Friday, February 29, 2008

My New Friend Riley

I was taking a nice nap this afternoon when Barbara came home and told me that I was going to meet a new friend. I like having lots of friends so I was glad to get up and go. We drove to Karen and Jim's house. I'd been there before and they were very nice to me, giving me lots of pets and treats. Well now they have a new puppy. His name is Riley and he is a 5 month old Golden doodle. He looks quite big for his age but I really think it is all the hair.

When I first got to Karen and Jim's I was more interested in running around their yard than playing with the puppy. He, however, was very interested in me. The yard is fenced and there is a big deck with lots of levels to jump off of. I could jump off the highest level but Riley had to use the stairs. I led him on a big chase all around the yard. He would run up to me and bite on my ears! When I wanted to get away from him I just ran really fast and he couldn't catch up. We had a good time. I love to be chased.

Riley is a playful guy and he chewed on my legs and actually tried to walk underneath me. I think he has quite a crush on me (and why wouldn't he since I am so pretty) because he tried to hump me several times. I would flip him off when he bothered me but he really is very sweet. A girl can never have too many beaus but I think that Riley may be a bit too young for me.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Furry Paws and Feathers

I took a good nap after all my tracking exhertions. Then Barbara told me it was time to go to class but we had to make a stop first. We went to a new little pet supply store called "Furry Paws and Feathers". Well I have furry paws but absolutely no feathers so I was afraid that I wouldn't be allowed in at first. It is a store filled with all sorts of treats and toys for animals (fortunately they don't sell animals there). The whole place smelled lovely and I definitely want to visit there again.

Here is a picture of Andrea, the owner, giving me some tasty salmon treats.

Here I am checking out the greenies.

There is a section of cat food and treats and I had to inspect those very carefully.

Barbara bought some very nice toys for her Family Dog 2 class but she didn't buy any for me. This is cruelty to animals!!!

Private Tracking Lesson

We took a long drive early this morning. We passed the road to K9 Kindercare so I knew I wasn't going to stay there but I did not know where Barbara and I were going. We met up with Gretchen who is a trainer and who taught the tracking workshop we went to. She has big silver dogs called Weimeraners and I thought I was going to get to play with them.

Instead Barbara and I had a private tracking lesson with Gretchen so I can become a better tracker (and Barbara can learn to be a better handler). I was able to show Gretchen that I really understand what I am supposed to be doing out there when I track and Barbara learned some ways to work with the tracking line to give me more information about what we are doing. I also have to learn a better article indication. I am much more interested in the track than the glove or the sock so we have to work on that. But because it will involve more treats I think that it will be fun.

I still want to get a chance to play with those Weimeraners though.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Very Boring Day

Some days are just dull. Barbara left early this morning for a meeting of the Carolina Trainers' Forum and I had to sit home all day by myself. Boooooring. Now it is important for her to meet with other dog trainers and discuss training issues but why does it have to take so long? People have to talk about everything in such long and boring detail. If dogs were in charge of that meeting it would be a lot shorter for sure. Our communication is so clear. If I want you to play, I bow. If I am not sure about you I turn my head away. If I you do something I don't like I air snap. Very simple and direct.

Since I had to stay home Barbara left me with all sorts of toys filled with goodies. I am very good at getting the treats out. I also spent time ripping apart some of my stuffed toys. I made a New Year's resolution to destroy more toys and realized that I haven't been keeping it up as well as I should. Fortunately I only rip up toys and never shoes.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Drill Team Night

Another fun Monday! We went out to the APS Dog Park for a run before Barbara had to teach her Family Dog 2 class. Here are some pictures of me in the park. You can see how fast I run.

Then we went to class. It is boring for me when Barbara teaches. I have to wait in a crate unless she needs me for a demonstration. I get really jealous when I have to watch her work with other dogs and give them treats that should go to me! Tonight I whined a lot while Barbara and Dana were teaching so she made me go sit in the car by myself.

I was really glad when Drill Team started so I could come back in the building. Here is a picture of my friend Ayla. We were very happy to see each other and she gave me some nice kisses.

I have a new boyfriend in the Drill Team. His name is Hadji. We are in line next to each other in one of the new routines we are learning and we spent a lot of time tonight sniffing each other and flirting. I think he is very distinguished looking. Since we have to do work in Drill Team we didn't really get a chance to play the way I wanted to. But there is always next week.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dog Parks

I love going to Dog Parks but sometimes it is more fun than others. A lot depends on which dogs are at the park and just how responsible their people are.

Barbara and I went this morning and I met several nice dogs and had a good time chasing and playing. There was a very sweet young Brittany who liked to play the same kind of games that I play. We had a good time with each other. One Australian Shepherd dog thought he could hump me but I soon set him straight and it didn't bother me at all.

What I don't like are the dogs who crowd the gate when other dogs are trying to come in the park. I get a little nervous when 3 or 4 big dogs stand at the gate, stare at me and then get in my face as I try to enter. It is not good dog body language at all and very rude. Barbara never lets me hang out near the gate. Where are those dogs' people?? Probably chatting on their cell phones or standing around talking to their friends and ignoring their dogs.

They are supposed to be paying attention to how their dogs are socializing, not socializing themselves. Sometimes they think that it is OK for the dogs to "work it out themselves" and I have seen some sensitive dogs get pushed around quite badly by bullies. Their people need to wise up and pay attention.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Amiga's First Track

I got up early this morning and Barbara drove me to the dog park so I could run off some energy. There were several nice dogs there who played very well and we had a good time. We left sooner than I would have liked but then we drove up to Ayrmount for some tracking which is always great.

When we got there I was very surprised to see my friend Amiga arrive with her person Mary. I know Amiga from the Drill Team and she is a very sweet Golden Retriever. She is an excellent performer and knows a lot of good tricks like weaving between Walter's legs. She had never done tracking and wanted to try it. Sandi, Ayla's person, laid a short track for Amiga and Mary to follow. It had lots of articles with pieces of delicious turkey stuffed in them. Well Amiga took to the tracking immediately. What is not to like about a sock with turkey in it??

Sandi helped Amiga and Mary find all the articles and then they got to run another track. I was watching from the car and I could see that Amiga really enjoyed herself and did very well.

Watching Amiga really got me excited to start my track so I was whining and jumping around while I had to wait in the car. Barbara laid a zig zag track for me and a straight one very close to the woods. She dropped many interesting articles along the track with sausage biscuit in them-an eyeglass case, a cell phone case, gloves and a makeup case at the end just stuffed with sausage biscuit. Heavenly!!. The straight track near the woods was difficult because I wanted to go in there to investigate all the good smells but Barbara helped me not to be too distracted and focus on my work. It was worth it because I got a lot of liver and cheese when I found the article at the end.

Tracking is such a terrific sport!! It is great to go out with all your friends in the morning and find things in the fields. I'm glad that Amiga joined us for the fun. Tracking dogs rule!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dogs with Blogs

I really enjoy having my own blog. I have a busy and fun life and like sharing it with other dogs and their people. A couple of my dog friends have blogs but now I have found out that lots of dogs have blogs too.

Barbara listed my blog on a site called and it turns out there are hundreds of canines in the blogosphere! I am amazed. The nice thing is that I have gotten comments on my blog from dogs all over the world. This is very exciting. I love meeting and playing with other dogs so maybe someday I will get a chance to meet these dogs. Or maybe not. Barbara says that I would have to fly in a plane to see them and this I will not do. I much prefer riding in the car.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Pictures from Virginia

I had a great time in VA last weekend and Barbara has posted a few more pictures.

Misty and me out in the field

My littermates Torie and Travis and me watching Karen lay tracks for me to work.

I had a great time playing with my littermates although Travis tried to hump me. Very rude since he is my brother! But I told him off a few times and then we got along fine.

The tracking was great. I even tracked my Aunt Karen which I had never done before. Barbara lays most of my tracks but this time Karen left gloves with cheese and liver treats. When I went up to the start flag I had to think about her smell a bit but then I tracked her strongly. It was terrific fun and both Barbara and Karen praised me and said that I am very smart.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Crazy, Dedicated Trackers

We have had such a bad drought here that I have never tracked in the rain (and I didn't even know it was possible or why you would want to do it). Usually the ground is very dry which is not the best scenting condition or there is a little dew or frost if I am lucky. So it was quite a surprise when Barbara took me out to the tracking field to meet Ayla, Tully and Trotter and their people in the rain.

The rain let up and Barbara, Chris and Sandi layed tracks for us. Just as they were finished the rain started to come down. I didn't mind since I was warm and dry in the car but Barbara was cold and wet. We waited to let the track age and I thought that we would not track but we did.

When I got up to the start flag to smell my article I found that the sock was soaking wet. Of course I could still pick up the scent but I had to think about it for a bit and circle the flag which I don't usually do. Then I was off tracking. I had to stop several times to shake off the water but continued to work my first track until I found my article and got some sausage biscuit (delicious as always)

I had to run another track with two right turns. Barbara managed to lay it through a big clump of deer fur. What a wonderful smell. I inspected the fur carefully and sniffed it thoroughly. Barbara said "Niamh, use your nose." which is what she says when she wants me to get back to work and so I did. I did the first turn very well but got a bit confused on the second one because Barbara bent over to pick up her marker and stopped me from going forward where I knew the track was. I had to circle around a bit to get refocused but of course I did, found my article and got more sausage biscuit.

Poor Ayla and Trotter had to track while the rain was coming down really hard while I got to sit in the car. I must say that we are really dedicated to tracking to do it in all sorts of weather. No pictures however since we all looked terrible with our fur drenched.