Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow-covered faces



The joy of two dogs

Siblings. I never would have planned to have two dogs from the same litter but I'm glad it turned out that way. Bullet and Glory are perfect together.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow angels

At least they are enjoying this weather.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas shopping


Bullet's face is nearly healed, I wonder if he'll have a scar from this one?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

6th Photo

Here's the deal: You have to check your Photo Archives (or wherever you store your images) then select the 6th file folder, open it & post the 6th picture contained there, with the story behind it.

Join the fun if you'd like!

Here is my photo:

Coda was helping me water the grass when I stopped to take his picture.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Living life at full speed...

...results in injuries.

Bullet and Glory searching for a toy that I buried in the snow.

Yesterday's walk was a prime example. Not only did I get blisters from my winter boots but Glory tore a chunk out of her pad from flying through the forest.

My first clue to this was the blood splatters she left with each step.

Then my dear Bullet ran all out straight into a wire fence. Ouch! He didn't even yelp as his body sprang back from the impact. I was afraid he'd really hurt himself (fearing especially for his eyes) but it looks like a mere flesh wound that should heal quickly.

He's the dog with a black eye.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A lesson in extinction brought to us by the dogs.

A behavior that is rewarded will continue or increase in frequency, if that same behavior is not rewarded it will extinguish (as long as the behavior itself isn't self rewarding).

Here Bullet, Glory and barking Enzo give us a demonstration, in this case the barking is very specific - Enzo is doing his best to entice the Schnauzers to play.

Notice how Enzo is directing all his attention towards Glory? That is because she sometimes gives him the response he wants... Bullet never does.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A new breed of dog

Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Pedigree Dogs Exposed will be airing in Canada Monday December 8th at 10pm EST.

To watch it online now go to Daily Motion.

Thanks to Terrierman for this heads up.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Imagine a dog world...

Where all breeders (purebred or mixed) donated the cost of just one puppy per litter to their local humane society or rescue group.

How much of a difference would that make?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Intense focus

Tracking in Schutzhund is very precise. The dog must follow each footstep with a deep nose at a consistent speed. Articles should be indicated quickly, Bullet indicates his with a down.

As I'm training this I look for more than just a down. He must be straight, lying in a sphynx position with the article between his front paws. Not only that, but I want his attention 100% on the object. No turning his head to glance at me or the judge.

While this is not an article on a track, it shows the intense focus I mark and reward.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Now THIS is comfortable!

Two Giant Schnauzer heads using my lap as a pillow, meanwhile poor Enzo is stuck with the piano. :)

Good things come to those who wait.

When you have multiple dogs you will often have a system when it comes to feeding-time, this is the routine that works in our house.

Bullet is fed the kitchen, Glory to the left of this door and the foster dog (in this case Enzo) on the other side of the room in a crate.

While I'm preparing their dinner I let the dogs outside to play. When I'm ready I place the bowls in their feeding spots and open the door while asking them to sit.

Most often Bullet is released first, then Glory and then Enzo, but if any of them are pushy or have "forgotten" what sit means I wait them out and they are released last. It doesn't happen often.

The Schnauzers are allowed to go straight to their bowls and eat. Enzo must go with me to the crate, sit again and give me some attention before the release. Sometimes I ask for a down. Or I'll move and call him to heel a few times before the release. Training just half a minute before dinnertime is powerful.

This picture was not taken just before dinner, you can tell by the lack of drool pouring off the Schnauzer's beards!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I have a confession to make...

I'm starting to really like agility.

Yes, it's true.

Who knows, Bullet and I may actually be in a position to trial one day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Covenant Run to the Battle - Hips & Elbows

Over the years there has only been one vet I've heard people recommend when it comes to hip & elbow x-rays. They do not sedate the dog and do an excellent job, supposedly it's over before the dogs even know what's happening. So I made an appointment and faxed all the paperwork. All I had to do now was wait.

Fast forward to the big day. Bullet was pumped before I even left my house. He had injured his paw pad the week before and had been on house arrest, all that pent up energy was leaking. We got there early so I walked him for an hour before our appointment hoping that would take the edge off. Not quite.

We were in the waiting room only minutes when we were called in and they suited me up, Bullet sitting at my feet panting. Without so much as a hello to me or Bullet the vet came in. She then had me grab Bullet's head, she took his rear end and the tech got his middle. We lifted and spun him onto the v-shaped pillow. Or rather we tried to. Bullet wasn't convinced this was a good idea and he struggled big-time... Have I mentioned that he's 75lbs of pure, well-used muscle?

The vet started yelling at him "NO!" "NO!" "NO!" "NO!". When I say yelling at him I really do mean yelling at him. I was shocked at this and not at all surprised when that strategy didn't work. If they'd allowed me to pick him up, place him on the table and just ask him to lie down and turn onto his back we'd have been much farther ahead.

When her yelling did not work she suggested that Kevin come in to take my place, maybe he was more authoritative with the dogs? Snort! No.

Bullet was still struggling when she asked me to grab his elbows. There was no way I could do that without letting go of his head and I knew what was going to happen... Yep, sure enough he spun back onto his side and we had to take him off the table because he was too far out of position on the pillow.

This is when they asked me to leave the room and they had another vet tech take my place. As she came in she said "Hi Doodle". Sigh. Yes, he was a bit shaggy and he doesn't look like one of the huge show-line Giant Schnauzers they usually see, but really. Doodle?

Ok, no problem, whatever... then the vet said to Bullet as I was leaving "Look, your mom had to leave the room she is so embarrassed by you." WHAT??? Hello! Not at all. If I were being held down in a strange room by strange people for an unknown reason you bet I'd struggle with all my might! Wouldn't you? Why shouldn't he?

For the record, he continued to struggle without me in the room...

After some more fighting they managed to get a clear hip X-ray on the first try, same with the elbows.

Bullet, for one, was glad that was over with!

At that point the vet handed me a form to sign and I accidentally started to put my John Hancock on the wrong dotted line when she stopped me. "You only sign there if you're going to breed the dog." When I asked what that box was for she told me it gave permission for ALL results to be posted on the OFA website. Whether Bullet will ever be bred is beside the point, I still wanted the results open to the public, GOOD or BAD. I finished signing that section.

I left that vet's office shell-shocked. It took all day to shake the awful feeling of the entire experience. For all I know the vet was having a very bad day but in the end it doesn't matter. I didn't pay for her personality after all.

Can I have a drum roll please... the official results for Covenant Run to the Battle are as follows:

Hips Excellent

Elbows Normal


Bullet's OFA Hip and Elbow results

Friday, October 31, 2008

He's a big suck, but not that bright.

The past few weeks I've been putting Enzo through his paces. We've been to malls, the library, the movies, an agility & obedience fun match, church, downtown, class, restaurants, petstores, etc.

A few things that need work are:

Dog distractions. He gets overstimulated very quickly when he sees other dogs. Meeting with other puppy raisers in the malls for training really helps, as well as pet stores and working around my Schnauzers.

His thievery. He steals things off counters and tables, most often right in front of you. Once he has these things he usually drops them, or carries them around and brings them to you like he's doing you a favour. He hasn't eaten or destroyed anything and I don't see this as something that will continue for long.

His fear of confined spaces, more specifically his fear of public bathroom stalls, but this also includes tucking under tables so he doesn't get stepped on or trip anyone. It doesn't help that he's a very large, gangly, long dog with a massive tail.

As soon as I saw his hesitation in washrooms I took a step back and started from scratch. We started in the large stall. Once we were successful/comfortable entering that one we worked on taking the smaller ones, one step at a time, one trip to the mall at a time. Eventually we had great success! He entered comfortably and sat while I closed the door. Jackpot! That is until the automatic toilet flushed on it's own and he bolted - straight backwards under the door into some startled and unsuspecting person's legs.

Walking on leash... while paying attention. This is a hard one for him. Standing in line waiting to order a coffee? You'll tell him "forward", take one step and then stop. He'll literally keep walking and slam into the person standing in front of us. If I turn right he only knows through leash pressure. Turning left I walk into him as he keeps on walking straight. So right now I'm marking/rewarding eye contact and I make our walks interesting with changes of pace, lots of cornering and about turns just to keep him on his fuzzy toes. He is improving but we've still got work ahead of us.

Overall he's a nice dog, gentle, quite sensitive and willing to please. I'm having fun taking this dog around although everytime I go to the mall (and I go a lot) I'm asked "what is he?" by people who want one just like him. That is a topic I don't like to touch...

Collateral Damage

Kevin came home from work one day a few months ago to find Bullet covered in feathers.


It looked like a gaggle of geese had been slaughtered in the bedroom.

Bullet isn't a destructive dog, never has been. What I think happened was a Kong got caught up in the duvet and he was chewing on both at once. Then I'm sure there was a wrestling match between him and Glory in the wonderful white stuff.

Then yesterday I got a call at work. At the bottom of our stairs we have a door with glass panels... Bullet had run into it. (If you know Bullet you can easily see how that would happen) He was fine, the door unfortunately wasn't. He smashed a pane to pieces, and how we're going to replace it I have no idea!

To be honest I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner with all the dogs that come through my house and the Kongs that are bounced down the stairs!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Introducing Enzo, our new NSD puppy

AKA Enzoskeleton... it rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? This Halloween I'm going to try and find a skeleton costume for him to wear when trick-or-treating with the kids.

Enzo is approximately 10 months old and he's a cross between a poodle and a golden retriever. He'll need to be groomed soon but I'm not quite sure what a "doodle" style is. Do I keep the beard? What about the ears and tail and legs? Or maybe I'll shave him down completely before winter comes so he stays clean for fall.

After Bullet established that he was the boss it was all play. Now that Enzo's stopped trying to mount Glory she thinks he's OK too.

My last outing with Foxy

Yes, our last outing. Foxy has moved on to another foster home and Kevin and I have taken on a new addition... more about that later.

For our last outing Foxy and I went to the mall where I posed her in front of a giant dog. I have no idea who Monique is, but happy 40th! Foxy didn't recognize it as a dog.

Then I posed her in the jeep and helicopter, wanna go for a ride?

I'm not sure she'll miss me, but we miss her!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Can we say car sick?

Mookie, a 7 month old Golden Retriever, stayed with us for less than a week but he left his mark. Yum. The poor dog was terrified of everything and his intro to me and my home was with a bath. (The first of many.) Then I worked on decontaminating my car.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's all about strategy.

Glory dives first and positions herself away from shore, waiting for us to throw the ball.

Bullet waits until we throw the ball then dives and swims towards it.

Eight times out of ten Glory wins, even when we try and throw the ball in Bullet's favour. It drives him crazy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chilling at the cottage

To each their own.

Everyone loves Foxy, she's been described as the best dog ever. My reply is always "No, Bullet is the best dog ever." To each their own. Foxy is easy to train, eager to please and calm, happy to just lie at your feet all day. She's the perfect pet and will make some family with an autistic child very happy.

Must you?

But I prefer Bullet. High, demanding, noisy, goofy, always eager, ever hopeful that you'll throw the ball just one more time Bullet.