Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Erin here. I've decided to start doing some training posts, so I can keep track our progress, particularly with reactivity.
It sucks only being able to work with Susie on the weekends, since I go to college/live in a different town four days out of the week. I can’t wait until next year, when I can move out of the dorms and get an apartment. Susie’s going to love campus life :D
At any rate, I was getting a little disheartend because it seemed our training, particularly the training we do for her strange dog/ people reactivity, was starting to stagnate and backslide. However, after introducing the clicker to our walks (I don’t know why I didn’t earlier— especially since we’ve been using it so long in other aspects of our training) she was really more at ease, and definitely a lot more responsive to me. She also did well with not pulling on the leash; I was very pleased! 
We walked past a few things that would have put her over threshold a year ago, but only warranted a sideways glance from her. A large group of people screaming and playing in a yard, several men cutting their grass and weedwacking (one even walked towards her with his mower, but she was fine and comforted when I stepped between them so that she was on my other side, and continued on).
We walked to the small park in my neighborhood, which is mostly deserted in the seasons when the pool is closed, and practiced sit stays and recalls in the parking lot. She’s very responsive on our outings now, whereas before she was too overstimulated to perform even simple commands. We started with a few of her easy commands and then worked on sit stays with distance, and recalls from a distance, and she did very well, especially considering we haven’t worked on them very much.
When we got home, she was tired in a way that I could never hope to get through purely physical excercise :) I never realized how much more draining “training” walks could be. 
On a training side note, I was watching a video on youtube yesterday looking for more things we could work on, and watched a video dealing with sits and other commands from a distance. Well, I asked Susie to ‘sit’ and ‘wait’ at the foot of the stairs, per usual, as I climbed to the top before releasing her, but in her overexitement, she broke the ‘wait’. I asked her to ‘try again’ (a cue she understands very well), so she descended the few steps to the foot of the stairs, and looked up at me expectantly. I told her to sit, more out of experiment than anything, and to my suprise, she did so without hesitation, even though we’ve never attemped cueing any commands at a distance. Love my pup <3

Monday, October 21, 2013

Vet Day

Erin here.
Last Saturday was vet day for the crew, and my bank account is still lamenting. If I was more logical, I probably would have made an attempt to stagger their yearly vet visits throughout the year, but, alas.
Last Saturday was also the day of Sage's neuter. When they were shaving him down for the operation, they discovered he had tape worms (despite already having been dewormed at his last two visits) sooo I brought my other cat in later to get dewormed just in case, and went ahead and had his exam and rabies done too. Both of them got microchipped as well, and, even though they’re both indoor cats, bought one dose each of flea topicals since I know tapeworms come from fleas.
Susie went in yesterday for her exam, rabies, and microchip, and even though she was very stressed initially, shaking and such, she calmed down and took treats, something she had been too far gone in the past to do. She never barked or whined, even though she was in close proximity to other dogs and people, and allowed the vet to do his thing without complaint. I also got her another six months supply of Comfortis, as fleas are an issue here year-round. She has a slight amount of tartar, so I’m going to schedule a dental in the next few months, but my cat’s takes priority since he managed to chip a tooth.
After picking up Sage, the kitten, I got him settled in my closet with his bed, litter box, and a small amount of food. The tech warned me he may not be very hungry due to the anesthesia, but I just nodded and smiled to myself. She had not borne witness to this kitten’s unsatiable appetite. As soon as he saw me pop open a can, he was mewing pleadingly and tore into it. Luckily, he didn’t experience any digestive issues from the anethesia and recovered quite quickly.
Then it was Fetch’s turn. He goes twice a year since he’s almost 14, and he gets a comprehensive exam as part of his wellness plan. I’m still having issues with his teeth. He just had a dental in February, and we use the water additives, dental chews, raw bones, different kinds of toothpaste and frequent brushing, to no avail. Susie’s teeth are pearly white from this regime with minimal tarter, but I just can’t seem to keep it off  with Fetch. I discussed this with my vet and she prescribed an antibiotic to help with gum infections, and a different toothpaste. She was hesistant to do another dental, since he’d just had one done, he’s getting older in years, and he’s developed a very slight heart murmur. 
I only have one picture from the vet since it was pretty hectic, but I can rest assured now that everyone has been taken care of.
hehe, his expression after his rectal exam, poor guy.
And one of Sage recovering from his neuter:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Farmer's Market Fun

Fetch is the luckiest dog sometimes. He went the Farmer's Market a few weekends ago, where he got to see and smell a large variety of healthy yummies. He also got to meet a few nice pups, (although he was more interested in sniffing out dropped morsels...) and saw a few dogs and a cat from a local rescue organization, as well as a pair of greyhounds from the local greyhound rescue. He was wiped out after the walk back to car, and slept all day!

The plan for this weekend is to head up to our local branch of the Sumter National Forest and go on an all day hike (the first time we've been on one since school started, admittedly), so check back for some pictures!

Farmer's Market: A Before and After

And last but not least, a cute picture of ME since it's been a while:

Woofs & Meows,
Susie and the Crew

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fetch Goes Apple Picking

It was a bright, glorious morning-- The people were bustling about the house at an early hour, loading the car with bags. I was let happily into the back yard while Fetch continued snoozing in bed. The car started. Hmmm, were we going somewhere? Alas, I huffed with disbelief as Fetch was lifted into the car and it drove away.

 I may not like large, noisy crowds or strange people and dogs, but I also don't like Fetch getting to go off and do things with the people. :( I was one unhappy weiner, but Fetch told me all about his adventure when he got back and that made me feel a little better, so now I'm going to share it all with you!

The people went on a little road trip, driving a few hours north of us to go apple-picking in NC. Along the way, they also stopped at an Outlet to do some shopping, and Fetch had a blast.

Are we there yet?!

Hanging out at the outlets

Fetch is such a good traveler. He alternated between sitting placidly in the backseat between Erin and Matthew and snoozing. He eagerly ate his breakfast and drank plenty of water. This was his first time using his new seatbelt from Etekcity, but unfortunately it was a little long, so it'll have to be altered. 

After the pit stop, they continued their journey, winding up Mt. McAlpine to its peak, where Sky Top Orchard of Zirconia, NC is perched. Fetch was eager to get picking, so they grabbed a basket and were off! First, they visited the barnyard, where Fetch made a new friend.

Hello, who are you?

Then, they hit the orchard! 

After that, Fetch was worn out, but he had a blast! There was a huge crowd, tons of people, children, and dogs, tractors, farm animals, and a lot of noise, but Fetch was completely relaxed the whole time. Maybe I'll have to get a few pointers from him so I can go too next time!

It was an exciting day, and Fetch was passed out for the car ride home

Woofs & Meows,
Susie and the Crew