Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh Dear!

Bugsy has slept all day.

This is a rare occurrence and in this instance I attribute it to the dark, gloomy weather and we were all up about 4:30am.

This is very, very bad.
The next four hours or so will be a challenge; how to entertain and tire a 105lb ball of energy in the house (its pouring outside)

We've played some hallway fetch - until he cracked the tennis ball in half.
We played a bit with the intellibone toy.
we did some basic obedience - why is he always so obedient when we 'do' obedience but never any where else?
He's now watching the birds from a second floor window.
Thank goodness for birds!

Uh oh its too dark to watch birds and longer so he's just arrived and dropped a slipper on me.
Its going to be a long night!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The story of Pepper - and more amazing dog facts!

Pepper is female Labrador Retriever mix that is approximately seven years old. She’s had a tough life but she’s survived. In fact she has done better than survive and now she is on her way to winning the lottery and finding an awesome forever home where she’ll be kept warm and safe, get some belly rubs and lots of walks. She deserves the best life a dog could have at this point, let me tell you why……………

Her first owner left her in the care of a friend. This 'friend' kept poor Pepper tied up outside 24/7. Eventually she was taken away from that person, but was passed from home to home and once again found herself tied up outside 24/7.

Fortunately she was taken in by Animal Control who delivered her to a local rescue group – she needed to become healthy, as she had become obese. Pepper has been lovingly cared for in an experienced foster home, where she lost a lot of weight by careful management, and is now much healthier, although there is more weight to lose.

Recently, Pepper moved to a loving foster home in Raleigh, with two dogs and cats and even a young adolescent human.

It’s hard to imagine why someone would tie her up outside; she is sweet, housetrained and quiet, she is friendly, loves her crate, asks to go out and gets along with the resident cats and dogs.

Bugsy has had the honor of walking with her a couple of times and he clearly is enjoying his new friend. He stops from time to time to give her a kiss or two and she accepts his silliness.

This pretty girl has the softest, kindest, sweetest eyes you can imagine. There isn’t a hint of her ugly past in those eyes, just a look like, “I am so lucky to be alive and in a house with loving people and fun dogs and walking several times a day.”

There is thankfulness in those eyes and joy, pure unadulterated joy.


She epitomizes the amazing heart and soul of dogs. She doesn’t seem to bear any scars of her past abuse just joy for her fortune in this moment. Humans can learn so much from dogs, and this sweet girl will bring many smiles to whomever provides her forever home. She doesn’t resent humans though she has a right to, she is just thankful for the nice ones.

Pepper I am happy to know you and am looking forward to walking with you and your foster mom and watching Bugsy sneak in a kiss here and there as you wait to find the right home.

Pepper is fostered through Best Friends Pet Adoption, who are based in Cary, North Carolina. More information about Pepper and the other dogs and cats in their care can be found at www.bfpa.org

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dogs are fascinating

I'm a long time people watcher who has studied how people learn and relate and process so it is quite natural I suppose that I now thoroughly enjoy studying the same aspects of dogs.

Bugsy the lab rat LOL

He is a quirky beast so there is always some new reaction or behavior to watch, however some of the things that fascinate me have been him since day 1.

He is such an intent sniffer, for animal scents not food. Its the time of year that a lot of animals are on the move and mating season for deer (rut).

His eyes are glazed over, his nose to the ground, stopping some times to lick a blade of grass that he is sniffing, he puffs his cheeks and salivates. He skips over invisible obstacles and carefully surveys the area. His gait is smooth and quick.

None of the above is interrupted by border collies or schnauzers barking, the snarling pug, the baying of a lonely beagle, of a chocolate shake strewn across the ground.
He does hesitate for a moment to say hello to a father, son and GSD but quickly is on the trail again.

But then as we near the last turn towards home - he hears two dogs he knows going at each other and he snaps to attention, and his body becomes taut. He begins to whine and wants to investigate. These two are pack mates and he has played with them within the confines of their fenced area, which is where they are now, although not visible to us.
He stays on alert but will not budge until the sound ends. His nose to the air he sniffs vigorously a few times, becomes still for a moment...............

Then nose to the ground and he's off again.

I so wish I knew what his nose and brain were processing, but being an inept human, I'll have to just watch him and enjoy the ride.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing 'Find it'

Here's a little video compilation of Bugsy playing his favorite game 'find it'
This is the first time I've used the box and hat as further complications.
As you can see he wasn't fooled LOL

His normal verve was missing but we hope its back soon.

At the end of the video after his last find, he decides the scent of squirrel is much more interesting than the toy - that's my boy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

well its back to square 1!

Some followers of Bugsy's romp through life know he has a 'thing' for geese.
It's not a good 'thing'.
We've worked for years around bodies of water.

First we had to convince him that water was fun

Then we had to work on the idea that swimming was not only doable it's fun!

Then he discovered geese.

And ever since all trips to water are fraught with tension.

But we worked really hard and he became very disciplined, able to ignore ducks and geese and retrieve his Dokken with vigor.

Unfortunately a few weeks ago we went to the lake with a friend and the change in routine and some geese that wouldn't swim away led to his worst, or for him best, chase yet. He went so far out and was clearly not interested in coming back that I had to get the rescue boat after him. Sigh.
Instead of being tired from having swam about 1/2 mile he had a silly grin on his face and continued to play with my friend's dogs.

Two weeks ago I took him to the lake and tried to do some Dokken retrieves and he wasn't that interested but did a few.
Yesterday we had wild goose chase number 2.
He had zero interest in the Dokken and was just looking for geese. When some came around the corner he took off ripping the rope through my hands and that was that.
After swimming about 500 yds one of the boaters heading out asked if I wanted a lift to go get him.
Um yes please, sigh.

We had attracted an audience at this point most of whom were concerned for his safety (I had put his life vest on so I wasn't too worried) and were pleasantly surprised that once he was towed in, he was still wagging his tail and thrilled to meet some new humans.

So its clear that the Dokken's job is over - well for now anyway. I'm going to have to come up with a new plan to retrain his discipline around his beloved or hated geese.
Pray for me, not sure how much more my heart can take!