Friday, May 27, 2011

Wordless.... Friday?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Barbie's first Fetch

With the cooler weather, the kitties have been absolutely feral. They are constantly engaging each other in battle. Last night they just sat on the top of the couch trading body blows until I told them to knock it off!

Anyway, Mittens was sitting on the top of the couch while I was lying there, and I gave her a bit of a scratch. She seemed to enjoy it and started purring, and then she bit me! Softly, sure, but Mittens has never bitten me like that before! Then she whacked me with her paw. I went to the laundry and got her little purple kitty ball. I figured it was safe to play with the kitty ball because Bender was outside and Barbie wouldn't bother with it.

I threw it around for Mittens a bit and she showed some interest, and then Barbie came along. I threw the ball, Barbie trotted over to it, and daintily picked it up in her mouth! I praised her and called her back to me, and for the first time ever she came to me and dropped the teeny ball at my feet!

Mittens, being the neat freak that she is, would not touch the ball after it had been in Barbie's mouth, and Barbie lost interest and went back to her bed. It was so CUTE though!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Barbie fans...

Went to Whiteman Park this afternoon for a little while. There were a lot of people there and their dogs were all friendly! Barbie flittered about the place saying hello to all of the dogs. Bender obsessively fetched his ball. Other people threw his ball for him, and he was jumping and twisting in the air. I decided that we needed to have a short park session because of how hard he was pushing himself.

After Barbie had greeted all the dogs she just cruised around near me and waited for the people to come. There was a small group standing near me and the guy was very interested in her. He asked if he could pat her, and I said, sure her name is Barbie, just say her name to get her attention. People are so cautious about touching her because of the muzzle!

Anyway he gave her a good pat, and so did the women who were standing around with her. Then some little kids came up and asked if they could pat her. They had small dogs and they were very nice and gentle with her. They asked me why she was so skinny, and I said it was so she could run fast.

I didn't think she would go for a real burn because of all the other dogs around and the potential for a collision. I tried to goad her into running a few times but she ignored me. Then a little teeny Jack Russel x Chihuahua came in. Barbie went galloping up to it but didn't try to dance on it's head. It's owners made some remark about it looking like a rabbit, so I recalled Barbie and she came trotting back to me. Everyone was impressed. Then she went for a run. She did a lot of laps and I kept cheering her on. Not long after I took them both home and Bender hasn't hurt himself! It's a miracle given how he was jumping around.

As we were leaving, the kids were saying to each other "that dog is really fast!" I'm sure they will remember her if we cross paths again!

Barbie slept for about 4 hours when we got home. Bender sunbaked while I did some work in the garden.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Biking with Dogs

When I first adopted Barbie, her foster mum said she was happy to trot along with a bike. I have been too chicken to try it - until today.

Barbie is a great biking companion, in the main predictable and well mannered. She did put on her turbo boosters when we first took off, but I told her 'whoooooah' and she slowed down. She did resist the pressure from the lead a little, pulling outward, which affected my balance a bit.

Anyway, she seemed to enjoy it, so I think I might invest in a 'Springer' - especially if I can find one at a reasonable price!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Million Paws Walk & Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

The RSPCA in my city holds an annual Million Paws Walk on the river foreshore. Bender has probably been 4 times out of 5, and Barbie has been twice now. Last time we went, Barbie was a bit unsure of herself, broke out in dandruff and froze up and refused to move when we got to the end of the 5k walk (which is when everyone meets up again to socialise).

Since I have had Barbie we have joined the Greyhounds as Pets corporate team, which is pretty awesome because you get a free breakfast. By the time we got there though there was a massive line for breakfast and Bender wasn't on his best behaviour so we decided to walk first.

Barbie was very alert and was friends with everyone there. She has actually become a bit of a celebrity, with the GAP girls referring to her as their 'top achiever' in terms of obedience. I heard that a couple more greyhounds are enrolled to do their CGC so that is a great thing! As she sat willingly waiting for a treat, Barbie's foster mumma gaped and said 'you have done such a great job with her'.

She got a lot of pats and a lot of attention and didn't shrink away from any of it. She wasn't cranky with any other dogs, although some were a little rude, and at the end when we were chatting to people she actually laid down on the grass and had a sleep with all the people and dogs around!

Bender was mainly good. He pulled hard on the lead when we got there and was a bit overexcited. He gave a bit of lip to a few dogs, but he was not too anti-social. He seemed pretty tired by the time we got home, but he had a nap and was full of beans again.

Desma posted a video training a little Chihuahua jumping into a box on command. I realised that I had a Bender-sized box just waiting to be deployed, so I tried it out with Mr Enthusiasm. Bender doesn't do anything by halves, as you can see in the resultant video.

Sorry it's not up to my usual quality, I used the webcam on my macbook!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Youtube - home of the troll

You guys will remember this video:

Well it's the first video on my youtube account to approach 1000 views. I only made it because I was doing some training with the dogs and Froufrou wanted in on the action, so I got her to sit, and then filmed her and the dogs interacting.

Through youtube keyword magic, this video has become linked to a video of a little girl carrying around a dead squirrel which her pet greyhound had killed while walking on leash with it's owners. Since then I have had 3 comments about it not being a sit, and the cat only doing it because of treats. Hello! She is a cat. She doesn't do anything if there is nothing in it for her.

Anyway, apparently people who like dead squirrels don't understand the process of training cats. They also don't understand what a 'sit' is as opposed to a 'squat' (which is what they do when going to the toilet!). Got 12 dislikes and 2 likes too.

I am wondering if I should disallow comments because of the trolls. I won't ever reply to a troll but it is mildly irritating. Most people who want to comment on my videos do so either via the blog or via facebook. This is really the first video I've had that has gotten any kind of notoriety on youtube. The nature of it is that videos sit around for a while and then all of a sudden are linked to something else and they go gangbusters.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In search of Tougher Balls

DOG (Bender's) RULES

1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my mouth, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I chew it up, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it just looks like mine, it's mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with it and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, it's yours.

I went to City Farmers today to buy kibble, pig's ears and foam tennis balls. I must say, their shelves looked a bit bare. The still have a supply problem with Hills Science Diet so the shelves were bare there. I managed to get some Hills for the cats, because Mittens is a fussy blighter and won't eat anything else. They were giving away a 3kg bag of Nutro dog food to people who had a City Farmer's card and got their newsletter, so I grabbed that, and got my 15kg bag of Advance. I got 10 pig's ears but there really weren't many to choose from in the tub. Then I went to get some new balls for Bender. There were only 3 left! I bought them all. They have certainly increased in price, I remember when they were only $3 each, now they are $5.50!

Anyway, inspired by the lack of reasonably priced treaties, I decided to make some peanut butter dog cookies when I got home.

½ cups water(add more water later if required)
½ cup oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup oats

Blend wet ingredients together. Whisk dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture to form a ball of dough. Roll out and shape. Put onto a non-stick cookie tray or lightly greased one. Cook 20 minutes at 400 F. Turn off oven and allow the biscuits to cool in oven until crisp and hard. Store in airtight container.

I gave one to Barbie, and it went down very well. I think I will make more dog cookies.

In other news, we met some house sitters last night. We have made a decision, I think, so the furkids will be well looked after while we are away. We will have to stock up on food before we leave. I hope that City Farmers have plenty of balls and pigs ears!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I have only had two digital cameras in my adult life. My first one was a Pentax Optio WP - a water proof 5 mega pixel camera which took lovely vivid photos, including some of the older ones I have of Bender swimming in deep, blue water. The Pentax was lost in an airport, or left on a plane, but I never managed to find it.

My second camera was purchased about 18 months ago. It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1. It is now outdated, but all of the photos and videos on this blog were generated by it. It has a few scars from being in my bike bag with all of my tools, I'm too lazy to keep it in it's pouch. It's been dropped a few times but it's supposed to stand a 10ft drop. Since I'm only 5ft3, all of the drops have been from below that height.

It developed a problem, which may have been in train for a while now. It started being a bit slow to autofocus and take photos. Now when on video mode it makes a constant grinding noise as it focuses. I am going to have a shot at getting it repaired under warranty - I hope that it can be, because we are going on a holiday soon and so any long winded repair attempts may leave me without a camera :(( I am glad that I purchased the extended warranty when I bought the camera, but I may be stuck with the bill if they deem that it broke due to being abused. The JBHIFI guy said they were very generous with warranty claims but it remains to be seen exactly how generous. Would love to get a new FT-2 but I don't think that's very likely.

It also may be a problem for my DWTDS entry. It may not be recorded in my usual high-def standard. Oh well, youtube mangles it anyway so I suppose noone will be able to tell! ;)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The joys of Autumn

Mittens on her leash in the backyard

Our cats are inside-only kitties, but Mittens loves being outside, so she has been harness-trained so that we can take her for walks in her garden. Kitties don't walk like doggies, they meander around, and sometimes they sprint, sometimes they jump. Then sniff and wander and sometimes dig. Mittens loves being outside so much she doesn't mind being on a leash.

We took Bender to tracking on Saturday and he did really well. Although, on his second track, he was on track, then got distracted and started trying to climb a tree. Must have been a possum up there or something. I got him back on track fairly easily though. He managed to rip a hole in my finger as I was letting him out on the track, and I find it hard catching up when he's on the track because he goes so quickly. I'm looking forward to some more aged tracks to slow him down a bit!

Today, we went to the beach with both doggies. It was not like last weekend, there were a few people and doggies around.

Barbie met this Spaniel doggie

Barbie was perfect as usual. Even when she chased a Japanese Spitz doggie and it barked and snapped at her, I was able to recall her straight away. She used to keep annoying doggies that would snap at her until I went over and got her by the collar.

Barbie giving Bender some space

Because there were plenty of other doggies and people at the beach, Barbie didn't bother with chasing Bender much. She said hello to all the doggies on the beach, and she ran full speed around people. She got one girl waving a towel at her like she was a bull!

clicky on this picture to enjoy it in it's full glory!!!

The doggies and Mittens are suitably tired now, ready to go into the working week and their boring leash walks around the neighbourhood when I'm home from work.
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