Monday, April 29, 2013

my dog whisperer

I love when dogs can do the 'roll over' trick. Wrigley learned to 'sit' and 'lay down' fairly easily as a young pup. Over time she's learned to 'stay' and wait until we say 'ok' before eating a treat or running outside when we open the door. Ryan also taught her to play dead with 'bang-bang.' Although it's still a slow death of laying down on her side, she's gotten a lot better at it. The next trick on my list was always to teach her to 'roll over'.

My attempt at this probably started last fall. From the playing dead position, I would have a treat in my hand while helping her to physically roll over. Dog books say to use a treat to help them with the motion. Rolling over provides a unique challenge to give your dog a treat in motion, as they're on their back. Needless to say, after a couple of coughing fits from Wrigley (from choking on a treat), she still didn't have coordination to make her body roll over.

Sometime in early March, I let Wrigley out of her crate when I got home. She has a bad habit of jumping to lick my hand when she's really excited to see me. We're working on breaking the bad habit by making her 'sit and stay' until we say 'ok' and chase her into the other room.

Her ears are back, she's fidgeting like crazy as I tell her to 'sit, stayyyy, lay downnn....' AND THEN SHE ROLLED OVER. I could NOT believe it! I responded, "Wrigley, what WAS that??" We went crazy, running around, jumping on the couch, I was so excited! I couldn't get her to do it again, but I had hope that I could teach her!

Later I found out that my dog whisperer, Ryan, had been working with her earlier that morning to learn 'roll over'. I guess since she'd been practicing it earlier, she knew the sequence 'stay and lay down' should naturally progress to 'roll over'!!

She can do ALL of these tricks and my dog whisperer taught her all of them! I'm good at reinforcing, but I can only take credit for a small percentage of actually teaching Wrigley tricks. Below is a list of all the tricks, commands and terms she knows:
-sit
-lay down
-bang bang
-roll over
-shake and other paw
-stay
-ok
-bring it/find it
-come (she knows this command, but doesn't like to come... so instead I say 'want some?' ...and then she comes)
-bed
-crate
-up
-go potty
-outside/walk

I thought I would upload an iphone video of some of Wrigley's new tricks..

video


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The beginning of the end of the year

Sunday marked the end of the spring season 2013.... hurray! I made it! a l m o s t

Plans for the summer are getting set, my focus at work has changed, no more practices or games, everything is blooming around us, my swimsuits are ready for a beach, river or lake.... hurray! I made it! so close.

As a college student, it's hard to stay focused. I get it. As a college professor/athletic trainer, it's just as hard to stay focused. I have a glimpse of what summer will be like in a little over a month. yet so far away.

During college, as I get close to finals week, I always made a to do list, on post-it notes, that listed everything that had to be done before I could leave school. A final finals list. One side was for all my classes, the other side was everything else. I tell you, everything was on the list..... meetings, papers, exams, tests, practicals, banquets, housing for next year, future class plans, summer jobs/plans, laundry, car inspections, packing, storage. I taped it down to my desk to make it the "official" to do list.

I have a chronic problem of rewriting my to do lists a hundred times. (Hence the need for an "official" list.) It needs to be clearly written, so the end point is in sight. I need a clear path to getting it all done.

Timing is the key when attempting to make my final finals list. If it's written too far out from the end of finals week, it will be re-written due to being overwhelming. It's a problem when each bullet point has too many variables missing to actually complete the task. There's nothing more frustrating than having a to do list in which I feel like I can't complete anything on the list. (In this case, I try to "save" the list by adding to list just so I can check it off. This trick can only help so much. Eventually, the list needs to be re-written because it's too messy.)

Right now, I'm only at the beginning of the end of the year. Yes, spring season is over, but it's not the end of the year yet. There is still A LOT to do before hitting the beach. I tried making a final final list today. And I already re-wrote it twice. Clearly, it's too early.

Hopefully with more normal hours over the next several weeks I can really get back into working out, puppy time, soccer, tennis, biking, cooking some Pinterest meals, clean the apartment more often and catch up with some friends.

The summer is near, I can smell it, but I can't see it yet.