Friday, December 31, 2010

I Spent My Birthday in the Kennel

You all know how neglected I am and now I have to tell you my sad tale of even more dire neglect. Yesterday was my 2nd Birthday and instead of getting to spend it with Barbara and go on a fun outing and get special snacks, I was at K9 Kindercare.

Now don't get me wrong. I like to stay at K9 Kindercare. When Barbara dropped me and Niamh off there the week before Christmas I was happy to be there. I always make friends with the other dogs because I like to play all the time. We even had snow which was lots of fun. Here is a picture of me with Ginger and Twinkie. We are investigating something that Twinkie found under the snow.



We got our Christmas presents at the kennel (new stuffies and bones) and we expected Barbara to pick us up on Tuesday. A week is plenty of time to spend in the kennel. But there was lots of snow in NY which messed up the airports and her flight was cancelled!! She couldn't get a flight back to NC until today which meant I had to stay at the kennel for my birthday. Boo hoo! No presents, no outing, no special treats! See how neglected I am?

So we are all back home and Barbara has promised to make it up to me. I think I will try to look really pathetic so she feels very guilty about missing my birthday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Photo Shoot Fail

Well Barbara has been trying to get nice photos of us for our Christmas card and it has been a disaster. Her bright idea was to wrap a big box and have Ambrose and me sit in it together. No way am I sitting in a box with Ambrose and getting his adolescent boy cooties on me.

Then she thought we should sit on the grooming table together wearing our new scarf Santa Claus bandanas from Jing-a-ling Dog Bandanas. But I still had to sit too close to Ambrose. Do I look happy??



On a much nicer note my Golden Retriever friend Amiga came to visit me today at our training center. It is her birthday and she is 14! Even though her face has turned white she is very active and playful.



We ran around together and I let her play with all my toys. We are in the Drill Team together and Amiga still performs with great energy and enthusiasm. Her people adopted her from Golden Retriever Rescue when she was two and have done lots of training classes with her. She is a lovely, sweet and talented friend.



In other exciting news local paper ran a story about Barbara on Sunday. It is a good article but I would have liked it better if they had put my picture in it instead of Barbara working with some puppy. You can read it here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Freestyle Photos

I thought that you might like to see some pictures that Jim Poor, the dog sport photographer, took at the Canine Freestyle Federation trial. He took them with no flash since that would have distracted me while I was doing my routine.




You can see that I am paying great attention to Barbara. She was very pleased with me.




I was not allowed to get any treats during the whole routine. This is very hard but we had practiced a lot so I knew I would get treats at the end.




I really like doing my freestyle because I get to work with Barbara and do fun moves.




We got lots of applause when the routine was over which I liked very much.




We ordered the DVD of the competition and will post the routine once we get it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Parade Practice

The Paws 4Ever Drill Team, of which I am a proud member, will be marching in the Hillsborough Holiday Parade next Saturday and in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade the week after that. I love the parades because our team gets lots of applause from the crowd as we march along in formation doing tricks. While we have indoor practice every Monday night, right before parade season we go into town and practice outside. We had practice this afternoon and most of us wore our new ruffled bandanas.

Royal, one of my Drill Team buddies, has a very talented grandma who makes special ruffled bandanas for dogs. They are reversible and have jingle bells inside them (important when you have a dog like Ambrose who would eat the bells if they were on the outside of the the bandana). Royal is the Australian Shepherd in the middle.




Royal's grandma made bandanas for the entire team so we can wear them in the parade. Here I am modeling my holiday bandana which has a design of stockings and mistletoe with "peace, hope and joy".




My BFF Ayla is modeling the reverse side of the bandana which is green with white bones. I think she looks quite pretty.




Casper is Jewish so she got a Chanukah bandana instead of a Christmas one.




Teddy, the newest member of our team, wanted to wear the green side so he would coordinate with his person's pants.




We had an excellent practice and I know that we will be a big hit in the parade as always. After practice we posed for a group photo. I think we dogs look pretty spiffy in our bandanas. Our people all look a bit scruffy but don't worry they will look much better in the parades because they will wear matching pants and sweatshirts. Of course all the spectators' eyes will be on the dogs and not the people anyway.




Ambrose isn't in the Drill Team (just think of the commotion he could cause in the parade) but he wanted to model his Halloween ruffled bandana so I let him.




We have new scarf bandanas with a Santa pattern that we will wear in our Christmas pictures. If you want a scarf or ruffled bandana check out Jing-a-ling Dog Bandanas. Royal's grandma makes them in all sizes with lots of different patterns.

Friday, November 19, 2010

CNN Update

Awhile ago I was filmed performing experiments at the Duke Canine Cognition Center for a story on CNN. I found out today that "Animal Intelligence" is going to be on tonight at 10:00 PM EST. You can also see some of it here at CNN.com.



There are only 3 brief clips of me - the other dogs get more air time. I knew that they would show me doing one experiment that I didn't do so well on, and of course they showed that part. But there is good information in the story and it is important for people to study dogs so they will train us better. We are fascinating!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Am So Neglected



I am getting a bit sick of hearing how wonderful Niamh is. Barbara is constantly telling her that she is smart and beautiful and giving her kisses. Sure Niamh now has letters after her name but I could have some too if someone would train me. I have been completely neglected while Niamh got lots of training and attention. Barbara says that I have regressed.

Then she tells me that I look all tufty. Well if she would groom me I would look really handsome. And I actually enjoy being groomed, not like some Gordon Setters I know who get very touchy about their grooming.



If I didn't have my friend Scout to play with I just don't know what I would do with myself. At least I can run around with her and try rid of some of my excess energy.



I have been doing lots attention seeking behavior. I have gone back to my old counter surfing ways and I dug this nice hole near our patio. But the thing that got the most attention was when I found some old poop under the leaves, put it in my mouth and tried to bring it into the house. Many HBO words were said I can tell you.



Maybe I should chew up a shoe or something.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Freestyle Photos

Our laptop is back from the Mac vet so now we can post about my winning weekend.

All the hard work of practicing my routine and all the dog grooming torture was worth it. Barbara is so pleased with me for earning my Canine Freestyle Federation Level II title that she is constantly telling me how smart and beautiful I am. I have been basking in the attention all week. Of course Ambrose is very jealous and has been acting out because he feels neglected. I have had to speak sharply to him a few times.

Here is a photo of us after Saturday's routine. I am wearing my 2nd place medallion as well as the patch that we got for my title. Barbara says she will sew the patch on our training bag but that will never happen because she is pathetic with a needle and thread.



I am licking my chops because each day after my routine I got an entire sausage biscuit to eat! Very delish. Of course I was famished because I was not allowed to have any treats in the ring while we were performing. But I paid great attention to Barbara and tried to follow her signals. I did anticipate her cues a couple of times but stayed right with her and worked very hard to earn my biscuit. We got lots of applause after our routine and people made a big fuss over me which I enjoyed too.



Barbara had the professional photographer take lots of pictures of us so when we get those, we will post them. Here I am modeling my first place medallion after the awards on Sunday.



We have ordered the dvd of the event so I hope to post my routines when that is available. Now that I have earned my Level II title we have to move up to Level III which is much harder. I have to start practicing all sorts of new moves. But I like to hear people clapping for me and I love those sausage biscuits so I think that I will get right to work.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Freestyle Trial

We had a great weekend at the Canine Freestyle Federation trial. On Saturday I took 2nd place in my class and earned enough for my level II title . On Sunday I got 1st place!! I am now officially Stonemist Time Is On My Side CFF II. I got lots of treats and toys as well as 2 beautiful medallions. Barbara was so proud that she had our picture take by the show phoographer so I will be able to put up nice photos soon.

Unfortunately our computer got sick over the weekend and has to go to the mac vet. B is trying to blog for me from her phone and she is havingahard time so we won't be posting again until the computer is better.

I have to rest now because winning those prizes was hard work.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Extreme Makeover - Gordon Setter Edition

Next weekend is my Canine Freestyle competition. We have been practicing a lot and I hope that we will get good scores. Barbara said that is important that I look particularly beautiful (probably because she will be looking spectacularly un-beautiful and she needs me to distract people from looking at her) because I will be the only Gordon Setter there and I have to be a good representative of my breed. I knew that this meant extreme dog grooming torture.

This morning Barbara drove Ambrose and me in the dog-crate-on-wheels up to VA to visit my Aunt Karen, who is my breeder, and my biological mom, Misty.



Misty is 10 years old but still quite active and playful and of course very beautiful and good. Whenever I get to see her I always give her a little kiss on the face. She is the only adult dog that I do that to. I am very respectful of my mom.



Misty is a good hostess and let us run all around her house and yard. She was very tolerant of goofy Ambrose who brought all his cooties along and left them everywhere. I noticed that she was carefully marking over all his cootiefyed pee-mail.



After some good play we went down to the special dog grooming torture chamber. Look at the array of evil implements that were laid out to be used on me.



Here is my before picture. I am all tufty and my feet are like bedroom slippers.



My Aunt Karen is quite skilled with dog grooming torture of Gordon Setters. She managed to snip or clip every hair on my body. She was very gentle with me and never let the clippers get hot and never poked me with the shears. I was pretty good through most of the torture, but I did get fussy when she worked on my back feet and when she got close to my ears. Aunt Karen gave me lots of breaks to relax and Barbara gave me liver treats when I behaved myself.



Ta-da! Here is the after photo. I think that I look pretty spiffy.



And I am very happy to have survived all the torture in one piece.



You can see where I get my good looks. That is me in the front and Misty in the back.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The APDT Conference - Atlanta



Well she had a good excuse this time. Barbara has been very bad about blogging about our adventures lately but she went to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference in Atlanta so we will cut her some slack. Over 1200 dog trainers gathered for 5 days to hear lectures from the best dog trainers and behaviorists in the world.

Since Barbara is on the Board of Directors she had meetings before and after the conference so we spent 10 days at K9 Kindercare - good thing we like it there. She got to stay at the Hilton on the 24th floor of the hotel. Look at the view from her room.



Some of the speakers included Dr. Patricia McConnell, Suzanne Clothier, Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, Dr. Pam Reid and many of our dog training heroes. Barbara got to spend time with Dr. Temple Grandin which was very interesting. There is a HBO movie about Dr. Grandin's life and struggles as a person with Asperger's syndrome. She is brilliant and has great insights about animals.



Victoria Stillwell (It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet) spoke at the conference. She and Dr. Grandin had a lot to talk about with each other.



It was a great conference and we hope Barbara learned a lot that will help her be a better trainer.

We did a lot of playing at K9 Kindercare. Ambrose made a new friend while were there.



But the best part of Barbara going to the conference is the trade show. The vendors have everything a dog could want. She bought lots of treats and toys for us. I investigated the bags carefully when she brought them home.



Of course I will do my annual treat taste testing experiment soon. I know that you want to know all about the most delicious treats.

Monday, October 11, 2010

CNN

We got a very exciting call this morning. CNN is filming a series on animal learning. They are going to show lemurs, bonobos, dolphins and of course, dogs. They planned to interview Dr. Brian Hare at the Duke Canine Cognition Center and film dogs performing the research studies. Ambrose and I have participated in a few of the studies and have blogged about it here. Dr. Hare asked if Barbara could bring one of us to Duke this afternoon for the filming. Of course she said yes and of course she brought me because who knows what Ambrose would do if he was being filmed for national television?

I got to meet the reporter Randi Kaye (I was hoping for Anderson Cooper) and showed her how good I am at finding treats. She asked Dr. Hare lots of questions but I was just focused on the food. The nice camera man filmed lots of repetitions of the tests but I don't know how much of it will actually be on TV and how much will end up on the cutting room floor. The show is supposed to air on CNN sometime in November and when I know the date, I will let you know so you can see my 15 seconds of fame.

Of course Barbara forgot to bring her camera to document the filming (she really is only good at providing my transportation) so there are no photos. Boo hiss!

Here is a photo of the two of us performing at the Bark Fest.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Freestyle Demos

In one month Barbara and I will compete in a Canine Freestyle Federation trial. We have a new routine, to Celtic music, that I enjoy performing because it has my favorite jumps in it as well as turns and spins which I also like to do. We have been practicing a lot to get ready for the trial.

Last Saturday we went to Yanceyville to perform our routine at the Caswell Animal Protection Society's Bark Fest. I had a good time but of course Barbara forgot to take pictures of me. A lady from the Caswell Messenger took my picture so maybe I will be in the newspaper.

A few weeks ago we went to the Woof-A-Palooza to support Chatham Animal Rescue and Education (CARE). There were many vendors selling dog treats and toys. We had a booth with lots of training information. I was on my best behavior so people could see what a good trainer Barbara is and they will sign their dogs up for her classes. We did not bring Ambrose because I know he would have disgraced us with some crazy adolescent antic.



We performed our freestyle routine for the crowd.



The audience was very impressed with my jumping abilities.



CARE raised lots of money at the Woof-A-Palooza which will help them foster and find homes for lots more dogs and cats.

Here is a movie of Barbara and I rehearsing our routine last month. We still have some work to do to polish up our performance and of course it would help if she was not so clumsy. I am always graceful but Barbara has two left feet. Well, I have two left feet as well, but I am supposed to have them.


video

Friday, September 10, 2010

Catching Up, Again!

We've been on hiatus while Barbara went on vacation to NY. Last year we went with her in the dog-crate-on-wheels and got to visit our cousin. But this time she flew in a plane and of course since I have no intention of ever flying in the belly of a plane, Ambrose and I went to stay at K9 Kindercare. We always have fun there but I was quite jealous that Barbara spent time with Coby and Angie while she was there. I bet she gave them a lot of treats too.




Once Barbara got back she had to prepare for all her new classes at the training center and had to do boring stuff like fill folders with homework. She started 7 new classes just this week so of course we, and our blog, have been very neglected.

I saw from the video on the last post that Ambrose found my squeaky sheep at the training center and put his cooties all over it. I had to give that sheep a good shake to try to get them off.



Then I ripped some of its little feet off. I think the only way to decontaminate it is to let Barbara drown it. I am always reluctant to let her launder my stuffies but there is no help for it. Then I will have to find the sheep a much better hiding place.



I was even more miffed to find out that Ambrose is getting his own column in the Paw In Hand newsletter! What kind of advice is he going to give? I shudder to think about the poor dogs who write to him for help. Does this face give you confidence???



As busy as she has been somehow Barbara found time to perform more dog grooming torture on us. Ambrose had a bath last week and I had one today. In an effort to prevent the dreaded fluffy butt, she remembered to bring a towel to pin on me to make my fur straight. But she forgot the big diaper pins she usually uses and had to use some little safety pins from her purse.

Of course by the time we got home, I had scratched and tugged some of the pins out. Then Ambrose caught sight of me in the towel and barked his fool head off. When he finally realized it was me, he tried to help pull the towel off which I found very annoying so I had to yell at him.



Barbara said that if we continued to behave so badly she was going to trade us in for some goldfish!

I kept the towel on for a while but decided to try to shake it off. Unfortunately, while I had gotten most of the safety pins out, the towel was still pinned tightly around my neck. Barbara laughed and laughed but it was NOT funny.



I will say that my fur is now nice and straight and I will be quite beautiful when I go to the freestyle show and go tomorrow.