Training at the Vet Clinic

Doberman puppy on trampoline

I didn’t take a new pic of Undómiel (10 months) today, so please enjoy this flashback to 8 weeks old.

No time like the present…. Undómiel and I had to make a trip yesterday to the veterinary clinic for an irritation on her face, and while I had planned to get around to teaching a chin rest for vet exams and treatment, I hadn’t actually done it yet.

Yes, professionals can be lazy and distracted, too. Guilty.

A solid chin rest can be invaluable for vet exams, especially of the head or face. So there we are, sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor, and I decided to get started. A few clicks in, I realized it’d be good to get some video of the process. Continue reading

An Easy Pill to Swallow, Training to Take Pills the Easy Way, Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series An Easy Pill to Swallow

It’s been a while since I mentioned this, but this is a skill which we often wish our dogs had, but rarely teach them before we need it. Mindy had to learn it early, when a urinary tract infection required antibiotics.

So here’s a short video of Mindy taking her undisguised pill on cue — and not only taking the undisguised pill, but leaving a fun puzzle toy full of kibble to do so. Continue reading

A Farewell to Laevatein

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Cancer & the Fight
happiest little Doberman on earth in this shot

happiest little Doberman on earth in this shot

I wanted to write a new post for the new year. This wasn’t what I wanted to write.

Today, I lost Laevatein. She had a great morning of playing in the snow as I unloaded dog food and running about the house kill-shaking her toy dinosaur. She jumped in the car I was unloading, ready to travel even though lately we’ve been going only to her chemotherapy, and was generally happy and enthusiastic. I left her out to enjoy the yard in the comparatively warmer temperatures, but when she didn’t return I went out to check on her. I walked over the entire fenced yard, looking see if a drift had made a ramp over the fence or anything, but when I returned to the porch by a different angle, I found her lying on it. Continue reading

Waylaid by a Rimadyl Overdose

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Cancer & the Fight

Normally, the Rimadyl wouldn’t even have been in the house.

A 100 mg Rimadyl pill bought in the United Sta...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I personally don’t like carprofen for my dogs, due to the potential liver damage (which, I’ve read, Dobermans may be more susceptible to than some other breeds), and we tend to use other anti-inflamnatories when necessary. But Shakespeare was given as little as 3 weeks to live, and living long enough to develop liver problems would be a win anyway, so I brought home Rimadyl to keep him as comfortable as possible.

It didn’t even occur to me to ask if it came in a non-flavored version. My dogs are , and a regular capsule would have been much safer than bringing a liver-flavored drug into a house with Laev on prednisone, giving her chronic munchies and motivating her to new heights of counter-surfing. Continue reading

Our Cancer Fights

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Cancer & the Fight

So I’m making this a series, so we can connect all the cancer-related posts for anyone interested and in case it helps anyone later on. I really, really wanted to call this series “Kicking Cancer in the Teeth,” but I thought that might be tempting fate a little too viciously. But it’s the attitude I’m bringing, just the same.

First, thank you for all the prayers, good wishes, and support. I really appreciate it! Continue reading

Sad news: my sick dogs

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Cancer & the Fight
Cytology from a needle aspiration biopsy of a ...

Cytology from a needle aspiration biopsy of a lymph node of a dog with lymphoma.

Not quite sure how to start this one, so I guess I’ll just jump in…. Laevatein has terminal cancer. Lymphoma.

She was just diagnosed, when a vet found somewhat-enlarged lymph nodes during a routine exam. “I have to mention the c-word,” she said, “but she really doesn’t present like a cancer dog.” Indeed not; Laev is 8, but she’s quite active (she spent about 4 hours Sunday night circling and jumping, trying to work out how to reach a critter in a tree) and looks sleek and shiny. We figured some sort of tick-borne disease was more likely and ordered panels to test.

But the biopsies came back as lymphoma. Two weeks later, her lymph nodes are already large enough to visibly distort her silhouette in front and rear. Monday we met with the oncologist, discussed options, got further tests (cancer has likely spread to spleen and lungs, but not liver), and started chemotherapy. Continue reading

Laura’s Coming to Wisconsin! 2-Day Clicker Workshop

Laura laughing with Laev being silly

Dog Training is serious. Always very serious.

We interrupt this blog for a word from our sponsors!

I’ll be in Wisconsin in a couple of weeks for a Core Clicker Seminar, a two-day hands-on intensive workshop for beginning to intermediate trainers and handlers. This is, if I say so myself, a pretty good training seminar. 🙂 And there are still a few working (and auditing) spots open! Continue reading

Professional Teamwork – Trainers & Vets Together! And more pet professionals


Veterinarian (Photo credit: Army Medicine)

There are a lot of professionals who might come into your dog’s life — your veterinarian, certainly, and possibly a trainer, and perhaps a groomer, a pet-sitter, a dog-walker, and others.

That’s a lot of professional advice which could come your way. And some of it might — in fact, probably will — conflict. How is a pet owner to sort and filter the many pieces of information and misinformation coming her way?

And, most importantly for us professionals, how do we work together to give our clients the best information and therefore the best combined care?

(I don’t mean this to be controversial or insulting to any profession or professional — it’s really, honestly about playing to everyone’s individual strengths!)

Continue reading