Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SF Pride 2011

This year I marched in the Pride Parade with the BAD RAP contingency, which included a ton of dogs and their people in costume. We dressed up, too. Ana was a coboy, temp-pops was a rodeo clown, and I was the horse (complete with home-made leather saddle).

The folks at BAD RAP are super talented and put together a fun video of the day, see how many times you can count me!

BADRAP @ SF Pride June 2011 from BADRAP.org on Vimeo.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Peaceable Kingdom

Wanna see something cool? Check this out...

It may not seem like much but, for me, this is a huge step. You see, I never learned to be social with other dogs when I was younger. At least, that's what Ana and everyone else tells me. I get really excited when I meet new dogs, so excited that I can't "hear" when they tell me that they need their space, so I tend to make them grumpy. I can't help it, I just get so excited and I wanna play now now now and ohmigod lets go have a party now weeeeeeee!!!

But other dogs don't like that. Especially Xdog. She's an extra grumpy kind of dog. She has a very large personal space and does not appreciate fast movements or in-your-face greetings, both of which are my token moves. So how is that we are getting along? It's because we went really slow.

For the first two weeks or so, we didn't spend any time touching at all. Either I was in the crate, or Xdog was in the crate while I was on the tie-down. It was that way at home, in the car, and at work. We were together a lot, but never directly interacting. Slowly, around the third week, we started doing some supervised fun stuff together, like walking to the car, or sitting for treats together. I was always on leash, but when the day came and Ana noticed that I so didn't much as raise an eyebrow when Xdog ran right under my chin, she let the leash drop and started letting us hang out in the same vicinity while supervised.

It's been a couple weeks and we're not exactly the best of friends, but we're roommates that actually like each other. A lot of my social issues stem from things being too exciting, but when you see and smell the same dog every day for weeks on end (which is practically an eternity in dog years), then things become boring, and boring in multi-dog households is a good thing.

Wanna see something else that's cool?

Hard to see, but there's a cat in that planter above my head. It may surprise you to hear this, but I like chasing cats. I can smell them from half a block away I can tell you where they've been, and when I see one... watch out, I'm after it! But Ana knew this about me from the beginning and did the same thing with Pirate that she did with me and Xdog: crate and rotate. Fortunately Pirate is a very well socialized cat and didn't mind being in the crate, even my crate sometimes! She also is not scared of dogs so she doesn't run.

Eventually, Ana let me sniff her up close.

I realized i already knew that smell very well, I'd been living with it for weeks. It was not so exciting any more so I could turn my attention away.

Ana says she still will never trust me 100% not to chase the cat, but I am learning to tell the difference between this cat and other cats. For instance, the other day as we were leashed up leaving for work I saw Pirate jump up on the fence in my peripheral vision. My body reacted, I whipped my head around and I went into "CAT!" mode. But then I realized it was just Pirate and just as quickly as I switched on, I switched off again and said, "Oh never mind. Let's go to work now!"

Small steps, but we're working toward a peaceable kingdom.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Job

In case you didn't know, I have a job. Pretty much every day I go to Paco Collars and it's my job to meet new people and get socialized. That's an easy job for me because I love people and I love being right in the mix of things. At first everything was really exciting and I would get very distracted, but now I understand the routine, I know to sit when dogs come in, I know that if I'm calm then people will come say hi and give me treats, and I get to help with the teaching.

This was me yesterday during the long-line class Ana was teaching. I learned that if I stood on this chest under the table then I would be equally close to everyone, and I liked that.

They say that I do such a good job at my job that they are honoring me with my own window. The colors are not exactly like me, but the head tilt is 100% Ayse.

If you're ever in the neighborhood, you should come by and say "hi"!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Namesake

My name is very unusual but it has great meaning. I was named in honor of one of the shelter workers where I came from. In fact, it's the woman at the end of this video who is showing off another lucky dog, Bubuko:


(in case you can't see the video, here is the direct link)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Best Vacation Ever

This weekend was temp-pops' (that's what I call my foster dad, my "temporary pop") birthday so they decided to escape the city and take me along. We went to a place in Nevada called Pyramid Lake where there are no other dogs and no other people (it's true! Only on our second day did one solitary Jeep drive near our campsite).

Anyhow, Ana told me it would be a great place to give me a relative amount of freedom and see what I'd do with it. There's not much to get into (except the occasional dead pelican) and, since it's a flat desert, not many places to hide. even so, she made me wear a long-line because she said a) I still don't have a reliable re-call and b) I'm a foster dog, not her property, and you have to take extra precautions with things that don't belong to you.

At first I did so much sniffing... there was so much new stuff I'd never seen before! I probably had my nose glued to the ground for half an hour straight when we first got there.
pyramid lake

At first I stayed very close, and every time I came back to check on Ana and temp-pops I would get a special treat.
pyramid lake
I don't normally get junk food but Ana said that when a dog does something really special, like pull themselves away from all the new stuff to check on the boring people, then they deserve something equally special in return, something they wouldn't get on any other occasion. It worked, I quickly learned to stick close.

Later, we went on a walk. I ran and ran and ran!
pyramid lake

Ana said it wasn't normally this overcast, but I was still blinded by the light.
pyramid lake

Look at me go!
pyramid lake

At first they would tether me up to the truck when they didn't want to keep an eye on me, but I eventually figured out how to relax on my own bed. I know this blanket from home, it normally covers my kennel, so it was easy to figure out that this is where I should rest.
pyramid lake

I was fascinated by the campfire but also scared of it. I learned it wouldn't hurt me but I still kept my distance. I also learned that if you hung around long enough, then someone would give you a campfire cooked corn cob to munch on. That was a delicious lesson.
pyramid lake

Oh, hi!
pyramid lake

This is my good side
pyramid lake

When it got cold I wore a jacket. I know I was making fun of all these Californians and their idea of "cold," but man does it get chilly out in the desert. I was glad to have my jacket, and all night I cuddled under the blankets with Ana and temp-pops.
pyramid lake

It rained all night with the same rain that cancelled pit ed class on Saturday, but the next morning the storm had passed and the sun was out. I even had to wear sunscreen on my pink nose.
pyramid lake

I learned to watch the water birds from afar, and that it takes too much energy to try and get them.
pyramid lake

Relaxing is hard work!
pyramid lake

It was pretty much the best vacation a dog could ever ask for, and when I came home I got the best news I could ever imagine. It's almost good enough to make me want to go back to Cleveland, but I think I'll stick around this place.