Monday, March 26, 2012

Teach your dog something new, have fun and help the Planet too!

March 31st is a big day! At 8:30 PM all over the World people, and dogs, will be turning off their lights for Earth Hour!


What is Earth Hour?


Earth Hour is a global grass-roots movement encouraging individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take positive actions for the environment, and celebrating their commitment to the planet by switching off their lights for one designated hour.


This year is a special year for Earth Hour. As part of the "I Will If You Will" challenge, Raise A Green Dog is teaming up with Castor Pollux Pet Works!


If we get 100 dogs to commit to learning how to turn off their lights for Earth Hour, Castor Pollux will donate 1000 meals to dogs in need!


You don't have to be an expert trainer, or an expert trick dog! Just give it your best shot and have some fun! Here's our challenge, watch it if you dare:


If you'd like to help your dog learn how to turn off the lights for Earth Hour and take our challenge, here are two great vids to help teach your dog to turn off the lights, be more eco-friendly, save energy, reduce your carbon pawprint, turn your dog green, and participate in this Worldwide environmental movement:


How to teach your dog to turn off a wall light switch.
How to teach your dog to turn off a floor lamp switch.


So get pawin', turning off the lights is a great green skill for your green dog! And don't furget to take our 'I Will if You Will' Challenge! Click to take the dare!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Chet and Bernie Mystery Series rocks!

Mum and I have been on a reading spree, reading three of the Chet and Bernie Mysteries, by Spencer Quinn.

A while back, the nice folks at Atria Books sent us three of Chet's mysteries for free to see how we liked them. But with all the moving and work, we never got the chance to read 'em.

But over the past month, Mum has been reading to me every single night before we nod off and dream of our own adventures, windows wide open and all the mountain cool air and smells drifting into our bedroom.

We have been having a great time reading up on Chet's and Bernie's Adventures!

Chet, is the very wise and and funny canine narrator of the Chet & Bernie Mystery Series, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school (“I’d been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn’t remember exactly, although a cat was involved, I believe”), but he’s a detective through and through.

We started with the first in the series, 'Dog Gone It', then moved on to the next one in the series, 'Thereby Hangs a Tail,' and finished off the other night with the third one, 'To Fetch A Thief.' We hear they have another one that we just have to put our paws on, 'The Dog Who Knew Too Much!'


All of the books kept us on edge as Chet and Bernie did their thing as PI's, finding missing persons and taking on an occasional divorce case. Chet and Bernie have a bond that kind of reminds me of mine and Mum's...they finish each others sentences, know just when the other wants or needs something, and on occasion when they get separated, hated being away from each other and would do anything to get back together.

The books are narrated by Chet, the dog, a very smart, instinctively brave and intuitively investigative canine, who makes me chuckle frequently with his sharp wit and cunning remarks. If you like a fun, entertaining mysteries, especially featuring dogs, you'll love the Chet and Bernie Mystery Series!

Here's a little trailer we found on Chet's blog, just as I had imagined them, enjoy!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Squidoo Lenses: The GoPro for your dog, comfy collars for ouchs, how dogs shake and drink!

We've put together a few new Squidoo lenses in the past weeks and wanted to share them with you!

First up is we created a page all about how fun the new GoPro camera is for dogs! Get a GoPro camera for your dog! tells you all about how you can capture great photos and videos from your dog's perspective!

GoPro cameras are the hottest cameras on the market for sports enthusiasts! They are used by more professional athletes, sports filmmakers and core enthusiasts than any other camera in the world. And they are very affordable!

And the cool thing is that they make great cameras for dogs who like to be out doing their thing - whether it be hiking, swimming, kayaking, diving, fetching, or just running around having fun being a dog!


There is nothing worse than an ouch! And to make it worse when you leave the vet's office they often give you one of those dreaded plastic Elizabethan collars to wear to leave your ouch alone, making your dog feel even more uncomfortable.

But there are some pawsome alternatives on the market, and some that you can make from reused materials, that will help your dog heal up nicely and be comfortable at the same time.

Next up! Dogs are fascinating, there's no doubt about it!

And how we drink is one of the most fascinating things about us. We walk up to our bowl, lean down, and magically lap up an unbelievable amount of water in a short time. But how do we do it?

Well, it seems we're pretty efficient in how we lap up the water of life! And contrary to popular belief some say that we drink just as elegantly and efficiently as our nemesis, the cat. You can learn more in my Learn how dogs drink! lens.

And last but not least! After a good dip in the river, I love giving a good shake.

If you have a dog and have given them a bath, you know how much they just can't wait to shake off the water.

Seems that scientists have discovered that there is a correlation between the speed at which a dog shakes and the size of the dog. Who knew, right? Look closely with those GreatEyeglasses.com for eyeglasses and you'll see.

Read on to learn more about how a west dog shakes to dry off.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog!

Back in 2009, you couldn't surf around the Internet without seeing the story of Sophie, the Australian Cattle Dog, that was lost at sea and survived for months on remote islands before being reunited with her family.

The nice folks at Da Capo Press sent us a free copy of the new book recently about Sophie to read!

Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog is the story of a blue cattle dog who against all odds survives an amazing five months on remote islands off the coast of Australia after falling overboard from her family's boat on a weekend outing.

We really liked the book! Although we may never know all that Sophie went through, in the book several folks tell stories about seeing Sophie throughout the five months she was lost on those small remote islands; speculating how she may have swam an amazing five miles, what she may have eaten, and a little about her life away from her family. Gotta tell ya, Sophie is one tough chick!

Emma Pearse, a young Aussie writer, wrote Sophie and it's her first book. We did think the story became just a tad redundant at times, but it was a nice, quick read and the story in itself is really compelling. You can't put it down until you find out that Sophie is back safe with her family! The book also includes lots of great family photos which we absolutely loved.

Here's a little video news report after Sophie was found; happy, healthy and loving life back with her family.


We think you would enjoy the book too! Here are some sources for purchase:

Amazon Hardback Book
Amazon Kindle Version

Friday, March 09, 2012

Highlights from agility practice!

We got to go to agility practice again last weekend!

Mum looked like she was doing some weird things with me in this vid, but we're working on certain moves - more rear crosses in odd places and some gamble work. Some moves worked some didn't. But we always have fun and Mum is super happy with my speed. If you look closely Mum even jumps a jump, BOL! She makes me laugh...

Gracie is still having lots of teeter trouble. Trouble that started in this building, so we worked a little on it; but mostly avoided it. Mum says we're going to have to find some teeters around here to work with, since she does fine with the one at home, but not away at practice.

Gracie did pretty well otherwise, made all her contacts, had some pretty decent speed, but oh did she have a little trouble with the table! Slid right off she did.


And if you're in a hurry, here's a quicker look at Gracie sliding off the table and doing everything she can to hold on! We think she deserves a porterhouse steak for that effort!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Daffodil!

Lucky us, we got a quick pic of the only spring flower that's growing around here, our Daffodil! This was from last week, before Gracie destroyed it zoomin' around the yard with me.

It's a pretty one isn't it? We weren't here this time last year. So, we were very pleasantly surprised to see this little one in our yard.

And the other cool thing is that when we drove the last two times to agility practice, daffodils are naturalized all over the mountains here! Very cool, very, very cool! They don't even look like they've been myoripped, BOL!!!

They are absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes we stop on the side of the road and just taken 'em in in awe....awe!!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Right isn't always right, and wrong isn't always wrong!

Today is the Dog Agility Blog Event Day, a day when dog agility bloggers share posts about certain topics. Today's topic is 'If I knew then what I know now.'

That's a toughie for me and Mum. Why? Because I wouldn't change a single thing of my life in agility with my Mum. She and I have really loved learning this fun sport at the same time.

Neither Mum or I knew anything about agility when we started. Mum didn't even know anything about dogs when she adopted me, since I was her first dog ever her entire life.

We had lots to learn. Early on, all Mum knew was that I was a wild, busy, and very energetic dog, and I needed a job. We were fortunate enough to find a job for me early in my life, a fun one at that! One that we both enjoy and one we enjoy doing together - dog agility.

Over the years we've received a whole lot of training, advice and suggestions through many trainers and other competitors. We take it all in and enjoy learning new things.

But the thing we realized pretty quickly (and this is where the 'if I knew then what I know now' comes in for us) is that we needed and wanted to make sure that the advice, guidance, and training that we received fit with us, was right for me, and for me and Mum as a team.

That's the most important thing for us that we learned and began applying early on, and the thing that we've continued to apply throughout our agility 'career.' Not every system, new 'in' thing, or the latest training tactic works for us; and may not be right for us as a team. Yet, on the other paw, the latest out of style or 'taboo' training or handling move may just be the very thing that works well for us!

Here's a perfect example and right about the time that the 'if I knew then, what I know now' light bulb went off for us:

Back in 2006 when I was just starting in advanced jumpers in USDAA and had only been training for about 10 months, Mum led out at the start and thought she allowed enough room to get that much needed front cross in before the tunnel.

But I took off like a little bat out of 'you know where', and there was no way Mum was going to get in a front cross. So what did she do? Yep, she blind crossed. And then she did another one later in the run (and probably could have done one more before the second tunnel). Worked great for us! And I totally knew what Mum was trying to tell me.

Here's that little run from way back in 2006:




We were so new to agility that we didn't even know that what Mum did was a 'blind cross', she had never heard of one, and she had never seen one. She was just running the line and helping to give me clear direction on where to go next. Instinct kicked in.

We learned after our run that blind crosses were the biggest 'no-no' in agility in our area at that time. People where running up to us and telling us 'you shouldn't do that'! We thought...really? Why not?

Now it seems that blind crosses are back in style! Well, whadda ya know?

So if 'I knew way back then in our very early days what I knew not long after, and now know and believe' is that we always gotta do what's right for us as a team, no matter what system is in style, no matter what people say, no matter what.

We know more about our relationship, our competition history, our training, what works for us and what doesn't, more than anyone could possibly know.

We love learning new things, training with different trainers, taking advice from them and friends, trying new things, assessing them with our goals and our relationship, and applying what works for us. But in the end it's about us and it always will be.

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Thanks for stopping by! Visit all the dog agility bloggers pawticipating in today's Dog Agility Blog Event Day, and read their posts!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

It's time for Crufts, March 8-11, 2012!

Crufts, the World's largest dog show, starts this week and runs from March 8-12 2012, at The NEC, Birmingham.

Over 28,000 dogs and 182 breeds will be competing in events including Confirmation, Flyball, Agility, Heelwork to Music and more. And get those Bose PA Speakers ready, you will also be able to see demonstrations of Drill Teams, Canicross, and other great 'fun with your dog' activities. Here's a preview.



Programming:

2012 Arena Program
2012 GCDS Ring Program
2012 YKC Ring Program
2012 Dog Activities Ring Program - including agility


Key links:

Competitors in agility by event (along with Tori Self and Rev, representing the USA).
Full schedule - pdf
Event runs from 8:15 - 19:30 each day UK time
Crufts on Facebook
Crufts on Twitter
Results

Watch Crufts live on YouTube!

The Kennel Club, organizer of Crufts is also working with Sunset + Vine and YouTube to provide live streaming of the event from the moment that show opens to the time it closes on the internet. The free to view live coverage will showcase all of the action from the Arena, including Best in Show, the Friends for Life final and agility displays. Watch it here live on YouTube.

More info:

For more information visit Crufts website.

UK time:

Thursday, March 01, 2012

I guess I can stack after all!

Let me tell you straight off, I don't like stainless steel next to my teeth. So for first try at stacking, my food bowls were out!

Mum finally got me some plastic bowls to work with. BOL! Well the plastic bowls are so light weight that I get kinda crazy with them.

But Mum had a little idea of putting a rock in the bottom of the main bowl to keep it stable, and voila, I can stack, wheeee!

We started with me putting a stick in the bowl, since I totally get that. Then Mum had me progress to a bowl. Took a little bit of figuring out and a little wackiness, but I got it!

Here's the vid of me learning last week. Love learning new tricks...


Now all I need is a vlc free download to play it on the big screen, woo hoo!