Sunday, March 21, 2010

Busy Weekend

The weekend started off with our dog club doing a demo at KidsFest in Thousand Oaks. We used my equipment and loaded it up in another club member's horse trailer. That works really well because then you don't have to lift stuff up high, and with the doors closed, nothing is going to escape- like a certain homemade chute that was never found during our last demo. Bad news for me was before anyone arrived to help load I picked up my cargo carrier that attaches to my trailer hitch since we are going to use it to take even more stuff to OK- and hurt my back. I did not lift with my knees, or even my arms, and it hurt as soon as I did it. Stupid. It is much, much better today.

My equipment looking good. (If I may be so bold as to say so.)

The demo went well. Lots of people watched and enjoyed the dogs. The dogs had fun, the crowds had fun and I had fun. I also had a funnel cake but for the record, the ones at Magic Mountain are better. It got really hot towards the end of the day and that wasn't very fun, but I survived. It was great timing to have a demo right before the Nationals because it gave us the opportunity to reward and train on course in a trial like environment, something that is not allowed at normal trials. Perfect pre-nationals warm up. Pie also got tons of Pie Pets, except from one very small child who's dad did not think it was a good idea for his small son to pet such a large dog.

One of the many lucky children who got to pet Pie. I make her lay down for pets so she doesn't overwhelm anyone and so children who do not like to be licked in the face can avoid if if they are tall enough. This girl did not mind.
Pie became extra silly but I made her stop because her claws can accidentally be dangerous.

A highlight of my day was when I got a free balloon and tied it to Pie's tail. Her tail is perfect for balloons, but she wagged it so much we had to rescue the balloon. I then tied it to her collar but it got caught on something and poped. Poor Pie. Then I secured another balloon and tied it to her tail again and played on the course between jump heights. I got a video of it. Beware of Dottie being obnoxious in the background.

Pie models her balloon.

The next day we had a regular agility show. Fancy QQ (not her fastest) and Pie one Q in jumpers, knocked a bar in standard. Pie was very excited and fast but the ground was wet and she was slipping horribly. I was trying to be careful so she didn't get hurt.

On the way home I stopped at a house in Simi Valley to purchase a used bike rack for my trailer hitch that I found for sale on Craigslist. $30 and it holds four bikes (I only have one.) I thought it was a great deal. Now I just need to find the used chest freezer on CL for storing of the raw frozen food.

We got home, I threw the ball for Dottie (she only chases Fancy if I throw it for her while the others are out) then did a little agility training, then got the other girls out and threw the ball for them.

I hope to go to bed early since I work on Monday then we leave early Tuesday for OK and lots of driving. We tested out the dog configuration in my car on Sunday and all 7 and two people and assorted dog stuff fit in the Rendezvous. The cargo carrier will be for our suitcases.

Dottie is napping with her head on my foot.
You can just barely see my foot.
The long weekend with ball throwing at the end seems to have worn everyone out. Fancy has fallen asleep with the moose antler between her front paws which is strange because I don't remember her chewing on it at all....
A quick shot of Pie asleep with her head off the bed. Again.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I have bought deer antlers in the past for my dogs, but when I saw the moose and elk antlers I could not pass them up. The purpose of the antlers is to satisfy the dogs urge to chew and also to clean their teeth. Antlers are great because they grind down but do not splinter or break (except I got a bad one once that did) and unlike raw bones, you can feed them on the carpet and not worry about a mess or staining. The deer antlers work well. The moose and elk are going for the coolness factor. Kind of like the difference between driving a Ford Ranger and a F150 Lightning. Sure, both get you where you need to go, but one gets you there in style and impresses your friends.

Pie tries the moose first. She likes it. Pie hoards the elk antler, but only because Dottie was in her kennel. Dottie is mean and steals whatever it is Pie is currently chewing on.

When Dottie was freed, she nibbled the elk first. Then she ground down the the moose with gusto. Sadly for my wallet, the moose seems to be a bit softer then I would like and she is already making a dent it it. These are not cheap so I would hope they would last a long time. The deer antlers last for months.

Other traditional chew objects such as rawhide are not as good. Rawhide can make a dog sick if it is contaminated and it also can get stuck in their gut, plus, it doesn't clean teeth. Plastic chew bones are ok but with my dogs they don't get used enough to clean teeth.

The dog biking exercise program is going well. I dropped my bike off at the repair shop today. They are going to fix the gears, but new inter-tubes in the tire (puncture resistant), maybe put new tires on, give it a general tune up, put new hand grips on and install a new seat. I picked extra cushion grips and a big soft seat. I spend about 45 minutes on the bike per dog exercising session, which I know is not very long at all. I must be wimpy because my writs and rear end hurt! I hope the new additions help this! Don't you get annoyed when people use too many exclamations! I am stopping in Simi Valley on the way back from the dog show on Sunday to purchase a used bike rack that attaches to my trailer hitch so I can carry the bike easier- rather than shoving it in the back of the Rendezvous. PS- Don't be deluded that I'm getting good exercise riding the bike. I'm going slow to keep up a pace appropriate for the dogs to make it a long distance.

Tomorrow our dog club is doing a demo at a KidsFest, Sunday I'm doing an agility show, Monday is a day of work, a night of teaching a private obedience lesson, then me and ffluffy are hoping in the car and heading to Oklahoma for the AKC Agility Nationals. I'm bringing the computer so I can blog about the good stuff we see along the way, such as the much anticipated GPOL. (Giant Pair Of Legs for those uneducated among us.) Don't bother coming to rob my house in my absence because 1) There is nothing worth taking and 2) The person who lives in the other side of the duplex will be home and that is the same as me being home. So there.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I've started the raw diet with Fancy and will put the other 2 on it when our kibble runs out. Everyone who feeds it says it is great. Helps dogs with allergies, less poop to pick up, might stop coprophagia, and so on. I've resisted because I'm lazy about feeding myself and didn't want to put more effort into feeding my dogs than I do me. Plus, I enjoy just throwing kibble in a bowl and not having to worry if I'm getting all the nutrients right. But a friend is helping me out so we are going to see if it works. I have to try something because Fancy is living in a muzzle. Don't believe my mom who says it is because she is viscous. It is because she is eating herself and loosing fur from chewing and getting nasty scabs all over from biting.

The raw diet used to be known as BARF. Bones and Raw Food. Easy to see why people don't call it that anymore. Also easy to see how it got that name as the blood pools in the bottom of the baggie and you try not to spill salmonella on the floor. Or maybe BARF is what happens to you after you get the salmonella. (No one I know who feeds raw has ever gotten food poisoning from it, so I am striving not to be the first.)

Pie and I are no longer bikejoring. We are now just regular biking, getting ready for the SchH AD which is a German word that is super long and means something about endurance dog. You do a 12 mile bike ride with some rest stops. Tying Pie to the side of the bike is safer for her than having her in front, but a lot harder for me to get up the hills. Pie goes for about 1/2 an hour, then she takes a short rest as I hook up the other 2, then we all go out for a slow 10-15 minute ride.

The field where I've been taking the dogs tracking at lunch (Pie and Fancy are doing well, Dottie not so much) is now covered in foxtails. They are not dead and brown yet, but they are still not safe, so we've gone there for the last time this season. There is no where else close enough to track during lunch, so now we are biking during lunch and will track in a park after work. The bike ride at lunch went fine today, but took a little longer than it should have, so next time I will be sure to time it better. I do not bike on base. I drive off base and park in the parking lot of the tracking field, use the bridge to cross the Hwy 1, then bike on the local farm access roads. Pie does not like the huge trucks that zoom and rattle up behind us (only 2 today) and the second time one passed us, she stopped short, then got scared as the bike started to tip over on her and drug us backwards into a ditch. No one was injured and Dad, don't worry- we are not going fast enough to get hurt if I somehow managed to fall of and yes I am wearing my helmet. And when I am riding the bike instead of standing and straddling it like I was when she backed into the ditch, she is not able to influence my movement at all.

I just had to yell at Dottie for choking (stop it!) because she was pretending to hack something up on the floor, then came closer and pretended to do it on my afghan. I gave her a bone to chew on to distract her and spotted a bent whisker. So sad for Dottie.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Story Number Two (or How I Spent My Day)

Hmm... I'm in this box again. But at least I have this yummy beefy type thing to chew on. Gulp. That was good. Now it is gone. La, la, la, la, laaaaaaa.... I'm turning in circles. Now I'm laying down. Now I'm back up. Sigh. Sleepy. (Thunk.)


Awake! Oh boy! Drat. Still in the box. Oooohhh. My chew bone. Chomp. Chomp. Chomp. Sleepy again. (Thunk.)


I'm up! I'm up! And I'm still in the box. Booooooorrrrriiiiingggg. I'll whine for a little bit. That's fun. It's making the others nervous. I'll keep it up a bit longer. Well. Done with that. Chomp. Chomp. The chew bone is borning. Look! My rear leg makes a good chew bone also! Chewing on my leg makes me sleepy. (Thunk.)


I'm done being sleepy. It's starting to feel a bit like nighttime. But I'm not sleepy! Not me! Circling! Poking the box door. Poke. Poke. Poke. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT OPENED!!!!!!!!!! I'M FREEE!!! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Na, na, na! You two are still locked up!

I'm heading straight for the secret forbiden portal. Look! My favorite red and white furry chew toy. I'll drag it out and chew pieces off of it. As much as I've always coveted this, it can only hold my attention for so long.

Mmmm... a fabricy spring fresh tissue of softness. I've always wanted to nibble one one of those.

Ha! Ha! I will ring my bell to my heart's content! I will ring it so much it falls of the door knob!

Now I will take this piece of the magic noisy sucker that I like to bite while SHE pushes it around and drag it to the bed in order to make HER think I've ruined the magic noisy sucker (if SHE had put it back together right after fixing it I wouldn't have had this opportunity to fool HER) but in reality I will only put one tiny tooth mark on it. I'm not ALL bad.

Now I will punish that special toy that has been taunting me for weeks by hanging just off the low counter. I will also drag it to the bed and leave it displayed next the the piece of the noisy magic sucker. The corners are extra yummy for some reason.

But there is so much to do I will not spend all my time on that taunting toy. Running, running. What should I eat next? I spy HER feet covers that have little tufts of fur on the inside. I will pull some more of that fur out since I already started on that once before, but was rudely interrupted.

Giggle! My fun is making the white one upset. She is tearing her bed up. I bet she is jealous she is not cleaver enough to get out of her box and join me.

Sniff. Sniff. I smell the sacred place of yummy smells! No one is here to tell me my least favorite word. I tip it over and dive in! A plastic thing. Lots and lots of cardboard. I chew those into tiny spit wads to spit and the others later. A papery thing. So much to chew and shred. Ah bliss! Oh joy!!

What do I hear? Hi! Welcome home! Look how much fun I had!!


Yes- I came home from work today to find Dottie loose in the house. I left home this morning at 6:30 am and returned at 5 pm. I cannot believe she was loose the entire time based on the fairly minimal destruction. The great news is nothing irreplaceable was destroyed. Also good news is nothing hard or expensive to replace was destroyed. And even better news is I have not found a potty accident!!! Does this mean Dottie is 100% housebroken now, or was she just having too much fun to remember she had to go? Or am I doing to find a wet spot hidden away somewhere in a few hours??? (Only time will tell.)

Usually I leave my bedroom door closed, and my closet door is almost always closed. Today neither was. Dottie loves it in there and finding herself free and unsupervised she made her way there and chewed on the already nibbled on Santa Hat. The hat will now be used as an extra special puppy reward and I will buy a new one come next Christmas.

I found a soggy fabric softener sheet in my bedroom near the closet.

Dottie did drag part of the vacuum to the dog bed, but I only found one tiny tooth mark on it. Phew! I just spend some $ getting it repaired, then had to buy a new belt right away, and I am very happy she didn't damage it further!

The toy she chewed on is a dog toy and it was hanging off the low counter and it is still 100% usable. It is a large burlap type thing with handles and the corners just have a bit of fraying now.

The slippers that were a Christmas present are also still usable, one just looks a bit ragged. Cosmetic damage only.

The most impressive mess was the sight that first greeted me. She had gotten into the recycling and ripped all the cardboard into tiny shreds. I was worried she had also ripped some clothing into tiny shreds since the shredded cardboard was on top of some clothes. My camping bag was in the kitchen. I don't remember pulling those clothes out, so I think she pulled the clothes out then laid on top of them as she shredded the cardboard. The library book was the only thing still inside the camping bag. It was unharmed. But the picture of Bloom and I that I was using as a book mark was nothing but soggy pieces. (Luckily I have another copy of that picture.)

This could have been a disaster. I wonder how long she was out. One of the things she likes to attempt to chew on in my presence is my laptop, so I ran in to check that out. It was fine. She could have shredded my matress. Or the couch. Or the blinds. Or put toothmarks on the real wood cabinets. Or done who knows what other unspeakable things. I know some people have young dogs who are trustworthy in the house. And I also know Dottie is not one of those, so I am very happy only a Santa Hat and some recycling was destroyed. And the recyling doesn't count since it is already getting tossed out.

I was very impressed there were no potty accidents. She didn't chew on any of the cabinets or knock the dog food bag off the counter and eat all of that. Not that I'm deluding myself and thinking she made conscious choices of what to chew and what not to. She's only a dog, and a young one at that. I am always telling her to say out of the recycling, but I suppose I am nagging about it. One of these days I'll have to make a stronger impression. And yet, the recycling seems to have kept her busy for some time and kept her chompers away from more valuable items.

A puppy can't be trusted in the house, which is why I keep her locked up. So the only bad one here is me, for doing a poor job of securing her kennel. I am glad this didn't turn out like a story I read about a Malinois puppy who escaped his crate and got a bottle of honey and ran through the house squeezing it. That must be why I don't have honey in the house.

Fancy had torn her bed up. In frustration for not being able to get into the recycling with Dottie, or because Dottie's misbehavior upset her delicate sensibilities?

I will be sure to use the sliding latch on the kennel from now on.

Camping at the Terv Trial

I haven't camped in quite some time. I bought a $17 air mattress and $11 pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter (both from Target.) I thought it was a pretty good deal. Much better than sleeping on the ground, but I still missed my pillow top mattress. The pillow top mattress is one of the best inventions, ever. Next time I go camping I will see if it fits in my car.

I got up at 3:15 (am) on Friday to get to the trial around 7. The drive should have been about 1.75 hrs, but being a Friday morning, I was sure I would hit traffic going through LA. I still had a bit of packing to do in the morning, and I wanted to leave my house around 4. I ended up leaving around 4:15. I got to the trial grounds at 6:02, and that was with a stop at a gas station for some caffeine to keep me alert. However, after my last long drive to a dog show when I almost didn't make it in time, I was happy to be early.

The trial is in a very secluded private park next to Lake Irvine. There are two bad things about the location. 1) I could not figure out how to get there without paying a toll on a toll road and 2) there is no cell reception. Other than that, it is a great place! Except for the lack of hot water. But I'm not complaining or being sarcastic, it really is nice.

I was only there Friday and Saturday since I had to work Sunday and while the trial is still going on on Monday, I did not enter because I didn't want to make the drive again in Monday morning traffic.

Pie did not Q in her agility runs the first day but Fancy got a QQ. On Saturday Fancy Qed in Standard but not jumpers and Pie got a QQ. Pie was also entered in obedience on Saturday and Qed with a 3rd place in utility and then did not Q in open so no UDX leg for us. Once again Pie passed all of the individual exercise in open (has yet to fail one of those!) then failed the groups. Not the difficult 3 minute sit this time, but the super easy 5 minute down. Pie inched forward, turned around backwards, rolled on her back multiple time, then STOOD UP!! By the time I returned from being out of sight, she had laid back down, so I thought we had passed until the judge gave us the bad news.

I have not been practicing the down in hopes that only rewarding the sit will encourage Pie to hold the sit (since it is a failure if she lays down on the sit.) So much for that plan.

Camping was ok. It rained some. I didn't sleep very well. Pie and Fancy were fine, but Dottie wanted to lay on top of me, and every time I pushed her off (rather violently since she resisted getting pushed) Pie became very worried she was going to get pushed next. I felt sorry for upsetting Pie, but I cannot sleep with 40 pounds of Malinois on my neck, or stomach or even squished up against my side pressing into me. Laying loosely at my side - yes. But no pressing, please.

ffluffy cooked some very good food for me including garlic toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes. It seems when I go camping with people they end up cooking for me since they do not approve of my food choices. Pretzels and Diet Coke isn't an appropriate dinner? Since when?

Speaking of food, I was very adventurous on Friday and tasted some of the Middle Eastern cousine I was given as the veggie option for the worker's lunch. Let's see.... there was rice, and some kind of spicy cake thing maybe made with beans, and some gruel that had something to do with eggplants, and some humice (don't know how to spell it but it rhymes with pumice- the volcanic rock) and some green salad type thing that is all chopped up and was called garlic something or other. I tried a nibble of each thing but the only thing I made any kind of progress with was the rice. Oh, and the pita bread that I put some garlic spread on.

As I was leaving late Saturday the rain started coming down pretty good. Even though I would have liked to stay all four days, I was happy to be going home to my pillow top mattress. (Sigh. Since when am I such a sissy?) But my departure was delayed by a dead battery. Agility people seem to have this problem fairly frequently so I knew someone would be able to help me out and I wasn't worried. Turns out ffluffy has jumper cables so she was the one to come to my rescue. There was a slight problem as the first time the jump didn't work. Then we discovered we were trying to restart the fuse box....

The battery was dead since I had been using the interior lights as I was setting up camp and pumping up the air mattress and such. I thought I was being cleaver turning the car on to use the cigarette lighter pump, but that probably drained the battery extra fast.

All worked out in the end and I and the dogs made it home safely. (We'll take the jumper cables with us to Oklahoma, just in case.)

One more quick note- HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!!!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pie's Third Bikejoring Ride

Run Pie, run! Boy does she love it.

I gave Fancy and Dottie the day off today. Mostly because I stopped and did errands on the way home from work so by the time I was done withe Pie, it was dark. Plus, even though Fancy went on the short puppy ride yesterday, I want to make sure her pads are healing up nicely.

Fancy Plays with Dottie

Agility was canceled because of rain (which ended up not materializing) so I had plenty of time to play on the computer. I found this video of Fancy and Dottie playing. If you can call it that. When Fancy plays with Dottie and also when she plays with Pie, the other dog's ruff goes up because they know Fancy can't be trusted not to randomly bite them in a non-play manner. They are proven correct again and again, yet they continue to initiate play with her, or accept her invitations, on the rare occasions she offers. The ruff is up because they are insecure or wary (due to the high likelihood of being bitten.)

I think she does it just to remind them who is in charge. Fancy is lucky (as I am) that they take the abuse and do not retaliate...

More Moon Photos

These are from Sunday, when it was a full moon. I wasn't getting as nice of pictures as I got last time, although I finally got some by playing with the manual settings.

The full moon was looking eerie behind the clouds, but I never got a good picture of that. The pictures with the clouds were taken on the side of the 118. But I had to pack it in and give up without a perfect unblured shot of the moon and clouds, because there is only so long you can crouch on the side of a busy 2 lane highway at night balancing your elbows on your knees hoping to steady the camera enough to allow it to focus. Maybe next time I'll be luckier.

These photos are from my backyard (front yard?) as the moon rose through the bare branches of a tree. But I still couldn't get the moon to focus and show all the crators, nor could I get the moon and branches to both be in focus.

Nothing is in focus in this one....

I could pretend I wanted only the twig in focus, but in reality I wanted to see the craters on the moon more than the branch. Is it possible to have both in focus?

It is amazing how bright the full moon is to see colors on the flag. No flash and using zoom so the camera was only using the available light.

Eventually I played with the manual settings and was able to get the moon to stop being so bright and come into focus. But I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so they still are not perfect.

More photos can be seen at

You do not need a Facebook account or to sign in to see the photos. Or so I'm told.

Here is a picture of Pie being happy at the obedience trial in San Diego.

And here are both of us. I asked a complete stranger to take our picture, so no complaints about quality.