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Mini Me Mod

Age. 33
Gender. Female
Location Denver, CO
School. Other
» More info.
Sprocket's Training Milestones
Came home (Aug 2, 2014)
Asked to go outside (Aug 5, 2014)
Slept 4 hours straight (night) (Aug 5-6, 2014)
Crane Count
7/3/13 - 8
7/4/13 - 30
7/5/13 - 36
7/10/13 - 54
7/11/13 - 57
7/18/13 - 67
2/17/14 - 83
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Moon Mod!
To Read:
- Carrie
- Dream of the Red Chamber
- Time to Kill
- Scent of the Missing
- Stiff
Nano mod!
I don't know if I want to lose weight
Friday. 9.26.14 12:54 pm
Everyone I know is on a diet. Or they just decided to get off of their diet, or they are struggling to stay on their diet. It's kind of a maddening thing, and yet... if you want to be on a diet, you have a lot of support. As for me... well, I am walking a million miles a day with Sprocket and then I also move around a lot at work. All the walking is kind of giving me a bum knee (which I need to run out and get a brace for), but I'm... well I'm gaining weight. I don't really want to be on THAT diet. But then again, I am becoming an excellent baker with each and every pound (Although, I am afraid I am my only witness. *Yum*.) So, now... where I only wanted to be 7lbs lighter, now that number is closer to 11lbs.

The thing is... I was looking for some more reasons to inspire me to lose weight, and... people's reasons are kind of horrifying. Like take "So my mom can feel proud and call me her beautiful daughter" Dear God! What kind of monster is your mother? You just put that stuff on the internet. "Oh, hey internet! My mother doesn't think I'm beautiful unless I'm freaking Twiggy!" Or "To be able to sit down in shorts and not cover your legs". Uh... Maybe I don't weigh enough to feel self conscious about that. That must be it. Yeah. But what? If you're wearing the right size of shorts, you shouldn't be embarrassed when you sit down. Now, I've done the whole sausage thing, too. That's a bit obnoxious. Or the really short-short thing? Where only male persons are looking (a little creepily) at your legs. Then I cover them... and consider tights. And the list goes on: for confidence, to feel good about myself, to know I'm not a worthless human being. I'm just kind of like... losing weight isn't going to do it for you.

Here is the thing about people. People want you to be like them, to go through the same things that their going through, to feel what they are feeling. The more that you are, the more that you "get them" and the less they feel alone. The positive side of this is that people make friend with those people, work to come together, and work for the same things. That's teamwork. The problem is that, when people are different enough, a lot of people correct other people. It's this weird instinct to bring them 'in line'. It's an instinct to preserve the collaboration, just misplaced. So, when somebody corrects you for being fat, that is just them trying to gain control. You may even realize that you casually correct people for being thin, saying stupid things, building yourself up. Well that's normal, too. The trick is (and it has always been the trick) to let it go and be yourself.

So... I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm going on the "eat what Jin wants" diet. I am going to listen to my stomach, only feed it when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. If my Sprocketmiles get me to a point where my thighs stop jiggling and slapping together, I'll be very happy. My thighs hurt when they do that. But I hope I never get to the point where I feel like the people I care about will love me any less because of my weight. Because even if I get caught up in the off-color phrase or sentence now and again, I don't feel that way about anyone else.

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My Dog is Finally Tired
Friday. 8.29.14 12:56 pm
Sprocket and I went on an adventure, today. We were trying to get him all worn out with the usual methods (walking, tricks, throwing a ball), but Sprocket was in a particularly mouthy mood and wanted to go after my feet *OUCH!*. So, we piled into the car and hung out in a few parking lots for an hour... We started off just walking around. We went to investigate this restaurant that I had thought I had never seen before. They sell Mexican and American bar food. The outside of their building is very cool. As we came back, we were stopped by the jiffy lube guy (or was he a tire guy?) because Sprock was wagging his stubble and... well who can resist. Next, we loitered around the Seven Eleven until I managed to ask the clerk if we could go inside. The guy who was in the store buying some chew said "Hello" to Sprocket as he left. He asked if Sprocket knew how beautiful he was. I told him people keep telling him that. He had just put his own dog down a few months ago. He was a shepherd mix and kind of looked like Sprocket. She was like "sure"! She told me a little bit about her new yorkie-mix and the sad fate of her old yorkie-mix who was eaten by a coyote. The dog before that lived to a ripe old age. I bought some gas-station "fairy food" (delicious, but bearing no nutritional value) and left.

We continued to walk around while I tried to decide whether or not to check out a different parking lot. We had come here because there was a pet store in the shopping center, but it didn't open for another fifteen minutes. While I tried to make up my mind, another lady came by and pet Sprocket.

We loaded into the car and drove to the shopping center. I went into this organic food store and asked them if I could bring Sprocket in. Sprocket was not a service dog, so he was denied. Sometimes, I think its kind of rotten that I have solemnly swore not to lie. "Oh yes, my 12 week old puppy is a service dog in training. Look at him run like an idiot around the store!" Still, in the long run, having people ask and then abide by the rules makes the world a better place for everyone, I suppose.

We went by the smoothie shop and the coffee place. Sprocket wanted to go into the tile shop, but I told him that I didn't need any tile (Who was getting worn out first?) I wondered aloud in my silly dog voice about whether or not we should request entry to the office supply store. I need some office supplies. Sprocket made his vote know and tried to fall asleep on the stairs.

So, we started to walk back towards the car... very slowly. It's amazing how big a parking lot can be when you're lock-step (or at least trying to be) with a puppy. We had almost reached the smoothie joint when he found someone who wanted to pet him. She was very happy. She had gotten lucky and seen two twelve month old puppies in the last fifteen minutes... who was sitting with this owner behind me. The chi-mix girl, Frankie, wanted to play with Sprocket, but did not have a leash, which made it very inconvenient. So Sprocket got as much attention from her owner as humanly possible before I managed to pry him away.

Sprocket is starting to really enjoy people. It's gotten to the point where Sprocket sees someone and thinks that they should immediately get down and pet him. "Hey! That's a person. Let's have him pet me!" He's great, too! Great with kids, adults, people of all different heights, widths and shades, people with funny hats and beards, people with uniforms, people with jackhammers, people in cars! Point being, Sprocket looooves people and people love Sprocket.

Okay, got back to the pet store. The clerk wanted to buy a Sprocket the moment she saw him. She kept saying things like, "I have land!" and "No, no, I can't have any more pets." We met a javanese and two other fluffy dogs here for grooming. I looked at a lot of stuff. I ended up settling on something cheap, which kind of embarrassed me. I bought him a squeaky tennis ball (which is a combination of all Sprocket's favorite toys in one wonderful yellow package!) and a fancy version a bully stick (which is Sprocket's second favorite toy). We finally loaded Sprocket up and took him home. He slept in the car. When I opened the door, he gave me this blue eyed weary look. "Leave me in the car!" But he got out anyway... and went to the bathroom. Now, he is sleeping on the floor. No toy will interest him. Sleep, deep sleep. Oh for the love of sleep. My sweet sweet dog.

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Sprocket - Learning fast and slow
Thursday. 8.28.14 10:11 am
Sprocket is a very good guesser. He is always guessing what I want. Sometimes, he guesses a bit long, sometimes not. The thing I've noticed about Sprocket, though, is while Sprocket is curious, wants to learn, and tries new things, Sprocket will not necessarily learn all he needs to know in a day. In fact, it might take even the fourth or fifth training session. I was teaching him "play dead" for the past few days. Play dead is hard, because it's not really that different from "down", and the hand signal is all funny. Crazy thing is, once he finally got "play dead", "roll over" was easy.

Teaching Sprocket has made me think a bit more about education. Of course everyone has an opinion on education, and I know I'm not the only one saying what I am going to say. The thing about mass education is that spending the necessary time with each student is next to impossible. So what do you do? Hire more teachers? But how do we pay them all? How do we give them all classrooms and offices? Honestly, most people are born with their best private tutor: their parents. But with the economy the way it is and the expense of raising children growing, many of those parents just aren't there, which means that the after school education that used to be directed by parents is being transformed into more group environments like school in the form of daycares and after school programs. As we already discussed, while group environments are wonderful for many things, the task of identifying the individual learning needs of a child (whether behavioral, emotional, academic, physical or spiritual) is not, can not, be adequately performed.

I think this is especially important when it comes to foundational skills. Sprocket needed to know "play dead" before he "magically" learned "roll over". Sprocket needs to learn how to "stay" before we can play "hide and seek". Sprocket needs to learn "drop it" before "fetch" is really a fun game to play... well... for both of us. Sprocket needed to love people before he learns how to behave nicely around them. Similarly, a child needs to know how to read phonemes before they can start to sound out unfamiliar words. A child needs to learn how to use numbers before he can play cards. A child needs to learn to be comfortable with people before he learns to play with them. A child needs to learn how to play nicely.

So, how do we expect children to learn, when they haven't learned to sit in their chairs and listen? It's crazy, because these problems ARE cropping up in classrooms. But then, do we expect teachers to stop learning for all the other children just so one child can catch up? No, that is a parent's job, but do we expect parents to give up the job that helps them put food on the table, just so that they can teach their children to behave? Can we hire a parent for every child? Not likely. So then what?

As for me, I am going to selfishly continue to raise a dog and put off child raising for another day. I plan on equipping my dog with the behaviors and manners that will make him welcome in as many places as possible. It's going to take for-freaking-ever.

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Sprocket's tricks
Wednesday. 8.27.14 4:16 pm
Sprocket now knows a number of commands at level 1 (which means only with a treat or other lure).

Level 0 - Does not understand command
Level 1 - Does command with lure
Level 2 - Does command with infrequent reward with hand signal
Level 3 - Does command with infrequent reward with voice command
Expert Levels - Does the following in a large number of situations with distractions.

So, Sprocket is a Level 1 dog (level puppy) for these commands:

Bang (or '"Play dead")
Paw (or "Shake"/"Hi Five")

He's actually getting to level 2 with the fetch thing... since adding treats just totally derails him. He gets so confused. He's like "forget chasing a tennis ball, I want that treat!"

Awesome puppy. We have to get his "Stay" a bit better before we can do distances. His sit went from pretty good to terrible, so what can you do.

In the meantime, Sprocket is learning a lot of things he should do. Like basically chew anything. No Sprocket, you cannot try to snap my nose off/bite my pant legs/grab my shoes... no, not on or off of my feet. He also has... probably THE most annoying bark in the world, which got him in a bit of trouble with the trainer :*) Poor puppy.

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Through the Night
Thursday. 8.7.14 9:25 am
Sprocket slept through the night, last night. Or at least he didn't need to go out. I woke up at 4:30 wide eyed thinking "Is my dog awake? Should I grab him", but sleep, that sweet temptress, lured me back to sleep. In fact, he did not wake up until 5:30, which is early, but considering we went to bed at10:30 and we got 7 hours of sleep, I'm calling it good... although i did put him back to bed for another half hour.

We got up at 6:00 and walked to the top of the hill. We walked around the gazebo and walked down the hill. It was rainy, Sprocket's paws were wet. We played in the fingers of morning light, a little tug, a little fetch. I fed him and I brushed him and he wound down to rest again. Right now, he is playing at my feet with his little green alligator.

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My dog - Day 5
Tuesday. 8.5.14 6:09 pm
My canine friend and I are sitting in the kitchen. He is at my feet chewing on his bone, and I am at my computer tack, tack, tacking away. This is what is lovely about having a puppy. Also, the fact that he knows how to fetch is totally cool. He is dropping the ball more and more and seems to enjoy when I throw it. He sleep A LOT. He's had a lot of big days in a row, seeing new things. Yesterday, he met the vet and the office cat. He likes the vet. He growled at the cat. He also saw traffic. We went up to the little planter at the top of the hill... sitting there, watching the cars go by. Just now, he saw rain. I took out my pink umbrella and held it over our heads. He was so tired, he just wanted to go.

Words he seems to know:

Potty - If you need to number 1, do so now
Poop - The same for number 2
Go get it
Bring it here

He is working on:

Come - With extreme encouragement, he makes it happen
With me - Sometimes walks ahead, but generally gets the idea

He is 8.5 weeks old. :) Yesterday, some kid on a bike yelled "That is such a cool dog!" I happen to agree with him.

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