Life as Lou

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Photos From My Day; A Dog, A Plant And A Grouch

  • April 13, 2012 10:18 pm

Watson and I enjoyed the sun today, while it lasted.  He is growing up and you can really see it in these photos.

While spending the past six weeks basically just healing and being as lazy as I can be, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time watching my plants grow.  This is a sempervivum bloom, from the green planter in my windowsill.  The flowers are small and lovely, and a nice little welcome to spring.  I have a few that are starting to grow their long stalks, beginning the first steps of the end.  Death is rarely so beautiful as with the monocarpic sempervivum plant.  It is a shame people don’t die that way- one last beautiful hurrah celebrating everything lovely they’ve been holding inside.

My doctor appointment went well.  I am on track.  I get my life back in approximately two weeks.  I just wonder if I will have any energy in two weeks.  I’m not optimistic.  I’m wiped out on the best days.

I have given up on attending church this weekend.  It is Stake Conference, but between Chris working all weekend, trouble finding a sitter and the unpredictability of Chris’ schedule I think I will miss both sessions, which just stinks.  I love the adult session- it is the only sermon I actually hear!  For the family session, you have to mix the fact that I have a hearing loss, which means I always arrive about two hours early to get a seat near the front so I can hear and read lips, with three antsy kids who don’t really want to sit for two hours of grown ups talking and the fact that lifting and chasing are still verboten. . .and I think I’ll be home, missing church yet again.  I just can’t make that work on my own.  I wish I could at least get to the adult session, but oh well.

Gabe is in a very foul mood today, which I think has a lot to do with being shuffled to so many different houses over the past few weeks.  He has had a really fun time- so many new friends and toys to explore, and his behavior has been stellar for all of my friends. I think he is home and basically letting all of his frustrations out to me, his supposed freak-out safety net.  I’m glad he feels he can scream and tantrum for three hours and I will still adore him, but seriously, he’s pushing his luck today. Mommy is too tired for major freak outs.

Ah, there’s my good boy again.

The kids just arrived home from school.  Hopefully they will go easy on their mama this weekend.  I’m pooped! I have a few fun (but low key) things planned, so I think we will make it!  And it is only a two day weekend, not the five day marathon from the last go round.

Good Dog

  • April 9, 2012 9:20 pm

Today, I have been focusing on Watson.  He hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention, training and lovin’ over the past few weeks, and tomorrow is going to be a very rough day for him.  The time has come for my guy to get neutered.  That’s right- no more balls.

I went to the pet store and bought him a new toy, a schmancy, red Kong Wubba (which I threw for him approximately four times before I overshot my mark and got it stuck in our gutter- now I need a ladder or someone over six feet to help me out).  I also bought treats and some new chewy stuff that I promise not to toss onto the roof.

I groomed Watson today, a major bath, ear cleaning and combing- all of which he loved.  This boy likes to be groomed so after a gratifying scrub down, he was a big baby lolling on my lap, stretching into new positions so the comb could scratch him everywhere.  We even put a little pomade on his curly ears just to give them some gloss.  He is one hunka-hunka-burnin’-puppy love now! And he knows it.

We then worked on sit and stay, which is how I got these crummy camera phone photos for you- the grainy blurriness adds a certain charm, so we’re just going to say we were being all artistic.  The real accomplishment here is that he sat still enough to be photographed in a fairly low light living room- and THAT, my friends, is some good obedience work!  I am hoping my doctor clears me for walking all 45lbs of his pulling, straining, goofy self at my six week check up this week.  If not, I have to wait another two weeks.  Watson is a crazy boy on the least, walking on his hind legs in anticipation of what could possibly be half a foot in his future.  We tried a choke collar at one point, and he still walked on his hind legs, only with gasping, snorting and choking until I finally asked Chris if we gauged when the walk was over based on him finally passing out.  So. . .cute?

As challenging as this guy has been over the past four months, I sat down and really looked at the progress we have made in the past few months.  We rarely have happy pee when he is in his kennel (a lot less laundry for me) and the submissive pee is dramatically reduced.  He can both sit and stay, is a decent fetcher, has very few potty accidents, and he has met our neighbors and behaved decently.  He is also pretty good with the kids.  We have a long, long ways to go, but just stopping at looking at what has been accomplished is encouraging.  Lately, being as incapacitated as I have been, everything feels very unproductive and like I’m getting no where, but that really isn’t true.  We have progress here.

My Companion

  • March 16, 2012 4:29 pm

Watson is my only buddy these days.  The kids have gone off to grandma’s house for a two week fun fest (well, for the kids, I’m sure it will be a cardio endurance marathon for the grandparents). Chris’s squadron is having yet another inspection and he got switched to nights for the week, so it’s just been me and my big puppy.

Watson has only learned a few good discipline things, and so this is a bit challenging since I can’t use anything but gentle persuasion on him, being so physically incapacitated. The good news is that he is minding his manners pretty well for a puppy and slowly getting better at a few of his obedience tasks, and gaining baby steps toward emotional control.  His sit and stay are very good, and his fetching skills are improving. I had him fetching really well awhile ago, but then he figured out how much fun it was to have the kids chase him to get the toy back, and that totally derailed his progress.  I refuse to chase him at all, and he does love having his toy thrown so we are making good progress there this week.  We are also trying to improve his desire to come when called.  He did great with that at the beginning, but has hit that 6 month boundary pushing stage.  I think I just need a pocket full of treats and we will be good.

I actually ran out of training treats, so I may venture out tomorrow if I feel up to it (I’m really drained today) and go to Runnings.  They have the best training treats! And I love Farm and Fleet stores, always have.

Watson has been a lucky boy with the kids gone. Since I have very little else to focus on, he has been out more, and almost every time I leave the house, I come back with a new treat.  Today he got the big blue toy in his mouth.  He loves it!

Watson smelled horrible, and has for a few days now, so this morning I just put him in the shower with me and gave him a scrub down.  It was only minimally challenging for me.  Trying to wash him bending over the tub while convincing him to stay in the tub would way been way to much physical strain for me, but he is very well behaved in a shower and now he smells like strawberries and happiness, so he is getting cuddled more.

I wish I was stronger so we could leash train, but it is just gong to have to wait a few weeks. We are still enjoying the gorgeous 70 degree weather- I put a chair in the backyard and I just sit there and throw stuff for him to fetch. It is so beautiful outside!

Watson is also great company because every time he hears a strange noise the hair on his back goes up and he gets loud and very defensive. He’s a little scary, but at least I know he’s ready to take anyone out who tries to get me. My childhood springer spaniel, Lizzie, was the same way. Best of fun and friendship, but if anyone threatened me- they got an attack dog in their face. We found this out one day when my younger brother and I were play fighting.  He lunged at me and suddenly Lizzie jumped up and bit him in the butt!  Not hard, mind you, but hard enough to serve as a very clear warning. It was so out of character that my parents told Bernie to go for me again, and Lizzie had to be restrained from taking him down. It was clear that I was her person. Mom never worried about me going for a walk after that, “Just take Lizzie!”

Lizzie is the reason why we got Watson. He has some big paws to fill.  I think he can do it. He’s already got the sad eyes down.


Watson as Linus

  • January 4, 2012 9:14 pm

Watson got a new blankie today.  This one was $3.98 in an after Christmas clearance bin at PetSmart.  As soon as we unrolled it, he grabbed it and ran outside with it to rejoice in the newness and make sure it got covered in yard smell.

He was a wild dog, twisting and flopping and fighting that blankie to the death! 

He also used it to play what most people would call “tug of war” with Gabriel, but since they are both at the developmental age of a toddler, we just call call the game “MINE! No, MINE!“  Look at those ears fly.  I’m reminded of a song by Willow Smith. . .I whip my ears back and forth. I whip my ears back and forth.  Cute kid, somewhat annoying song. Now it’s in my head.Of course, it really is Watson’s.  He makes a cute little Linus carrying around his blanket, don’t you think?  Who knew two yards of fleece could have him so excited?


Also- note the brown, brown grass and the no snow.  This is January in South Dakota.  I have my windows open and air flowing through the house because it is WARM outside.  This is so weird.  My kids think it is spring- but I assume we will get hit by something fierce come February.  Until then, it is puppy training bliss out in the nice warm sun.

Is Bird Dog

  • December 28, 2011 1:27 am

Bird dog. Angry bird dog, that is.

Sacked Out

  • December 14, 2011 3:37 pm

Watson is growing.

We have been careful to keep his kennel at a comfortable, but not too large size so it would help with potty training by exploiting the instinct not to soil the den.  So far, it has worked well.  He only tinkles a bit from excitement and not from, “Oh gee, this looks like a great place to relieve myself”.  For such a young pup (15 weeks) he is actually doing pretty well with the housebreaking. (I have to keep telling myself this because I loathe potty training humans and dogs and want it over with yesterday).

We realized he might need a little more space yesterday, so when I cleaned out the kennel, I removed the divider, figuring I could just put it back in if it became an issue.

I don’t think we have a problem.

I walked into the room earlier today and found Watson completely sacked out, ears flopping out of one end and puppy toes pressed against the other.  He was so relaxed that he hardly budged when I grabbed the camera and got in his face to take photos. Dude was comfortable and staying that way.

I think he likes his little den.

Elementary, My Dear Watson!

  • November 30, 2011 3:13 pm

Meet Watson! This little guy is the newest addition to the Killian family. He is a liver and white English Springer Spaniel. I love Springers! I had one growing up (Lizzie, best dog ever) and loved her to pieces and she was amazing, so this little guy has some big paws to fill. He is three months old, and so we are in the thick of puppy training, convincing him that potty goes outside and chewing is limited to his toys and not my stuff, face or fingers.

So far, he is really pretty well behaved for a puppy. We kennel train, and he is pretty comfortable in his kennel- minimal whining during the day, and no whining at night. He is also very good about not soiling his kennel, so we are on the right track.

We had looked for a springer for quite some time when I came across his puppy picture online. It felt right so we went ahead and started arranging for him. The only challenging thing was that Watson was located six hours from us, near Sioux Falls, SD! We planned a long day trip for after Thanksgiving, and then Chris called and told me that he was being sent to Sioux Falls overnight to do Honor Guard services at a funeral. SCORE!

We were able to work it out for Watson to catch a ride home with the Honor Guard, so we got our little guy Wednesday night, right before Thanksgiving. It was a scramble to get everything we needed for a puppy in two days! His first day at home was eventful. I’m sure between the roasting bird and the extra people he was pretty excited. We had our good friends, the Davis family over for turkey and fun, so they got to know Watson and helped name him.

Now Watson gets to see their oldest daughter every morning at Seminary, so I am pretty sure he thinks she is a part of the family. Watson likes the kids, but he is very attached to me (probably because I fill the food dish, take him outside and spend the most time sitting here with him right by me). I’m sure as he gets older and more confident he will realize how much fun the kids are.

He has one really weird quirk. He barks to get his water dish refilled, and flings it around the room with his paws. I have got to get that on camera one of these days. It is annoying, but hilarious.

So that’s our puppy! I have to take him outside now, so best run!