Saturday, August 29, 2009

Golly hard at work

We finally have a suitable post for Golly to observe the day's events here at Golly Gear. Hope and I (OK, mostly Hope. I held things.) built a bench that fits perfectly over four small crates so that visitors and their dogs can be comfortable in our office. Two lounge chair cushions provide just the right amount of softness. And there's a Companion Ramp to help Golly reach the bench. Golly looks pretty comfortable, but ready to crack the whip! (Or demand more treats!) -Fran
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Genius with PVC

It's truly amazing what you can do with some imagination and some PVC. Hope would never brag about it, but I think my sister is a genius with tools! In just a few days, she's made ring gates and six agility jumps! Well, I did help but Hope did the thinking and most of the work. So, Golly Gear's practice ring is getting there! - Fran
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Friday, August 21, 2009

New sleeping arrangements

So my full-size "grown-up" bed was delivered yesterday. (I'd had a twin-size bed since I was a kid, and I was using the same headboard and frame. The headboard had been recovered a couple of times, but still...) Despite the fact that my whole room needs to be re-organized since there's no room to walk anywhere, I think it'll be great for Golly, Ceilidh and me. Eventually. Ceilidh had been sleeping in Hope's bedroom but in a bed on the floor, so it's an adjustment for all of us. Last night Ceilidh stayed on the bed, all night! But Golly is going to need to get used to all this newness. At one point I woke up and couldn't find her! I turned the light on, and she was between the pillow and the headboard. I think she liked it there. Like I said, it'll take some getting used to...
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Look - it's a practice ring!

I'm absolutely thrilled to say the mess is gone! Our guys (love having "guys!) have finished laying the matting, put the gates back in place. We can't wait to get it cleaned up (I didn't have the nerve to ask them to wear booties), get our equipment in place, and open for business. I'd kind of like our dogs to be the first to step foot in the new ring - but if it doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world. We've been working so hard since we moved, it's tough to remember to come up for air and enjoy what we've accomplished. It seems a little silly to be so excited about a picture of an empty space - but all my doggy friends will understand what joy a thousand square feet of empty space can bring.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ceilidh vs. the Spinny

Ceilidh gave the Spinny a try, too! She uses her paws more than the others and this time, she didn't just get frustrated, lie down and whine. This time, she pushed it away!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dax vs. Spinny

Dax doesn't get frustrated. She gets even. She's a bulldog.

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Roc vs. Spinny

Your wish is my command. I took video of all of the dogs playing with the Spinny. Roc was true to form. Tries for a bit, gets frustrated, sits and looks at me - "Mom, fix it!"

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Golly a slug?

OK, yes she is! And she's enjoying it! The problem, though, is that she's getting rounder. So it's back to the beans! Yes, Golly's on a diet. We replace a few pieces of her kibble with a few pieces of green beans. We keep a bag of frozen cut green beans in the freezer, take some out and defrost them in the microwave for a few seconds. We're reducing the calorie count but maintaining the volume of food that Golly eats. Not every dog likes green beans but fortunately Golly does! In no time she'll be back to her girlish figure!
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Monday, August 10, 2009

From each according to his personality

Last week I took home one of the toys we have on special this month in the shop (see them here). It was the Spinny, because I really wanted to see if our dogs could figure it out and what they'd do with it.
All of our dogs are food-motivated, so I knew getting them interested wouldn't be an issue. Whether they'd figure out how to work the toy - that was something else. It was just our first session with the Spinny and I always keep training sessions short and end each one with the dog's success.
I don't know why I was surprised by the outcome - every one of our dogs behaved absolutely typically for his/her personality!
I tried it with Roc first. He's our best worker - I firmly believe (no one disabuse me of the notion, please!) that if he didn't have horrible stage fright, he would have been my Obedience Champion. Roc got the first level fine. Reach in, get the cookie. Second step also fine - move the cover a little bit and the cookie appears. Third step: he didn't understand that the cover could keep moving around and he would get more cookies. So he sat and looked at me, saying "Mom, fix it!" So we went back to the partially-covered treat, he found it and I ended his session with a celebration.
Dax was up next. Our French Bulldog baby. First step - no problem. Second step - no problem. Third step: If I can't find the cookie on the first try, I'll steal the toy and bust my way through it!Back to Step Two, success, celebration, done.
Next was Ceilidh. I hesitate to push Ceilidh too much, our "special" pup isn't very good at stress and she wears herself out trying to be a good girl and worrying about it. But she deserved a chance to play, so I tried it. First step - a cinch! Second step - no problem for her, either. Third step - she worried at the toy, then worried she was being naughty by pawing at it, despite my encouragement. She just went into a down and whined. Back to Step Two; success, celebration, done.
Golly was last to try. At this point of her life (13 years old), Golly doesn't see too well and her hearing is, at best, selective. But she adores food, so I gave her a chance with the Spinny. First step: easy peasy. Second step: could have done it in her sleep. Third Step: No problem - SHOW ME THE COOKIES!
I was laughing so hard she thought I was a bit nuts. I should have known how she'd do - Golly has never let anything stand in her way when she wants something.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Dog Days?

Why do "they" call it "dog days of summer?" I've always wondered. Why August and not April? Is it because in the heat dogs like to just lie around and so do we? In the heat we just do what's necessary and then find a nice shady tree to sit under?
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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

It's a mess

We've been working hard (okay, the handyman has been working hard) getting our place in shape for a practice ring (obedience, agility, meet-ups, seminars, etc). We're at the part where everything is just a shambles and it looks like it'll never come together. Which means it's right on schedule and we should be seeing dogs in and out of here pretty soon. I can't wait for the ring to be up and going - I've been looking forward to having our very own puppy playpen!
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