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A "dog blog" about all breeds and issues of importance to people who value the dogs in their lives, with a special emphasis on Search and Rescue dogs, in particular the training of my Newfoundland Dogs

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Handler Training Tips

Training an Air Scenting dog is mostly a matter of training yourself. Most Search Dog handlers seem to believe they are training their dog. In actuality, YOU are the one that needs to learn! In the process of training, you should know 80% of the time where your "victim" is hidden. Once your dog is focused on finding a human, he is going to "make the find". That's not the problem, the problem is the handler. The dog learns what to do right off the bat. The handler needs way more "nose time" than the dog! Why? Because the handler needs to learn what happens in certain types of wind, on various types of terrain, in all kinds of weather, and with all kinds of hidden people and/or articles. He needs to learn how to watch the cues or signs of travel, what the dog does when it first hits, what happens when the scent hits a "barrier" ... so many many variables enter into the picture.

This type of learning is for YOU, not your dog, and can be done on a short search as well as a long one. Furthermore, "short and sweet" searches will build up the dog's desisre and drive. Finding people is FUN for the dog, and keeps up the interest. "Nose time" can be built up gradually, interspersing your short searches with a longer one every fourth or fifth search works well, and gradually build up the acreage you are searching until you hit the 80 acre mark and at least a six hour scenario.This can be accomplished without so much strain on your "victim" if you simply begin your search farther away, and radio your "victim" to enter the wind pattern two or three hours after you are into the search.

Trusting your dog is important. Even more important is trusting the person you are hiding out. Kids can be real bad for this activity as far as your training goes. They think it is fun to "fool" you and hide somewhere else. This is NOT GOOD unless you do indeed trust your dog, for you might have the tendency to disbelieve what your dog is telling you and try to call him off scent because you believe your victim is hidden in a different location. So it is important that you tell your "victim" to go exactly where you say, since you are training yourself and you need to watch what the dog does when he hits and you need to learn what is happening with the wind conditions etc. Dogs know what they are doing. Dogs DO find, so in the end, trust your dog!

Watch a great video here about training obedience. It makes you want to get out there and TRAIN, doesn't it?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Great Dogs in History

Did you know Napoleon Bonaparte was saved by a Newfoundland Dog? Sure enough...he was trying to escape his exile from the Island of Elbe when he fell overboard. The Ship's dog, a newfoundland, leaped after him and brought him safely back, as he was drowning, or so the story goes.
All of the folks who own Alaskan Malamutes or Huskies know the story of Baldo, the great sledding dog who made the famous trip in 1925, when what later became known as the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic-stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in; and Baldo palyed a heroic part in this life saving trek.

And then there is the Russian dog known as "Laika" who travelled to the stars and 1957.

And of course the name "Lassie" brings to mind the famous collie star of the book, movie, and various animated editions thereof...The original book "Lassie Come Home" was first published in 1940 by Eric Knight.

Lord Byron is famous for his "Tribute to a Newfoundland Dog". Inscribed on the tombstone where his dog was laid to rest and where Lord Byron himself asked to be buried with his dog are the following words:

"Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.

This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808."

Stay tuned to this blog for more "historic dog" posts in the coming months!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tips on Training a Search Dog for Air Scenting

Just wanted everyone to know that I just finished the "long haul". Phoenix is now a certified wilderness air scent dog, type IV. Just the beginning of course, and will continue to train, and train, and train. Am on a constant hunt for new people to hide for me , living in a small town (I should say TINY town) doesnt help any! I speak from long experience, this is the fourth Newfoundland I have certified. I am also involved in writing about all my experiences too, you can check out my new dog book plus my doggy products for dog lovers at this site.

It is not successful to take a "class" for search dog handling. Because "classes" usually need to be set up with a group of people in the ordinary classroom setting scenario. It is much better to go to a seminar or training session. Many search groups across the country do offer seminars. If nothing else, train with small groups of people in your own area, or find a "victim" and hide them out yourself.

Keeping a log is vital. It allows you to look back over what occurred and analyze the "why" of what went on during your search. Furthermore, it does protect you down the road should your training ever be called into question.

Trusting your dog is important. Even more important is trusting the person you are hiding out. Kids can be real bad for this activity as far as your training goes. They think it is fun to "fool" you and hide somewhere else. This is NOT GOOD unless you do indeed trust your dog, for you might have the tendency to disbelieve what your dog is telling you and try to call him off scent because you believe your victim is hidden in a different location. So it is important that you tell your "victim" to go exactly where you say, since you are training yourself and you need to watch what the dog does when he hits and you need to learn what is happening with the wind conditions etc. Dogs know what they are doing. Dogs DO find, so in the end, trust your dog!

These are just a few tips...You can find a good deal more about training a dog and socializing a dog for search and rescue work in the new book I just published: DOGSHOWS101.

Friday, November 02, 2007

NEW puppy potty training tips from the "crazy dog lady"

Hot off the presses in e-book format the new DOGSHOWS 101 tells it like it is when it comes to training a puppy to go potty when you're on the road. It is highly important for the new puppy to be trained ON LEASH whenever possible, even if you are not going to be traveling to dog shows, it is awfully nice to be able to take you dog with you when you visit relatives or whatever and know that he will go potty for you in a strange place. All too often owners who have fenced in yards just "let the dog out" (and unfortunately for many dogs, even when they are NOT in a fenced in yard!) and consequently the dog never learns to go potty on leash or in a strange place. If you do have a dog that has been trained to do this, and also to go potty on command, your life will be much easier should you ever have to travel. Furthermore, if you ever need to leave your dog at a vet or in a boarding kennel, it will certainly be easier for the persons in charge of the dog !
To purchase the e-book for the new low introductory price of only $20.00 just click on the link!
and if you would like to sell the book and earn affiliate money yourself just CLICK HERE
The book is also available in print. However none of the pictures are in color, as they are in the e-book. For a print copy of the version just click here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dog Aggression Problems

There is nothing more disconcerting at a dog show or at any dog gathering than to have an encounter with an aggressive dog. Whether that dog is crated or not, it still can be a frightful experience for yourself, or for your dog, or for your children that may be accompanying you.
When dogs are crated and display aggression, leaping and lunging and shaking the whole crate, along with loud growling, snarling, and lunging, it is completely unacceptable behavior. Handlers will try to excuse this behavior by saying that "the dog is territorial" in nature. Sorry, there is NO EXCUSE for this behavior, and it can be trained out.
What is even worse is the aggressive dog that is loose. This is more than unacceptable, it can be criminal. The aggressive dog that bites or threatens to bite can be placed in quarantine or worse yet, put down.
Aggression can range from dog/dog aggression to dog/food aggression to dog/human aggression. Regardless, this is a problem that is best approached during the early puppy training stages. Trying to straighten out this sort of behavior later on can be a real difficult problem for the novice dog trainer.
As for dog/dog aggression, puppy kindergarten classes are super because they expose the puppy to strange dogs AND strange people. A puppy that is under six months of age is automatically a "submissive" dog and learns how to interact in dog language to other dogs at this stage of it's life. Lacking a puppy kindergarten class, the new owner should attempt to find other neighborhood dogs and/or a dog park. Allowing the puppy to be off leash when being introduced to other dogs is a good idea. If the puppy is off leash, you will not be sending "distress" signals down the leash to your dog, if you are nervous yourself about these encounters.
Dog food aggression problems also are best approached during early puppy training. Putting your hand into your puppy's food while it is eating, allowing ti to eat with other dogs in the household, teaching it to take treats nicely from your hand without lunging, all of these are behaviors best taught when the puppy is young and impressionable. Simply putting your hand into your puppy's dish, picking the dish up while it is eating, and adding treats to the dish while it is eating will soon teach it that it is acceptable for people to handle it's food dish. Setting the dish down in an area where other dogs are eating will teach the puppy how to deal with other dog's trying to eat it's food, for if it becomes too out of hand, the other dogs will teach it to behave. Don't worry about the puppy actually getting hurt by another dog, since nearly all adult dogs will not tolerate a puppy stealing from their dish, and they will teach it in "dog language" not to interfere. This is something your puppy needs to understand from the beginning.
Dog/people aggression, here again, is NOT a problem a novice trainer should deal with if it is occurring with an adult dog. However, if the puppy is under six months and is exhibiting dog/people aggression, this will often be simply a fear reaction. Fearfulness is best overcome by allowing the puppy to investigate the stranger on his own terms. Do not force the puppy to accept a stranger, rather ignore his behavior and allow him to approach the stranger in his own time.
First and foremost your puppy needs to learn to trust in you. Exposing him to everything you can think of from other dogs to loud noises to lots of people will gradually build up his trust in you and that is the best solution to avoiding other problems later on. There are training tips for all of these possibilities and more in the new manual DOGSHOWS101, a great training resource for novice puppy owners.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just finished writing my training manual

Spent the last MONTH finishing up my book that I have been working on and off for about three years now. Finally decided to sit down and just get the job done. Now it's for sale at my tee shirt shop and also for sale at my own Show Dog Shop and soon will be for sale in down-loadable format from the web too! both of my doggies have been patient with me through this trying time of staying up late at night, getting up early in the maorning, and generally being somewhat stressed. Never realized how complicated it would be to "format" pages and documents. but I finally got the job done, (big sigh of relief!) Getting up and away from the computer every day for a good long walk with the "girls" was a treat. And that is something they wouldn't let me forget, either! I fished out old photos of my dearly beloved and sorely missed newfs of the past and put a lot of them into my book. It was such fun to do this and remember the fun times we had during our travels.

And going over the actual steps of training makes one realize just exactly how much IS involved in training a well balanced dog that can face the stress of travel, showing, searching, therapy, or whatever you pursue with your dog. I am sure this book will be useful to ANYONE who owns a dog. Writing it made me realize how much growth I have experienced in so many ways throughout the years and how much I have learned since my beginning days as a "newbie". I am hopeful that people who get this book won't have to learn the hard way, like I did.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Choosing a puppy: Tips

Recently I was asked the question : What breed of puppy should I choose for my daughter?
Here are some tips that I gave to this woman:
Choose a puppy that is medium sized ( there are a lot of toddlers in this household, she babysits) and toddlers who are not closely supervised can HURT a toy breed)
A breed that is easy to groom is important for this household. This woman does not have money to pay a groomer and has no expertise when it comes to to grooming a dog, nor will she carry through with grooming.
Choose an older dog if possible from a breeder, not a shelter. (With so many children to supervise, she doesnt need to deal with shyness, biting problems, or other things that might "surface" with a shelter dog.) Also, an older dog often is already housetrained.

I answered her question in this way because all too often people do not consider their life style when selecting a dog. Nor do they consider how big the dog might be when it is grown. Or how much time and knowledge they need to have to train a dog. Nor where or how they will keep such a dog. Let alone care for it. A choice of a puppy should not be an impulse decision. It is a member of the family that you are choosing. As an experienced breeder of large dogs that simply are not for everyone, I have found that it is very very important to always consider the unique and individual considerations of the family that will eventually own the dog.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Puppy Biting

Puppy biting can be real problem in families who have young children. Firstly, most puppies consider children to be just like "other puppies". Because of this, puppies play with children just they way they would play with other puppies, and using their tiny needle sharp teeth is part of their playing. The puppy in the photo is still a PUPPY, just six months old. It is especially important that big dog puppies be trained early.

When a new puppy arrives in a household with children, it is the responsibility of the adult human to supervise. Certain rules should be set. Children should not be wandering around with cookies and food. Teaching them to sit down at the table when they eat is the best solution to this problem. Older children should be taught not hold their hands up in the air in front of the puppies noses or above the head of the dog, this often will only cause the puppy to jump up and this compounds the problem even further. Older children can be taught the "scruff of the neck" technique discussed in this article. Younger children should be supervised. the puppy can be taught NOT to bother the clothing and nip at the legs and feet of small children but this can only happen if you are there to supervise. When puppies do go after toddlers, it is your responsibility to discipline the puppy.

Many people put the puppy into a crate. This is not a form of discipline and is completely ineffective, except for the fact that it does remove the puppy from the tempation. Puppies are not children. "Time out" is not a concept in their canine world. You should simply give them a firm NO! and a scruff grab. Using a distractor is a good idea also. By far the best discipline to use with a puppy is the same discipline that the dog mother would use. This requires that you do set yourself up as the leader of the dog when it enters your household. I will continue to discuss more about this in my next post.

Meanwhile, it would be a great idea to check out PUPPY WISHES and seriously consider using these services. They are a wonderful resource. Often obedience classes are simply not feasible what with the constraints of time and the cost of gas and distances to travel to get to a class. Having your own personal in home training is the key and is an excellent solution.

Friday, September 21, 2007

training retrievers

My son is turning his attention to professional retriever training and I have been busy working on his webpages for him. I have also been updating my daughters web site.
Plus I am getting over the humongous cold which lasted about three weeks and haven't had a chance to put up any of my dog's searching practice pictures or even to practice very much. However I did write a lenz just the other day about the training for Feeny , to "stop and wait" on command. Took her out in the street a couple of days ago and worked with her for a brief time and she did very well, actually. You can read all about this type of training, (clicker training) at my Home site web pages, All Things Dog
But friend Rita (actually my sister in law) took some great photos of Feeny and Jenna the olast time they were here so here they are: The one carrying her bell collar is Jenna, she carries her collar before the search starts..
You can read the latest "Search Dog Log" (which is the journal one should keep when training search dogs) . Meanwhile, I am going to get out real quick and do a quick walk with the "girls since there is a storm moving in later this evening.
Kiss your four legged friends for me!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Learning the GOTO for the REFIND

Phoenix has been learning the "GOTO" so she can do the "REFIND". Along with this she has also been learning the "TELL ME LOUD" so she will bark when she alerts on cadaver. And it is (pardon the pun) clicking right along. She will go to someone else, sit in front of them, bark, get a treat, then go (still on command) back to me, sit in front, and bark for a treat.....all in preparation for her (eventually) doing the REFIND.

For those of you unschooled in the REFIND, what it is ....the search dog, upon finding the subject, will return to the handler, give an indication that he/she has made the find, and take the handler back to the subject. All of this must be done, at a certification, without any "commands" from the handler. The "TELL ME LOUD" is what I am saying to Phoenix to get her to bark....I want her to bark for me , in the boat, when she smells the cadaver scent...this is in particular for an alert from a boat on a drowned victim.Actually I don't really care if she barks or not on a living find,I just want her to take me in for a refind....but I absolutely am going to insist on a bark alert on cadaver.

AS you probably guessed from the first paragraph, I am training this with the aid of a clicker. A clicker, in her mind, tells her that she is doing something right. For example, the other day, when she did her FIRST EXCERCISE on hidden cadaver, out in the grass, I could see that she was casting around for the scent. I could clearly see when she "hit" on the scent. Since this was her first experience at finding cadaver in the grass, (rather than her previous training, where she was to touch it with her nose as I held a salt shaker with cadaver in my hand) ...I immediately CLICKED when I saw that she was beginning an indication on the cadaver hidden in the grass. This immediately reinforced her, much quicker than my voice would have done, and she honed right in on the cadaver and touched her nose to it. Immediately, another "CLICK" and she got her reward, ...I then encouraged her to touch it AGAIN, and this time immediately asked for a "tell me loud" and she obliged, getting another click and reward.....soon , by the time she "hit" on the third hidden cadaver, she was sitting,and barking immediately on finding the cadaver...she got her treat AFTER she touched it with her nose.

She is a quick study. She learns fast. ALL in all, she is a joy to train. She is so full of energy and curiosity and such a goobery hairy bundle of love....I relly get a kick out of my Phoenix!

Friday, August 17, 2007

just one of those Summer Viruses??

Just came back from a weekend camping trip with our search group..did a lot of training. It was horribly hot, but managges to keep fairly to use a whole shelter house for camping, kept the dogs in the the shelter, tethered...had great wind up on top of the hill so that part was great but boy there were times you sure didnt want to step out into the sun!

Jenna came home with terrible diarchea which quickly turned very bloody. Scared the h*** out of me...turns out it was "colitis". Has been on a round of keratate and antibiotics and she is bouncing around, her old self. I am wondering if it wasnt coming on for several weeks....she had seemed rather "logey" but I just figured it was the heat this summer, which has been deadly....

Got started on the Thirty day challenge...this is great stuff folks...the challenge has been exciting, fun, and man oh man am I learning about stuff I never knew existed when it comes to the world of the internet and the computer!

More later...gotta get to town now and get my groceries, (more yogurt for Jenna!)

OOOPs... almmost forgot...check out this great new book (it's downloadable) on potty training puppies!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Training dogs and training myself too!

I have spent the last three days training MYSELF for online improvement and web site visibility, since I am participating in the famous THIRTY DAY CHALLENGEplus getting packed up and ready to roll for a three day search and rescue training weekend with the dogs. I can't wait! We always have such good times at night, even though it is going to be hot! During the day we will work in and around the water, doing water cadaver searching, and at night we will be doing night searches. The dogs have been getting more and more excited as they have been watching me pack and they know I hardly ever go anywhere without them, so I think they suspect they will be going along! I am also looking forward to seeing some of the folks that I haven't seen for quite awhile....

Meanwhile I am spending a bit of time each day listening to the podcasts from
the great folks who are putting on this tremendous thirty day challenge, a great opportunity for learning about the web and especially for a "newbie" like me! and to think that it is all free!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Search Dog Stuff..Cadaver and Alerting

It's been awhile since I lived up to my promise to write daily about Phoenix and her training. We have been progressing and I have been remiss in detailing the accounts of some of her successes and failures along the way. So I will start with a SUCCESS story.

To begin with, it has become apparent that she MUST do a strong alert in the boat. Preparatory to this effort, I have been working with her to get her to "talk to me", and I use the words "tell me LOUD" to get her to bark. This is easy to accomplish because she lovers for me to throw her stuffy for her, especially at that time of day just before we all go to bed, when I am sitting back and watching tv, she will go get her stuffy and push it into my lap, then wait for me to throw it. If I hold her stuffy up and "start" to throw it, she gets excited and she will "woof" impatiently. thus began the training for the bark alert. This is how the training began. Now she will "tell me loud" before she eats, before she goes outside, actually most any time I aske her. and once she "tells me" then she gets whatever it is that she is wanting.

From that point, we progressed to the search for cadaver and getting a treat when she finds. Before she gets her treat, she must "tell me loud". Consequently, she is BEGINNING to make an automatic alert, a sit, face me, and "woof" when she finds the cadaver!! We are getting there!!

Now for a "failure". Her desire to come to me in the field is not as great as her desire to continue investigating whatever it is that sh is interested in at the time. And she has a pretty short attention span. Especially when it comes to water, and swimming in it. The only good thing there is to say is that at least, after she is done with her swim, she will at least continue searching. So I need to do two things...pump up her focus on the search to the point that she will not bother with a swim along the way, and make sure that if she DOES get distracted, she will go back to the searching in the end.

We have just begun her THIRD obedience class. One of the big things we are going to be working on this week, well, actually two things: looking at me when I say her name, and coming to me when I encourage her to come, but WITHOUT using the actual word "come". So I am off, to the training.

Keep your nose in the wind, and your tail wagging....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Training days of summer

Just take a look at the great new "widget" I installed! On the left....the "DAILY PUPPY"!! Isn't it great?? Every time you come back to this blog you can see DIFFERENT PUPPIES (different ones each day!!)

I'm going to add this "widget" to my own website at DOGINFO and also on my KAYLAR homepage!

I have been going out once weekly with two-three other members of my team (IOWA SEARCH AND RESCUE)and training the dogs. Each time: different place, different people hiding, different time of day, etc. It is for sure always fun but always challenging. Of course, the more you do this, the more you find out, and my Phoenix isn't NEARLY ready to certify yet. I am hoping to get her "into shape" by fall but it is doubtful at this point! The one problem I seem to be running into is her willingness to STOP once she finds her person, she wants to just keep on going....oh well..I am just going to keep on training!

Till next time....
cheers, and keep your nose in the wind!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

'tis the season for HEATSTROKE

yes, dogs, as well as people can suffer heatstroke! symptoms are:
# Rapid breathing
# Dry mouth and nose
# Rapid heart rate
# Dull, greyish-pink, or red gums

Immediate priority is to lower the dogs body temperature. Use ice water, ice from the freezer, bags of frozen veggies, get the water/ice/frozen stuff under the arms, on the groin, pads of feet,etc. immersing the dog in a cool body of water, tolling him over and dumping buckets of water on him......anything to get that temperature down FAST.

Check the temperature every couple of minutes. If you do not have the dogs temperature lowered within 15 minutes, it may be too late, and the dog will have suffered permanent damage to major organs or to the brain.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rainbow Bridge

Kaylar's Christmas Angel: certified Search Dog
Dec. 13 1992-----March 13-2007

I found myself again, this morning, kissing another newfy good-bye. I just lost my Tasha less than three weeks ago and today it was time for my Angel, nearly 14 and a half years old, to leave. It is always such a hard thing to do....with Tasha, she took the decision from me and died peacefully in her sleep after a brief illness. Angel however needed to let me help her, she had reached a point where the quality of her life was not so good, I knew that she was suffering and I guess when all is said and done I am glad that when the time came I was able to help her. I have published some words about her on my other blog and also there is a lot of other stuff like poetry and memorial poems at my NEWF homepages.
More reading can be found also at my SQUIDOO LENZ on pet loss.

I have written more about Tasha in particular at my Newf blog.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Spring is springing??

Yup, it sure is, woke up this am to the sound of robins and raindrops...the Newfies went out to do their morning business...all of them lined up in a row and did their thing while the "raindrops kept raining on their heads" ...and then they came wet and bedraggled, back into the house and slopped their muddy footprints on the linoleum kitchen floor and across into the living room, (of course walking over the top of Angel's "bed" of quilts and old rugs, which is a fixture on the living room floor)...sigh...
I guess it is just one of those things you have to live with and expect when the spring rains come but omg I will be glad when the ground dries out!

St. Pat's Day is coming...Won't be long!

Visit My DogDaze Designs store and check out the St. Pat's day doggy designs

This design was made from a photo I took of Phoenix as a baby...she is growing up now, nearly 16 months about her trip to the bet yesterday and her dog obedience class at my

New blog which is about (you guess it!) living with my newfs and the terrier Zoey!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rainbow Bridge

I have lost my beautiful Tasha...she was my last remaining living Champion in my home....She arrived in a winter storm, Jan 8 1995 and she left me in a winter storm Feb 25 2007. She gradually faded in my a cold house, no the flickering light of a candle since I had lost power in the storm...I sat with her head in my lap and finally just go so cold I had to leave her and go curl up under the blankets..Did she wait for that time? I woke suddenly to hear the sound of the two newfs Jenna and Phoenix rushing to the dining room, where Tasha lay.. by the time I got there, she was gone. My beautiful Tasha..Now my life is different and there are only the three dogs to feed, to let out, to care love. You can read more about her by clicking on the Title...I just cant write any more, I cant bear it right now.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Dogshop

I have started a new DOGSHOP for all folks who love their breed, and have never been able to find enough stuff with that breed! It's just beginning, but there is already a lot of stuff up and published. furthermore, you can FINALLY get that perfect gift for that dog handler who shows your dogs for you! Check out the DOGGIE NECKTIES!!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Is It Cold or what??

The snow is coming down today even though the temp should be TOO COLD to produce snow!This am the dogs went out and came back in 10 minutes later covered with snow and looking like polar bears...I didnt want to touch them, but they snuffled into me and of course wanted their morning the process getting me all wet and cold!

Got some new pictures in the mail of "Topper", the littermate to King Arthur, from way back when...hopefully I will have time soon to get back to my Newfoundland pages and update them. they are quite disorganized and need LOTS of work! My apoloigies to all those folks out there (who are surely CLAMORING) to see my Newf pages, just need to take the time to sit down and update. This changeover that I have done to the MAC OS TEN has left me feeling confused and disoriented most of the time when it comes to my webpages! Then I wanted to add some web rings, but when I went to the web ring pages all of my old links were outdated and I had to methodically go through the whole list and get everything updated or else just delete and start over. Which I couldn't do until I had gotten rid of everything that wasn't working! wow what a JOB! But you wiull see, if you take the time to visit my pages, that there are now some very nicely functioning web rings, from which you can navigate to many pages in the whole WORLD! so I am finally getting a start!

Spent all day yesterday updating my pages instead of working with my dogs. They didnt seem to care, they curled up and snoozed all around me, in great piles which made it difficult to maneuver around them. Their snoozing continued well into the night and then at around 11 PM they all decided it was time to play. Looks like their days and nights are mixed up. Mine will be too if I keep arising at 4 am, can't seem to get out of the habit of waking up wide awake and energetic at that ungodly hour....

Give your furry ones a hug today and do NOT leave them out in the cold!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Snow Dogs

The last week has seen a lot of snowfall, and since this is really the first time Phoenix has been exposed to a LOT of snow it has been interesting to watch her reactions. The first day she bounced (literally!) in the snow for hours, stuffing her face deep into the drifts, and rolling about making doggy "angels" , then bounciing back up, shaking off and doing it again. The neighbor children were delighted to discover that Jenna could actually pull them along the street on the sled!

I travclled to Wisconsin the other day with my granddaughter, soon to be 18 years old. She needed to transport one of their dogs (golden retrievers) to a breeder and she asked if I could help out by going along. As it turned out, I drove the whole way and we used my little van since it has electronic 4 wheel drive and the snow was coming down at a good clip. It was a long drive and a bit "hairy" as far as the driving skill needed. There were quite a few vehicles along the way that had slid into the ditches and medians. I asked my Stacie afterwards if she could have done it by herself...the answer was "no, Gramma, I would have freaked out!"

Gotta go, school just called and asked me to sub....till next time...have a great wintery day!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Search and Rescue Learning

Just lately I have been settling down in my big easy chair, all snuggled up and keeping warm with my big dogs at my feet (and the llittle one in my lap) while wiinter rages outside. It's the perfect time for some good winter reading. And of course, what better choice for me than taking a look at some of the new books in the field of Search and Rescue. The only trouble is that it's REALLY cold outside and sometimes I just don't have the ambition, (or the willing people who will get "lost") to go outside and practice. Still it is a great time of year to learn something new and review old education. If you are of the same mind, you will want to look at this link:


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"tis the season (the WINTER TIME , THAT IS!)

Hey y'all...had a GREAT TIME yesterday in the first real decent snow of the season...Jenna faithfully pulled all the neighbor kids on their sleds down the slick and snowy streets of this little town, while Phoenix frolicked and sniffed and snorted in the snowdrifts and we all got cold hands, red cheeks, and windblown hairdos. It was great fun. And I knew that I was doing OK by my dogs, cuz they've been out for their daily walking and exercise nearly every there is no question that they can't take a bit of cold and a bit of playing in the snow without harm to their health.

This is just a reminder to all of you who enjoy the winter time outdoors with your dogs that you also need to be aware that the extra stress on their bodies if THEY ARE NOT USED TO THE COLD WEATHER will be damaging to them !! So take care and make sure that they have not been sitting inside all winter long and curled up on the couch...give them plenty of exercise. Besides, it's better for you, too!

For some extra healthful ideas, you mioght want to check out this link: