Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tell Me Thursday 2012 - #15

Crooks and Crazies

...and she's back! Life has gotten slightly less hectic, so I'm taking TMT back starting today. So today's TMT is hosted by yours truly, The Pruninator.

As many of you already know, I had to let Zippy go to on April 9th. I'm still trying to work all of that out inside of my heart. I know it was the right thing for him, and I know equally for sure that it would never be the right time for me. It's never, ever going to be long enough.

Anyway, this week's questions (and I hope you guys will play!) are:

1. Are you a morning person? A night owl? Do you pop up out of bed full of song and happiness? Do you just hit your stride after dark?
2. What is your favorite candy?
3. What is your biggest driving pet peeve?
4. How do you prepare yourself and your dogs for summer?
5. Lets talk about grass in your dog yard. Do you have any? How much maintenance do you do?

My answers:

1. Are you a morning person? A night owl? Do you pop up out of bed full of song and happiness? Do you just hit your stride after dark?

I really don't want to speak to anyone until about 10am. That's about when I get going, and then I don't want to eat until about 10:30. Nevermind the fact that I've been up since 6:00 am and start chugging coffee not long after that.

Mostly I just hate people chirping at me in the mornings. Our receptionist here at work chirps at me every day and I want to claw her eyes out. One day she found out that I'm not a morning person and so now she chirps at me and then makes asinine comments about how she knows I'm not a morning person and therefore she'll keep her greeting quiet... and goes on and on until I want to choke her. I usually have visions of my vaulting over the front desk.

No. Not a morning person. The ex-hubs and I had an agreement about such things and didn't speak except to say "have a good day". It was an excellent arrangement.

On the other hand, I start turning into a pumpkin at about 9:00 pm or so. Sometimes I'm even good until 9:30. The way I see it, is I only have a few really good hours a day.

2. What is your favorite candy?

My favorite candy is a king-sized Mr. Goodbar. It has to be king-sized because I like the mouth-feel of the chunks. When I buy it at the store it cannot be broken, and then I break it up into little chunks and eat them one by one. I just don't want someone else fondling my candy. This started for me in college and I've never quite gotten over it.

My runner-up candy is the reese's eggs/trees/pumpkins/hearts that they have around holidays. They are smack-yer-mamma good.

3. What is your biggest driving pet peeve?

Nothing makes me want to go all road rage on someone like when they don't give a thank-you wave. What has happened to the thank-you wave? It infuriates me to slow down and let someone in, and what, they can't have common courtesy to wave their appreciation? It makes me want to tailgate them to their destination and MAKE them wave.

More coffee, please.

4. How do you prepare yourself and your dogs for summer?

Summers here are hot and humid, and I start trying to acclimate us as soon as the weather starts getting warmer. I try to let the temps in the house increase gradually be as warm in the house as I can stand it, so that when we go outside to work the dogs and I aren't in total shock. I take all of the winter gear out of the van (tarps, thick dog bedding, etc.) and make it as airy in there as possible. I make sure I have all of the shade screens are loaded up, and for certain situations I have enough crate fans to go around.

For myself I mostly just hide my head under the pillow and lament about how I miss winter. Nevermind the fact that in winter I hide my head under the pillow and lament about how I hate summer.

5. Lets talk about grass in your dog yard. Do you have any? How much maintenance do you do?

It seems like my grass area is decreasing each year, and the bare spots are increasing. I'm trying to figure out what to do about it. In the summer the weeds usually fill in, but I'd like to get more real grass out there because when winter gets here about 50% of my (very small) yard is dirt. The houses in my neighborhood are built on what is basically sand rock, so it's a challenge. I've picked up some Scotts' Eazy Seed and I'm thinking I might put an expen around one bare spot and then after it grows move around seeding and such until I'm happy. That sounds like a lot of work though. I'm just not sure how much effort I want to put into it.

So far my method has been to just ignore it. That doesn't seem to be working out all that well.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tell Me Thur... Tuesday

First let me say... blogger just forced this new format on me. Hate.
Secondly, it's time for another TMT hosted by Rockin' Ewe Stockdogs. I'd like to give a big shout out to Jaenne' and say thank you for taking this on for a few weeks. Since Jaenne' is starting a new job and my life is settling back down some I'll be taking Tell Me Thursday back starting... uh... the day after tomorrow! It'll be fun, so put your thinking caps on.
Here are last week's questions:
1) Given the current "state of things", I have been very lucky to get a job so quickly after becoming unemployed and to have other, even more attractable job possibilities pop up. So, give me at least one good thing that has happened recently - dog wise, non-dog wise or both!
One good thing is that I got a sweet deal and was able to refinance my house and save a lot of money. With the housing market as it is it does not look like I'll be selling any time soon, so figured I'd go ahead and do it. The other good news to it was that I only borrowed what I owed, so I didn't increase my mortgage by much. WOOT! Big thanks to Beth Chuck who got me to consider it.
In other good news... I finally bought myself a set of pruning shears, and last night just pruned my hiney off. I was a pruning fool. The Prunemeister. The Pruninator. Prunilicous. Trees everywhere fear my wrath. Muaaahahahahaha! What that really means is I can now mow the back corner of my yard without putting an eye out.
For some reason Pia found the pruning thing to be exciting. Nick thought it was scary, and went inside to hide.
2) How did you end up working in the field/profession that you are currently in?
Well, it was sort of accidental. I started out working as "summer help" in the billing office for the Radiology dept. at our hospital (one of them). My first job there was just shredding papers. Then I got to do more things, and over four years of summers and winters I got to learn many different jobs. When it came time to find a job in college I just looked for a light secretarial position, and it went from there. I never really intended to go the Executive Assistant route. I'm good at it - and I used to love what I do. Some days I still do.
I'd still like, some day, to go back and get my Master's and get licensed to counsel. That's really where my passion lies. Unfortunately life has gotten in the way, and it's not in the cards at the moment.
3) I got the typical "What are your hobbies?" question at this interview yesterday. What kind of response do you get when you tell people that you "train and trial dogs for (fill in the blank)"?
Oh goodness. I usually just hope they don't ask about hobbies. If they do I sort of hem and haw a little and try my best to put it into terms that make the most sense to laymen so to speak. I usually just leave it at "I do sheep herding with my dogs". Yes, the "herding" word rankles me, but it makes the most sense to people. Most of the time they just nod and go on. I try to just sort of glaze right past it - they can figure out my real deal later.
One time at an interview I struggled and squirmed as the person continued to question me. She even asked me how many dogs I had. Squirm. She had more border collies than I do, and also works sheep with them. It turned out that she hadn't trialed in a few years, but we knew some of the same people. THAT turned out to be a great interview. Too bad the job didn't pan out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tell Me What Day This Is?

Yeah. Ok. Late to the party again. But in my defense... chaos abounds in my life lately. So this week's (last week's?) TMT is hosted by Rockin' Ewe Stockdogs.

1. One thing that you would totally redo (if you could) in regards to dog training?

Mmm. Listen to my instincts more for Linc. That's the best way I can explain it. There were some methods that I used earlier in his training that I wasn't comfortable with, and it's taken time to undo what was done. It's turned out OK, but I would do many things differently with him if I had it to do over with.

The main thing I'd do over is marry a nice farmer dude instead and have my own sheep. He could use them, of course. My sheep, I mean. I think a lot of things would be different for Linc if I had my own sheep. I plan to rectify this in the future. The sheep thing, not the farmer dude thing. Though I wouldn't turn down one of those either. Assuming it was the right person, obviously.

2. One thing that you enjoyed doing in the past that you no longer participate in (dog or non-dog related)?

Golf. I suxxors at it. Couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. But it was nice to ride around in the golf cart and wear the cute skirts. Go figure, since I don't like skirts in any other context.

3. Best dog and/or training books you’ve read (fiction or non)?

Maybe not the best, but my favorite and most useful book was the little pink book about training tiny dogs. Crud, I can't remember the name. Something about "Pint-Sized Companion". Hm. AWESOME resource. You know, cuz it SO helped me teach Zippy to not bite the ex-husband. NOT. Not not.

4. What is the best part of dog trialing for you?

I like getting to see the different dogs, and I love hanging and listening and chatting. I don't go for the bad stuff, but I like to hang with folks. I also like working. Work is good. Keeps me out of trouble.

The worst part for me is the part where I actually run my dog. Makes me want to barf. Every. Time.

Oh, and one more favorite part: HANDLER'S DINNER!! Woot!

I could do without the tent camping thing. I'm sort of over that now.

5. I totally have puppy fever (thanks to Robin and her adorable litter of Rhyme x Bill pups - I'm totally in love with Tib aka Mouse!) so please post an adorable puppy picture of one (or all!) of your dogs!

You asked for it. Puppy Linc photo by Julie Poudrier.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pia on Sheep - 11 months

I haven't worked Pia at all since January. I thought last weekend I'd give her a whirl to see where we were, see if it's time to start actually training. I was very pleased - and do think it's time to start a little with her. I think I'm going to like her a lot. Back in January she was a little sensitive, so other than speaking to her a little when she was thinking about diving in, I just let her work.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Zippy - Jan 1994 to April 2012

Today I made the very difficult decision to let Zippy go to the bridge. Run free Small Dog - you have been well and truly loved. Zip made many friends over the course of the 6-1/2 years he lived with me, and I felt blessed to have many adventures together. Adopting him at 11 years old I thought surely we might only have a year or two together. Little did I know it would be almost seven.

This photo here was taken on a walk with Julie. He did loves him some walkies. I will miss him something awful. I already do. Though blurry, this is my absolute favorite picture of him. It captures his essence:

Safe journeys, Smallness, until we meet again.