Monday, December 22, 2008

Dog Bloggers Rule!

I have been absent from the blogosphere for the last two weeks because my secretary (Barbara) has been too busy shopping and wrapping to take my dictation. She also keeps forgetting to take the camera with her to document my adventures. She is very slack.

I want to thank all my blogging friends for their wonderful cards and e-cards. I enjoy getting all this mail and seeing your lovely cards. We did the math and I have gotten 7 times more cards than Barbara! I guess her family and friends are very slack also. Blogging dogs rule!

All the shopping produced many packages to wrap. I carefully inspected them all and found them to be very boring things like books and dvds. These fuzzy socks look like they could make a good tug toy though.

I have helped with the wrapping by trying to shed as many Gordon Setter hairs as I possibly can onto the present before she finishes wrapping it. I can tell you that many HBO words have been said around here and not by me.

We had a lot of rain over the weekend but today was beautifully sunny and cold. I love the cold because it makes me feel very skippy. We visited my boyfriend Trotter so we could run together in his fenced yard.

I stole his frisbee (that's the orange thing in my mouth) and raced away with it.

It feels so good to run as fast as I can.

Trotter and I waited intently for his person to throw the ball for us.

After some good running we played some bitey face games and then it was time to go home. We have to pack our bags for the holidays.

I hope that you and your people have a great holiday and that you get lots of treats and toys in your stockings.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Brazen Hussy

I am sure that I already have a reputation as a brazen hussy but I have to admit that I have another boyfriend. I met Roscoe last week and we had another date this morning. Don't you think he is pretty cute?

He is about a year and a half old (I do seem to go for the younger men) and was rescued by some really nice people. He came to Barbara's class this fall and now they are doing some more work together since he likes to pull on leash (don't we all). I think he is part schnauzer and part basset hound.

We have had some great games of chase in his yard along with some bitey face. Roscoe has a favorite ball and he likes to play soccer with it. I grabbed it and teased and flirted.

Now I have enticed him close to me and we are getting ready for more games.

Look at us go!! Even though Roscoe's legs are much shorter than mine he really kept up with me.

Most of the pictures were just blurs as we sped around the yard. Here we are hanging out on the deck getting our second wind.

It was a great morning and I can't wait to play with him again. Now I can only hope that my other boyfriends don't get jealous.


The Dughallmor Beagles sent me this great award. Thanks so much. I wish my person could take beautiful photos like your mom.

Thanks to Holly and Zac for this lovely butterfly award. I love to point at butterflies!

More Parade News

My boyfriend Royal has more parade photos on his blog along with a video of us doing some of our formations. Check it out.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My First Parade

I am really exhausted but I have had such an amazing day I couldn't wait to blog about it. I was in my first parade as a member of the Paws 4Ever Drill Team (it used to be called the Animal Protection Society)! I've been in a few demos but a parade is a whole different thing and much more exciting.

My friends Ayla and Royal were in the parade with me and this was the first time for all of us. Our people have paraded many times before with our older siblings. Ruby and Big Sandy are retired now but they were excellent in the parades and knew all the tricks perfectly. Barbara paraded many years with Selkie who was a parade diva and just loved showing off.

Our people were worried that we would be really wild in the parade so they decided to get us together for some exercise in the hopes of calming us down. I believe the phrase Barbara used was "Let's try to run their legs off". How silly of her. Not possible.

Look at the three of us go.

After a lot or chase games and bitey face, Ayla did some roaching for us.

It was a wonderful start to the day and it did help me settle down a bit but not much. I was terribly excited when we got to the parade. There were floats, firetrucks and bands and lots of little kids running around. It got me all charged up again.

Here is a picture of the team with our new banner.

We were all very glad to see Hadji and his people. Hadji was very sick this fall and could barely walk never mind practice with the team. He is recovered now and he helped his people carry our banner.

Here is our mascot.

We lined up in the street to get ready to march. I am at the very end.

Elmo and Bernie

Doing our group downs.

More marching.

Ayla, Royal and Bernie in the pinwheel move.

I think we were very popular in the parade because we got a lot of applause. I hope people see that we dogs can be trained and learn lots of neat things. Of course all our training is positive and I can't begin to tell you how many bits of cheese and hotdog I got while marching.

This was a terrific adventure and the best news is that there is another parade next weekend which is even bigger. I can't wait.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A New Dog Park

We went to check out a brand new dog park this morning. With all the problems that can happen in them, if done well they can be a lot of fun. The best park in the area is a half hour drive away at APS (and I love going there) but this new one is just 5 miles from my house.

It is really big and I had to check out every part of it. There is plenty of space to run and seats for the humans and trash cans for the poop. They left lots of trees so it will be shady in the summertime. The surface seems to be mulch so I guess we won't be going there when it is wet.

They even have a special water fountain for dogs.

After a great run, the morning was completely ruined by a trip to Max's Dog Wash. This is a place full of dog torture implements such as grooming tables, tubs and blow dryers. Barbara wants me to look nice in my parade debut but taking a bath is my idea of cruelty to animals.

She washed and conditioned me, blew me dry and brushed me out. It was horrible. I got treats before, during and after and it was still horrible.

And thanks to Archie and Agatha she had the bright idea that it has been too long since my stuffies have had a bath. So now she is going to drown them in the washing machine tonight. Cruelty to dogs and cruelty to stuffies. It is so disturbing I am not sure how I will perform in the parade tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Mailbox

Normally I don't think about the mail very much. I usually don't get any letters so I'm not interested when Barbara stops at the mailbox. But that has changed with the DWB Holiday Card exchange. I've been getting lots of cards in the last week or so the mail has become very interesting to me. I love getting cards from my blogging friends!

So you can imagine my distress when I saw this on Sunday.

What is that you may ask? It is the remains of my mailbox! Sometime on Sunday morning someone was driving too fast on our road and left the road and crashed into my mailbox. The post was sheared off and the box knocked into the ditch and the little door broken! I hope that this doesn't interfere with me getting my cards. Barbara has to go to the post office to pick up our mail until we get a new mailbox. What a drag.

Our Drill Team has been practicing very hard and I think we will be a big hit when we march on Saturday. Here is a picture of me modeling the bandana which the team will be wearing. The only bad news is that I am going to have to take a bath before the parade. Barbara wants me to look super shiny.

Boxer Update

Thank you for all your good wishes for the Boxer we are trying to rescue. He runs right across the field to the feeding tree when he sees my dog crate on wheels coming. Today Barbara was able to get him to come within 2 feet to get some cheese. He leaped away at the last second but at least he is getting closer.

He is still is not sure about me and sometimes he barks when I come near. I am doing my flirty best to get him to like me (and you know that I have many boyfriends) and trust us. Keep your paws crossed for our success.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Am Thankful

I have been quite perturbed for the last week and a half to watch large quantities of my dog food and treats leaving the house. This did not make sense to me. Twice a day Barbara would fill a bag with my kibble and some treats and take it away!!

Well I learned the reason today. She has been feeding a stray boxer and trying to coax him to come to her.
I doesn't seem like he has any person to call his own and take care of him. She saw him a few weeks ago further down our road and people said that he had been hanging around awhile. Then she didn't see him anymore and was worried that he had been hit by a car.

A week ago Monday she was happily surprised to see him in a field near our house. He is really skinny and nervous. Barbara has put food out for him near a certain tree and he will eat it but not if she is too close to the food. She has been able to get within 5 feet of him but then he gets scared and runs away even when she has delicious treats.

Today she brought me to the field with her with the idea that if he saw her with a nice dog he might trust her. He watched us but would not come too close. Even with all my food he is still very skinny and since it has been very cold at night we are worried about him. I'll try again tomorrow to get him to come near.

Seeing this poor guy in such bad condition makes me realize just how lucky I am.

1. I've got a special person who loves me and cares for me.

2. I get all the food I need to keep me healthy and in good condition.

3. i have a house to live in and cozy beds to sleep on.

4. I have toys to play with, treats to eat.

5. I get to go fun places and learn interesting things.

6. I get all the petting, kisses and cuddling I could possibly want.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogging dog friends and give your people a big kiss!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Photo Shoot and More

Thank you to my Scottish friends the Dughallmor Beagles for this lovely award created by Crystal at Memoirs of a Mommy.
It is beautiful.

Well we are a little behind here and so finally Barbara arranged to do a photo shoot for my Christmas card. Since she is not that good of a photographer (as you can see from some of the photos on my blog) she asked my boyfriend Trotter's person Chris to take the pictures. I am always so happy to see Chris as she always makes a big fuss over me and of course when I see Chris I get to see Trotter too.

Unfortunately before I could play with him I had to pose for all these pictures. Very boooooring. Standing and sitting still is so dull when there is a nice big fenced yard to run around in. It didn't take too long and here is a picture from the shoot. I think I look pretty nice and I didn't even have to have a bath! Then Trotter and I got to play for a little while.

My boyfriend Royal's person is a dog trainer too. Her name is Jenn and she was on TV tonight. The local CBS station WRAL had a Bad Dog Challange and Jenn was one of the trainers picked to help a young Sheltie with problems. Jenn really shows how positive training can help. You can check out the video of Jenn and Mali the Sheltie here.

Here is a photo of Royal and me hanging out at the dog park.

I am off to Drill Team practice now. Our team is going to be in 2 Christmas Parades in December and we want to look good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why Train?

As a dog, I must say I think we are just perfect and that people are lucky that we are around. However, sometimes to help us fit into human society we have to have some training. Why bother? And how do we know if the trainer and the training is right for us?

Archie and Agatha have described their recent experiences with dog training and their efforts to keep the trainer from coming back. Since my person is a dog trainer, I think that I can share my thoughts on training. There are many different ways to train dogs, some good and some bad. Barbara always says that training is something you do with your dog, not to your dog. I agree with this. We do reward based, positive training (which is the only kind I am interested in) and it has made me even more bonded to her.

Training stimulates my mind, I get to go interesting and fun places and I get lots of rewards. Dogs who don't behave well stay home because their people are embarrassed to take them anywhere.

Dogs that are trained get to do fun dog sports like tracking, agility or freestyle.

Sky and Shari practicing their freestyle moves.

The Drill Team performing.


They can learn lots of tricks and show them off. Royal is learning to play the piano.

I am learning to leap.

All around training makes me a better dog (and I was pretty good to start with).

Now training is as much about training your person as it is about you. Barbara says that if she just had to train us dogs her job would be very easy! But the whole point of training is to make you a good team so you and your person can communicate and work together.

If you need some training it is important to find the right trainer who will train you in a way that you will enjoy learning and help your people to be consistent with you. They can start by checking out the trainer search at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. The APDT advocates dog friendly, reward based training and helps trainers get education on the best ways to train. You can also check out the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers whose members have taken a national exam to show that they know how to train.

Your people should check the trainer's references, or if it is for a group class, they should attend a class without you to see what methods are used. Training should be fun and humane. Training should never, ever cause you fear or pain.

Will training make you tired? Sometimes. When I have been working very hard on a new skill or trick I need a little nap when I get home since my brain got stretched. Training should not make you afraid of the trainer. I love to train (and I have been doing it since I was a pup), learn new things and have fun with my person while I do it. You can check out her website for more info on training. Have fun and get lots of treats.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Taste Testing and the Kibble Nibble

Last week was very busy what with tracking, drill team, Pets on the Patio and other activities. Unfortunately it has rained the last two days and I was very bored. I thrashed my stuffies and did some counter surfing but it just wasn't enough to keep me occupied. So Barbara decided that we would complete the taste test of all my new treats. Finally!

Now Barbara has been known to joke that if she cut up cardboard into bite size pieces I would eat them as treats. This is a complete lie and very rude of her to say. I have a discriminating palate and have devised a rating system to identify the best treats.

4 PAWS: Scrumptious - will eat them even when I see squirrels

3 PAWS Delicious - will eat them most of the time

2 PAWS Tasty - will eat them when there are no distractions

1 PAW slightly better than cardboard

I tried to do this in a very scientific manner by comparing treats of similar types and then pitting the best of each type against each other. We put the treats on paper plates. I had to do a sit stay and when she said "OK" I ran to pick which one I liked better. To take in account a left or right bias the treats were switched after a few trials.

Once I selected the most delicious treats we tried them during my training practice.

I know that you have all been waiting anxiously for the results of this very important scientific experiment and here they are:


Cloud Star Tender Jerky Strips - Pork


Buddy Biscuits Soft & Chewy - Bacon & Cheese Madness
Buddy Biscuits Soft & Chewy - Beef Madness
Cloud Star Muttos - Duck & Sweet Potato


Buddy Biscuits Soft & Chewy - Peanut Butter Madness
Vida - Chicken
Train-Me - Beef


Liver Biscotti
Benny Bully's

Now for this to be statistically significant I would have had have done many more repetitions of eating the treats. This sounded like a fine idea to me but Barbara was afraid I would get sick. Also this is my opinion only. It is our responsibility as blogging dogs to taste test as many treats as possible and share the results with the world. Of course your people must read the labels on the treat packages carefully so they don't give you a treat that will cause you problems. Fortunately I don't have any allergies or protein sensitivities but I know that some of my friends do. So test some treats and let us know your favorities.

I also wanted to let you know about a treat dispensing toy called the Kibble Nibble. Barbara bought it for me at the APDT Conference and I have been having a lot of fun with it.

It opens up and your person can put your kibbles and treats in it.

Then they screw it back together and give it to you to play with. As you roll it around on the floor, the food falls out!

Here are a few pictures of me pushing it around the APS training center. Barbara likes it because the purple lines on the side are rubber which means it doesn't make much noise when I roll it around.

Since I am pretty good at getting stuff out of a Kong and a Twist & Treat, the Kibble Nibble wasn't very challenging but it was still fun and of course I got good things to eat!

All this scientific research and product testing is quite exhausting so I must go take a long nap now.