Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Violet loves...

Biking with Eric.

A tired Collie is a happy Collie. And, yknow, same kind of goes for men.

Return of the Prodigal Blogger

Well, I'm not even going to look at how long it's been since my last post, but I'd put it at three weeks. But I'm back. In the last month...

  • I finished the semester. Did I mention that? At the end of it, I did well. Not perfectly. I did not keep a 4.0 like I wanted to. It was my first semester and I found that my educational background hobbled me a little more than I expected in Astronomy, I didn't know the basics of chemistry and that became a huge problem, but I made it through. Mythology was tougher than expected at first, but I hit my stride after about a month and came through it with a good grade. My arch nemesis, bane of my existence, ultimate foe, math - actually, I did alright. I had a high B when all was said and done, and for me, well... I still haven't expanded on that "educational history" story, but a year ago, I didn't know the most very, very, very basic algebraic concepts. I had a fifth grade education. So for me, a B in a college math course is something to be happy about. English - A. That class was kind of a nightmare because of the professor, but the material itself was never difficult for me.
  • I registered for next semester's classes. Sociology, history, bigger English class, and social work! Yesss! My first major-specific class. I'm excited.
  • Eric had back surgery. We had to drive to and from Cleveland to see a specialist, twice - once for surgery, once for follow-up. On the first trip, Java came. Violet is anxious in the car and bad about jumping up, so she was definitely not able to come, and I was very wary to leave Java. I didn't want it to turn out to be a wonky socialization experience. Two hours into our six hour drive, Java developed diarrhea. Explosive diarrhea. Diarrhea all over the middle of a sidewalk at an extremely well populated rest stop. I think that we both wanted the earth to swallow us up, and he continued to have diarrhea for the entire several-day trip and hotel stay, but to his credit, he had not one single accident in the car or hotel. It cleared up shortly after we returned home, but it was an interesting trip, with a completely bed-ridden, half out of it fiance and a sick dog in a strange city. We all handled it with aplomb in the end, and all was well. On a positive note, Java got socialized half to death, and he rose to the occasion.
  • I'm reading Train Your Dog Like a Pro by Jean Donaldson, and following her program for Java's training. We're through the basic basics and proofing his duration sit-stays now. He will stay all day until I release him, the only challenge is not letting him lay down and turn it into a down-stay. Today, we'll be proofing with distractions today.
  • 5.5 months until the wedding.
  • My camera died for a week or two. Turned out the battery had just crapped out on me, but Cleveland and the camera have been the two reasons behind my slacking here. I'll be making up for it now, don't you worry!
Let's begin with the Cleveland pictures.

The very best traveler.


Baby wrinkles.


Cowlick on his nose. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

University of Dobermans

Java went to campus with me while Eric was in his orientation for the summer semester.

Our Doberman forum has a monthly calendar contest. This month's theme was "Spring Dobes." I'd been keeping an eye out for a nice flower field for a while, to absolutely no avail.

Imagine my delight when we got to campus and I found a patch of flowers that, probably 30 feet by 40 feet. Not exactly a field, but easily shot to look like one, just a day before the submission deadline.

Imagine my delight when we got these pictures about, oh, four seconds before a torrential storm let loose and we went fleeing for a covered group of tables.

Now imagine my dismay when I got home and remembered that submissions had to be shot horizontally and yep, I shot every single one vertically.

I ended up cropping down the one that was shot from farthest away and submitting it. It was not at all my favorite. I really didn't even like it. Fail.

Once sheltered from the storm, we set up shop with several dog training books (and, of course, the camera), and I saw an opportunity to work on desensitizing Java to different textures surfaces and being off of the ground. I aspire to do therapy work and agility with him, so both are useful. He remained patiently in a chair for twenty minutes. At that point, I could tell from his shifting and fidgeting that he wasn't comfortable - though to his credit, he remained patiently in his stay - so I released him, and he laid down by my feet, calmly waiting out the storm and watching quite a number of students go by - lots of students. Old, young, male, female, bearded, black, tall, wearing hats and hoods, on bikes, you name it. Piper had qualms with tall men, bearded men, people on moving objects, and black people. Embarrassing when your dog (your black dog, no less) is racist, so I want to get Java used to every possible demographic.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Java's First Pond Visit

At first, he was skeptical. The water seemed...suspicious.

Before long, he figured that it wasn't so bad.

Muddy nubbin.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Many Faces of Sleeping Violet

Violet has always slept in the craziest of places. Using strange things as pillows. With all of her feet up in the air. Dangling off of a bed, or a coffee table. You name it. So here is a little compilation of sleeping Violets. Before you get the idea that she just runs around sleeping every chance she gets - come on, folks, she's a Collie. She's a holy terror. It seems like she never sleeps. But when she does, well, she's a Collie. She's entertaining even when she's unconscious.