May 2nd 2010 1:34 pm
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Not long after we finished our early morning exercise session, my person loaded me in the car and we drove an hour south to meet with her pdoc.
We practiced some Rally moves in the empty waiting room before he was ready to see us: Front and Swing.
I behaved well during the appointment, which pleased my person greatly because her pdoc is the one who made my role as her PSDiT possible and she wants nothing to interfere with him maintaining a positive mindset about PSDs.
My person seems to be doing better. Hooray! Less paranoia. Fewer hallucinations. Fewer nightmares. To be fair, she always has fewer nightmares when we're visiting with our friend, so this might account for this lower statistic.
We came straight home after the appointment because my person had her online peer support group to co-facilitate.
I didn't nap in my crate during the meeting the way I usually do. It was a very difficult meeting. Her stress went off the charts, and this made me stay close to her.
She took me on a brief walk after the meeting, and then I finally got to start my Saturday nap.
I slept all afternoon while my person watched a Stephen Chow movie: The Royal Tramp. And while she napped. And while she did dishes, and spoke to our friend on the phone.
She had wanted to take me to a Polynesian festival at a nearby park, but I wasn't interested in doing anything more strenuous than a long stretch and making myself comfortable again.
I finally woke up around 8:00pm and immediately began to make up for all the mischief I'd missed making while I slept. It's all about balance, you know.
I spent the night in my crate because I wouldn't stop pulling the covers off my person and off the bed. Poor me!
April 30th 2010 6:30 pm
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My person woke up late. Again. This time, I had no chance to wake her up because I was in my kennel with the door closed. SOMEone thought I was getting into too much mischief while she was trying to get to sleep last night. Hmph!
She didn't even pause to start the coffee. (Don't you just love her?) She jumped into her pants and we were out the door. The only dogs at the dog park next door were the two huskies that arrive every day around 6:00am. One of them likes me a lot. The other likes to be left alone.
After they left, we had the park to ourselves, and I ran up and down the astro-turf until I was exhausted, and then I did it some more.
I had a bit of a nap after breakfast, which worked out well for my person, because all she wanted to do this morning was to drink coffee and update my journal as I had requested.
My nap was cut short, though, because we needed to fax documents for disability stuff. This meant we had to go in to the office.
I did well. There were people next to me on the way up and on the way down in the elevator, but I didn't try to greet them. I sat quietly in my corner and pretended that I was a fully trained SD. My person encourages me to pretend because she thinks eventually that what I pretend will stick and become the default reality.
It only took a few minutes to fax the documents. I followed the sounds of the fax machine with my eyes. It's a big machine and noises come from all over the place!
I had to do a long down-stay while she exchanged news with her coworkers, Pam and Diana. Ugh. Boring! They commented that I seem to be growing into my body. I'm still goofy, though, even if I do appear to be regal and self-possessed.
We stopped over at the other side of the building to see Jeanette, the vice president's admin, who gave my person a hug. Need I actually say that I stayed in my sit and did not try to hound in on the love? Ha! Points for me!
They chatted and I watched the pigeons fly past and strut on the overhang next to the window. Another hug, and we were out the door an hour after we got there.
We didn't go home, though. My person hooked me into my seatbelt harness (ick!) and we headed to Poplar Beach at Half Moon Bay.
I have my dread of having my toenails clipped to thank for this side-trip. My person knows that it helps me to remain calm if I've been drained of all energy beforehand. What better way to get rid of all that energy than to go to the beach?
It was almost deserted! She let me off-leash for most of our walk. I ran after the tennis balls and played chicken with the surf. There wasn't any freshwater runoff, so my person had to stop and give me water a few times.
There were horse droppings on the sand. Wow! My person rolled her eyes and groaned when I discovered just how tasty they are.
On our way back, we passed a couple of ladies accompanied by a little white terrier off leash. My person had put me on my long lead, and one of the ladies asked whether I was friendly. My person answered that I was very friendly, but that I had a rough playing style.
The ladies smiled and told their terrier he could come visit. Oh, I wanted to play chase with that little dog! He was a perfect sort of playmate for me. Fearless and fast. He was running circles around me. We played a moment before heading in our respective directions with our people.
I lagged behind when we approached the walk-up to the bluff above the beach. I didn't want the fun to end. Surely my person didn't want to leave already!
I got to meet a Shih-tzu near the car. Another perfect playmate! That was a fun way to end our beach adventure.
I dozed and when the car stopped, we were at the vet's. I had no idea that I was going in to have my nails done. I thought we would just go in the waiting room and sit around and then leave, which is what we've been doing lately so that I don't associate the waiting room with bad things.
Well, consider the association re-made! I do not like to have my nails ground down. My person came with me to the grooming room and fed me treats and held my head so that I could not escape. I did pretty good up until the very last paw. By then, I had had enough.
My person is thinking about breaking it down to getting the rear nails done one week, and the front nails done the week after. We'll see if she is organized enough to arrange this.
She tells me that I'll be able to run faster now that my nails are trimmed. That might be, but I have to say I had no complaints about my speed. I was perfectly happy with my nails exactly as they were.
To reward me for my bravery in the face of the groomer and the grinder, my person took me to our favorite local park for a long-leash walk before we headed home.
I've been chewing on a braided bully since we returned. Now it is time for a nap. It was a good day. Mostly.
April 30th 2010 8:33 am
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We got up late. It wasn't my fault! I stared and stared at her, but she kept ignoring me. We need to get to bed earlier, I think.
By the time she had had some coffee and gotten dressed, it was too late to go to the dog park next door -- we could hear other dogs barking already -- so we went to another dog park a few miles away.
I like this park a lot, but because other people don't clean up after their dogs very well, my person doesn't like it so much.
There was a little yellow Lab waiting for us at the gate and we got to play a while until I remembered that I like for my person to throw the ball for me. We stayed on the sand path to avoid exposure to dog waste.
We hadn't been there long when a new dog arrived. It was a brown-grey pit bull type that seemed friendly enough at first. It wasn't interested in my tennis balls, which made me very happy.
I was taking a break, panting in my person's shadow, when that pittie charged me. We don't know if it wanted to play or was up to mischief. My person blocked it from reaching me. It tried to get around her, but she is really tough when it comes to protecting me and it couldn't get by.
There weren't any dogs on the small dog side, so we backed up until we could get in the gate and then the pittie finally listened to its person and returned to him.
My person wore me out! I was very tired and happy when we were through.
We had a nap after my breakfast even though we had gotten up late. My person has been sleeping a lot for some reason. It isn't like she's busy doing stuff, so I'm not sure what's up with that.
In the afternoon, we got back in the car and went to a park for a long-leash walk. It was really windy and my person's hat flew off her head. I chased it and brought it back. I'm getting pretty good at retrieving, I must say.
My person was thinking and forgot that she was also walking. She stepped on the edge of a deep crack in the soil and fell, hitting her knee's funny bone. We didn't know there was such a thing! It was a painful lesson for her.
I helped by staying right next to her and licking her face a lot. When she was finally able to try to get up, I braced her. Pretty good for a dog who was eager to run, eh?
After our walk in the wind, we went to CostCo. I was absolutely fabulous! We practiced some of our Rally moves in the side aisles and I was attentive and spot-on with my moves.
We bought some washcloths and some sugarless gum because my person has a sweet tooth and is trying to get off sugar. I was perfect while we were in line and ignored a man who was trying to get my attention. Well, I mostly ignored him. When I looked in his direction, my person called my name and I refocused on her. The man didn't realize that I was working and stopped on his own after he read the notice on my harness.
I was prancing in the parking lot because my person was praising me so much for being good. I made her smile.
It was a good day. I ended it by chewing on my chews and then getting into several sorts of mischief until lights out.
April 30th 2010 8:32 am
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It was Rally class on Wednesday. We hadn't done a lot of preparation (bad us!) because we were lazy on vacation, but my person had no clue that I would be so excited and hard to control.
Ollie and his mom were there! Yay! If they hadn't been there, my person might have run away screaming, because class was crazy!
Most of the dogs were unfocused and Ollie's mom heard more than one handler mutter insincere threats. My person told me that she was ready to trade me in for the puppy down the street. Can you believe it? Just because I kept jumping around and not paying much attention.
I really didn't do as bad as the thinks. I actually paid her plenty of attention during our course runs. She just has higher expectations of me because I'm an SDiT. She promised to work on her attitude this week so that she can remember that Rally is supposed to be fun! We should be laughing at our mistakes and celebrating our hard earned victories!
On the way home, the moon was full and beautiful. We could see for miles.
I chewed on my rawhide while she talked to our friend on the phone. We both miss him. At leash she gets to talk to him. Phones are a mystery to me.
April 30th 2010 8:31 am
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We started with another long-leash walk on the beach. I was smiling all the way back to the hotel. We both love mornings and like to be out and about by the time the sun comes up.
Our friend woke up earlier than usual and started getting ready to leave, so we did, too. My person was sad for a variety of reasons. This made her very efficient and we had packed and made several elevator trips down to the underground garage to load our stuff into the car long before our friend had finished.
Saying goodbye to our friend is very hard for my person. She doesn't like to cry and usually doesn't. This time, she did. Humans shouldn't worry about this sort of thing or be embarrassed.
We had to make a stop only an hour into our drive home because my person had had so much coffee before we left. She wasn't about to leave me in the car in a strange place, so I had to get suited up and go with her into the bathroom. I was very interested in some parked motorcycles on the way in to the building.
When we came out, the scruffy motorcycle drivers were suiting up. My person approached and asked them if they would help with my training by giving me treats. She wanted me to be comfortable with people wearing helmets, and with strange men in specific.
They were happy to help and asked a lot of questions about me and SDs. They said I was a super-cool dog. Of course I am, but I was modest and pretended to be only interested in the treats and their motorcycles.
I slept all the way home. My person was exhausted and sad and didn't unload the car right away.
It was a good trip, especially since it was my first time with our friend away from home.
April 29th 2010 7:40 pm
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Sunday morning we did not go to the inhospitable dog park. Instead, my person put me on the long leash and we walked a half mile along the beach to the north. There weren't any other dogs and only one person who sat on a rock holding a notebook and pen and stared into the distance. We tip-toed past this person so that their thoughts would not be broken.
People on the CA central coast seem to like dogs a lot. There was a dog-friendly water fountain along the coast path that ran along the bluff above the beach. I drank a lot and then started splashing the water all over with my paws. I was a wet, sandy mess. I loved it! It was towel time!
My people decided to order brunch for room service. This gave the hotel staff a chance to admire me while they brought in the dishes and set everything up for my people to have a nice brunch at the dining room table.
I had already had my breakfast, so I chewed on a braided bully stick chew. You know, my person has never told our friend just what bully sticks are made of. Guys are sort of sensitive about stuff like that, for all their macho posturing.
My person used to travel to the central coast to meet with our friend with the pet dog she rehomed before she got me last year. Our friend had found a fantastic dog park in Santa Maria where Hildegard had her very first dog park visit ever.
We went to that park early Sunday afternoon. I had a blast! I chased balls, and then I panted in the shade, and then I ran with a small pack until my person got nervous with a puppy that simply did not seem to understand signals from any of the dogs about rude behavior.
Soon, there was a ruckus at the gate and a large German Shepherd came in and immediately got into a noisy fight. True to form, my person hustled me out a different gate and didn't even let me try to get to know this dog. We might have been related, you know?
It was a lovely, sunny day and there were lots of families gathering to play and eat together. I watched a couple of little girls learn to fly their new kites. We wandered a bit in the shade with our friend until they were ready to go.
Instead of going anywhere for dinner, they picked up some sandwiches at their favorite deli and we returned to our suite to relax the rest of the day.
An important thing I learned during our vacation is that dogs on the path below the balcony won't notice me unless I bark. For some odd reason, my person didn't want me to be noticed up there on the fourth floor by other dogs. She had to mop up the coffee off her new book when I tried to announce my presence to a a pretty, black standard poodle playing with a retriever on the path below.
I mostly stayed off the balcony after that when my people couldn't pay close attention to me.
I fell asleep on the bed with my person after an excellent day.
April 29th 2010 7:15 pm
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After lunch at Marie Callender's, my people took me to a bookstore. Sadly, their favorite used bookstore in San Luis Obispo was no longer open, so we all went to the local Borders.
Everyone there loved me! My person gave out several of my new brochures and one of the staff used his phone to take a picture. That sort of thing has never happened to me! My person is used to having people photograph our friend Zeus and his mom. Not when it's just us.
The store was really crowded and I was full of energy. We walked around and found a book to complete a series my person likes. Our friend was hiding in the history section, so we walked around so that we wouldn't be a stationary target for interested people. I mean, I love my public. I really do! I want people to know about dogs like me and what we can do for our people. Sometimes my person and I just want to be ordinary citizens, though.
While we were wandering around, we happened upon a Jet Li movie we didn't own and snapped it up before someone else found it. That make the trip very worthwhile, and my person was ready to relax afterwards with a coffee from the cafe.
When our friend finally emerged from the history section, he bought a book for my person. Isn't he a love? The only thing she loves more than me (and him) is books.
I lay in the shade of the table while they chatted outside in the sun and finished their coffees. Our friend made a trip to the grocery store for dinner sorts of snacks, and then we went back to the resort to relax for the rest of the day. My person couldn't wait to start reading the book our friend bought for her.
Again, I went to bed when my person did. Our friend stays up until all hours, silly person. As it was, my person went to bed much too late! She had a hard time noticing me when it was time to wake up and we didn't get up until 40 minutes later than usual on Sunday morning!
April 29th 2010 9:43 am
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Friday night our friend went out to pick up Chinese take-out for dinner. My person and her friend usually go to a favorite restaurant for Friday dinner, but it's a very loud, cramped and busy place. They agreed that it might be too much for me at my stage.
It was a very lazy evening. I dozed a lot while they caught up. I don't know what they had to talk about, since they talk every night on the phone.
I went to bed when my person did. First, I jumped up on the bed to snuggle a bit, but mostly slept in my Pup Tent.
We got up early as usual on Saturday and goofed off a bit until it was time to return to the dog park we visited the day before.
We were the only ones there, and my person thought we had hit the jackpot of luck, until we were kicked out because it was 7:45am and the park didn't open until 8:00am. Sheesh. No flexibility in Arroyo Grande.
We did some long leash work in the park grounds next to the dog park until 8:00am. But by then, we were not alone. A black dog with its person walked in just before we did. That dog did not seem at all friendly, because his hackles were up from neck to tail, and my person didn't want me near it. His human assured my person that the dog was very friendly and always greeted other dogs with hackles raised.
My human made a comment that that must be confusing for other people and dogs. The black dog's human snapped that no one had ever had a problem with it ... BEFORE.
We tried to stay in a corner of the park so that my person could throw the ball for me as is our habit first thing in the mornings, but that dog would not leave me alone even thought its person kept calling it and calling it.
Then it growled and jumped me. So much for Mr. Hackles being friendly!
On our way out, the other person berated mine for having an aggressive dog because her dog had never done that before. Oh? The person who had earlier kicked us out of the park asked at that moment whether Mr. Hackles was up to his usual tricks... Ha! Apparently so.
In any case, it put an end to our dog park fun. We went back home so that my person could facilitate her weekly online peer support group, and then waited for our friend to wake up so that we could get breakfast. Well, so they could get breakfast, only it turned out to be lunch. Our friend really likes to sleep in when he's on vacation.
We went to Marie Callender's. I was very good after I finally got settled under the table. I need more practice sitting under tables among human feet space. I take a lot more space than I should. I guess you could call me an encroacher.
Nonetheless, I dozed while my people ate and talked and talked. I wasn't thrilled to wake up when it was time to leave, but it was an opportunity for people to have a chance to admire me, and I like to be generous that way.
Next stop, the bookstore.
April 28th 2010 4:59 pm
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I have finally gotten my person to get online to update my diary. Sheesh! I've been doing all sorts of new things! So many that I can't remember it all!
We started Rally at Berkeley Humane Society with Miss Nancy last week. And guess who else is there? Ollie and his mom!!!! Ollie showed me his moves. He can literally make his front feet go in one direction and his back feet in another to pivot in place.
This isn't easy like chasing your tail. This is seriously hard (but fun) stuff and I want to learn how to do it! Tonight is our second class.
Last Friday, my person hooked me into my seatbelt harness (ick!), loaded my Pup Tent and small suitcase of food, toys and chews into the car and we drove a long time. Rather, she drove and I slept. We stopped at a place that smelled new.
I didn't need a potty break, but my person did AND she needed coffee, too, so she suited me up and we went into a fast food restaurant. There were some friendly children who ran up to us in the parking lot. They got to pet me after they practiced asking nicely while my person fed me treats for ignoring them.
I was very good in the ladies room. I even sat nicely behind my person while she washed her hands WITHOUT trying to greet the lady who came in and was really surprised to see me.
The children were in line to order when we got there and my person smiled while they told their parents that my name was Iris and did they know that dogs that are working can't play?
Soon we were on the road again. Another couple of hours driving for my person, another nice nap for me.
When we stopped, we were at a dog park, which was excellent timing. I really had to go! We didn't stay long. I chased the ball a few times, but the other dogs kept cutting me off so my person quit. I wasn't tired when she hooked me back up in my seatbelt harness, but I was happy.
Finally, we arrived at our destination and parked in an underground garage. We took the elevator to the 4th floor and rang the doorbell for #433. Guess who answered the door?!?! It was our friend! In a huge apartment with new smells and sights and sounds and a balcony!
I trotted around to get my bearings while they greeted each other and started all that talking that humans are so fond of.
I have more adventures to share later when my person has the energy to take dictation while simultaneously handling my propensity to get into mischief. I'm a multi-tasker.
April 19th 2010 6:37 am
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The day has started out on a disagreeable note for my person and me. We go to the dog park next door every morning before it opens so that she can throw the ball for me without any interference from other dogs. I love morning!
For the past few days, another German Shepherd and his man have been coming before the park opens, too. This dog is not aggressive, but he chases me when I chase the ball and steals it! His person just laughs and thinks it's cute.
My person moves us over to the small dog side whenever this dog arrives, but the small dog space is really too small for me to be able to get into a full out gallop without taking the chance of running into the iron benches at the edges.
We've been going earlier and earlier, and this dog and his man have been coming earlier and earlier, too! What can we do? My person says that this dog's man is entitled to break the law exactly the way we do.
Yesterday morning, my person was not thinking clearly and mistook the car that that dog rides in for the car we ride in. The man yelled at us and we really want nothing to do with him.
I'm sure we'll be spending time in our tent fort again today, and going super-early to the dog park tomorrow.
I got her out of the apartment yesterday for a long walk. I'll make sure we get out again today, even though she says she'd much rather hide. I have my wise, canine magic and will prevail!
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