My Chosen Sport

People love doing sports with their dogs. Love them. Be it for conformation, agility, shutzhund, or flyball, it’s a great experience for the dogs and owners as it builds their relationship and trust with one another. I feel that every dog should be apart of a sport in order to stimulate their minds and body (I know, complete cliché for any dog enthusiast to say). The best part? You’re dog doesn’t even need to be papered or a purebred (of course this may change is you choose to partake in the event competitively. It depends on the guidelines of the association organizing the event).

I’ve never personally done a sport with any of my dogs. I’ve had an aussie, a cur mix, a rottie mix, and a husky mix, and I never did any sports with them – shame on me- but now that Elsa, my Shepherd mutt, has reached a year and a half, I’ve decided to choose a sport for her.

Now, we should know that I’m pretty determined to live somewhere in Alaska, Maine, or even Canada, and those places are known for what? Not just igloos, lobsters, and “ey”, but also for their notorious winter climates. I love cold weather, and someday when I build my tiny house and start living a self sustainable life, I want to take up cross country skiing. Who best to do this with than Elsa?

So I’ve decided to begin training her for Canicross, where we can both build up our endurance, and then eventually get involved in Skijoring. Needless to say I am pretty excited for it. I’ve been watching some great videos concerning it, and have started working with Elsa. I can assure you all that I will be posting updates (maybe even videos!) Stay tuned!

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Making a Date With 2016

When you go on a date, you want to look nice, right? Not just physically, mind you, but also mentally. Well, my date is with 2016. I have never made a real resolutions list, but this year is my year. My first year on my own as a working class citizen, I have decided to join the folds every one else has taken residence in and create my first ever list! Granted it’s not much of a list, but that’s why it’s a trifecta, not a billionfecta.

Three little things mark my list this year, two of them dog related, the other still dog related. Here they are.

1.) I’m going to help Elsa graduate an obedience class. I’ve already started working on this and she’s doing well. A lot of it has been me refreshing my memory after a few years of not training a dog, but I think I got it.

2.) Start training Elsa the commands usually associated with mushing. I plan on moving back to Alaska in a year or two, and I want to start learning to cross country ski (I learned for a day, so I can’t be that bad) so I can begin skijoring with her, but before then, once she and I are proficient in the commands, I’ll have to settle for rollerblades in the busy land of Long Beach.

3.) Last but not least, I got to start getting into shape for these activities. Jogging with Elsa? Perfect opportunity to work out and practice her obedience. Maybe even help get out there and meet some more dog-friendly joggers in the area. Either way, alone or in a group, I’ll get into good enough shape to be ready to skijor with the goat.

I’m pumped for the New Year, and can’t wait for it to get started with me buying the materials needed for running, getting a job to get Elsa into classes, and saving up to start a fulfilling life in the A to the K. Stay tuned to see if I actually live up to this list.

Training Journal #1: Elsa

Today is the first day of obedience training with Elsa, and it’s going to become a routine. This all began when my friend, a dog trainer and vet tech, invited me to join her obedience classes with Elsa once I get a license, and as someone who is interested in becoming a dog trainer, I leapt at the opportunity, because there is the possibility of gaining apprenticeship under this trainer (we’ll start calling her M). While it’s not guaranteed, it’s always good to remain optimistic (my natural pessimistic state is cringing right now).

Therefore, in order to impress her and the other students, I have begun to diligently start doing short sessions with Elsa. Since I understand the basics to obedience training and have researched CGC requirements, as well as figured out what method works best for Elsa and is used in the class, I’ve begun a nice positive reinforcement training class of my own at home.

For our first few sessions we are going to keep in simple and clean, like an expensive plate at an expensive restaurant. So, we’ve been working on “sit”, “down”, and “stay”. The “stay” is a “down stay”. It went fairly well, there were moments in the “stay” that she broke it, but that mostly from me testing her boundary. I’m excited about working with her, and it’s been awhile since I’ve been genuinely pumped to train and make it fun, instead of just treating the whole process like a droning pamphlet.

I’m looking forward to discussing more about Elsa’s progress!

Sushi’s Episode

My cat, Sushi, had a major episode and we are not positive what happened. For a week she’s been recuperating from stray cat life in the peace of my room. Well, about three days ago she completely went downhill.

Like usual, I fed her serving and left her for an hour to do my various morning chores. She was normal. When I came to check on her she was sprawled out, panting, drooling, and just meowing like crazy. She had no control of her bladder and bowels and there was vomit all over. I immediately was concerned, especially when I saw her rapid, shallow breathing. When I brought her out to look over her more thoroughly, she was completely unresponsive to me, just meowing and panting.

Wrapped in a towel, I was certain she was near death just because of how bad of condition she was in. I had no way of getting her to vet, so I sat there waiting for my family to come home so we can proceed. About twenty minutes into the ordeal, she began to seize.

Now, I’m a groomer and we learned about learned about how to handle seizing animals, but I’m also a NEW groomer, who has lived with healthy, average animals, so when Sushi began to convulse I was panicked and could only hold her through it. When it did stop she began moaning and eventually she was just a rag in my arms.

About 45 minutes into the scene, she began to try and get away from me, and her being a sick, underweight cat, I put her in the crate as that was the safest place for her. As I sat there, giving her peace, I began to remember being told that cats prefer to go off and die away from others, so, I left the room, thinking (I don’t know why my mind was processing like this, but new cat owner, what can you do?) maybe she’ll pass peacefully and unstressed if I wasn’t there. About twenty minutes passed and she was seemingly normal. A bit wobbly but she was responsive again and was welcoming pets.

So now, three days later she’s normal. She even got up and walked around my room a bit and she’s back to the demanding little bug she is.

There are a few possibilities as to what happened, but at this time I can only guess what is the true cause, and maybe it was just some bad luck.

I could’ve submitted her to the Refeeding Syndrome.

It a might be a result of her feline herpes, and that’s being worked on currently and hopefully it will go into remission.

It might just be neurological.

At this point I’m not going to delve too far into “What happened?” as she is doing fine now and is starting to get spunky and curious. But that was my first experience with seizures and it was definitely a growing experience.

First Post!

Obviously the blog isn’t completely set up yet, as I am still trying to get the hang of how WordPress works (it’s a bit fancier than Weebly). However, I will still be posting. I don’t have any specific days that I’ll be making a post but as Charlie said, “Let me be surprised”. As a little introduction to this blog, I thought that it’d be a good idea to introduce the writer and the animals inspiring a lot of what will be written.

I have two dogs, a twelve year old Australian Shepherd named 2soc, and an 1 year old mutt named Elsa. Along with that, I have recently rescued a stray cat who is now named Sushi. Since about September of this year I have been grooming dogs and have developed a passion for it as I have for performing arts. I volunteer at a community theatre and plan to take college classes this coming summer for theatre, animal science, and animal husbandry. Eventually I hope to begin training dogs and get involved in conformation showing.

I am looking forward to writing more and sharing my experiences with anyone who may follow!