Condo Blues: dog sports




Showing posts with label dog sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog sports. Show all posts

Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Make a Personalized Appliqué Fleece Dog Blanket

Last year, Blitzkrieg and I participated in a small dog sport gift exchange. Well, technically the dogs were the gift givers and recipients but their humans did all of the shopping, wrapping, and shipping of gifts. In other words, the dogs got the goods and the humans did all of the work. Seems only fair because in our sport of agility Blitzkrieg does all of the work of running up over and through the obstacles on the course while I just run beside him and point to what he has to do next. OK, dog sport people know that there’s more to it on the human side, but that’s not the point of this post.

Anywayz, my New Year’s resolution that year was to try to use up some of the stuff in craft stash that in some cases had been sitting around for more years than I like to admit. Some of the items languishing in my craft stash were pieces of fleece that were too big to throw away but not large enough to make anything out of. That is, until this gift exchange. Turns out the fleece squares I had were just the right size to turn into small dog blankets. This project was the perfect time to try my hand at a little hand appliqué as well.


Dog Blankets
My applogies for the poor photo quality. 
I had to use my PDA to take the photos.


How to make a personalized appliqué fleece dog blanket


Friday, November 21, 2008

Have You Ever Put An Active Dog On Complete Bed Rest? It’s Not Easy…



cat ball muzzle on
makes dog look like Spaceman Spiff
all to check his back



Blitzkrieg is a very active little dog. And he’s smart. He knows tons of tricks sit, speak, down, wait, shake, and high 5 with his left and right (blind side thankyouverymuch) paw and the favorite of the neighborhood kids, dance on his hind legs, which Peke people commonly refer to as The Pekingese Dance. Teaching Blitzkrieg these behaviors has helped us use positive reinforcement training turn the shy and fear aggressive abused dog we rescued into the confident and well-adjusted goofball we have today. One of the Blitzkrieg Rules is that if Blitzkrieg wants to join a human who is already sitting on the sofa then he has to “ask” permission by sitting first before the human (me) tells him “OK, hup”. This is Blitzkrieg’s cue to jump up on the sofa for a good snuggle.
As of last Saturday, Blitzkrieg couldn’t hup.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Allergy Free Apple and Banana Dog Treats

It was a fine day for agility class when tragedy struck The Condo.

We ran out of dog treats!

OK, honestly, if you’re a human, this is not a tragedy. However, if you’re a food motivated Pekingese that really looks forward to earning good treats during dog training sessions it is paws for concern. (Pause, paws. Punny heh, heh. I kill me.)

Buying dog treats for Blitzkrieg can be difficult. It’s not that Blitzkrieg is a fussy eater. Oh no. My dog will eat anything put in front of him, even if its human food that is poisonous to dogs. I’m sure that this is a carryover from the Bad Old Days when Blitzkrieg lived on the streets as a stray*.


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Food allergies make it difficult to buy treats for Blitzkrieg. Wheat and corn make my dog itch and chew bald spots in his fur. As long as I keep Blitzkrieg from eating anything containing corn and wheat, he’s itch free and happy. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find dog food and treats that are corn and wheat free because most of the grocery store “junk food” brands as well as many of the healthier premium pet store brands use corn and wheat as fillers in their treats. This makes shopping difficult but not impossible. However, when you’re out of treats and you have a training session that day, running a crossed town to buy one bag of dog treats is a bit of a pain. But it’s not much of a pain if you decide to bake a batch of homemade allergy free apple and banana dog treats!

Allergy Free Apple and Banana Dog Treat Recipe


Friday, May 30, 2008

How Not to Groom a Pekingese

Haiku Friday
itchy sneezey dog
vets says let’s see some pink skin
sad naked Peke now

Blitzkrieg is allergic to corn and wheat. Once I switched him to an allergy free diet, Blitzkrieg stopped power scratching. The hair grew back on the bald spot he made from scratching himself so much and his temperament improved. (Anecdotal evidence suggests that a corn free diet helps dogs with fear or aggression issues.) In other words, as long as I kept Blitzkrieg away from corn and wheat, he was itch free and life was good. It’s difficult because both corn and wheat are in almost every dog food or treat out there, from the cheapo doggie junk food brands to the expensive made with human-quality ingredients brands, but the benefits are definitely worth the truble.

Last spring, Blitzkrieg started scratching himself with a vengeance again. A trip to the veterinarian was in order. After a through exam (which Blitzkrieg absolutely hated) the vet suggested that we shave do a “therapeutic shave down” so we could see if Blitzkrieg had some sort of rash or lesion that may be the cause of the new itching and scratching. I agreed.


This is what I dropped off at the vet/groomers.
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This is what I picked up later that day.

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I had a naked dog! I honestly didn’t recognize Blitzkrieg when they brought him to me at the vet’s office. He looked like some weird mutant Pug! He wasn’t scratching himself anymore, but he sure was pissed off at me for doing this to him.

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Thankfully, Blitzkrieg’s condition was nothing serious. The vet said Blitzkrieg has seasonal allergies that we easily treat with medication during the pollen season.

Eventually we all adjusted to the mutant dog haircut. Blitzkrieg came to terms with it once he went to agility class and realized that he was able to run across the dog walk and not pant as much afterward. Pekingese and other brachycephalic breeds (smash faced dogs) are more susceptible to heatstroke than their non-smash faced dog brethren. I took advantage of Blitzkrieg’s severe summer ‘do and took him to a few more summer festivals than in previous years because I didn’t have to worry as much about Blitzkrieg overheating and getting heatstroke in the summer sun.
In addition, I got some interesting comments about my freaky little Peke. My personal favorite came from a drunk guy at a music festival who yelled a crossed a parking lot at me, “Hey! Your dog sure has a big dick!” How do you answer that one? Do you answer that one? If so, what is the polite thing to say? “Um…thank you?”

Lately, friends and neighbors are asking me if I’m going to shave Blitzkrieg for the summer again. I’m not sure. Before we rescued and rehabilited Blitzkrieg, he was beaten when he was groomed. That’s why our boy is missing an eye and some teeth. The shave down allowed me under a behaviorist’ guidance to work with Blitzkrieg through his fear of being hit on the hindquarters with a hairbrush. Now when I even say the word brush, it sends Blitzkrieg into a happy tizzy because it means he has a chance to earn treats. (That's a very good problem to have, in my book.) However, the sound of clippers still terrifies him. The vet had to sedate Blitzkrieg last summer before the groomer could groom him. I want to spare Blitzkrieg as much doggie trauma as I can.

Therefore, the springtime dilemma is to decide whether I should or should not cut Blitzkrieg’s coat for summer. Then, if I do decide the boy needs a haircut, how short do I go? My childhood dogs were strictly wash and wear. Double coated dog grooming is still new to me. What do you do with your double-coated dogs in summer?

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