Sunday, February 01, 2015

Black and White Sunday: Sweet Gracie!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Signs of Spring!

Lookie there! We have signs of Spring on our mountain.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rach tackes the Nina Ottosson Dog Worker!

Since Rach did so well with the Nina Ottosson Dog Box, Mum thought she'd try out some of our other dog puzzles with Rach, so she got out the Nina Ottosson Dog Worker.

The Dog Worker has a removeable spinning wheel on the top that you have to turn to 'unlock' the pegs, then slide the pegs to release them to get the treats under the pegs. It also has four pegs that need to be lifted up to get to the treats.

Since Rach is young, Mum removed the spinning wheel on the top to make it a little easier and didn't slide all of the pegs. Once Rach masters his first 'level' she can increase the difficulty for him over time.

The key, again, for this puzzle is for Rach to 'use his mouth' to lift the pegs, so Mum refreshed Rach by holding the pegs and when he would bite them, she clicked and treated. Then she put them on the toy and Rach picked them up with his mouth right away. So Mum loaded up the puzzle with treats and leg Rach go at it.

Here's the vid....we think he did just great!

Monday, January 26, 2015

A puppy teeth emergence schedule and the history of when Rach lost his puppy teeth!

It's been a while since Rach lost the last of his puppy teeth.

Since we recently went through teething and losing puppy teeth, we get a lot of questions at what age he lost his teeth and more, so we thought we'd share the end results with you!

We noticed at a vet visit on August 14th that he had lost a few of his incisors (those are the little teeth in the front) and the new ones had started to come in. He was just one week shy of his fourth month birthday.

Then on September 19th at just 21 weeks (just shy of five months), the big tooth drop began lasting until October 8th (at just 23.5 weeks).

According to the many charts out there, he was pretty much on schedule with all his puppy tooth losses!

Mum was able to find a lot of his major lost teeth, including three of his four canines (the large sharp ones in the front), and three of his six pre-molars (those bigger teeth in the back). 

Oh, that's just weird, but that's exactly what Mum found from my big tooth drop way back in 2004! Mum started finding my teeth on 10-23-2004 and the last one on 11-25-2004.

Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth (20 upper and 22 lower teeth)
Puppies have 28 baby (deciduous) teeth (14 upper and 14 lower teeth)

A basic puppy tooth emergence schedule includes:

Deciduous (puppy)

Incisors 4-6 weeks
Canine 5-6 weeks
Premolars 6 weeks

Permanent (adult)

Incisors 3-5 months
Canine 4-6 months
Premolars 4-5 months
Molars 5-7 months

This photo (below) was taken on September 18th at 21 weeks and you can see the adult canine on the lower left (Rach's right) right next to the puppy canine, pushing the puppy tooth out. Rach lost that puppy canine just four days later.

On September 14th at just under 21 weeks you can see (below) Rach's canine on the right (Rach's left) being pushed out by the permanent canine. The puppy tooth came out just the next morning.

Also in this photo you can see the upper canine is still the puppy tooth with no sign of the permanent one. Interesting. I think it was September 30th when he lost that upper canine.

Here is Rach's complete puppy tooth loss schedule of the teeth that we found:

9-15-2014 One Canine
9-22-2014 One Canine
9-28-2014 Two Pre-Molars and One Canine
9-30-2014 One Canine
10-8-2014 One Pre-Molar

So Rach was pretty much on track getting all his adult teeth!

And his bite turned out pretty darn good as you can see in the photo at the very top of this post. His upper teeth just slightly overlap his bottom teeth which is how bites are supposed to be; and all his teeth came in naturally, and nice and straight too!

You can read more about how we helped Rach through his puppy teething naturally on our Raise A Green Dog blog.

We'll leave you with Rach's famous smile (also known as the dog submissive grin), which he gets regularly now after a long bitey face session with Gracie or a good ball tug session with Mum.

Australian Cattle Dogs
Colorado State University

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What kind of dog is that?

I'll never forget when I was at an agility trial in Evansville, Indiana back when I was just starting Exec A in AKC, someone took a look at me and asked, 'what kind is that?'

And then I'll never forget the response my vet (who was with me at the time) gave. She said, 'it's a dog!.'

Give that lady a treat!

If you were doing agility back 8-9 years ago, you may remember there was no PAL (for pure breed) or Canine Partners (for mixed breed) program, only the ILP (Indefinitely Listing Privilege) program (of which I am a proud member). So a 'different' looking dog was many times, well, looked at differently.

I don't get those comments anymore, but I sure did get a lot of them back in my younger days, as even though I am a sheltie, I lost all my undercoat after the big surgery when I was one year old, and I never looked quite like a sheltie again after they shaved me.

So lately Mum gets asked a lot, again. What kind of dog is Rach? Not because of the reasons above, but because they are truly curious. Times sure have changed, and in a good way, we believe.

When we originally saw Rach on Facebook, they listed his Mum as a sheltie, but they didn't mention anything about the dad, as they didn't know anything about him, is my best guess. But I remember well, from the photos of the pups and the comments in the posts that the dad was most probably a cattle dog (who some call a Blue Heeler).

Just recently, we met someone who knew more about Rach's Mum and they believe that Rach's Mum who was listed as a sheltie is actually a BC/sheltie mix. Combine that with a cattle dog dad and Rach is most probably a Cattle Dog, BC, Sheltie mix.

So now when we get asked what Rach is.....we tell folks what he is made of, and they start saying things like, 'hmmmm....interesting combo! Should be good for agility!' and 'interesting, I'd like to get my hands on one of those!"

Yep....times, they sure have changed.

We'll leave you with a few more photos of Rach's life before us. Enjoy!

Rach's Mum with her wonder litter of seven.
Rach, only days old.

Rach, at just a few weeks!

Yep, that's Rach, see that brown stripe up his butt, LOL!  A true identifier and a true cutie pawtutie.

And here's Rach today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

If you know me and Gracie you know we love squirrels!

Today, in honor of  the tail flipping, tree hopping, nut gnawing, flying and dog teasing critters we bring you our favorite vid, photos and tidbits about squirrels this Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Squirrels actually have a's one defending his fallen friend :(

Squirrels are very innovative and intelligent, and can navigate nearly any obstacle you create to keep them out of bird feeders (even to the tune of Mission Impossible)! 

Squirrels even like to photobomb, as seen in this great shot captured by Melissa Brandts (via National Georgraphic).

In case you were wondering: Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove of Asheville, North Carolina.

If you can't get enough of them outside here's a great live webcam of the SquirrelHouse.

You may not know but squirrels have brought down the NASDAQ stock market twice, once in 1987 and once in 1994.

There are lots of different types of squirrels, black ones, brown ones, red ones, striped ones....we've even seen one without a tail! If you'd like to check out photos of lots of different type of Squirrels, National Geographic has a great photo gallery.

Squirrels are featured in some fun online games (mostly involving gathering nuts :) Take a break, go play and have a great Squirrel Appreciation Day!

We'll leave you with my absolute favorite video of Squirrels, their relationship with their young and getting a little help from their 'friends.'

 Photo of squirrel courtesy of Kathleen Christiansen.

Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Donating some kitty food!

A while back, we ordered our usual order of cat food, litter and some kibble to have delivered to our cabin.

It was during one of the big snow storms that hit the northeast and got delayed. When it finally arrived one of the cases of the organic canned cat food that Mum feeds my kittie bros, Wolfie (in the photo) and Wiggy, was really damaged.

A few of the cans were punctured, and the rest of them were all dented. So Mum called the company and they quickly sent out a replacement case within just a few days.

So what to do with the great food in the dented cans that were perfectly safe? Donate them to a shelter of course!

So Mum took the rest of the cans to the agility trial we attended not too long after that and put a note on them that they were free to a good home, and added them to the check-in table.

Just a few hours later, Mum saw a note on the table and here's what it said...

And the neat thing is that we found out the note was from one of our favorite people to visit with when we go to trials! She is donating to one of the shelters/rescues, Circle of Friends Animal Society, where she adopted one of her agility dogs! Cool huh?

We are so glad the food found a pawsome home!
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