Wednesday, April 26, 2006

YIPEEE!! I passed Level 3

Today, I officially passed my training school's Obedience Level 3 test, and I'm moving on to level 4. Since I started training at 9 weeks of age in Puppy Class, I moved straight from Puppy Class to Level 3. I've been stuck in Level 3 for 9 weeks now, high time for me to go on to a more challenging level. For a while there, I was getting really bored with the same old obedience commands.
Mum told me that the purpose for me to attend school is not so much to learn silly commands like "sit" and "down"; the real essense of training is to challenge my mind and to give me something to think about, training provides me with structure, guidelines, and an opportunity for me to practice self control. I know she's not telling me, but its also to help me understand that she is the Alpha female, and Dad is Alpha male, and me, oh well, I'm Omega. Establishing the hierarchy in our family pack is of supreme importance, because as a dog, I am happiest when I know someone else is the boss, someone else takes care of me, someone else makes all the decisions, and I should just be content, eating my food, playing my toys, pooping and sleeping, and Mum and Dad takes care of everything else.
Here are the 5 behaviors I must perform to pass. Let me add that my tester is very strict and rigid. No nonsense during testing.
  1. Sit - Sit/Stay without movement, handler departs dog to stand at the end of the leash. Handler returns to dog and releases dog.
  2. Down - Down/Stay without movement, handler releases dog.
  3. Attention for 3-5 seconds - Dog stares into the handler's eyes consistently until released.
  4. Walk on a loose leash and follow change of direction by the handler.
  5. Back up Recall. Made to sit, and then handler walks away. Dog goes to handler when called.

During testing, no food rewards, no corrections, no bait bags, are allowed. Only verbal praise is allowed after the tester says each exercise is over.

Schnoozing Doozing

How many ways are there for a feisty happy Airedale boy like me to sleep in the media room? Let me show you how I nap and schnooze in my chill room...

Zzzzz.......... exposed

Zzzzzz.... On the sofa...

Zzzzzz....Leaning on the sofa

Zzzzz..... stretched out

The above sleeping methods are best achieved after a long hike on a mountain, like a 2 mile up and 2 mile down hike to Rattlesnake Ledge. Mum and I reached the ledge in 70mins, and came down in 45mins. It is quite a feat, considering Mum's terrible stamina and this being only my 2nd hike to Rattlesnake ledge. I met many dogs along the way, but I was such a good boy with good manners. I sniffed their tooshies and said hi, and they did the same.

This is me chilling out on my rug in the lounge. Mum calls it the Cleopatra pose.
Mum sets up my tunnel for me to play
Mum, did you throw my toy in there again??

Let me say that the tunnel is virtually indestructible, there are many ways to play with it, including biting it and trampling on it. It just bounces back! Incredible.

Mum, can I help Dad unpack his stuff?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Digging at the New House

As you can see from the boxes in the background, the house is still not ready yet. We've got boxes here and there, but I've been a very good boy. I haven't gone ransacking and poking my naughty nose into any of them. I know they belong to Mum and Dad and I only chew what Mum allows me to, like wrapping paper, long pieces of scotch tape, empty boxes. The trickiest times are when those scotch tape pieces get stuck to my body and legs and I'm turning and trying my bestest to catch it. Its amusing and it keeps me busy, Mum says its helping my coordination and movement, but I don't know about that. I just want to have fun. I'm having loads of fun actually. No need to find trouble touching my parents' boxes.
Me, confined to the dining room when Mum is busy

So anyway, lately, I've been let out to the back yard for supervised playtime. Its fully fenced in, but I can see everything and everyone out there because there are huge gaps in the fence, big enough to look through, but small enough that I can't get out. I haven't barked at anything or anyone yet, but I just watch the world go by. And... I also started digging. I remain true to my Terrier nature, I'm sure all the dales would be so proud of me. Lucky for me, my parents think its alright for me to dig, but that's because they haven't started planting flowers yet. I wonder what they'll say then..
This is a good spot to dig a big deep hole, don't you think?

A good Airedale musn't waste such beautiful sunny weather to dig and dig

I jump for joy that Mum is letting me dig! I must be the luckiest Dale in the world!

Stretching out and examining the hole from another perspective

You like my glued ears?? Thanks Aunty Lydia

Hmmm... what have we got here?

The Move

Its been about 2 weeks since Mum last updated my blog, but I don't blame her, we've been extremely busy and stressed out because of the move from the old rental place to the new home. Our NEW home! Argh, I wasn't so stressed out because I've already spent like, what? 6 days in the house when they were painting it. No big deal. My scent was already in the backyard.
Since then, we've been packing, unpacking, throwing out junk, organizing the existing stuff into places, and of course, toilet training me again. Oh and Mum also had to wash and prepare the old rental house to be handed back to the landlord. Its been a tough week for Mum. But both Mum and Dad have been trying hard to keep my routine as regular as possible. Its been some weeks now that Mum has been adjusting and flexing my feeding times so that I eat whenever she feeds me. So I don't make a fuss when its 8am or 2pm or whatever. I just eat whenever she says so. This has helped us a lot because the schedule is a crazy hectic one, and standard mealtimes for anybody is impossible. Here are some pics over these last 2 weeks.
Helping Dad wash his bike after our BikeRun
Having a sip of drink from the hose
Mum, I'm not too sure about this green ball!
I'd better bite it before it runs away.. hey this is fun!

Me and my sis, Stella playing in Auntie Lydia's yard

Alice looks on, as the pups run and run and run...

Alice watches on to make sure the pups don't do anything naughty

Helping Mum unpack her study

Monday, April 10, 2006

I turn 19 Weeks Old Yesterday

On Sunday (yesterday), I turn officially 19 weeks old. Wow, Mum can't believe that I'm almost 5 months old. I grow up really fast and she's reminding herself to take as many puppy photos of me as she can, before I become fully grown up.
Here are the portraits of me at 19 weeks of age.

Me and the lazy sit

At the Bark Park

Life in the Northwest teaches me to seize the day whenever the sunshine is switched on. Mum takes me to the BarkPark as often as she can, when the sun is shining. Hence you can understand why I love the sun so much. Even with some grey skies above, as long as the sun shines, we try to go there every few days. The Bark Park is a fenced-in 4 acre community park. I get to run and chase balls, and meet all kinds of people and my own kind, the dogs.
Here are some glimpses of a typical afternoon spent with my own kind at the BarkPark.

Demon Dale in motion

Yippeeee, hey wait for me!!

Let's play 'follow the leader'

Look what I've found!

Hey Mum, look at me with my ball!

After playing with my friends, Mum decided it was time for a photoshoot. She put me on a "Climb" command on a big rock and then got trigger happy.

Hope you like my pictures

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Running in the streets

Daddy takes me out running with him in our neighbourhood because I have tonnes of energy and I need to burn it off. I've been crated a lot over this past weekend, and this is good therapy for me to let out all my frustration. We run about 4 miles on our regular route. Daddy runs more often, but I run about twice a week to build up my strength, stamina and endurance. My parents say I'll need it when Spring and Summer comes, and we hike and camp more regularly. I've never camped out in the wild before, so I'm really looking forward to all the excitement.

See, I'm so big, my mum can barely carry me in her arms. I am now 28 pounds at 18 weeks of age. I am growing up strong and happy, with muscle definition and healthy skin and a good coat.

Mum takes me walking about 1-2 miles when we walk on normal days, but this run was tiring for me. I was pooped out at the end and I just chilled out and was happy and contented. I find myself a pillow and just crash in front of the sofa with my parents. Ah.. the good life..

Busy Busy Bee

This past week has been crazy. Mum, Dad and I have been getting excited and ready for the new house. There has been so much to do, and finally last Thursday, we got the keys to our brand new house in the MountainAire. Of course, I had to assist mum and dad in surveying the new house, making sure every nook and cranny meets our expectations. Kimi checks out the bath while Daddy checks out the nice new blinds in the masterbath
"Hmm..what do we have here? A nice new air vent in the guest room"
Yup, the kitchen is up to Kimi's expectations..
Kimi watches Daddy test the stove cooktops
Kimi walks through every single room in the house, including the guests toilets and makes himself very comfortable
"Ha, who left the scotch tape on the floor? Nice to chew on.."

With Mummy Sheila in front of our new fireplace

While Mum and Dad had to slog away the weekend prepping the house to be painted and then spending all 2 days painting the bedrooms, I was crated and occassionally let out to pee and poop. I behaved myself most of the time, but you must imagine it is very boring for me even with toys and chewies, a young 18 week old pup to stay in my crate for most of the weekend while they were busy painting. But I tried my best to be good, and mum and dad let me out to play in the new backyard every few hours. Of course, I had to dig and stake out my land by making sure the there were holes here and there. But mum and dad didn't seem to mind so much. There goes the new landscaping.