Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Christmas Photo

Thanks to the gals at Century 21 Acre Realty for taking
 90 pictures and all us looking in different directions!  

So out of the 90 - here are the best!  


Sunday, October 9, 2011

A little walkin" (treadmill training)

  • 6/11 – session 1 – tossed food on it without turning it one…  Jake will do anything or go anywhere for food.  Brita just stood back and sent me a mental message to toss it back to her. Turned it on and twice got Jake to run over it for food!
  • 6/11 – Session 2 – no Brita this time and used a calmer approach.  I pushed it against the wall and put a fence piece on the other open side so if he went on it there would only be one way to go….  from back to front.  Started with it off and tossed food and then turned it on.  At one point I stood on it with my feet on the edges and used food to entice him through…  all in all..  good session…
What ARE you talking about, you ask???   A treadmill, what else?!?  Jake’s surgery resulted in his leg being a tad shorter because he has no femoral head so his back seems to turn.  He has been getting VOM treatments from Nancy and I feel that developing his back end muscles will really help…  so…  the treadmill it is!  More to come!
  • 6/12 – Did the run thru pretty good – turned up the speed one notch and he didn’t seem to notice.brought a crate downstairs and put at the front of it.  Read that dogs get freaked sometimes if they are facing a wall and thing that they may hit it.  I opened the side door of the crate and he would run over the treadmill and into the crate.  I plan to eventually bring it closer when he is comfortable on it.
  • 6/13 – Put rugs around the treadmill because he was so excited to get off and then go around and back on that he was slipping on the floor.  Speed is 1 m/h and he is staying on it and walking as long as there is food.  I have to say walk or he stops and starts to slide off the back.
  • 6/14 – Doing well… is actually getting it!   speed 1.2 mph sometimes he forgets to move his legs when fixated on food…  then he hurries up so he doesn’t slide off the back!
  • 6/15 – Same as yesterday but a little more sure of himself… 1.3 mph
  • 6/16 – I stood in front of the treadmill and he stayed on it for about 2 minutes two times.  OF COURSE there was kibble in front of his nose but he’s not afraid at all..  if he forgets to walk and starts to slide off he hurries up and repositions himself!  This is going to work!
  • 6/17 – I stood in front now the whole time and he kept walking while I reached for more kibble.  Up to 2 mph and need to find out what is the best speed.  I noticed he was pacing…
  • Fast forward…  6/28…  walking once maybe 2x/day most days and incrementally increasing speed and distance/time.  Now up to 3mph and 3 min….  oh and LESS treats! 
When we go to the basement and I’m doing something else, he hangs out on the treadmill.  Once I even caught him snoozing on it!  I guess that means he likes it! 


This video was taken 7/4 – slightly less than a month after we started.  I wanted to really take it slow and believe that it worked.  As you’ll see, when it’s faster he trots much better.  If I had it to do over, I would have increased the speed faster than I did.  You have to know your dog..  Brita doesn’t want anything to do with it and I wonder if I could ever get her used to it.  For sure, it wouldn’t be as easy as with Jake who is pretty fearless when it comes to new stuff and he thought nothing of it when he slid off the back a few times but rather just popped right up to get back on.  What a great dog!

 August update - we're up to 4.5 miles per hour and 5 minutes.  People ask if I tie him to it..  no way!  It's all voluntary.  At one point I took the side down and he is fine but I have noticed that he stays as far from that edge as he can so I think I'm going to put it back and see if that makes a difference and he walks in the middle.

And then....
One day he got distracted and simply stopped walking resulting in him flying off the back of the treadmill into the wall behind it...  THIS, he was not happy about and he decided that the treadmill was EVIL and no self respecting German Shepherd should even get NEAR evil!!  

And I'm sure as he pulled himself up from the floor he looked at Brita and agreed with her that she was right all along to stay away from the evil thing!

End of treadmill adventures!!  :):)  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Laundry and backpacks!

My washer wouldn’t spin..  ok… so..  off to Winneconne we (Jake, Brita and myself) go to the laundromat.  A few days before the backpacks arrived that I ordered for them so I thought while I was waiting for the laundry,  it would be a good opportunity to practice walking the dogs with the backpacks on.  I had decided if we were going to walk Jake and Brita were going to carry their own stuff!  This was the first outside adventure with the packs on… up until now they had tried them on only once and this was in the living room.   So after starting the laundry, I got them out of the van and already it’s an adventure as I hooked one dog at a time to the van and attempted to get the other “dressed”.   I notice the Winneconne police car drive by and wondered why it wasn’t turning into the lot where I was because that’s what normally happens when I am doing something with the dogs.   I only needed to wonder a minute because, sure enough, back it came and turned in.  So. of course, I enlisted the help of the officer on duty to hold their leashes while I took pictures with my phone.  Yes..  it was an adventure…   The only time they stopped to look in the same direction was when people were starting to gather to watch the goings on so they had to watch them!    Walk… did we ever walk?  No..  by this time I needed to get my laundry and so I “undressed” them, put them in the van and we cruised around the town (village) I called home for 10 years! 

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Somehow it’s just cuter….

…….when they are puppies…..

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Jake still enjoys a good lick from the dishes!



Thursday, August 11, 2011

He shoulda been a model…


…. because he sure seems like he likes to pose…

2011.8 (30)

2011.8 (28)







2011.8 (20)












                    Opps… well he does have to relax sometimes….


Jake… soon to be 2 years old….




Who was that masked dog…

Recently I was walking with the dogs in the training area and Brita was being very cautious because she has come out with the short end of the stick at times with Jake.  So Brita is in the first 2 photos and then Jake comes crashing out of the trees and around the large pine tree.  In the next 2 shots, Brita is oblivious to what is going to happen but at the last minute sees Jake charging right to her so she ducks and he jumps right over her, swings around the tree, grabs a toy and puts on an innocent look!  In the next few shots Jake is being goofy while Brita is staying clear of the action still not sure of what happened!  (Click on the picture for a closer up shot…  everything seemed to blend together in the action shot)


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Monday, August 8, 2011

Name that dog… again!


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Figured it out yet??  Here are the answers!  

Bob’s puppy – Jake

Brita – Bob’s puppy

Bob’s puppy – Brita

Brita – Bob’s puppy









Sunday, July 10, 2011

So I said to myself….

…as I walked in the kitchen from my deck dripping wet, unable to see because the Skin-so-Soft 2010.5.15 Jake.Brita-a fun weekend-71oil I had put on my arms to ward off mosquitoes for only a short time was mixed with water and smudged on my glasses…

…self… sometimes you have good common sense and other times….  well… what happened…  who knows…

To start… Jake has a chiropractor appointment tomorrow so I thought I would give him a bath since I couldn’t remember the last time he had one…  or maybe he hasn’t since he was a puppy and I dropped him off at my friend’s grooming shop for his first experience with a groomer.  He’s a dog that just doesn’t seem dirty… brushing.. yes..  bath… no…

So I brought the grooming table, the ramp and the brushes out on the deck, hooked up 2 arms to restrain him around the neck and under the body – one at either end of the table, pulled the hose through the sunroom from the outside faucet and got Jake who was eyeing up the hose, up on the table.  Brushing went ok – usually does…. tonight however he is a tad fixated on the hose nozzle.  Told him to wait while I turned the water on as I backed up to the faucet so he is not out of my vision. He hears the water and starts getting REALLY excited.  Here’s where common sense was nowhere around.  I should have stopped right there but NOOOO…..  I start to hose him down and am VERY quickly reminded of how much he likes to EAT the water coming out of the nozzle… which, by the way, iis in my hand.

So…. did I forget that picture above from a year ago and this post… A fun weekend for Jake and Brita ….  or this one..   Jake got his first hosing … apparently I did forget! 

I discovered that if I hold him tight and put the nozzle right on his body I can soak him.  ok..  now the shampoo… not so bad since the hose is off.  Shampooing went as well as can be expected.  Turned the hose on again and ….oh my…. was he excited.  Push the nozzle to his body while holding him in a headlock….  one side done.  Release him from the death grip..  ok… he pulled away…  go to the other side of the table and he turns with me so I’m looking at the side of him that was already rinsed…. then his head comes our of the noose and he swings around…. struggled and got him hooked back up and pushed the nozzle against his body to try to finish rinsing…  got that side…  well that didn’t sound so bad…  well it took about 10 minutes so not as quick as I would have liked.  …thought I was done…

Ohhhh …NOOOO…  why did I shampoo his TAIL!!! Remember I’ve been successful because I have been able to push the nozzle against his body….  it’s not happening with his tail…   5 minutes later we’re done… I unhook him.. (blind now remember because of the oil and water mix on my glasses) … let him off and drag myself into the house dripping wet….

….and on the way to the computer to write this up I grab a Mike’s Hard Limeade…   Now where is Lisa’s number??  (Lisa’s Pet Grooming) 

And as a ps……  insult to injury…  in he comes… right up to me and…  you guessed it…  shakes more water off!!

2010.5.15 Jake.Brita-a fun weekend-14

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Day at the Inn...

Rin Tin Inn that is!  The Jakester and Miss Brita!  …..and Forrest!

2011.6.18 Rin Tin Inn-8     2011.6.18 Rin Tin Inn-7

Thanks to Mellissa Berri for sharing the photos!





Friday, June 10, 2011

White Dog.... Black Dog....


White Dog Jake - 1976–1990

Black Dog Kobie – 2001-2011

Love the look so I had to share….  Thanks Candace for remembering….

Scan.bmp          2009.7 Dogs and Trails on a Sunday (9)b



Friday, May 27, 2011

Last year it started…. my Buckthorn puller outer...

This year it continues… Jake – my buckthorn digger-upper-puller-outer…  …and does he think it’s fun.  For those of you who aren’t aware, Buckthorn is an invasive plant and needs to be eradicated and wow..  has it taken hold in our woods… but now..  Jake to the rescue!  There are thorns (BuckTHORN) so Jake knows to pull from the root where there are none.   Click here to read more about it.  European Buckthorn

Last fall I first discovered he liked to dig at the roots when I loosened it up with a shovel so I attempted to videotape it.  “Jake really likes to help”     I really need to get someone else to do it as I start the digging and then he pulls it out… doing it all really doesn’t work well!  It seems like there must be a distinct smell in the roots of the buckthorn tree because he does a lot of sniffing before he digs.  Then…  the bigger, the better!  The one foot trees….boring…  The 4-6 foot ones…. a prize to be coveted!  Here he is with the collection of some of the bigger trees. 

Video of Jake pulling it out! 

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jake’s FHO Journey

A year later…..

Occasionally, I have people ask about Jake’s surgery and how he is doing so recently I wrote a post about that hoping to help someone through what I’ve experienced.  What would you do… (FHO)IMG_1618

Jake is my second dog that had a FHO but he was a puppy which concerned me.  In hindsight I think it was not a problem and may have been an advantage.  Teddy was 3, I believe, and bad hips so he favored that leg and and after the surgery it was harder to train him to put weight on it than it was to train Jake.  My dogs are marker trained and normally I use the word “yes” but they also understand the clicker.   When I walked Teddy I would click when he put weight on that leg and it took him very little time to consciously  walk with all four feet when we walked through the yard.  Jake was way easier but he had his own set of challenges…  While Teddy was a sweet, wonderful, “I’ll try to make it happen” dog, Jake was a headstrong pup who thought nothing of testing me at every turn. We definitely had some “discussions” (aka “come to Jesus meetings”) regarding who paid the bills, put food in the bowl and general was in charge of the household.  Jake is VERY smart so it didn’t take him very long to understand that concept but I cringe to think of what would have happened had he been in a home where he got away with all that he thought he should get away with because he was so darn CUTE!

Below are links to the posts that document some of Jake’s progress during his recovery from FHO surgery.  It is not the log that I kept or the list of stretches that I did, etc. but rather photos, thoughts and information about his progress and his recovery.  I did keep a journal of his progress to gauge how we were doing which I believe is most important to a successful recovery. 






Monday, April 4, 2011

What would you do…. (FHO)

….I was asked if you had to do it over…  Well..   …let’s see.. 

Let me tell you what I’m talking about – Jake’s FHO…. Femoral Head Osteotomy …that was his surgery to cut off the ball of his hip.  This is a procedure used for dogs with hip dysplasia but Jake had an accident at a young age…  what kind of accident, we don’t know.  When I got him at 12 weeks his pelvic bone had been broken and as it had healed it pushed his hip out of joint.  If you haven’t read about it… go back to the posts starting February 2010 and you’ll be able to read it from the beginning. 

Teddy had that surgery also at about 2 years old and it went very well for him so after being reassured that the fact that Jake was a puppy wasn’t a bad thing…  in fact it probably gave him an advantage … we scheduled the surgery.  I won’t go into that whole story because it is well documented in other posts.  This one will simply list some things that if I had to do over I would start before the surgery, if possible, to prepare for after the surgery.  So…here goes…

  • If I were doing it over I would get him used to physical therapy - not do it but get him used to what might happen.  Look at Jake on the grooming table - he will lie down anywhere and I can tell him to "put your head down" and he does..  all it took was treats... that you could start.  Instead of physical therapy before the surgery, I would get him used to this position and maybe some massage.
  • One of the the changes I made in my home was to position a large crate IMG_1617aright where I spend most of my time so while he is recovering (resting) he will not feel isolated.  I used rubber matting (the kind that is used in playschools) and had that all around it and a path to the door to go out.  I dug out my stash of throw rugs with rubber backing that I used when Ari was having rear end issues after his seizures to put down other places.  and need I say…  if you haven’t crate trained your dog, do it NOW!
  • I would take a horse lunge line (30 foot line from a horse supple store) and teach him how to "walk" away from me so I could stand still and have him go around me in a circle in a trot.  Jake had a tendency to want to run or hop and needed to learn to walk - sort of like a show dog but not so fast.  This may not be possible before surgery because of the pain but thinking about how to do it, putting it on the post-surgery list and getting a lunge line will then be one less thing to do after the surgery.
  • Make sure you have ice packs on hand….  read my post about what Jake thought of frozen vegetables being used in place of ice packs….  See the picture above also.
  • I hand made the coolest sling to help him walk…  just took a tote, cut it down the sides and sewed it up.  He never needed it.  I picked him up the same day of surgery and he walked out – he was a little goofy however!
  • Everything I've read indicated that the most successful recoveries are if the owner follows through with the right exercises, stretches, etc.  With Teddy I took him to physical therapy and he would walk in water.    That ,of course, does add an additional cost but checking in to it beforehand would be good.  With Jake, I choose not to do it and formulated a plan of what to do at home on my own.  If it was summer I would find a place to walk him in water – a pool, lake, etc.
  • I am a believer in supplements.  My dogs get Animal Naturals products.  Check them out.
  • Another thing - VOM treatments...  if you haven't read about it,  here is my VOM lady’s site:  This should be #1 or right up there in my opinion…  check with your vet for sure on this.  Included with her treatments is Cold Laser Therapy and AlphaSonic Sound Wave Therapy both2010-10-09 11.07.51 of which are described on her site. 
  • Teach “sit straight”  if your dog doesn’t.  Jake would puppy sit (lean to one side) and his back legs were uneven so I taught him that was not correct and that he needed to “sit straight”.
  • Teach spins and circles (I say circle for right and spin for left)…  fun for the dog and when his body was starting to curve to the right I would have him spin to the left and them have him do it slowly for a stretch. 
  • Prepare to keep a journal of the recovery…
  • I am now teaching Jake to walk on a treadmill.  Will post more later….

…….continued …. as ideas come to mind…

(PLEASE NOTE:  if any of these things are hard for your dog to do, STOP!  Obviously, lying on a table would be ok but walking on a line, spins, circles or walking in water could be VERY painful.)  Always remember….  SLOW is FAST! 

Here are some links to information that will be invaluable before, during and after the surgery!
Click here for Top Dog Animal Health & Rehabilitation’s website
Click here for Top Dog’s step by step guide to post-surgical home therapy for FHO recovery.
Click here for Top Dog’s Health and Rehabilitation’s YouTube channel. 


The photo of Jake catching the  ball was taken 9 months after
surgery.  Click on it to enlarge and you’ll see the muscle he has on
his hind leg.  What a guy, huh!