Been feeling so sad lately about Boost and Tika. It's the time of year. Three years ago, Tika was recently gone and Boost will be gone in a couple of days.
I've been trying to stay away from sugar (well, except for some unfortunate incidents involving Easter candy), but yesterday afternoon I just couldn't stand it any more, plus I needed something to cheer me up. So I decided to replay one of the excellent days from three years ago-- in June of that year, when Chip and I headed for the hills and came back with Zorro (known at the time as Luke).
On the way home back then, I stopped in a small town in a one-of-a-kind hamburger place for a hamburger--and they had ice cream cones! And it was a warm day! And so I got a cone. Ate most of it. Shared it with the new "brothers". A joy, and a rare treat for the beasties.
So, yesterday... no, I didn't drive all the way back to that place... but I did drive down the street to here:
Yummmmmm-- my favorite sherbet! Colorful AND fruity!
If I'm going to share, better be a double scoop. Am I right?
Human Mom, whut iz GOT?! Is we getz owt of here? Walkiez meybe?
Do you see where I'm going with this?
No, seriously, I just sucked off a couple small bits of sherbet and ptooed them into the dishes. Took a lot of convincing to get Zorro to look into his dish--too excited about having his door open--but when he finally looked...... ooooohhhhhh, yummm! (Apparently cold ice cream doesn't have any particular odor, and hard to see into those no-spill dishes.)
Chip would NOT LOOK AT DISH NO ME GETZ OUT WHUT IS YOU DOING HUMAN MOM?
So I sat on the bumper and enjoyed most of the treat, then offered first licks to Chip--he had no trouble figuring that out!
Zorro got second licks after I said that Chip had had enough. Rather, let's say, Zorro got second lick, and then--really, this licking crap is for wusses!
Oh--and that's when Chip discovered the bits of sherbet in his dish. Happiness all around.
AND in case you were wondering... that's about the way it all happened in June of 2015, too.
My favorite--chocolate dipped! That part not for doggers.
Mr Fox No.12 approaches the SAP center (formerly San Jose Arena, Compaq Center at San Jose, and HP Pavilion at San Jose) with his ticket ready. He notes that he doesn't think that the name represents how much he paid for his ticket, but you can never me certain.
No.12 checks out the souvenirs for Cirque de Soleil's show Crystal, but opts not to purchase.
Mr Fox was so excited about the sponsoring radio station that he dashed off to try to find the other foxes before the photo was actually snapped.
He was glad to be there so that he could guide them in adjusting the lighting for the best artistic display.
He is satisfied with a job well done.
Mr. Fox waves to his teeming fans throughout the arena, including the packed balcony section.
He momentarily mistakes the audience member in front of him as another fox and attempts to strike up a conversation about how good the seats in row 10 were.
What impressed him the most was the predatory Zamboni. He wondered whom they feed it for fuel.
At the end of the show, the entire cast saluted him. They were a little confused about his location, he says.
I know, I know. Jumpy has more white on his head; zorro's white stops at his nose and just behind his ears from the back; Jumpy's coat is longer; Zorro has spots on only 1 leg instead of all.
Our Circus Dog class instructor pointed out that Zorro's level of energy, enthusiasm, and smarts as well as his looks reminds her of Jumpy. However, watching the videos, MY energy, enthusiasm, and possibly smarts don't quite match his trainer's.
But it's nice to have a role model that Zorro can look up to.
SUMMARY: Wordless Wednesday (yeah so it's Thursday, what's your point?)
If you're dyin' for words, here:
(Such a challenge--if I had leaned to the right about 18", I could have gotten all the crap out of the view. However, I risked him moving when I simply very slowly leaned slightly backwards and lifted the camera off the desk (also which meant I stopped using the keyboard)--his ears immediately turned back to me, so I had to look away and make keyboard noises until his ears went forward again. Leaning slowly in the chair doesn't make much noise, but enough that dogs hear it. Clicking this one shot caused him to leap up and come over to check out what's going on. Now he's curled up in bed in the other room instead. Another dream of a perfect shot crushed. And you can see that even as I lifted the camera to my eye, his ears are already starting to point back towards me.)
Fetch Sam is a dog-training indoor facility near downtown San Jose. Main focus is dog agility, but that means that it's plenty big enough for a group of dogs to work on tricks, too.
Mackenzie and her Human Mom, Zorro in his crate. Mackenzie is a tres wee dog.
Saturday was our first class out of 5 spread over a month and a half. I had asked whether I could do both dogs at once (paying for both of course), but the instructor suggested that I could maybe alternate weeks, but not both at once. When class got going, I could see what that wouldn't have worked with 2 dogs, one handler.
Had to decide whom to take to week 1 and opted for Zorro.
He did very well even with other dogs around; only one brief HEY STOP LOOKING AT ME barking session, but mostly seemed comfortable to be there, not too overly stimulated, and briefly met a 6-month-old lab nose to nose. Mostly we were all maybe 20-30 feet apart from each other, working on the assigned tricks.
First week we did an intro to clicker training (which I've been using for ages) and the following:
Target training: (which this week was really "go to your mat" for which she supplied towels) I've been doing "go to your bed" with the dogs with a bit more than casual intent for a while, so they have the basic idea and Zorro had little problem with this from up to a few feet away.
Shake: Both dogs already do "shake" (with right paw) and "shake left" (with left) very well. So in class I worked on getting him to give me both paws first with shake, then with shake left; he was reluctant to get both paws off the floor at the same time although lordy knows he does that often enough at hom.
Spin: Both dogs do "left" and "right" spins already; zorro has "right" on voice command almost all the time and "left" almost on voice command; Chip isn't there yet with just voice command, but the finger reminder is almost faded away. During class, I worked on having Zorro do 2 or 3 in a row before getting a treat (so, like 2/treat, 1/treat, 2/treat, 1/treat, 3/treat, 2/treat, 1/treat...)
Take it: Haven't worked on this with these dogs ever. Zorro of course will grab a toy in my hands when I tell him to Get It at home, but he has no interest in toys at all away from house/yard, so this will take some work; in class, he was starting to open his mouth instead of just butting it with his nose, yay.
Roll over: I think I worked with them a bit on this when Zorro first arrived, but not much and not since then, so we're really at square One, or maybe one and a half. But much more willing to go over than, say, Remington, with whom I had to start by first lifting one foot slightly and rewarding, and going very very very piecemeal.
Sit pretty: Definitely worked with them a few times, again, back when Zorro was new here, but not really since. He was getting it in class after initially wanting to stand up on his hind legs, not sit up.
Mackenzie and her Human Mom (friend Arlene) also already knew some of the tricks but were just learning others. I think that some of our other classmates also knew one or two of some of these ahead of time, but we all have things to work on.
Like, for example, THIS vast display of naughtiness, Mr. Zee!!!, which I found this evening on my effing kitchen table, my beautiful all-white CLEAN kitchen table, after being gone all day:
So SOME of us have a few more things to work on outside of class than others.
Ya think we're dog people? With mostly nonpurebred dogs, both?
On the day after Christmas, a friend and I took our cameras and ambled up the trail running along a forest stream at Hidden Villa in the late afternoon, tucked between two ridges and dark and shady.
We were past the shortest day of the year, yet just starting winter. Now the days will slowly grow longer, the trees will finish shedding their last leaves, rain and chilly days will come more and more often... until, suddenly, only a month or so from today, the first hints of spring appear (today I noticed that the hyacinth and daffodil foliage is very tall and thinking that it might be ready to start forming buds).
In an attempt to motivate myself to do something with the dogs that I have, not that the dogs that I wish were still alive (although Tika would now be 17 and boost 13...so hard to believe that it has been almost 3 years), I signed up for a tricks class--er, sorry, Circus Dog class.
Not that I don't know how to teach my dogs tricks (to wit: Remington), just finding motivation to do anything with them is so hard. Not that they're bad dogs or don't want to learn or aren't quick learners. I think that I really still want to do agility. But it hurts. So fuggit.
But enough of that.
Instead, I've been working on firming up their Left and Right turns, and their Shake Left and Shake Right, and of course they're both excellent at nose Touch to the back of the hand. Started working on Crawl with Zorro and on walking backwards with Chip and backwards up the stairs with both of them--all of these barely begun and only occasionally worked on. But I have been doing Get In The Box since it's soooooo simple to teach and fun for others to see when they really get it down and useful for random occasions. They're both pretty regularly getting into the very long box now. And I have one that's about 1/3 that size; would like to have one in between those sizes but don't and am disinclined to cut up one of the boxes that I have because I am in fact gradually filling them with Things To Go Away and taking them Away.
They like it. Or the treats. Or the attention.
I had a month after I signed up to actually teach them all the tricks that are likely to be in the 5-week course so that they'd be more relaxed with familiar activities since I don't do nuthin' with them anywhere pretty much ever. But, you know, Christmas, New Year, grieving, movies, work, whatever, rationalizing away my inactivity. We'll get there gradually through the class. Just found out that a good friend also signed up (also a former agility-champion-maker slowed down by physical limitations but who has always taught her dogs tricks and competing in a bunch more dog sports than I do), so that'll be fun, too. Looking forward to it.
I should post some photos, since I have so many trillions. Maybe later.
It's been quite cold at night, so I had high hopes for few or no fireworks so maybe I could go to bed early and comfy, but alas, no.
The day started as a cheerful winter's day. Gave the Rawhides Of Unusual Size from Christmas back to both dogs. Chip settled in and resumed gnawing like a champ. Zorro sniffed at it a bit but really had no interest still. So, in the interest of evidence-based experimentation, I gave him a much smaller one to see what would happen.
He carried it around looking concerned for a while, from one lounging spot to another, never putting it down; never chewing on it, either. Finally he exited the house, and Experienced Human Mom recognized the I'm-Going-To-Bury-This-Amazing-Treasure behavior and grabbed the camera.
He roamed around the edges of the yard behind things for a couple of minutes, pausing briefly at many spots to examine them, so it was tough to get a shot--
And then suddenly he noticed me through the window and froze, stunned beyond belief that I would be so ghastly rude!! as to watch a dog bury a bone!
Stood there for a few moments in righteous indignation, then trotted purposefully out around the side of the house where I couldn't see him. Came back inside a while later with dirt on his nose and no rawhide.
I had many many Human Mom sorts of activities to do around the house, and so the day wound its way onward.
Was still daylight when the neighbors started partying not with fireworks but with music with a heavy drumbeat which apparently Chip interpreted as The Horror Of Devil-Spawned Fireworks. Hence, large dog in lap in little chair. Not comfy for either of us. Fortunately, lasted only 15-20 minutes when apparently his razor-sharp, fast-as-lightning mind ascertained that there was no immediate threat.
Zorro, meanwhile, stood watch, not wanting to leave this hotbed of exciting activity and yet making sure that no rawhide thief, such as any malevolent Squirrel!, snuck into the yard.
Then, for the moment, all was right with the world.
BUT WAIT! WHUT IZ? IN YARDZ OF WE?
As the day continued its New Years Eveish way, Zorro periodically appeared with His Precious. (Note it is now no longer pristine.)
Then it would vanish again. Much amusement occurred in the brain of Human Mom.
Nearing normal bedtime, Human Mom settled with her New York Times crossword, ready for a pleasant and calming activity. (Heh, advice column heading is "Ladies prefer cats to family members." Turns out they are the villains in that story. Figures. Cats. Pfft.)
And then, sigh, fireworks began. Not an onslaught, but enough that You Know Who returned in search of a lap. This time Human Mom provided a cushion to make the visit more comfortable for all. Still... hard to complete the nearly completed NYTC.
Hmmm, Human Mom, you not iz get five ov letterz answering of "Chip away at" clue iz? Iz me knowingz! Is "dog go"!
Oh. Iz not.
When Chip would vacate Lapland, Mr. Z occasionally wanted a snuggle of confirmation that he was not being left out.
In due time, all became silent. (Won't mention the due time was 2:30 a.m.)
Happy New Year to all and to all a safe, quiet rest and answers to life's puzzles.