Monday, September 20, 2010

Well, At Least One of Us is Trained.....

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at our local pet supply store and found this:the Kong Wobbler. For those of you old enough to remember, this dog toy operates under the Weebler principle.
Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down!
The Wobbler is like the weeble, in that it is weighted on the bottom so that when you push it, it kind of rolls around and then stands upright again. You can open up the Wobbler, fill it with dog food or treats and then your dog has a wonderful interactive toy which will give her hours of fun while stimulating her mind.
Of course, it takes some training for your dog to learn to use the Wobbler. Dogs are not just Wobbler-proficient overnight. It takes time and training.
Which I have been doing with Lucy.
I fill the Wobbler with her favorite treats. She noses around the hole and whines a little. I give the Wobbler a little push and a treat falls out. She looks a bit more interested. I show her how to push it. She sniffs the hole and whines a bit more. I give the thing a push, another treat falls out. I show her how to push on it using MY OWN HEAD. She whines a little more until another treat falls to the ground.
At one point, I show her the KONG website and the video for the Wobbler, which shows a beagle--a beagle for God's sake--pushing the darn thing all over the floor, gobbling down treats and having himself a high old time. Lucy whines a little more, until I push on the crazy thing until a treats falls out.
This has gone on for a week and a half. Now when I walk by, Lucy whines, I whisper a not so nice word under my breath and kick the supid Wobbler with my foot. A treat falls out, Lucy walks over, picks it up and carries it over to enjoy in the privacy of her soft little bed.
Just call me the Dog Whisperer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Having Fun

With everything that has been going on around here, I have been exploring different ways to handle stress and bring some calmness and peace into my life--not as easy thing for me as I am a worrier by nature and can drive myself crazy with all "what-ifs" and 'should-haves".
Anyway, while looking online for books, I wandered away from the self-help section and stumbled across this book by Carla Sonheim:Hmmmmm......52 creative exercises to making drawing fun. Well, this looked just like what the doctor ordered!
Not that I can draw; I can't. But I'd like to be able to. Even more, I'd like to be able to draw and not be so critical of myself. And that is just what this book is all about--helping adults relearn how to experiment and develop a playful attitude to creating.
Even better, when I went to her website, I found out she was starting an online class. 30 days of lessons, each one taking about 10-15 minutes. And, all this for only $25.00. I was hooked. A little time to play each day sounded divine. Our first lesson was last night and I can tell it is going to be fun, fun, fun.
For years I worked with preschool and kindergarten children in special education and one thing I loved most was their ability to be so involved in the process of working with art materials rather than focusing on the final product. An attitude I think most of us lose as we grow up.
I'm ready to start that journey to find that part of me again.....I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Things have been a little quiet this summer in my little corner of the blog universe. We have been in the process of thinking over Important Thoughts and Making Decisions that will ultimately Change Our Life.......whew!
Let's just say it all took up a lot of time...... talking, researching, mixed with some anxiety and a few tears, but ultimately I think we have come up with a plan that will lead us toward the life we want to be living.
Our first big change was to put this up in the front yard:
When my husband retired TEN YEARS ago, the plan was that I would work a few more years and then join him. Well, we all know what has happened and the economy has made most of us change the plans we had made for the future.
We finally came to the decision that to continue to work at a job that was making me stressed and depressed to support a house that now worth less than what we purchased it was no longer making sense and it was time to move on......and so we are.
The house is up for sale and I can officially say that tomorrow will be my last first day of school as I will retire at the end of this school year. Who knows if this is the right choice, but no matter what happens, we will face it together and that is the important thing.
So to move on to lighter matters, the rug I started at the Manistee Rug Camp is almost done. I had hoped to have it finished before I went back to school, but didn't quite make it. I want to make a few small changes in the body of the rug and I'm not too sure about the gold I picked for the border. I may dye up something a little darker.....

And our little Lucy turned one this week. She really is turning out to be a great little dog--she's just so smart and fun to train. She begins agility training next Saturday, which I am hoping we both will enjoy. I am sure she is up to the challenge, but I think it includes running on the part of the handler.......and let's just say I don't do too much of that anymore, so it should be interesting. Perhaps I should be teaching her to do CPR just in case--or at least how to dial 911!