Fun Times With The Beckers

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

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:

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!!


Conversations with Dogs — January 8, 2010

Conversations with Dogs

so, while we were out of town, we were oh-so-fortunate that AJ’s parent’s agreed to take the pups… this, of course, was a big request, because the last time we did this to them, we almost put his parents in a tailspin when the pups ran away while we were in Cabo in 2008.

don’t worry, we don’t blame them… the same thing happened five months later when we were back for Independence Day ’08 and AJ let them out and they were off again… what can i say.

either way… not only were we so glad to be home, you could just tell the pups were so happy to have us back. I swear that Lucy kept looking at me as if she just couldn’t believe it was really me.

so, on the drive home from Hastings to Lincoln, AJ and I were laughing about what conversations the pups were having while we were gone:

LUCY: “oh Thor, where did they go? why did they leave us with these little dogs inside and all those smelly big dogs (cows) outside?”
THOR: “Lu, get it through your head that they are gone. This is our home now. We have to learn to accept it.”
LUCY: “i just won’t believe it. they have to come back.”
THOR: “when will you ever learn, little one? listen to me, i am an old man and i know the ways of the world. they said their goodbyes. Just be happy this place is warm and they keep feeding us food.”
LUCY: “nope. i’m not going to eat until they get back.” (and she didn’t)
THOR: “go ahead and starve. that’s not going to bring them back any faster. I’m going to go snuggle up to that tall one and make the best of this situation.”

once we were back, you could just tell that Lucy kept looking at THOR saying, “See, I told you they’d come back for us!”

i wonder if she was sitting by the window singing “Tomorrow” and “Maybe” from Annie!

Back on the Farm — August 31, 2009

Back on the Farm

i will be the first to tell you that never once in my life did i ever think i would marry a Farm Boy.

but i sure do love my AJ.

this weekend we were able to squeeze in a trip back to Hastings, NE to see AJ’s parents, and good times were, indeed, had by all.

Sunday morning, i decided to take the dogs for a walk “around the section”… AJ asked me if i knew that was 4 miles – indeed i did.

however… i didn’t realize that his parents live smack-dab in the middle of a two-mile stretch of road… so the route i took ended up being 6 miles instead of four. That’s what you get when you let a City Girl loose in the country!

here are the pooped puppies when we were only halfway home:
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as one of my favorite sayings goes: “if you aren’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes”
i love my puppy bunders!

SUCCESS — August 10, 2009





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!
(taken at my parent’s afterward)


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.


Running in the Rain… Just Running in the Rain — July 20, 2009

Running in the Rain… Just Running in the Rain

well, this might be my first official running blog post.

I ran today– TA DAH!!!

and i took the pooches with me. (and they loved it, thank you very much!)

for the last two weeks, i have been on the illustrious Truck$ & Buck$ Truck Tour (which has completely and totally wiped me out… seriously, i slept all weekend!)… being on the road has been a blast – i have a had a chance to see more of the nooks and crannies of this awesome state (seriously) and am having lots of fun along the way. And, as you know, for me, food=love, so i have had plenty of yucky, sticky, gooey, yummy road food… and lots of sitting in the Blackshirt Tundra whilst driving isn’t so good for the booty. one might think that singing at the top of my lungs to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend by Miranda Lambert would create a slight caloric burn, but, alas, that appears (by my recent reflection) to not so much be the case…. whew.

so, after a slightly stressful day of trying to cram in a weeks worth of email reading into a few scant hours, i came home to my bored puppies and grabbed their leashes and dusted off my running shoes (trainers, for my British chums!) and out we strutted in the light rain…. well, it got a bit heavier when we hit the half-way point, but Miss Lucy was happy to keep trotting along… apparently, the lack of beating sun and radiating pavement was a good jogging combo for her… and even THOR broke into a bit of a trot (instead of his typical speed walk)…

brace yourselves – we got back to our house, and all concurred to keep on trucking — so we added another 1/2 mile through UPCO park and made our way back…

people – this is HUGE. we never ADD steps! how exciting… maybe, just maybe, this girl’s got her stride back!!!!!!

Bring your THOR To Work Day — June 25, 2009

Bring your THOR To Work Day

WHOO HOO – i just got clearance to bring THOR into work with me tomorrow.

we will have our Therapy Pack ready, and i’ll probably even pack the Dirt Devil Pet Vac (just in case!)

i think this will be a great step in his therapy training – linoleum, elevators, meeting strange people, working on long-time stays without me around (all a part of the test, or real-world therapy sessions)…

i am so excited!!! Yea Forty!

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! đŸ˜‰

April Showers… — April 9, 2009

April Showers…

boy-oh-boy- they had better bring me some May Flowers!

yesterday was nice though, i took the pups our for a 2-ish-mile slog through Nebraska Wesleyan University, and i would venture to say that a fun time was, indeed, had by all!

proof to that, here’s Miss Lu, crashed out in the dining room after our return:
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today- my feet hurt… but they hurt in my heels, well before i strapped on the running shoes… i wish it was April 16th, so that i had a reason for walking around barefoot at work! (cool, huh? i learned about this from Crystal)

Alas, tomorrow is AJ’s birthday- YEA FOR 32!!! he is at home in Hastings visiting his parents right now, so i am going to sneak out tonight and grab some decorations!! đŸ˜‰ (shhhh!)

Happy Birthday, Eve, My Love!

Pranks & Cowls — April 2, 2009

Pranks & Cowls

last night was a fun and lazy wednesday. it was nice to not have to be going somewhere all the time. AJ was pooped, and we even agreed to skip the take-out and eat leftovers… what is wrong with us?!?!

but i had some fun with the wii Fit! that stuff cracks me up. i had to redeem myself on the hula hoops, since Tuesday, i tried to do the 6-minute mega hula and couldn’t finish the left side… my left second toe was popping out of the socket – TMI, i know, and i am sorry– but its becoming chronic, and if i can’t even hula hoop, what is a girl to do?

Anyway—as i logged in – i got the following message…
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i thought that was quite cute!

then, we caught up on some more DVR from Cabo… i tell you, that 30 Rock is a kill!

Thus, and therefore, i was able to finish The Delores Park Cowl i had started the night before. (and actually, the one i mentioned oh-so-long-ago…)… don’t cringe when i say i used Vanna White yarn… eek! i thought it would knit up softer, and a little tighter… ha! i guess this fits in with my whole aversion to checking gauge!

well, my sweet Lucy was kind enough to model it for me:

i love my baby girl!

the original idea, when starting this blog was to showcase my knitting a bit more… as you can tell, that hasn’t happened… but i do follow quite a few fun knitting blogs, where i have gathered many fun new ideas for projects, and other things! these are the knitty-centric blogs i follow:

and here are some that i am just latching onto:

and of course, there’s Ravelry. I am on there. I haven’t gotten into posting projects or anything… that’s just a whole other step, and a girl’s gotta work at some point in the day- right? đŸ˜‰ but if you are on Ravelry, find me, let’s be friends! It is also a long-term goal to connect with more Lincoln Knitters… i know you’re out there!!!