Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some backyard practice and other goings on!

The other day Mum was whining because it was so cold. Well, we got what we wished for, it warmed up a little on Sunday, enough for us to get in a little backyard training work.

We warmed up with some mouse pad work for my contacts. Now she can send me out to the 'get it' pad very reliably. We just need more work with the pad on the dog walk. But it's progressing.

We worked on tighter turns. I've been running pretty wide lately. And when she'd try to cue me to turn tighter, she'd mistakenly pull me off the jump. So we worked on that some. Mum's getting her timing down, and learning to hold instead of move too fast and pull me off. She just needs to remember to work in those moves when she's running me through a sequence. We liked the results so far. Still needs work, but...

Mum also likes to work me on some gambles as much as she can, especially with weaves. She set up three jumps with a rear cross turn into the tunnel, then I had to come back into her with a fairly nasty weave entrance, with her layering the three jumps. Did it the first time and two times after. She was pretty proud!

After that we worked on the teeter. Mum is putting the mouse pad at the end of the teeter for my 'get it.' She wants me to go to the end of the teeter and ride it down to get it faster and get me more confident. We're progressing on that. Mum had no idea how much the teeter based moved with little 'ole me on it. She's gonna have to get some weights for it!

Then Mum wanted to work Gracie on her weaves, tight turns, and some rear crosses. Gracie missed a couple of entrances to the weaves, but made it through nicely about 85 percent of the time. But Mum found that there is something about our weaves that throws Gracie off. One of the poles just doesn't sit right and it confuses her. That's why she's been better on the weaves at Trainers and in competition (at least when she'll stop and do them), than she has been at home. So Mum made sure to check the poles this time and it really helped Gracie.

One of our pet peeves about working in the backyard is that we just can't get any speed up, like we can on a larger course area. Mum can't run full out, or we'll all run into the fence. So Mum works on her voice and takes shorter strides to get us more motivated, and works us on specific things likes weaves, teeter, and close turns.

So here's the vid of our training session:

And on the upcoming agility front...

Trainer has set up a practice session on Thanksgiving Day! How lucky can we get? Turkey, veggies, pumpkin The National Dog Show, football, a little fun chasing the rc helicopter - and now agility!

And we'll probably be able to get in a little practice tomorrow afternoon - weather forecast is looking good!

Our next agility trial is the weekend after next in Lafayette on rubber matting. Since we got to practice on the flooring a few weeks back, Mum and I are really looking forward to it. Then we have a USDAA trial the weekend after that, followed by CPE the next weekend. I'll be working on those SQ's and Gamble Q's for my ADCH. And, Gracie gets to run in both the USDAA and CPE trials. We can't wait to see how she does. Maybe she'll get her first USDAA Q? Here's hoping! Then it will be Christmas. Just can't believe it came up so quickly.

So what else has been going on with us?

We did have to take our car in for repairs the other day - we didn't get bad gas afterall, dang it! Seems the ignition coil went out and we had to have it replaced. Have to tell ya, we are soooo glad we got that extended warranty. The bill would have been over $700, and we only had to pay $50. Whew! Sometimes extended warranties are worth it.

Mum went to take a shower the other day and ran out of hot water. Oh you should have heard the noises! Not fun when it's this cold outside. She thinks the water heater elements are going out on the water heater, again. So she is going to have to drain it, replace the elements and fill 'er up again. She just hates that job! After she's done, I may have to wash her mouth out with soap. Good thing she watched the repair man the last time we had a problem with the darn heater. At least now she knows how to fix it. Oh wouldn't it be nice to have a tankless water heater and get rid of this stupid big tank that needs work all the time!

For fun here's a list of 10 things your dog will be thinking on Thanksgiving Day!

The custom agility skin for our Palm Centro shipped yesterday, so we should have it soon. Can't wait to show to all of ya!

I found out the other day that my Canine CPR lens was nominated for Best Pet Lens in the 2008 Giant Squid Awards! If you Squidoo, head on over and vote for me, K?

A word of caution: Be sure and watch out for thin ice on ponds and lakes this time of year. It can be very dangerous for us pups. Here's a sad story of a couple of pups that went after some Geese, fell through the ice and didn't make it.

Dear Freda...

I will miss you, 'till we meet again...

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Johann's Howling Howliday Giveaway!

We can hardly contain ourselves - Mum and I are hosting a new photo contest/giveaway on our website to ring in the Howlidays. It's called Johann's Howling Howliday Giveaway!

And the best part? I get to play Santa!

So what is Johann's Howling Howliday Giveaway? It's a photo contest and all you have to do is submit your photo, Mum and I will put it up on the website, and then people and pups can come to the site and vote! And the best part is they can vote as many times as they want for your pic. All the instructions are on the site.

Putting together the giveway has been loads of fun. This past week, Mum and I have been contacting lots of new friends we've meet over the past year at companies that have all kinds of cool products, foods, treats and more, for us pups. We got an incredible response and have loads of super cool dog stuff for prizes for our contest/giveaway, and more is on the way! Some of the goodies have already arrived in the mail!

Here's all the cool stuff that's already arrived. Have to tell ya, Mum had to pull out the cheese to keep me out of the giveaway loot!

We sure want to give our biggest thanks to the companies that have donated so far:
  • Dr. Harvey's donated some of my favorite treats - Power Patties.
  • Paw Naturaw provided us with some of their awesome raw, dehydrated pup food.
  • PetSmart is donating a Furminator Essentials kit valued at $100.00.
  • GollyGear is giving some lucky pup a $25.00 gift certificate.
  • RockStarPooch.com provided us with a really cool dog tee.
  • Sew Crazy Dog Lady is giving away a custom collar, and they're not just for small dogs, they specialize in big dogs too!
  • Chimpfeet provided us with some super cool holiday dog toys.
  • Rachael Ray is giving us a paw print stocking filled with Rachael Ray Nutrish dog foods and treats.
  • Hachette Book Group gave us their Indognito book to add to one of the prize packages.
  • Canine Earth is donating a bottle of their new Organic Coconut Mint Cleaner and spray.
  • Petside.com provided us with some cool two-legger tshirts and dog tags.
  • Clean Run is donating three $10 gift certificates.
  • And that's just the beginning, we've got new giveaways coming in nearly every day!
The contest officially opened on our website Sunday and we already have some cool buds with cool pics entered.

We sure hope that you'll enter too! Just find the cutest, funniest, or howlingest, howliday photo and send it to me, ASAP. The faster you get your pics in, the more votes you can get!

Mum and I are gonna have to run out and get some more office supplies, so we will be all prepared to hopefully send you prize package!

Once you enter and want folks to come and vote for you, put this button on your site to remind them! Just right click the button, save on your computer, put it on your blog or site, and link it back to the contest page.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blowing bubbles!

Looking around YouTube the other day for something new Mum and I could do, and new tricks I could learn, we came across a bunch of the folks we follow on YouTube who are into blowing bubbles!

Originally inspired by Misha and Noriko Aso...

It's pretty fun (and interesting) watching all these pups learn to blow bubbles. We're definitely gonna have to give it a try - a great winter fun activity.

Here you can see Josie, Roo, Dazzle, and Hemi - all getting their bubbles on.

Are we agility dogs, or not?

Ok, I have to tell ya, I really don't like this time of year. It's been unseasonably cold. Agility season has wound down a bit, we haven't trialed in three weeks, it's two more weeks before our next trial. And we're not getting in enough practice or exercise.

We're bored, we're edgy, we're testy, we're grumpy, and as much as Mum works with us to work out our brains with games and tricks, and get us exercise on the treadmill, ball work, and doing what we can outside when it's not freezing cold, it just isn't enough. And I have to say, that Mum's even starting to get a little soft around the edges.

We were so desperate for practice this past week, that we went to class in 35 degrees with a wind chill of (oh, gonna have to guess, cause I didn't write it down), maybe 20 degrees. We found out that this is something we don't think we'll be doing again any time soon. It turned so cold, so fast that I haven't even had a chance to get my winter coat in yet.

I ran like the wind at practice, mainly to get warm. When I was done running, I'd sit and look at Mum and shift my front paws back and forth. Mum couldn't focus, because she was too cold, and consequently, handled me poorly. So we didn't feel like the practice was very valuable at all for me.

After running an hour, Mum was a little warmer and worked with Gracie. Gracie did great this week, was super speedy, and made really good decisions, as well as her weave entrance every single time.

After trialing six weeks in a row, with practice during the week, this 'down time' isn't working for us. So Mum is putting thought into what we're going to be doing this winter to keep in shape, keep us working out and keeping us happy.

We'll probably be moving to the barn to train at our weekly time with Trainer, hopefully soon. Luckily we have three trials in December, so that will help. But come January, we only have one or two trials so Mum thinks she's going to find someone to pair up with and rent a ring either on the southside of Indy, or in Lafayette, or somewhere. Or take in open practice at the training center.

At any rate, she has a plan.

So what else have we been up to?

Mum's been working a lot again, which is great. Business is really, really picking up, with sales from the website, and from new marketing clients. She is making hay while the sun shines!

Gracie and I have been working on our Kong technique. The key is to hold it firm with your paw, and really dig in. Gracie's got it down pat, but I still need work, 'cause I end up chasing the thing around the room :)

In between work, Mum has been working us both out on the treadmill, and we've been doing some exercise ball work. We've also been playing games and working on some tricks. My new trick is "are you shy?," with a paw over the nose. And we've been working on my "sneeze on command" trick.

Gracie is rolling over now. For some reason she just wasn't into rolling over. But she's loving it now.

We've also been playing box games, they're fun. Mum lets us offer behaviors with the box and we get good treats for doing new stuff with it. Yesterday, I got completely in the box, that was fun!

We've also been helping Mum with a big surprise we have for all of our friends! We'll be announcing it either tomorrow, or on Monday. Stop on back and read all about it. We think it's gonna be fun for everyone!

The puppies are addicting and way famous!

Awwwwwwwwww. If you haven't seen the hottest dog 'thing' on the Internet, don't miss the Shiba Inu puppies live cam! With over 2 million views, Autumn, Ayumi, Amaya, Aki, Akoni, Ando are sure to satisfy your puppy hunger. Sometimes the cam goes off air, but comes back soon after. There's lots of twitching, yawning, spooning and wrestling to be had. Warning! It's addicting!

They are quickly growing and soon they will have their own furever homes. According to an article on MSNBC.com, UStream.tv, who is live streaming the video now, is planning on outfitting each family that adopts a puppy with their own Doggie Cam, so the millions of viewers can keep up with their favorite pup.

Unique skins!

Mum and I had some fun today. You may remember that she got a Palm Centro not too long ago. Well, to keep it protected she decided to get a skin for it. But we didn't get just any skin, nope! We got a customized skin from Unique Skins.

Being the agility addicts that we are, what did we get on our skin? Yep, agility stuff of course with a pics of Gracie and I doing agility on the back skin, and an agility course map on the front skin. Too fun!

It was pretty darn easy to do. We just made sure that we had the right device, because they have skins for all kinds of phone, pda's, iPods, laptops and more. Then we uploaded our pics, arranged them on the phone with the easy interface, saved it and added it to our cart. And the skins were only $6.99 for both front and back. Guess from the pics, I'm not going to be needing any Lipovox anytime soon, even if the camera does put on 10 lbs.

Here's what the front of our phone is going to look like...

And here's the back...

We can't wait to get them in the mail and add them to our phone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dogs in slow mo!

We love slow mo shots.

It's just so cool to see us pups in action - broken down And, it's a great way to see how we move. Just put a little Minka lighting on the subject and you can really get an idea of how a dog's body works. Check out these cool slow mo vids from LucidMovement - including running, fetching, and jumping!

The sales are starting early this holiday season!

Looks like the sales are starting super early this holiday season, but I don't mind.

We saw that Sears is having their Big One Day sale! Mum loves to go to Sears. Why? Because they have Lands End clothing, her absolute favorite clothing to wear for our dog activities.

Whether it be running at agility trials, training in the backyard, or just a walk around the blog, they have amazingly warm coats, great pants to keep the rain off, wonder fleece to keep her toasty, and the best gloves, hats, and scarves anywhere in her opinion. Not only are they stylish but the price is right too.

Tomorrow, November 15th is their Big One Day sale, door busters from 7:00a.m. to noon only! Some of the deals we saw on their site for tomorrow's big event are the Sylvania 32” class LCD HDTV for only $429.99. (limited quantity only); great for watching my agility runs on the big screen. :)

And we saw the Canon Powershot 8.0 megapixel 4X optical digital zoom still camera for only $149.99 before $30 instant savings - a fabulous price, and and good little camera for some pawsome dog shots. Lots of our agility buds have been asking about an inexpensive quick shot camera, this would be a good one with a great price.

Nina Ottosson intelligent and interactive dog games!

We've had our eye on these really cool interactive and intelligent dog toys from Nina Ottosson for a while now. So we were super excited when we found that they are now offering them through Clean Run!
"Nina Ottosson's range of durable interactive games have been designed to stimulate a dog's brain while reinforcing his relationship with people. Each design has a unique mechanism that requires mental as well as physical dexterity to work through the challenges and reveal hidden food rewards.

The games can be set to different levels of complexity to satisfy all ages and types of dog. So whether you have a Forrest Gump or an Albert Einstein, there is a Nina Ottosson game to suit him!"

Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado GameNina Ottosson Dog Brick Game

Nina Ottosson Dog Magic Game

These toys would make a perfect holiday gift for your pup. They are fun, entertaining, provide wonderful interaction and play time with your dog. Once your dog gets their bearings, there is no telling how much they can learn.

I know that my sis, Gracie, after coming to live with us after being taken from the hoarder, had a hard time with intelligent games. But Mum worked with her and before long, she was using her noggin, thinking for herself and have a great time!

And everyone knows, right, that using their brain tires out a dog just as much as a long, long walk. And with winter being her in the US, this would be a great indoor game for your and your dog to keep entertained, active, and learning!

Here's an idea to keep you occupied!

I don't know about you, but I love peanut butter. Put it in a Kong and it's gone. Put it in my homemade frosty paws and see them disappear like magic!

So when we found this video of a pup working his peanut butter, we just had to share it with you. He looks like he's having a good time! So much fun in fact he needs to do it up hotel las vegas style and put his act on the road!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Veterans Day we salute our K9 war heroes and those that provide service and therapy to veterans in need!

Today is Veterans Day in the United States, and we are saluting all the dogs that serve our country, as well as the many service and therapy dogs that provide our returning disabled and injured veterans with the help they need to cope with the challenges of every day life.

War dogs are veterans too.

Working along side brave soldiers, K9 Corps have helped soldiers since WW I fight for our freedom - saving many, many lives, with no regard for their own.

Many times these dogs are wounded and in need of therapy themselves. In 2008, a new $15 million veterinary hospital for four-legged military personnel opened at Lackland Air Force Base, offering a long overdue facility that gives advanced medical treatment for combat-wounded dogs.

Over the years these dogs have given their lives to military service, while others return home to live out their life in the peace and comfort of their handler families.

Visit my Dogs of War lens and learn more about our canine military heroes throughout history.

Service and therapy dogs give veterans something to lean on.

Far too many soldiers return from the war with disabling injuries and disabilities that make it difficult for them to cope with the challenges of every day life.

But there is hope. Specially trained dogs of of all shapes, sizes and color are helping these veterans in a wide variety of ways to give them the assistance they need to help them live a more full life.

This lens honors these canine heroes who give of their lives to veterans throughout the United States, and serve them selfishly - providing them with much needed assistance, comfort and friendship.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Reliable Running A-frames DVD available November 18th!

The highly anticipated Reliable Running A-frames DVD from Rachel Sanders will be available on November 18th from Clean Run, so we added it to the front page of our shopping site - JohannTheDog.com.

Here a synopsis from the site...
"More and more handlers desire a running A-frame. Some worry about the unknown long-term physical effects of stopping dogs on the obstacle. Some feel that their dog's structure or a previous injury makes stopping him unsafe. Others have dogs that clearly indicate they aren't physically comfortable with the behavior being asked for, no matter how hard the handler works on weight shift and motivation. And still others have competitive aspirations and want to perform the obstacle as quickly as possible.

But no matter why you want a running A-frame, there is finally a realistic approach to teaching an accurate and consistent running A-frame to all varieties of dogs."
If you're planning to train a running A-frame using Rachel Sanders' "box" method, the first thing you'll need is a PVC A-frame box. You can build your own box using 3/4" PVC and 3-way elbow connectors from the hardware store, but if don't feel like searching for parts and cutting your own PVC, you can purchase this kit from Clean Run.

Click on the links or go through our site - JohannTheDog.com. Don't forget we contribute 10% of our profits to dog rescues and shelters!

Practice this week and other stuff!

Been another fun, busy week here at the May Ranch.

Since Trainer has been at Cynosport the past two weeks, we haven't had a formal practice. But we did get in that nice practice at the Halloween party last week.

And we were fortunate enough to get in two practices this week. The first was at Trainer's house; where we rented the ring for an hour or so.

Mum worked my dog walk, which is coming along but still needs work. I missed a couple of contacts, but generally made most of them. Guess I need one of those magnetic bracelets to get me to stick those contacts!

Then we worked on my frame. After two weekends ago at Ohio and the bobble we had after the frame, we needed to figure out better ways to handle me on turns after the frame, so Mum worked on several things - post turn, rear cross and blind cross. They worked great. We also worked on a bit of a deceivingly difficult weave entrance, and some tighter turns. Mum was happy with all the work I did.

Gracie got to play too. She made all of her dogwalk and frame contacts. And did pretty well on her weaves. She wasn't the most focused out in the middle of country nowhere with big trucks driving by and stirring up lots of dust from the gravel road, but she did pretty good.

Here's the vid from Tuesday - has some of our dogwalks, frames and weaves for both of us:

On Thursday night we went to the Lafayette Kennel Club and rented the ring for an hour with a friend. Mum wanted to get me on their fairly new matted flooring to decide if she wanted to enter me in the AKC trial there in a few weeks. And she wanted to get in some nice practice for both me and Gracie.

Mum practiced many of the same things with me - dog walk contact, frame turning, tight jumping and weaves. She also worked on getting my speed to the fullest running on the flooring once she knew I was comfy with it; so that I would best understand I can run full out there. Worked great.

Gracie had a rough start to the night. Mum took her out of the car. It was dark and she had never been there before. Lots of traffic from the road. She did her business (which we think now was from stress) and when Mum gave her a treat for pottying, she wouldn't take it. She was over the top stressed out.

So Mum took her inside and led her around for a nice walk around the building, letting her sniff. Then she worked on her target games, which she loves, did some tugging, and Gracie seemed pretty good. Mum ran her and Gracie immediately ran off. So Mum put her leash on, took her out of the ring on leash and walked her around again, while our friend ran. She played more games with her. Then took her out again to run.

Gracie became the most amazing agility dog ever! Well, in our family anyway :) She was running her dogwalks full out, frame too, making all her contacts. She was handling at a lateral distance very nicely, incredibly focused and did some nice front and rear crosses. On one run of jumps she voluntarily took the weaves thinking that's where Mum was leading her (she was, btw). She made that entrance all on her own from about six feet away. Now that's showing some confidence. Mum gave her loads of good girls for that!

So Mum decided since Gracie was feeling so confident she would test her weaves even more - not helping her with the entrance and handling her at more of a distance. She did so great! We were both super proud of her.

Gracie is really starting to get more and more confidence every time she runs, which is just awesome to see. Can't wait to see how she does in her two trials in December.

In other stuff...

Our car has been acting up a bit. Mum tried to get it into the shop and guess what, can't take the car in for three business days and they may have the car for at least three days. Sheesh! Whatever happened to the good ole days when you could take your car in, get a ride home or to work, and then get a ride back to pick up your car the same day. Guess they are long gone.

The nice thing is that Mum thought the car was acting like we got some bad gas - no, not that kind of gas - the kind you put in your car, silly! We filled up last night and all the car trouble symptoms are gone. Guess time will tell.

Last week Mum ordered us some more vitamins and treats. During our first year with Mum, Gracie and I both had a vitamin a day to supplement our diet (recent rescues need that). After about a year she took us off, because our food, treats and the supplementing of cooked foods that Mum provides, gives us all the nutrition we need.

But Mum decided to change her mind. We've been incredibly active this year with all the agility, walks, hiking, zooming, herding birds, agility and more. So Mum decided to put us both back on vitamins and she's seen a good difference in both of us. We just have more energy and we seem healthier and happier, so Mum has decided to keep us on them.

We love the vitamins, but we love the treats even more! Freeze dried raw Green Tripe, and Lakse Kronch salmon treats our favorites. All three we got from our favorite online store, OnlyNaturalPet.com, which is one of the companies that we are an affiliate of on JohannTheDog.com.

Hope you all had a good week and have the best weekend!

Lovin' those Squirrels!

Those of you who know me, know I love squirrels! They make great chasing material and make me go manic, manic, manic when I see them dart through the yard.

So now I am embarrassed. Why? Because I missed Squirrel Appreciation Week - it was October 5-11 this year. How dare I miss the week honoring my favorite nemesis!

See this pic of the enemy? It was provided by a new service that helps bloggers find free use blog pictures and photos for the blogs, and websites. It's free to register, free to use the photos, you get some cool code to help get the photos in your post or site, they host the pics, and they have a pretty decent selection! Totally worth trying out, we bookmarked the site today.

So here's something I did not know about squirrels! The vid below shows that squirrels use their memory, rather than their sense of smell to find their food. Guess with all the Mission Impossible squirrel vids on YouTube, I coulda guessed, but here's a bit of scientific proof. But with my 220 million olfactory receptors, I still think I have an edge on the little buggers. Now if I could just catch me one!


Mum planned on raking the leaves, but we had other plans!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This dude is ready for movie stardom!

You know how much we love tricks! This dude has some cool ones that we are definitely going to take note of. And we love how they put together the tricks in a story line. What a great audition vid for movie stardom!

Thanks to Dog Lovers Cafe Blog for finding this gem!

We love our print calendar!

Every year about this time, Mum starts putting together a photo calendar for 2009, that has loads of pics of me, Gracie, Wolfie and Wiggy.

It's great to have all of our favorite photos from the previous year in one place, to remember, cherish, and ooooh and awwwwe over :) They are also great gift ideas, for not only us pups folks, but to share pics of your family and give them as holiday gifts and cards.

Lots of our buds use VistaPrint. And we see that they have new product available to create a personalize Print Calendar, along with their other cool selections - desk calendars, wall calenders, poster calenders, calender magnets, wallet cards, folded calendar cards and new 4x8 calendar cards that would make awesome holiday cards for your friends and family.

Their photo wall calenders have loads of nice background designs to choose from as a backdrop to your photos, and you can customize them further by adding in special birthdays and anniversaries, or in my case, my Gotcha Day!

Vista Print also has loads of other things you can have personalized and customized. We kinda like their calendar magnets, and sticky notes for our customers. And lots of our buds have received their business cards. And that's just a sample of the printed items they have. Check 'em out if you're looking for some personalized gifts this holiday season.

Gracie's on Charming Pet Products website!

My goofy sister, Gracie, is on the Charming Pet Products website! Two years ago, Gracie got a really cool Christmas Henrietta for Christmas. She absolutely loved the toy. Being the goofy girl she is, Mum couldn't help but capture her playing with it on video. Gracie still plays with it, it's one of her favorite toys - she sometimes plays with it so long that she needs Orlando vacations scheduled to rest up!

The other day we saw that they posted the YouTube vid on their website! Check it out!

It's National Animal Shelter Appreciation week!

This week is National Animal Shelter Appreciation week!

In 1996, The HSUS launched National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week (based on an idea from the Capital Humane Society in Lincoln, Nebraska). This campaign was designed to acknowledge and promote the invaluable role shelters play in their communities and to increase public awareness of animal welfare issues and shelter services.

During National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, the first full week of every November, The HSUS promotes and celebrates animal shelters across the country through media and public outreach.

You can find materials here to help you celebrate National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in your community.

I love the folks at the shelter who rescued me. If it wasn't for them, I'm sure I wouldn't be with my Mum, my family, or have the amazing life that I have.

So we were thinking about what we would do to honor and thank our favorite animal shelter - The Southside Animal Shelter - here in Indianapolis.

Over the course of my short agility career, I have acquired a pretty nice stash of toys. Sometimes I get these toys for entering the trial, sometimes when I get a Q, and sometimes when I get a placement. Since we have an abundance of toys, I'm going to send along some of them to my shelter, where I am certain they will be put to good use.

So in appreciation of your local animal shelter, here are a few things you could do to help them rescue more pups, and help pups find loving, furever homes:
  • Gather up some supplies, like cleaners, newspapers, old towels, blankets, dog shampoo, pet toys, discount furniture, treats, and other items. Then take them down to donate to your local shelter/rescue. They always need items to help them care for the animals.
  • Give of your time to help shelter pets feel more comfortable during their stay - go and walk the pups and pet the kitties. They will love you for it.
  • Send a card or letter and tell the shelter workers and volunteers that you appreciate all the hard work they do.
  • Donate funds to help the shelter continue their good work.
  • Find your next pet and adopt from your local shelter or rescue. Great pups, kitties and other animals come from shelters - just ask me, or my kittie brother Wiggy!
  • Consider being a foster parent for animals in need!
  • Help transport pets that need to be relocated to shelters and rescues.
  • Donate some office supplies, like printers, paper, old computers, phones and more to help keep them running more easily, inexpensively and smoothly.
  • Sponsor an animal in need at a shelter and alleviate some of the expenses of spay/neuter and vaccinations.
  • Are you good with people? Volunteer at your shelter to help run events, put out newsletters, fund raise, and help them get the word out about the animals in need.
  • Or contact your local shelter/rescue and ask how you can help.
We hope you'll do what you can to help out your favorite shelter, or a shelter near you! And happy National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week!

Dog agility in the movies!

If you love dog movies as much as Mum, Gracie and I do, here's one you'll love! Firehouse Dog sniffed it's way into theaters and onto DVD last year. We've seen it a couple of times, and never get tired of it.

Dewey finds a new life and hopefully new wholesale fashion jewelry!

Here's a synopsis...
Shane (Josh Hutcherson), a teenager is being raised by single firefighter father Connor (Bruce Greenwood). Add the recent death of Shane's fire-captain uncle (Connor's brother) in the line of duty and the pending closure of their neighborhood "Dogpatch" fire station, and both Shane's propensity for skipping school and brooding in his room and his father's obsession with work seem easily explainable.

When a mutt called Dewey, really a very spoiled superstar dog named Rexxx who's been presumed dead after a parachuting stunt gone wrong, turns up in a burning building and is rescued by the Dogpatch crew, Connor puts Shane in charge of caring for the dog and finding its owner. Shane and Dewey clash immediately.

However, Dewey's unique talents, combined with his good fire-fighting instincts, soon win the admiration and affection of Shane and the entire Dogpatch crew.
One of our favorite, and movie turning point, scenes in the movie is the dog agility competition at the annual Firehouse picnic. Go Dewey!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Updated: Last day at USDAA Nationals and Cynosport!

Here are the results from USDAA Nationals today!
See the courses.

Grand Prix Finals Results
European Jumpers
European Jumpers Performance
Team Relay
Versatility Overall Final
Versatility Pairs
Team Overall Final

Read a recap of Rallo-O!

Paws for Reflection had a very successful APDT Rally Obedience Trial as part of the 2008 Cynosport World Games. There were over 30 teams participating in this three-day event and every team qualified in their class at least once. Read the results.

Splash Dogs Cynosport World Dock Jumping Championships

November 1-2 2008 Results
October 29-Nov 1 2008 Results

This month is Pet Cancer Awareness Month!

I've lost too many best buds to cancer. And I have way too many buds currently battling this horrible disease.

From reading and researching, I have learned that one in four dogs die of cancer, it's the number one disease related death in pets, and cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age.

This month is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. So I've been wearing my Pets4Pets Collar that supports the Animal Cancer Foundation.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has an informative site that talks about cancer in pets. Be sure and check it out for info on the most common cancers in pets, the various types of treatment, and more.

A year ago, a cancer survivor whose dog provided him comfort during the ordeal is offering free cancer consultations for any pet in the U.S.

Jack Stephens, founder of Pets Best Insurance, says his dog Spanky was the source of emotional comfort during his bout with throat cancer. He says to give something back, he's offering free cancer consultations to any pet within the U.S. through Oncura Partners. The national firm specializes in pet cancer.

Stephens says the consultation will be underwritten through his company, Pets Best Insurance. But families do not need to have a policy with his company. He added that pet owners will need a referral from their vet in order to obtain the consult. Click here for more information from the Pet Cancer Foundation.

Here's a list of the Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Canines:

AVMA’s 10 Warning Signs of Canine Cancer
Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
Sores that do not heal
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
Offensive odor
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
Persistent lameness or stiffness
Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

Our good friend, Spencer's brother, Raja got cancer back in 2005. Over the following eight months after diagnosis, his Mom and Dad documented his fight for life. Their planned documentary is a tribute to the courageous Raja and an effort to help others understand this horrible disease. Visit the official site for Red Dog Diary: A dogumentary in the works of one dog’s battle with cancer.

Most recently our good friend Cruella, who is the constant companion of our blogging friend Tish, has and is currently battling the after effects of some nasty tumors and other major health issues. She's a real fighter, that one! Stop by and wish her well. And Lydia, sweet Lydia - our best friend of blogging buddy Therese at PetSitUSA, is now in remission, thank DOG!

There are some wonderful sites on the Internet with information about cancer in pets. Visit these to learn more...

National Canine Cancer Foundation
Cancer Resources from the Morris Foundation
Vital links from the Animal Cancer Foundation
Pet Cancer Awareness
American Veterinary Medical Association Online
OncoLink: Veterinary Oncology
Vetinfo4Dogs - search of their site for cancer
Canines In Crisis
Dog Owner's Guide:Human cancer treatment goes to the dogs

And remember, early detection and treatment are the best ways to manage cancer in pets. Check your pets regularly, provide them with the best foods, water and environment you can, take your pet in for regular veterinary check ups, and help keep them healthy and happy.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

But where's the squeaker?

USDAA Nationals and Cynosport updates!

With the time change and staying up late again last night to watch the Steeplechase finals, Gracie and I are pretty beat!

But it was really fun. Thank you USDAA for the live streaming, we are really enjoying it!

We got to see a couple of pups in the 16" class that I have run against this and last year; and we were cheering them on!

Here are the results from yesterday (Saturday):

Day 4 - Saturday, November 1st
See the courses.

Steeplechase Finals and PSJ Finals
Team Gamblers, PVP & VAA
Grand Prix Semifinals
Overall Team Standings
Versatility Overall Team Standings & Veteran AA Team Standings

If you'd like to see the replay of the final events, the USDAA website has video on demand of the finals that have occurred so far.

Day 5 - Saturday, November 2nd. here's what' on tap for today:

Team Relay & PVR
European Jumpers & EJ Performance
Junior Handler competitions
Grand Prix Finals

Upcoming Live Streaming for today, final day (times are Eastern Time):
  • 12:00 PM - 11/02/2008 - Dog Agility Masters Three-Dog Team/Performance Versatility Pairs Championships
  • 03:30 PM - 11/02/2008 - Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championship Finals
If you'd like to see the standings for Flyball competition, we posted them on our Cynosport Squidoo Lens, check 'em out. Finals are today.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I love Firefox!

See this shot? It's a screen shot of me watching the Steeplechase finals tonight. I use Firefox 3.0.3. To get all three screens (one of the course map, one of the live feed, and one of the running order) in one view, how fun! I used an Firefox add-on called Split Browser, and then to get the screen shot, I used Fireshot, another Firefox add-on.

Love, love, love Firefox!

Wordle fun!

From Wordle.net. Try it, it's fun!

USDAA nationals update @Cynosport!

If you stayed up to watch the live streaming video of the Performance National Standard Finals at the USDAA Nationals/Cynosport last night, I'm sure you weren't disappointed with the coverage - we weren't!

We were very glad that they took a moment of silence for, Jonathan and Amy's dog, Mesa who passed away suddenly on their way to Cynosport, and was to compete in the PNS Finals. How very, very sad. We are sending all of our best doggie loves and prayers to them.

Tonight, and tomorrow, we are looking forward to watching the remaining live competitionst. If you go to the link, you can see some of the performances from last night. (The lights went out for a little while in the beginning, but hang on, they come back on before the competition starts!).
  • $10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase®/Performance Speed Jumping Championships Finals - 11/01/2008 06:30 PM
  • Dog Agility Masters Three-Dog Team/Performance Versatility Pairs Championships - 11/02/2008 09:00 AM
  • Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championship Finals - 11/02/2008 12:30 PM
Results from yesterday are as follows:

Day 3 - Friday, October 31st
See the courses.

Steeplechase Semifinals
Performance Speed Jumping Semifinals
Grand Prix Quarterfinals
PNS Semifinals
Team Standard, PVS, and VAA Standard
Performance National Standard Finals

Emily Snider has been great about uploading vids of their runs from the event. I'm sure we'll find more as folks make their way home to their Internet connections. For now, here's Emily and Ivie, they qualified for the Steeplechase Finals. Love watching them run.

On tap for today and tomorrow:

Day 4 - Saturday, November 1st
See the courses.

Team Gamblers, PVP & VAA
Grand Prix Semifinals
Steeplechase and PSJ Finals
Junior Handler competitions

Day 5 - Sunday, November 2nd
Team Relay & PVR
European Jumpers & EJ Performance
Junior Handler competitions
Grand Prix Finals

Shhhhh....if you're real quiet, you can hear the leaves falling!

YouPet.com, a global pet community!

Mum and I found a new pet website today! YouPet.com is a global pet community where you can make friends, blog, chat, peruse the forums, upload videos, play games, get pet tips and more!

It's a fun little site, a social networking site for all types of animals from dogs (of course!), to cats, birds, fish, horses, reptiles, hamsters, bunnies and more. We had a little fun with the site the other day and created a profile. See I'm already friends with Tillman, the famous skateboarding dog of Greatest American Dog fame.

We set up our account and created my profile, which was easy. Then we uploaded a few pics, did a quick blog so folks can get to know me, checked out the dog forum, and made a few friends, which is always fun. And we entered their Halloween Costume Contest with our LOLDog Prisoner pic we took the other day to try and win a Petco gift card which we could always use. And if you hurry, you can sign up and invite five new friends to join and get a really cool YouPet.com t-shirt.

It's a fun little site where you can make new dog friends from all over the World. Check it out, may be worth a bookmark!
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