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!
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.
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:
- Vetrolin Bath Ultra-Hydrating Conditioning ShampooThis 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.
- EZ Wash Wand
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.
- HandsOn Gloves
These 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.
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.
- Synthetic Chamois
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.
Horses have a way of humbling you. And so do dogs. All animals probably have that super power I suppose.
Last weekend we went to the Circle of Friends Agility Trial held at the Georgia International Horsepark (which, side note, is beautiful!). I was so excited for this trial and had visions of Harley doing amazing and showing up all the GA dogs.
That didn’t happen.
Harley was so amped up when she got to the trial that she wasn’t really able to focus. We had two okay Regular runs on Friday but Jumpers was awful. On Saturday I ended our first Regular run halfway thru because Harley wasn’t working. Fun stops when you’re not working. She got the message and came back for a beautiful second Regular run and got her title. But that was just about the only good run she had.
Luckily, Guinness was having a great weekend. We are still dealing with him wanting to know where everyone is but I think he really impressed everyone. Guinness came home with seven Q runs and both his Novice Agility Champion and his Novice Tunnelers Title. He even got one leg towards his Open Tunnelers Title.
We ended the weekend with Harley’s favorite class: Tunnelers. Sunday had been even rougher than Saturday for her. She fell off the dogwalk in Regular so I scratched her from Touch N Go. I was worried about Tunnelers because it was a tough course and by this point she was so tired. But Harley nailed it!
I was so happy we were able to end on a high note for the weekend. Harley even managed to do well in all the right classes and won High in Trial for Novic Dog. I was shocked but very pleased.
We always have such a blast at agility trials and will be back for the next one.