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Hobo's Journal Page 3
1997 and earlier
December 16, 1997  I went to visit my breeder today.  Dad says we might get another beardie (to be my adopted brother) after the holidays.  We have been watching this one little guy to see how he is growing.  He is about 4 weeks old now, and looks pretty good.  I got to see a dozen other beardies.  I like to play with them. Dad has taken me there three times in the last month (he must be serious about this).  I like the little guy, I wonder if I will still be dad's favorite.  We will just have to wait and see.  But I know dad loves me.  And, I have lots of beardie buds who have multiple beardie households.  I guess teddy Bear, my cat brother, will have a more difficult time adjusting.  But, Teddy got used to me.  So stay tuned.  And, don't forge tot read my Christmas Story (from the main page or from Specials).  Will I save Christmas yet one more time?  I am so happy, so many people write to tell me they like the story.  Some say they cried at the end.  Those are happy tears I hope.

December 1,1997  Yeow - I got to get this page updated.  Well, i didn't want to bore you with monotony.  Thanksgiving is past, now I have to shop for christmas.  What the heck, all my humans need is a good wet lick on the face.  I got my winter and holiday safety page up, check it out.  The day after I put it up I was running and hit an ice patch and nearly broke my front paw.  That hurts, and was I embarrassed.  i added - don't run on the ice - to the page.   I healed up ok.  But not until dad carried me home and pampered me for a day or so.  I can limp on request now.  Hey, I am also learning how to roll over.  dad must have got bored with the sit and stay stuff.  Not to hard, just get out the treats and I will do just about anything.  Seems my Christmas Story will remain up for this season - I am already getting letters from elementary schools (Thanks all you young Scientists!)  Santa wrote me the other day (really), we are getting together again.  Wait till next year, i will have another story I bet.  I wonder if Frosty will be here soon?  Maybe I will get to ride in Santa's sleigh with real reindeer (those sheep were slow...).  If I get any pictures, I will put them up on a special page before Christmas.  And remember, these holidays are meant for everyone.   The idea is love and peace - we all get to share these.  I love my humans, they love me.  Heck, I even love Teddy Bear the cat (even if I can't seem to catch him}.

November 7, 1997   I had a great Halloween last week.  I was going to wear both costumes and go door to door.  Well.  It rained very heavy.  So my dad took off my soaking wet costume after we visited a dozen houses.  He put a bright flashing collar light on me (thanks Woofters!).  Then everyone thought i was "The Thing from Outer Space."  I really scared a lot of kids - because dad let me run all over.  There were no cars, as everyone knew the street were full of kids.  The children screamed when they saw the bright light flashing red - just about a foot above the ground and sometimes a few feet higher (bounce bounce).  Then they laughed and hugged me when they saw me up close.  I even made some new dog friends, some of the other nicer dogs were allowed out when their owners saw me.  We played and played.  Dad said I must have run for miles.  Zoooooommmm, flash flash, bounce.  (PS - I still go swimming, but it is COLD).

October 19,1997  I am so excited.  Halloween is coming soon.  So I did my page for this year.  You will have to wait a couple days to see my costume.  Sure they have costumes for dogs.  I am still swimming.  Yesterday I swam in two lakes.  It was about 60 F outside, but I really like jumping in.  I am almost done with my pills for the itches.  I still scratch, but I think I am getting better.  I went and visited my breeder last week and played with a bunch of beardies.  That was fun.  Cool weather is coming my beardie buds, I am really looking forward to that.  Isn't it great, we can enjoy the whole year?

October 1, 1997  HI guys and gals.  Well looks like summer is over.  Yesterday my dad took me to the vet.  I was due for all my shots.  Lets see, I had the rabies vaccine, distemper and shots to prevent Lyme disease.  I also take something to prevent heart worm.  Then of course the anti flea drops on the back.  Dad told the vet I was itching - cause we ran out of the anti flea stuff?  The vet said, "Oh no, look here, he has an fungal infection on his belly (near my private .. you know)."  So I go medicine - antibacterial, and also something to stop the itching.  The vet said, come back in three weeks for the next Bordatella/Lyme booster shot.  Then she gave dad an invoice for over $200.  I'm not sure who was in more pain.  But with all the medicine, she said to let me rest and keep me from chewing on myself until the medicine starts working.  Now I have to take two pills, three times a day.  Dad just jams them down my throat.  Then I have a supplement, for dry skin, which is made from fish oil.  But the vet said do this twice a day, and it also helps my coat be shinny,  I was going to write about this in my advise column, but I had another request - and dad got some info from the vet to help me answer those questions.  The shots weren't bad - not as bad as baths.  Do you wonder why I got the infection?  The vet said maybe i did have some fleas, or maybe from swimming in the lake, or even from not getting my tummy washed every day (I am a boy you know and I tend to spray when i go outside potty).  At least getting washed isn't as bad as a bath.  All dad has to do is use a wash cloth.

September 9,1997  This time I have something special to tell all my beardie buddies.  Last weekend I competed in two kennel club shows in conformation.  The reason this is special, is that I was like most beardies that go to pet homes.  Other dogs got picked first to be future stars in those shows.  But people on the beardies-L told dad he should compete for fun, forget about winning.  Then the local club people said the same thing.  I had a limited AKC registration, which means that I could not breed or show unless this was changed to a full registration.  This is sort of a safety net, to make sure all the beardies that breed someday are top quality to promote good structure and so on.  A while back, dad took me to his breeder (my breeder) and she checked me out.  She said, "OK you can compete."  There I was, September 6 and 7, in my first show and at 15 1/2 months.  Most beardies compete in puppy class from age 6 months on.  Everyone said I did pretty good.  I had plenty of help, my breeder did the handling.  I got two second place ribbons in the open class.  No points toward my ch.  Honestly, it was a small show and there were only two dogs in the category.  Dad felt like.. what else could I get.  Then many people said, "hey Hobo did really good, they don't have to give him a ribbon at all!"  Then I felt proud.  My best day was Sunday, even though the judge said I need to mature more physically, he spent a great deal of time deciding who would get first.  Unusual because this judge is know to be really fast.  I can wait my time to mature.. I had a great time!  And that was the point after all.

August 17, 1997  Just been busy swimming and going to the Great Lakes Bearded Collie club picnic.  Did you see the pictures?  If not, then look at my specials section and see if they are still there.  I had a great time meeting 56 other beardies.  My dad and mom met lots of humans.  Dad got a special instruction on how to groom me.  Wow, i bet my breeder removed 5 pounds of hair.  i think I will write something in my advice column.  Dad says I look much better now.  Next week we are going to move into a temporary house until our new house is finished.  I am so excited, both houses are on lakes.  I will be able to swim every day until it gets too cold.  Don't worry, our page will stay up - the new house isn't far away.  On another note, we haven't been doing any obedience lately, so dad has made me practice in the park.  I am getting a little bit out of control when I see other dogs (especially of the other sex).  Guess I am getting to be a big boy now.  But beardies are pretty good about these things.  I didn't bother any of the ladies at the picnic.

August 1, 1997  OK OK, I know I haven't written in a couple weeks.  But look at all the other information I have added and the specials and stuff.  Besides, I have been swimming and going away all summer.  I am getting some little matts - and dad is brushing out a lot of that fine undercoat.  I haven't "blown" my coat - like some beardies.  Thats whereyou loose practically everything.  Might feel good in this hot weather.  But dad got air-conditioning.. he said just for me .. but I think he likes it too.  I guess it is common this time of year, and for my age, to loose a lot of puppy fur.  Good news is that my adult coat looks neat.

July 16, 1997  My days have been filled with trips to our new house (on a lake) and swimming.  When I am home I still go to the park every day.  But I really like swimming.  I can now stay out in the deep area and play with my humans for a long time.  I have even learned how to retrieve a tennis ball way out in the water.  One day I fell off the boat when going around the lake with my family.  Dad cut the engine and threw me a line and I got back to the boat.  He had to pull on my fur a little to get me in the boat - because we were drifting towards a raft.  My fur mats a little, especially on my feet, from the water.  But dad keeps working on it by using his fingers to pull the mats apart.

July 4, 1997  I hope everyone enjoys the fireworks.  I am finally full size!  I am now 50 pounds and 21 inches tall!  I am a real big boy now.  Whew, I thought I was always going to be a shrimp.  Now I have made the specification for height 21 - 22 inches for boys.  Maybe I will grow another inch?  I also want to tell you I can now swim in deep water.  I swim for 5 to 10 minutes, circle around my humans and go back to shore.  Sometimes dad lets me "dock" by putting his arms under me to let me get some rest (and fresh air).

June 26,1997  OK... did you see my jet ski pic?  Do you believe it?  Hey, finally I got a picture of my dad on my web site. . did you see it?  Dad isn't much for pictures - he would rather have mine up on the page.

June 11, 1997 I have been soooo busy.  It is warm, even hot, and I went swimming and boating last weekend.  My dad got a little worried when I jumped off the fron of the boat (it was stopped).  I was about 20 feet from shore and swam in.  They could hardly get me out of the water.  I guess that answers the question of whether or not beardies like to swim.  I am now the Captain of my own fleet.  Yup, I commanded a 20 foot boat by standing on the bow while cruising the lake.  the wind whipped my hair back.  And later I tried out the rest of my fleet... a rubber raft thingy.  I am going back this weekend too.  Maybe dad will get a picture.

May 18,  I almost got into it in the park today with a Rotty (thats what they called that big guy). But I stood up to him, I protected my dad, I growled at the Rotty. This surprised my dad because I always just run around wiht other dogs. But i am one now and have to take a little responsibility. I waited for the Rotty to strike the first blow, but he never did, he eventually walked off. Later, I got to tell my buds on the first truely international chat. We had beardies from three continenets, North America, Europe and Australia. Boy was that neat.

May 17, I had a great first birthday. All my buds sent me email and even cards! I got a big 3 foot bone (rawhide), two stuffed toys, a big rope to pull dad with, a life vest to go boating, lots of treats, and got to eat cake and ice cream. Wow, why don't you have birthdays more often? Like, how about everyday? I even had a birthday chat, my real mom came to talk, and so did my brother because it was his birthday too. And lots of other beardies and their owners.

April 25- I have a lot to tell you. FIRST - I finished my intermeadiate obedience classes. I am not sure I will start the next special class May 10 yet because of dad's busy schedule. He says he thinks we can do it, but may have to miss a class once and awhile. We keep practicing in the park and everywhere. The teacher told dad I had to do a few hundred straight sits on recall before I will get it right all the time. SECOND - Three days ago Iate almost three pounds of chocolate. Nobody knew, and they all thought I had a cold or something as I didn't want to eat and lay outside in the yard. I got into my human brother, Carlton's, room while he was away at school. He had a new box of Whimans and it said sampler so i sampled it (all of it). Well, my brother said that I didn't eat the same ones he wouldn't have eaten (nobody likes some of these I guess). But I am OK now. Did you know Chocolate is bad for you? Dogs can die if they eat too much (but I think it would be a whole lot of pure chocolate) THIRD - my little human brother Donn gave me a bath. Dad got upset because he used Prell Shampoo. Did you know dog skin is very sensitive? Dog shampoo is very very mild like baby shampoo, and has special conditioners for our fur. Our fur is not like human hair in most cases. So dad is watching. If I scratch, he will have to get out some special shampoo that helps moisten the skin, and maybe even rub in some oils.

April 9, I have had spring vacation from my obedience class for two weeks.  Dad has been working with me in the park.  I can now jump a hurdle, get my dumbell and jump back over  and give dad the dumbell.  he thinks that is pretty good.  Only a few more weeks and I can begin to compete in Novice.  But dad thinks I should get a little better first.  My heeling needs work - I always seem to charge ahead and forget I am at heel when I am on leash - but OK when off leash (go figure).  For those of you who want to know how big I am now (at 10 1/2 months), I am 20.5 inches - so a little small, and weigh 45 pounds.  Dad talked to my breeder who said she was trying to downsize because a lot of beardies are going over the 21 to 22 inch AKC description for males.  If I grow another half inch, I am OK.  You measure over the shoulders and over the butt (my terms) - not the head as some people think.

March 21-  Its spring and the weather is getting better, only a little snow on the ground in Michigan. My lesson this week was good. Dad calmed down and wasn't so nervous. This helped me too. They played the sounds of a big dog show in the background. Later on a long sit stay some dogs came in the room. New fuzzy faces. I stayed right where I was supposed to. Dad says the trainer's "excellent" and "Good" comments were positive reinforcement to him too.

March 13 Hey I skipped a couple weeks. Busy getting up the Easter Page (see Specials above). And I decided to put my voice here for a little while. So the music is cut for right now. Later I will put music back and put my voice on a new page. I went to two obedience classes since my last note. We are working with dumbbells (not the stupid ones). So far I do good - dad says "get it" and I go get it and return it to his hand. Pretty neat huh? Lots of the other OB stuff is boring, just getting it better "sit straight." Dad was a little upset, because I keep smelling the floor or wanting to visit the other dogs. So now I have to get a lead collar (head collar) for part of the class. So I watch dad closer, as he can pull my head up. But this is better than one of those choke collars. And, most of the class is now off leash. What else? Let me see... well, It is still snowing in Michigan. We got a few inches the other day and a real big storm may hit us tonight (up to 18 inches..wouldn't that be neat?).

March 1, - My OB class was a real hit last Thrsday. My Trainer said that at 9 months I am doing better than any of her 11 dogs at the same age. She wants me to keep going. We did all off leash stuff. Mostly getting all our heals,sits, stays, downs etc. all ligned up real straight. I responded "very very good" to the clicker. The trainer said "I wish I had a camera now." This was the first class that I had my hair tied (in a bun) to keep it out of my eyes. I watched my dad real close and he clicked every time I looked at him. Pretty soon i kept my eyes on him almost contantly. I did have one problem. They should give us a break in the middle of the class. I couldn't hold it and started dribbling on the floor. Finally dad took me outside and i flooded the parking lot right outside the door...relief! Anyway. I got my ST Paddy's Day page up today - so go see it. And the Easter Page is almost done. How time flies. Now if the Snow would just melt outside. I need a Spring Break!

February 25 - I finally made to my obedience class last thursday night. We went off leash for the first time and I am proud to say that I was perfect. We didn't do too much this time, just heeling and sitting. But I snapped to a sit every time dad stopped, and did my turns real well. On friday it rained. The park was a huge swamp. dad called it lake Hobo cause the water looked a little yellow ( I didn't do that dad). The river in town went to flood stage - no problem near my house. Then friday night the snow set in and we got about a foot of snow. So on Saturday, we were going for a walk. A couple buddies of mine sent over some neat boots. I got to wear them for the first time, thanks Hamish and Fergus. Then we went to the park. Lake Hobo was frozen over, or so I thought. I ran out onto the ice, and crunch, I fell in - three feet of water. I got out, all wet. But I wanted to finish my walk. We walked for another 10 minutes before dad notice I had lost two of my new boots, both on the right side. We went back to look in the deep snow. My new friend Gus, a golden retriever, and his dad helped. Dad found one stuck solid in the snow. later he waded out into the three feet of water, and came back empty handed. But Gus' dad found the other on the bank. Dad thinks the boots filled up with water, and that's why they came off. I am going to put a picture up soon of me and my boots.

February 16 - Well, I started back to obedience school. But the trainer lady said "Hey, didn't anyone tell you that today we will have no dogs?" My dad said, no, but I had to go. She, the trainer, kind of offended me. So I decided to show her the trick I learned a couple weeks ago. I turned around, first i ran around the room so she would look at me, and then I made a show of knowing I was leaving (you don't have to ask twice), then I lifted my leg and hosed down the wall. Finally I walked out of the room (my mom followed). Poor dad, he had to clean it up. Serves them all right for making me so happy, then letting me down. Later dad wrote the beardies-l list hat all he could imagine when he sat through the lecture was me sitting at home, maybe on the lazy boy, my feet up...TV on, and Teddy the cat chatting with me.."Showed her....." There is a good part, the new trainer is going to use clicker training for those who want to learn. Dad is all excited. I start next Thursday.

January 28 - Gee, it has been a whole month since I last entered a Journal entry. I have been growing a lot, especially my fur. And I am now 8 months old. My coat is starting to turn silver mixed with the black. Beardies often get lighter between the ages of 6 months and 18 months, then the color can darken (black goes to silvery then back to charcoal). I am working on my Valentines Page. This will come up in a couple days - so watch for it. Mostly neat stuff to do, and places to go see how to make good food and stuff for your close friends. Maybe a little will have to wait and see. My email spot now offers a guest book way to enter your mail to me. Check it out.

December, 28 - Well Christmas is over, but don't worry Hobo's Christmas Story will stay up all year (I have had a lot of Schools request this). I put up a little something for New Year's Eve. And I am currently working on another story. Thanks for the hundreds of emails. Over 5000 of you visited during Christmas (wow!). I have to find time to start my next obedience class in February. All of my pooch friends should consider this - I have a lot of fun and everyone thinks I am the best behaved and smartest dog on the block. I like the attention and so will you.

December 20 - I finished my first obedience class this week. I think I did pretty good. All my dog buddies should go to at east one of these classes. My dad said he had three dogs before and he kicks himself for not having them trained. In fact, I almost ran in front of a car this week (hey the kids were playing across the street). My dad said sit! and I stopped in my tracks - then watched the car go by. Conditioned reflexes, right dad? I want to thank everyone for my awards on my home page (click the house above to go back). They mean a great deal to me.

December 9 - Boy am I getting a lot of nice mail. Letters are coming in from all over the world! I got mail from Finland, the Philippines, and even one from Santa himself. Santa wanted everyone to make sure they have a safe Christmas. He said that decorations should be natural if possible in case your puppy (or you) make a mistake and eat one. I put up a special page with safety tips for Christmas and the cold winter weather. It has some fund stuff also.

NOVEMBER 24 - Got the Christmas Pages up today. The story is fiction (or is it?) and any similarities real or imagined are not my fault. Dad has been hounding me to keep up with the Obedience stuff. He has also taught me to count (you know he says 1+2 and I bark 3 times). I like this, I get treats. I don't normally bark, so I bet Dad doesn't encourage me too much. He filled out the Beardie Health form. All Beardie owners should do this. You can find it listed on my Beardie Links page. I am getting bigger, the vet said I will probably be about 50 or 55 pounds some day. He figures this because I am 40 pounds at 6 months and usually that is about 85% of final weight. I want to be big, but I know my mom Rosie (Coalacre Innocence UK) is small. But my Dad Spinner (CH Fox Lane's Undeniable) is pretty good size. It's snowing in Michigan, I like the stuff. I like it cold, and my hair is getting longer.

NOVEMBER 6 - WOW, how time flies. Halloween is over. I had a lot of treats (I stole them from my brothers trick or treat bags). Dad got mad because I got those little sticky candies stuck all over my feet and face. I took down the Halloween Pages today. But I have put up a Thanksgiving Page and am working on Christmas. I already have a lot done - busy elves working. This is really going to be great. Somebody told my dad to get a picture of me as Baby New Year - OK? (Not if I can run fast enough). I have completed four obedience classes now. Dad says I am smart. I am still the youngest one in this class. Anyway, back to the good stuff. I am thinking about what I want for Christmas. NO I do not want a Beardie Mug! I want toys! So...I am going to rip a couple newspapers apart and carry the best pictures to my Dad to see. If he doesn't pay attention, I am going to eat the door sill again. I now weigh 36 pounds and am 19 inches tall. I like to eat, don't have fleas, do have dry skin, don't like baths (put up with them), do like other dogs and Kids, don't run away, do like to be brushed (if I an eat the brush after), don't get spanked, do deserve it (Dad says), don't like my tail pulled, do like hugs, don't go to bed on time, do chew things I am not supposed to. Later!

October 22 - What a great day. I have been selected to be in the BOW calendar for 1997. You can find out how to order this in my Hot Links Page. I will be in the Puppy month.

October 21 - My second beginner's obedience class. We learned how to heal around the room while not paying attention to the other dogs. We also started on "Come" command (I already know how to do this - I like to come to my Dad and Mom, heck - I like to come to everyone. I love everyone. This class is fun for awhile, but it gets pretty boring walking around the room and doing things over and over.

October 15 - I was reading my Dad's Beardie-L messages. A lot of people think it is not good to make me "watch" by holding food up to your eyes and making me stare. They say it teaches aggression. Hey, I am a nice pooch - my Dad always says "good boy." But other people say this is good as it teaches me to pay attention. Someone said to use the word "ready." This is because in obedience competition - the Judge starts out by saying "are you ready?" So the answer is "ready" and I can look at my dad and start competition without noticing anyone else. How am I supposed to see my Dad's eyes anyway? - my fur is in my eyes all the time.

October 14 - My first beginner's Obedience Class. Dad thinks I am smart. I am smarter than he knows. How many puppies can have their own Home Page on the Web? Well, we learned to heal, sit, heal and turn, "watch me" and a whole lot of other stuff. The one thing I don't like is "Steady," This is when you are supposed to lay down on your back and let someone touch you all over. I always let my Dad do this at home, but not by force. That Trainer lady wants my Dad to grab my legs and turn me over. Where is the dignity?

On Monday October 14, 1996, I will start my first obedience class. I am skipping the puppy class (even though I am only 5 months old) because my dad said I am big enough.

First Entry is on October 11, 1996 (this is when I decided to write a Journal). So I thought I would provide a little background of my life so far.

I wanted to tell you what my dad says. He always tells me I am a very good boy (well ..except when I chew on the couch or get into something really fun like the kids toys...they crunch so nice). My favorite toy when I was very young was a little stuffed kitty that my aunt Mary (who delivered me into this world) gave me - it was rubbed on my brothers and on my dad so I could smell it. Then I got a whole bunch of toys and rawhide sticks, bones and stuff. I carried these around in an Easter basket (everyone laughed). My dad believes in "positive reinforcement." I think this means that he never hits me and takes a lot of time (and he says patience) with me. I love to have my picture taken. So go look at them on my main page.....