Ah, the elections went pretty much as expected. A governor ballot recount, in Minnesota? How could that be? I think we just hold another election with just the two top candidates on the ballot. Recounts are way too expensive.
And I think there should be some limits on how much a candidate can spend on an election and that they can’t take money from a bunch of out of state oil men. Hey Bachmann, I’m talking about you. Those flyers you sent me every day? They never even made it into the house but went straight into recycling, not the garbage, recycling, cuz that’s just the kind of gal I am.
Java’s trying to do her part for mother earth too. She carried the plastic bottle off the street and all the way home.
People at work tease me about the documents I print out. They stand waiting at the printer for their papers and will go to grab the printer output when it gets sucked back into the printer to print on the other side. “Maery, are you printing something? Way to save a tree.”
Yes, that’s me. The tofu loving, bark and berry eating, tree hugger, as my X used to call me.
Anyway, I’m trying out a new contraption on Java when we go for our walks. She’s so bad about pulling. Every dog training class I’ve ever taken, they want you to use a choke collar and “zip it” when the dog pulls.
Well, I am so worn out with “zipping” Java that our walks are just not any fun anymore. She doesn’t seem to learn anything from being choked. And I don’t think she understands treats either. She links looking at me with getting a treat. Not that “heeling” is why she is getting the treat.
So I found something called a “Head Halter” that reminded me of a “Gentle Leader” but the design is supposed to pull back at the withers, not at the face.
I used a Gentle Leader with my previous pit bull and she hated it. Our whole walk was spent with her trying to paw it off her face and me trying to get her moving.
Java occasionally tries to remove the Head Halter, but mainly when she wants to stop and sniff at something and the halter makes it uncomfortable to do so.
I don’t know what the halter does because it doesn’t whip her head around like the Gentle Leader did, but after a couple times of her trying to pull at the leash, she doesn’t pull anymore and we are able to walk with her mainly on a loose leash, which I have never accomplished with a choke chain.
So I hope this device is as gentle as it appears to be because it sure does work and save my aching shoulders. It looks like maybe it’s tight in this photo (not to mention that she looks like she’s sticking her tongue out at me) but I’ve checked the nose piece as we walk and it’s not tight. Plus she doesn’t have any marks on her nose when we are done.
Java and I are starting a Dog Obedience II class around mid-November. I hesitated to sign up for the class because I’m struggling as it is to keep up with life. But I need some other dogs and distractions to work on Java’s ability to pass a dog without trying to play and to stop her from jumping on people when they greet her.
Mainly, I want to extend my own dog training skills as I’d eventually like to take in another rescue dog but I want to make sure I can handle another dog first. No matter how my heart is pulling, I know I need to settle in more, get some sort of routine established, and figure out myself and my life a little better before I go putting another dog into the mix.
I’m going to end up driving quite a ways to get to the obedience class with Linda Brodzik, but I like her philosophy so I think it will be worth the drive. In her most recent newsletter she wrote about what can go wrong when someone gets a dog and the dog doesn’t live up to their Lassie-like expectations.
She wrote that much of this has to do with the way we communicate, both verbally and with our body language. How we often are not clear in our intentions or our signals. We also must prove ourselves to be trustworthy with our dog(s). We cannot call our dogs to us and then shake them and yell because they chewed up one of our shoes when we were at work. They can’t make the leap of understanding from their past misbehavior to our current melt down.
“Our communication must be in the moment. This is a very hard concept for us. We are continuously projecting forward or looking back. But essentially we can only deal with the moment that is before us now,” Linda wrote in her newsletter.
Believe me, this advice does not just apply to training a dog.