Sunday, May 30, 2010

Computers Hate Me

So to all of you computer savy people out there, I have a question for you:
How do I get my "labels" for my posts to show up? I can't seem to figure it out...I'm sure it's something easy and I'm going to feel like a big dork once you tell me, but can you please help? :)

A Fantastically Messy Friday

Yesterday was mine and Glacier's last day of classes at massage therapy college. You can't believe how happy we both were; especially since I've been fighting the "creeping crud" for the last week and the boys have been stuck indoors sleeping while I try to bombard my body with cold medicine in the hopes of being well enough to study for my final exams, which start on Monday. I've felt really bad because the weather's been gorgeous and Kyo is extremely high energy and I haven't been able to get him out for a walk. So, needless to say, when class let out yesterday at 2:15, a classmate and I stopped at Starbucks, grabbed an ice drink and ran back to the house to get Kyo to take him and Glacier for a well deserved run. It was unseasonably warm and the boys were both excited to be in the back seat of the car with the windows rolled down smelling the spring air.
We took them to a bike trail that runs about 60 kilometres long or so. Of course we had no intention of walking that far, but it's nice because it runs along the river and it's away from traffic most of the time. There are signs posted everywhere about having dogs on leash at all times, but there is a bi-law in the Cambridge area that states that if a guide dog or police dog is caught off leash in a "no go" zone, they are not considered at large. So, hoping that no one would get too angry, we let the boys off a little ways down the trail.
Glacier, being a very white yellow lab, headed straight for the muddy stream that runs along the side of the trail. Kyo, being Glacier's little brother-who is bigger than Glacier-raced after him and soon my white yellow lab was as black as his little brother. He looked like a skunk, with his sides, belly, legs and head all covered in mud and a long streak down the centre of his back that remained off white.
We found a side trail that lead down to the river, so we took that, deciding that it was unlikely we'd run into cyclists and runners that would be annoyed that the dogs were loose. The path was over grown and at one point we came to a little swampy area that we had to cross on a rickety board that could only hold one of us at a time. The boys thought it was fantastic! Glacier ploughed directly into the swamp with Kyo hot on his tail. They splashed and jumped about until they realised that my classmate and I were a bit too far ahead for their liking.
They chased circles around us as we continued our trek to the river's bank. By the time we got there Glacier was even dirtier than I thought he could possibly get and both dogs were breathing prety hard. I thought that they had enough, but I was very wrong.
Glacier galloped as fast as he could down to the river's edge and plunged in. He'll only go up to his belly and he occupied himself jumping through the shallows. Kyo is a bit more hesitant about water, but he soon realised that it was cooler in the water and I'm sure he figured that if Glacier could do it, then he could too, so he too was prancing about in the river. My classmate and I sat down to watch their foolery and finish our drinks and were pleasantly surprised that when they came trotting up the bank towards us, Glacier was almost white again. I really should have leashed them then, but they were having so much fun and the path was almost too narrow to heel them on, so we let them race back to the main trail leash free.
Now, I've mentioned the swamp that we had to cross to get to the river, so obviously we had to cross it again to get home and since Glacier sort of played in it on our way there, I just figured he'd do that again. But again, I was wrong. As soon as we reached the shaky little make shift bridge, Glacier promptly laid down in the muddy swampy water. When my classmate and I exclaimed in utter disgust, he just looked up at us with mud caked to his face with the biggest grin on his face. I swear! White dogs attract dirt! It's his lot in life to get dirty! :)
We figured there was no point in putting them on leash now that they were both absolutely filthy. Neither of us wanted to touch them, but a lot of good that did us. On the way back up the trail, they would race by us and stop and shake all over us, or rub up against our legs. By the time we reached the car, we were both streaked in mud. :)
I must admit though, despite the mud romping, they both were fantastic. There were cyclists and runners that past us and Glacier and Kyo stayed right beside us and did not go and chase the passers by. For only having Kyo for two months, I'm impressed by is recall and his ability to lisen to me even in the face of distraction.
Speaking of impressive-as we approached the car, the boys raced ahead and reached the parking lot before us. When we got closer, my classmate could see that Kyo had found her car and was sitting politely beside it waiting for us. He has the makings of a good tracking dog. :)
We managed to cover up the back seats of her car with old sheets and get the boys back to her house where we hosed them off as best we could. Pretty much all of the mud was gone, but the horrible swamp smell lingered. Today I phoned her and begged her to take us to Pet Smart so that Glacier and Kyo could get a bath. She agreed and we rushed them directly there. It worked out because while they were getting all prettied up, my classmate and I got some serious studying in and now that I've got them home, they're both passed out on the living room area rug. That is great for me because now the energiser Kyo is staying still long enough for me to write this and maybe get some more studing in. :)
All in all, it was a fantastically messy day, but I'm glad they smell like raspberries now instead of Ode to Swamp.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Dog's Logic

I have had dogs for 20 out of the 26 years of my life and their logic still boggles my mind.
Yesterday, I was in the kitchen making my lunch and Kyo and Glacier were in the small den that is off of the kitchen chewing on their bones. As I bustled about, I noticed that one of the dogs was no longer chewing what they should be because the sound of the chewing changed. I dropped my lunch immediately, concerned that Kyo was chewing something he shouldn't have. He's only a year old and his last family did not set up any boundaries for him, so he does exhibit disstructive behavior sometimes. I rushed into the den only to find Kyo sprawled out with an empty water bottle between his paws, gnawing feverishly at the bottle's cap. This si not the first time Kyo has made a chew toy of a water bottle. In fact, I have a Christmas video of Jetta-my retired guide dog-and Flash-my parents' dog-chasing empty 2 litre pop bottles around my parents' living room. I returned to making my lunch completely baffled.
Here was Kyo chomping on a 50 cent water bottle while his 20 dollar Rhino cone and 18 dollar nyla bone lay beside him. It seems like dogs would make just about anything into a toy. You could take the dog outside and I can guarantee, within 30 seconds of being off leash, the dog will have found something to occupy him/herself. For example, the instant you take my fiance's black lab Roscoe outside, he starts mowing the lawn. If there is a stick or rock in the vicinity, you can be sure that Glacier will find it and make a game of teasing the other dogs with it. Maybe pet stores should start selling tree branches and hunks of lawn instead of fluffy squirrels with squeakers in them and over priced hunks of plastic that claim to be indistructible but are not. :) Either way, I will probably keep buying these expensive toys and my boys will continue to eat grass and chew on water bottles.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My "eventual" Return

Guess who's finally back? A lot of things have changed, so here is my top five list of changes in the last year. :)
1. I got engaged last November, but my fiance has to move to South Carolina and that makes me sad because we're going to be so far apart.
2. I am writing my last set of exams for massage therapy college in two weeks.
3. I adopted a great dane lab cross from the Guelph Humane Society-Kim (fiance) s he takes no credit for this move). His name is Kyo (meaning "big" in Japanese) and h'es a "moose." He weighs about 90 pounds and he's not done growing. :)
4. Glacier has reached a whopping 75 pounds and continues to be a great guide dog.
5. I'm looking for a massage therapy job in a multi-disciplinary clinic somewhere in Northern Ontario.
So that has been the last ten months in a nut shell-there has been a lot of studying, hissy fits and anger directed at my college, but none of that is new stuff-it seems that being accomodated for one's disability is still a concept that people can't seem to grasp. Despite all of this, I'm graduating on June 18 and won't be looking back. :)