Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gearing Up

I'm getting excited about Basil's first CPE trial next week.  I've gotta read up on the games again so I can refresh my brain on the rules.  I think he will do well since he did pretty good at DACOF.  Our private lesson this Thursday will be a good indicator as it will be somewhere new with a new coach on the field. 

Finished Jungle Corgi Wall-Hanging
I haven't decorated for Christmas and I'm not sure that I'm going to bother.  We don't have any family coming to the house this year and with the puppy in the house I'm hesitant to put anything out.  He is chewing on everything.  I haven't noticed any teeth coming out yet.  Most of the time he goes for his toys but on occasion he will test out the couch or some other piece of furniture if a toy isn't within grabbing distance of his mouth. 

He loves cardboard boxes.  Any cardboard box on the floor gets pulled around the house and chewed up.  A good motivator to clean up the boxes I sometimes leave on the floor after receiving them in the mail. 

The hubby acquired a cold bug from work so the past five days or so has been fun trying to get some sleep.  What does it say when he gets his cold from guys at work and not his wife?  I found that strange.  Maybe he is immune to all contagious illnesses I get.  This is promising for when the Zombie Apocalypse comes upon us.

Byron's ears still aren't standing up. 

On the menu this week:  spaghetti and meatballs, crockpot chicken and veggies, sausage dogs, taco bake, and hamburgers. 

I attempted using a cake mix to improvise a pound cake and it turned out awfully.  I won't ever be doing that again.  It is a crumby mess.  That is what I get for trying to do shortcuts. 

Can't believe it is nearly December.

Look at my completed corgi wall-hangings now on Etsy.  :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day of Rest. Yeah Right.

Things I learned yesterday:
  • Most toilet tissues do not break down in the drain line.
  • The previous owner of the house was an idiot and put weed barrier and red lava rock over our main drain line access porthole.
  • Don't trust a company that says they will be there within 4-6 hours but can't give you an exact time
  • Things don't always go as planned (I knew this but it was a good reminder yesterday)
Our main drain line to the sewer clogged yesterday.  I knew something was up when I went to take my shower and stepped into 4 inches of water after letting it warm up.  Then I went to do the dishes and the water backed up into the sink and disposal.

I thought it was the disposal that had clogged.  Looked online how to clean it out, grabbed two buckets and a bowl.  Got the trap undone and lots of yucky water and drain cleaner everywhere before realizing it wasn't the disposal.  In the meantime Byron's sister Alice came to play so I felt bad having to deal with all this while Ana was here.

I dealt with a horrible company waiting to have a plumber sent to my house.  I get yelled at when my husband gets home for not dealing with the problem the right way apparently (trust me, I gave him an earful after that comment). He called the horrible company and asked them to have the plumber that was sent out to call him.  When the plumber did call him the plumber said it was the first he'd heard of my service call all day (7 hours after my initial request for service).  He also said there was no way he'd be able to come out since it was so late now.  We called a different company and they came out within two hours to fix the problem. 

So - my advice to you, don't use any toilet tissue other than Scott one or two-ply.  Don't ever use flushable wipes - he says 90% of the drains he unclogs is because of those and they don't break down in the drain line or sewer system.  They just sit there waiting to clog.  Keeps them in business.  We don't use flushable wipes but I know lots of people do.  We just used Cottonelle tissue but apparently it is way too thick of a tissue to be using.

Car crash 11/22/2008
My husband has a call into the original company that I called to speak to the owner and find out what exactly happened yesterday.  I wish I could be the fly on the wall when he speaks to them.  I've already posted several reviews online of the horrible company just to warn others to not use them.

Oh yeah - today is the second anniversary of my car crash.  Things could be worse as I am reminded this day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Trouble With Food

Sunday evening I purchased Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi.  Tuesday evening I finished it.  It is a short read, 602 pages.  Reading the book brought back some painful memories of high school and my own struggle with anorexia.

Me Summer of '99
You wouldn't know it looking at me now (or even then probably) but when I was sixteen I prided myself for being a size 3.  I loved that I was 103 pounds.  I loved that number on the scale.  I didn't love myself at all and I still hated the way I looked.  I vividly remember lying in my tub one night feeling my ribs and my hips and poking at my stomach that was still too big and it poked out too much.  I hated that flab under my belly button that never seemed to go away.  I hated my thighs.

103 wasn't enough.  I still felt it should be smaller.  A girl of 5'1 had a weight range considered healthy between 100 - 110 pounds according to a chart at my doctors office.  I wanted to be 100 pounds.  In the 8th grade I weighed 130 pounds and had a rough time of it.  I'd moved to a new school and didn't really know anyone.  All the girls in my classes were skinny, much skinnier and prettier than me.  I was plain and uninteresting looking with short hair and glasses.  And I was fat.  I felt alone and left out.  I hid in my writing and books.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Agility Frustrations & Puppy Fun

Just try to take it. 
Getting ready for the CPE trial next month I've been trying to work on my start line stay.  The mat seems to help Basil target something better but he gets so stressed at the start line and then I lose my focus on what my handling plan was as he runs around the jumps to go look at something else after being released.  That was the first 5 minutes of our class last night, him staying, me walking out 20 feet to do a 2 jump leadout and then me releasing him to watch him run around everything and run off.  Rinse, repeat 4 more times to a very frustrated Katie.  Doing the standard course with a running start worked much better and I was able to do my handling plan with the front cross without a problem. 

I noticed Basil limping last week on his right rear so I wondered if maybe that had something to do with him refusing jumps on the jumpers course.  I stretched him and felt each toe individually.  He didn't protest at all and I didn't feel any heat in the leg.  So I'm thinking it has something to do with the start line stay issue. 

I think for now I'm going to do running starts until I can get a handle on the start line stay stress.  Bernie did the same thing.  I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.  I've got a lesson planned with Karen Holik next month before the trial so maybe I can get her insight into my training issue.  She's been on the World Team seven times so I'm sure she can show me the error in my ways. I'm also hoping to get some advice on starting a puppy in agility. 

Byron was a little ham at agility class last night.  He has totally come out of his shell and loves being on the field while Basil and I run.  I even let Byron walk over the dog walk following some hot dogs for the first time last night.  He did pretty good and was careful for most of the way.  I watched his back end as he's still a clumsy puppy doing stuff.  I've been doing some shadow handling with him and treating him for that.  He follows my hands really well right now. 

He is a fearless little puppy.  I can tell I'm going to have to be careful with him when he tries stuff out.  Teeter bang noises don't bother him at all, he doesn't mind the dogs running over the a-frame or doing the weave poles.  I let him explore the weave poles last night and poked them with my finger a bit to have them move.  He didn't care.  He just looked at it, acknowledged it and was like okay.  He is so laid back and just a happy guy.  I think he will be a nice blend of what I like best in Bernie and Basil for agility. 

Tomorrow night is the first puppy class for us officially so that should be fun.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Today begins the interview process that might culminate with a move to Virginia.

There are a lot of "what ifs" in that scenario before a move would be decided but it is fun to think that it is a possibility.  Truth be told, I'm ready to move out of Florida.  The heat is just awful and while home prices may be low, property taxes and sales taxes look like they are going to continue to increase. IT jobs in the area are few and far between so it has been difficult for my husband to find a good company to work at.  I'm itching to go somewhere new. 

We've moved three times in the last five years.  I've gotten a little better with each move.  A cross country move does make me a bit nervous but I think we can handle it.  The biggest thing I'm concerned about is selling the house.  We would have to do a few things to get it ready for sale (adding grass back into the backyard where the dogs have worn a trail to the favorite squirrel tree) but I don't think it would be so much that it wouldn't sell at all.  Our neighbor across the street sold his house in September for 195,500.  It was on the market a few months though I believe.

Anyhooo.... will be interesting to hear how the phone interview goes this afternoon and if they will be flying him up for an in person interview.  I hope so. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Raw Diet - Six Months Later

I haven't really blogged much about Bernie's raw diet and I know some owners out there are curious about it. I also want to document my experience with it so far.
Two weeks worth of Bernie's food

My choice to switch to a raw diet was a personal one, motivated by Bernie almost dying after a bladder surgery to remove a sizable bladder stone comprised of stuff that came from struvite crystals. Switching any animal to a raw diet can be highly controversial, especially given there isn't a lot of research out there substantiating the diet, pros and cons. When prescription medications and kibbles failed me I had to turn to something controversial in hopes it would work to save my dog.

There are lots of ways to start feeding raw. Some people use something called "prey model" which consists of mostly whole cuts of meat or small animal carcasses (sometimes complete with fur/feathers) and very little vegetation.  Some people prefer the BARF diet.  Some people make up their own diet as a combination of both of these.  I opted for something more scientific and hired a canine nutritionist to formulate the diet for me since I don't know the nutritional requirements of canines.  I also didn't know the balance of vitamins needed to keep a urine acidic and to prevent it from forming crystals.  Thankfully, the nutritionist knew exactly what I needed and she had done special formulations before.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Prime Socialization

Saturday morning I took Byron to a quilt show.  You can see my blog post over at my quilting blog complete with slideshow.

Corgis-10-31-10-16I couldn't walk two feet without being stopped and someone asking about Byron wanting to pet him and find out what breed he was.  He must have been touched by at least 40 people, including a few children, several wearing hats and coats, wearing plastic gloves to touch the quilts with, pushing strollers, carrying bags, using cameras, wearing glasses, all shapes, colors and sizes too.  It was the best socialization experience I've ever done with a puppy.  The atmosphere is ideal given that there are large quilts hanging and blowing in the breeze, lots of noise, plenty of grass and leaves to play in and quiet areas in case the puppy gets overwhelmed.  The two hours we were there he had the best time and got totally exhausted.  I was pretty tired too by the end of it since I had to carry him most of the way (he isn't walking on a leash quite yet, sometimes he'll run a few steps and stop but he's only three months old).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Busy Day

Basil and Byron Share a Stick

Off to a quilt show this morning and then I'm taking the dogs to a corgi meetup (leaving Byron at home since he hasn't had 2nd boosters yet).  They are loving the cooler weather!  Byron's ears are getting taped up again today.  Had to take the tape off and clean his ears since dirt got all on them.  Gave them a day to rest.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Agility Improvement

Basil's First Agility CompetitionRight now my agility handling is still coming along.  I'm working on getting rid of Flying Arm Syndrome and that is going well.  Basil handles much better when I've got better control of my arm signals and I don't fling them around.  His rear crosses are getting better and I'm fitting in more front crosses where I can.  He takes wide turns and I've got to work on him pulling into me better after a turn or change of direction.  I've tried some jump wrapping exercises but he hasn't totally got it down yet.

Basil doesn't like 22" spacing on weave poles.  He only consistently does 24" spaced poles.  I find that interesting. 

Next month is the CPE trial.  We've got 4 weeks to practice for it.  I entered him in 8 of 15 runs and we will only be there for two of the three days. I don't think either of us is ready for a full three day trial with all 15 runs.  I love the CPE games so I entered us into Standard, Jackpot, Fullhouse, Jumpers on Friday and Standard, Colors, Jackpot and Fullhouse on Saturday.  Definitely not ready for snooker yet, that game gives me a heart attack.

NADAC is hard for me because they love to put lots of jumps in straight lines and Basil doesn't send out like Bernie does.  He will do two or three jumps and then pulls off if I can't keep up with him.  Probably why I prefer the tighter CPE courses too.

Byron seems to enjoy running around and chasing toys.  He leaps off the ottoman to tackle Basil and shows no fear.  He loves to climb all over the living room furniture and continually tries to climb up from the floor but can't yet. He has this infatuation with Bernie that I don't understand.  She doesn't really play with him much but he absolutely LOVES her and goes out of his way to lick her muzzle and play bow in front of her.

I might pull out the play tunnel this weekend if the grass dries off and let the dogs play out in the yard.  See if Byron wants to do the play tunnel.  I bet he will.

I've been focusing on people socialization right now.  I'll probably begin some training this weekend and next week.  He's settling in well and is very happy.  Not much concerns him.  Sometimes a noise might startle him but for the most part he's a pretty confident, goofy guy.  He does love to bark sometimes though!  His little bark is so funny.  It is true that Cardigans make all sorts of noises about everything.  
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