Friday, April 28, 2006

Day 118 - Thursday (Game night):
This morning I switched it up a bit and played fetch instead of walking. The first time I threw the ball Finster had no interest in fetching it. He whined when I told him to go get it, but went eventually.

Before lunch Finster got extremely antsy for some reason. He actually barked once while I was making lunch. I took him out to pee just in case and that seemed to have done the trick, weird.

For lunch we went to the park to play with Oscar. About 1/2 way through we practiced some loose leash walking together. I had Oscar walking ahead of us and tried to keep Finster back. He pulled for 14/15 minutes. In the 14th minute Oscar apparently got boring because he stopped pulling. Then we let the dogs off again to play.

After work we went to Shawn's house for game night. Finster got to play with the 2 poodles while we were playing video games. Finster made me quite proud. While we were eating I looked out the window and he was mounting Joulee like a champ, he really looked like he knew what he was doing. I think Oscar trained him well :) Shawn went out and broke it up, but Finster got a big round of laughter by all the guys watching.

After a while the poodles came in and Finster got left outside. He didn't appreciate this and so he barked his head off. I brought him into the basement and put him in a crate with 2 greenies (which he enjoyed). When he finished with those he barked his head off, so I took him out to the car. I left him out there for an hour, and then I left.

Day 117 - Wednesday (The Sparks):
Today we walked around the woods again. Finster picked up a Mountain Dew bottle, woot.

For lunch we went to the canal park and walked along the canal for a mile or 2. When we got out of the car there were 2 yellow labs walking just ahead of us. Finster pulled and pulled to get up to them. This of course got him further behind because I kept turning around and stopping. It's funny, as soon as we start walking away from where he wants to go he settles down and walks fine. Eventually, they turned around and Finster got to sniff them. When they started jumping around and trying to play we separated.

After work I put Finster in his crate and I went to the store to run it for an hour. Erin came back with us and brought Sparky with her. Finster was his usual standoffish most of the time. Sparky nipped at Finster a few times to continue the effect. A few times Sparky sniffed Finster without being aggressive, which was great! I think they are starting to get better with each other. It's funny how well Finster listens to Sparky. If Sparky tells Finster to lay down on the other side of the room he lays there forever :) I need Sparky to teach me that kind of control!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Day 116 - Tuesday (Walk in the park):
Today Finster let down the environmentalists community. On our walk he picked up a few choice pieces of litter but dropped each one after only a few steps :(.

For lunch we went to the canal park and just walked a bit. When we got there 2 yellow labs got on the trail just ahead of us. Finster was pulling like crazy to catch up to them, but this just got him farther behind because I kept stopping and turning around (looking like an idiot I'm sure) whenever he did so. Eventually, they turned around and he got to sniff them for a few seconds. He wanted to play with them so bad but the canal park isn't really a good place to let your dogs off the leash. One thing I noticed while walking on the trail is a sign that says all dogs need a NYS dog license tag, does anyone know if that's true?

After work Finster got to play with Sedona. He took her over a big plastic dish that he got from our recycling bin. They played tug with that for about 20 minutes, I think they are in love. I need to get them a rope for them to play tug with. The plastic dish was too slippery.

After dinner we totally vegged out. Erica and I read on the couch and I brought Finster up to lay in the entry way on his beanbag chair and blanket. He came out of the entryway (about 3 feet) once but I put him back and he stayed the rest of the night. He kept trying to "accidentally" roll onto the carpet; or nonchalantly put his paws on the carpet. I love how dogs try to push the envelope, so funny.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Day 115 - Monday (A very typical day):
This morning we went for the same walk as usual. Finster got a McDonald's hot fudge sundae plastic container, mmm.

Then we went to work, Finster was his typical self.

Then we went to lunch, I took his laundry in and we went to the henrietta park for a walk.

Before we went home we went to PetSmart to get some dog food (to mix in with his new food). I took Finster in and pretty much dragged him around. I love how slippery those floors are. He wanted to sniff EVERYTHING. There was a puppy training class going on in there and Finster wanted to play with them in the worst way. Then we went home. I went to the Library to get Harry Potter and the 1/2 blood prince. I've finished all but that one now and I'm excited to read it. In the interem between this hp and the last I read The heart of darkness by Joseph Conrad. Wow, nothing really exciting at all happened today.

Day 114 - Sunday (A patient dog):
This morning we had to be at Erin's apartment at 1030 to move her out. Finster and I got up at 8ish and went for our walk. Finster nabbed a nice milk jug and I got a balloon and a Tops bag. I forgot to mention, Saturday I started Finster on his new dog food, Life's Abundance. This is an all natural dog food, organic food for dogs if you will. There is also no wheat, corn, etc. Supposedly wheat, corn and other grains aren't natural for a dog to eat. I've read in a few places that incontinence could be caused by an allergic reaction to wheats/grains or other non-natural foods. So, what the heck, I'll give it a shot. Stupid me though, on Saturday I switched over cold turkey. Saturday he was fine but on Sunday Finster woke me up barking at 745am, which is unusual these days. I let him out and he pretty much sprinted to the weeds in the back. That dog had diarrhea Trainspotting style. After our walk I tried to feed Finster. I put some of Life's Abundance and the old Purina One in his dish, he just sniffed it and moved out. This is when I really knew he was sick. You're supposed to introduce new food slowing, mixing it in with their old food. I knew this, but for some reason thought it would be fine to just switch cold turkey.

On with the story. So we got to Erin's and started moving. Finster stayed in the car for most of this. I let him out for a 5 minute walk or two and that's about it for the 2+ hours that we were there. Then we went to Erin's new apartment. There Finster stayed in the truck for a little while, then I tied him to the fence next to the truck so he could get some fresh air. He barked for a little while but then calmed down and watched us move. After it was all said and done Finster was either tied up outside (on a 6 foot leash) or strapped in in the car from 1030 until 530. He did get a couple 5-10 minute walks in between though. He was a good sport throughout, probably because he wasn't feeling great. He starting eating around noon. I gave him mostly is old dog food with a little bit of the new stuff.

After we got Erin moved we went to the store to meet my parents to move a bookcase from the upstairs to the downstairs. Finster did get to play with my dad and got to follow us around a bit. We tied him up outside while we moved the bookcase though. After we got it moved we ordered a pizza and ate it upstairs. I brought Finster upstairs to practice his lay/stay while we ate. I put him in the hallway and we ate in the Yates Gallery. I put two chairs in front of him for added measure. He could have easily walked under, through or around them but he stayed in the hallway the whole time. He did try to go under the chairs a few times, but I just corrected him and he stopped. He eventually fell asleep, resting his head on the cross bar :)

Sunday night we relaxed, we were totally beat from moving all day. Finster ate a big dinner which he wolfed down.

Day 113 - Saturday (Cesar Millan style):
Today was the reading day at the store in honor of earth day. For the morning Finster and I had our own Earth day contribution. We went on our walk and we picked up an extra amount of trash. Finster came back with his usual plastic bottle and I came back with a few plastic bags and a monster piece of styrofoam.

At around 1130 I put Finster in his crate and went to the store. The reading was a great success! I stayed there until 330 and then came home and let Finster out. He did great in his crate outside of the usual leaky sausage.

When I got home we went for a walk down the road, here is our route. We did this in about 28 minutes. On the way home from the store I clocked the mileage in my car and it was about 1 mile, so I think the pedometer map is pretty accurate. So that 2 mile walk took us about 28 minutes, so we walk a nice 4 mph. My guess is that during our morning walk, which takes 30 minutes isn't quite 2 miles because it is through woods and some field which I probably walk slower through.

I've been practicing with Finster's come command. I'd like to change it from a "come whenever I get around to it" command to a "come right now command" To change the response to the command I've been putting Finster's extendo leash on him and spreading dog food out on one end of the basement and sitting at the other end. After he gets into the dog food I give him the come command. If he doesn't come immediately I give him a tug. When he gets to me I give him a bunch of dog food. After a few times he got the idea and starting coming immediately :) woot.

At 730 E and I jetted to Erin's for some Sabres action, Finster stayed home.

During the game I got to take Sparkles out for a walk. Sparky is a puller dog so I was pretty anxious to try out some Cesar Millan/positive training action on him. Erin, if you're reading this, no dogs were harmed in the writing of this blog. I started off by not letting Sparky go out the door until I went out. From the get go Sparky tried to get out in front and pull. I just pulled him back behind me and he started following me. I also tried out the trick that I got from the book: Don't follow the dog, if he starts pulling change directions and walk the other way giving the dog a light tug when you turn. It was nice walking such a light, little dog :) If only Finster could lose about 50 lbs. that would be great. I must say Sparky was a quick learner. He was following me around in about 3 minutes! I was so proud of my good nephew! I gave him some lovin because he was doing so well.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day 112 - Friday (Bad owner):

Today was a pretty interesting day. We did the normal morning walk though. For lunch I LEFT FINSTER IN HIS CRATE, aghast. I went out with the boys to get lunch downtown. We went to Stomboli's which was fantastic. When I got back, Finster was sleeping in his crate. I took him out for a quick 15 minute walk after I ate my lunch. While I was eating I had Finster sit/stay in the back of the office. He did his usual get up every 40 seconds routine.

I ended up working until 7pm because I work working on TortoiseSVN. This is an opensource product and I was adding a few new features to it for my own use, and the other developers in our company. This is a little side project I've been working on for about a year or two.

After work we went home and I did some very exciting homework (read between the lines, or within these parenthesis for sarcasm).

Nothing new going on in the training department. I have recently changed his laydown sign to a raised hand. Ivan said that it is useful in the field to get them to lay down if there is something dangerous (read bear, or big bird) between you and the dog. Lets see if this works.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Day 111 - Thursday (The swim):
This morning we did the loop trail again. Finster found a new pepsi can on the side of the road. It's amazing how much litter gets tossed out of car windows. What is wrong with people?

We had fun for lunch today. We got to the park a few minutes before Oscar so Finster went straight to the pond. He loves drinking the pond water like a hungry hungry hippo. He also went swimming again today, wootage. It was weird, I was throwing in a stick for him to get and there were geese out in the pond. It was almost as if the geese were protecting the stick. They didn't swim away from the stick/dog, but just hung around and honked at Finster. He didn't seem to mind at all. It was great, when he got out of the water he just went nuts running around. I love it when dogs get out of the water and go nuts. When Oscar got there Finster and him played pretty hard. Oscar lost his tennis ball so the two of them fought over the basketball, great fun.

When we got back the office Finster apparently still had a lot of energy. He was very aggressively attacking his back legs from his attack stance (laying on his back). Then he got up and ran sprints around my desk. I was cracking up, so funny. After I had decided he was making too much noise I put him in his crate and he fell asleep instantly.

I had to drag him out of his crate at 4 for our walk. I had a meeting form 5-8pm tonight, wow, I hate those town hall meetings. Finster stayed in his crate most of the time. I took him out at 645 for a quick 1, 2 and then right back in. At 8 we left to go home.

When we got home Finster got to meet the other neighbor dog, a 6 year old Great Dane/Lab mix. Levi is a beautiful dog! He's a gentle giant.

Day 110 - Wednesday (To the store):
This morning we went for a loop walk again. Finster has been picking up a piece of trash everyday. For the first 5 minutes he looks around for something to pick up, he doesn't stop until he's found something.

For lunch I have been practicing his lay/stay while I eat lunch. I want him to be laying away from me during a meal. Today he did great, he only got up 2-3 times while I ate.

For lunch we went to the park to play with Oscar. They scampered about for the hour with Finster attacking Oscar for about 5 seconds before he gets distracted by some bird stool.

After work we went to the store to put in some time. I tied him up on his screw in post, another thing he needs to practice with. He did great, sat there for the 2 hours that we were there without a single bark. I got the lawn mower running and mowed the lawn.

After job 2 we went home and played for a bit then to bed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 109 - Tuesday (The dentist):
For lunch today we got to go to the dentist. Finster almost got to come in too, but I left him in the car. My hygentist told me a story about her ex-drug dog. They had a bring your dog in day at the dds office so she brought in her dog. He was great all day until someone came in with drugs in their pockets. The dog flipped out, luckily the dog smelled the drugs in his coat pocket which he wasn't wearing at the time. Drug dogs rule.

Before the dentist appointment we just ran around the park for 30 minutes.

After work we went over to play with Sedona. They played for about 10 minutes when Finster did a split and came out limping. I took him hope after this incident. He worries me a bit, he doesn't seem to have a ton of strength in his legs. Maybe they just aren't matured enough to support his enormous body :) He is still having his dripping problems too, the Proin didn't really do too much for him.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Day 108 - Monday (Case of the Mondays):
Today Finster got to go to work with me. I can't think of one eventful thing that happened in the morning. For lunch we went to the laundromat and then the Henrietta park. They are rebuilding a new playground, which is good, I guess. I'm not sure what was wrong with the previous one, I guess someone has some money to blow. We practiced a bit of loose leash walking, which only went so-so. I think the problem is that I've been letting him run off the leash in our morning walks so he is used to the freedom. I need to throttle that back a bit but it's so hard. I love having him off the leash as much as he does.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 107 - Sunday (A trying day):
Happy Easter all... This morning we got up early and went for our 30 minute loop walk. Finster carried a nice plastic bottle for the trip today, we are ridding West Bergen Rd of litter one walk at a time. When we got back I fed him and got ready for church. Finster got to sit in the car during the service, which he didn't seem to mind.

After church we went to the inlaws for some lunch. I took Finster out of the car and ran him around a bit with Sparkles. After he did his duty (way over in the corn field, he needs his privacy) I tied him up to the screw in stake near sparky. He barked his head off so I moved him to the side of the house so he couldn't see us or sparky and he was much better. Before lunch we went to Grandma's so I put him in his crate so he didn't bark his head of and annoy everyone while we were gone. When we got back we ate and then went for a tour of the estate.

At first I left Finster off his leash, he never goes far from me when we are walking alone. Within the first 5 minutes he wandered across the road. After this I went and got him with his leash to continue walking. Once we got further from the road I took his leash off again. He stayed with us this time. Erin took Sparks off his leash and Sparky took off into the field. Finster followed Erin as Erin chased Sparky down. I tried to get Finster back to me but the "Come" command got ignored.

After the walk we went to my parents house for lunch number 2. The kids were in their easter best so I put Finster in the fenced in back yard while we ate. He pretty much barked his head off out there, which got ignored by us. He calmed a bit after about 10 minutes. When we were done eating my parents let there dogs out and the 3 of them played for a while.

Later in the day we went to Grandma's and then the inlaws, Sparky and Erin went with us to Swallow Hallow a trail in the swamps that we used to go to a lot as kids. Erin had Sparky out in front and Finster would not stop pulling to walk with Sparky. I was trying to stay back with Erica and the inlaws but Finster was having no part in it. He would go a few minutes at a time walking nicely but then he would go for a few minutes of pulling like a moron. I was tired out and disgusted after that mess.

After the walk we went home. When we got home Sedona greeted us with some barking, which Finster ignored. ...That is until Don (Sedona's owner) came out to get Sedona. Once Finster heard him he made a bee-line straight across the road into their yard, my "stop" and "come" commands were completely useless. I was a bit frustrated at this point, and for some reason picked him up and carried him back across the road. Finster must be so confused, I have to figure out a way to make his realize that he is only supposed to go over there if I take him.

Day 106 - Saturday (Home alone): We woke this morning and took our usual loop walk. Finster now loves laying around outside in the grass. He spent about an hour laying in the grass by the basement door watching the neighbors and their grandkids. He got up to go over there once, but I intercepted him and brought him back.

After lunch we went to the Oatka Creek Fishing park for a little walk. The trail there runs along side the Oatka creek. There were probably 20 people fishing along the .5 mile trail. Finster did pretty crappy on the leash down the trail but did fine on the way back. I took some pictures and Finster played in the creek a bit.

In the afternoon we went to the store for a bit. I left Finster in the car while I hung a few pictures in the Yates Gallery. Eventually, I took Finster out to tie him to his screw-in-the-ground post. He actually enjoyed this because he could stretch out; I should have put him on this when we got there. He slept for a while in the sun on the grass.

After the store we went to Erin's to watch the Sabres beat the Canadians 4-2, woot. Finster got to stay at home in his crate during the game. We got home around 1100 and there were no accidents :) We played for a bit and then went to bed.

Day 105 - Friday (A good one):
Ahh, a nice day off. This morning we did the usual walk around the field and woods. For a change I stopped off at the neighbors to ask permission to walk in their field behind our house. They happened to know the people who own the big field also. They said it would be fine for us to walk in both :) Finster got to meet another new dog, Bruiser. Bruiser is about a 90lbs. 8 year old black lab. The neighbor thinks he has a bad hip because he isn't walking well any more. He didn't seem too spry when Finster was trying to play with him. We also got permission to play in the pond ;)

After the walk I started in on my honeydew list. My first task was to clean the basement. I started off by sweeping. For this I had Finster sit/stay on his rug. He got up about every 2-3 minutes, so I just put him back on his rug. After I finished cleaning up I put Finster in his crate for a little nap while I took on some wow quests. As I was playing I saw Finster running past the window; and then another Finster run past the window, hey wait a minute. It turned out to be 2 random black labs. I went out to see what they were up to. The nice lab came right over to me. I looked for a tag but no luck. Then I got the leash and tied her to a cinderblock in the driveway thinking that the owner would surely be out looking for them. The second lab was a dingbat. She wouldn't get within 20 yards of me, and she barked the whole time.

The lab that was tied up ended up pulling the cinderblock across the yard, so I threw another block on top. She then pulled 2 cinderblocks around. Eventually, I tied her to my car and went about my own business. After a while Finster started barking to get out of his crate. I took him outside to meet the new friends. Neither one really wanted to play with him. Finster did his usual bark/jump routine but neither were very impressed. In the afternoon I changed the oil in the lawn mower and rolled the yard. Finster was a bit scared of the lawn mower at first but then he warmed to it and followed me around the yard while I rolled.

At around 6 the owner finally showed up. He was very thankful for me watching his dogs for the day. The meathead barky dog finally came over to me about 30 minutes before the owner got there so I got to pet her too.

When Erica got home we hung out on the deck and had a nice fire. I played a bit of guitar while we were out there and Finster wasn't a fan. I'm not sure if it was my lack of skill or the guitar noise itself that his sat in the corner of the deck for.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Day 104 - Thursday (Loop trail):
This morning I found a nice loop trail, all illegal of course. Unfortunately, my area doesn't have high res satellite images so I can't give the route. But, I went through the field and found that it loops back around behind my house. I found the creek that runs through our back yard and followed that back up to our house, sweet! Now, I just have to find out who owns all that land.

For lunch we went to Wegman's with Bill to get some cereal. Then we went to the park for about 30 minutes to play with Oscar. When we got there I let Finster out of the car and off his leash. There were kids on the playground but Finster ignored them while Bill and I ate at the picnic table. Finster went right for the water to get a drink and wade in. Finster and Oscar had a gay ole time romping around the park. Actually, they only played together for like 5 minutes; the rest of the time Finster was eating poop and Oscar was chasing his ball.

After work we went home and enjoyed the deck and fire. Finster was unusually interesting in playing fetch. He kept bringing his ball to me to throw, without any food :)

Day 103 - Wednesday (Free bones):
Today was a pretty long day. We started out with some fetch for a change which went ok.

For lunch we went to the park to play with Oscar again. Ivan gave Finster a nice big rawhide bone just for being a good puppy. Finster feasted on this in the afternoon and enjoyed it until he fell asleep.

After work we went to the store to work on the bookshelves. Before I worked on the shelves I took Finster for a walk around Batavia. He had been in the car for about 2 hours at this point and was ready to get out. After the walk I left Finster in the car while I did the work. After I was done I took him out and tied him to his screw-in doggy holder thingy and went back in to close up the store. As we were closing up I noticed it started pouring. Finster wasn't too happy about being left out in the cold rain. He was soaked. I tossed him in the car and took him home to go to bed.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Day 102 - Tuesday (Hanging on my every word):
This morning we went for another nice walk down the road and into a field to look for posted signs for permission to walk in said field. I found some but they didn't have a name on them. On the way back Finster started wandering a bit (off the leash) in the field. I looked where he was headed and there was a deer skeleton laying in the field. I gave him a quick "come" which got ignored so I went and gathered the pup and headed home.

For lunch we went to the King's bend park to play with Oscar. They played a bit in the water again, but didn't do any swimming, just wading. It was a bit amusing. The two of them were playing fetch with us; Oscar would retrieve his huge tennis ball and Finster would retrieve his even bigger basketball. It was weird because Oscar wanted nothing to do with bringing back Finster's basketball, and Finster didn't really want Oscar's tennis ball. They also did the usual biting and wrestling too.

(Title) Before we left work I let Finster out of his crate to leave. While I was getting ready Finster managed to hang himself on my keyboard. He was walking under my desk and the keyboard cord was hanging down. He slid his head in the loop and continued to walk. The keyboard fell off the desk, tightening the loop. Finster flipped out and started yelping. CA and I jumped to his aid, but he was flipping out. In his struggle he managed to sever the cord from the keyboard :) He was fine, but my keyboard didn't make it. It was about time to buy a new one anyways, thank you Finster.

After work we went to the Porter's for game night. They have two big poodles, something Finster has never seen. When we got there the 2 dogs greeted Finster warmly. Finster didn't really know how to take these two sheeplike dogs sniffing him at the same time. He just kind of stood there with his head and tail up acting like he was the man. They kind of wandered around uncomfortably for about 2 minutes while sniffing each other's butts and what-not. Then Jolee (the black female) and Finster started playing. Finster did his usual bounce-n-bark routine to get into it, then he did the biting of the cheek and neck. This is what Finster does when he plays, and I think it confuses the other dogs a bit because this is all Finster seems to know how to do well. They played for about 20-30 minutes before they calmed down and just started walking around the fenced in back yard together.

We left them out there while we ate and they continued to wander, and occasionally play and bark at one another. Then we went down to play some serious video games. We brought Finster down with us but this didn't work out too well. He wanted to be petted by everyone which is difficult when you're trying to get Mario around the track fast. I put him in a crate that Shawn had there. He stayed there for about an hour and then he went outside by himself for a while.

When I was ready to go I went out to get Finster; he was just sitting on the deck by the door waiting to go. He fell asleep as soon as he got in the car, apparently he didn't sleep at all at the Porter's, it was probably to unfamiliar.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Day 101 - Monday (Windows and tulip bulbs):
This morning Finster and I went for a nice walk, we found a field that's not far away that we walked in. One of these days I'll ask for permission.

Erica had the dog today.

When I got home I had a horrible headache but Finster was still quite excited to see me. I had him sit before I petted him but that took a few seconds to get him to sit. I went in and fixed our windows, the livingroom one was stuck open. While I was doing this Finster got into Erica's garden and dug up an already exposed bulb. E didn't like this very much so Finster got sent to the basement. After I got the window fixed I took Finster out for some garden training. He did pretty well staying out of it.

Also, Finster had some issues with the broom again while Erica was sweeping the garage. I worked with him a bit on this too. This was pretty easy though, I just had him sit/stay while I swept. He barked a few times, but he eventually got the hint that being retarded while the broom is out is not the proper response.

The rest of the night we lounged in front of the chiminea. Finster's spot is directly behind it as close as possible without combusting.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Monster paws and cool whip! Posted by Picasa

Cool turtle that we found hiking at Darien Lake State Park. Posted by Picasa

Day 100 - Sunday (100 DAY EXTRAVAGANZA!!!):
Not really, but wow, 100 days! This morning Finster and I played a little fetch in the yard. Then we hung out on the deck while E and I watched church on webcast in our pajamas, I love technology. Finster does pretty good on the deck, he just sits around and occasionally wanders off for water or peeing.

In the afternoon Erin and Sparkles came over. Finster must have forgotten about the previous times because he was bouncing and barking at Sparky trying to get him to play with him. Sparky didn't like this too much so he ran away. He ran across the road to check out Sedona, Erin took off to get him and Finster followed Erin. When they got back Finster went over to the ditch and rolled in the mud and 3" of water, what a mess he was, but boy did he enjoy that. After I rinsed him off a bit we took the dogs for a nice little walk (route), about a mile. Finster and Sparky walked really well together, they seemed like pals for the whole walk. Likely because Finster was minding his own business for the most part. We need to walk them more together, I think that is the ticket to a successful Finster/Sparkles marrage.

When we got back I gave Finster a bath. I hooked the hose up to the faucet downstairs so that we could use some hot water. He didn't really like the bath and got away twice. When I finished he went nuts, running around rolling in the grass, and jumping around like a fool; I love the post bath puppy.

After the bath we hung out a bit and watched the dogs interact. Finster kept bouncing around like a moron barking at Sparky. Eventually, Erin let Sparks off his leash to try to get him to play with Finster. Finster and Sparky did chase each other around a bit, and it looked like Sparky might have been trying to tolerate Finster. Eventually, Finster annoyed him again because he took off across lots this time. Finster followed him into the neighbor's yard and then stopped. This annoyed me a bit because he didn't stop and come when I told him to come. He wandered around the neighbor's yard for a bit before he came. I think he realized that he did something wrong and didn't want to come back for the consequences. Sparky made it across the road and down about 5 houses. Erin found him peeing in front of 2 big dogs who were chained up, the little sucker likes taunting big dogs :)

When they got back Finster went to his crate and Sparks went to the runner and we played some cards. Eventually, the inlaws showed up and we walked around the yard a bit with the dogs. When we got to the front yard Finster took off across the road to go over to play with a barking Sedona; ignoring my pleas to "come". I guess this settles it, we do need an invisible fence. I need to work on road/doggy etiquette, and the come command. He does great when he wants to. I'm not sure how to practice the rare situations like that though.

When we got to the backyard Sparky was chewing on Finster's bone. Finster got a bit too close and Sparky went after him. Finster went to his back but Sparky didn't give in for a few seconds. After the mauling Finster stayed clear of Sparky for the night.

After the family left E, Finster and I sat on the deck with a chiminea fire while I worked on MSMoney and Finster laid behind the fire, must be a dog thing.

Day 99 - Saturday (On the road again):
Today was a busy day. For the morning exercise I took Finster to the Oatka Creek for a walk. We walked for about 2.3 miles, here is our route. If you couldn't tell, I love that tool! After the walk I put him in his crate and played some WOW until around 12.

At around 1 we went to the store to finish putting up the used bookshelves and finish sorting and shelving the used books. I had to run to Walmart, Home Depot and Valu looking for extra shelving. Of course I found it at the last place, Valu. I took Finster out for a little walk around the plaza. I didn't realize that the Tonawanda Creek flowed behind the Valu plaza. Finster went down to get a drink out of it and it drops off pretty quickly. He ended up in water up to his chest; I laughed.

When we got back to the store we did the work and Finster watched from his crate. After the store closed we drove out to my Uncle Steve's 50th birthday party. Finster stayed in the car for about 30 minutes. When I took him out he got humped in every way/position possible by my cousin Ryans 85lbs. chocolate lab (does everyone have a lab). Finster got a bit upset with him a few times while they were playing. I had to break them up a few times, I've never seen Finster go after another dog like that. I was unsure whether he was playing or not. While we ate I tied Finster to the chain in the yard (about a 50 footer). He didn't seem to mind it. He watched us through the sliding glass doors, perfectly contented.

After the party we drove to B+D's house to visit. Finster spent some more time in his crate there. Bill and I took him to the weeds at one point to eliminate. Finster played a bit in their house but he had too much pent up energy, so he spent some more time in the crate. Before we left he gave Ava a big wet kiss on the head; I'm not sure he knew what she was. While we ate nachos I had Finster lay/stay on the little rug that they had in their kitchen. He did pretty good, he would stay for about 3 minutes at a time and then wander off; so I put him right back in the same spot continually until we were done.

Day 98 - Friday (Work, work):
Friday was a pretty typical day. We did the usual for the morning. I took Finster for a little walk to get things going.

For lunch it was raining so Oscar went to the park early to avoid getting wet. Finster and I took refuge in the woods behind the office park. We got a little wet, but not too bad. The trail around the woods is 440 paces, which I calculated as about 1/4 of a mile. We walked around it about 5-6 times. We also played a bit with the stick. I tied the stick to the end of the leash and pull it. He sometimes carries it, sometimes gets tangled in it, but always is chasing it. Ahh, good times.

At work I had to get a build out so the schedule was a little screwed up. Finster had to manage being in his crate until like 430, but he managed.

After work we went home and I started updating MSMoney. I haven't touched it since November, echh. Finster didn't find this too interesting though so I got sidetracked by playing with him a few times.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I know Finster's gas is bad but did they have to make a sign for it?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Day 97 - Thursday (Ahh relief):
At 315 I got up (to my alarm) to go check on Finster. I didn't want him laying in puke (funny word) all night. If anything he looked annoyed at me for waking him. At 7 I got up and went down to play with the pupsk. He was back to his normal bouncy, food devouring, water loving self :) To change things up a bit, and because I read at the store last night in Cesar's way (Cesar Millan's new book) that you shouldn't play fetch with your dog first thing in the morning, instead you should walk them and then feed/play with them. Cesar's a big fan of correctly walking your dog all the time, which is good because Finster and I walk a lot in a day :)

For lunch we went to play with Oscar again. They did their usual frolicking in the park and running through the shallows. They make such a cute couple.

For the 330 walk Finster found a Teenage mutant ninja turtle ball and we played with that for about 10 minutes. He eventually deflated it and then brought it in to chew on. This entertained him for about 30 minutes.

After work we went home to play with Sedona. After about 10 minutes of playing Finster went back to the weeds to make a deposit. He was across Sedona's invisible fence. Sedona backed up and sprinted across the line and tackled Finster. Then the game was on. Sedona enjoys playing "try to catch me" when she's outside the fence. The neighbor or I couldn't convince her to come so we could leash her. She eventually ran across the road to my house for some reason. The neighbor went and got his car and drove to our house to pick her up. The nucklehead jumped right in the car :)

The rest of the night was spent chillin out maxin relaxing.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day 96 - Wednesday (Dead worms and pigs ears):
This morning at work I let Finster out of his crate to roam my office a bit. While he was out I gave him a pig's ear to snack on. He seemed to enjoy it, and he nearly finished it. At around 11 I took him out for a little walk. The grass was wet from the rain/snow and there were dead worms on the blacktop. Finster picked out a nice hard one and walked with it for a bit. Then he dropped it and rolled in it (all 1 inch of it). Now I realize that dogs roll in dead stuff to cover their own scent for hunting. So, lets think about this logically. What would you do if you were a rabbit and you smelled a huge worm coming your way. I'm sure you'd be like, holy crap worms must be able to walk now. Nice try Finster. Finster also stopped about 4 times randomly to roll in the wet grass too. By the end of the walk he was soaked, good times.

For lunch we took a walk at the canal park. The canal is still empty, but that was fine.

After lunch Finster moaped around with and upset stomach (due to the pig's ear) and eventually returned his lunch to me. I guess no more pig's ears for him, next time I'll listen to E I guess.

Apparently, Finster was holding some of his lunch back for the car ride home when he (hopefully) finished telling me what he thought of the pig's ear.

We went straight to the store because I had to tend shop while Erica went to some arts meeting. Finster stayed in his crate from 6-830 and I don't think he minded. He remained sick but ran out of chunks to toss. This doesn't mean that he didn't throw up anymore, in fact he made 2 more mucusy yellow oral secretions. Once E got back we closed shop and left. Finster didn't really want to get out of his crate, so it took me a while to get him all the way to the car.

When we got home he went poo and then I put him right in his crate again. He pretty much stayed in there all night. I've read to do this when dogs are sick because they feel most comfortable in their beds, kind of like us humans. I knew he was quite sick because he wouldn't eat any of the food I left out for him.

Day 95 - Tuesday (2 peas in a pod):
That's right folks Finster received 2 gifts in his sack from Testiclause in the past few days! He is now a man.

Brr, tuesday was a cold one. We played in the basement for the morning which Finster loves doing for some reason. He gets joy out of slamming into the cinderblock walls chasing his ball.

Finster slept straight through to 1130 in the morning. I think he catches up on his lack of sleep on the weekends on Tuesday.

For lunch we went to the park to play with Oscar. They crack me up when they meet for the first time. They see each other and approach cautiously. Then when they get about 40 feet from each other they run at each other and dive in. It's quite humorous. The two of them had a good play day, they were at each other's throats for most of the hour. Oscar also managed to jump up and gently lick my face. I have no idea how he manages that precise control.

After lunch Finster pretty much slept until 4ish, then we went for a quick 10 minute walk. I've never seen Finster pee so much in my life. He pee'd for 3 1 minute sessions all within 50 paces :)

After work we played a bit in the basement. Finster spent some time down there by himself though because E and I were doing store crap. WTS bookstore PST.

Shameless plug:
Huge news on the people front, and cool link of the day. E is having 2 of her poems published in The Dire Elegies 59 Poets on Endangered Species of North America. The book will be available at Present Tense "the store" when it comes out on Earth day. We are also having an author signing and reading by a few of the poets from the book (including Erica). Here is the events page for the store which gives more details.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Day 94 - Monday (Dog days of spring):

Picture is from this weekend that I took at the store.

This morning was a yucky rainy and windy spring morning. Therefore, Finster and I stayed in. We played a bit in the morning and then I was off to work, alone.

Erica got the priviledge of staying home with Finster. Here is one of the IM conversations that we had, I think this was the funniest...

14:18:30) e: I've been leaving the cellar door open and i went in to get the laundry
(14:18:36) e: i went upstairs to fold the clothes
(14:18:47) e: and i kept looking out at the deck to make sure finster was there
(14:18:59) buffyblice: ok
(14:19:10) e: well i checked right before i came downstairs and i didnt see him but i figured he was right up by the door
(14:19:17) e: so i came down and looked but still didnt see him
(14:19:36) e: so i took the laundry basket down and OMG he was right at the top of the stairs
(14:19:48) e: he must have gone in through the cellar door looking for me
(14:19:55) e: i screamed and jumped out of my skin
(14:20:03) e: scared him to death too
(14:20:10) e: then i started cracking up
(14:20:24) buffyblice: lol, what did he do?
(14:20:28) buffyblice: when you screamed :)
(14:20:37) e: jumped
(14:20:43) e: and looked very sheepish
(14:20:48) e: big sad eyes
(14:20:53) e: i just started laughing
(14:20:59) e: and gave him a hug

Funny stuff... Erica, you can fill in more details as you'd like; admit it, if you're reading this you obviously have nothing better to do.

According to Erica, Finster sat at the top of the stairs and watched Erica's version of "The Food Network" while she was making dinner. He actually stood on the top step for the whole episode.
When I got home Finster was pretty happy to see me, he was wagging his whole body. I played with him a bit before dinner and then put him in his crate for dinner.

After dinner I played with him for a few and then did homework for most of the night, pretty boring stuff. The vet called back and said to soak the foot in epsom salts, throw some Neosporin on it and/or rub a tea bag on it to harden up the pad. All is well.

Day 93 - Sunday (Ahh, hiking):
This morning we woke up and watched the church we have been going to lately on the internet! Isn't technology great!

After church we all went to Darien Lake State Park for a nice little hike. Finster was in his glory for the first hour of the hike. The weather was a perfect 60ish with a nice little breeze and bright blue, sunny sky. After about 45 minutes Finster started getting tired and whiny. We thought nothing of it and kept hiking. There wasn't a trail map, and we were hoping that the trail we were on looped back around. After about an hour and 15 minutes we turned around. I swear Finster knows when we turn around because he kept going ahead, waiting, then running ahead again. He was quite upset with us for walking so far. About half way back we found a big snapping turtle in the woods. I went in and got some pictures of it while E tried to hold Finster back. He wanted to come in so bad that he dragged Erica into the woods, he is getting too strong. After about 15 shots we were back walking. Finster made sure he walked through every mud puddle and took a drink of water. When we started getting closer to the car Finster started getting further and further ahead. Finally, I called him back with a "come" and put him on the leash in case there were people near the entrance. He was horrible on the leash. He was pulling like a horse. He just wanted to get back to the car and sleep so bad.

When we got back to the car he collapsed and slept the whole way home. He was so tired I had to pick him up to get him in the car.

When we got home Erin came over with the Sparkles. Finster regained some energy and chased Sparky around a bit and barked at him. Sparky ignored most of this nonsense. Eventually Erica built a nice little fire in the chimenea on the deck. Finster kept roaming dangerously close to it while Sparky kept trying to wander off and explore. At one point Finster went into the garage, he loves it in there. I went to check on him and found him licking a nice wound on his right back pad. He has a pretty bad cut on it, which explains the whining during the walk. Actually, I think he got this cut on Friday at the park. I remember seeing blood on his car pad after the park but I just thought it was from his teeth. Now I feel horrible making him walk 5 miles with an injured foot ;( This also explains the increase in whining. I think this might be why he has been whining so much while standing on the top step of the basement stairs. When he does this most of his weight is on his back feet.

As the night wore on Sparky got more and more aggressive towards Finster. Finster was so submissive at the end that he pretty much cowered in the corner whenever Sparky walked near him. Sparks is such a big little bully :) It's good for Finster I suppose, it shows him that he can't play with every dog he encounters and that not every dog will like him.

Finster and Sparks spent some alone time together (Finster in his crate, Sparky on the runner) later in the night while we ate and looked at some pictures.

After Erin and Sparky left we played a bit with Finster and brought him up to watch some Seinfeld, he laid in the entry way on the beanbag chair. He didn't get up once.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Finster and Auntie Cocoa during the intermission. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 01, 2006

General cool picture at Kings bend, our usual lunch haunt. Posted by Picasa

Day 92 - Saturday (A bored dog):
Today kind of sucked for the little bugger. I played with him for a while in the morning but then did homework for about an hour. After the homework we went to the dump to take the trash and recycling in, then we went to the store to put together some bookshelves for the used section. When we got there I left Finster in the car while E and I ate some lunch. After lunch I took Finster out for a little walk but realized that I forgot his leash at home. So, we had to go to petmart to get an overpriced leash. Luckily I had a gift certificate from Christmas. After I got the leash we walked around Petmart a bit and then went back to Present Tense. When we got there a customer was in the store so went in and acted like a customer myself for about 10 minutes and then I took Finster out for a nice long stroll around town. As we were walking back the customer was leaving. At this point Finster went to his crate while I struggled with crappy Walmart bookshelves.

After the bookshelves we went to my sisters for one of those parties that usually only girls attend. For some reason, probably because it was a food version of those parties men got invited too. This was ok because, a) it was for my sister and b) there was "free" food there. For this whole party I left Finster in the car. After the party was over I went out and checked on him, he was fine in there. I think he rather enjoys chillin in the car. I took him out so my nieces and nephew could play with him. They always beg me to get him out. Emily especially likes having him do tricks for her. She remembered that he knows "stay" and she was doing the sit, stay, come routine.

After my sister's we went to the inlaws. Finster got to rest in his crate for most of this stay. We watched the Sabres get butchered by the Leafs 7-0. I took Finster out for 2 quick 5 minute walks for the 3 hours we were there. He didn't make a peep in his crate in the garage.

When we got home Finster was quite energetic. He was bouncing off the walls. We played for about an hour and then he tired out and laid down.

Day 91 - Friday (Water foul):
Today was a scorcher, I think it reached the lower 70s today, what a great Friday. Today started off a bit earlier than usual. We went into work 30 minutes early to finish up painting our new office (have you ever heard of employees painting their own offices?). When we got to work Finster went straight to his crate and I went to painting. At 10 I had a conference call which I knew might be trouble as Finster has been having a hard time lately between 10-1030. Sure enough, when 1008 rolled around Finster started whining and pacing and acting like he had to go pee or else he would explode. I let him pace, with my phone on mute until 1040 then I let him out of his crate to try to divert his attention from his bladder, talk about multitasking. This worked for about 10 minutes and then he started going to the door and demanding to go out NOW. I IM'd Ron and asked him to take him out while I was still on the conference call with NJ (who don't know there is a dog in the office everyday). Ron said he pulled and pulled until he got into the woods to deposit some fertilizer. When I got off the call I took Finster out for a little 10 minute stroll. It's amazing what a 10 minute walk can do for a dog. When we got back I put Finster back in his crate and he went to sleep almost immediately.

For lunch we went to the park. When we pulled in I saw Oscar diving into the pond with glee; I thought to myself, this is going to be the day my boy becomes a man and goes swimming. Finster ran over and watched Oscar a few times and went in up to his waist again. Then Ivan held Oscar back so Finster would have a chance. We threw the ball in deeper and deeper and the last time Finster went in far enough to swim :) I was cracking up. When he went for the ball he went under water for a few seconds. This he didn't seem to like too much because it ended his swimming career (at least for the day). After about 10 minutes Finster felt like getting muddy so he rolled around in the dirt and covered himself with filth.

Because of the weather there were tons of kids playing on the playground. At one point a few 2-3 year olds came over to watch the dogs playing in the pond. Finster and Oscar ran over to check them out. Before we could get over there the dogs were bouncing around them getting the kids riled up. At one point one of the kids took off running and screaming. This excited Finster and he chased the little girl. The girl was crying "stay away" which of course excited Finster more. Nothing came of it though, Finster didn't jump on her or knock her down luckily. I finally caught up with them and pull Finster back. In this situation my "come" command was useless. I might as well have said "bananas". After this Oscar went back into diving into the pond and swimming like an olympic champion until he almost passed out and Finster played on the beach digging and chewing stuff. Before we left I washed Finster off in the pond and dried him off as best I could.

The afternoon was pretty uneventful. We went for a 330 walk with the boys in which about 1/2 way through Finster stopped and laid down on the speed bump (he was leashless at this point). The dog is weird.

After work I took him over to Sedona's for a quick run. We were there for about 20 minutes and then he went to his crate until around 930. E and I went to see Alison Smith, author of "Name all the animals", the "If all of Rochester read the same book" choice for 2005/6 at writers and books in Rochester. Finster made it through without a problem.

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