Posts Tagged ‘maya’

Wordless Wednesday – Maya Sleeping

July 23, 2014
Maya Sleeping 1 - July 2014

I almost died laughing when I looked over from watching tv and saw this. :D

Maya Sleeping 2 - July 2014

Cuddle time close-up. If you think Maya looks really innocent in this photo, then she has you fooled. ;)

Maya Sleeping 3 - July 2014

Maya has beautiful eyelashes.

Check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop for more fun pet photos by clicking the link below.

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Saying Goodbye to Our Housemates

July 18, 2014
Our Family Sha Sha Jinbo Etc

Left to Right: Pierson, Jinbo, Jinbo’s mom holding Jinbo’s son Eric, Sha Sha, Jinbo’s dad, me, my husband Li Xi, Maya. Jinbo’s parents lived with us for about 6 months. Sha Sha’s mom was here for a while at one time as well. We had quite the house full. :)

Since I haven’t done too much posting these past few months, I thought I’d go backwards and fill you in on some going-ons. It might seem a little strange for a married couple to have housemates, but here’s the scoop on our friends (and recent housemates) Sha Sha and Jinbo.

We had a house with a finished basement. The basement had two carpeted bedrooms and a living area. And it had a full bathroom. The only thing it didn’t have was a kitchen. But it was more than enough space and we didn’t need it all, so why not rent the basement out?

We lived right near KU so certainly there were some students in need of inexpensive living space. My husband, being Chinese and being a part time student at KU, posted an ad on the Chinese student classified section of the KU website.

We’ve had a few housemates over the past few years and everything had always worked out great. Sha Sha and Jinbo were our most recent housemates. They moved in almost two years ago and became like family. And almost a year ago today, they had a baby boy!

There are several things to consider when a new baby comes into the home, but most of them didn’t apply to us. Maya and Pierson are my dogs but the new baby isn’t mine, so there were no jealousy issues. The dogs were not allowed in the basement so all interactions with the baby were strictly supervised. The biggest concern, but still a relatively minor one, was Pierson’s barking habit. He barks at everything. This is why I ended up getting him a bark control collar.

Our housemates had to move out this April. They got a job back home in China and so had to leave the states. It was a very sad goodbye. Oddly, within a couple of weeks after they moved out, we found out we had to sell the house and move too. Everything worked out perfectly in that situation, but we still miss them.

Moving With Our Dogs and Getting Settled

July 11, 2014
Dogs on New Dog Bed Cover

Maya and Pierson resting on their new dog bed in our new house.

We’re finally moved and settled into our new home in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s been a rough journey for me because of all the things happening on or around the move:

We said goodbye to our housemates who lived with us for two years, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, I found a lost dog, I participated in a pet event with my PetAutoSafety.com pet products, I went to visit my mom in Oregon, when I returned my husband started his new job in Iowa so I organized the contractors for painting and home repair, I took my final exam for statistics (and made an A), I wrote a report for my human relations class, we moved, I unpacked boxes and organized our household, Maya got beat up by another dog and I tended her wounds, my mom is still doing well but getting worse, someone wants to buy our house but wants other repairs done first so I am organizing that from long distance, I was really sick for a couple of weeks, and I am working on enrolling in a school here in Iowa so I can finish getting my degree.

Whew! We’re pretty much settled in now and I’m finally getting back into routine. But enough about me! What about Maya and Pierson?

DANGEROUS FOOD SCARE

While still at the house in Kansas, we had a huge scare with Maya and Pierson getting into food that the contractor workers left outside. Pierson ate half a chicken bone and Maya ate half a candy bar. I was so upset! Luckily, nothing came of it. Pierson later puked up the bone pieces with no ill effects and Maya only ended up with soft stool for a day.

DRIVE TO IOWA

The trip went very well. Maya and Pierson were very comfortable and very well behaved in the car. As you know, I use a number of pet travel products from my PetAutoSafety.com website. The newest one I got to try out was the Pet Dek. It is a lot like the Backseat Bridge with a few differences. Most of those differences are good, but there are a few cons. Read the pros and cons of the Pet Dek on my blog. And click the image below to be directed to my retail website.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

Look how much room Maya and Pierson have in the car with the new Pet Dek!

Maya and Pierson also wore their dog car seat belts. Pierson wore the Ruff Rider Roadie and Maya wore the ClickIt Utility. I had the windows down during the drive but they couldn’t put their heads out because I have the Breeze Guard car window screens in place. And I put Travel Calm on both Maya and Pierson just before we left. Maya is crazy in the car and Travel Calm helps a lot. It also has ingredients to help with car sickness. Even though Pierson hasn’t had trouble with car sickness for a long time, I still wanted to make sure he was comfortable.

FENCED YARD?

I mentioned in my post on May 15th that we don’t have a fenced yard anymore. Someone asked if we were going to get it fenced. The answer is no. There really isn’t any need. Maya and Pierson are indoor dogs. Even when they did have a fenced yard, they didn’t take advantage of it much. Don’t worry, Maya and Pierson are only out on a chain for a few minutes a few times a day and they are supervised the entire time. I did get a baby gate for the back porch. This will allow me to keep the back door open on nice days and allow them to enjoy the fresh air without having to worry about them being in the yard unattended.

Two Dogs on the Back Porch

We don’t have a fenced yard so in nicer weather, we will hang out on the back porch, which is blocked off with a baby gate.

LOCKED IN BASEMENT

A few days after we moved in to our new house, I accidentally locked Maya in the basement. I didn’t realize she had followed me down and so when I went back up, she stayed down there for a while. By the time I realized it, I was so worried about her. There was still a lot of junk in the basement left by the previous renters and I was worried rat poison might have been left down there. There was rat poison left under a bathroom sink, so I wasn’t sure where else this stuff might have been left. Luckily, the landlord confirmed that they did not put any rat poison in the basement.

MAYA GETS BEAT UP

Maya had some back luck with some dogs in the neighborhood. There were two incidents and they were completely accidental. I would not consider them the result of irresponsible dog owners at all. I will talk more in detail about that in a few days. Don’t worry, Maya is okay. She just had to wear the cone of shame for a while.

My Sad Dog Maya in a Cone

Poor Maya.

A quick little update on my mom – She is sleeping up to 22 hours per day now. Some days she does very well and other days she has problems with confusion and hallucinations. My stepdad is taking very good care of her and she now has help from hospice care. She is in good hands and surprisingly still in good spirits.

Thank you everyone, for stopping by. I think you will start to see me visit your blogs again. I’ve really missed everyone and can’t wait to catch up with all of you. :)

Almost Wordless Wednesday – Four Letter F-Word

July 9, 2014

Okay, so it’s not quite wordless. Is it ever?

The four-letter f-word at our house has a whole different (and much better) meaning.

Cute Dog Pierson

“Did someone say FOOD?”

Maya Handmade Dog Collar

“I’m pretty sure you said you were going to give me food for posing in this new handmade dog collar from our friend Yinghua.”

(Admittedly, the photo of Pierson is from a while back when we still lived in Kansas. But it isn’t a photo I have posted before. Maya’s photo, however, is recent. Our friend, Yinghua, made this for Maya and sent it to us just after we moved to Iowa.)

I hope you enjoyed the Wordless Wednesday blog hop! Check out the link below to see more cute pet photos.

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday – Our New House in Des Moines

July 2, 2014

We moved from Lawrence, Kansas to Des Moines, Iowa in mid May. Maya and Pierson settled into our new house very well:

Cute Maya Upside Down in Des Moines

Maya has a dog bed, but she’s made herself quite comfortable sleeping upside down on the hardwood floor in the living room.

Two Dogs Under My Desk

Somehow, Maya and Pierson both manage to find room under my desk when I work.

Dogs and New Dog Bowls

“Hey, our bowls are empty!” In celebration of our new home, I bought Maya and Pierson new colorful dog bowls and dog mats.

Pierson Looks Out the Back

There are a ton of squirrels and rabbits in our back yard so Pierson likes to sit here and watch.

Two Dogs on the Back Porch

We don’t have a fenced yard so in nicer weather we will hang out on the back porch, which is blocked off with a baby gate.

Dog Pierson Looks Sad

Pierson looks unhappy about his new home, but in reality he was pouting about having to hold still for the photo shoot.

Dogs on New Dog Bed Cover

Maya and Pierson got new bed covers for their dog bed. This dog bed is upstairs by the bedroom and their other dog bed is in the living room.

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Update on the Move and My Mom

May 15, 2014

Hi everyone! Did you miss us? We sure missed all of you. It has been a very long but very busy month for me and a confusing one for Maya and Pierson. First off, Maya and Pierson had to be without me for a week while I went to visit my mom in Oregon. Then when I got back, my husband was gone, already starting his new job in Iowa.

I stayed at our house in Kansas as it was being fixed up for resale. Maya, Pierson, and I moved from sleeping in the bedroom, to the spare bedroom, then eventually to the basement while work was being done. They were, at one time, allowed in the kitchen, then denied; not allowed in the basement, then restricted to the basement; allowed free run of the back yard and porch, to only being allowed outside on a leash.

When we finally left our Kansas house on May 9th, we drove to Johnston, Iowa to stay with my husband in the temporary apartment he was staying in. We were supposed to move into our new home in Des Moines the following day. But that fell through and we stayed at the apartment through the weekend.

Then finally on Monday afternoon, we got to move into our new place!

Our New Place in Des Moines

We’re all moved into our new place in Des Moines!

Maya and Pierson have been exploring all over. It has been fun for Maya, but a little intimidating for Pierson. There are new noises for him to get used to (this is tough for a dog that barks in alarm at everything). There are a ton of big boxes all over the house that he’s not sure about. And it is a bit of an adjustment in the backyard because we no longer have a fenced yard. Yes, I chain them up, but only for less than 5 minutes at a time unless they really seem like they want to hang out back there instead of inside where I am rushing around from room to room trying to get things unpacked and organized.

I am still unpacking and organizing, so I’m not ready to get back into the blogosphere just yet. But soon, very very soon.

By the way, my mom is still doing okay. She is sleeping about 20 hours a day now, which is not a good sign. But when she is awake, she is still in good spirits. She is not in any pain. She is losing some of her mobility, but it is not so bad yet. She still gets to be at home with her husband (my stepdad) and her dog Solo. She had a very good day on Mother’s Day. Although I wasn’t there, my stepdad said that Sunday was one of her better days.

Here is a photo we took with our mom while I was visiting her in Oregon:

Family Photo with Mom

My brothers and sisters and I with our mom. That’s me with the turquoise head band.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Dawn with Maya and Pierson.

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday – My Mom and the Dogs

March 26, 2014

My mom is doing well so far with her recent diagnosis. She is tired often but is keeping a positive attitude and living life as best as possible. It’s amazing how happy she is staying despite the adversity. She has been staying with my husband and I for the past couple of days. Here is a photo of her with Maya and Pierson.

Also, while she is here I have been drawing her beloved dog Rocky who passed away in January. This is what I have done so far. I should be finished with it later today. And around 2pm today, I will be taking her to the airport. She is going to Oregon to be with my sisters and brother and her numerous friends.

Before moving to Missouri a few years ago, my mom lived most of her life in Oregon and is excited about going back. After my stepdad is finished taking care of selling their belongings and property in Missouri, him and I are going to drive to Oregon with their dog Solo. I will be in Oregon with my mom for a couple of weeks or so. Don’t worry, I will still be taking care of business for PetAutoSafety.com.

My Mom with Maya and Pierson

My mom with Maya and Pierson. Pierson can sometimes be shy with strangers, but not my mom.

Rocky Small Drawing Almost Done

My mom’s beloved dog Rocky passed away in January. She wanted me to draw him for her so I have been working on this while she’s been visiting me.

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Help Working with Different Leash Reactive Behaviors

March 3, 2014

Does your dog react when he’s on a leash and sees another dog? The first thing to do is admit you have a problem.

Dog Pierson Sitting

Hi. My name is Pierson and if you’re a dog, I’m probably not going to like you. (Well, unless you’re Maya. I love Maya.) It’s nothing personal. If you’re a big dog, I go into protect-mode. If you’re a little dog, my prey-drive kicks in.

Dog Maya on the Chair

Hi. My name is Maya and I love other dogs. Well, except Pierson. Okay, I like him most of the time, except when he’s being a pest. Then I just tolerate him. But anyway, when I see another dog, I just get so happy that I start barking and lunging.

Pierson not liking dogs and Maya loving them both cause a leash reactive behavior. But because the causes are different, they require a different approach. To be honest, I have had more success dealing with Pierson’s aggressive behavior than with Maya’s excitement behavior. Just how do you deal with a crazy Labrador with GLS, anyway? (BTW, GLS stands for Goofy Lab Syndrome.)

If I see another dog while walking either Maya or Pierson, the first thing I do is cross the street. Because it has been more difficult for me to get their attention with the look command while still walking, I also make them sit. I give the look command and reward. I do this a few times until the other dog is passed.

This method works very well with Pierson unless the other dog reacts. He has made a lot of progress. However, this method is not working as well for Maya. When Maya gets excited about something, it is very difficult to distract her. She is so intent on what she sees (the other dog), that I couldn’t tempt her with a big juicy steak.

With Maya, I need to add another element to her training. If I see that she is going to start reacting, I need to turn her around and go the other way. So far, this is working, but it is not always possible for us to turn around. And I’m curious to know how doing this will eventually help her learn not to react. Any ideas on what training methods I can use for Maya? Keep in mind that when Maya gets excited, nothing, and I mean nothing can distract her. Not treats, not collars, not commands, nothing.

Wordless Wednesday – Pretty Portraits of Maya and Pierson

February 26, 2014

Welcome to the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

Maya on Dog Bed Looks SadMaya Nose Portrait small Maya Nose and Stuff 007Portrait of My Dog Pierson 1 Portrait of My Dog Pierson 2 Portrait of My Dog Pierson 3
And because I can’t resist a few words:

Maya Brown Nosing

Thank you for stopping by for Wordless Wednesday. More fun pet photos can be found by clicking below:

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Challenges of a Leash Reactive Dog

February 13, 2014

Progress
Pierson has made a lot of progress with being better on his leash when he sees another dog. Two things helped. First, we cross the street when we see another dog. I have Pierson sit and I use the “look” command to distract him. He gets rewarded with lots of treats every time he pays attention to me and not the other dog. Second, I was fortunate enough to find a group of people who were willing to get together once a week or so to help work with our dog’s leash reactive behaviors. We walked our dogs at a distance from each other and the distance depended on our dogs’ own individual thresholds. Pierson was always last in line and furthest away. But by the end of fall, he was able to get within a few feet of those other dogs without reacting.

Pierson Group Walk Group Photo

Everyone is proud of Pierson’s progress.

There have been four major challenges in trying to overcome Pierson’s leash reactive behavior:

Challenge – Walking Two Dogs
Pierson’s leash reactive behavior is due to his high prey drive. He could even be called aggressive, although it is difficult to imagine such a cute ball of fuzz with a girly bark as aggressive. But that is what it is. He whines, he barks, and he lunges. Maya’s leash reactive behavior, on the other hand, is due to excitement. She loves other dogs and really wants to go say hi. She barks and lunges too, but only because she is so happy.

Needless to say, I can’t walk Maya and Pierson together. Maya’s happy bark makes Pierson’s aggressive bark more intense, and vice versa. So in order to properly work on their behaviors separately, I need to walk them one at a time. By the way, the “look” command does not work on Maya when she is excited. I need to find a different training technique for her.

Pull No More dog harness

First I walk Pierson, then I walk Maya.

Challenge – Loose Dogs
One day when I was walking with this group down a nature trail, someone coming up from the other direction had two dogs not on a leash. When the dogs saw us, they ran towards us. Their mom called them but they didn’t listen. They ran straight for Pierson. In order to keep something terrible from happening, I quickly picked Pierson up out of the way. Luckily the two dogs were small. That would not have worked if the dogs had been bigger. The lady was apologetic but she didn’t really grasp what had almost happened. Luckily, the group of people I was with explained to her just how close her dogs had come to being injured. Having a good recall is extremely important, and this trail was not an off-leash trail. I think the reality of the situation sunk in and I hope she learned her lesson.

A similar situation happened in my own neighborhood. A Lhasa named Barkley is often allowed off leash in his front yard when his mom is out with him. I have met Barkley a number of times and know that he usually has a great recall. But one day, there was just something about Pierson that he had to investigate head on. I picked Pierson up out of the way. Barkley’s mom kept saying that Barkley was friendly. I told her I knew that, but my Pierson was not. She finally understood. And the next time I met her while we were both walking our dogs, she called Barkley back and put his leash on while I went across the street. She complemented me on being so responsible.

Challenge – Other Leash Reactive Dogs
Pierson is very good about paying attention to me when we cross the street and I use the “look” command. It works most of the time. The only time it doesn’t work is when the other dog is also leash reactive. If the other dog reacts, Pierson does to and no amount of bribing with treats will distract him.

Pierson on a Leash with Look Command

The “look” command helps me to distract Pierson whenever we see someone else walking their dog.

Challenge – Winter, Fewer Dogs
We are getting a little out of practice this winter. Even though I still try to walk Maya and Pierson every day, we seldom see other dogs. In fact, we have gone over an entire week without running into any other dogs. I fear Pierson will be greatly out of practice when spring arrives.

Do you have a leash reactive dog? If so, what are your challenges?

See what other people with leash reactive dogs are doing to manage the behavior in the WOOF blog hop below.

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