June 6th 2010 2:40 pm
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My owner's been dealing with some personal things, on top of trying to mend his knee back up to hiking condition after dislocating it, so we're building back our walks and such only...now it's me who isn't up for much walking!
He can't really "run", yet -- can't even really get close to a jog -- so when I get spooked (and it's quicker, because it's been a while, and I've just been spooked with being outside in general lately) there isn't much he can do besides try and convince me to at least continue forward on our way back home. So far that's worked because we haven't gotten very far; our longest walk in town was about 45 minutes, but that was with his mother and Sasha, and I always do better with more company. But as far as walking alone together? Nope. And they don't walk as much so we haven't been walking much either...
But! He's beginning to think that his knee may be up for fairly short hikes to build back up to them, so maybe we can pick those back up now! He's also gotten his bike chain back together (just needs to put it on right), so maybe we can try some biking soon as well? We'll see. We've never tried it before (he's ridden a bike before, of course, but hasn't tried biking with me -- or any dog for that matter). He's hoping I'll take to it, but, as I said...we'll see.
On the bright side, I have been doing better at sitting for my leash and collar to be put on!
March 7th 2008 12:21 pm
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My owner’s been trying some different things and the last walk we took I did really great on! It was a while ago though, and we haven’t been on another since (he says that’s his fault), but he keeps insisting he’ll start walking me more -- he says he’ll be sure to do it tonight. He’ll use the same techniques he used on the last walk and see if they work again; we’re both hoping they do because that means we can work up to longer walks without having to take another dog along.
On the same note (kind of), my owner’s also insisting that I get used to the clicker he bought. He’s trying to keep it muffled and clicking without muffling when he feels it might work, I’m still not entirely used to it, but I’m getting better around it. He checked out a new pet supply store and found some treats there that he bought -- he’s hoping those will taste good enough (Oscar likes them, and he usually only likes the one’s that are really good) and be high value enough that he can start the click-treat association. I don’t know how it’ll go, but we’ll see.
Apparently the store he went to has all kinds of things for all kinds of animals. Turns out though he has to order Orijen, I guess they don’t get people asking about it enough to stock it, so he has to go back up next week to pick up the bag of Orijen he ordered for Oscar (though he forgot to ask what the price was, now he’s hoping it’s not too much!). They had all kinds of things, and a good variety in foods (dry and canned), treats, chews, collars, everything! One of the ladies even said they’d love if I came up with him some time, so he’s gonna keep an eye on my confidence and stuff to see when might be a good opportunity. While he was there he found a small pair of scissors and bought them, apparently he’s thinking of clipping the hair between my paw pads so it’s easier for both of us when he has to clean off my feet. We’ll see how that goes.
Another thing he’s been talking about is looking into getting a pre-approval for a mortgage loan once he has enough in order -- after that he wants to look at a certain house in particular and plans on working on moving out. Once we have a place of our own, he’s gonna look into getting me a brother! He’s talking to a shelter that was on here a little while ago, he’s hoping to be able to adopt the two Labs there (Dan and Shadow) -- I’m keeping my paws crossed that it works out! There’s a camper trailer that he’s hoping is still for sale, he says with more than one dog he’s gonna need an SUV anyways and if we have a camper we’re definitely gonna need one, so with those we won’t have to worry about finding hotels or motels that allow pets and paying for those. It’ll be so awesome if all this works out! The camper's only $1300 and he's found SUVs for less than $3000 -- he's not sure what'll be decided about the current car, but if it's sold and he's put in charge of selling it he said that'll go towards the camper and he'll just need a loan for the SUV. We'll have to see how everything works out.
For a little while now I’ve been eating Innova EVO Red Meat (Small Bites because that’s what came on the truck) after eating some Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison while we were waiting -- transition was a little tricker than with the Natural Balance or Innova EVO originally, but we’re thinking it’s because EVO RM is richer. Regardless, it’s all cleared up now. I’ve been chewing bully sticks and beef ears and dehydrated chicken (mostly Dogswell Vitality, which my owner’s been breaking up into my food) and I tell you what, that is the life! I’ve also figured out better how to play with Sasha, but she’s still pushy and rude so I haven’t been playing with her too much -- the other night I even growled at her because I just wasn’t in the mood. Luckily my owner understood that’s what it was and just escorted her out of the room and locked the door, but when I growled at Oscar (he makes me nervous when he’s purring) I was corrected for that. Win some ya loose some, right?
Well, that’s all for now, all I can think at least. Until next time!
January 23rd 2008 7:48 pm
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Things haven’t been going too badly lately. My owner’s computer has been messed up, which is partly why I haven’t gotten anything up in a while, but I have to admit not much has been going on either. My owner’s been working, so we’ve been getting up at two- to three-something most mornings, and because of that the late night walks haven’t really been happening because my owner’s been sleeping and it’s hard enough waking up that early. As of this past Sunday though, he’s been officially unemployed (he was hired seasonally) and savoring the chance to sleep through the night so we still haven’t picked up those late-late night walks, which is just as well considering how bitterly cold it’s been lately. Continuing with the walk subject though, he thinks he might have finally come up with a place to walk me where we’ll be comfortable! He can’t figure out what took him so long, but it’s called Spencer Crest Nature Center, which sounds like fun. He says we’ll be going hiking and hopes that after getting some energy out up there we could do a second walk in town, to the park or the river or something. It’s worth a shot at least, and I’m up for hiking, that’s for sure! =D
The main reason I started this entry (which was last month) is because my owner finally made an appointment for me and I went to our new vet the 26th of December. Definitely different from the other vet, and in a good way -- I agree with my owner, they’re a lot more personable, and they tried to make sure I was comfortable. He says what really showed that I was more comfortable was I started taking treats and was curious, which I don’t do when I’m really nervous, and I even kept going back into the exam room which an elderly man in the waiting room thought was amusing. I got weighed, had a physical exam, got blood drawn, my nails clipped (which I did really well on!), got treats, and got two shots. I weigh about 70 lbs, which surprised my owner because I apparently still look around 50 -- he says I’m a compact 70 lbs, which I’m fine with. =D He says I’m at the top end of the acceptable weight spectrum, and since we’ve both been losing weight and plan on continuing, he’s not worried at all. I’m heartworm free so they gave us some Hartguard, and the vet says I’m very healthy and look good. They said I was a good girl, too. ^^ A while after the vet visit my owner took a “stool sample” down to the vet once he finally got a chance to go down that way without it being three-something in the morning. He was out after that, but they called him on his phone and said I’m parasite free -- I’m healthy as an ox! Or a dog. =P Best of all, he says before too much longer Oscar gets to go there for a visit too. ^^ I’ll admit though, he was telling me how upset the vet makes Oscar, and I hope him going there for a regular visit like I did helps him feel better about it all.
I continue to do well with the baby Caleb, and Oscar’s been doing well too (which is kind of unusual for him with people). My behavior in general has been improving little by little, though today I got really freaked out over a combination of things (my owner and I worked through that as best we could). He’s continued reading, he’s read the second Cesar Millan book and thinks he understands things even better so he’s trying to get the calm-assertive energy down right and is watching me to see how he’s doing with it. Right now he’s reading a book on clicker training, trying to learn more about that (he’ll be posting questions on the forums before much longer). He says he needs to find a clicker that’s comfortable for him (Petco has rectangular ones which he says feel awkward) before we can start working, and he’s going to keep reading in the meantime and continue once we start. This is the first book he’s highlighted that wasn’t a school book -- he says it’s to make “quick looks” easier, and to help him ignore either what isn’t needed or what he thinks is bogus or something. He gets that with most books he reads, so anyone out there who is all for positive reinforcement and clicker training, he says to let you know it’s nothing against anyone or anything -- he takes and leaves things from just about everyone. Again though, for anyone all for positive reinforcement and clicker training, he also says if you have any books you’d recommend or other sources to send us a message because he’d love to find and read and learn more about it.
My owner’s been trying to work on cleaning and feels like he’s finally making at least a little bit of progress. We have a section of the hallway where we can put things to get them out of the way, so he has the unused hamster cages in a box out there and plans on moving out the soda bottles (more on those later) and recyclable bottles out either to the curb or his car’s trunk, then get clothes washed and sorted -- that ought to get the bulk of it out of the way. Once that's done he feels things will go more smoothly. He’s still trying to figure out a good arrangement for afterwards to gain a little more space and, hopefully (though possibly against all hope), make some room for a possible brother for me. He’s not going to get too excited about it though…he’s still pretty sure it’ll only happen once we move out. =
Yesterday he was checking to see what dogs were out there on Petfinder which fit at least our physical requirements (large or extra-large male), just to see. He found a couple or a few that were possibilities, but what he found most interesting was a dog that looks almost exactly like Sasha, he’s even the same age and possibly close enough distance-wise to be one of her brothers -- his mother doesn’t think they look enough alike (he thinks she’s in denial or doesn’t want to see it or something), but he thought it was highly interesting. What was even more interesting was when he checked the shelter's list of available pets and came across what was basically a male version of me too! At the same shelter! “Of course, that dog looked exactly like Jin, even though both dogs were about as close as the other,” my owner says about his mother's reaction. I just think it’s bizarre…don’t you? We considered putting up links, but we might do that later instead…
Another dog he found in his search was a Labrador-mix in Bath, he was one of the dogs he felt was a promising possibility. He was checking out the shelter’s Petfinder page and saw that they participate in a program and accept returnable bottles and cans, and since he has so many he figures they might make a nice donation to the shelter and plans on taking them down once he gets them all rounded up and in bags. He says that though he could use the money, he likes the idea of donating them rather than cashing them in for himself. He’s debating whether he might check out the animals while he’s down there or not -- it’s tempting he says, which is why he’s not sure he should. I guess we’ll see what he decides when he drops the returnables off, huh?
Well, this is long, and I’m not sure how much more I might be missing, so whatever I leave out I’ll put up tomorrow or in another few days or so. Maybe after he takes the cans and bottles over, then I’ll definitely have at least two things to share. ^^
October 26th 2007 9:42 am
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The title is in reference to a few things: my owner’s finally gotten a job, we’ve finally gotten this entry typed and posted, and my owner’s finally bought my bag of Innova EVO!
Last Friday my owner had something called “orientation” and was gone for most of the day (which had been a pattern last week). After that (Monday night, more specifically) he’s been waking up from a nap usually around 2:30 in the morning to leave at least an hour later to go to work and then comes back home before the morning’s over, but so far never at the same time. I just sort of hang out for the most part during that time when he’s gone (Wednesday he was so sick he couldn’t go to work, and Thursday he had the day off, but today he was back at work and actually got out on time). So far it hasn’t been bad. I’m let out before he leaves and then once he gets back, then he gets breakfast and feeds me -- it’s been working well so far. Still not thrilled with his talk about getting my nails clipped by a professional and taking me to a new vet though…apparently he’s thinking of scheduling an appointment next week or something…
I can’t tell you how much more I enjoy Innova EVO compared to Purina ONE! I’ve been eating it since this past Monday, and since my owner was sick last week and is still getting over it I decided I’d cut him some slack in putting off buying the food. My owner says I seem to be more satisfied by it and has noticed my skin’s a healthier pink color -- he said it was pink before, but it was more an “irritated pink” than a “healthy pink,” whatever that means. He thinks it’s too early to say if it’s helped with my licking, which he hoped it being grain-free might have at least some effect. On the other hand, he says my coat’s already become softer and Oscar’s has been softer since he began eating only Innova EVO -- he thinks it might also be helping my weight loss, which was another thing he hoped for. He says he’ll try and find some way to exercise me as well so I’ll be in even better shape and feel better (he says it’ll do the same for him x) ). He’s thinking of driving me to the park later today and see how well I do there without the overwhelming walk there -- I’ll let you know how that goes later.
Now that I’m done with the “finallys”…the baby Caleb has been visiting a lot and I continue to feel more comfortable with him. I’ve even been walking over to say “hi” and “good-bye” when he’s leaving! My owner’s very glad to see that, and we’ve found that I’m even more comfortable with the baby Caleb when my owner’s holding him. I’m not exactly sure why, I think maybe because I know my owner won’t let him do anything that would upset or spook me or anything.
Speaking of getting upset or spooked, Saturday my owner and I worked out in the yard -- that’s about the only time I ever feel any real comfort out there. He said I'm the best work dog he’s ever seen and that he doesn’t care if the family doesn’t believe him; he knows I’m a working dog because he can see I adopt that mindset, he says his family doesn’t know because they doubt it without seeing it. Gotta admit, it feels good to work, and I made the job all by myself! =D It’s a combination of “sentry duty” (guard duty or watchdog duty basically), supervisor, and helping when I can and how I can (he doesn't like it when I do that when he's picking up after us dogs in the yard though...). I helped trample the plants he was cutting down, made sure no one snuck up or did anything they weren’t supposed to near the house, and I checked the plants at times (and the tomatoes he was pulling). I even got to eat a tomato as a reward! We did a good job and the yard looks nice now from what we did. =D I even felt less nervous when a pack of kids with their mom walked by the yard while we were working!
I've also made it my job to guard my owner’s food sometimes and make sure Oscar doesn’t eat it without permission. He tried getting into the yogurt the other day but I wasn’t about to let that happen on my watch, no way, so I barked at him and made him stop! It only took one bark and he got the point -- I love you like a brother Oscar, but there’s lines that I won’t let you cross. My owner didn’t mind, and he found it a bit amusing (I think he was proud that I protected his yogurt too, especially as I never try to eat his food myself) -- he pet me and put the yogurt away and then petted us both.
My owner apparently found out that I’ve been being more assertive for myself when he’s not around and Sasha’s bothering me (but I’d still rather he just handle the situation when he’s around, since he’s my pack leader and all). He said his brother Josh told him I’d been putting Sasha to the ground when she bothers me too much and when he came up and told me he kept telling me how proud he was that I was handling it on my own when he’s not around. =D Now to just get that darn puppy to actually listen for any length of time…
October 14th 2007 7:22 pm
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My owner won't let me lick the pillow...=
Anyways. For a while now (the past few days or so) my owner's been really proud of me. I've been improving a bit in certain areas and I think it's just as much what I'm improving in as it is the fact that I'm improving...the rest of the family doesn't always make it easy though, and that irritates my owner. =/ Just another reason to look forward to moving out I suppose, though a new home is also scary...
As for the things I've improved in, the biggest thing is my comfort around the baby Caleb -- I'm still not so sure when he swings his arms around, or when he screams (isn't screaming supposed to be a fear thing or something? not a happy thing?), but overall I've been doing better. Oscar has too, actually. But as far as I go (you can see about Oscar in his diary) I've been coming up to him to say "hi" and when Pops (my owner's father) held him on my back I looked at him but relaxed quickly rather than fight to get away. Yes, it helped my owner was holding me and reassuring me it was all right, but I don't always buy that...
That same day I was comfortable enough to be my regular self with my owner when the baby Caleb and everyone else was around. Of course it didn't help my own riled me up a bit, but still, right? I was held quite a bit though because they let the baby Caleb down because he wanted to pet me and I was still a bit rambunctious, but I didn't step on him or anything and he didn't get hurt once -- in fact, when I'm in a calmer state of mind I'm extra careful to not step on him or anything, and that's another thing my owner's quite proud of me for.
One of the other things my owner was proud of me for was when Josh (the older brother) came home and I went right up to the kitchen (where the main door is) barking and not once did I truly back down. Sure, it was a family member I was barking at, but it was the principle of the whole thing -- everyone's picking on me saying I run as soon as someone walks through the door or looks at me, but I proved my owner right that night that I could, and would, act protectively in the right situation. My owner would like to note that I did retreat when Josh yelled at me to shut-up, but when I got to the living room (where my owner and Ma -- my owner's mother -- were) I turned around and continued my guarding while being reassured and told I was a good girl all the same. I love that I don't have to be 100% perfect for my owner to be pleased with what I do! =D
Owner Note: I realize that must seem like Jin is insecure to the point where she's reactive to everyone, but the situation's complicated -- my family's one which doesn't make it easy for her to know how to react to them or what they're about, Josh being one of them, so from my point of view it's understandable for her to have behaved that way and that's why I was proud rather than trying to correct her behavior. She tends to be sensitive to body language and emotions, so if they're giving off signals that they're not necessarily to be trusted or if she's unsure I'm fine for her to behave accordingly and to reassure her if I see that she's uncertain she's behaving properly. If you have doubts, keep this in mind: she's still a better discriminator as regards strangers than the other two dogs, she neither assumes everyone's a friend nor that complete strangers (even those who are being nothing but friendly) are to be hid from and growled at -- this latter reaction is what my brother's dog Sasha offered in the following situation.
The third thing that made my owner proud of me was when a couple strangers came to the house -- I think I remember the man from other visits, but the woman I'd never seen before. I looked over the gate at them and tried to greet them, and when my owner saw that I was let into the kitchen and allowed to greet them. My owner was so proud I had the confidence to do that, and I liked having that confidence too. ^^ They were nice people, and they didn't try to push themselves on me so it made it easier for me to sniff and say "hello." Both Oscar and I made my owner proud with that visit, apparently we both did better than expected -- I'd have to agree that Oscar probably only came out because the woman said he was beautiful. You know cats and their egos...
The other day my owner made the comment that it was too bad I'm camera-shy -- he said he wants to get pictures of me when I'm confident and alert so he can post them online "so the world can see how gorgeous [I] am and be jealous" (not a direct quote, but something to that effect). My owner's always saying how beautiful and gorgeous I am...I can't help I'm camera-shy though, I just don't like the flash. =
As for today, my owne'rs been gone for much of it (a pattern lately...) but has once again said that the bank's open tomorrow and he just needs to cash a check he got from his nana (he cleans her apartment once a month) and then he'll go to the store and get me my own Innova EVO. I can't wait! Oscar's been eating it for a while now and I've been so jealous! I just love the food! =D
Apparently my owner's also found a job, and once he gets his first paycheck he plans on taking me to a new vet and establishing us there -- supposedly I need a shot, and he's going to see about getting a three-year rabies vaccine rather than the one-year which he says is ridiculous. He keeps saying I need my nails clipped, and I think he's planning to bring it up to the vet when we go...I hate getting my nails clipped. = But he says he's nervous about clipping them himself because he's clipped the quick a couple times and now doesn't trust himself enough. I think there's other things he has planned for that visit, but who knows. He's worried about how I'll act, especially as I guess some of the assistants or whatever tend to use high-pitched baby voices and he knows the more people ignore me the better I warm up to them and that if they respond to me the way they do Sasha I'll be more scared than I would be otherwise. He's thinking of requesting that no one use that voice with me and see how far that works -- we'll have to wait and see...
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