Monday, July 25, 2011

What Kind Of Dog Is That?

If you have a dog, I'm sure you have been asked the perennial question 'what kind of dog is that'. Because of media backed bias against some breeds of dogs plus the fact that lots of people really don't know one breed of dog from another, I've become quite creative when asked that question. I've replied that Astrid is an all American dog, a carpenter dog...as in does all odd jobs (herding, pointing, retrieving, etc.) and my current favorite, a mixed up dog. I feel like a traitor to the Rottweiler breed, which Astrid may or may not be part of, much akin to someone asking me my heritage and my hesitating to tell them mostly Swedish with a sprinkling of Irish. I've also played the guessing game with people. I'll take a step back, look at Astrid thoughtfully and say 'what do you think she might be?' My all time favorite reply is 'she looks like a Beagle'.  My replay to that? You might be right! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

4th of July Parade




Every year, we take Astrid to the 4th of July parade in a neighboring tiny town. Always standing in the same spot, Astrid becomes a 'kid magnet'. These are the pictures from the parade this year and we appreciate the people in them allowing us to take them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

High Value Treats

Sometimes when training intensifies or Astrid and I are just playing lots more games than usual, I might notice just a wee bit of thickening around the waist. Stopping by Petsmart or even the vet's office for a quick weight check more often than not confirms that her weight may have ticked up to just over 61#. I try to keep her at 60# always and anything over a 1# weight game is noticeable to me. Without any reason to drop that extra pound quickly, we set a six month goal. Being a strong believer in clicker training and treating for perfect behavior, I turn to a high value treat that has fewer calories....roast light meat chicken (bottom) vs. that from thighs (top). It has fewer calories and fat and has Miss Astrid back to her svelte 60# without missing a goodie. 
video

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dog Days Of Summer

Dog Days...they roll around every year and every year we are surprised at how hot and humid they are. The place for everyone, including our dogs, is inside where it is cool. It's kind of hard to just watch our usually active pup just sleep away the days until the hot streak is over, though. One idea that is easy and cool in more ways than one is a time in the afternoon that we designate as story time. 


Astrid and I just happen to have a wonderful book that is filled lots of dog pictures and ideas to talk about with your dog.  Sounds kind of silly on the surface but when we think about it, what better thing to do on a hot lazy afternoon then giving your dog your undivided attention as you read aloud. Our dogs love to hear the sound of our voices...and reading a book together gives us both a reason to have a conversation.


Give it a try! You might feel silly the first couple of times, but soon both you and your dog will look forward to story time..


Dog Sense by Carla Geneder was our choice today. We read about Juliette, Maggie, and Benjie the silkie terrier. We may have enough dog stories and pictures to last us until Fall...or at least until the Dog Days Of Summer are over.