Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays

We would like to wish you a fabulous New Year!
This photo was taken at the Roseville Pet Express and was a fundraiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I just wanted a tree

I've been up at "OMG its EARLY" two weekends in a row and I've started to wonder what went so wrong.

A while back I took Marley to her favorite park and we saw signs on all the trees in the small dog section; the trees were all going to be removed.  The trees were a big draw for us and I became concerned so I contacted the number on the flyer and did not receive a response.  I eventually contacted the park district to inquire about the tree removal and replacements.  

I was a bit unsettled by the response from the park district and I started to do some research about our park.  I learned the park was one of the first in the region (in 1990) and it was considered quite revolutionary.  At that time the park district signed an agreement with the founding members.  That agreement created the dog park association; which maintains the dog park. Today, park design tends to include amenities such as a dog park in the planing stage of a new park. 

Trees in the park were a major draw for me and I started to evaluate the park and amenities and compare Marley's favorite park with others in the region.  I became very upset when I realized how other dog parks are managed and maintained.  At this point it would have been smart had I picked out a new favorite park; instead I turned into Norma Rae

The dog park members rallied and we attended park district meetings and we expressed our distress with the lack of basic amenities in the dog park and at times unhealthy conditions.  The park listened to our concerns and after much debate agreed to work on a dog park master plan that would revitalize our park. The park offered to split the cost of renovating the park with the dog park association.

We have a lot of money that needs to be raised for the park to begin construction and in the last few months we have changed our approach.  We will be holding fundraisers every month until we have enough to begin construction.

Last week we staffed a gift wrapping booth at Pet Express.  
This week we held our 1st Annual Calendar Photo Shoot.  It was a huge success. Good Day Sacramento did a brief story on our event.   The photos were taken by Micheal Hall, who graciously donated his time.  Coffee was donated by Starbucks.  Donuts were donated by Richard's donuts, Raley's and BelAir and Safeway.  Goodie bags were donated by Incredible Pets

If you are in the area we welcome your attendance at an event.  I would also recommend you to check how your favorite dog park is maintained and if there is a dog park society in charge of maintenance I would encourage you to make a donation. 

As I was setting up yesterday in the frost covered lawn, I realized I still don't know when the removed trees will be replaced. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Case of the Black Box

I've always wondered how dogs interpret television.  I know they perceive the flickering of lights and they hear the sounds.  I've had cats who would chase images they saw within the black box; however, it never appeared like they were actually viewing a show.

I've asked friends and it seems a bit mixed.  Some people know for sure their dog watches, while others have indicated their dog doesn't even notice the black box.

Marley has usually responded to sounds of barking or knocking, otherwise she ignored the black box.

Image: The Doctor And Rose

Until recently, it was a cold night and we were having quiet time.  I glanced at Marley and noticed she was relaxed in her bed and it appeared like she was watching the show.  I totally dismissed it as a figment of my imagination.

After the show was over she came got up and started barking at me (not typical behavior), I offered to let her out and I offered cuddles.  She continued until I started another episode of Dr Who.  As soon as she noticed it was starting she jumped into her bed and started watching. Who knew she was such a big fan?

I'm totally curious as to what about this show caused her to react in that manner.  Was she really watching?  Did she get the concept?  Oh no, is she on her way to becoming a couch potato?

Monday, November 28, 2011

California Girl Thanksgiving

I hope everybody had a great holiday weekend.

We went on a short vacation where Marley learned a lot of great stuff.  She learned:

  • "Mom's fridge" is full of yummy stuff
  • Moles are scary creatures
  • If you turn your nose up at healthy kibble, somebody will reach into "Mom's fridge" and add yummy turkey to your bowl
  • Fireplaces are warm
  • Backyards are really fun
  • All the cool dogs hang out at the beach

The weather was perfect, warm (around 84 degrees) and sunny.  Marley had a great time.  She peed on seaweed, swam in the ocean and ran around in huge circles along the coast.  She strongly approves of beach vacations.

I was worried Marley would misbehave and I was very careful to be a good guest.  However, everybody was impressed with her behavior and some of the compliments we received were:

  • She doesn't jump (on people or furniture)
  • She is so quiet
  • She doesn't harass the cats
  • She is so relaxed and mellow in her crate
I checked a few times to make sure I had my dog and hadn't traded her in for somebody else's  well behaved dog. All of our hard work seemed to have payed off and now that I know she'll behave, I see more vacations in our future. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Calling All Super Models

In December 2010 the Carmichael Recreation and Park District (CRPD) approved the Carmichael Dog Park Proposed Renovation as part of the District-Wide Master Plan after hosting three community meetings during which CRPD staff heard public input regarding renovation and improvements at the dog park. The resulting Proposed Dog Park Renovation includes upgrading the infrastructure, adding trails, seating, shade, new fencing, and enlarging the small dog park.

Due to economic times the Park District offered to share the cost of renovations with the Carmichael Canine Corral (at times also known as Carmichael Dog Park Society).  This is one of the many fundraisers we will host in order to raise sufficient funds to start renovations for a healthier park.

Cover Girls Need a Whole Month!
The 1st Annual Calendar Photo Event will be held on December 17, 2011 from 10-1 p.m. at Carmichael Park. A professional photographer will ensure all dogs that attend will be in the calendar. There is no charge for participating.

My Cover Girl wants her own month. There is the option for all those fabulous Super Models who wish to donate $50 for their own month.

The calendar can be pre-ordered on December 17th for $15 or you can purchase your calendar at a later date for $17.

Vendors will be present and there will be Free Doughnuts, Coffee and Cocoa. See ya there!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weave Trama

We have the best Agility Trainer!

A couple of weeks ago she said, "Next week we'll weave."

I became a bit apprehensiveness because we are not actually weaving yet.  We are at the 2 sets of poles about 3 meters apart section.  I thought about it a bit and decided if Susan Garrett believes weaving can be taught in 21 days, we can totally weave in a week.

It seems I may have forgotten to inform Marley we were going to weave like the big dogs. I started by moving the two sets about a meter apart and I figured within a couple of days we should be weaving.  The closer I set the poles the more Marley missed the second set.

I ended up sending our instructor an email confessing that not only were we not weaving but now Marley was skipping poles.  At this point I figured I was going to start at the beginning again and try to retrain the poles. By the time we got to class I was on the verge of tears.

Our instructor asked me to show her what I was doing and I sniffled the entire time as I showed her what we had worked on and the distance between poles.  Of course Marley didn't miss any poles and we actually impressed her with Marley's entrances.  She basically reassured me that we were fine and we should continue at our pace until we can weave.

I have to keep reminding myself this is a team sport and Marley is not capable of cramming for a test.

For our non-agility friends here is a brief synopsis:  weave training using the 2x2 method requires two sets of poles.  You begin with one set and build value for the dog for going through the poles.  Then you add the second set about 3-4 meters away and build value for the dog for going through both sets of poles.  Once the dog sees value in running through both sets you begin to shorten the distance between the two sets of poles until they are close enough.  I highly recommend the video.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today brought to you by the letter T


I recently purchased the Alphabet Drills book by Nancy Gyes and it has totally changed my life. Well, not quite; it has revolutionized our training sessions.

The book is simply beautiful and the drawings are pretty easy to understand.  I do spend a lot of time thinking, "No way can we do that!"  Turns out we can, the the exercises are pretty much broken down from easy to complex.

We started working on the letter T which was covered in our class a couple of months ago.  It was nice to be challenged by a few complex additions to the easy exercise.

All the students in our Agility class purchased this book, which our instructor totally appreciates. She just emails us the letter of the week and we all come prepared and know what to expect in class.  This week we are working on the letter M.

I totally love this book and I see myself using it for quite a long time.

It also comes with a CD that includes a trial of Clean Run Course Designer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Morning Rituals

As a child Sunday mornings were filled with family rituals, Church in the morning followed by a special family breakfast.  Marley's Sunday mornings are also filled with special rituals.

We begin our day the usual way with a walk and breakfast.  A nap is a huge priority after breakfast and normally Marley curls up on my pillow for a rejuvenating nap.  Sundays are not very rejuvenating because while I know she sleeps on my pillow she is not allowed on the furniture.  So, I pretend I don't know and she jumps off as soon as she hears me walking in that direction.

After our "pretend the dog isn't on the furniture" game we jump into the car for a fun trip at the Farmers Market.  We are very fortunate our local Farmers Market allows dogs.

Today we spotted the largest turnips I have ever seen, They are larger than Marley's head. The carrots next to the turnips are mini carrots (about 5") in length.

We always check out the pomegranate products, which are simply divine.  Marley is not very impressed because I haven't given her a sample.

We check out the pumpkins, which Marley loves and I'm sure she wants me to buy her one to smash into her dinner.

Our favorite stop was at the Sheep Farm booth.  They sell wool, spring lambs and eggs, unfortunately I do not recall the name of the Farm.  Marley is always hopeful some juicy lamb will be delivered into her dinner bowl.

After shopping for veggies and fruits we usually do something fun; Today there was a Celtic Festival and we attended for a bit. The band was great and they played some of my favorites.

A fun feathered friend enjoyed the music. 

I have fond memories of my childhood Sundays and I love the way Marley has simply enhanced my current Sunday rituals.  I may just have to buy her the pumpkin next week. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Animal Rescue Challenge 2011!

In Support of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  I found a contest that will provide the following prizes to a Shelter or Rescue operation.

The Animal Rescue Challenge!

  • The Grand Prize: One $5,000 grant! 
  • Heartwarming Story Contest: Three $2,000 grants! 
  • State Winners*: Fifty-one $1,000 state grants (50 U.S. states and Washington D.C.) 
  • Canadian Winners*: One $1,000 grant will be awarded. 
  • International Winner*: One $1,000 grant will be awarded. 
  • Weekly Winners* Eleven $1,000 grants will be awarded, one for each week of this voting round of the Shelter Challenge.
How Cool is that!  Voting started on October 3, 2011 and runs until December 18, 2011.

Many Shelters are currently under funded and they desperately need funds to continue the vital work they do for their communities. Voting every day is such an easy way to win our shelter some much needed funds.

Voting is really easy, go to the Animal Rescue Site (this link will take you directly to the voting page).
  • Enter the name of your favorite Shelter or Rescue Organization.
  • Enter the County, State and or City.
  • Hit Search
  • Verify your shelter 
That is it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tiger Hosts a Great Party

We went to the most fabulous party, the food was simply amazing.  Marley and I are both recovering from eating tri-tip, stuffed cabbage, chicken, salads and too many deserts.  Yes, you may have noticed I said "Marley and I" are recovering,  "Little Miss My Mommy Never Feeds Me" managed to mooch food from everybody.

Tiger was not sure how he felt about all the dogs invading his backyard.  I believe he thinks dog park hooligans are nothing but trouble, except for the puppy.

Baby Rose was spoiled rotten by everybody.  She is the sweetest puppy I have ever met.  At 10 weeks she weighs 4lbs more than Marley and her paws are simply ginormous.

Marley and Axle spent some time scoping out the yard for their super secret special event.

Black Dog Convention, I'm not quite sure what they discussed but it was pretty intense.

Cleo didn't attend the Black Dog Convention;  she is above any Black Dog Shenanigans.  Actually, I think she is trying to convince everybody she's a superior human.

The party was so much fun the goats next door wanted to attend. 

After an afternoon of playing and plotting everybody was ready for a nap.

Thank you Leah and Mike for hosting such a Marvelous event. I loved the food, the company was phenomenal and the conversations were lively.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Five Reasons I Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

"Now is a good time  for a walk"
My shelter dog has brought a great deal of joy into my life and has altered my life in ways I couldn't have imagined.

Top 5 reasons I celebrate my shelter dog:

  1. Parks are no longer the domain of families and kids, I've developed a greater appreciation for the use of parks and green spaces.
  2. My neighbors all know us and stop to chat, which provides us a greater sense of community.
  3. Nothing beats playing soccer in the rain with my dog, while normal people are warm and dry indoors.
  4. Squirrel hunting is an activity I never thought I would enjoy. 
  5. Nobody thinks I'm totally crazy when a talk about "dogs."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jo Sermon Seminar

Last week I attended a seminar on Extension and Collection.  I learned a lot about jumping.  Actually, I'm a bit overwhelmed by how much I don't know and didn't know I needed to know.  Jo Sermon is a fabulous instructor, both funny and informative.

Some of the things I found amazing:

  • Dogs are taught Left and Right.  Good Grief, I forget which way is left and  which way is right, how do people teach this fabulous skill?  I suspect, I'll be the dorky person with the letters L and R on my shoes.
  • A lot of dogs in the seminar know Turn as a cue.  Amazing, I didn't even know I needed a cue for turning.
  • Jumping can be a dangerous activity.  Allowing your dog to jump incorrectly can cause long term damage to their bodies.  After learning this I started to panic, I've only focused on getting my dog to jump on cue never thinking about how she is jumping.  
After the seminar I must have looked a bit shell-shocked because our instructor came up to me and reassured me Marley was doing fine.

Odd things I've noticed:  
  • Is there an unspoken rule that all dog trainers are blond?  Our obedience instructor, our current agility instructor, Jo Sermon, Jen Pinder, Nancy Gyes, Susan Garrett...
  • Whenever I'm around somebody from England for more than a couple of hours, it rains.

Friday, September 30, 2011

2012 US IFCS Team Fundraising

I just discovered they have an incredible raffle that will be held at the 2011 Cynosport World Games in Louisville, KY in October. The prizes are simply amazing. I'm hoping to win the Clean Run Magazine Cover for my very own cover girl!

 The Prize Packages are separated out by Region, just pick your region and check out the options.  You do not have to be present to win most of the events.

If you are going to attend the 2011 Cynosport World Games you can participate in the following: participate in the Raffle your raffle form needs to be there before October 5, 2011.

For more information on the 2012 US IFCS Team go to

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beneful Dog Park Makeover Winner

Congratulations to Jennifer and Honey Belle for winning the 2011 Beneful $500,000 Dog Park Makeover for her park in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jennifer and Honey Belle's vision is simply marvelous and Marley wants to go to their new park.

Some of the features I really like are:

  • The club house that can be rented for parties which would raise money for park maintenance
  • The self-serve dog wash as a fund raiser for park maintenance
  • Plenty of shade
  • Bone shaped water feature
  • Built in agility course
  • Separate training area
I love that Jennifer thought about how the park was going to remain awesome and incorporated that in her plan.    I'm very excited about the dog park and I can't wait to see it complete.  I believe a cross country road trip is in our future.

I think its time for me to dust off my graph paper and start planning for the 2012 contest.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vet locks dog in hot car

I heard about this at the park this morning and I just found it unbelievable.  Especially this part:  The director of the UC Davis Veterinary School offered his support for Freeman.  Yes, Davis Wilson the Director of the UC Davis Veterinary School offered his support for the veterinarian who endangered the life of her dog. 

This is the article:  
UC Davis vet apologizes for locking her dog in hot car from the Sacramento Bee

Basically the Veterinarian went to the mall, left her young great dane in the car with the windows cracked open.  Mall security tested the temperature inside the car at 108 degrees and called authorities.  Not only did the Veterinarian leave her dog in the car but she was also argued with animal control about this situation.

I'm simply blown away that not only did she behave in a manner that is inconsistent with somebody who cares for animals but that UC Davis Veterinary School condones her behavior.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Biggest Dog Training Mistake

I've spent most of my life reading dog training books and I know how to approach a training session.  I've always made it a point to use a clear and positive tone in my voice when talking to Marley. While training I've worked very hard at not reprimanding her and keeping everything pleasant and fun.

The other day I loaded up the car with agility equipment and drove to the park.  Soccer players were using our favorite field, baseball players were using the remaining fields and after driving around I finally found a spot that met our training criteria (flat, shady, close to parking and not close to a major road).  I unloaded and set up all of our equipment and then I noticed a huge dog lunging on his leash staring at Marley. The woman at the end of the leash wasn't paying attention to her dog.  At this point, I decided it would behoove us to find a new training spot.

I drove around for a little longer and found a reasonable spot.  By now I'm hot and frustrated and a totally envious of everybody with a back yard. I set out our jumps and took a deep breath and called Marley.

Marley looked at me and jumped into the front seat.  I called her and she peered over the seat and refused to move.  I took another deep breath and made sure my tone was totally pleasant and upbeat and called her again.  She peered at me and curled up in the front seat and refused to look in my direction.

At this point I begin to wonder how we were ever going to progress if my dog refused to leave the car.  I packed up all my stuff into the car and cried while driving home.  I started to think Agility was a big waste of time if Marley didn't want to play.

Once I cooled down and reviewed our "training session" I realized my error.  While my voice and words were pleasant and positive my body language was tense and upset.

What Marley saw at the park.

I've made a the following changes to our training routine to ensure this never happens again.

  • I started by scoping out multiple places where I can train that meet my criteria.  
  • I plan our activity and I also plan a back-up activity that doesn't require equipment.  
  • After I set-up I spend five minutes breathing (its too short to call it meditation). 
  • If the session is not going according to plan, I've decided it is perfectly acceptable to stop. 
  • Finally, I end my training journal with a note on Marley's emotional state. 

Since this episode our training sessions have been great and we have actually progressed faster than I expected.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Agility Update - sequencing

I have to admit I tend to fret and watching Marley jump off the top of the A-frame totally made wonder if she was retaining anything from class.  I started to worry our jumps were horrible and we would never learn to weave properly.

Our instructor gave us the following sequence in class:  Tunnel - Jump - Jump - Jump - A-frame - Jump

Well, my silly dog ran into the Tunnel and rolled in the middle.  Yes she plopped down and rolled around like it was grass and refused to come out.  Ugh

Once I finally convinced her to leave the tunnel rest of the sequence went smoothly, so smoothly the entire class stood up and clapped for Marley.

Marley ate it up...I'm thinking there is hope for us!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Funny thing happened during our walk

It was a warm and sunny afternoon in the park and we were walking with a friend and her pit bull.  We were chatting and stopped to observe some other dogs being walked on the other side of the park.

My friend says, "Oh no we have to be careful, there's a Chow and you know they are aggressive."

I have to say, my jaw dropped and I looked at her pit bull and managed to sputter, "WHAT?"

She proceeded to tell me the danger of being around a Chow.  It seems she was totally serious.  I finally pointed out people used those same words to describe her dog.  

Unfortunately, breedism shows up at the oddest times. 

The scary part was the only dogs I saw on the other side of the park were labs and golden retrievers.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Woofstock 2011

We started the day by supporting Tina and Nanook who are finalists in the Beneful® WagWorld® Dream Dog Park Contest! They had two booths supporting their future dog park.

We picked up a yummy cupcake and a cool bandanna to show our support. We voted before heading to Woofstock.

In addition to promoting the contest they were recruiting volunteers and gathering support for a neighborhood dog park. The booth was packed most of the morning and I suspect the dog park has a lot of support.

Once Marley was properly attired and I checked out adoption row. They had a huge variety of dog rescue groups present. There were also two brave cat rescue groups there trying to find homes for kittens.

Marley scoping out the event!
Marley met a kindred spirit!

Winner of the 60's costume contest!

Winner of the best licker contest!
I'm always greatly amused that pit bulls tend to win this contest.

I always have a great time at this event and I learn a lot about dogs. The educational booths are fantastic. I also feel great knowing the funds raised at this event are going to four great rescue groups.
We missed some of the events due to the heat. However, I'm glad we managed to run into quite a few friends at this event.

This is our friend Shiloh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dream Dog Park Contest

Congratulations to the 15 finalists in the Beneful® WagWorld® Dream Dog Park Contest!

To celebrate the relationships people have with their four-legged best friends, the Beneful® brand has created the WagWorldTM Dream Dog Park Contest – in which they will award a $500,000 makeover to one lucky dog park!

Contestants entered 2 minute videos about their dog park, in which they show their local park, and describe their Dream Dog Park.

Limit one (1) vote per person, per day. registration required. Voting ends on September 8, 2011.

To Vote:
  • Review the Finalists’ entries
  • Choose your favorite
  • Go to your favorite Finalist’s page and click “Vote for this Entry!” You can only vote once per day
Marley and I are very excited to see two finalists from California with fabulous ideas. The most difficult part is picking a favorite.

Last year Pat McNeely and Koda won the First Beneful® WagWorld® Dream Dog Park Contest and their new park looks awesome!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pool Plunge at Cameron Park Lake

I think the best way to spend a warm summer day is by taking my non-swimming dog to a swimming event. This event is hosted by the El Dorado Dog Owners Guild; they are raising money for two new dog parks in the county. We attended this this event last year and we had a great time, even if Marley didn't want to go swimming.

This year we met this tiny little dog that was not a happy camper. His mom would wade out and set him down in the water and he had to swim back to shore. He totally had a Marley attitude!

As we entered the play area, Marley bolted. I started to panic because this is not normal behavior for her and I couldn't find her anywhere. After searching in all the shady spots and casting suspicious looks at the people watching their dogs. I finally found her in the last place I expected to see my the water, I couldn't believe it! I know you won't believe it either, due to the curse of the black dog...
I got a close-up! Yes, this is my crazy dog in the water.

I'm not quite sure if she was chasing something or just playing in the water. After playing in the water for a bit and resting in the shade. We decided to visit some of the vendors and we discovered a little bit of HEAVEN!
Pups-n-Cups coffee is a wonderful mobile Coffee and Gourmet Dog Treats business. I had a great beverage and Marley enjoyed a Doggie Donut. The owner was totally fabulous and she also provides individual cups of shampoo for an emergency bath after swimming.

This is one of my favorite events and we plan on attending next year.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Agility Update

Before our agility break Marley was doing very well on contacts. She didn't hesitate and ran right through the yellow each and every time. I was very pleased with her behavior.

Since our break she has started to jump off the equipment. Not like jump off the yellow section, but jumping off the top of the A-Frame. I'm a bit flabergasted and terrified. I'm not sure why she is jumping off; she doesn't look scared or upset. Actually she looks rather pleased with herself. I'm terrified she'll hurt herself; I don't even allow her to jump out of the car.

This means we need to spend some time retraining all the contact equipment. It seems everytime we make strides in one direction we slip in another.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kaleo's Run

Marley and I are very excited and can hardly wait for Kaleo's 5k Run & 1 Mile walk. The weather is expected to be wonderful.

Kaleo was a working for the Sheriffs department when the vet found a cancerous growth in his paw. His medical expenses were over $12,000 and this race was started as a fundraiser. This event continues to raise funds to cover medical expenses for retired dogs.

The Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association also organizes other events and fundraisers to purchase protective gear for working dogs, specialized training schools and burial expenses.

I've participated in some of their other fundraisers (we have the calendar and t-shirt) and I'm excited to attend our first walk. Marley doesn't know this but I'll be checking out the German Shepherds.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fun at the Beach...

I've been hearing about Point Isabel Regional Shoreline for a long time and while not quite what I expected, it was still a lot of fun. The weather was typical of the coast, cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. There were a lot of dogs running free; however, while we were there everybody behaved. Marley became a totally different dog at the coast, it was a bit weird.

Marley ready to party!

She raced Zeus to the water.

My non-swimming, non-fetching dog jumped into the water after a tennis ball. My heart nearly stopped, I was sure she was chasing something gross and dead. I was totally blown away she just jumped into the water after a BALL.

Marley and the boys after a quick swim.
Zeus and Riley - "Sandwiches, did we hear that right?"
Marley - "Take the damn picture already"

We all enjoyed a pleasant snack behind the Sit and Stay Cafe. Marley is ready to return to the coast.
I heard the beach is supposed to have sand!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Agility Our 2x2 experience

I am a totally dorky student. I'm the student who sits in the front row with my clip board, pen, pencil and highlighter. I also have no qualms about asking questions for clarification. Even if the topic doesn't pertain to my dog, if I don't understand I'll still ask. I always expect a pop quiz and I fear I won't be prepared.

This means prior to any training class I have my dog walker walk her during the day and I make sure Marley has a brief walk before class. This means when class starts Marley is ready to learn, in essence she has her highlighter ready to note anything important.

Our trainer has only seen us when we are both calm and ready to learn. She has recently discovered our hidden slacker. Yes, we totally dropped the ball.

I took a private lesson to figure out why we were not getting the 2x2 weave method. Our trainer watched us for 2 tries and then told me I had to "get Marley excited" about the activity. So she offers to show me and I hand her our toy. She is getting Marley excited and then she says, "GO."

Marley takes off missing the poles and runs circles around us for about 4 laps, while my trainer's face becomes more and more horror stricken. She finally asks in a small voice, "Does Marley do this often?"

My face is trying to look horrified and smirk at the same time, I'm sure this isn't a good look for anybody. I indicate yes, Marley does have a tendency to run circles around me when she is excited. Around Marley's fifth lap I call her back and we work at a more sedate pace.

It seems our cover is blown and she'll probably never call Marley a great little dog with a ton of agility potential. On the positive note I did learn we can't work the 2x2 method until I learn how to throw a toy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Party Time

Wow, I didn't realize I knew so many people with July Birthdays. At least we got smart and had one party for everybody. Happy Birthday to Barbara, Bret, Kellie, Lynn and Roger. Wow, can that many Leos really be friends?

The party was started with a Pomeranian convention.

It seems they had a disagreement about something only a Pomeranian finds important and Gizmo expressed his opinion.

Marley thinks her mom is lame for making her wear a life vest by the pool. It seems none of the other dogs had to wear a life vest and she was mad.

After the swimming "experience" she decided to go hang with the Muppet (her real name is dolly, but doesn't she just look like a Muppet?).

After the a busy day of swimming, running, playing and scrounging for food, Marley was tired and ready to nap.

The party was fabulous and we all had a great time. Thank you to Marilyn and Margie for organizing such a fun event.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I just read the funniest article which provides Tips for the Perfect Staycation with Your Dog. It indicates travel may be stressful when accompanied by a dog and it offers some options:
  • Take a hike
  • Picnic in the Park
  • Become a Beach Bum
  • House Parties
This sounds like a typical week for Marley. We walk everyday and a couple of times a week we do a new urban hike. We picnic in the park every Sunday when our local park hosts free music. We attend a couple of parties during the summer. She is becoming a pool bum, does that count?

We attend a wide variety of dog friendly events in the area. I would also include group walks and fun training. Such as learning a new activity or brushing up on an old favorite. We play a lot of bubble games and soccer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dogs do need jobs!

Marley's BF Henry has always had a fascination with the hose. This fascination translates to a fascination of sprinkler heads. His parent's have had to replace multiple sprinkler heads due to Henry's need to play with water. Who knew Henry was auditioning for a job as Water Manger?

I recently discovered how easy it is to stop your dog from destroying your expensive irrigation system. The ladies at the Blue Thumb Blog posted a brilliant solution. Irrigation should occur at night while dogs are sleeping. Unfortunately for Henry, they also indicated he is just not qualified to be a Water Manger; he'll have to continue his current career as vicious skunk hunter.

They also discuss the dangers of allowing a dog to ingest too much water during play.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Party Time

Marley is going to fire her photojournalist. We attended the first party of the summer and most of my photos were horrible, either I'm a bit out of practice or I should lay off the margaritas.

I think Marley should teach a networking seminar, upon arrival she works the room. Afterwards she may rest a bit in she shade, while planning her next move.

Working the room involves determining who are the people most likely to provide handouts or drop bits of food. Marley believes children and men are more likely to share than women.

Bruiser waiting for food to drop.

Cleo the ultimate Diva.
Some of Marley's friends believe they are divas and spend time lounging and looking cool while surveying the party.

Cool Bo.

Dogs working the party.
Marley discovered 8 year old girls love to share zucchini and they won't snitch about the extra food Marley is receiving.