Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Just a coupla pics

Franklin enjoying the dog park, Monroe St. in Alexandria

Leo not enjoying getting his picture taken at the dog park.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Holistic Dog

Since Franklin has a little trouble relating to humans and has been reluctant to get in his crate, I am trying Bach's Flower Essences on him, per Lloyd's recommendation. He is taking Aspen, Rescue Remedy and Mimulus. Lloyd also recommended Water Violet, but I was unabel to find that in the store. He hasn't had too much interaction with people since he started the therapy, so it remains to be seen whether it will work. I will start trying to get him in his crate this weekend. I plan to put treats and food in there to entice him & keep the experience positive.

Also, I am considering a new diet for him, called BARF. People say BARF stands for different things, but the most common one I've heard is Biologically Available Raw Food. This means feeding the animal food that it would be eating in the wild. He will get raw chicken necks, backs and wings. Raw chicken bones are not brittle (as they are when they're cooked), so the choking hazard is less. He'll also get some livers, hearts, kidneys, etc. and kelp, which is very nutritious.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Puppy Class Plus

It was yet again another Hell Saturday (see earlier post on this topic) on June 10, 2006. We have a medium-sized class this time, with an English Bulldog, a couple of black labs, a Boxer and two unruly & aggressive German Shepherds. The Shepherds will stay outside the group for the next several weeks until they learn some manners and are accepting of the other dogs in class. By the end of that first class, they were fairly clam and were able to be within 30 feet of the other dogs without barking. The owners of these dogs have some major work to do. I admire their committment - they drive all the way from Frederick, MD to Great Falls, VA early on Saturday mornings to help their dogs.

We also had an Off Leash Readiness class, in which Franklin is supposed to participate. He will not get to come to class until a week from this Saturday, because I have agreed to handle a dog for one of the students whose husband can't be at class (they have 2 dogs). But it's a pleasure to work with Bonnie Blue Eyes, the black lab/husky mix. She's a big flirt and so smart. The Rottweiler in Off Leash Class was giving her big kisses!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's Been a Year!

It's been about 1 year since I started this whole doggie journey. I left a really crappy job in February 2005, and spent a couple of months being depressed and tired. When my severance from the job ran out, I got up off my butt and emailed every dog trainer I could find in the DC area, and I got a part time job at the doggie daycare.

I worked with one trainer for a few months, but she was mainly doing dog sitting and very little training. I hooked up with Lloyd, and away I went! After I attended Lloyd's first puppy class, I was hooked, and I love it more and more every week.

The daycare job was really difficult, I must say. Some of the dogs honestly should not have been allowed there. See one of my early posts about that. Working there was a great experience, and the 20 hours a week I worked allowed me to get my own dog. I always felt like owning a dog was a distant dream, given my past full-time work schedule and my lack of yard. I did research and found that having a Pug in a condo was feasible. I found a reputable AKC registered breeder and connected with my little baby dog Franklin.

Franklin is a joy - he learns very quickly and loves being around other dogs. He is a bit shy of people, but we're working on that.

Now I'm back working full time in an office, attending to my apprentice duties during off hours and on weekends. Franklin plays at Lloyd's house every day & is completely zonked out at night (see pic of Franklin & Lloyd's dog, Crash).

Life is good.