Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The lazy person's walk

Cohen got short-changed for walks yesterday, so she was understandably a bit antsy yesterday evening.

The solution: take her along with me while I drove my sister to the other side of the city with the windows down.

She sniffed out the window to her heart's content then passed out when we got home. This isn't something I'll turn into a habit, but, well, it worked.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dear dog,

It is not fair that you wake me up early by barking, and then curl up on my bed and go back to sleep. I cannot do that. Please stop.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Why do you look so sad?

Cohen did it. She made it to two years old. She's officially sort of maybe not a puppy any more.

The bone is not sufficient payment for this humiliation.

Here's a list of things you may or may not know about her.

  1. She sleeps downstairs on the couch most nights, and every morning she'll come up to lay on my bed. When she's confident that I'm awake she'll lay across me until I get up. 
  2. During her morning routine she makes some of the most amusing sounds - mostly groans and moans and interpretations of a wookie.
  3. I can leave a steak in the middle of the floor then leave the room without saying anything and she'll not touch it. Outside she can scent a discarded sandwich from a hundred feet away and will make a bee line for it and nothing in the world can stop her. 
  4. She's learned the word "shower" after I used it casually prior to washing her. Now she'll slink off and roll over on her back if she hears me mention it, even if I'm not talking to her. 
  5. She likes Huskies. She dislikes black Poodles (or similar looking dogs), Old English Sheepdogs and Airedale Terriers.
  6. She dislikes wearing harnesses or anything that fits around her midsection. 
  7. She received her Canine Good Neighbour certification when she was 8 months old, and her Rally Novice title when she was 10 months. After that I completely lost my momentum and haven't trialed her since. 
  8. She has forgotten how to spin to her left since I taught her to spin into position between my legs. Now every left spin is a "scoot."
  9. Her absolute hands-down favourite toy is an old MEC backpack that I bought ~10 years ago. As a pup she chewed through the straps, so I let it become a dog toy. Now she goes berserk each time I bring it out. The backpack game is a mixtures of tugging, mouthing everything frantically and standing on top of it barking at it when it's thrown. 


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Put up or shut up

A blurry still-frame from a video I have of Cohen weaving.  Good form!
I finally got around to registering for my first real agility trial! As of now Cohen is registered for one run of Starters Standard on the 10th of September, and another on the 11th. I may end up registering her for a jumpers or two as well since just one run each day seems like not a lot, especially when factoring in driving.

Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to have many opportunities to practice between now and then.

I suspect my trouble spot will be the weaves. Cohen does them really nicely in areas with which she's familiar, but can miss her entry and/or pop out early if she's overly excited. (The weave-tunnel relays of the show a few days ago were... hit and miss.)

I also wouldn't be surprised if she knocks a bar or two, but my understanding is that if she knocks a bar it's because I made a mistake in my handling.

The biggest issue I'm going to have is getting lost on a course. During practice there's always plenty of time to pause and get my bearings. I won't have that leisure here.

Anyways, I'm excited. I'll likely go visit the park some time in the next few weeks to get Cohen used to performing in a goose-poo filled field (yuck! don't wear new shoes) and see how her weaves hold up in a new environment.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two years old. Almost.

Cohen turns 2 years old this month! I'm surprised and thrilled that I've not killed her yet. So I'm going to be spending some time in the coming weeks looking back on her as a pup, and how she's matured.

The first photo below was taken when Cohen was just over one year old. She's not stacked well since I had no idea what I was doing, but at least you get some sort of feel for her proportions. The second was taken last week. It's a slightly more appropriate stack, but still leaves a bit to be desired. The amount that Cohen has filled out over the last year is pretty impressive. She used to be rail-thin, but lately I've been noticing a bit more padding on her ribs. A healthy bit of padding -- she's still no fattie.

14 months.

24 months.
She's starting to look like a real Aussie. She's still butt-high unfortunately, but she's a perfectly serviceable little sporty dog. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Unfortunately it's cancer. So here's a photo of a puppy. 

Puppy cancer.
After having lost my mother to cancer 5 years ago the diagnosis is pretty frightening. All told I'm doing well. I'm just relieved to at least finally have a diagnosis. Now we can actually DO something about it. Keep calm and carry on, right?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Life keeps throwing curveballs

This past week has been a bit surreal. My father has been in the hospital since last Tuesday, and it's scaring the crap out of me.

He was ill with what we thought might be bronchitis. He lost his voice two weeks ago. He went to his doctor for some meds on Tuesday, was diagnosed with an elevated heart rate and a mystery lung issue. The heart rate is being medicated, but they've not as of yet diagnosed the lung/throat issue, and they've requested he stay for tests and monitoring. Basically it could be an infection, or it could be cancer. And all the blood cultures taken have come back negative to date... 

So I've been stressed, to say the least. I never thought I'd wish so hard for an infection to be diagnosed.

To keep with the topic of the blog and to cheer myself up a bit, here's a photo of my dad the day we picked Cohen out of the litter.

I always though this photo had a Madonna-esque feel to it. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I was out of town for a wedding this weekend, and just about anyone who could have watched Cohen was out of town with me. So we boarded her.

As I've said before (a lot), Cohen is not an easy dog. She's rambunctious, loud, and has a history of guarding food and toys from other dogs. While talking with the woman who was boarding her, I stressed this... a lot. I wanted to make sure that she knew what she was getting in to before she was stuck with my dog while I was out of the city for five days. Better safe than sorry and all that.

Well, it turns out apparently I was worried over nothing.

I got Cohen back this morning. Apparently she did really well. She was fine with all the other dogs, large and small alike. Apparently her barking was under control. And most noteworthy to me, there were no reports of guarding (all food and toys were carefully controlled). The only vague negative was that Cohen could "get a bit silly"... your guess is as good as mine as for what that might mean. All in all, it was a success.

All this gives me hope that Cohen and Chihuahua-Megatron will coexist peacefully when Adrian and I finally move in. Of course this won't completely stop my worrying, but it'll lessen it. At least for a little while.