Monday, October 31, 2011


I meant to do a post about my performance puppy class over the weekend, but Saturday I was busy preparing for the Nor’easter. We lost power at 4:30 am on Sunday and haven’t gotten it back yet. Apparently 9 out of 12 power loops in the Wrentham, Franklin, Foxboro area are down. Best estimate for return to power is Thursday. Hopefully it will be sooner.

We also had a minor boiler/furnace emergency. John came upstairs from the basement and said, “Wow, you can really hear the water coming in.” I thought, huh? It usually seeps in, which you do not hear. I went down to check it out and water was draining from a pipe on the furnace/boiler at a decent pace. I put a cooler under it and went out to shovel. An hour later I came in to check and the cooler was full. Uh-oh. Call the oil company. They say they will be out in a couple of hours and to stay on bucket duty until then. Turns out the expansion tank went and a valve related to it. The oil guy was able to replace it and double-checked everything, but of course since we do not have power he couldn’t actually test it. It was not related to the power loss, just bad luck.

My in-laws’ power came back around 1pm, so I made plans to bring the birds there if our power didn’t come back in the afternoon. It didn’t, so I evacuated the birds around 3 pm. I am going to pick up the g-pigs tonight. Hopefully our pipes won’t freeze (they are saying there will be a warming trend over the next few days) and I can get some practice in with Irie.

Irie is entering a temper tantrum phase. She is very, very smart and has no fear. Today she figured out how to climb the short x-pen I am using in the office. She has also been chewing (dog appropriate items) like a maniac. I would say she is very oral. She runs around with a large Himalayan Cheese Chew hanging out of her mouth. How she doesn’t trip, I do not know. No ears yet, which is a bummer - I think they might have to be taped. When she gets up from laying on her side they stand for a second before falling.

Cross your fingers power comes on sooner than later!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Yes, this is blurry, but so cute!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Irie has been sleeping through the night since last Thursday – a week today. Pretty darn good for a 9.5 week old puppy.

She is now a big fan of the crate. I expect she will become an even bigger fan once we start playing Crate Games (week 2 of Performance Puppy).

She LOVES to tug and we are working on pairing the release with a word.

I am shaping her “down” using her dinner (she is super food motivated and equally toy motivated – hooray!). Tuesday night was the first time I captured her down, last night went MUCH faster.

She offers a snappy sit and I am working on the competition sit so I will have it if I want to do Rally/Obedience.

She has been coming to work with me and is very well behaved. Everyone loves her and she loves everyone.

She loves people so much I have to started asking her to re-orient to me (with a sit) and I then give her a “Go visit” cue. I could see this people loving biting me in the ass with ring crew, even though gods know I want a dog who loves people after Ike who’s circle of people, while ever expanding, is so small.

She and Bug are getting along really well. Ike is tolerating her and she tries daily to make him play with her (no dice so far). I will say he is spending much more time in the yard with us since she came home!

Tuesday Nite Class

Ike and I had agility class Tuesday night.

With the puppy here I think it is more important than ever that the dogs each have individual time. Ike is in agility class, but Bug has been taking a break until his system sorts itself out. After the bacterial dermatitis he developed conjunctivitis! This is a good sign if you buy into homeopathy, we are working backwards through symptoms. A few months after he came to stay with me (in 2008) he developed conjunctivitis. It was the first time I treated an acute symptom homeopathically by myself. It was very exciting for me because it was so successful! Anyway, I have to figure out what I want to do with Bug – start training Rally at home and go back to our privates or try Nosework with him. I can’t do both and I haven’t been that excited about Rally. However, the puppy has me more excited about training than I have been lately so that might carry over into Rally.

Anyway, back to Ike’s agility class. It was indoors, thankfully, since it has been pretty cold out. He was running slower than normal but moving okay and then he crashed a jump. He essentially landed right on his hip flexors. We have no idea why. He then proceeded to slip twice more. I checked his pads and his paw hair is not overgrown. His nails could stand to be trimmed, but they are not overly long. He wasn’t acting like he lost his pelvis Tuesday night. However, yesterday on our walk he did something, which I now cannot remember, which made me think, “oh, maybe his pelvis IS out.” So he will be seeing the chiro on Friday before she goes away for two weeks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whirlwind Pup-date

The past week has been a whirlwind.

Thursday Irie had her first vet appointment. She was introduced to both vets and all the vet techs. She was a hit, needless to say.

That night she slept from 9pm to 4 am. Hooray, Irie!! She has continued to sleep through the night and now loves her crate.

Friday she met Cheryl and had her first chiropractic adjustment. Her pelvis was in place in both a stand and a sit. It is pretty amazing when puppies are in alignment when you consider how smooshed they were in the womb, not to mention the actual birthing process. Her head was out, so Cheryl adjusted that. Then she met everyone at Sterling.

Saturday morning we went to a NADAC trial in RI to meet up with Kris and two of her corgis and visit with other friends I don’t see that often now that I do not have a dog to trial. The trial was at an indoor soccer arena. The lighting is funny and it is loud. Irie was unflappable. She met loads of people and puppy-appropriate dogs.

The best meet and great was with a 4 year old Rotti whose owner had mentioned he loved puppies. I asked her if she would get him so we could introduce him to Irie. I want to be sure Irie is comfortable with all dogs, not just small dogs, or Cardigans, or name your generalization. When the Rotti, Lars, saw Irie he immediately lay down and waited for her to come visit him. His little nub wagged the entire time. He was so stinking appropriate! It was awesome. Irie was a little intimidated at first, but did go to investigate him. She was literally the same size as his head!

Saturday evening we had company that invited themselves over to see our new-to-them house and more importantly new puppy.

Sunday morning we attended Puppy K. Irie was very good. One of the things the class addresses is nail trimming and restraint. I had trimmed Irie’s nails the day before (and she was very good – even willing to eat some cheese while it was going on), so we practiced restraint.

We worked on a competition obedience sit (not moving the front feet, just tucking the rear), comfort being handled (Bug can be space sensitive so I want to desensitize Irie to that), and loose leash walking. Currently on leash Irie is usually either walking behind me or right beside me. I need to reinforce that often!

Sunday afternoon we had more company to meet the puppy and then I took Irie to visit with a friend who has a 2 year old Silky Terrier (in addition to poodles).

As I said, it has been a whirlwind! I do have some photos to share, but I haven’t downloaded them yet.

Oh! And hers ears are thinking about going up. She is starting to look like she has rollers at the base of her ears! I cannot wait until they go up. She will look even cuter!

Tonight Ike has class, so she will stay home with Bug and John. Thursday Performance Puppy starts!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday Night Class

Last night Ike and I had agility class. It went really well until he crashed into the table. We were outside and the grass was dewy.

Prior to the crash we ran the course two and half times. The course was designed to practice rear crosses and.... we nailed them.  We nailed them even when I chose a poor spot to cross. Go Ike!

To be honest with you, rear crosses were something I never thought Ike and I would master as a team. To me it is nothing short of amazing that we have. I still hold my breath a bit, but most of the time we now manage them smoothly.

I did something funny to my ankle. I didn't twist it, but it isn't moving freely and hurts a bit when walking. I will have to start doing some stretching. No way do I want an injury, especially now that I have a puppy!

Thankfully Bug and the puppy are going to see the chiropractor on Friday. Now I will bring Ike too. I don't think he lost his pelvis, but after the crash he was moving slower.

I also took the opportunity signed Irie up for Performance Puppy - it starts next Thursday! K recommended I sign up in advance (I got the last spot!), because there is a lot of reading material in the class. Upon signing up you get a disc with all the materials. This way I can get a head start! I can't wait....

Sleeping Beauty

Irie is no longer screaming in the crate during the ride to work. Yay! She is now using that time for a pup nap. Thank doG! On Sunday, after Puppy K, I drove around for almost an hour and a half until she stopped screaming.

Last night she also slept extremely well. I actually had to wake her up when I took her out in the middle of the night and in the morning.

I am so happy she got used to the crate so quickly. I would say it has taken less than two days for her to stop screaming, granted this is with me nearby. I also noticed that yesterday at work she started to spend some time in the soft crate I have at work taking pup naps and playing with toys. I am glad she is making positive associations.

As you can see from the picture below she is already "Daddy's Little Girl." :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Irie, or I got a puppy!

I brought home an 8 week old Cardigan girl on Saturday. I haven’t really had time to blog about it and now that I do, I really don’t know what to say!

I was looking, but not for right now, more in the near future. Sometimes things just happen. I was invited to a puppy party this past Saturday. I had the opportunity to see two litters evaluated by 4 breeders, see the dam and sire evaluated, and look at hip x-rays. I don’t think that is an opportunity that comes along all that often. This girl, who is very nice, was available to the right home.

I wasn’t sure; she came home for an overnight and I knew she wasn’t leaving! I knew before we got in the car. It took me a while to stop feeling like I drank a pot of coffee!

I would like to introduce Irie, which is Rastafarian for “peaceful feeling.” She is from a co-breeding between Blacksheep Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Wolfwood Cardigan Welsh Corgis: Sunkissed Tricks or Treats (Shade) x Blacksheep She Who Warns (Juno). If you follow Joanna's blog, she was Peaseblossom.

Sunday a.m. Irie attended her first Puppy K class and next Thursday she will start Performance Puppy with my current agility instructor. I really cannot believe my luck in timing.

She has been coming to work with me and getting tons of additional socializing. I work above a Trader Joe's and every time I take her out to potty I nearly cause a traffic jam. She has no concerns about the elevator and thinks all people love her and must be greeted.

She is very vocal, talking to herself as we walk along. Currently she hates being crated (I see lots of Crate Games in our future!), but is quite smart and willing to please. Bug is in his glory. I think he was sad when Hush left. I truly wonder if the weight loss, skin issues, etc., was triggered in part by her leaving.

I haven’t even taken any photos yet. Here is a photo my sister-in-law snapped on her phone. For some reason Irie looks huge. She isn’t!

Maybe Irie will make me a better blogger!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Agility Class

Last night Ike and I had a fabulous class. He loves the cooler weather and he loves to be working outside. He really opened up on course and ran his little heart out. I did not stop to reward as frequently as I usually do because he was so revved up and happy to play. I feel like his running dog walk is very close to no longer needing the hoop. His a-frame on the other hand…..I cannot see when we will ever get rid of it!!

Great class!

And a couple of pictures of the happy boyz this weekend.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Normal Thyroid

I received Bug's thyroid results late last night from Hemopet - NORMAL! This is great news, although it does mean I am STILL not sure what has been going on with him.

I will talk to the vet, but at this point I believe I will treat him homeopathically rather than wasting time and energy on diagnostics that are not giving us an answer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ike!

Ike is 9 years old today. There is no better, albeit troublesome and persnickety, Schnauzer in the whole wide world. My interest in behavior and training is due solely to him!

There will be ice cream and apples later.

Happy birthday, Ikey P!! Here's to at least another 9!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I spoke to Bug's vet this evening. His Bile Acid Test came back normal. This means his liver is functioning properly. Hooray!! I know the liver is an amazing organ and if he did have liver disease of some sort we could have managed it with diet and supplements. However, I am so relieved his liver is functioning correctly! I have been really stressed the past two weeks while we did various diagnostics.

 We talked about next steps. She would like me to start him on some hepatic support (milk thistle) to help lower the elevated enzymes. I asked about running a Thyroid panel. While his symptoms do not scream out Thyroid, it has been on my mind since this the weight loss and elevated enzymes came up. Multiple people have told me stories of somewhat inexplicable symptoms, not the classic thyroid symptoms, that were ultimately diagnosed as a thyroid issue of some sort. Dr. M said if I have an intuitive feeling about the thyroid she wants to run that panel. If that doesn't show anything she would like to run some fasted blood work to test his pancreatic function.

How many vets do you know that say, if you have an intuitive feeling let's run that test? I asked her if using Hemopet would be cheaper and she said yes. They typically use the University of Michigan, but you are getting the same data and it is cheaper through Dr. Dodds.

If neither the thyroid or pancreas show anything I will do what Dr. F would want me to do have done from the beginning ... treat purely homeopathically according to what his symptoms are, not what we think is going on, etc.



I am impatiently waiting for my vet to call me with the results of Bug's Bile Acid Test.

I need to be more patient because the earliest I can expect her to call me is around 1:30, and it is more likely she will call me after the last client of the day (post-6:30).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guests Arriving and Compatible Dog Behaviors?

I have decided I think I would like to train my boys to go to crate when people arrive. I will have to talk to John about it because we will need to be on the same page if it is going to be effective.

The boys get WAY over stimulated when people arrive at the house. It does not even have to involve the doorbell ringing. Ike is the worst offender and takes the longest to chill out, but Bug is only too happy to get wired and go along for the ride.

We don’t have company that often, but I am sick of enabling their bad behavior.

Do any of you have a method you employ with your pups or a good resource? I think going to crate would be the best bet for us because Ike’s response is partially fear driven. Anyway I am open to suggestions or resources. I plan to start working on it alone, but wouldn’t rule out the worth of a private lesson.