The day was cold enough for me to need mitts when walking Black Jack, and I was in something of a take-it-easy mode, but we still spent lots of time outdoors. l was in my housecoat, sitting on the back steps, with Black Jack on my knee, when I took the first picture, zooming in to catch what I think could possibly be a Pine Siskin in my neighbor's yard.We then went off to Jericho for the third Sunday in a row. I was cold, and Black Jack, on her long leash, was picking stuff up from the ground constantly. It drove me crazy, and I felt I had only myself to blame, since Oregon Sunshine had kindly taken the time to e-mail privately several times, and she also posted a detailed plan to work on the "Leave-it" command. What I confirmed today, although in my common sense moments, knew before, is that becoming angry and punishing her is useless. It might work with some dogs. Not Black Jack. My punishment, after saying "NO" and trying and failing to wrestle whatever it was out of her mouth, was to shorten her lead from the long one she loves. I made it so short, she couldn't get her head down to the ground. After ten minutes or so on the short lead, I tried giving her the long one again. Boy, did that strategy backfire. She became almost frantic about grabbing tufts of dirt, grass, anything she could get. Today's strategy was NOT the route Oregon Sunshine had laid out, and I knew that. I did try her plan of high and low value treats, but the problem, I think, is that Black Jack doesn't consider any treat low value. The exercise was fun, and she quickly figured out that backing off the offered "low value" treat got her the one behind my back. After eating that treat, she backed off again, and stared at the low value one, which I (perhaps mistakenly) gave her. I did this for about two weeks, but gradually drifted back to our old bad habits. And here I am again, after two very frustrating walks, determined to give it another shot. I've reread Oregon Sunshine's plan, and, since I know the problem is my laziness, and not Black Jack's inability to learn, will try to work on my consistency first. Anyhow, while the walk today was admittedly challenging, I did have lots of enjoyable moments too. I liked this picture by the pond, because it shows that a grey, coldish day can have its own charms.
Again, just like last week, I saw a heron. I assume it is the same one, but have not confirmed that. I think I should find a name for the Jericho one. Any suggestions? I've gone with dp's idea of Nicky, for the long-legged, knobby-kneed one that waits across the river from my school in North Vancouver. The one at Jericho seemed to be showing off its front feathers today. There was a momentary burst of sun, so here are two pictures that point out its impressive and (I think) beautiful bib .
We took a different path home today, along streets that were new to me. These crocuses, with the heather beside them, were the most vibrant I've seen yet.
This tree, just a block away from where I live, seemed particularly beautiful today. The sun, again, came out for just a few moments, to make the photo work quite well, I think.
Bill and I had a latte at The Wicked, and I took this poor quality photo of some tiny, white flowers near the cafe. They seem to have an evergreen leaf. I googled, hoping to identify them, but found no images that appeared to be similar. Any ideas, dp or other readers?
Bill's sister, Phyllis, is in town to spend time with her daughter, Glenys, and her much loved new grandson, Oscar. We all went for a walk together, and got caught up on news. Talking with Phyllis is always great fun. Her sense of humor, her keen observation of the world around her, and her ability to say it just like it is are just some of the qualities that I enjoy.
And Oscar! Look at the expression in those eyes. He is one gorgeous fellow, all decked out for Winter in Vancouver. He reminded me that I keep pushing for Spring, when perhaps I should accept that Winter does have to run its course. It certainly did this weekend. Over the past couple of days, we saw sun, rain, sleet, hail and snow! Phyllis, used to Winnipeg weather, was just fine today, and Oscar didn't complain at all. No comment on my rather wimpy response:)
We saw this couch during our walk. Black Jack was quick to test it out.
We said good-bye to Phyllis and Oscar, after an entertaining walk, and look forward to seeing them again soon. Home to another of Bill's suppers, a long nap, a little laundry, some blogging, and now to bed. A good day. I always seem to sign off the same way. Taking time to blog points out that there are a lot more positives than negatives, in most days. As far as training goes, "Try, try again," is the word of the day. As far as the weather goes, it's really not such a big deal to dress for it. Oscar and Phyllis knew that, as did Bill, in his down-filled jacket. It was great to spend time with them, and it was, indeed, a good day.