"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it along to someone else." Mitch Albom

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Enjoying the warm winter days!

They look more like kangaroos in this picture!

Churry is just not sure she wants to give it.

Bailey enjoying some retrieving in our long backyard

Bailey can sit and wait for the release signal.

And so can Churry!

But Churry has NOT learned that the flower bed is NOT for her!  Bailey wouldn't dream of getting in there!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Huge Accomplishment today!

Churry loaded into the Expedition today ON HER OWN two times!!  Yah!  There's hope for my back yet.  She then proceeded right away to get into the new spot we have introduced her to and laid right down.  Hopefully, we can get rid of her kennel in the car for good.  She has ridden in her new spot with Kinsey a couple of times, but since we were shopping for Kinsey's birthday today she wasn't with us.  Churry even was laying down in the spot and appeared pretty relaxed.  I think once she learns that laying down is much easier on her car sickness than sitting up rocking back and forth she will be much better.  Also, now that she has successfully jumped in a couple of times hopefully she has it figured out and will keep doing it.   I think the main part of her refusing to get in my vehicle is it's so tall.  She has tried to jump in a couple of other times and missed and ended up scared.  So hopefully, she's big enough now to make the climb easily and successfully.  She also did really well in Wal-Mart on a very busy day and in Barnes and Noble while we took forever to make our decision.  It was a very successful day!  And hopefully Kinsey will enjoy her present that Churry helped pick out.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lawn and Garden Show

   Churry is back!  I missed her so much in the few short days she was gone!  She had a great experience with another awesome puppy raiser though.  She worked on her car riding skills, went to work at a vet's office for 3 days, went out to eat, and enjoyed the company of other dogs.
    Today, we woke up bright and early and headed to the Lawn and Garden show.  It was a great experience for her.  It was crowded and there were tons of distractions...water features (that she loves to try and play in), flower gardens (she seems to think mine are for rolling around in and tearing up), a couple of other dogs that were at booths, lots of kids, people carrying bags, etc.  She did pretty well, but it was definitely her most challenging outing to date.  Which is why I have very few pictures...it was too crowded for me to put her in a sit/stay and step back to take her picture plus she wasn't particularly interested in following directions...when I would ask her to sit she would kind of squat and eagerly wait to move on.  When we walked past the other two dogs she did EXCELLENT!  She looked at them and perked her ears up, but didn't pull or try to go see them...even though they were both barking, growling, and throwing a fit.  We kept a distance so they didn't come after her, but close enough to offer Churry a bit of a challenge.  She stayed perfectly in her heel position and kept her attention on me!  She heard lots of compliments from others for that behavior!  The crowd was good for her, but I would love to also go in when it's not crowded to have her work some more around those enticing flowers and water features.  Maybe later tonight...Right now, we have to go to our KSDS puppy get together.

Have a great day and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Churry's First Sleepover

   Aside from about 20 hours back in December when she and Bailey stayed with my in-laws while I visited my Grandpa, Churry has never spent a night away from me since I brought her home on August 5th, but she is about to enjoy this adventure!  I have conferences this week and Churry will be going to stay with another puppy raiser to accomplish a couple of things...1.  Expose her to a new work environment and different experiences 2.  The more experienced raiser can hopefully give me tips on what she and I need to work on and 3.  Relieve some stress off of Pat, who is very busy with the kids' schedules while I'm at work.

   It will be good for Churry...because it's not just me who's attached to her...she's quite attached to me.  To the point of being fussy if it's not me who feeds her or refusing to let me be in a room by myself or being unable to lie down and rest unless I'm sitting.  She doesn't bark, scratch at the door, or whine when I'm in another room...but, she does just sit there in front of it staring at the closed door until I come out or pace around nervously.  So, even though I'm going to really miss her...I see the advantages of having her leave me for a couple of days...And, she'll enjoy visiting her sister, Shelby, who stayed with us over Thanksgiving!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Great experiences at home

    I had planned to take Churry somewhere for an outing today...didn't know where, but wanted to take her out somewhere.  I ended up deciding against it because my husband decided to work on the basement....power tools, pieces of wood everywhere, unusual noises, etc.  I thought it would be a better experience today to stay home.  She wasn't phased by it a bit.  She would go downstairs every now and then to see what he was doing and watch awhile, but was good not to get in the way or cause problems.  She seemed to think the loud machinery was very interesting and was calm enough to obey the commands of sit/stay/down while we were down there.  I also let her just hang around down there without having to "listen", but just experience it as a dog.   And of course, she will steal some love whenever she can.  Besides watching Pat work, she spent the rest of the day "helping" me with laundry and laying on my feet, which I appreciated on this chilly day!  I'm hoping we will finally see some snow tomorrow!  :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Everyday life

      Churry has had a lot of typical everyday boring life lately.  Going to work, short trips to pick up Kinsey from ballet, running errands, and going to appointments have been her outings lately.  Nothing exciting, but important learning experiences.  I was most impressed with her behavior at my appointment the other day.  While in the waiting room, I decided to go sit over in the area where the kids wait with all of the toys.  This is a pretty large waiting room and this area was no exception.  It was like a small playroom!  There were about 3 kids in it playing, including a toddler who was running around yelling and throwing a ball.  I was very proud of Churry.  She was in a Down/Under and wiggled out just a bit, but she never got up or whimpered.  She had slack in her leash, but I could still sense her quivering the entire time because she so badly wanted to go play!  She did great!

    At work yesterday, she did awesome!  She stayed under my desk the entire time without trying to walk around or anything.  After school we went to a staff meeting in the library for the first time.  She was not sure about that business.  She thought once the kids had got on those buses and left it was time to go home and play!  So she was a little impatient, but finally laid down and rested.  I was really proud of her because I was sitting at a table with some other teachers very close to her and she didn't try to get attention from them at all.  Some of my girls thought she looked really funny today.  They asked me if she had just had a bath (which is pretty perceptive for 6 year old girls).  I said yes, how did you know?  They started laughing and said because her hair is all fluffy and messy!  She does have a lot of hair growth going on that does look pretty funny at times!

   Overall, it's been a pretty boring couple of weeks for her, but also very good practice of typical boring everyday life.  I worry when I don't take her on "exciting" outings, but the majority of her life will probably be a typical lifestyle like ours so she needs to learn to deal with the monotonous everyday happenings as well as the exciting adventures.  It's interesting to me that this "boring" outings is where she needs the most work, too.  She loves seeing new fun things so on the big exciting outings she is so calm.  It's not that she's not calm with me on these boring ones, but a bit more restless and less willing to sit still for extended periods of time.  But, thankfully, we still have plenty of time for practice!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

These silly girls...

     The girls spent a while in my closet tonight looking for clothes for "Decade" day at school tomorrow.  Apparently, my clothes are outdated?   While they were in there they decided Churry needed to dress up, too. I must say it was one of the funniest things we have ever seen.  Not the socks so much, but Churry very politely trying to walk in them.  She came prancing out VERY STIFF legged with her front legs kind of flailing out to the sides and she was kind of hopping a bit.  Not to get them off, she was very politely wearing them and trying SO HARD to walk in them like they had asked!  She came right over to me and snuggled up as if to ask, "Why is this necessary?"  After they came off she very politely picked them up and brought them to me.  And when I just laughed, she took them over and hid them behind the chair.

Enjoy some pictures...they're the best I could get.  A video would have been better.

I guess I'll just lay here with these on.

This does not even do her "special walk" justice!

Since I wouldn't take them from her she decided to hide them.

You can't see very well, but she had gotten the socks off and was bringing them to me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Obedience Class

    Churry has undertaken a new commitment on Tuesday evenings...obedience class.  It is a class for puppies and I thought it would be good socialization time for her.  She already knows all of the commands in this particular class, but she does have some tweaking of some bad habits that the teacher is working with me on, such as being choosy about when she's going to obey the "down" command.  It's also interesting for me to hear the methods of training, since I have never trained a dog before.  Some of the things that Churry is working on is sitting directly in line next to me.  She has recently picked up the habit of swinging her hips out or backing up to sit down.  Of course, when we went to Lowe's this evening, she sat perfectly each time I stopped  so I didn't really need to explore the techniques I learned.  She also needs to work on greeting people when she's not in her "uniform".    She's not terrible, but does have a habit of licking and wrapping her paws around your hand when you greet her.  She doesn't understand that every human being may not enjoy her hugs and kisses!  At the end of class, the teacher took out a large "bridge" for them with a ramp at both ends.  I'm sure there is a better name for that, but not being someone with any background knowledge in dog agility I don't know what it is.  Churry loved it!  She was very confident and walked right up the ramp and across the bridge.  I wasn't all that surprised because it was pretty wide and didn't move or anything.  I would love to try some other agility equipment with her.  I think she would have a lot of fun!
      And, unfortunately, Churry's car sickness has suddenly returned!  BLAH!  I don't know if it's because I started taking her without her kennel or what, but it's definitely back.  So tonight, we returned to the kennel to go on our outing.  She didn't get sick, but was drooling like crazy the whole outing, which tells me she was stressed about the ride.  Hopefully, this disappears again soon!   There aren't any particularly exciting events coming up on our family's schedule so we will just focus on some short easy outings to the store to hopefully work through this.  She loves going out in public and seeing everything....just doesn't enjoy that ride to get there.  :(