October 29, 2009

It's been a year! (+ 1 month)

I have a note on my calendar that today is the one year anniversary of the day I brought Dazzle home at just 9 weeks old. But in looking at the dates on the photos, it was actually the 29th of last month. Oops!  So 1 year + 1 month :-) It's hard to believe how much we have done, how much he has learned and how many thousands of miles we have travelled in just one year!  I look forward to MANY MANY more with him!
Stroll down memory lane...
Stalking corn leaves blowing around the yard the first day home:

"I found some burrs mom"

Road trip to NY (he went to NY state with me twice and we drove to TX and back all before he was 15 weeks old!):

Hard to believe he was SO tiny!

He could fit easily on my lap!

Such big paws you have!

Photo collage of his growth:

What a face :-)

Practicing for the Dog Scout test at the TX mini camp:

Not fitting in my lap as easily anymore:

I have always loved his seemingly effortless and fluid trot!

He LOVES snow!  This was near Cleveland OH

Losing his puppy teeth! Some of his adult teeth were already in.

Another age progression collage:

His first title and ribbons/medals from IABCA (conformation):

Still trying to fit into his puppy bed :-) He really loved this bed!

His next title and ribbons earned were for AKC Rally Novice at 6 mo. old

He is SO fast!  He insists on a run (chasing the ball thrown with the chuck-it) every day, sometimes multiple times a day!

We tried our hand at herding and he did well, but I don't have the money for the number of lessons a herding title would take.

3rd place in the Amateur Division finals at a Dock Dogs competition- who knew! His longest jump was 17 feet 9 inches (measured at the spot where the base of the tail hits the water.)

He has certainly grown up to be a very handsome boy!

October 28, 2009

Biking today

It was a nice day, so we went to the dam to go biking.  The first two times across, I had him attached to the bike by his harness (using a springer bike attachment).  But then the few people who had been walking the dam went away, so the third time he went off-leash and I got some video. No cars are usually allowed on the dam, but there was a work crew out there today so there was a big rig trailer at the far end.
Here's some photos from the video:

VIDEO: Dazzle trotting
It starts at regular speed, then I did some slo-motion at the end.

October 27, 2009

Fall Colors

We went out the other day to get some photos of the Fall colors.  I think it was a few days past prime colors, but I still found some nice shots.
It wasn't the best lighting, but this is the best of the portraits I got. This was with a fill flash, but the light missed his face:

Here's another I like, but again lighting was an issue.  Fill flash was too much and without it made the harsh contrasts.  I was hoping the yellow leaves behind him would be a better "frame" of his head than it turned out.

Some pretty trees at the park:

Same park, at the lake:

The "prairie field" flanked by color:

Found this on a drive:

While I love the Fall colors, I don't like that it means winter is coming.  So I have mixed feelings.  If I had been thinking, I would have gone back to the dam where I took the picture of him that I used for the previous banner at the top of the blog.  I might drive out there today to see what it looks like.  But I'm guessing the colors are past prime.

October 18, 2009

Minges Pumpkin Festival

Happy Fall Ya'll
(even though I can't wait for warmer temps and I wish it was Spring instead of Fall :-)

I braved the unseasonable cold today, not to go tracking as I thought I might, but to go to a large local pumpkin festival.  I suspected that the winds at the location chosen for tracking practice would be worse than in the protected area of the festival.  I'm not sure how it was at the park, but the festival was quite bareable with no wind and plenty of sun.
A few of the folks there even remembered Dazzle having been at the festival last year as a puppy and were surprized by how big he was now.  He got several compliments and met several new fans.  There were several other dogs there too, since dogs are allowed, and several vendors that have stuff for dogs.
This is one of the rows of outside vendors.  There were several rows like this.

This was one of the inside rows.  There were also several of these large tents with multiple vendors inside. 

Little bit of everything; handmade crafts, jewelry, art, decorative signs and lazer carved rocks.  And of course, several food booths serving the usual Fair food. Very little pumpkin food though, which seems odd for a pumpkin festival.  I saw pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies, but that was about it. Other food booths had jams and jellies, peanut brittle and dips/sauces. At least one booth was devoted to just handmade dog treats, but Dazzle didn't like any of them (no surprise for Mr. Finicky).
We walked to the farm part and Dazzle was really facinated by the pig

The pig, while not afraid, didn't return the love.  While Dazzle was trying to give him kisses, he (or maybe she, I didn't check) kept trying to nip Dazzle's nose and I think Dazzle thought he was playing.

Then Dazzle tried to get the Donkey to play... 

But the Donkey ignored him, so he moved on.

We didn't get close to the chickens and turkey though because Dazzle was WAY too interested in their movements and sounds. It was really funny though how the turkey would respond to the kid's laughter.  There were two girls who giggled every time the turkey gobbled, and the turkey gobbled every time they laughed.  I wish I had it on video because the laughter was infectious and it wasn't long before everyone was laughing!
After the festival, I went in search of "ski pants" and none of the places I checked carried them!  Well, I take that back, Burlington Coat Factory had a grand total of 6 pairs of mens pants in huge sizes.  I guess we're too far from any mountain?  I did find plenty of insulated Camo and Carharts though. I don't recall seeing ski pants in stores around here though.
Is it Spring yet?

October 17, 2009


It's been awhile since I've posted, so just a quick update...  Dazzle is doing fine after the neuter.  Actually, as much as I tried to limit him, he was back to normal activity the next day! Though I waited till the 3rd day to toss his ball for him, which about made him stir crazy! He kept bringing me toys to throw, so I had a nice pile next to me in the office :-) Each time I told him I wasn't going to throw it, it seemed he thought that meant I wasn't going to throw THAT toy, so maybe a different one would work :-) Other than the obvious, there is little sign of the surgery now and he has healed quickly.
We went to visit the Dock Dogs Nationals yesterday, but I only stayed about 30 minutes because dispite several layers and a thick coat, I was quite cold and that hurts.  Dazzle was upset that he didn't get to play in the water with the competing dogs! It was overcast and only 40 degrees with a wind chill lower than that, but the dogs didn't seem to mind!  I did manage to time it (quite accidently) so I got to see some jumps of someone I know, so that was cool. 
Dazzle seems to be calming down a bit with regards to Coyote.  So that's good!  We have been keeping them separated and/or muzzled, but the past few days we've let them together unmuzzled at times when they would normally be sleeping (mid-day, evening) and they have done just fine.  Today I even had them together when I was preparing and eating my dinner and they did fine.  They don't hate each other and they don't WANT to fight, so that certainly helps. The main issues have been over arousal/excitement or when Coyote thinks Dazzle has broken a "manners law".  Coyote has a very definite sense of what he feels is right and wrong.  Calm sensible behavior is right and excited or rude behavior is something he feels the need to address.  But it has gotten easier to interupt his "I'm going to take care of THAT behavior" attitude before he gets too close to Dazzle.

While I was visiting my parents, I saw a video on YouTube by BusyBees about how to teach a dog to roll a barrel along with how to make one.  Well, I didn't think the bike tires that were suggested would make a big enough "barrel" so I had my dad build one from scratch.  This is from 2 sheets of plywood and several 1x2 boards, then covered with carpet.  Dazzle LOVES it and thinks it's really cool to be up high.  His head is level with mine when he's on it!  He is as agile as a cat and can jump onto it from a stand still.  We've only worked up to rolling it a few feet at a time, but he's getting the hang of how to make it move on his own.  I'll have to get some video if it warms up outside.  For now we're playing on it in the basement.

October 06, 2009

Dazzle is neutered

The surgery today went well.  Nothing out of the ordinary and no complications with any part of it.  He is laying next to me now sleeping off the effects of the knock-out drugs.  He seemed really confused and a bit worried about the lack of function in his legs (due to the drugs  affecting the signals from his brain that tell his legs how to move). 
He's still a bit wobbly, but doing much better than this morning. He has investigated the stitches and licked a bit, but hasn't been bothering it so I haven't put on a muzzle or cone, but I will probably put a soft muzzle on him tonight so he can't lick it while I'm sleeping and not paying attention. He's the only one in the office with me and the rest of the boys are gated out so he can sleep in peace. 
The doc put in extra tight internal stitches to close the part that was cut, then put in subQ stitches on the incision and then used a skin glue on top of those.  So they should hold up to his activity level, which I'll try to keep low for awhile, but we'll see if he cooperates :-). I did drain the pool so he can't get soaked.  Thank-you Alicia for not going crazy with the clippers too!  The minimal shaving hides it well so he doesn't look like he just had surgery (except for the little shaved patch on his front leg for the IV, but that hair is pretty short anyway, so it's not too obvious, especially since his skin is almost the same color as his fur).
So all is well -knock on wood- and we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that this helps alleviate the tension between him and Coyote and gives Dazzle a bit longer "fuse" than the hair trigger he had before. But we're going to continue with muzzles and management as fight prevention for awhile to give the hormones time to normalize till we see if this works.

October 01, 2009

Freestyle Photos

Here are some of my favorite photos taken by Amber at All In One Studios during the freestyle event:

The other photos can be seen on her website at http://www.allinonestudios.smugmug.com/
Thank-you Amber!