Saturday, February 28, 2009

Too Cute

Too Cute!  

But of course it didn't last too long.  Shaker was trying to take a snooze, and if the baby had just not been such a wiggle worm he probably would have stayed.  But she is a baby and babies are wiggle worms so Shaker Baby found another bed to sleep on.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Herding Instinct?

Is it possible for Ms. Ella to have a herding instinct already?  We already know that my boys can't be in the same room with me while I am mopping, but I thought "oh she's so little she'll leave the mop alone." Right?  WRONG!

I sprayed down a section of the floor and here's how the dialogue went.

Me:  Where's the spray bottle?  Then I see the little squirt walking away with the bottle of Bona.

Me: Ella drop it.  No response so I proceed to open her little 10 week old jaw and retrieve my floor cleaner.  Then I return to mop.

Ella:  Bark Bark Bark (I can only assume it was "give me back my toy right now")

Me: Ella shhhhhh. Then I start to mop.

Ella: Bark Bark Bark tug pull.  (Again only an assumption but I think "Oh this is way better than the squirt bottle")

Me: Ella that will do.

Ella: Bark Bark Tug Pull and add a shake.

Me: This will not do you are going in a crate.

Ella: from the crate: Bark Bark Bark Bark  (Given her tone I can only assume that she said "I was ugly and my mother dressed me funny!")

Oh my ears are still ringing.

I'm Ella

Hi!  My name is Davenitch's Someone to Watch Over Me FB and they call me Ella.  My mom says it's Ella because she loves Ella Fitzgerald.  Mom played the song for me--she really seemed to enjoy it but I would rather chew something.  You can learn a whole bunch of things that my Mom and other people thing are important about me from Cindy at Foggy Bottom, but again I would rather chew something than write that junk.

So here's what I think is important...

1) I like to chew bones
2) I like to chew on my brothers
3) I like to chew shoes
4) I like to chew stuffed toys
5) I like to chew quarter posters
6) I like to chew computer cords--boy that one gets a reaction
7) I like to eat my brothers food
8) I like to play hide and seek under the bed
9) I like to bark
10) I like to play with my peeps.

Okay I have to go play now.  Oops I almost forgot could someone please tell my Mom to quit picking me up to kiss, hug and smell my puppy breath--seriously I have things to chew.  Okay. Goody bye.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mischief Maker

Now does this look like the face of a mischief maker? Of course not! But she is! She took a bunch of toys under the bed today. I thought it was cute until I realized she was eating the corner of my son's quarter collection. Yep 10 yrs in the making while meticulously finding each quarter from both mints. (Hey for those of you who know Nick---Don't tell him. I can have it framed with a corner inset. )

Of course, I have sprayed the rockers with Bitter Yuck, but never would have thought to spray the sub woofer. But it is sprayed now.

Oh yes, I had it easy with Shaker (well in the house) he wasn't a mischief maker. Now Russ--well that's why the blog is called Cardi Capers! Oh we he gave me a run for my money!

Rhythms, Patterns and Processes

So with 4 dogs, I decided that I needed to have some rhythms, patterns, processes.  (Can ya tell that I am not only a Type A personality but used to be an administrator?)  But seriously, controlling chaos is important in my world.  

So socializing the puppy, rehabilitating Shaker, obedience with Russ, and praising Music for breathing are essentials.  Add into that feeding, walking, playtime, and oh ya keeping house and feeding a family and I need patterns, rhythms and processes.

Keeping that all in mind.  Yesterday I leashed up Ella and headed to town to begin my quest of her meeting 100 people and 100 dogs before she is 6 months old.  We made 3 stops and she was a trouper in all settings.  She let adults and children pet her without jumping on anyone.  She even let a couple of people I know well hold her.  She also met 6 or so dogs--some big, some small and she was great.

The only issue we had was with the leash--she hates it.  When the collar and leash were on she wouldn't move--sat like a rock.  Even my best zany goofy shuffle wasn't enough to entice her to move.  I had to carry her.

On the training front, we signed up for an advanced class for Russ and a puppy class for Ella.  I'll decide after tonight what class Shaker will next attend.

This morning Russ, Shaker and I went for our walk by the river.  

There is plenty of play time going on, so much so I decided that a rest period was going to be added to the day.  Not so much for the dogs but so I can get some things like dishes, laundry, and mopping done!

So all in all I think we are making progress toward rhythms, patterns and processes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

By Request....More Ella

There was some wagering going on last night about where Ella would sleep. You see I promised that if we got a fourth puppy, she would sleep in a crate and not on the already pretty full bed.

So here is the conversation that happened last night about 11:00om.

Ella's peep #1: Where is she going to sleep?
Ella's peep #2 (aka me): In a crate
Ella's peep #1: Will she be alright?
Ella's peep #2: Yes
Ella's peep #1: Will she miss her siblings?
Ella's peep #2: Yes
Ella's peep #1: How will she act?
Ella's peep #2: She’ll cry a bit, but she will be fine
Ella's Peep #1: Put her in bed with everyone. I don’t want to listen to a crying dog
Ella's peep#2 (aka me): Okay but it was your idea!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shaker Baby

Seriously Shaker Baby makes me laugh often and loud. This was this morning's laugh.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Turn Off the Music Please!

It was pointed out to me that Music barked a bit when she was at Camp Cindy. Okay I admit it I thought that it was just all the ducks, horses, and various other wild life that got her knickers in a knot. But apparently, it has more to do with hormones.

So my normally sweet, quiet Music is waltzing around giving every one her opinion about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. My ears are ringing. The only time she doesn't bark is when I have the camera on. I am beginning to think that it is worth the cost in batteries!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Will I Ever Learn

I spot Shaker Baby high tailing it down the hallway dragging my jeans.  My first thought was "what the heck?"  And then I remembered that I had garlic hot dogs from class last night.  Yesh when will I ever learn?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Whooooo Weeeee

You know what this is a picture of?  This is a picture of a good dog!

Shaker Baby and I completed the 7th day of the Relaxation Protocol (referenced earlier).  I did some puppy massage to calm him before I put him in his crate for class.  And off to class we went.

I did a little jaw massage before we headed in the building.  Another dog came out of the building as we were approaching and he got a little reactive but I got him turned around and redirected.  He calmed and we went in the building.  We made our usual stop by the fish and he was petted by his favorite Pets Mart people.

Then we walked around a bit more, and  stopped regularly to calm, focus or look.  Then it was time to go to class.  We walked into the training area with out incident.  He was alert and very aware of his surroundings but did not react.  When he looked at things, I said, "look" and treated--no reactions.  In fact he laid down several times and relaxed.  

When we were doing the long recalls with distractions, one of the puppies got a little excited and jumped on his face.  He didn't react.  Let me repeat that--he didn't react.  He just backed up and gave her a look of seriously you're an air head.  I stuffed him full of treats--seems to me it warranted a jackpot--and told him what a good puppy he was.

He was rock solid with the leave it game--both with food treats being dropped and with walking by treats and toys.

Oh he was such a good puppy!  Thank-you Control Unleashed!   Whoooooo Hoooooooo!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frap Time

I let Russ out of restriction. (Yeah I know I am a big softy.) And of course there was some pent up energy, but seriously this kind of frapping is a staple around the house. And to boot the proof is in the video that Music speaks, fraps and generally joins in as only Music can. We have it all--barking, tug of war, running, and a "fake fight."

Seriously Busted

I went into the living room in an attempt to find the aforementioned skinned tennis ball and what do my wondering eyes behold?  Russ peeing in the living room.  I couldn't believe it!  He spotted my look of amazement and heard my sharp NO!, and immediately headed to the "outside door."  

By the time he makes the door, he has a look of--"Boy am I busted, I seriously thought that I could blame the puppy again."  He knows better on so many levels.

So here's what I'm thinking-Mr. Ruff Ruff has been setting the puppy up to fail repeatedly.  Guess who's on restriction today?

And The Winner Is....

Drum roll please....Cindy and the Foggy Bottom Crew!  Control Unleashed was ordered and sent to you last night.  Congratulations!

Yep it's a skinned tennis ball.

Now for the editorial comment.  Never in all my years of dogs--which includes a German Shepherd, Belgium Sheep Dog, Doberman, Cocker Spaniel, Border Collie, assorted mixed breeds, and of course Cardigan Welsh Corgis have I ever seen one skin a tennis ball until Shaker Baby.  Apparently given the host of correct answers my past cast of clowns are the odd dogs out.  Who knew!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Is It?

I was merrily vacuuming today--okay I am lying about the merrily part--but anyway I looked just ahead of myself and saw this thing. I looked at and my first thought was who ate what? But upon closer inspection I realized that "it" wasn't going to involve wads of paper towels and a scrub bucket.

So I thought "Oh this could be a fun guessing game!" So here goes folks--"What is it?" Only hint--Shaker did it!

Oh I must have a prize to go with it....hmmmmmm I know--To the first right guess I'll have a fresh copy of Control Unleashed shipped straight to you! Yeah that's how much I think everyone should own this book!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Relaxation Protocol

Okay, you haven't lived until your 19 month old Cardigan Welsh Corgi (aka Russ) breaks a long sit/stay and starts humping his neighbor. His immediate neighbor was 10 month old lab who is being trained to be a service dog. Oh my goodness, I just wanted to scoop him up and slink out. But, of course, Sharon wouldn't even hear of me slinking off, so I stayed and made a promise to myself that I was going to find a way to improve his performance when distracted.

So I started working with heightened distractions, but then while reading Control Unleashed, I found a reference to a Relaxation Protocol by Dr. Karen Overall. I started working the protocol 3 days ago, and have already seen progress. Now this protocol isn't designed to teach a formal stay or down--just for the dog to teach itself how to relax with increasing stimulation. So they can move, shift, etc. just not get up, bark and the like.

Today I am happy to report that Russ only popped up once when I jogged right for 10 seconds. After he tried to "kill" one of his stuffed animals, I calmly said--"oops try again." He downed, I jogged right for 10 seconds and then returned. I marked his great behavior with a "Yes" and rewarded him with a treat. We finished the Day 3 tasks without him breaking until released.

Whoooo Hoooo.... I couldn't be happier!

P.S. I am working the same with Shaker, but will wait to report on his progress later.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Music's Report

Hello it's me Music.

I have a new philosophy--"if you can't beat them join them."

The boys have been driving me crazy well that was before I embraced my new philosophy. Now I bark, frap with them, and I even chewed one of Mom's shoes. She said "eh too Music?" And I said, "Yes." I even joined in on the great puff puff destruction.

So think of me barking, chewing and generally acting like a dog!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shaker baby Update

It's Thursday and that means Shaker Baby's obedience class and time to reflect on the progress of the week.

First, I am reading a book that Sara of recommended Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog by Leslie McDevitt. First let me say that it is the most amazing book I have ever read. I would recommend it for anyone who owns a dog and wishes to deepen their personal and/or performance relationship with their dog. I would also highly recommend it if you dog is reactive--even slightly!

Today I worked on a massage exercise with Shaker and Russ (separately of course) in which I massaged their ears and jaws and then synchronized my deep breathing and theirs. It was an amazing moment for me and both dogs were visibly relaxed.

So I added this to my repertoire at obedience class tonight--"Look at ...", "Watch me", and the deep breathing exercises. I also have been conditioning a default position of "sit while looking at me." Also Diane at Petsmart added a wooden spoon loaded with cream cheese.

I did an ear and jaw massage to relieve stress before taking him out of my truck. I waited for him to default to a sit and watch before we started to walk. He walked calmly until the Siberian Husky puppy locked eyes, but the Husky owner was great and turned his dog away. With our dogs facing away from one another we had a short conversation in which Shaker was great. Whoooo Weeeee!

We entered the building and headed directly for the fish. He settled in and allowed several people to pet him. YEAH!!!

We went to class. He walked past a puppy no issues! Fantastic!

Then a gentleman and I use that term very loosely brought his Rottweiler with a gigantic prong collar up to the fence and had him sit and stare at the puppies in class. Yes you heard me right. This guy parks his Rott up against the fence to stare at the baby puppies. There is only on reason you teach your dog to stare make that dog aggressive. This behavior is totally unacceptable and gives Rotts a bad name. Fortunately I am blessed to have friends who have well socialized, sweet and gentle Rotts--Yogi and Boo. I have had he pleasure of resting my head on Yogi's chest and shoulder--behaviors that he welcomed. So hats off to Kris and Deb who raised up these amazing giant dogs. And thumbs down to anyone who knowing teaches their dogs to be aggressive.

Anyway I digress Shaker started growling and a bit of barking but not as bad a before. Progress. Anyway, Diane decided to do a loose leash walk to the other side of the building. We were successful, and then back to the fenced area. This is the point at which Diane introduced the wooden spoon and cream cheese. So here is the deal--when Shaker got seriously distracted and didn't attend to me, I was able to lure him back to me with the wooden spoon smeared with cream cheese. It worked like a charm. I couldn't have been happier. (Tomorrow I am going to work with Russ on "watch me" while heeling with the cream cheese spoon.)

Class ended, and we left without any issues. Yep this was a good night.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winter Ride and Spring, Summer, Fall Ride

Solstice Kennels commented that an RV was probably next. Well it's true confessions time.

For spring, summer and fall shows I take our 33ft Winnebago Vista, and I pull a little Malibu behind. It's a great set up but a little small, so we have been on the look for a bigger one. But let's face it that purchase will probably have to wait a while.

It was the winter shows that were proving to be a little tricky as I noted in my New Show Ride.

So yeah I had already succumbed to the RV thing!

Westminster Part II

Russ here.

Sharrie asked me if I was going to watch the second half of Westminster. Why, of course, I wouldn't miss it. I sat in front of the TV for most of it but then decided my crate and fluffy mat were a bit more comfortable. Well maybe a little to comfortable. I was watching but fell asleep. Mom said she tried to wake me for Best in Show, but I was too zonked

Aunt Sherilyn, thanks for the good advice about being grateful that the other clowns walking away. Shaker did bark a bit last night, so I gave him "what for" and he went to bed on his mat. I mean seriously it was Westminster--what was he thinking--barking?

Russ out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Show Ride

Well I finally did it. I gave in and traded my beloved Avalanche in for a Suburban. My Avalanche was just not very practical with my growing number of dogs, and all the stuff that I take to shows. Hardly seems possible that it was just a year ago that I went to my first shows with just Russ in a crate, a leash, dog food and a suitcase. Now its crates, dryers, grooming bag, table, arm and and and...

We are thrilled, especially my son who had to ride on the 30% split of the back seat when we went to Chicago. Have I ever mentioned that he is 5'9"? Poor guy had to squeeze his 19 yr old frame into this little bitty seat, so he is all smiles.

Our Walk

Hey it's me Shaker Baby.

Mom took us to this really cool place to walk today. It was called a wildlife preserve. Wow was it ever neat. I flushed some ducks, and found a field skinned deer. Mom didn't think much of either one, but I thought it was super duper cool. I could hardly keep my nose off the ground the smells were so great. Mom said we could go back. Yeah.

The first picture is of us telling Mom to hurry her butt up, we want to walk already!. Well the last picture is of me where I rode in the car today. I put my front feet on the console and my back feet on the back seat. Mom says that I am going in a crate because I would not stay on the back seat. Yesh is she ever picky--my back feet were on the seat. Do I need a lawyer? I hate crates.
Shaker Baby saying good night.


Russ here.

I finally convinced Mom to tune the TV to Westminster so I could get a good look at the dogs. I tried to convince the other clowns that I live with to watch but they only stayed for a minute. I think the only reason they even watched for a minute was because Mom said, "Oh look it's a Frenchie." They heard Mom showed a Frenchie in Canada--another story but suffice it to say Mom didn't have clue. So in the end I had to watch the show alone.

Oh I love watching Westminster. Mom has pictures of me watching last year too.

Russ out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Play Ball

Russ loves to play ball, and he'll chase it long and hard, but he is not a retriever. (He informed me that he is a herding dog, but I digress.) Now Shaker on the other hand is perfectly willing to grab the ball and bring it back to me. Oh what a good dog! So watch the video and get a good laugh!

Editors note: It gets a little dull in the middle but stay tuned for a big finish!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Shaker Water Baby

Well let me begin by announcing the Advent of the Season of MUD!

And boy oh boy does Shaker love it. We loaded up the dogs, sans Music who announced that a girl in her condition doesn't go frolicking in the mud, and headed to the river. Shaker walked through every mud puddle he could find. He romped in the mud, and rolled in wet grass. He had a blast.

For the most part I didn't stop him but when we got to the dead fish that had been dropped by an eagle I drew the line! He got a firm leave it and he did. Yeah!

Of course Russ didn't walk in mud puddles or mud, because he would get dirty. My goodness what a prissy fellow he has turned out to be. So guess who is fairly clean and who is a dirty smelly mess.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Something I Don't Get

Hey it's me Shaker Baby.

You know how Russ is always, "I don't get it" and walking away. Well here's something I don't get--why doesn't Russ like to eat. I mean seriously there is nothing worth skipping a meal or even leaving a morsel behind. Mom is pretty stingy with rations. Can you believe she only lets me have 1.5 cups twice a day? Yeah she adds pumpkin and stuff but seriously the good stuff is the kibble.

I don't get it! I eat all my food right up, and then I have to wait for picky pants Russ to eat. Well I guess I could go play but what if Mom loses her focus and I can get a little bit of Russ' food? No I have to wait until finicky Russ decides whether he is going to eat.

Hey the picture is of me telling Mom that I am starving!

Well call me anything but late for dinner!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Much Improvement

Shaker was much improved and I have much to report.

We have been working on "Look at that" and "Watch me" all week. I also took high value treats--sausage and cheese to give me extra value. We arrived at Petsmart 45 mins. early so that I could be sure to have time to help Shaker settle into the environment.

He was solid as a rock in the parking lot, so we went into the building. Again solid--no barking. He was listening to my voice and responding to verbal rewards and treats. Great! We walked around the building with all the distractions and smells, and he was listening to me and watching me. He was rewarded with pets, treats and verbal rewards.

We encountered the instructor and her dog. No barking. He started to whine a little bit so we turned around and settled. We walked some more and encountered the instructor's dog again. This time he appropriately greeted him. YEAH!!!

By this time it was time to go to our seats. He got a little agitated but did not bark and accepted the treats as a lure. We went through our paces--"Watch me," "Look", sits, downs, loose leash walking-- all solid.

The only issue we had was when a Boxer came into the store. Boxers are a trigger for him (and a lot of other dogs) because of their upright stance and dead on stare. But even his barking wasn't as intense. He didn't growl just barked. After the episode, he had a hard time for a couple of minutes letting the other puppies in the class look at him. But he settled down and was fine for the last 15 mins of class.

And our exit from class was very successful. We walked out and into the parking lot with out any issues.

At the end of the night I feel very encouraged.

Music's Report

Greetings it's me Music.

Well it has been an interesting week around here. I would like everyone to know that I do not like the cold! It hurts my paws. Mom said that she thinks I am a southern dog. I heard that I have grandparents in Florida, maybe I will lobby to take a vacation there if it doesn't get warm soon. Mom said that it was supposed to be really nice soon and I should stop fretting about it.

The boys have been bugging me a lot--especially that puppy. Sometimes I like to play with the toys, and that big bully puppy comes and takes them away from me. So today I laid in the toy basket and wouldn't let anyone have any toys. That big puppy would come near me and I would take his face off. See if he take my toys again!

Well that's all the news for now--think of me 'til next time dealing with the cold and giant puppies.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Be Wery Wery Quiet I'm Hunting Corgis

This morning the dogs were going nuts by the front door. I went to investigate thinking--postal person, Fed Ex, UPS but nothing. I couldn't imagine what they were carrying on about so I told them "Quiet" and went back to my dishes.

They would not shut up, so I look out again and I see two eagles--one mature and one immature (no white on its head or tail) flying around the front yard. WOW! I was glad I hadn't let them outside. The immature one lands in the tree not 15 ft from the garage. So I ran and quick got the camera and darted out the laundry room door in my bare feet. Did I mention that it is 10 degrees today? Anyway when I got outside and started taking pictures, I realize that what set the Cardis 3 off was the call the eagle was making. It was a very high pitched less than sing song call. Not a majestic call at all.

Well with the eagles this close I am going to have to be very careful about letting the Cardis out!
Editor's Note: You might have to click on the picture to "blow it up" to see the eagle. He has the same coloring and markings as the trees in winter.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Trapped Part II

This was the first shot taken when we found Shaker trapped in the shower. So this one screams out for a caption contest.

I'm Trapped

Hey it's me Shaker Baby.

I haven't posted in a while, 'cause I haven't had much to say. Mom's been keeping everyone posted on what I have been up too. Oh yesterday I learned a right about turn and a left "get back". I am really good at watching Mom's finger. She says I am the most responsive dog she has ever had the pleasure to work with. I just have to quit barking at other dogs. But not why I write today.

Last night, I had a little accident in the bathroom. I widdled in front of the shower but I couldn't figure out how to get out of the shower to make it look like I didn't do it. So I got busted--Mom took pictures of the evidence. Yesh how embarrassing. I am never going to do that again.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Door Bell

We set out to dremel nails tonight, but alas the battery was about dead. So I did 2 of Music's nails and then plugged it in to charge. As soon as I plugged the battery into the outlet on the end of the kitchen island, Kathy said, "You know if Tippy were still alive that Dremel would be toast!" I laughed and said, "you're right." You see...

When Tippy was about 3 yrs old our door bell fritzed out. Money was a little tight so I bought a radio controlled doorbell. The unit plugged into the wall and received a signal from the unit mounted near the outside door. The only problem was that it could also be set off by some one's garage door opener. It was a little annoying but hey it only cost about $20.

So one Saturday, we were out running errands and we were probably gone 5 hours. When we opened the front door,to our amazement, all 4 of the doorbell units were laying on the foyer rug. I was a bit confused, so I bent over to pick them up and then saw the tooth marks.

Yep, Tippy had enough of the the random ringing doorbell and took matters into her own paws. We hired a handy man and replaced the original door bell.

Therapy Dog--Born not Made

I decided to go ahead and have Russ evaluated at Nationals for his Therapy Dog International (TDI) status. While I was cruising the web page the first thing it talks about is how therapy dogs are born not made. Last night Russ proved to me that his innate sense is truly the stuff therapy dogs are made of.

So we are watching the Super Bowl and it is a little raucous what with the Boss singing, folks hooting for the Cardinals, food galore, and a 3 yr old playing on the floor. Now my niece is a little afraid of the dogs because they bark and jump.

So after the initial excitement dies a bit, Shaker and Music bid a hasty retreat to our bedroom, but Russ stays and watches the show from the sidelines. Mira (my niece) loves to play with the stuffed dog toys. It helps that they are essentially harmless when she throws them--well except for a little spilled soda pop. Any way Russ is watching her play with the toys, and he doesn't jump or bark he just watches her and moves ever so slowly closer to her and all the Super Bowl action.

Next thing we know Russ and Mira are playing tug of war with the stuffed bunny. Now it is not the usual raucous tug of war that Russ loves but a very gentle back and forth with Mira winning each time. It was the most remarkable scene--gentle, no jumping, no barking--all the things Mira needed to not be afraid of the dogs!

Yep, he's ready.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Russ Here

Russ here.

Mom thinks she is funny but seriously she is a misguided woman.

You see, last night I was a very tired puppy and my humans were drinking wine and talking while I was trying to sleep. So I finally got comfortable and settled--okay I don't look comfortable but I was when Mom says, "Russ looks like a passed out drunk." So then they got the bright idea to put the wine bottle next to me and snap a picture.

Yeah very funny setting me up to look like I was the one drinking the wine not them.


Russ out.