Monday, May 25, 2009

Lazily Productive

So much to do, so easily able to do things that are not important!

Well, I mean I have gotten stuff done today, but not the things that are most important. Like cleaning the kitchen.

A few weeks ago, the weight of my books on my floating shelf finally beat the drywall anchors. The middle shelf fell off the wall and then knocked the shelf beneath it off the wall on its way down. Ugh. Part of me had the noble thought of, "Gee, why don't I go ahead and paint that wall before I put the shelf back up!" The realistic part of me was like, "Yeah. Sure."

Today I picked up some new anchors, and bolted the daylights out of the wall bracket support. I put up the shelf with the candles and knick-knacks from before, but not the books. I'll pick a few but not the massive pile that was up there before. Yeah, the ones that made the shelf collapse.

I also finished Millie proofing her x-pen with corner brackets and a bungee cord to the chaise lounge. She would stand on her hind legs and push-jump the pen, moving it around the dining room. Now, heh heh, it ain't going nowhere! She's a tad miffed about that, but I'm miffed at her constantly picking fights, so we're even.

I trimmed Tuesday's toenails and toe-fur, did 3 loads of doggie laundry, took pictures of my garden and updated my website. Oh, I also put wheels on my kennel cab so I can drag Millie around in that at shows. Reassembled my laptop in the dining room (hooked it back up to the external display after taking it with to east TN). Lots of little odds and ends.

Unfortunately, the house is still a mess and there are things from the weekend trip all over the place. Looks like the trunk of my car exploded. But I suppose I'll get around to it eventually. I need to invite people over--that's the best way to get me to clean!

The Queen of Naughty

Millie is starting to get a huge ego from getting to go to dog shows. She does fine at the shows (though there's only ever been one other bitch in our class, which we did beat--sorry Carra!), but when we come home, she has what appears to be an inflated sense of self, and imposes that on the others.

We hadn't been to a show since Maury County the end of March. I had my Lap-Band surgery in April, so showing that month was not an option.  Our first show was in Jackson a few weekends ago.  We just went for Saturday, so we spent the day hanging out with our friends. The week after Jackson, Millie got bold at initiating fights for no other reason than to establish her dominance.  Yeah, I get to go out and do fun stuff and you don't.  I win, I'm at the top of the totem pole!  I believe I posted earlier about her being mean to Tuesday as an example of this behavior.

Millie and Map got to go to Harriman this past weekend for another show.  We stayed in a motel, we had a great set up for grooming (like an apartment in our horse stall!  Loved it!) and the girls were incredibly well behaved.  Yeah, because we were out of the house and unless we're in The Den, they tend to not fight over pack order.

Today, I have not been able to let Millie out with anyone except Jack. When out, she makes a beeline for Map, hackles raised and puts her chin on her back.  Yeah, Map.  We were buddy buddy while out of town, but this house is MINE!  

The picture above shows her antagonizing Tuesday and Map, while they were chilling out in their room.  She jumped up on the couch so she could look down on them, growling.  Tuesday was trembling (I don't think she was afraid, she just tends to be quivery by nature) and I went in their room to love on her.  At that point, Millie launched herself from her perch and went after Tuesday.

For the love of Mike, give it a rest already.

Needless to say, she didn't get to stay out for long.  Now she's in her Millie proof x-pen bedroom.  I reinforced it today with brackets and then used a bungee to keep her from being able to move it.  She's not happy, but at least she can't attack the others just for fun.

I'm excited, though:  I'm waiting to schedule a one on one consultation with Kat from Dogs & Kat.  She's a certified dog trainer and animal behaviorist.  A guy from work has taken his dog there and that dog is amazing!  Part of it is the intensity in which Tian works with his corgi, Jack. But Tian never owned a dog before and Jack's behavior is a testament to Kat's ability to train not only the dogs but their owners.  She also focuses on positive reinforcement techniques. This is good because I'm at the point of wanting to strangle Millie a la Homer and Bart Simpson.

We're going to do a behavior consult, hopefully in the home, in the next few weeks.  I can't wait!  I don't have a problem keeping the girls separated (I have four zones set up in my open concept living area where they can be separated and unable to fight, but be in the same room with me), but would rather everyone get along.

I'm sure there will be lots of posts as we start training, documenting the trials and tribulations.  And hopefully the successes, too!

Flattened Fauna

I am recovering from two back to back weekends of dog shows.  The first was in Jackson, TN, which is just over halfway to Memphis on I-40.  The second was in Harriman, TN which is near Knoxville on I-40.

One thing that I noticed is that there were many squished animals by the roadside.  Nashville seems to be transition point.  West of Nashville, the road is riddled with the corpses of armadillos!  What? Basically they're possums with a suit of armor.  And like opossums, they tend to get themselves run over in alarming numbers.  I guess they're using I-40 to migrate east from Texas.  And because they are relatively rare here, I feel compelled to scream ARM-A-DILLLLOOOOO! at the top of my lungs when I see one.  Fortunately, I have only seen them while driving by myself. (Can you say crazy?)

Nashville seems to be a point of transition, with the predominant squishy being possums and squirrels.  I did see some surprising stuff heading east, though.  Once out past Lebanon, I noticed a lot of dead turtles.  On the way home yesterday, I saw TWO squished SNAPPING TURTLES!!!  I could tell they were snapping turtles because a.) they were big assed and b.) they had these monstrous, gator-like tails.  

I really wish I could get a camera implanted into my forehead.  I doubt it is safe to pull over to photograph roadkill, so I didn't.  But I hate that I couldn't document it.

I also saw a coyote outside of Crossville, but fortunately that was still alive and kicking.  Wow, such a nature-based weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Looks can be deceiving...

Here's a picture of me and my innocent (looking) puppy, Millie.  I took this photograph with my iSight camera back in December.  Fast forward to May.  She just turned 9 months old and has been to a few dog shows. 

I think she realizes that the other dogs don't get to do this.  She is somehow . . . special.  And it has gone straight to her knobby little head!

I talked to my pal Jes and part of her issues as of late may be due to her becoming a Lady.  She had her first heat cycle in April.  Ick.  The rest of it comes from being a singleton pup bossing around puppies that were younger than her.  Then she comes to my house and is the low ranking dog in the pack.  She doesn't like that very much.

Today, Tuesday and I were having our morning affection ritual where she visits me at the table, puts her paws on my leg and I give her lots of ear skritches and kisses.  Millie was not very happy about this.  Those were HER skritches.  So she jumped up and knocked Tuesday aside, even though Tuesday probably has a good 8 pounds on Millie.  So I knocked Millie off:  the Alpha says I'll tell you when you get the loving.  Right now it is Tuesday's turn.

Well, that didn't sit well with her at all.  She launched herself at Tuesday in a full scale attack.  As in goes for the throat because it is obviously Tuesday's fault that Millie is not getting the love.  This girl really wants to be alpha and it's starting to get on my nerves.  I don't like that she starts fights and once one starts, the whole gang joins in. Except Map.  Map tends to avoid fights because she got bit on the anus (ouch!) once when she was younger.  Long story and it involves her eyelid being snagged on a piece of wire. We'll save that for another day.  

Anyway, Map slinked off, Jack joined in while Tuesday and the puppy were killing each other under the chair.  This is what I learned is called a "frenzy."  Lovely.  I grabbed Jack and hefted him into the x-pen.  Then after spraying the puppy with a water bottle, I gave up and dragged her out of the fight by her back legs and held her up in the air until she let go.  She got put in time out for the rest of the morning.

I am getting much more proficient at breaking up fights.  I haven't been bitten in ages, knock on wood.  Aside from Map's incident and one other time, they have not actually hurt each other.  I don't know how, because it looks like a shark attack.  But everyone comes out covered in drool, no blood.  Usually if there's blood it's mine because I was a dumbass and put my hands between their heads to try and pull them apart.

I have finally learned to stop that and go for the back legs.  

However, I have to nip this behavior in the bud.  I will not tolerate her going after other dogs on a whim.  Figures that I finally get a show dog and she has jealousy issues.

I need to get a little bike and drag her along behind me so I can exercise the daylights out of her.  A well exercised dog is tooooo tired to fight, heh heh heh.  I wish I could roller skate with her on a leash running along side, but that just sounds like a traumatic brain injury just waiting to happen.  Or a broken hip!  Maybe I can borrow my mom's knee replacement walker!  I'll store it next to the potty chair!

Dear Diary!

I finally got my Airport Extreme configured this morning!

I got it because I wanted to be able to print to a printer in another room and back up using Time Machine wirelessly.  My laptop is in the dining room where the dogs can snooze at my feet while I work.  I'm tired of my table looking like an Office Depot threw up on it!

Now I can use the 'net.  Tonight I need to check that the backups are still working okay and then get my printer configured.  Then all will be well in my world and I am one step closer to a clutter free table. Ahem.  How about slightly less cluttered table, to be more accurate. The odds of me having a clutter free table are on par with achieving world peace!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's a bird! It's a plane!

Nope.  It's just the NewsChannel 5 helicopter.  It was doing a flyby the other day to show live video feed of bad traffic.  Seems like I-40 west of town has been a mecca for accidents as of late.  I was out with the dogs when I heard the chopper.  Usually it's the Vanderbilt LifeFlight, but this time it was a news helicopter.  

I was in the yard taking pictures of the garden for my website, so I took a few shots of the helicopter before dashing inside to see what they were showing on Channel 5!  

Yeah, it doesn't take much to amuse me these days.  ; )

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's a BOY!

My pal Cody just had her baby!  It's a boy and his name is Hank--that is like THE perfect baby boy name for her kid.  Perfect!  

I hear it was a long, as in 37 hour, labor that ended in a C-section. But after all that turmoil, both mom and baby are doing well.  He was liberated from his tight quarters at 4:30 pm on Tuesday and weighed in at a hefty 7 lbs, 6 oz.  Which is huge considering how tiny she is. That's what you get for marrying a guy 6 feet tall!

We texted back and forth several times last night.  Since Tuesday was such a long day for them all, she wants a day to recover before we all show up.  I can totally respect that!  But I will be there full force, cameras ready when we're given the green light on Thursday.  

I can't wait!

Congrats, my friend, and I wish your happy little family all the best!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Identity Crisis?

Millie is the only dog in the house who regularly gets to go in my bedroom.  With my allergies, I don't routinely let them in.  But she likes to chew on a rawhide from Christie's Canine Cafe and my dogs have to be separated in order to do that.  Fights over the good stuff and all.

So this morning, she was standing at the bedroom door (I have a foot tall board to block the entry--easy for me to step over, but for some reason, they all respect the board), barking.  Fine, I let her in so she could play with her bone.

About 15 minutes later, she started yapping.  Her signal to say, "Let me out!"  So I did.  First off, I realized she had gotten hold of a roll of toilet paper.  It was totally shredded.  Secondly, she had jumped on my bed AND PEED!

What the?!?!  Does she think she is a CAT?!?

Needless to say, the young lady is banished from my bedroom for the foreseeable future. I'm still reeling from the cat-like revenge pee thing.  I mean come on!  She could have gotten her point across just fine by peeing on the floor.  Now I have to scrounge quarters and go spend 2 hours at the laundry mat washing my comforter.  Funnnn.

Damn dog.  Lucky for her she's cute.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rain, rain go away!

Are we done yet?  The rain has been falling nonstop for what feels like weeks. I know it has only been a few days, but it's beginning to get to me.

It's also getting to the dogs, too.  They're not keen on going outside because the girls don't like to get their paws wet.  So they're not out chasing each other and burning off some energy.  Instead, they're glaring at each other and picking fights.

It's like a couple of kids in the backseat of the car.  "Mom!  She's looking at me!!!"  After Jack picked a fight with Millie and got banished to his crate, Tuesday decided to start mocking Jack.  She would actually come out of her "room," go up to his crate and give him the hairy eyeball.  A bark-fest would ensue.

I'd tell her to go lie down and she would.  Then a few minutes later, you could hear the tick-tick of her nails as she was up, stalking Jack. Nyah-nyah!  I'm not in a craaaate!  Sucks to be you, Jack.  Muhaahahahaa!

So this crummy weather is getting to all of us, even the dogs.  I'm putting in a request right now for a bit of sunshine, please.