I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.

For me they are the role model for being alive.

~ Gilda Radner

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day





Please join me, at 3pm, in a "National Moment of Remembrance'' . This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to honor those who have sacrificed everything and commemorate and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Berner Report: May 22 - May 29



This dog is one of the funniest, silliest dogs I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The better I get to know him, the more sure I am that someone, somewhere, has got to be grieving his loss. They're also missing a lot of laughs!
Mr.B is a goofball!


People have commented on how patient I've been with Alfy's rehab. Really, the credit all goes to the Berner dog. He's so willing and laid back. Berner Boy is also gentle, charming, brave, adaptable, patient, affectionate, trusting and loyal. He's made these last few months so much fun with his attitude. Yes, we've had moments of frustration, but only because I fear for him, when he's not with me. If training has been slow, it's because of my limitations, not his.

He never gets mad at Stumpy, no matter how hard she pushes.

And believe me, Stumpy is one pushy dog! She teases him, purposefully sets him up for attacks, invades his space and in general just makes a total P.I.T.A. of herself. Mr. B just takes it with a grin and a wag.


For those of you who don't think Berner Boy ever uses all four on the floor or is capable of running...
Zoomies!


Alfy goes in his kennel when told, without bribery.


And stays in the kennel for over an hour, without complaining.
1/2 hour

45 minutes

I'm remaining close, either in the house or yard, while he's in the kennel. He'll be on his own, for sure on Monday, for awhile.

He spent some time sulking, because he wasn't allowed to wander, this week. Although he is easily distracted from his need to go, as soon as the fun is over he goes back to sulking.


Alfy loves his naps!




Stumpy cleaned her office out at the food bank and brought her cardboard box-bed home.
Berner in a box




Alfy is also practicing his khetching technique so he can enter Khyra's Khetch Me If You Khan Khontest.

So far, he's only made the bloopers.

We really haven't done a ton of stuff, in the training department, this week. We've worked on sit and he's doing pretty good, but not dropping his bum into it, yet. Maybe he never will, but he seems to know what I want.

He's taking treats from me while I am sitting in the car. He'll be sitting in the car in no time.

If you are interested in adopting this handsome boy please refer to my sidebar and check out Petfinder's "New Dog Adopter's" Pledge. This is the home Alfy deserves. He will come to you house broken, crate trained, vet checked, neutered, up to date on his vaccinations and micro-chipped. Vet references will be required. A home-check is a possibility. Because of his wander lust a fenced yard is probably necessary. Distance may not be a problem. I'll be traveling east in the not too distant future. I have also had offers for transport help, when the time comes.

The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert. If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed, in chronological order, below. Updates are posted on Saturday.
#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15
#15 The Weekly Berner Report: May 15 - 22

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Khyra's Khatch Me If You Khan Khontest


It all began on Sunday, June 8, 2008. Khyra got her mom up early, gave her the keys to the XTerra and sent her on a journey that continues to this day.

While you and I sleep-in/relax/do our own thing on the weekends, Khyra sends her mom, in her XTerra, to help other dogs on their way to find forever homes. Although no one is counting, I estimate that these weekend journeys have aided, at the very least, 104 dogs (that would be one dog a weekend, but each transport is more likely to be between 2 and 4 dogs and sometimes a cat!) The acutal number is probably closer to 300 dogs that have ridden in Khyra's XTerra on the way to their-happily-ever after. There are usually at least two dogs being transported, at a time. Sometimes more than one transports for more than one rescue, and more than one road trip on a weekend! You can check out Khyra's Photobucket to see some of the beautiful dogs Khyra has helped.

We all do what we can do to "paw it forward," and make the world a better place for our four-legged companions. Phyl, with Khyra's blessing and her XTerra, makes this journey almost every weekend, to give others a chance at a great life. I would like to help. And I would like you to help Stumpy help her.

"Khyra's Khatch Me If You Khan Khontest," will do just that. Send me a video of your four-legged Khompanion khatching as many treats in a row, as possible. The winner will have a $50.00 gas card donated, in their name, to Khyra's XTerra Transport. They'll also receive a batch of Stumpy's favorite homemade pumpkin/banana/peanut butter cookies (without the banana, if you prefer) and a Petsmart/Petco/Walmart gift card...depending on when I can get out of dirtville and where I go.

Send your bloopers in case there is a booby prize!


The rules are simple.
1) Email your video: giantspeckledchihuahuaatlivedotcom (replace the "at" with "@" and "dot" with "." )
2) Include your blog name and url.
3) Video must be raw,unedited and uploaded to YouTube
4) The khatches MUST be counted outloud, on the video.
5) Title the video with the Khatcher's name (the 4-legged) and the number of khatches.
5) If you improve your score, go ahead and enter again.

Khontest begins today (Thursday, May 27) and ends Monday, June 7 at midnite EST.
All video's will be posted to Khyra's Khatch Me If You Khan Khontest blog
Khontest begins today (Thursday, May 27) and ends Monday, June 7 at midnight EST.

Can you beat Stumpy?



Drama Llamas, cheaters and other evil doers, PLEASE, stay away.

Stumpy likes a firm pillow



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The danger zone

When Stumpy and I head out for our walks we are careful to stay out of the danger zone.
 
Posted by Picasa


The danger zone is any place that is NOT graded road. The roads are generally clear of thorns, thistles and cacti. When you enter the danger zone you are bound to be attacked by things that stick, prick, bite and otherwise cause pain.

The Berner has no fear of the danger zone and heads right into it
 
Posted by Picasa


Stumpy watches that crazy Berner head into the desert


On the edge. Is it worth it?


Alfy tip toes through the danger zone


"No way! I'm not going there!"


"Ow! Ee! Ouch! Oooo! Ow! Whose idea was this?"


Alfy tip toes, innocently, out of the danger zone

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Berner Report: May 15 - May 22


It's hard to believe, but it's been over 3 months since Mr.B arrived on my doorstep. He's come such a long way. But he still has far to go. That includes finding his happily-ever-after forever home. If you think you might be Alfy's happily ever after, or know of someone that might be, please contact me. I've added my email address to my profile.

It's been a seriously stressful week, both at home and at the food bank. Once again, I haven't kept the camera as handy as usual. Here are our highlights.

Alfy uses his kennel, by choice, frequently. He stays in his closed kennel for up to a half an hour, while I am home. In the video below, Alfy remained in his kennel for about 20 minutes while I was in and out of the room and the house.

He hasn't complained, but pants heavily and does not appear relaxed. Although he enters the kennel for treats, he doesn't eat any of them. (Stumpy has learned, quickly, to check out the Berner's kennel for leftovers as soon as kennel time is over.


This week, I am going to begin leaving him in the kennel while I leave for short periods. As a side note, Stumpy is always kenneled within Alfy's scope of vision when he is kenneled. I hope to begin to remove Stumpy from the equation giving her some much needed and sorely missed alone time. One step at a time, though.

BHD (Big Hairy Dog) is also walking nicely on a leash.You can see the slack in the leash in the picture below.

In the video, he walks nicely at my side, stopping when I stop, all without asking. At first, he was a little confused about where to walk, (i.e. between my legs and on my right side.) Again, with nothing from me but light guidance (no vocals) he has figured out (remembered?) his proper position.


He's good with me restraining him using his collar. When I brush him or attach his leash there is no resistance or discomfort at all.

He's also learning to be tethered.


For the record, I would never leave a dog tied, unsupervised; nor do I condone it. I don't have a fenced yard and often times Stumpy is tied out while I am inside and can easily reach her if necessary. She can also go in and out of the house when tied. They both like to sit out on the deck and watch the world go by. I think tethering is an important life lesson for a dog. As someone who travels and camps my dogs were often tied (again, always under close supervision) and needed to know how to deal with tying. Again, tethering should only be done under close supervision. The Berner really hasn't been tied, yet, but attached to me so I can convince him he wants to stay when he thinks he wants to go.

He's not unhappy so much at being tethered, he's crying because he want's to be on the road, checking out the neighborhood. He's been whining and pacing for a few hours, now. We take a walk, he settles down and a half an hour later he's at it again. Rinse and repeat. A fenced yard would be a wonderful thing right now.

Foxtail? Have you heard of them?

If not, say a prayer of gratitude. The Berner is constantly scratching and digging into his coat and foxtail is the culprit.

It's a multi barbed grass seed. They cling to a dogs coat and work themselves into nasal and ear passages and under the skin, and they continue to travel doing major damage. For Stumpy, thankfully, they are a non issue since she doesn't leave the dirt roads and is short-haired. For the Berner they are a real problem. I'm hoping a solved problem now that the big guy's wandering days are over.

As I brush him I am digging pulling hundreds of them out of his under coat.

As I said at the beginning of the post there has been some major stress at home this week. Part of that stems from my inability to contain the Berner. There was an incident on Saturday involving the Berner and a neighbor. Nobody was hurt, but my already crazy, on-the-edge neighbor* is all pissed off and freaked out. At this point, the Berner could be a liability and I must take responsibility for him. As of now, his wandering days are over. There is one slight problem, though. He doesn't like to potty on the leash. At this writing (Friday, 5:30pm) it's been over 24 hours, at least 6 walks and no sign of relief.

With both his collar and leash issues under control, we can begin some more formal training with basic commands. I'm hoping to be home for the next 6 days, to work with him. the only thing that will be allowed to infringe on this plan is vehicle shopping.

We haven't worked, at all, with getting him in the car this week, for various reasons. His time to reconcile with the car is coming. I'll have no excuse this coming week. That said, I think getting him into the kennel, willingly and on command, will work in our favor. Paula, who blogs at Woof Whinny Whisper has given me some great advice to that end.

Saturday, May 22
Happy birthday, Mum!

Twelve walks, yesterday and Berner boy finally forced himself to relieve himself! Oh! You wanted pictures?

Wait a minute! that's a pile of pooped Berners, not a pile of Berner poop!

Today, it's 9:30, we've had 4 walks since 5am and nothing. Fortunately, it's alittle cooler today. I thought about starting at the beginning, much like I would house train a puppy, but I don't think using the kennel in that way would be the best thing for him right now. And he's already house trained. I've had other male dogs that weren't fond of doing their business when leashed, but they knew when I said "Hurry up!" that meant go if you have to and did, as does Stumpy.

And he's sulking. He won't look at me

won't take treats from me and hides in the bathroom.

He doesn't love me any more :( Unless I have turkey and I DO have turkey! :)

If you are interested in adopting this handsome boy please refer to my sidebar and check out Petfinder's "New Dog Adopter's" Pledge. This is the home Alfy deserves. He will come to you vet checked, neutered, up to date on his vaccinations and micro-chipped. Vet references will be required. A home-check is a possibility. Because of his wander lust a fenced yard is probably necessary. Distance may not be a problem. I'll be traveling east in the not too distant future. I have also had offers for transport help, when the time comes.

The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert. If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed, in chronological order, below. Updates are posted on Saturday.
#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15


*Yes, the animal hoarding, trash collecting neighbors moved and now I have another crazy over there. It could be me, I suppose. You know, the ol' "I'm not crazy it's the rest of the world" syndrome.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The pressure's on!



Now there are two of them watching my every move, waiting for me to provide amusement, food, attention or who knows what.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Signs of Spring, part 2

I'm running a little late, these pictures and events occurred over a month ago

The buzzards are back...


Joshua trees are blooming


We've got green! Well, kind of...



Here's how I add a little color to the yard




The birds enjoy the fruit and it attracts a few hummingbirds.

Yeah, springtime in the desert is definitely different!