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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Help for my human friend- a cancer survivor

Although this is a non-dog related post... this is a friend of Jasmine's. And therefore, I wanted to share it with all of Jasmine's other friends.

I have a friend named Leah Lowe that I have known since high school. In June 2010, she was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma. At that time she was the bread winner as her husband decided to change careers and went back to school. She underwent 6 months of chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant. And thus far, it's looking good. She's now at 70 days out of transplant, but is still not cleared to be able to work. (She has to wait until 100 days after the transplant for that.)

Recently, her family was nominated and chosen by an organization called "Memories of Love" to receive a Walt Disney World Vacation package! They are providing hotel accommodations and Park Passes. However, they do not cover the travel expenses to get from Arizona to Florida. So originally they thought it was a dream come true... until they realized how much it would cost to get their family of 6 to Florida.

Leah has gone through so much... and like one of her friend's recently said- she's pretty much "a walking miracle!" We're so glad she is still with us, and want to be able to help send her family to Disney World... so they can enjoy some happy memories together as a family. (Leah and her husband have 4 children.)

So we set up a paypal account that people can donate to. It's probably going to cost about $3,000 to get the whole family down to Florida. But we were figuring that if we could just get the word out... maybe her friends could each chip in a little... and maybe our friends can chip in a little... and we can make this dream come true for her!

(P.S. If you know her kids, you're not allowed to tell them this is a possibility! This is going to be a surprise!)

So... please help us spread the word and raise funds to send Leah and her family to Florida!

Here's the link to the paypal account: (you might have to cut and paste it.)


Thank you so much!!!

Leah- after 6 rounds of chemo
Leah- and her loving family - Dec 2010 :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Training Journal- an introspective moment

I got a call from Jasmine's agent last week that she is being considered for a commercial! :)
Her role would be to jump into a pile of leaves, then to jump up as a lady threw leaves in the air.
As simple as this sounds, this is not one of Jasmine's natural behaviors because we don't have many leaves around here!!

So I had to go searching for a pile of leaves to train with! One of my friends named Petal suggested we create a really long targeting stick to teach Jaz to jump into the leaves.

So invested $1.09 and bought a 9 foot long pvc pipe, and put a tennis ball on the end of it.
Through clicker training, Jaz had learned to touch the ball with her nose to get a treat. I started it on the ground, and eventually raised up higher and higher. This was a good way to teach it, and Jaz has a good vertical jump now. And if she gets selected for the commercial, I feel confident she will be able to do this behavior (with the help of our really long stick!)

I had a moment of introspection today though- as we were practicing. I raised the tennis ball really high, and asked her to "touch it"... just like I normally did. Jaz (who is a realist)... went under the ball, circled around it, sat down and started whining! It was pretty obvious she thought that tennis ball was too high to reach. (and it was.) She wasn't even willing to try and jump to reach it. So I had to lower to ball in order to encourage her to jump up to reach it, then I raised it up, and would click & treat for the jump instead of for touching the tennis ball. So we've transitioned to that.

But it made me think about life. How sometimes we're not even willing to try for something- because it seems too hard and an impossible goal to reach. And the task is too daunting. But in reality, sometimes it's just the act of moving towards our goal which is the success. (Like in Jasmine's case... I know the ball is too high... but I just am looking to get the 'jumping' behavior.) So maybe even though we didn't succeed at our original goal (touching the tennis ball), our efforts were all that were needed. And we were successful, even though we didn't reach the goal we had pictured in our mind. Does that make sense? It makes sense in my head. But trying to put it into coherent sentences is tricky sometimes!

I guess the point of the story is that as long as you are trying, you are succeeding.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Photoshoot w/ Emmy

Yesterday, Jaz had her photoshoot in the park! Despite it being a windy day, I was happy with how the shots turned out! Here's a few of the ones we took!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"A DOG"- by Edgar A. Guest

I have an old book that I got from my grandma. It has poems written by Edgar A. Guest.

Here's one I think you'll like:


'Tis pity not to have a dog,
For at the long day's end
The man or boy will know the joy
Of welcome from a friend.
And whether he be rich or poor
Or much or little bring,
The dog will mark his step and bark
As if he were a king.

Though gossips whisper now and then
Of faults they plainly see,
And some may sneer, from year to year
My dog stays true to me.
He's glad to follow where I go,
And though I win or fail
His love for me he'll let me see
By wagging of his tail.

Now if I were to list the friends
Of mine in smiles and tears
Who through and through are staunch
and true
And constant down the years,
In spite of all my many faults
Which critics catalog
Deserving blame, I'd have to name
My ever-faithful dog.

'Tis pity not to have a dog,
Whatever be his breed,
For dogs possess a faithfulness
Which humans sadly need.
And whether skies be blue or gray,
Good luck or ill attend
Man's toil by day, a dog will stay
His ever-constant friend.

I just love this!! :) And it inspires me to be a better friend, to be more faithful, to be less judgmental, to not gossip about others faults, to look for the good in people, and to show my love for others. Just like your dog does. :)