Rae- all grown up

Assistant Dogs

Rae was perhaps one of my favorite foster pups. He taught me so much about training dogs, being creative in training, and so much more. After giving him back for advanced training, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss him or think about how he was doing. On one of my last visits to Circle Tail I was so excited when I saw that he was back from ‘Boot Camp’ and was being worked in the main training area. Much to my delight I was able to work with him and take him out to play after. It was clear from his reaction, which I was unable to capture, that he remembered me and it was like catching up with an old friend. Rae wasn’t a little pup anymore though, he was all grown up and I couldn’t have been more proud of the great dog he’s become. Here are some pictures of Rae all grown up, strutting his stuff.  DSCF4040 DSCF4041 DSCF4042 DSCF4043 DSCF4044

New Service Dog Kennel- from foundations to a new center


Circle Tail, for the past few years, has been working to develop a new Service Dog kennel that would be equipped to handle the needs of our Service Dogs in training. From whelping new pups to providing a calm, peaceful living environment for puppies to grow up into working adults, the kennel was a tremendous success. The kennel is finally up and working but as we look back over the past few months, the kennel has certainly been a working progress. Here are some of the pictures following the development of our wonderful new kennel. DSCF4025 DSCF4026 DSCF4027 DSCF4028

Good Dog

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Yesterday as I took my dog out for an early morning stroll I was not only reminded of how good a dog he is, but also how very important obedience is. Rogue is my 9-month-old Belgian Malinois mix that, typical of the breed, has a lot of energy to burn, particularly in the morning after we first wake-up. Now I am far from being a morning person, but we do what’s best for our dogs, and so started our new routine of the early morning walk. We wake up, Rogue goes out, I make my coffee, and out we go onto a local running trail just down the road. I’ve been working on some obedience with Rogue ever since I got him at about 4.5 months old, but a lot of his training has been socialization to avoid any bad behaviors. The morning walk has been a great time for us to work on some skills like come, wait, heel and let’s go- normal commands for him, but in a very new setting.

It just so happened that this morning was very nice, the sun was coming up, it was a little brisk out so the fog on the farm next to the trail was just starting to rise and overall, it was a very scenic walk. As I sipped my coffee and looked down at my side to Rogue walking along I thought it would be a nice treat to let him burn off some of his wiggles and run off-leash. We had done the same exercise several times on the farm back home and at the dog park so I knew he would listen off leash and how his ‘nose’ would take over to keep us on the trail.

As we walked I planned for the day, going through my mental list of to-dos and things I wanted to get done. Suddenly my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a rustling in the brush next up ahead, very close to where Rogue was ‘alerting’ just a few feet ahead of me. I called out to Rogue to leave it so I could get a better look. Like a good dog he stayed right where I asked him to stand and as I saw what was in the bushes I couldn’t have been more grateful that he had listened; it was a skunk.

Although I have never seen a skunk up close, and never have the desire to do so, I knew of the ‘dangers’ they pose to dogs and the utter rank owners have to go through in order to clean them up. A friend of mine had her dog out at the farm with her when he ran into a few skunks while galavanting around. Her warning was enough after hearing about the hours spent washing her dog to remove the smell of the skunk and the lingering  scent left in her car from transporting him home.

Standing paralyzed for just a moment, not sure whether to yell at the skunk or stand still like a tree, the skunk apparently decided for me.  It started to run towards us. Now I have been chased by dogs, horses, and other livestock animals but nothing made me run so fast as being chased by a skunk.  I quickly grabbed Rogue’s leash and we took off running, Rogue looking up at me and prancing alongside as if this was all some great game we were playing. Apparently skunks don’t give up that easy so it continued to trail us for several more feet until we finally were able to outdistance it.

Getting a little more of a workout than I had planned for the day, as I walked Rogue the rest of the way home I was reminded of what a good dog he was. Many dogs probably would have run right up to the litter stinky critter and gotten a face full of the wrong end of the skunk. But not my dog, he listened to me, was obedient, and because of that I couldn’t have been more grateful. Needless to say someone got a special treat with his breakfast…DSCF4261

Feeding Frenzy- Feeding the Canine Athlete



Feeding your dog can always be a challenge with the plethora of options on the market today. Check out this article, linked in the URL below, in the New York Times about feeding your active canine- it has some great research points that were done in a study at Cornell Veterinary School.


Shepherds are growing up…


A few months ago a litter of German shepherd puppies and their mom arrived at Circle Tail’s rescue in need of a little TLC- Training, love and care. Since their arrival they have grown into some very beautiful german shepherds and are continually working on their skills. One, Kivalina, was adopted by Circle Tail founder Marlys Staley, while her brother and sister Stebbins & Katovik are waiting for their forever homes. Ticasuk is a very special girl for two reasons, she was the only all black shepherd of the litter and she’s also in our service dog training program. Below are some of the most recent pictures of our shepherds.  For more information on Stebbins and Katovik check them out on Petfinder or Circle Tail’s adoption site.

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