Life of Megan

Sunday, February 22, 2009

zomg Update!

Wow, I can't believe how many days I let slide between blog postings. To anyone who actually reads my blog, I apologize.

Krista is sleeping near my feet in a most unladylike position. Ah, to be a dog. I took her to the South Hill Rec Way and ran three miles with her today. It went pretty well. She doesn't pull as badly when I am running, and the Rec Way doesn't see too much foot traffic, so there weren't too many distractions. Krista and I made pretty good progress for the first half. I think she was pretty tired for the second half, and it was a lot slower. She spent more time sniffing stuff. Paradoxically, the more tired she got, the harder she pulled. I think she just wanted to get back to the car so she could drink some water and sleep as soon as possible. She has been an extremely pleasant dog since her run. I'll have to try this more often.

Fortunately, our days are getting longer, so I'll be able to do this for my daily runs soon.

We are the lucky recipients of free dog training thanks to our mad connections. Susan Wiser, with the Cayuga Dog Rescue, is a wonderful person who mentioned us to an associate who is pursuing becoming a Certified Dog Trainer. This certification requires something like case studies or field work, and we get to be one of those cases. We are looking forward to professional help when it comes to Krista's food possessiveness and with helping Krista be a more patient, less distracted dog when we're outside.

Judson and I went and played Bridge at the Ithaca Bridge Club (League?) last Tuesday. As it happened, one of my coworkers had showed up for the evening, and he became my partner. We all had a blast and are looking forward to playing more bridge.

Work has been fun, fulfilling, stressful, and busy. I have no complaints.

My running is going well. I am officially in training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon (in Cincinnatti). The first two weeks have gone well. If all goes as planned next week, I will have managed 200 miles in the first two months of 2009. I guess this is nothing spectacular, but it's a fairly high running load for me.

I need to buy some new shoes soon.

That's about all I know for now. I should get back to watching the Oscars.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

My first few days as a dog owner

Until about three minutes ago, I was typing with my arms fully outstretched, my neck turned nearly to Exorcist levels, with my laptop turned 45 degrees from it's usual resting place. Krista had fallen asleep at my feet. I'd been petting her and rubbing her tummy (reward for seemingly learning "Down"), so I should really blame myself. If I were a more tyrannical leader, I might have made her move. But I figure there is some wisdom behind that old proverb, "Let sleeping dogs lie." I did just that. Actually, I reached for my camera. But fiddling around with the batteries aroused her and set her on alert. She likes being photographed about as much as Judson, it seems. I am now free and back with my laptop in its customary position.

I guess it should be obvious by now that we adopted Krista. Here's what she looks like, post-nap, when I call her while holding a scary electronic thing in front of my normally friendly face:

I think the first few days of any life change are the toughest. When I started losing my extra pounds, I was pretty sure that I'd either die of hunger or murder someone for at least a week. And I was eating 1700 calories per day! I try to keep that in mind when I get tired of the drama on The Biggest Loser. Anyhow, I digress. Friday was frustrating because Krista pulled like a madwoman on her leash, and then she cried through half the night. I had to wake up at 7:00 Saturday to take her out. Ugh. She was still pulling like crazy on the leash. But I did finally figure out how to fit the Gentle Leader, and things started to look up. Well, that, and all this time, she was completely adorable and pretty obedient inside.

Today, we've been for a couple of longer walks, and she's not pulling so much. She is very good with "sit" inside, by hand signal or by word. Outside, she's starting to figure it out. I've been working on having her sit when I am not looking at her or not facing her, and she's slowly but surely getting it. I've also basically taught her to lie down, and she is doing better with "stay." Leave it is an issue, because if I use treats in my hand, she usually looks at me, confused, and then sits. I usually figure that's close enough. If I put the treat on the ground, she won't even go for it if it's near me. I have to turn away for her to attempt to get it, and then I'm not usually quick enough to sidetrack her with a treat she prefers. I really wish she had a greater affinity for toys, because I think it'd be easier to train her with those. My theory is that no one gave her toys when she was a puppy, so she doesn't know what to do with them.

I think the funniest thing about her so far is that she attempts to bury her bones under the pad in her crate.

We've also been very impressed with how polite she generally is. Today, we were lazy and ate dinner while sitting on the couch. She lay down and slept on the dining room rug.

The next week or two will probably be tough as we figure out how to adapt our schedules to fit Krista while she still adapts to walking on leash and to walking on concrete and asphalt. Even if she were already great on leash, she wouldn't be ready to run because the pads on her little feet need to toughen up. I'm sure that we'll come through it just fine. Life as a dog owner is pretty darn rewarding so far.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Soon to have a furry family member

It turns out that Krista is a fabulous dog. She's sweet and young and energetic, but she's still pretty mellow inside. She's pretty darn cute. She's housebroken, and she's smart, and she's even spayed already.

And she'll be ours on Friday!

Photo stolen from the Cayuga Dog Rescue.

Judson and I are both really excited about welcoming Krista into her home. We've been amassing lists of things we need to buy to make her feel welcome. Today, we got a few essentials, like a nice big crate for her. My coworkers are pitching in with some of their old pet supplies that turned out to be bad matches for their own pets (like a Gentle Leader that continued to torment one dog, and a brush that's great for a short-haired dog but terrible for a Shelty). We'll be making a big trip to Ithaca Pet and Grain Supply to fill out our list tomorrow.

I am reading Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash as a sort of crash-course on dog behavior. It came highly recommended from the Dog Rescue Folks.

We are busily trying to compile a list of rules and commands so that we can be consistent with our new friend. In truth, it's all a little overwhelming, but I think we'll do a good job.

Friday feels like it's so far away.