Archive for June, 2012

Charming Lily

amywink June 25th, 2012

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Lily turned it on today to work out her relationship with Cookie, who had some….personal issues with sharing me with another dog. It’s not surprising, since she has always assumed I come visit her when I come to Taipan Station. But Lily figured things out pretty swiftly and let Cookie set the pace of things. When Cookie decided to be a terrible host, Lily just decided she could lie down and go right to sleep while Cookie worked it out.

Cookie was a motivating factor in selecting the Welsh Springer since I knew whatever dog I had would have to contend with the Jack Russell Terrorist at Taipan Station. While she’s a great dog and I completely love her, she is, as her name implies, a Jack Russell, and her cuteness only belies her terrier nature, which erupts with hardly any provocation. Those who know Jack Russells are keenly aware….and those who do not….well, don’t believe the false advertising. Great dogs….but great little killers who need to run and run and run.

See? Does this dog not say “who me?”
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Still, Lily was perfectly brilliant in her approach and Cookie got the attention she needed while learning that she was not the only dog to have a place in my heart.

Cookie was not our only canine encounter yesterday. Our long awaited meeting between her the Basenjis of Barton Hills, Kate and Pona, took place in the scorching late afternoon heat.

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Pona approached cautiously but Lily knew her stuff and soon, he was approaching over and over again. He’s a shy dog but kept coming back to check out the new arrival.

Kate was bolder but also more bored after the initial encounter.

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Steven has posted more photos on his Flickr stream, including this lovely one of Kate and Lily and this one of Pona and Lily which deftly captures Pona’s expression about the entire meeting.

And of course, the meeting wasn’t just for the dogs. Lily has two huge fans now in Steven and Jeff.

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She had a great time with her visit and collapsed as soon as we got in the car to go home. Good dog, Lily.

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Dog Day at FD Training Stables

amywink June 23rd, 2012

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Since Francine and Malen had been watching for “Lily” from the womb, so to speak, it was with great excitement that she made her first foray down to FD Training Stables today where she was greeted VERY enthusiastically. First by the dogs, then by the people, and even Blessing was intrigued.

Tex was wildly excited–as expected–and Lily now thinks of him as her new best friend.img_5407.jpg

Blessing was certainly curious and seemed to think Lily was acceptable–at least in theory. Lily will not be allowed to be around Blessing in the pasture because she doesn’t have nice manners with loose dogs.

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Lily also got her first carriage ride, and she did spectacularly well!! Not a hint of discomfort or fear or anything–even though Blessing was somewhat naughty.

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So, she passes her tests with flying colors and I have a great writing/carriage dog off to a brilliant start of her dual careers!

Tomorrow we plan to meet some new dogs including Cookie, the Jack Russell, who rules the roost at Taipan Station, and the Basenjis of Barton Hills.

Life with Lily

amywink June 22nd, 2012

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It has been nearly twenty years since I had a puppy and in that twenty years, I have learned more about being a good dog trainer, being a good dog owner, and assimilating a new animal into my life. Whether this has made Lily easier for me to work with, or whether all of my research paid off spectacularly well, she is settling into nicely and has already become my dog. It is probably not an either or question, but a combination of everything from breed to owner–including the very very good breeders at Avedonn’s Welsh Springer Spaniels in Ohio, who took the kind of care and attention it takes to make a Great Dog have a great start. I am completely smitten with her adoring spaniel eyes.

Lily knows her name singularly well–though I can tell she has also started to ignore me when something smells really fascinating. She is working her magic with the cats and Phoebe has come very close to a play maneuver. Henry has come out from under the furniture and is staying put when she approaches and often can be seen observing from a respectful height. So this is progress and I suspect in the next week, or so, the cats will have decided I did, in fact, bring them a new toy.

Lily is also learning fast about “outside” and has enjoyed looking out the windows, even sitting at the front door to tell me she needs to go outside. She has learned to sleep in the crate all night–so the cats can have their bed–as well as when I go to class or to run errands. She does try a little howling but her stamina for that is no where *near* the hounds I have known. whew.

This week, we also went to our vet and Lily charmed everyone there with her calm, sweet demeanor–they didn’t get to see Wild Racing Spaniel which she does in the backyard.

Lily’s social calender is booked through the weekend and we will be visiting horses in two places, meeting new (and vaccinated) dogs, including a set of somewhat famous Basenjis here in Austin. I am trying to balance her safety within the window of maximum socialization period of 12 weeks. We will, of course, not be visiting any dog parks or puppy classes until she has completed her vaccination schedule, but her trips to my “safe zones” are set for her to encounter new things that will be part of her life with me.

Expect photos from all her adventures!

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Writing Dog

amywink June 19th, 2012

I’ve been at my desk this morning, getting back into my regular routine, preparing for teaching, getting blog posts written, catching up on stuff I read regularly online. And next to me, my new writing dog.

She has totally got this gig down.

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Home!

amywink June 19th, 2012

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The Great American Dog Trip finished up yesterday morning when I drove the last leg to Austin with Lily. She’s a champion traveler now and slept the entire way. Once home, she greeted her new grandparents enthusiastically and her new doggie companions, the dachshunds. The cats, Phoebe and Henry are not very happy but we are making very slow inroads with Phoebe. Henry remains under the bed except for a brief period last night.

Lily will be a very good writing dog as she already knows how to lie down near me and sleep while I work. She’s keeping her eyes on me as well so we will work on getting her used to not seeing me every second. It is endearing, of course, and I can see how she will also be a good follower. She’s already figured out the leash, but also off leash stays close in the backyard. Her nose is on the ground a lot so she’s going to enjoy tracking whatever crosses her path. I feel a great kinship with Jon Katz this week as he relates his new life with his new Red dog. My new red and white dog is working out spectacularly well too.

For the next three weeks, we’ll be doing a lot of stuff to get her exposed to everything during her optimum socialization period–horses, other dogs, more people–by her 12 week birthday. I’ve already found the puppy classes so we’ll get to those as soon as we can.

Mostly this week….I plan to rest…and get back to teaching.

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