Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dog Days: Day 2 (Veteran's Day)

Day 2 brings Tanner a bit more calmness. He stays mostly in his crate but comes out and follows us around as we walk the house. Last night we tried to secure the crate but he whined and pawed at the crate door. I was already asleep by then. DH woke me up to ask what to do and I told him to just let him out. He stayed in his crate.
Both of us are off from work today, Veteran's Day. It was the perfect weather outside so we took our coffee out and sat at our patio table. To make sure the dog wasn't afraid of the pool after his dunking last night, I made sure he saw me walking the perimeter.
After a while, as we chatted I saw him walking around the pool. Score! No fear, at least not to walk around it. He even bent down to drink out of the pool.
We decided to skip the free meal or appetizer offered by many restaurants in honor of Veteran's Day. It is always so crowded, stressful. I was hoping to go out for lunch to beat some of the rush but we slept in and had a leisurely morning.
When Tanner walked between us as we sat I tried to pet his head up to a level position and softly pull his tail up. I saw it on The Dog Whisperer. He had tied the tail to the lead so both the head and tail were up, offering the dog forced confidence. Think a support to walk with a straight back, like a dancer. You feel taller, in charge, powerful. Works for dogs, too. DH noticed I was doing it, and then we happened to watch that exact show later that day. Funny how the universe works out.
An appointment was made for grooming at a local Petsmart. This way we could get him washed and see how he acts towards dogs. We had debated whether we wanted to put him into the car so the windows go down, or the truck which only has pop-out windows in the back cab.
We went out to lunch at a local Thai place and left the dog out of the crate as a trial. He was just fine.
dog in the truck day 2
We decided on the truck in case of an accident, its easier to clean. This time we decided not to use the crate and threw caution to the wind. Around the block and back if he couldn't take it. But he was just fine. We put a blanket down but he pulled it down and pawed at it when he turn in a circle, like nesting, to lay down. Every once in a while he would sit up and look out the window. No whining, no fuss.
We should have taken him for another walk just before the trip because he was even more nervous walking through the parking lot than he was in the house.
We encountered some dogs and he was great with them. Stopped shaking, smelled, circled, it was a huge positive. It got his mind off the grooming room until the dog left and then he started shaking again. DH was nervous leaving him. (awww)
I told the attendants that we had no idea how he would behave and if there was a problem to just stop and we will come get him. But they said he did just fine, nervous, but very well behaved. Excellent. What we did not know was that it was a 3 hour process. During the wait, we bought a lead (short leash) a few water bowls for outside and a new bed to fit in the cage. We grabbed some treats and a toy-on sale, too.
After that we walked over to Ross to check out the bathmats to go under Tanner's food and water bowl. We decided to just use one of the old towels we have at home. From there we went to Walmart to buy a car cell phone charger and scored a light-up leash we saw someone in our neighborhood use.
I had posted on a facebook page to see if I could borrow a few baby gates to try to let the dog walk around the kitchen near his food and water but not to access the carpet or furniture. So many mom's offered gates, it was wonderful. We headed west to the neighborhoods over there to pick them up. As it turned out, they all live in neighboring developments.
As we were headed that way we go the call to pick up the dog, of course. DH was instantly worried the place would close on him and we wouldn't get him back home, that he would be locked in. Ridiculous, he was just attached to the dog, it's so cute. I knew the last appointment was at 6 pm so if three hours were needed we had until 9 pm.
Tanner was shaking but just fine. Another good interaction with a dog and then we went home. Again the trip was fine. We went for a walk before turning in.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dog Days: Day 1

Tanner day 1We have a dog!!!
My friend Des's sweet little boy has severe asthma and the dog was making it much, much worse. The doctor told her it was best to rehome the dog for the sake of his breathing and I saw her post his picture on a few facebook pages.
We had already planned to foster a rescue dog and figured now was a good time. I contacted her to let her know we were interested but to let him go to anyone who could get there before me. A few people interested couldn't take him and so he was still around. I wanted to make sure we were both meeting him at the same time and at his own house. I had talked with her before about him and she was very forthcoming with the pros and the cons of his personality. Great with kids and dogs, stays in the crate, only like soft toys. 
Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, is a staple at this house so we knew we had to take him for a walk. Living on base, Des's house was the perfect location. As soon as we stepped onto the sidewalk kids went whizzing by, strange noises came from bikes or scooters, cars drove right next to us and through it all  he was unfazed. Great.
I made sure DH was there with me the first time I met the dog. He was rescued during a deployment so there was no way to know if his skittishness around males was from a past abuse or just confusion as to why a strange male was suddenly allowed in the house-or a combo of both. I wanted DH to be there to make sure the dog was ok with him. Any trouble and he was a no-go; he seemed perfectly fine.
He came with a plastic crate and we were told he sometimes had to be locked out of it so he would be around the family and not inside of it. None of our dogs growing up ever had a crate so it's my plan to get rid of that. We shall see.
The crate went into the truck and Des's DH picked up the dog and put him in; he apparently freaks out if not in the crate for car rides.
Getting him home was fine, he was quiet, and we couldn't tell much more because the crate is opaque.  To cement the relationship between dog and man, as we were told he follows Des around (and therefore probably me also), I had DH take him for a walk while I unpacked his stuff from the truck. It was at this time I managed to lose control of the full dog bowl and toss it all over the inside of the truck and out on to the driveway. What a mess. At least it was dry. The dog did not want to walk without me (aw!) but he did just fine.
In the house he checked out the lower level. We kept the leash on him just in case, an idea from the Dog Whisperer. Using the leash we were able to convince Tanner to go upstairs and check out the rooms up there but he headed right back down stairs, where we unhooked the leash. I knew to limit him because nervous dogs can be overwhelmed with so much space.
He spent most of the time in the crate. By the time we got him home it was dark out and we thought nothing of letting him out into the backyard. On base they have a good space of grass or rock. Here was have three steps and then a pool. He went right out the door and into the pool on the wading deck, up to his ears. Poor thing, it was cold out.
I yelled into the house for DH, who was upstairs, to bring towels. I dried off the dog with lots of rubbing but managed to miss his neck which became obvious when inside, the dog kept putting his head on my lap, wetting my pants.
He is inquisitive but so skittish. I did notice Tanner searched for DH when went out to pull the truck into the garage. Definitely a good sign.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Vegas!- The Show

Vegas!- The Show

VEGAS! the Show
This is a must-see! The entire show was phenomenal from start to finish. It opens up with a maintenance guy working at the Neon Museum- another must see here in Vegas, and since we have been there, we already had a personal link to this show. This show had something or someone on all levels of the builds and across the stage. Colors popped, a real band (more of an orchestra, really) was all over the sets as well. Sometimes they were on the stage, sometimes in a window cut-out, sometimes way up on a rooftop. The variety was amazing. The wide walkway was even utilized to bring some of the dancers and singers out into the crowd, engaging everyone. To see what I mean, check out
There was the Rat Pack, the famous Vegas Showgirls (family show? It is Vegas, baby. Or was, which is the point of this show!), Sony and Cher, Elton John, the list goes on.  And being a local, and an archaeologist, some of the history tossed in here or there may have fallen on the visitors’ ears as, oh, that’s neat, and forgotten.  But I had been to some of those places, heard the history from locals, seen the old newspaper clippings. This was a great addition to the entertainment, and of course, the reason behind the who, the what, the where, and the when, including the story of segregation in the world of performance.
A few of the Variety acts were also in Vegas! The roller skating duo, the tap dancing brothers; all amazing and totally worth being a part of both shows. This was great. If a family can only hit up one show while in town, Vegas! it is.
This show was over the top and then some. The stage seemed to expand exponentially to fit the musicians and the dancers and the singers and the costume changes- cute effect with the brides, I laughed out loud. As a matter of fact, my face hurt from a full night of enjoyable entertainment. This is an excellent show and we have recommended it, just as with Variety, to everyone since.
This also had a long line to get in with general admission, a photo op, and a meet n’ greet at the end. The line was pretty fast moving but finding seating for groups was hard; the employees were running around trying to accommodate. They deserve a hearty, Thank You, you are all amazing, from management-if not more, but let’s be honest here, sometimes getting that is amazing. Being just two of us we were able to get quick seats along with wide walkway. This was maybe not so hot, we felt like missed much of the fancy foot work floor show, although we did see the feet on the tap dancers… But we will definitely be back!  And standing in line from the get-go to get the best view.
Who knows, maybe having a head in the way would have cut out more of the show. Actually, our seats allowed us the see the whole stage, at all levels, including an upfront and personal interaction from one of the dancers on the walkabout, so maybe this was a blessing in disguise. The final WOW was that as we filed out, one of the singer/dancers was walking right behind me! I told him it was a great show and we chitchatted on the way down the steps to the meet and greet section. How cool is that! We will definitely be back to Vegas!
(image from website)