Saturday, March 29, 2008

Poor Lacey

Little Lacey got spayed yesterday and it was a little bit more than she bargained for. Not only was she spayed but she had her rear dew claws and a few teeth removed too! She is a pretty sad little pup today in her teeny tiny cone. She is so laid back than when the cone gets "stuck" on something she just stops and stands there. It is funny and sad all at the same time. When the cone comes off, she perks up immediately but she also starts to lick her feet so it goes back on pretty quickly. I'll try and get some pictures tonight or tomorrow of the sad little tyke.

Coulee on the other hand had a great morning. We met Marja and Tundra for a dog walk and as you can see, the two of them had a blast! She really loves Tundra and the two of them haven't been on an off leash walk together for a long time. They didn't mind the cold but my hands were sure freezing by the end.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Starbucks Fetish

I'm not the only one who can't get enough Starbucks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Better than a photo

Here is a picture my niece drew of the furry kids... We laughed at how accurate Coulee's nose was. :)

The scribbled out part is where she wrote "pests" instead of "pets". A freudian slip perhaps. :)


Long Weekend

It was great to be able to spend the long weekend with my family. My sister and her family arrived on Friday night after Marlin and I spent the day cleaning and hanging out with the dogs. We went on a great walk down at Peenaquim which is where all these photos are from. Don't you love the way Lacey stayed nice and clean for the company?

The dogs and kids got along great - unless you count the fact that the kids (the youngest especially) were fairly scared of Coulee. They don't liked to be kissed but they are at the perfect height for Coulee and she couldn't resist. They are also pretty scared whenever she barks - which is fairly frequently! But Lacey did wonderfully and the kids also liked Coulee whenever she was calm. Playing fetch was also a pretty fun game for all of them.

I don't think any of us had as much fun as we would have liked, we were too busy working! Marlin and Steve installed our laminate floor in the livingroom (it looks great!!!) and also started on the frame for a new visual barrier for one of our fences at the daycare. We have people that walk down the street, see the dogs and walk up to the fence to either stare or stick their fingers through...not a good idea. The dogs go crazy and bark their heads off. We will ask people to leave and despite us being polite, they are pretty rude back to us. So we are hoping the visual barrier will help avoid the problem. If nothing else, it will provide some shade for the dogs as well.

Instead of dying easter eggs this year, the kids dyed wool! Last night the kids got to work painting some wool with Kool-aid and had a blast. My sister now has requests to knit it into fingerless mitts for the oldest, and an easter egg for the youngest. They also painted some raw wool for me so I can spin it into yarn. I can't wait to see what it will look like.

They left this morning but were having trouble with their Van so I just found out they are on their way back - good for us, not so good for them.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Preparing for the big visit

I'm really looking forward to the long weekend. It is the first long weekend I've had off in a long time and I don't even have it completely off. The 2 cat visits I have will barely feel like work - they live on the same street as me, and the cats do not like to visit so I essentially run in, check their food, water and litter, do a quick health check (i.e. lay eyes on all the cats and make sure they don't seem to be labouring with any sickness) and run back out. And to make the long weekend extra special, my sister and her family will be visiting.

We've been preparing Lacey by introducing her to any kids I can get my hands on. :) First she met some kids at the indoor dog park, then she met Natalie's kids when they stopped by one day at the daycare. Then I brought her to Natalie's house one night when we had a meeting about the adoption fair where she met Alayna's two boys as well. This past weekend we had friends stay with us and they have a two year old boy. She did pretty good and only got freaked out a few times when he would run towards her. I'm pretty confident she'll do great with my nieces as they are a little older and are pretty respectful of dogs' personal space.

Coulee should be OK with the kids. She does love to give them kisses (they are at a great height for kisses!) but Sarah, the oldest loves to play fetch with her and they keep each other fairly entertained. The last time they visited Ali, the youngest, was still a little unsure of her but I'm hoping a little aging on both their parts will improve their relationship.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Job Search

When I started dog walking 2 years ago, I had quite a bit of time on my hands. Even as the business grew, I had large blocks of time between dog walks and cat visits that I wanted to fill with work to help suppliment my earnings. My only problem was I never knew what my schedule was going to be and I would often get calls with just a few hours notice. Dog walking was my main priority so I wanted to be able to maintain that flexibilty, yet we really could have used a little extra cash. I scoured the classifieds and did managed to do a few contract jobs that I could do from home. Then Marlin and I got a newspaper route. It was great exercise, not-so-great income, and had horrible hours. We had to have the papers delivered by 7 a.m. so we had enough time to come home and get ready for work. Plus it was 7 days a week so we never got to sleep in. The good news is, those horrible hours rarely conflicted with our "day" jobs so it was a great fit. The weird thing is, I can't seem to stop looking for work! I have barely any spare time, but help wanted ads always catch my eye and actually make my heart skip a litle. I find myself thinking, "I wonder what the hours are?"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Agility and Rally

So Tuesday night was agility with Coulee. Sigh. Never ever mention to Amanda that you didn't feel challenged. That definitely wasn't the case the other night! As usual, Coulee did great on everything I asked her to do except stay at the start line. She is regressing back to her old self of breaking every stay and it is starting to annoy me. Here, let's look at another puppy picture to put me in a better mood.

Lacey did pretty good at Rally last night. Getting her to heel is a bit of a problem because she is so short so Amanda has brought a touch-stick today for me to train her with. She'll show me how to use it this afternoon once Lacey comes to daycare - she is taking the moring off after her exciting evening last night.

Lacey will not stay in a down for any length of time so Amanda suggested I start asking her to down before I feed her. So last night after class I tried. She sat and sat and sat. She wouldn't even look at me and she wouldn't be lured by a kibble. She would scoot back a little bit and sit again thinking that maybe she was too close for me to put the dish down. Finally she laid down and I quickly put the dish on the floor before it was too late. This morning it was the same thing. Poor girl. She just can't figure out what I want her to do so she can get her meals!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Puppy Pics

Amanda has been asking to see some puppy pictures of Coulee for a while now. So I finally remembered to dig through our old computer disks to find them. Wasn't she cute????

It is nice to have time

Sunday was a gorgeous day for a walk so Marlin and I took the girls down to Peenaquim Park. I've really missed going for walks with the family. When I was dog walking and pet sitting, my husband did a lot of the walks on his own and with the daycare, the dogs don't get walks during the week. With the time change and the start of warmer weather, I can see lots of neighborhood walks in our future.

On Sunday, we were out for over an hour. The girls ran around like crazy, met lots of other dogs and even went for a bit of a dip in the icey river. Lacey got all the way up to her belly! She just might turn into a little swimmer. We'll have to wait and see.

I learned something on this walk - taking photos of short dogs in tall grass is a challenge! I got tonnes of photos of Lacey with grass in front of her face or with the grass in focus and not Lacey. Sigh. We'll have to find some wide open, mowed places for walks so I can take better photos.

We also went out on Saturday with Deirdre and her two dogs - Cricket and Jetta. I brought the camera but forgot the flash drive - story of my life! The weather was so nice we didn't want to leave. The four of them had a blast together.

Training Journal

Julia left her training journal behind one night and the next morning, when I spotted it, I knew I had to have one. She had beautiful pictures of her dog Tea on the front. I cracked open the cover to find out where it was from - So Amanda and I hopped on the computer and started creating our own. I got one for Coulee and Lacey. I've never kept a training journal before but Sarah and Amanda have been encouraging one for a while now so I figured if I had a beautiful one, I'd be more inspired. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Our first seminar

Coulee and I attended our first agility seminar this weekend. It was a lot of fun. We started out on Saturday night with a "lecture" on understanding your dog and yourself and how you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. We watched a lot of video and it was good to see lots of different types of dogs succeeding at agility - from wild and crazy to slow and laidback. It gave me food for thought for both Coulee and Lacey.

Sunday morning was the actual seminar part where we got to run our dogs. Coulee did GREAT!!! All her mistakes were my fault and they were generally pretty minor. I dropped an arm while stumbling in the sand, so she missed a jump. I sent her too early to a tunnel and she chose the wrong end. Things like that. Her start line is definitely improving and I was able to get two jumps ahead of her on the start and do a front cross after the two jumps and a tunnel. The only unfortunate thing was I didn't feel challenged. I was hoping that we could walk away with something concrete to work on that I didn't alreay know about. I know our start lines need work. I know she doesn't know how to weave and I know that I need to help her get over her fear of the teeter. What I did finally figure out was that Coulee could be a really good agility dog if I could just get over those things and then we could advance to more challenging seminars. I also reconfirmed that Sarah and Amanda are great instructors.

The video below is the final run of the day when we finally put the whole course together. You'll see that we run past the weave poles and we baulk at the teeter - we forgot to set up a spotter for it and as Coulee is already kind of afraid of it, I didn't want to risk it without someone there.

I could have stayed to watch the afternoon session where I probably would have learned a lot more but I was tired of freezing my ass of in the area when it was beautiful out and I hadn't seen Marlin in a few days so I decided a walk in the coulees with the two girls was more important. More about that later.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Too many pictures

Every day, I try and sort through at least a few days worth of photos from the daycare. When they are downloaded off the camera, they are put into date folders. We then go through and delete the bad ones and save the good ones. Then, when we have time, we sort them into folders for each individual dog. We also have a miscellaneous play folder where we will put pictures of dogs in action where one in particular is not the "star".

So while sorting yesterday I rediscovered these cute ones of Lacey and her litter mate Maggie. They were taken one after another.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Do you have any food?

Lacey is starting to learn that most people she meets have treats. So now she is starting to expect it. Last night at Rally, she would just sit and stare at people until they gave her food. We had company last night and she went rushing up to him, checked out both his hands, found no food and walked away. Our little piggy.

Speaking of Rally, she did great last night. She is learning to heel without me bent over at 90 degrees (which makes for a more comfortable course for me!) but I found I still got quite dizzy doing the spiral, I think because I'm looking down so much. She has definitely figured out that she is supposed to sit every time I stop which is great!

We are still having difficulties with barking at people on the street. We walked to the mailbox yesterday and then to the pet store and every person we saw on the street created a frenzy of barking. She was quiet as a mouse in the pet store because she knows those people have treats. :) Hopefully we can get over the barking thing soon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Poor Coulee. I was not in a good mood at the start of class last night. And a wild and excited dog who hasn't had dinner doesn't help. Class starts at 6 p.m. and I don't finish work until at least 6 p.m., later if I have to shuttle dogs home. And yesterday I had two dogs to shuttle. See my problem? So I ran around feeling stressed and rushed even though there is no possible way I'm going to make it anywhere close to on time. I won't be taking any more 6 p.m. classes - it just isn't worth the grumpiness.

Amazingly, Coulee managed not to push me over the edge last night and actually improved my mood. Her start lines weren't nearly as good last night but they weren't as brutal as they used to be. She made it over the dog walk without having a heart attack but her toes were spread as wide as possible and she definitely wasn't comfortable. She "rode" the teeter a bit (i.e. stood on it while Sarah lifted it up and down) but still isn't comfortable. Frustrating that two years ago when we started she had no issues, and now she does.

She did great at all the handling stuff like she usually does and her focus was very good. Her only problem was listening to other baby cuzes get squeaked. It distracted her quite a bit - it didn't help that I forgot hers!

While Coulee and I were having fun at agility, poor Lacey was locked in Lu's bathroom - she can get in, but can't get out. Marlin thought she was just sleeping upstairs but when I came home and didn't get a visit from her, I went searching. Sure enough, there she was in the bathroom. Maybe that will teach her not to go hunting for cat poo!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lacey Wrestling

Here's a little video of Lacey wrestling with her litter mate Maggie. They are great playmates and will often curl up together on a chair to take a break from all their fun. Little Ruby is also in the video - the three of them are usually inseperable.