The Rest of the Sal Story

What is the rest of the story on Sal?

He is one cool dude!

I come from a family of dog lovers and Sal is the most recent addition to our 4legged family.

My not so little anymore little brother and my lovely sister-in-law decided it was time for their shepherd mix, Suzy, to get a pal. That pal turned out to be an 18 month old Husky Shepherd cross named Sal.

Magnus and I got to spend a warm day of zooming, swimming, training and hanging out with Sal, Suzy and the family.

First I met Sal and watched his fancy tricks.

We went to the park so we were on “neutral ground” so Magnus could meet the big dogs.

"Com'on Suzy lets play!"

It was a great park next to the river so there was plenty of room for zoomies.

"You guys might be big, but I'm Magnus The Magnificent!"

Sal and Magnus made a great pair. Sal’s a big boy who thinks he’s little and Magnus is a little boy who’s sure he’s ginormous. Even so, there was some fun Magnus was just too little join.

"Hey little dude, wanna go swimmin' with the big dogs?"

"Wait for me! I want to come too!"

"Just try to catch me!"

It was a joy to watch my little brother and sister-in-law work these big beautiful dogs. I miss my Big Girl so much, so I have to live vicariously through these big, beautiful 4legged friends.

Magnus got to practice posing for the camera. His attention span is so short he’s good for about three shots before he starts giving me the, “please don’t make me sit and wait anymore” look. Even so I was thrilled with some of the shots I got of all the dogs.

"Don't I look like a real field spaniel?"

(photo taken by the lovely sister-in-law)

At the end of the day we were both dirty and tired. Which made this measure up as one of  Magnus’ most perfect days.


Walking Challenge 2011

My first walking challenge was 30 miles in 30 days. There were some really special walks in that first challenge. Actually I hardly remember a walk with my 4legged friends that wasn’t special in some way.

Sure we got tired sometimes, but challenging myself really got me moving after Maizey’s surgeries. As I already freely admitted to being a self confirmed energy hoarding sloth walking the dogs as much as I should can be a challenge in itself. I find that committing to a certain number of miles really forces me to get out there on the days when I otherwise may find an excuse not to.

So no more excuses! This year the challenge doesn’t end! Walking Challenge 2011 is on!

A year long challenge may sound daunting, but we all agree exercise for  our pups is a year round priority. Okay, it’s true, exercise for me should be a year round priority too. So a year long challenge makes a lot of sense.

I found in a 30 day challenge if I got behind in my miles it was hard to catch up so a year long challenge is more flexible. Weather, health, work, family or anything else distract us from getting out there with our pups, but in a year there is time to catch up. Time to plan ahead for some extra miles on some days, or a special training walk on others. In a year “real life” won’t derail my challenge, I can always catch up when the day isn’t so ‘rainy’.

The rules are: there are no rules. I do these challenges for myself, but find if we have support cheering us on it helps us get out there even more.

I call it a walking challenge, but it doesn’t have to be walking: biking, swimming, skateboarding, surfing, running, crawling-whatever floats your boat, as long as it is activity with your 4legged friend is fine by me.

Joining is simple, just leave me a comment in any post or email me privately and I will add you to the list in the 2011 Walking Challenge sidebar widget. Then when you complete miles leave them in a comment or email them and I will update the list.

Now I am open to suggestions here, but I was thinking I would do a regular post about the challenge, perhaps monthly, or even bi-monthly if there is enough support. If you have a blog and do a walking challenge post I will link to your post so we can all get revved up by each others progress. Perhaps you need suggestions on what to do, or perhaps you have some suggestions for the rest of us, if so post those on your blog or in a comment here so we can all support each other.

As far as miles go feel free to set your own bar. I chose 365 for the simple reason it is just a mile a day, but I know I don’t walk my pups everyday and rarely for just a mile. It made sense to set the goal as something easily achievable, I can always do more! So set what works for you. If you want I can list your personal goal with your progress.

I think we can all think of those special walks we had with our 4legged friends. The peaceful ones, the one with a training triumph, the sunrise or sunset that was stunningly beautiful. Perhaps it was that special location or a personal triumph that made it memorable, but whatever the reason it was having our 4legged friend there that made it all better.

So lets get out there! Lets make 2011 the year we look back on with many more fond memories of active time spent with our pups!

From a recent walk in the snow


I Promise We Do Train Around Here Once In A while

Though it often doesn’t seem like we do much actual dog training around here Maizey is making some progress with her training levels work.

I was very excited when I finally got organized enough to give her some of the L2 tests she has been ready for. So on the 15th she tested and passed her L2 sit, down, crate and handling. So that means so far she has passed 5 out of 16 behaviors in L2.
We are working on and close to testing her watch, sit-stay and down-stay. She is doing excellent with her “go to mat” work and could test any day. Also her L2 come is really good, we just need to enlist a helper to hold her since stay isn’t that firm yet. 
So all in all she is doing well and I don’t think I will need to apply for any easy scholarships for dog training school. Although I have been thinking about taking a clicker class for some time now. The trainer who taught her puppy class does one and I think it would be very good for me, but Maizey probably needs a little more time to work on her reactive issues. More to come on how we are handling that soon.
In other news around here, we had a very nice walk again tonight. I can’t believe what a difference walking makes to ease Meeka’s mysterious symptoms. It was dark when Meeka, myself and mehusbandy walked so no pics of her, but Maizey would like to lodge an official complaint about my treat placement.
And the sky was stunning

Yesterday We Saw A Pelican And A Pretty Face

These photo’s don’t speak very well for my photographer abilities but a pelican over the mountains is not something we see everyday so I thought crummy shots or not it was worth sharing.
Not that you would know it from this pic but I promise she really is more than just a pretty face.
“Me? Pretty face? Naw. . .I’m the princessface!”


Are You Sure The Tortoise Wins?

We hope its true that the swift do not always win the race because we are off to a seriously slow start on our 40 miles challenge. The stomach flu will do that to ya!

But we did get a little start today. Between trying to get the garden in, being sick and all the other run of the mill things that keep us going around here we haven’t walked in. . .oh too long to admit, but a while now.

Maizey and I  did get started on our miles tonight with a quick little mile and a half. It was gorgeous out there this evening, all golden and glowing with the end of the day light. In a city that is all edges and harsh angles to me that glowing light seems to soften the edges of everything and make even a bad day seem somehow not so lasting. As if the anxieties of each day will melt and sink into darkness with the sun, leaving way for nothing but the possibility of an easier tomorrow. Ahh if it were only that easy. But it was beautiful. The mountains are particularly pretty this time of year while they are still covered in their winter time icing, and the valley in the middle distance is getting green and lush. But I wax poetic and it can be so better captured in a photo.

We had company in the form of my mom and our part-time boy Charley. He walks so sedately, as if he has learned that even if you don’t zoom all over you still get just as nice a walk. He totally shows Maizey up for the frolicking baby she is. It was fun to have them. I appreciate very much having company on our walks.

Charleycharley says, 
“If I grin really big can I please have that treat?”

So tomorrow will come soon. Hopefully we can get the garden tilled and ready to plant and certainly get some walking in. Who knows maybe we will even get back in sync with our daily training which has been sorely lacking lately. You never know, tomorrow could turn out to be an easier tomorrow!


So Pig In a Blanket IS Easier To Say. . .

We took a wonderful walk today. 3.5 miles! Yes I know it isn’t impressive for everyone, but for us with gimpy knees, no matter how many of them we have, 3.5 miles in a stretch is cause for a pat on the back.

Turns out there is beauty in the city as our walk showed us. We woke up to snow and while I normally am a huge fair weather walker, that darn clock is ticking down. . .down. . .down. And turns out the 30 miles down walk them selves-I actually have to do it! But back to the beauty in the city. We rousted out between flurries and it was a beautiful time to walk.

Steam on the river walk-proof this weather just can’t make up its mind, is it warm? Is it Cold? Who knows?
With the melting snow dripping from the trees it was just glowing green.
Can you see what I see?
“Lets go crazymomlady! 3.5 miles is nothin’!”
“Uuhhggg. . .3.5 miles is a long way! Are you crazy or somthin’ crazymomlady?”
So sure its easier to say “pig in a blanket”, but “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel In A Blanket” is so much cuter!