Saturday, September 25, 2010

3rd Annual Oktoberfest!

Finn got to join Winnie this afternoon as she attended her third annual Oktoberfest celebration at our town! Having both of them there was really fun, and they got SO much attention! I loved it, of course, despite the common guesses of Labradoodle and Otterhound and Wolfhound. They were extremely well behaved with everyone - dogs, kids, whatever. We listened to some live music and they each got to sample just a taste of Dominion Oktoberfest! (As did I, of course!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alpha Dork

Even Winnie - Queen of the Dorks - thought this move was pretty dorky.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Catching up...

I just got back from Montana, and got the warmest canine reception I've ever gotten in my life. Winnie especially was just SO glad to see me!! That's why we do it, isn't it? Wow.

If you're interested in seeing photos from my Montana trip, here's a link to a slideshow.

Since I've been away for almost a week, I took the dogs on a nice four mile walk along the C&O Canal path near our house. They did great, though they both needed near constant reminders not to pull on the leash. And when a jogger or bicycle came by I put them both into a heel (Winnie on the right) and they did great!

This is from this afternoon's training session and is noteworthy. Finn isn't big on 'Stay.' So we worked on this a while and got to the point where I could get pretty far back and wait a good while before either returning to him or calling him in. It's clear I think that, for now at least, his training sessions need to be pretty short. I could tell he was losing focus even after a few minutes, making it increasingly difficult to 'end on a good note,' as they say.

I was emailing with Peg, Winnie's breeder, about Finn's hunting potential (which is unknown). But he really looks like he's made for the field! Anyway, I happen to have a chukar wing in a plastic baggie and decided to hide it in a patch of tall grass I haven't mowed this year, and see if Finn could find it.

Sorry about the camera, I'm trying to walk and watch him, and couldn't see the screen on the camera anyway because of the glare. But I'll say this, he found that wing immediately!

And then he peed on it.

But then he grabbed it and brought it straight to me!

But then he tried to eat it along the way.

So I think at least he's tuned in to birdlike things. Not sure what my next step would be, but this is a promising start. Better than not noticing or caring there's a bird there.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Side by Side

I am so proud of Winnie, she's being such a good girl in accepting her new brother. They are really getting along extremely well. Here they are on our pre-dawn walk this morning, side by side, loose leads, no tangles, no problem. A simple, yet joyous way for all three of us to start our day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Finn Explores his Home Water

We knew Finn liked the water, and had seen him swim in the Shenandoah the day after he arrived. But tonight he took his first trip down the steep hill to his home water, the Potomac River where we all call home.

He of course took to it right away. I err on the side of caution before I let a dog off lead, so he stayed connected to a check cord while he romped. And he's too tall and the river's too low for him to swim, but he enjoyed running around with Winnie.

I couldn't be happier with how Winnie is accepting him, they are really getting along well. And while I know I tend to project more complex thoughts to my dogs than are likely taking place, it looks to me like she's getting just a bit of enjoyment out of showing young Finn the ropes. This is where we walk. That sound means he's home. This way means we're going to swim. Those are deer and trust me, he won't let you chase them. I asked.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Meet Finn!

Big news this week as we welcome our new boy Finn, who we are thrilled and lucky to be able to adopt. He handled two solid days in the car to get here without a peep, and he's adjusting well to his new home. Winnie and Finn have shown tolerance and respect to each other, and I am confident that friendship will soon follow.

Thank you to friend and photographer Denise for the cool photo above and the one in the new banner at the top of the page. More of her wonderful photos can be seen on her site.

I will soon have many fun photos and stories, but am very busy this week trying to get him settled and me ready to head to Montana for a greatly anticipated vacation starting Saturday! Stay tuned...