Archives for September 2012

Book #7 Of 2012

I have finished yet another book by Kathy Reichs.

“Break No Bones” is the book that comes before the last one, “Bones To Ashes”, that I wrote about in my last book update.

This book doesn’t really get into the relationship with Temperance and Andrew Ryan, but it seems to set the background for the next book in the series, where problems between them start to be exposed.

Instead, the book focuses more on the relationship between Temperance and her estranged husband, Pete. In previous books I’ve read, the reader doesn’t really see much of Pete, but in this book, we really get a glimpse into the conflicting feelings Tempe still has for him.

Even though the case Temperance has been asked to work on is interesting, I found the book a little boring without the relationship aspects that I’ve gotten used to between Tempe and Ryan.

The next book I’ve chosen to read is “Persuader” by Lee Child.

Our Oakville Trip

As I’m sure everyone has figured out from my earlier posts, we went away for a few days with the dogs.

Our first stop was in Etobicoke to visit with Phoenix’s foster family. Alice and Ray are in their mid-late eighties, so we really try to see them every trip we make south. This visit was quite good. Alice seems to be getting a bit of memory loss, but overall her health is good and Ray seems to also be well.

We had originally planned to stay in guelph with our friends Kelly and Ace, but recently they had a new addition join their family, so we ended up staying with friends in Oakville.

Della and Kelsey live with two female black labs, Hasia and Betty, and three black cats, Tess, Steel and BK. Hasia is a former breeding dog for The Lions Foundation of Canada dog Guides, and Betty was fully trained and just days from being placed with a blind person, when she decided she’d had enough and wanted to go home.

It was a lot of fun to stay with them. Our dogs got along fabulously with one another, and Hasia made herself comfortable with Huib and I at nighttime. Thankfully Della has a queen sized bed because otherwise it would have been almost impossible to sleep with Hasia, Rogue and Cessna insisting on snuggling for the night.

We didn’t really do much on Saturday and sunday after the shows, but Monday we took the labs to Hamilton to get some new McMaster University gear – a black hooded sweatshirt for me, and a black baseball cap and navy blue and grey rugby shirt for Huib. I was hoping to find some dog related gear, but it looks like this year they didn’t make any. After picking out our new clothing, we walked over to Williams Coffee Pub and I got a vanilla bean latte, while Huib got his signature black coffee.

while walking around the university campus and sitting at Williams, I really started thinking about how amazing Rogue is doing and that I had better get moving on her training, because she is definitely ready to go.

Monday evening we headed into Guelph to run a few errands, and then took Aspen for her second Chiropractic adjustment. Dr Leslie was quite impressed with how well Aspen’s first adjustment had held, and said that she only found a couple new areas and did a bit of maintenance work.

Tuesday morning we packed our bags and loaded everyone back into the Orlando. We stopped in Mississauga to grab a couple cases of chicken backs from the Maple Lodge Farms Factory, and then stopped in Barrie to get supplements and stuff at Costco.

Since it was a beautiful day, and because we had no reason to rush home, we stopped at Arrowhead Provincial Park so the dogs could swim. The dogs had a blast. Canyon, Cessna and Aspen swam for over an hour, fetching their new bright blue Jolly ball, and green neoprene turtle. Rogue wore her red life jacket and swam a bit, but mostly bounced around the shoreline, greeting everyone and their dogs that came to the water’s edge. Her favourite, by far, was a male German short Haired Pointer. they played together so well, but the owners weren’t interested in just staying by the water, they had their dogs follow them along the shoreline while Rogue watched. then When her friend returned, she was ecstatic, but it was short lived, because the owners climbed back onto their bikes and headed back to their camp site – poor Roagie!

The rest of our drive home was quiet and uneventful. The dogs were thoroughly exhausted and, I think, really happy to finally see their beds and toys.

Happy Birthday Huib!

Today was Huib’s birthday 🙂

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Huib really isn’t into receiving gifts or having people make a fuss over him.

This year, I decided to ignore his birthday moodiness, and do just that…

since we were away in Oakville, I was able to ask my friend to help me pick up Huib’s birthday present, and get an apple pie (he doesn’t like cake) and some vanilla ice cream.

When my friend came into the living room with the apple pie, I think he was surprised.

But, when she brought the gift bag with gifts and laid it beside him on the couch, I know he was visibly upset. I was so unimpressed and annoyed by his reaction, but tried to make light of his attitude so that my friend and her daughter wouldn’t feel the tension.

My Dad and I bought Huib an iPad, and my friend and her daughter got him a case for it.

He is still a little upset with me, but hopefully he’ll get over it sooner than later.

Happy 33rd Birthday Hyper!

Oakville Show: Just A Little Too Small…

Today was the final day of showing.

Even though he didn’t end up winning, I’d say this weekend’s show was the best canyon has ever shown. He just seemed to know what he had to do, and did it with such grace.

As I mentioned in the last entry, the other males and females at the show were lighter, so Canyon came in last yesterday (being the darkest of all entries).

Today’s judge though, had a lot of trouble selecting his winning male, so ended up resorting to the breed standard and Canyon lost because he was slightly smaller. Huib says the judge made his final decision after taking a long time to really measure and feel the boys for shoulder height and width.

I found this show to be one of the friendliest we’ve ever attended. We heard people congratulating other competitors. Random people came up to us to ask about Canyon, and to learn more about Rogue. I even had a Leonberger come over and climb into my lap…lol!

I think the point at which I truly knew how well Canyon had shown, was when a professional handler we didn’t know, came up and asked about him and then gave Huib one tip. he said that they had looked really good in the ring, but that he should try having Canyon hold his tail a little lower. there were no suggestions on grooming changes. No suggestions on stacking better. He just suggested that he shouldn’t hold his tail so high…

Usually we take Canyon for a long hike, or play a really long game of fetch before his bath, but this past weekend had been quite rainy, so it wasn’t possible to tire him a bit – maybe next time 🙂

Unless we find an earlier show that interests us, Canyon won’t show again until the end of November 🙂

Oakville Show: Not this Time…

Today was the first of two days for Canyon at the Oakville & district Kennel Club Show.

Even though Canyon showed flawlessly, the judge didn’t feel he was as good as the other two lighter coloured males competing for Winner’s Dog.

The dog who earned first place, was from the same breeder as the one who won several times at Canyon’s first ever show in December.

Prettiriver Bluenoser Ambercroft, went on to compete for Best of Breed, but was only awarded Best of Opposite, losing to a lighter coloured female.

Maybe Canyon did something wrong that Huib didn’t notice, but from the results, I’d lean more towards the judge liking lighter coloured golden retrievers (and maybe it helped that the other two males had their whiskers plucked?).

tomorrow is a new day, so let’s hope for some different results 🙂

Back To Conformation

After a summer of rest and relaxation, Canyon is re-entering the conformation ring 🙂

On Saturday and Sunday, Huib and Canyon will be strutting their stuff at the Oakville & District Kennel Club’s, annual conformation dog show.

We received our arm band number (145) and a list of how many entries are in each breed, so it looks like there are just eight other golden retrievers entered, but we aren’t yet sure how many of the three other males are in the Canadian Bred dog category.

As long as Huib can keep Canyon focused on him, and not on the other dogs around him, I think they have a pretty good shot at competing for Best of Breed, but who knows, right?

At their last show in April, they came home with a Reserve Winner’s dog, but didn’t receive any points towards Canyon’s Championship so they’ve got 5 points to earn this fall and winter.

I will try to get some pictures of them in the ring and will post the results of each day as soon as I can.

General News

Again, sorry for the lack of blogging everyone. Hopefully this phase will pass soon.

Tomorrow, I will be starting another online course through the University of Guelph.

This will be the third course I have taken with them since moving to Northeastern Ontario.

This semester I have chosen to take Economics of Food Usage, through the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

I’ve never taken a course through this department, but from the course description and list of assignments, I think it should be a good one.

Next…

In just over a week, Rogue will be 17 months old.

Over the past couple of months, we have been trying to proof Rogue’s obedience outside the house, but have run into some difficulties. After some discussion, we’ve decided to try working on basic obedience in the house wearing a leash and her vest. We are beginning to wonder if maybe Rogue is having trouble associating the various obedience commands she knows so well at home with also being able to be done while wearing a leash and her vest. It sounds silly, but from what I’ve learned, dogs are really horrible at generalizing.

Another area which we have been having some troubles, is with Rogue putting on her collar, Easy Walk Harness and vest. Rogue seems to have a big issue with things going over her head, so we have decided to start making everyone wear their collars all the time. I used to have collars on my dogs at all times, but started leaving them off when Canyon was little and would use the collars to drag the other dogs around the house. Then, Rogue almost snapped her neck from falling off the bed when she was around six months of age. It didn’t happen, obviously, but if Huib had not been there when her collar looped itself around our bed post and she lost her balance, I really don’t know what would have become of our little Hurricane.

Now that she is older, and to try and combat the problems with having things go over her head, we have started leaving the collars on everyone. It has been about a month now, and I think it may be helping, but we’ll wait a bit longer to see if she’s really gotten over the problem.

Lately, we have been noticing our little Hurricane maturing. People are starting to see her less as a cute little puppy, and more as a service dog who should not be bothered. We are still encouraging people to approach her and pet, but we have also started truly teaching rogue to stop and wait at curbs, steps and any other sort of surface change I may need to be warned of. Huib and I seem to be on different pages with consistency in this portion of her training, but I am hoping that maybe I can start taking a little more of a role in her public access training – which will in turn, increase consistency.

In addition to learning to stop at surface changes, Rogue is starting to hear some of the directional commands she will need to know for guiding and in time, I hope to start teaching her their meanings in harness.

It’s honestly hard to believe that Cessna was almost fully trained at this age, and would begin working with me in just a month’s time.

I hope to sit down, and start really putting together a solid training plan for Rogue, so that Cessna can retire from service in the spring/summer. I’m just so nervous and worried about doing things wrong, that I guess I’ve really delayed things I probably didn’t have to.

Hmmm, what else have we been up to…

Just over six weeks ago, we went down to Guelph for a few days and took Aspen to see a doggie chiropractor. I honestly never thought I’d ever be taking my dog to a chiropractor, but after seeing how much of a difference the adjustments have made for Aspen, I am definitely a fan.

On Monday, Aspen will go for another treatment and we’ll get to see if the adjustments are sticking long-term or if we will need to continue going on a semi-regular basis (which, if they are helping, then I will do for her lifetime if needed).

I think I’ll stop here, but please come back tomorrow for some Canyon news 🙂