Saturday, June 07, 2008


Last month, my Aire buddy Mr. T-Bone Beasley and his friend Chef (a boxer) decided to organize a doggie gift exchange for many of us "Dogs with Blogs" members. Now, we're dogs with blogs from all over the world, so the gift exchange was called "International Goody Exchange". Mum and I signed up of course, and our paired member was Moco. Moco is a terrier mix from Oregon, not far away from us. Only in the next state. Moco and his Grammy sent me a BIG HUGE box, and I was so surprised that the gift came so big and nice. My box was smaller for Moco, and now I feel like I gave too little to my new friend.
I was so curious about the box, what is in there? Why does it smell so interesting? I really wanted to tear it up, but Mum had to help because I'm not allowed to rip open boxes or tear packages.

She finally opened it, and I could smell a whiff of treats and toys.

I was so focussed on my box of goodies, even Daddy got excited and came to help me unwrap and take everything out. We were like kids at a candy store.

Daddy came and took out my new toys and treats and laid them on the floor for me to examine my surprises. They were so wonderful. Thank you Moco and grammy.

Wow!! I have SO MANY new things..

Here's me and all my new things from Moco.

I must say that my Mummy was very proud of me and happy that I have new doggie friends from all over the world and that's fun. The whole idea that we're all connected through the Internet makes the world seem like a smaller place, and proves that there is love and wonder, sweet gentle kind people, and generosity in the world despite all the wars, bloodshed, pain, inequality and hate.

I enjoy the simple life. I lead a very loved and pampered life. I love my Mummy and Daddy, I take care of my home, and garden, I wag my tail when I see friends, and I give kisses to show I love them. That's my life, and what a wonderful life it is.

Opening up a new treat.

I'm having a ball of a time, chomping on my new treat. Thank you Moco.


And those rabbit puffs are just devine!! You've got to have some of these Moco.

Mum said I had to pose with them while I eat them, so I stayed patient while 'chilling' next to those irresistible treats. Then she said 'free' and I got a new rabbit puff.

They are the best. So nice and tasty. I'm going to get Mum to keep an eye out for them at the stores, so if she sees them, she'll have to buy them for me.

Here's a smile for you Moco, and Grammy. That was the best doggie present I've ever gotten in all my 3 years of dog life. Even my parents never give me such a luxurious big pressie all at once before. That was just marvelous. You made my weekend!!

I hope you enjoy your gift from me too.


Canine Camper Test Out

According to Mum, we're heading to our very first Agility Competition this Sunday. (Tomorrow) and we'll be hanging out at the venue the whole day. Sounds exciting (blah!) So to allow me a place to rest while we wait between runs, Mum bought me this canine Camper. She bought it in an extra-large size, which prompted Daddy to say it was way too big for me. It was so big, that Mum and I could both be in it at the same time. Mum's explanation was that she wanted it big enough for "2" dogs. 2 dogs?? Who's the 2nd dog Mum? Apparently, in future Mummy and Daddy will add a brother or sister to me. I can't wait. Here's me in the camper. It is so big, that it is filling up a 1/4 of my living room space. This entry is about me being trained to be comfortable in a new 'space'.

Mum gives me the same command for entering a space as with my regular crate, "Go Sleep" means "go into this space and stay there till I free you". She gives me the hand signal pointing inward the camper, while commanding me, and the moment I step in, she says "Good Boy" and treats me. Then I get "Freed" and she lets me out, another treat.

We keep repeating this "Go Sleep" and "Free" till I get it, moving in and out of the camper with ease, no hesitation, no problems. And I get free treats for that, what's not to like about this new exercise?

All I care about is really that treat in her hand, I'll do anything for that treat.

"Go Sleep" means go in and stay there. (Mum even threw my current fav toy in there to keep me company, its called a ruffian and it makes funny noises)

I'm excited about the agility trial competition this Sunday, but Mum is a bit nervous. Its our very first time running in a competition environment but I think we're both ready. Better to start sooner than later. All Mum wants for me to do is to quality. We don't need to get the top 4 positions.

We're competing in 2 Regulars, 1 Jumpers and 1 Tunnelers and in the Novice level. Keep your paws crossed for me and hope I do well. Just to qualify will be good enough.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hiking the Taylor River

Hooray!! Our first backpacking hike of the season! Its the end of May and spring has finally arrived in Seattle. The sun is peeking out every other day and it seems to linger around longer and the days are getting longer and longer. Goodbye rainy wet winter, hello hot spring sunshine. My parents had initially planned to hike over Memorial Day Weekend, but the weather wasn't looking good, so we had to postpone it. But now finally we've got our packs all ready to go.Coincidentally, Mum finished my grooming this week, so I look a little bald again, but it sure helps to keep me cool for the hiking weather. I look much neater now again. No more ewok look. (Altho, I must add, I have been called cuter with the ewok look)
You see my blue backpack? Yup, I have my own backpack. Hurry up Mum, I can't wait to go. Is Daddy ready yet? Check out my groomed body. My saddle looks like a darker shade of black because it is more than a week old of hair growth. My shoulder blades, chest, head and neck are newly stripped so it still looks bald. But with 1 week of growth, and I'll look handsome again.

I'm all packed, set up and ready to go. We are at the trailhead about to venture into the wilderness. I use a very short leash (aka a tag) when I go hiking sometimes. You can see it in my photo above. I also wear a bear bell (but it is muted slightly in a mesh bag so no one else gets annoyed) because this is the season bears come out hungry from their hibernation. There were several bear sightings in my neighbourhood, and that is scary.

Trail: Taylor River Trail
Distance: 18 miles return
Time: 5-6 hours to Snoqualmie Lake
Area: Mt Baker-Snoqualmie Forest
Elevation Gain: 2100 ft
High Pt: 3200 ft

.... unfortunately, we did not make it to Snoqualmie Lake which was our destination for the night. The trail was wretched. There was still snow at 1800ft and there were so many trees fallen over the main trail due to the severe winter we had. It slowed us down so much, that it took us 4 hours to do a mere 3 miles.

Falling in line behind my pack leader, Daddy. Negotiating the snow covered rocks was tricky, we had to be careful with where we were stomping. There were also fallen trees and broken stumps all over the place which made it very hard to enjoy the hike. We tried our best but it was really tough hiking through snow.

Mum and I, taking a break

Hey Mum, look at what we have to climb over and over? Fallen trees...

Just because the trail was challenging doesn't mean an Airedale loses his sense of knowing how to have fun. I found a stick and asked Mum to play with me on the bridge. Chewing sticks is fun regardless of where we are.

Another example of the down trodden trail. Trees and more trees fallen over and we had to climb over, climb under and negotiate these obstacles. After the 3 mile mark, my parents decided that it would take us too long to get to the lake, which was 6 more miles away (3-4 hours hike time) and also, the reports from other hikers said the lake was still frozen over. There was just no way we would be able to camp that night, and so we turned back. Phew!!

Jumping over trees with a backpack on is no easy feat. But I still did it, and made my parents very proud of me.

Chewing on branches along the way

When I got home, I was very happy and tired. I jumped onto my favorite couch in Mum's study and took a long nice nap.

There is often a saying that Mum repeats over and over, "A good Airedale is a tired Airedale". When I am well exercised, I am the best Airedale ever, compliant, sweet, obedient and attentive, but when I am not exercised or mentally challenged, I can be quite naughty and fiesty. Maybe that's why Mum enrolls me in 2 agility classes per week and we head out for adventures often.

So we didn't get to camp overnight at Snoqualmie Lake on Saturday, but I'm fairly certain that very soon, my parents won't be able to resist the call of the wild again, and we'll go backpacking again soon.


Food Update Again

Although oxtail is expensive, it is one of my favorite items in my diet, and I relish eating them. There is nice meat around the chewy tail bones and it is so delicious. Getting oxtail from an Asian Market is also cheaper than the regular supermarket.
Me eating my oxtail on the towel in the dining area because if it rains outside, I get to eat inside.

Every now and then, I also get fish such as mackerel in my diet. It isn't regular, but I do eat fish. Sometimes, bones and all. In the above canned mackerel, Mum drains the liquid and rinses the fish to remove as much of the salt as she can. I don't mind it, I like having salt once in a while, makes my food tastier. I can eat many types of fish, but not salmon.

Chicken feet isn't very nutritious, but it sure is a tasty treat. I like eating chicken feet (just like Daddy when he eats Chinese Dim Sum), and I even like playing with it. I take one in my mouth, fling it into the air, and try catch it again. The chicken claws are included.

Rabbit is a rarity as well. I get to eat a rabbit about once every 5 or 6 months simply because it is expensive and harder to get at the Asian Mart. If I eat a rabbit, I don't need to eat the next day.

Check out the grooming on my body. Now the main saddle and my hips, butt and back thighs are done.

Pigs' trotters is another one of those odd meals. Very crunchy and delicious. The bones are soft and easy to crunch in these areas. The asian butcher also chopped up the big pieces so its easier for me to gnaw and chomp on them.

Eating my meal of pigs trotters (feet) in my garden on a cloudy day.

Closeup of pig trotters

I also get mince of various meats, beef, turkey, chicken, pork and they get mixed up with a raw egg and some of my supplements added in. Some days its chicken, some days its beef. I can never tell what Mum feels like feeding me that day, and I eat what she puts in front of me. If I don't finish it, she takes it away and I finish the remainder the next day. That's all.


Treats & Supplements For Me

Some of my friends are curious about what kinds of supplements and treats I get, since I am a rawfed dog, so I kicked Mummy's butt into writing an entry about it, and photographing what I have in stock right now.Above is the whole list of what we have right now, but every now and then, things get changed around, and the combinations change every day. I don't take everything everyday, its varied constantly. Above includes, Salmon Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Deep Sea Kelp (powdered form), Ligaplex, and various pro-biotics. They are added to about 4 out of 7 meals. Mum's rationale is that, although as a raw fed dog, I should adhere strictly to the raw diet, or one as closely resembling to what a wild dog or coyote might eat, there are things possibly in the wild that I cannot ever attain as a family dog. Things such as fur, feathers, eyeballs, brains, inerts etc, the oddity that isn't included in the supermarket packaged animal. The nutrients in these odd items may be lacking and so Mum adds these to my diet, just in case.
The treats I get do not contain grain, wheat, artificial coloring, additives and anything unnatural. Some of my favorites include smoked bones with fillings, lamb fillets and real meat jerky. My favorite brand of treats is from Merrick.

I get other strange treats as well, such as real fish crunch crackers, real meat jerky made from beef, chicken, venison, fish. I also love dried chicken breasts strips and I get the rare rawhide once in a long while. When I was a teeny tiny pup, Mum used small Simon and Huey's Treats to reward me. They are so small, tiny and chewy, they don't need much crunching and that helped to maintain training momentum. They come in various flavors, chicken, ginger, honey etc. Very healthy delicious tiny treats.

So while Mum was arranging my treats to photograph them, I stuck my nose around, and I knew there was good stuff on the table. I've been trained not to put my dirty paws on the table, so I just let my nose do the snooping. Yummy...

Mummy, see I'm sitting so nicely for you. Can I get some now?

Mum put a small piece of venison jerky on the edge of the table so that I could eat it. That's a nice reward for not messing up her table.

Here is a closeup of the various treats I get.

Can you spot something odd about my body? Yes, I've been handstripped again. Lately, the sun started to shine out from behind those grey Seattle clouds and it was getting HOT. I was panting a lot lately since my fur has grown so thick, so mum has spend quite a many days handstripping me again, down to the skin. It has kept me cool and comfortable again. The above picture was taken about a week and a half ago in the first phase.