Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stupid People

Why do people think that animals have to become best friends in 24 hours or less? Why don't they understand that animals can learn to coexist, but they need more than a few hours?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

CF #5

Reyna was very good in class today….she showed that she really has been paying attention during our practices sessions. And she worked for a full hour today. The poor girl was so ready to leave when we were done. Today was mostly about picking some music, so I had a CD already burned for class. I’m going to take it with me to the seminar next weekend, and ask for opinions from Carolyn Scott and the other freestylers. The songs we’re considering are:

Find Me Somebody to Love – Ella Enchanted
San Antonio Stroll – Tanya Tucker
I’m from the Country – Tracy Byrd
Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun – Cindy Lauper
Man, I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain
Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

I decided we needed something a bit slower than I had originally thought, because even though Reyna heels at a fast pace, some of her moves are slower than others. Her spins are fast only if she’s chasing her tail. Having a song that’s a smidge slower than I’m really comfortable with should help her, as well as accommodate some of her slower patterns. She has some faster moves, and we can choreograph those into the faster spots.

Fingers Crossed

It looks like Jake has a potential home. The dad and kid love him, and the mom likes him, but she's worried about her cat. I tried to make sure she understood that most cats won't become friends with a strange dog (especially if it is the first animal ever seen outside the vet's office), but I'm not sure she fully realizes that. They're keeping him for the weekend, and I'm hoping they'll decide to keep him permanently. Once he settled down, he totally ignored the cat, but that certainly doesn't mean he won't chase it if it runs. I got the impression they aren't as strict as I would be, but that's totally up to them. So, anyway, keep all your fingers and toes crossed that this house works out for him.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Rock

Somehow, I neglected to mention that Reyna has been the best dog ever during this painful time. Duncan is confused about why he can’t crawl into Mommy’s lap right now, and Jake is just a pettins whore, so he’s constantly up my butt. Reyna is keeping Duncan from jumping on me, and is keeping Jake almost constantly away from me. She doesn’t let them run into me if I’m standing up, and if they start bothering me while I’m on the couch, she not-so-gently removes them if I tell them to back away. She’s spent the last few days going out only when she’s had to, and the rest of the time she is either on the floor in front of me or on the couch beside me. She checks on me periodically, by whining and rubbing her head against my arm, or licking my cheek. She is letting me use her as support to stand up, sit down, and crouch down if I have to get something from the floor. She’s also been following me a little more closely, and leaning against me for support when she realizes I need it. I told my boss I was going to start bringing her in as a service dog if my back doesn’t clear up soon. Everything she’s been doing has been entirely of her own choice and decision. I don’t call her over or ask her to do any of this. She just knows something is wrong, and she’s doing her best to help.

Back pain very much bad.

Last Saturday, I managed to royally screw up my back. Still not totally sure exactly what happened, but I hope to never ever ever do it again. A few weeks ago, I pulled a muscle lifting a 40 pound bag of dog food wrong (we go through those pretty quickly at my house), but I didn’t think much of it, since it quit hurting in a day or two. Since then, I would occasionally pick something up that would twinge my back, but would only hurt for an hour or so, and I would generally smack myself in the head and give myself the “lift with your legs, not with your back” lecture. Sunday the 12th, I felt it twinge again, but that didn’t hurt for long, either. During the following week, I was attending a seminar, and my back would start hurting after sitting in those hotel chairs for an hour or so, but as soon as I got up to walk around, it would stop. And driving didn’t bother me, so I assumed it was just the hideously uncomfortable chairs.

Saturday, though, I decided to come home early, in an attempt to beat the really icky weather that was supposedly coming through the area. So I loaded up the truck, feeling an occasional twinge, but nothing significant. Got the dogs in the truck, helped Angel move the dog house back to its original spot (being careful to not bend over while I was doing that), and finished tossing dog bones and toys and such in the truck. And then I suddenly couldn’t walk.

Thankfully, that eased up after a few minutes, although I couldn’t swing my legs back and forth to scrape the mud off my boots, so Angel had to get a stick for me to do it the hard way. It took me (literally) 5 minutes to get into my truck and get my legs positioned so I could reach the pedals, and then Angel had to close the door for me, since I couldn’t lean out to get it. I also had to stop for gas, which was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life.

After getting home, my brother came over to unload the truck and feed the dogs and do laundry (I love my brother). He even brought lunch and ice cream over the next day. I was actually scared to sit down Saturday before he got there, because I really didn’t think I’d be able to get up. And going to the bathroom was certainly not something I wanted to try. In fact, doing that at 2:00am Sunday morning actually made me nauseous. Trying to pee when none of your muscles will relax is not an easy thing to do. I would also like to point out that muscle spasms are BAD. Especially the ones that make your leg and butt muscles hurt, too.

I went to the doctor Monday, and she gave me lovely drugs and told me to go home from work and take them. So I did. And I stayed out of work Tuesday. Spent a few hours in the office Wednesday, and I’m currently planning to be here all day today and Friday. I have an MRI scheduled for Sunday morning – doc thinks I may have a pulled muscle/slipped disc/pinched nerve combo. Leave it to me to do as much damage as possible. Needless to say, Reyna and I will not be attending SAR training Sunday. I’m hoping to make it to her freestyle class Saturday, since we’re picking music, and I was pretty slack about working her while we were at Angel’s.

CF #4

We’ve temporarily given up on trying to make Reyna move side to side in a heel position. She’s really fighting the concept, and why make us both grumpy? We’ve also modified her “around” as she was getting it confused with her “finish” pattern. We did pick up a few new moves at our last session, though.

"Grapevine weave" – she weaves thru one leg, I do a step-together-step away from her, she weaves thru the other leg, repeat. Seems to work better with her long body than a regular weave.
"Spiral" – in heel position, she spins clockwise, while I move around her counterclockwise.
"Rock-n-roll" – she does a half spin, I cut her off, she does a half spin the other way, I cut her off, etc.
"Jazz" – she’s in front position, does a half turn and backs thru my legs.

This coming Saturday, we’re going to work on picking out some music. I’ve found some songs I like that are at least fairly appropriate to the situation, so now we just have to see if Reyna responds to any of them. My biggest problem is that I really love swing and big band music, but I had to keep in mind that we’re not supposed to be running around the ring. So, sadly, most of my swing music went out the window. But I found about 15 songs that I like, and I’m hoping she’ll respond to at least one of them. We’re attending another Carolyn Scott seminar in March, and I’m going to ask her to do a music review for us, since she ran out of time at the last one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Who knew...

...that pretzels could settle an unhappy stomach?

Monday, February 06, 2006


This sweet boy needs a home. He’s and 8 month old pure German Shepherd. I’m fostering him while we look for a forever home. He’s very sweet and affectionate. He responds to correction easily, but some of his behavior makes me think he was mistreated. Jake gets along wonderfully with my two shepherds, and is quickly learning the rules of the house (thanks to Reyna’s enforcement tendencies). I was told he isn’t housebroken, but he knows how to use the dog door, and hasn’t had any accidents in the house. Jake is still intact, but I’m hoping the neutering will occur in the next week or two. He seems to be very smart, and really just wants someone to love him and play with him. If you’re interested – or know someone who might be – please let me know.