mixture into ice trays and freeze (2 hours)
Pop out one cube at a time and serve to your pup.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dogs trying to take over at every turn???? REALLY?

Has anyone else seen that show on Animal Planet, it is a dog training show that is on before "It's Me or the Dog" with Victoria Stillwell? This one is called "In the Dog House". I am not sure of the trainers name, and I should find out so I can STAY AWAY from this guy and any advice he would give. I had heard about this show from a friend and so I found it on Saturday evening and sat down to watch it. The first week the guy comes in and grabs these dogs by their cheeks and lifts them up while they are fighting and flailing, it is horrible to watch, he continues to hold them up like that until they give up so he can do what he calls "pin" them, meaning to throw them on their side on the floor. Aside from this being really cruel in my opinion, goodness I can not imagine what happens to the little old lady who watches that and has a fairly aggressive or very fearful dog and tries that, someone is going to get seriously hurt when the dog really feels they have to fight back. I also think this type of thing would take a fearful dog that might react out of fear and give them something to really be afraid of.

Last week he treated us to a show about why treat training is so bad. Apparently if a dog gets any food other then his dinner, (not sure if it would be equally bad if you used his food for training....hummm..), but the minute that dogs get any other food and ESPECIALLY HUMAN FOOD, they are on the path to attacking children naturally looking for food and having no boundaries between their food and the children's food or the children. He used a demo of a dog that had been trained with treats at some point in his past, they put a doll on the couch and the dog was looking and sniffing on the couch, proof a real baby would be in serious danger from this dog because he had been given treats, HUH??? My poor dogs have been treat trained, and they eat human grade food raw, so goodness they must be very much at risk on so many levels, it scares me to think what might be happening to my dogs, ......NOT, LOL.

The trainer (I am really sorry I did not remember his name...) makes firm and fast rules that the dogs do not get on any furniture, they do not get any treats, they should not have toys, and in the first show he went so far as to say these people were not allowed to touch their dog, because with each touch and scratch behind the ears the dog gained dominance over his stupid care givers.

Is there seriously an audience for this type of training, I think that sounds sad to think there is. I would choose not to have dogs if I could not play with them, scratch behind their ears, teach them some tricks with treats, or treat them humanely. If I had to constantly be guarding against my dogs because they were going to take me over, what fun would having dogs be?

Breeze did awesome at class this week, her pads are finally healing after she had the allergic reaction to the field we train in, and Liz is looking ok so hopefully she will get the aOK to go back to normal activities on her September 1 appointment with the holistic vet. Breeze has an adjustment and acupuncture treatment too, so I am hoping they both will be back to 100% for their Tuesday's lesson.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Homemade Dog Boots

I copied these boots from the boot that I borrowed from Alicia to protect Breeze's foot after she tore her pad. Sorry I traced a pattern from the boot and it does not look really professional, but then I am not a professional!!!! Do not get too hung up on exact measurements and being perfect, just make it work for your own dog. You can click on the pattern and then print it and enlarge it or decrease the size on your copier or you can just make a big rectangle, but hopefully the pattern will give you more of an idea of how to make your own pattern. There is one boot pictured with no treatment on the sole, that is the opposite site, and then there is one on the side that has the caulking (which actually I like the best) that is the clear one that looks a little shiney, and then the others are done with a sole of puff paint. Good luck and have fun!!!!!

Dog boots

Choose your material:
FLEECE- is nice for light snow use, grass, or some dirt use, soft
CORDURA-330 wgt is good but cordura may be more abrasive on dogs feet, it is good for hiking but check the dogs feet often
DENIM-you can use old jeans, Denim also comes in a lot of colors so it can be fun that way, works nice on hot pavement, fleece and cordura may get very hot and can melt if they get too hot.
I am sure there are other materials that could be used,

¼ yard of chosen material will be plenty to start with.

¾ inch-1 inch wide velcro You do not need much I bought one of those little packs it comes in, you want the sew on velcro, not the stick on kind. If you are making boots for a tiny dog you might want a little narrower velcro

Elastic-I bought a color to match my velcro (I used black) and I bought elastic that was as wide as my velcro, in my case ¾ inch. If you have some scraps you can use that or a yard will be plenty.

Thread to match your material, or you could just match your elastic and velcro. You can also choose how you want to complete the sole of the boot, if you choose material for the bottom sole, or caulking or puff paint, you will need those, see the end of the pattern for ideas on what you think will work best for you.

The easiest way to make your own pattern is to measure your dogs Paws and add ONE INCH to that measurement, that allows for a ¼ inch seam allowance on both sides of the boot and ½ inch for the foot to swell.

Use this measurement to make a rectangle this wide and then make it as tall as desired, my dogs have their boots 6 inches high. My pattern was 3 ½ wide and 6 inches tall.

You can use the pattern I am putting on the site, or you can just draw a rectangle, if you use the pattern just use your copier to change it to a size to fit your dog.

1.fold your material and place the toe of the pattern on the fold, DO NOT CUT ALONG TOE END. When you finish cutting out your boot it will be a long hourglass shape if you use the pattern or a very long rectangle if you use the rectangular pattern.
2.If you choose to sew a non slip surface, or leather or ??? sew that circle on now in the place indicated on the pattern, or the approximate place on the rectangular boot piece. Just put that on one side, the other side will be bare. THE SOLE WILL BE ON THE SAME SIDE AS YOUR VELCRO IS GOING TO BE ON!!!!
3.Place your velcro, the soft piece-mine is about 1 ½ inches long, take the elastic and catch the end of the elastic under the one side of the velcro so both are sewn down at the same time-I sewed it under the side of the velcro that is on the right side if I am looking at it. THE VELCRO WILL BE ON THE SAME SIDE AS THE ELASTIC AND AS THE SOLE IF YOU ARE DOING A SOLE TREATMENT.
4.Place the hook, scratchy side of the velcro (mine was about ¾) on the end of the elastic facing down so when it wraps around the foot it will be facing the soft side of the velcro. Place it so the end of the elastic is even with the end of the hook velcro. The whole elastic piece should measure about 1 ½ inches more then your dogs ankle measurement. Sew around the hook velcro on the elastic to secure.
5.NOW you can secure your elastic so it will not catch in the seams....fold your boot in half so the sole and the velcro and elastic are on the inside. Pin this and you can sew up the sides using a ¼ inch seam allowance.
6.Turn the boot right side out and trim all your threads and your boot should be ready unless you want to add on a treatment onto the sold of the boot.

1.You can use some leather scraps cur in a circle and sewn on before you sew on your velcro
2.You can sew on some non slip material, sew this on before the velcro sewing step
3.THIS IS COOL------Use some caulk-like kitchen or bathroom caulk-YEP YOU HEARD ME RIGHT, I got the squeeze tube of DAP caulking at Target. You can easily get this at a hard ware store or more department stores. I got clear, but you could get white or what ever other color they have. After your bootie is done just squirt some on and spread in a little circle, then I sort of touched it and made it more bumpy to make it more slip resistant. The clear dries fairly clear, you can see it is there but it is flexible, waterproof and gives some good traction. Latex caulk is more slip resistant I am told then silicone.
4.Puff Paint, you can get Puff Paint, I got TULIP brand from Michael's, they sell it around here at Joann's too, and I am sure it is sold at a lot of other places, pick out the color/colors you like. Take and make dots or lines, squiggles, what ever you like where the circle is on the pattern, let it dry at least four hours, then spray steam from your iron on the paint and it will magically puff up. This stays very flexible, soft and seems like it would protect if the grass was a little wet, provide a little padding.

If you make the boot out of something that ravels, then you might want to pink the top edge with pinking sheers, or allow extra material to use some binding tape or hem the top and you might want to allow a little extra seam allowance. I made mine out of fleece, but plan to make some denim ones in the future. Fleece was a really easy material to make the boots out of.

Of course the normal rules of caution apply, I would not leave a wet boot on the dog too long, but these would be great to keep snow out of dogs paws (although in the desert that will probably not often be my problem), I would check often to make sure the boot has not twisted, I would check the pad to make sure nothing was irritating it every so often, I would not have it so tight that the circulation was cut off and if the dog is on hot surfaces I would take off the boot and look and make sure they were being protected every so often and especially if I had some type of paint or caulk on the sole, I am not sure that it would hurt the dog but I would not leave the dog with any boots on if they are not supervised.

Tightening up those rear crosses

I had a really great lesson with Alicia this week. Alicia is such a great handler and I am always amazed at how many little things can make a difference, the things you would probably not be able to get in a book.

We worked on tightening up those rear crosses, and making the rear cross clearer for the dog. When you cross behind the dog-a rear cross-what the dog sees once they learn to rear your body language is you cutting in behind them, putting your body pressure on the line they are traveling. Easy enough concept, if you have your dog in a sit and you cross behind him/her, then most likely the dog will turn their head to look at you where you have crossed behind them, this is basically how rear crosses work. Just a way to turn the dog and get you on the other side of him.

So what we worked on was where I have always thought for example in the exercise we were doing I would put the dog behind jump 1, run down the line so the dog went over 2 and 3 and I would be heading as close to 4 and get a rear cross there, because I am still always thinking about always getting ahead. Well, in a rear cross by definition you have to be behind the dog, so not so good to get too far ahead....and because how the dog knows we are going to turn having a few more steps to show that I am pushing on their line and that I am going behind only helps the dog read and understand where we are going.

So in this example I stay way closer to jump 3 and only let the dog have say half of the jump,decelerate slightly then I can turn and have more steps to show the rear cross between 3 and 4. Similarly after I get the 270 turn, the one from 4-5 and am getting ready for a really tight rear cross I need to hang back a tad, a tad of deceleration and stick closer to the stanchion of jump 5 so that I have more room to push on the dogs line before that really tight rear cross. One or two steps can make a huge difference in what the dog is able to see and understand, which makes a lot more flowy run and a dog that is able to move faster and more comfortably, less off courses and everyone understanding where we are going. I am really understanding more and more what Alicia has been trying to beat into my head, that in agility we almost never should be running straight lines because that takes away a lot of information for the dog.

I LOVE my lessons and the things that I am picking up that I probably would never have been able to figure out myself!

The bummer for the lesson was that Liz is still on activity restriction and then when we got to the field Breeze was really limping on her front foot. CRAP!!! I kept trying to ignore it, but then she started bunny hopping with her back legs and doing some weird hopping all over the place. Well, turned out Breeze had this huge bumps all up and around her pads, and one had popped and she had a HUGE rip in her pad, her belly was all red and raw looking where it had touched the grass. This time of year last year Breeze had a horrible allergic reaction in the same field. I swear they are using some nasty fertilizer or something to kill weeds or ???. Anyway, we could only work a very short time with Breeze after Alicia got a boot to put on Breeze. The minute Breeze got the boot on she snapped to a normal gait. Breeze got a bath to get what ever is bothering her off her and I am going to put boots on her next time we are at the field, and bring a mat for her to do her stays on or to rest on so she is not on the grass. I worked out a pattern to make some booties, and they turned out so well I will post the instructions for making them. Boots are going on my list of things to always have available in my first aid kit, they were a life saver for my lesson for sure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yippie, nothing too serious for Liz

I took Liz to the holistic vet for an adjustment-it has been forever since she needed one-and to check on what was going on at herding with her gait.

One thing I forgot is how wild Liz is taking her a new place.....she was going a mile a minute and wanted to get in the room and was barking really loud. Usually I am there with Breeze who is a perfect lady, going anywhere with Liz is a little more tiring....LOL

It is not nice to compare two dogs to each other....but I am going to, LOL! Breeze and Liz are such different dogs, and react to things so differently so it is hard not to compare them at times. Breeze gets regular visits to the holistic vet and is always freaky when the vet needs to examine her, do her acupuncture treatments or chiropractic adjustments but she is quiet and well mannered about it. Breeze has such a sweet, quiet way about her, she is so much easier for me to take anywhere then Liz is, while Liz is just a whirlwind. Anyone can handle Liz, tug on her, pull her this way and that and she is just mildly interested and glad to be getting the attention. Poor Breeze will pee on the vet and has rubber legs and she really does not enjoy any part of it. So...definitely they each have their plus and minus's when going to the vet. I must admit When I leave the vet after taking Liz for a visit I am always a little more tired then I am when I leave a vet visit with Breeze.

So the vet watched the video of the weird gate and steps and really checked her pads, her legs, her knees, her hips and felt like the hip was a little out of alignment on the right but her knees seemed to feel very stable, she did not act like her feet hurt, her hips seemed fine just needing a little adjustment, so she thought that Liz must have just pulled a little something and then was just working through the discomfort so probably irritated a soft tissue injury a little further. So the prescription, light activities for a few weeks, a chiropractic adjustment, and lots of massages to keep the blood really flowing well in that area, warming her up really well and massaging before activity and a recheck to make sure she did not need any further adjustments in two weeks. Dr. Modglin felt sure no xrays were needed and that she would be just fine.

I like vets visits that end that way, just a few bucks and a little of my time but now I will not worry about those knees. It's all good!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A little hitch in Liz's step, ughgh!

Lizzie went for her herding lesson, this was the last one with the current instructor and I have another one with an instructor that I really like next week. So last time Liz was herding I had thought I saw a really different gait then I was used to on Liz, and I had asked the instructor, who said well, some dogs get a little hitch in their back...but it did not look like a back problem to me. I did notice her back a little more roached then it usually is and a lot more hoppy type of gait and her "messing" with her legs, I do not know how better to describe it. I have not had a lot of experience herding so I did wonder if she was a dog that just had a hard time changing to a different lead when we made her go the other direction, humm, could that have been what is going on? I decided to just watch carefully and try to video if I saw anything else. In between the two lessons I really did not see anything. So this week I asked Alicia to come and video the run for me, she was not there for the first run but she got the second run. Lizzie was really doing some weird things and it almost looked to me like she was trying to pop her knee back into place??? Now I am wondering if that might be why Liz has been less excited about herding, perhaps it hurts? So, a couple of days off and a trip to the vet for Liz. Liz has always been my dog that physically is as sound as they come so it is really weird to be seeing things like that from her. I felt horrible when I saw the video, I am totally not watching my dog and I did not even see those steps, I had seen some things earlier, but... gosh if I had seen how bad that looked I would not have tried to change her direction that one last time....ALWAYS WATCH YOUR DOG, yep good advice.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lizzie's herding lesson this week, not exactly ready for trials????

OOOH Lizzie....another venue where she is not looking like a shining star....LOL. Unfortunately we are running out of dog sports to keep trying, so not sure we are going to find Lizzies little nitch just yet, LOL.

Well, Liz went for another herding lesson and I thought she did ok, and I might not know a lot about herding, but she looks amazing to me. So I was sort of bummed when the instructor said well, I am not really happy with and there is not much I see in this dog that I like, and if you want to do any real herding then would you like me to help you find a new dog? OMG, I sure am not going to find a new dog just for herding, LOL. Anyway, my mother bear bristles immediately stood up, this guy was working Liz and she does not work near as well for him as she does for me and this is only her third try, and she was doing a bit of limping (I am really not sure what that is about...), so not exactly time to write her off yet I would think....especially when she was herding the sheep but she just left twice,she left to check on me. For heavens sake it was her third time on sheep, and she actually is not totally confident yet...but she seems to sort of know what she is doing and seems about a 7 on a 1-10 scale in her excitement over it, so....GIVE HER A BREAK. Liz has her last lesson I have paid for at this current place on Sunday, so I will try to get someone to video for us and I will post it and we can all look and see if she should be written off just yet.

This all brings up something I did not know about myself, LOL, I do have a competitive drive and secretly I really was thinking that Lizzie was really going to do well at herding. She has been evaluated by others and they thought she did amazing, and not sure how much I value the opinion of this particular instructor. The funny thing is that Liz definitely does more then well enough to keep doing what we are doing and it is something that seems good for why did this guys opinion that she would never be good enough to trial bother me? Poor Liz. Guess I am a doggie mom that puts pressure to perform on her puppy and I did not even realize it until this happened.

I tell you I think I will do our last lesson I have paid for with this guy and then I would like to try another instructor that I have heard a lot of great things about...and we will see. I thought about all of this on the way home from herding and one thing is for sure, no matter what anyone else says or how many sports Lizzie washes out of....she is the champion best buddy for me, so not every dog can be my perfect friend so guess she will always be tops in that category.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yep, it is official Lizzie is "special"

I had a private and we were going to work on teaching object discrimination. Alicia set up a straight tunnel next to the Aframe. There was a jump then the tunnel/Aframe and then a jump after the objects for the dog to drive to. Alicia put an x-pen in front of the Aframe and I was supposed to have Lizzie go over the jump, then tell her "out-tunnel" while pushing on her line with my arm straight out from my shoulder and taking a step into her line, she would in theory come out of the tunnel and be rewarded after the jump that was after the tunnel. Then we would put the x-pen in front of the tunnel so she would not take that, have her go over the jump, I would pat my leg and tell her "here-Climb" so she would know to take the closer obstacle (the aframe), and then go out over the jump and be rewarded. Sounds pretty simple Right?

I sat Liz in front of the jump and looked at the x-pen in front of the Aframe and thought, hummm, she will either try to jump the x-pen or she will smash right through it and notice what happened about half way down the other side of the aframe. I was a little nervous as I released her and told her "out-tunnel" and pushed on her line and gave the arm signal and sort of held my breath. Sure enough, Lizzie ran down the side of the x-pen between the tunnel and the aframe until she got past the x-pen and leapt onto the aframe about half way up the aframe and then ran down into a 2020 position behind the x-pen. I had not considered that possibility. We tried again and this time she ran in between the tunnel and aframe and went to the back of the aframe and went up and over the aframe landing in a gorgeous 2o2o position behind the x-pen and just looked so pleased and proud to have passed what I am sure she thought was some sort of weird proofing exercise, she knew she had had to work hard to do it all just right. OOH Lizzie. I finally had to take her and guide her with hand in collar up and into the tunnel before she considered that option. It was hard not to laugh, especially when Alicia looked a bit frustrated and said she had never seen a dog try anything like that with this exercise.

Of course right after Lizzies gorgeous performance, it was Breeze's turn. Breeze of course just did the whole thing perfectly the first time and by the second time had the whole idea, it never occurred to her to run all around trying to get around or over the x-pens, she seemed to realize that the x-pens meant that she was not supposed to go on that obstacle being blocked.

I always have to remember what ever we teach, we have to consider the Lizard factor. No wonder I love her, she is always thinking overtime.

Monday, August 10, 2009

This made me cry a little

I saw a link for this video on a blog I like to read

Herding...learning how to move those sheep!

Yesterday Lizzie got to go herding again. This was her third week. She is coming along. The first week she was unsure and a little worried about chasing something, the second week she was showing a little more confidence and this week she was getting the hang of it.

This week our lesson started off with a little lesson in how stock react. This is my interpretation of what I got out of the lesson, so if I got something wrong....well, I am a newbie, LOL, but it seemed to make sense. So sheep are prey animals and they like to stay with the safety of the flock. The only time they will split up is if they feel it is necessary for their protection, say a dog/wolf running into the middle of the flock so they all go different directions. When you are taking a flock somewhere, say if you were taking them to market, or to the barn you want the sheep to stay non stressed, and happy, so they do not lose weight from running too much, or get stressed and unhappy. Your stock should move around at a nice pace, comfy and happy and all together. When the sheep are all standing together there is a invisible bubble around them, the size of the bubble is different for any group of animals. This is the area that is around them, so if they are standing and nothing is around them in this bubble of space they feel safe. So for some wild sheep the bubble might be huge and any time someone enters that imaginary bubble or circle they will feel threatened and move to stay safe. On the school sheep we are working with their bubble is relatively small and you can get pretty close before they feel threatened and need to move. You can also see with different dogs the bubble can be different, with a dog they might know and trust they might react differently then they would to say Lizzie because they were much more wary of her because they do not know her and how she is going to react.

So how this affects sheep herding is that to move your sheep around you want to be aware of how big their bubble is and when they will start moving. You want to say come up behind them very slowly and move to the edge of your bubble and then walk straight into them calmly and quietly if you are trying to move them straight ahead. If you need to move say from the side of the herd to behind the herd because of the direction you want to move them you need to back up and go around the outside of the imaginary circle, and not through the sides of the circle so that the stock stays still until you get into position to move them.

Another complication of all this is when the stock are moving you need to watch their heads. If the sheep turn and look to a direction- they are going to move that way in the next step or two so if you are watching you can adjust your position so that you can keep them moving the way you want them to.

Our lesson yesterday started with me walking into the big field with Lizzie on leash. I had to walk with Lizzie on leash and get the sheep into the corner of the yard, sort of by the fence which was a good place to pick them up and start working. So I had to remember the bubble and watching how they were going to move and Liz and I moved the sheep all around the yard in a pattern, which was actually way cool when I could see how to predict how to move them. I thought we did pretty good. I was also supposed to practice telling Lizzie things like walk up when we were going straight at the sheep in a straight line to move them slowly ahead, and slow....when I was making her walk up on the sheep slowly to get her used to some of those commands she might need some day.

Next it was Liz turn to be let go. She was really working nice, I think she has a fairly big bubble of working, so she stays fairly far from the sheep and she works sort of slow and controlled which I am told is a good thing. Guess that goes back to not getting the sheep stressed and keeping them happy and feeling safe. The amazing thing was that Lizzie kept checking on me every few minutes and leaving the sheep to make sure of what I was doing, what a sweetie. The next run I got to work Lizzie and she did not leave me and the sheep once. The amazing thing was like Lizzie ran to get water, I walked quickly away from the sheep and Lizzie got her water, went and got the sheep together and brought them back. She already knows we keep the sheep together and we make sure the sheep stay with mom. Awwwwwwww..... Just so cool to see how dogs that have been bred for this have the instinct and know what to do.

I had a great time herding, except when I was out working Liz there were a few times I thought I was going to die. Four 150 lb sheep running full force at a person can be a bit scary. I am also not good yet at figuring out how to get out of the middle of the sheep-all going different directions. I am ready to take bets on how long it will be until my first time I fall on my butt, or get my knees smashed, LOL.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Julie and Julia-and my girls right of passage, LOL

Well, there was another right of passage at our home on Saturday. I took my two daughters, a young teen girl, and a preteen, to see their first adult movie. NOOOOO, I do not mean one with questionable content, no bad words and no suggestive content, but a more adult story line then the usual Disney movies I usually take them to see. I saw the movie lasts almost 2 1/2 hours, so I threatened if they chose to go I did not want to sit through 2 hours of them complaining or saying they were bored or how much longer? Any of you with kids know what I mean! I was not sure if this would be a movie that would have much of interest for them, but my knee was really hurting and I had a free Saturday, it was the only appropriate movie I could find and I really felt like a movie would be nice. Turns out the kids liked the movie and were absolute angels. It was the first movie of the day so there were not a lot of people and we have a pretty new theatre, so it was really a great thing to do on a Saturday morning.

It was fun to watch the movie. The movie followed Julia Child's life experiences while learning to cook and writing her cook book and a lady named Julie who was blogging her experiences working her way through Julia Child's cookbook. She made every recipe in the book including some that called for calves feet, like real calves feet, YUCK! I really feel people need some external passion, something they are working toward, some goal and a way to challenge themselves, that is why Hobbies can be so great-even if you have a great career. It was fun to watch both of these ladies find their passions and carve out a little nitch for themselves in the world. It was also fun to watch Julie blogging and some of the issues that arose from that in her life, especially since a lot of people keep blogs now a days, and in contrast even though Julia Childs lived years ago, the things she was going through were very similar to a lot of mine and my friends struggles today.

I would recommend the movie and my daughters and I had a great morning, although I always sit in the back and the new theatre has stadium seating and my knees were bothering me so badly, when the movie was done and my knee had a chance to freeze up, I thought I was going to have to call 911 to get me down all the stairs, LOL. Good thing there was not a fire because I would have had to burn, because I sure was not moving fast at all!!!

More Puppies, and a little of this and that...

wow, what a week. First off on Wednesday, Bluff a dog at Contact Point Border Collies (my Breeze's breeder) went into labor a few days earlier then expected. I went to the ranch to babysit the puppies while Karen took Bluff to the vet for an x-ray to confirm the number of pups expected before they were born. When I got there I got to do some bottle feeding of Gabby's puppies (the last litter born) because they are still being supplemented. OMG, those are the biggest, rolliest, polliest puppies I have ever seen. Those puppies have the most gorgeous markings and sure look healthy. Their little eyes are just opening, so nothing to fuel anyones puppy fever like some cute little rolly polie puppies. I LOVE the little tri colored female in that litter, and her eyes are open, talk about too cute for words!

Nel's pups, (the first litter born, that I got to help with the delivery -bye the way)are all looking good. They are no where near as big as Gabby's little puppies, but there were 11 of them -a huge litter-and Nel is a smaller girl then Gabby. Their little eyes are mostly open and they are getting up on their feet, starting to walk and really looking gorgeous. Nel's litter is sired by Breezes Litter mate and half brother Zing, who is an awesome agility dog. My favorite little girls in that litter are the number 1 puppy Ginny, and little Luna. I wanted to tuck one of those little girls in my pocket on my way home ;-).

So early in the afternoon Bluff seemed to really go into labor. Bluffs first pup was born at 4 pm and she was expecting a good size litter. The first three pups just came sliding out, and it was interesting because Bluff would just sort of be licking but did not look like she was pushing as much as some dogs do, it was hard to tell when pups were close to being born. Everything seemed to be going so easily even though Bluff was a first time mom, it was early in the afternoon, and things were really looking like this was going to be a very easy, fast delivery. Bluff had a small break between the first three pups and the next couple, which would not be surprising because the first ones came so quickly. Another couple of puppies brought one little puppy that was soooooo tiny, a little black/white (tri?) female, that really took a long time to really get all her little body functions going. She would scream and cry as long as she was stimulated but then just would be tired looking if she was left alone, so I was really worried about that little cutie, but pretty soon she was looking really good, very tiny but very good, (she did good enough that by the next day she had a really good weight gain, so she is a little peanut but very strong). Soon after that we only had one puppy left to deliver and Bluff just did not seem to be able to deliver it. We piled into the car with the pups and Bluff and made the trip to the vet. It was the middle of the night by then, and Bluff was pushing and I was riding in the back of the car with my little flash light, hoping a puppy would make it's way into the world before we got to the vets. Little Bluff ended up having to have a csection for the last pup, and sadly, the little pup did not make it. In the end there were six gorgeous little pups, 4 boys and 2 girls. Let me tell you this particular litter should be interesting to watch grow up. Bluff is a total ball/toy freak. She was labor and pushing and just wanted someone to throw the ball when we took her out to walk around, she is a real toy dog. The dad of these pups is named Reddy and he is a ball nut, and I have seen one of Reddys pups that just turned a year old and that dog is a toy obsessed, so I can not see how these dogs are not going to have an insane toy drive.

Poor Breeze and Liz came with me to the CP ranch for the birth because I did not know how long things would take. Breeze and Liz have never been in a run and I put them in a run that faced the front of the house. I do not think the girls moved an inch, they just sat in front of the door in disbelief they would be in a kennel. Surprisingly they did not bark their heads off in protest, which is what I expected. They were actually good girls. The only time they had a really hard time was the morning after the delivery....there was a chicken who has apparently learned there is usually food around the dogs kennels, so the chicken would walk back and forth and dance in front of the dogs just on the other side of the cage. Breeze was just frustrated as all heck watching that chicken that I am sure looked like a really great toy. Cherry got to go and play with my girls in the agility yard, and it sure seemed like the three of them missed each other, they seemed to have such a great time playing together, it was very cute.

On the way back home from the ranch I was able to go to my Acton class, perhaps the last class in Acton. There have been a lot of times that I thought the class was over, and this time I really thought it was because we got to the last day, but now apparently maybe it is not over? I had bought a cake to say good bye but then in the middle of class negotiations were still going on to keep the class going and at the end of class it was still not clear if there would be classes or not-so I never got a chance to bring out the cake, most of the students had not shown up for class, so my kids were VERY happy I brought the cake home. They are always happy when I come home, but when I have cakes or cookies, they really are really happy to see me, LOL. Regardless of whether the class goes on or not I think it has been changed enough that I am not going to be allowed in the class-I think they are lowering the level, so I will not get to go ;-( , so what ever. I love the people in the class and I am going to miss Lynn and Skittles, Tina and Salette, Dimitri and Leanne, and even wild little Zoe, Zoe so much. Those people have been a part of my life for a long time now, I have seen them every week with no breaks for a long time and I do not always welcome change and I will miss them very much, and since I live such a long way away I doubt I will see them. Guess everything changes and everything has its season, blah, blah, blah, but it does not mean I have to like it now does it? So at this point, who knows what is going on???? Surely, not me ;-)!!!!!!!! What I do know is I am pretty burned out right now, but anxious to get back to some real training, how ever I have to get that, I will just trust it is all going to work out, I will make it work out.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Liz living up to her honorary diploma--looking like a real agility girl!

perhaps Lizzie is trying to live up to her honorary diploma? Or she is just being a really super good girl, but Thursday was the second to last class that Alicia is going to be teaching in Acton. Deanna's classes are done until October, and it looks like Alicia really is not going to change her mind and do any more classes, so...figures Liz/I sort of get ourselves working well and we will have no more classes. So Liz was able to work the ENTIRE class, and I mean work it, paying attention, she was actually reading my body language and doing pretty well. I worked a lot of attention games walking into the field, she thought about looking for the gophers but opted for playing the attention games instead. I did not crate her but kept her out and kept working with her, so that seemed to work this week anyway. The most amazing part of the class was one of the first runs a classmate let his Jack Russell run after Liz on course. This dog acts like she wants to eat a lot of other dogs and when the dog was let loose the guy never got out of his chair to get her. Lizzie turned around and let the dog have it, she went after the dog and I was afraid there was going to be a serious fight. I think it surprised the dog that someone turned around and went after her because she has pulled that crap before in class and she chases the dogs, but someone always gets the dogs or catches her before any dogs can harass her. It is an irritating thing. ANYWAY, I thought we were going to loose Liz's focus for sure, but I took her out and did a few obstacles before I sat down just to make sure she was not too freaked out and amazingly enough, the dog that seems to go over the top about EVERYTHING, just shook it off and acted like nothing happened. The next time she ran and the little JRT was at the end of her leash right by a jump, lunging and barking and Liz did not even seem to hear. I never can totally predict what the little Lizard is going to do, guess that is how she keeps life interesting, but how she handled the dog chasing her really made me proud of her and amazed. I had not brought out my crate, and I always make sure to have a crate, so when I was walking sequences, I put Liz in a down and everyone was walking all around her and she was amazing laying out there relaxing on one hip and she stayed rock solid on her downs. I think it helped just keeping her connected and working, even if it was just a down stay instead of putting her in her crate like I normally do. Usually when Liz is in class we do bits and pieces, let her end early, things like that but she did the entire class, EVERYTHING. Believe it or not that durn JRT was let loose several more times in class, but at least it was not with Lizzie (and I say let loose because it sure seemed like it happened enough and the owner never even bothered getting up to get her and how many times in one class can a dog get away and it still be a surprise??).