Thursday, December 22, 2005

Puppy Teeth

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Reyna had a puncture wound on her side, near the base of her rib cage. It didn’t seem to be bothering her much, I didn’t think a lot of it. I figured that Duncan had done it during one of their play fights, and that it would heal up on its own. As the days passed, I noticed it didn’t seem to be healing, but it still wasn’t bothering Reyna very much. When I got home from work yesterday, though, I saw that she had ripped out all the fur around that area – about the size of a quarter – and that the area was red and ugly-looking. Even more significant was the fact that she did not like me messing with it. So, I called the vet and scheduled an appointment for this morning. The vet wasn’t too concerned at first, until he realized the wound had been there for more than two weeks.

My brother, John, had dinner with me last night, and shortly before he left, he noticed Reyna was playing with something. His first thought was that it looked like a dog’s toenail, but when he showed it to me, I thought it looked like a tooth. I checked both dogs, but didn’t see any holes that suggested a tooth was missing. I put it in my bag to take to the vet’s, to see what he thought.

This morning, when we got to the vet’s office, he said the thing was definitely a tooth, and looked like a puppy canine that had been pulled out by the roots. He checked Reyna’s mouth, and then looked at her wound. He then went outside and checked Duncan’s mouth. There’s a small red spot behind the new adult canine that shows where the puppy tooth used to be. The vet said that, the way the tooth looked, there would be a distinct hole where it had been pulled out, but Duncan’s mouth was fine. He also said a hole like that would take a couple of weeks to fully heal.

So, Duncan gave Reyna a puncture wound when they were playing a few weeks ago, and an upper puppy canine tooth was ripped out near the roots during the incident. The tooth stayed in Reyna’s side until last night. The vet figures it had started working its way out, and that’s why she went nuts with the area yesterday. The tooth either popped out, or she managed to finally work it out on her own. This is not something that I would ever have thought could happen. Of course, I also didn’t think my dog would manage to nearly slice her tail off on some random thing out in the yard, either.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


He started the cutest thing night before last. He’s discovered that if he puts his front feet on the ottoman, he can walk around the living room on his back legs. He looks so pleased with himself when he finishes a lap around the room. I have *got* to get a picture of him doing that….

Drill Team

Its official – Reyna and I will not be on the canine drill team next year. After talking for over an hour, Sylvie finally came out and admitted that she didn’t want Reyna on the team. She had several reasons, of course…..
1 – Reyna didn’t seem to be having fun. Well, of course, she isn’t having fun. Any well-trained dog is going to get bored when she has to hold a sit/stay for 20 minutes because the other dogs keep breaking.
2 – I didn’t seem to be having fun. Of course not. My dog and I were being picked on every practice. And the group practiced every week starting in January, and we did a whopping 3 demos all year.
3 – She’s concerned about the liability if Reyna snaps and attacks another dog. Reyna’s never physically gone after another dog without provocation, so maybe we should *all* consider exercising more control over our animals.
4 – She’s sure that I would be stressed because I would be worrying about her nerves if she felt the need to say something to me about Reyna. Her nerves are soooo far down my list of concerns…

We also discussed the fact that she thinks I make excuses for Reyna’s behavior, while I look at it as more pointing out the actual circumstances of the incident. For example, if Reyna barks at Rosie, I’m making excuses for Reyna when I say that Rosie growled at Reyna first. I hate to hurt her feelings, but I’m not going to correct Reyna for barking at a dog that growls at her.

She kept telling me that she can’t control the team members, and that the team should be fun. I agree the team should be fun, but I don’t agree with the control issue. She’s the team leader. If people aren’t doing what she wants them to, she needs to say something immediately. Not let it go for 4 months. And she kept talking about how she loses money at every practice and demo….if that’s the case, why is she doing it?

Several other issues were brought up, and I’m not sure about Sylvie, but I wasn’t exactly happy with how things ended. I felt (and still feel) that an apology is due us, but she didn’t seem to think she should apologize for anything. She also said she wants me on the team, so if I want to bring Duncan, we’d be welcome. That won’t happen. We did agree that Reyna and I would come out to the 4 demos she’s planning this year, and do a Search and Rescue demo for them. Duncan will finish his class with her (we only have two sessions left), and Reyna and I will participate in next year’s SAR class (Donny runs it, not Sylvie), and after that, we really won’t have much contact with her, aside from the SAR demos. I see no reason to stress myself and my dog out because of her concerns.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas pictures

Duncan and Reyna had their pictures taken as part of the SPCA’s “Santa Paws” event. They were SOOO good. The pictures are just insanely, freakishly cute. And (almost) more importantly, both dogs were definitely wearing their public manners that day. They were a huge hit with everyone that came into the room. Duncan was kissing everyone he could get his mouth on, and Reyna was sitting oh-so-prettily, in her "yes, I am a gorgeous Shepherd, thank you ever so much for noticing” pose. She even showed off a couple of tricks for her admiring audience. And after the pictures and the kissing, while Mommy was talking with the nice people, Duncan curled up, fell asleep, and immediately started snoring. This, of course, resulted in a chorus of “Awwwww!”


Why do people pull out in front of traffic and not go?

Why do people feel the need to come to a complete stop before making a right turn?

Why do people drive slower than the speed limit, with no flashing emergency blinkers?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I’m so tired of the rain. I know we’ve been doing the drought thing, and I know my plants are thrilled to be getting this nice soaking. But its awfully hard to explain to Reyna why she’s not allowed to play outside. She doesn’t care if she gets soaking wet and then jumps on the couch. She just wants to run around and burn off all that pent up German Shepherd energy. Duncan’s a lot easier – he’s happy for any kind of attention and/or activity. Or a nap. He’s good either way. But I’m tired of it. I want to see the sun for more than three minutes.

Go figure

I don’t know what is going on……I can’t get my panties on right-side out these days, but I can come up with weird little things in Excel to save hours of tedious work. Does that make me some sort of idiot savant? Or just an idiot?

Monday, November 28, 2005


Four-day weekends are hard for me. I spent way too much time Thursday trying to figure out why there was week-night programming on TV, and why they were showing “Apprentice” episodes on Saturday. It finally occurred to me that it was Thursday, not Saturday. Friday, my friend Marie came over for a day of cropping. Every time a comment was made about doing something over the weekend, my brain popped up with, “Oh, yeah! Its only Friday!” Saturday I started stressing over all the chores I needed to do before work the next day. As much as I enjoyed the four days off, it was almost a relief to know Sunday had finally arrived, and my poor brain could get back into its regular schedule. If this was how four days affected me, I can only imagine what’ll happen when we shut down at Christmas and I’m off from the 24th to January 2nd.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Giving Thanks

This season, I am thankful for my friends, pets, and home, and (occasionally) for my family. As I watched the news last night, it occurred to me that I am incredibly thankful for one particular thing - that I no longer work in retail!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


So, last night was Duncan's first ever obedience class. I may be a bit biased, but I think he was the best dog there. He had the quickest and longest treatless sit, he didn't bark at anyone, didn't jump or lunge or anything like that. His down needs work, but since last night was the first time we worked on that, I'm not worried. After all, he's only 19 weeks, or 4.5 calendar months. He even has a pretty decent loose leash walk. Such a good boy. Sylvie said she wants me to train him for drill, since I can hardly work two dogs at once, I'm waiting for her to admit that she really doesn't want Reyna on the team. We'll see what happens...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Seminar...

The seminar this past weekend was wonderful. Carolyn Scott is spectacular. Reyna and I both learned a lot from her. This was brand new material for us, since we've never done canine freestyle, just basic obedience. There were a few other newbies there, but most of the folks had at least some experience with it. There's really no one doing the sport in the Raleigh area, but it seems to be taking off a bit. I met a girl there who's a dog trainer in Raleigh, and she's planning to start offering lessons in March. There were 4 shelties, 8 border collies, 3 goldens, 1 cattle dog, and Reyna, the only GSD.

It turns out that Carolyn has trained two GSDs to do canine freestyle, so she was very good with Reyna. Totally understands a GSD bitch, both by gender and by personality. Reyna only had a couple of barking incidents....and all Carolyn did was tell me to put her in the corner for a few minutes. It was great. Typically, if Reyna does something, its assumed to be her fault, I get fussed at, and then I get mad. And Reyna's behavior alters based on my attitude, so when she knows I'm annoyed and agitated, she actually gets worse. But thats another rant...

We spent the weekend working on learning some new moves and how to teach them to the dog, as well as choreography and picking out music that suits the team. Reyna picked up the moves very quickly, once she realized that it was okay for her to be out of heel position. It also helped that one of the girls there had some awesome training treats that Reyna'd never had before. She even tried to take my fingers off to get to it. And after two days of junk food, it took Reyna a day to recover. She finally started eating her regular food this morning. I know Reyna got bored a few times, but she was a real trooper all weekend. Even realized Friday night that she wasn't supposed to bark at all the new noises, just at something that might actually affect us.

I would like to take this time to point out that my dog is awesome. She was able to take all the new moves that she just learned, be off leash in an area with a bunch of other excited dogs, and complete a (thankfully brief) routine that her poor mother choreographed in 20 minutes. And she did it flawlessly. Its possible that we may have found a new activity for the two of us. Cause we needed something else to do....

First, the motel....

So, the Palomino Motel is apparently the only dog-friendly place in Sanford, NC. And they've been dog-friendly forever, even when it really wasn't the thing to do. Dogs are allowed over the entire 17 acres, as well as inside the office. They can even be off-leash, as long as the owner is out with them. And, of course, the owner has to pick up after the dog. All they ask is that the dogs are confined if the owner leaves the room, because some of the house-keeping staff is scared of dogs.

Now for the weird part.....the brochure shows a pretty nice place, and talks about the attached restaurant and all the great golf packages they offer. So, on the way down, I'm actually worrying about getting Reyna down the elevator and through the lobby first thing in the morning for our "But Mommy, I REALLY gotta go!" trip. When we get to the motel, I look around, and realize you couldn't pay me to stay there without having a dog in the room. The place is in good condition, but still feels seedy. A few of the other women I spoke to agreed with me. The place rents rooms by the month, so there are people that just live there. I didn't actually see anyone who concerned me (of course, with Reyna along, very few people concern me), although I did see several people disappear beack into their rooms when they saw us walking around. And there was one room in particular that Reyna was very interested in. It just felt off. And after 3 and a half years working crime scenes, I pay attention to those feelings....

Overall, I wouldn't recommend it for the single woman traveling alone. But if you have company, or a large or noisy dog, its fine. And the hotel staff was very office worker asked if I'd leave Reyna with her for a while....

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Reyna and I have a canine freestyle seminar this weekend. That's dancing with your dog, for those of you who don't know. We'll spend two days practicing new moves, which should be a blast. Hopefully, we'll learn something to spice up her trick repetoire...she's getting bored with the old standards at our demos. Duncan will be staying with his Aunt Mia and Uncle Dante (two gorgeous German shepherds), and their pets, Kim and Leo. Kim says the weekend with Duncan will be puppy birth control for them.

About me

So, just a smidge about me, so that any future rants will make a bit more sense....

I have 6 cats and 2 dogs. Mirabelle (Belle), an 8-year-old tortoiseshell tabby; Loki, a 7-year-old black long-hair; Mycroft (Mikey), a 5-year-old Bengal; Vereyna (Reyna), an almost-2-year-old German shepherd; Parm, Per'la, and Khar'pern (Khar), 7-month-old kittens; and Duncan, an 18-week-old German shepherd. These are my babies, and heaven help anyone that tries to claim more importance.....

Besides work, I'm getting my MBA, assisting with dog obedience classes, and performing with Reyna as part of a canine drill team. Reyna is also Search and Rescue trained. Since I'm so busy, we're not currently part of a team, but we still have regular training sessions to keep her in practice. My oldest brother, John, just recently moved into a house about 10 minutes away from me, so thats a real plus. We haven't seen much of each other over the last few years, so it's going to be great to get to see him more frequently.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What the heck...

Well, since I've managed to figure out how to set up a profile picture and link to Natalie's blog, I may as well go ahead and use it....


So, Nat talked me into I'm making sure it works.....