Pups at Play

Individually, both Harley and Guinness are wonderful barn dogs. Guinness will wait patiently outside of the arena for me and Harley will go entertain herself. Both know how to act around horses (for the most part) and are great with new people and new experiences. That being said, when they’re together at the barn all of that goes out the window. Which is why they don’t both get to come except for special occasions.

This weekend, we had one of those special times. LT was at a show so I knew we would have the barn to ourselves and the boy had just gotten his new camera so I figured it was a perfect time to let both dogs come out to the barn to let out a little steam.

They were cray cray.

Seriously, what is she even doing?

To be fair to Harley, Guinness is the one who instagates most of the problems when they’re together. He’s the one who chases her around. Not that she doesn’t reciprocate but if it were just up to her, she’d go zooming around like an idiot.

Or, you know, play in the pond. Not Guinness though. He thinks that getting in water where you can’t touch is the quickest way to death.

Good thing they’re both just so cute because sometimes they drive me up the wall!

A Ziva Update

It has been forever and absolutely no time at all since Ziva has joined our pack and a lot has happened in those four months. This is mine, and Eric’s, first time bringing an adult dog into an establish pack and we were not as prepared as we thought we were. Especially since we already had one very opinionated golden retriever thinking she was running this house.

There have been a few flare ups between Ziva and Harley that have been more than a little scary. We have had to take a big step back and reevaluate what we were doing with the dogs and what we could reasonably expect from them. Neither of the girls are aggressive dogs but they both are obsessed with their toys and sharing is something Harley has never had to do with Guinness. But with the help of a behavioral and obedience trainer, I think we are starting to get on the right track. It’s a slow process though.

Despite all of that, I am glad that we brought Ziva into our pack. She has a sweetheart personality and is as smart as any dog I’ve ever met. Too smart maybe. Originally we thought about getting Ziva into agility training like the other two but after seeing how she hunts the squirrels in the back yard, I’m keen to try barn hunt with her. I have a hunch that running around a hay bale maze and hunting rats (safety incased in a humane tube) will be right up her alley.

Even with all the craziness and the worry, I can’t imagine Ziva not being a part of our family. She may be crazy and loud but she’s one of us now.

My 5 Favorite Things: the Dog Grooming Edition

Giving my large hairy and only-loves-water-if-it’s-a-natural-body-of-water-or-a-swimming-pool-but-no-bath-tub dogs is the bane of my existence. Between the de-shedding, being covered in water, and their “I hate you” expressions, I just don’t do it as often as I should. In fact, lately I’ve just given up and have been sending them to the groomer. But, when I do venture into this, I have found a few helpful products:

  1. Vetrolin Bath Ultra-Hydrating Conditioning Shampoo0022218This is my favorite shampoo. I use it for the horses and I use it for the dogs. Does a great job cleaning and leaves them smelling great. It also doesn’t agitate Guinness’ skin and he is so so sensitive.
  2. EZ Wash Wand
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    This one is something that makes my life easier rather than something the dog really likes but bath time is so much easier with the EZWash Wand! The one shown is the dog size (which I didn’t know they made until doing this post) but I have the larger horse size. Lets me get all over the body with minor wrangling of dog and I barely get wet while using it (unlike a normal hose).I also found while writing this that they have a shampoo container that can be added. I ordered that to give it a try.
  3. HandsOn Gloves
    6y5a5369These are both of my dogs favorite grooming accessory ever. I get them out of the bag and they go crazy! They like the massage that they get. I like that they pull out all the extra hair. But really, what I love about these is how easy they make bath time. I pour the shampoo right on my hand and then attack the wet dog. They help me get right down to the skin  so that I truly get a clean dog. And the dogs don’t mind baths quite as much when they’re getting a massage.
  4. SleekEz
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    I originally bought this for Gus. He’s always sweaty and grows a way thicker coat than he should in the summer (to the point that I actually shaved him in the summer) so I thought maybe this would help. It didn’t. So I brought it home to try on the dogs. We have used so many different shedding brushes with Guinness and he hates them all. But this one, he didn’t! He not only tolerated it, he actually seemed to like it. The SleekEz pulled out the undercoat but didn’t seem to pull on his skin. It also left his coat looking shiny and healthy. The brush didn’t do as well with Harley but she also doesn’t have that big undercoat like Guinness does.
  5. Synthetic Chamois
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    They technically make these for drying off your car but I was given the tip to use them for the dogs at a Dock Diving competition. It was instant love. They soak up the water, you wring them out, and they’re easy to store and carry around without having to deal with wet towels. I currently am using The Absorber Synthetic Drying Chamois but I expect any high rated brand would do the trick.

Circle of Friends December 2016 Agility Trial – A Quick Write Up

If you were to look at this trial completely from a ribbons won, qualified runs earned, and titles completed, it is not going to look like a good weekend. But you would be totally mistaken.

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Now don’t get me wrong, there were some epically bad parts. The worst run being the regular classes on Saturday when Harley was fascinated with the bean bags… so wish I had that on video because it was hysterical. I picked her up and walked her out of that class!

There were also some epically amazing runs. Most notably our X-Hoopers class that we had never tried before and entered last minute on a whim (and we also got a big old Q for!). The last Tunnelers class as well was a thing of beauty. It also earned Harley her title for Open Tunnelers.

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But mostly it was a lot of E’s for eliminations due to start line stay training.

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Agility can be incredibly frustrating because that one little thing ruins an otherwise fabulous round. The round that ended up following the above broken start line was magnificent. Harley hit all her contacts and she held them. If only we hadn’t broken that start line. And that was the whole point of restarting the run.

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For the last year or so, Harley has been breaking her start line stays and running off to do her own little thing. Our coach rightly pointed out that we needed to fix that now. So, for every class (except for a handful like Tunnelers and Jumpers), if Harley broke her stay, we threw the class and trained it. The nice thing about NADAC trials is that you’re allowed to train one thing in the ring (a stay or a contact or a sequence). It will eliminate you but hopefully you can reinforce the issue for next time. By the end of the weekend, Harley’s stays were so much better and her contacts were excellent.

Guinness and Eric had a fabulous weekend also, picking up a handful of qualified runs and getting their Open Regular Title. Guinness’ big thing is that he looses focus and then looses time and he’s just not fast enough to loose time and still be able to qualify. He’ll get there though.

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Since we are hoping to get Miss Z going in agility, we brought her out as well to play for a few of the days. She was such a good girl the whole weekend and was very polite. I’m glad she’s learning to fit in with our little pack.

500th Post

Wow! How did we get to 500 already?! In honor of this huge milestone, I want to recount my top 20 memories.

20. Dandy has finally arrived!

Photo © ES
Photo © ES


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9. Going Dockdiving with Harley for the first time. That pup is a jumping fool!
18. Getting my HR job in Seattle.
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7. Dandy’s disastrous but incredibly memorable first schooling show.
16. Dandy’s fantastic and incredibly memorable first recognized horse trial.

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15. Going to the 2012 Breeder’s Cup.
14. Guinness getting his CGC Title!
13. Going schooling at Caber Farms with Dandy.

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12. Dandy winning an open training division at Rebecca Farms! Go super pony!
11. Our last wonderful Christmas in Tahoe with good friends, food, and puppies. Plus SNOW!

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10. Going on so many epic trail rides in Tahoe.
9. Like this one where the horses get loose!
8. And this one where we go galloping on the beach and swimming.

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7. Getting my very own Voltaire monoflap!
6. Taking lessons on an ex-Rolex horse! Jack is so cool!
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5. Going XC schooling with Dandy for the first time.
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4. And the second day of that too.
3. Then taking Gus XC schooling!
2. One last lesson on Dandy before I say goodbye.

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And the number one best memory goes to…

  1. Gus arrives!

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Thank you all so much for coming along on this journey with me. I hope you’ll all be here for the many more exciting and fun adventures that await Gus and I down the road.

Hugs and horse slober,
Lauren