Monday, April 18, 2011

So long Michele!

This past Thursday was a bitter sweet day for Kai and I. We attended our last agility class with our instructor of two years, Michele. Because of the increasingly small class size due to participants dropping out for various reasons the class has dwindled down to two. Such a small class is not economically feasible to maintain so the decision was made to scrap the class and place Kai and I in another class with another instructor.

I am not saying I have a personal grudge or dislike of the new instructor but I have been with Michele for a while now. She has a great understanding of what I need and what my dog Kai needs in our quest to someday obtain agility titles. She has spent extra time with us dealing with my difficulties navigating the course first in a scooter and now in a wheelchair. She realizes the great strain this places on Kai and the special exceptions that must be made so that we are both successful. Many times she has worked with Kai as my extra hand helping him to understand what it is I am trying to tell him to do. Michele is very knowledgeable about the sport, the rules and how to be successful. Although I am fairly certain I am her first student using a wheelchair she has never made me feel unwelcome or a nuisance.

Kai also likes and trusts Michele and he shows great enthusiasm and willingness to please her whenever she takes his leash. I do not handle change well the older I get so switching gears to a new instructor’s method has me flustered and worried. The class I am joining is not as far along as the class I was in with Michele. Will this cause Kai to backslide and begin to see agility as a chore where now he finds it a joy? My over active imagination has kicked into overtime and all sorts of good and bad things are churning around in my head. Despite the knowledge that my new instructor will do her best just like Michele to instruct us with knowledge, humor and knowing Kai’s tendency for shenanigans a great deal of perseverance I am sad to see my classes with Michele come to an end.

Thank you and goodbye Michele. I hope to see you in the future at trials and maybe someday I will be lucky enough to take classes with you again. Wishing you all the best in the future. Wish us luck, between my handling and Kai's love of the zoomies we just may need it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunny Weather

We are having a round of sunny weather here in Erie, PA. While the temperatures remain cold the sun is still wonderful to see, we are definately sun starved during the winter. In celebration of this Kai and I went for a walk recently on a beautiful day last week. The sun was shining and the temperatures were warm so we wandered around the small town of North East while waiting for Ashley to finish classes for the day. Of course, you know me I had camera in tow and took quite a few pictures. Kai posed nicely for this one while we sat in Gibson Park enjoying the sunshine.

Isn't he handsome? He loves to get out and enjoy the scenery with me. Getting him to pose for pictures however is sometimes a problem because he likes to get real close to the camera and lick the lens! He is also a great one for moving at the last second. Since I have an older small digital camera which can take a second or two to snap the picture I have taken many more blurry pictures of Kai than I would like to count. Taking pictures of Kai makes the delete button on digital cameras a wonderful invention.

I have stated before how long winter seems here in Erie and all the trees are still bare and the grass is dull green after having been buried for months in winter snow. Imagine how suprised I was while wandering around the streets of North East to find these flowers bravely poking through someone lawns near the sidewalk. 

Just that one view of spring has renewed my hope that soon I will be enjoying many more flowers on my walks with Kai. I am sure Kai has no objections to going with me on as many walks as we can squeeze in. Dogs are like that, no matter what your plans are as long as they are invited to go along they are estactic. How many of your human friends are as happy to be with you whether you are sitting on the couch watching TV or walking around the block on a sunny afternoon.

I will share more pictures of my walk with Kai in a later post. Right now I think I will spend some time with my dog. See you later.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another day of photos, Can you stand it?

It is a snowy day here in Erie (so what else is new in early March) and the dogs are relaxing on their beds, which makes it very quiet around here. With nothing else to do this morning I am going through photographs so I am going to post a few here. Hold on to your seats!

I went to Harrisburg, PA recently with ADAPT and while in the beautiful capitol building I took some pictures. It is a beautiful old building. This is a picture taken in the main Rotunda of some of the light fixtures and a display case. Gorgeous, isn't it.

Here is a view from the rear of the capitol building. As you can see it was a beautiful day, we enjoyed temperatures in the fifties, unusual for late February.

On a snowy day this winter I had to visit my veterinarian's office. This is a view from the parking lot. The office is in an old barn that has been remodelled beautifully. Being in the country the view is wonderful. The pine trees look like they are dressed for a party with their coating of snow.

Since we are on the topic of winter, here is another picture taken this winter. Are you getting the idea that I like to take pictures of trees and wooded areas in their winter finery.

That is all for now, I don't want to post too many pictures at once. What fun would that be, I would have nothing to fill up quiet days with anymore.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kai has a girlfriend!

Last week Kai had a girlfriend come visit. Her name is Angel and she is a beautiful girl. Kai and her got together last year and she raised eight gorgeous puppies! We had a busy couple of days and Kai is now in a bit of a funk because she has returned home and he keeps looking for her. Now we are waiting to see if she has puppies in late April. I am keeping my fingers crossed, lol.  


Maybe Angel is the reason he was so distracted at agility class last week although in all fairness to him so were the other dogs in the class (all of them are girls so Kai thinks he is quite the stud muffin!). I guess I will find out when we go to class this week.

On an entirely different front Ashley had her dog Scamp neutered last Friday. He came home a little dopey and out of sorts but it did not take long before he was back to his usual rambunctious self. Keeping him quiet and stopping him from jumping once he started to feel better really has Ashley pulling her hair out. Of course he is wearing an E-collar so him and Kai have matching head gear! I have told him he now looks just like Kai but since his attitude towards Kai is ambivalent most of the time I am sure he resented the comparison. Here is a picture of Scamp sitting in his crate with his e-collar on feeling sorry for himself.


Ashley and I went to the courthouse yesterday and purchased everyone's dog license for 2011 so we are set for this year. Now we just need some lovely warmer weather so we can go on long walks and enjoy our time together.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Training Blues

Kai and I attended agility class again this past Thursday. I look forward to going to class because I have so much fun working with my dog. Watching him learn is truly exciting and you always learn something new when training dogs. It is never the same for every dog, they are truly individuals no matter how much they may look alike.

Kai is doing well in agility class, I think that most of the problems are mine. I am new to agility having trained in obedience for over twenty years the world of agility is something I am still getting used to. Also the fact that I must use a wheelchair to get around severely limits my ability to keep up with Kai and also to perform many of the maneuvers that the other handlers can do almost without thinking. So with quite a few things Kai and I are struggling. The other owners and their dogs are doing so much better than we are at several things, the most obvious one is Kai's arch nemesis the weave poles.

Kai started out doing very well with weave poles but as the guides disappeared he started having more and more trouble. Last summer and fall I did not have a wheelchair ramp so getting out of the house to practice was extremely difficult so I was not able to work with Kai on the weave poles much at all. This winter of course outdoor practice is out of the question and indoors I have absolutely no room to put up a set of weave poles and run Kai through his paces.

Now the lack of practice time is showing. While the other dogs in his class seem to be very proficient at the weave poles Kai is struggling to get the concept. This week we had to go through the weave poles twice during the course and Kai did not complete them totally on his own even once. We were able to get time to concentrate on the weaves at the end of the class and we were successful going through the poles when he is on my left side several times. Every time we had a major party and the rewards were many. Doing the weave poles when he is on my right however are another kettle of fish. He seems to not even notice the obstacle is there!

I need to troubleshoot and figure out what the exact problem is and work to overcome it. It could be that he has difficulty being on my right because of previous obedience training and working as my service dog he is oriented to being on my left. It could also be one of a million other things. I am looking forward to spring when Kai and I can use my new wheelchair ramp to get outside at anytime and practice weave poles or do anything else we may want to do. A walk in the spring sunshine sounds wonderful to me now. Wish us luck.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A quiet Saturday

There is not much going on today. It is very quiet, even all the animals are napping as I write this. The sunshine of the past few days has abandoned us so we are back to our usual dreary white gray skies that everyone loves to hate. I can be positive about the weather and say that at least it is not snowing! What is there to do on such a sleepy day? My dogs are only interested in catching some sleep like they have been up late partying. I was considering joining them but I seem to be wide awake so I will have to find other entertainment. Time to sort through the photo album and post a few pictures.
Kai in his working gear

I went to Washington DC with ADAPT this past September. We were there to express our opinion about Health Care Reform and other issues affecting the disabled community. I learned a great deal about civil disobedience and protesting while I was there. We are a peaceful group for the most part but we are definitely heard! Being a photo bug I took pictures when I could. Of course, Kai was with me. Above is a picture of him relaxing during all the action at HUD. It was over eighty degrees most of that week so finding shade for him was at times problematic. When all else failed I carried an umbrella! Creativity wins.

We were followed every where by police. I never knew there were so many different law enforcement officers in Washington DC. We not only had the Washington DC police force following us but also White House Police, Homeland Security and Capitol Police depending on what part of the city we were in. As you can tell, the police had a great deal of down time where not much was going on. The above picture was taken near the White House.

The first day we dressed in black and held a memorial for all the disabled that have died in nursing homes that they were forced into because they are not given the choice for home care. It was an impressive sight!

I guess I spoke too soon about the snow, as it has started falling. Kai has awakened from his nap and wants to go outside to play. I guess it is the end of my quiet Saturday.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pictures of Winter

Winter is taking too long so I am taking pictures of winter white. Another thing that is boring about winter, every thing is white or nearly so. There will be the occassional blackness of tree limbs and trunks, the disgusting brown of the plowed snow along roadways but mostly there is white. I have nothing against the color white but is it even a color or the absence of color? Regardless it gets a bit boring this time of year to see only white. At least spring and summer have the many colors of green, the vibrant colors of the flowers in their favor and of course Autumn is resplendant in the oranges, yellows and reds of the trees. Winter however is WHITE!

Snow Covered Trees

I took this picture last year. I think it illustrates my point very well. Just lots of white with streaks of grey and black.


Even Rommel does not look too happy to be outside in the deep snow. At least he is a spot of color!

Four Mile Creek

A view looking across a frozen and snow covered Four Mile Creek which is near my home.

I much prefer taking pictures any other time of year. At least my fingers are in no danger of freezing to the camera!! But winter in it's boring white can be beautiful in it's own way so I will brave the cold on occasion and catch Mother Nature clothed in her frosty gown of snow.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Agility Class

This afternoon was the first agility class of the New Year. We had a break over the Holiday season and because of the inclement winter weather we have not had much of an opportunity to do any practice.

Despite being rusty Kai seemed to get back in the swing of things with minimal difficulty. We had worked on sending Kai ahead of me and crossing in front of my wheelchair which were things he was reluctant to do before. He is so used to staying near me for service dog work that he had to learn that going ahead of me was an acceptable thing to do. By repeatedly sending him ahead of me for small things in the house he had the confidence in class to head in the direction I was pointing and take jumps with ease.

I am really looking forward to the next eight weeks learning together to work as a team and having fun at the same time.

Today also was the second week of agility class for Ashley & Scamp. Since Scamp was not a well socialized dog during his first year of life he is having some issues adjusting to all the new dogs in class but by the middle of the evening he was paying attention to Ashley and not reacting to what was going on around him. He did have an occasional mishap such as when the Minature Schnauzer decided to run up to him so he had to warn her off. But even his reaction to that was so much better than it would have been just a few months ago.

I know that if we keep working with him he will soon act calm, cool and collected around other dogs and people that he does not know.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lampshade Head Dog

I have changed Kai's name to Lampshade Head Dog. Kai is currently wearing an E-collar and he is not too happy about it but unfortunately it is for his own good. He started chewing himself about six inches above the root of his tale late this summer. Despite all my best efforts he managed to get it chewed raw and infected so that required a trip to the vet. After a bill that was a major dent on my wallet being over $200 he spent three weeks on antibiotics and antihistamines. The area healed very nicely and he was doing well when about three weeks after that he sneaked into the bedroom and chewed it open again. It was so red and inflammed that he was crying in pain if I even tried to clean it. So after a phone call to the vet and another $50 he spent another three weeks on antibiotics and antihistamines.

Needless to say I have been watching him like a hawk since then but this past week he again started chewing on himself and has some scabs in the area around the previously damaged skin. So a trip to PetsMart and he is now the unhappy owner of a green tinted e-collar. I will have him wear it until he is all healed up and then I am going to have to find a way to keep it from happening again or the e-collar will have to become permanent wearing apparel for him. I have noticed he seems to do the chewing when he is very bored, frustrated or has not gotten enough exercise so I will be sure to make sure that he has no opportunity to be any of those things. I am up to the challenge I am sure or I had better be.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cheech the turtle

In addition to the dogs and cats that live with me I am also blessed with the presence of Cheech a red eared slider turtle. She arrived with Ashley and Cheech has totally changed my opinion of what type of pet a turtle can be.


My memory of pet turtles consists of tiny turtles that my mother purchased at the local Five and Dime. They were kept in a large open tank with thirty or forty other turtles that all climbed over each other due to limited room. My sister and I each got a turtle and we brought them home and installed them in a glass fish bowl with some water and a rock to climb out on. They did not live long, possibly because my sister and I would take them out of their bowl and handle them almost every day or just because they were not very healthy to begin with due to the conditions they were raised in. I had a series of turtles until one day we were told that they no longer were allowed to sell the turtles due to the fact that they were carriers of Salmonella.

When Ashley told me she had a pet turtle I was not sure what to expect. Since the turtles I remembered did not have much personality and basically just hid in their bowl I did not imagine that Ashley's turtle would be much different. I was totally astonished to meet Cheech, she was so much larger than the turtles of my past. They were only and inch or so across their shell and Cheech was four or five times that size. I also did not expect her to do much more than sit in her aquarium.

Cheech has proven to be quite the character. She begs for food when she sees that someone is in the room by bouncing along the glass walls of the aquarium pawing and standing on her rear legs. She has made attempts to climb out of the top of her tank, stretching up on her rear feet and reaching with her neck and front feet until overbalanced she falls down sometimes landing on her back so that I hold my breath wondering if I need to rescue her and then she manages to flip herself upright. We have taken her out of her tank and putting her in a small fenced area let her roam around. She teases the cats, especially D.C. when he gets to close to her she spins around and tries to bite him. We are all waiting for the day when we find D.C. with a turtle attached to his nose.

Ashley recently purchased a much larger tank for Cheech and she has been quite pleased with the extra room to swim and bask in the light on her rocky island. I am so glad to make the acquaintance of such a personality as Cheech the turtle.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Organizing Picture Files

For the past week or so I have been organizing my picture files on my computer. When my older laptop began to have signs of impending doom and also because I always try to keep important files backed up I had put all my photos on a flash drive. I was amazed to find that I had over a thousand pictures when I went to download them onto my new computer. So I have spent a little bit of time everyday organizing them into files and culling some that are repetitive, blurry or have other major flaws I seemed to have overlooked the first time. I guess I never really thought about how large the number one thousand is but when you are spending hours going through photos and even after deleting hundreds of pictures I still have over nine hundred left. That count does not include the hundreds of pictures I have taken that were on the memory card of my camera that I have also transferred onto my computer that I had to edit.

What is the point of all this information? I thought that occasionally I will post some of my favorite pictures here in my blog. Some will be picture of my dogs, some will be family and friends and some could be just pictures of any thing at all.

  Yankee (my cat)

Out of the three cats in the house, Yankee is the only cat that will voluntarily pay any attention to me. In the picture that I actually took with my iphone he is sitting on my little table asking me for his favorite snack, a potato chip.


My niece Ashley graduated from high school last June and this picture was taken at her graduation party last August. Ashley is such a wonderful girl and she has been such a joy since she has come to live with me.

Apple Blossoms

I took this picture in the neighborhood in the spring of 2009. The apple tree in a neighbors yard was in full bloom showing off all it's splendor.

Tasha and Shanna

The last picture from today is one of my first two white German Shepherds. They have long since gone to the Rainbow Bridge but they live on forever in my heart.

Time to call it a day. I will post more pictures in the future. So long.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A snowy day for a drive.

Today the weather turned snowy with very strong wind gusts so of course it is the day that I am driving to Youngstown, OH to meet a new friend. I was given information to contact her regarding a wheelchair she had for sale and after numerous emails back and forth it was agreed I could purchase the chair. Since my electric scooter had given up the ghost (unless of course I want to drive backwards the rest of my life) being able to purchase an almost new wheelchair at a great discount was such a blessing.

So we agreed to meet at the rest stop on Rt. 11 which is closer to Youngstown than here but a fairly easy and quick drive. Leaving home it was snowing lightly but by the time we reached I-90 the visibility had plummeted and the roads had blowing snow as well as already slippery conditions. Although I had left with time to spare if road conditions had been normal the weather slowed me down considerably and I ended up being late at our rendezvous. I did call her though and she was not upset thank goodness. When I finally arrive I am 15 minutes late and I am a person that is mortified to be late.

Kai loved the drive but then again Kai views riding in the car as second only to eating as his favorite thing to do in the whole world. He gets so upset if the vehicle leaves the driveway and he is not in it. He watched the loading of the wheelchair but then discovered that he was not confined to the extreme back seat of the van and could not walk up and check on me every once in awhile. By the end of the return trip he had figured out that he could stand on the wheelchair seat with his front legs and be closer to the action so he was happy about that.

Fortunately the return trip was uneventful. Visibility had cleared and the roads had been salted and were clear. Although it was still windy it was definitely not as troublesome as it had been earlier. The amazing thing was we had seen no accidents on our way to Youngstown when the weather was miserable but on the way home we passed car after car that had ran off the road and was stuck in a snow drift somewhere. Evidently driving too fast for conditions was prevalent today.

Kai and I are glad to be home safe and sound and Kai is now sleeping on the couch. I guess the trip wore him out.

Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Running Errands & Playing in the Snow

Today was a day to run errands including what everyone always dreads, paying the bills. After paying as many bills as I could online I then had to visit the bank ATM withdraw cash and pay the two bills I cannot pay online which include the lot rent so that I can continue to have a home. I would love to be able to pay all bills online because then I don't have to venture out when it is freezing cold outside but the natural gas company does not allow bill paying online unless you have the money deducted from a checking account which I don't have. Why credit cards which are basic Internet currency are not accepted is beyond me.

So out we venture in the frigid air, first stop is the vet where we take Scamp to have his nails trimmed. Having been a pet groomer for ten years it is few dogs that I cannot manage to trim their nails but Scamp has proved to be one. We obtained him in September at the age of one and he had only had his nails trimmed once or twice. We were told that he didn't like it so they just didn't do it. He had no training of any kind and was extremely used to getting his own way. Despite major success with teaching him basic obedience and restricting his impulse to nip and bite if confronted he was still impossible when it was time to get his nails trimmed. Nail trimming required a muzzle, two people wrestling to hold him still while I attempted to hold on to a foot and trim the nails. We succeeded twice but the last time while doing the first foot he jerked the wrong way and blood was every where. We had a very difficult time getting it to stop bleeding because the nail was cut extremely close to the toe. So after talking with the vet we decided to take him there to have them done.

I am wondering if the vet's office will ever let him back there again since it took four vet techs to get a muzzle on him! They did manage to get his nails trimmed without blood loss from either staff or canine. The vet kidded that she was surprised at how strong such a small dog was. He may only be 17 pounds but he is wiry and all muscle. So with him relaxing in the back of the car we returned home to drop Scamp off and then we dropped off the rent, and tried to pay the gas bill but they were closed at 4 pm. Bummer!

Next on the agenda was picking up my friend Lynn and her service dog Otto at work and we took the Kai and Otto for a run. The snow was up to both dogs shoulder blades and they had fun hopping through it and chased each other around a little. Kai was more enthused with playing and running and Otto spent more time warning Kai off. Unfortunately since Kai was a puppy one of his favorite things to do when playing is to grab dogs by the front leg. Otto was having none of it and so after a short period of time the play was over and we took Lynn home.

I am now staring at two exhausted dogs sacked out on the living room floor and the couch. They do say that a tired dog is a happy dog! I do know that a tired dog makes a happy owner!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dogs vs. Cats

In my household in addition to the three dogs there are also three cats that in typical cat fashion are convinced that we are all here to serve them. The relationship between the dogs and cats varies depending on the specific dog or cat and also to a great extent the time of day.

Rommel is a cat addict. He lives to seek out cats in the neighborhood with the goal of pinning them down and sticking his nose deep in their fur and sniffing in such a state of pure joy it is funny to watch. Of course the cats do not appreciate such behavior and tend to demonstrate their disapproval with varying degrees of growling, hissing and clawing. When Rommel first moved in here he tried this procedure on all the cats that lived here at the time but soon gave up because half of the fun for him was the chase and our cats just refused to run from a little old German Shepherd Dog. So now it is his dream to catch a cat roaming the neighborhood and show it how much he loves them. Taking Rommel for a walk is an interesting time because you must be alert for felines on the loose so you can distract his attention from them before he can act on his impulse.

Rommel sniffing DC

Kai on the other hand was raised by a cat at his breeder and he has a very good attitude towards cats in general. He mostly ignores our cats and the cats in the neighborhood. He does have his favorite cat though and Pip returns that affection and attention. Where ever Kai is Pip can usually be found. Pip gets in Kai's face, crawls over him and before he was neutered occasionally used him as an object of romantic affection. No matter what Kai does to him including putting his head in his mouth, pinning him down with his foot or using him as a furry pillow Pip just comes back for more.

Kai and Pip

I don't think the new addition to the household, Scamp, had ever met a cat until he moved here. I am not sure he knows what a cat is for that matter. Since he was poorly socialized as a puppy he is also not too sure that he is a dog. So his approach to cats is a little bipolar at times. When ever one of the cats comes in from the outdoors he loves to chase them down the hall. He also pounces on them at odd times in a playful mood and he is totally astonished when he gets hissed at and swatted in the face. He would have a totally scratched up face if it wasn't for the forebearance of the cats who keep their claws sheated. He especially has a hate - hate relationship with Yankee and the two of them tend to go into combat mode on sight of each other. DC on the other hand is jealous of Scamp and the fact that Ashley pays attention to him so he has taken the offensive at times and launched himself at Scamp anytime they are in the same room together.

So in my house the war between dogs and cats continues with occassional truces and occasional battles but mostly it seems to have long periods of indifference when both sides march to their own drummers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowy Day. But what did you expect in January?

Today is a snowy day not only here in Erie but pretty much all over the country. A major Nor'Easter blew up the east coast and is dumping snow by the foot up into New England. The Pacific Northwest also is getting snow and the deep south is still in a deep freeze and trying to dig out from more snow than they usually see for years. Why the weather report? It is interesting to see how people handle weather events. Most people respond according to where they live and whether the weather event is normal for that area. So the people in the South are finding it difficult to deal with all the snow, freezing rain and low temperatures while New England is much better equipped to handle such events. So the people of New England may be hunkering down today and waiting for the storm to pass, once it is gone they will have a much easier time digging out and getting on with their lives.

I did notice on Facebook that people who do not have the opportunity to play in the snow are using the aftermath of the storm to introduce their children to the joys of snowmen, sledding and snowball fights. Those of us that are used to snow are perhaps just a little jaded about the addition of even more fluffy white stuff. We do not enjoy the joys of a day spent romping outside on a snowy afternoon especially once we are out of childhood. Most of us just wish the snow would go away and annoy someone else.

My dogs however all approach the snow everyday with great joy. They love to run and plow through the drifts, roll around making snow doggie angels and sticking their faces deep down in the snow and emerging with face and nose covered in white fluff. They charge out the door with joyous abandon and begin to explore the new layers that have been added to their yard since the last time they were out. Often they are so overjoyed while outside that they are very reluctant to come back inside when they are called.

Maybe I need to take a note from my dogs and enjoy the day no matter what it hands us and not be so caught up in blaming the weather as a reason to not go outside and just have some fun.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Growing Old

Time goes by much too fast both for us and especially for our pets. It is so hard to believe that the puppy you remember like it was just yesterday is now a senior citizen.

Rommel will be ten this year. He spends a great deal of his day sleeping and he is moving slower. There seems at times to be a look of sadness in his eyes like he knows that he is older now and can't do everything that he used to be able to do. I know that he is not in pain except for some arthritis on occassion but it is difficult watching such an energetic personality lapse slowly into indifference. Rommel does love his food though and dinner time is the major bright spot of his day. Then you can see the young puppy shining through in his eyes. They say that when your dog is getting older you should decide on what criteria you are going to base your decision that he is no longer enjoying life and maybe needs to be helped to the Rainbow Bridge. You should decide on two or three things and if the dog is no longer able or no longer enjoys those activities you should consider euthansia. I know for a dog that lives to eat like Rommel does that when he starts to have no enthusiam for his dinner that it will be time to consider his needs above my own. I am hoping that day is a long way off.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's 2011 (Just in case you were not aware of that)

It is already ten days into the New Year and I am finally getting around to posting here again. It seems that I took all of 2010 off from blogging and I decided that I will make a concerted effort to make regular posts again. I may be talking to myself but it doesn't matter. Sometimes I have a lot to say so I might as well say it here.

Over the past year I have been concentrating on several things. Kai and I restarted agility classes and he is doing excellent despite having me as his handler. While I have always been a good handler in obedience trials I have found that agility is definately a totally different kettle of fish that I am often drowning in! Agility training requires you to be faster than your dog not only in your ability to get around the ring but also in your ability to think ahead and give your dog plenty of notice about what is coming next. Add to that the fact that due to physical limitations I am no longer able to run around the ring and I must use an electric scooter or wheelchair that makes training that much more difficult.

Speaking of my electric scooter, after three years of faithful service it has suffered a major meltdown and will no longer move in a forward direction. So unless I want to go through life in reverse I am forced to pay to get it repaired or find an alternative means of transportation. Fortunately, I lucked onto a fellow dog trainer in Youngstown, OH who has a almost new wheelchair that she wants to find a new home for and so this weekend I will be driving to Youngstown and coming back with new transportation. I think when I have saved up some money I will have the scooter repaired to use as a backup so that hopefully I will not ever be stuck with no means to easily get around.

Ashley and Scamp

My niece Ashley got a pomeranian beagle mix this past September and he is settling into the household fairly well. He does not always get along with Kai mainly because he does not being smacked on the head with a German Shepherd foot as an invitation to play. She named him Scamp and he is living up to the name. Ashley has been working hard on his basic obedience and they will be starting agility classes soon. I wish them luck but I think that they will be good at it and won't need extra luck.

Kai and his cat Pip are still the best of buddies. Where you find one you often find the other.
Kai and Pip

Ain't love grand!

I don't want to write about my entire life in one post. I will catch up more in future posts. Hopefully 2011 will be my year of the blog.