the sheltiechick blog

Auggie’s Christmas Toys – Part 1

For Christmas, I ordered Auggie some new puzzle toys off Amazon. I racked up a few Amazon gift cards using Swagbucks so it was pretty cheap to order a handful for him. Tonight I gave Auggie his dinner in the Kyjen Paw Hide toy. Below is a video of how he did with it, sped up. I thought this might help since people are always asking about puzzle toys and treat dispensing toys and stuff. My main comments are in the video description.
It took him ten minutes, including the times he stopped and stared at me like “helloooooo, I’m supposed to be getting DINNER here…” and his half a minute barking fit (Auggie temper tantrum – I’m surprised it only lasted 30 seconds, but I think he was hungry.)

I’m not over the moon about it, but it only really cost me $5 out of pocket, so it’s not a huge loss if it doesn’t work out well. I might be able to sell it to some other agility people with border collies if I continue to be lukewarm about it.
I also bought him the treat wheel and I’m thinking I will like that one more. I wish the cups weren’t so darn flimsy though, they are the same in the treat wheel. There’s no way I can give him this and then go cook dinner, because I know he’d start chewing on the cups and would break them, and he’s not even a “chewer” the way some dogs are. The tug-a-jug and other puzzle toys I have, I feel confident in giving those to him and walking away… this one, nope. Kind of a bummer since I was hoping to get some more stuff to keep him occupied and leaving me alone. But at least it only cost me $5. I didn’t buy the star spinner which is the one that doesn’t have cups… I sort of wish I had to see if my opinion would improve without the flimsy cup aspect.

52 Weeks of Auggie – 0/52 Right Hand (Wo)Man

I have joined a photography project for the year of 2011. It’s a 52 week project (rather than the popular 356 day project) so you take one photo every week. This week is week 0, so just a “practice” week where everybody was making sure they could get their photos uploaded and everything. The theme was “Right Hand (Wo)Man” or just a shot to establish who your subject is going to be for the project.
Mine, of course, is Auggie… since he’s all I’ve got.
For now.

52 Weeks, Week 00

The group for this project is on Flickr, so I have a set on Flickr where all of these will be hosted if you’d like to just view all the photos in one go:
52 Weeks of Auggie
I also made a set where I upload a few of the shots that came REALLY close to being “the one” out of all the photos I snapped. I tend to shoot a LOT and only select a few to upload and post anyway, and for this project I narrow it down even further to a handful of photos in the running to be the one photo. These are the few photos that I passed over in favour of the photo shown above. Or, as I call them… The Rejects.
52 Weeks of Auggie – The Rejects

The nice thing about dogs

Last night my mom and I were putting all of the Christmas decor away – or at least attempting to. Our Christmas stuff all goes in a closet underneath the stairs in the basement. She said there was some stuff way in the back that might be okay to be donated or thrown away to make a bit more room, so I climbed into the closet and was going to pull all the stuff out that was wedged all the way in the back. It was COVERED with dust and dirt, and there’s no light in the closet, so I’m holding a flashlight in one hand, and very carefully pulling each box out with the other, moving it a bit and waiting to see if any spiders went scampering, then pulling it out the rest of the way.
So I’m under the stairs going “ugh, this is nasty,” and my mom is going “Yeah, there’s probably spiders in there.” “Waaaah!” I whine. “But probably no mice,” she says. “Probably just spiders.”
I reach for a box and move it just a bit to see if anything goes running – and RIGHT at that moment, SOMETHING FUZZY BRUSHES UP AGAINST MY BACK.

I FREAK out because there shouldn’t be anything fuzzy brushing up against my back! WTF?! I drop the box I just moved, drop the flashlight, I’m screaming, and I SPIN around…

and Auggie is standing there staring at me.

And I immediately start swearing and telling him I’m going to murder him. And he just smiles at me and wags his tail because I’m telling him I’m going to kill him again. And my mom is going “What, what?!” because I screamed, so I start telling her what happened, and it’s rather funny anyway but made even funnier by the fact that I continue to swear at the dog and threaten his life. And of course my mom starts laughing because it’s HILARIOUS. She’s seriously laughing so hard she’s in tears. And the dumb dog of course thinks something fantastic has just happened and is wagging around like a moron.

I then had to spend the majority of the rest of the night continually picking the dog up and removing him from the closet under the stairs. I picked him up once and took him over to where his little round bed is, set him down in it, and told him to lay down. Which he did while making bitey face at my hands because he thought we were playing. No, this is not a game. Neither is repeatedly going under the stairs and having me say “Auggie, get OUT.” Okay, maybe it’s a game to you, but I’m not playing.

Finally I gave up, took him out to potty one last time, and then put him in his crate for the night. After about an hour my mom finally goes “Hey, where’s Auggie?”

“Oh, I got sick of him, so I put him in his crate. That’s the nice thing about dogs, you know. When you get sick of them, you stick them in their crate, and it’s not child abuse.”

A Very Auggie Christmas, 2010

Just about everything I asked for this year was for the dog… haaaa.
Our Christmas tree photos didn’t turn out that great though.

This would be cute if it were in focus. =<

STINKEYE. This is about what our family photos look like every year now so I can’t blame him. Somebody in our family needs to hurry up and reproduce so I don’t have to sit in front of the tree with my cousin for “kids photo” anymore. Seriously, I’m the youngest and I’m 26. I think we can stop the “kids photo” now.

Slightly mischievous look…


more grumble…

can we be done now??

This is dumb. Let’s do something else.

And then we opened stockings. At 2AM. Because we came home at midnight and had to shovel the drive before we could even get the truck up the drive, then we opened presents a 1AM (while Auggie ran berserk the entire time with entirely too much energy for 1AM) and then decided to go ahead and just open the stockings.

I grabbed my P&S instead of the DSLR because I was too freaking tired to mess with the DSLR. And the flash was off at first. Bad idea.


I loves penguin

Oh yeah, there’s more…

Yet another sheep (of course.)

It makes snoring sounds. He was mildly fascinated.

Obligatory head in stocking shot.

He refused to fish the raccoon out of the stocking no matter how much I asked him to get it… he was becoming fascinated with the flash so finally I turned it back off.

The raccoon has a bottle inside of it and is open on the bottom so you can replace it. He was really excited once he realized there was a bottle in it!

Posing with stocking toys.

Then I made him pose with his Christmas gifts… no pictures of him pulling these out of the bag. He loved that sheep, especially since he was busy running amuck while we opened our gifts.

Gifts are all opened, stockings are opened, the tree is bare of gifts… so Auggie went under the tree to curl up. He does this and gets very upset when we start stacking gifts under the tree and there’s no room for him. I think it’s because he was born in November and in his puppyhood he spent a lot of time being naughty crawling underneath the Christmas tree at his breeder’s house, LOL.

Falling asleep under the tree… zzzzz

huhwha? No I’m awake…

He got a bully stick this morning and took it under there to eat. He also wants you all to know he ALMOST caught not only a squirrel, but ALSO a rabbit out in the yard, and he came swaggering back in looking quite proud of himself. Brat.


Auggie has certain things timed. I’m told he starts to get very antsy before I get home – running around and hovering by the door, waiting, because he knows I’m due home any minute. He definitely knows when dinner time is (sometimes even better than I do – he’ll be doing the Dinnertime Dance and I’m like “Dude, calm down, it’s not time for – oh. Oh yes it is. Sorry.”)

But the strangest thing he has timed… is knowing EXACTLY how long he has to fool around outside and make it back up to the stairs once I’ve said “If I have to come get you, you’re in BIG TROUBLE – okay, you’re in BIG TROUBLE.” The dog somehow has it timed. He knows how long it takes me to threaten him, turn around, go slip my shoes on, grab my coat, and step back to the door. Because it NEVER FAILS. I get my shoes, grab my coat, and open the door… and he’s standing there innocently like he’s been waiting the whole time to come back in.

I don’t know how he does it, but this is a skill he has perfected.
And I hate him for it.

Teaching Auggie to smile

I’ve decided it would be incredibly handy to teach Auggie to smile on command. Sometimes in the face of treats Auggie becomes SERIOUS DOG and doesn’t give me a smile… so if I’m trying to pose him and I have treats on me while I do this, I get SERIOUS AUGGIE IS SERIOUS photos instead of a normal goofy looking Auggie. Therefore, if I can be holding a treat and tell Auggie “smile!” and he will smile, I will get PERFECT pictures!! It’s genius, you see.

Except I forgot that my dog is an idiot and while trying to teach him a new trick he immediately begins offering up every single trick he already knows, or other things we’ve been working on. Like I’ve been working on cop-cop with him on and off for ages, so when doing heeling work, he attempts to get between my legs and stand on my feet. Or when trying to work on a down-stay, he likes to roll over.

The last trick I worked on with Auggie was teaching him to speak. I figured teaching smile would start rather the same, where I would click/treat any movement of the mouth, then start to narrow it down to the kind of open mouth expression I wanted. This was not a bad plan.
Except, again, I forgot that my dog is an idiot.
Therefore, this time, Auggie decided that I must want him to ROLL OVER WHILE BARKING.

Why, Auggie? Why? This is why I do things like buy a yellow submarine costume and put you in it.

Dear Santa…

I was very, very naughty this year.

I threw up on my mommy’s hardwood floor.
I ate something gross in the yard several times.
I totally blew the very last contact when I would have had a Q in an agility run, and then I laughed about it.
I woke my mommy up in the middle of the night approximately 20 hojillion times.
Sometimes I even finagled her into letting me sleep on her bed, and woke her up by standing on her back with my face shoved next to hers, smiling like a lunatic and staring.
I lie about having to go outside and potty at least once every day.
I have taken to biting at mommy’s knees and ankles because it’s fun.
I threw my twist n treat down the stairs, even when my mommy had just told me not to.
I got up to sniff a bitch in an obedience trial because that was more fun than a sit-stay.

Can I still have a baby brother anyway?

That darn Santa isn’t buying the whole “naughty” thing at all.

Snowtiems wit Auggiedoggie

Ohhhh hai. Is snowtiems wit Auggie!

Dis kinda deep snow.


kay now I run wheeeee!

Wheeeee! (ahhhh pure Auggie joy!)

Kay dats enuf.

No really. I ran in it once. Is okay.

No wai. Not going back out dere.

Mama said “desperate times call for desperate measures.” Then she picked me up and put me here in the snow. WHY???

Now what?

Gramma shovelin’ the driveway.

No, don’t wanna play in too deep snow.

No is kinda cold on my belly when I get in.

Why you do dis to me Mommy?

You throw me in another pile of snow. I ignore you.

WHY, Mommy? WHY?

Why you on other side of fence. Where you goin. Dis stuff is cold and I has snowballs on my feets.

Okay now we go inside. END OF SNOWTIEMS WIT AUGGIE.

Auggie attempts to communicate

I decided a while back that I might teach Auggie to speak. Part of me thought this was a terrible idea, for once I taught the dog to bark on cue, he might NEVER STOP. Another part of me thought, because he barks when he’s being bratty and playing, if I could get him to bark on command, I could also basically get him to be bratty on command. (I can hear you out there asking, but WHY would you want your dog to be bratty on command?? Well, the answer is because I’m crazy of course.)

Either way, I decided to just go ahead and do it. Tonight I sat down with the clicker, the dog, the big bucket of treats, and a plan… click any vocalization, no matter how quiet, that might be considered a bark. Whining, whimpering, grunting, wookie-noises, or various other attempts at talking were not to count… only what you might call a bark.

What happened next was so hilarious I had to actually stop and get out the video camera to record it and show people how absolutely ridiculous my dog is. So watch the video… and enjoy.