Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

More training and Responsible Dog Ownership Day

4Blue had his first clicker training class last night and it was very interesting!  The trainer had me start out with clicking and treating Blue for making eye contact with me.  Well, he had that down cold.  He watches me all the time.  So he was getting lots of clicks and little hot dog bits for looking at me when I said something like, “Blue, look at me!”

Next, we got to move on to trying to get him to trot again.  My significant other had gone with me to the class and he was very helpful.  I should say that he has a broken finger — from tubing down the river and trying to swing out over the river on a rope (don’t get me started) — so it was very good of him to offer to go with us.  He was moving Blue around and I was clicking when Blue actually trotted, which he did a few times.  Then Blue would get some hot dog treats.  I think Blue was starting to trot a little more by the time we finished.

I think it’s too early to say that Blue has associated the click with knowing that he’s doing something I want him to do, but he seems to be learning fast.

Pearl went with us, at the trainer’s request, but we really didn’t use her to help Blue, at least I don’t think so.  She was learning about clicking, too.  She learned about keeping her eyes on me and getting treats when I clicked.  She got some extra attention from the trainer when we were working with Blue.  I still don’t know how she’s supposed to help Blue learn to trot.

So, that’s where we are with our training.  I’ll keep you posted.  We have another class tonight.

In other doggy news, the AKC has announced that they’re getting ready for another Responsible Dog Ownership Day.  This is a great annual event — actually it’s a month-long celebration of dog ownership that goes on across the country.  Here’s what they have to say:


— Hundreds of Nationwide Events Listed on

New York, NY – Are you interested in learning training and grooming tips from the pros? Or considering adding a new family member? Be sure to mark “AKC® Responsible Dog Ownership Days” on your calendar. This month-long celebration includes hundreds of organizations around the country holding free events filled with fun and engaging activities for every current or future dog owner. AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events are held throughout September and are listed on

“According to an AKC survey, 99% of dog owners have a dog because of the love and companionship they provide. Dogs have become increasingly important in our lives and the best way to return the love of your dog is to be a responsible owner,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days across the country are aimed at helping owners keep their canine companions happy and living harmoniously in their communities.”

Each AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event is unique but many include obedience and agility demonstrations, meet the breeds, microchip clinics, breed rescue information, therapy dog/service dog demonstrations, health clinics, safety around dogs for kids, giveaways and other entertaining and educational activities. If you want to show your friends and family how well-mannered your dog can be, take the AKC Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Test. This 10-step test rewards well-mannered, obedient dogs – and is offered at many events.

Listings of all events can be found and searched by state at The site will be updated weekly to reflect new additions.  Over 200 local events have been entered to date, including:

·        9/12- Clearwater Kennel Club, Tampa Bay Kennel Club and Pasco Florida Kennel Club  –  AKC obedience & agility demos, parade of over 50 AKC breeds and rescue dogs, demonstrations from city police K-9 unit and 4H kids with their K-9s. AKC Canine Good Citizen® testing, canine massage, canine first aid and CPR, Paws for Patriots, guide dog and therapy/service dog instructors, and 40 vendors.

·        9/13-Tropical Toy Dog Fanciers of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI  –  Conformation handling class: learn how to show your dog! Meet the Breeds with some of AKC’s 161 dog breeds available with breed experts. AKC Canine Good Citizen® testing.

·        9/19-Rapid City Kennel Club, Rapid City, South Dakota  –  Demonstrations of agility, earthdog, obedience, rally, flyball, basic training and more. AKC-sanctioned B-OB match. AKC Canine Good Citizen® testing, microchip clinic, youth coloring contest, dog parade, and other fun games. Educational information regarding dog laws, grooming, health and nutrition, obedience class signup, pet first aid, spay/neuter, therapy and service dogs, AKC and 4H.

·        9/26-Suffolk County Kennel Club, Oyster Bay, NY  –  AKC education tables with breeder referral, canine health issues, getting started in AKC events junior showmanship and safety around dogs information. Learn how to find a responsible breeder and talk to experienced owners and trainers. All-breed dog show will be held with rally and obedience trials held by Suffolk Obedience Training Club. Food and vendors with dog-related products will also be available.

AKC will celebrate its own AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day in Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday, September 26. The event will feature many AKC-recognized breeds, agility and obedience demonstrations, AKC CGC® testing, and low-cost microchipping.

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days are nationally sponsored by Invisible Fence® Brand, whose behavior-based containment system has successfully kept over 2 million dogs safely contained in both outdoor and indoor environments. Invisible Fence Brand will be highlighting their commitment to responsible dog ownership this September by working with event-hosting organizations across the country to provide resources and information for pet owners. Learn more about our sponsor at

Organizations interested in hosting an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event should contact the AKC at or visit .

July 17, 2009 Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , | Leave a comment

AKC ACE Awards

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope temps are cool where you are.  We had a terrible tragedy in the dog world a few days ago where someone unfortunately left several dogs in their van overnight in a garage.  I’m sure the person thought that they had taken precautions to keep the dogs cool but, very sadly, all but one of the dogs died from heat stroke by the next morning.  I won’t spend time talking about the person.  I just want to say that heat stroke can happen very quickly — much more quickly than most of us realize.  Even if you use air conditioning in your vehicle, your dogs can become overheated if the AC fails.  Accidents can always happen.  Even with the windows down in a vehicle, air may not circulate.  Temperatures can quickly heat up to dangerous levels.  Please take care with your dogs and don’t leave them in your vehicle this time of year, even at night.  Remember that heatstroke from being in an enclosed vehicle is 100 percent preventable.  It’s up to you, so don’t put your dog in that position.

lg_annie_companionIn a little happier news today, the AKC is looking for canine heroes.  Each year the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE)  chooses dogs from all different walks of life to honor for some exemplary act:

Awards for Canine Exellence

The AKC Humane Fund honors the human-canine bond and wishes to express appreciation for the time-honored way in which dogs contribute meaningfully to our lives in so many ways. To this end, we created the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE).

To be recognized, the dog must be AKC-registered or an AKC recognized breed and have performed an exemplary act, large or small, that has significantly benefited a community or individual.

Awards are given in five categories:

Law Enforcement

Search and Rescue



Exemplary Companion Dog

The honorees will receive:

A cash reward of $1000

An engraved sterling-silver collar medallion, presented at the AKC/Eukanuba national Championship

Their names engraved on a plaque on permanent display at the American Kennel Club Library in New York City

Click here for nomination forms.

Anyone can nominate a dog. The owner of the dog is permitted to submit the nomination for his/her own dog. All submissions for The AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for the year 2009 must include the following:

A non-returnable, clear, color photograph of the dog – no scans please.

A 500-word-or-less description of how the dog has demonstrated excellence.

Dog’s call name, registered name if applicable, breed, age and sex.

Owner’s/Nominator’s name(s), address and phone number. E-mail address if available.

Send nominations to:

Ronald N. Rella – ACE Awards 2009

The AKC Humane Fund

260 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10016

The deadline for applications is June 30, 2009.

Maybe someone reading here on GreytInspirations will apply and we’ll have an ACE Award winner!

Here are a couple of the 2008 ACE Award winners:

American Kennel Club Awards for Canine Excellence 2008 Recipients

Exemplary Companion

Annie, a Doberman Pinscher

owned by Donna Rock of Lacombe, Louisiana

Annie is an 8-year-old Doberman Pinscher, who has comforted her owner Donna Rock through loss, given her hope, and provides the assistance necessary to help her achieve her goals. Born without arms, Donna originally purchased Annie to be her companion and to train for obedience competition. The two developed such an exceptional bond that Annie became Donna’s service dog, assisting her with everyday activities. Together, they have excelled at the higher levels of obedience competition, where verbal commands are not allowed and the dog must respond to signals. The duo has earned numerous Obedience and Agility titles, including the prestigious Obedience Trial Championship (OTCH) and the crown jewel in Agility, the Master Agility Championship (MACH). Their teamwork, skill and performance inspire those at ringside to understand the true purpose of the competition.

In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, Donna lost her home, belongings, and even her place of work. Donna, who is employed by the USDA, was temporarily reassigned to work in Washington, DC. Through it all, Annie was there for her owner, helping her in the subways, on escalators and navigating through large crowds of people. Annie has loyally remained at Donna’s side, giving not just physical, but emotional support as well. Their amazing bond is the key to their success, not just in Obedience and Agility competition, but also in their day-to-day challenges.

Law Enforcement

lg_lex_lawLex, a German Shepherd Dog

owned by Jerome and Rachel Lee of Quitman, Mississippi

Lex, a 7-year-old German Shepherd Dog, is a retired military dog who served in Iraq with young Marine Corporal Dustin Jerome Lee. Cpl. Lee was a renowned dog handler due to his extraordinary ability to work an explosives detection dog and narcotics detection dog simultaneously. Under the skilled guidance of Cpl. Lee, Lex dutifully searched for roadside bombs to keep the roads safe and open for American troops in Iraq. Tragically, Cpl. Lee was killed in a mortar attack in Falluja in early 2007. As he lay bleeding, Lex, although injured himself, was at his partner’s side to comfort him. Their bond was so strong, the loyalty so deep, that medics had to drag Lex away so they could attend to Cpl. Lee. He succumbed a short time later and Lex was reassigned to the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia.

Cpl. Lee’s parents, Jerome and Rachel, who knew about the special relationship that existed between their son and Lex, petitioned to adopt the dog. North Carolina Congressman, Walter Jones, heard about the Lee’s request, and led a successful campaign to retire Lex, so that he could finally have a home with the Lees.

Since his retirement, Lex has been awarded a Commemorative Purple Heart. His desire to serve continues. The Lee’s bring Lex to VA hospitals and retirement homes to offer solace to the veterans who have so honorably served their country.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News Friday

It’s Friday so I’m happy to say that we have some good news to take us into the weekend.  The AKC reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in their appeal challenging the constitutionality of the Denver breed ban. This ruling reverses the United States District Court of Colorado’s 2007 dismissal of the suit.


So what’s that got to do with you or dogs?  Well, the Denver, CO, ordinance that’s being challenged bans ownership or possession of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier and/or any dog with a majority of physical traits of one or more of these breeds within the City and County of Denver. Since 2005, as a result of this ordinance, more than 1,000 dogs within the city limits have been euthanized.  Those dogs were killed not because they actually did anything or were “vicious” or dangerous dogs, but just because of what breed they happened to be.


The ruling today challenges the whole notion of Breed Specific Legislation and gives the plaintiffs, who lived in Denver at the time the ordinance went into effect, the right to have their day in court.  The plaintiffs — Sonya Dias, Hillary Engel, and Sheryl White — say that they were forced to move out of Denver with their dogs because of the ban which they claim was a violation of, among other things, their constitutional rights.


“The AKC has always opposed breed bans on the basis that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. We support reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs,” said Margaret Poindexter, General Counsel for the AKC. “We also have serious concerns about AKC breed standards being used by law enforcement to identify dangerous dogs. Breed standards are intended to serve as the written ideal of a dog which breeders can aspire to, not a benchmark for defining dangerous dogs.”


The AKC supports laws that: establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as “dangerous” based on stated, measurable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous. If necessary, dogs proven to be “dangerous” may need to be humanely destroyed but the AKC strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be “dangerous” based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs.


So, good luck to this challenge to the Denver breed ban.  As we all know, public opinion about dogs can change.  Right now the media hypes unreasonable fears about bully breeds but in the past other breeds of dogs have been feared.  In the 19th century Collies were believed to be vicious and kept by thugs — Collies which are now identified with the beloved Lassie.  Maybe ten years from now your breed will be singled out as a “vicious” breed.  Breed bans are foolish.




Since it’s Friday here’s something else to make you smile for the weekend.  A friend of mine can’t seem to stop making these very funny videos featuring English Setters.  And I love this one since one of my dogs is in it.  See what you think.  This one is called English Setters:  Perpetual Puppies!




May 29, 2009 Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why you shouldn’t get a PWD

I literally can’t help myself. Just one more Obama puppy video and then I promise I’ll stop for a while.


In related news, maybe we should talk about the reasons why a Portuguese Water Dog isn’t for everyone? As you can see for yourself, these are medium to large dogs and they are very active. They’re also very smart and bold. Sure, they like to cuddle as much as the next dog, but they’re also up for sports and adventure. If you can’t provide those things for them they may get bored — and bored dogs can get into trouble no matter the breed or mix.

The AKC and the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America have been very up front with the media about the temperament and activity levels of “Porties.”

“This breed possesses a lot of energy, so without training or a job to do, the dog may entertain itself by running full-speed down the West Wing or barking at Republicans,” said Mary Burch, Ph.D, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and CGC Director. “That type of behavior may not make the best impression on visiting dignitaries, so we recommend that the Obama’s enroll Bo in an obedience class such as the new AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program.”

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy stands for what every puppy needs – Socialization, Training, Activity and a Responsible Owner. Dogs up to one year of age are eligible to enroll in a six-week puppy or basic training class that is instructed by an AKC approved CGC Evaluator. Classes include valuable training tips for puppy owners such as housetraining and lessons on practical skills for puppies such as coming when called. The program is a pre-cursor to the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, which teaches and rewards dogs with good manners at home and in the community.

As a purebred, the Portuguese Water Dog has a predictable temperament, activity level and coat type, which is ideal for allergy sufferers like Malia. They are loyal and loving companions, cherished by many Americans throughout the country. However, the breed was developed to be a working animal and requires daily vigorous exercise. Historically, the breed spent most of its day swimming, assisting its fisherman owner by retrieving broken nets, diving for fish and delivering messages between ships.
Although currently only the 64th most popular breed in the United States according to 2008 AKC registration statistics, the Portuguese Water Dog’s popularity is likely to rise due to its appointment as First Pup. Therefore, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, the AKC Parent club which monitors the health and well-being of the breed in U.S., has issued a press release of their own to urge the public to be cautious before jumping on any trend that involves a living animal.
“PWDs are classified as working dogs. That means they enjoy being given jobs to do where they can display their intelligence, strength and stamina,” said Stu Freeman, President of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America. “Like all dogs, they need positive training and socialization.”

According to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, this is the most publicity the breed has ever received since they were introduced into the United States in the 1960s.

“While the PWD is a wonderful family pet, we want to use the increased interest in the breed as an opportunity to educate people about it,” said Freeman.

“We encourage those who may consider adding a Portuguese Water Dog to their lives to do the proper research to ensure that this breed fits their lifestyle.”

Jean Hassebroek, Corresponding Secretary of the PWDCA said, “The best thing about the breed is its versatility – PWDs have been full-time sheep herders, R.E.A.D. therapy dogs and we even had a FEMA 1 hero. But, they can also be champion couch potatoes, content to just hang out.”

Because PWDs will form a strong bond with their families — even a “First Family”– they don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time or when boarded in kennels. PWDs enjoy participating in activities with their family such as youth soccer, baseball and basketball games, picnics, hiking or any other outing, especially those near water. They do well in homes with children, but it’s possible a PWD could mistake a small child for a littermate and play too hard. In general, small children should never be left unsupervised with a dog of any breed.

The PWDCA is comprised of 1,500 members devoted to the well-being of the breed. Its members are available to discuss:
. The history and traits of PWDs
. How to responsibly acquire a PWD
. Health issues in the breed
. Grooming requirements of PWDs

For more information on Portuguese Water Dogs and to obtain a copy of the PWDCA Puppy Information Pack visit or visit

(Each of the 161 breeds registered by the AKC is represented by a Parent Club, which oversees the breed standard and seeks to protect the welfare of the breed. )

If you think you may be interested in a Portuguese Water Dog then, by all means, investigate the breed. But don’t get a dog because someone else has it. Make sure any dog is a good fit for your lifestyle. The AKC recognizes over 160 distinct breeds. There are over 400 breeds worldwide. And there are many great mixes available at animal shelters. All of this means that you should take your time to find just the right dog for you and your own situation. Consider things like the size of the dog when grown, his energy level, his historical background — if he’s a terrier he may not leave your garden alone, for example; if he’s a sighthound he may see other small pets, even cats, like prey animals. Consider potential health problems in the breed or the health of the parents. Is it important that the breed is good with children? Do you need a dog that gets along well with other dogs or with other pets, like cats or other dogs?

By considering temperament, size and tendencies before you get a dog you have a much better chance of choosing the best dog for you — a best friend who will live out many long, happy years together with you. Don’t just follow a popular trend. You wouldn’t do that with other important decisions so don’t do it when choosing a pet.

April 15, 2009 Posted by | dogs, General, Pets | , , , , , | Leave a comment