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Life Changes

I can't believe I've not written for so many days. A lot has been happening, so I'll try to get myself caught up.

Zada and I just completed our first obedience class last night. I can't call it puppy class, as the age range is from ~10 weeks up to 10 years. I was looking for an animal "behaviorist," or someone that would help me teach my dog by being a leader and basically coming as close to the "Cesar method" as possible :) Well, I found her right in my own back yard. (Not literally)

Linda Brodzik is a canine behavior & training specialist who teaches owners/handlers how to be a LEADER for a dog - and be calm, confident, and in charge - while at the same time showing us how to communicate to our dog in a way they'll understand in order to receive desired behavior.

Last night we did a "targeting" exercise, sort of like "clicker training," but using the voice/body instead of a device. (As Linda points out, you might forget to bring a clicker somewhere but hopefully you'll always have your voice and body :) Zada was actually used as the "demo dog" to show the rest of the class the exercise. She caught on VERY quickly.

Obviously we're building up to a greater goal; Linda says we'll wean them off of needing a treat every time they perform a good behavior, but for right now our homework is to hone this training exercise. I'm excited to attend next week's session already!

This class is given at Heritage Animal Hospital in Maple Grove, which is only ~9 miles from my house. I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and use this place for my vet clinic, as well. I have an appointment on Saturday for Zada's rabies shot...I'll also have them checking out whether or not she's got Giardia, which is an intestinal parasite (protozoan) that'll cause the symptoms she has, which, for the "cleanness" of this blog I shan't discuss here.

Just think DQ soft-serve...

I'm not sure that's what it is (Giardia, not soft serve) but from talking to others whose dogs have been treated for it, and based upon her latest hobby (coprophagia) that seems like the most possible culprit. We'll see on Saturday. We can only hope I have to start off with buying a bunch of expensive medicines, in addition to the cost of the dog herself, accoutrements, obedience class, a FENCE, dog food...

It's positively BALMY outside today - says it's sunny and 22 but with the wind it feels like 7. That's 7 degrees. Above zero, at least - and that's much better than the past couple of days with sub-zero temps + windchill.

Well, that's about it for now. Possibly more later (along with a picture, perhaps) ...