Thursday: D and I cafe hopped - started at the place that makes these crazy sweet lattes (more like a vanilla mocha) until the woman two tables over got really loud, then moved to Boudin Creek for vegetarian lunch and spiced mocha, and then to a third coffee place (the Fair Trade Place) to grab our pound of coffee for home. Hey I also managed to grade most of the freshman tests, so I count it productive.
Friday: i slogged into class and then took myself off to the coffee shop to get some much needed translation work done. If only I could figure out a way to do that once a week I'd be set. Perhaps now that my schedule isn't filled with conferences I'll be able to.
Saturday: We hired a doggie trainer. It may be extreme, but Domino, the cutest dog in the universe (see icon), has been waking us up barking every single night for a couple of months. Or she was. She's exactly what we wanted - someone who is not all about dominance or strict methods, but who wants to work with dogs and people to have them work closely together. She spent an hour and a half just talking to the three of us about oru interactions with Domino, what we wanted out of training, what kind of dog people we were and what our fears were. It was fun to concentrate solely on our dog and our interactions with the dog with a professional who lives dog behavior. The other great part is that she was obviously not only incredibly dedicated, but well read about things like the newest dog behavioral studies. Fits us to a T.
Of course Domino was completely contrary to form - usually she's pretty territorial and protective when someone enters the house, but when the trainer came in she barked once, then followed the woman around with tail up, at her most curious and obliging. Then she actually fell asleep while we were talking.
There was lots of common sense imparted, of course, and one of the main upshots was that we are going to attempt to engage Domino's brain more often. The most common sense thing was that we're not going to have food out for her all the time - since we're basically training her to be responsive to treats, if we feed her twice a day and then feed her nutritious treats during training she won't have the "i just ate, i don't care about your treats" position to work from anymore. And did you know that they now make dog food puzzles? Treat dispensing toys, they're called, and for a dog like ours, who has excess energy and excess attention that she needs to burn off, they're perfect. Well, almost perfect - they do get dog food spread over the floor. We will have to clean more.
She also gave us three games to play. The first teaches her the reward word - we're now "yip"ing at our dog to tell her she's done something right. The second has her touch her nose to our fingers - a new way to introduce her to strangers. The third is a leash recall, and so far today we've worked on it just a tiny bit.
The best part is that we've already seen results. Neil said that his walk with her today was one of the best he's ever had (she's been testing us on walks too), and she didn't bark last night. Fingers crossed that she won't bark tonight either, and that we're going to move into a whole new world with our puppy. And to top all of that off D & I went and saw Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist and it was perfectly what it said it was going to be, which totally delighted us.
Today: I was supposed to get work done, but that didn't really happen. Instead we played rock band. Yep. Now that I've sung myself close to hoarse, I'm going to bed.