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About clara

  • Birthday 12/21/1968

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    Eugene, OR

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  1. I've found this thread, and the BBC video, intensely interesting and disturbing at the same time. I don't know much about genetics, but it's a topic I love to read about. Thanks for all the great discussion guys, it has helped flush out a lot of the points made in the the video. Edit: content removed
  2. I'm one of those agility people RDM mentioned... in that I do the sport FOR my dog, and wouldn't get a dog to do the sport. It's fun, but not enough for me to seek out a breeder. I also embody the opposite idea from the one that a truly dedicated and motivated trainer will be able to make almost any dog a champion. I'm a clutz, and not very "sporty", which translates into me being not the greatest handler on earth. But I think my dog could have maybe been a champ, if she had a better handler. The proof I have of this is that my trainer thinks it's a lot of fun to run Ling (I secretly think it's because she has a Corgi ) and has run her in practice as well as a whole trial when I wasn't able to run. Whenever she runs Ling, they're perfect. Flashy and fast and PERFECT... because Ling knows what she's doing, and my trainer knows what she's doing, and it's a good combination. I'm pretty sure Ling is from questionable farm breeding (she's a rescue but there are clues), so to me all the of the reasons given here to breed for agility just seem like excuses to make money from breeding a new "type" of BC. The one BC I know from an agility breeder is ok, but not fantastic, certainly not a good reason to pump out more pups when there are so many in rescue that just need a home!
  3. It's been fun to read everyone's nicknames, and the metalhead stuff is just astounding... I never would have guessed. Mine definitely have some nicknames, and I have no respect for the dignity of my dogs' names. Ling - pretty, little, baby, princess, (one or all, in any combination, she knows that's her name too), Dingaling Bingo - a couple from Monty Python are my favorite, Bignose and Biggus, also Mr. B, Mr. Big, Mr. Biggie or just Mr. or just Biggie. He wags his silly tail to any of those.
  4. Don't have too much to add to what others have said. I just wanted to let you know that I've discovered that Ling swallows a LOT less water when I throw her flying squirrel instead of a ball when we're playing in water. Not sure why, maybe her mouth just isn't as wide open or something.
  5. The only time Ling has shown a definite reaction to a mirror was when she was about a nine months old on Halloween. Trevor dressed up as a princess and he was truly terrifying, with a large fluffy floor length purple taffeta dress, a long black wig, crown and scepter and full makeup and jewelry. She wasn't bothered when she saw him, but when she turned and saw his reflection in the mirror she went NUTS, barkscreaming at that reflection like I have never before or since heard from her. I think the real him smelled like him, but the strange freak in the mirror didn't.
  6. Ling has gotten over most of her strange fears, including the vacuum cleaner and banging dishes. She does leave the room if voices are raised at all, even in an exuberant discussion... so no political talk if we want the dog in the room! She is still scared of the fly swatter (or the dishtowel Trevor whaps around the house when he can't find the flyswatter). This summer I've noticed she has extended the fear to the actual flies, not just the swatter. If she sees a fly buzzing around the room, her ears go back, she tucks her nub and runs to the bathroom. How pathetic is that?
  7. That recipe really works! We had a bad skunk spray situation a few years ago, when we took the dogs to the coast and stayed in a pretty fancy dog friendly hotel. Bingo managed to find himself a skunk in the dunes on our way back from the beach and I had no. idea. what. to. do. It was horrifying. Put him in a car? NO! Take him into the hotel room? NO! Stake him out on his leash on the hotel lawn? Well... probably not. Luckily a friend I got ahold of knew this recipe, so one of us stayed with the dog and the other ran for the ingredients. It worked well enough for him to sleep in the hotel room with us and ride home in the car. So keeping the ingredients in your car is probably a really good idea!
  8. The big party at the end of a well run course is probably a lot of what's missing when I take her off the course for missing a contact, like Kristi and Lenajo both said. But, I think, most of the time when we've got a whole course set up in practice or at a trial, and we go out and miss a contact within the first few obstacles (common for us), and I take her off the course to her crate with no "good girl" or love and hugs, she has also seen all the other obstacles out on the course that normally she would get a chance to do. We don't do too many short drills with lots of extra obstacles just sitting out there unused, so I do think Ling knows the difference between running a full 15-17 obstacle course and doing five obstacles then going in her crate. JMHO And it worked, so that's what's important to me.
  9. Ling also quickly became "trial wise" on contacts, figuring out that I'd let her get away with blowing them at a trial. For me, the start of the contact problem and going back and doing them over, was that obstacles are self rewarding for Ling... she was thrilled to blow her contact on the A frame, over and over and over and over. What could be more fun? So my trainer and I figured out that pulling her from the course if she blew a contact was the only way to get her to do 2o2o like I KNEW she knew how to do. So that worked in practice, but she very quickly learned I was loathe to pull her off course in the middle of a trial run. Once I did leave the ring with her a few times like we did in practice, that pretty much fixed trial contacts too. But it's HARD to pull your dog off a trial course. At least for me, it took a lot of resolve and patience, and some money blown on runs we never finished! Oddly, this was a very hard concept for me to put into practice
  10. I do teach tricks, and consider all training I do with Ling, tricks, agility, obedience, etc, to be a way of establishing communication with her. I think we ALL agree that this is important. I do love that I can talk to my dogs in every day language and they understand a lot of what I say to them... ie. "stop that" or "leave that", "go get a different toy" "back up" "go get in the car" "get your ball and come inside" (not that they always *do* what they know I want ). Those aren't really tricks, it's just having a dog who is easy to live with and I assume most people on this board have that type of communication with their BC, or will eventually. For those of us who need to create work for our pet BCs, tricks can also fill a very important role. I don't have sheep and Ling was disinterested in lessons, so that kind of work is unavailable to her, and I don't need a service dog either. I admire both of those kinds of work, but I need something else for my dog to DO. I hear all the time from people who's dogs don't do tricks that the kinds of tricks Ling does are "beneath" their dog. I don't get that. Many of them involve complicated behavior, as has already been described here by many, and teaching them has really helped me understand how Ling thinks and learns. Going through the process of understanding each other also strengthens our bond, and she really has fun doing it. I think if I was impatient or frustrated, or didn't take the time to go slowly and figure out what would work for her, she probably would shut down and not learn anything. But for a lot of dogs, including mine, learning tricks is a great way to spend 30 minutes a day playing with their person!
  11. Ling ate her rice and chicken this morning, then had a normal BM! Yeah! So I guess we're out of the woods. Now I'm trying to decide whether leaving a cooked turkey bones in an open garbage bag with an unsupervised dog, even for a few seconds, then failing to notice that Ling had taken it is a bad enough mistake to make me switch dog sitters.
  12. Thanks for all the good thoughts guys. Nothing else has come out either end, but she is acting pretty pouty and clingy. I think she probably just doesn't feel too great. She wasn't a happy camper when Bingo got his dinner and she got none at feeding time, and she is really begging at the front door for frisbee time. My instincts tell me that racing and jumping around is NOT a good idea right now though, so she'll just have to endure a quiet night.
  13. Nope, not fun, but not the end of the world either. I'm mostly worried about longer term consequences, like an obstruction. And can't cooked bone shards cause a perforation? My vet didn't mention that, but I'm imagining the worst, of course.
  14. We got home yesterday morning from a week in Alaska (fabulous vacation!) visiting my brother and family. Around 2 in the afternoon, Ling had diarrhea... and I mean REALLY liquidy poop. So I figured it was just the excitement, or maybe the sitter gave her too many treats or something, so I put some pumpkin in her pm food. This morning we woke up to diarrhea in the living room and puke on the rug. But the kicker is that there were shards of COOKED POULTRY BONES in the puke!!!! AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHH! I was, and still am, pretty bummed with my dog sitter. She said the only time it could have happened was when she cleaned the fridge and left the open bag with a turkey breast carcass in it by the front door just long enough to go grab her shoes. And the dogs ARE always very good about not taking stuff they're not given (no counter surfing or dumpster diving problems at my house). BUT STILL.... So now I'm worried about her. Hopefully she threw it all up, and my vet says it's ok to just keep an eye on her today and see how she's acting, not feed her, then give her rice and chicken tomorrow. She seemed fine and was full of energy yesterday, but seemed uncharacteristically restless last night. She's been really clingy, but I don't know how much of that to attribute to the fact that I was gone for nine days. I'm sure she'll be fine, but I don't like the thought of any more of those damn bone shards rattling around inside her digestive tract causing damage.
  15. I'm glad it's quieted down, that sound is just like a knife to the heart! (ok maybe not that bad, but bad) That's why I was such a failure at crate training Ling, puppy howling just makes me cave. My main comment, however, is just a compliment for your very impressive alliteration! Wonderful title on this post.
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