Tags: soba

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3^H0 days since last accident

[LJ won't let me use strike tags in the subject, so I have to resort to old-tech]

And things were going so well! Though I still think we're on the winning side of the battle. Soba didn't so much decide to go in the house but rather forgot to decide to go elsewhere, since she was excited after playing and barking at random things outside the front door. I guess I should have pre-emptively taken her outside before she realized that she needed to go. But I'm sure even this will get better with time.

Today started with a trip to Mirabelle's, where we bought 4(!) baguettes (we're planning to make bruschetta for the neighborhood picnic tomorrow) and the farmer's market, where we probably spent way too much money but got bunches of fresh fruit, veggies, pastries from the Russian lady, and meat from the farm. There was a game at the university, and the weather was looking threatening, so the market was pleasantly uncrowded.

After that we were supposed to go to the hardware store, but fell asleep instead. I think part of the problem is that with Soba around, it's hard to catch up on sleep when you're behind, since 8 hours is really the limit of how long she can stay in the crate. Making things worse, I for some reason have been unable to sleep well and usually wake up every 10-20 minutes between 4 and 7 (possibly due to the extra coffee I'm drinking to compensate).

Eventually I woke up and made it to the store, picking up such exciting tools as a rake and a dremmel. (Well, ok, the dremmel is a pretty exciting tool.) I've started to pick up some of the dead grass on our disaster of a lawn, and am now trying to figure out if the right next step is fertilizing it. It's patchy and unhealthy, but there are areas, mainly next to our neighbor's lawns and next to the house, where the grass grows well. I used to think that this is due to watering, but it's been raining quite a bit lately and I'm starting to think that soil quality is the reason.

The dremmel was bought to trim Soba's nails; I've read many people using it with much success, and the breeder even showed us how to do it. But this has so far not worked out, as she gets too nervous when I hold her paw and try to use the dremmel, so I guess we'll need to re-introduce her to it slowly. She had a pretty big day today — we took her around the block and she was very excited the whole time.
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crazy days

When I looked at my schedule today, I had meetings solid from 9am until noon, break for lunch, and more meetings 1-5. Phewf! Fotunately, turns out that some of my student meetings were shorter than they were scheduled for, and one of them didn't materialize at all because my student mixed up the time we were meeting. But it left me wondering how people with more than 3 students handle all the time commitments. I guess I understand now why my own advisor would schedule 30 minute meetings instead of hour-long ones.

Of course, part of my problem is that although I nominally only have 3 grad students, I am working with 2 more on an independent study, an undergrad on an extended summer internship, and a post-doc. Which is a great deal in some ways, since out of those, I'm only paying for the undergrad, but it's also a time management challenge.




Today we went to "Puppy Kindergarten" orientation. This time we were supposed to come without Soba but next Thursday she's coming with us. At the end, people asked questions about their puppies and it's nice to see that many of the same problems that we have (right now biting is a big one) are things that others deal with. And actually, hearing others reminded us that, as frustrating and slow as this training experience may seem, we've come a long way in two and a half weeks. For example, we've actually had two dry days in a row!
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busy weekend

Well, once again, this weekend didn't turn out as planned. We were supposed to meet molybdenum42 in Champaign airport, drive to Chicago, and spend a couple of days there. Instead, we went to Indiana and... got a puppy!

Rewinding for a bit, we decided that we might have committed to the first breeder too quickly. The more reseach we were doing, the more it felt like she was less knowledgeable about breeding, less responsible in raising the dogs, and less than direct in answering our questions. So we decided that we should check our more breeders and leave open the possibility of losing our deposit.

Friday night we left work early and went to see a breeder in Indiana. This guy was immediately more to our liking. He was clearly a knowledgeable and responsible breeder, but he also really cared about his dogs. Of course, all breeders care about dogs, but we could kind of tell that while some breeders place a priority on raising champion dogs, he really wanted his dogs to end up in happy families.

Soba with Lenore!We met the puppy and spent a long time talking to him. At some point it was getting late and he started suggesting that we need to decide soon, but we (or rather, I) were still being indecisive. We liked the puppy, but I was worried that she didn't respond to us right away. Once picked up, she was quite tolerant of us, and eventually she even played with us, but she seemed to treat us as just being there, rather than excited by the new people (like her littermates).

But eventually, just as he was getting ready to kick us out, we decided to take her home. She's almost 12 weeks old, so she was all ready to go home. In addition to liking the breeder, we decided that having a 12-week old puppy is just enough easier compared to a 7- or 8-week old one that it's worth for us to miss 4 weeks of puppy cuteness in order to make things more manageable.

She was a little nervous on the car ride back, but settled quickly and did really well. We decided to keep her in our bed for the first night to ease her transition; I think it helped but it meant that we got almost no sleep. She woke up around 6 and started being restless; I finally got up and took her out just before 7. Then started the whole process of feeding her, playing with her, teaching her to go outside rather than indoors, cleaning up messes. Puppies sure have a lot of energy! When things finally settled down and we had time for a coffee break, we sat down in the kitchen with a long sigh, feeling like we've had a long and full morning, and realized it wasn't even 9 yet!

We spent the rest of the day taking care of little Soba (we decided on that name kind of randomly — it came to mind and sounded cute, and it's easy to say), with one of us running errands while the other stayed with her. At one point fanlain was shopping and Soba and I were having a nap, when I got a call from molybdenum42 telling me that she got delayed in customs, missed her connection, and the closest she could maek it that night was Indianapolis. So it was back to Indiana for me, to come pick her up, while fanlain stayed home with Soba and made dinner.

Last night was probably the hardest, since we were training her to stay in her crate overnight, and she of course made the saddest puppy dog noises, but together, the three of us were strong and she eventually settled down. Today we're goign to see how she takes to us being gone for a couple of hours. We're still a little overwhelmed with all of the puppy activities, but it's starting to finally seem like we can handle it. And when she curls up on top of your feet, it makes it all worthwhile!

We realized after a bit that whatever concerns we had about her independence were misplaced because now she pays attention to us, licks our faces at every opportunity, and never stays further than a couple of feet from one of us. When molybdenum42 finally made it here, she greeted her enthusiastically and took to her just as quickly as she took to us. (The breeder told us that labs have no loyalty, I guess he was right!) I think she's fast becoming comfortable with us and her new home. I hope she'll be happy here.