LOWES DAY

Our local Lowes is a dog friendly store. I thought they all were, but, after a brief search on-line, that does not seem to be the case.  Apparently, it is up to the local manager.  I am thankful that ours still allow dogs, especially after one of their employees got bitten a few months back. They just changed their policy to encourage their employees to not try to pet the dogs that come in.  They can, but they do it at their own risk.  (Is your local Lowes dog friendly?)

I have taken Tippy there a couple of times with my trainer and once by myself.  She did much better with the trainer.  A couple of days ago, I needed to buy some yard working equipment, so decided to take Tippy with me.  My trainer was unavailable.  It was just me and Tippy.

In an effort to try to lower her energy level, i.e. tire her out, I took her for a walk first.  It was an eventful walk, as she flushed some wild turkeys and I saw a black snake basking in the morning sun.  Tippy found something and ran back toward home with it, as she does when she thinks it is something I don’t want her to have.  I fully expected to see her laying in the yard, chewing on it, when I got back.  But, she was no where to be found.  She came bounding up on the porch about 10 minutes later without her treasure.  I don’t know if she ate it, or buried it for another day.

Then, it was off to Lowes.  I did have to give her a minute to calm down before we went inside, but she did great!  She walked right beside of the cart with very little pulling, never bothered anything on the shelves, and almost let one of the male employees pet her.  (She has issues with men, so that was an improvement.)

We had to wait in line at the checkout.  I looked down and she was just sitting, waiting patiently, and people watching.

waiting patiently at checkout
If I sit here long enough, will we get to go for another ride?

It was a very successful shopping trip and, apparently, a very tiring one.

 

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ARE THEY BLOOMING YET?

One of my favorite spring wildflowers that grow in the woods around my house are the Trout Lilies.  Like most wildflowers, their blooms are short lived, so I often miss them in all of their splendor.  Tippy and I decided to traipse down the hill today to see how they were coming along.

Tippy in the woods 2
Tippy helping me look for wildflowers.

As you can see from the pictures below, the mottled leaves are up, but no flowers yet.

 

I did find some Toothwort and the Redbud trees are blooming.

 

I wasn’t planning on taking our usual hike back in the neighbor’s field, but, this is what I found when I got back to the house.

Patiently waiting
Please mom, can we go for a walk?

I couldn’t resist her cuteness and patience, so, off we went.  I didn’t go as far as I usually do, wanting to avoid the buried animal that caused us problems on the last walk.  I turned around about 2/3 of the way there, but Tippy went on.  I decided to just leave her and hope she didn’t go dig it up.  But, I really didn’t want her to, so I started back that way to retrieve her.  I hadn’t gone far when she came running toward me.  Whew!  No dead thing to worry about today, or so I thought.

On the way back to the house, I lost sight of Tippy, but found this well camouflaged butterfly, or it could be a moth.  I didn’t look close enough.  I wouldn’t have found it had I not seen it land and then hunted for it.

Camoflaged moth
Well camouflaged.

When I got back to the house, Tippy was already there, laying in the yard.  I immediately knew that she had found something.  It sort of looked like the hide of an animal, so it could have been that some other critter had dug up the dead thing and left this behind.  I really don’t know.  Since she didn’t growl at me when I got close and I was confident that it wasn’t going to hurt her to eat it,  I just left her alone to enjoy her find.

Tippy and her dead thing
Yummy. I don’t know why mom thinks it is yucky.

IT’S A NEW DAY

One of the things I have learned from having Tippy is that each day is truly a new day to be cherished and experienced.  Things may look the same to me when we go on our walk, but, they really aren’t.  There are always new smells from the critters that went walking by the night before, a new bird to chase, a new twig that has fallen out of a tree, etc.

I try my best to be observant of my surroundings and enjoy the newness of the day.  I love Spring because things that I can see do literally change overnight.  The grass is greener, flowers and trees bloom, butterflies appear, leaves bud out, etc.

Today on our walk, I spotted some of the tiniest wildflowers, henbit and  white violets.

Things were going well, until Tippy smelled, and started digging up, a dead animal that the neighbor had buried. When I approached her to get her to leave it alone, she started growling at me.  This “food aggression” is something I have been working on with her, so knew that I couldn’t just walk away.  I took one step closer, she’d growl, I’d wait until she calmed down and take another step.  When I was beside of the hole, she put her nose down in it, growled, and started digging.

My next step was to try to distract her by throwing a small stick.  This didn’t work, but she did look up.

Digging up the dead thing
Trying to dig up the dead thing.

Fortunately, there was a larger, longer stick laying nearby.  I got it while she continued to dig.  I took my foot and pushed dirt back into the hole.  That didn’t even phase her.  So, I stuck the stick in the hole to try to claim the space.  When I did, she grabbed the stick and I grabbed her collar.  She didn’t growl or act aggressive in any way when I did.  I led her away from the hole and let her go after we went about 20 feet.  I was worried that she would make a beeline back to it, but she didn’t!!  She obediently followed me back toward the house.

The stick
Waiting to play fetch.

When we got a comfortable distance from the dig site, we played fetch with the stick. She really enjoyed that and ran around like a wild puppy.  This was a treat for her.  I rarely will play fetch with a stick because she doesn’t realize that it sticks out from her body and when she runs past me I get clobbered with it. A Frisbee is defiantly safer.

Wild flowers, lesson learned, AND fetch.  What a wonderful walk we had!

DOGGIE DAYCARE

I am retired, but have a couple of part time jobs.  One of those is as a substitute teacher for a local day care center.  Normally, I will work one or two days in a week and some weeks, none at all.  When I am going to be gone all day, I put Tippy on a tie out before I leave (if the weather is good) and my mom and dad will come up and take her for a couple of walks during the day so she can run off some of her energy.

This past week, I have worked every day.  I didn’t want her to have to be tied out for 5 days in a row, so on a couple of those days I took her to my trainer’s house for doggie daycare.

20160318_074159
Dropping Tippy off at Doggie Daycare.

This the scene as I was backing out to leave after dropping her off.  She at least looked back to say goodbye this day.  The first day she didn’t.  While I know that is good, and means she feels comfortable and will have a good time, a part of me was sad that she didn’t run back to the car and whine to want to go with me.  I imagine that is similar to how the parents feel when dropping off their children at the day care center and they just run in and start playing.

The trainer has 3 dogs of her own, one she is trying to rehome for a lady, and a puppy she has for 10 days of training.  The owners of the puppy, Star, are not sure they really want to keep her.  They are “cat people” who decided to get a dog.  I don’t think they realized how much difference there is in taking care of a kitten versus a puppy and are considering giving her back.

The day she brought Star to her house, Tippy was there.  The trainer was telling me how good Tippy was with Star….she did the play bow to get her to come into the group and help her relax, then, when she came near, she laid down and let Star lay on her neck.  This amazed me because the only other time I have seen her with a puppy, she played really rough with it.  This got me to thinking about the possibility of taking Star in if her current owners decide they don’t want her.  I guess I’ll cross that bridge if it comes to it, but need to do some serious reflection beforehand.

Star
Star

This is a picture I got of Star this morning when I went by to pick up Tippy.  (Tippy spent the night last night because I had a Relay For Life fundraiser I helped with after work and knew I wouldn’t be home until midnight.)  She’s so cute and such a sweetheart.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

There have been buzzards roosting in the trees outside our house for the last week or so.  Tippy loves to “chase them away.”  She was very focused, staring out the door this morning.  Upon closer inspection, I saw 3 or 4 had landed in the trees across the driveway.  If you look really closely, you can spot them.

watching the buzzards
Who needs the movies when I have my very own version of “The Birds” right outside my door?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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