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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Gardening - Cocoa Mulch

Spring is in the air; temps rising this Easter weekend here to around 20C+ and our May long weekend when we get out and plant, dig and plant some more is not far away. In our efforts to provide our gardens with environmentally friendly ingredients, help water retention, prevent weeds we seek out products that will not only do the job but look (and smell) attractive.

One such product is Cocoa Mulch, sold at so many garden centers - BUT - yes there is a but ... it contains some of the lethal ingredient Theobromine & caffeine, that could potentially cause problems for our dogs.

Yes, it depends on the dog's size and how much they ingest causing gastric upset to start, increased heart rate and on to seizures.

Remember, you may decide not to use it, but DO consider your neighbour's gardens or backyards where your pet may visit.

You can read more here ... and be more informed ...

You should also check out what garden plants could be toxic to your pets ... here's one site to visit.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ch Shelamo Burleigh Casino Rama CGN CD

More exciting news today!!! Mary-Anne obtained our "Casino's" Companion Dog obedience title. She's taken "Casino" from a show girl, to an obedience dog in just over a year and at just under 10 years of age. Am so proud of these two. This is the 1st dog Mary-Anne has trained at this obedience level, so it's been a real learning curve for her. It's certainly not like taking a 10 week old puppy and molding it as you go through the classes.

Ch Shelamo Burleigh Casino Rama CGN CD

(Am/Cdn Ch Toven Wintertide CD, ROMC x Shelamo Linden Decoration)

Now a balanced dog ... beauty & brains. Always a willing worker and ready to please. Way to go ladies!


Pulling An All Nighter

Am I getting to old to pull all nighters? Nope, not when it comes to whelping pups. Sibelle delivered right on her expected delivery date, starting at around 11pm last night and finishing at 3 am. What she did do is surprise us in numbers. SEVEN pups, 4 boys and 3 girls. I spent the remainder of the night on the couch monitoring the whines and ensuring Sibelle was comfortable. Needless to say we only got a few winks here and there and then it's been cleaning her up, laundry, getting the puppy room ready, all the while eyeballing everyone to ensure they nurse and are warm.

Shelamo Sugar Rush x Ch Shelamo Chasing Rainbows

This is our Rush's 1st litter so we are anxious to see what he produces.
Sibelle is pretty tired. It is amazing how these 7 hour old pups can motor. This one has obviously climbed up over mom and settled in against her head. Time to put the board across the front so they don't climb out of the 'nursery box'.

I need another coffee!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Learning New Things

On Saturday I went over to Penny's to see her new Ruffeith pups now that they are all over 8 wks, (Ya got some nice ones Penny!!) and to learn more about Adobe Photoshop & DreamWeaver, their different tools, all to better understand the in/outs of web designing and doing advertising designs. Below is what I created with our beautiful girl "Chinook".
Am I going to remember all the tools, layers, masking, opacity, gradients ... hummm ... not so sure :) It was certainly a fun and enjoyable day, and know there is a lot more 'playing' I will be doing. TAL Penny.


Dog Obedience Class Graduates

I did this one a month ago and totally forgot to publish it!
Wednesday night my 2 winter dog obedience classes graduated. I had a great bunch of students who were hard working. Their dogs have come a long way in 9 weeks.

There are several students missing from this Level 2 class picture, as it was March break. I'm looking forward to working again with them in the spring class, as we'll be able to get outside and do more distraction work.

Level 1 also graduated.

PS ... everyone has come back to attend a Level 3 ... a great group of hard working students.


Tap, Tap, Tap, Who's There?

Last week was one just of those weeks, where we felt like we were going in circles. Spring was really in the air, with temperatures way above our highs, in fact setting several days on record with temps of 14-16C.

Everything seems to come out ... Sitting in the living room I would hear every so often this tap, tap, tap. It would stop and then start up again. I had a feeling I knew what it was having experienced something the same last year. A bird had come down our chimney and was caught in the fire box! Not having yet cleaned the glass nor removed the ashes from our February fires I couldn't visually see in without opening the door. You could hear a bit of wing flutter as it would go back up on top of the fire box.

Last year we went through a production of trying to free the bird in the same situation. I contacted our chimney cleaning company for guidance, friends offered suggestions, all which lead to getting out our the sheets we use to cover our plants in the fall when frost is called for, stretching them over the entrance all in attempt to capture/wrap it up when it flies out. Didn't work, it ended up flying out the side, hitting the window then resting on the far kitchen cabinets. A broom was then used, which the bird got onto and I slowly directed towards our patio doors and hoping it would take flight out the door of our screened in deck area. That worked AOK.

So, let's forget all the props, just open the doors and wait ... didn't take long and out it flew,

hitting the windows a few times ... it rested on the window sill ...
then easily found its way to the patio door and flew out the porch door. There it rested, fluffed itself a few times, made some calling sounds and was gone.

I am still not sure what kind of bird it is. There is one called a Chimney Swift, commonly known for this spring behaviour as it looks for nesting areas, but it appears to be a much smaller bird with a smaller beak. This one from my books looks like a European Starling.

On the same theme of what spring brings out ... mornings are still cools so I was wearing a mock turkle neck, and hoodie sweat and a light jacket ... pretty much covered, no? I go into the "Canine Suite" to let our pregnant girls out and all of a sudden feel something touch, kinda 'pinch' the back of my neck/shoulders. I wack my upper back in reaction. Get the girls out and feel another 'pinch'! Ouch, this is more like a 'bite'. So I rip off all my layers and don't I find a hornet or wasp (I never know the difference) attached inside my top! These will guys come out, especially here in the country when the weather warms up, but are pretty 'groggy'. They usually don't 'attack' us. Guess I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time, as this guy lost flying ability. He bit me at least 3 x & I developed large hard whelts that were itchy! TG no other reactions.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Purina National Dog Show

Mike and I drove down late Friday for the Purina National Dog Show, a CKC Charity Event where they reached 879 entries on the Saturday. We entered our Group winning girl Ch Shelamo Sugar Shack and her daughter, which was her 1st show, Shelamo That's Amore.
Saturday is a special evening where the finals for Group and BIS are judged that night in a Gala event. Jim Reynolds from Ottawa had the honours of judging BIS (he judged BIS at Westminster in 2006).

The venue contained a large # of vendors, CKC had a booth & an Auction area (we won a lg doggie bed & other goodies) 4 large red carpeted conformation rings, a grooming area, obedience & rally rings along with a Breeders Village. Purina had their main booth, ProClub area (will get to that later!) and their Hall of Fame booth.
It was a miserable weekend weather wise. Not only did it rain, it poured with high winds. There wasn't a decent high and dry grassed area for our girls to pee. The ground frost is not yet out, so most areas were soggy with mud. Just nasty for getting show groomed dogs in/out of any area. First time I think I've ever seen inside potty areas with a line-up!

View of the ring area and the crowds watching the day time judging.

Picture taken from the grooming area where at the back were the performance rings & the Breeders Village.
Grooming area ... not sure what anyone left at home :) Dogs had to be comfy, don't ya know!
This picture was taken before Group judging Saturday evening. You can see in the distance the expanse of the room ... behind the foreground rings is the grooming area, then the performance rings, then the Breeders Village. Just on the very left of the picture is Mike sitting with our good friend Judy Flanigan (has 3 of our dogs) who came up from Guelph to be with us for the day. Thanks Judy for all your extra help with the girls, ringside holding and loading up the van.
The main Purina ProClub booth.

The Proplan booth beside the ProClub booth. All over the booth are pictures of ProClub dogs with their various wins.
This side (reg arrow) had the picture of our Ch Shelamo Changing Winds winning his Best Puppy In Show award. I've been amiss in not getting LauraLee our Group 2nd win at the Purina Puppy Classic last fall of our Multi BPIG Ch Shelamo Riding The Wind, and most recently, our BPIS Am/Cdn Ch Shelamo's Prospector's Best of Opposite win at the CC&SSA Specialty. That's on my To Do list this week.
They had a lovely Hall of Fame booth, where many representatives were present to provide the public with information, goodies and food samples.
The best of this show.

Inside the booth was an area for ProClub members to get away from the crowds, chit chat with other members, along with spending time with the ProClub Administrator LauraLee Camilleri, and most of her reps from across Canada. Thanks LL for treating us to so well.
Purina served us well! What a treat .... they provided breakfast and lunch each day and constant coffee and specialty teas.
So, how did our girls do? "Ruby" took Reserve Winners Female (a 3pt'r), which I was so pleased with considering it was her 1st show and what the competition was. "Maple'' only had a shot at Best of Breed, and with this year's campaigning female there .... well ....
The girls ... chilling out Saturday nite.
Miss "Ruby" ...... (finally a dry moment to allow her some bed time)
But not long before her and her mom "Maple" were more than ready for a nap time. It's tough being a show dog wouldn't you say? lol ....
We left Sunday morning after a short visit to the show grounds, to find everything taken care here at the house. Thanks Mary-Anne.
Today, Monday, it's nice and sunny ... go figure!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Venting Thursday - Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up

I have to vent today, not Friday as we're headed to the Purina Nat'l dog show in Toronto. TG I've got a great 'kennel manager' ... Mary-Anne is indispensable when it comes to weekends like this.

OK... I've vented on Sears, and here we go again! Since the last stove repairs a month ago with 2 new parts we're back to the problems we had in the 1st place, plus 2 more issues. So I've called Customer Service, 3 x now & left mssgs for someone to get back to me, and what do I find out about my last 2 mssgs? AAAHHH, they were sent to the people who would repair the FURNACE! Did no one catch on that something was amiss? Or did it just go to the shredder? So, I now have a "SNR" tech coming Monday to review what the problems are and determine a 'fix'. Here I go again waisting a day 'booked' for a service guy! Funny thing is the problems the last tech had weren't reported ... just that it was 'fixed'! They are on my receipt tho! Now the Sears furnace. Yes we had the 'repairs' done last week, finally since around December when they were 1st discovered, put back in the electronic filter, now only to have mssgs come up on the controls that it needs changing ... AAA??? Does this make sense, nope! So, I call the direct line to the gentleman that was handling this issue ... what do I get, someone else answering this line, for a NEW person! Yep, the previous guy .. that was 2 wks ago folks, is no longer there! Mssg left, have I heard back? Not yet, so I called and left ANOTHER mssg this morning.

We get our Sears bill in, and we have points to claim to get $ certificates. What do we see, almost 90% of our points, evidently have been 'claimed' ??? and by who? not us. So now it's gone 'somewhere' else for this to be checked into. And what does the person say to me at the end .... it will take about a week, and may I suggest if you haven't had a call next week you FOLLOW-UP!!!

I've had several other 'follow-ups' this week on other things .... am still waiting for resolution/call backs. Right now, they are a little bit more minor, just taking up my time, and clouding my brain.

I wonder who's working these days?

Off to show groom my girls .... that should calm my nerves ....


Monday, March 8, 2010

Missing Sheltie - Sad Outcome

I have been in continuous contact with the family regarding Chrissy & their search. Today the owners had to identify Chrissy at a local vet clinic. She had been hit by a car (the area is a busy 4 lane road) Friday night and unfortunately she didn't survive her injuries.

as received via email ...

"I truly appreciate your help as it meant a lot, and please let your friends and contacts know so they can end their search efforts." ... Gail


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Missing Blue Merle Sheltie In Ottawa

On Thursday night, March 4, Chrissy took off late at night which is uncommon for her. She went missing in the McKellar Park/Carlingwood area. She is around 10 yrs of age.
Please note that when a sheltie gets lost they tend to go into high flight, and even the friendliest sheltie can 'fear' a friendly person thinking they are trying to help. It is important that you don't 'chase', go after a sheltie 'on the run', but rather sit down, take off your sunglasses, your hat and have a 'tea party' on the ground. Pretend that you see, or have something really neat while speaking in a low, comforting tone. Try not to make eye contact as that is an aggressive 'signal' and only makes them move away faster. If you have a friendly dog, they can sometimes be the best thing to bring them around. Take your time, and if it doesn't work, it is important to make that call to the owners so they have a reference point to work from.

The contact information I have at the moment is. Gail Morriscey, Ottawa, 613-823-1475.

PLS cross-post this Blog link to everyone you know as you just don't know who might be the person that hears about, or sees this girl. I will update this post if I get further contact information.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Website Updates

We've updated our Hopefuls & Litters Planned page ... come have a peak!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Squirrels In The Spring - Why Barking Dogs?!

Yesterday (same as it is today) is beautiful! Above freezing temps, sunny, just LOVELY ... feeling like spring, altho we know March can go 'out like a lion' and we aren't done with winter yet.

I couldn't figure out why the dogs were barking, down at the back fence in our yard. I finally 'caught' the reason why ...

A red squirrel appeared on our pool's decking ... he sat there eyeing the yard.
He then scurried down the deck onto the snow where there were these long 'holes' ... now what are they? and what is he eating?
It's the bread crusts! Last Saturday, we had prepared over 100 sandwiches for a family funeral get together, cutting off the crusts of the bread and had bagged them to not only make fresh stuffing, but to scatter the rest for the birds & deers. Mike scattered the remaining ones out off our backyard deck, which looks onto the pool and the back end of the dog runs, never thinking the commotion it might cause with the dogs!
The bright sun cast such a glow onto the icy snow crystals that are now forming ... it was like little stars shinning .... So here was this brown squirrel happily gathering and chewing up the crusts, paying no never mind to the dogs barking ... guess they are now used to them.

OOPPPPSSS!!! I've been spotted on the deck!
It's time to high tail it for now ... plus chase another squirrel who was busting in on his 'buffet' dinner.

He'll be back, and I'll know 'cause of the dogs!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Our Community Center's Winter Garden Party

The community center where I teach dog obedience held its 17th Annual Winter Garden Party. We had a lovely sunny, above freezing temperature day, all held before everyone rushed home to watch the final Olympic Hockey Game.

Our dog obedience table was constantly busy! Between the 5 shelties we brought and my students that came with big and small dogs, we had all sizes for the kids to learn how to interact properly.
Our table, with a bunch of our shelties x-penned in the corner. We took "Rocky", Mary-Anne brought "Casino" (our blue-eye beauty), "Ruby", MaryLou brought "Rush" and our newest hopeful "Tootsi" went along for socialization.
Our demo began with teaching the kids how to properly approach dogs, the do's and dont's, with many of them getting to practise what they were just taught.We went on to demonstrate to the audience the skills the students have learnt over the last 6 weeks.
There we many other demo tables that gave the community an idea of what classes they can take.
Kids could get Cheek Art done, go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride, toast marshmallows by a fire and take part in a scavenger quiz. There were many great prize draws also.

We also had a small band with guitars, violins & an organ. Requests were encouraged and this young one had a few in mind. I was so impressed with all the dogs on how they handled the band music that was so close, in the same room.Here are the 2 sisters moving to the beat. You had to be there to see the youngest, bobbing in her snowsuit to the tunes.
And then there was "Her Royal Ruby-ness" ....
who spent much of the time on the table getting a birds eye view.
the day was over .... "Rocky" was ready for a snooze while we watched our Olympic Hockey team win GOLD, and the closing ceremonies.



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