Archive for May 2012

prettified   1 comment

Thank you, Allbreed Mobile Grooming! Miss D got her hair cut today. Doesn’t she look pretty? And she smells good, too. Yeah, that’ll last.

Miss D and I are both happy with her summer cut. She’s cooler and can see better without those long eyebrows. I don’t have to detangle as often and the tick search will be easier. Gratuitous cuteness:

Posted May 29, 2012 by iloveschnauzers in A day in the life, Schnauzers

Scary Dogs in the Neighborhood!   3 comments

So I’m home from work, pulling into my driveway and notice Neighbor A’s two dogs are loose. I get out of the car and Neighbor B across the street starts yelling to me that the dogs are loose. So, being a good neighbor, I start walking toward the dogs, thinking I’ll just herd them back into their own yard and try to get the owner’s attention. That’s when the one dog starts running toward me, head done, teeth bared. Neighbor B starts yelling to me again saying, “He’ll bite you! He’ll bite you!”

Great. Now you tell me. Two dogs circling me, I’m still in my work clothes (a.k.a. high heeled shoes ready to trip me up and bare legs ready for the biting), and now I am also screaming at the top of my voice. “BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP!”, I scream, not backing down nor running away. Well, it worked. This is the second time I’ve found myself confronting a scary dog and being saved by this technique. They kept circling but never came close to me. At least, they didn’t by the time the owner opened her garage door and yelled for them to come to her. I don’t know if they’d eventually lose interest, run away from me, or decide I’m all talk and rush me anyway.

At least this time Miss D was not with me. Not sure I’d have been able to control that situation! What do you do when confronted by a scary dog? And did it work?

Posted May 25, 2012 by iloveschnauzers in A day in the life

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Grooming Session   Leave a comment

Today’s WTF moment provided by … stickers. Those tiny, little seed pods that stick to the skin or, in this case, fur. sigh how I hate those sticky pods.

There’s a section of my yard, in the very far corner among the pine trees, that is covered with those sticky little weeds. For reasons beyond my comprehension, Miss D loves to go down there to “post her messages.” Usually it means an unpleasant grooming session where I pick all those little sticky seed pods off her legs and out from between her toes. Neither of us look forward to those grooming sessions and yet she has not yet connected them in her mind with those weeds.

But today, oh today! SHE ROLLED IN THEM!

WTF, MIss D? She’s covered in those sticky pods! I counted 30 on her back alone. They’re in her ears, on her belly, even her tiny little stump of a tail! I know what I’m doing the rest of the evening, how about you?

Checkers   4 comments

Miss D is curled up and sleeping and as I watch I am reminded of the differences and the similarities between her and my precious Checkers. Like Miss D, Checkers was a miniature schnauzer and had the large personality for which the breed is known. Independent, playful, and intelligent, Checkers also was difficult to train. But she had some unique tricks of her own; like rolling down the car windows when she wanted to feel the wind in her face or the way she walked along the back of the sofa like a cat to reach her favorite sleeping place.

Checkers also had medical issues. I adopted her through rescue when she was 6 years old. She had a heart murmur and due to a car accident when she was younger, she had no back right hip joint. The femoral head had been removed. Like Miss D, that didn’t stop her. She was very active. Checkers and I would walk 3 miles every day, 5 miles on the weekend.

Checkers loved people. She was an excellent rescue ambassador, gently approaching children and adults alike, indiscriminately giving out kisses and glad to take a treat out of the littlest hands. Miss D also loves people, but it takes time to gain her trust. Both dogs were slow to trust me, but once accepted, the bonds are strong.

I had 7 wonderful years with Checkers before she passed away at the ripe old age of 13. She was spunky, playful, and silly right to the end. She was an angel on earth sent to remind us of what it means to love unconditionally and without judgment.

Posted May 22, 2012 by iloveschnauzers in Schnauzers

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Pink Siesta Completed!   1 comment

OK, this post has nothing to do with Miss D or schnauzers, but it’s my blog and I can post whatever I want :p

Very excited because I’ve finally finished my Pink Siesta top. Doesn’t that sound like a great drink? Like maybe a pink grapefruit margarita? It’s off my needles and blocked, just waiting to dry.

Pink Siesta blocked and drying

This top was knit with Unplanned Peacock Studio‘s bamboo yarn in Magenta. I bought the yarn last year at Carolina Fiber Fest. I love the finished result and cannot wait to wear it. I bought this yarn originally for a cute twinset, but after I finished the sweater portion, I realized that while cute, the twinset is not flattering to my figure. 😦 So I frogged it and found a short-sleeved top with a more flattering drape. This is my first top-down project and I can see why top-down knitting is so popular. I don’t sew, so the fewer seams I have to finish at the end of a project, the better!

I still have many WIPs on my needles, including three pairs of socks, a warm winter shrug, a light lacy shawl, and a gift project not-to-be-named. Then I’ve got two shawl projects upcoming: the Nefarious Web knit-along which starts next week and another  mystery knit-a-long which starts in July. Woof! I was planning my next project (should I do that winter cardigan or the summer/fall t-shirt?) but now that I write it all down, I guess maybe I won’t be starting anything new for a while. Plenty WIPs to complete first.

Posted May 21, 2012 by iloveschnauzers in Fiber Arts

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Suntanning, Deita-style   6 comments

Miss D spent at least 5 whole minutes chasing the neighbor’s dog, Ruby, back and forth along the fence-line. Back and forth and back and forth… and back… and forth. Forth is a weird word. Forth. Forth. Anyway… She. Is. Exhausted. So Miss D decided to stretch out on the warm cement and do a little tanning. This is her favorite spot and her favorite position.

 

 

Neighbor John and I talked a bit while Ruby ran Miss D to exhaustion. Ruby is a young, mixed breed hound with boundless energy. John mentioned that she’d already run 5 miles this morning. Though I believe he said it like “She’s only run 5 miles so far this morning.” So far? Dude. Miss D and I walk, at most, 1 mile a day. That’s about as much as she can handle. Let’s face it. That’s about as far as I want to take her too.

Walking with Miss D is mentally exhausting. When out and about, she’s anxiety personified. New things tend to freak her out so she spends a lot of the time barking and snarling. But a barking, snarling dog looks pretty darn scary, no matter the reason. I wouldn’t want to approach her either. Which is why she does it, right? So I spend a lot of time training and on manipulating our walk so she can encounter things on her own terms and leave again as successfully as possible.  Behavior Modification Training, I believe is what our trainer calls it.

Success to me means no lunging; no snarling; excited curiosity is ok, but calm curiosity is better; obsession is never ok. Obsession leads to loss of focus and can escalate quickly into wild, manic behavior. She has been known to jump, twist, and spin until she’s halfway freed herself from her walking harness. Obviously, wild and manic behavior should be avoided. I should be able to get her attention and move her along quickly. Sometimes that means we cross the street before encountering another dog. Miss D is better able to stay focused and calm with a little distance. Calm focus is the ultimate goal.  It’s exhausting for both of us.

Honestly though, the barking and snarling is all bluff. Her biggest move is to go for your toes. If you think about it, that’s the best move for an insecure dog. What’s the first response when a dog goes for your toes? You step back or lift them out of the way, right? She wins the encounter. The big, scary human backed down with minimum effort. But if you stand your ground, she’ll back up and back down. If you overlook the scary exterior and slowly, gently approach so she can get a good sniff, she’ll calm down. Eventually. Of course, try to explain that to the two-year old who bursts into tears at the sight of the scary exterior!

But for now, there’s no crying, no barking, no snarling. Just the warm, morning sun and Miss D, stretched out and snoring away.

Posted May 19, 2012 by iloveschnauzers in A day in the life, Schnauzers

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that strange little man   Leave a comment

Today’s WTF moment provided by … that strange little man.

Deita (Miss D to her friends), is learning how to not act like a lunatic on leash. If she employs one of many “calming behaviors” when something exciting passes (like a jogger, cyclist, another dog) then she gets a treat. Miss D will do anything for food, so needless to say she caught on quickly.

But the other night, she sat down and calmly waited for the fire hydrant to pass by. Seriously. Refused to move and got increasingly more excited the longer the fire hydrant stuck around. By the end she was straining at her leash, barking her head off, trying to show “that strange little man” how ferocious she is. … not the brightest bulb

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