Thursday, June 29, 2006

Turning 7 Months Old

What does it mean when I turn 7 months old? Mum says its time I step up on my obedience training and behave more like a good boy of my age should. I still don't feel the difference, but I can sense more challenges in the drills I do at home. The "Watch" is now with distractions, and I can't look away. And then there is "heeling" or "Foos" which is "go to Mum's left leg and sit there".
I love spending alone time with Mum at home. We get to hang out together, and practice drills, or watch tv, or I rest while she does the chores. She loves taking photos of me, Mum says my puppyhood is almost over, and if she doesn't take photos of me now, then she won't have enough pictures to look at and remember my childhood. Here are some of them.
Smiley Face
Play Ball

The Artistic Collection

Going to the Neighbourhood Dog Park and pond means I get to cool off in the water in this warm summer heat. The weather was in the mid 90s this week, and when I saw the pond, it was such a great delight to me. Mum lets me run offleash by the pond and I wade in the cool depths up to my chin. There are dragonflies, birds, bees, and even ducks and I love being part of everything so beautiful.


Hi Mum, I'm here

Splashing about in the water

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Passing Level 4 of my Obedience class

2 Saturdays ago, I passed level 4 of my 6 levels of Obedience. The levels in my obedience class are similar to human grade school, and we take tests to evaluate if we are good enough to pass on to the next level. It gets harder and harder, and more demanding of both me and Mum, who is my handler/trainer.
Here are the Level 4 Testing Requirements
  1. Behavior 1 - "Sit" to a "Down" and return back to "Sit" position, with the lead on ground, and no body queues from handler. (Offleash)
  2. Behavior 2 - "Sit" and "Stay" under distraction with lead on ground. (Offleash) Mum steps back 10 feet and the tester (Lisa) stomps her feet as she walks around me, and I'm not supposed to break my "Sit".
  3. Behavior 3 - "Formal Recall" with lead dragging about 20 feet away from handler. I am put in a "Sit" position, mum walks away to about 20 feet, and then she calls me, "Kimi, Front" which is my formal command for 'come and sit right in front of my knees'. All this with no body queues.
  4. Behavior 4 - Heel on lead with automatic sit. Mum and I walk together, and then Tester Lisa says, "come to a halt". Without a prompt from Mum, I must sit nicely right next to her left leg.
  5. Behavior 5 - Attention for 10 secs. Mum commands me to "Watch", and I stare back into her eyes for 10 secs without looking away.
  6. Behavior 6 - "Stand" and walk to end of lead. I am put into a "Stand" which is a command for stacking or posing. I am not allowed to move any feet and must stand very still, no matter what. Mum tests me by pushing my back down a little, and then pulling on my leash to test if I will move. No, I will not move. Then she walks to the end of lead, and then returns to heel position.

Conditions of testing:

Handlers can only say the commands once.

Absolutely no corrections during the test. The leash must not become taut at any time.

No bait bags, no treats, or rewards during testing. Verbal praise is allowed only when the tester gives the command "exercise over".

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bone in Poop

For those of you who are already adventurous like me, and brave enough to eat Raw Meaty Bones, let your parents know that occassionally, finding a bone fragment or two in your poop is totally normal, no harm done. As long as there isn't any blood or mucus, it should be fine. And also, finding pieces of bark, roots, grass, small pebbles, and things you have in your backyard is normal too. By now, most of you would have realized that the normal type of poop is white (after you leave it out in the sun for an afternoon). Your parents must be so thrilled to pick up after you, because it is so easy to clean up. No smell, no mush, no fuss. I know my Mum is. Even if your parents pick up after you immediately after you do your business, at least its firm and hard most of the time. Sometimes, I still get the wet stuff, but its still better to be on this Prey Model Diet.
Sometimes, she deliberately leaves the poop out in the yard for a day, just so that they'll turn white and she has something nice to look at while she picks it up. Yup, she said at least they're not black or brown (reminds her too much of her own poop I guess). Picking up white poop is so much more pleasant than picking up black or brown poop.


There's no mistaking that summer has arrived. The weather is soaring into the 80s, and the sunshine is turned on full blast. Since we're riding in Mum's open jeep, with the roof off and all, it makes sense that I have my own pair of sunglasses, 'Doggles' they call it. Mum put them on for me when we got to the jeep, and I didn't flinch. I didn't resist and I didn't fuss. I just sat there and looked cool.
So off we zoomed down the road, and still I didn't make a scene. I was so proud of my doggles and I think I look real cool in them. What do you think??

When we got home, I started to paw at my doggles, and then Mum said, "wait, we must pose for a pic and then we take it off". So I said "cool mum". Mum says, as long as the sun is shining when we are on the road, I'll put on my doggles and then act real cool.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Entertainment with the Chows

Me in the garden, with a piece of long scotch tape which I found somewhere
Seems like my parents do a lot of entertaining friends, and when they have a braai (barbeque in South African) , two Chow Chows, Kita and Dee Dee come to visit and play too. Kita is the younger sister, but she is the alpha bitch and Dee Dee is more submissive. Dee Dee although being older, is smaller in stature and less outgoing. They come from South Africa, and belong to my daddy's friends who were from SA, and now live in Washington near us. Kita is the black chow, and Dee Dee is beige. They have been clipped for the summer weather.

I am very respectful of Kita, because she lets me know she's the alpha bitch around here, although this is MY garden. I follow Kita almost everywhere she goes.

3 of us, waiting for treats to fall off the counter

I tried to show them how much fun it would be, to rip out the plastic from the logs, but they just wouldn't join in the devillish fun. I looked at them, with yearning hope in my eyes, hoping they'd play, but no luck.

Then my neighbour Toby popped his head over the fence and said hi. We all went for a quick update at the fence, and I introduced him to my Chow friends. I think Toby wished he was over to play with us.


Kita and DeeDee, with their parents and Dad's friends

Play bowing by Dee Dee. Finally I got the old lady to play with me.

"Hi Kita, you wanna play with me? I'm only a puppy, see I stay lower than you"

Play biting with Kita. I am chewing on her tail, but also keeping an eye on her, so I can make a quick dash if she decides to discipline me. Kita says younger pups like me must learn some respect for the elder dogs.

I'm totally responsible for the broken branches and dying trees and shrubs in my parents yard. Wait a minute, MY yard.

With Mum, I can barely fit in her lap now, I'm fast approaching the 7 month birthday
More playing with the 2 Chow sisters

Chilling out and tired

Visiting Sophie

I had the wonderful experience of visiting Sophie, my new favorite girlfriend. We hang out like carrots and peas. Sophie, and her parents live in Seattle, about 30 mins drive away from our home. She lives opposite a huge park and they go there very often.
When I saw Sophie, my butt shaked and twisted non stop. But Mum told me to "sit" in front of the door and wait till she got in. Then she said "free" and I was allowed in, but that few seconds felt like forever. I just wanted to play. Sophie has a cat in her house, and I was so curious about her. I wanted to chase the cat, but it kept staring at me with those huge eyes, it was a bit scary so I just turned around and ran away, like a cowardy cat. How ironic!
With Sophie's cat, Leila. Leila would not play with me, no matter how I playbowed, and she wouldn't let me smell her butt either. Sophie told me Leila doesn't like dogs.
Sophie showed me her house, and her crate, and her play things. She showed me around the patio and the living room, and where to get a drink. We had tonnes of play fighting time until it was time to go to the park together.

We play rough sometimes. Baring teeth and growling is all part of the fun, we even nibble and bite each other, but we know when too rough means no more playing. Mum calls this bite inhibition, and we can only learn this from our doggie friends, by playing with one another. Play is a very important part of my mental, and social development.

Sophie in mid flight, doing the Kung Fu movement "Crouching Tiger, Jumping Airedale"


Me and Sophie, chilling out on rocks

Me, cooling down with the big boys in Lake Washington
Standing on a rock in the lake

I never miss the opportunity to dip in the lake and steal someone else's ball.
Sophie gives me a kiss after my swim