Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Graduation, Dash!

Dash just rocked out on his final exam for obedience class.  He did an awesome job (as if there was any doubt my smartypants would do anything less than impress!).  Dash was enrolled in a basic obedience class at Paw Law, a very awesome facility for all kinds of dog activities including daycare, obedience, agility, flyball and dockdiving.

Here's some of the agility equipment they have.  It's all put away over here, but we got to let the dogs play with a lot of it the second to last week of class, but I forgot to bring the camera.  D'oh!

you can see the teeter totter, A-frame, lots of jumps, a tunnel chute and lots more

We learned how to use a clicker to train Dash in this class.  I knew that clicker training was supposed to be one of the most effective ways of training a dog but hadn't tried it yet.  I have to say that it's pretty amazing how quickly you can train your dog using this method!  Dash and the rest of the dogs in the class were all able to pick up on their new tricks really quickly.  It's so fun to watch the gears cranking in their heads trying to figure out what they just did to get you to click and then watching them actually do it.

In the class we covered loose leash walking, sit, down, stand, stay, come, place and leave it.  That's a lot of learning in just 8 weeks!  Our instructor, Ed, was great.  She explained everything really well and made teaching our dogs easy while also keeping it fun.  Plus she always had great advice for us on any problems that came up.

For the dogs' final exam Ed set up what was essentially an obstacle course where we had to take our dogs to different stations and make them do one of the skills they had learned.  So at one cone they had to do sit, down and stand, while at another they had to sit and stay for 30 seconds and so on.  I didn't take any pictures of the dogs doing their exams because I didn't want to distract them (at the very least I know Dash tends to find a camera extremely distracting and he immediately stops whatever he's doing and comes to check it out if he notices).

 waiting patiently for his turn

Here's Dash showing off the trick we taught him for his final exam.  He's taking a bow (in case you couldn't tell because of the weird angle).

Everyone in the class passed with flying colors (woohoo!).  Each dog got a stuffed star (they're all stars in our eyes, right?) and a certificate of completion that I fully intend on framing.

Ed has their full attention when passing out prizes!

Thomas and Dash with Dash's diploma and star

Afterward the dogs all got to celebrate with a little off leash play time.  The pictures turned out a little blurry since it wasn't super bright in the room and the dogs were moving pretty fast, but you can totally see how much fun they're all having!  Dexter is the brown brindle mix, Molly is the white birddog and Archie is the mostly black beagle mix.

Molly and Dexter going at it

Dash and Dexter getting feisty

Dash, Dexter and Molly goofing around

if you looks carefully you can see Archie making her way over!

Dash, Dexter and Archie having a blast

all together now!

water break!

Archie even brought pupcakes for everyone to celebrate!  Thanks, Archie! 

 Dash showing off his ability to down, wait and leave it.
How cute is that pupcake?!

Congrats to all the dogs (and their parents) in our class!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hancock Update Part 2

I can't believe it's only been a month since Hancock (now Sonny) got adopted!  When Sonny's dad Paul sent me an update I had to look at a calendar because it felt like so much longer than that since we're already on our second foster dog since Sonny.

Paul and Sonny are doing really well together.  Sonny goes to daycare three times a week and is getting used to being around dozens of other dogs instead of just one or two.  Paul even sent a few pictures along!  Here are two of Sonny while he was still wearing his cone of doom.

And one without his cone of doom.

Sonny looks so at home in these pictures.  He truly looks content, relaxed and happy.  And that makes me happy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

First Harvest

Remember that raspberry bush Thomas found in our backyard?  Well I went to go investigate it a little further a few days later to check out the goods.  It looked like there was a good number of raspberries that should be growing bigger soon, along with a few that were ripe.  I gently pulled on the big ones and several popped off, which I took to mean that they were ready to be eaten (good news, everyone!  I was right!).  I gathered them up in a bowl and washed them really well.

Okay, so it's not exactly an impressive harvest.  But given that two weeks ago we didn't even know this bush existed, I'm pretty happy with it.  I ate half of the berries and saved the other half for Thomas.  Those were probably some of the best raspberries I have ever had.  Super juicy, nice and sweet and tons of flavor.  It seriously tasted like I had just poured some raspberry concentrate (does that exist?) into my mouth.

Unfortunately it has been ridiculously hot here for the last week and it looks like a lot of the berries that probably would have been ready by now are all dried up.  I'm hoping that the bush will bounce back once the temperatures drop a little.

Oh, and look at what else I found that day!

A firefly!  I was in the kitchen when all of a sudden I saw this huge black thing fluttering next to me.  I immediately went into panic mode until I saw it glowing and realized what this bug was.  Being the brave-attempting-to-conquer-my-phobias-one-baby-step-at-a-time kind of person that I am, I quickly grabbed a snapware and captured the creature instead of smashing it into oblivion like I usually do when I find bugs.

I showed off my catch to the hubs before releasing the firefly back into the wild.  So I'm going to go ahead and give myself a big ole pat on the back for that one!  What are you proud of that you've done lately?

New Friend Fridays

Friday, July 2, 2010

All Tuckered Out

I just picked Dash up from his first visit to Doggy Daycare.  He's been a little restless the last few days and with a busy weekend coming up I wanted him to burn a little energy.  Plus, I can see that he really wants to wrestle with Smiley, but I won't let him because I'm afraid Smiley will get hurt somehow and that would be super un-fun to deal with for a variety of reasons, but I still wanted him to be able to wrestle with somebody.

Dash even got a report card from daycare! It looks about how I expected except for one thing, any guesses on what that is?

He took a nap at doggy daycare? I wonder if maybe they checked the wrong thing (okay not really).  I can't believe my little energizer bunny took a nap when he was surrounded by a bunch of other playful dogs.  Oh well, I guess not even Dash can wrestle and play for 6 hours straight!

And can we all have a collective laugh at "Elimination"?  That is by far the most hilarious way of putting that; I actually giggled out loud when I read it.

Now that is the face of a tired dog!