Monday, March 31, 2008

Sad news

We just found out that Jean Clodwick passed away last week. We never met her in person, but last winter when mom was looking for a Sheltie puppy, she emailed Jean for some advice on Ohio area breeders. Jean was the American Shetland Sheepdog Association's OH breeder referral person. She was very kind and generous with her time and advice in her emails. Mom greatly appreciated her help and will always remember Jean for her kindness and friendliness and for her part in bringing me into mom's life! We extend our sincere condolences to Jean's family. She will be greatly missed.

Jean Marie Clodwick, 54, Internationally Known Breeder & Trainer of Shelties

Jean Marie Clodwick (nee Fries), 54 of Vermilion, died Thursday, March 27, 2008 at her home after a lengthy illness.
She was born December 22, 1953 in Lorain and has been a Vermilion resident since 1977, moving from Lorain.
She was an internationally known breeder and trainer of Shelties and judged dog shows around the country. She was a member of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA), Cleveland Shetland Sheepdog Club, Three Rivers Shetland Sheepdog Club and the BAHA Herding Club.
Survivors include her husband of 30 years, Michael Clodwick; father, Arnold Urban Fries of Avon, Ohio; brothers, David J. Fries of Painesville and Richard Fries of Lakewood; sisters, Patricia A. Hart of Leesburg, FL, Susanne Pollack of Middleburgh Hts and Mary Catherine Vicens of Winston Salem, NC; and 10 nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death was her mother, Margaret T. Sechkar in 1999.
A celebration of Jean's life will be held on Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7 pm at the Riddle Funeral Home, 5345 South Street, Vermilion.
In Lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the ASSA Sheltie Rescue, P.O. Box 819 New Lenox, Illinois 60451.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


For the past two days mom and I have been painting the boards for the new agility equipment she and grandpa are building for me. Yesterday we primed the boards and today we painted two coats of the blue paint (on one side of each board). It has been really cold in the garage - 30s and 40s - I haven't noticed the cold but mom sure has. Tomorrow we hope to paint the blue on the other side and maybe get started on the yellow for the contact zones. It supposed to rain though and that slows up the whole process. I am getting so excited to try out my new stuff! (Oh and mom says you should ignore the messy garage!)
Today is my mom and dad's fourth wedding anniversary! Congratulations to them! I can't imagine what their life must've been like for the first 3 years of their marriage without me - boring I would imagine! But I know their past year has been awesome! Tonight they are going out for a romantic dinner to a restaurant that doesn't allow pups. That's ok with me though. I know mom will feed me my dinner before they leave and also give me some good treats in my kongs when I go into my crate. They deserve a relaxing evening out, and I'll be waiting here for them when they get home!
Gotta zoom!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Long Day

Early this morning mom and I left and met grandpa at Home Depot to buy more supplies to make our new agility equipment. I went in the store to help them find just the right lumber and PVC for our dog walk, teeter, and table. When we got what we needed, we headed over to grandpa and grandma's house! Hurray - my third time there this week! Mom and grandpa worked really hard sawing and cutting and building. I spent a lot of the time in the house with grandma. They finished all the lumber cuts and built the base for the dog walk and the table. Now mom and I have to paint all the boards with primer and then a couple coats of paint. There is a lot involved in building this agility stuff. I'm lucky to have mom but also my grandpa to build it for me! I promise to practice and practice when everything is finished and ready in my backyard!

After all the building, my cousins Wilson and Sandy showed up - now we were having a party! I followed Wilson around and ignored Sandy (she ignored me too). There were 3 pups and 10 people over for dinner! It was fun but when mom said it was time for us to go home, I headed straight for the car. What a long and exhausting day! As soon as I finish writing this, I will be taking a pre-bedtime nap on the couch!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

From Sunshine to Rain

Yesterday was a beautiful day! Sunny and a high temperature in the low 60s. In the morning mom and I went to a sort of hodge-podge obedience class at the club. We ran into our favorite trainer - I was thrilled to see her and her BC! They were there to do a little agility training. (Once you get to a certain level in agility - I think it's level 3 - you can go to the club on Wednesday mornings and use their equipment to work on your obstacles and moves.) Mom and I went into the other building for the obedience class, and it was FULL of dogs and their moms or dads! I mean I have never seen so many other dogs in a class. It was almost impossible to get any real training done. We did a little healing, a sit-stay (hate those - my back feet keep slipping out from under me), a down-stay, a couple recalls, a stand-stay and by then we had enough. (Also I got a little spooked by a GSD puppy - he gave me a look I didn't like and then I didn't want to go near him again at all!)

We spent the majority of the afternoon outside. I helped mom vacuum out her car and do a little gardening and then we cut some PVC pipe to make another jump. Now I have 3 jumps plus weave poles, the tire jump, and a couple small tunnels. Mom and grandpa are going to work this week on making a table, a teeter, and a mini dog walk! Soon we will be able to practice actual courses in our backyard!

Today we went from warm and sunny to chilly and rainy. Oh well, that's Ohio for you! Mom and I walked in the rain - the bad weather doesn't stop us! - I came back soaking wet and muddy and had to wait while mom patiently cleaned me off. We have done a few training sessions in the house today - working on my tricks, lessons, and even a little agility. Pretty low-key day. On a bright note, I just found a delicious bone in the yard (it must've belonged to my neighbor dog friend and some how it got into my yard - squirrel, maybe?). I think it is a REAL bone and I've never tasted one before! Mom is letting me chew on it awhie - guess I must be a good boy!!

Gotta zoom!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Class recap

Last night's pre agility class went well. It goes on until rather late - 9:30 - past my bedtime. Class is supposed to start at 8:00 but never starts until about 8:20 because there is a puppy class in the building at 7:00 and they never leave! Last night I did great! Since I have had a foundation class before and since mom and I have also been training on our own, I either know how to do the stuff already or I just get it right away. I am really good at walking over cavelletis (don't know what a cavelleti is? Neither do I. It's a bunch of posts and boards put down in a sort of haphazard row and I have to walk over them.) We have started doing that with some lateral distance - I go away from mom over the cavelletis and mom is some distance from me off to the side. This distance doesn't bother an indepedent pup like me at all, but it impresses the teachers! We also started 2o2o (two feet on, two feet off) contact work - no problem for me! And we started jumping - yeah, finally an obstacle to do! This week we are going to practice shadow handling - basically I follow mom's hand around while she walks in all different directions (I shadow her). I'm there as long as treats are involved!

By the way, our walk was really good this morning! We did the long walk, and a lot of cars passed us on their way to work, but I only let out one or two barks total for the entire walk! For some reason I was able to control myself better this morning - mom was very happy!

Gotta zoom!


Monday, March 24, 2008

Pre Agility

This morning mom and dad took me to one of our local reservoirs to do a little birding! They like to watch birds - I don't really get the point of just looking at birds when we could be herding them, but that's what we do. Boy was it windy and COLD on the walk on the top of the dam! It is hard to believe this is March weather. We saw common loons, horned grebes and lots of redbreasted mergansers. I had a good time smelling around and barking at joggers (again, sorry mom!).

Mom tried to do a little agility practice with me in the backyard this afternoon, but I was in a very barky mood. We did work on "shy" in the house and I think I might be starting to understand what I'm supposed to do.

Tonight is our third pre agility class at the dog club where we are members. Even though I have already taken a foundation class, we were required to take this class to go on to level 1. That's ok - we are strengthening our basic foundation moves - like come to hand, touch, go out (away), cues, start-line stays, etc. So far all of the exercises have been very easy for me! Unfortunately we haven't done a single jump yet, and it doesn't look like we are going to be doing much of any obstacle work. Mom and I can't wait to get going on the obstacles. I have not yet been introduced to a real dog walk, teeter, a-frame, chute, or pause table!

Gotta zoom!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Today I get down to the business of regular posts and letting you all know what goes on in my life from day to day. Springtime is slowly arriving in Ohio. The temperatures don't seem springlike - this morning's low was in the 20s. But more birds are arriving each day and beginning to sing their spring songs and some of the earliest flowers are blooming and trees are budding. Early this morning Mom and I went on our daily exercise walk. We walk on sidewalks in our neighborhood. We're lucky enough to live in a place where it's safe and relatively quiet for dog walking. We have a long walk (a little over 3 miles) and a short walk (about 2 miles) - today we did the long. I was a perfect dog for probably 80% of our walk today - hanging out on a short but loose leash right next to mom! Close to the end of our walk a couple cars got the best of me and I had to let out a few barks! (Sorry, mom, I just couldn't help it!).

Mom is teaching me new tricks all the time - cool! I am good at most of them and very quick to learn them - don't like to brag but it's true! Last night we started working on "are you shy?" Mom put something sticky (called tape) on my muzzle and I immediately swiped at my nose with my paw to try to get it off. I must've done something right because mom said "yes!" and gave me a treat. Am I getting a treat for getting that stuff off my nose? I admit that I am a little confused about this one and will need some more help from mom! (Ask me to wave! That's one I am sure about!)

After lunch we are going to grandpa and grandma's for a visit and for Easter dinner. I love going to their house. Grandma always leaves a surprise in my food dish for me and gets out all my favorite toys. They have a really big house with a fun basement and intriguing upstairs, and I have to check them out each time I am there. When the weather is good mom takes me out to run and run in their huge grassy yard (on my flexi of course - grandpa's yard isn't fenced in like our's is - maybe some day grandpa will fence in his yard for me - that would be so awesome!)

Hope everyone has a great day today!

Gotta zoom!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Christmas and the New Year

Well, I've only been in the blogging business for a couple of days now, and I have you almost all caught up with what's been happening in my life so far! In December I got to see my very first snowfall - oh, I love snow! I love eating it and zooming around in it. I wouldn't mind if we had snow all the time. The only thing I don't like about it is I have to be patient and let mom dry me off every time I come in the house. You can see how much I like snow in my video on YouTube!

I enjoyed my first Christmas but didn't let the excitement of the holidays affect me too much. When the new year started, I got to take a foundation agility class with my trainer Deb! Mom and I had been doing a little dabbling in agility on our own, and I loved learning how to jump, go tire, go weave, touch target, and walk it. In the class we started doing more sophisticated moves like front cross, rear cross, and blind cross. Mom did the fancy moves, and I just followed her hand around and did the obstacles that she directed me to. So far I am fearless on the equipment and can't wait to get out on a real agility course!

In February we celebrated my first birthday! I would say that I have come a long way in a year - I love my life and love learning new things and can't wait to see what the next year of my life brings!

Gotta zoom!



By the time September rolled around, I was getting to be a big boy - look at all that fur! I started an advanced obedience class where I learned to work off-leash and to focus on Mom instead of the other dogs. On graduation night I had to complete a novice obedience routine and I won first place (with a little help from Mom!)

Oh, I almost forgot! I had my first herding experience in September! Mom and Dad drove us out to the middle of nowhere to a small farm with sheep. It was so exciting - sheep and lots and lots of sheep poop! A herding dog's dream come true! Mom and I went into the pen with a herding instructor and four ornery looking sheep. But I knew what to do right away and was soon keeping those sheep together in one spot with my precisely calculated moves! I'm hoping we get to go back there again one day. (Mom says she'll add my herding video to YouTube soon so watch for it!)

Our backyard has these big old trees with lots of leaves that kept us nice and cool in the summer. But by November all those leaves came down, and I took it upon myself to help with the raking - the rake is a moving object, you see! I had a blast running through the piles of leaves and barking at the rake. The next morning I woke up and could barely see out of my left eye! Mom and I didn't know what was wrong and since it was a Sunday, she took me to the emergency vet. There they did some horrible tests (involving putting stinging drops in that eye!) and found out that I had a scratched cornea. We went back home and after a week or so of more eye drops and trips to my regular vet (remember I really like her), my eye was healed. So next year, no more leaf-raking for me!

Gotta zoom!


The Rest of the Summer

During July and August I really concentrated (as much as a puppy can!) on my lessons and classes with my mom and my dog trainer Deb. I learned a lot! I completed my beginning obedience class and graduated with top honors! My mom finally started to walk me again with the help of my "walking collar" which is a micro-pinch collar ( a pinch collar made especially to fit small but wild pups like me). Mom fought the idea of using it for a long time and tried to get me to listen to her on walks with just my martingale collar. But my desire to chase those cars (bikes, joggers, etc.) was just too darn strong! I couldn't really ignore that pinch collar though. It doesn't hurt but it gets my attention and keeps me from pulling Mom. I'm glad we were able to get out there and walk - I love the exercise!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, March 21, 2008

My First Summer

A lot happened during my first summer! I absolutely loved being outdoors, and mom and I spent most of our time out in our backyard. My favorite thing was chewing on sticks - I could do that for hours on end! I also discovered how much fun it was to play with the water hose on a hot day, to sit on mom's lap while dad paddled our kayak, to go for fun car rides, to run on my flexi-lead in big grassy fields, to chase my Golden Retriever cousin Wilson as he fetched tennis ball after tennis ball (what's up with that, by the way?), and to experience all the new sights, sounds, and smells (absolutely everything was new to me).

I think I told you that I started to develop some out of control issues - they weren't issues as far as I was concerned, but mom couldn't figure out how to curb my enthusiasm for all moving things. So she called a dog trainer. My new trainer Deb came over, and I really didn't like her too much at first. She wouldn't let me do what I wanted to do and worse yet, she taught mom some skills to cope with my behaviors. (Deb has become one of my most favorite people in the whole world - along with my mom and dad, of course, and grandpa and grandma, and my vet!) I was very intent on asserting my independence and wanted to be in control. But I slowly started trying to listen to what mom was telling me to do! Mom also started me in a puppy class at our local dog club. That was fun because I got to work on my lessons (ie. sit, down, stand, stay, come, etc.) and to meet other puppies - hard to believe that they were puppies since they were all so much bigger than me! Soon after that we started a beginning obedience class taught by Deb. That's where my real education began!
Gotta zoom!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My First Video!

Here is a video made on my second day in my new home! As you can see, I was already feeling very comfortable and happy and was having a great time "getting" my blue bunny! (I still have that bunny although he is a little worse for the wear and looks a lot smaller to me now!)

Gotta zoom!


The Early Days

If I remember correctly, I was a pretty wild puppy! I don't think my mom had any idea of what she was in for with me. I learned some things really quickly - like doing my potty outside, listening to basic commands like sit, down, and come (well, usually!), what things I could chew and what I couldn't, and being a good and patient puppy in my crate (including sleeping through the night at 9 weeks old). But I wasn't one of those "I'll follow you any where, Mom" kind of pups. I was independent and wanted to go my own way. I got the zoomies when I would least expect them and would only stop to rest when my mom would put me in my crate for a nap! When I was around 10-12 weeks old, I started to get very excited about anything that moved - cars, bikes, paper towels, window blinds - mom didn't know what to do to control my overenthusiasm! It got to be impossible for mom to take me on walks because all I wanted to do was to herd those cars. (Don't tell mom but I STILL can't really get my mind off cars when we walk these days - I'm just a little better at hiding my urges!)

Gotta zoom!


My first blog entry!

Hi! My name is Ricky and I am a 13-month-old tri-color Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie, for short). I was born on February 15, 2007, but I don't remember much about that time of my life. My mom and dad brought me to their home on April 7th, and that's all I really remember - my life with them. I have had a wonderful life so far! I've grown up and learned a lot, and I am excited that mom suggested that we keep this blog as a record of everything that has happened to me and that will happen to me! I am a busy guy - too busy some might say! I have to catch you up on what I've done in the first year of my life. So stay tuned and over the next few days, I'll fill you in!

Gotta zoom!