Sunday, February 28, 2010

Changin' It Up - Gonna See What Happens

We have taken a bit of a break from working on running contacts lately. We are starting a retrain process and are going to work on a few different things and see how it goes and what we get. Reese really does remember the 2o2o contacts quite well, much better than I thought she would.

She is one of those dogs that once she learns something she doesn't forget it. So we will give it a few more weeks and then see what is going to work best for us. We may end up using the 2o2o method with a quick release instead of the running contacts. I am not ready to give up on them yet, I am too stubborn. But Reese is my first working dog and at some point we need to get out there and trial. At the same time I have waited this long and I set on trialing only when we are ready. I don't want to change our choice of contacts based on when we would be ready to trial. But I will choose the contacts that I think will work best for us.

As we get further into our training I think I will get a better idea of what will work best for us. Last week at our lesson we did handling and I walked away with a much better understanding of what it will be like when we are running full courses. I know Reese can really move and as my handling improves and her understanding of my handling improves she will be much faster on the course. I just may want a bit of a stop on the contacts so that I can
a.) catch up to her
  b.) catch my breath
                                    c.) get a head start on the next part of the course
 d.) all of the above

Here is a video of what we worked on tonight. Trying a little backchaining to see what we get.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Frito Feet

Earlier this week I woke up to a smell...I couldn't quite figure out what the smell was. I thought hmm it's like some kind of snack food. But I don't have snack food in the house. I rolled over and guess who was there. 
Her two front paws in my face.  Ohhhh, Frito Feet - that is what I was smelling!
Hey do you mind....I'm sleeping here. Quit with the flash will ya!

Miss Reese was sleeping on the bed. She usually sleeps on her bed, on my bed, when she is not sleeping in her crate.  However, I think on this night she had slept next to me with her head on the pillow all night.

Sleeping beauty never wants to get up. She is not a morning girl.

"Seriously! You get up and go to work, I'll stay here and guard the bed."

Does your dog have Frito Feet or Popcorn Feet? You know who you are - I want to hear from you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dog Bed, Who Needs A Dog Bed?

A couple posts back Reese tried out a new dog bed that, um, didn't quite fit her bum. We talked about the possibility of getting her a new bed and that she would have to accompany me to the store to pick it out herself. But then, the other day I came into the living room to find this....
Hmmm, I guess
She decided the couch made a mighty fine bed....
I mean really, who needs a dog bed, when you can have a couch!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

High Flying Kites!

Today I went to a kite flying festival. It was a little chilly with the wind, but of course, without the wind there would not have been much kite flying.
They were pretty cool. Most were so big that their kite string was staked into the frozen lake (where the contest was held).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Addictions and Withdrawal

We have let a little problem develop. Reese is addicted...she is addicted to these
Busy Bones and Biscuits

She has been taught to go into her crate to get a biscuit. She goes in her crate everytime she wants a biscuit. She also gets a biscuit when I need her to go into her crate and then I leave. We are cutting down on the biscuits and it is not going to be fun.

She really has an addiction to the Busy Bones. She would have one every night if she had her way - because she NEEDS them. The ones in the picture are the small ones. These she will eat. The larger ones she will hide. Then she will find it a few hours later and re-hide it. Then the next morning she will check to make sure it is still there. Then she will re-hide it again... you get the idea. This goes on for days until finally, she decides it is time to eat it.

So we are beginning our painful withdrawal from Busy Bones. Yes, I know she had an enabler in this addiction and now it is time to rid ourselves of this horrible vice.

Wish me luck and sanity with this monster I have created for the next few weeks. I'll need it.

Wordless Wednesday 3

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Running Dogwalk Day #????

Lost track long ago what video number this is. But this was our running contact work from earlier tonight. We did about 4 on a flat plank and then raised it. I lowered it at about an inch at the end. Playing with how to raise it, tonight I used some cutting boards. When we get high enough I have bricks to use. She was a bit bouncy in the beginning when I used treats. She seems to run better towards the end when I use the ball. So from now on we will just work with the ball and see how that goes.

The Two Kitties

Earlier this year I mentioned that I would be posting more about Bella and Sophie. Bella is back on raw 100% now which is great. I also found out I was overfeeding her the raw so that wasn't helping her weight to decrease at all. She recently tried some quail and loved it. Sophie liked it too which is great.

Sophie has been more difficult switching to raw. She has always been able to self regulate her eating and so doesn't have a problem with over indulgence. But Bella will steal her food so they both eat meals in their crates unless I am sitting there watching. I have had to get Sophie switched over from kibble to wet cat food and now we are working on the transition to raw. She is at about 1 tsp of raw each meal and rest cat food.

They both get a little kibble for a snack and by little I mean about 4 pieces of kibble. I also use it for treats if I am clicker training them. Instead of cat treats for a special treat they get kibble and they think it is something special.

However, I have come home occasionally to what should look like this

And found this instead......

Which is why you end up with this...

Ahh they are so sweet though - best buddies!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Also Happy Birthday to Reese's namesake. Today was the birthday of the Grandma that Reese is named after. Her proper name is Margaret Reese, call name Reese. Margaret is my Irish grandma that Reese is named after. We always went to dinner with Grandma on her birthday and she always ordered the chicken kiev.

I received some beautiful roses!

I bought Reese a bed yesterday for Valentine's Day. She loves to mess up the blankets on the couch or bed and create her own little nest so I thought she would like her own little bed to curl up in. 

And she would, she came right over and jumped in. There was just one problem......she didn't fit.
Either the back-end hangs Ten, or....
front end does.

Of course she had to try it with her bone to see if that would help......  nope - still doesn't fit.

I will have to take her with me to the pet store to get her a proper fitting bed to curl up in. I won't share with the store personnel that the last time she tried out a bed there, she tried it out by peeing on it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Still a Work in Progress....

But I think we are starting to see some progress. Here are a couple of videos of some running contact work. The first one is from about a week ago and she is still bouncing quite a lot. In the second video, from tonight, I think there is improvement. There are a few bouncy runs but overall I think much better.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pawty! We're Havin' a Pawty!

Happy Birthday Reese!  Reese turned 4 years old today, so we thought we would throw a little party. First up was a morning hike.

Then we started getting ready for our party. And......we had a little Cake Wreck!
Yep, I FAILED! It really wasn't that hard to do.

But then I fixed it by jamming the H in there. The purple weird things on the right are sheep.

Getting ready
to blow the candle out!

And of course she got to eat a piece.

And no she didn't stay on the table. About two seconds after this picture was taken she took her piece to the floor where a proper dog eats her cake!

Finally, Reese opened her presents. A new ball (yeah, we don't have any of those around here do we?) and a new achilles tendon to chew. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nose Problems, Quail and Feather toys......

I am going to try some new things on the blog. As you can see from yesterday's post I have started a Wordless Wednesday feature. It was an old picture but one that I like. I used to follow a blog that did this and I thought it was cool. Buzz's food lady doesn't have her blog anymore but I have seen others that do it as well. So I thought why not.

The other news is in the sickness and health department. A week or so ago Reese had developed a bump on the bridge of her nose sort of like a bug bite. It went away and then it came back again. Then it seemed to be a bit better. I started to think I was seeing things. Then a week ago last Monday the whole bridge of her nose was swollen. But after she was up out of her crate for awhile it looked a little better and she wanted to play and seemed to feel fine. Then by the end of the night it seemed better. 

I thought she had gotten bit by something or run into something with her bone. She loves to hide her bones. She will hide it and rehide it and rehide it for days until finally she decides she is ready to chew and eat it (don't worry it is an edible bone). So she didn't get bones for a bit to see if that was it.

Then last Saturday she was laying in her crate in the living room snoozing and when she got up and came to see me she had bumps on her nose again. Not a bump but multiple bumps. They got bigger and bigger. By Sunday it was obvious that something more than a bug bite was going on. It didn't seem to itch too much but at one point she did scratch them and rip a couple open.

We went to the vet on Monday and he is not sure what it is. She is on an antibiotic and that seems to be helping. The sores are drying up and have scabbed over. She has about 6-8 of them. Her stomach doesn't care for the antibiotic too much but seems to be adjusting. At least I am able to get them down her and she has only managed to spit one back out. IF the antibiotic doesn't work or they come back again we will have to look at a biopsy. The skin scraping that was done on Monday didn't show anything so we are hoping that it is just some kind of bacterial infection.

Bella has tweaked her knee again and her luxating patella is acting up. So we are really working on her weightloss goals. If we can get some of her weight off it will help immensely. Reese ran into the den where Bella was tonight and got a little too close saying hello. Bella growled at her and Reese high-tailed it right out of there. I was very impressed, good Bella - you show her who is boss. Last weekend I picked up some quail for Bella and she really likes it so I am happy about that. Will have to get her some more so she has some variety with the rabbit, turkey and chicken.

Sophie is doing well - stealing time on her human's bed whenever Reese is not there. I came home from work and the feather toys were spread out in the living room so someone had obviously been playing. I did some clicker work with her and Bella a number of years ago and we worked on it again the other day. They both still remember so we will do a video soon.