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Monday, September 1, 2014

Dakota's first Weekend Part 3 and first week!



Sunday, August 31, 2014 @ 9:56 am

Good morning.  I’m not sure where I am leaving off from my last communication because we’re sharing our big computer.  Isa is listening to it, because we had it earlier before she woke up.  When she got up we were talking to Linda so couldn’t break off, but she caught me after Linda went – and then of course Hehehe we’d share the computer.  She likes listening to a British guy.

Right now something else is happening that’s a first – ALL THREE DOGS are curled up sleeping by my feet!  WooHOO!!!  Yup yup!  Lady and Max came by last night and did a sleep over.  Yes, of course Maury and the girls came too.  The unusual part is that the dogs have ALL stopped playing finally!  OMG is there a lot of activity between them whether they are inside or out.  I’m glad to see that Dakota can hold his own in this pack.  We already knew that Lady and Max could do it, but wow – Lady and Dakota can go at it too.  On the other hand it is Max and Lady that can do the new pull toy we got them where Dakota can’t.  At one time I did see him pick-it up and then drop it behind the recliners in the sitting room.  I think he wanted it out of the picture, because he sure didn’t want to play with it.  He does for sure know though how it’s played through watching the other two. 

So happy the dogs have a relax button!  They sure are happy together.  I think Max is like the older brother because when he growls, Dakota walks away respectfully.  The two younger dogs are definitely the more playful.  AND, nobody has got hurt yet, Yay!

It was such a nice day yesterday.  Toward the late morning, we went with Rich to Bass Pro, and then we went to the lake with him just to get his boat.  Hmm, I’d like to get some ice water, but don’t want to break the peace … better that I remain sitting down.  Anyway, Dakota and I went in … we went up and down a couple of aisles, but Rich seemed to appreciate most that we stayed in one place he could find us near the waterfall.  After a while we thought, he we’re not learning anything – though it was good to have people passing us.  SOOO we took Dakota for a walk over the small walking bridge directly next to the two story waterfall.  AND, he did it!  Good dog.  He did need a little reassurance, but that was to be expected, it was REALLY loud!

Whoops HAD to get something to drink.  Dakota down, now the other two?  Max is checking out Dakota’s water … its ok boy.  Lady likes to call the water dishes hers though and just pushed Max out so she could get a drink and then she spills the water on the floor with her paws.  Good now Lady is down and now YAY Max is down too!  Trifecta!

Anyway, Dakota did really good yesterday.  I took in the walker and he stayed close without being overly curious.  After we picked-up Rich’s boat and we took him for a little walk.  He doesn’t seem to “go” with the vest on – maybe because he’s on duty, so we took it off at the lake.  He’s such a good dog in so many ways.  He also likes the car rides, though he’s still trying to decide where to sit/lay in the car.  For a while yesterday in Rich’s SUV he laid down lengthwise next to my walker and looked out at people traveling in back of us.  The windows are tinted, so people might not have seen him, but he was getting a real good look, AND Rich put down the side windows a little bit on the slower roads so he could get in his sniffs.  Such a good life of sniffs he’s going to have!

After we got back, I was a little tired so went immediately to the couch thinking Dakota had gone at the lake.  As I lay down, he continued to play so after about 10-15 minutes we got up and said, “You HAVE to go outside!”  So we took him, and then within about a minute, he went and did a poo.  Duh!  We’re going to have to learn better the cues around here.  I’d still like him to go to the back door and whine, but I don’t know how to teach him that and it’s confusing in that if Rich is out on the boat or garage, he will go to the back and whine at that too. 

We’re looking around at our place looking from one corner inward and seeing some of it looks a bit lived in.  We cleaned up our kitchen and the other rooms are ok – with cushions out of place though on the big couch, but we have some towels on the floor from Lady kicking out water.  If there is too much she will do it, but then they get thirsty again … I guess it’s just something we have to keep up with.  On the other hand, there’s the cat!  She seems to be doing ok too.  She’s using her litter box in the bedroom and has been pulling out her fur.  She did last season too.  I think she thinks it’s pretty crazy to have all these dogs here, but that’s just one opinion.  I’m really proud of Dakota for being able to keep up with Maury’s dogs.  He really knows how to play good with other dogs!  They are each about the same height, but Maury’s dogs are a lot heavier.  Max is 6 years, Lady is going to be 3 years and Dakota is just 15 months - Lots of experience in this pack. 

Whoops thought all were laying down, but Lady found Dakota’s treat stash in the bar area … she’s the only one not lying down.  Ahh There she goes! Rich had gone through here from his shower, to putting on shoes and socks, and to going out to work on his boat.  We’re doing pretty well with the dogs not insisting they go out.  I fed them in two shifts with Max and Lady going first, and then we fed Dakota who was waiting in his crate.  When Dakota ate I put the other two in the sunroom, and then Lady came-in and helped Dakota finish up.  Hehehe I THINK he got a good dose.  I’m not going to take him for his full walk today because they’ve been playing so gosh darn hard.  I want him to conserve his energy for his “Pack Family.”  It’s almost like these guys have been together for their entire life.  I think Dakota showed a little bit of ownership over me when he was sitting on my lap last night, but we can pet 2-3 dogs at a time without him being concerned.  All three seem to really know the house. 

The girls and us watched a couple shows last night, well maybe one and a LITTLE of the other.  Maury brought them from Red Box, but the second wasn’t suitable.  At that point Ame went into the bedroom to do her thing – WITH phone and Isa and us watched a couple of shows from Disney.  Did I say the part yet where she felt bad about Dakota being in a crate?  She decided to sugar coat that experience with her laying down in protest next to him.  She fell asleep just moments before she had to go to bed at 11 pm.  I’m really sure that Dakota appreciated her company.  Both the girls seem to like Dakota, but together with the two others, they are a little wild.  Next time they are up, I will go back and untangle the dog cords and make sure everyone gets time to be out.  Max is the only one who hasn’t deposited a “load.”  Yup yup, got to watch out for that sort of thing; he might have to go on a walk with Ame, but as to the urine – we were really glad that all three dogs were using the back yard appropriately. 

Dakota is kind of funny … twice now he decided to sleep on my feet – MAYBE a little territorial!  I’m pretty sure he knows we’re his.  These dogs seem to come with other humans!

We don’t have too much planned today.  I saw Ame had brought her sewing stuff AND Isa brought some books, so I have talked to her about after lunch sitting down to read for a bit, or reading to me.  I could go either way.  Just want to support reading.  Rich has a really BIG roast in and potatoes and carrots … Hehehe Isa is really giggling … Maury is supposed to be back between 2-4 pm and dinner will be about 4 pm, so that they can finish and get home at a decent time.  I understand that no one has homework, but I’m thinking there’s not Anything?  Eh, not my business … just got to ask.  I figure that if they are doing their showers here, they at least have time with Dad Sunday night where they can get that done.  Just want a priority on it.

The air is really making the house comfortable … It seems that we have had a lot of muggy weather, and today it’s been misty out.  Maybe if Rich tries hard enough he can pretend he’s on the water. 

I think I really need to now finish up the stuff with Dakota’s first week.  I so much want to talk to Katherine and I’m afraid she might not understand why we’re not calling yet.  Just want to get things down on paper before we forget everything.  I should have put the other writing online so I could see where we were without interrupting Isa.  Maybe if I just think a bit.  I know I’d talked about the restaurants – well at least up to the part where that “kind of annoying” person kept talking to us because of the dog intro.  I had been the first to turn away, and then Katherine was able to end the conversation.  We had very good dinners – I had a Burrito Grande and then afterward we thought we were ordering our favorite dessert, but apparently we’d ordered something else so we had that instead.  It was something doughy with honey and chocolate and the honey was really good with it.  We definitely brought home leftovers. 

Maybe we did something about the break from Saturday to Sunday, not sure right now, but in case we did, we’ll try to be brief.  Hmm, thinking now we’re pretty sure we talked about Dakota at the beach, because we are remembering that we were loading a picture or two to yesterday’s post and it was about the beach.  Maybe a summary there – Just a damn good time!

Afterward, we drove over to Dr. Marvin’s area.  The three of us, Rich, Katherine and Us sat in the SUV and talked strategy.  I think the biggest thing was that Katherine was stating that were didn’t have to take Dakota to the washroom as much as we thought we had.  I was thinking after the drive (1 hour 20 min), after Dr. Marvin’s session, and then again when we got home.  She thought just once before we left home and after we got back even though there was 4-5 hours would be fine.  We did concede and go with her plan as it turned out.
Hmm, back again … we just had another round … two of them seemed to want and go out, so we brought everyone out, and then they all played again and got petted, and now we’re trying to get the three of them to lay down again.  They are circling me.  Hmm, had to give them all water again; which is going to lead to everyone needing to pee again.  This is how it goes, hmm
One dog down … two … shoot two dogs playing again!  Lady is trying to teach Dakota to play with the tug aware toy.  Dakota is trying.  He’s not doing tug o war yet, but he’s playing a good job of keep away.  At least he’s hold the thick cord in his mouth.  But now Max is up again … I don’t think they’ll ever settled down … they’re in the sitting room.  Hmm, more playing and now there is two down and one checking the kitchen – more water spilled on the ground – that of course was lady.  YAYYYY!!!  Finally, all THREE down!  That’ was a LOT of activity.  If they are playing, how come it’s ME who gets so tired?!!
Maybe a nice break - where … oh, we went to Dr. Marvin’s and talked strategy and then Katherine and us got up to do the walk over in the window hall.  BUT, the doors leading from the elevator to the glass passageway were locked, so we couldn’t do much about it.  We came back downstairs and talked to Rich and at LEAST we knew the gist of how it goes and that gave us the confidence we needed.  Since then we’ve been to Dr. Marvin’s TWICE for visits, but we’ll talk about that part in a bit.  I know LONG story!
There’s this part in here somewhere that Katherine and Rich had been talking about pork roast, sauerkraut and dumplings, so it was decided that we’d go that route instead – Maybe we mentioned before that Rich had prepared it before we left.  The house smelled sooo good after we’d gotten back.  I’m pretty sure we had dinner right away.  It was very good. 
AME IS UP!  It’s noon now.  She was up until 3 am talking to one of her girlfriends.  *sigh* I am pretty sure Maury said she could decide when to sleep.  All three dogs are finally down again.  Hmm, Ame moved the tug a war toy and Dakota checked that out, but otherwise they are down again.  Had to encourage showers over the next four hours and I asked if they didn’t make me the bad guy.  I HOPE NOT!  We’ll see *sigh*
Ok … we’re at the part after the pork roast … all I remember here and it blurs into the other nights, but sooner than later, I knew I was going to get a Katherine hug if I could be persuaded to let her go to bed.  Kota we would work with on schedules more after Katherine had gone, but I think that night we’d kenneled him while eating because he was too flaky.  Poor kid!  Playing at the Chicago Beach was something to remember!  But, I’d like to think we’re tiring out our puppy!
The last morning was the hardest because we knew that Katherine was leaving.  We took one more picture with her, but I looked terribly fat in the picture.  I know, I know, I AM terribly fat, but no one really wants to see it.  I’ve cut down the picture with just Katherine and Dakota so I have at least a good shot of them together.  I also got a darker shot with Katherine in the car, but there really wasn’t many pictures taken I’m sad to say. 

The routines the last day were similar in that there was people getting up, coffee, taking care of the dog, and then eventually after as much talk as we could squeak in.
Wow!  Good Gramma stuff.  I think Ame is in the shower AND Isa is reading a book on wolves.  YAYYY!!!  OH, and all three dogs are lying down AND we get to be writing too!
Back to the part of Katherine and us getting our hugs and talking.  First, I just want to say that Katherine is about as gifted as it comes in presenting interesting things to learn about.  I think she has a wild crazy cool life and especially because it ends up with her being a dog whisperer.  That was the very best stories to hear about – like how they go through a typical day and what typical isn’t when you’ve got so many furry friends to take care of and train.  I LOVE her husband, because he’s so in love with Katherine AND the dogs.  I think this kind of lifestyle shows a lot of patience AND love.  Now that we have the three dogs overnight, we can’t believe how tired we get with all the animal activity.  It seems that they have to be monitored a lot.  Hmm, also like when Isa is reading her book.  She’s easily distracted, but of course we have these dogs.  Isa stops to show pictures which is fun for us, but then she’s not reading.  That’s not so good. 
I just got done taking out the dogs and they are ALL accomplished and now all THREE of them have had their first of the day poop.  This pooping business is some serious stuff!  Holy Schmolly!  Rich is in eating a late lunch, we took our medicine and now Isa has disappeared. I don’t see the book, so maybe she’s reading somewhere else, OR the second GD is in the shower!  Wouldn’t that be the story!
I’m thinking that my everyday stuff in and out is taking over my ability to focus on the previous week.  It’s already Sunday so like Dakota has been her for ten days.  Maybe I have to jump ahead – did we get to the sad part about Katherine being at the airport?  A lot of the driving time was Rich and Katherine talking so I could spend my focus on Dakota, but the trip to the airport, I think it was us whining.  The only thing I really remember beside holding/hugging Katherine was the thought that I might never see her again and that made me feel really unbelievably sad.  She says that we can maybe get together for a fishing trip with the guys.  I don’t know if that would ever be possible with all her responsibilities, but that’s what we’re going to hope for. 
I guess it’s been a long time before we could get ourselves while writing to that point …the point where we had to say goodbye to Katherine.  Maybe now that I’ve done it on paper, I will be able to open that door again.  It seemed to be a system rule that until we finished the weekend, we couldn’t call or talk to her.  It’s over now?  I’m not going to want to bother her on a weekend, but think that maybe tomorrow we could call?  Maybe we could do it after the girls and all leave tonight, but I’m not sure.  We’ll have to see how it works out with the system.  I’m thinking now we’re going to have to post too which means that we close out the week.
Maybe we’ll get to that right now.   I saw a stuffed animal on Ame’s bed, so I’m thinking she’s been sewing, and Isa had taken a washroom break, so we said – SHOWER!  She wanted to take in the Kindle for music, but much too much water in a small bathroom for that.  We helped her adjust the temp, and she’s fine of course with the rest.  Rich is done eating and is watching TV fishy.  He said something about a half hour, so we’re thinking he’s going to take a nap.  He’s been out with the boat and from what we hear she is ALL shiny!  I know I’m going to have to give it my okie dokie, because he worked real hard on it!...  I went out the second time with Max – the first time I took just him and he urinated, but then he whined at the door again, so I took all three out.  AND he did his masterpiece!  YAY PLUS, the other dogs wet their piece of real estate too.  I guess it’s a big deal that they go on top of each other’s stuff - Will have to ask Katherine about that.  Maybe just to produce a new PACK smell!??  Could be?!
NOW EVERYONE is relaxing and I’m doing well because I’m back at Rich’s computer.  I think I’m going to suggest that Isa finish her book when she gets out and before she’s back to the computer – BY suggesting she sit in one of the recliners.  It’s a real comfortable place to read and it should be just outside the regular distractions.  It’s only about 12-15 feet away, so not REAL far, but should give her some peace.  I am wondering when the last time she had an eye exam.  Her eyes look tired when reading.  And, she’s much closer than the traditional space from me sitting up and reading the computer screen – especially since we’re at 90% screen.  I’ll talk to Maury.
Hehehe THREE REALLY tired dogs – one on each side of me and the table.  They are soooo gosh darn cool.  As tiring as the dogs are, they are like heaven to be around.  I think their world is so interesting that we’re just amazed by it.  I like to think we’re learning how to be a good pack leader.  I don’t know how to slow them down on the playing other than to separate them for a bit.  I know Maury suggested he could leave them at home, but then neither they NOR Dakota would get the benefit from having a bigger pack.  Nothing anyone said could convince me they haven’t been having a good time.
AND!!!! You know what?  Through a lot of patience from Lady, she has taught Dakota how to be playing a good game of tug-o-war!!!!!  I’m soooo excited about that… Just seemed like a good dog thing.  He’s not very good at it yet, but Lady was very patient.  He got finally the part first of picking up the toy – heavy item, then he would run it in front of the other two dogs to get them to chase him.  He then got to a stage he laid down with it between his front legs, and then with a LOT of coaching from Lady she would hold it for him to grab with no challenge.  He wasn’t doing that, so she put it down on the ground to make it more alluring, and then then finally when he went to grab it, she grabbed her end.  For a while he kept letting it go, but through her very thorough training he finally held onto it while she held the other end.  Soon after she was walking him backward through the LR, dining area and sitting room.  He took a little longer to offer him resistance becausehe thought basically that she was walking him. 
We did have one little scrape.  I wasn’t thinking and I offered Lady a handful of the new dog food to see if she would like it, but Dakota got too close and Lady kind of snapped at her.  There was no connection, but it took Dakota a while to not have hurt feelings.  He did back away like he should have, but I know now that I won’t be feeding them close to one another.  I will always feed them separate with Maury’s two dogs, and then separately we’ll feed Dakota.  It seems to work better too to do Maury’s two dogs before we feed Dakota too because he’s more laid back about eating.
Now Isa is out and took Dakota with her to brush her hair.  I think she likes it that Kota comes to her most the time she asks for him.  He’s a really good dog and has been perfect at least with older kids like Isa and Ame.  Ahh Isa is now reading in the comfy chair.  She says usually if it’s too comfortable she falls asleep and I have no reason to disbelieve her, but there has to be a balance.  Dakota is still being a distraction for her, but we’ll stick with.  Hmm, she’s having much too good a time to open the book.  I guess we have to let some of it play out - hmm, the next thing?  Both Dakota and Max need to be petted … Now Max is whining at the door better check that out?
Oh Lordy … had to do the outside stuff AGAIN!  This is turning into a full time occupation!  BUT, every time I let them out they seem to actually use the facility!  Lady did her good doggy this time so it will be Dakota’s turn next.  Now Rich is getting up and the dogs are getting good pets from him.  Lady is settled down and it’s time the other two settle down, but with Rich up they might wait until he settles.  I think he has to go to the store to get some black lining to hold down the weeds on the side of the house before he puts down Mulch.  I’m so excited he’s doing this stuff because our house really could be improved with fewer weeds.  We get fewer flowers too, but think it’s more important to be without weeds, no matter how we do it. 
Hmm, it’s just about 2 pm now.  Maury took our car with him so as normal looking forward to it coming back.  I THINK I took out the garbage from it.  It would be embarrassing if I had not.  Mostly it’s garbage food stuff from on the way back from Dr. Marvin’s, but usually when we bring garbage out or pass by it waiting to get into Rich’s car, we will check it.  It still needs to be vacuumed though.  With Maury’s broken hand, it is not a good time to ask him for help.  He’s really encumbered by the cast … I don’t know how he’s doing the dogs, but feel empathy for him AND my sister.  I don’t know if we said it, but while she was healing from getting her shoulder surgery done, she tore the meniscus in her knee and she broke her opposite arm by the shoulder.  What are people doing wrong?  We don’t seem to get hurt often so don’t understand much when it happens.  Hope this trend is about over.
Isa is back playing a “Sim” game that took a LONG time to download.  She’s talking out loud to herself, but we’ve really not been paying attention to what she’s saying.  She’s focused on something.  She said she had gotten to page 17 out of 31 and didn’t really want to finish the book.  She said maybe on the car ride home.  I don’t think you should be FORCED to read, it should be motivated out of enjoyment, so we let it go.  I think Maury is expected at any time – at least he said he’d be back between 2-4 pm.  My guess is that he’s coming back later.  I’d seen him on FB, but he only put some pictures in there of working at the food place again.  I don’t know all of who he went with, but I saw Ame was there and she seemed to have a good time. 
Rich just went out – I guess the black stuff is for later, he’s going to go address his rods and reels.  He’s getting everything ready for a trip with Bob and Doug on Monday – I guess its Labor Day.  It will be pretty quiet here tomorrow with just Dakota and us.  Maybe we’ll both need to be taking some naps. 
Hmm, wanted to get to the part where we said something about Dr. Marvin … first though, we did want to say that we’ve been doing pretty well at keeping our place neat and clean.  I’m really happy about that … with people around more – like the grandchildren and now with Dakota, it seems we’re doing better at getting up and making sure things stay clean.  *gulp* BUT now just saying that I realize that we forgot to make our bed this morning.  Shoot!  Look around and EVERYONE is relaxed including Rich, Kids AND DOGS … nope nope we’re not going anywhere!  We did figure that when we’re up and before everyone settles again, we need to keep our glass ready with something to drink.  THAT is just not worth unsettling everyone!  Again, the dogs are hovering in my area, but to be fair we are in front of the fan/air, AND in front of the sliding glass doors.  That ALWAYS seems to be a hub with multiple dogs, and least we’re just making that up today 
As to Dr. Marvin, Dakota has had two real good trips to his office.  We’re trying to preface them by saying, “Are we going to Dr. Marvin’s???!!!”  And, then repeat liberally on our way in and just before we see him.  Dr. Marvin has done real well with him and it seemed we were able to get off the dog for moments of time this last time.  I think we already wrote about Tuesday when we wrote on Wednesday – Maybe? Maybe not?  One of the funny things is that Dakota seems to know that he’s going to be on a leash, but after his first time of seeing Dr. Marvin and getting petted, he’s got a sneaky thing where he’s laying on the floor, and then he crawls on his elbows under the coffee table to get some more free petting by Dr. Marvin.
This time we worked eventually to be more assertive in telling Dakota – no more pets and that he had to settle lay down.  We did give him a couple drinks of water, and we gave him one of his small bones to settle down.  I want to build things like that as routines so he knows what to expect.  SOOO, like Katherine AND Dr. Marvin said we have to work on being more assertive.  We have done better at getting him to sit and be “down” (lying down) and we’re getting better at saying, “Go on…” and expecting him to walk off leave us alone.  He can’t be taking all of our attention. 
The other thing that came up at Dr. Marvin’s was that Rich said to tell Dr. Marvin, we have to work on our weight again.  I guess since about the time the girls were over a couple weeks ago and Austin was over, we stopped taking charge of what we were eating and recording it on our MFP site.  That reminds me we should be doing it now too.  We’ve only had mini-wheat and a bowl of vegetable salad so far  hmm, about 2:30 pm.  I think it’s time to have some popcorn! 
Hmm, there sure are a lot of transitions.  The dogs are all up and need to lie back down.  Isa has switched over to the computer, Rich came through looking for tea, Ame came out for bread and chips.  We told her we have more or better, but it seemed fine AND we have popcorn, a couple or tortillas *sigh*AND some ice for ice water.  The dogs are thinking they want to go out with Rich because they can see him from the door.  Good two are laying down … YAY there goes the third.  Remember to tell Dr. Marvin that we spent a good bit of weekend time hoping that everyone settles down – especially the three dogs!
Hmm, another break –we decided that we should make some cookies for dessert – so we did that AND Maury called to say he’d be about 45 minutes late.  That was almost to be expected.  I’m going to guess he was having a good time – said something about the best breakfast place ever.  *sigh*
SOOO to Dr. Marvin’s - I think I told you about the part where he petted the dogs a couple of times and there were – between the two dates that sneaky stuff under the table?  Hmm, seems we may have been here before.  Well, are we almost through then?  We could say something about how spectacular that Dakota has been doing.  During the latter part of the week he even took me out to do the walk with the walker. 
Hmm, that’s interesting … it’s about walker time right now.  I wonder if we should take our walk.  Rich has been able to do the weather, not sure if I could do it too?  Just had to go into the bedroom to cool ourselves down - I’m thinking in reality that I’ve been up and down enough so I don’t have to walk and for that matter Dakota has been having a busy day too with so many people to keep together.  Maybe we’ll pass on that and just focus on the next thing as being cleaning off the table.  Hmm, how bad is it?  Not too bad, just a couple of minutes.  The hardest part will be turning off the computer.  AND, we’re not ready to do that yet.
I didn’t turn out hungry enough to eat the popcorn.  We’ll just throw that.  Wall-to-wall dogs.  They are so pretty together and Isa caught the similarities of colors in that they all match.  It’s been a nice weekend though we look forward to putting our feet up too!  Oh and we started the dishwasher one more time because we thought we would have too much a problem after adding dinner dishes.  Mostly it was just morning, lunch and cookie dishes, but I figured it wouldn’t fit the roast pan unless we did some now.  Dinner wouldn’t be until another 1 ½ hours so shouldn’t be a time crunch.  We did have some conversation and cookie testing between me and the two Granddaughters.  We decided the cookies weren’t just right … needed more sugar or flavoring.  *sigh* So many cookie batches yet to try.  Its ok, they are “good enough” for dessert.  PLUS, the three of us can now wait the extra time for Maury to get here.  Not worrying about Rich he had a late lunch.
I don’t know if he finished the weeding project on the side, or if he was waiting before he got the covering.  He’s been outdoors long enough, but I knew it took a long time to do the boat AND I think he went from that to fishing poles.  I think these are good days for him, though I’m disappointed about the yard not improving or the recumbent bike not getting put together.  The fishing stuff is on a deadline with him going out tomorrow.  You heard the part about getting our treadmill on Friday?  That’s really good news J
Hmm, that’s interesting.  Rich just readjusted everyone when he came in asking me to make tea.  That wasn’t a problem, but dogs all get up, BUT by the time we sat down again after making the tea the dogs were already lying down!  What good dogs they are.  I think between the activity and the heat, they are really tired out.  We just filled their water dishes one more time.  Lady has emptied them out a couple times so we’re not really filling them up too high. 
Running out of steam myself, but know this is the build-up time to put things in order before the business of dinner takes over.  It’s 3:50 pm now and we just gave Isa a note to take a break soon to help me with the table.  More my stuff than hers, but her help will help, especially in stepping over the dogs!  Just remembered how much we love them, BUT it does take a little time, balance and coordination to make sure everything is in order.  I think we’re going to take a break for the night ourselves. 
Anything left of the day?  Not really.  I expect Maury here in about 45 min.  Before that Rich will come in and do the leftover things for dinner and he’ll be so happy if we get to the table first!  After that we will have dinner, dessert, a little talk, and then Maury and his will have to go – thinking about 6:30-7 pm.  Then Rich and I will get comfortable, I’ll clean up the mess before dessert.  Hmm, we’re going to have to take out the dogs one more time to get them to settle before dinner and they are going to have to be fed.  Think we’re going to talk about a staging area for Ame and Isa’s stuff too so it’s easier for them to get up and leave.  Just don’t want to push them any earlier than we have to.  I’ll probably have on PJs before they hit the end of the driveway Hehehe – yup like that.  Think Rich and we will watch a show, and then we’ll get the animals ready for bed – make sure we take our medicine, and then we’ll head for bed for the coolness AND to massage Rich.  Hmm, thinking too – I could take a shower.  Maybe by then Rich will need one too.
Hehehe – he came in all sweaty saying he has to hydrate.  I asked him if he was going to take a shower tonight because he was dripping wet.  He smiled coyly and said he had taken one in the morning!  BLAH!  We can read each other by now! EVERY one is taking a shower! It’s been a good weekend the girls being here help both of us to keep busy and get things done.  For me it’s been the blog entry.  I think next we’ll email it to ourselves so we get it back to our computer, though don’t know until later if we’ll post the entries tonight or tomorrow morning.  It makes me feel good that we put in good time watching and taking care of everyone.  I probably seem the least important around here, but like to think in the middle we’re what keep things running along - right?!
Kota was just a gosh darn good host for the pack! 

Dakota's first weekend - Part 2



This is what Dakota looks like waiting for Rich to come home after he’s just left 10 minutes Hehehe.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 @ 1:38 PM

Hi hi.  This is me and this is the second part of trying to capture some of Dakota’s first weekend.  I can’t believe we’re already up to Wednesday.  We’ve just finished getting the last couple of entries into the blog.  I’ve read them through a few times so have a general idea where we’ve left off.  I think the last entry was written sometime after getting back on Monday from the airport for Katherine.  We talked briefly for a few moments yesterday while we were driving to know that she got back probably about 4 hours later than expected.  She had problems getting out of O’Hare.  There were thunderstorms and I guess that really slows down traffic now days.

The gist we got was that everything was fine and we were happy to hear her voice, and we said we’d talk to her later, but things are mentally a little bit out of control, in that the system isn’t letting more time go by WITH Katherine until we get the weekend recorded.  We want to catch-up but it’s not time.  So let’s get this writing going.  It’s already mid-afternoon.  Some of the things happened as scheduled, but for the most part, we are trying to create our schedule as we go along to provide some security for Dakota. 

This morning, Rich had to wake us up about 6:30 am.  He was leaving and wanted to tell us that he’d let out the dog and had secured him in the cooler sun room.  We were startled because we couldn’t think of all the implications.  For a few moments we just lay there coming out of the morning daze.  We had been so pleased that Dakota had been able to stay in the crate until we were up, showered, dressed and ready for the day.  From Rich’s perspective, he saved Dakota from HAVING to be in there.  We’ll talk about it later.  When asked he said that Dakota was out for about 5 minutes and he couldn’t tell us whether he had gone to the bathroom.  That wasn’t acceptable either, but we didn’t want to discourage Rich from taking some time with Dakota.  Dakota did look comfortable when we got up and looked out to the sunroom.  Good Rich.  Be nice Ann! 

Much later in the day – to properly orientate you; we’re at the computer listening to Ariana Grande – first time.  Dakota is lying directly under us, so that I’d run over his ear if I moved.  He seems to be ok with the music.  The washer and dryer are going and the dishwasher has run its cycle.  I looked through yesterday’s mail and put it where it belonged, and the kitchen area is cleaned-up.  The living room is good except the few blankets and I hadn’t gotten to the bed in the bedroom yet.  I also have to do the sheets in Katherine’s Guest room, but I don’t have enough clothes to go with it.  I’ll have to do that maybe tomorrow or Friday. 

I still don’t know what is going to happen with the Girls this weekend.  Maury called on the way home from the airport and stated that he broke his hand playing the drinking game – Mercy.  Oh Mercy … yah, that’s what we have to say too.  He’s out of work now on disability for about 6-7 weeks.  Yeah ... Ok, that could have been better thought out Maury and Alex??!!  *sigh* the good side is that he gets more time with the girls.  So again, as to the weekend, they could all come out, or he might keep them.  I think they are excited to meet Dakota though so maybe they will still come out.

In other recent news, the recumbent bike came in – the treadmill has not.  I don’t want to startle Dakota now that we got everything settled, but next time up we’ll grab the phone on the counter to call the company.  I haven’t heard any word from them yet.  It will come up with Rich when he comes home and sees the first box.  I know, I know … where’s the second box? 

Hmm we’re going to listen to Coldplay now for a while.  We updated our playlist.  We also turned the shuffler on.  I like the more relaxed song, but it’s been a while since we listened, so we’re expecting a variety.  Dakota doesn’t seem to mind.     

There … we took a washroom break, popped some popcorn and filled our water glass.  I might have to start another list just to get a full day in.  Let’s see think about the weekend, do the clothes, empty the dishwasher, don’t forget to steam the clothes, pick-up the mail and go around the block, and then teach something to Dakota – maybe out front, or - inside?  I want a learning place, but I also want to be unfettered by the chains.  Hmm, Maybe I have to cut up some treats.

Friday, August 29, 2014 @ 11:33 am

Hi hi … it’s us again.  I just read through the above and figured it wasn’t enough to send out on its own.  Today sounds much the same, but it is two days later – Friday.  We have established a pretty good routine when we are home, in that, we got up and did some Internet, then took Kota for a scooter walk, then we fed him and us, then picked-up the house, did the dishes (machine and hand-washed), am on my second load of clothes (one’s folded), and we made the bedroom good again.  Not much else though.  Oh … did kitty litter and garbage that ALWAYS counts.  We’re in a spectacular habit of picking up the dog poos after we get back from our walk.  It seems pretty standard, but I am going to ask rich for some of those loose see-through disposable gloves, instead of using one bag to pick up the poo and one for it to land. 

AHA!  Ordered 500 disposable gloves – the kind I wanted.  It came to $8.10 and there’s no delivery charge for a 2-day delivery.  It is part of having Amazon Prime.  Probably get her then on Tuesday with Monday being a holiday?  It will be a good deal - much neater.  Soooo THAT is done!  For the bags, we can still make Rich feel good by using garbage bags.  That part doesn’t seem to matter though it is nicer to have a folded down bag until we need it.  AND there’s a chance when you grab an old grocery bag that it has a hole in it, but we’re pretty used to checking it so Missy’s litter doesn’t fall through. 

Well folks, just get used to it.  We’ve More than doubled our animal “POO” level, so it might just come up some days – we’ll try to be more conscientious though – sorry!

So we’re all caught up today as far as the tasks performed.  Rich said that it was ok that Dakota stay outside for a bit for a “good” place to lounge.  I don’t like that as much as he does, but he’s out in the sunroom today, so Dakota has a visual.  Better go check him now though because it’s been about 45 minutes.  Ah he’s doing pretty good … Think we’ll leave him, because somehow I think it gives Rich some company.  When I looked, Dakota was standing up on the top of the porch looking down the stairs/block.  He then stretched comfortably and then laid down again facing the stairs.  He’s not looking toward the door – although he gave that a check.  Pretty much he’s out there just having a good time.  I think Rich is right in getting used to the place.  This back yard is now HIS place.  I was never so happy to own that back porch.  It’s gotten more use this week than the whole entire year and a half we’ve lived here.  NICE!

We did talk to Linda a little bit before we did the housework.  She is having a stay at home day – though she has errands and Granddaughter today.  She just finished a quilt for someone after the machine gave her some trouble.  Her Tony fixed the machine and all is sparkly again!

There’s not much news from my sister other than she’s pushed her 4th surgery and in the process she broke her other shoulder and tore her knee up.  Think it had to do with the laundry room area and letting the dogs out.  I know she’s still reading, but not sure how much or exactly how she’s doing it.  I’m guessing when we finally call; she will be on speaker phone.  We should call her this afternoon.  Just want to make sure, all considered she’s doing all right.  She’s comparing this week to the worst since childbirth.  Don’t envy her a bit, but thinking maybe NOW she’ll let other people do things?!  I don’t know for sure. 

I’m dying to know how Katherine is too … We REALLY owe her a call, but had wanted to finish this letter first.  I feel so badly because we’re not being very responsive.  I know she has a lot of work to do at home, but we are missing her.  Today, with the Grandkids coming tomorrow, we figured we really had to wash the guest room linen.  BUT, it still spelled like the pretty stuff she wears.  *sigh* Dakota and I did it together.  Hate to complain, but Maury is like NOTHING smelling good like Katherine!

As to Maury’s group, we did hear back from them a couple nights ago and the plan is for him to bring the girls AND dogs about 7 pm and then later he would be going home on a date.  I don’t think he’s planning on staying long, AND he is bringing the girls earlier to the Renaissance Fair.  I know Ame had been there before, but not as a family unit, so they should be having a really good time.  We don’t know yet if his dogs are staying.  It will depend on how they get along with Dakota.  He will either leave them or bring them home.  Not sure yet.  I think Dakota needs more dogs in his pack, and we’re hoping to have more sessions with Joe and Cari’s dog too.  That’s harder though because I think we’re on the bottom of their social scale.  MAYBE sometime we’ll get their Ramsey and our Dakota together.  I think Joe’s walking Ramsey now – just not sure how long he’s been doing that.  I don’t think he’s done it all along.

We’ll have the girls for morning and afternoon Sunday, and then their father will come back about 4 pm for dinner here.  Rich says he’s serving Roast and usually he makes corn on the cob because he knows the girls like it, though Swenson’s the family he usually buys from is reported to be done for the year.   Not sure if Rich will go to some of the other roadside places, or if he’s back to the grocery store, but we’re setting the bar high enough to think we’re going to be disappointed with the change.  We’ve had a good amount of corn all year.

Maury and family will leave soon after dinner and we’ll make sure that part of the weekend is getting in their showers.  I would like to do homework here too, but we’ve not heard much about it.  We’ll maybe bring it up at Sunday dinner, because I would like to help if we could.  I’d like to think homework can be enjoyable and not something pushed hard on Sunday nights.  I don’t think Isa has so much, but Ame is probably working into it AHA!  Rich said he’s going to let in the dog YAY!!!  Definitely have to do some petting – though I just heard him ask Dakota about his leash being caught up.  He’s going to fly in!   AHA!  He did in that!  We gave him a good petting, and then he went for some of this morning’s leftover breakfast, and we took the tomatoes and cucumber Rich’s mother’s friend sent over and we made a nice salad adding onions and green and red peppers.  YAY we’re back to being the good Ann.  So far we haven’t eaten anything besides raison bread.  We’re having a good day – and the BEST would be to record again, right?

Good Good … ok, we ate lunch, added the calories, AND added a food note for today.  I think we’ll take one more break right now and fold the last load of clothes before Rich eats in 15 minutes or so.  BRB

There!  Did most of the stuff … AND put things away, but did not get the guest bed made.  That will be on our next up.  The counter though is clean and we expect Rich any moment if he’s on schedule and not carried away with his work load.  We’re a bit out of breath, but are feeling confident in our Domestic Godestry.  Ahh Dakota is checking out the place too.  That’s funny … he went to Lady’s favorite spot near the sliding glass door to Max’ favorite spot on the opposite side of the coffee table.  To be fair, we did turn on the fan that Maury left and the fan in the LR.  Maybe they know something I don’t.  It’s good.

We have 939 calories left with the day, but are ashamed I’m only just now drinking our first glass of water.  We had three cups of coffee and one diet coke, BUT it’s still not the same as water.  I’ve got to remember what this all groove was like.  I did like the feeling that I’d accomplished our day, and I did like getting on the scale and it showing a loss.  It will be a trial with a weekend coming up with Granddaughters.  I think we still need to have chips and ice cream in the house, but MAYBE I can handle it better?  I don’t know … BUT with 939 calories, knowing we’re going to have a great 2nd day of jambalaya – it would seem we have enough for a snack tonight AND Rich did say we have watermelon again!  YAY!  Right on track for the day!  I’m so glad that Rich suggested a subject of diet with Dr. Marvin, we might have gone there too, just usually when Rich says, “Tell Dr. Marvin …” and then we do it to be fair.  Not always pleasant, but fair.  No reason in this psychological economy, Rich has to labor on my issues.  PLUS, this morning he volunteered his weight AND he knows we’re competitive with it – with him being 3 pounds less.  I think if we stood on it, we could be down 3 pounds by the end of next week when we get the treadmill.

Thinking now … maybe we should put the guest blanket out to air and the pillows?  Probably is good guest etiquette!  BRB Hmm, back, we found our puppy too!  But he’s starting to understand better – whether he likes it or not – the term – “Go on!”  AHH he chose a place to lay down directly in front of the fan AND we have the air on … good deal for him!  I sure hope he likes Lady and Max.  I can’t see any reason he wouldn’t.  He is having problems with Don the neighbor to the south.  I don’t know if it’s because of all the walking around the house he does, but now twice when we’ve met Don in our yard or the street, he puts out a low growl.  He can be petted, but he shouldn’t be doing that with ANYONE particularly someone being this close a friend.  We’ll have to ask Katherine about it.

He sure looking like he needs some good rest - I think Katherine also said something about it and that when they are not doing something with you it is common that they rest.  Wow, wish I could be saving up that kind of energy, BUT I’m not the one who walks 2 miles a day at a fast clip!

THERE!  We did it, we called CS.  She didn’t answer, but we asked her to call us back when she could.  Just don’t know how she’s handling everything.  Maybe she’ll call sometime today?

I think my mother is good … we did talk earlier this week I think Tuesday or Wednesday.  I really appreciated that she spent most the phone call talking about Dakota – for good or bad, meaning not EVERYTHING he’s doing so far is perfect, though it’s been several days – since Monday that he’s had an indoor accident.  I don’t think he does it as his first choice, just hasn’t learned to whine to go out, and I’m not sure how else to handle that - Maybe another question that needs asking?  Is there any other dog news?  Not really, he has been half way up and half way down in hanging around as I do my chores.  I think he thinks it’s his responsibility to keep track of me, but for the most part if I’m working in the kitchen/dining room where he usually lies, he just follows me with his eyes.  I think that Katherine did a lot of housekeeping at her place, and so he’s used to those general movements.  He’s working really well with the “lie down command” when I’m working in the laundry room … he’s just really good at so much.

Hmm, Rich is in now and he’s made lunch and is watching a fishy show for his lunch break.  He had remarked on the condition of our guest pillows we had outside and we then told him we need two MORE pillows, because the pillows were flat and not enough for guests to be comfortable.  Then we said that we’re using our green couch pillows (in pillowcases) for the girls.  Then he said he needs to pick up five pillows for each of us – one for guest, one for each of the two girls, one for him and one for me.  We said you can’t get an odd number of pillows and make the guest bed and that we needed TWO, but I already have two and didn’t need anymore.  There was then some more grumbling and discussion, but I was happy with 5 meaning none for me and two for guest and girls and one for him.  He had said something during that time about pillows being $20 a piece, and then we said the girls have pillow cases I got when we got their bedding, but we need four matching pillow cases in the guest room, but then he started complaining again.  BUT, we only have a couple matching pillow cases.  Then he said he doesn’t make enough money to spend $200 for bedding.  We told him that there was going to be five pillows at $20 and that it didn’t cost an additional $100 for four pillowcases.  Sometimes he exaggerates to make his point, but that to me just crumbles his argument.  I think he’s thinking though too that we need another casing (sheet/mattress cover) on our bed, because he doesn’t like the way ours works.  Fine with me – go ahead and SPEND $200 on bedding, but I didn’t start this!

*Sigh*

Maybe we’ll wait a little bit before we remake the bed.  I think the only other thing we need to do – two things – one is empty the dishwasher and the other is the always HARD steaming of clothes.  Maybe if we can put a deadline of like 1 ½ hours or so we can still start the steaming and watch some HG TV.  We almost forgot though that we’re trying to do our walking with the walker about 3 pm (its 1:45 pm now).  Maybe we could do the walk at 4 pm and have it closer to dinner.  I like the part like yesterday that with Rich gone, we stayed out on the patio with Dakota till Rich came home – AND then dinner got made.  Tonight is leftovers, but we’ll probably eat at 5 – 5:30 pm.  Good schedule.  There are advantages to Rich being home for the day.  He HAS been busy with work.  A couple new jobs have come in and he’s got a lot to keep track of AND he has to always be making cold calls looking for more business.  If it weren’t for owning money from last year, we’d be doing better, but for the time being we’re still paying off business debt.  It’s just what happens though.  I believe in him as a hard worker!

Maybe we should jump a LOT more directly into some earlier Dakota thoughts to get to the point we’d originally started with as to finishing his first weekend OR week up!  I think we went through the part where it was Saturday last week, and Katherine was here, and we’d gone to Walmart Pharmacy and Pet Smart.  I know we’d listed some of the things that we’d gotten, but we hadn’t yet talked about going out for meals.  The first meal was a trip to Bull Moose.  What a very very nice time we had.  We sat toward the back of the train room where there was more room for Kota, and he had very very nice manners.  He wanted to look and see what was on the table, but for the most part he lay down next to me and allowed Katherine and us to have the most WONDERFUL lunch.  The lunch included each of us having two Bloody Marys.  Yup yup THAT’s how GREAT a lunch it was.  We felt it was leisurely and the restaurant wasn’t overly crowded so we just sat back and relaxed and talked and talked. 

I can’t even begin to think of all the conversations we got to have with Katherine – there was just so much learned about her, and just the same, she learned more about us.  AND, of course, Dakota was ALWAYS coming up in the discussion.  I like it when Katherine talks about personal stuff AND when she talks about her business.  I just think it’s’ the most wonderful job a person could ever have, so we’re always asking her questions about the dogs and how she does things and how everyone gets along.  It really helped too in thinking through Dakota’s experience and what kinds of changes he was making.

There are so many good things that he’s been trained for that we don’t want to wreck things up.  Like one of the things that we’ve gone back to that Katherine was doing was the idea of putting him in the crate and our dinner time with Rich.  He really makes it a non-issue to be in the crate, but if he’s out, he gets pretty excitable – mostly because Rich and us eat a lot in the living room and with that little bit of informality, he has a hard time knowing his official boundaries.  I think it’s key to remind the reader that he’s just a puppy.  I think we went through that already, but in general he’s 15 months old. 

I just talked to Rich about going out to eat.  We thought maybe tomorrow night before the girls got here would be a good time, because I know he’s working through the day on projects, but he said that he had already thought he was going to make a couple of steaks.  It is REALLY hard to turn THAT down!  But, we planted the first real seed post-Katherine that we’re going to have to go out at least once a week to keep him trained.  I’m hoping that will be enough.  I think he does really well with the walking.  We’ve mentioned that before, but he’s getting practice with that every day.  I think we’re going to have to pick a few days – maybe bad weather days and do some of our walking in stores.  We’ll talk to Rich more about that later, like if he has things – one or two things he wants us to pick-up at Walmart or Arts – the local grocery store.  I should bring him to other stores too, but that might take a longer conversation with Dr. Marvin to plan out.  We don’t have money to be buying a lot of stuff, but maybe like those gloves we ordered earlier, we should have maybe planned to go to a store for that.  Probably they sell them at Walgreen’s?  I don’t know that’s ONE of the stores, I wanted to go to, just not in practice so don’t know what we could be picking up.  We should talk to Dr. Marvin AND Rich.  It’s part of the whole activity program, right?  Let’s not get too overwhelmed.  The good part for this first week is that we’re taking the scooter AND the walker walks.  Pretty good deal!

The second trip out with Katherine last Saturday to a restaurant was to the Santa Fe here in Sandwich.  Neither restaurant questioned us bringing in a service dog (he had his vest on), but we had to get things established that was made much easier by having Katherine there.  We were having a hard time being able to say the words like could we be put somewhere out of the way.  And, then between her and the waitress, they took away each time the extra chair so he could have more space next to me.  He is always causing a stir no matter where we are.  This was especially true when we went out for dinner.  The only table available was right behind the lady who seats people.  We’ve had that table before.  It seems we never make it back to the side places … just always get sat in the middle (not so private). 

We had the most “trouble” with the guy and his wife sitting in back of us.  I think his wife alerted him that he and I were back to back with the dog.  He actually turned around in his chair and put his feet up on the chair directly in back of me.

Hehehe – just talked to Linda for a few moments – it was like a power-talk.  It only lasted a few moments, but both of us were revved.  Each has had a good productive day and she has her GD today and we have our GDs tomorrow – so both feeling enthused there.  She had to go to pick-up Teadora AND shop, where we’ve got some rest of the afternoon stuff to manage too.  BUT, we were actually talking about the weekend so we will go back to that - Hmm, maybe after doing the dishes though.  Hold on…

AHH!  BACK!  We let Dakota out, cleaned the dishwasher, put the sheets on the guest bed AND pet Kota for a bit.  He’s really getting better with the “go on!” command though we see that he’s right in back of us stretching out.  He is also enjoying the bush we have out back because it offers shade … Hehehe – going over to see if he can get some free pets from Rich … no go there, stopped for some water, now ???  What’s next for the dog that has everything!??  Hmm, checking out the kitchen AND the kitty guarded community - nothing to be had there.  I think he’s like got his “grounds” to cover.  I did wash under the kitchen counter ledge to keep him from getting sick from stuff picked up there.  Hmm, then he came and gave us a sniff, AND then he walked around the coffee table and checked out the front door, came gave me another sniff, then Rich – think this has to do with his herding.  There ya go; he lay down next to Rich.  Sweet!  He’s such a good dog!  Guess he’s back to dognapping.  Everything is all ok within his realm.

Ok, back to the guy at the restaurant.  He was probably drunk, but the thing was that he put his feet up in the chair next to him and he was turned to us and that was like going to be like he added us to his table.  One of the first things he did was crumble chips in a bowl and give it to us for the puppy.  Katherine took that and put it aside.  I figured right … no snacks from the table while he’s on duty – OR for that matter at any time.  Katherine does recommend if there’s extra food at the normal table at home that they are put in his dinner dish mixed with his regular food.  She discussed that it was part of keeping him cleaned up – something to do with exposing him to many different types of food.  BUT, the dogs don’t get to beg at the table.

We noticed that while the guy was talking, Dakota had been asking me to pet him, and then finally, he lay down and we turned JUST toward Katherine and she was able to finish up the conversation with the guy.  But, then there was ANOTHER lady who came over from several tables away.  She just wanted to tell us how excited she was about our dog and how well she noted he was behaving.  I think people feel a little bad about their own dogs under these circumstances, because they like this lady are pretty sure they’d be begging for food at ANY table they saw.  I was really proud that Katherine had taught Kota so well not to beg and to lie down at the restaurant after making sure we were ok. 

We had a great meal and we ordered a couple of Margaritas each.  They were small, but we still asked Katherine to drive us home, because the day was starting to weigh on us.  I don’t think we went out to dinner until like 7 pm or so.  The time with Katherine was just so perfect and she seemed naturally more able to turn the dog over to our own well-being.  We pretty soon on figured that we pet the dog a lot more than she would normally.  It’s not because she was mean or anything, just that we were really lavishing Dakota with attention, because we were eager for the bonding process and just felt so happy with him.  Dakota really did know that Katherine was still there overseeing though, because if she raised her eyebrow, Dakota would like know when he was messing up.  She was doing somewhat the same with me.  She was patient as we struggled with getting our “adult voice” as did Dr. Marvin.  She was especially good as we were working with Dakota on the common behaviors of sitting and lying down.  We have to work at not repeating ourselves, because we want the dog to respond the first time.  So like with the down gesture of pointing, we will also say down, but not repeat it though holding our finger pointing to the ground.  Kota really seems to be getting it.  He’s a little quick on getting up afterward though – so we’re working with “Stay.”

I don’t remember everything about how Saturday went and I think we told you about Katherine going over everything that had been on our “wondering list” that we’d made up with Dr. Marvin.  She was SOOOO patient with us, and that’s why dinner was so late.  Katherine doesn’t stay up too late, and we’re pretty sure we kept her up later than normal.  She did get chances to talk to Brian her husband, and that probably normalized her life more than anything, but I always had the feeling that whenever I had another question or something to talk about that she was ready with a listening ear.  She was such a perfect guest!  AND, to be honest there is one extra Katherine bonus.  We were getting REAL hugs at the appropriate moments.  I’m holding them so dear to our heart.  I can feel her holding us and wiping away some of our insecurities.  She never lost balance with the part that everything that was happening and happening quick was new and different for both Dakota and us.  Everything was just soooo soooo nice!

Sunday morning we woke up feeling things were already in a routine.  The first thing was that I was taking showers – EVERY morning first thing.  We had to explain to Katherine that was new, because usually we went to the computer first.  We did very little computer time while Katherine was here.  By Sunday, we had gotten up to do the shower, get dressed AND take Dakota outside.  He did all his good dog stuff right away.  Monday morning when we woke up it was the same, but we woke up at 2 am.  Dakota had patiently though waited until we were ready for him, and it was us that asked if he wanted to come out of the crate.  YAY DAKOTA!!!  BUT … back to Sunday.

With Katherine there was always something to talk about.  I LOVED that we got to share a couple cups of coffee and after a while we would have cereal and then after that came our scooter walk with Katherine and Dakota.  I was soooo impressed with Katherine’s well-being, fitness and general physical and mental health throughout the weekend.  Like running two miles wasn’t a problem for her.  Even when we turned to go back, she still ran the distance.  I don’t remember doing something like that since high school … she’s just so gosh darn impressive.  The second day there was one bad guy out on the road – he slowed down with Katherine on one side of the road, and then sped up yelling something out the window about finding a sidewalk.  That was the only mean thing that happened all week.  This morning was great in that another person yelled out the window – about how great it was that we were doing what we were in being out with the dog.  That makes up for the negative comment a lot.

I don’t know what it is about being out on the scooter with Dakota.  We usually start off by saying, “let’s go,” but pretty much as soon as the machine is powered to go forward, he’s already conditioning himself to keep pace with the vehicle.  We have a pretty good idea now how far we should hold the leash, but he's been kept pretty close.  Sometimes he will bump our leg, but mostly he keeps true.  We are both actually on the street part.  I had thought at first he’d like the side area of grass and such, but that’s not his preference.  All the time he is quick walking, he keeps his nose pointing forward.  We’re learning not to slow down when he thinks he can get interest in the side of the road, but he doesn’t do that very often.  When we come up to a bump – like the speed bumps in the park, we say, “bump.”  I’m thinking he’s getting pretty used to that, because he slows down knowing that we go over them slower.  He’s just so smart! 

So far we’ve taken him around the park, then down a mile to the end of the road (country mile roads), and then we take him once around the park to get him back into his neighborhood, and then we stop next to our back yard where he goes to the bathroom.  We’ve got a dish outside and we pour him some water … he usually only takes a few slurps until he’s more rested.  The water bottle we keep in our basket and we keep a couple bags in our basket.  After he’s clipped on to his regular leash, we go pick-up any poos we see and we bring it to the garbage in the garage.  Then we go in and wash our hands, and then go back out to put the scooter in the garage – w/o Dakota because we want him to understand sometimes we do things without him.  Then we come back through the garage to the sunroom and go in and sit.  If he’s busy he’ll let that be known, but usually, he seems to know already that after we get back from our walk, he gets his breakfast. 

All around it is just a very enjoyable process.  After that *giggle* he takes a rest unless we’re moving around.  When Katherine was here, we probably did some getting things in order, and she would take her shower after she cooled down from her run.  I think Rich was around Sunday and I remember the part about them discussing the day before having pork roast, sauerkraut and dumplings … it was like a favorite food she’d had in the past and hadn’t had for a long time, so it was decided that we would stay at home for dinner after being in Chicago.  Rich took the time to put our scooter up behind his SUV and he prepared the roast so it would cook while we were gone.

A lot of being in the car with Dakota in the back seat was about bonding with him, and letting Katherine and Rich talk and talk about fishing, or whatever.  Hehehe – this time I loved it.  It isn’t often that a girlfriend will get in such an in-depth conversation with the guy, but we had the feeling that Katherine would fit in with almost anyone she talked to, because she had so many experiences, interests, and abilities.  Ok and we were super happy about petting, petting and petting.  This was a new marvelous dog that we couldn’t quite believe yet was ours.  Sometimes we find ourselves talking to him.  Not as much babying, though there is a lot of asking him if he knows what a good dog he is and he’s told a lot how beautiful he is – JUST because we can’t help ourselves. 

I had thought we’d go take the scooter on Foster Beach where we used to live and walk alongside the lake, and then we’d go to the dog park, and then Dr. Marvin’s and then dinner out.  As just mentioned dinner was out, and somehow in the process Rich and/or Katherine took it that we were combining the two beach experiences into one.  We couldn’t find the voice to communicate that everything was all wrong.  We’d been going through the beach area where there was a LOT of people, no parking because we were at the wrong beach, and they were talking about us going to the dog park which was now terrifying us, because we knew there wasn’t any place to sit.  Between Rich and Katherine, they had to coax us to believe that something would work out.  Rich pulled up to the area by the dog beach; we were terrified and asked Katherine to take the dog.  Then we saw the general layout and noticed that there was a breaker wall we could sit at, and we asked Katherine to take Dakota in for a walk in the dog park, because we wanted to see him run free.

FORTUNATELY, Katherine seemed intuitively to understand our experience and agreed to the arrangement.  She went in the dog park and let Dakota go free.  I was so proud of them for being able to do it.  Just we hadn’t planned right – should have brought a chair for the beach.  But, Dakota started moving and smelled some other dogs, and then Katherine took him deeper into the beach and after we lost sight she took him into Lake Michigan.  He wasn’t really thrilled with Lake Michigan, but followed Katherine nonetheless.  About three times, Katherine turned around and waved at us and we waved back.  She was pretty smart to know that we’d be watching them sincerely with all our heart!  She was doing something for us that we weren’t able to do ourselves yet and there was soooo much appreciation!

After a while, Katherine brought Dakota back, and she sat on the breaker with us.  Man oh man what a marvelous magical moment that was.  Dakota patiently laid there between us and we did manage to get one beach picture before the camera battery failed again.  This is our beach picture!



It was just sooo cool!  There were a lot of people and dogs, but Katherine and Rich helped to make it manageable for me.  It was one of those places where if you had a dog you would want to try!  I’d thought that for a long time, and then Katherine made it come true.







Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dakota's First Weekend Part 1



Hi Dr. Marvin :) ... we haven't been taking MANY pictures, but THIS is the FIRST and most important picture!  This was taken on Sunday ... So far I could say "Hug" as I tapped on my chest and he'd stand up leaning against me for a good pet, and I tried about the same when I was sitting down - just said, "UP!" And, UP he indeed did jump just like a jack rabbit!  So this picture is the first time that he was up in our lap.  He does like to ride in the car/SUV and in Rich's SUV I've been sitting in the back with him with Katherine in the front talking with Rich and Dakota will lay his paws/face in my lap.  We're REALLLL attached!  I am having trouble now sleeping - I've been up for about 3 hours and it is only 4:45 am.  Just soooo much to be excited about!  
  
Right now Katherine and Rich and Dakota are still sleeping - just Missy has gotten up with me.  The Missy/Dakota story is going to be one of the really best stories!  AND, there are a lot of them!  We did put the gate up in the laundry room to keep Missy's stuff safe from Dakota - and for sure he did check them out though he's not a grabby eater.  There are CERTAIN things he still likes!  When he came in and first met the cat - there was like a half a room distance and they knew each other was there, but just turned the opposite direction.  There was a lot of that going on, but the bottom line is that Dakota doesn't search out the cat - and will sometimes spot her and go the other direction, but in general - it is Missy who is approaching Dakota - AND while he's lying down, she has even come up and touched the tip of his tail with her nose.  She doesn't seem to mind he goes in the kennel at night, but so far, we have not heard him growl or bark at absolutely NOTHING!  It's pretty amazing how quiet he is.  Like he seems to know right now it's not time to be up yet, so he's not whined or given any indication of wanting to be out of his crate.  AND, at night time - about when Rich and we retire to the bedroom, we just say crate - and of course while carrying his bedtime treat - he will go into the crate, turn around to get his treat and all is GOOD for the night!  He's really amazing
  
Rich seems to prefer if we didn't need the crate, but oddly enough I am siding with Katherine where I like to know where he is at all times.  When he first came on Friday - he had a bowel accident in the house and then the next day there was a leg lifting incident.  I think that I'm going to write these up as just not knowing the house rules, but we're trying to be real preventative as to getting him to the right place at the right time.  It seems like yesterday when we were out, he wasn't concerned each of three trips where he had an opportunity to go, but then when we came home, he went out to the bathroom and did his thing right away.  Last night he paced a little by the door - again he isn't barking at all ... and it was about 40 minutes after his dinner, so I took him out.  He first didn't want to go down the back porch steps, so I had to just leave him and close the screen door.  I came out of the sunroom and closed the sliding door between us so he could barely see us.  So he looked at the empty space for about a minute, then he went down the stairs and peed, AND THEN Found a nice spot in the yard and did the other thing.  We were soooo proud of him.  We waited a minute or two for him to "feel the victory" then we went out to get him ... He was happy as a lark to come back in and it seemed we'd reached some kind of communication that when he went out back we expected him to go before he could come back in - AND it was a bit stifling out yesterday so we didn't keep him out long.  

I'm still afraid that if we didn't notice it was about time, he would use a piece of furniture or wall corner, but we're going to count the small victories as we get them!

It has been a whirlwind with Katherine and Dakota here.  We were on time for picking up Katherine (waiting at the O'Hare Oasis) for her call especially because we knew her plane was going to be 15 minutes late.  We had a little trouble finding her, because she had been upstairs at Departures where we were downstairs and not understanding where she was at, but we finally found her and we DID give her the biggest hug!  I had already decided that Katherine was going to be in the front seat so we could sit with Dakota - and that seems to have worked out just fine.  Dakota is not much of a "licker," but he's cuddly!  We got home to Rich's roast and we all got settled and had a good time.  Katherine is like an EXPERT conversationalist - and through the weekend we found that she can talk "fishy-language" with Rich - WooHOO!!!  How often does a person find that, and in the meantime it gave us a chance to just ogle our puppy!  Katherine says he's 15 months old.  So we're going to give him the honorary birthday of May 1rst!  We were thinking May ... 5-1-14, and then it was 5 am, so we figured it would be a good time to get in the shower!  It worked!  

I'm now officially up, showered, and dressed ALL before Dakota, Katherine and Rich!  AHA! More writing time - I've been missing my computer connection - AND, while we were officially up we started the coffee.  Maybe that will get a couple early birds up OR we might get MORE writing time.  Dakota hasn't really woken up yet where he is standing or standing and whining or anything, so we're figuring he wants to sleep in some more.  We are getting him REALLY tired - especially for still being a puppy.  How long is a dog a puppy?  Hmm, just thinking now that Katherine called him an adolescent or a juvenile - Maybe!

The last couple of day’s people have been getting up around 7 am - so we'll see what happens now AND we'll see if Rich set his work clock.  Ok, ok so where were we!

Hmm, thinking we're still back at the first night.  Katherine is teaching us that if we say "Crate!" Dakota scoots over there.  Sometimes if Katherine gives him "the look" he scoots into his kennel too.  She has a raised eyebrow like Rich and if she says a word or two or grumbles, Dakota knows he's doing something wrong.  She says that he's testing us out to see how far he can get and then sometimes Katherine is looking the other way - like when he jumped into our lap.  She said that he had never done that before.  Hehehe INCORRIGIBLE!  

Katherine puts him in his cage for more than we would naturally.  Like if he's misbehaving or if she sees that he's not listening because he's over-tired, then "In he goes!"  He doesn't seem to mind it though in the least and sometimes he goes in there by himself.  He really does seem to already know that it is his space.  

Talking with Katherine in-between everything has been soooo gosh darn good - that part is just incredible.  She's everything we dreamed of and more.  She's sunny and sparkly all rolled up in one and has had soooo many experiences!  She's lived in Wisconsin, Texas, LA, Denver AND South Dakota.  Everything is plum full of experiences!  She's like one of those women who are God-given gifts to humanity and she's been SOOOO patient with us.  You know that list we made together - you and us?  She sat patiently with us as we went down the entire list until we both knew all our questions were answered.  We had started the list in the sitting room comfortably in the recliners, and then we finished it out on the patio.  Oh, and she helped spray for the bees that were still out so that was pretty good - though the area probably has to be sprayed each time AND we ran out of bee spray.  Dakota DID get his time outside, but it was only the once because the indoor temps have been so much better.  This morning when we woke up, we saw this note from Emergency Services...

------------ ALERT: SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS AND WATCHES -------------

.HOT & HUMID TODAY WITH THE HIGHEST HEAT INDEX READINGS SO FAR
IN SUMMER 2014.

LEE-LA SALLE-GRUNDY-KANKAKEE-LIVINGSTON-IROQUOIS-FORD-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF.DIXON.OTTAWA.MORRIS.KANKAKEE.
PONTIAC.WATSEKA.PAXTON

340 AM CDT MON AUG 25 2014

.HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 10 PM CDT
THIS EVENING.

* TEMPS.LWR TO MID 90S IN THE AFTERNOON.

* HEAT INDEX READINGS.PEAKING AT 105 TO 109.

* IMPACTS.THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPS & HIGH
 MOISTURE WILL LEAD TO AN INCREASED RISK OF HEAT RELATED STRESS
 & ILLNESS. THE VERY YOUNG.THE ELDERLY.THOSE WITHOUT AIR
 CONDITIONING.& THOSE PARTICIPATING IN STRENUOUS OUTDOOR
 ACTIVITIES WILL BE THE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE. IN ADDITION.CAR
 INTERIORS WILL REACH LETHAL TEMPS IN A MATTER OF
 MINUTES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS.

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT WEATHER IS EXPECTED.
HIGH TEMPS & HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A
SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESS IS POSSIBLE. DRINK PLENTY OF
FLUIDS.STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM.STAY OUT OF THE SUN.
AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES & NEIGHBORS.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS.IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE.RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING. WEAR
LIGHT WEIGHT & LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE & DRINK
PLENTY OF WATER.

ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL & SHADED
LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY.CALL 9 1 1.

CHILDREN & PETS SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT UNATTENDED IN VEHICLES
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE DURING HOT
WEATHER WHEN THE CAR INTERIOR CAN REACH LETHAL TEMPS IN A
MATTER OF MINUTES!

VISIT US AT HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/CHICAGO (ALL LWRCASE)

Ok, we're back here again at the other end of the forecast.  Wikipedia says, "The heat index (HI) or humiture or humidex is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature—how hot it feels. The result is also known as the "felt air temperature" or "apparent temperature".  SOOO, we looked up Sandwich, and it says on a different weather system - "...Hot and humid today... Very hot and humid conditions expected today with temperatures forecast to rise into the low 90's with humidity across northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana. These temperatures combined with a very muggy air mass with dew points in the mid 70’s will result in afternoon heat index values between 98 and 104 degrees.

AHA!  That will give Katherine something to talk about when she goes home!  OMG I just looked at weather in HER area.  Right now it is 48 with a high expected of 68 and the humidity is only 82% MUCH nicer!  I can't believe it - we're getting 92 degrees and their high is only 68?  It's like a FREEZER zone!

She'll be glad to get back to DECENT weather.  Ok ... we got a LOT more to write about ... thinking this note is going to continue past the time we get home after dropping Katherine at the airport.

Ok ... you heard the part about Katherine going over the written material and how great THAT was!!!!  It helped to have a REALLY sound discussion on everything we'd been concerned with ... some of the concern had naturally passed because we'd figured out answers as we went, but the big thing is that we could talk about anything.  I know we were both getting tired at the end, but I feel we really got our money worth from the experience with Katherine throughout.  Before that, we'd had a REALLY busy day.  We had let Dakota out to go to the washroom, and then I think we concentrated on talking talking talking WITH Coffee!

After we got something to eat and all we went outside and took on the scooter.  Dakota got it really fast, but there was experimenting too like how long the leash should be, pacing, where he should stand, etc.  It's going to be worked into a fine piece of art, but it was a GREAT start.  Dakota can easily go on the scooter's fastest speed and the few times we saw him loose, he was REALLY rabbit fast!  He's got very strong bouncy legs that make him look like a cricket!  Katherine started walking and then running with us.  She's really strong ... she's had a couple decades as a fitness instructor.  Boy!  I don't think we knew that about her, but you should see her hoist a full bag of dog food WOW!

We went out on the busier street right away and this morning will be the third time.  Traffic has been going fine around us, but we still have to get the flags on her to feel more comfortable.  I hadn't known after Rich put them on - that if we turned the chair they would snap off.  Lesson learned!  Dakota has a tougher time on the busier streets, but we are both feeling our way along.  It's a little more confusing to him with Katherine running because he wants to keep her pace or run next to her, or at least take her running into account.  It's going to take some time, but Katherine gave us the clue that we have to start looking around and appreciating our experience rather than worrying because the dog will pick that up.  All along she's had to remind us that we have to be the leader of the Pack because Dakota needs a Pack leader.  From Everything I read I know she's right, but sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes we don't know our or his limits - like we're much more afraid we should be taking him to the bathroom and Katherine is encouraging us to not worry about it so much.  She said dogs don't have to go NEAR as often as humans.  I guess, for example, I am used to going RIGHT before I leave for your office, then when we get there, and then when we leave, but Dakota can do that whole trip without having to stop.  Yesterday in fact as mentioned previously, he waited to get home, even given the experience of three stops.

After the first walk and cleaning up and such, Katherine and we and Dakota were off to Walmart to pick-up our OWN Prescriptions!  Can you believe THAT!!!??? I used the walker and all went PERFECT!  AND, we did get the 90 day subscriptions.  Thank you for arranging that.

AHA!  We here the garbage men AND Rich's alarm trying to wake him up.  I think he might be fighting Monday morning.  

Pswhoo BACK!!!!  It's now about 3 pm.  After Rich got up, then Dakota got up and then Katherine got up and everything was full forward.  We'll talk about that more later down the line, but the general drift is that we have had a very nice day, Katherine is by this time probably just getting back to Rapid City SD, we've been home for about 2 1/2 hours and have had lunch, spent more time with Dakota (and Missy), took a little nap, checked in online and am now ready to sit down awhile and write again - just that much more to write about.  I think it's going to take to the end of today before I get everything in, and I'm guessing at this point that I will take a while to think through it all, but will also post in our blog.  This is the comprehensive "report," but we like to think right now with the focus of us telling you.

Ok, so if we go back to Saturday morning, we were at the point of going outside with Dakota and first circling the block, and then going down the busy street.  Everything balanced out and after a certain point; we turned around and headed back to the house.  After I get back from everything, I am letting Dakota out on his 20' chain in the back yard so that he understand that is his bathroom space.  Katherine was great ... we started walking together and then she started running alongside us going faster, and then we kept pretty good pace, but got a little ahead of her, but not much.  After we came in (collecting our dog too), we made sure he had breakfast and there was always between everything quite a lot of talking - sometimes surrounding our life with Dakota and sometimes, just a heck of a lot of interesting stuff that we were learning about each other (Katherine and us).  Each of the three mornings, we got up and showered and dressed before others were moving and sometime in there Katherine and I had cereal both at the same time.  She's a lot more creative than us in trying different cereal and coffee combinations.  She's SOOOO cool!  After she was dressed and after we had gathered our minds - it was a hard task ... AND after we'd settled some money regulations with Rich, we took off for our first adventure!  

The first stop was Walmart to pick up OUR OWN PRESCRIPTIONS!  I think we might have started to say this before, but everything worked really well.  We did bring our walker and Dakota walks very nice besides it.  We were next in line, so there wasn't any hassle, but we were comfortable with Dakota and being able to sit down.  We got a little confused when the woman was talking to us about the medicine, but I don't remember why.  Just remember her asking if she should get the pharmacist and we said no.  We weren’t doing her words well.  Katherine asked her where the dog items were and the pharmacist was able to direct her, but we still couldn’t hear her words, because we were already thinking about having to navigate somewhere we didn't know.  And things got really messed up.  Katherine figured it out though. 

We got a few things in the dog aisle.  Katherine did most of the scouting because we were too dazed at all the stuff in our vision.  We just stopped in the aisle and Dakota lay down next to us and Katherine did the harder work.  We ended up getting a few things at Walmart and a few things at the next stop Pet Smart.  I'm not sure at this point which place we got which items.  AND, the drive was very concentrated ... like I'd never driven to Walmart and parked there and I had to put in directions to find the Pet Smart Store in Yorkville, even though it was off the same Rt 34.  I didn't know how to do the turns.   When Katherine asked for help at Pet Smart and in checking out, it seemed that all three personnel were really not very intelligent.  The one lady kept pacing back and forth looking for someone else, and then she tried to converse, but couldn't remember the name of a city she'd visited in SD so she went on and on holding attention while just stammering.  Then the lady she got put her face into her electronic gizmo and was like floating on clouds, gave us no indication what the hell she was trying to do, and then wasn't able to give us any information after we stopped her because she was just in a bad snow drift and the cashier - almost as bad.  I think at one of the stores, Katherine talked to some people for us, because what we are finding already is that everywhere we go people ARE drawn to Dakota.  At one of the stores - like THREE people in the main aisle just stopped to smile at him.  The one person at one of the registers had a baby, and we couldn't do the conversation so we walked ahead and Katherine finished it for us.  We just couldn't concentrate on talking and having the dog and shopping and trying to get out of there.

The kinds of things we got?  Hmm, think we got a 20-25 pound of really good dog food, some "greenies" for his teeth AND some of his favorite bedtime snack that are like chicken strips.  We got a regular "leash material" collar and a matching red leash - about 6 foot, and then we got a prong collar, because Katherine was sure that he needed it for discipline.  She put the prongs around my wrist and pulled, but surprisingly enough - they actually felt good - there was no feeling of pinching our skin or anything.  She talked often about us making corrections if he didn't do as we asked and that was probably the hardest part was to be making us ALWAYS seem authoritative, because as you know some parts are and some parts aren't.  We're still working at that though.  She says that Dakota NEEDS us to be the pack leader so he knows what to do and that he is more than anything wanting to please us.  Its soooo cool!  Anyway, we also got an animal to play with and a little ball on the bottom of a heavy cord for tug of war.  

So far, we can't get him to play with anything or pick-up the large rawhide bones that Rich got him, but when Katherine got out of the shower, she found that Dakota had brought her his one (of three) large bones and placed it next to her suitcase.  She figured that because he didn't want it, he wanted her to take it home to his friends.  I loved that thought!  The other two will probably go to Maury's two dogs, and maybe in that process we could get Dakota to pick one up to chew.  We are just not counting on it.  He's very sensitive in eating - doesn't gobble, but can sure take down those chicken treats AND a LITTLE soft rawhide.  I'm thinking I might bring that package to you and you can treat him when he gets to your office.  We also got a new double bowl set for eating/drinking, and we got some shampoo and we got some spray to take care of toileting problems in the house.  Oh, and we got a sparkly tag that you put in a machine and it puts our information etched on the tag.  Katherine had us put our name and phone number.  She said not to put the dog’s name because you don't want anyone finding the dog - knowing it and feeling in a position to take rights over it.  That was good thinking.  All you want is for them to call you so you can pick-up the dog.  I'm thinking that is probably about it.

We did get from Katherine a saddle vest for Dakota that states he's a service dog - and a portable water bowl, and some patches and identifications for both Dakota and Us (our pictures and names), and then on the back there is a copy of the ADA rule stating what people can ask you about your service dog and their right to access premises.  There was other paperwork and certificates – and Dr. records we got from Katherine too – the other was in an folder.

I'm looking down at Dakota now ... he is back lying next to us.  This time though, he has fallen asleep stretched out with his muzzle laid over both of our soft purplish/gray shoes.  I guess he's breathing us up, though we wish we could have left a better impression than stinky shoes!  He's really tuckered out...



I don't know if I said yet, but we took him on longer and longer walks each day.  Not by much, but by some.  We added a space at the end of our busy street walk where we are walking around the perimeter of the mobile home park.  That gets him back into more familiar comfortable surroundings, and again we end the trips in the back yard.  He's doing SOOOO well!  Katherine said that when he walks next to us in any form (scooter, walking, or walker, but especially scooter), he is really proud of being there.  He's being very much a dog and a well-cared for dog at that.  I'm so happy to be feeling that we're doing it the right way.  I asked about what it was that he does during the day, but I think we're really figuring that out ... basically, he sleeps near us when he's got down time, and then he is ready to go when we get up to move, and especially when we call him over to put on his prong collar and leash. He's ALWAYS ready to go and likes to sleep by the door too!

The last time we took him out - just before sitting back down to write, he was pacing in the kitchen area and he whined, so we took him right to the door asked him if he wanted to go out (repetition) and then as before we left him out there and came back in and then just spied on him.  AND, sure enough ... he urinated and pooped and then stretched a bit and relaxed before we let him back in.  He seems to appreciate the good dog pets he gets and is excited to be back in the air conditioned house and WITH HIS People!  He's doing GREAT!  He doesn't bark at all so I'm glad he's at least whining, just I have to look for it so there is no accidents.  Katherine says the two he had were just in getting accustomed.  When he walked in he didn't know what to do.  

Oh ... he didn't like that ... Rich got up from where he was working at his chair, talked for a few moments, put on his shoes and left for a few grocery items and a trip to his mothers.  Dakota is still fretting a bit because he didn't take him with.  Poor kid - he was meant to be on the go!

We made some popcorn and emptied the dishwasher, but everything is in pretty good shape.  I did find Dakota though reaching in through Missy's door in the gate to check out her food stash.  Lucky we pushed it back because he had his whole neck AND head in there!  He eventually though went back to finish up some of the food he'd started at breakfast.  There ... we're back, Rich is gone and Dakota is now lying by the door.  He likes it over there like Lady because of the cold air vents, we think - and now he's probably waiting for Rich.  Rich is doing real well with the dog.  When Dakota walks over to him, if Rich's hands are free, he will give him a real nice pet, but then he's like - ok, go on now!  On the Saturday - after he'd had the accident I cleaned it up and Katherine took him outside and left him, but she gave him too much leash by putting one attached to another, so when Rich came home, he saw Dakota was attached to his leash, but he was sitting out in the middle of the street like he was starting his own street gang!  Hehehe - needless to say Rich brought him in!