Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cardi Claus...

.....is leaving Wrentham!

Estimated arrival 12/03!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bug Helped Pack

Thanksgiving, Games, the Cluster

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We did! Pups were happy to be gifted with small pieces of turkey and humans were happy to indulge.

We had five dogs for Thanksgiving: Ike, Bug, Nellie (my mum's dog), Carmie, and Joey. They took their job of watch dogs very seriously!

All five dogs tried the Magic game. Ike loves it but thinks it is old hat at this point. We need to purchase the next game up or borrow Katrin's. Bug FINALLY figured it all out!! Yay, Bug!! It took about 5 - 6 times before the light switch flipped. I am very curious as to how that will transfer to a new game with different challenges. 

Joey and Carmie were very stumped by it, but Nellie surprised us all. Nellie is a very nervous dog, she was not socialized properly and it sounds like she basically came from a puppy mill. My mother rescued her via CraigsList from a well meaning, but inept (dog-savvy-wise), family. She has come a great distance and she is fairly comfortable at my in-law's house (where we had Thanksgiving). In addition at some point in Nellie's life someone obviously used food to catch her - she is incredibly leery of her food dish and where people are 5 years later.

None-the-less I asked her to try and play this game in a small room crammed with people and -

She rocked the game!! she used her nose, her paws, and her teeth to remove the bones. Other than Ike she is the fastest dog I have seen play the game. I was really happy that she had enough confidence to try the game and that she was so successful. We decided it must be the poodle in her! ; )

Saturday Katrin and I went to the Cluster to watch the Cardis and shop. Bug's littermate Star was WB for a 4 point major! She looked lovely. It's funny because she is such a peanut compared to Bug and Luther.

We also go to meet Teri in person and see baby Brees. Oh my goodness, what a nice dog he is.

We found some great deals on treats. This year in addition to the Bravo! booth there was an Oma's booth and a Victory Raw Food booth; both of which are local raw suppliers. Other than treats I did not do much shopping, but the dogs can attest I found some great items - smoked pig esophagus anyone?

All in all it was a lovely day of shopping and visiting with dog friends.

Bug has a herding lesson scheduled for the 4th. I will have to see what D's schedule looks like for the rest of December. Now I believe it is time to get the boys back in class and get back to training.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Dog Song

My friend Sandy (with Baxter Black) sent me this cute song today. Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Now that we live in the “woods” I am finding oh-so-many more ticks on my dogs. Holy cow! It is ridiculous. BugOff Garlic might be putting a dent in them, but over the past two weeks I have found more ticks on my dogs than I have in the entire past year. Yuck!

What is odd/interesting is I am finding deer ticks on Ike (the smaller dog) and dog ticks on Bug (the larger dog).

Over the summer my vet gave me one of the “Ticked Off” tick removers. I just started using it and I am amazed by how well it works. It doesn’t work that well on smaller ticks but it works like a charm on the larger ticks.

Bug can be persnickety about having ticks removed. He thinks it is going to turn into having his nails done or something. With the Ticked Off scoop he is much more relaxed!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's Up?

Moving is a busy time. The boys have settled in. The humans have settled in – even though more than half of our possessions remain unpacked. The birds have settled in – too well. I discovered an egg yesterday. Please tell me how a house that is completely disrupted, colder, and darker equals a good time to start a clutch? The only thing I can think of is that DJ truly is bonded to Larry even though they act like they could care less about each other. During the move I had them in a cage together. That ended as soon as the egg appeared. I guess it is separate quarters forever.

Ike abhors the road we live on (Route 121). It has sidewalk, but the walks are fairly limited (take a right or a left) and the traffic is loud. He especially hates it when it is raining and the cars make more noise and he’s afraid he might get splashed (recall we got DRENCHED by a splash about a month ago during a downpour?). He has very clearly informed me that he thinks the new walks suck. They are boring.

I think his head is out of alignment since he is being so sensitive about the noise. We will all see the chiro on Tuesday. If the adjustment doesn’t help his noise sensitivity I am going to try a D.AP. calming collar. I use a D.A.P. diffuser in the bed room and it really does seem to help my dogs. I know it doesn’t help all dogs, but I notice a significant difference with my two.

On Sunday I attended an all day silent meditation class as part of the mindfulness program I am attending. It was very challenging. On the way home I stopped at Especially for Pets and bought a Nina Ottosson interactive dog toy, “Magic,” with the last of my birthday money.

I was very inspired after seeing Amanda’s post with her four dogs playing with the brick game. I asked Katrin if I could borrow her game, but was worried it might be too advanced to start my guys on since they have never played with one before.

“Magic” is a beginner interactive game. Ike figured it out in less than two minutes. Bug….well, Bug has yet to figure it out. ?? He is so incredibly frustrated by it. We will keep working on it – eventually he will get it. In the mean time I think Ike is ready to try his paw at “Dog Fighter.”

Bug and the “Magic” game reminded me very clearly of the first time I tried to do any shaping with Ike and how difficult it was for him. He stoically sat waiting for me to explain or tell him what I wanted. While Bug has done some shaping – and in fact most of his basic commands have been taught via shaping – when confused/thwarted/frustrated he downs. This is the first behavior I shaped with him and we use it a lot in herding. We have a lot of work to do there.

Bug was also a bit of a snot rocket the first time Ike and I played with the game. He was better subsequently, but it reminded me we need to work on our Crate Games.

Bug had PT on Tuesday and C said she thinks he is ready for herding! As soon as I confirm our weekend plans over the next few weeks I will be scheduling a lesson. I also need to get Ike back into agility classes but things are still a bit too crazy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

EPI Awareness Update

Thank you anyone who took the time to vote!

"Recognize EPI & Identify the Genes" came in #3 out of the top 10 to win the $5,000 Pepsi "EPI" Challenge .

This funding will also allow for further EPI genetic marker(s) testing.... hopefully giving us some indication of what genes might be responsible for EPI.

The breakdown for the $5,000 is as follows:

$4,000 goes directly to Dr. Leigh Anne Clark for EPI Genetic Testing Research (goal is to identify the genetic markers for this condition)

$1,000 goes to the EPI AWARENESS project to produce and distribute via volunteers (to vets offices across the country) EPI materials to better inform the veterinarian community about EPI.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

too tired to blog much

We closed on Wednesday. The closing took less than an hour and was significantly less expensive than we were quoted. Yay! We moved on Thursday. My house is a shambles. Boxes, boxes everywhere.

The house was owned by an 80 yo woman so while it was immaculate there are lots of little things that need more-or-less immediate attention followed by larger cosmetic changes when we have extra money (i.e. not for a while). The house was custom built in 1973 and other than painting her bedroom everything is original! :)

Today I had to replace one of the exterior knobs and locks because the door knob fell off and was beyond repair!

The boys are settling in. Bug is a VERY affectionate dog and he was quite stand-offish for a few days. Yesterday he started acting like himself. Ike is not overtly affectionate and he has been very needy and affectionate! Go figure.

I will have to take a picture of the road I live on in addition to the house. It is beautiful. I am excited and happy about our new adventure. I will say living in the country means LOTS of ticks!

Oh, and I am exhausted.