December 31, 2009
Deegan gave us a run for our money the first couple days, as ALL the dogs have done to all of us in the past. We waited him out, practiced his obedience and got him lots of exercise, including some free range play on the fenced in high school football field and he learned real quickly who was in charge (hint: not him!). He helped get Neva walking without us having to coax her. Neva was hard to let go, she is such a sweet, soft hearted little love, but she will learn much with Ernie and Jan and then the Kahls.
Deegan is now with Mark and Barb for a while until his evaluation for advanced training possibly in sunny CA, and Neva moved on to Ernie and Jan's house, Banjo will go to Michelle's again,and we got our smart little angel, Cinder, back!
Hard to believe Cinder used to be small enough to sleep in the bathtub (you would have to go back to the archived blogs, April 2009, to find out what that was all about).
The past 24 hours she has barely stopped moving, but she is as obedient and as eager to please as she always was. She's constantly bringing us a toy and dropping it at our feet, and if we don't pick it up, she drops it on our lap. She definitely is as smart as ever. We are refusing to throw toys for her because her prey drive is WAY too high and we're hoping we can bring that down if possible. If we do throw a toy, we make her sit and wait until we tell her she can go get it. She brings it back with her tail wagging like crazy, so I guess she doesn't mind that game.
I cannot tell you how moving it is to have been in the "wheel" long enough to get a dog back after 6 months. Dogs get bigger and learn new things but when you sit and look in their eyes, you see that same cute little puppy who knew nothing at 4 months old and was big enough to cuddle in your lap. It is pretty amazing. Of course, Cinder has no memory of us as best we can tell, but she is settling right in, taking over toys (she has to touch every one of them of course!) and beds and crates.
She has found her courage somewhere in 6 months and we still think she is the smartest dog we've ever had... More good news (again going back to the old blogs) as she was playing last night, Marlene noticed that her "innie" has now become an "outie!" The good news is that may mean it clears her to live a normal, UTI-free life as a guide dog, the bad news is her stay with us may be short because she may be finally coming into season and may have to go to Marlene's as she kindly takes care of all the "girls in heat".
For now though, we're enjoying having Cinder back in our home.
Happy New Year everyone!
December 30, 2009
I've been taking Magic out here and there to various locales. Yesterday we went to Hubbard Avenue Diner in Middleton to have breakfast with Jeff & Aaron. They had immediate seating for 2 so Jeff and Aaron (who needed breakfast) took it. Magic and I sat in the front waiting area. He laid down and accepted treats from me and pets from everyone else. Was great until it was time to move. Magic does not like to walk with the vest on - it's so funny because that will be his job someday. He'll just flop down in the middle of a walkway and put his head on his paws. I can lure him a little ways with a treat, but I don't want that to become a habit. Later we went to the bowling alley with some friends and got the same response. It took us 5 minutes to get from the door to where we were sitting. But then he was great and lay down and took a nap, even had kids coming by to pet him. I'm guessing it will get better with time and practice.
New computer so pictures not available yet. Lynda & Magic
December 29, 2009
December 28, 2009
December 27, 2009
Here is Maddi patiently waiting for something to happen besides talking.
You can see here that Kaitlyn really loves Slick.
Here is the whole family after the formal presentation of Slick and Kaitlyn's certificate.
December 26, 2009
Here I am at East Towne teaching children how to wrap presents and to be good dog handlers. I'm teaching this young lad the importance of motivating us with food...even if it is second hand - so to speak.
Now we'll have a lesson on "Find heel". YES, good lad.
But you must not be holding that leash in both hands, young sir. Why, however would you give me a treat if you did something correctly???
I've got this growth attached to my hip and it won't go away!! At first I thought it was cute (and he is) but all he wants to do is play play play. A gal needs her beauty sleep. At first he only was around at home, but now that he can hold off potty, he is going everywhere with me. I thought I was the special one, but he gets to do stuff with me too. Mom, it's not fair!!
To celebrate the end of our holiday travels, we took a long walk this morning. Then they played with their Christmas presents, two rawhide candy canes. Though they are identical, the one not in their possession is always more desirable, so they trade off repeatedly.
Deegan acts as a mentor for both good and bad behaviors. He has helped her move freely around the neighborhood and traverse stairs without trepidation. Although gentle indoors, he plays a bit rough when outside. He is possessive of toys and, worst of all, will consume his own "presents".
Last night, they "went to bed" in the same crate, so we simply locked the door and let them be until morning. Neva is going to miss her mentor when he leaves.
December 25, 2009
On Christmas Eve, we needed to find one more gift, so we headed to Target. I pottied Magic outside then we worked on puppy heeling inside the front area of the store near the checkout lanes. After that we sat on the benches near the door and greeted people as they came in. Magic got lots of lovin'.
Since our travel plans to MN were disrupted by the snow storm they are getting, we stayed home last night and were able to go to our own church's Christmas Eve candle-lite services. Magic was still going strong after visiting Target so I knew he would be tired. I pottied him at home before we left. He hadn't eaten yet so I brought his food (moistened with water to reduce crunch) along and fed him right before the service started. He ate quietly then laid down and slept through the whole service. No-one even knew he was there, except the lady sitting next to us. At the end, we were finally able to introduce him to people sitting in front of us and other friends.
Today we trimmed nails and ran the dremel tool briefly over each nail. He did really well with the dremel & treats. Marlene, did you do this with him already?
Magic & Sara really want to get out for a walk or they'll tear my house apart playing with eachother. :)
Merry Christmas everyone, Lynda & Magic
December 24, 2009
The UTI turned out to be a minor infection, but she has a lot of crystals which may be more diet related. We did get some antibiotics to treat the urinary tract infection, but the only treatment for kennel cough is cough suppressant. The cysts on her cheeks may be related to incoming teeth.
Neva's loss has been Deegan's gain. All of these maladies left the door open for Deegan to visit the dentist, hair salon, supermarket, drug store, and library. Except for being a little "creepy" Deegan behaved well on these outings.
Tip: We recently corrected her loose stool by administering probiotics.
December 21, 2009
Deegan is a high energy dog and is always ready to go outside, and walk. He is disappointed when he realizes that we are only out for a potty break and not a walk around the neighborhood.
To accomodate him the last few days, we have taken Deegan and Neva to the high school football field to run around in the snow and let him be a dog. He transforms from a mild mannered guide dog into crazy canine. It is surrounded by fence, so he can't escape.
This also provides Deegan with an opportunity to exact revenge on the little black beast. He gets his revenge by either holding her down in the snow and biting her limbs or by running full speed at Neva, only to veer off at the last moment. When Neva guesses wrong, moving into his path, she is sent rolling head over tail in the snow. She then gets up and chases after him until he turns and repeats the scenario.
December 20, 2009
Went on a short walk today to meet a few neighbors. He did well on 1/2 mile walks the last 2 days though.
Have to get pictures up in the next few days. Thanks to everyone who has patiently answered my many questions in the past few days. Lynda (with Jeff, Allie, and Aaron) and Magic
Today, Me, myself and I - alone and without other dogs got to dine in the elegant Ladies room (with covered chairs and everything) at Lukenbooth's. I felt like royalty, being surrounded by fine china and crystal...but I STILL got left on the floor!! Hey, humans!!! I can sit in a chair too, just watch me.
Later I got to meet up with Timber and we rode those moving stair thingies!!! I was perfect - didn't bother me a bit...but I'll leave that story for Timber.
All for Now,
December 19, 2009
As usual Saturday started with play time at The Dog Den (new website). Neva was a very active participant, however, Deegan was relegated to observer. He watched the puppies from the penalty box and was just minding his own business when a puppy came up to the fence and urinated into his area. Lisa had to clean it up even though it wasn't her fault.
Near the end of play time, I took Deegan into the big puppy play area where Neva was terrorizing the other canines. Deegan appreciated the break. He remained on leash as we practiced SIT, DOWN, and STAY with puppy distractions. He did good given that fact that dogs seem to be his most difficult challenge.
What's worse than Christmas shopping on the Saturday before Christmas?
Shopping the Saturday before Christmas with two dogs in tow.
Actually it wasn't that bad. We stopped at Mounds which took at least thirty minutes to pick up a bag of food and two leashes. Our dynamic duo accompanied us to Target for a few gifts and household items - in and out in less than thirty minutes. The crowds weren't bad, just a lot of puppy greetings.
Our final stop was the veterinarian's office for a weight check. Neva weighs 32 pounds and Deegan tipped the scales at 69 pounds, well under the seventy-two pound threshold for a doggy diet.
My humans tell me we're coming over again today for some more work. Work, work, Work - is that all humans ever think about? I wanna chase a cat :-)
See you soon,
Your Pal Timber
PS: Promise had fun with us last night too!
PSPS: I went to the vet with Harley yesterday too and he got nose stuff and I got nose surff and weighed (73 lbs) and a SHOT - I didn't even wimper. Here's Harley begging for no shot with Dr. Dave.
December 18, 2009
Banjo's doing fine today. The hardest part is to keep him and Sadie from wrestling around. They both can get a little wild. We were told not to take Banjo on any outings for 10 days, just short little walks. I think he's gonna get a little bored.
Ernie and Jan
December 17, 2009
We are dog sitting Deegan for the next few weeks, while his trainer is out of town. He has completed puppy training and is essentially on vacation prior to formal training and assignment as a guide dog or companion dog. He will be officially evaluated by a trainer after Christmas.
We picked Deegan up at training class in Janesville, expecting a "perfect" dog. During class, he seemed to be very close to perfect. However, after having him home for (a brief) twenty-four hours, he is not as perfect as we thought. He is not comfortable and is testing us or maybe we are being tested by Marlene. I am ready to send him back. His discipline has evaporated and his house manners need work.
Only one of us wants to keep him. Neva enjoys having a big brother around. Not so sure that the feeling is mutual. The pesky puppy is constantly following him around, licking his face, and biting his cheeks/paws. Deegan has been very patient and earned a few more days.
December 15, 2009
After class on Thursday night, Promise will be off to live with Harley for the holidays while I'm on the East Coast visiting family and friends. I'll miss her, though I'm sure she'll apprecaite having a furry friends to play with. She's taking her "S" with her...hands down her favorite toy.
December 14, 2009
Unfortunately Neva is still suffering from a urinary tract infection which she shares with at least one of the local rabbits. The cranberry tablets have only stabilized the infection. As I mentioned, we did not limit her outings, however, we were extremely careful not to go too long without access for potty. To her credit, she has proven to be 100% housebroken. She has been waking us up at night to get outside. If things don't improve soon, we will have to make our monthly visit to the veterinarian.
In an attempt to avoid a trip to the vet, one of our outings this weekend was to Farm n Fleet to pick up some puppy medicine. Neva needed bordetella and lepto something or other. We administered the bordetella nasally without issue, but we haven't been brave enough to try the Parvo-Distemper-Lepto injection. Trimming her nails is difficult enough.
It was time for Neva's puppy class at The Dog Den. It was bittersweet being the last class, remembering where we started and how much she has learned in six weeks. We worked to solidify the old commands and introduced the LEAVE IT command. The trainer commented how different she is; wild and crazy during play times, then calm and focused when training (and a very quick learner).
A new exercise this evening was walking your puppy while holding a full glass of water in the same hand as the leash. Of course the goal being to have your puppy under control so as not to spill any liquid.
Neva and Lisa were the best in class :-)
December 13, 2009
After having to behave and sit for the gazillion pictures, Cinder and Carmen along with the boys got to run off a little energy and play in the snow. Cinder loves it, she tunnels under and comes up with a snout full, flipping it into the air. Some days I look outside and wonder if someone replaced my black lab with a dalmation!!
When we got back home, we spent some time working on the fort at the end of the driveway. Cinder didn't help with the digging, but she did get a kick out of going into the tunnel at the side and poking her head up through the top whole. Unfortunately, she was too fast for me to get a good pic of it and any time we tried to call her name to get her to stay there, she'd duck down and come running out the side tunnel to us. I guess it is a good thing she has a good recall, but not when you are trying to get her attention for a picture!
It was a little lonely going to breakfast without my pal Slick. Everyone was asking about him so I told them he's doing well and having fun.
See you soon Sophia,
Maddi, Finley, Magic & Candy were all at the Janesville Petco on Saturday for a couple hours. The puppies got lots of pets and hugs and we talked with some really nice people.
Here are a couple shots of Magic and his sister Candy.
December 12, 2009
Here is a picture of Slick and Kaitlyn and Hanna in his crate - it's so big all three can fit.
Roxy and I miss him, cuz he played so good. He said his new friend Jasper is almost as good a player as me. You can see some more pictures of them here.
See you soon,
December 11, 2009
This is Slick filing my last report from Cross Plains. My old pal Mr.s Snow is back - but TOOOO much! My footsies are froze! and the snow is tooo deep.Yesterday I went with my pals Timber (Hi Sophia) and Dale to a Country Club (am I moving up the social ranks or what) for a luncheon. What Mom forgot to mention is I had to wear sleigh bells and shiny booties and poor Timber wore a Santa hat. I'm not sure who was more embarassed.
Then we all posed for a Christmas picture. We were all good, but Maddi kept wanting to move around and look at us handsome boys :-)
It was a fundraiser lunch for Maddi and Sonny put on by Who's New! There was even dog treats sold there, but they were gone before I got Mom back to buy them...bummer. At least we got lots and lots of petting and hugs.
Mom and Dad are packing up everything I have - my blankie, bones, harness, even my food (I made sure they didn't forget that!) for my trip to Kaitlyn's house in Waukesha today. I'll miss Mom and Dad but I KNOW I'll have fun with Kaitlyn!
Love to everyone,
December 10, 2009
The most recent blizzard brought seventeen inches of snow to our doorstep with no way to avoid it. A foot and a half of snow provides many training opportunities. Neva spent a couple hours supervising my shoveling. Accustomed to the scraping and movements of the shovel, she began to think of it as a chew toy that throws snowballs that need to be chased, broken apart, and gobbled up.
She has no fear of the two feet high snow banks and attempts to summit them and take a shortcut to the door. She is relegated to hopping since the snow is taller than she is. After cutting a narrow path down the sidewalk, I turned around and we worked on the BACK command. Too high to jump up and too narrow to turn around, Neva was forced to backup. This technique also works when I break a fresh trail or we use our potty paths.
Neva's most favorite natural wintertime gift are icicles. When she is a very good girl or I need a lure (and out of kibble), we let her bring them in the house. She pushes it around the floor, pouncing on it until it breaks, then she wonders where it goes after it melts.
Today Promise and I had our first serious winter outing. She went to school with me, but first, I made her get dressed, since it was so cold out. She doesn't like her shoes too much, but once they're on, and we're not focused on her feet, she gets used to them fine. I also made her wear her jacket today. She wasn't too pleased about modeling, but once we got out the door, all was well.
Turns out, the buses were very sporadic today. After watching two buses that don't usually come to our stop go by full, I decided that our only shot to getting to class on time was walking. So we walked about half way to school, to a stop that tends to drop off a lot of people (we actually caught up to a bus that had passed us about half a mile earlier) and took the bus the rest of the way. We were only about 2 minutes late for class. Promise snored during class, then we went to work, and then swung by the hospital on the way home, where my mom had an office potluck.
Now we're home. Promise is not so much a fan of the snow anymore. It's fun for eating, but she has trouble finding places to go potty since it comes up to her chin. Though now we can check "going potty on concrete" off our list of things she will do on command.
December 9, 2009
Happy Birthday to Neva and her litter mates, Sparta, Maddi, Sonny, Casey, and Finley. They are four months old today.
December 8, 2009
She's been going to school and everything as usual, despite the weather. Her underside gets dirty, so I've been carrying a towel, but otherwise, it hasn't been too bad (not as bad as rain, for sure). I've also been making her sit on the buses since the floors are wet and dirty. This took her a little adjusting to, as I usually make her lie under the seat, but she's getting better at being stable while seated on the bus.
After our last class, we got "major homework" of teaching her to get in heel position. We're making good progress, now that I've been shown how to teach her. My goal is to have her reliably coming to the heel position by the time I'm done my finals. Then she's going to camp out with Harley while I'm gone for vacation...no break for her.
Well, my dream is coming true. Yesterday I walked Kaitlyn home from school. We got along great and I think she likes me...a lot!
Later on, her dad came home so off we went on another walk. How come human girls giggle and laugh so much???
Then we came inside for some cuddling and to meet the other dog Jasper. He didn't like me much at first, but now I think we're going to be buds. We even started playing inside, but he will need to learn to share his toys. I would share mine!
Kaitlyn is learning how to take off my harness so I can roll over for a tummy rub.