Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

from Stella and her foster boyfriend, Antonio.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Muffin and Tony

We met Muffin back when the fair was here in town. She's a cross between a King Charles Spaniel and a Bichon Frise and she lives on North American Midway Entertainment's living lot. She loves to ride in the trucks and is also a big fan of the Euroslide. She likes to run up (I assume) part of the way and then slides back down. Tony, her owner says she listens to everybody but him.

We know the feeling Tony.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Stella made it out to Oktoberfest a couple of weeks ago where she was able to charm a whole new crew of admirers. It was really too big a crowd and she was overstimulated (probably by the smell of brats and other roasted meaty delicacies. She kept diving under people and food tents to get some little bite of bread they dropped or licking God-knows-what off the pavement. It was pretty exhausting and I was mad from trying to hold her back all day. This weekend is Barktoberfest. Not sure if we're going to make it there or not. Honestly it would be a lot more attractive if they would include something for the humans there too. Fifteen minutes of organic dog treats and useless swag and I'm pretty much ready to go home. We may go just to check out the costumes though. Could be fun.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cutting out the middle man

Here are a couple of stray shots I forgot to include in the last post. Believe it or not, that little duck appeared to be teasing Diesel. It kept coming back to us for the better part of an hour. I guess it gets pretty boring just floating around on the lake. Of course Diesel might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says Rookie on it so maybe it just couldn't resist.

Water Racer

So you don't have a fenced in yard and your dog is unpredictable around strange dogs and his recall isn't what it should be or will be and you have to find a way to drain the energy out of him in order to (as some famous dog trainers might say..) make a clear path to his mind.. So what do you do?

Well, our choices are somewhat limited but the best thing I've found so far involves a lake and a tennis ball. Let it be known that our friend Diesel is a little bit obsessed with the ball under most circumstances but after a few swims, his demeanor is much more relaxed. He begins to "drop it" automatically. This gives me the opportunity to "catch" the behavior and name it for him. Over and over and over again until he is asleep sitting up in the back of my car.

At first he wouldn't swim at all. Then I explained the whole Labrador Retriever thing to him and an hour later, he was a pro.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Graduate

We got the certificate.
Diesel, formerly misunderstood, outside, chained to the doghouse, could've been a junkyard dog, Diesel - is officially a Pup Scout graduate. Many thanks to his teacher Jane and his anonymous sponsor and all the other pups and owners who graciously put up with us for nine weeks. We commend your brave spirits.

Up to the very last week, he/we had trouble getting into and out of the room where our class was. I mentioned at the beginning we had to pass through an agility training room filled with equipment and dogs each week. At this point in his fresh start - just opening the door to go into this room was like plugging him into a wall socket. He did (mostly) get used to being around the other dogs in class though and that part was very good. That's actually the biggest hurdle we faced and the reason I wanted to take him in the first place. It was established early on that he's some kind of boy genius. Smarter than I ever gave him credit for before. He learned to sit and lie down, stay and come and all of the basics on the first or second try. He's seriously food motivated though so if you don't have any in your hand - his responses vary, for now anyway. For some reason he blew off every trick I tried to teach him and didn't learn a single one, not even with Stella and her oh-so-theatrical demonstrations. We'll more than likely try again on some rainy day or save them for his future owner to work on.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Spike - yes that is his real name, he's awesome isn't he? - is indirectly related to Skippy. He's a Basset Hound - Golden Retriever mix Surely there's a clever name for that, a Goldenasset Hound maybe? Anyway, he lives on the lot with his extended family but likes to go over and visit his Aunt Pat at her motor home (two doors down) first thing each morning. Apparently she's the cool aunt. Check out the tail.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Skippy with Jean

Jean and her husband got Skippy from a breeder who gave him away for free. Apparently he was freakishly big to be considered sellable in the world of Yorkshire Terriers. Despite his AKC "birth defect" he may have ended up the luckiest of his litter mates, as he now travels all over the country with a loving family and has many more friends than most dogs could ever dream of.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Suburban Oddities

 My neighbors have an invisible fence. Their dogs charge us every day (up to a point).  Last Friday, they added a goat. I don't know if they just got tired of mowing the grass or what.  

Things I never said before I owned a dog:

"You can sleep in the bed when you learn to do laundry."

"Walk on the inside please. If one of us is going to get hit by a car, I want it to be me."

"If I come back in there and my bra is in your mouth, things are going to get ugly."

"I think it's time you got a job and started buying your own food."

"I didn't ask to go pee, you did. So pee."

"Stop barking. For God's sake, it's a goat."

Fred & Kelli

Fred and Kelli, living and working at the Tennessee State Fair, 2011