Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Howl-oween!!

From the Ghost, the Pumpkin and the Tiger. (Yup, poor dogs, we went to PetSmart!)

Hope you have a safe, fun-filled day!  We will be safely at Agility trick or treats for these poor pooches today!

We did however celebrate Howl-oween with a little, light snack of some chicken feet, Yum! Yum!

Wait for it, wait for it, Murph, patience is good for the baby Jack!

Ugh, that's gross Spike!

Well, don't start chewing YET, Sophie!! Wait till I let go, ha!!  Silly girl!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ah, the indignities....

Poor, poor Spike. He was all excited to go visit his ladies at the nursing home. Until I made him wear this, that is...

He'd like you to think his life is HORRIBLE. Don't you believe a word of it.

He loves the attention, even if the ladies giggled more than a little. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Snow Day

Snow has come to Saskatchewan. It seems too early to me, but such is life in late October.

I'm celebrating with a root canal, drained abcess, all done this morning (thank dog and hopefully that's the end of my dental trauma for the fall!!) and an afternoon nap under the duvet.  The dogs want you to know they want to go back to bed too...

Everyone waiting to come in.

Seriously, 'nuff photos already. Everyone knows what snow looks like!

Seriously. Let me in. NOW. 

Enjoy the snow, everyone!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bad Lab.

Yesterday was not the best day for Sophie and I. Our day started at 2AM, when she threw up on the bed. That's never happened before, and she looked as shocked as I was! And, you don't want to know exactly what she was eating that she felt the need to bring it back up. Needless to say, everyone is back on pineapple, because it seems to help keep her from backyard munching on inappropriate things. We'll see.

Anyway, her next offense was the bloody paw moment. After that she drank my coffee, but nicely spilt the extra all over the kitchen table that was covered in journal articles. Her final offense: I had cooked up turkey liver treats for training with Spike and Murphy. Of course, I know better than to do this but I ran downstairs to change laundry over and while I was out, she ate all but 3 of the treats. I managed to run up the stairs, yelling at her as it occured to me too late what she was up to. She hit the floor in the kitchen as I did so, and all that was left was 3 little hearts. Sigh. What a dog!

She needs more attention, I understand that but for the next couple weeks, things are busy. So, to console myself on the bad labby day, I gave Murphy a bath. If nothing else, the stinkiest dog in the house is clean, at least for a bit. After, I took the following videos of her... she's the comic relief in this house, that's for sure!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Meaty Sunday

I was given a huge package of moose meat to feed the dogs. It was left in my garage for me, in my deep freeze about a week ago and I finally pulled it out to defrost on Friday night. I had no idea how it was packaged until I pulled it out; a solid 10 pounds or so of meat, in a big lump. However, it's cut into little strips of meat, varying in size from 1 ounce to about 8 ounces. It's easy to manage for feeding and the dogs are going crazy for it!

Over the last two years (and it will be my two year anniversary of feeding raw on October 30th!) I have developed some systems to help me manage the dogs with the defrosting meat. Well, really, to manage Sophie!!

I have 2 rubbermaid tubs I use exclusively for meat; this keeps Sophie at bay and mostly works well. It can still be messy to manage the meat and I wear gloves to deal with it as well; even after all this time, I am still sqeamish with certain meats. Moose and Buffalo just smell too pronounced for me and I have to wear the gloves for my own sake.  However, after dividing up meat this morning, I ran the packaging out to the garbage bin. Spike and Murphy followed me outside but I had a feeling Sophie was in mischief.

Yup, there she is, not content to stick her head in to lick up all the blood (sorry, yuck I know!), but she HAS to put her two front feet in. Something tells me the floors will be mopped again today....

Yum, yum.... nothing's better than licking the container clean and tracking yucky blood all over the floor.

What a dog, sigh.

Yup, container will be disinfected right away, as will my floors. Silly, silly Sophie.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How we spent our day....

It's been CRAZY lately! I have been completely under the weather with a big problem with a silly tooth. And, it's kinda taken almost everything out of me. You see, it started with a small, inconsistent toothache, oh a few months ago. It built up to a constant, I need pain meds kind of ache about 6 weeks ago. I lasted in that state for about 12 hours before I finally found myself a dentist here. So, a trip to get a cleaning and diagnosis of the problem (broken filling), a trip to get it fixed, another trip to get another broken filling fixed, horrifying, excruciating pain that occurred within hours of the second filling being fixed (but not related, I am sure, as it was on the other side of my mouth), 2 more trips to get the tooth ground down a little bit to fix my bite that was now thrown off (which caused biting down on anything harder than soup or porridge to hurt BAD), and one more trip to get that "strange bump on my gum, right under that tooth" examined, I am now on strong antiobiotics and have an appointment for a root canal. Sigh. I had a horrible phobia of the dentist. I think he's literally ground it out of me at this point.

In the meantime, I have gotten behind on everything. Walking the dogs, reading for University, laundry. Everything. It kind of reached the point of "WOAH, I have to do something about that NOW!" today as I am a bit of a neat freak, under this doggy lovin', don't care about shedding or muddy paw prints (much), kinda gal.

This site about noon threw me over the edge...

It's not nearly obvious enough how bad the mess was,  but there were doggy toys everywhere. Nearly everything in their toy box, in fact was on the floor. Here's a better look at the mess.

The guilty parties, you ask??  Well, this little innocent face of course! She stands in the box, on top of the toys and digs through. She flings things with willfull abandon, to get them out of her way, because she has to have that bone at the bottom of the box, thank you very much!

Also implicated in this toy flinging... Spike, of course. He was content to wrestle and tug with her, post flinging.

Where's Sophie during this? Being good and innocent, sunbathing on the deck, of course. It's nice to have one good dog in the house! HA!

I myself, know for fact the guilty parties as I was sitting in close proximity, with this mess at my finger tips... yup, I was attempting to get through one of the MANY journal articles I need to complete for next week (7, yes 7 of  them, thank you very much.)

So, of course this meant a quick tidy and play in the yard (sorry no photos!) After, I get to resume reading in my favourite position.... lounging on my Sophie girl because what good is a lab, if you can't lean on them?!?

What a good girl! It's all fun and games, until Sophie decides to give kisses...

What a goofball!

And, Murphy all the while is napping in her favourite place... her personal dirty laundry basket. Never underestimate the power of a Jack to generate laundry, let me tell you!!

Ah well, another Sunday, well spent. Next week, we are back to agility classes for Spike, Murphy and I so our Sundays will not be nearly so leisure filled. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nearly Wordless Wednesday... Patient Pooches

Sorry, these aren't great photos, persay but they demonstrate how patient my dogs need to be (so they want you to think!)

Sophie waiting for breakfast...

Seriously, breakfast NOW!

And, the final patient pooch shot this morning, from the broken screen window on the deck...

C'mon.... let us in!!  We want in!

Hehe, pooooor Spike and Sophie, learning their patience. Yup, it's a tough life my dogs lead!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from the Black Dog Crew...

I really have lots to be thankful for.... a nice place to live, a good job, the ability to attend Grad School. Even that my tooth (it's a long story, involving excuciating pain with a bruised tooth) is getting better. But, mostly I am thankful for long weekends I can use to study, cook a turkey and hang with the pups.

They even got presents, little turkeys! Strangely enough, Murphy eventually managed to steal them all and hold onto them until I took them away. She dazzled the black dogs by running circles around them, jumping at their ears until the dropped the toy and she grabbed it and ran. It was pretty amusing, I have to admit. Ah little terrier, someday they will stomp on you!!

Murphy with Sophie's mouse... look at that evil little glimmer in her eye!

Spike's bear. Yum, yum, squeaking toys!

Sophie with her mouse back.

Murphy with all three... the bear, the mouse and the moose. Little hog!!

Once they all had a little play, it was time to cook. I can't trust Sophie in the kitchen, at all, (shocking, I know!)  so I sent the big dogs out for a nap in the sun. That didn't last long, as my little jumping bean demonstrates her true terrier tenacity...

Once the turkey was in, it was time for a play in the yard. It's a gorgeous day out... it's been unseasonably warm which is amazing after the great lack of a summer we had. So, it's really hard to resist the pleading eyes of "please, can we play, please?!?".  And, Sophie had a bad week, to be honest. I was in a haze of pain myself with my stupid tooth and didn't notice how awful she was feeling until she refused to walk up the back stairs by herself to come in. Instead, she stood at the bottom and barked at me, until I went to help her. She wouldn't even get on the couch by herself. Or the bed. So, she's back on pain meds for a few days until her hip/knee calms down again and she's feeling better. The end result?  She's brutal to get a photo of, as she's a streak of running lab. :)  It's awesome to see!!

Anyway, playtime in the yard...

Little Murphy in the pile of leaves.

Spike just dying for me to throw the ball!!

Fight for the ball.... yup, she's a fiesty little terrier. Poor Spike and his ears will never be the same. Soph merely tries to outrun her.

How I'm training Murphy to run faster... chasing the black dogs!!  By the way that's Soph on the left. She's looking skinny again! I do try to keep all three in skinny form, for the sake of Sophie's hips and dog sports for the other two, but her ribs are a little more obvious again than I like. She'll likely get a little extra the next couple days, which trust me, she'll love.

Pretty girl. The only half decent photo I got of her, alone.

Mr. Spike. 

Attemp at a family photo. Too bad noone would cooperate and look at me!

Happy Thanksgiving from the black dog crew... 
Sophie (left), Spike (middle), Murphy (duh! in front), Spike's fav dead soccer ball- lure to keep them all looking at me! 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spike runs agility

I can't believe how time is flying... it's October already, and I am now in the off season for flyball and agility. I think that's a good thing as Spike and I ran at two trials and I have a whole list of things to train over the winter. But it was fun and he loved every minute of it!!

The first weekend was D&S Dogs annual Starter's Trial. It's intended for dogs like Spike, as a first agility trial and it was small, lowkey and lots of fun! I entered Spike in 2 Standard rounds and 1 Jumpers round. No need to post results; we didn't Q in anything, but I was able to shake the nerves off and by the end of the day was earning way less faults! The last round of the day was the Jumper's round and that was an incredible moment for me; it was then I realized I had an agility dog, that Spike is fast and that I am hooked on agility! He flew around the course, with me merely stumbling behind, yelling "GO!". And, he went! One pesky wrong end of the tunnel was all that stopped us from getting our first Q.

The second weekend was a much larger trial with 320 runs per day. I entered Spike in 2 rounds each day; Standard and Jumpers again. Needless to say, the Standard runs were better than the Starter's trial but I still need to work contacts, weaves and my own confidence. As well, Spike has a pesky habit of not seeing or taking the tire jumps so I must work that with him this winter too.  Day 2, was two rounds of Jumpers and the first round was so-so. Second round Spike shone. We nailed it, until the bitter end when the lousy tire jump was all that stopped us from Q'ing. However, he was grinning and flying around that course!

I also took Murphy both weekends and she had fun playing with other pups. She even met a Mastiff puppy, who at 10 weeks of age was already bigger than her. At 8 months, I suspect Murphles is pretty close to full grown at about 13 or 14 pounds of solid terrier fury.

Sophie even got to come with, the second day of the second trial. The days were long and I didn't want to leave her alone so she came and hung in a crate with us. She got out for some good walks and some clicker training by the ring as I worked on her excitement levels and focus. She's happy staying home and she's happy coming with. And, I have to admit, it was nice to have her there as a bit of a distraction, as I had lots of downtime.

I learned some things about myself this weekend. I love agility. I mean, I really love agility. The challenge of the sport, the quietness around the ring, the support from the agility community (that groan from the crowd as Spike missed the tire at the end of his run said it all to me!), and the chance to hang with my boy in an environment that doesn't stress him and in fact allows him to come alive and show me what he's learned is worth so much to me! And, I learned that I can do things I never thought I could... rear crosses, yelling go and trusting Spike to go, working in the ring, and not letting nerves get me nearly as bady as I thought they would. Yup, agility rocks! I can't wait for Spring and trialing!

Spikey, overjumping the 22" jumps. We trained him at 26", but he measured at 21" on the nose, so only has to do 22" jumps in competition. Makes me happy....

And, Murphy playing with Cinch who belongs to Shirley, my fabulous agility coach extraordinaire.

Thanks to Megan MacLean for the photos.  Can't wait to run Spike some more and get more fabulous photos of him looking so happy and focused. :)