Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm Going Home!

No, silly, I'm not going back to Cleveland. That would just be weird. But the good news is that I finally found my forever family!

Maybe I should have said something earlier, but I didn't want to jinx it. See, BADRAP has a pretty thorough adoption process so my new family had to jump through many, many hoops. First, they had to fill out the application, do an interview, and then meet me to see if I was really the one for them. Then, both my new parents had to take me through class, each of them learning to handle me. I must admit, class is probably my weakest element because I get so excited seeing the other dogs, but they miraculously still wanted me! After that, they had to go through a homecheck which ensures that their home is set up and suitable for a dog like me.

In the meantime, they were also coming to visit me almost every single day. They would spend time with Ana and me and learned all about my little quirks and how to communicate with me best. Their visits were the highlight of my day, and I can hardly believe that I get to go home with them really, really soon.

But before I left, we went on one last vacation to Stinson Beach. The trip was with a whole bunch of other dogs, most of whom I'd met but never played with before, and we got the chance to hang out together on a beach romp.

We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.

I really got to cut loose. Even Elliot, who is a *really* fast dog, could barely keep up with me.

I even went wading in the ocean

It was a pretty awesome last vacation with Ana, but I know I'm going to an even better place for life. Did you know that my new parents are martial arts instructors and I'm going to be surrounded by kids? Yeah, it's pretty much the dream life for an active, social dog like me. The best part is that they're just as excited to have me join their lives as I am to have a forever home. Just look at the sweet note they put up to introduce me to their students.

Yep, I have a feeling that I'm about to be one spoiled doggie! Promise to keep you guys updated with my new life, once I get settled.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Love Cats!

It used to be that I liked to chase cats. Don't get me wrong, still do, but I'm also learning to appreciate cats in a different way. The biggest help has been going slow and having a dog-social cat.

For instance, when I first started staying with Ana, I really wanted to chase Pirate. I would stare at her and whine, but Ana would distract me and she made sure to keep us separate and safe. If Pirate was out, I would be in a crate where I couldn't see (so as not to stare), but I could smell her. If I was out, then Pirate would be in a crate right next to me. I could sniff her but wasn't allowed to fixate. Over the course of a few weeks, her presence became very normal to me and we began spending supervised time together.

Nowadays it's like we're old friends. I've proven myself trustworthy so Ana lets me sleep on the couch overnight and guess who my cuddle buddy is? That's right, it's Pirate!

It helps that Pirate is a very tolerant cat and barely flinches if I play bow to her. She tolerates all sorts of rude behavior from me and isn't afraid to give me a stern reminder if I cross a line. That said, Ana also takes it upon herself to moderate our interactions so Pirate never feels threatened. It's worked, and now we're pretty tight pals. "My" cat has gotten so boring, in fact, that now I'd rather play with her brush over her like in this video (and notice how gentle I am around her now... hard to tell in a phone video but you get the picture).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lights, camera... action!

They've been working on a new catalog at Paco Collars but were short a good shot of a certain collar. Fortunately, I was there to the rescue... don't I make a perfect model?

Friday, September 2, 2011

I swam!

I know everyone is supposed to go on vacation this weekend, but we jumped the gun and went camping last weekend at Ana's favorite spot in the desert. It was really hot, like almost 100 degrees. It was so hot that I, yes, broke down and swam!

It was kind of an accident, I was just following Ana into the water and seeing what Booker (another dog) was so interested in (a ball) but I did it! Afterward I was so tired, even though I was only swimming for a few seconds at a time. I'm not scared to go into the water, but taking that final step into the abyss is pretty mentally draining so I was tuckered out even though I only did that a few times. If you know me, it's hard to slow me down so that was quite a feat!

Here I am catching some rays after the experience. Ahhh, now that was a vacation!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The coldest winter I ever spent...

... was a summer in San Francisco. Or so the saying goes.

Thankfully someone sent Xdog a coat that was a wee too large and guess who it fits perfectly?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Leashing Up Dance

Every day we have the same routine. We wake up, Ana drinks coffee, and then we go running. Since it's the same every day, I know what to do: go sit on my bed and wait for the leash. If you know me you know that's it's hard for me to sit still when I'm excited, but I do better and better every day. In fact, now it's even cute when I do my bouncing because I only do it for a second then go right back to what I'm supposed to do. It's just so hard not to celebrate life!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gas Station Buddies

I'm kind of like an amplifier when I meet strange dogs. What I mean is, if a new dog walks up and has naughty intentions, I get really excited and focused on that dog and I will refuse to look away or calm down. I take that dog's energy, multiply it, and give it right back (and end up looking like the naughty dog).

However, if a dog is calm and has good intentions, I still get a little excited (because it's me we're talking about) but I can turn away. The calmer the other dog, the faster I lose interest and turn away. This is how Ana can tell if it's safe for me to meet another dog or not. I don't get to meet new dogs until I don't care anymore, and then it's easy for me to be polite.

The other day we were driving through Alpine, Texas. We stopped to get gas and I hopped out to take a potty break. Stealth-like, this cattle dog came up behind us. He was really handsome and right away we sniffed and then I went back to my business. He was very polite, gave us our space, and waited for me to get back. Since he was being such a gentleman, Ana let me have a nice long, loose leash to say "hi" and so we could get to know each other.

Notice how our bodies are slightly curved and relaxed? We're also sniffing the sides of our faces instead of nose-to-nose and staring each other directly in the eyes.

Then I showed him my good side in a real flirty fashion, inviting him into my space and hoping he'd follow me. He was interested, but too polite to take advantage of a little lady like me...

... so I had to be more obvious. Once again, notice how I'm not going straight up to him in his face, that would be rude. I'm making that arc again, which is how dogs are supposed to do it.

Finally, it worked! See how our mouths and bodies are still very relaxed. We played like this for a while and made everyone at the gas station smile.

But this was just a pit stop and eventually we had to head off again. We said goodbye and he watched us leave, though I was already looking at the road ahead and never once behind us... that's how cool a dog he was.