Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dude...there's my tail

This is my tail. Pretty cute, huh? It's exactly what I was born with which is called a natural bob. It's about 3 inches and it has some long fur. Aussies like me can be born with full, long tails or natural bobs. Lots of Aussies and other breeds like Rotties, Dobermans, and Weims have their tails docked. It's quite a personal choice to keep a tail long or dock it (which is amputating to a certain length). Ouch!

Jenn says that docking tails or cropping ears (which is surgical reshaping) can sometimes inhibit the way that dogs communicate since most of our "language" is done with our bodies. Without expressive, natural ears and tails, how can we say all the things we need to?

I must say that I like my tail the way it is. Being au natural is cool. I can convey a lot about how I feel. I'm glad I got to keep my tail.

For more on docking/cropping, check this article out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Love TTouch!

So what is TTouch? I hear Jenn talk about it a lot. Tellington TTouch is a type of bodywork and gentle non-habitual movement exercises for animals. It teaches balance (see "Walk This Way" entry), releases tension, eases pain, and it just feels good. It's different from the regular scratches and butt rubs that I get. TTouches are slow and circular and then Jenn gets me moving around, helping me move in a slower way than I usually move. It calms me down, makes me think, and I'm getting less sensitive about being groomed and handled too. Jenn TTouches Big Sandy for her arthritis pain. Bernie gets TTouch for his concern about the world. The touches release the worry from his mind. There are special touches for my ears (love them) and my mouth (not my favorite). The best things about TTouch are how easy it is and that anyone can learn it. Practitioners like Jenn teach people how to TTouch their animals. There are also several books and videos available so you can learn that way too. You can find out more at www.TTouch.com

Monday, February 18, 2008


Ah, yes. The sound of my name is music to my ears! Each time I hear my name, I've learned to run to whoever is saying it. It means that something nice is going to happen. Sometimes I get a belly rub or someone throws a toy or I get a treat. All I have to do is come and check it out. Easy! Jenn says that a puppy's name should always mean good things to them. If you are upset, you best say something else, like "naughty pup!" or "fudge!" instead of your puppy's name. If you use your pup's name for any sort of unpleasantness, they will be less responsive to you overall. They will learn that bad things happen when they respond to you. Remember, say your puppy's name and goodness happens!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Mom Lacy is my Valentine!

This is my mom Lacy. She is so beautiful, smart, and kind. But she is also quite the athlete, also competing in agility, herding, rally, and conformation with her person Katrina. I lived with them along with all my brothers and sisters for 10 full weeks before coming to live with Jenn and Eric. It was such an important time for me and I learned many lessons about how to behave around and respect my elders and how to play with other dogs and puppies. Katrina took us all out on field trips, to play with other nice people and children and to learn to be handled and groomed. By the time I can home with Jenn, I was already used to sights, sounds and smells of the world. Jenn says this early socialization along with all the things she continues to expose me to, will help me develop into a confident, adaptable adult. Puppies that don't experience the world starting at a very young age, can become fearful and not be able to handle things later in life. So get your puppy out in the world. I wish every puppy could have a social start in life and a mom like my mom Lacy. Check out her website here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Dad Jake, not just a pretty face

This is my dad Jake. He lives in Florida and does so many fun things. He and his person Ami compete in agility, flyball,conformation, rally, and herding. Can you believe that he's also a supermodel? That's not all-he's friendly, outgoing, and apparently quite the comedian (now I know where I get my sense of humor). Jenn says Australian Shepherds are bred to be versatile, working companions and that my dad is a great role model. We Aussies need and thrive on attention and activity. Maybe this explains why my mind and body need to be kept busy. We live best with people that have plenty of time for training, exercise, and companionship. I'm lucky that Jenn and Eric understand all this and give me so much of what I need. I hope I can grow up and be like my dad Jake. Jake has his own website you can check out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We're going to need a bigger boat...

Eric says my new nickname is "Monster Puppy". I'm not sure how to take this news, but I'm sure he means it in the best way. My mind is a busy place, almost as busy as my body. It's hard for me to think about one thing for very long. I like variety and I guess you could say that I'm quite a mover and a shaker. Always on to the next thing and especially looking for something called "trouble". If Jenn gives me something to chew on, it's fine for about 10 seconds, then I want something else. Perhaps the couch cushion? Perhaps that tempting remote control? They seem to guard that with a passion. Anyway, the house is organized so that important things are not on my level. I'm watched all the time and when they can't pay attention to me, I have some quiet time with something to chew on in my crate (which is much too small by the way, which is weird because it keeps on getting smaller and smaller). Jenn's picking up a bigger crate this week, so my head doesn't bump into the top of it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Take me out to the dog park!!

This week I turn 4 1/2 months old! To celebrate, Jenn and Eric got me a year long membership to the APS Dog Park. According to Jenn, I'm embarking on a new period of my life, where I will have more energy and more endurance. If I don't have a chance to run, run, run everyday, I'll need to get my energy out in other, more creative ways. Hmm, like digging holes in the yard or barking at Big Sandy to play with me (all day long). Jenn has taken me to the park the past three days for about one hour each day. Surprisingly, I have been not so into my usual crazy puppy antics and Eric says I'm "a heck of a lot easier to live with" after each of my dog park visits. I can run without a leash to my heart's content and there are other puppies and dogs there to play with me. The dog park gives me lots of socialization opportunities with other dogs and people, along with burning off my energy. The APS Dog Park requires an "interview" that makes sure your puppy plays well with others. No problem! Jenn says that its important that people monitor their dog's behavior in the park, so they don't bully other dogs and we all can have a good time. Sounds good to me! Check out the APS website for more info on their dog park.