Saturday, July 31, 2010

Savi's swim party

Savi had a blast at a friend's house showing off her swimming and retrieving skills in their gorgeous pool. Once I showed her where the steps were, she felt very confident about jumping in and getting out since she is used to swimming in ponds. She was quite entertaining to watch and all she wanted to do for hours was play and retrieve her bumper from the water.
This pool had a faboulous sunning deck with shallow water and Savi eased into the water...
and dove right in after her bumper!
She did this over and over and over...very proud of my little grey fish!

Welcome home Wotan!

I was so excited to get a call from the vet early this morning to come get my boy. She said that "He's doing wonderfully!". Wotan couldn't wait to get in the van and head home. After a sweet greeting and kisses from the girls, he took a long drink and then demanded a treat. Nothing changes...Unfortunately, he's on a special diet for now, so no treats. He was not happy about the situation and after hitting the cabinet numerous times with his paw and being told no, he gave a big sigh and walked away. Finally, he settled in for a nice nap in his favorite chair.
It is great to have Wotan home where he belongs!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wotan's recovery

I went to visit Wotan this afternoon and was so relieved to see that he was better than I had expected! The vet had told me that he was doing well, although a bit dull and very dehydrated, not a surprise after all he'd been through. The good news is that there is no sign of stomach distension or gas. He was happy to see me and gave me kisses and put his head on my shoulder for hugs. He melted when I rubbed his ears and scratched his neck just the way he likes it. I gave him a massage and he fell asleep with his head in my lap.

We are very relieved that he continues to improve. He is still dehydrated and that requires more time in the animal hospital for continuous IV fluids. We are hoping to get him home tomorrow but only if he is hydrated.

Thank you to all our concerned friends who sent healing prayers and thoughts to Wotan!

Wotan's Bloat

A very stressful day yesterday. Wotan, almost 14 years old, spent the night in the animal hospital after bloating late in the afternoon. We were very lucky as I immediately recognized the signs of bloat and rushed him to the emergency vet before his stomach torsioned. The x-ray showed a tremendous amount of gas and a procedure was done to remove the gas. He is comfortable but very dehydrated and will need to spend another day getting IV fluids. Hopefully, he can come home tomorrow. I will go visit him later today.

If you are not familiar with bloat and own a large chested breed such as a Weimaraner, you need to be familiar with the symptoms because this can occur very quickly and if not treated immediately can be deadly. From the WCA website:

Gastric Torsion or GDV, bloat/torsion, twisted stomach:

Bloat is a disease common to deep-chested dogs that can involve twisting or torsion of the stomach with a subsequent blockage of the esophagus at one end and the intestine at the other. Bloat happens quickly and is often fatal without immediate veterinary attention.

Its symptoms include retching with no vomiting, extreme salivation, obvious discomfort, and distention of the abdomen. Gulping food can bring on an attack of bloat, so Weimaraners should be fed twice daily to avoid the hunger pangs that lead to eating too fast. Some breeders believe that foods containing soybeans shouldn't be fed to breeds that are susceptible to bloat because the beans can produce gas.

Many cases of bloat occur in the evening, after the dog has perhaps shared the family snack of pizza or some other highly-spiced food and then exercised. Treatment is expensive and not always successful. Feeding moistened dog food and postponing exercise for a couple of hours after the meal may help prevent bloat. You can also visit the The Great Dane Bloat Book for more info.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Princess obedience

Trixie going out to get the dumbbell. She started positioned next to me in her setup (heel) position sitting, told to "wait", the DB is thrown and on the "take it" command, she goes out to complete the retrieve on flat.

Even though we've had plenty of blog news about Trixie's puppies, the Princess has not been resting on her laurels, eating Bark Bons and watching Animal Planet reruns. She's been training in agility and although we've taken some time off from formal obedience, we are now back on track and getting ready for trials. She is excited to be working and especially loves the reward part. Since we decided to enter Jam in conformation shows in PA, in an indoor, air conditioned venue, we thought it was the perfect place to start Trixie back up in Open A, where she already has one qualifying leg towards the CDX title. The key words for the Princess - indoors and air conditioned!
Nice pickup...
Returning at a brisk trot...
And a sit front, holding the DB until I take it from her while she remains sitting. Once the DB is in my hands, the judge would then give the finish signal and I would give her that command and she would do her swing to the left and be back in heel position.
In Open obedience, the second retrieve is done over a jump. The dog must wait while the handler throws the DB over the jump, which does take some coordination on the part of the handler, the dog is sent on the judges signal, must jump over the jump, pickup the DB and return over the same jump to sit in front of the handler.

In the background is the broad jump, which the dog is left in a stay, the handler walks to the right side of the obstacle, stands halfway down, calls the dog to jump over and while the dog is in mid-air, the handler makes a quarter turn and the dog lands and comes to front position with a sit and then does a finish. Open obedience also consists of an off lead heeling pattern and a drop on recall as part of the individual exercises. Then there are the out of sight groups stays which are very challenging...more about that in a later post. Oh, and if you've never done AKC obedience, an important thing to note is that you are only allowed to give ONE command or signal for each exercise!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Go to place times two

Post puppy class practice for Savi and Memphis of the "go to place" command in a real life scenario. The pups were terrific and it was so cute to see the two of them sharing the bed when told to "go to place". This is a very useful command and can be used in many situations. My dogs are told to "go to place" when we eat dinner and lay down on any dog bed of the many in my kitchen and rest while we enjoy meals without bothersome begging. It can be used as a time out of sorts or to keep the dog away from a situation such as a broken glass jar.

As for these 6 month old pups, it did help that they had had an hour of obedience training, then a half hour of freeplay on the deck which was more like watching wild, gray tumbleweeds and quiet time while we ate lunch before expecting them to do this command in the kitchen. Now it's naptime...

Monday, July 26, 2010


A cool shot by Sara taken at the WCA Nationals in May. Check out Jam's blog to view more of her working in agility and obedience.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day at the beach...

Bravo and J, practice stacking, at their beautiful coastside beach in California
Ron takes a turn...
Bravo loves runnning up and down this private beach, but who wouldn't?
The views are just breathtaking!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ranger and his BFF

Ranger, Grayhart's Midnight Lightening, (Parker x Trixie) 2yrs old and his best buddy, Luke, 6 months.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Memphis makes his show debut

Memphis, Grayhart's Million Dollar Listing, out of our Clay x Trixie litter, made his show debut today at the Putnam County Kennel Club show.
He just turned six months old and we wanted to see how he would do at this very small local show. So small, that Memphis was the only class dog entered, no class bitches and one bitch special. Not worth any points but the training opportunity and ring experience were invaluable.
He was a happy boy and had moments of looking really good but we learned that he needs a lot more training and maturity before we show him again.
Memphis is a sweetie!
Outside the ring at the show was the perfect place for training, socialization and teaching both Memphis and Savi show manners. All in all an enjoyable morning for Meridith, me and the pups!
Savi getting some stacking practice

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sizzling Wednesday in the Field...

Trixie was so excited to come along for the ride to our weekly field training. Unfortunately, there just hasn't been an available crate for her to join us with all of the visiting dogs. She enjoyed running in the field with her kids and hanging out with me and my friends.
From l-r, Savi, Trixie and Monty, with Jam in the foreground. They just love munching on the sweet grass at the farm.
Goofy posed picture of my girls, Trixie, Jam and Savi...Monty preferred to stay out of this shot. It was another hot and humid day as evidenced by the tongues.
Jam, looking good on an intense point
Jam ran, similar to a hunt test, with a bracemate, our friend Esther's dog, Stevie. They took turns backing each other and both did really well today.
Monty on point! This boy is steady on quail and he had his first back today and was a natural. We are thrilled with his progress as it is not always easy training a dog that doesn't live with you but Monty loves the bird work and is very biddable. He also has a wonderful temperament and just hops in my van ready to go train.
Savi has moved onto the next level and is no longer allowed to catch the birds...hence, the checkcord. We use it for a number of things including teaching her to quarter the field, hunt speak for zigzagging across the field, and gives us control so she cannot catch the bird. We are working on getting her to hold a solid point.
She found the birds easily under difficult scenting conditions but has so much drive and just wants to chase and catch the bird. She's still a baby and it will take time to learn.
Dang it got away! You may have noticed Savi's new accessory, the ecollar. We are incorporating it into our obedience and field training. It seemed literally the day Savi turned six months old, aka the teenage phase, she decided that the recall was an optional command...we seem to differ on that and as a matter of safety and control, we are using a combination of leash and ecollar corrections to reinforce the recall and reward with lots of praise and treats. She's a smart cookie and within days, she's learned that we mean business.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bliss on birds!

Bliss, our pup in Alaska, is just like littermate Savi, and is crazy for birds. She thought this was fun with the "dead" bird until.....The bird FLEW!!!
She carried her prize bird around and around!
A close up of the birdy-girl. She had a great day!
Her mouth was very soft and the bird was fine and able to work more.