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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

I really need to write more reviews again, so I remember what I liked and why.

I went to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation today. For the second time, actually, because my usual movie partner didn't have time two weeks ago.

only very vague spoilersCollapse )

Another fun part of Sunday morning movies is always the little race back home, trying to make it in time for the formula 1 race start. I managed it by about 3 minutes today.

Learning How To Play

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but Alys does not play. At least not with objects. She probably never learned how. She might run with you for a bit, but throw a ball or offer her a rope for a game of tug of war, she'll look at you confused, and either lie down for a nap or go looking for a mouse.

But there is Jack and his Kong, you see...Collapse )

[Loki voice] (Dire) News!

Well, not that dire. I just wanted to use that quote.

Alys's astonishing development into a more self-confident little lady suffered a bit of a setback. Several weeks ago, actually, but we're only now realizing the consequences.

two steps forward, one step backCollapse )


In other somewhat related new, I am now a student with the ATN (academy for animal naturopathy). I'm enrolled in a distance learning course in animal psychology with a focus on cats and dogs.
I started my first lecture this weekend. For now it's general ethology, and it's super interesting.

I have no plans whatsoever to earn my money as an animal psychologist anytime soon. I'm just doing it for myself, and Alys, and Ronja, and Elanor. And possibly any friends who are interested in some advice (once I have my degree that is). I just really wanted to do something useful with my time, and this seemed like the perfect thing for me.

Little Dog on a Big Adventure

We took Alys to my grandma's birthday party yesterday.
35 people, one big room, and just a 15 minute drive from home so we had the option to get her out of there as soon as she signals that it's too much.

brave little dog and one pretty hairy situationCollapse )

Dinosaurs!

In case you plan on seeing Jurassic World

1) Do it!

2) You'll get exactly what it says on the tin. Plus more Raptor feels than you bargained for.

some mild spoilersCollapse )

Update On Four Paws

So much for regular updates on Alys. Thank you, darciana for giving me a little nudge.

I do have an excuse though: After Elanor's cystitis from January to March, Ronja suddenly stopped eating in early May. After two days of turning her upside down at my local vet's ("from what I can tell she's perfectly healthy", "I haven't seen lungs that well aerated in a long time"), the people at the vet clinic - where she had to spend the weekend - finally figured out what's wrong: Pankreatitis. Not to be taken lightly, certainly not in a 17 year old cat. I spent about a month hoping, coaxing food and medicine into her, and driving to the clinic at least twice a week. She's fine now, if pretty thin, and I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief.

But back to Alys: She's doing great. After a few weeks (months?) of letting the training leash trail behind her most of our walks, I'm now starting to occasionally let her off her leash entirely. At least where it's safe (fields, vineyards, no roads anywhere near). She generally just follows me anywhere anyway, so it's really not a problem. The only thing that might result in her taking off without warning is rabbits. She'll stay back for mice too, but if I just walk on it rarely takes more than a minute before she comes running.

more Alys including a videoCollapse )

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

I'm back back from watching Avengers: Age of Ultron and I'm still pretty overwhelmed.

serious spoiler aheadCollapse )

Figuring Out Humans Is Hard

Here is what makes it difficult to teach new things to a dog who is very eager to please you:
When I hold a treat in front of Alys's face because I want to show her what I want her to do - in this case get in the starting position for Heel - she'll instantly know that I want her to do something to get that treat. And she'll very enthusiastically try to be a good dog. You can almost hear her mind go:

"Okay, okay. What does she want? There is no verbal or visual clue. What does she want? Alys, think! Let's try Sit. Sit is always a good idea. No, no she's not giving me the treat. That's not it. Down then. No, still no treat. What else could she want? It can't be Come or To Me. I'm already there and she's not moving. Stay! She probably wants me to stay. But then why isn't she giving me the treat? Is this a test? Did she forget? I'll try to get to the treat but I'll better not get up in case it is Stay. I'm not supposed to get up from Stay until I'm told to. If I can just reach a little further..."

And I watch my dog lying in front of me, with her neck getting longer and longer, because she wants that treat, but she also wants to be a good dog. So I sigh, position myself new, tell her to sit up and try again.
We're working on it. Anytime she finally does get it, she does it beautifully, earning her a lot of praise. And her treat, of course. It's great to see how proud that makes her.

In other news: Alys spent both her walks today carrying her own leash. Generally, she just follows me or at least stays close, but she still stays way too far back when there is something interesting to look at or sniff. So we had to play hide and seek a few times. As in, me hiding behind a bush until she finally realizes "Oops, I think I lost my human. Better go looking. Can't be far."
I'm not entirely sure if it's a good or a bad thing that she doesn't even seem to get too worried when I'm out of sight, because she knows I wouldn't really leave her behind.
EDIT(2016/12/23): I'll leave this post up as a reminder on how I started working with Alys. But please don't treat your dog in any way that will make him show avoidance behaviour. There are better ways to train your dog or tell him what you want him to do.

Hello everyone!

I haven't posted here in forever, mostly because my fandom life has moved to tumblr and I didn't really have much else to talk about.

But now I'm a dog (as well as a cat) owner, so why not talk about that? (Because there isn't like a million blogs on that topic already. Do I look like I care?). And maybe I'll throw in the occasional movie or tv show review as well. We'll see.

Hold on a minute, you may say. You're a dog owner?

Yes. May I introduce:



Alys. 7 years old. Spent the first six and a half years of her life in Romania. Somehow she ended up in a kill shelter, was rescued by my local shelter and brought over to Germany, and moved in with me a little less than 5 months ago. That scared little girl, who hardly dared get up from her blanket unless called for a walk or food, has made enormous progress since then and gained a lot of confidence. She also was the star at obedience school for being so quick and willing to learn, and is just a little treasure all around.

And she teaches me a lot!

It's all in the voiceCollapse )

The Fugitives European Tour 2014

I'll just leave this here:
FugitivesTourEurope2014

Go and see them if you can. They are exceptional musicians and just all around lovely people who deserve lots of love and success.
(Adrian was also Inias in Supernatural 7x21, in case you didn't know.)

You can listen for yourself here.

They will also be in the UK in June: Tour dates

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