The Where's Charlee contest continues with a fresh supply of MaineToday.com Frisbees. The first person to post the correct location in the comment section, wins a never been chewed (yet) Frisbee.
After dinner we went to this Portland location so Finney could play with a few dogs. He made some new friends, but all the dogs were running fast and unfortunately most of my pictures came out blurry because it was starting to get dark. Charlee was happy to have Finney around, because he brings the good treats for training recalls. Tonight's recalls were in competition with a local running group and I am happy to report that my new puppy came every time I called him and wasn't really interested in the joggers. I am right now pondering the almost certain fact that if we had seen only a few people, he would have found them interesting and followed them at least to say hi, but 50 joggers, nope, other dogs are much better.
hint-Those of us with mud puppies will not go here during mud season because of the swamp of lost tennis balls located directly behind Charlee.
You all gave me a lot of positive feedback concerning the blog that really wasn't so much about dogs, but more about the day to day stuff of living with dogs and kids.
If you liked the other three stories, you can appreciate this little snippet from my lunch today at Bob's Clam Hut In attendance were my three kids and both my parents.
As mentioned earlier, the valiant fight that my middle school son has waged in hopes to save Finney's manhood continues. He is relentless and we may have to consider law school for that one. Lately all his conversations seem to come back to how much he loves the puppy and that when he is older he will want a dog just like Finn and therefor he wants the option of being able to make one.
I told him, as the breeder suggested, that there are two show quality unaltered pups from Finn's litter and if they turn out genetically sound that either or both dogs will be bred in a few years and MAYBE we could get another pup then.
So today, we met my parents for lunch and the first thing out of Little H's mouth when she saw my Mom is this:
"Someone is making bread out of puppies! Someone is making bread out of puppies! Someone is making bread out of puppies!"
She was clearly thinking that Grandma needed to come to the rescue because her Mom already knew that Keyna and Lance were going to be "bread" but Mom was doing nothing to stop it.
Here is a joke to tell your kids.
Q. When is a dog not a dog?
A. When it is pure bread.
Bob's Clam Hut is located in Kittery Maine and dogs ARE allowed outside at the Picnic tables.
Yesterday the girls and I brought the dogs to a playground in Gorham to meet with Wendy and her kids for a dog/kid get together. When my daughters asked who Wendy was I told them she is a friend that we just haven't met yet.
I have been reading Wendy's writings for some time over on both her Kid Tracks blog, and her Outdoors with Children column, and I knew we would all get along and we did.
Charlee with paint still on her paws post Barks And Crafts
Camp Buster's final planning stages are in the works!
Translation- Brenda bought me a huge breakfast at Denny's and we schemed and planned.
I am returning for my third year as Barks and Crafts Director. This year we are customizing bait bags and making paw print tiles, some of which will remain permanently on the wall along side the human camper's hand prints.
Translation-We don't take ourselves very seriously and it is a lot of fun, plus you get great souvenirs and prizes.
We have more training plans in the works and have added some new trainers.
Translation- Freestyle, Agility, Rally and CGC, with a slightly more serious edge than before for those who are interested.
Some people have balked at the price, but not only does $250 for the weekend include all dog activities it includes incredibly delicious gourmet camp meals and a wee bit of wine. Plus your fee helps to send a disadvantaged Maine child to Camp Susan Curtis!
Translation- What are you waiting for, there are only a few spaces left?
Charlee, Finney and I have already started to work on our act for the camp show. Shouldn't be too hard to beat our last year's performance of bowling for ketchup bottles.
Translation-Goofy is good!
Only one more month and my yearly fix of Brenda's baked blueberry french toast will be fulfilled.
No time to blog since Charlee's Birthday.
Haven't posted for some time, largely due to the unavoidable pesky fact that there are only 24 hours in a day and at some point even I need sleep. Last week found me with 2 out of my 3 kids in summer camp, and one would think that things would be easier, but nnnnooooooo-ooo. Seems I have been taking the older two kids for granted in so far as to how much they entertain the young one. Add a new puppy and an older dog who for the first time all summer is feeling her oats and a job where I wear all the hats, plus your every day run of the mill house stuff, and I am one tired Momma.
The upside is that I had a truly special week with little H. This is especially sweet because in no time she will be off and running in Kindergarten. All last week I took time to enjoy her and did lots of Mommy things to include daily doggie hikes, the sprinkler park at Deering Oaks , swimming at Dundee Park in Windham , and we stopped by A Company of Girls to celebrate their renovation and even met Bill Ranic from the Apprentice.
The girls all said when they get rich they want teeth as white as Bills! Friday last week we met up with my oldest's son last day of summer camp with Eric Begonia of Begonia's Summer Science Camp at Scarborough Beach for one of the most perfect beach days at one of these most perfect beaches...ever. All week long the kids visited and learned about the sea and it's inhabitants. The week prior he attended Pond Ecology with Eric, and we just released two Monarch Butterflies that hatched in our fish tank, only to replace them with a baby snapping turtle that my son caught at Evergreen. No letters please you can study natural wildlife if done under the guidance of an educator and we will let Whippa (as in Whippa Snappa) free real soon. Best part of about having a baby snapping turtle is watching my kids pick beetles out of my garden. A turtle gotta eat ya know.
So enough about me and what I have been up to-you all came for the dogs.
Spending so much time with all three kids as of late, I get to converse with them much more than during the hectic school year and all three have come up with some pretty choice things to say in the last few weeks, most of it revolving around having a six month old MALE puppy. Perhaps you see where I am going with this.
First and foremost on my kids minds and tongues lately is the descent and growth of our new addition's new additions.
For those of you who came for the dog stuff, I give you some choice snippets of my last few weeks with kids and dogs.
My oldest son caught a snake in the back yard and he was showing it to our new puppy. Finn sniffed and licked it. I advised my son that he shouldn't teach the pup that snakes are friends in case we meet up with a dangerous snake some day. Just as the words escaped my mouth, the snake bit my son on the finger and the puppy killed the snake before I even blinked. My middle daughter didn't miss a beat and said:
"Our Collie is finding his inner Lassie".
Poor middle school boy is putting up a valiant fight in hopes that Finn can keep all his man hood in tact. I have told him at least 500 times that will not happen. On a recent lengthy car trip, he was unrelenting in his quest to save Finney's boy parts.
Those of you with boys can relate I am sure.
It went something like this.
You are not cutting off his balls.
Yes we are.
Can't he just keep one?
Isn't there a pill he can take?
They don't have birth control pills for male dogs?
I bet there is and your just not telling me because you don't want to pay for it.
Can't he get a vasectomy?
Can't we get him a custom fitted doggie condom. (honest, who can make this up)
What about if we never let him off leash?
I will watch him, I promise!
But he needs them.
Can't we invent a new pill or something?
I will walk him for the rest of his life.
Come on Mom, there has to be some other way that you are not telling me.
There is to, you just don't want to pay for it.
Can't we have one litter of pups so we can get another Finney?
Isn't there any other way?
What if I gave up my allowance for the rest of my life?
But he needs them!
That's not fair!
I made the appointment the very next day.
Little H asked what those wiggly things near Finney's butt were.
I tried to skirt this issue for some time but in the end I said "balls" (because she has heard middle school son begging and pleading the case for Finney's).
Little H said "Like eye balls? Can he see out of them"?
Monday night was Charlee's first night back to work since my car accident two months ago. She does a great job helping to get people excited about positive reinforcement and clicker training and I have truly missed her at my side during orientation classes. It was apparent to everyone in attendance at Monday's new class, just how much Charlee loves her job. What's not to like? She gets lots of butt scratches, from wonderful people, and as a bonus, she gets delicious treats for a job well done.
This time last year I wrote that my birthday gift to her was to help her shed more than a few pounds, and that she was going on a strict diet combined with lots more exercise. I did follow through as promised, but despite my best efforts, Charlee continued to gain weight. I brought this up at her spring Vet check, and we did a complete thyroid panel where she tested low. Once on the thyroid medication, her weight dropped, and her coat improved, as well as her over all demeanor with other dogs. To learn more about thyroid, click here.
For her birthday this year, I will continue to provide her with an excellent diet, and with a new puppy in the house, the exercise part is a breeze. After 6 years, we have decided to get her a new collar. Charlee won her current Lupine collar at The Angell Memorials annual pet walk for best trick when I had her for only 5 weeks. She did one heck of a break dance!
After six (yes 6!) years, the metal loop on her otherwise still great looking collar has started to rust, which in turn is turning her white scruff brown. I contacted Lupine and their wonderful products are guaranteed for life, (even if chewed!) and they are replacing her collar - no charge.
There will be no cake and no party for Charlee, but she will get an extra special walk in the woods later on today to splash around in her favorite mud hole.
It is extra sweet to have Charlee with us and doing so well, especially after we came so close to loosing her. This is a good day (as is every day!) to give extra hugs all around to those you love, both human and animal.
A four year old German Sheperd State Police dog named Cit (pronounced Seat) is missing. The dog bolted from a boarding kennel, and he was last seen Monday on River Road near the Gorham/ Windham town line.
Anyone who sees the dog is asked to call state police in Gray at 1-800-482-0730 or 911 on a cellular telephone.
A trained canine handler will be sent to the area.
UPdATE-Dog has been found!
One would think that I would have freaked out when my new puppy Finnegan growled at my soon to be kindergartner. Well I didn't, and I say good for Finney, who prior to the "event" was very nearly asleep, and the only reason he growled was because he was inadvertently hurt by my precious darling daughter dishing out too much love in all the wrong places.
So what DID I do? I called my kid "off" that's what. I didn't make a big deal about it, and let Finn go back to sleep. I did make a promise to myself that starting first thing in the morning I will get started on what is sometimes called "pawsitive touch". That is where you hand
feed the dog extra special goodies while gently touching them all over and gradually working up to the force and unpredictability of a toddler. It is homework that all my group classes receive on the very first night of class and something that I have been remiss in starting in my own home.
Shame on me.
Please note! If you have reason to believe that your dog is aggressive-call a positive reinforcement trainer right away and do not try this at home!
I will also include my soon to be kindergartner in fun and yummy activities with the puppy to help him to make great associations with her.
She will help with plenty of kid proofing, and I will of course as always, supervise supervise, supervise!
Living with kids is tough on a dog, even dogs with sweet and wonderful temperaments like my new Collie Finn. What we need to do with all our dogs is to help them to make wonderful associations with kids, and for most dogs that revolves around lots of yummy food, playtime, and all around good times. Here is the cardinal rule of kid proofing.
Dogs who are good with kids LIKE KIDS!!!
Last week I had a phone call about a 3 year old protection breed who was threatening the 5 year old in the home, and the owners were very concerned. Now I do not give aggression advice over the phone, but I will play doggie detective and I ascertained that they had trained the dog using out dated dominance methods (just like the one you see on "that show on Tv").
Now, I am not going to name the breed, because in this case the breed of dog really doesn't matter. What does come into play here is that these owners have a big and powerful protection breed and they have been led to believe that they need to dominate and force him into compliance and "show him who is the boss". This is just not so and what you may do instead is create dangerous dogs who seem to bite from virtually out of now where and for no reason.
What does matter is that for the last 3 years these owners thought they were doing right by their family, when in fact they have inadvertently created a dog who has made very bad associations with the child and maybe even fears it. At the very least, there is no love there.
Think of it from the dogs perspective.
Kid enters room. Let's assume the dog was getting a belly rub. Kid goes towards dog and stumbles and falls on dog. Dog growls, and next thing you know the dog is pinned to the floor by well meaning parents. This is TERRIFIFING for a dog and it is not something that dogs do to each other unless they mean to kill. All this dominance bull is based on flawed studies of wolf packs. Would you go to the zoo to watch chimps to learn how to discipline child?
Next time kid comes in to the room, dog is weary and on edge. Owners notice this and give it another dose of '"whose the boss". From that moment on things may never have been the same for the dog, who has no reason to like, or trust or want to be around this child. To the dog, this child brings scary times along with dose of sharp pain.
But why the sudden change in the dog's behavior? There could of course be a medical cause, and I advised the owners, as I always do, to visit the Vet and let the Vet know about the increasing aggressive displays and rule out any possible medical condition. But it is more than likely that they are now seeing the mature dog. It is not uncommon for dogs to go through many changes on their way from youngster to maturity, and to get increasing more aggressive over time, especially if not treated properly.
As an aside the owners have an electric fence and the dog is outside by himself or with the kids with no adult supervision. This is a serious red flag and one that I alerted them to, and they told me they will not change this. Dogs exhibiting aggression have no place outside by themselves,on an electric fence. Period. I don't much like them anyway, but in this situation no electic fence, no way, and this is a no brainer!
No surprise that they didn't want to hear this either.
What is the prognosis for this dog?
The prognosis for this dog and the five year old boy is not very good I am afraid because they decided against positive training and instead found a trainer who will keep on using harsh forceful methods (as seen on TV). They want no part of positive reinforcement. A lesson we learn in pet rescue early is that you can't save them all and at this point, I doubt I would go to the house even if I was begged, because I know in my heart and soul, that this family will revert to what they have done in the past, and I don't want my name on that type of situation.
Trainers are only as good as the people carrying out what we teach them.
As for my sweet puppy, let's just call this a case of practicing what I teach. I WANT a dog who loves kids and who will let kids know that they have hurt him or that he is uncomfortable. Finney reacted normally and he certainly was not punished for doing so.
Let us not forget that all dogs have the potential to bite and it is our job to teach them how to peacefully coexist with us.
Please forgive the double blogging if you have already read about The Animal House 2nd Annual Pet Fair on Aaron's blog, but I felt it was double blog worthy.
A good time for a good cause.
The Animal House, A Boutique for Pets, is happy to announce "The 2nd
Annual Pet Education Fair" on Saturday, August 5th from 10am-3pm, at
their Route 1, Newcastle location. All proceeds from this event will
benefit the six local animal shelters and rescues in attendance.
Seminars and demonstrations on companion animal well-being will be
presented throughout the day by local animal experts. Presenters
include: Dr. Jennifer Cree of Coastal/Boothbay Animal Hospital, Jasmine
Indra, Animal Communicator, Dr. Karin Tichy of Door-to-Door Veterinary
Services, Dr. Lee Herzig of Full Circle Holistic Veterinary Care, and
Thom Lambert of Canine Connection.
Also included in the day's festivities are a Silent Auction, Microchip
Clinic, "Make your Own Doggie Sundae", "Make Your Own Doggie Bandana",
Animal Massage Clinic, Pet Photography and much more. Over twenty pet
product and service-related vendors will be present. Admission is free!
Well-behaved pets on leash welcome. Rain or shine.
The Animal House, with locations in Newcastle and Warren, specializes
in healthy foods and holistic supplies for pets. For more information,
please call: (207) 563-5595, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit:
First person to post a correct comment in the comment section wins a brand new, never been chewed MaineToday.com Frisbee.
Today's Where's Charlee is the easiest one ever!
We have had a really fun week swimming, and exploring here, while picking up and dropping off at summer camp.
Many people don't realize that while this is not an officially designated off leash area, there is no leash law in effect either. I find this a bit surprising because of the high volume of visitors.
Please if your dog is not polite, if your dog jumps on people or bolts, don't let your dog off leash here , just because you can.
Please don't ruin it for the rest of us.
I think one of the reasons off leash dogs are allowed here is due to the close proximity of oil tankers. This doesn't bother this former city girl who was used to beaching it 2ooo feet away from Logan airport.
Gotta beat the heat where ever, whenever, and how ever you can! When 4 year old asked if she could take a dip this morning, sans bathing suit, when I dropped the 9 year old off at camp I said sure why not!
Location and more pics from today will soon be revealed in the next "Where's Charlee".
People often tell me that they love the happy ending feel good heart warming dog stories that I often post and they prefer to go elsewhere for depressing news. Sorry this is not one of those stories, and if you want to keep it warm and fuzzy, do not click this CBS link.
A hung jury for Maureen Faibish, Mom to 12 year old Nicholas who was killed by the family dogs last June in San Francisco. She still may face a retrial. Read the SF Gate article here.