potato_head: (8D)

potato_head: (D: D: D:)
Omg we have a major storm brewing right now. Like it's about as dark outside right now as it would be at 5AM. And it only just started raining.

I hope this keeps up through work, I love stormy days at work. :D It feels so cozy, serving hot coffee to people during a rainstorm (or when it's snowing out)! And it seems to put people in a better mood than when it's sunny out, hell if I know why. I know that's not the usual trend, but customer trends at coffee shops seem to be very different than usual customer trends.

OMG now it is REALLY raining. And thunder. Excited! This also means the pain in my ears will stop soon (very sensitive to pressure changes).

Anyways, a bit more talking about training Tripper. Worked with him a bit more last night. I've decided the best solution to my and his non-syncing schedule is to do very short sessions with him in the evenings, so he won't get tired and frustrated. We worked on 'brofist' because he's having a lot of trouble with 'lick' still so I want to wait and work on that separately.

I have a hard time understanding why people who have the time to work with their dogs, don't. I don't think I really knew Tripper before I started training him, and I was vastly underestimating his intelligence, too. I mean, it's not like I'm an awesome trainer, we're learning together and I think I'm getting a lot better.

I wish I could go outside and stand in the rain a bit, maybe even walk into the woods (good chance then of encountering the new inhabitants close-up, I think...at least, rain used to draw the old ones out, even though they were usually not active during the day). But I have work later and don't want to have to take another shower between now and then. Also, there's a fog that's collecting in the woods in a way that makes me kind of uneasy.
potato_head: (cockatrice)
A few videos of Tripper!

From the beach:

And mom taped this last night; I bring Tripper some munchkins after work every night. This has taught him to tell time somehow, and he gets excited around 9:45 every night, although I don't get home until about 10:10. I've been working on him being a bit more relaxed about the donuts; just a few weeks ago, he wouldn't have been able to focus enough to lay down, let alone practice a new trick (brofist).

potato_head: (o u o)
Tripper and I have the house to ourselves a bit, so I took the opportunity to do some training with him :D I couldn't find his clicker, but he caught on to my verbal marker ('yes!') immediately. We ran through some things he knows already to get him warmed up (touch, down, sit) and to try and work a bit more on distinguishing between 'sit' and 'down'...he still thinks they mean the same thing 6 n 9 I can't start teaching him proper stays until he knows the difference. He blatantly refused to do 'show your belly' on hardwood (barked at me when I asked, then offered everything else he knew very quickly xD) and then when I got him on the bed and asked him to do it, he looked at all the things around him (he didn't have much space) and then gave me an 'are you serious?' look. I guess it's moot since we don't have any carpet in the house any more, so it's not like he can ever show it off since he won't do it on hard surfaces P:

So then we started working on a few new things...'lick', which I've been wanting to teach him for awhile (to get him to clean his mouth when he's drooling or foaming after eating, blegh) and 'brofist', as well as meeting my eyes when I call his name. He got 'brofist' really fast, probably because Derek already taught him to give low-fives when a hand is offered palm-up, so it was the second thing he offered after trying to 'touch' (we do nose-touches). 'Lick' he is having a bit more trouble with, he'll get it for awhile but then he's not sure of himself and starts offering other behaviors in addition to the lick to see if he'll get a jackpot xD his favorite at the moment is hitting me with his paw while he licks.

We also kept practicing 'touch' just to mix something in with the other two and because he likes it (I think he especially enjoys the behaviors that involve interacting with me - he gets kind of excited about 'brofist' too) and practiced a bit on leaving food, which he did surprisingly well with. I got him to run through several tricks, including trying to practice down vs. sit and even though that one frustrates him a bit he didn't get distracted/frustrated and grab the treat off the floor like he used to.

Anyways, we're taking a break right now. I'm nervous because I have to report for jury duty tomorrow :C Dad had me drive there and back twice so I know how to get there, but there's still a lot of interacting! And what if I get called?! I can only hope that my obvious terror of people will keep them from picking me, since I refuse to lie to get out of it. ;A;
potato_head: (lol)
Dad's gone a bit wild over ancestry.com :P he's traced our family back pretty well. Apparently, I'm 3rd generation out of Canada, and possibly from Ireland before then; and on Mom's side, mostly German, as I already knew (her mom's family name before she married was Schroeder, I even used that name for awhile back when I was calling myself Azrael like a baby goth :P).

He's still puzzled over why one of his female ancestors was on one census listed as a daughter, then on the next, apparently married to her brother. It's obvious to me that they were already married but were living with the parents and they just listed her as 'daughter' because 'daughter-in-law' was too long for the form, or just out of mistake.

Sorry the rest of this got a bit bland and insipid, probably because I'm still dealing with some emotional issues.

Bland rambling )

I am also surprised by how popular my latest creepypasta on halfdeer is. And it gave Amanda a nightmare, but that is entirely her own fault, I sent it to her in the middle of the afternoon and she waited until THREE AM to read it. But I based it on my own fears, which in retrospect should have been the most obvious way to start.

Tripper is carrying around a hockey puck in his mouth again lmfao xD
potato_head: (o u o)
Watching this wonderful documentary, Dogs Decoded. It's available to stream on Netflix, EVERYBODY GO WATCH IT IT'S AWESOME

It summarizes some research into communication between dogs and humans. Some really interesting things:

Dogs look to the left of people's faces first - as people do when looking at each other to get a more accurate read of emotions. They don't do this with each other (obviously, as dogs don't express emotion in their face, for the most part).

And they just demonstrated quite a few people very accurately reading the emotion and situation of the barks of dogs they weren't even familiar with :D

These are both behaviors that they must have evolved during the long process of domestication, since wolves obviously have no need to read the emotion in people's faces - nor do they - and they only bark as a warning.

I doubt we'll ever see this kind of communication with cats, even if we gave them as much time domesticated as dogs have had; cats are rarely selected for their ability to communicate with people, because they don't perform any job that requires it. Dogs, on the other hand, even the pets we have today, are descended from animals that performed closely with people for a very long time, and were selected for their ability to perform tasks with people and work for people.

There's also the fact that that potential was probably already there - wolves were working together long before we started domesticating them. Cats are generally loners, not social animals.

I think I discussed last time I watched a dog documentary - that dogs understand the human indication of pointing, which wolves do not. I didn't realize, though, as they show in this one, that chimps don't understand it, either. I'm surprised they haven't developed that yet. Also, they're now demonstrating that dogs don't just understand pointing, but also the human gesture of the indicative glance.

Also, a collie is currently demonstrating her ability to use abstract thinking by seeing a photo and bringing the toy it represents. AMAZING. The best part was that you could just see her getting it the first time they did it - she stared at it for a moment, then barked suddenly and turned and ran to the toys. Ffff dogs are so awesome

February 2016

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