Thursday, September 25, 2008

I miss them somthing awful

We're going on vacation tomorrow. Just a few days to relax before the shopping season truly starts. Not that there'll be much of a shopping season this year, but just in case.
The hardest part is taking the dogs to their "vacation homes." Since we have four, it's a bit much to ask anyone to watch all of them. So we split them two and two - the Griffs (Golly and Roc) and the Bully Girls (Ceilidh and Dax).
We are very, very fortunate to have wonderful dog friends who watch them - but I've got to admit I was a teeny-tiny bit jealous today when I brought the Griffs to their "Auntie Geri's" house. They walk in like they own the place, sniff hello to her gorgeous Doberman boy Ryder, and settle in like they were there yesterday. Golly runs into Geri's office, jumps up on the couch, rearranges the pillows to her liking and plops herself down.
Geri and I visited for a bit, then I got up to go. By this time the Griffs were very, very comfortable. I got the equivalent of a lackadaisical wave and "bye."
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Puppy Picnic

Last Sunday was the picnic for our club - the North Shore Dog Training Club. Unfortunately, it was a bit too warm for our dogs - Golly with heart disease and Dax being a French Bulldog, but it was a beautiful day - sunshine, good friends, great food, wonderful dogs.The little girl in the picture is Dot - granddaughter of one of our members. She's been coming to the picnics since she was three. Once a year we get to see what a beautiful young lady she's growing into. There was an abundance of Golden Retrievers at the picnic - no surprise for an obedience club!
But we had lots of other breeds as well, Shelties, German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Border Terriers, Dalmation, Husky, Weimeraner, Border Collie, Poodle, Keeshond, Doberman Pinscher, Cocker Spaniel - truly an all-breed club!
Double-Decker Dogs! Border Terriers MacDuff and Robbie on top, Dachshunds Hanna and Meg in the bottom bunk!
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Cheese wins!

I've written about how much Ceilidh adores her Latex Soccer Ball. She must play fetch with it at least once a day, otherwise she won't leave me alone. And it must be at least 10 minutes, uninterrupted for anything. Forget about the phone. Forget about the doorbell. Before Agility Class, she loves to tug on her Latex Soccer Ball, until it gets too slimy to hang onto. But once I pull out the string cheese, Ceilidh forgets all about her Soccer Ball. Her attention is fixated on me. I can ask her to do anything for a tiny sliver of cheese. Poor Latex Soccer Ball. Of course, when I put the Treat Tote away and we get home, Ceilidh wants to play ball.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Ooops, she did it again!

Yesterday Dax The Mighty Huntress killed a squirrel.
It wasn't an old squirrel, or a sick squirrel.
It was a too-slow, stupid squirrel.
I was just bringing the dogs back to the house, Golly in the lead. When down the path comes strolling this gray squirrel. It goes nose-to-nose with Golly. They're both startled (you can imagine!) and the squirrel finally figures out "uh-oh," turns around and high-tails it (literally) for the gate at the front of the house.
Dax was in the back yard at the time. She beat the squirrel to the gate.
Fast puppy. Slow squirrel.
My mess to clean.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Look at how cute she is!!

Still cropping sweater photos of Ceilidh. And every time I finish a page of a sweater or coat (not done yet - maybe another week or so, and we'll have most of our winter wear up on the site), I call Hope over for her input and the first thing she says is, "Look at how cute she is!" Of course, I agree. Not the input I was looking for, but I definitely agree. Last night after we got home from Agility class (big fun - lots of short runs), Ceilidh was crashed on the couch, and Hope said, "Look at how cute!" I guess we're partial.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to obedience!

Last night was the second week in our obedience club's new home and the first time I got to work with Dax in class. I should rephrase that - I got to play with Dax in class. First week I never can, because I'm the club registrar and have to fuss with paperwork the whole time.
I'm still not used to how tentative Dax can be in new places - she's such a happy, sweet, social girl, I don't expect it. When I walk her around, let her sniff and get used to places, she's fine.
Dax's heeling isn't great - she's always a bit laggy and it's not her favorite thing. So I've changed our training regime. Since she absolutely adores agility, I'm adapting our obedience training to be as much fun, exciting and playful as agility. If I get two perfect heeling steps, we break off the exercise and celebrate! Next time we'll try for three.
I was so used to working with Roc (happily retired and now known as Mr. Spud), who absolutely adored obedience training, that I tried to train Dax using exercises that worked for Roc. Mistake! Every dog is different and requires different handling methods. Dax loves laughter and play. She has no "work" ethic - if it's not fun, she's not interested. It's my job to make obedience fun.
It's working. We had a great time in class. A change in attitude can make a big difference!
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Monday, September 08, 2008

Holding grudges

Dax is back to her usual, bouncy self, thank goodness. She's even gotten over being mad at me.
I'm not sure if she blamed me for her pain (pulled muscle in her neck Labor Day), or if she was angry because I took her to that awful place (the vet) instead of class. She seems to think that every time she goes for a ride, she's going someplace fun. Lucky girl - she usually is! Either Obedience Class, or Agility Class or visiting friends.
For the last few days Dax didn't want much to do with me. Usually when I work on the computer at home, she's my lap-warmer. When I sit on the couch, she's snuggled into my side. For the last week she was lying on the floor, glaring at me, or curled up on any chair I wasn't in.
Now that the pain is gone, she's forgiven me. I'm glad - it's getting colder and I need my lap blanket.
I'm continually surprised that institutions fund studies on whether animals have emotions. Just ask any dog owner - we'll tell them!
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Friday, September 05, 2008

The Best Dog Model

Last weekend Hope and I decided that since we'd gotten in many of the new winter sweaters and since we had an extra day off (Labor Day - before the Dax crisis), we'd bring Ceilidh to the store so that she could model them for us. She is our best model, amazingly enough. She dislikes staying still for any length of time. She's a lunatic at home - will play with her ball endlessly if we encouraged it. Our Vet even agrees that she has the canine equivalent of ADHD, but she'll put on sweater after sweater, harness after harness, for a miniscule crumb of a treat. I just cropped this one so you can see what a good job she did. (Products will be up on the site in a few weeks.)
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Thursday, September 04, 2008

We hate holidays

Every time there's a national holiday, Fran says "I hate holidays. Something always happens." Unfortunately, she was right again this time.

Where was I at dinner time on Labor Day? At the Emergency Veterinary Clinic with Dax. You don't have to skip to the end - she'll be fine. But it was a scarey, scarey time.

After lunch we were just hanging out, watching baseball and relaxing. I got up to get a drink and Dax, who was sleeping next to me on the couch, woke up. And started whining/whimpering/crying, seemingly unable to move. If you've never had or known a French Bulldog, you may not know that spinal issues are terrifying for Frenchie people - almost as bad as for Dachshund people. But they are.

Anyway, we gave her a few moments to fully awaken (okay, I was panicking but Fran scolded me to relax and give her a minute). She did, and seemed to be slightly better. She could walk, but she couldn't turn, lower or raise her head and she was trembling when I tried to touch her neck.

I'd seen enough and dashed off to the Emergency Clinic.

Of course when we got there she seemed just fine. Absolutely wiggle-butt delighted to meet everyone, climbing on the vet techs to get picked up. The triage tech decided she was okay to wait with me, rather than being whisked back into the depths of the clinic for immediate care.

We waited only a few minutes for the on-duty Vet. He checked Dax out and determined, with x-rays and his manipulation, that she had a slipped disc and recommended crate rest for a week and prescribed anti-inflammatories and pain medication.

Have I mentioned that I think our regular vet is the best diagnostician on the face of the planet? Her instincts have been right 99% of the time I've known her - more than 20 years. She's also the most conservative Vet ever - I'm not even sure she's in favor of Obedience, let alone Agility.

I took Dax in to see her bright and early Tuesday morning. She said it was a very good thing I took Dax to the Emergency Clinic - sudden, severe pain should always be checked.

She also said Dax has a pulled muscle and has to sit out class this week. And maybe next week, too. Excellent news, indeed!
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