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Geonni, I read your blog and I am truly happy for you.

 

As we age, maintenance of mobility is really important and the dogSS will assist in this regard. I work at home and if it wasn't for the dogs, I would probably be a total recluse and never leave my computer chair.

 

How about kicking it up a notch and enrolling an agility class? I know people in their 70's who are still competing and running.

Not quite ready for that. I still have agoraphobia, and I have no car. So, One thing at a time... starting with springing out of bed when the pup goes to the door.

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So, we got through the first day/night without an "accident." I have no way of knowing if she has had any housebreaking, but she is pee-shy, and hasn't gone on the leash at all. Thank doG for my teency yard! She is very thin. But she did have a parasite load (no heartworm), and she was spayed 8 days ago. It's been a roller-coaster 10 days for her. She sleeps a lot. For this I'm grateful - I've got to ease into the "jump up now!" thing. She's been yelled at, but I don't think she was hit. Her tail is up under her belly quite a bit, but she isn't much bothered by noises - trucks, the garbage man, stuff falling over.

 

Skinny girl...


post-10533-0-44688500-1439488328_thumb.jpg

 

But Sugar was skinny when she was young too. This was her at a year.

 

post-10533-0-90967900-1439488432_thumb.jpg

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That is the goal. To control my weight so my mobility improves, and I don't need to. My knees are pretty screwed up - that is, they hurt a lot - I haven't gottten X-rays. But the biggest problem with my knees is the weight they have to bear. Losing the weight will not make them pain-free, but it will help. And with that comes more moving around, exercise, and an improvement in my health overall. Losing the weight will also improve my agoraphobia, because what happens now is that when my heart-rate gets up, as with normal exercise, it tends to trigger a panic attack. Weight loss and an improvement in fitness will mean that I am less likely to have a panic attack, and therefor going out becomes less scary.

 

I was out for almost an hour and a half yesterday, walking the dogs and sitting in front of the corner grocery meeting people. Maid needs the socialization, (and it won't hurt Sugarfoot either.) And I feel better for doing it. It's not only the dogs getting the confidence-building. Given the stress of choosing to take on an older puppy, I think I, (and they) did very well. This is my plan. Get healthier, lose weight, (which will also help with the anxiety/depression) and avoid the necessity of the "old folks home." Sugar gets a friend to run with and I get a better life.

 

People have been really supportive through all this, and that really helps.

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I found out a little more about Maid's history today. She was first rescued by a woman in Hornitos, CA. Maid had been acquired as a sheepdog in Oakdale, but apparently she did not give satisfaction. The rancher said he was going to return her to the breeder, who allegedly told him, "Yeah, bring her back. I'll shoot her and give you another pup."

 

The rancher's daughter pleaded for the dog's life, and was allowed to turn her over to the woman who rescued her. That woman had Maid spayed, got her a rabies shot, kept her for awhile, and in turn gave her to Milo, the organization I rescued her from. The woman,(who runs Brangus cattle), said the dog showed no interest in stock, but was good-natured. She said she was shy at first. Plastered herself against the inside of the crate she was transported in, and didn't want to come out, but that she warmed up to the woman, her husband and their kids. She said she also climbed out of a chain-link dog run. Good to know. She's a climber.

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I LOVE your story - and believe in a happy outcome for you.

 

Maid is beautiful! I think I would have snapped her up too. I love the R&Ws.

 

I am so glad that you are feeling better with just a change in diet. Isn't it amazing how that works? I have also felt a lot better since I have reduced my sugar, wheat, corn and processed food intake. Notice I did not say 'eliminated' - because I fall off the wagon every couple of days. ;) Overall, the diet change has been an improvement to my energy levels with a bit of a loss of weight (if I could just stop falling off the wagon ......) I read, and try to follow, The Wheat Belly diet by William Davis, MD. But from my understanding of other diets, the WB diet, the Primal diet and the Paleo diet are almost identical. The changes you made in your diet are right on target with most of the principles of these diets.

 

Have you had your thyroid levels tested? I found out a couple of years ago that I was hypothyroid. Raising my thyroid hormone levels did improve my energy levels. Apparently hypothyroidism is quite common in women of a 'certain age'.

 

Please keep us updated on Maid's and your progress.

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Keep your dog, my friend

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What fantastic news! Kudos to you, Geonni, for choosing health and happiness - best wishes for the journey with Sugarfoot and Maid and your cat!

 

Amy

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That was a surprise, a good one. Nothing like a dog to get you out of bed in the morning and to make you keep going. Keep up the fight and all the best with your new family member.

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Geonni- I've been lurking and am so glad to hear things are improving, and about your newest rescued companion Maid. I'm so glad you're finding ways to enjoy and keep your family together!

 

Just wanted to share that i also have...um... not so great knees, so I've never been a runner. I make it up to my active dog(s) by biking a few times a week on local trails. There is a city (dog) park near where I live that's off-leash and fenced in. The wide dirt path goes around a lake, so dogs can swim. Since everyone is going around, and moving along with their people, typical dog-park issues are reduced or non-existent... Anyway-

 

I often see a 60-ish lady there who has an older BC. She has orthopedic issues as well, so she rides a tricycle-style recumbent bike to strengthen/exercise her leg muscles (and her dog). It's always such a happy sight to see her pedaling up on her bright cherry-red trike, her BC trotting beside her!

 

I don't know if there is any similar place near you, but your postings reminded me of the trike lady, and I sure hope you continue to feel better and get stronger! And I look forward to reading more about Sugar, and your journey with Maid!

best, Rebecca

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"I realized that I have fallen into the delusion of those who own a naturally well-behaved dog. That delusion is that a well-behaved dog is a well-trained dog. Not so."

 

That is a great way to put it!

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Awesome. Simply awesome. You've got a great direction in your life, and great companions for the journey. Awesome.

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ShoresDog: Thanks!

 

Back when I was an obedience trainer this was one of the biggest lessons in orientation. The dog that sits by the open door exuding long-suffering patience while you fuzzle with keys, poop bags, a hat, treats, etc., is used to your routine. He knows how you are. You never simply snap the lead on and go. You may receive congratulations from envious friends about your “well-trained” dog, but unless you have taught Fluffbutt to sit and wait for a release command to step over the threshold, and proofed him exhaustively, he is not well-trained. He is well-behaved.

 

So if a good friend of yours (and your dog’s) pulls up across the street and yells out the window, “Hey, Fluffbutt! How ya doin?” Fluffbutt is as likely as not to bound out the door and into the street to greet his friend. Why shouldn’t he? No one ever told him he couldn’t.

 

How many times have you heard the frustrated dog owner say, “He never did that before!” as their dog sails gaily out the door, into the street, or snarls at the neighbor’s puppy that just grabbed his favorite toy, or turns over the garbage. I wish I had a nickel for every “street-wise” dog or cat I’ve known that was run over and killed. I could go buy a steak and lobster dinner with champagne.

 

Sorry. It’s one of my large herd of hobby-horses…

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Dear Doggers,

 

Interesting question: what dog do we want? A trained dog or a well behaved dog? I prefer to aspire to mannerly which adjective describes the dog I can take with me anywhere. This is not going to be a dog without flaws. Luke, had more frequent flier miles on him than most humans and once arrived in the oddlot luggage with a sign taped to his crate: WATCH YOUR FINGERS!!!! That Luke never once in his thirteen years of life bit anyone didn't deter him from growling ferociously when strangers came too near his crate and Fly, who has nearly as many miles on her as Luke, I would never trust in a kindergarden. I have had more bulletproof dogs than not and they're the goal but some dogs are 100% wonderful and 5% annoying flaw, same as some of them can eat anything anytime and others will squirt all over the motel room if they're fed anything their tender tummies aren't used to.

 

You can't train for every circumstance. Everyone has seen the OTCH dog that couldn't be trusted offlead outside the ring. And you can't expose them to every circumstance either. My favorite mannerliness example was one summer day walking six dogs offlead in the national forest beside a river: WHUP WHUP WHUPWHUPWHUP a helicopter landed in the field fifty feet away to load water for a fire. Dogs clustered at my feet. Funniest was when I staying on an upper floor of a DC hotel which had been adjoining townhouses and thus had two family staircases and two servant staircases and June started down a different staircase from the one I was on and looking down the stairwell I heard people in the lobby: "My God! It's a Dog!!!" And June was bulletproof.

 

I train for sheep work regularly but I expect mannerliness and my habits, body language and occasional training reinforce our pack's shared lebensweld (life world).

 

What matters is the dog/handler team. My goal is for my dog(s) and I to pass invisibly through other people's lives. Unless we're working - which, come to think of it, is another kind of invisibility as we become our work.

 

Donald McCaig

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Geonni--GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Keep up all the positive stuff!

A

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Dear Doggers,

 

Interesting question: what dog do we want? A trained dog or a well behaved dog? I prefer to aspire to mannerly which adjective describes the dog I can take with me anywhere...

 

...I train for sheep work regularly but I expect mannerliness and my habits, body language and occasional training reinforce our pack's shared lebensweld (life world).

 

What matters is the dog/handler team. My goal is for my dog(s) and I to pass invisibly through other people's lives. Unless we're working - which, come to think of it, is another kind of invisibility as we become our work.

 

Donald McCaig

 

I think we want the same thing. I mostly train for mannerliness and safety. That being the case, if I do my job I will have a mannerly dog. I too have known many push-button-trained "obedience dogs" and other sorts that were completely unreliable out of context.

 

I suspect that the reason the mannerliness factor is high at sheepdog trials is because the dogs there are working dogs who are owned by people who expect mannerliness just as they expect restraint and biddability on the course. They demonstrate what they want of the dog, and they go about it in a sensible no-nonsense way.

 

A dog does not instinctively know not to snatch a steak off the kitchen counter. It has to be taught. If he doesn't seem interested in snatching the steak for the first two years of his life, some would assume he won't. (Well behaved) But if one day he puts his paws on the counter and reaches for the steak, the smart owner will takes steps to illustrate the error of his ways to him, until he is clear on the concept. (Well trained)

 

How one goes about this is as different as there are people (and dogs) involved. I set the dog up with an opportunity, and respond when he takes it. It doesn't involve screaming and yelling or smacking him around. But the dog will learn, and he will understand. With each new lesson he will gain a greater understanding of the world and our relationship in it. He will learn to check in with me when faced with a new situation.

 

My new puppy has three words in her vocabulary already. "Come," "wait," and "outside." She is learning that they must be obeyed. She isn't perfect yet - far from it, she's a puppy, and in a whole new world. But she is learning. She's learning the words, and she's learning to learn, and to listen. It's evidently a fairly new process for her. Sadly, she has apparently never entered into a covenant with a human being. I suspect that is why she was considered a "failed sheepdog." I also suspect it was the "sheepdogger" who failed. Failed the dog. Another might have made her a good working dog. Or not - she may have no ability in that work. But she has obviously never been in a relationship of trust. There is a look in her eye, a troubled look of a dog who has had reason not to trust. But her tail is slowly becoming unstuck from her belly, and she laughed this morning when I said "Good morning, Maid!" She opened her mouth in a doggy grin and capered for a moment.

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...she laughed this morning when I said "Good morning, Maid!" She opened her mouth in a doggy grin and capered for a moment.

 

Lovely. Just lovely.

 

It must've been so heartwarming to see.

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