The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

28 September 2012

Here, have photos

Have not been in a writing mood. Kaline has alternately been Devil Puppy and Awesome At Obedience Puppy. Mostly the latter, actually. Still having issues not playing with friends in the back of the car though. I'm now learning to do heeling without looking at the dogs—they do better, because I have better posture, but I look like a robot because I'm so nervous.

Anyway, Mom and I together bought a Canon Rebel, and I have been playing with it when the dogs are stationary. It takes beautiful photos of things that are not moving, when I can stop making operator-errors; things that are moving, not so much.

So here are the best of the new batch of pictures!

Kaline's CGC ID tag came this week. He also got approved for his SD tag from the county. Hurrah.
Mom and Kaline's adorable nub.
Juno's "duck" (if you see her white patch right side up, it looks like a dancing duck.)
Clearly, this is not a dog. I liked the way it came out though.

25 September 2012

I need a Pet Net

Great day with the pups! We had one pack walk and then a lovely afternoon of training. Boy, do I ever need a Pet Net—it's a netting barrier you can put up between the back of the car and the two front seats. Every time I got out of the car, Kaline was in a different section of the car. And Juno, you can tell, just wants her front seat back in the worst way. Poor baby.
The only dogs I can trust not to leap out of my car without permission.

We had one stupid person on our walk, the usual dog-groper type. Most people will get snapped at once ("Didn't your mother teach you never to pet a strange dog without asking?") but this guy groped Juno and Baxter twice. I was livid. If I had lots of money, I would buy two bright red capes for Juno and whoever is the next dog in, with HANDS OFF written in white. Maybe I should start putting Jett on the outside. Then gropers would either get totally slimed with his copious drool, or he'd leap back with his mouth wide open which usually freaks people out.

Anyway. Training was excellent! My car quite easily holds five dogs in the back, I learned, probably six. I kept Kaline up front to reduce chaos. I thought it was pretty amusing that Lucky the Golden, the biggest dog I transport, was the only one who had issues getting in the back. Kaline and Juno were both awesome at the park. Kaline worked first, doing recalls and then figure eights. He held his sit-stays, waiting to be called, perfectly, even with Rio and Peter running past. He did whine a bit while he was on his stay. He's coming in way better, hopefully because I'm improving how I bring him in. Only one crotch-bash today, haha! He's so damn cute when he's staring holes through me, waiting to be called, with those big silky ears perked forward.

His figure eights were fabulous. One of my dreams is to have a dog who makes consistent eye contact when told to heel, and I think we're on our way! He was looking at me the whole time, matching pace with me, not sitting when I went slow, just being awesome in general. I was so happy with him.

Of course, Juno had to go show him up, because she is The Queen. She did her figure eights off leash, with excellent attention! Who is this dog, and where is my Juno? If only I were allowed to talk during obedience trials, I think her heel free wouldn't be so bloody awful. We should definitely get into rally. But I am pretty excited to compete in Open sometime soon, even if it's just in a fun match. I would pretty much die of glee if she ever got her CDX. Juno also did group down-stays, as a sort of group post, for other dogs to do figure eights. By the end of that little part of training, we were doing figure eights around "posts" of four dogs each. One "post" didn't need monitoring: Juno, Lucky the Golden, Rio the Lab, and Mia the Poodle (what a fun dog to work!). I had the "naughty" post: both poodle mixes, Cooper the baby Lab, and sometimes Bailey the Border Collie.

We took home our usual three blondes, plus Mia. Mia lives on the scariest steepest road in the whole world. Trumbull handled superbly on it! It was kind of funny—none of the dogs had been jumping out without permission when I'd open the back hatch, but on dropoffs, whichever dog was getting dropped off would just jump right out as soon as there was room. They all know when they're home.
"Oh Juno, I love you." "How long are you planning to stay in my personal space bubble?"

Juno and Kaline snuggled on the way home; at least, Kay snuggled, Juno tolerated the touch. I love the look on her face: "Mom! He's touching me!" They've both been extremely pleasant all evening. A night without Puppy Witching Hour is a big win!

I have clean puppies!

This was supposed to go up last night ... oops.

Juno and Kaline are clean, and they look so pretty! Kaline is super shiny and silky, while Juno is silky and almost fluffy. I read this post on DobermanTalk a while ago about the "proper" way to bathe a Doberman (or any dog with a very short, sleek coat), and tried it out. You use cool, almost cold, water instead of warm or hot, and try to go with the hair as much as possible at all times—shampooing, washing off, drying off. I think it worked! Haven't noticed any dandruff on either dog, and usually there is some on Bath Day or Bath Day plus one.
Kaline post-bath
Juno post-bath. I tried to get it so you can see her fluffy chest but I guess it didn't work that well!

We had three pack walks this morning and got to try out Trumbull with lots of dogs. It went okay, but I came home and immediately ordered a "pet net" online that I probably don't really have money for. I have to keep the pups—basically Juno and Kaline—from getting into the front seat. Not that they did it while I was driving, fortunately, but still. It's unsafe for either of them to sit in the seat while the car's going because now we have these newfangled things called airbags, and I don't want the seats getting clawed up like the Honda's. Kaline, of course, is still welcome to ride in the foot space; he just has to stay there.

Kaline may have to keep riding up front, because he loves to play in the back with whoever I pop in, since there's so much space to do it! Can't really blame the little guy, but it's never nice to hear thumping from the back while driving. Teddy really doesn't like the new car. He has incredible jumping ability, but does not want to use it for jumping into the back. Sigh. Xena took to it with no problem. Of course. Kaline has really perfected his running leap into the cargo area.

I attempted to use our new camera to do Kaline's weekly shot, but I couldn't get it to focus. I definitely need to have a long play session with it, to figure out how it works. I measured Kaline before dinner, and he has grown a little over two inches in four weeks! Wow!

Juno came along for the last bit (I hope) of loan paperwork with me and Dad. She was odd about momentum pulling—she'd do it fine if Dad was there, but if not, she would go slower and slower, giving me the Super Sad Face™ and finally rest her head against my legs. Not very normal for her, so I will definitely be keeping an eye on it. We got everything finalized, hurrah, and now I just have to make sure that I put enough money in the account so that it can make automatic car payments each month. Then when we got home, my letter from Chase arrived saying why I got rejected there. HA!

In other news, the pups are now (almost) insured. Kaline will be once he gets approval, and when I get approval on Juno, we have to coordinate getting rid of Trupanion so that we're not paying for two kinds of insurance at once. Dog insurance is a lot cheaper and easier to get than human insurance. I am a little jealous, not gonna lie!

There was very little Puppy Witching Hour (yayyyy!) and much adorable sleeping and snuggling. Love that.

23 September 2012

In which no one gets bathed ...

Yeah, who saw that one coming? Everyone? Good. Happy five-month birthday to Kaline.

Nobody got a bath today (nobody who is also a dog), but both kids got to go on solo working outings, so that was good. And they both did very well. Dad took Juno on a long walk by herself this morning, so I could take Kaline with me to meet Mom at the Farmer's Market. We practiced on-leash recalls down the back street behind our house, and leave it whenever the opportunity arose. He walked so nicely right next to me. Unsurprisingly, he works far better on his own, when we can both focus on each other 100%.

Kaline did awesome at the market. People were actually commenting on his attention. Better enjoy it while I can, cause his brain might fall out when he hits seven months and his "Doberteens"! He hardly did any inappropriate sniffing, and did nice blocking when I positioned him. Oh yeah, and he was really on with the handicap buttons today! He was hitting them very squarely most of the time, and sometimes doing it even without me asking! Of course, I want him to wait for the cue, so we worked on doing calm sits before hitting the button, but still, it was cute. He'd lock in on the button from like 15 feet away and once he was in range, he'd leap at it to push it.

We did a lot of work in the market, going back to the car periodically to put more stuff in it so we didn't have to carry it around (we being my mom, haha). There were a couple pet dogs in the market, which annoyed me—I think all dogs should be allowed, but they have two big No Pets signs, one at either end, and I feel like they should either enforce it, or take down the signs. Inconsistency sucks.

Kaline also got to do the bagel store, where he was pretty awesome. They have pumpkin bagels now! I love October and November: baseball playoffs; Hallowe'en, the best holiday in the universe; and pumpkin everything. Also, if you're in a place with seasons (read: Michigan), incredibly beautiful fall leaves. Mmmm.

We came home to drop off our goodies and to pick up Junebug; then we headed to Borrone's. The place was hopping, as usual, and the only table we could find was in the sun. The dogs were fine—they got to lie in the table's considerable shadow—but we humans were frying. Still, a yummy breakfast.

We were next to a gorgeous 18-month-old Vizsla named Rusty at first, only 45 pounds which is small for a male. I thought he was a baby puppy like Kaline when we first saw him. I can't get enough of that rich orange-gold color. Later, two women (mother and daughter, we found out) arrived with a big young black-and-rust male Doberman! Both Kaline and I were staring at him, haha. He was still basically all legs, obviously very cuddly. Apparently he lives with a five-year-old brother-and-sister pair and a nine-month-old red male. Lots of land! If we had four Dobermans in this house no one would be able to move.
Cuddling at Borrone's.

After breakfast (or more properly, lunch) we ran into some of my old buddies from Kepler's, which is reopening on Tuesday! Everyone was in the half-finished store, working on stuff. We got to see Maggie, Mike, Nancy, Katie, Marilyn, Pam, the whole gang. Everyone was delighted to see the dogs, and they both basked in the attention. Maggie and Kaline were just all over each other, it was adorable. I told her she could do anything she wanted with him, basically, so she was playing with his feet, picking him up, all kinds of stuff. Kaline took it all calmly and happily, great practice for one day when he's working and some little kid comes up and touches his paw or tail or something.
Maggie and Kaline.

Finally we came home and everyone took a nap. Except maybe for Kaline, crazy puppy. Then for the late afternoon/early evening, he was in his crate and Juno came out with me and Mom. We went first to our local Ritz Camera store, which is closing and thus having big discounts on most stuff. And thus, amateur camera enthusiasts that we are, Mom and I got the Canon Rebel I've been coveting. I can't wait to try it out (it's charging now). We went to Walgreens, where Juno got to press the buttons and do various kinds of pulling and bracing. (By the end of our many-stop outing, I was getting numb and tingly from the knees down, ugh.) We went to Nordstrom's and Draeger's, then came home and collapsed.

Well, I did—Juno and Kaline had a big wrestling session downstairs. Yay. Unfortunately it seems not to have tired him out, as he's been a pill since then. Juno is wiped out.

22 September 2012

Saturday Class No. 7 and our new car

Pretty long day, but we now have a proper car! There are still a few more formalities to be finished up, but I am no longer in possession of Faithful Little Tygs On Top (sniffle), and I am in possession of newly named Trumbull, the 2007 Lexus. (Lots of Internet points if you get the reference in the name!) Love this car.

First order of business today was Saturday class. Kaline did nicely again at heeling without the treat in his mouth. He didn't stay 100% watching me, but I don't want him to—he has to look where he's going at least a bit! He was awesome at slowing down to my pace when we worked on that, and at keeping focused as we walked through the middle of the circle with all the other dogs. We worked on the moving down; he does better when I swoop out in front of him (windmill down) rather than giving him the signal from the side. Kaline also did well in the figure eights; totally focused when he was working, and when the little yellow terrier mix was working, yet super fascinated by Percy, the colored bull terrier, when he was working. I have no idea.

Recalls were interesting. My brain is starting to scramble during those, because I'm both trying to get Kaline to watch and stay focused while really concentrating on my technique—my hand signal, how my hands are supposed to move as I draw him in, do I need to bring my knee up to thwart the crotch-bashing, how fast I'm supposed to straighten up, etc. Kaline did fine when we did recalls on the big circle; then we brought all the dogs in to the center of the circle and left them all in a tight little knot with all their butts together.

I don't know what Kaline's objective was, but every time I would move away from him, his head would just start sinking, like a giraffe carefully leaning down to drink water. Only once did he actually sink into a down; mostly his head was the only part of his body that moved. My dad and Teddy's owner were just cracking up. It was pretty hilarious. We worked through it, and he did fine. The anxiety level among the humans, though, just goes through the roof the longer Anne and Freddie make us wait to call the dogs. That's pretty funny too, I'm not going to lie. With Kaline, I figured there was no point getting anxious about it, just move in if I have to to get his attention back. I ended up only about two feet from him, but who cares, he's a baby.

Last thing was long sits and downs, with the handlers and dogs in pairs. For the long sit, I left Kaline with my very unfamiliar partner and his dog: Dad and Juno. (It felt like cheating, but it was also fun.) Kaline did fine, though when I came back Anne informed me she'd had to correct him back into a sit because he was going down, and my partner wasn't doing the correction himself. Haha! Then Dad left and I had both my pups for the long down. That definitely was cheating, and after a little while Anne had me leave too. They were chilled out, like size 20 and size 16 font in their cute little relaxed downs.

After class we came home with instructions to play a lot more of the recall game in the house, and to work on leave it for Tuesday. Kaline hung out with Dad while Juno and I had a nap; then I took both dogs out individually to do grooming. Tomorrow, they get baths. At least, this is my plan.

Around 3:00, Mike the Car Guy showed up with the car. We signed some more paperwork, then began the long process of cleaning out my little Honda of all its gear. Fitting it into the Lexus was interesting as well—it has all that space for the dogs, but obviously that means there's no trunk. Mom found this secret compartment in the floor of the official cargo area, so I used that for all my obedience gear (stuff I don't necessarily use constantly throughout the day; and when I do need it, I tend not to have extra dogs in the car). Most of my other stuff went in the backseat footspace; the console up front now contains like fifty rolls of poo bags and two spare prong collars; and the glove compartment has my three spare leashes, sunglasses, and other normal glove compartment things. I even was able to transfer a couple of my window clings.

Kaline and Juno chilled in the driveway while all this was going on. Juno was pretty amusing—she hopped into the new car when the back hatch was open, and then when she got hot and I happened to open the door to Dad's car (in the shade), she just slid in there and went to sleep. Kaline and I discovered he can hop into the new car on his own, he just needs a running start!

Dad and Mike took my car to get washed, and then Mike drove away with it. Sniffle sniffle. We took my car, loaded up a little, to the storage unit with both dogs. I just chilled with the dogs in the car when we got there, because to go into the actual building they have to wear their vests. Kaline got some crate time while the rest of us went to dinner. We had to ride a really crowded elevator and Juno did a fantastic job blocking people out of my space. Phew.

Kaline is apparently developing a bad new habit, although I can't trick him into doing it while I'm present to save my life: pulling things off the counter. Since I can't catch him in the act (yet!) I've just been doing things that might entice him to get up there—squeaking toys and setting them up on the counter, deliberately leaving treats there—and when he doesn't, I praise him. We'll see how it goes.

The dogs have also been having actual play sessions. It's still way loud, but instead of Juno barking, she's making her raaaah! sounds that mean she's having an excellent wrestling session. For now, being smaller, Kaline is getting the worst of it, but he never even yelps, just rushes back for more every time she lets him up, batting her with his enormous feet.

Hopefully I should get a lot of time to work on Kaline by himself tomorrow. Should be a fun day!

21 September 2012

Awesome dogs

My future car's current license plate. WTF! It almost makes me want to keep those ... but I won't. TGSONTP is here to stay.

In dog terms, it has been an amazing day. I'm not even just talking about Juno and Kaline, I mean both my packs as well.

Didn't get a ton of sleep last night, because I kept waking up to check on Kaline and see if he was awake and in need of a potty break. Starting at 4:00 a.m., I was up every twenty minutes! Talk about a helicopter mother. Finally, at 7:00, I just woke up the bleary-eyed little pup and took him outside. Then I could finish up sleeping with confidence that his little bladder wouldn't be bursting in his crate.

Empty, Kaline snoozed away the morning placidly as I got ready for the walks and took care of some paperwork (including sending away for his CGC certificate). Our first pack was Ellis and Teddy, and we got to do the beautiful Oak Knoll walk. Hardly anyone pulled, we passed all kinds of semi-unruly pups without incident, and just in general had a lovely time. Then we took Jett and Max to downtown Palo Alto and everyone was brilliant.

Jett ceased (at least for today) his annoying habit of walking behind everyone else and walked with the pack. Everyone behaved wonderfully at the flower store, where they gave their favorite friend, Molly, some much-needed TLC. This being the release date for the iPhone 5, there was a huge crowd of people with no lives outside the Apple store. (I mean it—they started camping out two days ago, as if Apple will somehow run out of phones.) Training opportunity!

We waded into the crowd and, to my glee, no one sniffed anyone inappropriately, or failed to slow to a crawl, or anything remotely bad! Jett kind of wanted to sniff, but I had him on the inside so he got thwarted. On our second pass through the crowd, he was exemplary. Juno and Max did a great job parting the way for us, and Kaline, as he had all morning, did constant visual check-ins with me even though there were tons of interesting people to smell. And then on the next corner, two girls from Peet's Coffee offered me a shot-sized sample of their pumpkin freddo. Yes, please. I view pumpkin much like other people view chocolate: it makes nearly everything taste better! The dogs got tons of compliments and no groping. That's how I like it.

We came home briefly and Kaline got his antihistamines, which have totally knocked him out. We had to meet Mike the Car Guy at the gas station, where we were getting the Lexus checked out. Kaline and Juno snoozed in the car until we headed to Borrone's to wait for the car to be finished. At Borrone's, possibly because of the meds, but I'd like to think because he's learning things, Kaline settled under the table just as fast as Juno. He didn't move as people walked by and over him, although right at the end I think someone tripped over him and he got up real fast. He's fine though, don't worry. They both did great. I thought it was hilarious when an elderly retriever—a retriever!!—came up and gave Kaline a great big sniff in the face, and Kay just stayed there. Normally he'd be like, "Oh boy, oh boy, a retriever! I love you already! May I chew on your ears?!"

We came back to the gas station, got the report on the car, then came home for me to make a round of calls—my aunt, car insurance, credit union, etc. I found out that Farmers, our insurance, is indeed the one insurance company that is breed-blind when it comes to home insurance. They don't care what breed your dog is, only if it has a bite history. Judge the deed, not the breed, in action! I was super glad to hear that.

Normally Kaline will kind of take advantage of me being on the phone and start screwing around. Today, Juno curled up by my feet (wherever those happened to be—whenever I change location, she changes location, even if it's not that big a move), and Kaline contented himself with quietly chewing his pressed rawhide. Then he clambered up on the couch and fell asleep. He is so damn cute when he's being a good boy!

Of course the car drama continued in the afternoon, but mostly with little annoying things and not with big You Don't Exist problems. We'll get it figured out. Kaline slept on my chest and then curled up behind my computer chair while I tried to get my iPhone photos backed up. It's all Kaline's fault too, I never had your-phone-is-too-full problems before he came along! Heehee.

We had a beautiful walk in the Oak Knoll neighborhood with Dad, and now are contemplating what to do for dinner.
Oak Knoll sunset.
Oak Knoll sunset.

20 September 2012

I am getting the car!

Yesterday was a nightmare, mostly, but it ended with me (and Dad as co-signer) getting approved for a car loan. So yay.

I was super proud of Kaline in the morning. He is on antihistamines which also have steroids in them, so he is having a harder time holding it in the morning. Well before we normally get up, he whined loud enough to wake me up. When I let him out of his crate, he absolutely booked it downstairs. Normally, going downstairs first thing in the morning involves a lot of checking rooms to see where the other family members are, then stretching eleventy billion times as he makes his way down. Nope, he was on a mission. I opened the door to the patio and he zoomed out to his favorite plant and peed for like fifteen minutes. I was so impressed that he actually knows it is not good to pee inside, which is very different from knowing it's good to pee outside. Yay for the baby.

We tired him out with numerous pack walks, which was good because the afternoon was all Juno. We went to lunch with the parents, where I was massively bummed because the goalposts got moved on me getting health insurance. I'm on COBRA now, which sucks the big one because it is super expensive yet rather useless, so far. I was told that if I had no treatment for my fibromyalgia for six months, I would be able to look for non-COBRA insurance. It has been six months. I checked in, and was told I needed to be treatment and symptom free for six months. Well, that's not happening, clearly. Gaaaah.

After lunch, we headed to Chase, where both my parents have accounts and we thought getting a loan would be easy. Not so fast. I had applied online the night before, hoping to expedite the process, and got rejected by the computer program in about two seconds. Which apparently made it impossible for any actual human beings at the bank to help me in any way. You almost have to laugh—they reject you in less than a minute, using a computer; then they send you a paper letter by snail mail in 3-5 business days to tell you why. And of course, you can't do anything further with the bank until you receive said letter, and they can't tell you anything about said letter over the phone because that would be EEEEEVIL. I got so upset during this futile process that Juno had to do a lap-up to calm everything down.

Following that rejection, we went to Stanford Credit Union. Thanks to Dad being my co-signer, we got pre-approval for the loan. The whole thing took forever, but it did not involve any frustrating arguing with the equivalent of inanimate objects, so that was awesome. Also, Juno got to do handicap buttons without having to watch Kaline fumble about with them. Oh man, there was this lady in line who was so confused why she couldn't screw around with Juno. (See the Service Dog patch? See the Do Not Distract?!) Then she started yammering about her Bichon and how expensive they are, and how she got hers for free. Lemme tell you, lady, just because a dog is expensive does not mean it's well bred or worth it. See: ALL DESIGNER DOGS.

I was so exhausted from all this crap that I almost didn't go to Kristin's send-off dinner, but I'm glad I went. It was at a really nice place called the Village Pub and Juno was perfect. They were so nice to us—I showed up super underdressed, because basically all I own are jeans and t-shirts and hoodies, with my dog, of course, and we got welcomed so warmly. Well, Juno got welcomed—I'm just her sidekick! After a little bit of scootching around under the table, Juno got into what I think of as perfect Guide Dog Position, lying between my feet and partly under my chair, facing the same direction as me. Lovely. Dinner was amazing and many hilarious and wildly inappropriate dog stories were shared.
Kristin at the Village Pub.

Today we got to do daycare for Rocky the Golden Retriever-Poodle mix and had a really productive time at training. Anne was there and really worked me and Kaline. He's graduating now from heeling with a treat basically in his mouth to not having the treat there—I'm always afraid to bump him up to the next level, but he did great. I just have to really work hard on not turning into him, because it pushes him back. We also worked on his recall; he has now started to come in, bash his nose into my crotch, then sit. What a lovely gentlemanly habit, don't you think? Gotta nip that in the bud.

At the end of training, we had all fifteen dogs who were not Kaline out on down stays in two lines, facing each other. It was so cool. We have a couple dogs who have really come a long way, who were recently way too nervous and anxious to do this kind of thing successfully. It was so gratifying to see them succeed!
All the dogs! (See that black lump on a rug in the top right corner? Kaline.)

I had a nap with Kaline on my legs, and then went to dinner with Mom and Juno. We ended up at a pub where I usually go to watch the Dutch national football team. It was really loud (not too crowded, just bad music) and fire engines kept going by. Juno slept through all of it, was a total star. I wonder how Kaline would have done in that environment.

Tomorrow we're getting the car checked out by the mechanics at the Shell Station, who know my beloved little Honda like nobody else, so we really trust them. One of the guys just got a new Doberman puppy (he already has a two-year-old cropped black and rust male). I'm trying to convince him to keep his new red girl natural, for her ears at least. He got her from a BYB (makes me want to tear my hair out, but he's got her now, so there's no point) and she's only 7 weeks old. Still, I can't wait to see pictures!
Night night, doggies.

18 September 2012

Bad day, the sequel

The car drama continues, and the dogs continue to have to work on me. Feeling positive, I called the credit union once the dogs and I got out on our walk. I told the woman what my aunt had found with only five minutes' actual work. She said she had not received any emails from or about me (possible lie) but she was going to "head me off at the pass." Because the credit union only uses information from one credit score reporting company, and she had doublechecked whatever she'd done, she would not even look at the credit score I actually possess. The disapproval for the loan still stood, and if I wanted to do anything about it, I'd have to call Experian and fight with them.

Then I got some gobbledegook about how all the different credit score companies can have different information (how this is possible, I don't know). I told her that sounded incredibly stupid. She talked about having a contract with Experian, yadda yadda. Did I understand now? No, in fact, none of it made a jot of sense whatsoever. "Am I not speaking clearly?" she retorted. About to cry, I hung up, then had the meltdown.

I called my aunt, who had me call her friend who'd done the credit check on me yesterday. He agreed that given my credit card (MasterCard, nothing obscure) and the places I'd made purchases (again, not obscure) the idea that none of it would show up on a credit report was completely preposterous. So he called the credit union; the woman said she is not in the business of trusting people but making good loans. He got the same treatment: rude and stonewalled. So we're going to try somewhere else ... trying online at Chase, my parents' bank, led to a rejection within seconds, though. Gotta go in person, I suppose.

Again with the completely hopeless feelings. Not fun. Even less fun: I was giving my mom an update on the situation on my phone and walking the dogs. A grown bloody man stepped in front of Juno, didn't even make eye contact with me, and started freaking GROPING her. I snapped his head off: "You're supposed to ask before you manhandle other people's dogs!" He snapped something back but I wasn't listening. Sometimes, I wish Juno was a less tolerant dog toward strangers ...

Thankfully, training in the afternoon was lovely and made me feel a little better. Kaline did pretty well, participating in big dog heeling with the moving sit, moving down, and moving stand. If none of that makes sense: "moving" means that your dog does the command, while the person continues moving out to the end of the leash or some other point. Moving stand, naturally, was hardest for Kaline, but not terribly difficult. I got him stacked really nicely at one point! Then of course he moved. Ah well.

Juno was a freaking star. She did lovely off leash heeling, then worked on doing sits and downs while not moving out of the heel position (harder than it sounds!). Once she got the hang of it, she was gleeful—"up-down" is one of her absolute favorite games. Then we went in a big field with the other advanced dogs and did really long recalls. The best one was where I left Juno at one end and headed for the other, probably 75-100 yards (but I am not good at guesstimating measurements, so don't quote me!). Periodically I looked back to reinforce the stay; about three quarters of the way to my destination, I looked back and Juno was standing up.

"Sit!" I called. And her butt plopped down. I actually did a little fist pump of glee. Woohoo!

I made it to the end of the field, called her, and she came like a bat out of hell. Such a good dog. She got many treats and a good long belly rub.

After a long nap and cuddle, Kaline and I accompanied Mom to Stanford Shopping Center for a quick training outing. We worked on attention, as always, as well as not pulling (gaaaaah). He settled nicely behind me while we were at counters, if I asked; he also did pretty decent blocking if I asked for that. I had a good time exposing him to the escalators. His reaction was very Kaline—not scared, but utterly fascinated. We hung out there for a while; I gave him treats for looking calmly at the escalators, and for looking at me.
Kaline and the escalator.

We also did a quick stop in at Trader Joe's and went up and down some aisles. Kaline did a lovely sit-stay with great attention while I got cream cheese off a high shelf. I had him do a down-stay and rolled one of these TJ bags on wheels all around him; he was fine until someone rang one of the big brass bells, and then Kaline had pretty much had enough. Ah well, he did fine!

Vet update: Kaline had a pretty big breakout, all of a sudden, of those little bumps last night after the CGC test. They were clustered on his left hock, and definitely itchy. So off we went to the vet; she called them "pyometra" and put Kaline on antibiotics and antihistamines. Woohoo for antihistamines and their knockout properties, hehe. Hopefully this will take care of those. I also started him on Frontline, and Oct. 1 he'll start getting a Heartgard with Juno.

17 September 2012

Kaline's first "title"

Yeah, I know, CGC is not exactly a real obedience title (although apparently it will be after January 1). But Kaline has it now!

Yesterday was way better than expected, and today was way worse. We were supposed to go to a ballgame yesterday and due to various kinds of drama one of the dogs would have had to be left home all day. More drama; and then I ended up staying home with both pups while the parents went to the game. Much nicer. We had lots of walks, met some lovely children who handled Kaline's paws with no problems, had naps, did a little open-close work.

That was actually pretty funny. I had Juno open a cupboard and then asked Kaline to close it. He did it with perfect Juno-style technique: A good nudge with the nose to start, and a careful nudge with the paw to finish up. Of course, once the door was closed Juno immediately tugged it open again! And then when Kaline went to close it, she went on the other side and gleefully nudged it a little to thwart him. Then she let him finish.

The game would have probably been a good experience for Kaline, but I didn't need the stress. And we had a lovely day at home.

Then today there was tons of drama with the car. More specifically, the loan. The credit union people called me back and said they couldn't approve me not because I had bad credit, but because I had no credit score. Which is preposterous, because I have had a credit card under my name and SSN for a good eight years—which is always paid off on time. Of course, that led to a massive meltdown, but luckily I have a fantastic aunt who takes no shit from anyone and really wants me to get a proper car. Within five minutes of getting my SSN she had my credit score, which does in fact exist. So we're working on it.

The upside of the meltdown was Kaline did an excellent job tag-teaming me with Juno. Between walks he sat on me in the car, leaning into my chest and licking my neck and face. (He likes my neck. Who knows.) Juno kept checking in on me visually while we were out with the packs; once when I was really zoning out, Kaline grabbed my fingers in his mouth and "carried" them for a while, munching but not too hard, just hard enough to be like, "HEY, pay attention!" Well, I gotta admit, he did get a little carried away after a while with the munching and then I had to stop him.

Anyway, the meltdown kind of colored most of the day, but in the evening, Dad, Kaline and I headed to Mountain View for the Canine Good Citizen test put on by Deep Peninsula Dog Training Club. Then the nerves and adrenaline just took over! Kaline was thrilled as well—Labs everywhere! At first, he wanted to go play with all of them, but he settled down pretty quick.

Kaline ended up wearing a choke chain with his regular BLD leash for the test (no prong collars allowed). I don't like using choke chains because they can just tighten indefinitely, but you don't have much of a choice with AKC events. I'd never use a chain for actual training. My other option was his combo slip collar and leash, but the fabric it's made of hurts my hands if he pulls at all.

We got registered and then walked around to warm up and get Kaline's yayas out. He was pulling a bit at first, but then when I did sudden turns and rewarded him for spontaneous attention, he started working nicely for me. I was super proud of him when we were waiting in line, and a little surprised at some of the other dogs. Kaline, who is not even five months old yet, curled up by my feet and just chilled out while we were waiting. One of the Labs kept pulling hard to get to Kay (in a mostly friendly way), plus there was a German Shepherd and another Lab they were keeping away from everyone, and trying to strategize about when to run them through the tests. I was kinda like, if your dog can't be around other dogs, how does he qualify as a good citizen?

Anyway. One of the test organizers is a total Dobe person, loved Kaline, used to have what Freddie nicknamed The Doberman Drill Team. We had a good time hanging out with her. We were the fourth team through.

CGC Test

Item 1: Friendly stranger (no petting)—The evaluator shook my hand and introduced herself. Kaline sat politely next to me.

Item 2: Friendly stranger (petting)—Kaline sat, then got up, licked her arm and was politely friendly (no jumping) ... and then he almost did a crotch-burrow. Ehhh, still passed!

Item 3: Grooming—The evaluator brushed Kaline with the brush I'd brought; as usual, he really wanted to eat it. Thankfully, she understood that for what it was, a mouthy pup, not a puppy who was scared of the brush or of her grooming him. He didn't care at all when she flipped back his ears and picked up his front feet.

Item 4: Loose leash walking—We had to go out, turn left, right, and do an about turn. Even though Kaline tugged on me some between test items, he walked wonderfully for this and we had no problems.

Item 5: Walking through a crowd—I walked Kaline through a crowd of about seven people milling around. He was a little interested but not much. All good!

Item 6: Sit, down, stay—Kaline immediately sat and lay down when I asked. You can choose to leave the dog in a sit or down for their stay, but most people leave their dogs in downs because it's more stable. That's what I did, cause Kaline was definitely hyped up. He stayed while I walked 20 feet away and came back.

Item 7: Coming when called—Kaline was all of a sudden interested in the trees ... I walked in, got his attention back, then went 10 feet out and called him. He came like someone had goosed him! Heehee. He was so cute.

Item 8: Reaction to another dog—Our other dog was this adorable Clumber Spaniel (I think). We walked up, I shook hands with his owner, Kaline looked at him and took a big whiff, and then we walked on.

Item 9: Reaction to distraction—Someone dropped an enormous book. Kaline jumped a tiny bit and turned toward it at the noise. When the book didn't move again or make any more noise, he decided it was something he wanted to eat. (Don't worry, I didn't let him.)

Item 10: Supervised separation—I left Kaline with a lovely older gentleman who was actually the judge at Juno's very first obedience fun match. I went out of sight and waited for my three minutes to be up. That was the worst part at Juno's CGC test, because I was so worried she'd whine/yowl excessively and fail on the last item. Kaline did fine, so yay, he passed! How exciting! Everyone thought he was super cute with his insanely adorable face and big floppy silky ears.

When we got home, Juno (and eventually Kaline)'s new Cozy Horse Winter Warrior coat had arrived; I put it on Juno and she looked fabulous. I noticed Kaline licking his hock even more than normal (he enjoys mouthing his legs) and he looked like he had a breakout there of little itchy bumps. Heading to the vet tomorrow, of course. 

Sorry I didn't get video ... my real camera is out of batteries and we have no Double-As in the whole house at this point. Once I get batteries again I'll post a couple coat pictures, at least!

15 September 2012

Saturday Class No. 6, etc.

Today was the big garage sale, which I figured would kill my day. Happily enough, it didn't, and we've actually had a pretty good day.

Juno had already been up a couple hours, supervising set-up and the beginning of the garage sale, when Kaline and I got our lazy selves out of bed. Scoots had to stay home while I took Kaline to class, since Dad couldn't leave to come handle her. We hung out at the garage sale a bit; Kaline was actually shivering, so I got out one of Angel's old coats and put it on him. It's a little big (shocker!). He looked like a superhero. Or at least a puppy wearing a cape.
Super Kaline!

It was a big day at training—Kristin's last class before she leaves for freshman year at UCSD this coming Thursday. Kaline did pretty well, especially considering that I only brought a bait bag full of kibble (made higher value by some crushed up pieces of freeze-dried liver). He did some nice heeling and leave it; right at the beginning Freddie placed two plates she found elsewhere in the park, with nasty old pizza and such, in the middle of the arena. We had to walk past those, and all the other dogs, repeatedly. And he was pretty nice about it!

Then we did group sit-stays and down-stays, with the dogs grouped close to each other. This was the first week I not only dropped Kaline's leash but walked around with everyone else among all the other dogs. I even left with everyone else to stand on the stairs outside the circle where we train. And Kaline did fine! Hurrah. Then there was a dog-switch, but with Kaline I don't want to do that. Just like I don't want other people (except Kristin, Freddie or Anne) giving him treats. I don't want him viewing other people as potential handlers or treat dispensers. Yes, I realize than in an emergency strangers might have to handle him, but at least at this point, he'd probably have no problem walking off with someone, as long as they'd brought him food or made squeaky sounds at him.
Group down-stays, Kaline front left in blue coat.

Kaline did very well on meet and greets. Our partner was Peter the Poodle, who has just come such a long way. He's like a different dog. Once the meet and greets were over, we had to go out of sigh in turn. I went first, and Kaline was totally fine; then when Dianne, Peter's mom left, only Kaline whined! Peter was a very cool customer. She's done an amazing job with him.

Last we did all kinds of recalls. It was pretty fun when the dogs all sat in a tiny circle, butts together, waiting to be called. The waiting was killing Kaline though, especially cause it was at the end of class and he was pretty much done. He just wanted to lie down and chill; having to stay up in a sit was hard for him, especially if I went too far away. So I just stayed in close to try and keep the tired little guy focused. He did fine on the recalls, I just need to work on my technique! It's always the handler, isn't it?

After class, we had cupcakes in honor of Kristin. Her mom and Freddie did lovely speeches about what a great trainer she has become, and what a magnificent job she's done with Ben, her Toller. He was a kennel dog when she got him, very skittish, afraid of men, prone to bolting randomly. Now, he's a total star, and just earned his CDX and rally novice title! Juno and I aspire to be Ben, haha. We're really going to miss Kristin, but I know she'll have an awesome time at UCSD. After first quarter, she'll probably get to have Ben with her!

Kaline and I headed to Gracie's house to pick her up after class—her family was settling one of the daughters in her new dorm today. We pulled up at home, Juno leapt into the car, and Mom sent us off to go grab lunch for everyone at Burger King. Finding places in the car to put four large cups of pop and two bags of food while ferrying three dogs is interesting, especially when you only have two cupholders. Thankfully Gracie and Juno have good leave its, and Kaline doesn't care about the food because he has never been fed any of it. So it was just a matter of not spilling the pop everywhere!

When we got back, Juno stayed outside with the adults, while Kaline and Gracie came in with me. Of course, they began an epic roughhousing session that has basically lasted all afternoon. Once I was done with the food, I came out to the driveway where the sale was happening and ground down Kaline and Juno's nails. I tried Gracie, but she was not having it. We came in, there was roughhousing, and then a lovely group nap—Gracie on the floor, Juno on her couch, Kaline on me.
Gracie lets him do this. Then, of course, she pins him to the ground with her chest and lies on top of him.

When everyone woke up, we went on a walk to downtown Menlo Park and back. Walking three dogs is a great way to get me to pass the used book store without buying anything—I feel awkward taking two dogs in there, and three is just out of the question. They have such a great WWII section ... Anyway, the roughhousing has finally ebbed away; Kaline is now chewing a bully stick instead of Gracie's ears. Seriously, this dog has the patience of a saint. Gracie's conked out on my feet, Juno under the table. Time to feed the hounds!

14 September 2012

Last couple days

Funk continues, plus I have been using up way too many spoons. Hence the infrequent writing.

Wednesday we had three pack walks; dropped Kaline off at home and then it was just me and Juno. We went to lunch at Johnny Rocket's with the parents and then went with Dad to the Honda place. I was pretty sure at that point that I was going with the Lexus, but we gave the CRVs and a 2009 Rav4 their shot. Turns out, any CRV older than a 2012 doesn't have the levers for the seats, but has instead these bizarre straps. Which I physically can't work. Not that I have lots of trouble working, but I actually can't do it. Plus the used CRVs we looked at, a 2011 and a 2007, were both more expensive than the Lexus.
Juno at Johnny Rocket's.

The 2009 Rav4 was actually pretty sweet. Junebug certainly enjoyed it, chilling in the back while I gave it a test drive. But again, it was more expensive than the Lexus, and not nearly as awesome. So the Lexus wins!
Juno in the Rav4, checking out the extra cupholders. Very important.

Thursday was a little easier to handle—one pack walk and then training. We had a ton of client dogs, so Juno and Kaline didn't get a ton of work. Kaline at least got to do some good heeling and weaving, and then the Gauntlet—recalls between two lines of dogs facing each other on down-stays. Juno practiced formal retrieves. After training, he got crated and Juno and I went to my parents' anniversary dinner.
Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!

They've been married 42 years, hurrah! So we went to this really nice restaurant that we go to maybe once a year if we're lucky. Juno was of course the perfect lady; just thinking about taking Kaline in such a place at this age gives me the shudders! At the end they give you a rose—I'd been practicing take it and hold with Juno in hopes of getting her to clench the rose in her teeth, but she spat it out. Ah well.

Today was the third-to-last day of this stupid week. (Weekend's not gonna be good.) We had three walks, culminating with our last walk with the Portola Valley dogs. Thank goodness we're done with the hellish hills. No chance to eat or take a nap afterward; we had to drive to San Mateo to a credit union to start the process of trying to get a loan so I can get the car. We walked in, and when I sat down, Kaline for the first time automatically lay down at my feet. Yay, progress. From there, we had to go straight to our tdoc appointment, where both of them mostly slept. Again with the yay.

Kaline's been having what I refer to as Puppy Witching Hour, where around 9:00 or so he'll just go insane and be a complete brat for what seems like forever, until he all of a sudden conks out. To combat that, tonight after we had recharged a little, I took the dogs out for about an hour. It's now 9:22. Kaline has been asleep since about 8:45. Oh the bliss of peace and quiet.

11 September 2012

Juno's teeth and a new new-car candidate

Yesterday Juno got her teeth cleaned. It turned out there was no major infection, no rotten teeth needing to be extracted—bloody well better not be, considering she gets her teeth brushed every night—nothing stuck up there. Just the inflammation around her gum in the back, maybe a touch of gingivitis. So they got that all cleaned up, and $458 later, I was able to take her woozy self home.

That meant that all day, it was just me and Kaline. First we walked Teddy and Bentley, and Teddy served ably as the outside dog. Then we had Ellis, Jett, Max and Xena, and thank goodness Max is a fantastic outside dog. You need a good one when you're walking in downtown Palo Alto. Kaline did just fine, although he seemed slightly disconcerted not having his big sister around.

After the dogs got dropped off and Kaline had lunch, I walked with him to McDonald's for me to get some lunch. It was a great training ground for me and Juno, when she was first starting her training. Restaurant experience, but not too much pressure. Nonetheless, I was really nervous going in; I get so uptight that Kaline is going to make a mistake and people will see and judge. Getting uptight, obviously, is not good for Kaline.
Kaline under the table at McDonald's.

Anyway, he did just fine, pretty much. He blocked all right in line, just got distracted when someone came over wanting to pet him. I was able to redirect him and get his focus back very quickly. He sat very politely while I ordered, and again sat nicely behind me while I got pop, then later when I got the food and ketchup. Once we settled down at the booth, though, he was a bit resistant about lying down. Eventually I got him settled—faster, actually, than he is usually able to settle in restaurant settings currently—and he slept nicely while I ate. And then we walked home again.

Now having had about three hours worth of walks, Kaline went to sleep pretty fast when we got home. For a while he was curled up in the bend of my knees, which was lovely. Then at 4:30 he went in his crate and off I went to pick up my girl. I cuddled with her for a while, leaving Kaline upstairs; she was whining pitifully, as dogs do when coming out of anaesthesia, and even though I knew it wasn't because she was in pain, I still felt awful. She was all stoned and stuff too.
Cuddling woozy Juno on the couch.

Once both the parents were home, Dad stayed with Juno while Mom, Kaline and I went to Staples for her to get a multi-port for her computer. Kaline did super well in the store; since it was just a quick trip, we did some basic obedience (sit and down stays, recalls, informal heeling) and had Mom step over him a couple times while he did a down-stay in the middle of the store. No problem.

Then we got home and he turned into devil puppy. He must have had ten different toys out, and all he wanted to chew on was his and Juno's beds, my feet/shoes, Juno's feet, papers, etc. I kept trying to redirect him onto proper chewies, but he'd flit from one to the other and just couldn't hold still. The one thing that held his interest was a frozen carrot, but he finished it in about ten minutes and it was the last one I had. I took the dogs out for a walk, hoping that'd take the edge off Kaline, but again, no luck. It was a very tiring night. Finally they both fell asleep around 10:30. Sigh of relief.
A brief spell of good behavior from Kaline in the evening ... Oh puppyhood.

Today we had our pack walk with the Lab siblings, Baxter and Gracie, and Jett, then training in the park with the various blondes. Kaline got to do a ton of heeling work and did really well, hurrah! Freddie and Dianne worked Juno. Kaline also did nice recalls—you should've seen his face when Freddie handed me a palm-size squeakie to use. We only had one or two semi-drive bys. And then we did retrieves with the squeakie, and he was awesome, not only getting it, but returning, sitting with it still held in his mouth, and walking around with it. Woohoo!
Kaline playing bitey-face with Lucky the Golden Achiever.

When I got home, Dad's friend was here with a 2007 Lexus RX 350. Dad knows him through a business group; he is The Car Guy Who Does the Finding and Haggling For You. I never thought a Lexus was in any way a possibility, but this one actually could be, given the asking price. It is a car that is nice to me. Getting the seats down and up is a little harder than in the CRV or Rav4, but I shouldn't have to do that often, and likely when I need to, I will be able to get help. The back hatch, the important part, is beautifully easy: you give it a little push and it opens the rest of the way by itself, and then to close it you just press a button and step back! It closes on its own! I practically did a dance. Juno had no problem leaping inside; Kaline of course needs help but won't for very much longer.

It's gorgeous inside, gets better mileage than my car (kind of the same as saying someone is smarter than George W. Bush—you're not setting the bar real high), is very nice to drive, has all auto windows, lots of cupholders, buttons to adjust the seats rather than pull-levers or push-bars (YAY), and it's a lovely pale blue. We're checking out a 2011 CRV tomorrow and after that I really have to decide one way or the other on the Lexus, because once the weekend hits he'll start advertising it to people in general, and at a higher price. We'll see how this goes, but I really liked driving it. Mmm. Buttons.

09 September 2012

Saturday Class No. 5 and Tour of Gymnastics Champions

Saturday class was back on yesterday, and Kaline did pretty well. There was a ton of heeling going on, and toward the end of class, Kaline even did some of it off-leash! I was really excited about that. He kept looking up to check in with me, as I've been rewarding him for on walks when he's on a "let's go," not a "heel," and that was awesome. We did regular heeling on the circle, except everyone was going different directions (on purpose). That made for some very useful chaos, as dogs were constantly having to speed up, slow down, and go past other dogs. Kaline has no trouble really ignoring dogs moving past in class ... just have to transfer that to the real world!

We also did figure eights, great for getting dogs to keep pace with you, and meet and greets. The figure eights went quite well, I thought, and the meet and greet was good too. Kaline is still sitting about one step behind where the heel position actually is, but after I move him up enough times, I know he'll get it!

Recalls went pretty well too. He even did one or two off-leash! Of course, I didn't go very far away from him, and as soon as his attention started to wander, I'd move in really close to get it back. I just have to remember to keep both hands down to guide him in. Both hands, and he comes in straight. One hand, regardless of which hand, and he will do a drive-by on my right.

There was also a really cool bit of class where we were only allowed to use hand signals and the verbal cue for "watch." Any command other than watch had to be nonverbal. It was so neat to watch everyone work with their dogs in silence, and Kaline did fairly well. It was toward the end of class, so all he really wanted to do was lie down. So, whenever I would raise my hand in the down/drop signal, he'd drop, but for sit, even though he knows the hand signal, he'd lie there and look at me like, "Are you sure I have to get up? Positive?" Not too worried about that, since longer focus will come with age. I keep having to remind myself that he is only about 4 ½ months old, and I need to keep expectations reasonable. Sounds like a broken record, but it's so important, and I am so terrible sometimes.

Last we did long sits and downs; predictably, Kaline had issues with the long sit because he was tired. Also, Juno kept lying down for Dad, because when he'd signal her to stay, he'd move his hand in such a way that it looked way too similar to the hand signal for down. And Juno is very accommodating, haha.

She also was one of the dogs who took off on a joyride during the off-leash portion (since she qualifies as an "advanced" dog—Kaline was the only one at class not ready for an entire off-leash section). Our class Whippet took off, and even after everyone got reminded to pay attention to their own dog, the Lab was next to go, and then I guess Dad was asleep at the wheel cause Juno bolted after them. Everyone was gotten back safely, the children's soccer game nearby wasn't harmed, and everyone got a good lesson on focusing in the right spot! Also Juno looked pretty gorgeous stretched out running as fast as she could. Whippets, shockingly, are super fast.

After class we went to see the Prius V and give it a test drive. To my dismay, it is pretty much out of the running. The setup inside is a bit weird; the surface in the cargo area is not completely flat like in the CRV and Rav4; the one with leather seats is the second-most expensive option, and with dogs you pretty much have to have the leather seats for clean-up-ability; and the kicker is I barely could close the hatch in the back. Just getting it down the one time hurt, and there is no way I could close it multiple times per day. Ah well. A used 2011 CRV in glacier blue has turned up, so we are going to check it out Wednesday and see if it might be a winner. Faithful Little Tygs On Top is already starting to make weird noises again. Sigh.

Last night, Kaline stayed home while Juno, the 'rents and I joined two friends for the Tour of Gymnastics Champions in San Jose. One of the friends was Amie, with wonderful Pilaf! We had a great time taking the dogs together—it's definitely a plus when you aren't the only one in the group who has to think about feedings, potty breaks and the like. We with dogs ended up in one of the cement boxes, but we could see fine and the dogs had a ton of room to stretch out; the other three were in the row below us.
Juno in the box.

Juno was a champ, and so was Pilaf. Juno has never had an issue with Caltrain, just went right to sleep on my feet on the way there. She did awesome momentum pulling basically the entire night. Once she knows a route, her pulling improves tremendously (a sign we should probably work more on directionals at some point). I was really glad I didn't bring Kaline cause this was definitely a show to pay attention to!
The Shark Tank before the show.

It was loud, with crazy lights, and a good dose of screaming (especially when Aly Raisman's distinctive floor music began to play and a spotlight suddenly picked her out on a corner of the floor). That bothered Pilaf at the beginning, but that was pretty much the only time she got unsettled. She was super. Juno is an old hand at the screaming (she only can't stand it if it comes from rollercoasters, as I discovered on a trip to Great America). She slept most of the time and I got to concentrate on the show. Sam Mikulak, Michigan Man, was not there, I assume because he has to be in school. (Jake Dalton is a junior too, though, and he was in it. Hmm.) Danell Leyva also was MIA. Figures, he does not seem to be much of a team player at all. All the Olympic girls were there, plus Jon Horton, John Orozco and Jake Dalton from the guys' team. Other National Team guys were some of my faves, like Chris Brooks, Steve Legendre and Josh Dixon (Stanford!). We tried to go down and say hi after, but no luck.

On the way home, the girls tucked themselves (or got tucked, as the case may be!) under the seats and Amie and I got to talk service dogs the whole way. It was quite nice, though we were very tired. Poor Amie had no sleep to look forward to either—she had to go to work for ten hours, then a meeting! Yikes.
Juno and Pilaf on the ride home.

I came home to a zoomie baby Doberman, so we played fetch a bit before we had to head back to bed. I was very proud of him that he hadn't made any mess or destroyed anything in his crate, because he was in there for a long time. I tired him out beforehand and made sure he was empty, but still!

Today we did downtown Menlo Park and hit all our favorite handicap buttons. Juno reminds me of Hermione when we're doing buttons. She watches Kaline flub around with this look of mounting frustration on her face, then finally shoulders him out of the way and smacks the button right on with her paw. She knows the answer, dammit! He's getting better at the buttons though, probably because he's getting taller every day. Maybe a little more coordinated too ... I hope!

We also had our usual Borrone's walk/outing with Dad, and today we met Freddie there to talk about dogs as a business. I always end up really discouraged after such conversations, even if they're not meant to be discouraging. I always feel so limited in what I can do, because of my limitations from fibro. The fatigue is a huge problem, almost as big as the problems with my hands. So now I'm wondering if I can ever make it work ... and by the same token, I wonder how I could ever get a "normal" 9-5 job when I probably could not actually work such a schedule long term, spoons-wise.

But anyway, the dogs were good; Juno even let Kaline cuddle with her a bit under the table. We're having a quiet afternoon and I'm just trying to stave off the latest edition of the funk. Another hell week begins tomorrow, and maybe after that things will be a little better.
Dogs cuddling.