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101 Dog Tricks

December 14th 2008 11:44 pm
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Mom bought a new book. It has 101 dog tricks and she says she is going to teach them all to me and Abby. I already knew several of them and some of the steps to build up to a few more. We are going to try to use this diary entry to update all the new tricks that I have learned.
I already knew...
1. Sit
2. Down
3. Stay
4. Come
5. Shake although we are going to start to do left and right
6. Fetch
7. Drop
8. Balance and Catch- we started that a while back but I really didn't like it and I refused to catch. Mom is challenging me a bit more. Now that I know the trick, it I don't catch it, she takes it but if I catch it, I get another treat free. I'm starting to like this one now.
9. Sit Pretty/Beg- I didn't have a hand cue but I pretty much learned it tonight.
10. Speak
11. Roll-over
12. Play Dead
13. Fetch my slippers- I have always been a bit afraid that may translate to eat my slippers while I'm gone. But a few weeks ago, we started working on fetching their Kongs for dinner.
14. Get your leash- I said that half jokingly at a flyball tournament one time and she really did it. I was kind of stunned. She knows what get it means and was able to put it together. I may have to put her leash on a lower hook and see if she can do it when it is time to go somewhere.
15. Get the newspaper- she can get the newspaper but she isn't tall enough to get the mail as in the book. I think we are good with just getting the paper from the driveway.
16. Say your prayers- she will do it on my arm but I hadn't thought to teach her to do it on a chair or side of the bed. I also need to teach it to a hand cue.
17. Kennel up
18. Tidy up your toys- Cotton can do this but we could use some fine tuning the drop. She wants to play with each toy rather than putting them in the toybox.
19. Honk a bike horn- mom asked me to do it a few weeks ago and I did it- we'll add it to the list...
20. Doggie push-ups, need to get better and connect it to a hand cue.
21. Turn off/on the lights- we started this months ago but kind of dropped it.
Tonight I learned...
22. Find my keys- I lose them so often I started teaching this months ago. We'll add it to the list to fine tune.
23. Jump into my arms.
24.Tunnel
25. Crawl- need to connect to a cue and get the butt down.
26. Touch a target.
27. Take a bow. needs work and connect to a cue.
28. Kisses
29. Wave- only waves at me. Need to work on waving in other directions- at others.

1. Roll into a blanket (Night-night). I was surprised how quickly she got this one. I just need to learn to connect it to the hand cue now.
2. Peekaboo- it is too simple, I can't quite believe that is it plus I don't like to be behind mom. Also need to connect it to the hand cue.
3. Leg Weaves. Pretty good.
4. Massage (not in book, she paws at my back while I type so I thought we may turn it into something useful).

Tomorrow we may work on:
1. Roll into a blanket- connect the hand cue.
2. Leg weaves- less reliant on lures, more on hand cues.
3. Balance and catch


So far, this is fun and I'm getting lots of treats. I'm probably getting less dinner tomorrow. :( Now that I have written this, I realize that Cotton knows a little about a lot of tricks but very few are absolutely perfected. It will be fun to work on connecting these to hand cues and perfecting them. We would love suggestions on new tricks too.

 

The chiropracter, again...

December 14th 2008 9:52 pm
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Something didn't go right with my chiro visit on Tuesday so I had to go back again on Friday night. Mom saw me doing bunny hops so she immediately called to see what needed to be done. We were told to go back ASAP. Mom is starting to lose her faith in him. Mom has already lost her faith in vets. We are not sure what else to do.

 

The Chiropractor

December 10th 2008 1:35 pm
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Ugh! I had to go to the chiropractor again last night. This is our 5th visit, I think, maybe more. I am getting better and better but I still don't like the guy. He comes out to see me and I tuck my tail and give him a dirty look. But after he pops me into place, I walk down the hall very happy and sometimes I even get the zoomies. I finally got to start playing flyball again. I did my first practice on Sat. It felt so good to bark and run with my team. I sure have missed flyball. Mom says I feel a bit slower but there is no timer so it could just be her imagination- I hope anyway. I definitely didn't forget how to play though. Mom didn't let me do much although she says I got to play more than she had planned to let me play. I can hardly wait, I'll show mom I'm as good as new.

My friend had to have surgery on Monday. He ate something he wasn't supposed to eat. When they did the first x-ray, they thought it was one thing but they did a second x-ray right before surgery and could tell it was two things. But during the surgery, they actually found 6 things in his stomach. They were each about the size of a quarter and red, blue, and cream striped. No one knows what it was. The vet tech's guess is that it may have been a little ball. He has 20 staples and a gigantic lampshade on his head. He wants the lampshade gone. He is a bit of a wild child so his mom has to be with him 24/7 so he doesn't hurt himself. This is going to be a very long two or three weeks (depending on how quickly he heals). I hope he heals quickly and gets to come back to flyball really soon.

 

Oh, you noticed. Thank you :)

November 1st 2008 8:53 am
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We really didn't think too many pups would notice our new photos but we got tons of comments and gifts. Thank you for all your nice pmails and gifts. We love each gift. We get silly excited when we get a new gift. You pups make us fee so special and loved.
As you could tell, I wasn't all that thrilled with being a pumpkin but I will do anything for mom. Abby is such a girl about clothes. She strutted around like she owned the world. She would have worn her costume everywhere if mom had let her. It is raining today so we will probably have to wear our raincoats. That will make Abby happy.
Mom did make the photos pretty fun though. She says we might do some for Christmas. I think I can handle it.
Thanks again every Dogster pup- you rock!

 

I'm a diary pick of the day.

November 1st 2008 8:37 am
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I have been chosen as a daily diary pick. I honestly thought my diary had been boring lately. I hadn't written in a long time then I wrote about my injury and finally beginning to recover. So what else has been going on in the life of Cotton? Hmmm... It rained this mornig so we are not going to flyball practice. Mom said I was going to get to go over the small jumps today so I am a bit disappointed. Because of my injury, I hadn't been able to jump or play flyball for quite a while. I am up to running about a mile and a half. It isn't really running, it is more of a walk/jog but sometimes I stop to sniff something and mom doesn't stop so I have to run to catch up to mom. Mom is very excited about our walk yesterday. I was feeling so good, I took off running through the field. She says I looked good too. All of my legs were moving as they should - no rear end bunny hops. And this morning, I didn't look stiff or anything. It looks like I really am healed and getting back into shape.
Next weekend is one of my favorite annual flyball tournaments and mom says I am not well enough to attend. I am very disappointed.
Halloween was no big deal. We live out in the middle of nowhere. We always buy candy but no one came to the house. The kid next door was supposed to come but he comes early before heading off to other fun things. Mom really wanted to take a shower but didn't want to miss him so she went to his house to give him the candy. His dad thought that was pretty funny.

I almost forgot... Mom came home very excited a couple nights ago. She and her aunt go to the casino about 3 or 4 times a year. They had free dinner cupons so they went. Mom hit a small jackpot!!! She says she is going to get us both a new crate and some toys. We are going to the fabric store today to get some fleece to make new blankets for the car and the couches. Winter is coming and we all fight over the one blanket mom made last hear.

 

Nursing my injury

October 25th 2008 9:57 pm
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I have been hurt for about a month and a half now. The vets still say it is just a sprained/strained leg and I should be on confined rest (basically house arrest) for another two weeks. Every time we go to the vet, we are told two more weeks.
About 6 weeks ago, we did a performance. Abby and I were both in the performance so someone had to hold my leash while Abby did her part. When I saw mom coming to get me, I got so excited, I jumped in mom's arms. I am 40 pounds but I have been doing that since I was a tiny pup so it is no big deal and mom knows to catch me but the other person pulled my leash down and I fell on my butt/back. It hurt and I looked at mom but then I shook it off because it was my turn to play and I was way excited. Mom tried to pull me aside to look at me but I kept pulling her out to play. She finally thought I was ok and gave in.
That night, mom thought she saw me limp but then I started walking normal so she dismissed it but that night when it was time to irrigate at 2am, I could hardly walk down the hall. I never let mom go to work without me but I couldn't get my back end to work so I finally gave up and went back to bed. It scared mom pretty bad but by the time mom got back (about 10 minutes later), I could walk ok but with a slight hitch in my leg. Mom called the vet first thing in the morning.
The first vet said I probably had a strained leg and that I should rest for 5 days and 5 additional days of rebuilding strength and then I should be good to go. He didn't even want to watch me walk. We walked a circle around the metal table in the room and he said he could see the problem. Mom tried to tell him that I play sports, work with her, and she would like the best care possible and tried to talk him into going outside to watch me walk where I wasn't scared, walking with my tail tucked and sliding on tile floors but he said he could see the problem and dismissed everything all the other information mom was trying to tell him, including the part about not being able to get up in the morning. Mom almost cried because she knew it was a wasted trip to the vet. He gave me Remadyl and sent us home.
A week later, there was no difference- even with the pain meds. We went back to the vet but see someone else. He took x-rays, even though we could tell he thought it was a waste of time. He even wanted to stick me in a crate for a couple hours because the x-ray tech wouldn't be ready for me for a couple hours. Mom said she would wait with me in the waiting room or outside. He tried to take my leash and told mom she should just leave me and come back for me in a few hours. Mom refused to let go of my leash and told the vet she would leave her cell # with the ladies up front and we would be back in an hour but wouldn't be more than 5 mins. away. He finally gave in. When we went back a few hours later, the tech finally came to get me from the lobby but I didn't want to go. The tech just grabbed me and carried me as mom reminded her to be careful of my leg. Mom still doesn't know exactly how they got the x-ray without sedating me and she guesses it is better that she doesn't know because of how upset she is about the entire experience. She had to wait another hour before the vet came out to get us to look at the x-ray. He just popped them on the light and said nothing was wrong, just a strain, go home and continue indoor confinement for another week then let me be a dog and do what I want but don't encourage more. He also changed my prescription to Metacam.
Another week went by and there still wasn't a change, even the new med didn't change the way I walked. We went back to the vet and saw the third vet at that office. He looked at the x-ray, said there was nothing wrong, and offered more pain meds. Mom again tried to tell him that I am a very active sports dog and she wanted me to be able to play again and she wanted the best care and precautions. He did take me outside to walk. It took 3 vets before someone finally took me outside to walk. Mom told him about how I get up like a crippled old man every morning but he dismissed that as working out some kinks. He gave me more Metacam and said two more weeks of rest for my sprained/strained leg. Mom asked if it could possibly be a slipped disc or pinched nerve. Mom stressed that she thought it was something with my back or hips and not exactly with the leg but the vet dismissed everything mom said. He actually told mom that it couldn't be a pinched nerve or disc issue because I didn't bite him. He said if it was something like that, it would have been so painful, I would have bit him. That just made mom even more mad. He doesn't know me, he doesn't know that. He said to let me do what I wanted indoors but not to encourage more and gave me the supersized bottle of Metacam.
We got frustrated and decided to do anything that was recommended by anyone. Went to a chiropractor about two weeks ago. The next morning for the first time in a month, I could get out of bed without looking like a crippled old man. The chiro took the time to explain the x-ray to mom and showed her how my entire pelvic bone was leaning toward the left while my spine was straight. He took me outside and walked me again then gave me a little adjustment. I didn't like the clicker thing but when he was done, I wanted to run around and smell all the flowers outside the office. I wanted to explore all the rooms in the office. It wasn't like a scary vet office.
I did have to stay in my crate for 24 hours to give the legamets time to adjust a bit and hold everything in place.
A week later, I was looking and feeling a lot better but I still had the slight hitch in my leg so we called the chiro again.
We had an appointment for Friday (yesterday) but we were supposed to call before driving there. Mom couldn't find the number and her phone was acting weird again so we just went. When we got there, the receptionist said he wasn't there and reminded mom that she was supposed to call before coming. She called the dr. but he didn't pick up his phone. She said she would send me out to where he was. Mom thought that meant another office but it turned out to be his home. He was having his horse shoed. He laughed when we pulled up and made a joke about trying to hide but we found him anyway. Mom said she would go to the end of the world to get me feeling better again. I thought it was great. He let me see the horse and run around a bit. Mom and the dr. thought it was great because I was acting like myself, not guarded from being somewhere unusual like a medical office. After watching me for a bit, he did an exam right there then the adjustment. This time, I didn't have to even do crate rest. I was under house arrest again for the evening but he said he wanted me to be able to move and stretch out my muscles.
This morning for the first time in 6 weeks, I fully stretched like I used to do every morning before I got hurt. Mom has never been so happy to see me do something as simple as stretch.
This morning we went to flyball practice. I got to see everyone and and hang out while they were setting up but then I had to sit in my crate. I got so mad, I chewed a huge hole in it. Mom used a wire crate once while she took Abby for a run and I hurt my mouth and chipped some teeth so mom isn't sure what to do with me now. Normally I am fine in a soft crate but I am frustrated and have way too much energy and I am not allowed to use it so I have destroyed a few things before I thought about it. I always feel bad later.
Mom let me do a few recalls without jumps and everyone said I was running normally. This weekend we went on our walk/trott to get my muscles working again and get my stamina back up. I really enjoyed it but mom was afraid of the coyotes the entire time.
A few days ago, mom was going out to check the water in the orchard. Mom carried Abby to the truck and she started barking like crazy. Mom thought it was just a cat, then I started barking my alert bark. Mom couldn't see cat eyes and when she turned on the truck lights, less than 20 feet away was the coyote staring at us. Thankfully we were already in the truck but it was probably there the entire time from leaving the house, walking across the lawn and getting in the truck. Mom has been a little worried about the coyotes since then. All the other fields have been harvested so several have probably moved into the field of milo behind our house. The milo is scheduled to be harvested in the next week so the coyotes will all have to go back to the river, hopefully.

Mom thought she was going to have to work today so she didn't have any plans. After flyball some friends told her about a dog event in the tower district. A friend is part of a dog performance troop that was performing at the event. We went over after practice, grabbed lunch and hung out. There was also going to be a costume parade and contest. I don't like costumes but mom got a butterfly costume for Abby. Abby would have worn it proudly but it was too hot. We had our Halloween collars on so that was good enough. After the first half of the performance and a visit to the booths, we were hot and ready to head home. The event was held in a paved parking lot and there wasn't enough shade to keep up and especially our feet cool so mom decided it was time to go even though they hadn't even done the costume parade. We were fine with that. I slept most of the way home. Abby was having one of her panic attacks again so she shook and panted the entire way home, again-ugh!
Mom is really hopeful that I am cured and am ready to recondition and get back to normal. Paws crossed. The chiro did say that I should go back about every 10 weeks for an exam and possible realignment. I hope we get to go to his place and see the horse again ;).

 

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

August 27th 2008 11:24 pm
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Today is my birthday. I am 4 years old. Mom says the time is going by way too quickly. And I agree, my special day is almost over :).
This morning mom gave me a purple soccer ball. I used to have a soccer ball when I was younger but I popped it. I loved it, I rolled it all over the place but I could pick it up and eventually my tooth went through. I love my new ball. I can pick it up too. Mom is trying to remind me to roll it instead of bite it. I also got another pink Orbee ball. I love those balls, they are squishy and bouncy and just a tiny bit too big for Abby so she can't pick them up (ha ha).
Then we got to go for a motorcycle run. I love running. Mom is hoping that by running, it will keep us in shape, get out some of our morning energy, and help us to practice sprinting for flyball.
We went to work with mom and rode in the Gator a lot. Usually if I get in the Gator and mom doesn't need to go anywhere, she will just ignore me but today she took me for a ride almost each time. Mom even made Abby ride in the back so I could have the front seat all to myself.
After a long day of work, we took a nap to rest up for more fun. We went to the doggie toy store to get some Squeakers balls. Those are my favorite. Mom found out that tennis balls are bad for dog teeth so I don't get them too often. These are a treat, specifically for my birthday.
Mom has to add that Abby had a successful trip to the store. She only barked twice and refocused really quickly. The next time we went by the dogs, Abby looked to get treats rather than barking. I am very proud.
We also found a loofa toy (AKA Bobo) with a rope in the middle. Mom is hoping that it will last longer and maybe even transition me into playing tug with a rope in flyball.
We were intending to get some new dog food too but after tons of research, reading threads, creating a thread, and tons of posts- they didn't have the food. So we came home with just a can of the wet food that we had considered. They liked it enough that they weren't too disappointed that the dog bakery was closed and we couldn't even find a human carrot cake without raisins.
It was a great birthday.

 

It's been a while

February 18th 2008 11:17 am
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Wow, it's been 7 months since we have written and a lot has happened. Since then, I have been bumped up to our varsity performance team. Our teams are never written in stone- not even in pen. So if they need me to race at any level, I am there. We did three performances last week and another this week. We were pretty tired and took yesterday off to just relax and sleep and relax and sleep some more. But I really do like to perform. I love the crowds, when the yell and cheer for me, I run faster and faster. Sat. night I really got to show off my speed and because it is a small venue, I got to meet some of the crowd later. I used to not like that part too much but now I am willing to show off backstage as well. Mom is so very proud of me and how far I have come in a year. January was officially our one year flyball anniversary. Some of the other ladies on the flyball team have even given me awesome compliments. They said I am solid and easy to pass. Our box loader says that I have a beautiful box turn.
We have attended several more flyball tournaments, including Wags for Wishes, Arizona. That was a lot of fun. I got to play flyball team and pairs. My friend Kiely and I love to play together so we did pairs just for fun one day. Our team did really well at the flyball tournament as well. We came in first in our division.
I also competed in and won first place in a disc dogs competition. We took a little lesson at Wags for Wishes, Az and came back a few hours later to compete in the Toss n' Fetch competition. There were about 20 dogs competing and I ended with the top score (even topped our teacher's score by a couple points- he was in shock). I told the guy who gave us the lesson that Cotton is a quick learner but no one ever quite believes me until they see her in action. He taught Cotton to go around the back of me when she brings the disc back and when we came back a couple hours to compete, she was able to put it into practice. It was absolutely awesome.
Today is mom's birthday-Happy birthday mom.
Other than flyball practice, we have next weekend off but the following weekend, we are back to performing. We are doing the halftime show for the NBA Kings. I love those performances. The crowds are awesome, the energy is amazing and the treats flow freely :).
That's about it for now. C-ya

 

Wags For Wishes

July 10th 2007 6:13 pm
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We drove half the length of California (about 8 hours) to attend Wags for Wishes. We had a great time. I got to try lots of dog sport- dock dogs, disc, lure course, course a'lure (lure with agility style obsticles), and of course flyball. There were several more like herding but we didn't have enough time or experience. We thought about doing the herding instince test but mom was afraid that I would freak out if the lady corrected me with the cane (I am very sensitive). Maybe we will try it next year. My friends did it and they looked like they were having a lot of fun.
My favorite thing was the lure course. I kind of knew that they were just plastic bags but they were sure fun to chase. The moment they stopped, I didn't try to bite or even sniff them like the other dogs but looked disappointed that they weren't moving anymore. I got to run my top speed all over an open field. I was barking for more after my turn was over. Mom tried to stay to video a friend who was after me but I wanted another turn so much that I was tugging and pulling so mom had a hard time keeping the camera still.
Course a'lure was fun too but at the end a bunch of people tried to tackle me which was kind of scary. I was trying to get a "bunny" then suddenly I was attacked. Then I just wanted mom. As soon as I spotted her, I broke away from the crazy people trying to trap me and ran to mom. I got to do it again later that day but I remembered the box and jumped out before the box and ran to mom. I wasn't going to let those crazy people try to get me again. I learned the first time that the box was bad.
Mom thought I was going to go crazy for Dock dogs but I was a little unsure of the clear water. I love swimming and jumping into water but I usually swim in natural water (lakes, rivers, ocean, etc). The Splash Dogs pool was clear, I couldn't see the water so it was a bit scary. I was excited when I figured out what was going on but then when I couldn't see the water, I stopped, checked it out, then jumped. The line was so long that mom became frustrated (especially with people tossing their dogs in the pool when they refused to jump) so we left.
Disc was very exciting. Novice was full so in order to participate, we had to go Pro. Mom was afraid we would look silly esp. since we hadn't played in a while but we made 14th place without showing up for the second toss series. Mom didn't know we were supposed to take two turns so we left. The next day she checked our score and noticed that others had two scores added together. What a bummer, we could have placed in the top 10 if we had known we were supposed to go again. We would love to do that again. Hopefully we can find some local disc competitions.
Of course we had to do flyball. We placed 4th in our division and I earned enough points to get my next title- TF-1. My friend did his first singles. He did very well, the entire team is very proud of him. He did so well that he was placed on a team the next day for warm-ups and even got to do a couple heats. Yeah, Giggsy!!!
Wags for Wishes was too much fun. Other than sports, we took some pictures, went shopping, won some prizes (flyball raffle-cooler with radio attached, Petco wheel of prizes- jackpot= one of everything on the table-frisbee, ball, bag clip, and Natural Balance trial size dry food and sausage) and even talked to a dog psychic. Abby told the psychic that she wants to live with us full time and that my mom is a lot more fun than her mom. She stays with us about 4 days per week, we will just have to forget to drop her more often.
We had an awesome time.

 

Dock dogs

May 4th 2007 12:14 am
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Last Sunday, I got to try a new sport. Mom has been emailing a trainer and playing phone tag for a while but Sunday was the big day that it finally happened. It was a bit weird and even a little scary at first becuase we drove out to the middle of nowhere. We met a lady I had seen once but only for a min. at a very busy tournament. She got a crate, put it in her van, and shoved me into it. I'm not used to traveling in another dog's crate. I complained a little but mom reached back and tapped my crate and let me know she was there so I was ok. When we arrived at the lake, mom left me in the strange crate that was in a strange car with other strange dogs. I didn't think there was anything worth all of that. But boy was I wrong. Mom finally pulled me out of the crate and I saw my favorite toy from last summer and water-I was going to get to swim. To top it off, mom and the lady put a carpet on a dock and let us jump off the dock. I had so much fun, I was shaking with anticipation when waiting for my next turn. Mom just needs to learn to throw my toy correctly and we will be able to add another sport to the list of things I can do.
Sadly, I did lose my favorite frisbee. Mom thought it would float but it sank-quickly. It was a really cool one that was made out of a material that didn't warp in the sun and mom could roll it up and put it in her pocket and other dogs could play tug with it and it still flew and looked perfect. We will be on the look-out for a new one. If we find one, I won't let mom throw it in water again.
My little cousin Abby is here again. She is a brat but secretly, I love her. I wish she were my sister and could stay here all the time.
I would like to say congratulations to Brandi on my flyball team-her very first human sibling was born on Tuesday. Brandi's dad is so excited, he took lots of pictures with his cell phone and brought it out to class to show us tonight.

 
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