Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Touch My Hand

A few weeks ago our little family went to Lisa’s house to have a doggie date. Gracie loves Lisa’s shih tzus, Ranger and Teddy.  We were having fun but for some reason, Lisa needed her doggies by her.   She said to the boys, “Touch my hand!” and the two dogs went right to her.  I asked her about it and she said sometimes she just wanted them to by her side.  Well, I thought this a very useful trick indeed and set out to teach it to Gracie girl.

Put the treat in the palm of your hand.  When the dog comes and touches your hand, release the treat.   Genius.  I’ve been working on her about 10 days and lately alternate treats in hand vs. no treats.  Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.

This trick came in handy today when we looked for a doggie sister or doggie brother for Gracie.  After visiting with Ranger and Teddy and seeing her have so much fun with them — spontaneously playing with them — she needs companionship.  So we’ve been visiting shelters and rescues and went to look at a shih tzu from New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue. These are the good people who Lisa found Teddy.  We met many sweet dogs.  The one dog we went to see didn’t seem like a good fit for our family.  But we found two other ones that may fit very nicely.  We are doing a home visit with them this week to see.   Hopefully we’ll have video of the home visit to show you.

Everyone says that having a second will change Gracie.  I just don’t know if that is a bad thing.  I don’t think that she is as happy as she can be.  She constantly wants to play with me.  Her separation issues are an issue and she thrives around her doggie friends.  I do not know if we will get a second dog, I do know we have to try for Gracie girls sake.

Defining Family

This week’s video doesn’t seem like much.  Gracie is sitting on the arm of our family room couch looking out the door window.  It’s about 60 seconds long and she is just sitting there.  Not a lot to look at right?  Not until you learn the context of the video. 

I was out of town for business three days last week. I tried to give Gracie girl some warning, telling her I’d be gone for three darks (nights) and then I’d come home.  (Someone mentioned that dogs seem to understand that. ) I don’t think Gracie understood.  According to my husband, this 60-second video was a snapshot of the time I was gone.  Whenever she heard something, she’d perk up and think it was me.  And she sat on my side of the couch, looking out waiting for me to come home.  So sweet.

It got me thinking about our family.  I used to think that it was enough that one of us was around for Gracie.  When Dave gets home from an errand or work, Gracie and I would celebrate while she jumped from my arms to his.  But it wasn’t enough that Dave was home and I wasn’t.  Gracie seems happiest when we’re a complete unit.  She defines her family as a unit of three, and without the complete set she is incomplete.  It was an eye-opening revelation.

Persnickety Puppy?

Ever have a moment when you just don’t want something in front of you?  A get-rid-of-it-moment?  Even dogs do… at least our dog.

When Gracie looks at me with those puppy dog eyes and wants something delicious to eat… I remind her that her uber-delicious kibble is just around the corner.  Then, I’ll bring the bowl in and let her eat.  I think she likes to eat in the same room we’re in.  She’s a very social dog and might miss something really important if she has to eat in the vestibule three feet away

When she’s done or not hungry or doesn’t want to have kibble around, she nudges the bowl over… slowly but surely.  I finally was able to capture it on video… 

At first,  Gracie takes the kibble out like she’s eating it, but puts the kibble on the ground.  Then she covers the dish so she doesn’t have to see it. 

Not happy with just covering the dish, Gracie must prove her displeasure with said kibble…

 

Gracie and her Pa, Jake

We found Gracie through my husband’s close friends Chuck and Pat. Their dog, Jake the Bichon Frise, was the daddy of the litter.  Whenever we go to Chuck and Pat’s house we bring Gracie so the two dogs can play. They really enjoy each other’s company.  Can you see a little bit of Jake in Gracie?  I can.

The Orange Toy

It’s ugly. It’s dirty.  It makes a loud noise.  It’s the orange toy. I think it is supposed to a squid or a bird (probably a bird, do squids make squeaky sounds?).   

After a long winter’s day alone, Gracie needs some exercise when we get home.  This is a tradition we’ve had since we first got our puppy.  I throw, she chases, I throw, she chases, I make some squeaky sounds and throw, she chases.  It’s our special time.   I know that she enjoys this because she has a smile on her face.  Enjoy her smile… (the house is in disarray, sorry about that).  We do.

More Commands

Gracie does not excel at “come”. She’s pretty stubborn. She’s excellent and “sit” and “down”. I tried “roll over” but she’d keep boxing me… so now “roll over” is “box me”. This is a combination of everything.

 

Snow Day!

Gracie adores the snow. This is from mid-January.  It was a beautiful day and Gracie needed some fun outside.  We spent 30 minutes using and abusing the lawns of our gracious neighbors.  You’ll see her sniffing and smelling–she’s on the hunt for some bunnies. 

The Anatomy of a Bark

Have you been a fan of Gracie for a while?  She’s awesome, but like anyone she has her moments.  Here is Gracie barking.  She’s just started this jumping up to get my attention thing, in fact she snagged my sweater with a tooth.  We’ll end that one soon… But after the jumping up, she starts barking.  and then she thinks about it. Then forms her little mouth into another bark… then she gives up.  (She had to go outside.)

Waiting is the Hardest Part

One of Gracie’s greatest tricks is her ability to “leave it.” We’ll put a premium treat at her feet and tell her to leave it. At her best she’s had to wait 60 seconds. I love how you can see her little nose wiggle.  And, look how she waits for a command and doesn’t focus on the reward. Good girl.

Hello World

Welcome to Gracie’s World.  Once a week we’re going to update this blog with something spectacular that our Gracie girl has done. 

This video is from when Gracie was first in our house family in 2007. She is 9 weeks old and about 3 pounds.  She was so tiny back then.

Some Hints
I think it takes a while for the videos to load... they're HD format and are pretty big files. If you click on the arrow and then immediately click the pause button. This allows the video to load. Once there is more grey line than black line, you should be able to press the play button. Enjoy.