“These Paws Were Rescued” – July 2014
Brody and I met on Facebook last summer (2013) when I first started my page. He is a very nice pup and extremely talented, knowing over 200 tricks! But not only is Brody a Champion Trick Dog, he is also a Service Dog and a K9 Artist, painting beautiful abstract masterpieces which he donates to various charities for auctions and raffles as his way of “Pawing It Forward.”
But before I get carried away barking, let me introduce you to my pawsome friend, Brody.
Darko: Thank you so much for accepting this interview with me, Brody! It is an honour to have the chance to interview such a talented pup as yourself! I am super excited to hear all your answers to the many questions I have, so let’s get started…
You are one talented trick dog! What are your top ten favourite tricks to perform?
1. First and foremost my favorite trick is Painting, it satisfies my need to have a job to do!
3. Jumping rope with mom
4. Basketball Dunking
5. Scooting around mom backwards
6. Shaking paws
7. Waving (Hi or Bye)
8. Whirley, Twist and Disco (Spin clockwise, counter clockwise and spin on my hind legs)
9. Break Dancing (Spin and Rollover)
10. Loading the dishwasher
What are the top ten favourite tricks requested by fans?
1. Painting BOL!
2. Shake paws
3. Hi Five
4. Wave Hi or Bye
6. Stick ‘em Up & Play Dead
7. Break Dance
8. Dunking Basketballs
9. Balance Beam
10. Hoop jumps or jumping over moms outstretched arms
What is your favourite…
… Activity? Painting
… Toy? Phil the Pheasant
… Treat? Tricky Trainers Chewy Cheddar Treats
… Pastime? Cuddling with mom and getting belly rubs
… Game? Frisbee
… Walk Place? The Fitness Trail at Veterans Memorial Park in my hometown
After performing a trick, what do you usually receive as a reward?
Tricky Trainer Treats chewy treats
Do you prefer a treat or toy as a reward?
I prefer the treats unless we are outside and we are working on my Frisbee Freestyle Routine… then I want my Frisbees.
What is your absolute favourite reward?
I am a foodie, so pretty much anything edible!
You are quite the Frisbee dog. Do you have a favourite Frisbee disc?
I like the Eurablend, I have a hard mouth and they last just as long as the Jawz from Hyperflite they cost less so I can have more of them.
How did you learn to play Frisbee?
I have mad jumping skills and like to bounce so mom had to find a find an outlet for this skill and started out by learning to catch and release the Frisbee.
You like to use the treadmill as one of your many exercises. Did you find it scary or difficult at first? How long did it take you to learn?
No I wasn’t scared of it cuz mom used it too. I took to the treadmill right away.
What is your favourite exercise routine?
I hit the Treadmill in the morning for 45 minutes, 30 minutes at lunch time and then 15 minute Frisbee session before my 3 mile evening walk with mom then later in the evening I work on a new trick and then 5-10 minutes of painting before bed.
Where were you adopted from?
Skyway Border Collie Rescue
How old were you when adopted?
When is your “Got ‘Ya” Date? (adoption date)
October 2nd, 2009
Why were you at the shelter? What was it like?
First I was at animal control, I was found as a stray in an unfinished subdivision that went bankrupt during the housing crisis. I was terrified in the shelter and I was heartworm positive. Amber from Skyway BC Rescue got me out of there and I was treated for Heartworm, I had to be crated with very little activity while I underwent treatment.
How did you find your forever family?
Mom wanted a BC or Aussie or combo of both and she was looking on Petfinder.com and I was listed for adoption.
What was it like meeting you forever family for the first time?
It was wonderful meeting mom cuz I instantly rolled over and she knew I wanted belly rubs.
What was it like when you first arrived at your new forever home? How long did you need to adjust?
It was scary, I was afraid of the wood floors and the cats. It took me about 3 weeks to adjust to the new environment and mom’s routine.
You were quite timid when first adopted. Are you still shy now?
I can be. Men of a certain stature make me uneasy.
Did you have any big fears? If so, did you over come them?
Oh I was afraid of everything, I would get scared over the ice maker inside of the freezer cuz it made noise. Mom taught me if something scares me to nose target it and she would reward me for touching it then it wasn’t so scary anymore.
Your new forever human taught you tricks to help build your confidence. What were the first tricks you learned and how did they help you?
My first trick targeting with my nose onto a post it and mom would stick it to various things for me to target, when I got the hang of it mom eliminated the post it, when she would see I was unsure of something she would stand by my side and have me nose target that item or person and she would make a big deal over me touching the thing I was scared of with praise and treats and then the scary thing wasn’t so scary anymore. The other first tricks I learned were shake paw with mom and pick which hand the treat was in, these were helpful to me and mom as we began to form our bond.
What would you say is the biggest difference in yourself from when you were first adopted compared to now?
I am no longer a cowering dog with no confidence, now I am quite confident and in fact mom says I turned out to be quite a ham. Oh yeah and my coat is super soft, I no longer suffer with food allergies and my teeth are always clean.
Your forever human is a Certified Obedience Instructor, Certified Trick Dog Instructor and Certified Dognition Evaluator and you are her assistant. What kind of things do you get to help her with?
I demonstrate how to do a trick mom is trying to convey to her students.
What is your favourite thing to help with?
Breaking down the trick to its simplest form cuz I get treats for each little increment during her class when any other time, I don’t get the treat until the entire trick is performed.
What was the hardest trick for you to learn?
I would have to say it’s the one I am currently learning, Walking on top of a barrel cuz I have to hold my balance on top and walk backwards to propel the barrel forward, as of now I am only able to go about 2 feet.
Is there a trick that you find more difficult to perform?
Yes, performing a handstand without support of a wall.
You have achieved many things since you’ve been with your forever human, receiving countless awards and titled a Champion Trick Dog. What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement has been the opportunity to paw it forward by painting and raising money for homeless animals.
You’ve been featured in American Dog Magazine, in a commercial for the Neater Feeder and on several television shows/news channels. What would you say is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience was the Neater Feeder commercial, it was the first time I was exposed to such huge cameras, lighting equipment and an actress.
Luckily, I remembered my nose targeting skills and I conquered my fears by targeting the equipment and even the actress. Mom and the other trainer on the set were giggling when I was acting like the guilty dog cuz right before the said action I walked up to the actress and nose targeted her before going to my mark none of the crew filming the commercial were the wiser… Hee hee!
You have three kitty siblings, just like me. Tell us a bit about Angel, Toby and Fenway. Were they a part of your pack before or after you came along?
Angel is a 16 year old Persian, she has issues associated with her old age, Toby is 12 years old and is incredibly spoiled and Fenway the Photo Bomber is 11 and she likes to watch out for me since I became part of their pack.
***Angel passed away just over a week ago at the end of June. She was a 16 year old purebred Persian who could play dead on command. May you Rest In Peace, pretty kitty. ***
Are any of your kitty siblings adopted?
Yes, Toby and Fenway are.
What was it like meeting them for the first time?
I wouldn’t even look at them, I was afraid of them.
Did you all get along right away, or did you need some time to get to know each other?
We avoided each other. I got along with Fenway within weeks, it took about 6 weeks for Toby to come around and Angel will turn on anyone of us at any time so we all keep our distance.
You are turning in to quite the canine artist! How and when did you discover your inner talent?
When I was training for my Trick Dog Champion Application, I needed to have a couple of chained tricks to video and submit to Kyra Sundance to view and grade, mom had already taught me to dust and painting was on the application so we swapped out my duster for a paint brush, and the nightstand for an easel and added some paint.
What was it like learning how to paint?
It was a little intense cuz mom was trying to video for my title and I was feeling the pressure, but once pressure was off I really took to it.
What is the biggest painting you have completed so far?
I just started working on a canvas that is about 2’x3’ it will be my biggest masterpiece yet.
You sell paintings to raise money for charities. What inspired you to start doing that?
I want to paw it forward to help animals who find themselves in the situation I was once in. How many paintings have you sold for charity? I have honestly lost count, I not only sell them but I donate them to Shelters and Rescue to auction or raffle off, I also paint live at their fundraisers and that painting is usually auctioned off.
I personally LOVE positive reinforcement training and enjoy every session with my humans learning new things, but am not near as talented as you (not even close! BOL! ..I’m working on it, though!). Do you have any tips/advice for others wanting to learn more about positive reinforcement training and how to go about getting started?
1. Have training sessions often but keep them short and fun, leave us trick dogs wanting to comeback for more.
2. Always end your training session on a positive note… remember humans don’t get greedy and push it you could end up poisoning the trick.
3. Use a clicker to mark the proper behavior, there are no emotions tied to a clicker sound like there is to a humans tone of voice
4. Jack pot often for a job well done!
Is there any reading materials you would recommend?
For tricks I recommend 101 Dog Tricks, 10 Minute Dog Training Games and Do More With Your Dog all from Kyra Sundance.
For canine freestyle I recommend Dancing With Dogs by Mary Ann Nester and Dancing with Dogs by Mary Ray.
For disc dog training, I recommend Disc Dogs! - The Complete Guide by World Champions Peter Bloeme & Jeff Perry.
You can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and your very own Website. Are there any other social media tools you use that we can share with our readers to help them keep up with your adventures?
I would have to say to get the most up to date info on my adventures you can find it first on Facebook, my website and youtube for my latest videos, currently I only update the other sites weekly and sometime bi-weekly cuz of my busy schedule.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Please let your readers know I am always looking for ways I can paw it forward, if they are a shelter or rescue they can contact me and I will be happy to donate a framed painting with a Certificate of Pawthenticity with my pawtograph on it and DVD to watch me paint the painting so that they can auction or raffle at their fundraiser and if they are just someone who wants a painting they can pre-order them online at http://happytailpetsupply.com/. Just type in Brody in the search field, a portion of the purchase price will be donated to charity. Also, you and your readers can always email me with training questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These Paws Were Rescued
A few more photos of Brody…
What a wonderful story! Thank You so much Brody and Mom for sharing it with us! You are one amazing pup, Brody. Keep it up! Our deepest condolences on the loss of Angel. May she rest easy across the Rainbow Bridge.
You can track Brody’s adventures with the help of several social media devices. Sniff him out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and his own Website! You can also email him at email@example.com.
This has been our July edition of “These Paws Were Rescued.” Hope you enjoyed it! Next month another special furry friend will be joining me so stay tuned!
Do you have a rescue/adoption story that you would like to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and your story could be featured in an upcoming “These Paws Were Rescued” issue.