Updated: Jun 14
6/13/21 - Two of the American Beauty litter have gone to their furever homes, and Bonnie is donned her crown as Queen of the castle, grooming her one remaining pup for the role of king. She has become intense and serious (although she's very playful and greets everyone tail high and face open in a smile). Her appetite and activity level have returned to normal. Seasonal shed for a Colorado Mountain Dog is sudden and profuse, as their summer coats are to be very light by comparison to their winter coats by the standard of the breed . Coupled with the shed a female will normally have when she whelps, Bonnie lost ALL of her undercoat. By week three she had attained a very crisp almost wiry texture that throws off dirt wonderfully. She doesn't mat except a little behind her ears. With these 95 degrees and above in Colorado, Bonnie seems to be more comfortable than Colorado Mountain Dog Pearly Baker, still in her dense puppy coat.
Bonnie will be returning to her Therapy Dog job this week, taking on the role of model for a new type of anxiety wear for dogs. Her client uses a similar item medically, and she will help him with the design a garment for himself. She slipped right back into her training for the R.E.A.D. and similar literacy programs, visiting libraries around the area to practice being in "The Therapy Triangle". Maybe we'll see you out there some day!!
4/9/21 - Bonnie gave birth to 3 beautiful baby boys in the early morning hours of April 9th. True to her personality she got right to work cleaning and caring for them. She fussed over her nest for the entire time they were in the house. At four weeks old we moved the pups downstairs to the barn. A scratch on her teats infected and she spent some time with cabbage leaves on her boobies. We brought her to Evergreen Animal Hospital this time. With antibiotics and supervised time nursing the pups she recovered within a week.
3/11/21- Bonnie should be half way through her pregnancy now. To me, she is acting different. Especially since addition of new puppy "Pearl", she has taken on the role of Matron of the pack. We have been on hiatus from public Therapy training since her season subsequent breeding. She has grown quite a bit too in the past couple months. Where she couldn't put her chin flat on the table in January, she is now tall enough to do. She was 88 lbs two weeks ago. I still am blown away by this dog every day. She is so gentle and has an aire of wisdom when she deals with the puppy.
I have discovered that she doesn't do well by herself. I rarely leave the dogs alone at home for any length of time. She is perfectly happy being by herself in the yard or even enclosed in a room, but if we leave the property she gets worried. She has torn up a few select things. Mainly soft material. - paper, a shoe - when left alone. This is not separation anxiety, just a separation dislike. A bit more maturity and she will be fine by herself in the house for periods of time.
Her appetite has increased to 2 cups am & pm, plus she gets a "pregnancy lunch". Mostly nutritionally dense "people food". Liver, salmon, carrots, broccolli. Sometimes Stella and Chewy's freeze dried. She currently eats her kibble with no problem. In the past I have mixed the "goodies" with meal time, dressing up plain kibble. The result is picky eaters, and that "look" when I put down the dish....."What?!! Thats IT?!!".
I'm not doing that anymore - I've thrown away too much dog food from spoiled brat dogs refusing to eat their meal because it wasn't "special". So her supplement meal comes in between regular meal time and not mixed with kibble. We'll see how that works out.
1/12/21 - A very binary date and the world counted be less simple as one/two. Bonnie has begun her burgeoning career as a Therapy dog with all the desire and enjoyment of the work that I had hoped she would. She has been out to many different retail locations, including Big R, Home Depot. She has successfully ignored ignored other dogs to stay on task. Bonnie has a good sense of my comfort and seems concerned with it. She will reliably "check in" with me often when I let her make decisions. At home she has been a dream as always. We have morning cuddle sessions that have become a needed habit for us both. She gets
along well with any dog we have thus far introduced - from a 10 lb. rat terrier to a 150 lb. Newfoundland.
Yesterday, she had the one and only episode of true LGD behavior so far- we have a neighborhood dog who roams at will. (The owner cannot be convinced to not do that). We spent the first two months of living here trying to convince this wanderer NOT to come onto our property. She is a nice dog, but I have too many dogs on the property, (some do not belong to me) to risk the confrontation. Reportedly, this wanderer is a low content wolf/dog hybrid.
I was in the bathroom and heard a BARK BARK! that sounded alarming to me - very different than any sound I'd heard come from Bonnie before. I came out of the bathroom just in time to see the wandering dog charging at our fence towards Bonnie!!! As soon as the wanderer saw me she lit off in the other direction. We have dogs walk by our property all the time. Bonnie alerted me to this dog, and that is was acting aggressively!! I am VERY proud of her.
12/30/20 - Bonnie's Blog had a lesson from Google, and we learned to put the most recent post first in blogs. So lets try that....
We received Bonnie EMBARK DNA results and I am just OVER THE MOON!! She is clear for genetic health conditions, and has "just about" all of the puzzle pieces I need to further my Rocky Mountain Companion Dog ideal.
Her training is going so well - I feel that I may be moving to slow for her but I try and keep a good journal so I can find those little tell tale signs that show drops or sucess in progress. Sometimes she shows a little misunderstanding but so far not much stubborn behavior has surfaced. Easily motivated by her peers, it is easy to persuade her interaction simply by interacting with other dogs. We find "teaching moments" as well as mock-up situations. I am using my office, placing a mat at far end. Several times a day she is brought in there on leash and asked to lay quietly while Dave and I read to each other. Public Access has had her practicing "Place" (going to the mat when directed) at the Rec Center, WalMart, Post Office, Evergreen Lake Trails and Public Library working outside. Inside at Chow Down, Big R and Home Depot. Goal was 8 of 10 and she hit all ten. She works with "Touch", aiming for a black dot on paper with her nose. We've begunn to transfer the black dot to a childen's book called "The Big Fuzzy". She will be taught to target certain pages with her nose, as a cue for R.E.A.D. tasks.
She "IS" at heart, a working dog. She would easily become unmanageable if not kept engaged, and is happiest when "performing". Much of her performance is watching the property quietly for hours outside by herself. She still continues to be quiet and confident, easy going and calm. Her coat is very thick, and holds well - shedding is quite minimal. She is going to need a paw & booty trim soon. We have a wood burning stove, and it tends to make everything very dry on top of our dry climate. I will add salmon oil to her diet probably through March.
11/20/20 - .The Colorado Mountain Dog is an outcross-bred type with strong influence of Great Pyrenees. I chose this particular female primarily for her temperament. The CMD is developed and bred for flock guardian of small acreage farming in higher elevations.
Different than a Pyrenees, they are quiet, with a tendency to stay within appointed perimeters. They are more accepting of new to-the-pack people and animals, with a mellow disposition than allows them to trusted with small animals more than other livestock guardian outcrossed types available to me at this time. The Colorado Mountain Registry houses an open Stud book and encourages all responsible breeding techniques that allow for control of canine congenital diseases.
She so far (knock on wood) is true to all she is bred to be. She is mellow, quiet, polite, confident but not bold, easy going and very conscience of our personal space, being careful not to intrude into it unless invited.
Bonnie enjoys close touch, my breath on her neck, rubbing the soft part of her cow-colored belly. She makes soft eyes and smiles when you get her attention. She eats delicately and neatly, choosing one piece at a time. She walks with purpose, placing each foot carefully. She IS capable of making quite a "STOMP" with her front feet when she's happy and dancing in front of you. She lays down carefully, and eventually winds up stretched out on her side during deep sleep.
She will allow herself to be manipulated (lifted, turned around, restrained for examination) with no issue, but she is not used to it and takes a breath or two to relax.
She uses her tail often, she wags alot, sometimes in a propeller circle instead of side to side.
Her tail has a tight "Shepherd's Crook" at the appropriate length for CMD standard, but we will be softening that feature with breeding to resemble Half-Step's tail curve. As a groomer, I have cut POUNDS of debris out of the Shepherd Crooks of various Pyr and Pyr mixes. It is a problem for these poor Crook holders should they run through open feilds with burrs and sticker plants. It's adorable though.
11/25/20 - Day four of this little lady gracing our lives. She has been very good. Accomodating and clompliant. We've been teaching her name by walking along and popping a tidbit in her mouth and calling her name like we are calling her in from outside. We do this about twenty times a day. She now has a very strong recall started as when I call her she comes FLYING.
Housebreaking is 80% done. She had one accident the first night, and since has had to go out at 2 am approx. nightly. I did nothing to teach her but really let her outside and teach her to use the stairs. Which was a snap. Bonnie is very watchful, storing little details for future use.
Between Auggie and I she was able to get the up-the-stairs in five minutes. Down-the-stairs took about half a day. It was fascinating to watch her "practice", one foot at a time, reverse, then a little lower.
It is Thanksgiving Holiday, and we have one boarding guest in the house. 3 year old female Saint Bernard named "Ruby". She has a friendly disposition toward dogs and people. There was no hesitation with Bonnie Lee, who just walked up to this hulk of a dog and introduced her self quietly with polite enthusiasm. They play nicely, Bonnie initiating with short lived zoomies.
11/30/2020 - Bonnie has had a very busy weekend. She got a bath, learned to Heel Sit and Down, and passed her AKC S.T.A.R. puppy CGC test!! Dave handled her and we went visiting neighbors. One of the categories is for pup to walk by distractions non-reactively. Approx. 100 feet down our walking path we strode right past 3 does grazing on scrub. Our deer are not very shy, and they just watched Bonnie pass less then 15 feet from them. She didn't notice them really until she was right in front of them. She lifted herself up, ears erect eyes wide. We gave her a little push and she just continued on, only glancing back once. What a gal!! (Had we not been there, I'm not certain she would have ignored them. So at least in THIS instance she was more concerned with US than herself. Today we start her journey in training as a Therapy dog team. We've chosen to enroll with Denver Pet Partners, and they are affiliated with Pet Partners of the Rockies (I *think* - kind of confused about that actually). Her training journal for this will be in a separate blog.
I will call her 90% housebroken. I chose not to crate train her. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME UNLESS YOU ARE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - I wanted to see how she would adhere to canine taboo's against eliminating in the den. I can not institute that without sleeping on the floor in the living room, with her, mentoring. and so I have been sleeping on the floor with her, and now I'm fairly certain I can start backing off that - leaving her alone downstairs for an hour, then two then three. By Christmas I should be able to sleep in my bed again all night. I don't mind. I feel that sacrificing a month of my comfort is well worth the fifteen years of the dog understanding house rules. Also, I feel that when I begin to train her to be a mentor and guardian of other puppies and dogs, SHE will be the one sleeping on the floor with them. Thats the plan anyway.
Thanksgiving week so there's been a large concentration of foodstuffs around. She eaten turkey, potatoes, some treats, apples and various other dog friendly tid bits. So far, nothing seems to upset her tummy. She is still taking GO Support supplements, and I've attempted to gear her treats and such toward acidifying her urine Ph. The smell and consistency make me think it's getting too alkaline. She may have proneness to UTI, as she as very thick coated in the vaginal area, and urine gets onto the floofy hair of her groin/rear. She will need more grooming than I anticipated, her rear being a softer texture that will mat and compact coat if not
cared for regularly.
12/14/20 - Bonnie has settled into her new life seamlessly. We have yet to leave her alone in the house for any length of time, but I'm confident if we did, she would worry a bit but be fine. The age of Co-vid certainly does create unique challenged for dog trainers. Never before have I had to rely on voice tone to gauge others reactions to Bonnie Lee. I can sometime glimpse a smile in someone's eyes, but masks really do make reading others moods a bit more difficult. Bonnie was born during Pandemic times, and I'm sure any interaction she has had in Public up until now people have worn masks. I am surprised to report that I see absolutely no difference in the way she approaches people in comparison to others I have trained pre-co-vid times. There's a good example of the intuition so sought after in the dogs I breed. I can see a fair amount of caution that would be considered normal for faces in full view or not. She greets people with gurded enthusiasm, letting them answer her request for interaction.
Bonnie is wonderful for our household as we are very dog centric. She is the center of our attention as all of our dogs get equal adoration from us. She is perfectly capable of spending time by herself, and often opts to do so, quietly amusing herself in the yard. We have a rule that there are "Outdoor Toys" and "Indoor Toys". She has gained the sense of different quickly - Soft plush toys stay inside, and she has not yet rpped them open and de-stuffed them. It doesn't seem that her belly is sensitive or that a conditional diet will be needed. Her breeder and founder of the breed has recommended to NOT free feed her. It was advised that free feeding can actually cause resource guarding to take affect. If given a resource to guard, such as food, all day long, they will develop bad habits around the food dish. Best to eat, be done, move on with your day. Makes sense in a way. Especially when your pack is larger than three dogs I can definately see this making sense.
We are entering week three of training, and everything I present to her so far is picked up within minutes. She processes our world with grace and increasing aptitude. We can take her most anywhere with no worry of her not being comfortable with entry. She seems to be OK on many different surfaces. Soon, we will have to begin teaching her to potty on-leash, as we will be heading into more and more populated areas for longer periods of time.