Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

Every year Thanksgiving makes me stop and take stock. I guess it's the name of the holiday. Thanksgiving. Things I'm thankful for - friends (and I count all our blog readers and Facebook friends here) and family. And the ability through modern technology to keep up with our far-flung friends and family. I'm thankful that our local family came together at Thanksgiving for a meal.

I'm thankful for my own little family - the dogs (even, maybe especially, the "works in progress") and especially my sister and business partner! - Fran

Friday, November 19, 2010


Tango loves to work! Loves, loves loves to do stuff! (I've said that before, I know. But let me continue.) And he loves to work for cheese! See Pam - I'm paying attention! String cheese cut into griffie-size pieces. Cheese is brought out of the refrigerator for training sessions, classes and our weekly lesson with Dee.

But from the day I got him, Tango hadn't wanted to tug. As most dog agility people will tell you, tugging is a great way to focus your dog and get him excited about working. So I've been working at it. I didn't want to overdo it, because that's the best way to turn him off. I tried to find a toy that he wanted to keep in his mouth, but at first he just let it go when I tried to share the toy with him. Then he'd let me hold the toy as well. Then he like to actually tug on it. But not in class, of course.

I tried a Tug-it (a mesh thingie that holds pieces of food with velcro at the top and a handle), but Tango didn't understand why he couldn't get the cheese that was inside it by licking it and got frustrated. But he like tugging on it empty. So we ran with that. But it didn't always keep Tango's interest in class.

But during Wednesday's lesson, Dee suggested that I try putting cheese into the Tug-it again. Eureka! Tango became a tugging fool! And during last night's agility class, the cheese-filled Tug-it kept Tango's interest over the other dogs walking by (mostly). Persistence and patience pay! But now I have to wash the Tug-it.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Tango got his hair cut today. And Tammy (his groomer) said he was much better! I am so happy! I know that Tango's been better at home (except for a couple of minor skirmishes, particularly on Halloween) and at class, but this this gives me real encouragement. Maybe everything is clicking in his brain? Maybe Tango is realizing that good behavior gets him excellent rewards - praise, yummy cheese, more time to play with Teddy and Dax? Hmmmm.... and Ceilidh is even accepting Tango more these days!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Construction zone

Almost done with this phase of construction! Just the second coat of yellow left to do! Our trainer, Dee, asked us to build six more dogwalk trainers. This gives the correct angle of the dogwalk ramp, but without the length of the dogwalk itself. And it lets six people and pups train the proper method of getting on and off the dogwalk. And that's a good thing. Hope cleverly figured a great locking mechanism for the leg, to give just the right angle! Hope, Emily (our good friend and part-time helper), and I built the dogwalk trainers over the course of a couple of weeks. Next project - a table for Dogs in the Ring! - Fran