Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sheep and goats and Barclay

Well, Annaliese, who gave me the sheep and goats to begin with, is going to save the day by taking them back - at least for a while. This will give me a much needed break before I completely burn out, and she'll enjoy having her little buddies back. Then we can figure out a better way to take care of them by next winter so it's not such a chore. I mean, I don't mind chores, but this was really wearing me out!

Probably the biggest cause of burnout is Barclay. He is just coming out of his ornery teenage phase, and turning into a wonderful dog. But there's a lot of work to do yet, and everyday most of my time is devoted to him. Either playing with him to wear him out so he won't be as destructive, or teaching him things, or practicing the things he should already know, or cleaning up the swath of destruction he leaves behind if he isn't worn out enough. He's sweet, and I think he's really going to be a great dog, but raising a pup is so much work! Even Dave says it seems like our whole life revolves around him right now.

I can't imagine having kids and keeping this up for 20 years!! I salute you moms out there!

Yesterday Barclay went to work with me for the day, and had a great time visiting with customers, schmoozing up to everyone, and licking the kids who came in. But between customers he was trying out something new - when he got bored he decided to bark at me, demanding I entertain him. Barking gets ignored, laying down and being quiet gets rewarded. So I got barked at quite a bit before he figured that out. He's never been a barker, so I don't know why he decided to give it a try. Just testing the waters I guess.

Then we went to the dog park so he could run off some energy before we left him in his pen all night while we went to see a show. At the dog park there's a big dog area and a small dog area. I take him on the small dog side. No other small dogs were there. But on the big dog side was a german shepherd, a chocolate lab, a bulldog, and a boxer/pit/rottie mix. He had fun running up and down the fenceline with some of those dogs. After a bit everyone left except the bulldog, so I took him over there to play with him. They ran around and wrestled, except he couldn't knock that bulldog over for anything - it was just his size by height and length, but weighed 80lbs! He weighs 30! The bulldog kept knocking him over and laying on him, and he couldn't wiggle out from under all that bulk :) They were having a great time, but he started to get tired and then the humping starts, which is a sign it's time to go home. He was filthy from the dog grinding him into the clay, and worn out, and that was perfect! So that was his first time playing with a strange dog at the public dog park, and it went very well.

I'm a bit nervous about dog parks because you never know who you're going to meet, and how they will act, which is why I didn't let him over to play with the lab or shepherd. They're just too big, they could hurt him badly pretty fast. And I would never let him play with a pit. Hopefully we'll find times to go when we can meet up with other dogs his size.

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