Friday, October 31, 2008

Day 67...Final update and the winner is....

Its been a busy afternoon and evening and as I await phaird's opinion on all of the photos to see if he agrees with me or not, I thought a final update was in order. Bear is doing well, although I've spent most of today catching him as he falls over sideways because he's still a bit loopy. He was given extra steroids to help his breathing through the surgery and, because of his size, the went a bit heavy on the pre-surgery relaxants. I kind of hope he's enjoying the steroids because this is probably the only day he will be able to breathe through his nose the way he is and smell things the way that he is. Tomorrow or the day after, it will probably be back to panting and snoring.

He's just getting to the point now where he is feeling comfortable not touching me and is actually asleep in the other room while I'm writing this. He was pretty upset at first and wouldn't get off of my feet.

Willie is being great. Never more than a few feet away from Bear, he's keeping an eye on him but not teasing or trying to play. He was a bit concerned about the lack of food and water and told me about it quite adamantly. He had his food and water in his crate, but around 6:00 pm, decided it was time to get some down in the big bowls for Bear and that enough was enough. I put a little food and water down, which Bear has been able to keep down quite well, and the William proceeded to ignore it. The husband had fed and watered him this morning while Bear was at the vet so Will wasn't hungry to begin with. It was just the principle of the thing that was bothering him, I think.

I really want to thank everyone who sent pictures in! It really made my day to be able to check in and see all of these great pictures! The hardest thing has been to try to "judge" them impartially because I really feel like I know all of your dogs! This is one of the reasons I wanted to pull phaird, the dog photographer, in on this. I think he can look at these more objectively than I can because every time I pull one up I think "Oh...there's so and so and he looks so cute!" because they all do!

So, at 9:52 pm, the winner is still pending and if we don't get it up here by midnight tonight, we will definitely be trying to get it up by tomorrow...depending upon contact with whomever. In any event, we will definitely keep you posted!


Oop! Just heard from phaird and the verdict...I mean the vote is in! The winner of this year's First Ever Annual Really Silly Halloween Dog Photo Contest is ........................................................
................................................(this is a drum roll in cyberspace)...........................................................
......................................................................................................................................................................

FINN over at Luck O The Labrador !

Congratulations, Finn and I hope to hear back from you soon!

Again, I want to thank everyone who participated in this and hope it was as much fun for all of you as it was for us! It really has made a different animal out of Halloween for me, but I have to say that the coolest part of this whole thing, for me, has been watching you guys interacting with each other through this and seeing new links being made that maybe wouldn't have been there before!

Life isn't a spectator sport, even in cyberspace!

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 66.... 67

2nd update... Bear is home, a bit wobbly on his feet and seriously groggy! As I write, he is laying at my feet sound asleep. The surgery went very well and he had no problems with the anesthesia and breathing. They did it first thing this morning and called me at work about an hour after I got there. He was pretty upset when I left him, and pretty upset when I picked him up but seems very happy to be home now...just really sleepy.

We've got a couple of hours to go before 5:00pm so I'm thinking that a nap might be in order for me!

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Update... Because of the contest, I'm going to just update here until tonight. We are now down to it and will be shortly walking out the door to go to the vet. Bear is not a happy camper this morning...not so much because there isn't any food down, but because he hasn't had any water since last night. Being a mouth breather, he dries out quickly and loves to have his water. He also didn't have his "cookie" when he came in this morning so he knows something is up with that. Anyway, I'm looking forward to tonight when Bear will hopefully be back home and sleeping things off. It depends upon how he does with the anesthesia as to whether he will be able to come home or have to spend the night at the vet's. I'm hoping he's home!

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear




HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, this may seriously change my opinion about Halloween! We've got a great start going with http://luckothelabrador.blogspot.com/2008/10/big-dog-discrimination.html and Bad Mutha Fudruckers !!! These ladies have set the bar high, Gang, and left Bear and I, both, with a smile on our faces as we face our hour of .... well... ya know.
After taking a first glimpse here, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to call on you, phaird, for some impartial judging assistance. These ladies are good and its going to prove difficult to pick just one!
Enter early and as often as you like! This is definitely proving to be fun!!!
Happy wandering!
The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 65 part 2...and the "Really Silly Halloween Picture Contest"



Okay, I'm going to admit it. Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. As a matter of fact, on a scale of 1-10, Halloween has always rated about a negative 73.2. I really despise horror movies too and there is probably some Freudian connection in all of this, but the bottom line is that I've just never gotten into the whole Halloween thing... until I took this picture during Bear and Willie's first game of ball.



At the time, I thought, "Wow! They look like two goolies with pumpkin heads running through a field!" and actually, they do. I also thought that everybody probably has one of these pictures of their dog where the flash buggers their eyes and their love of a dog looks possessed. "Wouldn't it be fun," I wondered, "to run a contest for the "best Halloween dog picture" on the blogsphere?"



I querried with phaird over at Dog Parks about it...Hi phaird!... and he was willing to help out, but then things got busy with the job and ... well, life, the universe and everything, so the idea kind of fizzled...until today when I realized that on Halloween, the husband is out of town and Bear is in surgery all day and recovering all night so its really going to be pretty boring around here! So, in the hopes of not being bored to death on Halloween night, I am launching the "First Official Best Halloween Dog Picture Contest!" If you've got one of these pictures, post it on your site, hit my comments and let me know you have it up and I will come around and see if yours wins. The first and only prize will be that you can post your picture and the story behind it here on my site... and maybe I can find a blog award thingie to go with it. 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time on October 31, 2008 (oops! forgot to put that in earlier...) is the cut off and we will hopefully be posting the winner at midnight on Halloween.

The rule is, its got to be a picture of your dog, suitable for publishing on this blog, and have something to do with Halloween...ie, spooky...like the one above, costumed, messing with the pumpkin...whatever. Have fun with it but be tasteful. You are also going to have to do a paragraph about it...which is three sentences or more in legnth.

I know, incredibly silly but it will keep me occupied... and phaird, if ya wanna lend a hand on this you're more than welcome!

Oh, and the more the merrier on this thing so if you want to post about it on your site, feel free!
(I'm really not looking forward to sitting around here all night by myself watching Bear sleep off the anesthesia...)



Happy wandering!



The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Day 65

I am seriously bummed this morning! As you can see from the photo above, there was snow just not here. Bear did get a taste of some that had collected on the leaves a few minutes ago, but did not get to play in the predicted 3-7 inches they were calling for all day yesterday.

Every school in the county either didn't open at all or released the children by noon yesterday because of this storm.

All evening activities, everywhere, were canceled last night.

Everyone in the county was expecting to wake up this morning to a snowday and ya know what we got? A whole lot of wind and some flurries.

Even as I write this, it is snowing outside and blowing like a bat. Is anything laying? No.

This storm was a gyp and I feel seriously cheated because, for the first time in my life, I was really looking forward to coming home and shoveling because Bear would be playing in his first snow with me while I did it.

Well, maybe next time. There will be other storms this year, I'm sure.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day 64

Just got the call. Bear has "wonderful" blood and the surgery is set for first thing Friday morning. This tells me two things. First, the vet probably snuck in the DNA test and is really tickled about what he found because it probably confirms that Bear is a 100% purebred all American web footed mutt and he must have really impressed them because he was bumped to the front of the line for the surgery!

All of that aside, something more exciting is happening now and I hope the power doesn't go out before I finish writing this. We are having what looks to be the first snow of the year today. Combine a wind more powerful that "the blusteries" from the other day and snow instead of rain and you've got the idea of what's happening only this one is taking down trees all over the place. It hasn't laid here yet, but I'm hoping by tomorrow it will. It's an interesting storm because there is a snowline that is just above us with it. Earlier, I could look over to the mountains acrosss the way and see it clearly, but it's snowing and blowing too hard to see over there now. I'm hoping that by late tonight and definitely in the morning there will be enough to let Bear go out and play in! Because he was born last spring, he hasn't seen a snow. This will be his first and we get to be a part of it! He wasn't really much impressed when we went out to go hurry earlier, but once it's on the ground, I think he's going to have a blast!!!

Willie really isn't very much of a snow beast. He gets cold really quickly and the snow clumps up in his paws and fur. Bear, on the other hand, looks to be bred for it! I think we're going to find out about that pretty soon!

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 61,2 and 3

The weekend is over and it was back to work today but not before Bear went to the vet for his pre-surgery checkup. He did very well and the vet really looked him over! He's gained 11 pounds since he has been with us which seemed odd to me because it doesn't seem like he has grown all that much. As per the vet, he should top out at somewhere around 100 pounds. His bones won't seal until probably around 18 months so he's got the bulk of his growing yet to do. As the vet put it, he is going to be a very substantial dog!

Bear does have a diagnosis of being a "Mouth Breather" and having "Breathing Problems." He checked his face thoroughly and could not be sure whether the problem with his snout is due to a break or genetic as there was evidence to support both, including the chipped canine which he could have done himself. In the end, it doesn't really matter because the result is the same. He cannot be muzzled, because of the breathing and with the breathing combined with his coat and coloring, he's going to have a rough time in the heat and we need to keep him cool. ( I guess this means we won't be moving to NC to be with the kids anytime in the near to immediate future but should start thinking about summering in Alaska or Nova Scotia.)

The other thing that might be breathing related but might also be breed related is the just stopping and laying down in the middle of our walks and play. Bear gets short bursts of energy but wears out pretty quickly. This could be breathing but could also be that he looks to have St. Bernard in him...and Bernese Mountain Dog...and Rottweiler...and Boxer/Boston terrier or Pug... but not Akita or Chow. Without a DNA test, we're probably never going to know what he is exactly except that he's an "All American, web footed Mutt" and a really cool dog!

I'm okay with that.

The vet and staff were all very impressed with how well Bear was listening to me and how intelligent he is! I swear it was the starvation for the blood work because he really was perfect the entire time. He alerted on the vet the first time the vet walked into the waiting room but didn't growl or anything, just watched... which is what he's supposed to do. The vet looked at me when Bear did this and said to me, "His job is to take care of you, isn't it?" I had never really thought about it that way before, but it really is and he does seem to take this very seriously. He was "working" the entire time we were out and made sure to check everything and everyone to see if they were "friend or foe" in the office...not so much to him, but to me.

He didn't have a problem with any of the other animals there...and there were dogs and cats who were just kind of wandering around the office and waiting area, except right before we left when a man came in with a Doberman mix that he couldn't really control. Bear didn't growl or lunge but he did place himself very solidly between me and this other dog and gave him "the glare" that said, "If you really feel like coming over here, it's really gonna be the last thing you do." The vet was really great about it and calmly told the owner of the other dog that Bear would not tolerate this dog getting near me, while he navigated Bear and I to a "safe area" in the waiting room and body blocked the Doberman into an exam room because it kept lunging at Bear and I. Bear stood his ground, but did not get aggressive toward the other dog, which was really good because the way this dog and owner were acting, I was about to and the only thing preventing this was Bear! He also didn't make a sound through that whole thing, which was interesting.

Anyway, I was really proud of him! He listened to me the entire time but also kept constantly assessing the situation even while he was being examined and that is exactly what he is supposed to do. He also read me very well and picked up on what he was supposed to do and how he was supposed to behave. The best thing was that he operated in concert with me .... without a whole lot of verbalization on my part which really surprised me a lot!

So, should everything come back okay with his blood work, we are on for Friday!

As to the nail file... So far, it takes getting used to for both of the dogs. Neither will tolerate me doing their nails with it yet, but both allow Tom to. As far as the job it does... eh... I think at this point a clipper would be faster and less of a hassle for them. The other thing about it is that, because of his coat and the webbing on his feet, Bear has a lot of tactile hair between his toes and the vibration tickles him a lot so we can only use it for very short time periods before he goes nuts and tries to eat it.

Would I recommend it? I think its to early to tell at this point as it definitely takes the dogs getting used to. My one note on this is that if you're going to get one, don't get it from eBay. Ours was supposed to come with four extra emery's and an instructional video. It came with one extra emery and no instructions.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 60

And I'm toasted! Not only is everyone sick with strep or on a conference...the only sane person in this office is ten years pregnant and about to pop with a 10 pound baby who is premature!

But I got to go up and play with the baby all throughout the day when I got too aggravated with the computer and phones!

Who says my job doesn't have perks?

Bear got to spend the day frolicking with the husband and Willie and is now quietly resting.

I ordered one of those battery operated dog nail files on ebay and the husband tried it out tonight. Willie just about "de"-handed him while he was using it...which was pretty funny. Bear hasn't had his turn with it yet. I figure that tomorrow is bath day and I will do it then. He did do quite a bit of ear schlarping and sitting on the chair with me, but that's a normal even with him.

This has been an incredibly long week for both of us. Thank goodness I don't go in to work until Monday afternoon! He needs a good romping of a weekend and I think that is what we are going to have!

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 59

Ugh........ I just got home from work. Everyone in the office either has strep or is at a conference...so I guess tomorrow I'm the agency. Lovely.

On a personal note, I made Bear's appointments today. Monday, we go in for blood work and to get his face checked out to make sure that we can do this. Because of Bear's breathing, the vet wants to do a really thorough check before using anesthesia with him, a move I thoroughly appreciate! If all goes well and his blood work is good, the surgery is Friday of next week. That will give us the opportunity to be here with him during early recovery which I will feel much better about!

It was a really really long day today, ending in facilitating a satellite class tonight, so I am exhausted and I think Bear knows. He's been a real softie with me since I got home and just wants to hang around with me...and sit on my desk chair with me while I write...and drool in my ear... I still haven't figured out how he manages to fit up here at the same time as I do.

Oh well. It his way of letting me know that the day was as long for him as it was for me. Its kind of nice to come home to someone who just wants lay on my ankles and chew on my feet...

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 58

HA! Okay, today's a great day. It really is. I worked all day and got home late to check the mail...and do you know what was there? That's right!

THE CERTIFICATE HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, its that long awaited certificate from the New York State Department of Agriculture that will curtail Bear's ever growing urge to climb on me and enable him to develop consistent thought patterns in the near to immediate future! Not only that, it will be our part in the growing effort to curb the overpopulation of stray dogs on the planet and establish my community in the New York State Department of Agriculture's spay/neuter program.

Thank you! Thank you!

Its been a strain on everyone in the household, but we've made it through the most difficult phase of this endeavor and better times are at hand for us. The only bummer is that I'm going to have to call from work tomorrow to schedule the appointment because the vet was closed by the time I got home...

Before everyone gets upset and thinks that I have a grudge against unfixed dogs, I would like to clarify why this is such a big deal to me. We've always had multiple dogs in the household and one of the things we noticed early on in our years of domestic bliss with canines is that dogs that are not fixed get difficult to handle, for us, especially when there are more than one of them. It has been our experience that neutered male dogs make much nicer, calmer pets and get along much better with each other and everyone else. I want that for both of these guys and that's why we are doing it. It has nothing to do with altruism and an overpopulation of dogs on the planet and everything to do with wanting Bear's experience as a pet and my experience as a pet owner to be the best one that we can have. Its completely selfish. Oh well...

Should the weather cooperate, treasure hunting will hopefully recommence tomorrow although its looking pretty nasty out there tonight...

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 57


video

This is the time of year where "The Blusteries" come through here. Short storms with ferocious winds that hit in minutes and bring leaves and limbs crashing to the ground! It seems late to be hitting this year, but I think that has more to do with the incredibly long and early Indian Summer we just had than anything else. We really don't rake the leaves too much up here because of this. Everyone knows that one good bluster and they're all going to be gone...or all over the side of the yard you just raked.

This was our day today. Blusteries blowing in and out with a hint of the snow that will be coming soon. Unfortunately, this pretty much "tanked" our plans for "treasure hunting" today. We were up behind the house playing ball when this one hit. It was Bear's first time out of a kennel during a storm, let alone one like this. It was really interesting to watch his reaction to the whole thing because he panicked. I was watching the storm approach over Red Mountain across the way. It hit the top and came climbing down faster than Willie could find his precious ball and Bear was beside himself. He didn't know whether he should bolt for the tree line, grab Willie and carry him to the house or grab me and carry me. As the rain began to hit sideways and the wind blasted, he froze not knowing what to do.

With Willie finally in possession of the ball, I started to run around the house under the trees which caused a great deal of concern for Bear. Finally we hit the porch and all got into the house before getting thoroughly soaked. Missing my treasure hunt for the day, I grabbed the camera and began video taping from the porch, remembering the fun I used to have with the kids watching storms like this blow through. These are the storms that Rip Van Winkle was made of, bouncing between the mountains and rolling through the valleys, carrying great peels of thunder in the summer...

Realizing those days are now gone, I turned the camera off, opened the old screen door to come in and dry the dogs.

And those memories are my treasures for this day.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear


Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 56

Something happened today that really got me thinking. This morning, I posted my entry and suddenly I was getting views from all over the world within minutes. It was really interesting to watch because this was the first time this had happened to me on the blogger network. I didn't know what was happening or why and it got my brain turning.



Fifty-six days ago, I began this blog about a journey... a "wanderung" I wanted to make with my dog that I didn't even have then. Finding the dog, I became entrenched in the processes of training and working him so that he would be able to make this "wanderung" with me. He's still a long way from being able to make that journey and so am I, but the desire to make it is still there because I think that a journey of this nature is an important thing to do, not because I want to get out there and explore, which I do, but because I think that the world needs somebody out there who is willing to go out there and find the good things that are happening every single day that nobody knows anything about. These thing are little jewels, treasures if you will, hidden away all over the world and nobody ever sees them because they're part of everyday life.



On any given day we can look at our computer screens or on the TV and see horrible things happening on what seems like every square inch of the globe. "The stock market is crashing! We're all gonna die!" "Global warming is killing the planet! We're all gonna die!" "We're running out of oil! We're all gonna die!" "You didn't get the spots out of your laundry! We're all gonna die!" "If you don't vote for this one or that one, you're not a patriot and ...We're all gonna die!"



You know what? I'm sick of that. I really am. Not for nothing but... I'm sick of the hours on end of horrible events with a sixty second human interest montage thrown in for good measure here and there so that we can all go to bed feeling warm and fuzzy in the full knowledge that its okay because .... "We're all gonna die!"



Guess what, people. Part of living is dying and, yes, when the time comes, all of us are going to die.



That's life. Get over it.



The thing that gets to me about all of this, though, is that we ,as a people, are so focused on the catastrophe of the moment that the moments we are living get lost in these catastrophes and lives are going by without having ever really experienced any of the treasure that makes life worth living for. These moment and relationships are really what life is about and people are completely missing them because they are so caught up in an endless global catastrophic moment that, in the grander scheme of things, they really can't do a whole bunch about...and to me, that is heartbreaking.



So in thinking about all of this, and seeing the great flux in my stats this morning, I wondered what I would do if I had this blog and these moments to say something significant to humanity. What is the thing I would want to show the world in this moment that I am living in right now? Not surprisingly, I realized that I would want to show them and share with them the treasures I have in my life, so that they would know they weren't alone in this world and that it really is okay to feel good about things too...and I'd want Bear to do it with me.



So this week, that's what I'm going to do.



Today is a simple treasure that I noticed when I drove up to the house from work. Its a color, a really special color to me. There is an orange that happens to sugar maple trees this time of year that only happens when the light is shining just right and the moment is right there. It only lasts for a few moments every year, but I saw it on the maple by the driveway today as I turned in to park. I ran inside, let the dogs out of their crates, grabbed the camera and the dogs and while they had their time to stretch, I reached out with the camera and snatched that treasure for my own. Now, I want to share it with you...and go make some phone calls because there are more hidden treasures around here that I want the world to know about this week.





Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Day 54 and 55


Well, we have had some limited success with Bear at night. I have discovered that if I stay up a half an hour or so later, until 10:30 or 11:00 pm, and let Bear out right before bed that he sleeps until 5:30 or six. We had been hitting the hay around 9:30 or 10:00 pm because we're up at 5:30 am. This may not seem like a big deal, but to me it is huge! He has been waking up once or twice a night, usually at 1:37 am and 4:19 am since we got him. I finished midnight feedings and wakeups with the kids roughly 16 years ago so this dual waking throughout the night has been very wearing for me as it is accompanied by an outing as well. For the past two nights there have been no chewing sessions or messes when we wake up! Yay!

Exercise is going much better as we are giving Bear and Will a lot of yard time playing ball and chase. Bear and I also did some walking in the fields and picture taking as my daughter is homesick for fall and wanted some pictures. I guess the leaves don't change in North Carolina...but then again, we don't have a beach here. I don't think there is anywhere that fall happens like here in the North East!
Happy wandering!
The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 53

On the first night of temper tantrums
my doggie gave to me....
barking incessantly....

On the second night of temper tantrums
my doggie gave to me...
two pair of chewed shoes
and barking a little less incessantly...

I don't know if its because of the full moon or what, but Bear is...quite frankly, indescribable the past few days and nights. My sandals and my most comfortable loafers...both leather, were removed from my room last night while we slept, chewed to shreds and messed on top of right square in the middle of the living room floor... and the certificate for neutering did not arrive in the mail today.

I know, I'm a saint for stubbornly standing behind my community that stood behind me and getting this program in place and all that, but I'm about ready to fix this dog myself if that certificate doesn't come...like tomorrow! I mailed it last Friday and it should be here by now, holiday or not. Not for nothing but...it doesn't take a week to open a cabinet, fill out a certificate and mail it back. This is not that complex a task!

But I rant...

In any event, the barking today seems to be directed toward me rather than the husband, who has been home all day and working in the yard with the dogs who should both be exhausted but aren't. Mouthing as well. We are sticking to the standing and walking away tactic and it is working, but Bear seems to forget after a bit and try again. Maybe tomorrow's mail will bring the long awaited certificate.

I feel like the guy on "Blue's Clues" waiting for the mailman.

Hopefully tonight will go better.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 51 and 52

Somebody's been throwing temper tantrums and it isn't me, the husband or even "The William."

It started over the weekend when Bear discovered he had a voice and that he didn't like to entertain himself. This explains the lack of posting because every time I sat down to write, I have been boxed with the paws, climbed on and when all else failed, barked at with increasing volume and voiciferousness.

This doesn't work for me or the husband for that matter, so today we decided to get matters under control. Every time Bear either barks, paws or mouths on us, we are standing up and turning our backs to him with our arms crossed over our chests. If he walks around in front of us, we simply turn around and put our backs to him again. We don't have to yell. We don't have to swat or push him...and we don't have to put up with being mawled at, barked at and constantly interrupted from everything we are doing because Bear wants us to entertain him 24/7.

Right now he's a bit confused about it, but is calming down in the house fifty thousand percent which should improve the regularity of my posting. It is amazing how quickly this behavior escalated and how draining it was becomming! Bear was literally climbing on me every time I sat down to do anything and all of the walking and playing in the world was not helping the situation. I am sure that part of it has to do with hormones, but a lot of it is puppy stuff too. Again I run into the problem with him that he is a very large pup and, consequently, his puppy stuff can be painful to the rest of us and has to be corrected.

While I would love to say that we thought of this technique ourselves, we didn't. We stole it from the dog lady. We watch her show a lot and saw it there, thinking at the time that it was pretty dumb. It really does work though! It takes consistency, but after about an hour of both the husband and I doing it, Bear is actually minding his manners.

The hardest thing about this behavior is that this wasn't really a "control thing" on Bear's part. He just wanted to play...incessantly and to be engaged with us, incessantly. At his age, its hard to realize that all three of us, even "The William," get tired and sore after a bit and that, in the house, romp, tug and wrestle are not good games to play...and barking every time you don't get your way doesn't cut it either.

In the end, I can't wait for the neutering certificate to get here because I think that is going to help a lot, but even without it, we are correcting the behavior without being punative and that's a really good thing!

As far as the "come" training is going, Bear is doing much better than "The William." Because he wants to be wherever we are, he isn't going very far and all we have to do is walk in the opposite direction and call him and he's there. "The William" on the other hand, comes when he feels like it, so I am giving a loud and high pitched "Bop!", waving my arms and walking in the opposite direction. Will thinks he's going to miss something and pretty much comes running now, after Bear is at my side...so we're getting there.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 50

And we are back to walking! Bear is now unconscious in the doorway. That's okay though, because he's been driving us up the wall for two days now. Unconscious is good for a while.
He slept through last night as well, a really good thing because I'm getting kind of old for the 2:00 am outings. Little by little we are getting there, I think.

Big event this weekend for him is that he is using the bowls in his crate! He likes to wander in a little bit at this point which is very nice. We are getting there as well.

Behavior training is coming along pretty well. Walking today was pretty good with fewer distractions. I think I'm going to start applying some training stuff there too in an effort to try to improve his concentration. One of the things I'm doing is shortening his training walks. Right now we are doing a little under a half a mile. I think I'm going to keep it there for right now until he can really hold his attention for that time and distance. Its also enough of a walk on the mountain to tire him out for a bit.

I don't know if its his age or breathing or what, but he does tire quickly. If there is St. Bernard in him, that would be why. During puppydom, St. Bernards tire easily because they are growing so much. I don't see that Bear has gotten all that much bigger but, from my perspective, I probably wouldn't notice that much. I'm going to have to ask the vet about this when we take him in, which I'm really looking forward to at this point.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 49

Hi guys. Rough day today. I arose late and had to rush off to a doctor's appointment which was followed by a funeral for a friend's mother and then another doctor's appointment for the husband's knees, so its been a day.

All of this running around has made for a very rammy Bear this evening so we have been playing ball and wrastling and playing tug of war and I'm whomped. He, on the other hand, thinks we should play some more. I think tomorrow we are going to take two walks as well as playing outside because he is driving me nuts.

CC asked in the comments what we are doing for teaching Bear the "come" command. There are several schools of thought on this. One school is that we could put him on a lead with a choke chain and have him come to us from the sit position using a tug on the command. Another school is that we could use treats and reward him with them every time he comes. Yet another is that we could turn it into a game for him and finally build a strong enough relationship that when we call him, he can't concieve of doing anything other than responding to us.

The last option was what I had with the Budman from day one. On the first day that we had him, I had him on a cable run and was talking to a neighbor by the road. Bud actually broke the cable and came charging over because the only thing he wanted in the world was to sit next to me, which he proceeded to do.

Some relationships are like that. The one that I have with Bear is not...yet. Bear, at this point, knows he has a "good gig" going here and is "jazzed to be on the show" but the absolute, unconditional bond isn't there with him yet. He doesn't feel that he needs to be right there with me the way that Buddy did. This is not to say that he doesn't like me or love me, he just doesn't trust that I am in charge yet and probably won't until after he is neutered, if then. As far as he understands, I've never been there when he has absolutely needed a human to be there for him and he's never been scared here. When he goes to the vet, even though the vet I am using is one of the most gentle people I've ever known, he will be separated from his home and us and when we come back for him, that will probably be the point at which things will change for him because we won't just be dumping him, we will be coming back for him. That's a new experience for Bear.

So, for now, we are using a lot of games...I call him and run or walk in the opposite direction until he comes. I get down on the ground and "play bow" while calling him and sometimes I scold him when he knows he's being naughty and taking off with the ball or ignoring me in the house. Scolding is the least effective, at this point. Also, I'm not really using treats as "rewards" but more as a part of the daily schedule of things. I know that a lot of people "treat train" their dogs, but I really don't want a dog to behave on the basis of whether or not it gets a treat. I want a dog who behaves on the basis of the relationship it has with me and that, in this case, is gonna take some time and growing for both Bear and me.

Those are the best tips I can give you on this one, although the game one from saratogajean on the last post was good too so check it out.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 48

Boy, today is a lazy day! Well, not really but it feels like it. Bear and I went for a short walk this morning which he really seemed to enjoy and I used to kind of assess how much ground we have lost on his training with my foot thing. He didn't do too badly but any distractions present and he looses all concentration. I really need to work on that because when we are outside, his focus needs to be on me. He's doing pretty well off leash, however, he's starting to get interested in the deer tracks and that's not okay. We were able to call him off of one today, actually I was, by starting to run in the opposite direction he was going and calling him. His "fun junkie" instinct is still stronger than his hunting instinct and that's a good thing because it makes him easier to call out if he starts following on something he shouldn't.

I'm really starting to see a lot of boxer traits in his disposition. One of them is that if you chase or follow after him, he will continue to go where he is going and run. If you challenge him to a game of romp, he can't resist it. I think that Boxers train more easily if you make things a game rather than a challenge and I'm going to work with that and see if we can't improve his on leash behavior.

Bear is also being a real "cuddle bug" today which is really nice. He's been really calm and just following us around the house as we putter. When we sit, he is actually just laying down beside us and hanging out. He's enjoyed coming down to the basement with me and doing laundry or watching the husband work on the computer because his knees are still bothering.

I'm hoping to get another training session in tonight with Bear and maybe another short walk. We will see. I think we need to work on "come" for a bit.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 47

Good day today. Quiet, but good. I decided to clean the fish tank before it became completely engulfed by algea and Bear thought that was big fun. He enjoys the fish, really. I've never seen a dog watch things like fish tanks and TV but Bear really enjoys both. I have five goldfish in a 30 gallon tank and Bear really enjoys watching them. He doesn't go after the tank, but just kind of sits there and watches sometimes. Anyway, he thought that pulling out all of the ornaments and rocks and cleaning them was really pretty cool.

Other big event for the day was that the bowls arrived for the crates. Willie thinks this is definitely the final touch that was missing. Bear isn't quite sure yet but is using the water dish in his. They both also had a bath today with organic soap and organic doggie cream rinse/dip. The rinse/dip stuff smells like beer because of the hops in it but boy did it make both of their coats look and feel wonderful! Now if I can just get beyond the smell it'll be great.

The rest of the day was mingled with outside and inside activities. We brought another load of wood around which the dogs really enjoyed...especially riding inside the cab of the pickup for the 40 feet around to the front of the house. We also had a great game of ball this evening which was big fun.

Didn't risk the walk today as my foot wasn't doing too well today and the husband blew out his knee yesterday while working on a ladder to fix the chimney. Gotta love thouse home repair injuries! Hopefully we will be able to get out in the morning tomorrow...

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 46

Busy day, gang! Sorry to be posting so late but...the whole life thing happens, ya know?



Anyway, many things must be addressed today. For those of you who weren't watching last night, Hawk was indeed on TVagain and behaved just as well as he did the first time we saw him on the Animal Planet Dog Championships. Congratulations and Kudos to Hawk!




Secondly but only in order, not in importance, if you haven't gone already, take a trip over to the Luck o the Labradors!!!!! FINN MADE IT!!!!!!!! I am so proud of Finn and his person!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finn is now not only a good citizen, something Bear and Will are both dreaming about, but he is a full blown THERAPY DOG as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has been a really long journey for both Finn and his person, but THEY MADE IT and I am thrilled for both! CONGRATULATIONS to BOTH of you and please keep us posted on how you guys do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Okay, in reality, I am jealous here because Bear and Willie desperately want to be "Good Citizens." For real. I know it. They really do...so we're working on it.... and Bear's application was mailed today.




Next thing is that the STUFFIES ARRIVED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, Willie's is still intact. Bear's was demolished in like ... maybe two minutes. It was really cute. It was a teddy bear.... I'm never investing in one again because Moo Moo at least lasted a week. From now on we do the Moo Moo and variants....




On the crate training we have the following pictures.


And other incredibly silly things I have done for my dog....





Ear schlarps mean I own him....

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear




Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day 45 part 2

As promised, the photos of the crates....



Yes, that is Willie in the smaller one...



Its really kind of embarrassing how much he is enjoying his crate...
Note that Bear's is standing empty...
Because Bear decided to nap on the other side of Willie...

So we're working on it........

Oh, and the application from the State arrived today. Tomorrow it begins the second leg of the journey.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Day 45

Yesterday was a pretty challenging day at work and, as I let the colors of the leaves soak into my mind on the drive home from work, I made a ton of plans for what I wanted to do once I arrived. They all went out the window as I drove into the driveway and saw the two boxes sitting on the porch.



The crates had arrived!



Now, setting up the crates was not a major source of time consumption. What took the time was removing half the furniture from the living room so that there would be room for them. It isn't that Willie's is so big but Bear's is. Its a 48 inch long crate. Bear and I can both sit in this thing and still have room, which we did yesterday after I got it set up. (He thought that was BIG fun!) To have a place for this crate and Will's, I'm having to remove two chairs and a table from the room. This doesn't really leave us much furniture left in the room because it is a small room to begin with.



I thought about that for a few and decided that, while it isn't the norm to have a couch and two dog crates as the main furniture of a living room, for us this is okay...and an expression of our changing lifestyle. "Less is more" and in our life, the priorities are now changing. We have two dogs that we love and we want to be safe, healthy, happy and with us while we spend our evenings together. The crates in the living room, is thus a non-compromise situation, so our guests can socialize with us in the kitchen...which they always do anyway.



Willie loves his crate! He knew what it was as soon as he saw the boxes on the porch. The funniest thing was watching him wait patiently while I set Bear's up and then escorting me through setting his up. I had just gotten the blanket in and hadn't even moved it into place and he was in his and curled up. If I didn't know better, I would say that he has wanted a crate just like this for his entire life...which he has, kind of.

My mother-in-law lives with Willie's sister from a different litter. Her name is Gia and she has a crate that is a bit smaller than this one but otherwise the same. William has always wanted to spend time in that crate when we visit and tries to, which of course, Gia will not allow. Now he has his own and he knows it. He spent the evening going in and out of it and slept in it all night.

We're leaving the doors open to them when we are here so that the dogs can just go in and hang out if they feel like it. Bear doesn't do that yet, but we have the whole weekend to work on it. The husband is home today as he is dutifully burning up his sick leave before retirement. Tomorrow is his day off and then we have a three day weekend because of Columbus Day which should be "Erickson Day" or "Pocahontas Day" but isn't. I'm thinking that by then we should have him warmed up to the idea that his crate is a good place and hopefully the rest of the stuff will arrive by Tuesday.

So, I'm going to leave you here with this because I have to go get ready for work. Hopefully tonight I will be able to get some pictures up of all of this for you.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 45

I love this fall weather! I think I could live in this kind of weather all year long. For me its perfect except for the fact that it only lasts a couple of weeks.

Yesterday was a perfect day. It was sunny, clear and crisp all day long. I was able to walk Bear a little in the morning, but think I'm going to hold off until this weekend to do anymore of that as the toe has been a bit sore since then. We went out back after work and played ball for a while which both of the dogs really enjoyed. After that we hit the pear tree and got some of the last of the pears it looks like. Bear got one that we have both been watching. He took it over into the taller grass and just laid there and relished this thing. It was really funny to watch him doing it because it was like he was eating the most wonderful food on the planet!

A few more days and the pears will be gone, unfortunately. The apples are starting to come though and they should last a few weeks for him. I don't know what I'm going to do once fruit season passes here because he really has enjoyed being able to just go out and pick it up off of the ground or bushes. He also loves to eat grass, but with the frost coming, which has already started here, that will be dead soon too. I've never seen a dog eat fruits, veggies and grass like this guy does. Berries, yes, and sometimes grass too, but never to the extent Bear does. Every time Bear goes out, he goes right for the long grass and munches away. He eats his dog food fine, but really seems to need the other stuff as well. I guess I'm going to have to start making him salads and fruit salads this winter...

Anyway, last evening, when the husband got home we went out and brought over a load of fire wood. The dogs love doing this because they just hang out and play while we load up the truck...which takes a while. Bear has difficulty realizing that he is a lot bigger than Willie and needs to play softer but he's getting there. He's doing very well off leash and is so funny when he comes running after being called because he has difficulty stopping and tends to kind of crash into whoever called him. Its not the heart that isn't there yet, just the coordination.

That will come with time...

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 44

God, what a morning it is out there! I saw two shooting stars while I was letting the dogs out this morning! Beautiful and clear out, it should be a wonderful day here.

This morning I'm going to try to walk Bear for a bit. Don't know how far we will get, but hopefully we will at least stretch the legs. We've been playing ball out back and the husband has taken to having wrestling matches with Bear in the afternoons to give them both some exercise. He's been pretty good waiting for my toe to get better, but really needs his morning walks...on top of playing ball and wrestling.

Another thing I was able to do yesterday morning, because I went in late to work and worked into the evening, was start the final assault with the State of New York. We've had Bear for a few days more than a month now and he needs to "get fixed." Because he was adopted from an approved pound, he is part of a state program that greatly discounts the price of neutering. Our town is enrolled in this program but never got the applications for the people who adopt to mail back to the State to get the certificate to take to the Vet when they get an animal "fixed" and thus get the discount.

After spending a great deal of time on the phone with the Animal Control Officer, I called the State Ag Dept and hopefully got the situation straightened out. They are mailing me an application directly and also one to the town for future adopting people which the town can photo copy. Why this stuff isn't online, I have no clue. It seems to me that the Animal Control Officer should be able to just hook into the system and print the application out, but that would be logical. Instead, there is a file cabinet somewhere in Albany that some clerk has to pull out the one existing copy of this application from, make two photocopies of it and refile it. Then this poor clerk will have to get two separate envelopes and mail one copy to my town and one to me.

That should take a week to accomplish.

When I get my copy of the application, I will fill it out and mail it back to the clerk in Albany. The clerk will then probably have to go back into the file cabinet and get the one copy of the certificate that I will present to the vet, fill it out by hand and mail it back to me. This process should take another week and a half.

Once I get the certificate, I will then call the vet, who is currently waiting for my call because I set that up yesterday, and we will make an appointment. (This should take another week.) Then we will take Bear in to be neutered.

So, we're looking at three and a half weeks until we can get Bear neutered.

I'd like to say that I'd be more than willing to spend the obscene amount of money that is being charged in this area to neuter a dog, but I'm not. I think if you are not breeding the dog, it should be fixed and getting that done should be affordable. Without this program in operation in our community, it isn't, which is why the town and I are working at getting it established, even if it takes a little longer to get things done. This way, the next person who adopts a dog from the pound won't have to go through this kind of hassle.

Anyway, the wheels are in motion and we should be able to get things happening soon in that area.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 43

Wow! do I feel broke but better. I just ordered the dog crates and decided that some of the things that really bug me about the crates, I can fix so I did. I really don't like that the dogs have no food or water access while crated. Kong toys aside, Bear is still a pup, drinks a ton of water and even for four hours, I worry that he has no water or food. The other issue is that they are planning on giving me more hours within a month or so at work, and especially if I have to be gone longer, I want food and water access. So I got a set of crate bowls for each of the crates.

The other thing that bugs me is that both of these dogs are smart and it gets pretty boring sitting in a cage, thus, I got each of them a Kong stuffy toy...I think they are called Dr. Noys and a special ball. Bear I picked one of the Bounzer Balls and Will, the tennis ball king, I picked air balls for.

I did not get either of the dogs the Kong treat dispenser toys because these two would much rather live on treats and table scraps than dog food and I don't want to encourage that. I'm thinking that a couple of cookies in their bowls with some dog food is a better option for them if they get hungry.

The crates are identical in everything but size so I'm hoping this eliminates the jealousy issue going on. Bear's crate is bigger than the one we currently have and Wills is smaller. I already have the blankets for them, sooooo, hopefully, in a week we will be set with the crate and dog stuff....I just don't know where I'm going to be putting all of this stuff now! Oh well, we will make it work.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Days 41 and 42

HA! Contrary to urban legend, I did not get swallowed into the eternal abyss of deep frying grease and have returned from the "Pit of Despair," more locally known as the Funnel Cake Booth, and have lived to tell the tale as well! We had a great time yesterday in perfect weather and sold a ton of funnel cakes...gag, choke...I hate the smell of deep fried anything, but especially dough! That's okay, though, because I don't have to smell it again for a year, after which I will gladly tolerate the smell of because those funnel cakes are helping to build a library for my town which I will write more about at a later date.

Anyway, we returned home exhausted last night from "deep fried hell" to a destroyed kitchen. I had come home in the middle of the day to let Bear out of the cage and give the dogs a "hurry break." Will has been getting very territorial about the crate lately because, once upon a time, three years ago when he fit into the palm of my hand the 35" crate that we had belonged to Will. When I let the dogs out, Will went straight for Bear and attacked him. I was able to call him off of Bear outside, but Will escalated when we came in and I had to kick these dogs apart. So, rather than putting Bear into the crate which was obviously such an issue for Will, I decided to put Will in it for the afternoon.

Mistake!

Interestingly, Bear did not even go into the living room all afternoon. Nothing was out of place or
even touched. Will was just happily sleeping in his crate. The kitchen, however, was destroyed! Everything we had on the table was all over the floor. Garbage had been gotten into and was all over the place.

In short, I'm just going to have to get over my phobias about crating and Bear will be crated when we are not home from now on.

We are going to make a change, though. As this is such an issue with Will and the crate we are currently using was his a long time ago and he does have a right to be mad about Bear using it and it isn't fair to either dog to allow one to be out while the other is crated, we are going to retire this crate and purchase two new crates, a larger one for Bear and a smaller one for Will. Hopefully, in a week or so this problem should be solved.

After spending an hour cleaning up the mess, the husband and I sat down to dinner in the living room with the TV. We went from National Geographic to Animal Planet because the dog lady was on and then later, the Animal Planet Dog Championships. (Yes, there really are people in this world who watch dog shows on TV.) We watched along through the poodles and shaggy things and then, during the herding class suddenly they announced Hawk the Swedish Vallhund . I looked up, and there was Hawk! He wasn't just any Hawk, either. He was the same Hawk whose person I talk to on this blog!

I couldn't believe it! Our Hawk was right there on TV! How cool was that? Well, I thought it was pretty cool and tapped at Bear, who was laying on my feet watching with us, and told him to see how cool it was that Hawk was just prancing so smart in front of all of the TV cameras and the huge audience and wasn't chewing the kitchen apart and that this is what "good dogs" got to do when they don't chew kitchens apart.

He went out to the kitchen to get a schlarp of water and drool it all over the floor.

I emailed Hawk's person to ask if it was Hawk and, sure enough, it was! In point of fact, he will be appearing on Animal Planet again on...mark these dates....October 9, at 7:00 pm EST and again on October 11 at 2:00 pm EST.

Bear and I will probably be viewing both of these airings.

Oh, and last but certainly not least, Therra Cathryn, the answer to the argument is:

Even the rocks themselves shall sing!

Now how do I get this so I can put it up on the blog because its hysterical!
Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear




Friday, October 3, 2008

Day 40

I received a question in my last post from Irene about crates that I need to address here. (Hi Irene, and don't feel bad because you're probably the only one who knows what a Leonburger is.) Putting it very simply, a crate is a small cage. People here in the States have them in their houses and we keep our dogs in them when we are away and sometimes at night, so that the dogs don't destroy the house. Here is a picture of the "crate" we have for Bear.


Here is a picture of the pen that Bear spent a little over two months living in with one 20 minute walk everyday.


This is the view from our front porch.



I have issues with confinement. I admit it. I really do. It probably has something to do with being swaddled as a baby. I don't know. What I do know is that putting Bear into the cage really bugs me a lot, as does leashing. When we go for walks and the like, I don't mind the leash. What I do mind is that every time Bear goes outside, he is on a leash or a tie. (We have a cable run out front we used for Willie and BJ when they were pups during hunting season.) We have never had a dog that we had to do that with consistently and I'm not sure we need to do it with Bear or if I'm just doing it because I know he has the Boxer in him, I had that experience with the family Boxer as a kid and I'm responding to that and Bear's size in giving him absolutely no freedom. We have also never had a dog so destructive that we felt the need to "crate" when we were out of the house. BJ did go through a real chewing period but not with the living room furniture. He went for smaller stuff.

Bear was chewing up the living room furniture.

The other issue is that hunting season is coming up and dogs that run who are as big and as powerful as Bear get shot. All of the neighborhood dogs know that they are to stay home unless they hear the coyotes going or they are with their owners. Bear doesn't have that distinction yet and probably won't until he's been through a winter...which he hasn't yet because he was born last spring...and is still a puppy in a very large body.

I think the issue here is that "very large body." Because he is so big, I'm expecting Bear to act like an adult and it just isn't there yet. He is still a pup, just seven months old. Off leash, with no visitors, he acts like a pup as well, hanging close to me and playing with Will. I can't rush maturity, but I can mold a pup and working from that mind set might do me better right now.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 39 part 2

I know, these two part days do get annoying, but today was a really great day and I have to write about it. The big news for today is that I made a friend at work. Pat, who works in a different agency but has the office next to mine, said something to me about having to get home to her dogs, who were still young. We started talking a little and it turned out that her dogs are Leonburgers! I don't know if any of you remember the earlier parts of this blog... since its all of 39 days old, but on Day 5, before we even knew there was a Bear, I mentioned that I had loved Leonburgers since the days when my husband and I had lived in Germany. (That was a whole lot longer than 39 days ago, by the way.) Anyway, today she brought in pictures of her two Leo's and they are beautiful. As I was looking, I noted that they hadn't gotten their fur in yet as Leo's are noted for a great mane of fur! They are really wonderful dogs and she was so thrilled to know someone who actually knew anything about the breed because they aren't very common here in the States.

I think if I hadn't gotten a Bear, I might have ended up with a Leo...nah. Can't see it. I'd go nuts with the shedding...which interestingly enough, Bear does not seem to do a lot of. I think I probably would have kept looking for our Bear. I really don't see us ending up with any other dog. He does have his idiosyncrasies, but he's one of us now.

On that end, I've been doing some serious thinking about his training. I'm really not happy with the way that its going, primarily because it seems very unnatural to me. We've never trained a dog the way that we are, Bear. Its always been pretty much off leash from the start. Also, the crate thing is really bugging me! As a kid, my parents always kept their dogs tied or crated and their dogs always went mean. One, a Boxer, really got nasty! It used to get out of the house and, because it never got any exercise, went nuts running and would attack people. Eventually, it had to be put down.

I really don't want that happening with Bear and after thinking about it, decided that I really need to start working with him off leash. I started this afternoon when I got home. As I can't walk very far right now, I decided that we would go up behind the house to the field by the pear tree and play ball. I was really shocked when Bear just walked right around the house with me...off leash! That's what our dogs have always done but for some reason, I have been really afraid that Bear wouldn't. He did and enjoyed chasing Willie who loves to play ball. Eventually, Bear got tired of the game and decided to go over to the pear tree and have some of the drops. It was really funny because he searched through all of the pears on the ground, picked the ones he wanted and made a pile. When they were all stacked the way he wanted them, he laid down, shoved his face into the pile and just started eating!

There is now a pile of 3/4 eaten pears out by the pear tree.

After that, he romped a little with Will and then we came in. I did leash him to go in because the traffic was picking up and all of our doors to the house are on the road side of the house. The back of the house is cellared into the mountain. Hard to explain but its an old, Dutch farmhouse with built in fruit cellar. You walk onto our roof from ground level out behind the house.

I think after the success of today's experiment, I'm going to start working with giving Bear more freedom...even in the house. While crating is convenient for me and I do want him to be able to crate for travel, I don't like that he has no food or water access while in there and I don't like the confining him like this. So, I think we are going to start weaning on the crate next week and see how he does. We are also kind of forced into the position of having to start working more on the property here with both of the dogs, so, I think we will be working on voice command off of the leash.

Big decisions but tonight I need to get some photos together to take into work tomorrow. I've wanted to do a screen saver since I started working there, but this gives me a bigger excuse to get it done.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Day 39

Busy day today. Several of the girls are out of the office so we are going to be kind of short and I may have to stay late. Not a bad deal, but it was a very early morning this morning because Bear is off his schedule. My hours were late in the day yesterday and, because of the toe, I'm not going for walks for a few days. It doesn't hurt so much this morning, which is good, so hopefully by the end of the weekend, I'll be feeling good enough to walk with him again.

I miss our walks!

In any event, the Pumpkin Party is this weekend and I will be spending Saturday covered in pancake dough and grease. One thing that doing this every year does for me is make me swear off of deep fried foods for the year. By the end of the day I'm so coated in grease that even the smell of frying turns my stomach for an entire year. I think the husband is going to be with me on Saturday because of the foot. He was going to be out of town, but it looks like he will be here now. That's a good thing. I could use his help and it will make letting the dogs out at mid-day a whole bunch easier!

I think I will make a funnel cake just for the dogs this year. I think they'd like that!

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 38 part two

Owe! Owe! Owe! My toe is turning purple from the sides first. Bear doesn't know where his feet are and has been consistently stepping on it every time he comes to get loves. I think I'm going to bed now.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Day 38

Okay, foot is still sore but not as sore this morning. I received a blog award a few days ago from Irene over at The Most Splendid Day! (Hi Irene!), and it took me a while to figure out how to get it from there to here, but I finally did. Now, part of the deal with this award is that I have to pass it along to 7 other blogs soooooo, without much fanfare, because I haven't figured out how to do music on here yet, and with great appreciation to all who have labored over their blogs so consistently and ... well, laboriously, I would like to bestow this most esteemed and coveted award to the following blogger's blogs:



A Day In My Life... Photos and More , Hi Marie!

Bad Mutha Fudruckers , Good morning Saratogajean! Time to wake up and smell the mocha!

Animal Hugs and Blessings , Hi Katherine! Everyday is a blessing!

I Live In A Caravan , Hi Therra Cathryn! How's the gas situation?

Ramblings of A Lost Mind , Hi Cosmiccowgirl! How's Kerouac doing today?

Luck O The Labrador, Hi Luck O the Labrador! You're doing great things, keep it up!

Life With Dogs , Hi Chris! How are things going?


Okay gals, the rule is that you have to pass it on to seven other bloggers and go to their sites and tell them they got the award.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear