Friday, September 28, 2012

Owen and Oskar - Part 1

Oskar is up for adoption!
Owen has a lot of fun playing with his foster sisters, but sometimes boys need to be boys! So we headed over to another foster parent's home and spent some time with their pack, and Owen had a blast playing with foster boy Oskar and his foster siblings! 
Oskar waits to meet the visitors!
 Before we got started though, I joined the pack on my own to get to know them and let them get comfortable with me before I started bringing my dogs in. This meant I got to see Oskar pull some moves with the flirt pole!
Caught it!
Let's do it again Momma!
 And of course this very talented pack showed off their tricks!
Oskar is a beautiful, sweet boy with a shiny black coat and expressive eyes. I'm amazed that he is still up for adoption! He is a great boy with other dogs and loves people! Check out his Petfinder!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lure Coursing

Owen is always ready to go!
While it was the flyball tournament that drew Unorthodogs to Longview, Washington, the tournament was part of a larger event. Dogapalooza is an annual event that includes several events, including lure coursing, lots of demos for agility, rally, nose work, and several vendors. From the video below you can tell that Sappho's favorite part is lure coursing!

Originally it was designed for sighthounds like Saluki, Borzoi, and Greyhounds. It spread out though as more folks realized it appealed to more than just the long-legged sighthounds, and now in most events any dog who wants to lure course can do so!
Standing in line I saw a wide variety of breeds. Some breeds were "classic" lure-coursing breeds, such as terriers, sighthounds, and certain hound breeds bred to take down prey over long distances like the Rhodesian Ridgeback or the Irish Wolfhound. However, we also so Chihuahuas, Corgis, Poodles, Rottweilers, and lots of mixed breeds!

Finally though, after an interminable time (from Maya and Sappho's point of view) it was time to run! Below are the three runs by Maya, Sappho, and Owen. Owen had never lure coursed before and I didn't know what he would think, but true to his terrier nature he chased and "killed" that bag!

After the three dogs did a fine job of taking down their plastic prey, it was back to the tournament! They rested in their kennel while Mom got back to work!
From left to right - Sasha, Cricket, Maya, Owen, Sappho, and Rhubarb!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Flyball Tournament

Owen experienced his first flyball tournament recently! Flyball is a canine relay race that involves teams of four dogs hurdling over jumps, hitting a box that ejects a tennis ball that the dog catches, and then running back over the jumps as the next dog is released. The team with the fast time wins, and it is a crazy, chaotic, exhilerating time that is a lot of fun.
Lots of dogs and people running, balls and tugs flying, and lights flashing!
This tournament took place in Longview, Washington, at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. The annual Dogapalooza was also going on, which meant several vendors, lots of demonstrations, and lure coursing! My girls love lure coursing and I wanted to see if Owen would enjoy it as well.

Before we got to lure course though, we had to wait in line and Owen got to meet a couple dogs. The first was a Chihuahua smaller than Owen, which I bet he loved meeting someone tinier than him!
Next, he met a pitbull many times his size! He wasn't too sure about this big dog in his face, but once the pitbull turned away Owen got a little more curious!
After meeting the Chihuahua and Pitbull it was Owen's turn to lurecourse! Come back tommorow to find out how he did!
Is it my turn finally?

Friday, September 21, 2012


In the backyard I have a Nylabone that rarely gets noticed. Occasionally one of the dogs might deign to pick it up for a game of fetch, but this poor Nylabone rarely sees any action.
Until Owen came along that is!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

All The Best

Headed to one of my favorite stores!
Very close to where I work there is one of my favorite pet stores - All the Best Pet Care. This is a local chain that sells wonderful products. Unlike most pet stores, especially big box stores like Petco or Petsmart, you can walk into an All The Best and be guarenteed to walk out with a food safe and healthy for your pet. They sell only high quality food and treats, don't sell any products sourced from China (which has repeatedly been the source of products that sickened or killed pets), and the staff are knowledgable and helpful.
Gotta stop for a potty break first!
All The Best is also a frequent stop for my fosters for socialization. Most dogs that come into rescue benefit from socialization and the staff know me there and are used to my sometimes odd requests. I've frequently stopped in there and asked them to put the store dogs up, asked them to sit on the floor and feed treats, asked them to ignore and not approach my dog, or other requests, and they are happy to oblige.
Two of the staff's dogs greeted us at the door - a big Great Pyrenees puppy (whose name I can't recall) and Jack, the Italian Greyhound. Owen was a little unsure about that big puppy, so I asked his owner to put him in the back until Owen gets more comfortable.
Getting to know each other.
We wandered around the store, and Jack showed Owen all the most interesting places to sniff!
After a little while Jack got bored and wandered to his bed, but Owen wanted to see if Jack would play with him (Jack respectfully declined.)
So Owen went his own way, and disocvered a whole section of high quality treats! He of course went for the huge bones first, but to Owen these are just the right size for a dog of his "giant" stature!

After we picked out treats for him and his foster sisters, we headed out since Owen was getting tired.
And of course, a potty break for the road!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bone day!

Owen is a little guy, only about 7 pounds when he first came to us. He's been putting on a little bit of weight and might be closer to 8 pounds now, but he won't get much bigger! Since he is such a petite fella I knew I couldn't give him the big chicken backs that my girls get. Instead, we started him on duck necks.
Taking the first bite.
I didn't know how Owen would do as it isn't uncommon for dogs to not know how to tackle raw meaty bones the first time they encounter it. Owen though dove right in! He is extremely food motivated though and because of that I wasn't too surprised at how quickly he ate the bone, although I was impressed by the speed considering he finished faster than Maya who outweighs him by about 4-5 lbs!
Owen is a youngster at only 18 months, and his teeth look fantastic. However it's important to give him raw meaty bones a couple times a week to make sure his teeth do stay nice and clean!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TTouch Workshop Part 2

After lunch, we moved on from classroom lecture to practical instruction! We went out to a large horse arena where an "obstacle course" had been set up. These obstacles included posts for the dogs to step over, different surfaces, a labrynth, and several other unique obstacles to help the dog think about their body as they move. In the picture above Sappho is doing one of the surfaces. My job is to move slowly with her and encourage her to pause on surfaces and experience the different textures.
You may notice she appears to be double-leashed. One of the primary focuses on walking using TTouch is using a 2-contact leash. One point is on the back of the dog, and the other is on the sternum. Having these two points allows much greater communication with your dog as well as given more, gentler control. Instead of having a dog pulling ahead, you can gentle alternate pressure between one side the the other to encourage the dog to move with you.

Look at the concentration on Sappho's face! She is quite agile and so this basic step wasn't a challenge to her, but since we moved so slowly it encouraged her to focus on her tasks and got her brain thinking.

After spending time on the obstacle course it was back inside for a review of what we've learned and to answer any questions. For the dogs though, it the completion of a job well done and a nap!

Monday, September 17, 2012

TTouch Workshop Part 1

Sappho snoozing during a rare crated-time.
Sappho and I had a wonderful time when we attended Lori Steven's fabulous workshop on walking in balance with our dog using TTouch. Not only did I get to spend the entire day with Sappho, we spent the day with NR foster mom and Adoption Coordinator Julee, and foster boy Dandy.

We attended the seminar on Vashon Island at the NW School of Animal Massage, on a beautiful farm with horses and dogs. It was small seminar, less than 10 people, so we received lots of individual attention and the dogs who needed space got their space!
Foster boy Dandy letting me practice TTouch on him!
I didn't get many pictures of Sappho because most of the time I had her in my lap, or on the table while I practiced TTouch on her. We learned a couple touches, practiced on human partners, and then practiced on dogs.

I learned so much about TTouch and after seeing the progress Dandy has made from being a completely shut down dog, afraid to move or interact, to seeing this confident boy who wanted nothing more than to lay on his tummy for scratches made me realize how much power is in TTouch!

Dandy and Sappho watch while their foster mom's learn the new touches!
Julee gives Dandy ear touches.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Owen got neutered on September 7th, so in most cases he wouldn't have to still wear a cone! However a few days after surgery he snuck away and did a number on his incision. It swelled up and started to look infected, but I kept a close eye on it and applied neosporin a couple times a day. He wears the Comfy Cone, which is made of a soft, firm padded cloth and doesn't have any sharp edges or hard plastic.
He's doing better now, but each time I take his cone off he tries to bother his stitches unless he is actively engaged with me or his foster sisters, or eating! So while I can't watch him he continues to wear the Comfy Cone. These pictures are from him kenneled in the car, where he stays during the day while I'm at work.

While Owen is usually a pretty good sport, sometimes he does want to try and play on my emotions and act like the most pitiful, pathetic little dog this side of the Cascades! Here he is after 15 minutes after going out for a walk, hoping I'll feel bad for him and let him out of his crate for cuddles or more walks!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Playing in the Yard

Owen is a guy with moderate energy, and is happiest hanging around at your feet or being held in your arms. He does like to check out the yard sometimes though, and he'll even chase you around the yard!
Maya likes to chase her ball and will run over anyone that gets in her way (including Owen one time, ouch!) so he doesn't venture too far from one of his humans when Maya is racing around. He's a tender soul who is still learning that the world isn't as scary as it appears, so while I encourage him to explore on his own I also interact with him a lot outside just to help boost his confidence.
Like any rattie though, when he gets going he can really pick up speed!!