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Today we went to the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia. It's a pretty neat idea. Sculptures that are inspired by art meeting nature combined with plenty of trails to walk on where you find the sculptures. They've also had exhibitions of dance and music there. I've NEVER been and so today, since it was so gorgeous, we decided to head over there to check it out. We had the place mostly to ourselves, so even though the rule is "pets on a leash" we let Dahlia off. I sort of see "pets on a leash" as a thing for people whose dogs aren't well-trained enough to be off and responsive while in a new area. Yeah maybe that makes me feel bad, but the other people we passed weren't bothered by her in the least and we got one "oh wow she's so well-behaved."

So...onto the pictures!

Read more... )

After the art park, we headed over to Bouckville where we had a nice lunch at a hamburger stand (our first soft ice cream of the year!) and then David checked out a few of the antique stores while Dahlia and I hung out in the car. It was a really nice day.
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This is Dahlia's "gotcha" weekend. Technically her gotcha day is this Monday, May 17. So we're celebrating it this weekend since I have to work on Monday.

Yesterday we decided to check out the Oxbow Falls County Park, about 30 minutes drive away from the cottage on the lake (we're staying there this weekend -- it only makes sense as it's where we were living when we first got Dahlia!). The super nice thing is that it's in Madison County, whose requirements for pets are not leashes but "under control." It meant we could legally take Dahlia off leash in the park. Not that we always abide by leash laws (bad I know!), but Dahlia is always under voice control and, frankly, better under control than many of the dogs we see out and about who are ON leash. Yay for collie dogs and mixes. lol

Pictures, videos, and more about our park adventures behind the cut )
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David took Dahlia down to the park today...I think she had a good time!

This results in a very happy doggy... )
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David and I decided to head up to the cottage on the lake. For those that don't know, we sort of watch his ex-wife's cottage. She moved away to Washington a couple years ago and hasn't been able to sell it. She let us borrow it when we first got Dahlia since we had nowhere else to take our new dog and we've been keeping an eye on it for her ever since. It's a nice place to get away for the weekend as it's in this little alcove right on Oneida Lake. It's dark and quiet and really peaceful up there.

Plus it has a washer AND dryer!

So this weekend we decided to go up there to get away and to tackle some of the laundry that needs to be done (we only have a washer at home).

We debated where to walk Dahlia as the railroad tracks will be teeming with snowmobiles. And then we discovered a super nice thing about central NY. The lake was frozen over. So solidly frozen over that snowmobiles were racing on the whole thing and people were ice fishing out in the middle of it. So David got out his cross country skis and Dahlia and I accompanied him out onto the lake. It was fun getting out away from shore in such a way!

Some pics )

From David

Dec. 9th, 2009 10:43 am
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A little boy was with his father on their front lawn. The boy picked up a large hunk of snow and started to come at Dahlia. His father told him not to throw the snow but he did anyway. Dahlia, thinking it was a game, ran after him with tail wagging. The boy ran away shrieking. The father and I thought it was pretty funny--doubt the boy will throw more snow at dogs.
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Of what? Of Dahlia of course! lol

First this one, because it was too cute.


A few more )
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Yesterday we went out to Franklin, NH again. We've been out there 3 or 4 times together now. It's one of the towns David is doing his dissertation on, so we keep going back. This time he wanted to walk along the opposite side of the river from where the path is and try to get some shots of the (paper) mill foundations over there. That meant there was a lot of tromping through underbrush and trees, and climbing over things, including the old foundations. It was tough going, but we had a lot of fun. Well, at least until the end. David went on ahead and I stayed with Dahlia (you didn't think we left her behind did you?) because the area was too precarious for her and he came back a muddy mess. One shoe got totally sucks into mud and he ended up losing his balance and falling. His pants from the knee to the bottom were all covered in mud, as was his butt, the lower part of his shirt, and his hands. LOL Luckily I had the blanket I use for dogs in my car, so we were able to cover up the seat and head to Walmart where he found a cheap pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt to change into.

A bunch of pics of the day )
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All I can say about this weekend is UGH UGH UGH UGH. The weather has turned awful! It was near 90 all weekend, high humidity, and just so uncomfortable that I was miserable. Summer can be over now. Please bring back my 70 degree and under temperatures?

We planned a nice weekend up at the cottage. The plan was to do nothing but chill out and read (me) and work on dissertation (David). Instead, we left BOTH days to get out of the nasty heat. We drove 30 minutes to go to Petsmart in Liverpool because we wanted some place where we could bring Dahlia with us. She was just miserable. Panting, laying around, and just generally looking unhappy. She refused to eat anything so I knew she was miserable. She HAS dug herself a nice cool place to lay under the hedges near the place, but she won't lay there for long as she likes to be with her people. I wish she'd just hang out there as it's much more comfortable for her. I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't shave her belly a bit in the summer months to help keep her cooler.

So off to Petsmart we went. I was disappointed to find out Colleen (our trainer) no longer works there. Or at least doesn't right now. She apparently had back surgery some months ago (I recall her mentioning her back problems during class) and never came back. I was hoping to bring Dahlia to see her since Dahlia has passed her CGC now and is doing so well. We did, however, run into one of our former classmates, the woman who had Schmutzi, the young labradoodle. Who is apparently still wild at about 1 1/2 years, but is doing well. She recognized us and almost thought we had a different dog for a minute because she thought Dahlia looks totally different.

In some ways she does. Her coat is shinier and now curls up instead of laying flat. I don't know what that's about, but last year her coat was definitely flatter. It's gotten wavier over time. Just odd. Her tail was also less than half the size back then. And she's lost a good 3.5 lbs since we last had class. So I guess she does look different, but we're used to seeing her so she looks the same to us!

It was good catching up to her. She goes to the dog park we do so maybe sometime we'll run into them there.

The second day we went to Petsmart we didn't really see anyone there, but we wandered the store for awhile. Dahlia was freaked out to go to the back of the store yet AGAIN (I swear that groomer scarred her emotionally!) and I was desperate to go to the bathroom, so I managed to coax her back with some treats. It took a good 5 minutes but she finally went into the restroom area with me. The second time I took her back there, she went back with no problem. She really sometimes has to be shown that things are ok and nothing is going to hurt her.

The rest of the weekend I either slept because the heat was getting to me or I read. I finished two books and most of a third this weekend. I would have gotten more reading done if the weather hadn't been so crappy!
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1. Regarding the last entry. Fred from Shit Means Shit never bothered to comment back to me. Am I surprised? Not really. The last time he tried to get a dig in about that very same video, he never responded either. I guess trying to insult someone for their untrained dog (who, in a video, is playing, not working on training) doesn't work so well when that person turns around and tells you their dog has her CGC.

2. Related to that. David went and commented back to his original comment, which was something like "What is this video supposed to show? That your dog runs away from you and won't come to you?" David knows how to cut them to the quick.

Fred--I'm the guy in that video. You apparently really need to get a life. Someone puts up a video to show friends their new rescue dog playing and you come by´╗┐ to criticize? What a loser. You sound like a little man with power issues. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Some of you might remember the RV (Harvey) business from way back and David's rather cold, biting e-mails. Yeah. He's good at that shit. Fred removed his original comment. LOL I love David. He's awesome.

3. Dahlia's trick training is going REALLY well. She now knows "sit pretty" 100%. She even knows to try to stay with her paws off the ground until I give her the treat, though she sometimes loses her balance. Little by little she's extending the time she can sit up. I hope to get a picture sometime in the next couple weeks. We're going to take her out to the park on a nice day and do it then. So now the next goal? Crawling (though I've been calling it "sneak"). She's taking a little longer to get this, but she's starting to crawl forward to get the treats. It'll take some time to work her up to doing it 10 or 15 feet. I need to get more training treats though! I'm plum out of the things!
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Busy weekend all around here!

Saturday we went to the CD release part for friends of ours who are in a band called The Milkweeds. The cool thing about their release party was that they asked friends to perform as well, so both David and Brandon had 20-30 minute sets. They called it Milkweed Stew and they plan to do this a couple times of year, so that should be fun!

Some pics from the event )

Yesterday we went down to Barry Park to watch some friends play in their Gaelic Football game vs. Rochester. I know about as much about Gaelic Football as I do American Football, but it was fun to watch nonetheless. We apparently won (without a scoreboard I was clueless). Our good friend Pat was supposed to play a bit, but he had twisted his ankle really good during practice and was so on the sidelines, but we got to watch our other friends play.

Some pics )

And then I spent yesterday evening clearing stuff off my laptop. I discovered that I head a mere 2.5GB left on one drive and 4GB left on the other (both are about 80GB). Oops. Most of the ones on the D:\ drive were photos. 60GB of photos. Yikes! I take a lot. So I transferred them all to my external 500GB hard drive and then backed up many of them onto DVD. That freed up about 35GB of space. There's more backing up to DVD to do before I feel comfortable removing them from the computer (I want them saved in two places first!).
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David and I are out in Vermont visiting his folks and wandering around so he can do stuff for his dissertation. Today we went down to Turners Falls, MA (one of three towns he's studying) to get some pictures of the town and especially the mills. We took Dahlia with us of course. We had a nice time wandering around down near the river and had a nice (amazing!) lunch of Haddock Chowder in a bread bowl. The day was a bit drizzly at times but we had enough nice weather to get a lot of pictures.

Dahlia is now worn out and has been sleeping most of the evening away. She's one tired doggy!

Pics of Turners Falls )

Tomorrow I think we're finally getting up to the Dog Chapel!!
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I'm really SO glad that the CGC thing is over with. It's funny, but I didn't think that it went all that well last night. She was a bit distracted (the woman with the testing dog had treats...argh) and not paying 100% attention, but I guess she did what needed to be done.

Rambles about the CGC and aftermath )

In other news, I'm really tired of all the rescue people up in arms over the Obama's choice for a dog. His kid has ALLERGIES so they can't just go to a shelter and bring home any dog. Most dogs at the shelter are either mutts or some really common shedding breed like labs or Golden retrievers. The only dog they were perhaps likely to find was a poodle, but they didn't seem too interested in poodles. So they got a dog from a reputable breeder who needed to rehome the little guy. What the hell is so wrong with that? Sometimes I'm embarrassed by my fellow animal welfare advocates. *smacks forehead*

It's already midterm night for class. I can't believe it's week 4 already! I'm looking forward to this being over for a bit. In another 4 weeks, I'm basically done with teaching until August. More time to relax at home with David and Dahlia!

David was really restless last night. He fell asleep on the couch while trying to do work and finally came to bed around 1am. Then he almost immediately got back up and didn't come back until almost 4am! I guess he suddenly got inspiration and ended up back in his study working all night. Good for him!

I went to bed way too late last night as well. It was after midnight when I crawled into bed. I wasn't tired for some reason and ended up starting to clean my study. Oops. lol That is the ONLY room in the apartment that is still a disaster. The living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and David's study have all been cleaned, vacuumed, things put away. The place looks freaking AWESOME. Awesome enough that I think we could soon have my folks over (though it still looks dingy, especially our living room floor which is really beaten up -- see the floor in this picture -- that's not's clean...*sigh*). We're having some friends over this weekend, so that should be fun.

On a side note, I'm rereading Susan Kay's Phantom. God I forgot how much I love that book. *sigh*
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The first song that came on the radio this morning was Shiny Happy People. OMG I LOVE THAT SONG. It just, well, makes me happy. It was a great way to start the day!

Last night Dahlia and I ended up taking a walk around the pond. It was wonderful finally being able to do that after work! I've missed being able to go to the park. Usually by the time I get home it's dark already.

David went to the park yesterday too and got some great pictures of Dahlia and some of her with a girl who wanted to play fetch with her. For anyone who's


And just to prove that my dog does not ALWAYS look so dignified... )
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That's right. More Dahlia pictures. *ducks and runs*

This morning I took Dahlia down to the SPCA to get her picture taken with Santa. I did a stupid thing though and didn't bring my camera too. Oh well. Here's the picture they got of her.


Then when we got back, we took her down to the park to run around in the snow. We got a good 5 or 6 inches of the crap on Thursday night/Friday morning, so there was a lot to run around in. She loves the snow. This is her first real winter. She came from a town in Ohio that gets about 16 inches of snow a year. We get 120, so she's NEVER seen so much snow on the ground like this! She had a blast.

A bunch of pictures )
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We had a really nice time over in Vermont for Thanksgiving. I'm a little turkeyed out -- we had it on Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday. I couldn't wait to have something other than turkey for dinner. Really, I like turkey but that was a bit much for me! lol

David's sister and brother-in-law were there with their kids -- Garrick (8), Nate (6), and Elizabeth (3). The kids were, well, LOUD. They're sweet and they're good kids, but man, every time I go there and see them for a few days I'm so reminded why I don't want kids of my own. I just can't deal with the constant noise and activity. It drives me batty. Yesterday morning they were up at 6:30am screaming at the tops of their lungs and tossing their toys around. Argh.

At any rate, we wandered around another cemetery while there and got to play with their new rocket (mix vinegar and baking soda together and set it off -- man does it fly!). Here are some pictures from our adventures. I'll try to remember to upload the videos later.

Pics...mostly of Dahlia and the kids )
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So yesterday was the first time Dahlia's done something somewhat "wrong" while left alone. Please see exhibit A:


Yes...that is a footprint...on one of David's dissertation papers...that was on his desk. Yes, it's reddish. No, it's not blood. Please see exhibit B:


David left the door to the bedroom open and apparently Dahlia, who likely wanted to look out the window, got up onto the table. We were WARNED about it, but David left the door open AND the chair to his desk sitting out in such a way that it was easy for her to get up there. She wandered around the table as there are footprints on a lot of papers. And she knocked some things on the ground (including his laptop! eek! It was ok, luckily). She must have been nervous about getting down and panting as there was a bit of drool on the ground near the chair and table. Whoops! We didn't get mad at her. It wasn't her fault after all! But it made for some pretty funny pictures.

And now for some pictures...a few are quite humourous!

Pics )
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I took a half day from work yesterday. Normally, this is a nice thing. It means getting to do something fun. Not yesterday! I headed to the apartment and did some more packing/cleaning. I managed to get all of David's good red dishes out, plus some 6 bags of clothes and random things from the apartment. My dresser drawers are all emptied and much of my clothes are already over there. So much to do and so tiring, but I did a decent enough job. We're continuing with stuff on Sunday. We might even get to take the work van that they were supposed to get rid of. Hopefully it won't be as long of a day away from our girl, but it's stuff that has to be done!

Afterward, I headed back to the house on Oneida Lake. Dahlia was SO EXCITED to see me. I don't think I've seen her this excited yet. She actually jumped up and I caught her so her front legs were both up on me. It was incredibly cute. When I dropped her feet back to the ground I thought I had actually hurt her, but no...she was just rolling over onto her back for more love. She's a very demonstrative dog. We love that!

After the flood of crazy Dahlia love, I grabbed a few things out of the car...and then did something really stupid. I shut and locked the doors. I had forgotten I had stopped at the store and locked the other doors. And in my rush to get to Dahlia, I set the keys on the front seat. D'oh! We had a couple windows open, but couldn't reach in to unlock the doors or reach the keys with a stick. We had to call AAA. When he arrived, I cracked up. He reached in with this long tool and used it to put my windows down. Oh man...why didn't we think of that??? I'm sure we could have managed to get the window open enough to stick an arm in. Ah well.

While we were hanging around waiting, I took a bunch of pictures of Dahlia.

Dahlia )

And just a little amusing little family. :-)

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at

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This weekend was...well, mostly not fun.

The bad stuff:

Moving. Moving and moving and moving and more moving. We got the van from work on Saturday and started to load it up that day. We took shifts. I started, loaded up a bunch of stuff, while David took Dahlia to the dog park. We grabbed lunch at Heid's (mmmm conies) and got ice cream (Dahlia got a doggie ice cream sundae -- vanilla ice cream between milk bone dog biscuits!) and then I went to the dog park with Dahlia while David packed things up.

We, amazingly, packed the whole van full of stuff and took it over to unload it. Luckily, Brandon was there to help out (such a godsend!) and we got it unloaded in quick order.

Sunday we drove down, without Dahlia this time, and tried to pack up as much stuff as we could. All together this weekend we managed to get all 4 bookshelves out, most of David's books, half of the typewriters left (I think there are maybe 10 left?), many of our dishes, David's big chair in the back (the one from the living room is already over there), David's CD holder and the one that held our DVDs and cookbooks, along with a smattering of other stuff. It was a successful weekend and I'm just starting to recover from all the associated aches and pains.

The sort of bad:

Dahlia is still having some threshold issues. But I'm realizing it's not exactly a threshold. She has trouble going past our friend's couch. And the doorway into the next room is still 3 or 4 feet away. I'm starting to think it's the big halogen lamp that's right beyond the couch. She's looked up at it a few times and then kind of stepped back behind the couch. She did eventually make her way into the other room, but it took her awhile (and it took for all of us to be in there eating -- I guess her love of us and perhaps more so, the food!, got her past it). I want to move it next time we come there before she comes in and see if she goes through more easily.

The good stuff:

Dahlia played fetch at the dog park! I was really excited. I threw a tennis ball a few times and she actually got it and brought it back to me. It's the first real fetching she's done. I hope we can get her to do some more at the dog park next time we go.

David said she's like the awkward child when playing at the dog she just doesn't get what's going on. She'll run into a group of dogs and they'll scatter and start running and then she just kind of stares after them all confused. Eventually she just wanders off. It's like she doesn't get that the running thing is part of PLAY. And that their running away is an invitation to chase them. I don't think the poor girl has EVER played. Eventually, after watching enough, she sort of got the hang of it, but it took a LONG time to get there.

We felt HORRIBLE for leaving Dahlia home on Sunday. We took off at 11:30, grabbed something to eat, and didn't get back until after 6:30pm. She was SO HAPPY to see us. She wiggled around, rolled over onto her back for belly rubs, and still kept wagging her tail while on the ground. It was so funny and so awesome to come home to such a happy dog. And the best part of it? NOTHING out of place in the house, no mess, nothing. We took her out and she immediately did her business, so we knew she had to go, but she held it for well over 8 hours (she last did any of her business around 10am or so...we took her out right before we left, but she didn't go). We were so proud of her and so happy!

Yesterday was just a normal work day, but when I got home, I ended up taking some pictures of Dahlia (like that's a surprise), so there are a few behind the cut.

More pics )
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I did warn you that I would be talking about my dog a lot, didn't I? lol

David and I decided that I should be the one to rescue Dahlia from being alone yesterday, so he left around 5pm and I got home around 5:45pm or so. She was SO excited to see me. Danced around, jumped a bit (but not ON me) and her tail was wagging SO HARD that she whacked it into the door frame on the way into the living room and scared herself. So cute.

We laid down on the bed for a bit and she got lots of love and attention and then we went outside to wait for Daddy. I managed to get a lot of great pictures of her just lounging around. For now we have a tie out so she can hang out outside with us without our having to have her on a leash. We're not using the tie out as a place to just stick her when she needs to go out (not that we've figured out how she signals that she has to go out yet -- we've been taking her out pretty regularly and she seems to hold it in between those times without any problem).

Once David got home, we headed back into the woods for another walk. The first part of it was, unfortunately, ruined a bit by a kid on an ATV that kept driving it back and forth by us. He was really irritating! The first time, I held Dahlia close to me and as he went by she went behind me. I figured she was scared of it. The second time, she started straining at the leash to the point of actually getting her front feet in the air. And then she barked a few times at him! That was the first time I've heard her voice. We think she was protecting us. Aww...

We also got to see her jump over the drainage ditch in pursuit of something. She really loves these walks.

The night was pretty relaxing. This morning she actually started to play a bit! We played some tug of war with her mousey and when I threw it she actually went and grabbed it! We'll teach her fetch yet!

And now for some pictures.

Pics )

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