Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NX - 7470

Kata in the bedroom; at her left is the kitchenette
Behind Kata is the door to the bathroom. The doorwall is installed. 
The utility room door is at the right of the doorwall.
Kitchenette, utility room, doorwall.
Leaning against the wall is the window that will replace the Dutch doors. The opening into the other half of the pole barn has been sealed (on the right of the photo) and a door will be installed .  Kata is sitting in the living/dining area.
The view of the doorwall from the outside. 
An unexpected septic tank was found near the northeast corner (on the right of the photo).

The NX guest quarters should be ready soon.

Miss Timber

Swimming lessons are over. 
Miss Timber is now officially a water spaniel Icelandic Sheepdog!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kersins Trolli

Kersins Trolli, an Icelandic Sheepdog from Helga Gustavsdottir in Iceland, lives with Bob, Nan, Jake and Brana in Pennsylvania.

He is a gorgeous male who excels in agility, a canine dog sport involving jumps, tires, tunnels, dog walks, A-frames, teeter-totters. Trolli and Brana have many AKC (American Kennel Club) agility titles.

Here are some recent photos of Bob and Trolli.

(Clicking on the photos enlarges them. To return to the blog, click on the X in the upper right hand corner.)

Vinlands Brana

Icelandic Sheepdogs LOVE agility which takes months and months of training before you are ready to enter trials. The reward is worth it. Humans and Dogs!

While David and I were having quality family time during his recent visit from the east coast, Brana, who lives with Bob, Nan, Jake, and Kersins Trolli, was working hard at a recent agility show in Pennsylvania.

I am so pleased that Brana lives in a performance home. Icelandics do well in the conformation or breed ring but they really shine in companion events where they can show what they can do. Brana has been involved in therapy dog work, herding, obedience and agility. Nan has done a great job with Brana. I'm so happy they found one another!

Here are some photos from that recent agility show.

(As always, clicking on the photos enlarges them. Clicking on the X in the upper right hand corner returns you to the blog.)

Diamond Jacks

My brother David visited from Rhode Island last weekend. The first day we went up to see my property on Lake Huron in Palms, Michigan. I think he liked it as much as I do.
Then we went on Diamond Jack's guided river cruise. The views of Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario are spectacular. While waiting for the boat to arrive at the pier, I saw this lady in orange seated by the marigolds. It was as if she planned her outfit to suit the location. Gorgeous!
                                               (Click on photos to enlarge them.)
Saturday was David's birthday and we celebrated together. Maybe next year Carolyn will be able to visit and we can celebrate up north in my new home.

We saw a movie and enjoyed the Woodward Dream Cruise with over 30,000 cars and a million other folks. http://www.woodwarddreamcruise.com/ (Cut and paste this address.)

I allow several Jewel Weed plants to grow in my backyard each summer. They are a bit rangy but the orange impatiens-like flowers are extremely attractive to hummingbirds and therefore well worth their presence.
Orange must be my color this month.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wodin's Family

Wodin now has a prong collar which is being used for road walks because of cars.  When using a prong collar, which I HIGHLY recommend, be sure there is a second collar and both are attached to your leash. Rarely the prongs will separate leaving the dog free to run out into traffic. Never leave a prong collar on an unattended dog; it could hang itself. Wodin still gets very hyper when a vehicle comes by; taking a bait bag along for walks and rewarding for appropriate behavior will help our herding dogs react appropriately to cars. (See blog from June 21 for more about prong collars.)

If your dog struggles against having its collar put on or taken off, use treats to reward it while doing that. 
Wodin's bird barking has reduced considerably; his pet peeves are robins and sea gulls! He noticed that Mom was taking photos of an osprey flying overhead a few days ago and even though gulls flew by he didn't bark at them but just watched....too smart!(Our dogs are more likely to bark at predator birds like hawks and eagles than birds like geese, song birds, etc.)

Wodin used to bark incessantly when left in an enclosed area. Now Steve and Imelda attach him by his long lead to anything nearby and even if they're 400 yards away, he just settles down and not a squeak!

They plan to start leaving him alone, something they just don't do, but they reckon he should learn to be able to cope with that situation anyway. Their lifestyle seems to include him all the time! Lucky Dog!

Wodin was pretty good with visiting grandkids although he tried to jump up and herd two year old Jacquie. He got better especially as she learned not to sit down but stand tall and ignore him. 

(Remember? the "Tree Exercise"? Teach young children to stand tall, arms crossed on their chests, their back to the dog, not looking at the dog - as if they were a Tree. Ignoring dogs may encourage them to seek a more accepting target.)

Wodin was just too eager to greet everyone in the morning. (I have found in my home that my guests have to discourage the jumping up themselves. The dogs ignore me when I correct them. If each person discourages the offending dog, the dog will remember and after a couple of corrections, will stop. I suggest using the knee to gently knock the dog off balance and saying "Off!". Be sure to reward with praise, treats or toys.
Wodin has really lengthened in the body and has discovered that now he can reach things on counters, etc. or jump on beds which he couldn't do before so they have some more training to do there. (I set mouse-traps and either place them upside down on the counter, coffee-table, etc. or place them right-side up but covered with a newspaper. It's smart to discourage counter-surfing while they are puppies and more easily trainable. Placing traps upside down or covering them with newspaper reduces the risk of hurting the puppy while still making a nose which will startle and surprise the pup. PLEASE! Don't leave set traps around small kids!!! Also be careful yourself. I have surprised myself with my own traps! Ouch!)

He has quite a few new adult teeth, and he's chewing on things big time but he is able to distinguish between human things and dog appropriate things.
                                                 (Click to enlarge.) 
He loves his swimming and now surges through waves too; he enjoys his boat rides and car rides. He has a harness for the truck because the crate doesn't really fit. So, all in all, he continues to be a joy and blessing. 
Imelda and Steve's extended family visited recently and one family brought along their four year old border collie who had a great time with Wodin. Border Collies, Shelties, Collies, Corgies, and many Spitz breeds share common ancestors with our Icelandic Sheepdogs.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Miss Timber Posing!

Here are some more formal photos taken recently of the lovely tricolor female puppy from 2012 Miss Timber. I could not pick my favorite so I just downloaded all of them.

She is so sweet looking resting among the wild carrots and clover. Perfect.
                                     (Clicking on the photos enlarges them.)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Miss Timber at 'her' lake, Baby Teeth!

I think our puppies are entering their gawky, but beautiful and handsome nevertheless, teenager months. Look at those gams!
Miss Timber at Tobyhanna Lake - "her" lake. I think she's looking for Atlantic Salmon. Ha!
(Click on photos to enlarge them; click on the upper right X to return.)

People often ask me if Icelandics like water. Yes and yes. They are, of course, more likely to like it if introduced to it early in their puppy-hood. In Iceland they regularly cross and swim in glacial run-off streams, creeks, rivers, etc. where the water is very cold. Miss Timber is doing the dog paddle as if it came naturally - snicker, snicker.

It's probably more than just a coincidence that many of the photos people send me show our dogs in the 'wilds' and in or near water.

Please remember that as adult-hood approaches a surge of adult hormones may turn our puppies into blithering idiots, just like human teens, who seem to forget everything they ever knew. That, too, will pass and they will emerge on the other side more sensible and tractable. The passage may take several weeks. In humans it lasts from about the age of twelve until the late twenties! Ha. We can be grateful that puppies navigate that difficult period in a much, much shorter time. Very grateful!

At this age their adult teeth have probably already started to erupt, probably not the best word to describe that process as the new adult teeth just gradually push the old puppy teeth out and do not erupt like the Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajokul.  [A-yah-fiat (like the car)-la-yo (as in Yo, what's up!)-koot (like the bird, Coot)-l, don't forget the "l".]

Now try it: - A-yah-fiat-la-yo-koot-l You sound like a native Icelander!

(To learn how to pronounce that name, cut and paste this site: -  
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/pronounce-eyjafjallajokull-10392613 )

Usually most teeth are swallowed by puppies soon after they are pushed out. Maybe that's nature's way of re-using the calcium. You may find spots of blood on the floor, on toys, on fur, etc. Some chewies, or bones, or kongs seem to make the transition from puppy to adult teeth easier. (Putting those chew-things in the refrigerator or the freezer before giving them to the puppy may possibly reduce the pain.) I would never leave those chew-things out when I'm not home - but maybe now I'm overly cautious. My dogs have had pieces of chewers get stuck in their throats. That has happened only very rarely. (I've inserted my fingers as far as I could down their throats and pushed the piece further. I don't know if that's a good idea but it's what I've done. Desperate measures - - - - - .)

That's maybe another reason to teach your puppy early on that you own it. You pay all the bills. You ought to be able to touch any part of your puppy without having a negative reaction from the pup. Relax your puppy. Lay it on its side and soothe it with calming words (easy, relax, it's OK, etc.) and a calm voice. Examine everything on its body: - teeth, tongue, lips, ears, eyes, feet, toe-pads, nails, webbing between the toes, tail, anus, stomach, male or female parts, top of head, etc. If there is a part that your pup does not want you to touch, give it treats while you are touching that part to desensitize it to your handling. Your vet will thank you. Your groomer will thank you. You should be able to extract a rusty nail or a piece of glass from its mouth or from between its toes if necessary.

Puppies often loose their teeth while playing with other puppies or adults. Please don't stress over it. That's a normal part of growing up. We sometimes find puppy teeth on the floor after puppy class is over.

Dogs and puppies seem to accept most pain as part of life. About six months ago my dogs raced around a corner altogether as a herd in my house and the next thing I knew ten year old Kata had an upper left canine tooth sticking out at a right angle pushing her upper lip aside. One of her pack-mates must have pushed her into the wall - was my best guess as to how that happened. It didn't seem to bother her but it sure upset me. "Old Snaggle Tooth", which sounded very Viking, I called her for a couple of days. She would NOT let me touch the tooth so I knew it hurt. Of course that happened on a Saturday night. 

She was perfectly fine until Monday morning when Gasow, my vet clinic, officially opened. Her tooth was removed under anesthesia and she is fine - a toothless old great-great-granny now. (Well a one-toothless old granny.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thora at the Lake

Here are some photos of Thora taken last weekend while her family was visiting at a family cottage in northern Wisconsin. They say that she seems to be all legs lately; this is probably the beginning of the gawky teenage months. They also tell me that she is gaining  some pigment around her eye on the white side of her face.  Her fur is becoming lighter now, she may eventually be a cream color when she's an adult. Her top line has a lot of dark guard hairs (which are often called 'sable') and she has a black spot on her tail that you can only see when it is unfurled. That black spot is the result of an oil gland, I believe. If you look closely, you'll see that on most dogs (that have tails, of course).

 This weekend trip was her first extended period without her playmate, Wooki. She had fun running around near the lake and enjoyed walks in the woods with "Mom".  
When she got back home to Wooki, they were bouncing off the walls, almost literally. Wooki is very patient with Thora who likes to grab him by his ruff, ear or collar.  Just like a two year old child, she thinks any toy that Wooki has should be hers and he lets her have anything she wants, although sometimes he growls about it first in a half-hearted way. Her family works on “leave-it” a lot, and she does well unless it is Wooki she has in her mouth!!

Galdur and Viska at Four Weeks

The Boy Galdur at Four Weeks

The Girl Viska at Four Weeks

Both of these new puppies are looking for their forever homes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Galdur and Viska

Viking Galdur (above)
Viking Viska (above)

These two puppies with wonderful temperaments and incredible pedigrees are available. 
Galdur is the boy and Viska the girl.
I already have my favorite. (Can you guess?) I love, LOVE the old fashioned look of these puppies. They are going to be amazing. I honestly wish I had room and was ten years younger. Oh, well!