Archive | September, 2013

In Training

14 Sep
 DSC_0964 - Version 2
As you can read from the last blog, my carpals have been acting up from all the typing required to put out my blog … that is if you call my hunt and peck endeavours typing. So the timing of this blog is rather serendipitous por moi. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m in training at a top secret location for a secret mission, which for doggy security purposes, I am not at liberty to divulge the details. I can give you a hint, it does involve foreign intrigue, but my lips are sealed. Mr. and Mrs. human don’t even know about it. However, I’ve posted some unclassified photos from my training. I have been assigned my own secret personal trainer, too. But the hardest part is learning all the new vocabulary terms.
I’ve been honing my agility skills on a specially designed PAS system, which is acronym-speak for Purple Agility Sphere. Civilians call it a ball. The purpose of this training is to develop my all-around PAA skill set. That’s acronym-speak for pounce and attack. So the PAS system really challenges my PAA skills as you can see here. PAA from 8 feet away onto a moving PAS is not as easy as it seems. Practice, practice, practice.
DSC_1000 DSC_0971 DSC_0039

Another of my skills is running at full speed and grabbing the PAS without breaking stride. This is the SAB drill. That’s acronym-speak for sprint and bite. It’s rather challenging too especially when the PAS is bigger than my little head. I’m getting better at this. Although, once in a while the PAS bounces in unexpected ways and I nearly end up flat on my face. Embarrassing.
DSC_1096DSC_0001DSC_1038DSC_0062
My mission training is not limited to land exercises only. I do water training as well. We practice SIEM, acronym-speak for Sea Ingress/Egress Maneuvers. Those two-footers are a piece of cake now. It’s all technique. We also practice SRAEM, which is acronym-speak for Sea Rescue And Extraction Maneuvers with the WATERS which is acronym-speak for Wubba Activated Training Egress Retention System. We do lots and lots of swimming and then its sprinting down the beach on a timed run. I must say that all this exercise is getting me into pretty good shape. Apparently, all the acronym PAS PAA SAB SIEM SRAEM and WATERS training is necessary. They tell me I’ll need it.
DSC_0181DSC_0079DSC_0168DSC_0214
I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t until I return from my assignment. I think you will be greatly surprised to find out what I have been training for when I get back. So it means this will be my last blog until I return in about three weeks. If you haven’t signed up for the automatic notice for a new blog, you can do so at the bottom of this page.
Until then …. hasta la vista amigos.
NB:  This blog was supposed to have been posted Set 14, but the mission censors withheld it until I returned.

Carpal Puppy Syndrome

11 Sep

DSC_0095

I didn’t notice it at first, but I was lying on my back the other day and realized that one of my carpal pads is pink and the other one is black. Seems like I’ve got a bit of carpal syndrome going on. Probably too much typing for the blog. I tend to use my left paw a bit more when pounding the keyboard in pursuit of a deadline. I put an ad in Crateslist for a secretary to handle some of the typing chores, but only three cats, all of questionable reputation being toms, one hamster and a guinea pig replied. I’m not opposed to male secretaries, but the cats didn’t seem to fit in with Pepper’s family blog. One even sent me a suggestively rude response to my “We’re sorry, but your qualifications  ….” email. I rest my case. Ms. hamster was well-read having gone through the Bones N’ Crates 14 volume Amazing Animal Literature Classics, including my favourite, Gaston And Josephine, but she was a bit fidgety, and lacked a sense of humour. I wasn’t sure about working with a guinea pig, but she assured me she really was an agouti. However, she was one of those hairless ones called Skinny Pigs. Not sure about having a skinny pig for a secretary. “Oink, this is Ms. Skinny Pig … I’m sorry, Pepper’s in an editorial meeting. How can I help you?” Not the image I’m looking for. Plus, her speling and grammer was a bit weaks. Pass. So I was back to square one. Hunt and peck. Hunt and peck. I thought I’d call the vet in to get his opinion, but I was afraid he’d recommend a blood transfusion or something. So, I’m down to using my right paw for this blog.

DSC_0202 - Version 2

Ever since my first day at the beach, I’ve developed a taste for little crab claws. The ones at the beach were salted. And the folks at the animal protection society will be happy to know they had been discarded by the crabs. The land cousins of the sea crabs, all of about two inches big, still are a good source of calcium. But they are much harder to come by around the yard. I have some stiff competition for them. George. That’s what I call him. George is a Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron. He’s got cool black markings around his eyes. I can relate. But George is over two feet tall. That’s taller than the waves down at the beach! He’s like the Godzilla of birds compared to the others around here. And his favourite food is, cover your ears Skamp, little red crabs. http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Red-Crab-Hellman/dp/1615666354.

George lives for the chase, if you can call it that. George can stand perfectly still as a statue for what seems like an eternity for a puppy like me who has a hard time sitting still for more than a second. Unless, of course, I’m snoozing away dreaming of the treat truck making deliveries. So George stalks around the yard, scouting out a prime location. Then he freezes. Sometimes for entire minutes. If one of those crabs decides to take a walk-about, well George moves in the blink of an eye, his darting beak laser-fast. Breakfast served. He usually eats up on the roof. Most of his leftovers usually end up in the rain gutter far away from me. I wonder if Bones N’ Crates sells puppy planes? I understand some Beagle named Snoopy use to fly around in one.

DSC_0106

Well, seeing as how George gets the lion’s share and I get the leftovers, I thought I would try my hand at catching crabs. This sitting still part is really hard. I tried it a few times and never got past three seconds. Then, I figured I would imitate George being perfectly still, just sitting on my two back legs. I kept falling over. Next, I tried stealth. I’d peek around the corner, wait for a crab to walk out just far enough, and then pounce. Totally fruitless pursuit. George makes it look so easy.

Well, Bones N’ Crates doesn’t sell any planes. Drats. However, thumbing through the catalog, that’s a joke folks, I came across another interesting device … a fishing pole! The tricky bit seems to be baiting the hook without thumbs. This is not a joke. And seeing as how I’m down to one paw at the moment …. Hmm, maybe I should place an ad for a retired Night-Heron willing to go 50-50.

DSC_0217

The Art of Walking in the Rain

3 Sep

DSC_0739Most mornings, Mrs. human gets up and exercises. And most of those mornings, she also takes me for a walk. Now this may sound easy for all you bipeds, but trust me, a puppy just walking while out and about, well it’s not as easy as it appears. First off, puppies are curious more than just about anything else except accepting a treat, of course. Mention the words, “You want to go for a walk?” and I’m already hyperventilating and bouncing about two feet in the air. As soon as the leash comes out, then I’m trotting posthaste directly for the exit gate as I hardly can contain myself. And this is the puppy conundrum. Containment.

DSC_0319    DSC_0505

A leash is a form of containment. A puppy is a form of free flowing energy led helter-skelter by our noses.  So every morning I get hooked up with a nice red leash, and it’s me and Mrs. human out to see the world. You have to understand, that being a puppy I WANT TO RUN. And AS FAST AS I CAN. For AS LONG AS I CAN. The leash on the other hand really puts a damper on this proclivity of mine. It’s the immovable object versus the irresistible force. I’m the irresistible one in case you had any doubts here. Okay, Mrs. human does move. But at a snail’s pace. I prefer puppy pace. It’s not long before something along the road smells really good. I follow my nose only to have the leash stop me in my tracks. I sort of stop for a second, look at Mrs. human, who’s’ tugged on the leash, and she says “Good girl, Pepper.” Just once I’d like to smell something, pulling Mrs. human along with me, and then saying, “Good girl, Mrs. human.” But it’s pure physics. Her mass definitely out masses me.

This has been going on for sometime now, and we sort have worked out a compromise. I don’t get to smell everything along the way, but I get plenty to keep me going. Although, I do get a bit pooped, no high odor pun intended, by the end of the walk on the warmer mornings. I guess if I ran the same distance, I wouldn’t get quite as far. So Mrs. human may be smarter than I give her credit. But, I did hear Mr. human telling Mrs. human that if I learn to follow her lead, some day I will be unleashed. Emancipation Day here I come. So I’m much more focused on the walking, curbing my enthusiasm as it were. And I think I’m getting pretty good at it … most of the time. Those birds always mess me up. What is it about me and birds? I see one, and I have to go after it. Talk about genetic compulsion. And do you have any idea how many birds there are in the world? I checked with the Bones N’ Crate Bird Book … Gazillions!! And I think all of them inhabit the trees along our walk. So, you can see, Emancipation Day sort of ebbs and flows with the birds.

But I discovered something pretty cool. When it’s really raining on our walks, the birds stay away. And when the birds stay away, I can do the walking thing pretty good. So the art of walking, in the rain, helps me get one day closer to RUNNING AS FAST AS I CAN AS LONG AS I CAN.

DSC_0943 - Version 2