Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Here are Savvy and his friend Nala at Lace Lake, one of our favorite hang-outs. Even though temperatures are still cool, the ice on the lakes is slowly melting, allowing the pups to do some splashing around and giving me some nice photo opportunities.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
My boyfriend and I have been working this spring on making our new house livable. The floor plan is roughly 2000 square feet, with a big attached garage, dog door, and fenced-in yard for the pup. Savvy absolutely loves being at the property, because he has lots of room to run, and no busy roads nearby. He follows us all around the house, supervising our work, tearing up rolls of house-wrap and insulation, and generally getting in the way. The picture above is Savage "helping" Randy with the electrical wiring. We are all really looking forward to moving in sometime this summer.
Friday, April 18, 2008
When Savage was younger I bought him the Dog Training Kit from ClickerTraining.com because I had heard so many good things about this method. Initially it worked well for us, but somewhere along the way we stopped practicing with the clicker. The other day I decided it was time for some training, refreshers for the basics: sit, stay, etc., and decided to use the old clicker. Well, this time around Savvy was so scared of the clicking sound that he refused to even come near me, even when I was offering him treats. Obviously I was perplexed and frustrated, and with the dog becoming increasingly nervous and confused, I ended the failed "training session", and put the clicker away.
I intended to give the clicker kit to a friend and her dachshund, but shortly after that I began pondering another use for it. You may recall our first exhausting experiences with "The Evil Bicycle" from October '06, wherein Savvy kept barking, circling, and biting at the bike and generally wearing himself out. This kept happening every time we biked, and eventually got so out of control that I planned on not even using the bicycle for exercise this summer. (You can probably figure out where this story is going.) Yesterday I got the bike out of the garage and took it and Savvy out to test my new theory. As soon as I started pedalling my puppy started barking and biting the front tire. But when I clicked the clicker he backed off and moved away, allowing me to pedal without fear of him knocking me down or me running into him. We spent about 15 minutes biking in this way, and he each time he got in front of the bike or started whining, I clicked. Success!
Of course, with Savage I never know if this is just a one-time thing or if he truly "gets it", but I'm pretty confident that this method will help us both enjoy biking more this summer, without all the barking and anxiety. Ironically, how I'm using the clicker is the opposite of the way it's supposed to be used, that is to say: positive reinforcement. But this is the "training" that worked for us the other day, and really the only thing I've found that has stopped him from freaking out about the bike. Now I'm looking forward to biking with him, instead of dreading it.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I spend so much time taking pictures for, editing, and reorganizing The Story Of Savage that I rarely check in with my other favorite dog blogs, a few of which have been gracious enough to link back to this site. Imagine my surprise when I was presented with the online "Excellent Blog Award" by a regular visitor to this site (a black dane girl named Behr). In order for me to accept this fun award, there are some rules, listed below:
1. By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, I agree to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy.
2. You can give the award to more people, but please award at least 10.
3. Link back to the person who gave you this award.
Therefore, I would like to pass on the Excellent Blog Award to some of my favorite blogs, in no particular order. All are centered around great danes, naturally.
Behr Rake's Blog
I'll start by returning the favor to Behr by posting the link to her site. It's a pretty informative one, with lots of interesting and funny posts.
Great Dane Addict
Professional photographer + two great danes = amazing photos and inspiration.
The online home of Roger the rottie and Nala the dane, and occasional random foster dogs.
Albert The Great Dane
Sarah's elderly brindle dane, Albert, has his own blog, detailing his rescue, fostering, and finally forever home (with Sarah, as it turns out).
Ready For Rally
Leslie's and her dane, Roxy, are just beginning to compete in the canine sport of Rally Obediance and Agility. Visit her blog to follow their training and progress (?).
Blog de Dane
Another Rally novice from Puerto Rico, Huey also competes in Conformation. Oh, and his best friend is a cat named Mr. Bigglesworth.
Gunther The Great Dane
All these talented great danes make me wish Savvy and I had access to these canine sports. Young black male Gunther is active in RallyO and regular Obediance. This blog follows The Gun-man through puppy classes, vet checks, obediance training, and everything in between, including the addition of a younger brother, Truman, to his household.
Lisa hasn't updated Frank's site lately, but it's worth a visit to check out the pictures of a beautiful black dane. Funny enough, her posts ended right after she got a second dane, Django. Maybe she's a big overwhelmed...
Our Girl Blue
Newlyweds add a baby blue puppy to their family. Chaos ensues! But in a good way.
DaDane of DaWeek
Last but not least, this site (while not exactly a blog) deserves a link. Ginnie is another professional photographer, and her great dane portraits and dog show photos are amazing. The posts are usually updated weekly.
I know how much commitment is required to maintain a blog. The sites above deserve recognition, not only because they showcase the magnificent breed that is the great dane, but also because a lot of time, work, and thought went into them. By all means, check out the dog blogs and let the authors know what you think. I really appreciate knowing that people around the world are following The Story Of Savage, and genuinely care about my baby dane. Congratulations to all the Excellent Blog Award winners, and please pass it on!