August 27, 2011

Life updates

I haven't posted in a few day and I missed out on the Tell me Thursday game :( But I have a good excuse, really I do, We are house hunting!!! I think, no take that back, I KNOW apartment life is slowly drive us crazy, Riley and Grace need a yard!!! And we need a real place to call our own.

Earlier this week we found what we thought was the perfect house, we fell in love at first glance. But we were brought back down to earth when that same day it went under contract :( So the search continued... and today we found another house we really love. Nice size house and amazing backyard! Just a few updates and a woman's touch (sorry men) and it's perfect! We are trying not too get too excited again but sometimes I can't help it! We go back tomorrow to take pictures and talk serious talk with our realtor.

Wish us luck!

August 18, 2011

Tell Me Thursday!

She's at it again! 

It seems Thursdays are the only days I post, sorry. Once this drought and heat subside, and the cooler weather comes, we will be more active I promise.

1. Who is your newest dog? Where is he/she from, and why did you choose this particular dog/breeding? This question posted by Jodi.

Our newest addition is Grace. Sweet Miss Chloe Grace. 

She is from the All Border Collie Rescue here in Houston, but was actually being fostered in San Antonio. We chose her because she just seemed to fit right in. We had look at other dogs, at other rescues and none of them were "the one".

2. What traits drew you to this dog or breeding? (also by Jodi) 

First off her and Riley hit it off from the get go and that was important to me, as we wanted a good friend for him. Also she is very loving and has such a soft demeanor, but can have a fun, feisty attitude when she wants. I don't think we could have made a better choice.

3. What's on your feet right now? 
Right now?..... Socks :) I basically just got home from work, walked the pups, kicked off my shoes and now I'm typing this out. :) (Trying to take as long as I can, because when I finish I have to start cleaning...bleh.)

4. What are you reading right now?

Right now I am reading Shadowland by Alyson Noel and just started Steel by Carrie Vaughn. I love reading but lately haven't found the time :(

5. What upcoming trials are you looking forward to? If you don't trial dogs I'll take whatever activity that you're looking forward to.

There is a Rally trial coming up in October I believe. I want to enter Grace and hopefully we can earn the last leg for her RN!

There are some agility trials coming up in October as well and I think I might enter Riley in his first trial!!!

August 11, 2011

Tell me Thursday #4

How is it already Thursday?! Regardless, I am happy it's here, because this work week has been long, stressful and tiring.
Crooks and Crazies has posted another set of questions! Here's my go at round two!

1. In sheepdog training (or lets call it *any* type of training), how do you keep from taking yourself, your dog, your lack of progress too seriously? posed by Ann

Well, I don't do sheep herding, although it would be thoroughly entertaining to see what Riley and Grace do! When it comes to new sports/ tasks, I tend to be a very self critical person. I want to do well at any task quickly and I want to please my instructors. I sometime hold unrealistic expectations for myself and when I "fail" to meet those, I become stressed and anxious. But, Riley and Grace keep me in check.

I have to remind my self that these activities I do with my dogs, are for FUN! They aren't doing it to earn titles, ribbons or fast times. They are doing it because it's fun! I ask them to do something for me and they say "Sure mom! Sounds fun!" For now all I have to do, to stop my little pity parties, is look at their wagging tail and tongues hanging out, to know I've done good.

I believe we don't get the dogs we WANT, we get the dogs we NEED.

2. How many crates do you have? For reals.

 We have 4 crates. Two in the house, where they sleep at night, and two soft crates for travel.

3. How do you keep your dogs in shape?

 As of this moment...... walking and agility for Riley. In this 100+ heat we can't do much outside right now, but the second it cools off to 80 or less, we will hit the trails. Weather permitting, we usually do agility, run, rollerblade, bike or swim. In between our usual activities Riley and Grace like to entertain/exercise themselves by wrestling!

4. Who is your favorite movie/tv star eye candy at the moment?
Hummm.... Hubby and I are watching this new TV series, called Falling Skies and the actor, Drew Roy is pretty good looking :)

5. What is your livestock situation? Have your own? Borrow? Herd the cats? (You can subsitute other equipment for livestock if you don't work stock with your dogs).

I do agility with Riley, and I have a few homemade pieces of equipment, jumps and a teeter. In an apartment I don't have much space for practicing or storing anything big, but beware, when we finally get a house I wanna go all out! Muh hahaha! 
Also, for Grace's Rally I have some cones and homemade rally flash cards I put on the ground for practice. :)

August 7, 2011

Test Your Pet

A while ago a fellow blogger, Sprollies and Border Collies, posted about a test she gave to her dogs, kind of like an IQ test I would say. I thought it looked like fun and I was curious how Riley and Grace would each perform. I finally had the time to perform said test and here are the results! (I made up my own scoring system, as I didn't know what the test used)

Is your dog right- or left-handed?

Riley:  Pawed right - 3 points
Grace: Licked, sniffed, stared at me and tried to eat the cup. Eventually pawed with right and left paws - 1 point

Does your dog show initiative?

Riley: Flipped cup - 3 points
Grace: Flipped cup -  3 points

Does your dog understand how the world works?

Riley: Looked at floor then to table. - 2 points
Grace: Looked at the table. - 3 points

How good is your dog at solving problems?

Riley: Immediately went around the chairs. - 3 points
Grace: Stared at treat, and after some time went around the chairs. - 2 points

How many commands does your dog know?

Riley: 13 (not including agility) - 2 points
Grace: 13 - 2 points

How good is your dog at solving problems? 

Riley: Pulled the string - 3 points
Grace: Walked around and around, then sat and stared at me. - 1 point

How good is your dog's memory for places?

Riley: Went straight for hidden treat. - 3 points
Grace: Came into room & stared at me, found hidden treat after encouragement saying "go find it". - 2 points

Final Scores!
Winner! Riley with a score of 19/21
Runner up! Grace with a score of 14/21

Riley is a, forge forward, must do whatever to get reward, kind of dog. While Grace is patient, sit and wait for direction, kind of dog. It was fun to watch them each figure (or not figure) out each task in their own way. Here's the link to the test, Test Your Pet, they have test for dogs, cats, birds, horses and more! Try it out with your own pet, and see how they do! Have fun!

August 5, 2011

Grace's first lake adventure!

Earlier this week me and the dogs attempted to walk to a lake my husband recently discovered, 2 miles away from our apartment complex. Needless to say our attempt was futile.... we didn't even make it half way before we had to turn back because of the heat.

After work today  hubby and I decided to make attempt number two. After the looooong walk we made it to said lake and we had the place to ourselves. I was most excited to see what Grace would do. She has never been to a lake and has shown very little interest, if not a small fear, of water. We let Riley off lead and put Grace on the long lead and let them go. Riley went straight to sniffing around and peeing on stuff... typical male, but Grace saw some birds and bee lined it to the water! 

I was a little concerned that she didn't know it was water and would panic once she got there, but again she proved me wrong! She knew it was water and was loving it! She was having fun but was still very nervous, she would jump at any strange little thing, but go back to investigate. For example, "The Log".

 "Hey! Look what I found!"

 "Run for your lives!!!!"

 "Riley, get out of there! Hey! Riley!"


 "Holy sh!t"

 "Wha... what is it?"

 "Careful.... careful....."

 "I'll try the bounding approach."

 "Must get closer...."


 "Too close!"


 " Third times a charm.... right?"

"You still here Grace? I've already investigated the whole lake!"

 "Shhhh I'm busy!"


 "On to investigate more!"

 "Oooo What's that?!?!"

 It's an old plastic bottle Grace.

 "Must use caution"

 "It might be something scary."

"I'll try scratching it."

 There's my boy Riley! 
 Shortly after this, I was just about run over.

Just practicing off leash recall

 I love these two!

All I can think of when I see this picture is.... "SQUIRREL!"

What a awesome way to end a bad work day/week. 
I love my dogs! 
♥Thanks for the de-stresser ♥

August 4, 2011

Tell me Thursday

A new game! I love games, although I have never been very good at them. Laura from Crooks and Crazies asks a set of questions every Thursday and wants to know what you know. So, here is my first attempt! Enjoy.
(This may make me post more then twice a month! lol)

(1) How did you get into border collies (or whatever your dogs of choice are)? What started it all?

  I guess it all started about 3 years ago. I have had dogs my whole life, there was never a point in my life without them...until I graduated college. I moved far away from home and our dogs to be with my boyfriend (now husband) here in TX. When we were both ready for a dog we started looking at the local shelters. We wanted a energetic dog we could run, bike, hike, swim with, etc... So we thought a Lab would be a good choice. We looked and looked and looked, but no one felt like "the dog" for us. Until Riley, lo and behold we fell in love with this guy! Riley, a Border Collie mix.

This was our first picture of him at the shelter's tent event.

This picture basically sums up my lil guy :P

 Since then I have loved the Border Collie breed! Riley is the dog that got me interested in agility and through him I have met so many new friends and so has he!
We had known we would eventually get Riley a friend and I knew it would be another Border Collie or Border Collie mix. So looked into the Border Collie Rescue here in Houston and found our lovely Grace!

Shelter's picture of her

Sweet Miss Grace

With her, I got involved with Rally, and again, through her I have met more great friends and done things I never thought I would do.
(2) How many dogs do you have? All dog math variations accepted.
We have 2 dogs, Riley about 3yrs and Grace about 4yrs. Known as my spotted duo.

(3) What do you do for a day job?
For my day job I work as a Therapy Assistant in a Chiropractors office.

(4) What questions would you like to answer (or ask)?
Think....think... think [insert Winnie the Pooh here]
What are some cold snacks/treats you give your dog(s) for summer time fun???
We got to make the best of this damn TX heat!

(5) What was for dinner last night?
Wednesdays are usually Bertolli meal nights. Why? Well, Wednesday nights are agility class night and some nights I don't get home from work until 7:00pm and I have to leave by 7:45pm, so sweet husband puts a Bertolli meal on the stove when I get home and BAM! 10 minutes later, dinner! Last night's Bertollit meal of choice was Italian sausage and rigatoni in a spicy tomato sauce.

I like Tell me Thursdays! I can't wait for more!