Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blogger Tuesday

My blog pick for this week is Life With Dogs! I picked this blog not just because the title is similar to mine, but because it totally cracks me up!! I highly encourage you to look back through the archives and read every entry. Some of the posts are involved stories that include Sola, Fudgepants, and Nigel's take on the situations. You learn about Mr. Stick. And you also find out about the struggles that Fudgepants has had with Angular Limb Deformity. The pictures are a hoot as well! You just gotta go check it out!:O)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Running!

One of the many activities that I like to do with my dogs to keep them in shape is to go running with them! Not both dogs at the same time though!! I'm not entirely insane!;O) All it would take is one squirrel or one cat streaking by and I'd be toast! One of non-dog activities that I compete in are sprint and olympic distance triathlons. That means that I need to stay in shape for swimming, biking, and running. And why not kill two birds with one stone by getting both myself AND the dogs exercised!

We have some pretty nice parks and paved walkways near our house that we frequent. Whenever possible I try to at least have the dogs jogging on non-pavement type surfaces. Running on hard pavement isn't good for humans or dogs in the long term. You can get sore joints from the high impact with the pavement. For the dogs there's also the abrasiveness of the pavement on their pads. Their pads are fairly tough, but will only hold up to so much. You also need to be careful of the temperature of the pavement that you're running on. While it may not be too hot or cold for you, your dog is definitely going to feel it with those naked feet!

Just like with humans, you want to build your dog up slowly so as to avoid injury. If your dog is relatively inactive, take it very slow and make sure that they are healthy enough to start this sort of exercise regime. You want to slowly build up your distance and speed over time and you want to make sure that you don't increase both at the same time. This can also lead to injuries. Another aspect to take into consideration is the length of your dog's toe nails. If your dog has long toe nails, cut them. Period. You can do serious and permanent damage to your dog's feet, tendons, ligaments, and legs in general, if you let them run around on nails that are too long (this goes for all activities and not just jogging). The general rule of thumb in my house is that if I can hear the nails clicking on our linoleum floors, the nails are too long. Which is why my guys get their nails dremmelled at least weekly. I'll probably do a separate post about this topic because it's a pet peeve of mine!:O)

One of my favorite places to take the dogs to jog around, are soccer and baseball fields. We are lucky to have many close to our house. The local parks and rec. department has a combination of two soccer fields and four baseball fields all in one area. You do want to be careful and respect the rules in your area though. Not all fields are dog friendly. Ours TECHNICALLY are not. However, I've talked to some of the grounds people and they don't mind us being in there as long as my dogs are on a leash and/or I'm VERY good about picking up after them (I'm not ashamed to say that I tend to use the "awesomeness" of my dogs to sway people, LOL). The #1 complaint people have about allowing dogs into certain areas is that owners are not good about picking up after their furry companions. It's just plain gross! But I digress! Running around in the sports fields allows you and your dog to run on a substrate that is "softer" and gentler on your joints and also cooler on both of your feet. Just compare how hot things feel when you're standing on dirt/pavement compared to standing out on nice grass! Another benefit of the sports fields is that there are often drinking foutains, bathrooms, or water faucets around for a quick drink or cool down.

As far as what distance you think you should start your dog out on? That's really up to you. No one knows your dog better than you do. But I definitely recommend erring on the side of caution for at the first couple of weeks. And if you really want your dog (and yourself if you're not already a runner) to adjust to the new routine, I recommend trying to fit in at least 2-3 runs per week.

And of course, always take into consideration the type of weather that you're running in. Running in the heat of the day is no good for anyone, least of all your buddy with the fur coat on!

Here are some pictures of the dogs, my mom and dad, and I at one of the 5k's that we've done (another GREAT activity to do when you and your dog are ready for it!).:O)





Sunday, June 28, 2009

Banana Cinnamon Biscuits

Mmmmmm.....these cookies smell soooooo good! And of course, they have so far been a hit with the dogs. Not that I thought they wouldn't be.:) The recipe that I tried out this month was for Banana Cinnamon Biscuits. This is a great recipe to use to get rid of any over ripe bananas you may have around. Unfortunately we did not, but regular ripe bananas worked out just as well for us! Again, I'll put my little notes in italics along with the recipe as is.

Yields 30 biscuits (I doubled the recipe and got 67)

1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole-wheat floud
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup grated carrot (I forgot to pick carrots up at the grocery store so I added more banana and more peanut butter to make up for it)
1/2 cup filtered water (water from the tap works just great!)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Measure the unbleached flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
3. Combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, carrot, and water in a glass measuring cup. Stir with a fork till smooth and creamy.


4. Make a well in the flour, and pour in the banana-peanut butter mixture. Mix on medium speed using a paddle attachment until combined. For this part, I decided to again try mixing without using the actual mixer. This time around it worked out really well! Everything got mixed into a nice dough. I did end up using my hands to finish getting everything completely mixed, but it came out sooooo much better than the "dough" from the last recipe that I tried!

5. Turn the dough out onto a slightly floured surface and gently knead until dough is smooth and still soft. Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut the biscuits into desired shapes with cookie cutters. I opted not to roll the dough out. I don't like to add in a lot of extra work that I feel isn't all that necessary. The dough was too sticky for me to just lay it out and use a cookie cutter (which I know the additional flour would have helped with) and I didn't really feel like spending the added time cutting the cookies out when the dogs don't really care what it looks like as long as it fits in their mouths! I just used my hands and placed flattened balls of dough out on the parchment paper.

6. Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes till dry and firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave biscuits in another 20-30 minutes. Remove them from the oven, cool them on a baking rack, and sotre them in a cookie tin. So I didn't exactly feel like the additional 20-30 min. in the oven was all that necessary and just layed the cookies out on a cooling rack after they were done baking. Not to mention all the additional time it would take to let the cookies sit in there with the oven off, then have to reheat the oven, and then go through the whole process with each batch of cookies. I wasn't in the mood for slaving away for a few hours in the kitchen just for some cookies. At any rate, the cookies have turned out great!

The dogs were very eager to tast test their new treats!



Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cascade Dockdogs Practice!


This morning Heffner and I went to the June practice for the Cascade Dockdogs, which we are now members of! Since last time he wasn't really into getting into the water much, I thought that taking the dogs out to the lake yesterday would be a great way to get him into the whole swimming mind set. What I didn't think about was the amount of rain that we more recently. The water levels at the lake were so high that all the beaches that we've gone to before were completely submerged. Here's one of the beaches that we usually go to:

Ordinarily there's at least a quarter mile of beach here just past the grass line that you can see. But the water level is just so muhc higher than it usually is this time of year! And on top of that, the temperatures were barely into the upper 60's when we got there and the water temperatures were much cooler. Normally Heffner doesn't care, but he was balking a little bit about going in. I also wasn't about to just chuck is favorite toy out into the lake if he likely wasn't going to retrieve it. And there was NO WAY that I was going to swim in the water when it was that cold! A sure fire way to get Heffner into the water is for me to get into the water. If momma is swimming, just try and keep him out of the water! But that just wasn't happening yesterday. And Bess also was barely in the mood for wading. All-in-all, our trip to the lake was pretty much a bust.

While we were waiting in line to get our day pass, the guy behind us was totally cracking me up! He got out of his car to try and snap a picture of the dogs with their heads out the canopy windows (they've managed to knock out both of the screens). The dogs were very cooperative until he actually got out of the car. Then they both pulled their heads back in and stared at him from inside the canopy! It was pretty funny! The guys was pretty persistent, but I'm not sure that he got the shot he was hoping for!LOL

I did take some pictures while I was trying to get the dogs in the water.









video

Since the whole swimming thing obviously wasn't going down, I decided to at least take them along the lake rim trail for a little bit so that they could stretch their legs. Some sections of the trail were almost overgrown by the very tall weeds along the sides, but it was still doable.













The unfortunate aspect of the whole no swimming and no beach for the dogs to wear themselves out on while playing, is that I had two dogs who still had a whole lotta energy after our little one hour trip to the lake. I ended up taking them running with me that night and that definitely helped to take the edge off, but still not quite the amount of exercise that they're used to.

Now onto this morning! Just like last time, the practice was fun with a lot of super nice and laid back people. There were a lot more dogs there this time. Lots of very excited to jump dogs too! I decided to skip the puppy dock this time since it's not deep enough for Heffner to swim, and we went straight for the competition dock. We tried doing the whole ramp thing this time. I waded down it as far as I could go (no hip waders this time since it was so warm out!), but Heffner wasn't budging much at all. I wasn't about to throw his toy out there since he also wasn't showing a whole lot of interest in going after it. After a few minutes of me trying to coax him in, I decided to go over to the puppy dock and at least get him into the water. But that also wasn't to be. For whatever reason, he just wasn't into wading out into the pond at all. He would get so far and then start backing out. I even had his life vest on him! So we gave up after a bit and just stood on the sidelines watching the other dogs jumping off the competition dock. I was hoping that he would learn by osmosis, but not so much! I also didn't have my camera with me, but there were several people taking pictures so I'm hoping that I'll be able to snag one if someone caught some of Heffner and I trying to go into the water.

So we definitely have a few things to work on this summer (the club doesn't have practice during July and August due to all the competitions and people's summer plans). 1) I want him swimming a lot! 2) I need to work on his toy drive so that he gets just super amped up when I pull it out and he REALLY wants to go fetch it. 3) I need to practice getting him to jump off a dock to me in the water. We'll see how that all goes!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Acupuncture

The alternative means of healing that I wanted to talk about this month is acupuncture. A recurring theme that you will probably notice is that a lot of these things I have at least tried out on Heffner. I really believe that all of these alternative methods are a great means of preventative maintenance as well as helping other issues that may already be there. As such, Bess hasn't had some of this stuff done on her, but you will see me mention having tried it out on Heffner. It's not that I'm favoring one dog over the other, but Heffner had a neck injury about two years ago that has pretty much made me paranoid with him ever since. Neither of my dogs are couch potatoes. They are very active, happy danes and I want to keep them that way. However, they're huge. And as the saying goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall. For whatever reason, I don't worry about Bess injuring herself as much (probably because she hasn't done it yet, and knock on wood won't!) as I do Heffner.

About two years ago Heffner tweaked his neck. It was a really odd and mundane manner in which he did it. He was turning around on the futon that we have and I guess he sort of caught one of his front feet weird or something, yelped, and got off the futon favoring his front right foot. I didn't think too much of it because occasionally he would tweak a front leg, favor it for a bit, and then be fine. He did this right before I left for work. My husband, Adam wasn't up yet, so I asked him to just sort of keep an eye on Heffner to see how he was doing, and then didn't really think too much of it. I figured that if I didn't get a phone call all would be fine. When I got home from work, he was still favoring the leg some, but seemed to be doing relatively fine. I thougth that he could probably use the night to rest and be fine in the morning. By morning, he definitely was in a fair amount of pain and still favoring the leg. So I called the vet and got him in. It took both Adam and I to get him into and out of our vehicle. After the vet checked him out, she realized that he wasn't lifting his head above a certain level and realized it was actually his neck that was bothering him. He was put on pain meds and anti inflamatories for a couple of weeks in the hopes that it was just a pinched nerve and not a herniated disc. Thankfully, it was just a pinched nerve. After two weeks of bed rest he was back to his old self, but still on restricted exercise. For the first month I could only take him on walks using a harness. After that it was another month of using just a collar. And after that I could go back to using the gentle leader. I never want to see one of my babies go through that much pain again, so I'm doing what I can to prevent that.

Along with massage, Heffner has had some acupuncture done. I actually want to get him in for another session soon, but I think I'm going to wait until the end of the summer, before I go back to trialing him. The acupuncturist that we saw was Becca Seitz at To the Point Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic (she also has a blog!!). She was fantastic and I can't wait to get Heffner back there and get Bess started as well! You do need to have a veterinary referral, but most vets seem to be pretty good about clients wanting to try out alternative means of health. I just called our vet up and explained to her that there wasn't anything wrong with him, but I just wanted to do it for preventative purposes. Since she already knew about his neck injury, she was more than happy to fax over the referral form!

And I gotta tell you, the change in Heffner was amazing!! He had a massage with Rubi the day before, then the acupuncture the next day, and the following day I took him for a hike with Bess and he was like a puppy again! It was like all this puppy energy was released in him because he felt sooooo good! It was really awesome to see! And as hoaky as it sounds, there was just all this positive energy coming from him! It just made my heart feel so good to see my baby so happy and feeling so good!

If you're curious about the different ways that acupuncture can help your dog or you, check out Becca's web site and blog! You can also check out these sites:

http://www.amcollege.edu/benefitsacupuncture.htm

http://www.acupuncture.com/animals/dog.htm

And the next time I get Heffner in for an appointment I'll try to take some pictures!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Random Cuteness!

Right now I'm too tired and ran out of time to write the post that I had originally intended to. Yesterday I happened to be skimming through some old pictures of Heffner when we first brought him home and I thought I would share those tonight since I'm a total slacker! Enjoy!









Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why Wednesday

Why do the dogs feel the need to wrestle in small spaces that really aren't conducive to dane play? It's a pretty regular occurence that when the dogs are trying to "subtley" tell me that they need some outdoor romping time, they start wrestling. Usually the smaller the space the better. I really don't know why this is. You would think they would go into one of the living rooms where there's more space to fling their bodies around. Instead they choose the smaller, cluttered (wish I could say that the office isn't always like it looks in the video, but it's usually in some sort of disarray!) office. I know that some of it has to do with the fact that I happen to be in that room when they're trying to get their point across, but still! Here's a little video of them playing. They had been going at it for a few minutes before I decided to record them. And don't let their little break at the end fool you. They take a five minute break and then are back at it until we step in and stop them!LOL

video

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blogger Tuesday!

It's that day of the week again!! My blog pick for this week is Nic's blog My Great Danes! She has two gorgeous hunky danes and one very hunky Am. Staff.! I love hearing about shows that she's attended and how her boys are doing. How can you resist those lips?!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Raw Honey

You're probably wondering what the heck raw honey has to do with dogs, right? Well, it's actually a great supplement of sorts to add to their daily diet! A while ago I was reading a thread on a dane board that I'm on, that talked about the beneifts of raw honey. It was something that I hadn't even thought about before. For humans the benefits are numerous and it has also been shown to be quite beneficial to dogs as well. But first things first!

There absolutely is a difference between regular and even organic honey versus raw honey. For starters, processed honey (the regular and organic stuff that you can find in every store) is heated and filtered, killing off or removing all the good enzymes, vitamins, and proteins that are there in the raw form. This is also why you don't want to microwave or heat up your raw honey. If you do that, you are removing or killing off all the beneficial parts of the honey. Raw honey is also made up of "good sugars" that won't allow the bad bacteria to proliferate in the gut and give intestinal problems. Most importantly, raw honey still contains small amounts of pollen! Studies have shown that by ingesting small amounts of pollen that is local to your area, it can help alleviate seasonal allergies. So if you're going for allergy prevention, be sure to find raw honey that is local to you. Even though neither of my dogs have allergies, I do use Wessels Raw Honey for that very reason.
If you want to read more about the MANY benefits of raw honey for you and your dog, here are a few web sites that I found helpful:






I haven't tried doing anything with the honey other than eat it, but I'm thinking of possibly trying out some of the bath/shampoo ideas on myself and the dogs. Although I do have to admit that I'm a lot more likely to try it on the dogs than myself. The thought of having sticky honey in my hair isn't exactly thrilling.

When I first started giving my dogs raw honey I had two problems. The first was how much. There aren't many sources that say how much and how often. What I have been able to find is that people usually give 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on the size of the dog, one to two times a day. Not very exact, but I think this is one of those things where just adding it to the diet is beneficial and you don't need it in excessive quantities. I do roughly one large spoonful a day per dog mixed in with something.

The other problem that I came across is that my dogs do NOT like the taste of just the raw honey. Sometimes they'll eat things in their bowl that they won't if I just hand it to them. Rare, but it does happen! When I tried this, neither one wanted to eat it. So I tried mixing it in a 1:1 ratio (1 spoon full of honey to 1 spoon full of peanut butter) with peanut butter. That didn't work either. So I bumped it up to two spoon fulls of peanut butter. Still no dice. Since I wasn't about to give up, I tried a 3:1 ratio and it worked! Once I got them used to that I switched out the peanut butter with cottage cheese. With the cottage cheese I was able to get away with a 2:1 mixture. I'm not really sure why that is, but oh well. And finally I tried plain yogurt. I was also able to get away with a 2:1 mixture of that. I have a feeling that the dogs just needed to adjust to having the honey in their diet. Now everything is hunky dory!

I do prefer the yogurt over the others though since it's got the good gut enzymes in it. It's just a little added bonus!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Canby Dog Show Day 2

Well, today Bess took Reserve Winners Bitch. Still not too shabby. My only regret is that yesterday I should have skipped our afternoon plans (I still would have been a little late to the BBQ) and stuck around for the Group ring. To get the chance to go into the group is pretty freaking cool for me. It's something that you're just not guaranteed and would have been a really neat experience! I definitely won't make that mistake again! I do have a couple of pictures that were taken yesterday by Kim, who is Cabo's mom (he's the natural eared boy who went Winner's Dog and Best of Opposite Sex yesterday!), however, Blogger isn't letting me upload them for some reason. >:O(

The results from yesterday are (I finally got a catalog!): BOB, BOW, and WB Daynakin's Penelope. BOS and WD WCK-Olympus' Rockin' Red Racer. RWB was Valhalla's First Edition V Elan. RWD was SGD Top Dog Big Reno.

Unfortunately I was a bit distracted for the breed ring today, but here are what I'm fairly sure the results are (I apologize for any mistakes!): BOB, BOW, and WB Valhalla's First Edition V Elan. BOS and WD SGD Top Dog Big Reno. RWB Daynakin's Penelope. RWD WCK-Olympus' Rockin' Red Racer.

I also had the pleasure of taking Hunter, the rhodesian rhidgeback into the ring today (he wasn't feeling great yesterday and was scratched)! He did really well and ended up with a RWD!

Yesterday we also received a wonderful package from my friend Marissa! She made both of the dogs collars!!!






Thank you Marissa!!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Canby Show Day 1


Today was a GLORIOUS day at the dog show!! There weren't any specials entered, so breed was really up for grabs. I don't have a whole lot of time to give the details because we have a wedding and family BBQ (my family) to go to still today, but I'll try to give more details tomorrow.


Bess did pretty freaking well. She went Winners Bitch and then on to win Best of Winners and Best of Breed!!!:O) We of course had a win pic taken and that should be in probably by the end of the week. Needless to say, I am totally on cloud nine. It would have really been great to get to go into the group ring, but with everything else that we've got going on tonight, it just wasn't going to work.:(

Friday, June 19, 2009

Collar of the Month

You may see a recurring theme that I LOVE getting different collars for my dogs. Love, love, love it!!!! If I was into small dogs, they would have clothes. Since I have giant dogs, they have a plethora of collars. One of these days I'll do a post about our "little" collection. It's an addiction really!

This month, since we're getting close to the 4th of July, I'm switching the dogs over to their 4th of July collars! The collar that Heffner is wearing is made by Dogma London. I absolutely LOVE their collars! They toally hold up to all the things that my dogs put the collars through. I'm also a fan of the martingale style collar, which is what this one is. I like the collars on my dogs to be loose fitting. Just my own personal preference. And that works out a lot easier with a martingale collar because they're loose while the collar is just sitting there, but they tighten up when you pull on the loop so that the collar won't go over their heads. The satiny inner lining of the collar has frayed just a bit along the edges, but otherwise it has held up really well to the abuse and washing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

YouTube of the Month

My pick for the YouTube clip of the month is Hope the Great Dane and the Scary Banana! It totally cracks me up how crazy she's being over a simple little banana. Our dogs all have the little things that they don't like or things that they freak out about. It's just great when you can catch it on video! Here's a video of Heffner and a little animated Halloween toy that I brought home. I think he was 9 or 10 months at the time. It still cracks me up!


video

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why Wednesday


Why does Heffner feel the need to walk on my heels after he waits for me to break trail for him??? He does this pretty regularly. Now that the grass hay fields are ridiculously tall and over even his head, he likes to have me make a trail for him when he's not chasing after and terrorizing Bess. However, I am apparently far to slow for his liking and he feels the need to walk on my heels. Not just occasionally, mind you, but every freaking step! It's like when you're a little kid and you're trying to be funny/annoying and you step on an adults heels with every stride (okay, who am I kidding, I still totally do this!). Yeah, so first he totally waits for me to make a trail for him, but then he tries to hurry me along by stepping on my heels. It's a good thing for him that he's so stinkin' cute!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blogger Tuesday!

It's Blogger Tuesday time! My pick for this week is the ever boisterous Bell the weim! I know I included a link to her blog already in yesterday's post, but I don't care! Her mom takes and posts lots of pictures and I really like that! Bell is also very lucky to get to go to Dog Beach all the time! She is a dog who would stand a very good chance of tiring Bess out.LOL So go check her and all of her beach adventures out!:O)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Product Review and Blogger Award!


This month I decided to talk about the line of Everlasting treat dispensing toys. We've tried four of them out and I think there's at least one more. The basic premise is that they are these neat rubbery/plasticy toys with specially designed holes that accomodate their special Everlasting treats. All the designs also have an empty middle section with a small hole(s) that you can put additional treats in. The idea is that these toys will keep your dog(s) entertained for a long time. Unfortunately, these toys aren't really dane proof. After Heffner and Bess both popped the Everlasting treat out of the smaller blue toy, I thought that maybe getting one of the bigger ones would make it more difficult for them. While it did take them longer (Bess a bit longer than Heffner) to pop the treat out, they were still able to do it. Both dogs did enjoy rolling the different toys around to get the little treats out that I put in the middle of the different toys. For that I just used regular kibble. I chose the Fish and Sweet Potato formula by Natural Balance. It's not a really crappy kibble and the dogs are really attracted by the smell!

The first toy that we tried out was the Starmark Everlasting Treat Ball.

Heffner popped the Everlasting treat out of it pretty quick. Bess was more into licking the treat initially. If we let her continue to play with the toy after there were no longer any treats in it, she would start chewing and pulling off pieces of the edges so that it ended up looking like this:

The next toy was the Everlasting Fun Ball. Heffner really likes to get the whole thing in his mouth (their largest size isn't really all that large) and crunch the kibble inside. Bess enjoys batting it with her feet to make the treats drop out. Since all of these toys are made out of the same material, the dogs don't get to play with them indefinitely because at least one of them would destroy them entirely! So once the treats are gone, the toy gets put up.

The next toy that we tried out because of it's size was the Everlasting Fire Plug. I thought that there was a good possibility that Heffner couldn't pop out the treat on this one, but no such luck. It takes Bess a little bit longer, but she also gets it out rather quickly. Again, they still like rolling it around on the ground to get the treats out.

The final toy I bought just because. It's the Everlasting Beanie Ball. It's pretty similar to the Starmark Ball, but is rounded on the bottom. The dogs are still entertained by it, but they go through the treats pretty quickly because of it's small size.

And then finally there's the Everlasting treats themselves.

Everlasting they most certainly are NOT. It takes the dogs maybe 5 min. to completely eat them and that includes the amount of time it takes them to pop the buggers out of the toys. Considering how much they are, $7-$9 for a pack of two, they REALLY aren't worth it. If you've got a smaller dog, these toys and treats are probably pretty awesome. For larger dogs, don't count on these toys to keep your dog occupied for all that long. I like giving it to the dogs as a little treat now and then.


Now on to our very first blogger award!!! The lovely and boisterous Bell has given us this award!


Here's the rules:

1. Post it to the blog and link to who gave it to you.
2. Choose 5 life situations that could be repeated in slow motion and explain why.
3. List twelve blogs and let them know you've given them the award.

Here goes:

1) I posted the link to Bell's blog above.

2) #1 Heffner's Fullhouse run in April. He went over a few jumps and then headed straight to the table, which is live for the entire run and also ends your run once your dog touches it. I chose this one because there was someone taking pictures of it and I look pretty funny trying to pull him away from the table! #2 Bess' very first point in conformation. It was just a really cool moment! #3 Heffner and Mojo wrestling when they were younger. Thos two got along soooooo well! It's especially sad now because Mojo passed away and Heffner just doesn't have any male danes that he gets along with. #4 Bess' Wildcard run this weekend. I would like to see in slow motion how she attached the first tunnel and managed to move it a few feet! My angle just wasn't good enough! #5 Me running down the street with Heffner after that kid who threw our garbade can onto our lawn! I would have LOVED to see the looks on the kids faces when they realized that we were coming after them!!

3) You know, I haven't even been following 12 blogs yet. I will list the actual doggy blogs that I've been following that participate and like getting these awards!

Behr Behr's blog - because I love Teddy Bear Tuesday and just enjoy the blog in general!

Life With Dogs - OMG, this blog totally cracks me up. I made my way through all of the archives and it is sooooo entertaining!

My Great Danes - I absolutely LOVE Nic's boys!! And they live in Australia. Totally awesome!

Team 3 Dawg Flite - As I mentioned before, I love reading about these guys' exploits in dock diving and love seeing the pictures!

Diva the Great Dane - Who wouldn't love watching an adorable great dane puppy growing up??

That's all that I can think of right now! Sorry if I've left anyone off!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CPE Trial Day 2

Today was another wonderful day of trialing! It started a few hours earlier than yesterday, so we were both a little bit groggy when we got there. After getting all set up and getting Bess settled in her crate I checked out the running order. It was Wildcard, Standard, Snooker, and then Jumpers. Oh boy, Wildcard first thing in the morning. This could well or it could be a redo of yesterday's Fullhouse run!

Today's Wildcard was a non-traditional one and we could actually get the jackpot/gamble out of the way whenever we wanted to and we didn't have to wait for the buzzer. I decided to just go for the jackpot right off and see how Bess did. The jackpot is a test of distance handling skills. There were two jackpots set up on the course. One was definitely more difficult being a tire jump, then a set of six weaves, and finally a tunnel. The handler had to stand behind a line and send the dog through the sequence and nail the whole thing. There was just no way that that was going to happen. So I picked the simpler jackpot of jump, tunnel, jump. Bess LOVES tunnels. I have no idea why since she's a big dog and has to crouch down to get into them, but she just loves the things! And I really can't complain!

I figured my best shot of getting it done was going to be having her just amped enough that she had a little zoomie in her. Just enough to carry her over the jump and into the tunnel. Once she got out of the tunnel it would be easy enough to call her back to me over the jump. I wasn't really sure that it wold work though, because we really haven't practiced distance work and I was going to be staying back a fair distance from her. But sure enough, we started the run and she literally DOVE into the tunnel and nailed the whole jackpot!! I was so impressed with her! They did have to readjust the tunnel after we were done because she had moved it in her excitement. The rest of the course was smooth sailing. Except that she just BARELY hit her down contact on the A Frame.

The next course was Standard and I knew that we could handle that one. Except that Bess had other plans. She had the sudden urge to pee while on the course. Which is a big no-no. And an automatic DQ. Oh well!

Snooker and Jumpers both went beautifully! Jumpers was the smoothest of our courses and we qualified in both of those runs as well as Wildcard.

So as of now, Bess only needs one qualifying Standard run and one qualifying Fullhouse run and she will have completed the entirety of her level 1 title! Right now she has completed two of the legs and now has two mini titles tacked onto her name!! Once she completes everything in level 1, she'll get one title that encompasses all of them! I'm so excited!!

There was also someone there taking pictures both days and I should be getting pictures in a little while! I tried getting some video of Bess and I today and it happened to be on the Standard run where she peed after the third obstacle. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that trying to video tape her is a bad luck charm. Each time that I've tried has been a really not good run.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

CPE Trial Day 1

First of all, let me just say that this trial has been a blast so far! It's at a new location that I haven't been to before and I was a little skeptical. But let me tell ya! I LOVE this location! The trial is hosted by the Dogs At Play Agility Club in Eugene, OR. They have a wonderful, fully enclosed, outdoor ring with actual grass! There's plenty of room indoors for crating on matted floors. And they had a food vendor selling great food for actually reasonable prices!

Part of the reason I was skeptical about this trial was that it didn't start until 10am. If you remember my post about the NADAC fund raiser that we did two weeks ago, the trial took FOREVER and that one started at 9am. However, this trial had a smaller entry and things really just cooked right along. I was totally loving it! And the club members were all super friendly and helpful. And the judge is one of my favorite agility judges (Candace Rapp) to boot!

Bess was being very calm and well behaved in her crate, but she usually does that so that I totally look like I'm crazy when I talk about how crazy she can get. I got her out of her crate and she got REALLY excited and started playing tug with her leash. Unfortunately, the location of this trial doesn't really allow for much off leash burning of energy. They did have one fenced off area that the dogs could be let off leash in, but it wasn't too big. So I just figured we'd wing it and see how it went. Once we got outside and were waiting for our first run of the day (Fullhouse), she was actually acting really calm so I thought we might have a pretty good run. Bess had other things in mind!

Once I released her from the start line, she just shot right off and start zooming all around the first few jumps and obstacles. Spinning out on the grass and generally have a grand 'ole time enetertaining those watching. I did get her to do a few obstacles correctly, but then decided to just end the run and call it good. She got a round of applause for her entertaining shenanigins, and we went and played tug a bit.

Her next three runs were AWESOME! We ran Standard, Wildcard, and Colors. And I am very proud to say that we had qualifying runs in all three and they were all completely clean to boot!!:O) She did sooooooooo well!! We did have one little MINOR zoomie bit in Wildcard where she decided to go see the judge, got overly excited, and ran smack dab into her. So we got another bit of humorous applause for that. Needless to say, Bess made quite the impression today!

While we were there, I had to check out one of their special bathrooms. It's called the Batroom and I LOVE it! I want one just like it in our house! They've themed the little bathroom in Batman stuff! It's so neat!






Tomorrow we're going back for the second day of the trial and I'm really looking forward to it! We're running in Standard, Snooker, Jackpot, and Jumpers. I'm hoping that I can keep her focussed enough that we don't have our first run of the day be a total zoomie fest! Either way, we'll definitely have fun. I didn't really try to get anyone to video us today, but I'm going to tomorrow. So I will hopefully have some good clips.:O)