Thursday, March 27

Flyball Box Training

Well, thanks to the good folks over at, I've gotten a few ideas on how to get my dogs to use the box. They were doing great, and then we set the trigger so that they'd actually get the ball sprung if they stepped on it right (which they do). The noise scared them senseless and they didn't want to have anything to do with it again.

Essentially, we're desensitizing them to the noise. We've been working on it in short spurts and it's been great so far. It helps to have three other dogs that aren't bothered by it at all. A person with a lot of treats slowly moves closer and closer to the box, which the other person triggers repeatedly. Treats are constantly given, and no human reacts to the box noise or to the dog's reaction. We've managed to work to within a couple feet with no reaction at all!

We're also putting duck jerky and treats like that all over the box so the dogs get back into the "flyball box is goooood" mode. One has no problem with that at all - the other is still iffish. Our class instructor told us to just not use the box - how silly is that? Can't get used to using something that you never use!

The progress is pretty amazing considering the corgi is a HUGE wimp. Any little noise sets him scurrying away. He has adapted the best to the sound of the trigger mechanism, and yet he's the same one that won't touch the box anymore. Oh well, we're working on it. It's only been two days!

Tuesday, March 25

Yay for Squidoo!

I just started using Squidoo, and here is my very first lens:

it's all about Old English Sheepdog disc dogs. For all I know, Roofus is the only one, but I figured in case any one else was interested, there you go. I also have an OES Disc Dog design in my online store, which I also wear all the time.

Tuesday, March 18

Annual Go Orange For Animals Photo Contest (GOFA)

Menagerie Mayhem is proud to sponsor one of the prizes in the third annual GOFA photo contest. You may submit up to two photos PER DOG, and they must have the dog, you, and orange somewhere in it. You can photoshop them or not. For more details, head over to and sign up your dog for an account. Check out the forums under "Other Barks and Woofs" for a complete list of prizes. Add your dog's pictures to his account using the tag GOFA 08 to be entered. You must submit your photo(s) by April 8th, prizes will be announced April 10th.

Monday, March 17

Matchbox dog tees and Flyball Updates

In my travels I found a website that takes old matchbox covers and turns them into t-shirts - a very novel idea! I have one on the way for myself, called "The Dog" matchbox label. If you're looking for a cool retro tee you might want to have a look. There are other animals available too, a giraffe, panda, tiger, seal, elephant... basically a bunch of neat stuff. Check it out, the place is called Dream Dogs Art.

In flyball news, Mickey's been working on a flyball box so we can run flyball properly. To buy one online costs between $300-600, which is just obscene since we do this sport for fun, not competition. Right now we use a bucket with a notch and just set the ball on top of the bucket (which we have to weight at the bottom so it doesn't go flying). The dogs run down, grab the ball, and run back. I just introduced my old english sheepdog to it yesterday and he did it correctly on the very first run! Well, he had trouble finding the ball... I need to cut his bangs again. And he's not the brightest animal either. If you're interested in the box plans, we found them at Chakotay's Flyball Equipment Page. We did make a few modifications but it's a good starting point. I don't advise using PVC pipe jumps... there are plans out there for the real wooden ones and they aren't hard to make.

Sunday, March 16

School Defies Agency Order to Admit Service Dog

I'm curious to know how a service animal poses a safety risk to students. I could see where the dog's paws might get stepped on during a class change, but considering service animals have been used in public for decades, I think these school officials are just on a power trip - and it's going to come back to bite them in the butt.

Read on:


Defying a state agency's order to comply with New York's human rights laws, a Westbury principal yesterday refused to allow a deaf student to bring his service dog to school.

Principal Timothy Voels stood outside the main entrance of W. Tresper Clarke High School yesterday morning when John Cave, 15, of Westbury, arrived with his hearing dog, Simba. Voels and a sign language translator spoke to the teenager, his mother, Nancy Cave, and family attorney Paul Margiotta as reporters watched from a distance.

John Cave left and did not attend classes yesterday. The minute-long confrontation was the latest salvo in the yearlong battle between Cave and East Meadow school district officials, who have said the Labrador retriever, trained to alert Cave to noises and oncoming vehicles, poses a safety threat to students.

The school's refusal to let Simba attend classes with Cave sets up a possible showdown with the state Division of Human Rights, which on Monday told the district to change its policy on service animals.

"I don't think they know what they're doing," John Cave said of district officials. "I think they're going to be in big trouble with the state."

The human rights agency yesterday did not immediately seek a court order forcing the district to allow the dog into school. "At this point, we are not ready to comment on what, if anything, we may do," spokesman Thomas Shanahan said. Generally, the agency's orders are carried out without having to resort to a court order, state Human Rights Commissioner Kumiki Gibson has said.

On Monday, Gibson said the district's refusal to allow Cave to bring Simba to school constitutes discrimination. East Meadow Superintendent Leon Campo said the district would appeal.

Campo said yesterday the district would allow the dog inside the school if a court orders it to do so. "Whatever the state courts decide, how they rule on this matter, we will abide by," Campo said. "We'll continue to make the arguments that we're not only acting in the best interest of John Cave ... but all the 8,000 students that we are responsible for."

Cave, a sophomore, has hearing implants but doesn't always wear them because he says they are uncomfortable. During the long-running conflict, he has been attending school without Simba, though his family believes separating the two during school hours will cause the retriever to forget his training.

"This has been a terrible, stressful year-and-a-half for our family," Nancy Cave said. "I'm tired of people discriminating against my son."

With Simba lying at his feet, John Cave told reporters he was nervous before school yesterday. "I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I'm going to go home and rest," he said.

Thursday, March 6

New Website Up!

It's not quite done, but I want to get it crawled by google ASAP so it's mostly up. :) It's called Corgi Chaos. It's essentially the same store I have on Cafepress, but I found a lot of other peoples' designs i wanted to offer as well. I didn't get the domain name I wanted, which technically I COULD get since I've had a store called corgi chaos for years... but I'll just wait for this guy's domain to expire and then buy it as it's not worth the trouble at this point.