Personal tools
You are here: Home dogs dog profiles Huntley
Document Actions

Huntley

by Kyler Laird last modified 2009-09-10 03:20

Newfoundland (Landseer), male

joined us: 2008-11-05 (3945 days ago)

This dog has been adopted, has passed the Delta Society Pet Partners evaluation and has passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.


2008-11-06: busy days by Kyler Laird
p1020850

Harvest continues but things are happening with the dogs too. Yesterday the grain elevators closed early so I called Jasper County Animal Shelter about a Giant Schnauzer I'd promised to check. I had just enough time to drive over to see him before the shelter closed but when I looked at their online listing I didn't see him. The ACO told me that a breed rescue in Arizona had arranged for him to be pulled. (Yea!) While I was on the phone she asked if I knew anything about Newfoundlands...

Newfoundlands?! Why, yes, I've enjoyed a few recently. In fact, just the night before I was delighted to play with one of South Central Newfoundland Club Rescue's Newfs, Shiloh, at the kennel. She's a Landseer and I'd discussed her wonderful personality with her guardian who told me that Landseers have "the goofy gene." I had already been thinking about having a Landseer of my own. And it turns out the Newf at JCAS is a Landseer!

I arrived at JCAS and made my way to the Newf, Huntley. He seemed small and not so Newfish when I first approached him in the run. Then I got him outside and could see him from a distance. He's a beautiful boy - and very much a Newf, even though he's a bit small. Huntley came from a breeder in Missouri, is 11 months old, and was relinquished because his owner moved. I liked him from the start. He needs quite a bit of training but he's a good playful boy.

I hadn't told Kitty about Huntley and she was waiting inside the semi in a field with our six dogs when I returned. (Bob goes to the kennel for the day to take it easy on his toes.) The dogs were so excited when I got out with Huntley. I soon released them from the semi and everyone played in the field. Huntley got along well with everyone from the start. I was relieved because I didn't know how we'd get him home otherwise; I hadn't brought my usual gear (muzzle, etc.). Instead, I ran him a bit alongside the Jeep and then tethered him in back with the others. He rode home without incident.  Kitty even said that she liked him.

At the kennel I established Huntley in his run and sent Bob home with Kitty and the other dogs to eat. Then I pulled the other kennel dogs and Shiloh to play. We had to hurry a bit because Peyton's family was coming to visit! (Peyton was adopted through IDOG.) After they arrived I put the other dogs in the kennel and we set to work bathing Peyton.

I had to take a business call so I left Peyton's new mom and her little girls to bathe Peyton. Everyone did a great job and I decided it was time for Peyton to see his home. It was delightful to send him off with his new family.

Today it rained at the farm and we returned early enough for the CGC/Therapy Dog class at KCA. I called Peyton's family and they joined us there. The class was canceled but Peyton and his family got a quick clicker training intro.

After class I played with our usual kennel dogs and Shiloh. I returned Shiloh to her run and then got Huntley. (Shiloh and Huntley are both intact.) Again, Huntley got along well with everyone although GP was a bit stiff with him. Eventually I released him to play off-lead and he had a grand time trying to chase T-bone around the yard. Once all of those dogs were returned I pulled Crockett all on his own. I look forward to working him with other dogs again but not tonight.

When Kitty returned to take me to dinner we took a few photos of Huntley. My little camera broke awhile ago so I haven't been taking photos during the day. It was hard to get a good shot of Huntley inside at night but I wanted to share him here.


2008-11-07: short day by Kyler Laird

It rained at the farm last night so we got to sleep a little later this morning and catch up on chores around the house. The dogs at our house seemed to appreciate the rest but they were also excited in the afternoon as we prepared to leave. We didn't take them though; I knew it would be a short but hectic evening. Indeed, a couple grain trucks got stuck and I used a tractor to drag Kitty and her semi through the field after dark. It was good we didn't have dogs.

We finally made it back to the kennel around our usual time and I handled the dogs there while Kitty fed the home dogs. Last night I let Crockett out after everyone else and I think he got so excited about the other dogs coming and going that he made a mess in his kennel. And poor Shiloh; she made a mess after I put her away. So tonight I let both of them out first. Crockett was muzzled so after he and Shiloh got to know each other I released the other dogs. There was some growling but everyone went easy on Crockett. Judo really wanted to play with him and I did eventually let Crockett off-lead to run a bit. He seemed to relax with the other dogs but he was annoyed by his muzzle and bootie.

Shiloh is the center of attention these days. She's such a goof and T-bone adores her. T-bone and Judo still zoom around the yard even without Peyton. (I have a great report from Peyton's new family!) And GP, oh, my sweet GP; he just wants to be rubbed and loved. He has "puppy dog eyes" down pat and knows how to use them on me.

Fang is still with us and he sticks close to me looking for attention. It looks like he'll be heading to Illinois next week to meet his new family. Crockett's new family is also driving over in a couple weeks. That will be just in time for us to clear the kennels for Thanksgiving although we will still have a bunch of dogs to stow somewhere.

With that group all back in their runs I checked on our new guy, Huntley. He was neutered this morning and was asleep in a clinic run when I arrived. As soon as I got him through his gate he leaked a little but then held the rest before getting outside to relieve himself fully. He really needed to go and I'm glad I got to him tonight. Huntley is only 79 pounds but he's a goofy puppy and pushes me excitedly when we play. I enjoy him and appreciate the contrast between him and the "harder" dogs. I look forward to helping him mature into a great dog. It's hard to imagine him as a therapy dog right now but I catch glimpses of potential in him.


2008-11-08: getting to know Huntley by Kyler Laird

We moved to our last field at the farm and quit a little early due to rain. At the kennel we picked up Bob and Grazie. Grazie was in to have a toenail checked; one was missing, leaving only the quick. Kitty took the house dogs home to be fed while I played with the kennel dogs.

Huntley was neutered on Friday and is staying in the clinic where Grazie was so I quickly let him out so that he wouldn't get excited and make a mess in his run before I returned. He's getting accustomed to the routine and relieved himself soon after he was outside. We played a bit too. I'm trying to discourage him from mouthing and jumping on me (although he's very gentle).

With Huntley back in the clinic, I headed to the kennel. Crockett's run was clean and he accepted my placement of a muzzle on him. Then we grabbed Shiloh, the other rescue's Newf, and headed outside. Those two did fine together so I returned to release the others: Judo, Fangman, GP and T-bone. As usual, they all enjoyed the evening and didn't mind the cold damp weather a bit. Crockett continues to relax around the other dogs and is learning that they don't intend to harm him. The muzzle is a great tool for allowing him to safely interact with the other dogs.

After I returned all of the kennel dogs to their runs I pulled Huntley again. We recently got toys for all of the kennel dogs to chew but Huntley didn't have one yet. It took awhile to find an appropriate one but I finally gave an "Extreme Kong" a short toss for the pup. I shouldn't have encouraged this newly-neutered clumsy pup to run on the slick floor but it was a delight to see him. He immediately pounced on the Kong and returned it to me! I couldn't resist throwing it a few more times. Huntley seemed as happy to bring the Kong back to me and drop it as I was to watch him do it. What fun!  And yet, as excited as he'd get he would occasionally snuggle into me after dropping the Kong and just lie still while I massaged him.  I was tempted to take him home but I resisted.  Soon.


2008-11-12: 2008 Farm Dog Awards by Kyler Laird

Harvest is a month of waking early, driving to the farm, hauling loads of grain all day, and returning late at night. It takes a lot out of the people involved but it's also a challenge for the dogs who accompany us. The dogs get many opportunities to travel in various vehicles, run off-lead, and meet other people and dogs while investigating endless new smells. The dogs are also expected to be able to go from full-out running in the field or pulling a scooter on the road between fields to relaxing in a truck without disturbing the driver. The demands expose strengths and weaknesses of each dog.

All of the dogs have been a joy at the farm this year. Their presence is a complication but it also reduces the stress of harvest. They truly "pay their way" as it's farm income that pays for the care of the dogs. Here is a small recognition of some of these wonderful farm dogs.

Most Improved: Dexter p1020871 Dexter had a rough time at the farm at first. He broke a nail getting into the semi, he would pull like crazy on lead in the fields, he wouldn't get in or out of any of the vehicles without force... By the end of harvest I frequently let Dex run off-lead, he was leaping into and out of the Jeep and trucks, and he was a delightful companion. It's been very satisfying to see him go from being frustrated to being happy and confident in this environment.
Most Enthusiastic: Bob p1020833 Bob and Morgan jumped out of an open window in the semi to catch a rabbit. I was in the combine when Kitty called to tell me and by the time I ran back to them they were playing "tug" with the rabbit. (No, I didn't get a photo of it.) Bob managed to break two of his toes in the process and is wearing a splint for a few weeks.
Best Truck Imitator: GP p1040342 GP looks a lot like the semi: white with some black spots, burly and stout. He was a wonderful companion inside it also. I enjoyed having GP nuzzle alongside of me while we waited for loads.
Most Poised: T-bone p1040373 T-bone literally came straight from the shelter to the farm and he was always alert yet relaxed there. He did well on- and off-lead, out in the fields and inside the trucks.
Mr. Congeniality: Huntley p1020859 Like T-bone, Huntley came to the farm straight from the shelter. Huntley, however, immediately joined six of our house dogs for the ride home. Although he did not return to the farm, he showed a remarkable ability to get along well with others there.
Mr. Farm Dog 2008: Dobky p1020825 Dobky was quite a surprise on the farm. He has been so timid at the house but he blossomed at the farm. He fit right in with the other dogs in the semi but he was also happy to accompany me in the other trucks on his own. He always settled right into his seat and never complained, often snuggling his head against my thigh without being the slightest bit disturbed when I'd poke him while shifting. I quickly dispensed with using a lead for Dobky both at the farm and at the grain elevators; although he became more adventurous he would always stay nearby and return to me. Dobky has been extremely timid about getting into and especially out of vehicles since I got him but he now jumps in and out of the grain trucks with minor trepidation. If I notice that he's unsure I just place my hand lightly on his head and he immediately relaxes and moves confidently.

2008-11-16: weekend update by Kyler Laird

It's been a good weekend. Since finishing harvest we've been catching up on some of those things we'd neglected for the past month.

On Thursday I took Fangman to the farm with me and planned to take him to Merrillville to meet his transport to IAMRA. Unfortunately I blew my whole day when I got the semi stuck backing it out of the barn (into a hill...). Fangman must have barked for two hours while I worked on it - not a big help. Maybe he was cheering for me? Fortunately the IAMRA transport kindly drove the extra distance to meet me in Rensselaer since I was running so late. Fangman has been good at the kennel but people have already submitted applications for him so he'll be in a home soon.

On Friday Judo went home with Remi's family. He's going to help them see what it would be like to have a second dog. Originally it was a weekend trip but now it sounds like Judo might also take a Thanksgiving trip.

On Saturday Crockett's new family visited the kennel and drove him back to Minnesota. I think he's going to enjoy being an only dog with his own family.

On Sunday we had a long meeting after church. I came home part way through the meeting to let out the dogs and decided to bring Dobky with me when I returned. Dobky lacks obedience of basic commands but his personality gives me confidence that he can be unobtrusive. Indeed, after we arrived to church we joined a break-out meeting and he remained calm, quiet and nuzzled at my side. When the groups gathered together Dobky was absolutely solid in the crowd and nuzzled into me when we all sat in a large circle. The people sitting on our sides were both interested in Dobky and would occasionally reach down and give him a pat. I decided to let him decide how to respond and he was perfect; he would nuzzle and solicit more attention but then return to me when the other people disengaged. I am delighted with Dobky's personality. He's going to be an outstanding therapy dog.

Upon returning home we quickly gathered Dexter, Morgan, Marley and Jarreau (leaving Bob and Grazie due to their paw injuries) and headed to the kennel to catch the end of playgroups. There I learned that playgroups had been canceled (even though the weather seemed good to me) but there were a couple people and dogs there. I only have three dogs at the kennel now - GP, T-bone and Huntley - for a total of eight so it seems a bit sparse to me. Everyone seemed to have a good time though. Huntley and T-bone play all the time. Dobky tries to reign in T-bone, who does his best to submit but continue playing. GP ventures out a bit but usually wanders back to get attention from me. I enjoy grabbing his beautiful face and then rubbing his back while he leans into me.


2008-11-24: catching up by Kyler Laird
p1000031 p1000037 p1000069 p1000112

Once again, things are going so well that I've neglected to write for
awhile.  The kennel dogs, GP, T-bone and Huntley are doing great and
were out for playgroups (with my house dogs only) Friday, Saturday and
Sunday.  GP hasn't chomped at a dog in awhile.  I've even been letting
Maisey (Cocker Spaniel) and Baruch(sp? small Poodle) out of the kennel
with the boys at night.

T-bone and Huntley are incredible buddies.  They can just play and play,
taking turns rolling for each other.  T-bone is so much faster than
Huntley but he takes it easy to give Huntley a chance.  Besides not
chomping on other dogs GP is simply an all-around dear.  He continues to
stick close to me most of the time, looking for a butt scratch.  I enjoy
snuggling his big ol' head.  Unfortunately the kennel dogs all seem to
be just a bit under the weather.  I've asked the clinic to check on them.

At home, we're mostly dealing with Bob.  It's been three weeks since his
paw was splinted and he went for a check today.  I'm told he had some
nasty sores but his toes are healing well.  He got a fresh splint,
antibiotics and orders to take it easy.  Bob has done an amazing job at
leaving his splint alone all this time and I feel terrible that he's had
these sores.  He's always a great dog but I can imagine he's even more
friendly since his injury.  He is often curled up at my feet and is so
compliant when I ask him to do something.

Dexter is a delight.  The Great Pyrs are such a challenge sometimes but
then they turn out to be such sweeties.  Dexter has "crate" down pat and
often goes into his crate on his own.  He's normally crated with Marley
because they both sometimes chew when unattended.  (I figure they can
chew on each other.)  Dexter's barking has diminished but he still
alerts for new people and vehicles.  During the day Dexter occasionally
walks up to look deep into my eyes and at night he curls up against me
in bed.  Dexter is great with the dogs too.  He and Jarreau are frequent
play buddies but Dexter will also tap at the door just to go out and get
thrashed by Morgan and Marley too.  Sometimes it escalates just a bit
too much and it only takes a small reminder from me for everyone to take
it down a notch.

The relationship Dobky and I have continues to grow.  As with Dexter,
there were times when I almost gave up on him but those are distant
memories, replaced by appreciation for his outstanding personality.  We
have a long way to go in our basic training but I'm confident we'll make
it.  In class on Thursday the instructor, Allison, brought Keowee but he
was barking a lot while she was trying to teach so I took him and left
Dobky tethered to the wall.  Keowee needed attention and Dobky was
content to stay there alone, watching me.  He even did a great "stand for
exam" and "clumsy/rough petting" all on his own.  Eventually I returned to him and
was clicker training him alongside Keowee.  Dobky is incredibly
resistant to any form of coercion - even leash pulls - so he forces me
to develop better ways of working with him.  It's a joy to see him gain
confidence and trust, and it's fun to have a dog who is so calm, quiet
and cautious in public.  Dobky continues to nuzzle against me at night.

Our family dogs are doing well with the rescues.  Grazie did get
crosswise with Dexter once (perhaps over a dropped piece of kibble?) and
made sure he understood that she's in charge.  Dexter's deference was
adorable.  Morgan has mellowed with age and is often content to take
abuse from the other dogs.  It especially surprises me how he lets Dobky
bark and chomp at him when Morgan is playing rough with another dog.
Marley and Jarreau get along with everyone and are often rolling around
with Dexter.

Judo is doing well with his foster family, playing with Remi.  Chewie
and Delaney remain with Layla.  Delaney is likely to be adopted by
Layla's brother-in-law but Delaney has had some seizures so he's under
observation for now.  Chewie has recovered from his stint in GP's mouth.


2008-11-27: Thanksgiving by Kyler Laird
p1000148 p1000150 p1000159

Dobky was groomed yesterday and Kitty reports that he did a wonderful job; he was calm in the bath, stood still for the groomer all day and even had his nails trimmed.  The groomer was especially impressed by how well he handled the power drier.  On the way home Kitty and Dobky met me on my way home from the farm at the WL Farmers Market where he seemed relaxed in the crowd.

I decided to take advantage of Dobky's recent bath and the beautiful weather by walking Dobky to University Place for a visit. We still need to do a lot of work on heeling but we'll get there. At UPlace we were greeted by staff in the hall and Dobky was solid as usual. He is incredibly easy to manage. He is not at all exuberent or pushy. He's very slow and deliberate but he does show an interest in people. At the health center we stopped to talk with some people who wanted to see Dobky and he was perfectly patient. He holds so still that sometimes I worry that people will think he's antisocial...and then he'll edge forward just enough to be petted. After our visits I walked with Dobky through the halls and let him roam the courtyard for a bit before we returned home. He's a joy.

Kitty and I were guests of Bastian's family for Thanksgiving dinner. As always, Bastian seems like he's lived there for years and his family adores him. It's extremely rewarding to be able to match a wonderful dog with a wonderful family.

After we returned home and fed the dogs there I headed to the kennel. It's full but my three are all still in runs of their own. Tomorrow there's only room for two of them. I'm working on that.

I let T-bone, Huntley, and GP out first. They all get along fine these days; GP's days of chomping on Huntley seem to be over. Maisey, Baruch and Ranger joined us. I enjoy seeing everyone get along so well and it's comforting that they all head back into their runs with little prompting.


2008-12-06: welcoming Bozo by Kyler Laird
p1000239 p1000243

As I finalized arrangements for Fangman to finally continue his journey to IAMRA I was asked if I'd be interested in working with another dog of theirs. Bozo is a big male Mal who has been boarded for months. I was told that he's a nice guy who just needs some manners. It's just started to feel like winter here and I couldn't resist the thought of having a Mal in the stable.

Brendan and his son, Kyle, delivered Bozo to me today. The snow seemed appropriate for a new Mal but made driving difficult. I was half expecting a crazy Mal to jump from the van when they arrived but was relieved to meet Bozo. What a gorgeous guy! And he's a sweetie. Sure, he jumps a bit but it's just because he wants attention.

We all went out back and let Bozo run while we talked. Brendan has been visiting Bozo weekly and he has obviously developed a close relationship with the big guy. Bozo, however, hadn't had an opportunity to develop relationships with other dogs. That would soon change. I brought Huntley out and they immediately played like the couple of goofs they are. As we watched them I decided that he's a good guy, much better than I expected.

When we returned tonight I went for broke and brought Bozo out to meet T-bone and GP. I was more concerned about GP and handled him closely but T-bone was more growly. There were a few mildly tense moments here but that was it. GP warned Bozo when he flailed into him while playing with Huntley but that's all. I was so proud of all of them. Lilly, a friend's Great Dane, came out with the guys as she has the past few days and Bozo had little interest in her.


2008-12-07: 2008 Christmas Parade by Kyler Laird
p1000246 p1000249 p1000253  p1000255 p1000259 p1000261

I considered entering the parade along with the clinic/kennel but delays pushed us beyond the deadline. Although I was disappointed I was also a little relieved. Then I got a message from a friend telling me about a parade entry open to all local rescues, organized by Patricia Wolff. I finally got in touch with her a few days ago and she was very welcoming.

I've been fretting about how to handle all of our dogs in the parade for quite awhile and it all came together today...barely. I finished modifying Grazie's old Radio Flyer last night; it has a new undercarriage and a modified steering tongue to fit a new DogWorks hitch I just received. Morgan took it for a test drive this morning and even though he hasn't pulled in ages he pulled like a pro. I spent the rest of the morning making lines for a sled, rubber sledge, and old tire. It was down to the wire when I loaded the house dogs in Kitty's vehicle and headed to the kennel.

While Kitty secured two parking places near our parade start position I let the kennel dogs out. I had almost decided not to bring Bozo but Kitty said she got some volunteers at church so I decided to load him also. The four kennel dogs (GP, T-bone, Huntley and Bozo) were a tight fit in the back of my Jeep but they got along well.

We parked and met our friends John and Sue who had offered to walk the Pyrs. They've had family Pyrs of their own and I appreciated having them available to handle GP and Dexter. My car full, however, was not easy to wrangle. I finally clipped Bozo on a tether in the car but in doing so allowed T-bone to escape. It amazed me; I've never let a dog get past me like that and this was a bad time for it to happen. Fortunately we had good help. Sue quickly got to him and almost had him in hand when a cat appeared and he was off again. Soon he ran my way. I think he was going to try to duck past me but I took no chances and dove at him for a solid tackle. He didn't seem bothered by the firm handling.

It took quite awhile to set up the wagon, sled, sledge and tire and get the dogs connected but we were blessed with fantastic help and it all just happened. Eventually we were on our way down the street. Morgan pulled the wagon with Bob and Grazie, with Rae trying to contain the riders. Huntley and T-bone, lead by Audrey, pulled the tire. Rachel walked Dobky. Sue took GP while John walked Dexter. Kitty handled Marley and Jarreau. And I hooked on to try to stabilize T-bone while guiding Bozo, who was connected to the rubber sledge which was in turn pulling a plastic sled holding a bunch of gear I brought. It was a rough start but we were starting to get the hang of it by the time we reached the starting position a couple blocks later.

The group had a truck pulling a flatbed trailer with bales of straw. Kitty quickly decided to ride along with Jarreau and Marley. Bob wasn't staying in the wagon so he went on the trailer too. Dobky went back and forth, giving Rachel a workout. Allison met us with Keowee and also handled T-bone, leaving me to guide Morgan and Bozo.

Although we arrived after the 2:00 start time we still waited another thirty minutes to move. It's good we didn't show up "on time!" Morgan was raring to pull the entire time and it was good to move. As we moved, the fire engines came in behind us. Yeow! They were very loud. Of our group, only Jarreau was bothered by it but Kitty remained in control of him. The organizers graciously switched us with a couple cabs so that we had a few yards of buffer and that made it much less painful.

Along the route everything went well. The dogs quickly settled into their roles. I was delighted to see Sue and GP working the crowd. From Sue's description, he's a natural, basking in the attention from the children. Huntley was also working the crowd but he looked a lot more awkward doing it. He certainly is enthusiastic! Bozo had quite a load to pull so he didn't cause me much of a problem and he seemed at home in the busy environment. Morgan, of course, pulled like he'd been doing it every day, weaving back and forth across the street as we waited for the slower moving traffic, with Grazie waiting patiently in the wagon.

At the end of the parade we loaded most of the dogs and gear onto the truck and trailer but I decided Bozo still had some energy so I ran back across the river to the car with him and Morgan pulling an empty wagon (except for when I rode in it a bit). They were both great on the return trip. It was a beautiful way to end a beautiful afternoon, full of wonderful weather, dogs, and people.


2008-12-15: Carroll Elementary visit by Kyler Laird

We've gone to Carroll Elementary School annually for a few years. This year there was only one other person who could go and I couldn't decide who I wanted so I took all the Pet Partner boys from the house: Morgan, Jarreau, Marley, and Bob. It was cold and icy but we got there in time for Jarreau and Marley to relax a bit while we waited in the library for the sixth grade classes. The boys were spirited and entertaining. It was a good group and I enjoyed getting to share the dogs with them Kitty graciously swapped in Morgan and then Bob. That added even more energy to the crowd but everyone handled it well.

Back home, the other boys, Dexter and Dobky, are doing well. Dexter is wonderful; he's easy to manage, he heads right into his crate whenever I need him there, he wants so much to learn, he looks deep into my eyes for silent conversations, and he comfortably curls up on the couch with Kitty and on the bed against me. Dobky is a bit more of a challenge; he still hunkers down whenever I need to quickly direct him to do anything, causing me to refine my approach to gently handling him. He's worth it though; he's almost always at my side, sitting beside me and looking for my hand on his head, lying next to me on the couch (like now), or snuggling on the bed. We have CGC testing this week and I'm thinking about testing with Dobky but his attachment to me is a bit of a problem; he does a passable job with most everything except the stay and supervised separation.

Usually Kitty goes to the kennel with me at night after we eat dinner out but tonight we just snacked a bit after a big lunch so I went on my own. The kennel is nearly empty again. It was a bit eerie to have it be quiet as I walked back to my guys. But then Bozo noticed me and started bouncing off the walls and calling to me. He's in a run with a top cover on it because he jumps so high. Although he hasn't gotten the workouts he deserves and has quite a surplus of energy he is learning to control it and rarely jumps on me anymore. He's discovered that sitting gets my attention much faster.

T-bone and Huntley aren't nearly as much in my face. They play on their own and don't seem to need my attention. I'd like to get them out on their own more but it is fun to see them play. Their energy is boundless and it feels like they would play forever if I let them. Bozo is in the mix with them now and they run around attached to each other like one big ball of fur occasionally punctuated with teeth. They all do well at playing with safely playing with each other. On Saturday we even used Huntley and Bozo to help with a playgroup evaluation of a big dog we know, Murphy. Everyone did a great job.

Finally, there's my dear sweet GP. GP is usually at my side at the kennel, wanting his back scratched. His fur has returned beautifully and tonight I brushed it a bit. Although GP and Bozo have had a brief spat or two, I now feel confident with them together. GP gets bumped by the other dogs when they're playing and hardly seems bothered at all. Kennel visits are stress-free and fun.

Oh, and our friend Lily, the Great Dane, is still at the kennel. She's really getting the routine and comes right out with the guys. Although she doesn't play with them she's much more comfortable being in the yard with them running around her and I think it's good for all of them to have her there.


2008-12-19: GP the TD by Kyler Laird
p1000313 p1000315 p1000319

I visited the kennel this morning to check on the dogs and discuss their medical treatments. Huntley got a lepto booster and then I let them all play for a bit. I was enjoying GP so much that I decided to take him to University Place for a quick visit. It was perfect! Everyone he met adored him. We roamed the halls, visited a room in Assisted Living, and walked through the health center to play in the courtyard awhile. We were also called into the physical therapy room as we passed. GP was such a natural everywhere but it really showed as he worked the room there. It's a joy to walk with GP as he heels nicely at my side but it's awesome to be with him as he works his magic with people who appreciate his attention. I look forward to working with GP. He's a great one.

I returned GP to the kennel and went home for some work and rest before taking everyone back for playgroups. Playgroups were canceled due to cold/ice but we had a young family interested in seeing Dexter again. I quickly mixed the house dogs with the kennel dogs and even though many of them had not yet met they all behaved well together. The dogs kept me busy with cleaning when the couple arrived to meet Dexter but Kitty got to talk a bit. Dexter was quite interested in them this time and was so sweet. We're planning to take Dexter to their house tomorrow afternoon for an intro.

After playgroups I dropped everyone but Dobky at the house. Dobky and I returned to University Place to meet Amy, Tanner, and Amy's mom. Tanner is always a sweetie on visits there and he seems to be relaxing more. He especially enjoyed playing with Dobky in the courtyard.  And Dobky is his usual - calm and deliberate, often seeking attention from the residents.  Dobky is even doing better on the elevator.

Kitty and I went to dinner with Amy and her parents. On our way home we let the kennel dogs out again. They all do such a good job and continue to do well with the client dogs boarding there who come out to mingle with us.


2008-12-20: Dexter's outing by Kyler Laird

This afternoon we took Dexter to the home of a young couple who are thinking about getting a dog. He did well there, even with the new baby, but he was a bit possessive with a rawhide bone. We left him there for a couple hours while Kitty and I had lunch/dinner. Dexter took a couple walks while we were gone and was relaxed when we returned. We all sat and talked for awhile and learned that Dexter's possessiveness with the treats continued while we were gone. That's a concern; I hadn't observed it in the absence of other dogs and did not realize it extended to humans. We'll be working on that.

We pulled a couple extra dogs from the kennels to play with our usual gang. Bizou, the Poodle mix girl, is becoming much more accustomed to our big guys. I also noticed Garbonzo, a smaller young guy who belongs to friends of ours. He was so excited to get outside but he pulled up short after bursting through the door into Bozo. Bozo really squelched Garbonzo's enthusiasm. It took at least ten minutes before Garbonzo became comfortable with everyone and seemed to understand that the big guys wouldn't hurt him. Before we returned inside Garbonzo was occasionally standing up to go eye-to-eye with Bozo.

T-bone and Huntley continue to play together constantly. Bozo joined them a little less than usual because he was clipped to me to keep him from pestering Garbonzo. Bozo is doing amazingly well on lead; even when he would leap to get to Garbonzo he'd spin around to look at me and then sit for attention. I enjoy being with Bozo and watching his progress. GP continues to do a great job with everyone and stays mellow. I let him get in front of me for a moment when he first met Garbonzo and it wasn't a problem at all. He seems to be vastly more comfortable and appropriate with new dogs and I thoroughly enjoy the big cuddly guy.


2008-12-23: Sakari stays with us by Kyler Laird
p1000334 p1000335

Sakari's family is out of town for the week so Sakari returned to us this morning. I started him in the side yard and let out a couple dogs at a time to greet him but it wasn't a problem at all. He knows most of the current pack and he didn't have any conflicts with the new dogs. Soon he was cuddling with Kitty on the bed in my office while I worked. He seems to be doing well. (He's curled at my side as I type this.)

After Sakari was relaxed I headed to the kennel to take care of some business. I also received a wonderful card there from Crockett's family; I was delighted to get a photo of him surrounded by his family.  I'd heard that Bozo was a bit of a problem child so I took him out for a bit when I was done. It was time for the other kennel dogs to be outside so the big guy went into the park area with me. He had a great time galloping through the acreage and wallowing in the snow/ice. I walked him a bit in the clinic when we returned and his leash manners continue to improve. He's also charming and that goes a long way when meeting new people.

The kennel will fill tomorrow and I only have three spaces so I need to bring home another dog. (Yes, that makes nine.) I have a request for Bozo to stay with a family for a few days after Christmas so I might bring him here to get him ready. I'd love to bring GP home, of course, but it would be hard to return him to the kennel after cuddling with him at home. T-bone and Huntley would probably be the easy ones to handle but they seem to do well at the kennel.

Tonight the kennel was nearly full. Freezing rain was pouring when I was there but it was still pleasant to be out with the dogs. Bozo, Huntley, and T-bone played and GP was more sedate and interested in me, like normal. We also released our friends Garbonzo, Bizou and Sophie. Garbonzo and Sophie seem to be pretty much over their initial hesitation with the big boys. They still get overwhelmed after awhile but they no longer seem to fear the guys.

Bizou made great improvement tonight. She gets so anxious when I go into her run to get her that I've just been opening the door when I first let out the other dogs. Yesterday she didn't come out at all but today she wandered out to check on Kitty (who was cleaning Bozo's run). When I came inside I saw her at the door and invited her to come outside. It took a few tries but she went all on her own! Outside she still cowers when the pack rushes by her but she recovers quickly. She's getting so much better and I enjoy watching her confidence grow.


2008-12-24: Christmas Eve by Kyler Laird
p1000336 p1000340

My sister, Renel, is at the farm with a friend. They brought Dad to Lafayette to meet me and Kitty for lunch today. Renel's friend is a dog enthusiast and wanted to see our pack so after lunch I headed home and took the house dogs to the kennel to meet everyone. The dogs did well with each other despite Sakari not knowing any of the kennel dogs. Huntley and Bozo were jumpy when my family arrived so we all headed to the park area so that the dogs could spread and run. We enjoyed walking the park but then I realized that the dogs had found the burrs along the fence. They were all a mess.

After my family left Kitty and I returned the kennel dogs and washed our eight. Kitty brushed while I washed. The Northern dogs were easy but the hair of the Poodle mixes held the burrs tightly. I was hurrying because we needed to get to church at 6:30. (Kitty had a reading in the service.) We just barely made it home in time to take quick showers (I was soaked.) and get to church.

After the service we were invited to join Bastian's family. There we enjoyed wonderful people and food, chatting and singing into the night. As always, it was a delight to see Bastian with his family. He is greatly appreciated.

It was late by the time we returned to the kennel but the dogs seemed to be alright from their earlier outing. We pulled Garbonzo, Sophie and Bizou and they all did well with the big guys. After I returned everyone but T-bone and Huntley I pulled Keowee, returned him, then pulled Mackey.  They are making remarkable improvement and both dogs initiated play with T-bone.  I felt like I spent all of my time cleaning and managing dogs and didn't get to play with them as much as usual. I'm looking forward to returning with more time to spare.


2008-12-25: Christmas by Kyler Laird

Kitty and I spent most of the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon in bed, covered with dogs. It's easy for me to justify lying still when I'm bolstered by dogs all around me so I think I caught a couple naps. It was a good way to spend Christmas.

I dropped Kitty at her parents' house as I headed to the kennel before dinner. The staff was taking out the regular boarders. I took Bozo, Huntley and T-bone to the bathing room for brushing. Bozo was quite a handful, bucking and spinning but never biting. I tethered him to the tie point in the bath and made quick progress. As I brushed he jumped on the bath, giving me easy access to his underside. He was still jumpy and after awhile he jumped all the way into the bath. I wasn't planning to bathe the dogs but since he was there I decided to go for it. He bucked like crazy while I washed his head but then he settled and was great. I got so wet in the process that I decided to go ahead and wash Huntley. He was a true water dog and seemed to enjoy the bath and the attention.

After Christmas with Kitty's family Kitty and I went to the kennel. While Kitty handled the heavy lifting inside I got to play with the dogs outside. Garbanzo, Sophie and Bizou joined us as usual. The girls were great! They played with each other and with T-bone. Bizou was the surprise of the evening though; she played with me! I was amazed at her transformation and enjoyed her immensely. Keowee and Mackey came out separately toward the end and both played with Sophie. GP was out but neither of them raised his ire. I think GP is vastly more mellow than when he arrived but the Husky boys are doing much better too.


2008-12-30: Bozo tries a home. by Kyler Laird
p1000378 p1000380 p1000386 p1000388

A wonderful volunteer has been asking to host Bozo ever since her dog, Tanner, played with him. She's still on vacation this week and her Christmas guests have departed so yesterday I went to her house and installed a temporary fence.

Last night we tended the kennel dogs as usual. Bizou and Eli joined our guys. Bizou continues to blossom. She usually sticks close to me and it's fun to watch her as we stand in the middle of "the racetrack" as my guys run a figure-8 through the kennel yard. She's always shied away from their thunderous galloping but now she's showing interest, leaning forward and watching intently, following them as they pass. A couple of times she even ran after them! It's remarkable how different she feels. Instead of being resistant and withdrawn, I can easily guide, move, and lift her pliant body. I enjoy Bizou.

Eli has only come out with our pack a few times but he's already become playful. His kennel card says he's to play with dogs "30-40 lbs." and all of our guys are at least twice that size but he's getting the hang of it. He has gone from sticking close to the door and cowering at their approach to running after them and inviting play. Last night he was especially enjoying T-bone, playing with him most of the time he was outside.

Normally T-bone and Huntley play all the time but with Eli getting T-bone's attention Huntley was more available to me and Bozo. I don't feel like I've gotten to spend much time with Huntley so I appreciated being face to face with him - except when he jumped into my face and we met tooth-to-tooth. (Fortunately I had my Invisaligns on!) I lightly corrected him and he seemed to immediately understand that jumping wasn't appropriate. After that he would come look at me but stay seated. Although it's taken much more work, Bozo is generally doing the same. He had a great "sit for attention" when he arrived and we've been practicing it. He still gets excited and breaks it sometimes but he generally does an awesome job. Bozo and Huntley did get to play rough with each other though and it was a lot of fun to watch.

Tanner arrived toward the end of our visit. He came in the yard with everyone and then we started returning dogs to their runs until only Bozo remained. They both came inside with us as I handled the checkout paperwork, gathered food, etc. Then Kitty jumped in the car with them to go to the foster house while I returned home to grab a crate (which I'd neglected to bring with me). By the time I arrived at the foster house Tanner and Bozo were outside enjoying the fenced area. I assembled the crate and threw a chew treat inside. When the dogs came inside Bozo went right into the crate uninvited and stayed there, enjoying the treat. (Yea!)

I decided to wait until this morning to write about this because I wanted to hear how the night went first. I always encourage foster homes to call me anytime and it would have been easy to take Bozo back to the kennel but it wasn't necessary. Bozo's foster mom survived the night but did encounter some rough spots. She spent the night on the sofa next to Bozo's crate so that he'd relax. In the morning he did have an accident (while roaming free) in the house. Bozo pulled during the first half of his morning walk but then got the message that it was not appropriate and heeled. And during breakfast he growled at her to protect his food. She took the food from him without incident and hand fed him the rest. What a great home! I'm sure Bozo will be a challenge but this is a great environment for him and will give us much better insight in finding a suitable adoptive home.


2009-01-17: a busy week by Kyler Laird
p1050001 p1000475 p1000477 p1000478

I've been neglecting to write but we certainly did a lot this week. We finally got some decent snow and on Wednesday I took out the big sled with Morgan and Dobky in wheel and Bob in lead. We just went a couple miles, down Lindberg and back, but it was fun. (Well, except when Bob veered off the trail into oncoming traffic a few times.) The three dogs were just about right for pulling the sled on the hard packed snow . I'd dressed to run with them but I got to ride almost the whole way.

Much of the snow on the trails was quickly cleared and I kept hearing about record cold temperatures so I was inclined to stay inside for awhile. We still made it to the kennel every night and it always seems pleasant there when I'm dressed appropriately. On Thursday I bathed T-bone and Huntley at Klondike in preparation for a visit to University Place. I took them home with me and they did alright but I got distracted and allowed T-bone to mark a couch.

We met Amy at UPlace and she brought Bo. He's a handful - two handfuls, even, so I took him while Amy and Kitty handled T-bone and Huntley. These three all have a lot of energy and are difficult to focus but they're still wonderful and have outstanding potential. It takes a lot to keep them from jumping on people but it's fun to see them interact with the residents and the dogs get appreciative comments constantly.

Yesterday, Friday, I decided it was time for another run. I've had an ice fishing sled that I've been wanting to try for awhile. Work was a little rough and I didn't get to go out until it was getting dark but I'm so happy I did. I ran with the six boys like usual but this time I clipped Bob and Marley's harnesses to a line connected to the sled. Grazie rode in the sled atop a cushion. She was tethered to it but she didn't seem to have much inclination to leave her perch. A long stretch of bungee eliminated major shocks and seemed to give her a pleasant ride. It was good for the dogs to have something to pull.

Today we volunteered to be at the West Lafayette Public Library with a sled after the Caring Paws reading program. I didn't know how to get the big sled and all the dogs there so I sent that sled with Kitty. (She went on campus before the library.) I wanted to tire the dogs a bit so I ran with them to the library just as we did yesterday. Grazie rode almost the whole way, jumping out once to relieve herself on the trail and again so that she could run alongside as we went through campus. At the library I connected Morgan, Dobky and Bob to the big sled as a demonstration. We had several children come out to see all of the dogs and check out the sled. I enjoyed the opportunity.

Tonight we returned to University Place with Bo, T-bone and Huntley. Again, they all took a lot of management and yet they were so very appreciated by the residents. We visited a couple rooms on the second floor of Assisted Living we'd not had time to visit on Thursday. Everyone did well in the elevator and we had a great time hanging around on the second floor.


2009-01-19: two more CGCs by Kyler Laird
p1000486 p1000490 p1000492

We've been working hard with the new dogs in preparation for the Canine Good Citizen test. They have been great at interacting with everyone at University Place but I was not feeling confident at all with their ability to pass the test. It takes constant management to keep them on the ground and in a heel position. I decided that Bo would be too much to even manage at the test and concentrated on T-bone and Huntley. I pulled them from the kennel this afternoon and brought them home for a run with Bob and Marley pulling Grazie in the sled. Only Bob and T-bone pulled. Huntley was crazy to run and pulled hard against his collar the whole time. If he was a bit older I would have put him in harness. He'll be a great draft dog someday.

I met Waynetta and Aries before the test and Stan soon joined us. Aries played well with Huntley and T-bone but they were all still full of energy when we headed into the barn. It took a lot of management just to keep them somewhat still and quiet during the test. Waynetta and Aries went first and did an amazing job. I was surprised to look up and see that Waynetta did not put Aries into a sit when she met the "stranger with the neutral dog." Aries crossed to greet the other dog, failing that exercise. He got through the rest of it, though, including "supervised separation" which had been such trouble for him earlier.

I decided to try with Huntley next so I could get him back to the kennel and concentrate on T-bone. Huntley did surprisingly well. I was so impressed with him that I was a bit shocked when he wouldn't hold a stay. Of course we hadn't worked on this so I should have expected it. I hope I wasn't too pushy with him before I stopped the exercise. We continued with the rest of the test and the only problem he had was...again...another "stay" ("supervised separation"). He pulled hard as soon as I left the room. We'll have time to work on this as Huntley matures.

Jack and Cheyenne tested and made it look so easy. It's obvious that they've worked together and developed a close relationship. Watching a dog from such a rough background flourish as a beautifully groomed family member is a joy.

Finally it was my turn to test with T-bone. It was remarkably similar to Huntley's test; T-bone was attentive and did well at everything, staying at my side, dropping into sits, and lunging into downs. He amused the crowd by rolling over on his downs but I got frustrated because he'd pop back up and follow me if I left. I gave up on the exercise but we continued with the rest of the test and he breezed through it. I was told that was especially well-behaved during the supervised separation.

Aries and Waynetta had an opportunity to retry the neutral dog exercise after everyone else finished. They passed this time, of course. Aries showed an interest in the other dog but that was all.

Two more LTDR CGCs! I'm not just delighted to have these dogs do so well, it's also a treat to have more dogs covered under our insurance for LTDR events.


2009-02-12: busy February by Kyler Laird
p1000512 p1000528 p1000555 p1000558 p1000570 p1000572 p1000593 p1000595 p1000597 p1000608 p1000609 p1000612

I was sick last week and have been non-stop busy all the time, it seems. I've been neglecting updates so it's time to recover a bit.

Sunday, February 1 started our first draft class at Klondike Canine Academy. I've been asked to help people start pulling with their dogs for years so KCA made it happen. I pulled out a bunch of vehicles and used Morgan, Bob, Dobky, Marley, and Bozo to demonstrate them. By the next class (February 8) students had received their custom-made harnesses so we put their dogs to work with various sleds. We instructed in the barn, taking turns with dogs connected to light loads, starting with empty orange juice jugs and progressing to plastic sleds and even the kick sled and car tire for the especially strong dogs. I closely managed the loads while Allison baited the dogs. Everyone did great! At the end of class we moved outside (beautiful weather!) and let some of the dogs drag some sleds around the agility area.

On February 3 I helped South Central Newfoundland Club Rescue with Rodney, a dog who had been stuck in the Gary pound for awhile. A kind couple met me in Rensselaer where they handed Rodney to me with the information that "He stinks but you'll get over it in about 20 minutes." I left the back windows open for the ride home and the smell was still strong. Rodney was a sweet guy though. At the kennel I let him stretch his legs out back and then I had some calls to attend so I worked on Rodney's matts in the bathing room. He was a little excited at first but after an hour he stopped squirming and I made fast progress. It was quite a hack job but I think I finally got all of the matts. The bath went smoothly after that and then Rodney returned outside to meet the rest of the dogs. Despite being a young intact male he has done well with everyone.

On February 5 GP joined me for an in-home visit with a physical therapist. His size and demeanor suited the situation well. It was relaxing to handle him.

That night we had a CGC class. Kitty handled GP while I took Huntley. Two Purdue students came to work with T-bone! I was talking to rescue about Rodney and was running very late so I just handed T-bone over to them cold but they did a great job of handling him. Peyton was also there with his family. His girls came to visit us a few times as I worked with Huntley.

I'm often greeted at the kennel by Jack standing up behind the grooming half-door, silently keeping watch over everything. His family takes wonderful care of him and it's been a joy to see his transformation from the crusted dog no one wanted to the beautifully groomed and loved dog he is today. On the sixth I came in to see him particularly well-groomed and his mom showed me that she had groomed his butt "poofs" into hearts. Oy!

On the seventh I finally brought my new kart back from the kennel to the house and took it for a test ride. It was freshly modified by a local shop to accept a wagon handle and I'd briefly demonstrated it in the training barn with Morgan pulling. This time I tried it with the team pole and added Dobky. I'm still not a big fan of the team pole configuration and we ran into some problems with it on this short test run but the kart generally pulled well on the street. A couple days later I made modifications to the team pole and harnesses and added Bob and Marley to the front (in addition to Morgan and Dobky in wheel position). We zipped around the Celery Bog Nature Center without any problems. I ran ahead anytime they needed guidance but generally stood on back. Grazie rode most of the way but then trotted alongside awhile. This is going to be fun!

Bozo spent some time in the kennel while Amy was out of town. He did alright but he was, as usual, bouncing off the walls. Although he got along well with Rodney at first, on Bozo's last night in the kennel he kept lunging at Rodney, even while I was holding both of them. Rodney always declined to engage but Bo tore into him anyway - as much as Bo ever does. Bo isn't out for blood so I didn't worry about Rodney's health but I wanted Bo to understand that it was beyond appropriate levels.

I spent much of Tuesday the tenth in Rensselaer with Dad. It was a trying day and I ignored phone calls and messages until I was heading out of town. I had a voice message from a rescue in Illinois who needed to pull dogs from the shelter there so I stopped and called. There were two dogs in the shelter who needed a transport but were alright for awhile. The third dog was with the rescuer's mother, north of Rensselaer, because the pup was quickly returned by its adoptive family and it was easier to drop him there. She already had dogs of her own and this little guy needed to go elsewhere. As we talked about this young male Yorkshire Terrier/Schnauzer mix I realized that he might be just what I'd been seeking. I decided to head north on I-65 to get him. His caretaker had become attached to him already so I tried to avoid stress by leaving quickly. I took him outside and got to know him a bit with a quick walk and some petting. As we left, she called to me that he already knows his name, Buffy? or Buddy?. I decided to go with "Buddy" as he was a good buddy on the way home.

At the kennel I quickly introduced Buddy to the big dogs. He didn't hesitate in the least and easily blended with them. He and GP did growl at each other a bit but that was brief. After they played in the yard awhile I brought everyone into the bathing room because Huntley was sorely in need of a bath too and I decided everyone could use an activity. I bathed Huntley first while Buddy got to know the other dogs better. T-bone was especially playful with him and GP was simply patient. Huntley was amazingly stoic and mellow during the long process of thoroughly cleaning all his fur. Buddy was just as well-behaved as Huntley in the tub but it only took a moment to bathe him and I used less shampoo and water than one of Huntley's legs requires. I took a call while I dried the dogs, then we headed outside briefly. I was already late for dinner with Kitty.

I really didn't want to have Kitty upset during this dinner with friends so I put a crate in the back of the car and left Buddy inside. Buddy didn't make any noise on the way there so I didn't mention him. I took him for a quick walk partway through dinner and then he was quiet on the way home. I left him in the car at home while I tried to figure out what I'd do with him. I'd mentioned to Kitty that I needed to transport some dogs and I asked if it would be alright if we hosted the Schnorkie for awhile. She said that would be alright so I got him from the car.

I brought the crate into the house first and pushed it through the front door into the pack who had already spotted Buddy. Buddy was tethered to me with a long stretch lead and after getting the crate inside I expected to turn and see a scared little dog pulling away from my pack back toward the car. Instead, I looked down and saw that he had walked right beside me into the house and went ahead to greet the pack. It was almost spooky how calm everyone was. Buddy definitely has a way with other dogs. He's getting the routines at our house and even picked up "down to eat" on his own. I crate him next to the bed and he only complains a little about going there. He seems to be house trained and shows no interest in escaping through the gaps in the fence.

Yesterday (February 11) another visitor joined us. Marty is a Poodle mix who has had some difficulties and can't stay with his family. He's been relinquished to IDOG and they've asked me to evaluate him to determine if he's safe enough for their people to handle. I visited Marty in the morning after I let the other kennel dogs out to play. Marty barked at me fearfully through the gate but quieted as I backed into him. I sat with him for awhile but he continued to growl at me most of the time. Finally I left because...

We had another visit to Mentoyne Elementary! We took GP, Marley, and Dobky. Waynetta met us there with Maddie Bea and a Purdue student joined us to handle Dobky. I kept GP most of the time and helped Kitty wrangle Marley. The dogs all did well and I especially enjoyed seeing GP make such a great impression. After our classroom visit we talked with the principal about other possibilities and he was very encouraging. As we talked, several interested students passed his open door and he would invite them to come inside to greet the dogs. Later we all went into the hall and talked with several teachers who stopped to enjoy the dogs. I'm going to enjoy working with this school. Thanks, Waynetta!

GP returned home with us and then went back to the kennel for Buddy's initial vet check. I tethered him to Buddy; GP makes a good anchor. It's rewarding to see GP do so well with a little (young intact male!) dog. After the checkup I let the kennel dogs play a bit and then I returned to Marty along with Buddy. Layla joined me and we discussed his behavior. I was finally able to loop him with a leash and we took him outside for a bit and then to the geriatric room for a little quiet time. Marty seems fearful but not otherwise aggressive. He was not at all disturbed by Buddy. I slipped a couple times when handling the leash and got "air snaps" as a warning when Marty could have easily bitten me. I took Marty out again at night after the other dogs were back in their runs. It'll be awhile before he's comfortable enough to evaluate but I can see him relaxing already.


2009-02-28: Saturdogs by Kyler Laird
n13740713_45450193_5605575

After working a bit this morning Buddy and I headed to Mr. & Mrs. Tire. I gave away most of the tires I prepared for the previous mushing class and another one starts tomorrow. I loaded six tires of various sizes while Buddy waited patiently in the Jeep. Buddy often trembles in the car but he always behaves perfectly and won't bolt when I leave the door open.

Next we headed to the Petite Pals playgroup at Klondike Canine Academy. Layla said she'd bring Chewie to work on his dog-dog interactions so Buddy and I retrieved Anna from the kennel. Anna is a big calm sweetie and I thought she'd be a good "big dog" for Chewie to meet. At playgroups there was some concern about Anna but that quickly dissipated. Anna seemed to love getting some attention inside on her own and mostly flopped on her side for a belly rub and she was perfect with all the little dogs who came to check her. Chewie was interested in Anna yet reluctant to approach her. He finally got close to her at the end of class while we were all talking together.

After Petite Pals I let the rest of the kennel dogs out in the kennel yard. Regular playgroups were starting as I put away the dogs so I left T-bone and Huntley out to help with evaluations. Later I also pulled Anna to help with evals. They all did a great job with a variety of dog being evaluated. I've not been to playgroups in a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of evaluations. It's a thrill to see new dogs learn to play with other dogs and it's especially fun to watch my dogs interacting with them.

As the last evaluation was finishing I pulled Chewie for some play. He'd been away from the other dog since Petite Pals so we called him over and I coupled him to Buddy before putting them in the main playgroup area. It was a wonderful match; Buddy helped Chewie explore the area and meet other dogs. When Chewie fixated on a dog and started barking Buddy would wander away, dragging Chewie along. After a 10 minutes or so I uncoupled them and Chewie was fine.

As I left playgroups I pulled Marty from the kennel. At home I swapped Buddy for Dobky and then headed to University Place to meet the Purdue students who have been helping us. Kitty met us there with Grazie. They'd dropped in at the West Lafayette Public Library reading program. We all made our usual rounds. This is the first time I've had Dobky out in close contact with lots of strangers and he did very well. He sometimes sought interaction and sometimes avoided it but not strongly. He readily handled anything I asked him to do.

After UPlace I left Marty in the car while I fed the other dogs. Then Kitty and I took Marty to meet some friends who have been interested in adopting a dog. They happen to be Peyton's neighbors and were impressed by him so we thought we'd take the opportunity to show them our latest doodle. Marty is perfect waiting in and riding in the car. When we arrived, he was excited and pulled a lot on me but inside the house he was impressively relaxed. We sat and talked for awhile and I eventually unclipped Marty. He wandered a bit but immediately returned whenever I'd call him. We gave a brief demonstration of clicker training and Marty was a good participant.

We ordered pizza for dinner and it was just a few blocks away so we all walked there. I let Marty wander on the stretch lead most of the way but held him close when we arrived. It's going to take some work to get him to heel well but he did alright. Back at the house Marty had his dinner while ours was prepared. Then he settled under the table and slept through our meal. Our hosts were concerned that he'd beg throughout the meal if he stayed in the room so I think he impressed them.

It was good to see that Marty can do so well both as a therapy dog and a family dog. I enjoyed exercising him in these roles and he made it easy. Back at the kennel I released him with the other dogs for our usual night outing and he seemed content to return to his run.


2009-03-07: a full Saturday by Kyler Laird
p1050068 p1050091 p1050101

Marty visited us today while his family went out of town. He was very anxious at our house but finally settled in the corner behind the chair where I work. I took him with me when I headed to the Petite Pals playgroup with Buddy.

I kept Marty on lead during PP and worked with him. He is amazingly easy to train. We distracted all of the other dogs there to play and they were all following Marty's lead, looking for treats. Buddy was especially persistent; he has learned that sitting, not jumping, is a good way to get my attention and I often turn to see him sitting and waiting for me to notice him. Chewie is picking up this behavior also and is now looking for my attention instead of barking at dogs and people. At the end of PP I let Marty play with the other dogs and we soon migrated outside. Chewie and Buddy are a great team; I enjoy watching them zip around in circles around me. Marty was great with other dogs as always but he was a bit head-shy and uncomfortable at first. By the end of class he was relaxed and he's become quite comfortable with my occasional wrestling.

After PP we headed out to the "real" playgroups. I pulled all the dogs from the kennel then Amy arrived with Tanner and Anna. Finally, Kitty arrived with the rest of our home dogs. We had an active section but the dogs all did well together. I don't recall a single skirmish.

There were three evaluations during playgroups and our pack did very well interacting with the new dogs. Buddy continues to show his value both in greeting new dogs and helping Chewie be more comfortable. (They were tethered together again today for awhile.) Anna plays the role of "gentle giant" beautifully but barks loudly (from a down) to implore the little dogs to play with her. GP continues to impress me; he is gentle with everyone and tolerates Marty's frequent mounting without appearing disturbed at all. GP and Chewie had no problems together. Chewie has recovered well from the first time they met. Huntley and T-bone play together constantly and it takes a bit of management to ensure that other dogs don't jump into the middle inappropriately but they're a good source of activity.  Morgan kept a low profile, perhaps trying to stay out of GP's way.  Bozo looks great with his newly-blown coat and he played well with everyone.  Dexter and Bob even played together a bunch when everyone else was in the evaluation area.

After playgroups we ran home and quickly turned around with Bob, Marley, Jarreau and Dobky for a visit to University Place. We met Amy with Tanner and Anna along with five Purdue students. UPlace wasn't very active today but we did get to stop and talk with several appreciative residents. Despite having spent so much time at playgroups the dogs all seemed to enjoy running in the health center courtyard also.


2009-04-05: rainy day catchup by Kyler Laird

It's been non-stop here for weeks (or months?). Whenever I don't have work to do there's something for the dogs. Today, however, it's raining and I feel like I can sit and write for awhile.

This morning Buddy went to church and was perfect as always. He slept on my lap most of the time, perking up at the performance of Four Dead in Ohio (The sermon was about Kent State.) but quickly settling again. He was very social afterward. I usually have him walk everywhere but there were lots of people so I held him the whole time and he seemed completely comfortable with that.

A bunch of us went to lunch after church and Buddy did fine waiting in the car. We drove directly to the kennel afterward to meet a couple students. Playgroups were canceled so we had the park to ourselves. We had a good gang. Our regular kennel dogs, T-bone, Huntley, GP, Bozo, and Marty were joined by friends Keowee, Ranger, and Meka. They played in the rain for over an hour without incident.

At home we're adjusting to Dexter's departure. He's joined a family in Ohio and I hope he has a great life there. It's always hard for me to see a dog go, especially to a distant home. Dexter deserves a great family of his own though.

Speaking of Pyrs, we have one I haven't even mentioned yet, Cody. He's an IGPR dog who needed a place to stay between foster homes. Cody's in a new foster home now but will return to us soon while his foster family leaves town.

LTDR foster dogs are doing great. Anna is learning to play with Tanner and making lots of little neighborhood friends. Aries came to University Place and Waynetta let me handle him while she took Buddy. Both dogs did very well there as has Tanner.

Dobky attended his first Caring Paws function and did a fine job as a reader dog at the new Klondike Branch library. He has a great personality for this activity. We continue to visit Mintonye Elementary and Dobky goes almost goes with us because I know I can hand him off to someone else and he'll be easy to manage.  The other regular at Mintonye is Maddie, handled by Waynetta.  Maddie is so perfect that I sometimes forget about her.

We completed our second series of mushing classes recently. Bob and Morgan were my class helpers/coaches. While Morgan tolerates the activity Bob revels in it. I love putting him to work pulling and I enjoy watching his spirit inspire other dogs.

GP received a wonderful adoption application recently and I blew it. I took too long to respond and the applicant found another dog. Although I hate that I botched a great home for him I do like having him available. Even more so than Dobky, I know GP can be handled easily by other people around visitors of any age. It sure is nice to have "easy" dogs.

And then there's the rest of the kennel dogs... T-bone and Huntley are full of spirit and love to play with each other. They're both regulars at playgroups and are often requested by name. Bozo doesn't go to playgroups unless I'm there but he's had lots of requests for walks. He's been on campus a couple times and he is easy to manage when he's dragging his tire. Huntley needs a tire but he's too young. He's started class with a volunteer though.

And Marty...oh, what a good dog he's become. It's been such a pleasure to watch him develop. He continues to do well with other dogs but he always circles around to me. He sits in front of me for attention and gets his head patted and his face scrunched. I play with him by shoving him round and round and pulling his tail if he doesn't flip around toward me quickly enough. He's turned from fearing touch to seeking it and it really shows when he's in a group of students. At first I was careful to warn everyone about his sensitivity but now it's not an issue.

There are lots of plans on the horizon for LTDR. I've flown to Wisconsin and Kentucky to look at trailers and I'm hoping to purchase one soon. That will bring us lots of possibilities for activities on campus and all across the country.


2009-04-09: CGC testing by Kyler Laird

I spent much of the afternoon at the kennel, working with dogs. Kati took Huntley on a walk shortly before the CGC test.  I'd requested volunteers through our Facebook group and we had a bunch of helpers.

I took Buddy first and he breezed through the test just like the first time he took it. This time, however, he nailed the "supervised separation." He's still my "Velcro dog" but I've been working with him on long downs with me out of sight. I put him in a down and he did break it but he remained relaxed. Yea!

Kati had been holding Huntley and he was still very active. I took him into the ring and he quickly focused. Down and stay were problems last time he tested but not today. I was delighted with his performance and he passed with no problems.

Then we moved to the more challenging dogs... Tibby did well for me earlier but had been out playing and was completely loopy while we waited for another dog to test. Although he did really well with most of the exercises he completely botched the down stays.

I wasn't expecting much from Bozo but he did an admiral job. He was very interested in everyone (including the neutral dog) but he did well with the other exercises.

For kicks I tried Cody. If he could have just done a down he would have passed. Bummer!


2009-04-29: Dead Week Dogs at Purdue by Kyler Laird
p1000887 p1000897 p1000893 p1000906 DSC_0005 [See professional photographs of this event taken by JoAnn K. Darling.]

Wow! We pulled off Dead Week Dogs and it was a great success. The dogs were wonderful, the students were a delight, and our volunteers made it all go smoothly.

I've been kicking around the idea of having dogs on campus as a study break for a long time. When the Windsor Hall and Pre-Vet Club students joined us I pitched it to them and got their support. Things happened quickly after that. Sarah Hanson at DRS helped us with reserving the RSC tennis courts. Christie Dewert of Windsor Hall handled the event planning form and got immediate approval. Kristin Bahleda arranged for Pre-Vet Club members to help. Suddenly all the pieces were in place.

Today it all went surprising well. I started configuring the tennis courts around noon. The tough part was securing the doors and after a few failed ideas I finally settled on a simple spring mechanism. It made opening the doors difficult but I was reasonably sure it would keep the dogs inside.

At 4:30 I took Huntley and GP from the kennel along with my gear and made the final preparations. Volunteers arrived shortly after that and we immediately had students descending on the dogs. I'd tried to imagine how to handle all sorts of problems but none appeared. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and enjoying the interaction. We stayed waaaaay late but I just couldn't turn away people who wanted to meet the dogs. Fun!


2009-05-20: Mintonye and the Farmers Market by Kyler Laird
p1010036 p1010037 p1010039

Dexter returned to us last weekend and it's been good to have him again. It's been sunny here but not dry enough to plant so I decided to take him to Mintonye Elementary. Kitty took Morgan, Waynetta brought Maddie Bea, and Buddy tagged along with me, of course.

Inside, Dexter was the social butterfly, straining to greet everyone, and doing a wonderful job of dealing with hard patting and young fingers in his eyes, ears and mouth. Outside, the class took a walk and I let Buddy run free which was great fun to watch. Morgan was a bit demanding, always wanting to do tricks for treats but he did alright. And Maddie is such a perfect lady as always, making our guys look like a bunch of...boys.

After our regular visit we were asked to attend a Winn Dixie party for another class. The kids had a snack and then visited with the dogs for a bit and were very polite and appreciative. It was a good, relaxing visit.

Later in the afternoon Stan and Kara joined us at the West Lafayette Farmers Market. Morgan and Maddie stayed home but we added Dobky and GP. Dexter was, again, very social at the market and all the dogs did great with lots of handling by children, especially Buddy. Kara took Dexter for awhile and he did so well that she decided to take him home for a couple days.

Tonight on the way to the kennel (with Buddy and GP) I took a crate to Kara for Dexter. He's been doing beautifully, even ignoring her cat. Huntley wasn't at the kennel. Christine had already gotten him and she reported "He ran back and forth across our back yard for a solid 10 minutes when we got him home. He was so happy."


2009-06-11: Pet Partners tests by Kyler Laird
n13740713_47159425_7699331 n13740713_47159618_784849 n13740713_47162609_701617

Today we had a Caring Paws Pet Partners evaluation at the UUC. Bo and Huntley just passed their six month mark with me so I wanted to test them and even though I've only had Jacks 45 days I wanted him to take the evaluation so he can be covered under my insurance. I knew it would take a lot for Bo to pass so I pulled him and Jacks a couple hours before the test.

I let all the dogs out for quite awhile before taking Bo to the car. He was still way too excited about meeting Jacks so I booted him and let him run alongside the car for a mile or so. We stopped for a long drink before heading to Petsmart (with Bo tethered). He was considerably more relaxed after the run but still a bit too interested in Jacks. Jacks appeared completely oblivious to the danger.

I put Jacks in the bag I got at the AHHS garage sale and tried to get Bo to relieve himself before entering Petsmart. I was a bit concerned about how much he drank after the run. Bo continued to look for Jacks in the car but finally went and then we headed inside. I was a little surprised by how much attention Bo got. Everyone thinks he's such a big dog. (He only weighs about 100 pounds.) He got lots of petting from adults and children, and several dogs greeted him. I was pleased that he did beautifully with everyone and surprised at his lack of interest in other dogs. He was well-behaved even when they weren't.

Bo heeled well as I searched for a new brush for Buddy and another carrier for Jacks. I eventually opened the bag a bit so Jacks could poke out his head. Bo finally figured out Jacks was there and his nose was glued to the bag after that. I was checking out the first carrier I found and eventually put Jacks on the ground next to Bo (who was in a down). They did great together. I was so proud of Bo and impressed with Jacks's demeanor. Even in a busy aisle with lots of wiggly dogs, Jacks was completely cool and Bo was a charmer. After we moved to look at more carriers I put them both down again and they seemed very comfortable with each other.

We got outside and almost made it to the grass when a couple stopped me to ask about Bo. As we talked, Bo released a torrent on the sidewalk. (Fortunately it had started to rain.) We'd spent way too long in the store right after his big drink. I'm so glad he held it - what a trooper! Not bad for a dog who has spent so many months kenneled. On the way to the test Bo was still interested in Jacks but had become much calmer.

At the test I waited as a couple other dogs went and then took Huntley. He's been at a foster home so I don't get to see him much. He'd gotten some great care and I enjoyed handling and snuggling him during the test. Huntley was a handful during the test but he's a great guy and squeaked through it.

It was finally Bo's turn. He took a lot of management and although he was heeling better than usual it was still barely passable. The big surprise of the day was that he had no interest in Pebbles, the neutral dog. That was a huge relief. Things were going great until the exam when Bo...growled??? No, it sounded like a growl at first but it wasn't at all. That became especially evident when he rolled on his back for more. This low rumbling vocalization was new to me from him but he certainly wasn't doing it out of aggression. Still, it would certainly scare someone if he did it on a visit so he failed the test but we continued and he did well. I'm disappointed that the big guy didn't pass but I was delighted by how well he did. I think that I pushed him a bit too hard with a long day out and then lots of waiting in the hall.

Jacks was next. It was my first time taking the test with a carried animal. It was laughably easy. (I felt a little silly doing "out for a walk" while holding Jacks.) Jacks has all his claws and they're quite sharp (in case he needs to use them). I was a bit concerned that he might deploy them by accident during the test but it wasn't a problem at all and he passed the test without incident. I think he'll be a great addition to our visits.


2009-06-21: LTDR participates in first Zionsville Pet Parade by Kyler Laird
p1010226 p1010229 p1010231 p1010232 p1010234 p1010241 p1010244 p1010246 p1010247 Zionsville_PetParade_0202

[more photos of the parade by Chris Bucher Photographs]

Jane Rose of Indy Great Pyrenees Rescue notified me that IGPR would be marching in the Inaugural Zionsville Pet Parade as part of “Pet Friendly month."  I delayed responding because I wasn't sure how many people I could bring but finally said I'd be there and listed off the dogs I'd bring. Jane suggested we have our own entry.

I decided to use this as a test run for the semi trailer. It was certainly an adventure. It took quite a bit of work to get everything ready to go. In the morning I headed to the kennel and loaded T-bone and Bozo into crates. It was already hot but the trailer's air conditioners made a huge difference. I drove to the house to load Kitty and the dogs in to the tractor and we on our way to Zionsville.

Amy drove separately with Tanner and Anna. She scoped out the parking lot and I was relieved to hear that it was empty. I quickly parked and started laying out equipment. I pulled the wagon, kart, and tire, then laid out the chain picket line I made last night. Finally I pulled each dog to go on the line. The line worked well but putting Buddy next to Bozo was a bit of a misstep.

While I harnessed the dogs, Kitty and Amy loaded the big red wagon with ice and bottled water. I connected it to Morgan first and Kitty was concerned that it was too heavy for him to pull on his sixth birthday (because she had a hard time pulling it). While I was hitching the other dogs Mo' walked off with the wagon a few times. I decided he'd be fine.

Morgan was solo on the wagon, T-bone and Bozo pulled a truck tire. On the kart we had Bob and Marley in lead, Jarreau and Dobky in wheel, Buddy and Grazie riding, and Dexter running alongside. We headed to the parade a little after IGPR left but we had to take the long way instead of trying to negotiate the stairs/ramps they used. Even though we blocked traffic on the main road for a little bit everyone was very kind to us. A policeman recommended that we take Main Street because it was already blockaded. In doing so we became our own "pre-parade" but as we arrived at the parade starting point I could see that everyone was heading our way so we veered off and went around the block to end up behind them. We were just in time to fall in behind IGPR. Fortunately Christine and Garrett had been there with Huntley and had already checked in for our entry (#34).

The parade was short but fun. The dogs had already gotten quite a workout and they were just becoming manageable. We put water down each time we stopped and it was good we had a wagon full. It was fun to halt the dogs; they relaxed and lots of people came to take photos each time. Then when I called "hike!" the dogs (especially Bob) would lunge ahead and I could hear spectators responding to it. While I wrangled the dogs on the kart, Amy walked Tanner and Anna, Christine walked Huntley, and Garrett graciously handled Bo and Tibby on the tire. I was so thankful for the great help; it was a lot of work but I think it impressed people.

At the end of the parade we gathered with other participants, including several Miss Indiana Pageant participants. I enjoyed talking to everyone and felt extremely comfortable there.

The IGPR folks were headed to Serenity for lemonade so we backtracked the parade route to join them. A couple boys were admiring the dogs so I asked if they'd like to ride and invited them to jump on the back of the kart.  I'm sure I should have gotten a parental consent waiver and provided them with protective gear but I just jumped on the side of the kart and called "hike!" instead.  The boys seemed to have fun and their father thanked me.

I parked the dogs in front of the restaurant and spent probably 30 minutes talking with folks who wanted to know more about them. Finally I took some of the dogs in to join Kitty and Amy. We sat and talked with a local family who'd called me a couple days ago about a dog. The restaurant owners also relaxed with us. Lots of people stopped to visit the dogs and chat with us. And we ate a wonderful Father's Day brunch! It was a delightful way to spend the afternon.

Finally it was time to head home. The dogs were exhausted so I ran back and drove the truck to them. A local officer informed me that there are "no trucks on Main Street" but told me to just be quick. I like this town...a lot.

We had a couple hiccups on the return trip but finally dropped off the dogs at home just in time. They were all about to burst. I headed straight for the kennel and relieved T-bone and Bo before kenneling them. They were more than ready for dinner.

Quite a successful day! It will be interesting to see what comes of all the wonderful people we encountered.


Powered by Plone CMS, the Open Source Content Management System

This site conforms to the following standards: