the sheltiechick blog

He did it!!!


We went out last weekend and tried to get him off the baby dock (it’s maybe a foot to the water, and only about a foot of water) and he wasn’t really game. I lowered him in so he would see it wasn’t deep but he still wasn’t game. He DID want to go play in the shallows, there’s a place where people can slide their boats into the water and he was all about playing there, but jumping into the lake… nope.

So I tried again today since it’s supposed to rain and storm all weekend. The first time he actually FELL in. OMFG hahaha. But the second time he actually edged up to it then hopped/slid in. At first I thought it was an accident because he looked shocked when he was standing there… but then he came around the dock and up onto the shore and looked at me, and I was going NUTS and gave him a whole handful of cookies… and he ran back to the edge, looked thoughtful for a second, then hopped in. Again I shoved a handful of cookies in his face, while he was in the water this time – the time before he looked so shocked he didn’t want them – and he came running back up on the shore again, ran to the edge of the dock, looked at me like “Do you see this??” and JUMPED IN.
And he did it again, and again, and again. And every time he came back to the shore like =D =D DID YOU SEE WHAT I JUST DID MOM

I only let him jump in about six times, he kept wanting to jump in but I knew rain was on it’s way and I didn’t want to over do it the very first time. So I toweled him off and we came back home (and just beat the rain.)

I can’t stop smiling. I was so proud and excited I almost cried.


Payton AND Auggie at the lake!

I was packing our swimmy bag and put Auggie in his crate. He cried like he normally does when I’m going somewhere with Payton and without him. Mom and I went outside to put our sunscreen on and he started crying louder. “I think he wants to go, but he has no idea,” I said.
We came back inside to grab our stuff and Mom said “He wants to go…”
So we took Auggie with us.

Payton went in the swimmy first of course.

And yes, if you’re wondering, I convinced my mom to go because I REALLY wanted her to take photos of Payton swimming.

Cute puppy <3
My little guy. He looks so proud of himself when he reaches the shore. Like =D =D =D LOOK WHAT I CAN DO

Then… guess who had to swim next.

“Okay, I THOUGHT I wanted to go… I didn’t want to go.”

“OMG I thought I would never make it to shore.”

Payton actually chose to swim OUT away from the shore today. Especially after I had just taken Auggie in. Because while I was in the lake with Auggie Payton was on the shore SCREAMING “THAT’S MY SWIMMY GET OUT OF MY SWIMMY THIS ISN’T FAIR.”

I have no idea what’s going on here but I think it’s a cute picture of us so there.

Happy swimming Payton…

So yeah, this is how Payton swims still, LOL. Flailing a bit, butt sinking down, searching a bit for when he hits the ground to push off – it’s like a hop-swim. Sometimes if he’s in really deep water he will even out and just swim. I think he just needs more practice in deep water where he has to REALLY swim rather than shallows or my little pool where he can kick off the ground… or maybe not, since he loves the pool too, and who am I to tell him what not to do when he loves it?

He really does love it.

THE BUMPER! We had major success with the bumper today. He played with the bumper IN the water which he wouldn’t do last weekend.

AND he would even reach down and grab it from the water and retrieve it for me! We celebrated each retrieve with a huge game of tug. There is no public dock for me to use here, but there is a ledge. I decided the next best thing was to put Payton on the dock, toss the bumper into the lake, and tell him “get the bumper!” He would jump down off the ledge then run into the water to get the bumper and bring it back to me. Hey, it’s close, LOL.

Auggie LOLOLOL. I don’t know why I always find Auggie’s disdain so amusing… sorry Augs.

So my mom came up with this GREAT idea… racing. LOL.

I call Auggie my little tugboat… because he just churns along, smooth and steady. Honestly Auggie is the far better swimmer of the two.

And Payton meanwhile tries to catch some air when he swims LOL.

Auggie won EVERY race we had, by the way. Including when Payton had a head start. LMAO. I’m not sure if I should say “oh Payton” or “oh Auggie” here.

I do believe this photo sums up both their feelings on swimming quite well.

My dirty FILTHY dog!

I’m totally sending this one to his breeder. “Oh his sister is winning at conformation shows? That’s awesome! Here’s mine.”

And if you’re curious how he got that way – like this. Including rolling ON HIS BACK and wookie noising. NOW I definitely know I should say “oh Payton.”

I feel like Payton is coming along well for sure. I’m hoping to take a few trips to the small dock at a local lake (not nearly as big as this one and I can’t swim in it) and see if I can’t get him to jump off the dock and snag me the bumper. It’s not into deep water but it’s a dock nonetheless. Baby steps. The Dock Dogs event I want to take him to is in TWO weekends… so we shall see.

Anybody else have this… um… “problem?”

I’m working on “look at that” with Payton. About a week ago we had our first major success. I was using a hand chopper to chop some nuts for trail mix and I figured he was going to hate the chopper, so I got my treats ready and treated him for being calm while I touched/moved/used the chopper. It took about ten minutes, and only that long because I stupidly decided to make SURE he really was going to hate the chopper first and he went over threshold. (Sometimes he surprises me with what he does and doesn’t decide to bark at, so… I should have just gone with my gut instead of making sure it was a Bad but. Lesson learned.)

I felt so proud of him. I wasn’t crazy chopping going to town, but I chopped three cups of nuts and he didn’t really care by the end. And not once did I whack him or yell at him or intimidate him or even flood him.

So I got out my big pile of Weird Stuff tonight to work on it some more in a controlled setting and without setting him over threshold. The first thing I got out was three tiny pinwheels.
I accidentally taught my dog to spin a pinwheel with his nose.
Then I got out a plunger.
I accidentally taught my dog to put his front feet on a plunger.
Then I got out this big fake plastic lollipop.
My dog decided to jump on top of a moving box.

He thinks there’s more to the game than just looking. He wants to interact with stuff when I put it in the framework of “here’s a clicker and some treats, and there’s a weird thing.” I think this is good but at the same time not. Good that he sees something weird and instead of “THAT IS WEIRD I NEED TO BARK AT IT,” he thinks “This is a game! What can I do to get cookies? LOOK WHAT I CAN DO”
But I won’t always have a clicker and treats with me to re-frame the “game” into a game of LOOK WHAT I CAN DO. And he won’t always be able to interact with the weird stuff beyond just LOOKING at it and then looking back at me, which is part of the point of just teaching a Look At That.

This is a strange problem to have. Definitely not the worst problem in the world to have, but I’m not 100% sure how to go about fixing this. =P
By the way, Auggie is wearing an e-collar to stop him chewing on his foot, and Payton grabbed the edge of the e-collar and was dragging Auggie around by the e-collar. Just thought you should all know that. oh Payton.

Trip to the lake, round 2

Equipped with a better life jacket, we went back down to the lake today. My mom kept insisting it would be too cold (it has been chilly the past few days, getting downright cold at night) but I had faith it would be warm enough. Sure enough, it was really quite lovely – and being that it only got up to about 80 (as opposed to 100 from last time), hardly anybody was on the beach and fewer people were out on their boats, so it was just generally quieter and calmer.

I got him there, strapped on his life jacket, went out until I was about chest deep in the water… and let him go. And he swam. Pretty well actually. He still kind of bobs his butt down, checking for ground – he knows eventually he will hit shallows and he can start walking, so it’s a kind of funny swim, but swim he did. And I’m pretty sure he liked it, more importantly. I still can’t get him to grab his bumper, or ball-on-a-rope, when he’s in the water, but we were playing in the water (I was splashing him and he was biting the water.) Also, he has learned that when he hears the sound of a boat, he needs to IMMEDIATELY run down to the lakeside because that means a bunch of big waves he can play in are about to hit the beach. It’s actually hilarious and I love it. Seriously, we were sitting up on the little ledge drying off, a boat went by, his ears pricked up, and he jumped down and almost dragged me to the water so he could play in the waves. He likes to go in the water about chest-deep but he still isn’t sure about swimming out on his own. He tried it once or twice and changed his mind and turned back around immediately and went back to shore. I’m not terribly offended by this, the idea of Dock Dogs is to get the toy and come back to the ramp anyway, not just swim out to the blue beyond LOL.

ANYWAY. The pics. I was desperate to get a photo of him swimming so I took a chance and carried my point & shoot out with me… and luckily I did not drop it in the lake.

Playing in the waves.

Getting his feet wet then coming back on the beach.

Dirty dirty puppy!

This is Payton’s face as I am carrying him out into deeper water… not kidding LOL.


A better one – for some reason he doesn’t want to swim to me, he wants to swim next to me, so this was hard to get. He REALLY has fun if I put him in the water then I swim along next to him. He starts smiling and he swims faster like it’s a race. Obviously I couldn’t take a picture like that though (I dunno how to do a backstroke or anything!)

Little paw prints in the sand. Just for my scrapbook.

His life jacket was off so he could dry out a bit and a boat went by so DOWN BY THE WATER WE GO sans life jacket.

He even climbed in without his life jacket on, which is good news. I didn’t ask him to swim without his life jacket because I could tell he was getting tired, and I didn’t want him to get tired and start sinking without the jacket – so we left it on to make sure it was a good experience until the end.

Poking around in the shallows some more…

More dirty puppy.

This happened a lot LOL. Unfortunately I can’t take him off lead here so it just kept happening… I always had to make sure before I let him go to swim that I had the leash so he wouldn’t get tangled in it. =P

Life jacket… doing it wrong. I asked him if he wanted to go back in and he hopped up for me to put his jacket back on, so we went back in one last time.

Before we left. I ‘shopped out the stupid lead because it’s otherwise such a great photo. ;P He really, truly does like the lake. I’m glad.

And finally:

THIS is the best swimming shot, but unfortunately it was blurry. =< One day I will have somebody come with me and stand on the shore and get shots with a zoom lense... one day...

Kicked Out Of The Nest

Yesterday I was about to let the dogs back outside after their dinner and my dad told me to wait – there was a baby bird in the yard that couldn’t fly. Georgie found it and tried to make friends. He rounded her up and brought her back inside and was going to make sure the bird had left the yard before taking her back outside. I took the spade to our scoop and shovel set and carefully herded the baby bird through the fence into our neighbour’s yard where it would be safe from puppy mouths.

This morning I let the boys back out after their breakfast… and Payton discovered either another baby bird, or the same one. He tried to introduce the bird to his mouth, but decided it might not fit, so he proceeded to chase it around the yard trying to figure out HOW to get it to fit in his mouth. Auggie watched him for a minute, kind of confused about what was going on – until I came running out of the house, in my pajamas, barefoot, with my toothbrush dangling out of my mouth (see, I was halfway through brushing my teeth when I let them back outside) trying to yell “NO PAYTON DON’T EAT IT.”
“Don’t eat it??” Auggie thought. “Technically she said ‘PAYTON don’t eat it!’ That means I can NOM NOM NOM NOM!”
So I’m running around the yard after my dogs having more or less just rolled out of bed and looking like it, Auggie hopping around trying to dart in and introduce the bird to his belly, Payton POKING the baby bird repeatedly with his nose trying to determine the best way to eat it, and meanwhile there’s apparently a whole flock of birds up in the trees screaming, “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD” or something like that. I’m not really sure what birds actually scream in cases like this. And I’m trying to grab both dogs, and as soon as I catch one the other one darts in to try and eat the bird instead. So then I have to try and grab the other one, and the one I’m holding manages to wiggle free. This went on for what feels like five minutes, but was probably only about 30 seconds before I managed to lift Payton into my right arm and Auggie into my left arm, then marched back towards the house with one sheltie under each arm, while the birds continued to scream “OH MY GOD I THOUGHT WE WERE ALL GOING TO DIE.”

This happened a few years ago, actually; Auggie kept discovering tasty snackies in the yard. I thought at first the birds were going suicidal – or that one baby bird in particular kept hopping into our yard on a dare from his birdy friends – but a friend told me certain species of birds will push their babies out of the nest before they can fly. Supposedly they still care for the baby bird in the bushes on the ground until the baby learns to fly (by screaming OH MY GOD OH MY GOD when two dogs try to devour it.) and will take off on his own. So I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on again, and the bird this morning was probably the same from yesterday.
Unfortunately we have feral cats around here so baby bird is not likely to survive very long on the ground, even if I can successfully prevent my shelties from introducing the baby bird to the inside of their bellies. In the meantime, I’m glad none of my neighbours were outside this morning to witness the ridiculousness that occurred.

Training Challenge 8/13/12

Okay, these are going to be pretty tough to keep up on. I close on my house NEXT WEEK. Holy crap! From there I have a week of vacation but it’s likely going to all be spent working at the house, getting the major Must Be Done Now things all taken care of before we can move in (like finishing the fence in the backyard!)

This weekend was incredibly cool weather wise, hence why Henri came to pay us a visit. The cool weather will be good for working at the house, but bad for other fun things I had in mind – like continuing working with Payton on swimming to get him ready for Dock Dogs. I need to cart him off to the lake again and do another swim in deeper water. I would really prefer to do this when the weather is above 70 degrees! Let’s hope for some hot weather coming in the next few weekends.

As a result of continuing craziness, I’m just going to continue to make general goals instead. Last week I took a break from teaching “into my arms,” mostly because I visited a dermatologist for a full body scan and she asked me “What did you do to your legs?!” in a horrified voice – what I did to my legs was ask my dogs to jump up in my lap. They may be small but they don’t do anything halfway and I had a ton of bruises, including a few really big ones, all over my thighs. So I took a little break to let some of the bruises heal before I started adding more bruises, lest my thighs become completely black, blue, and yellow.
This week I am going to work on shaping a retrieve with Payton using the bumper. It would be helpful if he brought his toy BACK to me after I throw it into the pool, right? Right.

Speaking of doctor’s visits and horrifying things, two weeks ago Auggie peed all over the floor inside after having just come in and peed outside, so away to the vet we went for another urinalysis. The urinalysis turned up lots of blood and bacteria yet again. So Doc suggested a cystocentesis, which for those not in the know of bladder problems, is where they inject a needle into the bladder and draw a urine sample directly from the bladder. This gives a sterile sample, as opposed to a free catch which is not considered sterile. This was sent off for a culture and sensitivity…
which produced absolutely nothing. NOTHING. So the urine in his bladder is fine. This means the problem is below his bladder. Urethra? We really don’t know. So today Auggie is here at work with me until our appointment at the university vet clinic, where we will attempt to learn something. Anything. Also where all of my moneys will disappear. Our new house is going to be furnished with a cheap butterfly chair I bought on clearance from Target many many years ago, and my Nintendo Wii sitting on the floor in my living room.

So that’s our week. Training and some expensive vet visits. Whoo-hoo. Away we go!

Payton’s Gotcha Day

And I didn’t even know it was his Gotcha Day… I’m a terrible puppy mommy. I knew it was coming up, but I’ve been juggling so much with buying the house it just sort of slipped by without my noticing. This past week was terribly stressful, particularly on Friday which was his actual Gotcha Day – I wish I had known that was his Gotcha Day, it probably would have helped.

So here’s the unknowingly Gotcha Day photos:

A storm rolled through Thursday night and knocked down some big leaf stalks. I gave one to him to play with. Maybe my heart knew it was his Gotcha Day even if my head didn’t?


Stopping to nom on it a bit, butt in the air!

This is your Quintessential Payton photo from this set. Yeah, it’s out of focus, but that’s part of the Quintessential Payton-ness of it LOL.

This was the only branch we lost in the storm, apparently in another part of town TONS of trees went down. I told him to nom it.


A brief walk down memory lane, in case you forgot… Payton’s first day home, when he was still Nameless Baby and thus responded to “puppy.”

Can you believe it? I still can’t. I still can’t even believe I went to get him. My brain was so torn and didn’t know if I should really go get him. My heart told me to go get him. I decided for once in my life to just ignore my brain and listen to my heart, and here we are. And once he came home to me I knew it was meant to be. He was supposed to be my puppy and I was supposed to be his person. I had planned to be further along with things than we currently are right now, but I have no regrets about our first of what I hope is many years together.

This also means I’m done with this project! OMG. These last few months have been really uninspiring… he is done growing and our routine is pretty much set without a ton of new stuff going on (or at least new stuff I can take a photo of) so… lots of shots snapped in our quiet time right before bed, or first thing in the morning while I’m getting ready for work.
It may be months before you see another Payton picture now that I don’t have to take any LOL. (kidding.)

Henri comes to visit again

He has actually been over another time and I’ve been to visit him a couple times but this is the second time I’ve taken pics. ;P


Hen… um…

Oh hai.

I can’t stop laughing at this one. Henri frequents the dog park lately, being an only child, and has learned to go belly up when confronted with ballsier dogs (and I don’t just mean that Payton still has his balls.) So this is Henri throwing himself on the ground. Head first. And Payton being like “Um WTF are you doing??”

I think Payton is slightly weirded out because it’s like looking at himself. He’s having an out of body experience, LOL.

Ahhh there’s two of them!

Payton and my sister. OH HAI I’M PAYTON

Auggie, who still isn’t a huge fan of Henri. They chased a tennis ball together for a while but that was the extent of his playing with Henri. It’s definitely an improvement though.

Ummm yeah so he’s definitely gotten bigger. His ears aren’t quite sure what they’re doing (and I kept telling my sister “We can do something about that if you want” hahahaha.) Also check out his tail! I love it.

You can see all kinds of breeds in him. I see GSD for sure. Collie, yep. I don’t really see Aussie which he’s supposed to have some Aussie in him.

I thought it would be fun to try for a family photo. “Fun” is not exactly the word I would use to describe it. I’m pretty sure I told Payton “I hate you” at least six times.

LOL you can’t even see Georgie’s face because she’s looking up at me.

Proceed with caution, Henri… and LOL Payton’s face.

This is just a cute Henri LOL.


Most of the pictures turned out about like this by the way.

A cute one of all the boys!

Just the shelties… all staying, but looking at my sister, hahaha.

The best one hahaha. Team Three Shelties and Whatever That Thing Is!

Attempt at a nice photo of the three shelties – this is why I told Payton I hate him so much haha.


Oh noes, what are you doing to me??

Oh. I see.

The end!
I pretty much love Henri by the way.

Pool today

“This would make a cute picture, right? Smile, Payton!”

He was giving me kisses before but once the camera came out he stopped, haha. I’m trying to get him to kiss me.

Now let’s get Auggie in the picture!!

Payton was licking my hand LOL. Apparently kissing my face is a no-no but kissing my hand is okay.

I’m not sure what the heck is going on here. I’m giving swim lessons??

I think I need to ‘shop Auggie out for one of him from the first two. =P

“Are you sad Auggie?”

“Everybody look at the ground.”

Poor Auggie LOLOLOL.

They both look so sad here hahahahaha! Payton had an eye goober I had to get. =P

See, they’re NOT miserable, I swear!

Repositioned Auggie so his paws were up on the side, and he starts looking at the ground again trying to decide if he wants to jump out or not.

LOL I’m not sure what’s up with Payton’s face here. “This is my look of disdain.”

We decided to try and get Georgie in the picture…

Earlier we had her and Payton in the pool together to see if they would play, but Georgie just discovered she can climb UP on Payton. Soooo that’s what she did.

And then…

…she tried to kill Payton.
Seriously, I can’t believe we got this photo. She decided to jump out using HIS HEAD as a springboard and his head went underwater. Poor guy!!

I promise to never let Georgie in the pool with you again Payton.