Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Good Days...And The Bad!


***WARNING***
Long-Winded Post
Be Prepared to Read

Yes, I know this is loooong overdue and that you are probably a bit nervous seeing the title that I have chosen for this posting. Please excuse me but I need to vent a bit about dogs in general and then I'll get on with my happy-go-lucky post on Dublin. :o) If you choose to skip over this part, please see Paragraph Eight for the second half, the "better" half, of my post.

So I've been telling Judd for the past week or so that I've been needing to post something on Jacey's blog about her and Dublin. Between my conversation with Judd last night and Dublin's evening, I have decided to forgo the stacks of laundry that need to be folded, the dishwasher that needs to be emptied, the vacuuming, and all of the other things that I need to get done this morning.

Judd is in Spokane for meetings with work. Some of his co-workers who helped get Jacey her service dog told Judd (and some others that weren't aware of this blog) how great it is and that they love reading it...or something like that anyways. This news helped me go over the edge and ignore my laundry and "housewife/motherly" duties for a moment. The other part that put me over the edge for posting this was in fact Dublin last night. So here comes the venting part....

So, Judd is gone. I have been left to manage the chaos in the house that comes from Bailey, Carsten, Jacey, Kenna, Trevin, and of course, Dublin and Sasha. (Not that Trevin adds much chaos to the mix but I had to add him to make me feel better about saying "chaos".) I felt like I've been doing quite well until last night when Dublin began to irritate me. Yes, you heard me right, irritate me!!! So after a long day of managing the five children and two dogs mentioned above, I was ready for a quiet evening. I was going to attempt to relax and sit my duff in my chair to knit. Well, Dublin was whiny so I figured he needed to go out...so, I let him out. Nope, no potty. Okay, so let him back in, sit down and pick up my knitting. Dublin starts whining again, so I think, "He must be wanting to go in with Jacey and lay on the bed." Soooooo, I let him into Jacey's room where she and Kenna are peacefully sleeping. Close the door and go sit back down in my chair again and... Dublin starts whining at the door. At this point, I'm getting a wee bit irritated with not knowing what his deal is - he already ate dinner, went outside to use the bathroom, and attempted to lay down with Jacey. Add the fact that Jacey is asleep and I would like to continue enjoying the quiet that ensues from this, I'm beginning to become impatient with him. So, I think - okay, I'll put him in his kennel for the night. Nope. That wasn't it either and the two bones that live in his kennel made an amazing deal of noise that surprisingly enough didn't wake Jacey or Kenna up. So, I take the bones out and close the kennel again. Nope, still whining. So, I finally let him back outside in hopes that he'll do his deed and quit whining...which he does! Hallelujah! On his return inside, I note that his paws are somewhat muddy and figure that he'll lay on Jacey's bed to clean his paws with his mouth...like Sasha does. I give up the idea for knitting and figure I'll go to bed. I get comfortable when I hear even more noise coming from Jacey's room and it's not whining. I couldn't figure out what it was, so I figured Jacey must be awake and getting into stuff. So I take my pillow and head to her bedroom. Open the door to find this:

Dublin figured he'd "scratch" it off like he does when he's done doing a download outside.

Carpet worked well, but Dublin thought he'd give it a whirl on Jacey's bed.
This is where I found him when I went in...
I even found chunks of mud on my wall and the dresser!

At this point my cool has left the house and I am extremely frazzled with Dublin.  My evening has not been relaxing and I got absolutely no knitting done.  Dublin goes back into the kennel and I pray that he will be calm so that he may live another day!  And thankfully he chose wisely and is still here today!  :o)

So the next on the venting agenda - Sasha!  Yes, I know this is a blog about Jacey and Dublin but Sasha gets to be a part of it today because she too, is lucky to be alive and still within the walls of our home.  Therefore, venting is needed on this lovely creature.  She has been peeing on my carpet a lot more lately and has taken up the hobby of chewing up things in the yard that are not edible, creating the need for her to throw up in my house at random points throughout the day.  Add the fact, that she has also taken the liking to chewing things up in the house.  She's chewed up a pair of jammie pants, Kenna's little FurReal Puppy, a stuffed animal's eye, a jammie shirt, a few children's board books, and Carsten's Duvet cover in the corner and I can't remember all the rest.  However, she reached her end of living it "free", living the good life of being allowed to roam while we are gone when I came home to find that she had chosen to nibble on this...


Phoebe the Mouse

She only took a few nibbles out of the back of her head, an ear and sweater, when she discovered the top button was quite enjoyable to chew.  Sasha now resides in a sweet little kennel located in our entryway whenever I leave the house.  We've never forced the kennel on her before because she couldn't stand it.  She gets really shaky and will run into another room in hopes of hiding out and skipping out on the kennel.  That's when I take Dublin's training collar and place it around her to walk her to the kennel.  It seems night time is when she really doesn't want to go in it.  She's been better about going in it on her own accord during the day when I go to pick up Jacey or what not, but night time is always a fight.

Okay, thank you.  I feel a LOT better now.  On to the "good" stuff.

Oh wait...I lied!  Dog hair....  I HATE DOG HAIR!  I might as well trade Sasha in for two dogs for the amount of fur she sheds!!!

Notice the amount of black fur versus the white?!

Hey, is that another dog in my house?

The last time I posted I talked about how Dublin was having a hard time bonding to Jacey compared to the other way around.  I finally called and talked with Jeremy, the head trainer at 4 Paws, about this and my concern with his growling. 

So here's my report on the bonding process....  We needed to find an activity that both Dublin and Jacey would enjoy doing together, even if that meant playing tug'o'war with a tug toy.  This was something that was discussed during training in Ohio and that we should not have the dog play in this way.  But Jeremy said that if I were to buy one and only one toy that Jacey and Dublin would enjoy playing with together, it was worth it for the bonding.  I just had to set limits for Dublin in that it was only okay to play tug with Jacey and with this one specific toy.  When the toy goes away, the tugging game is over.  I bought a rope that has a tennis ball on it and Dublin LOVES IT!!!  I have been trying to get Jacey more interested in it by telling her she needs to go get "her" rope from Dublin.  There have been a few times that Jacey will take the rope and run off with it.  Dublin isn't far behind her when this happens!  But for the most part, she prefers throwing it and going on to something else.  Poor Dublin gets teased with the idea of playing with this toy only to have it put away because Jacey has moved on. 

I continue to have her feed Dublin in the morning and have moved away from handing her the bag with the food in it while Dublin is right there.  I try to set it on the counter and move away so that Jacey can get it down and feed him, making it more like Jacey has "control" of the food rather than me.  I have also taken this treat bag, put a few treats in it and placed it on Jacey's pants with the string tightened down on it.  Dublin follows her closely when she has the bag on her hip or even a ziplock bag with a few treats in it. 


video

Dubbie has also gotten a lot better about laying down near her chair when she is working on ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis).  Jacey will always take time to get her beanbag chair if Dublin is relaxing somewhere and join him.  As for when she is aggressive with him, we just need to be constantly giving him praise and treats.  I also need to be better about doing some of the things that Jacey likes to do (deep hugs, head-butting, etc.) while giving him treats when she isn't around so that he becomes more accustomed to it.  So we are moving forward slowly, but definitely forward.


Jacey joins Dublin on his place and decides to look at a book while she's there!


Yep, she loves books and really enjoys loading up on them with her tub.


Dubbie is staying close by in case any treats fall out of her bag!
I also had him do a lap for a few seconds before Jacey wanted him off.


After church, Jacey excitedly gets Dublin out of his kennel to look at a book with him.
(He does not attend church with us.)


I put Dubbie in a down to "hang" with his little girl.


Dubbie goes "over" Jacey as she enjoys his company.

"Here's your breakfast, Bubbie!"

As for the growling...Jeremy said since we've had him out in public and he doesn't growl at people, it is definitely related to Judd, the garage and the smells associated with trapping.  The growling comes because of insecurity and fear.  Dublin has never smelled these things before and they are a bit overwhelming for a dog with amazing sniffer ofactories!  Jeremy said to just let Dublin get used to it over time on his terms.  If he breaks a command or doesn't listen and runs off, let him.  Let him go to his "safe" place.  There we can go and grab his muzzle and tell him no to let him know that we don't approve of his growling. 

We have a coyote that I shot WAAAY back when Judd and I were dating that he had tanned.  Jacey also received one of the fox pelts that was auctioned in her behalf on Trapperman.com when we were fundraising for her service dog.  Jeremy said to place this in the middle of the floor of our house and let Dublin do his thing.  That his been running along the wall while growling to get by them, to laying in the hallway while I am at the couch (he would prefer to be near me), to now pausing along the wall to sniff them out.  He has even been willing to come to the back edge of the couch while I am sitting there to get reassurance from me, in the form of praise and silly talk.  He doesn't growl hardly at them now, just our mud boots that may be at the back door where he goes out.  He skirts away from the mud boots quickly as he goes out the door.  Kind of funny....  The way Jeremy explained it is that the door to the garage that Judd comes in and out of has become the "boogie man" door.  Judd has also become the "boogie man" because of the scents that he carries with him.  Over time though, Dublin should get used to these smells as being normal for our home.  It just is going to take time.

To be honest with you, I haven't really wanted to go anywhere in public with Jacey and Dublin.  I know that's horrible of me to say, but it is true!  Not that I don't want to be in public with them.  Just that I need to be confident with myself in taking at least the three little ones and Dublin.  It is quite a load.  Just picture me with an arm through an infant car seat, a cute little girl in the other that is also holding a dog leash that is attached to Dublin which Jacey is attached to.  Quite the little train I must say.  It would make it even more interesting if Jacey decided to plop herself on the ground and not want to walk.  So, needless to say, I have been working on my skills (or juggling act, whichever you prefer) with taking Dublin out with just Kenna and Trevin.  I am definitely feeling more confident in myself AND Dublin.  I went to Sam's Club a couple of weeks ago with the trio and I was extremely proud of Dublin and for the way he represented service dogs in general.  I stopped to look at a few different clothing tables and each time, I just dropped the leash and Dublin would go into a down.  It was fabulous!  I actually walked away from him and around the corner of one table and Dublin just chilled in a "down".  I am grateful for all the wonderful training that was done by his foster mom and the 4 Paws staff.  If only I could sneak Sasha down there for some one on one training!  Dublin made out quite well with the treats that day!  :o)  Judd and I have even taken him to a couple of restaurants for lunch and he's done fabulous just hanging out under the table. 

Kenna, Trevin and Dubbie wait for our water jugs to fill at Walmart.
"Good boy, Dubbie!"

"Just chillin' with Mom and Kenna."



Dubbie under a restaurant table behaving himself while we feed our faces!
 
Kenna decided she needed to visit Dubbie and give him some love.
This was a great restaurant because there was TONS of room for feet and dog!!!

Can anyone guess where we are?
Hmmmmm....


"Good down Dubbie!"

What a handsome boy!!!

There's that treat bag!

I recently had a PTO meeting to go to and Judd wasn't going to be around to watch the kids.  That meant leaving my comfort zone of just having Kenna and Trevin to now hauling all five kids down to the school with me.  I was grateful that it was just to PTO and nothing like a banquet or dinner or something else that may have caused me to want to go into the fetal position.  :o)  Bailey and Carsten are thankfully very self-sufficient and can manage themselves.  They are also good about walking with Kenna and helping me out with her.  I tethered Jacey to Dublin in the parking lot and proceeded to go inside for the meeting (where I happen to be the PTO President).  Jacey was very good about not sprawling on the ground but walked behind Dublin and me.  It was the best feeling to know that Jacey was, one: walking, and two: not running away from me, and that these two things were happening without me being directly involved!  Jacey did great the entire meeting being tethered to Dublin.  Not one meltdown!  She was able to color and every so often would seek out his treats so that she could give him a few.  The night was a success and my confidence level definitely went up!



Hey, how did this picture get in here?!
 
And this one?  Weird!


Hmmm...strange!  I give up!

Also, the other day I went to pick up Jacey from preschool.  She came out with a folder that was for me and decided she wanted it fiercely.  I got it away from her once to lay it on the front chair of the van.  Unfortunately she got it while I was quickly visiting with her speech therapist.  Go figure!  So I had to take it away from her again.  This sent her into a lovely meltdown where she straightened her back and her legs so that I couldn't strap her into her carseat, all the while screaming.  I eventually got her strapped in but the screaming continued.  I took her hand and opened it, against her liking, and allowed Dublin to "kiss" (lick) it.  I held it for several seconds in hopes that it would stop the meltdown.  It only made her madder.  I gave up on it, closed the van door and went around to get into the driver's seat.  By the time I sat down in front of the steering wheel, there were giggles coming from the back seat - from Jacey!  Apparently, she decided that it was an okay idea to let Dublin "kiss" her hands.  She also had lunch on her face that he enjoyed trying to get to.  I am sure that without Dublin there, the ride home would have been one of the hundreds of others before - when Jacey would scream the entire ride home.

On the way to school...

So, what do I hope you get out of this long-winded post?!  It is that life continues to be insanely busy, crazy with five kids and two dogs but that Dublin is doing his job better everyday!  I feel more confident in my skills as Dublin's handler in public.  Jacey loves her dog, and the fact that she can take her dog anywhere she goes is awesome.  It is a very wonderful feeling knowing that because of Dublin, I can juggle Jacey and four other kids.  Jacey is so much happier these days and loves to search out dogs in books and says "doggie"  throughout the day.  I am so grateful for the people that made Dublin a reality - both those that helped us meet our fundraising requirement and those that trained Dublin in preparation of coming to live with us.  Please know that Jacey, and all of us, have been forever blessed by having Dublin in our home.  Thanks. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading my miniature novel (or is it a blogel?).  It feels great to have it done and have you all updated on our little adventure!  'Til next time...


Amy

***Oh...and I'd love to see more "followers" of my blog.  So, if you want to make a housewife happy, click "follow" at the top.  Thanks!  Comments would be fabulous as well!  Go ahead, tell me how crazy you think I am!!!  :o)


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Chaos Grows By One...And Other Happenings!

Well, you haven't heard anything in a while from me because I continued to get bigger and bigger until I felt like I was going to explode...thankfully, I didn't!  And then on January 25th at 11:00 pm, the chaos in our house rose by one when Trevin Thomas entered the world.  He weighed in at six pounds thirteen ounces and measured twenty and a half inches long.  We got to the hospital and had thirty minutes before he was here.  Don't worry - I got my drugs in time!!!  :o)  All went well and we are now home adjusting to the new routine.  Sorry, but I am a prideful parent and must include some pictures to show off our little one.









 I know, I know...you didn't come by my blog to see if I was still pregnant or not (I hope you didn't anyways!).  Things are still progressing.  Slowly.  But progressing.  We continue to work with Dublin bonding more with Jacey which is a little difficult, in my opinion.  Jacey has had NOOOOO problem bonding with Dublin but she has been somewhat aggressive with him.  She tries to pull his tail and ears (not surprised by this), but she has also decided that head butting him seems appropriate, not just on his head but on his sides and back as well.  I am still learning so much about Autism and ways to work with Jacey, but I must say that I'm at a loss for what to do with her aggressive behaviors.  She and Kenna can get into it (and do) sometimes.  Jacey will push Kenna, pull her hair, or lean into her which drives Kenna crazy.  Kenna on the other hand has learned to fight back and will pinch, hit or pull Jacey's hair.  Sorry, back to Dublin and Jacey....  She is just rough with him when she seeks out his attention.  He will be laying on the floor and as she runs full steam ahead at him, he will sit up as if to brace himself for the onslaught. 

Don't get me wrong, Dublin is doing well with Jacey but I just don't feel like he is one hundred percent bonded to Jacey, unless of course she has food!  So, what am I doing to work on this?  Jacey is quite a busy little three year old girl.  She attends Special Ed Preschool in the mornings and gets home to ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) in the afternoons...EVERY DAY!  With this busy schedule, I have found that I will have Jacey's Hab Aid give Jacey treats when she has done well with something to give to Dublin.  Dublin is much more apt to hang around with the treats being thrown at him.  Also, Jacey has been coming and laying down on the floor at random times in the afternoon and evenings.  I will call Dublin over to her and have him do an "over" on Jacey and I'll tell Jacey that they are snuggling.  She giggles and eventually wants him off.  I will repeat this over and over as I rub and pet Dublin, telling him what a good boy he is.  I am also observing Jacey closely as she runs about the house and if I catch her being rough with him, I will go over and show her, hand-over-hand, how to pet him and give him loves.

The other thing we have discovered needing to work with Dublin on is NOT growling and sometimes barking.  I have finally decided to call and talk with Jeremy, the head trainer at 4 Paws, about this because what we were taught to do in class is just not working.  What were we taught to do?  We cover his muzzle with our hand and tell him no.  Then if the growling or barking was caused by something he is unsure about, then we need to introduce him to it and talk to him and tell him what a silly boy he is, giving treats as we talk.  The PROBLEM - Dublin continues to growl and tries to back away from what we are doing and will NOT eat the treats we offer him.  That definitely says something!  We know exactly what it is he is growling and barking at - Judd.  Not that it happens every day and every time he comes across Judd.  It seems to be only after Judd spends time in the garage.  Strange you may say, but it is what Judd was doing out in the garage that is what Dublin is unsure of - coyotes, fox, beaver, muskrat and whatever else Judd may have been working on related to his trapping.  Dublin does not like the pants Judd wears to work on his hides, nor the smell that apparently is on Judd when he comes in.

This past Saturday, we finally got a babysitter and went to town with just Jacey and Dublin to do some tracks.  Judd had heard of an auction going on and thought we could get some tracks done in the building it was being held in.  Of course, after looking at a few items Judd thought he might be interested in.  Dublin was an excellent dog when we entered the room where the auction was held and was soon after barked at by some some little dogs.  Dublin's tail stayed up and continued to "heel" to Judd.  The owners of these little dogs had to holler and yell at them to come back and to stop.  It was quite a little scene during this auction.  I mean, how could you miss three little yappy, barking dogs in a fairly quiet room?!  I was very proud of Dublin for staying in a "heel" and not being phased by the dogs.  I know this was because of his upbringing before he came to our home!  Thank goodness for that!!!  Anyhew, while we were at the auction, we walked down a few aisles of tables looking at the different items.  There came a point where Dublin broke command and refused to go any further.  I quickly looked around and saw animal hides layed out on a table we were nearing.  Like I said, I am definitely going to call Jeremy about this.  Luckily Dublin only broke command and didn't growl or bark.  I'll keep you posted as to what happens with this.

So, we did go tracking on Saturday WITHOUT our cheering section.  AKA - Bailey, Carsten, and Kenna.  let me tell you, it was soooo nice not having to have the eyes on the back of my head up and running.  Trevin behaved himself well and slept the entire time in our Baby B'jorn I wore.  Jacey also did great with being tethered to Dublin.  It has been a while since we have done that with her and I feared it would only lead to the same behaviors as trying to hold her hand.  She loved it!!!  She was allowed to run "free" and not be held with a tight grip on her hand.  We did just a couple of tracks in this tiny mall because there wasn't much to it in hallways or places to go to hide.  So we also went to the real mall.  Holy cow, I guess we picked a bad day because it was horrendously busy.  I guess that's good for doing tracks but both Judd and I were glad to get out of the chaos when we left. 




We thought we would try some tracks outside of the department stores, down the main walkways of the mall.  I must say, Dublin is very impressive!  He found his girl every time.  Knowing how many scents he had to weed through to find hers, we were exhilarated to know he could find her.  I must say, I got a little over-confident at the end about my "ability" to read him.  Judd and I had agreed on a location just inside a major department store.  When we got to that intersection, Dublin continued to pull me hard towards a Hallmark store.  I thought in my head that maybe Judd had wanted to trick me by going in to this other store instead of the one we had agreed on so I continued to let Dublin pull me in the direction he wanted to go.  We got to the entrance of the store and one of the workers told me that it looked like I was "being taken for a walk."  I didn't stop to tell her that Dublin's job was to track his little girl should she get away from us.  Kind of funny to think that this lady had thought of this "service" dog taking it's owner for a walk.  It must have been a sight knowing that I had Trevin in the Baby B'jorn, covered with a blanket and me being pulled by this large black dog!  Needless to say, Judd had not tricked me and was standing out of sight just inside the department store.  Dublin found his girl eventually but I know that I became over confident in reading his body language when seeing Judd and Jacey where they were supposed to be.  I retraced our steps with Dublin and he found her.  I know I should have paused longer at the intersection to make sure that is what Dublin wanted to do.  It goes to show how Jeremy was right when he said that rooms breath, either in or out.  I figure with the way Dublin was pulling me to this Hallmark store, that the department store Judd and Jacey were in definitely breathed out, causing Jacey's scent to go into the Hallmark store.  It also reminded me that along with this breathing that rooms have, that a person has a "scent cone" and will drift in the direction of the airflow.

I must say it was funny that while we were at our "real" mall, security stopped us twice because of Dublin.  The second security guard just wanted to "remind" us that the only pets allowed in the mall were service animals.  Well, yes, we knew this considering the dog we had was a service dog which was wearing his harness (which technically he doesn't have to wear to be allowed in public places).  In fact the first security guard that stopped Judd said he was sorry, that he hadn't seen the patch on the harness.  It's funny how a simple patch can make you look like you're allowed to be there.  I could have had Sasha, our other dog who isn't as well-behaved when it comes to commands as Dublin.  "Oh sorry sir, I didn't see the patch."  It's a funny thought in my head, hopefully it is yours too! 

I also wanted to thank everyone who helped make Dublin a reality in Jacey's life.  This past Sunday at church, I gave a lesson in a class with just women on the subject of service.  I was reminded of what amazing service we were given when we were fundraising.  It blew Judd and I out of the water with quality of people that came forward wanting to help.  Thank you for all that you have done for our family and especially Jacey.  She is a happier girl with Dublin around...if only she knew how to be a tad bit gentler.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't look at Dublin and think about all the people that made him a reality.  Thank you for your service that was shown to Jacey, whether it was time, a talent, money, or spreading the word.  Thank you....

With that said, it is getting later in the evening and Trevin has yet to have his awake time tonight which should make for an interesting night.  Thanks for following our journey with Jacey and Dublin!

Amy

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Runaway Chaos Continues!

If you couldn't tell from my LACK of postings, life has resumed to its lightening speed.  I do feel like I've got things under my belt again...until Junior decides to join us...then I'll be trying to figure everything out all over again!  As for an update on Jacey and Dublin.....

The bond between Jacey and Dublin continue to grow.  Just this morning, I had to go in and wake Jacey up to get her fed and ready for school.  Dublin usually comes out of her room in the early hours, otherwise he wakes her up with his wagging tail smacking into things or from jumping on and off her bed.  Dublin came in the room with me to wake her up and he immediately jumped up on her bed with tail wagging like mad.  He'd jump down just to get back up again.  Jacey giggled to have such an enthusiastic greeting from Dublin.  I'm sure he was just thinking, "Hurry up and get out of bed so you can feed me my breakfast!"  Either way, both were excited to see each other!

Tonight we somehow lost our minds by taking ALL FOUR KIDS to the mall.  We stopped by Little Caesar's for a gourmet dinner out.  We took the pizza and ate it in the mall's food court.  Jacey was thrilled to be out and about.  Judd just wanted to get into the mall (it was about 4 degrees out) so we went without the stroller and opted out of taking Jacey's harness and tether in with us.  Eating our specially prepared dinner went fairly well.  Bailey and Carsten got to sit at their own table with their own box of pizza.  I think they felt like they were living it up!  :o)  Jacey attempted to sit in my lap to eat her slice of pizza but just couldn't find the right comfy position to sit in.  She really wanted to be kneeling in my lap but considering the size of my Buddha belly, it was a little difficult for her to get into that position.  Kenna had her own chair and enjoyed eating only the crust.

Judd took what was left of the pizza back to the car while I attempted to contain two little girls that wanted to go in two different ways while also handling Dublin.  Go ahead and imagine that one!  Yep, it was interesting!  Add the HUGE belly and I'm sure your imagination can run wild with what it looked like!  :o)  Needless to say, Judd couldn't get back fast enough!  Jacey decided to run down the mall towards him.  While we stopped to decide how we wanted to go about practicing tracking, Jacey took off down towards the doors.  We figured we'd start with that.  Judd took her off to the side where there was a family restroom.  Judd held the door to it open while Jacey went and played with the child size sink.  I talked Dublin up and away he went.  Okay, so I am now nine months pregnant with the baby having dropped extremely low.  Dublin would have gone A LOT faster had I allowed him.  I was pretty good this time about leaning back against the leash to keep him from pulling me face forward into the ground.  Dublin paused by the entrance to the mall before taking off again towards the restroom.  He found his girl - NO PROBLEM!!! 

So we walked back to the main walkway of the mall and had Judd take Jacey down a different way and into a game store.  Poor Dublin had to drag the prego again.  It was amazing to see him want to pull so hard.  When we first started off, his front legs went off the ground when he got to the end of the leash.  Good thing the leash was attached to his harness and not his training collar!  He would curve into towards the store entrances along the way and then head back down the main walkway of the mall until we made it to the game store.  Yet again, he found his girl without a hitch.

We were close to the entrance of Sears so this time I carried Jacey to Sears and around to the right of the women's section and waited.  The reason I carried Jacey - there was no way I'd ever be able to catch up with her running, which she was enjoying greatly tonight!  Judd headed up the track with of course the three other children with him.  He carried Kenna.  Dublin again found us no problem and he was rewarded with yummy Pupperonies.

We did one more track with him as I walked off to the infants area with Jacey (yes, carrying her).  Again Dublin did awesome, but we decided to give him a break from sniffing for a little bit as Jacey torn down the aisles of Sears.  I carried Kenna with Bailey and Carsten following behind as Judd kept up with Jacey.  At this point in time, after completing four tracks (waddling/running half of them), trying to keep Jacey with us, and making sure that we didn't leave behind Bailey, Carsten or Kenna, I was POOPED!!!  Add the fact that as I mentioned before, it was only about 4 degrees outside so we were layered up with our coats on. 

We continued our fast paced walk through the mall trying to keep up with a running, giggly Jacey.  We made it to one end of the mall (it's really not that big) and went into Herberger's for one last track.  As Judd was beginning to tell me where he would go with Jacey, she took off running, so off he went to catch up with her and hide somewhere.  I picked up Kenna and told Bailey and Carsten to stay back with me as I talked Dublin up for this track.  Talk about distracting with three kids by my side...or should I say that two of them wanted to be up by Dubbie which doesn't work well with tracking at all!!!  I had to continually remind them to get back by me as I try to keep Dublin going.  He got to entrance doors to the store and went cold, so I had to back him up a bit where the aisle had "Y'ed" to get him back on track.  Of course, it was a lot easier to get him to back up than it was for two kids!  The track didn't go as great as I wanted it to.  Dublin did find his girl but it was a bit frustrating having kids in tow.  I told Judd that next time we'll be getting a babysitter to practice some tracks.

Overall, the kids did fairly well for the chaos that it was.  We left the mall with all four kiddos which was definitely a plus....I think?!  :o)  We rewarded them with an Orange Julius of their own (Kenna and Jacey got to have sips off of their brother and sister's drinks).  By the time we made it back to the car, Judd and I were exhausted!!!!  As I sit here, I can feel my body slowing down further and further!  Hopefully, I'll be able to go to sleep easily.  I'm guessing Judd isn't going to have a problem since I haven't seen him come out of Jacey's room yet!  I'm pretty sure the two girls and daddy are fast asleep.

I was greatly relieved after going to the mall tonight in knowing that Dublin still knows the game.  It has been too long since we've tracked with him.  It's been too cold outside and evenings have flown by.  He did a great job finding Jacey.  I hope that the last track was my inability to stay focused on him and what he was doing. 

Needless to say, tonight was a success.  Bonding continues to go well and I am practicing with Dublin on behavior disruption techniques while Jacey is at school.  I'm also pulling his tail and ears and fur a bit with lots of rewards to help him get used to Jacey's "love".  I think it is going to take some time before I am able to use all of the behavior disruption techniques on Jacey because she has been a bit aggressive and pushes him away when she has her meltdowns, etc.  I want to keep it positive and upbeat for Dublin so that he doesn't shy away from her.  For now, she loves "kisses"...on her terms of course.  She loves to put her hand in front of his mouth so that he will lick it.  She attempts to do the same to Sasha but with no results!  :o)  I continue to say "kisses, good kisses" as he licks her hands.  However, I must say it is a bit gross with what Jacey has decided to do afterwards - she'll lick her own hands.  Bleh!!!  I figure if it doesn't killer her it will only make her stronger...right?!  :o) 

Well, my pillow calls to me!  I hope you enjoyed the update.  Hopefully I'll have more to report soon and will find the time to do so.  I do have on my list of things to talk about is how we manage with Dublin's potty when traveling and that sort of thing.  This was a question that I have been asked that I thought I might as well do here on the blog...just not tonight! 

Until my next comical act of juggling Dublin, Jacey, and her three siblings....

Amy