Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sniffing with a Purpose

As you know I love to track. I get to use my nose to find interesting things, solve problems and get big rewards! What is not to like. Some of you have expressed interest in tracking and I am sure that you would love it if you tried it. If my goofy little brother Ambrose can do it, you will be brilliant at it. I thought I would show you how to get started.

Here are some of my tracking articles that I get to find. They can be cloth, leather, plastic and metal. All you really need is some of your person's socks. Barbara puts my articles in a plastic bag with a t-shirt that she has worn to get the articles nice and smelly.

You can start with just your flat collar and a leash. After you get into tracking you will want a non-restrictive tracking harness, and a long line. Mine is from climbing rope because I am so strong and Barbara has to wear rappelling gloves because I pull so hard and the rope would burn her hands. Tracking is the one time I am allowed to pull so it makes it a lot of fun.

I am modeling my harness. They come in many colors but you can never go wrong with basic black as a fashion statement. I only get my harness put on right before we start to track.

Then your person or a friend has to lay the track. It is vital that your person knows where the track is so they can use survey flags to mark it (gardening stakes with surveyor's tape works well). Here is a flag with the start article, a black sock.

All your person has to do is take a couple of steps and put a treat down in their footstep. See the piece of string cheese by her foot? They do this a couple of more times and then put an article down with treats. Then a few more steps and another article.

Your first tracks should be very short and your person should help you a lot and of course praise you. They should make an extra big fuss when you find the articles. I don't need the pieces of treats at the beginning of the track anymore because the scent is enough.

Barbara and I have little routines that we do at the start of the track to help me get ready to work. I have to lie down near the start flag and sniff the article. This is boring because I really want to just run the track but Barbara wants me to think.

Then off we go with me with my nose down, following the track. What is it that I am smelling? Some of it is the crushed vegetation from where it was stepped on. Some of it is smell from the person. People think that with all their baths and showers they are so clean but they are shedding skin cells and smells all the time. They have no idea because their noses are almost useless compared to ours.

The scent behaves differently depending on the weather conditions and the terrain. It is fun to figure out where the track goes and of course get the big reward at the final article! Look what I found this morning!

If you and your person want to start tracking there are good books that can help you such as Try Tracking by Carolyn Krause and many others that you can find at Dogwise.

Use your nose!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dog Grooming Torture

Both Ambrose and I got the promised session of dog grooming torture this weekend. Since Barbara cannot groom and take pictures at the same time, there are no graphic photos of the actual torture. These are just some of the evil implements that were used on us.

Even though I get lots of cheese while I am on the torture table, I am not thrilled about the whole thing.

The miracle is that I am not bald! Barbara was very careful and only used the new clipper blade a little bit. This is a good thing because she is a trainer, not a groomer and I think that she should stick to training!

She says that as my special person it is her responsibility to keep me healthy and part of that involves bathing and grooming. She checks my skin, ears, toes and all over to look for lumps and bumps, ticks and other ickies. I know that she is just trying to take good care of me but I wish it did not involve dog grooming torture.

Ambrose had his turn on the table which he doesn't seem to mind. He hasn't had the clippers used on him yet but Barbara turns them on so he will get used to the sound.

He has a lot more hair than I did at that age. He had to get the hair on his feet trimmed as well as his little feathers on his legs brushed! I bet he is going to have a lot more coat than I do which will mean lots of dog grooming torture in his future.

But don't worry, it wasn't all torture this weekend. We had several good walks and I got to practice freestyle with my friends. Ambrose went to the park for socialization and had a playdate with Scout.

They love to chase and play bitey face.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Award and a Package

Look what I got!

Scottie, Sophie and Hazel, my English Pointer friends, gave me this great award and said very nice things about me on their blog. Thank you so much. We sporting dogs have to stick together.

“This award is presented to those dog bloggers out there who know the meaning of GREATNESS. Their blogs are consistently interesting, funny, or informative. Their KINDNESS is extended to others without expectation of it’s return, and their FRIENDSHIP inspires others to do EXTRAORDINARY things. These are the blogs you can’t wait to read everyday. In short, they are AWE-INSPIRING, full of wonder, and simply PAWsome!Pass this award on to 4 others who you feel exemplify a “Paw”some Blog, and leave a note saying why you think they deserve the Pawsome Award!”

I would like to pass it on to the these four awesome dog bloggers:

Stanislaw and Big Pupi
Their raw feasting adventures make me drool. They are so good about keeping us informed about the latest in health issues. But mostly because they are so darn cute!

Mango His Relentlessly Hugeness has been a great inspiration to me on how to keep little brothers in line and nobody meditates better.

Agatha and Archie They are the best tour guides around and they bring that terrier enthusiasm to everything they do.

Royal My Drill Team buddy has lots of great information on his blog and he is pretty cute too.

Barbara took Ambrose on a socialization walk at Fearrington today. There are always lots of people walking around there, admiring the flowers and going into the stores and restaurant. Lots of people wanted to know what breed he was and gave him treats. She also wanted to try to get some good pictures of Ambrose since he looked so goofy in the last set. I fear that this may be an impossible task.

I am not sure why she even bothers.

Remember the topiary moss dogs? Well Ambrose found this topiary cow. I prefer the real thing as they smell so much better than moss.

Yesterday a package from Pet Edge arrived here. I always like those packages because they have great stuffies and chewies. I was very disappointed to realize that Pet Edge must be sold out of every single stuffie and chewie because the box had none. There was this boring shade canopy.

I was really shocked when I saw the other item in the box. I will not horrify you with a close up of it, but it was another evil dog grooming torture implement!! Did we really need another wicked blade for the dog grooming torture clippers?

If you think that I look worried in this photo, you are right. Barbara says that she is going to have me up on the dog grooming torture table this weekend to "practice" with the new blade! Practice??? She is not very good with the clippers. The next time you see me I may be bald!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sharing the Blog

Several of Barbara's friends have asked when will Ambrose be allowed to post on my blog. The short answer is - not in my lifetime!

Does he look like he has a thought in his head worth posting?

Would you want someone who looks like this to post on your blog?

I realize that Joey is now sharing his blog with Zeke (who seems like a very thoughtful guy), Maggie lets Mitch post, Big Pupi and Stanislaw compliment each other very well on their blog and even Mango lets his pee wee brother, Dexter, post sometimes. Many of you share great blogs. But none of you have been saddled with a goofy brother like Ambrose (for which you should be very thankful). So unless he miraculously grows some brain cells, don't expect to see him post anytime soon. Barbara, will of course keep putting his pictures on the blog because she thinks he is so cute.

Ambrose did get to go to Phydeaux, my favorite pet supply store, today for an all important fitting. He was Red Boy in the litter and his breeders gave him a nice red collar and leash when he came home with us. Barbara put an id tag on it and he has been wearing it ever since.

Every week Barbara checks the fit and adjusts and loosens the collar because Ambrose is growing so fast. It is important that collars fit just right. Not so loose that we can back out of them and not so tight that they choke us. When Barbara worked at an animal shelter she saw many dogs whose evil people left chain collars on their puppies and never changed them. The puppies grew up and the collars got embedded in their necks! That of course is real cruelty.

Ambrose is now 31 lbs! Notice that Barbara can barely get two fingers between the collar and his neck. There is no more room to loosen it so it is time for a new collar.

Here is the one they picked out and Barbara added his silver rabies tag.

I always wear a well fitting collar and my jewelry (id and rabies tag). I have several collars but I am wearing this plaid one here. It is important that we wear our jewelry so that if we ever go Astray someone can help us get back to our people. I am also microchipped as is Ambrose. I hope you are too.

I think his new collar looks pretty nice and I hope he doesn't grow out of it too soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Birthday Party

You know that I that I think socialization is vitally important for puppies to grow up into good dogs but this is getting ridiculous. Ambrose is only 15 weeks old and he went to a birthday party today. And the worst thing was that he was invited but I was not! I can tell you that I am quite miffed. I went to Royal's birthday party last year and it was so much fun. I cant believe that he got to go to a party and I had to stay home.

Ella, a miniature poodle, turned three and her person threw a little party for her. Ambrose brought her a present of treats and tug toys.

Sunny and Slim were party guests.

They all got to run around Ella's yard and chase balls. Ambrose tried to make Ella play with him, but jumping all over the hostess was probably not the way to go about it.

Then all the dogs got a dish of peanut butter ice cream! I can't believe that I missed this.

Look at all the ice cream on Ambrose's nose.

Then everyone got party favors of Paul Newman treats.

The whole thing makes me sick. I am sorry that I didn't crash that party.

And to top it off, Ambrose is now in a YouTube movie with his little friend Scout. Trotter's person, Chris, filmed this last week when they were running around the yard.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Family Photos

Happy Easter, dog bloggers. I hope you are having a good day and not eating any chocolate bunnies, delicious as they may be.

Yesterday Ambrose and I took a drive in the dog-crate-on-wheels. Barbara took us up to Virginia to her friend, and my breeder, my Aunt Karen. I got to see my littermates, Tori and Travis! We got to run around in the yard together and had a great time.

Tori and I played some good chase games.

Travis was more interested in kissing Barbara than in chasing me but here he is running too.

Then we went across the way to Karen's parents house to see them and my mom Misty. Isn't she beautiful?

She is also very accomplished. Her full name is Ch Tri-Sett Living Legend CD, JH, RE. All those letters mean she has her conformation championship, her Companion Dog title in obedience, her Junior Hunter title and and she recently finished her Rally Excellent title.

I was so happy to see my mom. Misty let Ambrose and me run all around her yard. She even let us come in her house and play with some of her sutffies. Fortunately Ambrose did not disgrace me and Barbara by peeing in the house.

Of course everyone had to make a big fuss over dopey Ambrose. Look how goofy he is.

But Aunt Karen and her parents were my family before Barbara became my special person so they were very glad to see me and I know that they like me better than Ambrose!

Karen's dad laid a nice long track for me on their land. I think I did a good job on it except when Barbara got caught in some stickers and had to extricate herself. Then she got me a bit confused, but I recovered well, got back on track and got lots of roast beast for finding my final article. Misty has never tracked before but Barbara laid a short track for her and she did great. I guess I get my good nose from her!

Ambrose got to do a little track too.

I had a great time visiting but was shocked to learn that Karen's dad had built a special dog grooming torture room in their house! It had shelves and peg boards covered with all sorts of evil dog grooming torture implements such as clippers, thinning sheers and combs. Karen is very good at the dog grooming torture and had me up on the dog grooming torture table to show Barbara how to clip around my ears and to trim my feet properly so they don't look like bedroom slippers. I did not like it one bit but did get lots of liver and roast beast which helped a little.

I think I look pretty good after all the dog grooming torture.

I was so glad to see my mom and my sister and brother. I hope we can do it again soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tracking and Topiary

My favorite dog sport is tracking. I really enjoy Rally and Canine Freestyle but when I track I get to use my nose to find interesting things. It is great fun to go out on a beautiful morning to the fields with Barbara and meet our friends and do some tracking.

We are really beginning to work as a team. She is reading my body language and trusting me to stay on track.

Of course besides the lovely smells I get delicious treats. This morning it was sausage biscuit and cheese!

My BFF Ayla tracked too. She is very good at it and I know her person was really pleased with her work. Here she is getting into her special tracking harness.

Considering that we both have a big silly streak, our people are impressed with how hard we work when we track.

Ambrose got to do a little puppy track. Of course Barbara and Sandi carried on about him like he had found buried treasure instead of a few gloves and things that were only 10 feet apart!! It really is sickening to listen to them praise him constantly.

He is getting big now. I think his ears are getting very long. Or maybe I have stretched them from chewing on them so much!

Barbara took Ambrose on a walk at Fearrington and saw these cool topiary dogs.

Ambrose had to take a good sniff to figure out that this terrier was made of moss and not fur.

This big one looks a lot like our Airedale friends.

Look at this green version of Stanislaw and Big Pupi.

And who does this look like?