Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Getting ready to interview my next subject

I’m interviewing Becky Huff Lankenau tomorrow night for her profile to be published in the ASU Magazine’s May 2010 Alumni Showcase. She is Director of the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)’s World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Physical Activity and Health in Atlanta, has beau coup degrees, published numerous papers, and speaks at conferences worldwide. Looking forward to talking with her!

This will be my third article with the Arizona State University Alumni Magazine. After I get those clips, I’ll try querying other magazines. It’s hard to get published without clips, but once you have clips, you can prove to other editors that your writing is worthy of inclusion in their publications, too!

I’m mainly interested in writing profile pieces. I’m not interested in hard-hitting journalism; I go for the fluffy, fun articles about people. People are interesting!

C’mon, let’s PLAY!

We’ve witnessed a weekend of serious play between Lacey and Star. On her terms, of course. Her favorite thing to do is to dive on her back and fight him off w/her feet. Took him a bit to figure out how to “attack” – then decided that chewing on her neck was the thing to do. She kicks him off, gets up, and puts her paws on his back by his neck. He’s taller by a good four inches and outweighs by a good 20 pounds, so he uses his bulk to his advantage. She uses her quickness and agility to evade him. Then she literally throws herself on her back and the cycle starts anew. Beautiful!

The dog park, Star, and Bella

Saw a side of Star that I wasn’t crazy about yesterday. Met a friend and her Lab-Visla mix, Bella, at a local dog park. Had both the Chuck-it and the Soft Bite fris. Star didn’t want to play with the Fris – he was all about the Chuck-it. Fine. I tossed the ball while Dana and Bella played with the Fris. Star got jealous – that’s my fris, not yours! – and even charged her a bit. That’s it. Done with toys. Put away both the Fris and the Chuck-it. If you can’t play nice, Star, we’re not going to play.

Worked on some obedience. I’m still having trouble with the sphinx down (folding back and down from a stand). Recommendations, anyone?

Star the Wonder Dog

Because Star does so well in our basic obedience class, I was curious about how much obedience training he’d had before coming to us. Here’s the response to my query:

“Star has had no formal training but our other dog did. I think he just naturally followed her responses to my requests. He learns very quickly (good and bad habits).”

Can’t wait to share that news w/our basic obedience instructor! Of course, I’ll take her aside to tell her…don’t want to make the other students too jealous of my incredible dog 🙂

One more paw’s toenails chopped

This is a slow process, people. We got Star up on the grooming table and Marty chopped the nails on a front paw while I told him what a Brave Boy he was and fed him Carvers. If you haven’t yet tried this treat, you should. Soft, flattened chicken patties that you can buy at King Sooper’s (Kroger chain).

He shook the whole time he was on the table. He wanted down, but we made him wait until WE said it was time to dismount. Even then, Marty helped him. Don’t need to stress joints jumping onto concrete!!!

Lacey and Star playing redux

Again, last night, I witnessed Lacey and Star playing. She MUST initiate play, or it won’t happen. Lacey’s rules!! She play bows; he waits a bit, as if to say, For reals? Then he play bows. Then she spins and lets him try to pin her. Then she runs and he chases her.

She always ends up on top, she always wins, and they must stop playing when SHE says so. She’ll signal her I’m-done-now intention by doing a full body shake. Star then does a full body shake as if to say, Yes, we’re done.

Haven’t seen any play with toys yet. Hoping that’s coming soon.

It’s really happening! Lacey’s playing with Star!

I witnessed with my own eyes–Lacey INITIATED PLAY with Star tonight!!!! She play bowed, he play bowed, she whirled and put her head over his back; he responded in kind; she ran around our bedroom with Star in hot pursuit…then both stopped and shook as if to say, OK, I’m done now. I am soooo happy! Guess Lacey just needed time (three weeks) to realize that a) Star’s not going anywhere and b) he’s awfully cute and fun to play with.

Of toenails and blood

Ugh! Last night we tried to chop Star’s nails while he was relaxing on his bed. Got through the first three nails on a back foot, but the fourth…Marty hit the quick, Star squealed, and that was the end of that. Star didn’t want anything to do with the warm towel and QuickStop, but he acquiesed when he saw that he had no choice. He had this wounded look in his eyes, like “How could you?!?” and avoided Marty for the rest of the evening.

We’ll finish chopping the remaining toenails another night.

Making Lacey and Star pretty

Today we groomed Lacey, cleaned her ears, brushed her teeth, brushed her coat, and chopped her nails – all while Star looked on. Then we put Star up on the grooming table and brushed him thoroughly. We told him what a Good Boy he was, up on the table getting pretty. Then Marty helped him to the floor. That was enough for one day.

In the next couple of days, more grooming, and then nail chopping. I’ve been handling his feet off and on in different places (on the bed, on the floor, all very non-threatening) so that he could get used to our messing with his feet before we chop.

Alann and Lacey

Our friend Alann App has always threatened to put Lacey in his pocket and take her home…I think she’d be a willing accomplice! She’s always had a strong bond with Alann, and vice versa. But no, Alann, you can’t have her!

"Really, Lacey, you'll fit in my pocket!"