Friday, January 29, 2010

Beep, beep, beep, please GO AWAY!

You know when the folks on TV tell you it's time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors? That's because if you don't they might start beeping at 3:00 AM and three little dogs will be on your stomach shaking and panting and drooling on your face!!

That's what I woke up to at 3:00 in the morning, three little dogs shaking and drooling and pouncing on my stomach because I hadn't changed the batteries in my smoke detectors. Of course, since it's a fact that when Roscoe gets really worried, that makes him need to pee, so instead of smashing the smoke detector with a hammer I run downstairs to let the dogs out.

OK, so my hope was that the sound of the three little shaking, drooling dogs and me STOMPING down the stairs would wake up Rich and HE would smash the smoke detector with a hammer. Actually, I did hope that Rich would just figure out how to stop the damn thing and NOT smash it with a hammer. It just needed a new battery. I even stopped to stoke the woodstove, listening carefully to make sure he was fixing the smoke detector. Three shaking, drooling, panting little dogs huddled around me and the warmth of the woodstove after they peed in the wind chill of -10.

I'm tired, Roscoe shook and drooled for a while after it was all fixed and we were snuggled back in bed. What is it about beeps?

I am looking forward to this bitter cold, windy day walking dogs. I have a new pair of winter pants to try out. You know, the really cool looking, hip, fabu fashion type pants that make everyone go......."Wow, that Amy is really cool and knows how to dress!!" My only shame is they are not cargos, but I guess winter pants don't come in cargo? But, they do have back flap pockets. Does that count? Oh and they have "boot cut" bottoms. How cool is that??? Except for the fact that I will be wearing my ultra mod, super cool mint green Keen boots that usually make me tuck in pant bottoms. So, my ultra cool looking, hip fabu fashion type winter pants will balloon out at my knees and look REALLY awesome! That with my three quarter length down coat and fur lined hood.......I'll be hearing comments like......."Dude! Check out that babe!!! She's HOT!!!" ......or ......."Hey, who is the cute chick in the outfit??? Way cool, man, she rocks! I bet she wears skorts and flip flops in the summer!!"..........or......"Damn, wish I knew how to dress like that! HEY!! YOU ROCK, DOG WALKER WITH THE AWESOME OUTFIT!!!".....and, you know, other heckling that will make me smile and swish my hair!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ask DrYin.com

COOL website, Muffin Heads!! Check it out!! I found this really awesome video on there.



I am having so much fun with my little Leta, feral kitty. She is SUCH a hoot!! Easy as pie to clicker train. I hope to have her working for me pretty well soon, but I haven't had a lot of spare time, lately. Something people simply do not understand - Cats ARE trainable!! The girl in this video was an undergrad student and training her cat was her animal science project. How cool is THAT????

OK, are you wondering why I call you "Muffin Heads"? NO! You just accepted that name? The thing is, there is a story. When I first got Roscoe I worked on a farm where in the summer there were extra boys helping out. They thought Roscoe was a hoot and kind of "light in the loafers". They called him "The Muffin Man", after Darrell Martini, the Cosmic Muffin, or The Muffin Man. Remember him? From WBLM and Boston radio fame? Is Darrell Martini still around? With his bleach blond, spikey hair and crazy bangles and jewels. No idea.

So, you guys reading this blog are Muffin Heads. Like Dead Heads? Get it?

Muffin Heads, keep reading. Maybe some day I will have something of REAL value to write about. You never know.

????

Some day???...............

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Horse agility, again!

I know, I already posted one video a while back, but this one was just sent to me. Same guy, same horse, different video. It's SO cool!!! This guy has spent some TIME and investment making this set up. It's just awesome!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Facebook!

My butt is sore, my arms ache, my eyes are blurry. I really, really do hate computers. No I don't, I love them, really. How easy my live would be without them? Um, actually maybe they would be really easy without them. I mean, I couldn't spend HOURS sitting at my desk making Facebook pages and linking to my website and putting links and stuff on my website and, it just makes my head spin and I feel like it's about to explode!!


Since it is POURING rain, my windows are leaking, Roscoe is sitting in my lap shaking - he worries when it's windy - it seemed like a good day to get updated on this stuff. I did a newsletter yesterday. I should feel really good about all I have done to help promote my business and keep myself afloat. Do I? Do I feel good? Do I feel like I did yesterday after running crazy agility, then a long farm walk with the dogs on the snowmobile path without snowshoes, that good? I felt GOOD yesterday! My head felt clear, my legs ached just the right amount, the dogs were happy and tired and snuggled by the woodstove....good like that. Do I feel good like that today? Um, NO! My ass hurts, my eyes are blurry, my head aches, Roscoe's shaking in my lap. No I don't feel good. But, I should because I did all this stuff, right? ACK!!!! Maybe if I go eat something I'll feel better. Eating usually does that.


So, please........join me on Facebook!!! Please!! I don't want to be that person who has NO fans, and no one reads their blog or buys their roses or coffee from the rented vendor on the street corner. I want to have lots of FANS. Maybe I need to be famous to have lots of fans? Prolly......that's what my niece would say......prolly.........

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sylvia Trkman drives me!

She does, I admit it. I am hooked on her style, her theories, her incredible training methods, she ROCKS! I often go to her site and read stuff over and over. She gets it. She just does. I met her once. Did her seminar with Roscoe. She said he was a cool dog! My heart swelled that day!!

Taken from her site, just in case you have never read this...........

"Many people mail me to ask why I don’t write a book… Here is your answer: because I can tell everything that I think is important for success in agility in 10 paragraphs:

1. develop a firm and trusting relationships with your dog

2. properly condition your dog: my dogs’ minimum is 2 hours off of leash running in the woods per day + one all-day-long hike in the mountains per week

3. teach your dog tricks – as many as you can think of: tricks teach you how to teach, they teach your dog how to learn and they also teach the dog that learning is fun, that you’re fun. Side effect is total awareness of his body, tricks teach a dog how to use his body. I guarantee you that if you teach your dog 100 tricks, you won’t have jumping problems. Rear end and overall body awareness, balance, strength, power, flexibility and agility that my dogs excel in so much are all the side-effects of all the tricks they’ve learned. "Too much tricks" doesn't exist. If you don’t have any ideas, you can get some from our tricks videos.

4. teach your dog obedience, obedience in high-drive of course. It’s very easy to motivate a dog for those 30s on agility course. It’s much harder to motivate your dog for long minutes of just heeling. If you want to learn about motivation, obedience is a way to go. If you can make those long minutes of heeling fun to a dog, then making agility fun for your dog should be a piece of cake.

5. boost your dog’s confidence – only confident dog will dare to run at his maximal speed. Make sure your dog knows he is World Champion before you let him do his first jump.

6. don’t be afraid to do things your way. Books, videos and seminars are helpful, but no one knows your dog better as you do, especially after teaching him those 100 tricks and playing and walking with him every day, so… Trust your intuition and do what YOU think is best for your dog. Avoid those that think there is just one best way. Wary those that want to make you believe you need particular breed/method/handling tool/video in order to succeed. Were you told too that you MUST have a lead-out in order to win? Well, I win at least 90% of my runs with La. And she doesn’t stay.

7. if something goes wrong, always remember it’s your fault, caused either by your training or handling. That’s good news since it gives you a power to fix it yourself too. Things would be much harder if it was dog’s fault. Luckily, they, unlike people, come without mistakes.

8. never forget that results don’t count. Because of the speed of my dogs, I can have a very ugly run and still win. And I might go off-course sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the run wasn’t perfect. Who would care about that off course then anyway? I always say that every good dog goes off-course sometimes – that’s not the case only if handler is perfect too. But I don’t know any of those, so…

9. dogs work best when they work for themselves. Don’t ask them for a favour to work with you. Make them ask you for a favour to work with them.

10. you want agility training tips? If you follow the advise from above, agility gets so easy that you don’t need those. Just go out and have fun with your dog!


There is no big difference between training your dog for tricks, obedience or agility, it's all the mix of everything. "

Link to her site - http://www.silvia.trkman.net/
She's got it goin' on!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Learning to roll with the punches......

How cliche! But, really it kind of explains what I am trying to do with little, worried Spur. He worries, it's who he is and I am SO demanding. I have a lot of practice being demanding. :P The Pin Heads allow it. They thrive on it. Roscoe needs it. But, Spur.......no. Demand from Spur and he goes into the corner and "does his rosary". He's thoughtful and concerned and when I ask too much of him he melts a bit. However, I make it sound like he is really a wimp, which he is, but he isn't THAT wimpy. He LOVES to train and in these videos the barking dog in the back ground is SPUR, barking his fool head off in the crate waiting for his turn to train.

I started with Colby and Roscoe to see how it might go teaching a dog to roll a bar. See, my thoughts here are to get Spur to understand that jump bars falling are not the sky falling. It's just a JUMP bar. In agility if he knocks a bar, he scurries off with his ears at half mast, his tail down, it frightens him. I tried classical conditioning - treats for me knocking the bar. Over and over, I did a ton of that. That stuff works sometimes, but this time, no. Not with Spur. So, I changed my plan. I decided to teach him to knock bars. Well, not really, but to take control and MOVE the bar. We are starting slow, just rolling the bar on the floor. It's that simple. It's that scary. You'll see............


Colby, she gets it. She figured it out in like......two minutes. Done. Roll the bar. "Got it MA!"
video

Roscoe - he's frantic!! He's offering everything he can think of. Roll it, yeah, somewhere in that crazy activity he rolls it. Yikes!!
video

Then we have Spur. Worry, worry. All the barking is simply worry. When Spur doesn't know what else to do or gets worried/frustrated he barks. However, I do not discourage that. He's trying.......notice his half mast ears when we get to the wood floor and how we have to go back to simple nose touches for a bit. Tomorrow I'll try to video an update. Today he was really rolling it all over the kitchen. This after just two sessions at home. We have done some in other settings, to try to generalize this work. Little Screamin' Monkey Pants is taking control of his jump bar!!

video

Thursday, January 21, 2010

USP port, setting resolution, firewalls, connectivity. What the heck?

FINALLY, got myself a "new" system. I say that loosely. Our friend Michael did it, but here I am on a different keyboard, different monitor, different desk even! I am NOT comfortable. I am not comfortable with the key board, the chair, the desk, the location. I don't have a UPS port to load photos and videos. The HORROR!!!

I even have to go load up Adobe Reader, so I can finally read things like the MinPin rescue newsletter that I am supposed to write an article for. I have to go find a new photo editing program. Michael suggested picassa. Thank goodness I still have all my contacts, all my photos and files.

Do you know how scary it is thinking you might lose those things in the switch? Scary. Scary like when you try to snow shoe in low light and your eyes can't seem to adjust and you are in an open field that you walk EVERY day and you still find yourself lost in that field, looking at the horizon wondering which way to make your snowshoe path. That scary. Seriously, that did kind of freak me out today. My sense of direction is usually really good. Eerie good. Today, not so much. Today I was in the middle of the field not knowing I was WAY off the path. Plus, I was not too happy. The snow is thick, deep and heavy. I was tired. I shouldn't be tired. I think of myself in really good shape. Like I think of myself without any grey hair. Or that tic tacs are food. It said that in a book I read about Old Dogs. Cool book.

Which reminds me of a line in the current book I am ready. It's written as if in first person by the dog. The dog complains about how us humans never keep a subject for long. Our subjects just morph into new subjects and in no time at all we are no longer talking about the original subject started just five minutes before. See, that just happened here. I was talking about my snow shoe, no - I was talking about my computer which morphed into my snow shoe, which morphed into a dog book.

So, I am reading "The Art Of Racing In The Rain" by Garth Stein. A book I got for Christmas. I don't suggest reading it. I hate to say that, but I think there are better books to spend your time reading. Just my opinion, but it isn't that great. I'll finish it because I do want to know how it ends and it is really short, but I am disappointed. I can't wait to start on my next book.

The book about Old Dogs, however, is AWESOME and any dog lover should have. It's called "Old Dogs Are The Best Dogs" and is a wonderful compilation of short essays and stories about old dogs by a pulitzer prize winner. GREAT book!! Incredible writing!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bored during major storms? Don't be! Train - don't complain!

I mean, really, there is so much we can train our dogs to do. This made the rounds last week. For those who didn't see it here it is. LOVE Sylvia Trkman! My all time favorite dog trainer -




Today I started teaching the dogs to roll a jump bar. Spur has a real issue with knocking bars. He totally melts down and crumples into a worried mass of paussie fur. It's been a real issue with his agility training. We do a TON of jump work, single jumps, jump grids, all with his ball or frisbee. In high drive mode he is OK. Put jumps into a course and he worries and jumps too big. Sometimes it isn't an issue, but I can see a real pattern here and I want to fix it before it gets much worse. So, I thought perhaps I would focus on giving HIM control of the jump bars. Learning to roll it puts him in control. When he jumps and knocks the bar, he feels out of control. So, I want him in control. Rolling the bar, having it knock against chairs in the kitchen and such might help? I don't know, but I am going to give it a go.

I may even teach him to pick up the jump bar. I think I will have to wrap it in vet wrap to give him enough grip, but that's a later project. Right now I am starting with just rolling it on the ground. Funny, how the dogs all learned that differently this morning. Colby got it in about five tries. Got it so good she could roll it across the kitchen on command!! That good! In about 3 minutes!! Smartie pants! Roscoe is so frantic he is doing all sorts of his tricks near, around, over, and with the bar!! Kicking it, pouncing on it, nose touching, but only JUST barely rolling it and since he is SO quick I clicked for his feet rolling it. So, now I have Roscoe scooting it with his front feet, silly nutty Roscoe. Kind of cute, but not exactly what I was after, but it doesn't matter, which is why I love teaching tricks. Easy, no pressure, no need to be picky or demanding.

Spur, he's a little slower to get it. That worry. I have to be more patient. It took a couple of 5 minute sessions before he figured out I wanted it rolled with his nose. He's rolling it, but just a few inches. I quit there. No need to push him, I push him enough and that's part of our issue. I need to back off, so back off I did this morning. He's more thoughtful and concerned, so we go a little slower.

And I got the cutest little jump photo frame for Christmas I want to use. It's about 10" tall and 6" wide and looks like a tiny pvc jump but has slots to put in a photo. I am going to teach him to knock that over. I bet they don't teach THAT at Clean Run Camp. Knock the jump over? Probably not. LOL!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Super fast recalls!!

We went to Old Orchard Beach last Friday and walked for about 1 1/2 hours! It was AWESOME, except when the horses galloped past. That wasn't awesome. Or was it? It reminded me of all the times I used to do that with Jewel and made me a little sad. Jewel just isn't sound enough for that right now, unfortunately. We haven't been riding on the beach in a couple of years, I am sad to say. After the horses galloped past, Spur, George and Douce had to be leashed. They just couldn't handle that crazy, fast pounding of the hooves past us. Spur's herding instinct kicks in, George's terrier instinct kicks in and Douce's..........um........Douce is a Shih Tzu........what instinct in a Shih Tzu kicks in when horses gallop past???? Beats me, but something kicks in and Douce is leashed. At least, until the horses are well out of sight. Spur was perhaps the worst, barking like a fool until we thought we were going to go nuts, but he finally quit long after the horses were out of sight. Then off came the leashes again. The dogs have a ball at the beach. It's winter, our beach walk time!! It's just plain fun, galloping horses and dogs on leashes or not, it's fun!

Perhaps my favorite part about Maine winters are walks with the dogs on the beach. The MinPins can RUN and RUN and Spur chases the seagulls, they all eat crab legs and seaweed and icky stuff, they race after each other and it's awesome!! We practice our recalls, always!! Even when there are crab legs to be eaten, my dogs come running, we practice.........



Good little doggies!!! Wish I were at the beach today, but noooooooooooooo........today we get about a foot of snow, so I spent the day shovelling their "run-way" again. This was actually taken on another day, but it's pretty much how it went today after shovelling the "run-way"........

Hello old friend called Scary Teeter!

Remember us? Me and Spur? Yes, you do. You remember us WELL, it seems. Spur seems to be back wringing his little paussie paws lately. I am not sure what got him, but he's all Mr. Scaredy Cat again. Sucks. Sucks BIG time, sucks. I need a plan. Not sure, yet what it will be, but I need to think about soft, pink furry things and take a deep breath and regroup. Roscoe? No visit from the Scary Teeter. He's ON FIRE!

I never made it to the obedience show-n-go so I could work through some of Spur's teeter issue and in general melt down. Did lots of ball throwing, playing, visiting, just generally trying to make it easy for him. I need a plan. Although, as plans go they never go as planned, right? But, I need to back off with him and get back to some basic, easy, comfortable training stuff.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Which is more fun, Rally-Obedience or Agility?

The question came up the other day. Today I have a choice, or do I? I can run agility and then MAYBE make it over to Saccarrappa run-throughs? I would LOVE to do both, and even get Roscoe and Colby through an Open run-through AND Rally-O. Can we do it all??

We did both Rally-O and Agility last summer. It was kind of nutty. I was a little frazzled trying to time it and make it from my Jumpers run to the Rally ring. I made it, but JUST in time. I couldn't walk the course, so I had to just watch the person before me. ACK!!! My first run with Colby I missed a station, but realised it right away and went back, did the station, and continued. An automatic 10 points off. Darn! I didn't make that mistake with Roscoe and while we are a little erratic, the little buggar did fine! He is amazing. He LOVES it all. Both agility AND Rally-O. He loves it, loves to train, loves to perform, he's just SO much fun! When he's not biting someone, LOL!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What is normal? The Blunt Bitch Monologues.

Can life get back to normal? I feel so on edge since everything that is happening in Haiti keeps clogging my brain. Just not right, you know? Like kind of irritated, blurting out things that may be true, but in my normal "Honest Amy" best way possible..........more like Blunt Bitch, but whatever. Told a woman today her dog could lose 20lbs. WHAT??? OK, so the dog needs to drop some breed ring extra, but TWENTY POUNDS? She kind of looked at me like I was that Blunt Bitch and said "goodness he would then be under breed standard". Blunt Bitch said something like..........Yeah, well breed people think my dogs are emaciated..........to which the poor lady just told me to have a nice day. Nice day? Like a normal day? Rich is home and life is "normal" again, right? But people are still being found under the rubble in Haiti. It isn't a NORMAL DAY! They just found a baby next to a dead person. The news told me you could go three days without water. How did the baby make it?

Did I tell the lady with the fat dog to have a nice day, too? No, Blunt Bitch just got blunter. Is blunter a word? Yes, it is. I looked it up. And what popped up before I could type in blunter? How to donate to Haiti relief. That's cool!

Blunt Bitch. That has a nice ring to it. My friend Cin told me to take a deep breath and say a two syllable dog name before blurting out Blunt Bitch monologues when someone asks my opinion. Well, actually she didn't use those EXACT words, but I like how that sounds. Blunt Bitch Monologues could be the name of a book or a movie, dontcha think?

I have been practicing my two syllable dog name when someone asks me a question. It's hard. I had to change my dog name. I was using The Spurminator, but that just didn't work well. I changed it to a two syllable human name. Mike Mahan. That's my mom's boyfriend's name. Mike is THE nicest person. Like, the kind of person you all want to be. NICE! He always says some two syllable word before blurting out blunt bitch monologues and the result is he NEVER blurts out blunt bitch monologues. So, try it. Ask my opinion. See if I hesitate and say to myself "Mike Mahan" before I answer. Before I blurt out my blunt bitch monologue. Perhaps I won't blurt anything out. If I can truly channel Mike I will say something nice or just go "hmmmmmmm", which is often what Mike does. He just goes........"hmmmmmmmm". Beside when someone asks your opinion would they rather hear a blunt bitch monologue or "hmmmmmmmmmmm". You tell me.

Here I am - Blunt Bitch trying to figure out my camera's self timer. How weird is that??? -

Another attempt.......geez, I can't quite get it figured out..........

I'll end this post with some awesome dog photos. The best my crappy camera can do,. Here is Spur having a GREAT time playing Frisbee in the snow!!

LOVE that tail!!!

And here is Roscoe deciding he is a tugging fool last night, that after nearly two hours at Old Orchard Beach running with the pack.

Roscoe - doesn't tug. I mean, tugging is just not his game. It's almost like it is too much for his troubled mind to handle? Last night he decides he can handle it. And he handles it, alright. With the Jolly Ball!!! Go figure........

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog posts.......for an earthquake

OK, Muffin Heads, this morning I had planned to remind everyone about the MinPin Fund Raiser Raffle I am doing that ends tomorrow in hopes of raising at least $1000 for our needy MinPins. That's a good cause, but seriously............have you seen the news? Have you listened to the radio, read the web, there was this earthquake, in Haiti. It was BAD. Very bad. Very, very sad. These people are f&cked and we are having our coffee, reading our facebook notes, watching TV.........these people are f&cked...........our needy MinPins can find some trash to eat, these people.........they need our help now.

I just sent in my donation. Please help those people. and click on donate to the "International Relief Fund". If everyone sends just $10 that will add up quickly. They need us.
http://www.redcross.org/

Another place to donate -
http://doctorswithoutborders.org/

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time to check in with an update. Hi Docs!

It's past time. Passed time. It is passed time I should check in with Roscoe's psych docs. Why do I keep putting it off? Cuz I just don't really know what to say. He's such an enigma. I mean, really, can he just be who he is for ONE day??? No, he has to be Marky Mark one day and Davy Jones the next. Last weekend we spent time visiting a house full of dogs and what does my little aggression case do? Spends the whole time trying to hump red border collies? Well, not just the red dogs, but the poo-cocka-poo-poo also. He was a HUMPING machine! This is my dog-dog aggression case. He's now FEELIN' THE LOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEE. We visited some very tolerant red dogs. I put a stop to it. Poor red dogs.

He is SO high at Rally-O class he heels on his back feet. The other students ask our instructor if that's acceptable? Can a dog qualify in Rally-O heeling on just two feet? We actually looked it up and there is nothing in the rules that say a dog must have all four feet on the ground. Oh MY!

He has stopped his marking in the house, however, so that is good. But, he DID pee one night when I left the dogs for three hours to have dinner at a friend's. I think he thought I must be going someplace fun, like dog class or something and he got upset. I wondered if he might get upset and had put his belly band on him. He peed in it. Tonight I took Spur to class and put Roscoe in his crate. No pee. I think he is going to have to be crated at night if I leave. I do believe he thinks at night any time I leave it must be to dog class. He LOVES dog class and gets upset if I leave him. The nerves just over-whelm him and he can't hold his pee. It's that simple. Nothing cynical, nothing medical, nothing vindictive, just Roscoe upset that he can't be with me TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING! The dog LOVE to train! I think he could train all day long and all night long. His ability to learn things, to practice old steady things, to work for me, to figure things out, to bring me my coffee in the morning...........well.........OK,.............so that was a stretch, but the dog LOVES to train! It's probably his absolute favorite thing to do, of all thing, except maybe eat dinner. He LOVES his dinner.

Roscoe is doing well. I am focusing on training him, teaching new things, sharpening up old things (he's doing the Sylvia Trkman backwards weaving around my legs pretty perfectly now!!). I am praising him for breathing oxygen. Yep, I try like heck to praise him when he is just being. It's really beneficial to him to get lots of praise, so when he is being good he gets praise. Breathing oxygen, praise. I think it is really helping.

So, I don't even really know how to update his docs. We haven't had trials lately to test his clonidine. But, I can say things are better. Why? Not the meds. Training more? Praising him more? Who knows, but things are better.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sea Urchins? Are they poisonous?

Today at the beach Colby ate part of a sea urchin shell. I saw her air scent, then bolt off along the beach at full speed to find something good to eat. They often find crab legs or clams the sea gulls have opened and enjoy a nice sushi meal during our beach walks. This time it was sea urchin shell. And she wasn't giving it up! It wasn't a large peice, so I let her eat what she had. Notice I said "let her eat what she had"........would I REALLY have been able to get it away from her? That tiny MinPin can swallow something so fast when she knows someone else wants it. Wondering if she would be poisoned or sick? Maybe she has eaten sea urchin shells before? They always eat stuff at the beach. It's what they do. Dogs eat stuff, they love the dried crab legs and insides of the scallop shells the seagulls have been working on. When out and about on our beach outings, it's time spent foraging and racing, it's what they do. They eat stuff and race around, but I did wonder if that sea urchin shell was going to be OK going through that tiny MinPin body. We found a tiny dead minnow and fed it to Spur because Douce didn't want it, but Spur swallowed it down.

After dinner tonight she barfed up EVERYTHING including all the tiny bits of sea urchin shell. Ick! Just so you know, because Muffin Heads, I know you want to know.............I had to scoop up the icky urchin spine filled throw up with a spatula, there was THAT much (all from an 11lbs dog)! See, for dinner tonight I gave them an extra heaping of yogurt, some organic pumpkin that was on sale at Hannafords, and an egg yoke. They get egg yokes a couple times a week. Plus, her dinner, plus all the Charlee Bears she got for wicked, super fast, killer, highly trained and awesome recalls today at the beach..............except for the time she was eating the sea urchin shell. No recall then - bitch!



She had a sore belly for a bit. A famodatine later and a snuggle by the warm woodstove and her belly seems fine. Empty, but fine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This just never gets old

You know, I get sent these videos over and over sometimes and most times I just hit delete after watching it once. I mean, really, how many times can one watch a JRT waiting for Santa? Like, once!!

But, this? This? THIS??? I watch it every time someone sents it to me. It's just THAT cute!!

Google, how frustrating. Can I bitch!?

When I did my new website I also listed it on google, so folks could search for my business doing a google search. It isn't showing up!!! At least, not in a plain google search for a pet sitter or dog walker in Cape Elizabeth. I wrote them and there is some crazy thing about the new "algorithm change" that applies to new listings. It will take time and maybe reviews on my map listing to have it come up with the others. How unfair! Crazy thing is when I search for a dog walker in Cape Elizabeth the ones that come up are not even in Cape Elizabeth, just "near Cape Elizabeth". But, what can I do? They did tell me if I could get some reviews that would be helpful. I guess I will ask for some reviews. Damn, I really hate doing that kind of thing, it seems so.......um...... I don't know............what is the word I am looking for? Self appreciative? Self serving? Self promoting? What is that word?

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&georestrict=input_srcid%3A762afba70936d3ef

Somehow I am not sure about that, but whatevah..........I really hate all this time spent on the computer. It just seems SO wasteful. I would rather be walking dogs, or cleaning stalls, or reading a book, but business is business and I do need to maintain.

What is it with maintenance, anyway??? Can't I just run like the wind when ever I want and not have to maintain several miles a few times a week? My "new" treadmill has been used only a few times since I set it up. So much for maintenance, A?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Facebook?

OK, so I need to get with the program and do a Facebook page? REALLY???

I feel like if I do that I will be hip? REALLY??? I keep going round and round on this one.

I am trying like heck not to waste any more time on this computer. Remember my maintenance debacle?? STILL dealing with that. What makes me think I could manage a Facebook page? What makes Facebook so special anyway. Really???

I mean, seriously Muffin Heads, what good is social networking? What the heck IS social networking??? I don't mean to offend anyone here, but REALLY??? Chatting on a computer screen is being social???? Social networking seems like what we did last night. Had a few beers, or maybe some wine instead, bitched about our week, played a round of Bananagrams, then found the Table Top game and answered a few of those poignant questions and had a nice night with friends. THAT was social networking? Right?

I don't know, maybe I am "old fashioned". Old fashioned? I think it is more like simple. I am simple and doing a Facebook page seems complicated. I can't even manage my email blasts these days. I know, my dinosaur computer is part of my problem and that will be fixed as soon as Rich gets home. And believe me I will need a lot of Social Networking after my first week with a new system. Got it, Muffin Heads??? Social networking will be in demand that first week, I promise you, make plans now.

Although, maybe I am old fashioned. Ten years ago social networking would have included something more than Bananagrams at home with a few beers/wine. Good GRIEF that sounds "old fashioned"? OK, so to make it sound more interesting there were six little dogs here and we did spend a bit of time analysing dog behavior, watching little puppy Zep get cornered by bitchy 10 year old Colby. He was VERY respectful of the "ole lady" and one look from her bitchy eyes and he was cornered. We laughed, he got himself out of his corner and made a wide berth around her, only to start barking at us to engage him. Little Zep, a big personality in a tiny body. Colby was unimpressed. Zep was impressed by Colby. Ah, the power of a bitch! A MinPin Bitch!

Is that even MORE lame?? Bananagrams and dog behavior analysis? I can't think of anything more fun, really!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Love digital!!

I mean, without digital I don't think I would get "Alien Dog", would I? -That is Colby speaking to me to "activate" her Special!! It's been over a week now and the Special is STILL Special!

Spur is doing his best appeasing move........belly exposed, ears back, squinty eyes, tongue flicks. Colby standing firm, over her Special!!**OH MY! How weird is THAT photo? She looks like an ENORMOUS dog. Like not even doberman size, but Great Dane? Is that just me, wishing I had more to eat and feeling slightly hypoglycemic so things look distorted?? Do I ever get hypoglycemic? Probably not since I eat like 10 times/day and this house has more candy and chocolate than Len Libby's display cases at the moment. But, you know, maybe it's just me? GOOD LORDIE, Muffin Heads, that looks like a HUGE dog!! Colby - all 12lbs and 13.38 inches of her?????
The Special has lost some power, I must say. It is no longer coming to bed with us and I don't have to remove it from her mouth so she can go out to potty. So, leaving it out is working........ SOME.

What's Roscoe to do when the others are obsessing about the Special? Nuthin'. Sun bathe - Lick himself -
He looks so innocent. ?????

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The lovely hair clip!!!

My friend Lisa gave me the NICEST hair clip!! It's sea dollars in a nice nickel coating. I LOVE it! I wore it Christmas Eve and it really looked nice. I had recently had my yearly hair cut. Yep, yearly. I can't stand spending money on hair. I mean, really, my hair - what can you do with it??? Not much. I have tried different styles over the years. I have asked about getting it colored. I end up right back to my ole regular - Layered cut that keeps it from being too big and thick. For the most part, it's OK, it works, I can pull it away from my face each morning in a barrette. I walk dogs all day. Do I go styling it each morning so it looks lovely and neat? No, I gather it in a clip and go! I brush horses, I clean stalls, I walk dogs, I scoop dusty kitty litter. I make it look neat as possible, in a plain hair clip and go. Shower and style at the end of the day. Bwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaa, did you believe that??? "Style", what style, I let it dry and go to bed that way. I just can't be bothered. It's crazy, thick, wavy, totally greying and frizzy hair. Yes, it CAN look nice if I put some effort into it. But, when walking dogs, cleaning stalls, scooping dusty litter, I just can't be bothered. And besides, I have better things to spend my money on than my hair. Like dog class, or dog shows, or riding gear, or fence posts, you know, important things. My hair, it just is.

But, I do LOVE nice, lovely, new hair clips!

Trouble is because I had just had my yearly cut, my hair is well layered and those layers do not stay in this lovely new hair clip very well, especially when I am taking on and off my winter hat.



OH, damn, the photo is sideway!!!! (Just returned from trying to fix that and it isn't fixing!!! - Must be another one of those things I broke when doing computer maintenance!!!!! ARGH!!!!) Well, you get the idea. This photo was taken only an hour after the first one and only one time taking my hat on and off. So, this lovely new hair clip will have to be saved for when my hair grows out some or when I am not taking my head in and out of a hat. Thanks, LISA!! I DO love the hair clip, really, I do. You just may only see me where it at night, during special times when my head doesn't need a hat!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maintenance, wish I hadn't played that game!

You know, every time Rich goes away I cherish my alone time. I sing Joan Armatrading's "Me, Myself, I" and train the dogs like all - day - long, which means crazy monkey screaming from The Spurminator while he is crated and waiting to be trained and I read my books like all - day - long. This goes on for a long time, when Rich is gone. I sleep a little later, which isn't good because I have to do ALL the house chores, which takes longer and after my morning training session I am so far behind I end up with a house that's a mess and a driveway needing more snow clean up, my hair to be brushed and laundry to do. It all just piles up. And then, of course, there is work. I have to work.

I also do things while he is gone that I should not do. Like computer maintenance. I do that because it's like a New Years Resolution, except that I don't DO such Resolutions. It just seems that I usually have a little extra time when Rich is gone and he usually goes away just around the New Year. But, I don't have any extra time cuz remember I am training like all - day - long and reading my books like all - day - long. So, I really don't have extra time to do stupid, idiotic, useless, actually totally harmful maintenance on my computer. I have this sheet someone gave me. It lists the things to do like disk cleanup (my system freezes and won't do that), cookie clean up (yeah, done and now I have to re-enter my passwords everywhere), and other things that take forever like disk degraf and stuff. I also dump sent files and dump photos I no longer care about. That's all good, right?

OK, did ALL that stuff, even ended up dumping programs I thought I didn't need, but when I went to download a USDAA trial premium I had dumped Adobe Reader and had to download that. Doh!!!!

So, my system should be lickity split fast!!! It should be like Spur when he's chasing Roscoe in the weave poles. I do that sometimes to get Spur speeding up, he MONKEY screams after Roscoe who is lickity split in his poles. It works, Spur screams and races after Roscoe doing SMOKIN' poles. My system should be like that........monkey screamin' lickity split, right? NOT! It is as slow as EVAH!!!!

It is not only SLOW AS EVAH, but it is messed up. It no longer automatically moves sent files from the outbox to the sent box. It won't let me even manually do that!! I have to dump them or folks continue getting the same message. And, after a spell it won't even bring mail in, so I have to check and send mail from the roadrunner site. Do you have any idea what a pain that is????

These are times it is so clear to me why I am a dog walker/pet sitter. I LIKE walking dogs! I like visiting kitties! I like caring for animals! Animal "maintenance" doesn't frustrate me. I scoop poo, I pick up shit, I walk the streets and wave to people who smile at the beautiful goldens, or the adorable shih tzus, I get covered in dog hair and it sticks to my lip gloss when I forget my Blistex. I love that stuff!! Computer maintenance. GAG! It's like doing back flips on ice skates and super triple sowcows (which is actually spelled salchow, after some swedish guy named Ulrich). I can't do those things without messing up. Crashing and burning into a pile of broken ice skates and twisted fingers, I CAN NOT DO IT!!!

One more week before Rich returns. That's a LONG time to do be sending emails via webmail. I wonder how many dog walks I would have to do to hire an IT person? Probably more than I could do in a week?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wesley The Owl, a book review!

I read this book last month. I LOVED it!



My friend Laura loaned me this book. We often exchange books and I LOVE that! I am not really one to save and collect books. What good is a book sitting on my shelf? I would rather it get read by others and is passed along for eternity, instead of "eternity" on my shelves. Some books I do like to keep and refer to at times, but some books, like this one should be passed around.

I love any books about animals. It seems that books about dogs are everywhere and I have four I got for Christmas waiting to be read. Books about other animals, not so much. About owls? Rare. About raising owls? Even more rare, so this book is a gem! My first thought after getting into the book about a third of the way, and learning about Wesley, was how incredibly powerful a wee owl is! A MAJOR predator! Stacy O'Brian writes about her struggles not only raising Wesley and keeping him safe and happy, but also about her struggles finding him enough food. I was shocked to read how many mice an owl needs each day! Yikes!

Stacy is a scientist at Caltech in CA where they study owls. Wesley was found as a fledgling, injured to the point that he would never be able to fly enough to survive in the wild. Stacy keeps him and raises him. It is a remarkable story. She suffers greatly to raise this owl, but also lives a love story with him. Truly remarkable and I think anyone interested in animal behavior, especially owls, would enjoy this book. It isn't as well written as I would like, I find myself very picky about that sort of thing lately, but it isn't bad enough that I stopped reading it. No, I read it right to the end, non-stop! Like the book about Alex, the African Grey parrot, I wish the writing was better, but the story is incredible and I very much enjoyed the book. I also learned a lot about owls. Check it out! A good one to add to your reading list, for sure!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Remember the Special?

I left it out, trying to get it to lose it's "specialty", but alas that didn't happen. Four days later, here she is, STILL obsessing about it -

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My dad taught me this!

I got up this morning and did some stretches and warm up. My dad does that every single morning. He's in the tropics today and I bet he has done his stretches and warm up on the beach already this morning. He would never go about his day without his 15 minutes of warm up and stretches. It keeps his back in working condition. Kind of like making sure you change the oil in your car every six months. Or cleaning the chimney on a regular basis. Or eating those black eyed peas and collard greens. Does anyone do that for New Years? I know, it's a southern thing, but what a GREAT thing. Collard greens and black eyed peas every New Year. Good digestive maintenance, kind of like my dad's morning warm up?

Not the big blizzard they were calling for, but still plenty of shoveling, especially the "runway" I shovel for the dogs. Glad I did my dad's morning ritual! The dogs were thankful. Roscoe worked on this rock hard thighs -



Hmm, embedding a youtube video is easy and fast, but not sure I like the format?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I got up at 3:00. How is 7:00 any different????? (I swear a lot in this post!!! Lots of BAD words! BAD, BAD words!!)

I gulped down a glass of wine - wish I could say I drank it, but I didn't, I gulped it - and popped two Ambien and went to sleep at 8:30. I had a plan. A pretty good plan, I thought. I OBSESSED about the weather all day. Wondering about our drive to NH for the USDAA trial at BARK today. I was SO looking forward to it. Did you read that...........I was SO looking forward to it.....did you read that???? Seriously,...........I WAS SO LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!!!! Like $140 looking forward to it!!! I had entered all three dogs, two in Steeplechase (which is more costly a class since if you place you get to go on to the finals the next day! That's thinking positively, A?), Spur in four classes, Colby paired with Jones to MAYBE get her MAD! I was....................SO FUCKING LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!!!!

All day our "wonderful" meteorologists predicted MAJOR storm, HUGE storm, Winter Storm Warnings posted on all the weather websites. Like BIG. FUCKING. STORM.

Remember the wine and Ambien? Roscoe had to get up to pee at 11:00. How I managed to drag my drugged ass out of bed, I haven't a clue, but as I stumbled down the stairs to let him out in the BIG FUCKING STORM, I remembered all the stories of people breaking ankles or dying while falling down stairs, so I hung on for dear life and made it down safely to let the little buggar out to pee. Then carefully back up to collapse in my drugged stupor so I could wake up at 3:00. That was my plan. The weather predictions were bad before I went to bed. Woke up at 3:00, they were worse. You know..........BIG FUCKING STORM COMING!!!! Lisa called...........we chatted and opted to stay home. $140 wasn't worth an accident on snow covered, icy, stormy roads. Plus, we both needed to be home on Sunday and not making it home Sunday wasn't an option. I have kitty visits to do, she has to be home for school, not getting home because of THE BIG FUCKING STORM wasn't an option. The prediction at 3:00 this morning was "heavy snow accumulations" on Sunday. It sound pretty bad. We both went back to bed.

Since I had gone to bed at 8:30, I didn't have to sleep late and got up at my usually 6:30 hour. Checked the weather....um.....what happened to the big fucking storm? Now it was saying Sunday the storm would pretty much be over and mabye just about an inch of extra accumulation. HUH???? FOUR hours made THAT much difference???? From "heavy snow accumulation" to "an inch of extra accumulation"??? How the heck does that happen in FOUR tiny little hours????

I was SO pissed I nearly cried. It may have been the wine/Ambien hangover, but I was really upset. I thought about going anyway, I would miss my pairs run with Jones, but MAYBE I would make my first run with Spur..........maybe. I stoked the stove, watched the STUPID FUCKING METEOROLOGISTS again, got more pissed and decided to stay home. Lisa wasn't going to go, so if I went I would have to pay for the hotel by myself adding more money to my already thrown away amount. So, here I am writing bad words on my blog, feeling really sorry for myself. I did get to run agility with the dogs this morning at my friend's private, secret location, which definitely made me feel better. They ran great, it was wicked fun, we set up a really hard course, but the drive there and back just made me more mad because the driving was not at all bad, yeah we stayed about 50 mpg, but big whoop, it wasn't bad. Not bad enough to have stayed home.

So, do I feel better having bitched and swore and complained. No..................I wish I were there. I wish I had gone. I wish I had that $140 back. I HATE meteorologists. I hate the intense, crazy, big deal made about winter storms. I know, maybe we would have gotten in an accident and all died. How would I feel then? I would be FUCKING DEAD!!! I wouldn't care!!! OK, so maybe we could have gotten in an accident and lost a leg? Or lost one of the dogs like the internet story told about yesterday. OK, so THAT would have been very bad and a good reason to stay here. I guess..............I am still feeling really bitchy and really sorry for myself and I want my $140 back. I want my decision back. I want to relive my 3:00 AM decision and be in NH right now blowing away Snooker with Roscoe, or Steeplechase with Spur, or getting Colby's MAD with Jones. That's what I want. If I thought a glass of wine would make me feel better I would gulp it down right now, but it wouldn't, so I'll just go eat some chocolate - cuz dude - it's better than cleaning my room.

"You spin my head right round, right round. When you go down, when you go down, down. You spin my head right round, right round. When you go down, when you go down, down." (Flo Rida)

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's a new year and do I really remember the last year and what is a "last year" and does it really matter what year it is?

I started to think of all the poignant things I could say about last year, about what was good, what was bad, what I learned or didn't learn. But, what the heck,......... it's just another year. It's just numbers........... from 2009 to 2010. It's just another season, another month, another day. I got up this morning and still had to stoke the woodstove.I still had to feed the horses, dogs and kitties. I still made my coffee and checked my email. I even checked and commented on facebook. That's new, facebook. Didn't have that in 2008. But, really it's just another day.

So, maybe I can think of things that happened in 2009 that were significant? Like facebook, that didn't happen the previous year. Facebook, a strangely silly waste of time? I dunno...........I would not have known about my niece's braces coming off or my nephew's pit bull, or my sister's cow getting ketosis, or my neighbor becoming a great grandmother. Facebook told me that. I have a new website. Do I make a Facebook page?? With all the time I have extra each day to update things on Facebook? "Social Media"????? What the heck???? I started this blog in 09. Do I really need more social media?????

I got championships on my ten year old MinPins. That didn't happen in 08.....errrr.......well.....ever before. That's pretty big! We are all like Champion, Champion, Champion now!!!! Roscoe got his first perfect score in Rally Obedience. He humped the judge. THAT didn't happen in 08............errrrr..........well..........ever.

I lost a kitty to heart disease, but added two "new" ones to the barn.

I completed 30 days of I/V tetracycline on Jewel for her lyme.

What else happened in 09 that had never happened before? Well, plenty, but that's just how it goes from day to day. New things happen. I am thankful my days are not all the same, even though I still get up each morning and stoke the woodstove and feed the horses, dogs and kitties. I still do all those things. But, things do change. But, things do stay the same.

Like Mr. Zeus.........


He may be a little older, but he's still here and still handsome, grumpy, silly, fat ole Zeus......
Roscoe still smears snot on the door and watches Spur race around the yard in the snow. He wishes he could join in, but the snow is a bummer for him so this time of year he rarely does the chase me game, he watched from his snot smeared window. (Hmmm, if it were not for Facebook would I have cleaned that window??? Maybe.) Roscoe and snow do not get along well. That's the same. Year after year. Roscoe wants to move to Key West with Julie!



Jewel still enjoys a little grazing, although less since her laminitis occurrence, but she still gets some and the snow still covers the pine tree and it still looks very pretty. Year after year. She still digs down for the tender grass shoots.



The Notorious Little Farm Dogs ("official" name now) still have to do sit-stays for photoshoots, no matter HOW cold! It was COLD that day!!!



I still have to deal with house issues while Rich heads off on vacation to Costa Rica. The sump hose froze and I broke the old shovel chipping it out of the pile of mulch it was buried under the other day. Don't misunderstand, I LOVE my alone time when Rich goes off to Costa Rica!!! I HATE travelling!



So, it's just another day, another year. Different, yet still the same. I am glad. I am glad that nothing really bad happened last year, that some really good things happened, that many things stayed the same. Do I have goals for 2010???? Um............sure..........what's life without goals??? Stagnant. I am certainly NOT stagnant, so I have MANY goals. I just won't tell you my goals. Then I would have the pressure. I would have to live up to my standards. And one thing that has seemed to change are my standards. I don't care that I haven't gotten my bedroom painted in 16 years, or that the closet still has clothes in it that haven't seen my body in 20 years. I just don't care about that stuff. I get up each day and stoke the woodstove and feed the horses, dogs and kitties. The days just continue, the same, only different.
Happy New Year, everyone!!! Let's all just stay the same, only different and life will go on...... and as Bobby McFerrin says - "Be Happy, Don't Worry"!!!!!