Monday, January 31, 2011

A Warm And Sunny Afternoon

Yesterday was a lovely day - warm and sunny for the first time in ages. The pups and I spent a couple of hours outside, just sitting in the sun. I don't know why, but it took nearly an hour before it occurred to me to get my camera...

I think Kodiak's going to be a real camera hog.

This is my favorite picture of Kodiak - mostly because its the best one I've taken. There's no snow, its not cloudy, he's standing up, and you can actually see his coloring (except the white bulls-eye on his butt). I love the mane and the light spots at each eye. And hooray, his tail has filled out!

Kodiak bringing his tennis ball back to me.

And a nice shot of Duncan.

All three pups, and the sun's rays making a neat streaky effect.

This is a pretty common sight - Duncan rolling Kodiak while Reyna waits for me to throw her ball.

Kodiak in motion.

Another common sight - Duncan chasing Kodiak. This is a favorite game of theirs. Kodiak runs circles around the yard and then heads for the honeysuckle vines along the back fence with Duncan in hot pursuit.

Kodiak instigates most of the rough and tumble games.

He may be little (only about 25 pounds), but Kodiak can hold his own with Duncan.

Just ignore the fact that Duncan has Kodiak's face in his mouth...

Kodiak has learned that its hard for Duncan and Reyna to get to him if he's actually sitting underneath them.

Check out Kodiak's half-purple tongue.

This was my favorite of Reyna from yesterday.

What better way to end a series of photos than with a cute pup?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

APDT Rally

Duncan had two days of APDT rally trials this weekend. It was at the Durham Kennel Club, so at least we didn't have too far to drive this time. I've been sick most of the week and I don't seem to be improving, so I almost didn't go. I'm glad we did, though, because I had a good time, Duncan did a great job, and Kodiak got tons of great exposure.

There were four trials over the two days, which meant Duncan had the opportunity to earn his Level 1 title. The Saturday morning run went well, except for one thing - that darn left pivot. I thought he moved enough when I gave him the pivot command, but he apparently just shifted a little bit. The ended up NQ'ing us. Sigh. The Saturday afternoon run went a lot better. We had another left pivot (hateful things) and Duncan got up when I gave the command. Then he realized we weren't going anywhere and sat back down in almost the exact same place. We lost points but he got air under his butt, and that counted as attempting the exercise. Duncan earned 200 out of a possible 210 points for that run.

Today went a lot better. For one thing, there were no left pivots in either course. Duncan took third place in his group this morning, and first place this afternoon! That gave him three qualifying runs, which gave him his RL1 title. I was really surprised at how bouncy he was today - he's usually more tired on the second day of trials, but he was peppy and ready to go. He did a wonderful job.

Duncan's wearing his third and first place ribbons on his collar in this picture, and the other person was the judge for both afternoon trials.

Here's Duncan at home with his loot from the trial (three qualifying ribbons, one first place ribbon, one third place ribbon, one title ribbon, and two placement prizes).

Kodiak didn't earn any ribbons this weekend, but he got a lot out of it. After some early stress, he decided that all those people were really neat - after all, everyone kept giving him treats. He got comfortable going in and out of the building through loud, heavy doors, and he even went in to the ring a couple of times (accepting ribbons on behalf of his big brother). Everyone had fun guessing about his heritage and potential size, and the general consensus was that he's freakishly cute.

The pups and I were thrilled when we got home early enough to enjoy some time out in the beautiful weather. Pictures from the afternoon will be posted later...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What A Week

I know the week isn't over yet, but its already been a long one. I'm working 12:30-9:00ish pm at the temp job, which makes for late nights followed by early mornings because some puppy just has to go out and potty (or some cats decide to have a spat).

Speaking of some puppy, Kodiak was finally neutered Tuesday. I dropped him off at animal control that morning, and I may have hinted about how miffed I would be if I were to discover he'd been forgotten again. Thankfully, they remembered him this time. John picked him up and brought him home, since I was working. Apparently, Kodiak had an accident in his kennel at animal control and they didn't clean him up very well, so poor John was stuck with that, too. Kodiak's incision looks great and he seems to have completely forgotten that anything unusual happened Tuesday.

Last night at work I wasn't feeling too great, and I jokingly told my coworker that the place was making me sick. Turns out I was right. Woke up this morning congested, my eyes feeling blechy, coughing, and with a midget sitting on my chest mocking me every time I try to take a deep breath. Unfortunately, I can't call in sick because there's no one available to cover my shift. So I'll just spread the nasty germs right back to the people who gave them to me. Or people just like them, anyway.

The other bad thing about this sickness is that I had to cancel Reyna's first therapy dog trip. Obviously, we couldn't go visit sick people with me toting around a ton of germs. The poor girl suffered through a bath and nail trim yesterday, all for nothing. And Duncan's got his Rally trial this weekend. He's going to have trouble following instructions if I'm hacking up a lung while we're running the course. I think I'll be picking up a large bottle of vitamin C after work tonight.

Monday, January 24, 2011

For Your Listening Pleasure

The musical stylings of Big D and Lil' K:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

People Irritate Me. A Lot.

Kodiak was scheduled to be neutered today. I got up early, listened to him cry because he couldn't eat breakfast, and got him to animal control on time. They confirmed that he would be neutered and get his rabies shot. Keep in mind that I rearranged my work schedule so that I could also pick him up on time. I got to animal control this afternoon, asked how he was doing, and was told that they'd forgotten about him. They forgot?? They forgot a dog that was on their schedule for surgery?? The forgot a dog, which means he was left in the cage all day, no water and no bathroom break until they realized they'd forgotten him, which happened shortly before I got there. But that's okay, they're perfectly happy to neuter him next Tuesday.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Big Day For The Pups

Before we get into the details of this past Friday, I thought we'd start off with something really cute:

And now, on to Friday...

Duncan had a vet appointment first thing in the morning. He's been digging at his ears a lot, and occasionally trying to grind them into the ground. I knew it wasn't the same problem he had a few months ago, because he didn't have any of the crud in his ears. Dr. Lapham agreed that it wasn't a standard infection. The only thing he could figure is that Duncan's having an allergic reaction to something that's inflamed his ears a bit. My poor pup is on meds for a week or so, and they'll hopefully ease the irritation. Duncan doesn't mind the pills, but I'm pretty sure he's put a hit out on me because of the ear drops.

Kodiak went to the vet with us, just for the exposure. Dr. Lapham did an quick assessment on Kodiak's age and potential weight. Kodiak's a bit older than originally estimated - he's at least six months old already. This means that he's going to be smaller than originally estimated - at most about 45lbs. This confirms what some of the GSD breeders said at the club meeting a couple of weeks ago. He's basically going to be a cute little fuzzy teddy bear. He handled the vet visit pretty well, except for those pesky doorways that still terrify him so badly. He actually walked up to one of the techs, and was quietly interested in what Dr. Lapham did with Duncan. He was definitely ready to go home when it was over, though.

Friday afternoon was training for all three pups. Reyna has her first therapy visit coming up in a couple of weeks, so we worked on her basic manners for a bit. Mostly just to remind her that she has them... We also worked on her object name recognition. We've been using a squeaky toy and a tennis ball, and she definitely knows which is which. She refuses to pick up the correct toy, but she's pretty willing to smack it with her paw. The funniest moment came when Duncan distracted her with a bunch of whining, then when she turned back to me, I asked, "where's your Duncan?" I thought she might go over to him, but instead she immediately put her paw on top of the squeaky toy. Suzie and I agreed that the squeaky toy was an accurate substitute for Duncan...

Speaking of Duncan, he has an APDT Rally trial coming up at the end of the month, so we've been working on his speed. APDT actually times for qualification, so Duncan has to get through the course in less than 4 minutes. He's definitely walking faster, and surprisingly enough, he's even sitting faster. I think he stands a pretty good chance of meeting the time requirements.

Kodiak's time was spent on confidence building exercises. We worked him on some agility equipment, and he surpassed all of our expectations for the day.

Here he is going through the chute tunnel towards Suzie. He wasn't thrilled about the moving canvas, but he plowed right on through.

Coming towards me in the regular tunnel.

On the dog walk. This one just shocked us. Once he'd traversed the dog walk once, he kept turning around and going back the other way with no encouragement from us.

The last exercise of the day, the tire jump. He was the most uncertain about this one, but once he finally got over it the first time, he was totally fine.

Before we wrapped up the session, we had a group activity. I tried to get them to shake paws at the same time, but that was not happening. They're still pretty cute just sitting there looking at me.

Reyna spent the ride home watching traffic, Kodiak passed out a few minutes after we left, and Duncan was definitely tired. I love the fact that Kodiak curls up next to Duncan, and I really love that Duncan's so tolerant of it.

One last thing....a video of Duncan and Kodiak playing tug with a long squeaky toy. Notice how Kodiak is doing most of the work...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Action Shots

At our last Rally trial in December, a professional photographer was taking pictures of the dogs as they went through the courses. The links were sent out a few days ago. The photographer donated all of the digital images, which meant I was able to download full-size files of Duncan's pics. These are just a few of the ones he took of Duncan. I really like the shots of Duncan going over the jump...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Nature vs Nurture

So, does this snoozing position come naturally to Kodiak, do you think?

Or did he learn it from his sister?

Monday, January 03, 2011

It's A Long One...

This one took me a long time to post, partly because it took a while to get through the 400 pictures I took the Sunday it snowed. There are only a few pictures here, relatively speaking...

The three pups and I left early Christmas Eve morning, heading west to see the family. Lunch was with Mom, Ronnie, and Josh and his crew. Kodiak stayed in his crate while he was in the house, and looked like this for most of the visit.

Kodiak did go outside and enjoy his semi-freedom at the end of a 30 foot leash, although he really didn't know what to do about the fact that my niece was often holding the other end.

Dinner was with Dad, Krysti, Ganna, Aunt Merrill, and Josh and his crew. The pups all enjoyed the chance to run around the pasture for a bit. I only let Kodiak run free for a few minutes before putting him back on the long lead. I still don't trust his recall, and I didn't want to risk losing him in the woods.

Christmas Eve was very stressful for Kodiak, but he must have realized he wasn't going to die, because he was much more relaxed Christmas Day. We had a romp in the woods (Kodiak on the long lead) before breakfast, and then headed out before 8am to get back to Raleigh. For the first time, Kodiak actually sat up and watched the world around him, rather than curling into a ball on the passenger seat. He wasn't thrilled when we passed big trucks, but he was much better than he'd been the day before. He even walked a few steps at the rest stop, rather than completely shutting down.

Prior to Christmas, I'd apparently lost my mind and agreed to babysit (for a fee) a dog from the 26th through the 30th. I ended up getting Daisy after work on the 25th because of the bad weather. Daisy didn't seem to appreciate the humor, but I thought Reyna's initial response was pretty funny. She bounced up to Daisy, obviously doing the "Hi, my name's Reyna, and this is MY HOUSE" routine, right before she put Daisy on the ground. Luckily for everyone, Daisy was a very submissive 35lb girl, and was content to spend most of her visit hiding in her crate. She did try to play a few times, but she was very unhappy when she discovered that she couldn't outrun Duncan. Kodiak harassed her quite a bit, but by the last day, they were playing like good buddies. As long as Duncan and Reyna didn't get involved.

I had to work Sunday morning (and did not enjoy the slow crawl to the kennel before daylight), but it was still snowing when I got home. We ended up with 7 inches by the time it finally finished Sunday afternoon. The pups and I had a great time playing in the snow, and I just loved watching Kodiak bound through drifts that were higher than his stomach. I particularly like this photo, because even though the pups aren't grouped together, I think it gives a pretty decent idea of the conditions.

To make life a bit easier on me, I grouped the photos together, rather than keeping them in the order taken.

Here are a few of the pack playing together.

Reyna playing with Kodiak.

Duncan playing with Kodiak (love the one with all the teeth).

Reyna and Duncan playing together.

Moving on to the individual shots...

This is Daisy, our visitor.



And the freakish cuteness named Kodiak. The poor pup was covered in snow balls every time he came inside.

The snow was fun, but we were all happy to see it go. After we'd packed it down pretty good, it basically turned the yard into a sheet of ice. Not nearly as much fun as the soft, powdery snow.