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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Dogs ABC's

Bailey and I have been slowly getting back into the groove of working together. Now that he is two, well time we resumed with training and a few tricks. As they happens...or in Bailey and my case health issues.

The dog learns... once the handler "gets" it.
Many of the mistakes a dog makes during a training session is due to the handlers mis-communication with the dog. If you watch our I started working with Bailey to get into the bin (yeah, there is a reason for this ).
I started out using a kennel lead to help him along...placing him where I wanted him to be. I also used a clicker to mark wanted behavior. Once I started holding the camera, well things did not go as smoothly. With camera in one hand, ball in the other to lure, no kennel lead for I was out of hands and holding the bin so it would not topple....and of course bad hands. There was just no way to use the clicker... Sloppy to start but we will both improve our skills with our daily practice.

The images tell the tale and breaks all he has to learn...positioning. The best way to get in is head on, not off at an angle. Learning to get in....effortlessly...we will work at it...and getting out....he has this down. Of course the reason he does it....a toss of the ball is a wonderful reward.
Notice how I was using his ball to lure and as his reward!!!

I find making use of the video helps teach you to be a better trainer....though I suggest having a helper, or in my case using a tripod (we shall see about that).
In my case... I really need to work through how to manage with bad hands, and forget how I used to do things...which is very frustrating for me....and Bailey to sometimes learn new things. There is a 100 ways to get it done....Bailey and I will find our way...together!

So...back tracking where we left off. We are in major need of distractions. Training will consist of traveling about...practicing our sit, down and stays....of course heeling with distractions will be a huge challenge for him. Also...working around other dogs as part of our distractions.

With the cooler temps there is just no reason to not work with him. Slowly agility equipment will be moved from Atlanta to Fl. For that helps to improve attention, and is also so much fun for both dog and handler.

Happy training !

"To err is human,to forgive canine. ”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Creepie Crawlies...

We are surrounded in our daily lives by creepie crawlies...some scary and some, not so much. My images show just a couple of the creepie crawlies that can be found in our yard on a daily basis. Above, the banana spider...or Golden Silk. they do bite, though the most that will happen is a welt...that I am aware of anyway. I make sure to walk the yard when we are out and about and if I run across a web that is anywhere the dogs will be...I remove it. Thus forcing the spider to move elsewhere.

Now, like many I am not crazy about snakes and would very much prefer if they understood in the fence is there to keep them out. They don't and here in FL there are several that are poisonous. The above....I am guessing to be a pygmy rattler...and yes...poisonous.
Hey....if I am wrong about the type of snake please do correct me.

Sadly...these snakes can hide pretty this one did. While out with pooper scooper in hand I stepped over it, as did the dogs sniff it before realizing what it was. Dogs were told leave it....and inside. Now...I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and have never happened across a my knowledge of them is....well not enough.

I placed a dog toy near it (by tossing rather then walking up to it) so as I knew the exact location, then left it alone for I was not sure if alive or dead. Later was gone. I am so much more of a "brave" individual with a camera in hand...and did manage this one pic.

the dogs and I were indeed very lucky. I recommend all those living in areas with snakes to be aware of First Aid for your dog...just in case....and of course teaching recall (here or come) and leave it until your dogs are proficient with these commands.

If like me you live in an area that has it's fair share of these scary creepie aware. Have a safety plan for your dogs to help keep them safe...or an emergency plan. Keep grass low, bushes trimmed...fencing to keep your "curious" dogs away from certain areas. Enjoy your space...just as we do (shown below)...just be aware of creepie crawlies and things that go bump in the night!

The pack enjoying a Beautiful Fall day!
For those interested in viewing the video...sorry...i usually do not add music to any videos added, scroll down and turn off the site music otherwise it will be very annoying!
Saturday, October 2, 2010

Birthday Dog...

Time has gone by way too quickly.
It feels as though just yesterday I was making my way north to pick up my furry little....yes little, puppy Bailey.

Two years....two years old. He is a Big Dog now....still, such a puppy spirit. While it may seem crazy to some...we did take the time to acknowledge his special day. Lots of pampering and hugs throughout the day. An adventure out and about. and a little more play!
Pup muffin recipe:

What would a Birthday celebration be without a cake...or in bailey's case...Pup Muffins. Made with baby food (beef, thank you very much) stuffed with a Bi Jac treat. Paw lickin good!

Oh and Birthday hats...all birthday dogs should be made to wear one...oh and of course their friends as well...what good sports they are for they left them on while I was baking the pup muffins.

All in all....a great day. An adventure, play, presents...pup muffins and all the hugs he could handle...oh, yep...a couple of presents as well.
All four dogs are sound a sleep, no doubt dreaming of play, presents and pup muffins.

Fun was had by all!

Happy Birthday Bailey ;-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hot Spot...

Probably thinking we have been away....some fun little get away where the pack and I were having a ton of fun...
When in reality for a little over two weeks we have been home...Bailey and I literally tethered to one another due to a hotspot. Oh yeah, tethered. Now think about being tethered to an 80 lb dog....personal needs such as bathroom visits...not sure about you...but I sort of like my privacy for certain such things. My showers were very interesting for I would attach him to a long it over the glass door so that at any sign of even an attempt at scratching I could get him to stop.

For those that do not know what a hotspot is a moist weeping, oozing sore that can develop due to bug bites, allergy, scratching, biting.
I have a good many years experience with our canine friends and have had wonderful teachers...all of which by the way have been Goldens. They get their fair share of hotspots.

I am happy to say a couple never experienced a hotspot not a one during their time with me. Though I think back to one....Phoenix who had severe allergies. Daily examinations...hands on feeling the muzzle, neck area....the body....any lumps, bumps, sores, scabs. All that fur, well it is not just with one's eyes that we depend on for a good examination of a dog. Touch is as equally important.
He had a few beauts in his lifetime.

Home remedies do work if caught early for the majority of hotspots....though, there have been those occasions....although rare where I would say Wow....the regular remedies just did not work for that hotspot. The size, look would determine treatment...experience teaches you what to do. Very rarely did they require me to seek medical treatment.

There are so many home remedies...and yes,I have my favorites. Line up twenty dog savvy people and ask about Home Remedies for Hotspots and the list will be long....and they will swear by each treatment.
The size, look, location and how rapidly they grow is how I determine treatment. If a dry area....bonds medicated powder can help... I personally keep on hand neo predef if a little more power is required. I have made up ointments, used freshly gotten Aloe gel. I have used tea bags for some...tannic acid that helps to dry the area up. A week to two week is the usual duration of most hotspots with drying and clearing up after a couple of days, that is if you can control any further trauma from occurring.

Poor Bailey...back in early June he had his first Hotspot. We had been attacked by yellow flies, he and I seemed to have a serious reaction to it. The yellow fly season is May and June meaning they are in abundance during this time. All other times when it is cloudy, overcast....or at dusk You will often see them around....though they usually do not bother us.

Imagine my surprise when I woke one Saturday morning to a bloody scene. Having gone to bed very early in the morning...leaving Baily sleeping soundly in the living room...peaceful sleep. Three hours later he had made chop meat out of his neck by scratching himself. He was irritable...not wanting the area touched.

I cleaned the area off to get a good look...I mean bloody, oozing spot. Pressed a dry soft cloth on the area and applied pressure. Rule of thumb....hotspots and area surrounding should be shaved clean...I Disinfected a clipper blade and shaved the entire area, then cleaned and dried....cut some aloe to get the gel...applied. I then gave him an allergy pill.

Day Five

A happy hat (Elizabethan collar or soft collar roll) could not be used due to the wounds location....neck. As the day progressed....this area got bigger, and bigger. The itch was driving him mad....and crazy for I was now fighting to prevent him from scratching himself. Put a sock on his rear foot and he was then driven to chew it off while attempting to scratch....distracting him with peanut butter bones....walks....nothing worked...he had to scratch...he looked obsessed. Just one swipe of his paw and he would be a be a bloody mess again. I dremeled his rear nails, just to make sure they were as smooth as could be...I wrapped the neck area with a light weight towel to prevent further damage...which just seemed to drive him into further obsession of scratching. Nothing I did soothed the itch, eased the pain...even those over the counter ointments that claim such things. All the while the area was getting bigger...

One last cleaning before heading to the local emergency clinic. I now had an extra pair of hands to help with restraining. The hotspot had gotten bigger still and more fur had to be shaved away from the area. He was in a good amount of discomfort so it was decided it best to sedate him. I was right at his side....the local vet and I worked side by side....and I was grateful to have been allowed to assist.

Sometimes...even if on rare occasions traditional medicine is required, and this was one of those times.
A little over two weeks later and I would say he continues to heal very nicely. The area continued to get bigger days later after treatment....though at a much slower pace. Oh....and we were really tethered to one another for that was really the only way to prevent him from causing further trauma to the area. The area which at it's largest size was his neck and face area, ranging up and behind his ear flap and with spots running down his chest area.

The cause....I really have no way of knowing for sure....but my guess is a yellow fly bite. I too was bitten that Saturday when we were out side and I was cleaning his wound area. One landed on my right leg and and took a bite. I thought I would be fine for I immediately took a benadryl as instructed by my doctor. As time progressed the itch was unbelievable. My leg doubled in size, the next day...leg a little bigger...while the bite was about an inch under my knee now my foot swelled up. i would look at my leg, then Bailey's wound and shake my head.

I read that during a season, though this allergy I am told is considered rare with each bite during a season the allergy reaction will worsens. So it seems for Bailey and I.

While I guess all living beings have a purpose there are a few bugs that i just do not get..other then annoyance...and the risk of illness...I cannot think of any purpose the yellow fly has...can you?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Making time...

Sometimes life's little accidents are a blessing. Much to my...and the dogs surprise...the timer on the sprinkler system was changed over the weekend. Therefore upon awakening this morning we found them on in the backyard. While I no doubt the Goldens would have very much enjoyed a romp in the sprinkler system first thing this morning...they were leashed for a morning walk...which, by the way...they really enjoyed as did I.

Many of us often forget that we must make the time, on a daily basis to spend time with our family...both two and four legged. I easy to come up with an excuse...worked late, tired....have things to do. yeah....I have heard them have I on occasion come up with a few of my own.

Life lesson...The life of our canine friends goes by in an instant....from puppies, adult to senior. Making the time is pretty darn easy...get up early and take your dog for a walk...or maybe, the entire family can go for an evening stroll...go ahead, you will all enjoy it!

Gone but Never Forgotten

Gone but Never Forgotten
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