Friday, December 30, 2011

Four Wheeler Video

Here is the video from Christmas day at my parents house. If you are prone to motion sickness you might not want to watch this video lol. It's very bumpy since I was riding on the back of the four wheeler. I cut out a lot of the footage that was too blurry and also the parts where I was twisting around to face the other direction since I'm sure you don't want to see a bunch of blurry 360s. :) I also took the sound out of most of it since we were calling the dogs, whistling and just being loud in general. Sorry it's not fantastic, but I love watching Storm run so you might like it too.

It was a fun day. :D

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Canine Exercise & Clicker Training

So I've been trying to get caught up on reading blogs because I had over 300 in my Google Reader . . . I'm down to 150 so I'm getting there. In my readings I was catching up on one of my favorites, Honey's blog, and came across this post ( . . . and as most of her posts do, it got me to thinking. I have two (three?) high energy breeds, a Siberian Husky and a Beagle/Mountain Cur cross and I am NOT at all consistent with our exercising. Sigh. And yes, most of my excuses are selfish and lazy. Talk about feeling bad lol.

When we went to my parents house on Christmas day we had some fun with the four wheeler (yes I'm still working on getting the video ready to post) and Jackal was sore for a few days after that. He's had issues with one of his rear legs since he was a puppy and I think it was my fault for over exercising him on asphalt. So I have to be really careful not to let him overdo it, however letting him get fat and out of shape is one of the worse things I can do!! I also slacked off on my own exercise since I decided to take a break during November for NaNoWriMo and well I never got back to it. So one of the things I'm going to get back to for 2012 is exercising, both me and the dogs. I'll post more on my goals for 2012 on New Years day.

So for now, since we're all out of shape and lazy lol, I'm starting with two ten minute walks a day, one before work and one after. I also have a bad habit of marching off at a fast speed in a hurry to get done instead of enjoying the scenery and time spent with my dogs. So now when we walk we're walking in the ditches (softer on their joints) so the dogs can sniff around where the deer, raccoons, rabbits, armadillos and opossums roam around lol, because a dog sniffing is like us reading the newspaper. They love it! We can only do that in the winter though because in the summer the grass gets tall and ticks are horrible. We're also practicing at running, walking (while they trot) and walking slow (so they have to walk too) for changes of pace. So far they definitely approve of our new way of walking. :)

So anyway, when we got back from our after work walk today I decided to work on all of the tricks Jackal learned for 2011 (January: Crawl, February: Shy, March: Fetch Leash, April: Close Door, May: Marching Paws, June: Go to Bed, July: Paws in Bucket, August: Say Your Prayers, September: Stand, October: Recall, November: Sidepass and December: This one is a surprise!) so that we can start videotaping them. He did fantastic! I guess the walk got him in a training frame of mind because I could not have asked for better. :D

We've been having trouble with his sidepass . . . the way we were doing it before was having him stand in a heel position on my left and us walking sideways to our left, but I was bumping into him (or tripping lol) and his front and rear just weren't working together. So I finally turned to face him and lured his nose to his left while gently pushing his hip to the left. After clicking for that once he did it all by himself the second time!!! I was so proud of him! So even though it didn't look like he was doing well the other way it obviously was sinking it and my new method just made it click for him. I love it when a behavior comes together like that.

The other one we're having trouble with is Say Your Prayers. I'm having him do it on his little stool and he does great sitting with his paws on it (that took forever to teach), but he doesn't hold it long (I guess it's not comfortable yet) so I haven't been able to get much duration and thus can't get him to tuck or rest his nose on his paws . . . So for now he's sitting with his paws up instead of saying his prayers lol. We'll keep working on it, but it won't be finished for our video.

We worked on most of his other tricks too. The only ones we didn't cover were his recall (he's really good at this in the house so far), fetch his leash (he loves this one and is great at it) and shy (this one needs work, but the session was getting long and I was out of treats). We'll catch them next time. He's getting a lot more confident with closing the door on the entertainment center. When it slams shut it doesn't startle him anymore lol. I can probably start trying to work on another real door now. :)

Also on his Stand I have inadvertently taught him to bounce his front end in the air when he pops up out of a sit. It's so cute! I might let him do that or I might fix it. Not sure yet. :) He's also doing great on his Go To Bed behavior and he's so cute doing it! He gets so focused on me that he doesn't really pay attention to where the bed is. When he misses it and lays down I don't click so he bounces up, backs up and lays back down. I just laugh at him until he backs up onto the bed and lays down, then I click. It's so cute. I love his enthusiasm.

Anyway, sorry this got so long winded. We had so much fun and I just wanted to share. Keep an eye out for the video. I'm going to try to get it done soon, maybe this weekend. It may be a week before I get it all ready and posted though, just depends on how busy I am. :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! - Dogs' Christmas Gifts

I love Storm's expression here! It's one I get a lot from her hehe.

Storm got her Christmas present first.

A new bed! It has the thick foam in it to protect her aging joints from the hard floor.

She loves it!

Then Jackal got his gift.

Naughty boy is on my chaise lounge eagerly awaiting his stocking.

Mmm smells good.

"Mom, it's a little small. Help!"

He chomped it down so quick you couldn't see it, but it was a dog treat. Food is his favorite thing ever after all. Don't worry though, there's more!

They got to go to my parents house (which they love!) where we celebrated Christmas with our traditional Mexican food dinner (enchiladas, white cheese dip, tacos, taco salad, etc. also fruit salad and cupcakes yum!). They had a blast! Bet you can't guess why they are so hot and tired in these next two pictures.

I took my dad's four wheeler out to the pasture and let them chase me all over the six acres. :D Then after everyone had eaten Christmas dinner and relaxed a bit . . .

Storm gave me this look! Which means she wants to go again! So we went a second time. I will edit and upload the video I took tomorrow. :)

Waiting at the gate that leads to the pasture.

Trotting back to see what is taking my husband so long getting the four wheeler out of the shed (had to let it warm up).

Not the best quality, but the cutest picture ever!! And a perfect recall too!

A couple of very, very blurry, but cute running pictures. I was on the back of a four-wheeler so forgive me for the blur hehe.

And just for fun I used GIMP to give it an oil painting look. Cool, huh?

And Jackal's blurry running shot. This is why I mostly shot videos. :)

Love it! And below is his oil painting version.

One more cute shot of Storm.

I wish the grass hadn't been in her face, but I love how high she's stepping through the grass. Cute!!

Also had to share this because he's so cute. My mom's dog carried his bowl around all day to keep my dogs from trying to eat his food . . . even though it was empty LOL!

Well, that's all for now! I hope everyone has a very, merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

The last of our turkeys. Our three Midget White turkeys.

Well, vacation ended on Wednesday. Work has been fine since I got back, but sheesh I forgot how incredibly boring it is there!!! Luckily it's been busy so it's not too bad and I did miss my customers. They are so awesome. :D

My allergies have been horrible!! I thought I was getting a cold, but this has been going on since around the twelfth so it's probably allergies. Normally I have three weeks of misery every spring and fall with them, but it's normally so much earlier than this. We've had a strangely warm fall/winter so far and I guess whatever I'm allergic to is blooming later. Oh well, it can't be too much longer before whatever it is dies. I will not miss the headaches or lack of sleep due to the inability to breathe lol.

I'm going to be very busy over the next few days so I don't know if I will have time to post. I'm going to try to work on getting video of the tricks Jackal learned this year, but don't be surprised if it's January before I get it posted. I also bought some small toys/treats for the critters so I should be able to get some cute pictures that I'll post when I can. I hope everyone has a great weekend, Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Be safe and have fun.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Secret Santa Fun!

My friend's adorable rescued Chihuahuas.

My group of closest friends decided to do a Secret Santa gift exchange because we are all broke. Doing it that way meant everyone got a single nice gift instead of several cheap gifts from everyone. We drew names and spent the week thinking of the best gifts to get for our Secret Santa. Then we all contributed to the buying/preparing of the food (which was delicious!).

We had barbecue little smokies, homemade mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, baked beans, Hawaiian rolls, turtle pie and German chocolate cake. It was awesome!!

I made a homemade rope halter (like the one I made for Chrome that he's wearing in all of his pictures) for my Secret Santa. Everyone was confused why I kept saying we had to open gifts before dark, but I wanted to try it on her horse and make sure it was sized right lol. She loved it.

For my gift I got this gorgeous, handmade necklace . . .

I love it! He made the whole thing himself. It's made with wire thread, beads and a piece of ivory. On the ivory he carved my horses' initial C, F and Z, for Chrome, Faran and Zeppelin. :D It's one of the best gifts I've ever received. We had so much fun! This is what I love about Christmas. Spending time with great friends, eating good food and exchanging thoughtful, creative gifts. Hope everyone has a great week! I have two more days of vacation and then it's back to the grind, so I'm going to enjoy them as fully as I can. Goodnight everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Smart Jackal

First a story from Jackal's time at my parents house. Their front yard is fenced and has a gate straight out from the front door and one to the right of the front door. Currently there is a gap in the fence to the left as well because they are extending the porch. Outside of the small decorative fence they have four acres fenced securely. So my mom let Jackal outside and he went out of the front yard through the gap to the left. After he'd run around, played and taken care of his business he came to the front gate and whined, wanting inside, so she let him in. She decided to leave the front gate open so next time he could come in using it and she wouldn't have to walk out there to let him in. The next time she let him out he went through the front gate and did his running around. When he was ready to come in he went to the right side gate and whined. LOL! So she let him in and left that one open too lol. Silly dog is such a dork.

So now that you've seen his dumb side, here is his smart side. At the end of December I'm going to make a video of the twelve tricks he learned this year, so I decided to do a practice run through. He did all but two of them perfectly because he's still learning those two. Some of these tricks we've only had one or two sessions on and he hasn't practiced them since early, early this year. :D I'm amazed at how well he retains what he learns. Good boy Jackal!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Back!!

I'm not sure if I posted that I was going to be out of town for a few days, but if I forgot I'm sorry! I thought I was going to have internet, but I didn't really so I wasn't able to read very many blogs, comment or post on my own. I'm back though and very happy to be sleeping in my own wonderful bed lol.

The first good news is that I did not catch whatever bug my boss had! Yay for GermX and Clorox wipes lol. The second news is that I had fun visiting my husband's family in a different state (where we wore short sleeves in December oh yeah!) and I am now home safe.

I missed my puppies!! Storm and Jackal went to stay with my parents who live an hour away while we were gone Monday through Thursday (today). They were very well behaved, but poor Jackal was having bad dreams every night full of snoring, whimpering, chasing and barking lol. When we got there to take them home he excitedly got in the truck and promptly passed out. I didn't hear another peep from him for the whole drive and normally he's loud and obnoxious. It would have been nice if I hadn't been worried about him lol. We got home and he bounced inside, ate his supper and is now curled up next to me. I think I'll let him sleep in bed with me tonight. I can't believe how much I miss my critters when I go out of town.

Anyway I'll update and share some pictures of the trip tomorrow. Good night everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quick Update

I have to get up before dawn tomorrow, so just leaving a quick update. My boss finally went to the doctor and he has the beginning stages of pneumonia (which he's prone to since he's had it before and they gave him antibiotics to prevent it from progressing), which started as a head cold, so thank goodness it wasn't the flu or bronchitis. Hopefully that means I won't be sick for my vacation or if I do it'll just be a head cold and not something serious. I'm just glad he's going to be okay. He's been miserable. I just wish he'd gone to the doctor two days ago like I told him to. Sigh. My week has not improved and the weekend is going to suck too, but hopefully my vacation next week will be fantastic. Thanks for listening guys!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Complaints . . .

I don't like to complain on my blog, but the first week of December has been absolutely horrible! It rained almost every single day I had to work Chrome after his gelding/castration. It got really cold. My boss at work is sick and doesn't seem to give a damn in he infects everyone else. I get really stressed around sick people under normal circumstances, but right now I really don't want to get sick because next week I have to drive seven hours to another state to spend a few days with my inlaws and that will not be fun at all if I'm sick. I hurt my back and the next day had to be on my feet for over eight hours straight at work because my boss finally decides to stay home sick (really???). I haven't done any training with Jackal at all. I didn't get to spend hardly any time with my husband on his birthday. And . . . and . . . and I'm just tired . . . sorry for the rant . . .

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jackal's Favorite Spot

When he's not cuddling with me, this is Jackal's favorite spot. Right in front of the wood stove. :D He's staked it out as his warm spot to sit so that he's not in the kitchen, but can still watch what is happening in there while we're cooking. It works out for everyone. Please don't anyone tell him he looks fat in this picture LOL!

Friday, December 2, 2011

What's Wrong With Jackal? - Video

Watch the video and see if you can figure out what's wrong with Jackal . . .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Training

I'm keeping Jackal's December trick a surprise. :D I am going to spend the month of December practicing all of the tricks we learned this year (plus our new one) so that we can do our best for the video at the end of the month. :) Anyway sorry for the short post, I'm so ready for some sleep. I have a really cute video to post tomorrow, so look forward to that.