Summer Road Trip

ImageHello everyone! Long time no bark! Summer has been craaaaazy!!! Anyways, I hope everyone had a great summer and hope you all brought your pets along to enjoy your luxurious vacation as well. I’d like to say that the heat was dreadful. With my double coat, I can barely manage to go for a potty break without passing out by heat stroke. We did get a lot of rain though so I’m grateful for that BUT it would only rain for 3 or 4 hours and the heat comes right back. Humidity doubles the heat but fortunately I’m spoiled by human technology (Air Conditioner). I LOVE sleeping on our vents after my potty breaks.

Unfortunately due to the heat, we didn’t get much time with training. We attempted to train at night around 10:00 pm and it was still around 90 degrees F. (32 degrees Celsius) and training inside the house is just too boring because we can only play hide’n seek or find-it for so long. I’m just waiting for Autumn so we can spend more time outside and training!

ImageThe highlight of my summer is our road trip to Minnesota! It’s about 1200 miles (1932 km) worth of driving excluding the stops for potty breaks and meals.

Even though I wasn’t the one driving, it was very tiring! Who would’ve though that being a passenger could be so much work! I had the entire backseat to myself yet I couldn’t get comfortable enough to fall asleep. There were so many new scents I discovered along the way. We even saw other dogs resting up from the tiring trip but they were all a bit cranky so I didn’t bother to approach.

Well, I could keep banging my paws on the keyboard all day or you can just look at how much fun I had through these photos.

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Feels like a loooooooong trip already! (Just left the drive way)

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Scary tunnel…

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Passed through the mountains with the beautiful sunlight.

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Finally here!!! Yay!!!

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I got to meet the White Chihuahua, Stitch! He’s about 4 years old but still acts like a puppy. My mommy took care of Stitch since he was born even though he wasn’t her dog. I guess I can call him my cousin. :D

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Mom’s mom wanted to show us her farm and so I got to do some exploring. Too bad there weren’t any squirrels or rabbits around…

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I thought I saw something in the bushes! I betcha it was a squirrel.

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It started to rain real hard at the farm so mom stuck me back into the van.

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Later, We took a trip to Dad’s sister’s house and look who I met! She’s probably the happiest human puppy I’ve ever seen! She didn’t mind me licking her either. *Lick*

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Another drive. No idea where, just following the parents.

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Just arrived and look! More human puppies! Dad’s having fun with these huma-pups since it’s been so long since he last saw them. I wonder why I never met them….

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Annnndd…. Another drive. Sooooo tired!!!

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WOW! Dad actually took me out! There are only 2 off-leash dog parks in the twin cities and here we are! This place is about 10-12 acres with lots of hiking trails. Love it.

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This is my meeting with Timber (More like his meeting to my rear end). He’s not that interested in playing… maybe because he’s older? I barked a few times to get him to run with me but he just turned away…. No Fun!

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Back to Stitch’s house. I slept over his house the most during my trip. In this picture, I was enjoying the 80 degree heat and cool Minnesota breeze. Sure beats the heck outta North Carolina Humidity!

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Last day of our trip and Dad’s sister had lots of goodies for us! I got cookies and the humans got snacks for the road.

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As you can see, I’m a bit sleep deprived but I know in 20 hours, I’ll be back home. Home sweet home!

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I actually knocked out the entire trip and woke up at Grandpa’s farm! It was a fun trip but I’d much rather stay in North Carolina.

The week after we got back, Grandpa invited Dad and us to go to the beach with them which is about 4 hours away. Thankfully dad declined! I’m done with road trips!

How do you all handle with road trips? Would you rather secure your dog in a crate in the back or have them at arms length away in the seat?

Vet Follow Up and possibly on TV

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Two weeks ago, we visited the vet due to lameness in Abby’s right hind leg from falling off our bed. I had to carry her, weighing at 75 lbs., down 2 flights of stairs and into my truck to the clinic. The Vet suspected a torn ACL and recommended Abby take it easy for the rest of the week. She totally blew it. We had her on house arrest but she ran everywhere! I would play fetch, teach her new tricks, hide and seek, all sorts of games. Some how, she was still overflowing with energy and had the zoomies almost every night. From what I could tell, she was perfectly fine and it was probably just a sore leg from falling off the bed.

ImageWith our follow up visit last week, unfortunately, our vet wasn’t in so we had another attend to Abby. We walked her around the clinic and back to the room. The vet physically examined her leg and gave me his opinion that there’s nothing wrong with her leg and even commented on how healthy she was. Great news although I already suspected it. I filled out some paper work and off we went to Grandpa’s farm for a week long anticipated off leash run-like-crazy fun time.

ImageEver since then, we’ve been to the park every day of the week as make up days because I owe her that much. While I was talking to other dog owners, a TV crew came to the dog park. In my head I was thinking, “Crap, I should’ve wore better clothes!” Of course, everyone had the same thing going through their minds and some even approached the crew. The explained that it’s all about dog nutrition and humans will be cut out. Great! I don’t know which station they were from but I’m guessing, from what the camera man’s shirt said, WBTV. The news lady asked if there were any obese dogs in the park. Unfortunately for her, all the dogs in the park were in tip-top shape. I’ll find a link of the broadcast once it’s released but none yet.

Oh right! July 4th just passed. Happy late 4th everyone. Abby was scared throughout the entire night as I patiently calmed her and assured her that they won’t come get her. Well, for some people, Independence day was celebrated on the 5th and the 6th. Thankfully, Abby has grown used to the loud noise (except for thunder). Eventually, she’ll just scare herself to sleep because I’ve tried treats, her comfortable bed, crate, in the bed with us. Instead, we get trampled on so I did what I always do for times of anxiety. I ignore it. I figure if we’re not bothered by it, she’ll come to find that everything’s alright.

I’m really interested in advancing Abby into a sport or some sort of job-like hobby. Abby has a great prey-drive. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 that I think she would love.

  • Tracking – because she’s great with her nose. I’ve scented a grassy field with her treats up to 10 yards distance and she found it easily. I’m sure other dogs can do this as well but it’s such a great feat!
  • Protection – from what I’ve read, prey drive has a lot to motivate protection instincts. Also, because it’s part of the breed. However, my wife is skeptical because then Abby would learn to bite which I’m sure protection is to teach bite inhibition and to control it.
  • Herding – I would definitely be willing to drive 1 or 2 hours to a training facility for herding. I grew up on a farm and want a dog that’s able to guard live stock rather than them being a buffet.

It would be much appreciated if I could get some insight on these sports/jobs for those that have experience in it.

And to end things with a good night. Here’s a sleepy face.

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Drugged out dog

ImageWhen I got home on Thursday morning, my wife called me and told me she heard a loud THUMP last night. She thinks Abby fell off the bed. I didn’t think much of it because she falls off the bed on occasions so I took her for a walk and a trip to the dog park. She was flying and had the entire park chasing her. It was great. Later that evening, I noticed a limp on her right hind leg. I’m sure it’ll go away, she just needs to walk it off. Well, next day, the limp went away so I took her to the park again. Yay! That afternoon while she was napping, she suddenly started to cry and whimper. I though, “Oh dear, let’s go see the vet.” I had to carry her down 2 flights of stairs and into the car. She is HEAVY! Oversized puppy.Image

So here we are, waiting for the vet and Abby’s level of anxiety is rising. The Vet came in and couldn’t find anything wrong with Abby and said she’s probably just sore from the fall. He suspected a torn ACL but it still seemed intact. He prescribed some pain meds and wanted us to keep watch and no straining exercise for a week.Image

Well, we’re on day 3 now and she is drugged out. We’ll be following up with the vet on Friday and possibly taking some x-rays of her hips and elbows. It’ll be a good opportunity to see any signs of Hip Dysplasia.

How do you all deal with a dog on house arrest or rainy weather? I imagine all that energy could be destructive. What activities would you recommend?

After Graduation

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Dear Reader,

Abby here. It feels like forever since I’ve last wrote you. Dad and I have been super busy this past week. After graduation, dad seemed even more motivated to seek new adventures. I’ve been in the backseat of his truck almost everyday going to the dog park or to grandpa’s farm or even places I’ve never even been to! Lots of new smells and new faces I’ve come across but I try to keep calm as long as dad’s with me.

I feel like mom and dad finally trusts me these days. I’m allowed to stay outside of my crate when home alone! It’s great! Though I love my cozy crate, I’d much prefer an open space to roll around and chase my Mr. Monkey. However, they try to keep me confined in their bedroom using a baby gate but they don’t know I can jump over it all thanks to Mrs. Maria, dad’s trainer. She has agility obstacles and jumping the 4 foot fence has always been my favorite.

ImageI know it’s late but Happy Fathers day to everyone. I spent Fathers Day Eve at a cookout with dad’s relatives at the park. It was very tiring as these human puppies would not stop chasing and bothering me! All they wanted to do was pet me, hold me, walk me, etc… I heard my name called a Gajillion times! I thought my buddies at the dog park don’t get tired, humans are on a whole new level! I don’t know how humans do it.

The good side of this, I got lots of treats! hehe… These human puppies got hold of dad’s bag and it was filled with treats! The human puppies and I were climbing through the jungle gym and there was a tunnel just like Mrs. Maria’s agility tunnel. I never seen a human puppy do agility tunnel but it was pretty funny. We all took turns but they were able to climb these strange bars that I couldn’t. I let out a loud bark to get them to come down. If this was how we celebrated Fathers day eve, I can’t wait to celebrate Fathers day.

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So on Fathers day, we did nothing! I guess dad likes to party it out before his actual day so he can rest. What a smart guy! We did get to spend some time with grandpa though at the farm. Grandpa just came back from fishing with a huge catch! I got some scraps and it was delicious!

This is at Reedy Creek Park.

This is our usual hang out. William R. Davie Park. 4 acres of shady trees for me and my pals to run at. 

 

 

Almost every day since graduation, we’ve been going to dog parks and hikes. That’s what I’m barking about! Nothing like a great day of running and new faces! Dad said something about CGC but if it’s not a treat then I could care less. Until next time then reader!

Sincerely,

Abby

Graduation day! YAY!

Starting off our day with some socializing! Here we are on our way to the dog park. Abby’s very excited to see the other dogs.

After the dog park, I had to run lots of errands. I was in a hurry so I left Abby out of her crate and home alone. In the past, she has tore up pillows, ate soap, ate make-up, dug in the trash, etc… It’s been a while since I last time I left her home like this so I thought it’d be a great opportunity. I left her for 2 hours and all the while, I was regretting the entire time. When I got home, I didn’t hear a bark. She usually barks at anyone that’s near the door. I looked all around for her and couldn’t find her! I panicked and called for her. She came out from a corner of the guest room and greeted me. To my surprise, nothing happened. Everything was just as I left it. Astonished by the improvement she’s made, I gave her a cow hide as reward.

She was the biggest one there this time so as you can see, some of the owners didn’t really want theirs around Abby. :( She looks back at me like, “Dad, no one to play with…” Luckily, a small dog, Tequila, came up to Abby and initialized the play posture. They took off!!! And all the dogs ensued chasing Abby. I heard many compliments on how fast she was. Just more motivation to have her in some sort of sport.

Well, after much training and progress, Abby is graduating from basic Obedience. When we got to the training grounds, there was a final examination. She was to do all of her commands flawlessly. Because we entered the course with some training already, my trainer had me do more difficult commands such as heel, longer stays, farther distance, come with a sit, focus training, and the basic commands (i.e. sit, down, stand). She performed flawlessly even off leash with the other dogs as distractions. I’m such a proud father and I probably learned more from this experience than Abby has. lol. Here’s some photos of the graduation.

This is Tucker. He is probably the friendliest dog I’ve ever seen. He does not hesitate to greet you with a very warm welcoming with his tail wagging destructively. lol. I enjoyed watching his progress the most out of the other class mates.

A little speech from Abby:
“I want to thank Dad for his patience with me. Honestly, the only reason why I did this was for the treats. No treats, no tricks! I had fun though and hope Dad will have more for me.”

Tucker and his dad graduating with a Basic Obedience Certificate. Congratulations Tucker! I hope to see you again.

Lilly and her Dad graduating with a Basic Obedience Certificate. She’s such a fluffy dog and has good drive. I sure hope her dad advances her.

Effie and her Dad graduating with a Basic Obedience Certificate. She’s a little timid Chinese Crescent but very cute. Abby made her feel right at home though. :D

That’s us! Don’t we look good together? hehe. Abby proudly wears her cap and gown. To my surprise, she earned Basic AND Intermediate Obedience Certificates. I was astonished and my Trainer said she enjoyed watching Abby’s progress the most. She does not want us to stop here and advance because Abby has a great drive and is working quality. It makes me so proud to hear that from a German Shepherd trainer.

I have nothing hanging on my walls right now but these should look nice on our walls.

If you’re in the local area and interested in training with the same trainer, please visit http://k-9intraining.com/. Maria definitely has a passion for dogs and you can tell from the way she treats her companions. She’s titled her own dogs and is always pressing forward for more. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her as much as I do. We’ll be working further into training for tracking and other sports with Maria.