Thursday, March 3, 2016

Two Whole Years!

Today is our second bloggiversary! Brisbane's Bark Blog has been updating almost daily for two whole years now. In that time, we have tested and reviewed over a hundred different pieces of dog gear, placed three foster dogs in adoptive homes, and added one permanent and two part-time resident pups. The dogs and I have moved to a different city, started several new dog sports, and have big plans for this year. Here's a look back at our last 365 days.

Dog Updates

flying dog
Brisbane will be turning 11 years old next month. He is slowly beginning to show signs of age. Though he is often mistaken for a much younger dog, his hip arthritis has gradually gotten worse. We discovered recently that he has fairly severe arthritis in his toes where he was bit by a black widow spider eight years ago. A combination of Rimadyl, Tramadol,and physical therapy keeps him active and happy. 

In the last year, Brisbane has earned two AKC lure coursing titles, a trick dog title, and an AHBA herding title. AKC officially listed him as an Australian cattle dog so we will be able to do AKC herding trials. I am planning to try out dog parkour, barn hunt, and maybe cyber rally with him in the coming year. 

Healthwise, an allergy test revealed that Brisbane is allergic to corn, barley, and sweet potatoes. He has been getting allergy shots and his skin has cleared up beautifully. Unfortunately, the bump that appeared on his face in December has turned out to be cancer. Fortunately, it does not seem to be bothering him yet. Treatment options for this particular type of tumor are very limited, so we're basically just hoping it grows slowly enough to not impact his lifespan much. He's still a very happy dog with a very active lifestyle.

small dog lure coursing
Ru continues to be mostly ornamental. He gets to herd sheep occasionally when the sheep cooperate, and may or may not get eaten by the geese at the sheep ranch. He has been loving California's ongoing endless summer.

Ru's biggest accomplishment this year was his increasing interest in lure coursing. He did an entire fun run all by himself last weekend, so I may end up registering him with the AKC and letting him do Coursing ability Tests. I think his AKC name needs to include the phrase "sparkle motion".

flying dog
Sisci joined us as a temporary foster in August, and I knew right away that she was the dog of my dreams. She has spurred the big shakeup in our lives, and I have no regrets at all about the decision to keep her.

Sisci and I are currently taking our second round of agility classes. She has her Novice Trick Dog title and her first herding title from the AHBA. She is very enthusiastic about the sheep. We've been building our disc skills and I'm hoping to get involved in flyball in the next year or two. Sisci can basically do anything and everything, she is unstoppable and incredible.
Australian stumpy tail cattle dog and heeler mix

Ranger and Annie continue to join us on many of our adventures. Several months ago we decided that they would come join our family when we get set up in our own place.

Ranger loves sheep and herds in a very similar style to Sisci's zoom-in-giant-circles-and-yap method. Annie is always excited for trick training. Sisci has a huge crush on Ranger, who sometimes wishes she would just leave him alone for a while. Annie is a toy-hoarder who specializes in finding forgotten playthings at the bottom of the toybox.

Gear Updates

Mixed breed dog in vehicle
Photo by Erin Koski
Brisbane and Sisci continue to use their SleepyPod Clickit Sport harnesses for most car travel. I recently acquired a size small Ruffwear Load Up harness, as well as two other top-scoring harnesses tested by the Center for Pet Safety.

Brisbane's feet have finally toughened up enough that he no longer needs to wear shoes for anything. His everyday harness is the Balance Harness, while Sisci usually wears the Hurtta Padded Y-Harness. Ru continues to wear his Midnight Pet paracord set.

My favorite piece of gear from the last year is definitely my Stibbar Utility Lead. It's so awesome I'm planning to buy a second one.

What's Next?

Barn hunt, and dog parkour are probably the activities we'll get into next. I'm hoping to be in our own home this summer, and may end up opening my own business. Right now we're spending a whole lot of time on the sheep ranch, and I'm hoping we all improve our herding skills tremendously. The Dog Food Wizard website is not currently being updated because I am busy learning the programming skills I need to further develop it on my own. Once that is in place, the tool should become significantly more usable. 

Thank you for dropping by and celebrating with us! Two years of near-daily updates is quite an accomplishment!

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