Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From Peanut the Rotten, Saint Nubs, and the slightly crazy Cindy!











Sunday, December 9, 2012

Congratulations Peanut!!!

In December of 2011 I took a basic obedience class with Peanut in the hopes of getting her Canine Good Citizen's certification.  She failed miserably.  I mean it was so bad, I never even spoke of it. I was that embarrassed.

See, I started doing Nose-working class on one night a week along with the Obedience class on another night of the week and one of the rules of Nose-working class is you do not do any obedience to the working area, which was in the same building as the Obedience class.  You take a 8 month old puppy to a class that she LOVES (Nose-working) and give her no rules?  Yeah you can guess what started happening.  She didn't just blow her first CGC test, she blew it with only the style that Peanut can.  She knocked over the "stranger" while they attempted to brush her (and gave her so many kisses), play bowed at the strange dog, got zoomies on the loose leash part of the test, and ended up yanking the leash so hard at one point, it almost broke my finger.

Now she had never behaved like this EVER before.  I was so angry that I never spoke about it again.  Had I taken the CGC test at another location where the Nose-working class was NOT held, she would have passed it with flying colors.  I think that's why I will never take another Nose-working class again.  Some dogs NEED rules and Peanut is one of them.  Nubs?  He'd be just fine, but Peanut is really an over the top dog that if she gets an inch, she'll take a mile.

In the middle of November 2012 I got the chance to head out with a friend of mine who happens to also be a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Peanut got a second shot at the test and passed with flying colors.
Congratulations Ms. Peanut!!!

Here are some more photos from the day which included a 7 mile long hike out at our local state park..  Special thanks to Wolf Moon Kennels for allowing me to use these photos!
Left to right: Peanut, Lyric, Ryker, Mika, Luna

Peanut wasn't too keen about being so close to so many "strange" dogs.  She still held her stay, but made she she had her "safety bubble" intact.  

Someone was a little excited to go visit the water.  This is my favorite photo of the day!

"Are you coming???" 
Showing off her off leash skills!

What a Beautiful girl!

I think someone is begging a bit.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm an Animal Abuser? What?

Did you know I'm an animal abuser?  Yeah, I didn't realize it either.  See my dogs are well loved members of my family.  They share my bed, my couch, and heck even my computer chair.  They get a good quality food 2 times a day and even some human food sometimes as a treat.  They just today both just got nice HUGE dog beds to replace the cheaper beds they had, they get walks, get to play all day long, and get to spend the evenings curls up on the couch with me watching TV.

I can hear you now "But that isn't animal abuse!"  and you are right, it's not.  In fact it's a life that every animal lover wishes every dog could live.

Lately there's been a huge outcry online from "Animal Rights Activist" against a sport called Weight Pulling, which if you ever followed this blog you know that I have done this sport with Nubs and plan on it with Peanut in the near future (hopefully).  Now people who have never been to a weight pull only see's what photos show and not the whole picture.

See if you know about weight pull, then feel free to skip over this area, if you don't know anything about the sport or want to know some more about it, then please continue on!

See there are 3 different things you pull on when it comes to weight pulling:


Max Pulled on a Sled(  
Natural Snow Surface: 1,500lbs by both an Alaskan Malamute and an American Bulldog (
Artificial Snow Surface: 2,630lbs by a Mastiff

The sled is the hardest thing to pull on.  After just a hundred lbs, the sled can be quite hard to move depending on snow pack and how much the sled starts to sink into it.  It's not uncommon for just a few hundred lbs to be what dogs top out on.  



Max pulled on a Cart (
Natural Surface: 5,395lbs by an English Mastiff
Artificial Surface: 5,002 by an English Mastiff

Now a cart pull is the middle difficulty.   Realistically this gives you a good idea on what a dog could do out on a farm helping to cart something back for a farmer.



Maxed Pulled on a Rail (NWDA):
12,270lbs by Bart an American Bulldog

This is the EASIEST track to pull (Think how a railroad car can tow a ton more weight then a Semi-truck without too much effort on the engine) on so you get bigger weights pulled on it.  Rails are well greased to help make it easier for dogs to pull.  This same dog might not even pull 1,000lbs on a sled but here pulls 12 times that with the same amount of effort.  So while it sounds more impressive to say "my dog pulled a little over 12,000lbs!" It's not that much of a stretch when you compare each of the three side by side.

If you'd like to learn more about Weight Pulling check out my article on Dogforums: Everything you Wanted to Know About Weight Pulling

Now when people see photos like this:

They scream "ABUSE" because they believe dogs are forced to do this work which it's actually impossible to do and that it's just too heavy for the dogs to pull safely.  See you aren't allowed to touch your dog once they start the pull.  You can get in their face, you can act like you are going to grab their collar, but in the long run, if a dog doesn't want to do the work it's not going to and there's no way to get them too.   Now remember when I was talking just up a bit about how 6,000lbs on a cart system isn't as heavy as it seems?  This is the case.  There's no way a dog could pull this amount of weight on a cart, it's just too much.  But on a rail system?  This is just not getting heavy for these dogs.  The bricks make it look worse then it actually is.

Here's a video of a friends dog who didn't really care for pulling.  At home he LOVED to pull but once he was at a show, just didn't care to do it.  

Howie passed away this past year.  Run Free Howie. 

Here is another example on how a dog can tell you "No" and you have to talk them into it.  If the dog decides "nope" then there's nothing you can really dog about it.  Your dog has to make up their own mind.  This is Ryker pulling 3,747lbs.  You can tell it's heavy but not too bad, he's still pulling it at a quick pace.  

And here is my own Nubs out practicing with a drag sled.  No leash, nothing like that, just me calling him (annoyingly) and nothing more.  

Another thing people like to point out "What about injuries?!?!? You are going to hurt your dog!"

Well, of course you can hurt your dog, heck your dog can get hurt just jumping off of your very own couch.  You don't throw a dog out there and expect him to pull 5000lbs on a cart, yes you could hurt your dog doing that (and well, it's unlikely that is even possible your dog could do it).  You condition your dog and teach your dog to pull correctly to avoid injuries.  Slingshoting is something that needs to be avoided (where a dog will run back toward the cart then fling him self as fast and hard as he can toward the front of the cart to get it to move).  You also want to always have your Vet check your dog for Hip, Knee, and Elbow issues since precondition injuries or genetic issues will make it more likely for your dog to get hurt.

The most common injuries?  Pulled or sore muscles, torn nails, broken nails, and torn pads.  In fact pulling weights can help dogs with hip and knee issues as it strengthens the muscles around the dogs joints. 

One other thing I hear is "Put a harness on the humans and let them pull it!"  Watch those vidoes again.  See those people in the back ground right behind the carts?  They are the "cart helpers" which help load the weights on the cart, stop the cart to make sure that the dogs are SAFE from sudden stops and at the end of the pulls, then the cart help PULLS the cart back to the start line.  So yes we humans have to pull that cart more often then our dogs do.  

So I'm not asking you to ever love weight pulling, I really don't care if you like the sport or not.  What I am asking you is to STOP CALLING US ANIMAL ABUSERS!  This is NOT animal abuse.  We do not harm our dogs at all doing this sport.  I got into the sport because the bond between owner and dog was amazing for me.  Animal abusers do not care about their animals well being.  We do care about our dog's well being, in fact we care about it so much many of us are on a first name bases with our vets (I feel like I've paid for my Vets daughter's new car here recently).  

I am NOT an animal abuser.  I love my dogs, and I'd do anything for them.  Just because I give them a nice outlet for their pulling energy doesn't mean I'm being cruel to them.  Is there too much?  Yes there is.  Are there people who push it too much? Yes there are.  Do I associate with them? NOPE. They know how I feel about them.  So please don't label everyone in one group.  There are only a very small percentage of people who do actually take things too far.  I am not one of those people.  I hope someone learns something from this post and now that I have typers cramp...

Good night from the Nut House!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Late Halloween Post

Two post in one night?  WOW I know, shocking but I had to post this CUTE photo from the SPCA of Southwest Michigan's Dog-O-Ween event.
Peanut halloween

She was the perfect Pit Bull ambassador at the event.  It's events like that where you can see all the time and effort I put into her really well.  She loves being the center of attention, even giving kisses to anyone she can. She's turning into a great dog.  Can't ask for much better!

Peanut First Win!

On Saturday Nov. 3rd, Mid Union Sled Haulers (MUSH) held a fun event out at our local state park.  After going back and forth on it, I was talked into taking Peanut out for the bikejoring race.  Every time I've tried to do bikejoring with her, I've been scared to death of it because Peanut is a very powerful dog that LOVES to pull and pull FAST, dart across the path where I almost ran her over, and dart after anything that catches her eye.  In other words, it's very dangerous.  I normally only do it on a scooter, which is low to the ground and a lot safer.  I decided to try it anyways.

I made it to the event at 9am, we started our run at 10 am.  This was my first time running on a path, we've only done urban and NEVER with other dogs around.  I had no clue what to expect from Peanut.  We were biker number 4 out of 6.  I harnessed Peanut up, put on my helmet, and got to the starting line.  Then we took off on the 2 1/2 mile course.

At first Peanut was unsure, we had two canicross runners coming at us and Peanut just couldn't understand what to do.  It took us a few mins to get back on track and off we went.
Pull Peanut

After we got going, I could hear biker number 5 right behind me, so I pulled over and let him go past.  After that Peanut seemed to get the idea of what she was going to do and pulled and ran like a champ!  At the 1.10mile mark one of the bike runners had a spill and the guy I was following had issues with his dog passing the spill (the person was just fine).  I yelled at Peanut to "on by" and SHE DID!  We were gone.  She was Haw and Geeing like a PRO!  I was so proud of her.  It's like she knew what she was doing.  At the 1 1/2 mile mark, things took a turn for the worse.  We were going up a small hill, and I was peddling when MY CHAIN CAME OFF!  For the last mile, I was under Peanut power, there was nothing I could do.  

Peanut was a pro by this time, and was running like a champ.  We came up on another team (biker #3 with 2 dogs) and stayed behind them until we crossed the finish line.  Peanut was WONDERFUL!  We finished in 18mins and 22 seconds and we took THIRD PLACE!  
Peanut won

Very proud of my little girl.  This was her first win ever, so from thinking we'd not even finish to taking third place, I couldn't be prouder of my little hellhound.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Public Relation Events

In the past week and a half,  I've had a few different public relation events that I've had taken Peanut out to for the SAR team.  People really do not understand how much time it really takes to train a dog for even large events like what we've been to lately.  These two days have shown me how much time I've really put into Peanut and even though she has her "issues" over all, she's a sound dog out in public.

The first event was for Fire Prevention.  We had multiple fire departments, the sheriff's departments horse posse, our SAR team, the county SAR team, and even a helicopter fly in.  It was BUSY with families, a couple hundred people at least.  It was by far the largest and longest event Peanut has ever been to.  In the two hours we were there, Peanut greeted over 100 kids and adults with butt wiggles and kisses, had sirens go off so close to us that it even made me jump sky high with no real issue, and had a HELICOPTER fly over here less than 30ft above us and land less than 30ft from where we were standing without an issue!  I was floored by how good she way.  It was like all the fears she has are inside buildings.  She's fine outside with everything including even gunshots.

It's wonderful to see Peanut in all her glory out among people, doing what the breed LOVES to do which is love on people.  I look at it like this, over the past week in a half between 2 events, 200 or so people can say "Yeah I met a Pit Bull once.  She was a Search dog and was just the sweetest thing ever!".  Maybe of those 200 people she changed some minds on the breed and maybe one day if something happens they remember that search dog they met back in the day and know that it's not every dog.  It's not breed, it's the owner.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sometimes Photos are Worth a 1000 Words!

And sometimes 3 photos are worth 3000 words!

"What? I didn't do it!  I'm innocent!"

"Ok, now what trouble can I get into?"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"I'm not listening!" & Puzzle Toys!

Ever have those nights where you honestly consider if you really want to keep your dogs (well, rather keep one of your dogs) or rehome them?  Last night was one of those nights with Peanut.  "Oh but she's so CUTE!" and "She can't be that bad!" you say?  Well let me tell you the story of yesterday.

After 20mins of running after the flirt pole, Peanut was still wound up tighter then a spring.  She was bouncing off the walls, play bowing at anything that moved (including the TV), and just being a flat out brat.  I decided well, since she was so wound up I'd do some training with her, and mentally tire her out.  For SAR work, I've started to use a simple toy that she LOVES, it's a piece of fur tied on a stretchy rope.  She'll do anything for that toy, but is very driven, almost too driven for it.  So I've been working with her for the past few days trying to get it through her mind that the only way she gets that toy is to work for it.  Well, last night she had other plans.  She was being grabby, snatchy, and wouldn't drop it on command, so I put the toy away on top of the 6' tall fridge and sat down to watch TV for a bit while she cooled down.


I jump sky high, and watch as Peanut takes a running leap, runs up the side of the fridge, and snatches the toy right off the top of the fridge.  Yup, you heard me.  I wish I had a camera running while these things happened!  After I laid into her, I spend the next 5mins prying the toy out of her mouth (MOM!  I worked HARD to get this toy.  You can't have it) and then sent her to her bed.

After I cooled off (I tell you I haven't been that mad in a while) I decided to pull out my Nina Ottosson puzzle toy to work Peanut's mind.  Now these toys are very expensive, but I really like them for Peanut who is a very smart dog.  It's the Dog Tornado puzzle toy and it's east to use for us humans, and can go from super easy for dogs like Nubs to hard for Peanut.

Nubs is first.  I set it up as super easy just to get him started.  It's easy for him and he gets it done fast. NOTE: might want to turn down your volume a hair.  It's pretty loud

Now I decided to see what he can do and make it just a little harder.  I can honestly say I was very impressed!  He did better then I thought (this coming from a dog that takes over 45mins to clean out a food toy when he's very food motivated).  I do have to say that the toy that we use to cover the treats is very hard to grip when it's dry and worse when it's covered in dog slobber, so if it wasn't for that he'd done GREAT.  

Now it's Peanut's turn, and well I'll let the video show you how smart she is with these toys.

I swear if she had thumbs the world would be doomed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Adventures With Peanut

Wow, TWO updates in a month.  I'm spoiling you girls and guys.

This week has been an ongoing adventure.  My vet techs and I have started to get on a first name bases over the phone.  I give a round of applause to every GOOD Vet Tech and Veterinarian out there for all the hard work you do to help us pet owners over the phone.

It's been one long HOT summer, and with my life changing as much as it has (kicked my ex out and went from a 2 person income to a 20hr a week income), and with the Search and Rescue team on the rocks (long story there) we haven't been doing as much training as we should normally be.  Therefore, one black dog has been "bored" and finding things to do.  Yeah it's my fault, I fully blame myself (how often do you see that?).  So Peanut has taken back to fence jumping.  Yup!  So I've spent my mornings in my yard figuring out how she's jumping the fence.  Every time I think I figure it out, she has found a different way to get out.  Yeah, it's getting old.

Now Peanut's actually been a pretty darn good dog lately and behaving herself.  That came to an end this week.  On Tuesday I was really sick with a sore throat and stuff like that.  I had a few cough drops in the middle of my table.  On Wednesday, I'm sitting at my computer before work, and the dogs are in the living room chewing on antlers.  Nubs is facing me, which normally they always have their eyes drilled into my skull (I might leave them you know).  Peanut had her back to me, and out of no where the smell of Cherry Cough Drop hit me.  Sure enough I walk over to Peanut and you could smell it on her breath.  -sighs-

Friday's was the worst to date though.  In my kitchen, I have a counter top, then on that counter top I have a microwave.  On top of that is the medicine cabinet, which is a good 6ft off the ground.  While I was blowdrying my hair getting ready for work, someone climbed up into that cabinet and knocked out some medication which then dropped and opened when they reached the floor.  I busted Peanut as she was swallowing my last gummy Rescue Remedy anxiety pill.  YAY!  

I was over an hour late to work while I sat out in the yard and watch Peanut stalk the yard with her ears pinned back, tail between her legs, glaring at me like "YOU MADE ME SICK!  YOU ARE A DEAD HUMAN!" Finally after 20mins of waiting she threw up all the medication, and I was able to go to work.  

Yesterday (Saturday), was the last day of the Hot Air Balloon World Championships.  If you've never been able to see 100+ hot air balloons in the air at once, it's something you HAVE to see.  I've grown up with hot air balloons living were I do, and this city will always have them around.  Figured it would be a GREAT training opportunity to take Peanut out  there with out Search and Rescue team and train with distractions (a 60ft tall Hot Air Balloon inflating and taking off is a BIG distraction too).

"Hello did you say something?" 
Peanut under the SAR table watching everyone go past.

Peanut did WONDERFUL!  There was upwards of 500 people around us at any given time.  It was really shoulder to shoulder packed full with 10 hot air balloons filling up less then 20 feet away from us.  Only at this festival can you actually walk underneath a 60 ft tall balloon and see what it's like to look inside of 10-100 of them at once.  It's simply amazing.  Peanut watched a few take off, then was more interested in the food the people next to us were eating.

"It's hot out here! OH FOOD!"

She heeled on a loose leash around all the people, did sits and downs on command, and even played nice with young kids who would stop by with their sweet, sticky fingers and pet her.  She did awesome.  While she is a HUGE pain in the butt, she really has turned into a wonderful dog.  Loves people, loves activities, and loves to work.  Can't ask for a better dog!
"Behaving myself and being a good breed ambassador is HARD work!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Peanut the Wanna-be Cat

I often refer to Peanut's personality as very "cat like" since she's a bit aloof with new people but warms up quickly to people.  The fact she's very "smart" and has a "I'll do what I want when I want to" attitude, but still likes most everyone.  I also refer to her as "cat like" because of how agile she is.

I recently started training Peanut for scootering as a new way to give her an outlet for her massive amount of energy and a way to use her mind.  It also helps to train her for weight pulling so it's killing two birds with one stone.  She's really starting to love doing it (she actually starts dancing like she does with her flirt pole which is amazing).  Well I was out riding with her and when I returned my Dad was in my yard which is normal, but the following conversation wasn't.

Dad: Hey did you get a new dog?
Me: Um, No.... Oh wow, who is that? (takes Peanut quickly and puts her in the house)
Dad: I don't know.  You left the gate open and he decided to come in and say hello to Nubs (who was in the outside kennel)
Me: -sighs- Oh I bet Nubs was happy with that. (Nubs doesn't care too much for new dogs anymore)

Sure enough there was a 60lb Pointer/Bully mix walking around my yard with a sqeaky toy in his mouth.  He just made himself at home and was happy as heck to stick around.  After about 20 mins of walking around and seeing if I could find his home, I returned to the house with the dog (who later I found out was named Gumby) and walk inside where I had Peanut still running loose and look what I see Ms. Tude herself up to:

Note: Please excuse the mess I was thrown for a loop when Gumby  stopped by

Yes Peanut climbed in a window, that she really can't get too and was sitting in it just like a cat would.  I laughed so much over this sight.  That's my girl!

Thanks to Facebook, I was able to locate the Shelter where Gumby was adopted from and he was returned there today to find a new home.  If you ever adopt a pet, PLEASE see if your shelter will take the dog back PRIOR to selling your new pet.  Lots of shelters require you to return the dog/cat before you sell them.  Thankfully this shelter always takes their adoptions back so Gumby returned (same shelter I got Nubs from) and will find hopefully a better home this time.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Long Awaited Update (Lots of photos)

I can't believe it's been so long since I updated this blog.  Well I can since there hasn't been any real progress and a lot of stuff has been happening in my life to keep me from posting.

She's turning into a wonderful dog.  She's now been with me for officially over a year now!  Can you believe it?  I can't!  I mean look at how much she's changed:

The recent heat has really kept us from doing any Search and Rescue training so between that and a falling out between me and one of the other members of the team it's been slow going.  Thankfully I have a dear friend who is willing to help me out once the heat breaks which looks like this week.

What can I say about this nut?  He's been having issues with both of his knees again and I'm at a loss at what to do.  He doesn't seem in much pain so I've been treating him with some pain pills for bad days, and lots of different herbal remedies which seem to lessen his pain.  Wish I could win the lotto and take him to a doctor at Michigan State Univ. and get both of his knees fixed finally.  It sucks watching your dog grow older and start to have issues.  At least he isn't in pain, and still loves a good cuddle.  I just feel guilty when I take Peanut out for our nightly walks, while that was Nubs favorite thing in the world.  Makes me want to cry just thinking about it.  Maybe here shortly I'll get a job that gives me more then 17hrs a week and I'll be able to actually afford more things like that.

Anyways, He's doing great knee's aside.  He's such a ham and has been such a cuddle bug as of late.  Love my boy so much.  He's the best dog I could ask for.

And now one last photo of both of the Nuts!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peanut Broke the Half Mile Mark and an Update on Nubs.

This is the day I've been looking forward to for a while now, the day Peanut broke the half mile mark with her tracking, AND had a successful find without any help from me at all.

See, the number one rule in Search and Rescue is TRUST YOUR DOG, can you picture trusting your dog while searching for a child lost in the snow? I'm still only searching for Men or Women that volunteer to go hide in the woods and are in full contact with these people and it's STILL nerve racking to trust your dog. More so when your dog never indicates rather they are on a scent or not.

Peanut LOVES to search. She has a blast doing it, and making her find, but she has no indication at all rather she's on a scent or not. It's always GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGOOOOO. I constantly have to ask her if she's still working or not because there is no way to tell if she's still tracking the person we are after. Today for example, there is a fork in the path we use, and our victim can go left or right. There is no way I can know which way they go, I have to trust my dog. Now Peanut has been wrong before, and I have trusted her, and until she came back to me and started playing with me, did I know she wasn't on scent.

Today after 6mins into our track I asked Peanut "Are you SURE you are working?" She just spun around and looked at me with a grin on her face, and kept moving, but she had a dance in her step. Sure enough 20ft away was the guy we were searching for, hiding behind a tree. It was a proud moment for myself and Peanut. Peanut was so excited to find the guy and to get her treat (just one piece of cheese).

Not that amazing? I want you to sniff a person's hat, and then find them in the first half mile of a forest without cheating, only using your nose. Could you do it? I know I can't. So CONGRATULATIONS PEANUT! Shows you even street dogs can do amazing things!

Monday brings Peanut's Spay, so everyone keep her in your thoughts on Monday. This will be the first time she's ever been put under and out of my care in the time she's been with me.

Well, I wish I could tell you that Nubs was back to his old self and starting to do some work himself, but sadly that's not the case. Nubs tore his ACL/CCL again, this time on the knee that he never had surgery on. For those keeping track that is 3 in under 2 years. Right now I am trying the non-surgical route with crate rest and lots of supplements. Seems to be doing well, this is day 5 of crate rest and besides Nubs going crazy from being in a crate, his leg is showing much improvements. Surgery isn't out of the question for the future, but with my hours being cut down to 17hrs a week (yeah how lovely right?) as long as he's not in pain, we will do this.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nubs Always Gets What He Wants.

Peanut's crate is right next to my computer, under my computer desk. On nights that I'm on my computer, Nubs lays in Peanut's crate to be close to me while Peanut normally runs in between laying in my computer chair with me or on the love seat staring at me.

Tonight is like every other night. Nubs is curled up in Peanut crate, while Peanut alternates different places. Well at some point tonight, Nubs stands up and grabs a drink of water. All of a sudden I feel Nubs's head on my lap which he does all the time when he wants to be loved on. Not taking my eyes off the computer, I use one hand to pet Nubs and the other on my mouse (multi-tasking FTW!). Just a normal night in this house.

After a few minuets of petting him, he's starting to whine and nudge me even more. So he wants something so I ask him "What's up Nubs?" This is when he turns toward Peanut cage and starts pawing at the bed inside.

Now Peanut has never been much for her crate. She likes her crate, but will not go in to it unless I ask. Even then sometimes I have to make her go into it. She's just not fond of it.

I finally make out a figure in her crate. Peanut, while Nubs was grabbing a drink had taken over her bed, kicking Nubs out of it.

I have to laugh. Silly puppy. Nubs gives up and makes his way to the love seat while Peanut seems content with the new sleeping arrangements. As soon as I hear Nubs crawl up on the couch, Peanut takes off because all she wants to do is cuddle up to Nubs. Two seconds after Peanut runs into the living room, Nubs is hauling tail and again laid claim to Peanut's crate.

Nubs always gets what he wants.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Peanut Takes to the Water

Well, I think I can officially call Peanut a water dog.

Today I took her out to the lakes where she could play and we could do some nice hiking to get some of that pent up energy that she's had for the past few days out. The last time I had her out where she could play in the water was last August when she decided to pull down my suit while there were about 30 guys hanging around :-/

Anyways, We started out hiking though the woods tonight and after a quarter mile came up to a boat launch that was crowded with people. It was pretty hot out today so before we took off to a place where I knew wouldn't be crowded, I let Peanut go take a drink from the lake. As soon as Peanut spotted the water, her eyes grew to the size of a saucer and before I could even stop her she did a dead jump as far into the water as she could get on a 6ft leash.

After I pulled her out of the water, very unhappily, we took off to a group campsite that I knew would be empty on a Sunday. Sure enough there was no one around, and we were far enough away from the main path where we would be undisturbed. As soon as I took off her leash she was GONE and all you could see was her tail sticking up from the water where she dove in.

After a few laps (I've never seen a dog that just enjoyed swimming around that much before) I pulled out a water toy that I brought just for this. She doesn't like playing fetch, but she though this was the BEST GAME EVER! The only time I see her this driven is in her harness on a search or on her Flirt Pole. I think I may have a Dock Dog out of her yet.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Peanut!

Ok, so I have no actual clue how old Peanut is, but she came to my home on June 23rd and she was roughly 3 months/12 weeks old at that time. Soooo, roughly she is one year of age!

So just lets just take a look at her from the day she came home, to today:










Happy Birthday Peanut! Already in the short amount of time you've been here with me you've come so far. I can't wait to see what this year brings.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Be Careful For What You Wish For

I remember when I first started looking into a second dog with the thought of Search work in the back of my head, I knew I wanted a smart dog that could think on their own yet biddable for what I wanted them to do. They also needed the drive and stamina to work long hours and never want to give up. Sound like a certain dog to you?

Peanut is everything I asked for. Biddable, driven, has stamina that can be up there with a Border Collies, an she's smart. I mean SMART. She's a problem solving dog. I've watched her do amazing things to get what she wants. Today's story goes along these lines.

I've always had issues with Peanut and her NEED to search out all the smells, mostly in the kitchen where I'll be honest I have a bad habit of leaving food out on the stove. Yes it's my bad. Easy way to fix the issue is to just not leave anything on the counter, but I'm as stubborn and bullheaded as my dogs. So it's a daily fight with Peanut on countersurfing. I tried a ton of different things from counter conditioning, to squirt bottles (Found out she LOVES squirt bottles), to loud pots and pans falling on the floor, to even an electronic collar which it didn't take long for that girl to figure out what was going on. Finally I resorted to the final option, mouse traps.

Now I HATED the thought of doing this. I just didn't want to think about hurting my poor, innocent dog. I mean what if it snapped her and hurt her nose? I couldn't do such a thing! Then I thought about it. This is the same dog that rips her paw pad open until it's bloody and never thinks twice about it. This is the dog that keeps ripping open the top of her head because she hasn't learned not to play rough. This is the dog that RIPPED off her own toenail and never even whimpered about it. Yeah, a mouse trap isn't going to do squat to harm this dog. So I tried it.

SUCCESS! It only took a few days before she wasn't surfing counters or the garbage anymore! -does happy dance- The 3rd or 4th time cracked me up because after it went off she walked past me and just gave me the "Peanut Glare" which I didn't realize it then, but now I realize that means, she's on to me.

The other day I'm sitting here when I heard a mouse trap go off. Didn't think much about it until I kept hearing the garbage bag rattle. There was Peanut, body deep into the garbage. What in the world? I give her an ear full, and then go pick up the trash. In the trash was one of Peanut's rope toys. All I could think to myself is "What is that doing in the trash?"

The next day I see Peanut walking past me with that rope toy and I just watched. Peanut walked up to the garbage that was on the floor ready to be taken out with my next trip. She looked at me to see if I was watching her then, no this isn't me pulling your leg, she walks up and TOSSES THE ROPE ON THE MOUSE TRAP!

/bangs head on desk

If she has opposable thumbs, the world would be in a lot of danger.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One "Winter" Morning...

This winter has been very WEIRD weather wise. I can't say I don't love it, but I could deal without the mud. This is how my mornings go around here in the Nut House.

It was a typical morning during a very weird and mild Lower Michigan winter. The first sound I hear of the day is the annoying alarm clock waking me from my warm slumber. As I groggily make my way from my once warm cocoon, my feet hit the cold that even my wool socks can't protect me from. I miss the 3 to 5ft of snow that we normally use to insulate the house and block the cold air from the crawlspace under the house. I hit snooze and make a mad dash back to the warmth of my bed, but that doesn't stop the next sounds that wake me up.
-CLANK CLANK CLANK- Someone forgot to remove Nubs's food bowl from his crate last night. I can just picture him in his crate, smacking his bowl around with a look of starvation on his pouty face.
-CLINK CLINK CLINK- There goes Peanut adding in her two cents, but it's her tail this time around. She knows when Nubs stands at his crate's door, I will be around soon for her morning dose of wonderful, glorious heat.
-WONK WONK WONK WONK- Was it seven minuets already? Oh COME ON! This isn't fair. I jump up again, this time the floor seems even colder and my feet seem to protest the thought of touching it. So I stand on the bed, LLLEEEAAAANNNNN over to the clock and hit that darn snooze button and again make a mad dash back to bed.
-WWWHHHHIIIIMMMPPPPEEEERRRR- Ahh there's that sound I was waiting for. Nubs is telling me that he's not happy that I hit snooze again. I pull my pillow over my ears and lay there with a -sigh-
-high pitched yawn- Not even a pillow can cover the noise of Peanut's yawn. I swear that it could cut glass if she could learn to aim it.
-WONK WONK WONK WONK- OK FINE I'M UP! I give up. I roll out of bed with a growl and turn off that annoying alarm. As I walk out the bedroom door, I make sure to turn up the heat. Peanut would DIE with out this little bit of morning heat.

I carefully let the dogs out of their crates and get ambushed with two wiggling butt and wagging tongues before both make a mad dash to the heater to warm up their cold bones. This gives me about five minuets of freedom to do what I need to get done before the breakfast runs start.
Oops! I forgot that cup was out there. Thankfully it was empty. Still didn't stop Ms. Nose from checking it out. Mr. I'M TELLING is now underfoot letting me know that Ms. Nose is up to no good, and sure enough she's on the back of the couch trying to plot the end of the world. No wait! In a blink of an eye she's on the Loveseat in a play bow giving me the evil eye. Now she hits the back of the Loveseat, jumps off of that on to the back of the Couch and then does a leap onto the floor. My head is spinning already. It's too early for this and I haven't had my coffee yet.
"HEY! KNOCK IT OFF!" I roar, which only makes her stop for a microsecond before she's off chewing on her antler. I sigh and go make my coffee. Well while my back is turned, she's now in my computer chair next to the Kitchen table and is checking out what crumbs may be on it.
"PEANUT!" I roar again, as she bolts out of the kitchen. The heater has kicked back on and Nubs has made a home in front of it and Peanut has decided for the second to use him as a pillow. I try to get a photo of it, but my attempt is unsuccessful as Peanut jumps up and darts off after who knows what. I turn back to my computer to check my emails, and other important things (HEY! NO LAUGHING! Facebook is important right? RRRIIIGGGHHHTTT???)

All of a sudden a light -crinkle- hits my ears. "PEANUT!" I say without even looking away from my screen "GET OUT OF THE GARBAGE" then I hear the -clatter clatter- of her nails across the floor and as she passes I get the "I hate you" glare of a puppy just caught red pawed in the garbage.

Now Nubs is standing on my feet dancing and can I say that a 65lb dog on your feet HURTS? I look at him and it causes him to dance more. His shadow is right behind him staring holes into my body.
"Yes? Can I help you?" I ask them both. This causes Nubs to start dancing in circles and Peanut to run to her crate and stand right outside the door.
"What do you do?" I ask them knowing very well what they want. Peanut makes a mad dash into her crate, barely making it as the door was still opening as she ran past and slides in. Nubs just dances around like he's dancing around a fire.
"Nubs, cage" I remind him. He dances a little more then runs out of the kitchen. Honestly I love him, but it's times like this I wonder how smart he really is.
"Nubs Cage" I say again. This time he darts back in to the kitchen and dances again, this time with drool strands forming on either side of his mouth.
"If you want Yum-Yum, get in your cage!" This time he listens and darts into his crate while I quickly shut it behind him or he'll dance right out of his crate.

As I fill the dishes of the dog's food, I hear only a slight whimper of Nubs reminding me that I need to hurry before he dies of starvation. I laugh to myself knowing very well that he could skip a few meals and by just fine, but do not tell him that. Mr. Over-Dramatic might go into a depression trying to guilt me into another bowl.

As I finally get to actually drink my coffee and surf the web, the whining starts again. This time to tell me they are done and want to play. I sigh as I put my headphones on and turn on something to listen to to drown out the cries of two dogs devastated to be in their crates while their food settles (since you know they don't even chew the stuff). This is how my day starts and it's only the first 30mins of the day! Maybe I'll continue one day with the after breakfast fun. Got to love my dogs!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Peanut's SAR Training and Nubs Update

One day I'll get enough ambition to change the banner image at the top of the page to reflect both Nubs and Peanut. I just haven't had a good photo of Peanut and I have no clue what I want the banner to reflect. So one day I'll change it.

I've been getting a lot of questions regarding how Nubs is doing and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get an update of him. Nubs knee is MUCH stronger now and the surgery did MUCH better this time around. He rarely limps on the knee except for times when there is a change in weather. A few weeks back we had a major scare that he may have weakened his good knee when he hurt his front paw. One thing they do not ever tell you in the breed description is how accident prone this breed is. They ignore pain better then many other breeds so they end up hurting themselves more then other breeds.

Anyways, It took almost 2 weeks for Nubs to heal and be back to normal after hurting his front paw and since then he's shown no signs of weakness in that good knee. So all-in-all Nubs is doing GREAT! He'll never weight pull again (in fact I sold his harness a few months ago) but maybe agility isn't out of the question. We will see how it goes.

Search and Rescue training has started again finally and I couldn't be more excited. Well I could if it wasn't 13*F outside with wind chills in the single digits, but that's a whole other topic. We've taken a few months off because of the holidays and family issues so it was a dry run on Sunday to see how the dogs would do. Shockingly they did splendid! I know I shouldn't be shocked but I've tried over the past 2 months to work with Peanut and tracking my scent and she's just not interested, but Sunday she shocked me. She took off after the scent like she has been doing it for ever and followed the track like a pro. The only time she gets confused is when we come to the subject because she always does a full circle around the subject and then goes to him. She did two tracks, both about a quarter mile long. Some of her longest tracks to date.

I decided that with my Tax returns, Peanut needed an actual tracking harness. I did a bit of looking around, and a lot of tracking harnesses I found I felt they didn't give the dog enough room to move, or might cut off the wind pipe as they were searching. So after giving it some thought, I decided on a leather tracking harness that is also known as an agitation harness. Now don't let the name fool you. It's a tracking/Schutzhund harness and I find it to be much more hardy, safer, and works really better then other harnesses I found. Sunday proved to me how nice of a harness it was since Peanut was in full blown CRAZY search mode and the harness allowed me to have more control over her speed and didn't choke her. I love it. If your interested in where I go the harness from let me know and I'll tell you. They currently do not have a website but when they do I will be posting it here!


And then both of my favorite pups!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nail Drama!

Today was nail, ear, and teeth day and I know the dogs never look forward to it because honestly I don't either. Nubs is good for it. He'll pull his paw away a few times, but overall lets me do whatever I wanted to him without too much hassle. It wasn't always like this as at one time it took 2 people holding him down and lots of treats and peanut butter to get all four feet done. Today that's a thing of the past but with Peanut the nightmare is all returning.

I sat down on the floor while Peanut watched me do Nubs's nails and ears from the couch. I figure maybe if she see's that big brother doesn't mind his nails being clipped and dremeled that she'll learn it's ok as well. Hey it worked with the Hair Dryer! When I finished with Nubs I had him go lay down and called Peanut over. She walks up all shy, with that cute little loving look in her eye and walked past me at first then walked right into my lap, laid down and curled up with me laying her head on my chest and just gave me the cutest/sweetest kiss on my chin. I mean how can you not MELT when your dog does that? Nubs was not happy about his Mom cuddling with Peanut on the floor and ended up being banished to his crate. Nubs standing there demanding my attention, licking at my face frantically isn't going to get you far!

So after I ended the cuddle with Peanut (which was so hard I tell you), it was time to go to work. First I play with her paws a tad getting her use to being handled again, and I snip the first nail, and that was the end of nail clipping on her for the day. She jumped up, gave me that "OH HOW DARE YOU VIOLATE ME LIKE THAT!" look, and walked away. I didn't clip it too short, in fact I only took of the tip because she moved and I didn't want to get too much. She was being that big of a diva. I should have known not to even try the dremel, but did anyways. Yeah, that is going to take some work.

On a good note, Peanut knows how to speak on command! The bad news is she has a horrible, screeching bark and she knows how to bark on command :(. Life around here is never boring that's for sure.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life with a Nose Working Dog

I've been battling a nasty little cold the past few days so last night I decided to take some Nightquil to knock me out so I could sleep. The only issue with the stuff I have is the next morning it is HARD to wake up. My normal wake up time is 9am yet today I rolled out of bed at 10:30am. Oops!

Nubs was whining in his crate because his food was an hour late, and Peanut was whining because her daily dose of morning heat from the heater was an hour late. I feed them, let them outside, then decide that because of how sick I am, breakfast would be a good thing to help keep me up and going at work. I had some left over ham from New Years Day, then the last 6 eggs, and 4 slices of cheese... Scrambled eggs anyone?

I sit everything out, and turn on what is now known in my house as the "Puppy sitter" AKA the furnace and then let the dogs back inside. Nubs makes a mad dash to the heater, with Peanut on his heals. As she passes the food on the counter top, you can just see the wheels in her head start turning. I'm surprised that she didn't get whiplash with how fast her head whipped back toward the smell of the food. Her body followed her head and she ended up on her belly resembling Bambi and his first steps on ice.

It only took her a few seconds to get her footing, and she was doing her thing trying to locate where the source of smell was coming from. It took her 3 seconds to locate the bowl of Ham on the counter and .2 seconds to indicate to me that she had found the smell. How does she indicate you ask? Well, what better way then paws on the counter and taking the ham bowl in her mouth and trying to pull it off the counter.

Me- "Peanut, thank you for locating that smell. What would I do without you?"
Peanut - "No need to thank me Mom. Just give me the reward of eating the ham, and we will call it good"
Me- "I don't think so young lady. This is my food and that's that."
Peanut- "Tough call Mom. I think you will give me that ham or I will melt you with the power of cuteness!"
Me- "Try me!"

It didn't work. Peanut was put outside the kitchen (which lasted a whole 30seconds) and I went back to making my food.

Nose working dogs are great dogs, but their noses NEVER turn off.