Monday, December 29, 2008

Spay Maryland Needs Help!

Please help this wonderful organization by making a donation to their new anesthesia monitor!

They're very bully friendly...and we like that around here!

Also, if you're in the Ellicott City area and like to eat out...Spay Maryland has a fundraiser on January 20th at Jilly's in Ellicotty City:

"We are having a fund raising night at Jilly's Restaurant in Ellicott City on Tuesday, January 20th. Please come out for dinner! Spay Maryland will get proceeds that night from every meal sold. You do not need to tell the server that you're there for Spay Maryland and there's no invitation to print out or anything. You just need to show up, have a good time, and enjoy some great food! Jilly's is located at 10030 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City MD, 21042."

~SDS (bully friendly himself)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bryce will be moving on...


Mom finally has a puppy raiser for Bryce, so he'll be moving on this week. We'll miss him, but he'll finally get someone with more time for him. Right now, Mom's been busy with Xander (and his hurt leg) and other stuff...and she hasn't had the time for Bryce. He's gotten tons of experience with animals and other dogs, and plenty of quality socialization, but his training has been lacking. He has great attention and sits (no matter the distraction...he can sit and watch Mom on the sidelines of a flyball tournament!). He also can nose-target to a hand...and his tug and retrieve skills have been moving along nicely. But that's about it...and Mom knows he could be doing more.

We'll still see him each week with his new puppy that'll be great.

Such a cute pup...

Part of being a puppy is learning good doggy social skills!




~SDS (teaching the Puppies in pup at a time!)


Saturday, December 27, 2008

A day in Baltimore...

We went to Baltimore today, and walked around the Inner Harbor with the Grumparents. It was nice...a bit cloudy, but pretty warm for December! 50+ degrees on the water! Weird!

We ate in the food court, and did some window shopping, and then went and looked at the boats in the water. Very nice. Mom took lots of pics...she'll have to post some soon. She's way behind on posting pics...very sorry! Maybe this week, we'll give you an All-photo blog entry!

~SDS (tired but happy!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Don't waste your money...

We tried our new pet nail sander today...Mom had it wrong, it's not the Peticure, but the Pedi Paws one.

Awful...the thing is too slow/weak to do our nails. Mom thought it would be a nice alternative to the heavy dremel she uses now, but it wasn't good at all. We all can handle the dremel at medium speed, but this thing spooked us because it kept stopping and skipping when our nails touched it. Barely did anything for our nails. Mom gave up after trying mine and Score's nails, and then did Xander's too. You can't tell that she used the thing. Stupid product.

Save your money, Mom says, and get a real dremel (she hears that the Pet Sander version is quite nice n' portable). We got this Pedi Paws as a present from our Grumparents...hopefully they can get their money back.

~SDS (happy that he didn't get his nails done today!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hope everyone had a good day! We sure did...though my Grumpa sat in my spot on the couch all day!

It was a fun day filled with happiness and lots of food...and lots of presents!

Mom got a new "contraption" today...a Peticure. She said she's getting batteries tomorrow and doing all of our nails. Great. Sounds like fun. (not)

Merry Christmas! We'll be back with new pics soon!

~A very satisfied SDS

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why am I so good with other animals?

Maybe because I live with soooo many. We know many Assistance Dogs with prey drive problems...but not me. I am immune to small critters. We were at a rodent show last year, and a ferret was running lose, and ran over my front legs as I laid by John's scooter. Mom saw me...I didn't even flinch. (the ferret then took up occupancy under the scooter and had a fine time playing there)

Mom tries to take all of the "zoo" to puppy class every so often, so the puppies that don't live with us can get some exposure too. Not every puppy raiser keeps a small community of critters in the house like Mom does. And all of our critters are dog-savvy and dog-friendly. Like Fry, the new kitten pictured above. He's either really brave, or kinda dumb. Below is a picture of him with a visiting whippet friend, Cruz. Crazy kitten!

Bryce (the Fidos collie pup in training) and Fry are now friends, btw...Mom keeps trying to get pics of them playing, but they're so fast...the pics are always blurry! She'll keep trying!

John wants to brag on me...

I can't believe it...John actually wanted to brag about me in writing today! So I am graciously turning the blog over to him tonight!

*Some details were edited to keep this blog PG. ;)


While shopping for pen kits and stuff we had a run in with the store owner's dog, a Shiba Inu. I saw the dog in another corner of he store and he was sniffing the air, I guess he smelled Sawyer, then he disappears for about a minute. Next thing I see is this dog sliding to a stop in the aisle next to us, he back pedals and immediately sticks his nose right into Sawyer's face. Sawyer does a quick sniff and comes right back to my side so we can continue our shopping and the Shiba continues to shove his nose up Sawyer's rear end*. After the dog not leaving us alone, I had to put my hand on the shiba's head to push him away, multiple times, one of the employees finally comes over and just tells the dog to leave us alone and walks off. I guess we ignored the dog long enough and he went away. We move to another part of the store and the dog gets right up into Sawyer's face so Sawyer turns away from him then the stupid dog tries to put his head/neck onto Sawyer's back, then wants to play. Sawyer finally has had enough and lets out a low, quick grumble and to my surprise the Shiba just stops without any kind of reaction. He just looked at Sawyer and decided to make himself a little smaller and just went away.

Sawyer behaved amazingly well, like he always does. I could not believe how well the Shiba was with people and Sawyer. I've always heard that Shibas are not good with other dogs. This one was a little rude but backed off really quickly when he was told off.

Whoohoo Bean!

I should probably give Erin a little credit for Sawyer's behavior too.

-John (Sawyer's human)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Have you been naughty or nice?

I've been very nice this year...helping John with all sorts of things. I think Santa will definitely bring me some good stuff this year. I've got my stocking hung up and everything. Now I just have to wait a few more days!

I may not get a chance to post too much until after the new Grumparents are coming in for Christmas next week! I hope everyone has a great Holiday, no matter what you celebrate!

~SDS (trying so hard to stay "good for goodness sake!")

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Goo Girls

Mom was going through her photobucket account, and found this pic of the Goo Girls...she had no idea the photobucket albums had so many pics!

We just had to share this pic, as they're so cute. This is Teyla and Trillian...they're degus, a South American rodent. They were having a playdate in the tub.


Surrounded by small creatures

New toy!


A new toy! I'm very excited!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Clean bill of health

I went to the vet today...a new vet that gives discounts to Service Dogs. (how very nice of them!) I got an exam, my distemper combo shot and horror of horrors, *whispers* they took a fecal sample. I grumbled for that one. Ugh. Who wouldn't?

Everything was good, of course, I am perfect in every way. (Riiighhhhtttt...says Mom)

It's nice to have everyone ooh and ahh over me of course...they were impressed at my skills (I offered them lots of behaviors for some kibble). It was a nice time. Mom wishes Inara would find the vet as fun as Score and I do. Silly sister!

Anyway...I've got to go nap on the couch, it's been a long day.

Happy and healthy for the new year

Friday, December 12, 2008

I am a Life Saver!

That's right, I officially became a Blood Donor today. My first time giving blood, and it couldn't have been easier.

Mom left me with the vet and techs, and went out to walk Score (big baby wouldn't potty in the rain). She was waiting in the lobby when I was done, and they brought her into the room where I was. I was having a blast...walking around eating treats and mugging them for more. They told mom that I was really good, that they didn't think I even knew what was going on (there was PEANUT BUTTER). Then they threw some treats into the water bucket, and I amused them by blowing bubbles as I stuck my entire head into the bucket.

I got a new red bandanna that says "Blood donation the humane way." I look quite smashing in it.

This is quite a nice addition to my resume, don't you think? Service Dog, Therapy Dog, Flyball Dog, now Blood Donor.

~SDS: The man of many talents

PS...for more information on giving blood in Maryland and Virginia...check out Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank (EVBB)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pit Bulls and Pretty Girls

Mom says that I have to give her a plug for the new calendar that she and Score are in. It's a calendar with pin-ups and their pit bulls (or mixes like Score). None of the girls are models...they're all just pit bull owners that wanted to help out.

All of the proceeds go to Operation Hug A Hero. This is a special fund to help get "Hug a Hero" or "Daddy" dolls to kids that have lost a parent in the line of duty or simply can't afford one. These special dolls are printed with the likeness of a loved one that is overseas, in the hospital, etc. What a great thing!

Mom is "Miss November", if you want to check her out!

Pit Bulls and Pretty Girls

It's a great present for those deployed overseas or anyone that loves pit bulls (or pin-ups!)


Friday, December 5, 2008

Flyball again...

This time it's our new YouTube videos...put together by a team member-Jenn. (She's also my new flyball handler.) :)

The Two-Lane Highway Team Video

And our blooper reel!

We'll be flyballin' again this weekend...hopefully getting some more good videos to share with all of you!

~SDS: Proving once again, that Service Dogs do play!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So busy!

It's hard to find time to blog when you're a busy guy like me! What with all of the relatives and friends over for Thanksgiving, flyball tournaments and other fun stuff, it's been crazy around here!

Mom says it's a slow day today, so we'll get back and blog about our puppy class field trip from last night...but later! Be patient! For now, some updates on the household:

Bryce is doing well, and growing lots of nose and legs. No one asks "What breed is he?" anymore...most people can guess "Collie" now. Hard to miss that needle nose. He's making friends with the kitten, Fry, and charms everyone he meets. Except for Mom when he poops on the floor behind her.

Xander is still on crate rest, and will need surgery soon. His ACL is still bothering him, he barely puts weight on it. Mom is guessing that it's more than a partial tear. Now we have to raise the money for his surgery somehow. Ugh. He's a good boy though, Mom says, and is quiet in his crate (not like me!)

I'm doing well...been getting out a lot. (John hates to go out when it's cold...but Mom tells him that I need to get out some, so he goes out-just for little ol' me!) I love to get out and go places...that's one reason I love being a Service Dog. I've been behaving myself everywhere we go...Mom and John have been very proud of me. It's been 2 years since I decided that this was the life for me...and I think we're all very pleased at my decision. (the humans think THEY made the choice...right!)

The big news? I got an invite to be part of the DogTime Blog I'm going to be a DogTime Blog Star soon! We'll have more of an audience soon! Thanks for the invite, DogTime!

That's it for now...I'll hopefully have some puppy class pics up later!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

There is a lot to be thankful for today! I hope that you and your family have a lovely day, just like we're planning. Turkey and all of the trimmings, family and friends (dogs, cats and humans) all around us...all tucked into a warm little house.

I just gave John a big hug to thank him for everything he does for made him laugh, so that's good.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Flyball (I hope!)

Hi all~
I'm trying something new...testing out a video from this past weekend's flyball tournament. Hopefully it works! The first dog you'll see is yours truly...don't blink or you'll miss me!

Flyball Video

I'm having trouble making it anything other than just a direct link...sorry! If Mom wasn't so computer illiterate, I'd have her help me!


Monday, November 24, 2008

And I'm the one being denied access...

We were out to eat last night at Golden Corral...with the flyball team, after a great weekend of flyballin'. I was under the table, as usual, fast asleep. Flyball makes me very tired!

The table next to us had numerous kids of all ages, running around the entire building. The parents were sitting at the table talking and having a lovely time, while the kids ran everywhere. Mom almost tripped over them twice. At one point, they came over about 6' away, crouched down and started barking at me. Being a good Service Dog, I remained quiet and polite. Mom however, had enough...and turned to talk to the kids. She told them "Don't bark at the dog." The kids stayed there, and kept "woofing". Mom was tired and cranky, and finally turned around and said loudly, "LEAVE THE DOG ALONE!". There might have been a little growl too.

The kids ran off. The parents didn't notice a thing. But the kids left me alone.

And I'm the one people don't want in restaurants. *shakes head*

The world is a crazy place...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why it's so important...

Mom is always telling puppy owners about the important stuff. Why it's important to crate train, why it's important to have your puppy eliminate on cue, why it's important for your puppy to handle being alone, and more.

It's hit home this week, why she lectures them so much.

Xander tore an ACL this week (on Tuesday), and he's on strict crate rest and leash walking.

Luckily, Mom practices what she preaches, and things are going smoothly. Xander's a bit depressed because he can't run around with all of us, but he's doing okay. His leg hurts a lot, I can tell.

Mom has him in a crate in the office, so he can see everyone. He has a big cushy bed and lots of stuffed Kongs and chewies. He can only go out in the front yard (the back yard has steps), and only on a leash...luckily he potties on command and on leash. Mom keeps saying that this would be much harder with a dog not used to going in a crate or eliminating on cue. She thinks of all of the dogs she knows that can't do stuff like this, and groans just thinking about how to take care of them.

We're off for the weekend to a flyball tournament...the good thing is, I get to take Xander's spot, so I get to run more! But poor Xander, he's gonna be so sad. Mom's gonna have to make sure she has lots of peanut butter (his favorite) for his Kongs.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meeting the mail carrier

A blast from the past for the picture today...a Score-pup pic!
Bryce went out and met the mail carrier he can cross two things off his socialization checklist...a mail carrier, and gloves, since she was wearing latex gloves (to sort the mail). He was all wiggly and happy to see her...a very good meeting!

It's important for all dogs, to be introduced to people in uniform and people that work around the house. Most of us know a dog that barks at the mail own sister, Inara, is crazy when she comes to deliver the mail. (Mom's nipping that little habit with the help of the Control Unleashed, Look At That game) It's much better to give the puppies good experiences, rather than having to fix problems down the road.

It's important for all dogs, but especially important for Assistance Dogs...we see people in uniform all of the time when we're out in public, and often times, they're not real happy to see us. I can't tell you how many irate security guards, and managers have come over to try and deny us access. So often times, those people in uniform that we see have really threatening body language. Dogs have a great ability to read it's important for us to have many, many good experiences so we have a solid history of meeting nice uniformed people. That way, we don't get upset and bark or get nervous around them when they're heading towards us.

Score for instance, as a puppy, met firefighters (in boots and suits), police officers, security guards, mail carriers, and anyone else that would hold still long enough for Mom to rush up and shove Score in their face for petting and treats. I think she's planning on doing the same for Bryce. She's crazy like that. (BTW, Score ADORES people in uniform, to this day)

I am fine with people in general...I don't care what you look like or what you say or do, I just stick with John and ignore most everyone else. Mom didn't work with me with this really, it's just how I am. She says it's mostly because of my breed. Aussies are not bred to be everyone's friend...we're reserved by nature. She says it makes for a good Assistance Dog, as I'm friendly but concentrate on the job at hand.


Monday, November 17, 2008


Well, John and I have have homework.


Mom says it's something we have to work on together. Seems I'm getting too excited when we go out places this season, and I'm chomping too hard when I go to tug John's coat off. We were at a fundraiser tea yesterday...(for Caring Carroll, a coalition in our county that helps with non-medical needs of home-bound residents)...and I went to tug John's coat off, and Mom heard his yelp across the room.

So she's making us work on this at home...and teaching me to remember to use a soft mouth. It's been a while since I've tugged off his coat in public...and I guess I forgot. (Yeah...I forgot, that's it) Mom said that she's gonna make John work on this, because she's tired of hearing him yell "OUCH!"

I'll keep you updated on my progress...a Service Dog's training is never done! *sheesh*

~SDS *with a new, improved, softer mouth*

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hearing dog prospect?

He's got places to go...
Mom says she has never seen a puppy so attuned to noises in its environment like Bryce is. Fidos trains two types of Assistance Dogs...Service and Hearing. The Hearing Dogs help people who are deaf or alerting them to sounds. The trainers know usually around a year old if the dog is really interested in sounds or not. You can tell when they're puppies too...but it sometimes will change as they grow older.

But Bryce is the first one to pay attention to every little noise in the house. Mom swears he's a Hearing Dog in the making. He listens to the TV when funny noises happen, he listens to all the bells and whistles in the kitchen, and even went to investigate the dripping water noise from the downspout while he was playing in the backyard. Just now, she was bringing him into the office so she could keep an eye on him...she started closing the door as he was coming through, and he stopped to investigate the sound of the hinges (they're new and they squeak a tiny bit).

He's a bold puppy, so he usually investigates or tries to...rather than noticing a sound and running away scared. Mom's having fun by letting him go see all these noises, and making happy talk when he goes the source of a sound.

Bryce has a long road ahead of him, but he's already making great strides towards being a wonderful Assistance Dog...maybe a Hearing Dog like my friend Chloe!


"I Rescued A Human Today"

I Rescued A Human Today

I rescued a human today.

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them. As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life. She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I
would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

~Author unknown~

Thought you'd all enjoy this poem we found today!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meet Bryce!

Meet Bryce everyone! He's the newest puppy at Fidos. He'll be staying with us for a while. We're all less than impressed. He's not big enough to wrestle with yet. Mom says that will change soon. We'll see...

Bryce is a blue merle, smooth collie pup, 8 weeks old...donated by Terry and John Peters, Misti Morn Kennels. John's first SD, Charlie was the merle, smooth collie. I thought John would like Bryce better than me...but he says he's not stupid...he knows me too well.

Bryce is a noisy puppy...but that's getting better. He's really good about retrieving stuff already...he's playing with all sorts of things, even a set of keys! He also loves to tug...which gets him in trouble when he tugs clothing when he's not asked! Bratty pups make good service dogs though!

You'll probably see more of him in the coming weeks...but this was just an intro. Pardon his silly ears, they're being taped so they "tip" at the top...rather than point straight up.

I'm back off to bed...this puppy tires me out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taking puppy out...socialization thoughts...

Mom has the guest spot on my blog I'm going back to sleep, and she's wide awake and home with a cold. :) Enjoy!


Today I wanted to discuss socialization of your puppy. I am in charge of all of the Puppy Raisers for Fidos For Freedom. One of the aspects of puppy training that we focus on quite a bit is that word everyone hears when they get their new pup: Socialization. I think that many people misunderstand what we are talking about when we bring up this term, so I want to break it down, as I see it...especially in talking about puppies in the Service and Hearing training.

First and foremost...we want these puppies out and about experiencing as much as possible. Eventually these pups will grow to be a dog that goes out with a client to many places...restaurants, shopping malls, subway trains, zoos, etc. We want the puppy accustomed to as many things as we can.

Of course this means that they have to meet new people. We want puppies to meet people of different shapes, sizes, races, genders, ages, and abilities. When I have a new baby (8-9 weeks) puppy in training, I shove him/her into the arms of anyone who dares "Awwww" over the pup. I was at Fidos last night with the newest pup, Bryce, who is living here for a few weeks. He saw little kids, teenagers, adults, people in wheelchairs, people in walkers, people with and without their own dogs on leash. Many people held him and everyone petted him. He was wiped out when he got home. He will continue to meet new people as he stays here...I'll take him out to meet the mail carrier, and the UPS driver. He's met the neighbors all around, kids and adults. He'll go to the vet and have happy visits with everyone there.

This sounds like a lot of time, and it can be. But we don't stop there. Socialization is not just about meeting humans. The puppy needs to meet other dogs (adult and puppy), and as many other types of animals as possible. Bryce has met the two cats (one fluffy adult, one short-haired kitten), he's met the guinea pigs and rabbits. He lives of course with Sawyer and the others, and meets other friendly adult dogs. Bryce and the neighbor pup, Cocoa (6 mo. shih tzu) had a playdate yesterday in the yard. We'll have a bird boarding with us over Thanksgiving, so he'll get to meet a bird in a cage. I make sure that all of these experiences are positive for him. We were at Fidos last night, and there were many dogs out and about in the building. Some dogs strained at their leashes to meet him...and I made sure to protect Bryce from those dogs. Whether friendly or not, they were being pushy, and I didn't want him scared. He met adult dogs that were easy-going and friendly to him. First and foremost, protect your puppy! Meeting adult dogs that don't like puppies, for instance, is not going to help in the long-run. Heading out to the dog park with the puppy...not a good idea. Set up play-dates with other puppy owners, find a good puppy class, meet up with friends who have puppy-safe adult dogs...these are what you should do instead!

In addition to meeting all these new friends, we still have more socialization to do! It doesn't end with humans and "other" animals. ;-) Another aspect of the socialization includes the environment the puppy is in. This means the puppy should experience more than just your house and yard. Of course young pups aren't completely vaccinated, so you want to be careful about where you go. The training center is a good place to go, so puppies come along to classes with me during the week (more people and dogs to meet too!).

I want the puppy to experience different surfaces under their feet...slippery floors, mulch, carpet, uneven surfaces, rough surfaces. I want the puppy to eat in different their crate, in the car, in the living room, in the kitchen, up on a taller surface (on a table, couch, etc), in the grass, etc. I want them to play with different items...stuffed toys, hard toys, water bottles, metal keys on a ring, soda cans, the list is endless. Eating out of different containers...ceramic, metal, plastic bowls, frisbee, etc. This is all part of the socialization. It's not just meeting people!

The last thing I want to mention is that I always stress quality rather than quantity. It always makes me think of the line, "First, do no harm". It is up to you, as the puppy parent to make sure that all these experiences are positive and fun for the puppy. If the puppy is worried, scared, unsure, do not push it. Protect the puppy from potential harm: a big dog rolling the puppy, a surface that the puppy is scared of, whatever it might are the one in charge, the puppy relies on you.

~Sawyer's Mom (aka Erin)

One of the guidelines I follow, and recommend to my puppy raisers is the "Puppy's Rule of Twelve" by Margaret Hughes. I print off a copy for each of my puppies, and I circle each thing that they do or experience.

Make sure all experiences are safe and positive for the puppy. Each encounter should include treats and lots of praise. Slow down and add distance if your puppy is scared!

By the time a puppy is 12 weeks old, it should have: (If over 12 wks start right away)

Experienced 12 different surface: wood, woodchips, carpet tile, cement, linoleum, grass, wet grass, dirt, mud, puddles grates, uneven surfaces, on a table, on a chair, etc...

Played with 12 different objects: fuzzy toys, big & small balls, hard toys, funny sounding toys, wooden items, paper or cartboard items, milk jugs, metal items, etc...

Experienced 12 different locations: front yard (daily), other people's homes, school yard, lake, pond, river, boat, basement, elevator, car, moving car, garage, laundry room, kennel, vet hospital (just to say hi and visit, lots of cookies, vaccinations) grooming salon (just to say hi) etc...

Met and played with 12 new people: (outside of family) include children, adults (male and female) elderly adults, people in wheelchairs, walkers people with canes, crutches, hats, sunglasses, etc...

Exposed to 12 different noises: (ALWAYS keep positive and watch puppy's comfort level-we don't want the puppy scared) garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, babies screaming, big trucks, Harley motorcycles, skateboards, washing machine, shopping carts, power bost, clapping, pan dropping, vacuums, lawnmowers, etc...

Exposed to 12 fast moving objects: (Don't allow to chase) skateboards, roller-blades, bikes, motorcycles, cars, people running, cats running, scooters, children running, squirrels, horses running, etc...

"The Puppy's Rule of Twelve" is something that I am very proud of, and would like to keep ownership of. Please give me full credit when using this on your website or any other form.

Positive Paws Dog Training ©2002 - Margaret Hughes

Adapted with permission from Pat Schaap's "RULE OF 7's" for 7 week old puppies

Thank you,

Margaret Hughes, owner of The Puppy's Rule of Twelve

P.S. That's Score and his first girlfriend, Twister, at the top of the page. Back when they were about 10 weeks old in puppy class. Twister is currently up for adoption...I'll post a link to her page soon.-Erin

Monday, November 10, 2008

New puppy in the house!

We have a new puppy in the house...the newest member of the Fidos team...a baby smooth collie, blue merle with tan and white...and blue eyes.

He's currently driving us all crazy, but Mom is getting pictures of all his be ready for cute puppy pics!

I've got to go, he's trying to get the computer cord now! Mom says I have to get off the computer so she can deal with him!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

A sad day...

I found out today that my first "Dad",Larry, passed away this morning after battling melanoma. He and my first "Mom", JoAnne, were the kind folks who brought me all of the way from Missouri, where I was found wandering on the streets, to my new home in Maryland.

They are on a message board that my brother Ripley runs, for Aussies and their families. They saw my plight (needing a ride to MD from MO), and immediately jumped into action. Instead of taking a leg of the transport for an hour or two, they took their weekend and drove all the way. They only had a short time visiting with my brothers and Mom, before having to turn around and drive home. All for me, a little red Aussie. (the pic is from my first week home) Mom still tells people this story, and raves about how there are still wonderful people in the world. If not for these two, I wouldn't be here today writing this blog...I wouldn't have a great place to live, and a job I love.

I just wanted to tell my first Mom, JoAnne, that we're all thinking of her and the rest of the family during this sad time. For Larry:

In Memoriam

With you a part of me hath passed away;
For in the peopled forest of my mind
A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
Shall never don again its green array.
Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
Have something of their friendliness resigned;
Another, if I would, I could not find,
And I am grown much older in a day.
But yet I treasure in my memory
Your gift of charity, and young hearts ease,
And the dear honour of your amity;
For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
And I scarce know which part may greater be,--
What I keep of you, or you rob from me.

George Santayana

In sorrow, ~SDS

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Different rules...

Those of you that are Assistance Dogs out you have different rules depending on how you are dressed (or undressed, as the case may be)?

This morning, Mom sat down at the kitchen table and had some breakfast and a cup of tea. Our house is cramped, so we're on top of each other a lot. This morning, I climbed up onto the foot stool behind her, and put my front feet in her lap. Then I smiled nicely at her. She laughed, and John was looking on from the kitchen. He asked, "what is he doing?". Mom said, "He says he would like some tea." (which was true) Mom being the bad trainer that she is (but gooood mom), let me have a lick of tea. Trouble was hot (she claims she had no idea...but then told John something about "consequences"). It burned my tongue a bit, so I shook my head all over, spraying tea everywhere. Then I licked it off of Mom's hands. My tail wagged the entire time.

Mom laughed and told John that his Service Dog was spoiled, and that he NEVER would have let Charlie do that (Charlie was his first SD).

Mom says that I can get away with stuff like that (when I'm polite and cute) when I'm "out of harness", meaning that I don't have my official SD vest on. They know that I wouldn't ever think of doing that when I was out in public or in my vest.

There are quite a few things that I do out of harness, that I don't do when I'm officially working. I tend to make a lot of noise at home...I like to moan, whine, and generally talk back to Mom and John...but in public, I rarely make a noise. I like to lay on the couch next to John at home, but wouldn't dream of getting up on furniture when I'm out and about, even at someone else's home (unless invited of course). When I'm in my therapy vest, I go out of my way for petting...when in my SD vest, I will accept petting, but pay attention to John despite the petting. I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of anything right now...

We dogs are amazing creatures, aren't we?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama family will adopt!

After listening to the new President last night, we were quite excited to hear that the little Obama girls would be getting a dog! After looking it up online, Mom found out that they will indeed be adopting a dog!

Yea! A rescue dog in the White House! I know how great rescue dogs are, just look at me! This will do great things for shelters all over the country, I'm sure of it!

~SDS-former stray

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We were part of this historic election today...John, Mom and me...we all went to vote. Of course they didn't give me a ballot, but I was there! Mom told John to tell people that I whisper in his ear and tell him how to vote. ;-)

We were in and out in less than an hour...the lines were long, but not horrible. The lines kept shuffling forward, so I was up and down a lot...I finally just stood up and shuffled along with the humans.

I got two "I Voted" is on my SD vest, and the other is firmly attached to the top of my head. Everyone giggled when we walked past the line of voters.

The best part of voting? The Girl Scout cookie booth right outside the door...we walked off with two boxes of cookies (Chalet Cremes and Thin Mints). Got to vote for US president, and got GS cookies? Fabulous!

Pics will up later!

PS...get out and vote if you haven't yet!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We'll all together again...

Hey all...isn't it great to have your family around? Don't you love when your friends and family are one and the same?

Mom took the others (Ripley, Xander, Inara and the two cats!) to Indiana with her last week. She went to a Girl Scout convention...she even took Summer (SDiT). But she left me here with John. (which is what I wanted of course) I sometimes get annoyed at my siblings, and snark at them. Mom says she always thinks I'd prefer to be an only dog...with John as my only human companion.

While they were in IN, mom hung out with Auntie La-la, and my Grumma and Grumpa...and even my little cousin Katie and Uncle Drew! Mom loves to be around her's always such fun, even when they're having a bad day. Mom and Auntie La-la act so silly when they're together, you'd think they were kids still...and Uncle Drew acts silly too...Auntie Kico just rolls her eyes when he is with them. She says he "reverts" somehow. Who knows...I just know that they all act silly and have a good time together. Mom would hate to be an only child.

Guess what though...I don't like it either. I was really, really excited when everyone came home last night...I pounced on Mom and WOOO-WOOOOO'd at her. Then I started wrestling with Score, and even chased Inara around the house a couple of times. Mom was really surprised! She said that I must like having everyone around after all! I maybe should act nicer when they're around now...we'll see...


Sunday, October 26, 2008

On three legs...

We had a big party today, the "last party of the year" Mom called it. She said it would be too cold soon to be outside with all our dog friends...well, too cold for all of the humans to stand around and watch us! So we invited our friends over, and we all ran around and chased balls, and did dog stuff.

Now I am on three legs. My bad knee (luxating patella) is bugging me, so I'm hobbling around the house. I do "pathetic" really well. At least Mom got up off the couch, so I could get up there and sleep in the Good Sleeping Spot. Hopefully I'll be better tomorrow!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm going to VOTE!

Random disc-catching pic...for your enjoyment. :)


I'm very excited, as this is my first year to vote for President! I've never gotten to vote before, and this is John's first time too. What a great year!

Mom says if I'm good, maybe they'll give me sticker that says "I Voted!" That would be cool.

Hope all the Service Dogs (and humans) get out there and vote this year...


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A dog's work is never done...

Hi all, Sorry to be away so long again! Our house just seems to always be busy with something! I got to experience a few "new" things since my last post.

First, I went for the first time to give blood. Xander has been going for years, and finally has to retire due to his age and his heart murmur. Score has been trying it out, but is still too wiggly on the table. Ripley is too old, and Inara is too it falls to me to be the blood donor for now. Dogs in our area can give blood through the EVBB, Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank. It doesn't take long, and they hold you on the friendly, easy-going dogs are always welcome! (P.S. Dogs, they give you LOTS of treats). I did my test last month, so I'll be going in November for my first donation. They said I was very good...even though John wasn't there (he can't handle needles).

Then we did a flyball tournament, and then a flyball demo for a kid's birthday party. The demo was fun...we got to race some little kids (we gave them a head start). Then we did some disc dog demo stuff too. The kids thought it was great, and so did we! (the petting afterwards was really great too!)

And finally, I got to be at my first wedding...two of our bestest flyball friends got married. It was a fun thing to do, even though Mom made me wear a bow-tie in the wedding colors (brown and blue). She said if they had to dress up (she was a bridesmaid), then I did too. I didn't mind it though...I got lots of compliments. Also plenty of treats, as the wedding favors were little boxes full of milkbones! I was a good boy throughout the entire weekend...I'll bug John to get some pictures of the wedding uploaded so I can share them! (Mom just posted a pic! 10/25~SDS)

Along with all of this fun stuff, we worked on some more "serious" work, though with the's all fun to me. Since it's getting colder, Mom decided that it was time for me to retrieve blankets for John, so she doesn't have to all of the time. Since they're in another room, it's an out of sight retrieve. But I nailed it, and within a few repititions, I can now run to the other room, grab a folded blanket, and drag it back to John on the couch. All on the cue, "blanket!". I also learned to put my feet up on the drawer to get pant out (I was good at pulling the drawer open, but didn't want to "get up"). Now that's all come together too. It's good to have a job you're good at!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thanks SERTOMA of York, PA!

We (me, mom, John and Score) got invited to do a demo about Assistance Dogs for the SERTOMA club of York, PA...and we wanted to send a shout-out to all of the members!

We had a lovely time, you were all very nice...especially to my silly younger brother, Score. He's very goofy sometimes, but you all made him feel very welcome, and mom thanks you for that. I would never behave in such a manner (rubbing my belly on the carpet...honestly!), but I'm of course much older and more experienced than he is. (please ignore my talking to mom during the demo) We hope you enjoyed watching us strut our stuff, as much as we enjoyed "showing off" our skills!

Mom and John were stuffed after the great lunch...of course they could have shared!

Thanks again for the invitation!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Being a Service Dog means being BUSY!

John and I are often out doing stuff...which means less time to get on and type in my blog. It's a good thing it means I'm going my job. With me by his side, John can do a lot more! He has more independence when I'm working with him. He doesn't have to rely on other humans to do stuff for him, and he doesn't have to possibly look silly (leaning over to pick stuff up).

So never fear...if I'm not keeping the blog's because we're BUSY!

And busy is good. :)


Monday, August 18, 2008

I can share...

...if I have to.

I hate having to share John's lap. But I did a while back, while my "cousins" the chihuahuas were visiting. I didn't like it, but I did share.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Where's Sawyer?

Your picture for the day...:-)

Lovely day today, I laid in the sunshine out front and watched cars go by with Mom. Then laid inside on the couch with John when I got too hot outside. Then we all went down to the reservoir for a nice walk. Mom has promised us new treats tonight...she just got a new cookbook. (we'll see if that happens)

See ya

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Taking Sawyer for granted...

Mom is my guest poster today~SDS

I think it's a misconception that you just teach a dog something and you're done. I'm always trying to explain this to my puppy raisers. As raisers of Assistance Dogs, they have to go above and beyond training "pet" dog stuff. So when the dog can sit on cue (for example), you then have to take the show on the road and make sure the dog can sit on cue on a busy sidewalk, outside of a shopping center, in the park, next to a ball field, around other animals, on a slippery floor, up on a table, etc. It's not good enough for a puppy raiser to tell me..."he does it at home!" When I get that puppy at a year old, as a trainer, I have to work on getting that dog to sit for on cue in different places and situations in addition to the things they've done a store, in a restaurant, in a mall, etc.

I know many trainers that use a correction to get the dog to do these things...because they're "stubborn"...when I see it all as new experiences...and the dog might not have experienced such things before. So instead of assuming that the dog is ignoring me or blowing me off, I stop and take a breath and work the dog through it. We ask a lot of our dogs at times, and we owe it to them to help them out in distracting circumstances.

Sawyer was not brought up to be a Service Dog, but he was introduced to many novel stimuli and environments as a matter of course living in my house. I like my dogs to all be comfortable in many situations. I let them experience different surfaces, challenges, and they can be the best dogs they can be. When Sawyer was to become a Service Dog for John, the public access stuff was easy for him, because of his history with me as a pet. But still, as he's been working for over a year...we tend to take him for granted at times.

For instance, we went to Wolf Trap a few weeks ago for a concert. We went in and got ourselves settled, and got Sawyer settled. He laid quietly on the concrete floor throughout the entire concert, sleeping happily. At the end of the concert, unbeknownst to us, they shot off fireworks. (It was a Tchaikovsky concert...good ol' 1812 Overture) Sawyer sat straight up, put his paws up on John's lap and stared at the fireworks. He remained quiet and calm, just very, very interested. John did remember to give him a few treats to reward such calm behavior. After the fireworks ended, we got ready to leave, and Sawyer went back into position next to John and walked politely through the crowd.

That was a lot for a dog to take in...lots of noise (the concert itself, plus the fireworks), lots of people (drunk and sober), tight fit in the seats, next to another wheelchair. But he handled it all with grace, and we didn't think much of it, until I thought about it later. He really took it all in stride...and it amazes me that a dog would "put up with" all this nonsense for a Sawyer's case, all for John.

We learned our lesson about taking him for granted.
-Mom of SDS

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Off to camp...

Mom is heading off to teach flyball at Canine Country Camp at Glen Highland Farm this I won't be posting much, if at all. She's taking the other four and going to spend a week playing flyball, hiking, swimming, and having fun with dogs and dog people. However, there is no cell phone reception, no internet, and the like. John and I will be here at home, and we probably won't be posting! More likely watching TV, playing Xbox and sleeping. Can you tell the couch potatoes in the family?

If you check out the websites linked in the above paragraph, you'll most certainly see pics of Mom and all of us Reds from last year's camp. We got photographed often because we're so beautiful (Inara) and handsome (The boys). We had such a good time last year, mom is thrilled to be invited back to teach again! This camp is many dog people in one place, hanging out with their four-legged best friends! And it all benefits Sweet Border Collie Rescue.

Hopefully mom will get home and put up some pics of our recent adventures (we went to hear the National Symphony Orchestra last week!)...


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


John and I went out today to get our county licenses. Mom keeps forgetting to stop at the vet and buy them. *eye roll* She's rather "forgetful".

Because Xander and I are Service Dogs, we got ours free, and John paid for Inara, Ripley and Score. He was annoyed because we got a late fee attached, that was more than the licenses combined. But, he paid, and we're all good now. Everyone is happy, except for mom who has to figure out how to cram more tags into our tag holders. (she hates jingling tags) She likes Pet Pocket ID* holders, but they're hard to find anymore. They just slide right on to the collars, so we can wear a variety of collars.

We are all up to date on vaccinations, physical exams (except for Inara...she's hard to get to the vet), and the county licenses. Yea!

~SDS (now legal in the county)

*Another thing that should go under "Stuff We Love"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pretty picture of Inara

Figured it might be hot where you here's a picture of my pretty sister, Inara, wallowing in the baby pool. (yes, she paid me to write that...)


Self-trained and Program-trained

Here's a new picture of me. As you can see, I like to talk a lot. Mom took my picture in mid-sentence. I don't remember what I was saying, but I'm sure it was really amazing. I have very interesting conversations with mom and John.

I'm very quiet when I'm out in public however (unless we're doing a demo and Score is showing-off...darn puppy!) All of the stuff that I like to do at home, I refrain from doing out in public...sneezing in human faces, snorting into pillows when I roll around on the couch, and talking back to mom...I leave that all at home.

Being a self-trained Service Dog is really fun, but it is a lot of work. Mom and John had to work with me quite a bit on different skills and behaviors. They didn't have help to do this, they did it all on their own. This is all legal, because there is no national certification for Assistance Dogs. There is much debate on this topic...which we hear about all of the time, and everyone has their ideas. One of the problems with not having a national certification program is that people like to take their pets with them to restaurants or malls, or put "Service Dog" capes on them so they can fly in the airplane with them. People tell us this all of the time, thinking we'll think that they're clever or something.

John's first Service Dog was a big smooth collie named Charlie. I met Charlie a few times, he was nice, but he was really old, and not really interested in playing. Charlie retired when he got old, and laid around the house doing nothing. John said he retired him when he just refused to pick up stuff anymore. When he retired, Fidos made a video of all his pictures from his years of service...and played the song "Take This Job and Shove It". That summed up the Charlie that I knew.

Charlie was from Fidos For Freedom...trained by them and matched with John. He's what the industry calls a "Program Trained Dog". He was donated by a breeder, raised and trained by volunteers, and matched with John as a client when he was ready. John got another Fidos dog after Charlie retired, but he didn't work out due to temperament issues. He is now working at a different career (Search and Rescue). John didn't get another Fidos dog because nothing at the time was going to work for him. He started using me around the house, and then moved on to using me in public too. I just kinda fell into this job! I'm what's called a "Self-trained Service Dog" I was not trained with an organization. There are many people out there that train their own dogs to help with their disability. We are not alone!

I am a Fidos For Freedom Therapy Dog however. The Therapy program is for people who bring their pet dogs in to train in a group environment, and take their dogs to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools, etc. John and I work as a Therapy Dog team, and often demo our Service Dog work too. I like having different hats!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Party time!

We had a big party in the backyard Ice Cream Social. Many of our friends showed up to eat homemade Frosty Paws (four-legged friends) and ice cream (two-legged friends). We ran around the yard and played...and dunked in the baby pool. It was so much fun! Mom took lots of pictures, but they're not uploaded patient!

I've got to go crash on the couch was a LOOONGGG day!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Feline Obedience

more cat pictures

Mom saw this, and said she had to post it. Even though she's trained OUR cat...she says it's not easy. She thought this would be perfect for my blog. (see that, one guest posting, and she starts taking over).


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New titles in the family!

Mom is the guest blogger for this post...I was too sick to pay much attention to anything this past weekend. (I'm fine now!)~SDS

Score earned his FD (Flyball Dog-20 points), FDX (Flyball Dog Excellent-100 points) and FDCh (Flyball Dog Champion-500 points) titles this weekend. He's now officially Herart's Makin' Trax FDCh.

Yea! Okay, here are the gory details (well, not gory, but gross)

Score was on the same team as Sawyer...I figured if Score was doing well, I'd pull Sawyer instead of pulling someone else's dog for my green (inexperienced) pup.

We did single dog racing on Friday night. We got out there, and did a recall. Score comes tearing to me! Then we do a few warm-up runs...he does fantastic...hits the box high, whips off and comes to me. Then we line up to run the actual races. (five races against one other dog in the other lane. We false start the first one, so he's ahead of the other dog (a big fluffy samoyed). I hold back so he's not false starting on the second run. The second run, he sees the dog going out, and stops and looks at me. "I can't go, there's a dog over there, and you're gonna yell at me!" The other dog comes back, he runs and does fine. Third race, same thing. So for the last two, I just let him false start (no times, but at least he succeeded!). His times...4.6, 4.8. We go celebrate that night...Peach Flips and Jell-O shots...

I'm still not really planning on running him a lot...just some warm-ups, maybe a few runs if Sawyer is tired. This is more just practice for him...I don't think he's truly ready yet.

Flash forward to Saturday morning. (me with a headache) Sawyer goes out with me and the others to potty that morning at the motel. He won't go. I take him back in, and tell John that he hasn't gone yet. John takes him into the building at the site, and I take him later and put him in his crate. Forgetting that he didn't potty earlier, neither one of us potties him again. A while later, we're all in the crating area trying to figure out what smells. The puppy is fine, everyone is fine...but Sawyer, who has done the poop dance in his crate. Smeared it everywhere.

We run Sawyer in the first race, and he's spitting out treats and not acting like himself. I tell my teammates that I'm gonna bring Score out for the next race in case Sawyer needs relief. Sawyer proceeds to have diarrhea in his car crate during the wait. (shoving the old throw-away blanket out of the way to poop directly on the crate pan).

Next race out, we bring Score out...and Sawyer. A teammate holds Sawyer on the sidelines, while I warm up Score. He does beautifully in the I put him on the line-up. He runs with a bit of hesitation...checking out the small toy poodle in the other lane. The boxloader reported that he was keeping one eye on the other dog. He runs two really well, and then the third race...he decides to cross over to say hi to that cute little poodle. We lose that one, and Sawyer comes in. (and proceeds to run okay...only okay)

The next race out, I try him again...we go in and run well for the first two, and lose the third because Score gets excited and craps in the lane. Yes, my day was really crappy. Sawyer then has liquid poo in his crate, and lays in it. He gets hosed off twice in one day.

By the end of Saturday, he was looking good, and we were taking Sawyer out on the lanes too, just in case. We go to our motel that night, he crashes on the bed, while the humans all meet in a teammate's room for Peach Flips (yes, we came with a blender)...jell-o shots and vodka shots.

Sunday...gonna be a good day, no headache, no diarrhea from Sawyer.

Score goes in the lane first race, and just does wonderful. No pooping, no crossing...the report from the boxloader is that he's looking at the other dog, but more to gauge where they are. He's racing! His best time for the weekend? 4.6...but he mananges a couple of 4.7s, 4.8s and the like. Nothing much over 5, once he hit his stride. I was slowly backing him up (starting at 10-15 feet) give him room to get up to speed. Passes were still a bit wide 4-5 he's just gonna get faster.

His box turn? High, fast and tight. Beautiful...he actually kicked his boxloader in the crotch at one time...turning off that box. Kept it high all weekend...kicked some ass with that turn.

So it all worked out perfectly, Score got to run and earn titles, Sawyer got to sit out and be sick (lovely)...and everyone was happy. Oh yeah, and I kept asking the see if he could get some pics. He was always up racing when we were up. *pout* But by the end of the weekend, he came up and told me that he did manage to get some of I had to give him a big hug...I was so happy! Once they go up on his site, I'll be sharing them!

TheRedQueen aka Service Dog Sawyer's Mom

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wish us luck!

We're headed to York, PA for a flyball tournament this weekend! I'm chasing down my next flyball title...Flyball Master Champion (15,000 points). Hopefully I'll get it this year!

Score is making his debut this weekend...hopefully the little brother won't embarrass me!

Gotta go make sure mom packs all our treats!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More stuff we love...

If you have fast says you should get this bowl. I don't know why, but she laughs every time she feeds Score now.

Break-fast Bowl

I tried it, but mom didn't laugh as much. She keeps saying something about his big fat muzzle in the bowl. I don't know what she finds so funny. Moms are weird.


We got a new lead!

We won a contest a few weeks ago...and we won a free lead from one of our favorite companies...Ella's Leads. The other part of the prize is a new collar from Collarmania...but we haven't decided to what to order yet! The new collar will be for Score. For the contest, we had to write a poem about our humans, from our perspective.

The new lead is going to Xander, as he needed a new purple lead for flyball (purple is our team color). He already loves it...(see above).

Here is our winning poem:

My Mom: A Poem in Five Parts

My mom should feed me more.
More, more, more.
Despite this neglect,
She is a good mom.
She lets me lie all day
in the sunshine.
My coat is now cheeto orange.
She hates it, but lets me be.
My mom should feed me more.

My mom should throw the ball more.
More, more, more.
Any ball will do.
But tennis balls are best.
She is a good mom though,
and takes me to play FLYBALL.
I do love her.
She even lets me snore in her ear.
But she could throw the ball more.

My mom should buy me more.
More, more, more.
More leashes, collars and coats.
A girl can never have enough pink
in her wardrobe.
She is nice though.
She even dresses us alike sometimes,
with matching pink bandanas.
She likes to be a girl too.

My mom should stop talking to me.
No more, no more, no more.
I shall only listen to John now.
John never gives me baths.
mom does hand out more treats.
And she does give us all dinner.
Maybe mom can talk to me a little bit.
When she's feeding me.

My mom should give me more love.
More, more, more.
Does she not understand that I am a needy bully?
The others don't require as much love as I do.
I am a huge sponge ready to soak up hugs and kisses.
She is always squeezing me and smooshing my face,
and poking my padded head.
But I should get more!
Maybe I'll go sit on her.

A poem in five parts
Written with Love by Ripley, Xander, Inara, Sawyer and Score

P.S. Those who have Hearing Dogs in MD...and need orange leads...Ella's Leads have blaze orange mountain rope leads...and can make custom ones for you. :)


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dove is growing...

Mom said we need to include a picture of show how much she's growing. Hmph.

Here it is. The picture of Dove. (go ahead, ooh and ahh)

Can I go to bed now?

A long day

We did a craft show yesterday, to sell some of our work. Mom makes doggy items, and John makes hand-turned pens and other items. (his "company" name is Sawyer's Turn...isn't that cool?) We had to get up really early and be at the show, and set up by 7 am. John and I do NOT like to get up in the this was hard work.

We stayed there until 2pm. The day was really, really long. Met lots of nice people, and some of them pet me...I like that. I like when I meet little kids, especially. I had a nice bed to lie on all day, since it was a hard linoleum floor. The air conditioning was broken it was really hot too. Not the best show ever...since we only sold a few things.

The highlight of the day...the Tastefully Simple couple at the table next to us brought over some samples for John...and for me! They brought chips and salsa for John, and chips for me...and "twisty grahams" and rhubard dip for John, and plain grahams for me. Nice! They were yummy! John bought some salsa from them...he seemed to like it.

Maybe he'll let me taste that too...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fun school demo

It was the last day of school around here, and we got invited by a friend of mom's, to come do a Service Dog demo for her class. It's an alternative school...for the kids that have trouble in normal classrooms. We weren't sure what to expect...but the teachers mentioned that there might be lots of talk of "fighting" dogs. Ah...we'll take Score too!

So Score dressed up in his Demo-Dog cape...and I of course went in my OFFICIAL purple cape (I'm the real SD, Score!). We loaded up with items to retrieve, lots of treats, water, and other good stuff (mom way over-packs for everything!).

This is Score's third demo...but he does do a good job. He likes showing off his carrying skills...he carries a bottle of water for mom, and a bag with stuff in it...even his metal bowl. I don't carry stuff, because John just hauls stuff on his scooter or in his backpack. But Score seems to like doing that sort of thing. (good, so I don't have to!). Score was excited to see the kids...and wanted to get straight into the petting, but mom said "no"...that was for after the demo.

The kids didn't ask about dog fighting, and were all shocked when mom talked about Prince George's Co. pit bull ban. They couldn't believe that Score could be taken away for how he looks. It was a good demo for that alone!

I have to say that I had a bit of trouble settling today...I hate when Score steals the spotlight...I talked to mom a bit while she was talking. Mom just laughed and told everyone that since it's been so hot, we hadn't been out much. (sure...I'll let her think that!). I did do a fabulous job on my retrieves...a TV remote control, a bag full of mom's stuff (did I mention that she over-packs?), and a credit card. I also took a phone from John to mom. I was a very good boy.

We took questions from the kids (who were really good!). There were some really good questions...for instance-Don't they have to be certified? (who planted that kid?) Do they act different when the cape is off? Can they push elevator door buttons? So we answered questions, and let the kids pet us...Score even showed off more and retrieved stuff for them (Gatorade bottles). That pup is a show-off indeed!

Afterwards, we had lunch outside at the place nearby...and went home nice and tired. A good day!

Off to bed early tonight!

Birthday dinner

We went to a birthday dinner for mom's sister (Auntie La-La is what we call her) tonight. We all drove down to N.VA and went out to a restaurant called American Tap Room. Mom says they have yummy crepes for dinner. I didn't get any to test out that opinion. Hmph.

John got settled, and I settled under the table, up against the scooter...and promptly fell asleep, as usual. This time though, we had more people join us after we got to the table...friends of my Auntie. They didn't know about me. We sat at the table all through dinner, and then mom got up to head to the restroom. When she pulled her chair back, a woman sitting at another table saw me lying there, and smiled and said something to her dinner companion. The people at our table (two were teenaged boys) were all shocked to know that I'd been under there the whole time.

That's what we call "un-obtrusive"!

See ya later...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The siblings...

Mom said I should introduce my brothers and sisters, since I talk about them all of the time. So...I guess I will. (she's making me do this!)

My oldest older brother is Ripley. He's an Aussie like me, but fluffy. He's really, really old! He's ten and a half years old. That's soooo old. He is retired from almost everything 'cause he's got arthritis. He used to play flyball, frisbee and do agility. But now he just does Therapy work, and occasionally plays around at the other stuff.

Xander is my other older brother. He's old too...he's seven! He's an Aussie too. All he wants to do is play ball. All of the time, it's really boring. And he's faster than me. He's stupid. This is what he does all of the time, stares at mom so she'll throw the ball. He does stuff for John too, if I don't feel like it. He can do everything I do. But I'm better.

This is Inara. She's a red merle Aussie. She's crazy. Seriously. Mom will agree. She thinks people are scary and likes to bark at them. She thinks she's the boss of us...but I tell her all the time that she's NOT. Then mom tells us to "CUT IT OUT!"

P.S. Look at her crazy eye! She's scary!

This is Score. He's okay, as brothers go. He's not an Aussie, but a pit bull/lab mix. He was supposed to be a Service Dog, but since we have BSL around here, he got a career change, and lives with us. He's a flyball dog (soon to be debuting!), and a Service Dog demo dog. He's alright. I wrestle with him sometimes. If I feel like it.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Why do I have to stop teasing my brother?

Just 'cause he's a loser that can't find his own toys...?

Whaddya mean I stole this from him?



Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stuff we LOVE

Mom says it's too hot to play outside...over ninety degrees out she says. I agree, it's too hot to do much of anything. So we're all inside wrestling with each other while mom surfs on the computer. She said that maybe we should do a post about the stuff we love for training. Sounds like a good idea to me! So without further is some of our favorite stuff.

Premier Easy Walk Harness
This is what I wear when I go out in public as a Service Dog. It is a front-clip harness...designed to keep me from pulling in a gentle, humane way. I can actually walk in buckle collar, but if I get the slightest pressure, I can gag for hours (mom timed me one really was hours). So I use this harness. It fits under my SD cape nicely. My cape is purple, and I actually have a purple Easy Walk too! It's comfortable for wearing for long days, and I have no problem lying down with it on.

Kong Tots

Mom and Score went to their first Clicker Expo this past spring, in Lexington, KY. One thing they came home RAVING about was Kong's training treat...Kong TOTs (Traing Opportunity Treats). Mom had seen them before, but only in small containers at Petsmart. Kong was the Treat Sponsor at the Expo, so mom and Score got to try these treats in large quantities. Score absolutely loved them (of course Score would probably eat rocks too...who can trust a pit bull/lab mix in matters of food?). Mom bought a couple bags (large packages...not the wimpy little containers at Petsmart), and we're still going through them. These things are great! Low-fat, yummy beef liver, low-allergen (only two ingredients)...and they don't make a mess in John's treat pouch. I could eat these things all day!

Monster Dog's Sure Grip Lead

This is something that John got custom made a few years ago. We were at a flyball tournament in WI, and saw these folks with tug toys and leashes. (Mom bought a tuggie from them...still using it!) John saw this "Sure Grip" lead...and had to have one. It has a bumpy, rubbery outside, covering a flat core of nylon rope. Super strong, and it doesn't slip off his scooter armrest. He even ordered a custom one with two loops (one at each end) that he uses to maneuver his legs around now. These people are great, and did them to order...length, color, everything.

Premier Manners Minder (fka Treat and Train)

We LOVE this thing! I love it because it feeds me treats, mom and John love it because I'm quiet now. Wonderful for everyone involved. The Manners Minder is a remote treat dispensing machine. You can read more about how it works on their FAQ page.
We are using it to keep me quiet when mom walks out of the door. I hate when she does that...and boy, did it work to keep being noisy! Now I get fed instead. Mom says we'll do a whole post about this later, with some be on the look-out for that!

Mom's gotta go deal with the puppy talk to you later!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Playing in the yard...

Not much going on lately...just playing around in the yard. The gas prices are horrible (mom says so)...and John's van runs on diesel. We stay home more now. That's fine, as long as we still get to play!

That's my annoying sister, Inara, behind me. She thinks she needs to be in every picture...because she's so pretty.

Look how fast I am!

So fast, mom has trouble catching it on the camera!

Off to play some more, see ya!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I found a new toy...

I found a great new chew toy the other day.

Mom appears to be hoarding them in the closet. While she was doing laundry, I snuck in and took one. I was taking it to John, but decided that it would make a nice chewie.

Dogs...this is your hint for the closets to find new toys!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

All you need is Dove...

I personally don't need any of this puppy. Sure, she's cute...but that will wear off. Then everyone will pay more attention to me...rightfully so. I'm the one who's trained around here!

I'll just let Score deal with her for now...I've got more important things to do...I'm not a babysitter!

Wait a minute! Is that my ball? What is SHE doing with it? *eye roll* Is nothing sacred around here?