Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We're in!

The R.E.A.D. paperwork got where it was going. Apparently, I did okay on the written test: welcome emails and links to a private forum and several other relevant sites arrived in my mailbox tonight. Whoopee!

Next up: The second "shadow visit." This will be a session that I do with Silver, and with a human observer. We'll see how soon this can be set up.

Meanwhile, Clem is doing well. This weekend, he worked SEGA's booth at the meet and greet at the Atlanta RV show. He was good with everyone--kids and adults (including a kid with a stuffed monkey dangling around his neck)--and when he got tired, he just stretched out in the booth and rested.

Clem rests his weary head on Candy at the meet and greet

Candy returns the favor

The weekend meet and greet--with a total of at least 26 people and 36 dogs--brought SEGA $940 in donations.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Silver has a brother!

Our first stab at submitting registration paperwork to R.E.A.D. went astray, so we're trying again with another set of papers.

Meanwhile, Silver has gained a brother:

Clem & Silver
Clem (left) and Silver

His racing name was Flying Clemenza. He was one of seven pups in a Godfather litter, with all the littermates named after capos in the movie series. (Clemenza was the fat one who famously told a gunman, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli" after a hit.) Clem's sire was the famous Flying Penske. I haven't tallied up how many races Clem ran--neither the Racing and Breeding Database nor Track Info shows all his numbers, so I'm going to have to count them both up--but he raced from at least October 2008 until September 2011. (Track Info has the earliest data, but it shows him at Grade D, and doesn't list maiden races. But in October 2008, Clem was 18 months old, and he wouldn't have started racing much before that.) There's video of a lovely come-from-behind race here.

Clem came to SEGA in February 2012 and was adopted in June 2012. But his owner's job changed and began to require a lot of traveling, and she surrendered both her dogs so they could be rehomed. Clem came home with me as a foster dog on Veteran's Day, and he's been here 10 weeks. He's a very sweet, calm, clingy, cuddly dog--with a monster case of separation anxiety. He's on meds now (clomipramine is working; fluoxetine didn't help), and it's finally possible to leave him at home and not come home to lots of poop. But it took all these weeks to get him to this point, and I dreaded the thought of him going through another big upheaval if he got adopted to another home. I didn't blog about him after the first post because I didn't want to frighten off a potential adopter by telling about the SA; on the other hand, I didn't want him to sound like a happy, ready-to-adopt dog and then surprise an adopter with the SA issue. It just seemed wiser to keep quiet about him until things were under control--and then that took longer than I expected.

But Clem fits what I was (eventually) looking for myself: an older (he'll be 7 in April), calmer dog that's easy to handle. In fact, he'll probably make a good therapy dog. The separation anxiety won't hamper him since the rule is that I never let my dog's leash out of my hand on a therapy session. He's not thunder-phobic or noise-phobic (didn't mind New Year's fireworks). He's small-dog tolerant. He's not cat-safe, but he's not crazy when he sees one. (He's just very, very focused.) He's tall and long, but weighs about what Sam weighed (mid-60s). He's very food motivated--he jumps with excitement over Kongs, but he doesn't jump on people. He just "pogos" in the middle of the kitchen. And he's an enthusiastic pill-taker when pills are wrapped in turkey lunchmeat. (Count your fingers afterwards.) He doesn't pull away when you get in his face, and he doesn't seem to object to a kiss or two, but he's a kissee, not a kisser. He's still very clingy--follows me from room to room and actually will walk away from a Kong to see where I've gone if I've gotten anywhere near the front door of the condo.

He doesn't challenge Silver, and he understands that she's the boss. When she growls, he stops what he's doing and looks at me. I'll reach over and block Silver if he's trying to lie down near her and she's being grumpy, and as soon as he sees I've got her, he'll carefully squeeze into the spot he wanted. Silver is far more patient about contact from Clem than she ever was from Sam, and she's actually playbowed to Clem, which is something she never did with Sam. (Sam would playbow to Silver, and she'd turn and playbow to me. Poor Sam!)


Things are busy and hectic:
  • I finished a hat for Hats for Sailors. This was after I screwed up two hats I was trying to knit as Christmas presents. 
  • Lots of freelance work. Lots. Hours and hours of it. Very nice. Expecting another 40-page file tomorrow.
  • Knitting to get organized for the Ravellenics (knitting during the Olympics): a hat for Hats for Sailors, a baby sweater (see below), a WIP scarf to finish. Need to round up patterns, yarn, needles.
  • Younger nephew got engaged. (There'll be some knitting and/or crocheting for wedding presents--wedding date unknown. But I already have plans--and yarn.) 
  • Meet-and-greets this weekend at the Atlanta RV show in Jonesboro: Silver and I are going Friday. I might take Clem on Sunday since that will be a long session, and I hate to leave him alone at home for six hours or so. (He did some M&Gs with his first adopter, so he's not new to the game.)
  • Therapy papers to get sent out--finally! (I hope.) Once the papers are accepted, Silver and I need to do a "shadow" visit (we do a R.E.A.D. session with an observer). Then, the library nearest me needs a fill-in therapy team for several months, as the handler of the current team has a baby. (When she comes back, we could stay at that same library as a second team--on a different Saturday.)
  • Baby blanket to finish. (I'm really close--less than 50 rows to go--and I'd like to get it finished and blocked in the next week.)
  • Baby sweater to make (probably during the Ravellenics). This boy was born in October, so I want to figure a size to get through this spring and perhaps next fall. I have pattern and yarn on-hand. Pattern gives instructions for 12-month size and 24-month size. I need to figure my gauge; since I'm rarely on gauge (and won't be using the recommended yarn), I just need to see which size will be best for whatever gauge I'm actually getting.
  • New episodes of Downton Abbey and Sherlock every Sunday night. I think I'm going to order the DVDs and stop worrying about whether there's room on my DVR to squeeze on another episode--of anything!
  • My favorite yarn shop is closing, and I've tried single-handedly to acquire much of their existing stock (which is why I'm pleased with all the freelancing work). I need to photograph all the yarn I've bought and get it listed in my stash on Ravelry. (Actually, there's lots of yarn around here that needs photographing and cataloging.)
  • Got some work done on the family history. Absolutely cannot find my mother's family in the 1940 census, a search hampered by not knowing what names anyone was using: John or Johnny or J.W.? Mary or Dixie? Charles (or Chuck)? Catherine or Kay? Merilyn (spelled how?) or Peggy? And where--Georgia or Florida?
  • Been doing lots of cooking--mostly meatloaf and chili. Had to buy a new food processor after my 30-year-old model developed a crack in the main spindle. The new one will make smoothies, which I might try once the local weather temps get above 50F or so.