Monday, November 29, 2010

West and Chris

As shown in the photos in the last post, West and Chris have been bonding! Here's a video of Chris taking west for a walk in the snow:

And here's one of them cuddling on the bed:

Both videos will be up as soon as youtube's done processing them, so if they're showing up as errors, come back in an hour or so! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

technical stuff

I made a handful of changes to the blog. If anything is annoying, problematic or doesn't work, please let me know in the comments!

Pics! and Fun! and Friends!

So, I'm away until Thursday night, still caring for my sick kitty and housesitting for a little fearful pom mix. But that doesn't mean West doesn't have any fun!

He's decided that if Chris keeps bringing him toys stuffed with Tuna, he must be a decent guy!

I love this picture, cause West looks camouflaged in the snow. And is next to Chris. I'm half certain that by the time I get home, West will not remember me and we'll start all over. We shall see.

Yum yum yum! These stranger-danger guys can be yummy!

This is the only decent shot ever taken of West. He's always in this pose.


I don't even know what to say about that.

My dog always looks like a moron in the snow..


West looks cute. Archie just looks.. dumb..

These two make a much better photo pair. Their colours match.

You cannot have full extension without full compression...

Good ears...

And many many more over at the Picasa Web Album!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Long overdue..

West is fine. The cat is still working on living. Keep her in your thoughts/prayers/whatever floats your personal boat. I've been very successful with finger-force-feeding her, but if anyone has magical get-cat-to-eat tricks, please leave in the comments or email me privately.

Anyway, back to West, which is why you're here, right? As I said, he's quite fine. A bit neglected, training-wise. I am house sitting at the moment, so not home with him. Before I left, we tried to introduce him to Chris. I was fairly certain it was way too soon, but it would have been really nice if Chris was able to let him out, etc, while I'm away, so it was worth a shot.

His first meeting was going really well, but due to a few factors, it ended with a reaction and though he was able to investigate a bit, he ended up MORE afraid of him the next day. Sigh.

So day 2, we did BAT-style introductions. For more on this, see Grisha's site. I kind of winged-it on the fly, but we made some serious progress, and no explosions. But, it was the day before I had to leave, so no time really to do more.

On a hunch, I gave Chris an idea. I suggested he take his laptop out to the motorhome and just lie on the bed, with West's crate open, and see what happened. Well.. Here ya go:

He's certainly not comfortable, but he DID it. He got some delicious treats and kept his cool. This will be repeated several times over the week I'm somewhat-away, and hopefully by then, West can add Chris to "people who don't eat my brains" :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cats and furniture

I'm nursing one of our cats, hopefully back to health. I found her Friday morning collapsed and jaundiced. Apparent acute liver failure, but without any obvious cause. She's home for the night, syringing food into her and keeping her warm. Hopefully she'll recover, but it's still pretty unknown..
Aside from that, I finally got the queen bed moved out here and switched for the tiny daybed that Archie and I were sharing. I didn't even think about it, and let West out of his crate. He took a step, saw the different furniture, and went straight back in his crate! Poor guy. I just waited a second, and he came right back out, and is exploring now. Good recovery!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A game of catchup..

Wow, I fell behind. I'm sorry!
We had quite the week.
Thursday, I had a long day, and was exhausted after class. I had no energy for puppy exercising and Archie was tired from class, so I got out the MM and worked some targetting with West. And got some video! I also fell asleep during this training session. Bad trainer! He's doing great with this.

Friday, West met Lindsay. Instead of narrating the whole thing, I video'd it for you and have added some thoughts and comments in the video.

Then, West hurt his little carpus. Poor thing seemed to think it had been broken, but none of his actual symptoms suggested it, so Sheena and I went with the 'wait and see' approach. He's nearly 100% now, so I'm sure it was just a sprain.

Saturday, Archie and I spent the day at the local CARO Rally trial. He got his final leg in the first run of the day for his Rally Novice (RN) title! Anyone interested in those vids can find them at <a href="">Gypsy's youtube channel</a> under a bunch of agility videos from Sunday. West stayed home, which was good rest for his leg. He was happy to get a run Saturday night, and I was REALLY tired, so I did a bit more MM work. He was quite limpy on his little hurt leg, so I worked on moving the target closer to the manners minder. Brilliance! Then went to sleep.

Sunday, Archie and Sheela and basically the whole family drove out to Salmon Arm for a jumpers fun run. Archie lost his marbles, Sheela did well, and West stayed home again. By Sunday evening, he was about ready to burst. I was ready to collapse of exhaustion. A quick run and a food toy ended the evening.

Monday, up early to let the dogs have a few minutes of run time, then off to Value Village (found a cute play tunnel!) and to class. Again, West stayed home. Assisted my roommate in setting his dog free to the rainbow bridge (RIP Hemi) and ended up getting home 20 minutes before leaving for puppy class, so again, just a quick pee! You can see now why I have no time for blogging.
This morning, I had high hopes of sleeping till 10, but the dogs would have NONE of it. So, at 930, we were out playing Zisc. Crazy border collies. At least it was briefly sunny.
My neighbour was by today to check on some things, and west was crated and covered, but I'm sure it still stressed him out a bit. No reactions (growls or barks) but he wasn't here long. Still, a good sign I think.
I brought out some new toys for West from the house. A Pogo Plush which he adores, and a baseball stuffed tug toy thing, which he likes. He played for a bit and is now sound asleep lounging across my legs, with his little head dropped down off the edge. So cute, but no camera. Sigh.
His DAP collar expires this week. I may try putting the piece I saved on him to see if it helps. He's only wearing the thundershirt part time now, since he's able to settle pretty well without it if all is quiet. We're working on the calming cap and he doesn't hate it much at all. I need to get a different GL (remember he ate the first one?) and get back working on that too. And order him a nice comfy muzzle. But overall, he's a VERY good boy. He might meet Chris this week, if he can handle it, since I have to be away for a week at the end of the month, and it would be FAR more convenient if chris could take him out for pee breaks.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Busy busy..

I'm VERY busy and West is NOT. He is still pretty sad about his foot, though he's now using it when I'm not looking and when he deems it important, so I'm confident he'll be fine. He'll be happily walking along and I turn to face him, and he starts limping again. Silly pup.
Anyway, lots of stories to tell when I have more time again. I've put up a few clips of the West-lindsay interaction, but I plan to edit them into a nice flowing video with comments before I post it here. And some stories of what Archie and I have been up to :) sooooon

Friday, November 12, 2010

West has a big adventure, and it ends poorly

West met a new stranger today! I have video and stories to tell, but that all has to wait because I have to be up at SOME STUPID TIME tomorrow morning, to get Archie to the Rally trial. West will stay home and I think my sister will let him out in the early afternoon.
Let the boys out for a quick before-bed run, though, and West won't use his right foot! Seems to be his carpus, and he's quite the wimp about it, though none of the other signs (resp rate, heart rate) seem to indicate it's THAT bad. He'd love some sympathy though!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An unexpected event!

Just now, mom came and opened the door. West was just chilling, chewing a bone. This normally wouldn't have happened, but she was late for work and I accidentally had the car key in my pocket!

West leapt up and approached the door curiously, then when she spoke, he gave one woof. I stood, ready to grab him, but he looked at me, so I just said "Crate!" and gestured toward the crate. He leapt inside, I was able to get the key and pass it to mom. She shut the door and left, and I chucked a handful of popcorn (it was handy!) on the floor for him to snarfle. He's still kind of weirded out and stressed by the whole thing, lying on my feet and hypervigilant. I'll put his shirt on him for a bit to see if he settles. BUT!!!

HE WAS ABLE TO THINK AND KEEP HIS HEAD! He didn't go OMG I CANT DO THIS or OMG I MUST BITE or anything of the sort. Just one "Huh, someone's here" bark and was able to respond to my direction immediately. Good boy west!

On that note, why does it seem that blog-worthy events always happen the same day, often immediately after i've already posted!?

West knows english?

I'm sitting, west is wandering, sniffing mouse trails and playing with toys. He comes up to me, and I say "Hi cutie". He just comes a little closer. I say "go get a toy!" and he leaps backwards into a play bow. He knows "toy"? So I try it.. "Cutie!" -- no reaction  "Toy!" -- no reaction.. what?
"Go get a!" - BOING into play bow. I don't know what it sounds like to him, or what he thinks it means, but he likes it, whatever it is!
He's so darn cute.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Photos, Rally and strangers

We have two friends staying with us this weekend. I am hoping to round one of them up tomorrow to meet West, but they're very busy, so that may not be possible. He did see Lynn from a distance today, and was sort of thinking about barking, so I called him and increased distance. He's done really well with all kinds of things lately though.

We are in the process of disassembling the ramp that enters into the Motorhome (where West, Archie and I live). It's currently only partway done, so the bottom piece is still there, and the platform is still there, but the middle is missing. 

I wasn't sure how West would react to the changes, or to having to now jump almost 4 feet up to get into the motorhome (Just for today!!) but he took it all in stride! 

I also popped him up on some blocks at my neighbours' place for a photo. He didn't mind being up there at all, but he has no 'stay' and getting him to wait long enough to snap a photo was a challenge. 

I'd hoped to use the MM for stay, and still might, but that's taking longer than I expected to adjust to, so I should probably start working on it a more traditional way.

Archie and I went to a Rally-o fun run today. Videos are up at my youtube channel for anyone who is interested. Archie did FANTASTIC. I am so proud of him.  AND Mary is collecting donations for TDBCR too! Nice!

Finally, I'd like to ask a favor.. Anyone who feels passionately about the subject, or has a minute, could you take a look at these letters in my local paper regarding Cesar Millan? One is by me, the others are by people I train with. 
Leave a comment, or even just rate some of the comments with the little "Like/Dislike" thumbs down the side. That takes hardly any effort. The Pro-CM crowd has quite a presence right now, so a bit of sense would be nice! :)

Thanks. As a reward, I have NEW WEST PICTURES! :)

A nice one of the boys together:

I bet I could get 500 photos that look just like this

West and the bichon, Benji

It's moments like these that I need to know how to set the camera to FAST mode.

Oh Hai!

Dog on a .. i don't know what this is..

Contortionist puppy?

My doorway at the moment

He got up just fine!

Click on any of these pics for the full album. I uploaded 80 today.
All for now!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photos at Picasa Album

I'm going to play around with Captions and stuff on the picasa album for the new photos, so I don't have to embed them all. Embedding them is annoying. So please go check them out at
West's Album

I hope that works for most of you.

West did some Peek training tonight, along with some targetting the calming cap. We played with the MM again, earlier today. He's getting better! His tail looks kind of goofy, but he doesn't mind at all. He wants to hear all your inexpensive chew toy ideas, he LOVES to chew!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Video :)

Real, high quality video of West. Taken by Chris from inside a car, so it doesn't follow him perfectly.

I also used the youtube editing software for the first time, so it won't work until the processing is complete.

He's getting along really well with my mum now, which is great. He hasn't barked at her ever, except one woof when she suddenly came around a corner, and it was just a "OMG" woof, not a "BACK OFF" woof.

Good westy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

West lost his tail..

Poor West. I took the boys down the bank on my property for a good romp. They had a fantastic time and I wore them both out.
When we got back up, I noticed West had a few burrs. I pulled them out, then felt him over. His underbelly and pants/tail were COVERED in them. I started brushing them out, but he was just stressing more and more. I'm sure it was painful as well as uncomfortable/scary. So, I got out the scissors :(
I think it was by far the most humane thing, as it took me just a couple of snips to remove the ball of burrs from his tail, but.. he no longer has much tail fur !! Shh, don't tell Sheena ;)

He's fully forgiven me for the 'treatment' and HE doesn't care if his tail looks like it belongs to a rat. It'll grow back.

I think part of the reason he got so many burrs is that his underbelly and tail/pants fur is VERY damaged. I know he came into rescue with urine scald, so I expect it's related. The fur on his back and sides is smooth, silky and healthy, but the underneath stuff is just wrecked. The burrs slide out of the silky fur, but not so much the nasty stuff. So, hopefully over time as he grows new coat, he'll be able to shed the burrs more easily.
I have some video to post later too, thanks to Chris.