Thursday, May 28, 2009
This week, Alex got a job! Actually, his first day was today. (Was supposed to be tomorrow but the other guy had too much to do so they threw him in and so he worked today /grin/) He's working at the car dealership my mom used to work at for 8 years as a lot attendant now (keeping the cars clean, filling them with gas, delivering cars, etc) but it pays well (for this area), is permanent, has benefits, is stable and has a lot of area for advancement. Eola also spent today at work with Coreena. I'm feeling awful health-wise (just real achy, fatigued, emotional, etc) and so today was a bit of a challenge for me when Emily was being a turd but I'll keep babysitting and making enough money to pay most of our bills and we'll put away most of what Alex makes into savings for cars and a place of our own /grin/ I'll be going to a doctor as soon as the insurance kicks in, in the meantime I'm looking for part-time work (couldn't handle full-time before my infection last winter/spring and haven't improved any) and if nothing comes along I'll be going back to the call center this fall. Not the optimum job but it's flexible hours, they know me and the dogs and it's a paycheck /grin/
Here's the past little while (weeks or so) in pictures. Enjoy
^I went and got Alex and I some drinks and Eola gladly carried the receipt through the store (prancing the entire way I might add) and was very focused on getting outside (She knows when handed the receipt it's time to go home)
^She even carried it straight to the car to her door then dropped it (would be better if she handed it to me but she's still young! /grin/ and that's not something we've worked on as of yet)
^After nearly a two hour (exhausting) outing she greatly enjoyed the water she got at the house. Emily decided to join her /grin/ (No children drank out of the dog's bowl /wink/)
^Last outing of the day, Ross to get Alex new clothes for work /grin/^
Okay, we did stop at the movie store to get the first X-men movie but that's a normal stop for us /wink/
Eola may be spending four days of the week with Coreena at work, since Max and Coreena are both working full-time now (Yes, Max and Alex started new jobs on the same day! Exciting!) and Evett simply can't handle going to work we may swap during the day and let me work on her alert barking, but we shall see /grin/
That's all for now, almost bed time.
Ally & Eola
Sunday, May 24, 2009
All I've got for tonight though is that Eola, Eclipse, Echo and Eva are all now officially 7 months old! Man, that's crazy /wink/
After a very long weekend tonight is a sleeping pill night (so I don't wake up in the middle of the night or at 6 a.m.) and no alarm clock morning /grin/ Tomorrow might be an adventure for Eola though, haven't decided yet. If so, a post will come.
Ally & Alex w/ Eola, Teddy & Kira
Thursday, May 21, 2009
^Brooke's new lab/golden cross pup "Bella"^
^Eola's first day at Crystal's. Emily thought she was Eclipse but loved on her for a long time^
^Eola one of her first days here enjoying the ham steak nylabone^
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I'm not generally a real emotional person, generally. However, I've been exhausted (no matter how much I sleep) and feeling not so hot (not like cold or anything.... it's connected to one of my health issues) and so when I woke up in a "mood" yesterday I knew it was going to be a rough day. I got over it though and got Eola groomed, washed her jacket and got ready for the day. Once we headed out it was apparent Max was also in a "mood" and that didn't help my mood at all either, I was anxious and stressed and just generally in a frazzled state. Eola did good on the car ride, she pretty well slept on the floorboard the entire way which was nice!
Once we got there though I could already feel the emotion I had. I got Eola's GL on her (didn't want to fight with her that day) and in we went. Mary was already there with Eclipse but he was snoozing so that was fine. It was hard seeing him like he always was with me though and then be struggling to get the puppy I'm now in control of to settle and chill out while waiting for everyone else to show up. I won't go into what all we did at class but when working on a "nudge" with the target on a stick to slowly get the dogs targeting the target and Not our hands I was frazzled. We worked on it while Joy was working with Elly quite a bit and Eola was doing reasonably well. Once she asked us to show her, though, Eola was done. She was laying there, not wanting to get up and I was frustrated. I was holding the target too low (bad depth perception, today I held it too high /wink/) and so to re-direct her I switched the stick to my other hand. When she nudged it correctly I gave her food out of that hand (I know, I know, Bad!) because in my frazzled state I had forgotten to switch it to the other hand and forgot my bait bag was still on my pocket /sigh/
Then we worked on out of sight stays (which we were suppossed to work on before... um... I missed something! /grin/). The first time I did it with Eola I put her in a stay and walked around the corner. She popped of the sit position so I came back and told her to sit. She had been backing away to sit which I didn't want because then I wouldn't have enough leash (literally) so I held the leash closer and it pulled up the GL.... So I walked around the corner again, Eola was peering around the corner where I was although she couldn't see me and held her stay correctly, so I went and rewarded her. Joy then asked me to release her and ask her to sit again, which I did and then walked around the corner after telling her to stay. When I came back and released her Joy told me she had me do that again because I'd pulled up on the GL before giving her a chance to respond to the command, however the tension on the GL was due to her backing up, not due to me "correcting" her for not responding fast enough. However, I didn't have presence of mind to say that then so she assumed that it was because I was on the spot which is a Very logical conclusion /grin/ Nobody's fault, just the way things played out, it's a training class for us and the dogs afterall /grin/ More so us than the dogs in fact!
Anyway, I was emotional then. Then we worked on another behaviour and Eclipse was showing how a new dynamic and relationship has affected him. So that got emotional as well as it had to be corrected Then or would escalate. That was hard for me.... That would by like watching "your" six month old puppy go into formal training and show a behaviour that you've Never seen out of them. It's shocking and heart wrenching. Did I not do enough to prepare him for the swap? Is the swap too much stress on the little man? Things such as that run through your mind, well, mine at least. But then there's the additional thoughts that a simple puppy sitting like GDB does would show just as many, if not more behaviours that need corrected, expose the puppies to more environments, get more "personality profiles" on the dogs and such. After two weeks, you have a pretty good feel for a pup and it's abilities, well, I do at least /wink/
We have some things we need to think about...
If we don't stay with JLAD due to the strain of the swap (it's essentially a turn-in every six months... urgh! A turn-in where you have to see a beloved pup every other week and in theory never give the dog eye contact, a command, a pet, a hug ever again. With most you get to love on the dog at graduation for quite awhile) it's back to the drawing board... Urgh! I hate switching schools! The strain of the swap is just soo much! I'll also put my personal opinion of the swap in more detail on the private blog. It's too much on me, although I think I could handle it, Alex is not handling it well at all. It's his very first experience with the world of puppy raising. He misses Eclipse terribly and while we're slowly forming a bond with Eola it's nothing like the one we had with Eclipse... she's a different dog. Alex understands clearly how sending a dog to formal training or to a client is different because you feel closure, you feel like you've done all you can do with the dog, they've out grown you in their road to becoming a working dog. With a six month old, you have none of that. You watched a pup for four months, taught him some commands but didn't have time to get him real solid on anything, don't feel as if you've "accomplished" anything and those are hard feelings to come to terms with.
We'll definitely be finishing out the class with Joy (don't want to leave her with at least two extra puppies in her house when we agreed to raise) but who knows what may be ahead for us /grin/
Now it's time to go help a friend with their new 5 month old lab/golden cross pet puppy.
Have a good one! (Eola pictures coming!)
Ally & Alex w/ Eola, Teddy & Kira
Thursday, May 14, 2009
When we got Iverson we could hardly wait the month to fill out our first monthly report. When he was puppy-sat as soon as we got in the car we'd be scanning the puppy-sitting report, seeing how the intense little man did while away. However, I will admit that we rarely, if ever submitted the puppy-sitting forms with his monthly reports. Our leader was good about copying our puppy-sitting reports and we rarely thought about it. Our monthly reports were always extremely detailed though and every ear infection, concern, brag and protocol that occurred that month were listed.
With JLAD, we haven't had any monthly reports and it's just kind of felt like something was missing. Approximately an hour ago though, we received our brand new monthly reports that are to be filled out monthly!!! YAY! They are very similar to GDB and CCI's both. Why? Because Joy raised two puppies for CCI and Karen (who raised Eola, now had Fiona and does a lot of other volunteer work for Joy) raised for GDB when she was younger. This is soo very exciting! It's almost disappointing that it's another 2.5 weeks until we get to fill them out! /grin/
It feels like we are Really raising again, I love monthlies!!
Okay, I know I'm wierd, once again!
Below a picture of our new crate setup in our bedroom. Teddy has started sleeping in his crate again to give him a sense of his own area and the two crates in the room along with the tie-down area/dog bed were taking up so much room. So we fixed that /grin/ There is a stabilizing board under Teddy's crate along with some small pieces of laminate flooring for him to walk on. He's yet to jump up there but I'm sure that will come. In Eola's crate is a bumper, it makes her quieter at night, more comfortable and it's cute /wink/ Right by her crate is the dog bed and tie-down. Eola slept on tie-down last night and did fantastic although she absolutely refused to use the dog bed so now there's a more comfortable area for her to choose the floor or bed /grin/
Eola pictures coming, I promise. Probably tomorrow, then Saturday we have a last minute class (switched from the 23rd) so that should be an interesting post as well /grin/
That's all from here! Yay for monthly reports!
Ally w/ Eola, Teddy & Kira (Alex is at meeting, I'm sick, yet again /sigh/)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Now, quick question for you GDB raisers! Does GDB still require that a "safety" be worn with GLs and Haltis? Just curious! I'm considering getting a safety for Eola (just a nylon slip collar) just to make myself feel better but probably won't since when properly fitted neither the GL or Halti should even be able to slip off the end of the nose! It can be a one word answer, I wouldn't mind /wink/
That's all from here, about to go on an evening walk with the sweet girl!
Ally & Alex w/ Eola, Teddy & Kira
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday Eola had fun getting to know "her" new toys /wink/ for the next six months anyway. Here she is enjoying some of them!
Eola had stress diarrhea Saturday and even woke me up in the middle of the night needing to go out! So she had to skip dinner on Saturday (poor girl loves her food! and was still on three meals a day... until I got her that is). On Sunday I fed her the normal 1.5 cups twice a day just added some pepto and water to it to help settle her stomach. It looked really nasty! But she liked it!
The girls are taking a nap right now but I'll feed them dinner soon. A tired puppy is a good puppy!
Ally & Coreena w/ Eola, Evett, Teddy & Kira