Little Green Buckets Are So Exciting

This weekend it was vividly demonstrated to me how different things are really exciting to different people. I was glad to attend the wedding we were a part of on Saturday, but not “Sooooo excited I could hardly stand it!” as one of the other guests expressed herself.

However on Friday night when I had to drop into the store I was, ”Sooooo excited I could hardly stand it!” What would illicit such a response from me-a confirmed non-shopper?

Maizey will show you:

“See my new food bucket?!? Now I can learn to be a big girl like Meeka and carry my own bucket!”
Hmmm. . . this bucket carrying thing is harder than it looks!”
“Awwe forget it i’ll just eat out of the bucket!”
I’m absolutely positive the excited wedding girl thought I was from an alternate universe when I was jumping up and down and clapping when I found this treasure of a little green bucket, but you should have seen Maizey when I gave it to her, she jumped up and down too! Okay admittedly it was probably more because I was jumping up and down than because she truly cares about little green buckets but my girls and I have a deal, if their happy I’m happy. If I’m happy their happy. It’s a good deal. 
Meeka illustrates:
“This is the most awesome bucket ever! Every time I find it my crazymomlady feeds me!”
“Plus when I hold the handle she jumps around, clap sand cheers. She looks like a total dork so I laugh at her and run around and be wild. It’s the best game ever!”
“I mean its no pink bear, but common this is pretty fun!”
Today’s 4 legged lesson: take joy wherever you find it, even if its a wedding for some crazy people or in a little green bucket for the rest of us sane ones!LOL
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Walking Challenges and Bad Attitudes

The 40 miles in 40 days walking challenge is not coming off so great this time.

The challenge itself is not the problem its the absolute lack of energy I have been having, which ironically the challenge would help. So I planned out some longer and new routes to take today thinking that would motivate me to get out there and see how it goes and yet here I am tick-typing away instead.

I have an enormous work day, company I have never met coming tomorrow, a weekend wedding event this weekend plus. . . Did I mention I am the orneriest person in the world and hate weddings? My friend that is getting married is like a little sister to me, I love her to pieces and I’m happy for her, I just hate weddings. Yeah, I’m mean. Besides why does a wedding have to be an on going event for a whole weekend? Yeah, I know, still mean.

But the walking. Its hard to walk when you’re tired, that kind of tired that leaves nothing left for little reactive barking cavaliers, even though it does make me happy to see her so happy.

Okay I guess that’s why I should go. They are already going to be bummed out when they figure out to day is a work day, not a mom stays home and plays with us day, I guess I should lever my laziness out of bed and at least give them a little stroll.

As for the miles? We’ll just see who wins that challenge.

It might be the miles. . . this time.

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Grooming With Some "Cowboy Magic"

Around here we have been on a grooming mission to learn how to deal with Maizey’s ever increasing amounts of “long flowing locks” as my non-dog friend puts it.

She is fairly tolerant to grooming, loves the bath more than anything, is great for toenail clipping, and would probably be good for teeth brushing if her crazymomlady wasn’t a lazy loser about doing it. 
However those thick ears that seem to just keep growing are a daunting challenge to keep up with. I would really like to be one of those wonderful dog-ladies who brush every day, but honestly we do good to get in 15 minutes about 4 days a week. The other thing that makes it a challenge is those ears are constantly getting wet. From water bowl to puddles, to the river wet ears make for snarls and mats.
So after hours online I finally found a wonderful group of folks who are part of a yahoo group called OzCavalier. These wonderful and kind folks patiently put up with my inexperienced questions and suggested a wealth of great suggestions and products. Thanks to all of you who responded!
My favorite thing I have tried so far is a product called Cowboy Magic Detangler and Shine. It is a non-greasy gel that you put a very small amount on the mat and with your fingers gently pull the loose hairs out of the mat. For once the name “magic” is not an exaggeration!
The other suggestion they encouraged me to do was to use a slicker brush on her. Due to Meeka’s extremely sensitive skin I am “slicker phobic” but I followed their advice using Maizey’s little slicker that has plastic tines instead of the traditional metal ones. It really works great and combined with the Cowboy Magic detangler her hair is not damaged at all.
Thus grooming has become a much more pleasant experience around here. Of course if would be nice if maizey were more like Meeka who when she sees you get out her brushes flops over upside down and writhes in pleasure at any brushing she can get!
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Small Victories Are Still Victories

Perhaps I’ve mentioned before how Meeka gets her little metal bucket and carries it to the dog food to get her breakfast and dinner. This is an enormously cute trick that I have been trying to get on video fairly unsuccessfully. Also completely unsuccessfully I have been trying to teach Maizey to do the same thing. Tonight we had a breakthrough.

Ahh you should have seen me. . . such a proud momma when I told them “Are you Hungry? Go get the bucket!” Lo and behold! Who gets it? Maizey! And by the handle too! So as I squealed “good girl! Maymay got the bucket! commere! Bring it! Bring the bucket!” in rapturous tones and Meeka ran around trampling everything in sight and Maizey pranced around carrying the bucket and. . . ran in the opposite direction and dropped it. Looking back at me with the look like, “Aren’t I amazing?!?”

Insert my sighs here.

But it was progress so we set it up again. Cue: “get your bucket” and again Maizey gets the bucket and again. . . runs in the opposite direction and drops it with the look like, “I am the most awesome talented princessface in the world! Now where’s my dinner crazyfoodlady?”

At least she’s learning and every time one of them learns something new it reminds me of a 4 legged lesson: I get more excited than they do to see them so proud of whatever new thing they learn and in the way of dogs they get just as excited as I am for no other reason than that i am happy.

Chalk that one up on the list of what motivates me to train.

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I Promise We Do Train Around Here Once In A while

Though it often doesn’t seem like we do much actual dog training around here Maizey is making some progress with her training levels work.

I was very excited when I finally got organized enough to give her some of the L2 tests she has been ready for. So on the 15th she tested and passed her L2 sit, down, crate and handling. So that means so far she has passed 5 out of 16 behaviors in L2.
We are working on and close to testing her watch, sit-stay and down-stay. She is doing excellent with her “go to mat” work and could test any day. Also her L2 come is really good, we just need to enlist a helper to hold her since stay isn’t that firm yet. 
So all in all she is doing well and I don’t think I will need to apply for any easy scholarships for dog training school. Although I have been thinking about taking a clicker class for some time now. The trainer who taught her puppy class does one and I think it would be very good for me, but Maizey probably needs a little more time to work on her reactive issues. More to come on how we are handling that soon.
In other news around here, we had a very nice walk again tonight. I can’t believe what a difference walking makes to ease Meeka’s mysterious symptoms. It was dark when Meeka, myself and mehusbandy walked so no pics of her, but Maizey would like to lodge an official complaint about my treat placement.
And the sky was stunning
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Yesterday We Saw A Pelican And A Pretty Face

These photo’s don’t speak very well for my photographer abilities but a pelican over the mountains is not something we see everyday so I thought crummy shots or not it was worth sharing.
Not that you would know it from this pic but I promise she really is more than just a pretty face.
“Me? Pretty face? Naw. . .I’m the princessface!”

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Are You Sure The Tortoise Wins?

We hope its true that the swift do not always win the race because we are off to a seriously slow start on our 40 miles challenge. The stomach flu will do that to ya!

But we did get a little start today. Between trying to get the garden in, being sick and all the other run of the mill things that keep us going around here we haven’t walked in. . .oh too long to admit, but a while now.

Maizey and I  did get started on our miles tonight with a quick little mile and a half. It was gorgeous out there this evening, all golden and glowing with the end of the day light. In a city that is all edges and harsh angles to me that glowing light seems to soften the edges of everything and make even a bad day seem somehow not so lasting. As if the anxieties of each day will melt and sink into darkness with the sun, leaving way for nothing but the possibility of an easier tomorrow. Ahh if it were only that easy. But it was beautiful. The mountains are particularly pretty this time of year while they are still covered in their winter time icing, and the valley in the middle distance is getting green and lush. But I wax poetic and it can be so better captured in a photo.

We had company in the form of my mom and our part-time boy Charley. He walks so sedately, as if he has learned that even if you don’t zoom all over you still get just as nice a walk. He totally shows Maizey up for the frolicking baby she is. It was fun to have them. I appreciate very much having company on our walks.

Charleycharley says, 
“If I grin really big can I please have that treat?”

So tomorrow will come soon. Hopefully we can get the garden tilled and ready to plant and certainly get some walking in. Who knows maybe we will even get back in sync with our daily training which has been sorely lacking lately. You never know, tomorrow could turn out to be an easier tomorrow!

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