Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Back to work

My new contract job starts next week. It will last for a year, if all goes as planned.

Yay! I'm actually glad. And not just because I love copyediting.

I didn't think I'd get tired of sitting around all day doing my own projects. But when you don't have a "real job," suddenly you don't have an excuse to avoid all those things you've been procrastinating about.

I didn't want to file six months' worth of papers. I didn't want to update Byrd's Quicken (four months out of date and hand-entry required for three of the four months). I didn't want to weed the driveway. I didn't want to clean out all the kitchen cabinets. I didn't want to organize the closet.

But I did. Because they were on The List I Created (Of Things I Really Wished Someone Else Would Do) and I couldn't think of a reason not to do them.

Starting next week, I can go back to procrastinating. Cause I'll have a "real job" again.

Whew.

In other news, Star got her CGC certificate in the mail.


She is really not very photogenic. She always looks really pissed or freaked out or bored in photos, and unlike Dozer, she doesn't react to words, so I can't get her excited just by saying "treat."

Dozer responds to about a dozen different voice commands and he knows the names of all of his various toys (he will bring the correct toy when given its name). He's one of those dogs I have to spell around, to keep him from getting excited about r-i-d-e-s in the c-a-r. He's also really good at observing the interplay of tone of voice, body language, speech patterns, and more, so even when he doesn't understand the words, he knows what's going on.

Star, on the other hand, just sort of stares, no matter what I say. She's learned to respond to voice commands, but doesn't seem to know the difference between them unless I use hand signals as well. This is starting to be a problem in agility, where, if I don't get my body language precise, she's just as apt to take the tunnel than to go over the A-frame, even if I'm shouting "A! A!"

The only words she clearly knows are "Star," "No!," "Leave It!" and "Yes!" She seems to understand positive versus negative tone of voice, too.

I'm a bit confounded by this apparent language barrier. It requires a whole new set of communication skills on my part. I'm used to having dogs that speak English. :)

With luck, agility classes will help. I'm hoping it will eventually click with her that the sounds coming out of my mouth actually mean something.

10 comments:

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Hmm, maybe you need to talk to Star loudly and slowly. You know, like Chris Tucker in the first "Rush Hour" movie when he thought Jackie Chan couldn't speak English. "Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?"

PoochesForPeace said...

good job star!
Although she does look bored in this pic knowing her lanuage barrier issue just makes it funny. We have to spell around spuds too. Or say certain words kind of backwards. Like "houndgrog" instead of "groundhog" Although this trick doesnt work as well as just spelling out the word...tone of voice is everything! haha :)

forsythia said...

Obviously, fate brought you and Star together. Try Japanese with her.

cre8vekaos said...

Obviously she speaks a higher language than us mere mortals. We just have to find the rosetta stone. You will. She's done so much in such a short time.

One day it will click and you will be speaking Stareese fluently.

Princess said...

I was going to say that she doesn't look too excited about that certificate or getting her picture taken, until you explained.

Princess knows words like you say Dozer does and we often spell around her, but I swear she's learning that too! On the other hand gets annoyed with my picture taking sometimes and when she hears the camera turn on when she's in a mood she'll close her eyes and turn away!

I'm sure you'll find something eventually that works with Star. She's such a talented girl!
~P's Mom

Rinalia said...

Celeste does not know how to spell, thankfully. Mina knows how to spell, due to the fact that I must talk/act a certain way when trying to spell out her favorite past-times, like walkies and cookies and naptimies.

I think Star is so pretty; I've never really disliked pictures of her. Though I do notice it's a very standard facial expression she gives. :) She needs to put on the angst-burners and start getting woeful. That spices things up immensely.

Congrats on the certificate!

Woodrow, Sweetie, MJ Campanella said...

congrats on your CGC - you are such an accomplished little girl

Woodrow, Sweetie & MJ

Luda's Mummy said...

Luda sez that Star's creepy gaze may actually be x-ray vision. Now that she has earned here CGC, maybe she will covertly begin moonlighting as "Sooper Dawg".

Star has proven herself to be a smart girl as evidenced by her success with training. I suspect that her language barrier may actually be selective hearing. I experience this with my human and canine kiddies on a regular basis.

Also, a note for the future...human kiddies can be very useful for accomplishing those items on your list that you wish someone else would do.

Sharon said...

Dob does best with hand motions in addition to commands, too. I wonder if Star is partiall deaf?

Also, congrats on the job!

<3

PS we got your package! Thank you so much, Dob loves the new toys :) I gave him the lobster right away and we're saving the squirrel for a rainy day.

daisydog said...

Yea Star! You go girl!!! I wonder if the voice inflection takes some time to comprehend, perhaps after you have had her longer? She is beautiful, and photogenic espeically when you catch her not looking :)