Waterton

I love going to Waterton National Park.  Every year I buy a season pass.  The park isn’t over run with people and it a great place to take Ande for a swim.  The water is very cold and clear and the scenery is great.  There is a secluded place where I can play with the dog.  The only problem is that sometimes when people see me playing with the dog they start hiking over.  Not that I mind but they might get very wet from a long haired dog shaking.

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What’s needed in this doggy’s  paradise is unlimited sticks.

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What is needed in my paradise is beautiful scenery.

Ande loves swimming.  It is her biggest passion and obsession.  When she was a puppy, I would take her for a drive and if I knew that we would be driving past water – any kind of water – I would have to keep the car windows rolled up.  She would try to jump out of the moving car in order to get to the water.  I’m was glad when I was able to change that behaviour.  Now she just sticks her nose out of the windows and whines and whines and whines…

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Lift off and…

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crash landing.

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We do this over

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and over.

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Right now she isn’t having any fun at all.  There is a violent thunder and lightening storm going on.  It is shaking my house. She is hyper ventilating and trying to hide.  Some things just aren’t as fun.

Thanks Louise for the photos. What a great day!

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Run, Maybe Not

I took Davin out again today to socialize with the hoards.  He was way more relaxed about it today.   Inside of shying away he was trying to investigate everything passing by him.  I was pretty happy with that.

The parade today was most amazing.  It lasted for almost an hour.  Pretty good for a small town.  The crowds were even more amazing.  It took me 20 mins to get home.  I left the dogs at home as I didn’t want to overwhelm them with the noise.  Also it was extremely hot out today.

This evening was the fireworks (Thunder in the Valley).  I didn’t go because by this time I had enough of the crowds plus the drive home would be a nightmare.  But I went in the early evening to check things out.  All I can say is wow!

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Campers that go on for miles.

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I could live in this one all year long.

I think that our dog club should fund raise for a motor home like this.  What a great way for a group to travel!

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People that go on for miles.

Going to the fireworks four hours before the show in order to get the best location for viewing.

The most interesting sight I saw was a guy riding a mountain bike with a large case of beer on his lap and a black lab type dog tied to the bike with a rope running beside him.  Now that is multi tasking!

Run

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Quick! Run for the hills.  Aliens are invading!  They have longish appendages that stretch towards you.  I’m trying to evade abduction!

I live in an area with a population of approximately 6000 people within an 15 kilometer area.  This weekend the population will swell to 20,000 plus.  This is Rum Rummer Days with Thunder in the Valley (fireworks that last about 20 mins.).  People from all over the world come to and plan their vacation around this event.  It is quite the spectacle.  People camp in every green spot and non green spot that they can find.

Normally when I take Davin for a walk down main street we are lucky if we see more then two people. So I thought that I would take him for a walk this evening.  Good opportunity for socialization.  I don’t think he was too impressed with that idea. His eyes were spinning in his head trying to see everything at once.  My eyes where spinning in my head for the same reason.  Maybe I need more socialization!

A one point we walked past a Golden Retriever.  Davin almost threw himself at this dog in happiness.  I think he was trying to convince the golden to save him from the invading alien force.  But I dragged him away much to his dismay.

I decided to walk him by the Midway.  First at a distance where I sat him down to see how he was doing.  He didn’t seem to mind the noise at all.  So I took him right to it.  He was pretty good with all the machines.

Oh the smells of the Midway.  The smell of mini donuts, marijuana, kettle corn, marijuana, cotton candy…..

I walked him around for about an hour and a half.  He was relaxing as time went on.  So tomorrow I will take him again.  The crowds will be even bigger but there will a lot of dogs around as well to help him feel better.  I don’t plan on going to the fireworks this year.  I don’t feel like dealing with all that traffic.  A five minute trip home can take up to 3 hours.  I would never take my dogs to the fireworks.  I can’t believe how many do.  The poor dogs end up being so freaked out it’s awful to see.

Oh and I better remember to bring some money tomorrow….mini donuts…yum, yum.  That will make Davin happy too.

Class

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Tonight was Davin’s last puppy agility class.  We have learned a lot in this class.  I have learned that I still have two left feet, need to move faster and need to be more fun than the instructor.  Ah the joys of learning about yourself.  I am sad that this class has ended. I really enjoyed my fellow trainers and their pups.

Davin has come a long way from the beginning.  But I noticed tonight I had a harder time getting his nose off the ground.  I will need to work him more outdoors and in different places.  I also think that his boyhood is kicking in more.  It’s great that I can practice agility with minimal equipment and people to show me how to do it.

In about three weeks we will start with group training again.  This time the class will be Team Building 101.  We will still do puppy stuff since Davin is still fairly young.  I can’t wait to get started again because the days are already getting shorter!  I would be happy with summer all year round.

Well I better get training so we can keep up with the big dogs!

Naming

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Davin about three months ago.

I am often asked about how I picked Davin’s name.  I usually have a hard time picking names for animals.  Most times if I hear I name that I like I store it away in the back of my mind.  The trouble is the name gets lost in there somewhere.  I’ve really only think about girl suitable names as all but one dog has been a girl.  My next dog was going to be a girl as well.

Well it didn’t work out that way.  I ended up picking out a boy dog.  Oh oh can I just call him puppy?  Would I have to change it to doggy when he got older?  Would that just confuse him.  I’m sure it would confuse me!  I guess not.  So the hunt was on for a name.  Wow, I really don’t like picking names.  I would ask people for suggestions and they would come up with some great ideas but nothing was sitting right for me.

Finally I was talking to my co-worker who told me about a “random name generator” that I could use on the computer.  I think it was in about five minutes that “Davin” came up.  I found it to be an interesting name and so added it to my meager list.  After thinking about the different names I picked out for a few weeks, “Davin” was the one that kept coming up.  So that’s how he ended up with his name.

Learning Curve

Tonight I had a puppy agility foundation class (did I say that right?).  I have been having alot of fun at these classes.  But it has been a big learning curve for me.  Training in agility has changed alot since I first got into dog stuff.  In fact it is all new to me.  I am really enjoying the way it is taught now.  I find that it teaches much more then just agility.  Within agility are skills and controls that the dog learns that cross over to everyday life.

I’m pretty sure agility is a bigger learning curve for me then for the dog.  I’ve had to learn to check my frustration at the door and learn to be patient. Well I think that I will always be learning that one.

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Sometimes when I am trying to teach a skill I wonder if Davin is understanding what I want, am I being clear or just confusing him.  What is my body language telling him?  This is where I am thankful for my instructors.  They certainly will tell me!

And of course here is the handling of the leash, a clicker, treats and maybe a toy or two.  I just wonder when my two left feet and three right hands will finally co-ordinate!

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The ear

Thanks Amanda for the photos!

Maiden Voyage

My car needs some work done on it so I can’t take a chance on travelling very far.  But that’s OK on a nice weekend like this one.  Within an hour drive there are about 8 lakes.  So a few of us decided to take the kayaks out for a cruise.  In the morning we went to a lake where I could take the dogs.  I knew that there would be very few people at this lake.  I have been wanting to teach Davin about kayaks and “how not to dump me into the water”.

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At first he just wanted to swim. But I knew that wouldn’t last long.

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After many attempts and me ending up getting wetter then the dog he finally got the hang of it.

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Ande is too big for the kayak.  She just swims most of the time going to the shore when she wants a break.  By the end of summer she is in great shape.

Davin was doing a lot a shivering.  I’m not sure if he was cold, excited or if I had traumatized him.  So we went back to the lake today and he was excited on the drive there. He hopped into the boat like he had been doing it for a while.  I guess I didn’t scare him too much.

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Why are you doing all that work swimming when you could have your own personal chauffeur lowly German Shepherd?

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By the end of the day he was getting pretty confident with his new found skill.

Now if i can teach him to ride on the back instead of in the cockpit I would stay alot drier.

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Heading home..sigh.