Corners and More Corners

Today Rogue had her third tracking lesson with Search and Rescue Dogs, Ontario.

She was a freaking superstar!!

Other then being a bit too enthusiastic, Rogue nailed her lesson on tracking corners.

We have graduated to the next level, so we are now working with a woman named Mary-Anne.

There were only 2 other dogs, a Beagle and a German Shepherd, in our group, so we had a chance to do 5 long tracks.

Mary-Anne had us each go and lay our tracks. She told us to do the same as we had been before, but that once we reached the spot where we wanted to turn, we were to put a flag and then continue past a bit. They continue past the flag in order to make sure the dogs are using their noses to find the track and not following the flags. Once we started our corner, we didn’t go as far as we had, so the track ends up sort of being an L-shape.

rogue wanted to run, so zigzagged a lot her first track. Mary-Anne said that Rogue is a really fast dog. She says it looks like she really knows what she is doing, but that she wants to go faster than we are going and as a result, gets frustrated and pulls. I suggested Huib do the next track or two on his own, just to give Rogue a chance to go as fast as she wanted and see how she does. Mary-Anne thought it was a good idea, so that is what we did.

Rogue did fabulously! In addition to having Huib do the tracks on his own, he also began laying the treats closer together, so it would get her back on task and slow her down a bit. We were using cut up chicken wieners, so we knew she’d slow down for them.

After Huib did two tracks on his own, I rejoined the team and we had two successful, final tracks.

I’m not sure where we will end up going with tracking, but Rogue seems to really enjoy the lessons and excel at it, so we’ll see where she takes us.

Let The Countdown Begin!

On thursday, we met with the Assistant Director of Nursing at Riverside Glen in Guelph, where Huib will be working. We wanted to clarify some details and get an idea of what their expectations were of Huib before giving them the “Okay”.

After that, we went to Stone Road Mall to work with Rogue a bit before lunch at Swiss Chalet. Rogue was pretty good at keeping a somewhat loose leash while we walked around the mall. She found every door without an issue, located most snow covered curbs on the second attempt and got on and off escalators without a problem. I think she’ll be wearing boots for the first little while on escalators. I want to avoid paw injuries, if possible.

After lunch, we went to see the first of two houses available for rent in guelph. The house was okay. the neighbourhood was a little rough and the house was a bit small, but we felt it would work if needed.

We then returned to the mall for some more training and to purchase some new winter boots for me. My old boots had developed holes, so I bought an Ivory and light grey pair of Columbia brand boots.

We finished at the mall a bit early, so we drove to an old quarry near our former condo building and let Rogue run around for an hour while we walked along behind her. This is probably the first time she’s ever had the chance to run free without one of our other dogs. she was perfect. She played with a border collie mix and checked in with us frequently.

At 4:30 we went to Cambridge to see a house for purchase. The house was okay, but it was too small for our needs. I also didn’t like the fact that you could smell cat urine when you walked into the back portion of the house. It’s possible the people forgot to clean their litter, but it still bothered me. The real estate agent then checked the listings that had just come up and suggested we go into another part of Cambridge to see a different place. We liked the next one. It was a corner lot (which Huib doesn’t like), but it was a good size and it didn’t really require any work. We seriously thought about putting in an offer, but decided to go see the second rental first.

I’m really glad we did, it was amazing! The house is huge. It has four bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. the master bedroom is the same size as the living room, so in addition to Canyon and Rogue’s crates, we’ll be able to have an armchair and futon for Aspen and Cessna to use. They don’t need the furniture, but we’ve got the room, so why not? In addition to the large bedrooms, the backyard is fenced and quite big. It’s about a five minute walk from a grocery store, convenience store and coffee shop, as well as, a half hour to forty-five minute walk to stone road Mall.

We decided to take it, and will move in May 1st.

We would really rather not be paying rent, but the bank wants Huib to be done the probationary period of his new job before they’ll approve us for a mortgage. So, we’ll rent for a year, and then revisit buying a house.

I can’t wait, just 66 more days of living in Northern Ontario!

Test Scores

*** this entry has been revised, after learning that I had misread the scores of “Coal” ***.

This evening, we got the results for the puppy aptitude test from Karen, of Red Labrador Retrievers.

Four of the seven puppies, scored mostly 3’s, with “Coal” and “Pinkie” scoring highest of the four.

“Pinkie” scored all 3’s, except in the restraint test, where she received a 4 (struggled, then settled).

“Coal” received all 3’s, except in the touch sensitivity test (tester locates the webbing on one of the puppy’s front paws and gently applies pressure. Pressure is gradually increased as the tester counts to 10 and releases when the puppy shows discomfort), where he received a 1 (8-10 count before response).

I originally wanted a female, so we may go with “Pinkie”, but I will keep an open mind though and make my final decision on pick-up day – just over a week to go!!

We’ve got Puppy Pictures!

Karen of Red Labrador Retrievers was finally able to send out individual puppy pictures! First I’ll present the girls, since one of them will hopefully be ours. then I’ll present the boys, since the animal behaviourist who does the testing thinks that males tend to work out better – we’ll keep an open mind!

Cheyenne’s Girls
(Each picture is named according to the puppy’s collar)

Ruby

Pinky

Violet

Flower

Cheyenne’s Boys

Sargent

Coal

Sunny

Karen feels Ruby and Pinky will be the best fit for us, but we’ll know more after the testing is done June 1st.

Just over a week to go!!

Thirty Seven Days Old

We finally received a copy of the aptitude test Red Labrador Retrievers does with the puppies. The Animal Behaviourist they have perform the testing uses Wendy Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Test and then an assessment of the puppy’s structure is completed.

The test will be done on June 1st, when the puppies are 7 weeks (or 49 days) old. We will hopefully find out the results shortly after that. As long as one of the females scores mostly 3’s, we’ll pick up our new family member around 9:00am, Friday, June 10th!!

I just looked at the Red Labrador Retrievers’ Facebook group and it looks as though Karen still has not had a chance to post updated pictures of the litter, but has uploaded a video. I’m still not sure how to post it here, but as usual, you’re welcome to go check it out!

Three Weeks

It’s a little late coming, but here’s a picture of Cheyenne’s three week old puppies.

Karen e-mailed me last night to let me know that she won’t be allowing people to pick out their puppies until we pick out ours. She said that they usually have owners come pick out their puppies around four weeks of age, but that she has informed them of the change and has asked if we will be able to pick up our little one on the 9th or 10th of June. This is really exciting news because it means the big day is just over a month away! The puppies will have their testing done in a couple of weeks, so we won’t know until then whether one will actually be suitable for our needs. But, with there being so many females in the litter, I’m sure one will be ours. I can’t wait!

Two Weeks Old!

The puppies are now sixteen days old!!

Cheyenne’s Girls

Cheyenne’s Boys

Karen also posted a short video of the puppies in the Red Labrador Retriever Facebook group, but I wasn’t sure how to upload and transcribe it. If you’d like to see the video, please visit the group’s page.

Please stay tuned for further updates and pictures!!

Puppy News!!

On Saturday, I got an e-mail from RLR
letting us know that Cheyenne had delivered a little earlier than planned. She was supposed to have them yesterday, but they actually came during the night Wednesday (April 13th). Karen (breeder) told us the night was pretty long and stressful because one of the puppies tried to come out the wrong way, so after pushing a while Cheyenne’s contractions slowed and she ended up having to deliver the rest via c-section. All of the puppies survived though and Cheyenne is doing well, but sadly this will most likely be her final litter.

Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

Cheyenne delivered three boys and four girls!

The Girls

The boys

As long as all goes well, and one of the girls scores high enough on the puppy aptitude test that’s done around five or six weeks of age, then we’ll be able to pick up our little bundle of fur June 11th or 12th.

I’ll continue posting updates and pictures as they come.