Results tagged “play” from Tails of a Spinning Dog

Playing molkky

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One of the things we brought from Finland was Mölkky, a throwing game.

It's kind of like lawn bowling, and since there is throwing involved, Hobie is of course very interested.

We went to the Whisman School Park in Mountain View after a walk, and set up. I hoped Hobie was tired after walking for an hour, but once the game was set up and things were flying in the air all thoughts of tiredness were forgotten.

Although Hobie sits still in the picture, he spent the entire time running around the game. Although he didn't interfere with the game, I think he (not so) secretly hoped this would turn into a game for him.

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The Whisman School Park is a good neighborhood park for dogs as they are allowed off leash in one corner. Officially it is only for off-leash training, but it looks like the local dogs are usually having a good time playing. One of the regulars told us to be on the lookout for park rangers and just leash Hobie should we see one.

Swimming Schnauzer

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Today we took Hobie to a lake in Bymarka. My sister had taken him earlier this summer, but it's been a while since we've seen him in the water. The last time was at a coworker's pool, where he struggled to get to a ball.

We brought a ball, but I quickly discovered that it didn't float, so I had to go out in the water and get it. Sticks, however, worked just as well with Hobie. We'd trow a stick out in the water, and Hobie would go hopping after it.

He would even stick his entire head under the water looking for the ball. We could see little bubbles of air coming from his nose as he exhaled underwater.

His eyebrows would obstruct his vision, so he had a hard time locating the sticks if they moved. In the above video, he couldn't quite find the stick, and swam back ashore to locate it, and then goes back for it.

Of course, after Hobie gets wet, he likes to dry off, preferably by rolling around in dirt. We put him back on leash to avoid him getting too dirty, but he still managed to pick up enough dirt to fill the backseat of the car.

Haircut and vaccinations

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Hobie had a busy Saturday. In the morning Gladys dropped him off at Kate's Cat and Dog Salon. He was getting pretty hairy, so it was about time.

The groomers there do a very nice job, but for some reason they never call us to let us know when Hobie is done. Every time Gladys has asked them to give us a call, and this time they even confirmed her phone number. Oh well, what matters is that Hobie gets groomed well.

He started spinning around in his kennel when Gladys came to pick him up. We decided to take him to Golden Gate Park, since we hadn't taken him there in a while.

He got to play a little with one of his favorite toys, and he was very happy to run around.

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Playing fetch is serious business, and it's very important to get the ball. Hobie looks quite athletic (and fierce!) when leaping in the air for the ball.

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After being in the park for a couple of hours we went to B&B Pet Supplies to get his vaccinations. There is a pretty cheap vaccination clinic there every once in a while, and it cost less than $40 to get his annual shots. Hobie behaved well while waiting in line, and he didn't protest at all when the needle got inserted in his lower back.

It went much better than last year, when a another dog peed on him.

Pictures from playgroup

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We knew that the dog walker would take Hobie to the beach. We knew that Hobie's coat was full of sand, and that his collar was a little wet.

However, we didn't know what he actually did, until we got these pictures:

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Better social skills

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Hobie's dog social skills aren't that good. Sometimes he'll growl a little bit at other dogs, and he's usually not the least excited to meet strangers. He did growl at us for around a year until he finally succumbed.

Something bad probably happened to him before we adopted him, but he's slowly getting over it.

We asked the dog walker how he is with other dogs, and today we get this message:


We had lots of fun @ Fort Funston. He's actually chasing other dogs. I think his social dog 2 dog skills are improving.

It's great that Hobie is doing better. At the park he will usually just circle around us until we take out a ball. If we didn't bring a ball, he'll sometimes sniff another dog a little bit, but he'll usually just sit down in front of us and beg for a ball.

Sniffing dogs is not the only thing he's too excited to do if he knows there is a ball around... We have resorted to trying to fool him into thinking we didn't bring a toy. We'll trick him into running after something, or going somewhere else in the apartment while we quickly stuff a toy in a bag.

His social skills are improving though, and he's much friendlier now to strangers than he used to be. He even let a little kid pet him the other day (normally he'll hide behind me if a kid approaches).

Flying disc toy

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Hobie got a new toy this weekend, a flying disc toy. We got it at Babies, a very nice pet store in Hayes Valley.

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We wanted something frisbee-like since we had to throw away his old frisbee (it was a human model, and a little too hard for his teeth).

At least for now, this toy is even better than frozen chicken broth cubes. It seems pretty sturdy, and has survived a couple of days of heavy use. It doesn't fly as well as a frisbee, but it kind of bounces, which seems like great fun.

When I throw it, Hobie will run as fast as he can, get it, lay down and bite on it for a little while, and then come back. It seems like he things the round center is a ball that is trapped inside the disc, and Hobie is desperately trying to free the ball from captivity.

It gets a little wet after a few throws, but it's not too bad, since most of the saliva will be on the center, and I can throw it using the edges. The little holes seem to inspire a little tug also, although Hobie prefers to carry the toy by its center.

Right now he has dropped it off by Gladys, and his tongue is hanging out of his mouth. It's that fun.

Hobie gets even luckier

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Hobie's new dog walker has been taking him out for a couple of months now, once a week.

Every time Hobie goes to his playgroup, we get a little Post-It note from the dog walker. It's not very detailed (usually it something like "Hobie had a great time at Fort Funston"), but it's good to know that everything went well.

Since Hobie isn't too social, we asked how he does in playgroup. Apparently, Hobie just kind of stays near the dog walker, sniffing "and having a good time." He doesn't really interact with the other dogs, but he gets along fine with them.

I'm not sure if Hobie realizes he is a dog just like the other dogs. He's very attached to his humans, and prefers playing fetch over sniffing some dog's behind any day of the week.

Hobie does seem a little tired when we get home after he's been to playgroup. We also notice that he's much less needy when we take him out, which is good.

Since we've been working late, we've decided to have Hobie to go playgroup twice a week instead of just once a week. Hopefully this will make Hobie's week go by much faster (and help him work on his social skills).

Hobie barbeques

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We took Hobie to a barbeque with Gladys' cousins today.

The San Leandro Marina was freezing, but Hobie didn't mind. Some days, it's good to have fur.

Although he was tied up most of the time, he did get to play with his frisbee for a while. Between trying to beg for food (mostly unsuccessfully) and running around in circles, Hobie is getting quite good at catching the frisbee.

We were too cold to take pictures. So here's a picture from another bbq earlier this summer, guarding the beer:
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Hobie will sit in front of me, eyes focused on the frisbee. When I motion to throw the frisbee, he will take off, and wait for it to appear in front of him. When it does, he'll charge at it, trying to grab it mid-air. He got it a couple of times, but most of the time he was faster than the frisbee, and had to backtrack to get it.

Because a frisbee laying on the ground is hard to pick up without opposable thumbs, he'll struggle a little bit. Most times he'll growl and whine while trying to get it in his mouth. It's pretty funny, especially when the frisbee end up underneath his cheek so he can't even get his teet on it. I'm sure it's frustrating if you're a dog, but if you're a human watching the spectacle, it's entertaining.

Playing with a view

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A while ago we took Hobie to play at Crissy Field. His little football is one of his favorite toys.

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When he first got the ball, it took him a while to figure out how to get it in his mouth, since it's pretty big. When Hobie plays with a toy that is just a little bit too large to bite around, he'll get frustrated and whine while pushing it around. It's pretty funny.

Why won't they play with me?

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Hobie was pretty playful this morning. However, he had just played fetch at Alamo Square, so he was a little tired. He still wanted to play with us, but we were cleaning up in the kitchen.

After a minute or two, his head started bopping up and down, and he laid down and started falling asleep next to his ball.

Hobie almost sleeping

Does he ever get tired?

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We went to play catch with Hobie in a nearby park again today.

For about 30 minutes, we threw a baseball back and forth, and Hobie raced non-stop between Gladys and me.

Every once in a while, we'll not catch the ball, and Hobie sprints all he can toward the ball. He then brings it back to our feet, with his little tail wagging fast.

I don't know where he gets the energy. He does sleep a lot when we get home after a session like that, but he can keep running for (or at least so it seems) hour upon hour.

New toy

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One of his favorite toys finally broke. It's a little yellow thing that makes a screaming sound when hit against something. It's very annoying.

Initially, Hobie would freak out and start whining while trying to make this weird thing shut up.

Eventually, he just got to really like playing with it.

Well, my work got a bunch of them for some promotion, so I just brought another one home. It's much louder than the broken one, and Hobie went nuts.

He's been bringing it to our feet all night, wanting us to play with him.

It's almost baseball season again!

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The weather was really nice this weekend, so we took Hobie to a nearby park and played a little catch. Well, it's actually Gladys and me playing catch, and Hobie racing back and forth between us.

Whenever one of us "misses" and the ball drops to the ground the salt & pepper speed-racer in not far away.

We tried to let him have his own ball, but it's just no fun to play with another ball when we're throwing something else around.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

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A tennis ball can be so much fun (for both Hobie and Mike).
Hobie jumps

Food or play? It's not even a close call

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I figured Hobie would be pretty hungry today after I walked him in the afternoon. His previous meal was in the morning, and we just came back from about 45 minutes of walking and sniffing.

Well, he might have been hungry, but hunger is no match for his new toy. It's a little ball that squeaks. I guess it's our mistake, really. We managed to say "squeak squeak" before he ate. I got him to sit down, and I
told him he could eat (he's not allowed to eat before he gets permission). He had a few bites, and looked back up at me.

And then he started pacing around the apartment, sniffing for his toy. He had no interest in his food whatsoever. Gladys had put away his toy before we came back from the walk too, but he was on a mission.

How did we solve this problem? Well, we could have decided to just leave his food, or take it away if he didn't eat after a few minutes. But the sight of a can of whipped cream in the fridge seemed to cry out for a
friendlier option; put a little bit of whipped cream on top of it.

The food disappeared in a few gulps.

All-American dog

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Now how many dogs do you know love to play football and baseball? Well, if you know Hobie, then you know that he is an All-American. Football is his favorite, though baseball comes in at a close second.

We decided to bring him for Sunday baseball, hoping that he would behave. We had him chase thebaseball for about 20 minutes before game time to tire him out. While he was tied to the bench, everyone played with him. At one point, he jumped at the ball, not realizing the leash length. There was a violent jerking motion, but he was fine. When he wasn't choking himself, he kept spinning in circles, nonstop. After the game, we played a little more catch.

All that constant play came with a price. We were walking from the garage and noticed Hobie limping. It was funny and cute but then we realized it might be something more serious. I examined his foot and sure enough, his left foot pad was cracked and some of it had torn off. It was raw and soft
and he flinched when pressure was applied to the footpad. Hobie is now limping around with a sock bandaid.

He spent of today in recovery; not once did he bring me a ball to throw. He barely made it down two blocks to go do his business this morning. He was lagging behind and I had to constantly coax him to walk.

We'll keep his outdoor activity limited tomorrow as well to let him heal. It would be awful for his footpad to get infected. Until then, the limping continues. Poor Hobermeyer.

Farewell to the red ball

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Hobie went to the beach at Crissy Field today. He was running around like the crazy dog he is, collecting smiles from people we met along the waterfront.

We brought his red ball, and he was pretty much running non-stop up and down the beach fetching it. Until we decided to throw the red plastic ball in the water. Apparently, it doesn't float too well, because as soon as the first wave was over it, it was gone. Poor Hobie spent the next few minutes frantically looking for his priced posession, but it was nowhere to be found.

The red ball was one of his favorite toys...

On the way back we met a white Miniature Schnauzer - the first one we've seen here. That was a large mini also, pretty much exactly Hobie's size. He wasn't in a playful mood, though.

Back home he is now collapsed in his crate, tired from all the running. One of his eyes must have gotten sand in it, because he has trouble opening it. It looks OK though, but is a little red.

The irritated right eye.

Bad boys don't get to play

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Hobie's been growling a little bit today, so he lost toy privileges for a while. This was especially hard when we took away his stuffed Sylvester toy. He tried to plead his case, but to no avail.

Hobie wants to play with Sylvester

Skinny

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Hobie was groomed today. As he was getting out of the car, he somehow got pass me and ran around the parking lot! I must have looked so silly chasing after him, but we were near a busy street and I was afraid he was going to run out there. It was like chasing a chicken around, but I caught him without incident.

He looks like a brand new dog. I probably would not have recognized him at the groomer without his red collar on. His coat is beautiful but now he looks skinny. I like his messy, longer coat instead. It makes him look more husky.We went for a walk on the lakefront. I was not sure how he would react to the sand, but he did not have any troubles. We also went for a walk around NU to wait for Kris, but he ended up working late, and Hobie and I ended up with an hour and forty minutes walk! Suffice to say, we are both tired.

Hobie loves dried bread as a treat, and Kris has been teaching him, "Vaersegod," which is Norwegian for
"You may." We are trying to get Hobie to look at us before eating his treat, thus teaching him patience and waiting for his master for the OK. We are trying to teach him to lay down as well.

To the kids at YEP, Hobie says hi!

Beach dog

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Hobie at the beach.

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