Saturday, March 26, 2011

Maggie Update: What's the old lady doing these days?

I realize that I haven't posted much about Maggie lately, so I thought I'd provide a quick update...

The thing that has become apparent in the past few weeks is that Maggie really is getting older.  This may sound a bit obvious/silly, but until recently Maggie has behaved much as she did when she was 5 years old.  The only signs of her age were her grey hairs and an increased tolerance for other dogs.

A few weeks ago, I started to notice some changes in her behavior  -- she didn't want to go on walks as much, she wasn't standing square on all four legs, and some of her leg joints seemed a bit more pronounced.  This concerned me, so I took her to the vet.

They did some x-rays and it turns out the the old lady is getting some arthritis in her elbows and wrists.  We put her on a bit of Deramaxx for a week to bring down the inflammation, and changed her joint supplement - from Cosequin to Dasuquin.  We also added some dog stairs to family room sofa so the old lady doesn't take so much stress when she gets down.  She seems to be feeling a bit better - she's anxious to go on walks again, and spends more time in the yard.

Given this, I've not been doing much training with her.  She still demands to work (i.e. gets in the way and barks incessantly) when I work Rip or Ziggy, so she is doing some training - but nothing with a lot of running and no jumping.

Who's the Boss?
I now must admit that Rip is the boss of the place.  Maggie defers to him most of the time, but still stands up for herself if she doesn't want to play, wants to keep a toy, etc.  The corgfuffles for the most part have stopped.  We're down to once a week rather than once a day.  I continue to put them both in a down stay if something happens.  It seems to be working well.

Hangin' in the Yard
The Cardis all seem happy that the worst of winter is over, and enjoy staying out in the yard.

Maggie wanted to let you know what yard time is like:

When we go out in the yard, the boys like to frap, wrestle and play.
I appreciate that it wears them out so they don't bug me.

While they're playing I like to bark.
No, wait, I love to bark.  And I bark A LOT.  
It's my way of joining in.

But sometimes the little troublemaker tries to get me to play.
This is me ignoring him.

But he's persistent.
He taunts me with toys, and tries to take the ball from me.
Clearly I wasn't hard enough on this one when he was a puppy.

And then I remember that playing isn't so bad.
Maybe if I run a bit he'll leave me alone.

It worked.  Now I can rest in the sun without him pestering me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Travel Tuesday: Work travel stinks.. or maybe it's just me

I'm traveling all week.  I left Monday morning, and I return Friday night.  Nothing glamorous (Cary, NC and Des Moines, IA) so no photos to regale you with.  I just have a story of a few stinking, bad choices. 

When I arrived in NC last night, after checking into my hotel, I decided to take a trip to Trader Joe's.  I had a couple of hours before an evening conference call, I love Trader Joe's, and there is one only a few miles from my hotel.  How could I resist?

This trip was Bad Choice #1:  Going to Trader Joe's on an empty stomachAs I was wandering around aisles of lovely food, I perused the frozen foods aisle.  Some frozen Indian food caught my eye.  Then I remembered that my hotel has a microwave and a kitchenette.  I thought to myself - why not  buy frozen Indian food an cook it myself for dinner instead of going to a restaurant?

This was Bad Choice #2:  Cooking Indian food in a small, enclosed space.  Somewhere around mid-way through cooking the first dish of my main course, I realized the error of my ways.  Cooking Indian food stinks and the vent fan in this hotel room was NOT up to job.  My entire hotel room now reaked of curry.

I mix and match outfits for work trips, so the sweater I was wearing (which now smelled like channa masala) had to be worn again the next day.  Yikes.  I immediately opened the hotel room windows and tried to get out the rest of the curry smell before all of my clothes were polluted.

The room still smelled slightly of curry the next morning, and I was headed into a day-long meeting.  I really don't want to be known as "Lani - you the know the one who smells of curry"  - so I started to think about ways to make myself smell a little better.

Unfortunately I am trying to pack a little lighter with the personal care products, so I didn't bring any perfume.  Then I remembered that I had an In Style magazine with me.  There are lots of perfume ads in that magazine!  So I had a brilliant idea.

An idea I now call Bad Choice #3:  Rubbing a scent all over yourself that you've never tried before.  I found a perfume sample that seemed to smell pretty good.  Still worried that I smelled of curry, I opted to use as much of that sample as possible.  And did I ever.  Unfortunately I failed to think about what would happen if that lovely scent didn't mesh well with me. 

And this one didn't.  All day I got to smell the slightly rancid smell of a perfume that doesn't quite work.  Around 10:00 am I had a headache.  After lunch I felt a little nauseous.  Around 1pm I started to beg gum off of my colleagues, as the mint seemed to mask the smell.  Fortunately dinner was outside in the warm, spring air, so I was saved from smelling the perfume any more. 

I'm now back in my hotel room, in my PJ's.  I've showered, and somehow housekeeping got rid of the curry smell.  Ahhhh.....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rip and the henna beard

Question of the day:  
What does Rip have in common with older men in Pakistan?

A henna colored beard!

Look just below the brindle markings on his face.
Now compare the color with the white of the baby gate.
See it now?

Yes, my lovely puppy has some not-so-lovely staining on his white fur.  

How could this have happened?  

Has he ordered some henna dye online? 

 Has he been traveling to Pakistan when we're not paying attention? 

There has to be an explanation!

Nevermind.  I think I just figured it out.  

Yep.  It's a saliva stain.
This is Ziggy and Rip's favorite game.
The bite and hold.

The Husband keeps reminding me that Rip's conformation show debut is in 2 weeks.  He keeps saying something like, "That stain isn't going away on it's own.  You need to get it on it now."

I know he's right.  I have Chris Christensen's "whiter than white" in the the cupboard.  I just can't seem to get motivated to use it.  Maybe later today.... Or tomorrow....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

But I just wanted to help clean up..

Lest you think that Rip has stopped living up to his name just because I haven't posted anything lately...

Rip would like to point out that he's not even IN this photo - 
it could have been the cats that did this...

It's not what you think.
I was taking this to the recycling bin..

Really, I needed this to help pick things up.
I don't understand why you don't believe me!?!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Help wanted: Stalker for Ziggy

My  current training focus with Ziggy is to 

get more of this in the obedience and agility rings:

Shiny, happy Cardi smiling

and less of this

worried, suspicious, don't-stand-so-close-to-me Cardi
(a picture from puppyhood)

Ziggy is becoming more confident in the ring, but he still gets un-nerved when the judge follows him.  Unfortunately this is something judges seem quite likely to do.  It's as if they want to see how the dog is performing or something.  Go figure.  

While I am working on an idea to petition the AKC to get all judges to use binoculars and stand on the edge of the ring instead of walking in the ring, I realize this may take some time.

In the meantime I'm working to change Ziggy's mind, and get him to think that being followed is ok.

To do this, I'm pairing Ziggy being followed with the best treats a Cardi can imagine.  On open training night on Monday, I took the first step and asked one of my fellow club members to follow us around for a couple of minutes.  While we were being followed, Ziggy got a constant stream of "platinum level" treats.

We took our show on the road yesterday and went to PetsMart.  I didn't ask anyone to follow us there (I thought that would be a little weird and might attract the wrong kind of person), but I did give lots of treats when strangers were around, walking near us, etc.  

If I can convince Ziggy that being followed is a good thing, it should help our agility and obedience performances.  It's worth a try, anyway.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rip's week in review

This has been a good week to be Rip.

See how charming I am?  
Come a little closer, I'll give you lick...

On Thursday, he attended conformation class and charmed the instructor/judge.  Who can resist the lovely waggy-ness?

We do have some things to work on though - mainly on the table.  Mainly about holding still on the table when the lovely, lickable judge is approaching.

Also, he's been a little wierd about having his stifles messed with.  He collapses in the rear like he's going to lay down like a frog.  The instructor dryly commented "that's not really good..."  Since class night, I've had him up on the table, petting and moving his hind legs -- giving clicks and treats if he stands like a normal dog, and "uh-oh" if he starts to collapse.  He's getting a little better.  My goal is to have this fixed by our next class.

Don't worry so much about stacking my hind end, mom.
Look how cute my face is!

On Saturday we went to a local show-n-go for obedience.  Ziggy was awesome in Beginning Novice.  Rip was only a spectator, but behaved like the Tasmanian Devil.  I really should have walked him before going.  It took me a good 15 minutes to settle him down so that he wasn't accosting other dogs and humans.  He had a great time, though, and was worn out when we got home.

Don't listen to mom, I'm calm...
See how I'm just standing here?

Oops, I forgot about this photo.

Oh, and this one, too...

Can I blame this one on Ziggy?
See he's biting me...

Shoot, how can I explain away fighting with the old dog?
Nevermind, I admit, I'm WILD!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ziggy product review: blue chair

Ziggy asked me to post another product review:

Hello, I'm happy that my mom agreed to post my comments again.  Around a year ago, I reviewed the Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chair.  You might recall how much I loved that chair.  I recommended it for all Cardigans.  Here's a picture to remind you:

See how blissful I look?
Cardis just don't get any more content.

Unfortunately my mom didn't care about my love of the chair.  She said the chair was getting "manky," and that it was a bit of an "embarassment" to have around.  I don't know what those words mean.  I just know she took the chair away.

This meant I needed to find a new place to sleep.

Thankfully I am "responsible" enough now that I can have run of the house.  And guess what I discovered?  ANOTHER blue chair!

And this one's even bigger!
See how nicely I fit?

Another advantage of this chair is that it's got a better view.  I can look out the front window and keep an eye on things.  Mom sometimes finds this annoying.  She says I'm too "barky."  I'm just trying to alert  her to pending danger, but she doesn't understand.

A squirrel!  A neighbor!  A dog!  A car!
I'll keep you safe.

Sometimes The Child likes to use this room to play.  That's ok with me, I'm a deep sleeper.

See?  Stuffed animals and balls don't even wake me.
There's room for us ALL in this chair.

Unfortunately there's someone else who likes this chair as much as I do. 

The old white cat.  
You might recall that he tried to hog my other blue chair, too.

But guess what I've figured out?  I'm bigger than that cat....

Maybe we can both fit in the chair.

That's not so comfy.
I need to readjust.

Mission accomplished.  
Bye, kitty.

I love my bigger blue chair.  Mom had better not redecorate.  Where will I go?
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