Friday, August 29, 2008

We're home!

We're home! Seems like we were gone a long time. We had a very good visit with my cousins and my aunt and uncle. First thing after we got there and made it through the usual pandemonium of all of us seeing each other again (I only see Wilson - he's my hero!), mom noticed that Sandy's eye looked funny. My aunt said she thought it was probably an allergy and she wasn't too worried about it. But mom was worried so my aunt called her vet and got an appointment right away and took Sandy in. Mom stayed with my cousins - that was fine by me because Wilson and I got to go outside and play fetch! (and you all know how I play fetch!) Here we are right before or after playing - I can't remember. Long story short about Sandy - we picked her up later in the day and the vet couldn't figure out for sure what was causing her third eyelid to show - her ear was all plugged up and they cleaned it out and gave my aunt some ear medicine. Hopefully that will help her eye too. At least an x-ray showed there was nothing serious!

After dinner we went to an ice cream place appropriately called "The Cone." Since I am such a little guy and so easily portable, I get to go places while my poor cousin Wilson has to stay at home. So there are advantages to being a small dog! Mom loves to go to The Cone because they have twist cones made of orange sherbet and vanilla soft-serve that she says taste exactly like something called a dreamsicle that she used to eat when she was a kid.

As you can see, there are also disadvantages to being a small dog:
Here is a photo of the three cousins - Wilson, me and Sandy - perfect angels all sitting quietly next to my aunt's fish pond - models of patience and obedience! (You can kind of see that Sandy's left eye doesn't look quite right.)
The next day I was lucky enough to get to go to the park - we walked on a trail around a big lake while one of my non-dog cousins rode her bike and my other non-dog cousin walked with us. At the end of the trail we stopped and fed the ducks.
So it was fun visiting my cousins and my aunt and uncle! I am a lucky dog to have such a great family. Hopefully it won't be long before we go to visit them again.

Gotta zoom!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Going on a little trip!

Mom and I are leaving tomorrow to go and visit my cousin Wilson for a couple days! We haven't been there in quite awhile and we're really looking forward to it! We plan to take our camera and fill you in on all of the fun when we get back.

We signed up for a beginning intermediate agility class that starts on Sept. 4! Finally we will get back into regular wanted to take private lessons like once a month, but she thought I might do better with weekly exposure to all of the obstacle equipment. So we'll see how it goes!

Have a good Wednesday and Thursday!

Gotta zoom!


Saturday, August 23, 2008


It's gotten really hot around here again - hopefully this weather won't last too long. And it is super dry - no rain in forever! The grass is brown and dead. Mom and I water the flower garden just to help it survive. Our 15-year-old dogwood tree looks to be dying - it's losing it's bark and the leaves are curling and drying up. Mom is hoping to save it by drip-watering it - I like that idea because it's as if I have my own private drinking fountain out there in the back of the yard!

I have felt pretty good all week now. No more yellow, frothy vomit or regular vomit. I get a nice big biscuit right before bedtime to try to keep my stomach from getting too empty. Mom has been worrying again about what type of dry kibble I should be eating. She has been giving me a grain-free kibble for a month now. But she's not sure grain-free is really the way to go with me. I don't care as long as I get some good food in my bowl twice a day! I think she worries too much!

Today we went to visit with grandpa and grandma again. We were there on Wednesday too. Grandma had surgery on her knee. She is recovering well - she can already walk on it - I'm glad she feels good enough to put the surprise treat in my bowl - I always look for it the minute I run into their house! (so it's not really a surprise any more!) Mom and I did a little gardening for grandma and also played ball in the yard.

We haven't been doing much training this week - first I was recovering from my mysterious illness and then it has gotten so HOT! We have practiced a little with the mouse pad like my friend Johann has been doing. I think I understand I am supposed to touch the pad with my paw. We tried putting it on the contact bottom of the dogwalk board and I do hit it with my paws but it is slippery and so I slide down. We need to come up with a mouse pad that isn't slippery. It seems like a good method for teaching running contacts when you don't have a full-size dogwalk. Any way it's fun to learn something new - I always get lots of treats for the new stuff!

Gotta zoom!


Monday, August 18, 2008

I think I'm over it!

Well thanks everybody for all your get well wishes and comments! I think I am finally over whatever bug I had. I ate my regular dinner last night and had a regular breakfast this morning. I even pooped this morning!

Mom got me some of those char-tar biscuits yesterday. They are huge! Do you really eat two of them a day, Reilly? I only weigh 13 pounds! My vet did tell us in an email from last night that she is not in favor of the charcoal idea and prefers giving dogs pepcid. She said you can give it each night before bed and that she has seen Yorkies with the same problem. But mom is not a fan of giving a medicine every day. So she thinks she needs to research the charcoal thing some more, and she'll talk to Dr. Jan about it in person and see why she doesn't recommend charcoal.
Any way I am hoping to get back to some of my usual activities - herding birds and squirrels, zoomies, longer walks, car rides, visits to the park, and training! I miss the obedience, tricks, and agility stuff! And I especially miss the treat rewards!

Gotta zoom!!!!!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Still kind of sick

Well, mom kept me relatively quiet all day yesterday and fed me lots of little meals of chicken and rice. We thought we had made a lot of progress, but at 6:00AM I had the yellow, frothy vomit again. Since mom is trying to give me small meals, I'm sure this throw up was because my stomach was empty. For breakfast I had chicken and rice with a little of my kibble mixed in. It's hard to know how much food I should eat at a time - don't want to have a major relapse. Also I haven't pooped since early yesterday - not much going in, not much going out! Guess it will take awhile to get back to normal. Mom and I are not very patient and want to be back to normal NOW!

Hope you all are having a better weekend than me!

Gotta rest (again, no zooming!)


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Since I last wrote

We've been having some busy days around here. The weather is still great and we try to be outside as much as we can. A few days ago mom and dad took me for an awesome walk at a nearby metro park. We've been there before - it's the place with the 3.5 mile pet trail. But this time when we went, mom put on my long line and let me walk the trail "off-leash"! Totally cool! I stayed with mom and dad but also got to run and smell a lot. I am a very path-oriented dog, so I stay right on the trail. It was a fantastic walk!

Thursday night was the mock obedience competition in Deb's advanced class. You may remember we have taken this class twice before and each time we do the competition, our score goes down. Well the third time we got the lowest score yet - mom thinks that Deb is scoring us more critically each time because mom thinks we did our best-ever on Thursday night. Actually our entire class did well. I was ok on heel on leash and off leash and on figure eight (but the heeling stuff is still our weakest part - I sniff a little and sit poorly, etc.) My stand-for-exam was good. On the recall I sat too far from mom but my military finish was excellent! Long sits and downs were perfect. I was happy to see Deb as always and happy to get my chicken hot dogs treats!

Yesterday we visited grandpa and grandma. We went to a garage sale, had a great lunch, helped grandma do a little gardening, and went for ice cream at a local ice cream stand.

The only bad part of the past few days is that I am sick! Yesterday morning I vomited a little yellow, frothy bit of stuff - sometimes this happens to me early in the morning before breakfast, so mom didn't worry about it. We went on about our business yesterday and then about an hour after I ate my dinner, I threw it all back up! This is not like me at all! Mom was concerned but I wasn't really acting sick - still barking and running, etc. So after a couple hours, since I was so hungry, she let me have a little rice. Well, darn if I didn't throw that up within 20 minutes after eating it. That really worried mom, so she put me on a leash to keep me quiet and lying next to her and we just rested until bedtime. I slept all night and got up hungry. Mom has let me have some ice chips so far - she is being very cautious this morning. I am HUNGRY and really don't know why I haven't gotten my breakfast yet! Mom says she doesn't want to upset my stomach and that I'll have to wait a little longer and then she'll let me have a little rice again. We'll cross our fingers and hope I keep it down. Fortunately, vomiting seems to be my only symptom so maybe this is just a little stomach upset and I'll be fine in no time.

Gotta rest (zoom later, hopefully)!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beautiful weather!

We have been having absolutely beautiful weather here in Ohio the past few days - low humidity, highs around 80 degrees and lows around 60. Not usual for August but I am loving it! I have much more energy for walks and for agility practice - wish it would stay like this forever!

I had such a busy week last week that I never shared any photos from our kayaking trip last Monday. We went to another nearby reservoir (not the same one where we went camping) and kayaked.

Over the weekend mom found out that her mother-in-law (so my other grandma) and her Border Collie Kyle were invited to the National Obedience Invitationals for the second time. They went in 2006 and placed in the top 8 dogs in the country! Here is a video of Catherine and Kyle from the 2006 competition -

Catherine also has her own website - Canine Competitive Obedience Toolbox that has a ton of information and also great videos of her and Kyle! So now we know two people and their dogs that will be going to Nationals in December! Awesome! Kyle was mom's inspiration to get me! So thanks, Kyle!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

My first-ever camping trip!

I just got back from my first-ever camping trip! Yesterday dad took mom and me to a state park not too far from here that is on a huge reservoir. Dad had camped there many times. He knew the best campsites and had one picked out for us that had a big grassy area and a mowed path down to the lake. It was perfect for us! The first thing we did was to pitch our tent. After we had set up camp, we walked a very short distance to a little beach in the campground. No one was there but us! I love running at the water's edge and chasing sticks. But dad also tried to teach me how to swim. He carried me out into the water - and then helped me to get going. It took a few tries, but then I was sort of doing it! I was swimming! I'll tell you what, though, I am not sure about the swimming part. I just wanted to get back on dry land and moved my legs as fast as I could to get there.
After swimming we went on a short hike on a nature trail in the campground. We saw lots of giant swallowtails - they are really beautiful butterflies - and ate lots of wild blackberries - yum! Then we came back to the campsite and took chairs down by the water's edge. We saw green herons and lots of dragonflies and damselflies.

Before dinner we went swimming again - I tried swimming some more and also got a major case of the zoomies on the shoreline. We also walked through the campground to the boat ramp and checked out the floating dock. For dinner I had my usual great food and mom and dad grilled some veggies and sandwiches. When it got close to sunset, we put the kayak in (right from our site) and dad paddled us around awesome coves and then finally way out into the big lake so we could see the sunset. Wouldn't you know it, but an enormous cloud covered the sun just as it was setting - oh well - still looks pretty though.
When we got back dad built a fire. I was soooooo tired - I couldn't believe we were still out in the wilderness and not home in our comfy house! I got up in mom's lap (something I never do - shows you just how exhausted I was) and fell asleep.

Camping was fun - hopefully we'll do it again some time. I am so tired - I can hardly keep my eyes open as I write this.

Gotta nap (then zoom)!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A game of fetch (sort of)

Here is the video of my idea of a game of fetch! I don't really get why Wilson is so into chasing the ball. I think chasing him is much more fun, and I am careful to conserve my energy because you never know how long the game may last.

Wilson is awfully good at retrieving - and he's even better at catching! We had a lot of fun! And thanks to grandma for her excellent ball-hurling skills!

Gotta zoom!


Visiting my cousins

On Sunday mom and I went to grandpa and grandma's to visit my golden retriever cousins Wilson and Sandy. My aunt was on vacation so the golden's spent about 10 days at grandma's. Lucky dogs! That's me and my best bud Wilson in the photo below. At first I am always in shock when I see him - he is so BIG! But then I get used to it again and follow him around every where.

This is a photo of Sandy - she and I just co-exist. We don't pay each other one bit of attention. For her, it's like I'm not even there.
Here's Wilson helping out in the garden like I do some times.
My favorite thing to do with Wilson is to help him play fetch. Grandpa's big yard is perfect for lots of long runs after the ball. Mom and I took some video and hope to post it later so you can see what I am talking about. We all took a walk out to the back of the yard - this year the farmer planted corn and it grew so high it's a just a wall of corn! Higher than an elephant's eye!

We had a great visit - and the weather was perfect - sunny but not too hot with a cool breeze. Grandpa gave us lots of fresh vegetables from the garden, we had a nice lunch, and we did lots of laughing and talking. I was very glad that I got to see Wilson. Mom says I'll see him at his house later this month! Cool! Can't wait!
Gotta zoom!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Private agility lesson

Today we had our private agility lesson with a new instructor! We started out with showing her a little of what we know. We did a few jumps and a front cross and a post turn. We did the dog walk (my first-ever full height walk!) and a good 2o2o contact. Then we tried the chute (our instructor knew about our problems with the chute). I went through it but only if it was held open a little at the end. Fortunately she said she's not worried about it. Guess she figures I'll get it eventually.

After that we started working with a single jump on mom's handling. We worked on front crosses - mom had to remember to support me over the jump with her arm and to bring me to her side after the jump. We also worked on collection over the jump - I was turning really wide - with the right cues from mom, I started to turn a lot tighter. We did a little work on rear crosses and 90 degree and 180 degree turns on the flat. We did some recalls over two jumps. Then we did some jump sequences to get me moving faster and more confidently and to get mom thinking more and practicing her front crosses closer to the jump I was heading for. Also mom has gotten into the habit of telling me "go, go" or "here", etc. and the instructor said mom should stick to using correct body language to tell me where to go and the name of the obstacle. Mom also has to work on getting the name of the obstacle out sooner.

At the very end of our lesson, I showed off my weaves - I did 12 entering from the right side and then 12 from the left side. My right side entries are better than my left although the instructor said from the left is easier because you can wrap around the first pole. She said we should practice lots of entries and also tunnel - weaves and jump - weaves. I had a good time with her - she gave me lots of treats and I followed her and did some more difficult weave entries - if I missed a pole, she got me all excited about trying it again. That's something that mom needs to figure out - better motivation for me.

So it was all in all a very good lesson. The instructor says I am cautious about what I am doing and that mom is a little too reserved - so I need to be more bold and fast and mom needs to be more exciting, I guess! We're not sure what we are going to do next - there is a regular class that starts the first week of September. Also there is a possibility of getting into another class that is already in progress. Or more private lessons. We'll have to see what we can afford to do. At least we have a lot of serious stuff to work on and a new, more focused and detailed way of thinking about what we need to do.

Gotta zoom!