Quick note!

February 21, 2009

Dogstar Academy now has forums!

I’ve been meaning to set this up for a while, but with the recent demise of the CU list, I wanted to set up an alternative place for discussion. So go check them out!


Goodbye, CU list!

February 20, 2009

Leslie McDevitt closed down her CU list today. :(It was really great to have access to the author of such a fantastic book for asking questions of. The list archives are still available, though.

I’ve created a forum for ongoing discussion of the book (and DVD) & exercises here for anyone who is interested in joining. Pass it on!

Toy Review – Ruffwear Gourdo

February 19, 2009

Lindsay and I made a trip to REI last night, and despite my intentions of not spending any money, I came home with a new backpack for Kaylee and a new toy to try out for dockdiving.

For dockdiving, it’s important to have a toy that floats and which is easy to throw. I’ve experimented with tennis balls, sticks (Kaylee’s actual favorite, but finding sticks of the right size, that float, and which aren’t TOO filthy or slimy is sort of a hit-or-miss proposition.¬† The toy that I picked up is called a Gourdo, which comes in 3 colors and two sizes. (I paid $11.95 for the large size at REI in Dallas.)

The body is made of soft rubber, and reminds me of the Planet Dog Orbee bones. The blue version is scented¬† (vaguely minty?) like the Orbee bones too, and while none of my dogs seem to care, it’s a nice touch. The black version is made of 30% reclaimed rubber, too,¬† and the materials in all colors are billed as ‘eco-friendly’. It’s a pretty substantial toy, and seems fairly tough as far as the plastic part goes. The rope is a soft nylon rope which seems very unlikely to fray, but which does make this a toy that’s not meant for unsupervised play- I suspect most dogs would strongly enjoy giving it a nibble or two.

This toy is GREAT to throw- it’s substantial enough that you can really fling it quite a long way, and it’s highly visible with good contrast on a variety of surfaces. Kaylee and Mal both seem to like the unpredictable way it bounces, and it’s quickly becoming a coveted toy at our house!

Headsup – Mandatory spay/neuter in Plano!

February 18, 2009

Last week, draft revisions of Plano’s animal ordinances were published on Wednesday – I meant to post here but I wasn’t really up to posting for various reasons. Tonight was the city council meeting in Plano, which I attended with my friend Jessica and her husband Colin.

The short version is, for now, the mandatory spay/neuter amendment is tabled but the other sections were passed. The MSN amendement has gone to a committee including two members of the dog fancy, the head of the animal shelter commission, and two members of the city council for study and discussion.

If you live in Plano (or even if you don’t!), please continue to write to the Plano City Council and express your support for a humane, enforcable, and SANE animal ordianance.

New session of Unleashed!

February 15, 2009

Our next session of Unleashed (Based on the book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt) begins Friday, March 6th. This class meets from 8-9PM at Best Friends Fun Farm in McKinney, Texas. At this time, it looks like we will have spaces available – contact us if you’re interested!

A good cause….

February 11, 2009

For those who have met our little black mad spitz Lizzie, they know she’s really awesome. Lizzie is out of a bitch who was imported in utero and a sire who is out of an Australian import, and the Australian breeders have been really helpful to me in learning about the breed. Lizzie’s Australian relatives aren’t from Victoria, but everyone’s heard about the brushfires that have so far destroyed over a thousand homes and killed more than 100 people.
Check out the Virtual Dog Show to raise funds to help Victorian dog folks affected by the fires get back on their feet.

A eulogy for Indy

February 9, 2009

On Wednesday, the world lost one of its great dogs.

Indy (aka Indiana Bones and Indy-nomicron) was a seven year old tricolored Cardigan Welsh Corgi. He was owned and dearly loved by Cait, and spent most of his time recently with her parents, where he could be an only dog and get ALL of the attention (which was how it should be, in his mind!).

I first met him a couple of years ago, and he introduced me to how awesome Cardis are. I found him a joy to work with. He was stubborn, drivey, creative, and very confident – the kind of dog that some people dread working with but that I adore. He loved pushing his limits – while working, he’d look at you with a glint in his eye and say, “Can I do it THIS way?” It was wonderful to see a corgi with his drive, and I’ll never forget playing tug with him, with him gripping the tug even when lifted off the ground and swung around.

Indy was always thrilled to see his friends – he’d run at you and fling himself up against your legs, grinning madly. When he saw Cait, his expression would soften – excited still, but with a softer smile and adoration shining out of his eyes. He charmed everyone he met, and amassed quite a fan club over the course of his life.

Cait misses you, Indy, and so do I and everyone else who knew you – there’s an Indy-shaped hole in our world. You blessed our lives and made them richer for knowing you.