Monday, June 30, 2008

Like an old married couple

It's official. Grete, Gesso, and I have moved in with Jason. This weekend, Mike and his crew at Budget Moving moved all my stuff including my fridge, washer, and dryer to Jason's house. The most important item of the move -- Grete's kiddie pool -- was put to immediate use in the backyard because of the 80-90 degree heat. Gesso, on the other hand, was content to climb towers of cardboard boxes in the relatively cool basement.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Great Pyrenees! Wire Fox Terrier!!

Two adult Pyrenean Mountain DogsImage via WikipediaSorry about holding back on the results. I wanted to wait until I could use the little Wisdom Panel blog badge on the right and that takes 48 hours from registration.

And the winner is...
Grete's ancestry contains some Border Collie and also includes distant traces of German Shepherd Dog, Great Pyrenees and Wire Fox Terrier.
And as I've noted many time in disbelief... She has neither Australian Shepherd nor Labrador Retriever as the shelter originally claimed.
Zemanta Pixie

Monday, June 23, 2008

The results are in!

Grete's Wisdom Panel DNA test results are in! You'll never guess what she has trace amounts of!

Remember when I said the report had different levels of detection?

She has nothing in the "should see traits from" or significant amount field.

She has one breed in the "may see traits from" or medium amount field.

And she has THREE breeds in the "chance of seeing traits from" or trace amount field.

Can you guess now?

I bet you can't!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Grete needs a new collar. Her current collar is cute, but we need more.

And the ones at Amazon tend to annoy me with their graphic designs.

Here are the top selling ones..

All are as lame as this carousel widget... *sigh*

Now these... these aren't so bad.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Agility Class Day #2

I've been meaning to say...

Our second agility class went much better than our first. Grete loved every minute of it, especially the part at the end when she got to play with Cloudine. (I wish I had a video camera for that. It was adorable to watch my dog play with a professional player.) Also, I got complemented on my "tugging" - which made me feel good. (I'm like a dog. I respond much better to positive comments than negative. :-) )

Not an Aussie or a Collie, but....

Today's Petfinder dog of the day is a special guy.

Because he's such a smart and trainable boy, Caspian is in foster at Great Dog Daycare. You can read his blog here - Caspian's Blog - and find out what new tricks he learns each day!

Any shelter dog that gets a blog is super special, that's for sure!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Results Are In!

My official time was 34:28.

I came in 90th in the 30-39 Female group (out of 241.)

If I hadn't stopped for ~3 minutes for the wardrobe change I probably would have come in around the 50s for that division.

Not too bad for my first 5K. :-)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Team Grete's Gang!

Almost to the finish line...


Getting amp'd up before the race...

Grete's First Furry 5k!

Grete's First Furry 5K went great. The number of dogs was in the thousands, I think. At the starting line, it was a huge cacophony of dogs barking out of excitement and nervousness.

As you can see, Grete got a cool green bandanna out of the deal. I got a t-shirt and lucky number 374. More pictures can be found in Jason's flickr set: Furry 5k. (I'll blog a couple more of my favorites.)

In retrospect, a few tactical errors were made by Team Grete's Gang.

1) It was pretty cool in the morning when we first arrived. I pinned my number to my outer fleece, thinking I would run the whole race in that. After about mile 1, I was dying and felt like I wasn't going to make it without a wardrobe change. I stopped off to the side, and with sweaty slippery hands clumsily re-pinned my number on my t-shirt. This probably cost us at least 3-5 minutes.

2) I think, in retrospect, I should try using Grete's Easy Walk Harness instead of her Comfort Trainer Dog Head Collar. The harness rubs her funny behind her legs, but the head collar makes her do an occasional nose-dive trying to get it off. I dunno. It's a tough call though. Grete just needs to learn that running on a leash doesn't mean Warp 11 out in front.

In any event, you can see our iPod time on Runner Plus. I started it at least a minute and a half early, I think. I also didn't shut id down right away since I had to make my way through the endless sea of volunteers with water bottles.

I think my official time was somewhere around 33 minutes. I'm not sure how long it will take to post the official results. More news when I get it.

Finally, a huge thanks to all of you who donated!!
(We might have overslept if it wasn't for you generosity!)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

[Training] Boring mundane training log stuff

"They" say it is good to keep a training log. I'm not so good about doing that, but here's a quick run-down of today's "training."

1:00 - 2:00 @ Dog Park - Grete was pretty social, but I did manage to magically get her running consecutive laps in a semi-figure eight shape. This was exciting because she kept going for 6-10 laps at almost top speed.

2:15 - 7:30 @ Bedroom - Alone with Kong. :(

8:45 - 9:40 @ Basement - Used the whole bowl (1 mug) of food for training! (Go me!) Over half was used for clicker training eye contact and heeling on both sides. (I still need to find a consistent word for heeling on the right side. I waffle between "close" and "other side.") The other half of the bowl was used for training "break" as a more concentrated high-drive release word similar to "go." (I think "OK" is going to get more associated with "all done" and will mean "ok. go be a dog.")

10:00 @ Kitchen - Um. She just ate and drank even more. Guess she was still hungry. Or she's worried about the fact that the cat has taken to eating her food. So much for using all of her kibble for training. :(

Last Chance: Furry 5K

The Furry 5K is tomorrow.

Now is your last chance to donate.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Don't Eat Paste (Agility Class: Day 1)

Last night we had our first agility class. Here's how it played out...

Bored with work and anxious to avoid traffic, I left WAY too early to get to Shoreline. Since yesterday's risotto cakes at lunch weren't holding me over, and since my stomach was rumbling, I decided to get a chocolate shake at the Burger King. I caved in and got some fries with that. After sitting in line for 5+ minutes not moving, I noticed the veggie burger option, backed up, tried to add that to my order, and was told to tell the first window. Ok. More waiting. Then, the woman in the civic in front of me missed the first window. She tried to back up to it, but kept hitting the curb. Finally, she got out of her car to pay. It was a rough night for all of us, I guess. I still had to wait forever at the second window for my veggie burger. (I still can't get over how abysmally slow drive-throughs are in Washington. In comparison, the drive-throughs of South Dakota are run with German clockwork efficiency.)

I pulled into the parking lot of the school with my shake, fries, and veggie burger around 7:10. Class began at 7:50. Ate. Then I took Grete for a walk. She did her business. 7:35. People started to arrive.

Now, here's where we get into the technical communication details. The email from the instructor read like so: "We'll talk about how class actually starts out in the parking lot..."

I, foolishly, thought this meant that we would meet in the parking lot. Thus, since I was with 2 other classmates outside, it never occurred to me that we would be late. By the time we got back to our cars, it was 7:55. I hate being late.

We put our dogs our respective cars, and bring our crates in to find the instructor already inside. DAMN IT. I quickly set up my crate and since everyone else sits down, I sit down, thinking, "I hope we don't leave the dogs in the car long." (I have a black dog and black car and black interior.)

Unfortunately, I think it was 30 minutes later when we finally were allowed to retrieve our dogs. Grete was panting and upset. (Although she's gotten a lot better since being a drool-filled puppy in the car, she still doesn't think it's a great place to be. Especially since I didn't have time to roll down all the windows.)

Great beginning to class, eh?

Then, at the end of class, I put Grete into a stay while I took down her crate. One of the owners ran by with her leash-aggressive dog on leash, and I told Grete "aah no" so that she wouldn't follow and get her face bit. Of course, since this was an all positive class, I got a ding from the instructor for correcting my dog. She suggested that I take Grete out to the car before taking apart my crate in the future. Car time was already a silent sore subject for me, and I tried to take the criticism as best as I could. I finished packing up and we left without being social.


Also, as I was discussing the evening with my office mate, I bemoaned the fact that we've already been through a lot of the basic stuff like how to "charge the clicker" and many of the other topics covered.
Me: I feel like we're stuck in kindergarten
Aaron: You've already learned 'don't eat paste'.
I really hope things go better next week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oh! How Could I Forget?

In my post about team small dog and other good blogs I somehow forgot to mention my other favorite dog blog: Three Woofs And A Woo who recently had a hilarious photo shoot. Good times. Great photos.

6 legs & 2 arms

Caving in to peer pressure, I created a twitter account. Here's my most recent office conversation:

Aaron: Maybe Grete should have her own twitter
Me: But we're pretty much inseparable.
Aaron: That's true. 6 legs and 2 arms.
Me: (thinking) And one twitter to rule them all...

Perhaps this shows the true level of my co-dependence on Grete. :P

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Eureka! (Or why I am enamored with Team Small Dog)

I finally figured out why I am completely "give me back my f'n heroin needles now damn it" addicted to Team Small Dog. It was when she started talking about Derrida, Donna Haraway, and Greg Derrett all in one entry that it hit me. At the possible risk of offending Laura, Team Small Dog is where dog agility meets The Gilmore Girls. Oh how I loved the Gilmore Girls... And now I can simply crib from wikipedia to tell you why I like Team Small Dog.
Gilmore Girls Team Small Dog features intricate, extremely fast-paced dialogue, with frequent popular-culture references and allusions to politics and high culture.
Oh how I love Team Small Dog.

Don't get me wrong. I love other dog blogs. I've been meaning to post an entry about the blogs I've been following, but I haven't made the time. Soon... Soon I will share with you the joy of blogs such as Elite Forces of Fuzzy Destruction and Johann. I promise.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Grandview Dog Park

This past week, one of my co-workers mentioned a dog park that serves the Kent / Des Moines area. Since I was heading to Federal Way to pick up moving boxes, I thought we should go check it out. Turns out it's just up the road from my Aunt and Uncle's house. About 40 acres, Grandview Dog Park is managed by S.O.D.A. (as opposed to C.O.L.A.) - the same folks who manage the Marymoor dog park. It felt much smaller than Marymoor though - perhaps I missed a trail to another area.

Grete loved running through the sea of wet grass, and after she had her fill of sniffing and exploring, we played a little fetch on the flat gravel area.

I don't know if it is because it is the south side or because I just came on a rainy day, but there was quite a bit of abandoned poo, and I ended up stepping in a really nasty pile that was oddly orange inside.

That aside, we had a great time. Definitely worth the stop on the way to and from our Federal Way destination. :-)

Since our designated photographer is on vacation, I brought my camera and did my best to get some action shots. Check out flickr for more photos.