Wonderful Wednesday Personal Blog
When Freki arrived at our home, we had every intention of beginning SAR (Search & Rescue) with her. Her keen nose and drive seemed perfect for the job.
Several reasons later, Freki is not an SAR dog. We have done some rudimentary training with her and she drops that nose to the ground the instant we say 'track it'!
So, here's the rest of the story.
One of our neighbors stopped by the house, upset that his dogs were missing. These two little dogs delight in tormenting Freki and I'll admit she joins in the fray readily, much to our dismay. (but that's another story)
The point being, I knew if she could put her nose to their scent, she wouldn't miss a chance to chase, er, track them down.
So, I leashed her and we started off.
She took the neighbor's track first, since he was only minutes ahead of us. But, if his dogs had traveled across our front yard (and it was at least a 50/50 proposition), Freki would pick up their track soon enough.
Bingo! About 30 yards or so after tracking the neighbor perfectly, she hesitated, cast out a bit, and took off at nearly a 90 degree tangent from the path I knew he'd taken (I'd seen him, and could hear him in the woods behind our house). Within minutes, Freki led me to the little dogs who were happily ignoring their owner's call, romping in a field nearby.
My other reason for using Freki? I knew they wouldn't pass up an opportunity to bark at her. Sure enough, they came running to us, and their owner arrived soon after to take them home.
What a good girl Freki was! And that nose, which sometimes gets her in trouble when she can't resist sniffing my plate, worked to perfection.
Atta girl, Freki!
Freki had fun.
A good friend lives on several hundred acres and this huge pond is so pretty and clear, that Freki didn't waste any time at all getting her paws wet.
She will bring the stick back, but drops it as she passes me with a glance over her shoulder as if to say, "There it is, toss it again." Retriever, she is not.
My friend also has chickens on her farm that wander loose during the day. Freki was not enchanted with them. In fact, she was certain they were zombie chickens and should be scared away. Unfortunately, they didn't understand dogs are higher up the food chain than they are, and we finally corralled the chickens into a fenced area behind the barn-- with the help of a bit of chicken feed.
Here are some more photos of Freki and her fun-filled day on the farm.
I've been wanting to show how well our new boy is doing, but getting photos of Gunnar playing with Freki has been a bit of a challenge.
They play just fine, if a bit rambunctious, but the instant I step outside, they abandon their activities and come bounding up the steps, bringing me balls to throw. Freki brings the basketball, Gunnar loves the soccer ball, and Ben has fun with the Jolly Ball.
And taking photos through the storm door is a task for Photoshop as I'd rather filter out the noseprints on the glass.
So, here is a brief pictorial of how this works:
What is your dog's favorite game?
It's a lovely morning, though it will be hot again later. I don't think it could be much drier. The sprinkler is on, for all the good it does. I now have a nice assortment of muddy paw prints on my floor to clean. They are rather easy to see as the sun hits them on the dark wood floor.
The dogs have had their run and are settling in for a snooze. They had a merry game of tug and chase with the small Jolly Ball. Since it has a rope through it, they can pull it back and forth. At the end of it all, though, it is Freki's ball. According to her.
It looks like we are back to normal at our house after the holidays. Or, as normal as two corgis and a German Shepherd can possibly be.
The tree survived, but only because it never made it out of its box. I think we will put up a real tree next year. Hopefully, Freki will be mature enough to not pull it over- just for fun. I found her pulling limbs off a small shrub in the backyard today, though. So, no promises for next year..
We had a great Christmas. Our Christmas Eve dinner was a success with the family- green chile stew, sweet potato cornbread (a huge hit), home-made salsa with chips and flan for dessert. Yummy!
The Christmas Day menu went to the other side of the family with smoked turkey and a prime rib roast. We had plenty of people to eat it all, with just enough left for a turkey sandwich or two.
Will all the bustle, the dogs were home alone more than I'd like, but they got new toys and seemed fine with the temporary change in their schedule.
If Santa was a bit late arriving at your house, well, it's possible he and his elves were delayed here a bit.
Happy New Year!!
From our dog-crazy house to yours!
In case you missed the last post, I will state briefly that we are in the process of moving. And Freki is helping.
Having a lot of boxes scattered about the house has been a bonanza for Freki. She finds this utterly fascinating. No matter what I am packing- whether a suitcase for a night away or boxes for a move, she always wants to add something to it. Here, she has dropped her Kong in the box of dishes.
Ben and Dixie are a bit concerned, but they have already endured one move. And, these boxes look big enough to fit a corgi in. In truth, as long as Ben can sleep on his end of the couch, and Dixie can position herself in a doorway so she can see what I am doing, they are both ok with packing things away.
Freki taught herself how to use the stepladder- incorrectly, but she managed to nab a cookie off the counter, anyway.
If I could only teach them how to use the packing tape dispenser-- on second thought, not a good idea.
We have a new game. It's an old ball, but Freki had no interest in it until about a week ago. That is when she learned to play soccer- with a small, under-inflated basketball.
I picked it up while on a search for a relatively indestructible toy, thinking the tough hide of a kid's basketball would surely last longer than the thin-plastic of those bouncy balls found in every shape and color, usually in big net bins in the sport section of most stores.
Don't get me wrong. The dogs love those balls. For approximately thirty seconds. One good bite and the wonderful, lightweight, bouncing ball becomes a handful of limp rubberized plastic.
Now that she can get her mouth on the ball and she is losing her baby clumsiness, Freki has decided this is her game of choice. Oh, she still hauls the Jolly Ball around, flipping it in the air and shaking it about. But if she can entice me or dad to play soccer--her world is wonderful.
She is a herding dog with a strong prey drive. She chases the ball with intensity, corners it, subdues it with a paw, her body. She weaves back and forth, waiting to see which foot we will use to kick the ball, and often stops the ball mere inches from its starting point. Tongue lolling, tail wagging, she crouches over the ball, waiting anxiously for its next move.
Sometimes I have to tell her to 'back off' so I get a fair shot.
If I do not move with the ball, she stops it then circles back to get me. 'Come on, mom! Kick the ball again!'
Does she know the word 'basketball'? You better believe she does!
'Freki'? How on earth did we come up with that name?
I suppose it is time to explain.
We are history geeks at the MacRae abode. I have targeted the late 14th century Scotland for my books, DD is more interested in early 14th century Scotland, with a Norse twist.
Enter the Norse deity, Odin.
Two wolves, Geri and Freki, accompanied Odin. References to these can be found in epic poems such as the Prose Edda and in the poetry of skalds. Their names mean 'greedy' or 'ravenous ones'. I have to admit, our Freki has a very alpha personality and is very greedy when it comes to her toys. Sharing is a difficult concept for her. Ravenous? You should see her eat.
It just so happens, as we considered names for our new puppy, DD recalled the history for a book he is writing. The heroine is a young woman of Norse ancestry, and her closest friend and companion is an Irish Wolfhound named Freki.
Our dogs have a history of unusual names, and this certainly is different. People usually nod, then ask us to repeat it, then nod again. A few ask what it means. Some think we meant 'Freckles'. But we don't mind. We enjoy talking about our Freki. Just ask us. <g>
You might construe from the title of this blog that this puppy rarely sleeps. Not so. Like most puppies, Freki spends a lot of time asleep. Just not in large consecutive blocks of time.
We are very fortunate that she understands bedtime when her humans are sleeping. She does not cry or howl in her crate at night, and she occasionally puts herself to bed after a long day. However, during the night, she plays with her toys.
She also moans, groans, yips at and chases her toys in her crate. It is hard plastic, and it resonates. In case you are unaware, German Shepherds talk. A lot. And though she is most vocal in the morning after missing us all night, and when dad gets home in the evening, in the middle of the night when she is bored, she talks to her toys.
I'm sure she would rather sleep on her pillow, the floor, the couch, or even the bed. But she wakes often during the night, and there is simply too much for her to get into if left on her own. For my own sanity, I need to know she-and the rest of my house-is safe.
She is now tall enough to put her feet on the kitchen counter and offer assistance on whatever is going on. We discourage this-who really wants large puppy feet in their plate of pork chops?- but now take the precaution to make sure the knives and chops are set back from the edge of the counter.
She has also discovered there is water in the toilet, and we will be closing the lid on that bit of excitement.
Freki can also reach the faucet in the bathroom sink and discovered, while Dad shaves, water runs in the sink. Amazing!
She is endlessly curious, and from time to time, she sleeps. Sometimes she settles down, Ben and Dixie have a bit of peace and quiet and I get to stop wondering what she is getting into.
Sometimes, during the day, we have quiet moments like this.
And then it's off to another adventure.
Let's face it. An active GSD puppy can be destructive. We spend hours developing activities to challenge her brain, and are always looking for toys that can stand up to her vigorous play. Stuffed toys? Yeah, may as well light a match to that ten dollars as it will take more time to pick up the pieces than it did for Freki to destroy it.
And so, the search for the perfect toy. OK, not a perfect toy, but at least one that prorates at less than twenty dollars an hour.
We found the Jolly Ball. I originally heard of these from a friend with horses. The company makes much larger versions with a rubber handle for horses to play with in the pasture. As sturdy as they are, people use them as dog toys for their very tough, active farm dogs. Bingo! Sounded like the toy for us.
I found this version at our local Tractor Supply store. The rope through the middle is perfect for Freki to grab, and the rubber ball construction is tough, tough, tough. It also makes a great tug toy, since we are encouraging her assertiveness, as the ball is always between my hands and her mouth.
She loves to sling it around, and will actually smack herself with it as she romps around. I saw her whack Ben with it once and scolded her. She gave me the 'What?' look and took off across the yard, whipping it about her head and shoulders as she went.
This has become a great way to expend her energy in the evenings. It is amazing how she can go from a long-legged, furry tornado to sweetness personified, ready for bedtime in a matter of minutes.
I think I will buy the larger Jolly Ball when she is a bit bigger.
All Adventures With Rezso After Christmas Angus The Cat Basketball Bath Bath Time Ben Best Toys Birthday Chiropractic Treatment Christmas Corgi Dixie Dog Training Flowers Freki Fun On The Farm Gardening German Shepherd Gunnar Happy Birthday Harvest Helper Jolly Ball Life With Dogs Life With Freki New Puppy Ninja Dog Obedience Class Odin's Wolves Pool Time Service Dog Snow Soccer #Sonicdrivein Spring Springtime Square Foot Garden Square-foot Garden Swimming Pool Then And Now Tracking Treats Water Games Winter Fun Wonderful Wednesday