Me taking a break in the sun!
Here I am! What a month it has been. I've kept busy. I've had a TV appearance, dinners, an ICAN event, furlough meetings, golf outings, not to mention everything with my training and recreational activities. I've been very excited to get to you and fill you in on the past few weeks.
I appeared on Channel 13 for my Maize Monday. Sean came with me again. Sorry we didn't appear until the second Monday this month. Being it was Labor Day, Nicole was downtown doing a live report on City BBQ. I watched her and those ribs made my mouth water! Too bad I couldn't have met her there. Maybe I could have gotten a "doggie bag" to go! I always love seeing my friend Nicole. One of these days I would like her to come to my place.
I showed everyone how I could hug and give a "high 5". I am a great hugger! My hugs can be an enormous comfort to someone. Sean explained how my "high 5's" will be used later on to push access buttons, and for other emergency purposes. I think I did quite well with the use of my air time- and I guess we can give Sean some of the credit too, he seemed a tad bit more relaxed this time… just a tad bit LOL.
The girls found a baby bird that couldn't fly in the yard today. My handler, Mindy and a couple of other girls were all worried about it and decided to bring it inside and try to take care of it. I thought it was a great idea until I found out that not only was he going to be my roommate, but he would also be staying on top of my crate. Now everyone who used to come to see me is coming to see this bird and all I am getting is a pet on the head as they step over me to get a better look. This arrangement is not going to work for me. Where's Pierson when you need him? He's the only one young enough with turning a "leave it" bird into a "drop it" bird…
I've been working on my recalls outside. Mindy lets me get the "tug" rope and tugs with me when I "come" to her when she calls for me. It's really fun. I let Mindy think she's winning the tug most of the time and "drop it" when she asks me to. Sometimes I have to show her that I'm really the stronger one. So I grab the rope and tug like normal, then I start going around and around and spinning her in circles, faster and faster until she gets dizzy and has to let go. I know, I know, it's not very nice to do, but it's sooo much fun sometimes, hehehe. There may be one set back to me doing this a few too many times though. I have heard her mention that she may be substituting my rope toy for my little green squeaky frog??? If so, no more spinning for me. 🙁
We had a furlough meeting tonight. I got to go with a group of the furloughers. We had four stations to go to practice and see the proper way to do the set up. We had one for loose leash walking, one for distractions, and one for thresholds using scary objects. The furloughers who walked me through these set ups did a great job. But how could they fail using me?! I don't think any of my furloughers noticed but at the last station, which was the one where they used scary objects, I was trying to get away. They use this set up to show you the signs of when your dog is reaching its threshold prior to going over that threshold and properly redirecting their attention. I was trying to back up. No, I wasn't getting scared, more like humiliated. I was getting ready to fall out of pure embarrassment! There was my handler wearing a curly clown wig of all different colors, big goofy glasses, a huge leopard print hat, and a red cape. OMG! How scary! No, just kidding, more like ridiculous. I was trying to retreat before she spoke to me and everyone put it together that not only did I know her, but that she was my handler. By now you would think she'd realize that I have an image to uphold, sigh…
I love rolling in leaves! Here is one of my favorite trees.
Now, if you want a scary object for furlough, you should have seen my paws tonight! I was back in the dorm and practicing my "down stays" in the day room when I overheard this conversation about this bird in my room. Blah, blah, blah… They've named it "Echo". (Picture me rolling my eyes right now). They say Echo is a turtle dove. Well, no wonder it can't fly, it's a turtle! These girls are not very bright at times. I kept listening and they said there are also box turtles, painted turtles, snapping turtles… So now later on when I'm lying in my crate, all I can do is watch Echo, and this box that is under the bed, and the pictures on the door, worried and waiting and wondering when the turtle is going to pop out and get me! Now that's scary! Have you ever had a box or paintings come after you while snapping at you? Well I haven't, and I hope if I do that my crate is strong enough to keep them out. This will be a long night. Where's my nightlight…
I even had a nightmare that this huge turtle escaped and started chasing me!!!
I mentioned I am working on my level 2's now. I have the basic idea of how to do back, bed, nudge, push, spin, crawl, lap, flip, and settle. I need to keep practicing doing them beside my handler while she's in a wheel chair and be able to do them in all sorts of areas and with other people, as well as being able to do them while distractions are going on around me. This is what they mean when they say they are generalizing a cue. I am catching on quickly! I will demonstrate some of this next time I appear on channel 13 news for my Maizie Monday. I wonder if Sean is going to accompany me again…
Zoomies: (In dog dictionary) an uncontrollable urge which causes any canine to lose all control and common sense. To "zoom" this way, then "zoom" that way, with lightning speed, while jumping sideways, up, down, and all around, for no apparent reason. The action stops as quickly as it starts, leaving the dog with no memory of his or her actions, therefore the canine resumes doing whatever it was doing prior to the Zoomies, like nothing ever happened and cannot be held responsible for any actions while in Zoomie mode.
I mentioned the Zoomies because Eli and I went with our handlers to another building that we usually never get to go to, today. We went at different times, and both of us got taken over by the Zoomies when we came to this certain sandy area on the pavement. I almost escaped, but no luck. Eli did get away from his handler and could have run around where ever he wanted to. He had the whole recreational yard to run, but no, his handler waved one little piece of kibble at him and since he's a Big Hungry, that's all it took for her to get him. Boys…
I think this Echo guy is getting ready to make his change and show his true turtle self, because my handler is moving him outside into an airline crate. Whew…I've had nightmares this whole week with him peering down at me all the time and not knowing when he was going to try to come and get me. I do know that everyone is saying that I did really well with not having a prey drive and going after him. Well if the rest of these canines knew what I knew they would not either. Who wants to go after a bird that can have its turtle head pop out and snap your nose off??
Glad I am not a cat, because curiosity would have killed me today. I heard these girls brag that they would eat this or that for a certain amount of money or prize. One of these things they mentioned was a chocolate covered grasshopper. It just so happens that I had one in my room, noisy critter. I got up and followed it while it was jumping around my room and out into the hallway. As soon as it hit the hallway, the girls were screaming "get it"! So, me being the brave soul that I am, I chomped it right down. Yum, crunchy! The girls started saying eww and making horrible faces and were still jumping up and down. Wimps… You know, I didn't even get a piece of kibble as a prize, now what's up with that??
ICAN Handler, Heather, and my friends Pierson (left) and Moravia (right)
I need to talk to someone about Heather. She is Moravia and Pierson's handler. She is also our vet tech, and she helps my handler teach me how to do retrieves. It seems like every weekend Heather is putting liquid in my ears, claiming she's just cleaning them. And with my retrieves, she has me lifting this dumbbell with my mouth. I'm a girl, I don't need bulging neck muscles for the modeling work that I do. I think she is secretly trying to train me for the Olympic Swimming event. Think about it – water, lifting weights… Yep, I'm onto you, Heather. I'm glad she sees and realizes my potential, and realizes I am the best swimmer ever, but she really needs to go through my pool manager, Joni, and quit all this funny business.
Speaking of swimming, I just had to share another one of my famous dive shots.
We had a terrible storm this morning. It got very dark out, the wind was blowing sideways, and our lights were blinking on and off. Luckily it only lasted a short while. So you know what that means – MUD!!! Finally after hours of anticipation and a few trips straight out to "hurry" and back, they turned us loose to run and play. Woo-hoo!! Now I give those girls credit for trying to keep us out of the mud holes, but these silly girls should know by now that it is an impossible task to cover the whole yard as fast as we run and play. So many of us got in a few rolls and were able to dig for a second before they could catch up, hehehe. Even little Pierson was trying to dig before his handler was able to coax him away. When we do hear them and give them our attention, and "come" running towards them, they start backing up from us and start saying things like "nooooo," while laughing. Talk about getting mixed signals! Needless to say I got a bath along with a few others. Between you and me – it was sooo worth it.
Another thing that the storm was good for – getting rid of that turtle dove. Evidently the handlers let Echo loose before the rain came. His turtle must have come out of him because they said he flew away and evacuated his home. Good thing he did because after the storm, it looked like a hurricane had hit his home. It was upside down and flooded with mud and water and sticks. Good riddance, turtle bird!
Do we have any football fans out there? These girls go crazy over it. Thursday evenings and all day Saturday are football, football, football. They can get pretty rowdy during the game. They sport different colors to represent their favorite teams. I like pink, but they say we don't have a pink team. Last week, I had on my purple collar and someone switched it for a green/yellow one. Someone else saw this and yet again switched it for a blue/gray one. I'd really like my purple one back, it represents me, Maizie. But no, they'd rather have me in these colors making me run around looking like a boy. I've watched some of these games and personally I don't think Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Tony Romo, or Drew Brees or any of them would have anything on me if they'd give me a chance! You should see me run with a ball. Catch me if you can! I could go pro…
Ahh… I got bit again! Spider? Bee? Some kind of pesky insect! I was starting to feel bad about eating that grasshopper the other day, but nope, not anymore. I'm not sure what bit me in my sleep, but I have a bug bite on the side of my nose and look like I have the Mumps. C'mon colder weather so these bugs will go away. I know I'm sweet, but I'm not a flavor! This is the third time this year they've gotten me. Don't they make a bug repellant for dogs? If so, I need lots of it. If not, we need to invent some and patent it. I could advertise our product when I see Nicole on channel 13 news, or maybe we could get with one of those guys from Shark Tank to go into business with us. We can call our product Maizie's Bug Off, or Doggie Off, or Doggone Bugs, Woof-B-Gone, May-Z the Bug Killer, Unbugged. As I write this, other handlers and dogs are stopping by and giving me ideas for names. Seems like everybody's always trying to get a piece of the action LOL. At least they recognize a good idea, no, fabulous idea, when they see it. We'll be rich!
My new friend Baker (Sally's dog, left), and Moravia, Mo for short. Baker is dreading the groom job.
I am currently taking donations for a doggie winter coat. I am not sure what our groomer, Sonya, was thinking today, but poor Baker. Baker is Sally's dog. Sally brought Baker in for a shampoo & haircut. Sounds pretty simple and routine right? Wrong! After his beauty appointment, I couldn't believe my eye. Baker went from a big, fluffy, long haired fellow, to a super skinny bald guy! I almost didn't recognize him. Now I thought when you got old there were no more haircuts, and all the cottage cheese you could eat? I hope Sonya or Sally know how to knit a sweater, he's going to need it. Brr…
Baker, after getting sheared!
I didn't get to go personally, but some of my dog friends and handlers got to go to the "If These Dogs Could Talk" group this evening. ICAN got to explain what it is they do, and there was even a Seeing Eye dog there! It was neat to learn that we learn and share some of the same techniques. Everyone came back in great spirits talking about how the group went. It sounded very interesting. Maybe next time I'll get to go…
There's talk about our dorm having a Halloween party. I don't know about this. The girls have already started decorating. The more they put up, the less I like it. You at home already know I don't mess with bees, bugs, or spiders, so why do we have mutant size spiders hanging all over? Are the live ones really not enough for them? Then we have scary faces here and there, ghosts and goblins peeking out of the plants. They want to put us in costumes and dress themselves. It's not so bad if they dress up. Be it a monster, cartoon character, police man, or movie star. Unlike you humans, we aren't so easily fools. You seem to forget we can still smell and hear you. You try to scare us and sometimes you even dress as a clown and try to make us laugh in smell. But in reality, clowns are creepy, especially when they are laughing and smiling at you. If you want to me us laugh and smile, why all the horrific costumes to start with? Dressing us canines up is not an appealing idea to us. No matter what we wear we know who each other is. I'm already getting anxiety trying to figure out the costume they're thinking about for me. I have no clue what a Pipi is, and the thought that comes to mine when you say Longstocking is my whole body covered in sticky hooks and lots of different colors socks hanging off of me That's a little disturbing if you ask me…
Nicole, my friend from channel 13, came to my place today! She even brought her mom! How cool is that? You know you only let your close friends meet your family. I've been trying to tell you all that her and I are BFFs. Nicole got to watch one of our training lessons. She got to meet my handler, Mindy, finally, and all the other handlers and my doggie pals. I think Jaeger is trying to squeeze me out of a job. He kept showing off, doing "sit pretty", and giving hugs. We won't tell him but he's just not as photogenic as I am. And I give great hugs too! Nicole was also able to get a firsthand view of all we do. She will be hosting ICAN's Wine & Wags fundraiser. I hope we were able to show her what ICAN does for us dogs, our clients, as well as the girls who train us.
It's been great talking to you again. I hope you like keeping up on what I am learning and listening to my daily adventures. I will be looking forward to telling you how this month goes, especially about my Halloween costume escapade… Ugh… I know you will be busy too. There's so much to do before the cold weather sets in for the winter. Raking leaves, planting flower bushes for next spring, tending to what's left in your gardens, Halloween decorations. Pumpkins and gourds and hot apple cider, yum! I hear people talk about getting their cars tuned up & even putting up their Christmas lights now, instead of waiting until it's cold. Good idea! Just think, there's only 80 shopping days left before Christmas. Better get started now. Until next time…
Love, wiggles and sloppy wet kisses,