Archive for March, 2011

March 31, 2011

Day 19: Play Ball!


Growing up I was never into professional sports.  I played sports, but I had no real desire to follow the professional teams.  As I got older, that changed a bit.

I’m still not a die hard fan.  However, I will watch games when I can. Go to games when I able to. Follow up on the scores of games that I miss on the occasion.  Read news stories when something interests me.  Get the picture?

Of all the professional sports though, the one that I have found myself showing the most interest in in recent years is baseball.  I grew up in South Jersey, about a half hour out of Philly, so clearly my sports team loyalty lies with the Phillies. I’m not going to do a whole sports blog post (because me talking about sports isn’t the most riveting thing to read), but I will say that I am quite excited for this season of baseball, mainly for the fact that Cliff Lee is back on the Phillies this year, and I love him.

Bailey’s opinion on baseball?  He could care less, but he does enjoy chewing on my baseball glove.

March 30, 2011

Day 18: In the Doghouse

I’m not feeling very wordy today, and the ideas for poses/photo concepts weren’t coming to me so I am relying on Bailey’s cuteness and props for today’s photo.

That little doghouse was $10.  I saw it in the store and said “This looks pretty cheap (as in quality), but it is also kinda cute.  It’s only 10 dollars, I can use it as a prop for a photo one day for my blog.”  See what this blog is doing to me?  Now when I go out shopping, I see things and think, “Oooh I could use that for a photo for my blog/365 project!”  I kinda need to do that though, or else you would get bored of 350 more photos of Bailey on my rugs and couch.

I also spent way too much time editing today’s photos.  I’m not usually much for editing.  I do a little bit of post-processing in Lightroom, but it’s all usually very minimal.  I prefer natural looking photos.  As you can see from my photos so far, I’m not normally one for special effects and all that jazz.  However the other day, I downloaded some demo Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets and was playing around with them today.  I actually liked the result of this picture, because of the added mood that it gave it, so I decided to go with it.

March 29, 2011

Day 17: Time Warp Tuesday #2

So the story behind this picture is a funny one.  I’ve talked about how I would diagnose Bailey with ADD.  Well, there are times when I would diagnose him with OCD as well.  The time when the original photo was taken is one of those times.

Bailey was about 6 months old at the time.  One evening he decided to bring all of his toys over to our kitchen door.  Every.  Single.  One.  (Well the ones that were out for him)  He was so meticulous about all his toys being in THAT spot.  So of course, me  being the mean mother that I am, I decided to see what he would do if I moved them.  So one by one, I picked up his toys and moved them back into the living room, and yep, one by one, Bailey moved them back by the door.  I somewhat remember him giving me really mean looks during that time too like, “What are you doing with my toys, Mom?  I put them there for a reason!  Geez, now I need to move them back all over again!”

Dogs are silly sometimes.

Here is the inspiration photo.  You can see Bailey was in his transitional phase at this time.  His coat wasn’t as thin and wispy as it was in our first TWT post when he was a little puppy.  It was starting to thicken up, however it was still pretty straight.

March 28, 2011

Day 16: Toys That Make Your Dog Think

First off I need to come right out and say, I cheated for this photo.  I didn’t take this photo today.  I took it earlier this month.  I came home from work today, and Bailey got sick.  No need to worry.  He’ll be fine.  However, because I know he isn’t feeling all that great, I just don’t feel like making him put up with me putting a camera in his face.  So here we are, Day 16 into my 365 Project, and I’m already cheating.  At least I’m being honest about it :P

I decided to make a post today to go along with what I posted about yesterday.  I talked about Bailey and his agility training, and how agility is a great thing for dogs because it provides them with mental stimulation.  As I said before, dogs need to be mentally stimulated.  However, dog sports aren’t for everyone, and every dog doesn’t have the drive for them.  There are so many other ways to mentally stimulate your dog.  Another favorite of mine and Bailey’s are puzzle toys.

This past Christmas, I purchased two puzzle toys for Bailey made by Nina Ottosson.  These toys are designed to be interactive games that stimulate a dog’s brain while reinforcing his relationship with people.  Most of them aren’t games that you just leave out for your dog to play with on their own.  It is something that Bailey and I do together, and he gets so excited when he sees me take it off the shelf to play.  They have a variety of styles of toys and they range in difficulty levels.  They range from simple feeding balls, where the dog just needs to roll it around to get the food, to puzzles where dogs need to complete multiple steps in order to find and achieve access to the desired treat.  I also love that all of these toys are tested by real dogs when they are designed.

Nina Ottosson Products is my preferred brand of this type of dog toy.  Yes, they can be a little pricey however they are very well made, well designed, and durable.  However there are many other brands who make similar toys to challenge your dog’s mind.  For all the cat owners out there, Nina Ottosson even advertises their toys to be appropriate for cats as well.

Another great thing to note is that Nina Ottosson has monthly giveaways of their toys on their Facebook page. They are normally random drawings from everyone who has liked their page.  For the month of March though, they are having a photo contest of dogs playing with their Nina Ottosson toys in which the above photo is entered.  With the month of March ending, we’ll be seeing soon if Bailey was a winner or not ;)

March 27, 2011

Day 15: My Little Agility Star

Bailey just finished up the last class in his latest round of agility training.  So today’s post is all about Bailey and his agility.  (Photo taken for today was taken out in our yard with Bailey’s own tunnel, not at class)

Bailey has been doing agility for about a year now.  Although it started when he was a puppy, and we made him his first jump out of some pvc pipe.  From that moment, I knew it would be something that he would enjoy doing and looked forward to getting into it with him in the future.

It took a while to find the right training club to do it with, but eventually we found a local club, and we signed up for “Small Dog Agility for Fun.”  It was perfect for us.  Not only did we start learning the basics of agility and handling and the equipment, but the class was also focused on ways that we can implement and practice agility at home.

I also loved that it was focused on fun, rather than competing.  Bailey absolutely loves agility.  It is fun for him, and  he is fearless when it comes to trying new obstacles, so he learns rather quickly.  He is also a speed demon when it comes to running the courses.  However, if dogs could officially be diagnosed with ADD, Bailey would have it.  Bailey’s attention span comes and goes.  I am also convinced that Bailey does agility for himself, not for me.   The reason he does the agility isn’t to obey me or to please me.  He does it because he has fun doing it.  What does this mean?  Well it means that sometimes he gets really excited and will just run the entire course and do the obstacles before I say it’s okay to go.  It means that he sometimes finishes a course, and his reward for himself is to turn around and run the course backwards.  When he gets tired and is done, he checks out.  It doesn’t matter what I ask him to do.  He doesn’t do agility for me.  He does it for himself.  So when he is done, he’s done, and there is no fighting him about it.  Then there are some days that his nose takes over his brain and all he wants to do during class is sniff the floor at the training club for treats that other people dropped.   Most days, he does listen and obey really well, but some days he just can’t focus that little brain of his.

Here is an example of Bailey’s ADD and excitement getting the best of him when practicing his agility. (This video was taken last Summer)

So for all those reasons, he probably wouldn’t be the best at competing, however it is a wonderful thing for us to do together for fun.  So many people don’t understand how important it is for dogs to not only get physical stimulation but also mental stimulation.  Dogs LIKE to think.  They LIKE, no they NEED, to have their mind challenged.  Agility is great for that, and it is something that we get to do together, so it builds our relationship and communication for every day life as well.

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