Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hurray! Kyan and I went to obedience class last night and took 1st place in a game of musical downs, played by 11 dogs. I am so proud of him! We are signing up for sub-novice obedience next session and I hope to have his CGC before the year's end.
Moxie had a case of the "grippies"(she sits with a toy in her mouth for extended periods of time grippping it) last night, and although I don't know for certain, she had a bath and it is always stressful for her so I am thinking this was the cause of the episode. She also has been playing rougher with Kyan and although he takes it I can help but wonder if this is a ploy for top dog or if this another level of vaccinosis, I have alerted Magda at the very least.
Norman has built some wonderful practice boards for Moxie in her agility class, they are very helpful in fine tuning her targeting and I plan to use them with Kyan too.
Kyan was dosed with Belladonna this morning, he is still having issues being reactive to other dogs and stimuli, so I will be reporting back to Magda after the weekend.
Sheryl is going to go see a prospective stud dog for True this Saturday and I will be thrilled to hear her report. I mean, it is the sire of Macy we are talking about, after

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Moxie and I went to class last evening and I actually got to see the dog that I knew was there all along, she was just hidden by the vaccinosis. She was attentive and would settle quickly and didn't whine and "gump" at me because things were moving too slowly. She still surfed the ground for leftover treats more than I would have liked, but I know we are the right path. She actually seemed for the first time like she was having fun, in fact she was having great fun getting on the A frame and leaning over to give me kisses. I think this is her favorite piece of equipment. For the first time last evening, I felt as if we actually might be able to go to an agility trial and not totally embarrass ourselves.
Claudia the instructor also have us a new treat to try and you would have thought that she had been given the most delicious piece of meat ever, and this was after eating a 3.5 pound rabbit earlier that day. I will be going to a dog show this weekend and you better bet I will looking for these treats when I am there.
Kyan stayed home with Norman and as Norman has hurt his foot, Kyan had plenty of time to laze around and bother Norman, but fortunately he is learning that I do come back and doesn't stress out as much. I plan to start some of the training that Moxie and I have been learning on Kyan, I already know he loves to jump, so he might enjoy agility too.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Not much going on today, though I am training Kyan to sit politely when introduce to new people. He has no problem in the show ring, but elsewhere he thinks everyone wants kisses from him. We also practiced sitting when dogs walk by the yard, Moxie is trained and know the lot lines so well that if her ball rolls in the street she won't attempt to retrieve it, we actually leave her out because she likes to sun herself and know she won't go anywhere.
Today is a feasting day, and Moxie is going to have the same meat medley that Kyan had on Tuesday, and Kyan is going to get the rest of Moxie's duck, it turns out Moxie only likes white meat and has left all the innards too, so as nothing goes to waste, Kyan will have the rest. He is actually more capable of crushing through some of the bones than Moxie.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I dosed Moxie last night with a double dilute dose of Arsenicum Album and she then curl back up and went to sleep. I will update Magda on Monday as to her progress.I met up with Billie Hall of Herd About Aussies to drop of the ribbons for BRASC and to obeserve her blue merle boy Moose receiving acupuncture treatment. Billie said she has noticed a marked difference with one treatment in his movement. This is something I am interested in for not only my dogs but myself too.
I also got to hold Ariel,a 14 week old puppy who was a real love, she sat in my lap the whole time Billie had her appointment with Moose. Moxie and Kyan were VERY interested in the smells when I got home!
Kyan has obedience class tonight, and we have been practicing so I hope we perform well.
My good friend and mentor Sheryl Kaminski of Daybreak Aussies has told me that the mother of the puppy that I will be getting from her in 2006 was call Macy Gray when she was born, and if you have read my profile you've seen that she is one of my all time favorite artist! Tenatively, this little girls registered name is going to be "Daybreak TrulyNaturalHigh", but I haven't come up with a good call name yet (nothing like planning a year out ;-) ) but I would love to use something related to Macy Gray, heck I may just call her Macy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Moxie and I went to Beginner's Agility last night at A Click Above in Leesburg, VA and we practiced our contacts on the A-frame and dog walk, started weaves and also tried the teeter with the aid of the stay table so it didn't move too much. Moxie enjoys agility thought the tiem when we have to sit and listen to the instructor is tedious for her, she whines and gumps or surfs the floor for missed treats until she can go play on the equipment again. Moxie's biddablity is a bit of a hinderance in agility as she is always looking at me for what to do next instead of driving towards an object, but we will work on this. Moxie also had some issue with drooling going and coming home from class, Norman says it's my driving that resembles Mario Andretti's, but I know that she is also needs to be double dillute dosed with Arsenicum Album this evening. I will email Magda,our homeopath, with the update later in the week. Norman had to watch Kyan last night and took him to swim at their swimming hole, but as soon as he got wet he was out of the water and like a shot heading straight for home to find Moxie and I. He does not like to be seperated from me and unfortunately doesn't listen to Norman worth beans. This is something I hope Magda can also help us address. Moxie will be finishing her duck that she started over the weekend adn Kyan with be have a organic meat medley consisting of beef, salmon, bison, and various other meat that I get from Maryland. I generally give them this about once every two weeks, and generally on a day between eating the whole prey animals.

The main reason for me starting a blog is because I have a less than iron-clad memory and with everything that I have been doing with my dogs (Moxie and Kyan) and plan to do with them, I better have a way to document all the trial and errors that take place.
I started in my breed, the Australian Shepherd in March of 2003 with my then boyfriend (now husband)finally submitting to the fact that I was never going to give up the battle to have a dog (or few) in my life. Heck, I chose Francis as my confirmation name after St. Francis of Assisi because he is the patron saint of animals. He tried to appease me by buying tropical fish, and while they are beautiful they certainly cannot curl up on the couch next to you.
I used my trump card with my boyfriend and told him that I understood that he "wasn't a dog person", and that next weekend we were down at Bayshore kennel to look at the only blue merle female they had. Bayshore's Moxie Blue Zazu came home with us 2 weeks later, much to my eternal happiness and thus began my love affair with this versatile breed.

Fast forward through all the relatively easy training of a puppy (which we learned later was called "biddability") and the many adventures she took with us, including a trip to Wyoming for world pyrotechnic convention, to March of 2004, we were feeling pretty cocky about how well trained and well adjusted Ms. Moxie was that when I saw a blue merle male on Bofelli's website, my boyfriend said I could have him too.
Bofelli's Kyanite, or Ky baby, came home with us on April 27th, 2004 and to say that he was different than Moxie was putting it mildly. As I was planning on showing him in the conformation ring, he was being left intact. I had never had a intact dog of either sex, but hey, people do this all the time, certainly it couldn't be that much different than a neutered animal, right?
Kyan really had his own agenda, and it took him much longer to earn the same privileges that Moxie had. My boyfriend said that I babied him too much, but how could resist when he just wanted to be near me. Even when he did do something wrong and I would scold him, he had an endearing way of grinning and placing his head in my lap to say he way sorry. To say that he has me wrapped around his paw is putting it mildly.
Everything was controlled chaos for the next few months, Kyan and I entered our first Australian Shepherd Club show held by BRASC and took Best of Opposite sex puppy at 3 shows at 5.5 months old. Never mind the fact that we were the only male entered and that I have never shown a dog before, I was bit by the show bug! He and I took conformation classes at a local kennel club and hit the AKC ring at 8 months of age. To date we have earned 6 points towards his AKC championship.
The next truly remarkable event was around November of 2004 when I discovered species appropriate (dogs are carnivorous, just look at the way there jaw operates) raw feeding. I had heard about it before, knew a little and started reading everything I could so that I could be more informed. As the benefits greatly outweigh any perceived risks, I took the plunge on Thanksgiving weekend by giving Moxie and Kyan each a 1/2 a raw turkey. Moxie, whom we had hand fed kibble as she just didn't like any kibble (believe me, we were spending a fortune on expensive high- end kibble) looked at me as if to say "well it's about time you got with the program Mom" and happily ate at least 2-3 pounds at her first sitting. Kyan who could inhale a bowl of kibble in 30 seconds flat, actually slowed down some to savor what he was eating. I have to be honest though, the change would not have taken place without the wonderful people on several raw feeding yahoo groups, they were a wealth of knowledge and continue to be a reference for me when I head into uncharted territory. My dogs eat and have eaten every thing I can get my hands on from venison, ducks, chickens, rabbits, beef, pork, goat, lamb, and salmon for example. And I try to feed "whole prey" whenever possible, meaning that the animal is just killed and put in a bag and frozen, all the wonderful innards are still intact as is the hide and it's head and feet. You become very creative with finding sources and sometimes have to be willing to roll up your sleeves to save a few dollars and get the more unusual meats, but when you have a happy dog dancing around you waiting to be fed, it really is worth it.