Friday, July 23, 2010


A Girl and Her Dog

Posted: 20 Jul 2010 11:02 AM PDT

Dr.-Larry-with-puppy-Miles I've written lots about the unique relationships we have with our dogs and cats. I've written extensively about our dog Miles and the effect he's had on my wife and I since we took him in last winter. He's a special dog and we both love him.  

Lately though, I've noticed something interesting.

Miles is my wife's dog. Oh, he likes me and he's happy to see me in the morning when I come up the steps. He wags his tail and gives me a nice greeting, but he's really waiting for Chris to come up stairs. When he sees her his whole body wiggles and his tail wags and it seems that he even smiles. He's excited to see her and the feeling is mutual.

If I lay in bed a little later, I can hear them talking upstairs. Chris is explaining that they will go for their morning hike as soon as she has some coffee and something to eat. When she comes downstairs to get her hiking shoes I can hear Miles whine a little as if to say, "Where are you going now? We're supposed to be going up on Boston Bill to chase rabbits and lizards."

I can hear him do his little dance when she heads back up and then off they go for a three to four mile hike with plenty of elevation gain. They do this every morning without fail. I go about every third time and I think Miles likes having the whole family along. They go for another walk when things cool off in the evening.A-girl-and-her-dog-called-Miles

Yesterday, Chris went to Las Cruces with Alice's mom, Martha. Before she left she made me promise to take Miles for a hike and make sure he had plenty of food and water. It was just like when she used to leave me with the kids. I really didn't need to be reminded to feed and water either Miles or my children, but Chris felt it was her duty to make sure she had given explicit instructions before she left.

She tells Miles that she loves him at least two or three times a day. She may have said something along those lines to me last week sometime, I think. She tells me that she loves having a dog that is big enough to hug. When we sit and read or watch TV at night, Chris sits on the floor so Miles can lay his head in her lap. 

Miles has a great life. I think our kids are a little jealous of all the attention Miles gets. They think back to their childhood and try to remember if they were treated as well. I tell them not to think about it too much. They may have a legitimate argument. We all know that raising dogs and kids are two very different things. It's so much easier to raise a dog.

Seriously, it's a real pleasure to be able to witness the relationship Miles and Chris have. They both get tremendous rewards out of living together. Talk about unconditional love. I see it every day. In fact, I think it makes me a better husband and a better father to observe and attempt to model the behavior I see between the two of them. 

A girl and her dog. And me.  

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

Link to The Days of Johann, an agility dog!

Around the dog agility blog-o-sphere!

Posted: 21 Jul 2010 05:22 PM PDT

Oh my, it's been a while since we updated you on what's going on around the dog agility let's get to it!

EO 2010

EO 2010 gets underway this weekend in Liberec, Czech Republic. Practice will be held on Friday, with the event on Saturday and Sunday. Here are some important links:

List of registered participants sorted by country.
USA team members listed at the bottom of this page.
Meet the judges
Full competition program

Agility Vision will be at EO video taping the finals of the event. The finals won't be live streamed this year, but you will be able to view the Video on Demand once it's uploaded (targeted for 8 PM ET, July 25th). You can pre-order the VOD by Friday, July 23rd to save $5 off the regular price of $19.99.


The 2010 NADAC Championships will be held September 23-26, 2010 at the Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities in Gillette, Wyoming. Entries close on August 3rd.

Agility Vision will be at the event video taping all runs. Special packages are available. Visit their website for more info.


Some news via USDAA...

View the new rule changes including allowing 24" weave pole spacing, displaceable tire, new Veterans Program and more. Some new rules effective July 1, 2010, others effective for the 2011 and subsequent tournament and/or calendar year.

Results from the Rocky Mountain and SouthWest regionals have been posted.

More info for Cynosport, October 12-17, 2010 in Louisville have been posted, including info on agility.


New rules coming into effect for AKC agility from the May Board Meeting and include positionless table, 24" weave pole spacing, no more multipliers, no more up contact judging and more. Here is the link to the Board Meeting minutes, the link to the full new regulations, and a nice overview of all the changes courtesy of Magica Goldens blog.

2010 FCI Agility World Championships

The final US team for 2010 FCI Agility World Championship, October 1, 2 & 3, 2010, Reiden, Germany has been announced, including those who qualified at the tryouts and those named to the team. Other country participants are starting to be added to the main site. You can also follow the FCI Agility World Championships on Twitter, (hashtag #agiwm).

Agility Vision has a special preorder price of $24.99 now through September 17th or the first 1,000 orders (whichever comes first) for their Live Stream and Video on Demand of the entire 2010 FCI event. Click here to order the special package.

If you purchase this video package you will receive a coupon code that you can use in the Clean Run store for $5off the 2010 FCI DVD. The full 2-DVD set of the "Best of the 2010 FCI Agility World Championships" will be available via Clean Run bringing you hundreds of runs from the event, including all of the runs by Team USA and Team Canada. The DVD will not be available until late November. However, Clean Run is currently accepting pre-orders. Place your order by October 3rd to receive the early bird DVD discount: $5 off the regular price of $29.95, plus free shipping.

Other stuff:

Silvia Trkman is planning an online video tutorial teaching her famous Cik/Cap turns that can shave seconds off your course time. Here's a teaser video (below), first video of the tutorial is live as of today. Here is info for purchasing (about $57 USD). Looks like she may be planning more tutorials for heeling and tricks, coming soon.

And don't miss this new vid of Silvia's new pup Le.

Silvia will also be in the US next year doing seminars in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, the end of January, beginning of February. Here is the info (click on upcoming seminars) for the Florida seminar, Jan 24-28 in Tampa. Watch her website for more info on other upcoming seminars.

The first Dog Olympic Games will be held October 14-17 in Lignano Sabbiadoro in Northern Italy and is planned to be an event held every two years, featuring Agility, Disc Dog, Dog Dance, Flyball, Obedience, Rally, Nature Testing and more.

Happy to see Linda Mecklenburg has been uploading some new YouTube videos in the past few weeks. If you haven't subscribed yet, do it! Always great to watch great teams.

Better late than never :) Here are some great runs (and interesting courses) from the AKC World Team Tryouts, thanks to Agility Vision.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


A Holistic Approach to Nutrition

Posted: 18 Jul 2010 01:55 PM PDT

Dr.Larry-mountains I've done a series of posts over on the pet insurance blog about a new approach to nutrition being advocated by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN). The latter group is made of of board certified Veterinary Nutrition specialists.

 Most ACVN members practice at university teaching hospitals at Veterinary colleges around the country. Others work in specialty referral practices or for pet food companies helping formulate and develop new diets. Purina has several on staff and consulting arrangements with many more around the country and the world.

The new approach to nutrition is based on a simple idea called the "Circle of Nutrition." This approach involves a holistic look at the issues affecting nutrition and includes three main components. The components of the "Circle" are the pet itself, the diet, and the feeding management practices and environment the pet lives in. All elements of the circle are closely related and linked together and when everything is in sync a healthy pet is the likely outcome.

The Circle of Nutrition has been adopted as a position statement by the American Animal Hospital Association and they have developed Guidelines for Nutritional Assessment for their members. Their thinking is that Nutrition is a key component of overall health and it should be monitored throughout the pet's life. 

The first step in the assessment is the initial screening process involving the pet. This includes a detailed62-weight-loss2-203x300 history from the owner and a physical examination by the Veterinarian. The pet's diet is examined as well as the environment in which the pet lives. If the pet is healthy the nutrition assessment is complete and the owner is encouraged to keep up the good work. 

If any risk factors are identified during the screening process an in depth evaluation is called for. Let's say that the pet is 20% overweight. This is an obvious risk factor and the in depth evaluation is undertaken to develop a holistic approach to getting the pet back to optimum health.

The pet will get a more thorough physical with lab work and other tests to rule out any complicating medical conditions. The pet's BCS ,or body condition score, will be evaluated and an attempt will be made to estimate his caloric need via calculating his resting energy requirement and factoring in his activity level. 

The pet's current diet will be full evaluated. It's caloric content will be determined and any other sources of food will be accounted for.  

Finally the feeding management system and the pet's home environment will be examined. The Vet will ask questions about when, where, how much and how the pet is fed. They will ask about other pets in the house and whether there is competition for food. They will ask about who is the primary feeder and whether others feed the pet too or whether they might sneak treats under the table. 

You'll be asked about the pet's home environment. How much exercise does he get? What form of exercise and what kind of toys does he play with? Is he housed inside most of the day or does he have a big fenced yard to exercise in? Does he play with other dogs? 

All of this information about the pet, his diet and his home environment and lifestyle are then factored into the plan for his healthy weight loss. You will know what, when, how and how much to feed him. You'll know about how his activity level needs to change to facilitate the process. You'll know how to explain to the other members of the household what is going on and how they can help the process. You'll know how to evaluate his BCS and what progress looks like and feels like. You'll know how much he can expect to lose safely each week and what to do if he's not losing.

You'll be part of the team that includes the Vet and her staff and you'll know where to go when questions arise. Your role in the circle of nutrition is the most important part of the equation. Your dog or cat spends the vast majority of their time under your care and combining that knowledge with the other factors in the circle will help ensure a long and healthy life for your best friend.

Let this circle be unbroken. 

Aringsburg's German Shepherd Dogs

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Aringsburg's German Shepherd Dogs

About German Shepherd Dog - A Website Dedicated to GSD Lovers and Their Dream Breed

Posted: 20 Jul 2010 02:23 AM PDT

Howdy friends! I have not posted anything for long - I admit. Well, let me tell you that I have a good news for all German Shepherd Dog lovers. I am honored that my blog "German Shepherd Dog Information" has been highly acclaimed and I have got waves of praises from you guys.

I have received emails from many of you, and many of you have sent me multiple emails praising me for my highly researched work that I have done with this blog. This motivated me in purchasing my own domain name and hiring a host. Friends I have created my own website About German Shepherd Dog.

The design of this website has been done by my friend's web solution firm - "Aribiss". Since the website is a dynamic website and involves tremendous volume of coding, it is taking him a little time to complete. Although it is apparently completed, still there are certain designing issues which requires to be done. The work is in process.

About the official website of "About German Shepherd Dog"
About German Shepherd Dog is an online portal dedicated to German Shepherd lovers across the globe. I have been constantly working on this website and aiming to make it the largest online resource for information on German Shepherd Dog breed. I am sure I can do it... your encouragements and fountains of praises have always been the most effective catalyst for me.

Please email me or post your comments and give me your feedback about the newly launched website, especially dedicated to you and your dream breed. I know you will find a few programmatic errors in this website. Everything will be fixed eventually.


Monday, July 19, 2010


Celebrating Love for Our Pets

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 08:36 AM PDT

Tales-for-the-pet-lovers-heart-2010 Nestle' Purina and Kroger grocery stores are celebrating love - of the mostly four-legged kind. I say 'mostly' because we know pets come in two-legged versions, also. In fact, I just read a superb story in Reader's Digest about pets where an Eagle was featured. And, I know people who keep chickens as pets!

The pet world is a big one, my friends. And, precisely because of that, pet parents and pet enthusiasts need to come together to help disadvantaged animals . Okay, disadvantaged is marketing-speak. We'll say abandoned and abused animals, animals that have saved lives, animals who give more love than they will ever get. Your pets and mine.

Landing_header Here's the scoop, straight from the Tales for the pet lover's heart site:

Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart™ is a celebration of our love for our four-legged friends. Pets. Partners. Companions. They answer to many names. Dogs and cats. Big and small. Old and young, but one thing's certain – their special place in our hearts and lives.

To honor this bond, in 2010 Purina and Kroger are contributing $150,000 to animal welfare organizations around the country to help them feed pets who are waiting for their opportunity to share a better life in their forever home. (hey, Purina, pet people woulda said "fur-ever homes! Just meowin')

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Saturday, July 17, 2010


Lyme Disease in Dogs

Posted: 14 Jul 2010 08:37 AM PDT

LymeDiseaseRisk If you live in certain parts of the country you are undoubtedly aware of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease affects both people and pets and can have serious health consequences for both. If you live in the Northeast or upper Midwest you live in what is called a Lyme disease endemic area (see map).

That means your chances of coming into contact with a tick that carries the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease is pretty darn good. The chances that your dog will encounter an infected tick is even better, considering how they like to play in the woods and run through the brush where ticks hang out.

My sister-in-law lives in Massachusetts and has a summer house in New Hampshire. She has had Lyme disease twice and one of her dogs tests positive for Lyme. 

Lyme disease is caused by a bug called Borellia burgdorferi and the disease itself is called Borreliosis byLyme-tick us Vets. This bug takes a very interesting route getting to you or your dog. The common deer tick is the parasite that spreads the bug and a couple of mammals play an important role in the deer tick life cycle. The White Footed Mouse plays host to tick larvae and if they are carrying the bug these larvae pick it up and keep it overwinter as they mature. These mature ticks feed on deer, other mammals including people and their pets. 

Lyme disease has been around for a long time but really became a problem in the latter third of the last century. One big reason for this is reforestation and a concomitant rise in deer populations in the endemic areas. Even urban areas have seen deer populations explode and the threat of Lyme disease is no longer simply a rural problem.

sick-doggie Dogs infected with Lyme disease may incubate the bug for weeks after a bite and not show any clinical signs for quite some time. Those signs include fever, lack of appetite, lethargy, swollen lymph nodes and swollen, inflamed joints resulting in a shifting lameness. Some dogs develop a serious form of kidney disease that can be life threatening. Cats, by the way, are rarely affected.

Treatment is pretty straightforward and involves the use of antibiotics and pain relievers for joint pain if present. The key to success is duration of therapy and antibiotics should be given for at least two weeks and more commonly a full month.

The better bet is prevention. Both vaccination and tick control are the key features of prevention. While vaccination has been somewhat controversial in the past we now have newer more effective vaccines and if you live in an endemic area you should discuss vaccination with your Veterinarian.

Tick control has also gotten easier and more effective with the advent of broad spectrum, once a month topical preventatives. These products are generally more effective than tick collars with one exception. The Preventic collar works quite well. If I lived in Wisconsin or Vermont or New York I'd do both. I'd vaccinate and use a topical preventive.

You should also check your dog after an outing in tick country. It takes 48 hours for a tick to attach, feed and spread the disease. If you can remove them in this window, you should.

Since I live in New Mexico Miles and I are probably safe from Lyme disease. We do travel however and if we ever go visit the in laws in the Northeast I'd invest in a Preventic collar, at least. If you plan travels in endemic areas you should consider this too. 

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

Link to The Days of Johann, an agility dog!

Gracie may just be an agility dog afterall!

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 06:06 AM PDT

Mum and I are so proud of our Gracie Girl. She was amazing at agility practice this week. Sure wish we had some video...but it's probably good we didn't jinx anything :)

This week's practice was about handling. They had two 'rings' set up in the building. Hot as usual, since it doesn't have much air conditioning, but we don't care, we just want to run!

The first course was a toughie; jump, straight to a short chute, and then straight into the weaves, three more jumps with lots of off course ops, back into the weaves, and four more jumps with more off course ops - kind of a down and back set up.

Of course Gracie shot out of the chute like a cannon, so Mum had a treat ready for focus after, to get Gracie to settle into the weaves. Worked like a charm. Gracie took the weaves like a pro, then she was off to the jumps like a bat out of 'you know.' Mum was ready for a treat again after a wrap around the third jump, then back into the weaves to a two jump serp, with a tempting off course jump, right in Gracie's face. Treat again, then straight to another jump, wrap and another jump for the big finish.

Dang, Gracie was amazing!!! She didn't run off at all, totally was keeping an eye on Mum the entire time for direction. She looked like a real agility dog!!! We are so proud of her!

Then the trainer upped the anti, and strew tons of toys and knuckle bones around the next little course - two jump serp, another jump straight to a tire, then the teeter, bordered by a tunnel and weaves off course ops. Mum took her through the jumps and tire in a straight a line as possible, then rear crossed the teeter (first time that's ever happened with Gracie) and she banged that thang like no body's business. Big treat time!!! (BTW, this pic is from one of Gracie's previous CPE trials and one of Mum's favs :)

Then it was to the left to the jump, through the tunnel with that tire right in her face. Mum was ready for a treat again to get her focus, then around the teeter back to the weaves, a jump, wrap and back around to the weaves again, a front cross back to the tire, a rear cross to a jump, then back to take the second original serp jump, passing the first serp jump into the tunnel. And what did Gracie do at that tunnel exit with all those folks and dogs watching right in front of her at the exit? She looked back for Mum, OMD! No run off again to go visit them!

Whatta girl! And with all those toys and knuckle bones lying around, she only stopped for the knuckle bone and one toy...Mum said 'leave' and she went right on through the course. Mum had no idea Gracie had such a great 'leave!'

So finally....a great class for the Grace-ster, total focus, total concentration, total joy and fun, total of four runs, with a total of four big ole jackpots after! We're knocking wood over here!!!

Mum was ecstatic!

Oh, and I did great too :) Really good speed on all the technical stuff, and a great bang on the teeter with that rear cross.

So we're off next week and then start the following week another six weeks of class. So excited, and can't wait!