Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I went with Morgan to our first consultation. When we first walked through the door Tonka went ballistic, to the point that he broke out of his collar and ran away. After rounding him back up, the Dog Whisperer (DW) looped his leash so it was high up on his neck, imitating the nipping a dominate dog would do to another, and held it tight until Tonka sat. Tonka reacted by freaking out. He was so mentally unable to loose control that he full blown threw up before sitting. DW explained to us that he has always had to look out for himself, nobody has ever done it for him, so he is hypersensitive to the world around him. We need to take absolute control so that he feels safe and secure. At one point, DW brought another dog in to see Tonka's reaction. Once again, Tonka threw up. He had Tonka sit for the whole hour and during that time, you could see him start to relax.
For a flat rate, we have unlimited private sessions with DW. When Tonka is comfortable enough to be integrated with other dogs/people, we will have unlimited group classes for the life of the dog. He also wants us to bring Champ to the next private session. There is no extra cost for Champ. He is also welcome to all group sessions. DW wants Morgan to be involved as well. She is to be included in any of the private and group sessions.
When we left, Tonka was already a different dog. And boy was he exhausted. Mental stimulation such as concentrating on sit can be as tiring to them as a long run.
Our assignment for this week is to make Tonka feel like he must earn his keep. We are in charge and he must abide by us. We are to keep him on a leash or in his kennel at all times. We are supposed to have him sit and focus on sitting for 20 minutes a day. When we see him getting nervous, we are supposed to gently tug on his special collar to tell him in dog talk that we are in charge, we see the problem and he doesn't need to worry. He still gets hyper. He still barks. He still jumps and cowers. But he is definitely getting better. When someone came to our door, he barked, but instead of running to the door and lunging, he stayed sitting. I have absolute faith that in a couple of months, he will be a confident, secure dog.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
While in Vegas we:
Saw the sites
Hung out with friends
Enjoyed the view from our hotel room
Did some high-end shopping
Rode all the scary rides
Drank a few drinks
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
At the shelter, I found him cowering in cage 5, which happens to be my luck number. I spent a little time talking to him and finally he slinked up to me and let me pet him. He smiled the way this breed smiles and looked at me with those big brown eyes. I felt the heartstrings pull. I went to the front desk and asked them what the story was on this dog. He was a stray. His time was almost up at the shelter. He hated people - barked and nipped. This wasn't the dog that I saw.
I went home and told Mark about him and Mark agreed to visit. We went back and asked to take him into a visiting room. The worker went into the cage to get the dog and the dog freaked out. He was cowering and barking and wanted nothing to do with the leash. Knowing the breed, I didn't see a mean, anger dog but rather a scared, frightened one. We brought him in the room and he was a sweetie. Morgan was with us. When we visited other dogs before finding Champ, she would feel uncomfortable around some of them. She was very comfortable with this dog.
We asked if we could bring Champ to visit before we made a final decision. Their policy is to not let other dogs visit, but they felt with this "troubled" dog they would make an exception. They did not expect it to go well. They were proved wrong once again. The new dog crawled under Champ. They did not fight. He wanted to play.That was it. I was sold.
This was on Saturday. He was unaltered so we had to leave him there until Wednesday, the first time they could get him in for surgery. I visited him while we waited, taking him on walks at lunch. I had no problems getting his leash on him like the worker did.
We finally got to bring him home yesterday. His name is Tonka.
He is a little timid yet, but is warming up. Him and Champ have been chasing each other in the yard for hours. They are still trying to figure out who is dominate, but they are not biting or barking - merely wrestling around. I have a feeling that Tonka might win. Champ is pretty laid back. Either way, they are both really happy together and are going to be great friends.
We definitely made the right decision.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
First, a few days before the show, I find out it's hosted by the Incredibles. Oh no. Strike one. Mark let Morgan watch this movie when she was just around two years old. The scene where the the baby is set of fire scarred her for life. I have never seen the movie, but to this day she has fear in her voice when she talks about the "hot baby".
Then I find out the rides that they recreate at the show are Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Strike two. She would not get near these rides when we were in Disneyland. She deemed them way too scary.
I figure that at least there won't be any bad guys in the movie. Strike three. Syndrome, in his giant metal octopus looking costume, kidnaps Micky and Minnie and the Incredibles must save them.
All things considered, she did well. She hung in there for a long time. She plugged her ears during the Haunted Mansion, but still watched the show. She got very nervous and buried her head when the Pirates shot off the canon. But still she watched. The straw that broke the camels back came at the end, where Syndrome's army came out onto the ice. Then it was game over. With a screeching scream and a "get me out of here" we were running out the door. There in the hall, I joined a surprisingly large amount of parents and kids who also seemed to be riding out the scary part. She was willing to go back in once the fight scene was over and everything was right in the world again.
The following picture was taken right after the show. You can practically see the joy radiating on her face. At least Kaitlynn and Keaghan thoroughly enjoyed the show.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Click here for more hilarious flashbacks at The Glamour Life Association!
Monday, March 9, 2009
The Magic Carpet Beginners Area at Echo Mountain
Friday, March 6, 2009
Ask your child(ren) to answer the questions and type their answers in. Tag other moms with older children who might have fun with this:
Answered by daughter, Morgan, 4yrs old.
1. What is something mom always says to you?
2. What makes mom happy?
When I say I love you
3. What makes mom sad?
When I talk mean to you
4. How does your mom make you laugh?
When You tickle me
5. What was your mom like as a child?
You were with Baba and Gigi
6. How old is your mom?
7. How tall is your mom?
a lot tall
8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV?
The Wild (I think she's reflecting her own movie tastes on this one)
9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Play the Wii
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
To dance with daddy (which is funny since the only time Mark has ever danced with me, was for our wedding)
11. What is your mom really good at?
12. What is your mom not very good at?
Fixing stuff (guess I've been having Mark fix too many things)
13. What does your mom do for her job?
work making money
14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Things I don't like
15. What makes you proud of your mom?
When you say what I want to do (Is her strong-willing showing?)
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
17. What do you and your mom do together?
we go to places that daddy's never been
18. How are you and your mom the same?
because our skin, eye color
19. How are you and your mom different?
Of our talk (??)
20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Because you kiss me
21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Daddy's a super hero
22. Where is your mom's favorite place?
That's a good question. Places I've never been?
I'd love to read what your kiddos answer to these questions.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
- It is 30 minutes from downtown Denver with no I-70 traffic. If your kid puckers out early, you didn't waste a long drive.
- It's very cheap. Kids under five are free and over five is $19 for the beginner area. Regular lift tickets are $43.
- There are two beginner areas - one with a magic carpet and one with a hand tow.
This experience could have gone either way. Morgan is an adrenalin junkie and loves thrill rides, sledding, and fast boat rides. However, she also is really good at psyching herself out into an all out panic. I am happy to report that she loved it. Apparently she had issues with walking in her ski boots, but Mark helped her get through it. She can not yet turn or stop, but she was able to hold herself upright unassisted while going down. Mark did not use a harness but ran behind her (he got his exercise for the day!). At one point, she started heading toward the orange plastic fencing. Instead of panicking, she simply fell down on her butt, got back up and was ready to go again. They were on the mountain for two hours!
Here is the day according to Morgan: At first I was scared, but then I realized it was totally awesome. I want to go again, but on the big mountain.
Hopefully Mark will be able to take her up one more time this year. He would like to take the Parent and & Me class where they teach him how to teach Morgan. I'm so glad she enjoyed it.
Mark took pictures on his cell phone of the days events. He said that he would get them to me today, so stay tuned.