Friday, June 3, 2011

This is Not Underwear

I have mentioned before that I'm a big car barker in the car.  My mom got me some music which helped a lot but I still like to bark at things.  My vet recommended the Thunder Shirt (because we already had one) to see if that would keep me calmer in the car as it has helped with visitors and thunder.  That didnt' help too much in the car though.  She said if that didn't work to try the Calming Cap. So a few weeks ago my mom ordered me this contraption and when it arrived a few days ago she decided to give it a try.

This is what the website says about it:

The directions on how to get the thing on were a little hard to understand but once she figured out how it was supposed to attach to my collar in two places we got it on.  I wasn't so sure about this thing but I kept getting chicken (one of my favorite) treats so I put up with it.

Just chillin at home with my Calming Cap
We tried it at home a bit and my mom made me walk around and I was able to find my food bowl and my treats.  Next came the big test though - wearing it in the car.

My mom got me in the car (with my cap on) to go to class.  We passed bicylists, trucks, people walking - all the stuff I usually love to bark at and nothing.  While at a stop sign my mom got a quick picture of me with the cap on.

Me not barking at anything in the car.
 This picture caused a lot of ruckus with my mom's friends the other day. One asked if there was a calming cap for lawyers, several thought I was wearing underwear on my head and one thought I was so anxious in the car because my mom was taking pictures instead of driving (we were at a stop light). 

So far so good but we'll have to see if I use my spidey sense of hearing (notice those long ears) to determine when there is a bike or big truck nearby and still bark.  My mom is hoping this will retrain me to ride in the car without being agitated at everything and then I won't have to wear the underwear - I mean calming cap - all the time.  We shall see.

Who's the Boss?

There are just some days when you need a good rest . . . on a mom's bed.  This was one of those days.

"Yeah I know this isn't my bed and you are telling me to get off but that's not going to happen."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Obedience Two at the Zoom Room: Class Two

Last night we had our second obedience two class.  Boy we had to work hard!  First we all practiced our stays again with just our moms or dads.  I get bored during this part of class and was trying to drink water (I like being next to the water bowl) and was barking at this puppy next to me (he kept barking at his mom so I would bark back but my mom didn't appreciate the irony of this).

After all that practice then we got to stay for real.  All the dogs lined up on one side of the room and then one dog would wait on one side while his person made him wait.  When it was my turn I stayed almost the whole ten seconds but when the instructor told my mom to call me I got up and went right before she did (I knew she was going to).  So I need to work on that one.

Next we did our loose leash walking.  I am really GOOD at this most of the time but on the first go around I wanted to smell all the treats the other people had left behind and then I kept trying to bark at that  barking puppy who was behind me and my buddy Mumble thought that was a good idea and he started barking so the instructor had to stop everyone and wait for the three of us to stop barking and calm down.  After that I got better (also I showed my mom this morning on our walk that I could do this no problem but she told me to do it in class instead). 

Then the instructor decided he would see how we did with distractions and staying.  So he pulled out some noisy pull toy and rolled it by all the dogs and we weren't supposed to get up or bark.  This didnt' go over well with a lot of dogs - myself included.  Imagine some weird noise making thing the size of your head following some guy making all this noise.  I barked once but my mom got me to settle down.  That toy got put away.  Next they brought out a tennis ball and threw that down the center of the room and we were supposed to ignore that too.  Being MUCH older than all the dogs (Mumble is the next oldest dog and I'm 2 1/2 years older than him) a lot of the dogs wanted to chase that ball but I just watched it roll away. We did this a bunch of times and some of those puppies kept trying to get that ball and I just kept laying there - taking a nap.

Then we had to be separated from our parents in pairs. The instructor and his lovely assistant went down the line and would take a dog and their person would go outside and wait a few minutes.  The dog is supposed to be nice and quiet.  Well Mumble and I were the last ones to go.  The regular instructor took me and my mom slipped out the door (I didn't even know she had left because the instructor had some yummy treats).  Mumble was not so willing to take part in this activity.  You see the lovely assistant is new and Mumble didn't know her and Mumble thinks he is in charge at the Zoom Room since he has gone there since he was a puppy so there was a lot of ruckus before he would let his mom leave.  (They thought I was going to be the problem as I don't always like someone taking me from my mom at the groomers or at the vet.) 

That was about it - we'll have to see what happens next week. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Fancy New Going Out Collar

A few weeks ago my mom came across a bow time that she though I had to have.  Well guess what?  She decided to buy it for me (!) so that I could be prepared in case I did have somewhere fancy to go.  So the other day it came in the mail and my mom made me try it on (along with some other goodies we got for some future holidays - she said we were playing dress up - all I know is that she kept giving me chicken so I cooperated).

I think I need an ascot now too.
I can't wait to have somewhere to where it too . . . maybe I will wear it to my Obedience Two class tonight and show those other dogs that I am a serious student.

Where would you wear a doggy bow tie?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Birthday Preparation

My birthday is next month and I will be FIVE! My mom has always made a special day of my birthday.

On my first birthday my Aunt Joey came to visit from San Francisco and Mumble's Mom Carrie made me special doggy cupcakes (this was before Mumble was even born).

On my second birthday my mom got me a cake from Three Dog Bakery and had some of my favorite people and dogs over for a party.

On my third birthday my mom invited some friends - people and doggies - for a hike in Malibu and then we had a picnic.

Last year on my fourth birthday we had a party at the Zoom Room in Culver City - Carrie made me an Agility Cake and there was lots of running around and playing. My grandma and great-grandma were there for that party (and my great-grandma kept sneaking me chicken from the people food table). It was lots of fun (but my mom wished she had had more time to plan it but she had to go talk to some fancy people in black robes the day before). I wore my blue birthday hat and it was lots of fun!
This is my Agility Cake - there was a cake for people and one for dogs!

Me and Mumble waiting for some snacks!

Mumble and Me sneaking a peek at the cake - it looked good!
 Anyway - my mom hasn't decided what to do for my birthday this year but she ordered me a birthday crown (with removable numbers so we can use it year after year).

What did you do for your last doggy birthday?

Obedience Two at the Zoom Room: First Class

So I have started yet another class at the Zoom Room.  Last week was the first class of Obedience 2 and I signed up to take it with my buddy Mumble.  My mom thought there would only be six dogs (because that was the number of dogs in all my other classes) but turns out in obedience classes there can be ten dogs!!  And it was full in due in part to a Groupon. I need my space so we weren't so sure this was going to work for us but we decided to give the first class a try anyway.

The idea is that at the end of the class you take the Canine Good Citizen Test.  There are lots of things you have to perfect - staying for ten second at ten feet away, leaving a treat, walking through a crowd and letting the examiner touch your paws, your teeth and your mouth to simulate a vet examination.  Since I have been taking classes almost my whole life and my mom makes me practice these things all the time I was not worried about most of it EXCEPT for the examination.  I don't really like to be touched by strangers but I will tolerate it but I REALLY don't like going to the vet so looking in my ears and examining my mouth are not high on my list of fun things to do.  (I had a nasty ear infection last year and I didn't even like my mom touching my ear for months.)  So my mom decided I would probably take this class two times before I took the test so that I could have more time to get used to someone touch my ears and teeth.

Anyway during the first class we practiced our stay and leaving a treat and walking on a loose leash.  I sometimes have a problem with stay (I want to run to my mommy) but my mom has been using the clicker this week to help remind me that I do need to stay until she calls me (and then I get lots of hugs and treats) so I have been cooperating.  The leash bit is really no problem (except that when we walked around the Zoom Room I was trying to check out all the treats that people had left behind - I can't help it that I get hungry a lot). 

Tomorrow is our second class so I am excited for what we do next - but I think it is being separated from our people for a few minutes (I am sometimes okay with this but other times not so much - usually at the groomers or at the vets so we'll see how it goes).