Weekend Away

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Now that we live back in the Great White North instead of Florida its a lot easier to visit our families.  Since my Mom and I share a birthday we took the opportunity to go to their place for the weekend.  So on Friday we packed up the dogs and after a brief stop at the rehab pool we headed to Michigan.

Saturday was our birthday and I’ve been looking for a reason (any reason) to go to The Melting Pot for months so we drove down to Grand Rapids and enjoyed a lovely meal there.

Main course

Since we were there last, or its a regional thing I’m not sure which, their menu is much different now.  Instead of priced by the couple its priced for the individual person and there are additional options.  I think its going to be a lot more flexible for a lot more people and overall I think its a definite improvement.  It also meant that since Dave and I got separate meals we could share and try more things.  Winners for the night for me were the potstickers, and the duck….and of course the metric ton of green goddess stuffed mushrooms I ate.  I just can’t get enough of those things.

Today we went to church with the ‘rents and it was nice to see lots of hometown people.  I got to sit with Emily which was a total bonus, until she left to go be in charge of all the sugar amped children after the children’s message.  I didn’t see her after that, I hope she made it out alive…

Then we went home had some lunch and started packing up the car.  During that time some simply adorable pictures of the dogs were taken.  Somehow while we were sitting on the couch Wixer managed to snuggle up to my Dad, who was already being snuggled by Bleys.  It in the process Wixer ended up wrapping an arm around Bleys like they were hugging.  Dawwwww!  You can’t really see it that well here, but maybe my Mom will send me some from her camera which had a better angle of it.

Sweet faces

Then as we were packing up Bleys wanted to be sure we wasn’t going to be left behind.

You didn't forget me did you?

Don’t worry little buddy, that would never happen!

Open faced compliment sandwhich

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Dear dog trainers,

I love taking your classes, I do.  I discover so much about my training and where its lacking, there simply is no substitute for them.  I also realize and am totally down with the fact that I’m there because I want/need to work on something, so please keep being critical and pointing out what I’m not doing perfectly.  Really, don’t pull any punches, that’s why I’m here.  However, if I could offer a tiny piece of advice, it would really help if you could find something specific that your students are doing well on a given week and tell them.   Yes, we should be able to discern what’s going well all on our own, but it would sure be nice to know someone else can see it too.

Apres Splash

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Here another OBG photo, taken after he got to go to the rehab pool with Wixer.

OBG

So sweepy

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I just looked over and Wixer was sleeping…like this:

Being adorable

Seriously, he had his paws over his nose in the most adorable fashion. I almost didn’t get this shot, you can see him starting to move because of the flash of the previous picture.

Sleeping

Tricks to keep busy

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Recently Anne sent me a link to an adorable video in which a Pomeranian rolled himself up in a blanket.  She thought it would be an adorable trick for Coraline to do and given that she lurves to be under covers of any sort useful as well!  I don’t currently have access to Coraline to actually teach her, so I did the next best thing and started teaching Wixer.  It is quite done yet (oh, and apologies for the portrait orientation of the camera, I can’t get far enough away from him to do it the proper way yet).

No pain… no I’d really rather not have any more pain

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Since Wixer has been on the restricted list I’ve been doing a lot more sedate activities with him one of which is Rally-O.  I guess I’d describe it as Obedience Lite.  Its sort of like the gateway drug of Obedience, a little more lenient and a little less intimidating.  I’m not sure I’ll ever do Obedience, I guess I figure I’ll decide that if I get very far with Rally!  Up until our move it was difficult to compete in Rally as the AKC does not allow deaf dogs and I don’t like the feeling of going to a trial and leaving a dog at home who is perfectly capable of doing it.  Up here there is enough UKC (and I heard rumor of some APDT/Cynosport, but don’t have evidence of it yet) for me to get back into it.

I still use a tug as a reinforcer for Wixer in Rally as well as its pretty high on his list of Things-That-Rock, but the typical flyball tug is too long and my agility toy doesn’t have a handle and is not very absorbent, which leads to a pretty disgusting toy that I don’t particularly which to carry around with me.  I tried using one of these, but the handles tore my fingers pretty badly in just one class.  So today I made a tug to try, actually two.  The first one I made I think is going to be too thin so I made a second beefier one.

Rally tug

Its got a handle and is shorter and hopefully will fit the bill. I was going to try it out tonight before I realized Wixer just had his Chiro appointment today and will be working for treats tonight. It’ll just have to wait a couple days!

The dogs are being super cuddly on the couch right now, seems a shame to get up and go to class.

Snuggles

 

Adjusted

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Today Wixer had an appointment with a new chiropractor recommended by two separate agility people.  I liked the other dude well enough, but he doesn’t come from dog sports so I felt compelled to try this one when the opportunity arose.  It was a short drive up into Gary.  Having never driven there I left a little early and was pleasantly surprised at how fast and easy it was to get there.  The house the chiropractor was using as an office was about a block from Lake Michigan so I swooped over for a minute to appreciate the view.

Lake Michigan in March

On to the appointment. He was once again all kinds of wonky despite being on restricted activity.  This makes me a little concerned, but the chiro suggested upping his activity after the adjustments settle in to see what we get.  I’m not going to lie, its making me nervous. I think my plan is going to be to continue with the swimming and start with some puppy jump recalls again. Then if I feel that addition is going well put them up to 4″ and see what happens. I will probably adjust the distance between to achieve a smooth topline as he goes up in height and actually has to do more than just stride over them.  Anything with twisting or turning is going to be put off for now.  At least until I can assess what adding some jumping.

Last Chance Snowball

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Earlier this winter Lisa asked me if I snapped any fun snow pictures of the dogs now that I live back in the great white north.  Sadly, I had to say no.  This whole winter the snow has been slushy and kinda yucky and then this week it all melted.  I thought the chance had passed for the year.  Then Mother Nature threw me a curve ball.  Today I had been out with the dogs twice to take advantage of the dry grass.  We’d played some and let Wixer stretch his legs, then I spent a few hours downstairs working on organizing (and getting sucked into working on a jigsaw puzzle).  Low and behold when I went back upstairs.  Snow!  Still a bit wet but lighter and fluffier than we’ve had.  So I ran to get a camera and headed out to see if I could get some pics of the best dogs in my world.  There are quite a few more pictures over on Flickr, I’m terrible at picking and choosing which to keep even though I’m not a great photographer.

First, I made them pose for a group photo of course.
Snow Dogs

I wish I’d noticed Bleys’ ear was wonky!  Is it just me or does it look like there is room for a puppy right there in the middle?

Then the obligatory close up of each.

Adorable face
I don’t know that there is another dog on the planet as cute as Bleys

Striking

There is just something special about this dog.  Can’t you just feel it from his eyes.

On my way

Here he is doing a little of one of his favorite things, running.

Remember when I said the snow was light and fluffy…ish? Weeeell, Bleys begs to differ.
Don't even think about laughing

He DARES you to laugh at him.  He’s not seeing the Iditarod in our future.

Impressive or Disgusting

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I got a new vacuum yesterday.  So clearly the thing to do was to compare it to my old one.  I vacuumed the same carpeted areas upstairs with the old one, and then the new one.  Here is what was in the bin for the upstairs:

Upstairs

I emptied it and brought the vacuum downstairs and did the same:

Downstairs

My old vacuum is a canister with a bag so its hard to really compare, but that’s a lot of stuff left behind by the old one.

So far one thing I really like about the new vacuum include the ease of emptying the bin (no bags) and it is quite satisfying, if a bit gross, to see all that stuff going in there. One thing I don’t love is I miss the retractable cord that is stored neatly and out of sight.

My current plan is to keep my old one upstairs and the new on downstairs (or vice versa) until the old one dies.  Its not quite dead yet (it wants to go for a walk), but I don’t think its going to be around much longer.

Windows and window accessories

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I finally got a curtain rod that works for the tangerine scarf in the library.  The first one I found sneakily had a double bar which I didn’t want, so I took it back and got this one.  Its a little more ornate but I like the color.

Library

What do you think?  Seems a little sparse, but maybe I’m just used to fuller drapes and I’ll get used to it?  Maybe a set of roman shades here instead of the horizontal blinds would class things up a bit?  If I was to do roman shades what fabric should I use?  Something with a pattern or a blend in solid?  I wish I knew someone who could come in and give a little interior design help.  I think I do okay up to a point but then sort of fizzle out.

Here is a better picture of the guest room bed and window that I’m thinking might want a roman shade with drapes that never close along side.

Guest Bedroom

I’m still not sold on the wood trim, usually preferring white.  Eventually I’d love a headboard for this room, but its fine as it is for now.  As I post more pictures you’ll notice a trend that I don’t have much art on the walls.  Another area I wish I had more skillz in.