Sunday, May 31, 2009

Photoshop

Update coming, I promise.

Ally & Eola

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going-ons

Eola, checking out the world outside
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

^Working on threshold respect^

^When I feel up to it and Alex is awake I try and take the girl(s) on a quick walk around the parking lot in the mornings while Aiden naps. (Thus when Alex is there and awake) Emily Loves to hold the leash inside but is worried outside so I put Eola in a sit-stay and let her hold the leash, she was very happy to do so, despite the fact the Eola is about 20 lbs bigger than her!

^I've been fairly weak all week after our big weekend so when Emily was wanting me to carry her I gave her an alternative. I let her hold onto the handle on Eola's jacket and they did well toghether /grin/ Eola even gave Emily the confidence (and extra "tug") to get up the little step to the door without holding onto my hand!
^Then they played horses together /grin/^
Tuesday we went to Wal-Mart (Fifth successful trip there without accidents [she had accidents everytime she went in Wal-Mart with Karen, granted, different Wal-Mart]) to make me an eye appoinment since they were 30 dollars cheaper than normal for this month. We ran into Coreena and Max and then strolled around for a bit, got a couple cute picture frames that match a clock we got for our wedding along with a lot of smell good/febreeze stuff to keep the "doggy smell" at bay. She did very well, there. Then we went and saw the new X-men (Currently watching the second one to catch up on my X-men knowledge, lol). Eola did well, she had a blanket and slept for the first 45 minutes although after that she got hungry and ansy /grin/ We then took milkshakes down to Coreena and Max's where Eola got dinner before coming home and going to bed.
^Yesterday (Wednesday) I had my eye appoinment! Yay! It cost double what a regular eye exam would (urgh) due to screenings I have to get done at every appoinment due to possibly glaucoma spots in my right eye but it was worth it! Eola did fantastic despite the fact it was over an hour and a half outing! I took her out after the "check-in" stuff to potty, meaning I didn't have my contacts in. I have really bad depth perception without contacts and so relied on Eola a lot (not to guide but watched her head) and despite almost running into only one person we made it safe and sound /grin/

^Chilling in the waiting room^^In the actual exam room. The doctor was very cool, told me where I could have her lay and even offered to take a photo of us together (which I declined due to feeling awful and being very stressed due to driving for practically the first time in three months, lol)
^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/)
Eola greatly enjoys (when loose) going and getting her collapsible bowl when she's thirsty, but only when she's thirsty and bringing it to us. In fact, she has zero issues with any material in her mouth, including my glass bowls)
^Relaxing^

^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

Catching Ebola

Okay, just kidding. About 6:30 tonight we picked up Miss Eola who is commonly affectionaly referred to as either Ebola or Eola-bola /grin/

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

Random Pictures

^Eola with Clip-Clop's baby bear^

^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^
^Cuddling^
^Eola one of her first days here enjoying the ham steak nylabone^
^Sitting like Eclipse did in the car^
^Playing with the jolly-ball in the yard^
^Figuring out the easiest way to drag it^
^Playing fetch with a rope with Alex^
^Eola was tied in the front yard yesterday while we cleaned all the cars to enjoy the sun and learn that just because we're in a car without her doesn't mean she's being left^



^She showed signs of kennel cough on Monday evening so she got cough syrup to let her (and me) sleep more peacefully and she just cuddled with her towel afterwards, nasty stuff^Emily playing with Evett at my house. Evett is pretty nervous around her but predictable^
We'll be gone until Sunday evening so probably won't post until Monday or later. Enjoy the photos though.
Ally & Alex w/ Eola, Teddy & Kira


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Class

As you know from reading Tab and Coreena's blogs, class yesterday was very tough. Yes, once again I'm the one that started nearly everybody crying /wink/ Let me explain that a bit.

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/

That's all.

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

Reports

In the ten months we puppy-sat before getting Iverson we very carefully filled out all the puppy-sitting forms we were required to. When given puppies without puppy-sitting forms we would get so very irritated /grin/ We didn't have a place to read what needed worked on, their relieving schedule, how much they were eating, what supplies were sent with them, etc. We also didn't have a place to write down how the pup did. We did rectify that by printing off our own puppy sitting forms though /wink/

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

A Poll!

If you vote please leave a comment on what you voted with the dog's age and approx weight /grin/ I think this is fun! Please, vote on current SDIT's, pets and/or career changes as well! /grin/

Funny Eola pictures coming soon

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Never

I never thought that I would buy a pink collar for a pup and definitely Not a purple GL! I tend to not be all that girly, yes, I have heels for meetings (church), yes I own dresses and skirts (again for meeting and service) but I'm not a real big fan of purple or pink. Yes... my wedding was in purple, but that's because Alex likes a deep purple, not me /wink/ I do Really like the way they look on Eola, though!

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

First and Second Days with Eola

Eola is settling in nicely! When toys are out she gathers them all around where I'm sitting and switches toys but is always close by. If I have to leave her in another room she freaks out but she's insecure still and should improve with time. She's also pretty calm in the house (unless I come in the room then she's got springs in her feet and a smile on her face) although she is a major chewer! She reminds me of Iverson in a few different respects and the chewing is one of them. She doesn't chew inappropriate things, even leaves socks where they are, but give her a bone and she's definitely a power chewer! In fact she's chewing on a bully stick now while Evett is looking on, lol.

Saturday Eola had fun getting to know "her" new toys /wink/ for the next six months anyway. Here she is enjoying some of them!
^She absolutely loves tennis balls! She has three here and many times has them all together and plays with them all at the same time

^Her Wubba^

^Discovering the Jollyball^
She also had some quality bonding with both of us... Alex was feeling gross yesterday and used her as a pillow. She was very calm and just laid there and let him love on her.
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!

After meeting and lunch we took the girls (that's wierd to say) on a quick outing. First we went to the shelter to get a GL for Eola (didn't want to use the blue one on her). The receptionist was extremely rude (I don't know who she is, the weekend gal since the girl I know has worked there forever and is really sweet) so we went and looked at the critters for a few minutes. Then I bought Eola this:
Yes, it's a purple GL! No, I'm not addicted to headcollars. However, she is a major puller and a bit of a spaz at times so the added control the GL provides is very nice for exercising her as she's has a higher energy level. We are definitely working at getting her to walk correctly on a martingale collar but the GL is necessary at this time due to my joint pain (as of yet undiagnosed).
This is Evett as we were getting leave for our outing yesterday.
After the shelter we went to Stewart Park to the nature trail. It was pretty hot so we didn't get to walk too terribly long before the girls made it apparent they were done so we headed back. It was a nice experience though and they were good ambassadors with their GLs on /wink/
^Evett crashed after we got home^
^Evett's cute in the GL although Tab has it for Elly right now^
This morning Eola got just plain kibble, no pepto added /grin/ She did a very nice "wait" and endured the photo taking
At the "okay" though she dug right in! It's so nice to have a hungry puppy again! She eats almost as fast as Iverson so we'll be doing what Karen did with her and adding water to float the kibble and slow her down.
We went on another outing today. On the way Eola found Eclipse's duck in the backseat and used it as a pillow (The duck will be going to Mary for Eclipse next time we see her. Eola will get a different duck, probably a goose)
We met up with Tab, Coreena and Max at DC farmer's co-op for me to get some more Brewer's Yeast and Garlic tablets for the dogs and the guys took off to go disc golfing. Then we headed to the vet to get weights on the girls! Eola weighs in at a nice 40.4 lbs (sans jacket), Evett is a stocky 41.4 lbs and Elly is a very hefty (going on a diet) 50 at a mere 5 months 1 week old. After that the soldiers being deployed were being escorted through town so we decided to expose the pups to the honking and yelling as they were going right by the vet. It was very sad to watch them leave (my brother-in-law, Emily and Aiden's dad left today) although I'm not patriotic at all I know the effect of someone leaving on the family.
Here's Eola before they reached us.
Evett being stunning
Then Tab dropped us off at Stewart Park so we could again walk the girls. We only had one GL between the two of us so Eola started out without it. She did really good to begin with but then starting getting too far ahead again... When she doesn't have to stay right by your side she is extremely attentive and checks in very often which is nice.
We went and filled up our water bottle for the walk since it was a hot day again. At the drinking fountain there's a kid's one that's lower and I had Eola do an "up" on it and let her drink right out of the fountain. She was snuffing in it and had a good time, got her nose all wet though! The purpose of this picture was to get that (we missed her actually drinking from the fountain) but I really like the way it turned out!
We walked the nature trail the other direction today (only as far the shade went) and it takes you right by the freeway. They didn't react at all to the semis or anything and were very relaxed. Notice Evett's tongue.
While Coreena worked with Evett on loose leash walking for a minute (she walks well but has her moments) Eola took a break and I took a photo /wink/
Then Evett decided to take a break too, again, I took a photo /grin/
We walked for a little over an hour and towards the end Eola was wanting to go lay in every spot of shade (yes, they had plenty of water, it was just hot), so we got a photo of her longingly looking towards the shade























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