Friday, April 29, 2011

Wait For It

I love working with Molly.  She's a lot of fun to work with, one of the easiest dogs I've tried to "train".
Yesterday we starting working on the "Wait" and "ok" command.
Molly already knows "Sit" "Leave it" and "off".
I started with  her tennis ball, she lovees her tennis ball.
After we played fetch for a while (to relieve some of her pent up energy) I took her ball and made her sit.  I sat her ball a few feet in front of her and said "wait" while holding my hand out in front of her.  She hardly moved, but when she would I would make a noise and say "NO".  Before long she was sitting and waiting.  I then clapped my hands and said "Okay!" and let her retrieve the ball.  She seemed to like the new game, so we played for about 15min.  Once she had the whole "waiting on the ball" concept down pat...I moved it up a level and grabbed her bag of treats.  Below are pictures of Molly demonstrating the "wait" command.

(See the little brown dot on the floor, it's a treat)
                                                                   Wait for it.
                                                  Trust me, the treat was gone in seconds.

I broke a milkbone in half and started all over.  I love these pictures, I wish I had used the video option on my camera, but I didn't...sorry.  However, you can still see the frustration and yet determination in her face.
She kept moving from side to side and would flop down on the floor some too.  However, she never once tried to snatch the treat before I said "Ok".
                                                            Wait for it.
                                                        Still waiting...
                                                 Oh the misery! She flops herself down in front of the treat.
                        Snout inches away...but she waits.  Head resting on her front paws....oh the temptation!       

                                           She scoots her way back beside me and looks up.
                            "Pleassse say "ok" please say "ok" pleassse oh please oh please"
                                      "Maybe I can just stretch towards it....just a little"

                                          "A little bit more...."

"Oh for the love of Pete!...I can't take this anymore!!"


                                                                  ...and it's gone.
                                                               What a good girl!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Toy Trouble

One problem with a large breed puppy....they can get to things that little dogs can't reach. 
Molly has a toy basket, it is a hand-me-down from Ali (who rarely, if ever, has the desire to play with toys anymore).
Molly is all about the basket.  It does not matter where I place the basket in the house, she finds it and (if she can reach it) brings it back down to her level.
I caught her in action here:

                                                     "There has to be a ball in here!"


                                                              "Where is the ball?" 

"It has got to be in here...somewhere!"

She soon realizes I'm in the room.  She knows she is busted.

She still has time to locate her ball...I'm too busy snapping pictures.
I get left with the mess of toys to pick up.
Don't look so smug Molly.

(PS. No I do not have a rug that changes the time I finished picking up her toys, she had already run from the sunroom to the living room with her ball)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Puppy Problem Numero Uno

**Warning: This will be nasty, if you're not a dog lover or have a weak stomach, read no more! However, if you can handle it, continue can laugh at me later.**

The day we brought Molly home was such an exciting day for me.
I got home from work, jumped into Sevs truck and we headed to the farm to pick up our pup.

After saying goodbye to the sweet breeder and Molly’s littermates, we loaded our new puppy into the back seat of Sevs truck and headed down the road. The farm where we got Molly was in the middle of nowhere. No sooner had we pulled out of the dirt driveway and onto the dirt road, Molly began to panic. I quickly realized...Molly had never been in a car before! Uh oh.
I climbed out of the passenger seat and into the back seat of the truck. I scooped my long legged puppy up and placed her in my lap. I tried to calm her down and reassure her that the world was not coming to an end. Sev eased the truck down the dirt road and soon we were on interstate 20. Sev had just signaled his way over into the far left lane and was passing a few other vehicles when I looked down at Molly and saw "the look".

The look that every dog makes when they are about to....

throw up.

She was panting, drooling and within seconds she was making the gagging noise I'm all too familiar with.

I didn't have time to stop and think, I cupped my hands together, shoved them under her nose and watched as she deposited a pile of warm, wet, digested dog food, into my hands. Gross! (I warned you).

Severyn couldn't contain his laughter, or his amazement that I knew what was coming before she actually threw up. We were still in the left lane on the interstate, switching lanes was not yet an option as we had cars beside us and directly behind us. Sev rolled down the window and I prepared to...well I can't really think of a proper way to describe what I was intending to do, but you get the picture...then I thought better of the idea. I realized one of three things would likely happen.

One-the digested dog food would fly back inside the window and I would have an even bigger problem.
Two-the car behind me would forever hate me.
Three-my wedding ring set would fly off of my wet hand as I flung my hands out of the window.

None of those options were actual options in my mind. So I patiently as I could, hands cupped together, digested dog food oozing between my fingers, and one sick puppy laying in my lap. Severyn passed the cars beside us as quickly as he could, turned off onto the next exit and pulled over onto the side of the road. I did the best I could to wash my hands with a cup of water and napkins from the glove box. Needless to say I was disgusted.

We headed home as quickly as possible.

We made it a block away from our house when I was lucky enough to be the recipient of yet another heaping handful of doggy throw up. Again, there was no time to think, cupped hands and quick reflexes left me with the prize.

It's a good thing I love my dogs...and have a strong stomach when it comes to anything dog related.

Huh...maybe I should have been a vet after all!

Stay tuned, that was just puppy problem number one...puppy hood is anything but easy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dog Blog

Just about everyone that knows me, knows my love for dogs. 
I'm not sure where my passion for the animal comes from, but I've heard stories about my mother gathering all of the neighborhood dogs up, loading them into my grandmothers car and then pretending to drive them around-while safely parked in the driveway of her childhood home.  She grew up with dogs and in return I grew up with dogs, mostly labs and a handful of mutts.  When my father finally put his foot down and allowed us to have no more dogs, I simply went to my grandmother and explained why owning a dog was very necessary.  Between the ages of...oh maybe 9 and 20...I had talked my grandmother into bringing home over 9 dogs (possibly more...actually probably many more).  I believe we had some form of every breed known to man. 
As fate would have it, I married a man that shares my love for dogs.  For our one year anniversary we brought home our wild man, Ali.  He's part Brussels griffon, part human.  Basically he's the ruler of our household, all 7 pounds of him.
Since we've had Ali, I've rescued, fostered and re homed a handful of other dogs-2 of them with the intention of keeping but ended up finding new (read: better) homes for...which was really okay with me, I knew that even though their forever home was not with me that I had still saved a pound puppies life and they were better off.
However, I always yearned for my "big dog".  I told anyone that would listen that I would live on a farm someday and have my "big dog". 
Well, I don't live on that farm just yet, but last month Sev and I welcomed that "big dog" into our life.

Meet Molly
I honestly can't say how many hours (read: time I should have been working or spent cleaning my house) researching breeds. 
I started to feel that familiar tug on my heart every time we passed a dog on the street.  I would try and squelch my "big dog" desire by walking Ali but after a short block or two he reminded me that I worked for him, not the other way around and he ended up in my arms.  He just isn't all "dog"...and I wanted a DOG.  A dog I could walk, train, play fetch with, take to the park, take hiking and just do general "dog" things.
Severyn came home a little over a month ago and informed me that he would be graduating (for sure!) in exactly one year from this coming May.  I had tried telling myself that we would wait until he was finished with school and were tucked away in my dream farm house, before we got our big dog.
The more I tried to talk myself into waiting, the harder it became.
Shortly after my father informed me that he would be giving up our shared hobby of dirt bike riding.  I was beyond crushed, words can't really even describe how sad I was (still am).  I loved (love) the sport, but I knew-deep down-that my riding days were over.  I just can't see enjoying the sport without my riding partner, my dad.
I decided if I was going to give up my bike, I was going to have to take on a hobby that I loved/enjoyed just as much.  That hobby being hiking and camping...and that included my big dog!
I continued my research, called numerous kennels, vets, breeders, dog trainers and family members...and decided on a breed.  Sev and I visited a local litter of pups on a Wednesday.  I made Sev promise that we would not take a puppy home that same day, I reallllly wanted to think about everything just one last time.  I walked away that evening with my heart in the palm of a puppy paw.  By Friday I had written out an entire schedule proving that we could take proper care of a puppy.  I could walk her in the mornings before leaving for work, Sev comes home for lunch so he could let her out during the middle of the day, he is also home most days before 4pm so she would not be left alone for long. 
On that Friday Sev helped me pull the "big dog" crate from the attic, we assembled it, filled water and food bowls, grabbed a package of dog treats and went to pick up our puppy.

Molly is a Shepadoodle.  She is half German Shepherd, half Standard poodle.  She does not shed a bit of hair.  I'm talking, you can take your hand and firmly grasp her fur, yank it and nothing, not one hair, will be left in your hand.  She is a combination of two of the top three ranked most intelligent dog breeds, of course I think she's smart.  She will be a big dog, but she has a lot of the "lazy" poodle in her as well, so she's great indoors.  So far she has been fairly quick at picking up basic commands.

However, all of that being said...puppies are hard work!  They take a lot of time, dedication, patience, guidance and attention.  Molly is a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work too.  She is all puppy and likes to test my patience, but luckily I prepared myself for the challenge and so far everything is going okay.
I'll probably start blogging a good bit about Molly, the good and the bad. 
A "puppies first year" kind of thing.  Maybe along the way I can connect with others that decide to "take the puppy challenge"...or if you're even thinking that a puppy may be in your near future....well....I can give you one trillion good reasons why you NEED a dog, just ask my grandma, cousins, family and friends. ;-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

if I posted pictures!? Sorry, again no pictures...but if you like, you may read on to hear about my weekend.

As soon as I returned home from work Friday afternoon, I met Sev at the door (he had just returned from dropping our pups off at the kennel) and we headed next door to our neighbors.

We quickly loaded up the car, packed it full mind you (this is where pictures would really come in handy) and then five of us loaded in and headed down the road to Charleston.
We had big plans and we were ready to get the show on the road! (what does that mean exactly? show on the road?? Whatever it means...we were ready to go!)
Along the way, we munched on white trash (powdered sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chex mix) and passed the time by talking non-stop (shocked? hello-I was in the car!).

We arrived in Charleston just as our hosts were arriving home with pizza.  We unloaded the car, ate pizza and just enjoyed time with our friends.  We played a few rounds of catch phrase and laughed hysterically well into the night.
Christie graduated from College of Charleston and pretty much knows all there is to know about downtown Charleston.  I thought I knew plenty, but she quickly proved that just being from South Carolina doesn't mean you know all there is to know.  The atmosphere was fun, we stayed just a few short blocks off of King street...which meant, we got to walk everywhere.  That is one thing I love about Charleston, you can walk or ride your bike to pretty much anywhere you want to go.  Saturday morning we woke up to the Charleston sun peeping through the blinds.  We all threw on our bathing suits and headed out the door.  We had a beach party planned and the bus that would take us to the party location, the Windjammer, was scheduled to leave by 11am.  We walked a short distance to the bus stop and boarded our ride. 
We had the best time at the beach.  It was all you could eat BBQ...and it was all I could do to STOP eating the boiled peanuts.  Christie and I participated in a water balloon toss, where we lost after I managed to catch the balloon only to have it burst all over me in the process.  We watched a few tug of war competitions and played a little corn hole.  The girls walked down to the ocean, stuck our toes in and then ran back to the party, the water was still a bit too cold.
We had fun and I soaked up too many sun rays, by the time we returned home, I was sporting a lovely new tan line. 
After the beach party, we didn't have much time before we were scheduled to attend the 2011 Charleston Affair alumni party.  The girls rushed to take showers, fix our hair, fuss over what dress looked best on some of our sun kissed (read: burned) bodies, and then pose for pictures.  We then rushed the guys to get ready.  When the last tie had been tied and the last picture had been snapped...we took off on foot and headed to the College.  It dropped all of three rain drops on us the entire walk, we were relieved as all weekend the news reports kept saying there was a possible tornado threat. 
Sev and I had fun meeting new people, mingling with our friends and trying to pretend we knew how to dance.  I tried to learn how to shag, but I seriously give up on ever learning that...again, just because you're from South Carolina, doesn't mean you can do everything southern. 

We slept in on Sunday and then walked down to King street for some quick shopping and then lunch at the kicken' chicken.  We headed home shortly after lunch, unpacked the car, dropped our luggage inside the house and then Sev and I quickly took off to retrieve our furbabies.  When we returned home our sweet neighbor Rachael invited us to dinner, she is an amazing little cook and we love dinner invites from her!  After dinner we hung around for a bit, trying to soak up the last few minutes left of the weekend.

Today, I'm exhausted...but I can't complain.  I love spending time with friends and laughing the weekend away.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Six Hours, Twelve Months

I hardly get my hair cut.
I've never had it highlighted.
I don't wear it pulled back in cute clips or tied in a fancy knot.
I don't sport the latest style either.
Yet, I spent six hours at the hair salon over the weekend...and it wasn't the first time.
Just about everyone that knows me knows that I get my hair Japanese straightened. I have this process done to my hair right around once a year. It takes forever, it costs a pretty penny, I can't wash my hair for three days after the procedure (I KNOW, NASTY!!)...but it is worth every single bit of trouble.
Usually...until last night.
Last night my hair kept me from playing in our second softball game of the season. Our team still won, but I missed out on the fun. I couldn't pull my hair up in a rubber band and I can't wash it until tonight (I'm counting down the seconds until I can wash my hair, yuck!) I missed the game. I have had a lot of people ask me about the whole hair straightening procedure.
Lately, hair straightening has been given a bad some treatments should! There are a number of products out that claim to straighten hair. However, they use chemicals that are so toxic not only does the stylist have to wear gloves, but the client and stylist both are required to wear masks! Now who in their right mind would allow someone to put something on their head...that they couldn't even touch with their hands or breath in to their mouth. Crazy. The process I get done is completely different. As with any cosmetic or hair care product, the products do have chemicals...but nothing that requires gloves and masks.
The worst thing about the treatment I the amount of time it takes to complete the process...good gosh! The lady that straightens my hair is wonderful and by far the best person that offers the Japanese line, Yuko, in South Carolina (and trust me, I've been to many and research even more).

Aside from getting my hair smashed flat, I spent the weekend hanging out with my neighbor. Sev and I are not quite sure what we're going to do when we move out of Columbia and away from our neighbors. We've gotten to be such good friends...but we know moving is inevitable...our neighbors will be graduating this time next year and.....
so will SEVY!!!
(YIPPEEEEE, Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, please mark your calendars-there WILL be a Party!)
That's right, Sevy boy is on target to graduate May 2012!!
I never thought I'd see the day...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Something borrowed, something blue, baby brother says "I do"?!?

My brother got engaged last week, last Wednesday to be exact.

I'm still not sure how I feel about it all, and maybe that sounds strange, but he's my baby brother and I suppose I just never thought he would/should/could get married. haha.

Stranger still, his new bride will have my name. Not that long after Sev and I were married, his sister made the comment that it was strange to her that I would have her last name and eventually she would not. I never really gave her comment much thought, until now. I wonder what she would have thought about sharing her entire name with me? First and last! It's such a strange feeling, for me at least.

In a way it's exciting. My baby brother will be married and that just means one thing...I will have a new sister.

Sevs sister and I are very close, I hope to share the same bond with my brothers wife.

I know one day I'll look back and feel silly for all of these emotions that I'm having over my brothers engagement...but those that know me very well, know that I've never been fond of change. My baby brother getting married is a big "change" for me. I'm already making plans to get a prescription for some drugs. I don't cry often, but when I's ugly! I'm talking, red face, drippy nose, mascara running. Not pretty. I'm not convinced I can stand in front of a crowded room, while watching my baby brother get married, and choke back tears.

This is big for me, I'm having a hard time seeing the little boy that I grew up chasing around the yard on scooters, sledding down the hill behind our house with, playing Nintendo for hours with and...just to keep anyone from seeing through rose tinted glasses...fighting with until we were both out of breath, actually getting married!! AHH!

Chris was my compadre, the robber to my cop, the marco to my polo, my Christmas morning wake mom and dad up buddy, my mud pie baking, paintball shooting, creek exploring, fort building, demand taking, bunk bed sharing, trouble making brother.... he can't be old enough to get married.... can he?


I'm more certain now than ever that eloping is way less painful than weddings!

Monday, April 04, 2011

"Take Me Out To The Ball Game"

After we play ball tonight, I'm positive my teammates will be singing a different version.... * I can hear them now. * "Take her out of the ball game, take her off the her some peanuts and cracker jack, we don't care if she ever comes back..." * **Sigh** *Tonight is our first softball game of the season. I do not feel prepared at all. On a good note, my softball glove got some practice over the weekend! I however...did not. Autumn Lynn and one of my favorite little girls in the world, Alexa Lynn, came to spend time with us over the weekend. We had so much fun catching up and laughing at the crazy things that a four year old will say! On Saturday afternoon Sev and Adam wanted to play ball with a friend from our softball team. Adam used my that counts for some practice time, right?! Whatever. * Honestly, I'm excited to see what all of this softball hype is all about. Everyone is so excited, it was all they could talk about outside of church service yesterday. The game, the game! "Are you coming to THE game!?" If I remember to take a camera, I'll take pictures from the dugout. I'm fairly certain I'll be spending a good bit of quality time in there.