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Everything posted by MaryP

  1. My dogs also eat dirt. And wood chips. And rabbit poop. The rabbit poop is the BEST! They can't wait to go out every morning and forage on the poop. I also had a dog that would continuously dig up my phone line. That same dog would also dig up the PVC pipes of my water line and pool lines.
  2. Speaking from personal experience, I mostly use volunteer transports to get dogs from shelters without anyone in mind for the dog. I'm just looking to help find nice, adoptable dogs find good homes. If I know someone (usually someone I know personally) is looking for a dog, and I see a dog in a shelter somewhere that I think might fit what they are looking for, I will often specifically take that dog for that reason. I have one right now, a bc mix puppy, that I specifically took from a shelter in AL because I know someone (my boss at work) who is looking for a bc mix and he asked me to keep an eye out for one. The dog seemed to be what he was looking for. He didn't really have any criteria other than the dog would have to be good with their young daughter, and he wanted another bc mix (though I believe this puppy is more likely an Aussie mix). But, if I do that, I don't automatically assume that the dog will be going to the person that I had in mind when I pulled it. It still has to be the right match for both dog and adopter. But, again, I really only do this for people that I know personally.
  3. A note about volunteer transporters. I use them a lot. But, most volunteers are transporting dogs from shelters to rescues. They don't typically volunteer their time to transport dogs from shelters/rescues to adoptive homes. Not that I don't see that on occasion. But, it's really not the purpose of most volunteer transport groups. In my personal opinion, if you are adopting a dog for yourself, you should be responsible for getting the dog (your time, your gas money). Of course, if volunteers are willing to help with that, it's none of my business. I do think, unless it's a young puppy, that it's not good to adopt a dog long distance sight unseen. Not good for the adopter and not good for the shelter/rescue. Though, again, I know this does go on. It just depends on the individual policies of the shelter/rescue.
  4. Ollie currently trains on rubberized contacts. But, prior to them being rubberized, they were aluminum at one place, and wood at the other. The first time he got on rubberized contacts, he was like, "Whoa, what is this." But, I think it was just because it wasn't what he was expecting. Once he tried them the first time, though, he was fine with them. Now, almost everywhere we go, there are rubberized contacts. I have been trying to take Ollie different places. At any new place, he will balk at the contacts the first time until I "help" him, either by putting my hand in his collar, or by using food, or both. The only exception is the A-frame. He is less concerned about the A-frame. What I've also noticed is once he has been someplace new, he will often refuse the contacts at class the first time he goes after being someplace new. He did this at his first class after the USDAA trial, and he did it again at classes this week after we had done a fun run at a new place that he hadn't been to before. Once he does the contacts once, though, he's fine and he'll do them with no issues from there on out. In fact, once he does them, and realizes there's nothing to be concerned about, he prefers contacts over other things (like tunnels). It's so sad, too, because at his classes, he is a superstar. He's fast, responsive, and a pleasure to handle. I hope some day he'll be able to get over his anxiety about contacts and be able to go to trials again with us.
  5. I would also suggest that you ditch all the physical criteria and focus on the temperament/personality you are looking for. I totally get why you want a dog of a certain "look" because of your tremendous love for your previous dog. But, by focusing on a look, you may end up with a dog that isn't really the dog that is best for you. I've seen it time and time again where someone will fall in love with a dog because of how it looks, but will "excuse" many of the personality traits because they are just convinced that the dog they are seeing must be perfect. Many years ago, I lost my much beloved dog unexpectedly and I was crushed. It took me a couple of years to even consider getting another dog. When I finally did start looking, I had a very specific picture in my mind of what I was looking for. I looked and looked for that "perfect" dog. But, one day, I was at an animal shelter to look at a dog. They brought the dog into the room with me and I just didn't feel any connection to it. Finally, I realized that I was looking for a dog that didn't exist because that dog, the one I lost, was one of a kind. So, I asked the shelter staff if I could see another dog, a puppy, that they had. I picked that puppy because it was nothing like what I was looking for (breed-wise), and I figured that maybe I was better off getting a dog that was completely different than what I thought I wanted. I ended up adopting that puppy and it was the best decision I ever made. I got the BEST DOG EVER, and he changed the course of my life in so many ways.
  6. I have a foster dog right now that loves to dig, so I feel your pain. I find that some dogs just take great pleasure in digging, and there's not much that you can do to stop it, other than not leaving them in the yard long enough to dig. I also have a yard that is very attractive to dogs that like to dig. It has places where there is just bare ground and the soil is like sand. The only thing that I've heard of to help refocus a dog that likes to dig is to give them a baby pool that you fill with sand and hide lots of toys in for them to find. Then, you teach them to dig in the sand box. I've never tried this, so I don't know if it would work. I'm sure they would dig in it, but I don't know if they would cease digging other places because of it.
  7. He is fine with jumpers classes. He has Q'd and placed at trials in jumpers classes. Contacts at trials stress him out, though. When he gets stressed out, he will jump and bite at me. He will do this in a jumpers class, if I have a poorly timed handling maneuver, or if he messes up his weave poles and I take him back to start them again. When I try to send him to a contact obstacle, he will either run past it, stop short and jump sideways, or start to attempt it, but jump sideways away from it. This is always followed by him jumping and biting at me.
  8. He has only done one fun run since that first trial. There aren't a lot of fun runs and they've tended to fall on days where we were already doing a trial. Anyway, at the fun run he did, which was shortly after that first trial, he was not willing to get on a contact initially. I used some food to lure him on, and he did the obstacle, though with some hesitation. In his second run at the fun run, he got right on the obstacles without a problem, and without the lure of food. It was just like he needed to be reassured on his first try that there was nothing to be afraid of, then he was fine. Unfortunately, I can't do that at a trial, though. It was funny, my friend was telling me how, back in the day, they used to have "obstacle familiarization" at trials where handlers could take their dogs, on leash, over the contact obstacles before the actual class. I thought, "Dang, if only I could do that, I bet our problem would go away."
  9. I apologize in advance for the length of this. I could use some advice, especially if you've had this problem before. My youngest dog, Ollie (2 1/2), entered his first agility trial in July. He'd been in classes for over a year and was doing very well. The trial was indoors. On his first standard run, he did awesome. He did 2o2o contacts, got his weaves on the first try, and earned a Q and a second place. The next day, he didn't want to do his contacts. It started with the teeter. He got on, but as soon as the teeter hit the ground, he jumped off sideways. Then, he didn't want to do the dog walk. I think he started up the a-frame, but then bailed. The third day, he wanted nothing to do with any of the contact obstacles. At his first agility class after we returned home, he was a little leery about the contact obstacles. But, he got over it quickly and was back to his old self. At his second trial, he again refused to do any contacts. After we returned home, he got right back on the contact obstacles in class like nothing was wrong. At his third trial (an outdoor one, so more similar to his classes), he still refused to get on any contact equipment. He will occasionally go over an a-frame, but will bail halfway down. In class, he loves contacts, though he still can get nervous on a teeter. After talking with one of my trainers, she suggested that I not do any more trials with him for about 6 months. This past weekend was Ollie's last trial (it was too late to pull him by the time we had made the decision not to trial anymore. It was the same old story. He did an a-frame in Gamblers, but bailed on the way down, and would not do any other contact obstacles. I ended up just scratching him from his standard run on the second day. I have two dilemmas. The first one is: "How do I help him get over his contact phobia at trials?" The second one is, "Should I still let him do jumpers courses, since he loves them and does well? Or, should I not do any classes in any trials during that 6-month hiatus?" A little background: Ollie takes classes at two different places, and I try to take him to fun runs when I can. And, yes, I do plan to enter him in some CPE trials (we only have about 3 a year, though). We don't have NADAC anywhere within reasonable driving distance.
  10. You cannot train in the ring in USDAA, but you can still "correct" your dog for blowing off a contact. I have to do this with my exuberant boy on occasion. The level of the correction depends on the dog. With my dog, I usually utter a loud "hey", and depending on the degree of blow off, I may take his sorry butt off the course, or put him in a down before continuing. But, usually I just utter a verbal correction and he gets the idea and will do a 2o2o on the next contact. I like to use classes like Gamblers to proof his contacts. I stopped doing FAST with him a couple years ago, but plan to do it in our next AKC trial just for the purpose of proofing his contacts.
  11. It's weird to me, too. I see sometimes in rescue that dogs are advertised as "good agility" or "good sport prospect". Some of those dogs may have even been in foster homes where they received some basic agility training. But, I haven't ever heard of someone selling off their "started" agility dog. That would just be weird. After all, agility is just a fun activity that we do with our pet dogs. As RDM pointed out, only a few people make money off the sport in the form of students and clinics, etc. But, for the majority of us, it's a money pit that we feed for our own enjoyment of playing with our dogs.
  12. I think this is pretty accurate. Though I would add "and put lots of titles on their dog" afer "build partnership" because I do think that those people who are dropping serious coin on sport bred puppies are assuming it will pay off with lots of titles and agility successes. Whether or not it's because of the breeding or the time/effort of the trainer is a whole other question. I tend to believe that people who are willing to pay a lot for a sport bred puppy are usually people who are very serious about the sport, and are going to spend a lot of money, time, and effort training that dog to high levels. It may then appear that the sport breeding was a big driver in the dog's success, when it may simply be a result of all the training the dog has had. Of course, you still have to have a motivated and driven dog to be a top handler, and most sport bred dogs have that (some have way too much, IMO). And I've never heard of anyone purchasing a highly titled agility dog. For reasons already stated, that would just not be something that I can imagine that anyone would want to do.
  13. MaryP

    RIP Burl

    That is horrible. I'm so sorry for you and your family.
  14. I have a hen that has had an abscess on the top of her head, above her right eye, for several months. I've drained it and [attempted] to disinfect it twice, and each time it just comes back. So, I called my vet to see if I could get some antibiotics for her. They wanted me to bring her in, which I did today. The vet aspirated some of liquid from the bump, but also collected some fecal material to look at under a scope. This vet has *some* familiarity with poultry, but this is a bit outside of their normal patient load. She told me that my hen had a lot of "nasty stuff" in her fecal sample, and that she was very underweight, which I realized after I caught her and could easily feel her keel. I don't think my hen is in as bad of shape as my vet made her out to be, but she is definitely not thriving right now. My vet gave us antibiotics and suggested that we worm her and our other hens. But, we are having trouble figuring out what to use to worm them. My fiance stopped at the feed store and picked up the only wormer that they had (Wazine; active ingredient - Piperazine), but we have no idea how to give it, or if we should. The directions' lowest dose is for 100 birds. We have 5. So, does anyone else worm their birds, and if so, what do you use? Or, if you have any other thoughts about what I should be looking for with this hen, I'd appreciate the help. This is the first time my fiance or I have had any experience with chickens. So, we are total newbies.
  15. Why single out rescues? Do they have the monopoly on lying? Come on! And just because you heard something doesn't make it true. Ever hear of the game telephone?? FWIW, I've never lied about a dog's background to try and get someone to adopt it. Why would I do that? That's just asinine and serve no purpose. But, if you want to swap stories, I can tell you some stories about breeders who lied about their dogs in order to dump them on rescue. So, lying is an equal-opportunity craft.
  16. Coming to the discussion late. . . I can't speak for all rescuers, but I can speak for myself. I don't hate breeders or people who purchase dogs from breeders (I'd lose quite a few friends, if that were the case). I don't support mandatory spay/neuter laws or BSL. What I do hate are irresponsible and lazy pet owners. That is what makes my blood boil. That is the crux of the shelter dog problem. Breeders, especially unscrupulous ones, do play a role in the problem by pumping out the puppies. But, if people would take responsibility for their pets for the life of the pet, we wouldn't need as many shelters/rescues, and the unscrupulous breeders would not have the endless customer base that they do. I do hope that people consider shelters and rescues when looking for a new dog, instead of just assuming that the only way they will get the dog that they want is to go to a breeder. I have several friends who thought that way and it came back to bite them in the ass when the dog turned out to be nothing like what they wanted, or ended up with health or behavioral issues. I know there are rescuers out there that are extremists like the ones in the OP's post. But, there are always going to be extremists. Rarely (ever?) do they represent the majority of views.
  17. It looks like that puppy has mange. That's a typical look for dogs from shelters with demodex. Tends to show up around the eys and ears.
  18. Sorry, I just thought it was an obvious tongue-in-cheek comment and I didn't think it would be taken seriously. I'm sorry if you interpreted it differently.
  19. Really??? It's a flippin' joke. Well, I laughed, Kristi.
  20. I think this statement works for both venues, though I still think that comparing agility trials to sheepdog trials is a little like comparing apples to oranges.
  21. Yes! I'm glad it's not just me, lol.
  22. Though I don't live on a farm and didn't grow up on a farm, my father comes from a farming family, and most of that side of my family still farms today. They (and consequently, me) always referred to that twine as baling twine.
  23. While I would prefer that folks looking for "designer" dogs would just go down to their locale shelter and adopt an already made one, I have to disagree with this statement. Like any other generalization, it paints a lot of really great pet owners in a very bad light that they don't deserve. My sister is the owner of two mixed breed "designer" dogs that she purchased as puppies. She is not at all an idiot or a "useless" dog owner that wants the dog around for decoration. She is an excellent pet owner and her dogs are very well cared for, and loved. I can see the purpose of crossing breeds to achieve some particular goal, as long as it is done responsibly. Though I do believe that people who pay exorbitant amounts of money for those mixes just because they are labeled "designer" are fools. And the folks charging those large fees are shisters. My experience has been different. It does make me sad when people won't just embrace their mixed breeds for what they are - mutts - but, instead need to give them a label that somehow makes them sound more like a true breed, even if they don't really know what their mix is. It's like if you give it a fancy name, it's somehow better than a mutt, even if that is exactly what it is. I routinely refer to my mixes as mutts when people ask me about them. You can almost see the horror in their eyes.
  24. Thanks, Sue. We (well, Paula) found someone to pull him, and he has a ride to FL on Sunday. Yay!
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