Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Congratulations to the 4H Happy Hounds Club!

Happy Hounds 4H* Club CGC Course a Stunning Success!

The Course

The Happy Hounds 4H Club of Howard County, MD, completed a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) course taught by Skye Anderson this past winter – sometimes in an unheated building during winter and sometimes cancelled due to bad weather! However, seven students completed the two months of classes and learned to train their best friends with treats, clickers and plenty of positive reinforcement.

The Test

Students tested a couple of months later (the first test was cancelled due to bad Maryland weather, again).

Kudos go to (see photo, credit: KFitzgibbon) All-American Reese and Lorin; Border Collie Max and his best friend, Emma; Chihuahua Rex peeking out above the CGC poster with 8-year-old (cold) Charlotte; black Standard Poodle Orso (can you find him?) with his best friend, Tori; and, in front, All-American Riggins with his favorite girl, Ava. On the right edge in back is the very-bundled-up-against-the-rain-and-wind CGC instructor and evaluator, Skye Anderson.

The Thanks

A hearty thank-you to Kiley and Border Collie Roscoe who earned the CGC last fall and returned to the club as the ‘other’ dog and a huge heap of thanks to Kim Fitzgibbons for organizing the course and to all Happy Hounds parents, some of whom drove their girls and dogs as far as 20 miles to the Howard County fairgrounds for classes and testing.  All their help and enthusiasm was much appreciated!

The Future

Next on the agenda for the Happy Hounds are courses in obedience, showmanship, rally, agility taught by Emma and Kiley, and a tricks course this summer to be taught by Skye Anderson, Certified Trick Dog Instructor.

If your child aged 8-18 is interested in joining Happy Hounds in Howard County, Maryland, contact HappyHounds@Howard4-H.org or for information on 4H in general, contact National 4H (4-h.org). You don't have to live on a farm!


Congratulations, girls! (and dogs!)

*4H has over 6.5 million members in the United States, from ages 5 to 21, in approximately 90,000 clubs. The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Book Review: Go To Sleep, Monty (dog, little boy)

Go To Sleep, Monty, by Kim Geyer (Andersen Press, 2015, 32 pp, $17.99, ages Pre-school to Kindergarten)

Read, Read, Read!

As you know, I am a huge fan of libraries and bookstores and I want each and every one of you to visit a library once a month, grab a book – any book - sit down and start reading.

I suggest starting with the children’s section. After all, we were all children once so it is easy to pretend we are selecting a book for a child, a grand, a babysitting client, a neighbor. We don’t have to admit the book is for us!

That will get you reading and soon, graduating to adult best sellers.

Go to Sleep, Monty!

. . . A delightful children’s book you can get through in just a few minutes and then get back on your way to the grocery store!

. . . Child-sized (big!) with an inviting cover illustration, inviting you to open it and love the cover dog.

Inside the front and back covers are 18 cute dog ‘photos,’ most in picture frames that invite you to look at the details and think up a story to explain upside-down pup, the pup with sunglasses, the pup with a stuffed dog of his own, . . . .

Monty’s Story

Max has always had a stuffed dog named Snuffly Poo (Snuffly Poo?) but now that Max is a big kid, he is big enough for his own real dog. So he picks out Monty and takes him home. But it’s hard to take care of a puppy who wants to roll over instead of sit, and chase a ball instead of walk nicely on a leash, and . . . .

Nighty Night, Monty

Finally, the exciting first day is over and it is time to sleep. Max puts Monty to bed, covers him and tucks him in, turns out the light and shuts the door.


But Monty is afraid. So Max brings him to bed with him, but only for tonight.


But now, Monty wants to play so Max does the usual things adults do for little boys to get them to go to sleep.


But nothing works. Not even Snuffly Poo.


But Max stumbles upon the solution. To find out what it is, you have to read the story. And you will be surprised!


I loved this book as an adult. I will read it again and again. Children make this book their own and closely identify with both Monty and Max. The illustrations create other stories and keep little ones interested. What a find!

And, P.S., yes, there is a cat in Monty’s book, too!

Caveat: DogEvals purchases products for review unless otherwise stated. This book was borrowed from the public library.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

EverythingDogBlog: "Now Go and Play!" Part Six - your favorite key chain

I Saved the Best for Last (for Trainers and You, too)

EzyDog, the 'Now Go and Play' dog company,  even has YOU in mind, too, with a miniature ‘neo’ dog collar which actually doubles as a detachable key ring. At only $3 each, these make great graduation gifts at the finish of a family dog manners course – or a tricks class, or agility, or . . . .

Made of neoprene for waterproofability, you can afford one in every color for yourself.

I use mine every day: I have day training clients’ house keys attached to different colors on my keychain and unsnap them to attach them securely to that dog’s collar when we go on a training walk. Easy peasy!

And sometimes I just wear it one on my finger like a ring.  At home, I hang my keys by their mini-collar on a hook. What a great unique idea!

As they say at EzyDog, “Now Go and Play!”

(This concludes the EverythingDogBlog series of six blogs about EzyDog but most certainly does not even begin to touch information about all their products. Check out their catalog and the EzyDog website here. Also on Facebook and other social media.)(And, in a month or two, DogEvals will do a quick update of the leashes.)
Camo Key Chain

PS - my first order was for two of each color!

CAVEAT: DogEvals purchases products for review unless otherwise stated.

Friday, May 20, 2016

EverythingDogBlog: "Now Go and Play!" Part Five - a SoftTrainer leash

Another Love of a Leash – the Soft Trainer, by EzyDog

This SoftTrainer leash has everything: a soft handle (neoprene), reflective stitching (probably on all EzyDog products – at least the ones I have seen so far – Thanks, EzyDog!), a soft traffic handle, and, EzyDog thinks of everything – an elastic lock for poop bag attaching plus a heavy duty nylon D-ring near the handle to attach keys (or whatever). The latter two features seem to be key lovelies unique to EzyDog. And I love that the metal parts are not silver but black.

And, remember, orange is the new black – but the Candy colored leash is yummy, too.

EzyDog North America items are available at Bark! (like the one in Clarksville, MD) and The Big Bad Woof (like the nearby one in Hyattsville, MD), and, being headquartered in northern Idaho where the outdoors is just another room, camouflage is a common color for leashes and collars. Camo even comes in pink, but, after 25 years in the Army, I have had enough of camo! Now, I’m ready for chocolate and candy and bubble gum and scarlet and charcoal and sky and blaze orange (after all, orange is the new black).

A recommendation from me is worthy in this case: I prefer 4- or 5-foot leashes but this SoftTrainer is a 6-footer and I still love it!

CAVEAT: DogEvals purchases products for review unless otherwise stated. In this case, the leash was donated.

Next: Your favorite key chain

Thursday, May 19, 2016

EverythingDogBlog: “Now Go and Play,” Part Four - the Cujo leash

A Leash is Just a Leash. Or, is it?

Do You Walk a Cujo?

My world has been turned upside down by a little company called EzyDog in northern Idaho, known for their high-quality, original dog items (click here to see EzyDog and the new purple).

I recently reported on the Handy Leash (“Fits like a glove”) which is so convenient for clicker trainers like my students who are just starting out and need a third hand.

Calling all Cujos!

Now, I’m sold on the Cujo leash. What a name!

It’s reflective (always handy) and has a ski-rope handle that I thought I wouldn’t like but, instead, I love! EzyDog calls it a pyramid handle.

Another feature I thought I wouldn’t like is the built-in ‘give’ – just enough embedded stretch that a just-learning client or dog who runs out the leash, doesn’t choke.

I have the middle size – 40 inches, which is just right for my dogs.

I can't wait for real summer, hot and humid, when my hands get all sweaty - I bet they won't 'slip and slide' on this ski-handle leash.

Try it. You won’t like it - you’ll love it. “Now go and play!” as they say at EzyDog

CAVEAT: DogEvals purchases products for review unless otherwise stated. In this case, the leash was donated.

Next: The SoftTrainer leash