Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Owners can read their dogs' facial expressions

Slavenka has a link to this interesting article about how dogs' ears and eyebrows show their reaction to different objects or people.

I'm sure I  can read Penny's body language, but given that she's so hairy I hadn't thought I was actually reading her face. I'll have to check it out. (Eyebrows and ears are fairly easy to see!)

Penny resumes kitchen training

When I read Ludwig Van Doggy's blog yesterday, I saw he was learning a cute trick where he will carry a basket with a little toy sheltie.

This reminded me we haven't done training with Penny for quite a while. We've been content to simply take her for a good long walk most days. To a certain extent, this isn't fair to her, because in previous years she has done regular training with Cindy, and with A Perfect Spot; she did flyball until we discovered she had injured her cruciate; she did some tracking; she attended doggy dancing sessions; she learned lots of tricks in the kitchen. When we did all those things, she was using her intelligence and obviously loved it.

So I thought I'd get out the skateboard and laboriously start to remind her of what she once knew to do with it.

To my surprise, she jumped  aboard, tail wagging.

So, I'm convinced we must start up our activities again. We can do them without going to special sessions, as we did when Honey the Great Dane organised her Dancing With the Doggy Stars competition. We've made a start on Ludo's basket trick, which is entirely new to Penny. I hope once she's used to touching the basket she will remember that she once knew how to pick something up and 'hold' it in her mouth.

Thanks, Ludo, for showing us how to start the training for this trick!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

dogs not allowed in the river

We're disappointed to see a new fence around our favourite swimming spot at Yarra Bend Park, the place that is generally wonderfully dog friendly.

Penny headed straight for her usual swim as soon as we took her off lead when we had walked under the freeway, and what did she see? This:

Not a sign saying 'dogs on lead' - but a brutal 'NO DOGS'.

How sad for us. It's a safe place to enter the water and there are rocks for tired humans to sit on while dogs have fun.

I have faith in those who run the park, so I assume there is some need to protect this part of the environment. Perhaps water birds will nest there.

Time will tell.

Monday, 15 July 2013

dogs helping people who have dementia

Slavenka posted recently about a program where dogs are training to help people who have dementia. There's a link on her post to a video showing the dogs in training, meeting their humans, and living in their new home.

It looks like a wonderful pilot program. I hope the results are good.

I love that the dogs seems to be having lots of fun in their new homes and seem enthusiastic about doing their tasks.

Here are a few more articles about these dogs, at:


Guidedogs UK


Dementia Dog

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Walking my dog below the birds in the trees

Bits of trees were raining down on Penny and her humans as we strolled along the paths in Rosanna Parklands today, so we looked up and saw an Eastern Rosella.

In the next tree we saw this bird:

I think it's a gang gang cockatoo. I can't recall seeing one so close to the city ever before, but maybe they are less rare than I think.

When I checked on the internet, I saw this clip, which looks to me like the same bird:

I checked once again at Birds In Backyards and read:
They are widespread in eastern New South Wales from the central slopes and tablelands to the south coast, down through Victoria's north-eastern regions to Seymour, with some records in east Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and south-western Gippsland.
Rosanna is in the north-east of Melbourne.

Aren't we lucky to have these glorious creatures flying free around us?