Inca’s little brother!

We have a new addition to the family.  Meet Jesse-Jay!!  He will be known as JJ for short.

Jesse-Jay (JJ) 2 months old

I knew Inca getting used to him would be a challenge,  after all she has been the ONLY dog in the house for 11 and half years and had my undivided attention.  But I was stuck in a situation where she is not getting any younger, and I need a dog to be able to remain independent in my own home at least.

I looked into the route of a trained Assistance Dog,  the waiting lists are long.. 5yrs on average for most for first time owner.  (18months – 2yrs  for replacing retired dogs if you already had one) I heard of one lady who’d waited 7yrs for a Hearing Dog and as far as I know she is still waiting. As Inca will be 12yrs old next March that was not a practical solution for me.   I also decided after looking at many breeds and crossbreeds,  that what I really REALLY wanted was a pedigree Border Collie,  if this was going to be my last chance to manage a dog from a pup again.

He is a couple of months younger than Inca was when I got her. But he seems very bright even at this young age!  I’ve tried him out on a few of Inca’s interactive food puzzles already and he doesn’t take long to catch on at all!  Toilet training has been a breeze too!

JJ loves chasing his treatball

it doesn’t take him long to figure out this basic puzzle!

Inca didn’t want much to do with him when he first came and her body language was very obvious when he came anywhere near her.  I couldn’t even get a pic of them anywhere near each other at first without her snarling and snapping at him,  but she has got used to him and armed with bits of sausage to reward her for letting him gradually nearer (while under my control on harness and lead)  she is gradually getting used to him!

JJ tries to get closer and shows her his tummy (submissive sign in doggy language)

Getting closer but Inca’s still not keen!

some improvement today. down-stay..

and sit!

So… we’re getting there!!!  . hopefully by the time he can come out for walks with us  – about 3 weeks (Vet says one week after his second vaccination) I should be able to get them walking side by side so she can teach him how to walk alongside my scooter.

We’ve had bad rain for most of his first week so the back garden has been too soggy and muddy to take powerchair in to ride over grass,  so that’s next on my ‘to-do’ list for this next week as we’re due a cold spell, so the grass should be nice and solid!

So over the next few weeks, weather permitting I’m planning to have sessions with him in garden with powerchair so he can get used to the noise and walking at the side of me,  before we attempt our first walk in the great outdoors together!!  😀

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Inca’s Interactive Puzzle Review – Nina Ottosson Puzzles

Hi Guys

Bright doggies need puzzles too to keep their brains sharp! :O)

I first started getting treat dispensers when mum had to go in wheelchair as they kept me busy in the flat when mum had to rest and stopped me trying to dig up the communal gardens when I was young and we didn’t have our own garden.  The latest puzzles by Nina Ottosson are very good but not always graded accurately to how easy they are to work out.  They can sometimes be quite expensive.

Todays reviews are of  4 Nina Ottosson Interactive puzzles that I have.

This is the Dog Casino.

This is good fun and quite easy.

Basically all a doggy has to do is work out how to remove the plastic bones so the drawers will open and you can get your treat!!

This is the plastic but quite durable.  It got pushed off the bean cube several times in an attempt to get all the treats out at once!  But mummy is strict.. I have to learn to play with them properly or they get taken away.

First we tried it on the floor.

ok.. pull the bone out first....

but I was so impatient to get to my treats I kept trying to tip it off and just wacking it with my paws,  so mum put it on a her beancube so I could only use my mouth to remove them and pull open the drawers.

To make it easy to start with its best if treats are put in every drawer so whichever one is worked out first,  you get a reward.

As it gets too easy mum only puts treats in some of the holes and I have to only remove bones from the holes corresponding to the correct drawer to make it a bit harder.  Sometimes I watch her put them in and its a memory game,  other times I have to leave the room and then find the right drawers by sniffing them out!

Here’s a short video clip of me trying to work out which bones match which drawers!

Inca on Dog Casino

It’s quite easy for me now, but mum got this one cheap off ebay as some of Nina Ottosson puzzles can be a bit expensive and if your as smart as me and work them out in a few minutes..  your owner may get annoyed that it hasn’t kept you busy for long!!!

One such puzzle was Doggy Chess,  think mum paid about £25 for it,  it was described as ‘Advanced’ but it took me about 2 mins to work out how to do it!

a game of chess in the garden!

Basically mum hides treats under the ‘cones’ and under the sliding bits,  the cones have to be removed before the sliding bits can slide.

Here’s me playing Doggy chess

My third puzzle was actually the first Nino Ottosson puzzle I ever got, it was the Dog Turbo. This one is all wood.  The wooden ones tend to be a bit heavier for lifting than the plastic ones,  so don’t drop them on your toes when filling them for your doggies!!

The idea is for your dog to use their nose or paw to move the wooden pegs along so they push the treats out of the ends.

.. dog turbo was my birthday present 2 years ago

This one has been the best value as it can be made harder in several different ways. Easiest way is to just use your tongue to push the treats out to the end and to start with mum placed the treats near the end unobstructed.  To make it harder she would place the treats behind the pegs so I had to work out how to move the pegs to get the treats out.

treats can be placed either side of pegs, to make game easier or harder..

If a peg is placed right at an exit and a treat behind it,  the treat has to be worked back up to the middle and out of the next unobstructed exit, or other pegs moved out of the way.  I’ve had this puzzle two years and it can still be challenging (if I don’t cheat and just lick them out!)

It is better to use more solid treats in this toy such as kibble as softer ones (such as tidbits of cheese. sausage) can be squashed if the pegs run go straight through them.  I think mum thinks this one was the best value!

Here’s me caught on camera cheating and licking the treats out!

The last one I got was called Dog Tornado,  I got that last xmas.  Luckily mum got this one cheap too with my food order as I can now empty it in under a minute.

.. how do i get this out of there?...

They are all easy to fill/set up for owners with mild dexterity problems.  The bones in the casino are easy to pick up for both owner and dog.  The bones were  bit tricky to get out of dog tornado at first with the rounded top when i put my claw over them to try and pull them out my paw just slid off.

I can empty this one in about a minute now! <video clip>

The puzzle also slides alot so its better on a thicker carpet or played in garden on grass,  its easy for a dog to tip over.

Hope you enjoyed my review,  I’ll do another some time about other good treat dispensing toys to keep your doggies busy.  Don’t forget to take the treats out of your dogs food allowance so they don’t get too overweight.

Inca’s Blog – Laundry Day

OK,  It’s my turn to blog now!

I decided to tell you about my unique laundry skills!

Today mum washed the bedding so after helping her pull the bedding off and carrying a pillowcase or two to the washing machine it was time to get the washing out.

… put it in the basket

then I take the pegs out to the rotary dryer…

I usually take short cut straight across garden!

.. then wait for mum at the end with the pegs!

then I get my treat which varies,  sometimes its a big chew,  a chewy rawhide shoe, treatball with biscuits in or one of my interactive puzzles.

I can smell sausage under here!!...

Hope you enjoyed my pics!

Inca’s Blog

It was mum’s birthday today so we had a pic taken,  well it went on for a while and she took quite a few!

The best part of the day for me was going to visit the ducks again,  I love to run around the lake.

Mum got some cute pics with some baby ducks and geese.  Here are some pics from our morning out.

family of ducks on log

Mr Heron looks majestic on his branch!

Mr & Mrs Goose with their twins!

'Hi guys, how ya doing? '

Me and my mum!

Inca’s Blog – Visiting my Ducks

Hi guys,  its your favourite cheeky pup!

Mum promised me a trip to see my favourite duckies once she had got her new batteries for ‘Betsa’,  as its quite a way for walking.

So yesterday morning we set off early, I always know when we are going to the big nature park as soon as we go past the bus terminal where mum usually lets me off for my afternoon stroll if thats as far as we are going.

As soon as we get past there I know we are going to see the ducks and I’m full steam ahead like a sled dog pulling mum and ‘Betsa’ along!!

We got there so early the ducks were still having their morning wash!!

lining up for their morning wash!

I thought I was seeing a row of headless ducks at first!!

I always enjoy coming down here there are lots of interesting smells because of the people that come around to walk their dogs and mum and I enjoy chugging around the path.  Mum likes to take pictures to see if she can get any that would make a good painting.

She got a great one of a goose in the reeds on other side of lake.

mum thinks this will make a nice watercolour painting

We saw an heron too but it landed right at other side of lake and its a huge lake,  we couldn’t get good enough detail,  but mum hopes to get a good pic of an heron one too day that would make a good watercolour too.  I’ll go with any excuse for visiting the ducks every sunday!!

These are the last pictures mum did from the park.

Me at lakeside

swan (in pastels)

When we got home we had my favourite breakfast of scrambled egg in my bowl then some sausage bits in my treat toy to fling about outside.  Today I chose with the puzzle dispenser I got for my birthday to have my sausage in!

"come out sausage.. you WILL be eaten!"

Anyway best let mum go on computer,  she is going to work out how to add slideshows to our blogs so I can show you lots of photo’s of my favourite ducks!!  :O)

Wags n Woofs

Inca’s blog – dog stuff to help disabled owners

I have had a happy life despite my mum becoming more disabled as I was growing up and its a shame there are many dogs without homes still that could have good lives and be a loyal companion to someone.

One of my mums difficulties is keeping grip on things and throwing so Frisbees and small balls are difficult.  We came across a toy on you tube that looks like a great idea.  It has thick enough handle and the ring can be loaded onto it easily using two hands or an hand and a foot.

You still do need enough range of motion in arms to lift them and do a throwing motion but the toy does make it easier to throw it further and pick it up.

If any kind of throwing is out you can buy ball launchers.

The remote one above is ideal if your carer can’t use their arms well enough to throw but could press a button.   http://www.godoggoinc.com/products/remotefetch.html

If they have some throwing ability and you really like to play together with balls,  simple balls on elastic can go further if they hook the elastic around thumb and can hold ball back and let go.

Another useful thing when bending is difficult are raised feeders.

If you use dry food it is easier to put dry food in a plastic measuring jug and pour it into the dishes already placed in the feeders if carrying dish with food in is difficult.  My mum splits mine into portions so I get a bit in my bowl with meat/fish/veg and gravy and the rest goes into treat toys or scattered around the garden to find,  then its not all gone in a few gulps!

Another handy gadget if your mum or carer uses a wheelchair or trike etc. This is a bar that attaches to a bike frame so you can run alongside on your lead.  

http://www.animalsource.co.uk/bicycle-dog-lead-biker-set-distance-keeper-729-p.asp

My mum just uses a regular lead on the power chair attached to the chair arm when I walk alongside her on pavement and she lets me off when I get in park.  We also use an extending lead for the scooter when sometimes mum has to go on the road and I have to stay on the pavement or grass verge (near busy roads).

Anyway speaking of walkies,  its time for mine now!

Be good for your mums!

Wags n Woofs

Inca’s Blog – Why dogs make best therapists!

Ok my turn to blog!

I think I’m the best therapist my mum ever had so my blog is to other doggies to tell you how to keep your humans going!

First thing you gotta do every morning is get them up.  Prodding the bum works, laying on them or shoving  your favourite teddy in their face.  You could also try fetching one of their smelly shoes or slippers then standing by the door!

Once your human is up you have to get them active,  fetch anything that might act as a hint that its time for walkies,  shoes,  lead,  ball etc.  You might have to wait until they wave there arms about in front of the TV (otherwise known as wii fit)  this is good for humans and keeps their arms and legs working so just lie back in amusement for a while on the sofa and have a chuckle!

When you do get out of the door make sure they haven’t forgot your frisbee,  ball or whatever you like to play with.  This is also good for their arms and fun for you too!

Exercise in the park

Other less energetic games can be good for you both too and can help your humans sitting skills and using their hands which are important for feeding us and giving us a stroke/tummy tickle.

This is a good one,  cos mum has to pick up the plastic bones and put them in the holes with treats underneath for me to get back out again.

Games like this encourage dexterity skills in you both and are fun to play!

I have a collection of interactive games now and they are great fun especially over the long winter months,  mum puts a different one in each room for me to go around and do like a little course.

On sunny days we make a little course in the garden too mixed with agility items and puzzles,  this is great fun!  It also requires your human to use alot of their skills and exercise to make up the courses for you then they can sit and rest in the sun while you have fun on your course!!  :O)

Don’t forget to remind them to feed you,  food is important for strength for you both!

Getting your dinner ready makes use of their hands and fingers,  if you get fresh things in your dinner like chicken and veg,  or dry mix can be sprinkled around the garden.  This is a good one for my mum as she sits on thing called a rollator and uses her legs to push herself backwards this gives her legs good exercise in garden as she isn’t very steady on her feet to walk far. She is also using her arms to throw my food mix to top end of garden (we got slope at back of our garden) and also fills my boxer ball which hangs from the rotary dryer.

At the end of the day its nice to snuggle up with mum and let her type your blog cos its good exercise for her hands while you have a nice long snooze!

Woof n Wags