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Charka's Heart

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7 April 2015

April 7th 2015 8:21 am
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Dear Di-
I've been a baaad dog. Much happens and I never tell you. Well just a quick note. The funnest news is that dad (human) and I are a therapy team. We've joined a group at the University of Minnesota called PAWS (pet away worry & stress). I get to hang out and students and faculty and staff get to pet me :-) I went to a dorm with the group for Valentine's Day and I think I'll go to a sorority and... Well, it's fun and loads more fun than all the training we had to do to qualify for our registration... dad says most of that was to make sure I'd actually enjoy doing this.
Oh, I still do other things, but THIS is something a dog can really sink her teeth into (that's a little dog joke... I don't use my teeth on visits... hahaha... woof!).
I took the Dognition cognition tests... and I'm an 'Expert'. That means I really REALLY like to solve problems on my own. It also means I like people to show me how they do it and I'll figure out how tooth and paw and nose can do the same thing. I hate to ask a person for help when I know _I_ can figure it out!
OK... signing out for now,

Your friend Charks


29 Jun 2012

June 29th 2012 12:39 pm
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Hi Di -

It's been another long while since we talked. I am a happy dog. I got my UKC Junior Jumper in dock jumping. I was the jumpingest GSD out there :-) And I'm still doing really well in agility... trials coming up. I train for real a couple times a week and do fun runs on Sat. If you ask me, they are ALL fun runs.

It's summer and we do a lot of walks... and I still do automatic sits at the curbs. Lots of people ask dad how he gets me to do that with no words and a loose leash. Dad just smiles and says 'Good dog, Charka!'. We also walk through the park where there are lots of people. I keep my mind on walking (and squirrels, of course) and don't pay any attention to all the distractions ('Good dog!'... that's me). Dad uses 'gee' and 'haw' to adjust my line so I won't trip or scare anyone.

Dad loves to walk through the woods near the wolf enclosure at the zoo. Sometimes the wolves walk with us (inside their fence, of course). They are big and doggish... mostly I just look for rabbits and squirrels... and moles (did I mention I'm really good at catching moles?).

Otherwise, since it's summer, people are throwing water all over their lawns. I LOVE spraying water... almost as much as I like big pools of water.

Anyway, got to go. It's time for another nice walk. I hope I can convince dad to do the looong walk. We'll see.

Talk to you later, Di.

Your friend,



18 Sep 2011

September 18th 2011 6:41 pm
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Dear Di-

You know, we haven't talked in over a year! Wow! Tempus fugit!!! I have been well... ok, I did have a left toe amputated because of damage when I was little. Nobody knew the extent of damage until dad asked for an x-ray cuz I'd limp every so often. But, I'm fine and doing really well and my foot doesn't hurt anymore.

I'm studying obedience to start competition for real this fall. Dad thinks I've settled down enough and I think so too.

I love agility, so we take a couple of classes each week and then do a recreational class on Saturdays. My big goal is to finally understand the weave... and I'm getting it!

Mom's dad came to visit and I really REALLY like him and he liked me. I got to sleep in his room and take him for walks. He got to come and visit me at school too. I can hardly wait until he comes to visit again.

And finally, this Saturday I found another sport I love... it's called dock jumping. You know how I love jumping into water after my tug? There is actually a sport where you get to do it until your toes turn blue!!! I loved it, did I mention that? It was a class and I spent an hour and a half barking to get another turn and then running and jumping and swimming... it was soooo exciting. Dad said I acted completely crazy... but he promised to let me practice and go to another class and start jumping in the spring for points, whatever those are. The teacher said I was just incredible for a shepherd... but I KNOW that.

That's enough for now di... I won't even mention how good I've gotten at catching moles... but, dad won't let me eat them. I wish mole catching were a sport too. ANYWAY, I promise to talk soon and put up a video of me jumping into the water... did I mention I love it?

Bye, for now, di...

Your friend Charks


9 Jun 2010

June 7th 2010 2:43 pm
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Hey Di -

It's me Charks. As usual, I've been busy :-) Dad thinks I'm almost perfect... dad just sooo under-rates me. On Sat, mom was out of town and dad took me down to the local coffee shop to get a coffee and scone. The only problem was that dogs can't go into the shop. Sooo, dad put me into a sit-stay, looped my leash over a post and went in to get his coffee. I, of course, held my sit and we shared a bit of that scone to celebrate. Can you say 'Good dog, Charka!'?

On Sunday, dad decided to take me for a long walk past the big park. Actually, I helped dad decide by pointing myself in the proper direction when we got to the corner. I do automatic sits at curbs (Good dog, Charks!)... but I do sometimes indicate my walk preference. Weeellll, there were tons of people parking on the street and going to the park... so I got to show off my don't-bother-anyone walk... Good dog, Charka!

Then there was the toddler... the parents walked past us and the child was following, and just came running at my side to give me a pet before anyone could react. I did not react; nope. Good dog, Charka! [OK, I am very tolerant of children. I was certainly not surprised at my behavior].

And in agility, I did a couple of perfect weave-tunnel-hop-hop-teeters... dad gave me good treats and a big hug. I loved the treats... and dad hugs me even when I'm not 'Good dog, Charks!'.

There's probably more... dad says I'm have more and more times where I'm 'Great dog, Charka!'... I love dad... and hotdogs.

Talk to you soon Di,

Your friend,

Good-dog-Charka (that's me :-) )


5 April 2010

April 5th 2010 1:13 pm
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Dear Di -

I have, as usual, been a busy pup. I'm taking my obedience class and my agility class and a recreational agility class. Dad says I'm getting really good. We don't do all the obstacles in my recreational agility class, but we've been learning how to do long chains of objects and remain under control. We took what we'd learned and looked really good in regular agility. In agility, they set up two semi-circular tunnels and a jump in the middle. 'Tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, Chark-hop' and I came to a stop right in front of dad! Wow, was that fun! Then he did 'Tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, Chark-hop' and I came over the jump the other way and stopped right in front of dad. Wow, was I 'Good Dog Charka'. I'm still the fastest dog that's ever been.

I went to the vet for my heartworm check and got to sit on the scale... I'm 81 lbs. They took me in wihout dad to get my blood checked. I was really happy to see dad when they let me out! His face and glasses were sooo clean when I got done showing him that I was happy.

It was a beautiful weekend, so I took my little people on a nice wagon ride. I even got a chance to lick William's toes (he's 6 months)... his mom wasn't so pleased when I got in just the tiniest little face lick when he was in the middle of his nap. _I_ thought I was 'good dog Charka'... sometimes people are strange. Dad even let me chase the hose water. He says we can probably go to the dog park next week so I can swim. I can hardly wait!

Anyway, I'll talk to you soon, Di.

Your friend,


11 February 2010

February 11th 2010 7:28 am
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Dear Di -

I have been a busy dog! I spent Christmas and New Years at Downton Dogs while my family was away. I came home relaxed... but not that tired :-))) Silly dad... sometimes he has strange expectations. Woof.

I've been sledding and carting... depends on how much snow is down... right now, it's sledding. I started a recreational agility course at Agile Canines... which has moved in right next to... Downtown Dogs. Did I mention how much I wanted to visit Downtown Dogs?

I'm just about ready to do Novice in obedience and dad is going to enter me in a couple of trials later in the month. My friend Mairin came to my obedience class last night. I like her and she likes me... but I'm pretty big, and she's not too fond of dog spit yet ;^) She gave me a treat and then was surprised at how gentle I was when I took it. Dad lets her work with me cuz he says it's good for me to learn to listen to her quiet voice. Sometimes I even do too... but she IS hard to hear.

We're starting a new round of agility work next week... I'll let you know how that goes. Dad thinks I've calmed down a lot... I can be crazy, but pretty much under control crazy. That should be good. Did I mention I was really good in my obedience class last night? Dad can be pretty tricky... the teacher said "blah your dog (that's me)"... and dad would wait... and I didn't :( Tricky dad! Woof!

Anyway, life is pretty exciting and I'm doing lots and lots of things... did I mention that I figured out how to open my kennel? Smart Charka!! Woof! Good dog!. I hope this isn't like the electric garage door thing and dad will change the way things work... sigh.

Oh, well. Talk to you soon di.

Your friend, Charks


23 December 2009

December 23rd 2009 9:11 am
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Hey Di -

I am a happy dog. We have been having snow and I love snow... running and jumping in the snow and snow cones for water and... well, you remember Cart Dog Charka? Well, dad brought the kicksled from the attic and I'm learning to pull a dog sled. IT IS FUN! Woof! Good dog Charks! I am Sled Dog Charka and really proud of my new job.

It is harder to get the sled started than my cart, but I've been doing just fine and am working on speed... I get to pull my small people and that is way fun.

I'm going to go visit Downtown Dogs for Christmas break... did I mention I also love Downtown Dogs? But I get really tired too. Romping is HARD work. I'll talk to you when I get back, OK?

You have a great Holiday, Di.

Your friend,


7 December 2009

December 7th 2009 12:44 pm
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Dear Di -

I am a cart dog! I have learned to control my wagon and I've gone up and down hill. I've pulled children fast and slow... mostly I like fast... and they do too. Dad got me a sleigh bell collar so I jingle as I move. Dad even makes me put it on when we just go for a walk... he says it sounds really neat...

I am really proud of my work and get excited when the harness comes out. Good dog, Charka! Woof!

Dad and I are still working on command for right and left, and stop and go... and I get lots of hotdog treats 'cause dad wants this be a fun experience. Don't tell dad, but it looks like I'm having fun even without the treats :-)

Talk to you soon Di. Make sure you look at my new video and pics.

Your friend,


18 Nov 2009 - Later that same day...

November 18th 2009 6:00 pm
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Hi again Di -

I did really well! I took Mairin for a walk around the block in my new wagon... I'm learning to turn with confidence (that's what dad says) and I learned how to lean into the harness to pull the wagon up those sidewalk cutouts. And, you know what? My tail was wagging and I was having some fun! Woof! Good dog, Charka! Dad says he needs to adjust my harness just a bit... but he gave me lots of pieces of hotdog! Woof! Dad wants to take some pictures when I do this next and it's not too dark. I'm a happy and tired dog.

Talk to you real soon.

Your friend,



18 Nov 2009

November 18th 2009 1:58 pm
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Dear Di -

I got a new job! Dad is teaching me to pull a wagon... woof! Draft Charks! Anyway, I'm doing really well. I like the harness and am OK with the wagon. I haven't worked out my turns yet... they tell me I'll need to learn to step my outside leg across my inside leg to do this well... crazy, eh?

Anyway, it's going well... and my friend Mairin is going to come over and help me train tonight. I'll let you know how it went and maybe post a pic or two!

Soon, Di!

Your friend,


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