Dagbok Dog

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The coyote

September 27th 2010 7:47 am
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]

We had just gone out to play fetch just before dawn when my person noticed something large slip down into the ravine next to us.

I didn't pay any attention at first, because I was sitting politely, waiting for her to throw the ball... being extremely patient I might add.

When I gave up on having a ball to chase, I looked to find out just what was so interesting that she lost her focus on our priority of playing. Wow! A coyote!

We both watched silently as it wove its way through the dry brush. My person marveled at how its coat was nearly the same color as mine, with just a hint of red to make a difference.

When it stopped and looked back at us, I stood up. It watched us for a long moment and then continued on its way.

After one more glance at us, it disappeared over the hill. I wagged my tail slightly. Perhaps I recognized it as a cousin. My person waved good-bye to it, and then threw the ball.

 

A fabulous Saturday

September 26th 2010 10:17 am
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Yesterday was an exciting day! My person's sister and her sons came to visit us.

I really love those boys! They know exactly how to appreciate such a fabulous dog like me. I was quite liberal with my special kisses and they didn't tell me to go away. Wow!

I got over-excited when they were playing with the yoga ball and startled everyone with my intimidating, German Shepherd "hey I wanna play too!" bark. Uh oh.

I haven't had a lot of exposure to just a couple of kids playing so close to me without me being able to join in. I can watch a bunch of kids playing at the playground or skateboarding around the skate park without getting so excited.

Both boys helped with my training by playing gently with the ball while my person gave me treats for watching them play without getting excited. Later, they played a little more with the ball and I did great! My person was so happy to have a chance to have trustworthy kids to work with on this. Kids like this are not easy to find. We're so lucky that her nephews are such excellent people!

And guess what? The boys are both going to create and name a special scooter trick and a special skateboard trick and name them after me!

My person's sister loved on me, too! Can you believe it? So many new fans. (I'm really not surprised, but I'm trying to be modest. BOL! )

I was very disappointed to see them go. I moped a bit and then took a nap. When I woke up, I was ready for mischief and my person had to play with me a lot with my toys. She needed to lighten up. I'm very good at helping with that, as you have no doubt already noticed.

Today, our special friend is coming to visit. He doesn't know it, but my person and her mother have a list of things for him to help do while he's here. Good thing he has me to play with in between the tasks they want to him accomplish. I'm like a mini-vacation.

 

The road runner, plus I'm a Dogster Diary Pick of the day!

September 22nd 2010 8:42 am
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to make new Diary friends, Dogster!

We are still staying in my person's mother's den in Southern California. I've been pretty good about not chasing rabbits and not barking at the wild burros. But, there's this road runner...

He taunts me! Can you believe it? I think he actually waits for me to come out of the den in the evening so that he can tempt me into chasing him. I'm a predator! He's a bird!

He darts closer and closer and then when I can't resist any longer and begin to stalk him, he comes even closer!

But I still can't catch him! I thought I heard him laughing at me yesterday. It's just wrong.

I think I'm going to ignore his silly reindeer games today and see how he likes that!

Silly bird...

 

Still on an adventure far from home

September 20th 2010 7:36 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 1 person already has ]

My person and I have been on an adventure far, far away for many many many days. I've been working especially hard. So has my person.

We're staying at the den of my person's mother, who is slowly recovering from serious illness. This den is situated on the side of a mountain in Southern California. Don't ask me to point out the location. All I know is that it is many many many many many minutes over two days in our traveling den between our home den in the SF Bay area to this den in the mountains.

There are wild burros here and coyotes. I have yet to see any coyotes, but I listen to them sing every night and early morning. The burros pretend they don't notice me watching them as they wander past. I consider barking at them, but have so far settled for staring them down as they graze.

I've been so many new places I cannot remember them all. I've been to hotels, restaurants, hospitals, the ER, various doctor's offices, grocery stores and pharmacies. I've welcomed many new people to my person's mother's den: paramedics, visiting nurses, visiting physical therapists, UPS and FedEx delivery folks.

The den across the road is where my new friends Pamela and Jesus live. When they aren't in school, they help my person's mother water her garden and get her mail. I love them, especially Pamela. She's a natural dog person.

Our day still starts before the sun comes up over the mountains in the East. My person makes coffee and opens the windows and sliding glass doors to let in the cool air. I lie next to the door screen and look into the darkness while we listen to the burros and roosters greet the sun.

As soon as there is enough light to see, my person throws the ball for me up and down the dusty ground in the front portion of the property. Then I get to wander around and sniff the trails the rabbits have left since I last sniffed the place.

I work during the day in whatever capacity my person needs me. In the evening, she throws the ball for me again before my dinner. I am on the lookout for mischief after a brief post-dinner nap and have to be encouraged to settle down when it's time for bed.

We've seen our friend many times since we've been staying in this den. It's amazing how he finds us no matter where we go!

I have to go back to work. My person's mother isn't feeling well and my person needs me to work my magic for her.

 

Davis, CA with Ollie and Teagan

September 3rd 2010 9:09 am
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My person was treated to lunch yesterday by Ollie and Teagan's people. For those who don't already know, Teagan is Zeus's back-up SDiT.

I met Teagan in Auburn in the Spring, and we really wanted to play, but there was not an enclosed area for a GSD and Mastiff to goof off together, and my recall wasn't solid yet.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.


BART to the East Bay and Ollie's traveling den to Davis:

We missed the train we intended to take because my person seems to mis-estimate the amount of time it takes to get me in and out of my seat-belt in the traveling den, then into my harness. Plus, the traveling den moved really slowly on the freeway.

I was great on the train and the person who sat next to us didn't even realize I was there until he had sat down. He was very nice and had lots of good questions about service dogs. My person didn't feel like disclosing that I was a PSDiT and kept her answers general about my specific jobs.

When we got to the El Cerrito station, Ollie and his person were there waiting for us! We took a brief walk on the Ohlone Greenway before going to the gas station to meet with Uncle Brad! Wow!

Ollie and I sat in the back with my person between us. It was very cozy and we both loved on her during the trip to Davis, CA.


Teagan and the Thai restaurant:

When we got out of the Ollie's traveling den, I was so happy to see Teagan with her person! Our people were surprised and happy to see her.

I wanted to play with her again, but we were both on duty. I snuck in a few sniffs and kisses, but did fairly well for working around a new dog.

The people went for lunch to a Thai Restaurant. It was very comfortable for me because my person has gotten over (for the most part) fussing over how much space I take up. She likes me to be next to her so she can watch my responses to the environment.

Ollie was near and we got a bit of a snuggle in. He's my pal.


The Co-op:

After lunch, we walked to the Co-op, which is like a grocery store plus some extra stuff. Our people needed to use the bathroom, and I did great fitting in a regular sized stall instead of the spacious stall for people with disabilities.

Aunt Jeanne caught me sticking my nose into a trash can and nudged me with her cane. Oops, busted! I knew better and rushed to pretend to my person that I had had no such lapse, regardless of that Aunt Jeanne might tell her.

The people in the meat department were curious about us and seemed welcoming, so we posed for a photo in front of the meat counter. Please notice that I'm not sniffing at the meat. Yay me!

After we left the Co-op, I got to ride with Teagan in her traveling den to the UC Davis Health Center for Uncle Brad's appointment. Teagan is so friendly and gracious about sharing her space.


UC Davis Health Center:

Our people talk talk talked while we dogs were mostly very good. Teagan kept stretching toward me and I kept inching toward her, too. Ollie was so funny. He was playing jack in the box, popping up and down.

After Uncle Brad had completed receiving inadequate care from Health Center doctor, we got back in the traveling dens and went to Taco Bell.


Taco Bell:

The air and floor were cool, we pups got to snuggle and goof off a bit while the people talk talk talked again over tacos and sodas. Did you know that Taco Bell does not serve coffee?

Teagan and I dozed with our front paws touching and exchange a quick kiss, and Ollie snuggled me on the other side. The people were so amused by us and kept taking pictures and laughing. Sigh. People are odd sometimes, but we love them regardless.

After a long time, the people disengaged themselves from their chat and we all got into our traveling dens to return home.


The traveling den ride to El Cerrito:

My person was sandwiched between Ollie and me again and she was in human heaven. It took me a while to get comfy but before long, she as holding me so I could rest my head on her thigh. Ollie was resting his head on her other thigh so that he could be near his person in case she needed him.

Before I had had an adequate nap, we were back at the BART station and I had to go back on duty.


BART ride home:

My person didn't know that the Millbrae train wasn't running at that time of the evening, but figured out how to get home by taking a different train, then transferring in Oakland to the train that would take us back to our traveling den.

It was really crowded, and a lady who was afraid of dags sat down next to us, but I was careful and didn't alarm her and she relaxed. I didn't do a lot of napping because it was so crowded and my person needed me.

At one point, my person asked one of the nice standing passengers to tuck my tail for me because I forgot to do it myself. He did and good thing, because the person who took his place kept losing his balance and would have mashed my tail.

Twenty one stops after we got on BART, we were back to our own traveling den, I was off duty. It was a long day, but I was feisty when we back to our den, so my person had to keep me busy so that I'd be calm when it was time to sleep.

It was a great day with good friends and new fans.

 

The easy life

September 2nd 2010 5:38 am
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]

We haven't been doing much outside the apartment for fun, other than going to the dog park for my daily fetch session.

Well, except Tuesday when I had my nails trimmed and got a bath, all in the same day! That doesn't count. In fact, I'm trying to forget it. I hate it when the vet tech comes in and leads me away from my person to go trim my nail. My person just stands there and smiles! Can you believe it?

There were three very nice dogs at the dog wash who were also being tortured by being bathed, so we didn't get a chance to do more than sniff from a distance. This really wasn't adequate for introductions because the horrible soap was ruining our natural scents. Ugh.

Yesterday during our afternoon walk, we went to the apartment management office. I wasn't vested, but I acted as if I was. Yay for me!

My person is preparing for us to go take care of her mother again and our den (aka apartment) needs some repairs, so she scheduled them for while we will be gone. As far as I'm concerned, that's bad timing, because I really like the maintenance staff. They pet me and love on me whenever they see me. I feel bad that they won't have the chance to enjoy me this time.

Today is going to be great, because we are going to go play with my friends Ollie and Zeus in Davis. We'll take BART to the East Bay and then catch a ride with Ollie and his people to Davis, where Zeus will be meeting us! I love Ollie and Zeus, and I love their people.

It's almost time for me and my person to go play at the dog park. I keep nosing my person's arm to remind her. Not that my diary isn't important, but chasing the ball has to take its proper priority.

 

Getting back into our groove

August 31st 2010 8:46 am
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It's so much fun to be able to chase the ball every morning again!

It isn't as much fun to have my person on the computer so much, but at least she gets up to go through papers from time to time, muttering about her lack of organization. Much more entertaining for a dog.

It's especially fun when she drops a pile of papers and I get to help. Somehow, I get the feeling she doesn't think it all that helpful when I scatter everything so that she can pick up each individual paper instead of a bunch at a time. She needs to understand that making the fun last longer is a good thing.

We might have to take the traveling den to S. California again soon. I did just fine last time, so I'm ready for whatever comes. I'm always ready to add fans to my collection!

 

We're back!

August 28th 2010 7:30 am
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]

My person and I have been gone for many days. She says it has been just over three weeks. As long as that means many days, I'm in agreement.

First, we went to the PSDS 2010 Gathering in Colorado, and then we had to rush down to S. California to help care for my person's mother, who had collapsed and was hospitalized.

After an 11 hour trip in the traveling den yesterday, we finally returned home to my toys and my crate and my favorite places to lie down and dream.

I love my person's mother. I got to play with my person's nephews, which was the best! I made a lot of new friends at the rehabilitation facility we visited every day until my person's mother was discharged on Thursday.

She gets to stay with my person's nephews and their parents while she continues to heal. If I wasn't a dog, I would be envious of the chance to play with those excellent boys every day!

We even got to see our friend a couple of days! I didn't know he could show up in an unfamiliar place! I adore him.

I had to take good care of my person so she could help take care of her mother. It was hard work, but she says I did a great job.

Too much has happened to share everything. We're just happy to be back home!

 

Sunday -- it hasn't been a good day

July 25th 2010 8:24 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]

We were on our post-fetch cool down walk before dawn when we saw a large GSD coming up behind us. My person moved me several feet off the sidewalk and put me in a sit.

That dog dragged its clueless, cheerful (and obviously, powerless) person over to us and it attacked me!

My person dropped my leash to give me room and ran backwards calling me. I broke away and followed her. That dog's person laughed and said that that was how his dog said "hi."

My person bit her lip and we retreated while the dog was growling and the clueless person was smiling happily. I was okay, but my person was very unhappy about it, especially given my reaction to a GSD yesterday.

My person hasn't been well today, either. She's seeing people in our apartment who are not there. Thank goodness she has me so that she knows these people aren't really there. She knows that if any of these people were real, they'd be lining up to show me their adoration. That's how lovable I am!

She's going to talk to our friend briefly and then go to bed. She tells me that tomorrow will bring me a wonderful surprise. I wonder what it is?

 

Long, long, long day: classes, work and public- transportation

July 25th 2010 7:38 am
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Our morning seemed ordinary. We got up early, played fetch at the dog park and took a long, cool down walk, returning home for breakfast.

But that's where ordinary ended. My person was suddenly in a bustle and we dashed out the door by 6:45am. After a short drive, we were at the nearest BART station.


Public Transportation: BART

We took the train through SF and under the Bay to Oakland. We were under ground quite a noisy while. I was a little nervous at first, but as our ride continued, I relaxed. Finally, we transferred to a northbound train that made less racket and got off in El Cerrito.

We took a nice long walk on the Ohlone Greenway to get to the park where our agility class is held. A very long walk. Eventually, my person began to wonder if she was going the wrong way. She was.

Auntie Veronica sent Uncle Brad in their traveling den to rescue us. He got us to class in time to watch Auntie Veronica carrying the tire jump with Ollie heeling beside her.


Agility class

I was very excited during class. There were people hitting fetch balls with rackets right next to the agility course. There were so many dogs and surely they wanted to play with me, if only our silly owners would let us get closer.

I did better on the teeter board, and we are getting better with pacing through jumps together. My person has to run very fast to keep up with me once I got going.

Our new challenge was the elevated board walk. It is narrow for a big dog like me. At least I'm fairly low to the ground. Ollie had a harder time than me because he is almost all leg like a deer.

I got better. Then it was raised to three feet off the ground! I fell off once, but wasn't afraid to hop back and really enjoyed earning a treat on the target at the bottom of the downhill ramp.

I was fabulous in both the open and closed tunnels, and went directly into the weave poles without much hesitation.

I was still wound up at the end of class, but calmed down when I had the opportunity to accept adoration from a woman and her granddaughter, who had stopped to watch the class.


Lunch

Auntie Veronica and Ollie walked with us to a road-house restaurant for lunch. At first, we were seated next to someone who said they were allergic to dogs. The waitstaff cleared a different table for us on the other end of the restaurant, but we found someone else sitting there.

We went stood around and then finally went back to our original spot. Soon the waitstaff led us over to our occupied table and reseated that party to our previous position.

The lady with the allergies and her two friends kept glaring at my person throughout the meal. My person annoyed them by smiling angelically each time she saw them staring.

It was the first time my person was exposed to so much sustained unwelcome-ness. At first, she fussed about my taking up space, but desisted when Auntie Veronica reminded her that big dogs take up space. Duh!

After lunch, we pups went off-duty for a walk to Target.


Target

Target was crowded and I did well navigating, though I did some pulling. I didn't even think about shopping for my person, which made her very happy. My person bought a couple of items. While we were in line, Ollie got flicked with a wet mop by the person cleaning the aisle. Poor guy!

Our people stopped for refreshments at the cafe. As we were leaving I started barking like crazy! My person glanced up and saw another sable GSD: a guide dog. We walked away quickly until I stopped barking, and my person did some training while the dog was still in sight.

My person was really shocked. She and Auntie Veronica regrouped to discuss what happened. It seemed that the guide dog was giving me the stink eye. This might help explain what happened, but it does NOT excuse my low threshold response.

Now my person knows that we have to to train specifically for meeting up unexpectedly with dogs inside stores. She'll also be discussing this with Miss Nancy, because it was the first time I ever responded in this way. I've never barked while on duty before, even when meeting up with other dogs.

When we went outside, the guide dog was in the parking lot, giving me the stink eye some more. I glimpsed him, but didn't respond this time. We went around him.


The bus to Freestyle class:

We walked to the street where the bus would take us to the Berkeley Humane Society for our freestyle class. There was a homeless man on the corner with a dog that didn't seem to like us dogs.

This man was very polite, though, and kept the dog engaged while we passed, praising his dog for not barking at us. This made it easy to get around.

The bus was crowded, but people moved to let our people sit down. We pups were pooped, but our people were kept awake by lively conversation about us. Sometimes it becomes exhausting to be the center of attention.

The AC Transit bus driver was really nice. He asked which stop we would need to so that he could remind us. We were still 5 minutes late to class, thanks to the high volume of traveling dens.


Freestyle:

My person didn't practice any freestyle with me during the week and Ollie's Mom forgot to bring her music for her routine. We practiced heeling to different rhythm and switching from left heeling to right by each person and dog turning in place and continuing in the new direction.

We also practiced basics, like how to manage treats to reward from off-hand to lead hand only when a treat is needed. We learned rolling over which was fun, except when I really did roll over the first time. How could I know what to expect?

Finally, we practiced twirling on command at a distance. We were all really tired by the end of class and sat for a few minutes to relax and cool down while the people chatted.


The bus again:

Soon, we were back on the street, walking to the bus stop to catch the bus that would take Ollie home and me to the BART station. Our people had lively conversations again while we pups doze.

One man really wanted my person to describe her hallucinations to him in a way he could understand. Since they take place in an alternate reality, this was impossible, though she tried.

Too soon, it was Ollie's stop and we had to say good-bye. I whined a little after he was gone. People said, "awwwwww." I don't like it when our pack splits up.


BARTing home:

My person made it to the train platform without much confusion. I got a lot of practice walking up and down stairs! When we got on, there was no space for us to sit, so we stood a while until a young man gave us one of the seats for the disabled. Whew! I could finally lay down. I hardly cared about the bumps and screeching of the train and was certainly not ready to get up and exit when we got to our station to make our transfer.

When we got on our second train, I was looking for a comfortable place to relax. My person sat next to someone near the wheelchair attachment area who didn't mind dogs, so I could lay down.

After that lady left, my person moved over and I was free to lay down next to the wall. I could hardly stay awake! She had to shake me to wake me when we got to our station.

I jumped happily into the traveling den and jiggled with impatience while she put on my seat belt harness. Plop! I stretched out on the back seat and was back in dreamland before she pulled out of the parking lot.

When we got home, I ran into my crate and looked at her. Dinnertime! I got my Kong with soft food inside, and a chew toy. I was set for the night. I chewed until my became too sleeping to keep my head up.

After my last potty walk of the evening, I slept with my person on the bed with my head on her calf.

 
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