Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays!

From the brain-eating clan of hypnotizing forest doggy's...

Christmas has come and gone and what do I have to show for it?...A shiny new camera, that's what!! Among many other fabulous gifts I recieved this year was a little blue "Olympus Stylus Tough" so I can take much better pics of the gang!

At first Cooper was bored with my new toy...

Then, he got veeery suspicious...

But, when I explained to him that this meant I could take much nicer pictures of him to display to his adoring public, he approved...

7 just appreciates shiny things...

"Can I puts it in my mouf?"

Friday, December 11, 2009

All is well...

Well, I'm very happy to say that Kobe did indeed have an absess...yippee! He got attacked by the resident dog in his last foster home and the vet thinks that maybe he had a small puncture under his jawline which could have gone through to his lymph node which is what caused that absess and swelling to be so huge. He is through with his antibiotics now and is looking like a happy, distinguished gentleman again.
This weekend I'm off with Jazz, Cooper, and 7 to visit some family on Vancouver Island and Kobe went to stay with another foster home so as not to overwhelm my not-so-dog-nerdy relatives. I think 2 dogs and a 7 month old puppy are quite enough for them :-)
I'll leave you with some pics of Kobe and my brother having fun and saying goodbye...

Did I mention Kobe REALLY likes his ball?

Friday, November 27, 2009

"No Fun" zone

My latest foster "Kobe" is in a bad way. He has a VERY large mass under his chin and jaw and we've got all our fingers and paws crossed that it is an absess. I've been to the vet twice now in as many days and until we get some test results back we're no closer to finding out what's wrong with this sweet old boy.
Kobe is about ten years old which is a completely unacceptable age for a dog to find themselves homeless. He should be curled up right now with the family he's known all his life, secure in the knowledge that he's safe. Instead he is on his second foster home and feeling like death in a strange house with strange dogs, strange beds and unfamiliar routines. I picked Kobe up at the airport last Thursday night and promptly fell in love. This is a true gentleman of a dog! He is very sweet, loving and well mannered and has fit quite nicely into the house. Then, Tuesday after coming on a hike with me I noticed that he looked a bit "puffy" around his lymph node area and felt a hard, non-moving lump. I know enough about anatomy to know that, that is not a particularly good place to find a lump so I contacted Hug-a-bull's vet and made an apointment for him. The vet was quite concerned when we got him, he actually said the words "this has to come out, whatever it is we need to do surgery...invasive surgery." Then after sticking a needle in it for tests and finding some pus he backtracked and said that maybe it's an infection. Since then his lump has grown tenfold, it now spans almost the whole width of his jaw and is making it's way into his cheek. Last night once we got hom from the first vet visit he started showing the first signs of being uncomfortable. He was breathing in shallow puffs and didn't want to move any more than he had to. This morning he still seemed very uncomfortable so I took him back to the vet. I've now got a medicine cabinet full of doggy drugs for his pain and possible infection and we're waiting on the results of the tests to tell us where to go next. Having a sick dog is probably one of the most heartwrenching experiences. He is just so unhappy and there's nothing I can do to help him. I spent today, the first rainless day in a long time curled up on the floor with him scritching all his favourite places.

This is the face of an unhappy dog...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pointless Fun

I've been doing a lot more shaping with my dogs (excluding Jazz, he's enjoying his retirement from new training) due to the new "dog nerd training challenge" blog that me and my two fellow dog nerds have started. It was just the inspiration I needed to get back into a regular training rhythm. I've now taught two totally pointless but rather difficult tricks to Cooper and 7 and we've have a lot of fun practicing every night.
7 has learned to blow bubbles with his nose in a bowl of water on cue...yeah, I know early on in this blog I mentioned trying to teach this to Cooper but that just never really worked out and now that I've got a new super operant puppy who has no problem shoving his schnoz into water...I just gave up and let the new guy have it.
Here is this little gem...
Meanwhile Cooper has been perfecting his "get in a suitcase and be adorable" trick. He jumps in to a suitcase with the lid closed and when I say "ready" he pokes his nose out of the know, 'cause it's adorable!
"Get packed"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Winter Woes

7 is not what I would call a "hardy dog." I've recently had to buy him a set of PJ's just so he can sleep in his crate at night. I live in a basement suite and my bedroom can get quite cold at night. Recently I've been woken up in the middle of the night by a rattling noise beside my bed. Upon inspection I discovered that Seven (while not complaining) was shivering so hard he was rattling his crate bars. I bought him a nice fleecy sweater and packed his crate to bursting with soft, warm bedding.

Here is a vid of 7 checking out his new digs...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Odd Couple

In honour of "Pit Bull Awareness Day" (today) I am posting some pics of my last foster "Paige."
"Who me?"
She was only with me a short time (2 weeks) before she went to a foster-adopt home.
Seven adored Paige, he thought she was put on this earth just for him! He cuddled her, played with her and was caught on numerous occasions just staring deep into her eyes.

Paige started out just tolerating Seven but he soon won her over. The moment that Paige finally gave in to all of Seven's pestering was captured on film and I love to watch it.

This moment was the first time I got to see a little spark in Paige's eye. She had been extremely stressed at the shelter and was a shell of a dog when I got her. Playing with Seven filled her up again and she started turning around after this point. By the time she left me, she was playing with me in the yard and stealing toys from the toy bin. She would shove her way through any computers, books or other dogs to get on my lap when she wanted to cuddle and loved nothing more than falling asleep under the covers in bed.
Today if you see a Pit Bull being walked on the street, please stop and say hello. Give the dog a pat on the head, he's just a dog like any other. Pit Bull's and their owners so rarely are given positive attention when they are in public, let's start changing that.

"Baby Killer!? Where!?"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fun in the forest in fall

I took the dogs on a hike today with their friend's; Ruby (Shepherd) and Murphy (Big Black Fluffy Thing). One of my favourite things about living in Vancouver is that you are never more than 10 minutes away from a fabulous hiking trail. I pack up the dogs and take them for a romp in the woods at least 3-4 times per week. I don't know what I would do without our mountains!

Here's everybody posing at the trailhead.

Ever wonder where the "Engergizer Bunny" went? I know... I'll give you a clue: He was reincarnated and he has a funny name...

I know I've mentioned Cooper's rock obsession before, well here's an example of one of his passionate encounters...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A little doggy acrobatics

Here's a wee vid of Seven's current coolest trick.

Once he's a little bit older and stronger we'll try and fade out the wall

Monday, September 14, 2009

Great Expectations

Well, I just finished a very educational weekend with Seven. I took him to an outreach seminar put on by Kim Collins of "Pawsitive Steps" agility club. He was an absolute STAR. I was pretty nervous about going as this was his "debut" in the agility community and he would be the youngest dogs there. Everything went quite well though! His self control surprised me, I spent about 10 minutes trying to get him to "fail" and come out of his crate without a release. I dropped cookies just outside the open crate door, played with his favourite toys, even played a rousing game of tug with a friend's young German Shepherd just feet from him. Nothing fazed him until I sent him to the crate and took off running as soon as he entered. This made him poke a paw outside the crate door, which gave me the chance to tell Sev that breaking this criterion would result in a loss of access to reinforcement. Failure is an important part of learning and after his "oopsies" there was absolutely NO getting Seven to make the same mistake again. Without a single correction! It was a very good experience and I can't wait 'till the 2010 sessions start. Until then, we have lots of homework to do!

Here are some pics from today of Seven having fun in the yard...

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I just wanted to add this little video to my camping post. Seven thought I looked funny holding a camera, so he started his "stalk walk" at me to get a closer look. Once close enough he thought it would be funny to charge me 'cause, you know, I ALWAYS put my hands out and catch him before he hits...not this time.
Turn up the sound :-)

Camping, Cuteness and OCD

I just returned from a totally kick ass camping trip with my family and (of course) the dogs. Cooper, Seven and my mom's dog Chucky were getting back to their wild roots and having a blast. In case you didn't notice, there was a four-legger missing. I left Jazz in the capable hands of a family friend. Camping and Jazz just don't mix. Whenever we've had him outdoors for anything much longer than a day, his eyes start to really suffer with the wind and dust and such. At the moment Cooper and Seven are curled up at my feet and I suspect they are not going to move for at least 48 hours or so...ahhh, sweet bliss...
We camped at Salmon lake about 45 minutes past Merritt, BC. It was absolutely stunning! My brother and I stayed in a tent overlooking the lake while my mom and her "roommate" took over our brand-spanking-new tent trailer at the RV site. Our proximity to the lake proved to be a bit of an inconvenience when we factored in the water obsessed, ignorer of darling Cooper. If I took my eyes off of him for a second he was off, down the hill and into the water before I could say "oh crap." Cooper takes swimming to a whole new level. When he first enters the water he will paddle out to the middle of the lake and then look at me to see if I will throw him any rocks to chase. If I don't, he proceeds to stir up the water by thrashing his front paws and creating bubbles which he then maniachly destroys. I perfected a couple of techniques to retrieve my frothing, stinking, glazed-eyed, Posieden spawn from the very weedy, algae covered lake. The most successful was to throw a series of rocks closer and closer to the dock until I could reach down and haul his skinny ass out of the water. Another, less satisfying ploy was to let him swim himself to exhaustion and then walk away toward my mom's campsite with Seven in tow. If Cooper thought we were going to leave him and have fun somewhere else he sometimes would abandon his compulsive bubble-eating and follow us. Once out of the water I could grab him, towel him off and shove him in his crate while he stared longingly at the lake.
Seven, of course, was an angel :-)
"hey momz, you forgots to pack my halo"

"look at me, I SOOO sleepy, I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone go swimming...why don't you have a little faith in me?"

"I woke up."

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

Cooper tried teaching Seven the proper way to obsess over water...But found his student lacking and went on to pursue bigger, better bubbles...

Next came the big tent fight sequence...

Eventually peace was restored...well, sorta. If you look carefully, you'll see that Seven is the only peaceful one here. Cooper is tensed up and on his toes, waiting for his release word. At the quietest "okay" He'll be off like a rocket into that sweet, sweet water.

In closing, I leave you with a short clip of Cooper and the effects of prolonged exposure to freezing cold lakes without an ouce of self-preservation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Day of School

Tonight Seven had his first puppy class. He was SUCH a star! The emphasis of the class is on socialization and learning how to play appropriately. There were two older pups (about 4-5 months) who were a bit rough and had short fuses. One was a boxer/possible Dogo Argentino and the other was a Boston Terrier. Seven was the only pup who could play with these two...and play he DID! He LOVED them! He would dive underneath them and let them "have their way" with him. It was rather shameless. I blame his bossy sisters (their were 7 puppies in his litter...6 were girls) Seven has grown up being taken advantage of and now he thinks it's great fun. There were also a couple of teeny tiny pups who wanted nothing to do with the rough and tumble play sessions. Seven was politely told to FUCK OFF by one of them and he promptly did. Good boy Cooper! For teaching Seven about what teeth are used for.As if this wasn't enough fun for one night, as I was leaving I spotted a pretty little Pit Bull on her way into the building and just about fell over....PAISLEY!!!

Paisley is the "one that got away" for me. She was my last foster dog through Hug-a-bull and I was already planning on adding Seven to my life when I started fostering her. Knowing that I was going to be getting a brand spankin' new Vizsla puppy soon was the ONLY reason I didn't scoop this girl up and run. She was really the most perfect dog. She was the perfect mixture of rugged, tenacious and high energy with sweet, adorable and cuddly. I ADORE this dog and often think about her and what it would be like if I'd kept her. Paisley went to her new home just weeks before I went to pick up Seven and I haven't heard anything about her since. I could barely believe my eyes tonight. When Paisley left she looked like this...

Tonigh, the dog I saw looked like this...

Okay, maybe not quite...but she HAS grown! She was about 10 months when she left me and she was a bit skinny and gangly. Now, her muscles have developed and her head isn't peanut sized any more...she looks like a real, adult dog :-)

It was so good seeing her again, but it definetely brought back some of the feelings I'd been just starting to get over. I can tell I'm going to dream about this little jem tonight. I've already started thinking about trying another foster again in a little while :-) Pit Bull never can have just one!

I'm going to leave you with the sweet results of puppy class

A tired puppy is a GOOD puppy

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sibling love

Yesterday, Seven's sister "Kira" came over for a playdate.

Seven says: "Oh boy ma! She's coming, she's coming she's coming!"

Kira soon got over her innitial trepidation and caught on to why she was in this strange yard with the stupid brother she thought she'd got rid of...PLAY TIME! (Kira's in the black collar, Seven's in the blue)

Seven gets his ass kicked for this particular sneak attack...

Learning to share...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sizzling Summer Days

Today was WAY too hot to do much of anything. Most of the day my dogs lounged in their crates (I had to take any bedding out or they would overheat!) This is what that looked like...

Jazz thought it was HI-larious when he kicked Seven out of his crate..."HAHAHAHA! phew, I crack myself up!"

"No, seriously...why does the one-ball-wonder get a bigger crate than moi?"

I did get a quick training session in with Seven when a small patch of shade apppeared in the yard. We started a little body-awareness excersize of putting different sets of paws into a bowl. Typical of an 11 week old puppy, Seven is marginally aware that he has 2 front legs and that he needs to control them, but he is completely ignorant to the fact that he also has two BACK legs and that they can move independantly of his fronts. We started off easy with me just clicking him for putting his front feet into the bowl and once this is on cue I will start with the backs. I figure I'll call his front feet "paws" and his back "feet" which could come in handy later down the road.

Cooper is hitting a little roadblock with our latest project: blowing bubbles with his nose in a bowl of water. I've seen a number of people take on this challenge and post their results on youtube so I thought I'd give it a try. He is pretty solid on his nose touch on the base of the bowl with the additional criteria of duration (before this, any nose targetting I had him doing was hard, repeated touches) but when I add the water he is psyching himself out a bit. I have to add more water than I'd like because if I just add a bit he laps it up and then proceeds to perfectly touch the now dry bottom. He "stalls out" frequently if I raise his criteria and just can't seem to get past a light touch to the top of the water. I will continue to work on this and post his results...if we ever get any!