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!
April 18th 2010 4:31 pm
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My person isn't doing well today. We got up and went to the dog park to play this morning as usual. When it was time to get in the car and return home, she went to the wrong car in the parking lot and opened the unlocked door for me. She couldn't laugh at her mistake the way she usually does when she does something silly. The owner of the wrong car didn't laugh, either.
We spent some time today in our fort, which I liked. I hope we never take it down! I hung my head outside my crate and licked her face every so often while she dozed and watched a Jet Li comedy/drama.
I want her to go with me for a walk, but she doesn't want to leave our apartment. It's a gorgeous day, but I think she hasn't noticed.
If I can get her out of the apartment for a long leash walk, she'll probably have the momentum to go to the cell phone store to get a replacement charger and maybe a BlueTooth thingy to replace those she lost recently.
I don't understand why it is so difficult for her, but maybe it's sort of like me dreading getting my nails trimmed.
I'm resting my chin on her arm while she tries to finish this diary entry for me. That way, she can't miss me.
April 17th 2010 8:40 pm
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On Thursday, my person and I went to Auburn for another hotel overnight practice before we meet our friend at our favorite resort in Pismo Beach next weekend.
Auntie Jeanne drove us from place to place in Zeus's chariot. Zeus had all the space in the back so that my person and I could fit in the middle seat. Sometimes he would stick his face over the seat and we would touch noses.
Jolanda and her person were in the front seat of the chariot, but Jolanda joined me once in the in-between seat and I got to give her a friendly sniff before going back to my nap.
We met the lovely Dakota of the long petticoats at this really cool park. We haven't seen Dakota in a very long time!
There were flying disks everywhere at this park! I really wanted to help the groups of people throwing them by getting their discs for them. For some reason, the people didn't want me to do that. They just threw the disc, walked up to it and threw it again. Weird!
We got in the way a lot so we went back to the playground area and spent some time in the shade.
We went here and there in Auburn and I pottyed in quite a few new spots. We went to our favorite bookstore, we went to dinner (for the people, not for the we dogs). My person and I were worn out when we got back to the hotel and crashed without much ado.
We went to the Auburn Memorial Dog park the next morning and there was no one there. I galloped after the tennis balls for quite a while before breakfast.
Soon, we loaded ourselves onto the chariot and were off to Grass Valley to meet with Rethy and her mom.
Rethy has recently graduated from SDiT to fully trained SD. Yay Rethy!!!!!
We went to a restaurant where the wait-staff were not quite sure how to manage with so many dogs. My person was very anxious about my rear extending past the table.
After breakfast. we went to a place where there were a lot of machines and machine shapes I wasn't familiar with. My person and I walked down cool cement stairs to more machinery and looked down a long, deep hole.
We also took a look around the gardens. I saw a little garter snake peeping its head out of the reflecting pool, but my person wouldn't let me take a closer look. It was very pretty with its stripes.
We went to a grocery store where my person could get something to eat and some strong coffee before we headed for home. I was fabulous waiting while a talkative man made her sandwich. A polite man came up and asked about me, and my person let me visit with him. She wants to maintain my enjoyment of strangers.
The people did a lot of talking. Again. No surprise there. I slept most of the time and didn't notice crumbs falling on me.
When I woke up, I was trying to grab something under my person's chair. "Iris, leave it!" she said. I didn't. It was her epi-pen. It made me happy to give it to her even though she had assumed I had been floor surfing. I forgive her for this because I have been known to show interest in crumbs once in a very great while...
We got home late, spoke with our friend and then tucked ourselves into bed without dinner. We were too tired.
Today we spent a lot of time napping. My person felt the need for a little extra privacy and protection, so I helped her build a tent fort in the living room. I helped pull the blankets off the bed. I was really good at that!
I helped her arrange it appropriately -- we had to start over a few times --I have high standards. Finally we were done. We let down the front flap and curled up inside and napped there for a bit.
And now my human is discovering the things she left behind in her rushing about during our trip. She needs to spend some time in the tent with me after she talks with our friend. After she calms down a bit, I'll remind her that she can buy a new phone charger and bluetooth device tomorrow. It will be fun! All I have to do is get her out of the apartment.
I think some time with me in the tent fort will help her get her bearings. Maybe we'll spend the night in there, which would make sense because all of our bedding went into building materials.
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