Archive for March, 2013

Easter Lily

amywink March 31st, 2013

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Lily has had a very active Easter weekend and today, we found a patch of bluebonnets for her to pose in the obligatory Texas Spring Time Photo. The bluebonnets this year are somewhat sparse because of the drought but there are enough to photograph. Lily was quite tired from her visit with Cookie but she did eventually pose well enough for her photo.
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I am still going to have to work on a “pose” command. She does fairly well if I ask her to sit but her “down” is not quite as enthusiastic if I am about to take a photo.

Since she did so well at last week’s outing, I determined that I try to add some more adventure to our lives and visit some more public places to reinforce her training and give her more excitement than the backyard offers (even though her backyard is pretty exciting). Friday, I took her down to Lady Bird Lake for her first visit to the Hike and Bike Trail. She did extremely well with the well-populated paths–dogs, people, bikes, babies-in-strollers–while I fielded questions about what kind of dog she was. I thought of my last dog, Tristan, who would have had apoplexy at such an outing, and was glad Lily didn’t care one whit about all the hub-bub.
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She even enjoyed dipping her toes in the lake–though I prevented her from going All In at this places since it’s deeper and rockier than I prefer for her first Lake Swim.
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She did so well along the Trail, I decided to try her at Zilker Gardens so we headed over and enjoyed the view of the rose garden from The Butler Window, another classic photo op in Austin.
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Being out with her, ostensibly for her, is also beneficial for me. I’m in the Year 3 lull of a set of 5 year goals and I find myself a little lacking in motivation. It’s not that I’ve not succeeded in completing many of the goals I’d set forth, it’s more like I need a breather from the relentless pursuit of those goals. It’s very challenging to take a break and not push myself further faster but so far, I’ve had few choices. Most things I’ve attempted this spring have just not come to fruition. I’ve found myself entangled and stuck, unable to move forward, backward, sideways or anyways. So, I remain still and waiting, trying to enjoy the break and teaching Lily as she teaches me.

Introvert Person, Extrovert Dog

amywink March 24th, 2013

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Lily made her debut as a true “Austin” dog this weekend with our adventurous trip out to The Mighty Texas Dog Walk. She loved it. Her whole body said “This is absolutely fabulous!” as we approached the venue at Auditorium Shores on Lady Bird Lake.img_3873.jpg She did so well with the crowds of people and was ecstatic at the dogs. Clearly she had no idea such a festival FOR dogs would be possible and it Made Her Day. Now, it is relatively easy to make her day and she often has The Best Day Ever with a relatively small outing or an encounter with a child or a nice walk around the neighborhood. But this event made her extremely happy. She spent most of her time on the actual walk sniffing the ground, which was Much More Interesting that her usual ground.

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Or she was looking at me with this goofy-oh-so-happy-dog face:

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It was a great crowd but I don’t think we broke the record (set at The Great North Dog Walk in the UK). We did have a really good time.

It’s not usually the kind of event that I really go in for, preferring smaller groups of people, but it was completely Lily’s kind of experience. One dog selection book even recommended that introverted people might prefer to find an extroverted dog who might create an acceptable path to more extroverted experiences–though that assumes that one finds being introverted a kind of problem that one might want to overcome (Thanks, I’m actually fine with it). But having a dog that can go places is a treat–having had a dog who Could Not.

While Lily enjoyed the large exciting event, she is also quite happy doing quite things as well and doesn’t always need constant stimulation of a large crowd–and we took some “quiet” breaks for nice lake-side photo sessions.

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Since I have worked with her to make her an acceptable public dog, she’s actually quite a good extrovert dog–able to manage most of her impulses for attention until they are welcome, and thus being easily rewarded for her politeness.

The last time we visited a similar event, a dog agility event, she completely lost her sense of decorum and started to leap on every person she encountered–as if saying “Dog people! Dog people!!” This time, she her feet stayed mainly on the floor except when she was was greeting her dog-peeps from Dog School. By the end of the day, though, she was putting her paws on me and looking at my face with unrestrained happiness, as if to say “This was the Greatest Day. Thank You So MUCH!”

Of course, I was completely happy to have provided her with the day.

Lily Flies

amywink March 20th, 2013

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And she still loves her Tidy Cat Easy Pour Jug.

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Happy 11th Month Birthday, Lily!

Birds and Butterflies

amywink March 20th, 2013

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Sitting out in the yard in the more pleasant Spring weather, I’ve been lucky with a few photography targets. This past week, the Cedar Waxwings have been coming through. Their high peeeeping makes them a distinctive sound in the other bird calls but they are an elusive photography subject. High in our red oak tree, nearly at the top, I did manage to capture a few shots of them. They are such elegant birds and I’m always pleased to encounter them on their way through.

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A Trip to The Livestock Show

amywink March 20th, 2013

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Last week, I took a trip out to the Travis County Livestock Show with my donkey-driving friend, Sally, and her two fine examples of the Miniature Donkey, who would be on display for the crowds in attendance.

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I certainly enjoyed checking out the animals. Lily was not allowed and I can imagine that she’d have been far too excited to remember her training.

This baby Longhorn was well guarded by his mother, who waved her horns at those who got too close.

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And this little fellow was a fine example of the Dorper breed…and is an example of why I can’t eat lamb…

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