Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Posts tagged ‘hiking’

Check In

I recently finished reading, “Bonding with Your Dog: A Trainer’s Secrets for Building a Better Relationship” by Victoria Schade.

I’ve been feeling like Delilah and I are not bonded, hence her tendency to ignore me on off-leash hikes.  As with any thought I have, it could of course be wrong.  But I’m going with it for the sake of this post.

This book was suggested to me by Pamela, at Something Wagging in one of my comments a while back.  I downloaded the book on my Kindle and then took my time reading it.

Why?  Well two reasons really.

1) When I read a training book, I want to take notes.  I want to highlight areas of interest and I find that I don’t do that with my Kindle.

My bad.

Yes I know it’s easily rectified with the highlighting option on the Kindle, but then there’s the pesky matter of trying to find it.

2) Most dog training books I’ve read give LOTS of stories, emphasizing the lesson.

I want the lesson.

Quick and dirty.  Give me the story later.  I’m trying to bond with my dog here. :-0

Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book, BUT I got so caught up in the stories that I sometimes forgot the lesson.

Ok, maybe it’s just me and my menopausal mind.

ANYHOOO, I’m not going to give you all her tips here (that would spoil the book for you) but I will say one of her suggestions was talking to your dog while walking.  After reading the book I realized, I already do that and quite frequently.

I also realized I could be sending Delilah mixed messages.

Delilah’s command for returning to me is HERE.   Sampson’s is COME.  Don’t ask me why because I couldn’t tell you if I had to.

Since I talk to them while we’re walking I noticed I say Come on, Over Here,  and This Way when we’re walking.  So how is Delilah supposed to know when I say Here that it means, get your butt back pronto?

As humans we are capable of understanding how words are used in different contexts, but dogs aren’t.  They haven’t as yet developed that skill….notice my use of the word yet.  (I have high hopes for my dogs.)

I started working on a new command with Delilah.  When we’re walking and I see her turn and look at me, or she starts running toward me I sing (and yes, it really sounds like I’m singing) Check In.  As soon as she reaches me I give her a treat and tell her good check in.

Once she’s checked in, I can very easily (and sometimes do) give her another command, or play a quick game of kibble catch.

For Delilah the only thing Check In means is she is getting a treat.  That’s it.

So many times with our dogs we will call them to us, and clip a leash on them or something else that in their eyes equates to my fun is done.  Why would a dog like Delilah want to return to someone who’s putting the kibash on her fun?

Yeah, I don’t know either.

Oh, you just want to give me a treat? Sure I’ll take it.

One Lovely Blog Award

Last week (on my birthday coincidentally) we were given the One Lovely Blog from our good friend Katherine at Life With Arie.
If you are unfamiliar with Life With Arie, you should head on over and check it out.  Katherine is currently doing an A to Z blog challenge, and just recently hit the half-way mark, if you hurry you can catch up.  😉
For some reason I just can’t figure out HOW to get this dang award in my side-bar, so I’m plopping it right smack in the middle!

One Lovely Blog Award

Anyway, here are the rules for the One Lovely Blog Award


1. Link back to the one who gave you this award – see above
2. Pass the award on to 15 other lovely bloggers.
While I love each and every one of your blogs, I decided to go with some blogs that I’ve only recently begun following.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
3. Follow the person who presented you with the award.   Done.  🙂
I am also presenting this award to The (mis)Adventures of Sage, sadly they lost a member of their pack today, so if you have a moment,  pop over and say hello.  I know a kind word would be appreciated right now.
Thanks again to our friend Katherine at Life With Arie, for this awesome award!
And I’m not really sure what’s up with this formatting.  It looks fine in the template, but when I hit publish it’s all smushed up.

A Year At The Park

The  company I work for gives me Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday off.  While I love having a paid day off and have nothing against Dr. MLK, it irritates me that we don’t get President’s Day or Veteran’s Day off.   IMO our Veterans have done just as much (if not more) for this country as Dr. King.  But that’s not what this post is about.

I had today off.  It was a nice day off and started with breakfast with my nephew (the Veteran,) my mom, my sisters, my niece, one of my daughters and my son-in-law.

After breakfast and a quick stop at Ocean State Job Lots for some gluten-free goodies, it was time to walk the dogs.  I figured if I walked them early, I could spend the afternoon resting on the couch because I didn’t sleep so great last night.

As we walked up into the park, it suddenly occurred to me, that it was exactly on Dr. MLK day last year that I first began taking the dogs up to the park on a regular basis.  I started thinking of all the things I had learned while walking the dogs this past year and I thought it would be fun to highlight some of them.

Walking the dogs and letting them run for at least a half hour a day 3 to 4 times per week will result in weight loss.  For the dogs.  I still haven’t lost any weight. 😦

Some dogs need to be on a leash, because they just cannot be trusted to return when called.

A dog on a 30 foot leash, even one who has lost a lot of weight, can cause a severe fall when she takes off across a wet field.

A piece of deer leg will not be given up easily, AND if you carry that piece of leg, your dog WILL be perfectly heeled at your side.

Even in woods close by your house, you can still get scared.  Especially if you have an active imagination. 🙂

Beauty is where you find it.

I’m sure there’s probably more and if I think of them I will recap them in my Follow-Up Friday post.

How was your day?  Did you have it off, or did you have to work?

Book Update:  1,268 words.

The House Of Bounce…Day One Hundred and Thirty Seven

Walk into any room in my house and you are likely to come across a shredded dryer sheet on the floor.   Why you ask?  Delilah.  Delilah loves dryer sheets; they are like a drug to her.   She will dig in the laundry garbage or through a clothes basket to find a used dryer sheet.  Then she takes the dryer sheet and holds it between her paws, and using her teeth she shreds it.   Once the dryer sheet is “dead”, Delilah rolls in it.

First comes the shredding.

 If you hand her a dryer sheet, she gets a dreamy look in her eyes, and she lifts her head back, and opens her mouth and takes the dryer sheet and shreds it; and then she rolls in it.

Then comes the rolling

Aw Mom....did you have to tell everyone?


We think the reason she does this is to mask her scent; as she has rolled in other items that smell when we are on the trail.  Animals in the wild; particularly wolves will roll in something foul smelling (usually something that is decomposing) in order to mask their scent from other animals, so they can sneak up on them and capture their prey. 

The dryer sheets are a wasted effort, because if there is one thing Delilah doesn’t do; it’s sneak up on anything!  When Delilah sees something that attracts or interests her she is not quiet about it.  She is full throttle, intense and focused. 

New Horizons….Day One Hundred and Nineteen

Today when we went to take our hike, there was a woman who was walking up to the park with her two dogs; the problem for me was that she was on her cell phone.  This is the third time we have encountered this woman and all three times, she was on her cell phone.  Don’t get me wrong, if I need to be on my cell phone when I am out, I will be; but for me it is more important that my dogs and the trails have my full attention.

We quickly got the dogs running into the park and huffed and puffed our way up the hill; we jumped on the orange trail and followed it completely around; whew what a workout.  The dogs did really well, at one point we could see two guys and a dog on the trail but they were some distance away, we stopped and made the dogs stop, and then I continued on towards our destination; Delilah immediately followed me, but Sampson was sorely tempted to go and greet the other dog.  Eventually he headed back onto the orange trail with us.

Then we got to the open field and there was a group of three people standing in the middle, naturally the dogs wanted to head that way and we tried to distract them, but the people were headed to our side of the field, and so it was inevitable the dogs went to greet the people.  This is something we will work on, because some people don’t like dogs (GASP!) and don’t like to encounter a dog charging at them on their walks!

Still it was a very enjoyable walk and the dogs got to check out some new places.

New Horizons

Day Eighty Four-Tails, Trails and Chipmunks


Some days this blog comes very easily to me in terms of what I want to write about.  Today is not one of those days.

What I decided to do is to post a couple of pictures of the dogs and write a little bit about them.


Lately I have been finding that some of my favorite photos are of the backs of the dogs, while they are looking at something.  In this picture they were  in the doorway of the porch looking at a beautiful spring day. 

What does the day hold?



This is one of my all-time favorite pictures.  It is of Chet and Sampson when we were hiking at Valley Falls in Vernon, I liked this picture so much that I had it enlarged to an 8 x 10 and I had it printed, mounted and framed.  The technique makes it look like the picture was painted instead of photographed.  Sampson absolutely adores hiking and when I look at this picture, I see a happy dog.

What lies ahead...



We have a couple of chipmunks in the yard, they have a little “highway” system, through holes, drainpipes etc.  One of their favorite places to hide is under the deck in front of the french doors.  One of Delilah’s favorite places to wait for those chipmunks is right in front of the french doors.  As soon as she sees one, she loses her mind and rushes to the door, charging through it at full speed, barking and growling.  Of course, she is warning the chipmunk that she is coming, but no amount of pep talking can convince her that this isn’t the way to capture this chipmunk.  Sometimes I swear that chipmunk knows she is waiting, I can almost see him flipping her the finger before he ducks under the deck.

Which way did he go?

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