Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bits and Pieces

The piggies are glad the snow has disappeared and are happily going nom-nom-nom in the mud in their yard. I have no idea what they manage to find in there, but they certainly enjoy it.

Nom nom nom - good stuff, Foster Mama!

The dogs are disgusted with the rain, but I am thankful it is wet and not white. I do hope the white stuff forecasted for this weekend does not amount to more than a flake or two.

I have been working on reliable recall for Charley and Sadie, and keeping the deaf dogs, Belle and Oliver, close to me in preparation for our move later this spring. One advantage of a pasture all to oneself is that I never have to worry about them disappearing from sight or unexpectedly encountering strange humans and dogs. Charley and Sadie HAD reliable recall, but have lately decided selective hearing is waaaay more fun. So, back to the training tools of frequent recalls, treats, and sometimes the longline.

The biggest challenge is for me to remember to take the treats along. For three mornings and evenings I remembered, and the dogs were exceptionally quick to catch on. The little ones kept one eye on me at all times, and by day three the big ones came the instant I whistled or whispered (in my hoarse, laryngitic voice) their names. Unfortunately, this morning I forgot the treat bag. Well! The looks of reproach!!!

Mama, where's the treat????

Belle and Oliver stayed right on my heels, eyes glued to the pocket where the treats SHOULD have been. Charley and Sadie came the first couple of times I called them, accepted praise and pats, tried every trick in the book for a treat (sit, lie down, shake a paw, look cute with head tilt, speak, and when all else fails try to trip Mama by weaving back and forth in front of her) and then gave up and decided to ignore me for the next several recalls. Of course, I had also forgotten the longline, so going to retrieve them and harness them was not in the works either. Training is not my forte.

Huh? What? I don't hear anyone calling my name!

I am still without much use of my voice, relegated to talking in a hoarse whisper and coughing violently if I try to exceed that. I fear I may have “blown” my vocal cords, though I hope it is just a lingering infection. Filling class time with videos cannot substitute indefinitely for the lecturing I should be doing in my three 3-hour classes, so it’s back to the doctor today.

Unlike the K-12 system, universities don’t simply call in a replacement from a “substitute professor” list. The past four weeks have been a combination of midterm break, midterm exams, class cancellations and videos, so it really is time to either resume lectures or get medical documentation for short term disability leave so a sessional replacement can be arranged. Since I am not good at being silent, I hope a change of medication will resolve my voiceless state!


Katog said...

I SO love the picture, "Huh? What? I don't hear anyone calling my name!" I can relate to repeated recall training and the clever antics that get used to fein deafness. It always makes me smile to hear someone else tell their training stories. Thanks for the giggle :-)
As for the change of medication resolving your voiceless state...Don't be surprised if it doesnt work. Several of my colleques have tried several bouts of antibotics to no avail.
I am tending to stear away from antibiotics (certainly until I see they have worked for them.) My newest trial treatment is Plain yogurt sooth and to ease the pain, honey and Ibprophen, hmmm we'll see. I've had my lovely inflamed, scratchy voice since Mid Dec. NOT FUN! Does it help to know your not alone? Sheesh does it EVER GO away?
Get well soon
Del (Kings Mom, btw he goes in to have his decayed toothed pulled today. Aww poor baby)

strawberry ichigo! said...

here's a suggestion!! =)
if you can't use your voice,why don't you use a clicker for training??

Jean said...

Del, it actually does help to know that I am not alone - I know many people who have had the flu lately, but none whose voices have been affected for so long. Definitely not fun. Like you, I've found ibuprophen to be the best choice (I'm allergic to the antibiotic that is usually prescribed for these cases). Hot water with a generous dose of scotch and honey helps too!

Strawberry Ichigo, I tried clicker training a couple of years ago, but I am so totally uncoordinated that it was a disaster. I either dropped the clicker or dropped the treats or dropped the leash or dropped all three. Or by the time I got the treat the the dog, the link to the clicker sound was long gone. For those with the coordination to use clickerts, though, I think it is an awesome way to train!

Anonymous said...

Ugh...I came down with it last Friday and I swear I have never in my life coughed so much. I don't get even 1 hour of sleep without waking and going on another jag..this was a bad bout and my throat is so raw and achy from coughing I wondered if there might be after affects..sigh

Funny re your shelties and the cookies...I am training our new little BC in recall and she is doing very well. Usually I have a couple of neighbor dogs with me also on the walk and so when Stella comes I give her and the other dogs a treat. My sheltie just dogs me and dogs me wanting more and won't run off to have fun running and is all about that pocket!!!

Hope your thoat recovers soon Jean!