Archive for dog training problems

Debunking Dominance Theory

Posted in dog training, pets with tags , , on August 13, 2013 by rattlerjen

Yup, I am going to say it. Dominance theory is poodle poo.

poodle

Dog trainers have been using the Alpha theory for years to back up some notions on how to train a dog.  This has been passed around for decades among the dog training world.  This has simply been passed from trainer to trainer as fact (aka, meme). The theory was based on a very unscientific observation of a single artificial group of wolves in a zoo.  Wolf biologists themselves have discarded the theory. Before you Alpha Roll your pup, check this out:

Whole Dog Journal – Debunking Dominance – Filled with references and comprehensive

Australian Veterinary Association – Debunking Dominance in Dogs

Time Magazine – Animal Experts Debunk the Myth of Alpha Theory

Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science – Fresh Look at Wolf Pack Theory -Science stuff

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior – Official View on Dominance Theory

Association of Pet Behavior Counselors – Why Wont Dominance Die

Dr. Yin – The Dominance Controversy

Science publication University of Bristol

 

 

Mending the Search Dog’s Pudding Brain

Posted in dog training, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , on October 20, 2011 by rattlerjen

Read previous posts to find out all the fun problems we have been having with our pup.

Grom has decided that finding a person several times before coming and telling me is a fun new game.

Once, he indicated then decided to sniff some deer bones instead of playing.  Sounds like the little guy either lost his mind or decided he was going to change the rules of the game.

First, we set up a “puppy problem” to help diagnose the issue and increase his confidence.

After the fun little puppy problem, it was time to run a real search problem.  Aaron hid under a machine out in a farm field for Grom to find.  Here is the end of that search.

It looks like Grom has his confidence back.

He went right up to Aaron and did the rest of his job perfectly. We were not convinced that his problems were completely solved, however.  Seeing something once is never proof.  Field problems are easy for Grom.  Would he fall apart if things were a bit tougher?

We consulted a few veteran trainers on our team for advice.

Here are a few tips we learned.

  1. Keep in good radio contact with your subject.  Have them call you when the dog finds them.
  2. If your dog finds someone and comes back to you and does not indicate, hook the dog up and put him back in the car.  Game over.  Show no emotion and do not get upset.
  3. Let the dog sit in the crate for a little while and try the same search problem later during training.  This works extra well if he can see other dogs working and playing from his crate.
  4. On his second try, cue the dog at every step.  Call him back as soon as he finds the person. Then, act really happy as he is running back to you. Next, give him the “tell me” command. Finally, give the “show me” command and excitedly run after your dog back to the subject.
  5. Have the subject encourage the dog as he is running to him and give the pup a great play session.
  6. End on this for the day.
  7. Your dog will have learned that not indicating means the fun is over.  Then he is reminded of all the things you want him to do on the next search problem and gets a big reward.
  8. For the next few training days, start with a very easy short problem and cue the dog on every step before doing any other search problems.

Ok, that is one good tool in our tool box.

Next we found out something we may have been doing wrong!

If you watch some of the videos from our previous you may have noticed a trend.

Did you catch it?

Grom will bark! bark! pause, bark?  Then he will bark with less enthusiasm.  What he may be doing is going from “drive” to “obedience.”  We have been asking him for a ton of barks on every single search.  While it is ok for us to ask for a ton of barks sometimes; it simply is not going to keep up his excitement if we ask him for a ton of barks ALL of the time.

The indication part of the game just is not paying out. Now we ask for only one to three barks most of the time and up it to six or more barks only occasionally.

A combination of “Game Over” and fewer barks has led to success!

Working on that Backslide

Posted in dog training, pets, Rescue Training, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , on October 18, 2011 by rattlerjen

You saw it last week folks.

Grom started having problems during our trip to New Mexico.

We decided to take a huge step back with his training to do something fun.  Even an operational dog appreciates something very easy and fun every once in a while.  While you my enjoy a challenging job, you would burn out quickly if you did not have a few super easy days.

How far back did we decide to go?

How about an entire year!

We decided to do what is known as a run away.  It is an exercise he learned to do as a puppy!

I ran away with Grom’s toy and hid behind a bush.  Grom saw exactly where I went.  Aaron gave Grom all of his commands including, “Mission” (go search for the person), “Preach” (Bark at me to tell me you have found the person), called the dog back,  and “Save” (Lead me to the lost person).

On a real search and during many training days, we do not call the dog back to us and give him the “Preach” command.  The dog works on his own during a search and is often out of view of his handler.  His job is to find the person then come back to the handler to tell them he has found someone.  Therefore, I can only give him the preach command if I SAW him next to the lost person in the woods.

Grom ranges very far from me sometimes, often coming back to see were I am and to check the scent of the people walking with me before bounding out of sight again. Barking is how he tells me HE has found someone and to go follow him.  Sometimes when a dog “forgets” how to do something, you can give him little hints and encourage him to build confidence and make the exercise fun again.

Grom had a ball doing this fun little exercise

but…

Did this little exercise solve our little problem?

Find out on Thursday.

And Some More Back-sliding

Posted in dog, dog training, pets, Rescue Training, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by rattlerjen

Oh Grom, what has happened to your brain on this trip?  Did your mind get addled by the air plane ride?

The high altitude?

The green chile?

Our adventure into Grom’s training mishaps in New Mexico continue with our trip to Los Alamos and our training with the fantastic Canine Mountain Corps MC².  One member of this Los Alamos group volunteered to hide for our little fur ball. What a great guy!

We let the nice man hide himself in a spot well known to him and let him “cook” for a while.

Here is the lovely starting place, a field just inside of a little fence along a dirt road.

search dog starting task

Don’t you just love those pine trees out there?

I directed him down the road with the aim of my hand and off the little guy dashed.  Thinking back on it now, I should have given him some time in the area before sending him on a search.  Oh what cornucopia of wonderful smells he must have had wafting by his nose.  He was however, on a mission and darted off like a horse out of the starting gate.

search and rescue dog released

Grom covered the terrain like a champ dodging alien cacti and strange smelling sage brush in search of the hidden man.  A few trees needed to be watered of course, but he was doing a great job working his nose.

The ground was steep as we climbed up the mountain and I was out of shape.  The elevation of Los Alamos is 7,000 feet.  I really need to go to the gym more often!

The soft grass quickly morphed into sand the color of the sunset and sandy rocks with wavy lines to match.  Wonderful scented pines towered over the high desert landscape, providing green among the reds, oranges, and yellows of the surrounding rocks.  I tried to keep up with my little monster, but mostly resorted to walking.  I can’t imagine actually doing a long task out in these mountains with my low altitude body.

Maybe I need to train for Ironman or something…

search dog runs to indicate

Grom shows no lack of athletic ability as he literally runs circles around me.

We crossed several narrow but steep drainages as we criss-crossed the side of the mountain.  Grom disappeared over each rise, leaping like a desert coyote after a taunting crow, a huge grin on his face showing me how much fun he was having.

After a few minutes, Grom vanished over a rise into yet another drainage with his ears up and forward.  The little guy must have caught scent of something or someone.   I labored up to the hiking trail overlooking the drainage ahead when Grom came bounding back barking his little head off.

rescue indication bark

Off we raced towards the drainage ahead, Grom taking the trail to the drainage instead of back tracking the way he had come. He ran down the trail past the drainage then made a sharp right turn downhill.  Did this dog have any idea where he was going?

search dog returns forest scene

Half way down the hill I noticed a man sitting happily against a huge rock, waiting to play with a nice little black dog.  Where was the dog?

I pretend not to see the hidden man and walk towards my little search dog.

“What in the hell is he doing?  The man is RIGHT THERE!”

Looking at Grom sniffing at the ground I shrug my shoulders and ask, “Where is he?”

Grom looks at me uninterested and continues investigating the ground.  I walk forward to see what he was sniffing at and found an entire dear skeleton, nothing but bleached bones from the desert sun.

It was my turn to look confused.

“For Pete’s Sake that man has your TOYS!”

I called him off the bones and restarted him with his search command.

“Oh, right!  I was doing something”

Grom takes off towards the man, runs back, and gives a weak bark.  Heck, at this point I would take anything. I gave the dog the “show me where the man is” command and allowed the poor guy to finally play with the dog.

search dogs find in los alamos

Grom, of course, thought everything was just fine.  I, of course, threatened to serve him with a side of noodles.

Next up:  Attempts to solve the problem.

How NOT to teach a dog to find a hidden person

Posted in dog training, howto, Rescue Training, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2011 by rattlerjen

Learn a Lesson from My Mistakes

The Goal: Find a person hidden in a tree stand after a 30 minute problem.

search dog field

Mistake: Expecting a dog has learned to generalize

I thought the dog would have no problem finding someone in a tree stand. He did it twice before.

Dogs don’t naturally generalize.  Grom would need to find several different people in different tree stands in different conditions in different locations on different days before I could say he “got it.”

Mistake: Assuming the dog has learned something from past trainings

Grom was on fire! He dashed down the trail with his nose in the air.  He saw the first tree stand and trotted over to it, obviously curious.  He even tried to climb up the thing!

The little furball did the same thing to the next two identical tree stands!  I was thrilled he was curious to check them all out. I assumed he must have learned that people can hide in tree stands from previous trainings and was checking them out just in case.  He might have just been curious of the strange structures and wanted a look at them close up.

search dog climbs tree stand

” This will be so easy when he gets to the tree stand with the person in it,” I thought.

Mistake:  Not knowing when to cue the dog

We reached the field 150 yards from the tree stand with the subject hidden in it.  Grom threw his nose in the air and caught scent and began criss-crossing the field in search of the scent’s source.  After a small distraction in the discovery of a nice turkey feather, the dog went over to check out this new tree stand.

He circled it a few times.  I got closer trying to determine if he was just checking this tree stand out like he had the others or was genuinely trying to find the source of the scent there.  I realized I made the mistake of getting too close after seeing the subject’s boot dangling out the entrance.

search dog tree stand target

Grom looked right at me, so I backed up thinking he would give me his tell-tale behavior of “I think I might have found something.”  I figured he would not indicate if he thought I saw the subject.  What was the need of indicating if mom was standing right next to the guy, right?  I expected Grom to trot towards me so I could give him the “Tell Me” command to bark.  Instead he trotted past me and began to investigate some grass on the side of the trail. “Greeeaat.”  Now what?

Mistake: Not asking the experience handler standing right next to us for feedback.

Later, we got great advice on how to set up the problem so the dog could learn from success. I honestly should have asked this person for advice even before starting the search.

search dog looking at handler

Old standby, put the dog in a down and give him some water while we figure out the next step.

Let’s just start again only 50 meters from the tree stand and restart the dog.

Up the hill we go.  Grom checks out the sides of the trail as we get closer to the tree stand.  Again, the pup heads right up to the structure and puts a paw up on the supports and looks up.  I cue Grom to indicate and he does so beautifully.  When I tell him to show me where the person is, he leads me right back to the tree stand.  Success!

search dog leading the find

Mistake: Making the dog wait for play.

Always reward the dog immediately.  We were told this over and over again.  I told Grom what a great dog he was as the subject came down to play with the dog.  Grom got great play, but it did not happen instantly at the source of the find.

So, what should we have done from the beginning to set the dog up for success?

I guess you will have to wait for Thursday’s post.

can i drive

Ok, you work the steering wheel.  I got the pedals.

Drumstick

Posted in Dog diary, dog training, life with a working dog, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by rattlerjen

It’s dog and it’s on the menu for today

Something delicious, I mean, disturbing happened at last training.  Grom became a snack.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Training brought out nearly everyone on our team along with a few relatives and new folks interested in checking K9 Search and Rescue out.  We were in a secluded area of the national park; a camp area closed for the winter season.  It was a gorgeous crisp morning with just enough nip in the air to encourage a hat and light jacket over a sweater.  Grom, my little black Malinois, was happily snuggled up in the corner of his crate surrounded by piles of search gear and boxes of our newly printed team calendar.

Our team training began with several dozen donuts brought by, you guessed it, the cop on our team.  Boxes of our team calendars were being offloaded from our truck and ripped open to disgorge freshly printed eye candy goodness.  As the calendars disappeared into the vehicles, I began trying on our team’s super reflective luxuriantly warm yellow search coats.  My SAR coat is an 8 year old Cahart canvas coat I bought for working outside at the zoo.  I look like a farmer that somehow got covered in zebra blood and green paint then dragged by an ostrich. (The zebra needed help giving birth and the ostrich was attempting to steal my dropped watch.)

I began to dream of what I was going to spend my holiday money on when I was urged by my husband to get my fanny back to the truck.  He rightly believed I was going to write a check for the coat right then and there.

Turns out my husband was shrugging on his pack to take his land navigation evaluation and would be gone for most of the morning.  I was left with the dog to train all by my lonesome.  Boy, was it a great training day for Grom.  He jumped directly into sniffing and peeing on nearly every rock, tree, bush, and blade of grass for the first 3 minutes.

The little furball followed this up with circling a giraffe legged couple out for a long run in the park and promptly forgot about them as he raced past me. My team mate suggested I do not worry that Grom ignored the joggers this early in the dog’s training.  Many dogs will likely ignore people who are not laying in the woods or sitting against a tree in the beginning since that is how we train them.  Later on, after the dogs really understand what they are supposed to do we will have the “lost person” walk around and do other things.

I filed the information in the back of my mind and watched Grom as he raced across the field in front of me and back into the woods.  The black and orange blur zig zagged the field a few more times before finding the hiding human on the edge of the field.  Success in just under ten minutes!

Later on, I had someone hide in the woods just off the trail on the way back to the field again.  I wanted to see if Grom would race past him to go back to where he found the last person in the field.  I wanted to make sure that he starts searching immediately.  The little Mal uses his nose, to pee on things in the beginning.  Does he use his nose to start searching right away?  Grom raced off into the woods and disappeared, crashing through the underbrush.  I ignored him and just started walking down the trail.  Just about the time I was beginning to worry, he blazed past me down the trail.  Grom quickly found our man and raced back to me to bark his head off, another success!

I spent several hours watching other dogs work and hiding for a few of them.  A couple dogs searched inside and under a cabin looking for someone hidden there.  Scent moves much differently in and around buildings proving quite a challenge to wilderness dogs.  While inside, one of the dogs greeted a mannequin with a nose to the crotch.  The statues had no people smell, deduct what you wish from the dog’s decision to try and find the scent there!

My husband wandered back into camp with a silly smile on his face and a head full of leaves.  He had passed his test and spent some time napping in the woods while hiding for a few dogs.  Now my husband can go on searches with me!

At the end of training, we decided a group picture was in order.  The last time we took a picture of the group was nearly eight months ago when G-man was still a little puppy.  Everyone took their pups out of the car and began to line up against a nice forested backdrop.  I trotted Grom in a space between two happy german shepherds.  One of them looked like he could be Grom’s older brother.   We were all getting ready, but Grom just would not sit down for more than ten seconds.  “What is the deal here?” I thought.  He can sit and stay for several minutes near other dogs in obedience class.  Maybe he is just excited because he was just running free through the woods looking for a person.  I began planning to practice obedience work more often in different places in the future when Grom shot in the air like a jack rabbit.  That is when I heard the growling bark and turned around in surprise to see Grom’s back leg in the mouth of another dog.  My dog looked just as a dog does when someone is trying to clip the nails on his back foot and the dog wants nothing of it.  In a blur, the other dog had somehow let go or Grom pulled free and shot forward.

I got up to run Grom away from all of the other dogs.  As I was jogging, I pulled Grom’s tug toy out of my pocket and began making happy play noises, attempting to divert his attention to the toy.  I did not want him to think I am upset and continued to make happy noises and gestures while quickly examining his leg.   The owner of the other dog was horrified.  None of us saw it coming.  Especially since the dog that snacked on Grom is known for tolerating nearly anything and has taken several pictures with other dogs.

Grom turned out to be just fine.  The other dog bit down only hard enough to hold Grom’s foot up so he could not get away.  He turned out to only have a few superficial cuts which I easily cleaned with plain water in a full bathtub. Grom was running and playing with his best doggie friend the next morning.

Just goes to show that people have no idea what dogs are saying to one another, especially when no one is focusing on it.  Looking back on it, I should taken the hint when Grom refused to sit.  Something was going on and I was so focused on posing for a picture that I failed to look at the body language of the dogs around me. All of the dogs were having conversations behind us, and it took some loud noises before any of us stupid humans took notice. None of the dogs are bad dogs, they are dogs just trying to communicate while on a leash and forced to sit down.  I wonder if our dogs feel like I had as a kid when you were trying to get the attention of our parents with important information and promptly ignored so the adults could continue on with their boring conversation.  One of these days, I am going to find Grom pulling on my pant leg while I am in a deep conversation about the newest phone app with a team member.

I take it as a learning experience. No one gets good at anything when everything goes right.  Things have to go wrong in order to really learn anything.

Grom offered to take the other dog out for a Brewowski later on.  It’s all good.

Search Dog Gives Handler His Opinion of Her

Posted in Dog diary, dog training, life with a working dog, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by rattlerjen

The dog and I were enjoying a sweltering hot day in the spots of shade under a thin pine tree this past weekend. A black dog and blond girl on antibiotics with a warning to stay out of the sun were just hanging out. Both of us were panting. The temperature was in the nineties and I don’t believe the humidity could be much higher in the Amazon.
Every spot of sun that hit my skin began to itch and burn after only a few minutes. I believe I know what it must be like be a vampire, and not the kind that sparkles.
Lyme disease (or whatever it is that I have) treatment aside, we began training day by hitting the ground running. Our leader for the day laid everything out with military precision. She had everyone beginning the instant we climbed out of our cars. People and dogs began scurrying around like ants just discovered invading a picnic basket; I was loving it.

My pup, Grom, was imprisoned in the shaded car in his crate with all the doors and back opened, battery operated fan going, a full bowl of water, keys on my car seat, and a watchful group of people. I got to go out and have fun without him. Boy, did he hate that.  He could not complain too much, he got a free play session soon after arriving on site.

Our task was to navigate to a set of coordinates and retrieve a backpack hidden there using only map and compass.   Everything had changed about the area since the map was last updated. Ponds and swamps were created, others were drained, and cornfields were planted.  We found the little orange backpack after ignoring everything on the map except for the contour lines following the terrain.  Most maps haven’t been updated in decades.

Grom was ready to train after my little walk out in the woods.  I could barely get his search vest on his little black bouncing body.  He pulled me like a sled dog all the way to the site we chose for training.  Well, except for the three times he decided to pee on something.  How much water can a dog hold anyway?  All three puppies were brought out at the same time to the little trail through the woods.  This was a new distraction for the pups, usually the dogs come out one at a time.  New is good, lots of people hike out in the woods with their dogs.  Last thing I need is a search dog that will not work because there is another dog around; or a clown on a pogo stick for that matter.

I was asked if I would bet my lunch and half my search gear that Grom would bark on command no matter what.  I would bet my lunch of delicious blue cheese, brie, fresh bread, fruit, and meat, but no way was I going to bet my gear.  This woman seemed like the sort that would come up with something incredibly strange like suspending me 20 feet up in a tree or maybe she kept a gorilla suit in her car.  I was not going to risk it.  She asked me to lay face down on the ground and ask him to bark.  Whew!  We had practiced that one a lot.  The little guy paused and then gave me several great barks.

Grom watched as one dog trained in the woods with her jump indication.  My dog was getting excited.  Another pup present who used to bark at nearly every dog he saw, watched on silently.  Things were going well.

Our trainer for the day suggested we all step back to having the subject, or missing person, hold the dog while we call him back to tell us where the person is.  We were just starting to work on him starting at me and finding an easily hidden subject; aka a “runaway.”  Stepping back a step is much better than making the mistake and going forward too quickly.  I figure, if my dog is getting bored with a training step, then I am not introducing enough variables into the equation.  Those could be distance, new place, new person, new time of day, new weather situation, strange things a person is wearing, other dogs, horses, parrots, clowns, noises…

gorilla suits.

G-man did well.  He needed a bit of reminding to bark the first time.  Our trainer suggested giving him his commands on the first run.  Then, immediately do a second run with fewer hints and let him work it out.  We did a speedy four runs letting the dog win his toy on the last one.  We were directed to take the dog’s gear off and let him rest and drink while the other dogs worked. Grom pranced back to our waiting area proudly displaying his toy in his mouth.

Once there, he dropped the toy and sucked 30 ounces of water down like a camel.  Then, promptly plopped down in the shade next to my foot.  That did not last for long.  Another dog barking sent Grom bouncing like a rubber ball.  It took several minutes for him to realize it was not his time to play before he settled down again.

I was standing around, waiting for my turn when someone said, “Grom just peed on you.”

“What?”  I said in a perplexed tone.  Maybe I was going delirious.  Perhaps I was becoming dehydrated and heard that wrong.

“He just lifted his leg on your right pant leg.”  She said with a smile.

I looked down to notice that indeed my right pant leg was soaked from the knee down.   Dogs are such harsh critics.

My car had the last laugh, however.  It needed a jump after I unwittingly left the keys in and the lights running.

That sent me right to a blueberry ice cream sundae on the way home.  So there!

Wait, no really, what’s the game again?

Posted in dog training, life with a working dog, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by rattlerjen

2 ticks removed at end of training.  One tiny dog tick on my foot and one dear tick on my leg.

Note: Wear more bug repellant.

Looks like we have our work cut out for us on G-man

In the following video, our dog decided to show us all the problems he is having with training.  He completely messed up with everything but play.  I am really happy.  Shouldn’t I be disappointed?  Heck no!  This is the best thing I could possibly ask for.  The worst thing that could happen is to show up on training day and no one has suggestions on how you can improve. You want the dog to show the problems he is having, not hide them.

So, what did the little monster do this time?

We learned the traumatic trip to the vet to get his heartworm test did much more harm than earlier known.  Looks like the vet tech putting him in a full nelson to get his blood drawn has caused the little guy to be terrified of anyone putting their arms around him.  You can see him completely freaking out when the girl tried to hold him.

Then, instead of running right towards me to give me a few good barks.  He decides to visit my husband first, then forget what it was he was doing when he finally got to me.  The group believes that the dog thinks my husband is involved in the indication game and is confused with both of us there.  That makes perfect sense since the other person is nearly always around when training occurs.  No wonder he is confused.  His third problem is wandering around instead of running to me and barking.  Check out this epic fail:

Ok, no big deal, time to give the dog a second chance.  This time the subject, aka person playing the lost person, holds the dog by his collar.  I call the dog right away and give him his bark command.  He feels much more comfortable being held just by the collar this time.  The dog still decides to visit my husband before me.  I do call it a win.  The dog did finally bark, a definite improvement, and was rewarded for it.  We ended on a high note, so back in the car.  Yay!

Problems:

  • dog not focused on task
  • dog visits other handler before completing task
  • dog uncomfortable with being held
  • dog has the attention span of a flea

Solutions

  • Give the dog a cue that it is work time.  A special harness or collar can be put on him every time he does search related training.  We decided both his search vest and harness would be good.
  • Allow only one of us be present when he is doing search work until he is really focused on the task
  • Help the dog during training.  You may have noticed that I stood there waiting for the dog to figure out what I wanted him to do.  Remember that a new place or context is enough for the dog to forget what he is supposed to do.  Training is not a test.  My plan will be to call the dog to me and act very excited and interesting.  As he is running toward me, I will ask for his bark command.  I will run backward and act silly to keep him focused on me.  I will give him the bark command again once he gets to me if he forgets to do it.
  • For his problem with being held, I will just need to have lots of people hold him while he gets treats

As for the attention span of a flea:

He is 11 months old, his brain is doing the tween thing.  He will grow out of it.  We hope.

Tween Dog Hormones Scrambles Brain

Posted in Dog diary, dog training, life with a working dog, pets with tags , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by rattlerjen

So, last night I went to dog class.  Well, kinda.

You see, I really didn’t want to go.  Can’t remember why.  I thought I was gonna go for another run like this morning.  Oooo, that was so fun.  We went in the woods and I got all splashy, splashy.  That was awesome!

This time when she put on my leash, she wanted me to get in my crate; in the car.  No, way man.  She even had the nerve to lift me up and put me in there!  It was such a long ride in the car.  I took a nap.

At the school there was only one other dog around so I peed on all the great smelly spots in the grass.  Boy, I sure was a good boy when we were inside the building.  It was very relaxing.  Mom told me to lay down and stay.   It was boring in there, no problem!

Then we went outside.  There were so many dogs!

What?  Why is sniffing prohibited?  Stupid school.

I was Soooo hungry.  Mom had lots of treats. I got some of them by doing stuff.  Most of the time she just went Blah, blah, blah.  I wanna talk to the other dogs.  Come on!

Ooooooo, another black girl just like me.  She smells so nice.  What?  I am just sniffing over here.  You know, trying to say hi.  Geeze.

Ooo la la!  A red head with naturally wavy hair.  Hell-oh.  What!?  I am trying to introduce myself to the lady.

I really don’t get this dog school thing.  This is so dumb!  I don’t get to do anything I want.  A least I can roll in the grass.  Hey!  A really awesome bird just flew by.  What?  You saying something?  Whatever.

Why in the world are you shoving your food filled fist in my face?  Oh! that smells good.  I forgot I was so hungry.  You want me to stay?  As long as you keep feeding me treats lady.  What?  no treats during my stay duration?  Forget this.

Oh hey! We are running now.  YAY!

In the car already?  Is it over?  But what about all that doggie tail out there, Sigh.  I am taking a nap.

Moron Eats Cactus

Posted in Dog diary, life with a working dog, pets with tags , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by rattlerjen

The Cactus:  Millions of years ago, the cactus evolved tough irritating spines to protect itself from the onslaught of ravenous herbivorous wild animals.  These prickly defenses have protected them in one of the harshest environments on earth.

Until Now.

What fearsome creature has penetrated its defenses?

It is hard to imagine what sort of animal could feast on such a plant.

“The Wild animal had the looks of a Tasmanian devil or some sort of black colored rabid wolf”, one horrified witness claimed.

“The sounds alone were horrifying.”

No one knows what caused the animal to attack.  It is well known that cactus have developed such defenses to protect itself from thirsty animals in a desert environment seeking the moisture of the cactus’s center.  However, there was plenty of fresh, delicious water readily available to the creature nearby.

One terrified bystander fears, “Maybe it just kills for fun.”

“Maybe, It feels no pain.”

Rescue personnel report the plant is still in critical condition in the ICU.  The attacker remains at large.

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