Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wesley pics

This is Wesley's first Christmas so I took a few pictures of him in Christmas settings.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wesley meets Santa

Wesley did a nursing home visit today and they were having a Christmas party complete with Santa Claus. Wesley went right to him and snuggled up....apparently trying to get on the "nice" list. The people watching got a big kick out of that. Wesley was all dressed up with a bright red ruffled collar in keeping with the season. He is such a hit at the nursing home and is so well behaved that people almost don't believe he is only 9 months old.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nori and Wesley - Freestyle workshop

I took Nori and Wesley to a freestyle seminar this weekend and we had a great time. The seminar was small so we got a lot of time to work. Nori was happy to be out and about and getting to do some work again. I discovered she is very picky about music. She works to anything that is being played and does a nice job but when a piece really appeals to her she gets much more animated, her moves are more dynamic and the other attendees said her tail seemed to wag in tune to the music. Nori's taste does seem to differ from mine. She was raised with classical music, broadway songs, opera, and golden oldies but she really liked zydeco. Who knew? I was very happy with Wesley. He was able to work with 6 other dogs out on the floor and even did a nice solo improv off lead. He has a lot of power in his movement yet can rock back on his rear for slower stuff and still keep a trot. The music had 2 places that just begged for a pause so I moved in front of him and he stopped in a stack and then I moved him back to heeling on the opposite side. Several people said that should definitely be a move in his routines as he looks so pretty standing like that. He had a lot of fun and seems to really like freestyle so I will start looking for music for him.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wesley Class 6

Wesley finished up his obedience class session Wednesday evening. He did a nice job on his graduation exercises although I do know I am going to have to work with him around dogs running agility. He becomes absolutely mesmerized and it seems fairly obvious that he thinks that is going to be a lot of fun. I'll be taking him to any agility run throughs I can find and just sit outside the ring and C/T for attention. We have about a month before any other classes start. I like the distractions provided by the place we were going for the obedience class but I don't want that long a drive in the winter. I'm a big chicken about driving in snow or on frozen roads. We will at least go to the conformation classes at my club for January and February and then in March I'll put him in an agility foundations class. He does nice heeling and has a great recall. He is getting better on his sit and stand for exams....not kissing the examiner. He has several cute freestyle moves and knows a bunch of tricks. He retrieves wooden, leather, plastic, and metal articles and has started scent discrimination work. We have done some nosework and tracking and he is very keen on that. He does a baby dogwalk, tunnels, the chute and bump jumps and is very fast. He likes things to move so he shouldn't have any problem with the teeter when he gets old enough. He knows all of the rally exercises through excellent although we will try to get in more proofing practice before entering competition. He loves people and other dogs and has wonderful greeting behavior with new dogs. He is maturing very nicely and we will probably hit a few breed shows in January.  All in all he is a really great puppy and I am delighted with his looks, his movement, his personality, and above all, his intelligence.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Harry RE

Harry and I went to a rally trial Friday and I am pleased to say he got his 3rd RE leg with a 3rd place. Good boy, Harry.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Extreme Counter Cruising

Usually I have some brag about how well Wesley has done something but tonight I'm not sure if I have a brag or an "Oh My!!!". My husband was running the dogs out and Wesley just hopped up on the kitchen counter. It was so effortless and graceful that we just stood there sort of open mouthed. He was on the floor and the next second he was on the counter. He is quite a clever little fellow and obviously very athletic. I don't think the 24" table in agility is going to be any challenge at all but I think we'll have to try to deter him from the new sport of extreme counter cruising.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wesley - Class week 3

Wes had a busy day. He did his 2nd nursing home visit and he did very well. Everyone just loved him and he loved all the petting. He is going to make a great therapy dog.

Tonight was the third class of his obedience class. We missed last week as I was away but we did work on the homework for the class. He is still fascinated with the flooring but he was improved. He also got distracted by the dogs running agility in the next ring....looked like more fun... but he was able to get it all together and do some very nice work. He has great attention once he has settled down. I'm hoping to get him to some "10 minute ticker" type things so he can get practice in a variety of new places. He is very smart but also very social and is positive everyone came just to see him.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Catching Up

I can't believe how long it has been since I updated the blog. Have had a hectic few weeks.

Wesley started an obedience class 2 weeks ago. The facility has a state of the art turf floor and he was very distracted at first as I think it holds the scent of all of the dogs that have been there but he figured it out and did some very nice work. I wish the class was a little more advanced but I think it will still be a good learning experience for him.

We missed the 2nd class as I was judging rally in Salisbury, MD Wednesday and Thursday. It was a nice club to judge for. They provided me with great stewards. I drove home right after finishing up Thursday and repacked my suitcase to head out the next day.

Friday, Wes and I drove to Parkersburg, WV. It was about 300 miles which isn't a bad drive but I hit snow for about 75 miles of the trip. As many of you know, I absolutely hate to drive if snow is expected within 500 miles of me. The snow stopped after we got through western MD and the rest of the drive was okay. Saturday we had a seminar with Deb Jones author of The Focused Puppy, the In Focus agility series and some recent articles in Clean Run. It was a lot of fun and reminded me to practice even very basic skills to keep them sharp.

Sunday, I pretty much tried to recover from 5 days on the road except for giving Wes, Harry, and Jamie a training session and taking Nori for a couple of walks.

Nori is recovering well from her TPLO surgery. It will just be a a couple of weeks until she can resume her normal life. Of course, we will have to build back up to agility slowly. I think she will be very happy to do some actual work.

It was a beautiful day today so we did some tracking with Wesley. I am going to have to find the gloves I wore to protect my hands when I started Jamie as Wesley is very eager to find that glove and he is very strong. I love how enthusiastic he is about everything we do.

I hope to be able to get some new pictures of Wes this week. He has really grown and is, in my not completely unbiased opinion, a very nice boy. I haven't entered him in any shows for the rest of the year but we will be looking forward to the January shows in Fredericksburg.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wesley's first pet therapy visit

I had to evaluate a dog for pet therapy today so I asked the activities director at the facility if I could bring Wesley along and let him come in and visit to see how he would do. I can definitely say being a pet therapy dog is in his future. He was absolutely wonderful and everyone just fell in love with him. He walked down the hall on a nice loose leash and stood very nicely for petting. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and I was very proud of him.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wesley brag

Wesley and I went to some UKC shows this weekend and he is now U-CH Blackthorn Ravenwood Come Fly With Me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pictures from Catonsville

We went to some shows this weekend. I had recognized that Wesley needs some more time to mature but I didn't want to pull him and possibly break the majors so we went for the practice. He showed very well and the Friday and Saturday judges did give him a good look. I'd show to them again when he grows up a little more. It was his first time at an indoor show and he handled all of the noise and activity very well. He did have a grand time meeting new people and new dogs. He loves motels since there are always people around who want to pet him. Here are some pictures that Linda Davis very kindly took of him while he was in the ring. Thanks, Linda, both for taking the pictures and being generous enough to share them. BTW, he is waiting for the exam in the first picture and the BOW sign just happens to be in the picture. He only won his class.

There are a few more pictures at  including one that shows how well-behaved he is for the exam.

He will be starting an obedience class the first week of November and one of the clubs will be having run throughs in November and I will take him for rally and obedience run throughs. I'm not in a hurry for him to grow up. The ones that mature slowly tend to be the ones that hold together really well as they age. I'm having a lot of fun with him and am delighted with all of the nice compliments he gets.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rally trials

Harry went to rally trials Friday and Saturday and earned 2 legs towards his RE. He hasn't been out since last December and he was somewhat stressed Friday. Yesterday he worked much better. However, the judge was apparently not releasing dogs from the honor until the handler of the working dog had reattached the leash. The honor is supposed to end when the working dog passes the finish sign at which time the honor steward says return to your dog. The finish sign was only a couple of feet from the rear of the honor dog. The working dog was a giant breed dog that was heeling wide and while the handler tried to attach the leash the dog swung his butt around and nearly stepped on Harry's tail. Harry got up which should have been okay since the exercise was over but the judge still took off 10 points. Why have an honor steward if you aren't going to have them do their job and why put the end of the course that close to the honor dog? I have been seeing that tendency more and more. The honor is crammed up against the ring gates and the working dog comes very close. Rally is supposed to be lower level competition than obedience and we never have a working dog coming up behind the dogs doing stays in obedience. It seems we, as rally judges, should be able to design courses that keep the dogs safely separated. I have seen a number of dogs that are really not under control off lead that have made it to rally excellent. I hate to think that one of these dogs would interfere with the dog doing the honor.

Friday, October 7, 2011

ODKC pics

Award winning photographer Linda Davis snapped a few candids of Wesley at the ODKC show 10/02 and has vey generously allowed me to post them to this blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekend shows

Wesley went to his first shows this weekend. As I said in a previous post, I am trying to measure our success in how well he shows. I was absolutely thrilled with him. He stacked beautifully, was perfect for the exam, and gaited nicely. I received many compliments on what a nice puppy he is. I did notice that he looked very immature compared to the dogs that were there. He will go to a few more shows for experience but then I'll probably concentrate on rally and obedience until he matures a little more. He is also working on agility but, at 6 months of age, I am mostly interested in developing a love for agility and in keeping his speed and enthusiasm. We'll start getting into the more serious stuff in the spring. He can do a lot of the obstacles already so I just want to keep it fun for him.

Prior to the shows I went shopping to try to find some skirts to wear in the ring.  I hate shopping and shopping for skirts was not anything I'd look forward to. I couldn't find anything. The skirts were either way above the knee (not going there) or mid-calf and very full. I am short so mid-calf cuts me in half. It's fall so I thought there would be beautiful fall colors like gold, forest green, red etc. but everything is shades of grey and black. I guess I will be forced to walk up to handlers who are wearing suits I like and ask where they bought them. I will have to venture out again to shop before the next set of shows. I hate to take time away from important things like playing with the dogs to shop.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wesley pics 9/15

Wesley will be 6 months old Saturday. Here are some quick pictures we shot today. Comments welcome. I am delighted with him in every way. He is handsome, extremely social, and super smart.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Freestyle Seminar

I took Jamie and Wesley to a Michelle Pouliot Freestyle seminar in Philadelphia this weekend. It was a great seminar and I came home with tons of ideas. I worked Wesley in the sessions that dealt with attention or innovation and Jamie in the ones that called for a dog with some actual freestyle moves. I was very happy with both of them. Wesley does not seem to mind any new situation. He is happy anywhere. He loves platform work so he really enjoyed that session. He also really enjoyed a session on introducing props. I had already done 2 one minute sessions with a skateboard at home so I already had him eagerly putting his front feet on but it only took 5 C/Ts to get him putting all 4 feet on it and he was able to repeat the behavior several times. I then changed to a child's shopping cart and did have him putting front feet up on the push bar but the session ended before I had a chance to teach him to push it forward intentionally. Jamie had such a good time doing freestyle again that I may work on a new routine for my spare time (Ha Ha).

Wesley had his first ride in an elevator and, as I expected, he just thought it was great fun. He and Jamie are great traveling companions which is fine because I want Wes to think of Jamie as a role model.

I'll post more later but I got home late last night, taught classes all morning, and have Wesley's puppy class tonight. He only has two more sessions of puppy class but my club's conformation classes start back tomorow night and we are going to focus on that for September and October.

I promise I will put up new pictures this week.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

UKC shows

I took Wesley to 2 UKC shows today. He isn't old enough for actual competition but they were offering the NLC (non-licensed class) novice puppy for puppies under 6 months so I decided it would be a good training experience. We haven't had any matches or any conformation classes all summer and he will be starting his show career in a few weeks. He did a very nice job. He stacked up and held his stack even though his tail was wagging so much I thought it would propel him across the ring. He didn't move a foot on the exam. I hope all judges will like his puppy kisses as much as the UKC judges did. He gaited really well. Both the judges and many of my fellow exhibitors commented on what a nice puppy he is. He was the only Dal there and actually the only under 6 mos puppy so I have to measure our success by how well I thought he performed and all I can say is....Good Boy, Wesley!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Responsible Dog Owners Day

This evening Warrenton Kennel Club had a booth for AKC's Responsible Dog Owners Day at a street fair in our little town. I took Wesley so I could help with the booth a while and he could do some meeting and greeting. I was so pleased with him. I expected him to be a little wild with lots of people, lots of dogs, and lots of excitement but he behaved beautifully. He stood or sat for petting from literally hundreds of people. He hasn't met a lot of children but he just loved them. He had his picture taken dozens of times. Everyone commented on how beautiful he was and how well-behaved he was. I am so proud of him. He is just a great puppy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

STAR Puppy Pictures

Wesley's STAR Puppy medallion and certificate came yesterday. Here are some pictures.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Pictures

Wesley has been doing a nice running dogwalk (baby dogwalk.... 8' boards and only 2' high) for quite some time. Today I put the a-frame down as low as it goes to see what he would do with it. I had him on lead as I placed one of his favorite tug toys on the ground and then took him to the other side and removed the lead. He raced right over the a-frame to get his toy.

After about 3 repeats, he raced to the other side, snatched up his toy, wheeled around, and came right back over the a-frame in the opposite direction. He is so clever.

We will not be doing much work on the a-frame until he is older but I want him to be familiar and comfortable with racing across it.

After his little agility session, he practiced some stays with his good buddy and mentor, Jamie.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wesley at 5 months

Wesley is 5 months old today. Comments welcome. I think he is amazing.

Nori Update

Nori seems to be recovering well from her TPLO surgery. The incision is healing nicely and there is no longer any bruising or swelling on the leg. She is putting weight on it. The difficult thing is going to be keeping her quiet for the next 2 months.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wesley Class 7

I was very pleased with Wesley at class last night. The instructor introduced shaping to the class. Of course, I started shaping with him in the hotel the first night I had him. The idea in class was to teach a puppy to go to place inside a hula hoop that was flat on the ground. Wesley has been taught to go to so many things that he ran to it the second it hit the ground. I clicked and treated by tossing his treat away from the hoop. He snatched up the treat and ran right back to inside the hoop. With a few C/Ts he was happily racing to get in position. I didn't want to overdo this as I limit shaping sessions but since other puppies were still working I decided he could learn to go back and forth through the hula hoop. I had the bottom of the hoop resting on the floor. He looked at the set up and then poked his head through the hoop...C/T. I tossed the treat and he raced back to try again. This time he immediately started through the hoop so I clicked and tossed the treat ahead of him so he could finish going through. Within a few C/Ts he was happily going through the hoop from both directions. We also worked on some right side heelwork which he has also been doing since I brought him home. He can change sides by doing a single leg weave, a spin to the outside (good skill for rear crosses), and by turning towards me as I turn towards him. He loves heelwork games. Once again we turned the puppies loose to run and play and he didn't leave me until I gave him permission to join the play group. He comes when called out of the play group. He plays beautifully with the other puppies. I am so glad he is in a class with other sweet, social puppies. They all display very nice greeting and play skills. His heelwork was good as were his stays. He did a nice stand stay with me doing the exam. Next week I'll ask the instructor to do the exam. I'm really having a blast with him.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wesley - Class 6

Wesley had his 6th puppy class last night and passed his STAR puppy. I'll put a picture up when I get his medallion and certificate from AKC. He was a very good boy and is getting better at working through distractions although he would love to play with all of the people and the other puppies. He is continuing on in a Puppy 2 class as I want him to practice working through distractions although I hate having to drive 40 miles to class.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Freestyle Seminar

I went to a freestyle seminar this weekend and had a great time. For the Saturday seminar I took Nori as my working dog as I had scheduled a private lesson (I had met with her orthopedic surgeon Friday and he said it was fine for her to go as long as we didn't do any jumping. He thought it would be good for her to do something she would really like. She had TPLO surgery this morning and is doing fine. Me....not so much. I'll be a basket case until I bring her home tomorrow.) She really enjoyed herself and did very well. We found a piece of music that she really liked and I will start working on the choreography while she recovers from the surgery. We won't be doing much of anything for a few months. I took Jamie on Sunday and he had a great time. He was so enthusiastic that I am going to have to do a new routine for him for a senior dog division. I took Wesley along both days. He didn't work in the seminar but he got to meet new people and new dogs. As always, he thoroughly enjoyed himself. I worked him in the ring during the breaks and he did really well. He acted like everyone had come to see him. I love his attitude. All in all it was a fun weekend and I am inspired to get back into freestyle.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jamie and Wesley

I had thought that Jamie, at 10 years of age, might find Wesley annoying. Wesley wants to play 24/7. However, Jamie is really enjoying his new buddy and loves to play with him. Yesterday they had some cute tug games going but by the time I thought to sneak out and get the camera they were about tired out. Here are a couple of pictures of them together.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wesley 7/30

Here are some new pictures of Wesley (Blackthorn Ravenwood Come Fly With Me).

We have just started doing the first grid from Susan Salo's Puppy Jumping DVD. As you can see, he is quite enthusiastic. He won't start any real jumping for quite a while but he is doing a tunnel, chute, baby dogwalk and a buja board.

He loves to work on the theraball...might have something to do with all of the cookies. I had to put it up off the floor when we weren't using it as he was trying to jump on it when I didn't have it stabilized. The little munchkin will try anything.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wesley - Puppy Class Week 3

Wesley had his 3rd puppy class last night and I was very pleased with him. He is able to do loose lead heeling with the other puppies and to focus on me even though he would love to play with his classmates and their owners. We practiced letting the puppies run together and then calling them back to us and he did a great job. The other puppies in his class seem to have good social skills and they all played really well together. We also practiced recalls across the room and he came to me like a little spotted rocket. He got bored and did some barking in class 2 when other puppies were working so I have been practicing relaxation work with him. Last night he just sat and watched me or stood quietly and watched when another puppy had center stage. He is a delightful little boy and I couldn't be happier with him.

Nori is now off anti-inflammatory meds but still on crate rest and leash walking. If the symptoms don't return within a week we will be able to start gradually increasing her exercise. She wants to run so bad that I feel sorry for her.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jamie and Nosework

Jamie had a great time at a fun nosework seminar yesterday. He was very tired as the dogs did a great deal of work but he gave it his all as he always does. We had 6 dogs working in very close quarters and there were only 1 or 2 incidents of dogs barking or indicating any displeasure at each other. Jamie was perfectly behaved with everyone. We covered a lot of ground in just 1 day. We ended with the dogs searching a room to find three pieces of food that someone else had hidden. Jamie did a really nice job and found all three pieces in a short time. I was so pleased with him. I'm hoping to find a canine nosework class sometime that doesn't conflict with something else I have to many little time.

Nori was not impressed that she had been left at home. I hope she will be allowed a little more freedom when she gets her re-check.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wesley and Puppy Socialization Time

I took Wesley to puppy socialization time last night. It was a terrible drive in heavy traffic and took me much longer than anticipated. When we got there I discovered only 1 other puppy had shown up. The other puppy was a very rambunctious Lab that was 8 months old. I had thought there would be puppies from Wesley's puppy class. Wesley had not dealt with a rough and tumble dog as his playmates have been either his age or they have been adults who know how to play gently. After about 30 seconds I almost ended the play because I thought the Lab was just too rough. I let it go a little longer and he seemed to figure out he would have to be a little tougher with her. After a short time they were playing nicely, albeit roughly, and he was having a grand time. I was very pleased that I could call him away from the play and he would come to me and give me his full attention to do some heeling, sits, down, stays, etc. and then could be released back to play mode. Both pups were exhausted by the time we left. He slept all the way home but had his energy back by the time we got home. Wish I had that kind of energy recovery!!! Wesley enjoyed meeting some new people and was a perfect gentleman with a little girl.  I was concerned that after the rough play he might try that on my adults at home but he didn't. He played calmly and quietly with them. I think he is getting to be very good at reading other dogs and he will have excellent social skills as he matures.

Nori is not enjoying crate rest at all. Her leg seems to be better as she walks with full weight on it but I know we still have a way to go before she can resume more normal activities.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wesley Pictures

I was emailed a reminder that I haven't posted pictures of Wesley in over a week so here are some new ones. It's been hectic around here. Nori partially ruptured a cruciate ligament so she is on crate rest and can only be walked on lead. I am supposed to walk (really just walk, not trot) her a couple of miles each day. Those of you who know Nori know that crate rest is not her thing. It's been so hot that about the only time we can actually walk is early in the morning or well after sunset.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Pictures

The pictures I took on Jamie's birthday were a mess. I forgot to change the settings on the camera and they were very blurry. This one came out so so.
Jamie gets a birthday snuggle from Wesley.

Here are some new pictures of Wesley. We are very happy with the way he is growing up.

Wesley is really into shaping so I decided to try to teach him to push a ball thinking he might be able to do treibball when he is older. He caught on very quickly but then added his own twist on the behavior. When I accidentally rolled the ball toward him, he put his feet up on it and "walked" it back to me. He is too clever.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jamie

Jamie celebrated his 10th birthday today. It's hard to believe it's been over 9 years since I went to the Netherlands to bring him here. He is such an absolutely wonderful boy. He had special treats including birthday cake that he shared with Nori, Harry, and Wesley. We adore you, Jamie, and are so happy you came to live with us. Some things are just meant to be. I took some pictures today but haven't had time to transfer them to the computer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wesley goes to puppy class

Wesley had a big day yesterday. First his good buddy Seal came over and they had a nice romp. Then, in the evening, he started his puppy class. He was a little distracted at first. After all, there were all those people and puppies he hadn't met yet but it didn't take him long to figure out he had to do some work. He was a very good boy. Tonight he went to conformation class where he met a very sweet Vizsla and he got to play with a mini wire Dachsie. He thought the Dachsie was a lot of fun. Of course, he had a great time visiting with all of the people. This is one very social young man and I am having a lot of fun with him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wesley - New Pictures

Wesley has been busy with his training. He has had more playdates with Seal and went to conformation class again last week. There was another Dal pup about a month older than he is and they had a great time together. He had a vet visit to update shots and get microchipped and was a perfect gentleman. He also went to a t-ball game Saturday morning where he met a lot of new people and a lot of children. He was so good with the small children.

Today we snapped a few new pictures.