A few days ago, I noticed Chou panting in the evening. It wasn't warm in the house, but she panted all night, even after I set up the little fan near her bed. The next day, I understood that the panting was distress.
Chou's friend, Toffee, had a new toy to show us. It's like a cat toy, only much bigger -- a WoofStick. Other versions are known as flirt poles. When the 2 metal pipes are fit together, with rope and toy dangling, it looks like a fishing pole with a lure, except the dog is not supposed to catch it.
It's rainy season in Sacramento. Sometimes there is a break between the storms, like this morning, so Chou Chou can go walking, but other times it pours and neither of us wants to be outside. Then it's like being cooped up with a toddler.
I often go to lunch with my friend, who retired from her career as the psychology department's graduate students' coordinator at CSU, Sacramento. We've been close for many years. As we talked, I told her about Chou Chou's hip dysplasia and the physical therapy. I mentioned that swimming was recommended to me as good exercise for Chou, but I don't have a pool.
It's very hot here this week, over 100 degrees. I was going to San Francisco for a haircut, and I was worried about leaving Chou here all afternoon and early evening with nothing to do for so many hours.
From the beginning, I could see that Chou Chou runs a little off-kilter. Mimi was poetry in motion; I loved to watch her run. But Chou Chou moves like a bear, she lumbers -- cute, but kind of odd for a briard.
Chou played in the schoolyard tonight with several other dogs she knew. But her BFF Hugo wasn't there. When she got noticeably hot and tired, I put the leash on her and we headed for the exit ... but she saw Hugo coming into the schoolyard, walking by us on leash.
I walked Chou Chou around the corner tonight, to run with her friends in the school playground. I got two houses from home when I realized I hadn't locked my back door. I turned around to go back to lock the door and get my key. Chou did not like that!
Chou Chou broke away from me at handling class. For an hour, she was jumping, pulling, and rolling on her back and kicking when she should have been standing still... and then, with all her twisting, the leash slipped from my hand and she got away from me.
I am glad I let Mike do the handling; it's fun to watch and take pictures, but the thought of running around with Chou in front of lots of people is too intimidating to me. I prefer to watch and say, "That's my dog out there!!"
Chou Chou has been taking an advanced obedience class at PetSmart for 6 weeks. This course had a goal: to obtain her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate. Today was the exam, and it's her first birthday!
I learned that Chou Chou would be the only briard in the whole Sacramento Dog Show. That's so disappointing. That means she cannot get any points. Still, I decided to proceed, for the practice and it sounded like fun; no pressure to do well, no competition.
No, she will never be in that show. But she enjoyed watching it. Chou Chou isn't allowed to go into the living room/dining room area without me. There is a baby gate keeping her out. My harp is safest without a big puppy to knock it over.
It's Sunday, and we went to a dog park on the grounds of Sacramento County Animal Care, a pet adoption center. Chou Chou was playing with a golden retriever who liked to play fetch. Chou didn't care about the ball, but she runs after any dog who is fetching a ball. She's a herder, not a retriever. Each breed has its speciality.
Chou has a place where she can lie down in the kitchen, next to the kitchen table, while I eat, read the newspaper, or check email. I bought her an Orvis futon. I'm not sure she likes it. ("Why do you say that?")