Thursday, May 26, 2016

Delilah Has Been Registered!

So I'm taking a break from agility classes for the next 6 weeks while we financially recover from moving.   Delilah's super stoked about the new place.  It's a condo, as opposed to the tiny apartment we've been living in.  She's been sprinting around the condo, up and down the stairs, and just sitting in front of the window for hours on end watching everything going on outside.  She's so happy, and so am I!

While we're "in between" agility classes, I signed us up for a couple different things.  The first is just an hour long agility session where we focus on the teeter totter, because Delilah has only been introduced to that briefly.

The other thing, that I'm really excited about is... (drum roll)... BARN HUNT!  Yesterday I registered Delilah with the Barn Hunt Association.  Her official name is now Lil Miss Jones!  We're planning on going to a competition in New Hampshire on June 11th.  We will be entering an Instinct trial and at least one Novice trial (possibly two, depending on funds and time).  Unfortunately there's not really any opportunity for barn hunt in Vermont right now, but depending on how much we enjoy it, we might try to get a club started.  We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Adventures in Jericho

We went to Mills Riverside Park yesterday!

It was a beautiful day.

Delilah listened so well!

My beautiful girl <3

Delilah found a river and lost her shit.

Attacking the river.

Practicing recall.

 Playing with her West Paw Design Jive ball.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

We Had a Great Day on Saturday!

When I got Delilah almost a year ago, she was a very fearful little dog.  At first she was shut down and quiet and didn't want to leave the house.  Then she became a little more comfortable and found her voice and became reactive to strangers.  A stereotypical yappy little dog.  We've been doing a lot of work on that.  We've taken training classes, worked on counter conditioning, LAT, socialization, conditioned relaxation, and basic obedience and this past weekend was a reflection on the progress she's made!  Last fall I couldn't even walk her without her yapping at everyone who walked past.  We couldn't walk down Church Street at all because it was so overwhelming for her.  We did a lot of work over the winter and it's starting to show now that it's nice out and we can take her places!

This past Saturday Sam had to go to the bank and we decided to all walk there together (TD Bank is dog friendly).  We walked down Church St. (always busy on a Saturday morning), through the Farmer's Market (crowded with people and dogs), and into the bank where she sat next to me and gave me her full attention the entire time.  I had brought her breakfast mixed with some hot dogs and rewarded her for being quiet, looking at strangers, and looking at me.  She was SO good!  She even got a big dog treat from the bank!

Then on the way home we walked around the Farmer's Market.  While Sam was in line to get some local root beer, Delilah and I went to a vendor selling organic dog treats (Vermont Dog Eats).  She was very excited to be able to try a few samples and seemed to really enjoy them- she started scouring the ground licking up crumbs that other dogs must have missed.  Really simple, healthy ingredients and a portion of the profits are donated to local rescues and animal welfare organizations.  We're definitely going to go back and buy some once we've recovered from the move.

We walked up Church St on the way home and she was great despite all of the strange people.  She jumped on a rock and a couple of people came over wanting to visit her.  I told them not to touch her but they could see if she wanted to come to them.  She crept over, sniffing and wagging her little tail.  She was nervous but curious.  Then she started kissing the woman's hand!  She's come such a long way.  She still has issues with strangers and especially in indoor areas but she has gotten so much better over the past 10 months!  I was so proud of her.

Look At That at the Farmer's Market

Hanging out on Church St.

Friday, May 13, 2016

May Update and Food Switch Up

So, again, haven't been on much lately.  I've been trying to get a new job (applied back in December and there are still so many forms I need to fill out and steps I need to complete!) so that's been keeping me busy, and stressed.

Also, just signed a lease for a new apartment too!  It's soooo much nicer than this place we live at in the Old North End (the gross part of Burlington).  It's got two stories, two bedrooms plus a loft, a living room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms.  It has it's own patio, a yard, a garage, and a pool and tennis courts!  And it's in a much nicer location and rent is less expensive than what we're paying now!  I'm especially excited for the yard- I'm going to set up Delilah's agility equipment and practice with her outside!

Some updates about Delilah:


We're taking our last agility class tomorrow.  Last week we did weave poles and she was having a difficult listening day.  Every time I let her off leash, she'd run away and dash under the shelving in the training facility and start pouncing on dust bunnies and hair clumps.  Everyone thinks it's super cute but she doesn't listen when she goes into "hunting" mode.  And it's only at this facility- I take her off leash hiking a lot and she does really well.  We practice agility outdoors off leash.  I've even brought her to work (at the dog daycare) with me and set up her equipment (weave poles, tunnel, jump) and she did great!  It's a similar environment to the training facility because it's indoors, there are a lot of other dogs in the building, lots of smells, strange people, clumps of fur... and yet, she still listens.  So I don't know how we can practice focus and impulse control if it's just that one place she has a lot of difficulty at.

But anyways, after paying for this new apartment, it's going to be a month or two before we financially recover, so we're going to take a short break from agility classes :(  Which is too bad but we gotta do what we gotta do.


I've been getting free Zignature kibble from work so that's what we've been switching to these past few months.  I started her out on Zig Turkey because she was used to poultry protein and I figured that would be most similar to the duck and chicken based foods she was on.  She did pretty well on it but I don't think she was digesting as much as the Castor and Pollux Duck formula she had been on because her stools were larger and softer.

Since then we've tried another formula, Trout and Salmon Meal and she's doing really well on that!  Her coat is thick, bright, and soft; her stools are firmer; and she's been gaining weight (it's harder for me to see her pelvic bones).  Trout and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which I think are playing a big role in the condition of her coat.

On Dog Food Advisor, Zignature has a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with each formula ranging from 4-5 stars.  We're going to stick with this brand for now because it's a great food and I can get it for free!  The next formula I picked up was their Kangaroo formula- which I thought sounded very interesting.