Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Gambit and Rupert

Gambit

Rupert

Two of our best 4legged friends, Rupert and Gambit, are moving to a land far, far away. As a tribute and a goodbye, I thought we’d share with you what awesome boys they are. We’ll miss you boys and your 2legged family too!

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The Winners Are. . .

The time has come for the first ever Lessons From 4 Legs giveaway to come to a close. The giveaway marks the six month mark of our year long Walking Challeng. I’m happy to announce a new Walking Challenge total of 1,657 miles!

That is truly an amazing collective achievement and we’ve also had many individual accomplishments over the last six months.

To celebrate all of our success I’m happy to announce the winners of the Halfway Giveaway.

Congratulations to Elizabeth, Cocoa and Oreo, the winners of the first drawing.

Together they’ve walked 88 miles since joining the Challenge in March. For all their effort they will soon receive custom made fleece leashes with matching fleece balls. Cocoa and Oreo are two fun loving poodles who live with their mom, who’s a master at saving money. Check out Oreo’s Oval Office, Cocoa’s Corner and pick a coupon clipping tip from their mom.

Our second winner is one of our best 4legged friends.

Dare and her family of five other of our favorite 4legged friends keep their mom on her toes walking and training them. They not only reported that they are current on their goal of 365 miles in 365 days, they’ve surpassed that goal by over 100 miles! They currently have over 500 miles to their credit. That’s truly amazing and we’re thrilled they have enjoyed the Challenge so much. They’ve done so well that Marie set a new goal for the year and hopes to reach 1000 miles. They’ll soon be enjoying their very own snuggle and fun pack of a fluffy mat and their own fleece tug toys.

Chispita and Beth are the winners of third drawing. They recieves this honor for doing her own post about the Walking Challenge.

Chispita and Beth set a unique goal to walk seven hours a week. They’ve so far enjoyed over 68 hours of walking fun together. For their hard work they’ll recieve a special clicker trainers package that includes a treat bag, treats and a clicker. If you haven’t read Chispita’s Walking Challenge post I highly recommend hopping over and checking it out. While you’re there why not join Fun Friday with Beth and Chispita?

The giveaway has been really fun! For you lucky winners please email me an address to send your prizes too.

We’re halfway through the year folks, lets keep up the hard work and finish out the year with a bang!

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Monday Miles: Country Getaways

To keep with the epitome of laziness I’ve been this last week, Monday Miles is late getting posted. But we really do want to know how the week went for everyone so lets hear those miles folks!

We managed 11 miles, bringing us to 119 for the year. We are on a country getaway to take care of Dare’s 4legged friends while she went on vacation with her mom and dad. It’s been a great trip! I planned on walking a lot down here, but there’s so much flooding our regular routes are closed and when we got down here I got into vacation mode and didn’t do near as much as I thought I would.

Magnus can fill you in on what we did instead:

"We got so lazy when we got here we didn't even walk much, instead we just laid in the shade. My poor Maizey's eyes are itchy and bad, I tried to lick them better and I got in trouble!"

"Frisbee's the best game ever! I'm the fastest boy here and always get it first!"

"This frisbee thing is great, but sometimes I just see red when I'm playing!"

"This is our 4legged friend, Twist. He's a cool kid, he likes to play frisbee too!"

"Then my Crazymomlady said I had to quit playing and learn my new Training Level's stuff. Do I really have to learn EVERYTHING on this list??"

“By the end of the days we were so tired from all that playing we had to take up the whole couch to get our rest. Tomorrow’s another day of frisbee!”

We head home tomorrow, but it’s been a great trip and we hope to get in a couple more country walks before we head back to the city.

Until then, let’s hear those miles!

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Walking Challenge: What Kind of Walk is Best For Your 4legged friend?

Thanks for the great response again this week!

Besides a new high of 1083.5 we have a new personal high and amazing achievement by one of our members.

Marie, Dare and their gang set a goal of 365 miles for the year. I’m excited to announce that as of yesterday, only a little more than five months into the challenge, they met their goal!

Yup, that’s right! They have 365 miles for the year so far!

Let’s all be sure to give them a pat on the figurative blog back, and a huge round of blogoshphere applause!

Congratulations guys!

A Successful Walk
So what makes a successful walk for you and your 4legged friends?

One thing I’m hearing from the WC members is variety. Seeking out new places to walk, different routes and different times keeps things fresh.

But I know routine is one key to Marie’s success.

I’m finding both things to be a key to our glimmer of success, that and sunshine seems to really help.

I recruited the help of a friend of mine who has a Cattle dog mix named Hooley to walk with us once a week. That routine and commitment really gets me jump started with a good chunk of miles for the week. Each week we try to choose a new route so we keep the variety in there too.

But those are things that make the walks fun for me. What makes a walk fun for our dogs?

Debbie talked about this on Fearful Dogs’ Blog last week. If you haven’t read , “It’s Not Just the Walk” you should, it’s well worth it.

Debbie points out, “Walks for dogs are about exploring, tracking, hunting and playing. Exercising a dog on a treadmill or on leash with business-like efficiency, while they have their benefits, is like getting calories from fat by eating a chunk of lard rather than a bowl of ice cream slathered in hot fudge. The job gets done with the lard, but a lot is lacking from the experience.”

She makes a good point that could affect all of us in the Walking Challenge. While a concrete miles goal keeps us motivated lets remember our 4legged friends don’t measure success by miles.

Success to them is being with us, exploring, sniffing, and yes, even rolling in smelly goose poop (Magnus and Bert) or dead things (you culprits know who you are.)

While those things may not be high on our list of priorities lets remember Debbie’s wise words, “Dogs need exercise and when no other options are available I suppose any movement is better than no movement. . . I take my dogs out on walks because it’s what dogs like to do. It’s what I like to do with dogs.”

This week lets think in terms of what makes our Walking Challenge miles fun and rewarding for our 4legged friends. I would love to hear from you all what your favorite aspect of your walks and what your pups are enjoying the most.

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This, That and Tiny Furry Sumo Wrestling

It seems the only thing I write about anymore is the Walking Challenge. Which is exciting since today I finished my goal of 30 miles in a month for the first time! So click treat for us on that one, and we still have tomorrow, we might actually get caught up a bit.

We are doing other things around here. Today we took in Charley and Chloe for two weeks, so we are temporarily a four dog household. . . Whew! Four dogs, two of whom are adolescents, really keep you hopping!

Today it looked like it might stop leaking slush from the sky for a bit so I thought we should all go to the park, but of course by the time I had them all loaded into their crates in the car it was blizzarding slush from the sky.

So we drove to the park and I thought I would use the time to work on Chloe’s car fears. After c/t her for quiet and downs and other relaxed behaviors we drove around some more c/t’ing as we went. By that time I felt like it would be cruel to not let them out for a run and the slushing had let up a bit. Of course by the time I had them all out and leashed up it was back to blizzarding so we all got thoroughly soaked.

Can we please have sunshine now?

Magnus’ loves having Chloe here. It’s like a 24/7 little furry sumo wrestling match. Those two are so funny. I have video to put up, but am having technical difficulties so movie making is on hold. If you remember this WW, it pretty much sums it up though.

I am so excited for tomorrow, Maizey starts her Clicks and Tricks class. I’m not even sure what we will be learning, but I know it will be a combo of shaping and luring and. . . tricks, of course!

I decided not announce exactly what the prizes for the Walking Challenge giveaway will be until closer to the giveaway, but I will tell you the prize packages have themes and I think they are all cute as can be! Some of you have already completed posts about the Challenge and I will be posting links on Monday with the “Monday Miles” post.

So other than the new car, the fabulous gift we got from Reilly (great big thanks and a post is in the making), the new washer and dryer (it actually has a cycle for pet beds, could it be anymore perfect for me?), the fact that we might be moving, and about 26,000 other random things I haven’t posted about you are all caught up now! Okay, not quite, but at least I fit in the important things-the dogs!

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Hodge Podge of a Post

There has been a lot of fun around here lately. So much fun I’m giving you the cliff notes version.

Sit stays for CDX (Twist is the Sheltie)

On Friday Magnus and I spent the day at an obedience trial. Of course he wasn’t entered, but it was excellent socialization for him and a great chance to learn self control and patience in his crate around lots of other dogs.

It was an especially exciting day since we got to see our friend Twist earn his CDX. Twist is one of my favorite 4legged friends, he has so much character.

Maizey was not left out of the fun since she spent the day with Chloe and Charley.

Last week Magnus got to have his first take your dog to work day where he learned all about riding in the big truck.

One thing that I was very happy about was how well he handled all the loud noises of the truck. I set his mat on the seat in between us and he just laid there and slept while we drove around. I am going to get him a seat belt harness for next time, since there is no way to take a crate.

In other Magnus news he starts Agility For Fun class on thursday night. I am excited, but also nervous-as usual.

Unfortunately we had a funeral to attend in Saturday so we missed Maizey’s Petite Pals class. Next week we’ll be back on schedule with that.

Maizey’s eyes are better, though I know until I have the $900.00 to do the allergy testing they will continue to have problems. She does have some relief with the meds she is on now, so that will have to be good enough for now.

Marie gave us a new crate that Maizey loves. It’s a soft sided travel crate, but it is super light and the best one I’ve had yet. Maizey  loves it so much that I’ve hardly been able to get her out of it since I set it up! Thanks Marie!

Charley and Chloe are staying with us this week, so Magnus is in heaven. He is in love with Chloe and they play so well together. I figure with all four of them to walk I ought to get in some good miles for the Challenge. If you have suggestions for managing a four dog household I would love to hear them!

Well this is a disjointed crazy post, but I wanted to at least update for myself. Don’t give up on our poor neglected blog, I have a big announcement coming with exciting news so you’ll have to keep coming around for that!

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Exciting Walking Challenge News

More exciting Walking Challenge business!

We have new 2011 Walking Challenge members! Carrie from All Things Dog Blog found us and joined our Challenge with her two 4legged friends, Tanner and Oliver. Carrie also invited all of her readers to join us and Elizabeth, Cocoa and Oreo also joined us. A huge welcome to them and thanks for sharing our excitement and joining our challenge!

We now have nine people and 22 4legged friends in our challenge! I have gotten to know you all, but I’m going to bite off more than I can probably chew and start a series to highlight each team of walkers in the challenge so we can all get to know each other.

If you want to be featured please email a picture of yourself and short bio of your 4legged friends. It doesn’t have to be anything too much, but names, ages, perhaps how your 4legged friends came into your life and a couple fun facts about how the walking challenge is going for you. It might be your favorite place to walk, or how you get motivated, you could even share what your biggest challenge is in the Walking Challenge. You could let us know what your favorite walk this year has been and why. I would also love to know some training tidbit you do on your walks, this is training blog after all!

As the emails come in I will do my best to post the stories as quick as I can and of course leave links to any of your blogs.

By doing this I hope we can build enthusiasm and support each other even more.

We really are accomplishing a great deal with this challenge. We are 83 days into the year. Some of us are behind, some are ahead and all together we have walked an impressive 396 miles! It’s not too late to get caught up and with warmer weather and longer daylight hours upon us I know we can all do it!

I know there are those of you out there with miles to report, so turn in those miles folks and lets get that total mileage over 400!

A Great Walk
Tonight was one of my favorite walks so far this year!

First Magnus and I walked to the park with Chloe, Charley and my mom. When we got to the park we met Indigo and his family. Indigo is a 4 month old Golden Retriever. He was not only a handsome and big boy but had wonderful manners. After the dogs met and got to know each other Indigo and Magnus got the zoomies.

These were serious puppy zoomies so I was super proud of my crazy boy when he could do a perfect recall, come in for a collar grab and take a break from the crazy fun. I was even more pleasantly surprised when Indigo’s mom said, “You use the same words we use at puppy class!”

I laughed and asked, “Do you train at Calling All Dogs?” They are in Puppy Prep right now and it seems they are doing great. Indigo did fabulous with his gotcha’s and it was thrilling to see someone working with their pup and applying what they learn.

After we got home I couldn’t leave my little girl home so we headed out for another two mile jaunt. She did great, with only one reaction and that at 5 dogs in two yards right next to each other. Even then we got a chance to c/t for reorienting to me and we were able to move on quickly.

These were my best walks this year and I am looking forward to many more!

So there’s my three miles for the day, how ’bout the rest of you? Lets get this walking challenge rockin’!

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