Wednesday, November 23, 2011


A month after our scary incident, Addie is now very weird about noises. Any loud, odd noise sends her scurrying for my bed pillows.  I've read that Border Collies often are very sensitive to noises, and I'm wondering if there's some desensitization exercise you can do to help that.  She's also very leery of strangers now.  When people come over to visit she hides in my room and sometimes she comes out and sometimes she doesn't.  It seems that certain people are okay, and I wonder what her criteria is for okayness.   I have 32 people coming on Thanksgiving... and I'm wondering how she's going to handle that!  (I'm also wondering how I'm going to handle that!!!)

She is still totally obsessed with the ball and carries it around with her everywhere.  She's a little better about bringing it back, but she hangs onto it a few minutes, then rolls it to you, and stares at you or the ball.  She's very cute!  We're working on catching the ball in the air.

Her hair is growing.  For a long time I thought she was going to have short hair, but now it's getting longer and her pantaloons are filling in and her tail is getting feathery.  She gets many compliments when she's out in public.  I still call her "longnose-longbody-longtail" (I tell her that's her Indian name) because she is so long and lean.  She really is a beautiful dog and I love her so much.  My only complaints are that she is TERRIBLE on the leash, pulling and tugging even with a harness, and she doesn't always come when I call her, at the dog park and if she's scared somewhere at home.  These are two problems that just cannot be so we have some work to do!  I'm thinking of enrolling her in a "Fungility" class, which is an agility class that's fun... I guess.  I think it'd be very good for her.

Addie is a very happy dog (except for those occasional times when she's scared) and she makes me happy every single day.  She is so affectionate and funny and smart.  It's so wonderful to have her as a companion, and if I have to leave her at home, its always such fun to come home to her.  I am very thankful and grateful for my little Addie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What happened???

The other night some good friends came over for a visit.  They brought me some homemade tomato soup and I poured them some wine.  Addie settled on the couch.  I put some music on, and when I did the stereo made a rather loud and obnoxious feedback sound, but soon we were listening to Marc Cohn and chatting away.  About 30 minutes later I decided to check on Addie, and peeked around the corner to see if she was still on the couch.  She wasn't, so I looked around.  No Addie in the bedroom, family room, living room... I looked outside and called her, even though I hadn't put her out.  I called out the window to behind the garage where the dog door leads to, but she didn't come.  So now I was worried.  I started to panic... where in the world was she?  I went out the behind the garage with a flashlight and found her in the very far corner, as far from the house as she could get, trembling and terrified!  She was afraid of me and wouldn't come to me.  What the heck??  I finally went back in and got a leash and was able to put it on her and dragged and carried her into the house.  She was absolutely scared to death and was acting so strange.  I put her in my bed and she cowered into the pillows and just stared at me.  I talked to her calmly and tried to pet her.  She'd slink away.  I was very confused! 

I went back to visiting with my guests and we all talked about how weird it was, when my friend Anne said she saw Addie run off the couch when the stereo made the feedback sound.  That was the only thing we could think of that had happened that might scare her.  After my friends left, I went to bed and it took about an hour for her to come near me.  I kept thinking "I want my feisty little Addie back!"  Then she finally decided I was okay and curled up as close to me as she could get and slept there all night. 

In the morning... it was like nothing had happened!  I thought she might be afraid of the couch, or me messing with the stereo, but she was totally fine. Thank God! 

Today my friends came back.  Addie was outside and they asked me about her, so I took them outside to see her.  There she was cowering and trembling, and all squeezed into a corner!!!!  Then she ran into her doghouse and wouldn't come out!  Oh dear... I guess she thinks that they made that awful noise?  My poor friends felt really bad.  They left and it took about 30 minutes to get her settled down again.

Its a mystery to me!  She is usually so fearless and snippy I would never have imagined her being like that.  I guess she is a much more sensitive dog than I thought...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Ball

Addie loves her ball.  She loves to chase after it, and catch it, and run back to me with it...and she loves to have it, but she doesn't like to give it up or share it.  I think that we have very different ideas of fun when it comes to playing with the ball.  I think its fun to throw it and have her retrieve it over and over again.  She thinks its much more fun to play keep away with it.  So what happens is; she finds the ball and looks at me expectantly from afar, if I try to get it she runs away, so I ignore her.  She gets closer and closer and drops the ball, but she's still not ready and if I try to get it she picks it up quickly.  I ignore her.  She gets closer and closer, and then right up next to me, waits awhile, then drops the ball or rolls it to me.  Ah... she's ready!  I pick the ball up and throw it!  Then it starts all over again.  My husband thinks she's not very smart, but I know she is extremely smart. She just has a different idea of fun.  Hopefully we'll have a meeting of the minds at some point.  Or we can play fetch about every 10-15 minutes!  Seems to suit her just fine.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This One's For You Maggie!

 I still feel bad about how badly Addie treated little Maggie, the Boston Terrier we visited for ten days.  Addie wouldn't let her near her food bowl, water bowl or any toys without growling, snapping and living up to her gender.  It had me very worried about her being able to get along with other dogs.  Unfortunately, I just didn't know how to handle it at the time.  Too late I learned about a very effective way to discourage her from doing anything I don't like with a simple water bottle with a squirt top.  Sure wish I'd known!  I bet Maggie does too.

So it was with great trepidation and worry (before I learned about the squirt bottle) that I took her to the local dogpark. Even though she gets along great with our dogs,  I just wasn't sure she would get along with other dogs she didn't know. The first time we went there were probably about 8 dogs and they were all very excited to see the newcomer.  At first Addie was pretty scared. She squeezed up next to the fence and tried to get away.  But gradually she got braver and started sniffing around.  Braver and braver she got until she was playing with them and having a great time.

At home, she badgers Gus, herds him and hangs on his tail.  He's very good about all this.  I just wish he'd let her have it, but he just puts up with it.  It's not unusual to see Addie with Gus hair hanging out of her mouth.  At the dogpark, as soon as she was comfortable, sure enough she picked a dog to herd.  A tiny dog.  The owner thought it was funny, but I don't like her to do it so I was going to interfere when here comes another small dog herding Addie!  She didn't quite know what to make of that, but she didn't like it.  There was some confusion in her expression and she backed off tiny dog and the small dog backed off of her.  This went on for several times, and Addie found something else to do.  Great!

I bought a kiddie pool for Addie when it was hot several weeks ago, and although she loves playing in the hose, the pool didnt' interest her.  I showed her how to get in, she didn't get it.  But at the dogpark, a black German Shepherd ran down to the kiddie pool at the far end that's exactly like ours and jumped in and lay in it.  Addie watched.  Addie got in.  Addie laid down.  Addie loved it!!!  Now every time we go and she gets tired or hot, she goes for the pool.  Excitedly I filled our pool at home again, but Addie isn't the least bit interested and the pool just sits there unused. 

So going to the dogpark has been a very fun thing and we try to go every day now.  She gets along with other dogs, plays with other dogs, drinks with other dogs, gets treats with other dogs, plays fetch with other dogs, hangs out in the pool, and every once in awhile she herds another dog.  I have never even had to use the water bottle fortunately, but I promise Maggie, if we come visit again, I will be ready and armed.  We'll have zero tolerance for bullying!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Housebreak Heaven

Oh yes!  We are finally housebroken! Addie is using the dog door every time now and that has made things SO much easier.  She can be in the house with us and the other dogs most of the time now, and the only thing I have to worry about now is:
Our shoes
Our clothes
Oliver's toys
My plants
Toilet paper
Furniture legs
The rugs
Knick nacks
And anything else she can reach or get her little mouth on!

But she's going to be a really good dog!  She's learning new things everyday and she really is such a joy to us. We are so very, very lucky to have her!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Addie on the Road

While my nicknames for Addie are "Angel," "Sweetypie," "Cutie," "Addie May," etc., others have nicknamed her "Jaws", "Shark Bite" and "No No Bad Dog." (Given with affection of course... I hope!)  I admit that their nicknames may be closer to the truth most of the time, but in the car, Addie is a dream dog.

On our recent trip we drove 13 hours to get to our destination in Washington State.  Addie was amazing.  We made regular stops to take her to go potty, which she did, and walk her around a little. 

We had the back of our Passat wagon folded down and she slept most of the way.  Since she is usually such a wild thing, I figured we got lucky.

After arriving at our destination, of course, she made up for lost time and was crazy wild!  Our friends have a sweet little Boston Terrier named Maggie, and Addie made her life miserable for ten days.  I was afraid I'd made a terrible mistake imposing her on our dear friends, and poor little Maggie.  She was a handful, and a pain, and exasperating, but Addie had a great time and loved everything and everybody. (Even Maggie, as long as she didn't get near her food, water or toys.)

On the way home we took several days to drive down the Oregon coast.  I was apprehensive about Addie being good in the car because I thought maybe that her behavior on the way up might have been a fluke.  But she was absolutely wonderful for all three days!  Sometimes she would sit perched between us, watching where we were going.  But most of the time she just slept in the back... I was very impressed.  Little Addie May was such an Angel!  And turning out to be so great!  We so enjoyed her company.

When we got home, she went wild again. She ran around at full throttle for hours in the backyard and just couldn't settle down.  Its been days now, and she still hasn't settled down!  I told Woody we were going to have to go back on the road!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Addie Meets a Llama

We are visiting some friends in Washington, and Addie is having a wonderful time!  Of particular interest to her are the blackberries, which she eats enthusiastically, and their three llamas; Wally, Ollie and Dolly.  She is oh so curious about those llamas, and they seem not even aware of her existence.  I was worried about her getting in their pasture and annoying them, but my friend Gary said not to worry.  "Those llamas can totally take care of themselves," he told me.  "Really?  You sure?" I asked.  "Believe me, they'll be fine."  So I didn't call her back to me and watched her slip under the fence.  A bound or two and a stop and sniff... a crouched creep a little closer and a stop and sniff.  The llama paid no attention.  A long stare and a creep a little closer, then she laid down and sniffed and stared.  A long time.  The llama moved and she darted back a little.  And so it went... no actual contact.  I got tired of it and called her back.  She wasn't really wanting to do that and it took quite a bit of coaxing to get her to crawl back under the fence.  All that day and the next she spent quite a bit of time peering down at them from the porch balcony, watching.

On our third day here, the husbands went out into the pasture to pick blackberries, and they took Addie with them without a leash.  Being the overprotective mom I am, I protested a little.  "You'll keep an eye on her?  Really watch her?  Are you sure you should take her?"  My husband rolled his eyes. "She'll be FINE!" he insisted.  Now my husband, Woody, is way more liberal with her than I am.  He lets her off the leash and trusts her in unfenced places, and he's always telling me "she's fine!" and that I am being ridiculous, etc. And so far nothing bad has happened to her, but I'm just not that trusting.  She could get into trouble so quickly!  Anyway, I watched them disappear down the hill and went inside.  Pretty soon I heard them talking and laughing and they came back with the berries... and Addie. Of course.

Well, apparently Addie helped them pick and eat blackberries, and then she sneaked off to check out the llamas.  They didn't see her, but heard a loud "Yipe! Yipe!" and Addie came running back to them.  The men were having a big chuckle over how the llama must have put her in her place.

So this morning, I went with Addie outside without the leash with new found confidence.  "She'll be fine..." I thought.  A llama was close by the fence and Addie fixated on him (I think it was Wally).  There are plenty of places for her to get under the fence, but I wasn't worried.  I stepped back in the house and told Woody she was out there checking out the llamas.  "No!" he exclaimed. "Don't let her go out there!  Those llamas can kill her!  One swift kick and its over, she'd be dead!  Bring her back in here!" 

Go figure!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Hose

Addie totally loves the hose.  She is more thrilled about the hose than anything.  It commands her full attention and she chases it, bites at it, leaps at it and never takes her eyes off it.  Once that hose is on, I can't even get her attention with a treat! Nothing else exists except that stream of water coming out of the hose.  She gets soaking wet, and usually muddy, and she'll run in circles for a ridiculous amount of time chasing the water if I make it go in a circle.  I can blast her full on, and she just shakes it off and goes for more.  Sometimes she jumps so high at the water that she almost does back flips!

I have to admit that at first this whole hose deal made me quite grumpy.  My morning ritual watering was not going as usual, and it was taking a lot longer. She leaps on my plants, gets all muddy wet and muddy, leaps on me... whatever she can do to get at that water streaming out.  But it didn't take long for me to appreciate this new little ritual and now we have so much fun with it!  I told my husband all about our morning playtime with the hose, but I guess he wasn't listening.  Yesterday he washed his car and took her out with him while I was out.  When I got home he was so excited!  "You should see Addie with the hose!" he says.  "She goes absolutely crazy!  I was blasting her and she just loved it!"  Sigh...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Addie Meets a Cat

Our friends have a beautiful cat named Freya.  She is an Abyssinian, and is a redwood color with ticking and has a soft, rich apricot belly, and she is all cat.  She's sleek, alert, confident, finicky, and aloof.  Usually when we are at their house, Freya is discreetly hidden away somewhere napping.  When she does come out, it is very briefly and she pays no attention to us, and she usually only comes out for a little snack at her kitty bowl or a drink. 

The idea was to introduce her to Addie.  We were all pretty sure what the result would be and took precautions to make sure that Freya was safe.  The scenario we expected was Addie bounding up to her in clumsy curiosity, maybe attempting to chase her, and Freya, horrified, wanting to get as far away as possible.  Addie is very friendly with other dogs and with people.  So we were pretty surprised when it didn't quite play out the way we imagined...  Addie was scared!  And Freya was not!  Freya was curious and Addie cowered and tried to get away and hide.  She just didn't know what to make of a cat!  Freya knew she had the upper hand and was thoroughly enjoying it.  She stayed out with us the entire rest of the evening, sliding in and out of the furniture and watching Addie.  I'm pretty sure that if Freya had run, Addie would have chased her.  But Freya didn't run, and Addie never got up the nerve to get close.  We all supposed that if they spent a few days together, they might even play together!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Toy Wars

At my house, there are two kinds of toys; Addie's toys, and Oliver's toys.  Oliver is my 9 month old grandson whom I take care of Monday and Tuesday mornings, and all day Friday.  He's a wonderful little boy (of course!) and I love having him.  He's pretty much always happy, or you can easily make him happy, and his laugh makes the world a better place.  Oliver respects Addie's toys, well, he isn't crawling or walking yet so I guess that's not really a fair statement.  But Addie definitely doesn't respect Oliver's toys.  In fact, she finds them particularly more interesting and obviously more challenging (to get anyway!).  And she seems to have much more fun with them.  She isn't allowed to run free in the house, but somehow she sneaks in sometimes and runs straight for his toys.  Convincing her that her toys are the appropriate play things isn't easy.  She is clearly baffled when I try to make the case that her toys are much better.  Oliver's toys stay neatly in his play corner.  Addie's toys are all over the place.  Oliver is entertained by his toys for a quite a while.  Addie is done with her toys very quickly and immediately starts looking for something new.  Oliver will share his toys.  Addie will not.

There is one particular toy that gets a lot of attention.  It's a roly poly stuffed toy with a silly cow face and it has some mechanism inside that makes a "boing" sound when its bumped.  I bought it for Oliver before I got Addie, and I've been waiting for Oliver to get old enough to appreciate it and understand how to make it make noise.  That happened a week or so ago and Oliver thinks its pretty cool and beats the floor with it to make it go "boing."  I was very pleased.  Then somehow Addie found it.  Oh what joy!  She thought it was the greatest thing ever!  She ran out to the yard with it and I heard it going "boing, boing, boing, boing, boing, boing"... you get the picture.  By the time I rescued it (I was laughing so hard it took awhile), it was slobbery and filthy.  She was very disappointed when I took it away, and her little quizzical expression was heartbreaking; "why can't I have that wonderful thing?"  I was able to clean it up, but the question is... who shall I give it to?  Who will appreciate it the most?  I really think Addie will, but she'll probably destroy it pretty quickly.  If I give it to Oliver, he'll probably have it for a long time.  Until... Addie finds it again somehow!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


If Addie is cheery, active and wild in the morning, its nothing compared to how she gets late at night.  Right around 10:00 pm her energy rises to a peak and she officially becomes a member of the wild animal kingdom.  There is no calming her down, uh uh.  If you pick her up she wiggles, squirms, bites, snaps, growls, squeals and does everything she can to get away and run, run, run.  She picks up anything and everything in her path; rocks, sticks, hoses, flower pots, flowers, cushions, and runs tail flying, ears flopping, with an unmistakeable grin of pure exuberance, delight and glee.  Then back to you to grab your shoes and bite your feet, pull your pants.  And there is no getting her attention.  You can shout, plead, run away, make loud noises, growl at her, and she is oblivious in her own world of perfect pleasure.  Every night, when we are dog tired and ready for bed, and ready for her to go to bed, she is contrarily expending the last little bit of energy from the day in a furious burst of mischief and terror.  And if I don't let her get all that out, and put her to bed in her crate, she thrashes around in there and she's like a blender dog.  Sigh...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good Morning?

Addie loves the morning. She wakes up bright and cheery, full of energy and eagerness.  I on the other hand have never, ever been a morning person... unless... I have a plane to catch, which always means big fun is happening soon!

When I was in high school, my job was to make lunches for my family in the morning, a dreaded task.  Every morning (except weekends) my dad would oh so cheerfully come in my room, turn on the light and wake me with a lilting greeting.  To this day he is always good natured and pleasant. I didn't appreciate his good humor then, on those mornings, when I was sure I hadn't slept nearly long enough and felt that the task given me at that hour was unjust and cruel.  Although I only remember my feelings at the time, and not my actions, being a teenager and not at all happy about being woken up, I'm pretty sure I probably wasn't very nice to him.  But my dad, who had a long day ahead of him, and not always a pleasant one I'm sure, and had to deal with waking up a grumpy teenager, was always wide awake, happy, bright and cheery, like Addie.  I wonder if he is still like that in the mornings...

So Addie wakes up a terror at first light.  I have to let her out of her crate to pee and she runs, almost flying, everywhere and grabs everything as I chase after her to retrieve socks, toilet paper, rocks, sticks, plants, and anything else she can find, and try to get her to eat her breakfast and play with her own toys, which she has no interest in, either one, whatsoever.  Because getting things that aren't her toys is so much more fun... me chasing her around in exasperation.  Her little face is full of glee and mischief and she is absolutely the cutest... and here I am again, grumpy and resentful, sure I haven't slept nearly long enough and feeling my plight is unjust and cruel.  It'll be like this for a long time I'm sure... sigh... but I so love and appreciate them both, my dad and Addie, and I am so envious of their great enthusiasm, for any kind of day, in the morning.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More practice...

So, Addie is my 9 week old Border Collie.  She's blond and white, and she's wonderful!  I am still wondering how I ended up with a puppy instead of an older rescue dog, because that was my plan.  Things just happen... and not always the way you think they are going to happen.  So here I am; exhausted.  Really.  After an hour or so of frantic, wild playing, she finally goes to sleep in her crate at around 11pm.  Then we get up in the middle of the night sometime.  Then we get up at 5:45am and she goes crazy playing again for about 2 hours.  Then, depending, she sleeps on and off for most of the day.  Not too bad of a schedule, but I am SO tired.  I think the constant supervision, worry, activity, and, of course, interrupted sleep, just takes its toll.  I know that someday it'll be back to a normal routine... but not for awhile!

Addie has many admirers.  My oldest son's dog, Tahoe, who is a 7 year old Lab, loves to play with her.  And today Gus, my youngest son's dog, warmed up to her and decided to play with her instead of growling at her.  Oh what fun!  He took her into the bank of hypericum and she thought that was great!  Picture a small puppy bouncing around and over plants taller than her.  I couldn't get her out of there, not even to eat her dinner!  Addie's other admirers are people... me included of course.  And including everyone that's met her so far.  Her admiration seems to be mutual as her tail wags furiously whenever she meets someone.  Except my dad, which is so curious because I don't know a gentler person.  I've often compared him to St. Francis, because I've seen him put his hand out with bird seed in it in a unfamiliar area, and birds will come and eat out of his hand.  Addie wasn't too sure about him at first, but she warmed up quickly.

So I'm very much looking forward to the "many adventures of Addie," and I'm looking forward to writing about them too.  Even if its just to myself....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Ever since I was little, I thought I would write a book.  Well... It's been a long time since I was little, and I don't even have a journal, and certainly nothing close to a book.  The problem is I don't know what to write about!  So this is a practice deal.  If I do a blog I'll get practice writing, and, who knows, I might even come up with a subject!  So this- just this- is my first blog.  And just maybe a stepping stone to bigger things...