Mia’s Big Girl Condo

Mia’s been doing better when we leave her outside during the day. (I’ve written before about her penchant for eating doors inside.) But pretty soon it’s going to be cold and wet out there, so we renovated our backyard shed for her comfort.

I didn’t take any before pictures, but trust me, there was a lot of crap in there, and the outside was an ugly yellow with white splotches where every nail went in. I’d long thought we should just tear the whole thing down, but it turns out it’s a perfect place for Miss Mia to feel safe and warm and dry, but not confined, when we’re not home. She still sleeps inside and is with us whenever we’re home. I’d take her with me everywhere if I could.


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Bark and Lunge on sale July 29

I’ve been uncharacteristically wordless lately because I’m gearing up for the launch of Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes. Add it to your Goodreads list now, and on July 29, buy the print or eBook (or both!) from any of your usual online booksellers.

Here’s the print cover:

BarkLunge cover

Designed by Debbie Glovatsky of Glogirly Design

 

 

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Happy Birthday (observed) to the most destructive dog I’ve had

Isis eviscerated a couch, and Leo devoured the interior of my car, but in the last year, Mia has managed to do more damage than the two of them put together with her incessant door shredding.

I don’t care. I’m not even mad. That’s how much I love my Meezy B. We brought her home three years ago, a decision that ranks up there with the best we’ve made, no matter how many times we have to replace the door frames.

Today is the day we observe Mia’s birthday. We think she’s ten.

Happy 10th Birthday, Magical Mia Bear!

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Tell me again, why did I quit nose work?

Oh, readers, I know you don’t know, since I can’t even remember.

I know why I quit the nose work class. I didn’t want to do another dog class without Rob and the only class that worked with our schedule was 8-9 pm Thursdays. It was a lot of money and a long way to drive for six minutes of practice for each of the dogs. The rest of the time they waited in the car, and during our first visit, Leo freaked out and ate the passenger seat while Mia was inside sniffing out pieces of liver in cardboard boxes.

What I can’t defend is why I didn’t continue playing a nose work game with them at home. Guess I thought it was too big a pain to put them both outside, come up with places to hide liver (now paired with a tin of a birch-scented cotton swab), then bring one dog in at a time, dress them in the special outfit that’s supposed to cue them that it’s nose work time. Sniff the stuff out. Rinse and repeat.

Did I really find that too much of an effort, compared to walking them around the neighborhood, struggling to overcome Leo’s proclivity to bark and lunge at fast-moving objects?

Using the garage had not occurred to me. Probably because it’s a mess. But that’s what makes it such a great place to hide stuff!

Two years later, the birch has lost its smell (as far as my inferior olfactory glands can tell), and I’ve dispensed with the special outfits. My doggies didn’t need the wardrobe cue. Or a verbal one. They zeroed in on the hidden liver like it was their job.

Next time I’ll shoot some video. I can’t even express how good it felt to watch them working their innate sniffing skills.

I’m on board now. As soon as we were done, I ordered some fresh birch swabs from All Good Dogs.

Our return to nose work was inspired in part by the K9 Kamp challenge to play hide and seek.

k9kamp new badge 2014

And I always like to jump in on BlogPaws’ (almost) Wordless Wednesday blog hop!

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