Thursday, September 29, 2011

Red Dog Reunion

Even though Mr. Jiggs now lives in a foster home, he still keeps up with his old barn friends Star and Jondi. These three established the sweetest friendship while they lived together and it is important to all of them to keep it up. Socializing dogs via play sessions with other, trusted doggie friends is a must.
This is what it looked like this morning:

Mr. Jiggs will see you next week Jondi and Star!!!!

The Odd Couple

No, we're not taking you back to revisit the old sitcom with Felix and Oscar. The barn has its own version of "The Odd Couple." It's

The Captain and Patsy

These two can't wait to get out of their kennels and immediately start wrestling and running with each other. And sometimes they even take a break from all that playing...

The Captain might have a size advantage over Patsy the Pup. (You know, though, he's just a big old softy.)

What Patsy lacks in size in comparison to Spanky she certainly makes up for with attitude. This little girl is fearless, some might say a little big for her britches at times.

The two might look like an odd couple, but they compliment each other beautifully, a perfect pairing for the barn's own entertaining sitcom. They're BBF: Barn Buddies Forever.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The mysteries of Jondi

Okay, Jondi's been back at the barn for a week now, but I just had to share a few more thoughts about the time she spent with us.

Things I didn't know/realize about Jondi before she came to my house:

1) She wags her tail A LOT! "Hi Jondi" - wag, wag, wag. "What are you doing?" - wag, wag, wag. Look at her sideways - wag, wag, wag. "I think I'll get a glass of water" - wag, wag, wag. It definitely puts a smile on your face.

2) She is quite adept at using a lap top.

See the blue selected text on the screen? Jondi did that on her own. No lie!

3) She snores a little sometimes when she sleeps. It's pretty cute, and oddly relaxing (if only I felt the same way when my husband snores!).

4) She likes to find Jondi-sized spaces to nestle in while she checks out what's going on.

5) She's got one of the best smiles around.

But that, of course, I already knew.

squirrel saga

It came in a package all the way from Washington State. A package that smelled sweetly of grilled cheese and love. It was gift wrapped and had her name on it, carefully scripted on a yellow sticky: "Star's Squirrel." It was meant for her - Star! Star!

She stared laser beams at Squirrel, willing him towards her mouth - "Mine! Mine!" - a small bubble of drool gathered at her lip. The last one was stolen from her (Estrella), but not this time.

Success. At long last the human released her prize as instructed and it was hers to keep. Star snatched it in a flash and trotted off to a safe corner of the yard, away from the prying eyes of the others. It squeaked - momentarily. She fell into a squirrel trance and all was right with the world.

Her quiet focus soon attracted the attention of the others. The puppy thing saddled up slowly and pushed in to her muzzle. "Hey watchu got Star? Huh? ... Can I see it? ... Huh?" Star gruffled softly: "Mine. Grmmm. Mine." Puppy thing snorted and yawned and trotted off to chew on a chair.

Distracted by bliss, she didn't notice that the big headed boy thing had been watching and waiting. He staked out his prize and when the moment was right, zoomed in and seized Squirrel's soft fuzzy tail. Grrrmm. Rip! Star pretended not to care.

Soon it was time for breakfast and they all ran off, leaving Squirrel by his lonesome to reflect on the day's big adventures.

"Hey! Where is everybody! Where's my tail?"

The tall wolfie thing had been lying in wait. He tip-toed over to Squirrel like a slow motion slinky and gingerly lifted him back to his lair - far, far from his rightful owner. "Mine! Mine!"

Squirrel's adventures continue ...

Star's squirrel came in a gift package from Tracey Thompson of WA. What a fun day, thanks to our very thoughtful cyber-friend!

The LONG Down-Stay Challenge

In an earlier post, barn crew member Catherine talked about the usefulness of the "go to place" command. Another useful command for your pooch to master that goes hand-in-hand with the "go to place" command is - the "LONG Down-Stay".

If you enjoy meeting friends at outdoor cafes that allow well behaved pooches, then mastery of these two commands can make it possible for your beloved pet to participate too. Free outdoor concerts, picnics in the park, chats with the neighbors, and even having visitors in the home - all of these activities can also include your pooch if he or she has mastered the "LONG Down-Stay" challenge. And as your pooch learns to master this challenge, you can extend the time until he or she is able to maintain the position even up to an hour or more.

The barn dogs recently took the "LONG Down-Stay" challenge with some photo-worthy results. Since there was a lot still to do that evening, we set the goal at five minutes.

First up - Captain Spanky.

Nice form, great eye contact. The Captain stayed in position for the full five minutes of this exercise. All that practice during his vacation really shows here - great job Spanklestein!

But OK, the Spankster is a mellow kinda guy so let's see how well this goes with our more active girls.

Next up to the mat, the ever wiggly oh so cute, Patsy the Pup - let's see how she manages.

Well O.K - she is down, she is staying, and she hung in there (barely) for the full five minutes. BUT, little Patsy's attention wandered everywhere! She looked at the ants on the porch, she saw a grasshopper in the grass, she had to look at something that flew by, she wiggled and squiggled on the mat while still in the down position - but by golly, she made it!

Then came pretty little Jondi.

A 5 minute long down-stay? No problem for this red-head!

But hmmmm - what's that I see? Yes, we have a creeper! This clever girl stayed down but began to slowly creep forward. Jondi spent most of the time wistfully gazing into the yard at something much more interesting. But hey, she did it...and this isn't about form, right?

Last pooch to the mat is sweet Star - our energetic bouncy tomboy.

Do you see that look of concentration as Star prepares for this challenge? The furrowed brow and poised paws?

OK, here we go!

Look at that form!

Look at that focus!

Check out that shy smile of pride as Star maintains her position for the full five minutes!!!

Well done, Star - well done.

And just to prove that she mastered this command, here's another pic of Star doing an additional bonus three minutes.

You go girl! Thanks for showing how it's done Star - stellar job.

Yup, all of the barn dogs earned their treats tonight - well done doggies, well done.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meet the Team!

The newest members of our team got together and concocted a way to celebrate the dogs and our partnership to help them. That included a BBQ with icy mojitos and major happy food at the barn - with all the orphan canines invited. What a blast. The dogs enjoyed one of their BEST days ever, surrounded by the people they call family. Being surrounded by grilling meat didn't hurt too much either.

This gave me a chance to (finally!) snap photos of everyone so you can see the lovely faces behind the names. (All except for Connor Cook who's vacationing somewhere wonderful and who owes us a photo so we can prove that males really do sign on for animal-related volunteer work!)

Many thanks to our newest dog handlers. We're so proud to know you!
Link: Meet the Team!

Above, a favorite outtake of Ana Poe being mugged by the irrepressible Star.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jondi on holiday

It was a fun week having Jondi as a houseguest.

When she first got here, she was a little tentative, not sure about the new surroundings with all of their strange smells and sounds.

But after the first day or so, she really started to settle in.

She kept me company while I worked from home part of the week:

And enjoyed some play time in the back yard.

For some reason, Jondi's presence brought out the local wildlife including repeated visits from a family of raccoons and this family of turkeys (whom I have never seen in the yard before). After I shooed them away, Jondi had fun playing with the feathers they left behind.

She was always up for an adventure.
What're we gonna do now??

And kept tabs on the neighborhood happenings:
I see Bob's just getting home from work...

She is used to being a house dog and had delightful manners. Although it was a short stay, she was a wonderful addition to our house!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jondi's homies

As far as we know, Jondi's never had a pack of dog friends. So it was extra special to see her greet everybody with joyful abandon when she came back from her little weekend with barn crew member Joanne.

"Welcome back Jondi. We missed you!"

"Yo Elliot. Catch me if you can!"

A Day at the Office (Captain Spanky's vacation adventure)

Captain Spanky's vacation ended today and he rejoined his barn friends, but not before meeting a whole lotta new fans and friends while learning what it takes to be "An Office Dog". Here are some pics from Spanky's "Day at the Office".

Here he is taking a ride to the barn lady's office campus. Spanky looks a little apprehensive about this strange new place and what kind of reception he'll receive. After all, people have given him funny looks before, though he sure doesn't know why.

Spanky: "will these people be nice to me, barn lady?"

Barn lady: "Yes Captain Spanky, don't worry - they'll love you!"

On arriving at the office, the Spankster took a tour of the area and was introduced to several of the barn lady's co-workers.

Here he is meeting Giant's fan, Tony Rabanal who is awed by Captain Spanky's athletic musculature.

Spanky showed Tony his wonderful manners by doing a nice sit-stay (he'd really rather sniff through the contents of the trash can, but barn lady told him to "leave-it" so he did)

Good boy Spanky!

Next he visited Jeffrey Lowery who gave him a nice "behind the ear" massage.

Spanky: "Hmmm..... this whole office thing isn't so bad after all! Being an office dog is kinda fun!"

In the meantime, word got out that there was a very special visitor in the office and several fans showed up to admire Spanky who then showed them how well behaved he could be. The Spankster showed them his sit-stay, shake, down, and leave-it. They oohed and ahhed and some said he was better mannered than their own personal dog! And yup, Spankalicious was a special favorite with the ladies!

Perry Canete is used to little purse sized dogs, but loved his velveteen coat and gentle demeanor.

Spanky: "I'm just a hunka hunka bully love!"

Here are Russ Siciliano and Captain Spanky having a "heart-to-heart" conversation.

Spanky: "pushing those buttons in front of that gray thingie is work?"

Russ: "Yes Captain - its brain work, and using your brain so much can be very stressful. But thanks for giving me a big hug -I feel so much better!"

Finally though, the barn lady went to work on her computer so Captain Spanky settled down to do his job as an office dog / assistant......

Good job Captain Spanky!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Captain Spanky's Vacation - A Taste of Life as a House Dog

Who woulda thunk that the cushy life of a house dog also came with more rules?

Yes, the Captain has been enjoying his taste of house-dog life but his teenage brain has also been working hard to remember some new rules. Let's see:

- no chewing on shoes, rugs, chairs, or stuffies belonging to the small human.

Oops - busted!!

- dogs must walk slowly and carefully when approaching the cat and not stare rudely at said cat.

Here is the Spankster practicing NOT staring and pretending he doesn't see the trash he pulled out of the trash can.

- no rummaging in the trash can or licking the tasty remains off the dishes in the dish-washing machine

Mmmm - those food scents are sure tempting to the Captain!

Whew - so much for one lughead to remember when he's trying to enjoy his vacation!!

So, to help him remember, Spanky has been learning and practicing the "leave-it" game. Oh it was so hard to resist the yummy treats the barn lady used, but he did it and then got to eat the goodies when he did well! So when he forgets the new rules and is asked to "leave-it", this command helps him. Captain Spanky has also had lots of practice now at doing "down-stay", especially when he supervises the household chores and watches carefully to make sure nothing is missed. Life as a house-dog sure comes with lots of work!

On the upside, Spanky has enjoyed daily walks to the park where he has enjoyed watching soccer practices, kids riding their bikes, and lots of people and dogs passing by. He loves spending time hanging out with the barn lady's family and visitors, and enjoys rummaging through the toy basket for just the right toy to play with.

Captain Spanky even got to spend "A Day at the Office" - check out tomorrow's blog entry telling all about it!

When we were all sweltering from the heat a few days ago, the barn lady gave Captain Spanky a soothing doggy spa-bath with wonderful smelling doggy shampoo and fluffy towels.

Baths are something that not all house-dogs enjoy, but the Spankster showed his enjoyment by doing zoomies around the room, pulling out and playing with every available toy, and then passing out contentedly in his cool and comfy crate.

Ah yes, even with all of the new rules, Spanky is enjoying his vacation and getting a taste of life as a house-dog.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting!

There is never a dull moment living with Star full time! She is adjusting well to her break from the barn!

Making new friends.......

Say cheese!

Why does the new girl get our favorite blankets?
Posing by the pond....

Nap time after a long morning walk.....

Stayed tuned!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

nobody home

Empty kennels - all of'em! We had to stare at the eerily quiet barn for a few minutes tonight and take it all in. The dogs have moved into foster homes just for the week while BR staff travels to New York to meet up with the gangsters at Animal Farm Foundation. We can expect some interesting reports here from the ladies who brought the dogs into their homes, so stay tuned. Lucky dang dogs! Every day a new adventure.

With many thanks to Charity Jara, Anita Joe and Joanne Osburn for giving the pups a happy reprieve from their kennels.

New Friends

The barn residents had some guests yesterday, a very nice couple (Alexandra and Andy) who wanted to bring some goodies for the dogs, spend a little quality time with cuddly canines (well, cuddly pit bulls), and have part of a birthday wish fulfilled (Alexandra's). The barn residents (in this case, Patsy, Jondi and Captain Spanky) were pleased to show the visitors around and let them know how welcome they were, especially if one comes bearing gifts.

The barn dogs, hopefully, provided some much needed doggy affection, too, which the visitors unfortunately haven't been getting enough of after losing their own handsome pit bull boy much too early in life. Here's Captain Spanky doing his best to be the gracious host:

Looks like Andy found just the right spot on Spanky. All three residents are hoping they had a similar effect on the both of you. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eye Candy

The Eyes have it.

StaR-Ry eyes.....

Jondi works her Betty Davis eyes.....

Wide Eyed Ingenue Patsy......

And finally, Captain Spanky says "I only have eyes for you!"