Happy Birthday Mr Bean!

I do not know where the time goes. How does a pup go from

to

012

Look at that man mane!

He is such a good good dog. He barks too much, but he’s sweet and he’s gentle. He goes to daycare every week and loves playing with the other dogs there. He helps “interview” potential new “Camp” dogs, and he gets guinea pigged for other possible behavior-issued dogs because he is so wonderfully appropriate.

He loves to cuddle. He really could not be any sweeter a dog.

I am so very lucky that I was allowed to have such a special little guy. I haven’t done nearly as much with him as he deserves– he should be playing rally and agility at least. But I know he doesn’t care. He loves flyball. He loves playing with his little brother Hambone. He loves to run errands. He loves to snuggle on the couch with me.

All of the pups in the litter have grown into very nice dogs, but I think I got the best one.

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Family Photo of the Day

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New kid doesn’t get it yet.

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Keep on keepin’ on / Level-headed selfie

Finished another graphic novel

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and another kiddie lit book. Who can name the series?

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I don’t know how much longer I’m going to make it, but I do know I need to go take my contacts out before they permanently adhere to my eyeballs.

Current totals:
3 graphic novels
2 kiddie lit books
178/283 pages of non-fiction
41/158 pages YA fiction

Trying not to let all this highbrow literature go to my head

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Ok I’m back / Mid-Event meme a bit late

So I had myself a bit of a reading hiatus- took Ham to flyball class and then went out to eat and, um, browse a bookstore. Would you believe I didn’t buy anything?

I’m struggling to stay engaged. I’m partway through two different books and neither is holding my attention right now. Maybe another kid’s graphic novel will help me get back into the swing.

Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now?
Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage and Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig
2. How many books have you read so far? 3 that I’ve finished, half of another, and a third of another.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Nothing in particular.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? I didn’t free up my whole day, and then I made impromptu plans, which I regret. I wish I had made more preparations (snacks, etc) and devoted myself to making a real go of it.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? My whole day has been an interruption.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How undedicated I am given how extremely excited I was about it.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope– you guys are doing an awesome job!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Try to find an in-person reading buddy. I think that would help a bunch to stay on task!
9. Are you getting tired yet? Oh yeah.
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Short books! Graphic novels!

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Shelfie!

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3 pm sleepies / Best Of challenge

I’m having trouble settling on a book. I’m back and forth between several right now. Threw in a dinosaur graphic novel for a quick read and brain break.

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Cameron and his Dinosaurs by Scott Christian Sava, art by Adres Silva Blanco

And yeah, this one isn’t uplifting, but I’m enjoying it.

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So, a reading mini-challenge:

Best of Your Reading Year:
Best Book of Your Reading Year: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. I’ve read her blog for a long time, and when I saw her book at the bookstore, I bought it immediately. I laughed. I cried. I identified. Her depression comics are so SO on the mark, and I wish that everybody would read them and maybe understand a little bit better what mental illness is like.

Best Non-Fiction Book of Your Reading Year: Gulp by Mary Roach. I always enjoy her books, and this one did not disappoint! Full of weird, engaging things that I never knew I didn’t know. Fascinating, entertaining, sometimes downright funny. I can’t wait for her next book.

Best YA Book of Your Reading Year: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Without question. Even though it made me cry my eyes out.

Best Graphic Novel of Your Reading Year: Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan. This is the story of a pride of lions in the Baghdad zoo during the war. It is beautiful and brutal and amazing. War breaks my heart. This book broke my heart a little bit more.

That’s all for now. Back to the books!

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Readathon- On to book 3

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I have nothing but the highest respect for military working dogs and their handlers. And I love that they have progressed largely to reward-based training, at least with detection dogs.

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Hambone, however, finds this all quite boring. I’m soon going to have to go get the new chewies out of the car that I bought last night so that the dogs would have something to do with themselves while I read. They’ll be very happy.

Total books read: 2
Graphic novels: 1
Juvenile fiction: 1

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Readathon update and Intro Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Pennsylvania, USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut’s Story by Michael Collins which I just happened upon in a used bookstore yesterday. I was happy to add it to my stack!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I’m thinking there should probably be pizza involved with today.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! As you can probably tell, I’m a bit of a dog-a-holic. I’ll be taking a break late this afternoon to take my little brown dog to his flyball class. Sometimes you just have to set your priorities! (And there are only two dog books in my pile, btw.)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? More water, less caffeine! Although I am starting out the day with a Pepsi Max. Breakfast of champions I tell you.

Book two came with a change of venue. What a beautiful morning!

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Go time

I’m participating in Dewey’s Readathon again, theoretically for 24 hours though I doubt that will actually happen. I am sleep-deprived enough as it is. Anyway, I’ll be posting progress reports here throughout the ‘thon.

blogathon
Lots of options.

readathon 1
Starting here.

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Building the flyball dog.

Ham and I are taking a flyball class to get him up and running. He is different for me to train– he is DEFINITELY not a Border Collie. He doesn’t automagically laserfocus on a tug once he starts heading toward me. Instead, he likes to make victory laps, preferably with a ball in his mouth. That’s going to be our biggest struggle.

But he is making progress in leaps and bounds in this class. It is cool to have video; it is cool to see how fast he is.

Class is always two parts: box turn work, and then retrieve/jumping work.

To teach Ham a boxturn we started him on a board. At first, because he was afraid, it was flat. I rewarded him for any interaction with the board, and eventually we got all four feet on. Then I started luring the turn using food at first, and then a ball. We gradually increased the angle of the board until it was steep enough that he can’t stand on it, he has to hit it and turn off it. We want a quick-on-quick-off the box.

At the end of the video, we introduce a tennis ball stuck on velcro. This blew his mind completely. At home, I dropped the angle of the board dramatically until he understood that he was to get his ball off the board, and then increased the angle again. At our last team practice, he was turning off the actual flyball box and taking his ball from the ledge. So much progress so quickly!

He is such a cool little dog and I am excited to get him up and running.

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