Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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The sleepy life of a southern dog

This is my lake house mama!

This is my lake house mama!

We’ve been at the lake house for a few days now, long enough to settle into a routine. Katie thinks it’s pretty boring, but I try to liven it up for her a bit. It’s not easy; she has such high expectations. After all, she had the company of two friendly shelties and the whole ocean where we were last weekend. Now she has me. And a lake with muddy edges. Still, she seems content to hang out with me and nap a lot.

Relaxing in grandma's chair.

Relaxing in grandma’s chair.

I take her to a park every day for a walk. So far the weather has been beautiful, lows in the 50s at night, highs in the 70s during the day, and sun though they say it will rain soon. We’re planning on going on a little road trip tomorrow to visit my brother. I’m hoping there’s no rain over there.

Keebler Park in Dadeville

Keebler Park in Dadeville

Meanwhile she has met the neighborhood dogs. They’re both friendly, but neither of them has the obedience skills that Katie has worked so hard to achieve. Both will sit for a treat, but neither of them will stay long enough for me to back up to get a picture. And Katie won’t sit near either one of them. She finds their lack of social skills a bit off-putting. I guess.

Carson is a laberdoodle. He’s a big bundle of energy and very friendly. But to Katie is he just big. He will sit but if he doesn’t get his treat right away, say I’m trying to get him to stay while I’m taking a picture, he barks one giant WOOF!!! and leaps into the air. Katie is always surprised by that, but she holds her stay. I know she’s not happy because her ears go flat. So I release her so that she can move away. This is the best picture I could get of the two of them.

Katie and Carson

Katie and Carson

And then there’s Dixie who lives next door and is outside after her owners come home from work. She’s adorable and loves to have her belly rubbed by anyone that will pay attention to her. She’s the same size as Katie but stockier.

Dixie!  Stay!!!

Dixie! Stay!!!

They like each other pretty much, though she won’t stay either. Katie gets frustrated waiting for a treat while Dixie follows me around instead of sitting pretty.

I'm not sitting any closer to her mama!

I’m not sitting any closer to her mama!

But they do seem to like to laugh at me together.

Seriously Dixie, she's not going to stop trying to get a picture until you settle down.

Seriously Dixie, she’s not going to stop trying to get a picture until you settle down.

I’ve been working on a shell project…making a frame covered with shells found on the beach for a photo of the three shelties. A reminder for later when this trip is only a distant memory.

Thanks Bree for the extra pretty shells!

Thanks Bree for the extra pretty shells!

And I’m watching the weather up north a bit, debating when to make the trek back home. It would be nice if the snow was all done by the time Katie and I get back…but that’s doubtful. We need to be back for things that are scheduled in March. And I think Katie-girl misses her dad and her house and her park and her school.

Let's go exploring mama!

Let’s go exploring mama!

She says adventures are only adventures if they have a beginning, a middle and an end, mama. Otherwise it’s just life.

She’s a smart one, yes she is.

Enlightened one

Enlightened one


15 Comments

School and camping!

I love to run through tunnels!

I love to run through tunnels!

Katie here. I know! It’s been like forever since my mama let me have her blog to tell you all about me! And as we all know, everything is all about me. Me, me, me, me!

It’s all about me because, as you know, I am the princess. Well, some of you might not know as you are new to my mama’s blog. Just to get you up to speed, I am the center of the universe and once in awhile my mama lets me tell you all about it. I tell her all about it daily. Sometimes hourly. I’m a sheltie you know. We like to talk.

But I digress.

So as most of you are aware, I retired from competition a couple of years ago. I got my CD (Companion Dog) in AKC obedience and I figured that was plenty. Especially because I got my Novice and Advanced titles in Rally too. And mama was all stressed out at work, so we stopped going to school, even though I love school (mostly cause of the treats you know). We never did go get my Excellent Rally title, and mama has always been sort of sad about that.

I didn’t care, because I already know I’m Excellent!

Mama started me up last winter in a nose work class which I loved, loved, loved! All you have to do is sniff a few things and treats arrive from mama’s pocket! It’s the greatest thing since gravy! Then mama and I got all busy with traveling and camping and stuff and we couldn’t make the class. She says we’re going back tonight though! I am stoked! I remember everything about how to do this and I’ll show her that we shouldn’t have ever stopped!

Then, last week we started up another class with my friend who used to come walk me. She’s teaching rally and some agility and some obedience. I’ve been to two classes and mama is amazed that I remember so much! I don’t like to heel, but I never did like that. Mostly I’m having fun getting out and about and seeing people again. Mama is OK, but it’s fun to be told by lots of other people how beautiful and smart I am! I try to look indifferent but secretly I really like it.

Sometimes mama forgets to give me enough attention, you know?

And for even more fun mama and I have slept out in the back yard in her tent the last two nights! It’s been so warm here that we couldn’t resist giving camping one more go before winter sets in. I was very very good and slept straight through the night both nights! I think we get to do it one more time before it gets too cold here. I’m going to miss camping this winter, but if mama keeps me busy with school it will be spring before I know it!

That’s what she says anyway. I’ll believe it when I see it.

So I guess that brings you up to date with me. I know you’ve been wondering. I’ll let you know if we decide to do any competition for Rally or Nose Work. I think I’d nail it.

What do you think?

Hurry up mama!  It's time for school!

Hurry up mama! It’s time for school!


35 Comments

Walktober

 

I was going to take you on a walk somewhere exotic.  Far from here.  Somewhere different.  I had maps out and was studying locations.  But then I discussed it with the dog.  Katie said she wanted to show you her little park.  And Katie, being a princess, is used to getting what she wants.  So come along while Katie and I show you the local park where you can often find us on a pretty weekend afternoon.

The park is not very big, but it has a lovely pond where you sometimes see people fishing.  Today we had it all to ourselves.  Katie likes to pose near the blue water.  If there are treats involved of course.  (You can click on the photos to see more detail.)

See?  This is my pond!

See? This is my pond!

It was a pretty afternoon, getting late in the day, stretching our shadows as we made our way to the back of the park where they mow a path around the perimeter.

Enjoying a warm October afternoon.

Enjoying a warm October afternoon.

The sun also made the milkweed seeds glow as a stiff wind began to pull at the silky strands.

 

Soft.

Soft.

My favorite part of the park are these golden trees at the very back.  I always love the way they show against the sky, whether the sky is blue like today or stone grey as fall acquiesces to winter.

Gold in the sky.

Gold in the sky.

The mowed path is just about a mile and Katie and I work a little bit on her distracted recall.  It’s an important skill to have; she comes running even when distracted by good smells if I call her sharply.

I love to run & I get treats too!  Win win!

I love to run & I get treats too! Win win!

She loves this game, because she knows the faster she gets to me the sooner she gets a bit of cheese.  This automatic reaction is necessary in an emergency and we work on it a little every time we’re in the park.

We keep wandering, and pass another pond, filled with wildlife.  I saw two kingfishers chase each other from the top of a tree near us off across the pond.  No photo of that, but it was fun to see and hear.  Across this pond, filled with ducks and other waterbirds you can see the township offices including the library.

See the library way over there?

See the library way over there?

I feel lucky we have such a wonderful natural place surrounding our library.  You can sit inside and read while enjoying the lovely views through big windows.  It’s one of my favorite places.

We’re lucky to have a place where we can walk among wetlands and towering trees in all seasons, in all sorts of weather.

Fall just makes a person smile.

Fall just makes a person smile.

Every time we’re there we find something beautiful.  Just look at the trees shine across the big field of tall grass.

Up in the front of the park are four softball diamonds.  Katie likes to walk around them too.

This big green area is fun to explore too!

This big green area is fun to explore too!

You never know when someone might have dropped something good there.  Always looking, that’s my girl.

Thanks for coming along on our Walktober!  And thanks to Robin too who coordinates the posts from all of our walks.  Katie and I wouldn’t have gotten out today without her motivation.   And we had such a good time!

We hope you did too!

Another perfect day at my park!

Another perfect day at my park!

 

 

 

 


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Park days

Katie here.   Last you heard from me school was cancelled and I was soooooo sad! My mama tried to make it up to me by hugging me in the rain but that really wasn’t enough.    So last Sunday I made my mama take me to the park!  I made her take me today too (cause we didn’t have school this weekend either!) but it was cold and windy today so we didn’t stay long.  I’ll share some photos from our trip last weekend, cause I know you want to keep current with my princess activities.

We had such a good time!  And guess what?  We met a lady with two shelties!

Could have been new friends!

Could have been new friends!

My mama and the lady stood around and talked and talked.  I wanted to go on my walk so I wouldn’t sit next to her dogs, even though they were really nice.  The tri was a guy and he was 15 years old!  He was really friendly.

I think he liked me!

I think he liked me!

The blue merle was a girl and she was nine.  She was friendly too, but she wanted to get going on her walk just I did.

She had a beautiful face!

She has a beautiful face!

We were going in opposite directions so after awhile I pulled my mama away.  She said I was rude, but I didn’t care, I wanted to get going!

So off we went down the path.  I was very good, but my mama said something about me walking twice as far because I kept zigzagging back and forth across the path.  I couldn’t help it, there were good smells everywhere!

Mama thought the tree was cool.

Mama thought the tree was cool.

Mama didn’t take a bunch of pictures of me this time.  I thought that was good.  More time to explore!  She said I was acting crazy, all excited and not paying attention.  So she took out the secret weapon.  CHEESE.

Were you talking to ME mama?

Were you talking to ME mama?

I heeled all the way back to the car.  I’m a good dog.

And smart too.

Hello park!

Hello park!


25 Comments

School got cancelled!

Katie here.  I feel a need to protest.  My Mama goes off every day, all day, leaving me home alone.  Well not really alone cause I’ve got my Dad here, but you know what I mean..she leaves me every day!  And I only have a couple of days when she’s home each week…and Saturday is supposed to be all about me.  ME ME ME ME ME!  I almost always get to go to school unless I’m at doggy camp and I just love going to school.

Now I know this week was tough on my peeps  because Mama’s been coming home from that place she calls work all tired and cranky and late every day.  And Dad’s been shoveling the driveway and making me a path all week and that seems to make him tired and cranky too.  But people!  All that snow is melting!  SEE?

This is my snowdrift.

This is my snowdrift.

Oh.  You think that still looks like a lot of snow?  Well…it’s where Dad piled it all up when he shoveled the driveway.  Most of the snow is more like this.

And this is my yard!

And this is my yard!

Well, I guess you can’t really see, but the snow in the rest of the yard is probably only a foot or so deep.  I don’t know for sure cause my Dad makes a path for me so I don’t have to walk in snow that deep.  Have I mentioned I’m a princess?  Probably a few times, huh?

So anyway…I was all excited and stuff because today is Saturday and I get to go to school!  My Mama cut up my treats and I got to put on my school collar and she put me in my crate in the car and off we went!  I was so happy my tail wouldn’t calm down.  We drove and drove and I heard my Mama making squeaking noises but I didn’t pay her any attention.

After awhile the car stopped and my Mama came back to get me!  I could hardly wait!  SCHOOL!  Then I realized we were in our own garage!  What kind of trick was that!  She picked me up and we went in the house.  Well.  I’m wasn’t going to stand for that!  She was on her stupid phone texting about icy roads so I started whining.  She took my out because she thought I needed to do a job, but instead of heading over to my path I headed right back to the car.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do and it was TO GO TO SCHOOL!  She said “No Baby, I’m so sorry,” and picked me up and rocked me as we stood there in the driveway in the rain.  I was so sad.

So now I’m trying to find something to do.  This is so boring.  I tried helping my Mama as she sorted music for her band, but she told me I have to practice my alphabet some more because I got stuff all mixed up.

Is this music hard Mama?

Is this music hard Mama?

I guess I’ll have to sit on this stupid sofa and give her the stink eye the rest of the day.  But the weather guy says it’s going to be warmer tomorrow and she sure better take me somewhere fun.  Cause I am NOT going to wait five more days until the focus is on me!  No I will not.  I am a princess you know (yes I guess you know) and I expect better!

This is not fair!

This is not fair!

Yes I do.  Humph.

Me and my snow.

Me and my snow.


10 Comments

Relief from winter

Katie here.  You know how I’ve been thinking that maybe my Mama didn’t love me anymore because she’s never around much?  Well I was wrong!  HA!  Mama took me to the park today!  It’s been  forever since I’ve been at my favorite park and today Mama said that since it was so warm – 44 F (6.66 C) – and there was sunshine too that we just had to take advantage of the break from winter cold and go for a walk!  WOW!  Did she say GO FOR A WALK?   I’m ready Mama!  (Mama says click on any picture to see more detail.)

Imported Photos 01604

So off we went.  I just love this park.  And because it’s winter it’s not even officially open.  We have to park in a different spot and walk in, but that’s OK, just means fewer doggies are there.   Mama said there had been a big dog there earlier in the day because she saw these really big paw prints in the snow.  But we didn’t see anyone while we were there.

Imported Photos 01589 (Small)

Sometimes Mama let me be off leash, like when we were practicing my recall.  Which, if I do say so myself, is pretty darn spectacular.

Imported Photos 01586

Other times I still had the leash but Mama got busy taking pictures of other stuff and I got to wander around a bit.  In fact once when Mama was busy taking pictures of boring grass I wandered right off the path.  She told me “NO!  Katie come HERE!” and I told her that sometimes a girl just has to explore a little bit.  Geesh.

Imported Photos 01591

Anyway, we had a wonderful time.  I walked almost the whole way.  It was harder to walk in the snow than on grass, and near the end I asked my Mama to pick me up.  My Daddy says I’m a wimp.  But I didn’t see him slogging around out there in the wet snow!  When we got home I told him all about our adventure.

Imported Photos 01636

Then I sat on the sofa next to my Mama.  I did not go to sleep.  I was just resting my eyes.

Imported Photos 01660

Oh who am I kidding.

Imported Photos 01664

I needed a nap.

Imported Photos 01639


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Novice Obedience – Katie earns her title

These are mine!

These are mine!

With high hopes we went to Katie’s third leg for Obedience Novice today.  I even figured out pretty close to perfectly our timing so we didn’t have to sit around all day.  Katie was engaged as we waited, but anxious to get going. So was I.

Is it our turn yet?

Is it our turn yet?

There were six teams in our class; we were #4.  Just as the Team #1 started I realized Katie hadn’t gone to potty in awhile…so we went out in the rain and walked around. She wet but I had hoped for more.  Ah well.  (Truly, this matters, later in the story.)

Then it was our turn.  Katie heeled fine into the ring and set up fine.  But she lagged behind me on the heel on leash and wouldn’t sit at the final halt which was right in front of the gate.  She was more interested in everyone sitting out there than me.  I don’t think she even realized I had stopped.

Her figure 8 was OK,  though she lagged a bit on the outside curve, she at least sat when we halted.  Her stand for exam was perfect; she had no problem letting the strange lady touch her.  I was so proud of her!

Then we were back to do more heeling this time without a leash.  If I could get the video to play in this blog you’d see that she was on a different planet than I was.  And as we headed back toward the crowd she whipped around and tugged at her tail.  This is her sign she has to GO!  😦  She didn’t sit on the last halt on this heeling pattern either.  Just stood there and looked at me looking at her.  SIGH.

On a brighter note her recall was pretty cool.  She was almost straight when she ran up and sat in front of me.  That’s been an ongoing problem for quite awhile…she’ll run to me and then sit crooked, all the while grinning.  Silly girl.  Today she sat pretty straight, and finished by circling around me when I signaled and sat pretty.  WHEW! (Those of you on facebook can see the video there.  I can’t remember how to upload to youtube, and so it isn’t going into this blog.)

I thought we had it in the bag then, she has had no trouble at all on her long sits (1 minute) and downs (3 minutes).  But surprise surprise, she didn’t want to sit, though she did after one additional command….and she REALLY didn’t want to down.  I had to physically fight with her, which cost me big points.  I know that she had to GO Mama!  And I was holding my breath the whole 3 minutes thinking she was going to just get up and head for the door.  She did shift from one hip to another and I thought she was going to move, but she stayed where she was.  Have I mentioned that she’s a good girl?

All lined up.

All lined up.

So in the end Katie got her Novice Obedience title.  We scored 178.5 out of 200 possible points.  We even got third place!

Did I do good Mama?

Did I do good Mama?

While we were waiting for awards the dog next to me leaned in for a head rub.  I couldn’t stop, each time I tried she leaned in further.  What a sweetie!

New best friend.

New best friend.

Best of all for Katie is that she got a ton of ribbons and a new toy!  She won a pink whale.  She’s already been playing with it.

Me and my whale.

Me and my whale.

She’s napping now.  I need a nap too.  She did things today she’s never done before, but most of the errors were mine.  Which is why I didn’t get a pink whale I suppose.

Good girl sweetie.  Mama loves you.

Don't touch my whale!

Don’t touch my whale!


11 Comments

Play date!

Peep and me working on some obedience.

Peep and me working on some obedience.

Katie here.  Some of you have already seen the pictures of my latest adventure.  My mama is stepping up her efforts to make sure I have some fun and it’s about time if you ask me.  Which you don’t have to ask me, cause I’ll just tell you.   She owes me about a gazillion adventures but she says she can only take me on weekends.  I personally think she should take me on an adventure every single day, don’t you?  Sure she might have to quit her job, but it’s all about me anyway, so that should be no problem!

Hurry up mama!

Hurry up mama!

So anyway, we went to the park that my friend Peep showed me last spring.  And guess what?  Peep was there! (OK, so my mama and her mom planned it that way.)  Peep and I pretty much ignore each other but we get along fine.  We’re about the same size and we don’t get in each others face’s and besides it’s not like I have time to play when I’m exploring!  Peep feels the same way so it works out.

Pretty trail!

Pretty trail!

We walked on a trail along the lake.  There were big frogs sunning themselves along the bank and they jumped into the lake in front of us.  I thought about chasing one of them into the lake, but then I remembered that I got myself all pretty on Friday at the groomer and I didn’t want to get my feet wet.

Staying on the trail

Staying on the trail

We saw lots of pretty leaves though and had a fun time.  I like going to the park with Peep and her mom.  I go on new trails and I get to hang out with another cute dog!  I’m hoping my mama takes me on another play date with Peep soon!

See ya soon Peep!

See ya soon Peep!