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.
April 11th 2010 7:52 pm
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Today we were going to meet my person's coworkers (or former co-workers since she can't work any more) for lunch in San Jose.
She brushed and brushed me before we went. When I got out of the car, she brushed me some more. This would be my first restaurant experience with all of these folks and I was ordered not to shed. Then she put on my harness.
Armed with a purse, a bag with a towel for me (and... you guessed it! a brush!) and wielding an umbrella, we set out from the parking garage to find the restaurant.
Santana Row in San Jose is a mall spread over several blocks. However, it seems to be too fancy a place to have maps. We were pretty wet by the time we found the restaurant. Whew!
I love getting dried off with a towel. It is one of my very favorite things. Perhaps this is why I find fuzzy fabrics so hard to resist...
After I was dry, my person and I sat in the foyer. Our friends didn't come. We sat longer. I was very good. The only person I did not ignore was a young girl who was staring at me. A "watch" got my attention back where it belonged, though.
It was warm in the restaurant. And our friends didn't come.
My person started to fidget. Was it Sunday? Yes. Was this the Pasta Promoro Restaurant? Yes. Was it 1:00 pm? No, by then it was nearly 1:30 pm.
She flipped open her phone to call one of them, but their numbers were not stored in the new phone! Did I mention that she lost her purple phone a month or two ago?
Finally, we got tired of people glaring at us. It wasn't like we were blocking anyone's way, for dogness' sake! Once again, wielding the umbrella, we headed into the storm toward the car.
But, where was the car? My person wrote down we were parked on level B, row 3 in the parking garage.
Great! But... um, where was the parking garage? sigh.
We were both soaked by the time we found the entrance. Once again, I had the joy of being toweled off! Yay! I love the rain!
My person found out a while ago that we had been sitting in the wrong restaurant. Our friends were waiting for us at the Pasta Promoro on The Alameda.
It's been a difficult day for my person. I've been cheering her up by taking my sweet time finding a place to potty because then she has to dry me and it makes her laugh.
Later, we are going to watch Shaolin Soccer. I hear that there might be towels involved...
April 10th 2010 7:02 am
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It was a broken night. I had to wake up my person from two nightmares in which I was lost and she was frantically looking for me. She got up and stayed up after the second one. I moved to the living room to keep an eye on her while I dozed.
My person has been having trouble remembering to take her medicine in the morning and in the evening even though she has a pill organizer. She couldn't believe it when she looked at it and saw she'd missed doses over several days.
She used to take her meds whenever she fed me, but she doesn't like to take her evening meds so early in the evening because they make her very dopey. She's asked our friend to resume reminding her in the AM and PM when they talk on the phone. This will help. She really prefers to be able to handle it on her own, but that doesn't seem to be working well enough at the moment.
Today we are going to take it easy. My person has to co-facilitate her online peer support group for people with mood disorders later this morning, but we have no other obligations. We will probably do a lot of napping and take a long leash walk in the afternoon.
My person hasn't completed her taxes yet. How silly, because our friend already did the hard part and sent us the file we have to import AND specific instructions on how do to so... with screen shots even!
If we want to go visit Zeus, Rethy and Dakota next week, she has to finish this by Sunday.
April 9th 2010 7:32 pm
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My person and I had a much busier day than either of us anticipated. We went to our final obedience class with Miss Nancy. I am officially cleared to join the next Rally class (yay!).
My person offered me to Miss Nancy for a SAFER assessment (Safety Assessment For Evaluating Rehoming). BHS is working on obtaining SAFER certification and must complete quite a number of assessments to qualify.
Miss Nancy wouldn't need me until around 4:00pm. Class got out at 12:30pm. It's a 34 mile drive home. What to do? When in doubt, go shopping.
We went to the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville. First, we hung out at the escalators, watching people go up and down. When there wasn't anyone to inconvenience, we would walk up to the ascending or descending steps and I got mucho treats as reward for my curiosity.
Vested, we went into Border's. The day called for fun-- that means science fiction --but the science fiction section was difficult to navigate because there were two kids sitting on the aisle floor. I like kids so much. It was a true challenge not to sneak a kiss or other love as we passed. My person watched me carefully and I am proud that there was nothing for her to see except me in work mode.
She bought a couple of books I was not permitted to sniff properly, and then we stood in line for a coffee. There was a lot of stuff on the floor in the area where people get their orders. Most of it was food, but that didn't interest me. The thing I wanted in my mouth was a tiny piece of yellow, folded paper. If I could just stretch far enough... but she caught me.
We sat at an indoor table and I took a nap on the nice, cool floor while she read one of her books and sipped her latte.
We still had a lot of time to spend before the SAFER, so my person did what she had planned on doing anyway: go to El Cerrito where BART runs on an elevated track and expose me to the thing that makes the horrible noise.
Instead of walking on the path under the tracks, we walked on city streets parallel to the tracks. This way, I could see thing that was making the horrible noise as it came and went. Finally, we stopped at a little park near the tracks and relaxed. The noise wasn't quite so horrible any longer.
I noticed though that I can hear BART before my person can, but must wait until she hears the train for me to get my treats. I tried to inform her by perking my ears in the right direction, but she insisted on waiting until she could hear it herself.
Even though we took city streets back to the BHS, we were a bit early, so we took a walk on the shady side of the street. I was tired and heeled nicely.
I have to say I was not pleased to find out that the SAFER wasn't a test for us, it was a test for me. I whimpered when my person handed my leash over to Miss Nancy and walked away without a glance. I went through the SAFER twice, each time with a different person assessing me.
In between, my person came back to hold my leash while results were discussed and tallied. I couldn't believe it when she walked away from me a second time! I cried that time and instead of it making her run back to me, it made her walk away faster! When she returned the second time, I gently jumped up and kissed her before she could kneel next to me. She didn't tell anyone, but it was very challenging for her to be away from me.
The results of the SAFER: I am anxious when I am not with my person, but I can be handled by others without signs of aggression or of fear.
We've been advised to do some out-of-sight down / stays at home to help me with my anxiety.
Before we left, a group of people came in and a little girl had the chance to help us work on ignoring friendly strangers. After that, I got to sneak in a bit of a snuggle with her. She said I was nice! She liked me!
My person give me the chance to potty before we got in the car, and potty I did. I had the runs from my stressful experience and it was justice that the person who walked away from me (twice!) was the one to clean up the result. Fair enough, she said.
I jumped right into the car and got into position to have my seatbelt harness attached. When I woke up an hour and a half later, we were home. My friend Taffy was off-leash in the courtyard and I got to play with her briefly before we went inside and closed the door on a very long day. I got a bit of dinner in my crate and then it was time for some serious sleep recovery. For us both. It's hard being separated!
April 9th 2010 8:59 am
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Yesterday, my person took us to Target at 8:00AM to shop and to train. I'm having trouble ignoring people who talk to me or stare at me. My person said she's going to work more on our flyer so that people can learn about me and learn how to treat SD teams courteously without delaying us so much in our training or errands.
I love people so much and understand why they are enamored of me on sight. Still, I must learn better focus so that their attention doesn't distract me from my job.
After Target, we stopped by the office. Our coworker was on the phone, so we practiced "wait," and "leave it" with the toy my person stored at the office for me. My person would toss the toy and I would have to wait until she told me I could go get it. I'm pretty good at this game! We play it a lot with food, toys and chews.
She had planned on taking me to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast (not MY breakfast, you understand...), but she decided not to chance it because I seemed too playful to work properly. The way I behaved at Target made her suspect I would flirt with other diners and waitstaff.
We spent the rest of the day at home. We did some training and a lot of playing, but she just didn't feel up to getting out and about.
Today we have our last obedience class with Miss Nancy at the Berkeley Humane Society. We hope to get into the Rally class starting next week or the week after. She'll let us know if we're ready. If we aren't, we'll just take the next level obedience. The Public Access class orientation is coming up soon, too.
My human has been working with me so that I don't stress being left alone for a few hours, but she is cringing at the thought of leaving me at home while she goes to the Public Access orientation. She would be without me for about 4.5 hours, and she would have to travel alone to and from Berkeley.
She'll speak with Miss Nancy about other arrangements. Someone smart suggested the possibility that a shelter worker might be prevailed upon to dog sit me on site during the orientation. We'll see. This class is too important to miss.
April 7th 2010 7:33 pm
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Many many many many days ago, my human had disclosed to some of my fans at the dog park that I was being trained as her PSD. One woman in the group gave us the whale eye and walked off.
We were at the dog park a bit later than usual this morning -- NOT my fault! I woke her up two times, or maybe it was seventeen times. I don't know. I can't count.
The woman who gave us the whale eye was there and she came up to my person and said she had seen us training at Target. To see me is to adore me, yes? Of course this woman wanted to know all about me and the kind of devotion I am worthy of.
This part of the conversation took a long time. (Of course, because it was about me and I am my person's favorite subject!) She wanted to know about SD training, and PSD training. Now she knows a bit of what it takes and she also knows how to help a team being denied access.
She didn't give us the whale eye at all this time. My person hopes she won't ever give the whale eye again to a person with MI.
After breakfast, my person took a shower. She was smelling just fine until then. Now she smells like soap. Oh well. It won't last, thank dogness. We went to the Credit Union, where I was perfect, of course, then to a discount pet food store where we get the Himalayan Chews I love so much.
I was not perfect in the pet store, but no one knew I was supposed to know better because I wasn't in harness. Treats and chews were everywhere I turned and the lady at the check-out counter kept crooning to me and waving a treat up where I could not reach it to see if I would jump up at the counter.
We were both glad to get away from the temptation. Me, of the chews and treats, and my person from saying something less than kind to the checker.
Then we were on the freeway for an hour (or so I'm told, because I was napping). We stopped at Ace Hardware for a Dremel bit. We also had a chance to practice ignoring friendly strangers with one of the managers and an employee. They invited us back!
We went over to Office Depot just to practice heeling and we walked around in figure eights and underneath ladders and through narrow spaces in the office furniture section.
Finally, it was time for my human's tdoc appointment. A quick chance to potty and then there was Dr. Teresa! I love Dr. Teresa, but I was in harness and could not give her kisses.
I did NOT try to play with the rug or to snatch Mr. Teddy Bear from the shelf! I was tired from our earlier training, so after chewing on a bully stick for a few minutes, I stretched out for a nap. I know that when we go to see Dr. Teresa, there's going to be a lot of talking. This is, of course, quite boring.
I let them chat until they were done, and wagged my tail at Dr. Teresa to say good bye. I was unharnessed and buckled into the car just in time for a proper nap.
In fact, after a quick training session at home, I had another nap. Being out in the world is hard work, you know. For both of us.
April 6th 2010 7:11 pm
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At 8:00AM, we actually left the house to do some training!
We went to Target, where we practiced heeling and practiced ignoring friendly strangers with one of the store managers.
We also practiced leaving fuzzy fabric things alone, and I was doing marvelously until ... well, until a baby blanket flew off the shelf into my mouth! As soon as my human helped me get it out (and put it aside to buy), another one flew in!
We now have two baby blankets my person does not need. Fortunately, they were on super-sale and didn't put us back much. I needed more practice going through the check-out lane anyway.
Then we walked down the sidewalk to Staples, where we did heeling exercises. My human had to ask one of the clerks to help her find the "Easy" button. Miss Nancy uses the Staples' Easy button for training in the Service Tasks and Tricks class. Whenever one of us dogs pawed it properly, it would say "That was easy" which was loads of fun. Now we have one of our own!
Finally, we stopped by the office for a quick chat with our coworkers. I was in a down/stay for about 20 minutes and only fidgeted once.
Our last stop was the apartment management office to pick up a package that FedEx had tried to deliver on Saturday. I was perfect. I held my sit while we waited our turn and when my person was talking to the manager. I didn't respond to the people who were staring at me and whispering. I think they were afraid of dogs and didn't understand what an SDiT is.
Maybe they'll be a bit less afraid of dogs now that I provided such a shining example! One can hope, as my person says.
We just got back from a long walk on the short leash. We walked down to the local recreation center to watch the kids do tricks on their skateboards at the skate park, and to do more heeling exercises between sniff fests.
Tomorrow we are driving to see my person's tdoc. We are going to leave early and then take a few minutes to do some public access training at one of the stores near the office before our appointment. She thinks this will help tire me out so that I'll settle more easily during the appointment.
This is probably a good idea. The tdoc's office is full of tempting goodies, such as stuffed bears and puppets and doll hause with yummy... I mean with interesting furniture.
It was a good day after all! She is learning to trust me, I think.
April 6th 2010 6:22 am
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My dear person,
We need to get back out into the world! Trust me to let you know what you need to pay attention to: I'm getting fairly good at it.
Let's go to Target, or Staples or both! What about CostCo just for fun? We haven't been the library in ages.
Lean on me. We can do this.
Iris, your Service Werewolf in Training.
April 5th 2010 6:35 am
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Other than our scheduled wild and crazy ball chasing session in the early morning, we didn't go out yesterday. We did a lot of napping -- one of our favorite things.
My human thought she was doing a bit better, but last night, she kept seeing a black, cat-sized creature scurrying around the apartment. Thanks to my sharp, canine senses, it was immediately obvious to her that it wasn't real. It was still difficult for her not to be startled by seeing it.
She assured me that it doesn't seem to be a malicious creature. It looked at her once with electric migraine colored eyes, but didn't seem to be trying to frighten her.
I wish I could see it so that I could chase it away, even if it does mean well. I'll just have to be content to be available for reality checks as needed. And cuddles, too.
I had to wake her up from two nightmares last night. We got up after the second one and played a bit before it was finally time to go chase the tennis ball this morning.
We got caught in a rain shower at the dog park this morning and got soaked. It was so much fun! My human laughed at the rain. I don't mind getting wet. In fact, it reminds me of my excellent romp in the creek the other day... ah, good times.
I was too wet to go into the grocery store afterwards, so I stayed in the car and fogged up the windows while she shopped for more chocolate milk. She's drinking a bit too much coffee these days, I think. But I like that chocolate milk usually gets me into my vest and into the grocery store!
We probably need to drive to the pdoc's office to pick up documentation for disability today. Other than that, I think my person is going to want to stay home and nap.
That's okay with me as long as we're together. She needs me, you know.
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