Archive for the ‘Grace’ Category

Great Weekend

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

We had a nice family-centric weekend. I love when that happens.

Yesterday was a surprise 60th birthday party for my dad. My mom arranged for it to be held in the gymnasium of their church. Mom and I had a good time running around getting all of the stuff before the party and being as clandestine as possible. We could have done a better job at the latter, though, because my dad had a slight suspicion about the party when he drove to the church. Oh well, he had no idea up until that moment, so that was good. The party was great, and that’s all that really matters.

Here are some photos – click through to see the full set on Flickr.

Dad's Party Mosaic

Today we spent some time cleaning the inside of the house – but not too much. We spent the majority of our efforts raking and bagging leaves. All told, we ended up with 12 yard-size bags of leaves and we’ve still got two trees with quite a few leaves left on them. It’s going to be so nice to not track in 50 million leaves when we come in the house – at least for a little while.

While the kids recuperated from doing manual labor, Rob and I took Grace to a local dog park that recently opened. I’d been following the news about the park’s progress and have wanted to go for a little while now, so I was quite excited to be taking the trip. The park is about 5 miles from our house which is pretty awesome.

Grace had the best time at the park. She ran in and greeted all of the people before even acknowledging any of the dogs when we first got there. That cracked me up. It was fun to watch her interact with the other dogs once she got going, though. Turns out Grace is quite the peacemaker. Every time there was even a hint of a scuffle, Grace came running through, right smack in the middle of the crowd of dogs, tail wagging, tongue hanging, with a huge grin on her goofy face.

We’ve heard narry a peep out of Grace since coming home and it’s been over 4 hours now. She is completely wiped out. Rob and I are enjoying her tiredness; it’s like when infants and toddlers go down for a nap and parents breathe a sigh of relief. The silence and stillness is a welcome change.

And now – it’s time for some Eagles football! Kickoff is right this second. My parents are at the game, so hopefully the birds don’t disappoint.

Do You Grind?

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I went to the dentist today for my regular 6 month checkup. I was anxious to get in because of the teeth sensitivity problem I’ve been having. Unfortunately, neither the dental hygienist nor the dentist saw much of anything that could be the cause. One thing the hygienist noticed was my teeth being flat. She asked if I was a tooth grinder or clencher.

Now, I didn’t say anything to her because I was kind of embarrassed, but I’ll tell the Internet. Makes sense, no?

I have this thing that I do when I pet and love on any animals, and sometimes even my kids. I clench my mouth shut and grind my teeth together the whole time I’m petting these little loved ones of mine. I thought that everyone did this, like it was just a thing all humans did… but when I mentioned it to Aric, he looked at me like I was kind of crazy. What say you? Do you grind your teeth down when you’re petting animals? I can’t figure out why I do it, but I apparently pet Grace all.the.freaking time because I am constantly catching myself grinding these days – and it hurts! I’ve got to find a way to stop. Help!

Deadline

Friday, August 17th, 2007

I’ve got a big deadline at work and I’ve just been slaving my days away this week to meet it. Just in case you were wondering why I’ve been so quiet the past couple of days. It’s sapped all my energy and I haven’t had any left over for blogging. Imagine that!

But it’s Friday night and I’m off for 2 days! We’re having Connor’s birthday party this weekend. It will be real low key; he’s having about 10 friends over and I guess they’re just going to hang out. It’s kind of nice now that they’re getting older and we don’t have to take them to a themed party thing – that gets expensive real quick!

Check out this picture of Grace I took last night. She is so goofy. She got into the trash can and took a straw out – she looked so funny with it that I had to snap a picture before I took it away from her.

GraceStraw

And then look what Colleen did to my baby!!!! Haha.

I’m off to finish dinner and then watch some Eagles football! Good times.

Grace Update

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Despite the fact that Grace just chewed up my last pair of white sandals (she already got to the other 2 pairs), her behavior is getting much better in regards to going outside to do her business. I can’t believe how mad I am about those sandals, though. They were so cute. So cute. They were thongs with a soft fabric lining so my feet didn’t stick to them, and they had the cutest little shells on the thong part. :CRIES:

Anyway, moving on.

I came up with a plan that seems to have worked.

1 – I put up a baby gate so she can not get to the front living room at all.

2 – I brought her crate out to the hallway entrance to block the back area where the bedrooms and master bath are.

3 – I made sure the door to the basement was closed.

Those three things effectively made her living area *much* smaller and possibly safer because it changed her demeanor and everything.

She has only asked to go outside when she actually has to go except for 2 or 3 times and has not had one accident in the past 3 days. I’d say that is a success!

The other thing is we are being consistent about giving her lots of praise and a treat every time she goes outside after asking to go out. She gets the praise just as she is finishing up, so she doesn’t stop mid-stream and gets the treat as soon as she is all done. The few times we’ve gone out that have been non-productive, she knows we have a treat with us and still wants it – and gets disappointed when she doesn’t get it. I think she’s caught on to the fact that she won’t get it unless she actually goes. Hopefully this will keep up. I’m not sure how long we should continue the treats for – I don’t want to have to be giving a 5 year old dog treats every time it goes to the bathroom, but I guess we’ll sort that out as time goes on.

So, yay for progress! Now if only we could do something about the shoe chewing…

Stupid Pet Tricks

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I’m not sure what has happened with Grace and her bathroom habits lately, but Rob and I are frustrated to the max right now.

In the past few weeks, possibly longer, she has taken to holding her pee and poop as long as she can. We are talking 8-12 hours, during the day. She seems to have developed an aversion to going to the bathroom when we take her out. The pattern of taking her out hasn’t changed much – we used to always take her out the front door, and now we take her out back since we can actually walk out the back door and not step into a pit of mud now. Other than the door change, though, I don’t think anything has been altered. She whines at the door, we put her on the leash and take her out.

It started out with it just being a problem of her asking to go out frequently without any results. She’d just walk around and sniff. That gets old real fast, let me tell ya. I know the answer to this problem would probably be solved pretty fast if we had a fence. However, a fence is not in the budget for another few months. I’ve even tried leaving her outside on the lead, thinking she had all of the sudden contracted a case of severe modesty and didn’t want to do her business while just a mere few feet from someone who was holding onto her neck with a leash.

Until this week, the problem has mostly just been a nuisance. Everyone grumbles about having to take the dog out when we know 9 times out of 10, she’s not going to do anything out there. This week, though, things have taken a turn for the worse. She’s been holding it for longer than ever and has gotten to the point where she holds it for so long and then suddenly finds somewhere in the house where she can go in secret. I got the idea to start giving her a treat when we take her outside and she goes. I honestly thought that would be the magic trick to get her behavior turned around.

This morning I’m thinking it’s going to take more than some positive reinforcements when she goes to fix this problem. I was getting ready for work and we had the back bedroom area gated off so she was just lying in my bed while I finished getting all pretty in the bathroom. I opened the gate to get something in the living room and then went back to bathroom, forgetting to close the gate behind me. I saw her walk out into the living area, but knew I would only be a few more minutes, so I let her go. And it wasn’t more than a few minutes later that she came back into the bedroom, so I didn’t think anything of it. When I went into the bedroom to get my purse, I noticed she had a guilty look on her face, and immediately got a bad feeling. I rushed out to the living area to see what she had done. Nothing amiss in the living or family rooms. Looking down the stairs to the basement, though, was another story. I could see a nice little doody pile and a wet spot on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. UGH!!!!

I am not sure what we’re going to do about this. My first response was to rub her nose in it, but I have read in countless places that that is not the thing to do. So I didn’t do that. My next thought was that we keep her crated all day except for potty breaks until she understands she is supposed to do her business outside and outside only. And enough with the false alarm crap!

So, seasoned dog owners: lay it on me. Any words of wisdom for us? Grace is a 9 month old Chocolate Lab, for those of you who haven’t been here long. Hopefully she’ll live to see 10 months. (I kid, I kid.)