Welcome to my journey! This blog is about my adventures in dog training, pet therapy work, rescue work and life with my menagerie of animals. Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Beanie is a big baby! No, I don't mean my baby, he certainly is that, I mean if he were a human child he'd be a whiny, scared, moody child that frustrated you to no end! Alas, he's not a human which makes it even more difficult and frustrating as I can't reason with him about the absurdity of his "quirks" (I'm still in a bit of denial and refuse to call them true phobias). He had this one "quirk" back in MO. that I attributed to him being afraid of his food dishes because they had been knocked over a couple times and scared him. What he would do is carefully come down the stairs to the front entryway, but only if I was at the front door to receive him, and then he'd turn himself around and launch himself by his dishes into the living room. It didn't dawn on me there could be another reason for his weird behavior. It confused me because it wasn't always consistent.

The problem became clearer to me recently. What I discovered, through the process of us moving and him staying at my friends house while we got settled into the new house, was that it wasn't his dishes he was nervous about, it was the flooring! The entire house in MO was carpeted except the front entry, the kitchen and the bathrooms. He hated the wood/tile floors. My friend had to make a rug path for him to get him into the house once he went outside! Of course wouldn't you know this new house we are in is entirely wood flooring except the upstairs bedrooms! Before he came home we spent $300 on area and runner rugs making a pathway for this 127lb. baby! We encourage him if he steps off the rugs and applaud his success. He has a DAP collar on and a plug in by his crate in our bedroom, he's getting more walks now than he was in Mo. because we don't have a fence yet. He is getting more comfortable with his little pathway but prefers to play with his toys upstairs where there is no possibility of the rug moving out from underneath him. For Christmas he got a new giant hedgehog and first chance he got he took it upstairs and began his play with it in earnest.

We are still working on being patient with his issue and try really hard not to make it worse. There is a LOT of "GOOD BOY" being said in my house right now!

Here he is with his new "baby" heading upstairs

 Mid shake!

 Now he wants me to throw it

 He likes to sit here and hangout when we are all downstairs!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday event fundraiser...

So this fundraiser is to promote rescue work. Each blogger is to pick a rescue organization they will split the prize winnings with (or give all of it to). If you want more info on what this is all about check out Two Little Cavaliers for all the details! I will also post a link of all the participating blogs for you to peruse and glean inspiration, information and joy from! I have visited a few already myself and plan to check out the rest. Of course three of my favorite breeds are represented…Newfoundlands, Sibes and Cavaliers, but where are all the Pyrenees people??
 Anyway, choosing a recue organization is hard for me, there are so many amazing ones in this area and I have personal ties to many of them. IGPR, will forever be in my heart as that is where Beanie came from and they were so amazing to us. NGPR is the national Pyrenees organization and they help Pyr rescue groups all over the country, a big undertaking! Killuminati Foundation is saving animals by providing desperately needed emergency medical funds to families and rescue groups for dogs in need of major surgery or medical care. SAAF House is saving lives by offering low cost spay/ neuter and vaccine services, even to feral cats! To date they've altered over 5,000 animals and they've only been in operation just over a year! SNAP is another spay/neuter assistance program. Of course there is the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri which I obviously have a very large tie to. As you can see the choice is hard with such amazing organizations in the area. In fact the choice is so hard, I can't decide. I may pick one for the bulk of the prize and then with my portion divide it up amongst the rest! Either way you can rest assured an animal will be saved! Now go check out all the other bloggers participating and enjoy some doggy time!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 12, 2011

A holiday event!!

Join me and many others in the blogging community for this holiday event that could benefit you AND the charity of your choice! Click on the Social Media holiday event button to the left of the page and follow the instructions to get started! It's a great way to give back to the animal charities you support, "meet" new animal friendly bloggers and expand your horizons a little!

Speaking of holidays, remember this time of year can be stressful for people and animals alike. Extra exercise and fun games can release the tension in both you and your dog! If you find your dog is really anxious about all the hustle and bustle in the house there are a few things on the market that could help calm their nerves. A DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) plug in can help ease stress. So can a calming collar that the dog can wear all time and it actually smells really nice! I use Sentry HC Good Behavior pheromone collar, it has a nice chamomile and lavender fragrance. Never under estimate a few drops of rescue remedy either!

I hope you all enjoy the holidays with your family and pets and make some wonderful memories!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What If...

Being a dog trainer and animal rescuer is hard and sometimes it is downright painful. Today was a painful day. As a rescuer I am subjected to heartbreak after heartbreak and falling in love a million times; as a trainer I am faced with so many dogs that have "potential", if they had just the right home or could get into a foster home. I am faced with seeing that potential and hoping very hard that someone else sees it too because there aren't nearly enough foster homes and sometimes there isn't "just the right" home. I have internalized the motto "I can't save them all, but I can save this one" I know I can only help so many but often there are dogs that you come across that just speak to you, to your soul, and you try maybe just a little harder for that certain one. I've met and loved quite a few of those dogs in my years of rescue work and now as a trainer it's even more so as now I can see behaviors that maybe others don't see, things that could use a little polishing and make a fantastic agility dog, or a wonderful companion for an older person or a great all around family dog; my interactions and my ability to fall in love has been so enriched by the knowledge I have gained on this road to becoming a dog trainer.

I spoke of her before; Infinity, even posted her picture on this blog. Since the time that blog was written she had been adopted and was in a home for a few months. Recently she was returned to the shelter much to my devastation due to a vague excuse of "not getting along with the other dogs". It's very possible, Infinity was a rowdy, rough player and she was a relatively assertive female so it was believable to think there was some not nice behavior cropping up. Unfortunately the adopters were not encouraged (at least to my knowledge) to seek help from us trainers to evaluate the situation before she was brought back to the shelter. So I was very saddened to see her back in the kennels yet at the same time I was so happy to see her again. I know she remembered me, I felt it. She buried her head in my lap when I got her out and snuggled up so close to me it was like she was trying to crawl into my skin! Oh how I had missed her and oh how I loved her. I knew she did not have long before the kennel stress behaviors began again with her so we tried to get her into the public eye as much as possible. She went to two separate public events and did really well at both of them. Then my life became crazy. Between getting ready to move and traveling to look at houses I wasn't at the shelter as often as I would have liked. I went last week but knew that seeing her would be so upsetting that I selfishly did not interact with her. I scrambled around all this week trying to get things done specifically so I could go and spend my last day at the shelter with her. I needed to see her. She wasn't there.

What if, is a phrase that can bring the strongest person to their knees; it regularly does such a thing for animal rescuers, it's doing it to me today.

PLEASE if you are in any position at all to become a foster home, do it, they are so desperately needed and there can never be enough. You can even designate yourself an emergency home for dogs like Infinity that could have used that breather to be re-assessed and given a chance to prove she is more than this one transgression. Becoming a foster home could literally save a dogs life.

RIP Sweet Finnie