Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Michael Vick...MVP?

Like many other Mainers, I had the day off from work yesterday due to the huge blizzard that blew in. So, Like many, I stayed in my P.J.'s and on my laptop. Somehow I navigated to the NFL website. I have always liked football, and although I don't consider myself a huge fan, I was curious at how the team stats looked. It was there that I read about how Michael Vick and Tom Brady were both up for the MVP player of the year.

I had to re read the article..Mike Vick? The dog fighter? The guy who was in jail? MVP?

So...here is a quick recap of how this twisted story of Mike and his BadNewZ Kennels came to be and you decide.

In April of 2007 the ACO in VA seized 66 dog (53 pit bulls) from Mick Vicks Bad Newz kennels. In July of that year a warrant was served and investigators found evidence (in animal remains) of a dogfighting ring. Vick and others were charged with running the ring for 6 years, Vick was arrested and plead not guilty.In December of 2007 Vick paid almost 1 million dollars in restitution and was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, and banned from ever owning an animal. 49 of the 53 pit bulls spent over 200 days as evidence before they were finally signed over to various rescue groups and re homed.
So here we are...almost 4 years later (he fought dogs longer than not fighting dogs), and has not only reported that he 'wants another dog because he genuinely cares for animals' but is also up for MVP status. Really? Do people change that quick? I doubt it. It wouldn't surprise me if he moved from dog fighting to cock fighting. He has a job (a job that pays him very well), and that is pretty much all he deserves.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays...(jerk!)

sounds harsh..I know. This shout out goes to the schmuck who picked up his dog at the shelter today. His 12 year old lab who wandered out of his yard after he forgot to close the gate. Luckily, she was picked up on Christmas morning by the police and brought to the shelter. I saw her upon her arrival. Wonderful old dame.. I scanned her for a chip..nothing. Looked for a name tag...nada. Looked in the lost reports..zippo. So I gave her a nice big meal, snuggles, a brief walk and a snack before leaving for the night. This morning, I did the same. She was sweet and so appreciative.
Then Schmuck-o comes to claim her. At first he seemed nice, until I told him I needed $47 for the town impound fee and boarding..... $47. You would have thought I said $470! I then needed him to fill out a 10 day temporary license. ...oh the drama! Cranky-pants couldn't be bothered and slammed the pen down. I kept a smile...'kill em with kindness' I told myself The meaner he got..the nicer I became. I retrieved the old girl and walked her out to the lobby, on a leash, and handed her over.
With a grunt, he dramatically unclipped the leash, and snapped at her to 'come here' and walked her out the door. 'Have a happy New Year'..I called out as he left. I watch him climb into his brand new Pssat and zip away. I am still shaking my head in disbelief. Dogs I get..people? A mystery.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Leash work 101

Somehow...what seems like overnight...Brees has become a rascal. What happened to my agreeable, sweet puppy? Who is this cocky corgi living in my house? Something happened to Brees when we had our last herding lesson. OK...I am sure it was happening BEFORE the lesson, but now his brattiness shines on me like a Kenny Rogers Roasters sign. No escaping it!

I have always done the NILFF stuff...but now we are on overdrive. I am asking for downs for everything. Want to eat?...Lie down. What to tug?...Lie down. Want to go out?...Lie down. He is still giving me the heavy sighs (the dog version of an eye roll), but he IS lying down quicker!

Today we worked on his leash manners. No more jumping on and play-biting Gimli or his leash during our twice a day walks. We went to our favorite park, and a normal walk that would take us 40 minutes took about an hour and a half. Liam and Gimli strolled off leash enjoying the smells of the trail, while Mr. Brees and I did 'crazy person' walking, circles, backing up and of course....downs! I brought some mid value treats, a smile and my 'puppy' voice to keep him engaged and the mood fun.

I am glad we have entered this new place in our relationship as I feel I can now ask more from him and am not worried about 'crushing' his young spirit. He is definitely no wall flower! This also puts me right into the place where most people enter a family dog class, so its a good reminder of what its like to raise a teen age dog. Ruff love baby...learn it, live it and love it!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Its a new day...

...thats what I said to Suzanne after our herding lesson today. Brees's puppy card has officially expired. Drive is not a problem, but I have a lot to work on before our next lesson! I will be making a trip to the farm store to pick up a small rake. Our homework includes line work, walk ups, stop, down and 'get outs'!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ring Nerves

Tonight Gim and I had competitive obedience class. We took classes years ago and were well on our way to getting into the ring before our instructor moved away. I never found another instructor who I liked working with so we stopped. More like we stalled. I continued to work, but on the same novice stuff for years, not really knowing how to progress.

I recently found a terrific teacher and we jumped back into classes in October. I love the classes and the material. Its fun, positive and the instructor has us work on different things each week. However, I am not 'feeling the love' for the sport.

So last night I had my friend Jill handle Gim and he just blossomed! So I am considering letting her handle him in the competition ring. I have faith in my dog that he can do it, but I don't have faith in myself that I wont screw him up. I get too fidgety and nervous.

We are having a show and go next month and Jill is going to take him on to see how he works with her. I hope to capture it all on tape!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The 9 dog walk

9 dogs doesnt really seem like that many when they are all getting along! Had a great morning walk with humans Rebeccah and Jill along with dogs, Shilo, Kessie, Acre, Copley, Finn, Taley, Liam Gimli and Brees

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

16 weeks already?

I cant believe that Brees will be 16 weeks tomorrow!We have had him for 6 1/2 weeks already? Really? I counted twice on my calender... It seems like it was yesterday we were watching him and his littermates on puppy cam at the dinner table.

Bill and I have found Brees to be the easiest puppy in memory. This past spring we fostered 3 -6 week old littermates who came to the shelter too young and very ill. One of the pups didn't make it, but the other 2 flourished. We split the 2 boys up at 8 weeks and We kept 'Owen' until he was 12 weeks. Owen was a good test puppy for our patience. He was a wild child, who lived on a tether or in a crate& his bite inhibition training was on-going. My dogs tired of Owen and I think they were happy to see him go.

Brees has been nothing but a dream. He is a 'go with the flow' guy who accepted his x-pen, crate and routine from day 1. We started baby 'training' on day 2 and he has been an eager student since. He is a great traveler, playmate and companion. I cant thank Holly and Leonard with Visions Cardigans enough for the wonderful puppy they provided.

Tomorrow we are celebrating his 'birthday' by attending a photo-shoot for the upcoming Fetch-Dog catalog. Depending on how it goes, he may have a part time career as a catalog model! Stay tuned!