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Dagbok Dog

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I'm exhausted! Very rough night for my person.

July 11th 2010 6:40 am
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I didn't get much sleep last night. My person had a series of nightmares. Good thing I was there to interrupt them.

I finally got some sleep around 3:30AM because she dreaded going back to sleep and stayed up with a boring book until it was time to get up and start our day. She said I was the only reason she wasn't a basket case this morning. I don't know how she could be a basket or a case, but I take praise whenever it is offered.

Our post-fetch walk was shorter than usual. That's okay. It just meant that breakfast was all the sooner!

We might walk to the Library this afternoon. The books she got last time were stupid. I can't perceive a difference between the stupid books and the good ones or else I would help her choose.

It wasn't that long ago that I learned that books were not chew toys. They were all tasty to me.


Lazy Saturday

July 10th 2010 9:53 pm
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We walked to the grocery store after our long post-fetch walk. It was chocolate milk day, and we got carrot's too. My person didn't take our backpack. She took my old red vest because it was easier to carry.

I wasn't quite as well behaved as usual, but this might have partly been because the produce aisle had piles of vegetables on the floor. Very tempting.

I was great in line though, and the checker was one of my most dedicated fans. She asks about me every time and my person gives her a quick update on my progress.

Later, I napped while my person led her online support group for people with mood disorders. Then she napped, too.

A lazy walk in the evening was followed by some Rally moves training and more chews for me to enjoy. It's nice to have a day at home after a busy week.

We don't know what we're going to do tomorrow. I'm sure we'll think of something!


The Library on Thursday and Costco on Friday

July 10th 2010 8:45 pm
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We didn't do much on the day after Rally. Other than our early morning fetch and long walk, we only ran one errand. The Library: a labor of love.

We walked. Again, I was behaving so well that my person could attend to the task of looking for something good to read. Yay for me! My person had to get help because her card wasn't working, so this gave the librarians a chance to admire me. Which they did, of course!

Friday morning, after a brief nap, my person hooked my harness onto the folding cart she uses for laundry and we set off on a new adventure. It's the first time we've taken the cart with us.

We walked and walked and then we were at Costco. We've never walked there before. My person suited me up just in time for a kind, older gentleman to ask questions about me. When he learned that my person was training me for herself because she had a disability, he offered to help her with her cart. What a nice man!

We were there almost an hour. A lot longer than usual! It's been quite a while since we last got supplies. We didn't spend much time practicing. I was truly on duty.

We looked for Bully sticks for me, but our Costco doesn't carry them. Howl! We got milk and cheese and Cheerios and gum to chew instead of eating sweet things, and bananas and unsweetened applesauce. The line was long and I was perfect. People stared but I didn't try to greet them. I'm getting used to basking in my fans's admiration without attention back.

It was a slower walk home with a full cart. We stopped at a Baja Fresh restaurant for lunch to go for my person as a treat. I enjoyed the cool floor while we waited for her cheese quesadilla to be done.

Finally, I got to be off-duty and sniff around on the way home. We had to stop a couple of times in the shade to let me rest on the grass. And then we were home. Yay for us both!


Rally day!

July 10th 2010 8:14 pm
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On Wednesday, my person and I walked to the grocery store after we finished our early morning long walk. I was excellent in the store. My person is finding that she can focus more on her shopping as I improve.

We walked through the community center on the way home, just for practice. I saw many new, tiny fans there because of the day care program. Unfortunately, I did not have time to greet them properly, so I wagged my tail. They understood.

My person and I had a nap and then we hopped in the car. When we got out, we were at the Veterinarian's clinic. It was time for my nails to be done! Ick! I HATE to have my nails done.

This time, my person did not go back with me to the grooming room because she wants me to be comfortable being handled without her presence.

The tech said I did just fine, but I was NOT happy. I was ready to leave! Instead of running out the door, my person made herself comfortable in the waiting room and fed me the occasional treat for a bout 15 minutes. Maybe the Vet's is not such a terrible place to be after all...

We got back in the car and got out at Target for some quick shopping. Again, I was fabulous. Then we went to a restaurant to practice me staying under the table in a booth. At first, I wanted to peek out like an eel in a reef, but soon, I curled up and dozed.

Sound like a busy day? We weren't done yet! It was Rally class night!

I did okay on the advanced course.

I didn't consider the treats in the bowl to be a distraction; they were obviously there as a reward for doing so well! Somehow, my person and I got our signals crossed though, because she made me stop eating them!

The best part of the evening was when Ollie and his Mom got in the front seat of our car and we drove down the street. I saw my person got some kisses from my pal. She enjoyed playing with his cranial tuft. So soft.

After we said good-bye, I dozed and when I woke up, we were home. A very long day. I didn't even wait for my dinner. I stretched out and slept until morning.


Bragging about BART

July 7th 2010 4:54 am
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Yep, you guessed it. On Tuesday, I rode BART with Ollie and his Mom. We were trotting along the Ohlone Greenway just so that I could become more accustomed to the sounds of the train and I did so well that the people changed their plans and decided to take the train.

We walked around a bit on the platform. There was much to see and sniff. I kept wanting to get closer to the edge, but this made my person too uncomfortable, even though she should have known I wasn't going to jump down onto the tracks. Oh well.

A train came and went and then another one came and I followed Ollie onto the train. It was obviously no big deal to him, which helped me when I was nervous.

We got off the train, and there was much praise from all (thank you, thank you). The people thought it might be interesting for me to experience going underground, so we got on another train right away.

Ollie's Mom videotaped us. Don't I look pretty?

Oll ie reassured me about half way through the ride and I was calm enough to lay down. I did great, especially for it being only second time ever on BART! Do I not rule?

By then, we were all tired from the excitement and our people were hungry. We took AC Transit to a Thai restaurant on stilts, where our people had their lunch. One of the waitstaff was afraid of us dogs and she was brave to set down the dishes.

After lunch, we took another bus and something absolutely unexpected happened. Two young women ran away from me, screaming. This has never happened before! How could I add them to my fan base if they ran away?

Oh well, maybe I'll catch them another time. It's possible they didn't see how beautiful Ollie and I are. My person intends to be taking public transportation to the Humane Society for our classes, so they might still have a chance to admire me properly in the future.

The people wanted to sit and chat, so we went into a local Peet's Coffee. We curled up under the table/shelf and let the people do what they wanted.

One exciting thing was that I got to ride in Ollie's car! The people needed it to be moved closer to the cottage, so of course, I offered to help! I jumped in and made myself comfortable in the back seat and my person followed into the front seat and closed the door.

Ollie watched as I rode in his spot as we backed up the driveway. It was very comfortable and fun.

After that, the people said good-bye and my person strapped me into my seat-belt harness and we went home. It was another very successful day. Tiring yes, but very satisfying.


The shoe game.

July 5th 2010 6:34 pm
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I have trained my person to log off the computer by applying a simple distraction task using. . . (it's pure genius)... her own shoes! It took quite a while to train her, but the result has been worth it!

I stand and look at her for a minute or two to test whether I have to actually go as far as play the shoe game with her to win my objective.

If she ignores me, or just pets me and then goes back to typing, I swoop in and and grab her shoe and run away with it.

"Hey, that's my shoe!" she cries. I turn around and look at her.

"Bring it here." I return and give her the shoe, looking as adorable and amusing as possible.

When she returns her attention to the computer, I grab the other shoe and run away. (It almost always takes two sessions of the game to get her full attention.)

I return her shoe when she requests, and she will finally close the laptop and we play.

Sometimes I have to do this a couple times in the same day! I work so hard...


July 4th evening -- the festival and my first fireworks

July 5th 2010 7:03 am
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Yesterday evening, we took a short-leash walk and ended up back at the park where the 4th of July festival was in full swing. What a crowd! There were lots of dogs on flexi-leads. Sigh. Enough said about that.

We walked through a mini-carnival and watched the kids on rides and listened to them screaming. Toddlers were running around and parents chased them while talking on cell phones. Chaos. Perfect training opportunity.

There were bounce houses and we sat and watched the kids careen and laugh and scream. There was a rock concert and kids playing soccer in the street closed off for the festival.

I got really excited about the soccer and leapt up several times, almost barking. We walked about 20 paces away, but it was still too exciting for me to watch without wanting to join in, so we walked another 20 paces and sat down to watch. Every time I looked at the game, I got a click and a treat. Before long, I was anticipating the clicks and looked at my person after looking at the game.

We ambled home. On the way, we sat on the grass in front of the Jewish Community Center to watch the people arriving to watch the fireworks display. Lots of dogs and baby carriages and children running around.

Later at home, my person was on the phone with our friend when there was a Boom! followed by pops and crashes. Whoa! What the heck was that? I was unsure what to do about it. It sounded like someone was hammering on the wall of our patio. Maybe it was that evil black and white cat that stalks me!

There was another Boom! and suddenly, a piece of cheese fell out of the sky and landed in front of me. Wow! Can you believe it? Then a piece of lamb and rice treat fell during a really loud crash. Before long, I was looking forward to the new noises because they caused really yummy treats to fall out of nowhere.

This morning, we returned to the park after morning fetch, and it was almost empty! We walked around the empty booths and I had to leave a bunch of food left lying about. What a waste! I could have helped clean up.

Later, we'll walk to the grocery store. Yay! Car rides are so boring. Walking means there's the possibility for adventure.


Happy July 4th!

July 4th 2010 10:28 am
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Our local celebration is setting up down the street at one of our favorite parks. We walked through it during our post-fetch amble this morning. My person wanted to expose me to changes in a familiar place.

Later, after breakfast, we had some errands. First, we walked to the library to drop off books, then we walked back through the park to the grocery store for milk and carrots. On our way, I added a new fan to my growing club. One of the security personnel staffing a street closure saw my harness hanging on the backpack and had lots of questions. He got a pamphlet and kiss (from me, not from my person).

There were lots of dogs in the park (only one of them growled ot me) and people were putting up tents to have shady places to rest during the day while waiting for the fireworks display tonight. One man was playing with a soccer ball and I really wanted to help with the goofing off!

There was food and flapping banners and people unloading trucks with vendor goods - tee-shirts, pinwheels and flags.

We went first to the pharmacy for gauze to clean out my ear that is infected. I did great! No sniffing in the aisles. This is hard for me, because the carpet holds mysterious and welcoming scents.

At the grocery store, I was great until we came upon a spill in the dairy section. I snuck a lick from a puddle of milk before my person stopped me. It wasn't the right thing to do --very, very bad -- but it could have been worse. Perhaps she should consider my lapse to be a personal service. If I hadn't been interested in the puddle, she would have walked straight through it. She might have slipped and broken something that would make it impossible for her to throw my ball in the mornings. I couldn't have THAT.

After we left the grocery store, I was back off-duty. We met a police officer on our way back through the park and he let me greet him. My person explained that I was in training and asked what the officer thought about my person bringing me to the police station some time for exposure to officers in uniform. He thought it was a great idea and invited her to phone the office and arrange it.

Even though it wasn't even 9:30am yet, it was warm and we rested in the shade a couple of times on the way home.

Now, I'm ready for a nap. It's been a busy morning. My person said that there will be a challenge this evening. I wonder what it might be...


Catching up: Another Bus Ride and Rally and the vet and- SamTrans office and the Grocery store...

July 2nd 2010 6:47 am
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I've been keeping my person so busy that she hasn't had time to update my diary!

On Wednesday morning, we hustled over to the bus stop to catch the 8:33 to the shopping center. Some people on the bus remembered my name and were happy to see me. When we arrived, we ran past the place where the grey cat attacked us on Monday. Whew! Safe!

It was a quick trip to Target for nothing special and then back to the bus stop. Ho hum... shopping is becoming no big deal. Again, we ran past the territory of the grey kitty. We did some heeling exercises before the bus came and I did really fabulous.

Wednesday night was Rally class with our friend Ollie. My person called me a butt-head and a little monster at the beginning of class because I was over-excited and not paying attention.

She was really surprised when I ended the class with an excellent run of the advanced course we'd worked on. That ought to teach her to be patient with me!

Thursday, we went for a drive and ended up at the vet's office. I was very suspicious and I was right! The vet wiped out my ears with gauze and then twirled a Q-tip inside my ear. I have an ear infection! My first one and hopefully, my last.

And I got shots! Three of them. The vet gave me a really tasty treat to apologize for treating me like a pin cushion.

I was happy to get back in the car. When we got out, my person suited me up and we went into the SamTrans office to submit paperwork to get a discounted regional transit card. The lady let us be together for the ID photograph. I'm looking away from the camera in the photo, but my beauty is still obvious and that's what counts.

We had a lazy day after that, but my person was really tired and had to go to bed early. I slept with my head on her thigh.

This morning was chocolate milk day! Hooray! We took a long walk after playing fetch, and then we took the car to the grocery store. I was brilliant! We used a cart and I have never heeled so reliably.

I am now enjoying a special post-breakfast chew. We might go to the library later... or we might just goof off at the park. It is good to have an accomplishment accomplished before 6:30 in the morning!


Another pubilc transportation adventure

June 29th 2010 1:57 pm
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After playing fetch for a while, my person took me on a rambling walk for about an hour. There was much to sniff and I was delighted. I had a light breakfast while she packed our backpack, attached my harness to the backpack strap, and away we went to catch the bus to a different mall.

The one of the landscape maintenance folks were walking back and forth on the grass with this big, roaring machine thing. They were doing it right where we needed to stand and I was a little nervous when it roared close, but I relaxed as they went back and forth several times and never once headed directly for me.

When the bus came, it let out a big PPPPPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHHHHTTT! and I jumped back. Only for a second. I got on without much fuss and we found a seat in front.

I think everyone was happy to see me! The people had lots of questions for my person and she gave out a couple of brochures. One question that comes up a lot is whether I will protect her if someone attacked her.

What people really want to know is whether I'd go into Rin Tin Tin rescue mode and ... we just don't know. For now, my person protects me so that I can do my work. For the record, I have been perfectly happy to stand behind her when dogs come at me. She's a very effective growler.

We went first to a bookstore. She did a lot of browsing, or as I would put it, sniffing with her eyes. We went up and down the elevator a couple of times and we spent a lot of time standing at the top and the bottom of the escalator. My person sniffed out a book she liked.

There was a young man who was unhappy with my person because she asked him not to pet me. She didn't let anyone in the entire store pet me! Sheesh! We walked over to the mall proper and spend some time with the escalators. I still haven't gotten curious enough to step on, but I'm wiling to get really close.

My person did let two people pet me. Two teen-aged girls who were being pushed in wheelchairs wanted to say hello to me. Of course, I gave them kisses. Their faces were too far away, so I kissed their hands. I could tell they liked me even though they could not speak or smile. Dogs don't need words.

We stopped at a cafe for a quick coffee and then it was time to catch the bus to go home. But the bus didn't come. Huh. Other buses came and went. Well for barking out loud, it wasn't the correct stop! And the next bus was in an hour.

Alas. The best thing to do when stuck like this is to go find something to eat. And she did. California Pizza Kitchen wasn't busy yet. The staff didn't blink and gave my person a nice boothlet. I had just enough space to lie in the dark under the table. I quickly began to nap and didn't move until it was time to leave. The people seated near us had no idea I was there until we left.

After a quick visit to the escalators, we pawed it over to the bus stop. Some of the people waiting for the bus home had been on our bus earlier. They were very friendly and still interested in me. Of course. My person found one more pamphlet to give away and then the bus came.

As soon as we got off the bus, I was off-duty. Time to make up for all the sniffing I missed out on earlier. Squirrels! Crows! Stinky yucky stuff in the grass! Hooray!

One thing my person has realized is how much more I can help her now that we are using public transportation and are not separated in the front and back car seats when getting from place to place.

Sometimes people are slow. That's okay. I still love her.

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