Mishmash Monday: Evil Eye

I never claimed to be a great photographer. I’m more the type that takes 200 shots and still has to crop out someones left arm or something random like that just to find one good shot, so it’s not surprising how many mishmashed pictures I have. The great thing about Mishmash Monday is it lets me share those photo’s that really aren’t good pictures, but still make me smile or tell a story about my pups.

Today’s story is about how funny it is when I make my dogs stay and they don’t want too. It’s pretty much a guarantee for a bad picture since they just end up giving me the evil, “I don’t WANT to stay!” eye. Both of these have gorgeous flowers in them, but the dogs are looking less than impressed with the scenery.

It’s a shame too, since I waited all spring for these iris to open with the idea of taking a pic of Maizey and Magnus in front of them. I took shots of Meeka in this same spot the year we lost her and thought it would be neat to have matching photo’s, different years. The dogs didn’t agree. Notice Magnus isn’t even in the photo? Meeka was much more agreeable model. Is it possible I still miss her this much after almost two years? I love these two monkeys just as much, but they sure can be brats!

Have you joined Mishmash Monday? You should it’s even more fun than I thought it would be!


Happy Maizey and Healthy Magnus

If you read last June and July it’s all about limps and anxiety. Ironically this April and May would have been all about limps and anxiety too, but a totally different story. This years story is about progress and recovery.

June 25, 2011

June 25, 2012

May 15, 2012

These photo’s from last year clearly show that Maizey was feeling stressed even in the front yard. As I read through posts from last year my sadness and frustration all came back to me.

This year is is a totally different story, as I think the photo’s show. She still has a long ways to go, especially when it comes to other dogs, but her general level of anxiety is much, much less. Hooray! Her recovery time is better and even on high stress days she can still enjoy getting out for a short walk as long as she has her stroller.

Last year she couldn’t even be in the front yard without her stress level sky rocketing, this year she’s not only enjoying being out there, she’s doing so quietly! Since we’re not fighting with the anxiety I started using timeouts for her barking at the fence and she almost never does now. A funny side effect is that when I say, “That’s enough”, her timeout warning cue, Magnus comes running. He thinks it’s good recall cue since if she comes off the fence with the warning she always gets a treat and of course so does he. That boy just cracks me up.

I’m worried about fireworks season coming up so we’ve added Amitriptyline to her Fluoxetine. We did a two week trial which wasn’t long enough to tell anything so we’re trying another two weeks. I hope to be able to use it on an as needed basis, for just the most stressful times. We’re still using Composure Liquid and it’s a life saver. For the first time I feel hopeful about my girl.

I appreciate how many tools we have in our anxiety tool box now. Not only is her stress level lower, but we have many more skills and resources to draw from on the bad days. As a trainer it’s something I’m always advocating for shy dogs- train a variety of skills and try a variety of supplements so when you need it you have options. One thing that was so frustrating last year was not having enough things to try when things got tough.

On top of all that good news Magnus is doing great! His back is all clear, we’re back to training, I even let him zoom at the park the other day. It was his SI joint that was out, but now I think this all started last June with a pulled hamstring. That’s the only thing left that’s sore on him now. So were still seeing Tena, the physical therapist who he LOVES. Now that we’re actually down to what we think was the original cause of all his back problems I hope we can clear it up for good.

As if all that good news weren’t enough I passed my CAP 1 certification. I can’t remember if I really posted about this, but before Magnus got hurt I was taking a class to earn a certification for Kay Laurence’ Clicker Trainers Competency Assessment Program. When his health fell apart in March we had to put taking the assessment on hold until he was healthy again. I’m happy to say the delay between the class and the assessment didn’t hurt me as I passed with distinction. It’s a huge honor to be able to take this class in person, there are only a few assessors in the states. I’m very pleased with passing and even more pleased with how great a team mate Magnus was.

It’s nice to have good news and happy pictures to post. And now in a bit of shameless self-congratulations I have to post a copy of my CAP certificate.


Wordless Wednesday: Happy Faces


Mishmash Monday: Wind Machine Mishap?

Sarah started Mishmash Monday and every Monday I get such a chuckle out her photo’s. Since I have TONS of mishmashed photo’s I decided to join this week.
Between Magnus’ ears and Maizey’s tongue sticking out this just made me laugh. They are such patient models. Hope this gives you a chuckle too on this Monday morning!


One Little Word: Positivity Vs. Resignation

Do you have one One Little Word? The beginning of the story’s here.


The Journey of Blogging

I have so many posts started. Posts about really interesting things like what to consider before you get a Cavalier, an update to my One Little Word of 2012, updates about Maizey, stories about walks, oh you name it I’ve started a post about it. But as you know other than Wordless Wednesday I haven’t posted since April 22.

The truth is I’ve had some negative experiences with people I know may read here and my trust is shaken. I’m having a hard time being positive about being vulnerable in blogging. Do you find blogging to be an act of vulnerability? I do. And knowing I have some people out there who are not fans of mine or the people I’m fans of has shaken me. I over-evaluate every word, questioning how it will be received and interpreted.

Training professionally has changed my attitude towards writing too. I know some of my clients read here and I feel an obligation to keep it professional. But this is a personal blog and I’m tired of feeling stifled by fear of what other trainers will read and disapprove of or how customers will perceive my experience level, or lack thereof. This has always been a place for me to collect my day to day stories and experiences. It’s not a training blog. Oh sure, back when I started writing I thought I had something to share as far as training knowledge. That’s before I realized how much I had to learn and all I didn’t know. Now I know the value of my blog is in my journey of learning and the personality of this blog has changed to just be our thoughts and experiences.

I guess this is my disclaimer post. This is not a professional trainers blog, it’s a personal blog, a personal story. I have found some wonderful friends through blogging and I miss them. I miss logging on to see your comments and thoughts and encouragements. I miss sharing those comments on your blogs.

Then this morning I read Tomatoes In Heaven, Sara’s story about DAD. Then I read Dawn’s reminders to not miss a minute of life. I never read DAD’s blog, Dad’s Tomato Garden. Now I wish I had. I’m sure I’ll be wading through the archives catching up on what I missed. I already started and you know what I found? DAD’s blog is not a smooth, fancy layout with “professional” sounding tips (all the things I pressure myself about), it’s his thoughts and musings. It was what he found useful and thought would be helpful to share. It made me smile and enjoy seeing through this 90 something, kind man’s ideas. It reminded me what I love about blogging is the exchange of ideas with people we would never otherwise cross paths with.

DAD passed away yesterday. From the Sara and Dawns’ posts and from all the lovely comments it’s clear he’ll be missed. I extend my sympathy to all those grieving his loss today. Through his blog he lives on. DAD posted over 1000 posts. That’s a beautiful record of his thoughts and ideas. I’m sure his family and friends are glad to have it.

I started blogging for what I could bring to others. I grew into blogging for me and enjoying the input of others. Now I don’t blog because of others.

I used to blog in anonymity. My family, friends and not so friendly’s didn’t read. At least I didn’t know if they read. I know they do now and instead of worrying about what everyone thinks I invite you all to come out of the woodwork and comment. If you’re a customer I’d love your feedback. If you disagree with something you read, let me know. This has always been an open forum for discussion. If you are tied down by your own negativity I sympathize, I’m hiking through my own journey with positivity vs. negativity right now.

If you think this post is wacko, that’s okay too! It is a bit funny. But I feel better after posting it and will leave you with a little nonprofessional, personal Cavalier silliness from our last load up the suitcase session:

"I give you squinchy face at this suitcase trick!"

"Can you see me?"


Wordless Wednesday: Snuggle Buddies