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Category Archives: Maybelle

Training the Tough Stuff: Part 3

Class has been over for several weeks now. I miss it and Maybelle probably does as well. I admit, I just like dog training. I’m sure part of it is that it’s a good outlet for my inner control freak tendencies. But there’s also something cool about learning how your dog thinks and seeing it respond.

During the second to last class she had a good day with the trainer’s new dog. He’d come to class once before but May wouldn’t let him get close at all without popping off. She was willing to accept him by the second class though, and we parallel walked without much trouble. I thought this was especially interesting because I suspect he is just the kind of dog she tries to bully–a submissive male.

On our last day we were meandering through the park, and the only other dog still left in class was up ahead of us. When class first began this huge mastiff mix wouldn’t get anywhere near the rest of class. She was so dog reactive — and so strong — it took two people to control her. But on the last day she was maybe 30 feet ahead of us, and barely noticed we were there. But at one point she started to strain against the end of her leash, which set Maybelle off into a brief barking fit. Nothing major but she definitely wanted to let the dog know she had her eye on her.

The trainer said, “Out of control dogs are definitely a  trigger for her.”  Read the rest of this entry

Is My Dog Seeing Ghosts, Sleep Walking, or Having a Seizure?

I made this video a couple weeks ago after Maybelle experienced another one of her weird late-night “episodes.” Today I brought the video to the vet with us, but we still aren’t sure what’s going on. I’m supposed to keep a log of these episodes, which are pretty infrequent (once every three months or so). My vet — who I love — had one other suggestion for me. If we determine that she’s not having small seizures — or can’t figure out what’s going on — that perhaps we should see an “animal communicator.” Apparently she’s got a couple she trusts and now I just kind of want to go anyway…

Anyway, has anyone ever seen something like this? It fits some of the “small seizure” criteria, but I’m still kind of hoping for ghosts.

Your Herding Breed & the MDR1 Gene

The last time I gave Maybelle her dose of Revolution I swear she had a weird reaction. When we were going to bed that night she got up on her couch and started panting heavily (it was October in Connecticut, there was no reason for this). She looked very…strange… I sat there and pet her for a minute while she relaxed but the next day I started doing some homework and I started learning about problems many herding breeds have with certain drugs thanks to mutated MDR1 genes.  Read the rest of this entry

Training the Tough Stuff: Part 2

Just a cattle dog and h er Cabbage Patch kid.

Maybelle and I have been to six out of eight classes now, and we’ve had some mixed (and interesting results). By the third class or so, May was all but ignoring her pitbull buddy. The other owner and I were able to walk past each other without a problem, and eventually we even stopped, asked the dogs to sit and stay while we shook hands and then continued on.

Success!!

But then the pitbull graduated, and we had to start from scratch. There are only two other dogs in class at the moment, and they both have dog reactivity issues as well — and aren’t necessarily friendly. So we can’t really practice with them. The trainer brought her dog, but he was new to her, and for whatever reason, Maybelle was not loving him.  Read the rest of this entry

Fleas, Ticks, Chemicals & Your Dog

On Monday I dosed all the animals in my house with their usual flea & tick medications. In Maybelle’s case, that meant a dose of Revolution. Later that night, as I was going to bed, I started noticing odd behavior.She came over to my bedside, demanded a bit of attention, and then went back to her love seat. She seemed to be having trouble getting up, and once she was up there she was panting oddly. I went over, took a closer look at her, pet her for a moment, and then headed back to bed.

But I kept thinking about it. Then I was reading an old magazine that was hanging around the house and there was an article warning people not use PVC shower curtains, and about the dangers of playing with your pets if they use flea and tick collars. So I started poking around the internet and found this warning on 1800PetMeds: Read the rest of this entry

My Worst Nightmare: The Deer Chase

Before she’d even seen the deer…

May and I have been wandering around the woods all summer, and she’s chased all manner of things. Squirrels, chipmunks, pheasants, and many things I couldn’t even see. I’ve been dreading the day she encountered something she couldn’t chase up a tree… and it finally happened. I’m just glad it wasn’t a bear. Read the rest of this entry

How Did You Celebrate National Dog Day?

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Thanks to Facebook I learned that today was National Dog Day. So I asked Maybelle what she wanted to do for “her day” and she said she wanted to go hiking and try out her new Kurgo pack… oh, and chase some chipmunks while I yelled from the path for her to come back.

Since it’s “her day” I obliged…especially the yelling from the path part. (Truth be told, I was hoping that backpack would slow her down enough to keep her from chasing every woodland creature she saw or heard.

No such luck.

But she had a good time and is passed out now, so that’s all that matters.

What did you do to celebrate National Dog Day?