Thursday, May 31, 2007

New tricks!

Mum and I are always looking for new tricks to teach me. We came across this great video of Silvia Trkman and her dog La. You can see more at her website. They are doing some fun tricks that Mum and I want to try out!

We love to visit their site and view their videos - mainly because they do running contacts and so do we - we learn a lot watching them, and pick up a few tips.


It's quiz time!

Take the quiz and see how well you know me!

Get Your Own Quiz!, More Quizzes

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Check out my new Squidoo lens on dog sports!

We've done Squidoo lenses on Dog Agility, Flyball, Disc Dog, Herding and Rally-O so far. And, we are continuing to do more and more. So we thought we would put together a Squidoo lens on Dog Sports, so folks could have one place to go to get a brief bit of info about each sport and then click the links for lots more info.

Check it out!

Thank you USDAA!

The USDAA folks sent us an email today and told us that they talked with the trial secretary putting on the USDAA trial this weekend and requested that they move me back to Advanced Gamblers (see this post for more info). And they are gonna do it! They didn't have to and are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. Thanks so much for that guys.

How nice was that of the USDAA to ask for us!!!! Then, they told us to 'go and get that gamble leg!' So if we do get the Q, we are dedicating it to the folks at the USDAA office, for being so kind and making this request on our behalf without us even asking. Wow, now that's service!

Thanks you guys - you ROCK!!!

Why am I faster?

When I was very young, I was frustrated. Wild, crazy, manic - you name it.

In June of 2005, I started agility training. At my first lesson I took the dog walk and jumps like I had been doing them for years. Mum knew this was the sport for me and the very thing that would curb my frustration, give me a job to do, and make my life more balanced.

I started competing in agility in December 2005, then had my second trial in March of 2006. I started out in the Spring pretty fast, but got super slow during the following Summer. On one run, I even laid down at the start line for a belly rub. Mum started to think I really didn't want to do agility. Huh?

I could have gotten slow because of a number of factors that may have included:
  • Adopting Gracie and adding another dog to the house may have confused me,
  • It got hot,
  • Mum was working so hard at treating me like the alpha when Gracie came that she ended up babying me,
  • Mum used the high pitched voice to encourage me to do behaviors or run through a course,
  • I was a young newbie and had to get used to the whole idea of competing and being confident on the agility course,
  • or, fill in the blank......
Then in the Fall of 2006, I started getting faster again, but why? Mum's been thinking a lot about that, and started making a list that includes:
  • I got used to having Gracie around,
  • It got cooler,
  • Mum realized that babying me wasn't good for me and put a stop to it,
  • Mum stopped putting up with my reluctance to 'perform'; perform commands that she requested and 'perform' with speed on the course,
  • Mum started using a gruff, growly, fun voice with me when we played, requested behaviors, or revved me up to run,
  • or, fill in the blank......
In late Fall of 2006 I got injured (broken metacarpal) and had to be on leash rest pretty much all winter. We kept up with the items listed above that got me faster in the Fall of 2006. Then this past April (2007) I came back from my injury faster than ever. But why? Was it because:
  • I got some time off and just couldn't wait to run again?
  • Mum put me through a regimented conditioning program after my injury last Winter to build my muscle mass?
  • I was put on a new food with a bit higher protein content (Fromm's) and is more nutritionally sound than my previous food (Wellness)?
  • Mum is allowing me to work more independently on the course and trusting me more?
  • or, fill in the blank......
Well, whatever it is, we're glad it's here. But, we think there are things to be learned as part of this process. Throughout the entire time, Mum watched my behavior very closely - what made me sad, happy, nervous, anxious, driven, etc. And came up with plans every step of the way to modify our training, handling and her behavior towards me to get to more speed and more drive.

I have to say it's worked so far, but as I'm sure you all know - things are always changing and we will always have to adapt as we go - keeping in mind the goals; happy Johann, fast Johann and driven Johann - because as a herding breed that is what I'm all about and it's what makes me a happier and more balanced dog.

Oh, great practice last night!

Mum, Gracie and I had practice last night. It was hotter than usual, so Mum wanted to work on my heat endurance - getting me to run just as fast as usual even though it's hot. It worked - with those special treats she brought, ymmmmm......

We worked on gambles and discriminations - those are our challenges right now. Got a few good tips from trainer J, which helped a lot. Now it's just getting Mum used to guiding me correctly.

I have to say that Mum really gets the biggest kick out of me working away from her - in the gamble, or just throughout a run. After a year of being a velcro dog (and making Mum run her butt off), I'm finally confident enough to be more independent. And she LOVES it! Not only because it saves her breath; but because she can see how much I am enjoying it. Really makes her smile - and I love to make her smile.

Gracie did pretty well last night. Since it was hot, Mum wasn't as tolerant as she could have been with Gracie - which instantly shuts Gracie down. So Mum changed her attitude, and Gracie did great - found a tunnel entrance on her own, did her weaves really well, did an 'out' to another tunnel, made all her contacts - and only ran off a couple of times, not very far and came back to Mum.

Right now we are just working on getting Gracie a lot of ring time - to get her totally focused on agility in the ring and not all the other dogs and people. She's such a social butterfly, which we love about her - but it isn't always good in the agility ring! But we'll keep at it.

Off to the USDAA trial this weekend at the training center - some runs will be inside and some outside. Mum thinks we'll just run in the Masters Gamblers and see what happens. If we Q, I'll just move up, if not we may go back to Advanced Gamblers at the next trial.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wow, what a bummer!

We found out today that the results that were given to the USDAA for our Advanced Gamblers run back the end of last April were wrong, even though the club results said we Q'd. So we didn't get that final Q in Advanced Gamblers after all.

We're still kind of new to all of this so learn from our mistakes - be sure and check your results very carefully at the trial, they may not be what the club says.

And to add to that, we already entered another USDAA trial for this coming weekend and moved up for two runs in Masters Gamblers, and it's too late to move back in this trial to Advanced.

So we have a dilemma. Do we go on without the Advanced Gamblers title and continue to compete in Masters, or do we pull from our Gamblers runs this weekend and loose the money so we can get our Advanced Gamblers title at another trial, or do we run anyway for the practice, but make sure we don't Q and then go back to Advanced at the next trial. Hmmmmmm......

Computer woes!

Mum has been having trouble with her Toshiba laptop. First it would shut off when she would touch the speakers, then it would shut down because of overheating, now the darn thing won't even accept power from the AC plug. Grrrrrrrr!!!! So she spent a lot of the weekend transferring emails and programs from the laptop to the desktop. At least she got everything moved over before we lost nearly all the power from the laptop. And she'll still be able to get her work done.

She's looking for a good repair place in town. If you know of any good place, email us, K? Until then she is having the cable company come and run an Internet cable to our downstairs office and then she'll move the desktop computer down there. Right now she is working upstairs and I absolutely hate it!

She has messed up my routine! Not a good thing. At least I'm pretty beat from the weekend's activities and need my rest - 'cause we also have practice tonight. But I'm not liking this messed up routine at all! Drat those dang computers!!!!!! Can't live with them, can't live without them.

Fun Memorial Day!

We had a great time at our trainer's party yesterday. Good food, good friends and fun times!

Gracie and I both got to run a jumpers and standard course - two times each. Yeah! Gracie did pretty well, but got kinda bored after a while and ran off some. Mum needs to come up with some 'secret weapons'.

But even though it was pretty hot and humid, I gave it my all, for all my runs. We still had a bit of trouble on our A-frame/tunnel discrimination (got to work on that more), and ran pretty wide on our first jumpers run. But on our second jumpers run, our timing was a lot better and we ran real well and pretty tight.

Got to meet up with some buds of mine, too! Sure was good to see them and spend a little more time than we get to at trials.

It was a real fun day, hope you all had a great holiday weekend too!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wow, great Show N Go!

Gracie, Mum and I went to the Show N Go at Pawsitive Partners yesterday. It's an indoor facility with new cushy Astroturf type of floor, much better than their previous matted flooring, So we thought we'd try it out, and get some needed show practice for Gracie. There were about 40 or so dogs there. We got there at about 9:30 AM. I went first.

Mum decided to do the excellent level run, since there were a few 'obstacles' - a discrimination, nasty tunnel entrance and a 'have to slow me down' weave entrance - things we wanted to work on. We started off through the tunnel, then hit the dogwalk/tunnel discrimination. Mum led out a little and lined herself and me up perfectly to take the dog walk - good! We have running contacts, so Mum had to barrel it, and I was pretty hyped up. She can be out laterally from me, so it saves her some steps, but she still shortens her stride when I get near the contact - so I can get that darn thing. We hit it.

Then it was on to the tunnel, a-frame, a couple of jumps to the teeter, then table. All good. Then a jump to a nasty tunnel entrance. She tried to keep me out from the wrong entrance with an RFP, but couldn't do it - so we tried again, nope didn't work that time either. So she threw in a front cross on the third try - worked like a charm. Then it was back to the jump to a 180 to the weaves, worked well, when she said easy and had me turn into them. then a jump to the tunnel, and a wide pinwheel. We finished pretty good!

Then it was Gracie's turn. Well, most of you know that Gracie had major focus issues at her last trial - she ran off all four runs. YIKES! She's been good in practice, but competition environments are her nemesis. So this was a pretty good environment to test her out.

Mum's goal was to not use treats in the ring if she didn't have to - or the 'secret weapon', the plastic baggie that she shakes. So, they tried that. Gracie took the first two jumps at supersonic speed, then ran off. Mum got out the baggie and got her right back. So she set her up again, and she ran the first four jumps, A-frame, front cross to a tunnel, then Gracie was to head back up the dog walk and got distracted. Mum called her back and sent her up the dog walk - good girl. Then a quick turn into the tunnel, two jumps to the teeter and then table. Nice! Then, a jump to the tunnel, back to the jump and that nasty 180 into the weaves. Gracie headed a bit for the table instead, but came right back when Mum said 'come weave'! Then Gracie started getting the zoomies - but, she took all the right obstacles - jump, tunnel and tire. Wow she can be really, really fast - Good girl!

Mum was pretty proud of Gracie - but still kind of concerned she still has to use some lure with her. It's gonna take some time. Gracie has another run, so there was more chances to try her out.

Then it was my turn again. Mum did the open level course this time to work on speed. I flew through the entire course, pretty much full speed, made every obstacle and contact, had great weaves and finished with some applause! Wow, I got applause, cool!

Then it was Gracie's turn again. Mum did the excellent course with Gracie for this one. She started off great, wasn't at zoomie speed (thank goodness), but was moving very well. And she focused right up until the time she took the tire that was near the entrance. She still had five jumps to go, but she left the ring to go play with an Aussie. But within seconds, Mum called her back into the ring and she went right to Mum. Mum gave her a treat for that one! Good girl. She took off for the last five jumps like a pro.

Overall Mum thought it was extremely successful. And we had the very best time. Mum, Gracie and I love to run - we think it's in our blood. What a great day. We hope that Pawsitive Partners does more Show N Goes!

We went home, rested up a big, Mum did some yard work - then we took a nice walk around the neighborhood. Fun! We love holidays.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

This Memorial Day we honor the dogs of war!

This is USMC Sargeant Stubby, hero and veteran of WWI, and perhaps the most decorated War Dog in history.

In 1916, the United States was deep in a conflict that changed the world. A time of innocence and idealism would collapse in the face of WWI. As areas of sporting events, education and otherwise peaceful intentions were pressed into service by the military, a group of students participated in military training in Yale Field and were joined by a charming, happy Bull Terrier, one we would quickly identify as a Pit Bull today.

Stubby, as he came to be known for his chunky body and good sense of humor, was an endearing mascot and treasured companion, so when the young men were reassigned to Newport News for final training before deployment, they couldn't abandon him.

It is difficult to say how many soldiers returned home due to Stubby's alerts over gas attacks (he could smell the gas in time for the soldiers to get their masks on) or when he identified and captured (by the seat of his pants, no less) a German spy.

In 1926, after a life worthy of several movies, Stubby died. His remains were preserved and are still maintained (along with his "uniform" made by the French ladies and his medals) by the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, DC.

And this is Chips. Spirited and quick to learn, Chips served bravely as a tank guard dog, traveling throughout Europe, Africa, and Italy with General Patton's Seventh Army.

On one occasion, Chips alerted to an impending ambush. Then, with a phone cable attached to his collar, Chips ran back to base, dodging gunfire so that the endangered platoon could establish a communications line and ask for the backup they so desperately needed.

These are just two of the thousands of dogs that have given their lives to military service over the years. On this coming Memorial Day, we honor our brave brothers and sisters who valiantly served their countries.

There are several sites dedicated to our canine military heroes, including:

A Tribute to the War Dogs of the US Military
The United States War Dog Association

And, if you would like to read more there are some great books available:

War Dogs: A History of Loyalty and Heroism

Dog Heroes of September 11th

From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava

Photo courtesy of the US National Archives.

Friday, May 25, 2007

New header!

We have a new header on our blog - just wanting to know if you like it! New feature from Blogger made it happen. Thanks Blogger!

Illinois’ drive to increase protections for domestic violence victims and their pets!

Illinois’ Senate voted unanimously to pass legislature HB 9 yesterday that will allow judges to include animals in an order of protection.

According to the ASPCA, research has shown that much like children, pets are often used as pawns in domestic violence. Without provisions to adequately protect their pets, victims of interpersonal violence may feel compelled to remain in abusive situations. Consider the following statistics:
  • 83 percent of directors of the largest shelters for battered women in the U.S. indicated women entering the shelters discussed incidents of pet abuse in the family;
  • 71 percent of pet-owning women in shelters reported that a pet had been threatened, injured or killed by their abuser; and
  • 49 percent of pet-owning victims who fled their abusers and sought shelter continued to worry about their animals after entering shelter.
Yeah for Illinois! Read more.

Keeping fit!

Being in dog sports - I'm considered an athlete! Yep, that's right, an athlete!

So Mum treats me like one. She watches my diet, makes sure I get the needed exercise daily for conditioning, massages my sore muscles, gets me chiro adjustments, and warms me up and cools me down after my runs. She's a good Mum.

Here is one of the sites that Mum uses to research information on keeping me in top condition - They have a great library of information, as well as links to the best holistic organizations on the Internet. And Mum got a great book to help with our massage sessions:

Canine Massage

Mum runs with me, and I mean, she runs with me! And, she's having to run faster and faster as I get faster and faster. So she works on conditioning herself too. Sprinting, muscle building, stretching with Yoga and more. But she could do better.

She's thought about looking more into calorie intake and may look into a free calorie counter.

Calorie counting could help her know more about what she eats - along with eating the right foods. She's always been pretty good about eating the right foods - lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, whole foods and breads, no sugar and so on. Adding the calorie counter could be a nice way to get more information for her to make more informed decisions.

It's finally gonna rain!

It's been so dry here, don't think it's rained for a couple of weeks. Not too good for the lawn and plants, and our sore paw pads from the brittle grass blades - but great for Mum's floors inside, they've been clean for days. Guess we'll be spending some time inside today.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm sad.......

Stupid rainbow bridge - who does it think it is taking my friends. I know, seems harsh, but the stages of grief include anger, right?

Well, seems that one of my MySpace friends had to be put down a couple of days ago because of aggression - he was attacking his brother dog and being aggressive with his Mum and Dad; and with children in the house.....well it just wasn't meant to be. We will miss you Chow Pow.

Then this morning as we were checking our email, we learned that a really good friend of ours, Piper, on MySpace, developed very aggressive cancer and was in great pain. His Mum put him down yesterday to ease his pain and help him to the rainbow bridge. We had planned to meet this summer at an agility trial - 'cause Piper did agility off and on, but his claim to fame was therapy work, as well as, demo dog for his Mum's obedience students.

I know that this rainbow bridge is really gonna be OK for us when it's my time or time for my sis, Gracie, or kittie brothers, Wolfie and Wiggy - but what about the folks that are left behind? I like to think that my Mum will meet me on the other side of that rainbow bridge when it's her turn, and that we will play, run, and do agility 'till eternity. Gives me comfort to think that way.

Well to ease our sadness today - we made this tribute pic of Piper. We will always remember his loving smile.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The rabbit chase!

Well I finally did it - I got to chase that darn rabbit.

I swear that thing was huge. Well, maybe not really this huge, but to me it was, BOL! I've seen that rabbit nearly every night and try to get to it through the fence. Sometimes I sit at the back door, going berserk because I can see it on the hill behind our house. And, if that isn't enough, it leaves its droppings in MY yard (well, I have to say that's the yummy part!).

Mum was taking Gracie out the back gate for a little training exercise - which in itself, makes me pretty darn mad (and did I say jealous!). Just then THE rabbit which I had been trying to get at for weeks (maybe even months) flew past me outside the gate. Gracie was on lead, but I wasn't and I bolted through the gate after that big sucker.

Needless to say Mum wasn't too happy I broke my stay. She got Gracie situated, then took after looking for me.

Now usually I'm really good at recalls, but I'm afraid that rabbit had me under it's spell. So I didn't pay much attention to Mum. She didn't like that. When she spotted me, I was heading at top speed through three backyards for the pond. Just then, I lost the rabbit as I looked back at Mum calling me. So I had to give it up for now.

She got me back inside the fence safe and sound, but she wasn't very happy with me - put me in a down stay for, like, EVER!!!! (Well, in human time it was just a few minutes). I didn't like it and made sure she knew it. Then she headed for the back door and called me to come inside - which I did immediately, of course. And she gave me the biggest hug ever, and a big ole treat.

I know I say this a lot, but Mum gets scared when I do crazy stuff like that. We just can't handle more injuries, please!!!!!

Rabbit? You beware, I'll be baaaacccckkk!!!!

Training last night!

Yeah - we had training last night - both Gracie and I.

It was hot, about 85 degrees, but we held up better than Mum expected. She's been working on getting us acclimated to the heat, 'cause it's just gonna get hotter and hotter. Last year's USDAA trial on July 4th weekend hit 90 degrees. Yikes!

Training was great last night. I hadn't run for about a week and a half, since I had been a bit gimpy. But I was raring to go last night. I whined all the way down the road, then I whined all the way walking to the ring, then I whined because I didn't get to go first. Dang!

But them when I did get to run, I was off like a shot out of a shotgun. Mum was prepared, she led out a couple of jumps. We did distance work, discriminations, gambles, serpentines and more. All loads of fun! And just the things Mum and I wanted to work on.

Gracie had a great practice. Mum didn't use the 'secret weapon' (plastic baggie) to see how she would do on her focus on Mum without it. She did great! Throughout the entire hour she only ran off once about 6 feet, and came back to Mum pretty fast. Good for you Gracie!

Saturday we are off to a Show N Go at the Pawsitive Partners training center. They will be having a USDAA trial there in a couple of weeks. Mum wants to work with Gracie there, since they will allow 2 minutes for runs, and treats and toys in the ring - just in case Gracie needs it. Mum's gonna start with no enticement and see how she does. But pull out the treats if Gracie needs it. Wish her luck!!! Sure would be nice if she could hold her focus at trials and be able to compete like me - she does all her obstacles so well; it would be nice for her to be able to show her stuff.

Then on Monday we are off to a big party at our trainers house. Good food, good friends (human and canine) and a chance to get in some great practice. We are really looking forward to it - since we had so much fun last year.

Well, better get my beauty rest, since we didn't get home until late last night.

A Poem: Do I go home today?

Our MySpace friend Daisy, shared this with us today and we wanted to share it with you:

Do I Go Home Today?
by Sandi Thompson

My family brought me home
cradled in their arms.
hey cuddled me and smiled at me,
and said I was full of charm.
They played with me and laughed with me,
they showered me with toys.
I sure do love my family
especially the girls and boys.
The children loved to feed me,
they gave me special treats.
They even let me sleep with them --
all snuggled in the sheets.
I used to go for walks,
often several times a day.
They even fought to hold my leash,
I'm very proud to say.
These are things I'll never forget --
a cherished memory.
I now live in a shelter --
without my family.
They used to laugh and praise me
when I played with that old shoe.
But I didn't know the difference
between the old ones and the new.
The kids and I would grab a rag
for hours we would tug.
So I thought I did the right thing
when I chewed the bathroom rug.
They said that I was out of control,
and would have to live outside.
This I did not understand
although I tried and tried.
The walks stopped, one by one;
they said they hadn't time.
I wish that I could change things,
I wish I knew my crime.
My life became so lonely,
in the back yard on a chain.
I barked and barked all day long
to keep from going insane.
o they brought me to the shelter
but were embarrasesd to say why.
They said I caused an allergy,
and then, kissed me good-bye.
If I'd only had some classes,
as a little pup
I wouldn't have been so hard to handle
when I was all grown up.
"You only have one day left,"
I heard the worker say.
Does this mean a second chance?
Do I go home today?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gere to make movie about Hachiko!

According to Variety, Richard Gere will star in and produce "Hachiko: A Dog's Story," a drama that will begin production in September.

Gere will play a college professor who takes in a dog he finds abandoned. Both man and hound find their lives changed forever as they form an unbreakable bond. Scripted by Stephen P. Lindsay, the project is based on a true story and inspired by the 1987 Japanese film "Hachiko monogatari."

Mom and I know all about unbreakable bonds. This movie sounds like it should be a really interesting.

Check out Wikipedia and learn more about Hachiko!

Traveling to trials and vacations!

We are planning on traveling to a few trials this year - with overnight stays. When we do, we're gonna try this site - Cheap Hotels - when we are price comparing for hotels, looking for reviews and determining which hotels allow pets.

With gas prices the way they are - grrrrrrr - we'll need to save all the money we can! At this site you can make hotel, car, air, vacation rental and vacation package reservations, nationally and internationally.

Hmmmm, vacation rentals! One of our dreams has always been to rent a really cool ocean side bungalow for a month or so, somewhere on the east coast - maybe Maine or South Carolina. Just imagine - waking to the sound of the surf breaking, breakfast on the lawn, walking, running and playing on the beach, lazy afternoons strolling the local sites, afternoon naps in the shade, dinner in town at an outdoor cafe, the surf, the sun -- ahhhh, sounds like really fun times!

This site could really help us out with all of that. They even have a search function based on location and if pets are allowed, which would make it really easy to find us a place. They have competitive rates and discounts on destinations throughout the world. And they have a toll free phone, 24x7, so we can make reservations anytime.

With their international info, we could even plan a really great trip to Italy!! Another one of our big dreams - spending a month there taking in the local sites, running free along the country-side, hiking, biking.

Or maybe we could try Ireland and get some herding in! That would be WAY cool! And, while we are there we might as well pick up a new brother for me and Gracie. Well, we're not quite ready for that and it's that's a few years away, but no harm in dreaming right?

It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week!

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. We wanted to share some great resources that can really help you, your children and those you love - stay dog bite free. These great links are provided by the Humane Society of the United States. Check 'em out, get educated and share the info!

Avoiding Dog Bites
Dog Bite Prevention Resources for Children
Dog Bite Safety Coloring Page
Preventing Dog Bites
Questions and Answers about Dog Bites
Teaching Your Child to Avoid Dog Bites

Monday, May 21, 2007

Finding my brother and sisters.

This is me with my birth brother. (I'm on the left, he's on the right) They named us Ben and Jerry, funny huh?

A few months back, someone emailed me and said that they had seen me (and this same pic) on at the same time my Mom did. It all worked out because I got my Mum and they adopted another dog. It sure was great to hear from them.

Last week when the Southside Animal Shelter featured me in their newsletter, it got me thinking. I wonder what happened to my brother and three sisters that were rescued with my birth Mom? So I thought I would put the word out.

If you adopted a 10-12 week old puppy from the Southside Animal Shelter on the south side of Indianapolis in late August or early September, 2004, let me know - you could be my birth brother or sister. And, I'd love to reconnect with you!

More fun in the sun!

We got to go out and play today - well we do it everyday, but today Mom got out the pool. Fun!!! Both Gracie and I love to play in the pool.

Then we ran around like crazy dogs....

Then I had to herd some birds.....

And Gracie had to try and herd the neighbor dogs....

Then it was time to relax with my second favorite ball....

Hope you all had as much fun as we did!

New pics of Gracie!

My sis Gracie is a character! She's goofy, she's hip, she's a HIPPIE!! Yep, that's what we call her. We didn't have any trials this weekend, so we worked in the yard, and basically cleaned, did laundry and caught up on stuff - I love to help with the laundry.

Well, when we were out in the yard Mom took these pics of Gracie. Hope you like them!! And don't forget to vote here on what her primary breed is - we'd love to know your opinion!

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Southside Animal Shelter featured me in their newsletter!

I just have to say a really big thank you!

I am so honored and grateful - not only because the Southside Animal Shelter featured me in their May 2007 email newsletter today, but also because they found me and my family in the first place.

If the shelter didn't exist, I may not exist - and I wouldn't have such a great life with my Mum, sis Gracie and kittie brothers Wolfie and Wiggy. And Wiggy probably wouldn't be with us either, because he was rescued by the Southside Animal Shelter back in 1999.

They do good work. They are a no-kill shelter located on the south side of Indianapolis. In 2006, they found homes for over 1100 pups and kitties - when other shelters don't want them this shelter takes them.

I know there are so many shelters throughout the country that need help, just like my shelter does. And we hope you support those closest to your heart. If you have anything additional to spare, click on the link below and give what you can. I know they would appreciate it very much.

Donate Now

What is your mutt made of?

I guess great minds think alike!! Over the past few months Mom has been thinking a lot about Gracie's heritage. Mostly because she thinks that if she knows more about Gracie, it would help with her training.

Well, seems that John Woestendiek, reporter for the Baltimore Sun, has had the same thoughts and ideas. Here is a great article on his exploration to find out his dog, Ace's, heritage. And here is a link to the entire series. You will enjoy it.

We know about the DNA test that you can get to find out the primary breed of your dog. For $65.00 you get a kit in the mail, swab your pups cheek, send it in, and in the obligatory 4-6weeks you'll receive the results printed on a frame quality PawPrint™ Certificate of Breed Analysis that will display your pet’s breed composition. If you provide a digital photo of your pet, it will also be printed on the certificate at no extra charge.

The only downside is the Canine Heritage™ Breed Test can only determine if any of the 38 validated breeds make-up your pet’s breed composition. If your pet’s composition contains non-validated breed(s) the test may identify a breed earlier in your dog’s ancestry. This may cause identification of apparent unlikely breeds for your animal’s composition. Breeds are reported as primary and secondary. Primary breeds have been identified as the most prevalent in your pet. Secondary breeds are breed types that are also present but to a lesser extent than primary breeds.

Before we shell out $65.00 for this (I have to say it - really cool test), we thought we'd ask you what primary breed Gracie is made of???

Here is her photo and stats:

32 lbs
18.5 inches at the whithers
21 inches from back of neck to base of tail
Coloring: white on legs, chest and belly, brown coat with brindle mixed in
Traits: She herds like a pro and does well in agility (although she tends to run off); chews anything; chases my tail, is crazy about water and attacks the sprinkler and hose; loves people all ages 3-93 and plays nice with virtually any dog; she is as sweet as they come and hardly ever fights back; although she is stubborn as heck!

So, what do you think is Gracie's primary breed? Take our poll to help us out:

I'm gimpy again!

Well after last weekend's 'Wipeout Weekend', I've been a bit gimpy off and on. First on Tuesday after a zoomie round with Gracie in the backyard. Then yesterday after I jumped off the couch.

Mom thinks I may still have just a bit of nerve damage from the broken paw. So when I put too much stress from jumping on a hard floor, I feel it. And that my muscles are still working their way back to full capacity.

I sure hope that's all it is! So Mom has been giving me lots of massages and stretching exercises. Good thing I have a couple of weekends off to heal up some more!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Winning an argument - group project meme from Plooptionary!

Plooptionary is working on a new graph - a graph about how to win an argument. Well, I am always ready for a good argument. What you may not know is that the last time I got in a really heated argument, I ended up in the emergency room.

But I argue with Gracie nearly everyday. She takes my stuff really well and pretty much always submits - as I bark or snap her into submission. On the other hand, she most usually gets her way through manic persistence. Once she gets something in her head, there is no turning her back.

I don't always win an argument, when I don't it's usually because:

1. The dog is bigger than I.
2. There are more dogs on the other side of the argument and I am outnumbered.
3. The other dog really fights back with fisticuffs.

When I do, it's usually because:

1. I keep on them until they give up.

Now my Mom, on the other hand is pretty good at arguments. She is of the diplomatic sort. Human Grandma always said she should have been a diplomat - instead she went into marketing, where her diplomatic skills have paid off for her. She usually wins an argument when:

1. She can out talk, or be more persistent, with facts than the other person.
2. Says, 'that's a good point, but have you ever thought about......'

But the bigger picture is that we don't think that winning an argument is the most important part of conversation. We think the art of communicating is the most important part of conversation (or arguing); working to understand the others point of view, and coming to a consensus or agreement that benefits both sides. We will, however, definitely stick up for ourselves when it's important.

If more people, and dogs for that matter, communicated more effectively - well I may not have that nasty scare on my backside.

Good luck with your graph, Plooptionary. We can't wait to see what you come up with.

Puppy dog agility!

A fellow agility competitor, Dart, had pups a few weeks ago. Dart is a Vizsla and was ranked #3 in Open Agility at the Vizsla Club of America. They sent us this link of all seven of the pups doing agility! Check it out, it's just too cute for words!

Keep us safe on the lawn!

You've seen the warnings - keep pets and children off lawn!

Everyone loves a lush green lawn, but they can come with a price. A price for us pets, children and adults. Read here about the top 10 reasons to ditch your lawn and garden chemicals; and here about some of the reported affects of these chemicals in pets and children.

When Mom moved into our new house, she was very conscious of what she used in the yard and on the lawn; and she still is. And I thank her for that. She spent a lot of time researching various methods of organic and all natural lawn fertilizers, as well as ways to naturally combat those pesky pests.

When she was researching she came across this site with all kinds of great products that are safe, but yet very affective! Check 'em out - your pets and children will thank you!

I've been tagged!

TipTail tagged me!! First on MySpace and now here, oh well - I'm so interesting and I'll always have something to say, BOL!!! Besides this way I get to know so much more about my friends.

1. I hate the Dyson - but who really likes vacuums?
2. I have a dog sister, Gracie; and two kittie brothers Wolfie (aka Wolfgang) and Wiggy (aka Ludwig). Yep we are all named after classical composers. Mom used to be a flutist.
3. I think that every package that comes into the house is MINE, and I let everyone know.
4. I've had three injuries (two major) in my three years of life - but still managed to get my AX and AXJ and AAD titles in agility; as well as others. I love agility!

Now about my Mom....

5. Mom's main work is as an independent marketing consultant to technology and other companies.
6. Mom does all my work for me on the Internet (duh!) including my website, Squidoo lenses, blog, manages my many sites, including MySpace, and monitors on WikiFido on the side.
7. I am my Mom's first dog, EVER!

Now I have to name those I am tagging --- hmmmm, let's see....

Bark N Blog
Taj MuttHall

10% of our profits now go to dog rescue!!!

Yep, we finally are able to do it! Anything that is purchased through our site -, or whatever funds we earn through our Blog, Squidoo, or other avenues will contribute to our profits.

And, now, 10% of our profits are going to dog rescue and shelters!!! Yeah!!! We are so excited to be able to do this.

We have a list of folks from rescues and shelters that have requested assistance throughout the past months. We'll be working on that list first, since they came first. We'll keep you posted on how it's going.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Training tonight!

We're off to training tonight. Can't wait! Gracie goes first, and it's so not fair. But at least it's a little cooler when I get to run.

Gracie and Mom are going to work on focus while running. Last week she did great - when Mom had the 'secret weapon' - the little empty zip lock bag. So they are going to continue with that and treat at the end of the run. Gracie is very motivated by food and will always come to Mom when she has food - but she needs to focus on Mom even when she doesn't have food. Hope it goes well for them. And Mom has some more ideas up her sleeve.

Mom and I want to work on speed and working away. We've got a few USDAA trials coming up and we're in Masters Gamblers now which is going to be much more difficult. And we'd like to work on some discriminations. We had a bit of trouble with that last week.

For speed Mom is going to work on revving me up, leading out, and letting me work away - 'cause I've started to really like to be much more independent in my runs. She likes that too - makes for a much more fun run for both of us. And she's going to drive and push me much more and take some risks. We did that at the trial last week and my time was great - as well as being pretty darn accurate.

Only downside - sure hope it doesn't rain!

Keeping me cool this summer!

Mom's been thinking a lot about how to keep me cool this summer - at trials and just hanging out in the yard. It's so important to keep us safe from the heat, sun and exhaustion, so....

For the yard, she got me one of those plastic kiddie pools. Gracie and I love it!!! And for trials she got me a few things.

The Canine Cool Coat for when I have to wait my turn to run at agility trials......

A Cool N Dry Towel to throw over me and her after our runs.......
Shade Rite Shade Cloth panels to attach to our pop up tent or put over our portable crate to keep the sun out and let the air through......
And we can attach them to the car with these great Super Magnet Handi Hooks......

We're thinking about getting this neat Canine Cooler Bed for our portable crates.....

And a new sun reflecting coat to keep that hot sun off my black coat and let the air through - K-9 Silver Mesh Cooler Coat......

And maybe this great Portable Water Tub that we can jump right into.......

You can check out all kinds of agility trialing and training gear at our site -!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bad Dog Marley!

John Grogan, author of Marley & Me Illustrated Edition: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog, has a new book out for children ages 4-6.

Mom and I enjoyed Marley & Me Illustrated Edition: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog, and this one looks like fun!

In John Grogan's memoir, Marley & Me, the world learned how one bad dog became the heart of the family that loved him. Now, in this original picture book, Bad Dog Marley, Mommy, Daddy, Cassie, and Baby Louie welcome the puppy Marley to the Grogan family. Marley grows and grows . . . and grows. His eagerness and energy grow with him, getting him into trouble in a great big way. And, in the end, Marley's over-the-top energy is just what's needed to save the day.

Check it out!

We have ice! We have air! We can mow!

Well - the bad threes are over!!! Right?

Mom fixed the ice maker and the lawnmower. And Appel Heating and Air Conditioning came and fixed the air conditioner this morning. I just love those guys. They are efficient, courteous and yep, they don't smell bad! And they are very considerate of keeping your house and driveway clean when they come by. Luckily, it was just a clogged drainage tube, so we didn't have to buy any parts, yeah!

Hey - maybe this is the first of the good threes coming up. Cynthia - I'm telling Mom to go and by that lottery ticket. Great idea - never know!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bad things happen in threes!

Well - it's been pretty tough for Mom this past week. First she couldn't get the lawnmower to work, then the ice maker in the fridge went bad, and when we got home from the trial yesterday the air conditioner in our home wasn't working.

She got the lawnmower working after some tweaking. Then she did some research on the Internet on ice makers and ordered a part from She installed it herself with the help of some grunting, a little cussing and a lot of sweat and we have ice! But she just can't figure out what's wrong with the air conditioner, just a little too complicated.

Luckily it's been cooler this weekend, and she didn't have to pay the extra 80 bucks for a weekend house call. But it's expected to get 85 degrees tomorrow. So we have to get someone here tomorrow to fix it or we're gonna spoil!

Ok, somebody tell her that things happen in threes! Isn't that what they say? Good things and bad things - isn't that right???

That means we're do for three good things now, right??? Awe, sure - we can make up our own rules, can't we?

Happy Mother's Day!!!

For all you dog Mom's out there - we want to wish you.......


--Johann and Gracie

Wipeout Weekend!

Mom, Gracie and I are back from the Indiana Collie Club AKC Agility trail this weekend. Fun times, but weird times - we're calling it 'Wipeout Weekend'!

I ran in Standard and JWW Exec B on both Saturday and Sunday. Boy were those courses tough! Only 5 out of about 50 dogs qualified on both Saturday and Sunday Exec B Standard. More dogs qualified in JWW, but not that many! Tough courses.

On Saturday we had our standard run, we were running great. Then I took the triple with a pretty hard right turn to the dog walk - I totally wiped out after the triple, landed on my side and the side of my face in the dirt - but I got back up and ran the dog walk faster than ever, Mom met me at the bottom and got in a front cross. Ha!

Then came the weaves. The chute was out from end of the weaves about 3-4 feet, perpendicular - and the wind was blowing the chute open. OK, I have to say I've never seen that! Only 4 dogs made it through that course and nearly all those that didn't qualified popped out of the weaves because of the chute - me included. But the rest of our run was good.

Saturdays JWW was pretty tough, but we made it through and got 4th place! Yeah, more MACH points. Mom was running her butt off!

Then Sunday Standard was tough again - so tough that after it was over the judge apologized for it being so tough - WHAT!!! That's a first. We were running great, but I took the tunnel instead of the frame on a discrimination - so after that Mom thought, 'let's see how far we can push it'!!! So we barreled through, taking quite a few risks with speed and handling.

Then came a really difficult stretch - out of the tunnel to the triple, with a really hard left to the weave entrance. Most dogs ended up trashing the triple, or missing the weave entrance; but Mom ran me past the jumkp and at the last minute threw in a front cross and pushed me back a bit, then sent me into the weaves - worked beautifully. Sure was fun to see how far we could push it!!!

Then we had JWW - a few jumps then three tunnels in the middle, then jumps and weaves to the end - weird course, but fun! We were doing well - a little slow in the tunnels - but picked up a lot of speed on the jumps. Then I came to a jump, looked to the left a little and then realized I had to take the triple on the right - oops - totally missed it, barreled through it with my chest, collapsed my legs and went chin into the dirt - AGAIN!!! What the.....?????

Well by that time I was pretty sore - good thing our Doc, Aunt Bonnie, was there. She immediately checked me out and gave me a quick Chiro adjustment. Then I cooled off, rested a bit and she checked me again and gave me a full Chiro adjustment. I was so sore, and I didn't want her working on me! I made a fuss, but finally gave in.

Well needless to say I have been prescribed daily massages for the next week, and more 'cookie stretches' before any activity - as well as major warm up and cool downs after runs and long walks. Ahh, poor me!!!!

I have to tell you, those falls scared Mom a little. She got a little emotional. After all we've been through over the past two years - I just don't think we could take another injury right now. I'll be fine now - let's keep it that way, K?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Vets discover parasite making pets sick!

There is a new concern for dog and cat owners after a dangerous bug is found among northeast Ohio pets. Coccidia is an intestinal parasite found in an animal's waste.

It can cause vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea and even death, NewsChannel5 reported. Local vets are seeing two to three pets a week with the treatable condition. Check out this link for more info.

I sure could have used these when I got my broken paw!

Wow, I really could have used these when I got my broken paw this past winter! Just think, with these Pet Steps, Mom wouldn't have had to watch that I didn't jump off the bed or couch, and would have had more time to make me treats!

The Pet Steps come in a variety of sizes from 2-5 steps and in 8 different colors, including sage green, dark green, dark blue, grey, tan, ivory, black, and light blue. The heavy duty steps are made from solid half inch cabinet grade wood with a weight capacity of well over 250 pounds. The carpet is high quality Olefin carpet which allows for easy cleanup and long wear.

The steps arrive completely built and finished, with absolutely no assembly required – like that! They even have one type that would be great for Wolfie and Wiggy (the kitties) – it has two compartments on the underneath where they could play and sleep – so the whole family could have fun with these. Storage lids, wheels and handles can be added to the steps. Hey, those storage areas would be nice for storing our toys.

With over 4,000 customers, the company guarantees you will be satisfied or you can return them within 30 days - no questions asked. And they donate a portion of all sales to The Humane Society. Cool!

Note: The preceding was a paid review.

Pet Food Recall Link!

We wanted to share this with everyone! It's a link to a wide variety of information on the Pet Food Recall disaster. Keep it handy and feel free to pass around!

From a dog's point of view!

I overheard Mom and others talking at my agility trial recently - wouldn't it be cool if we could strap a camera to our dog and get their point of view on the course!

Well, wouldn't you know. It's here - is reporting about a portable, durable camera available from Takara Tomy that can be hung from your dog's collar and operated by remote control. You can set a timer, triggering the camera to snap photos every few minutes and auto-upload to any Japanese cell phone. Here's the story!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Who will take me if Mom goes first?

Mom has told me she's been thinking a lot about our future lately.

Mom's single and with her Mom in an Alzheimer's unit, brother committed with a family of his own, and sister committed to the long term care of their Mom - who would take care of me, Gracie, Wolfie and Wiggy, if something were to happen?

We came across this free kit provided by the Humane Society of the United States - Providing for Your Pet's Future Without You!

After this sad story on CNN about a custody battle for Alex the Golden Retriever, it made her get started on planning something for us.

Follow our lead and get your free kit. Write to or The HSUS, Humane Legacy, 2100 L Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, or call 202-452-1100.

I got mail!

I got mail today!

Usually when mail or packages come to the house, I ALWAYS think they are mine. Many times they are, but not always. Today, this one was for me!

You may remember, that I got a few new titles at the Quantum USDAA trial a couple of weeks ago.

Mom has so much fun getting on the night after I get titles and ordering my title pins from Clean Run. Well it took almost two weeks to get them this time, but they finally arrived.

Early on, Mom made me this really great Title Pin Box. She got the frame box from Michaels and included a framed pic of me jumping the triple (thanks to Kathleen Shaffer at Then she arranges the pins around my pic. She has the best time putting the new pins in and rearranging. It's kind of become a ritual.

Here I am up my updated Title Pin Box. Now I have my......


And the good news is we only need two more Standard and JWW Q's in AKC to get our next titles - MX and MXJ. We can hardly wait!

Link to us!

Some folks have been asking for a microbar for their site or blog, so they can link to us. Thank you for that!!!!

So we made one this morning. Here it is:

Feel free to right click and save, then link here! We'd love it. And let us know so we can reciprocate!

We're working on more for the blog and the website - So stand by, K?
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