Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Misc Pics

I've noticed that Colin often like to sleep tucked up into unusual places:

I'm also surprised how often the pups strike an almost identical pose:

After finding limited selection in Halloween costumes in October last year, we decided to buy early this year (we like the variety & prices at Target better than Pets-mart)

Monday, August 28, 2006


Tonight we went back to Manners class. Colin did better about not barking. He barked some but he didn't go crazy and he could focus on what we were wanting him to do most of the time. We worked on attention exercises. We rehearsed Sit. We got him to start doing Down. We did a little Come on leash. We started doing some simple Touch.

After class we picked up dinner at Chick-fil-A and went to Staples to do a return. We decided to just sit in the car & eat then take the dogs for a walk. We parked on the far side of the lot and rolled the windows down to catch as much breeze as possible. We were in the Mazda and the dogs were loose in the back seat because we had to drop the van off for repair (normally we have the dogs in crates in the van). We were eating and talking and the dogs were resting in the back seat. Suddenly we noticed a dark Cairn trotting across the lot about 75 feet from the car. I was about to say, "Wow - there's a Carin" when Karen said, "That looks like Colin! We looked in the back seat and Colin was gone! Karen opened the door, got out and called Colin and he came running right over to her. We couldn't believe the he just jumped out without making a sound. The back windows in that car don't roll all the way down - there is just a V at the back where the glass rolls down to the top of the door. We had talked about being careful - not rolling the windows down more than a few inches when driving, etc. but we had not clue that Colin would or could jump out unnoticed while we were just sitting a few feet from him. We have no clue how long he was out. Luckily the lot is fenced on most sides and we were away from most of the other cars and traffic but it was quite a scare!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Another visit from Newman

Becky & Newman arrived today while I was on a conference call & Karen was out at the store. Of course both dogs were going crazy and raising a ruckus. I suddenly had a idea - I handed leashes to Becky & Newman and asked them to take the dogs out on short potty walk. It was great! The dogs were happy, Becky & Newman were happy & I could hear my call. When they came back in a few minutes later the dogs were perfectly calm.

A little while later, Newman picked up Tamber and sat down with her on the couch. Colin soon joined them.

Later the two settled in for a nap under my desk. (I had a hard time maneuvering to take pictures without rolling over paws with the chair)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Flyball Practice

We went to Flyball practice again tonight. Tamber did a little better once again on her box work. Colin spent much of the time in a crate watching the other dogs. He did a little better at settling down and barking a little less frequently. We even got him out and coached him over a jump a few times. After some of the dogs left, we let him get out and run with the 4-5 other dogs that we knew could handle a yappy little dog. Colin stopped barking and started playing fairly quickly. He even laid down and watched after a little while!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Manners Class

Tonight was the first night of Manners class for Colin (we went without Colin for the first session last week). There were only 2 other dogs but he still barked like crazy. We spent most of the time working on the barking - turn our back and ignore the barking, praise and treat when he stopped. We also did some basic name recognition and simple recall from the end of the leash. We tried to work on Sit but he was to excited to sit down - he did better when we got home.

Busy Weekend

Another busy weekend! Small dog play group Friday night (Colin observed from the calming security of a crate - that many new dogs at one time was mare than he could handle). We made trips to Lynchburg Saturday & Sunday. Colin & Tamber got to run in Grandma & Grandpa's fenced yard and play with the Migner clan. On Sunday, Lori's little friend, Autumn, enjoyed walking and loving on both dogs. The dogs also enjoyed nice greenway walks both days. Colin is getting better about not pulling on the leash most of the time but keeping the leashed untangled in the excitement of the first few minutes of the walk is still a challenge.

Here's a shot of the pups observing the happenings at Grandpa's birthday party.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Too Schnauzerly

We tried a new groomer for Tamber today but the results were disappointing - too Schnauzerly again. The groomer didn't give her the round furnishing around the head that a Cairn should have - took out too much below the cheeks. It is not the worst cut she's had but definitely not what we wanted. The search for a groomer will continue.

Tamber & Colin went to Flyball practice in Roanoke with Laura at the Pooch Professor's place. For a change, Tamber was one of the more experienced Flyballers in the class - the rest are just getting started. Colin just watched the Flyball practice to get used to the new place, new dogs, etc. After practice they had a short play time and Colin got to play with the other dogs. He still needs to learn proper socialization skills and this was a good supervised environment. Several of the dogs had to tell him to back off and stop being so bratty. Boo Boo even gave him the alpha roll - didn't bite or hurt him at all but taught him a little respect for other dogs. After that Boo Boo and Colin got along just fine - no hard feelings and no more bratty behavior.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ghost from the Past

Since Colin is a rescue dog, I keep looking for strange behaviors resulting from conditions in his life before he came to us. He is amazingly well adjusted. The only unusual behavior that I've observed is his reluctance to step out of his crate. He is always excited to see us when we approach him in the crate - in the morning after sleeping all night or in the crate in the van. We open the crate door and he wiggles with excitement and wants to be petted. However he never pushes to get out and even when I move back to give him room and tell him it is OK to come out he still hesitates and only very timidly steps out. If I reach in to pick him up, he will back away from me. This reaction from a dog who in all other circumstances is fearless (to the point of being almost reckless) and begs for petting from us and just about anyone else he meets. I'm guessing he spent most of his time in a create and was punished in some way if he ever attempted to get out. If this is the only issue he is bringing to us, we are very fortunate!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tag, Tug & Tackle

The dogs favorite games are Tag (at high speed from room to room), Tackle (every possible wrestling move) and Tug (with any available toy). The Tug games are just developing. It used to be more of a game of Take-Away but Tamber has learned to hold on a bit tighter. Now Tamber will pick up a toy and bump Colin with it (like she does with us) to get him to tug with her. He sometimes is too tired (from Tag or Tackle) to want to tug but Tamber can be insistent. This morning she kept flopping the new plush "Frisbee" against him until he finally joined the game. Tonight she was bumping him with the stuffed squirrel trying to get a game started. When he wouldn't play she turned to me for a good tug.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Let the pups fall where they may.

Like two peas in a pod

We went to our first manners class (no dogs with us tonight). It will be a small class - Colin plus 2 or 3 other dogs - but one of them is also Cairn (a big Cairn - 25lb).

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Flyball Tournament

We spent the weekend at the Flyball tournament that our team hosted in Blacksburg. Tamber did some practice runs in "Single Dog Racing" Friday night and ran a few warm-ups with the team on Saturday to get accustomed performing in the excitement of the tournament environment. She doesn't quite have the whole routine put together enough to actually run yet.

WDBJ7 was at the event and included a couple seconds of Tamber in their report. WDBJ currently has the video on their webpage - - look for "Relay race for the dogs in Blacksburg" or try this link:

The link to the video is at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Peace in the house

There are moments of peace in the house:

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Speaking of Peace - I just found this clip from last Christmas:

Walking the dogs

I guess we've taken the 2 dogs on about every type of walk we do - greenway, neighborhood roads, trail in the woods, fire-road. They always love their walks. Colin is already noticeably better about not pulling on the leash - at least after the initial excitement wears off. The two never tussle while we are walking - they are very flexible about who is leading, etc. Colin still tends to dart off to the side more than Tamber but not too bad. We are getting better about quickly reacting to unexpected detours by either dog and quickly freeing crossed leads before we get a tangle (it is a bit challenging in the dusk/dark which is when we are usually walking on hot days). Its amusing to watch them both react the same way to the sights, scents and sounds along the trail - you can tell they share a lot of genetic traits.

Speaking of sharing traits - Shelby doodled a picture of Tamber while sitting in a meeting. At the moment I think it looks more like Colin because Tamber is getting a little shaggy.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Adjusting to new personalities

Colin is much more hyper/energetic that Tamber. Case in point: I often hold the dog food fork down for Tamber to sniff to get her interested in the food I have just put in her bowl. Tamber always sniffs carefully a few times then starts licking her lips - I've been surprised that she never even attempts to lick the fork. After letting Tamber sniff this morning, Colin was interested too so I held the fork in front of him - he didn't sniff, or lick, he just immediately tried to grab the fork and run away. Another example is that when the dogs are chasing each other around the house, Colin jumps up on the couches, etc. to get away for a few seconds and take a breather - he knows that Tamber won't follow. Compared to Tamber, he's a daredevil on the furniture. Tamber has always been timid on steps - Colin runs up 2 at a time. Tamber likes to sleep on her belly - Colin sleeps on his back with his feet in the air (and his head hanging off the couch if possible). Tamber keeps a respectful distance from the air grates on the floor - Colin sleeps on top of the grate to get maximum benefit from the AC.

Yet in so many ways they are alike. Today I noticed several times that they were both laying the same way - watching what we were doing. Right now, both of the the "terrorists" have passed out on the floor after our long walk on a path by the Parkway.

Tamber has started bringing toys to Colin to play with - she bumps him with the toy just like she does to us. The only problem is that Colin is so excited about playing that he grabs the toy from her rather that tugging on it with her like we do (I think maybe we've been a little too gentle in the game and she's not ready for a true doggie reaction). We noticed today though that Tamber was "winning" allot more than before. They were really having fun because Tamber was in "winning" mood!!

The dogs still get rather wound up a few times a day. We are starting to work on the "Enough" command. The video below is part of a game of Tag today.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Steppin' Out in Style

This was another busy doggie weekend. Tamber had Agility class Saturday morning and Colin went to watch. In the afternoon we drove to Blacksburg to help with a Flyball demo at Blacksburg's Steppin' Out festival. Colin stayed in his crate in the cool and quiet basement at Sharon's house since we weren't sure if he was ready for the excitement of a Flyball demo. Tamber ran a few times at the demo and demonstrated a newbie dog in training. She's almost got the entire flyball run put together - a couple more weeks and she'll be doing it.

After the demo, we carried Tamber in her bag as we walked thru the festival. We spotted a vendor selling doggie caps and we were glad we had her with us to try one on. As always, Tamber is fine with any 'clothing' and just goes along as if nothing is unusual. She got lots of adoring looks and comments as she wore her new hat on the way back to the car.

We though about buying a cap for Colin but decided not to get one because we didn't know if he would put up with one. We tried Tamber's on him when we got home and he immediately pulled it off (as we expected). What we didn't expect was his reaction to Tamber wearing the cap. As soon as he sees it on her head he immediately grabs it and pulls it off her head! The video clip below shows him pulling it off her.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A middle name?

We've been trying to come up with a good middle name for Colin - something with a good ring & rhythm to it that is appropriate to his personality. We've thought of several but the current favorite is Colin Kipp.

Becky and kids came by today ... that was really interesting!!! Tamber AND Colin were a little afraid of the kids. They both tolerated the kids but snuggled up together beside "Mom". They wouldn't leave the couch. They were both sitting as close to Mom and each other as possible. Very interesting!!

Newman drew this picture of Tamber & Colin on the couch:

Bridgette drew this picture of the "paths" the dogs run:

Colin has definitely bonded with our family, there's no doubt!! Tamber and Colin love each other as well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hot, Hot, Hot!

A very hot day today. The dogs couldn't spend much time outside during the day but they did take a quick dip in the wading pool. Tamber jumps right in this year (last summer she was scared). Colin hasn't climbed in by himself yet but he stays in for a bit when placed in the pool. (sorry - no pool pictures available)

Tamber and Colin sometimes enjoy a little tug of war.

We took a nice walk on the Chesnut Mountain trail in the evening after it cooled down a bit. The dogs still got hot but they enjoyed the walk. We managed to avoid too many tangles in the flexi leads. Actually, they walk surprisingly well together - one is usually content to follow the other in single file.

Tamber likes to watch over Colin when he's in the pen and we are out of the room. If Tamber stays where Colin can see her, he stays calm. If Tamber gets out of site, Colin starts jumping and Tamber soon returns to calm him down. Today she didn't need to bark at him - just come in room and he calmed down.

There was lots or running and wrestling again today when Colin was out of the pen. It gets a little wild at times. We'll have to get a video of the running soon. So far no fights - just spells of furious wrestling but when we thought things might get out of hand and told them to stop they settled down. They frequently tussle but then they calm down and rest or sleep together too.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Settling In

In some ways, things began to settle down today - at least a little bit.

Colin has trained us to watch him closely when he is not in his pen and to take him outside to go potty about once an hour. Even so, we still had 2 'accidents' toady. Hopefully we will be better about getting him outside in time tomorrow.

I realized that every picture I posted of Colin yesterday showed him resting. He doesn't always sleep but that is certainly the easiest time to take pictures. So I have a few more resting pics today plus one of him sharing Tamber's favorite perch.
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Colin is getting fairly comfortable in his pen. Tamber is 'teaching' him not to jump in his pen. This video is hilarious - she's right back on him every time he starts jumping. (at the time Karen thought the issue was the dog treat but it was really Colin's 'inappropriate' behavior)

Colin is getting less shy and more playful & even rowdy or reckless sometimes. When we brought him home Saturday, he didn't know how to jump up on the couch with Tamber. He kept jumping straight up like he learned to do in the pen - he didn't know how to jump forward. He quickly figured it out. Today he's jumping onto the couch from the end - onto the arm which is much higher than the seat - Tamber would never attempt that feat! He's also mastered the stairs and we have to watch him to keep him from getting too reckless running up and down in his excitement.

Colin is learning to tug with us a little better.

Tamber & Colin love to play together - and can get a little rowdy at times but so far all their tussling seems to be in fun and keeps them worn out.

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