Thursday, April 28, 2011

They Call Me “Sepia”


Hi Y’all,

I’m borrowing Hawk’s blog to introduce myself and invite you to visit Charleston in South Carolina this Saturday. 

I’ll be looking forward to meeting you at the Pepco this Saturday. 

They tell me I’m a mix of Chessie and Lab.  It really doesn’t matter, ‘cause when you meet me you’ll love my friendly personality.  In human years I’m about 2 years old which means I’ve got lots and lots of active years to be your companion! 

I weigh about 65 lbs..  I’m very well mannered and crate trained.  I love my crate, but would love to snuggle with you more.

I love Human children ‘cause they are as active as I am. 

I’m already spayed, vaccinated and microchipped.

I am perfectly happy moving to another state to live, but first you need to come to Charleston, where I’m in foster care, and meet me.  If you are under 21 you need to bring your mom or dad with you.

My foster home is in Charleston, SC.  To contact me email my rescue at or come see my Saturday at the Petco in Mt. Pleasant, SC. It is in the Walmart shopping center near the highway 17 and I526 interchange.

Click on my picture or HERE to go to my Petfinder page.

Looking forward to seeing y’all soon!

Hawk will be back tomorrow!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yesterday “A Man Thing”


Hi Y’all,

Tuesday means my Human goes to Bible study.  I used to wait by the door for her, no matter what my Papa did to entice me.  Not any more!

Tuesdays have become a special “man day”.  Papa and I hang out together, go for walks and play, unless it is too hot.  Papa is much more generous with the treats than Mamma, too.  She’s afraid I’ll get fat! 

Between typical thundershowers, Papa and I went out to play! Above, I wait at heel for him to throw.

Caught!  Before it bounced!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Remembering Easter Guests


Hi Y’all,

Here it is Tuesday already!  Do y’all believe it?

We hope y’all had a blessed Easter or a happy Passover.

In my world, while God watches over the smallest sparrow, we spend our time sleeping while the Humans go about their church. 

When the Humans got home I got plenty of attention and time outside with them.  Yesterday I showed you the trees and the flowers.  Today I’ll share my feathered friends feasting.

  Here are a Great Blue Heron and an Egret fishing. 

Now these fellows, see the Great Blue between the two Egrets on the left, look like they are having a party. The dark head and neck belong to either an Anhinga or Cormorant.  The main difference is the bill.  The Anhinga has a pointed bill and dives, then spears his food.  The Cormorant’s bill is hooked on the end so it dives then scoops and holds his catch.  I’m not close enough to determine what the end of the bill looks like.  After the migration the Anhinga is the most common here.

  Ah! Ha! What have we here?

One head and two bodies?

Note how low in the water the Anhinga or Cormorant is.  Since his feathers do not have oils to make them waterproof he swims very low in the water until his feathers become so soaked that only the head shows and he must either return to shore or find something to perch on where he can spread his wings until they dry. 

  The Heron in the previous pictures is between the two Egrets on the left.  Now we are going to turn our attention to the one on the little island.

 Ready, set…









 Got it!















































Sigh…okay,  we’ve watched most of them enjoy their Easter bounty…now lets turn around here and play with me.  I brought a bumper!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Morning Memories


Hi Y’all,

For me Easter was HOT! as in summer heat!  However, a nice breeze and I got to enjoy some quiet time wandering around the yard with my Humans.

First I went down to the water-front and checked on the nesting ducks. They were fine.  I wasn’t allowed too close.        

I checked out the rose garden.  The flowers smell so great!











If you check closely in this next picture you’ll see me back checking out one of the trees that grows balls.  They’re comin’ along nicely.                                         

Below you’ll find some pictures of my balls, and of the baby figs on the fig tree.






 Right are the balls (pears).

Below is a fig just starting on the fig tree.






Then we watched the sunset in the pictures below.






 Tomorrow I’ll show y’all some more of my feathered friends enjoying their Easter dinner.    

See y’all tomorrow. 



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guess Who Came to Dinner!



Hi Y’all! 

These two Mallards showed up at midday dinner. 



After some discussion of the available menu they chose to depart.


Without further adieu, have a blessed Easter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Whistle Me Come


Hi Y’all,

First let me answer a couple of questions I had regarding yesterdays article.

Over at 24 Paws (here) there were several questions.  The first was about what kind of whistle to use.  My Human prefers a whistle designed for hunting dog use in the field.  It can be heard through the heavy fogs we see both at the shore and in the mountains.  Any whistle will do, but my Human doesn’t use the “silent dog whistle”.  I suppose the same principle would apply to training that type. 

The picture to the right is my Human’s whistle. 





The orange whistle to the right is the Roy Gonia logo edition available at stores like Petco for about US$6.00.  

You need to consider what you want the whistle to do.  If you are going to work your dog away from you and need to get his attention, the hunting whistle will do great.  If you just want to call them in from the back yard, then any kind of whistle will work and can be found for less than a US dollar. 

Don’t just give little puffs that make the whistle peep like a sick cat.  Really inhale and blast that thing if you want my attention.  Believe me, it’s less disturbing to the neighbors than yelling out the door. 

The next question 24 Paws had was “what is an e collar”?  An e collar can save a dogs life and can be a a “life vest” of sorts for hunting dogs. 

It has been vilified by people because some pet dog trainers use it incorrectly.  It gives a small electric stimulation to the dog when he is at a distance from the trainer. 

The secret to the e collar is that, before a dog ever wears an e collar, he is solid in all his commands. 

The modern collars have multiple stimulation levels.  The experienced trainers adjust the collar so only the most minimal stimulation is used. 

My Human says when she first saw an e collar in use she was working with a trainer of field trial labs in open bay water.  They had 10 dogs with them and live birds.  Only one dog had an e collar. 

(The picture is of me practicing a water retrieve.  I’m not wearing any collar)

Curious, she asked about the collar.  It was explained that this one dog was not responding to the whistle and just swimming around having a jolly old time once away from the trainer.  So when the whistle blew the dog was given an instant to respond, then the trainer gave him what he called a “nick”.  It only took a couple of  retrieves for the dog to be working perfectly to the whistle again. 

Most of the time if you see a dog wearing an e collar it is never used, but it’s there in case he fails to respond to you, especially if his life could be endangered.

Once the check cords are removed and you have a reliable dog, the trainer uses the collar to get the dogs attention if he ignores the whistle.  It is never used until the dog is solid in all in his commands because it can confuse the dog. 

Like you humans, we dogs get side tracked.  (Sigh)

Last question was how do you teach “come”. 

But first, remember this picture on the left?  See how I’m looking up at my Human.  When you are doing the heel exercise and the whistle sit, you want your dog looking at you when he sits.  I keep glancing up at my Human when heeling and swinging my head over to touch her.

The object of the whistle sit is to stop your dog and have him look at you for further directions. 

When my human first got me she introduced hand signals with verbal commands. So if the whistle sit was my only whistle command, I could respond to hand signals. 

I know y’all want to know how to get your dog to “come”.  First you need to start backing off your dog and whistling “sit”.  My Human can easily make me sit even if I’m not looking at her just by saying “sit”.  So she adds the whistle, working close to me so she can correct me if I want to go to her instead. 

It’s important that if your dog doesn’t sit as you add distance, you move in close and start adding distance again but more slowly. 

My Human has practiced this command with me until I can do it even if I can’t see her or if another dog is charging around me. 

Next thing is getting your dog to come to you. 

First does he reliably come to his name or the word “come” or “here”?  If not, get out the lead, put your dog in a sit or down, back off and call him to you.  Continue this until the distance has increased and he reliably comes to you.  You now know he understands to return to you on command. 

Time to add the whistle.  Again, start close to your dog.

DO NOT USE THE SAME NUMBER OF TOOTS TO RECALL YOUR DOG AS TO GET HIM TO SIT.  My human uses 2, a high and low, for my recall.  Some handlers use 3 and the sound is the same for each. 

It doesn’t matter how many blasts you use, just choose a different number and ALWAYS blow the same number for the recall and blow them the same way.  Consistency is the name of the game.

   Make sure you treat or reward your dog every time he responds correctly and returns to you. 

If you use hand signals, use the same hand signal when using the whistle. 

Have to go now!  I hear the whistle!

If you’re interested in learning about actual working and field trial retrievers, stop by and visit the Brown Dawgs (here)

Tomorrow I hope to have some pictures of dinner guests.  Guess who came! 

Happy Easter y’all! 

Whistle for Your Dog

Hi Y’all! 
Thanks for all your comments and questions.  Y’all asked me how to get your dog to stop or come to a whistle. 
As I mentioned on Monday, I believe, while visiting 2 Brown Dawgs (here),
my Human mentioned I was no longer responding correctly to the whistle commands.  It was suggested that I go back to square one and retrain.
Okay, you ask how do you train a dog to respond to a whistle? 
24 Paws of Love (here) has been thinking about it.  That’s a LOT of paws to train. 
The Weiners (here) want to use a whistle to get the dogs attention.
Rottover (here) asks me about a link…err…no I don’t have a link…my Human has been working with horses and dogs since she was a little pup, ah, girl. She’s worked with a number of trainers.  The first time she ever saw an e collar used was working with a field trial trainer of Labs. 
My Human said you should NEVER use an e collar if you haven’t been taught by a professional trainer of hunting dogs because your timing must be precise.  The object is to signal your dog even when he is working a distance from you. 
She told me I’m too sensitive for an e collar.  Devil  I do have a collar with audible signals that I often wear, especially when we are in new territory or when we’re hiking in hunting season. 
But now let me get to what y’all want to know!  How do I get my dog to respond to a whistle?
First, your dog needs to be trained in basic obedience.  Does he know how to heel, sit, stay?  Those commands are the very basics.  Your dog must respond to these commands consistently before you start trying to train the whistle. 
If you live in a really cold climate, like Thunder and Storm (here), you probably should select a whistle without a pea so it doesn’t freeze in the winter. 
Start off with your dog walking in heel position without pulling.  Be sure he is paying attention, not sniffin’ or lookin’ around.  This is when my Human likes to use the pier.  It’s narrow, limiting my movements, and there are few distractions, unless the big birds have been poopin’ on the pier. You don’t want your lead too loose.
With your dog walking at heel, stop. If your dog’s been taking obedience class, he’ll sit when you stop so immediately blow the whistle and praise that butt on the ground.  If you have enough hands, yes, you can use your clicker. 
One short blast is usually used for this command. 
If your dog doesn’t do an automatic sit when you stop, you’ll have to sound the whistle, then say “sit”, pulling up with the leash.  If you keep repeating this exercise, after several days, or longer, depending on your dog, he’ll be sitting without the leash pull and verbal.  During my retraining we practice at least twice a day during the cooler mornings and evenings.  My Human likes short sessions, then moves on to something relaxing. 
Got to be off now!  I know, I know…we’ll continue tomorrow, but this is enough for today…you need to be getting your whistle and brushin’ up on basics.