Tag Archives: Caucasian Shepherd

Hello Friends!

Sorry I’ve been kinda absent this last week. The death of a really good friend from back in high school caught everyone off guard on Monday, and if people’s Facebook statuses/messages/phone calls have been any indication, it would appear that our whole little private school/Lutheran church community from back then is taking it pretty hard. But how could you not? I mean, it hurts me to know that he was hurting enough to take is own life, so I can’t imagine how his family and friends he was still really close with feel. And obviously it’s always hard when you lose a friend or a loved one, no matter what the cause, but it seems like suicide leaves a whole hell of a lot of “what if” questions just hanging out there. At this point dwelling on those “what if’s” doesn’t do anyone any good, but it’s kind of hard not to. I’ve been thinking a lot about them, his ex girl friend from back in high school (whom I’m still friends with) has been really thinking about them as well. We talked for a while on Tuesday about it and both of us were basically at a loss as to what to say. But I’m sure his family is probably thinking even more about the “what if’s”

Oh man, it’s just rough. I mean, life in general kinda is but it’s always worse when you lose someone you care about.

So I guess I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that depression and mental health in general is something that definitely needs to be talked about more so that maybe one day we’ll be able to get rid of some of the stigma around it. In our culture and society it can be really hard to talk about this kind of stuff and reach out to other people when you need help, especially for men I think. So lets get a conversation started about this! Talk to the people you love and care about. Tell them how awesome they are and how much they mean to you. Let them know that you’re always there for them. And I’m sure that wont helpΒ every singleΒ situation. But who knows, you might just help someone who needed it the most and you would have never known about it otherwise.

And on that note, please please please never hesitate to reach out to someone. I don’t suffer from depression but I still know and understand how hard it can be to ask for help. If I’ve learned anything from my friend’s death it’s that people care. The outpouring of condolences, love, support, and acts kindness I witnessed his family receive is just incredible. Hell, I even received some of that love and support because people knew we had been close back in the day. People really do care. So if you ever need help or just need to talk, reach out to your family, friends, coworkers, running buddy, teacher, priest/pastor/rabbi, your “internet friends”,Β  or even just the s prevention hotline, whoever. People care. You are not alone.

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Oh man, that’s some heavy stuff. Lets take a second to look at some cute puppy pictures for a second. Cute puppy pictures always make me feel a little better. πŸ˜‰

You know what, lets do some other cute animal pictures too. Why not? πŸ™‚

Hopefully that brought everyone back up a little bit. At the very least I managed to cheer myself up a bit, so at least there’s that. πŸ™‚

I suppose that’s all I really wanted to say for today. That and that I’ll be back to my usual blogging shenanigans; talking about my life, pets, running, just how badly I”m freaking out about my 3rd half marathon next month, how I feel about missing what should have been my first “official” 10k that took place yesterday, and all sorts of other randomness that hopefully you’ve all come to know and love. πŸ˜‰ I also desperately need to get caught up with all of the blogs and people I follow! I’ve been pretty terrible about that lately…

But anyways, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, are enjoying racing season and whatever training/racing that’s in your immediate future. πŸ™‚

Remember that people care. I care. You are not alone.

~Ashley

 

 

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Just Call Me Ashley, Dog Catcher Extrodinare

Saving the world one loose dog at a time! πŸ˜‰

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This is most definitely my super hero pose.

I guess it’s officially that time of year again; the sun is shining, the air is warm, all of the warm weather runner and cyclists are coming out of hibernation, kids are flooding the city parks, and people are out in droves walking their dogs. And I guess a lot of those dogs are super excited to be out and about, because it seems to me like this is the time of year when I see a bunch of dogs running loose while their owners desperately run after said loose dogs, holding their leashes, and calling the dogs name to no avail.

That was exactly the situation I witnessed this morning while on my run. A lady’s dog had gotten loose and was running through the street and she was chasing after her, trying to catch her. So once I got close enough, I stopped running, started acting super excited, and called the dog to me. She saw me get super excited, so she got super excited too and came running right at me. So I was able to grab her and hang onto her, while her owner walked over and put the dogs collar back on her. The lady thanked me and told me that they were going to the dog park and the dog had slipped right out of her collar and bolted. I told her it was no problem, and asked if she had just gotten a little too excited about going to the park. The lady said she guessed so, thanked me again, and managed to get the dog safely into her car. Crisis averted. πŸ˜‰

So most every time I see situations like this unfolding I try to stop and help. Mostly because I feel really bad for the person chasing after the dog. Seeing your beloved pet running around on the street and in some situations seeing them almost get hurt is super stressful. Plus, I grew up working in a kennel, so I know how to catch a dog that’s a little too excited and running amok. So anyone wanna hear Ashley’s tips for catching a loose dog? Because here they are;

The first mistake people make when their dogs bolt is running after them. I guess it’s kind of instinctual for people to try to run after their dogs when they get away from them, but that’s actually the worst thing you can do. When you chase after your dog that just gets them excited and turns into a fun game for them. Think about it this way, most dogsΒ loveΒ a good game of chase. Whether it be chasing a tennis ball, squirrel, car, other dog, or a person, most dogs have an absolute blast chasing things. So what could be more fun than chasing something? Well being chased of course!

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Thank you for the photo Jessica!Β 

So if your dog takes off on you DO NOT try to run after him! Instead, stand in one place and call him. Also, offering treats, toys, or to go bye bye in the car never hurts. Sometimes sitting or laying down on the ground works too. Some dogs will be really confused about this strange behavior and come right to you to investigate. And if that doesn’t work, try running in the opposite direction. Seriously! I know that can seem counter intuitive, but remember how we just talked about how much fun a good game of chase is? Most dogs will start running after you and then usually once they “catch” you, you can get a hold of them. I swear, this works like 98% of the time. (That’s just a random number I pulled out of thin air, I don’t actually know the percentage of how often this works, but it’s always worked for me).

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The second mistake people tend to make us getting frustrated or angry. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why! Seeing your dog running around somewhere that can be potentially unsafe and then not listening to you can be scary and really frustrating, but you need to do your best to remain upbeat and happy. In a situation like this, your dog probably isn’t going to want to come to you if you seem angry, or they think that they’re in trouble. Instead, act super excited and happy, and in your most obnoxious, high pitched baby voice (for some reason that seems to work really well), call the dog to you, ask if they want a treat, to go for a ride in the car, whatever gets them super excited, and they’ll usually come running.

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If all else fails, actually go get a treat, or their favorite toy, or if you’re still near your car, open the door. I’ve seen that method work really well for some people. When the dog sees the car door open they come running and jump right inside.

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So honestly that’s pretty much all there is too it. I’ve used these methods a countless number of times and they’ve never failed me before. πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: I am not a dog trainer/any kind of animal expert. I just have a plethora of experience handling/training/working with dogs.

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Do you have any tips to add? If you do I’d love to hear them!!

The Adventures of Dog Sitting: Day 6

My parents came back from Colorado today! Thank goodness!! Niko is starting to get super testy, and to be quite honest with you, I’m tired of his attitude and can’t wait for him to leave…

On Wednesday (I think) he started a fight with Dean, nothing too bad, but still no good. Then yesterday he went after Lily and this time it was pretty bad. It all happened really fast, so I’m a little bit foggy on the details. I was handing out dog treats, which has been 100% fine every other day. But yesterday Niko decided that he wanted Lily’s treat too, so he freaking attacked her! Now, keep in mind that Lily is a 35 pound border collie. She’s bred to be fast and smart, not a fighter. Niko, on the other hand, weighs 90 pounds at 8 months old and his breed is bred to kill bears, among other things.

Lily’s tough though, she held her ground and fought back long enough for me to kick Niko off of her, pull him away (which put me in danger of being bit), then I smacked him on the face and rolled him on his back to force him to submit to me, as I was instructed by my dad if he ever started growling at me or Luke. In those few moments that it took me to get him to submit, he transformed from angry killing machine to pathetic puppy. He started whining and crying and you would have sworn I was beating him or something. I threw him outside because I didn’t want to attempt to wrestle him to the crate but I needed to get him away from the other dogs to check on Lily.

Luckily she’s not hurt too bad. Especially for Niko. If he would have severely hurt, or killed her, I would have killed him. I’m not kidding. Lily is my baby. Anyway, she has a small, but deep puncture wound on her leg. Deep enough to see the muscle underneath, but not big enough to need stitches (vets don’t usually stitch dog/cat bites anyway). Lily trusts me and listens well enough that I was able to make her hold still while I cut her hair around the wound, cleaned it, then put antibiotic ointment on it. She’s still kinda limping around today, but other than that she’s fine.

Like I said before, Lily’s tough. She’s a farm dog, bred, born, and raised, so she ought to be haha. She’s been hit by a car and suffered worse wounds and a broken hip from that, and has been trampled by a herd of stampeding cows and got right back up and kept herding. She may only weigh 35 pounds, but it’s 35 pounds of pure muscle and grit.

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Unfortunately for Niko, Lily holds grudges. You cross her once and she’ll never forget it (just ask my brother-in-laws dog Odin, she basically kicked them out of the pack). So every time he gets near her she starts growling, so he starts growling, and you can just feel the tension…So as you can imagine, today has been fun for me. Refereeing dogs and what not. I’m so glad my mom and dad are here to get him under control and that he’s leaving tomorrow. And I’ve made it very clear that he’s not staying here again. He’s been behaving up until yesterday, but it only takes one time for something really bad and irrevocable to happen.

Anyway, Niko was super excited to see them. After we ate dinner we walked around the neighborhood. Haha we even got my mom playing Pokemon go. 😊 Aaaand my dad was catching them with his bare hands.

So we’ve had fun so far tonight! I think we’re going to play a board game now!

Peace out! ✌🏻️

~Ashley

The Adventures of Dog Sitting: Day 4

Niko woke up at 4:30 this morning. Awesome…If I had the proper equipment I probably would have gone for a run, but I don’t. I’m totally lacking in reflective gear and any sort of lights. 

So instead I let Niko outside for a while and then we both went back to bed haha. 

That actually ended up working really well for me! I started my run around 8:15ish, which is crazy late for me in the summer! I decided to do 3 miles of hills. Probably not the best idea (or maybe it was!) since my legs are CRAZY sore from yesterday’s workout. 

I made the mistake of running past the house a few times. I left Niko and Dean in the backyard and every time I did Niko was just crying by the fence. I think he has separation anxiety…

But anyway, I actually ended up negative splitting this run! Which is crazy considering it was hot, hilly, and I was sore, but I’m super proud of myself! πŸ˜„

I didn’t get to take the dogs on their morning walks. We had some thunderstorms roll in and it ended up raining for a while. Plus Lily is terrified of thunder, so…

Everyone’s been getting along though. I think Niko and Dean have actually become friends!! Haha at 8 months old Niko already makes Dean look itty bitty. 

Anyway, after Luke got home and ate dinner we went on another Pokemon adventure. And of course we brought Niko. I mean, we want him to sleep tonight. πŸ˜‰

We walked around for about an hour and a half and I took over two gyms!!! I lost the first one right away, but as of right now I’m still in the second one. 😬😬😬


So I had a great day, and I hope you did too. 

~ Ashley 

The Adventures of Dog Sitting: Day 1

My mom, dad, and sister left at 2 o’clock this morning, so Luke, the dogs, and I didn’t get to sleep until around 2:40. 

We were kinda worried how my parents’ dog, Niko, would react, as they’ve never left him anywhere before. Luckily he didn’t whiny or cry or anything like that, he just went to sleep, which was awesome! 

What wasn’t awesome, was being woken up at 5:18 in the morning by an 8 month old, 90 pound, Caucasian Shepherd, who crawled into bed and wanted to play.πŸ˜‘

Well I’m not about that life. I get that he’s still a baby and that he’s going through a rebellious phase (most dogs do), but we aren’t going to play that early in the morning, just because he wants to. Especially after getting hardly any sleep.

So I put his fluffy ass to work. Which in this case means that I made him do his tricks, took him for a short walk where I called the shots, not him (although he really freaking tried), then made him sit and wait at the door before we went inside. 

I guess it was a successful walk/training session, as he ate his treat then promptly passed out on the floor. 

Unfortunately for me, once I’m up, I’m freaking up, and usually can’t fall back asleep. So I made a pisston of coffee and some eggs and toast, and then set to work cleaning the kitchen. Good times…

(I just want to take a second to thank my sister for starting me up on the word “piss” again. I don’t know what it as about that word but she says it all the time, in pretty much every variation possible, and for some reason it’s super contagious). 

Luke, that lucky asshole, slept until 8:30. By then Niko and I had played more tug of war than I’d ever wanted to play in my whole life, went on two short walks, and I was covered head to toe in dog slobber. 

Once Luke got up we had to run a few errands, but after that we finally got to take the monsters to the dog park! We were a bit apprehensive about brining Niko along, but he actually behaved himself quite well and they all managed to wear themselves out. πŸ˜„

After our dog park trip we dropped Lily and Niko off at home and headed to Home Depot to pick up a few things. Dean is very popular at our local Home Depot so he always enjoys going with us.

Once we got home I showered because I was covered in even more dog drool, and then made a s’more on the pizzazz which was pretty exciting! Then I napped for a couple of hours. Hahaha remember I only got 2 hours and 40 minutes of sleep last night. πŸ˜‰ Then Luke and I played Pokemon for a while. 

Then at 8 pm we decided to wear Niko out by taking him for a long ass walk, because we want him to actually sleep tonight.

 We spent an hour walking around the neighborhood looking for Pokemon. We got stopped by quite a few people asking about Niko and we ran into a shit ton of people also looking for Pokemon. Haha we kept running into this one group of people and we ended up helping each other out a few times. πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

I’d say today actually went really well, all things considered. I’m REALLY hoping Niko is quite and sleeps all night. I plan on getting up early to run tomorrow and I don’t want to do that on only a few hours of sleep. That’s never fun…

Good night (or morning, or afternoon, depending on when you’re reading this)! 😊

~ Ashley