Friday, June 15, 2012

Full sun, blue skies, a gentle breeze – yes, we’re enjoying a hint of summer-to-come today. Your pooches are out romping and rollicking in our back forty in full sunshine or resting under our shade tents and recovering their energy for their next round. This is the way life is meant to be spent! We do hope you’re enjoying your day as well.

New Flip Camera – New Videos! We have a new Flip camera and we’re shooting videos like crazy. You’ll find new, entertaining flicks on our Facebook Page. Recent additions are the Scampers Choristers celebrating Flag Day, and bits with Cato and Annabelle, and Kodi and MollyA.

Linda’s Biscuit – training made all the difference
Biscuit became mine as a five-year old. I found her in – a little want ad with a picture of a pretty thing (then named Terra) needing a new home, preferably with a single, middle-aged lady. Clearly, she and I were a perfect match.

When we met, she barked at me – a lot! But she accepted the treats I offered, and the tummy rubs, and was willing to jump on into my car. A simple meeting, but it changed us both forever.

Two hours later, I took Biscuit for a nice long walk into town. She was so cute, trotting along with her tail a pretty pompom waving perkily, and she walked so well with me. I spotted a lady in a sidewalk cafe as she pointed Biscuit out to her companion, and my heart swelled with pride.

While crossing the street, I lost my grip on the leash and suddenly there stood Biscuit in the middle of the Redmond Town Center, realizing she had no tether whatsoever. I wasn’t sure she’d come back to me, as I called to her by her brand new name, but I knew we’d bonded when she did – she came back to me … very slowly, barely allowing herself to trust me. I knew I could never let that happen again.

I was Biscuit’s third try as an owner. Biscuit is Bichon-Poodle mix, but she’s a Rescue Dog first. She is quite typical of rescue dogs, in that she has “issues”, most related to trust. She was very afraid of feet – evidently she’d encountered feet in her past (probably because she is an underfoot kind of pooch) and whenever feet came too close she’d scoot off – into the path of the runners or cyclists on the trail, into the street. Biscuit was also very fearful of strangers, particularly men, and inclined to bark; she’d bark at people she saw out on our walks, who walked past our door, on the sidewalk… on the other side of the street! Biscuit’s best skill was barking, probably because she got a lot of practice.

Last year, Biscuit and I took a little time to learn some new skills. Our trainer, Cathy Madson of Pawlogic, explained that by giving Biscuit some skills and a reason to focus, she’d gain confidence and security. At the same time, I’d gain confidence in my pooch – that she’d do as I asked, behave with decorum and dignity, and most importantly that she’d come when I called and stay when I asked her to. With Cathy’s help, we developed her skills with clicker training and high value treats. In just a few weeks, she learned Watch me, Come, Sit, Down, Stay… (She’s a rock star with Stay!) We also learned very respectable Loose Leash Walking, Go to Your Spot, and Say “Hi” (she’ll touch her nose to a stranger’s outstretched hand). These skills are all useful in our day-to-day interactions, and now she recognizes encountering new people as an opportunity for to practice her Say Hi skill and earn a treat or little bit of loving instead of being a fearful occasion worth barking about.

Biscuit has become a more comfortable and less fearful dog, and now that she’s not scaring my neighbors anymore, life has also become more comfortable for me. Most important, though, these are skills that could save Biscuit’s life – with Reliable Recall mastered, even when I fumble the leash handle I know that Biscuit will come back to me when I call, every time. Our experience in training together has been invaluable, not only for sanity and safety, but also because learning the skills together has strengthened the bond of trust between us.

If you’re looking for your Biscuit, try, or visit Homeward Pet or Seattle Humane Society.

Pooch need a spruce-up? We offer grooming services – from a simple mani-pedi to a full groom – every second Tuesday through Cut-N-Run Mobile Grooming.

Chris Sugarbaker, Cut-N-Run’s groomer-in-chief, has over 20 years’ experience and will work with you to ensure your satisfaction. Chris’ next visit to Scampers is Tuesday, June 26th.

Be sure to claim your dog’s spot with Chris right away – his schedule has filled up completely on more than one occasion.

Send us an email request or call us to claim space for your pooch.

Pawlogic News Cathy Madson of Pawlogic Dog Training holds group classes at Scampers location.

Cathy offers classes including Basic Obedience, Continuing Obedience and Real Life Training, and Introduction to Obedience for Puppies. For more information or to register your dog in any of the classes, call Cathy at 425 443 5280, or … Visit the Pawlogic website to book classes for your pooch with Cathy.

Watch for more exciting information on new classes in our upcoming newsletters.

Scampers Boarding and Weekends
We’ve had so much fun with our boarders and our weekend campers. For our boarders, we’ve named our suites after famous pooches – the Snoopy Suite, the Lady & the Tramp Suite, the Marmaduke Suite, etc., and we’ve set them up with lovely petcots with sheepskin covers, but there’s still plenty of room for pooches to add their own favorite furnishings (beds, blankies, toys, etc.) The weekend daycampers enjoy playing with the boarders, as they’re all good friends already! We set up our weekend daycamp in our back room as we can have our garage door open, and pooches enjoy the free flow indoors and outdoors.

Wishing you all a fine, fun and happy weekend.

Very best regards,
Linda Olsen and Stina Hughes Scampers Daycamp for Dogs

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