June 30, 2010


old dogs, new dogs... our pack...

i talked about our "pack" in this old blog post. i miss our old dogs, but mostly just feel so lucky to have had them in our lives.  it's all good, and finding the old photos on a roll of film was lovely.  one roll started with a photo of cleo and ended with gilly.  they never met, but they live on the same roll of 35 mm film.  just cool to think about...

June 29, 2010


i can't stop clicking this link.... i think i've had too much coffee and not enough sleep... it makes me giggle...

some pics (from the iphone and the internets...)

pics (top to bottom): smoking baby, my drink of choice, my justin beiber imitation, our back porch, dog painted like a tiger, my goth impression, men.

dog training.... how we went "medieval"...

as i wrote in yesterday's post, dog training (specifically leash training) wasn't going so well.  we seemed to be doing things right... but weren't getting great results.  so we found a dog trainer to come out and help up.

this is a "prong collar":
this is the thing that had us quitting the 1st trainer back when we took gilly to "puppy classes".  we saw the trainer put one of these on a puppy and the poor thing screamed and collapsed to the ground.  i actually cried when i saw it happen!  it looks like a medieval torture device and no way was i going to put one on gilly!

so we tried every collar & harness available.  (see my last dog training  post.)  we practiced "positive reinforcement" and got gilly as much exercise as possible.  things didn't get better.  in fact, they started to get worse.  enter the prong collar....
everything i've read says that the prong collar should not be used on puppies, nervous or shy dogs, and that to use one required proper fitting and placement.  our new dog trainer spent 2 hours with us on sunday, fitting BOTH dogs for prong collars, explaining how they work, etc... 

the prongs only pinch the dog on the back of the neck. it's a quick pinch and then it releases.  there is no pressure on the front of the neck, so gilly isn't able to choke herself while she drags us around like on the other collars.  i tried the collar on my own neck and it doesn't hurt.  it's more like a poke.  it's supposed to replicate the mother dog "correcting" her pups by grabbing the back of the neck.

our trainer also pointed something out that we'd been missing:  griffin needs most of the training.  gilly is eager to please and just needs to release her puppy energy (a treadmill is in the works!)  we've always just assumed griffin was an old dog who couldn't learn new tricks.  after all, when i got him in 2004 he had been rescued and suffer all sort of unknown abuse, starvation etc... before i got him.

our trainer told us to stop seeing griffin as some sad old abused dog.  that griffin is a healthy, happy dog who has lived in a good home for over 6 years.  he has a few years left in him and he is totally capable of learning to behave.

so what was supposed to be an hour of "gilly training" ended up being close to 2 hours with the focus on griffin.  gilly say by quietly (a little angel) watching griffin get "handled".  griff bit the trainer more then once and was put in a submissive hold for a few minutes until he calmed down.  it was....surreal...

we learned a lot in those 2 hours.  it really was the dog trainer teaching us how to handle the dogs, and showing us a completely different way to see things.  so now we're training gilly AND griffin!  and it feels right.

we're working on getting them to both walk without pulling on the leash, and stopping gilly from jumping up on people.  it takes patience and we make mistakes. we have a lot of work ahead of us.  but we have 2 amazing dogs that we love so much.

next up: finding a small, folding treadmill.  the trainer is going to teach gilly to run on a treadmill!

June 28, 2010

this is how we play "fetch"!

i think i was wrong....

a while back i posted about dog training and how the caesar millan was overrated, and how evil "prong collars" were.  since this post we've tried every "gentle" dog collar & harness on the market.  really.

back clasping harness
sporn mesh harness
front buckle harness
gentle lead head halter
martingale collar

we've worked with 2 different trainers.  we've tried using the clicker and treats to get gilly to walk on the leash.  nothing works.  as soon as we get to the park, she's dragging us around full speed, sometimes choking herself in the process.

she's a smart girl, and a good girl!  she's not shy or timid, and loves people & other dogs.  it just seems like she gets over-excited and then she 100% tunes us out.

so we're going with a "dog whisperer" type trainer who i trust enough to show us how to use a prong collar.  not to punish gilly or hurt her, but to help us teach her how to be safe.  i want to be able to take her to a park and know she's not going to damage her throat or jump on some small kid and scratch them up.  i want to be able to have friends & family over without her scratching them to shreds.

we're also going to try and teach her how to walk on a treadmill!  we walk her every day, and play, go for rides, etc...and she's still full of energy when we go to bed. 

caesar millan says:  "exercise, discipline and affection—in that order" and that makes so much sense... 

and really, it's me that needs trained, not gilly.

June 23, 2010

bloody mary!!!

i am completely obsessed with tomato juice.  i used to hate it!  then i woke up one day (on vacation in nashville) and thought, "i'd like to try some bloody mary mix on the plane ride home."  weird.

i love the spicy stuff.  a good bloody mary needs to be ice cold, with some ground pepper, tons of ice, and green olives instead of celery.  and only a splash of a top shelf vodka.

a "virgin" bloody mary is my new favorite lunch.  i like to call it that instead of saying,  "i'm having tomato juice."

the next step is probably clamato... i think i owe someone an apology!

here's my old hit song...

June 16, 2010

another dog video..... and a good song

please excuse the messy bedroom!

June 14, 2010

dog people

we've become one of "those couples"   the ones who not only talk about their dogs incessantly, but who bring them to the park, the beach, etc... our car windows are covered in nose marks & slobber.  we plan weekends around where and when we can take the dogs for a ride.  we go on vacation and end up calling home to check in on the dogs.  i find myself at petco more then twice a week.  always looking for some new toy or fancy collar.  i'm a dog junky!

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.  ~Roger Caras

but look at the pic of griffin above.  that is a look of pure joy & excitement.  he LOVES going in the car!  and gilly, she's all tongue.  that's a sign of a tired out dog, which means a quiet night at home.  i'm getting more exercise then i have in years thanks to her.

there are night's when we're too tired to pile into the car and go to some park.  we go for walks around the barn, trying to catch glimpses of the baby hedgehog or little spotted fawns.  until one of the dogs starts barking and the little critters run off.

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.  ~Samuel Butler, Notebooks

my dogs are not my children, or "children replacements".  they are dogs.  i never wanted to have kids, so i have no desire to pretend my dog is a child.  no, they're just dogs...

A dog is not "almost human" and I know of no greater insult to the canine race than to describe it as such.  ~John Holmes

oh, the possibilities....

 i love looking at paint samples.  i could spend hours going over the different variations of greens, finding the perfect mossy tone i envision for the bedroom, or the pearly pink that i think will look great in the bathroom.

i haven't painted in years.  it used to be the first thing i did, when i moved into some new apartment (and there where many in those years between college and marriage...)  once i painted my bedroom sky blue with white clouds.  actually, rachel & i got the colors mixed up and ended with blue clouds and a white background.  

i painted a room at my mom's dark red with a black border.  i've tried ever version of pink imaginable, and more then once ended up feeling like i was living in a pepto bismal bottle.

then i met my husband.  his house felt like home, and the white walls seemed.... just fine.  i've been in that house for 3 years, 9 months and 2 days.  and the walls are still white.  we've talked about painting the bathroom pink, but it just seems like there's more important things to do first.  like home repairs, celebrating anniversaries (our 2 year wedding anniversary is coming up this week),entertaining friends, chasing around dogs, etc...

i think i'll get that bathroom painted sometime before we turn 50.  in the meantime i'll keep collecting those little paint color sample cards, thinking of the possibilities...

June 9, 2010

we're gonna live in the trees

youtube favorites...

weird indie movie:

funny gay marriage video:

strange music video:
sad indie rock:

June 8, 2010

iphone pics...

the ugliest purse i've ever seen

 griffin at the vet, under the table...

green tea frappaciano (sp?).  yum! 

 gilly and me....

crabby husband at the mall in front of ironically named store...


these are pics that i've been meaning to upload.  i don't have time to put captions for them all.  some are bad album covers, bad movie posters, bad internet ads.  "the killer inside me" looks like a decent movie, and i think courtney love looks great these days.  besides those things, everything else on here is BAD... especially the album cover of the unicorn orgy.  i think one of the unicorns is vomiting a rainbow!  also, i want to adopt a baby giraffe.

June 5, 2010

my latest home movies...

the saddest game of fetch.... (audio from grey gardens):

gilly likes her teeth.... (music by tom waits):

trash humpers..

the latest film by harmony korine:  
this looks the like perfect sunday family dinner movie!

here's a music video he directed for bonnie prince billy: