Where Have we Been…

I know, I know, it has been a while since I last posted an entry. I really want to get back into regular blogging, but I am having trouble coming up with things to say.

My Web Wizard cannot seem to figure out how to fix the issue with me not being able to post pictures here, so I am going to try and use Instagram and share the link – it might take a bit though, the iPhone app is pretty confusing with a screen reader.

What’s been new with the ruled by paws crew?

As mentioned in my last entry, Rogue was attempted to earn her UTD (urban tracking dog) and TDX (tracking dog excellent) titles.

Unfortunately, 2016 was just not our year for tracking.

She did a really good job at her UTD test, but missed the first article – a knitted mitten. I saw some great work though. It was a pretty rough track and she wasn’t working in the most optimal conditions.

I’m not sure if I have mentioned it here before, but Rogue absolutely hates being wet. This makes it pretty difficult to work with her at times. She will do absolutely everything possible to avoid puddles, even stopping dead in her tracks, refusing to move until i force her to continue.

So, when we got to the test and it was not looking like the rain would stop before her turn, I took a deep breath and crossed my fingers.

We walked up to the ‘scent pad,’ I asked her to “Check it out.” She sniffed the area thoroughly, probably hoping for even a tiny treat. Then, when I felt she was pointed in the right direction, I said “Find.” She took off and we followed. The first half or so of her track was covered, I mean covered, in goose poop. I had to constantly ask her to “Leave it.” Despite the distraction, she followed her track quite well. There were a few spots where she had to work a bit harder to find the track, such as at corners, but I felt she did a good job overall. When we were nearing the last corner, the judge came up to us to say we were welcome to finish, but that she had missed the first article, so she would not be getting her title. We were sad, but we felt she needed to finish, so she would be able to feel as though she had done what I asked.

In early November, Arizona attempted to earn her TD, while Rogue tried for her TDX – neither were successful. When Arizona had her turn, she did the first 30 metres well, but then got distracted by the cow manure in the field. Even though Huib tried to refocus her, she continued to go back to the different piles she found, and even did some rolling. We are hoping with some time and maturity, she’ll be able to try again.

Rogue had a pretty tough track. Laura, our instructor, said the judge was a bit sad to see which track we were assigned. Rogue approached the scent pad, figured out which direction the track went, and then did about the first quarter to a third really well. She got stuck when we were supposed to turn into a field of corn stalks. The corn had been harvested, so the stalks were about ankle high. From her behaviour at that spot, I think she knew we had to turn, but felt it was too dangerous for me. If we had to fail, I’m glad to be able to say that we failed because she felt she had a guiding responsibility. I am going to work with her throughout the spring and summer to teach her that it is Huib’s responsibility to keep me safe when she is on the tracking line, and that she is only expected to follow the scent.

On November 17th I had my convocation. Huib went with Rogue and I. He walked with me in the procession with the other students, but when it was time for me to go up onto the stage and receive my degree, Huib walked me to the stairs and then ran to the other side to meet back up with us. Rogue did a great job of listening to my directions, so I think we probably looked pretty smooth walking across the stage together.

The rest of 2016 was pretty uneventful. I had a good birthday at the end of November and Christmas was quiet, but nice.

We had some friends and family come over on Boxing Day for dinner, but otherwise we didn’t do much.

Goals for 2017?

Most of my goals for this year surround the dogs and performance events.

I want to continue taking classes through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. I took an obedience foundations class in October and right now we’re doing a competition retrieve class using shaping. I found the obedience class a bit lacking, but we’re enjoying the retrieve class.

I have tried to teach Rogue how to retrieve for a while, but this class has helped her progress further than I was ever able to do so on my own.

Arizona has been able to retrieve things for more than a year, but I find the class is tightening up her ‘hold,’ which will help us in field.

I also want to continue working through Sue Ailsby’s Levels Training Program. I have been casually doing them for a long time, but I never really started with Arizona.

In an effort to improve our obedience lessons with Susie, I decided to restart the Levels with Rogue and Canyon, while also working on them with Arizona. We have been doing short sessions, three times a week, for about two months now and I am seeing huge progress.

All three dogs are working on level 2. Each one is at a different point with the 14 different behaviours found in the level. Canyon tends to lag behind the girls a bit, while Arizona shines in some areas and Rogue in others. It has been a good experience for us all and I hope to continue this through the year.

Performance wise?

I want to enter Rogue in another TDX and UTD test. I also want to try field with her.

With Canyon, I would like to return to conformation, maybe even showing him myself. I would also like to do some tracking and enter an obedience trial with him.

I hope to continue doing field with Arizona, trying for both her WC and JH this year. I would have liked to also try for her WCI, but I need to make sure she has a really solid ‘stay.’ Arizona has progressed a lot in her levels work with me, so maybe we can try entering an obedience trial in the spring. Huib wants to track with her some more, maybe trying for her TD in the fall because the summer months are way too warm for her.

A personal goal?

I want to earn my PhD. The application is due in mid-February, so I’m going to start working on that this week.

To try and improve my chances of getting accepted to a PhD program, I am submitting abstracts to different conferences. So far, I have been accepted to present at the International Working dog Conference in April being held in Banff.

I also want to continue working on improving my physical health. I started walking on the treadmill three times a week, so I want to continue doing this, see how it goes and where it takes me.

The ruled by paws crew would like to wish our readers a safe and happy new year!!

A Note From Blog Management

Dear Loyal Blog Readers,
I am so sorry for the long periods without new entries. I have so many ideas for posts and lots of stuff to share, but I keep forgetting to write it down. I am not going to promise to write more often, but I will promise to always return and update you all.

Sincerely,

Brooke

The Blogging Human

In the News: Canine Distemper In India

Last year the blog sort of moved away from being primarily dog related and I’m not sure if it’s related, but our readership has also seemed to suffer, so this year I’m going to make a conscious effort to try and limit the number of non-dog related posts that appear here.

I’m going to try something out though, let me know what you think.

I’m going to start sharing links to stories I find in the news that are somehow dog related.

Canine Distemper is killing India’s endangered tigers.

According to an article in the India Times, the virus has been found in the blood of several dead tigers at the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Patna Zoo and in many areas of west Bengal and Darjeeling.

The Canine Distemper Virus affects the respiratory and nervous systems while also causing havoc in other parts of the body. Most of the time death is not caused by the virus, but results from secondary infections. The virus breaks down the immune system of an affected animal, so they’re unable to fight off the attack.

Scientists and researchers feel that the virus is being spread through direct contact, as well as through the consumption of infected dogs. they believe that the spread of the virus could be stopped by the vaccination of local dogs, so are looking into plans for a large-scale vaccination program.

For even more information on the situation check out this link.

How has Your dog Motivated You?

Welcome to the new site.

With all of the unknowns surrounding Blogger’s possible changes and accessibility concerns, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone, and create my own site.

I hope everyone enjoys our new internet home.

Now for the real purpose of this post.

A few weeks ago on Twitter I saw this question “How has your dog motivated you?”, and thought it was the perfect topic for my first entry on our new site.

As everyone knows, from reading previous entries, my dogs are a huge part of my life.

They go almost everywhere with us, and they provide us with hours of entertainment.

Thinking back to the days when I didn’t have a dog, I can honestly say, life was pretty regular and lacking in the excitement category.

If I wanted to spend the weekend in bed watching movies…then that is what I did.

If I wanted to drop everything and go out with friends…then that is what I did.

Before getting a dog, I never had to think about someone else’s feelings or needs, I just did what I wanted to do.

Now, things are different.

If I want to spend the day in bed, watching movies, I have to take breaks between scenes to take out the dogs…check that there is water…and make sure everyone is fed.

If I want to go out with friends at the last minute…I have to find out where we are going…whether they will allow dogs…and whether it is even advisable that I bring them along.

If I choose to leave my dogs at home, I have to make sure someone is able to come check on them if i am going to be away for longer than a few hours, and I can’t just decide to stay out for the weekend.

Yes, having dogs has made life a little less spontaneous and I can’t be as lazy, but having dogs has also made life more interesting.

For example, if it weren’t for Canyon, I wouldn’t be learning about the various dog sports, and how to teach them to him..

I wouldn’t be stepping outside of my comfort zone to find others with similar interests, willing to help me learn.

I also wouldn’t be spending long weekends away, in cities and towns I have never heard of, in crowded conference centres, waiting for our turn to strut our stuff alongside other people and their dogs.

Having Canyon has not only made my life more interesting, but has also motivated me to get out and learn new things, while meeting new people.

I could go on and on, giving examples of how each of my dogs have individually motivated me, but I think I’ll leave that for future posts.

In the meantime, please take some time and tell me in the comments, how your dog has motivated you.

Family Frustrations

I apologize to those who follow me on Twitter and get regular updates on what is going on with me, but i really felt I needed to share my reasons for not blogging in so long.

Over the past two weeks my step-dad has been staying with us. My sister needed a break from having him constantly around, so Huib and I asked him to come visit. he isn’t a horrible visitor. And he isn’t overly demanding. but, he really isn’t a dog person, so having him here has been a little stressful.

the first annoying thing he has been doing, is constantly telling the dogs to “go lie down” in an unfriendly tone. this isn’t horrible, but I feel as though he needs to understand that the dogs live here and he does not. We allow the dogs to follow us everywhere and are totally used to them being in our way – they’re our family! I have tried to explain this to him, in a polite manner, but he continues to tell them to get out of his way.

The other thing which has caused me stress over the past two weeks, is that at one point Rogue was in the way and almost tripped my Dad, so instead of telling me to move her, he told her to “go lie down, or I’ll smack you”. I was so angry! I was a good girl though and bit my tongue, but since that moment, I have constantly worried about the dogs getting in his way and getting smacked. We do not raise our hands to the dogs and as everyone who reads this blog knows, we do not use compulsion based training methods, so having my dogs threatened really bothered me.

In order to keep my sanity and to protect the dogs, I have been trying to keep Rogue on leash while Huib is working and continue to ask the others to stay near me. I’m not sure Dad realizes why I am being so protective of the dogs, but I really hope he notices and will think twice before threatening them again.

I definitely know I will be thinking twice before inviting him to visit again.

To add to the stress of Dad’s visit, my sister has begun to be a pain in the ass. She had agreed to meet us in North Bay so that we would not have to drive the entire way to Huntsville, but she has now told us that she has no gas money and that she cannot come meet us. She was totally ready to come get him from our house earlier in the week, but we told her it was fine and he was having a good time so not to worry about coming. Now that Dad is actually ready to come home, she has totally changed her tune. I feel as though she takes us for granted. She seems to know the right words to say when we confront her about this fact, but within days she is back to her old tricks and it is getting to a point where both Huib and I are sick and tired of dealing with her.

I know she’s trying her best to make enough money to support herself and that it is stressful for her to constantly have Dad around the house, but she needs to realize that we are also helping her as much as we can and that she can’t continue to treat us like crap.

She also needs to understand that Huib did not marry me to take care of her, and that we do not have to continue to put up with her princess mentality.

I know all families have their issues, but I sometimes feel my family takes the cake.

**Just a note, Blogger will soon be implementing their inaccessible platform, so this blog may be moving to WordPress**

**And finally, I called the Canadian kennel Club and they told me that Canyon earned 3 points for his win at the Windsor show!**

Another Show

Huib and Canyon are entering the show ring once again.

This coming weekend is the Windsor all Breed Training & Tracking clubs show.

We received our preliminary schedule and it looks as though there are only four male golden retrievers entered. I’m not sure how many of the four (other than Canyon) are entered into the Canadian Bred Dog category, but even if he is the only one, we’ll still have fun because there’s a higher chance of him going on to compete for best of breed.

The only problem with the low number is that if he did move on, he probably won’t end up with many, if any, points towards his Canadian Championship title.

Our judge for Saturday is from Malaysia and the Sunday one, once judged Canyon’s sire and gave him Reserve Winner’s Dog, so we’ll hope for good results.

I will try and post updates here during the evening hours.

**We have reached a milestone! This is entry number 300!!**

Just A Wee Test

Hi, I’m Steve. I’m doing a tiny bit of technological jiggery pokery for the folks who normally entertain you. To make sure it works, I’m writing this. If it does, I won’t need to bother you again. If it doesn’t, I shall cry, and then perhaps bug you at least one more time.

Here goes.

The Timelessness Of Music

Just a quick note before I begin writing. Yesterday I decided to combine “Life and Its Challenges” with “Ruled By Paws” so you will notice some new, but old entries have appeared. When I started “Life And Its challenges” I thought it would be nice to just have a blog dedicated to my personal life and thoughts so they wouldn’t seem strange amongst all of my dog entries, but I just found it hard to keep the dogs separate at times and also didn’t find I had as much to say on a personal level. So, now you will get more of a glimpse into the lives of Huib and myself, instead of just the parts which pertain to our fur babies, as some like to call them.

This morning I’ve been listening to the Lithium channel on Serious radio and the song “What Its Like” by Everlast got me thinking about how some songs just never lose their effectiveness.

From Googling the song I learned it was the first song Everlast did when he left House of Pain. I don’t know his previous band, but I sure do like his first solo. According to Song Facts,
“What It’s Like” is about how society is too quick to judge people. It looks at the lives of three different people and the chorus continually reminds the listener that if they knew what it was truly like then they wouldn’t be so fast to label. Even though this song was written back in 1999, the meaning behind the words still causes listeners to pause and reflect about a social issue which remains unchanged.

There are other songs which come up on the radio from time to time that get me thinking about their meanings and how even with time the message rings true.

Are there any songs out there which make you stop and think?