Dog Camp 2011

Time again for another year at “Call of the Wild” dog camp in Yachats, OR with Caroline Spark of “City Dog, Country Dog.”  It is our favorite time of year!

The initial plan was for both Frankie and Peanut to attend with me.  Unfortunately, Peanut got sick a few days before camp, and I had to leave him behind.  When Frankie and I showed up at the registration desk without the little doodle, Karolin and Kate said they would have to close down camp, because we just CAN’T have dog camp without Peanut!  LOL!

Frankie had so much fun running down at the river with new doggie friends.  Here are some pictures.

On Saturday morning, I got word that Peanut was feeling fine again, and zooming around the house like a mad man.  I felt so badly now, because he was missing camp!!!  I decided to skip out for a few hours while I drove back home, dropped off Frankie, and got Peanut.  What a joyous welcome Peanut got from everyone!!  So funny!  It worked out so nicely, actually, because each dog got a day and a half at camp, and two nights in Yachats with me. 

Here are a couple pics from our session using clicker training and shaping to teach the dogs to ride a skateboard….

Half way on, looking at me like, WHAT are we doing???

On the skateboard lying down, and I was rolling it forward and backward.  Peanut is such a smartie!! 

Frankie and I took a class on distraction work and how to get Frankie re-focused, and we also took a confidence building class, utilizing parts of an agility course with a ton of other objects added in.  He did fabulous in both!!  Frankie even got his front half up onto a large ball, balancing himself with my help.  The instructor was impressed, and said Frankie really trusts me. 

Is this not the most GORGEOUS boy you have ever seen??????   His physique is just like TeddyBear’s, and they weigh exactly the same.  I’ve got a thing for square headed, muscular pit bull boys!

What a face.   This is my all time favorite picture of Frankie.


Peanut enjoying a lovely evening at our cottage.


Getting sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy……..

And look what was for sale this year at camp….. postcards!  And Peanut is on the top left corner, playing with his friend, Maddy. 

Already looking forward to next year’s camp!!!!  Woo hoo!!!!  🙂


Four months with Frankie

This past week, it was the four month anniversary of adopting Frankie.  I can’t believe it has only been four months!  It is as if he has been here much longer.  Frankie is most certainly a permanent member of this family. 

What a joy this fellow is!!  He is loving and affectionate, a goofball, a social butterfly, and everything wonderful rolled into one handsome doggie package. 

Frankie has been doing so well with his socialization.  He graduated from his first manners class, and he goes to work with me on a regular basis.  He will be taking his therapy dog certification test in the near future, and I know he will pass with flying colors!  Frankie is also a wonderful pit bull ambassador.  People have been amazed at how well behaved and gentle he is, commenting that they thought all pit bulls were “mean.”  Frankie is going to carry on in TeddyBear’s paw prints, changing perceptions as to what a REAL pit bull is.


Frankie is the most dog social pit bull I have ever known.  He gets along with every dog he meets!  And if the other dog is not friendly, or interested, Frankie appeases and moves on.  He has welcomed the new foster dog here with open paws, and loves to play off leash with dog buddies.  I could not ask for a better boy.

My favorite part of the day is getting in bed, and having Frankie snuggle down with me under the covers.  He curls up against me, lays his head on my shoulder, and lets out a huge sigh of contentment.  All is right in the world, for both of us. 

The boy is still a total spaz when it comes to feeding time or leaving time.  I find it annoying, but hey, if that is his only flaw, I’ll take it!!  Otherwise, Frankie is pretty darn near perfect.  Love you, my Frankie Boy!!!!!!!!


Blueberries and other quirkiness.

Blueberries…… who knew the dogs would like them so much??  Some coworkers and residents made a tasty fruity treat as a therapy task, and we got to sample the desserts.  Some folks took some of the extra blueberries and tried them out on Peanut, to see if he would like them.  Wow, he sure did!  Tasty and good for him, too.  He gobbled them up!

When Ziggy came in the afternoon, we tried out the blueberries on him.  He can be VERY fussy about what he likes to eat.  He does, however, really like carrots, so we thought there was a good chance he would eat the blueberries.  Ziggy carefully took one in his mouth, and rolled it around.  Then he spit it out.  And put it in his mouth again.  Then took it to his bed.  He then did a projectile spit of the blueberry.  And then he chased it. ????  I have the weirdest dogs!  I took the cue, and tossed the blueberry across the therapy gym.  It was fetched, retrieved, and returned to the dog bed.  Unbelievable.  He wouldn’t eat it, but it was a very cool toy.  We played fetch a few times, and then Ziggy retired the blueberry by burying it in the blanket in the dog bed.  Peanut found it the next morning and ate it.  😀

Another bizarre thing we found the dogs like….. those big mango seeds.  A coworker gave Peanut the seed when she was done with her mango, and he went crazy over it!!  Chewed on it, slurped off the fruit, and used it like a chew toy.  Ziggy did the same, then rolled all over it.  Guess he likes the mango scent.  My funny little dogs!

Second bath in a week…. this can’t be good….

So I took Frankie to the dog park today.  We have been several times now, and he does so great.  I usually walk around the path which follows the perimeter of the fenced off area, and Frankie follows me or meanders around.  He does not usually interact a whole lot with the other dogs other than to just greet them in a friendly manner. 

This evening there were four of us there, with four dogs.  Instead of walking around the path today, I approached the other three people and their dogs.  Frankie joined me, and after proper doggie intros, was trotting and running around with the other three dogs.  He ended up playing and running and chasing much more than any other previous visit.  Was it because I was socializing with the other humans, so he felt it OK to socialize with the other dogs?  Or was he just more comfortable with the park in general, and these dogs were more the type he wanted to play with?  I find it an interesting question.

This being the cursed state of Oregon, at one point it began to rain pretty hard.  The four humans were standing in the field, still chatting.  We looked over to realize…..  our four dogs had gone under the overhang cover, out of the rain, and were completely dry.  So much for humans being smarter.

The humans trooped over to the shelter, and the dogs ran a muck for a while longer.  I don’t mind a wet dog, especially when I saw how much fun Frankie was having with the other dogs.  They were Angus, the Beagle; Suzy, the pointer mix; and Sara, the border collie type.  As we stood under the shelter and watched our dogs run and play together, the subject of pit bulls came up.  Sara’s dad admitted he is uncomfortable around pit bulls, and was nervous seeing Frankie and I come in the park.  However, he then said he thought Frankie was “a really nice dog.”  Angus and Suzy’s parents, a married couple, said when they went looking for a companion for Angus, they purposely passed by the pit bulls.  They are a bit disturbed that some people think Suzy (only 10 months old) is a pit bull mix.  They hope that she retains her slim, long-legged features so no one thinks she is a pit bull as an adult.  Frankie had given both husband and wife kisses when they bent over to pet him, and they thought he was great. 

It broke my heart to hear each person talk about their prejudices and preconceptions.  I had hoped things had improved for the pit bull’s perceptions after the whole Michael Vick debacle.  I remember telling a few different people after both Anna and TeddyBear passed on last summer that I would never own a pit bull again.  Why, they asked?   Because I am exhausted from the effort of fighting prejudice and breed specific legislation, I am tired of my heart hurting to see people cross the street to stay away from my dogs, I am sick of being afraid of my dogs being stolen by those who want to fight pit bulls.  And yet…. here I am again.  I love this breed, and I love my Frankie.

But……. back to the dog park.  Frankie found something to roll in.  Over and over and over again.  I am glad to say it was not poop this time, but with all the rain, he ended up covered head to tail in mud.  *sigh*  The bath actually went a bit easier this time.  I did, however, get rid of my clothing beforehand, and once he was in the tub, Frankie seemed a bit more resigned to the process.  Right now, he is sound asleep, curled up in a dog bed next to my computer desk.  Full, tired, and clean.  A lot more than I can say his life was just three months ago.  

Training adventures.

Two posts in one day…… oh we KNOW the adventures are rolling!!

Frankie is a good boy.  He really is.  His heart is in the right place.  He loves to be loved, and he wants to be good.  But the boy is a SPAZ!!  I know it has to do with his past, the complete lack of training he has had, the lack of human and humane contact.  He has some MANNERS to learn!!

The main thing that drives me bonkers is his out of control behaviors when he is excited.  He has never been expected to have any self-control before.  Now, he has to SIT and WAIT for everything, and it is like he is an ADHD kid.  Or a kangaroo on crack. 

The worst thing is meal time.  The boy was starved and malnourished, so I get that he wants to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  If I let him, he’d eat himself sick, because, again, he has no self-control.  Initially, I would give him his bowl of kibble, gated off in another room so the Pekes could eat in peace.  Frankie would INHALE 3 cups of kibble in under a minute.  Not kidding.  Now…… I have the perfect solution.  <eg>

THIS, my friends, is a Kong feeder.   It has a weighted bottom, and unscrews top and bottom.  I put 2 cups of kibble into this, have Frankie “sit” before I put it down, and then gate him in my room as he has at it.  It takes him about 15 minutes to get all the kibble out.  Not only does it slow down his eating, it gives him something to play with, and mental stimulation as to HOW to get it out. 

The other cup of kibble I give him, I started using for training.  The boy is so food motivated, he will gladly accept kibble as reward for training.  Let’s just say we are still working on “down.”  You cannot even imagine the self control needed.  I will leave it at that.  LOVE MY FRANKIE BOY!!!!

Walking adventures.

I’ve taken Frankie out and about several times now.  We go to the off leash dog park.  We go to Dorris Ranch Park where he got to run off leash with his Greyhound friend.  We go to PetSmart.  But we had not gone on an extended walk with him on the leash.  I decided we would try it today, since the evening was so pretty.

I use a Gentle Leader No Pull harness on Frankie.  I have just always used it on my big dogs, it is easier than wrestling with them or hearing them gag as they pull on their collars.  I was really expecting this walk to be unruly and messy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that Frankie walked with me very nicely 99% of the time!!  How nice!! 

On our way back, we had only about 1/4 of the way left to go to get back to the house.  Frankie had stopped to pee on a couple things, but far fewer than I expected.  He headed onto a grassy patch, and I thought he was getting ready to poop, so I reached for my handy dandy poop bag.   No.  Instead…. He dove head first ONTO a pile of poop, and proceeded to thoroughly smash it into his neck and collar.

Talk.  About.  Gross.   *sigh*  I have never had  a poop diver before.  He was quite pleased with himself.  When we got home, I trotted him, harness, leash, and all, right into the bathroom, and shut the door.  In the closed and close quarters I started to gag…… the SMELL!!!!!!!   UGH!!  Frankie was scrambling all around to go anywhere but actually in the bathtub.  To get him there, and keep him there, I ended up in the shower with him, with all my clothes still on.  Geez, talk about the things we dog moms do!!!!

In the end, he came out smelling like vanilla, but the collar needs a good wash.  I was a soggy and sorry mess.  All is well that ends well, I guess.  😉

Tired, are you??????


Things Frankie has already learned within the first two weeks of being here:

-Give Chloe wide berth.  (this is lesson numero uno)

-Do not use momma’s shoes at toys or chew things.

-I must sit before I get my food or Kong, even though this is VERY HARD.

-Ziggy does not find it amusing to drag him around the house in his dog bed.

-Do not use dog beds as throw toys, even without little dogs in them.

-I fit through the big doggy door.  I do NOT fit through the small doggie door.

-Jumping around or on momma like a rabid kangaroo gets me nowhere.

-I like to meet new people and go new places.

-I am allowed to run off my leash with doggie friends.  Momma is hysterically happy if I go towards her when she calls me.

-If I want to get out of the car to go play with my doggie friends, I need to calm down and get my harness on, then wait til momma says it is ok to get out.  This is SOOOOOOOO  HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!

-I love riding in the car.

-I REALLY love the Zoom Groom brush thingy.

-Momma does not like it when I lay on her head.

-I am part of a new family, and we are all still learning about each other.