Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Belated Happy New Year 2015!

Very Belated Happy New Year!
Since my last post in November, there hasn’t been a whole lot to write about because I’ve been
pretty busy with the holidays, significant winter weather; and some health issues rather than things
like working with Cinder.
*Note that I will post pictures at the end of this blog post.  I'm lumping them together at the end
because uploading and formatting them takes more time than I currently have.  
In November, Cinder graduated her Basic Obedience I class.  We were pretty happy with that since
 our initial goal was just to make it through the class. At the end of it, I felt Cinder had done so much
 better than even I thought she’d do that it was important to try to keep our momentum for as long
as possible; so we followed obedience with Tricks Class.
Tricks class was fun because we only had about eight people sign-up and the regular attendees
bounced between four-six of us.  The class was only four weeks long, ending December first. Each
week we had a set of four new tricks to learn.  Some of them Cinder and I already knew; but there
 were a few new ones.  At the last class, we were to demonstrate two of our best tricks; but because
 there were only five of us there, we could sneak in a couple more and we still had time to work
 on other new tricks.  Cinder’s tricks were, “high five” and “let’s chat.”  Let’s chat is “speak,” but
 Cinder LIKES to talk so it’s chat time for her, hence I named that trick, “Let’s chat.”  We graduated
 Tricks class and ended our weekly treks to training for the winter.  We live 30 miles from the
training facility and unfortunately, heading into the worst part of winter, I can’t justify making the
commitment to winter classes.  Our area is rural and our winter roads are often not snowplowed
or salted in bad weather; and some of the roads are pretty remote.  Bad winter weather adds a lot
more travel time and comes with a lot of risks. Being stuck roadside in freezing temperatures after
dark with a dog doesn’t seem like a worthwhile risk to me.  We’ll pick up again in spring or as soon
as we can.
Meanwhile, Cinder became a yearling on December 16th!  She is officially a year old now.  I have
trouble thinking of her as a dog because there’s still so much about her that is still more puppy
than adult dog.  Her size is really about all that represents an adult dog, although she still has some
 filling out to do.
After Cinder debuted her Halloween costume, we were challenged to come up with Christmas
 costumes for Cinder and the boys.  I have a lot of peppermint candy styled décor for Christmas
and decided we’d use a peppermint theme for the dogs. Cinder became the “Peppermint Princess”
 and the boys became her sweet candy elves.  Of course, if you go to the trouble of making costumes
 you may as well create a photo backdrop to compliment the theme and choreograph a photo session. 
 That’s exactly what we did. It took us three hours of clearing the kitchen out and staging it for our
photo shoot.  Boy, do I have a much greater appreciation for professional photographers!  But
we got some good pictures out of it.  I will work on posting some photo albums on this blog as I
 have some winter downtime.
      The New Year came and went with little excitement in our house.  We had Brian’s mom, brother,
and a friend over for brunch and supper; and we played cards all day.  With regard to Cinder,
 it was a good day for her to practice manners-except that everyone kept letting her get away with
stuff because they think she’s cute. I had to constantly explain that she MUST learn manners and
 the only way to learn them is if everyone enforces them. It didn’t help-they kept spoiling her.  
Eleven months a year ago I’d only had Cinder a couple of weeks and she was a tiny puppy
when I seriously  injured my back.  My back has never healed and in fact, has degraded to a
severity requiring the intervention of a neuro-surgeon.  Cinder has never known a time when my back
 issues haven’t plagued me and despite my limitations, she has thrived. The upside of it is that
Cinder has shown herself to be a very empathic pup, with a knack for being quite a helper for me.
  She opens and closes doors and drawers; picks things up for me; and she helps with other
small chores. She instinctively seems to know that when I am racked with pain and go to bed,
she should get on the bed beside me and lay quietly-even though I know she’d rather be playing. 
I recently saw a neuro-surgeon who determined I need back surgery. Unfortunately, he is booked
until March unless someone cancels.   The surgery means downtime of about three to four months;
and that means downtime for the dogs then too.  I’m not sure how we’ll cope with it, but we
 haven’t much choice. It also means that resuming my training plan for Cinder in the spring will
not happen until summer or even fall.  That doesn’t feel or seem good, but it’s the way things may
 have to be.  Brian will be in charge of taking the dogs on outings to alleviate their boredom and
 provide exercise until I can resume taking them on outings.
Now you’re updated on all things Raising Cinder from late November until now-mid January.  
 I’m sorry I’ve been so haphazard about creating posts on either the blog or Facebook. I’ve been
 dueling with a very painful back at the end of my work day; doing dog and horse care; and resorting
 to pain meds and bed rest for my evening activities, often falling asleep early each evening. 
 I will try to make a greater effort to be more consistent on this blog and our Facebook page.
Meanwhile, I’m being nose-bumped by all three Border Collies; and one is also pawing at me to
have their dinner.  I suppose I should feed the hungry critters-another minor but necessary chore
 of daily life and the ongoing endeavor of Raising Cinder.
Be well and be good to yourself and others!
Chris (aka Cinder’s “Hu-mom”)
1/6/15-Snow day playing w/ Uncle Gilley & Uncle Buzz

Practicing a new trick-treat nose flip & eat

My Beedyents Class Diploma!

Uncle Gilley stole my stick & I'm gonna get it back!

Halloween-"The Red Queen"

Gonna get my stick back in a minute!

Uncle Buzz can still run fast when he wants to!

Snow day playing with sticks

Wondering why my uncles won't play any more...

Gilley & Buzz watching Cinder

Christmas pix without costumes

Lounging on the loveseat with Uncle Gilley

Writing my birthday & Christmas lists

Practicing my "chatting"

Practicing NOT chatting

Christmas pix with costumes
Uncle Buzz trying on his new Christmas hat

I'm sleeping by the desk and in the doorway-I have Hu-mom trapped in here!

I taked a selfie while sitting with Hu-mom!

Trying on Christmas costume the first time

I don't like this costume much

Uncle Gilley trying on his costume

This is a much better fit and the hat is easier to wear than the other one

Uncle Buzz 

Uncle Buzz

"Peppermint Princess Cinder"



We got new stuffed toys for Christmas!

Our Christmas toys

Uncle Gilley

Uncle Gilley

Uncle Gilley

Cinder wearing her brand new Kurgo harness

Uncle Buzz

Uncle Buzz


Uncle Gilley
Cinder's first birthday picture 12/16/14

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