31 March 2013


Kinsey was right. That last storm was winter's swan song. Today was just the nicest spring day anyone could want, sunny and 65 degrees.

It looks like the blacktail deer have finally left for the high country. They have kinda put a crimp in my afternoon frolicking. Kinsey has been afraid to let me loose when they were around and I don't blame her there. Those guys are big and feisty. Today the deer were nowhere in sight so we took off through our woods to check things out. Imagine, I have forty acres to run around on. Eat your hearts out city dudes!

When I first arrived here at Dancing Deer it was winter and I was scared to death of water, keep in mind I was just a puppy. The ponds were partially frozen over and Kinsey was scared to death I'd fall in and drown. By mutual consent we have avoided the ponds. Today we finally checked them out and guess what? I'm not afraid anymore. In fact, I'm liking water more and more. Yippee! This is so great because there are two ponds and streams and creeks and oh my goodness water, water, everywhere. I bet I'll be swimming in those ponds before long. I'm not sure Kinsey is as thrilled by all this as I am.  That pond water is kinda stinky and the bottoms are definitely mucky. Oh, well, that's her problem not mine. It's good to be a dog!

I don't know exactly what I weigh now. I was 25 pounds the last time I was at the vets and that was a couple of weeks ago. I must be growing cuz every morning Kinsey looks at me as sez "I swear you grow in the night!"

©Kinsey Barnard

Playing with the deer in the safety of my enclosure
Pretty much in there
Racing down a hillside after getting the whistle call

Me looking beautiful by the pond

22 March 2013


We really had a bunch of snow today probably the most since I've lived here. Kinsey says it is winter's swan song. I don't know that she knows what's she's talking about but I do know she's hoping it's true.

Yesterday, I got to ride in the pickup for the first time. I like this a lot better than the Expedition where I have to get in a crate. In the pickup I get to sit up front and look out the windshield. Now that's my idea of stylin'!

Cute me chomping on my soup bone as the snow falls.

Some blacktail deer resting in the snow. I wanted to go see 'em but Kinsey wouldn't let me. :(
Me in the ranch truck. Uh, Kinsey forgot tell me to look at the birdie!

20 March 2013


Well, this is news. I finally made it through the night without having to go out. This is great news for Kinsey especially since it is the first night in six months she has been able to sleep through the night without interruption. Before I showed up she was having to get up several times in the night to let Uncle Koty out. Koty had Cushing's Disease and couldn't hold his water. Boy, did I get a ton of kisses and good girls. The antibiotics seem to be working real good on my infection.

I have decided to refer to Lakota as Uncle Koty. It looks like I am going to be mentioning him a lot. He seems to be everywhere we go and Kinsey tells me much about him. I can tell her heart is still broken from his passing. I'm not jealous or envious. Because I know that if she loves me only half as much as she loved him I will be the luckiest dog in the whole wide world. She loves me already. I can tell.

Yesterday we hiked way up the Blacktail Trail. On the way Kinsey showed me where Koty died. She has memorialized the spot with a little rock pile. No one but us will ever know what it is.

I distinguished myself on the retractable leash. I've got that down pretty good. I've made mental note of how far out it goes and can gauge pretty good when I'm getting to the end so I can slow down. If I'm getting a little excited and look like I'm going to forget myself Kinsey calls out "Be careful" and I come to my senses and stop before I hit the end. Every now and again I just sit down and wait for her to catch up. That seems to please her so I'll keep that up.

Kinsey bot a whistle for long range recalls. I got it right off the bat and came running the first time she used it. That got me fresh cooked chicken! I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what she wants because when I do I get the best darned treats. Kinsey says we have a lot in common when it comes to food. We both live to eat. Uncle Koty was just the opposite. He ate to live.

We seem to really be hitting our stride and life just keeps getting better and better. I am a very happy puppy.

©Kinsey Barnard

Just discovered Timmy's bed. It's not looking like Timmy will ever make it back home.

16 March 2013


Well, that isn't entirely true. Kinsey cared but no one would listen to her when she expressed her concern about my tinkling pattern. What she noticed first was that when I went out I serial tinkled. By that I mean I didn't squat just once. I did it as many as four times. My breeder told her I was marking my territory.

Kinsey took me to a vet and he more or less blew her off when she suggested there might be a problem. After making her feel like she was being a hypochondriac on my behalf he said he could stick my tummy with a needle and draw some urine to test. I'm not really sorry she passed on that.

Finally, she went to another vet and picked up a specimen jar and made an appointment for yesterday. Well, guess what. Kinsey was right all along. I do have an infection. I heard her talk to a lot of people desperately trying to describe what was going on. But, no one even bothered to ask any questions. What is wrong with humans? Especially, those who are supposed to know stuff?

Turns out that it is rare puppies my age would get a urinary tract infection. Apparently, this is why no one paid any attention to Kinsey's concerns. So, I've had to put up with this condition since before Kinsey brought me home at least six weeks! Kinsey sent the breeder an e-mail about it and her reply was "interesting"and nothing more. I could tell Kinsey was very disappointed in this cursory response.

The new vet says I could have some kind of congenital thing going on. Apparently there is like a little sphincter type muscle in there that is suppose to close and keep bacteria from getting where it's not supposed to go. If that's the case the infections could be recurring and spaying could be delayed up to a year. Not that I'm in any hurry to get spayed but I'm also not wanting to have to go through heats.

Anyway, I'm on a ten day course of antibiotics (Amoxicillin) and I'm looking forward to getting this behind me. It's been very disappointing. I was making tinkling mistakes but I couldn't help it. Kinsey has been very understanding about it for which I am grateful. Now I think everything is going to be just fine.

If I could give Kinsey any advice it would be screw the experts and do what I do, rely on my instincts.

The day wasn't a total loss. I got to take a walk at Indian Springs. Nearly had a heart attack when a gaggle of geese took flight.

©Kinsey Barnard


Am I cute or what?

This was my very first time drinking water from a creek. So far I haven't been a real fan of water.

13 March 2013


I got to see the Tobacco River for the first time today. It was pretty cool! I'm still a little leery of water though. Kinsey had a trouble keeping me on the trail because there was so much to smell off the trail. I got myself all full of tiny burrs. I was very patient about letting Kinsey pull them out of my nice long hair but it really wasn't any fun. Maybe I'll listen to her next time when she tells me to stay on the trail. Then again maybe not. :)

Before we went to the river we went to the dump. Where we live there is no garbage collection. We have to haul the debris to the dump ourselves. I got stuck in the back of the truck with the garbage. At first I was insulted to be keeping comapny with the junk. Then I realized it was only temporary. So, that was OK.

Wonder what neat thing we will do tomorrow.

©Kinsey Barnard

Looking out at the Tobacco River

Riding with the garbage


MOLLY MONTANA's BLOG: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: OK, it isn't my real birthday. It's my, I'm four months old birthday. I don't think I'm getting a party or anything. Tha...


OK, it isn't my real birthday. It's my, I'm four months old birthday. I don't think I'm getting a party or anything. That's fine because it's been pretty much a party since I got here about a month ago. WOW, a month already. It's true, time really does fly when your having fun.

Yesterday, I hijacked this blog from my human. It already seems kind wordy to refer to my human as my human so I'm going to start calling her Kinsey which is her name. I mean no disrespect of course. It just seems simpler. She says it's OK by her.

Kinsey is a nature photographer. I don't really know what that means but I must be nature because, so far, all I've seen her photograph is me. One thing's clear, she really has an eye for beauty. :)

Kinsey is a single person which is turning out to be great. She has nothing better to do than lavish all her love and attention on me. My new home is forty acres of heavenly forest. We walk the property every morning and I get to race around like a tiny black rocket. Excruciatingly fun! Kinsey, has turned out to be my personal treat dispenser so I race around but never too far. When she calls, I come!

We went to the Flathead yesterday. I'm still not crazy about that darned crate. I'll jump right in it but the second I see that door closed I become a brat. Not sure why. I'll probably grow out of it.

Kinsey too me to Petco, where the pets go for my birthday. WOW! Was that ever fun. I instantly forgot every mannerly thing I have learned. I was so excited to see people, other dogs and those smells. Oh, my goodness, those smells. What a fabulous gift that was. I also got a new toy.

Kinsey has been very generous about toys. I've got a box full to choose from. The funny thing is the one she bot me yesterday was the least expensive of them all and I just love the silly thing. It's a tiny little, rubber bear that squeaks. I toss it in the air and throw it around like a kitten playing. Don't know why but I just love the little thing. Kinsey tried to take a picture of me playing with it but I manged to foil her attempts.

For a four month birthday this was a pretty great day!

©Kinsey Barnard

These are MY toys!
My New Favorite Toy

11 March 2013


Today I learned to climb up a ramp and into my crate in the truck.

I needed to learn about the ramp because my human's car is an Expedition and so tall I would need a pole to vault up in there without one. Believe me I know. I tried to make the leap and landed in a heap.

Initially my crate was pointed forward through the two center seats. But, after our trip down the mountain the other day, during the POISON SCARE, things have changed. Can't say I'm sorry about this because on the way home the stupid crate tipped over three times! The last time I was upside down with my bedding over my head. I wasn't scared or anything but I was insulted.

Now the crate is lashed down and pointing out the back window. I'm still too short to see much out the window but I don't care I'm just glad I won't be wearing my bedding on my head.

I say I learned this but I only say that to make my human feel good. The minute she pointed to the crate I knew exactly what to do and ran right up the ramp and into the crate. For this I got a great treat.  I did it so many times she ran out of treats . What a gig this is.

My best trick of the day was performed whilst we were playing Frisbee. My human tossed the Frisbee which I dutifully ran and picked up. Half way back I performed a very cool trick that I made up myself. I dropped the Frisbee on the ground upside down. This made a perfect little saucer which I promptly squatted over and piddled in. It must have been a great trick cuz it really got a reaction from my human.

Here's some photos of my cleverness.

There I go right in that dirty beast
Aren't I cute as I await my command to descend?
My human is just tickled pink at my cleverness. More treats for me!
It's tough work being a clever puppy

©Kinsey Barnard

09 March 2013


LIFE WITH MOLLY MONTANA: POISON SCARE: I have a real problem with mice around here and had placed some Tom Cat rat and mouse bait in various storage areas. When I got Molly I went...

08 March 2013


I have a real problem with mice around here and had placed some Tom Cat rat and mouse bait in various storage areas. When I got Molly I went around and tried to pick up all the baits knowing that a curious puppy and rat poison are not a good match. Unfortunately, I missed one.

Yesterday Molly was following me around whilst I did chores and followed me into the garage storage room. I have been on alert fearing I could miss a bait she would find. So, when I saw her chewing on something I immediately tried to find out what it was. Sure enough it was a bait block she had dug out from under some shelving.

Thank goodness Molly is very good with the "release" command and she spit it right out. I opened her mouth and there were some bits in there I tried to get with my finger. It didn't look like she'd had a chance to eat any of it but taking no chances I called the vet. I was told to put a half cup of hydrogen peroxide down her gullet to induce vomiting. A half cup of liquid is a lot. I ended up using a small, squeeze travel bottle to administer it. Molly is nothing if not a trooper. She struggled against it but she took it. Thank goodness dogs are forgiving and forgetting.

After a few minutes Molly started to upchuck. There was a lot because she had recently had her lunch. I was relieved to see there was no sign of the poison. The stuff is a very bright blue green color. I was pretty sure it would be visible after such a short time after ingesting.

This poison kills by destroying blood clotting abilities. I was advised to get Molly some vitamin K ASAP.  The poison can be absorbed through the skin and some could have entered her system by the skin of her mouth. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting.

I had no plans for leaving the mountain. There had been 6 inches of snow in the previous 24 hours and the road out of here can be treacherous with snow and ice. But, in an emergency you do what you have to do so down the mountain we slid.

We got to the vet who gave us a two week course of vitamin K chewable tablets. Molly eats them right up. Heck she thinks they are a treat.

This morning she is just fine. Full of pep and happiness. She is such a trooper. Everyday she impresses me more and more with her joie de vivre and resilience. An absolutely extraordinary being. Joie de vivre, that's something she has in common with Koty. It's one of the things I loved most about him.

One thing I was reminded of in all this is how important it is to always have hydrogen peroxide on hand. It has a million and one uses, many of them medicinal. Had I not had any and Molly had gotten some swallowed, things could have become tragic. My advice: If you don't have any in your household repertoire, get some. If you don't know all the things it's good for read up on it.

©Kinsey Barnard

07 March 2013


LIFE WITH MOLLY MONTANA: DANCING BORDER COLLIES: A friend sent me this video this morning. It's a real toe tapper and day en richer. While I was sitting here enjoying the video dreami...


A friend sent me this video this morning. It's a real toe tapper and day en richer.

While I was sitting here enjoying the video dreaming how this could be Molly in a few years, Molly was in the mudroom stealing all her training treats. Guess she won't be dancing to my tune soon. :)

05 March 2013


LIFE WITH MOLLY MONTANA: HERDING DEER: Yesterday I saw the most fascinating thing. Mollie and I were out walking in the afternoon. We came upon a dozen deer. Mollie took off like ...


Yesterday I saw the most fascinating thing. Mollie and I were out walking in the afternoon. We came upon a dozen deer standing in the trees. Mollie took off like a rocket. She is unbelievably quick. I realized she was headed for the deer. As I watched Molly raced among the deer. The deer just stood there watching her. I panicked. I called to her and she came running back to me, which is in itself amazing.

What an incredible experience. It wasn't until I had Molly back with me that I realized what she was up to. Her natural herding instincts had kicked in and she responded. That tiny little black ball racing around those big deer like she knew what she was doing. Also, amazing was the deer response. They didn't run they just calmly watched as if amused. If it had been Koty those deer would have been in the next county. Their tolerance for Molly was simply amazing.

I took this photo just before the deer happening. Molly 03-04-2013

©Kinsey Barnard

04 March 2013


LIFE WITH MOLLY MONTANA: ROUND HOLES AND SQUARE PEGS: A few nights ago, to the horror of professional dog trainers I’m sure, I aborted the crate training exercise of making Molly stay in the cra...


A few nights ago, to the horror of professional dog trainers I’m sure, I aborted the crate training exercise of making Molly stay in the crate overnight. It had been almost three weeks and still Molly was screaming her head off and thrashing around in the crate. I did everything by the book. I left her to scream.

Then a few nights ago I woke to her screaming. It was so clear to me that these screams were not those of a spoiled puppy but the primal screams of an incredibly distressed being. I thought I had heard this distress before but people I thought should know kept telling me I was doing the right thing by making her stay in the crate and letting her whine. As I rose from the bed I said to myself “That’s it. We’re going to find another way. Screw the so called experts.”

When I entered the room I was bowled over by the fecal smell. I thought “Oh no! She’s pooped the crate again.” That would make it the third time in 19 nights. When I let her out there was no fecal matter present. We hurried outside and the little girl let fly. She had worked herself into such a frenzy she had given herself diarrhea and somehow held it. What I smelled was her gas.

I created a little corral beside my bed by blocking it off at the end of the bed and the wall. Molly slept there the rest of the night without making a peep. It was the best night’s rest either of us had had.

Molly is sleeping in her corral. I am sleeping in my bed. Molly gets up, moves around and paws the barrier if she needs to go out. No more whining. No more screaming. She seems happier and more trusting all the way round. I know I am. Also, worthy of note, she hasn’t had an accident in the house since she started sleeping with me outside the crate.

We haven’t given up on the crate. We have little exercises throughout the day where she goes in, puts in five quiet minutes and gets to come out. We are building up time gradually. I really have no reason to have her stay in the crate in the house but we are going to master it anyway. I have no idea why Molly has such a manic reaction to the crate in the house. She rides in the crate in the car without protest.

I have always thought of myself as a square peg in a round hole world. My thought process and method of learning has always been very different from most people’s. Because of this I thought I was useless and stupid. I couldn’t get anything. I was a misfit. In high school I was suicidal because of it. It probably didn’t help that my father constantly referred to me as a “dumb bastard.” It turned out that I had an IQ of 149. No genius but certainly not stupid. My mind and reasoning is just different from most people. Unfortunately, ours is a society that is only comfortable with conformity.

It seems to me things are not much different for dogs. The so-called experts say this is the way it’s done and you’ll ruin your dog if you don’t follow the “rules.” I think you have to take professional trainer advice with a grain of salt and do your own thinking. Just like people, all dogs are not round pegs. I think this is especially true of the more intelligent breeds. Australian Shepards are one such breed.

Molly and I will just muddle along, two square pegs together. We are a perfect fit.

©Kinsey Barnard

01 March 2013


I'm doing a lot of research on dog training now that I am raising Molly Montana . I remember when I was raising Lakota Sunrise it was not so easy, the research.  Encarta  was still a phenom, especially for those of us raised on the Encyclopedia Britannica. I think my internet browser was Netscape. It took a week and a half to load pages. A lot has changed. Information is at your finger tips at the speed of light.

What I'm about to write will be considered heresy by some I am sure. I have always been very skeptical of so-called "experts". It so often turns out that the only thing they are expert at is parting me  from my money. It can be true in any field where people are holding themselves out as "experts" for hire. Seems like so many are out for the buck.

With National Geographic validating him, Caesar Milan has become a media darling who no doubt has profited greatly. But, watch these videos and decide for yourself if his brand of training is really cutting edge or more of the old archaic way of dominating animals into submission. He plays on the "Horse Whisperer" but I think that's hype. Watch Robert Redford's movie "The Horse Whisperer" to see the difference. Or watch the movie "Buck" the real life whisperer.

Read this article and watch the videos regarding dominance or simply unruly behavior.  If you're like me you will come away thinking that Caesar Milan is out of date and out of touch. I believe in respect not dominance. As a kid I was stubborn and hard headed. I haven't really changed. Those who tried to bend me to their will through fear and domination were able to get me to do things but I had neither love nor respect for them and it made me even more stubborn. We humans are not so different from our pets on an emotional level.

One of the videos shows a scientist who admits to preaching the Alpha dog doctrine but now believes that doctrine is no longer valid. Thank goodness for people who are willing to admit their theories, although seemingly correct at the time, are no longer valid based on new scientific evidence.

I am disappointed in National Geographic for promoting Milan. But so many of my childhood icons have proven to be empty suits manipulating former integrity for monetary gain. Everyone and everything needs to be questioned these days. We aren't in Kansas anymore Dorothy.

©Kinsey Barnard