According to the Storm Lake Times, our liberal newspaper with unintentionally funny headlines, * “Halfway through the snow season, the city’s snowfall is about double what would normally be expected for the entire winter.” Yeah. It sucks.
I had to clean the driveway three days in a row last week. The snow in my yard is over knee deep in the center, chest deep at the edges where the snow plow piles it up. The dogs won’t even venture into the yard, confining themselves (and their eliminations) to the cleared patio area. The garage door (regular doorway-door) was frozen shut the other day and I had to throw myself against it (with the doorknob turned to open–that part worked) a dozen times to open it. Now it won’t shut tight, so I have to keep the big door shut so the dogs won’t get out of the yard and I hope the small door isn’t damaged.
This is all very disheartening. I do find snow to be pretty, but I prefer to admire it on glossy calendar photos or on the tops of distant mountains.
And we won’t even talk about last Thursday, when the windchill was -44.
All this cold does make one want to eat warm, comforting things, such as oatmeal for breakfast, which I’ve had every day for at least two weeks. As you can see from the pics, it’s a popular meal choice in this household.
While the snow has been piling up, I’ve been trying a training method on Ricky. Well, I’ve been mostly reading and napping, but the training thing has been happening too. When I was visiting Linda, we watched a show called “Me or the Dog,” featuring a female British dog trainer. I liked her methods, which seemed successful and much less macho than Cesar Milan’s.
The problem in this household is that Ricky chases the cats, incessantly and loudly, and the cats mostly live in the basement (there’s a cat door) until bedtime, when Ricky is confined to the spare room. The woman on the show got dogs who “hated” other dogs or people to tolerate them by getting the dog in proximity with the offending creature and feeding the dog chopped up hotdog, so the dog learns that tolerating the offending creature means yummy treats.
I’ve been doing this, mostly in the kitchen because I can’t really force Astrid out of her comfort zone, and the results have been nothing short of amazing. If Ricky encounters Astrid in the kitchen, he won’t chase her. He sometimes does chase her from the rest of the house, but not as often, and she can be in another room, yowling her head off (she’s bitchy and vocal) and he doesn’t even pay attention. It’s a processed meat miracle, and here’s photographic proof:
And that’s what’s been happening here.
*the Pilot-Tribune is our conservative newspaper with unintentionally funny headlines