Monday, February 27, 2006

Just Another deMonic Monday

Today I decided to be a very naughty boy. You see, mum hasn't been feeling too strong since we had our 8 mile hike yesterday, she stayed in bed longer and fed me my breakfast late. I was getting really impatient. Then when I woke up from my late morning nap, I found mum ironing clothes. I yelled and shouted, "Where's my lunch mum?" I was being a real terror, no less.

My parents thought that after such a long hike, I would tire out and be a good boy the next few days, but they forget that I can recharge my batteries overnight. I wasn't planning on laying around all day today, there were things to taste and bite, sensations to feel. So mum is sick, she'll get better as the day goes along I'm sure.
By the afternoon, she still hadn't drilled me for my daily obedience practices. I thought mum was getting lazy so I had to devise ways to get her to train me. I put my paws into my water bowl and dragged the bowl all around the kitchen and down the hallway. I made sure water spilled out everywhere and let mum hear all the racket I was making. Maybe she'll be happy that I'm helping her mop the kitchen.
Look at my little demonic face with glee written all over it when I make a mess in the hallway.
Then when she came near me, she grabbed the rag cloth from me, but I refused to let go. Then I started biting her pants and that got mum really upset. She put me on a "climb" at my regular platform and I got my dose of obedience training. That's a great way to get mum to train me. I'll have to devise other ways to do more training with her.

Sunday - 13 Weeks Old

I spent my 13th Week birthday in the hills of nearby mountains. Dad, Mum, Juan and I spent the morning hiking up the John Wayne Trail. It was cold and there was snow everywhere. It didn't snow but the sky was overcast and grey. It wasn't the best weather from heaven, but Mum said at least it wasn't raining.
Location: Mt Baker-Snoqualmie Forest, John Wayne Trail
Distance: 4 miles up, 4 miles down
Elevation Gain: Not sure
Age: 13 Weeks
This is my family portrait.

The best part about going on these remote hikes is I can go offleash. I stay close to my pack because this is what dogs do. Juan, Dad and Mum don't wait around for me, they just walk straight ahead. If I trail behind, I look up for them and run quickly to catch up, but that's ok, because I got my fair share of sniffs and exploration time.
This is a crazy picture of me, after running, my ears are flapped backwards and I brought with me this really nice branch to chew on. But my parents didn't have the courtesy to flap my ears back to place before taking this picture. They think its really funny. I like picking up sticks and branches to carry along.
Mum and me.
Here, we've arrived at an old deserted train station called Ragnar. Can you see Dad and Juan in the background?
When we reached the 4 mile mark, mum was already getting back aches that weren't funny. That's what mum said. It was also there that dad thought it was time to turn back. By that time, we had already hiked for 2 hours non stop and mum was taking strain. She was also concerned about me getting tired, but I was still prancing around and picking up sticks. I wasn't tired, and Dad said I was fine.
We found a frozen stream and it was rock solid, so I skated on ice like how the stars do on TV, Skating with Celebrities. I skidded around, I even fell down once but that didn't deter me from skating and running on ice. That was really interesting.

Saturday Party @ Lydia's

Yes, we'd been invited to a wild party to be held at Auntie Lydia's home in Seattle. Mum had been looking forward to it for weeks, and she'd baked 2 cakes for the event. I hear her say those cakes were for the humans, but Aunt Lydia had made sure she bakes munchies for us doggies too. Oh wow, I'll normally do anything for treats.

Check out the pictures to see what we've been up to. I'm in the yellow bandana.

This is my sister Stella, we were littermates. She's in a red bandana. I asked her, "if I playbite you, will you playbite me back too? It'll be fun". Stella certainly did not hold back. Look at her smile as I'm biting her shoulder.

She's having as much fun as me. I played mostly with Stella, and not with the other adults, because they were much bigger than us. With Stella, I played bitey face and chase almost the entire afternoon. We tired each other out and it was fun.

This is Ruffian and me. Ruffian is my half brother, we share the same mother, Twinkie. Ruffian is a big handsome boy, and his human mum plans to show him in the ring. My mum says I won't be shown in the ring like Ruffian, but we'll do obedience and agility. I hope its more fun.

This is a picture of me as I was waiting for mum to go home. I was so tired but I sure had fun. I hope mum brings me to more airedale parties. We need more of them up here in the Northwest.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My First Rabbit Carcass

This morning, mum and dad surprised me with my very first rabbit carcass. I've never eaten rabbit before in my whole life, in fact, I've never ever seen a live or dead rabbit before in my 3 months of life. So here, lying before me was this skinless thing mum called a rabbit. To me, it looked like a chicken and a frog combined mutant. Not like I've seen a frog before either, but I guess that's what a chicken-frog mutant would look like.

At first, I just licked and licked at it, I didn't really know how to approach this new food. Then I started biting it here and there, and crunched the bones at the back of my mouth on the molars. I used my front teeth to pull and shear the meat, but it is really tough. After half an hour of trying, I just got tired and gave up. Mum and dad didn't help me by cutting up the meat into smaller pieces because they said it was time for me to learn how to eat like a real big boy. The meat and tendons and stuff was supposed to clean and floss my teeth. I'm supposed to get good gum exercise too. So I couldn't manage eating the rabbit by myself. After almost an hour, mum took my barely eaten carcass away and said we'll try again at lunch. Booger..

Graduation From Puppy Class (Wednesday Night)

Yipppeee!! I've completed 4 weeks of puppy training and I've officially graduated. This Saturday, I begin obedience training with the big boys and girls. According to my other trainer Lisa, there are going to be about 20 dogs at the 'real' obedience class, and only 2 or 3 other puppies, so this is the real deal. No more puppy playing around. I'm excited about class because I get hotdog treats and get to meet many other doggie friends. I hope we'll get to play a little.

Here is a picture of me and my parents at the end of my class

Training is sometimes fun, and also quite stressful. But I let mum and dad know I still enjoy it because I wag my tail around when I do something right, and I get hugs, praise and lots of love too. I never pass a chance to get a hotdog treat. They are simply delicious. The faster I associate the word command to the action I'm supposed to do, the faster I get the treat.

Sometimes I get grumpy and I throw tantrums. I scream at the top of my lungs because I just don't feel like it. No one is hurting me, and they just want me to follow a command, but I just won't do it. I just scream and hope they'll get so annoyed with me and let me get away with it, but NO.... they still tell me to do it, regardless. Then I obey and I get a treat and all is well again. My tricks just don't work on my parents. This sucks..

The wonderful thing about going to training is that I get to meet the resident dogs and also other dogs undergoing training. Here are some pictures of me meeting Enya, who belongs to Lisa my trainer. Enya is a beautiful and obedient German Shepherd. She is about 2 years old, and is very well trained. She is now on a 'Climb' command and is not allowed to come down from her platform to meet me. So I'll meet her halfway. She is very grand looking.

Meeting bigger dogs than me on a regular basis at my training centre, especially because they are well trained dogs, has helped me to build my self confidence and has taught me good doggie manners. I am not rude when I meet other dogs, big or small, nor do I get overly excited or anxious, and I must thank all the resident dogs at my training centre for this. I'm just normal when I meet big dogs. I used to be extremely shy, but not anymore.

I still remember the first time I came to training, I was only 9 weeks old. There was a huge Malinois called U who belonged to Michael, my other trainer. He is a magnificent dog, very alpha, and I was so scared of him. When U came near me, I would run under the chair and table and hide. Then I realized all U wanted to do was smell my butt and say hello. Before I knew it, I really liked U and look forward to seeing him every time I go for lessions. If U was there on his platform (on a 'Climb' command) then I would go up to him, wag my tail intensively and say hi nicely. I always love meeting U.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Practicing My Drills

My Portrait at 3 months of age

Today is the 4th and last day training for my weekly puppy kindergarten classes. So far, I've learnt
  • Walking loosely on a leash, following the leader (Dad or Mum)
  • Watch (look at mum or dad straight in the eyes for 1-3 secs)
  • Free (I can do whatever I want now)
  • Come (go in the direction of where mum or dad is)
  • Sit (plonk my stinky butt on the floor)
  • Down (plonk all my 4 limbs on the floor, elbows touching the floor)
  • Climb (climb up to the raised level whatever it is - I hate the climb most of all)
  • Stand (stand up and stand still)
  • Go Sleep (go into my crate and chill)

At home, mum has been adding a few more commands for me to learn,

  • Hey (cut it out now)
  • Wait (don't do anything yet)
  • Off (don't put my dirty paws on anything, such as the coffee table, or human body parts)
  • Stay (don't move)

After 4 weeks being with my mum and dad, and being only 3 months old, I think I have achieved quite a lot. I'm not the best yet, and I've still got heaps to learn, but one step at a time. Mum thinks I still need to practice to build up my "reliability".

Here is a pic of me practicing my drills (look at my sad face)

After training, I take a nap at my favorite place in the house - at the front door. A puppy can never have too much sleep. I found out that mum has been increasing the number of times we've been training everyday, and also increasing the duration of our training sessions. I try to sleep as much as I can so that I don't have to do the much dreaded climb. At my training sessions, my trainer Michael tells me to do the climb, I hate it so much, I scream and I cry, but no one saves me, I still have to do it.

I overheard them say that this Saturday, I begin real obedience classes with other dogs of all ages and sizes. I'm EXCITED! There are 6 levels and I've been so good, I can jump straight to level 3. I wonder what they'll be teaching me....

Monday, February 20, 2006

My First Crush

This past weekend was very new and exciting for me. I visited 2 stores, I went to Home Depot and GI Joes. Dad needed tools and off we went, all 3 of us to the stores. We went to Home Depot first, and the store lady was so nice to let me in with mum on a leash. So round and round we went looking for the tools dad needed to refine his arcade cabinet. But alas, they did not have what dad was looking for. So we drove to GI Joes, and then finally dad found what he needed. It was nice going into the stores, but the strange thing was not everyone oohed and ahhed over me like how I'm normally used to getting attention.
The other people just walked straight by me, some didn't even see me. I'm normally kissing and wagging my tail at everyone, but this time, my charm didn't really work. What happened? What can be so important that these people don't realize that an extraordinary airedale is in their midst? I tried to wag my tail harder, and smile a bit more, but it still didn't work, these people looked like they were so pre-occupied. Out of the 50 or more people I met at the stores, I think only 2 said hi to me. I was quite shocked at this poor response.
Later that day, Dad and Mum brought me to Seattle Dogs Puppy Play session. There were 2 other small puppies, and 3 big puppies. The nice lady seperated us and I got into the smaller group. What a bummer!! But I think it isn't so bad, because I fell in love for the first time. Yup, I got a crush on the most beautiful female French Bulldog I've ever seen. Her name is Piggy.
She is tiny, but I just really like her. She looks so special with her huge standing ears and we got along so well. I kept following her around, trying to touch her with my paws and doing the playbow to get her to play with me. When she barked at me, I twirled around in 360 degrees and jumped for joy. I don't think I've ever felt this way with a french bulldog before.
Me and Piggy meeting for the first time. She had me at hello.

Me and my gal pal hanging around

Playing Bitey Face and Chase

Me and my gal pal getting to know each other a little better

The 3 amigoes - Birdie the Japanese Chin, Piggy the French Bulldog, Kimi the Airedale

Friday, February 17, 2006

Thursday Night Skiing in Snoqualmie

Daddy and his friends decided to go night skiing at Snoqualmie. And Mum decided to tag along, bringing me with, so that I can experience more snow and chill out at the resort. Mum said it'll be the first time I see humans on skis and on snowboards and these strange things called helmets and poles, so it might be interesting for me.

Here, I've arrived at the parking lot and I met a new friend, a border collie. I didn't catch her name and we didn't get to hang out because she was leaving and we were just arriving. I realize there is so much more snow up here on the mountains than at our house. And it is freezing cold up here too.
Snoqualmie is only 30 mins east from our house, and daddy and mummy used to ski here quite regularly, and Juan too. Now that our family has me, mummy has to sacrifice some of her activity time because she needs to take care of me because I'm still a baby. I get to tag along so at least she's not left alone at home. See, how lucky she is to have me.
While I was at Snoqualmie, I found out that snow is a great thing to dig. Look at these wonderful photos of me having a great time.

Mummy totally set me free offleash and since there was hardly anyone around in our corner, I had a blast of a time in the evening when the sun was about to set.

It was really great fun, because there was so much space and mum just let me keep digging. Digging is really something that comes naturally to me.
After all that evening digging, the sun started to set. The shadows cast by the dusk golden skies and the looming mountains made me feel awe stricken and humbled. How vast and mighty the universe is, I started to ponder and contemplate the meaning of life. I sit and I wonder...
And after the moments of wondering, its back to playing in the snow again. Yipeee..