Coming back to nice weather was a plus. I am moving slow, and I'm still so keyed up I didn't sleep much last night, but I got us out for a hike and we did a little over 4 miles. Dexter found lots of mud and he is a happy dog.
The bright red spot on his nose is when he lost his mind and tried to play with my friend's psycho kitty while I was away.
Some members of congress might already be backpeddling, seeking distance from SOPA and PIPA (Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act) but it's still an issue that needs a lot of shouting to kill. Flickr is one of the sites that would most certainly be affect, as well as a host of others. Whatever the ills they say they are targeting, this isn't the way to go about it.
You can find stuff just about anywhere, and searching wiki for anything will pop you to a page where you can enter your zip code and they'll tell you who your rep is.
Other good links I saved:
Not sure how legit everything he says is... but he's interesting...
They need to look up information on a country, the main religion, language spoken, etc. As he's talking I'm going through my computer, which he was starting to think was rude, and then he was confused when I brought up a picture of a sea turtle, and another of a mountain. The country he was assigned is St.Lucia, which just happens to be my current Favorite Place on Earth. When he realized these were my pictures, that I have been there (twice) and know lots about it, he was very excited. We'll see if he actually has the focus to do his big project idea, and I need to find one of my little tape recorders because he wants to do an interview of me. And then I need to print out some of my pictures for him. It's cute to see him so excited about it.
Dexter 'rings' his bowl when he's hungry (a trick I taught him in case the kids forego feeding him) and when I tossed the kibble in she got excited. Like a gracious host he stepped aside and let her go first. She was having trouble getting into his bowl and reaching the food and he actually reached in, took some out, and dropped it on the floor in front of her, than took his own bite and stepped away to eat it. He didn't settle in to eat until she'd walked away. I've never seen a dog do that before, but then, I don't normally have both adults and puppies. Still seemed pretty darn sweet.
And Dexter would really prefer I not hide behind the camera. He makes nice faces when I hold it lower, and funny, unsure faces when he can't see my face for the black thing aiming at him.
Boat was how I got off the island that day. Walking to the water, there were so many people and so many lines and everything was tangled and crowded and anxious, but no one was fighting or shoving, even if many were feeling a little desparate. We had the advantage of being in midtown. We could see the smoke, and smell it, but it wasn't billowing around us. Even with where I was, I cannot imagine standing on that sea wall, or the horror of being enveloped in the dust and smoke when the Towers came down. But there was comfort in seeing the fleet of boats approaching. Even if you didn't get on this or that one, you could see how many more there were to come get us. From all the effort of churning back and forth the river didn't know which way it was going that day.
Not our finest photo moment, but has been a great weekend.
Dexter and I did our very first 'real' obstacle course at the town dog show and took 4th place. He didn't fall off the bridge (or jump into the pool) and we didn't knock anything over, so I was happy. Next year I bring the flexi lead and hopfully he'll follow directions instead of needing to follow a tennis ball, but he didn't try to take off in odd directions. And he was at least as well behaved as any other dog there, and he has better tricks, so next year we'll enter more categories!
In the past I've said that I like NJ and this area because it doesn't seem like Mother Nature is trying to kill me. Now we gotten an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week. My mother called to comment on that. :)
But after living in FL and the east end of Long Island I'm probably a little too calm about Irene. For once I'm not living at sea level! However, we will not be sleeping in our bedroom tonight... we have a pair of huge (200 - 300+) trees outside and neither of us want to be in our own bed if Irene decides to tear one out of the ground and send it in toward the house. The tulip tree would take out our room entirely.
All the outdoor furniture is in the garage, most of my plants and things are inside as well. Just a few more to drag in tonight or tomorrow before the rain starts. The grill is strapped down, the gas is turned off. I'll drain a few inches of water out of the pool tomorrow and shock it. I'm sure when I wander around I'll find more things I want to tuck away, but I think we've done about all we can. Kinda wish we had plywood to cover the windows... guess we'll see how this goes and if a window does get smashed, I'll measure them all and get things fitted so we're prepared next time.
We have lanterns and batteries, water and plenty of food and if the power is still out when that runs out, we've got a tankful of gas. I can think of a few friends to visit and one of them is bound to have a hotel nearby with an open room.
And then their cats freaked out. After days of being hissed and spit at, Maybe chased the one under the bed, and then the other one went after her and slashed her face. Previously, Maybe had been okay with cats (her rescue had several) but after that... not so much so. I tried to work out strategies with them, trying to make sure they didn't have any additional negative interactions, and while Maybe would improve, the cats wouldn't. After having the cats 12 and 14 yrs respectively, the cats won and I went to pick Maybe up on Friday. The woman was very sad giving her back. Her animals don't like her kids either, so she'd wanted a dog they could play with, but I guess she's out of luck until the cats die. :(
Poor Dexter is still limping from his crash into the pool, so I'm having to try and keep both of them quiet so his leg has a chance to heal (it's taking forever). Kinda tempting to just keep her.... but then I don't think Dexter would ever heal and they play so rough he ends up with skin issues. My poor sensitive boy. ;-)
It started with a little cloth toddler tunnel he can't actually stand up in.
Then I grabbed two tiny plastic kiddie chairs and a mop and made a jump.
I added a second section of tube, and a second higher jump with kitchen chairs, a broom, and a quilt to make it solid.
Then I covered the exit of the tunnel with a towel.
Then I uncovered the second 'high' jump.
It took me about half an hour to teach him to go over (not under) the naked high jump, do the second jump, and go through the tunnel blind. By the end I could toss the treat to the far end and he'd run our mini-course solo to go get it.
How long does it normally take to teach dogs these things? I lack all experience in this matter and have nothing to compare to. I just thought it might be fun.
And somehow I expected the kids to be able to do the little jump too.. but they cannot. At least they had fun with the tunnel and tossing the treats back and forth watching him go. Now I've got to find our hoola hoop so we can add that. I also think I need to space the jumps wider, when the higher jump was last his jump looked really ...steep? and sort of awkward.
Life has its moments, but lately few of them are much fun.
However, I did escape the routine and on Sunday I was a 'victim' for the Ramapo Search and Rescue team. Basically, you meet the team, they do their obedience drills and then team leaders drive groups of victims out to the woods, part way out on the trails and then they point and ask you to go hide, 'over there somewhere'.
You are advised to bring a book, tick spray, lunch an extra sweat shirt and something to sit on. All exccellent advice that I took, plus a sheet of plastic to keep my blanket dry. I've no idea how long I was out there, but it was a while and then I heard a bell....
I realized Lucy was about to find me and put stuff away and closed my eyes. She bounded straight up into my lap and stuck her face in mine as if it say "tag!" We played tug of war for a second (as instructed, they even provide toys) and then I let her win (also per instructions) and she took off with the toy to return to her handler and bring him to me. The other dogs bark to summon their handlers, so you don't play with them until they give their alarm, but Lucy doesn't bark, instead she goes and grabs him to show him who she's found.
What I found out after, is that Tom and Lucy had three people to find, but they didn't know that. Each handler gets an area and they've no idea how many victims are planted, they just have to work the whole area. Lucy also found 11 startled hikers. :)
It was neat and they were a cool group to spend a day with. That my canon has died was very unfortunate. When you're just sitting quietly in the woods, an amazing number of birds land near you, several of which I don't normally see. Such a bummer that I didn't have a camera.
I will probably volunteer again... possibly for November, but only if I can find a sleeping bag or something to stay warm in. The colder it gets, sitting for a few hours hiding in the woods is going to get way too cold for me. I don't mind being still and quiet, it's an amazing change of pace, but I detest being cold. So, we shall see.
Dexter is coming along. He is the class clown for our therapy class and the instructor has dubbed him "Thumper" because you can hear his tail wagging the whole class, and it goes double time if anyone looks at him.
I need to dedicate a little more time to training, but some days time to focus just isn't something I have much of, and while 10 minutes here, and 10 minutes there is better than nothing, I don't find we're making much progress on important things, like walking past other people and dogs without him hanging himself in his collar trying to reach them and being oblivious to my efforts to redirect him....
( pup stuff continues... )
He had fun and we finished with cake, icecream and silly string. Can't go wrong there. :-)
Some of you will recognize the character, for everyone else, it's a Mario Brother's video game guy called "Star Fox". I wanted to do the headset out of cookies, but my dough was sticky and no cooperating, and I only got the letters done before I gave up. Still, Isaac was thrilled so it's all good.
As nice as it is to have a quiet dog... I kinda need one with more pep and ... I dunno... spunk? I may regret that wish here shortly, life is perverse like that, but I need a dog that plays and thus far all we've seen it do is quietly dismember the squeaky man the Vet gave Isaac. It'll be interesting to see who he really is as he heals and recovers from the trauma that was the last couple of days.
In the meantime, he stays with me off lead, and tries to 'Heel" to me no matter who is walking him. Even when we passed joggers and another dog he stayed with Isaac (who had the leash, though I took hold of the loop just in case). I also think he might have been paper trained at some point. We wondered if he might know commands in Spanish, but there was no response.
We did go to the other shelter to look at a couple of other dogs this morning before we picked him up. Lyle was good, though how hard he leaned into the lead was midly worrisome. I think it's just a matter of training, but he's been at the shelter over a year, so he likely needs more socialization. But he did well with the kids and we took him for a little walk. Pooch was adopted yesterday, and Killer was way too exuberant to have with kids this size. Several of them were weeded out by the amount of hysteria when we approached the cages. So instead we saw this fellow: Cole. Mostly mellow, but then bounding around the pen for a moment before settling. He started to jump up on Isaac but when the volunteer and I both stood up to say "No!" he quickly dropped back to the ground and slunk behind my legs and when I gave him some attention he trotted back out into the play area. That pretty well won me over and Isaac liked that he played with some of the toys and was more interactive than the others have been.
So... we will see. We'll give Dexter here some time to perk up and recover himself, but Isaac at least seems ok with the options and I've said we'll foster him if he needs a new home rather than risk him getting sick again. That Dexter would be safe seemed to ease the worry about what would happen. Now it's just a matter of time.