Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

So, while I was working on the video clips for the previous blog, I stumbled across a few videos I took of Reyna on my first digital camera, back when she was just a few months old. The quality is pretty bad, although its better on my computer than it is on YouTube or Photobucket. But, you work with what you have. I’d forgotten just how freakishly cute Reyna was at 3 and a half months old. And so skinny! I didn’t know it then, of course, but these clips were definitely an indication of how Reyna would turn out.

This clip is Reyna with her woobie. Reyna’s woobie was her very favorite stuffed toy, and I think we went through four of them before I stopped buying her stuffed toys. Her woobie had squeakies in the head and all four feet, and she loved to carry it around, sit on it, and sleep on it. In the clip, I ask her a couple of times to “bring it here” which she totally ignores. Amazingly enough, she has the same response now when I tell her to bring me her soccer ball.

In this one, Belle is explaining to Reyna just how she feels. When Reyna was still pretty little, the cats had the run of the house. Reyna was blocked at the hallway, though, so that the cats would have their own space. Of course, all that has changed a bit, and now the species are separated by the door in the hallway. The cats could go through the whole house using the catwalk, but they really don’t seem inclined to do that. Belle’s feelings towards Reyna haven’t changed any since the day I recorded this.

Here we have Reyna showing off her love of digging, as well as her high intensity level. I never did figure out what she was digging for, but she was determined to got through the kitchen floor. I also have a second, much longer clip of her still digging away in the same corner. She really doesn’t dig anymore (except in water buckets), but I don’t think anyone can say that her intensity level has decreased over time.

And here is Reyna demonstrating a habit that goes on today (and that is very possibly happening right this moment). In this clip, Reyna shows that she never really had the ability to chase her tail without running into something. Unfortunately, she advanced quickly from running into plastic boxes to running into walls. Not that she seems to mind, of course. And just think – at only 14 weeks old, she was already showing signs of the insanity that has followed her ever since...

I have a few other little clips of Reyna at home, and I’m so glad I thought to take them. Even though I have loads of photos of her, these videos definitely show her puppy personality more clearly than any photo ever could.

A Fun Afternoon

The weather has been pretty icky this weekend, but Friday was gorgeous. I got out of class early, so I was able to take advantage of the sunny, 80 degree weather. As soon as I got home, I took the dogs out to the pond behind the house. I'm going to have to try and find a better route other than straight through the woods, because the ticks are definitely out.

Both of the dogs enjoy going to the pond, but Reyna’s the only one who actually swims. Some days, I think Duncan still believes he’ll melt if that horrible, nasty, wet stuff touches him. He has finally gotten to where he’ll actually get in the water up to his chest, but only to drink, and he still gets out pretty quickly. He certainly doesn’t splash around it in and have fun like Reyna does.

This pond isn’t huge, but it’s plenty big for swimming, and the water is pretty clean (ignoring the layer of pollen on top, of course). Reyna doesn’t swim just to swim, but she’ll go after sticks – and occasionally even bring them back. I’ve thought of taking a couple of tennis balls out there, but since she isn’t consistent on returning the items, I figure tennis balls aren’t a good idea. I’d hate for her to leave one out there, and then I have to either swim after it myself or drag the canoe down there.

On this trip, I remembered to take my digital camera and my video camera. Below is a short clip of Reyna swimming. I had a several bits where she actually brought the stick back, but all you can hear during those is the clickity-clickity-click of the digital camera. Holding the video in my left hand and the digital in my right doesn’t produce the best of either. Its hard to zoom with one hand...

On our way back, the dogs decided to play a bit, and I managed to get most of that on tape, too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The One Place You Can Yell “Bitch” And No One Gets Upset

Various local kennel clubs held their annual dog shows at the fairgrounds this past week (Tuesday thru Sunday). The German Shepherd Dog Club that Duncan and I belong to had their specialty shows Friday and Saturday evenings. Last year, I worked one night as a Steward Trainee; this year, I worked both nights as the only Steward. Basically, that means I got to stand on a cement floor for about 6 hours each night, helping the judge and keeping all of the humans and dogs in line. The majority of the time I had a lot of fun, but I didn’t particularly appreciate being yelled at by the dog show divas (i.e., the male handlers). The worst part of both nights was the calling for the dogs. I did so much yelling, I ended up hoarse Saturday and Sunday. And, oh, how my feet and back ached afterwards. Oh, well, its only once a year. I couldn’t always tell why the judges chose one dog over another, but I did get to see some absolutely gorgeous German shepherds.

On a slightly related note, I pulled off my first tick of the season Sunday afternoon. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Worse Than Mama’s Spit

Last night, Duncan became obsessed with licking Reyna’s lower lip. This went beyond his normal kisses – he was fixated. Made me wonder if she had a piece of kibble stuck there. At first, Reyna just sat quietly and let him lick. After a minute, she started staring at me with a mildly annoyed look on her face. I saw her upper lips start to curl, and just as I said Duncan’s name, she went for him. After she finished snapping at him, he started trying to lick her lip again! She tolerated that for an entire second and a half before expressing her displeasure. It turns out that she had a piece of dead skin stuck to her lip, and Duncan was apparently trying to remove that for her.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Various And Sundry

Per’la had another round of Nasty Eye a couple of weeks ago, and now she has a cold. Belle and Loki are fine, but Mikey and Khar both have Nasty Eye Lite. Parm, on the other paw, is dealing with Really Nasty Eye, and doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with all that extra crud. I’m having trouble convincing him that letting me scrape it all out every now and then will make his life more pleasant.

Courtesy of recent truck issues and rising gas prices, I really miss my car.

Two weeks ago, I definitely had moles (or voles – without actually seeing one of them, I have no idea how to tell the difference). I haven’t found any more tunnels under the fence, but I had several raised mounds in the yard where the critters were tunneling. Duncan did not like that, and did a very good job of digging up all the tunnels and access holes he could find. I didn’t see any new ones for the last week, and figured that the critters were either tunneling too deep to disturb the ground, or they’d decided that Duncan’s Yard just wasn’t the place to be. This morning, though, I discovered a tunnel from the fence straight to a small flower bed beside my swing. Duncan wasn’t happy to see that, and spent 20 minutes digging up the tunnel and trying to shove his nose as far in as possible. He also found an access hole near my tree that he dug up. I talked to my neighbor on that side a bit ago, and they had moles for 5 years. I guess they decided it was time to try new hunting grounds. Hopefully, Duncan will discourage there efforts...

I started another export class this week. Once again, I’m in class for six weeks. Thankfully, the assignments for export classes are a lot less intensive than for my MBA. It shouldn’t be too bad, as long as I can remember to participate five days a week.

I’ve been taping the ACC games since Friday for my Aunt Susan. I have to say that, as much as I don’t really care who wins the games, both semi-final games yesterday were real nail-biters. Since I have to watch the games, I’m grateful that they’ve been interesting. I know its unlikely (especially since the score is 69-59 UNC, with 8:30 left in the game), but it would make me smile if Clemson beat UNC today...

Duncan's pre-agility class starts tomorrow. The first session is orientation for the people, then we have six weeks of classes with the dogs. We got the equivalent of an "incomplete" last time, because Duncan couldn't coordinate his back end well enough to handle the ramp and dog walk. Since he's older and a bit more together now, I figured we'd try it again. Paws crossed!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Happy Birthday, Reyna!

Today is Reyna’s 4th birthday. Some days its hard to believe she’s been a part of my life for that long; other days it feels like she’s always been here. Last year was a rough one for both of us, and there were times when I wasn’t sure if she’d make it to the next week, much less all the way to her next birthday. But she did. And she’s doing so well now.

She’s changed in the last year, matured, become more affectionate, and she’s actually settled down quite a bit (although she’s still insane, there’s no question about that). I look at her and I see this wonderful, gorgeous, brilliant animal, and I think of all the drama and annoyance and struggle we’ve been through together, and I know that she’s worth it. I also know there will be more drama, more annoyance, and more struggle. But that’s okay, because she’s worth that, too. And that’s enough of the sappy stuff.

Reyna had a very big day today. First, she got to go on a long truck ride. The she got to chase sheep. And then roll in a mud puddle, play in a water trough, and chase more sheep! And then she got another long truck ride, and a visit to her favorite bakery, where she got treats and lovins. Then it was play time at home, and a quick nap to recharge the batteries. And she’s finishing off her day eating CAKE! Now, really, how much better could a dog’s birthday be???