Archive for October, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – Maya’s Owie

October 16, 2013
Maya Wearing Pawz Purple Shoe

“Do I have to wear this?”

Maya is wearing purple shoes (well, one shoe anyway) like Sugar’s. She can’t live up to the famous Sugar (from Sugar the Golden Retriever), but Maya sure loves to imitate her. Maya, however, won’t wear this purple shoe from Pawz for long. I put this on her to keep her from licking or chewing on her owie. And I can only leave it on her when I am able to keep an eye on her.

Maya Trying to Take off Purple Pawz

“Why does being in fashion have to be so uncomfortable?”

Maya’s owie started out as in insect bite. We had chiggers really bad this year. The bite should have gone away by now but Maya kept licking it and licking it. Since I’ve been having her wear the purple shoe once in a while, her owie is now healing. The following is the before photo.

Insect Bite on Dog Paw

Chigger bite plus excessive licking. Poor Maya!

For pet photos that are more fun (and painless), check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop link below.

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October 14, 2013

Student Dog Maya Wearing Glasses

Please excuse the mostly wordless posts this week as mom is studying for her midterm exams. We’re trying to help.

Dogs Studying 003

Wordless Wednesday – Last Splash of the Year

October 9, 2013

It has been a bit chilly lately. Though not yet cold, the weather is definitely changing. So this past Saturday, Maya & Pierson enjoyed what might have been the last warm day of the year:

October Weekend Dog Fun 001

Pierson is ready to play with the hose.

October Weekend Dog Fun 003

Why can’t I catch this stuff?

October Weekend Dog Fun 004

Hold still!

October Weekend Dog Fun 005

I will get you. You’ll see who’s boss.

October Weekend Dog Fun 007

Oh joy, water!

October Weekend Dog Fun 008

Attack at the source… Now!

October Weekend Dog Fun 009

Mmmm, water. For a Lab, life doesn’t get any better than this.

October Weekend Dog Fun 011

More! More! More!

October Weekend Dog Fun 013

After the dogs get wet, they do the zoomies around the yard.

October Weekend Dog Fun 014

Two wet and tired dogs.

For more great pet photos around the dog blogosphere, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop link below. And enjoy the fall season!


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My Dogs Are Perfect, I’m Not

October 5, 2013

Me Maya and Pierson

You may have some misconceptions about my dogs. I bet you think they are perfect and can do no wrong. That’s because most of what you see on my blog are photos of them doing cute or fun things or articles on training tips or health tips. I generally don’t tell you the bad stuff. Why is that? Two reasons. Firstly, my dogs bring me such an enormous joy that I don’t really think about their imperfections. Secondly, I’m a bit embarrassed that I don’t have my dogs completely well-trained. Well, today you are going to get to peek into the real Dawn, Maya, and Pierson.

For the most part, I think many of Maya and Pierson’s imperfections are my own fault. They are dogs and do some doggy things that many in society don’t think are appropriate. But it is up to me to try to work through and redirect their most annoying behaviors. And here they are:


Pierson barks at almost every little thing. Since he is mostly indoors and it doesn’t really bother anyone but those inside the house, his barking isn’t a big deal. In fact, we’ve gotten really good at tuning him out. But what about when he is outside? As a responsible dog owner, I should really be working with him more on not barking so much. Believe it or not, teaching him to bark on command helped a little with teaching him not to bark on command.

Jumping on People

Even after six years, Maya is really bad about trying to jump on people. I’ve trained her not to jump on me or my husband, but it has been difficult teaching her not to jump on others. She gets so excited that it is difficult to control her when she is in this state. I tend to blame her behavior on the fact that she is an excitable dog, but truthfully her behavior is my fault. When she was younger, I did not actively seek anyone to help me teach her not to jump on them. Sure, I took the opportunity when the chance arose, but there was no consistency. Lately, I’ve been trying to amend that.

Pull No More dog harness

This dog harness / leash helps reduce Maya’s ability to pull.

Walking on a Leash

This is by far my biggest downfall. I have done a number of posts about it and have been great about giving tips. But I haven’t been so good at following my own advice. When we go for a walk, I just want to walk. I don’t want to have to stop and correct. There are some days when I focus on the training, but I don’t follow through on every walk or even every other walk. I think I am only about 20% consistent. This has helped. Maya and Pierson are not as bad as they used to be. But if I would only be consistent, they could be much better.

I have genuinely tried the Gentle Leader on Maya. I followed their instructions and advice very consistently every day for a month. All to no avail. I should try again, but probably won’t.

Pierson Group Walk Photo

Look how much progress Pierson has made with his leash reactive behavior.

Leash Reactive Behavior

Now this one I have been fairly consistent with on with Pierson. And I am so proud of how far he has progressed. The part where I may fall short is when winter comes. We won’t see as many dogs on our walks when the weather gets cold.

Maya is leash reactive too, but in a different way. Where Pierson barks because he hates other dogs, Maya barks because she is excited about other dogs. She does very well in public settings, such as the recent Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event and the Mutt Mixer event. But on walks, she does not do so well. I’m not quite sure how to handle her behavior. The methods that have been doing wonders with Pierson are not working on her. The only things I have not tried out is hiring a professional dog trainer or using an electronic collar, and I don’t want to do either. I can’t afford the first one and I don’t want to resort to the second one.

So there you have it. Maya and Pierson are not perfect because I am not perfect at training them. I think I’ve done a pretty darned good job with what I have done. And I believe they are mostly very good dogs. But I have fallen short on being consistent. It is my fault they are not perfect by society standards. But they are perfect to me. And I love them just the way they are, barking, pulling, jumping, and all (although it would be nice if I would train them to stop doing those things).

Do you have any shortcomings when it comes to training your dog? Come on, admit it. I won’t tell on you if you don’t tell on me. 😉

Wordless Wednesday – Pierson on Patrol

October 2, 2013

As a herding dog, my Pierson is always on the lookout. Inside, he keeps an eye out the front window for passersby, he listens for the UPS or FedEx truck, he is sure to alert me every time someone walks up our walkway. Outside, he mostly keeps an eye out for those pesky rabbits and squirrels. And even though he is in the back yard, he will bark at anyone he hears passing by the front of our house. Here are some photos of my Pierson on patrol, hard at work:

Pierson Keeping Watch on Porch 2

Pierson loves to sit on the porch in front of the steps so he can watch out for bunnies and other small animals. This gives him a good view of the yard and a quick way to get down so he can chase.

Pierson Keeping Watch on the Porch 5

Pierson sits here on the porch when he sees the squirrels living in my neighbor’s roof. I put this white lattice up because Pierson can fit through the railing. I was afraid the sight of the squirrel might excite him so much that he’d jump out without thinking.

Pierson Looking Out Window

When Pierson is not playing, eating, or sleeping, he is keeping guard. He likes to alert me every time someone walks by the house, especially if that someone is walking their dog.

Pierson Looking for Rabbits

Pierson is looking for those pesky rabbits that live under our shed.

What is Maya doing while Pierson is working hard?

Maya Sleeping on Porch Swing 1

Maya has no problem letting Pierson do all the work.

Maya Sleeping on the Porch Swing 4


What is your dog’s job?

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