Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hops in the Right Direction: Money Don't Grow on Trees (Plus a Happy Ending)

And that's a problem in a lot of ways.  Cost is a big reason why people are hesitant to adopt a dog who may require additional health care.  The cost of care is even scarier when your pet needs the surgery now.

There are, of course, lots of options.  Pet insurance, credit cards designated specifically for vet bills (ask your vet), savings accounts--whatever suits you.  But sometimes, you need a hand.

For example, a dog, Bubba, in one of the meetups I attend (okay, I've never actually been to one yet, since they always seem to be when I'm working one of my three jobs), recently had to have his left back leg amputated because of a rare lymphatic disorder, poor guy.  The meetup is hosting a rummage sale to help defray the cost of that, and to show support for Bubba and his mom.

If you are in the Chicago area this weekend, here is the info:

When:  Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where:  Greenleaf Art Center, located at 1806 W. Greenleaf Avenue, Chicago, IL 60645.

I won't be in Chicago this weekend (Dear Florida:  I promise I will try not to burn you down.), so I've got two options for helping:  mailing a check to the person running this show (homegrown affair, so it'd go to an apartment address), or call her with my credit card information.  These are people's homes and personal lines and real names I'm dealing with here, so I'm not going to post that info here for all the Internet to see, but if you are interested in donating, leave me a note in the comments or email me at and I'd be happy to set you up with contact info.  I will match donations from readers dollar for dollar (up to a completely arbitrary point; I have three jobs for a reason, and plane tickets are expensive).

Here is another arbitrary thing: a cool video! It will probably make you cry, in a good way. (Shout out to my friend Sam, who found the video and who also fosters pit bull terriers. He's good people.)

Yay, happily ever afters!

All right, all right, wipe your tears.  Go make someone hug you--I'll wait.

Better now?

Good, because I have to tell you that I'm probably not going to be posting for a few days, while I fry in the sun, drink rummy drinks, and enjoy the festivities of a good friend's wedding.  See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nose As Long As a Telephone Wire...

Don't tell The Squeeze, but I sort of set the kitchen on fire last night.  Just a little.  I turned the back burner on instead of the front one, which was no big deal.  I turned the proper one on, and turned away to grab a plate.  Turned back, and--well, apparently the roll of paper towels was a leeettle too close to that back burner.  It was a rather lovely pillar of flames.

I used the floor, my feet, and a lot of cuss words to put it out.  Luckily, the paper towel holder is marble.  Luckily, the floor is tiled.  Luckily, I was actually wearing shoes for once.  Luckily, the neighbors didn't look out their kitchen window into ours.  That might have been difficult to explain. 

But hey, in a relationship, it's okay to keep some things to yourself, right?  A secret isn't exactly the same as a lie...

And it's not like my pants actually started on fire.  They're just a little, you know.


Jemma is totally judging me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts

Note:  Names have been omitted to protect me from people who know where I live.

Note the Second:  Any rodents harmed in the making of this post would have been dead of old age by now anyway.  It was quick, and more painless.

For the animal, anyway.  Rather less so for the people involved.


Gophers.  They are a problem on a farm, where they burrow in fields.  Those burrows can collapse under the weight of machinery and cause damage--not something you want on a several hundred thousand dollar machine.  Their gnawing damages crops.

Year ago, an older man used to offer his son fifty cents for every gopher he killed.  As the younger man was concluding the first meeting of his new girlfriend and his parents, he saw a gopher run into its burrow out in the adjacent field.

The young man grabbed a shotgun, a baseball bat, and a bucket of water.

(This is not going to end well for any party involved.)

He gave the the bucket and the bat to his girlfriend and stationed her next the the hole he'd seen the gopher go into.  Searching out the other end of the burrow, he planned on shooting the gopher flushed out by the water poured down the girlfriend's end.  In case the gopher decided to go for a swim and come out the girlfriend's end, she was ready with the bat.

(Can you see what's about to happen?)

Now, this girlfriend was a sporting type, and went along with this plan.  That might not have been the best idea.  Especially given the fact that the man got a little overeager after the flushed gopher ran, half-drowned, out the girlfriend's end of the burrow--

He took the shot.  (At the gopher, not his girlfriend.)  With a shotgun, I might remind you.

The gopher exploded.  All over the girlfriend.  Who had a baseball bat in her hand. 

Via   (Except with squishy gopher guts instead of bolts.)

Later, the man's father, who usually gave his son fifty cents a gopher, gave the girlfriend a whole dollar.

Best part?  She married the guy.

(True:  A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could if a woodchuck could chuck wood.)

Jemma recommends a bath.  Or twelve.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hops In the Right Direction: Tailored Canine Massage Techniques from Canine Massage Chicago

Last night, Prada was lucky enough to have an appointment with Aimee Schneider, instructor and lead therapist of Canine Massage Chicago.  Aimee and I met several months ago at a charity event in downtown Chicago. 

Having had dogs with altered mobility herself, I knew Aimee would understand my specific concerns of staying on top of any discomfort Prada may currently have, as well as promoting healthy muscles and joints for long-term physical wellness.

One cancelled appointment and lots of emails later, we finally managed to meet again.

The cool thing about Canine Massage Chicago is that not only do they offer pet massages, they also offer Pet Parent Classes where they teach you how to tailor a massage to your dog specifically.  Aimee started by skimming her hands all over Prada's body, taking note of places where she felt particularly hot (lots of places, as it turns out) and particularly cold (no cold spots on Prada, but they are pretty common for the differently-abled dogs).  Prada's main hot spots, as it turned out, were in the left side of her neck (the side of the amputation), her remaining front shoulder, and her right back leg--all the areas that are bearing extra weight or doing extra work because of the amputation.

As she proceeded to massage those areas, she explained in detail what she was doing and what she was feeling, so that I can replicate those techniques later.  She tried a lot of different things to figure out what Prada really liked, what she merely tolerated, and what she didn't care for at all.  Some dogs like soft, gentle touches, but Prada prefers a firmer hand.  And when Aimee discovered that Prada enjoyed being bounced (like you would a baby) while getting the massage, that worked even better.

Honestly, I don't know how well I can describe some of the tricks Aimee taught me, because so much of it depended on her showing me where and how.  We massaged with our fingers between Prada's ribs, working our way up to her spine.  I learned how to "pump" her thighs, moving my hands like a bellows to encourage not only muscle relaxation but also blood and lymphatic circulation.  I learned to rock Prada's shoulder forward and back to relieve the tension of it pulling to the center of her body and the extra stretching that pulling causes the back side of her shoulder.  I learned the reason Prada sort of squats close to the ground all the time, with her hind legs a bit spread--her glutes were very, very tight, and she was trying to get comfortable.

Oh, and Prada enjoyed herself too.  Aimee played with her in between bouts of massage (since my dog is a bit ADD and has a hard time holding still, much less paying attention) and let her meet her pugs, Ethel and Apollo.  She slept so hard on the drive home that I had a hard time waking her up enough to go potty before heading inside.

I've talked before about the importance of massage for dogs with altered mobility, and I've done a fair bit of research online, reading articles and watching videos.  And I know what I've been doing in the past helped Prada; there's no doubt of that.  But, after this one-on-one with an expert who knew what my goals were and was able to show me exactly what my dog needed and liked...  Wow. 

This is a game-changer. 

I really believe the things I learned are going to improve even more Prada's quality of life, and we're going to get some fantastic bonding done along the way.

This is Jemma, chihuahua mix and puppy-mill survivor.  The kneecaps on her back legs are backwards and inoperable, but she doesn't let that stop her!  She can go up and downstairs, and she loves to play with other dogs, but her favorite thing of all is to cuddle.  So, you know, if you wanted to practice your massage techniques, she'd be a willing guinea pig.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Am a Walking Slapstick Routine

Or a limping one, really.

I broke my little toe last night, and you know how I did it?  Walking.  Honestly, in a world of "survival of the fittest," how am I still drawing breath?  It's shocking really that I haven't asphyxiated on my own tongue, much less that I drive cars without incident on a regular basis.

Aaaand now I won't be able to wear the awesome pumps I was planning on for the wedding I'm going to next week.  Which means I'll need to find another suitable, open-toed pair in my closet or buy some.  Which frankly I don't want to do. 

(By the way, I may well go M.I.A late next week.  I'll be in Florida, vacationing with Seven and attending a mutual friend's awesome wedding.)

This Karma is too sweet to suggest I deserved it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Have a Problem...

...With Shakespeare.  As in, I love him too, too much*.  I've seen Hamlet live on at least four separate occasions.  One of them was even good, with a Hamlet who wasn't a total sissy and an Ophelia who didn't make me want to give her a swift kick in the butt for being so pathetic.

I've read Filthy ShakespeareFor fun.

I think Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead is a legitimately awesome film.

I know what "wherefore" means.

Basically, I am a huge Shakespeare geek.

Last night, I felt the call of the verilys and forsooths, and spent the entire evening watching two of my favorite plays on dvd.  The first, of course, is the 1999 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream--the one with well, pretty much everyone famous who ever lived excpect maybe George Clooney, David Beckham, and Jesus.  Lordy, I love this film.  I'm not generally a big fan of Calista Flockhart, but her portrayal of Helena is spot-on.  Her Helena is desperate and yes, more than slightly pathetic, but her sheer determination to do whatever it takes to be with Demetrius saves her from being an unsympathetic character.  And the claws she shows during her argument with Hermia--meow!  And really, has there ever been a more beautiful Hermia than Anna Friel?  Bottom is more than just an ass in this adaptation, which I love.  And Stanley Tucci as Robin Goodfellow...  When I first saw this film as a teenager, I totally fell in love with Tucci's Puck.  (Which sounds a little dirty when I put it that way.  I was in eighth grade!)

Love, love, love it.

But then, a couple of months ago, my cousin introduced me to this: 

As a Shakespeare nerd and Doctor Who afficianado, David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing is pretty much my version of a wet dream.  The fact that this filmed version of a live performance is not available on Netflix--as in, I actually had to pay to see it--goes to show how eager I was to hear about it.  It was a little pricey with the pounds-to-dollars conversion, but was it ever worth it!  I've seen it several times now and still giggle like a caffeinated four-year-old on crack every time I see it.

It's set in the '80s, and it absolutely works.  There's a Rubick's Cube, a huge boombox, and the masked ball.  Good god.  We've got characters dressed as Mario, Darth Vader, David Bowie, Miss Piggy, and Princess Di.  As a theater minor (i.e., I'm a theater nerd who just wanted to know what differentiates between a good perfomance and a great one), I feel reasonably qualified to tell you that the costumes and lighting are very, very good--wait till you see Hero's wedding dress.  I got root beer up my nose first time I saw it.  The set is minimalist but very clever, with most of the action taking place on a large round dais, split  in unequal halves by a series of pillars, that rotates between scenes to create the illusion of different spaces.

And there's a guy in a g-string.

I don't know how I feel about that, really.

Anyway, I don't want to give too much away, but I will tell you this:  the absolute funniest part of the entire perfomance is Benedick's line...

...wait for it...

..."A book."

Well, you might have to just trust me on that.

*Clarification:  I love Shakespeare's comedies--yes, even The Merchant of Venice--and a good number of the sonnets.  The histories are boring, and the tragedies only need to be read/seen once and that's good enough for me.  Except Hamlet, which I had to keep going to see until I saw a version that didn't make me want to brain the title character.  Oooh, and MacBeth.  That's good no matter how many times I see it.  But none of the Richards or the Henrys.

(True:  This is a really interesting case study on the relevance of teaching the very uncomfortable Merchant of Venice in high school.  I promise.)

Karma knows very well that "The course of true love never did run smooth," but she's looking forward to her happy ending.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dear Internet: I Am in You.

A more recent addition to my "OhgodI'mdoingtoomuchsocialnetworking" list is Pinterest.  I looooove Pinterest.  One of my boards there is a compilation of images that are Prada Approved.  I don't have a lot there yet, but I'll try to do better.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorites...

These pictures of dogs chasing tennis balls underwater went viral a few weeks ago.  I found them here. Lots and lots and lots of people have seen the photos at this point, but fewer know that the photographer, Seth Casteel, helped launch, a resource and meeting place for animal shelters and photographers who want to help animals get adopted by offering more attractive photos online.  There are also some great tips on taking photos of pets that I hope to adopt myself.

More are just funny to me, though, like this dog, who needs a hug after a visit to the vet:

And my personal favorite:

Sadly, I don't have a source for this one.  Let me know if you come across it.
 Yes, yes you are.

Karma approves, too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hops in the Right Direction: Who You Gonna Call?

No, probably not the Ghostbusters, unless your dog's missing leg has come back from the dead and is stalking your family.  (Actually, call me for that.  I want pictures.)

The point is, although I like to pretend otherwise, I am by no means a dog expert.  Like every aspect of my life, with Prada, I am winging it.  And when I run out of "winging it" ideas and need advice, I have a short list of people I trust to give it to me straight.

  • Example 1:  I cut Prada's nail too short and now it won't stop bleeding and oh god do I need to get her to the emergency vet and I am the worst pet mom ever? 
 I call my mom.  She's a life-long dog-owner, she went to school to be a vet tech, and she's great at calming me down when I'm freaking the freak out.

  • Or, Example 2:  Is that a pimple?  Does Prada seriously have a pimple?  Can dogs even get pimples?  Maybe it's an ingrown hair or folliculitis.  Or cancer.  Shit.  It's probably cancer. 
To the vet I go.  I try hard not to panic before absolutely necessary, but if it's health-related, I want to know asap what's going on. (Don't worry, it's just folliculitis.)

  • Example 3:  Most dogs will let you pet them.  But hands make Prada so freaking overexcited!  What do I do?  I just want to pet my dog!
Here's where I go beyond the "Yes, Dana, we already know all this because anyone who owns a dog knows to go to the vet when the dog is sick so shut your trap" part.  See, the training facility I go to, Animal Sense, has a blog.  I've linked to it before, but I will again because of one very special feature on that blog:  "Ask a Trainer."  That's right.  You type in your question, and they answer it, and it's awesome.  You don't have to be an expert.  You don't have to be their customer.  They're cool like that.  This week, they answered my question.  You can see it here

So many good dogs with well-intentioned owners end up in shelters, and often that is because of behavioral issues.  Maybe, if more people had good resources for helping them learn to integrate their dogs into their life successfully, that number wouldn't be so tragically high.

Lots of shelters offer low-cost or no-cost seminars, like preparing your dog to acclimate to a new baby, or no- or low-cost microchipping or vaccinationsLocal expos are a great way to learn what your area has to offer and maybe even score some freebies!

Point is, the resources are out there.  You don't have to be an expert as long as you know where to find them.  (By the way, I love research.  If you need a hand, let me know.  Finding all these links took me about twenty minutes, and some of that time I was fooling around of Twitter.)

Karma is a spunky little angel who only needs one resource--you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Surprise! It's a Dog!

Prada came to work with me today.  She is currently hanging out under my desk by my feet, gazing longingly at all the people walking by who aren't loving on her.  Occassionally, she pops out to say hello, or cries a little because I'm not sharing my pizza (I never do, poor girl).  And then the passers-by are all, "Oh!  It's a dog!"  And then I laugh because what else would I have under my desk, a chicken? 

And now I want to bring a chicken to work just to see what people would do.

She's not blind.  I'm just the world's worst photographer.

Sunny would love to hang out under your desk.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Warm and Fuzzies

Ahem.  You may have heard--I grew up in the country, on a bitty little hobby farm (i.e., my parents weren't professional farmers, we just had lots of farmtype animals).  A good half my stories from my childhood come from interesting interactions with these farmtype animals, or those animals that just wandered into the barns to mooch food.

Let's meet some of my childhood companions, shall we?

'Possums.  We had them.  Not on purpose, but the oversized rats seem insanely attracted to cat food, much like the aliens in District 9.  They're about as cute, too, but much less sympathetic.  My mom was feeding the barn cats one evening, and either the power was out or she hadn't bothered to turn the light on.  In any case, she was in the mostly-dark barn, and when one of the cats wound its way around her ankles, she bent down to pet it--and came face-to-face with a 'possum who just wanted some lovin'.

Wanted:  Cat food and some sweet, sweet love for "attractive" single monster.


Sunny is way cuter.

Friday, March 9, 2012

This Title Won't Be Emusing to Anyone But Me.

Yeah, puns.  I like them.  So did Shakespeare, so I'm giving myself a pass on this one.  Please be warned that this post starts out as a memory and quickly descends into madness.


Emus.  They are big.  And they are really pretty fast.  According to Wikipedia, they can go as fast as 31 miles per hour.  Apparently, their legs are so strong they can rip through metal wire fences.  Maybe that explains it.

As you may have heard, I grew up in the country.  A few miles down the road was an emu farm.  No, I don't know why people would farm emus either, except maybe for the world's biggest friggin' omelets. 

Green ham, anyone?

Anyway when I was little, a bridge by our farm was out for several years, which made us go the long way around to town and near the emu farm on a regular basis.  One day, as my mom drove me to town for one event or another, we saw a blur of brown in the field to our right.  Accustomed to having to stop for deer, my mom slowed way down.  As you may have guessed, the blur was not a deer.  It was an emu, and it was not only keeping pace with our much-slowed-but-still-pretty-fast mini van, it was edging ahead. 

That emu was daring us to a race.

My mom floored it.  Defeated, the emu disappeared into a cornfield.

I don't know what happened to the emu.  We weren't even very close to the emu farm when we saw it, maybe a mile or two away, so perhaps it was an emu on the lam.  That's how I like to think of it, still out there today.  In fact, I've imagined a whole life for that emu where it is skulking in the patchy woods and various cornfields, with a nice family of turkeys for companions.  And when a hunter uses his call and the turkey family falls for it, the emu goes with them and scares the bejeezus out of the hunter, who wants to tell his hunter buddies all about the emu who now thinks it's a turkey, but nobody will believe him and he is run out of town under accusations of lunacy.  And then the mayor almost hits the emu on the road, but misses him, and then our road finally gets one of these:

Which will promptly be defaced with a red dot on the "nose" like every other animal crossing sign in Wisconsin, inciting a local legend wherein Santa's sleigh is not pulled by ought-to-be-flightless reindeer, but rather by ought-to-be-flightless birds, which sort of makes more sense, anyway.

(True:  There is an Icelandic Christmas legend in which a giant cat named Jólakötturinn eats children who don't get new clothes in time for Christmas.  If I ever have kids, I'm totally selling them on it.)

Sunny gets along with cats, but she'd rather avoid Jólakötturinn, if it's all the same to you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ah, free stuff.  Who doesn't love free stuff?  It's just like a present, but you aren't required to write a thank-you note or feel like a tool because you didn't get the other person anything.  I'm a huge language/syntax/spelling/grammar geek, so stumbling across these was my version of a mini-Christmas.  Haven't downloaded them yet, but if I suddenly stop blogging for a week, you'll know why.  (Why yes, I am a huge dork.  DON'T JUDGE ME!)

I think winning things is pretty darn cool too, don't you?  I sign up to win stuff at my two favorite radio stations' websites all the time.  Sometimes I do win--stuff like tickets to see the latest Winnie the Pooh movie and CDs I don't really want, but whatever.  I won!  I can feel like a champion who is way, way better than anyone else for the simple fact that I lucked out.  No skill required!  No work required!  Winning is seriously the best.

But I lie.  You know what's the best?  Being awarded something--and that happened to me!  I get something, it's free, I feel lucky, and I maybe even sort of deserved it!  (Or at least fooled someone into thinking I did...)

So, without further ado...


The lovely, lovely (you're my favorite) Jo at "The Bright Yellow Balloon" thinks I'm cute!  Or my blog is, anyway.  Or my dog.  Whatever.

Das Rules:

1. Link back to the person who awarded you. (Check!)
2. Follow the blog of the person who gave you this award.  (Check!)
3. Proudly display this award on your blog.  (Check!)
4. List 5 of your favorite things.  (Cheating!)
5. Pass this award on to 5 fellow bloggers.  (Cheating!)

I'm mashing those last two rules into one and then mixing in a healthy dose of "this is not at all what the inventor of this award meant."  I'm going to list five of my favorite dogs I've featured in the past, and instead of awarding new bloggers, I'm awarding these dogs.  They're cute, and you should follow their stories.  I can't wait until the day that all of these dogs have their forever home!

#1:  Bob

Bob is one seriously chill dude who's foster mom can't say enough good things about him, but he's still waiting...

#2:  Noodles
Do you guys remember Noodles?  He was the first dog I featured, and since the last time I checked in on him, he's found his new family!  Yay, Noodles!

#3:  Trapper
Trapper's story is so sad--remember how he was caught in that animal trap, and then the first shelter he went to wasn't able to provide the care he needed?  Well, look at him now!  He's come a long way from the frightened, pain-ridden guy he used to be.  I seriously love his smile in this new picture.

#4:  Dora
This pretty girl has been adopted recently, too!  (But really, who could resist that face?)

#5:  Prada.

That's what Prada looked like when she was brought to the shelter a yeat ago.  She was a matted mess with a broken leg and a happy grin.  This is the photo I first fell in love with, and now my computer is chock-full of files crammed with pics of this girl.  She's down a leg and lots of snarls, but that grin hasn't changed a bit.

(True:  Prada is going to be featured in the newsletter of the humane society where I adopted her!  I'll keep you posted...)

Doesn't Sunny look like she's looking for something in this picture?  I'll tell you what she's looking for--you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Run for Your Lives!

Good God, you guys, this.  This:


I saw this at Deals (a grown-up version of the Dollar Tree), and I've got a picture of my own on my phone that I took in thrilled horror.  I mean, look at it!  This is meant for children!

I'm pretty sure it's an undead, zombie-blue, buck-toothed horse with a messed up tail and a thirst for blood fresh from the jugular of your child.  I'm calling it Tweedle-Dead.

(True:  Anthropomorphic pillows freak me out.)

Even Sunny is in a rush to get her people out of the path of that monstrosity.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hops in the Right Direction: Trick My Dog!

For a long time, I really believed that teaching a dog tricks was something a "serious" dog owner would never do, that it would lead to bad habits, that it wasn't important.  Oh, how wrong I was.  Teaching tricks acutally has a lot of benefits, especially for the dog with altered mobility.

It's true that tricks aren't as serious as teaching "come" (which could save your dog's life if she runs out into the street) or "stay" or those kinds of things.  But they do provide mental and physical stimulation, as well as building the bond between you and your three-legged pal.  If running around for hours isn't an option (as it isn't for some tripods), tricks can channel and exorcise a lot of energy in a low-impact way.  And it's fun!  Why shouldn't your dog have a hobby too?

"Put your toys away" is both fun for your dog and crosses off one of the items on your "things to clean up" list.

"Roll over" can be extremely helpful, thoough many dogs start out uncomfortable with the idea of showing their bellies.  You can also stop halfway through, and teach her simply to lie on her back.  Just think how much this could help at the vet!  It's also a great position for some gentle massage.  Prada loves to have the inside of her back legs rubbed, but she's so tiny, it's hard to get at them from any other position.  She doesn't roll all the way over onto her back; she only goes about three-quarters of the way--no big.

"Sit pretty" is what I call "beg."  I hate the idea of a dog begging for food--it's just bad manners.  However, "sitting pretty" is a great core muscle workout.  Prada's chest is already really strong from hopping around all the time, and this is a good trick for keeping her tummy and back muscles toned.  We have a long way to go on it (I've frankly let the training slide for a while), but it does seem to be helping her balance, as well.

"Touch" is super easy--just rub a treat on your palm to make it smell yummy.  Then, when your dog touches her nose to your palm (no teeth allowed!) say "yay!" and reward her.  It's great for getting your dog to focus on you, and because it is so easy for your dog to learn and remember, you can use it in high-stress situations to remind her that you are in charge and she can relax.  So, if you are being approached, for example, by someone who is wearing a long coat that is billowing in the wind at ankle-height and your dog is suddenly afraid, "touch" can remind her you've got everything under control.  It also works for redirecting your dog's attention from undesired behavior, like jumping on visitors or barking at leaves.

There are a lot of great resources out there, but I particularly like this one for its ideas for you to keep in mind while you're training, and this forum, where there are a lot of really knowledgeable people who have lots of different ideas of teaching the same trick.  Like people, each dog learns a little differently, so it can be helpful to not be set on one way of teaching a trick.  Both of these sites frequently recommend the use of clickers for training, but a voiced "Yay!" or "Good!" work just as well, as long as you're quick about it.  (Your dog will associate the good sound with whatever she's doing right then, so make sure you're not rewarding her for the wrong thing.  You get about 1.7 seconds after the behavior to reward.)

Because Prada spins incessantly when she is anxious, I'm trying to put that on cue (Dance!) as well.  My hope is that if I can put myself in control of her behavior, I'll be able to help her stop before she makes herself puke.

Best thing about tricks?  They are a polite, positive way for your dog to ask for attention.

What awesome thing can your dog do?

Sunny's awesome things include looking stinking adorable, loving on everybody, and playing "couch potato."