Friday, December 28, 2007

Back Again

I stayed at K9 Kindercare for a week while Barbara went to NY so I haven't been able to blog. I had a good time there with my Boxer friend Dutch. I was sad when his person came to pick him up because none of the other dogs wanted to play "bump and run" which Dutch and I enjoy. But Barbara finally came to get me yesterday and I am very happy to be home.

Barbara's mother sent a Christmas present for me which was a stuffed penguin. I like it a lot and it squeaks very well. I will probably tear his legs off when I get a chance. Barbara got to meet my new cousin Coby and two other Golden Retrievers. I am very jealous. I missed out on a lot of fun. Next year I will insist that I go to NY for Christmas.

Barbara got a new camera for Christmas and says that she will put more pictures of me on my blog. Well she will if I sit still long enough to have my picture taken!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Tracking-No Beagles

I went tracking again the other day in the same field where the beagle stole my sausage biscuit and some of the articles. When Barbara and I got there Trotter and Dreamer were already there with Chris. She had brought cheeseburgers from Burger King for tracking rewards. I was very worried that the beagle would be there to steal the cheesburgers but the coast was clear. Barbara and Chris laid the tracks, let them age and then I got to work.

I do so love to track. I made the first two turns easily and found the hairbands with the pieces of cheeseburger under them. There was a can near the track but I ignored it. The last turn was near a woodpile and some sawdust and the scent went all around. I had to circle around many times. Barbara helped me and I made the turn and pulled hard to the last article- a sunhat stuffed with cheesburger!!! Yeah!!! Trotter and Dreamer ran their tracks and got cheesburgers too. A very successful afternoon.

That evening Barbara wrapped Chrismas presents. I love presents and really enjoy tearing up wrapping paper. I inspected all the presents very carefully looking for a dog toy or treats. Barbara seemed quite annoyed when I drooled on some of the presents. I can not understand why-it is only saliva. Alas, I did not find any present for me. I think that Barbara needs to do some more shopping.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sausage Biscuit Tracking

What a great morning! Barbara and I went out to meet Chris and Dreamer to do some tracking which I love. On the way to the field Barbara stopped at a Burger King and bought some sausage biscuits. But she did not give any to me and I was a bit miffed because they smelled wonderful and even though I had eaten breakfast I could have found room for something as delicious as sausage.

When we got to the field Barbara gave me a tiny piece of biscuit. I thought that she was being stingy. Little did I know that she was going to lay the track with pieces of the sausage biscuit at each interim article and stuff the final article full of sausage! I had to stay in the car while she laid the track and I was whining and carrying on while she was gone. She finally came back and we had to wait while the track aged. Meanwhile Chris was laying a long track for Dreamer. I was very anxious to start my track and was very happy when Barbara finally put me in my special tracking harness. I had a drink of water - it is always easier to track when my mouth is wet- and we set off for the start flag.

There was a bit of biscuit on a sock at the start flag and Barbara said there would be more biscuit to follow. This track had a lot of turns and she wanted the reward to be extra special. I couldn't wait to start tracking and took off in a straight line, nose down into the track. Well we were tricked. While we were waiting for the track to age a beagle came into the field and ate the biscuit pieces and ran away with some of the articles!!! Barbara was bit confused but Chris was walking behind us and helped us restart. I made my turns but that beagle had stolen a glove and a sock and ate the biscuit out of a sun hat. The nerve! Fortunately Barbara has some more biscuit in her bait bag and rewarded me as we went along. I was doing a good job on the track even though it was messed up.

We got to the final leg and I found the slipper which was stuffed with the remainder of the sausage. I am so glad that the beagle didn't find that. Barbara gave me lots of praise for doing such a good job in a difficult situation (and some more treats too). I like the idea of tracking for sausage biscuits but I will be keeping away from kleptomaniac beagles!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Woe is me

My life is just awful. I am in heat and it means that I missed one of the most exciting events of the year- the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade was yesterday and I didn't get to be in it. It was supposed to be my first time in the parade and I was especially excited because my person Barbara was named the Grand Marshall and the Drill Team was going to march in the very front of the parade. Barbara got to ride in a 1955 Thunderbird convertible. I don't know what a convertible is but I love riding in cars and this would have been fun to do although Barbara was afraid I would jump out. So I missed all the fun with my Drill Team friends. I don't like being in heat and I have to wear nasty bloomers so I don't make a mess.

The day got even worse. Barbara made lots of delicious food and then took it away to my friend Lucy's house for a party! I didn't get any of it and staying home by myself with a rawhide chew was NOT my idea of fun.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bath Pictures

Here are some pictures from a few weeks ago when I had a bath at Max's Dog Wash. You can see how much I am enjoying myself. NOT!! I love to splash and swim in Jordan Lake but I am not happy about sitting in a tub and having water squirted on me and even worse is the blow dryer. I do not understand this human obsession with clean dogs. We are just fine the way we are.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tracking Workshop

I love to track. This past Sunday I got to do a lot of it at a tracking workshop at the APS. Gretchen and Marge came back to help us. Unfortunately I just went into heat so I couldn't come in the building but I could go out in the fields and track which is what I love to do anyway. Mona, a nice young German Shepherd Dog, was also in heat so we were sequestered at the end of the field so we wouldn't distract the boy dogs at the workshop.

In the morning I got to work on two tracks, one that was straight and one with turns. Gretchen followed behind us and gave Barbara tips about how to work with me (I already know how to smell things-she is the one that needs to learn!!). Sometimes I quarter a bit to find the sent and Barbara stops but when I am right on track we get to go, go, go! I love to lean into my tracking harness and pull. I am learning to target the articles and I get to eat all the delicious treats Barbara stuffs in them.

In the afternoon we went back to the big field on Hwy 54. Barbara laid another track with several turns in it. I was very impatient for my turn to track and did not want to wait while Laura laid a track for Mona. When I get frustrated I bite my leash a bit which Barbara does not like. Anyway I bit through the tracking line and took off to run the track. I found the sock at the start flag and then raced down the track to the 1st article. I realized that I was free and started to run around the field. I made a big circuit and Barbara called me and I came straight to her very fast. She gave me lots of liver. It took me a while to settle down (and even a longer time for Barbara's heart to stop pounding I think) I was very proud of my great recall and then I still got to do the track which was lots of fun. Can't wait to do some more tracking with my friends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My New Cousin, Coby

Debby and Stan, Barbara's sister and brother-in-law, have been wanting a dog for a long time. But it had to be just the right dog of course. They went to look at a nice little dog at a shelter near their home and thought that they had found a dog that would fit into their family just perfectly. They called Barbara to talk about him and on Sunday they went to the shelter to meet him again and adopt him.

His name is Coby and he is two years old. When I first saw his picture I thought tha Debby and Stan had made a mistake and adopted a sheep but he is a poodle mix. I can't believe that someone would leave such a cute little dog in a shelter but people do strange things. Fortunately he didn't have to stay there too long before Debby and Stan adopted him. Coby will have a great life now that he has them as his special people. They will love, train and care for him. They have already gotten him a new collar and leash, a crate, food bowls and some toys.

On Sunday Barbara and I were at Phydeaux's pet supply shop before Drill Team practice. I picked out a Kong and a Twist and Treat (my two favorite toys) and some lamb fillet treats (very delicious) to send to Coby as a welcome to the family gift. I hope he likes them and I can't wait to meet him.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I have been so busy lately that I have not had time to blog for 2 weeks! You may wonder how a dog can blog. I sit on Barbara's feet or lean against her leg while she is at the computer and dictate to her. She does the hard work of typing for me. I have been to the dog park several times, for walks at Fearrington, practiced with the drill team, worked as a demo dog at the puppy class, went to the APS Dog Walk and also have worked on my tracking. My calendar is full. The photo shows me and Barbara at drill team practice. Barbara was wearing the T-shirt that has my picture on it so Lucy's person, Allen, took a photo of us together and sent it to us for my blog. Don't I look cute?

This afternoon we baked a pumpkin pie. Well Barbara is made it and I sat by her leg and watched very carefully to make sure she followed the recipe and to be right there in case she knocked the pie off the counter. The smells are sublime. Pumpkin, spices, sugar, pie crust-wonderful. It is in the oven now and I cannot wait for it to be cooked so I can have a taste. Barbara does not usually give me food from the table but it would be cruelty to animals to not let me have some pumpkin pie.

I am incensed! Barbara is not going to let me have any of the pie. She is taking it to Trotter's house! Just because he is my boyfriend does not mean that he can eat my pie. If I hear that he got any of it I will bite him the next time I see him!

Friday, November 2, 2007


We wasted a perfectly good fall afternoon. Instead of doing something fun like tracking or training, I had a bath. Barbara took me to Max's Dog Wash. Now I have been there many times before and they are always nice to me. Carrie gives me cookies and everyone makes a fuss over me. But I do not like having a bath. Barbara said that I had to because we are performing with the Drill Team tomorrow and she wanted to make sure that I looked nice for the performance. Well I look just fine even without a bath.

First I had to get on the grooming table while Barbara trimmed the hair on my feet and then used clippers on my neck. Barbara said trimming the hair there would show my elegant long neck. I am sure that people can see how nice my neck is with long hair and who cares anyway? Then I had to get in the tub and get shampooed. Barbara picked a shampoo that smelled like oatmeal. I would like to eat oatmeal but who wants to smell like it? I would much rather smell like dead frogs or deer poop (I can never figure out why she gets hysterical when I want to roll in poop). After all the shampoo was rinsed off I got conditioner which is supposed to make me all soft and shiny. I am already very shiny and my name even means "sheen" so I cannot see the sense of putting stuff on me and then rinsing it off.

I don't mind being dried with towels but I really don't like that blow dryer thing. It must have been invented by someone who hates dogs. It is noisy and scary. Barbara gives me lots of liver bits while she is drying me but I still don't like it. Then I had my nails clipped and I am embarrassed to say that I behaved bery badly. Carrie clipped my nails and of course she didn't hurt me but I flipped around on the table and I even growled at her. I just could not help myself. When I was a puppy someone scared me by trying to dremel my nails and I have never forgotten it. Even though Barbara has spent lots of time desensitizining me to having my feet handled I still worry about it. Fortunately it was over fast and I got a lot more liver. I could not wait to get off the table.

I will look very beautiful tomorrow at the APS Dog Walk but the whole grooming thing is vastly overrated. Selkie always liked to be groomed and brushed (she was very vain about her appearance) but it is a waste of time as far as I am concerned. I am going to take a nap now so the day won't be a total loss.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference

As I mentioned in a previous post I stayed in the kennel while Barbara went to a conference. She goes to APDT conference every year to learn more about dogs and dog training. As much as I don't like her to leave me, this is an important thing for her to do. Dog are a very important subject and people can never know enough about us. Barbara said that there were 1158 trainers at the conference. I really don't understand why every trainer does not go. Especially since APDT promotes reward based training which I will tell you is the only kind of training that I want anything to do with. Bring on the treats and toys.

Speaking of treats and toys, Barbara always buys me new toys and goodies at the conference trade show. That is the best part of the whole thing as far as I am concerned. This year the Board president, Don Hanson, gave all the Board members T-shirts with pictures of their dogs on the front. I must say that I look very cute on Barbara's shirt. I think she should put my picture on all of her shirts!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm back

I've been away from the blogosphere for over a week because Barbara went out of town to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers conference to learn about the latest in dog training and I went to K9 Kindercare ( K9 Kindercare is run by a nice woman named Terrie. She takes care of all the dogs who stay there. We each have our own kennel and we get to play in fenced yards with other friendly dogs. Even though I miss Barbara I really like to stay there.

Terrie puts up a baby pool filled with water and I like to spend a lot of time in it, splashing around and playing. I also play chase games with other dogs. I have a new friend named Dutch who is a young Boxer. He would chase me and then we would bash into each other. That is a lot of fun.

Barbara sent me to the kennel with some new toys and I completely destroyed them!!. I ripped the legs off and then pulled out the stuffing and the squeakers. I shredded what was left into lots of little pieces. I had a great time ripping them up but then Terrie had to throw the toys away.

As much as I like to go the kennel, I was really glad that Barbara came to pick me up. As we turned into our driveway I was whining with excitement. It is good to be home and sleep on my own bed.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sometimes I'm Good, Sometimes I'm Bad

Today I was bad. Barbara left me alone while she went to work. I really don't like to be left alone. It is boring and makes me tense sometimes. Barbara always leaves me with good toys and a stuffed Kong or Twist and Treat. I watched the squirrels for a while but I got bored after I finished my treats.

Barbara had left her bait bag on the kitchen counter and I could smell the treats. So I pulled it down and ate the cookies. Then I pulled a roll of paper towels off the counter (I like the cardboard tube in the center) and then a glass bowl. It broke. When Barbara got home she saw all the broken glass. "Niamh, what have you done?" she said. Then she had me lie down on my bed so she could check between my toes for bits of glass. I think she was worried that I cut myself.

Barbara never yells at me but I heard her muttering a lot of bad words while she was sweeping up the glass.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trotter CGC

My boyfriend Trotter is smart as well as handsome. You can see from his picture that he is a gorgeous blonde with beautiful brown eyes. But he is not just a pretty face!! Today he passed the Canine Good Citizen test and now can add the initials CGC after his name. The CGC is a test of basic obedience and practical exercises like sitting politely for petting, walking through a crowd and meeting another dog.

Chris and Trotter took a class and practiced the exercises for many weeks. Trotter passed all 10 parts of the test and he will get a certificate from the AKC. I am so proud of him. Now Barbara and I will have to practice hard so I can pass the test and have initials after my name too. I really have to work on that down stay and my loose leash walking. I don't want Trotter to be embarrassed to go out with me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Friend Ayla

Here is a picture of my friend Ayla tracking. Doesn't she look intent on her track? Ayla is an English Shepherd and is a rescue dog. That means for awhile she didn't have a home or anyone to look after her. Someone adopted her but didn't keep her because they said that she didn't know anything. The nerve of some people. So Ayla went to live with Sandi who is now her special person .

I got to know Ayla at the dog park. Sandi wouldl bring Ayla with Ruby and Barbara would bring me with Selkie. We are both very fast and very silly so we would race around the dog park and have a great time. Ruby would bark at us when she thougth that we were behaving badly. But Ayla and I play very well together. Sandi started training Ayla, who is very smart even though her first adopter didn't think so. She learned to track and do Rally and passed her Canine Good Citizen test. She also joined the Drill Team and now we get to see each other every Monday at practice. Barbara and Sandi really have to arrange more play dates for us because there really hasn't been enough running around lately.

English Shepherds (not to be confused with English Setters) are very nice dogs. They were bred to work and to herd. You can find out more about them at .

A Fun Morning

Even though I got a lot of exercise yesterday running in the dog park and practicing with the Drill Team I woke up feeling very skippy this morning. Fortunately Barbara had a lot planned for us. We went over to my boyfriend Trotter's house so I could run in the yard with him. Trotter is a handsome Golden Retriever and I flirt with him all the time. We chase, then we freeze, do a play bow and chase some more. We also like to play the chew face game where we get lots of slobber all over each other. Sometimes Trotter sniffs me in rude places and I have to air snap at him.

After playtime we went in the van with Chris and Dreamer and Tully to go tracking. I love to track. My friend Ayla came with Sandi and we all had a great morning of sniffing. It wasn't too hot although the ground was dry and the long grass crunchy-not the best scenting conditions. But that didn't stop me.

Barbara laid two tracks for me that were longer than any that I had ever done. One was 100 yards and the other was 130 yards with 3 turns. The straight track was a cinch and I found my article with no problem even though the grass was very high. The next track was harder and I had a little trouble with the first turn as it was close to a change in cover and I kept wanting to go where the grass was shorter. Barbara helped me, I found my turn and didn't have too much trouble with the second turn. I did a great third turn and headed straight to my finish article which was a little slipper filled with lamb treats!! I was quite pleased with my performance.

The other dogs did their tracks very well also. Then it was back home for a nice long nap after all that exertion.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I have forgotten how to stay. I know that Barbara taught me how to stay when I was a puppy and I could do both a sit stay and a down stay. Somehow I forgot how to do them (maybe we didn't practice them enough) but the whole concept of stay just escapes me. I do not want to sit still.

Barbara is retraining me on the stay. I think it is boring. I would rather practice walking backwards. We have gone back to the beginning and we are doing it in puppy steps. She has me sit in heel position and hold still for 5 seconds and then clicks and treats me. Very boring. Down stay is even harder as I just want to leap up. I really do have to relearn these stay skills if I want to be in the parades with the rest of the Drill Team. Lots of the tricks have stays in them so I will just have to buckle down and practice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Barbara has FINALLY gotten around to putting the photos from the Jambalya Jam on my blog. Don't you think I look pretty in my bandanna? Green is a good color for me.

This is a picture of me with my friend Lucy. She is a setter too but not a Gordon. She is an Irish Setter and they are always red. Lucy is an excellent spinner and a lot of fun to be around.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Green Bandanna

I made my Drill Team debut this afternoon. I was very proud to get to wear the green bandanna that all the other Drill Team dogs wear. It is bright green and has a picture on it of a dancing dog. The bandanna matches the T-shirts that the people on the team wear. I thought that I looked very pretty. I was always a little jealous that Selkie got to wear a bandanna and I did not.

Barbara and I went to the Jambalya Jam at APS with Mary and Walter and my friend Amiga. It was very nice that Amiga let us have a ride in her van. Amiga is a sweet Golden Retriever and she gave me a kiss when we got into the van. When we got to APS a there were balloons, a band and lots of food that smelled delicious. Most of my Drill Team friends were there and we warmed up on the lawn where we were to perform. I was very excited and had a hard time settling down to practice. There were lots of people there who wanted to pet and admire me.

Barbara introduced the Drill Team and all the dogs got to perform a trick. But she forgot to introduce me!! I didn't get to perform my spinning trick which I had practiced. How could she forget me?? I was standing right next to her and she was holding my leash. The Drill Team got to perform their first routine which I am not in because I don't know all the tricks yet. Then we lined up for "I Will Survive" and I got to show my stuff.

This is a fun routine and I thought that I did well. Barbara gave me lots of help and rewarded me with treats throughout the routine. The music is lively and I got to do my tight rights and lefts and my Schutzhund turn. The hard part is the moving down but I even managed that. All the people clapped a lot when we did our pinwheel at the end. Everyone made a great fuss over us. One lady said that I was very elegant!! I was so pleased.

The one big disappointment was the food. We performed right near all the delicious Cajun food. People were filling plates full of jambalya and barbeque. My nose was in over drive as I passed the tables. And no one gave me any of it. I think this is cruelty to animals.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Visiting Friends

Today I am resting. Yesterday was very busy and tomorrow I will be going to my first Drill Team performance so I need to catch up on my beauty sleep.

Yesterday I went to play at Jane's house with her two dogs Snowflake and Pippo. Jane is Barbara's friend and she is a dog trainer too. Snowflake is a nice older dog and Pippo is a cute reddish brown dog. I met him when he was a puppy but haven't seen him in a long time. Pippo was a little excited about meeting me. We ran around his fenced yard. I like to run fast and he would chase me and bark. He didn't seem to know the same games as I do but we did a lot of chasing. Then we went in Jane's house. Pippo let me play with all his stuffed toys which I thought was very nice of him. Jane and Barbara picked up all the rawhides though. I splashed water all over the floor in Jane's kitchen when I had a drink from Pippo's dish.

The most exciting thing was the bird. I am a Gordon Setter and I know about birds. I point them all the time in the yard. But Pippo and Snowflake have a bird living in their house!! And they are not even interested in him. I had no idea that birds could live in a house. We certainly don't have one at home. This bird yellow and gray and was in a big cage with toys! Jane called him Sammy. The birds in our yard do not have names or toys. I was astounded to see Sammy play with his toys and it startled me quite a bit. You learn something new every day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I am a busy girl

Life has been busy lately. We are doing a lot of fun things. Monday night was my Drill Team night. I went to the dog park first and then had to wait in the crate while Barbara taught her class. That part is boring. Then my friends came for Drill Team practice. I am always happy to see them. It is such a good time although I would really like to have some time to run around with Ayla, Lucy and Amiga. Barbara is just going to have to arrange some play dates for us.

Yesterday I went to visit a Labrador Retriever puppy named Albert. He is cute but very pushy. I had to tell him off several times when he sniffed me in rude places. He even tried to hump me so I had to snap at him. If Selkie were around she would have sorted him out in no time flat because she never tolerated any boy dogs doing rude things to her. I don't quite have the confidence that she had so it took me a bit longer to get my point across. When he finally behaved himself I did allow him to play chew face with me and got nice and slobbery.

Then a surprising thing happened. I had a bath. Dani, Albert's person, has a special dog shower built into her garage and Barbara and Dani put me in it and washed me. I was not expecting it but I am now a very clean dog. Barbara says that I am very soft and shiny. I don't like the bath part too much but I do like the drying part with towels. That feels very good. After my bath I got to go in Albert's house and play with all his stuffed toys. I liked that too.

Tomorrow I am going to play and practice with another dog friend. Life is good.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Earlier this year Barbara took me to a tracking workshop at the APS. Gordon Setters have excellent noses and Barbara thought I would enjoy finding things using my sense of smell. Well I had a great time. All I had to do was put my nose to the ground and find a glove that had some hot dog in it. Very easy! Barbara and I practiced tracking in the fields near home and sometimes we met our friends at the park or fields to track. The tracks got longer and a bit harder but I could always find the glove or sock. I learned to do turns and to find things made of plastic and metal. It is a lot like doing a puzzle. There is always a nice reward at the end. I wear a special harness and it is the one time that I am allowed to pull so I like that too.

It was so hot and dry all summer that we didn't get to do much tracking (I don't like the heat much) but we have been doing some short tracks on cool mornings. This morning we got up early and went to see our friend Chris. She has three Golden Retrievers (one of whom is my boyfriend Trotter-more about him later) who know how to track. Chris and Dreamer and Barbara and I went over to a field near Chris's house. Barbara laid three short tracks for me while Chris laid a long one for Dreamer. Dreamer is a very good tracker and has been doing it much longer than I.

I was very excited to be out in the field and wearing my tracking harness. I tried to drag Barbara to the start and was so excited that I didn't want to wait and sniff the glove. I was a bit silly on that first track but it didn't help that Barbara was off the track too!! She really should pay more attention to her landmarks and make better maps. I found my end article however and we got ready for the second track. It had a right turn that I overshot but circled around and picked up the track and found my article (a makeup case with food in it).

I finally settled down and did a great job on the third track which had a left turn. I railed the turn and found the slipper at the end. Barbara gave me lots of praise and treats. I am so glad that we are doing tracking again. It is great fun and I get to smell lots of delicious things. It is wonderful to be outside on a nice morning with Barbara and our friends. If we practice a lot and I continue to do well we will take a special test and I can show off how good I am at tracking.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Little White Dog

Barbara is a dog trainer. She teaches people how to train their dogs and works with dogs who have problems. Sometimes I help her in her work especially with dogs who are afraid of other dogs. Barbara has been working with a little white dog named Hattie. Her people are very concerned about her because she is afraid of other dogs and barks ferociously at them even when they are much bigger than she. Since Hattie is only 7 lbs most dog out weigh her.

Barbara gave them special exercises to work on and felt that Hattie was ready to meet me. I like most other dog and always behave nicely around them. I'll play with any dog that will play with me. Barbara can always trust me to be nice to other dogs and my body language is happy and non threatening. So we drove over to Hattie's neighborhood and waited for her.

I like to visit new neighborhoods because there are different odors to sniff and new squirrels to point at. Then Hattie came out with her person. What a cute little white fluffy dog!! So tiny. Her person had a stick with peanut butter on it and every time Hattie looked over at me she got to lick the stick. I thought that this was an excellent idea and cannot understand why Barbara does not have a stick like that for me. Hattie and I practiced going past each other with Hattie getting lots of licks of pb. I got string cheese which is very good but I was most interested in that stick. Hattie did not bark at me and her person was very pleased.

Then we walked together down the block. Hattie kept looking at me out of the corner of her eye and would get to lick the stick. She has started to make the association that good things (peanut butter) happen to her when she sees another dog. Eventually Hattie got brave enought to sniff me and let me sniff her. Barbara was very pleased with Hattie's progress but of course she needs more work. It is so hard for a dog when they are afraid of all the dogs that they meet. I am glad that I can help Barbara help these dogs have good experiences. I saw some of the dogs in Hattie's neighborhood and they are little wild-no wonder she is afraid of them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Posing for Pictures

Monday is usually my favorite day. Barbara takes me to the dog park before she teaches her Family Dog 1 class at the Animal Protection Society. Then we have Drill Team. So I was pretty happy to get in the car Monday afternoon and head out to APS. When we got to the dog park Dana was already there with her Border Collie Scully. Scully is very smart and knows lots of things. She also likes to play ball but not the way I do. She likes to stare at the ball until someone throws it for her. I like to grab the ball and run with it. Meanwhile Barbara and Dana kept trying to take pictures of me.

I do need to have some pictures on this blog but posing for them is sooooo boring. I want to run and play, not stand still while they fuss with the camera. Of course I was running around a lot and my tongue was hanging out and I was drooling. Barbara said that it was not very lady like and I would look funny in my pictures. I think I look quite nice. The pictures above show Scully and me waiting for someone to throw a ball. The other picture is me after I have had a drink of water.

Selkie used to like to stand around and have her picture taken. She would even run up to anyone with a camera and sit in front of them and wait. How vain! All this posing and sitting still is no fun. I think Barbara should take movies of me running around - that would be much more interesting.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Evil Sheep

I spent most of the day by myself as Barbara had to work. When she got home she said that she would take me for a walk at Fearrington Village. I've walked there many times before and I always enjoy it. We drove over and as we arrived I got very excited. They have cows and goats at Fearrington and I always like to see them. The cows can be intimidating because they are so big but the baby cows are very cute and I love the goats. Of course the best thing is how they smell! Delicious. I'd love to get in their fence and run around with them but it is an electric fence that would give me a shock if I tried to.

We took a nice walk around the ponds and there were lots of good things to smell along the way. When I got too warm Barbara let me cool off by wading in the stream. Then Barbara said "Let's go see the sheep." I'd never seen sheep before so was very interested in meeting some. Some of my dog friends have told me about them because they go herding and get to make the sheep go this way and that way. It is not something a Gordon Setter would do but I thought that I would like to see them and hoped that they smelled as good as the goats.

As soon as I saw those sheep I knew that something was wrong. They were very still and I could not smell any nice animal odor. So I stopped and stared at them. They did not move. I crept up and pointed and they still didn't move. I was really suspicous now. Finally I could not help myself and barked at them. Barbara said not to worry and went over to pat one of them. I hung back a bit but then got up the nerve to approach. Barbara gave me some bits of cheese and then I went up and sniffed. I was horrified to discover that they were not real sheep at all. Barbara is completely deceived. I know that her nose is not very good but it is amazing to me that she cannot tell the difference between an animal smell and a statue!!

Why would anyone have fake sheep? Meeting those evil sheep quite ruined my walk. I do not want to see them again. I will stick to real goats.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Joy of Toys

I have lots of toys! Every dog should. I particularly like stuffed animals with squeakers. Right now my favorites are a blue fish that got for my birthday and a new toy, a Canada goose that Barbara brought home on Saturday. When I was a puppy I would tear up most of my toys. Barbara would try to repair them but she is not a good seamstress and they never held together for very long. Then Barbara would throw them away. Very sad.

I know better now and while I am rough with my toys I try not to destroy them. Mostly I like to squeak them. A good toy has a good squeaker. As soon as I wake up in the morning I run over to my toys, pick one up and squeak it hard. It is important to check to make sure the squeaker is still working. Barbara does not think this is a great thing to do at 6 AM. Selkie never squeaked her toys. She would just mouth them and bury them. I never saw the sense in that. Why else would the toy have a squeaker in it if not to squeak??

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I am a Gordon Setter

I was at Jordan Lake this evening. Barbara and I had a nice walk along the shore and I got in some splashing and a little swimming. I do love to play in the water and sniff all the smells along the shore. I found some mussels but Barbara would not let me eat them because she said they were nasty.

As we were walking back to the car a jeep with three women pulled up next to us and stopped. (I can stop traffic) One woman asked if I was a Flat Coat. I was shocked!! Now Flat Coated Retrievers are lovely dogs (and I wouldn't want to offend any Flat Coats who may be reading this) but they can't compare with Gordon Setters. Didnt the woman see my tan markings and my elegant head? Barbara told them that I am a Gordon Setter and they said I was beautiful as they drove away. That made me feel better but I am still quite perplexed that more people dont' know about Gordons.

It is very common for people to ask what breed I am. One time someone asked Barbara if Selkie was a cross between a Rottweiller and a Cocker Spaniel!!! Can you imagine? If you are not sure what a Gordon Setter is you can go to the website for the Gordon Setter Club of America at You can see pictures and read all about us. Once you do I am sure you will agree that Gordon Setters are the most beautiful of all the breeds.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Selkie's Memorial

Since Selkie died many of our friends have called, sent cards and emails and have been very supportive. This has been so comforting to Barbara and me, Members of the Drill Team and our other friends from the APS wanted to remember Selkie in a special way. They contributed to the NC Veterinary Medical Foundation in Selkie's memory. Two bricks on the walkway to the vet school will honor her.

Her bricks are at

Click on Select to see pictures of Selkie, the brick inscriptions and a message about Selkie.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Drill Team

Barbara is a dog trainer and one of the things she does is coach the Drill Team at the Animal Protection Society. This is a group of people and dogs who perform at parades and demonstrations. The dogs get to show off all their skills and tricks and audiences always enjoy seeing them perform. Selkie was Barbara's partner in the Drill Team for many years. I would get to go to practice and watch but I did not know how to do the tricks so was not on the team. Also when I was an adolescent I was a bit silly and may have spoiled the routines with my antics.

Monday night was my turn. I am on the Drill Team!!

My friend Ayla is on the Drill Team along with many other nice dogs. We had great fun practicing together. I am learning to walk backwards and sideways. Well I know how to walk backwards but the trick is to do it on cue. The walking sideways seems very foolish to me. Where does it get you? I want to go forward not sideways. But Barbara seemed very pleased when I crossed my front feet and moved to the side. She gave me lots of praise and treats each time I did it so I will humor her.

The other dogs all knew the tricks and are working to perfect them. I can see that I have a lot to learn if I want to be in the Christmas parades this year with the team. I am very excited about the chance to march in a parade so I will work hard to learn the tricks and moves. I like to practice because Barbara makes it fun and gives me lots of cookies when I do things right.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I am an only dog

When I was a little puppy I lived with my mom Misty and my four sisters and four brothers. Then I went to live with Barbara who became my special person. Barbara already had another Gordon Setter named Selkie. She was very big and I was a little afraid of her. I wanted her to like me but she did not at first. After a few weeks of me trying very hard to make friends she decided I was ok and we got along just fine. We ran around the dog park together and played in the house. But Selkie always made it very clear that she was in charge. Sometimes she would take toys from me or push me around. If Barbara was petting me Selkie would try to squeeze me out. She was very bossy and I think she was jealous of me (I am very cute and sweet).

A very sad thing happened a couple of months ago. Selkie woke us up in the middle of the night and seemed very ill. Barbara raced her to the emergency vet and then to the vet school but they couldn't save her and Barbara made the hard decision to put Selkie to sleep. I could not understand where Selkie was when Barbara came home without her. Barbara was very upset. I tried to comfort her because I did not want her to be sad.

But it was very strange for me to live without another dog in the house. Even if Selkie wasn't always nice to me she was always there and kept me company when Barbara went to work. Now I have to stay by myself and I really don't like it. Fortunately Barbara leaves nice treats and stuffed Kongs when she goes out so I am getting used to it.

There are some advantages to being an only dog.
1. All the toys are MINE.
2. All the treats are MINE.
3. Both dog beds are MINE.
4. Best of all is that I get all the petting.

I could get used to this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stonemist Time is on My Side

I am a Gordon Setter and my name is Stonemist Time is on My Side but you may call me Niamh. It is pronounced "neeve" and rhymes with sleeve. It is an Irish name that means sheen or luster and I am certainly very shiny and very pretty too. Stonemist Time is on My Side is my fancy AKC registered name but no one calls me that and it would take too long to say anyway.

I had a blog when I was a puppy but I had to share it with another Gordon Setter. Now I am going to have a blog all to myself. I've called it "Setter Tails" because I am a setter, I have a very nice long tail and I will blog about my adventures and training tales. I will post some pictures so you can see how pretty I am and what fun I have when I train.

I hope that you will follow my adventures and if you are a dog and are reading this, that you will have training adventures too.