Sunday, December 31, 2023

Puppy dreams and what it means for me

So Mikes mom got a puppy. And Mike sent me pictures, but joked it was ours to the point I couldn't tell if he was joking. All this is to say that I almost got my hopes up for a puppy, and started thinking about puppy training and socialization. And this made me realize....

I always say Cashew is undersocialzied. Yet in reality, I am doing very little to socialize her. Much less than I would probably do for a puppy. We talked about bringing her to the park to have people feed her treats (which is still a good idea, but with the weather being cold and gross outside it probably needs to wait for spring when people will be out again), and occasionally bring her to the pet store or my parents house, but that is it. And I realized I should be doing more. It would be pretty easy to take her on walks outside her comfort zone, or even when the weather is bad just try to feed her dinner out down by the lobby where people might hopefully be coming in and out. Anything to get her just seeing and around people more. And why am I not doing that for the dog I currently have but planning it for a new one?

Now I do think that having a confident dog model behavior would probably help Cashew a ton. But as much as a puppy would be adorable, I don't think we are in a situation to get one. But that is no reason to just give up on training or do less just because Cashew is a bit older. Her socialization window might have closed, but that doesn't mean she can't still learn. After upping her anxiety med dose she decided she loved one neighbor, I see no reason why she couldn't learn better social skills in general.

So my new years resolution is to work with the dog I have. To put more effort into making her into the dog I thought we were adopting instead of just occasionally whining when I visit my parents about how she is less friendly than she appeared at the adoption event. Let's see what some training that I thinks seriously about can actually do for her.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Frustration in dog training handled poorly

So last night Cashew had one of her meltdowns when not getting to see another dog. I thought we had been getting better about this, but of course she saves her biggest outbursts of barking and lunging at full volume (I think it is frustrating at being restrained because she wants to see the dog so badly, but then she doesn't sound friendly) for nighttime when she will wake the neighbors.

And this was on top of the frustration of her barely eating any kibble as I'm trying to switch back to that for training and she wasn't happy about it.

Now there are many ways to handle this, and I'm sure I did it poorly. I am still new to dog training and sometimes my emotions get the better of me. So while she is lunging and causing a racket, I was saying her name in a frustrated tone and popping the leash. I doubt this helped the situation, if anything it might have escalated it, but I was not in a mindset to ignore, especially with it being nighttime and her not shutting up.

I feel bad about this, but I have to remember that while she is having a hard time with things, so am I. She is a much more difficult dog than I anticipated and this was on top of a stressful holiday season where she acted her normal, which was different than how I hoped she might. Ultimately I think we both need a bit of forgiveness.

Thankfully even at her most frustrating, Cashew is pretty darn adorable. Here she is after we got home from her outburst, ready for bed (and stealing the middle of my side as per usual)

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Cashews training update

 Happy holidays to all who celebrate! 

Cashew has now been two and a half months accident free. Just a lot of patience for that I guess

I bought some Black Friday online courses, but as always I don't always seem the best about doing them. Oops. Hoping to get back on track. We have also been working on loose leash walking with the help of what I call food tube (can post about that soon), but now that I'm trying to transition away from that and back to kibble it isn't going as well. I hope she'll accept the kibble soon as the soaked kibble in food tube was making her breath bad.

I hope to get back to posting more regularly about what we're working on. I am really hoping to hit socialization hard this year, as the holidays were predictably not the easiest with her being so scared of strangers. Not sure how much progress we can make there, but we will see. I suspect progress will be easier when it is warmer too and we can go out in public with more people around.

Best of luck to everyone in the new year!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Audiobook review - Ozark Dogs

 I just finished listening to Ozark Dogs by Eli Cranor, narrated by Eli Cranor. And overall, I have some mixed feelings. I'd say maybe a 2.5/5.

This was pitched as a thriller and, honestly at least for me it didn't seem that thrilling. It's definitely a different style than most thrillers I had read, it feels grungy and dirty throughout the whole book. Really not my style of reading, I had a bit of a hard time relating. But I probably should have been able to guess that from the main plot of the junkyard.

I found it much less suspenseful than a lot of thrillers, and I'm not sure if that was due to the plot or just not relating to many characters. It certainly had like danger and threat to a character, but I didn't feel hooked in or all that invested.

Honestly, the redeeming quality of the book to me is the major twist at the end. Usually with thrillers there is something at the end, and often I find it guessable, but this one wasn't, though without giving much away this one was also less related to the plot of the book than most.

Overall, I think it's clear the author really cares about his story, and did a better job narrating than I had expected for an author, though wasn't as good as a professional narrator imo. But ultimately, he failed to make me care as much as he did, and I didn't enjoy the general atmosphere or grunginess of the book. It is very real in that regard though, so if that is something you think you might enjoy, I'd say give it a try.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Weekend of finishes

I actually finished some stuff! I know, crazy concept. But it did happen and I’ll show the proof!

First off was this kit by LucaS. I’ll probably do a full review later, overall I really like their kits. The thread seems high quality and was easy to work with, not to mention I ended up with tons of most of the colors left over. 

As a horse lover, even though I’m not big into horse shows, I couldn’t resist this kit. I stayed up late Friday to finish it which seemed like excellent timing as the American eventing championships were this past week. One of my riding instructors horses and a girl from my barn got 11th in their division which is amazing and seemed so fitting for this. 

My second finish was a kit by Vervaco. I actually had 90% of this done for months but had run out of two colors needed to finish. This might have been my fault as I was stitching in a not particularly thread conservative manor, and their customer service was very friendly and offered to send more or give me the DMC numbers for just true colors I ran out of, which is what I ended up opting for. Then of course the craft store only had one of the colors 🙄 so it took me quite a while to get the colors and finish it up. But here it is

He’s adorable. I have some more cute kits from vervaco, so I’ll see if I run out of thread on those before passing an opinion on them or writing a full review on their kits. 

Lastly it’s going to be in the mid 90s this week, which is the perfect time to try to channel fall vibes, so I had a bit of a new start. A cozy autumn kit by Riolis that so far is stitching up fast, though it reminded me I hate back stitching. 

Due to the aforementioned heat, I choose to cancel my horse back riding lesson this week. So while the lack of ponies is tragic, I might have more time to stitch this assuming I also make some good progress on the never ending blanket  

Monday, September 4, 2023

10 rows a as day

 About a week ago I hit 100 rows on the baby blanket, which is about 1/3 of what I have planned. 

Sorry for the rotates picture, I don’t know how to fix it. 

I was pretty excited about this milestone and realized that if I did 10 rows a day I’d finish in about two and a half weeks. The problems with this are

1. That’s still two and a half weeks and frankly I’m bored. So bored. I’m ready to be done now 

2. Ten rows a day is A LOT. The rows are long and double knit so double the stitches. Doing ten rows a day feels like it takes all my hobby time. I did this for about a day and a half before burning out. 

So I’m the past week or so with burning out that means I’ve done 20 rows total. RIP. I’m realizing that this project might just haunt me forever, I’d like it done by October or at the latest thanksgiving and at the rate I’m going….

Guess I should start knitting instead of cross stitching :(

Monday, August 28, 2023

Audiobook Review - The Hills Have Spies

 I recently finished listening to The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey, narrated by Nick Podehl. And honestly, I LOVED it. 5/5 for sure. 

I've always been a fan of Mercedes Lackey (you'll probably see her come up a lot more here), so I assumed I would like this book and I was not disappointed. Nick Podehl did a great job narrating different voices for the characters, and the storyline follows a teen boy and his father on an adventure.

Honestly, this book is pretty family friendly. On Amazon it looks like one of the categories is Romantic Fantasy, but I just don't see it, at least for this installment of the series. Because it is a young teen there is no real romance, though plenty of fantasy elements including talking to animals. Wouldn't be a bad choice for a long car ride or similar, I think the most they hint at is a couple being glad the kids are gone. I'd say it's probably good for young teens or older, only because there are some dark themes with the main conflict of the book. But again, I don't think there was much graphic in the way of violence either, some scars are described and possibly one injury, but not for long or in much detail.

Off to buy the next books in the series!

Puppy dreams and what it means for me

So Mikes mom got a puppy. And Mike sent me pictures, but joked it was ours to the point I couldn't tell if he was joking. All this is to...