Thursday, September 25, 2008

Twelve Paws Up - New Product Review

The "bread and butter" of my dog training services are single session models. They are intensive, comprehensive and consist of a single, 3 hour time frame (up to 4 if more than one dog) with the client(s) and dog(s) in the home. The clinical model comes from both social work experience doing in home parenting as well as evolving over a nearly 10 year full time career as a dog trainer; I have found this model works great for most issues with dogs and business is strong even in this collapsing economy.

This single session doesn't always lend itself to a whole lot of relationship building, which suits me fine -- there are always new clients out there -- but I have added an array of products for the purpose of supplementing my service based income by making available and educating people about the value of equipment, toys, diet, and chewies to enhance the human/canine bond. So it is with great excitement I announce a new find. Well, not brand new, just great stuff in a new form.

Trip, Lily and Bean give it a 12 Paws Up Award, so you know it has to be good. And here's the real benefit: (think grade school math: If Lily can eat a 9" bully stick without distraction in 15 minutes or less, and a bully bone takes her 45 minutes of undistracted chew to just GET OFF THE ONE's a great bang for buck product!)

Bully Bones are now available individually or in lots of 5 (essentially buy 4, get one free). If they're as hot a product as I think they'll be, I'll get larger quantities and figure out pricing. Feedback always helpful to keep products useful, affordable, durable, high quality and desired by dogs of all ages and sizes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Color Mutations

Burn, Byrne, Mr. Byrne, Bernie, Burnie, little guy, has now been here over a month. Gender identity confusions have been resolved, and Burn is in fact a boy! No wonder he's such a trouble maker! He had the all clear with his doc and couldn't have had more fun at his first vet visit. I hope he has as much fun when he returns for a snip snip sometime in the next month or so.

I'm not sure why, but our black kitten with the white abdomen and patch o' white on his chest is going through a color change transformation I can't explain. Nor can his vet! His black hairs are being replaced daily with white, and each day he's becoming whiter and whiter. I have decided to take monthly photos to chart both his grown and his mutations in the hopes someone has had similar experiences and can share the longer term effect. The above photo reflects the end of his first month here (he arrived on August 16).

Now I'm a household with a black dog with some white, a white dog with some black, a white cat with black, a black cat turning white, and then there's Bean, my liver brown and white anomoly. However, despite all these somewhat neutral colors, the colonies of dust bunnies that are gathered up daily all remain a solid gray!

Byrne is learning a lot and for a cat, he's pretty responsive. I'll have to get some videos going but so far he has learned:

Coming when called from inside various rooms AND from outside to inside;
Barreling in through the dog door (he learned that on his own);
High five;
Down (well, sort of...this one causes him to roll over for a belly rub)
and an important one for a mouthing kitten, 'play nice.
He taught a high prey drive visiting Lab how to treat kittens and cats nicely, and they're becoming friends!!! Although I think Burn likes making this dog crash into fences when he slips through on a "chase dare".

He is fearless, funny, confident, amusing, trouble making and determining what costume will adorn his growing body come Halloween.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall is in the Air

Back in June, during the dog days of summer, you may recall I drove ol' now 7 year old Trip down and back to Columbus (five hours driving) for a half hour photo shoot that culminated in this past Sunday's Joann Fabric insert in the local Cleveland Plain Dealer. I actually forgot it would be in this week but as it happened (and they say there are no accidents!) I had to get some drapery hooks and while I was at the store, looking at the circular for sale items, lo and behold on page 10 I found my Pumpkin clad boy emanating out of the pages photoshopped into a picture of a woman in a creepy outfit with a scythe and a little pink clad ballerina!!! Across from the page was a wee little golden pup with a Hannah Montana chick and a vampire dude. There's definitely a crisp to the air, and I promised Trip when I got home that the worst I'd do was put Bean's devil ears on come this Halloween!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Yesterday It Was Trip's Birthday

Back in my day, after Simon and Garfunkel separated into their solo and other collaborative careers, more prolific Paul released an album called STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS with a song called HAVE A GOOD TIME

This morning I crooned the lyrics on behalf of my now 7 year old JRT, Trip:

Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line
I should be depressed
My life's a mess
But I'm having a good time

Oo, I've been loving and loving and loving
I'm exhausted from loving so well
I should go to bed
But a voice in my head
Says "Ah, what the hell"

Have a good time
Have a good time
Have a good time
Have a good time

Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland
But I think it's all overdone
Exaggerating this and exaggerating that
They don't have no fun

I don't believe what I read in the papers
They're just out to capture my dime
I ain't worrying
And I ain't scurrying;
I'm having a good time

Have a good time
Have a good time
Have a good time
Have a good time

Maybe I'm laughing my way to disaster
Maybe my race has been run
Maybe I'm blind to the fate of mankind
But what can be done?
So God bless the goods we was given
And God bless the U. S. of A.
And God bless our standard of livin'
Let's keep it that way
And we'll all have a good time

Repeat and fade:
Have a good time
Have a good time
Have a good time
Have a good time

I think it says it all. Happy Belated Birthday Trip!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Thornton Pool Dog Swim 2008

Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer published a story about the logorhythm of our weather suggesting that the weekends in September average out to be the best -- cloudless, hint of fall in the slanting light and temps in the 70's. They were right on one count - temps in the 70's but the morning dawned overcast, then rainy as the 10 am doggie swim hour approached. I made it there by 10:45 with Trip and Bean in tow. The damp weather may have reduced the numbers, but the masses that were there were anything but dampened as they played, ran, swam, cavorted, barked, snagged frisbees and whupped it up for Doggie Swim 2008. Enjoy the photos!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dog Swim

Time to put those white shoes away until fall, breath a sigh of relief that Gustav wasn't the same pack of punch that Katrina was, dust off your water wings and find out if you have a local public pool Doggie Swim! Local public pool Thornton in Shaker Heights is having their annual Doggie Swim this Saturday, 10-12. The mob of dogs, some who swim, some who just run around having doggie fun, and the dozens and dozens of people of all ages and sizes convene to close out the pool season and head back to school and fall schedules. If you haven't been, it's a scream, if you have, you know what I'm talking about. This socialization experience is a once a year Big Fun Time!