Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Book: The Money Tree

I'm always exciting to find children's books with Airedales.  This one is The Money Tree, written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small.

I love this investigative stance which is so true to the character of Airedales. 


Friday, August 25, 2023

Nona's Recent Doings

Airedale Nona
Finally, Nona looks at the camera for a photo.  Tight-lipped, not thrilled, but it's a start.

Here she is in all her golden/tan, glorious color.  Interested in something other than the camera, of course.
Airedale Nona
She is the first Airedale I've known who is not interested in mailing tubes.  When I first pulled it out, I think she thought I was going to hit her and she ran.  I've been desensitizing her by standing it on end and having her watch me drop a biscuit into the tube, then teaching her to nudge the tube to tip it over so she can get the biscuit.  She's doing it consistently now, but has no interest in touching the tube.  I hope she'll eventually find joy in carrying and tossing the tube.

We thought she might like a pool of water, especially in this heat we've been having.  We dragged out a child's pool that was in the garage, then added 3-4 gallons of water, just enough to cover most of the bottom. 
Airedale Nona with her back to the camera
She looked at it disdainfully, sniffed, then turned away.  I lifted her front paws, then her back paws so she was standing in the pool.  No way was she interested   She watched from afar. 

I think her real-life experiences have been limited, so a lot of things are new to her.  I'm glad to be the one to offer her new, but sad that at five years, they are new.

She still delights in playing "Where's Nona" with a handkerchief.  I love it that she pulls off the handkerchief, rolls onto her side for pets and belly rubs, then settles next to me for hugs, all the time with a smile.  The behavior is so puppy-ish.  I hope her Airedale humor blossoms.

She went to the vet today for a pre-spay blood draw and two vaccines.  She did great!  We walked in to find two small dogs on a bench with their owner and a cat in a carrier and its owner.  She ignored the dogs, looked at the cat with curiosity but didn't go near, then sat.  I didn't tell her stay and she was up in a minute.  Then I asked her to sit and stay which she did until the tech came to take her back for the blood draw.  Excellent girl, excellent learner!

I've been looking through a book about the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test.  I know she needs more socialization but it's been so hot to take her out for longer than a few minutes.  Cool weather will be here soon and then I hope she can go along most of the time.  There are other things we can work on for the CGC, then I'll have to learn where she can take it.

Bye for now from Nona and me.
--Nancy and Nona

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Our AireGirl Has a Name!

After considering more than four dozen names, and trying out more than a dozen for a day or two each, we finally settled on Nona (with a long o) for our girl.  We used it for a day or two, then wondered if she might confuse it with "No" and went back to other possible names.  I realized that we really don't have to use "No" very often and since we hadn't found any other name that seemed right, she became Nona.  Does she like it?  Well, she responds to it, and that's what matters.
Airedale Nona running toward camera
On the other hand, Nona has a firm and fixed dislike of cameras--regular or phone.  I have no idea how she knows a phone is a camera, but she seems to.  When she's sitting near me and I call her name, she looks, but when she sees the camera she immediately looks away.
Airedale Nona avoiding the camera
If I call her again, she looks even further away.  Any other least little thing is so much more interesting when someone has a camera pointed in her direction.
Airedale Nona avoiding the camera
What's New?
Nona is learning to play!  Who knew it would be hard to teach an Airedale to play?!  One of the first games was "Where's Nona?"  I put a large handkerchief over her face and said, "Where's Nona?"  At first she just sat there.  I pulled the handkerchief off and excitedly responded with, "There's Nona!"  After a few tries over a few days, she pulled the handkerchief off with her paw, and looked so pleased with herself.  Big praise and hugs for her!  Funnily, she gets excited about this game.

Next, I held the handkerchief up in front of me and asked her where I was.  By then she knew the game, but instead of pulling if down from my face, she went around the side of the handkerchief and stuck her face in front of me.  Smarty pants.  Again, big praise for Nona.

We're working on take it and leave it.  She almost seems offended when I close my hand around a treat when I tell her to leave it, but she's slowly learning.  Of course, "take it" is easy.

And the best fun is that she's actually begun to run after a tennis ball when I throw it in the yard, then she pushes it with her paw or nose to send it rolling again, then runs after it again (and again, sometimes).  It's too hot to play this game for long.

There's one thing I'm trying to teach her not to do.  When she gets excited she gently mouths my arms or hands.  I don't mind it but I don't think it's safe.  If she were to play with grandchildren, it would not be good for her to use her toothy mouth that way.  She's getting better about this.  The thing about teaching a behavior change is that the dog has to perform the unwanted behavior and receive a correction to know it's something not to do.

There's so much for a five-year-old Airedale to learn!

Since Nona won't pose for the camera, I thought I'd share this Airedale. 
Airedale book I like Airedale Terriers
It's a cute little book, written to introduce children to the Airedale Terrier breed.  It has a fun layout with lots of photos and is mostly accurate.  (Of course, not every Airedale is the same, so what's true for one might not be accurate for another.) 

I hope you're having fun!