Things are way better now!

I’m following Susan Garrett’s Ruff Love puppy protocol for Esme and I can see it’s already making a difference. Essentially, Esme is not allowed to be loose in the house (or any where for that matter) unless I am right there to supervise her.  That prevents her from getting into trouble and from self-reinforcing in her environment.  Susan Garrett discusses this concept in her post entitled You Only Get Once Chance to Make a First Impression.  Basically if you let the puppy run around on his own (off leash) even if you have a fenced in yard, the puppy is learning to have independence from you.  Of course, some independence is necessary in stock dog training, but even if the dog is off 300-400 yards fetching stock, he still needs to listen to your directions.

Fern is showing me that she needs to be better monitored as well.  I remember Midge did what Fern is doing now right after her puppies weaned: wandering.  Maybe she feels the need to explore her surroundings after being essentially tied to a puppy, but it’s irritating for me to have to call and call for her to return.  So, unless I’m out there to keep an eye on her, Fern will be properly restrained.  When we are up at Red’s (a/k/a the Christmas Tree Farm), Fern’s favorite thing to do up there is hunt kittens.  That’s reinforcing for her.  As soon as we get up there, she’s off prowling the barns looking for them.  When I realize she’s disappeared, I call her and often it takes more than one call to get her to come back.  That’s irritating to me.  I get pissed, the dogs know I’m pissed and our relationships take a further plunge downwards.

Esme slept by herself in a crate near my bed for the first time last night.  She woke me up around 1:30.  Otherwise, she slept all night.  She now has her own crate in the living room where she stays when I’m not there to watch her.

I worked yesterday and it was a good thing to be out.  Isolation is not my friend.  I really enjoy the people I work with.  They are all, for the most part, extremely friendly and helpful.  I mistakenly was operating on next week’s schedule this week.  Did I ever feel like an idiot when I went into work a bit early in order to write down my schedule.  I wrote all the dates down, beginning with December 9.  Hmmmm, I thought to myself, what is today’s date?  Duh!  Yesterday was the 2nd!  As it turned out, they hadn’t given me my third week’s schedule yet!  Luckily, I was scheduled to work that day so I didn’t come in for nothing.  I work Thursday and Friday and then am off until next Tuesday.

The best thing that happened since I last wrote is that I talked to Wally.  The rift in our friendship has been upsetting me to no end.  As it turns out, the reason that I thought Wally changed his agreement with me regarding Cian wasn’t the real reason.  We talked for quite a while this morning and I think everything has been straightened out.  Wally is one of my best friends in the world and to loose that friendship would have been a tragedy.

I’m heading out to look at a goat.  A woman that I know is going to switch breeds and has a few LaMancha goats who are still in milk that she’s interested in selling for very reasonable prices.  I’ve become a cheese-making-maniac.  My third batch is draining right now.  I plan to make up some small packages of cheese to offer for sale on Saturday.  Give the types of vehicles that most of these people drive up in (meaning expensive) I feel sure I could sell some of it.  If not, I can always use it to barter.  On Monday I bartered a small ball of cheese for a bag of chicken hearts.