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May 20, 2012

Well, what an interesting weekend we had.  First, the weather was summer.  High's of 84 on Saturday and 87 on May!!  This just doesn't happen in this area.  It's so strange.

Saturday we got the yard mowed and I got some weeding done.  Then, we had a pet "behaviorist" come over to take a crack at solving the barking problems with Oliver.  We gave her a list of 6 behaviors between both Oliver and Emerson we'd like to work on.  I will say that all in all, it was a good lesson.  However, there are some things that I just won't do such as growling.  I felt like an idiot doing it while she was here, but fought against my desire to rebel and say "no thank you" and I sucked it up and did it.  I won't be growling anymore.

First, when the trainer came in, Jackson assumed she was here to see him and wouldn't leave her alone.  If she walked, he walked.  If she sat, he sat.......on her chair.  As we are chatting about the dogs, Oliver does his usual "if you're not going to pay attention to me then I'll make sure you know I'm here" maneuver and starts barking like a maniac.  She growled, clapped her hands and said "quiet".  He looked at her like she was from another planet.  I suspect I did too.

In the end, getting Oliver to stop barking may have been one of her toughest challenges to date.  She has a "no physical contact" rule when you're training your dog, meaning, you can't touch them, pet them, or pick them up.  The rule was broken for Oliver.  I had to pick him up to get him to stop barking.  Oddly enough, what worked better than the growl, clap or anything else was putting a cloth leash on him and leaving it drag behind him.  It actually works.  He doesn't like it and almost looks upset by it, but for some reason it did the trick.

Although we will continue to work with him on the barking (minus the growl) and with both of them on the jumping and running to the door, I've decided that my dogs aren't perfect, they will never be perfect, and I'm quite ok with that.  Battling with them to ensure I exit and enter the door first are not on my list of worries.  Ensuring they walk directly beside me instead of ahead are behind is also not on my top list of concerns.  They sit when I tell them to, back off when I say "no" and are generally pretty darned good boys.

Both of them were so exhausted from their training that they slept the rest of the day until dinner time.  Oliver was so upset about the training, he was depressed the rest of the night.  He wouldn't play, wouldn't get excited and was just plain crabby.  Today, however, that woman didn't come back so he's in a pretty good mood.

Today I was able to get most of my garden planted.  I had already planted sugar snap peas, lettuce, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, carrots, spinach and herbs so today I planted more peas, 2 types of pole beans, 2 types of bush beans, 2 types of pumpkins, winter squash, 5 types of summer squash, 3 types of melons, radish, and 2 types of cucumbers.  I have corn, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant left as well as some berry bushes I purchased.

While I was in the garden the girls {chickens} ran around catching bugs and digging up worms.  They were having a ball.  When it started getting too warm I shook the freeze-dried mealworm container and they all came running.  I led the parade of chickens right back into the outdoor coop where they received the coveted prize.

Lastly, I was going to share that we grilled chicken wings to go with our pizza for lunch.  Have you ever tried grilling them before?  I must say, that smoky flavor adds a great depth.  I always marinate wings in italian dressing, so I had done that overnight.  Then, we started up the grill and about 15 minutes later they were ready.  Drench them in wing sauce and they were ready to serve.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!

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