Updates

A lot has been going on in Ranger’s life lately so here’s a quick recap (his latest agility class will go in a separate post).

two dogs playing in puddle

Mud pigs

A week ago Ranger, Maddie, and Gauge went for an off leash walk near Gauge’s house. It’s a power line trail through the woods and was completely deserted. There were gravelled sections, narrower paths through rocky outcrops, paths through the woods, and sections of huge flat rocks.

three dogs walking along path

follow the leader

We were out for over an hour and the dogs spent the entire time racing, wrestling, and sniffing. I am amazed at how easily Ranger maneuvers through the under brush. He seemed fine when we got home, but after a bit I noticed him licking his front foot; of course, a nasty slice to one of his toes (a big reminder of WHY we should always give our dogs a proper once over when they come in from a big play). Although it was deep, I decided to see if we can heal it at home instead of a vet visit and doctored him up. I’ve been checking and cleaning it each day and so far seems good. He’s also the new owner of a set of boots (which we’ll use for scootering too) and I’ve been putting the front left on when we go out.

dog sitting beside scooter

ready to hit the open roads

Ranger’s scooter arrived. I picked it up, brought it home, and promptly tried to kill myself on it (riding it by myself just from the car to the backdoor). It’s is so cool and I can’t wait to get Ranger really going in it. Because of his paw, I’ve only had him hooked up once for a light trot back to the house from the trail after just hand walking him with it.

dog sleeping

napping with his bandage on

Yesterday we went for a long walk through Bell Park in Mt. Uniacke with Maddie and C. We were gone for over an hour and just let the dogs casually stroll along stopping and sniffing as they wanted while we just enjoyed the spring warmth. Ranger played in the water a little bit and seemed to really enjoy himself.

dog on rock

Ranger out exploring

Today Ranger had a play date with Gauge before his photo shoot later in the day. Ranger blasted around and really poured out that energy he’s been collecting all week while we tried to protect his foot. He didn’t seem sore at all, but his toe does look like its pulled apart a little…both of us want him to be better so fast, but that foot is going to take some time.

three dogs playing

Ranger in herding mode

The photoshoot is a fundraiser for GPAC being held in Halifax today. I brought Ranger and T also brought Gauge. I am so excited to see how they turn out. Studio canine portraits AND I can pass it off as a donation to a local rescue; yes please! I’ll be sure to post once they come in.

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Diving…err, scootering into spring (almost)

Well, there is no turning back now. I finally took the plunge, went into CycleSmith on Quinpool and ordered in my scooter.

Toucan 20 inch dog scooter

Soon I hope to be avoiding potholes and feeling the wind in my hair (or at least no gravel in my skin)

After researching and listening to people already in the sport of dog powered motion, I decided on the 20″ Toucan with suspension (which you can see the specs for here). It’s a solid scooter with the suspension that I need for my broken body. Down payment was paid and it should be in within the next two weeks!

Now I have no excuse to put off working the basic commands with Ranger to be ready.

dog sleeping on bed

scooter? How about snoozer?

 

Intro to Mushing clinic

Today Ranger and I (followed by a couple of friends who seem to like coming to these sort of things….for comedic value I believe) headed out to the clinic we’ve been waiting for, Intro to Mushing. 

The clinic was put on by the local mushing club in the area. The club is simply a group of like minded individuals who enjoy dog powered sports; especially dog sledding. Today’s class was the intro so you could get a grasp on the basics of what it is, and what you do. 

Ranger did really well surrounded by all the dogs and did try to play with a few of them. The noise was outrageous in the arena as I’m sure you could imagine with 20 dogs most of which there is no denying their northern dog breed heritage. I kept him quiet when they were talking/explaining, but they actually encourage the barking, whining, and excitement as that is what they are looking to channel into pulling. 

Ranger didn’t mind his harness at all and when he was hooked up to the scooter for a little pull (while being led by one of the members since there was no way I could handle anywhere near the speed he wanted) he did well. The way out involved some weird bunny hopping type jumps, but he pulled very straight back toward me. 

At the end they brought in their established dog pack which are used on the sled while teaching the newbie dogs how to be part of a team. When Ranger was introduced to the two lead dogs they got along really well. Ranger was his usual rambunctious self (which I deem rude), but as the guy said “huskies only know how to play hard” and they behaved well. They got along so well that when we go out in a couple months’ time, he is going to hook Ranger up with her for a little spin and see how he does. 

We’re home and Ranger is knackered. He ate his meal and crashed hard on the kitchen dog bed. I guess all that barking and excitement wore him right out. 

Today we got his new harness too 🙂 YAY, I am so excited about it. I’ll post a picture later on once he’s up…this was a big day. 

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Obedience Class #5

Tonight was Ranger’s fifth obedience class. The original trainer is back (taught classes 1 and 2) and there were a lot of missing dogs today. Since these classes are basically a review of things that we’ve already done, I’ve been using them to train focus and a settled mood. As usual we chose a new spot to sit so that we were flanked by two new dogs.

The hardest part of these classes is the monotony of the warm up commands. It’s hard to keep him focused, and quiet, when he’s bored. Splitting up the repetitions of each command seems to keep him a little more on task, but it is still hard.

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After that we did a little work on loose leash walking, but passing another pair with the dogs on either the outside or inside. I am so glad we worked on loose leash walking this weekend haha. Although he did have some interest in the other dog (big chocolate adolescent lab) I was able to keep him on task and his focus was on me…and the hotdogs.

The wobble board and mini teeter were met with the same enthusiasm as the stool; unrestrained and with lots of enthusiasm. The final minutes were spent with each dog trying the tunnel out. Which happens to be Ranger’s favourite agility piece. Which was greeted in true Ranger fashion. God I love my dog.

In other news:

Ranger was measured for his xback harness today and we picked out the royal blue webbing that will be paired with lime green padding. He was good considering we met some “strange” woman in her work’s parking lot who then took out a blue tape measure and proceeded to take a few notes.

I am so excited.

Winter wonderland?

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate the cold. When the leaves start changing and shorts become a thing of memory I choose to start my hibernation. The last five years have pretty much run the same through the winter. 

Except this year. This year I have a reason.

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Despite my hate of all things below 0 degrees C, the combination of labrador, german shepherd, and border collie has provided Ranger with a thick black coat and black foot pads. 

So this year I have a plan. Part of the plan involves using all my Christmas present purchasers to provide me with the best long johns, snow pants, jacket, gloves, and any other piece of equipment that will let my poor cold body survive the worst months of the year. 

The next part is finding something interesting that Ranger and I can do in the winter. We’ll be completing an obedience or agility course class each week to keep us on our toes and hopefully have us a little closer to competing in agility the end of next year and I’m hoping to make weekly treks to the dog park/trails/beach for walks and heading off to the baseball field for runs in the brighter weather. But that’s not enough. We need something that is strictly winter fun, something that would have to wait until the colder months.

Something awesome.

That something is HRM Urban Mushing. The group holds introduction courses to the sport, meet and greets, and weekly trail runs (weather permitting). Through the cooler months we can work on dry land mushing (with a scooter) and when snow is on the ground we can try our hand with a sled. One of Ranger’s favourite thing is running and my health would never allow me to keep up with him…but I can with wheels.

I’ve put our names on the list for the next intro class where we will learn what is involved, what training is required, how to harness the dog, and what equipment is best. 

This might be a good winter.