Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nike, you are SO not supposed to be standing in my front yard.

I was having a more than normally crazy Monday morning when I headed out the front door to clean the snow off the cars and found Nike standing in my front yard.

I had noticed the night before that she had been pulling on her gate, so I put an extra chain on it. As I walked her back to the kennel, I was thinking she managed to get that gate open anyway.

No the extra chain deterred her from the gate so she went after the walls of her run. I haven't had a problem with dogs pulling up the chain link and getting out since I switch to the heavy duty 'keep teenagers away from the power lines' gage of chain link. And Nike couldn't bend the fencing either, she belt the clips that hook the tension bar to the frame of the run. This is some serious metal she bent. I can't bend these things when I have them stuck in a vise and I am hitting them with a hammer.

Nike managed not only to get out of her run's wall, she went through the next kennel's wall as well to get loose. So I have two kennel to rebuild today.

Nike has to go to Dr. Thayn's office since I cannot insure that she will be safe here.

What really scares me about this whole thing, is that if she had gotten loose even ten minutes later, I would have left to get to my doctor's appointment and no one would have noticed she was gone for at least 2 hours. I also think about the dog who's kennel she cut through. There was no chance that Penny would follow her out, but I can think a number of dog that would have jumped at that chance.

Next kennel, concrete walls and welded fencing - that should do the trick, but I still can't get over the strength it took to break out of my runs.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

So, Barbie went and got herself a dog.

Can I get one that works like this?

Barbie's dog came with his own dog toy, lease, dog dish, and dog food. Barbie also got a garbage can and a pooper scooper. (She wants to be a responsible dog owner)

I had no idea how interactive this toy was going to be when my daughter spent her birthday money on it.

You see, if you pull up on her dog's tail he opens his mouth and you can feed him his dog food. If you push down on his tail you get all of his dog food back. That is where the pooper scooper comes into play. It turns out that Barbie's dog's poop is magnetic. So scooping is a breeze.

Open the garbage can and drop the poop in....how convenient the dog food box attaches to the back of the garbage can and she is already for feeding time again. Perfect recycling.

My daughter loves this dog, and if I want her to scoop poop in our yard I am going to have to figure out how to magnetize it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


We got another one, how fun!

His name is Oz and he is only 9 weeks old. He seems pretty big for only 9 weeks, I think he is going to be a monster boxer. I had never seen a boxer puppy before and his long legs are throwing me off. he just stands so tall for a puppy.

He is trying to run with the big dogs, but as you can see he is just at a slightly lower speed than them.

Everybody loves those little blue raquetballs.

Lucky in particular loves and carries one with him, always.

This is BB waiting to Lucky to release the ball so she can steal it. Amica is just taking advantage of BB's focus on Lucky.

This is what happens if I get my hands of the little blue orb. If Amica gets it, she will drop it and I will attempt to get it before BB or Lucky gets it. If I fail or one of them gets it first, the game slows down considerably.

Now it is Lucky's turn to watch the ball and not have it.

My problem is that this is only ball I can find in the kennel. I will have to walk around the outside of the fence and see if all the other racquetballs have just escaped.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mica has a New Sparing Partner


Everything is going well with Patches and Mica play together until BB joins in. That is when Patches acts like she is under attack and she starts to show her teeth. Flashing your pearly whites at dogs that are just playing gets you a timeout at my ranch. So I am trying to keep BB busy chasing her toys so that Patch can try to wear out Mica.

Looks like Patches is the one running out of steam.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still Having Trouble Getting a Playmate for Jack

Jack is still annoying the little, old dogs to the point that I was afraid that the teacup poodle would eat him. I have never seen a puppy persist in bugging an adult that has shown its teeth and growled. So I rounded up Jack and sent him to play with the big dogs. They continue to ignore him. That was until Patch and Mica started playing together and ignoring BB. She gave the puppy a couple a chances to play after that.

Then on Monday we got another puppy, just here for daycare. His name is Harley. This puppy won't play with Jack either. Harley is mostly a blur of fluff trying to get away from Jack.

That is until they found the peach tree, the great equalizer in the game of chase. You can't get me and I can't get you. Perfect! They get worn out with out any physical contact.

"At last, he is interested in someone else!"

Empty Again!

I do have one dog, but he belongs to a friend of mine and often stays in the house with us instead of in the kennel. I couldn't leave Lucky down there all alone, so once again I have an empty kennel. Just one day though. I am going to take advantage of the lull and the nice weather - both of which will be leaving as of tomorrow - and I am going to pressure wash the kennel.

Spring Cleaning a bit early this year. I know I can't ever win the war on dust in the kennel, but for one bright and shiny moment the whole kennel will be immaculate, maybe for a whole 24 hours even.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The TWO-STEP as Done on My Ranch

When I have a dog that has no one to play with but me; we play the TWO-STEP, LUNGE. This works particularly well with BB who always has a toy in her mouth and no real desire to share that toy. I take two fast steps and lunge for the toy. BB spins off and does a quick lap around the kennel only to come back to me for another two steps and a lunge.

This works well for me since I am old and tired and works for BB since she is young and fast. We both get a workout.

I noticed Dusty playing TWO STEP with Amica this morning. Dusty takes a couple a steps toward Mica and Mica is off at top speed, only to circle back around for another session. Dusty is also old and slow and has a bad knee. She would rather do a stand up wrestling match, but if Mica wants to run, Dusty is happy to oblige her.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Feast or Famine?

After a particularly busy weekend, or a long run of having a full house, it is alway weird to suddenly have an empty kennel. Yesterday, I went from all seven runs full to only two in a matter of hours. The place looks so deserted and so quiet - it just isn't normal.

Oh well, I have to run to SLC today and this will give my dog sitter an easy day.

Why is it that I am never home to enjoy an empty kennel?

Monday, February 19, 2007

So, this is why I can't find any tennis balls in the play yard

Lucky not only likes to chases balls, he likes to keep them too.

Keep them to himself, I see.

The blue racquetballs may has escaped through the fence, but the tennis balls have all been rounded up and hidden under The Boys' blankets.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

When more than one dog is the 'New Kid'

You get pile up meet and greets,

Congo Lines,

Doggie Trains.

Size doesn't matter to dogs, but sometimes it can be a problem.

And sometimes it can work to your advantage.

This group is driving me nuts

I don't know what the problem is but this group is not gelling like I would like.

First, I had to separate the little dogs from the big dogs and stick the puppy in with the big guys. The little ones were showing their teeth every time the puppy tried to play with them and I can't have that. I also can't make a these little guys play to save my life.

So, I try Jack out with the big guys. This should work like a dream, but NO, they won't have anything to do with him. This reminds me of trying to follow my big brother around the neighborhood when he was playing with his friends. I have never seen a dog try to ditch another dog, but that is what is happening with BB, Patches, Gunny, Amica and the puppy, Jack.

And even Patches, BB, Amica, and Gunny are not really playing together. I just don't get this group, they should be wearing each other out, not annoying the bejeepers out of me.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Kasey and Amica are not the only bouncy dogs I have this week

This is Scruffy and he is the only dog that can jump up and be caught by me. He loves that.

I have to admit that it took 25 shots to finally get Scruffy jumping in the frame. All my bad photography didn't slow him down at all. Two pictures out of 25 tries...that camera obviously doesn't point where I think it points.

Friday, February 16, 2007


We got a Labrador puppy in today, Jack. He is doing pretty well trying to meet everyone and let everyone meet him. So far so good. Only problem is that he is trying to play with the dogs his size - Teenso, Jake, Lucky and Teddy. These are not what I would call 'playful' dogs. They are old and want to be left alone. Left alone with his ball for Lucky.

Jack will have better luck with the big and bouncy dogs - if he would just give them a chance. I figure by next play time he should figure all of this out and be running with the big dogs in no time.

I hope to have the pictures to prove it.

Same Dog, Different Outfits

Amica is the standard poodle with the fancy haircut and Kacey is the saggy dog extraordinaire.

These two though very different looking are exactly the same dog. Under all that fur and all that lack of fur, lurks the very same extra bouncy dog. These two have been racing and wrestling all over the play yard at top speed. You should see the hang time they have with their jumps. They flip and leap over each other like it was nothing. I spend my time just trying to dodge their leaps.

Lacey is headed home today and BB is on her way later today - I can't wait to see BB and Amica in action.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I just had the funniest phone call

I just was talking to a lady in Ontario, Canada that is opening her own kennel very soon. (I should have asked her the name of her place to give it a plug.) She has been researching dog kennels on the internet before building hers and found my blog.

She thinks my blog is funny, so I instantly liked her.

It is nice to meet someone who is crazy enough about dogs to be starting in this business. I wished her luck and told her that she will be very busy - don't worry about that.

Her kennel is going to have living rooms for the dogs to stay in, complete with couches. That is the kind of kennel I alway wanted to have. I think I am a little jealous.

I Bet Teenso Never Met A Dog Smaller Than Herself

Ninna is so small, I had to move her to a different kennel. One that had already been 'Chiuchacha Proofed' or she would be able to walk out between the frame and the gate.

Teenso is fascinated by Ninna, I don't think she realized that dogs come smaller than herself.

Lucky and Jake were equally amused. Ninna, however, wanted to get away from these gigantic monsters. So I scooped her up and put her back in her run.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Helper Dogs verses Price Dogs

I can tell the dogs that live in Price and the dogs that live in Helper without ever checking the owner's phone numbers.

The Price dogs bark at and trains and the church bells, Helper dogs are too used to hearing them. There isn't anywhere in Helper that you can't hear a train or listen to St. Anthony's church bells.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dig a Hole, Get a Rock Garden

We are having an unusually early false Spring this year. It had just been beautiful around here for the past week. I have been out with the dogs in just my shirt sleeves and it feels great. I have got Spring Fever pretty bad this year, the extended really cold weather was killing me.

I am putting my Spring Fever to work. I started to dig a couple of hole for trees in the play yard. I am planning on putting in a sprinkler system and planting sod, so we are going to need some more trees to shade that sod. This hole is giving me a hard time. For every rock I try to remove there are four others that have to be dug out first. For every giant rock that I can't believe I got out there is always another bigger one.

I have two big ones loose, but I will need my husband to get them out of the hole. And still a few more to go after that.

If you think I have dug too big of a hole, you just don't know how bad the soil is around here. Besides rocks there just isn't much in our dirt. No worms, no organic material, no nutrients - just sand and dirt and rocks. So when I plant a tree, I make the whole at least 4 feet in diameter to give the tree space with real soil to start its roots in. This way the tree gets a really good start and I have a couple of years of trying to improve the soil further out before the tree gets that far.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chi Chi is a work in progress

She has made a lot of progress since she got here last weekend. She spent the first couple of days running from one gate to the other whimpering to be let out. She finally started to relax on the third day and tried to play with the other dogs. She needs to work on her playing. She is just too rough, shows too much teeth, and growls. The other dogs think they are under attack.

I figured with Gunny she would do fine. That Rott can take anything, but she even had him growling and snapping at her. I can run interference for Chi Chi and break up the playtime when it looks like it is getting too rough, but only the dogs can teach her some manners.

The growling and snapping is a warning to stop. When the dogs ignore her requests to play is when she is supposed to get the idea that she is in the wrong. It took two days for her to realize the gate don't open for dogs, maybe today she will have figured out playtime.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Big, Dumb, and Happy



This is my usual description for Labradors, but I have a couple of golden retrievers that really fit that bill.

They can make you happy just watching them.

I wrote this post yesterday, waiting to get some better pictures of Charlie. Last night, my husband was doing me a big favor by putting the doggies to bed for me. As no good deal goes unpunished. He ended up being bit by Isabella. I don't know which was a bigger shock the bite or the fact that it was Isabella that bit him. He had grabbed for her collar and she just turned and chomped on him. He was able to put a lease on her and put her in her kennel no problem.

Isabella must have some serious 'collar issues'.

She seems fine today back to her happy self, my husband is also fine, just sleeping in since we ended up in the ER until midnight. This make for the fifth dog bite in 5 years, not a bad track record.

This why I pay for that very expensive Workman's Comp insurance.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Say Hello to The Boys!

This is Teddy, Lucky and Jake. They belong to a lady that I used to work with way back when I was trying to sell real estate. (emphasis on the 'trying' part)

When Teddy was a puppy he used to hang out at our office. He could fit in your cupped hands when he first showed up. Shitzus are really not my favorite breed of dogs, but they are one of the cutest puppies.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Remy is one of my big ball chasing dogs.

And this is how she stares at her toy until I throw it again, or until BB or Daisy steals it away.

I am thrilled that I can now play ball with Remy, Sadie, Daisy and sometimes BB since they will ALL now return balls to me. BB still needs some work, but I honestly think she prefers to chew on a toy over chasing after it.

Big fun this weekend!

BB had a couple of boring days of just me to play with, but she had a fun weekend with all the dogs that showed up on Friday. The Beagle is Bailey and he definitely went home and slept for a couple of days.

I have to figure out how to load up videos so you can see all the action.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I just had the best play time, ever!

That Dog Whisperer stuff really works!

I have been 'one with the couch' for most of this week. When I could wrestle control of the remote from the kids, who where also home sick, I would switch from Nickelodeon to episodes of the "Dog Whisperer".

He was helping a family with a beagle that grabbed everything and anything and just ran with it. Remotes, phones, magazines, newspapers, glasses, toys - if it wasn't nailed down they were chasing him to get it back. This transformation was something I really wanted to see. I have so many dogs that won't release a toy back to me.

I know I can't yank these toys out of the dog's mouths. Tug of war is not a game I am ever going to win. What I didn't know was that I shouldn't even try to pull the toy out, the dogs should be giving them to me voluntarily. The pack leader doesn't snatch something out of another dog's mouth, they expect the dog to drop it and relinquish it to the leader. This I am going to try, but after I am feeling better. I figure that I am tired, sick, and not cut striking figure as the Leader of the Pack this week.

But an opportunity presented itself. I was sitting and BB walked up with a toy in her mouth. I tried Cesar's 'claw' technique. You make you hand into a claw and poke the dog in the next just under the jaw line. This is like a 'bite' from us and that is how a dog would communicate to another dog. One poke and BB dropped that toy into my lap. I could not believe it. I thought it had to be a fluke it happened so fast. When it worked a second time I knew I was onto something.

I had a dog that wanted to play fetch, but whenever Remy would bring a ball back, Daisy or BB would steal it. This makes for a very short game of fetch. I did my best Cesar impersonation, I touched Daisy and said, "SHHH!" and she dropped the ball. This has never happened before. BB got smart and started to stay out of touching range, but I had Daisy bring the ball back to me over and over again.

Best part, they were still releasing balls the next day. Now, I have to get the owners to continue my good work.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sorry folks...The kids gave me the FLU

And I know I am truly not funny when I am sick. So I will be taking a couple of more days off. Stop by next week, it looks to be a humorous weekend at the ranch.