Monday, May 31, 2010

Other People's Cameras

We let Eclipse and Remy play in Mom's backyard and Eclipse can fit through the dog door in the back door but he definitely can't fit through the dog door in the kitchen door! Doesn't mean he didn't try!
The kids absolutely love "walking" Eclipse so sometimes he'll have on three leashes! It works though as long as we use a head collar so he doesn't pull and hurt the kiddos.
He's obviously very unfond of having to wear the Halti!
White-handed Gibbon at the Safari
Cool flower at the Safari, Coreena took the photo with Crystal's new Sony DSC-H20 that she got on a major clearance for $175 brand new!
We took a nice walk at the park yesterday with the kids, Eclipse and Remy. Eclipse wore his backpack, easy-walk harness and his Gentle Leader most of the time. He was carrying two discs and a water bottle and extra leash on each side of his backpack.
Being a good boy, until he saw all the squirrels that is, then he was quite difficult to handle!

Friday, May 28, 2010

He's Vivid

in color and he looks great! To see the full effect of Eclipse being pop-arted venture away from your google reader and take a look at my blog. His sister and he look fantabulous!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another Month Down

I can't believe it's already been another month! Eclipse has now been home for three months and has come leaps and bounds from where he was! His stress in the car is greatly reduced and his behaviour on walks is improving although we still have a long way to go on that before it's ideal. I had a big elaborate post planned but after some disturbing news received today I'm just not up to it (suffice it to say we'll be attending a memorial service this Saturday rather than going on the hike we had planned). Maybe tomorrow we'll look back at the last three months but for now, a couple pictures should do the trick.
^Eclipse and my first photo back together^
(Yep, my sweater makes me look like a major humpback!)
^First night playing with Charlie^
^He had scabs everywhere including on his eyelids and they were red^
^His eyes are healthy now thanks to flea meds, benadryl twice daily and a very strict diet to keep itching at bay^
^Still playing with other dogs of course :-D

He's doing well and I can't believe the progress we've made in such a short time! We almost always walk on a flat collar now and if I set him up for success our walks are very successful and mostly pleasant with only a couple hiccups. Despite the progress though, I've invested in Cautious Canines by Patricia McConnell and plan on dusting off my copy of Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor for some more guidance. Progress is sweet, and it's even sweeter when the progress involves me and my favorite golden boy!

Ally & Alex w/Eclipse, Teddy & Kira

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Morning walks with a puppy in the pouring rain
Watching how long it takes a puppy to dry off after morning walks in the pouring rain
A soft puppy curled up in a fluffy blanket at my feet
Seeing this puppy twice
A selfish puppy who takes the biggest and best for himself
A puppy who loves the toys that are purchased for him
A puppy, that is mine

Socializing With Roo

We took Eclipse over to Copper's Thursday for some socializing and while Copper was intimidated he wanted to play with Eclipse SO bad. You'll probably notice his body language is playful but guarded. I think he was quite confused as one minute he'd pounce at Eclipse then he'd tuck tail and run away. We'll be making regular visits to help Copper get used to bigger dogs and dog body language and how to play.
^a play snarl right before he barked at Roo^
^He ran towards Eclipse then when Eclipse ran back he booked it outta there^
^Should I, or shouldn't I?^
^Eclipse got the zoomies!^
^Beautiful boy!^


Lil' Bit o' Copper!

Copper is doing fantastic although I'm not working with him as extensively. He's gone more than a week with no accidents, is earning a bit more freedom in the house, and is nearly 13 weeks old. He's enrolled in an obedience class but hasn't attended yet. He knows "sit" very well and offers it constantly, he's also learning "down" and "leave it" and has been socialized a bit. He's a cutie, that's for sure! I gave the family some guidelines and some suggestions for rules for him to get everyone on the same page as well as taught them the basics of clicker training. He'll do well and I'll be over there regularly to help with any issues that pop up and I'm always only a phone call away when they have questions. This little one should be with his family for many years from now and I hope I've given them the tools to ensure that fact.

Friday, May 21, 2010

That Was Short Lived

I am sorry to say that my time as a Safari employee has come to an end long, long before it should have. I won't go into too many details but in conversation with the lady that was supposed to be training me the elephant rides were brought up and in my complimenting the elephant dept. supervisor for looking out for the elephants' best interest in stopping the rides completely she thought I was speaking poorly about the supervisor. The Safari fired me for speaking poorly about my previous supervisor. I know the staffing agency is doing everything they can to straighten it out for me but it likely won't change anything, meaning that not only did I lose my job (after a whole 2.5 hours) but I've also lost any chance of returning there in the future. Suffice it to say I'm heartbroken and extremely upset and angry and I hope that my former supervisor knows that I would never speak poorly about her. While I mourn the loss of my dream job it's time to find another job as the added income is necessary.

Oh, Safari, why?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Honey, I'm Home!

I am happy to report that I have now fully returned to my home, well, almost. Eclipse is home, Alex and I are doing well on our own and not only did I have an interview at the Wildlife Safari today but I was also hired! (I got the call a mere 2 hours and 15 minutes after my interview ended) I'm just working in admissions at this point but it opens the door to hopefully working with critters, and possibly the elephants, once again when there's an opening! I couldn't be happier with having to have a job and while the next few weeks will be Very busy it's ok. Somehow I'm going to have to work around having only one functioning car and two vastly different schedules, three dogs that need regular exercise/attention/training, household duties, meal preparations (takes a little longer to think of good lunches when you're G-Free!) and training with Copper at least three times a week while still maintaining our workout schedule, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do it but we'll figure it out as we go along.

Honey, I'm home!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Amazing!

^Cell phone photo^

I am completely and utterly in love with my new food tubes! I couldn't sleep last night due to nightmares about our wreck 16 months ago so I got up with Alex and the sun at 4:45 a.m. I hung out in bed until 6 then showered and got ready for the day which of course includes checking blogs and e-mail and such. Then I decided it was so gorgeous and I had a few hours until it was time to go work with Copper that I wanted to walk the dogs. I took Eclipse first and using the food tube he quickly got into and maintained a very nice heel position. I was giving him licks of the yumminess inside the tube every 4-5 steps but we're working on desensitizing him to the world around him as he's a bit stressed when on walks. When we came across a house where he knew a dog was present we'd stop, I'd let him check it out and he'd get rewarded for coming back to me. I think that letting him check it out is a very important part of the process as he needs to feel safe for us to ever get past this. Thankfully walking so early in the morning when the world is still sleeping for the most part most of the dogs on our walking route are still inside. I did push him a bit this morning and get overwhelmed when we passed a house with three barking goldens while their neighbor had two little terrier mixes barking at him too. It will take us awhile to be able to walk down that street but the food tube did it's job and he wasn't so stressed out he wouldn't lick it (although he did pull a bit a couple times while "displaying" that he's not a pansy [when really he is] it wasn't too bad and at least he didn't pull me over!).

I think I may have found the ticket to our success. In this case our success will be for Eclipse to be comfortable on his walks and maintain a loose leash, we'll get there, I know it. After a few more walks of licks so very often we'll increase the number of steps between licks until eventually he's only getting licks occassionally and when we're around dogs as that desensitizing will take much longer. Oh, sweet progress!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Puppy, Anniversaries and Mountain Dew

Okay, so there really isn't a single thing in this post about Mountain Dew, but I have a bottle sitting on the desk so it was good inspiration *wink*

About the new puppy. He's an 11 week old purebred Golden Retriever that is very dark red, with a darker face mask and a very blocky build. Just think, at 11 weeks he's approximately 24 pounds, Eclipse was 13! His name is Copper and he's a real doll. He arrived on Saturday and already knows "Sit" well enough that we're working on generalizing it in other parts of the house and outside. He is also learning to sit for his food and is close to mastering the down hand signal. He's loves his food and fish oil, which is a good thing because his skin desperately needs it!
Not only is he an absolutely stunning dog but he's brilliant! You see, he learned "sit" by hand signal in only two training sessions and I added the verbal cue just yesterday. Now I think he's just offering the behaviour while we're training but he sits everytime I ask him to. I'm doing clicker training with him and he's a smart little fella, he's learning his name and how to potty outside. The most amazing thing is that I just met this puppy on Tuesday! Yeah, I said he came home on Saturday, but not to my home :-P

Actually, I'm training him for a family friend. They have a hard time with puppies (they've had somewhere around 6 puppies in the past year [I know! I don't agree with it and they know it but I can't do anything about it]) and can't get potty training or manners down at all. Neither do they know how to tire a puppy out or contain it. When things get rough (accidents on their new very light carpet, crying in the crate, chewing things up, other misc puppy issues) they tend to throw in the towel and give up on the dog all together. I've tried helping them before but on a limited basis, they never were real invested in working with the dog it didn't seem. This time, though, it was a bit different. They went to Salem and go this Copper from a breeder (same breeder as that post). It's my belief that he could potentially be from the same lines as Elly and Evett due to his build, personality, overall look and the tell-tale sign, the darker mask just like Evett had at his age. Not only have they invested in a puppy manners class but they asked at on of questions about getting him comfortable in his crate, housebreaking and obedience training. When they realized that they simply couldn't remember everything I was telling them they hired me to help them. I go to their house for 4-5 hours a day and work with him for short time periods but also make sure everyone in the family knows what we're doing, his potty schedule and just provide them with some peace of mind. I just hope it works as there are five people in the house (two grown children and a teenager) and they all have their own styles dealing with dogs and all of them are mostly correction based, which I'm hoping we can get them all on board with clicker training after seeing how effective it is. We'll see as time goes on and I'll keep everyone updated.

Anniversaries.

Sunday was the anniversary of the much dreaded and hated "swap". Here's the post about that.

There's another anniversary in the house though! Eclipse's rabbit was purchased one year ago today and it's on it's last leg. Okay, so it's been on it's last leg for some time now but I wanted a stuffed toy to last a year in our house and it did after a little doctoring! So, we have a new addition in the house and the rabbit is stepping down from it's role as one of the favorite stuffed toys among our canine pals.
The bunny the day we bought it last year
Eclipse's sister Eola enjoying her new toy!
The bunny has remained a favorite toy, and pillow, since it's adition to the family
But it's time to pass the torch to a squirrel. It's a Kong squirrel that has no nose, eyes or stuffing but has replacable squeakers.
Kira investigating the new addition
Eclipse letting Kira make sure it's safe (which is surprising as Eclipse usually steals today from Kir)
Ah, the joys of a new toy!

In addition to a new toy Eclipse also got a new addition to his diet! His food tubes arrived yesterday and while I've yet to get a chance to work with him with them I do have one prepped and sitting in the fridge. I mix canned Caindae Grain-Free with canned pumpkin. Not only is he going to be getting that mixture for training but he's also getting a teaspoon (or two depending on the meal) in with his normal meals to help regulate his digestive system. So far so good, no gas today, thank goodness!

That's all from here, whenever I get over this bug I caught and have more energy I'll post about using the food tubes in Eclipse desensitization as well as little Copper's progress!

Ally & Alex w/Eclipse, Teddy & Kira