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Monday, May 14th 2012

6:23 PM (3534 days, 17h, 4min ago)

Watch Me Run! (with video)

For the past year, Bonnie and I have been taking lessons in agility. Each week we join a group of other dog owners and learn how to teach our dogs to jump over hurdles, run through tunnels, and walk on teeter-totters, among other things.

 Bonnie is a good student. She pays attention and tries to go exactly where I tell her to go. She enjoys the rewards she gets after each run. After she completes a set of obstacles, she gets a delicious treat. She works hard to do well because she's having fun and because she loves her cookies. Controlling a dog without a leash isn't easy. But Bonnie does well most of the time.


One day Bonnie had more fun than usual. We were running through the obstacles when suddenly, two big black crows flew directly over her head. Bonnie's instinct took over and she left my side and ran faster than ever, chasing those birds. She ran a long way away from me. Because we work in a large fenced-in area, she wasn't in any danger of running into traffic. I'm sure that Bonnie thought that this was delightful fun, but I didn't find it so amusing. I gave Bonnie my best command to return to me and she came running back as fast as she could. I was happy that I had practiced Bonnie's 'come here' command so much.

 Check out this recent video. You won't see the birds, but you will see an adorable collie dog.

Watch Bonnie's Agility Video!

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Wednesday, May 2nd 2012

7:16 PM (3546 days, 16h, 12min ago)

Happy Birthday, Bonnie!

It's been quite a while since I posted about Bonnie's progress. Don't worry, she's doing great! She's healthy, happy, and three years old today!

To celebrate her day, I let her have some agility fun and I took pictures.   There are so many things that Bonnie enjoys and agility is one of her favorites. After a year of taking agility classes, here are a few of the obstacles that Bonnie has learned to maneuver. 

Bonnie loves to run through the tunnels and she runs through them fast!

She does very well jumping through the tire. It's cool to watch her fly through the air!

Bonnie also enjoys the weave poles. These were difficult to learn. We've been learning and practicing for about six months. She gets better every time she runs the weaves.


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Wednesday, February 8th 2012

5:45 PM (3630 days, 16h, 42min ago)

Kids and Kitties

I've done a lot of socializing with Bonnie. We've gone lots of places and met all kinds of people. However, we hadn't gotten close to any young babies. We had seen some, but I'm always cautious about walking a big, hairy dog over to a very young child. The baby might be frightened, the parent might be worried, or the baby could be allergic to dogs. So we haven't had many opportunities. 

Recently, a woman that works at my veterinarian's office brought her baby to meet everyone. This baby lives with dogs so I knew that the mother would say yes when I asked if Bonnie could meet her baby. It was a successful experience. Neither the baby nor Bonnie were afraid or allergic!

On our daily walks, Bonnie and I have met many cats. There was the one that was hiding under the car and then, with a big hiss, jumped out and frightened both Bonnie and me. It was a complete ambush! Then there were the sister cats that calmly sat on a neighbor's porch and wouldn't give us the time of day. I'm sure that Bonnie was wondering why they just sat there while she barked and barked at them.

Yesterday we were taking our usual walk around the neighborhood, when the sweetest little cat tiptoed up to meet us. I was shocked that she wasn't intimidated by Bonnie. This cat must have met at least one dog before. She got very close to Bonnie and then rubbed her furry body up against Bonnie's legs in a big friendly hello. Bonnie stood still and marveled at this amazing feline. I know that Bonnie enjoyed the greeting because next, she went nose to nose to say hello back.

The best part about the cat introduction is that now, Bonnie looks for the kitty whenever we are on the street where she lives. I don't know how Bonnie remembers the house every time we pass it. We travel on several streets and pass dozens of houses. But she knows right where kitty lives. Bonnie is enjoying our daily walks more than ever now. I wonder who we'll meet on our next walk.

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Tuesday, January 31st 2012

6:00 PM (3638 days, 16h, 27min ago)


The main reason to take Bonnie to the mountains is to go hiking. We enjoy putting on our hiking boots and finding cool places to walk. Idyllwild, the city where we stayed, is in the San Jacinto Mountains of California. It's a lovely, quiet place. There are lots of trails that don't allow dogs and a few that do. The ones that do allow dogs are just as nice as the others with many interesting things to see. We drove to the visitor's center to get a list of dog-friendly trails and then we were on our way.

All of the hiking trails require that dogs stay leashed. When we're out in public with Bonnie, we're careful to obey the laws and follow the rules. We kept Bonnie on a leash, we picked up her poop, and we stayed on the trail so the native plants were not damaged. By following the rules, the forest will be beautiful for everyone who comes to visit with their dogs. 

Bonnie loved looking for squirrels and other little creatures. Every time she heard the sounds from their movements, her ears went up and she was ready to run. We ran with her as fast as we could. Bonnie can be extremely fast! It wasn't just her ears and eyes that were busy searching for wildlife. Bonnie's nose was working hard, too. Do you see her nose in the picture below? See how high she's holding her head? She is doing what's called 'air-scenting.' Bonnie is using her nose to capture smells in the air. Just as bloodhounds will sniff the ground for scents, collies like to smell the air in addition to the ones on the ground. Bonnie can get a great deal of information about her surroundings from scents moving through the air.

We had a wonderful time in the mountains. It was fun watching Bonnie enjoy the outdoors and using her senses to experience the environment. We're looking forward to going back as soon as we can.

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Monday, December 5th 2011

10:36 AM (3695 days, 23h, 51min ago)

Gone Fishing

One of the things we did in Idyllwild was to look for cabins and hotels that accepted dogs. Our cabin was very nice, but we wanted to explore others as well. This group of cabins that we checked out had a fish pond. We were shocked to find it as we walked Bonnie in and out through the buildings. The koi fish were huge and very interested in Bonnie. As you can see, she was curious, too. 

I wondered how there could be a fish pond up in the mountains where it gets so cold at night. Wouldn't the water freeze? Apparently, not. This was a fun surprise for our walk with Bonnie. I'm  always excited to expose her to new things and she certainly had never seen fish before. I had to hold her back or she would have gotten right into the water with them!

I was proud that Bonnie didn't bark at the fish or make a big fuss. She's been socialized to all kinds of situations and because of that, she is more prepared when we come upon something new. She's a dog I can take most places, and of course, that makes me happy.

To be continued...

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Monday, November 28th 2011

3:44 PM (3702 days, 18h, 44min ago)

Off to the Mountains

We hope all of our American friends enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday of all. Although Bonnie didn't get to participate in the human-made turkey dinner, she did get a special mixture of turkey and rice, dog food style. 

Not long ago, we took Bonnie with us on her first vacation. Usually she stays at a very nice kennel when we go away, but this time we decided to take her on the road with us. Ater more than two years of training, I would have expected her to behave very well on the trip. And she did!

We rented a cabin in the mountains for five days. Bonnie had her own little suitcase so that I could find things easily. When Rick and I go on a trip, we always pack extras items for ourselves just in case bad weather causes us to stay longer. It was no different when I packed for Bonnie. I brought along her bed, food and dishes, her brushes, and some toys. I included a spare leash, a collar, and three extra days of food in case of an emergency. Just for extra security I put her vaccination records in the bag as well.

The first thing we did when we arrived at our destination was to go for a walk. Bonnie was very interested in the big squirrels and busy blue jays. She had never seen either of them before and she loved watching them play their games among the trees. Later that first night, back at the cabin, we built a fire.  Bonnie had only see fire once or twice before, but she became accustomed to it quickly. She relaxed by the warmth of the hearth and then drifted off to sleep, probably wondering what exciting adventure would happen tomorrow.


To be continued...

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Sunday, November 6th 2011

1:52 PM (3724 days, 20h, 36min ago)

Tricky Bonnie

If you want a new trick for next Halloween, you can start now teaching your dog to carry a lighted lantern to help you navigate through a dark house on the next spooky holiday.

I purchased two lanterns, both from CVS Pharmacy, for $2.50 each. You may not be able to buy them now, after Halloween, but you can get your dog ready for the trick by teaching him to fetch and carry items. Check out our pr
evious trick videos at How to Love Your Dog.

Click on the link below to see how helpful Bonnie can be in the dark. When you plan the steps for this trick, try to break it into smaller tricks first:  touch plastic with nose, touch plastic with mouth, pick up plastic with mouth and release, hold plastic in mouth and release, carry plastic and give to trainer. Last year, Bonnie began by simply touching the handle of a Halloween bucket. I used a little peanut butter to get her interested. Now, a year older, she can do lots more. You've got a whole year. What do you think? Give it a try!

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Monday, October 31st 2011

6:40 PM (3730 days, 16h, 48min ago)

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all of our friends!
Have a fun and safe holiday. Love, Bonnie

(More blogs coming soon)

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Wednesday, September 14th 2011

3:49 PM (3777 days, 19h, 39min ago)


As most of you know, I'm very big on tricks. I think they are one of the best ways to teach a dog to learn and have fun at the same time. Even young puppies can learn tricks.

Last month I learned new things about teaching tricks at a two-day dog training seminar. In fact, the whole weekend was about tricks. It was so much fun to see all kinds of dogs learning and performing at the same time.

Once a dog has learned how to retrieve, he or she is capable of learning all kinds of fetching tricks. When Bonnie was young we played fetch with a ball. Later she played fetch with toys. We played it often and before long, it became a very special game to Bonnie. 

Next, I taught her to pick up a bucket by holding the handle in her mouth. It was the first thing that tasted different than a ball or a toy. From there, I was able to teach Bonnie to carry the bucket. Later she picked up towels and brought them to me. I always rewarded Bonnie when she brought things to me. Now she brings me the remote control, the telephone, and my slippers. To Bonnie, this is a fantastic game. To me, it's fun and useful. I can tell her to help me by bringing me things. 

So next, I taught Bonnie to retrieve a tissue.  

A tissue tastes very different than anything else she has put in her mouth. Because I had rewarded Bonnie for giving me the items instead of spitting them out or chewing on them, she quickly learned to grab the tissue and give it to me. The trick was easy because of all the other things Bonnie had learned to retrieve. Now I can ask Bonnie to give my house guest a tissue. It's a great trick and it makes people laugh. And if they sneeze, she can help them with that, too! Check out her video below.

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Saturday, August 27th 2011

9:19 AM (3796 days, 2h, 9min ago)

Weiner Dogs Everywhere

The Dachshund Picnic is an annual event. Every year, Dachshunds and their owners come to this picnic which is held in a big, beautiful park. Many travel long distances to this gathering. People wear their doxie hats and t-shirts, and bring lunches to the event. The dog owners enjoy meeting other people and sharing stories about those adorable, extra-long little dogs.

The doxies were all different colors. There were brown, black, red, and cream-colored dogs. Some were spotty-colored and others were solid-colored. Some dogs had long hair and some had short hair. There were even some wiry-haired doxies at the picnic. What a variety there was!  


My mother has a Dachshund named Peaches and she is one of Bonnie's best friends. She is a sweet, well-behaved dog who is eight years old and a model of good behavior for Bonnie. Here she is:

There was only one problem with the picnic. There wasn't very much shade and it was a hot, sunny day. I had brought water, but I also had to be sure to keep Bonnie cool. I found a tree in the corner of the park and I let Bonnie stand under it whenever I thought she was getting too warm. From the shade of the tree, Bonnie could see everyone at the picnic. She didn't feel left out. She was able to cool off with the shade and some water and then return to her doxie friends who were walking around with their owners.

The Dachshund Picnic was a fun time and Bonnie enjoyed being the biggest dog at the party! For more information about doxies, visit our Dachshund page.

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