Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Storm Alert

I can always tell when the weather is going to get scary, and for me that means loud noises that boom and crackle, any thunder and lightning.  The rain is okay by itself, but those other sounds bother me.  It has always been this way. I remember one time when I was a puppy, I was in a field and the sky looked like there were lines in it and the thunder sounded like it was going to come down on me.  I start shaking all over, my legs and tail, my whole body.  And just when I think it might be over, and I start to relax, there it comes again.  I don’t know what to do when I hear those noises, so sometimes I walk back and forth, sometimes I try to find Angie, Kip, or Chris so I can lean against them, and sometimes I just lay down and shake.

Last night we were at the fire station, and I started to get that feeling that a storm was close.  We went inside where the fire trucks stay, and something happened that was good.  Even though the thunder and lightning happened, I felt better.  I know that Sasha and Sprinkles were not happy, but we all were working on learning something new, and there were lots of treats.  We learned how to roll over and even though it felt weird, I forgot about the noise outside.  Sasha looked so funny, with her big ears, and she did not want to do it.  She would do half of a roll, and finally, the whole thing.  I would rather roll on something soft than the hard floor at the fire station, but it is fun to learn something.

By the time we got in the car to go home, the storm was over, and no more noise, just a little rain.  I curled up in my crate and fell asleep.  So it was a no-shake night for me.  I think the next time it storms, Angie should try teaching me to do a new behavior.  That way I won’t be so worried about the weather.

Monday, February 13, 2012

More Fun at the FEMA Training Weekend

It is hard to pick my favorite part of the weekend.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the toys that the other dogs brought with them.  Hunter, the border collie, had a toy with a name: ”Football Man.”  Here is a picture of him with this toy. 

There were lots of tugs, floppies, ropes and babies (that is what Angie calls stuffed animals).  I don’t really care what toy I get, but I will say that the ones that squeak are my favorites.

We used all of the rubble piles at Disaster City, including the pallet pile, which is where I got hurt one time.  That is where a nail went through my pad.  Not this time, though.  Oh, this is so funny.  One young dog was searching on that pile, and she stopped right above where the person was hiding, and she peed on the board that was on top of him!  Those young dogs just do not have any manners.  She was barking and peeing at the same time.

Of course we all enjoyed the rubble piles.  Usually there were 2 people hiding for us.  Here is a picture of Party Girl searching on Rubble Pile 1.   
Can you tell how small she is? She is one of my friends from Florida, and this is her second trip to Texas. 

We all love using the barking box.  It is so easy but so fun.  There is this box with holes at the bottom.  You run up to it, bark at the scent coming from the holes, and all of a sudden the door opens.  There is somebody waiting there to play tug with you. You can see 2 dogs playing in these pictures.

I always like running so when the hup tables are set up, I can’t wait to follow Angie’s directions about going to one, or more of them.  Check out other dogs enjoying them.
That dog from New York looks a lot like Sasha, so I like her a lot.

No matter what we do, the best part is when we get to play tug.  And there were some great tuggers here that weekend. They had different ways of playing, used new words, made silly sounds, even growled at us. I just wished all of these people lived in Texas so they could play tug with me all the time.  Look at these lucky dogs and how happy they are.

Don’t you wish you could have been there?  Can’t wait till next year!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

FEMA Training Weekend

Last weekend, almost 60 dogs… and I have never seen that many dogs in one place, never ever… came to Disaster City. They all came with their moms or dads, and they all stayed at the same hotel. That is a lot of dogs sleeping in rooms, going in and out of the hotel, and using the elevators. I stayed with Angie in a room with another lab, a big black lab named Blade who I liked a lot. We shared bones and got along very well.

So, we were not all running around Disaster City. We were in groups and each group took turns using the different stuff that was set up for us. There were all kinds of dogs: labs, shepherds, border collies and golden retrievers. Here is a picture of one of the groups, and you can see some of the dogs and how they are not all the same:

And these dogs came from 12 states, not just from Texas. I remember some of these dogs and some of their moms and dads, but some of them were new. I really liked the dogs in my group, especially a small black lab named Party Girl and a border collie named Hunter.

Let me tell you about some of the cool things we did! First let me start with something that I’ve never done before. There were people there from the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team, and they could take care of any dog who was hurt (including  one dog who got 2 toe nails ripped off). But, that isn’t all these vets did. They also showed us how to get stronger, use our bodies in different ways, and stretch our arms, legs and backs. Check out these pictures and you will see what I mean.
Here is how we learned to strengthen our stomach muscles:

We worked on sitting up on our back legs and putting our front legs up so we looked like a chipmunk. I really had to concentrate, and after a few times, I was a little sore. Angie held a treat above my head, and I had to keep my back legs down and just lift up the rest of my body.

The vets also showed how to check us from nose to tail to make sure we are breathing okay, and that our ears, eyes, noses and mouths are healthy. Look at these pictures to see how this works.  

Check back to learn more about the fun we had!