Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Dog – She’s no Lab!

I’ve had Pacha for a month now and we are still working through some issues. Namely; house training. The move to her new house has been good, but the poor girl has forgotten how to pee outside.

We spent a fairly horrendous few weeks of poopapalouza (where she would panic in her crate and pee/poop while in it, then stomp or roll around for hours). She had more baths in the last month then she normally has in a year! Last week we started a training class which has been helpful in identifying her particular needs. The trainer felt she was suffering from separation anxiety and suggested I place her in a small closed-in area instead of her crate. Now she spends her days in the mud room at the back of my house, which appears to be helping. She’s still having accidents, but at least she’s not panicking all day long. Poor baby. :-( The trainer also reassured me that it was completely normal for a dog to have house training issues whenever they change to a new environment.

Pacha cracks me up to no end! I call her a dumb blonde because sometimes she appears completely clueless. The first training session was done without the dogs and the trainer used a young lab pup to show us the commands we would be working on. The technique used is based on positive reinforcement. No yelling, no pushing, no pulling – you just reward the dog every time he/she does the appropriate action. Anyway, at the orientation session, the lab puppy quickly caught on that, when he sat he would get a treat. It seemed so easy when the trainer did it. I’ve been working on “lie down” with Pacha for the last few days and she still doesn’t get it. Each session we’ve spent 30 to 40 minutes starring at each other waiting for her to lie down. When she finally does (usually out of boredom) I reward her with a yummy treat, but still she doesn’t associate the lying down with the treat. Hah! I can’t help but laugh at her.

She appears to have a fear of garbage bags and bicycles. If she sees a garbage bag on the side of the road she’ll go around to the other side of me so I am between her and the evil garbage. Last week during garbage pick-up day there where bags on either side of the sidewalk which meant she would have to walk between both bags. She wouldn’t do it. She placed both front paws firmly on the ground and wouldn’t budge. I finally ended up carrying over the bags. What a goofball.

Then there was the time I was at my sister’s place and Pacha was sniffing around checking out the surroundings. She sniffed right into a corner and stood there for a good minute – I think it took her that long to realise she couldn’t move forward anymore.

This morning she was super thirsty and drank her entire water bowl in one sitting. When she was done we headed out for our morning walk. At one point I could hear a strange noise... gloo-gloo-gloo... I didn’t know what it was. I heard it again... gloo-gloo-gloo. That’s when I realised it was all the water Pacha had drank swishing around in her tummy! Oh man – I love her so much!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Four Days Off and I Can’t Move

The weekend started out great! Friday night I had my family over for a little campfire in my backyard fire pit. My nephews and niece had a blast and so did the adults.

Saturday I decided I would bring Pacha to the park. I had everything ready to go, but as I picked up Pacha my back gave out. I don’t know what I did, but I figured it would pass. Off to the park we went… with me swearing all the way. My back wasn’t getting any better; it was getting worse. When I got to the park there was an event going on and the closest place I could park would have been almost a km away. It just wasn’t going to happen. Since my Mom lives close by I decided I would head to her place to see if she has any pain killers. There was so much traffic it took me 30 minutes to get there (normally it would be 5 minutes). By the time I got there I had trouble getting out of the car.

I ended up going to the clinic and the doctor prescribed me some anti-inflammatory/pain killers. Ugh. Today I can more at least, but I won’t be doing all the yard work I had planned on doing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Saw the Witchdoctor...

... and he told me what to do.

At my Mother’s insistence I went to see a pharmacist who specializes in homeopathic medicine. He is well known locally and she was hoping he could help me sleep better and give me something to energize me. He ended up telling I was very healthy and has excellent coping skills. He still recommended some stuff so I am now taking the following pill poppers:
- Vitamin D for preventative measures
- Vitamin B Complex for energy
- Iodine to reduce eye puffiness (I didn’t even know I had eye puffiness)
- Cordyceps Sinensis for more energy
- Magnesium Glynicate to help me sleep

I’ve seen many para-medical professionals who claim they have the cure for my energy woes, but none have yet to prove it. We’ll see how this one fairs.

My meeting was actually more productive than just the vitamin burst. When he asked me what I was studying, I told him about the nursing versus radiology situation. Turns out his first specialization was in nuclear medicine. That’s when he added; you must love math and physics, huh? I laughed and explained that the math and the physics was actually the issue with radiology. He said math and physics were a big part of the field and therefore reconfirmed my decision that nursing is the right direction for me.

In other “medical” news, Pacha went to see the vet last night and received a clean bill of health! She also got her vaccines, flea/heartworm medicine and her dog license. Now she’s all set for a while. She was a brave little girl and took the shots like a trooper.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

So far so good...

Yesterday I left Pacha alone for an hour out of her crate and she did great! No destruction and no little puppy poo surprises! Today I did the same thing for two hours and she was still awesome! Wheeee! I’m so proud of my little girl. Tomorrow we try for 3 hours.

Here a recent picture I like to call puppy yawn.

Introducing: Pacha

I found a dog! Her name is Pacha (pronounced Pasha but spelled in French). She'll be 2 years old on August 27. She has the sweetest disposition and must be the calmest dog I have ever seen! I drove to Halifax on Canada Day to meet her and ended up taking her right away.

Ironically, she is originally from Stellarton! Her former owners lived in Truro until recently.

She’s slowly adjusting to the new place and seems to recognize that I’m the one who feeds her and takes her for walks and therefore greets me with much tail-wagging.