Archive for humor

Dog Meet Goat

Posted in Dog diary, life with a working dog, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , on July 26, 2011 by rattlerjen

It is one of my busiest times of the year at work.

So, I bring you:

Grom meets goat.

That is one funny looking dog.

That is one funny looking goat down there.

Does this mean I am delicious?

Finding Me in Photos

Posted in dog training, life with a working dog, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by rattlerjen

It’s great fun hiding for a search dog in the woods.  I brought my trusty camera along for some fun photos of pups discovering me in the woods.

Topas really had to put on the brakes when he discovered me.

Hydee cannot help but prance like a Lipizzaner Filly.

Danne dashes around a tree to make her find.

Swingin that tail for balance!

Sniff sniff sniff

Yup, you are that person I had been smelling all this time.

I’ll be right back with help.

The smile shows how much fun we are all having.

Conversation With a Boa Constrictor

Posted in life with a working dog, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , on January 26, 2011 by rattlerjen

He has ignored the object in the nicely lit cabinet for a year now.  Today, Grom realizes there is something interesting in there.

He decides to talk to it.

His complete lack of wisdom often surprises me.  Sometimes he is really very dumb, even for a dog.

Looks like we get to learn how to ignore these interesting things.  It is just not professional to take a break from a very important job to have a conversation.

My dog is a dork.


Posted in dog, Dog diary, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , on December 21, 2010 by rattlerjen

One of my favorite things about winter is getting warm.  I love hot tea and cocoa in front of a fire.  My new house has an added perk most appreciated during the cold season, a whirlpool bath tub.
I had been looking forward to soaking in some hot, sudsy water all day.  Recovering from a horrible cold that left my body aching made the bath even more appealing.
I started the hot water filling the tub and walked to the back door to let the dogs out.
Grom dashed out into the snow sliding around like a car in a chase movie on the streets of Paris.  He spazed out in the yard running sliding curves around the two older German Shepherds.  I went upstairs to check the bath.  It’s was almost full.  There was just enough time to let the furballs back in.

When I opened the door and called the snow covered mutts back in, speed demon darted past me into the house and directly up the stairs.  The two geriatric girls trotted and in one dog’s case, strolled into the house, stopping to yawn in the doorway.
I climbed the stairs to the bathroom and found this:

My beautiful bath to be was already occupied.
Since he was a puppy, I played ball and fed him in the empty bathtub.  Progressively filling it with a bit more water each time.  Training a dog to get used to routine care is essential, but this was ridiculous!

Perhaps he would like the jets on?

I learned a few things:

Tearless bubbles rock, I lost my bath, but gained a clean dog, and I was grateful he was not shown how to turn on the water by himself.

Turtles at the BBQ

Posted in Dog diary, life with a working dog, pets with tags , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by rattlerjen

I love parties!  There are tons of people and all of them want to give me a nice scratch.


What is this?

A rock that moves?  I wonder if I can play with it?

turtle plays with dogMaybe if I playbow he will play with me.

Yay!  This is so much fun!


Why are you chasing me?

I am the dog here.

You know; sheep dog!

As in *I* am the one that is supposed to be herding YOU!


This partying is sure making me sleepy.

I think I am going to chill for the rest of the night.

Luau at Obedience School

Posted in Dog diary, dog training, life with a working dog, pets with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by rattlerjen

Dust off those grass skirts and put on those Hawaiian shirts; It’s Luau time!

Vicki was excited to get the dogs rollin on the skateboards.  Check out that awesome hot pink skirt!

Look!  I am getting treats for riding on the skateboard.  Soon I will be doing 360’s.

Coconut bowling sure looks like fun.  Can I try?

What do you mean I am over the line?

I think this poor lady must have had a spider in her pants.

I was taught to follow that yellow ball on the stick. What is she going to ask me to do next, jump through hoops?

Forget I said anything.

Mals are Nuts

Posted in Dog diary, pets with tags , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by rattlerjen

Grom here is recovering from a vicious attack from another aggressive Belgian Malinois.

The offending dog thinks of murder all day

Here is the actual attack taking place.  Notice another Belgian Mal is attempting to save our German Shepherd (or possibly joining in the attack.)

One on one with Grom, it is very scary.

This crazy animal will eventually grow into a massive killer of enormous size.

In short, never put these very dangerous dogs together.  You will have to witness several hours of offensively adorable puppy play, lounging, cuddling, and sharing of toys.

Please, talk to your dog about the dangers of puppy play-dates before it is too late.

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!

How to Get Wet and Lost

Posted in Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by rattlerjen

So, this is how you practice using your map and compass.

german shepherd search dog

First, have someone with you who has told you knows how to use a map and compass really well.

Give them a map, compass, and GPS filled with waypoints for an orienteering course.  Then, in the parking lot, find someone who is not going with you to chose a waypoint for you to hike to.  Find out later the friendly guy in the parking lot is in the military and runs marathons for fun.

Also, make sure you have an absolutely adorable german shepherd puppy along to bound through the brush and laugh at your clumsy two-legs.

Copy your coordinates down and plot them little suckers on the map.

Make sure to use a nice big purple marker so as to obscure all land features around plotted point.  Now, plan you route noting all topographical features you will pass.topo map

Then, notice none of the topographical features as you mindlessly wander passed them.  Be sure to concentrate on counting your steps so as to estimate exactly how far it is to that ridge you were aiming for.  Get distracted by a couple of funny smelling plants and a particularly attractive mushroom and forget what number you were on.

Completely forget why you were counting in the first place and start wandering a bit further downstream.

Remember all of a sudden you were looking for a place to cross the ridge on your right at some point around here and start looking.  Walk a bit further south until you find a lower point on the ridge. Just, assume this is what you were looking for and climb up the hill.
map trailFigure out that you completely blew past the first saddle and walked down to the second saddle twice as far south.  Be elated when you find the road crossing your line of travel and immediately forget why this was important.  Make sure at this point to try a different navigation tactic known as following a bearing.

Only do this across the largest and steepest number of hills possible along your route believing that doing so will magically take off all the pounds you have been trying to lose for the past 5 years.  After fully committed to plan, realize that climbing hills is exhausting with a 30 pound pack.  Also recall that your favorite fast food restaurant is on the way home and you are likely to eat enough food to gain an extra 10 pounds.

Next, encounter a massive thunderstorm!


Drenched, you start muttering to yourself.

“The marker should be here.  Maybe we are still south of it.  Perhaps we should walk upstream for a bit?  The marker is supposed to be at the narrowing of the canyon.” Trudge, squish, trudge, trudge, squish.  This explains the drunken squiggles on the left side of the map.

Notice your “teacher” is  clearing his throat with a smirk and setting the bezel on his shiny new watch to time something.    Suspect he is up to something.  Find out later that you passed the marker and he is timing how long it takes you to figure it out.

While walking back, notice how one hill is curved and the other has a steep side jutting straight out towards the stream.  If  you had only looked at that before you would have walked right back to the marker.  Now, don’t be too hard on yourself, you are learning here.

Take obligatory pictures with wet dog next to the marker.

Now, get lost trying to find your way back to the car.

Crate Break!

Posted in life with a working dog, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , , on May 26, 2010 by rattlerjen

The little monster got out today.  I am not sure how.  Either a latch missed or a small crack has allowed the dog to push the door open.

As you may know from earlier posts, working dogs have a much higher drive or desire to get into trouble.  Intelligence and enduring high energy are combined in a good working dog, allowing him to work many hours for few rewards.  This high energy can quickly get such an animal into trouble if he is unguided.  He is a bit like a teenager with the house to himself all weekend.  I am just glad all of Grom’s friends did not find a way over.  Thank goodness dogs can’t drive.

Now off to buy a new crate, new running shoes, and bitter apple spray for possible new shoes.

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