Archive for Jake

Busy, Busy, Busy…..

It’s been nutty the past few weeks again, but moreso than usual!  Lots going on at work and with everything else-I won’t go into the gory details, but I’m searching for a nuclear medicine job in my area now.  The good news is that the more I look, the more that things are popping up here and there.  Not too close to me yet, but I’m seeing more and more jobs out there day to day.  I’m off work the week after next, so I’ll be doing a lot of hunting out there at that time.  I think I may have one sort of lined up, but it’s a part time job-I’d be working part time at my current job and part time there.  The problem is that the new job, although it sounds really good, is kind of far away.  I need to get rid of my gas-guzzing truck before I go down there every day.  Good news about that, too-the Blue Book value on it is 17-20k and I owe about 9 on it now so I can probably sell it and get enough to put a REALLY good down payment on something else.  Even at a trade in value it was listed at 18k.  Will I get that as a trade in?  Probably  not.  Will I try?  Hell yeah. 

Daisy has been doing great.  I think I wrote about my lesson with that trainer from out of town-she gave me some things to work on and I’m finally starting to understand how to do them.  I know what a counter canter is, but I wasn’t sure how to ask for it and continue to ask for it, but now I’m seeing where I made mistakes.  We would start on the correct lead, cross the diagonal, and Daisy would either drop to a trot or else switch leads.  (she has a nice change, so that’s kind of a good thing, but since I didn’t ask for it, it’s not such a good thing to offer it)  I was riding her on Saturday and we had some help from another person who has done this stuff before-I asked what I was doing wrong and it turns out that I’m not keeping her flexed to the outside enough.  At least, that’s what’s working for now.  When you’re teaching a new thing to a horse, you have to reinforce it appropriately until they understand what you’re asking.  It makes sense, but I guess at the time I didn’t understand that what I was doing was confusing to her.  She’s a good girl and she’s trying, but I knew there was just something not clicking there.  I’m glad I talked to this other person and cleared it up at least a little!  Hopefully we’ll be able to work on it more now and next time that trainer is in town we’ll be a little better.

Jake and Bandit are doing good-Jake is still slowing down and he’s developed a bit of a dry cough that comes and goes.  It’s only one cough about every 3 days, but I know it’s different and I’m starting to wonder if the cancer has spread to his lungs now.  He’s going on 11 and he’s looking good otherwise, so I know he’s had a good life.  I have pretty much decided that we aren’t going to remove anything else and he’s not going through chemo.  He’s a very happy boy and he still has quite a bit of energy, so I don’t want to ruin that for him in his old age.  Bandit is getting more and more brave-he will go up to people and play a little now, but he still doesn’t really want them to touch him.  When it’s someone he knows, he’s a little less reluctant and he’ll lay down by them or play or whatever, but strangers he still doesn’t like.  Lots better than he used to be for sure!

Here’s my fun story to end this post on-I went to my Mom’s yesterday with Bandit and we stopped at my husband’s grave briefly because I wanted to say hi and I wanted to take a picture of a part of his headstone because I’m going to make a letterbox stamp for him-it’ll be my first one that I’m really making and placing, so that’ll be cool!  (look up letterboxing on the internet and you guys will see what it’s all about-I recently get into it a bit with my little sister and stepmom when they came for a visit a week ago and I figured I’d place a couple of them too-this one will be my tribute to Mike and my first letterbox!)  Anyway, Bandit and I headed back and there was a small deer eating in the distance.  The deer over there are pretty used to people because the cemetery is kind of a nature preserve, too.  This one was very young, but she had lost her spots already, so she was old enough to be on her own.  Bandit didn’t notice her at first and he was sniffing stuff-I pulled out my camera phone and decided to try to get in closer for a picture.  I took pictures every couple steps until we go within about 15 feet of the thing!  Bandit FINALLY noticed it and froze-staring at her.  He started lunging a little on the leash but she wasn’t too worried apparently.  We started walking away because I didn’t want to scare her off and she started following us!  LOL!  My big dog lunging at her on a leash and she’s following us.  We paused to take another picture from that angle and she started eating some weeds.  I guess she wasn’t too nervous.  Eventually she walked off, but not before I got some really good pictures of her.

This is where she started following us-she got closer than we did! We were within 15 feet of her, she walked within 10 feet of us!


She turned and went to eat some weeds when we paused to take another picture


She was within 15 feet again here-obviously not too put off by us because she was looking at something else! Pretty!!

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Jake’s Adventure With The Pup Next Door

WOW.  That’s all I can say!  Jake was actually really good!  Mike and I were talking over the fence and Kuma looked like he was going to hop over to see us.  I said “awww-he wants to play with his friends!”  So Mike said “should I bring him over?”  So I said sure and put Jake on a leash so he could come out and see what happens too (he gets so upset when he’s stuck inside while Bandit gets to play-even when he has a chewy or something).  Kuma came over and Jake made his first move on the leash-he told Kuma that this was his yard and he needs to play by Jake’s rules.  Kuma agreed and all was well.  I let them see each other a few more minutes then Mike said to let Jake off the leash because it didn’t look like he was going to do anything.  I did.  Jake went after Kuma for jsut a second, Kuma backed off, and Jake was happy.  Jake kept right by my side most of the time and only ran after Kuma and Bandit in a playful way for a short time.  He was exhausted after that.  Poor old guy LOL!  I was very happy that Jake was more accepting of Kuma, though.  It shows a lot of progress from where we were with him before. 

Well, while we’re on the topic of how good my dogs are, I have a new favorite picture to share:

"Hey Bandit! Check that out!"


Kellen is finally starting to stand up on his own-just almost walking 🙂  Bandit was hanging out at Mom’s house with me and Kellen kept coming over to see him.  I guess something caught both their eyes because Kellen started pointing and Bandit was looking at whatever it was too.  I just happened to catch it on my phone 🙂

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth to everyone!  Bandit, Jake, and I are all upstairs in the bedroom watching the fireworks outside the window-no bugs and a great view of everything in the neighborhood 🙂  The local fireworks show never disappoints and I have a spectacular view from my window-really, I can see it all.  The extra plus to this is that since Bandit is a little freaked, I can stay upstairs with him and still see everything! 

Bandit is doing great, Jake is doing ok (he sprained his tail again today, wagging a little too much I guess), and Daisy is doing pretty well, too.  We’ve been working on my balance more than anything else lately.  Pilates is really helping to pay off.  I had one of those huge realizations when  things just click and we took a huge step forward in training.  I still want to start taking lessons from a good trainer, but I’m going to hold off just a LITTLE longer to get my balance just a little better.  In  addition to Pilates, I’ve been reading this book called “Balance in Movement” and it makes a lot of sense!  I’m excited to be reading and learning at the same time.  We’ll probably do some more training tomorrow because we took the day off today-I figured with the holiday, Daisy deserved a little time off too.  We went out to the pasture, she got turned out, and I read a book for about 2 1/2 hours today.  It was wonderful.  I really needed to mental break with all the stress at work right now.  Anyway, I’m rambling-back to the training.  I’ve found that if I keep my hip flexors elongated in the saddle, it puts my body in the right position.  I balance with the trunk of my body and I don’t need my arms or legs for balance anymore (ok a little, but the main part is in the pelvis and abs).  We cantered a 10 meter circle like that (not an easy thing for an unbalanced horse), and Daisy was able to keep herself slow and balanced-no leaning to the inside and speeding up to compensate for me throwing her off balance.  We did this her good way and we didn’t attempt the bad way yet.  I figured that she did so well that I wanted to end it there.  Since we didn’t canter too much and we worked both ways at the trot, I wasn’t too concerned about her being worked too hard one way and not at all the other.  We’ll see how it goes next time.

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Still more excitement in life…..

It’s still really busy around here, so I figured I’d better catch up!

The babies at the stable are starting to get bigger already.  The first one is certainly the beauty of the two, but the second one is starting to come along now too.  They play every night outside while the mothers stand guard-it’s pretty cool to see.  Daisy has gotten over them being there, too.  She’s back to being interested only in food again.  I actually heard a story about her-I got there later in the afternoon one day, as usual, and someone told me that they saw her outside while she was turned out.  The guys that tend the stables went and started mowing the lawn-apparently they have done it before while Daisy was outside because she heard them start up the mower and ran over to keep an eye on them and wait for them to mow past her pasture.  Apparently the mower shoots grass into her pasture and she follows them, eating the whole way.  Ugh.  What a horse-following the lawn mower like it’s fast food.  She’s got a show coming up this weekend and I really just haven’t had much time to work with her!  I hope I remember my tests because I don’t think I’m going to have a reader this time, either.  I’m pretty sure I’m going this one alone-I have someone taking me there, but she has someone else that she is helping out and that other person is in my classes so I think she’s going to be busy while I’m getting ready and warming up.  No big deal, thoough-I think we can handle it 🙂

I’m loving my Pilates class, too-I started off in the beginners class about 15-20 weeks ago at once a week.   The class was turned into an intermediate class by the second session, and I’m really starting to do some of the more advanced moves.  The rest of the class is still on some of the beginner stuff and I’ve been personally instructed to do the “next” parts of each movement.  My favorite one is “teasers”-It takes a lot of whole body strength and there’s 3 levels.  The rest of the class is still on the first level.  I’ve been doing the second level the past couple weeks, and the instructor today told me to try the teasers 3-that’s the one where you lay flat on the ground, then lift your legs and arms simultaneously, reach to your toes while balancing on your butt, and then go all the way back down.  I did a couple of them very well, but it’s a lot harder that it looks.  It’s pretty cool because there are a lot of people who have done this a lot longer than I have and they are still doing teasers 1.  So I’m pretty proud of that LOL!

Work is going well, too.  Since Diane left, we have cleaned up the entire front office.  It looks like a different place!  We have several new rules in place because I see now where the flaws were in the old front office-there is NO paperwork left out at ALL is rule #1.  No charts are left laying around EVER-if it’s not in use, it’s put away.  There were STACKS of papers that weren’t filed for a LONG time in different piles throughout the front area, and I’m seeing that things were literally thrown on my desk-my office is treated a lot differently now, and it doesn’t get anywhere near as bad.  Now that I can really see where the problem was, these issues are resolved.  The newest thing is that I won’t be putting up with ANY crap from anyone-I think I did that way too long, and I see where my errors were in management styles.  I don’t allow any fluctuation in the core rules, otherwise there will be write ups and dismissals.  I should have done write ups and dismissals a long time ago.  The new billing company is working out GREAT, too!  It’s amazing how well we do when the billing is actually done right 🙂  Quite shocking how one small change can make such a huge impact.  Anyway, I’m very happy-I’m working some overtime and I’m coming home tired, but it’ll all pay off when I have things running the way they are supposed to be again.  Gone are the days of allowing someone freedom to do things their way-especially when I knew for a long time that their way was the WRONG way.  They knew it too, but chose not to chage it out of lazinessand probably some degree of ignorance, stupidity, and lack of better judgement-and I can totally see that now.  I love how things always seem to work out 🙂

Bandit and Jake are doing great-Bandit has his new friend, Kuma, next door, and they play about once every other weekend.  Jake is slowing down more, but he’s still holding his own.  Since he’s 10 now, I’ve kind of decided that we are going to just play things by ear.  If I have things that MUST be done, I will do them with him.  Otherwise, I’m going to let him have a happy life. I don’t want him to suffer going through chemotherapy treatments and surgeries that may or may not help his situation at all.  I can’t tell if the cancer is back or not, but I would tend to think it proabably is.  He seems happy, though, and that’s what matters to me.  Bandit is doing well with his commands-he comes, sits, lays down, stays, heels, etc, and he’s happy to do it.  It seems like it builds his self esteem when he knows he does things right, so we try to do a little every day.  He’s being a little more brave with the neighbors, going up and sniffing them (although he barks when he does it), and ocassionally licking them on the hand or something.  Not too bad. 

I’ll try to post more pictures soon!

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Clever Little Bandit

I’ve had a (now normal for me but) very busy week again 🙂  I’m really getting used to working my butt off doing my job then taking care of the dogs and the horse as well as practicing for our first show coming up soon.  Daisy had a really good lesson tonight again-I need to do more lessons before the show, though.  I really need to reinforce what we learn.  It seems like it’s stuff that I know, I just need to hear it again and realize when I stop doing the things I know I need to do.  Otherwise, she’s really doing very well.  She was pretty well balanced today at her trot and canter.  The canters especially felt much nicer than usual, but maybe a little fast still.  She was going nice and slow the other day outside, but tonight she was faster, probably to get done quicker or to help balance herself (it’s easier for the horse to go faster than it is to stay slow and collected).  When I did some major half halts she slowed down and balanced herself, though, so I know it can be done.  We were both exhausted by the time we were done-both of us nasty and sweaty LOL!  I keep getting compliments from people watching us and I feel like it looks really nice, too.  In addition to thanking people when they compliment us, I always add in that I’ll be a lot happier if she can do that at a show, too.  We’ll see how it goes. 

OK-so on to the Bandit story.  He’s such a smart little bugger.  The boys both get up earlier and earlier progressively every morning, and last time I let them get away with it, we ended up getting up at 3am every morning then going back to bed after I let them out and such.  So I’m NOT going to let that happen again.  They need to wait until it’s TIME to get up.  They try harder and harder to get me up every morning and then they eventually give in and go back to sleep.  Bandit has been doing “puppy flips” as I call them-he’s still young so it’s a quick motion, but Jake used to do it like that too and the motion gets slower and slower as they get older.  The way Jake does it now, when he’s standing next to me, he puts his head on the couch or bed or whatever, right next to me, then he does a somersault over backwards until he’s laying down right next to me with his tummy in the air.  When Bandit does it, he just takes his whole body and FLOPS it as hard as he can on top of me.  After that, he wiggles around like a nut job, expecting to be petted.  So anyway, he has been doing that-floping on top of me to try to wake me up.  This morning, though, he came up with the idea that when I ignored him, he would take my pillow and yank it out from under my head then throw it on the floor, followed by a full out puppy flip.  I didn’t see that coming at all, so my head went down then all of the sudden I have this monster dog on top of me wiggling around and wagging his tail.  I have to admit, it got me up.  And you just can’t get mad at that-when I realized what had happened, I yelled, “BANDIT!!”  then I couldn’t help but laugh.  I just hope Daisy doesn’t start doing that for attention any time soon.

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Bandit Flexes his Puppy-Muscles

I have some pictures that are just about ready to put up, but I haven’t loaded them on the computer yet, so I thought I’d get on with a new story!  I’m sure by now that everyone who reads this knows that Jake is supposed to be the leader of the house here and Bandit is second fiddle.  When Bandit came in, he was a super quiet, meek little boy who wanted no trouble at all.  He backed down any time Jake took him on and that made Jake feel even more like the big boy in the house.  Little by little I’ve noticed that Bandit is starting to get to be a little more take-charge, though, and tonight was a big sign of just that.  The past six weeks or so, when we go to my mom’s house, Bandit has been a little more open-he walks around the house a bit and he seems a little more relaxed.  He’s letting people pet him (even if it’s in a timid way), and when my neighbor Mike comes out, he barks like crazy and runs to the fence.  He’s starting to really show that he’s a tougher guy than I thought he would be.  So tonight when I gave both the boys chewy treats, I thought that I’d better separate them.  They went in separate rooms, but Jake did what he always does and was finished with his about twice as fast as Bandit was going.  As soon as Jake finished his, he took off for the other room and went to steal Bandit’s treat.  I heard a lot of barking, snarling, and nipping for a couple seconds and got up right away to break it up.  By the time I got in there, I they were done-I went for Jake to take the treat back for Bandit, but Jake didn’t have anything-I looked over and Bandit was still chewing it!  Bandit won!  I still gave Jake a swat on the butt for being a little brat, but Bandit got a pat on the head for standing up for himself.  Jake followed me back to the other room without an issue, so I guess that Bandit made it very clear that he wasn’t going to give in. 

Good Boy, Bandit 🙂

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Late Update :)

I’ve been very busy doing a lot of things lately-I keep thinking about getting back here and writing, but it all seems kind of boring!  I’ll update anyway….

A new dog moved in next door-he’s a little Akita, a few months old, named Kuma.  Very cute little bundle of fur 🙂  Bandit took a liking to him pretty quickly.  Since he’s still small enough to pick up, I had my neighbors pass him over the fence to me a couple times now so he and Bandit could play.  Bandit is still a little iffy on everything, but he’s slowly coming around to a point where he’ll play with the little guy. In the beginning, he played the little stand off game, then he started running away from Kuma.  He’s still at a point where he’s being shy, but at least he’s enjoying meeting a new dog a little bit!  Jake, of course, is not allowed to play with the puppy.  He’s played with puppies in the past and he just knocks them over and puts them on their backs.  Not a real nice guy like that.  I took some pictures this past weekend while Kuma and Bandit were playing-I didn’t get anything real spectacular, but once I get the pictures off my camera, I’ll post them here.

Daisy has been good.  She’s still working hard and training, some days are better than others, of course.  Our first show is coming up in just a few short weeks!  She just had her Coggins done for the season, so I can’t sign up for the show until I have that in.  I expect it in a couple days, then I’ll fill out the forms and send them up to the show grounds.  I’m looking forward to getting out there again, but I’m sort of nervous.  I guess I always am 🙂  It’s only Training Level and it’s not like we’re going to the Olympics or anything-I don’t know why I get nervous LOL!

That’s pretty much everything I can think of right now!  Like I said, it’s been a really busy but boring week-not much to write about!  Hopefully in the next few days I’ll come up with something to share 🙂

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