Sunday, March 14, 2010

Growing Up

Erie is sooooo big! I don't know how it happened. I had to move the divider panel in her crate. She takes up half of it now. Big or not, though, I think she's too thin. I've been increasing her food and I need to keep doing so. Vizslas are very athletic dogs so she's supposed to be neat and trim, but I think I can see too much hip bone.

On Tuesday, I'll have had her for a month. While I don't see daily or even weekly improvement on the barking, if I look back over the past four weeks I do. She has gotten better. She's on her very best behavior when I wrap her up in her jacket, put her blanket over her (this is in addition to the several blankets layering the bottom of the crate), and give her a hot water bottle "pillow." She sighs in satisfaction and slips right off into dreamland without a peep. Now if only it were realistic to do that every time I have to stick her in the crate for a moment.

She was supposed to start puppy class last week but it keeps getting pushed back; not enough people have signed up. Hopefully it will actually start next Saturday. I'm anxious to get her socialized. Socializing a puppy that has no right to go everywhere is much different than socializing a GDB pup.

We've been working on "target" using a target stick. I'm closely following the program outlined in Morgan Spector's Clicker Training for Obedience. Kinda. I did teach sit before target. But other than that I'm following it. It's a great book for those training for the competition ring but also for those who just want a dog that's well trained around the house.

She's a real sweetheart with just a few minor issues (besides the barking): 1) mouthing at my face, 2) playing on me, 3) jumping up on furniture constantly and getting right back on after being removed. We're working on all but it requires a great deal of patience.

Vizlsas are often described as "Velcro dogs" because their favorite position is wherever they need to be to be touching you. I thought I understood what it was like to have a Velcro dog. Turns out, mine weren't actually. I have a new found respect for this term!

She's a cute girl . . .

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money . . .

You know that song?

Anyhow, I got news yesterday that BYUH is going to pay for me to go to a psychology conference (Association for Psychological Science) in Boston over Memorial Day Weekend to present three research projects I completed while at school. One on placebos (are bad tasting placebos more effective than good tasting ones), does Hamilton's Rule hold out in the case of swine flu, and can placing Polynesian students in ethnic specific classes improve their retention rate. I'm first author on the placebo and second on the other two. Being the vain person I am I keep checking the website to see if the program is up so I can see my name. I only did one project last year so I'm excited to be on three this year. I love psychology and I love research!

I'm super excited. I've never been to the east coast before, unless you count a lay over in the DC airport and a week at Disney World. I don't count those (obviously not the first and Florida is ... Florida, not the east coast). I'm hoping to go a day early (before the student's from Hawaii arrive) and be a tourist before I have to become a conference participant.

Also, I got an email from Vanderbilt telling me I have been selected for funding for my Master's Program. It pays tuition and a monthly stipend. More on that coming as the program director asked if she could call and talk to me about it, so I'll update as I get to ask her some questions.

So, exciting stuff.