Friday, April 30, 2010

It's been too long!

Sorry for the delay (I say this as though people read my blog,) I've been busy attempting to graduate. I think everything is in order there so now I can get back to things I actually enjoy, like talking about my dog.
As Abby has gotten older she's developed a unexplainable dislike for some people. There doesn't seem to be any real connection between the people, other than that big people scare her and men more than women but it isn't consistent. I've read numerous articles and I can't seem to find anything that really helps her so I've taken to what I call the "full-immersion" technique. In other words, if she's afraid of one of my friends, I pick her up and have them pet her. That generally seems to help, that or giving the stranger a treat to give to her. Ben and I would also like to get her started in some agility training but it's a little bit costly so I'm not positive when that will happen...
I still feel like a failed parent though. I worked really hard to try to make sure she was socialized and while I succeeded with dogs (other than big and loud ones) I seem to have forgotten about people. I'm still holding on to hope that as she gets older she'll grow out of it.
Other than developing a fear of strangers, Abby has been lots of places this month and has even had "an extended slumber party" with Dixie. In other words, her parents dropped her off and Ben and I shuttled her back and forth between our apartments for the weekend. In the picture seen here, they're begging for something they probably shouldn't be eating (like pepperoni or ice cream.) And I'm sure they were successful since Ben is total pushover.
Abby has also acquired some new toys this month that I'll be reviewing in the days to come. Until then, enjoy life.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To the dog park!

After my class got out early today, I hopped in the car to meet up with Ben and Abby at Centennial dog park. On the way I questioned why I would choose to spend an afternoon where I didn't have to be surrounded by a pack of dogs at work, surrounded by a pack of dogs at the park. Thankfully, the dog park offers a more expansive off leash space and today seemed to be rather calm despite the nice weather. (Generally it is PACKED if there is sunshine and a nice breeze.)
If you've never been there (or struggled to find it like I did the first time) it's at the corner of 31st Ave. and Parthenon Ave, right next to Centennial Park. There are actually two separate parks, one for small dogs and one for big dogs. Since Abby has never weighed less than 30 pounds on any visit to a dog park, she's always been a member of the "big dog" pack. The park is set on a semi-steep hill with most of the incline happening behind a small retaining wall made of hay and stone. A concrete path links both of the entrance gates and stretches the width of the park, making it easy to keep an eye on your dog without having to venture into the grassy/dusty areas. And, if you're not a worrier (like me) you can set up camp on a nice bench and enjoy the weather while your dog plays.
This park isn't usually my favorite around town (it's too easy to lose sight of Abby!) but today there was a nice mix of dogs. Some were a little too rambunctious, but their owners were definitely watching to make sure it didn't go too far. It's one of the few trips to the dog park I've taken where I didn't follow Abby around to make sure she wasn't being mounted by an overly dominant dog. It's definitely worth a visit if you've never been, especially if your dog likes to climb and jump, since there is plenty of natural terrain to experience. Your four legged friend might be a big fan and you'll never know unless you go! Nashville Metro Government has managed to make some interesting rules regarding who can be there though, so make sure your dog will be accepted lovingly. And make sure to close the gates behind you when you enter!!

Abby had a great time playing with some dogs and it seemed an even better time sticking her nose into a hole full of dirty water (despite the bowl of clean water right next to it.) And by sticking her nose in, I mean completely submerging her face and her front paws. The result was half of a very dirty dog. Ben tried to rinse her off before getting in the car, but she didn't seem to like the water bottle being poured over her face. And of course, when he got her home, she went right to her bed to take a nap. Now that she's awake again, a bath is definitely in order.

Here's a quick pic of the small dog park, in case you wanted to see. It's much sunnier than the shady hill enclosed for big dogs.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why blog? Why now?

As a journalism major, I'm told I need to do certain things. This blog is one of those things. It's an online medium to express opinions, share ideas and provide useful information to a specific audience. Ideally, the audience is one I can relate to and since I'm close to not being a college student and not quite a professional anything (anybody else hearing that Britney song?) I had to find something else. So, I settled on my dog, Abby,  and our adventures in Nashville. Right now I work three part time jobs and go to school. It might not seem like I have much time to spend with my puppy but I'm blessed to work in places where she can visit. One is a doggie day care and the other is an on campus job where people just don't seem to question her presence. My third job is retail and unfortunately I don't think they would appreciate her fur. :)
Since I'm graduating soon, I get asked all the time what I want to do when I'm done. The answer is I'm not really sure, and lately I've started saying I don't really care as long as I can bring my dog to work with me. And that is 100% the truth. I love going places with my dog and I'm learning more and more that Nashville is a pretty easy city to enjoy together. What my future looks like career wise, I'm not so sure, but I do know that with Abby and Ben (seen above lounging on the couch together) life is sure to be exciting.