Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Friday, August 31, 2018

New Puppy Class

I gave up on spca and we are now signed up for Monday at 7pm at Petsmart.  It's less expensive as well.  I walked from the kitchen into the living room this morning and found he had grabbed the end of the toilet paper roll and dragged it through the hallway into the living room.  What a sight!  I hate to waste anything and to have to throw all that paper away is sad.  When I sat down on the couch he crawled into my lap for a short while, which means he must be contrite because he's not a snuggly dog at all.  That's a disappointment to me in a way because I'd love to snuggle with him, but he is too independent.

I've sat down at least 3 times to try to finish today's offering, but I keep having to stop to keep the little rascal in line.   There is so much I should be doing inside and out, and it just isn't possible.  I may be back later with an add-on to this post.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

1st Puppy class tonight! NOT HAPPENING!

Please send good vibes that I learn some helpful info especially about nipping/biting and walking on a leash.  I'm about to be driven out of my mind!

I have my doubts about this class, which I guess is not the best way to start.  They use the "clicker" training method which I think is just a gimmick.  They also use words such as "marker" which is new in my puppy training vocabulary.  I'm not sure I could even tell you what they mean by marker.  (It doesn't mean anything about where the puppy chooses to do his business!)  I need to do an attitude adjustment before this evening.

Don't worry, I'm just venting a little, which happens to anyone who is frustrated with a situation.  So please, no comments on how I'm a terrible person. 

Latest news:  The puppy class isn't held tonight even though we were confirmed for it.  Turns out there is one for older dogs, but they did confirm a puppy class.  I'm heartbroken, but we're looking for a different class I can get into soon, but not at the SPCA as now I don't trust them.  My daughter found out only because she called them for some other reason.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Trip to Home Depot

Jeannie & family wanted to go to Home Depot to pick out paint for the girls' rooms and asked if I wanted to go along.  I carried Rocky with me and for the most part he was fairly good in the shopping cart - I laid a towel down first to make it more comfortable for him.

I bought tiles for my kitchen floor which desperately needs to be replaced.  I mop the kitchen every day since the arrival of Rocky, and I can't get it truly clean, nor does it stay clean.  Since the kitchen was the last room I painted when I moved in several years ago, there are a few things I need to touch up (and a couple of things I hate to admit but I just got tired of painting and never finished.)

Rocky is sleeping on the floor and I'd better get him outside another time before he goes to bed for the night.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Energy - all gone!

I wonder if I'll ever get it back.  The weather is in the mid to lower 80's this week which isn't as bad as it has been, but I think the sleep I lose during the night has me feeling pretty listless.

My computer is at a really bad stage.  I hope Donald can get a chance to install the new battery, and if it works I will buy a new charger for the computer.  If nothing changes then I will have to get a new computer which I hate to do.  I think I might try a tablet except that I need a larger screen.

My next door neighbors just love Rocky.  In fact, Bruce told me this afternoon if it didn't work out for me he would be happy to take Rocky!  Not a chance I'll give him up, but I thought that was a very sweet offer.

I've taken lots of photos and even a movie or two of Rocky, but I can't find them.  With the latest version of the Mac software, I haven't been able to keep up with the changes.   I wish there was an alternative but as I found out, Windows is just as bad.  I wish they would just leave the software alone and not keep changing it every few weeks.

I wish everyone a good week coming up.  

Friday, August 24, 2018

Unfortunately -

This is what I have to put up with.  I've mentioned the "dog park" across the street.  It is hardly a park of any sort, just a v-shaped small piece of land where two streets come together with a third street.  There are always lots of people and their dogs there in the evening.

I was taking Rocky for a walk and went past it - several nice folks came up to the fence to say "hi" and comment on how he's grown, etc.  The dogs, about 10 or 12 of them, came running to the fence barking, as they always do.  Some of the people  quieted their dogs and some didn't.  While I was conversing, a woman sitting in a chair  close by gave me a wave of her hand and said, "you should move on, it's upsetting the pets".  She kept waving her hand and said "Go on."    A couple of the women told me to stay, but I  took Rocky and left.  

This is what I have to put up with in so many ways in this park.  There are a lot of nice and friendly folks, and I'm meeting more and more of them when I walk my puppy, but this really gets to me as have other attitudes and situations with some of the people here.  I absolutely hate it.   I'd move in a New York minute if I could.

My son Joe and his 2 girls stopped by this afternoon and he clipped Rocky's nails.  He said he didn't take much off and just wanted Rocky to get used to having his paws handled.  I held him while Joe was trimming the nails, and he was super good!  Smoky was so bad about it that the vet had to put him in a sling so that he was immobilized and they could clip his nails.  I am glad to see Rocky tolerating it. 

We have both been tired and lazy today and I don't think it's the weather because it's been pleasant all day.  I think getting up in the middle of the night and going outside is affecting how I feel.

I wanted to mention something you may or may not believe, but it has happened several times now.  I know that animals communicate with each other by using pictures in their minds (there is probably a more scientific way of saying it).  I have tried using this method at various times, including with a bird on a log, the mother fox who had her 4 kits under Mike's shed, and with my dogs Smoky and Lady.  Now I've tried it with Rocky and it works!  When I call him to come to me he just stays in place and looks at me.  I finally decided to try the visualization of him walking toward me, and maybe 10 seconds or so after I hold the picture in my mind, here me comes, straight to me.  I should try it more often because I am fairly successful at it - maybe I should send some visuals to those barking dogs across the street!

Where has the week gone?  I can't believe it's Friday again.  Have a good one.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Good days ahead!

I just wanted to comment on the class I went to a couple of nights ago, which is recommended for those who have enrolled their puppies in obedience classes.

I can't believe how interesting and informative it was, and I learned some things to cut down on the biting  - that was the most important thing to me.  When he starts to grab my hand or fingers or whatever, I simple stand and turn my head away.  When I do this he stopped his biting immediately, and has really cut down on it since.  He may try it now and then, but at least it's not constant.  Maybe it will give me time for my wounds to heal  :-)

Jeannie took Rocky and me to the pet store (I've spent a ton there already!) and I bought the items recommended for his upcoming classes, including a clicker.  I never thought I would use one of those, and while Jeannie is really good at it, I'm a little slow and forget exactly when to use it in the sequence of things.  I will work on it (puppy parents probably need more training than the dog!) and hope I can get through the class.  They are still trying to figure out a way to get us into a class before the middle of September.  Meanwhile I think I have a more confident attitude and Rocky must be picking up on it.

The house training is coming along slowly.  It's still me that is the prime trainee - I don't think he has a clue about it!  But we will get there, as we both get to know and trust each other completely.

I will try to post some photos soon.  He almost moves too quickly to get a decent picture!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Puppy Training

Jeannie found a class for me to take Rocky to teach him some manners!  Tonight's session is for owners only, so Rocky is going to soccer practice with Donald and the girls while Jeannie takes me to school!

I just hope some good comes out of it because I'm at my wits end.  If I was a married woman the law would probably be wondering if I'm being abused, bruised, bitten, scratched, etc. by a husband.  I look like a walking  disaster.

Also, I think I've been giving him too many "good boy" treats as he is feeling a bit listless today and has done some naughty things in the house.  Did anyone besides my son Steve think I was too old to deal with a puppy?  Well, don't tell Steve because I'm not admitting defeat, but I really hope the puppy lessons work.  After this evening there will be a series of 6 with the dog.  I hope I get something out of my class, thereby proving that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

Monday, August 20, 2018

I can't turn my back for a minute!

Rocky's latest trick was to chew off the end of the cord on my computer charger.  I thought it was ruined and threw it away, but Donald said he would fix it and he did.  He spliced the two ends and wrapped them in electrical tape, so I have a working charger again, and can safely use my computer.  We also ordered a new battery which I hope will help my aging computer live a few more years!  The main reason I don't want to buy a new computer is that I know everything will be changed, and it will be completely foreign to me - I don't want anything new - I just want what I use to work properly.  I have plenty of "new" in my life with the "new" puppy!

Speaking of the puppy, he gets cuter by the minute, but also more aggravating by the minute.  Can't turn my back on him for a second!

I can't remember if I mentioned it, but Steve is going to move the rocks from my back yard to the side of the house, and plant grass in the back so Rocky will have a decent play area.  I don't want him to grow up only being on pavement and blacktop.  We have to wait for the weather to cool a bit (and I can save the money - maybe get a nice backyard furniture set plus a canopy.  I don't have room for much, but it would be fun to have something nice and comfortable.

Rocky is snoozing so I'd better get a snooze in as well while I can.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

We don't like the heat!

Neither Rocky nor I like this heat.  He goes outdoors reluctantly and wants to come back in before long.  I was a little worried because I haven't seen this kind of behavior in any of my previous puppies, but I doubt if I ever had them in triple digit weather either.  I did take him for a longer than usual walk early this morning before it got too hot.

It is marginally better inside, as a swamp cooler doesn't work very well when the temperatures are really high.  It looks like we will have to wait until October to get some decent weather.

I checked Rocky's health record and note that he needs one more parvovirus shot in about 2 weeks.  It will be so much more convenient when we can use the dog park, although I won't take him in there when too many dogs are present because the main crowd ignores their animals.  There are some really nice folks who bring their pets in when it's less crowded, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them and their dogs.

So that's about it for today.  I am a bit frustrated that I'm not making better progress with the training, but he absolutely prefers being in the house.  It might be different if I had some grass nearby.  My son Steven thinks we can take up a large patch of the gravel & rocks in the back "yard" and plant grass, so maybe I should think of that, but when the weather is cooler.   There is so much to do as I couldn't keep up with trimming plants and bushes the past year or two.  Now I have a bit more energy and will try again.

What a Saturday this has been - I have done absolutely nothing!  Maybe tomorrow I'll have a little more energy, if only I could get a decent night's sleep.  Rocky didn't have to go out during the night, but I made up for it getting up several times!  What has happened to my life???  I can recall when I looked forward to Saturday nights, dancing and partying.   

Friday, August 17, 2018

So Tired!

I don't know when I've felt this bone-tired!  I'm up at around 5:30 am with the pup, and if I don't get a nap during the day I'm back in bed at 8:30 or 9pm.  He has to "go" once during the night, between 2 and 3am, so my sleep is broken then.

Leash training might be turning a corner for the positive.   He really doesn't want to be outside, nor does he like walking on a leash.   I think the heat has a lot to do with it, and I try to keep him in the shade, which means no long walks.

My granddaughters took him to soccer practice yesterday evening, and Donald promised to make sure he wouldn't go near any oleander bushes!  Rocky was a hit with all the girls I hear.  I was glad for the break, when Jeannie and I went to get a new pr of frames for my broken ones (which were still under insurance, thank goodness).  We then went to Costco, where I bought things mostly for the dog but one case of beer for me!  That should last a while.  

My son Joe is going to try to come over today and do something with the oleander - if nothing else at least trim it way back.   I don't know how difficult it would be to remove it completely.  There are so many ugly thorny plants that come under the fence from the open area behind my house, and they are almost impossible to get rid of.  I've always wanted to get a landscaper to come and thin out all the overgrown plants in the back yard, but my retirement budget doesn't have much left over after necessities such as food.  I saved for a while to get the pup which I'll get more enjoyment from than a backyard which I never go into any way.  There is very little space between the house and the back fence, and it would take a lot of work (and a lot of $) to do something with it.

Here's another weekend coming up and I hope you all have a good one.  I'll be so glad when it turns cooler again, although I shouldn't complain with the wonderful chilly nights we have.  I leave the bedroom window wide open and the breezes feel so good. 

On another note, the breeder in AZ just took her sister for several medical procedures she needs, including gall stones, hiatal hernia, and one more thing I forget.  She mentioned that since she is caring for her sister she hasn't been able to keep up with selling the remainder of the pups as easily.  The litter had one more black male and I think 3 black females; the rest were chocolate.  They are in Willcox AZ, not far from Tuscon, and if anyone is interested I will send you her website.  She ships puppies if requested, to any location.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Good Neighbor

I have had some problems taking Rocky out because he picks up every rock, leaf, twig, whatever, he can find.  The rocks are his favorite.  I tried to sweep the driveway of all the debris that blows there, including millions of buds and such from the crepe myrtle tree.  I got nowhere because Rocky was in the way.  My next door neighbor came out to meet Rocky and then got his leaf blower and completely cleaned my driveway  for me.  So many folks who live around me have been stopping by to meet the puppy.

My son Steve is bringing Liam (grandson) over today to meet Rocky.  Steve is the one who asked me to watch Smoky for him when he was about Rocky's age now, and I never gave him back to Steve.

He's walking much better on the leash today, still not great, but much improved.  For being such a quiet little pup when I first got him, he's letting me hear his voice now.  He cries when I shut the door of the crate, and is developing a nice bark!

I really miss being able to hop in the car and drive where and when I want to.  I cancelled a doctor appointment for this morning, but I am not very happy with this particular doctor anyway (G.P.).  My left eye is still not totally healed but should be sometime this week.  If I ever get back in decent condition, and  if the weather cools down, I will start to walk more places.  


Monday, August 13, 2018

A few more photos

I thought I'd show you a few more pictures.  Rocky is doing very well and is the most lovable pup.  He tries to get into the bedroom and my laundry basket, no doubt to chew something.   He seems to be pretty tired today though, no doubt because of all the stimulation of the past few days.

  Click a picture to enlarge it.  Here are two sleepyheads on the way home from AZ.

Back at home:  Who is resting on the doggie bed?

Rocky in his new carrier:


I haven't had a chance to get my computer battery replaced and am still having all kinds of trouble with it.  There are other photos but I can't seem to move them to the blog, so maybe tomorrow I'll post some more. 

We made a trip to Petco yesterday and I came home with a very large wire crate.  Rocky goes right into it but cries if I shut the door; I wonder if he'll ever sleep in it at night.  We also used the dogtag machine and printed out a tag for his collar.  The girls were anxious to get the tag!

I would think he would love walking outdoors on a leash but he doesn't.  Maybe the pavement is too warm for his little baby paws.  Right now about the only thing I can do is take him out on the shaded part of the driveway and he does his business as quickly as I set him down.    I may have mentioned that the 2nd time I tried to take him to the dog park across the street, a woman who was there with her dog told me I couldn't bring him in until he is 4 months old.  I was a bit irritated with her, but after talking to a neighbor I know and trust, he said it's a good idea to keep a puppy away from all the diseases he could catch from the ground in there, and that some things can remain in the ground for quite a long time.  Rocky is up to date on his shots, but I had a neighbor back in Cincinnati whose pup caught parvovirus and died within a day or so.   I won't take a chance  once I thought about the possible consequences.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

First Night at Home

Our first night at home went well, except he cries when I put him in the crate, which is the one Ara used to ship her cat to Sacramento.  It's plenty big and has good air flow, but not  great as far as looking out goes.  I am going to Petco today to get a wire crate that I hope he won't feel so boxed in with.  Even if he cries all night I have to do it. 

I've been awake since before 6am as the minute he stirred I ran him outside.  Later on I tried to get him out immediately after he ate, and just barely made it in time.  I sometimes feel like I'm the one being trained.

First day photos:  (click to enlarge)

Love at first sight:

Doggie kisses:

Back home at Jeannie's house:

Arianna reading to Rocky:


I think I have more photos but maybe they are on Jeannie's camera.  I will definitely be posting more.

The trip went well.  We left in the late afternoon, and Jeannie drove for a while until it got dark, then Donald took over.   By daybreak Jeannie resumed and we got into the designated  meeting place in Phoenix.  We had lunch and then waited for the breeder to arrive with the pup.

After meeting and talking to the breeder, she went over the paperwork with me while Jeannie & Donald bonded with Rocky.  Eventually we left to start back home and drove as far as Barstow, CA before stopping at a Days Inn, exhausted.  The next morning we continued to Sacramento, so it was a very quick trip.  I think it was nearly 1600 miles round trip which is a long way to go with only one stop and heavy traffic on both ends of the journey.

I am still exhausted and after sleeping for an hour on my lap, Rocky is stretched out on the floor continuing his nap!

I'll try to get more photos soon.

I guess I did ok with my eyes.  The surgeon told me I really should avoid going over 500 ft, but if I had to then watch out for how I feel and see.  The highest point we went over was approx. 5000 ft, and Donald took it easy and drove slowly; I watched for the signs I needed to watch for, and we stopped for about 20 min. at the top of the mtn.  There were some miles in the low 2000 range but they didn't seem to bother me.  By the way, the green wrist band has to be worn until the gas bubble in my eye is gone.  It is to alert emergency personnel.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Short post - back from trip

We got back this afternoon. I'll write more tomorrow (Sunday) and post some photos. Had a quick but wonderful trip. I just took Rocky out before we goto bed - he say down every time we stopped so I just brought him on home. Within 2 or 3 minutes he had peed on a rug! How he's having fun tossing his toys around but I'm tired and ready to go to bed. Just caught him grabbing the electric cord to a floor fan and planning to chew it! Life won't be simple from now on! But he is a beauty and a bundle of joy.

I just posted this as a comment to the one I wrote before leaving for AZ.   I decided to just write a new one.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Bundle of Nerves!

That 's what I am this evening.  We are leaving in a few hours to go pick Rocky up in Phoenix.  I think I have everything together but can't load anything until Donald & Jeannie get here, so my kitchen floor is crammed with items to go into the car.  I went to a pet store this afternoon and got a collar & leash, food bowl, some toys and other necessary items.  I just want to get on the road!

The eye surgeon cautioned me about the elevation along the way but he didn't tell me I shouldn't go.  I've been poring over the maps, googling elevations, etc., and think I will be ok.  He said if my eye starts to hurt we should pull over and stop ASAP to let the pressure equalize or something like that.  There is a pass in So Cal that is about 4100+ ft, but if I remember it correctly there are numerous pull-over sites along the climb.

I'm posting this evening because I won't take my computer with me as I won't have internet - maybe if we stay at a motel in Phoenix, but it isn't worth the hassle.  So next time I post, probably Sunday evening, I hope to have some photos of my little rascal!

Until I get back, everyone have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Just a quick note.

I thought I'd write a few lines to tell you that I'm leaving late tomorrow to pick up my lab puppy Rocky in Arizona.

The airlines evidently aren't transporting pets to certain cities because of the high temps, so Jeannie & Donald are driving me to pick up Rocky.   So the next time I post I will have to be keeping an eye on a little curious lab while I'm writing.  

I saw an eye surgeon today who thinks my eye looks wonderful, and thinks I can travel if I'm careful to watch out for signs of distress due to elevation change too quickly.  I'm trying to figure the best route that doesn't involve a lot of change, but we will just go slow and if I experience difficulties, then we will slow down or stop until the pressure in my eye reaches equilibrium.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Shipping a Pet by United Airlines

Since so many readers expressed concern over the possible dangers of shipping an animal by air, I found this about United Airlines and wanted to share it with you:

We prioritize the safety and well-being of cats and dogs through every step of their journey with United PetSafe.
  • Operate over 80 custom-designed, climate-controlled vehicles to safely transport pets in all weather conditions
  • Pets are placed onto the aircraft last and removed first to minimize stress
  • In the air, pets remain secure and comfortable in climate-controlled, pressurized compartments
  • Onsite kennels and offsite facilities accommodate pets during long connection times and before international travel
  • Dedicated, specially trained PetSafe Customer Service Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    I feel pretty good about this and am comfortable with using the service of United.  Of course I would prefer to drive there and pick it up - I'd leave tomorrow if I could, but I can't.   For one thing, I am not supposed to go above 500' in altitude until my eye has healed, which precludes driving as I would have to go over a 7500' peak on the way.   And I have checked breeders closer to Sacramento, but with the fires burning all over the state I would worry about newborn animals  near all that smoke and pollution.   I've felt very good about the breeder in AZ from the moment I read her website and I'm completely happy with my choice.

Monday, August 6, 2018


I did it!   I'm having "Rocky" shipped from AZ in about two weeks.  He is at an adoptable age right now and I decided to go for it, although I asked for a couple of weeks to allow my eye to get better. 

We had a list of names to consider and Jeannie's two girls finally both agreed on Rocky, so Rocky it is.  Jeannie later said that it is appropriate because my first lab was Smoky, as in the Smoky Mountains.  Now I have one named for the next mountain range, Rocky.  I told her I'd have to eventually get "Sierra", but that would have to be a female.  Who knows, next year I might go back for Sierra!

I'm a little scared and very much excited.   Here is a photo of Rocky.
You can click on this picture to enlarge it a bit.

My mother used to be fond of saying, "There's no fool like an old fool", and she's probably saying it right now from wherever she is, laughing her head off.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Doggie Names

My daughter, granddaughters and I looked over lists of doggie names last night.  I saw the name "Zorro" on one list and got excited about it.  I don't think anyone else but me had ever heard of Zorro - the show started sometime in 1957, when I was about 16 going on 17.

Seeing my enthusiasm Autumn asked me why I liked Zorro and I told her that I always thought he was sooooo cute!  She giggled.  I guess she didn't imagine that grandmas could find a man "cute", but I'll tell you that Zorro was that man!

I can't decide definitely on a name until I see the dog personally and assess its temperament and looks.  But I do really like Zorro - the TV character and the name! 

I'm back at home this afternoon and think I will try to take a nap.  I'm doing a terrible job of keeping my eyes down.

T.G.I.F. everyone!  Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Life goes on

And I'm trying to just deal with it.  I was sitting at the dining room table with my granddaughters and one of them told me, "Keep your eyes down".   Her mom is at work so she's taking up the banner!  I just had to chuckle about it.

We were looking up good names for a male black lab that I'm thinking about getting, which takes my mind off my current limitations.

I don't have much to write about so I'll just wish everyone a good day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Day After

I went back for a checkup this morning to make sure my eye surgery was a success.  The doctor was very pleased and says I'm doing well.  My vision is still pretty blurred in the left eye and I've read that it can take some time to heal.  I have not had a bit of pain from the surgery although having to leave the patch on overnight was so irritating - it just made my skin and eye itch under the big patch and tape.  I survived it and I'm sure it will be so much better in the coming weeks. 

 The doctor said I don't have to keep my chin on my chest and can hold it straight, but should keep my eyes cast downward.  It's difficult to remember because it is so natural to just be able to look all around you.   

Thanks to everyone for the good wishes, good vibes, and prayers.  

I need to get a new battery and checkup on my computer real soon, so if I miss a day or two blogging you will know I just don't have my computer.