Wonderful Wednesday Personal Blog
After graduating Basic Obedience Level I, we've moved on to Level 2! This is prep work for Rezso's Canine Good Citizenship certification. He's working hard on accepting new situations, and is already a hit at Lowe's and PetCo, and he's even a seasoned traveler with a weekend stay in a hotel.
Not to mention, he's a whiz at his lessons and loves to help with the laundry. (That's his story, and he's sticking to it.) But, seriously, he is learning to pick up things I drop and carry them for me. But more on that on another post.
We also enrolled Freki in a class. She has a difficult time accepting other/strange dogs and we'd all but given up on being able to take her places with us where we knew there were other dogs.. Thanks to a wonderful trainer who took time to work with her and assured us it was a lack of confidence, not aggression, that fueled her bad behavior, we got up the courage to ask the trainers at Canine Sports Academy if we could give class a try.
They were welcoming and helpful, and it has been wonderful to see Freki slowly losing her preoccupation with the other dogs in her class and focusing more on what dad is asking her to do.
Attempting to stand on wobbly discs, rubber 'peanuts' (see the red ball in the background?) or any of the other activities in this class puts her in a somewhat vulnerable position (to her mind). Not to mention there are other dogs happily going about the same stunts only a few feet away. It's a bit noisy and challenging with Rezso just outside the ring shouting encouragement. But Freki is surpassing our expectations!
Way to go, Freki! Can't wait to see where you go from here!
Freki loves to ride. She's a bit protective of what she perceives as 'her zone' which includes anything within a 10 foot radius of the car. That's problematic when you're stopped in traffic and there are vehicles on every side. She tries to stare them down, but they ignore her.
Today, I let her ride with me since I was only going through a drive-through and wouldn't be getting out of the car. And she was very good (only stared down one motorcyclist and a policeman in his car) and played up the 'good dog' act and got a cookie from the guy at the drive-through window.
Then she talked me into her favorite thing.
She loves Sonic ice cream. She'd probably like it from any vendor, but this is her favorite place to stop. And, yes, she recognizes the word Sonic over the words ice cream. Here's how it went today.
I let her sit up front while we waited for her order. Her calm manner (see above) became a bit more intense as she saw others getting their order ahead of ours. Good luck convincing her they ordered first.
But it kept her interest up, and the car hop arrived very soon, with a big smile on her face (Yes, we've been here before).
It was a bit difficult juggling 2 root beer floats (mine and hubby's) and Freki's order without her testing each, but I managed.
This was the fist time Freki's 'ice cream cone in a cup' came this way. Typically, they simply put the ice cream in a clear plastic bowl as if it was an topping-less sundae.
However, it didn't phase Freki. There was ice cream down in that cup, and she was going to eat it.
One good bite (after I removed the wrapper) took away half the cone, and though she dropped the second half on the seat, it cleaned up quickly.
On to the ice cream. She had her snout in it in no time.
We don't give her ice cream very often, but she loves the treat. Gunnar probably smelled it on her breath when she got home. Jealous? Oh, yeah.
Freki had fun.
A good friend lives on several hundred acres and this huge pond is so pretty and clear, that Freki didn't waste any time at all getting her paws wet.
She will bring the stick back, but drops it as she passes me with a glance over her shoulder as if to say, "There it is, toss it again." Retriever, she is not.
My friend also has chickens on her farm that wander loose during the day. Freki was not enchanted with them. In fact, she was certain they were zombie chickens and should be scared away. Unfortunately, they didn't understand dogs are higher up the food chain than they are, and we finally corralled the chickens into a fenced area behind the barn-- with the help of a bit of chicken feed.
Here are some more photos of Freki and her fun-filled day on the farm.
It's the beginning of March, and I pulled the swimming pool out today. Granted, it is a lovely, sunny day, and the high will be around 70, though the dogs were panting when it hit 55 this morning, but it seems odd to have the pool out while the grass hasn't made much of an appearance yet.
But the dogs loved it!
As I watered the plants this morning, Freki kept playing in the water spray. So, she rather talked me into pulling the pool out of storage. I am now responsible for keeping it clean(ish)-- I mean, really, it's muddy 5 seconds after I wash it out-- and filled. Spring is here.
Things have been pretty busy here at the MacRae house. Two books within weeks of each other was a bit presumptuous of me over the holidays, but everything is on schedule, even if there have been a few late nights and at a couple of overflowing laundry baskets.
But, amid it all, we got the Christmas tree up--and have only lost 2 ornaments due to animal shenanigans, and the glittery poodle wasn't a popular ornament, anyway. The nephew and I baked cookies and I managed to send most of them home with him. I even attempted Christmas photos of the dogs, but getting all 4 of them to sit still was beyond my skill set--especially with the Mr. laughing instead of helping.
So, here are a few photos from Christmas 2015 at the MacRae house. Feel free to caption your favorite in the comments.
Blessings from our house to yours this holiday season.
Oh, my! I cannot believe how many Wednesdays I've missed this summer! I do have excuses . . .er, reasons. A full-length novel coming out by the end of the year (fingers crossed), a 5 novella contract, the first of which releases October 29, and a 4-book boxed set (with 3 other authors) coming out October 1. Add all the gardening care--all the plants must be watered daily here--and sometimes I'm not sure if I'm coming or going.
But it's been busier than that around here. Last weekend we added a new addition to our household. A big fellow--though he still has some weight to put on--by the name of Gunnar.
We thought long and hard about the decision to add another dog to the family. And it boiled down to two things. Freki needed a running buddy since she has outgrown Ben, and Gunnar needed a home.
He is a very kind dog. He eventually won Freki over (who had no intention of allowing a strange dog near her family) by ignoring her tantrum and showing a liking for the swimming pool, balls and a good romp.
Ben thinks he can run with Freki and Gunnar, though his short legs aren't quite up to the job. Of course, Dixie just ignores him. And Gunnar and Angus, the cat, get along just fine.
Freki still has her spot on the bed at night, and is surprisingly willing to share her toys. Tug-of-war is interesting when it happens in the house now. I have seen her simply take a toy away from Gunnar if she doesn't want him to have it. She still rules the house.
And, for those who are interested, Gunnar is the Norse word for 'warrior', as well as being a good German name. :-)
Today Freki is one year old.
We have had her since she was 9 weeks old, and it has been a ton of fun!
She seems to learn or teach us something nearly every day. Yesterday, she learned to swim in the neighbor's pond. I took her there on a leash and let her approach the water on her own. She was soooo excited to see the water! So much water! Much bigger than her swimming pool!
Then, she stepped in. You could see the muddy bottom around the edge, and she sank ankle-deep. It must have startled her, because she leaped backward. She paced the area, then tried it again. Same thing, only she went farther and dropped off into deeper water. She leaped out, and shook the water from her coat. Never one to back down from a challenge, she jumped back in the pond and this time she swam.
It wasn't a graceful dog-paddle. It was more like the exaggerated stride of a Tennessee Walking horse with water splashing everywhere. She sank a bit and must have sucked up a snootful of water, because she lunged out of the water and stalked about, retching. But the gleam was still in her eye and she charged back into the water. I'd taken her leash off and she swam freely around, getting the hang of it a little better each time.
She was so wound up! I finally got her attention and hooked the leash on her collar and took her back to the yard. She pranced and darted about the whole way, so pleased and proud of herself and excited to have learned something new.. I rinsed her off, played ball for a few minutes, then took her inside to the utility room where she got a thick towel and a fan to help her dry. It took a long time to get her presentable enough to join us in the house, but she was tired and napped.
What a nice thing to discover a way to tire her out! And she had a blast!
Does your dog like to swim? Is he a 'foot-dabbler' or a 'cannon-baller'?
* * *
THEN AND NOW
Someone sent me a video clip of a GSD helping around the house. I remember laughing about it as Freki careened through the house on some mission or other she had contrived.
With all the rain, and now the hot weather, she has spent way too much time inside. I've tried creative (I think) ways of keeping her entertained, but the GSD mind is ever-active and some days she just wears me out.
Oh, and Ben. She wears him out, too.
She stalks the cat. They romp. They almost break something, so a time-out gets called. Angus responds by leaping at Freki on his rear legs, front feet spread wide. Chaos ensues. Again.
Her nose is always into everything. She inspects the basket from the garden. She watches intently as supper is prepared (ok, maybe she's hoping for a handout here). She watches me type, gets bored and brings me her ball to toss to her.
So, today as I was doing laundry, I thought back to the video and thought, why not? Why not channel that interest and energy into something more productive than another session of 'throw my ball'?
I spent several minutes offering her newly washed articles of clothing. She was entranced. With the command 'take it', she gently took the sock, and held it in her mouth. I pointed to the open dryer. "Drop it." She kept holding it. "Drop it in the dryer, Freki." With a quick glance at me, she slipped away and deposited it on her bed.
No problem. There is a learning curve, here after all. So we repeated the commands--right up to where she put another sock on her bed. Her bed was beginning to look like a lost and found pile. After a bit, she started to catch on. I won't say she is a pro, but we will persist.
As for handing me laundry from the basket to put in the washer? I may have taught her to sneak socks.
I have a feeling this is where Freki will spend her summer. Even in the evenings, when the house is cool and the ceiling fan spreads a gentle breeze through the house, Freki pants. And paces. And pants some more.
But she loves her pool. I would imagine she would have played in it during the snow if I had left it out. Ben used to love to break ice on the surface and yank it out, tossing it behind him so he could grab more of the cold stuff invading his pool.
Yesterday I emptied the pool, cleaned it and filled it with fresh water. Not that she cares. Within minutes silt begins settling again on the bottom of the pool as dirt washes off her muddy feet. Ben was the first in the pool after it was cleaned. He is a bit more fastidious about his water.
However, he did roll in the dirt after he jumped out of the pool. I suppose he imagined he was drying himself off. It got him another turn with the water hose and a bit of doggy shampoo, and later a stiff brushing. It is corgi shedding season. I have tried to photograph just what that means, but it is beyond the skills I possess. Imagine a dog version of a dandylion. Every time he shakes, hair 'poofs' off of him. Or perhaps, if you remember the Charlie Brown cartoons, Ben is a fur-shedding version of Pig Pen.
Freki fought with the water hose under water for several minutes before finally vanquishing her foe. She ran with the hose pouring water that danced about her until she finally dropped it. I would have gotten a photo, but I was laughing too hard.
She wound up with a bath, too, along with a good brushing. Her coat is very sleek and tight and shiny. I just love the way it feels.
Where were Dixie and Angus? With her heavy coat that is only just beginning to turn loose, Dixie is a house girl. Angus sat at the door, peering outside at the fun. Though he loves to chase the water droplets that run down the shower door or paw at a tiny stream of water from the faucet, I rather doubt he would have appreciated a swimming pool and two rowdy dogs.
However, I came home the other night to a tub with 4 inches of water, faucet running, and a wet cat. Stern measures have been taken to avoid this happening again.
A little over a month ago, Angus the cat came to live with us. We had a couple of rough days in the beginning, but now Freki says he was the best gift ever.
Last week I caught the two of them piled on the bed playing. They must have played like this for 15 minutes or more. I thought I'd share some of the photos.
Note: Freki very gently mouths the cat and never closes her teeth on the leg or head or other cat part. Angus seems to reciprocate with feisty blows with sheathed claws. No cats or dogs were harmed in these photos :-)
All Adventures With Rezso After Christmas Angus The Cat Basketball Bath Bath Time Ben Best Toys Birthday Chiropractic Treatment Christmas Corgi Dixie Dog Training Flowers Freki Fun On The Farm Gardening German Shepherd Gunnar Happy Birthday Harvest Helper Jolly Ball Life With Dogs Life With Freki New Puppy Ninja Dog Obedience Class Odin's Wolves Pool Time Service Dog Snow Soccer #Sonicdrivein Spring Springtime Square Foot Garden Square-foot Garden Swimming Pool Then And Now Tracking Treats Water Games Winter Fun Wonderful Wednesday