Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dogscaping Creating the Perfect Backyard & Garden for You and Your Dog

I like to pretend I can garden, in reality I tend to murder my plants. Especially the "hard to kill" plants like mint or rosemary. I can win awards for the scrawniest tomato plants. I've actually grown the only zucchini plant that produces 3 vegetables.

Well, I've recently moved to a new place with a large patio and I thought it would make a great space for plants and veggies. Once I started to think about what I wanted to plant, I started to worry about Marley eating something toxic.

I was delighted to find Dogscaping! It begins by explaining how to design for the type of dog you have. It walks you though plant selection and organic fertilizers, compost and mulch. There are a few dog recipies and lots of great ideas.

As I flipped through the beautiful pages, I saw two dogs that looked familiar. It was Johanna and Gracie from Raise a Green Dog, I felt like I knew celebrities. Their article about organic lawns was fabulous.

Overall, I loved this book, it was simply beautiful. The ideas were fabulous and there were projects within different sections such as a diy dog pond, doggy sandbox and a fetching strip. I especially loved the section on acceptable plants for the type of dog you have, for example plants that will survive canine excavators. I see a dog friendly water feature in Marley's future.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maddie and Marley

We had a play date with the cutest border collie foster dog ever. Maddie is a small (about 35 lbs) smooth coat border collie. She was a fetching fiend and enjoyed running after Marley. They played nicely, however she spent most of her time focused on her foster mom.
Just throw it, I'll bring it back!

Isn't she beautiful? She loved chasing her toys and most of the time brought it back.

Marley is doing her best border collie imitation.
Throw it, I'll bring it back!

I'm sure she really wanted to bring it back, unfortunately she was distracted by grass.

I think they look awesome together, if I was an impulsive person I would totally adopt Maddie.

If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie you may be interested in Border Collie Rescue of Northern California. They have quite a few dogs available in additon to Maddie.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Agility Update - Marley's New Thing

At the last trial I attended I noticed all the border collies barked during their run. I'm not sure if this is typical border collie behavior or if it was just a big coincidence that all the border collies I saw barked. I remember so clearly thinking how lucky I am to have found Marley. While she gets excited she doesn't bark unless she wants to scare somebody.

This week at agility class Marley showed her true colors...she barked at me whenever she thought I was slow. Yep my little dog barked when I didn't run fast enough or when I wasn't clear about what I wanted from her or when the treat wasn't delivered in a timely manner. I was a bit disturbed and I figured it was just the excitement of class.

Nope, she did it again when we were practicing jumps at home. I'm glad she is excited and I'm very happy she enjoys agility. I'm not very happy about her new demanding behavior.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Is it October yet?

There are so many fun events to attend in October, we are so excited and can't wait.

Fair Oaks Dog Walk - On October 2, 2010, this is a 2-mile walk to the river and back to Fair Oaks Village. We've attended this and have had a great time. We are looking forward to the little dog races and musical sit. Marley's favorite part of the walk are the feral chickens...yes you read that correctly, feral chickens.

PAWED at the Park - On October 3, 2010, this is a fundraiser for the Mobile Spay/Neuter and Disaster Response Clinic. This event includes a 3K and 5K walk/run; themed costume contests and two behavior contests. Marley is very excited about the dog demos; she knows I'll be distracted and she can steal cookies from my purse.

Pooch Pursuit - On October 24, 2010, this is a fundraiser for the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Campaign. This event is a 1 mile walk or a 5K walk/run. There will be a K9 officers exhibition, agility demo, costume contest and lots of games.

We enjoy attending fundraising events, they are great causes and we enjoy attending dog friendly events.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Higher Ground

Someone doesn't like resting on the ground.

We'll meet you at the car!
Turtles are slow but this one hasn't moved!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pooch Plunge at Cameron Park Lake

El Dorado Dog Owners Group (EDDOG) is raising money for the construction of two dog parks in El Dorado County. The Pooch Plunge is a great event where dogs can run and play in the water. It is really special because normally pets are not allowed at Cameron Park Lake.

I was a bit concerned because Marley normally does not like any water activities; however, when we arrived she immediately ran into the water.

She played along the shore and stopped when the water began to deepen.

She took breaks in the sand watched the crazy, ball fetching labs.

She made friends.

After an hour when it was getting hot, Marley chose to break in the shade.

We saw a Riley twin (Labradoodle mix).

Overall, we had a great time at this event. I think Marley likes the gentle slope of the lake and the small waves. She is very adamant at stopping when it becomes warm. I look forward to more of these events.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Congratulations to...

The winner of the Beneful WagWorld Dog Park Contest is Pat McNeely & Koda!

See the winning entry here: Newton Dog Park in Johns Creek, GA.

The park will contain a rubberized mulch trail around the perimeter of the one-acre park and a water spray area with a dog pool.

It sounds so exciting, Marley and I may have to take a trip to Johns Creek in order to check this out when it is complete.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hartz Recalls Dog Treats

I have not purchased any Hartz products after a friend had a horrible experience with their flea products, and I was not really surprised to see this article.

Hartz is recalling nearly 75,000 bags of dog treats.

Salmonella was found in 8-ounce bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs stamped with the lot code BZ0969101E, according to the FDA.

If you have any questions you should contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Agility Update

Marley continues to do very well with our foundation training. I am a bit curious as to why she always seems to do much better in class than at home. We've been working on contacts and while she is doing fine, I'm not sure she understands the concept. Jumps are still going smoothly.

The best thing about Agility Training is the focus and control Marley is learning. I've found she pays more attention to me and my actions. For example a couple of weeks ago we were visiting a friend and I was telling a story (I tend to talk with my hands a lot) and half way into my story I found Marley had leaped up into my arms. I was a bit startled and realized I had made a motion similar to our Up hand signal.

On our morning walks whenever we encounter a neighbor or hear a loud sound, instead of barking as soon as she notices this she will look at me and wait for my response. If I'm on the ball and acknowledge the sound or neighbor she will calmly continue our walk. If I'm not paying attention she will start barking. I really appreciate that she has the self-control to wait for a response from me before choosing to act.

Overall, I'm very pleased with our progress.