Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Abbey has decided that she would like to go green with the rest of the family and start recycling the extra water bottles that we sometimes have in the house. Well, Abbey, looks like you are off to a grrreat start ;-).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Your Bed Not Mine

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the morning cleaning and organizing my room. Among one of the things I did was strip my bed down to its bare bones and add new bedding. For a very long time I never had a problem with dogs in the bed, but since my dog sheds and it was getting into my linens, I decided to go with a new approach. My bed is my bed and your bed is your bed. So I put some pillows and blankets together and made a makeshift dog bed. Last night I reinforced sleeping in the "dog bed" to Abbey. Now, for most people this may actually take a couple weeks to retrain...not me. On night #1 (which was last night) Abbey slept in her bed the entire time not even thinking once to come into bed with me. I woke up and praised her for sleeping in her bed and this morning built a high value to her bed as she sometimes wants to jump into mine. When I leave the house, so as not to encourage self-reinforcing or rewarding, I close the room door. The dogs sleep on the couches while I am gone as I don't mind them on the furniture in our living area (plus it's leather, it can easily be wiped down). I have resorted also to FURminating Abbey every day to reduce the shedding hair that's in the house.

I am trying to start better, "cleaner", habits with my dogs since I was diagnosed allergic last year. There's no way that I want to go through the agony that was giving up a dog again. So even if it means extra vaccuming, grooming, and the purchase of an air dogs are staying with me. NO EXCEPTIONS. My first major step was getting them out of my bed and into their own. Abbey seems quite comfortable though a little confused, but I'm sure after a few more weeks of reinforcing the behaviour she will be totally fine with not having access to my bed. She still has plenty of added liberties around the house that she can indulge in.

Really quick note: ABBEY CAN NOW DO A HANDSTAND WITHOUT THE AID OF A BOARD. She still resorts to the board of course from time to time for help/reassurance, but I don't find that to be a problem.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What's been Up?!

Abbey and I had to stop biking for the time being because it was just WAY too darn hot to do any type of exertion out doors. This totally trumps my idea to get her in shape before trial season hits. Well, until we went swimming at my friend's of course. That was a lot of fun and I'm considering doing dock diving next year over the summer. That way Abbey stays in good shape year round and keeps cool!! I am very excited about getting into it and I think Abbey is too. She has become extremely consistent with jumping off the edge of the pool and I no longer need to coax her. We will begin biking again once winter rolls along. We may not be participating in very many trials this year as I have lost my job and don't know when I'll be receiving another form of income just yet.

All in all, Abbey is doing really wonderful and continues to blow my mind. She has been doing really well with her drumming, has ALMOST learned to cross her paws and knows how to do some fancy leg exercises to keep those muscles strong.

WARNING, WARNING: we have a tick infestation and I need to call the exterminator ASAP. Not only that I need to call the pet friendly exterminator at Flea Busters. Who am I calling? FLEA BUSTERS (also kills ticks and mosquitos). Seriously, as if enough things weren't wrong with the world. The intense heat that leaves you cooped up inside all day unless you feel like frying your breakfast on the pavement...and now TICKS. These bloodsucking offenders get on my last nerve. After every soak, dip, spray, and preventative imaginable I have just thrown in the towel, people. These little devils just WON'T die!

So now that you are updated on our misfortunes and shortcomings, I ask you wish us luck. I will post pictures when all is well and right in our universe.

Until next time,
The All American Team