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Dog Park Hangover

So I was the sober cab for a St. Patty's Day fiasco. Mind you, I had a few beers at the beginning of the evening (ahem, afternoon) but next year, I'm going to figure something else out and not put myself through that.

I ended up with a paper cut on my index finger (could've been from earlier in the day, but let me tell you, it started throbbing at the bar), a cut from a butter knife lower down on the same finger, a neckful of mardi-gras beads and a hickey. Yes, a hickey. Evidently Parker thought it would be funny to lean in for a kiss and instead give me something to remember him by...for the next 4 days. I will now have to wear turtlenecks to work this week. Thanks, honey.

Oh, and let me just say, the beads were purchased, not 'earned'.

Yesterday started out innocently enough - with a 5K run/walk (which I walked) with Dani and Tucker. (And Little Z, of course) I figured with a 3-mile walk and that much stimulation (people, dogs, sounds, strollers, etc) my pooch would be more than willing to sleep in her crate whilst I was out at the bar with friends.

Well, let's just say anytime I go out into a smoke-filled environment, I end up with some sort of a hangover - regardless of what I've consumed (or not). So, this morning I was feeling a bit groggy but a mile-long walk cleared the head - and the sinuses - sufficiently.

Today it was off to the dog park with Z - she was so much better today than last weekend. Again, Dani and Tucker were there and this time while we walked the trails numerous times, both dogs were a constant by our sides. Well, mostly :) Whereas last time I saw my dog approximately 30 minutes' worth of the 3 hours we were there, this time she only took off a few times. She was definitely much better with the recall and coming back even when I hadn't tried to locate her. Hopefully the shepherd loyalty is growing!

I even ran into another Crosby alum while I was there - Jessie Blanchard! Crazy. She even owns a shepherd puppy - hers is 4 months and as big as mine at 6 months so she'll have a behemoth on her hands when he's full grown. It was random, but fun.

Zada is currently outside before I put her to bed - she and I are both hitting the sack early tonight because we're beat. Me because who knows and her because of her doggy park hangover...she's been sleeping ever since she finished eating at 5pm. It'll take her another day to get back into puppy mode, but for now this is heaven.

Well, since my downstairs shower is broken, I'm forced to shower upstairs - there's no filter up here, so I'm not too I'll have to cart everything I need from down below so even the thought of it tires me more. (Parker's coming over tomorrow to fix whatever's wrong with the stupid one in my bathroom.)

Once more, I wish I was here again...

(Notice the abhorently crooked horizon line. I recently gave a presentation to my photo club, and this might've been one of the examples of how NOT to do it. But, other than that, I'd still like to be right there.)

Ciao - - -


Let me tell you, it was hard getting out of bed this morning at 4:45. No, that wasn't earlier than usual for me - that's the time I get up EVERY MORNING. Ok, not so much on the weekends, but during the work week. Sometimes, I wake up before the alarm and LEAP out of bed. Those are good days.

Days like today drag on interminably and I think it has something to do with the attitude in which I leave my bed. If I even lay there for 1 minute after the alarm goes off, it can change the whole day. Oh well. This morning it was 5 minutes :)

Muddy season has started - i.e., my backyard is literally a SWAMP and Zada loves tromping right through the thickest puddles/mud. This means when she comes inside, I spend 2 minutes toweling her off, and an additional 2 following her around the house, wiping up smudgy, muddy puppy prints. Doesn't matter how much I clean she is in my yard BEFORE the muck:

(I call the big ears her "Zadar"!)

We have obedience class tonight - I'm excited because she's really doing well with "sit" and "down". We're not using the commands yet; just getting them to do it through hand signals. She catches on quickly - especially when treats are involved.

Well, I'd best get to work. Since I no longer have internet access at home (temporarily but it feels like forever) I'm forced do blog at work. (Wogging?)
TTFN - - -

One Treat at a Time

At obedience class last night, I learned something very important. It's not HOW you give the treat, it's the actual TREAT YOU GIVE.

I'd been frustrated with Zada's lack of focus lately - ever since returning from vacation, I'd noticed that she was not paying attention to me very well. Our first class back from our hiatus was horrible - she was the worst dog in class!

Well, last night we got off to a rocky start, the instructor could make her do anything and she wouldn't even LOOK at me! I was beginning to think I had somehow ruined my dog. Then, the trainer gave me a handful of her treats - mini, cheddar Goldfish.

Instant focus. I mean, Zada was an entirely different dog. All of a sudden, she was the teacher's "pet" again - she was used as the demo dog throughout the class because she was doing every exercise beautifully. It was great.

Definitely MUCH easier and a lot less frustration to get your dog to do what you want when there is a high motivator. Granted, at some point we'll be weaning the dogs off the treats, but for right now, she's doing everything and is quick and enthusiastic about it. I guess it's going to be Goldfish from now on - until she gets sick of them, that is. (Another couple in class buys freeze-dried liver treats for their bulldog and they gave me some - another VERY good treat that she likes.)

On to other topics - my tan is fading. Alas, no one cares but me, but it's still disheartening to think that a couple weeks ago, at this time I was probably sitting on the balcony sipping coffee and watching people walk/run on the beach while listening to the waves. *Sigh*

Speaking of waves, here's my cousin, Drea, taking a break from shell-hunting to check them out:

Hasta la later - - -

Post-Vacation Stress Syndrome

This has been a long hiatus, but rightly so, since there was no way I was going to update this thing from the beach.

I got to see this every night for 2 weeks:

Puerto Vallarta Sunset Clouds

...and it was glorious. Mom, Dad, Parker and I headed down on Feb 9th to the new condo in Puerto Vallarta (PV) and didn't come back 'til the wee small hours of Feb 25th (in a blizzard). For the first week it was just us 4; the second week we were joined by my Aunt Cindy (otherwise known as "AntC", because she is), her friend, DJ, and my cousin, Drea.

It was very fun and having Drea down there to hang with was cool - seeing as how I can count the number of times I've seen her in the past 5 years on 1 hand. Using like 1 finger. She's the reason I now have a MySpace account, but I'm NOT a junkie. Although, I just got a cool background today :) I'm into animal prints nowadays

Well, since this has mainly been a Zada blog, I should give an update. She's doing well - back from her 2-week 'vacation' at the breeder's where he worked with her every day on basic stuff - leash-work, sit, down, recall, etc. She was GREAT with him; now not so great with me. But, we're working on it.

Took her to the dog park for her 2nd trip (we went before, only 3 weeks after I had her) and she was a bit wiggy at first, but then settled into running EVERYWHERE, chasing after dogs, playing somewhat rough (but mostly getting disciplined by the other dogs for it) and NOT listening to me when I'd call her. By the end of an hour and a half, she was ready to come to me.

Evidently she'd eaten her fair share of snow because she had no less than THREE accidents in the house the rest of the day (this was Sunday). I was very disappointed; I'd thought she was mostly potty-trained...meaning she knew to go to the door at least, but nope. We're back to square 1. Now I watch her constantly and am trying to be consistent and get her back into a routine. We'll be going to a different park this Saturday with Dani and Tucker so hopefully it' won't be a repeat with the peeing in the house afterwards.

This is getting long...but I do have to show this picture of my little girl helping me pack the night before I left on my trip:

German Shepherd Puppy Helping Me Pack Cute, eh?

Ciao for now...