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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!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Through a dogs eye's...

The other day during the cooler part of the day found me sitting in the shady part of the yard. After some fetch, some fun with the hose the dogs were off doing their thing. Golden's were busy rolling in the grass, the two females were closer to the fence...keeping an eye on things. Me....I was relaxing and watching. Wondering what the dogs were seeing....wishing for just a moment I could see through a dogs eyes....

Several birds could be seen walking around the two females have boundary's....if the birds get to close and they have not been around before...they must be chased away.
One bird can be seen on the fountain in the lake. S/he can be found almost on a daily basis, same time doing exactly the same thing....taking a shower...a rather long one at that. Then a few swims around the lake...always to the same spot where the wings are spread out...motionless...sunning and drying all those feathers.

The squirrels were busy in the trees behind the fence squawking away. I had the feeling they were directing their protests in our direction as there was fresh bird feed in the feeders. Time for an afternoon snack.

I noticed Gemma taking it all in....front paws crossed....ready to relax, but yet ready for some excitement. I could not help but smile as I watched her....we humans just cannot see the pleasure in chasing squirrels...but after all, it is her job and she is very good at it. One very daring squirrel made to the top of the wood fence and took a few steps before Gemma, then Niki were off and running. Poor squirrel....will just have to be patient to get a few bites to eat....not when the females are on duty!

Gemma knows all to well that if she spies the UPS truck, Garbage truck, when she barks, growls....she chases them away. This she has learned over the very rewarding to be that good at something.
For some reason she takes some time off when the lawn maintenance crew is here...the lawn is cut on a weekly basis and she remains quiet...just ignoring their presence. Early on she did her best to chase them...I would have to say she really gave it her all. Barking through the glass only to have them wave over at her....I mean disrespectful.
So...she now she just ignores them.

The neighbors....well she Never allows them on her property. She will take a stance at the fence, lean forward and doing this she can keep them across the street. She has fine tuned and honed this skill. Yes, through a dogs eyes the world is so very different.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Urgent....Your help is needed....

I know....the above video is just shocking....
On the second day of summer the temperature and humidity rise and these poor I have tears in my eyes....these poor dogs are being forced to cool down by running through the water hose....then sadly....I just cannot believe I have witnessed such a thing....they then can be seen rolling in the wet grass to lower their body temperature.

With your help....We CAN change that. By sending in a Small donation money can be raised to help these dogs get a pool. Never again will they have to roll in the wet grass to cool down....the next time they roll in the grass I hope....really hope that it will be to dry themselves off.
Hard to this day and age that there are still people who force their dogs to live this way.
Please, Please help them....skip your daily run to Starbucks....I mean really....look at those faces....they are counting on you!

I know...I had you going for a moment ;-)
We are actually just looking for a doggie pool. Used to be that you could run to one of the many large chain stores and get a plastic everything is inflatable. With four dogs, well I would not mind purchasing a couple to last the season....however the inflatables will not survive Bailey. If you have a lead on a doggie pool that is reasonable in price....send it our way.

Yes, the dog day's of summer are indeed upon early in the season.
Keep your dogs safe by making sure when they are outside they have access to a shady area. In my yard the afternoon brings the most shade. Play time and walks should be during the coolest part of the day....oh and don't over do it. Know that they can burn their paws on sand, etc. Sunburn...yes, they can. Doggie sunscreen can be used and should be applied 30 minutes before going out.
Make sure they have clean drinking water at all times....never allow them to drink salt water, water in puddles, etc.
Never....Never, Ever leave your dog in the car....ever....even just for a moment. Even if you leave the car running with air on (unless supervised). The car can stall and your dog can die.
Salt water must be rinsed off after a day at the beach....oh, check for ticks and always....always ask the life guard about the water conditions....jellyfish and sea lice. Don't assume all dogs can swim, do not throw your dog in the water....always make sure they are supervised around water....dogs can drown.

Heatstroke can kill a dog.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke (excessive drooling...heavy panting, rapid breathing, white or blue gums to name a few symptoms). do not panic...stay calm and know if not too bad hosing down with water, giving water in small amounts will do the trick. For those symptoms that are a little more serious ice can be placed on the groan area...alcohol can be used on pads... I keep Pedialyte on hand to help restore electrolytes.
You must take your dogs temp....yes, meaning you should have a rectal thermometer on hand. Cooling down process can be stopped when the temp is 100-102. If you cannot cool down the dogs temp take your dog to the closest vet clinic or animal emergency hospital.

It is the dog days of summer....have fun, stay cool!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Can your dog do that....

Wow...while it seems I have been slacking off....nope...not at all.

One night well over a week ago...after a restless evening of sleep....finally dozing off when I was suddenly, and unexpectedly awakened by this horrible pain...I mean the moaning and groaning kind of pain....thinking I might have shouted out a little screech....well was more like yelling.

I look down at my calf and it was as if something was alive in calf was a rock hard ball....and was freaking me out.

I watched in horror as my muscle was spasming...and I was not very quiet about it, that is until I glanced over to see several dogs all looking like deer caught in head lights. I toned it down a notch....all the while thinking to myself just what the hell was wrong. Blood clot,?>....then it dawned on me, a charley horse.

Poor dogs....especially Bailey...I scared him and for the remainder of the night he was glued to me. As the week passed I had hoped so too would the pain...but no. I have to be in the small percentage of individuals that will experience problems after the fact.

As I have taken it easy the pack has let me know that they will indeed tolerate a couple days of rest...but that is about it. So....we are back to play, training and just hanging out!

Can your dog do that?
For those interested in strutting their dogs stuff....on facebook page is a section of "This weeks Trick"...create a video of your dog showing off then post a link directly onto the facebook page.. No worries if your dog does not know the weekly trick....Bailey and I demonstrate the how to's.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Daddy's Girl...

Little Niki is a sweet little cocker mix that came into our lives years ago....funny how it seems like yesterday. The image above was taken in our yard this morning... a look of determination on her of my favorite expressions.

Her oh so spirited ways, her determination is what saved her all those years ago when she was found in the creek...then a few years back when she injured her spine. Partially did not stop her...barely even slowed her down.

Upon her arrival she cozied up to the Goldens that rescued her...soon after...the rest of us. It was perfectly clear early on she was to be a Daddy's Girl....she simply adores Mike. She adores me...however...just the mention that Mike is on his way and she will wait...listen...and wait... Upon his arrival home she can barely contain herself.

While she is always so very happy to see me...she knows when Mike is around she can do no wrong. Constant hugs, petting fests...non stop.
Spoiled...yes indeed.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Is it time yet...

It is true....dogs can indeed tell time, as do they make wonderful Human Trainers. They can communicate getting their point across without making a sound....are you listening?

In our home, it is Rocky and Niki that will inform you that it is getting close to feeding time. Even during a time change they still are very much aware of feeding time. They are both annoying and pitiful at the same time as they seek out getting your attention by staring at you...that look, that look that says..."I'm starving....pleazzzzzzze feed me". When that does not work Rocky will...just to seal the deal...knowing I will indeed spring into action, get into something.

If something like shoes or slippers are around he will carry them.......well ok, it is more like prancing around. If no shoes or slippers are around, no worries, he will just go into the closet and help himself. Does not sound too bad does it....
but I did not yet mention the water.
The above is done usually after having taken a drink of water for they learn early on just how fun it is when their people put their feet into wet slippers/shoes.

Gemma and Bailey....not as important to be annoying over food. Oh, don't get me wrong...they look forward to feeding is just not as important to them to remind me. They know a meal will not be missed....also, the other two are just soooo good at it....they are smart enough to just let them do the work.
A pack working in harmony!

When the water bowls are is Niki and Bailey that will tell you. Subtle little signs...standing in front of you....Niki...licking, licking, Bailey poking you with his nose, attempting to jump up into your lap....I mean really....the bowls have been low on water....or empty for all of 2 seconds, clearly they are just parched!
As any well trained humans would, I fill the bowls.

Play times....well that is all Bailey. He knows when it is play time and frolics about until all are ready to go. Oh...and that shoe thing I mentioned above....yep, he does it. thank goodness he has not yet learned the water trick.

If a day goes by without a walk, the next day he will be searching for his leash....hanging out in the laundry room (lr)....any move I make, he is off into the lr...hoping, wishing that this time, his leash and collar will be placed on him and out the door we will go.

During the course of the day we have numerous outings in the yard...something they so look forward to. All four are not at all shy if they feel as though not enough time was spent taking in all of the sights, sounds and smells.

When they hear "Inside"...well inside means inside! All come in willingly having enjoyed the outing. However...There are those occasions....maybe due to my schedule or the weather when....mutany....or temporary insanity....but each remain in their spot ignoring me as if they have no idea what I am talking about. These are indeed rare occasions, however when they occur I pay attention. Though I do enforce the "Inside"...another outing is scheduled and they get their much needed outside time.

While most think I just sit in my home playing with the dogs, or painting, photographing subjects and objects I assure you, I actually do at times leave. When I do of course the dogs can tell the difference in the way I get ready. A big sign is the hair dryer...I rarely use it unless heading out. They have the ability to "read" everything I do....the shoes I put on... they know slippers and crocs are inside or yard shoes only, all other shoes means leaving, getting in the car and driving away.

Their response...they kennel up without being told...well Rocky does not. he is under the very strong opinion that he should accompany me everywhere. I would happen to agree, however most local businesses object to canines on the premises. Rocky must be told to kennel up. Upon my return home, they remain calm and quiet and all are released from the crates...happy to once again be a pack.

Leaving the house to run out to the mailbox, or water the potted plants and flowers....well ....upon my return into the house Bailey is so excited....any toy that is about must be picked up so that he can bark, growl....wiggling about....even though I was only gone for five minutes...and he was watching from the window.

They have done a wonderful job for I am indeed a well trained human. Of course it is a mutual understanding and communication that as a pack we live by. We get one another...we are a pack living in harmony.

What have your furry Friends taught you?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Canines, Canines who need canines...

Are the lucky dogs!

This image is actually one of my favorites. A snapshot of a real life moment of the three dogs looking out the sliding glass door. To this day I have no idea just what they were looking at for by the time I photographed them to me looking out, whatever it was had gone.

It was taken before Bailey was added to the pack. Around the time I started thinking about adding another another Golden. Rocky needed a brother to run with, chew with, play with...yes, he had Gem and Niki, he really needed a brother of similar size and strength. I mean really....I do not think it possible to have just one Golden ;-)

Our canine friends are so very social...they really need someone to pal around with. Yes, we do a good job of occupying their time by playing fetch, obedience agility, etc. To have another dog to wrestle with, chew have someone around that "gets" you.
They need the opportunity to be a dog, among other dogs.

The addition of Bailey was a good call on my part for the four dogs enjoy one each other very well and have no issues with one another.
Saturday, April 10, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

From a distance I heard my phone alarm ringing....the the goldens stirred and I knew it was time to get up and start the day. Out we all go and I must was the start of a wonderful day. Nice breeze, low humidity...the perfect day for an outing. Sadly, this was to be a dogless outing...feels strange going out and about without at least one of my furry friends.

As strange as it is for me, so too is it for them...well actually Rocky. As I was getting ready he took his position in the bathroom...waiting, watching me fix my hair...touch of makeup and finally...getting dressed. He seemed so very surprised when I asked him to kennel up. As my outing consisted of eating out, Rocky had to stay at home for the restaurant is not dog friendly even on the patio...there are a few that allow the dogs.

As I walked around the Spring Arts and Craft festival there were a number of dogs walking about on leash. All were calm and well behaved. I love St. Augustine, very dog friendly for those that have well behaved dogs.

Several hours later I made my way I opened the door and the pups and I went outside... how very happy they were to see me and get to play with one another. How very happy I was to see them...time to throw a couple of balls, Frisbee's and just enjoy them.
Absence does make the heart grow fonder!!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A few of our favorite things...

With the arrival of spring the pack and I have found ourselves outside more...taking in all of the sights, sounds and pollen.

The temps have been in the low eighties the last few days so hard play has been in the morning and late afternoon when it cools down...with lots of sitting in the shade...and a few of our favorite things in-between ;-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spoiled dogs...

I exchanged messages and talked to a few friends today that were a bit angry at their dogs for having done things that were deemed unacceptable behavior.

Sure none of us wants a dog that has accidents in the my case there is Niki and at times she cannot help it. That she actually does so well is totally amazing due to the fact that she is partially paralyzed. For her it is all about muscle memory and the fact that we get her out so much throughout the continually working with the "potty" command has been very helpful.

Still...I am human and yes, I have at times lost my patience with with the others. Of course it is very short canines friends have indeed taught me a thing or two and one is get over yourself. Growl and let it go!

My dogs are pretty well spoiled. I mean really...their life span is not as long and....have you really looked at their faces, I'm pretty sure you would spoil them as well!

As spoiled as they are...they do have to work so they actually earn their lifestyle ;-) Their jobs....oh easy rough housing on furniture (of course many people prefer that their dogs not have access to furniture) wrestling in the house... Commands are practiced throughout the day....down for feedings, sit and calm for going outside....potty destructive behavior, etc.

Wanted behavior must be taught...and yes....lots of praise so that they know they are doing a good job. Communication is the key.

As we bring these pups into our hearts and home do take the time to teach wanted behavior.
If we do not take the time to teach...give proper DAILY....there I have said it...they need daily can we possibly get angry at them for doing what dogs is never to late to teach an old dog new tricks....oh and by all means...spoil them a bit.
Saturday, March 20, 2010


The first day of spring...what a beautiful day here in St. Augustine. So nice in fact the dogs and I spent a good bit of it outside...something I will indeed regret a little later for the pollen, well if you have allergies start taking your meds now....stock up on tissues and cough drops...your gonna need 'em!

On this beautiful spring day we watched the men work around the lake, trimming, picking weeds and mowing while we all enjoyed the morning sun. At the bird feeder a little action going on as the birds stopped, grabbed a bite and flew away.

A couple of walks and lots of outings to play then nap in the sun. Towards late afternoon I brought the "balls" out.
Bailey is officially ball obsessed....
He would much prefer rolling them, digging...and attempting to get as many in his mouth as possible. As I bring them out I give an orange one to Rocky....holding three I start tossing one...he retrieves and as he comes back to be I say drop....he does and I throw another. this of course wears him out....then when he has used up a good bit of his energy I allow him to play with all four....then once we return in the house he drops...I put them away until tomorrow.

Ball obsession is not at all a bad thing....something that I "nudged" along by playing the two-fer game and not allowing him access to the balls all the time. Wonderful distraction for training and focus....for at the moment he can only focus on the balls....shaking with excitement and anticipation of fun.

Does your dog have any toys, games that s/he is obsessed a good about in a bad way?

Happy Spring Everyone!

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L.H. Bailey

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

They like it Ruff...

With the time change we have enjoyed late in the day extra then they are used to...lucky dogs.

Even with all the ball toss they so want to play rough. Before Rocky's neck issues a good wrestle match was a fun thing to do, though Bailey gets very rough. A bit of a bully...has to have all of the toys...hogs everything and plays rough.
Though they still so want to wrestle, I must put a stop to it to prevent any damage to Rocky's neck and spine. this is not to say that every once in a while they mix it up before I stop it. They like it times!

I have mentioned before that the majority of my dogs have been rescues...except for Bailey and Rocky. I am often asked if there are any benefit's to rescue vs. purchasing...of course rescuing is wonderful. The majority of dogs that I rescued were from my dog training days and I must tell you that many had serious behavioral issues that required some work....all in all every dog that came into my home remained in our home...happy, respected and so very much loved.

I am not at all suggesting all rescues will come with issues...there are wonderful dogs to be adopted...healthy, happy dogs....though it will be up to you to train the dogs once in your home...same as with getting a pup through a breeder...the training part, that is up to you. In a perfect world those that foster the dogs would take the time to train them as well...many just do not due to lack of knowledge, time and some will foster two three dogs at one their own....lots of work. At least the dogs are safe.

Some wonder if I feel "quilty" after all these years of now purchase dogs. Nope...not at all. Currently there are four in the pack....two are rescues. If I am blessed to live a long life....and continue to work at training, grooming and caring for them I will always have a rescue or two in the pack.

If deciding to add a puppy, or adult dog to your family and not sure if you should adopt or find a breeder I can only share my experiences with you. Reputable breeders are not easy to find....most talk the talk....but sadly, they do not have the breeds best interest at heart...they do not walk the walk. Those "discounted" pups found in the careful my dear friends and make sure you are not purchasing pups from a puppy broker or puppymill. Breeders that are selling several breeds of dogs should be a red flag and you should run in the other direction.

Poor Rocky, who has had one health issue after the just not a structurally sound dog...I would not recommend this breeder. When Rocky turned two and time for another Golden to be added I had been looking through rescue. As I had three dogs in the pack I needed to take all dogs temperament, personalities into consideration...especially that of little Niki's physical condition. I was not looking to purchase another Golden...learned of a breeder with pups almost ready to go to their forever homes...Bailey was added.

There is no right or wrong...though with are indeed saving a life......both require homework on your part to find a pup or dog that will fit into your family and as your and your families lifestyle. Once a dog is brought into your heart and home it should be for life!

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. - M. Facklam

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Moving....lots of work. I am still divided in two...some stuff here, some stuff there. As packages arrive, boxes....I have been slowly going through and among one was a photo card from a vacation several years ago to Edisto Beach. We rented a lovely beach house and brought the the time there were five in the pack. Good memories.

In my adult life I have shared my life with a good number of dogs. I am often asked which one has been my favorite...I start thinking back and smiling....naming names and special memories...until I have named all of them. I have had no favorites...each one earning my love, respect...and devotion.

Each... different in temperament and personality. All were rescues (except for Rocky & Bailey)...a few fearful...a few aggressive....a few just a tad bit wild. All required training, time and patience and love.

Have you had a favorite?

Below are just a couple of images from my Edisto Beach vacation....very dog freindly (dog must be leashed on the beach). the two Goldens have since died...both...just a couple of my favorites!

Mikey was a rescue...loved the water, wet sand...first time at the beach.
Phoenix and Niki...lovely Phoeny ever faithful furry friend, so full of fun and life.

How could I post without something about Rocky & Baily...just a little video of dogs doing what dogs do!
Friday, March 12, 2010

Down time=quiet time...

I know, with this statement my age will indeed be showing....I remember a time when having some down time did not consist of working from home, cell phone ringing, text messages...beeps, rings wherever we go.

Sometimes one must just stop what they are doing....turn off the PC, goes the cell phone...time to relax and enjoy. So, with the upcoming weekend that is just what the pack and I will be time. No beeps, text least on my end.

The dogs other favorite person will be in town....good weather in the forecast so walks on the beach...visit to the of Rocky's favorite places by the way. No calls, no blog posts....just relaxing and quiet....can you hear it...just the sound of the ocean, birds.

Give yourself and your loves one's a break...spend some quality time with them...without interruption!

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to love."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is love enough...

I remember well the first dog I brought into my very own dog. I was about 18-19 or so. Tasha...a lovely pup...a women I worked with was giving them away. She bred Huskies and let the dogs out back...unsupervised and low and behold...a male...mixed breed was in the area and jumped the fence. Not what this breeder had in young as I was I thought this person to not be the brightest light on the tree. You may very well be thinking that just a tad bit harsh of me....I mean should not leave your female that is in heat outside unsupervised. Many years later I am happy to opinion has not at all changed. Leaving your dogs intact is a huge responsibility that one should take serious.

I remember chatting with the breeder when I picked Tash up to bring her home...she had four adult dogs...I asked why she was breeding....her reply was that she loved her dogs and she loved the breed. She let the dogs go to their forever home too young....she never really asked me how Tasha was tid bits of information to share. She just wanted the pups gone....guess her love did not extend to the puppies.

I was young and had not yet learned to speak out...though no doubt she would not have listened for so many of us are incapable of seeing the big many of us do not care.

Like so many that breed, those who want puppies and decide to add one to their families I always wonder why so many of us are so very selfish? I remember well the days that I was training...I met so many that as families took care of the new furry addition to the family. Took the time to research before adding the dog....had the time to spend with the pup...enrolled in puppy classes and continued with training during the first few years of the dogs life. When done is a wonderful sight to behold.

Then of course there were those individuals that never take the time...profess their love for the dog but never spend any time with them. The excuse I am busy, I work late...and often complain about the dogs behavior....asking for help and telling anyone, everyone who will listen they just do not have the time. Some of these dogs are banished to the yard for the day....some are left in their crates for 8 or more hours during the day. Some....well some are given away, some end up at the local shelters, pounds...some are run over for they have escaped out of the house, gotten out of the yard.

I know...yes we all have to work and earn a living. I am not at all suggesting we all be tethered to our dogs 24/7...but our dogs do have needs. Mental stimulation, daily and of course training....and of course all the love and hugs you can manage.

So many of us profess our love for our pets but...I wonder is love really enough?

I know I am a tad bit protective of my pups. I do not leave them in the yard unsupervised....I have learned to do so your dogs can get into much trouble. Ingesting anything they run across....oh and the fun thing....then vomiting it up on your carpet. Digging, destruction in the yard. Not to mention in many areas dogs are stolen from yards....or they can get out and roam. Left unsupervised our pups can get into all sorts of trouble. does not have to have the best trained dog, however the basics should be taught to all dogs.

Love....yes, do love your dogs...but respect them as well....keep them safe and know...once you bring a dog into your life you have many years of caring for the dog. Please...Please do think before adding a pet to your family.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Puppy breath...

I remember it well.
This is Rocky as a pup (see the zipper nose)...oh so very sweet. He still makes the exact face if caught doing something I do not like or when one of the other pups takes a toy from that face. Ran across several images on an old web site of, taking a moment to go through and enjoy the memories....share a couple with you.

Time goes much to quickly. Rocky is coming up on four years of age...he is a wonderful dog...loving...sweet with a certain amount of mischievousness and a great sense of humor. Allows Bailey to be a butt head without having to be in his face to correct him. He turns to me to correct any wrong doing by Bailey or any of the other dogs in the pack. With just a look in my direction...and that face....ohhh so you can see he learned long ago that no one could ever possibly be angry with him....or he would most certainly get his way when making this face.

I bet you couldn't resist that face...could you??

Just as Rocky is a big brother to Bailey...Rocky had Phoenix to show him the ropes. He learned from the best as Phoenix was a wonderful Golden...and as with so many other Golden's... died way to soon and from cancer. This of course was not exactly what I had in mind as I wanted the two dogs to have each other to play What can I say....I am conditioned to having a couple of Golden's around.

Enjoy each moment of your furry friends, go for many silly....teach, many of us do not take the time to teach our furry teaching we learn so much...take pictures...give lots of pets and hugs....give of yourself....give your patient... I can so promise there is indeed a payback and it is worth every moment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Making a few changes to the blog....not easy for once you change the template....things move, shift and one must make the time to go through correct...or leave as is and go from here...which is what i will be doing for I am not sure I like....maybe another change or move is in order....check back to see just what we ens up with.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The child within...

Having turned fifty something I must share with you....getting older sucks ;-)
I mean really....gravity does indeed take hold and it becomes such a struggle to keep things where they belong...or as near where they belong for as long as possible.

That is just the physicality of aging...if one allows the mind to are doomed....
OK, not doomed just not very much fun....boring, you get the picture.
Sadly, so many of us allow our child within to wither and fade away.
Those of us surrounded by children, and or pets have the key to unlocking the child within right at our fingertips.

With children...all I have to say on this matter is turn off the TV, PC and hide all the techno games....head outside to run, climb jump (if like me your over fifty...just not too high)...finger messy and soooo much fun.

Back in the day (always wanted to write that) when I worked with people and their canine companions one of the first things I learned in watching people and their dogs interact is that many did not know how to "play" with their dogs. An attempt at picking up a ball or Frisbee...tossing it and if the dog did not retrieve, the game ended as the human walks away saying s/he just does not like to play. How very sad for the dog, more sad for the human.

I actually taught a group classes all about dog was mandatory. Several individuals (both human and canine) struggled through this four week group course....though I must share with you it was so heart warming to watch those of the most serious, again...both human and canine learn to relax and enjoy one another.

It is scientifically proven that the more of an idiot your canine friends can make you look....the more fun you will both have....really, scientifically proven ;-) As proven by the above video made for this posting. hey guys...I am the camera person and the one hiding for the dogs to find.

OK...these are just a couple of the silly games I play with my dogs...hide n seek. Gemma...loves this game and has so honed her skill at finding matter where I hide....though once in a while she is a bit off.
Niki just seems to tag along with the Goldens as they run back and forth, back and forth. I could hide in the very same spot three times in a row and they much prefer the "hunt" and never seem to want the game to end. When they find me....oh happy day!
One wonders if sometimes they do it more for me for clearly they know exactly where I am.

Down stay as I hide a few treats or toys about the room, or outside. Oh boy....we are having some fun now.....oh, chase and be chased....Niki loves this, especially if I growl at her as I am chasing her.

I remember as though it was beloved Tasha, a bit serious...loved treat games and there was this one silly little thing we did when she was a puppy that she just never out grew...from puppy to senior. I would use a comforter folded up at the front window, this window was low to the ground, so low in fact she would rest her head on the window ledge while napping. I would often sit with her...both of us looking out the window...I would slowly put my hands under the comforter and just wiggle my hands and fingers around....she would get so very excited hitting with her paws, nibbling at my hands still under the blanket...silly little game that she so enjoyed and that made me chuckle each and every time!

Another of our favorites is agility. One does not have to spend any money, just being creative as you put a small course together....outside furniture can be used...chairs for having the dog crawl under, blocks for jumping and or climbing. PVC is found at all local home builders stores...weave poles can be made, jumps, etc.
The best thing about these games, they are interactive. Yes, there are so many toys to help your dog play by themselves, keeping them mentally stimulated, however the games that are interactive are the ones you will find your inner child and your dogs inner pup....and I guarantee there will be lots of tail wagging, and laughter.

Want to share a game you play with your dog, cat, bird, horse? Create a short video, become fans of Rocky & Bailey on Facebook and share it with us, I will post the most fun games here on the blog...the one rule is there must be lots of tail wagging and laughter ;-) On your mark...get set....go!

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself too.
Monday, February 8, 2010

Sooooo Wee...

Imagine my surprise as the pups and I wandered about the yard the other morning when I spied what appeared to be a couple of wild hogs come from the woods onto my property. I quickly wrangled the dogs inside before they happened to notice them.

Of course I grabbed hold of my camera as I let the dogs in. There is a huge bush that I manged to shield myself from them as I was slowly making my way in their direction....I could not believe that I managed to get to the fence and the hogs did not notice me. Now...ever so slowly I came into the open....moving along the fence....taking the photographers stance.

As I watched them I thought to myself they seemed small so must be young. They did not at all seem aware of me, though I think due to the way the wind was blowing a few got a smell of me....not enough to stop/ scare them. It appeared to me that they did not have the ability to see well....or was it that their sense of smell just over rode everything else. I managed a few photographs and they were so close...I calmly and quietly suggested they head on out, as I slowly moved my camera back and forth. All stopped on a dime as they smelled me....all noses twitching....low grunts and snorts....and all at the same time they headed back into the woods.

I have heard much about the wild hogs from few locals...from how dangerous to just how destructive they are.
These hogs were young and I really did not get a sense of danger....though I can very well imagine if a feeling of being trapped, injured by a doubt they can be.
The only thing I will be shooting them with is my camera.

Gone but Never Forgotten

Gone but Never Forgotten
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