My mother always told me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." That's maybe a factor in why it's been a month since I've posted anything here!
Iris has been pushing all of my buttons lately. It's not entirely her fault. Her seizures have shifted to an every-three-weeks schedule (we do have a vet appointment on Wednesday to discuss that). Seizures lead to stress, sleepless nights, and the post-ictal period when Iris forget any training, rules, and housebreaking. Lately she's been better about the housebreaking at least.
She's been a brat in general and has pretty much decided that listening to me is a "when she feels like it" option. She's been really testing her boundaries in the house. The one strict rule I have is that she can't sit and supervise the world out the porch window, a rule that she's been testing constantly. She's getting into stuff that she doesn't usually. The other day, I was talking on the phone and I looked over and she had a pen in her mouth. I took it away. A couple minutes later, I looked over and she had a pair of tweezers in her mouth. She never puts random objects in her mouth.
We had a herding lesson last week and Iris was so far in her own world, she wasn't responding to anything. Diane actually asked me if I thought Iris' hearing was ok. Yeah, this is the dog that will bark if she can hear dog tags walking past our second floor condo. But nothing would hold her interest for more than a few minutes. Not sheep, not ducks, not flanking, not driving. This is the dog that was in the shelter for chasing and killing ducks. They were cool for a few minutes, and then she was done. Driving got the most interest out of her, so that's what we're going to focus on next week.
Near as I can tell, the only thing she pays attention to is the guys at work because they'll feed her ANYTHING she begs for. I cut them off last week because Iris desperately needs to lose weight. I'm afraid of what she's going to weigh at the vet's on Wednesday. I guess neither of those things should be a surprise. Increased appetite and weight gain are both side effects of Phenobarbital. She's definitely begging more than she used to (the fact that begging from my coworkers is very effective isn't helping). It's one of the reasons I've been hesitant to increase her Pb, but we'll see what the vet says on Wed.
We're working on some basic attention stuff and some NILIF around the house. And really, life with Iris hasn't been all bad! We went for a beautiful walk at Great Brook Farm State Park last weekend. I admit, I wasn't very impressed with the park the first time I went. The farm has an ice cream stand so the place was full of families with small children. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just like my walks to be quiet. However, we discovered that if you go across the street from the farm, it's MUCH quieter and the trails are beautiful. Plus, you can easily stop for ice cream on the way out and the place is actually really dog friendly. You're supposed to go inside to get ice cream but if you have a dog, you can knock on the window and they'll serve you through the window. There is a $2 parking fee. but the trails are meticulously maintained. I think we will be going back to explore this park further!