Determined

I am determined to get back into blogging.

It has been an extremely busy summer for all of us.

Here are some highlights:
In June, Rogue tried for her UTD (urban tracking dog) title, but wasn’t successful. We learned some important things at the test and we met some new people.

In July, Arizona entered the Maple Leaf Kennel Club’s UKC conformation show and got a group 4th on the Saturday. There were eight different breeds, so it was quite an exciting win for us.

Every week we have field and tracking classes. Arizona is progressing well with field, but she’s still hesitant to pick up any smelly or floppy ducks, so that’s been a bit frustrating. Rogue is doing well with tracking, working on both urban and field stuff. Arizona has also started tracking and is very slowly progressing. She has the ability to do it, but we never know what she’s going to give us at any given moment.

August 8th was a pretty sad day around here. Our long-time feline friend, Logan, unexpectedly passed away. We saw her Saturday, but weren’t too surprised when we didn’t see her or Laya on Sunday because we were moving stuff around, but on Monday morning Huib searched for her because only Laya came out for wet food. Logan loves canned food, so when we couldn’t find her, we were concerned. Huib found her behind a couch. He said she looked really peaceful, as though she had passed away in her sleep. Since her body was still stiff, our vet believes she probably had a heart attack in her sleep and we most likely discovered her within 8 hours of her passing. It was such a shocker!! We had no idea she was unwell 🙁

September was a pretty busy and exciting month for us all.

On the 9th, Arizona tried to earn her WC (working certificate), but instead of performing the drills, she decided to be the class clown – we’ll try again next year. In the land retrieves, she ‘marked’ perfectly, ran straight up to the duck, sniffed a couple of times, and then ran back to me. The judges asked me to resend her, and she ran two perfect land retrieves. When we attempted the water retrieve, she ‘marked’ beautifully, took a couple of steps into the pond, and ran right back. Huib thinks she didn’t like the smooshy bottom. We did finally get her to do a water retrieve, but we didn’t end up earning the title. We had a good time at the test though, meeting a lot of interesting people, so it was worth it.

On the 10th and 11th, we helped out at the Oakville & District Kennel Club’s conformation show. It took place at the International Centre, so it was a pretty big deal. I ran the Meet the Breeds Booth, getting to check out a number of breeds I had never heard of. Rogue worked, while Canyon and Arizona hung out in a crate when it wasn’t their turn to volunteer. Even with the long days, everyone seemed to have a good time.

On the 20th, I successfully defended my thesis. I now have a Master of Arts in Health and Aging degree. My convocation is on November 17th, so that should be fun.

What’s coming up for us?
On the 16th, Rogue will try again for her UTD title. We have tried to practice every couple of days, working in as many challenges as possible, so I’m hopeful we’ll succeed.

On the 30th Cessna will turn 13. It’s hard to believe my spunky little black lab is really a senior citizen. She still goes for 2 or 3 30 minute walks a day with my step Dad and wants to play with the others in the house from time-to-time. She has some health conditions, Hypothyroidism, mild incontinence, some tiny cataracts, mild arthritis, and some lumps, but overall Cessna’s a pretty happy and healthy old gal.

I will sign off for now, but hopefully I will be back sooner than later.

In the News: The Sentient Debate

According to the National Post, the members of Quebec’s National Assembly are “currently debating a bill which proposes animals be seen as sentient beings, rather than property.”

The bill in Quebec is not the first of its kind, there are a number of groups in Canada and the United States that are trying to make society accept the fact that animals feel pain and have the ability to think.

This article provides a very good look at some of the animal rights issues that are being considered in various countries, including Canada.

One thing I learned from the article is that there is an Animal Law Working Group, based out of a firm in Ottawa. The spokesperson for that group stated that there has been an increase in the number of Canadian dog and cat owners trying to sue for damages when their pet is injured or killed while at the vet.

This is definitely a debate I will be keeping a close eye on.

From my observations and experiences living with the ruled by paws gang, I can definitely tell you that animals can think and feel pain.

Maybe these are very silly examples, but:

Just think of the times you’ve accidentally stepped on a tail, or for guide dog handlers, the times your dog stopped you from becoming street meat.

Here at the ruled by paws house, it is accepted that everyone is a thinker, so it is up to the humans to try and stay one step ahead in the thinking game from the canines.

sleepy Kitty

Laya laying on the table with her head resting on my hand while I work on my computer

Laya enjoys hanging out on our dining room table while Huib and I work on work and school stuff, but sometimes she gets tired and needs to grab a bit of shut-eye.

A Bed Fit for a Princess

Laya, a Maine Coon cross, lays on a pile of bandanas

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.

Week One: An Overview

It’s been exactly a week since Arizona joined our family.

Arizona lies on a bed with a cream colour blanket.

She is probably one of the most fearless and entertaining puppies I’ve raised so far.

I think she missed the memo on how baby puppies are supposed to behave because she is definitely not eager to please or a follower, unless of course there’s something in it for her.

Arizona stands with her head between the rails. She's looking down into the living room from the kitchen.

Let’s see, what have we done this week…

On the training front, I’ve started to teach Arizona zen (leave it) and sit, while continuing to proof her recall.

As mentioned earlier, Arizona’s breeder teaches the entire litter recall using a whistle, so Huib and I have been continuing to do this and her response is getting faster and more reliable every day.

Arizona is starting to understand the concept of zen, but I’m not quite at the point where I feel comfortable enough to name it.

As for sit, I am still in the process of capturing it (clicking/treating when she offers it on her own). I taught both Rogue and Canyon to sit by capturing the behaviour and their sits are extremely reliable and well done, so I’d like to do the same with Arizona.

On the hilarious front, Arizona is the youngest daredevil I’ve ever met.

Most puppies won’t even attempt jumping off something high or walking down stairs until they are closer to 16 weeks, but as of the very first day Arizona came home, she’s been running up and down the stairs and launching herself off the couch and bed – which is always a heart-stopper for me!!

Arizona lies on the bed with her head up.

Also, Arizona is a talker. She barks and growls at everything!! She has arguments with the grass and bushes in the yard. She wrestles with the toilet brush and it’s holder. And, she has full out battles with the springy door stops in the house. I really need to try and get some of these on video to show everyone because it’s SO funny!!

The other dogs are slowly warming up to her, but I hope they learn to teach her the rules and boundaries quickly.

Cessna pretty much ignores her completely.

Canyon plays with her a bit. Her favourite game with him right now is to chase him while he plays fetch and then grab his chest hair or ear and tug while making growly noises. Canyon doesn’t seem to be bothered by this game, but does not like it when she tries to take his toy away or cuddle up with him.

Arizona investigates the container that holds all of the extra dog toys while Canyon supervises. Arizona is in a big black storage container that is about half full of dog toys that aren't always out.

Rogue makes me VERY proud. She’s my shy and timid girl, but she’s actually begun to initiate play with Arizona. They bounce around the living room, grabbing one another’s necks and bark and growl at one another. this probably sounds bad, but it’s really not, they are both just really loud players. the only thing I wish Rogue would tell Arizona off for is her constant need to try and nurse from her. Rogue just stands there while Arizona pokes her and begins trying to suck on a nipple…hopefully this stops sooner than later because I feel horrible for the Rogie Monster.

The cats aren’t too sure of the bouncy, barking fur ball. They try and avoid her because if she notices them then she immediately runs over and tries to get them to play.

A few days ago Huib saw Arizona bowing and wagging her tail excitedly while barking at Logan, trying to get her to play, but not understanding that she had absolutely no interest in associating with her. After a while, Arizona gave up and walked away. But, last night, Logan wasn’t so lucky, instead of walking away, Arizona decided to pounce on her and then chase her under the bed, trying really hard to get Logan to play.

On the not so wonderful front, Arizona hates the crate, unless we aren’t in the room then she settles quickly enough and naps until you’re ready to bring her back out. The first night, Arizona screamed for close to an hour, but then settled for a few before waking up to pee and then screamed some more when I put her back in. The second night wasn’t so bad, maybe Arizona was exhausted or something, because she didn’t fuss as long and slept a bit longer than the night before. The next night was worse though, maybe she was gathering up the energy to really give us a taste of how bad she can be…

On Thursday, I talked to my friend and she suggested putting Arizona’s crate up on top of Canyon’s, so she could see us better. We did this and she slept really well. Maybe it also had something to do with the fact that we had taken her to watch Kira’s soccer game and then our friend Karen came to visit with her 7 month old Belgian Shepherd, Spark. Who knows, but we got some of the sleep we desperately needed.

But, then Friday was horrible and so was Saturday, so for now I’ve sort of given up on the crate at night. I’ve just been sleeping down in the living room with Arizona attached to me by a leash. She seems to sleep well and doesn’t really wake me up as often. I think we’ll probably try doing some crate work tonight, but who knows.

It’s been a week of learning, laughing and frustration.

hopefully this coming week will see improvements to her sleeping patterns. If we can get that on track, then the rest should be a little easier to deal with since we won’t be so exhausted.

Caught Red Handed

On thursday, January 30th, at approximately 11:29am, a 64 year old man contacted investigators regarding a possible homicide.

When questioned, he said: “I came downstairs to make a tea and when I looked into the living room, I saw white fluff scattered throughout. Even though I did not see a body, I knew instantly that a crime had been committed and called authorities”.

When asked if he noticed anyone in the area, he stated that he had seen three suspicious characters napping on the couches.

Once investigators felt as though they had obtained all of the facts, they began examining the crime scene. Just inside the living room they observed various piles of white fluff, and upon further investigation they discovered parts of a plastic squeaker.

while they were searching for clues, a young male golden retriever came over to see why they were touching his toys. When questioned about the fluff, he claimed to have no knowledge of the situation and said that he had been grabbing some water when he heard the older man gasp.

when asked if he had any idea who could have committed such a horrible crime, he told investigators to talk to his fox red roommate.

while searching for this fox red roommate investigators came across an older female black lab lounging on one of the living room couches. When asked if she had seen anything, she remained tight lipped and refused to cooperate. Not having cause to arrest her, investigators moved on, but kept her at the top of their suspect list.

Once they had collected all available evidence at the primary scene, investigators began searching for clues in other areas of the home. In the kitchen they met a female calico who claimed to have seen the tip of a caramel coloured tail leaving the scene when she was coming down the stairs. she said that she couldn’t identify the breed of the suspect, but she is certain that she saw a tail and that it was caramel in colour.

Moving upstairs, investigators began searching the bedrooms for clues. When they came across the master bedroom, they found a young fox red lab lounging in the middle of a queen sized bed with the mutilated body of a small stuffed anteater between her paws.

Investigators slowly approached the suspect and calmly stood in front of her, blocking access to the only escape route in the room. When asked about the victim, the young fox red lab claimed to know nothing about the situation, saying that she came across the body of Mr. Anteater downstairs and was upset, so brought his body upstairs for safekeeping.

Unmoved by her statement, investigators took her into custody and closed the case.

Mr. Anteater was laid to rest in the waste section of the family garbage bin.

The Case Of The Decapitated Valentines Teddy

On Tuesday, February 19th, 2012, at approximately 10:30am, a 64 year old man came upon a decapitated pink teddy bear.

When asked to describe the scene, he said: “I came out of my bedroom and as I went to walk through the living room, I saw the headless body of a plush, pink teddy bear lying in front of the television stand. nearby, I saw white fluff, but did not notice the head of the Valentines teddy”.

When asked if there were any witnesses to his discovery, he said: “I saw a young woman sitting on the couch surrounded by her four guilty looking retrievers.”

When questioned, the woman declined to point any fingers.

When the other four witnesses were asked what they had seen, each of the retrievers looked at the calico cat sitting on the television stand.

Conclusion:
A pink Valentines teddy bear was found decapitated and gutted in front of the television stand, and according to the retrievers…the cat did it.

Please Vacate!

we have a mouse problem.

It seems as though Mickey and his friends have decided to move in.

Laya, our maine coon cross, has been hard at work trying to move them out, but she needed backup.

Logan, our calico, and Branden, my sister’s tuxedo cat, have not been any help. Logan would rather chase spongy balls and sit on our laps. Meanwhile, Branden likes to chase Laya and take over her sleeping spots.

so, we bought some traps.

So far in the past four days, Laya has caught about seven mice and the traps have caught another eight to ten.

I really hope Mickey and his friends start getting the message that they are not welcome.

I have nothing against mice, I’d just rather they lived outside of my home.

Merry Christmas!!

Hi All, it’s Cessna here. I wanted to take over the laptop to send you all a seasons greetings and also to tell everyone how spoiled we were by Santa Paws.

First things first…

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of our friends and blog followers! We hope Santa Paws was as good to you as he was to us, and also that you were blessed with a white Christmas (if you wanted one).

For Christmas this year, Santa Paws decided to bring us joint presents, instead of individual ones. I think this was a good idea because then Canyon doesn’t have to steal our gifts, he can just hoard them all BOL!

So the first really cool thing, in my opinion anyways, that Santa paws brought us is from Nothing Added. It’s a Christmas Box full of yummy dehydrated treats! Some of the things we got in it are: beef tripe, duck feet, beef liver, anchovies, Alaskan Pollock, chicken feet, beef trachea, and many other things that I cannot remember.

And guess what else?

Some new toys!!!

Santa Paws brought us a corduroy moose that makes a honking noise and has squeakers in each of his limbs, a squeaky donkey, a squeaky frog, a squeaky pig and a red JW Pets ball.

Oh, and before I go, Santa Paws also brought the cats each a large package of Temptations treats. Logan got beef flavour, Laya dairy and Branden (Aunty Brandi’s cat) received turkey flavour.

All of us at ruled by paws, hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.

Kisses and Tail Wags,

Cessna