Friday, August 31, 2012

Stevens-Coolidge Place

So this evening I got to enjoy a little bit of late summer sunshine at the Stevens-Coolidge Place which is a property of the Trustees of the Reservations. It's near my home in an undisclosed location in the Merrimack River Valley. 

The property is one of my favorites to visit. The carefully manicured gardens are delightful to romp through. When no one is looking I sample a few of the flowers. They never taste as good as they look. The whole point today, actually, was the flowers. At least that is what the human told me. 

It turned out that it was "picking day" so a number of local humans were milling about with scissors picking the flowers. Somehow I was still forbidden to eat the flora. 

Despite the denial of tasty treats, I did manage to have some fun. I'm including some images of the highlights here.


Galloping was my main mode of locomotion
Yes indeed. I spy a bunny.
A rare shot where I actually look at the camera.
Exhausted. Playtime complete.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Limber Tail: The Perils of Cold Water

There was a break in the gloomy grey weather last Sunday. It made for the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. The humans took me to North Andover to the Weir Hill Reservation. It was perfect weather to enjoy a walk along a wooded trail.

I'm not a huge fan of water. After it rains I spend a significant amount of time calculating how to get around puddles while I'm walking. I just don't like wet paws. When it's really bad (the streets in Cambridge often collect streams of running water) I will sit down and give the human an intense look hoping hill pick me up and carry me over the larger puddles. It generally works. I'm convincing like that. Sometimes, however, the moment overcomes me and I need to rush into the water. Here I am scampering into the water. It looks refreshing, doesn't it?

It was so refreshing that I decided to splash. There were tiny little fish swimming around. Having had fish on occasion for dinner, I got excited to discover that potential food was swimming around my paws.

What I didn't realize was just how cold the water was. More about that in a minute. It becomes an important part of this story.

Bet you didn't know therapy dogs knew how to fish? Look at the intensity in my eyes. Those little fishies didn't stand a chance against my determination. No chance against my interest in food either. I am part Basset Hound. We are known for thinking with our noses and stomachs.



Of course, the one thing that I hadn't anticipated when fishing is that fish are actually alive. They wiggle. I didn't particularly care for that sensation. The fish got away. All that wiggling is apparently a fish superpower that keeps them out of my super mouth. Not very fair, if you ask me. 

In that the fish got away, it was time for me to return to shore. That's where I remembered that I really don't care for water. I'm also not very good at swimming. Being long and somewhat awkward, I tend to sink down with my head bobbing under the water. The next two images are rather sad. You can tell that I'm scared.



Now here is the real issue that no one anticipated. The water was extremely cold. All right, I'm exaggerating. It was cool. Not body temperature. Later that evening the human watched me get off the couch after a nap and was aghast: my tail appeared broken. It was dangling down--not in it's usual upright and wagging position. He felt my tail up to see if it was broken. Nope. He got no complaints from me (though it was a little strange being felt like that). After some careful consultation with Dr. Google he diagnosed me with a condition called limber tail (aka wet tail, cold tail, or dead tail).

The typical presentation is a young adult dog (that's me, nearly 3 years old) with an "acutely flaccid tail that hangs down from the tail base or is held horizontally for 3-4 inches and then drops down. The tail remains in this position even when the dog moves about... The cause of limber tail is not known although it is thought to be associated with hard workouts, heavy hunting, and swimming or bathing in water that is too cold or too warm."

I have already had a full recovery. My tail is back in it's upright and wagging position and no permanent damage appears to have occurred.



Please note the position of my tail in the first picture in this blog post. My tail is nearly always in the upright and wagging position unless I'm scared--or in this case when I'm suffering from limber tail.

Lastly, since the human likes to embarrass me, he took a video of my poor floppy tail. I asked him not to share this and humiliate me over my unfortunate condition but he has (thus far) ignored my protests). It's particularly embarrassing as I'm peeing at the end of the clip. He doesn't respect my privacy very much.





Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Maggie demonstrates another DBT skill

Here our therapy of is demonstrating the importance of sleep in emotional regulation. In PLEASEMASTER we encourage regular sleep schedules.


Maggie Demonstrating Emotion Modulation

Twenty minutes of daily exercise helps reduce emotional vulnerability. It is part of the emotion regulation skill ibm DBT called PLEASEMASTER.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Photo in Need of a Caption

All right folks, what do you think I'm trying to communicate here in this image?


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our Magnolia of the Flowers

Recently the human took me to The Stevens-Coolidge Place, a property belong to the Trustees of the Reservation, for a spring photo shoot. With the backdrop of land first farmed in 1729, a myriad spring flowers, it was an ideal setting. The unanticipated problem was that I decided that the spring time blossoms were delicious.


As you can see, I'm fast--but not nearly fast enough to escape detection by the camera. I was hungry. I couldn't help it. I'm powerless of delicious flowers.

The human thought he might command more of my attention if he came in for a close up.

I wasn't much in a listening mood. In fact, as you can tell by my expression, I was rather irritated.


Really. Delicious. If the human would let me eat them I'm sure they taste just like spring chicken. I'm sure of it. Of course, all I heard was "leave it" and some kind of grumbling about the flowers being there for everyone to enjoy. Yeah yeah yeah,I know. If every dog ate a flower there wouldn't be any for the humans to enjoy. 
What the human didn't seem to understand was that I was there first, so I should get to sample some of the flowers. He's so mean, that human.

Foiled again by the camera. A therapy dog can't catch a break, can she. Apparently she also can't catch a flower.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Boys

A friend on twitter recently commented that my brother's do not equal exposure. By special request, here is Iggy and Spot. I can never tell them apart so don't bother asking me who is who. They are pictured here in the bathroom resting atop the washer and dryer. That's their favorite sleeping place because (a) it's often warm (b) I can't chase them and (c) they have a sky light that they can look out of.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Buddy

So this was an unusual find. Earlier this week I was rustling along the brambles next to the Charles River and stopped and pointed out the remains of Buddy (2000-2006). The simple wooded box was firmly affixed to the ground and appeared to be thoughtfully placed in an out-of-the-way place. 

I don't know anything about the story of Buddy--but this creature was obviously cared for, loved, and is missed. It seemed fitting to mark our discovery here.

The View From Here: Act Natural Edition

Regular readers have learned that Cambridge has a tiny flock of turkeys to call its own. Check back here and here for earlier postings. I just imagine the conversation these two turkeys are having. "Act natural Harold. Maybe she won't notice us." I did notice them. I don't understand why the human won't let me eat them. It seems unfair. Doesn't it?


Friday, February 3, 2012

I Walk the Line

Yesterday while the human was watching television I was rustling around in my toy box. As you'll see below, I decided it was necessary to line up some of my favorite bones in a perfectly spaced line across the living room floor. The reasons behind this behavior shall remain a mystery.