This is a personal weblog based on my life with Bernese Mountain Dogs. The opinions expressed here represent my own and and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any clubs, organizations or committees that I may be associated with. Please feel free to comment on any post, but profane, abusive or rude comments will not be tolerated - please be polite, even if you disagree.
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Never Long Enough

My sister and brother-in-law had to say good-bye to their dog Oreo the other day.  They got Oreo from the animal shelter when he was just a young puppy and he spent the last 14 years being a loved companion.  Oreo was the sweetest and most gentle dog I have ever met and he will be dearly missed by everyone who had the great pleasure of knowing him.

Special Friend

I lost a special friend today 
the kind you can't replace, 
and looking at his empty bed 
I still can see his face.

I see the endless energy 
the sparkling puppy eyes, 
Not the tired, fragile friend 
I had to bid goodbye.

I know he's in a special place 
our Lord has for such friends, 
Where meadows, fields & flowers 
help make them strong and whole again.

I remember how he'd run to me 
to play his favorite puppy game, 
And how his ears would perk right up 
When he heard me call his name.

But as those precious years went by 
And we both aged and grew, 
I'd find him often slowing down 
But-we had still so much to do.

It will truely be a struggle 
I don't know how I'll face each day, 
I have to let him go--I know 
But in my heart he'll always stay.

This special place our Lord has made 
Health and strength, wait for him there, 
So with my very special friend 
I'm sending all my prayers.

I know he's watching over me 
He'll be with me when I cry, 
So with one more kiss on his beloved head 
I told my Oreo Dog goodbye.

By Christina L. Tronnes 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Special Delivery

I ordered Scent Articles a couple weeks ago, and they were delivered today! I am very excited.
Here they are - 6 each of leather, metal and wood.

Bosley stopped in to pose with his new articles.

That is not all I ordered. I also ordered this very nice carrying bag with a Bernese on it. I got red numbers on the articles to match the red bag. Those in turn match Bosley's red cart and carting harness. I know he won't be carting and doing articles at the same time, but I thought it would be nice if all his activities "matched".

I am very excited to start scent article work. Tonight Bosley was holding the metal dumbbell and fronting with it in his mouth. For the past few weeks, we have been working on him holding a metal spoon to get used to the feeling of metal in his mouth. He doesn't love the metal, but he will hold it now.
I gave him the leather article, which I thought he would have no problem with, and it made him gag. Funny. The leather smell is really strong right now because they are new, so hopefully, once they air out and get used a bit, that strong smell will go away and Bosley will quit gagging.
Of course he has no problem with the wood articles, as that is what we use in scent hurdle.

For now, we are going to work the metal articles and get him used to retrieving them and then scenting them. Then I will move on to leather. It will be a while until he is working the whole pile of articles, but we are in no rush.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Frosty Paws

Hey, You!  With the mittens and the warm boots!  It's -20C today. 
 I don't have mittens or boots.  I only have paws.  Tender, soft, house dog paws.  

My paw!  It is cold.  I can't even look at you - taking pictures of my awful plight.

Look at my sad face.  Look at my cold paws.  
Are you just going to stand there - doing nothing?!?

I think this one is going to fall right off.  You won't think it is so funny then, will you?

Do you see this look that I am giving you? 
My feet!  My feet!  I can't stand it anymore!!
(You are going to put this on your blog, aren't you?)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Silly Pet Trick

My dogs only know a few basic dog tricks.  High five, wave, play dead and spin are among the basic tricks they both know.  Bosley does known one other trick though :

Monday, January 3, 2011

Setting Goals

At the beginning of a new year, everyone seems to be setting goals and making resolutions for the year. I have already set my dog training goals in an earlier post.

Why do we (I) set goals?
**Goals let us think about a specific outcome we would like to achieve.
**Goals give us motivation to achieve those outcomes.
**Goals allow us to make a plan and give us direction to follow through.
**Goals encourage us to work harder and achieve things that would otherwise not be possible.

I have my broad goals for the year written down on this blog, but inside those larger goals, are more detailed, specific goals. For example: I have a goal of getting Bosley's CDX. A big goal indeed. But inside that big goal of "CDX" are all the little components that I need to work on (motivation, effort, not anticipating, rock solid stays, etc). Breaking down a large goal into little pieces, makes the goal seem much less daunting.

When making goals, they should be SMART.
S - Specific - rather than "I want to get agility titles" a specific goal would be "I want to work on distance and get a gamblers title". Goals must be well defined and broken down into manageable pieces.
M - Measurable - In dog training the most common measure of a goal is a "Q' or title. But it can be measured by smaller increments as well, but you must determine what defines success before you start.
A - Achievable - If a goal is not achievable, you will become frustrated and give up. Be honest with yourself - break things into smaller goals if you need to.
R - Realistic - Be honest about your dog and your training and don't set goals that are unrealistic. Goals should be set so that they are within your expertise and your dog's capabilities.
T - Timely - Setting a goal too far into the future will likely lead to procrastination. Setting a goal too near in the future will likely not give you time to get there and result in giving up. You need enough time to complete your goal and keep you motivated.

I hope that everyone has at least a couple goals to work towards this year - dog related or not. It is also important to remember that it is OK to change and adjust goals as we go along. Things change, priorities change and goals evolve. It is OK to take a step back and re-evaluate where we are going and how we want to get there.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

52 Weeks For Dogs - A Success !

One year ago, I signed up for the Flickr "52 Weeks For Dogs".  This is where you post one picture per week of your dog (it must be the same dog each week).  Bosley was the star of my project in 2010.  It was a great way for me to get my camera out more often and try to get shots I normally would not think of taking. It was sometimes difficult to stay motivated to do a shot each week but I finished the entire project.  Some of the pictures I really love and some are just so-so (those were usually the weeks I left my shot until the last minute).

This was my picture for week 52 - the final shot of the series.  It is one of my favorites of the year. I love the light and the frosty whiskers.

Here are some of my other favorites:

This is just plain cute :)

I like the tones and how Bosley is gazing over his shoulder.

Gotta love that goofy face!

I used this picture for my Christmas cards this year.

You can see my entire 52 Weeks project on my Flickr page : Bosley's 52 Weeks For Dogs

In 2011, Maggie is going to move to the 52 Weeks project.  Maggie is much harder to photograph because she is not near as cooperative as Bosley.  She also seems to give the camera only one look - and that is one of annoyance.  It will give me some new challenges, that's for sure.

Bosley is not totally "out of the picture" when it comes to Flickr.  I signed him up for a 12 Weeks project where I need to submit 1 photo a month of him.  It should be fun and he loves the camera!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year Some New Goals

Happy New Year!!!

A new year means it is time to look forward and to set new goals. Although goals may change as I go along, they are a great motivator. Something to look forward to and at the end of the year it is great to look back and see how far we have come.

Bosley is ready to head into the New Year.


Maggie will most likely retire from competitive agility early this year. She has been telling me she has had enough. I would really like her to get her MAD before she retires (she only needs one more 'Q').

Maggie will get to do more tracking this year. I think it will keep her mind busy (which she needs) and will keep her active. I have no goal of doing any tracking tests, just to have fun.


In 2011, Bosley and I are going to work hard to get his CDX. I am certain he can do it, and hopefully within the first half of the year. I really want to start doing Utility stuff more seriously, and am going to be ordering scent articles in the next week or so. I hope to be ready to compete in Utility by the end of the year.

In CKC agility I would really, really like to finish Bosley's Championship. He has a chance at being the first Bernese to get the new Select Agility Championship title and as far as I know, he is currently the only Bernese competing at the Excellent B level. So maybe . . . if we get to enough trials.

In AAC agility, I would like him to be competing at Masters level in all events by the summer. This is totally possible, as he only needs one more Advanced Jumpers and one more Advanced Snooker. Hopefully by the end of the year he will have his MAD and maybe his Masters Gamblers?

I am still considering if I want to pursue a DDX. Bosley really loves carting and I am confident with his carting, but the DDX has a backpacking component. Bosley does not love the backpack. Depending on when and where the test is this year will determine if we train with a DDX goal in mind.

We are also going to be competing in Scent Hurdle this year. Our team is coming along really well and I am sure all of us on the team will enjoy putting a Scent Hurdle title on our dogs this year.

Best Wishes to everyone in 2011.