Category Archives: Mandy

You know it’s December

Easy Care Carpet cleaners are at my house today for the annual removal of our DNA. My favourite part is the cherry deodorizer…yummy smelling. I’ve been using this company for the past 5 years and they are responsive, quick, professional and do a great job on my 20-year-old carpets. 

I’ve talked before about the December ritual:  clean carpets, clean Mandy. I’m thinking Mandy and I will head to town tomorrow to get her carpet cleaned. She’s lookin’ pretty great these days and enjoying her mid-day walks with my friend Shannon who runs a dog walking service called Tuesdays With Macy (or on Facebook).  I can’t believe the difference in her. If anyone is stumped over what to get their favourite canine kid this Christmas, this is one gift that keeps on giving. There will be a lot less of her to leave behind at Metro Dog Wash.

One more doggy plug, The Hound in Tantallon clipped Mandy’s nails. She usually requires a large animal vet or sedation to have that done, but Shannon said she jumped right up on the table and just stood there like a princess. One other really handy service Shannon offers, taking your dog to their vet or grooming appointment.

By the way, does anyone know how to turn off this stupid “Smart Shopper” thing that keeps popping up on Explorer?  It’s annoying. Like, it’s December, I know I have to shop. If I need referrals, I check my friends’ blogs.


Kudos to Jeff Mac

Jeff at Manslations answered my question yesterday. I’m thrilled with the response. This guy is FUNNY and oh so right on. See if you agree.

I was gmailing a friend tonight and noticed an alarming ad: Be A Player. Learn how to be a player and get more women. It’s strange how women are trying to side-step these guys (for the most part) and gain self-confidence while there are people making money trying to teach men how to become one. I’m not sure I’ve seen an ad for how to become a slut, but I should try gmailing this term to myself to see what comes up.

One strange search term recently is Mandy Barker. My Mandy barker is sleeping on my couch, shedding DNA from her well rounded physique. To date she hasn’t played hockey nor launched a clothing line, although if she did it would definitely be fur-lined.

The spoils

So Mandy doesn’t like the water, especially the waves. What a crazy dog. I left her run (leash on) down the beach and she tended to stay dry, worked really hard at it actually. She met another dog and I dropped her lead. She was fine…fine. I’m so impressed.  I don’t know what Deb did to her, but she’s a different dog. Yesterday my nephew came in the house without my knowing and Mandy didn’t say a word. I think she was focusing on the kids in the backyard and her multi-tasking isn’t quite polished.

On the beach a young couple were playing near the water. He was teasing her that he was going to throw her in. They were a nice looking couple. As I walked by, the guy looked me in the eye in kind of a weird way. Here he was with this sweet young thing and still looking around. Maybe they were a new couple, just dating or something. You know, options open. Or, maybe he was just showing off, wanting everyone to see his new catch. Probably that.

In any case it reminded me that in my previous relationships, teasing like that would have led to a big fight because eventually I would have taken it a bit too far (read: they couldn’t take a joke).  Number one quality in a partner:  the ability to joke around. Love teases, or at least mine does.

At the beach, we sat on the rocks as a duck did laps in front of us. Seemingly unaware of our presence but she knew exactly what she was doing, nonchalant but ostentatious.  Mandy was comical. She’d run into the water, just out to her neck, and bark. Then a wave would rush over her and she’d run back to me for safety. My car is full of sand but it was worth it.

On the way home I stopped at a yard sale thingy and bought the kids a student’s desk. It’s a middle school size one so it will last a while. Korey loves to play teacher and Justin loves being the student. Now he’ll have his own desk. I can’t wait till they see it. I’ll be a hit and they’ll be amused for minutes on end. How do you spell Mommy time?

Jimmie and I hung out tonight. He was all tuned up. I love him that way. I’m ready for Roger tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t cancel. Jimmie and I will be very disappointed.

This was kind of a dear diary entry…

The dog’s still here

Mandy is doing well. The peanut butter thing is a charm. Tomorrow she gets a bigger Kong and a some other yummy substances for it.

My day started earlier than usual and ran later than expected. I was prepared for an accident somewhere in the house. I haven’t found it…yet. She didn’t bark when I came in the door. She did bark, however, when I pulled up. She’s just excited.

I’m sure the neighbours were outside today. I’ll ask tomorrow for an update on the noise level inside my house.

The walk was a little pully again. I noticed she barks at motorcycles, bicycles, diesel engines, buses, the odd minivan and some runners. I can’t determine the significant qualifying factor that’s common among this group of agitants.  

Retraining Day 5:  Barking contained in the house when I’m home.

Peanut, Peanut Butter

It worked again! One bark and then she was back to it. I froze it this time so she was busy for a while no doubt. I’m afraid she’ll develop an allergy to the peanut butter if I give it to her everyday. Maybe I’ll try putting some mashed banana in the Kong. I think she still likes bananas. She likes them well enough when I’m eating one. 

She barked and spun in circles when I ran to the kids because one of them was coughing. Once I knew my son was ok, I put Mandy under calm control and she chilled out. That was good practice.

I was out tonight and when I came home she didn’t bark at all. I think the sitter may have been holding her back though, so that’s not fair. I praised her up big time anyway.

Day 4:  Still working on calm control. Barking manageable when home. Nothing soiled or destroyed. 

Peanut Butter

This morning it was just Mandy and I so the routine was a bit calmer. I put peanut butter in her Kong and slipped out. No barking. Seems like a good trick, but I can’t say what happened when she found me missing.

Everything was intact when I arrived home. She’s hard to handle and doesn’t listen so well when she’s excited. None of us do, I guess. We took her for a walk and tried a game of fetch. She wasn’t interested in the toy she was fetching and found a piece of wood she liked better. The fetching was better with this, but she’s still not returing to me like the fetch rules say. We’ll keep working at it.

I’ll try the peanut butter trick again tomorrow. I want to play tug of war, but I can’t find her rope anywhere. I think she’s hidden it. Silly girl.

Day 3 retraining:  no barking, nothing destroyed, a little hard to settle down, fetching needs practice, barking still controllable when I’m home.

Good girl

This morning we shovelled and Mandy barked. So I brought her outside with us and got her to sit and stay on the step. She was exceptional. She broke her stay when I retrieved  the garbage bins, but she quickly returned when I pointed to her. I was seriously impressed. She usually takes the opportunity to scavenge at the neighbors, which has had unpleasant results.

Of course, when I left she barked. I’m not sure how she did all day, but there’s no “For Sale” signs on my neighbors’ lawns, so I’m guessing they are not completely annoyed yet. Actually, I’m pretty sure she spent the day in my bed…which is what I would have done given the choice. No messes when I arrived home. But she’s hard to calm down after being alone all day. She’s so glad to see her Mommy.

Our walk was a little pully, but pleasant. She reminds me that to a dog a walk isn’t just exercise, it’s exploring time and sniffing is a necessity. I give her grace and she appreciates it. This activity doesn’t do much for my cardiovascular necessities but it’s all about Mandy these days.

I think I’m going to try the fetch game outside. Before Doglogic Mandy would fetch and run away. Extracting the ball from her mouth was an act of wit and bravery. I now know what she’s thinking so I can anticipate and correct her. I’m going to practice with her right now. NB:  we’ll practice a bit more in the house.

Day 2 retraining – Carpets ok. Barking minimized when home. No new stains.   

For the love of dog

Yesterday an excellent dog behavourist made a housecall. I gained a lot of knowledge about my dog’s brain. Turns out 8 year old Mandy is exceptionally bright and I’ve done a good job teaching her the basic commands. She loves to work for “good girls” and neck rubs and this will come in handy as we move forward. It’s not going to be easy, however, to subdue her nasty barking habit—sadly a byproduct of her anxiety.

In an effort to ease her anxiety over being left alone, I bought and installed a wooden gate. This way she could still see the front door but remain confined to her warm, cozy basement abode.  As I was getting everyone into the car, my five year old came yelling. “Come see this Mom, it’s really cool. Mandy can jump right over the gate.” I moved the gate up a couple of steps. She make the leap effortlessly. I then moved the gate to the top of the steps. Check. She appeared contained so I left.

When I arrived at work I realized the gate to the main floor was also closed. This meant that if she did jump the new gate, she would be stuck on the stairwell between floors. No water and no toys, save for about 20 pair of shoes and a lace window treatment on my front door. I called for backup patrol. She had in fact jumped the gate and was a happy prisoner amid the risers.

For her safety, the upstairs gate was opened. Ironically, the same gate that was meant to keep her in the basement was now restricting her from roaming there. Checkmate. Did I mention Mandy is extremely smart?

On my way home I planned my next opportunity to return my latest purchase. At home I discovered that before she jumped the new $20 gate, she actually attempted to chew her way through it. Wooden splinters filled the foyer. I’m the proud owner of a slightly usable gate. 

And after our walk I also noticed a nice little brown package on the newly patched carpet. Thanks Mandy you’ve saved me a trip to Wal-Mart Customer Service and blended the new carpet nicely with the old.

Day 1 of retraining. Commands are going well. Barking under control when I’m home. Human interventions are failing. 

Top Dog

My dog is neurotic and I’m not talking a little bit. She’s always been a barker, jumping around like crazy when someone comes to the house, or leaves. Barking at leaves blowing around the front yard. Spinning in circles when we get up to get the phone. Now she’s chewing the door, eating the carpet, humping the kids, peeing, pooping around the house. I’m nuts.

An animal behavourist is scheduled to arrive here on Sunday at 11:00. I’m anxious to get started. I also watched a few Dog Whisperer episodes on National Geographic. These were helpful. I’m learning to become the pack leader and my dog is actually responding to the “shhh” thing. I like the power. I like my dog again.