Saturday, March 27, 2010

We went to a Dog Park!!

Strider loved it from the beginning!  He just ran and frolicked! 
We took Strider for his first Doggy Socialization Class.  Held by Dog Trainer Dick Russell.
It is a fenced in field where the dog owners walk continuously around the field counter clockwise and the dogs run free.  It helps them be used to different people and dogs.  And all off leash.
This is an excerpt from Dick Russells web site:  " Sat., and Sunday, I conduct my Large Field Socialization Class.  If six dogs show up or if sixty show up, it matters not to me.  We turn them all loose in five and a half acres of pasture.  They run, they shoulder bump, they jump over one another, they scoot under one another, they challenge one another to play and they discover the big mud hole on the back of my property and all dive in.  They come away from the day having learned to read the dogs' language of body signals.  They become truer to the nature of the dog, which is a social creature."
Strider loved the freedom to just run and sniff everything!
He walked with other people sometimes.
Mostly, though, he just ran and ran.
All Wet Dog!
There is a small pond or mud hole in the back.  Strider loved it!  
Me and Dick Russell.  Do you see the thing I am holding?  It is a whip.  He saw me come into the field cowering behind my husband (I am terrified of unrestrained dogs!) and he came over and gave me one of his whips. He said "use it if any dog scares you".  He must have had a chuckle at me.  The dogs were not interested in me in the least!   He has them to use if necessary but I didn't see him use one.  I think the rules are anything goes except drawing blood!   But it gave me courage!  Next time, I won't need it.

Everyone heading home!  What a fun thing to do. 
Strider loved it.  I was comfortable that Dick was there "in charge".  And Strider and I begin Dog Obedience training with Dick next Tuesday evening.   The question is  "Can I be Trained?"  Time will tell all!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Striders New Bed

Strider loves to lie on his comfy bed.
He is handsome.  Don't you think?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Strider Likes His Toys

Strider has some new toys.
He likes to chew on them (and everything else) and carry them around with him.
From left to right: Pink Piggy, Blue Sqeaky Bone, Duck

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Didn't Your Mother Teach You?"

Didn't your Mother teach you NOT to run with sticks??

Yes, he heard me!

He has balls to chase.  He has chew toys!

But.  He's a dog!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Isn't he cute?
Strider learned to sit!  I decided a couple of days ago that my doggie goal for the week would be to teach Strider to sit!  I practiced morning and afternoon, pushing his little bum down and giving him a treat.
"Strider , Sit!!"
When my husband came home that night, he said "Want to see what I taught Strider?"  Sure!   He called Strider and then he said "Sit" while pointing his finger at him.    Then Strider sat down.
What???  How did he do that so easily? He said he spent 15 minutes with him the evening before! Bummer!
"I will do anything for Kibbles!"
The web site at Dewberries shows a cute puppy  and says "I will do anything for Love".   Strider will do anything for Kibbles!  He is really cute, sometimes after you have been rewarding him for "sitting".  He will just come up to you, look at you....and SIT.  He thinks he should get treats now anytime he sits!  funny dog.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Walking The Dog!

Bret and Strider 'stroll', rather than walk!
I intend for Strider to be my walking companion.  I am hoping he will be an eager encouragement for me.  I  love to walk but I really like a destination which I don't have in my small  suburban neighborhood.  I need to walk for my health.
Strider stops to look around when he is with Bret.
He was not off to a good walking start!  In fact, he really didn't want to leave our yard.  He was just a reluctant walker.  I thought all dogs loved to be taken for walks.  But Marion from Dewberries took him (and me and Bret) for a demo walk.  She showed me that you just ignore the fact that he doesn't want to go. Keep walking!  He will go with you.  Hold the leash wrapped around your hand, close to the left side of your body.  And walk!  Ok , I can do that!
Strider and Bret stop to daydream on their walks!
I am on a walking mission.  Brisk and to the point.  For 30 minutes.  He has improved so much in the  3 days that we have been walking.  I started with going to the corner, past the "big barking dog" which Strider hates.   Today , we walked the full 30 minutes and he did great!  He needs the exercise too.

I have to brag.  A neighbor came out to get her paper and stopped to talk to me.  She was nice and pet him.  I kept him from jumping on her.  A big deal to me.  I DO NOT want a dog that jumps on people.  Anyway, as we talked Strider just lay at my feet until we were finished.  He did not insist on being the center of attention.  Good Dog!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday - Levi the Cat Gets Curious!

Levi The Cat.
Levi didn't even come out from under the bed until Sunday night.  Then, he wanted to stay in my sewing room with me.
By Monday afternoon Levi the Cat gets curious.
Levi the cat came out from under the bed finally and peeks at Strider from the stairs.  He is not happy about having a new and big pet in our house.
Bret and Strider.  TV Time.
Strider has decided it is nicer to be out and about with us than in his kennel.  I am scheduling "kennel time" for him so he will consider it just another part of his day.  He is like a baby and needs to be watched all the time or he gets into trouble!   It is important to me that he can be happy in his kennel when I have things to do.  I don't want him to feel like he is being punished when he is in there.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Date Night! The First Meeting.

He reminds me of my sister Kathy's dogs.  She has alot of pictures of her dogs that look like this!
Now I know why. Dogs just seem to love cameras.  
This little 5 month old male chocolate lab is  having a 'sleep-over' with us tonight.
Do you think he is going home tomorrow??
We did give him a name.  I want to name him "Sugar" (for his beautiful eyes, the color is burnt sugar) but no one is going for it.  I even mentioned  Sugar Ray , isn't he a macho boxer? 
We are calling him Strider.  Anyone know where that comes from?
So far he has done the right things.  1.  Lay around 2. Did not bolt when let off his leash 3.  Did not chase the cats, in fact other than the terror of seeing  Levi look like a deranged cat upon site of the dog, did not even pay any attention to them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is This Dog For Us?

My sister has two rescue Labs.  Here they are watching the Puppy Bowl on TV

I have been thinking about getting a dog.  My son has wanted another one since our last dog died.  He was a Beagle who ran, ran,ran if he managed to get out of the yard.  He was an outside dog.  He just couldn't behave well enough to be an inside dog.  But Son will leave home in a couple of years. Now that I am home more (after closing my Retail shop) I feel that it is possible.  I have my reservations.  It is a huge responsibility.

What we want from a dog:

Son - An inside dog. Period.

Husband - Dog that is calm and laid back.  Dog that loves him and greets him at the end of the day, happy to see him.  (I am thinking this should be my job....where am I lacking?)

Me - I want a dog I can train to be a Therapy Dog.  One who will not dig up my roses.  And will not run wild through the house jumping on people.  He also can't chase my cats.

Having had a bad dog experience in the past (aggressive dog) not the Beagle,  I have decided I need to have a background check , so to speak, on the parents of our new dog.

 Lilly is from  Dewberries Labs.  Both are Therapy Dogs.  Lilly on the left also has an owner who sews Heirloom Dresses for her Granddaughter.  That makes Lilly an exceptional dog.

Well, Dewberries has a male Chocolate Lab puppy, 4 months old.  The owner told me that she thinks his mission is to be some type of service dog.  He is very calm.  In fact this litter is one of the calmest she has had.

She just happens to be coming to within a few miles of us this weekend and will bring him to meet us.  So , Saturday we will meet this potential new family member.  At four months, he is no longer the tiny little cute puppy you fall immediately in love with .  That might me a good thing.

 My husband thinks that any puppy that enters our house is unlikely to leave!

I thought I wanted a female, smaller lab.  Most important to me though, is the personality.

Saturday will be an exciting day.  I am nervous.  Can I really discipline MYSELF to train a dog?  Will He be happy with us?  Will he sit at my feet as I stitch?  Can we agree on a name if he stays?

Is Cocoa too girly??  Mocha??  Roux??  What do you think?