Tuesday, January 27

Motion Reactive Dogs

After Merlin's scuffle at Agility last Tuesday, an instructor recommended I read "Control Unleashed," which is published by Clean Run Magazine.

I have to say, the book is amazing.

Essentially, it focuses on making the dog comfortable being around other dogs that are running and playing. How? By TREATING the dog for LOOKING at other dogs! It's revolutionary! The key point is that after looking at another dog, your pooch should look back at you. You're not forcing the dog to be focused entirely on you (which in a reactive dog is bad news), but rather be comfortable enough in the environment to pay attention to you. They learn that looking at other dogs and things is ok - provided they return their attention to you after a quick looksie.

I might explain it poorly, but if you're interested in animal behavior, it's definitely worth a look. It's not a quick fix, and she even states several times that a lot of dogs aren't cut out for her method (in fact, she emphasizes it so often that it sounds like only dogs with slight reactiveness are right for this training - which are probably the ones not actually seeking reactiveness training).

But I have some new tools I am taking with me to agility class tonight. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, January 23

Obama's New Dog

It seems to me, if Obama wants to make a lot of folks happy and set a precedent with the new White House dog...

... well, he should adopt one of Michael Vick's pit bulls. Think about it - it's awesome on many levels. Number one, he would be showing that it is extremely important to adopt a dog.

Number two, he'd be showing that pit bulls can make good family pets.

Number three, it would make a statement about how what Michael Vick did was WRONG.

The only bad thing, I suppose, is that racists will have something to say about him getting a pit bull.

I firmly believe the WORST thing Obama can do is to buy a Labradoodle as the White House pet. That would be acknowledging that 1) it's okay to breed mutts 2) it's okay to pay $700+ for a mongrel when so many dogs are being executed in dog pounds.

A Portuguese Water Dog probably wouldn't be that bad, except then the breed would become much more popular - and we all know, from Disney films, that is the worst thing that can happen to a dog breed.

Sunday, January 18

Sad news...

I'm sad to say there was a death in the menagerie today... Michaelangelo, one of my aquatic turtles (a painted turtle, to be exact), died today. He was one of my rescue turtles, given to me from a co-worker. He lived in a ten gallon aquarium from the time he was a hatchling until he was a full-grown male adult, and then he came to live with me in my 75 gallon aquarium. He lived in my home for over two years, and did not appear to be unhealthy in any way. He had a glorious Christmas with a lot of fun turtle presents. He is survived by two other turtles, my female RES Donatello (or "Telly") and another rescue turtle, a stunted RES named Porn Star (PS). He will be missed.

Wednesday, January 14

The best dog collars

I ordered a couple of dog collars from http://www.caninecollars.com for Christmas, and I was very pleased! It seems like it can be quite a challenge to find a cute AND unique dog collar for your pooches, but this places has hundreds of different ones to choose from. I ordered the Monsters collar for Popper (because he can be a monster) and the Dalmatians & Hydrants collar for my mom's mutt (who is spotted too). It's great to just look through a page of collars and say, that is sooo pop pop! There were many others I wanted to order, but my funds were limited to just those two. I will be ordering again for a matching leash for Popper.

Tuesday, January 13

Another Pet Food Recall

If you are feeding Optima pet food, this dog food is currently being recalled, after being linked to several dogs' illnesses. Stop feeding it immediately, and return it to the store to exchange it for another brand.

Sunday, January 11

Is your pet a Super Hero?

Finally, someone has created them -
Super Hero Capes & Masks for Man's Best Friend. Cats too. ;)

They're even customizable. I want one for each of my fearsome crime-fighting team. Is that silly?

I made a new dog agility t-shirt so absolutely adorable that I wanted to reach into my monitor and give it a big ol' SQUEEZE. It's available on apparel for both kids and adults. AND, best yet - I put it on three differently colored clocks (pink, blue, and yellow) for your little dog-handler-in-training's bedroom! Cute baby dog agility gifts and other merchandise.

Saturday, January 10

Popper is DOTD!

Popper is Dog of the Day on Dogster. Stop by and leave him a bone!

Popper's Dogster Page

Friday, January 9

Popper's Sister?

I was minding my own business (I swear!) and my SO sent me this link:
I am absolutely convinced this is Popper's sister. Not only did we get him in Cincinnati, and not only was there only ONE other red puppy (a female) in the litter, she is the spitting image of Popper. I had to do a double take when I saw the picture.

I e-mailed the shelter and offered to come get her if she's due to be euthanized. No way would I let that happen. No way.

Last night I cut Roofus's eye holes and trimmed his paws up. It's always funny after I make him eye holes, he gets really excited that he can see again. hehehe! His bangs were actually fine until I gave him a bath a few days ago... his hair resettled somehow so that he couldn't see. Don't let folks fool you into thinking Old English Sheepdogs can see through their hair - they don't have super powers. It needs tied up or cut regularly.

Tuesday, January 6

Great News and Update

Great news - Popper IS entered in the upcoming trial! SQUEEE! So now he'll have TWO full days of agility and a training class, all in a 7 day span. :) I haz a happee!

Merlin starts dog agility class tonight. Well, it's a "preview." It's silly to do previews because all the dogs are accepted into class anyway. And Merlin does some agility with me in the backyard. I would have skipped level 1 entirely, but I do not have access to an a-frame or a dog walk, and he needs to get experience on those first. You can read more about Merlin's life experience at his blog over at my corgi store. Merlin's Blog.

I am adding some cool new "I Love my Dog Breed" designs. I want to get a good portion up before I release them to the public, so stay tuned for more info!

Monday, January 5

CPE Games Workshop at BRAG

Saw this post earlier this morning, and my registration is already in the mail! (Hopefully it gets there this time!)


BRAG will be hosting a workshop on Saturday February 7th about the CPE
games. You will learn how to play each game, walk the course, then
run the course with your dog. The courses will be level 1 courses, so
it will be appropriate for beginner dogs. We will be using the
electronic timers, and we will be scribing and judging each person's
run. There will be lots of chances for questions, and we'll be there
to help you every step of the way.

It will begin at 9 am, and costs $30 for members, $40 for non
members. A second dog with the same handler is $20 for members, $25
for non members.

Preregistration is required. You can find more information and the
registration form at:

We hope to see you there - it should be a fun and informative day!

Friday, January 2

A New Year

And it's already lining up to be another depressing series of events after another.

I entered Popper in the upcoming agility trial at the club - at least, I thought I did.

I was waiting on his CPE registration number, which has to be submitted before the trial closes. I e-mailed them, and found out they had just received my entry *today*. I sent it December 8th, which, unfortunately, was the same date I sent my agility trial registration. The agility trial info was due no later than the 15th, and it only needed to travel roughly 10 miles or so.

I have a strong suspicion it never arrived. Or maybe it arrived today. Who knows. I e-mailed the trial secretary and am awaiting her response. I wondered why I never received any kind of confirmation or communication. I thought maybe I'd get it closer to the trial date.

I had gone and bought Popper some trial stuff - a spiffy new portable crate, bed for it, and was looking into a customized crate tag. Well, now I needn't bother as it'll just go into storage until April, which is when the next trial was.

All that excitement and build-up for nothing. It's like waiting for a few months to go to the circus, only to find out the circus was canceled. Life keeps squeezing out lemons onto my paper-cutted arms.

I am not optimistic about what the trial secretary will say. I'm so depressed.