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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Always learning something new!

     These last several days Churry has been going through a phase of refusing to mind me when we are outside.  I don't know if she's just really enjoying the weather or what, but I've had to limit some of her freedom out there.  For instance, she had to go back on her leash whenever we were out there because she thought it was funny to run away from me.  :(  NOT FUNNY!  And all of the games that she had learned inside this winter...well, it's a whole new learning experience outside!  She seems to have forgotten all of the rules of the games.  So, it feels in some ways like I'm starting over with her.  But, she's a quick learner and has already earned some of her freedom back.

    Tonight was an especially good night.  We worked on a new command that I haven't been able to get her to do anywhere.  I'm hoping that learning to "jump on" raised objects will help her with loading into the vehicle.  We practiced in two places tonight.  We started off on the back patio.  We have an old table that's broken and we never use anymore so I pulled a chair up next to it to teach her.  It worries me how uncoordinated she is, but Pat says Bailey was just like her and now Bailey is very graceful at this command so hopefully Churry will find her gracefulness as well.  After she figured out how to jump on the table using the chair for help, we went to Pat's truck bed.  It's a little truck, so it's not as high of a jump as the Expedition.  It took her a long time...she's VERY hesitant.  But, after tons and tons of praise and encouragement, along with a couple of misses,  she jumped in a few times for me.  Then the rest of the family got home and we showed off her new skill to them.  She actually seemed excited to show them!  It was pretty cute!

     After that, she had her nightly play time, and since she was minding her manners she got to play off-leash.  I was especially proud of her because while she and Bailey were laying out in the middle of the yard two little kids decided to have races down the golf course.  She and Bailey both perked up and watched them intently and I was worried that she was going to chase them, but with only one warning, they both stayed where they were.  Good job, Churry and Bailey!

Churry's favorite outdoor toy is the football.  

And she's especially fond of this newly laid tile in our house!  There's a vent right behind her head blowing cool air on her so I'm sure this will
be a popular spot for her this summer.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not a girly girl!

     I have always known that Churry is not much of a girly girl.  She only tolerates being groomed, having her nails done, baths, etc.  But, she has discovered a whole new level of dirtiness this week....the mud!  She LOVES it!  It has been raining all week which has left a lot of muddy areas in our yard, particularly our mud pit that will be a garden here in a couple of weeks, although she's having to learn to stay out of that and the flower beds.  She goes out and runs and plays and ROLLS around in it.  You can tell she is having the time of her life.  I love seeing her SO HAPPY!  When she's done, she gets her stick and sits out in the pouring rain just chewing away, caked from head to the tip of her tail in mud.  She is so sad when I make her come in.  She would sit out there in it for hours!  Besides chewing on her stick, she just likes to sit with her nose to the sky as if she's howling at the moon, and basks in the rain falling on her.  She has taken a lot of extra brushing this week!  :)

     We went on an outing today to repick out tile.  She should have sufficient experience in flooring stores!  Just as we were getting to the store a thunderstorm was in full force.  She hasn't ever shown fear in the house during a storm, but I was glad to see how she reacted in an unfamiliar place, going to and from the car, during a storm.  She wasn't bothered at all.  She's probably learned that is what creates her beloved MUD!  So she's fine with them!

    With all of this rain we are getting, it is putting a bit of a damper on what I have had planned for her this week.  We have been able to go on a few walks in the morning before the rain sets in, but not at all how I had planned to spend my spring break.  We are also in the midst of new flooring, which means we have no laundry and we are down to subfloors in the kitchen.  She will not stop licking up all of the sheetrock dust everywhere! Between this and the rain outside, she has been confined to her kennel more than she is used to when we are home.  Hopefully, the sun will shine this weekend and we can have some good clean non-muddy fun!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Picture Says it All

      What can I say?  We are at Grandma's this week!  The kids and dogs both have a great time.  Churry got reacquainted with the horses and also discovered that it is great fun to jump in my mom's decorative pond, then roll around in the dirt surrounding it since there are no flowers coming up here yet. 

    Needless to say, she is going to get a good bath because not only is she muddy, but she stinks from junk in the pond!


Aside from her fun in the sun...she did get some training opportunities.  She practiced walking up and down the metal bleachers and sitting at the top.  These were a little bit tricky because you could see through the metal slats to the ground.  They were also slippery under her paws, but she didn't seem to be bothered at all.  She went up and down them slowly and with a loose leash...even though it doesn't look like it in this picture.  I was trying to make her look at the camera.  It was so windy she couldn't hear my mom calling her name. 


Friday, March 16, 2012

Circus Dog?

    If Churry doesn't make it as a service dog, then I'm sure she has a future as a either a musician or a circus dog after her day at school today.   I was standing with her at recess and overheard a child watching me  through the preschool fence talking to his two little friends...he was telling them about how I got that dog from the circus!  I don't know if he thinks I stole Churry from the circus that was in town a couple of weeks ago or what, but I must say, Churry could have outperformed those dogs hands down!  She knew all of those tricks!

    Since she got to enjoy PE last week, I thought it was only fair I offer her a well-rounded education and take her to music class.  I was especially excited about it today because my class is getting ready for their program and were playing instruments.  There about 10 or so students playing xylophones and metallaphones.  There was also a bong?  (I know this can't possibly be the name, but I swear that's what she called it!).  Churry was definitely fascinated when the bong was played.  She perked right up and watched, but held her Down and Under.  I'm sure she would have liked to try out the mallets herself, but was a very good girl and didn't grab anything as we walked by them.

    And seeing how I always try to put pictures on here to make my blog more exciting...I thought I'd add some of my favorites of Bailey today since she and I enjoyed a nice long walk tonight!  It's also hard to get interesting pics of Churry at school because I'm not going to post pictures of students on my blog.  There's only so many pictures you want to see of her lying under my feet!  So enjoy my other love, Miss Bailey!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fun new challenges!

    I love our monthly puppy raiser gathering!  For one, I've made some fantastic new friends that I love seeing and hanging out with!  And another, it keeps me focused on what Churry needs to work on and offers her a new challenge every month.  Today was definitely no exception!  And for the most part, Churry stepped up to the challenge!  When Lisa asked me to go off-lead, I must say I had my serious doubts, especially since when I removed the Halti she immediately trotted off across the room to go greet another dog.  : (  But, I got her attention back on me and she did a fairly decent job at heeling only with my voice command and a few corrections with me touching her collar.  It makes me realize that I need to continuously step up my game with her...because she will definitely meet the challenge and it's my job to raise her to her highest potential.  Today was by far her most challenging puppy class and she was exhausted last night!  She even slept through dinner at a restaurant afterwards.  She's a smart puppy and I'm a proud puppy raiser!

Enjoy a few pictures of her proud moments yesterday!
Churry is practicing off lead around many distractions.
We switched handlers and I got the privilege of working with Shelby!
Churry is being worked by another puppy raiser.

Warming up

Churry is in the down/stay in front of the Golden on leash and to the left of the girl in the brown shirt.

Churry is in the down/stay at the back of the room with the boy walking towards her.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

PE is so much work!

     As I mentioned in my last post, I decided it was time to step up her challenges at work.  So Friday was definitely a day of challenges for her.  My students have a contest going on to help with classroom management and it involves a group winning the contest at the end of each week.  So I asked the winners this week if they would like to eat lunch with me in the room and then "play" with Churry after they were done.  Of course, they wanted to.  They are thrilled at the idea they are helping train her and take great pride in this task.  I hope I will be able to share with each of them what Churry goes on to do with her future so they can always carry that memory of 1st grade with them along with a sense of pride about their role in that.  So after they were done eating I let each of them have a turn petting/greeting her.  This is something I have been working with Churry on as far as not licking and pawing at everybody she meets.  She did pretty well.  Then I put her in a down/stay and had each student one at a time stand up and go walk in a circle around her or over the top of her or try to distract her.  She did AWESOME!  I can't wait to try this again next week if the winning group chooses to help!

   Shortly after lunch it is time for PE.  Our PE time is split so 1/2 of my kids go with a different class while the other 1/2 of my class goes to Music.  So there are about 32 1st graders in the gym together.  Our fabulous PE teacher does a great job keeping them in organized "chaos", which can't be an easy task with that many 6 year olds each handling their own basketball.  This particular day they were shooting baskets around the gym.  Now if you haven't been in a 6 year olds PE class lately, the basketball goals are not typical looking goals.  They are lower to the ground and are situated on a stand so there are actually 4 hoops together and the kids are all around the stand.  There were several of these stands around the gym.  Needless to say, there were balls and kids running and rolling everywhere along with loud music blaring!  Lots of distraction!  We practiced walking with a very nice loose leash through the craziness, did some Down/Stays, etc.  She did prettty well.  Only a couple of times did she try to go after a ball, but corrected very quickly.  Next week, we are going to visit Music class...they are preparing for their 1st grade program, which involves using lots of instruments!

   Another first she had yesterday was visiting the hair salon while Tayler was getting her hair done for a formal. She acted as though she goes into one every day.  I sat down and she went right under my chair for a Down/Under and went to sleep.  It helped that it was the middle of the afternoon when she's usually snoozing away.  The strange smells, hair dryers, people, etc. didn't bother her a bit.  And it was really crowded in there! I was proud of her for being a good representative for KSDS!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Enough's enough Lady!

      Churry has had a lot of work this week with her obedience skills we've been working on at class...automatically sitting when I stop, down (without being stubborn), extended stays in all positions, giving me objects politely without me having to wrestle them away from her, etc.  She is showing improvement on all of them, but I'm constantly needing to remind myself she is only 9 months old...she's not going to be perfect!  This afternoon was such a beautiful day that she had a lot of time outside playing before I got home.  So when I decided it was time for her to work for awhile, I got a good five minutes out of her...then I got this...
...and that was that.  She was DONE!  She would not come, sit, stand up, play, nothing.  She was going to nap!  So I reached down and took off her Halti...and miraculously, she popped right up and walked around for a bit.  Then she settled at my  feet and napped.  Hopefully, I didn't teach her a bad habit!  :(

   She's been doing so well at our regular everyday outings...Wal-Mart, errands, school, etc. that I'm constantly looking for new ways to challenge her.  Well, tomorrow at school she's going to visit PE class.  That should be a good test for her!