Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grete isn't perfect.

Today Grete did something she never does. She went up the hill from the dog area and into the upper parking lot.

It was super muddy, and I knew there was no way I could get up the hill to the parking lot without crawling on my knees, and so I freaked out a little bit.

In retrospect, I should have seen it coming. Here's why...

I thought she was playing "Keep Away" with Ollie, Cooper, and Kozmo. She had her Jolly Ball in her mouth and kept running to the edge of the play area.

The thing is... I know Grete has a problem with Kozmo. From a human perspective, Kozmo is a GREAT dog. She's an adorable tri-color Australian Shepherd puppy. For whatever reason, Grete does not like Kozmo. I have two theories: First, Grete's dislike of Kozmo might have to do with being herded by Kozmo too much. Second, I think Grete may pick up on the fact that I think Kozmo is super-cute, and she might be a little jealous. I'm not sure. (Either way, Kozmo doesn't take Grete's attitude personal. She likes Grete just fine.)

The point of the story is that she was guarding her Jolly Ball and not playing Keep Away. It is a fine line, but given her somewhat sullen mood earlier today and the appearance of her arch rival Kozmo, I should have seen it coming.

No harm was done. She came down to the side of the hill, and she stood stiff as a pole as I told her to "stay" and "sit" and "wait" and every other stationary command I could think of at the time. I pried the Jolly Ball out of her jaws and praised her... And all the while Kozmo stood there sincerely smiling at me.

Lost Dog: The Saga of Pogo Continues...

My friend Jerry at work lost their family dog on Friday. It's been an emotional few days for them. You can read about their efforts to find poor Pogo here: West Seattle Blog: Pogo’s odyssey: A lost-dog search takes a wrenching turn. Basically, she was found, but the helpful well-meaning folks who found her lost her by way of a front-door escape!

If you see Pogo, please immediately call the Hoffmeisters, and don't let her out of your sight! (Or twitter me! Just don't let her out of your sight!)

Here's their posting copied from the West Seattle Blog.

LOST WEST SEATTLE DOG (added 2/20/09)

WHO: Papillon dog: She weighs about 7 lbs. She is a mostly white long hair with brown patches and a long fluffy tail that curls over her back. Her name is Pogo. Ironically she is out without her collar on -we just bathed her and she escaped.

WHERE: North Delridge

WHEN: 5 pm tonight

CONTACT: If you have her, please call 206 353 9331 or 206 353 9334 immediately and we will come and get her any time of day or night. Reward. Betsy, Jerry, Isaac & Rebecca

Saturday, February 21, 2009


today at practice we tried the weaves in the barn for the first time. uff da! we really need to break out the weaves more often - perhaps daily with distractions - with toys instead of treats. I also completely forgot our new rule: if grete gets on the table without cue, release her immediately. no treats! more notes and videos later!

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Video: Wednesday Practice at Fircrest

Extra huge thanks go to Jen for bringing her video camera. I'm definitely going to have to bring the D90 and try the video next time just so I can get some more action shots. :-)

For those that are curious, this is course #3 in the Clean Run Sourcebook Volume 2.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Grete has "graduated" from Cloudine's beginning agility, and on Saturday we will be going to Rivendale for the first time. She said it is a LotR reference, but looking at it now, I think they spelled it wrong. Regardless, we're excited! We'll finally be honest-to-god running -- and on dirt! It's going to be awesome. On to Intermediate Agility!! On to Moria!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Why didn't I read this sooner?

!Mushiness Alert!

I love Grete. Along with Jason, she's the center of my world. For the past 592 days, we've been together almost non-stop. We sleep in the same room. We "work" in the same office. We go to class together. Aside from shopping trips, social functions, and vacations to different countries, she's always with me, and I'm always trying to understand what she's feeling.

And yet... I still feel like we don't always connect.

I'm working on changing that.

And what do I do when faced with a challenge?

I research!

I picked up a bunch of books from my local library, and I have to say... Most of them were crap.

I do not recommend Why Do Dogs Like Balls?: More Than 200 Canine Quirks, Curiosities, and Conundrums Revealed. It's a waste of paper. Nothing revealing here.

I also do not recommend How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication. It's too dry, and it seems rather dated. Also, at the risk of offending the "scientific community" surrounding animal behavior, I don't agree with some of his stated facts about X behavior having Y meaning.

I'm also struggling through this somewhat old-but-still-new-age book: The Tellington TTouch : A Revolutionary Natural Method to Train and Care for Your Favorite Animal. I might have to see a demonstration and/or rent a video. The magic TTouch seems hard to learn from a book. (That said, I've been attempting to do some tiny little circles on Grete, and she seems to REALLY like the gentle circular touch.)

I DO recommend this book: Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

Aside from instilling in me a strong desire to take my meager fortune, abandon city life, and buy a farm, I'm actually learning a thing or two from this book. It is also an enjoyable read. I strongly recommend it, and I wish I had read it sooner.

Krypto (aka Bolt)

Meet Frank's new puppy, Krypto! (He is named after Superman's dog. I didn't even know Superman had a dog. I am not worthy to be Frank's friend.)

Allegedly, his favorite toy is not the girl pink octopus but a manly (but puppy-sized) tennis ball. There is hope for the world yet. Krypto will save us all!