Friday, November 7, 2014

You Know You're A Crazy Dog Lady When...

On Halloween, a mere few days into our new training regime, my in-laws came to our house for dinner. My husband's family has a Pizza Friday tradition - one that only resurrects itself while in the auspices of his parents.  If we go visit them, I know that we will be eating pizza come Friday.  Likewise, Jon insisted that we order pizza.

We moved only a few months ago, so our normal go-tos have shifted.  Since we live in a big city, the 3 mile move changes our restaurant radius quite staggeringly.  And pizza is one of those things that we have not found a replacement for (yet).  We don't have the same pizza options as my New York hometown, where we could sneeze and find a great slice, but we can also do better than Domino's.  

I knew that Blaze Pizza was nearby and passable, so I opted to go there.  That way everyone could get whatever permutation of pizza they wanted without having to satisfy another person's dietary restrictions or aversions.  

So why am I writing about getting pizza?

Because of this:

As we all sat around the table eating pizza, I looked at the two-piece box.  Or, more specifically, the lid.  It's low-lipped - perfect for my lowriding pup.  So while everyone else was chowing down, I was grabbing the lids to stockpile for our training exercises.

Yes, I believe this defines me as the crazy dog lady.  Apparently I'm not the only one who's repurposing food packaging for dog uses - I have since learned that El Pollo Loco tortilla bags are great for dog waste!


There are other little details that I had to work out while figuring out our training regime.  Namely how to honestly assess where I was at, and what to feed The Murr.  Because I'm doing contact training for the first time, I was not confident in my eye.  So I needed to figure out when we are actually meeting criteria versus when I think we are - and also keep record.  Hello tripod.

Being able to tape our sessions is extremely helpful.  I can watch each session and then keep track of hits versus misses.  It also makes me accountable for sticking to my schedule.  Even better, a friend of mine is also planning to start a re-train, so she's watching the videos too to see the process.  I made a playlist of our training (here), and set my YouTube Capture to automatically load our daily videos into the training playlist.  

And then there's the food.  Murray is a mere 10 pounds, and eats about 4 ounces of food per day.  Plus, he eats a raw diet since his teeth get all yucky on kibble.  Given the number of repetitions necessary, I was concerned that we would have to go to really low value treats so as to not overfeed.  Then, while perusing my local pet store, I found this food - OC Raw Dog.

Their "meaty rox" are pretty small and (when frozen or semi-frozen) can break into smaller pieces.  Easy to use for a full training session with The Murr despite his low food intake.  I liked the ingredients in here, and it's made pretty close to here.  Yes, it's more expensive than my normal combination of chicken necks & Small Batch, but it's high value to the Murr and can be used as both a treat and a meal.  


So that's where we're at.  We have the supplies, and I'm a crazy dog lady.  Undisputed.

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