Monday, February 28, 2011

Door Closing

There is this door in the middle of the house that drives me nuts. It's kind of a separator. The living area, kitchen, bedrooms are all on one side while the other is the laundry, garage, basement and storage. The animals arent allowed on the garage side unless we're passing through. So in order to keep the cat out of boxes in the basement and the dog out of dirty laundry...... I keep this door shut as often as possible.

No one else does. People tromping in and out all day and night, this door gets left open twenty times a day.  Arg!

So I figured instead of griping at everyone else and being a b!tch. I'd teach Taricha to do it! We've only been working on it a few days, using what she already knew which was to target a note card taped to anything with her nose.

 Now this video here, we finally took away the notecard and we're happy to report she still 'gets' it.

My current goal is getting her to do this from a greater distance. She gets frustrated easily. I mess up easily and have a hard time being consistant. Practice will make perfect and I'll post another video when we have this perfected! Which is soon. Taricha loves this kind of stuff. SEE THE BUTT WAG!

Say Heyo to Coffee with a Canine who was awesome to feature Taricha and I this week. We are true coffee junkies around here. Even down to our coffee cup tattoos.  So pop over and read some doggie stories with your daily coffee... or bowl of water!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Bestest Weather..

It was noon today when the two of us crawled out of our cave for a walk. It didn't feel like noon.

The air felt like something out of a horror movie. Almost spooky. It was cold but it was refreshing. Light but dark. So foggy  yet sprinkling rain at times Plus snow on the ground. The park was eerily empty. 

A few laps around the park and we hit up our usual run-around spot. The skate rink.  Too wet to do much but chase each other around. It's what we do best.

Every time we come to this skate rink, its full of trash. (plastic bottles, shoelaces, food, whatever). Thankfully Taricha finds it all for me and we make the place pretty again.

Now it's nearing evening time and its thundering, tornado watches and all. Good 'ol midwest. But the day isnt over, we had a special visitor.

Sir R. , her original owner, came by to say hello. It's been a few months since Tbags has seen him and I was totally shocked by how thrilled she was! All her manners were shot out the window with one word from Sir. R and she was a wriggly jumping ball of puppy loving goodness. It was so cute how happy she was that I being the softy mommy I am... let her just have her fun with him. I hope Sir. R is happy with his new coat of white fur.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Speaking of inches...

Two days ago we were at the park, 50+ degrees, gorgeous. Later that day the evening sun was awfully delicious to lay around in.

Then today happened. Five inches of snow ontop of an inch of ice.

Miserable day! We aren't fans of the cold.

The worst part is, it's supposed to skyrocket back to the 50's any moment now! Pft!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gave her an inch and she took a mile!

Taricha doesn't get left outside by herself pretty much ever. I smoke like a chimney so her bathroom breaks are a good excuse for me to go outside and do that. On a typical 'break', Taricha walks down to the yard (two flights of stairs), does her business in a timely manner, comes back to the porch and chills with me. If she doesn't have business to do she stays on the porch. (Unless there's a squirrel sighting in the yard. In which she forgoes walking two flights of stairs and takes them in one giant leap... then returns to the porch when the prey inevitably escapes.)

Yesterday was a nice enough day. Other dogs were out in other yards, birds in the trees above bein loud, windy, fresh, sunny. She seemed content to just lay on the porch and watch and listen to what was going on around. The backyard isn't in full view from inside the house but the porch is and I figured she would be okay by herself for a few minutes while I piddled around inside.

For whatever reason I was distracted for literally a whole five minutes. Not long. I return to the porch to find Taricha not lazying about as I thought she would be.  "Taricha come heeRRree!" her usual recall... no sound no nothing from her!

Usuuuually she zips right up the steps with a-butt-wagging. So this means she's probably doing something she isn't supposed to be doing. Upon walking into the yard I spy this AWESOME new hole in the lattice of my porch with a giant dog head sticking out.

I yelled "HEYYYY!"
She ZIPS out.

Taricha had the BIGGEST smile on her face. Muddy from head to toe from crawling around in that tiny space. Stands right infront of me. Just stands.

When I move towards the lattice work to inspect the damage, she takes off into zoomies of doom. Like she KNOWS she did something she wasn't supposed to. Mischievously, she repeatedly  zipped by me, again and again, stop and aim for the hole, I'd body block and then she'd take off again to run another zoomie lap around the yard.

I fully admit that my porch is not in a..... like-new condition. It's been slowly falling apart, this winter being rather harsh so this cheap lattice keeps breaking.  But still, it wasnt bad enough for a knee-high-truck-wide dog to crawl though! She had ripped off several pieces and drug them under the porch with her.

I like to put thoughts into her head and think she's smarter than she is. This porch fiasco was probably a conspiracy. Maybe she'd been waiting and watching the weak spot in the porch for a while and stole her moment of truth... knowing she had a very rare completely alone-moment.  Or a rabbit was under there, tempting her into sin.  Oh I am still so furious (on the inside) but I simply can't blame her!

I fixed the porch with my trusty staple gun and blocked it off with lawn ornaments. Meanwhile Taricha was stuck in the garage drying off the muddddd. Oh I guess it was just another day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

When sickness came around...

Our house is a constant bustle of going-ons. Not only do four adults live here, but our friends, significant others and relatives (and relatives children) are near constantly in and out. Everyone works hard, everyone plays hard and half of us attend school in between. This living situation is awesome for Taricha because she has a constant string of people to play with and sneak food from. She's still my shadow but everyone enjoys visiting with her as they pass through the house.

Loves kids, their faces are covered in food.

I've been really sick the past week, caught whatever this is thats going around.  I was curled up in bed this morning dealing with coughing fits of doom. Miserable and lethargic. Taricha started rip-roaring through the house making an awful racket. Up and down the stairs, up and down, through the kitchen, around and around. She's bored! The stuffed kong I gave her an hour earlier lasted a whole 10 min and I was feeling helpless to entertain her further.

It suddenly got quiet and I thought maybe she found something to chew on, probably something she isn't supposed to have. Just as I'm about to get up and investigate, my phone goes off with a text from a roommate, "Stole the dog, back later."


And now I can go back to bed too.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Poor Lady

This nice weather needs to stay, mk? Who do we talk to about that? It makes for muddy walks, everything melllltingggg and such. Taricha comes home from every walk splattered in mud and slush. Her belly turns from white to black. Such is life.

Today out and about on our midday walk around the neighborhood... the trash truck rumbled around the corner outta nowhere and scared the bajeezus out of Taricha. I've never in her life seen her scared like this. She immediately put *me* between the truck and herself. She stood there with her tail tucked and eyes glued to the truck. (I giggled quietly and let her just stand..) The standoff soon ended as the truck gave into her stares and rumbled off. We took off the other way but Tbags kept turning around and looking for the truck as if it would come back to get her.

She's heard, seen, been in and around all kinds of noisy vehicles without any issue before. I wonder if its just the surprise of a fast loud truck zippin around a corner during our previously very  quiet and peaceful walk.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I put one of her beds in the sun but the floor is obviously way awesome-er.
Beeeeutiful day today and we spent most of it outside in some way shape or form.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

DIY Hula Hoop

Taricha is a moderately intelligent dog despite how she may occasionally run head-on into walls. She is extremely food motived. When it has been coming to training, we've been working mostly on basic things, loose leash walking, heel work, turns, spins, jumping/downs, paw crosses, touching, targeting, food manners, people manners and a pretty good sized list that goes on. Only recently did I  decide to step it up and start adding objects into the mix. A makeshift jump in the living room, chairs and books, a large yoga ball and now awesome hula hoops. (youtube is great and gives us things to aspire to like this.)

Upon attempting to purchase a hula hoop from the local superstore, I was extremely disappointed to discover that I couldnt find just a regular stinkin hoop. They had water filled ones, jelly filled ones, light up, dripping in tassels and sparkels! Is this what America has come to? A plastic hoop isnt good enough, it has to have BLING? But I digress...

So we made our own with the awesome help of this site. I followed the directions to a tee. Three hardware stores later, I found the correct size tubing (Lowes ftw). Enlisting the help of siblings, we used tree trimmers to cut the tubing, a craft heat gun to melt it and a few hours to tape up 8  various sized hoops (100ft ish). Probably spent too much money on neat colored electric tape but we dont have to talk about that...

Taricha kind of gets the basic going thru the hoop, awesome I get a treat but has a hard time getting anything else  without obvious sloppy luring. But hey, it was our first go. She tends to pick up on 'big ideas' faster after a couple rough first days of flopping around. (psst, I dont know what I'm doing)

 A short vid of our first go with some foot to paw bonus at the end!

I cant wait to get Taricha outside with these hoops! She's not a jumper, she's not very agile and really only cares about FOOD but.... we'll get there. If all else, we consider this good exercise when outside still sucks.

What other objects and fun things should we start picking up and playing with?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Singin the bluesss...

Man sitting around the house gets really old really fast. I'm currently unemployed (with prospects on the horizon) and it's been SO bitter outside that I cant even spend my free time romping with Tbags. I'm sure she appreciates that I've been spending every waking (and sleeping) moment with her for a few months and sure it's done great for our training and relationship. But jeeze we'd at least like to change it up a bit! Spring couldn't come any sooner.

So bored that we've been cleaning the house and training while doing so. Taricha finally leaves the vacuum alone! No woofin and growlin! I was SO fed up with cleaning hair today (emptied the floor cleaner tub approx 4 times...)  that I decided to humiliate Taricha and see how she liked being covered in someone else's things.

Now that I've seen her in a hoodie, I really like it! Thinking about making her an actual dog-hoodie now? Yeah that sounds fun! (too dorky to match?) Taricha, being the classy lady she is, didn't appreciate my sense of style and moped around looking.... mopey.

Rufio the cat must have the same sense of style as Taricha. He entered the room and flipped sh!t at the sight of her. Immediate puffball of doom. I never thought I'd be one to dress my pooch up. In fact, I always laughed at and made fun of the girls who put outfits on their rats little dogs. Dog in a purse? Gross! Dog in a pink tutu, how gay! Now that I see how hilarious (and flipping cute) it can be especially on my beefy hound, it's going to be a more regular occurrence. At least it's entertainment to watch the cat get pissed off.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cat Menace!

Taricha and I are both entirely exhausted. We've been rollin around all weekend like a couple of yahoolagins. Playing in the snow, shoveling moooore, attempting to sled, car rides, stores, parks, kids visiting, cleaning, bath(!!!), lots of outdoor learning (above freezing!) and everything in between. We're going to go zonk out now and leave this awesome video in our place.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Entertaining One Self

While I was piddling around the internet, looking for ideas of things to do indoors because we're bored out of our skulls; Taricha decided that was way too much effort and a large cardboard box was the best idea.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Only a little chilly..... /cough

As with most of the midwest, we're in the midst of a snow storm. Hasnt stopped all day and it just keeps coming but like snow would stop a she-beast bulldog. (12" on our back porch now. Snow at the belly!)

Boredom and two old leashes and I created a pulling harness. The idea was to throw it on her, load up the sled with snow (or children) and Taricha would pull through the snow to her heart's content. Didn't go so well. One, she'd rather simply eat snow. Two, it was our first try at really pulling and with all my coaxing an' hoopin an' hollarin... she still didn't really do much but lean into it and give me sad-eyes. I'm disappointed she didnt catch on but we shall try again and again.

We only spent a few minitues outside because by golly its nasty cold.
Quick, run inside!