Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Getting Bigger

I've only had her a week but she seems so much more grown up.

Maybe it's because her ears are all sticky uppy.

She gets braver day by day.  Her collar is no longer an issue, now to get her used to a harness.  I've been getting her out a couple of times each day for a short walk on pavement, she gets her final parvo/distemper shots tomorrow and then another 7-10 days until she's good for more exciting exploring.  She's partly fascinated, partly afraid of almost everything.  Ruby is helpful in building her confidence.  We have a lot of cars, bikes, skateboarders, scooters, dogs, general chaos in my neighborhood so I've been keeping the walks short so she doesn't get overstimulated.  We started with 2 blocks and we're now up to 6 (3 out, 3 back).  Funny that such a basic thing is a thing.

We went for a car ride on Sunday, Jonny driving and me stuffing chicken in her crate.  She cried 45 of the 60 minutes drive from her foster home in Fort Collins to our house and then the 5 minutes we took her the other day.  This time we just drove and did errands, didn't take her out.  She did much better with me shoving chicken in her crate.  Gave her a Kong too.  The drive to the vet is 20 minutes each way and only me driving so it probably won't go well, all highway driving except the first 5 minutes so no way to shove treats in the crate.  Not much I can do about it though, she needs those vaccinations and my vet in Boulder is mega expensive and not that great so I've been trucking up to Lyons to see my vet friend.  So far it's worth the drive but still a pain.  But I go there to go biking so I can go there for the dogs.

So abused.

Doesn't get much more Yin Yang than this.

My good girl Ruby.  Loves the camera about as much as she loves the puppy.

I do play them off each other for training, Ruby gets jealous more so than the pup.

Who needs expensive spring lawn aeration services when these guys work for free?

Ruby hardly ever dug in the yard before the puppy and now she's happy to show the pup one of her only bad habits.  Otherwise I'm super thankful for Ruby for providing some calm energy to balance out the crazy.

Jonny has the day off on Thursday when I go to my One Mind seminar.  Can't wait to see how this goes down.

My point and shoot camera is dying right when I get a new puppy, of course.  Options on Amazon are slim pickings, I guess everybody uses their phones nowadays.  I hate using my phone for photos.  I have a Canon Rebel, big non-portable camera but the stock lens isn't fabulous and there's no way I'm taking that beast hiking/biking so I'm not sure what to do.  Guess I take my chances with the slim pickings.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Baby Steps

It's funny the things you take for granted like being able to put a collar on a dog.  And a leash.  And go for a simple walk around the neighborhood.  Tess had never had a collar on her when she came to me, the foster mom warned me of that, so I've been taking the past few days to get her used to it.  She scratched at it at first.  A lot.  I shifted to a slightly lighter weight collar with no tags that had come with Ruby and that was better.  Sorta.  Put her collar with the tags on today and she was scratching more again.  She'll get used to it and she's no longer pitching a fit when I put it on.

We also took her for her first 'walk' yesterday.  She still needs her last set of vaccinations so she can't go very far.  I live on a corner so we went from the back yard, around the corner to the front yard and I did a crap job of keeping her off the grass and in the street partly because of cars.  My neighborhood used to be considered rural so there are limited sidewalks but now the traffic and growth have not kept up with the infrastructure and it's a suburban neighborhood with rural amenities (or lack thereof).  Anyway.  She did great with some treats and Ruby leading the way.  This morning went even better and later we'll take her for a short drive and more short walkies somewhere else.

These photos are from Wednesday, she seems so much bigger today (Saturday).

Neighbor girl came over on Thursday and things went much better all the way around.  Tess took treats from her and was only a little wary.  Part of this is because we already had her outside in the yard after her little 'walk' and the girl came into the yard seamlessly with little fuss from Ruby so there was less emotion about it all as opposed to the day before when the girl came through the house first and this got Ruby barking and Tess upset.  But she has to get used to people in the house at some point.  A friend came over on Wednesday and she took a little while to warm up but relaxed eventually yet she was perfectly fine on Sunday when another friend came over.  She seems much braver now, will have to get more people over here.  It's only her first week of getting used to a new place so it's hard to know if she's wary in general or just unsure in a new home.

She's finally playing and exploring in the yard.  I've been working on various tricks and shaping exercises in the yard, she likes that and I think it's helped her be more comfortable out there.

Ruby has been great through all of this.  Such a good, patient girl.

Baby steps for the country as well.  We'll see what the future holds but with the implosion of Trump's 'Health Care Plan', which was really a tax grab for billionaires, I think we see the first chink in the armor.  If he sticks to his guns about ignoring the health care crisis it will certainly be the end of him because this is a huge problem, one of the biggest this country faces, and cannot be ignored.  Obamacare is something but it's not a long term solution and there needs to be some major reforms to the whole corrupt health care/insurance system or there will be serious civil unrest and social and financial instability.  Unfortunately the folks in charge seem unwilling and unable to take this problem seriously and come up with reasonable and effective solutions.  Because one thing is for sure, the system as it stands is unsustainable.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy National Puppy Day

I have a puppy on National Puppy Day, imagine that.  Didn't know there was such a thing.

We're having a Standy Uppy Ear kinda day.

We've decided on Tess for her name though we reserve the right to change it.  So far it seems a great fit.

Even crappy puppy pictures are cute. To me anyway.

She seems to have grown a lot since Tuesday.  I fear she'll be grown before I know it.

She's getting a little braver in the yard.  Starting to explore on her own.  First attempts at getting her used to a collar weren't spectacular, will have to work on that.  She has a vet appointment next Wednesday for her final Parvo/Distemper vaccinations and she'll need to be comfortable with leash and collar by then.

A 5 year old neighborhood girl has come over a couple of times to play with Tess.  The first time went well, the second time Tess was more nervous.  If she comes again I'll coach her a little more.  I don't know much about 5 year olds so it's hard to know how well they can follow instructions.  I have some ideas about how to help her, we'll see how it goes.  But wow, she was exhausting.  I was more tired with 15 minutes with the kid than a whole day of puppy, work, exercise, etc.  My decision to not have kids was a solid one, I'm not cut out for that task.  But I'm thankful for the kid coming over to help socialize Tess and she loves to come over to be with the puppy and I think her mom is grateful for some peace so it's a win all the way around.

Tess loves training.  I think it's making her braver in the yard, this afternoon she came in from training then went back to the door wanting to go back in the yard for more.  We're working on some simple tricks, some luring and some shaping.  She does well with both.

She loves to play but not all the time which is weird for me after having Strummer who would play anytime, anywhere, anyhow, even on his last day when his leg was exploded with cancer and he was hobbling around on 3 legs. 

It's also weird having a Border Collie that will chill out in the back yard, hanging out with Ruby and me.  Hopefully this trait will stay into adulthood. 

I've been keeping Ruby's schedule as intact as possible.  Her agility training got kicked to the curb a bit this past week but I squeezed in some quick weave pole sessions yesterday and today.  She's finally starting to get it and today I was able to make the off side entry a bit harder.  On side (soft) entries are still a bit difficult for her so we'll spend more time on that side.

I have a free auditing spot at a One Mind seminar next week and I'll do a write up of how that goes.  Excited for that, should be fun.  I worked my way through a lot of the videos on their website but still so many more and so much info. to absorb.  So much foundation stuff out there, I think I need a whole nuther post for that.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Suddenly a Puppy

Meet Tess, 11 1/2 week old Border Collie, possible mix.

She comes from Texas by way of the HeRD Rescue group.  Momma had 7 pups under an abandoned building and when they were 4 weeks old a rescue down in Texas spent 4 hours digging them out.  Once the rescue got them out the original owner, who had numerous citations for neglect and dogs running at large, wanted them back so they were whisked away to CO.  Poor mom is just over two and this is her 3rd litter.  Owner was selling the pups for $750.  I know, people suck.  But thankfully not all people and a wonderful woman in a town an hour away fostered them and worked really hard on their socialization since they'd never seen people for the first 4 weeks of their lives. 

There were 4 pups left to choose from, all 4 were females.  One was a bit skittish with Ruby, the other, a gorgeous red smoothie, was nice but had some kind of eye thing going on.  It was something they noticed on the vet examination and it often resolves itself, pup's vision didn't appear effected but none the less, I didn't want to risk it.  This left a rough coat and a smoothie.  The rough coat was a bit more playful and confident but not by a lot and both Jonny and I prefer a smooth coat for the easier grooming.  Plus I liked her personality a bit more.  It's hard to look at puppies for an hour and know what they'll be like, they can change so much from day to day so we decided on the smoothie.  Her name was Dori but we've renamed her Tess.

She was stung by a wasp within a half hour of coming home and some Benadryl took care of the swelling but now she's a bit scared ot the yard.  It also didn't help that the neighbor's fence fighting Cattle Dog came charging over full on barking which scared the pants off her.  We brought her home Saturday afternoon and today, Tuesday, she's finally exploring the yard and willing to spend more time there thanks to Ruby.  She's relaxing a bit and settling into a schedule.

Ruby is very good with her but is more than happy to let her know when she's crossed the line with her nonsense.  Ruby suffers no fools and has raised a litter of pups herself.  Tess is a drama queen so Ruby doesn't have to do much to get her to back off. 

We've had few short training sessions and lots of play time.  She loves training so far.

She sleeps through the night in her crate, thanks again to foster mom for that, and is pretty good with her housebreaking.  Has had a couple accidents but mostly is very good.  I've left her for 2 hours a few times now and she's fine in her crate when I leave and get back, no barking.  Not sure what she does when I'm gone but she's calm and relaxed when I get home. 

She cried for 20 minutes the first night in her crate then she settled down for the night.  Had some crying in the ex-pen too yesterday but today's she's much  better and settles into a nap if she's been playing or training.

The 5 year old neighbor girl came over yesterday and she was great with her.  The girl has a puppy too and mom had taught her how to act with the pup.  Tess was mostly not interested, I think she was tired, but she wasn't afraid.  I'm trying to get as many people and kids over here as I can.  She gets her final parvo/distemper shots next week and then needs another 7-10 days to build immunity before she can be around other dogs so we're holding off on that.

It's great to have to time to devote to raising and training a puppy.  My office is 6 minutes away and I can schedule clients whenever I want (mostly) so I'm able to be home for her more than I was for Lola though she did come to work with me a lot.

I finally went to the chiropractor/PT for my ankle and he diagnosed 'posterior tibial tendonitis' which is exactly what I thought I had.  My case isn't serious, ultrasound showed some inflammation but not a severe amount.  I was limited to 40 minute walks, no hills, for the past week 2 weeks and I have some exercises to do.  He taped up my ankle to unload the tendon and I have a night splint to sleep in.  Been going to his office for ultrasound and some chiro. stuff he does and progressions on my exercises.  Some of them involve balancing on one leg or spinning around and I'm unnerved with how poor my balance is and how easily I get dizzy with the spinning.  Not sure if the sea sickness from my Hawaii trip effected my balance or maybe my balance was already effected and the sea sickness was a symptom.  Who knows.  Also I'm not eating regularly, my schedule thrown off by the puppy, so could be dizziness from forgetting to eat.  I had a bit of that last summer.  NOT good, will have to be better about that. 

Looking forward to fun with puppy.  I'll get some video going and of course there will be many more pictures.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Stretching Out

Nothing too sexy to see here, just some extension and obstacle commitment training.  I'm using a Manners Minder gizmo at the end of the jumps then calling her back to me.  My ankle's still a bit jacked up so I'm still taking it easy and no sprinting/running.  Glad I don't have any races on the calendar.

Takes her a couple of reps but she figures out her striding.  I lowered the jumps to 8" from 10-12" so perhaps that confused her at first.  The previous session she was back to running past the jumps so I made it easier.  Today I raised them to 10" and she had no issues.  No video, couldn't be bothered. 

Still working on weave pole training with the channels and she still sometimes runs straight to the Manners Minder and ignores the channel.  She's getting better though.  I went down to 6 poles so we could get more reps in.  Once she's solid with taking the channel and the channel gets narrower I'll add the other poles back so she can learn to get her rhythm.  I think she'll be ready to retired by the time I get her trained.

Thursday, March 02, 2017


It's that time of year - Shoulder Season - winter leaving, spring not quite here. Feels even more so for me since we're hoping to find a house this spring and move. Maybe we'll find a place, maybe we won't. Which means I can't sign up for races since I don't know where I'll be this summer. Jonny wants to wait to get a new dog until we're moved but I've convinced him to at least consider taking on a new dog if the right one comes along. We're planning on going to a herding trial in a couple of weeks and hopefully I can find some folks who can point me in the direction of a good working breeder.

For a moment we thought we had a perfect situation - one of Jonny's co-workers is looking to re-home his Border Collie from a top working breeder. One of my agility friends just got a pup from this breeder and has 2 others from him and he's a true working breeder, not an agility breeder. At first it sounded like the dog was simply too much dog for his owner who is 70 and looking to retire and wanted a pet, not a busy working dog. Dog is 2 years old. But it turns out the dog sounds really messed up, the owner was using a shock collar on it to train basic obedience/house manners, ugh. They were using a spray bottle too and now the poor thing is so terrified of them that he runs away when the wife waters her plants with one. Also the dog is super inbred, grandparents are half siblings. And now he's not sure he wants to give the dog up. Would love to rescue this dog from this unfortunate situation but also don't want a 'project' and a dog with such serious inbreeding and if he won't give it up anyway there's nothing I can do.

And I would really love a puppy. It would be fun to do all the training. One Mind Dogs had a 1/2 off special deal for a 6 month premium membership and I pulled the trigger on it. SO much information. Watching all the videos of people training their puppies makes me want a puppy all the more. So we'll see. There's no hurry.

Ruby is happy to be an only dog and life is so easy with her. She's the easiest dog ever. It's so easy to train with only one dog as well. I've had multiple dogs for so long, I forgot how easy it can be with only one. So for now we enjoy the ease of one dog life and wait patiently for the right second dog to come along.

I've been doing a lot of walking and hiking, taking a break from running.

Rugged Mountain Dog rockin' the Benjamin Trail

 Went to Golden Gate Canyon State Park last weekend with the intention of snow shoeing but the snow was packed and shallow enough that Yax Trax were fine.  Every one else there had snow shoes, poles, big packs, it was kind of funny.  We blazed right past them because snow shoes slow you down and are a nuisance unless you have deeper, unpacked snow.  I don't use poles because I want to maintain my balance and all those muscles needed for balancing as I age.  Use it or lose it.

Panorama Point, Golden Gate Cnayon State Park

I twisted my left ankle again and landed funny on my right knee on that Betasso hike which leads me to believe that that's what happened last January when I jacked up my knee.  At the time I thought that the ankle twisted first but thinking about it afterwards I assumed it was the knee that had gone out first.  But now that I've twisted that left ankle a couple more times I'm convinced it's the ankle.  I've had a little niggle with it for a while but it's barely been noticeable but now is turning into a problem.  So this week I'm taking it easy, just walks with Ruby, no running except maybe some short agility stuff with her.  But no RUNNING running.  It feels fine today, back to just a niggle here and there so hopefully nothing major going on but something to watch out for.  I see balance/ankle strengthening exercises in my future.  And more weight training.  Been slacking on that, 30 minutes a week, it's not enough.  They're starting a parkour class in a park near my house where I walk Ruby all the time so I'm going to start going there when class is going on to see if I can get ideas.  I think the class will be too hard for me or I'd sign up.  I'll see how hard it looks and maybe change my mind.

I did get a couple few bike rides in in the past few weeks.  Finally made it to Hall Ranch, think it's been 8 months or so since I last went riding there.  One of the disadvantages of coached bike workouts, some trails are hard to use for training and Hall is one of them though maybe I had a few rides this summer that I don't remember.

Longs and Meeker from Hall Ranch

February was so mild, days in the 60's and 70's and barely any snow.  Crazy.  It's nice but climate change is scary and there were some fires though thankfully they were put out quickly.  At least the snowpack is well over normal, mountains have been getting slammed so reservoirs should be good this summer.

I'll work on getting some more Ruby training video.  I shoot it and then get too busy to process it.  Getting ready to take her out to the training field for the first time.  Curious to see how that will go.  Took her to my training partner's yard and she was super distracted but I have an idea for keeping her focused at the training field.  More on that later.