Sunday, April 26, 2009

Summer Weekend in the Spring and Hellpuppy is Now Known As Misunderstood Puppy

My parents came for a visit this weekend. The weather was perfect. The humid smell in the air reminds me of summers in NJ. We have visited almost every attraction in this area except for a of these is the Eric Carle Museum of Picture book art. I enjoyed looking through the gift shop at my favorite classic childrens books.

We went to the Black Sheep Deli for lunch, which has an amazing selection of pastries, salads and sandwiches made on site. We sat in a park in Amherst, ate lunch and soaked up the sun.

We also made a quick stop at a place called Flayvors. This is one of the most impressive little dairy markets I have ever seen. Its on the site of a cute little dairy farm. The happy cows are on the other side of the parking lot from the store, which sells very fresh dairy products and of course homemade ice cream. Only in New England.....

We also went to experience some local history at the Quabbin Resevoir. According to wikipedia, here is some background information on this place.........

"The Quabbin's creation required the flooding, and thus the dissolution, in April 1938, of four towns: Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott. The land remaining from the dissolved towns was added to surrounding municipalities, including Belchertown, Pelham, New Salem, Petersham, Hardwick and Ware.

When the buildings in the towns flooded by the reservoir were destroyed, the cellars were left intact. The remnants of the buildings and roads can occasionally be seen when the water level is low, and old roads that once led to the flooded towns can be followed to the water's edge. Not all elements of the towns were flooded, however. Town memorials and cemeteries in the four towns were moved to the Quabbin Cemetery, located on Route 9 in Ware, just off the Quabbin's lands. Many other public buildings were moved to other locations.

Because of state restrictions, most areas around the reservoir are accessible only by foot, through fifty-five surrounding gates. Few people ever go into the deep woods, and it has become a wildlife area. Bald eagles, moose, bears, foxes, and wildcats share the habitat. Large portions of Dana are on higher ground, and its remains, predominantly cellar holes, as well as the former town green (where a historic stone marker was placed) can be visited. Much of Prescott is also above water, on what is now known as the Prescott Peninsula, but it cannot be visited because of state restrictions, although there is an annual tour of the town conducted by the Swift River Valley Historical Society. A few houses and roads exist which were once part of North Prescott (now New Salem), and there is a town line marker just north of the gates, indicating the former town line for Prescott."


Today was the first good day I have had with Teal in awhile. Im learning a lot about dog behavior in a very short amount of time and am finally realizing that Teal has been very misunderstood by me. She did well in flyball practice today. She went over puppy jumps and mostly came back to me for a turkey reward (no tugging yet). We also did some work with the chute and she was able to snap on and off fairly well. Every other dog in the building was in a crate, so there were few distractions, but it was still improvement for her. Hopefully we will practice again next week.

Okay back to her being misunderstood. Today I learned that Teal, does in fact want to work and may even be biddable. She just needs to be micromanaged......extremely micromanaged. She needs her entire life controlled for her so she doesnt have the pressure on herself to control her life. She also needs to learn that all the food in the world does not belong to her. In very controlled situations that we set up today, she made amazing progress at a very rapid pace. Now we will see how well I can keep up with the techniques I learned today. Our first big challenge will be to do a 30 minute lie down and stay. Sounds really intense, but Im doing it now as I type and its working very well. I have to remind her less and less and she is finally settling.

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