Catching Up

A lot has happened over the past couple of weeks. I was unwell last week, so unable to update the blog.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend Piper came to visit. She has a bit of a shoulder injury, so we weren’t able to play any fetch, but we did go for long walks. To make things less busy, Huib took the goldens for bike rides, then him and I took Piper and Rogue for a walk. Neither Piper or Rogue enjoy the bike, so the arrangement worked well.

*********

On the 15th, Rogue attempted to earn her UTD (urban tracking dog) title. Unfortunately, she got caught up in a cross-track, and was unsuccessful. Our judge, Sharon Smith, was great!! She gave us tons of room to work and fail. After talking to her later on, I felt better knowing there was really nothing I could have done differently to save us.

We are going to do more work on cross-tracks and tracking on soft surfaces. I felt her hard surface tracking was a lot stronger than her soft surface tracking. I think it might be because we worked a lot on hard surface when my ankle was healing.

**********

On the 18th, D came over and we went for a walk/run. I wasn’t feeling perfectly well, so we didn’t do a lot of running, but it felt good to get back into it. We did our 4 kilometre route, running for 20 seconds. four different times, on quieter streets.

My leg muscles were a bit sore the following day, but my ankle felt good.

I still want to get back to the pool, and do some work at the gym on the bike and elliptical, but it was nice to start running again.

*********

Arizona’s test results came back from Paw Print Genetics. She is clear of everything, except PRA 2, which she is a carrier of. This means we cannot use the stud we had hoped to use, so we’re looking at other options.

Now we have to get her heart, hips and elbows cleared.

**********

On Saturday, we met up with Laura and some others to track at Guelph Lake. I had hoped to have all three of the dogs track, but the Grand River Conservation Authority has closed park access to cars, so we weren’t able to find space for many tracks. As a result, only Arizona got a chance to work.

Ari did a fabulous job!!! Even though the track conditions were poor, she worked hard and did not do much ‘crittering.’

Huib has decided to try and enter Arizona into the November 12th TD test.

**********

On Sunday, it was really nice weather, so Susie put on a field session.

Arizona was hesitant about entering the water, so I called her back to set her up again and resend her. She jumped in and went straight for the duck, brought it back and gave it to me. I almost dropped it, but caught it by the foot, lol!! Her second retrieve was perfect.

On land, Susie had us set up things, so the dogs would have to go through a variety of covers.

Canyon joined us, wearing his Ruffwear Swamp Cooler vest to stay cool in the sun.

Huib had him do the first two land retrieves, before I sent Arizona. He was great!!! Even though he ran a bit short of the bird, he searched and located it without any assistance – Good Boy!!

Arizona did two beautiful land retrieves.

**********

Before I sign off, a quick update on Canyon’s seizures.

After seven months and ten days without a seizure, Canyon had a very mild one on Friday evening. I say “very mild” because it really never progressed past the initial tensing of the body. It might have been that Huib got Rescue Remedy into him within a minute of Canyon telling us there’s a problem, or maybe it’s something else, but we were happy with the improvement.

Now we’re hoping for at least month before his next.

A Forgotten Photo

Huib was looking at the pictures I have on my iPhone and came across this one.

Canyon, Ace and Arizona sitting on our stairs with me

10 Weeks Old

The past week has been full of ups and downs. Maybe it’s primarily due to the fact that I have had migraines almost every moment of the week, so my patience is a bit thin, but it’s definitely been a trying one.

Arizona with her head sticking out the front screen door.

Arizona is learning tons and settling in amazingly well with our gang, but she’s also becoming more determined and opinionated.

rogue continues to play with her and has even started explaining the rules and boundaries – I am SO proud of the Rogue Monster!

Cessna doesn’t know what to do with the puppy and has decided to just keep ignoring her existence.

Canyon tolerates her efforts to play and has even started doing his tug game he used to play with Rogue. He lies on the ground holding a toy in his mouth and Arizona tugs on the toy with all her might. Rogue and Canyon still play this game, so as Rogue became bigger she started pulling him around the house.

Arizona sleeps well some nights, but sleeps horribly the following night, it’s SO frustrating!! I am hoping this pattern will stop sooner than later because the getting up every hour is quite exhausting.

She is sleeping in her crate without the blood-curdling screams though and even takes naps for a couple hours each morning in it, so that’s progress.

On Friday our friend Karen came with her 7 month old puppy, Spark, and our friend kelly came with her two dogs, Piper and Ace. It was a really good experience for Arizona to have the three dogs to interact with.

A view from above of Arizona sleeping under a chair while on a coffee date with a friend.

Spark played with her the most and got a bit rough at times, so Karen would grab his collar and have him relax for a minute before being allowed to return.

Piper took a bit to get used to Arizona’s size. I think a lot of dogs wonder if it’s safe or appropriate to be playing with such a small puppy. After she realized that Arizona wasn’t breakable, they had a blast wrestling and chasing one another. Ace wanted nothing to do with the puppy, but that isn’t too abnormal for the big guy, he is more into wandering the yard or mourning Rogue.

On Saturday, Kelly took Arizona for a few hours. She had a coffee date with a friend, so took Arizona to sit on the patio.

On the learning front, Arizona is doing amazingly well at learning to come when we whistle, so now we need to decide if it is worthwhile teaching her the word ‘come’ or if whistling is good enough for recall. Her work with zen (or ‘leave it’) is coming along. I am starting to say ‘leave it’ as she goes to back off from the treat I have in my palm. Arizona is also doing really well at learning to sit. Our little friend, Kira, has been helping me out with this. I really want to teach Arizona to sit using the capturing method, so I have had Kira clicking whenever she sees Arizona sit. Arizona began to quickly figure out what she was getting the clicks and treats for, so now Kira is starting to say the word ‘sit’ as Arizona’s bum is moving to the floor. I think she’ll be ready to learn a hand signal for sit by the end of the week.

I am going to continue working on zen, sit and come, but I also think I may start trying to capture the ‘down’ and try teaching Arizona to give paw or maybe even paw target. I am eager to teach her to nose target, but my friend Robin has suggested I avoid teaching the nose target until Arizona is understanding ‘leave it’ because she is extremely food motivated and needs to learn a bit of self-control.

Arizona has started to switch over to eating raw. We switched her over to Orijen puppy just over a week ago from Pro Plan, but now it’s time to switch her to eating raw like the others. So far she is just getting a tiny ground beef ball with her breakfast, but probably by the weekend she’ll be eating almost purely raw. Maybe the diet change will also help with the house training.

The house training is a challenge, but I think it’s improving. Arizona is now 10 weeks, so her ability to wait should be increasing. We have reintroduced the box with wood stove pellets, like her breeder used, so I am hoping this will speed up the house training process. The only real issue I am having, that is perplexing, is that Arizona has now decided pooping in her exercise pen is acceptable, but seems to know that she shouldn’t be relieving in her crate.

Puppy rearing can be such an adventure, stay tuned for more updates on Taygold’s Kindred Spirit, who should have really been named Trouble not Arizona.

Hard at Work

Or at least they are trying to seem as though they are hard at work…

Rogue and aiden are lying under a table at Costco. Aiden is wearing his red and black mesh Autism dog Services vest with a black martingale and red leash. rogue is lying behind him in her navy blue harness, light blue collar and black leather braided leash.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had people come up to me and ask if the dogs are no longer on duty at times like this.

even though we are obviously still in a public place, where pets are not welcome, people seem to think that because the dogs are lying quietly while we eat or whatever, that they are no longer working and can be loved.

I am always willing to talk to people about the dogs and often allow people to talk to them while they’re chilling, but I also try to inform the public about the fact that even though it may not look as though they are actively working, the dogs are still on alert and ready to move when asked, so as long as their working gear is on, they are on duty.

On an aside, rogue found it really hard to stay hidden with aiden under the table as well. he’s a big boy, so takes up almost all of the room, but she made a good effort at staying out of the way. Maybe it was having aiden there, but Rogue also did really well at staying down when I asked her to.

Could They Be Friends?

Aiden, Skye and Bailey have now been with us for almost a week and everyone is getting along quite well.

Our bed is a queen-size, but it isn’t quite big enough to fit 6 full grown retrievers, so let’s start with just the 5 labs.

Skye, Rogue, bailey, Cessna and Aiden are lying together on a black metal framed bed with a grey blanket. Skye is behind Rogue, they are closest to the headboard with Bailey next to Rogue, Cessna beside Bailey and aiden in front of everyone.

Rogue thought it would be cool to pose with her sister, skye. Don’t they look so much alike?

Rogue and skye on our bed. Skye is lying behind Rogue.

Cessna wasn’t so sure she could handle having her picture taken more than once, so here’s a shot of just the fox red labs and Bailey.

Skye, rogue, Bailey and Aiden on our bed. Skye is behind Rogue, Bailey is beside Rogue and Aiden is lying in front of them all.

Aiden and Bailey got tired of posing, so here’s Canyon with Rogue and Skye.

Skye, Rogue and Canyon on our bed. Canyon is beside Rogue and Skye is behind them.

The Case of the Mutilated dog

At approximately 6:45pm Thursday, a 34 year old woman came across the mutilated body of Ms. Pinky. She immediately ran to the phone and contacted police.

When police arrived, they were met at the door by 6 extremely friendly retrievers and their worried human.

Upon cursory examination of the scene, investigators immediately ruled Ms. Pinky’s death a homicide.

An Air Kong Squeaker Dog lies mutilated on a tile floor. the dog has been skinned, it used to be pink and yellow. It is also missing it's hind leg and it's tail is just barely attached.

When asked to provide details, the woman stated that she had been putting away laundry when she heard a horrible sound. She said it could only be described as the sound a squeaky animal makes before it dies. She said the noise only lasted a few minutes during which time she was rushing down to the living room from her bedroom on the 2nd floor of the house.

When asked what she saw, the woman became tearful and said she walked into the living room and couldn’t find anything disturbed, so moved into the kitchen, only to discover Ms. Pinky’s mutilated body.

When asked if she had touched anything, she said she was too afraid to do anything other than run back upstairs and dial 9-1-1.

When asked if she noticed anyone near or leaving the scene, she said she thought she heard the sound of paws moving quickly towards the dining room, but she couldn’t identify the unknown subject.

next, investigators went into the living room to question the little fox red lab.

When asked what she had seen or heard, she climbed under a red sleeping bag and refused to answer.

Seeing a black lab moving towards the stairs, investigators gave up on the little lab and followed.

The black lab claimed she hadn’t heard or seen anything. She said she had been in the backyard with a golden retriever and another female fox red lab, chasing squirrels.

Noticing a white coloured lab lying in the doorway of the bathroom, watching, investigators decided to see what she could tell them.

Unlike the little fox red lab who refused to answer and the black lab who claimed to have been outside, the white lab seemed to know exactly what had occurred
and was dying to share her story.

According to her, a big male fox red lab snuck up behind Ms. Pinky and snatched her off the ground. He then proceeded to take her into the kitchen, where the white lab says she saw him lie down and begin stripping off Ms. Pinky’s pink and yellow flesh. Horrified by what she had witnessed, the white lab says she quickly turned away and hid in the closet until she heard police arrive.

Feeling as though they had obtained enough evidence to arrest and charge their suspect, investigators searched the house.

they found Ms. pinky’s killer sprawled on the bed in the master bedroom snoring loudly. Afraid they might spook their suspect, investigators called for a leash before taking him into custody.

Ms. Pinky will be laid to rest in the waste section of the family garbage container on Saturday, April 5th, at 11:00am.

The family dogs are accepting donations to be put into the Buy a Dog A Toy Fund.

A Taste of Bailey

Bailey is probably the more photogenic of the three visitors, so here are 3 pictures of just her.

Bailey lies on a dark brown leather couch.

Bailey lies on a red sleeping bag on the couch by Brooke's legs. Brooke is sitting on the couch wearing a dark green hooded sweatshirt with a bear paw on the front.

Bailey lies across the console of the dark brown leather couch. she is lying beside Brooke.

Bailey isn’t as active or playful as the rest of the dogs in the house, but she is definitely the most cuddly.

Guess Who’s Visiting!!

Aiden sitting beside Brooke at Home Depot. Aiden is a 6 year old fox red lab. He is wearing his red working vest with a black martingale collar and red leash beside Brooke's blue denim clad legs.

Aiden, our first foster puppy from Autism Dog Services, is here for 11 days!!

Aiden and Canyon are attempting to smother Brooke. I'm sitting on a dark brown leather couch and the boys are both smothering me with kisses.

Aiden arrived Sunday afternoon with his doggie cousins skye and Bailey. Skye is Rogue’s half sister, they have the same sire, she’s just a year older. Skye was once an ADS foster puppy, but wasn’t quite cut out for the job. Bailey wasn’t ever a foster puppy, she’s always been just a loveable pet.

Bailey and Aiden lie at opposite ends of a tan and brown couch. Bailey is a pure white female lab with a black nose and black eye liner wearing a light pink and brown collar.

Canyon The Cutie

I’m not sure why, but ever since Emmie left on Sunday, Canyon has been really clingy and protective with me. Usually, when Huib goes to work, I go upstairs with the dogs and read in bed. Once everyone has had their treat for following, the dogs settle in their spots; Cessna on her love seat, rogue on the bed with me and Canyon in his crate, but lately Canyon has come over to the bed and asked to be invited up. On Monday night when he did this for the first time, I thought he maybe had a stomach ache and needed to go outside. He’d put his paws up on the edge of the bed and then I’d get out and take him downstairs. When it kept happening, even minutes after we’d just returned from outside, I decided to try inviting him up. As soon as I called him up, he jumped up and settled beside me for half an hour. After the half hour was up, he got off the bed and settled beside me, but on the floor.

I was pretty worried about Canyon, so kept texting Huib. Canyon isn’t a snuggly dog, unless it’s on his own terms, so having him want to sleep with me was a really strange change. In the morning when Huib got home, he checked Canyon over and couldn’t find anything wrong.

We then went up to bed, Canyon went directly into his crate and fell asleep. Huib told me that Canyon has been going over to where Emmie slept on the Saturday and Sunday to sniff and that he has also seen him sleep in those spots, so he is wondering if maybe he is missing her or missing having a golden in the house.

I’m not sure what has caused this change, but it seems as though Canyon only wants to sleep with me when Huib isn’t home. I asked Huib if maybe we need to consider going to golden rescue for a friend for Canyon, but Huib thinks he’ll be okay to wait until we get our puppy in the spring.

Canyon sitting with a wooded trail behind him.

On Fridays when I go to class Huib brings Canyon to wait for me at the bus stop. He took this picture while they waited.

Fortknox’s Burning Ember

A female medium coloured golden retriever stands on the grass. She has her tail curled upwards and she has a blue and yellow stuffed ball on the ground in front of her.