Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My job shadow with a vet.

Warning: there may be some graphic information (not really... I candy coat a lot of stuff.) but it might get long... and boring, but it's my blog so read it or leave it.


Today... Tuesday the twenty-second of june I, Jessi, followed a vetrinarian for a day.

The day started out with me driving 45-50min to a vet. I could probably have asked a closer vet but since this was a country vet I got to see both the small animals (cats, dogs) and the big (cows) So I figure that's the best way to start off.

Let's back up to the night before. I slept approximately two hours. In the morning I rushed through breakfast and didn't eat a whole lot. Yeah I kinda almost fainted a little tiny bit while the vet I was following was in the middle of sticking her hand up a sleeping dog's rectum. It was the first dog of the day. My first thought? "This is going to be one long day." But after I sat down for a while they gave me a little 20lb biting dog (ironically named Buddy) to babysit and I felt right at home. (yes, that was a jab at you Charlie.)

After that I had absolutely no problems. I watched the vet spay a chihuahua. They are very small dogs, with very tiny insides. Then I watched like nine dogs get neutured and one cat. Then one very old big black lab came in with a tumor. Long story short the tumor was a lot bigger then they thought initially and I saw a dog euthenized. I wasn't upset by this experience because the dog was very old and had troubles walking and doing other regular activites and the owner agreed to it because it was what was best for the dog.

Then I took a short break to observe the groomer, then went back.

After all those surgeries I watched it was lunch time, so everybody sat in the break room and made jokes about vet things I don't understand, talked about houses, building houses, falling apart houses, houses with basements, houses in tornados, Mcdonalds, the shooting in fargo, upcoming vacations... ect.

Thumbs up for the random picture?

Then it was time for some appointments. I got to help the vet take blood from a chihuahua/rat terrier mix, got to help with a golden doodle puppy, black lab/cocker spaniel mix puppy, a yellow lab, a black lab, a golden retriever, and a black cat. I hunted down files, I counted out pills, and things started to slow down. I went in to the back to watch how they tested bull semen, Not making any decisions yet, but if I do become a vet or vet tech of some sort.. I would love to stick to animals smaller then me.

The vet hospital that I went to has a connecting humane society where I got to feed the dogs. After I fed the dogs I played with a LOT of kittens and cats. I played with two, three legged cats one of which was blind, and then with three kittens who were very young. I played with a ton of perfectly healthy cats also.

After that it was time to go home. I hope to go back on a day when it is strictly appointments, and might ask to go on a day when they are working with the larger animals more because I am interested to see how they go about examining an animal that can seriously injure them just by stepping the wrong way.

Overall I think it was a great experience and I have not checked Vetrinarian off my possible list of careers (which is short because I hate a lot of things.)

P.S. Charlie's nose was like attached to my leg when I got home. I might have to shower before I come home next time because I could not get away from my dog.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Charlie sleeps with a giant stuffed gorilla every night.
You can see part of it in this picture..

It's Thursday! (well again it is actually Friday, but I don't care and you don't care so just read the post...) So that means you get an update on Charlie!

First before we start I just want to let you know that I have a job shadow with a vetrinarian on Tuesday. I'm really nervous because if I can't handle the surguries it is a) going to be a really long day and b) back to trying to figure out what I want to do with my life... I just want to make a decision already.

Back to Sir Charles.

The Trainer gave us homework last week, and I think Charlie is catching on very well. I was supposed to teach him to go to his bed on command. I taught him to lay down in his bed when I say the word (this is super creative) "bed." When the trainer was here we increased the distance between me and the bed when I told Charlie to go there, I went around a wall, and I walked completely out of the room. Near the end The Trainer went outside and rang the doorbell and knocked on the door and even though Charlie growled a little he went to his bed when I told him and he stayed there when I let The Trainer in and she walked in and sat down and Charlie waited until I said he could move. Yeay Charlie! He stayed in his bed without distractions for 90 seconds today and I think we can get a lot better so we will be working on that this week.
Charlie also has mastered "Leave it" and I can randomly throw a treat across the room and he will look at me instead of chasing it.

Also this week:
Continue of "Look at me."
Improving "Back up" (Hand stand here we come!)
Getting "Spin" down completely without lure.
Dropping the ball in my hand rather then by my feet.
Retrieving leash (we might save this one for another week)

If anybody has any more tricks that they think are unique and able to be taught to a 20lb dog... let me know. Actually... I don't even care if it is unique... Tricks you think are cool...

P.S. I forgot the P.S. this week and had to go back.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Second Update and Pitbulls

First off my updates with Charlie and his homework! I know it's the day after (actually 2, but since I haven't gone to bed yet we will stick with the day after) but better late then never, right?

One thing I always wanted to teach Charlie, but never knew quite how to go about it is to go to his bed when I tell him to. I guess I've never thought that he would stay there if a person walked into our house even if I told him to, so I figured why try? But with The Trainer's help maybe we can do it! We are still working on his "look at me" (watch me) and he pretty much ignores the treats until I okay him now so that is awesome.

Charlie also learned "spin" this week, he knew "turn around" so spin is just the other way, The Trainer also suggested a few other tricks I can try to teach him, and helped me with some tips on how to get him to do a proper "back up" so I can eventually teach him to do a handstand (pretty much my dream to teach a dog... is that weird?).

Anyways, I have to discuss something like... right now.


I love pitbulls and I become very frustrated with people who stereotype pitbulls. I was playing Apples to Apples with my friends and the word was "Dangerous." One of my best friends in the entire world, someone who has grown up with and loves dogs lays down the card that said "Pit bull."

Well I kind of started an arguement and chihuahuas were brought into the picture. When somebody else in the room stated that pitbulls have killed children I said something along the lines of "so have golden retrievers, labs, and chihuahuas." WELL they do not believe me that a chihuahua has killed a child.


The discussion ended with me vowing that every person in that room will be going to the next adoption event in town and we are going up to every single pitbull.

My favorite dog to walk at the shelter was Gypsy, a pitbull. She was goofy and she absolutely loved everybody. Maybe it is my strong desire to prove people wrong, but one day I'm going to be the PROUD owner of a pitbull, and everybody we meet is going to be walking away with a better view on the breed.

For goodness sakes "Pitbull" is not even a breed.

I can't talk about this anymore, I am becoming more upset.

If anyone has a pitbull for loan, I would love to have him spend the day with a couple of my friends.

Well anyways, have a wonderful saturday!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dog Stalking & Homework Update

I haven't told you this before, but Charlie has had many stalkers over the years. It's amazing how many people will just take a picture of a random dog at the dog park. Always the cutest, Charlie usually is the most often picked for such things.

Of course, I don't mind... Kinda. I mean, I want to know where these pictures are going! Last year some lady took a video of Charlie and me playing fetch.
I mean, if it was just Charlie I wouldn't have minded so much but I was in that video and I want to know where it is! Is it somewhere on youtube? a blog? Is she just keeping it to herself? Is she some creepy dog stalker who takes videos of dogs and watches them between feeding her overweight dog, giving her overweight dog treats and not walking her overweight dog? Wait! wait... Is she a CHILD STALKER? Did I ever consider that? No! Not until now! Oh no!

Let's forget about that last paragraph entirely.

I just want to know where this video is of my dog. He was, of course, being super impressive with his tiny legs and insane speed but does that mean she had to take a video of my dog? So many questions, no way to find out answers.

So if you see a video of this dog:

When questioned on the incident Charlie responded:
"Someone was taking a video of me? all I saw was the ball I was chasing."
Let me know.

On to the homework The Trainer gave Charlie and me. I have been working on his "Look at me" (again most people say "Watch me") and he is doing pretty well, but he always looks away when a noise is made, he turns back fast as lightning, but always looks away for half a second. We are still working on that.

The other thing I am working on is making sure Charlie waits for me to say okay for him to get a treat. I do this by holding a handful of treats and the clicker in one hand, and a single treat in the other. When I hold out my hand Charlie goes for that one treat and I just hold on to it so he can not get to it and as soon as he stops trying and looks away I click and give him a treat from my other hand. We have gotten to the point where I hold out my hand flat out and he will not take the treat, and without saying "Leave it" or "stay" I can throw a treat across the room and he will not chase after it.

As for the "touch" command we've been working on, it has been going extremely well. I had britney come over and knock on doors and make a ton of noise and Charlie would always come to me when I said "touch."

This is such an awkward picture of Britney
Oh well, i'm pressing the post button right now...

On another positive note, the other day Britney walked into my house and I thought it was my brother so I didn't react at all and Charlie barked at her a couple of times then they walked into the living room together. Later Charlie pushed his head into her hand and she got a good 5 seconds of petting in before Charlie realized he was supposed to be a big mean dog and he gave a little growl.

Anyways! I'll right down random stuff for you to read again at a later date!

P.S. I seem to be posting a "P.S." for every single blog i'm writting and since I couldn't think of one today, this is it.


Friday, June 3, 2011

That update I promised..

So today "the Trainer" came over to see Charlie and me again, the greeting went exactly as the first did (which I consider great!), if you didn't read about that scroll down and you'll find it. I've decided to just call her The Trainer because I don't think there is a law against it, and I feel uncomfortable using her real name for some weird reason.

She gave me homework.

I mean, I knew this was coming and this is better then any homework i've ever gotten from school, I get to work with my dog and when I complete that homework it will, hopefully, positively effect my life (unlike that crap they give you at school).

Today she showed me how to improve Charlie's "Look at me" ("watch me") and she was prepared to help me teach the "Touch" command but since Charlie already knows that one she gave me tips on how to use that to make sure Charlie is focused on me. No matter what.

Now, i'm bragging about my adorable little puppy again, but he's so freaking smart that he catches on very fast. So after one hour when The Trainer was knocking on doors, talking loudly, stomping around, even sitting on the ground making a ton of noise, Charlie would always focus on me when I said "touch."

Now it's pretty late and Charlie and I have to get up and do homework tomorrow, and since he fell asleep and started snoring three hours ago it's safe to say that he will have an unfair advantage.

P.s. I'm really glad I clicker trained Charlie. He used to touch and high five my hand when I asked for one or the other, but since the clicker he has them seperated. It is actually making training a lot easier because Charlie tends to do what I ask then add a little improv. which he tends to think is what he is getting the treat for. So a yeay for clickers!