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This Day in My History


Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of ther universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.

~ Roger Caras

Yesterday's Entries

2000: The New Computer! 
 We Do the Dance of Joy
2002:  I Just Can't Do It
2003:  Too Much Too Soon


A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson


60 Minutes

Buy my stuff at Lulu!



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This is my new pal Barkley.  We had so much fun chasing each other.  Be sure to check the movie my person made of us running.

New Sheila Video: Playing with Barkley

Check  Sheila's First Video
("See Sheila run--Run, Sheila, Run!")



26 July 2004

I’ve discovered a more effective way to keep Sheila from ripping the furniture apart than to crate her: keep her so tired she just doesn’t care!

Saturday morning she licked me awake at 6 a.m., as usual. I’ve mentioned before that she has no concept of "weekend" or "sleeping late." I could manage to keep her relatively calm, but it involved massive tummy rubs and if I had to stay awake to rub her tummy, I might as well get up.

So we got up, I made coffee to leave for Walt, and I got my shoes on. Sheila is learning that if she sits back and leaves me alone when I put on my shoes, we’ll leave more quickly.

She’s also learned that she will leave the house quicker if she sits to have her collar put on and if she sits at the front door. I don’t even have to tell her to do it any more. She just does.

We walked down to the nearby park, where a new temporary dog park has just opened up (for "temporary" I suspect this may include Sheila’s lifetime, considering how quickly "permanent" things move around in thos town!). On the way we practiced the sitting at the curb business and she now does it as soon as I give her the command, sometimes even before I give her the command.

We are making progress.

As we arrived in the dog park and I let her off leash, she raced to one corner of the fence. Spike was on the other side of the fence. Spike is a fox terrier and a ball of fire and the two of them raced back and forth, back and forth along the fence, while Spike’s owners commented on how much fun the dogs were having and how they would really like to play together--and I wondered why they didn’t just bring the dog in the damn dog park so they could run together.

Finally they did and the two dogs raced around and tumbled over each other until both were exhausted.

I had no problem walking Sheila home on a slack leash after that. at least not until a jogger ran by with a dog on a leash and Sheila forgot that she was exhausted.  We had a discussion about whether or not it was cool to pull your person's arm out of the socket just to get to a dog you've never met before.

She collapsed and slept until 11:15 when it was time to go to our first obedience class. This is taught by a woman named Cayce Wallace, who was recommended by our veterinarian’s office.

It’s $85 for 7 sessions and, judging by this first 1½ hour lesson, I think it’s going to be worth every penny. Sheila wasn’t the most stubborn dog there and by the end of the session, she was actually starting to get it.   She walked by my side--sometimes.  She sat when told.  She ignored the other dogs--sometimes.  It was me who felt discombobulated, trying to get all the commands, hand gestures, and tone of voice down at once.  Our homework?  20 minutes a day of leash work.

"You did GOOD," Cayce told me, reassuringly, as we finished. I demanded a cookie, but decided I really didn’t want a liver biscotti.

I had a productive afternoon myself, writing the review of the show we saw last night and one feature article for the Spotlight section of the newspaper this week, plus two smaller articles. "Good GIRL," I thought, wishing someone would pat me on the head and give me a cookie.

At 7, Sheila had a play date with Barkley, a beagle owned by our friends Larry and Steve, who had invited us to dinner. The two dogs chased each other around the yard (see brief new movie) for 3 hours and both ended up covered in dog slobber, panting heavily and with big grins on their face. Barkley had also mounted Sheila over and over again (a "fruitless" pursuit on the part of both of them!)

As I write this, Sheila is passed out at my feet and I suspect she’ll hardly move all night.

Who has the energy to chew up a couch?

Now all I have to do is keep her this occupied every day.

Come to think of it, I haven't chewed up as many things as usual either (i.e., haven't been eating as much), so maybe it's a good thing for both of us!)

Today's Suggested Web Sites to Read

Marn's take on Bush's speech to the members of the Amish Community.  Also Joan's exposé of Air Force expenditures.


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For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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