Posts Tagged ‘Micah’

Nearly Perfect Day

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Six plus months have gone by since my last post. I can scarcely believe it! There have been SO many things that I have wanted to write about along the way. But for some reason (perhaps my A-D-D) it seems that I was unable to do so.

For some reason, the simplicity of today made me want to take the time to post. I was recently introduced to the Shambhala Meditation Center of Dallas (another post gone undone) and the concept of living in the present. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but this very moment. It struck me tonight that I was having one of those “now” moments.

I spent the day working on cleaning out a couple of closets. Not that I’m done, but I got a start. I feel good about that. (I AM going to get this house whipped into shape, I SWEAR I am).

I watched a couple of episodes of a show that is new to me – Nurse Jackie. It’s about a nurse that is a drug addict. I liked it. It had just the right about of twisted humor to keep the subject matter interesting and somewhat light.

I did a little tending to our two little first time ever Tx gardens. It’s very exciting to watch things change from stubby little plants into flourishing bearers of fruit (or veggies as the case might be).

But tonight is what made me actually want to do this post. I was just sitting out on the patio reading Kathy Sdao (one of my very favorite lecturers and people) “Plenty in Life is Free” with a glass of wine and Micah sitting in my lap. You know I just love that little guy to PIECES. He was watching every little thing that flew by, and enjoying the breeze of the evening while our resident geckos perched on the house – waiting. Just waiting. The neighborhood was quiet except for the occasional distant siren and a plane or two. It was just Micah and I enjoying the moment. Just calm and peaceful. Just lovely. It made me think about how really and truly, it’s the simplest things in life that make us happy.

Yup – today was just about perfect!

Back on Track

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I LOVE fall – and today was a beautiful, PERFECT fall day in Flower Mound Texas. If I were a native Texan I might have thought it was too cold; but I’m not, and it wasn’t. It was about 60 degrees, with enough breeze to warrant a sweatshirt. I took the two terriers for a walk in the park; well technically one walk and one walk/ride.

Princess Ruby

Princess Ruby

Ruby can’t walk very far so she gets to ride in a stroller part of the time. I actually don’t think she cares if she walks or rides, just so she gets to go.

So now that the BRUTAL heat of the summer is over, I’ve decided to give another go to getting fit. Weight has been a lifelong battle for me, and in a few months I will be turning another decade older! (And it’s a BIG decade!!) I think that’s starting to sink in. It’s now or never – soon I will be OLD!

So I’m putting it out there – for all to read. I’m officially starting (once again) to implement a reasonable eating plan and a walk/run program (by Jeff Galloway).

Wish me luck, and strength. And stay tuned.

Micah’s October Challenge

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Halloween presents an especially difficult scenario for the socially challenged.

Dogs that have social “issues” have an especially hard time on this night of nights, with ghosts and goblscaryins running through the neighborhood, ringing doorbells and yelling “trick or treat”. Can you imagine what they must be thinking? Don’t worry mom - I’ll protect you!!!!!

Micah tried REALLY hard to be a good boy tonight. (I temporarily have a couch sitting almost directly in front of my front door. Not great decorating, but hey – it’s just temporary. The couch is on its way out).

So Micah planted himself on the arm of the couch and sat patiently waiting for his reward for being good. And he WAS good.

That is until the doorbell rang, or he heard the squeals of the kids running up the walk. As soon as I opened the door he would leave his designated spot on the couch to run to the door. Try as he might, it was a tough task for him to hold his position.

Dog training is a process. Sometimes it’s a L-O-N-G process. He’s definitely not an automaton. He’s a feisty little terrier boy, high on the scale of reactivity. And so, we continue to tame the wild beast within. Stay tuned.

Crack Balls

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago at agility class, Micah had to run over and “snark” at another dog. He does this occasionally. Not a lot, but occasionally. Especially if there is someone new in class that he’s not familiar with. After working with him for. . . what . . . 4+ years now? I started thinking that I might be trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Even though he is physically Perfect for agility (lean and leggy), his inability to focus is getting me down. I started to entertain the idea that we may never be able to really excel at this sport, and I might have to look for something else to do with him.

micah_400p3

Tonight at agility class at Dog City Training Center, Micah discovered the “crack balls”. (We just call them that because it seems that ALL dogs LOVE them). He has a special toy at home that he’s totally nuts about, but I think the new crack ball will give it a run for it’s money. He was absolutely spastic as I placed the ball on top of a shelf while it was our turn to run; jumping and {{{quivering}}} and yipping for the ball. Please momma, please momma, PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!!

I tried to get him to come but he was having none of it. So my instructor suggested that I put the ball in my pocket and throw it for him as a reward at the end. It was a good idea – at least in theory. He had a lot of trouble completing his sequences because he kept pulling off to come (try to) get the ball. However – his level of excitement was unbelievable, and he was TOTALLY focused on ME. As she pointed out, he didn’t so much as LOOK at another dog during the entire hour we were there. And that’s saying a LOT for Micah.

crackball

Since this was our first attempt at training with a toy instead of food, I do realize that this was the roughest night. I’m sure that as he gets accustomed to using the ball, he will be able to focus a bit more, just knowing that the ball is coming. I’m very excited about this new possibility.

Maybe there’s hope for us yet. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned.

Micah’s 2×2 Weave Pole Update

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

I know it’s been some time since I said I was going to post video of Micah’s progress with his weave poles. Our progress has been a little slower than I would have liked, in part due to me! and my lack of organization. But I think he’s coming along nicely.

He is doing 8 poles at home, with a fair amount of speed, but he lacks consistency. He frequently doesn’t complete all 8, but I have a plan for working that. Alas, I was so excited to go to agility class the other night and show my instructor how well he is doing, and he looked at her set of poles like he had never seen one before! Ha! What was that about generalization? And how dogs aren’t very good at it? (That’s why you always have to work something in LOTS of different places, for the dog to really GET it). OK dog trainer – start moving those weaves around the yard a bit. Oh yeah, I remember now. Duh!

Anyway – here’s the video of him and his 8 poles. I have a longer version (still under 3 minutes) of a summary of 2 poles to 8 poles, but I really think the only one who might be interested in that is Gail. Let me know if anyone out there is dying to see it, and I’ll post it.

Here’s the link:

micah doing 8 poles

“Unleashed” Again

Friday, February 27th, 2009

I’ve been meaning to follow up on my original blog post Unleashed on the class that Micah and I are enrolled in, but just hadn’t gotten to it.

The class has been going pretty well, for the most part. We’ve done some interesting exercises. As I explained earlier, in our first week we basically worked on getting our dogs attention while working in a gated “box”. If our dog was doing well, someone might approach a little (on the outside of the gate) to see if our dog could continue working, and stay in their “comfort zone”.

cuagain

Since then we have also had dogs working on opposite sides of a single gate, walking back and forth together. The gate serves as a visual barrier for them, while allowing them to work surprisingly close. For a reactive dog, this is harder than you might think.

walking the gate

We’ve had handlers approaching each other, meet in the middle, and then continue on.

c.u.meet in the middle

We’ve had dogs use a tunnel or a jump to get a little revved up, and then go to their mat to ramp it back down. (The mat is used as a calming zone for the dog).

krash & syd

There are lots of different things going on at any one time during class. While some people are working with an instructor and/or another dog and handler team, others are working on maintaining eye contact, or doing relaxation exercises. The point is to be able to work while there are lots of other dogs and people around, and still stay under their “I’m going to lose it” threshold.

attention

I would highly recommend this class for anyone who needs their dog to have a little more self control, focus and general calmness.

The Handwriting on the Wall - Again!

Monday, February 9th, 2009

NADAC (the North American Dog Agility Council) has a fair number of fundraisers every year. The closest one to me is in Calera, OK. It’s not far - just across the border.

nadac_logo.jpg

Several people had told me how laid back the trials are, and that the folks running them are the same. It’s just a one-ring trial, so no chance of having your dog “set-off” by seeing another dog running in the next ring. And the ring is closed in on three sides by walls, so only one side is open, and there are ring gates there to block it off. All in all, it sounded like the perfect venue to try a little black terrier with issues, and this was going to be the last weekend for Calera for quite some time.

So off we went early Saturday morning. I felt a bit of trepidation deep in the pit of my stomach, but some excitement too!

When we got there he had the normal outbursts while encountering new people and dogs. We only signed up for two runs: a Jumpers run and a game called Chances, that has a numbered course with a “gamble” in the middle of it. (A Gamble is usually 3 or 4 obstacles in a row with a “gamble line” that the handler is not allowed to cross. The point is to send your dog from a distance to do the obstacles). I only signed up for it so we could practice our running together - I didn’t care about, nor was I even going to try for the gamble.

It was not what I would call a pretty run, but it wasn’t totally without merit either. He did the beginning ok, then got off course but came back to me; ran through a couple of tunnels, and then bypassed the weave poles (cause we’re still working on the 2×2 method, and not doing them yet). Then he took the next 2 jumps, but went around the next tunnel, ran to the open doorway to bark at something outside, and came back to me to finish the course. As I said, I was not at all concerned about Q’ing (qualifying) or doing the gamble. I just wanted a little black pup-pup that would stay with me and try to please like his big sister. (They are VERY different dogs; each with their own strengths and weaknesses). I came away from the run feeling OK, but not really good.

Our Jumpers run was, well, short. The building has a couple of overhead doors that were opened up by the time the afternoon heat set in. (They have chain link fencing blocking them off, so escaping is not a worry). As I set Micah up on the start line, a group of very noisy Guinea’s decided to congregate within a few feet of the door.

guineafowls.jpg

Micah could not contain himself, and ran over to bark at them. When I called him back, he ran past me and out of the ring. So that was the end of our Jumpers run. It WAS a very disappointing day. He usually does pretty well in class, but class is not the same atmosphere as a trial, and Micah is just not ready for it - plain and simple. It was good to find out where we are at. My gut instinct was right. So I will forego even thinking about trialing at this time, and do what I SAID I was going to do - start working him in obedience. I think that will help his concentration, and his self-control. And we will continue working the Control Unleashed program, (whether we’re in a formal class or not). More on that to follow.

I certainly haven’t given up on the little dude, but this definitely has put us behind the eight ball. At least for a while.

Stay tuned.

I’ve Gone VIDEO!!

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

I told you that my computer guru was going to give me a video lesson. Well he did, and I’m learning! YEA!!! Just baby steps for now.

See the premier video below. Certainly nothing fancy, just me, showing Micah’s first agility practice after being off for 4 months due to my foot surgery. It’s backyard stuff, but we had fun seeing what he could remember - and I think he did greatl!! You go, terrier #2!!

Back To Agility

Birthday Blues (or Bad Dog Mom)

Monday, October 6th, 2008

I am embarrassed to say; actually appalled to have to say that I forgot Micah’s birthday!!! OMG!!! I hadn’t looked at my calendar for several days, and it just got past me. I knew I didn’t have much going on (since I can’t really do anything yet with my “gimpy” foot) so not much reason to check it. What a BAD DOG MOM!!!!

It was also Ruby’s birthday last month, but we don’t have an actual date for her, and its Turbo’s birthday in a couple of weeks, so we actually had a few birthdays to celebrate.

As I have explained, they always get “mock” sloppy joes for dinner on their birthdays. . .

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. . .and vanilla cupcakes for dessert. So they had their feast for a king today.

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I’ve also adopted a new tradition this year, and that is going to the pet store and letting them pick out a new toy. Well, I came home with more than a couple of toys, but that was ok. I guess the guilt played into it. I mean geeez, how can you forget their freakin Birthday?

So I got a couple of chew bones, a purple Wubba, an Air Kong Squeaky Donut,

birthairk.jpg

a Chuck-It Flying Squirrel,

birthchuckit.JPG

and a weird round throwee deal called “Pitch a Porcupine”. The Wubba’s are among the most coveted toys, but Micah and Turbo insist on chewing on the “legs” and sometimes chew off hunks and swallow them.

birthwubbas.JPG

As you can see, our poor Wubba’s are loosing legs right and left. Unfortunately, Micah and Turbo, pretty much destroy anything that isn’t hard as a rock, within 24 hours of getting it. (I am reserving the Chuck-It for another day. I see no point in letting them destroy EVERYTHING I bought today).

I was a little annoyed at first, but after I thought about it, I reconsidered. I mean, you should have seen HOW excited they got with a few new things to play with. I guess getting them all at once is WAY more fun than one at a time.

You’d think they were destitute or something. You’d think they don’t have BASKETS full of toys!! and bones, and balls, etc!!!!!

Some of the new ones didn’t last very long, but they sure had fun with them while they lasted. The Wubba’s had to go “away” for a little while, least I have to deal with obstruction surgery from the Birthday celebration. (That wouldn’t be a good thing).

I think it’s safe to say, a good time was had by all.

ruby.jpg