Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Flower: Crocus

Mom discovered this fall Crocus popping up the other day and snapped a picture.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: What Lurks behind the Fence?

Both Annie and Katy are certain something lurks behind the fence. Since we've had sightings and fence interactions with a groundhog and a gopher nothing would surprise me.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Crate

Mom read about a new to her technique for getting your pet to want to use the crate. She decided since Bailey and I both were not huge crate fans that she'd try this new technique with Annie to make her feel more comfortable with using the crate when Mom has to be away from the house. Annie is not yet ready to be "home alone" as she's curious about everything and many of these things find their way into her mouth.

Anyways the technique suggests you put a desirable treat in the crate and shut the crate door leaving the dog outside the crate. This encourages the dog to want to get inside the crate. Later you open the door, allowing the dog to go in and have the treat without shutting the door. Eventually you work up to crating the dog with the treat. Well it worked I really wanted inside that crate.

Ok I kind of lost it. I wanted in that crate, despite the fact Dog Dad gave me the same treat without having to go into the crate. He's fair like that, but there was something about the crate bone I had to have. I tried everything I could do to break into that crate. I used paws, nose, and brute force, but I just couldn't get at that bone. Oddly Annie showed little interest. However, when it came time to be crated she had little issue with being crated either. She went in, had her cookie and settled in until Mom and Dad came home. I had my cookie and then tried to steal her crumbs by sticking my nose through the crate.

Mom was convinced I was going to stage a jail break, but I knew Annie was safer in her crate than running around and getting in to stuff. I do what I can to keep her out of trouble.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday Toys

Mom mentioned my new puzzle toys during the Maine posts and then never got back to posting about them. After Bailey died I haven't been interested in any of my old toys. Annie is exploring them, but I really haven't played with anything other than an old treat ball Mom picked up some place.

While visiting Scalawags Pet Boutique she found two puzzle treat balls that I love. We paid full price for these balls and are getting nothing for our review. We just thought others might be interested.

The first is the Wobble Ball that reminds Mom of an old Fisher Price toy she had as a child. With my lack of interest in toys, Dog Dad was skeptical about buying these toys, but Mom said it was a vacation so we were going to splurge a bit and have some fun.

Well the Wobble ball is so much fun. I began playing with it at the Bed and Breakfast, rolling it and batting it around to get the treats out. I have literally rolled this ball through several rooms in the house trying to push the treats out. I've even worked it out of walls when I've wedged it into a corner. I've never done anything like this before. Dog Dad was impressed that I'm actually engaging with a toy. The reason there is a link to Scalawags is Mom searched for these toys online when we got home and it appears the ones currently being sold online are "updated" with lights and sound. Mom wasn't crazy about the upgrades liking the older version. Honestly, I think the link is there so she has a quick link in case I break my ball and she needs to buy another one.

The maze ball is not listed online, but it is also cool. This one forces me to keep the ball rolling in different directions to get the treats out through the maze. Mom has been alternating my toys to keep me engaged.

Annie doesn't get the puzzle toy attraction. I get it. Until Bailey passed, I didn't get the point either. Suddenly I'm hooked. She has however, adopted an old hamster toy that Mom just repaired for her.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Meet the Newest Member of Sheltie Times

Katy here to announce I have a new sister, Annie. Her breeder named her Katie, but clearly that wasn't going to work. Mom and Dad worked up a list of names that ended in an long "e" sound and finally settled on Annie. We took a two hour trip to visit her and I was frustrated that she didn't come home with us. Mom thought I might be jealous because she got lots of Dog Dad's attention, but instead, I laid down in front of her pushing her closer to Dog Dad. I was sure this would mean we'd take her home with us that day, but Mom said it was more complicated than that. First Annie, had to heal from her spaying surgery. Then we went to Maine. However, soon after that her breeder brought her to Mom and Dad. I couldn't be at that meeting because I had a spa appointment. I will say I looked good when we met.

With the help of the New England Sheltie breeder informal network we found the newest member of our pack. Annie, formally Katie, is a 2 year old sable Sheltie. After several conversations with her breeder we met her on August 14th and fell instantly in love. She was still recovering from her spay and we were headed to Maine so we spoke to the breeder about a date that would work for bringing home our new girl. We had to work around our vacation and the breeder's schedule, but it all worked out and Annie came home August 27th.

I'm teaching Annie lots of new stuff. Just like Bailey helped me, I've been teaching her about stairs. I've also been teaching her the basics of bunny flushing and dog snuggling. She loves to zoomie and she might be even faster than I am. She is incredibly curious about everything. She's sniffed almost every square inch of the back yard. I though I was thorough, but she sniffs even more than I do.

We are all settling in, but are sure to have stories to share soon.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Happy 6th Gotcha Day Katy

Six years ago on another Labor Day weekend we made a long trip to Conneticut to bring home a sweet Sheltie girl from her foster rescue home. While Bailey wasn't crazy about visiting the place he'd started his foster experience, the minute we left the house you two were instant friends and it lasted until his very last day.

You were so brave, loving, and caring while Bailey was sick. You kept him with us for far longer than anyone believed possible.

This summer you explored new adventures on your first vacation.

We love you Katy girl and we are so glad you came to stay with us.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Using a Breeder When You Aren't Looking for a Puppy

As those of you who follow this blog know we started looking for another Sheltie last fall when we realized Bailey was sick and Katy would not be a happy only Sheltie. We returned to Sheltie rescue which had brought us two beautiful dogs. Sadly, the third time wasn't a charm. We were left frustrated and at loose ends. We filled out an application for another regional Sheltie rescue in the area and never even got the courtesy of an acknowledgement that our application had been received despite our attempts to confirm. We were at a loss as to where to go from here. Thankfully another Sheltie owner suggested contacting Sheltie breeders.

This confused me. I knew we didn't want a puppy. Puppies are adorable, but having raised one we knew we wanted a slightly older dog. Our friend informed me that breeders sometimes have dogs they need to place in pet homes. This was news to me, but it made sense. Even promising puppies don't always end up having success in the show ring. Show dogs are sometimes retired after their breeding days. I had no idea.

I started with the American Shetland Sheepdog Association ASSA which provides lists of member breeders by state. I wanted to make sure I didn't end up dealing with a puppy mill and I'd never worked with a breeder before. My experience had always been with rescue. This list was a great help. Most breeds have similar organizations that can be incredibly useful in finding an ethical breeder and avoiding the puppy mills.

I have to say this journey has been amazing. I began contacting breeders by email explaining my situation and that I was looking for a dog between the ages of 1-3. I shared information about our dog history, what we were looking for, and our home situation.

The first contact I made was with a breeder in my home state. She was amazing and the kind of breeder people should meet when they bash breeders. She didn't have any dogs available, but she went out of her way to help me make contact with other breeders in the area by contacting breeders she knew. We received information on dogs between the ages of 6 months to 8 years old. What was amazing was how fast some of these dogs were placed. It is important to think through your decision, but you don't always have lots of time to make the decision before someone else decides to take the dog.

What I've learned on this journey is to trust my instincts. Don't feel guilty, it doesn't help the dogs. Feeling bad for a dog isn't the reason to adopt one. It needs to be the right placement for you and the dog. If it doesn't feel right, accept that and realize there will be another dog. That has often been the hardest to accept.

Based on conversations I've had online, out on walks with the dogs, and at various rescue events, I know we aren't the only ones who have attachments to a specific breed and don't necessarily want a puppy. People are often surprised to learn about breed rescue as their only experiences with shelters are often mixed breed rescues, which rarely have the dogs they are seeking. However, there are many people who don't have breed rescues in their area and it turns out breeders can be an alternative for people like myself. It seems only fair to share this information as well.