Thursday, December 6, 2012

Puppy Names

I was reading an article about the most popular puppie names for 2012 (from a study of 1.26 million vet records), and I found it interesting that traditional names such as Fido and Rover are on the way out while baby names are taking over the charts.  It seems that the largest contributer to the popularity of a name is pop culture. For example, Bella has been the number one female puppy name since 2006 after the first Twilight book (featuring a heroine named Bella) came out in 2005. The 10 most popular names are listed below:
  1. Bella 
  2. Daisy 
  3. Lucy 
  4. Molly 
  5. Lola 
  6. Sophie 
  7. Sadie 
  8. Chloe 
  9. Coco 
  10. Maggie 
  1. Max
  2. Buddy
  3. Charlie
  4. Rocky
  5. Cooper
  6. Bear
  7. Bentley
  8. Duke
  9. Jack
  10. Toby
When I was a child, our dogs had pet names - Cuddles and Mingo (a variation from Bingo).  But as an adult, I have always given my pets people names: Heather, Tammy, Willie, Georgie, and Ivy.  I guess that Fiesta was the exception to that.  And I don't know where Bodie fits in.  I guess I just wanted a name that was unusual but not weird, strong but not aggressive.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stubborn German Shepherd Part III

Well, the stubborn German Shepherd puppy, Bodie, is at it again.  I have never had such a stubborn dog!  German Shepherds are known for their trainability and intelligence.  That should mean that they are obedient, right?  Well, I wouldn’t use that description for Bodie.

He knows the basic commands alright but he doesn’t necessarily comply, especially when he has way too much energy.  There are times I will give him the “sit” command and I can just see him stop to think about it.  He stops what he was doing, pauses… acts as if he was going to sit but he will then just stand there staring.  You can tell he is trying to decide: “Does she really mean it?”

Sometimes he will obey and sometimes he will run off trying to get in trouble.  That is when I have found that doggie calisthenics works.  The treats come out, but he really has to work for them.  First, we start with pushups: “Sit.  Down.  Sit.  Down.  Sit.”  And then a treat.  A really long “Wait” with the treat temptingly out of reach.  “Come” from various areas in the house.  After a bit of that, he calms down and starts to listen again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bodie TV

Can dogs watch TV?  I know what the "experts" say: dogs don't have the visual acuity that people do... dogs don't see objects on the TV screen, just the movement... dogs respond more to the sound than the image... dogs don't have depth perception... and so on and so on.  Well, that may all be true but I also know what my german shepherd does.  Bodie sits on the couch and watches TV. 
He might not have an extremely looong attention span but he will sit there for at least 5-15 minutes and stare at the TV screen.  Bodie responds to certain people more so than others, even if they aren't moving or if they aren't speaking.  For example, Leonard on Big Bang Theory.  When Leonard appears on screen, Bodie will usually focus and bark. Then last night we had the show Breaking Amish on for the first time, and Rebecca was on screen.  He startled us by growling, ran up to the TV, focused on the part of the screen where she was and he started barking at her.  After watching the show, I would say Bodie was a pretty good TV critic.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Silly Bodie - Busy Bone vs. Soup Bone

Did I ever give an update on the Busy Bone Debacle?  I don't think so.  Anyway, we kept getting Busy Bone sightings in the backyard and, finally, I had enough.  I grabbed Bodie and the remnants of the Busy Bone and tossed them into the puppy pen.  He made a huge ruckus, and RB thought I was being cruel.  But after a little while, he calmed down, grabbed the Busy Bone and chewed it up.  Crazy puppy!
So, last night was Halloween. We don't get many trick or treaters where we live, but we do get some and we were hoping to keep Bodie calm. It was just a coincidence that the puppy was due for his vaccinations, and the appointment just happened to be yesterday. The vet said that Bodie would likely be lethargic in the afternoon. We could only hope! In addition, we had a couple of chewies to try and keep his attention - another Busy Bone and a soup bone.
We researched natural treats rather thoroughly and discovered that raw bones are safe for dogs.  They are fully digestible and don't splinter like cooked bones do.  Of course, you need to monitor the situation but we have never had a problem with Bodie chewing soup bones.  We have been giving Bodie soup bones for about a year now. There are easy to find; we get ours from the local grocery store in the meat department. The butcher says everyone uses them as dog treats, he has never heard any customer wanting them for soup! 

Well, we put Bodie in his pen and gave him a Busy Bone.  Well, he whined and paced for awhile before hiding the Busy Bone under the right back corner of his cushion.  After about an hour, we gave him the soup bone.  Bodie raised a bit of a ruckus and hid the bone under the left back corner of the cushion!  Crazy puppy!  When we let him out of his pen after there was no chance of anymore trick or treaters, he grabbed the soup bone and happily chewed until bedtime.  This morning, he grabbed the Busy Bone and devoured about two thirds of it.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Feeding the German Shepherd

Sometimes you try and follow the general wisdom out there but it just doesn't work!
German Shepherds are susceptible to gastric dilatation-volvulus (or GDV, which is also known as "bloat" or "twisted stomach").   There is a long list of do's and don't's. With my previous German Shepherd, my wonderful Willie, I followed all the recommendations:
  • feed the dog two or three meals daily
  • prevent rapid eating
  • avoid exercise immediatly before and after eating
  • avoid large quantities of water after eating
  • no eating from a raised feeding bowl
  • avoid stress and excitement immediately before and after meals by feeding the dog individually in a quiet location
And Willie still got GDV!  It was awful and I feel lucky that he survived.  We are trying to follow these recommendations for Bodie also but he is just not cooperating.  He won't eat his breakfast!  I can't believe it!  What dog won't eat breakfast?  Bodie!
He acts as if we are torturing him when we feed him a morning meal.  He turns his head, he circles, he whines, he sticks his nose up, he gets really upset if we try and feed him breakfast!  So much for avoiding stress!  We have varied the food, the location we feed him, the time of morning, but he does not like breakfast.  But we never have a problem with Bodie eating his dinner.  So he only gets one meal a day.  I feel like we are doing something wrong, but you do what you can...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another Toy Failure

Well, it was time to replenish Bodie's toy box so with great trepidation, we went to PetSmart to try and get a new toy.  The puppy has been fascinated with the recycle bin lately so RB had the great idea of getting one of those stuffed animals with a plastic bottle inside the body that you can refill as it gets too crushed up.  The Martha Stewart toys were on sale so we got Bodie a beaver.
We took the toy out of the shopping bag and while trying to cut off the price tag, the bottle inside made the appropriate crunching noise and Bodie came running.  He was so excited that he could barely contain himself.  After we finally managed to cut off that annoying plastic string/tag (what are those things called with the little T's at both ends?) we gave it to him.  Expecting to hear a whole bunch of crunched plastic bottle sounds, were we surprised!  Bodie was chewing on it, but not in the way we expected.  He was intent on amputating a leg!  He had one of the back legs off in just a couple of minutes.  We tossed that away and gave him the toy again.  This time the puppy started work on the velcro closing at the bottom.  We had to take the toy away.
Only five minutes!  That was it!  Five minutes with the toy and Bodie had chewed off one leg and was ripping the bottom apart.  It is a great idea for a dog toy.  Bodie loves the noise of the plastic bottle getting crunched and will coming running when he hears it.  But this particular toy could not withstand a determined German Shepherd.  May be if we could find one without legs, and made of a tougher material....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Crazy Puppy! The Busy Bone Debacle

I try not to compare Bodie to my sweet Willie but sometimes it is really very difficult.  I could buy Willie a Busy Bone and he would be happily occupied for about an hour just chewing away.  It left a bit of a mess on the carpet, but that could be easily cleaned up.  So, I thought that a Busy Bone would be a great thing for Bodie also. 
We gave Bodie one this weekend.  The puppy has been occupied, but he is not happy.  He spends hours looking for some place to hide the Busy Bone, then he will leave it alone for a little while, then he grabs the chewie again and try to find another place to stash it.  He only relaxed after we finally let him take it outside. Bodie hid the Busy Bone somewhere in our large backyard.  I never thought that buying the dog a chewie would be so cruel!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sharing Jolly Ball Update

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Bodie sharing his favorite toy with a neighborhood dog, Jack.  Well, I have a sad update to the story.  Just a couple of days after we gifted Jack with his very own Jolly Ball, Jack's owner passes away.  I am a bit surprised at how hard this has hit me.
Jack's owner is someone I have know for quite a while.  He was a good guy, but troubled.  He spent years trying to rid himself of his addiction to drugs and alcohol.  After many attempts, he finally broke free and had been clean and sober for more than a year.  He reconnected with his son and was planning a visit to see him for the first time in years.
When we gave him the Romp-N-Roll for Jack, he actually cried.  He said it was the first gift he had received in years.  He hugged the toy and told us how much it meant to him.  Two days later, the day before he was flying to California to reconnect with his son, he passed away from a heart attack.  It breaks my heart.  The only positive I can take away is we had an opportunity to bring a smile to his face.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Bodie is an energetic, lively dog.  The way he runs around backyard is a sight to behold.  If he is barking at someone out front and he hears activity on the trails, he can run faster than any previous dog I have owned!  He has worn a racetrack around the backyard.  When Bodie is having fun, it can almost be impossible to bring him into the house.  But it has been really hot here in the Pacific Northwest lately, and it is much easier to bring to get his attention.  Just ask if he wants fresh water and he runs for the back door!

Friday, August 10, 2012

German Shepherd Sharing a Jolly Ball?

Bodie has a friend in the neighborhood who lives just a couple of doors down.  Jack is  another big dog that is misunderstood by most people. He is a mixed breed with a lot of Rottweiler.  A noisy and rambunctious puppy that people tend to assume is aggressive, but he is a very sweet boy.  Recently, Jack had to go to the vet for some emergency surgery.  Poor puppy!  He had to have some rocks removed from his digestive system.  Oh, the things dogs decide to eat!  So, Bodie decided to share his favorite toy, his Jolly Ball Romp-n-Roll.  Except Bodie cannot quite let go so Jack is getting his very own! :D

Mine, mine mine!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beautiful Bodie Showing off his Jolly Ball Collection

I have been on the fringes of the dog show world enough to know that I am not suited for it!  I appreciate  a well-bred dog, but I get highly offended if anyone criticizes my baby.  But here is Bodie pretending to be a show dog, stacking naturally. :)  With some of his Jolly Balls!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nurse Bodie

You know how you can start to recognize different kinds of barks?  Well, Bodie has a play bark, an alert bark, and an everyone better know that I am guarding the neighborhood bark.  Today I heard a brand new bark.  My sweetie was in the bathroom and Bodie started a barking I have never heard before.  I rushed over and she was being sick.  Bodie did not like that she was feeling unwell and wanted to make sure that I knew he was worried about her!  I liked that he was so worried about her.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Puppy Progress

Bodie is soooo much better in the backyard!  We think the longline did its job, enough that we have not been using it this week.  He comes in when we want him to, and the barking has really calmed down.  He still barks, of course, especially with noisy trail users, but it is not the frantic barking from earlier in the summer.

I just wonder how he will react when we have a handyman come to the house today?  I will be at work, so my sweetie will have to handle it.  I hope it goes smoothly.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Barking Bodie

It has been difficult to keep Bodie quiet in the backyard lately.  I was wondering why this wasn't a problem last summer, and then I realized that we haven't had the puppy for a year yet!  We got him in the middle of July last summer and Bodie didn't discover barking until he was around 6 months old.

I don't think many people mind a little barking - that is expected with a dog.  But when the barking becomes incessant, it certainly gets annoying.  And I figure that if the barking annoys me, it annoys the neighbors.  Now don't get me wrong.  The puppy doesn't automatically bark as soon as he is put out in the backyard; Bodie can be outside for hours with nary a peep.  But he can get all wound up and start nuisance barking.  What really gets him going is people coming up to the fence and neighbors yelling or operating power tools.  So, as soon as Bodie starts barking nonstop, we bring him in the house

Interestingly, Bodie doesn't bark too much at the hikers and cyclists on the trails behind the house.  He can still get excited with people on the trail but he mainly runs back and forth along the back fence with very little barking.  But there are all sorts of things that can get Bodie riled up.  Kids in the neighborhood scream quite a bit as they play and that can get the puppy barking.  Noisy kids don't bother me much and it is easy to get him to quiet down.  But what gets me concerned is that sometimes kids will come up to the fence and yell at Bodie or poke sticks at him through the fence.  Now that really gets him going!  And I don't think it is very smart to tease a German Shepherd.

On one side, we have next door neighbors that seems to have a lot of activity going on in their yard lately.  The worst of it comes from some guy that doesn't even live there!  I think he is borrowing the neighbors' equipment to run a car detailing business.  He operates a shop vac, power washer and the like several days a week and into the late evening.  Last night he was there until after 11:00pm!  Sometimes he brings his dog with him.  It is an unrestrained pitbull that will run up to the fence and he and Bodie will both raise a ruckus.  It is strange that this dog owner starts yelling at Bodie as soon as our puppy starts to bark.  You would think that an adult would realize that some stranger yelling at a dog to shut up won't get that dog to quit barking.

Then the other neighbor is a single woman who was glad when Bodie barked!  She is security conscious and thought if Bodie barked at anything in her yard, it was good.  She has even stood on her back porch and encouraged the puppy to bark!  But with the nice weather she has been spending more time outside and doesn't appreciate the barking as much.  So, in order to calm Bodie down, she stands at the fence and reads to him!  So far, reading to him doesn't work.  At least that is better than yelling at him.

Well... I don't think Bodie will be spending much time outside this summer.  We don't want him to be the neighborhood nuisance.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

German Shepherd and Fireworks I

This is Bodie's first 4th of July with us, and he passed with flying colors!  I can't believe how calm he has been with all the fireworks going off in the neighborhood.  We live in unincorporated Snohomish county and fireworks are legal.  They have been going off for several days now but this evening has been extremely loud!  I am sure that there were quite a few illegal fireworks going off.  Anything that rattles the windows are definitely illegal.  And Bodie was completely unfazed by the bangs and booms.  He barked just a little bit but I think that is because I jumped.  I am so proud of him!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Better Bodie

I will keep this short and sweet.  Bodie is much better, even though the injury didn't really slow the puppy down at all.  The vet completely removed his claw and it is already growing back! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Broken Bodie

Poor, poor puppy! Bodie is at the vet today. Sometime yesterday he ripped one of his back claws loose from the bone. We never noticed it until the evening when he was leaving bloody marks all over the living room carpet. It was extremely difficult to get him to quit playing so we could try and see what was bleeding. I wanted to rush him off to the emergency vet, but that was an emotional reaction. We called the vet first thing this morning and he has been there all day. We will be picking him up in about an hour. Funny, I keep looking around for him.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Another Jolly Ball Success for our German Shepherd!

Have I mentioned how quickly Bodie can destroy things?  For most toys, we have to closely supervise him.  As soon as he gets too interested, we have learned that we need to lock the toy up unless we want pieces.  Not only is that expensive, but I worry about the puppy eating something he shouldn't.  So, I was so happy to discover Jolly balls!  They are extremely puncture resistant and he hasn't destroyed any yet. 

There has only been one problem - they are large toys; much more suited for outdoor play.  We have needed a toy Bodie can play with inside.  So we tried the Jolly Pets Bounce-n-Play!  Bodie was sooo excited, even before we got it out of the package and he could hardly wait until we threw it.  I was unsure of the 6 inch size but it is working out great!  Another success!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Stinky German Shepherd

It seems that many German Shepherd Dogs have sensitive digestive systems.  That has definitely been the case in each of the German Shepherds that I have owned.  They all have been... well, let's just say that my first GSD, Willie, absolutely earned his nickname of "Fart Boy".  The quality of food has a great deal to do with the amount of excess gas.  High quality dog food is a must.  Willie never got the whatever-was-on-sale-grocery-store brand but he was still the master of stinky.

I quickly learned that in order to be in the same room as Willie, I had to have a candle burning at all the time.  And now Bodie seems to be wanting to usurp Willie's title so candles continue to be a necessity.  Because I had one going almost every evening and weekend, I became rather selective of the candles I burned.  The first and most important requirement was it had to be nicely scented.  I hated candles that lost their fragrance before you even got a chance to burn them.  Some would lose their scent after burning through the outer shell.  Those went in the trash.  With both cats and dogs in the house, I would not burn candles where the flame got too big, flickered alot and got all sooty.  I tossed those too.  Candles that burned with too small a flame and would just drown out were absolutely worthless and they also went right into the garbage.

My mother had a friend who sold Party Lite candles and they became my go-to candle.  But in the past few years, their quality has deteriorated and they were not as nicely fragranced.  Next, I ordered candles from a popular internet candlemaker.  Her candles were heavily fragranced but their burn was inconsistent - sometimes they were great, sometimes the flame got too big, and sometimes the candles drowned themselves.  I found out that getting a candle to burn just right depends on the type of wax, the type and size of wick, and the fragrance oil used.  It requires a lot of fine tuning.  I now have someone local who is as particular about candles as I am.  She makes candles!  She will test burn one, make notes and adjust her "recipe" accordingly.  Well, she has become really good at making candles and has started her own internet business

If you want a candle that passes her vigorous burn tests, check her out!  Her selection of fragrances is rather small at this time but she takes special orders.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bodie and The Thunderstorm

Or should I say thundershower?  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we don't get the kind of thunderstorms others get.  Ours are short, mild and very infrequent - thundershowers instead of thunderstorms.  So, even though Bodie just turned one year old, he had never experienced one before yesterday afternoon.  He was in the backyard when the wind picked up.  The trees were whipped around, rain started to pelt down, and there was one clap thunder and then a second.  We went to the backdoor to bring him in but he was running and jumping and pouncing and biting at the air; there is no better way to describe it other than frolicking! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Jolly Balls for the German Shepherd!

The Jolly Ball was so successful that we decided to try a few more Jolly Pet products! 

First, we got a Jolly Egg.  It is made of tough plastic and its oval shape makes it nearly impossible for the dog to get a grip on. It is designed to slip when dogs bite down, popping out in unpredictable directions for endless fun.  Well, that is what it is supposed to be... Not so successful.  Bodie got bored as soon as he figured out that he couldn't bite down on it no matter how hard he tried.  Maybe if we had purchased the medium size as opposed to the large, Bodie would have been more interested in it.  Or if it was of soft plastic.  He doesn't seem to like anything he can't get a good chew on.

Next we got the Jolly Romp-n-Roll.  Bodie loves it!  Just like the Jolly Ball, it can be bit without being punctured!  Which is great because the puppy insists on biting the ball (just like he bites the Jolly Ball).  But he will also grab this one by the rope.  The he shakes it like crazy, hitting anything in his vicinity.  I actually think he likes this one better than the Jolly Ball!

And finally, we got the Jolly Teaser Ball.  The outside ball is made of hard plastic while inside is a smaller, soft plastic ball.  After we throw it or kick it and the smaller, inside ball will keep moving.  It definitely keeps Bodie's attention.  He keeps trying to get ahold of the small ball inside.  Then he will pick up the big ball by one of the holes and he prances around so proud of himself!

So, three out of four successes for Jolly Pets!  Not bad.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jolly Ball and the German Shepherd!

It has been difficult finding good toys for our German Shepherd puppy.  Bodie is really rough on his toys.  He is a master chewer!  Any label is like a neon sign saying "Start Here!"  He definitely can't have any soft or plush toys.  He tears them apart too easily. We get him chew things like antlers and cow bones and knuckles, but we also want toys he can play with.  Being just a puppy, Bodie also has a short attention span.  Some toys capture his interest for a short period and that is it.

We found a new toy that meets all these criteria - the Jolly Ball!  We got the ten inch ball and I am amazed that he managed to bite the ball.  Thank goodness Jolly Balls are puncture resistant.  The handle makes it easy for us to throw for him.  It makes a good ball to play fetch with because Bodie can't keep an easy hold on it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Disasters in Dogsitting

Oh, this was a difficult weekend!  We were dogsitting yesterday.  We needed to watch a sheltie and he did not like Bodie!  He started growling right from the start and would occasionally snap at our puppy.  Bodie was okay with it at first and only reacted with curiosity.  But after several hours of a snapping, snarling sheltie, Bodie had enough and snapped back.  Good thing we were between the two dogs!  A sheltie could not win against a german shepherd.

After that, we needed to keep the two dogs separated for the rest of the sheltie's visit.  As the day progressed, Bodie got more and more wound up.  Any activity, from the next door neighbor to people on the trail, made him frantic.  I have never heard Bodie whine so much and carry on.  Thank goodness the visit left after about twelve hours!

We had tried to introduce the dogs properly.  We had plans to take both dogs for a long walk as soon as the sheltie arrived.  But circumstances did not cooperate.  The sheltie arrived without a leash or even a collar. No problem, I dug through Bodie's bag and found his old puppy collar.  But the sheltie had a really fluffy mane (a beautiful sheltie!) and it was difficult to fit him properly.  He kept slipping out of the collar and I had to keep resizing it smaller and smaller.  Next, there were two unleased large pitbulls just roaming around out front and we decided not to risk it.

Oh, well.  We will just have to avoid dogsitting in the future.

In rereading what I wrote, I realize that it seems like I am being negative towards the visiting sheltie.  He is a really sweet dog.  I wonder if some of his issues with Bodie are related to his disability.  The poor puppy is partially blind and deaf.  If I think on it, I can attribute his reaction to fear.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stubborn German Shepherd Part II

Have I mentioned how stubborn Bodie can be?!?  I started a bad thing with him when we got him last summer.  It turned out that our new puppy had an intestinal infection that made him lethargic, and he did not have much of an appetite.  Medication took care of his infection, but he still had a very poor appetite.  In order to get him to eat better, I started adding a little something to his dog food at every meal - a little milk, a bit of bologna, a few table scraps, or something like that.  Well, instead of stimulating his appetite all it did was make Bodie even more finicky.  I freely admit that I was wrong, but what could we do?

My sweetie put her foot down, and decided on Monday that we would no longer doctor up his food.  Bodie is getting a really high quality (and expensive!) dry dog food.  She decided that if he didn't eat his dinner in a reasonable length of time, the dish would be picked up and he would have to wait for his next mealtime.  I promised not to feed him anything other than his regular food. 

Well, it turns out that Bodie is even more stubborn than my sweetie!  He didn't eat any dinner on Monday.  He didn't eat breakfast on Tuesday, and he refused to eat anything for dinner that night either.  After failing to get him to eat breakfast on Wednesday, we both felt we were stressing too much.  We gave in.  My sweetie got some canned dog food, and we are mixing a little of it with his dry food.  He is inhaling his meals!  Oh, what a stubborn puppy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stubborn German Shepherd Part I

Bodie is smart, but with a huge stubborn streak.  He is now ten and a half months old and it is almost impossible to play fetch with him.  He loves chasing a thrown toy and he brings it back at a run.  So what is the problem?  Well, that is it.  Bodie won't give the toy back.  You throw the toy, he chases it and brings it back.  Game of fetch is over.

We have tried several techniques and finally found one that works.  We need to play with two similar toys.  We throw the first one and when Bodie brings it back, we wave the second one until we have his attention.  Suddenly, the second one is much more desirable than the first and he drops that first toy.  Only then do we throw the second.  Finally we can play fetch until Bodie gets tired.

And a tired puppy is a good puppy!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

German Shepherd on a Long Line

When I first moved into my place I was pleased that the backyard was up against a greenbelt.  Homes would never be built behind my home!  Well, a couple of years ago the county decided to turn the greenbelt into a full-fledged conservation area with an extensive trail system.  One of the main trails comes within a few feet of the back fence.  Now, everyday and especially on weekends, a whole slew of people pass within feet of the backyard!  Given the protective nature of German Shepherds, patrolling the backyard has become a full-time job for Bodie.

On a nice day like today, the puppy can get really worked up with all the mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers and dogs passing back and forth on the other side of the fence.  The groups of bikers are the worst because they tend to yell to each other a lot.  Bodie barks and whines and runs along the fence line.  It is extremely difficult getting his attention and it is almost impossible to keep him quiet!

On active days on the trails, Bodie doesn't pay any attention to us.  "Come" won't work, treats won't work, toys don't work, and trying to catch him becomes a game of catch.  Well, we tried something new today and it worked!  We got a really cheap long line for him.  It is a lightweight 50' line that does not easily get caught on anything in the backyard.  He pretty much ignores it, can run around the backyard normally, and when we want him to come we can reinforce the command with a firm tug.  But something amazing happened - he was much calmer with it on.  His barking was greatly decreased and he listened to us much more - weekends are going to be better!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Bodie Blog

I can't believe that it has been so long since I did a Bodie Blog.  Almost every day I think "I need to make a Bodie Blog" and every time I do, I think of a reason not to.  I am avoiding it because I don't want to sound negative.  But it is time to do an update!

Bodie is a challenge, a real challenge.  He is nothing like Willie.  And anything that I wrote would sound like a critisism.  I don't want that.  Bodie is stubborn, and challenging, and oh so intelligent!  He destroys everything - the car, the backyard, and anything else he can get his teeth on.  But he is a good boy, and I am glad that we have him.

Monday, January 23, 2012

First Snow!

I am about a week late posting this but we ended up with about 12-15 inches of snow, lost power, and there were other weather-related worries but another first - Bodie's first snow!
What is this stuff?

It started snowing last week Friday night and by the time we let Bodie out Saturday morning, there were about three inches of snow in the backyard and big snowflakes were coming down.  The puppy stood on the porch for a minute just looking.  Then he cautiously put a paw out on that strange white stuff, waited a minute, and did what he does with everything - he bit at it!  It must have tasted good because he was off like a shot gamboling all around our huge backyard!  He would run like crazy to one end of the yard, stop, change direction and then run some more.  It looked like he thought everything was new and exciting, trees and bushes and anything snow-covered.

It was so much fun to watch him enjoy the snow, running and jumping and trying to catch snowflakes in his mouth!  That is one thing I have always loved about dogs, they can have such unadulterated joy in the simple things.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Then and Now

Comparing the then with the now and you can see how much Bodie has grown!  Where is our cute puppy?  Back then his rope toy was almost as big as he was.  Now, he could probably fit the entire toy in his mouth!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

King of the Hill

Bodie, King of the Hill, surveying his kingdom from atop his cushion - which he is ripping apart as we write!

He is turning out to be a wonderful German Shepherd.  Bodie is devoted and protective, wacky and silly, and above all intelligent.  I am amazed at how long he will wait after we drop a treat, and how quickly he picks up new commands.  We really need to get him into Schutzhund training.

Monday, January 2, 2012