Monday, July 27, 2009

Sorry blog readers! I haven't been very good about updating. I feel as if Epic and I have been very busy, and yet I have nothing to show for it.

Puppy Class
Epic and I began our first 'formal' puppy class last Thursday. For the next 5 weeks we'll be hanging out with 4 puppy friends to work on some basic obedience and socialization. He did a wonderful job for being the youngest in the class. We didn't have the puppies interact much last week, but rather worked on our 'Watch Me's' and loose leash walking. It will be a very good class for the boy. Our trainer has mentioned that she has some agility equipment that we'll be able to play with as well. Plenty of new experiences!

As well, Epic and I are dogsitting again this week, and Epic is going absolutely frickin' MENTAL. Seriously. The boy has gone insane. As such, we are frequently working on our Sits, Downs, Spins and Stays, but they don't require too much brain power. I decided that it was time to make us BOTH work, so I've broken out the clicker and Epic and I are working on skateboarding. I'm pretty inefficient with the clicker right now, but it's getting better.

I've also been bringing Epic along when my flyball club practices, and during our public lessons. I try to take a few moments to work some drills with him every opportunity I get and it's paying off! He takes his ball off the chute, he can do the jumps, and tonight he did a passing exercise without ever going visiting. Such an impressive little guy!
This isn't to say that everything is all peachy with Epic. He's a .... challenge. Everyday. He hasn't slowed down in the last 4 days, and has been sleeping poorly at night. This means that I haven't slowed down in 4 days and haven't been sleeping well at night. Yesterday he went for an offleash walk and, of course, got peed on. He always gets peed on. Anyway, this meant a bath. And a bath means zoomies. So away he zoomied, across the house, on the couch, up on the arm, straight to the table... where he tried to pee. Thank doG he was still empty from all the leg lifting on the walk!!!

"I don't talk about YOUR bathroom habits, why must you talk about mine?"

And to sign off, another apology! I will not be able to update again for a little while as I will be going out of town shortly for a million ka-billion years. Little Mr. Epic will be staying behind to terrorize our good friend. Poor good friend. And poor me! No puppy to love up for 4 whole days!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Happens When You Cross a Bear with a Tree Trunk?

Well I think that's how you come up with Sully... at least, that's how it looks. Sully is new to Epic's extended family, and is a purebred (pure black) German Shepherd puppy. I don't have any good pictures of the little (massive) gaffer, so I've stolen one off of his dad's facebook page. The lack of good pictures is sort of because he's black and it's hard to photograph black dogs, but mostly because, when I see him, he has a little white thing attached to him.
He and Epic are close-ish in age so they play a bit like littermates and can be quite rough on each other. They play very different games. Epic is big into the bouncy, terrier shark attacks while Sully likes to wrestle. Epic doesn't like to wrestle, and Sully doesn't like shark attacks. While they are able to come to a play agreement now, I suspect that the two will become more 'just chillin' buddies as opposed to playmates, as the size difference will be INSANE.
Before our trip out to Grandpa and Grandma's to play and meet Sully, Epic and I took a trip to the offleash park with our pals Bailey, Tucker and Sam. It was very exciting... as it was very muddy.

Someone may have fallen. Bleh.

And what do you do when you get all muddy? Well, you clean yourself up of course!

He didn't do a very good job. Alas, a bath was needed. He seems to require a lot of those...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Everybody Poops.

But not everybody poops behind the television.

No one told Epic this, apparently.

Eating sticks and determining what else he can do to horrify mom.

To be fair to the boy, we aren't at home. Epic and I are currently dogsitting and this has shaken up any kind of potty routine that we had. We've been looking after our charges for a week, and the first few days were rough. Our only accident in the last couple days has been the present behind the television stand. I'm going to pretend that one never happened. Seriously, it's okay to erase it from his record because today, Monday July 13th, at almost 13 weeks of age, Epic alerted me at the door for the first time! He stood up on the door and scratched and I thought "nah... can't be"... but it was! It really was! And serious potty business too, not just a pee!

Hooray for Epic!

Here's hoping I see that again!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sheltie Playdate

Yesterday Epic and I went out to meet up with our favorite Sheltie friends, Gio and Romeo from Life is Better with Sheltie Hair. Epic is currently a puppy learning sponge, so who better to hang out with than two well-behaved Shelties?

Epic was Epic, and was a little unsure at first. Okay, well he was a little unsure the whole time. However, he did try and join in the Sheltie games and chased a few balls, chased a few Shelties, and scored a few mouthfuls of Sheltie hair (sorry Romeo!). Epic also fell deeply in love with Gio. Granted, Gio didn't want anything to do with him... he was all "la la la, I don't see a puppy, nope, no puppies over here". Epic tried all his tricks -he followed Gio, he sat beside Gio, he bit Gio...

But Gio could not be swayed by Epic's obvious admiration.

Romeo wasn't so sure about Epic as he does not have any fluff, and fluff-less creatures cannot be trusted. Well, that, and Epic decided to bite Romeo's tongue. I'm sure that was endearing.

He may not have been very playful, but he sure did come away from it tired and happy. Thanks Shelties and Sheltie Mom! Epic needs all the friends he can get!

My goal (hope) is to socialize the little guy as much as possible now, while he's young, to curb some of the breed snarkiness in adulthood. I see a lot of Jacks at flyball tournaments, and I watch as many of them try to nail their teammates as they pass by. I don't like it. Obviously not every Jack does this... but mine did. When Ben began flyball he took issue with a few of this teammates and he was known to give them the eye as they passed, or try to nip them. I don't believe it was about the actual dog coming back, but rather his attempt to score a ball. That issue lasted for only a few months until the boy began to REALLY understand the game, and he has been a perfect gentleman ever since. However, this less-than-kind behaviour caused me a lot of grief at the time and it is an issue that I still am occasionally questioned on when teams are being formed. He's fine! Really! I firmly believe in that boy. Anyway, I'd just like to make sure that Epic has the best start I can give him, and that I'll always be able to predict how he'll react to other dogs. It's important to me.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Food Saga Continues!

Well, I wasn't convinced the Now! was the way to go so Epic is currently eating Acana Grasslands. I didn't realize Acana made grain-free formulas until I made a sweep of Saskatoon's pet stores and stocked up on food samples. He's nuts about the stuff!

However, I'm not sure it's the actual food he's crazy about. Epic and I are currently dogsitting two chocolate labs and their little border collie sister. The labs are completely nutso about their meals. About an hour before mealtime the girls begin their mealtime routine. "I'm hungry. Is she getting up? I think she's getting up! I'm so hungry. Thank doG she's getting up! Damn she sat down! Don't sit down!!! I'm so hungrrrrrry!!!!" I'm often forced to feed them in defense of my sanity.

Now, although it annoys me greatly it has done amazing thing for Epic's desire to eat. As a learning sponge he tends to soak up the behaviours of those around him. Epic is now wild and crazy about his food. He ate 3/4's of a cup of Acana today (between two meals) and was then so ravenous when we were out visiting that I fed him a cup of his Orijen puppy food (which he had previously refused for days on end)! The last two days of big meals are obviously not enough to cure the ribby-ness, but I'm happy to report that tonight he has a big full belly and is attempting to kill the girls and I with his stinky puppy farts. Boys!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Epic

Yeah. He's frustrating and strange and hard to house train. He has a mouth full of sharp little teeth that he uses inappropriately in EVERY situation. He drags my sandals off and plays keep-away with them, and he REFUSES to pee in the rain. He won't eat his dog food but hoovers up scuzzies like they're going out of style. He likes to lay under the bed and chew on its legs, he bites my feet, and he tugs on my clothing and growls at me when I attempt to remove him.
But MY Epic ... he's the boy that follows me everywhere and sits and gazes at me when he wants something. He squeaks when he yawns and zoomies after 'serious' outside business. He waits patiently on the rug while I shower and helpfully cleans off the shower door. He lays on my lap and watches the computer cursor move across the screen. While I get ready for bed, he's waiting for me by the pillow, and when I lay down he waits for an invitation to curl up in an arm. When I wake up in the morning he's right where I left him, giving little kisses and squeaking with every yawn.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Offleash Walks

I have taken a lot of substandard photos of my dogs in my life. This, however, is not one of them!

Yay for pretty pictures! It should be noted that no, he was not attentively watching me... I just happened to have my finger on the camera button when he happened to look somewhat in my direction.

Epic's been on a few offleash walks lately with his buddies, Samson, Tucker and Bailey. They do a lot of 'putting up' with him but have been very kind and have taught him many, many things. These include where to roll, how to bounce through the muck, where to stand if you want to be peed on, and how to pee like a big boy! He's not quite twelve weeks old but he successfully balanced on three legs today to mark his very first bush. SIGH. He's gonna be a pee-er like Ben, I can tell (Have I mentioned that Ben marked my lawnchair the other day. I was sitting in it at the time).

You'll notice that he's a bit ribby in this picture. We've had some trouble finding a food that he will eat in the quantities I believe he should. We've given up on Orijen now, as the puppy formula is chicken based and all signs suggest that he does NOT like chicken. This has been an issue as most puppy formulas, and certainly most grain-free puppy formulas, use chicken as the protein. The food he's on right now is Now! which is a grain-free turkey and duck kibble. So far so good! We'll see how he does on it in the next few days. I have sample packs of Evo and Eagle Pack to try as well. The Evo has lamb, beef, bison, and venison for proteins and I suspect that will be a big hit.

Anyway, a few more pictures from our walks... nothing as good as the first one!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Epic Adventures

Epic's a movie star! (Epic's a porn star!) Okay, no, just a movie star.

The good news is that his humping has pretty much stopped. Well, at the very least I haven't caught him in action in a while. He hasn't ruined anymore perfectly good videos with any hip action lately.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh Canada!

Moving-days-from-hell have finally come and gone. Hooray! To celebrate the end of this traumatic event the whole gang got together at Grandma and Grandpa's for some good old fashioned yard fun and meat on a stick. This meant a LOT of playing time for the little boy, who is still in bed this morning.

His brother Ben and aunty Kit helped him work on his tug drive. Well, I was on the tug too but I more or less just facilitated the game. And tried to keep my hands out of the way. I mostly succeeded, with one near miss when Ben decided he should grab a little higher up. When the three of them all grabbed the tug I abandoned the game. Safer.

Rub-a-dub-dub, three dogs on a tug.

The fierce little Sammy also got a round of puppy smackdown in, playing the wildest, most feral terrier games you can possibly imagine. Epic was in sharky puppy heaven.

And then there's Ben, who was experiencing enormous volumes of bliss yesterday as there were numerous people outside to throw his ball.

I has a happy! And a 'skeeter.

Mr. Oblivious fails to notice the danger in taking his head out of the game.