Friday, January 30, 2009

Big Changes Are a Comin'

I’m a little overwhelmed right now. Hubby and I have been trying to have a non-furry baby for about two years … and it finally happened.

Now what?!?!

I’m around 5 weeks right now and definitely feeling the signs. I’ve been nauseous for two weeks and my back has been hurting among other things.

This has cut into my dog time in a big way. I don’t think we’ve taken Timber on a good walk in over a week. Although I have still taken Trooper to agility, but it was a very difficult thing yesterday. I felt like I was going to throw up and my back hurt but I had to run with him.

Someone also mentioned that dogs can start getting protective when their ‘mom’ is pregnant. I’ve of course never experienced this…does anyone have any thoughts?

If Trooper becomes protective of me it will be an issue since we are around lots of other dogs at agility and I plan to do more agility trials soon. He’s pretty strong and while he listens to me, if I’m clumsy in pregnancy he could definitely get away. Plus he’s already got some aggression issues when it comes to food. He only growled at one dog at the agility trial last weekend (of course it was the only dog bigger than him!) and I was pretty happy about that.

There will be a lot of adjustments that we’ll need to make. I’m going to have to somehow teach the two young boys how to walk with a stroller without pulling me (and baby to be) off the road. We’ll probably start that when I’m a little (a lot) further along. They’ll need to get used to the new contraption and how to walk appropriately.

Four dogs and a baby on the way - I’m a little freaked out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Is It Over Already?

I cannot tell you how much fun I had this weekend. Of course, I also had a completely exhausting weekend. :)

Trooper and I left in the truck early Saturday morning … I wasn’t sure where the event was and I get nervous driving new places. It’s a very good thing I left so early because we did end up lost! I copied the instructions down wrong - I missed a line of direction and missed a turn.

Thankfully I had my trainer’s and another participant’s phone number and was able to turn around and make it to the Ranch.

Unfortunately I’d forgotten my registration information, but it was okay because they had our details at check in. Thank goodness!

Things got started off a little later than normal - the judges had to be woken up! hahaha Silly judges. It wasn’t until after 9 a.m. when the runs started and our first run wasn’t until around 10:30 or 11 a.m. I wasn’t all that nervous for our first run. It was a Standard run and I had plenty of time to walk it and memorize the course.

I didn’t explain to my helper how to use my camera so he only got about half of the run but at least you can see Trooper pretty well. We ended up Qualifying and getting SECOND place in our very first trial run!!! I was ecstatic!!!

Trooper did SO good … he did growl at one dog when we first got there - the ONLY dog bigger than him. hee hee hee

But otherwise the entire weekend was wonderful. Our second run was Gamblers - I had to send him on to a tunnel and then he was supposed to take a jump that was a ways away from me. It didn’t work out so well but except for that and a tire issue he did wonderful. We didn’t qualify because you have to complete the gamble successfully in order to Q. I think the tunnel angle was a little unfair for us noobies but who am I to complain?

I run like a girl.

The last run of our first day was called Snookers. *grin* It was fun and we ended up qualifying.

That was probably our best run in terms of clean and put together, except I did notice my baby shaking his head a bit. That usually means he has an ear issue. But he did awesome.

I think we tied for third in Snookers, with another student from the same class which is neat. There were a ton of Fido Farm’s students and instructors there. It was incredible to have such support and camaraderie.

The first day lasted FOREVER! They were so far behind and there were so many dogs to run on Saturday that my level didn’t go until after 9 p.m. and we didn’t get home until after 10 p.m. I barely got six hours of sleep before I had to get up and go back up to the Trial.

Trooper was so tired! On our way back he slept the whole way and did not move a muscle. He will normally sit up and get interested when we turn into our development, but he did not wake up until I put the truck in park. He had this look on his face like “are we there yet?” with a dopey expression and his fur all matted on one side. Doggy bed head. LOL

Day two started and I didn’t get lost this time. Trooper was excited to get going even though we hardly had any sleep. Our first run of the day was another Standard one and he did alright. I never realized how slow he goes … although I swear in class he moves faster than he did at the Trial.

He has an amazing sit and stay. We had to wait for almost 30 seconds before we got the green light to go.

Doesn’t he look handsome from behind? *grin* You can hear one of my trainers saying to reward him but I couldn’t hear her. Not only that, if I had moved back toward him he would have broken his sit stay since I couldn’t give him a cookie. :) He got LOTS of cookies this weekend.

When he went over the A-Frame he actually went quicker than normal. It was quite a coordinated descent too. lol I was quite proud. Normally he slides down kind of sloppily but always cute. I got in his way for the next two jumps and then he didn’t really want to go into the weave poles but he did.

We qualified in this run too so now we have two standard qualifications. We need one more before we can move up. ALREADY!!! It’s a little too frightening to think about.

The next event was Pairs. I paired up with the wonderful Gracie and her ‘momma’ who are in the same class as me and Trooper. I was SO excited for how good they did. Trooper and I didn’t do nearly so well in this one. He did not want to work the weave poles, but he just gets tired of them after only doing them two or three times. He’d already done them once that day.

We took too long and did not qualify but it was hella fun!

Our last run of the tournament was Jumpers. I think we could have done better. I asked my instructor what I did wrong or could have done better but she said I did okay. Trooper was tired. He just didn’t get all the jumps in fast enough so we didn’t qualify. But I also think I could have run it a little differently to help him.

All in all it was an entirely amazing weekend and I can’t wait to do it again!!! We got three Qs, two 2nd places, 1 third place, and 1 fourth place. I’m already looking forward to class on Thursday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nerves of Jello

It’s almost time. Tomorrow morning I won’t be sleeping in as usual. I’ll be up bright eyed and bushy tailed at oh five hundred. Get three dogs in their kennel with blankets and towels and water and get Trooper and I in the truck and on the road.

Trooper Weaving

We had our last Agility practice before the trial last night. He did amazing. I was a little concerned because we took all four dogs into the field beforehand to play and he played hard. But he was focused and ran really well. And it was hellishly difficult course. The instructor assured me that none of the set ups at the trial will be nearly so difficult.

My goal is to have fun and not let Trooper run off the course. :) If it goes really amazingly well we will get something called a “Q” … which I really don’t yet understand. Some of the terminology of this agility stuff is still new to me. Apparently if you do things the “right” way you get a Qualifying score. Get enough “Q”s and I think you move up … to what I don’t know. lol

Something that I do worry about is my nerves. I’m not super nervous yet but I will be tomorrow morning. And when I’m nervous or worried, Trooper does not respond as well to me as normal. When I am confident and alert, he is too. Isn’t that weird? He’s very in tune with me.

I’m hoping to have videos and photos to share next week, if I remember to charge my camera and can find someone to take them while we run. Even if we do horribly I’ll still like watching them … watching Trooper run is such a joy. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Relatives

Trooper’s breeder sent me new photos … her bitch had TEN new Malamute puppies. TEN!!!!

Seven boys and three girls. OOps…my bad. Seven girls and three boys. Still…a lot of dogs. =) Trooper’s litter only had FOUR dogs!

Phew…she is going to be one busy mama. I’ve asked when I can come visit and I will take lots of photos to share. =) I can’t remember how the mama is related to Trooper but he’ll just be their Uncle until I figure it out. LOL

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dogaholics Anonymous

I found this at Magikal Tails and thought it was too cute. So I had to share … and include my answers.

Good Evening. My name is __Megan__ and I AM a dogaholic.

I would like to welcome all of you to this month’s meeting of “Dogaholics Anonymous”. Some of you are here tonight because a friend or relative brought you here. You may be sitting here thinking that you are OK and that you really don’t need any help. It is not easy to admit that you are a dogaholic, and it is even harder to bring yourself to a DA meeting for help. DA is here to assist you. I have some questions to ask. If you can answer YES to more than three of the following, you have come to the right place.

1.Can you say “Bitch” in public without blushing? YES
2.Do you drive a station wagon, van, or 4×4 when everyone else drives a real car? YES
3.Do you have more than one car? One for you and one for the dogs? YES although we can fit two dogs in my car we need the truck for all four.
4.Do you spend your vacations and holidays going to shows, specialties, and seminars when everyone else goes on a cruise? What is a vacation? Anywhere we go must include the dogs.
5.If you do go overseas, is it to London in March to attend Crufts?Never heard of it.
6.Do you discuss things at the dinner table that would make most doctors leave in disgust? 8.Do you consider formal wear to be clean jeans and freshly washed tennis shoes? I’m fine with non clean jeans
7.Is your interior decorator R.C. Steele?Um…never heard of it either
8.Was your furniture and carpeting chosen to match your dogs?Pretty much - at least we took their sometimes destructive behavior into account
9.Are your end tables really dog crates with tablecloths thrown over them? No crates here!
10.Do you know the meaning of CD, CDX, UD, CGC, HIC, WC, JH, MH, CH, and OTCH? No, someone want to fill me in?
11.Is your mail made up primarily of dog catalogs, dog magazines, and premium lists? We do get quite a few.
12.Do you get up before dawn to go to Training Classes? Dog Shows? Seminars? Sundays, yes. Thursdays I stay up late for training. And next weekend I’ll be at a show for two full days!
13.If you do have dresses, do they all have pockets? What’s a dress?
14.Do those pockets often contain freeze dried liver, Rollover, or squeaky toys? My jeans and jackets often do
15.When you meet a new person do you always ask them what kind of dog they have and pity them if they don’t have one? Totally!
16.Do you remember the name of a person’s dog sooner than you remember their name?*giggle* YES! I am actually very embarrassed by this sometimes.
17.Do you find non-dog people boring? Totally!

If you answered YES to one of the above, there is still hope.
If you answered YES to two, you are in serious trouble.
If you answered YES to three or more, you have come to the right place. My advice to all of you with three or more YESes is to sit back and smile, turn to the smiling person next to you and know that your life will always be filled with good friends and good dogs and it will never be boring.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Making Progress

Timber is really making progress and I couldn’t be more pleased. I took him with Trooper and me to our agility practice yesterday. He stayed in the truck and when we were done I worked with him on leash. It took a little less time than last Sunday - only 15 minutes as opposed to 25 minutes. *grin*

Sweet Timber Wolf

The choke chain is working well - hubby and I are learning better how to use it effectively. We had an official hour long training on Thursday. It’s clear that hubby is a big ol’ softy and Timber knows it. Hubby has a very hard time getting Timber’s attention.

On our walk today I had Trooper and hubby had Timber but only a few minutes into it hubby asked me to take Timber. :( He is clearly getting frustrated by his lack of control … he would let Timber pull for a few seconds and wouldn’t correct him until I said something. But I don’t know that he’s totally doing it correctly. So I think he may need to go back and work with the trainer more.

When I took him we only had to walk for a few minutes before he was heeling!!! I was SO excited. This really is HUGE progress for our boy. The first time I took him out on a leash he threw himself down to the ground because he’d never been on a leash before. That was when? September? October? Not that long ago.

But I still feel bad for hubby. He’s not a weak person but he lets these dogs walk all over him. Considering his line of duty it’s almost funny. But I don’t like it when he tries to tell the dogs to do something and they just sort of look at him. *sigh*

We’ve already established that Trooper is “my” dog (who will do almost anything I say) and it upsets hubby.

Any advice? How do you help someone who has no “hand” (random Seinfeld reference!) to get “hand” when it comes to dogs?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Truth is Out There

hahahahahaha This is so cute. Learn about the real reason for different dog breeds.

Sorry I haven’t posted lately. Lots of things going on. Still working on getting Timber on a loose leash. *sigh* We had an exhausting session on Sunday morning where he very nearly pulled me over, but thankfully my agility trainer was nearby and she took pity on me. She showed me a few different techniques, and although he threw several tantrums and was still shaking to run forward he did settle down a bit.

He was anxious to get forward because in front of him was a big field with other dogs and balls. Oh the joy! When we finally made it to the field we spend 30 or so minutes … I threw the ball (God bless the chuck it tool) and Timber, Trooper, and several other dogs would run run run run to get it. Timber did not get it one time while the other dogs were there. Poor guy. He just couldn’t keep up with the border collies.

He keeps up better than the slow lumbering Trooper. I used to think he was fast but when you watch him with these other dogs he looks like a big ol’ slow giant. Poor sweet guy. He was SO tired (after all, he’d just had an hour of agility) and it was pretty obvious he wanted to leave. But I kept them both there until they were good and worn out. When we finally got home they were both muddy, absolutely filthy, but super sleepy.

A tired dog is a heavenly dog in my view. =)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Wonder if they Accept Referrals

My hubby turns 40 this year. The BIG one. :) He’s not one for parties so his sister and I are planning a get away to the mountains.

How does this relate to the home zoo?

Do you know how hard it is to find a cabin or house to rent that will accept dogs? Let alone FOUR dogs? Four BIG dogs?

It’s nearly impossible.

Two years ago we did rent a cabin and made special arrangements to take four dogs (we had three and my SIL had one). It worked out great and we left the place cleaner than we found it. Do you think that place would give us a referral? hahahaha Somehow I doubt it. We would stay there again but we really want some snow and it’s going to be April. So we have to go up into a real mountain … this place was only halfway up the hill.

It’s hard to convince a place - a business - that our dogs won’t cause damage. I’m sure all owners say that. But in our case it is TRUE. Trooper was still a puppy when we took him on this other trip and we watched him like a hawk (he wasn’t even neutered then) and had no accident issues at all.

Trooper Bear

Quinn leaks but it seems periodic and we’d bring her blankies for her. Kodiak is about as mellow and easy going as any of them.



Timber has never been to a new place but when I brought him home from the pound he never lifted his leg and he has only once or twice had an accident - and it was in the beginning. I have full confidence that he is fully house broken now.


I totally understand where the businesses are coming from but boy is it frustrating as a pet owner … and a responsible one at that. We want to go away and we always include our dogs. The only time our dogs don’t come with us on vacation is if we fly somewhere tropical.

There’s probably a great business opportunity catering to pet owners. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Miss My Kitties

I really miss my Sherbert, a long haired orange cat with many Maine Coon tendencies and features. He escaped one night by opening the screen door (he was too smart for his own good) and we think he got eaten. All we found was fur.

Mischief and Jazmyn on the other hand were captors in our garage until my Mother in Law moved closer and was able to rescue them. Why the garage? you might ask. Well, when Trooper was a puppy he mostly left the cats alone. But then their cousin Koyuk arrived with his mommy (my sister in law) and Koyuk was a known cat killer. They were staying for a month so we put the kitties in the garage.

The problem came when Koyuk left…Trooper was used to not seeing the cats and after a month he thought they looked pretty yummy. So from that point on the cats had to live in the garage. Which really sucked. For them and for me.

I got Jazmyn when I was 18 and then got Mischief when I was 20. They lived with me before I was married and moved with me several times. They were my babies. But now they are my mother in law’s babies and they are so much happier having a non-dog home to themselves. We visited the day after Christmas and got to enjoy Mischief’s personality once again. (Jazmyn is still mad at me for taking her to the vet earlier this year … she stays in my MIL’s bedroom when I visit.)

What was that?

Gimme That!

It's Mine!

Looking at these photos makes me sad. He’s such a cuddler and he’s so silky smooth. *sigh* But he is happy and that is what matters.