Browsing: Angel

Training on the Green Grass

Yay summer is here! I have been out of town for a really long time, most of June actually, but I am back now and training again. I need to post about my long trip. It was a lot of fun and I drove almost 6,000 miles. 🙂 But I’m glad to be home and have nice weather to train outside!

Connor has been competing in agility regularly now, and now that we are in Excellent I am seeing our issues. He is not as confident as Jet. He’s been popping his weaves consistently, and he’s lagging behind me, not driving forward like I know he can do. So I’m working obstacles and sequences to try to gain him more confidence to get him to drive ahead more and complete the weaves. I even pulled out of our July trial in order to train and hopefully build up his confidence more. Here’s my training videos of him for today and yesterday. Yesterday we worked on his jumps, and today we worked on his weaves and teeter. I’m using the push-back game to hopefully get him to drive towards the obstacles more. And I’ll do this with sequences more too.

Connor and the jumps:

Connor and the Weaves:

Connor and the Teeter:

Maze and I continue to have fun learning what is best for him. Starting to train some 2×2 weaves by getting him to just go through one set. He does seem to poop out on my pretty quick… but we got some really nice throughs in! I don’t know if he stops trying because I don’t reward him with the toy if he’s wrong… or if I worked him too long. With the baby-teeter I set my watch to only work for 1 minute 30 seconds. But then I felt a bit rushed at first wanting to get so much in. LOL I am not used to setting a timer but maybe I really do need to get used to it.

On the sit-stays I didn’t set a timer, just worked and saw how he did. He’s doing good with that. I had a private lesson with Julie Daniels when I was on my trip and it was awesome! I have to joke that I needed a lesson with a pro to get my dog to do a stay.. LOL, but Maze is a bit of a challenge for me, and her method works great!

Maze Through 2x2s:

Maze baby teeter. He’s doing sooo so so well with this! We have been working a lot on moving things:

Maze sit/stay:

{ Add a Comment }

Changing Pack Dynamics

Chase

Chase
Chase
It’s been a month since Levi died, I still miss him terribly, and it’s interesting to watch how our pack dynamics have changed. We only have four dogs now, down from our high of seven. Four dogs is like having hardly any dogs at all.

The biggest change I think has been Chase. He’s the oldest now (8.5 years), and he has space issues with dogs he doesn’t know. He will attack without warning when we go out and he’s too close to other dogs. He will still do this. He always hated having foster dogs in our house. So he’s the happiest one of them all that we no longer foster. He’s very relaxed at home now and, strangely enough, he’s becoming our mediator dog. Chase and Levi never got along. Levi would grump at Chase on a regular basis.

But now Chase loves to play with Jet (he did before, but he’s more relaxed about it now). Chase plays with Tatum too, and kinda tolerates Muffit. Muffit barks at Chase when he (Muffit) wants to play, which annoys Chase to no end. But after years, Chase is showing lip and teeth when he gets annoyed. We think that Chase’s warning system was punished out of him before we got him. So he’d just explode without warning. At home he gives warning now (he was giving warning before Levi died too). Chase hasn’t started a fight at home in probably over a year. It’s quite nice.

Jet has been having issues with being unable to stop when he starts fighting. I believe he learned it from Levi. Jet didn’t learn a good way to tell another dog that he’s been hurt or he wants something or needs another dog to stop something. I blame Levi, and myself, of course. Hopefully we’ll work this out. But anyway, a couple weeks ago Jet was going off on Chase, and Chase just stood there in the back yard with Jet latched onto his cheek. This is HUGE for Chase. Before, Chase would have fought back and not have stopped. But now, Chase is like our medium dog that has taken on the role of smoothing everything over. It’s really cool.

Anyone in a multi-dog household understands that dogs fight. It’s what they do. Our dogs have good bite inhibition and don’t break skin. But they sure sound mean. And they don’t fight without reason. People yell at each other, dogs growl and snarl and fight. And our house is kinda small, so the dogs are close together a lot. Maybe we need some wood pergolas to lighten things up, but we can’t afford anything now!

My husband and I aren’t sure who is highest ranking dog anymore. It’s probably Tatum, our only girl. But it could be Muffit, he doesn’t put up with anyone’s crap. It’s not Chase, he’s just the middle ground dog. And I don’t think it’s Jet either, even though he’s intact. Though we think Jet wants to be. It’s one of those flowing easy going packs that just get along. It’s quiet and nice. It’ll be interesting to see how a puppy throws them all for a loop again. Chase will probably have the hardest adjustment, he always does, but hopefully he’ll adjust quickly.

{ 2 Comments }

My Family

My Family
Lately I have been having a really hard time dealing with the loss of Lucy. She was the hardest for me, even more so than Angel last year. Or Littles just last week. I realize that I have a really hard time dealing with death. Not that anyone has an easy time of it… for one thing, though, my dogs are my kids. They mean as much to me as any human I know. My core belief system is that I am an animal. I am a human animal, and my dogs are canine animals. I am no better than them. Maybe human belief systems follow that humans are ‘better,’ somehow, than other animals. I do not believe this. I am more of the belief that I am the same as the earth. I live on the earth and I am as a tree or a rock or a bush. Or a deer or a rabbit or a dog. Maybe this is more like the American Indian belief system. Or the pagan belief system. Which I prefer to follow for myself.

So when a dog does, a part of me dies. Even though at the same time a part of the dog lives on inside of me. Still, I feel empty and hollow and I don’t know how to deal with it. Since I don’t really have an after-life belief system, either, I’m not sure where they go, though I do have my ideas.

Anyway, where I’m going with this is that all my life I’ve really avoided getting close to people. I’ve had trust issues with people. Haven’t really trusted those who were trustworthy in the past, instead I’ve trusted those who were not trustworthy. Though I think that I’ve changed in that regard now, it’s still hard for me to get close to fellow humans. It’s always been easier for me to get close to dogs. And so the main support network I have in my life is that of my very short-lived dogs.

And so when they leave me, I’m pretty crushed. Though now I’m at a place in my life where I can finally trust people more, get close to people more, which is a good thing. And most of my life I’ve really denied the thought that I need people, and dogs, to rely on as close friends and family.

And I’m so worried about Levi. He’ll be 12 in just about a month. And sometimes I think that my entire world of sanity is balanced on his life. Which is way too much to ask any creature to endure, I know. 🙂 Even though he gets extra attention now, which he really loves.

So I guess where I’m getting to with this is that today I had some sore of revelation. That it’s natural to love these creatures in our lives. And it’s so sad when they have to leave us. It’s just a natural part of life and it’s okay to love completely. I’ve avoided loving completely, because it means that when the object of your love is gone, then live is just about over and being crushed and miserable sets in. But it’s okay to have both, isn’t it? To love completely and still go on living. It’s natural and normal. Guess it took me a long time to realize this. But I have always loved my dogs completely, without reservation, unconditionally, just as they love me. They are so much easier than humans. So very much easier to love and live with.

I’ve been sick the last few days and feeling pretty rotten. I know it’s a combination of having too many losses, stress, catching some nasty cold, and also this underlying virus that I think I carry with me all the time. It all adds up, dangit. But today, or at least right now, I can look at our little graveyard of ashes in our cabinet that I have set up, and find a little bit more peace. At least for a while.

So I have to get back to the normal aspects of life. Missing those I’ve lost. Settling into a new life with the ones who are still alive. Maybe I’m a nut, I dunno. Maybe I just need a Steripen Adventurer Opti water filter to keep myself healthy… oh, and I joined Weight Watchers, to drop these awful pounds I’ve put on in the last couple of years. Still gotta take care of myself, eat healthy, and love completely the family I have with me still. And try to come to realize it’s okay to love completely, as well as lose completely. And still be okay.

{ 2 Comments }

Too Many Losses

Well, I removed Lucy’s picture from the top of the blog. And in the sidebar, I put her under In Loving Memory. Too very sad. I am not crying as much now, but still once in a while I just am still in shock that she’s gone.

And then we lost Littles, too. And last year we lost Angel. It all comes in waves, when you don’t space your animal’s ages out well and they get old at the same time. Though really we didn’t think of spacing them out, we just fell in love with them and took them home. Though now we are not fostering for rescue, and so when I get a dog or a cat, I put a lot of thought into it. We won’t be getting another dog for a couple of years. And I don’t think we’ll be getting any more cats, and we just can’t give them the lives they deserve.

And so life goes on. Not putting a picture in this post, because it’s too sad for me to put one of Angel, Lucy or Littles. And of course Kip and Jackie are always in my heart, too. Kip died in 2000, and Jackie when I was a teenager.

They are a part of me forever. I feel like an Immortal from Highlander. My loved ones dying as I live on. If they could think about it, maybe they would think I was immortal too. But I’m not. Just longer lived than the furkids I love so much.

{ 1 Comment }

A Trip to the Desert

It’s strange, still, to only have five dogs now. It’s actually been strange to have had only six. Since Angel passed on in May 2010, I still kept trying to count for seven dogs. I hadn’t gotten used to six. And now I’m going to have to count for five dogs only.

Yeah, my husband and I would count dogs to make sure we had them all around. Home safe. Not getting out or running amok.

[singlepic id=1037 w=320 h=240 float=center]

I think I am coming to terms with losing Lucy. I’m still very sad, and last night cried again in bed before I went to sleep. I miss her so much. I wish that I could have put her in a bed, given her meds, and kept her around like I would have kept a person around. But dogs don’t work that way… and seriously, it’d be nice if we could put people out of their misery, too. Lucy was miserable. It was her time to go. I just still miss her so much.

[singlepic id=1035 w=320 h=240 float=center]

Today we took a trip to the desert to let the dogs run. It was a short trip. Long drive, about 45 minutes, and it was too hot to let the dogs run for too long. But they did have fun.   Levi isn’t very strong anymore and can’t go very far. I sure hope he’s okay when we go to camp.  I will take it slow for him, give him what he needs, and sit around on the beach of Lake Tahoe all day if we need too.  Which, really, won’t make me sad at all, sitting on the beach all day!

[nggallery id=26]

I am trying out a new gallery, too, so above are the thumbnails. Though I’m not quite so sure how it works, yet, and I may just add the images individually too.

{ 2 Comments }