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Flashy Friday! Week 2 -  "Spin" Whew! A whole week between posts, sorry guys! Like I've mentioned before we're pr...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Robin Update #3

Too Much To Handle

Not "every" Dog is for "every" Person.

I know I've posted about this before What Dog Breed is Best For Me?, but recently it seems I know several people who either are looking to get a new dog, looking to re-home a dog, or they are having behavioral problems with their current dog. 

Now lets talk dogs.

A dog is like a child, they are driven by positive and negative reinforcements. A dog does not know human moral rights from wrongs, eating your slipper is not meant to piss you off but rather is an expression of how the dog is feeling. Lets say eating a slipper is boredom, maybe he's not getting enough exercise (often the case), maybe he needs more mental stimulation or a job, or perhaps you have a teething puppy, or the case of a bad habit formed through years of never addressing the problem.

You've heard the saying, "too much to handle"? 
Sadly many dogs have heard this and they end up bouncing between homes, shelters, being neglected and ignored outside, or euthanized at the pound. Only some of these dogs end up in good homes or in the hands of a rescue.

This handsome mug was too much to handle for his previous owners. Now my parents have him. More on Kody another time.
The cause is always human in nature, sadly many families decide that they want a dog and then go out and find the dog that they think is ideal without doing their research. Then they end up adopting or purchasing a dog that they found cute, fluffy, only like little dogs, only like big dogs, or they like a specific breed but don't know how to handle them, or they just felt sorry for the dog which isn't any better. Hounds are trackers - best not to take them off-leash, Mastiff's are chewers and big enough to destroy/eat your whole house if not given enough mental/physical exercise and even then sometimes they are a handful! Just go see if you don't believe me, Hurricane Cairo was named for a reason. Huskies yes are cute and fluffy but if you don't have a sled for them to pull or a 100 mile race to run then they might not be the best dog for you, they require lots of exercise.


It is with heavy heart I write this. Sadly Robin was returned to the woman that she was rescued from. I've put off writing this post for a while, i've been really busy and I didn't want to offend, that is still not my goal in any way should my friend be reading this post. I also wanted to give them time to heal as a family before bringing this back out into the light where I think it needs to be.

Robin has a high prey drive something that was known, and due to bad circumstances she ended up killing the family cat.

Something to note about prey drive - YES it can be worked on, and you can work through it - at least to the point where you can trust your dog around YOUR cats/small animals, but that doesn't mean all tiny critters are off limits in a dogs mind.
We had a Rottweiler mix when I was growing up, our family cats were safe - the neighbor cats were not..she got a couple that ventured into our backyard.

Ziva has a high prey drive, something we have worked hard on and she is 100% trustworthy around our cats, we even fostered a kitten last summer that she decided to adopt!  Guardian of the Kitten
But prey drive is something you have to be on top of the whole time you are working through it, any slacking and your small animal may pay the price and that is not fair to them. It is your job to teach your dog how to interact with non-canine family members.

We unlocked Ziva's mommy instincts with this kitten.

Robin is an American Bully, this means she is an American Pit Bull Terrier that through breeding has been crossed with a Bulldog. Somthing to note - Bullies were bred to have a prey drive.  American Pit Bull Terrier - Emphasis on the Terrier, they are a hunting dog!
Please don't blow this out of proportion like so many others and blame "Pit bulls" only. Any hunting type dog has a prey drive and would gladly kill a small animal - Blue Heelers, Mastiff breeds, Spitz, Weimaraner, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinscher, Cane Corso, Ibizan Hounds, hounds in general, Huskies, Terrier breeds in general, all have a desire to chase and capture. Bird dogs on the other hand were bred for different reasons including to retrieve prey that you caught.

Just because a dog has a high prey drive, doesn't mean that it will turn on you or harm a child. That is a complete myth, if a dog is human aggressive that is a different problem all together.

Sadly however in Robin's case, after dealing with so many previous issues the cat ended up being the last straw. A dog can move on but that trust between her and her family was broken, and the desire to continue training was lost. After much thought, they made the decision that she ultimately was not a good match for the family and would have to go.

We spread the word, contacted local rescues (all full of course), friends, but no good match was found in the timeline that we were given which sadly was short but understandable.
Hubby and I couldn't take her because we are currently not at home enough to monitor her interactions with our dogs and cats. If I weren't in school right now and could work a couple hours/stay home and work on training then it would be a different story.

In the meantime, if you pray please send prayers out to keep Robin safe. And if you don't - your good will and love is always appreciated.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Soothing Sore Dog Throats

Kennel Cough in Dogs

*DzDogs is not a veterinarian or animal health expert, please seek veterinary care before attempting to treat your animal yourself.*

See these dogs? Guess what they picked up at daycare last week? Yup, kennel cough.

Poor lazy, sick dogs..

Don't let this picture fool you! They actually feel fine, they are up and about as if nothing is wrong and driving me crazy because I can't take them outside.

On Friday (2 days after daycare) Ziva began hacking like she had something stuck in her throat - a possibility since she had just been munching on a cow hoof. So we watched her, and everything seemed fine. Well then every time she got active she would begin to cough, not too bad just a bit - always sounding like something was in her throat.

On Saturday Dante started coughing, hacking, and wheezing like he couldn't get enough air in his lungs, very scary! But just as quickly as it started it went away, he had maybe 2 episodes that night. We figured call the vet on Monday and look for the symptoms online. Aside from a couple episodes each, they weren't displaying any signs of fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite and I hate dealing with emergency vets.

Both Dante and Ziva are vaccinated against Kennel Cough but that is not a guarantee that they won't still get it because it is both a viral & bacterial infection and their are many different strains.

It's called Kennel Cough because it is common in dogs that are kept in places like boarding kennels, animal shelters, grooming salons, and other places where large amounts of dogs are kept in close quarters. But it is also called "Tracheobronchitis".

Symptoms of Kennel Cough include:

  • hacking, dry/harsh gagging noises as if something is stuck in the throat (honking noises)
  • wheezing
  • eye discharge
  • and sometimes a bit of nasal discharge
In mild cases - Kennel Cough does not affect your dog's activity levels or appetite. Symptoms appear within a week, and may last 10 days, however your dog remains contagious for potentially weeks thereafter! Lets hope not in our case!

Severe Kennel Cough can cause high fever and eventually lead to pneumonia if not caught early. In puppies and senior dogs this can be fatal so please see your vet!

Monday - I called the vet and sure enough she said that over the phone it sounds like a dead ringer for Kennel Cough. Well Monday's are our normal daycare days, ugh so this means no daycare and the poor pups get locked indoors because the cold aggravates the coughing, and I would have to get my friend to come over in the afternoon for a potty break because it's my long day.
Hubby and I decided not to bring the dogs into the vets office, they aren't bad enough to warrant antibiotics and since it is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS we didn't want to risk any dogs who might be in the waiting room. Hubby and I made the decision that since they are both young and healthy we will just wait it out at home for now and watch them like hawks. If the symptoms get worse we'll take them in.

Most veterinarians treat Kennel Cough similar to a common cold in humans. Let the virus run it's course and keep stress levels down. In serious cases antibiotics are prescribed - not something I want to do unless we absolutely have to do.

So now our dogs are under house arrest.

Inmate #1 - Dante, breed: boxer mix, gender: male, age: 2.5 years.

Inmate #2 - Ziva, breed: American Pit Bull Terrier, gender: female, age: 22 months.

  • No Hard Exercise
  • No staying out in the cold
  • No being around other dogs
  • Lots of rest, relaxation, and hydration

At Home Sore Throat Soother

1 tsp. of Honey
2 tsp. of Organic Coconut Oil

Microwave your honey for about 5-10 seconds, you want it just warm enough to melt the coconut oil when you mix the two together. Mix, and serve!
3-4 Times a day or as needed for coughing.

Honey - soothes the throat but it is also antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and it also has anti-fungal properties!

Coconut Oil - Benefits HERE Coconut Oil is amazing in itself to the point where a while back I dedicated a whole post to it. Check it out!

Please watch out if you go looking online, some recipes for sore throat soothers recommend lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar - both of these are very acidic and high levels of acid is bad for dog tummies.

Stay Warm & Healthy Friends!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow What?!

Spring Is Here?

I've gotta admit, i'm a little jealous!! Everyone else has snow but us! I was looking forward to our first season of skijoring, nope no snow..I was looking forward to snowshoeing because we had sooo much fun last year, nope no snow...

Just lots of sunshine!! *insert evil laugh..* HAHAHA!

Phooey! Oh well... Anyways, here are some flash back's to last year's wonderful cold whiteness!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lookout Point Reservoir

Lookout Point Reservoir, 
Lane County Oregon

We found a great new place to take the pups!!

Hubby has recently taken up trail running, he loves it, it gets him outside to enjoy the weather rain or shine, he gets his exercise in, and he can decompress from the day to day stresses that in our life consist mainly of work.
One of the trails we hit.

Sometimes he takes a dog or two, but this can be kind of tricky being that he run's on trails that are usually one person wide. 

One dogs means he can Canicross. He wrote an awesome guest post about Canicrossing, you should check it out!

Well recently he decided to take the car a bit farther than he normally does and sure enough he wasn't disappointed, he found a great new place to take our pups!

Right now this particular reservoir is low, in preparation for the rainy season. Don't worry it'll hit us - this reservoir is backup to prevent flooding. By Summer time the reservoir will be completely full, we are never short of water!

So yesterday we got home from work, packed up the dogs and hit the road! I dropped hubby and Dante off at a trail head about 5.5 miles from the lake parking lot and they took off Canicross style!

Meanwhile Ziva and I decided to go on a hiking adventure in the reservoir, play fetch, and work on her off-leash manners.

See the tree line on the left? The water will reach that point at it's highest!
Of course Ziva is a gem off-leash! She stays right by my side, the whole time. And since I could see so far in all directions I felt pretty good about throwing her ball a long ways! We also had fun getting up onto all the stumps and logs. A reservoir really is a different kind of beautiful.

After their run Dante and daddy met back up with us.

Tons of room!

Grab button for Pet Parade Blog Hop

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Not a Werewolf

Dog's Are Not Werewolves.

One thing I've noticed in owning a bully is that I have inadvertently entered myself into a fight. I always knew that their were stereotypes and stigma's against pit bull type dogs but I had never been caught in the thick of it before.

Currently this poor category of dogs is the center of attention for dog bite and horror stories. The news media likes to highlight the tormented souls who act out based upon what life has dealt them and it is not fair. Lets be honest, who is really the problem? Dog's don't just bite for no reason, dogs don't just "snap" or "turn". You don't one day have a perfectly balance family dog, and the next day a killer.

Just this week I had a lady tell me, "Be careful, sometimes they just change." Change? Into what? A killer? A chameleon? A cat? I've never heard of this before, is it a new phenomena?

"Look ma! I'm a bullyfly!"
Recently we were at our local pet store picking up a few supplies, hubby and I brought both dogs because it is a great place to work on distraction training, for Dante and threshold training for Ziva. We expect our dogs to walk nicely on a leash, they can greet people only if the person wants to meet them - no randomly attempting to harass a stranger into giving love. We ask that they ignore other dogs and walk past nicely unless of course the owner want's his dog to meet either Dante or Ziva and even that depends on how well our pups are behaving! If Dante can't control his crazy insane levels of excitement, then sorry he doesn't get to say hi this time and I tell the other human, "Sorry we're training." If he's being good then he may say hello.

Well our last time we visited the store, I was walking Ziva and approached by a woman who said, "Wow, beautiful dog!" She wanted to say hello and so I let Ziva give kisses and we stayed to chat a while. The conversation always starts out the same, "I love dogs...yada yada.." And then it takes a darker note, "I knew a pit bull once. It had to be put down because one day it just "turned" and bit someone, what a shame it had always been such a nice dog. I would never own a pit bull because of how unpredictable they are."

I am a bully mama. 
It doesn't matter where I go in the social media world, this topic is highly fought over. Often times I don't bother to waste my time responding to haters. What's that saying, "Haters gonna hate!" I'm more interested in honestly changing peoples minds. It's our job to be the best bully ambassadors that we can be!

Bully breeds are just dogs.
Like any other breed they have breed tendencies, high energy, big exercise requirement, chewers, stubborn nature, naturally protective, natural prey drive, etc... But really they are just dogs.
I like the challenge of owning a bully, they are powerful, gentle lovable big babies.
Owning any dog is a responsibility, owning a bully breed you are contributing either positively or negatively to the breed image which is already damaged. It is your job to socialize, train, and work with your dog so that they are well balanced and a pleasure to meet.

However just like any other breed, they get grumpy, tired, have their good and bad days and people should be forgiving!

Ziva has been bit a couple times, never broken the skin thankfully but can you blame her for her fear reactivity issues? The first incidence it was a mastiff with resource guarding issues at a dog park, another time by a blue heeler that is a grumpy old lady, a third time at daycare - according to the handlers she just walked past and the other dog was having "a moment", wrong place wrong time.

Funny though how people are more willing to forgive other breeds for bad behavior, but not bullies.. "Oh no! Put them down! They can't be trusted ever again!"

Dogs are not Werewolves, they don't just "turn".
Boy does that get my blood boiling! I politely but firmly explained to the woman - they are just like any other dog, no dog just "snaps", or "turns" on his family. They don't just randomly go through a blood lust where they attack a human or another dog. A bite is always for a reason: resource guarding, food aggression, abuse, etc.
And then not even 10 minutes later I bumped into a man with the same story - "great dog, then one day..."

I've already talked about this in a few places, if you are new to my blog I would love if you check out some facts about bullies:
History of American Pit Bull Terriers
What is BSL? No Such Breed as a "Pit Bull".
Common Pit Bull Myths

Saturday, February 14, 2015

To My Valentines

A Letter To My Valentines,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rest Day for Dogs

Our Long Week
Fit Dog Friday!

Hubby and I love to exercise, although I must admit this school term has been really hard on me. I haven't been able to exercise as much as I would like, my homework is hard and doesn't seem to stop in it's constant flow. I leave the house early and come home in the dark - this is why we're doing doggy daycare for this term at least! The lack of exercise and the stress is starting to catch up, I always joke that I exercise so that I can eat what I want - it's not really a joke...  I love to eat good food, I love to cook, hubby loves to cook... You get the idea.
Anyways, I've been making an extra effort to get moving again, sometimes it means that I'm up later than I'd like, or heading to bed early without cleaning but you do what you gotta do. The dogs on the other hand, we never fail to exercise them. Or else they'd go crazy!

Over the weekend - We visited my grandma, she has a huge fenced in field so of course we ran the dogs through the mud and the muck! It was doggy heaven of course.

Monday - Doggy daycare, they always come home exhausted. This Monday though another dog decided he had an issue and he attacked Ziva! The handlers saw the whole thing and said she didn't do anything wrong or inappropriate, she was minding her own business when BAM! He hit! Do you know what they said?  "She didn't even fight him back! She's such a sweetheart, and not a fighter."
My Ziva?! My previously reactive little princess, didn't fight back?! Way to go girl! Well the adrenaline dump hit her hard, and so of course she came home maybe more tired than usual. Thankfully he didn't break skin or hurt her.

Tuesday - No daycare, the pups stayed home and rested. In the afternoon we came home, grabbed them, and headed out to one of our favorite spots to do some trail/hill running for an hour. Ziva doesn't have a harness yet for canicross so she isn't allowed to pull like Dante so she ran with me while Dante did a hard run with dad.  Then bathtime and bedtime.

Wednesday -  Doggy daycare, pick up the pups, grab dinner and head off to agility practice! Ziva did great! We did tunnels, chutes, and tire jumps! At the end of class though she started growling at little noises - her cue to me that she is way tired.

Thursday - Doggy rest day.

Friday - That would be today...i'm  thinking a nice walk is in order so that we can be fresh to run some more hills tomorrow. Oh and we need to keep practicing our circle work, so maybe i'll do that when I get home.

Remember though, rest is important for dogs too! They need time for their bodies to recover from strenuous exercise just like any other athlete.

FitDog Friday

Thursday, February 12, 2015

House Rules

House Rules
  • Rule #1: No Running in the House! Just like many parents before me...we try to keep the crazy outside. Running means getting kicked outside to go play.
  • Rule #2: No Horsing around on the Furniture - please see rule #1.
  • Rule #3: Inside Voices Please. Yes bark/holler when someone is at the door parents like being notified of friends or strangers. But please let our guests in the house and then stop yelling. Dante likes to "HUFF", it is how he greets people but some people find this a bit scary. He's a large dog and even though he's wiggling all over the place and not jumping, his "HUFFING" can be a bit intimidating. "Yes Dante, we get it. You said 'hi', and they love you too."

  • Rule #4: No Dessert unless you eat your dinner. Not even a snack! 
And don't you try to change my mind!
  • Rule #5: Please wipe your feet before coming inside. Legs and tails too if you're all wet!

  • The Cats Rule: And don't you forget it. Of course they won't let you either!
"Mer says' this is my spot, now you move along!"

Did I miss anything? What are the rules if any at your house?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Agility Practice at Home - Part III

Agility Part III

In case you missed it!
Agility Part II - Patience
Agility Part IV - Terminology

As promised, we finally made some videos of us practicing!
I was hoping for a sunnier weekend to get some practice in at the field near our house but alas the rain has not let up much, and we received a wind storm to boot! Thankfully we don't mind the storms, in fact it is kind of fun to just curl up in the house, watch a movie, drink wine, and listen to it howl.

We did however have a few minutes of no rain, for fear of sinking deep into the depths of the mud pit we call a field on dryer days we ended up practicing on the street in front of our house.

Just so you know - our street is very safe, it is not a through street and so any cars are residents who live nearby or visitors. It's a long straight stretch and so we can see both directions down the street and have plenty of time to move if we need to.

Here we are practicing, "dig, dig!" This command is used to teach a dog to take a jump and then a tight circle around the jump wing to then return to your side for the next obstacle during an agility trial. She digs in and goes a lot faster when we are in the grass, but unfortunately my yard is also a muddy mess and it's sloped which is no fun for her to practice circles on.

Tight Circle Work

Here we are practicing, "touch". I use this command as a pay attention and look at me command. It helps to break her focus on other objects because it is always followed by a HUGE reward such as a favorite treat or her ball. This command helped us a lot during her fear reactivity phase, we used it to regain her focus when she became distracted by a dog.


We practice off-leash because in agility the dog run's free except for the walk to and from the agility ring. You have to practice this, you can't just start agility without a basic level of training. As you can see though I have a slip leash across my shoulders just in case. Generally speaking though Ziva is golden off-leash because we practice with her so frequently.

She doesn't bolt, stays right by my side, and if she wanders her recall is excellent. Her threshold is much higher than it used to be - What is Threshold Training HERE, My Reactive Ziva 

Our trainer requires new dog/handler teams to take her basic obedience class and a shaping behaviors class before you are allowed to start agility.

Ziva is familiar with shaping and understands the value of a click from my clicker. I use the clicker and yummy treats in the beginning phase of training a new trick and then quickly switch to hand signals and her ball. Why?

Ziva moves slower and pays closer attention to me when I am using treats. As soon as her tennis ball comes out her excitement level increases, her attention drops just a smidge, and she moves a lot faster. The tennis ball is the HIGHEST reward, and she will work really hard to get it.
This is a huge advantage during training, because in agility we want her to move fast! But in the initial training of a new behavior the ball is a little too much and she becomes more easily frustrated so I have to be careful to only use it when she is grasping a new concept.

Adding Distractions
Once a concept is grasped we start to practice in different environments with different levels of distraction. This particular session was extremely distracting for the both of us! With the break in the weather all the neighbor kids were out, 5 to be exact all of elementary school age. They were running, skateboarding, playing basketball, and being noisy.
But the hardest part?  They love Dante and Ziva! So of course they had to come over and wanted to try giving Ziva commands too! Unfortunately for them, I can't allow that. They aren't consistent enough and would mess up my hard work. But I did say they could watch from the sidewalk, and told them that when we were done they could toss her the ball a few times.
Of course watching meant staying the distance I asked but running circles around the trees like Ziva was doing around the bucket, screaming "dig, dig!", and blowing whistles!  Ugh... But it was great practice! Ziva was a champ at ignoring them, she had eyes only for me! And maybe the ball...

During our practice time, the hubby worked on recall with Dante out in the field. Dante has been ignoring us lately when we say, "Come". So we've gone back to high value treats and the basics to brush him up on his recall. After they were done the hubby helped me by filming.

We also like to train new tricks just for fun. Here are a few more!



I hope you enjoyed our training videos!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Our First Award!

An Award? For Us?
Thank you!

We are very honored to have been chosen for this Liebster Award by our good friends over at Walks With Rama!


By accepting this award we agree to answer 11 questions given to us by the blogger who nominated us, as well as list 11 random facts about us/our blog. We must then nominate 3-11 bloggers that have less than 3000 followers and provide 11 questions for them to answer.

11 Questions Rama's Mama asked us:

1.   What is your ultimate vision for your blog and has it changed since you started?   I started this blog as a way to chronicle our journey and all the fun adventures we go on with our dogs. I think I want my blog to just continue as is, I write about what is on my mind, what we are learning, and provide tips that I feel help other dog owners. Ultimately I want this blog to be a valuable resource for my readers regarding dog behavior, and a fun place for people to be inspired to get more involved with their dogs in all that they do.

2.   If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?  If I could do anything in the world, I would want to be making a living while working with dogs. THAT WOULD BE UTTERLY HEAVEN! I would love it if I could bring Dante and Ziva to work with me, I've been trying to convince my boss that a dog bed would fit nicely under my desk but so far no luck.

3.   What is your blogging routine? Same place? Same time? My blogging routine varies, I squeeze it in as much as I can. I try to first catch up with comments, then hit my reader and comment on other blogger's pages, and then try to get my post out. Right now with me finishing up school I have a hard time dedicated a specific time to blogging.    

4.   Does your dog have a favorite treat?   
 Oh yes! Dante would say, "Cheese! More Cheese!" He loves cheddar cheese best, but mozzarella is also a wonderful thing. Ziva also loves cheese but she much prefers a nice tasty piece of chicken! I call her my little piranha baby because although she is gentle with taking treats she has these beautiful sharp little teeth that always make me check my fingers when I get them back. During agility if she gets really excited she tends to take treats a bit rougher and that can hurt. Dante and Ziva also love haunting me while i'm cooking, they have a rug they like to lay on because it gives them a competitive advantage - they get to pretend they aren't begging by lying there and waiting for things to hit the floor.    And trust me...I drop a lot!  
Our Groundbird Pack!

5.   What is your favorite pet product? Favorite pet product by a long shot is our Backpack from Groundbird Gear, go check them out! They are custom made, by a wonderful lady here in the U.S. she does thru hiking and is very careful about weight distribution, proper fit, and making sure the packs are super durable and don't chafe. Dante's favorite pet product though would have to be his Kong, and Ziva loves a good old tennis ball.  

6.   What do you like most about your blog? I love that I have a working chronicle of what we have done, tons of fun pictures, and I can see how much we've improved in different areas. For example, Dante - his picky eating and allergy issues, we got those figured out! Crate training - done! Ziva eating her bed...well we'll see but I think she's almost ready to try again!

7.   If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? This is hard, I love Oregon we have mountains, desert, forest wilderness, ocean beaches, lakes, rivers, lots of hiking...I would probably stay here but move to Bend Oregon. Bend has more variation than the Willamette Valley which is where we are now. Their hot's are hotter, and colds are colder. I hate all the foggy grayness we get here every year. However having driven across the US I have got to say Tennessee was another favorite state, it was absolutely gorgeous with rolling hills and windy rivers. My only problem is that I'm not a fan of big bugs. 

8.   Are you a neat-freak or slightly cluttered? I used to be a neat-freak, now i'm a broken down neat-freak. I've given up! Two dogs, two cats, dirt getting tracked in all the time...I do my best but try not to stress out over mud and hair anymore. I keep telling myself it'll get better.

9.   Will you be attending the Blogpaws 2015 convention? Sadly no, not this year but i'd like to go in the future! Maybe 2016 will be our year!

10.   What is one of your favorite things to do? I love to just be outside, the hubby used to joke that it was time to, "Walk the wife." So hiking with the dogs is definitely a favorite, I like going where there is little to no traffic so that I can just enjoy being outside and relax in the peace of it all.

11.   Do you have an unusual hobby? Oh yes! The hubby and I love to make our own infused alcohol! I love the European lifestyle, a glass of wine with every meal would be perfect but I also love making my own margarita's, cosmos, and other random fruity creations. We're purists, everything is high quality, and no drink mixers. We press our own juice for the drinks, muddle when necessary, shake or blend, and just generally life is a party at our house! We keep telling Dante though that he has to wait until he's 21 - he seems to think we should share even though I keep telling him he's too young. I also love to bake!  Alton Brown is my inspiration, I love his recipes.

11 Random Facts about Us!

1.   Dante & Ziva are not scared of lightning, thunder, fireworks, or gun shots. We can't take any credit, we didn't teach them anything - it's just never bothered them!

2.   Dante loves to play with empty paper towel rolls!

3.   I have a betta on my desk at work, his name is Sammy.

4.  I'm a huge fan of old Jazz standards, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby are some of my favorites! I also love watching Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis shows.

5.  Before we had Dante and Ziva the hubby and I did kitty rescue, we had permission from our apartment manager to work on the kitty population in our complex. The hubby and I all on our own, spayed and released the feral cats in our area - the kittens that we caught and the tame kitties we found loving homes for. In total I think we helped 15 cats.

6.  Ziva - is Hebrew for radiant and bright, we though it was a perfect name for her because when we first saw her she was smiling.

7.  Dante - means steadfast and enduring. I loved the name personally because it is a strong name, the hubby loves it because it is a favorite book character - Edmund Dante from the Count of Monte Cristo.

8.   Ziva hates riding up front in the car, I think she hates car rides in general. She gets in just fine then immediately lays down for the whole ride.

9.   My sister used to stay with us about 1-2 times a month and the dogs got used to sleeping with her, now they think that they get to sleep with any guest who spends the night.

10.  We are huge Walking Dead and Dr. Who fans!

11.   When Ziva gets annoyed during training, she'll click her teeth at me. If i'm ignoring her and listening to our instructor during agility then she'll flop onto her back and look at me upside down with all her legs straight up in the air. She's such a drama queen!

Here are our nominees! In no particular order:

Kelly's Dog Blog - Jedi the German Shepard

Oh My Dog!


Tiffany's Diamond Dogs

Groundbird Gear Blog

Here are our Questions for the nominees! 

1.   What is your most memorable trip with your dogs?
2.   If you could take your dogs anywhere in the world where would you go?
3.   What is is that attracted you to your dog's particular breed if anything?
4.   What is your favorite pet product?
5.   Does your dog sleep with you? On their own bed? Crate? Kennel? Couch?
6.   What is the purpose of your blog? And has it changed since you first began writing?
7.   How would you describe your personality?
8.   What is your favorite doggy game?
9.   What is your number one talent that sets you apart from the rest of your "pack"?
10.  What is your ultimate dream come true?
11.  Does your dog have a favorite treat or toy?

Should you accept this award, you'll need to know the rules, which are:

1. Acknoledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.
2. Copy & Paste the Liebster logo onto your own blog.
3. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
4. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
5. List 11 facts about yourself.
6. Nominate and link to 3 - 11 other blogs you love that have less than 3000 followers.
7. List 11 questions for your Award nominees on your blog.
8. Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on your blog.
9. Post the rules to be followed!

I can't wait to see what everyone has to say!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Power of Patience - Agility Part II

Agility Part II

Agility Continued:
Part 1
Part 3

Want to have a wonderful relationship with your dog filled full of success, trust, love, and a bond that will last throughout time? Then you better be patient!

I must confess i'm not always the most patient person in the world, I get frustrated sometimes because I occasionally take it personally when Ziva isn't understanding what i'm asking of her.
But this doesn't help anything, in fact it can damage your relationship if you are taking your frustration out on your dog. They don't deserve that. 

Hubby with his partner in crime! Ziva loves muddy canicross adventures!

Your dog is your partner, remember that they want to please, and if you both aren't having fun then you should stop and go find something fun to do! And then go back to training later when you have a clear mind.

I find it sad when I run into people who would rather abuse their dog than spend a few minutes a day practicing a behavior. If this is you - then you shouldn't have the dog.

Agility Update!
Agility so far is going great! Ziva has taken to the tunnels just fine, she's done a couple small jumps - again no problem there! This last week we also learned the chute, and we're continuing to practice tight circles around an object, and running large circles on whatever side I ask her to be on.

Other things to work on, "two on" front feet on an object, "two off" back feet only on an object, and pivots!

Whew....sound like a big enough list?

She has "two on" really well, her back feet are a bit more of a challenge. Our instructor said it best, dogs aren't used to using just their back feet. They operate the front, and the back just happen to follow along wherever the front feet go!
Rear end awareness is important for advanced tricks, agility, and obedience competition. For example in agility Ziva needs to be able to run up an A frame and then stop on the other side with her front paws in the dirt, back paws on the ramp.

As for Dante, he's getting off easy! We do normal training with him, "heel", "come", "sit", "stay", "back", "let go". I want to get more involved with his training but I need to clear one thing off my plate first - that one thing is school. I'm so excited to graduate in June! I'll be done FOREVER!!  And then I can focus more time to Dante's trick training, Ziva's agility, and hopefully start agility training with Dante.

Here is Dante practicing, "Back Up", and "Let Go."

Hopefully this weekend the weather will cooperate so that I can record a couple videos of Ziva practicing and you can see what we've been working on!

In the mean times, I'd like to show you a couple blog buddies that I find very inspiring. They have spent countless hours on their dogs and have developed a strong bond through their training.

I'd like to show you something...that I'm hoping will inspire you to work with your dogs.
Here is the end result of a lot of patience and training.

And Zoe - From ZoePhee

Patience and practice.

Heart Like a Dog, Thankful Thursday Weekly Blog Hop, pet centric

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