Archives for September 2013

A Good Weekend Of Showing

This weekend was the Oakville & District Kennel Club’s conformation dog show. We entered both Canyon and Emmie for the Saturday and Sunday and rogue in the altered class on the Sunday.

Huib and Canyon waiting for the judge to come examine Canyon. Huib has Canyon stacked and is holding his tail so that his top line is straight and his tail feathers are visible. Huib is wearing a light purple long sleeved shirt with a black tie, black pants and black shoes. You can see the other handler and dog behind them also in a stacked position.

Canyon got 1st place both days in the Canadian Bred Dog class.

Huib and Canyon doing the diagonal, down and back. You can see a side profile of both Huib and Canyon. Huib is wearing a light purple shirt with a black tie, black pants and black shoes.

Huib and Canyon waiting for the judge to come do his examination. Huib has Canyon stacked. Huib is wearing a light purple shirt with a black tie, black shoes and black pants. there are dogs and handlers on either side of them.

canyon didn’t end up getting Winner’s dog, but I was still very proud of him. he was really hyped up by emmie being in heat, so I thought it was awesome to see how well he controlled himself in the ring.

Huib and Emmie waiting for the judge to come do her examination. Huib has Emmie stacked. Huib is wearing a dark purple shirt with a black tie, black shoes and black pants. You can see the other females and their handlers behind Huib and emmie.

Saturday was emmie’s first day of ever showing. She won 1st place in the Open Bitch class and then went on to win Reserve Winner’s Bitch.

Huib and Emmie standing with the other females and their handlers, facing the judge. Huib is wearing a light purple shirt with a black tie, black shoes and black pants. Huib has Emmie stacked.

On sunday, Emmie was the only female entered in the Open class, so she won 1st place by default and didn’t end up doing as well in the ring for Winner’s Bitch.

Huib and Rogue running along the outside of the ring. Huib and rogue are running toward the camera. Huib is wearing a light purple shirt, blak shoes, a black tie and black pants.

This weekend was the first time we’d ever shown rogue. She was the only altered dog entered in the sporting group, so by she won a green ribbon for Winner’s Male or Female, Altered and a teal rosette with a stuffed cow for Best In Group, Altered. She didn’t end up winning Best In Show, Altered, but we were really proud of her. Rogue stacked herself almost perfectly, and if Huib had to fix one of her feet, she kept it in the spot he placed it. she had no issues with letting the judge check her over and she walked nicely on the leash. there aren’t too many shows that offer the altered class, but we think we’ll enter her again if we end up attending a show that offers it.

It’s honestly amazing to see how easily Canyon and rogue settled into showing their first times. I think it has a lot to do with the type of training we have chosen to do with them. I’m a huge proponent of clicker and reward based training. I feel as though I can do anything with them, not only because they have the skills, but also because they trust me.

The next show we’ll be attending is in two weeks, both Canyon and emmie are entered, so we’ll see how they do.

How To Use A Laptop

Rogue lying with head on the keyboard of my laptop. You can see my hand sort of under her chin.

Back On Campus

yesterday, I had my first class on campus, after 9 years away.

Nine years ago, I graduated from the University of guelph, with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Public Policy. Since graduating, I completed a social work degree at McMaster University and have taken three courses online through the University of guelph, but I haven’t taken any courses on campus.

I hope to apply for masters, starting next fall, so I’ve decided to continue taking a class each semester, in order to improve my Grade Point Average.

this semester, I am taking a 4th year advanced topics course that looks at the area of human rights.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been thinking about doing a masters thesis relating to human rights, so I thought this course might be a good starting point.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working with the labs on becoming familiar with the University campus. Since losing a bit more of my sight almost two years ago, I’ve had to relearn how to work with and trust Cessna, while also training Rogue. Even though I lived in guelph for almost 10 years, and attended the University for 5 of those years, I’ve had to relearn the city and campus, while also trying to regain some confidence.

When Cessna and I arrived at the University, we got off the bus and headed toward the University Centre. We found the first crossing with no problem, but then became disoriented. We were supposed to go over-left a bit and then continue walking forward, but Cessna continued walking to the left and I didn’t realize until I started hearing sounds that told me we were approaching an intersection. I turned around and asked her to go forward and then stopped to listen for sounds that might help me find the correct route. I knew we were close to the spot we needed to be, but couldn’t quite figure it out, so listened for someone to walk by. I heard someone and asked for help, a couple of people walked by, but then a woman stopped and said she was also going to the University Centre. I had Cessna follow her, and was quite amused by the woman. She kept telling Cessna to come along and when we got to some steps, Cessna paused to tell me, and the woman started saying “Up, up, come on, up…”. I almost laughed. Thankfully the woman’s calls fell on deaf ears and Cessna kept me safe. When we got to the University Centre, the woman went her way and I had Cessna find the spot where we were supposed to meet our guide. I ended up having to call my guide, we had missed each other, but we found each other in the end and I made it to class a few minutes before the professor arrived.

Cessna slept through the class and we got back to the bus and home without any further complications.

I’m going to take Cessna to campus a couple of times this week to work on our route to the University Centre, so that hopefully on Friday we won’t end up lost.

Fortknox’s Burning Ember

A female medium coloured golden retriever stands on the grass. She has her tail curled upwards and she has a blue and yellow stuffed ball on the ground in front of her.

The Rogue roller Coaster

The past month has been full of ups and downs for rogue and I.

We are really getting into the tough part of training and it’s been quite the roller coaster.

We’ve had really good training sessions, and then we’ve had okay training sessions. I guess a positive part of all this is that we haven’t had any really bad training sessions.

Rogue is getting really comfortable with her new working gear and she is slowly settling into her guiding responsibilities.

I’ve been really focusing on her curb approaches, directions and confidence.

I’ve been trying to find friends willing to work with us, to give Rogue an opportunity to work without Huib.

I find my dogs get really comfortable with Huib and forget to focus on their jobs. they get into the habit of expecting Huib to take care of me, instead of just working along side him. It’s not just a problem rogue has, but one both Cessna and Phoenix have been guilty of.

Since Rogue and I did a lot of work in malls when we lived in the north, she is extremely confident and her work is almost always spot on. We had two really amazing training sessions that I wish i could have videoed. Her pace was amazing, her obstacle work was perfect, and her precision had me speechless.

Then, when we went to London to see my neuro ophthalmologist, she had me again speechless. She was guiding me around people and through the hospital hallways with such confidence, you’d think she had been there before. she was turning left and right when I asked and she only blew her up curbs by a couple of steps. Huib was with us and was so proud of the work we had done.

Last week I took Rogue and Cessna to the University of Guelph to learn the route from the bus stop to my class. I decided to start by working with Cessna, and then do it with Rogue. I thought Rogue would be able to learn from watching Cessna work – I was completely wrong. When it was Rogue’s turn, her pace was slow, we struggled with our curb approaches but her obstacle work and overall work was okay. I was frustrated because I didn’t understand where my confident little worker had gone.

On Saturday I returned to the campus with a friend to do some more work with Rogue. We still struggled with our curb approaches, she keeps stopping a few feet away from the down curb and then when we inch our way closer, she ends up blowing the curb by a couple of steps. her up curbs were a little better, but she was still taking a couple steps too much. her pace was better though and looking back, I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that her confidence level was higher, since we had been to the campus before. We worked on the route from the bus stop to my class and Rogue did well at finding the stairs, finding the doors, finding the ramps and even finding the elevator, but I think the biggest thing I realized was that I didn’t trust her. I was okay when I knew there wasn’t any stairs I could fall down, but as soon as I knew, or even thought, there were stairs coming up, I felt myself tensing and noticed Rogue’s attention drifting.

overall, I’d have to say rogue worked well, but I need work.

After talking to some friends about the work Rogue and I have done over the past month, I came to the conclusion that we aren’t going to get to the point where she can take over from Cessna if I don’t start getting her out daily. If I’m going to trust rogue, like I trust Cessna, then I am going to have to put in the time.

I’m going to get my cane out and use it to help rogue learn exactly where I want her to stop at curbs and stairs, while also using it to give me confidence that we’re safe.

I think the curb issues stem from something i unintentionally taught her.

To be honest, it seems that most of the issues I have with my dogs are because of something I unintentionally teach, lol!

I’m really going to try and make a conscious effort to get Rogue out daily, even if it means we need to work a bit in the rain.

A Golden Visitor

For the past week and a half, we’ve had a visitor.

Emmie, or Fortknox’s Burning Ember, is owned by Canyon’s co-breeder, Judi of Ramblin Goldens.

Judi has wanted to begin showing Emmie, but has been quite busy. We keep in touch with Judi and give her random updates on how Canyon is doing. During one of these updates, I mentioned that we were planning on entering Canyon into the Oakville & district Kennl Club show on September 14th and 15th. Judi emailed back to say she wanted to get Emmie started on her championship title, but hadn’t yet gotten around to it. I wrote back to say that if she wanted, Huib and I wouldn’t mind working with emmie and getting her ready to enter with Canyon.

Judi dropped Emmie off almost two weeks ago and we have been working on teaching emmie to walk nicely on leash and to stack.

It’s been a lot of fun having emmie visit. our dogs aren’t always a fan of visitors who stay without their “humans”, but they have accepted Emmie like one of the pack. she’s very well behaved and interacts well with each of the dogs.

The Oakville show is in just over a week and we have been working hard on getting Emmie ready.

But, we’ve run into a bit of a problem.

Canyon has thrown Emmie into heat a month early – WHOOPSIE!

As a result, Judi will be coming to pick her up on Saturday and will have to cancel her entry into the show. It’s possible to show a female in heat, but Judi doesn’t want to cause any problems for or with the other exhibitors – Huib and I totally agree with her decision. At the last oakville show, there was a female Pointer in heat and Canyon was so interested in her that he snapped his show leash three minutes before him and Huib were due in the ring, lol!

As long as all goes well, Emmie will be bred with Canyon’s sire, Blaze. This means there should be puppies sometime in November, and it’s possible…we may have one of the puppies join the ruled by paws gang…

Update On Cessna’s Dental Surgery

One week ago, Cessna went for a check with the doggie dentist. Dr Hale wanted to make sure her incisions were healing and that her stitches were dissolving properly.

We received some bad news.

the lower left molar was not healing. the stitches had come apart at some point and because of the exposed bone, the wound wasn’t healing over. Dr hale scheduled Cessna for surgery that afternoon.

I was so worried. I had been worried enough about her going under anesthetic for her initial dental surgery, but now I was really concerned. We brought her to the office and she was given a sedative and waited in the waiting room with us until Dr hale was ready. Huib and I brought some things to keep us occupied so we could stay at the office – I didn’t want to leave my little Cessnaroo.

the surgery went by quickly and Cessna came back out almost perfectly wide awake.

Dr hale told us that we would have to have her wear the “cone of shame” or have her on leash, to make sure she doesn’t rub her face. He thinks that Cessna probably broke open the stitches when she rubbed her face on the carpet or couch. I told him I’d keep her on leash and put a bell on her collar so I know what she is doing at all times.

He sent us home with four days worth of Meticam and five days worth of Tramadol.

It’s been a week since the surgery and so far I think the stitches are holding up. She has an appointment scheduled for next week to see if she’ll finally get the all clear. In the meantime, she’ll stay on leash and have the bell on her collar – I don’t want her to have any more surgery.