Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Soooooooo busy :(

Last week I was so busy I didn't have time to do any posting on here....  I had a Halloween dance show I was involved in on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.  It went well - well Friday did not go as well as the other two nights - but it was sold out all three, and it was fun :) In preparation for that, I was looking through my dresser drawers in the spare room for costume supplies.  This dresser is quite old, and shakes around a lot when I open and close the drawers.  Because of that, the wig heads (with wigs on them) move around as I open and close the drawers, and I discovered that my puppy is terrified of those wigs!

Please excuse my profanity, but I was so amused I forgot to censor myself!  My poor little girl is currently getting spayed right now - it's very quiet without her here :(

What I've been attempting to do with the rest of my spare time is read House of Leaves which has been a goal of mine for years (since a friend recommended what a fantastic book it was).  I am having a REALLLLLY hard time finishing it.  It is so random and convoluted that I find myself skipping over large chunks just to try and follow the story.  And the story itself is good....  just hard to follow.  I hope I will finish it soon to post a review of it on Shelfari and Goodreads - stay tuned for that!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Separation Anxiety :(

I have been SO busy this week....  trying to train the separation anxiety out of my sweet, cute puppy.

I thought it was getting better until recently when the last half dozen times I've come home, she's peed in her kennel.  She hasn't done that in a LONG time.  She doesn't even pee in the house anymore (or hasn't for quite some time) - she rings the bell to go outside.  I found a couple internet resources which I've been using:

  1. YouTube video
  2. How to treat Separation Anxiety
  3. Separation Anxiety
I'm trying a combo of things from these resources....  the first thing I am doing is the technique from the YouTube video - a leash around the doorknob and slowly increasing my distance between myself and Maple.  She was okay almost immediately with the 'close' distance, and it took her a while to get used to the longer distance.  After that I went around the 'corner' where the door is to go outside.  She immediately freaked out, so I came back out, and did the 'far' distance again for a while, then tried around the corner again.  She freaked out again (barking and howling) so I came back out.  Repeating this sequence, she finally got okay with me being around the corner for up for one and a half minutes.  I even left her and went to the bathroom, and she was okay.  She even got to the point where she lay down and didn't move with me coming back to her and leaving again.  What I did differently was incorporating treats into the training.

After that little bit, I began going around the corner and then opening the door and immediately closing it (not leaving, but she can hear the door opening and closing).  Again, immediate freaking out.  In the two hours of straight training, we could not get past that point.  She was not okay with that door opening and closing, even when I came back out into her sight immediately.  She even regressed back to whining when I would walk away from her for the 'long' distance.  However, after two hours, I felt that was enough for one day and let her loose.  I guess this is something I'm going to have to do every day for a while.  

I did have some problems with these articles, the main ones being the time frame to 'train' the dog.  One said it could take up to five weeks!  I don't have a problem with working on this for that long, but I don't understand how the training can be effective if we work on it for a couple hours a day, and then the next day I have to put her in her kennel when I go to work.  It seems like I have to be doing this training for weeks at a time without leaving her for extended periods of time....  you know, working from two minutes up to five to eight to ten to fifteen to twenty and so on.  How am I supposed to do that if I have to go to work for five hours?  

Thankfully she does seem to be okay with being left outside in the backyard by herself now, however that was my 'failsafe' for getting her to come in when I wanted her too - close the door and she'd come running!  I also do routinely NOT make a big deal of leaving and coming back, although it is fairly obvious when I'm leaving because I put her in her kennel with a peanut butter kong.  I am also going to start putting on and taking off my shoes or jacket every time I get up, as well as carrying my keys around constantly.  

Promise to keep you posted how it goes :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Maiden Voyage....

Here's my first post ever into a personal blogging world.  This blog is an extension of my professional blog with my online teacher-librarian course, and is supposed to reflect my personal life and how my newfound organizational skills are helping me have more personal time, and therefore more time to blog :)  This week consisted of not too much time to myself - while I did not have to sub on Thursday and Friday (prime times to work on this!), my parents came over and helped me work on house projects.  And 'helped me' in probably the wrong term - my dad did pretty much everything himself.  He didn't even really need my help.   Despite that, I thought it would be rude to be on the computer blogging the whole time he was here, therefore I got nothing done.  What about the evenings, you ask?  I worked both evenings at my second job.  Such is life!  On the upside, there is no longer a gaping hole in the ceiling of my bathroom!

Here is a picture of said filled hole.  Unfortunately I do not have a picture of the hole before, and that's rather disappointing to me, as I thought I did.  Suffice it to say it was huge, and we think it used to be part of a wood burning stove system WAY back.  And we think it then also doubled as the 'fan' for the bathroom, as there was no fan in there until we put one in.  Really?!  You just let all that steam etc go up into the attic....?  Okay....

The one really wonderful, personal thing I did this week was spend some time outdoors at the Forestry Farm.  I did spend that time finishing up my inquiry proposal for my online class, but what a wonderful way to do it as it was GORGEOUS out for the middle of October....

This is the view from where I was first sitting, but it was too much in the shade, and I was VERY chilly - almost chilly enough that I wanted to leave....
I moved to this new spot, where it was absolutely gorgeous.  I had to take my jacket off I was so warm, and I wished I wasn't wearing a bunnyhug too because that was almost too much.
 One of the many peacock families right by where I was sitting and working.
 There were SO many of them!
 Yes, they were that close.  I could have touched them.  And they didn't even move when I got up to leave and walk around after I was done!

There are many things I love about fall, and that is one of them - gorgeous days and beautiful sights.  Now it's starting to get cold and rainy, which are some of my least favourite things about fall....  :)