It's not just about the dog itself, but the relationship you have with it!

ForPaws Helps Corgis and Corgi Mixes

Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

"It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..."

Hermann Hesse

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Maker Faire 2009

Stuff people make...all kinds of stuff- shows up each year at the annual Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. To learn how to make some of these things, and much more, you can subscribe to Make Magazine - the Bible for Maker Geeks! (So much bad hair in one place!)

A San Francisco Institution, the Doggie Diner had a dog head on the top of it for years until it finally became a bank and the diner was gone forever. But the dog heads remain!

A metal sculpture tree with ironed plastic bags as leaves.

This gigantic sculpture spins with the slightest breeze. A person can stand in the center of the circle and spin with it. Kind of like Calder on drugs!

Kinetic miniature sculpture.

Vaccuum cleaner....or...?

Ray gun!

Lucille van Pelt, is that you?

Huge kinetic sculpture, made of liter bottles. It never stops moving.

A project in Nevada will build a 10,000 year clock. The model is below.

The model shows that the clock will be deep underground. Below is one of the actual gears so you can see just how big this is going to be.

Bicycle wheels that flash an LED display showing pictures and words.

Well, OK. What else can you do with the VCR?

This dress, made of plastic tubing, allows colored liquids to run through various parts of it, at various rates of speed, creating a most interesting effect!

It wouldn't be complete without lots of LEGOs!

These cupcakes are about half the size of a Smart Car. The top flips up on a hinge, allowing the driver to get in and out. Inside there is a seat and bicycle handlebars.  These little vehicular cupcakes really move too!  Of course, you must wear the matching hat when you drive!

Kind of like a Rose Parade float, made of painted gauze instead.


The giant robotic giraffe has become a fixture at this event.

Something you can do with your Mercedes when you no longer wish to worry about washing it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Puppies and Cameras

When Denali was a puppy, she hated the camera. The moment I reached for it, she'd run away and hide.  She still looks away and doesn't like making eye contact with the camera.

Not so with Sage. This little ham is happy to smile and play for posterity any time. This morning I picked up the camera, intending to charge the battery. Sage started jumping up and down. I think he thought I was taking the camera out for an adventure and he wanted to go along. Since he was acting like a spaz, I just snapped some photos.

Denali heard the commotion and had to investigate.  Her presence is always an invitation to play, so there they go!

OK, now I'm done jumping, but can I still go along?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two New Kids Needing a Nice Home

ForPaws Corgi Rescue has two new dogs in need of a home of their own. Rosie, a female Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and her companion, Pete, a Corgi/Shiba Inu mix male, were found togther as strays. They're both young dogs, about a year old. For more about them, see our website, ForPaws Corgi Rescue.

Rosie-light sable

Pete: Beautiful Black Tricolor

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Puppy Ate my Homework....Yea, right!

This is my sweet puppy, Sage, with his beautiful sister, Denali. Isn't he an angel?

This is the Premium List I brought home from dog training class last night. Our obedience training club is sponsoring a trial on June 21st. I will be stewarding, so I thought I should take a look at it. Notice anything different about this document?

How about now? Yes there is a gaping hole at the bottom. It wasn't there when I brought it home last night. Nor was the hole there this morning when I left it by the bed.

Late morning I caught the little Demon Dog in the act, happily munching away! Now he's resting. It takes a lot of energy to digest my homework. 

I always wanted to be able to say "My dog ate my homework." Now I can!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Falcon Chicks in San Jose, CA

For the fourth year, Clara, a Peregrine Falcon, is raising her young in a nest located on a ledge of downtown San Jose's City Hall building. As a formerly endangered species, this is significant and has been a source of great interest and pride to the San Jose, California community.

Today's local newspaper featured an article about the four chicks, currently occupying the nest. Within a couple weeks they'll be ready to fly and will take their place in the wild. You can learn more about them and view the chicks in the nest via webcam by clicking here. You can also see a video of identification bands being attached to each chick so that their movements can be tracked in the future. There are also other good video segments of the birds, including this one of the chicks being fed (not for the faint of heart).

Clara returns each year to this spot to build her nest, always with a different suitor (shameless hussy). Once a falcon has declared a nesting spot, they return to that location each year to build a nest and raise the young. The first time the falcon pair showed up on the ledge at City Hall it was quite an event. No one could figure out why they chose that particular spot in the middle of a bustling city environment, but clearly Clara, (named for the City Hall's location on Santa Clara street), is dedicated to her choice.
click on articles to enlarge

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Puppy II Class Complete

This evening Sage completed his Puppy II Training Class and earned his official Certificate of Graduation! 

As he has matured it's become clear that he definitely responds to the mental challenge of  training. He grasps new concepts in a heartbeat. At this age his "puppy focus" doesn't always allow him to perform as reliably as an adult dog might, but he appears to have potential to be a really good obedience dog! He just soaks up everything. He will perform and loves to play training-related games.

The Sirius Puppy Training program was really dense, in terms of the amount of information provided to the trainers, and the vast number of things our dogs learned. I was amazed that puppies could master so much! This has been a great introduction for Sage and now we're in the habit of daily training sessions as a part of the ritual. That worked really well for Bart and Kenai when we were first starting out with dogs years ago. They got a bit of training with each meal. Bart needed it as part of NILIF, as he'd been in a home without any rules for the first five years, and he was a naturally dominant, alpha dog when we rescued him.

So... next stop for Sage will be the training classes associated with the dog training club where Denali trains.

Interestingly,  witnessing Sage's training sessions each morning has sparked Denali's interest. It appears she's a bit competitive and isn't happy about the puppy one-upping her! She was really getting flat in our training classes and not really performing as I'd hoped she would in Show Novice. I simply couldn't get her to focus on me and heel well for anything. I was actually planning to quit taking her to the classes after this session ended. She does reasonably well on everything else, but we really weren't progressing, or having any fun with it. Both of us were bored.

But, during the past couple weeks whenever I'm working with Sage, Denali has started "asking" to show what she can do. For two weeks I completely ignored her and didn't work with her at all, other than during our classes.  Then I started working with her for just a few minutes at a time whenever we'd go outside for breaks during the day. I'd ask her to execute one or two commands, and then cut it off.  I made sure I quit while she was ready and excited to do more - before she got bored.

And I realized that I'd been working in a way that made it fun for the puppy, but I hadn't been doing as well at making it fun for Denali! So, we focused less on the result and more on having fun during the process.  And what a transformation...!  Suddenly I have a dog who can't wait to show off.  A few days ago she did the best off-leash heeling segment she's ever done during one of our short sessions! I was astonished!  

Last night in our class she repeated her new-found beautiful heeling! The instructor, Judy, exclaimed "Kathy, she's working SO nicely!" And she was!  Judy couldn't believe it was the same dog. Neither can I!  All of a sudden I have a dog that is alert, interested, excited and focused while heeling? Go figure? 

And I've started working a bit with Elbee to get a decent recall on her. She's a very mild dog and while she knows the basic commands, she has absolutely NO incentive to perform them - and moves in slow motion. The recall is the worst.  So...using some techniques from Sage's puppy class, it's back to basics for Elbee too!  This class was a real benefit for all three dogs...and their parents/trainers! 

Congratulations Sage! You had a big night!

I can't wait to see what the future holds for my happy, bouncy boy!