I caught Tom red tongued, gently picking pea pods off the vines. And here I was blaming the chipmunks!
A lovely morning for a walk. Tom guiding on my left, Dulce spaniel and Zora walking nicely on my right.
Nearing the end of the walk, final stretch of sidewalk towards home. I live on the main road through town, so there is always traffic, it’s busy. It’s trash day. It’s the time of year for road work so various bits of construction. You get the picture.
Dulce, who is walking with her gentle leader head collar on flicks her head and does a little woof, the way she does when there is something ahead she’s unsure about. So we stop, do a couple of hand touches for some treats, she settles. I glance ahead and see the orange and silver stripes of a traffic barrel at the edge of the sidewalk. Ok, makes sense Dulce is unnerved, she can be worried about stuff like that.
Dulce is willing to trust me, and Tom and Zora are unphased, so we keep going. As we are passing, the traffic barrel says, “Hi!”
Not a traffic barrel.
I can only imagine what the construction worker thought as I’m approaching, telling the dogs, “Don’t worry, it’s just a barrel.” LOL
That moment when the last dog resisting an afternoon nap finally finds a comfy spot that meets his exacting standards and for the first time since 6:30am you now have 4 sound asleep pooches…
And you realize, you have to pee.
How long do you think it will be before they all settle again?
We woke up to a balmy 22’F out today, so a walk was in order! Tom was so so so so so so so (did I mention so) excited that as I put his leash on he couldn’t contain himself anymore, grabbed the doughnut toy and went to squeaky town.
I love it when he’s happy and playful like this. So silly!
The dogs haven’t been able to get out on a real walk in over a week. With the negative temps, it was just too cold for all of us. Tom has been getting out more than the others when we run errands and such, but it has still not been near our usual amount of activity and exercise.
But today we did get out and had a great walk. Thank goodness for snow shoes. And we were lucky as the place we chose to walk at today someone had gone through and made a number of paths with a snowmobile. Made for much easier walking than had we been to left to our own devices to forge a trail. The dogs all had a BLAST! And are now properly tired and napping. A good way to start the week!
For the past few weeks for an hour each week I’ve been teaching a group of friends and their dogs. They all came into the group with varying yet similar goals and have made awesome strides over the weeks. And I’ve been having great fun with them all!
One of the goals many of them had was to work with improving their dog’s skill and comfort with body handling, everything from nail trimming and grooming to being petted. And through various exercises including targeting, stays, engagement and such they’ve been improving immensely. Last night building on the various successes they’d been having, we did a really fun Pawtraits exercise. We were all laughing, it was great fun!
What are Pawtraits? Simple really- traced outlines of your dog’s paws or other body parts.
So in order to trace your dog’s body part on a piece of paper 2 things have to occur- the body part has to make it onto the paper, and has to stay on the paper long enough for it to be traced.
For those 2 things to occur a dog has to-
Those things are really really hard for many many dogs!
Ideally we want to do this exercise with the dog as relaxed, comfortable and willing as possible. And there are loads of ways to approach that.
I was super impressed and proud of my students. It was awesome to see how much the work they’ve been doing with their dogs over the past weeks made Pawtraits doable and super fun. We ended up with outlines of front feet, back feet, tails, ears, legs and more.
Hearing people recognize for their dogs-
“You’re right, this marker is really smelly, here let me change to a different one to make this easier for you.” (ie recognizing their dog was uncomfortable and problem solving why, then changing to make it more successful)
“Hmm, let me think about how to get your ear traced…” (ie developing a plan before attempting)
“I think a down stay will make tracing your rear feet easier, let’s try that…” (ie thinking about skills they and their dog had in their toolbox and experimenting which ones would be most successful)
Made my face hurt I was smiling so much!
I rarely wear shoes in the house. Shoes are for going out. Slippers are for in the house. Or bare feet. For no reason other than my feet really hate shoes.
This afternoon I had a couple of appointments so of course had my shoes on to travel to and from those. I usually take my shoes off immediately once home. But I knew in a couple of hours I have to go out again to fiddle class and in between have a dog being dropped off who tends to have over grown nails when she’s dropped off meaning shoes are a necessity until I trim her nails. Therefore made the rare decision to keep my shoes on.
Tom is so confused.
Shoes = going out. Why are we still here?
You’ve all rearranged furniture because it makes your dog happier? Right? I’m not the only one?
Tom prefers to position himself in various rooms of the house so that he can easily see me. He will occasionally go sleep in a room I am not currently in, but will still sleep in whatever part of that room he can see me the moment I walk into it.
Meaning if I place his dog bed in a way that his view would be blocked, he won’t use it.
Like the way I in a moment of poor furniture arrangement placed his dog bed at the foot of our bed as we moved back into the bedroom. He’s refusing to now sleep on it. (also our new rug arrived, I love it! It’s so comfy to walk on!)
Last night as we all went to bed I encouraged him to get on his bed. He reluctantly did. I got into bed. Tom got up, futzed around the room until he found a spot he deemed fit his criteria on the rug next to my side of the bed, flopped with a sigh and slept there.
Today the dresser and the dog bed will swap places. Tom will once more sleep on his dog bed. All shall be well.
The cooler weather we’ve had this week makes for very energetic dogs! They’ve all been rather juiced up. Which is great fun but whooee rather intense.
The photo of Zora was from yesterday. After a 2hr (5-6mile for the humans lots more for the off leash dogs) walk in the woods, 3 agility and ball sessions, and a 4 mile walk on the street to the bank and back with Tom and I on Friday. And then a number of intense agility practice sessions yesterday. She was still on cracker jacks.
She does the Corgi Shark thing of sneaking up and staring like that when she really really really wants us to do something with her. And she knows the highest likelihood of that happening is if she’s quiet yet intense. Hence Corgi Shark.
Tom was also on cracker jacks after all the exercise on Friday. It makes me smile my nearly 8 year old dog in such great shape. Yesterday we went shoe shopping at the outlet mall. On Labor Day weekend. To say it was a zoo is an understatement. Tom was in his element. He had a ball weaving me in and out of people, finding the clearest paths, stopping smartly at curbs, and generally being in his version of guide dog euphoria. About the only 2 places that make him happier are working in downtown Boston and Ikea.
Tomorrow and Tuesday are supposed to be higher temps and the return of the humidity. Blech. But I’m relishing in the 60-70s and feelings of fall! Yay!
Zora here and today it’s my birthday!! MY Birthday! Me me me Corgi dog ALL DAY! It’s My Day! Mum said so! So as it’s my birthday I have many requests.
First more breakfast! What? You say no!? But it’s my birthday! “sorry, Zora, no. You can have a special bite of hot dog in your breakfast but not more breakfast.” What kind of crap birthday is this going to be human?! No extra breakfast?! But it’s my day! Well we shall see lady, you better step up and make it a really great day if you want me to forgive this one!
Second a walk and swim. That one mum said ok to! It was awesome!! And the cheese stick she gave me wasn’t half bad either. Ok this day is improving a lot!
Third ball time! A LOT of ball time! Every time we go outside. Until I want to stop!
Fourth you human sit still and let me sleep on you. “Sorry Zora I can’t make promises on that one. Sitting without shifting is really hard. How about I pet you instead while you lay beside me?” Hmm, ok I guess.
Fifth all the cookies I want! “ALL? the cookies you want? Maybe, we’ll see. There might just be some ice cream tonight for you special little munchkin…..”
Zora the corgi who is now threeee!! Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
We were in the grocery store a while back and my husband always likes to check the clearance rack. Where a can of spray squeeze cheese was sitting on discount. Shockingly he had yet to experience the hysterics of dogs eating spray cheese from a can. An event I told him he had not yet lived if he hadn’t yet experienced.
So much fun. So silly. The faces, oh the faces.
I know it’s disgusting nasty to put cheese in a can. All manner of gross. Blah blah blah. And it’s not something I’d give the dogs regularly. But a once in a while afternoon filled with laughter is worth it to us.
So. Much. Fun. Hysterical.