Monday, December 29, 2008

My name is Ki

My name is Ki
It rhymes with sky
Mom baked a pie
For Splash and I



Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

OMD! That is totally awesome! DUDE!

Splash's play bow

Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

....combined with "I can put your whole head in my mouth".

My mouth is bigger than your mouth.

Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

DUDE! Totally.

Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

Splash and little Ki at play.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Ki learned, day 2

Ki went for a little trip to Placerville today. He learned to get his toenails trimmed without fussing (too much).

He also showed everyone in Placerville how smart he is by promptly sitting when cued and also laying down but not quite as promptly.

He met people of varying ages up in the foothills and liked them all.

He has successfully learned not to chew on people but not so much the furniture part.

He learned that if you are put into the wire crate and you do not fuss, you can get let out again and play.

He learned that he really likes the doggie hammock in the kitchen, and he is gradually finding all toys in the house and bringing them there, perhaps to build a doggie fort.

He learned that if you run around like a puppy idiot in front of big dogs, they don't like it and will tell you so. Corollary: he learned that the big dogs can't really get you if you dive under the coffee table.

He learned that the vacuum cleaner, the broom, and the hair dryer are no big deal, 'cause Splash is not afraid of them, therefore they are okay.

He did not really learn yet that is it not okay to try to hump other dogs and people. He has not really learned yet that you should not try to take Jewel's favorite toy away from her to add to your doggie fort. He has not really learned yet to offer a behavior for a click.

Most importantly, he has not really learned yet that if you try to run with the big dogs, you might be out of your league.

But, tomorrow is another day.....

Hopefully tomorrow I will finally get some decent video, kept missing the good bits today. More photos too!

Ki, sacked out

Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

I learned sit today, and it's worn me out. I like old Mikey's place though. I brought all the toys up here and I'm assembling my Place of Power.

Friday, December 26, 2008

What Ki learned today (not enough)

Here's what Ki learned and did today:

He learned his way around the house, though he got loast in the living room at one point.

He learned that Jewel does not appreciate being herded and he had better knock that off if he knows what is good for him.

He learned to sit for a visual cue (forefinger only)

He learned that jumping up on the chair mom is sitting on will not get him attention, but that sitting politely always works well.

He learned that if you stand by the Big Glass Door, you will be let out to do your biz.

He learned that biting never gets you what you were hoping for. In fact, it ends whatever fun thing was happening, almost immediately.

He learned that you do not even think about humping mom's leg. (OR MINE)

He learned that he does not really like being locked in the laundry room while mom is away.

I learned that I can pretty much control Ki with one of my big strong paws. Which is nice.

I learned that if Ki does something good that gets him a treat, I get one do and so does Jewel. So maybe he is not entirely useless.

Over and out for now.....


Ki is....small

My new bro, Ki, came home last night. The day started out pretty good, we slept late, I helped Mom finish breakfast, then I barked at the window for a while. Then we got ready and got in the car. I always like that. We went to a cool house with a big yard and I played frisbee and so did my buddy Sage. Jewel found a mud puddle and wallowed in it, so I am pretty sure she had a good time too.

Then mom put a teensy crate in the car, and there was a puppy in it.

I have to say, he's almost as smart as I am. He already knows his name, and unlike me at his age, he comes when called. He did not jump in the water bowl, though, like I did!

He likes the tennis ball, and the dumb toy with the string that I cannot be bothered with. So no worries there.

Ki even ran to the door a few minutes ago because he needed to go out. Well, duh, but mom was pretty proud of him.

That's about all I have to say so far. Jewel thinks he is okay as long as he stays away. When Jewel got growly, I did too, so mom is making us puppy-sit one at a time until we get used to each other.

I'm having trouble posting photos to flickr right now, but I'll get some up later today.

Over and out.....Splash

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mini-rant for a sunny afternoon

This is a guest post from my mom:

Positive training methods work.

Oh, you knew that already did you? Then why is it, every time I post a comment on your blog, you respond with a snippy comment of your own? Perhaps you do not actually understand P+ training. I recommend you go back and reread (or perhaps it is read for the first time?) "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor.

It works on people too.

Oh, and so sorry, but I've removed your mean-toned dog training blog from my reading list. I don't need that much R- in my life.

I met my new bro!

He has potential
Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

His name is "Ki", and he's so small, but I still think he has some potential. I tried play-bows and my patented wave. Ki backed up a little but he didn't run away. Mom said he might, 'cause he is not a Lab and therefore nowhere near as smart, strong, and brave as me. And probably not as handsome. But there is definitely some potential there.

Ki comes home on January 4. We can't wait!

Monday, December 01, 2008

My apologies!

To anyone who left a comment anytime in the last 6 months or so, I have to say I'm really sorry. The comment notification was going to an old email address, and I wasn't getting them. Also, I was busier than usual and have been ignoring the blog! So, I didn't notice there were any comments at all! It's not like this blog is very interesting to read, after all, so no visits or comments is pretty much to be expected.

If you did leave a comment and I did not respond, I am so sorry. I will try to do better in the future!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Here's the leash I made!

The whole leash
Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

This is a Christmas present for a friend that does therapy work with her Golden Retriever, Joy. I have been taking leather working classes, and use a series of bleed knots, with a skipped bleed every third, to make the leash. The handle is a also three bleed knots, so there are no true knots or stitching anywhere.

Bleed knots on leash
Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

Here's a closeup of the bleed knots. It's just one strap, doubled over, and threaded through itself.

Leash handle
Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

Here's a closeup of the handle and the beaded dangly I made. I wanted Joy to have a custom leash! I don't think the dangly is too long or heavy, so even if it smacks Vicky in the hand, it won't hurt!

Sunday photo session!

Jewel and I are on the day bed in the office supervising mom while she works. This is where I sleep at night. I get hot otherwise. Can you tell that mom loaths neutral color schemes? Why, then, does she have a beige dog? 'Cause Labs don't come in lime. hahahahahah!

How to find a great dog breeder

I've had several people recently ask me how to identify who is a great dog breeder, who isn't maybe so great, and what exactly is a "puppy mill", so I thought I would sum up my thoughts in a blog post.

First, my qualifications, so you know I'm not just writing about something I know nothing about!

  • Showed my second Yellow Labrador, Holly, to 5 AKC Championship points.

  • Learned the art of ring showmanship by traveling and working with an old time handler.

  • Studied pedigrees and watched ringside to pick dog to breed my Holly to.

  • Bred Holly twice, Guide Dogs for the Blind bought two puppies from litter two.

  • Have been competing in obedience, Rally, and agility with various dogs for about 20 years.

  • I'm a Veterinarian, and studied anatomy, genetics, animal husbandry, blah, blah

  • I've read and have a library of about 200 dog books, many of them on the art of breeding dogs.

Okay, so how do I tell if the person I'm thinking of buying a puppy from is a great breeder, or not so great?

A great and caring dog breeder:

  1. Does not accept "reservations", "holds", or any kind of contract to sell you a a puppy without meeting you. (+8 pts)

  2. Does not accept payment over the Internet (+8 pts)

  3. May or may not have a website. Many wonderful dog breeders do not. They are too busy caring for their dogs. ( -0- pts)

  4. Is actually LOSING money at breeding dogs. Show entry is usually $28 these days. There is a show in most areas every weekend day. Say 100 weekend days a year * 28 = $2,800 in entry fees alone per dog. Most of us show multiple dogs. Then there is gas. A big huge car to get there. A house with a big yard. Toys. Food. Training expenses. Get the picture? It is a labor of love! ( + 10 pts)

  5. Does not bother to advertise "Champion lines". Think about this: do you exactly resemble your paternal grandfather? If your grandpa was a champion, but you look nothing like him, does that make you a champion? I don't think so. If BOTH dam and sire are Champions, that means something. Otherwise, it's just marketing smoke. (+3 pts)

  6. Will ask you in your first conversation, "Why do you want a [insert breed] puppy?". They will ask you about your experience with dogs. They will ask for references. They will require you to visit them. At least once. (+5 pts)

  7. They have a waiting list for puppies. Which means you may have to wait. You may be waiting for a few years if you want a "tri color male with white face". Be reasonable in your expectations, puppies are not re-stocked at night like at WalMart. (+3 pts)

  8. They will ask you what you know about the breed. So, read up and do your homework. Yes, bulldogs are cute, but what were they originally bred for, and how does that influence behavior? Terriers were bred to "go to ground", so expect holes in the yard. Retrievers fetch, and they will fetch your Manolos. Collies herd, and they will run rings around your kids, all day. Got it? (+1 pt)

  9. If you haven't done your homework, the breeder will proceed to give you a long lecture about the breed, including a summary of great examples of the past. (+2 pts)

  10. They are currently participing in AKC breed competition. This shows they care about their breed, and are participating in the AKC dog community. You may not want a "show quality" puppy, but if you are going to get a bred dog instead of a rescued one, get one from someone who cares about the breed. Who cares about NOT passing on genetic problems. Who cares about the structure of the dog. Who cares about where their puppies go and what kind of life they will have. (+5 pts)

  11. Is a member of their local or national breed club. (+3 pts)

  12. Has fewer than 2 breeds. Having more than, say 5 breeds on the premises is a hallmark of a puppy mill. Rescued dogs don't count here. (+ 2pts)

  13. Don't have more than 3 or 4 litters of puppies a year. (+2 pts)

  14. When you arrive for your required visit, the house smells clean. Naturally, the puppies are indoors at night. (mine were in my bedroom). The puppies have toys to carry, stuff to climb on, cold/warm things to experience, radios for noise. The more a puppy experiences as a nursing baby, the steadier the dog he will become. (+5 pts)

  15. The breeder wants you to visit multiple times, and asks you to bring children and your friends. (see above, puppy experiences) (+1 pt)

  16. The breeder participates in "performance" events. For instance, if they have a Border Collie, they may do agility, obedience. Terrier breeders might do earthdog competition. Whippet breeders might do lure coursing. And of course, all Labrador breeders do obedience, agility, hunting tests, lure coursing, flyball.... :) (+1 pt for every type of dog activity they do that is not a beauty contest)

  17. People know them. If you go to a dog show (find one in your area here ), and mention your prospective breeder's name to someone else with that breed, if they are in the same area the name should be recognized. In other words, puppy mill and backyard breeders don't participate in the community. They don't care about the breed, they are not learning about structure, behavior, and genetics, and they are most certainly passing on their mistakes. To YOU. (+3 pts)

  18. You get the puppy on a contract that requires you to spay/neuter. If in the US, the AKC registration is "limited", meaning if you do breed your puppy, you can't register the resulting litter.

  19. The breeder will take your puppy back anytime, no questions asked. They'll even come get the dog. For LIFE.

That's about all I can think of for now! I'll add more as my dog club friends comment or I think of things. WOOF!

Oh PS: My pet peeve: the breeder never says the pup is "papered". They would say "registered". Papered is something you do to walls, not puppies. If they use that term, RUN AWAY.

Bye for now....
Splash's mom

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Funny Craigslist post

Please help!!!! After two long years of being on a waiting list for an agility dog, we have been notified by the breeder that, at long last, our number has come up and ... WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!!!

We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn't be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday we MUST place the children into rescue this weekend!

They are described as:

One male - His name is Tommy, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Four years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn't bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained & gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training he should be able to read soon.

One female - Her name is Lexie, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes quite freckled. Two years old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy & can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls & little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training-shouldn't take long at all.

We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what's right for them; that is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can no longer keep them. Also, we are afraid that they may hurt our new puppy.

I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here!!! They MUST be placed into your rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy.

-- Author Unknown

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pet Trusts

California now allows pet trusts to allow for pet care after their people's death. We are going to investigate this right away!

Read more about the new bill here!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Car wash goes to dogs

A car wash place in Des Moines has added a dog washing station. I wonder if the water is warm and the towels soft like at our house? Mom washes me in the tub. I love my baths. I love everything about them. The wetting down part is nice, the soapy rub-my-back part is amazing, and the rinsing just adds to the anticipation of the finale: towel rubbing!

There is nothing I do not like about a bath.

Read more about the car/dog wash!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Andy the Lhasa Apso

Andy the Lhasa has an AMEX but not a Verizon Wireless account. But Verizon's debt collection service sent Andy the Lhasa in California the unpaid bill that should have gone to another Andy somewhere on the East Coast.

I think Andy looks like a pretty cool dog!

Andy Finelli's story

We got licked!

Hey check out the post today on Licked Toys! That's us! And our most beloved-of-all-toys, the Big Dogs Frisbee.

We heart that frisbee.

We had a horrible incident a few weeks ago when it flew into the neighbor's yard. They weren't home, so we couldn't get it back. I was completely confused and a little depressed. But the next day, the frisbee came home! Mom says the neighbor tossed it back, but I think it missed me and found its own way home.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Sacramento County Library Rant

Here is my story. I will leave it to you to decide if I am being overly cranky or unreasonable.

Two years ago, I tried to use my library card. I don't use it much. Just sometimes, to check out a book or maybe an audiobook. Well, it turns out if you do not use it once a year, you get "removed from the system". Okay. The thing is, you cannot be added back to the system in any way without going to the library and speaking to the (cranky) librarians.

I was informed by the "helpful" woman librarian at the Fair Oaks branch that my card was inactive. She said I should apply for a new one, then took mine and threw it away for me. Okay again.

Fast forward two years. Keeping in mind what the helpful librarian told me, I went in to get a new card.

Librarian:Oh no, wait, you are trying to get a NEW card! You can't have a new card. You HAVE a card.

Me: No I don't, you guys told me it was no good and took it away from me.

Librarian: Sorry, but that could not have happened. (You must be lying, you shifty-eyed patron.) You will have to pay a lost card fee of $5 and get a replacement.

Me: That hardly seems fair, you guys took it from me.

Librarian: We don't do that.

Me: Clearly you do, but it is only $5 and I will consider it a charitable donation (although you are not making me feel charitable).

Librarian then gives me new card after taking my $.

End result: I have a new card. However, I cannot use my new card. The PIN for the old card (which is just lost BTW not confiscated which could never happen) does not match the new card.

Tech support's phone number at the library rings for > 100 times without being answered.

So now I have to face the Librarian again.

Robot dogs

I ask you, why in the world do humans bother with crap like this? We are so much smarter, furrier, and ever so much more snuggelly. Also hungry. Did I mention it is time for dinner? Hungry? Hey?
Read about Wrex the Robot Dog!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Companies I love.....

Gosh they ship immediately, if not sooner, and they send an order confirmation, an invoice, and a shipping/tracking number confirmation. Why don't ALL companies do this?

Love love love.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Costco employees should not lick ATM cards

Today, at the Costco in Rancho Cordova, California, a Costco employee licked my ATM card.

I'm not kidding.

When I tried to scan my card, the usual happened. It wouldn't scan. This happens a lot. I tried several times, to no avail. The cashier, "Victoria A.", then took my card from me. I thought she was going to scan it at her register, but I was wrong! Instead, she licked her index finger, rubbed it on the magnetic strip on my ATM card, then ran it through the scanner.


I guess she did not notice the look of horror on my face. I don't think I was quick enough to hide it!

To be fair, the scanner DID read the card once the card had been licked. I wonder if the guy behind me in line chose to pay with a check rather than scan his card.

I think Costco should have a policy about employee licking. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

One dog under the hood?

Apparently a man found a dog under the hood of his car this morning. What was the dog doing there? Chewing on the wires, what else?

Full story on

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Places to buy the Furminator

For those of desperate to look as good as I do, here are a few places you can look to find a Furminator, with links to the item of your dreams:


  • The local Super Target (yours may not be as well stocked)

  • Pet Edge (probably best price at least for USA delivery)

  • Your local Petco or

  • Your local dog groomer or Self-Server Dog Wash -- we have LaunderDog locally and they are willing to order what they don't have that you want. But, they most likely will order from PetEdge, so you may as well too!

  • eBay and Amazon, they have everything, but you knew that.

  • You could even combine it with some free fun, just attend your local AKC Dog Show -- they always have vendors with many ways to take your $$. (PS: just for Sophie: the CKC)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The alarming rise in stolen pets

A very good article, written with the AKC's help, on MSN:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Review: Barking, the Sound of a Language by Turid Rugaas

I read a lot. I rarely write reviews of the books I read, because it has always felt too much like a book report. But I'm going to review at least the dog training books I read. If you want to view my dog book library, just go here! I've been reading and collecting dog books for about 20 years now. I guess I will never win any kudos from just because of the dog books!

This 100 page soft cover book covers in detail the causes of barking and what can be done by concerned owners to reduce, eliminate, or encourage barking.

Wait, you ask, ENCOURAGE? Yes!

Rugaas has a very sensible approach to animal behavior. You won't find her recommending a bark collar to stop excitement or fear barking. Unlike the better know trainers of today, Rugaas starts with the cause to find a solution, instead of treating the problem, she treats the cause of the problem.

The book is divided into chapters covering six types of barking: excitement barking, warning barking, fear barking, guard barking, frustration barking, and learned barking. There is an additional chapter covering breed-related barking and expression.

I found the chapter on fear barking especially interesting. All dogs have fears. However, dogs are very good at hiding fear, so we don't often notice. My former neighbor had a dog that was always left out in the yard during rain storms. He had a thick coat that when wet had a pronounced odor. The poor guy eventually became terrified of rain, knowing that would banish him from the house. Of course, he barked. Mostly on cloudy days, and before a storm. He wasn't barking to be let in, not specifically. He was barking from fear, of the storm, and from the reprimand that was sure to come his way.

Of fear barking, Rugaas says: "Of course you cannot punish the dog for being afraid! If you do the dog will only become more afraid. Unfortunately it is a fact that fear barking is the kind of barking people punish most often and most severely. Maybe it is because the sound is so penetrating and heartbreaking."

Rugaas emphasizes that barking is communication from the dog to us. For each type of barking, she gives an explanation of how to recognize it, what the cause is, and how to manage it. Note, not how to stop it, just manage it.

This is another in the excellent series by Rugaas. I highly recommend it to anyone who has dogs, barking or not.

Next book up: Aggression in Dogs by Brenda Aloff

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Funny twits

A very funny Twitter-ite: the Very Green Team. Check it out!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Review: Dream of the Salmon Maiden

"The Dream of the Salmon Maiden" by Ruth MacKenzie.

This music CD uses the Finnish Kalevala as the inspiration for the music. This story is taken the story of Aino, who as a young maiden is promised in marriage to 900 year old Väinämöinen, the hero of the Kalevala. (and the inspiration for Gandalf.) Aino refuses to marry such an old man, and instead goes to the water, drowns herself. She becomes a salmon, and returns to taunt Väinämöinen.

The CD starts out with some very traditional vocals, and quickly gets going with one of my favorite tracks: Kaikk' Miä. It's odd, but I like the tracks in Finnish better than the English ones: I find being able to understand the words distracting.

Did you know there are Swedish bagpipes? I didn't, but I admired "Medley For Swedish Säckpipa". To be honest, a little Celtic music goes a long way for me. I once sat through and entire Irish music concert, and ended up with a headache and nervous tic. This track, though clearly much like Celtic music, was slower in pace, and in a minor key. More like traditional folk music than Celtic music you would hear in a pub. And won't induce nervous tics.

Another track I like is "Soul Bird", which is guitar and vocals, and not at all Celtic sounding. It's a very uplifting and hopeful track.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another sad Kansas story

What IS up with Kansas. I used to think I would like it there. I'm not so sure.

Kansas HS refuses female official

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Invincible Labs

Labs are so indestructible, but this dog more than most! And people wonder why I hold my dogs' leashes tightly when we are not on ground level. And why I refused to consider any home with a loft!

Dog survives six story fall

Monday, February 04, 2008

Trick and treats

Vicky's video

This is a test blog of Vicky's video. I think it was filmed by the "Blair Witch" videographers......

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


We thought this story was totally funny. Mom really likes the way the reporter notes that "Buddy accepted delivery." Go LABS!

READ: "My Dog Ate my Super Bowl Tickets"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cookbooks, Smookbooks

We killed another cookbook today while mom was at work. I don't know why we do that. But it is kind of fun. we make a huge old mess, and mom has FUN cleaning it up when she gets home.

This time we killed the Campbells soup cookbook. Yesterday we killed the Biggest Loser cookbook, which actually mom had not yet even opened.

Mom is at a meeting tonight, so she came home, fed us (yum) and left again. BUT she enclosed the bookshelf in an x-pen, so that is a bit of a bummer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More extreme librarian coolness

Did you know the Library of Congress has a blog? And it's good too. They also have a Flickr account and have posted about 3,000 images. Even better....

Check out the photos at

And their blog (which will not put you to sleep I swear) is at

Library Thing is so web 2.5

We love LibraryThing. Those crazy wacky librarians and the stuff they think up.

We even bought the cool CueCat scanner so we can add our books just by scanning the UPC code on the back of the book.

So far we have gotten three our our friends to join the cult.

Naturally we have a lot of dog books. One we bought back in 1985 or so, used, for $5, is selling for $450 on eBay. Maybe we should sell it and buy dog toys or something.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Track Your Goals!

Hey, no excuses! Here's a great little web app that allows you to set goals, and track your achievement (nothing fancy, just a check). If you have multiple goals, it gives you a total score for the day.

You can track, as an example "Did I walk the dog", "Did I walk the dog again", "Did I take the dog to agility", "Did I give very good dogs extra cookies". Stuff like that.

And it has a cool graph that you can add to your blog.


Check it out: Joe's Goals

We also really really love that it is written in ColdFusion

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

No More Betty Crocker

Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

We will only accept recipes from the "Three Dog Bakery" cookbook from here on out.

Monday, January 07, 2008

No excuses

We go for a walk now?