Monday, December 24, 2007
As much as Johnny hates when we dress Palmer up, we put him in Oreo's hat for a bit. Palmer entertained us for a few seconds but took it off when he realized he wasn't getting a treat for wearing it. Anyway, from Johnny, Palmer, and I... Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Palmer doing a 'sit' in the blue hula hoop:
Palmer doing a 'sit-stay':
Palmer doing a 'down' in the red hula hoop:
Palmer doing a 'down-stay':We also got the opportunity to perform a trick for the rest of the class but I won't put a picture of that since I don't want to ruin the surprise. You will have to see that in person for yourself! :)
And then, they had a graduation 'ceremony' complete with graduation music, certificate, and a cute little red-star sticker on the doggie's little head. We are so proud of how far Palmer has come!
And a random picture of Palmer pretending to be a reindeer. He doesn't really like to wear the antlers but I tricked him into a down-stay (thank you, obedience school) long enough for me to take a picture. Happy Holidays!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Here is a recent picture of Johnny, Palmer, and me. I also have a cute video of Palmer trying to reach for his rawhide but blogger's server doesn't seem to like it. I'll try again later...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
After the park walk, we came back in to do some more recalls -- this time with our backs faced to the dog. Images of last week's recall failure flashed through my mind. I was short of breath and nervous that our practice over the Thanksgiving break wouldn't pay off. I walked to the end of the room, turned around and called for Palmer. Palmer... Palmer, Come here! A few seconds later, Palmer was by my side! Good boy, Palmer! We're making progress.
Monday, November 26, 2007
- Sat around and did nothing for 3 days straight
- Overstuffed ourselves with food and treats
- Spent good, quality time with our loved ones
Unfortunately, over the 4-day weekend, my dad, Johnny, and I picked up a horrible horrible habit of holding Palmer to sleep. Just before the holidays, I had given Palmer a really thorough bath. He was so soft and smooth and smelled so squeaky clean that it made for ideal cuddling conditions. On separate occassions, we each gave into the irresistable temptation but together vowed it would never happen again! Take a look:The last picture of Palmer and me is hilarious because neither of us woke up when my dad took the picture! And, my mom said that Palmer tried multiple times to pull his feet up onto the couch to be more comfortable but as he dozed off, they would slide right back down again.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I was so nervous, I didn't really listen to the instructions so I was happy to see that they started on the other end of the room. The first dog that went was a beautiful little sheltie. Palmer and I watched as the 'teacher's pet' pranced with the instructor to the other end of the room (the instructor suggested earlier that she move up to the intermediate class because she was 'too advance' for the basic class). Pshh. So anyway, as expected, the little sheltie-girl trotted over to her owner right on cue.
Next up was a big lovable chocolate labradoodle named Jasper. He has this dopey, happy-go-lucky attitude and right when his owner called, he leaped and bounded his way over... but got distracted at the last minute by some peanut butter on the floor and made a quick swerve to the left. But, his owner grabbed his collar and the recall was considered a success.
A big drooling monster of a dog was next -- the massive mastiff, Casseus. He overpowered his owner (a docile, gentle senior) just in walking across the room, surely he wouldn't 'come' when called! There's gotta be one dog that messes up before its our turn to go!! Not Casseus. From across the room, his owner yelled powerfully, Casseus, boy. Come here! Casseus!... and good ol' Casseus came.
A few dogs later, it was Palmer's turn. All of a sudden, it was cold in the room and my body was shivering. I must've been experiencing some higher level of nervousness since my normal reaction to tense situations is to sweat (so I look like I'm sitting in a sauna). I unhook our lead, and attach the 10-foot lead to Palmer. The instructor walks with him to the end of the room. Ready, set... Palmer! Come here Palmer! Palmer! ... nothing. I look over and Palmer is happily sitting at the foot of the instructor waiting for a treat. Again, Palmer! Palmer! Come here Palmer! and I see him wagging his tail, sitting patiently, priding himself in his discipline to sit. He thinks he's going to get a treat. 'Maybe if I sit here longer', he's probably thinking. I hear the oohs and the aahs but here I am, calling for a dog that won't come! Last time... Palmer! Come here! Palmer! Finally, Palmer hears my voice, breaks out of his trance, turns to look at me... and comes running. Oh Palmer!! We have a lot of homework to do this week!
So since our first day of school, we've cut Palmer's food portion in half. He's still chubbs (as Johnny would say) but his poopie routine has drastically changed. He goes much less and not in a regular pattern as he did before. I think the weight loss and bathroom habits will stabilize eventually, so we're trying to stick to the plan. And in case you were wondering, yes, we still give Palmer treats (doggie treats, some peanut butter, etc.) but as us human-folk are taught... all in moderation.
In addition to downsizing his meals, we've divvied up his food ration to create multiple 'training opportunities' throughout the day. Instead of one or two daily meals, Palmer gets 15 to 20 smaller portions of food. Each portion is used as his reward for sitting when given the hand signal. As our instructor pointed out, in one week, Palmer would have 'sat' anywhere from 105 to 140 times successfully. Great pointer for you doggie parents out there!
Anyway, I think that's enough of an update for now since I am anxiously anticipating our 2nd class tonight. Here is a picture of Palmer planting a big wet one on Auntie Rachel, Auntie Janet and me (thanks to Auntie Genee for taking the great pics!):
Thursday, November 8, 2007
We arrived about 15 minutes early to class to fill out some paperwork and settle into the indoor class environment. When we arrived, we were greeted by very friendly staff members and about 3 other dog/human participants (and more to come). Right away, Palmer started wimpering and whining so we quickly grabbed a seat that was lined up along the wall. The staff was still setting up (filling dog bones with peanut butter, collecting paperwork, etc.) so when they placed partitions between Palmer and the dog to the right and left of us, I thought it was standard procedure. Really, the instructor picked up immediately that Palmer had anxiety and fear of the other dogs so the partitions were there to help ease Palmer's panic. We were the only ones in the entire class that needed the special partitions!! Here's a pic of Johnny comforting Palmer (you can see one of the partitions).
Anyway, the class was great and Johnny and I really like the instructor. At one point during class, she brought each of the dogs up in front of everyone to teach the dog to sit and to quickly assess the dogs health and behavior. Palmer was the second dog to go up and, because of all the practice he gets at home, he did amazingly well! In fact, he sat so well that we got special dispensation from the homework they assigned at the end of the class! If you haven't seen before, once Palmer realizes you have treats in your hand, he'll enthusiastically slam his butt down into the sit position to get his reward. If you step back with the treat, he'll follow and slam his butt down into 'sit' again. He'll follow you around, sitting after every step... until he gets the treat. Anyway, it was a very proud moment for Johnny and me!
So, after the 'sit' exercise, our instructor quickly assessed Palmer (in front of the whole class, mind you). The first thing she told us was that Palmer was fat. How embarassing! Turns out, we've been feeding him up to twice the amount she recommends. The second thing she told us was that his right ear had been broken. That's why his right ear perks straight out instead of up. It pains me to think of what he's been through -- but the ear perk? It's absolutely adorable!! The last thing she told us (this time, not in front of the entire class) was that Palmer's obviously been through some traumatic event and that he's still very fearful of other dogs. She advised us to never take him to a dog park and also gave us a few tips on what to do when Palmer is interacting/socializing with other dogs.
The class was delightfully insightful. I absolutely cannot wait until our next class! More updates to come...
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Palmer also met Uncle Aldrich for the first time tonight. But, for some reason, he kept insisting on calling him 'Marinovich'. After further probing, Aldrich explained. Todd Marinovich is a former USC quarterback... a quarterback whose college career was most noted for his disappointing performance and recreational drug use. Just wonderful, Aldrich. His name is Palmer... or Homer... or Farmer... (see October 22 post).
Also, Auntie Genee took some good pics of the Palmer pie. I will post once she gets them up on Flickr!
Thanks for welcoming us into your lovely home, Auntie Rachel and Uncle Ephraim! We will visit again soon.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
- My dad greeted Palmer one Sunday morning by saying "Come here Homer! Homer, come here!"
- Our downstairs neighbor ran into us during our am walk and said to Palmer, "Good morning, Farmer."
- My 2-year old nephew met Palmer yesterday and giggled after feeding and playing with him. When it was time to go home he said, "Bye bye, Hummer!"
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
For those of you wondering about the whole crating initiative ... Palmer's completely lovin' it! I was deathly afraid his separation anxiety would be aggravated by being confined to such a small area but it worked out the exact opposite (praise the Lord). When I kept him in the bathroom, he used to claw and chew at the door and when that lost its appeal, he would relieve his frustration by anxiously licking his paws. On a bad day, I would come home to scattered wood chips and a saliva-drenched doggie. Now that he's in the crate, I come home to a pleasant (though energetic) Palmer pie! And, better yet -- when its time for bed, I leave Palmer the option of sleeping outside of the crate in the small carpetted area outside of my bedroom but once the lights are out, he miraculously wanders into the crate completely on his own! How anyone has an indoor dog without a crate is beyond me... I am saved!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Also, per Ann's recommendation, I ordered 'Marley & Me' on Amazon the other day. The book arrived yesterday afternoon and I've already zipped through the first few chapters. I just can't wait to get through this book. The doggie on the front reminds me of Palmer!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Though I had to make multiple trips to exchange up for a bigger size (medium was too cramped for the P-dog), Palmer has taken a pretty quick liking to it! I set it down with the top removed for the first night and he slept soundly. Last night, I tried placing the top on it without the door and with the lure of some doggie treats, I found Palmer cozied up in the back of the crate this morning. I shut the door on him for just about 15 minutes today while I was in the shower and he did perfectly fine. No whining or whimpering. Now, the challenge is to take it slow enough so he doesn't reject the idea of the crate and instead, begins to think of it as his own little doggie retreat.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Anyway, about the separation anxiety, I think I need to consult with Mr. Millan or even just Mr. Google. I hope he'll learn soon enough... before he chews up my entire door!
Anyway, funny thing: when Palmer gets wet, his hair texture becomes crimped... circa 1980's. Tiffany and Debbie Gibson would be jealous. You can kinda see the waviness in the pic below.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I posted another picture of Palmer and just noticed that most of his pictures are of him lying down. Haha.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Yesterday, Palmer was lying in my lap as I was trimming his nails. Usually, I'm very careful about not cutting to the blood vessel but for some reason, I did this time! Right when I clipped it, Palmer jerked his left paw back and when I took a closer look, one of his nails was bleeding! I felt so bad. :( Anyway, there was some septic powder included with the nail cutters so he wasn't bleeding for very long.
...and will get some more pictures posted soon enough! His forehead is filling in nicely, and now that his hair is growing out a little longer, he's starting to look more and more like a Golden Retriever.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Anyway, this morning my alarm went off at 6:00 am and of course, I immediately hit the snooze button. It went off exactly 7 minutes later, and again, I hit the snooze button. 7 minutes later... my alarm went off for the third time and yes, you guessed it, I hit the snooze button. Well, since I usually get up to walk Palmer a few minutes after the first alarm, Palmer must've heard all the alarms and realized that I was having difficulty getting up so he decided to help by barking 4 or 5 times through his door! It was my morning wake-up bark, thanks Palmer!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tomorrow morning, Johnny and I plan to take Palmer out with us for breakfast and then Palmer gets to visit my mom, dad, and brother. I'll be in the Cerritos area for a bridal shower, my friend's business event in the evening, and then I'll be back in Cerritos for church on Sunday. It's going to be a busy weekend for the P-dog!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Anyway, we stuck to our plan for the first night tonight with the peeing... socialized, played, and trained Palmer... and slowly left him to his den (bathroom) without any scratching or wimpering. I feel so accomplished! A special thank you to Johnny for his patience, understanding, and love for the P-dog.
p.s. Another thanks to Cher for taking Palmer with her on a run this afternoon. I'm sure Palmer loved it!
Monday, September 17, 2007
I think its best to remind myself, as I wake up for the early morning walks, when I'm training with the clicker, and as I pick up doggie doo-doo, the inconveniences are all worth it for moments like this:
Yesterday, I brought Palmer with me to Cerritos to hang with my mom, dad, and brother... and to have dinner with my friends from the LBC (my OG friends from elementary and middle school). Since I was at dinner, Uncle Brandon took Palmer for a walk and my dad actually let Palmer play in his garden! If you know my dad at all, that is a big deal... way to win my dad over, Palmer!
Friday, September 14, 2007
This morning, Palmer and I went for our first run! We got up bright and early and rather than our slow pace around the block, we ran down the street to Arden, around the pretty neighborhood, past Cal Tech, and back home! By the end of our 2-mile route, Palmer was dragging his feet. And, for the first time, I left Palmer with free reign over the entire condo when I left for work this morning (minus the bedrooms and closets). Let's hope Cher doesn't come home to a mess this afternoon!!
Happy Friday, everyone!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Last night, Palmer and I were playing with his blue bouncy ball in the courtyard of my complex and one of our neighbors (dog) started barking and howling at Palmer from inside. All of a sudden, Palmer's ears perked (so cute, you have to see it!) and he reached down into the depths of his heart to let out a soft, horse bark. It was like dog laryngitis! Adorable.
Anyway, I had to go into work last night so I brought Palmer with me to pick up Cheryl (and meet Jerry) and then dropped him off with Johnny. What a treat this was for Palmer (and for Johnny)... the two were outside Johnny's house for almost 2 hours playing and exploring South Pas. Its great that the two are bonding because it will certainly be difficult to get Johnny's attention when they hang out this Saturday... USC v. Nebraska and Palmer's first USC football game!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
on another weird note: my sister keeps Palmer in the bathroom w/ a make-shift gate so the door is still open but both yesterday and today he escaped from the bathroom! I don't know how he did it b/c there wasn't any sign of him pushing the gate and i didn't see any crevices that he could have escaped thru...interesting development, at least he didn't poo or pee in the condo.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
After dinner, Palmer's favorite aunties (minus Auntie Cher, of course) stopped by to say hello and play... too bad he's not looking at the camera! That will definitely go on the training list: holding a pose for pictures. He's not fully trained (or Filipino) until he learns to do that!! ;)
And then of course, by request, we stopped to visit Johnny on the way home so he could get some of his own Palmer lovin'. I think it really is becoming Palmer's trademark: a sit followed by a friendly handshake. Good boy!
Once we got home, we did a 10 minute training session on 'sit' and 'down' and washed up with some wipes, aloe vera, and peanut-flavored toothpaste to freshen that doggy breath. Mmmm. Palmer's sleeping well tonight.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Today, there was a black standard poodle across the street and Palmer stopped, pointed his snout, and from deep in his belly started to grumble and growl. I thought I heard him growl yesterday at Petco but this could not have been mistaken. Palmer was either smitten with the other dog or really angry! One of the few sounds he has ever made!
The other 'first' involves Palmer's favorite past time. Yup, you guessed it, sleeping! As Johnny and I were relaxing in front of the TV this evening, Palmer was snuggled up against the door. I don't know what we did to him today (was it the extra session with the blue bouncy ball?) but he was so exhausted that he started snoring! It was like watching a baby sleep... Johnny and I froze, turned down the TV and listened to the poor dog snore.
This weekend Johnny & I adopted a precious Cocker Spaniel / Golden Retriever mix from Perfect Pet Rescue Group. He came to us as 'Sketcher' but my sister, Johnny, and I decided on the name 'Palmer' instead (after Heisman winner and former USC quarterback, Carson Palmer).
My sister, Johnny, and I knew right away that he was the one! He's very sweet, shy, and well-behaved and is the perfect dog for a first-time dog mommy, I have to say! He's impressed me with his demeaner and the only frustration I have with him is his habit of scratching in 'that area' because he was just recently neutered. No, Palmer!
Though we've only been with him for 2 full days, his personality is clearly developing as he acclimates to his surroundings. The difference between the Saturday and Sunday is practically night and day! When we first brought him home, he was very cautious, quiet, and mild. When he wasn't eating (or scratching), he would meander to his cozy corner and fall asleep. He showed little interest in anything other than his treats. Cut to Sunday... Palmer was obviously more sure of himself as he decided to pee all over Petco (he was just fine on Saturday at Petco) leaving me to clean up the mess. Also, for the first time, he showed a lot of excitement and captivation in a blue bouncy ball Auntie Rachel found at Petco! It's now his favorite toy and will do anything to keep it in his possession.
This morning, Palmer made me very very proud! I live on the 2nd level and Palmer is usually very very intimidated by the stairs that lead up to my home. We figure he's probably afraid of heights because though he's just fine with a normal set of stairs, you can see the ground through each step on these stairs. But this morning, we reached another milestone... with much coaxing, Palmer made it up to the 2nd floor, one nervous, shaking step at a time! He definitely earned his doggie treats this morning!
I'll leave you with a picture of Palmer sporting his birthday gift from Auntie Rachel and Uncle Ephraim: a USC sweater! A tad too hot for now but once the weather cools down, he'll be wearing cardinal and gold! Thank you!