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Stolen from Demonspeed1102

What Big Cat Are You?

You Are a Lynx
You are a quiet observer of the world around you. Your wisdom comes from listening carefully.
You've always been extra sensitive and aware. And it's made it difficult for you to fit in.

You see past people's outward personas. You are able to penetrate a stranger's soul.
What you've learned about people is both beautiful and ugly. And you keep these secrets to yourself.


Some dog's people.

Dante and I hit the park today for more practice. This week we're working on heeling with a 6' leash and sitting each time I stop walking. He's doing pretty well but not as well as I'd like yet so I'm still demanding quite a bit out of my boy. I planned on some excellent distractions as the sun was out, kids were riding bikes around the walkways, a bunch of guys were playing basketball, there were a couple of screaming toddlers in the play area, a family was flying a kite and a guy was playing fetch with his Lab. Perfect right? Not much more you could ask for by way of distraction!

Yeah right. We'd no more than taken our third 20 foot walk when two girls came running over. "Can we pet your dog?"

"Can you not see us working here? Go find someone else to bug!" "Sure."

After getting thoroughly derailed from his work mentality, I had just managed to get Dante focused again when WHAM! A giant black Lab and his Boston Terrier cohort come racing over. Where the hell their owners were, I have no idea. Oh yeah, that must be them - yelling from across the park as their dogs run around off-leash approaching a strange fully grown male AKITA wearing a prong collar and 6' leash.

Finally get Dante back under control and the two dogs racing back to their owners when some guy walking his two Golden Retrievers (off-leash!) starts yelling at his dog. Sure enough, here comes one of them.

At this point, I'd had enough though. I was deliberately sticking to a part of the park with no other people or dogs and was obviously working on obedience (who else walks for 30 feet and then stops to make their dog sit!?). I yanked Dante back, told the dog to GET! NOW! and brandished my bottle of vinegar water.

Dog took one last look at me and high-tailed it back to safety while I exchanged dark looks with his owner.

GAH! Ok, try to focus Dante one more time when I hear more yelling from the other side and turn just in time to see a Minpin come racing over. OFF-LEASH!! I had to use a deathgrip on Dante's collar to keep him under control that time. And almost needed someone with a deathgrip on my leash to keep me from booting the stupid little thing.

As soon as the Minpin raced away (albeit not to his powerless owners still calling his name in vain) - I marched Dante to the car and we left. I was sorely tempted to call it a night but deleted my ultra-bitchy text without sending and drove to an empty church parking lot instead.

I'm glad I did. Another 30 minutes and he nailed it tonight. Even managed to make me beam when he actually looked at me for guidance. (For non-dog peeps, that's HUGE, especially for a dominant dog to make eye contact while training.) I even allowed myself a little victory fist pump when he promptly sat without being told to.

Still, my blood boils a little thinking about how disastrous it was during the first half. And it's exactly why I'm working on obedience. The last thing I want is zero control over my dog if he's running around off-leash.

I'm thinking we'll skip the park for a few days and keep to the parking lot. I want him to have a few more solidly positive experiences before we throw those kinds of tests at him again. And I can't help but growl a little thinking about how the couples coming to class have it so much easier. At least there's someone to run interference when they're trying to train in public!



I have to brag on my awesome boy. He ROCKED it last night. I only had to zap him with vinegar water for barking/whining a couple of times at the beginning of class and get his attention with the prong collar when he growled at a Lab (who started it).

The week of working to desensitize him to playing dogs in the park worked wonders. He actually laid down twice, once inside and once out.

I also discovered that most of the other (human) class members are frightened of him. It never occurred to me that they don't know how goofy he is at home - they just see a huge powerful dog who barked solidly for 90 minutes last week and wasn't allowed to play with any of the other dogs. In their minds that meant "aggressive dog", in my mind it meant - this is my time, not yours, you don't get to play.

The woman I sat next to last night has a little mop of a sheepdog who at one point ended up commando-crawling to the end of her leash so she could sit under my legs. While I was petting the mop, Dante was being his aloof Akita-self to the woman. It finally dawned on me that she was reaching out hesitantly to pet him but was a little nervous - thinking he'd be aggressive! - so I thunked him in the head to get his attention. Apparently the side of the head is the clown button. He immediately turned back into goofball and gave her all sorts of kisses. :)

It's amazing that most of the other owners pay attention to their dogs during the class, petting and talking to them, letting the dog be the boss. Half the time, the dogs are running the class - leaning on legs, whining for attention. I've already seen the miraculous turn-around made when we worked on the alpha exercises at home so I decided to keep doing it during class. I paid attention to him enough to make sure he wasn't getting close enough to other dogs to cause an issue but other than that - he knew better than to demand my attention.

In fact, when he started screwing around towards the end, he suddenly remembered where he was and immediately turned around to look at my face and then very pointedly at the spray bottle sitting in my lap and stopped. I waited until he'd turned around and settled down before smiling.

This week, we're working on sit and leash work. I'm still going to work his ass off with the long line and alpha exercises though. If last night is any indication, we're near the top of the class instead of lagging behind as feared but I don't want him to coast - I want him to nail it.

And I can't quite decide if Paula just doesn't care much for Akitas or if she's being very conscious of the fiercely loyal human-dog bond they tend to form or if she thinks he'll be more difficult than it's worth. When looking for a dog to demonstrate on, she has very deliberately passed by him a couple of times - last night even studying him for a moment before deciding not to. It's kind of weird but I'm not letting it bother me. I'd actually prefer if the Dorkinator saw me as the one and only Alpha.


Yeah, well mine's bigger

So, I joked in a comment on the last post about renaming Dante Belial. I remembered it as another name for Satan but looky what Wikipedia has as one of the definitions. (underline added by me)

In other religious traditions
The Satanic Bible names Belial as one of the Four Crown Princes of Hell (specifically, the North Crown), and states that his name means "'without a master' and symbolizes true independence, self-sufficiency, and personal accomplishment."[3] Belial represents the earth element, is the Master of Mankind and the Champion of Humanity, and represents the carnal and base urges of mankind.

Somehow it's not as funny when the name actually fits. :/

Then again, the translation of my name is "The Crowned One" so we'll see who's still wearing theirs at the end of this obedience adventure.



Hi Paula, this is Stephanie -------- from Wednesday night's class.
The one with Dante, the loudmouth Akita. I'm hoping you can give me a call back
and help me out with any suggestions at this point. We've been working on the long line all week
but the problem is, he just doesn't give a damn. It doesn't matter if we work for 20 minutes or an hour or 40 minutes, I just end up dragging my dog all around a park.
He literally hits the end of that 15 foot line and doesn't care if he gets dragged around.
Sometimes he gets it but he's not improving by any means and I don't know how to get through to him,
other than beating the crap out of my dog - which is the point I'm at right now.
So, please call me back. We'll keep working on it but I don't know if he'll ever get it - much less by next class. Thanks.

I broke the rules today. Tired of running my ass off in a park and PISSED that my arms are aching from literally dragging my dog around on the end of a leash, I yanked his ass over, forced him into a sit and got right in his face. He got better after that but I don't think it'll stick.

I'm way over my head with this dog.

Friday night, he bolted out the door and was gone.
I said, "Watch out, he's a bolter-" and looked up just in time to see Dante's tail disappear off the front step and hear J full on sprinting down the street. To his (J's) credit, he sprinted after my dog for more than 2 blocks before losing him in the dark. I picked him up as he was walking back and we drove around looking for Dante, with no luck.

At 5am, I woke up when I realized I'd been hearing a strange noise - like a car door - for awhile. Thinking someone had found Dante and brought him back rather than call, I went to the front door and looked out the window. Lo and behold, there sat the prodigal son waiting for someone to let him in and prepare the feast.

I'm still torn between being seriously impressed that he knows where home is after only 3 months and beating the crap out of my dog.

After the incident in the park, he's a little skittish of me at the moment. Fine by me. Never thought I'd say this but he's worse in 3 months than DemonDog ever thought of being in the first year. With the way things are going - he's climbed so high on my shit list, he's got the makings of being one of my best dogs ever.


Adventures in Obedience

Remember when I said my 'kid' would be the worst one in the bunch? Remember when I said I was dreading even going since I knew I'd be embarassed. Remember when I said, 'I'll look at this positively - at least I'll get lots of one-on-one'?

Yeah, well after 9 years of DemonDoggery, I was nowhere near prepared for the sheer humiliation Dante put me through.

The dog literally did not stop barking for 1.5 HOURS. Not inside, not outside, not inside again. Yes, I was that parent in the movie theater with the screaming kid.

Under normal circumstances, I would've beat the shit out of him corrected him sternly but I let the uncertainty of the situation get the better of me and therefore resorted clamping my dog's mouth shut with both hands after the first 15 minutes.

He was so bad that the other dogs were afraid to come near him! He even ended up goading one husky into aggression - and would have been attacked had the owners not been prepared.

The people next to me even felt the need to tell me about their previous dog they ended up sedating to stop the barking. And then proceded to give me the name of their vet as well as the drug. (My response, 'oh thank you'. My real response: you people are f'ing nuts - you got a Great Pyr and didn't want to deal with barking!? Have you met the breed?)

Paula addressed it when we came back inside. I think mainly for the benefit of the class at large - the majority of which have beautifully behaved Labradors and Australian Shepherds, even the Huskies were better than my fecking dog. HUSKIES!!! She described how Akitas are all about the fight ("bring it on") so normal (read: non-electronic) methods don't tend to work on them. I'm going to try a squirt bottle full of mace vinegar & water next week. After that, I'll probably gladly hand over another $100 just to zap the crap out of my loudmouth*.

Who also, by the way, coated our entire half of the room - including other people! - with a Pigpin-esque dusting of Akita fluff.

Yeah, these next two months should be super fun.

Although J did come over last night to help me Etch-A-Sketch the bad memory. I don't think he quite believed me earlier in the day when I said I'd probably need a drink (or 18) after class but in the 20 minutes I was home before he arrived, I was 2.5 porters ahead.

Note to self: stock up on vodka before next Wednesday

Fucking dog.

*I love the furball, I really do but damn - haven't I paid my dues with 9 years of The DemonDog!?


Stolen from Demonspeed1102

You Are An ISTJ
The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knitting.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
You are conservative and down-to-earth. You hardly ever do anything crazy.

In love, you are loyal and honest. If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.
For you, love is something that happens naturally. And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.

At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.
You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical

"Boring, conservative, and egotistical". :D

Handle with care...

I'm glad I stopped at the store on the way to work this morning - the cookies I bought whip the pansy sugared ass of the ones they handed me downstairs.

It wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. The last time I had blood drawn for testing, I did the dizzy verge-of-fainting thing when I stood up. I guess drinking enough water to merit moving my desk into the bathroom because I was in there so often yesterday worked.

It was rougher than it needed to be though. The first guy who took my history and vitals was like, 12 years old. "After reviewing the materials, do you still want to donate today?" Not if you're the one sticking me kiddo - go find your dad and tell him you skipped Gym again.

The room was chaotic too. It was like walking into a triage center. All these stretcher-chairs with bags of blood attached to zombies people. Yikes.

Ok, I exaggerate a teensy bit. But hey, there was no movie playing to provide distraction (as I had been previously informed). It was the Today Show, with Kathie Lee Gifford. AAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I change my mind, I don't want to donate today. I'll be stuck here for 20 minutes watching Kathie Lee on TV. Just stick a knife in my leg and use a bucket to catch what comes out.

The worst part was the girl who stuck me. Not the sticking, that part is almost always easier than what I imagine. It was afterwards when she got quizzed by a supervisor right behind my stretcher-chair while I'm squeezing my little rubber ball and watching my blood fill a 10 gallon bucket bag.

Apparently she's new. And new enough that she got flustered over the questions. I tried not to listen but hey, they were rightthere. And when I realized that I was the subject she was being quizzed over - yeah, not so good for my relaxation. I'm surprised I didn't blow a hole through the bag when I heard the part about how she prepped (me) wrong.

Ok, I exaggerate a teensy bit. The supervisor and she were far more concerned than I about it. Who cares if the area cleaned was 2x2 or 2.5x2.5 inches? The needle is like .01 and right smack in the middle of this giant sterile orange square on my arm.

It was a little dicey at the end, when my machine started screaming for attention because it either hit or was about to hit the max. (i.e. - someone come stop this thing before she's pulped like an orange at Sunday brunch!) but I survived.

And I got my First Timer sticker along lots of concern from everyone who saw it. I don't think I've ever been asked that many times if I was doing ok, including when I almost fainted a few years ago.

I'm glad I did it though. Sign me up for the next one.


I'm tired of all this stuff, I want to play something new.
Like what?
I dunno, something fun. Something gypsy.
Yeah, you know, fun!
Well, there's that one by Sarasate but I d..
.on't think...what do you mean, done?
I mean, done. Shipping Wednesday.
No preview first?
Why? It sounds fun. Are you trying to say that I can't do what a violin can?
You're a jerk and I'm not talking to you. Sit there and shut up while I go play Lalo...again.

(Three days later)
Yay! It came.
You're opening it out here on the street? Don't you have dogs to walk?
Shut up. Let's cancel everything and stay in tonight. New music!
On second thought, I think you should open it.
Haha, told you so!

You gonna stand frozen by the mailbox all day or get inside and play 'something gypsy?
Shut up, I'm trying to find the white on this page.
Told you.
Shut up. Let's go out, I don't want to stay home and play gypsy music.

The next pages are worse. At 5th glance, it looks more complicated than it probably is but jeez, shouldn't there be white space between the notes? I'm surprised the paper is flat after being drenched with all that ink.


Life is going to be nuts this week and I don't mean trying to screech my way through Sarasate. Keebler's hanging in there. I went over yesterday afternoon to hang out for a couple of hours and he perked up enough to share some Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream and eat a little baby food. If he goes though, it'll be in the middle of the night so I got the overwhelming urge to go back over about 8pm and check on him. I'm glad I went, he immediately wanted to be held and comforted.

and the Keebster

Poor little guy. We watched TV and I just snuggled him up to keep him warm. Had a moment of panic this morning when I went over and couldn't find him. He ended up being tucked inside the case of one of the pillows piled on the couch but I just had visions of trying to find him curled up and cold somewhere in the house.

The parents are heading out of town this weekend so I'm watching their dogs until Saturday night. I'm going to spend tonight and tomorrow just making a big circles around Boise to hit everyone's house and make sure all the dogs get walked enough times and the rats are still hanging in there.

Mom only tried once to ask if there was another date planned yet. I couldn't even respond much beyond a stunned 'are you kidding me, I'll barely have time to pee this weekend between work and all of your animals, much less try to figure out when I've got time to go to dinner' look.

Edit: Fuckit. Life's too short to care about working this much. I'm bailing out in favor of a date night.



I've decided that I'm going to make myself start updating more often. Apparently LJ is a habit, break it once and you have to retrain yourself all over again.

Dante the Dorkinator and I are signing up for obedience training with one of Idaho's top trainers. Considering it's been about 8 years since I've been in any sort of obedience course and I'm now trying to go it on my own with a fully-grown male stubborn butthead from hell Akita, I need help. As a bonus, I figure being publicly responsible if I don't do the homework (and the threat listed in the contract that I will be asked to leave if it's apparent no work has been done between classes) will be all the motivation I need to make time for the dogs beyond "OMG will you just get out of my face and GO LIE DOWN!!"

And now's the time to start laying the foundation for hiking/camping this summer anyway.

I know I'll never be able to catch Danielle's Beck but (not so) secretly I think Dante could give Cassius a run for his money. At the very least, they could be a Knucklehead tag-team. :)

Shannon and Mechelle are heading east to visit family this week so I'm rat/house-sitting. This isn't unusual, I've done it several times before. The only difference is that Keebler, one of their boys is on his last little ratty legs. They expected him to go before Christmas but he's been hanging in there. I just know he's going to decide to go sometime in the coming days, while they're gone, leaving me to make the discovery/phone call.

Shannon spent quite awhile last night reassuring me that they would never blame me but I think he finally understood I'm not worried about being responsible. I'm worried that Keebler will pull the old pet standby and wait until everyone's gone before going himself - so they won't get a chance to be with him and/or say goodbye. And then I'm worried about what to do with Whiskey, who's only ever known life at their house with Keebler to pal around with and is now facing being all alone, completely alone whenever I'm not there.

I can't take him to my house because the Beasts will terrorize him in any other room but the bRat room and the smell of the opposite sex in the bRat room will drive everyone crazy for days. (Plus there's that old rule about NO BOYS - NO EXCEPTIONS! for the bRat Pack.)

I'm seeing hours of crashing on their couch watching movies in my near future while threatening Keebler with heroic measures if he even hints about giving up the rodent ghost.

And I think B. Snaily might have kicked it. He glued himself to his cardboard box on Sunday night and hasn't moved in three days nor responded to the usual efforts to rouse him. Although, he's still slimy so maybe it's just hibernation. (?) Apparently land snails do hibernate during cold weather starting in the fall. Maybe the urge finally caught up to him despite the regulated indoor temps.

I'm keeping the tank conditioned and fresh food/water available. I'd feel a little bad if I were the cause of his demise but hey - it's a snail right? And 6 months of free room, board and spa service beats death by starling.