Saturday, October 29, 2011

Poodles Behaving at the Dog Park!

Just as I was posting the "mid-air" photos of Jeanne's Poodle group at the dog park, she was sending me this photo taken today at the park. The dark brindle pup is Jeanne's boy "Cole".

Jeanne says:

"Here is a photo of an intense Cole and his friend, Beamish, who also loves to chase tennis balls. My friend, Dorothy (whom Beamish owns) makes them sit before she sends a tennis ball flying from the "chuckit." Usually, Cole will sit and then start to scoot backwards to get a head start, but this time I caught him being good! We had 16 Poos this morning. Life is good with a Poo!

The 16 Poodles this morning is about average for us.........we've had 32 (I think is the correct number) on a day I wasn't able to make it. But it's not uncommon to have between 15 and 25 Poodles join us on The Poodle Walk at the Park. *G*

You are so right Jeanne, life is good with a Poo! Sure wish we had a well run dog park in our area, with a dozen or two Poodles who could meet every week---what fun! And what a testament to the breed in general, that they can have regular play dates with dozens getting along so well together!

Poodles in the Air!

I admit...I've never been a fan of dog parks, at least not the unsupervised kind where anyone can come and let their dog run off-leash. When you've been a dog trainer as long as I have, you've heard about a few dog park nightmares (in fact I even SAW a few back when I lived in North Carolina, in a dog park at a city park, which was totally unsupervised. So my Standard Poodle girl, as much as I know she would like to give it a whirl, has never been to a dog park. She has however, had a lot of fun playing with those of her own kind at Poodle parties!)

But.. back to dog parks, if you find a good one, where you can SAFELY allow your dog to interact with other friendly dogs, it can provide extreme fun for your Poodles, especially the Standard sized ones. My Poodle fancier friend Jeanne Haight takes her two Standards to a safe dog park every week, and she is fortunate enough to have a close friend who lives nearby and brings her Poodles as well, so the whole "Poodle crew" can enjoy fun runs together at the dog park.

I guess mid-air is a common Poodle position at dog parks? Here is what Jeanne wrote to me, in reference to the "flying Poodles"

"The funny thing about the Poodles in the air is that the silver with 4 feet off the ground, is my Morgen, who really doesn't care about chasing the ball, but if she can get it and keep it away from Cole, it's a Wonderful game for her. She tears around the park, with Cole close behind, trying to bite her on the butt, barking and complaining, and she just revels in that she can keep one step ahead of him. The apricot in the air, is Beamish. I was trying to get a mid air picture of Cole, who practises all sorts of gymnastics in the air, but he's too fast."

Thank you for sharing these photos Jeanne! I hope that Morgen and Cole, and their Poodle friends had lots of fun dog park time at the park this autumn. Hasn't it been a lovely fall this year?

But bundle up, snow coming soon, winter is on its way. It is windy and cold today even at Smith Mountain Lake here in the southern part of Virginia. I bet you guys already have a fire in your fireplace up there near Chicagoland.

Looking forward to the season's first "fun in the snow photos" soon!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Remember the song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy".....don't worry be happy now!
This song started playing in my mind when I saw the big grin on the Poodle boy in this photo that my friend Chris L'Abbe shared with me. As we get older, cold weather can tempt us to just stay inside and hibernate as much as possible until Spring. But most Poodles don't feel this way at all. Think about how many times you have seen a Poodle with the "zoomies"--running huge laps around the yard when the weather starts to cool off. Isn't it funny too how if we have a pile of leaves that we raked, Poodles will, just like kids, make sure they head right for them while they are zooming! One thing that has always interested me is that I often see my older dogs zooming around the yard as the leaves begin to fall, even though it is inevitable that many of them are experiencing more arthritis pain due to weather changes but still, even though they may not be able to "zoom" quite as long as the younger guys, they are still going to take a lap or two. Dogs seem to have an unlimited capacity for joy--at least the average Poodle is this way. He is just looking for a reason to be happy! Let's take a lesson today from our Poodles---Don't Worry, Be Happy, Be Happy Now!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanks, re Dad

Many friends from a Poodle email list have written this morning, to express their sympathy on the loss of my Dad. It is so amazing that people I have never even met care enough to drop a line of kindness...Poodle people are, like their dogs, very special.

A special thank you to photographer Rick Miles (a/k/a the Poodle Joy photographer)for sending me this bouquet of posting them here in memory of my Dad, Charles Farrell Travis, who loved me despite my dog related addictions. We found a Standard Poodle when I was in the 3rd grade, he was with us just a few weeks, but I think he is the reason I fell in love with the breed. Daddy named him "de Gaulle" after the famous Frenchman and Daddy would let him ride to the post office with us on Saturday mornings. Dad worked constantly, but whenever he was in town, he would take me with him often on weekend errands.

Dad bought my younger half-sisters a Standard Poodle when they were little, "Mooshka" lived to be 15 or 16. I'm not sure if I spelled his name correctly. It is the Finnish word for "Snoopy", as my stepmother is Finnish. Mooshka was a big black Standard who LOVED to retrieve so much that he would catch a rock if someone tried to throw one out of the garden. He was ball crazy and Daddy thought it was a hoot that he would even catch snowballs, plus he would leap very high to catch a ball or snowball. I hope Dad is playing ball with him today, as they walk in the beautiful gardens in heaven. Daddy loved the outdoors and flowers, so thank you Rick for sending this special photo for me to post today.

Love you Daddy, always and forever until we meet again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Miss you Lizzie!

It has been 4 years now, since we lost our lovely Lizzie...she was the sweetest girl EVER. Here she is when we were playing "foot up" for a photo shoot years ago:

Several of my friends have lost dogs recently, so I wanted to share a link to an article I wrote about my experience after I lost Lizze: Losing Special Friends

Love and sympathy to all of you are missing a special friend tonight (Julie, this is especially for you, re your sweet Ginger--I have owned precious mixed breeds that were just as priceless to me as my Lizzie. I know your Golden mix Ginger was one of these gems).