Monday, July 23, 2012


Indi is very teachable! She is also stubborn and a little bit fearful. We've been taking a class to help her learn to focus on me in any situation. The class is following the book "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt. So far we have been working on lots of eye contact. Eye contact in the backyard, eye contact in the front yard, ec at the park, ec next to other dogs....she's getting good at it! She can watch me while I walk from in front of her to heel position and back again. I taught it to her by standing near her with treats in my hand and waiting for her to offer to look up into my eyes. The moment she does that I say "yes" and give her a treat. Then gradually ask for longer and longer eye contact before the reward.

A few weeks ago we were walking at one of our favorite dog spots and she saw a little wooden bridge up ahead. She totally freaked out and tried to get out of her harness and run away. She wouldn't eat a treat or look at me or anything. She has done this a few other times, all visual it seems. I'm hoping it is just a young dog phase that she will outgrow and learn to trust me and look to me for security.

She's been learning to use those gigantic feet! Stand near book, click/treat for looking at book, c/t for stepping on book, c/t for both front feet on book, c/t for moving hind feet independently of front end, with front feet still on book.

Big feet, big pads!

She's pretty hard to tire out. I've been taking her swimming almost every day after work and then we come home and do some baby agility stuff and obedience things, then I sit down at my computer and she goes to see what the kitties are up to, or pulls something out of the laundry basket or throws a bone around the living room. She never settles down on her own, I have to put her in her kennel to make her rest.

Indi, what are you doing? Indi, aren't you tired yet?

Since I work at a vet's office and have kennels in the back I take the dogs to work with me. When Amber was here I left her and Rye at home loose in the house. I don't like the idea of leaving Indi in her little kennel at home while I'm at work all day so I feel like I have to take her to work with me. That means Rye goes too since he can not be left alone. He doesn't really love being there. He is alright since Indi is in the kennel with him but he still barks quite a bit and gets worked up. Today I decided to put one of Amber's old shirts on him, a rather small, tight fitting shirt. I thought I'd try to imitate the thunder shirt. I didn't hear a peep out of him all day! Could it really be true? I just hope it keeps working!

Monday, July 9, 2012

a new dog

In my last post I wrote about Finley, a dog we have been fostering. I really didn't want another dog but decided that Rye needed someone around that was more permanent than just a foster dog here and a foster dog there. Finley was looking more and more perfect the longer we had her with us. My husband really wanted a Vizsla puppy and we looked a little bit but I kept coming back to the fact that here was this really nice dog that needed a home and we were looking for someone else?
I showed you a photo of Finley's mother, Rosie. Rosie was turned in to a shelter back in November, hugely pregnant. She looked a lot like a Vizsla so they called the Idaho Vizsla rescue and Rosie was sprung. She gave birth about a week later to 16 puppies!

       Another photo of mom Rosie. I was pretty in love with this dog when I first met her!

My friend in rescue asked if I'd like to take pictures of them all for their web page. I took pictures of the litter at 14 days and at 20 days old and then again at 8 weeks old. 
At 8 weeks old one of the puppies stood out to me, she kept coming up to me, wanting attention, very friendly and sweet. Gradually all (except one male that still needs a home) were adopted including my favorite. Then at 6 months old Finley was returned because they said she "was not what we expected the breed to be, she heavily sheds and has an oily coat that gives off an odor that we are sensitive to". The real reason we suspect was that they had also just adopted a human baby. Good reason not to be raising a puppy too!

                                                         My favorite puppy at 14 days old.

Meanwhile the rescue had Mom, Rosie dna tested and according to the test she was: Chesapeake, Lab, Doberman, English Setter and Bulldog! Funny, huh? The first three I can see. We were surprised there was no Vizsla found.
Since some of the puppies were black and tan they decided to dock all their tails thinking they might look like rottweilers or dobes. I wish they hadn't but oh well!

Anyway, meet Indigo! I changed her name. I have always liked the name Indi. She is 7 months old now, and no longer the "small" black female. She is taller than Rye and weighs 52 pounds and has very long legs and very large feet.

She has very faint tan markings on her face, including eyebrows.

She is a water dog. This was her first swim in the river.


She is a retriever.

She is a tugger.

And a pretty intense girl!
Rye isn't exactly in love with her. She still tries to play with him but is learning to leave him alone.  She does keep him company though. Even when she is in her crate when we leave the house he is calm when we return.
Here is Rye teaching Indi to stay on the bed.


Sunday, July 1, 2012


I thought I'd put together a little post about my Vizsla girl. It is two weeks today that she has been gone.
Rye has been kept company by Bodie, a 10 year old Vizsla from our friend in rescue and most recently, Finley who is a 6 month old mixed breed dog who's mother just happened to look enough like a Vizsla to be saved from the pound a week before giving birth to 16 puppies!
We are so grateful that Bodie was able to stay with us last week. He was a huge comfort to everyone. He and Rye hung out on the couch together a lot and he slept at my feet at night. Rye does not get on the bed very often and isn't a big snuggler, he gets hot easily. Rye sleeps on a dog bed on the floor on my side of the bed.
Here is Bodie.

I haven't taken any pictures of Finley yet but she looks exactly like her mother Rosie, except she is black. Finley is up for adoption. Here is Rosie. I took pictures of her and her 16 puppies back when they were tiny for their webpage. Finley was adopted at 8 weeks and then returned because they said she smelled bad and shed too much. Neither of which have we noticed yet!

So, life with Amber.
I feel like she was the love of my life (other than my husband of course)! Is that weird? So much more than a dog. We always said she was a person dog. The way she'd look at you and you would know that she knew everything that was going on. I loved how she always knew where I was when we were hiking. Even if she got a ways up or down a hill she would always find us so easily like she had kept one eye on us the whole time. Whenever we would come to a place that had two different path choices she would wait at the junction to see which way we were going. When she was younger and we walked on the canal near our house a lot we would come near the end and she would slow down and walk right next to me looking up at me because she knew we would be turning around soon and she wanted to make sure she turned around the exact moment that I did. I loved that.
She was such an athlete. One of my favorite memories was last summer, backpacking to Grassy Twin Lakes. We had just come back to camp after a long and hot hike to a different lake and were very tired. We sat down and took our packs off and looked up to see Amber swimming out into the icy lake after some ducks.

She was a foot sucker.

A poser.

My favorite model.

A momma's girl. She loved almost everyone she met, she had a few favorites, but I think if given the choice she would have followed me anywhere.

She was a huntress.

Serious since the day we met.

Ok, not ALWAYS serious.

A licker. One of her favorite people in the world was my little sister.

A water diver. And a toy sharer.


The best agility partner I could ever ask for. She wasn't always the fastest dog, but she had her moments. She could have a lot of drive when she was in the mood. She could be a little frustrating when she wasn't but she always "cared" as a friend of mine said the other day. She wasn't one to blow me off or completely ignore me. We came away with plenty of blue ribbons. Almost her whole career she competed against two very fast Briards in the 24 inch height class. We were always proud when we could beat them! Or, I was.


 Sand lover.

Hiking companion

60 weave pole weaver, (horrible video of it).

Super model

Best friend.