Saturday, January 22, 2011

Old Dog, New Trick

This coming Wednesday I'll be driving across town after work to attend orientation at Field of Dreams.  The plan is to check out the Levels Program for pet manners/obedience training for Zoe.  I'm actually not overly concerned about Zoe's level of obedience, although there's always room for improvement.  She still has an occasional "puppy moment," but I think the worst of that is behind us.  I'm mainly interested in getting Zoe out of the comfort zone of her own house and yard to see new places, people and pets.  I've noticed that Zoe seems nervous in new, public situations.  When we took Zoe and Xander to the Dogtoberfest event at Saint Francis Service Dogs, she had a near "meltdown," when two Dachshunds came in our direction.  After speaking with the owner of Field of Dreams, I hope we'll be able to work together to help Zoe overcome some of these anxieties.  Thankfully, she's never shown a single sign of aggression, and is highly treat motivated.  We had her sitting for treats during the first week she was here.  My ultimate goal is to have Zoe accompany me to the Greyhounds in Gettysburg gathering at the end of April.  I know, I know . . . Zoe is a Whippet, not a Greyhound!  I still haven't ruled out taking Miss Roxie instead, but she's an 11 1/2 years old Grey, and tires very easily.  I wonder if a trip like this would be too tough on her.  Zoe and I don't have a lot of time to prepare, but I have faith in her.  We have a good 12 weeks, and will see how things go.  Whoever comes along for the ride will get to see lots of hounds, and meet some friends, not the least of which is Mr. Chester Hoover of For the Love of Chester!  I, for one, cannot wait to get a great big chocolate Chester hug!!  A special thanks to my new friend Christina at The World According to Lexi, for connecting us with Field of Dreams!!  Her new dog, Nitro, just graduated to Level 2.  Congrats to Christina and Nitro!!

Since we're on the topic of schooling this week, I'm happy to announce that Mike has finally taught Xander to shake with his paw for a treat.  The process of teaching Xander to shake has taken years, and I'm ashamed to admit that is not an exaggeration.  He had practically given up on the boy, when lo and behold, he appears to finally get it.  I figure if Xander can learn to shake, Zoe can overcome her social issues.  Hopefully it won't take her 5 years though!  Here's a short clip, and video evidence that Xander did learn a new, or should I say old at this point, trick!

In closing, I'll share a little purchase I made this evening.  As I mentioned, most of Zoe's puppy issues have dwindled.  However, one that we're still battling is her desire to destuff dog beds.  We've gone through a few since Zoe joined us last April, even despite spraying them with bitter orange.  I quickly learned not to invest in expensive dogs beds while Zoe has a desire to "eat" them.  Tonight I stopped at a CVS drug store on my way home from work and spotted a $10 dog bed in our very favorite "color," leopard print.  Knowing that Xander has been sleeping on a fairly mangled bed of late, I figured I would give it a try.  I think he'll get a good night's sleep, and if Zoe manages to sink her teeth into it in the future, it was just $10.  Hopefully she'll appreciate the fine leopard print style and leave it be.  (By the way, the package says it's for dogs up to 80 pounds.  I don't think that's the case.  Xander weighs about 35 pounds.  You be the judge.)

We're excited to participate in this week's Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!  Thanks again to our hosts, Life With DogsTwo Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume.  Happy hopping, and happy weekend too!


  1. A ten dollar bed in your favorite pattern? Score!!

    Kudos on the shaking trick. Many<- have tried and failed. :)

  2. For $10 and a bed that cute, I'd have stocked up and bought several!

    You know I have total envy over you going to Gettysburg, right? Totally and completely green here, which is so not my color!

    Morgan can not only shake paws, but she knows left and right! The hounds just give us a look of disdain. They can do it, but choose not to. I guess we know who's trained whom!

  3. I'm a huge fan of not spending big bucks on dog beds. I left for work more than once only to come home to a giant white cloud every where.

    You are not alone.

  4. Stopping by from the Blog Hop! What a cute dogs!

  5. Glad that Xander learned how to shake. One of my dogs learned right away but the other who is five this year still doesn't do it.
    Cute dog bed and bone.

  6. A $10 cute bed, that's a good buy. I guess I'd stock it up too. Not that Eva likes to destuff her bed but your bed is just so cute and looks so comfy and it's only $10.
    Hope Zoe is getting more confident and comfortable when she is in the public soon.
    Xander's paw trick is cute too! It's never too late to learn something new!!!

  7. Love that bed. My wife @jazzydacat got me a similar one, which I love! Just like her... ; )

    Please visit my blog at and sign my TV guestbook. I'm lacking in the Greyhound/Whippet department!


  8. Hope the social issues schooling works. Minnie is a little timid to new situations but Mack is just he opposite. Just an outgoing boy....

    Love the paw shake. Great job, Xander!

    We love dog beds at this house, we share with them with the kitties.

    Drools and licks,
    Minnie and Mack

  9. Hopping by! I love da bed! Woo is lucky!!

    Mya Boo Boo

  10. I hope you and Zoe have a blast at class. I'm sure she'll do great, and will make a lot of progress. Nice bed btw, and such a bargain!

  11. Have a great time at your new class. Do you think you might try agility some day? It was a great confidence builder for Cosmo and a lot of fun for both of us! Love your new bed too. I find most dog beds are "sized" too small!
    Diane and Cosmo

  12. Hi Y'all,

    Momma could just train me herself and keep me socialized, but she chose to take me to classes. When I first came to live with her we drove over an hour every week to train.

    I was already well socialized but I was so excited to be with other dogs again I was coming out of my hair! My Humans said school was good for my self control.

    I graduated at the top of my class! Then I went on to Rally and Agility. Training is fun!

    Y'all go for it! Heck, maybe Zoe will learn so much self control that you can get Xander a memory foam bed like mine!

    Your new bed is VERY sexy lookin' Xander!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  13. Congrats on Xander's paw shake! I hope that Zoe can overcome her fear. My Jasper also has issues in situations like you mentioned, so I can relate. Let us know how it goes!

    Stopping by on the Blogger Hop!

  14. That's a pretty pawsome bed! And a great price too! Sounds like the Gettysburg trip will be fun.

  15. Greyt find Xander!!! Ohh that Gettysburg trip sounds interesting .... hmmmm wonder if I can pack my crew up and go?

  16. I love that leopard print bed! And for only $10 -- what a great find.

  17. I may have to stop by and pick up one of those beds. Opie doesn't chew his bed, but his bed's take a long time to dry in the dryer and this would be a good back up bed while his is getting the high heat treatment.

    Happy blog hopping!

    Opie's Mom

  18. Good boy, Xander!! Who knows what's next! Roll dead, show 'em boy, that you have smarts!

    Yeah....I would say 35lbs is a good limit! Unless it's just a foot rest.

  19. Wow, a $10 bed! We have a CVS right down the street from us, I will have to send my mom over there this afternoon.

    Your pal, Pip

  20. Nice bed for $10. I agree, an 80 pound dog might have to really curl up to fit.

    Good luck with the training. We'll be starting classes with Noah and Norma Jean in the spring. I want to get them ready to compete in Rally in October. That may be wishful thinking.

  21. cool cost hardly any pennies
    Benny & Lily

  22. nice bed! and great price!


  23. WooF!!! What a great bed and very comfy looking too. Best is not spendy...
    We saw you on the Saturday Blog Hop & thought we'd drop by & say Woof. You are beautiful!! M thinks Greyhounds are special. They had one from a track _ they say a real soul mate.

  24. Hey Kristen, I spoke with Karen at FOD training and they will reschedule for next Wed evening. I know she was kind of bummed because she said she has 15 people that emailed her they were coming last night. So much for the heavy snow. Have fun! Great job getting to # 4 in the Blog Hop! Lexi and Christina


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