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Peyton

by Kyler Laird last modified 2009-04-10 02:54

Golden Retriever/Standard Poodle ("Goldendoodle"), male

joined us: 2008-07-14 (4115 days ago)

This dog has been adopted and has passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.

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more photos

I've been in contact with the International Doodle Owners Group (IDOG) since I got Sunny, the Goldendoodle. I've been impressed by their organization and offered to help if I could. I received an e-mail explaining that they had a good dog who was a bad match for a foster home and they didn't have any other foster homes available. Peyton was picked up running loose multiple times. On the last time the owners declined to get him. IDOG pulled Peyton from the shelter.

2008-07-14: I dropped my nephews at the airport (IND) and then met Peyton's foster mom at the Keystone mall. I was impressed that he was relaxed with her and did not seem at all bothered by the traffic and other noises. I learned that he was generally well-behaved but would occasionally bolt from the yard and did not like to relieve himself on leash. Not a good combination for a foster home without a fence.

I walked Peyton for awhile at the mall after his foster mom departed. There was no adjustment period; he seemed comfortable with me immediately. On the way home he was fine but I could tell he was a little anxious. I walked him at a rest stop on the way.

As we neared Lafayette I got a call that Keowee had run away from his foster home again. By the time we arrived he'd returned. I put his crate in back and loaded him too, quickly forcing him into a confined space with Peyton. They both handled it well.

I kenneled him for a couple hours and then returned with the rest of the dogs. They were all together while I ran some of the rescues through AKC CGC testing. Peyton is a mounting maniac! He was recently neutered but he has not learned his manners. He'll learn.

2008-07-15:  This evening I took the (seven) dogs from home to the park and pulled four from the kennels, including Peyton.  He seemed much more relaxed today.  He was still mounting occasionally but all it took was a reminder from me or one of the dogs and he discontinued.  He seems to be fine in the kennel and he does well with all the dogs.  He's a good guy and I appreciate his disposition.

2008-07-16:  We had all the dogs out again tonight.  Peyton seemed even more relaxed.  I don't think I saw him mount a single dog.  He did get into a bit of a fight with Judo.  I quickly broke it and discovered Judo's tongue had been bitten and so had Peyton's ear.  Minor damage.  They didn't seem bothered by it and had no problems the rest of the evening.  Kitty enjoyed playing with Peyton.  I took lots of photos and whenever Peyton would get called away he'd eventually head straight back for me.  He's a good guy.


2008-07-28: friends visit by Kyler Laird
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We invited a couple of Kitty's friends to bring their children to meet the dogs. One family might borrow Bob soon.


2008-07-30: Peyton's bath by Kyler Laird
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I arranged to meet some people to introduce Peyton today. I knew that he wasn't smelling great so I loaded the dogs from home (minus Marley who was already being groomed and Grazie who went with Kitty to the farmers market) and headed to the kennel to bathe Peyton.  Wrangling the other dogs took about as much effort as bathing Peyton.

Peyton was clean when I got him so this was his first bath with me.  He was easy.  It was a pleasure to work on him.  The other dogs also did a remarkably good job of waiting while I bathed him.  Then we all went out to play!


2008-07-30: Norwood family visit by Kyler Laird
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It's been awhile since the Norwood family visited us. The boys are growing! They got along beautifully with all the dogs. They especially liked Conner and plan to borrow him next week.


2008-08-07: graduation class by Kyler Laird

Kitty and I took Marley and Harley to the last class of the CGC/TD series tonight.  The Norwoods met us there with Conner and provided a couple boys for the socialization activities.  I noticed the people handling Nikki were not having much fun with her so I convinced them to swap me for Harley for awhile.  It was fun to see someone else work with Harley and I enjoyed the challenge of a new dog.  Harley, of course, did a great job and even allowed his handler to dress him in funny fashions.  After the Norwoods left I worked Conner a bit but he was way too distracted and ready for the kennel.  (Yes, I dressed Conner.  I might get photos from Layla.)

After class we let the dogs play and I pulled Keowee, Judo and Peyton from the kennel.  Everyone did well playing together.  I'm really looking forward to running everyone through CGC testing (except Keowee, who passed already).  Harley should be easy.  Judo certainly can be good and he's fun to work.  Peyton needs to be trained.  Conner should be outstanding but I'm not sure if I can get the precision I need from him in a testing situation.  BTW, the Norwoods reported that "aggression definitely isn't a problem for Conner."  It sounds like the boys treated him...like boys do.  And Conner let them, of course.


2008-08-08: playgroups by Kyler Laird

Kitty and I took all the dogs to playgroups, as usual.  The kids were walking Dr. Banker's dog, Zeus, out as we arrived.  He got mobbed a bit but everyone handled it well.  He's getting so big!  But he still acts like a puppy.

Judo, Keowee, Peyton and Conner were already out of the kennel and had been playing for awhile when we arrived. Keowee was too much for a Dalmatian in the large area but Judo was still playing there. Layla ushered us down to the agility area to help with evaluations of a couple Yellow Labs. Grazie, Jarreau, Dobky, Peyton and Dexter quickly entered there while I worked on the gate so we could use the playgroup area with a tree. The dogs roamed while I worked on the gate. Morgan joined Judo in the big area and Harley was invited into the adjacent playgroup. By the time I fixed the gate I had only Bob and Keowee. I wandered over to check on the evaluations.

Everyone in the evals was doing remarkably well. I expected my guys to be a little high-energy for the Labs. There was one outburst. I didn't see what started it but I did see Dexter getting chomped by a Lab a few times and he kept moving away. I called him and he came to me. The Lab had a bunch of white fur in his mouth. I was so proud of Dexter!

During evals a guest joined us to see Dobky. He was more social with her than I expected and she took him for a walk in the playgroup corridors. I was impressed that he did so well.

After the evals I moved my dogs into the area with the tree. We were adjacent to some very small dogs and Dexter was especially interested in them. Eventually I took Dexter on-lead to see them. There was a Boston Terrier with his owner and a smaller terrier(?) girl, Morgan, who was "stay and play." Conner was also in there but he didn't come to see us. Dexter did great with the little dogs. After the Boston left I let Dexter go off-lead with the tiny dog. (We joked about taking a photo and calling it "stay and pray.") Eventually I just opened the gate and let tiny Morgan meet the rest of the big dogs, including Harley who had joined us by then. There were no problems at all.

Oh!  One more brag on Dexter.  We've always had to help him into the Jeep.  Today he jumped in all on his own both to and from playgroups!  I think he's lost a bit of weight and is feeling more comfortable but I'm sure that the peer pressure (literally!) of seven other dogs shooting/squeezing past him helps too.

Good people. Good dogs. It was a good day.


2008-08-15: clinic visit by Kyler Laird

We're still trying to determine why Harley drinks so much. His samples last week came back normal so today we took another blood sample. I was holding him while Danielle drew the blood and I couldn't even tell when she stuck him. Harley is such a sweetie! They ran the blood sample at the clinic and said his readings were normal so we're going to consult with another vet.

While there I couldn't resist taking the kennel dogs out. Keowee is at Allison's house and apparently Conner is staying with Megan and Tori. That leaves just the feisty boys, Judo and Peyton. We had a good time playing in the beautiful weather.

Judo continues to grow on me. He's still vocal and pushy and occasionally has spats with Peyton but I'm quite comfortable with it now. He's just an excited young Husky, full of energy and bluster. I love it when he stops racing around the yard and hops into my arms. He craves attention but he doesn't seem "needy." I'm a little disappointed that others don't seem to appreciate him like I do but I also enjoy having him available to play. Both Judo and Peyton seem to be handling kenneling well. They seem healthy and content and they go right back into their runs when we're done playing.


2008-08-15: playgroups by Kyler Laird

The weather was beautiful this evening - sunny but not terribly hot, especially in the shade. We arrived at 5:00 with all eight of the home dogs and the four kennel dogs were already out. Judo, Keowee, and Peyton were playing in the main area while Conner was in an evaluation with a tiny Pomeranian in a small area. Conner was his usual - relaxed and off to the side.

We mostly milled around the corridors for awhile. Layla requested a big dog to introduce to the Pom so I sent Jarreau. He did beautifully, of course. Eventually I also sent Grazie, Morgan and Harley to meet the Pom. I also took Dexter on-lead at first but he did a great job and I quickly released him. Dexter provided a wonderful example of how barking is not always aggressive. Layla narrated as Dexter did a full play bow and barked repeatedly to invite one of the small dogs out from under the chairs. Although he's a bit overwhelming he's always careful with the little dogs.

Bentley, the Dalmatian, arrived soon after we did. Peyton was a little too much for Bentley so Peyton got to join the house dogs in the second area while Judo, Keowee and Mackey worked on Bentley. There were several heated exchanges and the monitors had their hands full keeping control of the situation.

Peyton wanted so much to be with his buddies that he popped the (weak) gate a few times so that he could run in the corridor along the main area. It's not that he's "mean" - he's just so active and driven. He needs someone to give him a lot more attention. I had no problems retrieving him and the others each time and herding them back into their area.

Dobky didn't get any special activity. He obviously would have enjoyed sticking with me the whole time but I wasn't yet comfortable putting him with new small dogs. It's not that I think he'd do anything wrong but I just don't feel like we know each other well enough to ensure that he'd behave appropriately. He's really gaining confidence though. He often goes head to head with the other dogs, not fighting so much as just asserting himself. Morgan has been incredibly forgiving of this behavior. Although Morgan has given Dobky some corrections they've all been minor.


2008-08-20: welcoming Bizet by Kyler Laird
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Kitty gives me a lot of grief because she always tells me to get small dogs and I end up with big guys. When I was at AHHS with Conner and Oscar I learned that the shelter had a bunch of small dogs in small cages in the garage because they had no space for them elsewhere. I took a look and immediately noticed Bizet. He seemed like a nice guy but I was busy with the other dogs so I didn't spend much time at all with him then.

I returned to the shelter this morning to check Bizet. He seems like a happy amenable guy and he's not yappy. I got him to the clinic and asked that he be groomed and get a medical checkout while I was out celebrating Kitty's birthday. We returned to find a "naked" dog ((He was terribly matted.) but he's a sweetie.

We learned that he has a lump on his side and it's tender so we're going to have that checked when he's neutered.  Before we left him at the kennel I pulled Peyton and Judo to let them all play for awhile.  All three of the dogs did well together.  Bizet did not seem to be intimidated by them.


2008-08-22: playgroups by Kyler Laird
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I returned from the farm just in time to load the dogs and head to the park. The kennel dogs were already out playing. Bizet was with the little dogs. We joined the bigger dogs in the main area. All the dogs there were cool so I brought Bizet over to join us.

Dobky and Bob were a bit too interested in Bizet. Once, when Dobky was chasing Bizet Peyton broadsided him. I could imagine that he was "splitting" - trying to diffuse the situation.

Some young friends joined us and did a great job with the dogs. It was a good night.


2008-08-23: Purdue students visit by Kyler Laird

Toward the end of last semester some Purdue students contacted me about working with the dogs. What a wonderful opportunity! I've always had this hope that I could get students involved with working the dogs and I know there are students on campus who miss their own dogs or wish they could have their own but can't because of their housing, schedules, etc. The students took a couple of the dogs out for tours of campus last year and did a great job with the dogs. I looked forward to their return - and today I got the call!

The ladies were already at playgroups when I arrived. We talked about the current group of dogs and some of the changes coming to the group. There's still a lot to resolve but I'm excited about getting more people involved and getting dogs on campus for socialization. There are wonderful possibilities.


2008-08-30: busy Saturday by Kyler Laird
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There were a couple evaluations at playgroups today and we were also short on staff so I went for the whole time. Well, I arrived a bit late but I made quite an entry. I unloaded my dogs from the car and was mistaken about one of the new dogs, Lough, (for evaluations) being through the second gate. Instead, he got swamped by my guys in the entry area - quite an initiation. He handled it well, though!

Playgroups were uneventful after that and I had time to talk with Onyx's owner. I had completely neglected her request to try a playmate for Onyx. At first I was thinking that one of the doodles would be good but then she asked about Dexter. Of course! Dexter lived with a cat, has great housetraining, and his original owner was also a young woman. Dexter went home with Onyx. I neglected to mention that Dexter has difficulty getting into cars and I realized it just as I watched him start to enter her car. Then he high-tailed it out of there as I headed for him. I gave him a boost and it sounds like he did fine after that.

I visited Dexter later and took his crate and some food. He'd been doing fine with Onyx and seemed relaxed in the fenced area with Onyx. I just set up the crate and tried not to bother him. I look forward to hearing how he does.

I had Harley and Dobky with me and we headed straight to Global Fest in West Lafayette. Even though it was finishing as we arrived they got lots of attention and they did beautifully. Afterward a bunch of us went to a restaurant in Lafayette. Harley and Dobky got lots of attention while waiting for everyone to arrive and then I hitched them to the fence near the restaurant entrance. They continued to get nearly constant visitors throughout the evening.

I was amazed at how well Harley and Dobky did with all of the people, smells and sounds. I've traveled the country with lots of great dogs for many years so I have fairly high standards when it comes to being in public. Although I would expect my family dogs to maintain downstays in public without being tied, these guys were awesome and didn't seem to mind be restricted by their tethers. They were rock solid not spooked and social but not pushy. These are wonderful dogs. It was a delight to have them with us and they were fantastic representatives for our program.


2008-09-13: full day by Kyler Laird
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We've been staying busy and I've neglected to make updates so I'm going to catch up here.

On Friday I was contacted by Indiana Spay and Neuter because they were full of dogs. They have a striking blue-eyed white Husky but I'd decided I'm over my quota of Huskies. Instead, I decided to help an older doodle, Delaney. Delaney was dropped at the kennel Friday evening. I was told his face was caked with burrs so I went there this morning to shave him. By the time I arrived the groomers had squeezed him into the schedule and were almost done with him. They'd uncovered a weeping cyst on his chest and a substantial fatty lump/tumor/? elsewhere. A doctor had checked the cyst and said it will need to be removed so he'll be in surgery next week. Despite his problems I was told he was a nice guy by everyone who'd encountered him. (While at the clinic I also learned that GP has little interest in kittens.)

With Delaney's care covered I decided to get everyone out to play for awhile (including Maisie and Barouch, who are boarding) and then I bathed Judo. He'd been blowing his coat for awhile and really needed to be brushed but I put him straight into the bath. GP stayed with us to get accustomed to the grooming area. Judo handled the bath well and allowed me to use the blow dryer on him without complaint. I took Judo home after the bath and he got along well with everyone at home. Later I took him to the LayFlats festival for the Almost Home Humane Society. Well...I tried to take him but I screwed up and let him get loose while loading him in the car. He took a tour of the neighborhood with me in pursuit, refusing to come to me even when I was very close to him. Kitty finally got him while I circled to watch for him at the main road. He'd taken a dip in the pond so I hosed him clean(er) before departing.

At LayFlats Judo was the only dog with a van full of cats. He got some good attention and although it was very loud there he behaved well and seemed comfortable. As we were preparing to leave a young couple submitted an application to adopt Judo. It's time for him to find a great home where he's appreciated.

After LayFlats we returned home to feed everyone. Kitty helped Judo with the house dining rules (down stays). While hanging out with us Judo was great and even went into a crate on his own for awhile. We returned to the kennel that night with all the dogs and pulled the kennel dogs for a late play session. Although GP had not met the house dogs and Delaney had not met anyone there were no major problems. Delaney warned everyone that he was uncomfortable by growling at fast-approaching dogs. Also, when we left Judo got pushy with GP and got a bit of a smack-down but although it lasted awhile there were no injuries. I like GP.

After dinner we returned home by way of the grocery and all of the house dogs did well while we waited for Kitty to do the shopping. They got a bit of attention and handled the passing shoppers without a peep.


2008-09-25: night outing by Kyler Laird

We've been at the kennel late the last few nights. Yesterday and today we had a couple of my cousin's dogs, Bella and Bear, Lab. siblings, staying at the kennel.

Everyone is doing so well! Judo and GP had a little spat late in our visit but it was without injury. Delaney was such a gentleman, as usual. He has gotten much more relaxed with everyone and is just a delight. I need to get a collar for him but he's been so easy to handle; I often just let him wander and he'll follow me wherever I go and even get in his kennel on his own.

The new guy, Chewie, is finally out of isolation. I was told that he'd been eliminating in his crate and I wanted to get him out at night to give him a chance to make it to morning. When Kitty pulled him from his kennel he was clean! She brought him out after all of the big dogs and he was amazing. We kept him in the entry area and added a couple other dogs. I was concerned that Bob might overwhelm him. Instead, he slipped through the gate and straight into Bob!

Chewie is truly amazing. He never makes a noise and seems completely unfazed by much larger dogs charging him. He poked Grazie a few times and got some corrections from her but he didn't cower a bit. Kitty and I both held him a few times and he seems as comfortable in the air as on the ground. I'm always looking for little dogs who break the stereotype of being scared and yappy. This guy seems perfect. I'm looking forward to working with him.


2008-10-02: therapy dog class begins by Kyler Laird

The latest therapy dog class at Klondike Canine Academy started last week. Waynetta attended with Aries but Kitty and I had a funeral to attend. This week we got to start working with Peyton and Dobky. And Layla brought along Chewie for some training too!

We arrived in time to give Aries, Peyton and Dobky a few minutes to run before class. Aries hadn't been around these guys and he was a little tense but they were alright after a few minutes. Aries did well last week but was a bit frustrating this week. He's a good guy and I'm confident he and Waynetta will work together to make progress.

I wasn't expecting much from Dobky but I love how calm and attentive he is. It's hard to do stays with a dog who constantly wants to touch me but I'm trying to appreciate him and let him develop at a comfortable pace. We spent a lot of time just relaxing with each other. He is not at all bothered by the other dogs.

Peyton was the big surprise of the evening. I was surprised Kitty even agreed to work with him but the real shocker was how well they did together. He was a bit wild at first but Kitty stuck with it and soon I saw them working like a real team. She really brought him along nicely.

And then there's Chewie. He's just wonderful. I enjoy seeing the little guy and he is certainly stuck on Layla. He's recovering well from his recent surgery.

Speaking of surgery...T-bone was out on hospital side this evening. He's been a challenge for the staff there. I'm looking forward to getting him back out to play with everyone.

Oh...and then there's Keowee. Tonight we got a call that he was out running the neighborhood again. I drove over to find Allison not far behind him but he would not return to her. I kept driving the neighborhood hoping to spot him if he crossed a major road and then I got the call that he was closer to home. As I drove that way I saw him in the road and pulled over, opened the door and offered him a ride. He hopped in, panting hard and bleeding from a cut dew-claw pad. I think he'll be alright.  Huskies...


2008-10-03: Friday playgroups by Kyler Laird
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Waynetta called me today to ask about bringing Aries to meet my pack. She wanted to keep away from playgroup times to avoid other dogs so we met at 3:30, just before playgroups. Aries, of course, did fine meeting everyone. We eventually added the kenneled dogs and Stan joined us. They were doing so well that we stayed for playgroups.  We had a good bunch of dogs and were joined by Sunny and his sister, Leia.

Everyone got along beautifully until the very end when we mistakenly tethered GP and Chewie to the same person to return to the kennel. I looked over to see GP holding Chewie in his mouth. I made my way through the gates to them and GP quickly dropped Chewie who ran off and squeezed through a gate. He was a bit scratched but did not sustain any major damage. GP had a bite on his nose. I wonder what happened.

We were all ready for dinner so I took our dogs and Aries home. I crated Aries and Dobky (separately), leaving the normally-crated Dexter and Marley free in the house with the rest of the dogs. Kitty and I joined Waynetta and Stan for dinner then returned to find the dogs all doing well.


2008-10-04: Saturday socialization by Kyler Laird
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I arrived well before playgroups to work with Crockett some more. We ran it just like the other times, starting with the Poodle boys, Grazie, then added Bob and Dexter. Dobky and Bob are both very confident with Crockett but there weren't any situations that couldn't be defused with some well-placed sounds.

Morgan and Crockett showed that they obviously recalled what happened last time the met. They were quite vocal with each other when Crockett initially arrived. I hesitated to bring them together again but decided I could manage them as long as no one else appeared.

I clipped Morgan to me in the main playgroup area stood behind the gate with him as I unlocked the gate. Crockett came through the gate looking for Morgan but I blocked him with a jacket. Morgan was not interested in engaging and Crockett quickly left to check out the new space. Crockett made a few more passes and showed some interest in Morgan but Mo seemed to get the message that I was in charge of handling the pushy young guy. In fact, he was pulling toward the gate to get into the other playgroup area, away from Crockett.

I decided that Morgan would not be a problem and unclipped him. I stayed on my toes and blocked Crockett a few times but let them get progressively closer. Eventually they were tempering themselves, making passes but not displaying aggression. (Crockett's hackles make quite a display when he's "on.") We ended the socialization and returned Crockett to his kennel without incident before playgroups started.

After returning Crockett I released Peyton, GP and Delaney to join us for playgroups. T-bone is still recovering from surgery and Judo is still on loan with Onyx. The kennel dogs were full of energy and Peyton was especially boisterous. We were joined by other dogs for playgroups, including Judo.  I discovered that Judo has been doing very well with Onyx, giving her nearly constant play. Although he hasn't hurt the cat, he has been chasing. We'll work on that.

I figured my pack had enough play already and I was trying to leave quickly but got delayed. Apparently Marley had a run-in with GP and I looked over to see GP grasping Marley's butt firmly in his mouth. Again, GP quickly released his grip when I reached him and Marley did not seem physically injured. GP did not seem at all bothered. I'm thinking that perhaps he's found an effective way to deal with pesky dogs. I'd like to convince him to use a different strategy. I'll need to be more protective of him.


2008-10-09: T-bone's turn by Kyler Laird
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I've been trying to avoid T-bone for awhile. He's been wearing an e-collar while he recovers from his surgery a week ago. I decided he needed some attention though and he should be pretty well healed by now. It was his day to go to the farm with me.

T-bone gets so excited whenever I see him. He often jumps on me so I try to maintain tight control of his collar when I greet him. I let him out for awhile and then we dropped Kitty at home and headed to the farm. T-bone behaved well enough in the car but he was panting hard the whole way. When we arrived at the farm I tethered him to me and started checking the semi. I wasn't paying much attention to T-bone but soon he was loose and running with Dad's dog. I still don't know how he became unclipped but as soon as I realized it I ran for the big open doors. I had one closed when I saw T-bone running toward the other door. I ran toward him, hoping he'd duck back in the barn but he scooted right by me and started zipping around the houses.

Ug. Not a good way to start the (late) day. I decided to continue preparing the semi because I knew I couldn't catch T-bone and I figured he needed some exercise anyway. As I backed out of the barn I saw the dogs zip past and was grateful that they hadn't headed for the fields or woods. I pulled behind the house and got the attention of Dad's dog. As I gave him a treat T-bone nosed between us and I calmly grabbed him while producing another treat. One more treat and he was in the semi.

When we got to the field a smaller truck was already full so we took it to town. T-bone continued his panting the whole way but seemed alright otherwise. I took him inside to grab our receipt and he was pulling like mad. He wouldn't jump in the truck so I had to help him again but he always backs away when I try to lift him. He's fine when I finally get him but he's not comfortable before that.

We took another small truck and then the combines moved to a new field. We followed with the semi and I got to sit in back with T-bone while I did some work. He continued to pant and he was a little restless but still well-behaved. It was quite a contrast to how GP just stretched out next to me and slept.

The combines opened the next field and then headed for home. The semi still wasn't full but it was too late to take a load into town anyway. We put the semi back in the barn and headed for home. I thought T-bone might relax a few times but he always came right back up.

At the kennel I put T-bone in his run and fed him then released the other dogs. GP and Peyton got to run loose but I kept Crockett tethered to me. Crockett is still growly with the other dogs when they get in his face and he pulls hard so I just held his collar. Outside Peyton zoomed while GP wandered. GP made several passes at us and Crockett wasn't being too growly. I was trying to use a lesson I learned at the Pam Reid seminar; instead of just addressing the behavior I want changed I've been trying to change the dogs' emotions. Even when they're growling at each other I try to stay jolly and continue to massage both dogs. It seems to work well. After awhile I decided to switch Crockett for GP.

Peyton is so active that I worried he'd trigger a response from Crockett but instead they had a wonderful time. I was thrilled to see them running figure eights around the yard. They had a glorious time with no altercations and oh, did they ever run. Crockett came zipping by GP and me several times but got no response. GP was enjoying leaning into me and getting massaged so much that he seemed disinterested in the other dogs. I had no problem handling all three dogs in close contact at once.

I eventually released GP but he mostly remained next to me. He started playing with me a few times. Each time, as soon as I'd react and return his play bow Crockett would come through and slam into GP. I thought it would trigger a fight the first time but they showed no interest. I wonder if it's because GP was having such fun with me? Shortly after that we returned to the kennel. What a great bunch of dogs.

I put Crockett away but Peyton and GP were still running around. Eventually Peyton came to me and went in his run but GP wanted to play. Fine, I allowed GP to be free while I took T-bone out once more but then GP came bounding over and the two had a spat. I'm not even sure what happened but it was more flash than bang. I grabbed both dogs and put them in their runs. I was done, a sour end note but still a good night with happy dogs.


2008-10-10: good harvest by Kyler Laird
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I took GP to the farm again today. It was difficult to decide who would join me. Although other dogs certainly could have used the outing I was looking for an "easy" dog today and I really enjoyed GP last time.

As before, GP was relaxed in the car. When we arrived I left him in the Jeep while I checked the semi but he made a fuss so I tethered him to me and he was content to follow. He was just wonderful all day. I even let him roam off-lead in the fields but he stuck pretty close to me. At the elevator we walked around a couple times while waiting. GP readily greeted some men who were admiring him. Once when I left him in a truck while I ran to get my receipt I returned to see him starting to climb through the partially-open driver's window. (The passenger window was all the way open.) I yelled to him and he immediately relaxed. I think he just wanted to find me.

At the end of the day we shuttled trucks, walking the return leg to the field. GP heels surprisingly well after a day of activity. He pulled a bit but readily repositioned when asked. Smells were very interesting to GP; he spent a lot of time with his nose in the grass. I kept thinking he should easily pass his CGC but I realized he might be bonding to me a bit too much to pass the supervised separation. Gotta work on that.

Back at the kennel I fed GP and pulled Peyton, Crockett and...Judo! Judo?! Yes, he returned today from his outing and yes, I was taking him out with Crockett. While Peyton and Crockett played like old buddies, I got to know Judo again. He and Crockett were definitely not comfortable with each other. Piloerection was dramatic on these two beautiful northern dogs. I worked them for quite awhile, touching them lots, "jollying" them, one and then the other, always holding one and letting the other roam. I'm developing a pattern for this. It's remarkable how easy it's been to handle very reactive dogs by keeping my hands and face between their pointy parts and diverting their gazes. I know we're making progress when the loose dog relaxes and presents for the dog I'm holding to sniff.

So...how'd these two "dog aggressive" dogs do (with feisty Peyton thrown in for zest)? They were remarkably good. There wasn't outright play like Crockett and Peyton enjoyed the night before but they all came in very close contact, sometimes at a run, without incident. I'm so proud of these guys!

Of course I had to go and push it. (There's a pattern.) I returned Crockett, Peyton and Judo then pulled GP and T-bone. Oh, boy, there was tension between those two. I did my usual but T-bone wasn't buying it. He kept his eye trained on GP whenever I was holding him. GP was fine though. I think I need to spend more time with T-bone before he'll trust me the way I need.


2008-10-11: long day by Kyler Laird
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As I was heading to the farm today I got a call that Fang had arrived at the kennel. Oh! I'd almost forgotten about him. I agreed to help IAMRA move a Malamute to Merrillville and asked that he be dropped at the kennel for me to transport when weather allows me to be out of the fields. I wanted to personally handle the intake so I stopped in to meet the transport. I enjoyed talking dogs for awhile and Fang ("Fangman") seemed to be an easy-going guy. Once the transporter left I decided to take Fang with me.

Fang was well-behaved in the car and at the farm. He got along well with the other dogs there. I was hoping to use him as transport from field to another but as soon as I jumped on my scooter he gave up interest in pulling me. Instead he trotted along behind me.

I wanted to return home in time to take Kitty to a festival in town. As I hurried to put away trucks I forgot to grab my computer. I didn't realize it until I was half way home so that made me even later. I dropped Fang in his run with some food and water and hurriedly grabbed the first three dogs in the line - Peyton, Crockett and T-bone. T-bone was just in a fight yesterday so I thought I'd hold him close to me while Crockett and Peyton played. It didn't work that way.

We were outside only a minute before Crockett came at T-bone. T-bone reacted and even though I had his collar we suddenly had a fight. My wrist was in the way but Crockett inhibited his bite (fortunately!). Unfortunately T-bone wasn't pulling any punches. As I'd pull dogs apart one would always come back for more - even Peyton was beating up on T-bone. I finally stopped the fight and noticed Crockett holding a front paw. Dang! He'd had a pad completely split open. It was bad.

I put dogs away and bandaged Crockett (with Layla's assistance by phone). I got him back to his run wearing an e-collar, wiped up most of the blood, and let GP and Judo out. They were so good! I love getting GP's attention. When I returned I found Crockett missing the end of his bandage. Grrrr.

I considered taking him to the emergency clinic but I know there's not a whole lot more they'd do for him other than start antibiotics.  I decided to bandage him again, being a bit more thorough.  I took Fang out for awhile and returned to see the bandages intact.

I finally got home, very late, but we took Dobky and Morgan to town.  The boys did well with the crowd and loud music.  Dobky is especially calm and got a lot of attention.  The food booths were closed by the time we arrived so we had dinner at Red 7.  The boys did downstays the whole time and Dobky only got up once (to be petted by a cute waitress - hard to blame him).  We also happened to meet an enthusiastic young man who is interested in using therapy dogs in a program with adults who have special needs.  I look forward to discussing that more.


2008-10-12: studying T-bone by Kyler Laird
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Oh, T-bone...we need to know each other better. I'm tired of his fighting so I want to figure out how to work with him. Soon after we arrived we were approached by a kitten. T-bone was very interested but didn't get completely nuts. T-bone panted hard the entire day but I made him work for it a bit. We took a quick scooter ride at first and he did alright so we later made a longer (~.8 mile) trip. He ran riefly but mostly trotted, staying on the road fairly well. Late in the day T-bone ran and hit the end of the bungee lead I was wearing and snapped his collar. I let him run while I shuttled a truck and when I returned I walked around the house for awhile calling to him. As I was about to give up he came zipping toward me for a body slam. I grabbed the harness he was still wearing and redirected him to the ground for a belly-rubbing session before clipping onto the harness and walking back to the car. I like this guy.

When we returned to the kennel I fed T-bone and checked on Crockett's paw. It was still bandaged! I took Crockett out on lead with Peyton but Crockett just hobbled around a bit. Once Crockett and Peyton were back in their runs I pulled Judo, GP and Fangman. I kept Fang on-lead for awhile but it was obvious that he was fine even with the boisterous boys. GP just wanted his butt rubbed and Judo was growly/pushy - the usual. Fang handled it like a champ.


2008-10-13: good night by Kyler Laird
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I rushed away from lunch with Kitty and friends so I didn't have time to pick up a dog today. I still stopped at the kennel on the way home though. Crockett was on the hospital side so it was just Judo, Peyton, GP, Fang, and T-bone in the runs. I wanted to let them all play together so I grabbed a wire basket muzzle Waynetta left for us. T-bone calmly sat for me and readily accepted the muzzle. That was fortunate because I didn't have time to do a proper introduction.

Wearing the muzzle, T-bone was a different dog. The other dogs were already loose and T-bone only wanted to get away from them. GP got in his face and they were both growly but I just grabbed them and headed for the door. Outside T-bone stuck right with me and was a bit rigid but the others were fine. Everyone took it easy for awhile and mostly wanted my attention. Eventually they roamed the yard more.

Peyton and Judo played like crazy. Occasionally T-bone would run over to check them but after reaching them he'd quickly return to me. All the dogs were on top of each other around me but T-bone took it in stride for the most part. Fang would roll on his back on one side of me while GP would back into me from the other side. T-bone was pressed in the middle and I wondered if he was getting it - that this is a safe situation that doesn't require defensive moves. I hope he did. I sure enjoyed these wonderful guys.

After returning everyone to their runs I visited the hospital runs and found that Crockett had already removed the Medi-Paw from his leg. I replaced it but he quickly shed it two more times during our brief walk so I just taped his wrap a bit more. The doctor sutured his pad with stainless steel wire today. It should hold up to some abuse but I really don't want him licking at it. I'll check on him tomorrow.


2008-10-14: dirty dozen by Kyler Laird
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We got a bit of rain today so we weren't in the fields. I spent the day catching up on work but when Kitty returned we took the dogs to the kennel to play. It's been a long time since they've been out to play.

After we unloaded I watched our guys while Kitty brought the kennel dogs. T-bone was first and I put him in the far play area to chill for awhile. Judo, Peyton, GP, and Fang followed and went in the adjacent play area. (Crockett is still recovering on hospital side.) It didn't take long at all to integrate that group with our guys. Fang is so easygoing and GP is just a sweetie who wants my attention.

Kitty took Morgan inside to have his leg wound checked and I strapped the muzzle to T-bone. I love the muzzle! T-bone is not thrilled with it but it's a wonderful tool. I brought him right in with everyone else and he was fine. There were several instances where I would have worried if he hadn't worn the muzzle but they weren't a problem at all tonight.

Dobky followed T-bone very closely and made frequent dominant gestures. T-bone mostly ignored him. Morgan and Kitty returned and Mo seemed almost disinterested in T-bone. I didn't expect that.

Everyone was doing so well that I thought we deserved some time in the big park area. I haven't had so many dogs out there in awhile. It was wonderful to watch them run. They picked up a few burrs but it was worth a little cleanup.

After returning the kennel dogs Kitty and I went to dinner with our pack. Dobky joined Morgan, Jarreau and Marley in a down stay (off-lead) and did well. Everyone was mellow during dinner. It was a good night.


2008-10-17: drizzly Friday by Kyler Laird
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It's been raining so I've not been at the farm as I was expecting. I took Mackey and Keowee out for a walk in the middle of the day and then I got to attend playgroups around 4:30. It's a good thing I got there a little early; only one monitor was there and we were getting a lot of clients. I took over the "big dog" section and my guys had a blast.

I'd gotten a call earlier from a couple friends we know from the Lafayette dog park who wanted to visit. They came and enjoyed seeing so many big dogs getting to play without anyone going crazy. I hope to see them bring their dogs soon.

It wasn't until others left at the end that I could pull the kennel dogs to play. I was expecting the mix of my tired guys and the fresh and nutty kennel dogs to be a challenge but they got along quite well. There was a minor scuffle between GP and Marley once when the dogs were all packed by the gate but that was all. T-bone wore his muzzle the whole time and seems to be doing alright. I'm in no hurry to discontinue the muzzle.

Later tonight I returned to the kennel to spend some time with Crockett. Poor guy! His left leg has been bandaged against his body and he's wearing a "no-bite" collar to keep him from bothering his foot. It reminds me a bit too much of my dog Garbo when he had osteosarcoma. Crockett will be better soon though and I'll try not to upset him in the meantime.  It was drizzling while we were outside so perhaps I'll get to spend time with him tomorrow too.


2008-10-19: CGC testing by Kyler Laird
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After church I drove home and got Morgan while Kitty prepared the testing room at church. Morgan and I returned well before the testing time so we joined Kitty at a congregation meeting. It was good for Morgan to relax for a bit before the test. I gave him a fresh rope toy that I grabbed on the way out of the house but he seemed content just to be out with us.

Just before 1:00 we headed to the testing room. We had lots of volunteers helping! Kitty and Waynetta have been fielding calls and it was good to see some of those people helping. Unfortunately Morgan and I couldn't socialize much with the "strangers."

Morgan and I were the first team of the day so the evaluator explained more to the helpers during our test. I enjoy working with Morgan and he was doing a good job for me. He even passed the "leave it" test! I'm so pleased with how the big guy does.

After our test we all jumped in the car. In 20 minutes it would be time for me to test with Keowee. I dropped Kitty and Morgan at home and picked up Keowee at his foster home. He was crated when I got there and I knew he'd be a little wound up so when we got on the side streets near the church I let him run alongside the car. He was still going strong when we neared the church so I took a detour and he finally seemed a bit tired for the last half mile. We arrived right on time and Keowee was much calmer than usual.

Keowee and I haven't worked together formally in a long time (or ever?) but he did well for me. We barely passed the "neutral dog" test though. He wanted so much to meet Pebbles, and she wanted to meet him too. But we made it! I dropped Keowee back at his house and headed to the farm alone.

On the way home from the farm I stopped at the kennel. I let Judo, Peyton, GP, Fang and T-bone (muzzled) out en masse. They are all so good. There doesn't seem to be any tension at all between them. Peyton and Judo played as usual while GP leaned on me. Fang is just a sweetie; he's everyone's friend. And T-bone...oh, he's a jewel! He's obviously bonded to me a bit but now he's venturing off to play with the other dogs. He doesn't get too worked up though and he always returns to me eventually.

T-bone seemed so comfortable with the other dogs that I decided to go ahead and remove his muzzle but I kept him tethered to me. Even though GP and Fang were constantly crowding us he behaved perfectly. Peyton visited a few times but Judo stayed away when I had T-bone. That concerns me. T-bone wanted to play with the others but I muzzled him each time I released him. I think he's going to be part of the pack soon though. It's a super group and I'm enjoying each one of them.

Everyone went back to their runs easily and I headed over to the hospital side to see Crockett. I could hear barking as I approached but I think it was the new Newf in another run. Crockett and I went outside but he didn't seem very interested. I decided to let him go off-lead; he's still hobbling on three legs so I figured he'd be alright but he headed straight for open water. I quickly looped him and encouraged him to relieve himself but we eventually just went back inside. (And, yes, then I took the Newf outside.)


2008-10-20: T-bone unleashed by Kyler Laird
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I visited the clinic on the way to the farm today to check on Crockett. He's been a challenge. We're still working on keeping him from picking at his pad sutures. It looks like he's already gotten one of them.

I've been so happy with T-bone lately that I wanted to continue working with him. He was wonderful! He's been off-lead a couple times at the farm by accident but I decided to release him today. It was fantastic to watch him run and play in the field. I feared he'd "make like a Husky" and head directly for the horizon. Instead he zipped around, circling back to me occasionally. He had fun! Once he did run off after a cyclist but he wasn't malevolent and he came right back when I crinkled a bag of treats. He got a treat each time he jumped into the truck after that.

I was so happy with T-bone that I tried letting him out with the other dogs at the kennel without a muzzle. Judo is definitely not happy about that but everyone was fine. T-bone finally got to play with Fang and Peyton; they went on for quite awhile. T-bone would try to join when Judo and Peyton played but Judo would always back off whenever T-bone approached. GP just stayed stayed close to me.  It was good.

After everyone returned to their runs I checked on Crockett.  His leg was free but he wore a newly-modified e-collar.  I took him outside for a bit but he didn't seem interested in more.  I think he's tired of being isolated.


2008-11-02: Crockett's outing by Kyler Laird

Today we dropped Bob at the kennel to rest and took Crockett to the farm with our other six home dogs. Crockett was muzzled for the ride and stayed on Kitty's lap. At the farm he ran with the other dogs and seemed generally alright although his pad still looks awful. It was hard to keep it covered all day even though he rode with me.

At the end of the day we left all of the home dogs in the semi in the field while we shuttled trucks. We returned after about ten minutes and I saw Morgan running toward me on the road. Then I quickly spotted the rest of the dogs in the field! Somehow the door to the semi had opened and all of the dogs were free - but Jarreau chose to stay in the semi. (Good dog, Jarreau!) Kitty collected the dogs as I struggled to muzzle Crockett. They all seemed happy to hop into the Jeep but they still avoided Crockett even though he was muzzled and tethered in the back.

We returned Crockett to the clinic and I released all of the dogs in the kennel. Bob stayed tethered to me as he hobbled about. Everyone else did their usual without giving Bob too much grief.


2008-11-02: corn harvest by Kyler Laird
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During soybean harvest I was able to take a breath every so often and write a bit about the dogs and Kitty stayed at home with our dogs there. Since we've been in corn I've hardly had a spare moment. Kitty and I take all of our home dogs (Grazie, Morgan, Jarreau, Marley, Bob, Dexter, Dobky) to the farm in the morning. On the way I pull up a gravel lane in the middle of a couple 'bean fields we've already harvested and I let the dogs run to the end of it where I collect them - except for Bob and sometimes Morgan, who get to chase us back to the road. The dogs are ready to relax a bit  after that.  We load them into the semi and haul grain non-stop all day. Kitty drives the semi and a tandem truck while I drive two tandems. Most of the dogs wait in the semi but we pull a dog or two to go with us in the smaller trucks. We head home well after dark and feed the dogs at home. Kitty and I often go out to eat before or after we visit the dogs at the kennel.

The dogs are generally doing well at the farm. Besides their brief morning run, they often get to run free in the fields and around the barns. The Poodle mixes do especially well and Dexter is doing much better.  Morgan got confused and started to run down the road after Dad's truck once but Kitty called him back. Once when I let the dogs out in the field Bob just started running. He'd obviously slipped into "Husky mode" and was not going to return. Morgan ran after him and they were gone, headed toward the barns. The crops were harvested in the area and I assumed they'd wait by the barns so I didn't worry but when we finally had a full load and headed that way I didn't find the dogs. I got the Jeep and drove all around the farm multiple times without spotting them. Finally I returned to the trucks in the field and there was Bob. I stood on top of the truck and saw a black speck moving my way on a road between a couple of our fields where I didn't even think to look earlier. Morgan was happy to jump in the Jeep when I reached him and I was sooo happy to have him return safely.

Bob and Morgan's instincts got them into trouble again yesterday. We had a bit of a wait for a load as we finished a field so we were all in the semi. It was warm and I had opened the windows. I jumped in the combine to talk to Dad and decided to ride with him as he finished, leaving Kitty with the dogs. Then I got a frantic call from her. I ran back to the end of the field to find Morgan and Bob playing "tug" with a rabbit. (The rabbits come out as we finish a field.) Bob was obviously injured. I think he broke a toe jumping out of the semi. Grrrr...

The kennel dogs are doing wonderfully. Peyton and Judo love to play every night. GP still snuggles close to me a lot but he ventures out more now. Fangman goes between hanging out with me and playing happily with the other dogs. And T-bone is a joy - he is playing well with the other dogs but he craves attention from me. I often call him and he immediately stops whatever he's doing and comes dashing to - and into - me. He is going to be a super dog.

Chewie and Delaney are staying with Layla. It sounds like she's found a home for Delaney but he's had a couple seizures so she's trying to address that before he goes. Chewie is doing well and has recovered from the rough handling GP gave him.

Keowee is still living with Allison and causing some frustrations. He's not doing well in playgroups these days. I had him out with my usual dozen over a week ago and he kept getting into fights. It was like a barroom brawl - as soon as he'd start something several other fights would erupt. There were no injuries but I did break the small camera I usually carry so I haven't been taking many photos recently.

Last Sunday was Dogtoberfest and it seemed to go beautifully. It was windy but the weather was otherwise good. I stayed out in the playgroup area the whole time with my dozen dogs. We were the "playgroup demonstration." All of the dogs were out there most of the time (three hours) and Maddie joined us for awhile too. They did remarkably well, especially for such an extended time and Maddie's first time with many of the dogs. We had some potential adopters visit Peyton and I think one made an application (through IDOG) for him.

The elevator doesn't open until noon today so we're getting a late start. I might swap Bob for Crockett on the way to the farm. I'd like to find a less-demanding foster home where Bob can recover. Crockett has been getting a lot of attention at the clinic, often hanging out in the office along with Chewie, but he's a little stir crazy. He got through to his second set of stitches and removed them Friday morning. We've decided to just let his paw heal on its own. He needs an outing though.


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


2009-02-12: busy February by Kyler Laird
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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.


2009-03-09: Saint Anna, CGC by Kyler Laird
n13740713_45571254_784546

I've been looking forward to the CGC test today but I've not found time to work on preparing the dogs. It's been frustrating. This morning I had work to do but in the afternoon I finally dropped everything else and started "cramming" for the test.

Buddy and I walked to University Place. It was the first time we'd simply taken a walk. He pulled at first but responded well to the clicker and treats. Soon he was heeling right beside me and he continued when we reached UPlace. Buddy often jumped on people for attention when he first came to us so that's been the main focus of my training so far. He's switched to sitting for attention and he's great at that.

At UPlace I worked with Buddy on "down." He's had to learn to down and stay for meals but I'd not had success asking him for a down elsewhere. It only took a few minutes with the clicker for him to get it. We rolled directly from that into stays. He certainly has a tendancy to follow me but once he understood what I wanted he relaxed and seemed content to wait for me. I didn't bother working recalls.

While at UPlace we visited several of the residents and got lots of attention in the physical therapy room. I got lots of comments about finally having a small dog and I enjoyed watching the little guy work the room. He was off-lead in the PT room and he behaved well. He did find a piece of gum in a wrapper on the floor. He brought it to me and traded for a treat.

I walked Buddy home and then drove to Anna's foster home to retrieve her. I entered to find that she'd not been crated and had made quite a mess. (I later learned that she wasn't out for lunch as usual.) I cleaned it a bit before heading back home and was running late. I walked with Anna to UPlace and she got better as we went along, pulling just slightly at first then settling back beside me.

At UPlace she was decidedly more to manage than Buddy. Anna is not at all treat motivated. I tried sticking a treat in her nose a few times but it didn't seem to interest her much. This would be a challenge. As with Buddy, I knew Anna needed help with downs and stays. I took a different approach with her, though. I used encouragement and motion alone to get her to sit and down. For the stay, I used coercion. As I'd see her start to rise I'd grab her collar and force her back to the ground. (O.k., I was also kissing the top of her nose as I did it but it's still not my preferred training technique.) It just took a few times doing that before she got the message and relaxed while I walked away from her.

Anna and I also visited residents and the PT room. She's tall enough to easily interact with people who are sitting and she was quite appreciated. I'd neglected to bring a towel but the staff in the PT room provided one and took turns with it. I think Anna has a wonderful personality but it still surprised me how much so many people appreciated her big, droopy, drooly face.

I took Anna to the health center courtyard to play a little and it was great fun to have her zip around me, bowing and darting. She did run into me once but it was not as bad as I expected. I enjoyed getting to spend some one-on-one time with her. Afterward we went inside and I took a business call while she rested calmly at my feet. We were running behind schedule so I asked Kitty to drive over with Buddy to meet us. I finished the call and jumped in the car just in time to get to the test.

Three dogs went before us, including Peyton. He passed! Anna had been lounging on the floor with me while one of Peyton's girls held Buddy so I took Anna first. She was incredible. We breezed through the test without a great deal of management. The evaluator appreciated her. She was a joy to handle.

Buddy went next. His quick attentive movements were a contrast to Anna's but he also flew through the test without a hitch...until the separation test. He whined a little bit throughout the test but went over the limit just before the three minutes was over. We failed the test and I was frustrated but I can certainly live with him being too focused on me. We'll work on it.


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