Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Winston's training part 2 plus vet news - sorry no pictures!

Winston is continuing his social training at K9 by going to daycare once a week for 10 days. We decided to go this route because he'll get ALL DAY with other dogs once a week instead of just an hour at K9's weekly social group. Also because working two jobs has me exhausted and very busy trying to fit in the rest of my life in a week, I need those Saturday mornings! The way we chose actually does cost us money when the social group wouldn't, but it's worth it.
We were doing all this for our annual dog vaca in July, but in the end we decided to leave Winston home. I'm unsure of the hiking area so that means he can't come hiking and leaving him locked up in the cabin while we're out doesn't sound very nice. My brother in law will be watching him instead.

Anyway, when I went to pick Winston up from daycare a couple weeks ago I noticed that John had put a regular harness on Winston and not his Easy Walk. The poor girl was being dragged out of the room and I apologized.
Getting Winston into the car wasn't easy either. He'd try to go in himself, but them back out and if I tried to help him he'd freak. I wanted him in the car as quick as possible in case any dogs came in or out so I finally had to crawl into my backseat and tug on his leash. He got in, but then I had to maneuver around his giant body to get out again. I'm sure I looked ridiculous.

Once home is when the real adventure started, I'm sure years from now I'll look back and laugh, but I still don't find this remotely funny.
I have to let Winston out opposite whatever side I put him in on because he can't turn around in my small Taurus. This meant that he got let out on the driver's side facing my neighbor's house. After he got out I was facing my backyard, holding his leash with my left hand and going to lock to door with my right when all of a sudden I was somehow on my side being dragged through my neighbor's front yard. My shoes, purse and lunch were strewn behind me like some one's dirty laundry and my heart was racing. I don't think I have been more scared in my life! I had no idea what Winston was chasing and in such shock that I couldn't just let go. I really was only dragged a couple feet and once I was able to grab onto his harness he stopped moving, but he was still barking and going crazy. I was able to lift my head up enough from my weird, contoured position to see that it was the neighbor's damn cat that had put Winston into this frenzy. And that damn cat wasn't moving, which I don't know if that was a good thing or bad thing.

So I laid in the grass trying to think of my next step. Do I lay here until John gets home hoping that it's soon and Winston won't move, do I hope that one of my neighbors take pity on me and save me or do I actually try to get him inside.
I decided on the latter because if I didn't I probably would have turned into a blubbering, sobbing idiot once the adrenaline wore off.
One problem with my plan was Winston. He was still freaking out about the cat and every time I tried to stand up Winston would go forward a few steps again throwing me off my balance. I was hitting his back legs and yelling his name to get him to focus on me, but nothing was working. I finally grabbed a hunk of fur and twisted while I stood and was able to haul him inside by his harness and that hunk of fur. Most of the journey inside is a blur, but I do remember coming back out to pick up all my things and going through the early motions of an asthma attack.

After I got Winston's harness off and him outside I looked down at my pants. My white, not cheap pants. I think there were more green than white then and I was furious. I sat down in a kitchen chair and glared at the door waiting for John to get home so I could pounce.
The first words out of my mouth once John took in my appearance with wide eyes were, "You put on the wrong harness." Probably not my best choice, but I think I was in the right. This started an argument that resulted in us not talking for four hours unless you count my angry mutterings under my breath.

Of course this whole fiasco has made me really nervous to walk Winston or to pick him up from daycare. He out weighs me by at least 50 pounds and has never pulled me off my feet before. So I kept repeating to John to put the correct harness on him when daycare came around again and I had the trip from the car to the house planned out in my head.
It actually went swimmingly after I put the harness on the correct way when I picked Winston up. I still had to crawl into my backseat, but I put Winston in on the driver's side so he'd be facing the house when we got home. I think left him in the car while I unlocked the house, disarmed our security system and set down my items. I then made sure there were no distractions around, calmly walked to my car and with authority walked Winston inside. There was no dragging, cursing and hitting involved. It was peaceful.
Winston has now gone to three day care sessions and they say he’s doing really well and getting back into the swing of things.

Winston had a check up on his ears last Tuesday and to be honest no one was looking forward to it, even the vet and his wife/assistant said they had to talk themselves into it.
When they walked into the door Winston remembered them and didn’t want a thing to do with them so he took off through the kitchen and down the stairs. After I retrieved Winston he still gave the vet some distance so we pretended like they were just here to visit and the wife won him over with neck scratches.
Treatment was so easy this time that it was shocking. I still muzzled Winston just in case and John and the vet’s wife held him down, but there was no need. Winston just laid there while I stroked his nose. When the treatment was done the wife, who had her head buried in Winston’s side, asked if we had started yet because he didn’t react at all. It was such a sigh of relief.

He did ask if the Pentosan shots were helping and after I told him about Winston dragging me he laughed and said, “Looks like they are….but is that good or bad?”
Winston is like a completely different dog with these shots!!! His energy is sometimes a little too much for us and the other dogs, but I’m sure it’s something we’ll get use to over time.

So there's another Winston update, I hope things will calm down on his end for a little while and stop making me spend so much money on him so no updates on him is great news!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Iron tote

Taking my hot iron home from class hasn't been easy. I'd either have to drive one handed so I could  hold the iron up with the other or strategically place it in my car and hope it didn't fall over (it always fell over). It just wasn't working out. When I was taking my class at Floyd and Lizzie's they showed a pattern for an iron caddy, but that was months ago and they no longer carry the pattern. After searching online I found it again, but I didn't want to pay $20 plus shipping for it so I decided to wing it.

The pattern cover said how big it folded out to so I knew how much fabric to buy so that wasn't a challenge and once someone at Joann's directed me to the heat resistant iron fabric I was good to go.
 I cut a rectangle out of the iron fabric, batting and regular fabric and 45 degreed the corners off. I then basted them together and used pictures of the completed tote to figure out where the quilted seams went.
I changed my design up a little and added a loop of elastic for the cord so that it didn't have to sit next to the hot iron plate. 
A fat quarter of fabric was enough to do the binding and make the handles and I used a decorative stitch off my new sewing machine to attach it. I did have to remove my elastic loops and buttons because I put them on the wrong side, but other than that this project went together very smooth. It turned out so cute and I'm very pleased with it.

Now I'll be safer on the road and that's a blessing for everyone.

I have enough heat resistant fabric left over to make a case for my straighter and curling iron so that's what I'll be doing next.