Archives for May 2015

Dog Sense

Dog Sense by John Bradshaw is a great book for people who want to understand dogs in more of a scientific way.

Bradshaw not only starts his book with a great discussion on their history and genetics, but he also talks about how dogs differ from wolves. He looks at popular training methods and discusses the science behind them.

I didn’t learn a lot of new information from this book, but Bradshaw was able to provide me with a different perspective on the topic.

For anyone interested in cats, Bradshaw has also written a book called Cat Sense.

Cat in the Bag

A Maine Coon cross lays in a blue and black fabric bag

The cats don’t often appear on the blog, but Laya was adorable, so I thought I’d show her off.

Labrador Planter

Bright pink flower in a planter. The planter is a black lab puppy hanging over the side of a metal looking pail with a blue and peach bird sitting on the edge opposite the puppy.

Back to Track

It’s been a while, but on Saturday we returned to tracking with Search and Rescue Dogs, Ontario.

Brooke squatting down while Rogue lays beside her

We are still working on corners, but Rogue’s enthusiasm got in the way of her search, making her zig-zag more than the instructor would like, so she asked us to do some long straight tracks before trying another corner.

Brooke holds the tracking line while Rogue has her nose down following the track

Over the next month we need to continue working on her corners, starting with a couple of really long straight tracks before attempting an actual corner. The instructor loves her excitement level, but we need to rein it in a bit.

When you watch her track it’s hard to believe she’s actually a guide dog, lol!

I’m a Big Girl Now

Guess what everyone?

Arizona, face and chest

I’m a big girl now!!

I am now a year old.

My coat is still not as long as Canyon’s, but I am now just as tall as him. I am longer than Rogue and Cessna too, but I am only 52lbs.

Arizona laying on a dark brown love seat

I have learned a lot over the past 10 months of being with my family. I still like to see what is on the counter and try to help with the taste testing at dinner, but I know how to sit, lie down, target hands, come when called and play the “leave it” game (Mommy says it isn’t a game, but I sure think it is).

I am still doing field work lessons every couple of weeks, but for now Daddy has decided to stop showing me. He says the judges don’t like my looks for some reason…

For my birthday I was spoiled. I got a pool, as well as several new Nylabones and a couple of puzzle toys. I love to chew and I am very busy, so Mommy and Daddy thought I would like some new toys to chew and figure out.

I don’t know where my siblings are, but I hope they had a good birthday too!!

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival – Call for Entries

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival buttonCan I have your attention PLEASE!!

I would like to present the 17th round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival.

For those who do not know what the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival is, you can find an explanation and links to former rounds HERE.

As always, you do not need to be partnered with an assistance dog, your entry just needs to be related to the topic of service dogs.

The topic for this round is REGRETS.

When most people think of service dogs they think of all of the things that they do. They also think of how awesome it must be to be able to take your dog everywhere with you. No one ever thinks of the other side of the story. No one ever talks about the challenges, problems or difficulties with relying on an assistance dog.

Here’s your chance. Let’s educate the world about the other side of the service dog tale. Let’s be honest with each other, the service dog relationship is not always chocolate, roses and butterflies.

Let’s talk about our frustrations, our concerns, our disappointments. Let’s confess our deepest REGRETS when it comes to assistance dogs.

So, what do you REGRET…

do you ever wish you had chosen to remain dogless?
Do you ever wish you had a different breed?
Did you teach your dog something you wish you hadn’t?
Did you find something you wish you had trained your dog to do?
do you ever look back and wish you had done things differently?

Let’s be honest with one another, we’ve all got REGRETS.

The deadline for submissions is June 30th at 7:47pm. If you would like to send in an entry, but you need a bit more time, just let me know.

You are probably wondering how you submit your entry – just leave a comment on this post with your name, your blog’s name, your entry title and the URLs that go along with each.

Please let your friends know about the ADBC. Please help me revive the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival.

I look forward to reading and sharing your entries.

Happy Anniversary!!

Can you believe it?

Rogue and I have now been working together full-time for a year!!

We did it! We made it! We are truly a working team Little Monster.

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we did the Public Access Test with Sherman and Soleil.

I am so proud of the progress you have made over the past year. Now when we go out, I never worry about getting injured because I know I have my little red girl with me.

Thank you for teaching me so much over the past four years. I never could have done any of this without you Rogie.

Happy Anniversary to Us!!

Coursework

Now that my final grades are in, I am officially done the coursework portion of my masters degree!!

It was a tough semester, full of migraines and times when I didn’t want to write, but I made it through with some great marks.

My thesis supervisor would like me to consider taking two more courses just in case I decide to forgo the thesis and just do a major research project. I know I want to do the thesis so I’m sticking to my decision not to take more for now.

Since my thesis topic is heating up in the media and on the web, I need to rethink my methods for gathering data. I think I will spend the rest of May reading about research methods that use social media and blogs. Then once I feel really comfortable with my new methods, I need to write something up for my presentation in July.

Oh yeah!! I haven’t told you all.

I have been accepted to do a poster presentation at the 24th Annual Conference of the International Society of Antrozoology. The conference will take place in Saratoga Springs, New York July 7th to 9th. I could have waited to see if they had room for me to do an oral presentation, but since I did one in March, my supervisor and I agreed this would be a good opportunity to learn about doing a poster.

I will try to update everyone on my research progress as I go along.

Vet Check

Last week the dogs had their yearly check up with Bianca. Since we always bring the four in together, she set aside an hour and a half for them.

Cessna was checked over first. Bianca was a bit concerned about her coat condition and that she’s gained a couple of pounds since November, but otherwise she said Cess looks good. We already knew something was up with her thyroid levels, so Huib suggested having her dose raised and then do the blood draw two weeks later. Bianca agreed with his suggestion and gave us some new meds to try.

Next it was Arizona’s turn. Bianca hadn’t seen Ari since the fall, so she was quite impressed at how much she’s grown and matured. Ari had no problem letting Bianca check her over, but wanted to see everything and sniff anything Bianca put near her, lol! She also cleaned Bianca’s ears and face, so it was a good exam for her. Bianca had no concerns, so gave Arizona her first rabies vaccine and drew blood for a Heartworm and Lyme test.

Rogue was also due for her rabies vaccine, so after getting checked over she got it and had some blood drawn for titres and the Heartworm and Lyme testing. Bianca had no concerns at all with Rogue.

Finally, it was Canyon’s turn. She wanted to do another CBC as well as titres and the Heartworm and Lyme test, so we let her do them. Canyon had a CBC done in January and his red blood cell count and haemoglobin values were off, so Bianca wanted to check them to make sure they were better. With golden retrievers you have to worry about mass cell tumours, so that was mainly why Bianca wanted the blood test redone. We also talked about Canyon’s seizures and since they seem to be happening every 4-5 weeks she said she is comfortable with leaving him off meds for a bit longer. She isn’t sure if the Coenzyme Q10 is doing anything, but it also can’t hurt, so she wants him to continue taking that. Otherwise she just asked me to keep writing things down and to let her know if things change. We asked her about giving him fish again since his seizures don’t seem to be related. She agreed and said that she would like us to wait until after his next seizure and then try fish to see what happens.

It was nice to know everyone is healthy.