April 21st 2010 10:50 pm
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Rain, rain, rain. Mom looks out the window in the morning, looks at me and then sighs. She still gets me out to the park, even if it's just for a few minutes. Today, I got really wet under my belly. My feathers get all kinky. It's only bad when the goose poo on the grass at the park gets watery and the smell gets on me. Mom hates that. She makes me stand in the car while she uses grooming wipes and rubs my coat to get the stink out. This always leads to a butt bath...stinky=bath.
Mom has been having a hard time sleeping lately. She needs sound or something going on to go to sleep--usually it's the TV or satellite radio. Last night, she went from TV to music which usually means she'll be snoring in a matter of minutes. That didn't happen. She tossed and turned. Even though I'm in my crate, it's hard for me to sleep soundly when Mom isn't. She took a pill, she had her hot chocolate, she watched some more tv. Finally, she brought me up on the bed with her. Wow, that was weird. I've never been on Mom's bed. It's REALLY high. I couldn't even jump up there if I tried.
I thought maybe Mom wanted to play so I started putting my nose in her face and patting her cheek with my paw. She laughed at me. Then she put me down by her side and told me to "settle." I thought, hey, this is pretty cushy. Mom's here. I don't have my crate around me, but that's okay. I stretched out against Mom's back and started to doze. Mom left the tv on for a little while, then she started snoring and the tv went off by itself. I felt her next to me all night long. i even slept in late with her because I was so comfy.
This morning Mom thanked me for helping her sleep. When I'm next to her, she calms down and her body stops that vibrating thing it does. So, I guess I'll just use my crate to chill out in. When Mom puts her computer away and before she turns off the light, she's going to bring me up on the bed to help her sleep. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.
April 19th 2010 7:52 pm
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Mom did something new today. She helped the Boss and Lisa do an evaluation of a naughty 4 month old puppy. They sent his people away to see if the problems in training class are because of his people or if he's just a tough little monster. The verdict? Monster. All three of them took turns walking him, simple stuff, heeling, sitting, turning around. They worked with him for an hour and a half and he was still throwing tantrums! He'd go along, dum tee dum tee dum and then WAAAAAA! he'd squeal and throw himself around. He'd decide he didn't want to do it and just go brain dead stupid. When he's just sitting there, he's really cute, a fuzzy blond kid with a curled up tail--they say Anatolian Shepherd mix. He's a big boy.
I watched the whole time, thinking, why is he acting like that? I like watching Mom work with him. She's really patient and also firm. The boss, Lisa and mom would walk around for awhile, then pass him off and say "your turn". He wouldn't respond to any of it-encouragement, play, treats, corrections. And they couldn't wear him out. He just didn't want to do what the humans wanted him to do. They kept saying "And he's ONLY 4 months old!" Hey you can be a knucklehead at any age. They think he should be working outdoors with sheep, guarding them. The boss said he's "hard-wired" for independence and not good for a family pet.
His humans returned. The are an older couple. The pup is already attacking them for food or if he doesn't want his leash on, stuff like that. The man says he is "committed" to working with him. My thought was "hoo boy, buckle your seat belt buster, you're in for a rocky ride." The boss recommended he do research on the breed. She also recommended that his human tie the pup's leash to his belt loop so the puppy has to go everywhere with him...kind of like an older herding dog teaching the younger one what to do.
I think that pup is going to drive that man batty. They're coming to class tomorrow night. The boss said that since we are going to be indoors, his humans will have to leave class if the pup starts throwing fits because he messes things up for the other dogs.
I'm a lucky pup. Mom said I was "easy." I figured out that going along with Mom is fun. I like to work with her and she's SO proud of me. Plus, she has all the good stuff--food, toys. Humans take you places with them, like the park and on walks. If you're REALLY good, you get to go everywhere with your human. Maybe that pup just needs to find a good flock of sheep to go everywhere with. Then he can be the boss.
April 16th 2010 9:42 pm
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I'm so lucky. Today, I got to hang out with my friends, Zeus, Jolanda, Iris and Dakota (who I don't know very well, yet). Mom and I met Zeus, Jolanda and Iris (and their humans) for breakfast at a place that really wasn't ready for so many service dogs. It was funny because the waitress was all worried about the aisles and fire safety, etc., etc. I whispered to Jolanda, "If you have matches, I have some kerosene." She chuckled and we both agreed starting fires in a restaurant was a definite "no, no."
Our humans are so silly. They laughed and laughed and laughed. I lay behind Jolanda. She does the BEST belly crawl off the mat. She uses the stretching technique. One good stretch leads to another and pretty soon you're out where you can see what's going on. The waitresses who brought coffee looked nervously at her and Iris and of course, Zeus, so I whispered to Jolanda, "pssst, stretching out into the aisle is a no, no." She ignores me because she knows I'm just a silly pup.
Then we went to the Empire mine where Kota brought her person Deb. They like dogs there and we didn't have to put on our vests. We could be like regular dogs! I got to get pets from people, the thing Mom usually doesn't allow at all. Hey, I didn't have my vest on, that opens up all kinds of possibilities. It was the first time Iris and I really got a proper meeting, the full on sniff fest. As soon as we met, I thought, "oh goodie, a party girl". I invited her to play but our moms said not now. I winked at Iris and said, one of these days, we'll get a good romp.
We walked around a lot. Our moms took a lot of pictures. Humans are weird. You'd think they'd sniff or watch the birds or something, but NO. They set us up and take pictures. Here are some Mom took.
We ran into Mom's friend Betsy. I haven't seen Betsy in a long time. She asked if she could pet me and Mom said, sure. She's not working and she's fully trained now. I could hear how proud Mom is of me. I felt all grown up. Betsy had her nephew with her. He was all into Zeus. Who isn't? Zeus is a charmer.
We were there for a long time. Then we went to a place where, you guessed it, our humans sat and yacked and laughed. Jolanda's mom caught me floor surfing for some crumbs, something my mom hasn't seen me do in a VERY long time. You know why? I know when she's watching me. Who is stupid enough to floor surf when someone is watching? It's a definite, "no, no!" Mom did that thing she used to do and tore off a piece of her bagel and put it in front of my nose. When she does that I KNOW not to touch it. She kept picking it up and dropping it, scooting it around. I'm thinking, enough already, I get it, the crumbs weren't even worth all that.
All of my buddies were tired. Iris put her head on her mom's foot, Zeus was cold so his mom put her jacket over him and he snoozed. Jolanda lay next to her mom being her charming self. People looked at them a lot and watched our moms laughing. None of them could even see me. I was hiding under the table with the crumbs I couldn't touch. :(
Now it's bedtime...time to sleep and dream of beautiful spring days and friends...
April 15th 2010 10:44 pm
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My morning started out slow, but finally Mom took me to the park. She did some drills with me, mostly recalls. If I do what she wants me to do, eventually she gets out my ball and I get to play.
Today, two people were watching us. When Mom got out the ball and threw it, I went into my yahooooooo full-out run. But the ball didn't land where I thought it would, so I started running around looking for it. Sometimes Mom doesn't actually throw it, and instead calls me and I run back to her, sit and focus until she decides it's time to throw the ball. But this time she said "go find it!" which means it's out there someplace. I run around with her saying, "good, good, good" when I'm going in the right direction and "nyet, nyet, nyet" when I'm going the wrong way. Sometimes she gets closer and points at it to give me a better hint. I always end up finding it and she throws it again. I don't know why, but today, I kept not seeing where it landed, so we did a lot of "good, good" and "nyet, nyet". I ran really hard and my tongue was dragging, so Mom picked up my ball and said, "all done".
After we play, Mom always says, "go potty" which I do before we take off to do other things. Today, I noticed that the two people who were watching us were laughing at me. The lady says, "you're dog is so funny!" Mom said, yep, she is. And the lady said, "and so well-trained" and Mom said, thank you, she's my service dog, so she's had a lot of training. I love it when Mom acts proud of me.
We did some errands and then went to school. Tonight, we had two intermediate classes and Mom usually works me during the first one because most of the dogs have been through the class once and she doesn't usually have to help with the dogs. Tonight, I decided to ignore the recall exercise. Heck, I did it already today and she didn't have my ball. I have a feeling we're going to do a lot more recalls here in the next couple of days--maybe even when Mom doesn't have my ball.
Just before bed, Mom picked me up and whisked me into the bathroom. You know what that means. She said I was stinky, pulled off my collar and in a matter of seconds, I was in the tub. I don't like baths much, but you know how humans are, if they want you to take a bath, you take a bath. I don't fight it. If I just stand there and cooperate, it is over faster. Mom usually sings to me and acts silly when she gives me a bath. She probably thinks that makes my baths more enjoyable--it does, for her!
She used that hot, noisy dryer for a little while and let me run like a maniac around the house for a few minutes. Then brushed and combed and combed and brushed. So, for now, I'm clean and sleepy. time to go to bed.
April 14th 2010 8:50 pm
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Okay, you guys, I'm going to write this really fast, before I get in trouble. I'm telling on Mom. She's spending too much time on the computer...WAY too much. I've had to start doing something I did when I was a puppy to interrupt her unhealthy thinking. This time it's not thinking it's blanking out in front of the computer screen. ENOUGH, already.
When she spends too much time staring at the screen and tapping away, I am now starting to sit and stare at her. That's right, stare, right at her. It makes her put down her computer and invite me up into her lap. Then we cuddle and play a little while. Usually, she gets it and knows she needs to get up and do something else. At least I can get her away from it for a few minutes. Sometimes she goes right back to it, but I'm persistent, I'll come back and stare at her.
Okay, I have to go now. I have a job to do. Gotta get Mom off her computer again.
April 12th 2010 4:57 pm
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OK, I'm a patient little dog, pretty willing to go along with most anything. But this RAIN!!!! Two days in a row, now, Mom hasn't taken me to chase my ball or walk outside or anything. Frankly, when she opens the door, I just look outside and think, uh-uh, not me, no way. I'm staying inside.
Mom has been sitting in her chair, playing with her computer. She makes movies sometimes. It's weird because I keep hearing familiar voices. I look around and my friends aren't there. Mom laughs at me. She's easily amused and has a goofy laugh. You can hear it on the movie she made about our fun day last Saturday.
Today, Mom took on the grocery store, again, not an easy prospect after the two incidents she had last week. Today, I did a REALLY good job of posting behind Mom. She nervously over-compensated by handing out my brochures left and right. One lady who works there said something about my "being in the way". (She was trying not to step on me while she was flying down the aisle). Later, Mom gave her one of my brochures and directly said I was trained to "get in the way" because of her PTSD. The lady was nice and said she was worried about someone running into me. Mom said, "she's fearless". I am. No one has ever run into me. Why? Because I'm so damned cute, they notice me long before they get to where I'm sitting. Sometimes, cute pays off. I'm hoping Mom gets over this grocery store thing soon so she can relax.
April 10th 2010 10:45 pm
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Wow, what a big day! Mom took me to meet my friends, Jolanda and Josephine and Zeus. Yes, even though Zeus is intimidating, he's still my friend. We walked around and drove around and finally wound up at a place where the humans had breakfast. I lay under the table between Mom's feet and Zeus' mom's feet and worked really hard at being a little dog.
After breakfast we went for a walk on a trail by the river. It was a skinny little trail, straight up on one side and straight down on the other. Mom wouldn't let me off my leash which was just not fair. Jolanda and Josephine had to stay on their leashes too, so I whispered to them, "this leash thing sucks." Zeus and his mom stayed in their van so Zeus' mom could read. It's a good thing because that trail wasn't wide enough for Zeus and his mom to walk side by side.
Every once in a while, some maniacal person would come careening over the rocks and zipping down the hill toward us on a bicycle. Some of them would see us and slow down. A couple of them went zipping by like they were the only people on the planet. We always stepped aside on the uphill side of the trail, so if they wanted to be idiots and tumble head over teakettle down the canyon, we wouldn't stand in their way.
Our humans had talked about a camp-out, but it looked like rain, so instead we went to a grocery store. I know it doesn't make sense, but it did to them. They did some shopping. Someone came up behind Mom, again. This time, the lady reached right over the top of me and poked Mom in the back to ask about me. HOO-BOY, Mom took off to the moon. She said something to the lady about not doing that to her and then the lady bent over to pet me and Mom said, don't do that either. Mom was freaked out so she rushed to find Zeus and Josephine (and their moms). She got down on the floor so I could "paws up" and help her. Poor Mom, she's having some trouble in grocery stores these days and that stupid lady didn't help.
Then the humans went for coffee at Peets. I'm thinking, when are we going to the campground?
Guess where we wound up? At the park right by my house where we go every day! The humans got food out and all us dogs, including Zeus' sister Teagan. WOW, TWO VERY BIG DOGS. Teagan wanted to put her nose on me and I didn't want any part of it. Auntie Sonja had Teagan's leash. It was funny watching Sonja try to stay on two feet while Teagan tried to chase me! Believe it or not, Auntie Sonja walked Teagan, Josephine and Jolanda and Mom walked me through the park to our house. Belle got to meet Sonja who gave Belle lots of well-deserved lovin'. She called her "chocolate". Mom loves chocolate so that must be good.
The humans hung out and bbq'd and acted silly and ate. Mom took some videos so she's going to make a movie about us. Now, I'm beat. What a fun, fun day!
April 9th 2010 6:53 pm
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We did something new today. The Boss, Lisa, Mom, Blitzen and I all got in the Boss' truck and went to "evaluate" someone's dog. Blitzen and I stayed in the truck for awhile. You should have heard the barking! WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF! Later they were talking about how the dog, George, rushed at them and tried to grab at their hands. Nothing bad happened though.
Lisa came to get Blitzen out of the truck, but they left me there. Sheesh. They were all working with George in the back yard. When they came out of the yard, I saw George's person was in a wheelchair. George was walking alongside him like regular heeling. Wow, I thought, that happened fast!
On the way to a shopping center, the humans talked about what a good boy George is, how sweet and mellow, just that he hadn't yet been socialized with people or dogs. Mom said George had a great temperament for a service dog. She said he was so smart and so willing to please.
When we got out of the truck, I saw that George looked a little like an Aussie in the back and a terrier in the front. He's still a young boy, about 9 mos. old. Lisa and Mom put Blitzen and me to work, walking and running by George, then sitting by him. Mom and Lisa recruited people coming in and out of the store to walk by George so that the Boss could help George's human teach him to "leave it." George just hadn't been around people, but when he got used to it, he just sat there or lay down next to his human's wheel chair.
The Boss kept making George's distractions more challenging. She had Mom take off my vest and release me from working mode which sometimes involves a celebration dance and me talking about it. Mom jumped up and down to get me to bark and play so that George could learn not to react to that either.
Before we left, the Boss talked to George's human about how George could learn to be a service dog. When George's human gets the heeling and sitting and watching kids play, etc. handled, they are going to talk some more. I think George would be a good SD, too. He is a good boy. I know what we do is all business, but some day, I'd like to play with George.
April 7th 2010 9:31 pm
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It seems like we've been going and going lately. Today, mom had to go down to sacramento to see her therapist, Rosalie. I like Rosalie. She's such a sweet lady and Mom likes her a lot. Last time we were there, Mom got really sad and it went on too long so I got up to get into her lap to help her heart calm down. Today, Mom was really even and steady. Her energy wasn't all disrupted. I just stretched out on my mat and went to sleep. Rosalie commented that I don't even try to interact with her any more, that I'm all about Mom and napping when I'm there.
Then we drove home...lots of car riding. Mom did some things here, then it was back in the car and down to training class. Tonight, I was so surprised. My friend Lucille was there! Oh man! I love Lucille! She saw me too. We both wanted to play. Our moms said, no can do. You're at school right now. We will play another time. *SIGH*
I lay there and watched as the new class of dogs got fitted with their training collars and start learning. Mom and Lisa go around and talk with each person. They help them get started with heeling, show them how to model a "sit" for their dogs and get everybody settled down. I like watching Mom work with other people and their dogs. It makes her so happy. Sometimes she walks alongside the owners and gives them pep talks and coaching. I watch her for awhile and then fall asleep. After every body leaves, Mom takes my leash off. I get to run and talk and wiggle and dance while The Boss and her husband, Art and Lisa give me lovin'. And now, with a full belly, after a full day, I'm ready to go to bed. Ah, a dog's life.....
April 6th 2010 9:35 pm
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Okay, yesterday, I snagged an onion skin in the produce aisle, but hey, a girl slips from time to time.
But TODAY, I got to be a rock star! Mom and the Boss and I went to a mall. So much stuff going on everywhere which confuses Mom. All I have to do is stay with her. She may be all weirded out from everything going on around her, but that's because she's tall. I'm low to the ground, so my business is putting one paw in front of the other and reminding Mom where the ground is.
We went into different stores, one that sold candles. The candles smelled so strong I started sneezing. Mom didn't like it either. The Boss wanted to buy some, so Mom and I stood outside.
Then the testing started. Lots of stays, some recalls, some down/stays with Mom and the Boss disappearing while I had to let people walk by in front of me. Mom and I stood right in the middle of the mall where there were people going every which way with kids hopping and being silly and strollers and people swinging big bags in front of my face as they walked. We did elevator up, elevator down, lunch, in and out of stores where Mom walked so close to the clothes that I had to step behind her to not touch them. Then the Boss found a shiny black floor with the sun reflecting off of it and figured THAT would throw me off. HA! It didn't.
Then we walked outside and Mom took my vest off. I let out a happy bark and Mom thought I shouldn't, but the Boss said, hey, she's just celebrating a job well done. I wiggled all over the place and let both of them pet me while I talked a little bit (used my inside voice even though we were outside).
When we got back, the Boss still hadn't filled out the test form. She just signed it and told Mom "yeses and ones". Mom was almost dancing on one toe she was so proud of me. They are both proud of me and nothing makes me happier than doing a good job!
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