Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's off to work we go!

 The air conditioner broke this past week, but luckily it has been relatively cool with low humidity.  Luna, Mike and I were able to survive with just open windows and fans (the small animals left to stay at my parent's house).  However, things have changed and the weather is taking a turn for the ugly.  Today it was in the 90's and this weekend is starting to look pretty bad.  While Mike works at getting the air conditioner repaired, Luna has been coming with me to work at 4-H.  She is getting a lot of practice in with her "stay" command as I am frequently leaving my desk to go down the hall.  Since we got her she has been my "Velcro" dog, always trying to stay right next to me.  I was afraid that this would turn into separation anxiety so I've been trying to leave her for short periods of time.  Work is the perfect opportunity to practice being left alone.  She is really doing great.

This is Luna's desk.
We can see squirrels from here!
Luna sticks her tongue out at emails.

Road trip

Today I had to drive all over the state to run some errands for work.  It was going to be a long, lonely drive so I decided to bring Luna along.  I know she likes to stick her nose out the window so when we weren't driving on highways I opened the windows a crack.  Because her head is so skinny she was able to stick her whole head out the window and enjoy the wind.  I wish I could have taken a picture, but someone needed to watch the road.

Our first stop was to the Middlesex County 4-H office which I didn't realize is located in a beautiful park.  Luna and I took a few minutes to explore one of the many trails which led to the pond.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera which was disappointing since she looked so pretty in the woods.

We then traveled to the Burlington County 4-H office and then back home.  We did stop for a bite to eat at a deli and Luna was very good about letting me finish my lunch.  When we got back home I decided that we should try to find the local dog park that everyone talks about.  After walking around in the hot sun for a long time we still could not find the park.  I gave up and we headed home.  I used Google maps to locate the park so we will have to try again soon.

I will try to do better at bringing my camera with me all the time to capture fun adventures like this one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No nail cutting

Luna's front nails are pretty long and I've been doing my best to work with her at letting me cut just the smallest bit from each nail.  The problem is that her nails are black and I have no idea where the quick starts.  I suspect it is pretty close since she is very reactive when I try to cut the nail.  Another problem is that my nail cutters are very dull.  This makes it harder for me to get a clean cut and I end up having to spend way too much time on each nail.  I get more and more frustrated and stressed and as a result Luna becomes stressed by the whole process.  This has become such a problem that nail cutting has just about come to a halt.  I will need to get my nail cutters sharpened before I can resume our sessions.

The good news is that she recovers quickly from our sessions.  I got so frustrated this evening that I left the room to get my negative energy away from her.  In just a few minutes she began seeking me out and has now settled by my side at the computer.  What a good girl to forgive me so quickly.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Luna goes to the fair

Mike and Luna check out the Fair.
Luna greets visitors.
It was hot today, but I brought Luna to the Morris County 4-H Fair prepared to only stay for about an hour.  I figured she would be miserable in such a crazy environment and would want to escape as soon as possible.  When we first adopted her (which was only three weeks ago) she was terrified of young children and frightened of dogs larger than a beagle.  How would she handle roosters crowing, greeting seeing eye dogs, noisy carnival rides, and tons of children screaming "doggie!"?

It turns out, Luna loves the fair, especially the rabbits, chickens and turkey.  Every time the turkey gobbled she perked up her ears and barked.  It was pretty funny to see her get so animated, but we did keep our distance.

I was amazed at how well she tolerated young children petting her.  There were only a few she avoided, but they were pretty wild and I wanted to get away, too.  Most people she greeted with a big greyhound hug.  Many people who stopped to pet her wanted to learn more about greyhounds as pets and were very interested in adopting one.  Maybe next year we'll see more greyhounds at the fair.

Since she did so well I am looking forward to brining her to the Somerset County 4-H Fair in August.  She may even compete in the costume class.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can Luna go to the fair?

It is hot.  I mean really hot.  I mean, walking in a swamp on the sun hot.  The problem is that starting today is the county 4-H fair that I work with and I'll be there most of the day for the next few days.

When I adopted Luna I was really looking forward to bringing her to the 4-H fair.  This would be a great opportunity for her to encounter some new sights, smells, and people.  Unfortunately, because it is so hot I'm not sure bringing her to the fair, even for a little while, is a great idea.  There is no where on the fairgrounds where she could find relief from the heat and with so many small children running around, I'm not sure if she would be able to handle the stress.  For now, I'm leaving Luna at home in the air conditioning, but my hope is that she will be able to attend just a few hours at some point this weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bland diet

Without going into too much detail, Luna has been put on a very strict diet of boiled chicken and brown rice.  She has not been throwing up or anything too serious so the vet and I suspect this is due to stress or possibly a sensitive stomach.  We only adopted her two and a half weeks ago so it is quite possible that this sudden change was too much for her system to handle. 

I want her to get better soon not only because I want to be able to feed her regular dog food, but I want to get started on some serious training.  She is so clearly food motivated and I know our training will be much easier once I start using the "good" treats.  Right now I can only work with the leftover chicken, which she is happy about, but it is limited in quantity.