Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Dog Park and 'Mark'

Bryce and I took Bigby to Cosmo dog park today. Cosmo dog park is my favorite dog park because it has the man made lake and my dog loves to retrieve in the water. 

Today's trip was quite annoying. Another reason I love Cosmo dog park is because generally the people there are chill. In my opinion the dog park is the place for a dog to be an all out dog. They're off leash, they're aloud to run as much as they want, they can get wet and get their ball as many times as they want. They are also allowed to be rambunctious and and play with other dogs. 

Bigby sleeping on the laundry. He does this every time I do laundry.

I don't know about your dog but for my dog, normal dog play consists of the following
  • running after (chasing) and being chased by other dogs
  • running side by side with several dogs
  • putting his front paws up on other dog and letting other dogs putt their paws on him
  • the occasional wrestle where Bigby is on his back or Bigby has another dog on their back
  • and the jowl and ear grabbing. 
  • Also the occasional play growling. Which, by the way, my dog is a hypocrite about. He will think it's fine to play growl and be vocal sometimes but if another play growl or get vocal his tail goes between his legs and he shrinks in fear. 
Bigby has always played this way and is generally very submissive. Today at the dog park it seemed like no one wanted there dog to play with other dogs. Now Bigby is a retriever and he spends 80% of his time at the dog park retrieving his ball from the water but he also really likes to play with the other dogs. And today no people wanted their dogs to play. Just run and retrieve. It was obnoxious. If my dog started to tease their dog into play they'd get on my dog to come back to me or leave their dog alone. I'm sorry but if you don't want your dog to interact with other dogs then the dog park is the wrong place to be.

Now my Bigby is bulky for a lab. (see below)

Today it seemed that the other dog owners at the dog park interpreted my dogs bulkiness to be meanness. My dog is not mean. He's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever owned. Even with my tiny 4 pound chihuahua, Fergie. Yes he'll use his mouth when he plays. Today however he didn't and the other owners were still snipity. So I came home and googled, 'normal dog play behavior', because I've always been told that sensitive inhibited play bites are normal. Especially around the jowls and ears. So, the first thing that popped up in my google search was THIS. Notice the, "Plays the “bite-each-other's mouth” game.- This is normal play behavior., this is what I mean by jowls. See, other dog owners, it is normal play behavior. Today, when a dog started doing it to my dog it was okay but when Bigby started to play back and respond, it wasn't okay. 

Worn out after the dog park.
It was just frustrating. I suppose my purpose of this post is to say, if you are going to go to the dog park, RELAX. Your dog does, so should you. Don't go to the dog park if you don't want any other dogs around your dog.  Not aggression but mouthing with gentle teething of other dogs is normal dog play behavior. Especially around the mouth. 

Bigby retrieving his ball. 
One funny thing did happen while we were bathing Bigby at the cleaning station before exiting the dog park. I'll start by telling you that when I was teaching my dog to retrieve I also taught him to 'mark' what I wanted him to retrieve for me. I say 'mark' and he stops what he's doing, tuns back to look at me and focuses on what's in my hand so he knows what to bring back to me. This way if there's a green ball, a red ball and a blue ball, and I throw the red ball, he knows to bring me back the red ball. Or if there's several toys on the floor and I throw his squeaky rope, he knows to bring me back his squeaky rope as apposed to just any toy on the floor. I take a special orange ball at to the dog park. A ball that he can squeeze in his mouth without breaking, so I make him 'mark' it before I throw it. It just so happens that the word, 'mark', will always get Bigby's attention. If he's all the way on the other side of the dog park and I want his attention I yell, 'mark' and he automatically looks to me. So, today I'm bathing Bigby and this guy stops and says, "hey, what's your dogs name?", "Bigby", I say. He frowns and says, "oh, there was this big male yellow lab over there that I swear they were calling Mark and I thought it was your dog.". I laugh and say that my dog but his name isn't Mark. The man looks confused and I explain that 'mark' is a command I give my dog to make him look and see what I want him to retrieve. The man started laughing and say, "my name is Mark and I've never met a dog named Mark before. I thought it was a first, but that makes way more sense. Who ever heard of a dog named Mark?" and walked away laughing. It made the trip to the dog park much better. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I am the youngest of 11 children. 7 of us are girls, 4 are boys. I have 40 nieces and nephews on my side. 23 are girls, 17 are boys. I have 1 nephew on my husbands side. My family is girl heavy. All my nieces and nephews are special but lately the boys have made laugh. I love them. I remember something specific about all of them. (dear sisters, if you son isn't pictured or mentioned, it's not on purpose.)

Mitchell with 3 or his sisters. 

Chandler, He's the oldest. All the others look up to him. He rocks. However, he was by far the most obnoxious toddler to babysit. His catch phrase was, "your not the boss of me".

Booker and Ike


Booker. Booker's my buddy. No, seriously, I say, "Booker, who's my buddy?" and he says, "I am".
This is Jarem and Trigg. Their older brother was babysitting them soviet russian style. These 2 are super smart. Too smart sometimes. Love Trigg. He used to sing the 'scary song'. By which he was referring to the Phantom of the Opera song. LOVE

Trigg, he also squints his left eye just like I do. 

Tate, the one who duck taped Jarem and trigg in the previous picture. 

They are constantly being pressured into letting the girls do something. They're good sports. I think they might even like the attention. But Shhh. 

This is Asher is his Halloween costume. Isn't he adorable! He's Clark and Margarets youngest. She has some awesome videos of him laughing on her blog.

 This is my first nephew on Bryce's side. Jace Carter Christiansen. He's adorable. And so far, nice and snuggly. 

And this is my twin sisters latest and greatest. Everett. That's his big sister Lexi holding him. It's a funny picture.

Everett again. Isn't he super cute. I need to make some memories with this one.

I have some really funny quotes I remember from my nephews. I think my all time favorite quotes are from Kevin. My sister Joys second boy. He had such a fabulous speech impediment. He grew out of it though. 

They're all taller then me by the time they're 12. Then they aren't as funny. But I love them. Chandler is the oldest out of all my nieces and nephews. I respect him. He's a good kid. I should say man. He's a man now. That's weird. I hope they always know they can count on me. I hope they always know they can call me in the middle of the night and I will listen. I hope they know if they don't want their mom to drive them somewhere, or can't. I will. They make me laugh. I hope they never stop trying to make me laugh. I love them. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bigby jumping off the dock. Finally.

Bigby hasn't been to the dog park since his surgery which was about 16 days ago. So, we decided to go today. He is a fabulous retriever in the water but I have never been able to get him to jump off the dock. Until today. I knew once he did it he'd love it. I took pork today to bribe him. Sure enough, once he did it, he kept getting back on the dock and waited for me to throw his ball. I think he'll get better the more does it.

I was so proud. Sorry the videos are sideways. I couldn't figure out how to turn them.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


This is not a word most people would use to describe me. I understand it and yet am still a little bothered by it. Not bothered by the fact that people consider me to be a negative and down person but that my attitude and activity aren't considered positive in my situation. Or that it is the only thing that people notice about me. 

Should situation be considered when deciding if one has a positive attitude? Probably not. I have a friend who, almost every time I talk to her, reminds me that people are generalized not individualized. I also understand this point. If I'm being honest that fact probably does bother me but I try not to let it. I am very rarely included in a generalized statement or group of people. 

Lyrics from Les Miserables, "there are dreams that cannot be, and there are storms we cannot weather". How true are these lyrics? Not very. Yes there is a, however, coming. I recently read another blog post about these lyrics. It was a very positive blog post. What everyone wants right? It was all, Every dream can be accomplished, always have hope. Things always get better. Very positive. In my opinion also very unrealistic. 

What does positive mean to you? This is the dictionary definition. 

positive  (ˈpɒzɪtɪv) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— adj
characterized by or expressing certainty or affirmation: apositive answer
composed of or possessing actual or specific qualities; real: apositive benefit
tending to emphasize what is good or laudable; constructive:he takes a very positive attitude when correcting pupils'mistakes
tending towards progress or improvement; moving in abeneficial direction

a. constructive rather than sceptical

b. (of a concept) denoting the presence rather than theabsence of some property

How important is it to you that someone be positive? Important enough that you'd like them to put a smile on all the time even if they're dying a little inside? Important to degrade and judge them for not pretending everything is fantastic or for not looking on the bright side? Most of you will read those last 2 questions and respond with a resounding, NO, of course not, in your head. However, I guarantee, you've made someone feel like it is that important to you at least once.
  [poz-i-tiv-i-tee]  Show IPA
noun, plural -ties.
the state or character of being positive a positivity thataccepts the world as it is.
something positive.

Although I may not be positive, I find I am a lot of the synonyms for the word positive.

Part of Speech:
definite, certain
absoluteactualaffirmativeassured,categorical, clearclear-cut, cocksure, cold*,completeconclusiveconcreteconfident,consummateconvinceddecideddecisive,directdownright, explicitexpressfactualfirm,forcefulforcible, genuinehardinarguable,incontestable, incontrovertibleindisputable,indubitableirrefutableout-and-out, outright,perfectrankrealspecificsurethorough,thoroughgoing, unambiguousundeniable,unequivocalunmistakable, unmitigated

Back to the Lyrics being unrealistic. There are some dreams that cannot be. For example, I will never give birth to a baby of my own flesh and blood. But that does not mean I won't be a mother. Storms can be weathered and things do get better. This does not mean good. You can survive stage 4 cancer but still continue doing rounds of chemo for the rest of your life. Shall we say, "yay chemo!!". Yes, because if you say, "gosh, I can't stand the nausea and exhaustion and all the chemo crap.", then you are a horrible person and no one wants to talk to you. Now your thinking, yes chemo is horrible but rather then think about that think about the fact that you get to wake up in the morning. You get to see your family. There are a lot of things I'm good at. This is not one of them. My brain automatically goes to, thousands of dollars of medical debt. Waking up to nausea and vomiting, not being able to do anything with family and friends because of medical debt and nausea and vomiting.

  1. Dear Facebook users, if you didn't already know this, facebook is not a sight for personality or your feelings. Unless they're positive feelings, of course. It is strictly a sight for happy goodness. If you post anything else expect criticism, and people telling you that you need to be a better person.I know a woman who is going through really rough time right now. I will not give details but trust me, it would be detrimental to most and crippling to some.  Most of the time this woman starts the day with posts like, "it's a new day and I'm ready to face it". Today however, she woke up to a dead car battery already running late to get her children to school after a sleepless night with a sleepless baby. She expressed a bit of frustration with regard to the way the day started. Which in my opinion is totally reasonable. This is one of the responses she got.

    One time I heard this awesome story and I don't remember very much of it at all, but I remember that there was this super happy guy and someone asked him how he stayed so happy all the time and he said something like, "Every morning I wake up and I look out my bedroom window. Rain or shine, I say to myself 'this is exactly the kind of day I was hoping for.'" Hope your day gets happier!

I know this makes me an even worse person but responses like this irritate the Heck out of me. My response is, "what can I do to make things easier for you?" Not, "freaking get over it and choose to be happy, no matter the situation." Now I know that may not be what the responder meant but that's what it sounds like a lot of the time. My response to that response was, "please, no one hopes for a dead car battery and a sleepless night. If you say you do then you're lying. Lying is just wrong. Way worse then a frown every now and then." I probably shouldn't have said anything. 


I find more and more often that the things I'd like to say are the wrong things to say. This whole post is probably the wrong thing. Definitely not what you wanted to read today right. I also have a hard time just keeping things in my head to, though. 

For those of you that know me. 
Do you think I'm a positive person?
Does that bother you? Be honest.
Have you ever felt like I have judged you? I don't mean, have I ever responded negatively to your actions, I mean judged you?
Do you feel like there is anything I wouldn't do for you if you asked? 
Do you feel that I have ever not listened to your point of view?
Do you feel like I'd ever bad mouth you behind your back, or do you know that I'd bring anything to you first?
On my sickest day do you think you could count on me?
Is there anything you don't think you could come to me with?
Do you think, I am a good person?
Out of all these things, what's more important to you? 
( Questions are rhetorical and do not need to be answered out loud. )