Friday, August 23, 2013

Prepping for school

Summer classes just ended and I am once again prepping for classes to begin again... I decided this semester to order all of my supplies from Staples and have them shipped to the house to avoid spending gas money to take a trip to civilization. And while they were not efficient with their shipments (One notebook in a box is ridiculous when they break up your order into three boxes...) I was nice to not have to drive to Staples and find what I needed. Plus who doesn't love opening boxes! They may be school supplies but it always feels a little like Christmas when I open a box! And who doesn't need a little extra excitement for the start of a new semester? I know I do, and maybe I'm crazy but I really like starting off fresh with new notebooks an maybe a new pen. I think it's just the idea of getting to start fresh for another semester's worth of learning.

Starting Monday I will begin taking Organic Chemistry I, Cell Biology, and Physics II all with their corresponding labs. And then at some point this semester I need to start studying for the TEAS test (nursing program entrance exam) and start volunteering at one of the hospitals in the area. I have mixed feelings about volunteering... I really want to get back into a hospital (I really miss fast paced work, that would be why my favorite jobs were morning rushes at Starbucks, holiday season at Bath & Body Works, and a busy ER at the hospital.) But On the other hand, the idea of working without getting paid just doesn't sound like much fun...

Tonight my plan is to find something to watch on Netflix or maybe read a bit more (I'm on my third book of my summer vacation and so loving having time to read more than 30 mins in bed before passing out for the night.) It is my last truly lazy day. No more sleeping in and relaxing almost all day. Tomorrow I am straightening and organizing my desk and school stuff (I have books that still need to be sold from the spring semester!) And then just some general home maintenance (for example, vacuum the floors so that the pet hair doesn't take over.)

I thought I'd leave you with a picture of Queen Sophie ruling over her kingdom on her throne of laundry.

And speaking of Sophie we have been making some serious socialization progress with the little prima donna, but I'll tell you about that next time!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Puppy training

I have had a lot of success training Klaus. Thanks to youtube videos, a  Leerburg puppy training video, training classes at petsmart, and some basics that I knew how to teach before we go Klaus. He has some basics down perfectly! Sit, down, stay, come, leave it, drop it, go to your bed (a "place" command and a bit of a puppy time-out) , crate (for going into his kennel), go lay down (to leave us alone especially when we are eating in the living room and need him to get his nose away from our plates), and playing fetch. The commands "crate" and "go lay down" happened pretty easily I honestly can't tell you when those clicked for him or how long it took. The "crate" command just took us pointing to the crate and telling him to go in at night and when we would leave the hose. He spent a lot of time at in a crate at the vet's before we got him so crate training didn't really take much other than establishing the word. He has recently learned shake which I'm starting to regret, because when we are learning something new and he is uncertain of what I am asking of him he will start pawing at me, which is not ideal. But shake took him about 10 minutes to understand.

We have a tentative grasp on heel and to me this is a very important command for him to learn. I think we really went about it the wrong way in the beginning, and I'm not trying to bad mouth the positive training method we learned at petsmart. But when we were dealing with a puppy who loved to pull on walks it was recommended that we try a gentle leader head harness, but with a strong willed, intact male, German Shepherd puppy we went for walks and his head was constantly sideways and still pulled! All we were doing was destroying neck muscles and teaching him that walks were no fun! He would try to get away from me when I would bring out the head halter so that we could go for walks. So then one day I had had enough and bought a pinch/prong collar, and that was the best decision I made. We use it for corrections during training when he is being extra ornery and for walks and he whines at me when I don't get the collar on fast enough!

So we stopped using the heel command so that he would forget it for a while. He doesn't pull much with the pinch, but going to the dog park and going into petsmart are two major triggers for bad behavior, because he is just a puppy and can't wait to play with the other dogs. His favorite treats are usually helpful for getting him to focus on me (Wellness puppy treats, I like them because I can tear them into little chunks and they're healthy treats, He thinks they taste the best). But after watching this video I think I'm up for the challenge of starting fresh with heels. I start back to school on Monday and I really hope that we have made serious progress by then. I worked with him a bit last night and this morning and he acts like he just doesn't understand what I want, and that might be the case. But previous experience tells me that he just might be holding out on me and pretending to be dense. When I try again later today he will be wearing his collar (no correcting until I am positive that he knows what I'm asking for but the pinch helps him focus, because he knows I'm in control.) He's too darn smart sometimes and knows that he can play dumb and sometimes I'll believe it. I think he's realizing that the more he learns the more we expect him to do, rotten puppy!

Things that we are currently working on: perfect heel, and going to his bed when the door bell rings (we have decided that this will make deliveries and guest visits a much more relaxed experience! And if the individual on the other side of the door is unsavory all we have to do is use his release command and he'll be at the door in probably close to two seconds.)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Where have I been?

This summer has been ridiculously crazy! Between taking two lectures and their corresponding labs as well as taking care of my menagerie of animals at home (still just the three but they are a handful), I just couldn't find the time. Or just didn't make time for it! I honestly wasn't sure that I'd some back to the blogging world, but today the mood to blog struck me, so here I am.

One summer semester down and six more semesters to go, thankfully this should be the last set of summer courses that I need to take! It was insane! 6 weeks of Physics and 9 weeks of Chemistry, it makes me thankful that I was able to pull off a 3.7 for the summer (the perfectionist in me wanted a 4.0, but reality won out.)

But the summer was not ruined by school, I did get to spend some much needed time with my sister and her family in July! It was wonderful, but heartbreaking! I miss those little ones so much, and I'm really hoping that  when they get orders to move next summer that it's much closer to where I am. I got to spend a total of 4 days with her and her children and I knew that it wouldn't be enough time to cuddle with all three, but I was able to have some special moments watching Singing in the Rain with Bug,cuddling with Em (the newest addition) while she napped, and listening to Little Man and Bug giggle and have fun in the back seat of my car when they rode with Tye and me the day of Em's christening. It's always the little moments that matter the most with little ones. :)

Then there's Klaus he's been learning a lot and getting big! But he's a bit of a pain when we go to PetSmart. He likes to bark at the other dogs a lot, and while it's all fun and games for him it's a bit embarrassing for the human... I'm sure he'll grow out of this stage but it's taking a while and it has put a halt to additional formal training. He finished his intermediate course, but we're waiting for him to mature a bit before we begin advanced. We'll get there it's just going to take some time.