Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for You!

My human has been busy-busy-busy getting ready for something called "Thanksgiving". I know it involves turkey (and hopefully lots of scraps for moi!) and being grateful. So I would like to let you know that I am thankful for all my doggy-bloggy furiends! I've met so many nice pups since I started blogging in April and have really enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you.

So now you know why I haven't been posting in a while...I'm starting to figure out that before a major holiday or event like the kids' birthdays, my human gets all frenzied and has no time to log me onto the 'pee-yoo-ter. Just 'cuz she's hosting 16 people for a meal on Thursday (with 6 of 'em staying for the long weekend)...what's the big deal? Pick up the phone, order some pizza and you're done! But she won't listen to me...harumph.

Luckily, today she realized how much she's been neglecting me and took me on a fantastic walk in the woods, OFF LEASH!!! I was so excited to be free, free at last! It's a park she discovered when Girl Twin had a soccer game there, where dogs are allowed off leash on the wooded trails. I was very well behaved and didn't run off. If I got too far ahead of my slowpoke human, I'd turn around and wait for her to catch up. She was very pleased about that since she didn't know how I'd do the first time out. A couple times, we encountered some other dogs on the trail and she was glad I remembered my recall lessons.  I do much better with just one other dog; if two or more come up to me at once, I get a bit nervous.

A tree with trail markers.  I wanted to jump into the stream but my human nixed that idea!

A beautiful stone wall

Some gorgeous berries

Surveying the domain

When it gets warm again, my human said I could swim here!

All tuckered out from all that running around.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rally Cry

I've started my Beginning Rally class! What is Rally, you ask? Here is a description borrowed from the organization that created Rally, the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers):
Dog and Handler teams navigate a course with numbered signs indicating different exercises to perform such as Sit-Down-Sit, Straight Figure 8, Send Over Jump, Recall Over Jump. Teams navigate the course at a brisk, continuous performance without direction from the judge. Handlers are encouraged to talk to their dogs during the performance. All dogs, purebred, mixed breeds and dogs with disabilities are encouraged to participate. Rally trials can be hosted by any organization. Trials typically include Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 courses. A team earns a Rally title after successfully completing three course runs with qualifying scores. Titles can be earned at each Level and teams may also earn Championship titles, National Ranking Awards and a special Award of Excellence.
According to an instructor at our training facility, Rally was created as a sort of backlash against Obedience competition (my human's interpretation, not the instructor's) ...a more relaxed, more fun approach to evaluating the dog's knowledge of commands and dog/handler teamwork. During the trial, the handler can encourage the dog verbally and even use treats (sparingly), whereas these are forbidden in Obedience competition. My human served as a Steward at a Rally trial hosted by our club, and she thought it was so fun to hear the different ways the owners would praise their dogs throughout the course ("GOO'BOOOOOYEEEEEEEEEE!!!!") She said the dogs looked like they were enjoying themselves almost as much as the owners!

Apparently, Rally has really taken off while Obedience entries have fallen. Now, the AKC has gotten in on the act and is also sanctioning their own Rally trials.

So here's a clip of me at my second Rally class. I am the youngest in the class and it shows...I get distracted pretty easily at nice smells on the floor, at my human cousin who's taking the video, at the other dogs working the course...but I still had fun! My human says I need to work on my "place" (sitting at her left side, right next to her and close to her leg)...I have a tendency to swing out wide to sit. So you'll see her using a treat to try to get me closer in. Hey, she has lots of stuff to learn, too! You'll see her mess up one of her "about turns" (or was that supposed to be a 270 degree turn?). Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dony, No Swiping!

Do any of you have young'uns in the house?  If you do, you may be familiar with Swiper the Fox from the T.V. show Dora the Explorer.  Swiper is notorious for sneakily absconding with various objects from the heroine, Dora.  Or rather, he tries to swipe them, only to hear "Swiper, no swiping!" from Dora, Boots the Monkey, and millions of preschool viewers around the country.

Well, lately I've been hearing the refrain "Dony, no swiping!" around here, and I'm getting a little sick of it.  My counter surfing escapades have been seriously curtailed (heh-heh!).  How am I supposed to survive the long hours between breakfast and dinner with no snacks?!

Here's what I mean.  Little Boy wanted to make oatmeal cookies.  Of course, I offered my assistance.

Did somebody say cookies????

Double-checking the recipe.

I'll just skooch these measuring spoons over to Little Boy.

Time to sample the batter...it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

D'oh!!  Foiled again by Little Boy!

But even he can't stop the quickest tongue on the East Coast!
(That's a Dorito, in case anyone's wondering)

So there you have it...I've been reduced to scrounging for tiny morsels instead of my usual entire cookie/apple slice/bacon slice/fill-in-the-blank.  I feel like a junkyard dog.

BTW, I got a kick out of your comments on my Wordless Wed. pic...Cole got it right, I was under a lounge chair on the deck when Boy Twin took that picture from inside. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meet My Human Dad

This is my human dad.  As you can see, he was one of my biggest allies in the fight against my human to let me up on the couch (even tho' he'd deny it if you asked him).  I love snuggling with him when he watches the news.

Whenever I see my dad first thing in the morning, I go berserk!  This is because ever since I was a wee pup, he would greet me every morning by getting me all riled up.  My human tried to nip this little ritual in the bud, but it was rather cute in the beginning...now she says he's "created a monster", whatever that means.  All I know is that whenever I meet a man, I go nuts and try to jump all over him and lick him to death.  Luckily for the rest of the family, I don't do this to women or kids.

My dad is originally from France and my human loves it when he coos sweet nothings into my ear in French.  He's taken to calling me "ma belle", which used to be his nickname for my human...she seems a little miffed at that.  Get over it, lady!