Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jackson meets the Cactus

Jackson's ear -

The Cactus -

Now picture a hunk of the cactus in Jackson's ear.

As if to prove that we actually do live in the desert, Jackson came in the house this afternoon with a hunk of cactus in his ear - acccckkkkk!!!! When we first got here a couple months ago my husband came in the house with a hunk of cactus hanging from his arm. I didn't panic - I just got a tweezers and started pulling the needles out one at a time - about a hundred of them, and they seem to have hooks on the end that make pulling them out a challenge. But, hubby held still - and didn't even scream - so we managed to free the cactus from his arm.

When Jackson came in with his cactus, I did panic - a little. I tried to pull them out, but he didn't want to hold still, and let out some yelps as I tried. Since I was alone and didn't have anyone to help hold him, I called the nearest vet and asked if I could come in right away and get some help with this. They said 'yes,' so, I put my mastercard in my pocket and off we went.

Long story short - I got him out of the van at the vet's, he shook his head, and the offending hunk of cactus went flying across the parking lot! Problem solved. I ducked into the vet office to cancel our appointment and we went back home.

Lesson learned: don't panic, it's probably not near as bad as it looks : )

Now if I were the home owner instead of the renter, this sucker would be gone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Life in the desert, training, an award, etc.

Life is good in the desert - and busy. If Jackson thought retirement from the ring meant sleeping on the couch all day, he was in for a surprise. Although we're not training to go in the ring again, we have hooked up with a fun group of trainers here in Arizona and train in a park with them on Sunday mornings. My goals for Jackson now are to keep him moving and thinking, and maybe try to figure out some new training strategies that will help him relax in distracting environments, and build our relationship.

I'm also working on training with lots of games and positive reinforcement. Jackson loves going for our daily walks around the neighborhood so on these walks I'm doing a lot of treating when he's in the 'reinforcement zone' - which is keeping him in heel position and paying attention - by choice. It doesn't seem like 'training' but it's working. He's choosing to stay close to me and check in with me frequently - looking for that treat. Makes for enjoyable walks : )

Thanks to our friends, Falkor the Great Dane and Famke the Field Spaniel, we've received the 'Liebster Blog' award. We are honored. This award goes to 'up and coming' bloggers. Now I need to come up with five bloggers to pass this on to. I'll be working on that.

In the mean time, here's a few pictures of Jackson's life in the desert.


Wishing all our friends a very happy holiday season!