Dagbok Dog

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My job at home

June 7th 2010 7:49 am
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These days, my primary job has been to keep my person active and engaged. What a challenge, even for me!

She doesn't want to do anything except for sleep. I interrupt her periodically, just on principle. Sometimes, I have to resort to mischief to get her back in the present. This makes her get out one of my Nina Ottosson games, or do some training, like opening and closing doors, or some of our Rally moves.

Really, I'm too happy to be ignored for long! At night, after goofing off with one of my toys on the bed, I've been snuggling with her, laying my head on her calves until she's asleep. She has fewer nightmares when I stay in physical contact.

I think she's finally coming out of her down-stay.

 

Long time no entry

June 6th 2010 7:22 am
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My person has not been up to updating my diary. She got some unwelcome news last week and has needed me to be especially attentive since. I've been sticking pretty close to her.

This morning, I sat next to her and put my chin on her knee and looked up at her with my especially imploring gaze. How could she resist doing my bidding? It was time to update my diary.

We have been doing some public access training. The day before yesterday, we ran a series of errands. We went to the vet's to just hang out in the waiting room so that I learn that going inside doesn't mean I'm going to have unpleasant things done to me, like shots or having my nails trimmed.

Then we went to the pharmacy to pick up my person's meds. There was a woman there who loved me so much that she kept petting me even though my person tried to tell her not to pet me. Finally, we walked away from our place in line.

After a bit of heeling practice in other aisles, we returned to the pick-up line. The woman came back and was making kissing noises and trying to get my attention, but my person had my attention and I ignored my new fan.

We went to the Verizon store next to get my person another bluetooth device. We had to wait quite a while for help so we walked around and I got more heeling practice in a crowd.

Target wasn't far away so we walked over. It was warm, so my person stopped in the shade a couple of times. I was fabulous in Target. During a long down stay, a little girl asked to pet me, but my person said no. She usually lets the kids pet me because we don't get much interaction with children, but I've been having trouble ignoring people when they give me attention. We need to work on my wave.

We went for a short walk before returning home.

This morning, it was a chocolate milk day. After our early morning fetch session, we went to a grocery store we've only visited a couple of times. I did not so do well. My person is beginning to understand that I am very bouncy while I'm cooling down after hard exercise.

I did several floor sniffs and then air sniffing in the meat and dairy aisle, so my person got us out of there quickly so that I wasn't tempted any longer.

While my person was trying to use the self-check out to pay for the milk, the manager came by and leaned over me, staring.

I got up really fast from my down stay. This startled him. He backed up and commented that I didn't like him.

My person said that my biggest challenge is that I like people a lot. He obviously did not believe her, so my person did her best to appear confident instead of slinking out.

It is time for me to start my morning mischief.

 

Apologies for diary lapse

June 2nd 2010 7:15 am
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My person has not been able to update my diary. We are still around and working hard, though.

 

Just a note

May 28th 2010 3:28 pm
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I had my very first and also very successful public transportation experience on Thursday when my person and I went with Ollie and his people to and from Davis via Amtrak.

We had many adventures along the way. I'll get my person to write them up as soon as she's able.

 

Diary catch-up

May 25th 2010 8:56 am
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Despite more naps than usual, we have still been working on public access training and Rally moves.

My person isn't able to remember everything we've done, nor the order in which we did them. We've been to the grocery store twice since she last updated my diary.

We have also:

Visited Costco: I did great! It was a dense crowd and I keep my friendliness to myself.
Visited a bookstore twice: I was magnificent once and not so magnificent the other time.
Visited Target: My heeling was the best it has ever been and my down-stay was superb.

I did a stellar job when I accompanied my person to the body shop to drop off the car for repair, and then did even better at the auto rental agency where we had to wait nearly 20 minutes in a very cramped and crowded waiting room: standing room only.

After that was when my not-so-great visit to the bookstore was made. My person thinks I had just had enough new stuff for one morning, including a new car to ride in. She kept at it for a few minutes, making heeling a really fun game! After my focus had returned to near-normal, we ended the session on that high note.

We also:

Went on several long walks on the short leash, and a couple on the long leash. Two of the short leash walks were at unfamiliar parks.

My person has been having more nightmares. I missed one last night. She isn't upset. She's thankful that I interrupt them so often.

I've been having streaks of mischief that have left my person groaning and laughing by turns. In fact, I'm dictating today's diary entry from my crate, where I am serving a brief time-out for trying to pull place mats off the dining room table.

 

Excellent training session at Target and long walks

May 23rd 2010 6:55 am
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First of all, thanks Dogster for choosing to make my diary one of those featured today!

Our daily pattern seems to be working out to be:

Early morning fetch
Grocery Store run (a couple of times a week)
Nap
Short walk/minimal training
Nap
Rally /obedience training
Long walk
Bed
(With variations for public access training or errands.)

After our naps, etc., yesterday, we went to a park on the Bay. It's taken me a while, but I finally got it through my person's head that I don't really like this park any longer. I drag my feet and sniff constantly. Every so often, I lie down and look at her. She finally got it and we made our slow way back to the car and went instead to do some public access training.

We had a very successful session at Target in the mid-afternoon. I have been improving with my heeling and wow, was I showing off in the aisles! Uturns, slow pace, fast pace, turns, 360's... My person didn't want to do any shopping that might interrupt my fabulous performance and we stopped on a very positive moment.

Off-duty and then off to another park we like for a walk. There was an unpleasant woman with an off-leash dog that wouldn't leave us alone. It was a very playful retriever mix and we would have been best buddies.

But I was on leash and this made playing a bad idea. The woman would call and call her dog until it finally listened to her. I can understand why it didn't want to go. We were much more fun!

My person kept trying walk in areas to avoid meeting up with them, but somehow, there they always there or coming closer. My person started wondering whether she was seeing things, but saw me seeing them each time. This meant that we were dealing with just an annoying person and not a hallucination. Yay!

There was some flapping yellow tape around a dumpster in the parking lot. It startled me once, and after I'd crept up on it, I discovered it was harmless and furthermore, was obviously a toy!

I wasn't tired enough yet, so we went to another park for a quick walk and then home. I took a nap after my dinner. When I woke up, it was nearly time for bed, which meant time for mischief! I was restless and had my nose in everything possible.

Fortunately, I'm perfectly willing to perform my last bit of mischief after my person has gotten into bed. She orders me to jump onto the bed and I find toys that are hidden in the covers. We snuggle a bit while I mouth my toy of the evening and she turns out the light.

 

Parks, parks, parks

May 22nd 2010 6:51 am
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Friday was a day with no public access training. My person thinks that sometimes, we need a break. Besides, she hasn't been doing as well as she'd like and it's hard to get out into public places.

No public access training doesn't mean we didn't do anything. After two excellent naps, we went to three parks in the afternoon: two of them brand new to me. My person wants to get me accustomed to new outdoor places in advance of the PSD Gathering in August, which will be held at a camp in the mountains.

The first park was a disappointment to her. I liked it just fine for the most part. My person wisely did not try to make me heel. Her goal was simply to have a loose leash as much as possible.

We walked on the path around the outskirts so that she could get a feel for the place. It was really large and had baseball cages for batting practice, where we stopped for a while to watch and listen. I wasn't really interested, but the sound metal bats hitting balls was new and my person wanted me to be exposed. Fine... I was exposed! :-D There were so many other exciting things to see and smell, I could hardly contain myself.

There were baseball fields and soccer fields with kids playing and they were fun to watch. There was a playground, but there weren't any children playing, so we didn't stop there.

What bothered my person was that even though dogs are supposedly allowed only on-leash, every dog we met was off-leash! Some came running at me.

They were mostly friendly, but one came at me with hackles raised and my person blocked it. The owner insisted it was friendly. Ha! What's that word people use? Deluded? Clueless?

Everyone at the park seemed to be familiar with each other, giving the feeling of a club rather than a public park. It is located at the end of a street, and perhaps it does serve as a common back yard for the surrounding neighborhoods.

Next, we went to a much smaller park where there was very little action. We walked on the path and I enjoyed smelling stuff along the way. There was a playground with a sand box and a lot of children and adults. I wanted to watch, especially the little boy digging a hole. Love of digging is something that child and I share. I would have been very happy to help, being a helpful sort of dog.

We didn't pause long, though. The parents were giving us the stink eye. I suppose they were just being protective of their pups. My person wonders if we look threatening. Maybe she should wear something different when we go out? I think she looks fine, but then, I always do!

Finally, we went to our favorite local park for a long walk on the short leash. I did a lot of heeling and a few Rally moves as we went. We stopped at the skate park to watch the kids do their skateboard, bike and rollerblade tricks. There was an exercise class in the field and we watched the humans do amusing things to the music of AC DC. Our friend would enjoy hearing about that, being an AC DC fan.

We returned home and had a quiet evening and got to bed at a reasonable time. My person had one nightmare early, but then slept well afterwards. Thanks to me, of course!

 

Easy day and sad news

May 20th 2010 8:04 pm
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It was a chocolate milk day so we went to the grocery store after playing fetch this morning.

I did really well except that there was one man in an aisle that I wanted to be friends with. The man was staring at me and I wagged my tail and turned my head toward the him as we passed and I startled him. My person is positive I didn't touch him, but he sure gave us the stink eye afterwards. Yikes! Is it possible that I'm not universally adored after all? I'll have to consider this during my next Zen chew session.

After a morning nap, my person opened her email and discovered that the facility where we take our lessons with Miss Nancy was damaged by fire. It is very sad. There were many animal casualties.

I'm going to have fewer new treats and chews this month because we sent the money to the shelter to help.

After a little bit of Rally training, we both had another nap. When we got up, we did a bit more training for Rally and then hopped in the car to go to the local park for a short-leash walk. I heeled part of the time and the rest of the time I was free as long as the leash was slack. We watched the kids at the skateboard park and the little kids with their scooters.

There were a couple of Italian Greyhounds running off-leash, but I was only interested in them when they met up with a husky-mix and were playing like mad. Even then, I could still hear my person and I responded to my name exactly as I should.

We walked a long time, and then we were back to the car. I didn't want to go home and took my time jumping into the back seat. And guess what! We didn't go home! We went to a different park down the road.

My person likes this park because there is playground for teeny kids and one for bigger kids right next to one another. After walking around, she likes to sit on a low wall nearby so that I can lie down and listen to the calming noise of screaming, happy children and watch them dart about.

We went home after that and I got my dinner and then took another nap. Now, my person is puttering around, waiting for time to talk to our friend before we head to bed and start a new day tomorrow.

 

Wednesday: Rally and ?

May 20th 2010 6:41 am
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Wednesday started normally.

My person was not at her best. I had to check on her a lot.

I know we took a couple of naps and my person did some email. But neither my person nor I remember what else we did until the time approached to go for a walk before Rally class.

If anyone else knows, please let send us a note.

Rally was great, even though the very barky border collie sat next to us. Our pal Ollie was there and he and his Mom demonstrated the new and complicated course we were going to work on.

And we started using a stool to work on my 'end work,' which is a Rally way to say being able to move my front legs and back legs somewhat independently. Imagine doing a swing with your front feet moving left and your rear feet moving right at the same time.

The first step was for me to put my front paws up on the stool. This was very easy for me. The next was for me to be lured in a way that encouraged me to move my rear foot or feet sideways. When I moved correctly, even a tiny bit, I got a click and a treat. I improved pretty fast. It was fun!

It's really hard, but my friend Ollie has accomplished this! Very cool. Now I know what to work for. It makes it easier for large dogs like me to maneuver through the course and to keep a tight heel.

After Rally class, our people chatted about class and other things. I didn't listen very closely. What I was really interested in was the grass just within reach. Yum!

My person does not like me to eat grass. It was so much fun for her to be distracted like that so I had a chance to indulge.

I was awake most of the drive home--Rally energized me--but took a nap as soon as I had a light dinner. My person talked on the phone a long time--Rally energized her, too--then we went to bed.

 

Tuesday: the body shop and training

May 19th 2010 7:13 am
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Our day began as usual. Yay! I love to play fetch and run wild first thing in the morning.

My person had an appointment at the body shop to repair the damage done by an unidentified flying object last week. When we got there, she put me in harness and after chatting with the estimator long enough for me to decide to do a down-stay instead of sitting, we went into the waiting room to wait.

The admin gave us the stink eye, but my person just smiled and put me into a down. I got bored and put down my head and mulled dog sorts of thoughts. Several people came through and ignored me properly. My person was pleased because she was not in a mood to defend or to educate. She just wanted to sit in the waiting room like everyone else and mull human sorts of thoughts.

The estimate was even higher than my person expected, but she has great auto insurance and thus did not need to cringe. She made an appointment to take the car in next week for them to fix it.

We had been prepared to leave the car with the body shop if necessary. My person was relieved, because she had not been looking forward to dealing with the car rental staff.

She was worried that they would challenge our access rights and had been practicing what she would say. She had also programed the phone number of the local police just in case she needed a report filed from an official entity. Too bad she left her phone at home!

Since we were already out and about, my person took me to a bookstore for access practice. I was practically perfect, except I sniffed at the carpeting in one aisle. I didn't sniff the floor in the cafe, though, where my person bought a small coffee.

She sat at a small table and she brought out a book she'd bought at the used bookstore and read for a while and sipped her coffee. I was in a down-stay (out of the way, for a change!) People looked at me but said nothing.

We went home and took a long nap before going on a long walk at a local park on the short leash. We got ambushed by a couple of kids on skateboards, but I was only mildly surprised.

Then it was home for dinner and time to relax. Our friend sent his love to me during the nightly phone call. This is proper and good, because it is true that I am most lovable and it is excellent that he recognizes this.

 
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