Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weight Pull Training

The WP training was great fun today. I made it up on time (even though I didn't get to bed until after 3 A.M.) so I could take Jay for a walk, purchase an additional chain, and make it to training on time.

We went for a longer drag weight walk and Jay had to pull both of his chains the whole walk… a total of 12.5kg (= 27,5lbs). There were a few hills and Jay had to work hard … towards the end of the walk he actually stopped a couple of times, only for a few seconds though ‘cause he cannot afford slacking behind ..hihi.. he wants to be in the lead all the time so he cannot wait for any of the other dogs to pass him. :)

After the walk we pulled the cart a few times. It went well for all the dogs. On Wednesday when our next training session is, we are going to be inside. Well, we probably start with a shorter drag weight walk and then go inside. I believe it’s inside a garage type place that’s heated – it will be nice ‘cause it easily gets cold for the dogs in-between pulls when they have to wait.

Here are pics of some of the dogs that were at training today:

Above: Jay is having to wait a short while after the drag weight walk (left). The pic to the right is of what Jay and I did when we came home. lol. We took a nice nap... ;)


I have been sitting here working on my last research paper... I'm not done but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's about 1:30 AM right now, however, I cannot say I'm particularly tired but I need to go to bed anyway. I have to get up at a descent time tomorrow considering we have weight pull training in the morning. I want to buy another chain for Jay before the training starts so he gets to pull a little heavier when we go for our drag weight walks.

I went to the pet store yesterday, both dogs came along as I wanted to weight them. Unfortunately, I almost passed out when I saw how much the old Tiger weighed. Time for some drastic changes - my dad and I purchased some "diet food" for him today... I think he'll be able to move around much easier if he loses some weight... the plan is for him to lose about 5 kg (11 lbs). It's a lot but he's a big boy. Shit, who the heck doesn't need to lose 5 kg??!!! Eating and studying has become "my thing" at least this last semester... :( It's dangerous being at home all day along, sitting still in front of the computer or a book, having access to the fridge 24/7... NOT GOOD! It's time for me too to make some changes.

A lock on the fridge for starters... :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Passport photos

It should be illegal to be this cute. :)

Deep Asleep

This view is what met me last night when I went to bed... my boys had already gone to bed and were seemingly deep asleep. :)

My Sweetness

A bored James...

A sleepy James... cute as a button. ;)

Alright, I'm getting there..

I sent in the 2nd paper today (Thursday) - CHECK

Only one paper left now... :):):):)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bad News - Good News

Well, it must have been back in October or November that I started looking for some jobs in the UK. As the planner I am, I immediately started looking in to all the pet travel rules and I learned that dogs of pit bull type are not allowed in the UK. I did not think much about it considering I don’t own a pit bull and I remembered how many Staffordshire Bull terriers and Bull terriers I saw when I lived in London. But as I started reading up on this law I learned that it did effect me too – or rather James. There are 4 types of dogs that are prohibited by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991(DDA):

the Pit Bull Terrier
the Japanese tosa
the Dogo Argentino
the Fila Brasileiro

Again, when I first read this I did not think it would affect James… but… then I found this:

"It is important to note that, in the UK, dangerous dogs are classified by “type”, not by breed label. This means that whether a dog is considered dangerous, and therefore prohibited, will depend on a judgment about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited 'type'. This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court. The maximum penalty for illegal possession of a prohibited dog is a fine of £5,000 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment. The dog may also be destroyed... "

"It is important to note the word “type”, as none of the prohibited dogs are recognised
breeds in Great Britain. The terms of section 1 of the DDA make it clear that it applies
not only to “pure” Pit Bull Terriers but also to any dog of the type known as the Pit
Bull Terrier."

"If a person arriving in this country produces paperwork that purports to prove that
the dog is not a prohibited type it is necessary for the authorities to be cautious.
Paperwork accompanying the dog should be detailed and comprehensive. Owners
should be aware that if the dog displays the defining characteristics that are
represented in the prohibited types the dog could be seized and its fate decided by the courts irrespective of the paperwork.
It is therefore necessary to be very cautious when buying a dog that is not Kennel Club registered particularly if you are considering bringing a dog to this country from overseas."

And than I found a section called frequently asked questions and read this:

Q. My dog is an American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staff) and I have got
the papers to prove it and I also have the necessary documentation for
my dog to travel under the Pet Travel Scheme. Will it be allowed into
the country?

A. Our advice is not to bring an Am Staff into this country as we cannot guarantee that it will not be seized and its fate decided by a Court.

All of the above info can be found here.

Despite having read this I still contacted DEFRA, however, I was told the same thing. That sealed the case, we are not gonna be able to move back to the UK. For days after this, I was so disappointed and sad ‘cause looking for jobs in the UK was now completely ruled out.

Well, that was until last night when I found a “pit bull blog” and learned that this law could potentially be sloped. HALLELUJAH!!!

Check it out here.

I will have to follow this outcome closely…. Lets cross our fingers! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cultural Clash

I just witnessed a perfect example of a cultural clash. A new reality show aired on TV tonight called “Made in Sweden”. It’s about 3 world famous Swedish song writers trying to help 2 young Swedish singers to the top - to make it not only in Sweden but on the international arena. And one of the song writers has a pretty tight relationship with the world famous Desmond Child. So, they invited Desmond to come help write the single for one of the singers (the guy)… and that’s when the cultural clash took place. lol.

I can totally see both sides - I understand both of them. This is an excellent example of cultural differences where both sides completely misunderstand each other.

I am sure all of Sweden hates Desmond Child by now. :) In the US people are very honest, they usually tell it as it is even if it hurts hearing it. In Sweden they pretty much sugar coat everything, they never say anything that will hurt someone even if it means not telling the whole truth. Well, big shot Desmond Child arrives and the singer starts singing one of his songs – in English I may add which is not his native language – and Desmond asks him when he finishes about some part of the text. He tells the singer “this does not sound right, I don’t like it, it’s not something you would say”. The singer defends himself saying “I do not agree with you – I think it sounds good”.

We have a problem!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

I understand that Desmond Child feels like “what?... you don’t agree with me?.. Who cares- I’m the expert called in to help you, not to forget, I’m the only native English speaker in this freakn’ room”… Now, Desmond didn’t say that but he brought the singer back to reality pretty fast. ;) sugar coating AT ALL…:) This is not something Swedes are used to, and it pretty much broke the singer. I mean, I understand the singer too. Desmond totally hurt his feelings… I felt his pain and I felt sorry for him. I did. I do. At the same time, I would like to ask the singer “have you never heard the music industry being referred to as “the Cut Throat Industry”… ??? I mean, it’s not for nothing it’s called that way.

Yeah, yeah yeah, so Desmond could have handled the situation in a less harsh manner, but in the US it’s a lot about respecting the people who sit on the expertise. I can only take Mr. L as an example who’s been in both the military and the police force, he has always said “as a rookie you gotta pay your dues… once you have, you’ll get the respect”. It's kind of the same thing here - you are a nobody at this point, but you are getting help from some of the world's best writers... so why are you telling the expert (i.e. Desmond) you don’t agree with him? Even if that is how you feel… keep your mouth shut and go with the flow. Desmond is not here to hurt anyone’s feelings, he’s here to help someone make it as a singer.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Lipstick Jungle

Finally, the show Lipstick Jungle has arrived to Sweden around the same time as I believe the last episode of the series was aired in the US. Let's see if I like it or not... I hope so 'cause there are no real good series on TV right now.

An update on my school work - I sent in one of my research papers today. High Five! ;)

A Young Troublemaker

Yeah right - like he doesn't know he's not allowed up there!!!

The Mature Man

"I love pig ears!!!"

"... but my oh my... I think I'm really tired... I might need to take a little nap!" ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Show & Obedience Training

As I mentioned last Friday, Jay and I attended a couple of classes today - show handling and obedience. We ended up in the group which was set to begin with show handling. Unfortunately, Jay was sort of in his own world during the first part. We kept getting compliments for him moving and standing well but I could “feel” that he was not with me. He was worked up and would have preferred to play with all the cool dogs instead of having to work. I am not really surprised though considering the Weight Pull Club has had a holiday break and we haven’t been to the Dog Club for any obedience training in a long time either. So Jay has not been around a lot of dogs in a while, and he almost needs a daily dose of that… well, maybe not daily but he has a high need of being around other dogs. Jay says: “it’s so exciting and so much fun with lots of dogs!” :) It was the same deal at the Weight Pull training yesterday. He worked himself up over seeing all the dogs again, however, he settled once we got moving. All we did yesterday was drag weight training ... went for a nice long walk. I need to get some more chains for James though 'cause the chain he has is not heavy enough anymore. He barley breaks a sweat. ;)

Anyhow, back to the activites of today. After about an hour I could tell James started settling down and I could feel him connecting more with me. But all of a sudden he was limping on the right front leg. We stopped and he immediately wanted to lick the paw. He seemed to be fine after that but after a while it was the left front leg. I think what happened was that the gravel we were running on kept getting stuck in between his pads… poor little man.

The structure we were in was not heated which allowed a raw cold air to circulate throughout the building. It was almost colder inside than outside. And just like me, Jay easily gets cold, so towards the end of the show training I ended up having to put on his cover. The baby was shivering when we were standing still. Precious little man.

After a short break it was time for obedience. They split up the obedience group in two – competition obedience and general/every-day obedience. James and I, along with Gabbi & Vilma, chose the competition group since we have aspirations to one day compete. I thought he did great despite the fact that there were dogs all over.

We worked on heel (linförighet), moving stand (stående under gång), moving down (läggande under gång) where I got some great pointers by the way, down stay in group (läggande i grupp) and recall (inkallning). When we did recall we all lined up on 2 sides opposite each other and in-between these two sides another person did recall with his/her dog. Great distraction training… and all the dogs did excellent. When it was time for Jay's recall, he was so focused and alert that when he took off towards me, the gravel was squirting around him. lol.

This obedience session got both me and Gabbi extremely motivated. It’s time for some serious obedience training so we can begin competing at some point. As long as James is being rewarded with his tug-of-war-toy he’s willing to do just about anything. He LOVES it which means it’s really rewarding for me too.

I brought my camera but unfortunately no pics were taken.. sorry!

The Swedish Blogs

Of course I have found some Swedish blogs too.. well some have websites & blogs and although most of them are about dogs, not all of them are... some mix "dog stuff" with other things (kind of like I do). Again, they are all in Swedish but some of them post a lot of really beautiful dog pics... so it might be worth checking 'em out even if you don't speak Swedish. ;)

Bästaste - a blog about a Rottie & a French Bulldog (they train a lot of tracking etc.).

Alfons & Sativa - a blog about a male Amstaff and a femal Amstaff/Pit Bull/Labrador mix (they train a lot of obedience, tracking etc.).

Stridsgudinnan - 2 female Amstaffs (Dog Show active).

Krutrut - a website & a blog about 2 female Bordeaux dogs... Takes some AMAZING pics.

Bosse & Stig-Helmer - 1 Bullterrier and 1 Staffie (Jay's team-mates from the weight pull club).

Kennel FireWoods - a website & blog (a breeder of Amstaffs - also takes some REALLY great pics).