Monday, January 31, 2011

Company's here!

The other night we had 4 dinner guests.

Guest 1-3 arrive – the dogs happily greet them at the door, minimal barking. Gemi tries to bite everyone (as she does when her favs come over). She gets give her toys and she calms down.

Guest 4,a friend who isn’t over as much as Guests 1-3, arrives. Same greeting, but then Miss Hailey Bug kept barking at her. Guest 4 came and sat down and Miss Bug kept barking! This lasted a few minutes and then fortunately she settled down. If not it would have been a long night!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Speed Demon

In week four of her agility class, Miss Cricket showed the crowd what she was made of. While last week she created a new time designation called “Gemini Time” this week she showed the class that she could move it when she want to.

Her best time for 2 jumps, a tunnel and the weave was 15 seconds. The class watched in amazement as Gemi speeded through the weave.

Was it the new treats? Was it that she preferred the obstacles this week? Miss Cricket is refusing to answer why she was so fast this week. She said “I like to be mysterious.”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Puppy school from my eyes

As written by Hailey Bug

Puppy school is stupid. I want to sniff bums and play and instead the people use the meanest trick in the book, tasty snacks I don’t get anywhere else, to call me away. Then I have to pick between puppies and cookies. Cookies win because my people don’t feed me.

Then they make us do silly things like walk around in circles and sit and stay and down and come. I do all of this just because I am getting the cookies and I think it makes the people happy. I don’t know what the big deal is, I can do these things when I want to. I spend most of my time thinking “why do people want me to do these things?” It is all rather dumb. I don’t think I will ever understand people. But I am willing to tolerate their stupidity if they have treats.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby it's cold outside!

Cold would be an understatement – it has been around -27 C in the mornings (or -17 F) since Sunday. That is before the wind chill. For those of you who have never experienced this, this is what we call #*!@*!@* cold! For dogs, even boots and sweaters aren’t enough to keep you warm enough to have a long visit outside.  

This has put the kibosh on our walks. Miss Hailey Bug is quite happy about this. She pretty much goes out, does her business and comes in. This is a slight improvement to Loki who would refuse to go out and you would have to carry out and not let in until he went. When this happened he would lift his leg about 5 inches from the door, go and demand to come back in.  The problem for Miss Bug, is she was fine for a few days, but now is starting to get restless. She needs a run. Here is hoping the temperatures warm up enough today for us to go out later. (You realize you are a true Canadian when anything over -12 seems balmy!)

Miss Cricket is a beast who is not as bothered by this cold. (Although note, she will only go out in the yard on cold days. If you offer to take her to the park, she will hide!) You would think she was part husky. The other day, when it had warmed up to -18 C (around 1 F), she was out for a very long time. I know she is not as affected so I left her as long as I could. However, after 15 minutes I was too stressed so I went and called her. I couldn’t see her. I called again, still nothing. I started to feel that panic of |oh my, she is so cold she can’t come in.” I decide one more call and then I will dress to go out. I use the special call “Gemini Cookie” and she come barrelling in from the one spot in the yard I just can’t see. She was completely covered in snow. I guess she was rolling and playing out there. She was cold when she came in and wanted to snuggle, but I am sure if I had let her, she would have stayed out long. Silly girl!

Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Time Designation

Miss Gemini Cricket of Ottawa has invented a new time designation that is known as “Gemini time.” This designation is to be used to describe the leisurely pace that Miss Cricket uses when she is on the agility course. She is compliant enough to do everything we ask (even though she clearly thinks some of it is dumb), however, does it in her own time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sleepy Puppy

I came across these pictures the other day and had to share!

Can you just leave me alone and let me sleep?


A totally chill puppy getting her beauty sleep

Saturday, January 22, 2011


For some reason it put yesterday's posting on Wednesday (so down a few entries).


We were at the dog park today and I had been thinking as we were walking through the woods, that being out with my dogs is probably one of my favourite things. (Note to self, don’t think things like this because then bad things happen).  We caught up with a group of dogs and walked half way with them. Lee had a great time chasing a dog with a stick. It was great to watch her run and play.

We got back to the field and Lee was having a great time running and playing and Gemi was having an OK time with people and running free. Lee kept stealing a Jack Russell’s ball (we will call this dog Jack to protect her identity). I am not sure exactly what happened as I was probably 30 feet away, but I heard yelling and saw Jack’s owner pulling Lee of her (thank goodness for the harness, easy to pull her off). Both dogs were very angry. As soon as Lee was off, she calmed down but Jack kept attacking her. I went over quickly (but ala Caesar calm and assertive) and took Lee. She was looking at the Jack like what the heck and the woman apologized for Jack’s behaviour and walked away. She did say Jack did not like Lee.  I take it that Jack attacked Lee and Lee fought back. Being much bigger, Lee of course was going to win. At any rate, as the woman was staying and let her dog go again and had to keep getting her to stop coming at Lee. I put Lee on her leash, rounded up Gemi and we came home.

Lee seems fine, but I am slightly traumatized. I want my dog to love all dogs and everyone to love her!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I knew it was going to be a good night when

we left the house and at the top of the stairs on our way to puppy school, LeeLee and I spotted a bunny at the same time. I immediately said stay. She sat on the step and shook and cried, but did not move or pull. I was able to lock the door and walk her to the car. It was amazing! Totally blew my mind!

At puppy school, she was a superstar. Most of the time she only got out of her stay if the other dogs had and were playing. She was always the last to join. She was the calmest tonight.  (Oh the joys of the full moon!) I was able to sit stay her and leave the building and she didn’t move until I came back and was about 8 feet from her! It was another wow moment!

She has been very stubborn with her down this week, but using the principles of reinforcement I had her downing with the best of them! By the end she was a pro!

At the end of class we took turns calling each others dogs. She went right to the lady who called her. We took turns handling each others dogs, she was a superstar!

I of course got the jumpy, happy to be alive, I can smell your good cookies dog, who I did get under control but not before she cut me and drew blood jumping up! Oh well, my dog was good and that is all that matters!

A very proud Lady!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A fairytale

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess name Gemini. She lived in her kingdom with her best friend Loki and two cats she tolerated. It was a wonderful life until a witch took her Loki away and replaced him with a LeeLee.

Princess Gemini was very upset about this but being a wonderfully refined princess who had much training from the palace she bore her burden well and tolerated the LeeLee.

One day, when at the dog park a terrible thing happened. An evil, horny dog kept trying to hump Princess Gemini. She did not like this and tried to fight him off. But the evil dog was much bigger and would not listen. He just kept humping away!

Seeing her pack mate in distress, LeeLee thought to herself “I must save her” as she ran to distracted the evil dog. She repeatedly attacked evil humpy dog, drawing his attention from Princess Gemini. It took several attempts, but LeeLee was able to break the hold the evil humpy dog had on the beautiful princess. Free from his evil clutches, Princess Gemini was able to run to safety.

Later when safe, Princess Gemi rejoiced and apologized to LeeLee for hating her so much. The two became friends and they lived happily ever after (well, they lived happily for a few days at least. Time will tell if it is forever!).

Working from home

Imagine the scene. I am working at home this morning. I am Skyping my client overseas. We had a few connection issues, but overall things are going well. I notice out of the corner of my eye that Miss Bug is standing. I watch in horror as she throws up the most foul smelling vomit ever. I basically drop my computer, explain to my client I need one minute as my dog just threw up and do a quick clean up so at least she doesn’t eat it. (I did the disinfecting etc of the area after my call). My client, is a wonderful woman who just chuckled at my misfortune. Said she had never had a Skype chat involving dog puke.

It is ironic that Lee picked this client to puke with because one time when I was visiting this client their dog got really sick in the car and threw up on his Lady’s shoe.  At the time, we all found this very amusing. I think now our karma is even!

I am not doing anything

Lee: What? I am not doing anything.
(Nin is under the covers)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cat Love

It is rare to have both cats in the living room on the couch. This happened when the dogs were outside playing in the snow. They would like people to remember that they live in this pack too!
Bagheera and Cinder getting some love

Nin and Baggy - wishing now they weren't being made part of the blog!

Monday, January 17, 2011

More Abuse

This is LeeLee. I am uniting with Gemi in order to get our people in trouble for abuse and neglect. Yesterday, the worst thing in my life happened. My people left the house without me, and they took Gemi. That is right, I got left alone in the house with cats! The horror of it all! I tired to point out their mistake by not allowing them to close the door unless they closed it on my head, but they still left me!

To get my revenge, I took the big bone they left me and chewed it on the couch and it has left a gross white film over said couch. They are going to have to clean it up. Severs them right!  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Puppy Abuse

This is Gemini Cricket speaking. I would like to report puppy abuse.  My people have gotten the stupidest idea ever into their heads. They have decided that I might like to go to puppy school and go to agility. They say I haven’t had all the attention that the others have had.  Last week wasn’t so bad, but this week was horrible. Both Lady and Man came and there were extra people watching. One of the dog’s barks a lot, and she gets the others barking. I don’t love that.

First, they wanted me to walk across this little board, which was bad enough, but it became a moving up and down board. They also wanted me to walk up this steep ramp and really high narrow board. Then they wanted me to walk across this bigger board. And then they wanted me to jump up onto a table in the middle of the room. People are stupid. I tried to get out of this by pretending I didn’t want to and refusing to walk. When this didn’t work, I just gave in and did most of it, except the stupid bridge. It is just scary.

At the end of the class when most were gone, I did the A-frame and the table perfectly. They tell me I have to go again next week. Why does LeeLee get to stay home? I don’t think they love me. As I am unable to dial a phone, please feel free to report this horrible abuse to others.

Thank you for your help.
Gemi trying out the teeter totter on the ground

Trying the bridge

Brave on the A frame

Trying the whole teeter totter

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Obedience Update

This week marked week 2 of Miss Hailey Bug’s intermediate obedience.  Unlike week 1, Miss Bug was not the worst at staying in the group! When she broke, she did not run to see the other dogs to play. She just wanted to be with her Lady. She was even the best at stand stay.  Our homework is to practice staying with distractions. This is the easiest homework for us, as Gemi, Nin and Baggy make excellent distracters.

This improvement in behaviour, while excellent for members of her pack (and saves the pack a lot of money), does make for a boring blogJ  I would say I am sorry, but I am not really!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Show off

Perhaps to make up for her antics yesterday, Miss Hailey Bug was a complete show off this morning at the dog park. When we arrived, there were no other dogs (people tend to use the park around 9 in the morning, not 7:25 as the sun is rising). I thought we could be brave and try the paths. Now, she has only been off leash 2 times on the paths and both times we were with other dogs. I was nervous, especially given that I am working out of town this morning (fear is she takes off and I am very late)  but I decide to give her the benefit of the doubt and try it. Besides, I was armed with reinforcers and as a behaviour analyst I know how to use them!

We started off with about every 15 feet, calling her back and rewarding her. Then I worked on expanding how long before I would reinforce her for coming back. She was amazing! She even came back when there were other dogs to go see. If I waited too long to give the treat, she would come and sit beside me (so she is checking in). This is such an amazing improvement from head down, bum up and go!

My baby is growing up!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's my birthday and I'll do what I want to

Yesterday it was work gone mad. Today it is Miss Lee.

It started this morning when I said it was time to go for a walk. Normally this is greeted with excitement, running to the door and waiting impatiently while I get ready to go out in the cold. This morning I got a look, before she tried to settle back to sleep in the bed. I more or less dragged her to the front door. I bundled up, I put her boots on and off we went. We made it approximately 20 steps from the front door before she laid down and refused to continue. So, because it was unusually cold this morning (-12 / -20 with the wind chill), we came back in. Fortunately she didn’t destroy anything while I was out at work.

After a very long day at work, I returned home. The dogs and I were all starving as we ate breakfast at 5:30 this morning. To celebrate Miss Lee’s birthday, I thought it would be nice if the dogs had a little roast beef for dinner. So we cut it up and gave it to them. Lee, who has been eating slower, ate hers in .2 seconds. She then decided Gemi really wants to share. This lead to a fight in the kitchen with food flying everywhere! I removed Miss Lee, so Gemi could continue eating and put her in a sit stay. I had to put her back in that sit stay at least 8 times in less than a minute. Once Gemi was finished I let Lee be free. Not before she had been very gassy and made the house smell.

A few minutes later, I was putting my plate together. I was also having roast beef. I was very careful to put the plate far back on the counter. Turns out not far enough as Lee was able to get a piece of my beef. If I hadn’t yell, I think she would have eaten my dinner. At this point we just put her in time out just so I didn’t loose my mind!

We have a couple hours before bed, I wonder what she will do next!

Oh the birthday girl rules today!

(FYI, it is difficult to write a blog when one dog is licking you and the other is trying to stand on you for warmth).

Happy Birthday!

Today is the day we selected for Miss Hailey Bug’s birthday. Her documents have several birthdays list around mid-January. It turns out that not knowing her birthday is far more stressful to me then not knowing her breed. However, we picked today, January 13, because it is one of our favourite people’s birthday. She is one of the greatest animal lovers we know, so it seemed fitting.

Happy First Birthday Lee!  As a gift I will not dress you up today!

Happy slightly more than first birthday Missy G!

Miss Lee posing for her birthday picture

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lady Like?

Lee’s new trick – to stretch and fart at the same time.

I don’t think this is very lady like!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

YAY Lee!

Our local dog park has the field for dogs to run and romp. Around the park there is this beautiful trail looking down into a ravine.  In the past when we have tried to let Miss Hailey Bug be free on the trail section she has been way to free and taken off. This is extra stressful in the morning before work. However, the past 2 days the dogs at the park have been doing the trail, so I thought we should do it too.  I am very proud to report that the last 2 days she has been amazing at coming back when called and has not taken off.

YAY! It is so exciting when all your hard work pays off!

Gemi would like it noted that she is smarter than the rest of us because she knows it is stupid to go for a walk in -12 and stays home! She only likes to go if it is about -5 or warmer.
Gemi running at the dog park January 2010 (last year!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jump Gemi Jump!

Miss Cricket is recovering from the excitement of starting small dog agility over the weekend.

In an interview with Miss Cricket’s handler, the handler said “she was very pronounced on her jobs, but she really didn’t think the idea of a tunnel was a good thing – but she did it anyway.” The tunnel and jumps were the only obstacles introduced to the pups on the first class.

 This class also marks Miss Cricket’s introduction to obedience school. As a puppy, Miss Cricket was completely abused and neglected by her people and was not taken to obedience classes. Interestingly enough, Miss Cricket is the people’s best behaved dog!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A letter from Lee

Dear Tendra,

It was very nice to meet you. I had a great time playing with you. I loved running with you and wrestling you and playing tug.  You are a lot more fun than my sister Gemi. She doesn’t really know how to play.

I didn’t really know how to play before I met you. I would run with dogs at the dog park, and I would submit, but I didn’t really play. I had forgotten how. Thank you for teaching me how to wrestle and play with other puppies. It makes going to the dog park a lot more fun. I still prefer to play with puppies and smaller dogs, but I love to play.

I hope to see you soon,

Love your friend LeeLee
Lee and Tenny playing

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Time to work

Miss Hailey Bug of Ottawa has started Intermediate Obedience training.  Her class has 4 new to her dogs ranging in age from 9 months to 2 years old.

Here are the results from her first class:

How/What Lee Did
Sit perfectly straight beside person
She sat, but she tends to turn her bum away from you so she can turn and get a better look at the Lady’s face.
Sit down sit
After a few trials, she seemed to get it.
Sit immediately when asked during a walk
Last night this did not look great, she would stop and look up like the Lady was crazy. On her walk this morning she was 100% perfect (and usually sat at the right angle!)
270 degree turn to the right
After a few, she did great at this
Turn to the left
Really no problem
Be handled by another person
She appeared to respond ok to this, it was difficult for the author to see as she was attempting to handle a 10 month old, very happy Labradoodle named Dandi (short for Dandilion)
Sit Stay while Lady goes far away (eventually out the door and out of sight)
It is fair to say that this will be Lee’s greatest challenge. She just doesn’t want to be away from her Lady.
During one test, all the dogs sat and stayed and their people went 6-10 feet away. 4 of the 5 dogs were rather relaxed. Lee was completely on high alert. She was tense and her eyes didn’t leave the Lady. Poor little thing was highly distressed. It is difficult to tell if this is just part of who she is, or is a by-product of being a rescued dog (and if it is, it is a very mild one compared to what many people I have talked with deal with). It should be noted that in the house she is rarely more than 6 feet from one of her people or another animal and is often touching them.
It took a lot of practice, but Lady was able to get the furthest she has gotten from Lee at school about 8 feet. While this is technically the worst in class (everyone else could get at least 12, one could even leave the building and go outside!), the Lady is very proud of Lee.
The teacher is working with Miss Bug and the Lady to modify the requirements so that she can be successful.
I think it will be very helpful that the Lady is a behaviour analyst and understands the principles of shaping behaviour. The man is happy that the Lady will be spending her spare time working on someone other than his behaviour!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lee's fav video

Please visit this site to see Lee's fav video.

If only I had a video camera. About half way through she stood up, cocked her head and watched and watched. She even leaned in to sniff the screen. It was almost as cute as the video!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's not polite to laugh

Picture the scene in Bambi when Bambi and Thumper first go on the ice. They fall and are all splayed out.

Now picture one very excited puppy to be at the dog park, not realizing it was so icy. (Our mild temperatures have been replaced by a freeze. This has meant that the grass has frozen like a skating rink and a very thin layer of snow covered this rink.)There was skidding and falling and sliding and at times being completely splayed out. Gemi of course being lady like did much better than our poor Lee! I don’t think she appreciated all the laughter!

Monday, January 3, 2011

TV dog

I have a dog that watches TV. I mean really watches.

She likes hockey and shows with other dogs like Pick a Puppy, At the end of my leash, and the dog whisper.

When she likes a show she sits up, cocks her head. Sometimes she goes right up to the TV and makes puppy play sounds at the TV.

So far the only show she has had a clear dislike of was Chronicles of Narnia. She did not like the wolves – she barked and barked at them.

Lee watching a hockey game - too bad her team is playing so poorly this year (I think that is why she looks so disappointed in this picture).


During this holiday season, I have been using much of my time off to do my spring cleaning. (Yes I am aware that it is not spring in my part of the world – but it is spring somewhere and the weather we have had sure feels like spring!) This is a task I don’t mind doing when I have the time. It is also a task that Hailey apparently doesn’t mind doing as well. However, I think it is fair to say that her helping isn’t as helpful as she thinks. Some examples:

  • It is challenging to clean out a cupboard when a dog is standing in it.
  • You finally get the dog out and are going to scrub the cupboard, but she takes off with your cloth.
  • As you are putting items in the garbage bag she is happy to take the out and run around with them.
  • Making the bed is almost impossible with a dog laying on it. To put 2 sheets and 2 blankets on the bed required 6 removals of the dog from the bed.
  • Putting a new sheet on the box spring – imagine the dog has jumped on the top mattress you have standing on it’s side next to the bed – and sort of pinning you between the mattresses.
At least Gemi and the cats aren't so helpful!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year’s Resolution

Miss Hailey Bug’s resolutions:
  • To find something better tasting than shoes to eat when I am mad at my people
  • To learn to come back when called 100% of the time so I cam be off leash more
  • To teach Gemi how to play like a real dog
  • To do one super cute or funny thing per day

Miss Gemini Cricket’s resolutions:
  • I am perfect the way I am, I have nothing to improve on.
Gemi and Lee in a pretty New Year's pose

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone all the best for 2011! May your year be filled with treats and adventures!
Lee ringing in the New Year with Gemi!