Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snow Loving Dog

Trekker’s first snow has arrived and he loved it. He’d bunny hop through the yard taunting Shiloh with, “Chase me! Chase me!” (Never do I have the camera ready at the best moments.) With the bushes covered with snow, Trekker thought they gave him cover to hide from Shiloh’s chasing assaults. Little did he know just a light touch causes the bush to unload the snow on top of him. He was not a quick study. It took several snow covered bushes later until he finally learned that they do not offer him protection but a snow dunking instead, not that he minded. Buried treasure must also be hidden under the snow. Trekker seemed to feel that it was his responsibility to burrow under much of the snow covering the backyard. Yes, Trekker appears to be a snow dog.
On a personal note—I will admit that this first snow was a pretty one. But one snow is enough for the season. I keep telling Rich that it’s time to move to Arizona and away from this white stuff!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tired and Thankful

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m not sure who was happier to see Luke, Trekker or me. Trekker was five months when Luke went back to college and Luke hadn’t been home since. That's a lot of time to pass for puppy to remember. There was no doubt Trekker has long term memory. Every time Luke sat down Trekker was ready to accost and smother.

With strategic planning each dog takes their place for Thanksgiving food preparation. Shiloh moves into place in the middle of the floor but in the middle of the route I use to get to the refrigerator. If anything falls he’s ready, no need for a mop. Trekker on the other hand, huddles between the cupboard and me. He looks pleadingly upward for just a small little tidbit, but always ready for the big catch. It’s nice to have such trained kitchen help.

With Luke heading back to college, the food preparation and clean up over a nap or two will be required, except Trekker has beat me to it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wet and Sloppy Welcome

After a long and restless night aboard AmTrak’s “California Zephyr” from Denver to Osceola, I couldn’t have arrived home to a warmer welcome. As Dad pulled into the driveway, Shiloh’s distinct barks were audible behind the glass front door. We walked inside and Shiloh barked and pranced around. At ten years old, he is an old man but still full of energy and charisma. Then, the little one caught me by surprise; he dashed out of his kennel and immediately started hopping up and down, barking, licking, and sniffing my jeans simultaneously (no exaggeration, seriously). I bent down on one knee and Trekker jumped up, smothering my face with an odd combination of kisses and nibbles. Once the dogs were settled down, it was time for a nap, unfortunately, Trekker didn’t think so. He scurried around on top of the bed and made sure to nudge my head every time it hit the pillow. Ahh, yes, I couldn’t have arrived home to a warmer welcome.


Trekker here--My boy missed me and came home!!! He's only here to Friday so I got to go because he's ready to play. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looking for the Advantage

Trekker takes off like a bullet, through the rooms he races. Up, over, and around he goes at top speed. Shiloh trails behind looking for an intersection point, knowing he can’t win in an all out chase. Trekker makes all the furniture part of the course finding an advantage in height when brother is over twice as tall. The footstools get Trekker to the optimal height to nip at his brother and then run for cover before Shiloh can turn to catch him. When not in motion, these same footstools are a wonderful place to watch for the opportune moment to pounce and begin a race again. I know, I know…corgis shouldn’t be jumping until over a year but it is a losing battle. He will make anything taller into part of his obstacle course. He is a born jumper.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Any rabbits out there?
No. Oh well, I'll settle for this one.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanks Luke, It Works!

Shiloh here—According to Mom, my human brother, Luke, never really got into much trouble when he was in school, but he always in the mix. She has said that she thought he was an instigator. He’d encourage others to do the deed and then sit back and enjoy the action! This left him clear of consequences yet right in the middle of the scheme. Wow, I liked that idea so I tried it today.

Mom was downstairs pulling out Christmas decorations and sorting through them. The Christmas closet looks like that holds all this good stuff, but is off limits. I showed it to Trekker, encouraged him to go on in, and told him I’d be the look out. I’d watch for Mom, yeah right. I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist and would bring out the good stuff. I watched him go in and then lay down to watch the fireworks. Yep, Luke it works. Trekker came out with a mouth full of greenery and boy did he get in trouble. Me, I got away scott free. I’ll try this again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is it Saturday yet?

resting up for the weekend

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Trekker here—I am so excited. Mom just told me that my best boy, Luke, is coming home soon and finals are over. I’ve started watching for him! He’s coming all the way from Colorado. Mom says not to get too excited yet, that he is taking a one week inter-term course and then will be here. Oh, I remember this summer when Luke would spend lots of time with me. He’d play with me and teach me tricks. It was great. Luke would even come home on lunch breaks to let me out. He won’t believe how much I’ve grown and become a big boy. He’ll really like that I’m potty trained. I haven’t had an accident in at least two months. I really miss him, but did I tell you he’s coming home soon. Yippy!!!

PS Luke—I’ve been taking good care of your room. I got under your bed all cleared out. Mom said she didn’t know how much junk you had stashed under there. I told her it wasn’t junk but treasures. I don’t think there’s anything I haven’t found. Mom also told me to tell you gas is 1.68. Will you take me for a ride in the Mustang?

Brotherly Love

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Grass is Always Greener On the Other Side

Trekker here—I’m going to get in those off limit rooms. I know that’s where the good stuff is kept. I bet the rooms are filled with treats! Mom calls the rooms the living and dining room and says there’s nothing in there for me. She put these stupid crates at the doorways that tumble if I jump up on them. They’re short but effective. I’m still working on a plan to get me out there. If there’s any chance anything good is kept out there, I’m on it. I’ve got to see for myself!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Watching and Waiting

Where or where is Murphy?
Why won't he come out to play?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Get the Ear

A game I find great humor in is “Get the Ear”. Shiloh learned this game years ago and we’ve been teaching Trekker the finer points. There are rules that only I know and appreciate, such as when is an appropriate time to play. The first thing needed is for Rich to be resting quietly on the sofa watching television and for me to be slightly bored or just mean spirited, which I was today. I go over close to sofa and Rich and begin to joke around. That’s Shiloh’s signal to come running. He jumps up onto the sofa and often on top of Rich where he can get some leverage to lick and slobber all over Rich’s ear. Rich squirms and struggles trying to cover his head but to no avail, a dog’s nose can burrow right in finding the ear each time. Now Trekker wants in on the action too. The problem is Trekker hasn’t yet learned the fine art of gentle. He adds a little nip to his licks, as Rich complains. My job is to stand back, yell out encouragement to the dogs, and of course laugh until my sides ache. Yes, I like this game. Rich, not so much.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Lull Before the Storm

They'll just wait by the front door waiting for the next idea of mischief to hit them. It's never long before they're busy again.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Christmas to Come

I got a taste of the Christmas season to come with a puppy in the house and of course the camera is nowhere close. I bought a smaller Christmas tree this season and offered the older, larger one to a younger teacher who is just starting out. She wants to pick it up this weekend so it needs to come out of the closet that holds all of the decorations. Crates of decorations litter the room and still I’m pulling. Out of the corner of my eye I see a red streak and then see it again. Trekker has the Santa hat and was having a blast running his corgi laps round and round the new obstacle course of Christmas boxes. I just stand and wonder how high decorations need to go on the tree to stay out of puppy’s eager mouth and will wrapped presents be safe. Well puppy experts, any savvy advice?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Best Toy Ever

Last winter I was trying to find toys that would keep Shiloh’s mind sharp. I found the treat ball and brought it home, filled it and handed it off to him. He picked it up and dropped it. A few treats fell out. He ate the unexpected rewards and picked up the ball again to check it out. Again, dropping it and finding treats on the floor. After several tries the light went on and he knew that by moving the ball in a certain way more treats could be obtained. His next discovery was all the ways to move the ball and different ways sent different amounts of food out. When the ball rolled next to the wall or furniture, Shiloh would pick it up and move it to the center of the room to begin rolling and eating again. His problem solving was truly visible. He loved it.

After Trekker’s arrival I found that one treat ball was not going to work. It was a fight ready to happen. Shiloh was not going to share and Trekker was not going to leave it alone. I bought another. Trekker never had to “find the magic of the ball”, he watched Shiloh for a minute and knew what to do. It is by far their favorite toy.

So now as the weather begins to turn and the dogs need a diversion, it’s time for the treat balls. I pour their dinner meal inside (it holds over a cup of food). Then they roll and eat to their delight. Dinner can last over a half hour. It’s the best toy invented.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What You Won't Do For Your Dog

Trekker sits at the window dreaming about getting outside so here I am sitting out in our backyard with the down blanket wrapped around me for warmth typing this blog. Why, you ask? To let the dogs run off steam and chase the squirrels and the rabbits that venture out, of course. For the past several days rain and freezing drizzle has kept us more housebound than we are used to. Maybe your dogs go out on their own but not mine. They want to be where I am, so outside I go, cold or no cold. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m nuts but happy dogs make happy owner.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Confusing Relationships

Trekker met up with his good friend and neighbor, Bella, yesterday after not seeing each other for a month. In one month Bella, a chocolate lab pup, had grown and grown. She went from a puppy slightly larger than Trekker to 50 lbs and full of adolescent exuberance. She just pranced with energy. Trekker didn’t like the mauling she tried to give him bit and headed straight for the protection between my legs. When she didn’t settle he was ready to go. I’m sure if he could talk he’d tell me not to schedule any play dates until Bella grows up a little and learns to play nicely with others.

Then there’s our other neighbor’s dog. Trekker just isn’t sure what to do with Murphy, the golden retriever, we share a fence line with. Should they be friends or should he take his lead from big brother, Shiloh? When Murphy is let outside the first place he goes is to the fence to bark for Shiloh to come out and play. No matter where Shiloh is in our house he comes running to get out with Murphy. He’ll cry until we open slider. When outside the two run the fence line and Trekker trails a safe distance behind. They’d look like best friends to a visitor’s eye. But if the visitor would watch a little longer, he’d see the two dogs sneer at each other and leave their calling card on the fence that separates them. The two have a love-hate relationship. Unfortunately, if the dogs get loose in the front yard with no fence to separate them, they fight. The real oddity is both dogs get along wonderfully with other dogs, just not each other.

These relationships leave Trekker confused. Is Murphy friend or foe? Will Bella return as a good friend? Should he check out the other dogs in the neighborhood?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just Like Kids

Anyone who has dogs knows that they are like having children. I’m finding with two it’s like having two arguing siblings. In the past couple of days the point has been honed in as child like behaviors abound. A good example of this is when the dogs are lying quietly, the phone rings and I answer. They always choose this moment to tussle underneath me and never quietly. I was on the phone with my mother and she says, “They really are like children, aren’t they?” Yep.

Some more examples are the bullying older brother behaviors:
---Trekker has a chew toy, Shiloh comes and takes it from him. He doesn’t really want it but wants to show Trekker he can have it if he wants it. Trekker whines and cries. Often times running to me like, “He’s picking on me Mom!”
---Trekker is standing next to me for a little love, Shiloh pushes him out of the way and wants the attention. He makes sure to move so Trekker can not get close.
---Last night we went to bed and Trekker was snuggled in next to me. Shiloh isn’t a bed snuggler but thought if Trekker liked it, it must be a good spot. He just plopped on top of Trekker until Trekker wiggled out and moved. As soon as he did that Shiloh moved to his favorite spot away from me.
Yep, just like kids.

For the most part when school is out I head home because doggie bladders are only so strong. After school meetings have to move right along for me to get home, my boys await. I was asked to attend a special meeting Monday after school by the principal. I told her I’d be happy to if I could hire the neighbor boy to babysit. That’s when she asked me week if I knew they were dogs and not children. Nope, they’re just like kids.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Getting Older is Hard

The rain and cold are coming, according to the weather man. Trekker has energy to spare. Where do I go to wear out my dog? Across the street to puppy Casey’s house we went. There the two romped and wrestled. Trekker likes to run his corgi laps around and around Casey who is still is gaining coordination. Over the weekend Casey found that he could occasionally jump on top of Trekker as he lapped him. Today Casey had a new strategy; he clamped down on Trekker’s tail with those sharp little puppy teeth and held on. Trekker was less than thrilled with this new idea. He had to put puppy in his place, but does he ever struggle being the older one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pooped Pup

I don’t think I’ve ever since Trekker exhausted until yesterday. By night fall he could hardly keep his head up. Shiloh and Trekker started the day with their normal rough housing and rabbit / squirrel hunts. Then Rich took Trek on their daily two to three mile hike. Trekker was just settling in for a quick nap when Casey, the neighbor’s puppy, came over to see if Trekker could “come out to play”. They romped and ran for almost two hours. We followed this by dog class. By the time evening came he was totally done in.

PS Right before dog class we met the woman who will teach the first agility class in January. She visited with him and checked a little on his basic commands. I was so proud of my baby, he did all her requests on the first asking!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Play Dates

On Halloween Trekker met the neighbor’s puppy Casey, a Chesapeake Bay mix of 11 weeks. At the present time the two dogs are matched in height and Trekker has about twice the poundage. I’m sure that this will change quickly. Both pups need vigorous play and for the past two days they’ve gotten lots of activity. Yesterday it was at the neighbor’s yard and today it was ours.

Casey began very unsure and Trekker was great trying to get him to relax by lying down and gently playing and teasing. As Casey became more comfortable the play began to change and become much more animated and physical. You can see Trekker slobber all over poor Casey’s head. Trek thought maybe he’d finally met a friend who could give chase to his quick corgi laps and turns. Casey tried and tried but just doesn’t have the coordination yet to keep up. After many puppy tumbles, Casey’s strategy was to wait for Trekker to run by and jump on top of him. He got a few blows of his own in.

There were some adjustments for Trekker. He’s used to being the baby and Shiloh tolerating his many antics. Trek wasn’t prepared for reversing roles and his being the older one. Trekker would give me, “this just isn’t right” look as Casey was on top of him chewing. Sharing was also difficult for Trekker. When Casey played with his toys Trek took them away and ran. He’d look back as if to say, “I’ll share only if you can catch me and that’s not about to happen!”

I tried having Shiloh on his leash out back too. Not successful. Shiloh would growl as Casey tried to make up to him. I wonder if Shiloh was thinking, “You already brought in one pup and I was nice. Look where that got me. It’s not happening again.” When I put Shiloh in the house Trekker just cried. He wanted so bad to play with Casey but also sees the world rising and setting on Shiloh, such a torn dog.

Now Trekker is beat. It’ll make cleaning house a little easier on me when he isn’t “helping”.