Monday, September 27, 2010

Maggie says that maybe puppies aren't so bad

Here's what I found a couple of weeks ago when I was a bit delayed following the corgis down the hall for bedtime.  Rip decided not to go into his crate.  He thought he'd snuggle with his dog-nanny, Maggie, instead.

Maggie seemed just fine with the situation.

Things went back to normal for a couple of weeks (normal defined as Maggie's only interaction with Rip being that of reprimanding him).  Then this morning, as the Ziggy & Rip were wrestling, Maggie decided to join in.  Needless to say Rip was a bit taken aback - he thought all the barking meant that he was in trouble.  The play didn't go much further.

It happened again after dog dinnertime this evening.  The boys were wrestling, and Maggie was nearby barking her encouragement.  Then she darted in for a bit of play herself.  It soon turned into a full-blown corgi frap-a-thon with 3 corgis running up and down the hall, barking.  It was a fun (albeit very noisy) sight to behold!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rip's Pupdate - 16 weeks old

I can't believe Rip was 16 weeks old last week!

Some highlights from the week:


The Husband and Rip had week 2 of puppy class.  I asked if Rip was the star (this IS what I expect, after all).  Apparently that's not the case.  I'm blaming it on the handler.

I continue to work with Rip on obedience and foundations for agility.  We also started on the beginnings of clicker training this week (click = treat).  He continues to be a clever little dog.


Unfortunately, Rip's ears have flopped again.  Sigh.  They had ~10 days of upright loveliness, then, suddenly, we're back to horizontal ears.  Today I resigned myself to another round of taping, and put the ears back in tape.  I'm using duct tape on each ear - reinforced with breathe-right strips.  No crown at the moment.


From yesterday....

Here's what happens when a puppy has 2 walks, some training, a soccer game, and frapping time in one day.

He just couldn't go any further...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What to buy, conformation people?

As you can tell from my blog, thus far I've been a "performance person."  I have pretty much every imaginable bit of stuff one needs to do dog agility, obedience & rally.  Teeters, tunnels, utility articles, etc.

What I don't have is "conformation stuff."  Since Rip is supposed to be a conformation dog, I guess I should get some of that.

So my questions for all of you conformation folks:

What dog stuff can't you live without?
What websites do you shop at?
What other stuff do I need to show in conformation, too?

To give you an idea where I'm at, I don't even have a grooming table....

Thanks in advance for your help.  And if The Husband is reading this, I promise to sell some stuff on eBay to get the money to pay for it all :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The killer and the idiot

Do you ever feel like scenes from your life could easily be added into a sitcom?  Lately this is happening to me more than I care to admit.

Here's a recent example:

First, let's introduce the characters in the sitcom:

The killer:

The idiot:
(yes, the idiot is the human in the picture - me)

The story:

It was a lovely, sunny Sunday morning in Iowa.  The Child was watching yet another episode of The Magic Schoolbus, so I snuck outside to the deck in my pajamas with a latte and the Sunday paper.  Ah, a relaxing weekend morning.  

I was happily reading the paper, and the dogs were wandering around the yard or laying in the sun.  Life is good.

Then Rip started to root around in the bark near the deck.  Maggie and Ziggy joined in.  I peered over the edge of the deck and saw a little shrew run into the hosta.  Rip ran after it.  There was a couple of squeaks (from the shrew) and Rip trotted out proudly carrying a small, dead, grey shrew.  

I set my coffee down and walked down the steps, telling Rip to "leave it."  This works wonders with Maggie and Ziggy - I say "leave it" and whatever was in their mouth gets rapidly expelled.  Unfortunately I haven't taught Rip this command yet, so he merely looked at me, stuck his tail in the air, and proudly trotted off with the shrew.

Would Rip eat the shrew?  I didn't know, so I decided to go get it from him.  I got close, and he smugly and cheekily trotted just out of reach. I was worried that he would eat the shrew, and not fully caffeinated (my excuse for what happened next), so I didn't want to leave him alone to go inside and get dog treats to use as an "exchange" for the shrew.  

I know that chasing dogs doesn't work.  Chasing after a dog means they'll merrily run away, and enjoy the "mom's  chasing me" game.  I tried running away from Rip to see if he'd drop the shrew and follow.  He followed, but didn't drop his prize, and stayed just out of reach.    

Then I thought to myself, "he's just a puppy, how fast can he be? I'll just catch him."  So when he got close, I tried to grab him.  He ran.  So I ran after him.  He may be quicker on the turn, but surely I'm faster than a puppy when running in a straight line?  Wrong.  

I soon found myself running around my back yard - barefoot and in my PJ's - trying to catch a puppy with a shrew.  Of course I had no success, then I pictured how I must look to my neighbors (and that picture was not a pretty one).  

Finally I regained my sanity (maybe the caffeine kicked in?), stopped chasing the puppy, and ran into the house to get some marrow bones I was thawing.  I gave bones to M & Z, making a big deal of it.  Of course the puppy ran up to me, smelled the bone, and dropped the shrew at my feet.  

Wasn't that easy?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ears - things are looking up

Finally, some progress on the ears!

Here's what I had when I untaped them on Saturday:

And another shot of Rip's ears-up cuteness:

The left ear looks great - it stands up really well.  Unfortunately, the right ear sometimes flopped and folded back weirdly, so he's back in the tape.

A boxer (dog breeder) friend of mine says she sometimes uses breathe-right strips to keep ears from folding.  I bought a box, and am thinking of giving it a go next time I have to re-tape.  Have any of you every tried it?  

Friday, September 10, 2010

I go away on a business trip....

... and look what happens:

What's that noise in the family room? And, hey, where's the puppy?

Nothing to see here.  Move along.

Don't bother me.  Can't you see I'm busy?

Fearsome tissue box destroyed. 
The home is safe now.

It's a good thing I'm headed home tomorrow.

BTW - no fun travel posts from this trip.  Domestic travel combined with 12+ hours a day of meetings isn't fun enough to share with others....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rip's Pupdate - week 4

Rip is getting bigger, and continues to be a "vibrant" addition to our household.  By vibrant I really mean wild.  Joyful, smiley, and happy - but wild.

A worn out puppy after a day of play.  

Here are some updates:


It was a busy week for all of us this week, so Rip didn't get out on the town as much as I'd like.  Tonight Ziggy, Rip and I went to training night at the local dog center.  He got to meet a few new people - and visit again with a few people he's already met.  My training friends are a good mix of gender and age, which is good for socialization.

One of my training friends commented that Rip really has confidence and "presence."  She says he should really catch the judge's eye.  Another of my friends commented that he has no idea what Rip's face looks like, because he's always in motion :)


Rip is a happy, happy, bouncy, food-loving joy to train.  We continue to work on name recognition, and "puppy" fronts, heeling, recalls, sits, downs, and stands.  He's also learning twist and spin (turning counterclockwise and clockwise), as well as tugging and retrieving.  He's got the nose touch down really well.

This week we also did a bit of agility in the yard.  I set up the expen so Rip could watch Maggie and Ziggy doing agility.  He was KEEN to try it himself, so I sent him over a couple of jump poles that were down on the ground.  Maggie also taught him to run through the tunnel.  Tonight we went on the agility pause table.  No problem.  He's a brave and game little dog.


His ears continue to be a challenge.  I look on with envy at all of his littermates with their upright ears.  Of course I got the puppy with the challenging ears.  Trial by fire, and all.

So here's where we are:

Left ear UP!!  Only a small fold at the base.
Right ear - working it's way up but still very "foldy"

As a result, here's what he looks like most of the time:

Lovely princess crown.  
In this pic he's staring at the cat who's on the top stair - trying to will him closer, I think.

I'm using duct tape over masking tape.  He has moleskin in right ear (otherwise it folds in the tape).  Thanks to too much wrestling with his brother, I replace the tape every ~36 hours.  Sigh.  On the upside, I'm getting better at taping (of course starting from zero I hope that's the case).  Rip takes the un-taping and re-taping like a trooper.  Good boy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Today I Cared

Today was our local United Way's Day of Caring.  My department/division at work encourages us to volunteer for the day, and we don't even have to take a vacation day!

I chose to volunteer at a local women's health clinic, making baby blankets that are given to expectant mothers when they're close to giving birth.  I spent the day cutting blankets out of fleece.  My fellow cutter was a horse person, so we had fun conversations about horses and dogs.

I also had a moment of inspiration, and asked if I could take home the long, skinny pieces of fleece that were left over when we cut out the blankets.  They were going in the trash, but I had a better idea...

Dog toys!

Here's what I've made so far:

2 "jellyfish" toys (the two on the left):
they have extra long handles on them so they can be drug around for dogs to chase

2 braids - one thin, one thick.  Good for chewing and tugging.

Why make so many dog toys?

Because Ziggy likes to stop playing a lot sooner than Rip does.
I hope this prevents the destruction of other small, cloth items by one little puppy.

I still have a LOT of fabric left - hopefully it will last me through puppy-hood.  I also think it's appropriate that the fabric is all baby-themed - though Rip doesn't seem to care.  

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