Stars of Hope Always in Love to Lupin - Ben

I hope you enjoy browsing my site, and I hope Ben makes you laugh as much as he makes me. Ben was born on June 5, 2008, in a litter of four puppies. He spent his puppyhood with his breeder Anita, whom I would like to thank here for all the love and caring you gave to Ben and for the tears in your eyes when I decided Ben is coming home with me. I couldn't imagine a better breeder for my little Ben!

My greatest and only wish when I decided to have a dog was for him to accompany me 24/7 (which was also the reason why I preferred to take a small dog over a long-wished big one). However, I soon realized my puppy was an energetic bomb who resembled more a monkey than a dog. Long walks and hikes were never tiring enough. That's why we decided to use the brains and started to learn tons of tricks and to take agility classes to make some use of this extra energy.

torek, 17. julij 2012

Winnie the Maniac, Winnie the Brainiac

I've always been saying she's a talented girl. But she's a lot more than that. When she was two months old, I took her to agility with me, when I wanted to train with Ben. While setting the course I looked away for a second and I found her in the middle of the dogwalk. Then the next minute she was on the A-frame, and within the next few seconds I found her climbing the see-saw, that's when I needed to cut it off and run to catch her before it  bangs the floor. Every time we went to agility field, she would try to climb any of the contact-obstacles. She also wouldn't let Ben run, but would run after him into the tunnels, on the contacts, just everywhere, and try to get ahead of him, ever since she was little, she's been trying to tell the world she should be the only one and always the best one. I thought it must be a pyr-shep thing to climb anything one can reach - dogwalk, rocks, furniture or my head, whatever. But as she grew bigger, I realized these are not just her funny ideas, I realized she was born for agility, it's her passiosn, her job, something that makes a meaning to her life, she looked like she only lives for agility.

When I started to teach her running contacts, I just couldn't believe my eyes. She would do a few repetitions and then I stopped, as I didn't want to train too much, but she just wouldn't stop, she went back to the tunnel and run over the plank again and again and again, no reward, she would just run on her own. When we took Silvia Trkman's foundations class, she mastered everyhing with ease, cik&cap, contacts, serpentines, outs, whatever... And she was just getting crazier and crazier every day, to a degree when I couldn't get her off of agility field, as she wouldn't come to me when I wanted to end the training. She is so funny, when she runs on her own, she is incredibly intelligent and she runs all by herself, you just need to show her what to do and then she doesn't need you anymore, as you can remember from the end of this video):

But today was the biggest surprise ever. Lately, we've been running some corridors with poles in a slightly narrow corridor which wasn't even close to what is called slalom. I decided not to close it for a while as I wanted to train entries and other things first and I really didn't want to hurry with closing it. And then after a 2-weeks-break I went with Simona Limona to Postojna to train A-frame with Winnie and Simona wanted to train contacts with Nike. I did some A-frames with Winnie and the we were standing on the fielnd with Simona, talking and chating about something, when suddely I saw Winnie doing the weaves all on her own. She got bored as I was chatting and as usually she decided to run on her own and she just started weaving, how on earth did she learn that?!?! She looks fast and furious, like she's been doing it all her life! That is one genious of a dog! 

But she is not only intelligent on agility, she is incredibly cute and intelligent elswhere too. We went to Bohinj yesterday, with Simona and her dogs again, to take a swim in the most beautiful lake in Slovenia. Winnie disappeared in the woods for a second, I called her and whe she came back running, I gave her a treat. She then again went to the woods, I called her and gave her a treat once again when she came back running. And again, she went to the woods, I looked at her and I saw her standing there, looking at me, and then I learned she is doing it on purpose, we started laughing and called her and she ran to me like crazy for her treat. It was so funny that we just had to let her trick us a few more times :) If I could just give her another pedigree name, I'd call her "Life is too short to be boring".

Other than that, I gave up on her growing up. She still chews all my clothes, all food containers, all plastic objects, everything she finds, she still bites me on agility out of hysteria, I'll soon be left without any clothes, she still doesn't sleep, she still can't be left alone for 5 minutes if not in her crate, she still wakes me up in the middle of the night. I don't think she'll ever grow up, in fact, she is getting crazier everyday, now she is getting crazy for water, she wants to work 24/7, her energy has no limits. Just what I wanted! 

petek, 13. julij 2012

At School

Some children really love learning, it's such a pleasure to see children eager to learn! You would think children long for holidays, especially at the end of the school year, but you might be surprised how enthusiastic they are about learning, if only marks aren't involved. Children love learning, but they don't like being evaluated. During the first week of holidays we organised a kind of a workshop for children at our school (OŠ Komen). The workshop mostly included English lessons for small children (6, 7, 8, 9 years of age), but pupils also had some Italian and some sports, art, dancing and singing lessons inbetween.

I just couldn't help myself brniging my little Ben to school with me. Ben is just brilliant with children, he loves everybody and everybody loves him. All he needed to do was to stay with us all day until 4.p.m. and do some tricks with children, play and pose for the camera. A piece of cake for little Ben. I've always been saying that if Ben was a pupil, he would sit at the first bench, with glasses on his nose, the geeky one. He's sure proven me right :) Just look at the pictures of him, what a geek :)

However there are some things to be taken into consideration before taking a dog to school.
A very important thing is that the dog is comfortable with children, that he enjoys being around them, that he enjoys being cuddled and that he enjoys working with them. Children don't have a good self-control, they would all gather around the dog at once and try to cuddle him and boss him around. Ben enjoys attention, he would work with any child and he feels very comfortable and happy around them. It's also much easier if the dog is small, for a simple reason - children are less afraid. Big dogs can be a lot nicer than smaller ones, but big dogs are more likely to stir fear than small ones and I've never seen a child being terrified of little funny Ben. Another quality of Ben's is his coat. Poodles don't shed hair and their coat is hypoallergic (allergen free), so eventhough we had an allergic girl in the class, she was completely fine working with Ben.

I think Ben was born to work with people, children, to play a clown, to be cuddled, to be a mascot. I really enjoyed the whole week, but it felt kind of sad when it ended, knowing I'll never teach these children again, they are so special and so good. But it makes me happy to see how much fun they had and how much they loved every minute spent at the workshop. The whole week was very full and stressful, I needed a lot of preparations, but it was worth every extra minute of my free time.