Fun Times With The Beckers

All the fun, even if it's not always blogged…

a taste of spring, and more blood — March 19, 2010

a taste of spring, and more blood

yesterday was gorgeous.

mom and I took advantage of the awesome weather report to take all three dogs (THOR, Lucy and Uncle Neil) on a long walk! and of course, i attempted to take camera phone pictures while trying to hold two leashes.
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this was the first meeting for THOR and Neil – and THOR was loving up on him in such a funny way. we noticed that he kept laying his chin on Neil’s neck as if he was saying, “Oh, how nice and fluffy your fur is, Uncle Neil”

THOR also had his Domesti-PUPS visit at the Legacy Estates, where he got to see his doggy buddies, Teddy, Colby, Jake & Paco. though, THOR was more interested in the Ice Cream than anything. i wouldn’t call it out most successful visit, but a visit all the same.

this morning, i woke up an hour early (OK, i didn’t really sleep well all night in anticipation) for my 3-hour glucose tolerance test – since i failed the first one…. you know, the more people i talked to, the more i heard that it’s pretty common that everyone fails on the first try… unless you are completely fasting, which i was not.

so i was already bent out of shape for giving up three hours of my friday morning… but then i decided to turn that frown upside down, and made the most of it.

I used my time between the four (FOUR) blood draws to:

  • Pre-Register at the hospital (Which, by the way, looks like a hotel lobby more than a hospital delivery room)
  • Submit The Becker’s in to the 2010 Census… yes folks, prepare yourselves for more Fun Times ahead!
  • i almost have the baby blanket all knit up for Baby Austin, which is just slightly late, since he was born on Monday!
  • Sprint PictureMail

and then i was out of there by 10:15am – just in time to run to my car and head to the nearest McDonald’s for a Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit… because i’m worth it!

sad thing- their credit card machine wasn’t working, and i, as per usual, was completely out of cash.

so i quickly jaunted to the bank, deposited a check i forgot i needed to deposit anyway, and withdrew cash and got back in line. lucky for me, they still allowed me to order breakfast six minutes past the cutoff…

this here is one happy mama! 🙂

today’s weather feels more like December… with snow to boot… but that just means that a weekend of more baby prep is in the works- yea me!

I Love My Dog Expo — March 1, 2010

I Love My Dog Expo

Saturday, THOR and I woke up early for our shift at the I Love My Dog Expo here in Lincoln! this is the 3rd year for the event and it’s all hosted by Domesti-PUPS.. which, by now, i am sure you all know i LOVE this organization!

THOR and i were stationed at the Petting-PUPS booth… and boy doesTHOR love the petting!

here he is right before we started the day:
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GOOD FORTY!

and then, of course, here he is after:

i think i may have created an ice cream-loving monster!

he did so well! and to think, i was originally planning on not bringing him along… i wasn’t sure how he would do, and if it would be more hassle than it would be worth, but again, he shined (shone?) and was the star that i know him to be!

later in the day, I packed up Miss Lucy, so she could experience the wonder of the Expo. poor girl, i feel so bad that she misses out on the fun when THOR and i go out to “work”. We met up with my parents and “Uncle Neil” (as i like to call him). and we had a great time!

while there, i fell in love with Adoorables. If you have a moment, please check out their way-cute stuff! i picked up an awesome teal and purple lab for our front door. love it!!

YEA PUPPIES!

i’m a sister again… i guess — September 30, 2009

i’m a sister again… i guess

brace yourself for what i am about to say:

my parents got a dog.

seriously.

i know.

i was shocked too!

it all started as a silly suggestion from my brother, two weeks ago, when he was perusing Facebook and saw a posting from (my new fave doggie group) Domesi-Pups stating: 6 yr old, Blue Merle, Rough-Coated Collie; Retired Therapy Dog; For more info, email info@domesti-pups.org.

The Bro sent the link to my dad saying, “well, if you ever wanted a dog, this is probably your perfect option. 6-years-old, so no ‘puppy stage’, Domesti-Pups trained and sweet… what more could you ask?”

well, we had a collie growing up, she was so sweet (we had the same birthday!) and she lived for almost 13 years. it has now been 13 years since my parents have had a dog.

i never.

never.

never, thought they would get a dog.

and i have heard plenty of times that AJ and I have two too many dogs. (to which, i do not agree)…

but sweet Neil, the retired therapy dog has found a way into their hearts, and i am excited for that.

Neil came home last night, and of course we stopped by with goodies. he’s the most docile dog i have ever met — hopefully Lucy and THOR can take some pointers from his demeanor!

oh, fun times for sure!!

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Theraputic THOR — September 4, 2009

Theraputic THOR

Last night, THOR and I did our first Domesti-PUPSPetting-PUPS” therapy session. We took a trip to the Windcrest Assisted Living Community, and had a GREAT time.

THOR really latched on to his new job. He was so excited when i got out his red “Training” bandana, and hopped right into the car:
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i feel like it’s the First Day Of School!

We toured with Colby, a gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog, and Daisy, the fluffiest little “pure-bred mutt” you’ve ever seen. Daisy was quite the flirt with the two boys and kept the evening fun!

the residents really loved having us stop by, and some even provided Beggin’ Strips!

It was really fun, and rewarding (though, you have to take a moment of pause when you realize that the brightest spot in some of these resident’s day is a two-minute visit from the dogs…)… we are excited for our next visits… six until we graduate! (five more, now!)

and, now AJ is excited to form a team with Lucy this winter!!!!

YEA DOMESTI-PUPS!

SUCCESS — August 10, 2009

SUCCESS

whew.

OMG.

YIPPEE!!!!

THOR and I are now an Official Domesti-PUPS “Petting PUPS” Therapy Team In Training!

Saturday morning, we got up early, had a good breakfast, leashed up (with Lucy in tow… well, or… towing us!) and went for a good walk/jog/mini-training session.

It. Was. Hot… and the session didn’t go as well as i had hoped. but i kept telling myself that i can’t let my nerves flow from me all the way through the leash, or THOR will not do well at all.

we get home, i clean his ear (poor pooch has a chronic yeast infection in his left ear… i am open to suggestions on how to fix, if anyone has them), and then try a few impromptu commands in the kitchen.

he wasn’t having it.

at this point, i decided we were doomed.

instead of going ballistic in the kitchen, i walked away and decided to remain calm and consider today to be our FIRST test, and that would help us prepare for the second and maybe third (fourth?) test until we passed.

we headed out in the heat, to make our 10:30 test time, with a little padding to make sure he had plenty of ops to potty on every bush, tree, blade of grass in sight before the test.

i am attempting to remain calm…

we walk up to the testing area (amidst high heat and high winds… oh dear, this can’t be good), and meet up with Pam #1 – our awesome Class Trainer. From Day One she knew THOR would have a time at all of this… and kept reminding me throughout the class, “if he eliminates during the test, he will NOT pass!” (hence the pre-planned potty breaks!)… and she said to us, “don’t worry- we’ll hold another testing session in October.”

Great. event Pam thinks we will fail.

so i told myself to calm down (not an easy feat, if you know me), and take the test one task at a time, not to look at it as one whole mountain, just little hills to climb… we’ll figure out where we need improvement, and prepare for the test in October.

We were paired up with a test evaluator (she was awesome!) and proceeded to go through the following test objectives:

  1. Controlled Entry: we had to walk together through a door – THOR could not rush in front of me, or cower behind me = PASSED
  2. Greet a Stranger: “Hello, may I pet your dog?”, (THOR’s most favorite thing in the world: People loving on him) = PASSED
  3. Allow a Stranger to Pet: she brushed him, checked his paws and ears, being mindful of the tenderness of the left ear = PASSED
  4. Reaction to Loud Noises: dropping pans, moving wheel chairs, no problem = PASSED
  5. Controlled Heal with turns, & Sit Command: walk along an L-shaped course, right turn, U-turn & left turn, while leash is in loose Heal: PASSED (slightly shocked)
  6. Sit, Down, Stay, Come: Place dog in “Sit” (okay), Place dog in “Down” (still working on this, and didn’t complete), Place dog in “Stay” (90% on this, usually), Trainer to walk 15-feet from dog, turn around and then call dog to “Come” = PASSED (with the caveat to continue to work on “Down”)
  7. Greet a Stranger with a Strange Dog: we met up with Buster and Paco (i believe), “Double Trouble” as i told THOR, and of course, he thought this mean Play Time, and we had to go back and start over. the trainer was kind enough to give some ideas on how to work on this, we tried again= PASSED
  8. Supervised Separation: THOR got to stand in the shade with a very nice gentleman he had never met – i hid behind a tree for three (very long) minutes. Upon my return, i was told that THOR really didn’t know i was gone (he would go home with anyone) but that the kind gentleman might have some new bruises on his legs from THOR’s tail! = PASSED
  9. Loading & Unloading a vehicle: dog is to wait for the command to get in and out of the car – not just jump in and out at his own free will = PASSED

we walked back to the evaluation table, and our Evaluator and Pam #1 quietly discussed our scores, and Pam #1 grabbed a red scarf and placed it on THOR’s neck… um, what? We Passed? WE PASSED? i started jumping up and down… THOR, was kindly aloof, as per usual.
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Then i chatted with Pam #2, or other awesome Leader, and one that gave us lots of great tips and allowed us to join her class, and she said, “Wow, THOR definitely gets the ‘Most Improved’ award!”

and very sweet, Kendra, took our picture- which made me realize, i should have gussied up after the morning’s run. oh well!
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(taken at my parent’s afterward)

YEA THOR!!!!

what’s next? three-to-six months of on-site training where we will go to approved nursing homes, hospitals and retirement homes and display our “Petting-PUPS” skills. eeeeee!!!!!!!!

MORE Domesti-PUPS Fun! — July 21, 2009

MORE Domesti-PUPS Fun!

before i pop out of the office for the day, and rescue my pups from their naps… i wanted to give an update on the whole Domesti-PUPS situation.

with my crazy summer travel schedule, I was in Kansas City during the Testing Day for our Domesti-PUPS training group. apparently, this is a big dang deal (duh) as they fly in the evaluator and such… so THOR and I had to miss our day, and reschedule at a time when another evaluator is in town.

Well, once i learned this, i was oh-so-bad, and pretty much put the training on the back burner. THOR and I still went to the pre-test session the week before the actual test (of which we were to miss) and just as we started our pre-test, what does THOR the Wunder Pup do? Yep, potties in between stations… that would be an immediate FAIL!

so i was happy to know we weren’t testing that weekend!!! defintely more work to do!

and now, we are back in class- tonight it is – new people, another great leader, and we hope to be more steadfast in our goal!!! THOR has been doing a better job of waiting until i tell him it is okay to Potty (let me tell you, he was not very excited about this at first!) and hopefully, a few more weeks of practice and we will pass with flying colors.

FINGERS CROSSED!!!!

THOR Training: Day 1 — April 16, 2009

THOR Training: Day 1

i consider yesterday Ground Zero. We are throwing away all preconceived notions that THOR ever had any sort of training. I always thought he was semi-okay trained… but looking deeper, he would only sit if i had something he really wanted. otherwise, no dice.

further research shows, the dog will NOT look at me. And boy, is he stubborn.

I took him out for a two-block training walk. Though he didn’t potty on anything thing until i allowed it (tiny victory!)… he also wouldn’t sit on command and wouldn’t look at me at all– in fact, it was almost comical how he would try so hard NOT to look at me… i said, almost comical… (sigh).

he is so darn stubborn, that he wouldn’t even take a treat from me whilst on the training walk. oy! but, i think i am learning, that he is more praise motivated than treat motivated, which is actually a good thing… or so i tell myself.

I WILL win this battle… i AM the pack leader!

Good Dog!

This Girl’s Got a Lot of Training To Do! — April 15, 2009

This Girl’s Got a Lot of Training To Do!

whew– THOR and I had our first official Domesti-PUPS training session last night… and boy do we need a LOT of work… BOTH of us!

I am very excited to be a part of this organization, and once certified, its something we can do together for a long time. My goal is to also train Lucy so we can be one mega force…

after last night– yeah, we’ll see about that!

We missed our first class because we were in Cabo… and i really didn’t do much of the training because… because… okay, because i am the worlds worst procrastinator. I would look at THOR and think, “well, he’s pretty well-trained already… this will be easy!”… uh, not so much!

i was SO “That Girl” that laughs nervously and says, “He’s so much better at home. I just don’t know why he won’t listen to me…” as i am pushing is bottom to the ground, he is resisting, and i am saying through my teeth, “THOR! SIT! I SAID SIT! THOR!”… Everyone else’s dogs were so intent on their master’s and giving them great eye contact and so IN TUNE with the training. THOR wouldn’t even give me eye contact if i got nose-to-nose with him… rascal!

it also didn’t help that he chose to “mark his territory” every time we walked by the instructor… oy vey! (to which she kindly reminded me afterward – we will NOT pass our certification test if THOR eliminates during the test! nice.)

so, its back to potty training, basic training (sit, stay, down, come)… and he WILL learn that I am his Pack Leader. I am the source of all pleasure and pain! I am the one that knows how to fill his food and water bowls, oh yes, i am….. i think… (tee hee).

Moral of the story: (1) Domesti-PUPS is an awesome organization, and it can always use more support… and (2) THOR and I WILL Conquer this – it is good training for BOTH of us! 😉