February 12th 2010 2:31 pm
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Last night was our final game night for the winter. Darn it. We were just getting good at our games...although sometimes I decide I'm tired of "stay"ing which makes it hard on my tic tac paw team. I just want to be with Mom. Sheesh. Thing is, I KNOW what I'm supposed to do. Sometimes, I just want to do something else.
Art, the Boss' husband, took videos of us playing our games. Mom is making several movies out of the video. The first one she put together was the Tic Tac Paw game. Check it out on my page! I was on the winning team both games. But, who's counting, eh? :)
February 13th 2010 7:11 pm
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We finally got some sunshine today. It felt SO good. Belle and I went out to the yard and lay on the grass. It was the kind of day that makes you lick your chops once, put your head on your paws and almost completely close your eyes. Ummmm.
Then, Mom took me over to the park to chase my ball. I met some other dogs over there. They were out in the sun with their people, too. After that we went for coffee and a bagel at Mom's favorite place. I know the drill. Stand in line, "post" behind her at the cash register, wait for her to put my mat down, crawl onto it and fall asleep. When they say "it's a dog's life" is this what they're talking about?
Today, a friend of Mom's was there. He knows all about Mom's diagnoses because he has some of the same things, his wife, also Mom's friend, has some of the other things. Mom felt good because she felt comfortable talking openly and enthusiastically about what I do for her. We sat next to Mom's friend an hour or so. He is a Vietnam vet. They talked a lot about PTSD--what heals and what sticks around. He told Mom stories about going back to Vietnam to "make amends." Mom was really touched by what he said because she teared up a little bit.
Mom's friend said he was so glad Mom has me. He told her she looks really good and like she's in a good place. Mom smiled, patted me a little and said, "thanks".
February 13th 2010 7:48 pm
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Mom said I should post this. She just put it on youtube. We had LOTS of fun playing musical chairs. Watch:
February 14th 2010 2:22 pm
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Mom has been honking into a hanky or a tissue for several days now. Sheesh. I can tell she doesn't feel so great. This morning she took some aspirin and went to sleep for a long time. I've been patient about going to the park for my run, but hey, I'm ready to go. The weather is nice and my park ball is sitting in the car, just begging for me to run after it. I ask to go out, she lets me out. That's my way to say, c'mon Mom, let's go.
Okay, I'm not without empathy, after all, I am here to help her. I do that a lot. It's just that I can't do anything about her cold. I bring her my ball, but that doesn't help. I lie down next to the couch or her chair so she can pet me. That's nice and she likes it, but it doesn't get her up and out.
She just had her lunch--peanut butter sandwich. She always gives Kermit (our parrot) some. My sister Belle is a food freak, so she REALLY wants to get in there and get that crust when Kermit tosses it onto the towel below his table. Mom has a double dog pen barrier up because Belle figured out how to push right in there to get the stuff that smells good.
I don't care about the sandwich. What I know is that since Mom has eaten her lunch, maybe NOW she'll take me to the park. Here's hoping.
February 15th 2010 4:50 pm
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Mom had appts in Sacramento today, one with her dr. who prescribed me for her. He was so pleased with me. I love that. He can see how much better Mom is. He loves it that I'm getting Mom out to places she used to not go. She is doing better generally because I make her focus on different things. Just like she doesn't let me fixate on squirrels, I don't let her squirrel brain get fixated on anything either.
Today, after her second appointment, we walked around the K street mall to see how I'd do with a light rail train passing closely in front of me. I just sat there, stretched out my neck and sniffed at it. It is bigger than a squirrel, that's for sure. It didn't bother me.
We stood at a bus stop while a couple of buses came and went. She kept looking at me. I'd look back, thinking "what?" We walked a couple blocks and there was this nice bus driver waiting to start his run. Mom asked if she could practice with me, that I'd never ridden a bus before. He said "sure." Mom said she only wanted to go a few blocks so I could experience a bus ride. He didn't even charge us for the ride! We walked into the bus and sat down. I looked at her. She was smiling at me. "Good girl!" She even gave me a treat which was totally unnecessary. She had it in her hand in case she needed to lure me in. Hah! Surprised her. When we were ready to get out, the man asked if Mom wanted to practice taking me through a group of people waiting to get on. She said, "sure, thanks." When he stopped, he held his hand up to the people at the door and said "coming out." Mom said "thank you so much" to him and we walked down the street while she gave me another treat. I'm thinking, hey, let's ride the bus some more.
Usually, I work for praise. Mom gives me special treats only occasionally, just for new things I might balk at or when she teaches me special tasks. That makes new stuff REALLY special. I say, what's next? Bring it on.
February 17th 2010 10:00 am
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The Basic Training Orientation class starts tonight. Orientation is boring because all they do is talk and look at their instruction papers. Blitzen and I stay in our places while the newbies get instruction--no demos or anything. The good thing is Mom always throws the ball for me before class. That means TWO ball chasing sessions on class days. Then I can just snooze.
Right now, the hampers are sitting in front of the door--laundry day. I'm getting used to that, lying on my mat while she folds clothes. We usually walk over to Peet's and get some coffee. That's a place where people make goo goo cutie wootie over me. Humans are so funny. You'd think they'd never seen a cute dog in a vest before. Maybe some of them haven't. I'm getting better at staying focused on Mom or just looking at them without reacting. Mom has starting using Ollie's Mom suggestion of saying "ignore" which tells the people what I'm supposed to do. Some people don't get it anyway, but I do.
I enjoy full days like this. It makes me happy to go different places and do different things. I like seeing the Boss, Lisa and especially Blitzen. It makes Mom happy, too.
February 20th 2010 8:17 pm
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Whew! We just got home from our trip to San Francisco to visit our service dog buddies. It's so exciting for me when we get together with them because everything is new and different. I got to run in sand and grass with the ocean air smell BOTH days.
We went other places where there were a lot of people and cement and activity. I get so caught up that I forget to stay next to Mom. Today, she had to go back to that "like a tree" thing where she stops, I feel the lead and think, "oops." I scramble back to her side and pretend like I was there all the time.
I met Dora for the first time. Man is she cute. She has 5 times as much energy as I do and that's A LOT. Yesterday we had lunch with Jolanda in SF and then dinner with Jolanda and Dora at a nice restaurant in Emeryville. By then, I was so tired, I just crashed. Jolanda lay by the table with two pink balloons tied to her collar and Dora had fun going between her mat and Jolanda while our mom's ate.
We stayed in a motel overnight. I'm getting used to that. Mom brings my stuff--crate, bed, a bone and toys. What more does a working girl need? Oh, I know, a VEST. Speaking of that, Mom lost mine. Sheesh. Only people who know her well know this secret--she loses stuff. Sometimes she is not very grounded and she leaves things places--her water bottle, coffee cup, sweat shirt, jacket, etc. Whatever she takes with her, there's a 50-50 chance she'll forget it. But my VEST? Anyhoo...she has beat herself up over it enough. She'll either get it back because someone is kind and honest or she'll set me up with another one. Hey, you know, like I always say...give 'em a break, they're only human.
With all that and a big day out today when Iris and Ollie were also there, I am exhausted. Now, I am going to curl and dream about big green fields by the ocean.
February 22nd 2010 10:34 am
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I've given Mom a day to rest up. She said she was really tired yesterday. It only takes me one night's sleep and I'm ready to go again. We went food shopping and out for coffee yesterday, but no ball chasing. Okay, sure, it rained, but not all day.
Yesterday, I was so energized I did my jump and spin in the living room with my sister Belle. She plays, but she's pretty old and after while, she tells me to knock it off. Yesterday, after the rain stopped, there were places in the yard that were PERFECT for what Mom calls my "landscaping." I love that, although some good digging always ends with me in the tub and Mom using the shower sprayer to wash off my feet...sometimes my belly. Hey, I'm used to it and just stand there. It doesn't stop me from landscaping more, it just keeps Mom from worrying about muddy paw prints everywhere.
Mom played with video and pictures yesterday and put two movies on my page. Check 'em out. She is now working on her photos to put up for friends to see. She is slow at things. That's okay, though. I'm pretty patient.
BUT, I'm ready to go out. It's sunny. The park is waiting for us. The way she keeps looking at me, I know we'll go eventually. She can work on the photos later, right?
February 23rd 2010 11:23 am
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Mom doesn't want to let go, but no one has called about my missing vest. Last night, she pulled out the baby vest I started wearing 7 months ago or so. She thought I was growing out of it when she ordered the one she lost. She had also pulled off the patches to use on the vest she lost. Last night, she got out my old vest, took the straps for around my chest ALL the way to their ends and put it on me. By golly, it's going to fit. She didn't want me to have to wear my backpack all the time because it's bulky. She had ordered patches for my backpack, but hadn't glued all of them on (good old velcro). She's going to fix up my old vest so I can wear it. She's relieved because my gear is expensive.
Today, it's cloudy and cold. I keep going outside thinking it'll be nicer, then don't want to stay out there, not even to do landscaping. Mom will probably take me to chase my ball pretty soon. This is a TWO time ball chase day because we have school tonight, intermediate obedience. She throws the ball for me before class, too.
I like intermediate classes because I know all the dogs from other classes. It's fun to watch them learn more complicated things like behind the back recall, off leash heeling, walking down and one at a time recall. The Boss steps up the distractions during stays--bubble wrap popping, stuffed toys that roll around on the floor and laugh. Mom got a little pull back race care out of her cereal box and gave it to the Boss for a distraction. I bet they'll use that in this class.
They also practice "dog to dog" circles with people standing a few feet away. Dogs learn to heel REALLY close to other dogs in a sit/stay or down stay and everyone ignores each other. Blitzen and I don't demo as much except for new stuff like walking down/stay and walking stand/stay. No matter what, though, when I work at class, I get to chase my ball first and get to play with Blitzen after class. I get to see the Boss and Lisa. They always pet me and let me know how special I am. Even if I sleep through the rest, I love that.
February 24th 2010 10:43 am
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OMD, this is so cool! We have a SD in our intermediate class this time around. She is a boxer that the Boss helped train several years ago. The boxer's person has been sick for over a year and hasn't been able to take her pup out to work in public. As a result, the boxer has forgotten about being disinterested in other dogs. Since her person is in a wheelchair that can be dangerous.
What's cool is that the boxer is getting a refresher course while all the other dogs are learning to work around a wheelchair. The Boss and Mom both love that. I do too, although I just stay in my corner, in my bed and watch. Okay, maybe I'm biased, but I just love other SDs. Some of my best friends...well, you know the rest.
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