cody bear's friends

“pickles, were you planning on getting a job at walmart?”
March 23, 2009, 1:21 am
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pickles had what she thinks was a play date today.

one of my friends is a dog trainer and she is teaching a class on canine communication.  today pickles got to go to class to show the students appropriate greetings and such.

and she did such a good job!  she is  a great greeter. i can see her in her little blue vest already!

here is some of her work:






"i'm doing a good job, huh?"



picklebot and the yogurt bear
January 24, 2009, 6:25 am
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it’s funny that my 4.5 year old dog is living a life of retirement luxury and my 10 month old border collie is working her ass off.  first of all, since pickles is a border collie, she actually wants to work her ass off.  secondly, i’m hoping cody bear’s retirement is just temporary.  so … let’s examine their week, shall we?

the yogurt bear:

yogi1my sweet guy is only throwing up twice a month, and his injury seems to be doing better.  this dog LOVES school, but has taken all the obedience classes he can.  agility was really all that challenged him, but with his injury, he hasn’t been going.  i feel horrible about this, since he loves school so much and has to watch pickles leave for class all the time.

now, regarding the yogurt:  we’re down to only a couple nutritional supplements, plus the reglan. but food is so important.  one side dish at 2 of his 4 meals…yogurt.    but you have to add warm water to it because a dog with gastroparesis can’t digest cold food.  he sometimes splashes it onto his muzzle.  sweet guy with  a yogurt muzzle.

meanwhile, the picklebot:

picklebotwe have puppy agility on tuesday.  she’s doing great.  wednesdays we have basic obedience with buzzy’s pittbull, maggie; shoe from timbuktu, a nepalese street pup who was rescued by my friend who was a medical volunteer; bella the year old golden, mingo the dalmation mix, and buffy, the very shy beagle.

we felt like jerks (we meaing just me) because picky is farther ahead of everyone.  and yes, she ran through the exercises like a pro, not a ten month old puppy.  but, here is the deal: all the dogs did great!  she just knows more cues because i’ve been trying to keep her busy so she is entertained and not destructive.  now, cody bear’s doggie bed begs to differ.  but really, it is working a bit.  so no one should be all “pickles and goodbear are jerks” or “my dog is a dumb dumb.”  so what if it looks like  pickles is running through the exercises like a west german athlete during the time of black and white television.

if you were to look closely, she was really having fun.

and the other dogs may not know as many tricks as her…they are probably  more calm and less destructive.  dogs are like people, with strengths and weaknesses.  like her mother, her strengths are boundless charm and the ability to take direction. and like her mom, her weaknesses are being destructive when bored and slightly selfish.  no wonder we ended up together!

friday afternoon, me . . . tired. . . just tired, i came home and told the pets it was nap time.  for an hour or so the doglets wrestled on the bed while i pretended to sleep.  really, i just was loving the cuteness.

loving the cuteness all.

free range pickles
January 14, 2009, 5:12 am
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there comes a time in every young puppy’s life where they are allowed run of the house while the person is gone.

now, pickles, being a good puppy, has been allowed run of the house for a few hours.  today was her first day being alone for 4.5 hours….


cody bear’s doggie bed.  it was demolished by the 9.5 month old border collie.  it was her first indoor kill.  she’s very proud, and now that she has had the taste of stuffing….i don’t think we can stop her from killing again.  she’s going to crave it from now one.  once it touches the puppy’s choppers, they crave it.

cody bear is very confused. “why did she kill my doggie bed?”

pickles is tired, and satisfied…


sigh….i miss my cola,…and cody bear gets panned…
November 12, 2008, 4:55 pm
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wooo doggie!  i have much much to blog about, but no time.  i will try to catch up after pickles’ agility class tonight.

but for now….this news.  i’m trying to give up caffeine! ack!  i went a whole day without a coke.  i woke up this morning with a killer killer killer headache.  but i’m going to try to stick it out!!!

wish me well!

and regarding cody bear…he had agility last night and one of the classmates said something about my dog that offended me.  i’m peeved.  why can’t people just mind their own business.  always trying to correct cody bear, make him a nicer dog.  he’s scared of dogs. doesn’t trust them.  get over it!  he’s come SO FAR, but it’s not good enough for some.  “your dog should love everyone, like mine does…”  this dog stares at cody through most of class, so he isn’t going to like her.  he’s not.  just let him do his thing and leave him alone…

ok, thanks for letting me vent.  back later to report on cheery things like cody bear and pickles’ developing friendship, my new diet, and random silliness!

two sides to every story….but i wouldn’t believe the border collie if i were you…
November 3, 2008, 5:22 am
Filed under: animals, border collies, dogs, friends, life, pets | Tags: , , , , , , ,

oh the attitude!  pickles has been just belligerent!  at 28 weeks this previously angelic border collie is being a punk.  nickname:  picky punk!

“och auntie, eh don’t know what me mum is talking about.  look at meh.  i’m innocent nd luvable, i em.  sheh’s a liar. she is…”

i can’t let her get away with her little moments of not doing what i say, even the simplest of things.  so we’re having to incorporate some serious “nothing in life is free” tactics.

“back off liar….i’m trying to have a moment here!”

oh pickles.  or should i say killer pickle?  what do you do with my sweet baby girl???

here are the gifts i am CONSIDERING getting the furpods for xmas, providing they are on the nice list and not the naughty! (just kidding!  you just KNOW they’re getting a trunk load of crap!)

tiki dog toys!  and when you squeeze them…..there are drum beats and rhythmic grunting!  and squeaky jacks and blue moo cows with detachable. legs!

talk to you all soon!

cheers from good bear and her cuddly crew!


canine megaphone?
August 19, 2008, 2:20 pm
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pickles is a barker…

anything she’s unsure of gets a few barks.

yesterday morning the dogs were in the back yard and i was here…blogging. i heard a strange sound of barking.  it was as if pickles had fell down the well in the back yard.

but i don’t have a well.

this hollowed out ceramic chicken wind chime had fallen out of a tree a few weeks ago.

she was barking into the bottom hole.  she seemed quite please with the sound of her bark….

kind of like when i was a kid and i would sing into the box fan….

pupdate: pickles is chillin’

we have gotten some inquiries on how my new border collie pickles is doing, so here is some info to catch you up. (puppies grow so fast.  she is bigger and faster and smarter every day!)

kickin' back at the vet's

yesterday was her last well-puppy appointment.  she, naturally, did awesome.  not scared of anything, loved the people, did all her tricks for her doctor and gail the tech.  while we were waiting she learned how to hop up on the vet table to “up” and then hop “off” on command.  so we chilled for a couple minutes and played “up off up off” for treats.  during the exam, they raised the metal table and she just sat there like, “hey…thanks for the lift”.

so here are the facts:

16 weeks old tomorrow!

22 pounds! (big girl!)

she will probably weigh in around 45 lbs as an adult.

perfect health except….for an underbite.  just kidding, ave to have a few teeth extracted for health reasons.  NOOOO!  poor baby.  and poor mama’s wallet.  we’ll know better when we go in a month later for another check up.  for now…lots of chews and bones for pickles. (sorry cody bear)

all in all, a great appointment. i absolutely LOVE our vet.

moving on.  clicker training is going great!  here are the cues she knows:

sit, down, wait, stay (four feet away then return), paw(left paw), touch nose to my hand, left circle, up(onto platform), off(get off what you’re on), get in your house(gets in crate) and drop it.  and for the most part she comes when she’s called unless she has a stick or it’s too hot outside and she doesn’t want to go out.  but she’s always done that.

for the most part, cody bear doesn’t play with her until 9:30/ten-ish. who knows why.  but this morning they were playing great together while i did that china blog!  but cody bear got too excited and i had to let him out to run h.o.p.(hell-on-paws) which is quite terrifying to see when you’re a wee puppy.  he really does go insane.

i thank myself every day for one tiny thing: since day one, the minute the alarm clock goes off…i turn it off, but i don’t move.  whether it is 30 seconds or snoozing for a few more minutes.  i don’t move.  now, i have this great puppy who just hangs out in her crate without whining, barking,  or peeing.  she never fusses till she knows we’re really up.  such a good girl!!

she’s weasling her way into his heart.
July 29, 2008, 1:30 pm
Filed under: animals, canine, dog, dogs, life, pets | Tags: , , , ,

here’s the pupdate:

pickles adores cody bear.  but, as i had mentioned, sometimes cody bear likes pickles, sometimes not so much.  well, yesterday was a likes day.

it seems he has some sort of pickles acceptance schedule.  in the morning, he can’t be bothered.  he has to patrol, he has to run, he has to eat breakfast.

at lunch…

he just wants to cuddle his mama before she goes back to work.  usually he lures her away from the cuddle spot so he can be closest, but once he is comfy, he will let pickles join in the cuddling, too.

after work, there is more running, as well as sniffing, so she is on her own, as far as he is concerned.  on a rare occasion, if she tries hard enough, she can break him down and get him to play with him after i get home from work.

then, around 9:30 at night they’re best pals.  they use every inch of the living room floor tussling.  then they get pooped out and have to rest.

this is a picture from last night during a short break from their play session…

some days he looks at me like, “how COULD you bring this she-pup home?” other days, like last night, he looks like he’s saying, “thanks for the puppy, mom.  she’s fun.”

so let’s review.  the dogs are getting along o.k. most of the time and great some of the time.  pickles is adorable.  so is cody bear. and he is being a good big brother.

step up cody bear, no more coddling…
July 26, 2008, 3:23 pm
Filed under: animals, dogs, life, love, mutts, pets, puppies | Tags: , , , ,

there are two kinds of love for the dogs in this house: 1. the love where everytime i see them i melt inside, i can’t refrain from cuddling and kissing and my voice irritates even me. and 2. the love where i want them to be happy, well adjusted animals accepted by people who don’t already have love #1.

#1 comes naturally….#2 is challenging. so here’s the deal:

my first order of business when bringing home pickles, the new puppy, was to make sure everyone got along peacefully. initially she was terrified of cody bear. also, cody wanted to play rough outdoors and then wanted her out of his space indoors. this first project has been, for the most part, completed successfully…..without trips to e.r. or days of panic tears.

the next step was training pickles the basics while not alienating cody bear. pickles learned the basics fast and cody bear learned how to milk the “non-alienation” part of the deal. but it stops now, the milking, that is.

when my vet first met pickles she laughed alot and said i would have my hands full, but that she was glad the puppy was with me because, being a natural drama queen, pickles was going to need someone who wouldn’t cave in to every little whine and temper tantrum. i’ve been strong there, but i forgot to be strong with every little mopey glance and grunt of cody’s.

cody bear, who knows scads of tricks and performs them 90 to 100% of the time when asked is getting slower to sit, down, take a bow, anything. he is testing the boundaries and listening alot less.

he woke up grouchy today

the happier he is, the nicer he is to pickles. to be happy he needs two things: (you think i am going to say snuggling but your wrong!) he needs exercise and lots of it, and he needs clicker training. it’s his favorite activity and it exercises his brain. now, its been a challenge clicker training them together, and given she needs equal attention as a border collie puppy, the schedule has been tight.

but it is working. it is the coddling and the “mama still loves you cody bear” that has to stop for a few days. he simply isn’t paying attention, and at the risk of sounding anthropomorphic, he’s doing it on purpose.

he’s sulking now. i’m ignoring it.

i have a training journal for the dogs. every day i schedule what i’m working on with both dogs in their section. this morning pickles was to work on eye contact, healing, and down without a hand cue. and paw, but she’s not picking that up so fast. cody bear’s is back to the basics. he has been choosing not to make eye contact, so that is where we’re focusing. as well as “no, i will NOT tell you to sit a second time! you’re 4 years old you know to sit the first time i say it.” that particular exercise really worked!

so, more on the training later. off to volunteer.

manipulating the youngster….
July 24, 2008, 7:01 pm
Filed under: animals, canine, dog, dogs, life, pets, puppies | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

you know how sometimes there’s an older dog, one whose been in the house for a while, and then a puppy comes in and kind of takes over part of the territory?  and by territory….i mean the space directly surrounding the person in the house. me.

and you know how sometimes the older dog will get angry when said puppy is curled up on the person’s lap or in a place beside her legs typically reserved for the older dog?  and sometimes the angry older dog will snap at the puppy, or growl, or show the teeth?

well here’s what cody bear does.  pickles comes and lays down in cody bears spot on the floor between my knees. this is the spot he lays when i brush his fur, or brush his teeth, or just pet him.  so, he gets up from where he’s laying and he starts looking around.  he sniffs all the toys, finds the most enticing one, walks up to me…and pickles…drops the toy on the outside of my legs, the puppy gets up instantly, gets the toy, shakes it, trots over to doggie bed for a good chew and…without batting an eye, cody bear climbs into his spot, lays head down on my knee and goes to sleep.

now, i’m not being anthropomorphic. i’m not making shit up.  the dog is smart.  and he suspects snapping at the puppy will get him in trouble.

we’re still working out the family dynamic.  some days he likes pickles…some days…not so much.