Monday, September 29, 2008

Knocked Momma Down... With a Feather!!!

Hi everyone. 10 years to the day after Momma first got admitted to practice her work, I got admitted after doing some work too.

The picture above is after Momma picked herself up off the ground. Doesn't she look like she won the lottery? Well, she sort of did, because I passed my Canine Good Citizen test on the very first try! No practice, no pre-test cramming, no studying. The last class I had was a year ago when I was 4 months old. Momma was in disbelief.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the CGC test, there are 10 stations that you have to pass with an evaluator. You can use verbal and hand commands, but you can't use any treats or food, you can only reward with praise:

1. Accepting a friendly stranger.
Oh hi. Momma told me to sit. So I will smell you from afar. You smell like dogs. When are you going to start the test?

2. Sitting politely for petting.
You smell like dogs. And you know how to pet us. Hi my name is Biggie what's yours? Ok, I guess I'll let you pet the top of my head.

3. Appearance and grooming.
My fur is deep. The dirt is ground in after 4 days at camp. As long as you just pet me on the surface I don't feel too dirty. Yeah, brushing is fine. I'll just stand here and drool at the hamburger stand back there. You want to grab my paws? ummm... I dunno. Well, ... I guess so... cuz you smell like a nice dog lady.

4. Loose lead walking.
Piece of cake! I had to walk in an L and back while the crowd watching me get tested admired my grace and beauty and bigness. Yo - catch you in the dog run later.

5. Walking through a crowd.
Duh, how do you think I got here?? (see picture -->)

6. Sit and Down on command and Staying in place.
Sitting is easy, but you want me to do WHAT? Aw Mom, there's hundreds of people watching and you want me to be all submissive? I don't wanna.
Don't wanna!
There's all these people behind me and someone's grilling burgers back there and there is a siren going off and there is a very pretty labragal over there I want to impress and there's a little girl terrier over there. Hi I'm Biggie wanna be my girlfriends? I. Don't. Wanna. Down.
It is unseemly. Unbecoming of someone as majestic as I.
Momma, are you still breathing? Sigh. Ok. For you I will do it, but I'm going to pretend I meant to lie down to look at this bug on the ground.
You're welcome Momma. You can breathe again.
Sit-stay? You got it. Anything so I don't have to Down in front of all these people again.

7. Coming when called.
You're kidding, right? Ok. Hold on. Meditating and looking for that labragal again. Sheesh. 10 feet isn't that far away. Why do I have to go all the way over there? I can watch you just fine from here. Ok, ok. I'm coming. Must. Stand. Up. Don't get your panties in a knot, Momma, I'm coming. One. Foot. In. Front. Of. The. Other. Hey, no one said this was a time trial! I'll come when I'm ready.

8. Reaction to another dog.
Oh hi, met you earlier while we were waiting to go into the test. I know, they are making us do some strange things and we're not even getting paid for it. What. Ever. I know, my Momma is weirdly excited too.

9. Reaction to distraction.
Momma, this whole park is ONE GIANT DISTRACTION! (see picture above, click to enlarge) Do you seriously think I'm going to notice when the nice dog lady raps her pen on her clipboard and then drops it in front of me? She smells nice but she's really clumsy. I've seen her drop it like 10 times already!

10. Supervised separation.
Ok I will sit-stay with the nice dog lady even though she said something about maybe I will rip her shoulder out. How many times do I have to tell you I did NOT have anything to do with Momma's 2 shoulder splurgeries? If I'd been there to protect her maybe she wouldn't have gotten hurt in the first place. Don't worry nice dog lady, I will sit right next to you and make everyone look at us. Aren't I handsome? I'm so proud to be here, thank you, thank you, yes. Thank you all for coming to admire my amazing fluffness with your humans.
... Momma's being so silly - she's going behind that big tree. Momma, I know you're there. Maybe if I stare really hard at the tree I can make Momma come out again.
... Hey Momma! I know magic! I used my amazing mind powers to make you come all the way back from the tree!

Wow, Momma, you're really excited! Thanks for the huggins, I love you too.

George: Thank you for the Golden Paw Award! You must have ESP because you gave it to me the day after I passed my test!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tub Time = Bonding Time!

Hi everybody. I'm back from camp. Sorry for the last few Stream-of-Kuvaszness posts. Since I was posting from camp, Momma wasn't around to edit and proof like she usually does. Instead she was having a break from "her boyz" as she calls us - P-Daddy was away doing his business again and I was doing my business in the woods in Pencil-Vain-Ya - and Momma was all like, "Now I get to go to the gym and go work out and eat healthy meals and don't have P-Daddy's alarm going off 5 times and keeping me up." I had such a great time playing with my new friends that I came back really tired. 

No, I mean REALLY tired. See... 

I also came back from camp a little smelly. I had a scabby neck thing that was a skin reaction to too much Frontline on my neck (Srsly, P-Daddy, my shoulders are pretty far away from my neck, but thanks for trying!) and the scabs were finally coming off, and then I'd been rolling around in dirt with a wet slobbery neck for four days and then I played in the dog run with all my long lost friends and, well, you know. Next thing you know I go get some petting from Momma and she is always jumping up and washing her hands. 

So today Momma decided Enough was Enough and after my evening walk she tried to sneak me into the bathroom while I was still on my leash. Uh uh, no way Momma. Time to pull a Gandhi! Momma got the super smelly liver treats and super stinky dried salmon treats and coaxed me into the bathroom. Ok, Momma, I will sit next to the tub and eat IQ treats from the edge if you really really want me to. 

Oh no! Momma, you dropped all those pieces of IQ treats IN the empty tub! If you just give me a little help over the edge I'll go clean them up for you. 

Ohhhhh, the things I do for you, Momma. 

Momma's Note: We think Biggie secretly likes his baths. This bath was a breakthrough because he pretty much went into the tub on his own, and stayed there while I left the room to get towels and plastic containers to pour water on him. He refrained from shaking until we said "ok" and stood patiently for each paw to be picked up and scrubbed, and really seemed to enjoy the shampooing process. The pictures of the face washing are after the rest of him was clean - the tub was already emptied 4 times of dirty dark gray water. (The pictures at the top of this post are pre-bath.) 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Diary of a Kenneled Kuv (Day 3)

Can't talk. Playing.

Like my hole? I'm guarding it. Can't touch this.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Diary of a Kenneled Kuv (Day 2)

Sure smells good here in the country. it almost smells like BrrrMont.
I can't smell Momma here, but Carol is an adequate Momma substitute, I guess.

MMMM!!! DINNER BREAKFAST!! (every meal is called dinner so I don't get confused). I'll eat that yummy raw chicken, thank you. Veggies no thank you. OK IM DONE WITH MY CHICKEN LEMME OUT TO PLAY THANK YOU!
MMMM! DINNER DINNER! Boy I worked up an appetite from playing outside all day.

I'm waiting...
This has all the marks of Momma's schemes.
I guess I got my point across. A little bite of veggies would be ok.
nom nom nom
these veggies are pretty good
nom nom nom
nom nom
nom nom nom

I sure showed those humans who's boss.

oh. food coma...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Diary of a Kenneled Kuv (Day 1)

Boo! Suck. It's Monday. Hit the snooze, Momma. It's still dark out.
What? Why am I getting dinner before my walkies? Mmm. Smells good. But the only time I ever get dinner before my walkies is if something really really exciting happens. 
oo oo oo too excited to eat 
huh? Momma's taking me to the dog run
Wow!!! Auntie Fran who lives across the hall is here and she's petting me!!! AWESOME!!!!  
What??? Aw shucks I just got here Momma. Why do we have to leave now? And why are you running?? At least I got to make a poopy and check pee mail. 
Who is this man and car here? oo oo oo smells interesting in here. 
Hey. Man is coming over to Momma and talking to her. She smells excited. Or nervous or something. But Momma told me to sit. I don't know, I think Man is making Momma nervous. But she gave him treats to give me. MMM TREAT! But she wants me to sit but I really want to guard her. OH NO HE'S REACHING OVER THE TOP OF MY HEAD AND PETTING ME ON THE TOP OF THE HEAD AND I DO NOT LIKE THAT! GRRRRRR GRRRRR GRRRR MOMMA LET ME GET HIM PLEASE, STOP MAKING ME SIT. GRRRR GRRRR.  WAIT! MAN STILL HAS TREATS IN HIS HAND!!! HE'S BEEN HOLDING OUT ON ME!! IF I KEEP MY BUTT ON THE GROUND I --- JUST --- MIGHT --- REACH --- AHA!!! IF I GRAB FOR THEM HE GETS SCARED AND DROPS THE TREAT ON THE GROUND. 

Momma! Why can't I eat the treats? He dropped them on the ground for me. :(

Hm. interesting. Man is moving crates out of back of car, something about crate is "too small." Too small for what?  Hey look more treats in the car! what a coincidence. It smells like lots of -- hey, hi doggies! I didn't see you in that crate. hi!!!!! I'm Biggie who are you wanna play?? oh boy this toy smells really good. What, Momma you want me to go where??
--hey, Man is lifting me up?! Momma doesn't smell scared. ok I'll go check it out for just a minute, ok? 
oof! how --? what the ?? huh? MommaI'malittlesmooshedinhere.

ok. This barn smells like doggies. Oh look I have my own dog run! And it goes outside! and then it goes into an even bigger dog run!

What do you mean I'm supposed to stay inside right now? I want out! There's too many things to smell!

Hm. Lets see this door can't be too hard. Maybe if I pull it this way... and then do this... and... Excellent! outside in my little private run! 

Oh HIIIIII!!! I'm Biggie who are you? Hi Carol you smell like doggies so you must be ok will you pet me? Where's my Momma? Ahhhh. I like your petting. Hi Lucca you are little but you sure are cute, let's play chase in the big dog run! hmmm? What's this fencing here? Maybe if I pull it I can get out and go look for Momma. She must be around here somewhere. Huh? what? Treats? Play? Dinner? Food? Ok, I'll open the fence later. 
Dinner! Yeah! Chicken?check. Veggies?check. Yogurt?check. Salmon oil?check. Tastes like Momma's cooking. Momma where are you? Maybe tomorrow I'll make a hole in the big fence and check out the sheepies and look for Momma. But right now, I think. I. Am. Tired. Maybe. Just.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Find the kuvasz puppy!

Can you find the kuvasz puppy in this picture? P-Daddy found it right away, but Momma had to look for a real long time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You like me! You really, REALLY like me!

Wow, thanks for more awards! It's nice to know that my dog friends understand that just because I make some potties on the rugs and my people are all, like, get a new rug, smells like a barn in here, did he go cujo again, is that wetness on the floor that I almost slipped in drool or pee? well I don't know, why don't you smell it and see, and stuff like that, and you all still like me.

Thanks to Kess and her mama for this award. I totally would adopt your kitten but I'm not sure it would survive the flight from Malaysia. Maybe Aire Ruby would consider this rescue case...

Award Rules:
Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"
Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to

So, without further ado, I want to give a shout out to all the big dogs out there, who have shared my pain and commiserated with me and my Momma both publicly and privately:

Mango (who must SHARE this award with Dexter and Hector)
Nanook and Pooka (the only ones on this list who would nicely with a flat buckle collar, I bet)
Wimsey (one of 2 dogs I know in NYC who outweighs me)
George (made basket muzzles a fashion accessory)
Saint Lover (like Mango, makes labs look little)

Thanks to Booker, a fellow less-well-known-breed dude who's been weathering some tough times on his own. Get it? Weathering, you know, because of those hurricanes and stuff...? Ok whatever. Booker, your kennel will be ok. Remember, the only thing that baying ever hurt ... was people's ear drums. Remember that saying, "Speak softly and carry a big stick?" Just bark loudly. That works better because then you don't need to carry a big stick. Plus, you can't bark loudly with a big stick in your mouth anyway, which I guess means that you'd have to speak softly if you had a big stick in your mouth... which leads me to ask, why bother carrying a big stick in the first place? Just bark loudly. I think I just did the bloggie equivalent of chasing my tail there...

So, on to the rules:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog (um, yes, if Momma could figure out how to do it...)
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links of those blogs on yours, and
5. Leave a message on the blogs that you've nominated

Looks like I have a bunch of comments to leave:
the 4Bs
The Brat Pack

Out-of-Doghouse Auto-Reply: Update on Issues

When we left our favorite authority-challenging, city-dwelling goofball of a kuvasz, we were all dealing with the emotional trauma of paying NYC $$$$ for Biggie to be left in a basement alone to potty. ("It puts the lotion in the basket! It puts the lotion in the basket!") We haven't talked to the manager of the facility yet, and I haven't gotten a response to my email last week, but that is just as well, since I don't really know what I would say to these people.

In the week since we've all been back to our usual NYC/VT routine, Biggie has pooped inside once in VT and peed at least 2x here in NYC. All when I left and did not shut him up in the bedroom, where he usually sleeps. On top of that, ANY time I left the apartment other than my usual leave-for-work routine, he would whimper, squeak, cry and yelp for about half an hour after I left. Even if P-Daddy was home. Just pitiful to hear a 100-lb "puppy" crying like a baby. (on the other hand, when I left for work he would not be thrilled, but he knew the drill and wouldn't cry.)

We were also considering a kitten, and the day after I put up the kitten poll, our upstairs neighbors just happened to mention that they'd adopted a stray kitten in July that they couldn't keep because their cat, Min, chased him all over the place and beat up on him. Min and Milo's kids were distraught over the whole situation, so they were trying to place the kitten in our building so the kids could still visit him.
And, P-Daddy in a fit of pup responsibility decided to do Biggie's heartworm and Frontline while I was still out of town. Except he read "between the shoulder blades" as "back of the neck," and now the back of Biggie's neck is a big crusty, scabby mess o' skin reaction.
So, lots of stuff going on at Biggie Momma's House. But -
Biggie is currently on hiatus as he is investigating a new kennel. Preliminary reports appear positive. The kitten search is also on hold, since Min and Milo may be working toward a detente after Min saw that Biggie and Milo may be making friends. Cautious optimism is the mood around here. Biggie will report on his issues when he returns.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wanted: Dog Walkers who actually know how to WALK a dog

After a month of talking to the doggie day care/kennel we've been using since 2000 (with our old dog) and working with a trainer, we thought everything had been worked out for our humans-only 4-day trip over Labor Day. The walkers were going to learn how to use the Gentle Leader and we had high hopes.

Instead, we learned that he lunged at someone and they decided not to walk him after the first couple days, and brought him to a downstairs room (yes, indoors) for him to relieve himself. I think about how he must have held it until he couldn't hold it any more, and I think about how much we pay this place, and I am steaming mad.

And over the weekend, Biggie pooped in our condo in Vermont. Coincidence, given how he was treated last weekend? I think not.

Should Biggie get a kitten? (NEW POLL)

(For those of you with really bad eyesight or dirty monitors, that's an Italian Greyhound, not a kitten, being chased by Biggie. But it was the closest I could find.)

We have a mouse problem. They are getting bolder and bolder. Biggie clumsily chases the mice across the hardwood floor ... when he wakes up enough to notice them. He's also lonely during the day, so we've been thinking about another pet/playmate for him.

He's gentle and curious (but respectful) with full grown cats and other animals, and he liked Peter the bunny rabbit, so we think he might like an animal playmate. We've had full grown dogs and a cat before, but we had the cat first, and he was full grown by the time we got the pups, so we're wondering how a young dog + kitten might work?

Clarification: We have been talking about a puppy/kitten for several months, but haven't started thinking seriously about it until recently. Biggie does have a strong prey drive, but it's mainly to chase.

Please vote to the right and comment!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rainy Weekend and Indoor Sports

It's been a lazy, rainy day here in Brrr Mont. I was very smelly from being in the kennel while Momma and P-Daddy went away to celebrate Momma's Birdday, so I got a bath. I like baths. I go into a little trance when I get a bath, and I especially like getting my ears washed, outside and inside. Momma called me "Fusilli Neck" after my bath, I don't know why. (Momma's note: Click on the picture below for more detail.) I don't really like the hair dryer so Momma lets me air dry, which leads to a 2-day-long game of Chase where Momma chases me with the brush and I run around.

But today there wasn't much to do after my bath except hang out with my puppy. 

My puppy doesn't have a name yet. Maybe I should call him Tiny. Or Floppy. 

Momma and P-Daddy have been talking about getting me a real live kitten! But so far there's only Momma and P-Daddy to play with. Today I got P-Daddy to play indoor football with me and my chicken.