Thursday, August 21, 2008

Striking a balance.

There are times I feel an extreme animal activist welling up inside me. I understand some of the points organizations like PETA are trying to make. I ask myself, "what right do I have to keep a living creature as a pet?"

Then I imagine life without a dog and it hurts... is that selfish of me? I'm still trying to strike a balance in my views on this subject.

The dog world is crazy.

(Dam:Lindsayleigh's Princess Xena Sire:C-J-Starrs Drum Solo)
January 8, 2002 - September 24, 2004

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cats and dogs

Meet Aslan. We've had this little huntress extraordinaire since she was 7 weeks old. Moths, mice and bats don't stand a chance at life with her around. She's done more damage in our house than any dog ever has. As a kitten she'd push things off shelves just to see them fall, I swear it. Her goal in life is to eat. Anything. Leave food on the counter and she'll find it.

Glory is fine with Aslan, they'll sometimes be found sleeping together on the bed.

Foxy is interested in her, but when Aslan swats she runs away, very respectful of the sharp ends on those paws!

Bullet on the other hand has been raised with this cat. Chasing is never allowed. Ever. I don't even allow the thought of chasing, yet he still has an obsession.

We've had streams of rescue foster dogs through this house, and only one very prey driven Aussie was a danger to her, we ended up keeping them separated until she was adopted. All puppies I've raised have been great with her until Bullet. Some Giant Schnauzers are not good with cats and Bullet falls into this category. Aslan's pretty good at taking care of herself but we still have to watch and protect her, her usual self-defense strategies will only increase his desire for the taste of cat I'm afraid.

Surf's up!

Bullet and I hit the road last Friday, just the two of us, and went to the beach.

This is the official dog exercise area at MacGregor Point Provincial Park in Ontario on lake Huron. Not a fan. Bullet couldn't understand why I kept telling him to "stay with me", "wait" and "easy". It's a broken leg waiting to happen for any dog like mine who only has one speed - warp speed, and who has a tendency to run without looking where he is going.

Other than that it was beautiful and we had a good time.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Agility photos!

Finally! These are the only agility photographs I have of Bullet outside, Kevin was kind enough to come out and take them at last night's class. He hasn't seen us train for four months and still describes us as "entertaining" and "funny". Sigh. But we HAVE made some improvement as you'll see. Agility isn't something I've ever really done before so Bullet and I are learning together.

On to the photos.

Bullet works quietly now... ok, so there are the odd flash-back moments for old times sake.

He no longer knocks every bar on every single jump! Woohoo!

He still gets stuck in heel position at times. If I were to get a puppy for agility I would do some of the early training differently, but I can't see that happening.

Contacts aren't bad, except for the fact he has started to target the color break rather than the ground, unless there is a cone there, then he'll target that instead... something to work on next class.

His teeter still needs work, the first time he takes it each class is always at full speed with no tip-it even with the clear, well timed commands of "EASY!!!" and "TIP-IT!!!" After each rocket ship launch he's respectful of the teeter for the rest of the hour, so I only get one chance to practice the "first time". Next class I'm going to position myself differently and see if that will help him be successful.

He loves those tunnels. I often have to reposition them and reattach the sandbags once he's gone through.

Sliding across the table and off the edge has been known to happen, but once on and down he stays nicely until released.

Rear crosses are still difficult for us. He spins towards the side I'm on, maybe I'm not being clear enough?

That's better! Good boy!

Notice how some of the poles are shorter than the rest on this set? Bullet's work. The good news is that he hasn't snapped any in at least a few weeks.

And the dog walk is good! Most times.

Isn't he handsome?

Good luck to everyone who's going to the Canadian Nationals; Dianne, Chad and all you bloggers out there. Enjoy the east.