Sunday, August 29, 2010

Woofstock 2010

We had a fabulous time at this event, we saw so much cool stuff. We participated in the Best Trick contest and lost to a dog that did magic tricks. Yep, Cain did magic tricks, I am in awe that a dog can be taught to do magic tricks. We also saw some interesting dogs that were celebrating in style.

This dog was advertising Mastiff Rescue.
We caught some flyball and I was simply amazed at how totally cool and fun it looks. Marley took the opportunity to poke around my bag and steal two gingerbread man cookies. I managed to catch her before she pilfered all the treats I had purchased.

This is one of the jumps the dogs are going to go over while retrieving the ball. They run in a straight line and once they reach the end they jump a panel and catch the tennis ball and race back over the jumps.

We also caught the Busy Bee's Dogs show and it was fabulous. Here the dog is making the tunnel roll forward, which means he has to walk backwards.

One dog pushed the other around in a vehicle. Marley wasn't too impressed and she mostly napped and digested the stolen cookies.

There was even a train ride around the event, it looked like so much fun. Rescue row was fabulous there were so many mellow dogs waiting to be adopted.

I want a train ride before we go home!

I has such a good time, I'm already looking forward to the event next year. Marley and I are going to practice some new tricks and hopefully next time we might win.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Doors and Doorways

I have always insisted Marley wait for permission before crossing a doorway. Living in a city it is extremely dangerous for a pet or child to run outside. I'm especially strict about her waiting for permission before exiting the car.

This was fairly easy to teach, this is what I did:
  • First we learned stay and wait in obedience class.
  • Each time we encountered a door leading outside I asked her to sit/wait. I then open the door and invite her outside.
  • Once outside I asked her to sit while I locked my door.
  • If we were returning from our walk we repeat the process.
This ensures she will sit and wait nicely while I juggle all my stuff while closing the door. I don't know about most people but leaving the house involves a lot of juggling of purse, leash, beverage, book and snack. Having my dog wait just ensures I don't drop anything.

I am extremely concerned about Marley jumping out of the car to chase squirrels. For this activity I enlisted the help of Marley's favorite people.
  • I waited until I knew she could wait and understood sit/wait at doors in my home.
  • I started to ask her to wait while I stood in front of the door (basically using my body as an obstacle).
  • Once she didn't try to jump out, I started moving slightly to one side (basically creating a situation where there was a slight opening).
  • I waited until there was enough opening for Marley to jump out if she chose, pretty much the entire door width.
  • I then enlisted Marley's friends and asked them to call her name and basically entice her to leave the car. We started with me blocking the door and reminding her to wait.
  • She was pretty good about it until I moved to the side of the door and she jumped out, thankfully she was wearing her leash.
  • I picked her up and put her back in the car and repeated the command wait.
  • I kept the sessions really short and we repeated this each and every time we were at the car.
This took a long time for her to learn this to my satisfaction. At this point I trust her to stay in the car while I walk around the car. She is very good about waiting for permission to leave the car; however, I will never try this anywhere near a road.

  • This was posted at the request of Bruiser's mom; I would strongly suggest completing an obedience class before trying this.
  • This is what I do every time we leave the house or leave the car. If for any reason Marley doesn't wait, we start over at the beginning.
  • We had to start at the beginning when we moved. Marley stayed on a leash until I had time to begin teaching her the rules applied to our new home.
  • I do not put her in situations where she can fail; therefore, I will never do this anywhere near a busy road.

Monday, August 23, 2010

We received an Award!

I am the lucky recipient of the the:

I received this from Boomer. Thank you for the award.

The rules are simple.

1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
  • Thank you Boomer!

2. Share 7 things about yourself:

  • We love to make new friends at the park.
  • Water is for ducks not dogs. Marley might wade in it but never swim.
  • Marley loves to trick me into thinking she'll fetch. She'll run to the toy and sit there and wait for me to retrieve it and throw it again.
  • The treat bin at the pet store is the best thing ever...sometimes there are bits on the ground for snacking.
  • Bell peppers are yummy.
  • If you want a snack sit buy a guy and look sad, they will always share their snacks.
  • Cats shouldn't run if they don't want to be chased! They probably run to get dogs in trouble for chasing them.
3. Pass it on to 15 other blogger.
  • I don't think I know 15 bloggers who have not received this award. If you haven't received it please consider yourself awarded. Thanks.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Woofstock 2010

Woofstock 2010 in Rocklin sounds like a fabulous event. It will be held on Sunday, August 29, 2010 and runs from 9-2 p.m. at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin. There will be live music, contests, 3k and 5k walk/run, demos and a fenced play area.

You need to preregister for the following events:
  • 3k/5k Walk/Run
  • Weiner dog races
  • 60's costume contest (human dog duos)
There will be demos by the following organizations:

This event is raising funds for the following agencies:
I think Marley will love this event, especially all the vendor booths. Check out the vendor list before you go, it sounds like it might be wise to be ready to purchase some cool stuff.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Might as well jump. Jump!
Might as well jump.
Go ahead, jump. Jump!
Go ahead, jump.

(Words by Van Halen)

A while ago Marley started running around jumps in class. She thought it was fun to just run around the jumps and start something new. Well, thanks to some new tips from our new trainer and I think Marley is starting to reconsider her jumping philosophy.

I started by taking my weave poles apart and creating a makeshift jump that is small enough to fit in my living room. I also started using treats that are large enough for Marley to see on the ground and will not stick to carpet. Finally, I've incorporated our clicker into our jump training.

Having the jump in the living room means we play at jumping often (you know during commercials). Marley loves playing jump in the living room. We have played at her running from one side to the other, she thinks the game is run and catch the treat before it hits the floor. We have also played at her going through the jump and coming back to start position.

When we showed up to class I was a bit concerned because I had not practiced jumping anywhere else and was worried about Marley trying on grass. Our instructor was teaching us the pinwheel and Marley surprised the heck out of me! She went from jump to jump with no shenanigans. She didn't try to run away! She didn't act like this was a new activity!

I am so impressed with her behavior. I've also realized we do really well at any activity that can be practiced indoors (you know during commercials).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rescuing Sprite

A couple of days after Mahone died, a friend gave me a copy of Rescuing Sprite. I was a bit flabbergasted she would give me such a book and promised to read it soon.

It is a lovely story about a man who talks his family into acquiring a dog and his family loved having a pet so much they look for and adopt Sprite. They were informed Sprite was about 3-6 years old. Sprite adapts quickly to their household and everybody loves him. After some time they realize Sprite is much older than they believed and he has some undiagnosed health problems.

The author discovers that no matter who we are or what we do we all seem to feel the same way about our pets. Our pets seem to occupy a part of our soul that defies explanation. I loved this book and I'm glad I took the time to read it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Emergency Pet Care

A local paper had a fascinating article about providing emergency veterinary assistance to low income pet owners.

The United Animal Nations provides small grants to people in emergency situations. These grants run between $100 - $300.

If you know someone who is homeless and their pet needs veterinary care they can go to the Mercer Veterinary Clinic.

Our local shelters and SPCA are not equipped to provide emergency care and they will refer you to an emergency pet hospital. Please do not surrender your pet to those agencies in the hope they will receive emergency care, if they have an abundance of needy pets they will euthanize pets in need of medical attention.

If you are looking for a place to donate funds or time please contact some of these agencies. Marley and I participate in the Mercer Vet clinic Santa Paws fundraiser every year and we have a great time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Road Trip

I've always enjoyed a spontaneous road trip. You know waking up and just tossing things in your car and driving to Vegas. After living with Marley for two years, I decided it was time for Marley to experience a road trip.

Road trip to where?

Since Marley is not welcome at most establishments and leaving her in a car is not an option, I found myself spending some time planning. I invited some friends and we scoured the internet looking for a dog friendly, scenic location. We settled on North Lake Tahoe. I contacted the Visitors Bureau and requested information on dog friendly areas. We gathered our supplies; water, food, toys and towels and took off on our adventure.

Riley (laboradoodle), Bruiser (Bishon) and Marley waiting for treats.

Riley was in doggy nirvana. He got to run around and fetch in water!

Marley got to run around and smell stuff that didn't involve any water.

Are we going somewhere else?

Marley was not too impressed with our second location.

Marley enjoying the breeze and shade (possibly plotting Riley's early demise for making her look bad for not fetching or playing in water).

Riley oblivious to anything except fetching in water.

Everybody had a great time and ALL the dogs slept on the way home. I'm glad we planned our trip because many of the beaches did not allow dogs at all. Marley seemed to enjoy the entire concept and I'm starting to think about other areas to visit.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Marley got me in TROUBLE

We were successfully working on a jump exercise and it was time to take a break. I called Marley over and heaped praise. My instructor asked, "Where is her toy? Why are you not playing with her?" I stammered out a response about Marley's lack of interest.

During our break I dragged out the variety of toys I keep in our agility bag trying to interest Marley in playing with me. She sat there and looked embarrassed. Yep, Marley gave me the "13 year old girl OMG you are so embarrassing" look. I tried a latex squeaky, Frisbee, stuffed duck, ball and a rope. Nothing, she refuses to play with toys when we are in class.

She is under the impression that playing with toys is something we do before a walk in the morning. So far I've tried playing with her and giving her treats as a reward for playing in the evening and sometimes that works, however it is not consistent.

At this point I'm not sure what else to do to entice her to play with me at other times. I welcome any advice.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Marley's Secret

On most days after a morning nap, Marley will sniff some cat butt and take a nap in the sun. As she begins contemplating a quick game of harass Bob her secret friend shows up.

Marley loves having a secret friend. Her secret friend takes her on a long walk and gives her treats and a cuddle before leaving.

Sometimes her secret friend will bring Marley's boyfriend, Cash, for a shared walk. Marley loves those days best.
Sometimes she has to share her walk, but she doesn't mind because her boyfriend usually joins the brisk walk.
Can you find the little dog?

After her secret friend leaves Marley enjoys a nice nap under a chair and dreams about chasing birds.

When I return home Marley is relaxed and happy to see me. What she does not know is I'm onto her secret. My secret is I receive an email letting me know what happened on her walk, did she poop, chase birds or try to entice her boyfriend to play instead of walk.

While I grew up in a big city, dog walkers were not very common and I always thought it was a service only offered in New York. I was very surprised and pleased to discover dog walkers are fairly common in my current city. I highly recommend a dog walker to anybody who has a dog, even if you have a back yard. It adds a nice variety to Marley's day and keeps her out of trouble. In addition, whenever she is having a health issue, it is nice to receive an email notifying me of any changes in her stool or behavior.

I really appreciate Marley's calmness and I always attempt to have her walked on days when we have a class. This is the difference between her being wild in class and her being calm and ready to learn.

All photos taken by peaceful pets.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dog Food Recall

When ever I need to feed Marley kibble I go to a Natura product, usually Evo or California Natural. I was a bit dismayed to discover Natura was purchased by Proctor and Gamble earlier this year. I am a bit horrified to discover Proctor and Gamble has issued a recall on some of their dog foods. While Natura products are not listed as part of the recall, I'm wondering how soon before my favorite products are affected.

If you feed any Proctor and Gamble products please verify they are not part of the recall prior to feeding your pet.