Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday’s Manic Moment!


HI Y’all! 

On Saturday I visited the web site of some Labrador friends and their Human.  If you’ve never visited and love retrievers and wildlife make it a regular stop…HERE

We traveled all day...long day and once more my hackles were up over the Humans not cleaning up behind us! KB mentioned in her Thursday post about the dogs bein' banned from open space trails...just as we try to make inroads to be able to travel and do more with our people. 

It is so unfair to allow a very vocal few to ban ALL  OF  US from trails and parks because of a few irresponsible owners!   Horses are banned from the Appalachian trail.  Many states ban dogs, even leashed, in their parks, especially if there are Nature trails.  Most National Parks have been dog friendly, so far…but some are preventing us from staying in cabins with our Humans and making certain areas off limits. 

Just as we start to be accepted at some better hotels, although as a large retriever I find the weight limits discriminatory, we are losing our ability to go places and have fun with our people.

 I’m finding this all too overwhelming.  A simple dog cannot change this trend. 

Humans need us! 

What do we do about a few Humans who aren’t responsible to have us as their best buddy? 

How do we keep the beaches and trails from being closed to all of us, the pawed ones, instead of just the irresponsible ones? 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Simply a Special Sunday


Hi Y’all, 

This is one of those days when God was very busy with his paint brushes.

Some days are just filled with more wonders than others, this is one of those.


Everywhere I looked there was magic. 













I’m sure my Human enjoys the wonders as much as do I.  I never get a complaint when I nuzzle her awake to go out and walk with me as we greet the dawn.  It is my most cherished time of day and I’m sure it is her favorite time too.  The quiet of the dawn is something one has to experience.  Gradually the birds awaken.  Before daylight the Great Blue Herons start their raspy discussions.  It isn’t long before the song birds are joining the raspy squawks, then the whistling whir of the Mourning Doves as they leave their roost.  Quickly it is light and the air is alive with song as the sea gulls’ squeals join.  

Thanks for listening.  Y’all come back now.

Hawk aka BrownDog

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Friday - Let’s Address Your Questions!


I’m sorry to interrupt this post, but Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue needs your vote!  Just a vote folks! YOur vote can help them get some much needed financial assistance…

HERE is a direct linkYou can also  get information and this link at the BUMPASS HOUNDS who told me about the need.

If you go to the direct link, click on it will take you to the Animal Rescue Site where you will get to click to donate a free bowl of food to homeless animals. After you do that you will be presented with a "Thank You" page; at the top center of that page please click on the "VOTE TODAY" button. That will then take you directly to the voting page. The only information that you need to enter is to select "WV" as the State from the drop down menu and enter "Capon" for the City. Then click on "Search." The page will then do its' thing and will end up showing "Almost heaven Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc. Capon Bridge, WV 26714." A "VOTE" button will also appear. Click on that "VOTE" button. After you vote you will see a confirmation page that requires you to identify an animal photo; this eliminates illegal machine voting. The answer is simply the type of animal that you see; dog, cat, turtle, fish, cow, etc. - not a specific breed. You can cast one vote everyday from as many different computers to which you have access. Voting will run for 10 weeks.  You can have the Animal Rescue Site send you a daily reminder to "click" for free food; then you can vote for Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue.  It’s a big win win! 

Hi Y’all!  

Today we’re going to address some questions you’ve been asking. 

Oh, and for those of you comin’ by to play…I’m still waitin’.  What’s takin’ so long? Mesa said she was comin’ and when I went lookin’ she’s layin’ in from of the fireplace!  (stop by her site HERE or click on her name) 

Trixie, Lily and Sammy-Joe ask what kind of toy I have in my mouth.

 They also ask if it bounces…

Yes it bounces all kinds of crazy ways.  It’s called an AerDog, but there are other kinds and similar ones.  This one is like two tennis balls with a bar between them.

Carrie with Tanner and Oliver  loved Monday’s Misty picture…they were wondering what my Human did to get the unusual coloration…

I really hate to disappoint y’all, but what you see is what it was.  We get lots of fog and mist this time of year.  We live on the water.  Sometimes we don’t see sun until noon and sometimes the fog burns off quickly. 

Then I received a horrifying comment about my water…Y’all know Jana Rada, right?  She writes that great blog that keep us and our Humans aware of our health problems and advances in treatments.  Her blog is Dawg  Business (click on her name or the blog name or here to go to her site)  But back to the comment about “leave it” and the water. 

My Human told me “leave it”.  Believe me I’ll be careful to listen…I thought Momma was just bein’ over protective.  Here’s the comment…and this lady would know!  “a perfectly good puddle or lake BOL Some of them have hidden dangers though, such as blue algae, leptospirosis”  

Maybe I won’t even get my feet wet anymore…Dog face 

Momma usually lets me swim when we have lots of water comin’ down from rains and melting mountain snows.  If we’re in the mountains she lets me go in when we are high up above the towns.  She says down by the towns there is too much chance of pollution. 

Now we get to the final question…the biggie…just about everyone asked this…(click on the picture or the name in bold to visit their site)

24 Paws of Love said...

Just what are you thinking there Hawkeye?? said...

Watching the birds and wishing you could catch one?

Pup Fan said...

Whatcha thinking about?

KB said...

Oh no, Hawk - you're not sad about something, are you?

Kari in WeHo said...

Whatcha thinking about?


Tune in tomorrow for the answer!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday’s Thoughts


 Hi Y’all, 

I’d like y’all to meet this sweet  2 yr. old fella named Morrison.  I’m goin’ to turn his story over to him now. 


Hi Folks, I’m Morrison

I’m a 2 year old Chocolate Lab.  I want to be your buddy.

I love people and like to play with other dogs. I love to please people. I also love to snuggle. 

Everyone loves my coat because it has some curls. One of my parents has a Chesapeake Bay Retriever as one of their ancestors, however I'm mostly chocolate lab. 

I’m currently residing with Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida at New Port Richey.  If you want a playmate and love to snuggle too, please call them and we'll make a play date.

Thanks for listening!  Morrison 

Thank you Morrison.  This young fellow is neutered and has all his routine shots. Don’t worry, he is also house trained.

As a Chessie, let me say Morrison has a very Chessie looking coat and more of a Chessie than Lab head. This color in a Chessie is called brown, in a Lab it is called chocolate and the his coat is medium in length. If you’re readin’ this and would like this young fellow to snuggle with you, or know someone who would, please contact:

Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida (LRRoF), Inc., New Port Richey, FL

The phone number there is 877LABS-FLA


Click on any of Morrison’s pictures or his name or here to go to his Petfinder page.  Click on the name of the Rescue or Chocolate Lab to go to their site.

Thanks y’all and y’all come back now,

Hawk aka BrownDog



Sunday, January 23, 2011

Somber Sunday


Y’all know what?  I’ve just been thinkin’ about some of the comments y’all made about the last couple days posts. 

One comment in particular gave me pause…that’s pause not paws…

Sometimes we aren’t getting a command, but we inadvertently offer you the behavior while we’re playin’.  If we love playin’ ball and bring the ball to you and spit it out and you’re tryin’ to teach “drop it”…now’s your chance!  Be ready and say “drop it” as we spit the ball at your feet.  Then praise, praise, praise and treat. 

Be consistent in saying the command just as we get ready to drop the ball.  Be consistent with the praise and treat.  Soon we’ll associate dropping the ball with the words “drop it”. 

The important thing to remember is that when we offer a behavior it is a chance to capture it and train it to something useful.  If we paw at your leg, turn it into a high five or handshake.  Don’t always be telling us “bad dog”.  You have to use your heads too and we can be very helpful and entertaining.  All we need is a little Human help and guidance. 


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Leave it! What do mean “leave it”?


  Humans!  They don’t want me to drink water unless they put it in a bowl for me! 

Really! What’s up with that?  Here is all this perfectly fine water and the Human says “leave it!” 




Well gee!  Okay!  I’m leavin’ !








  Really!  Don’t you think that was a bit mean? 







“Leave it comes in handy in so many different situations. My Humans made sure I knew it and we practice it several times a week.  It’s the kind of command that the Humans feel needs constant reinforcing with practice sessions even though Momma must say it to me a dozen times of day in various situations.  It isn’t just not picking up tasty morsels but it is staying away from places that could harbor a snake or gator.

Before we ever started to learn “leave it”, my Human would make me go into my crate for supper and sit while she put the food in front of me.  At first I would start for it and was corrected with a “NO, leave it”.  That was my first formal introduction to “leave it”.  When I would meet her eyes she’d say “go ahead” and I could eat. 

When you get more advanced once more that check cord is important.  When we first started Momma made me lay “down” and then she stood on the check cord.  She took a treat and put it as far away as she could reach and said “leave it” as she put it down.  I had to lay there FOREVER, though Momma said it was only 2 or 3 minutes, before Momma picked up the treat and put it in my mouth.  Humans say you should never let us pawed ones get the treat for themselves.  I was still in a “down”.  Momma still picks it up and gives it to me.  The point of the check cord is to keep your buddy from getting the treat on his own.  That would be rewarding him for a “no, no”.  

Momma kept lengthening the time she left the treat before giving it to me.  Different trainers say different amounts of time, but since my training sessions don’t usually last more than 10 or 15 minutes, I would earn it within that time. 

The next step is to move it closer.  Once your buddy lays there and doesn’t try to get the treat for the complete session, it’s time to move it even closer.  Now when we practice the treat is between my paws.  Momma watches like a hawk so I don’t sneak a treat.  If I even lower my head slightly, a sharp “aht!” from Momma stops me.  She turns away and does stuff so I think she’s not lookin’ but she really is. Sometimes she even leaves the room for a minute or so. 

Once I ate the treat while she was out of the room.  When she came back we had an extra session from the beginning with the treat a couple feet in from of me.  For the next several days we worked through the first, second and third stages.  In a couple of weeks we were back to leaving me with the treat while Momma went to do something else.  She left the treat a foot or so in front of me so I’d have to move to get it.  She also put me in a “down”, “stay”.  Now I was really practicing 3 different commands at once.  Usually the “down, stay” is practiced while the Humans eat their supper.  Since Momma was pretty sure I wouldn’t break the “down, stay”, she was pretty sure I wouldn’t bother the treat.  Momma said it was a good way for me to learn self control.  Dog face

Then we advanced to putting goodies around during some of the training sessions and I’d have to “heal” past them and around them.  Sometimes we use my toys instead. 

Have I helped you?  I hope so!

Now it’s time for the Saturday Blog Hop!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Drop it! Give! Hand it!


Training is a fun thing!  We get to use our brains!  Yes, dogs have brains for you none believing readers out there who think we are just “dumb animals”. 

The first of the 3 commands in the title is “drop it”.  Once your buddy understands “drop it” and performs it without question, we’ll cover the other 2 commands. 

First you need to plan the training session shortly before breakfast or supper.  This way we’ll be really, really lookin’ forward to that treat in your hand.

Second, be sure to have our most favorite treat, and plenty of them in your pocket or treat pouch.  It has to be something really, really tasty.  I know lots of my buddies LOVE cheese.  You’re goin’ to feed us LOTS of treats, so we probably will be satisfied with less food in our regular meal.

Third, you need a long lead or a “check cord” like the one I’m wearing in this picture.  This is especially important if your buddy likes to play “keep away” with toys.  That’s what I thought you were supposed to do with bumpers or anything that was thrown or given to me when I came to live with my Humans.  The check cord allows you to keep your buddy close by you for this exercise. 

You aren’t going to throw anything during this exercise.  This is for your buddy who will chase and fetch a toy, but doesn’t want to give it up.  This is about learning steps and eventually putting them all together.

Some of y’all have buddies who want to play “tug of war” instead of releasing a toy to you, the Human.  Since I have food allergies, the first two commands my Human practiced with me were “leave it” and “drop it”.  Today we’re going to do “drop it”. 

You can teach “drop it” inside on a rainy day.  You can hand your buddy his favorite toy and say “take it” when you do, but my Human prefers to teach “take it” as a separate command later as part of this same exercise.  With one foot on the check cord she rolled my ball and, of course, I pounced on it!  Avoiding touching the toy, she pulled the check cord to bring me to her and waived a favorite tasty treat in front of my nose, saying “drop it”. 

At first I was so excited by the treat I tried to take it and still hold on to the ball.  When I dropped the ball to grab the treat, I was quick to swallow it whole and grab the ball before my Human could get it.  We went through this exercise until all the treats were gone.  By this time I realized my Human made NO ATTEMPT to take my ball. 

My Human stopped the “drop it” game after about 5 or 6 minutes.  Later the same day we did the same exercise for  about  5 or 6 minutes.  We kept repeating the exercise at least twice everyday for at least 4 days until I became so obsessed with the goodies that I was ignoring the ball and trying to bite the hand that fed me! 

Then we switched off and instead of a high value toy, she tossed a toy down the hallway and sent me chasing, but it wasn’t my favorite.  When I brought it back to the “bring” command, she said “drop it”.  When I dropped it she handed me my favorite toy and said “take it”!   Then I got lots and lots of pats, ear scratches and praise! 

Leaving a check cord on my collar, we repeated the exercise at odd times throughout the next couple of days.  Every time I  dropped the item I either got lots and lots of lovin’ or she gave me a high value toy while commanding “take it” or she gave me a treat while saying “take it”.

I might note, because I was so treat obsessive, my treats had become part of my meal, just regular food.  Also note that at this point my Human has not taken anything out of my mouth. Everything has been put into my mouth using the command “take it”.  The only things she touches is what she’s going to give to me.  This is important if your buddy wants to play “tug o war” when you touch the item in his mouth. 

So now I know “take it” and “drop it”.  You can stop here if you want or proceed with “give” and “hand it”.

“Give it” and “hand it” are optional progressions of the “drop it”.  My Human taught me “give” the same way we did “drop it” but she held her hand under my chin and caught the item as I “dropped it”.  Once I mastered dropping it into her hand and learned she’d throw it again, my Human started touching the toy while it was still in my mouth, saying “give”. 

When your buddy understands “drop it” and “give” as two separate commands and you’ve practiced them inside and outside, with and without treats you can progress to “hand it”.  This command requires your buddy to pick up an item and “give”.  You can break it into two parts.  My Human started by getting me to pick up a great toy and then rewarding me.  She just pointed for a signal to me rather than confuse me  with more verbal commands.  Since she has always used hand signals with verbal commands so that part was easy.  As soon as I picked it up she praised me, quietly took hold of the toy and said “give”.  Then I got another reward. 

If we were outside she’d toss one toy for me.  Then she’d put another toy on the ground and repeat, alternating toys.  I’d pick up the one on the ground and give it to her; She’d toss a toy for my reward. I’d get my retrieve and give her the toy back.  At first she had the next toy on the ground when I’d come back and I’d just drop the toy in my mouth and dive on the next one.  So then I had to “give” the toy and sit until she put the alternate toy on the ground and gave me the “pick up” signal. 

We progressed to practicing this with just one toy.  We’d start each game of fetch with the toy on the ground and she’d point to the toy and then turn her hand over and say “hand it”. 

Just when I thought this was a fun game I found out that I also had a new job around the house.  If the Human drops something, like a napkin, while they’re eating, I’m told to “hand it”.  They’d always point at what they wanted me to get.  After awhile I just picked up anything I saw them drop and held it up for them to take.  If a piece of laundry drops I pick it up and  follow until my Human has a free hand to hold out. 

Once your buddy learns to pick up, take it, hand it and drop it there are all kinds of helpful things he can do for you. 

For those of you with dogs who need to learn to “leave it”, I’ll tell you tomorrow how I learned.  It’s always easier to leave it alone than to drop something tasty once it’s in my mouth. 

For now, a BrownDog’s work is never done…


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adopting? Have your vet check your new best friend and give you advise about its health


My name is Princeton!

I’m 6 years old and thought to be a Boxer Retriever mix.  It doesn’t really matter what I am, ‘cause I’m in doggie jail. 

My entire life has been turned upside down!  Everything I knew and loved is gone because my Human could not take me with him where he moved. 

I’m really a very nice boy. I love children and other  dogs. I also know how to behave in the house and to only take care of necessities outside. As you can tell from my speech, I am well educated. 

Here at doggie jail they’ve made sure that I have had all my vaccines and am neutered.  I wasn’t to keen on that last part ‘til they explained to me that it would make it easier to find a “forever home”. 

I thought I’d found my “forever home”, but then a test showed I had heart worms, whatever they are.  The people here want a place called “rescue” to take me so I can be treated for these heart worms before they make me really sick. 

The nice lady writing this once adopted a dog with heart worms and had her treated successfully.  This lady said she was scared for her dog, but that she (her dog) recovered and went on the have a wonderful life as a retriever and companion.  

I love to be with people.   I walk politely on a lead and car rides are my absolute favorite!

If you are willing to take care of me during and after my treatment, please come make me your forever dog! I promise to love and cherish you unconditionally forever! 

Please!  All I want is your love and affection! 








Click on any picture, bold type or Princeton’s name to go to his petfinder page here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Your Questions, My Answers

 Sage from The (mis)Adventures of Sage asked me about swimming…”And you aren't in that water out there? What up with that? I'd be there in a sec!” 

As you can see in the picture to the left, I do get in and play.  I also train in the water. 


  Here you see me practicing a bumper retrieve while the local geese watch in the background.

However, much as I love the water, my Humans are always with me and decide when it is safe for me to swim or train…and sometimes I guess it’s just at their whim.  But I’ll show you some reasons they make their decisions and I obey.

This is one of the many “faces” of the waterfront.  This picture, taken last spring, was after the wetland was burned and the waters were deep and high. 

The pictures below were taken this year, after another year of drought.  Drought has devastated large areas of the south for almost 5 years. While some areas get a little relief from time to, it doesn’t last.

Above I stand on the beach which should be underwater.  To the right I’m heading toward the pier that is surrounded by water in the picture where I am sitting on it. 

The water is chilly this time of year, but not too cold for a hunting Chessie.  I must admit my Humans baby me. 

The hunting dogs get severe arthritis and my Momma says she’d rather have me learn control and only swim when she decides the water is safe. 

There are a couple of other things that determine whether I swim or not.  This next picture is of an alligator hole.  When the water is at normal depth an alligator bellies down into the mud, often for the winter, until water temperatures get above 50F.  They come out from time to time on milder days.

The other detriment to swimming are the boaters and fishermen.  The scariest are the crazy kids on  “personal water craft” who carry on with no regard for  others.

Friday I will address how to teach your dog to “hand” you the object he just brought back to you.  Hand the object to you without objection or tug of war or games of “keep away”. 

Stay tuned!