chelle's blog

Posted on Dec 7, 2021 11:15 PM

There's magic in my world again in the form of another Standard Poodle. His name is Magic.

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Indi - 2016
Posted on Apr 9, 2016 7:14 AM

Apr 9, 2016 9:11 AM EDT
Indi and I finally had another chance to work on packing-out together this morning. Twenty-five degrees and feels like seventeen (on April ninth!!! Sticking tongue out ), but we enjoyed it anyway. Big Grin

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Apr 10, 2016 7:11 PM EDT
We had obedience class today and Indi did amazingly on his down/stays with distractions. I walked all the way around him in both directions and even stepped across him...and he held place. This while all the other dogs and owners were doing the same all around us. He didn't do as well with all of the previous stuff...I think he gets bored with it. He loves the newest...spin. Since he knows left/right already it was a cinch to get him going both ways on cue.
Another cute thing he does every evening is to set one of his critter stuffies upright on it's a spot where we're sure to see it. Adorable! Lovey dubby

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Indi 2015- Originally posted in the Sandbox Forum
Posted on Mar 27, 2016 8:32 PM

Oct 13, 2015 11:51 AM EDT

chelle said:Now into day six with ten week old standard poodle Indi, and I can already see that he's going to keep my brain highly alert, fully functional, and necessarily nimble. He'll become bored with me rather quickly if I can't keep up. Hilarious! I'd always detected a rather aloof and somewhat stand-offish temperament during past encounters with poodles, so I really wasn't expecting this hyper-aware type of focus and recall. It's come as a definite bonus and a really nice surprise.

It's rather exhausting when he's up and doing, but it's also balanced by the fact that he takes nice long naps, and he's already sleeping through the night. He even goes to his crate when he's ready to sleep. He grumbles a bit if the door needs to be closed, but then just settles right in for a comfortable snooze.

He's only been here four full days and parts of two others, and he's already learning the basics of obstacle course games.
He already has the morning and evening chores routine down pat, and he'll remind me if I miss something. Granted, that's usually just a designated romp time, but still... Big Grin

I'm a very lucky and happy, new puppy mom. Smiling

I could use some more game ideas before he wakes though. Rolling on the floor laughing Anyone have any favorites to share?

Oct 14, 2015 6:00 PM EDT
chelle said:Grocery day is exciting for everyone!

Once Indi is grown and well past the puppy chewing stage he'll sleep wherever he likes. Most likely not on the bed due to lack of space, but you never know.

I wore him out today. Hilarious! We went to set up a service appointment for my truck, Petsmart and the feed store...and a pit stop at the park of course. Big Grin He got a few new chew toys, a toss toy and an LED harness for nocturnal visits to the puppy yard. I just feel better when I can easily keep track of him.
I got a small set of clippers to trim his feet and face. The burs are terrible this time of year!

Oct 16, 2015 10:56 AM EDT
chelle said:
End of Week One - Indi's progress report in obstacle course play - Big Grin

He has reliably retained; follow the ball through the tunnels, retrieve toss toy from barrel interior, follow ball back through tunnels, go to slide and request a lift ( cute!), slide down (with support from me for now) and head on over to the ladder, front feet up on second rung (easily reachable) to retrieve toss toy, and offer toy to me.

He's decided to add a new bit of his own creation almost every day. Smart pup. Yesterday it was carry the toss toy back through the tunnels, and today's was to do the first run-through of tunnels...without needing to follow the ball. He loves it that much!
He'll joyfully do these new bits of his own repetitively, too, so I know it's not just an accidental maneuver. Pretty cool.

Not sure what we'll do when the snow gets deep in the puppy playground...maybe set something up in the barn? It's not very big, but there are several sections, so that might keep things interesting enough. Smiling

Oct 16, 2015 12:53 PM EDT
chelle said:
I folded two loads of laundry while he was loose with me this morning; he watched a bit, then went to his crate and brought out his *laundry* - a knotted pair of my worn socks (that he lays with for comforting, but has never brought out of the crate before today). The connections he makes so quickly are just mind-boggling to me. Maybe most pups are naturally this way, but I've never had enough time before to notice?

Oct 28, 2015 4:14 PM EDT
chelle said:

Yeah, but he likes splashing through the especially muddy spots, and digging in the sandbox...a lot! Rolling on the floor laughing (He doesn't mind tinkling in his potty tray on the deck, but I haven't been able to convince him to doody in it yet, so he still goes to the puppy playground for that. Whistling )

We had our second experience with freshening his puppy clip today, and it went really well! Hurray! His face is all nice and clean again, and front feet are done. We'll continue on with hind feet in another session. Little bits of treats in between clipper strokes is certainly the ticket! We both gained a lot more confidence today. Big Grin

Also cleaned his ears. No trouble there either as he was working industriously on his cow hoof at the time.

Nov 2, 2015 12:52 PM EDT

chelle said:Here we picked out all these cute squeaky plush toys and light-up balls and such...and his favs are still a slightly used horse rope for indoors, and an empty water jug with a piece of rope tied to it to fetch outdoors. So funny...he'll fetch a ball indoors quite a bit, but once he's outside he wants that jug! Hilarious!

My son calls him "Hippy-dog", so of course he has lots of brightly colored paw prints on his ID tag. Rolling on the floor laughing
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Gained another 9 pounds since the 12th, and had another round of boosters this morning. He'll rest well while I'm out working today. Smiling

Nov 2, 2015 4:36 PM EDT
chelle said:Oh yes, of course he loves kleenex and other bits of paper, too, but they definitely aren't on the approved list. From the first it seems he knew this as well, because it's always been a matter of him moseying into my personal space with downcast eyes and lowered head...even before I ever rescued a piece from him. Maybe he learned it from his birth home...I dunno.

He's quietly amusing himself on the deck at the moment...head swiveling this way and that as leaves fall around the garden. Lovey dubby The shadow of the gently swaying flag perplexes him, but I've yet to see anything that makes him nervous. He is a pretty cool pup.

Nov 12, 2015 8:48 PM EDT
chelle said:
Daytime crate training of Indi is still going well. He's been good as gold at night since day two, but we continue to work on *when Indi doesn't choose to be in there, but mom needs him to be* times. Today however, while sorting seeds nearby, I saw the cat reach in and poke my (previously) calmly resting puppy! Naughty kitty. Now I'll need to screen the crate I guess. I'd hate to think he'd do it at night, or when I'm gone. Fun times here in puppyland. Rolling my eyes.

Nov 14, 2015 6:02 PM EDT
chelle said:
I brought Indi's Pet Porter in from the truck today, and he lit inside and passed out in it the very second it hit the floor. It's size large and he has to work at turning around in it, but I guess he feels safer from the cat in there. Rolling on the floor laughing

Nov 16, 2015 4:26 PM EDT
chelle said:
It's so much fun raising a puppy! Big Grin Indi is acting so much like a human preschooler now. Today, following free time in the play yard, I failed to notice his signal that nap time was needed... so, for the first time in a week he picked out one of my boy's toys to play with. It's his favorite bad boy attention-getter; a giant stuffy lion with dreadlocks that lives on the couch in our play room. Hilarious! The 'locks are showing just a touch of wear these days...

I get it now. His early signal for (crate) nap time is finding his Kong toy and bringing it out to his day bed. Not sure if he feels *off-duty* and can therefore rest better in the crate, or what, but that's the message as I perceive it.

The devil cat was (once again Rolling my eyes. ) poking him through the slats of his nighttime crate in the bedroom last night, so I finally got those covered with hardware cloth today. Sleep tonight will be so much better, I think.

Nov 21, 2015 9:55 PM EDT
chelle said:
Indi and I had a blast playing in the heavy snow today! Of course it's his very first snow experience, so it was a very special one. His confused but yet joyful expressions when the thrown snowballs couldn't be seen, and could barely been found, were absolutely priceless. I really wish I'd had someone out there with a camera to get pictures! The one I'll remember best is bottom and tail up and going a mile a minute, and head and shoulders buried in the stuff. When he did came up for air I'd swear he was smiling. If dogs could laugh he'd have been doing so! Big Grin

Nov 21, 2015 10:28 PM EDT
chelle said:
He's completely zonked now, and dreaming doggy dreams...woofing quietly as he chases snowballs in his sleep. Lovey dubby

Nov 23, 2015 12:02 PM EDT
chelle said:
Just back from the vet for the last round of puppy boosters for Indi...rabies too. Hoping there won't be any adverse reactions. Need to work on lowering my worry level...I know. Sticking tongue out

Originally she said she wouldn't neuter until he was at least six months old but when I told her that he's starting to lift his leg already she changed her mind. He's also a dominant personality type, so that's a factor to consider as well. That date is set for a month from now.

He has six new teeth. Big Grin I think half or more of the six old ones are probably still embedded in my chore coat sleeves. Rolling my eyes.

Not sure who's training who on the treats issue, but I'm determined to win! Rolling on the floor laughing (at least most of the time... *Blush* )

Nov 24, 2015 10:38 PM EDT
chelle said:
I finally took the advice given here and bought some Bully Sticks for Indi. They really are well-loved aren't they? Hurray!

Tonight Indi jumped up on the couch next to his grooming stand, put his feet up on it and barked until I complied with his request (demand? Whistling ) to check him over. This from the same dog that's been super fussy about grooming lately.
Guess what? Even in this freezing weather he had a tick embedded in his neck. He wanted that nasty thing gone and figured out a way to clue me in.

Now that it's out he's all calm and mellow again. Lovey dubby

Nov 24, 2015 11:13 PM EDT
chelle said:
At first I thought he just wanted treats, but no, I could tell that even when he got treated he was still frustrated and fidgety. Once I got to his neck area he held really still until I found it. Big Grin

Nov 24, 2015 11:44 PM EDT
greene said:Indi is one of the smartest dogs ever. Thumbs up

chelle said:
I just hope I can keep up! Hilarious! I really didn't plan on having to practice this much mental acuity when dealing with a baby dog. Sure, you expect some challenges...but geez! Rolling on the floor laughing

Nov 25, 2015 8:43 AM EDT
flaflwrgrl said:

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing You're in for it now Chelle. And the scary part is that they know when they're smarter than you. Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!

chelle said:
I know it. Ha! That thought will continue to keep me on my toes!

Nov 25, 2015 7:50 PM EDT
chelle said:
The bully sticks are tasty enough that they're helping to train Indi to enjoy quiet time on his mat. He needs a bit of work there yet. Smiling He's really pretty calm when it's just he and I here and the cat is in his pen to eat, but when my boy is here and moving around, or the cat is loose and antagonizing him...well, that's a totally different story! Whistling

Nov 26, 2015 6:09 PM EDT
chelle said:
Indi hasn't had his taste of turkey and sweet potato yet. Right now he's happily zonked out after enjoying a visit with my folks and their dogs, and a car ride. Big Grin

We've started clicker training and it's absolutely amazing! When I click him into his crate it's like a shut-off switch. He knows he did right and that he's earned a rest.

He loves it. It really does take all of the pressure off of any given task. He knows immediately when he's got it right. Thumbs up Another positive is that there's a complete cessation of treat begging. He now knows that the only time they're going to be offered is when I click. Hurray!

Nov 26, 2015 6:21 PM EDT
chelle said:
The videos on YouTube from tab289 are helping me a great deal. His clicker training advice is working like a charm.

Nov 28, 2015 10:15 PM EDT
chelle said:
I just taught him "leave it" this morning.

This evening he caught me totally off guard. I set down a piece of food ready to cover it (just as a lead-in, brush-up) and he just gave me the look, like, how soon are you gonna toss the rest down? Hilarious! The dog is too smart for me. I'll have to be tricky and change strategy often just to maintain (slight) advantage. Rolling on the floor laughing

Nov 28, 2015 11:46 PM EDT
Weedwhacker said:... It's going to be challenging to keep one step ahead of him, though Hilarious!

chelle said:
You bet!

Tomorrow we'll try it with a toy or a bully stick and see what happens.

As far as this evenings run went, my first thought was that he was actually training me to give a jackpot quicker...except for the fact that he ate the reward pile but left the piece I originally told him to leave and wandered off to do something else. Blinking Wow. That's way too over the top for me.

After he went to bed I added it to his food dish for tomorrow.

Nov 29, 2015 10:35 AM EDT
chelle said:
Mornings are toughest. I'm a slowpoke first thing in the AM, both physically and mentally, while he surely isn't either one. If I could jackrabbit into instant clarity and movement like he can, we'd both be better off. Since I can't (and never have been able to), we make do. After we came in this morning he sat just inside the door for the longest time. I wondered why, but really shouldn't have. Obviously, after the all-day rain of yesterday, he was waiting for me to wipe his feet. He doesn't realize yet that on frozen but dry days we won't always need to do that, and I'd neglected to explain and invite him in past that point. *Blush*
I just really, really wanted my coffee! Whistling

Nov 29, 2015 12:55 PM EDT
Weedwhacker said:Chelle, I think you might be able to teach Indi to MAKE your coffee (in fact, he's probably already working on it himself, knowing it will get you going sooner!). Lovey dubby

chelle said:
Oh, yeah. The thought probably crosses his mind often. Hilarious! Several times a day I say, "wait till I have some coffee", and I'm pretty sure that he catches both of those key words. *Wait* might mean a minute or five, but *coffee* actually means that he might as well relax for a while. Rolling on the floor laughing (I am glad that he can't reach the microwave... Whistling ...regardless. Hilarious! )

Nov 30, 2015 2:16 PM EDT
chelle said:
My batteries were charged for a nice long walk yesterday but plans were changed, so I had to use that energy in a different way. I was all set to take Indi for a stroll/loose-leash walk training session in the park, but my son wanted a friend over, so we did that instead. It was good *having boisterous company over* exposure for him, and my son had a good time. The puppy's mental work of trying to sort out running boys, snack times, and (egad!!) his first sighting of robots was enough to tire him out, so a walk wasn't required anyway.

We did have the walk today though, and it went very well. He wanted to get grumpy about turning back, but a session of *play dead* quiet time calmed him right down. It did take some amount of patience to get him focused enough to understand that he could (safely and comfortably) do that trick outdoors just as well as inside, but once we got to that point it was all good.
We had no other issues or struggles for leadership today, so it was a very pleasant walk.

Nov 30, 2015 2:21 PM EDT
chelle said:
Oh, and BTW...toe warmers are awesome! Hurray! I was able to focus entirely on my pup...instead of frozen and painful toes!

Nov 30, 2015 6:00 PM EDT
flaflwrgrl said:
Chelle, it's about time for us to see how he's grown. Hint, hint.

chelle said:
I don't have any more recent than a week or two ago, but here they are. Smiling

Eating his veggies. (That's a 5' wide area rug, and stretched out he takes up most of it... already Blinking .)

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Please excuse our mess. This is my son's area... can you tell? Rolling on the floor laughing
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Dec 1, 2015 9:54 PM EDT
chelle said:
Ahhh...peace and quiet reign in our house tonight! Hurray! Kitty and puppy are coexisting peaceably, son is reading a book!! Thumbs up Thumbs up , I'm packing up seeds...and the TV hasn't been on all day!!! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Yippee!

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I read a tip about getting cats and dogs used to each other quicker and it's absolutely amazing! I periodically switch them back and forth in their separate areas, cat in puppy's crate and puppy in cat's feeding area (sans food bowl of course), and now they're doing great when it's quiet time and they're out together. Big Grin Peace and harmony...pure bliss!

Dec 3, 2015 9:39 PM EDT
chelle said:
First thing after the usual stuff this morning Indi and I took a trip in to the TSC feed store. It was just a quick stop, but really good for him. This time they even had a soft treat for him, rather than the hard type biscuit that he's having trouble with right now.

So far this week he's learned "side" (come to my side and await further instruction), shake (proper paw for hand extended Big Grin ), roll over (both ways)...and I learned to ask what he wants when he's sitting at the door looking at me. Hilarious! I'll usually have him wait a bit for play, but potty is a different thing altogether.

"Heel" is coming along, but the outdoors world is such an exciting place that it's difficult for him to contain his exuberance for very long. Big Grin If I tire him out a bit with a game beforehand it goes much better.

Dec 4, 2015 9:41 AM EDT
chelle said:
This morning I found out that a quiet but intense 15 minutes of puppy play would suffice for very early exercise. Hurray! Not the boring human (spoken) style of fetch, drop and give it up, or of regular tug, but sort of a mix of all of it. The only differences really are that I'm not asking him to do anything or food treating for any of it...just playing as another puppy would. Nothing is spoken aloud on either side, so it doesn't disturb anyone at all. Hurray! Even the cat was fine with it. He just watched for a minute, then calmly walked away.

Dec 9, 2015 8:13 PM EDT
chelle said:
This evening Indi had a brief social visit with my folks and his first encounter with a walker. Mom isn't using it nearly as much with this knee replacement as she did with the last one, but she did need it for today's activities.

The pup is getting really good at what I call pack-walking. It isn't as regimented nor as close to me as heel yet, but he is moving along at my side instead of pulling along way ahead of me. He still fusses about turning around and heading back, but I'm trying to limit the walks to what I think he can comfortably handle without losing focus.

He's getting more rest during the day now too, so he's no longer getting stressed-out by every little thing by the end of the day.

I'm looking into enrolling him in a puppy obedience class. Although things seem to be going very well, I still think we'd both benefit from it. I think he'd learn a lot just by watching other pups do the same things he's doing, and I think all pups could use more socializing than what they'd normally get if they didn't go to group classes. Smiling

Dec 10, 2015 3:31 PM EDT
chelle said:
First trip to the groomers today, and he did wonderfully! He's a huge puff of clean and fresh fluff right now, with short tufts gathered and banded above each eye. He can see much better now, and I can actually see his eyes. Smiling

I was pleasantly surprised to find that at PetSmart two hours worth of work cost about the same as a good bottle of doggy shampoo. Hurray! I'll definitely go back again. Of course I did pick up a few other things while I waited, so that probably helps to cover their overhead.

Dec 12, 2015 9:50 PM EDT
chelle said:
We went to visit friends tonight, and it went wonderfully. He only filched balls off of their Christmas tree thrice. We even had dinner together, and Indi just sat there on lead and watched. Good puppy.

After we were there for about a half an hour he started barking frantically at our host. We really hadn't a clue what that was all about, but he told us by immediately running into their bathroom, sticking his head out of the doorway and looking back at us with a stressed look on his face. Translation: I Have To Go! Right Now! And Just How Do I Get To The Doggy Potty Place From Here!?!" "What? I have to go down that long, boxed-in and scary looking staircase? Okay, Lead On!" Good puppy!

He's out of it already; just 20 minutes since arriving home. Happily tired out and snoozing away.

Oh, and another breakthrough! During pet feeding time he also touched noses with, gently wagged his tail at, and offered a bit of his kibble to Shadow. For all the world as if he commiserated with him about having to stay at home and missing out on all the fun. Good puppy. Lovey dubby

Dec 26, 2015 11:36 PM EDT
chelle said:
Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Smiling

Indi's first obedience class at PetSmart was today, and he was definitely enthusiastic. Whistling Both of us came home feeling like we had a really good workout together. Hilarious! He could concentrate and pay attention when all of the focus was on him, but all he wanted to do as soon as the instructor moved on was to try to play with the next pup in the line.
I talked with her later on in the evening and she said he'll do fine. She agrees that he's very intelligent. I can see that we still really need to work with him on impulse control and in learning to deal better with frustration. It'll come in time, I'm sure.

Dec 27, 2015 10:36 PM EDT
chelle said:
I have a baby tooth! I found it on the kitchen floor this evening.

Training exercises do seem to be helping already. They help him to focus better (on me) during those rather spacey periods of puppy crazy-zoomies. He's able to get more exercise during the day that way, so this evening's walk was quite calm and pleasant.

Dec 29, 2015 12:55 PM EDT
chelle said:
Indi and I have been doing quite a bit of socializing with my folks (and their dogs and cats) over the past few days. He's learned where he's allowed to snoop around and where he isn't, and most importantly, where to do his business when visiting. Smiling This will come in very handy for those times when I'll need to be away.

Promptly at 12:30 the day after his first puppy class he went happily to the door and showed me that he was all set to go to school (to play and eat treats Hilarious! ). Poor fella seemed disheartened when I told him there was no puppy class that day. We did take an extra long walk, and we visited with my folks, but of course there weren't any other puppies involved.

Dec 30, 2015 12:35 PM EDT
chelle said:
We're enjoying the holiday (no school) break. Indi is showing good adaptability to the variances in his routine, although he will occasionally startle awake from a nap and sometimes bark if my son moves around too abruptly or noisily. I think he kind of forgets he's here at those times. Either that or he's just ready and willing to join in any activity that might be about to happen. Smiling

He had another visit with the groomer yesterday afternoon for a bath and comb out. He absolutely loves to go, and they're always happy to work with him. Lovey dubby

Dec 31, 2015 2:09 PM EDT
chelle said:
I've set up a first visit to doggy daycare for Indi on Monday. Just a half-day of naps and playtime to start with, and then we'll see how it goes from there. I think it will really help his development if he's able to play with other dogs occasionally. He wants to play with my parent's dogs in the worst way, but they're both older dogs and well past the point of wanting to play with a big puppy.

It's hard to believe that he's nearly five months old already! Lovey dubby Time surely flies when you're raising youngsters.

We've started taking more of our afternoon/evening walks in town lately, and he takes it all in stride. In fact, he seems to really enjoy the change of scenery.

He's still doing just fine in puppy-proofed areas of the house overnight. Potty training is still perfect, and he doesn't chew on anything that isn't his. Both dog and cat have figured out the others routines and practice staying out of each others space as often as possible. That's a huge positive in this tiny house! They're also both inclined to sleep for much of the day anyway, so that helps.

Second puppy class is this Saturday. I'm hoping he'll be a bit calmer for that session, now that he's been there and done that once already. We'll see. Smiling

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Goodbye shade...
Posted on Mar 28, 2013 3:37 PM


Mourning the loss, and it's only just begun...


Our 50 years plus, 80' tall Ash trees have been devasted by the Emerald Ash Borer. They have to go. After noticing ominous cracking noises coming from a split tri-trunked behemoth arching close over our roof we heeded the tree expert's advice to temporarily vacate our home Sunday afternoon. Tuesday morning the first tree was felled.

This tree was too tall for a lift truck, so our tree removal expert climbed into the uppermost branches to begin whittling away a couple tons worth of hand.

This picture was taken from the drive near my mom's house. Our roofline shows through the trees between, you can just see it thanks to the snow. Enlarge the second image to see just how high he climbed!


The third image is taken from ground level, near the base of this tree. The chain saw hung from the climber's hip to keep his hands free to work the safety rope. The safety rope needed to be refastened once each branch fork was reached and passed.


Here's part of our line of sick trees and most of the mess from the first felled tree. The rest of the trunk will add a bit more to it when it's removed. The south hillside garden is under there...somewhere!


Removing these trees is going to be quite a process, but thanks to Bill and his fine crew of two, we are at least comfortably back in our home today.

I'll add more pictures as I get them. Right now I'm fully engaged in cleanup mode!

Spring planting??? I dunno...might get to it eventually.

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Plant protection cover...from the picnic department!
Posted on Mar 5, 2013 2:19 PM

The thought behind this cover is that it may provide protection from excessive wind and hungry critters. I'd really like to grow a small patch of early greens in the flower beds near the house, but haven't done so because of the yard rabbits. I don't care for the look of row cover material in my flower beds, but something is definitely necessary. I picked up a few of these for the kitchen greens and a spare to plop over anything else that shows early damage. They aren't all that big, but then again I probably couldn't fit anything much larger between perennials anyway.     
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I can't wait until the snows are gone to try them out!

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