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About IMarkMeanings

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  1. I take Sheila on drives if I have some quick errands to run. I'll only take her if I'm going to be less than 15-20 minutes in a store and have to leave her alone. She thoroughly enjoys the trip and I see it as mental stimulation and some good time to reinforce our relationship (me the pack leader, she the happy follower). She's cute because she'll settle down in the seat and then hear something and pop up to see what it is. This happens about every 30 seconds. I roll the window down about 2-3 inches so she can stick her nose up and get a good whiff of everything, but that's not enough to stick her head out. Three inches is actually enough for her to get a good breeze in the car. Personally, I don't see a problem with a dog sticking his/her head out the window -- because they do seem to enjoy it so much -- as long as they can't get the rest of the bodies out of the window. An open jeep would probably be even more fun for him because of the wind, but I'd do what you're going to do and find a good harness to make sure he's safe and secure. My peeve is those people who put their dogs in the backs of pickup trucks. Even if the dog is trained and well behaved, it just isn't a safe situation -- to many things could happen beyond the control the owner. IMM
  2. I've got a similar "problem" with Sheila, except her favorite way to ignore is to scratch herself. Usually it's, "Oh, did you tell me to sit? Well, I need to scratch this itch here, first. Hold on a minute. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, etc. Now -- what did you just tell me to do???" A great diversion, but I'm beginning to figure her out. A great act and yes, it's hard for me to be serious when she does this and not start laughing. It's halarious! IMM
  3. It's called Styptic powder. Works really well for all kind of minor wounds. We use it on our birds, too, if we "miss". http://www.greenigsociety.org/firstaidkit.htm#fak12 IMM
  4. Just thought I'd give the last chapter here... I'm convinced that Sheila was trying to control the pace of the walks. The past couple of days' walks have been infinitely better because I made one small little change: I decided to go a tad bit slower. This is mainly for me because now if and when Sheila tries to control things and pull me back, I've got enough energy and umph to counteract it just enough to "tell" her (non-verbal) that we're going to go at the pace I set. The pace also seems to appeal to her. She can either walk fast or trott and she likes to do both. Plus, if she decides to pull ahead of me, it's a lot easier to slow her down with a small tug on the leash or a 'shht' or a 'hey'. She looks out the corner of her eye at the bike and slows down. Really cool. I can see her thinking. So I think this problem is resolved. Sheila's happy and I'm happy and our walks are back to being a positive experience for us both. Thanks to all for the helpful insight. I'm one step closer to being a decent pack leader. IMM
  5. I'm 99.9% sure she's physically ok -- already thought of that and watched for any limping, etc. For example, if she seems a bunny or a cat she suddenly turns into a sled dog and off we go! Plus, when we're just walking (which we do for about 1/2 mile to "cool off") she's just fine walking beside me (only occasionally pulling ahead and it's easy to move her back). iLL3cK - I'm tying a regular leash around my seat post. Length is about 3 ft. Long enough to keep her out of the wheels and short enough to not give her the illusion of being in the lead. Thanks to all sofar, IMM
  6. Hi Everyone, Sheila (BC mix) and I have been doing twice daily bike rides for the past few weeks. This wears her out really well and has almost removed the bouncing off the walls she use to do. But this past week she's begun to lag behind the bike and making me have to work all that much harder to keep up a good pace. It's gotten to a point where I'm practically pulling her. A couple of times I've gotten pretty mad at her and I most definitely don't want to turn the bike ride into a negative experience for her (or me!). So -- I'm not sure why she started doing this. I have two theories. First: maybe she's trying to control the ride. She's naturally a very dominant dog but overall she's pretty compliant with other things. But while we're going along I can feel her pulling me back. I suspect her trying to control the ride because if I comply and go slower, she almost immediately speeds up. If I speed up, she slows down. It almost seems like a little game for her. Second, maybe she's getting bored. We do the same route every time. When I use to walk my other dogs (non-BC), they acted as if every time was the first time -- even after months of going the same way every time. They didn't seem to care. I've tried going in different directions along the same road with her, but this doesn't seem to help. So is she trying to control the walk, or is she getting bored? Maybe a little of both? Maybe neither? I've been a little neglectful with the mental stimulation -- maybe that's a contributor? I'm going to go ahead and work on a different route around our property instead of on the main (dirt) roads. I'm hoping that this will pique her interest for a while. If it does, maybe we can do this for a few weeks and then go back to the old route, and switch between the two from time to time to keep her interested. TIA, IMM
  7. borderlicous, Please excuse my extreme ignorance, but can you describe in detail what an "emergency down" command is and what you did to teach this to Dakota? TIA, IMM
  8. I suggest that you speak to the owner on your own time (and out of uniform) rather than on work time. That way, even if the owner complains to your office, you can counter with the fact that you were doing this on your own time and on your own behalf. I also agree with painted_ponies -- make sure to have a plan before you take any action. Complaining about something without having a solution doesn't give you a leg to stand on. BTW -- she's a beautiful dog! And wow what a pretty place to live! I envision her going out on "missions" -- sniffing and peeing on all those trees! IMM
  9. This is always a touchy subject because we find it hard to impose our personal standards and morals on others, especially if we don't have enough data to come to a "reasonable" conclusion. An example: We have some "friends" that threatened to call animal control on us because we weren't cleaning our outside bird cages to their satisfaction, even though we regularly clean them thoroughly. These "friends" only had part of the picture, and it was that the cages were pretty messy a lot of the time. They didn't realize that after only about two days, a bird's cage is gonna look like it's never been cleaned before. Anyhow, my point is that the data that our "friends" had was incomplete, and their standards are different than ours. Our birds aren't sick, none of them have died, and overall they're really really happy little things! My point is that there has to be an objective standard for animal treatment. The standard is this: Is the animal happy and healthy? If the answer is "yes", then leave everything alone, even though it's hard on you personally (and me, too) to see a dog tied up 24/7. If the answer is "no", then action must be taken. What action? Well, I'm trying to put myself into your shoes. If I had a neighbor whos dog was always tied up and very obviously not happy or healthy, I'd talk to the neighbor first. I'd explain how much I love dogs and how it seems as though this dog isn't looking too happy or healthy. Personally, I don't have the time or energy to take in another dog right now -- or even time to walk another dog -- so I'd suggest that they try to find him/her a new home or at least someone to give the dog a good walk every day. If I get good vibes from the neighbor, I might get into preaching mode and tell them how much energy BCs have and how important it is for them to have some kind of outlet -- be it a long walk every day or whatever else I can think of. Since it looks like from your pictures that there's another dog running loose, maybe they're just not aware of some basic BC facts? I can totally understand this because just 30 days ago I wasn't aware of basic BC (and dog in general) facts!!!!! If I don't get good vibes or if nothing I say helps them to reconsider and do things differently, then the only other outlet would be animal control, the humane society, or a private organization/group that can take the dog away. Even though it's probably illegal, I'd even advocate "stealing" the dog when the owners aren't there. Some good friends of ours did this at a puppy farm not far from us. Snuck 80+ very neglected and very sick dogs outta there in one night! IMM
  10. I just watched this on PBS's "Independent Lens". Sometimes animators get it right. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/animateddogs/ Enjoy, IMM
  11. Since I work from home, I chop my day up into 8 hour "bins". 8 hours of work, approx 8 hours of sleep, and 8 hours of "free time". It's during the free time that I can do a number of things. Usually about half of that time is spent doing housework and other chores/projects. That leaves 3-5 hours a day to do pretty much anything I want. So taking 1-2 hours a day for Sheila is pretty easy. But even that amount of time needs a pretty high level of dedication, otherwise other "free time" projects can take over. IMM
  12. Thanks for the info, Kat. We've got only dirt roads out here, which I would guess is almost ideal. Yes, there's about 1/2 mile of soft dirt at the end of our walk that's too hazardous to ride, so we walked that part. This seems to be a good "cool down" period. Sheila is now snoring on the bed. Too cute.... IMM
  13. She's a year and a half. My guess is that she could go quite a bit further than 3-4 miles a day. 14 miles, eh? That'd do us both a lot of good! Thanks for the info on the walkydog. We'll see how she does with the leash. One day isn't enough data to make an adequate evaluation. Yes, bike rides are totally awesome! IMM
  14. Sheila and I went on our first "bike walk" today. I rode, she trotted and ran. She was pretty hesistant of the bike if it wasn't moving, but once we got going she seemed to totally forget it was there. At one point she caught sight of some quail and off we went with her pulling me and the bike. It was nice to see her happy and working. I made sure to notice if she was pulling away from the bike since that would tell me she didn't like the bike, but her path was straight. When she wasn't pulling, she leash was slack and we kept a pretty good pace. I took a look at the WalkyDog contraption and realized that even though it's cheap ($40 + s/h), I could do the same thing with a regular leash. So I tied the leash to the post of my bike seat and off we went. I kept the leash about 3 ft long so Sheila wouldn't feel too close to the bike her first time out. This all worked out really well. I was able to pedal just fine and, as I said, Sheila loved it. I was laughing the entire time because I could just feel the happy energy radiating from her. She was a dog on a mission. The three miles we usually walk in the morning (which takes about 50 minutes) took us all of 30 minutes today. She's exhausted. So here's a question: It's a lot easier for me to ride than to walk, especially if Sheila is pulling me part of the way . Plus it takes us about half the time to cover the same distance. So would it be ok for me to lengthen the "walks" to maybe 5-6 miles? Is there a limit as to how long a "walk" I can/should be doing? My gut tells me that I should probably spend about a week or two doing the 3 miles "walks" to get her use to the bike and the faster pace, and then slowly increase the length over a few weeks to eventually end up at 5-6 miles (or maybe even more). One word of caution. When doing this, I need to be very very diligent about keeping an eye on Sheila and making sure not to go too fast. A couple of times she caught the scent of something and stopped on a dime. This gave her quite a jolt when me and bike were suddendly stopped because she stopped. Ouch. So I rode with my hand on the brake and made sure to not go too fast just in case a quick stop took place. All in all it was a good experience for us both. IMM
  15. That's fine, but we have 30+ cats and she doesn't care about any of them except this one in particular (and even then it's not 100% of the time). Yes, she'll try to herd the cats sometimes, but they let her know in no uncertain terms that they're not going to put up with her, and she backs down right away. IMM
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