Black Acorn Dogs

Monday, January 30, 2006


Still recovering today from some sort of bug that hit me Friday night.
Friday night: nausea and chills to the tune of sweatpants + sweatshirt + robe + double-thick slipper socks + wool hat + scarf + two blankets + fireplace = still cold.
Saturday: no more chills, but still very buggy.
Sunday: no longer feeling "sick" but can't move so much as walking across the room without having spasmic coughing.
Today: Same, plus incredibly sore ribs/diaphragm from the coughing. Good times.

At least it hit on the weekend.

Miss Ebony has lain down with me two or three times over the course of it, one of which was right on top of me. Not quite a Sky or Willow "reassuring presence" as much as a half-my-body-mass "crushing", but awfully sweet all the same. Ebby usually lays at my feet (often ON my feet) and will sometimes lay next to me on the couch, but she doesn't usually snuggle up when I'm lying down.

(I guess for this to make more sense, I should note that the dogs don't get to sleep in the bedroom with us since that's where the ferrets are, so she only gets the chance to lay down with me when I'm on the couch. We often sleep downstairs with the dogs on the weekends.)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Back to Training

Classes started again last week after about a month break for the holidays, and the dogs were amazingly excited. I'm so glad that they enjoy training so much, because it really gives them something to do and something for us to bond over. This session Indie is in Sub-Novice/CGC again (take 3, with a few more to go I think) and Ebby is in Novice Obedience. sub-Novice is actually a big below Novice Obedience, although they sound similar; Sub-Novice is about preparation for CGC test, which any old dog can take, and not all need preparation. Kate took and passed it cold when she was 13. If you aren't familiar, here are the 10 tasks; your dog might pass just fine. We're still working on "3 minute away" (I can't pass Indie off to someone else for any length of time, and I'm a bad momma for not practicing it enough), and passing another dog calmly. Novice Obedience is for the first level of competition obedience, and Ebby and I will hang out in that class at least until she has her first of 3 competition "legs" she needs to get the title.

Her enthusiasm is wonderful in class, but one thing she was doing last night cracked me up. We were practicing a 90 degree left pivot, which means she was sitting in heel position at my left side with her head beside my leg, and I turn my body to the left (no steps, just turn) and she has to scooch back in a quarter circle so she stays even with my left. She does this lovely "pracing pony" leap where she jumps dramatically in the air and swings herself around into position. It's quite lovely BUT she hasn't figured out her balance yet and more times than not, she slammed into my left leg while doing it. 70 pounds of dog-in-motion, careening into me at nearly waist-level. Good thing one of us has good balance -- oof! It'll be easier once she gets the hang of it and figures out where to put her body. In the meantime, so long as I don't get knocked over and break my neck, it's pretty funny.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Aren't I Tired Yet?

Just finishing a fun day, and I can now tell how badly I've screwed up my sleeping habits with late night gaming by the fact that I am the last one up AND my body is the one that should recognize it as 3:30 AM. Oops.

Lunch today was a new creation I came up with that I shall hereafter refer to as a Portland Tuna Sandwich. I wanted something to add to my tuna sandwich, so I added liberal amounts of avocodo topped with dried cranberries that were on a leftovers plate from last nights dinner salad. Yum! Amy deemed it as a very Portland combination, so voila.

Amy, Mom and I spent a rainy but fun afternoon shopping in Nob Hill. I actually bought a real live shirt, and also a bunch of neat bouncy balls for Diane. We ended off the evening with some delicious crock-pot pork roast and stuffed mushrooms and way more discussions on religion and politics, often both combined. It was funny that at the end of the night, Dillon and I ended up on a lot of the same exact topics that Amy and Mom and I had hit earlier in the day when he was at work. Good times!

I can hear Bogie's extra loud breathing and snoring in the next room as I type this, punctuated with occasional snorts. What a funny boy. I'm so glad there's a dog to love on here to help me not miss my guys so much.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Portland, Ho!

Writing this from Oregon (just like you asked, Dad! And on Amy's new laptop, too)!

I lucked out bigtime on my flight out to Portland. It was long but uneventful, but I had the fortune to have all three seats to myself on *both* legs of my flight. (Actually, a man in the row behind me came in sat in the aisle seat on the first, but I still had two seats... good enough for me). This was extra nice because it dawned on around hour 8 that I probably could have made it to Europe in the same amount of time.

What we've seen of Portland so far is very pretty, even after 23 consecutive days of rain. It's very green. Amy and Dillon's house and neighborhood is very cute, and we've been having a good time playing with Bogie (the Bulldog). I have some cute video of him playing that I'll try to post later.

So far Amy and Mom and I have already covered politics, religion, homelessness, spaying/neutering pets, goverment drug polichy, pain management programs, global weather patterns, and exactly what kind of crazy person to act like if you're ever being attacked in a dark alley (complete with Exorcist-like demonstrations).

Monday, January 09, 2006


I've officially crossed a new line as of last night in the way agility works into my psyche.

It's very common for people to have certain recurring dreams. The classic stereotypical example is to dream about being naked at school (not that everyone has that particular one). Shugirl posted recently that she'd been having ones about not being prepared for a test (despite the fact that she's been out of school for years) and of having all of her teeth have problems or fall out. I commented that my two recurring "anxiety dreams" were that I'm supposed to be at a horse show but I don't know where any of my equipment is or that I'm in a theatrical production and I haven't prepared any of my lines.

Last night, I had a new one. I drempt that I was at an agility trial and chatting with other people in the line-up. Suddenly, it was my turn to go and I hadn't studied the course! Worse yet, it was a Jumpers course and there were about double the number of jumps on the course that there would normally be, so just imagine that there's a field with so many yellow jumps on it that you'd be hard pressed to find a line to even run through it.

I guess I can say that I'm proud of how I handled the situation in the dream. I still went out and ran the course (with a Bearded Collie. Which didn't even belong to me in the dream. No clue whose dog it was. Dreams are *weird*.) We sort of did a make-your-own course and it went so-so. So it was bad that we weren't prepared, but kudos that I tried to make a go of it.

So looks like I have new addition to the "anxiety dream" category. Luckily my anxiety dreams seem to centralize around things I like to do. Takes a lot of the sting out!

Friday, January 06, 2006

White Flag

I give up. I think, starting now, I'm going to try to post everything all in one blog, and this is it. I've kept separate blogs for a long time (currently the dog-related and the non-dog-related), but it's gotten to where it feels silly to decide which one to post in. And I'm not really posting often in either, so... screw it. There's no sense segregating it all out, and people who want to read about dog stuff and people who don't care about dog stuff will just each have to deal.

Probably this post will now sit here on its lonesome for a little while instead of generating the hoped-for new flush of messages from me, but we'll see.

In honor of kicking it off, let me write an actual post.

Why is it that I think of things all the time that I'd like to blog about, and then when I have a few minutes, I'm always staring at the blank screen? I hate when that happens. Anyone else?

We start Reactive Dog Class with Indie on Saturday. I'm actually pretty excited about it. He's also going to be enrolled in regular Sub-Novice/CGC again, but his dog/dog behavior has taken a real backslide ever since the weather starting turning icky (which was really about 3 months ago) and we stopped getting out to see other dogs as much. Hopefully if we keep working it through the winter it'll turn around easily enough when the weather gets nice again. It's a real pain in the rear, and mkes it hard to take him fun places. On the flip side, Ebby continues to be better and better all the time on that front. She's been great in class for a long time, and she's even learning to get it under control when there's another dog barking/lunging at her in the neighborhood. She's come a long way, and that's what gives me a lot of patience with Indie.