Roagie The Red Nosed Reindeer

Is really hoping her friends won’t laugh and call her names…

Oh, the embarrassment one must endure being a member of the ruled by paws gang 🙂

Tis The Season For Shopping

Over the past week, we’ve had the opportunity to get Cessna and rogue out shopping. Cessna isn’t the most excited shopper, but Rogue is always enthusiastic about seeing new places and to meet new people.

Rogue’s shyness and odd reactions to people seems to have resolved itself – which is a relief! She was startled briefly by a man’s suit jacket – it sort of moved weird above her head – and by a tablecloth – it swished unexpectedly – but after a few minutes of Huib showing it to her, she was no longer showing any nervousness.

Here are a couple of pictures from our day in Timmins.

We haven’t really gotten too much of our Christmas shopping done yet. Every time we go somewhere, we always seem to end up buying more things for ourselves than for others. In Timmins Huib bought me two polar fleece sweaters for my birthday and I bought a really, really cute brown corduroy stuffed reindeer for Canyon and pink corduroy rabbit for Rogue. Huggle-Hound makes these really cute corduroy animals that squeak, crinkle, grunt and have dangly limbs for shaking. Aspen really likes soft stuffies so we got her a little gingerbread woman that squeaks and Cessna likes toys she can tug and shake, so we got her a rubber ball thing that has long nylon ribbons that go through it. In addition to these things, we got a few other toys that were on sale at Costco and Pet Smart to put into their stockings, but we haven’t decided who will get what yet lol! I have also put together a list to order from Pet Edge because I want to get Cessna and Rogue a Premiere Easy Walk Harness like canyon has and they are like half the price through the website, compared to what we will pay in a store here. of course there are toys on the list as well, since it just wouldn’t be right to order only two items lol!

Huib has some more time off coming up, so hopefully we’ll get a little more shopping for others done then.

May Contain Nuts

***Just a quick note to apologize for the politically incorrect wording***

Sometimes you just need to take a moment and pose with friends…

Hurricane Rogue

Since I’ve been mainly posting new pictures of Rogue, with very little detail on how she is doing, I thought I’d take a moment and update you all.

Rogue is now seven and a half months old. She is 46.8lbs, 21ish inches tall and 20ish inches long. She hasn’t really changed in colour since going from butterscotch to caramel, but her eyes are no longer blue and she has no more puppy teeth. Her eyes are now a medium-dark brown and she’s got a mouth full of adult teeth that still do not fully fit her face.

Along with the increase in age, Rogue’s energy level has risen. She was always an excited puppy, but now she just doesn’t seem to be able to sit still very long. It’s almost as though ten toddlers on sugar highs have taken up residence in my puppy that, once had an on and off button. Now her off button seems to have gotten stuck in the semi-on position. She isn’t always quite at a hurricane speed, but she’s never really quite in a calm state either. Most of the time this is not an issue, but right now I am in the middle of trying to finish up last minute assignments for my course and Hurricane Rogue isn’t always making landfall for just short periods of time.

In terms of training, Rogue seems to have hit a plateau. Her sits, downs, leave its, touches and really short waits are great, but her “loose leash” walking and overall distraction level in public and around other dogs is horrid. To add to this, she has also started letting out little random “woofs” and shying away from people who come to pet her. The shyness started the day she turned 7 months, so I’m assuming it is a phase. Huib has been working a lot though lately, so we really haven’t had a chance to get her out and socializing since she recovered from her spay. He has a few days off coming up though, so I’m really hoping we’ll see some improvement.

In other news, we got Rogue a new training vest from Active Dogs. It is a light teal colour and has three black rectangular patches – one on each side that say “In Training” and one on the back which says “Please Ask To Pet”. And thanks to Cyndy of Gentle Wit, we didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for shipping and brokerage fees! I will try and get some pictures of Rogue in her new vest this weekend.

I will try and update you all a little more regularly from now on…it’s been a little too long.

All Healed

Eleven days ago, Rogue was spayed. With Canyon still being intact, it was really important for us to have her spayed as soon as possible. Huib’s work schedule was a little on the busy side in October though, so we had to wait until she was 7 months.

Huib and I dropped her off at the vet around 7:45am on Tuesday the 15th and left her with a baby blue fleece blanket and small stuffed duck. We felt horrible about leaving her, but we knew she would be well taken care of and that we would be able to pick her up in the early evening. After I met briefly with my course instructor, we set off to do some errands. I received a call around 10:30am to let us know that her spay had gone well and that she was slowly waking up. I asked them to call me once she was ready to come home. Just an hour and a half later, my cell phone rang and I was surprised to hear the vet’s receptionist on the other end. She called to inform me that Rogue was crying and screaming in the back, letting them know how she felt about being in pain and alone. She told me that the vet had given her a homeopathic remedy for anxiety and that she seemed to be calming down now that the co-op student had gone to sit with her. She said that it was not a rush, but that if we were ready, we could come pick her up – this was over four hours before they had originally said we’d be able to get her. Huib and I both laughed at the thought of our little caramel monster telling the vet and her staff what she thought about the whole situation.

We picked Rogue up 20 minutes after I had received the call and she was so happy to see us. Once we settled her in the truck on a soft blanket, she fell asleep almost immediately. She woke up a few times during our drive home, but it seemed as though she just wanted to know we were still with her because as soon as I touched her head, she fell back asleep.

The vet gave us some Meticam to give her for the first few days we were home, but she really didn’t seem to need it so we only gave her a bit the first day. She was pretty much ready to get back to her normal routine of running and jumping the next morning, but was a really good sport about having to wear the e-collar and staying calm until the weekend. We wanted to make sure her incision had the best chance of healing well, so made her wear the e-collar for the first four days since she tends to be a bit of an obsessive licker and cleaner.

I’ll end this post with a couple of pictures from her first hours home after the long trip home.

Just A Little Snow

So far we have only had a tiny bit of snow. It’s quite unusual for this to happen.

Huib decided to take the four dogs out and try to pose them in the snow. Here’s how it went.

Canyon never has an issue with posing for the camera, as long as you don’t mind him bringing a toy along.

Cessna is so used to posing for the camera, so could care less.

Aspen doesn’t mind posing either, but she just can’t seem to look happy about it.

Rogue isn’t as good about posing for pictures…

She just can’t seem to stay still.

Hopefully he’ll have better luck when we get some more snow lol!

City Adventure

On the Saturday (12th) of our trip “down south”, we took Cessna, Rogue and my friend Kelly’s Autism Dog Services foster, Willow, into Toronto on the GO Train. Rogue and Willow were awesome on the train ride, easily settling after just a few minutes.

After a couple of hours of walking around the city, riding the subway, street cars and meeting up with Taz and Caleb for lunch, Huib and I took the girls to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, to meet up with some LFC foster puppies.

Cessna really impressed me at the Royal. She only had to wear her newtrix for the first 20 minutes and she guided like a pro. She barked at a goat and some sheep, but in her defense, they also made noise at her lol!

Rogue on the other hand, was a monster! She pulled like crazy and sniffed everything! Poor Huib was happy when we were ready to return to the city for dinner with his sister.

Escalators Are Fun!

Rogue wanted me to share some pictures from her first escalator trip.

She was such a brave little monster!

Levels Progress

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how I had decided to start seriously working through Sue Ailsby’s Levels with Rogue.

Today, I thought I’d give everyone a progress report, and let everyone know where Canyon is, since we also started Level 1 recently.

Rogue has COMPLETELY passed Level 1!

Since implementing the training suggestions I received from the woman in Wyoming, Rogue quickly learned the “touch” command and her recall is improving daily.

Rogue now not only touches my palm, she literally nose-butts it lol!

We have now moved on to Level 2:
Come (from 40 feet, 2 cues)
Crate (enter, open/close door with 2 cues) – Passed
Distance (goes around a pole 2 feet away with 2 cues)
Down (from sit with 1 cue) – Passed
Down Stay (while I walk 20 feet away/back with extra cues)
Go To Mat (from 5 feet away with 2 cues)
Handling (tail, ears, feet) – Passed
Leash (loose for 1 minute with 1 distraction)
Sit (from stand with 1 cue) – Passed
Sit Stay (while I walk 20 feet away/back with extra cues)
Stand (from sit or down with 2 cues)
Stand Stay (without moving feet for 10 seconds)
Target/Touch (nose to marked end of stick with 1 cue)
Trick (can be a very simple one)
Watch (eye contact for 10 seconds with 2 voice cues)
Zen/Leave It (5 seconds in hand & 10 seconds on chair with 2 cues) – Passed

Rogue and I are still doing the short washroom training sessions to learn new things, in addition to short ones in other places to practice her Level 1 behaviours. Since I do not feel comfortable teaching her the “look” command, I have assigned that one to Huib, but have been working on: stand, sit-stay, down-stay and come.

I haven’t started the touch stick targeting yet because I’m trying to decide on a more accurate, blind-friendly way of teaching this one. I’m thinking I might use the bell we have hanging from the outside door for this because she really likes going outside and it would be useful to have her learn to touch the bell when she wants out.

I have also purchased a cheap lime green yoga mat for teaching her and later Canyon to go on to it when asked. Cessna knows this one pretty well, and has generalized it to mean going onto whatever I point to (bed, mat, chair, etc.).

As I mentioned, Canyon and I have also started to move through Level 1 together. He is really interested in having his “special” time with me, so I decided to re-start teaching him “touch”. We’ve only been working on it for two days so far, and he is already able to “touch” my right palm with one cue. He can still only do it when I have my palm right in front of him, but I think its only a matter of time before he can do it as well (maybe not as hard) as Rogue.

Once he is through Level 1, I’m thinking I might try teaching Aspen, but we’ll see what happens. Aspen is a lot more stubborn and sensitive, than the others, so I find it a little more frustrating to teach her new things.

I’ll write another Levels update when I have more to report.

We Can Pose Anywhere!

These are the sorts of things that happen around here when Huib has too many days off work in a row lol!