Still Alive and Kicking

January 12, 2015  •  5 Comments

I hope you all will hang in here with us while blogging takes somewhat of a back seat this month.  January, despite the cold and snow, is usually a pretty busy month for me.   Work is picking up and I tend to schedule dog training this month just so I don't go "bat crap crazy" and consider running away forever.   Two active poodles and a number of still pretty active littles (old but active) makes for some nutty times in our house when everyone is cooped up for this long.

Needless to say that means the camera hasn't been out much either as my weekends have been booked full (more on that farther down) as well as a couple nights a week.    I'll also be honest that the past two weeks I've just really felt the need to not be on the computer during non-work hours.   I miss you all and will get back to blogging and blog reading I just ask that you hang in there with me.

Meanwhile some incidentals....

I mentioned dog training and indeed I decided that I needed to work on getting a relationship built with the baby poodle.   Epic is a handful and then some and thrives on being busy.    If I don't work on stuff with him, he makes up his own busy and that isn't a good thing as it tends to erode what relationship we have established.   Honestly, he arrived here as a puppy when I was probably at my most stressed with my job.  That didn't lend itself well to bonding for either of us.   Because he does everything BIG - big energy, big drive, big bark, big big big it led to him doing his own thing in a big way.  So I got signed up for a month of training classes, in fact 2 are back to back every Sunday to work on building a relationship between him and me.   Actually probably more me being trained on how to effectively deal with and train him.   It is going very well and at this point in his life I've determined he wants to m.o.v.e!    We are doing some scent work but right now his brain isn't getting that game and well, he's really more an action guy not a thinking guy (gee we didn't already know that did we?).  The gem I got from our trainer yesterday was that he is teaching me to be CALM in the face of chaos.   If I ramp up my energy or voice or movement it just ramps him up more and that isn't effective when he is already ramped up (or barking at me in frustration etc.).    He also does everything very fast, so my timing needs to be more spot on than ever (I've always suffered from not being quick enough in my reinforcement response).    Item 2 was that he is so focused on hands and that also brings him "up".   Taking hands (and treat luring) out of the equation makes him have to think more and calm especially during movement training.

I did NOT do this - they did!

In addition to training, I also signed Epic up for another series of rec swimming at the vet clinic.    He love love loves it and I definitely have a super duper water dog and it is one more night he gets some serious exercise.  

The weekend day I'm not doing dog training I've been getting back to a yoga class, reconnecting with friends and getting errands done.  One thing I've found with working from home 2 days a week is that getting all my errands done I used to do during lunch hours isn't really happening.   It's okay though, just need to rearrange schedules a bit!

I have been doing a lot of watching of bird life outside my house lately.  I actually saw 4 gold finches (hard to spot in their winter finery) this past week, have a pair of hairy woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers that I see a LOT every day as well as the family of red breasted nuthatches.   This week was the first week I saw chickadees and boy did we see them - there I was sitting on my couch Saturday morning when I hear a thunk on the window.  Thinking I might see our shrike (if bird hit hard enough) I got up to see if there was an injured bird on the deck.  Imagine my surprise when a chickadee popped up on the window seat INSIDE!   Bless my dogs hearts no one attacked it and I got them all to stand back and S.T.A.Y!   I was able to get the fairly alert little monster in a blanket and out the door before it got chomped!   It flew away right off.  Now no, I did not have any open windows and all I can think is that it somehow got in the living room when I was out getting wood in and had the front door open.  Thing is it had to have been in the house for a while in that case unless it had some ghostly power and came through solid glass.  We will never know and said chickadee is not saying (no photos because it was imperative to get bird out of living room before hunting dogs did their deed)!  I also have seen some AMAZING raptors (in large numbers) on my drive back and forth to Sunday training.  No pictures though as the roads have been too bad to even risk stopping and the barrow pits are full of snow so no pulling off the 2 lane highway either.   First trip just one way I had 15 rough legged hawks, 2 red tails and one I couldn't id (it was flying off).   That same day on the way to class I saw one adult bald eagle, 1 teenager and 1 golden.  This past Sunday there was an amazing feast with eagles all over it!   I'll take the camera next week which pretty much guarantees I'll see nothing!

That's my stories for now, again, will try to get out and get some pictures but no promises at this point that I'll take them and get them blogged in the next few weeks.  I'll BE BACK!  Promise!  Oh and I had a request for a photo of some more of my eggs.  Right now this is the only one I have photographed of the last bunches I did but it is a favorite and my first "tye dye".


Our internet seems to be working again, yay, and I can catch up with your blog. My Golden Retrievers keep me busy with training too so I could definitely relate to your dog obedience story. Mai, the mum, is good as gold now but when she was little she just about drove me to distraction. Little Ruby (not so little now) is a very different girl, she makes me laugh so much.

Amazing about the chickadee inside the house, your dogs were super obedient to 'stay' when told.
I'm impressed.....thats a lot of training work for you. I completely agree with the value of it, I've just gotten really really lazy having one old lady that believes in getting from point A to point B using the least number of steps and one young man whose energy is easily bled off by a tennis ball!

We used to do quite a bit of obedience work with our dogs and raised many guide dogs so we definitely have worked hard, but I seem to be in a lazy patch right now.....or perhaps have too much on our plate and two very obedient dogs. Ah well.....

Thanks for this post, I know you're really busy. We enjoy reading and seeing your great pictures.
Great shots of the dogs. Epic sounds a handful. I hope his/your training is successful. Nice egg too.
Lady Fi(non-registered)
Awww - adorable shots.
Far Side(non-registered)
You are a busy lady! I understand about bored dogs in winter! Your pack must keep you entertained! That is a pretty egg! Stay warm! :)
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