Friday, May 28, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta stop and smell the roses!

Look what we found on our walk the other day! Wild roses!

We found an entire bush of them on our walk to the mail box. It was tucked way back in the brush (which we are sure was full of ticks), so Mum got back in there instead of us and picked one so we could see it up close.

Oh so fragrant! Sometimes you just gotta sit back on your patio furniture and stop and smell the roses, right? Or in Gracie's case, eat 'em, BOL!

Wishing you a pawsome holiday weekend!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some nice endurance walkin'!

After a rainy weekend, the weather has been amazing down here the past few days. About 75 during the day and 50-60s at night. Great walking weather.

So Mum, Gracie and I have been doing about 5-7 miles a day walking, broken up in two sessions, morning and late afternoon, around the pastures to get in some endurance work. It's a gorgeous site to walk. Here's a quick pic from the other day.

Mum started giving me a new nickname - Calvin Bo-rail (after the real Calvin Borel, the first jockey in history to win 3 of 4 Kentucky Derby’s consecutively.) If you watched the Derby you may remember Calvin, on Super Saver. Calvin always likes to hug the rail, so that's how he got his nickname Calvin Bo-rail. Well, when we get to this certain part of the pasture where the fence is, I love to hug the rail, even though Gracie tries her best to edge me out

This afternoon it started getting cloudy and much more humid, and Mum needed one of those nice walk in tubs after our walk today, she thought. I thought she smelled great, BOL!!

Gracie smelled pretty good too, after enjoying a nice roll in yucky stuff :)

video

Think it's going to rain tomorrow. Mum's ready for a little break from all this walking. Hope you are having a pawsome week!

OMD! Looks what's at Clean Run - Gracie's Favorite Toys!

We got super excited the other day when we were checking out the what's new section on Clean Run!

They are going to carry chickens! These aren't just any chickens, these are toy chickens that squawk like you've never heard!

You may remember a few Christmases ago, Mum gave Gracie her first Henrietta, and she absolutely loved it. We sent this video on to the company that makes them and they put Gracie's video on their website, and sent Gracie another one as a gift. That time they sent her Henrietta the Original Wild Chicken. And Gracie loved that one just as much.


Not only does Clean run have the original Henrietta, but they also have Earl the Ultimate Chick Magnet, Beakham the Sporty Bird, Grandma Hippie Chick and Jeff E. Coli Surfin' Chicken Dude. (Ok, Gracie, settle down :) You can get them in two sizes small for $4.95 or the large (that's what Gracie has) for $8.95. And they have the new Balloon Toys too! You can see 'em all here.

They aren't super tough toys, so we suggest you supervise, but Mum loves using the Henrietta as a reward for Gracie after some nice agility practice on a jump sequence or her weaves around the outdoor décor.

Gracie goes crazy for it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

IFCS WAC 2010 Results Are In!

Congratulations to everyone who competed in this past weekend's IFCS World Agility Championships in Clevedon, North Somerset, UK.

The Russians did very well at the event winning the Gold and Silver for the Team event, followed by Canada for Bronze. See Team Canada's blog for updates throughout the weekend.

You can see all the results (individual and team) here on the USDAA website, or here on the WAC2010 website. Course links are also available here from the entire weekend.

Congrats the US's Angie Benacquisto & Dylan, Gold Individual Snooker and Individual Biathlon Jumping, and Silver in Individual Standard Jumping; Daneen Fox & Masher for snagging the Gold in Individual Snooker; Stephanie Spyr & Rage, Gold, and Janelle Julyan & Eve, Silver, Individual Standard; Rosanne DeMascio & Drifter, Gold, Individual Biathlon Jumping and Individual Gamblers; and Ann Zarr & Skylar, Silver, Individual Standard Jumping and second place in individual combined.

Some video is beginning to show up on YouTube. Here is Susan Garrett with Feature and Encore during their Invidual Standard Runs, Encore finished in 3rd place and Feature won the gold medal with first place.


Word is that the IFCS World Agility Championships 2012 (WAC2012) will be in the US, no city or date announced as yet. Thanks Karen Moureaux for the update.

Hope everyone gets home safely!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Interesting items we found lately...

We found some interesting articles and other items surfing around lately and wanted to share them with you!

But first....wanted to show an old postcard drawing of me done by Nate Dickinson, back in 2007. Mum found it the other day...think he really captured my wacky side :)

Here's an interesting article from Dog Star Daily's Ian Dunbar talking about reinforcement schedules and their effectiveness in training results.

Some interesting medical related articles, including this one that talks about bone cancer care technique for dogs could at some point benefit people, too. And this one that talks about a breakthrough brain cancer surgery effectively helping dogs could also help humans.

If you missed the PBS program "Through a Dog's Eyes" a few weeks ago, you can still catch it on the PBS website. The documentary follows a handful of people as they journey through the heartwarming and often challenging process of receiving their service dogs. Well worth your time.

Be sure and secure your pup in the car when taking those summer getaways, or just a quick trip to the park. Believe me from experience, it's important! Visit my Squidoo Lens on Dog Car Safety for some tips. Several car insurance companies have riders that cover your pets too, it may not be super cheap auto insurance, but could be valuable if you don't already have health insurance for your pup.

Always good to keep up on...how to help a dog that's choking.


And don't forget to visit my Canine CPR Squidoo lens for info on how to perform CPR on your pup in case of an emergency!

Ever wonder who are the folks behind this video that's been making the rounds via the Internets?


Well, it's from these folks, a Hungarian group called Népszigeti Kutyaiskola or People Island's Dog School who call their dog training method 'the Mirror Method' and use clicker training as well as mirroring to train the dogs. Interesting stuff! Check out this Examiner article and their website for more info.

Snake in the grass!

The past few days, Mum, Gracie and I have been working on endurance hiking....walking the mowed areas around the large pastures at least twice a day about 2-3 miles each time, since Mum was getting a little sore from the ridge hiking, BOL!

We geared up with our harnesses, went out the front door to the porch area, and I knew something was up the minute I stepped out the door. Started the sheltie spinning thing and barking my fool head off.

Mum didn't know what to make of it, but once she led us down the steps from the porch, and out the sidewalk that borders one of our flower beds, I headed right for something I saw in the bed, and then she knew what was up!

Just then the little buggar, which Mum thinks was a Black Racer snake, coiled up to get a good view of us. He looked like he was about to strike, so Mum quickly backed us up a ways, while trying to get a closer look and a photo, but the little guy took off down his hole in a hurry, probably because of all our barking. Guess he was just as afraid of us, as we were interested in him. 

So we have found out over a day or so that these guys aren't venomous, but may strike when threatened. At least that's what the caretaker of our property says. And he's living happily in the flower bed, just where Mum is planning on putting the edge of our fenced in area in the front yard.

We saw the little guy again this morning, but he scurried away. Many on Facebook have shared that these guys are worthy of keeping around to keep down the rodent population, and the bad snakes. But since the caretaker has tons of experience with these guys and said that if cornered they would strike at us, he volunteered to relocate the guy, so that we wouldn't get into trouble sometime down the road after Mum gets the fence put in. Mum's all for that!

Hopefully our fence will be going in within a couple of weeks. Have to say I gained a lb., since not being able to get my zoomies on...even with all this hiking and endurance walking. But Mum's sure I'll work it off pretty quickly once the fence is up. Oh, and did I say FREEDOM!!! Bring it on!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some agility you don't see everyday!

We just love finding pups and people having lots of fun doing agility; even when it's an unusual breed for the sport.

Here's some agility you just don't see everyday. This is Flash the Basset Hound.


This is Panda, the Saint Bernard!


And then there's Morgan, the agility Mastiff, who seems to really enjoy his runs :)


And of course who wouldn't love Mr. Bojangles, the Great Dane, doing the 60 weave pole challenge in under 18 seconds :)

They may need some safety glasses to get through those tunnels, but I think it's just so cool that they are out there with their pawrents having a grand ole time enjoying agility, no matter what the breed!

One last one, this is DJ, a Borzoi, competing in his first agility trial, nice job!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Great trick vid!

Found this trick vid the other day on YouTube and see some new tricks I want to learn!!!

They do a nice Skidboot...I've been working on my Skidboot trick lately and it's coming along pretty well. All I need is Mum in some riding boots and we'd make a great cowboy act, BOL!

Really like that 'birds on the nose' trick, but am sure the birds would not be safe with my bird herding obsession.

Thought they did a great job compiling all their tricks. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

IFCS World Agility Championships this weekend!

The IFCS World Agility Championships get underway this weekend in Clevedon, North Somerset, UK. Here are a few key bits of info...

The USDAA is planning live streaming & video on demand of all the action at the IFCS World Agility Championships 2010. You can view each day - Friday, Saturday or Sunday for $4.95 per day or get all three days for $12.95. Click here for more information and to order. And here for a schedule of events for the three days. You can also view a brief schedule on the IFCS website, along with info on past events.

EDIT: Looks like the pricing for the live stream and VOD have changed over the past couple of days. It's now $2.95 per event live and $14.95 for the entire weekend with VOD. More info...

And if you can't watch via live stream or VOD, here are a few sites that may be able to help you keep up with the action.


There are a total of 97 competitors taking part in WAC 2010, from the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and the US.

US Team Members include:

12" jump height:
Angie Benacquisto and Toy Fox Terrier, Duncan
Daneen Fox & Papillon, Masher
Janelle Julyan & Corgi, Eve

16" jump height:
Angie Benacquisto & Rat Terrier, Dylan
Suzanne Wesley & Poodle, Sonic (replacing Elizabeth Evans & Hemi (injury))
Rhonda Koeske & All-Breed, Tack

22" jump height:
Elise Lynch & BC, Ting
Kate Moureaux & BC, Driven
Stephanie Spyr & BC, Rage

26" jump height:
Rosanne DeMascio & BC, Drifter
Dudley Fontaine & BC, Maverick
Ann Zarr & BC, Skylar

Meet the judges of the event here, and see some of their past course work.

Good luck to all the competitors!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Great hiking this past weekend!

This past weekend was great weather...so we took good advantage and did a whole lotta hiking!

On Saturday, we hiked past the ponds and up the ridge. Then ended up at the large pasture, where the caretaker had mowed all the way around, so we got to do some level land hiking too.

We started out near the ponds, where we saw lots of wild flowers. Mum didn't have time to look them all up but we saw....yellow daisies.

And we saw these purple flowers that Mum recognized, but couldn't remember their name.

And we saw lots of daisies....

Even a whole field of them near one of the ponds.

Then we ventured into the deep woods with lots of dappled sunlight, where moss grows on the path to make a super soft carpet. We took a little break there.

Mum got a vid of us climbing the steepest part of the ridge. You can't see how steep it is, but you can hear how out of breath Mum got. Wonder if we need to get her one a finger pulse oximeter, so we can keep tabs on her, BOL!

video

Then we made our way back to the ponds. The caretaker dug a big hole to burn some of the dead logs and brush that had clogged some of the paths. The burning has died down now after a couple of weeks, so Mum let me be king of the hill :) Just below this hill is a super big hole, now full of ash and burned logs.


Once past the ponds we decided some endurance flat land walking was in order, so Mum led us to the big pasture where they mowed the path all the way around.

On the way, Mum caught a wif of something oh so sweet. It was a wild rose bush, they are everywhere blooming along the woods edge.

We crossed the little creek bridge and were nearly to the end of our walk, when Gracie is most interested in plopping herself into the creek where she got the Giardia a few weeks back. She still wants to plop in so badly, but can't. Mum got a little of her wacky self on tape this time.

video

We walked a different ridge on Sunday, and each day walked for about an hour and a half to two hours mostly up the ridges of the mountain with some flat land hiking in the pastures. So much fun...

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Story vids!

Just love when folks put their dog's tricks into a story! Here are a couple of themed trick vids we found lately.

The first one is Ymer, the Swedish Vallhund. He's on a mission pawsible to get the secret sausage recipe from the local butcher.


And this one is a group of Rhodesian Ridgeback rescues, including Rounder, Chase and Pride, a trio of cleaner uppers! They keep this up and there's no way their going to need quick weight loss, BOL!!!


Someday, maybe Mum will do a cool story trick vid of us! Hmm......

Monday, May 10, 2010

Around the dog agility blog-o-sphere!

It's time for around the dog agility blog-o-sphere!

Save the date: Karen Pryor's first ClickerExpo of 2011 will be held January 21-23, Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach, CA. More info here.

Good luck to the US representatives at the IFCS World Agility Championships, next weekend in Clevedon, North Somerset, UK. Team members include:

12" jump height:
Angie Benacquisto and Toy Fox Terrier, Duncan
Daneen Fox & Papillon, Masher
Janelle Julyan & Corgi, Eve

16" jump height:
Angie Benacquisto & Rat Terrier, Dylan
Suzanne Wesley & Poodle, Sonic (replacing Elizabeth Evans & Hemi (injury))
Rhonda Koeske & All-Breed, Tack

22" jump height:
Elise Lynch & BC, Ting
Kate Moureaux & BC, Driven
Stephanie Spyr & BC, Rage

26" jump height:
Rosanne DeMascio & BC, Drifter
Dudley Fontaine & BC, Maverick
Ann Zarr & BC, Skylar

For interviews with competitors visit the USDAA Website News Section.

Congrats to those winning spots at the AKC World Team Tryouts this weekend for the FCI Agility World Championships in Reiden, Germany this coming October 1-3, 2010.

We hear lots of folks had a great time watching the live stream from Agility Vision. Would have loved to see it sitting back in some nice home theater seating, BOL, but we did a ton of hiking this past weekend - the weather was just too nice to stay inside.

See the results for rounds 1-5 here. The following won spots on the World Team at the Tryouts. The two remaining team spots for each jump height will be chosen by the Team Coach and the Team Captain using the dogs’ show record both during the year, performance at the AKC Nationals, as well as their performance at the Tryouts:

Small:
Marcy Mantell and Wave
Dee Anna Gamel and Kelsi

Medium:
Karen Holik and Sizzle
Diane Goodspeed and her Sheltie Demon

Large:
Channan Fosty and her Border Collie Icon
Terry Smorch and his Border Collie Presto

Agility Vision has a listing of running orders, course maps and full results sheets from the weekend. You can also see info on their VOD and DVD's from the weekend, as well.

A fun video of agility handling in the forest...now that we have tons of trees around I think we may have to give this a try!


AgilityVision.com now has Agility iMap available for the iPad on iTunes. Here's a link to a YouTube demo. Agility iMap is the ultimate course designer for dog agility on the iPad. Design a course with your fingers (or paws!).

USDAA regionals get underway in a couple of weeks. First up the SE regional in Perry, GA, June 4-6, followed by RM in Farmington, UT, June 18-20. The remaining regionals are:

July 9-11 - Northwestern US, Auburn, WA
August 13-15 - South Central US, Fort Worth, TX
August 26-29 - Northeastern US, Logan Township, NJ
September 4-6 - Southwestern US, Prunedale, CA
September 10-12 - North Central US, Rochester Hills, MI

Qualifying events for the 2010 tournament season began September 14, 2009 and continue through September 12, 2010. Entries and fees for Cynosport, October 12 - October 17 - Louisville, Kentucky must be received no later than Tuesday, Tuesday, September 14.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Our drop in agility class!

We got to to do some agility a week or so ago...and DOG were we loving it!

Mum found a place for us about 30 minutes away, where we can sometimes go to drop in classes to see how we do in a (well, kind of) trial environment.

We haven't been on a full course in over a year, and we were ready!

Mum would like to see more speed with me and she knows I can give it. The flooring was just a tad on the slippery side, so I had trouble with tight turns and digging in for speed. Mum wanted to see how I would do full out on my dogwalk and if after all this time I'd make my contacts. I did, but just barely.


It was a great to get a chance to run a full course and get a handle on what we need to work on. Mum wants to work obstacle focus for me, and continue with my dogwalk training. We'd also like to work on speed with the teeter and are going to start with the 'bang' game. That should be super fun!

After me it was Gracie's turn. Dog! You shoulda seen Gracie's weaves and frame! Doggone, you can't see her do her weaves video, but you can kind of see how fast she did them once she got the entry :) The weaves needed to be taped down for the Grace-ster, cause she moved them every time about four inches or so. And her running frame was so, so good. Mum was proud of her.

Mum's thinking if she can just get Gracie more obstacle focused, cue her earlier, and get her more used to distance work, she's going to do really well. Mum thought she had matured a little, came back to her much better than she had done in the past. And Gracie definitely needs more dogwalk work, since she hasn't had as much as I have.

We got our netbooks going and edited up some video for ya...here's Gracie!


We met some great new agility folks, who didn't care at all if I barked my fool head off, and who didn't care at all if Gracie ran off some. That was so nice. 'Cause both of them happened :) They gave a big cheer after my first run at practice which was super nice! We are looking forward to seeing them at some trials later in the year.

So now we are anxious to get our agility ring set up here. We're in the market for an a frame and dogwalk. Mum's not sure yet if she's going to buy them, buy the frame works, or have someone local build them for us. But she's looking into it.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cranimals, yum!

Oh we got lucky again!

The nice folks at Cranimals sent us (free :) some of their pawsome new ZenDog treats and their Very Berry supplement to try out.

We are loving them!

Remember our trip to the vet? Well, travelling 1.5 hours there, getting a three hour exam, and travelling 1.5 hours home can be pretty stressful. So Mum decided she to give us the ZenDog treats on our trip. Any dog can use a little Zen on a trip like that, right?

We loved the treats, yummy stuff! They contain calming organic pumpkin extract, which they say is a potent source of tryptophan which helps promote the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, the Zen hormones of the body. And you'll remember that pumpkin is also good for the intestinal tract, which Gracie and I can always use, especially in stressful situations :)

We don't know if it was because of the treats or not, but Gracie and I were both little angels during our vet visit. Who knows? Could have helped a lot!

The ZenDog Biscuits contain organic flax protein powder, organic pumpkin seed extract, organic dehydrated cane juice syrup, organic dried cranberry skin, organic cranberry extract (Cranimals™ original), organic potato flakes, cold pressed organic/conventional cranberry oil, and cold pressed organic flax seed oil. All really good stuff, and you know how much we love organic!

Mum's also been giving us the Very Berry supplement they gave us to try. We're doing very well on the supplement, with absolutely no change in our poo or anything which is always a good sign. And we love the taste in our food! Mum has even somedays given us some in a spoon as a treat, yum!

Their Very Berry is made from certified organic blueberries, cranberries, and red raspberries, three of the world's healthiest fruits. They say that scientific studies show that the polyphenols in these berries have anti-carcinogenic, anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. We've heard that for humans too.

Thank you so much Cranimals for sending us these samples to try! Mum wants to try the ZenDog treats with Gracie the next time we go to a drop in agility class, and see if her focus is better. Will be a great test!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Turtle!

The other day we were out hiking after a big rain, and what to my wandering eyes should appear? A turtle.


Ok, I've never seen a turtle in my life. I admit it, I've been sheltered. We were walking along the makeshift road near the ponds, when suddenly I jumped about a foot high. That's kind of high for a little guy like me - 12 full inches to be exact, four more inches and I'd have been jumping an agility jump.

Mum didn't see the turtle before I did, and good thing I jumped because Mum thinks it was a snapping turtle. So she had me come closer to her, while we both inspected he/she at a distance.

Oh boy did that thing give us a startle, and bring on lots of curiosity. Good thing curiosity didn't kill the dog, huh? BOL!!! Here's a little vid...

video

The nice thing is it gave Mum a little chance to work on reactivity with the Grace-ster. Notice how Mum gives her good girls every time she turns away from the turtle and comes toward her.

Mum just wishes she had her clicker and some treats on hand. Gracie did pretty well, turning away anyways :)

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Check out our tour of a local organic farm!

Over at Raise A Green Dog, we blogged today about Mum's recent tour of River Ridge Farms.

It's a local organic farm, where we'll be getting our organic raw meats, and hopefully some seasonal fruits and veggies!

Mum learned a lot about raising chickens, veggies, fruits and more while she was there, and that it's a big job to work a family farm!

Here's a sneak peak and a chance to meet some of the chickens and pigs.


Mum had a blast touring the farm, and picked us up some raw chicken necks and feet , until we can work with them to course grind. More on the raw chicken feet later :)

Hope you enjoy it!