21 July 2014

Me and Banksy and everybody else, learning how to do stuff together.


This isn't us at our best, or our worst. Although I am wearing my pajamas in part of it. Standard dog training garb. It's just what we've been doing. A lot of tricks for treats lately, just seems like the right thing to do right now. Every day we try something new. And try to remember to work on what we did the day before. This week's projects, more circle work, more recalls, and more working on those distractions.

Oh, the distractions. Oh. The. Distractions.

Oh.


18 July 2014

Just say no to goats, and other things Banksy's been learning.


It might seem like all I do to train my puppy is this.


But actually there's a lot of this.

Things that look a teensy bit like agility!

Right now, we're working on driving down stairs to awesome nose touches using little targets like rocks or leaves. Left and right directionals are our current favorite the last few days, which Banksy thinks is a hilarious trick. They look a little frantic spinny at the moment, but I think that's an ok start. She can be an overachiever. Seek and Taps, which is our redneck americanized version of Cik and Caps, much fun of running around buckets and trees! Crate games. A lot. A lot. When the toy is flying or the other dogs are running! Baby jump grids with the bumps! Sending around cones and buckets and trees and big rocks in a sort of handlinish kinda way!

A lot of teensy games right now that look like the sprouting of little agility thingies. Just games. No big. But very fun.

Lots of nice walking practice of not pulling on the leash. I can now walk around our neighborhood with 4 dogs on leashes. An impressive freak show for the neighbors. The neighborhood consensus is that Banksy is a coyote. No more husky. We even tried out West Cliff Drive the other day. Success, and a coyote walking freak show for the tourists.

Lots and lots and lots of tricks. Through the legs. Beep beep beep. Back feet. Front feet. Pivots. Paw waving. Once her lefts and rights are always lefts and rights, we are going to start working on waving back feet. I've never taught that one before. So far she does all of Otterpop's tricks, minus the circus sitting up, so Otterpop may have to learn to wave all her feet if she's going to stay the circus queen. Banksy loves learning tricks as much as Otterpop. Maybe even more. Uh oh...don't tell Otterpop.

Our weak point? Recalls when a lot of dogs are running fast and playing with the ball at work. Or at agility. Oh my. Distractions, distractions, and more distractions is our weak spot. Lots to keep working on here. LOTS.


The goats, not so much. Walking by the goat pen made Banksy say GRRRRRR and then go look for butterflies all the way back. I am with Banksy on this one. Just say no to goats.


There's a lot of this, too. Every day. In fact, we gotta go, NOW! No time for writing stuff anymore. Banksy sure fits right in to the team, although she doesn't always fit on the same log.

14 July 2014

Border Collie Bohemian Shabby Costco Poly Blend Chic.


They look a little seasick.

Having a border collie puppy, as opposed to an entire team small dog of non chewing, non staring, couch sized grown up dogs who don't carry buckets full of water around in their mouths, has been opening up a whole new world of border collie friendly home decor in my humble small dog abode.

Just having dogs in general has now rully relegated me to a special style category of no return. Where by special I don't actually mean special. That's a lie. Where fashion choices run along the lines of does one wear these running shoes, or these running shoes, or maybe even perhaps, these running shoes? The choice is always going to be, the running shoes. Or the pockets. A garment needs to have pockets. Or pocket. Plural pockets is far superior to singular pocket. But pocketless, not even a remote possibility.

Now I've gone too far. This is actually past the point of no return. I've made some recent home fashion style choices that involve Costco. Home decor with giant shopping carts and wine boxes as big as border collie size dog crates. The fact that I am now a card carrying Costco member says a lot right there. This is the fault of dog agility, and my role in putting on trials as the one who brings all the toilet paper. And now I have learned the importance of the Costco dog bed. Made in China of questionable yet recycled materials, sewn by indentured servants in substandard conditions, the giant, washable $25 dog bed now is a focal point in my living room. The pattern is vaguely tropical, in a somewhat nauseating, palm frond kind of way, and it holds exactly 4 dogs and all their toys.


Ruby attempts to negotiate the new throw rug gauntlet.

Costco has also helped us with the throw rugs. Banksy has a creepy hobby of staring at dust particles on smooth floors. Whether these are real or imagined I'm not sure, but creepy staring doesn't happen on rugs. So rugs it is. Our super vintage wood floors and even more superly vintage pink linoleum now say that throw rugs are their new black. I am hoping this is a thing. Bohemian. Mix and match design! If you want to see how 11 totally non matching floor rugs make for a non staring floor ensemble, please stop by.


Just a couple of our fancy new dog toys.

Banksy hates it by the way. She tries to stare into the gaps, but I can catch her every time and redirect her to helping me make a salad or playing with a toy or anything that isn't floor staring. The rug solution has so far been the most effective non dust staring tool, along with the magic leave-it. I have tried to make it up to her with making her all new toys out of rags and old clothes and the old toys! Super crafty crafterama happening around here, sitting around on the Costco throw rugs and braiding together old shirts and fleece things and tying them onto balls that I have Otterpop go get from under the deck. So far she hasn't learned how to braid or tie knots but I suspect this is just around the corner in border collie puppy development.

This is our new style. I am going to call it Border Collie Bohemian Shabby Costco Poly Blend Chic. You are warned, if you are coming over to our house any time soon. Please do not judge. And if you do, I don't care. Because it's getting my puppy to not floor stare.

13 July 2014

The on-the-way-to-work beach.


A walk before work has new meaning with a border collie puppy. There's no skimping on it. A little trot around the neighborhood isn't going to cut it. No way, no how.


We spend about 1/2 an hour doing tricks and fun stuff every single morning at home, but to help Banksy have awesome manners for spending the day quietly in the dog run at work, the morning walk has to, for sure, have some running.


The on-the-way-to-work beach is conveniently located exactly on the way to work. It goes on for a miles, and on a cool gray morning not too many people are hanging out down there. We can practice a million recalls. She's getting comfortable meeting strange dogs. She gets it that random joggers don't want her to run along with them to practice circle work. Everyone she meets out there is always her new best friend. Banksy has a lot of friends.


Banksy's getting big! For a little border collie, anyways. Big puppies have a LOT of energy. We sure are lucky to have an on-the-way-to-work beach to visit on the way to work.

09 July 2014

Stuff we did while Gustavo is having his sore foot.


Banksy still fits into Gustavo's secret lair. I can't tell  you where this is. It's a secret. But she manages to squish in there with him so that even if his sore foot is really sore, he has a pal in there with him. Buddy system. I'm not sure how she fits in there, I guess her bones are still floppy like a muppet's and she flattens into a pancake.


The problem with his foot is a septic infection on a toe knuckle joint. Ouch. There's probably something in there, maybe a pin point of a foxtail or a little seed. Who knows. Something tiny got in and it's hurting his foot a lot. He's getting antibiotics and I'm trying to soak it loads so maybe it just blurps out. Nobody wants to go in and pull something teensy out of a teensy dog's little joint. So he is staying home a lot in his lair. Don't tell him we've gone without him up to the forest. Poor Gustavo. Feel better soon!


Banksy has lots to do. She has many assistant trainers at work and her social schedule is filling up rapidly. She went to her first puppy class at my friend Anne's agility place in Half Moon Bay. I think she did brilliantly! She's also going to a regular old puppy training class this weekend to practice more focus during distractions. Distractions! Dust! Balls! Everything! We are piecing together her formal education whenever I have a free moment. And practicing and playing every chance we get. Right now she wants to learn a new trick every single night. I think she has almost as many tricks as Otterpop now. She's a crazy trick machine!


There's my friend Grifter. Hi Grifter! I am carefully not moving my arms. Be very, very careful with your arms when you run Grifter or he may shoot off like a rocket. We have a lot of decel homework to do. I am very glad I get to run him, and when Gwen's sore leg feels good enough to run, maybe he'll have learned a teensy bit. He's very fun to run, and keeps me on my toes. Literally. There's no flat footing it when Grifter's running, that's for sure.

07 July 2014

Banksy is 5 months old, and all trash cans are possessed with evil.


A list of things that totally freaked out Banksy this week:
A ceramic pitcher on the table.
Every single identical trash can on our block.
Not every single identical trash can on the next block.
An old riding helmet hanging on the wall.
Otterpop barking.

Border collies are weird.

Gustavo hurt his foot! So much that he had to go to the doctor to see if the bone was broken. Not broken! But weird. I am been holding out on the foxtail theory but she did send samples of the weird swelling off to cytology to make sure it is not something possessed with evil. So far Banksy isn't freaking out at Gustavo's foot. Yet.

Between fourth of july fireworks and a sad, shaved, hurt foot, Gustavo is one sad Gustavo and spending a lot of time in his lair. His sad lair. Everyone wave at Gustavo. Oh, wait. You can't see him. He's been burrowed in his lair for 4 days. He'll be out when his foot feels better. At least all the fireworks should be finished by now.

Dog show weekend. No dog show for Gustavo. I ran Grifter, there were some good moments but many completely insane moments. He is like running a ginormous rocket powered airplane that lands about 40 feet away from every jump. We have been working on this but he is also like a ginormous rocket powered airplane that goes cuckoo insane at dog shows, so when he's over the top like that, he doesn't really turn. He gets many oohs and ahs when he runs because he is very, very, very fast and when we do ok, it is spectacular. But also pretty spectacular when we do crazy terrible too, in that train wreck ship wreck auto wreck style.

Also Banksy busted out of an xpen, busted into a whippet party, and tried to eat her BFF Kirk's face due to the super fluffy toy that the other puppy had. Oh yeah. I am totally in adolescent border collie land. Early! Many, many puppies at the dog show. Puppies are the new black in dog agility land. None of them escaped into a ring! Although a couple of breathtaking near misses. Banksy has a new speed. She can make it to WAY OVER THERE really, really, really fast. Like before your eye blinks. It is SUPER SCARY! It is like that star trek machine that scrambles your molecules to teleport you moves her WAY OVER THERE!  It is good I'm learning to run Grifter in case she ever learns how to do agility because possibly her speed will be horrifying.

30 June 2014

Front feet, back feet, walking around the forest.


It's hot in the evening now, and hot in the forest. Even in the shade. We can walk around for a long time, because the dark still comes so late. Banksy has yet to meet any of our pals the deer, or the coyotes, or the bobcats, or the puma, or the bearded old guy who hoots at us like an owl. We do a hundred thousand recalls with her flying along with that long line dragging, and so far, without our other friends, her recall is doing amazing. I hear it goes away when she turns 6 months old, so we're trying to do 2 million of them before then, and in preparation for our first coyote run-in. Because she now loves treats, I bring a pocketful of cookies, and I hope the coyotes aren't trailing the smell, lurking in the trees.


I'm not sure how you train a puppy if you don't have a forest? It has everything you need. Places to hide, places to run. Logs for feet, front and back and all of them. Skinny trees for going round, fat ones for sitting under. Dead mummified moles to practice DROP with. We sprint up the wide paths and practice heeling on the skinny, steep one that goes down to the gulch. So far she's winning with advanced forest walking skills, and fits perfectly into the group. Sometimes out front with Gustavo, who took years to do what she does every day now, and sometimes in the back with us walkers, where she doesn't mind walking close and side. Since I taught her how to put certain feet on things, sitting and standing on logs is getting easier, thus the important skill of photoshoot starting to get better.

There's loads of dust in the forest, but she doesn't need to look at it, because she's a forest Banksy!


29 June 2014

We were thinking we were living the good life over here.


I'm trying to figure out, does our life stress Banksy out? Because I've read a lot about obsessive staring at dust, or invisible things that maybe will move, sometime in the future. That stress can cause obsessive behaviors. We thought our life here was pretty good. We go to the forest. The beach. The pond. We play in the yard. At the school. In the pasture. In the living room. During agility. Balls! Tugging! Running! Chunks of organic turkey flesh! Life is good here, Banksy seems like a super happy puppy. She has probably given you a giant hug and the biggest face licks! I'm a pretty low stress person, as far as I can tell. But the second I don't have her engaged, she wants to stare at dust.


Otterpop says, Be Nice, Don't Bite! And only you can prevent forest fires! Let the puppy stare! More time for Otterpop if the puppy is busy staring at the floor!


Maybe this is stressful? When she has to stand on the thing? Ha! So not! Banksy is a true forest Banksy. Doing stuff on walks is her best thing ever. She's learning to put front feet on logs. Back feet on logs. Running around trees! She loves her life. Although she even looks happy when she's staring. Super tail waggy, like this is the best thing ever. It's her crack. It's what she wants to do the second we are not doing something else. If I'm not cruise directing, she's down to the floor for dust staring and I am all, do something ELSE! Anything ELSE. Party on NOW!


So anything else we do. We wish we could walk and play all day long. That I could play with her every second, and then she'd sleep and then we'd play again. She's sleeping while I'm writing this, by the way. There is not much blog writing with a dust staring puppy, if you were wondering where I was. Whoever is still left out there, once team small dog went to the border collies. But I'm here, and I'm writing fast, because my puppy's going to wake up in a minute and then we get to go do something, anything, that isn't staring at dust.

23 June 2014

Some things we did in June.


Banksy is 4 1/2 months old. She can walk further and faster and is mostly very trustworthy off her leash or just dragging along her line. Or sometimes, like today, she took herself down a steep path to the pond. Oh boy does she love ponds and creeks and the beach. Then she's back on her rope. We go some places with all of us, sometimes some places just with Otterpop or Gustavo, and sometimes just me and her. I try to do things different every single day.

When she's alone, she gets startled easy, a motorbike popping around the corner or a guy walking by with a shopping cart. We're working on the startles, but I think it's just how she see's the world. Her view is very micro, on me and the other dogs and her toy, and then when it zooms out, she's all WHOA, before she settles in to the new picture. I think it's her eyes that make her like that, boy are those eyes something.


We do a lot of crate games, a lot of circle work. A lot of running. Wow, do we run. She runs on my left, she runs on my right, we run in circles and straight lines and with the toy and without it. Banksy really likes to run. I like to run too, if it's with Banksy. The awesome things about border collies are running and tugging. Until they plop down under a tree for a minute, to get ready for more running and tugging. She does some ball chasing, but maybe not too much. Because she's already really, really good at that. That's like her desert, chase the ball a few times and call it a day.


We do a lot of what might be like heeling. It's close and side, she walks in tight to me and we pivot around and do sits and releases and this is how she eats most meals. We walk around the neighborhood and the forest and anywhere I can think of, me and her, walking and jogging and starting and stopping. She doesn't eat out of bowls, it's always walking somewhere, we try to go somewhere new every single day. She doesn't fit in my yard anymore, there's no space to move, so our show goes on the road every single day. We play at work, at the school yard, on the beach, in the woods, at the agility field, in vacant lots. I'm hoping the meals on the run someday prevents her from pulling me around when she has to wear a leash, we'll find out someday when it's the future. It's a nice way to have a dinner if nothing else.


The more we're on the move, the less time she has to stare at dust. I made it my mission to just not let it happen, the super freaky super dust staring. So that's what we do. She stares at the floor, I find her something else to do, even if it's just go snuggle up in a crate with a bone or have me teach her how to make burritos and coffee. She loves to stare, but she loves to do other things too. I'm hoping she ends up learning how to cook, a dog that can make coffee would be a really, really, really good dog.


She learned to swim to the bank of the swimming hole, although she needs more practice on this one. She just likes to be wet and muddy, swimming isn't a priority right now.

Banksy is a really, really good puppy. I can't believe she didn't always live with us. And I can't believe how she's growing and learning and changing every single day. She fits in so easy with the other dogs, Otterpop loves her, Gustavo will play with her for hours, and she's gentle with Ruby and will sit quietly with her during quiet time. The other dogs forgot she didn't used to live with us, they didn't always have this wild, godzilla size puppy who still can't jump up in the car all by herself, slamming around the yard with them.

I don't know what our future brings. For now we just run around and play and get good at playing. She doesn't do anything very fancy. She's just getting good at being a really, really good puppy.


Nevermind dogs dogtalk - puppy training edition


NeverMind Dogs: DogTalk
We thought our puppies should learn how to swim. Because Tori's puppy already knows how.

20 June 2014

Our once every 3 years trip to AKC, and puppy staring.


Every three years, we try an AKC trial! Here's Gooey trying out Fast. He's in starters. I wasn't exactly sure the rules , but I didn't remember the important one, PUT YOUR DOG'S LEASH ON BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE RING. The other time I tried AKC, I forgot, we ran outta there, and I got yelled at by the judge. We remembered this time. No judge yelling.


Grifter got to come too. He's done AKC a few times and ran in open. He does a lie down for me at the end and lets me put on his leash, no problem. But he hit a bar. I mostly wanted him to hold his contacts, so we stayed there having some long boring contacts. Me and Grifter have a long way to go!

We hope to visit AKC again in a few years! Maybe Banksy will try some someday. Mostly I just want her not to stare at the floor, agility seems like a very far away, distant future...When I emailed her breeder about her staring, she said nope, no particle staring in the family. Banksy is the only starer. She thought maybe her sleeping in the bedroom with us would help, like she wasn't bonded to us enough! Banksy has been with us, everywhere, all the time since I brought her home on the plane! She's been tucked into her little spot next to our bed every single night. Yikes.

Working on her independent streak to go and lay somewhere to stare at the ground is hard. She is lately on a leash with me every second of the day, unless she's in a crate with a big meaty bone, so I can interrupt staring instantly. It's frustrating when she wants to lay down and stare just walking through the house. Our house is VERY small, about 10 steps across and she's wanting to do this more and more. If she isn't actively playing or eating a bone, her next idea is to stare at the floor specks. Stop staring at the specks, Banksy! I am hoping this is a passing phase that she'll grow out of, if I can keep her from turning her hobby into a full time job.

18 June 2014

Training distractions with your puppy, how about naked homeless guys and their electric grooming tools?


Distractions are probably our biggest training challenge right now.


Along with everything else about training a puppy.


Our funnest distraction to work with, puppies! Banksy's two best friends are Bisou and Kirk. So calling her out of this is possible, but challenging.


Sits and downs drill team with Kirk. Possible! Challenging.


But we let them do this a lot too.


Then run away and tug and do tricks for treats.


Our biggest distraction? Probably everything. But how many of you trained your puppy tonight at your secret training field with a homeless guy shaving off all his body hair with electric hair clippers as your distraction?


I might have to work extra hard to get my puppy to play with me instead of staring at dust, or running away to Bisou or Kirk's food and toys. But I can say that we can do amazing fast running circle work and heeling pivots with naked homeless guys and electric clippers as our distraction.

And also the cops. Because we're not really supposed to be using our secret training yard for a training yard, and that guy wasn't really supposed to be using the electric plug for naked body shaving there. We all scrammed. But we sure did get some good training in. And I think the guy got all his body hair removed, too.

Thanks, Channan for all the super cute photos of Banksy and Kirk!


15 June 2014

No staring allowed.


Gustavo used to stare all the time. At the doornob, at a spot on the floor, sometimes at the wall. He had bunches of quirky behaviors that reminded me of things that some border collies did. But the staring got worse and worse, to where you couldn't unstare him, he would go catatonic. That's when his vets figured out that it was actually focal seizures. He has a medical condition called hepatic microvascular dysplasia. A radical change of diet (no protein!) and medicines helped him out. He'll always have this, his liver doesn't work right because the blood vessels are messed up in there so it doesn't clean the toxins out of his blood and the toxins turn into ammonia in his brain. But if he eats no meat and takes his medicine, he does really good.


Banksy likes to stare. At dust specks on the floor, little leaves, teensy tiny bits of stuff that might blow across a driveway or the parking lot. This is something she really likes to do, and I don't like her to do it. I try not to make a big deal about it, redirect her to a toy or give her a bone or take her somewhere else to do something else. Most of the time this works, but occasionally it doesn't. It's a behavior I am especially freaked out by because of Gustavo, and the last thing I want is a dog who is so busy staring at that teensy little tiny piece of hair that she couldn't possible do anything else.


It comes and goes. It's not at all consistent. She has favorite places to stare, some of them are easier to keep her away from than others. Like the floor of my house. This, by far, is her biggest distraction. Calling her away from the other puppies while agility is going on? Take treats from me during a walk in the forest? Challenging but we can do it! But calling her out of living room because she wants to look at a single piece of dog hair on the wood floor? This is the biggest challenge of all. I don't know if it's caused by stress. Being tired. Not tired enough. Not enough training. Too much training. The wrong food. Too much food. Not enough food. It doesn't seem to follow any patterns, at least that I can find so far.

Banksy's a really good puppy and seems pretty happy with how her life is going in every other way. She just has a hobby that I hate. It's definitely our number one training challenge. But I'm going to try and get her kick the habit. Twelve step it if she has to. Just say no to staring.

13 June 2014

We sure are lucky to have a Banksy.


Banksy is 4 months old and then some. We count her in months, not weeks now. I know she weighs 16lbs and I know she is taller than Ruby now. But she still can't jump by herself into the car. But she can easily jump onto the couch. Gustavo taught her that.


The best part about having a puppy is everything. The worst part is that there is so much work and life and you want to do so good by your puppy and spend so much time with her and teach her everything she'll need to know to be a good dog forever. Time flies and the puppy is growing up and the list gets longer and longer and the time, it's flying by and it isn't enough.


The days are split into hours and I look at the clock and it's already too late for bed. Where did the day go and did my puppy learn enough and have enough fun? What if she didn't, will she still love me tomorrow? There are four dogs to split the time up with and if the puppy didn't get enough time, forget about the poor other dogs. We try to do a lot and I know we can't do everything but I always want to do more. I make sure there are parts of the day that are just for me and Banksy. The other dogs have to do something else. This sucks for them, I hope they'll be happy when she grows up and is a good girl because we spent the time when she was young.


But, right? It isn't enough time. I'm sad when she has to sit in the dog pen and wait and wait and wait. I think she should be backing up better, and if her directionals should be happening and if she couldn't drive harder into the crate for crate games. I haven't had her back down to the swimming hole. Her nose touch is just average. She wants to chase birds at the beach. I should have way more clicker tricks and should let her run more? Or should she run less? Every time I have a lesson I find out so many things I should be doing different and better and work harder and don't use the toy to lure and stand better and over here. All that's exhausting. Every recall I do is an opportunity for brilliance and a decel or a turn and sometimes I just want to lay in the grass and throw the ball.


So far I have a dog who loves all people, big and small. Whose third best friend is a cat. Who meets every new dog politely and will play with them only if they invite her. Who lounges in my lap while I pedicure her with a power tool and who always makes an effort at whatever it is I'm trying to teach her. And who gets mad if I teach her wrong. My puppy's always ready to play, anytime, anywhere, she is definitely a party girl. She can be very distracted by many hundreds of things, and she still loves to flood the kitchen by pouncing in the water bowl. She can be cuckoo wild and she can be super sweet and lumber around with her big floppy paws.

I want to do a better job training my puppy. I want to spend way more time just hanging out with my puppy. We have a lot of room for improvement and I wish the time wasn't flying by so fast. But I will tell you this. I am really, really lucky to have an amazing puppy like Banksy.

09 June 2014

I wanna be as cool as Kim Deal.


Banksy's middle name might be Kim. As in Kim Gordon. As in Kim Deal. Kims that are about as cool as it gets. Banksy's uber super cool. If I knew her better when I named her, Kim might have been her name.

It's hard to hang out with cool people all day long. You feel little in their presence, and can't really do anything right. Pretty much whatever you do, it's not going to measure up. The cool people, they don't especially care what you're doing, so doesn't matter if you're messing up or not, but still. Who wants to be the bumbling drooler in front of the cool girl? It's a confidence issue, we've been working on this ever since 1979.

"I want you to want me." Cheap Trick, 1979

I did name Banksy after Banksy, who's probably cool, him being secret it's hard to know for sure. He does do things his own way, so far out of the box that the cops are always after him. Banksy and the Kims, all of them are fantastically, over the top talented. But also very cool.


Banksy can give me a look, then just go about her business. This might be chewing on her bed, or staring at a dust speck on the floor. I'm not incredibly relevant to her life. Unless she needs something, maybe a ball thrown, some tugging, but when it's not on her terms, she's all, Whatevs. Or whatever cool people say.

She's happy, but she's no slap happy dork. She would never, ever be caught dead watching Oprah or wearing non ironic clogs. She has her quirks, she loves staring at microscopic particles of hair or dirt above anything else. She's not out there doing meaningless laps with the tennis ball. Even if she's falling off a log, paws too big and body to small to stay on, she tumbles off and doesn't give it another thought. Or me. She's not into hugs. But when she's ready to go, she turns on her intensity with a laser switch, and KAPOW! Watch out. When she's done, she's cool having a nap. Or having some alone time. She goes ON, then she goes off. All on her terms.

Little clicker tricks? She'll do them. She's down with the corporate chain of command. Banksy's no dummy, that's for sure. There's a hand that feeds. Speak truth to power. She's all, You pay brilliance with a hot dog morsel? Whatever.


My goal is to continue worming my way into her inner circle, become one of the entourage. BFF might be asking too much. But her most trusted and beloved manager, who's on her payroll but who is really running the show, is an aspiration. Also personal trainer, chef and chauffeur. I've never had direct access to a rockstar before. She's sleeping under my chair right now. So maybe we're headed in the right direction.

08 June 2014

A Sunday that looked like this.


We wish every Sunday was like this. Even if there's poison oak and it was too steep and hot and there were stinging bugs and the creek was dry. We like dog shows, we like the work stuff, but we really, really, really like it when there's no place we have to go on Sundays.


All week we go places. Places before work. Work. Places after work. It's get in the car and go and try not to be late and we spend so much time going. It's good places usually. Dog practice. Dog class. Dog dog dog dog dog. Work is good, work is important. But this is how we wish we could be more of the time.


Longer daylight in June means longer days to just do this. All day. I hope your Sunday looked like this. I hope we get another one like this soon.

05 June 2014

Gustavo has a new job.


Gustavo is now a couch dog at work.


At home, his new job is puppy's best friend. This new job has ensured complete chaos and mayhem in my living room. I am down with the mayhem. Puppy needed a friend. And one wild and crazy friend she got.


At work though, the dogs need to chill. Banksy and Ruby work out best as partners in the dog pen, Ruby has endless patience and is good at sharing chewies and bones. And she likes to nap. She's the kind of roommate you want your puppy to hang out with. A good influence, Sister Mary Ruby is. Which meant Gustavo needed a new hang out spot. Why not the couch?


He has a fan club. He gets dragged around on little walks a lot. There is training. I heard that he learned to sit this week! There are cookies! Couches! I got him his own little furry bed. Gustavo's life may have changed when I brought him home a border collie puppy, but I think he's thinking it's not so bad anymore. Happy Gooey is back!