the sheltiechick blog

Easter 2016

It’s been many years since I thought it would be fun to let Auggie hunt Easter Eggs. He was such a sniffy dog, always using his nose – wouldn’t it be funny to put a treat in an egg, hide it, and have him sniff them out? In some ways we were doing “Nose Work” in our house and backyard before it was a thing people paid money for to title in. Auggie really loves this game, to the point of getting excited when he sees me get the eggs and baskets out, because he knows we’re going to play. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he gets a bunch of cookies when he finds the eggs, either.

So away we went and Auggie started cruising along.

Georgie came over to play with us all. Last year she ran around stealing eggs from everybody else, especially Auggie, who was having trouble with his old man teeth popping the eggs open. But this year I was going to hoard all of Auggie’s eggs for him. If he found one and tried to open it, but couldn’t, I would step in and help him open it, then drop it in his basket after he got the cookie.

So Miss Georgie had to find her own eggs. But being Auggie’s little niecelette, she’s pretty good at it, too.

Payton found one, whoo!

Meanwhile Auggie just rocked and rolled and grabbed everything he could sniff out or see.

My sister came over with her Henri to hunt eggs, because my yard is way bigger and has more spots to hide eggs in.

It was a bit hard for Henri to stay focused on the eggs when the entire yard smells like Payton pee.

But he did a good job of finding all his eggs, anyway.

Kaner wasn’t very good at the egg hunting. He tripped over an egg and my mom declared he “found” it, then opened it for him, thinking if he figured out there were cookies inside, he might understand the game. She grossly overestimated a puppy brain.

Payton, too, is just a little attention deficit; his constant go-go-go makes it hard for him to spend time actually opening the eggs. Finally we came to a compromise where he finds them, and just like I do with Auggie, I open them for him. This worked pretty well as Payton started looking for an egg, flopped down with it, and then stared at me expectantly to come open it. I think in Nose Work we would call this an “alert” so whatever.

I am happy to say that Auggie restored his title of Egg Hunting Champion this year after I protected all his eggs from the thief.

Not surprisingly, Georgie came in second place.

Payton actually found a decent handful this year.

And Kane “found” a whopping two, by which I mean my mom gave him the first and he picked up a second one for about a half second, and we declared he “found” that one, too.

Henri, of course, found all of his eggs.

All the little shelties with their Easter baskets.

Then, because I’m an ambitious dog trainer, I went for all five. This is not Photoshopped, we actually got all five lined up and sitting on the deck with their baskets. It wasn’t easy, but it happened. Meanwhile, the little black dog in the center is only 18 weeks old, and that big one on the end and my big Payton sometimes like to try to eat each other’s faces – but for Easter, we nail beautiful harmony.

Then I pulled out the bunny ears I bought at the Dollar Spot at Target. I may have only bought one St. Patrick’s headband, but I made no such mistake with bunny ears. I bought three pair.

Big handsome Auggie thinks his bunny ears are hilarious and Easter is awesome.

Payton, for the first time ever when he’s got something on his head, doesn’t look like he’s being beaten to death!

And the bunny ears were really too big for Kaner’s head so this was quite interesting to get them to balance and then hurry up and take a photo. But somehow, with the magic of Easter, we again made it work.

I didn’t take any photos, but after all our guests went home, I got the eggs out, stuffed them again, and let Auggie have his very own egg hunt. Just me following him with his basket, letting him find every single egg without any pressure from any other dogs running around, getting all the cookies. I think that was Auggie’s favourite part.

Happy Easter from all the little bunnies!

17 Week Family Photos

Unsurprisingly, being spring in Illinois, it’s still windy pretty much every day, including the days we go out for family photos.

Basically no longer a challenge to get Kaner to hold his sit-stay for these, which is awesome. I set everybody up, ask for a stay, take a handful of photos, then release. Then we set up again for another round, just to make sure I get something worthwhile!

He’s chasing catching up to Auggie, but as of yet he’s still at least an inch shorter at the shoulder. By this point in Payton’s life, he was already Auggie size, so it’s looking like Kaner will stay in size for sure.

St. Patrick’s Day 2016

I was going to be out of town on St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to take some festive photos just a few days ahead of time. Before I even picked up Kaner, I found this green bow headband at the dollar store and bought it to use for photos. But I only had one, and I had three dogs – for the family photos, I thought, I needed two more props.

Return of the hats.

First of all, this is basically an accurate representation of our lives right now.

And then Auggie screamed when I put the bow on him. (Just kidding, he’s yawning because this is booooring.)

Then he gave me a look of disdain because I brought home a puppy.

A grudging decent face. It’s a handsome one.

I’ve got no clue if Payton is giving me a grumpy side-eye here or if he’s hoping I’ll use this as his singles ad to help him pick up bitches.

Oh, but he’s so happy!

Much much better.

Oh, hello Giraffe Neck puppy stage. I did not miss you. You make for really awkward looking photos.

Also these photos were basically all snapped as fast as possible between Kaner trying to eat the bowtie around his neck.

But it tastes like sparkles!!

Then we got the hats out and Auggie gave me a Michael Jackson impression.

Payton was like “herp derp gone fishin'”

Also, it was really windy, so this was an even bigger joke.

GOODBYE HATS. Also Kaner’s ears are trying to blow away. Good thing they’re glued onto his head.

Okay, okay, so maybe we won’t get a cute family photo with the props on. This will have to do.

16 weeks old and rockin’ his sit stays now.


15 Week Family Photo

Hey, check out these family photos! Not only am I able to get further back, but I also was able to crouch down and get the photo from an appropriate angle – all while the little baby dog was holding his sit-stay. Way to go baby dog!

And a close-up on Kaner’s face, for everybody who complains about how hard it is to see his eyes.

Kaner and the Puppybed

Baby Kaner actually got into his puppy bed to take a nap, and it was super adorable, but every time I moved to try and get a photo, Payton would jump up like ARE WE DOING SOMETHING FUN and that would cause Kane to get up, too, and ruin my photo.
So instead I decided to shape Kaner to go across the room, get in the bed, lay down, and be cute so I could take my photos.
Basically all of my dog training just has to do with getting cute photos.

First I made sure my settings were okay given how dark the office was (it was yet another gloomy, cold winter day.)

Then baby got rewarded for being in the bed, and as all the treats landed low, it was simpler to lay down so he was closer to them for eating.

In order to actually make it a training session instead of just a photo shoot, I would occasionally chuck a treat outside of the bed so he would have to get up and leave, then make the decision to get back in the bed where more treats would appear.

He’s pretty cute, guys.

Okay he’s REALLY cute, guys.