My Puppy is a Devil

So, it’s been about a month since I got Lyanna. While I love her to death, there are some things that Lyanna and I should work on…

  1. Biting. Well this one is quite obvious but her bites can be DEADLY! People don’t lie when they say Aussies have needle sharp teeth. Not to mention the fact that she loves to herd me. *sigh*
  2. Barking. We knew from the start that Lyanna was a vocal one, but JESUS can her barks be any more deafening and high pitched!! She barks when she wants to get out of her crate or playpen, she barks when she’s herding us, she barks when she wants to play, she barks for her food, ugh she even barks at smaller children when I take her to the park. As you can tell, she likes to speak.
  3. She is pushy! When she doesn’t get her way, much like a 2 year old, she throws a fit. When she wants to go home, she gets over-wired and attacks everything in sight. When she wants me to carry her, she attacks my legs and jumps up on me ferociously! When she wants attention, she howls, barks, and whines until my head hurts.
  4. She is wild. Lyanna loves to go crazy, especially before bedtime. She runs faster than me, so she’s like a little rocket zooming through the house. Boy does it tire me out trying to get her to sleep.

However, even with all of her flaws, I love her to death and would protect her with my life. She is so silly and sweet and I couldn’t ask for a better companion. She’s helped me to see life in a positive way, and she’s helped me to get out more (even if I only do it for her lol.)

Even with all the barks, scratches, bites, headaches, and messes, I love her. And I can’t wait to see her grow.

If you would like to see her grow as well, follow her Instagram!

@lyannatheaussie

https://www.instagram.com/lyannatheaussie/?hl=en

My Life with my new Australian Shepherd

Okay, so I never thought I’d get another puppy, especially from a breeder, but here I am, taking care of my new Australian Shepherd puppy.

Firstly, I must state that she is such a joy to be around. She’s so full of life (and tons and tons of energy), and she never fails to make me smile. I have so much love for her already and I can’t wait to spend the next decade or so with her. Meet Lyanna! (yes we did name her after a Game of Thrones character don’t judge us lol)

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First of all, I’d like to explain why I got her and why I got her from a breeder especially. If you’ve read my previous posts that I made a year or so ago, something like this seems so out of character. I was so passionate about veganism and so sure that I would only rescue an animal from a shelter, but hear me out. I (well my family) only got her because one of my family members struggles with some medical issues and mental health issues, so we needed a puppy to train her to be a service animal. I know that you can rescue a dog and train that dog to be a service animal, but for this specific purpose, it’s highly unlikely. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still plan to rescue dogs in the future, but for this specific dog, we ended up going the breeder route. We were also set on this breed because we love them SO much, and it was hard to find a younger one to train in the shelter. We made sure she had a pedigree, and that she was perfectly healthy before picking her up.

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Secondly, I’d like to explain why I chose this specific breed. A lot of people don’t actually know about Australian Shepherds, besides the fact that they have beautiful markings, they were breed to herd sheep, and that they are from Australia. Except the fact that they aren’t from Australia at all. These dogs are actually American dogs, bred for herding cattle, not sheep. These dogs are INCREDIBLY smart, and they will do anything to please you. They are also very attached to their owners, and will love you until their very last day. But while these all sound like very positive attributes, there are some negatives as well. You probably already know this, but these dogs are extremely high-energy. I do NOT recommend this breed to novice owners. I would highly recommend you get this breed if you have already had experience with a high energy dog in the herding group. You need to be very motivated, and determined to care for this dog a lot. I’m talking half of your day dedicated to this pupper. It saddens me to see so many of these beautiful, sweet dogs in the shelter because the owners only liked their looks, and weren’t ready for the commitment. It also saddens me to meet people on the street who want to pet Lyanna, and then they say they want this dog “because she’s so cute.” And when I tell them “thank you, but they are a lot of work,” they just brush it aside as if to say, “This girl is so dramatic. How much work can they ACTUALLY be?”

I could honestly talk about this breed all day and how amazing they are, but I can save that for another day. What I will say is that she definitely changed my schedule. Completely. I used to get up at 10:30-11am every morning and go to sleep at 12-1am. Now I get up at 7am and go to sleep at 9:30pm. What a change! I have to say, because of this new schedule, I always wake up well rested, and I feel like I have the whole day ahead of me in the morning! Not once do I feel cranky in the morning, and it’s like a whole new world honestly!

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I spend SO much time with her, and I know this may seem dramatic but, I honestly have a newfound respect for mothers because having a puppy is like having a newborn baby. (well this breed specifically because they need SO much exercise and care). She needs my attention constantly and she’ll bark and whine if I’m not in the room with her for 5 seconds. What a baby.

I also love going out with her. She’s so confident and sweet to strangers, and I’m super proud of her. She also loves dogs now, because we took her to puppy socialization classes! Sadly she can’t say hi to the dogs on the street because she’s not fully vaccinated yet, but that won’t stop her from trying to pull on the leash to say hello! What does annoy me about going out with her, is that every person, EVERY person, has to ask if she’s a “mini” Australian Shepherd. You might have heard of the mini, and I’m not bashing ANYBODY who owns one, but “mini” Aussies are not Australian Shepherds. In fact, they are now recognized as their own separate breed, called the “North American Shepherd,” or “Miniature American Shepherd.”  These dogs were bred to look smaller by mixing Australian Shepherds with other smaller dogs, like Shetland Sheepdogs, Chihuahuas, and Corgis. It saddens me to see that Aussies are turning into accessories, because there are now “Australian Shepherds” of the “mini” and “toy” variety. Australian Shepherds were dogs of the WORKING breed, bred to herd cattle, not be a little purse accessory. I do not support the breeding of minis and it annoys me when people call my PUPPY a mini aussie. Of course she looks small, she’s a puppy! That doesn’t make her a mini! I’m even contemplating putting a vest on her that says, “NO, I am not a mini.” *sigh*

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Aside from that rant, I love seeing Lyanna change and grow. From the time we first got her to now, she has grown SO much! Her attitude also changes every week. She was very shy and timid at first, because she was in her first fearful stage (8-11 weeks old) but now she has blossomed into a very confident and independent dog! (Although at the same time, she still requires me to be by her side lol) I can’t wait to see how she turns out as an adult.

We have been using clicker training and positive reinforcement methods, and we will continue to do so for the rest of her life. I don’t agree with “negative reinforcement” or punishment methods, because studies show it damages the relationship with your dog, and they view you as more of a controller than a friend or a parent. Especially this breed, because they are known for being very sensitive. One NO! and they will be cowering in the corner, saddened that you have hurt their feelings. I totally recommend “KikoPup” on YouTube, because she has amazing trick and obedience videos without punishment or psychological intimidation methods! I have been using all of her tips and tricks and they work AMAZINGLY!

Lyanna already knows:

  • sit (does this reliably and in any situation)
  • stay (does this in the home and out in our backyard, but we are working on multiple destractions)
  • come (does this reliably, except when she finds something interesting in the backyard)
  • twirl to the left (sometimes gets confused because I taught her “twirl to the right” first, but still knows this!)
  • twirl to the right (she’ll do this at random moments too for a treat, what a sneaky one)
  • weave through my legs (only does this when she’s hyper, she’ll never do it when she’s super tired)
  • shake hands (one of her favourite tricks)
  • high five (sometimes places two paws, which I find adorable)
  • place paw on foot (does this super well)
  • cross paws (still not completely reliable with this one, because she’ll place the wrong paw and not cross it over sometimes)
  • rollover (does this super well!)
  • cop cop (your feet on mine) (just started this one today and she almost knows it fully!)
  • back up (does this with a lure, working on no lure)

These tricks are ALL thanks to Kikopup! Her methods work incredibly and are so effective.

Lyanna is only 11 weeks old and already knows all of these tricks! God, she’s gonna keep me busy when she’s older.

If you made it to the end of this very long post, congratulations and THANK YOU! I hope you look forward to future posts about Lyanna, because I will look forward to making them.

Bye!

So… I guess I’m back

So after several months of being completely inactive, I guess I finally decided to come back. Honestly I had no motivation to run this blog because the posts that I had made in the past don’t really reflect who I am today. Regardless, I wanted to give this blog a new purpose, and make it more about the new love of my love…

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Carpet is dirty now because she won’t stop playing in the dirt *sigh* 

So yeah, I got a puppy. I kind of wanted to make this blog about her, because watching an animal discover the world for the first time and learn new things is just so wonderful, and over the past few months I have been completely obsessed with animals, dogs especially. So, I wanted to change up this blog (yet again) and make it about animals, dog training, and how we treat our pets in our society. If you don’t like these main topics, don’t worry. I will still post about my thoughts, goals, and other topics like current issues and veganism. I’m so glad to be back and I hope you’ll enjoy these new types of posts.

Thanks for reading.

My Anger Is Rising…

So recently some things have come to my attention. As I have been getting ready to add a new family member into my home (a dog to be specific) I have been researching constantly the best way to treat a dog, train a dog, feed a dog, etc. And I have decided to take the route of positive reinforcement and clicker based training for multiple reasons.

There are amazing benefits of using positive reinforcement with your dog, including:

  • A better bond with your dog. People who yell, hit, smack, or otherwise physically or emotionally intimidate their animal weaken their dog, and force them to submit. Instead of putting their ears back out of happiness, they do it out of fear and submission.
  • Longer lasting results. Sure, beating a dog to submit to your will might work, at least at first. The long term effects can include anxiety, distrust in other humans, aggression, and of course, rebellion.
  • It is science based. Studies show that positive reinforcement is a much better way to go.
  • Cesar Millan is a thing of the past. Almost everyone who owns a dog these days knows that Cesar’s techniques are ineffective, outdated, and plain abuse. He has used shock collars, hitting, submitting with force, and psychological intimidation to control the poor animals. Every owner on his show is just plain stupid and ignorant.

But since I have done so much research, it has come to my attention the neglect that so many dogs face in my area and around the country. Many dogs are neglected a simple WALK which they need for mental and physical stimulation. I see some trapped with nobody there in their yard for 14+ hours with dirty food and hot water (It’s been extremely hot right now where I live) and one of my neighbor’s dogs even forces his poor dogs to sleep outside, with only two beds for THREE dogs, in extreme weather, which has caused me to wake up at 3 AM from their anxious barks.

And that, is not okay.

That makes me furious. The fact that people are so ignorant and psychotic. Would you treat your child the same way? What did that dog do to deserve a life shunned in their yard?

Even as we speak at 9:55 PM their dog is still barking, and has been for the past 20 minutes straight. Not only is that a nuisance to the neighbors trying to sleep but just plain cruelty. I don’t care how damn busy you are, your dogs deserve attention and love, just like your kid.

And, this same neighbor literally uses a shock collar on his dogs to keep them from escaping, which they have escaped about 100 times over the past three years. AND HE WONDERS WHY THEY WERE ESCAPING. THEY WERE TRYING TO GET A BETTER LIFE. Imagine that you are secluded to a backyard the size of a small patio, in 100 degree weather, with absolutely nothing to do for 14+ hours (sometimes your owner doesn’t even come home) and if you even try to escape, you get electrocuted. That poor dog has even escaped twice already WITH THE SHOCK COLLAR ON. She was SO desperate that she just didn’t care about the pain. Now that makes me sick.

I have told multiple people about this neglect but all they say are “Oh, sorry.” Why does nobody seem to care as much as I do? How would you feel if that was you? How would you feel if that was your child?

And the owner has always made excuses, but knows fully well how he treats his animals. I haven’t even seen him pet them ONCE. He has even defended himself multiple times, saying how he’s owned pets for years and that he knows what he’s doing. I think it’s pretty obvious you don’t, dude.

In the end I guess that this is what is considered normal. Leaving your dogs outside all day with nothing to do, (DOGS ARE INTELLIGENT CREATURES, LIKE HUMANS, THAT REQUIRE DAILY MENTAL AND PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND IF NOT GIVEN CAN HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.)

I’m not even going to get into how aggressive his dog is and how she has already bitten 3 people. That’s another story. I guess he just doesn’t care if he puts his neighbors at risk…

My main point is… animals need more rights. I am tired of seeing them chained, electrocuted, suffering, bored, barking constantly, and treated like they are toys that the owners can pick up whenever they like. I am tired.

I need more people who care, who can stand up, and who can petition to give more animals rights. Because they don’t deserve the lives that they leave. No animal, big or small, mean or nice, does.

Thank you so much for reading.

Well, I learned something new today

Today I woke up in a bright and cheerful mood. I wanted to just sit down, drink some coffee, and write my (slowly failing) novel. I ate some pancakes and bacon (vegan of course) and drank my medium sized cup of coffee.

About an hour later, I felt like I had anxiety, my hands were shaking, my stomach hurt, I was nauseous, and I felt like something bad was about to happen. Turns out it was the frickin coffee. Never will I ever drink coffee ever again (Unless it’s decaf…)

I looked it up and it can happen to some people who are very sensitive to caffeine. This sucks so bad because if you know me, you know that I LOVE coffee. (For the flavor.) This discovery is pretty depressing, because I don’t usually drink decaf, and I usually forget to ask for decaf at a coffee shop. I think I’m just going to avoid caffeine altogether for a while. My body doesn’t need it anyways because I’m a high carb low fat vegan.

It’s currently 10 pm where I live right now and I’m WIDE awake. Well, I guess this is a good time to work on that novel!

I hope you had a better day than I did.

P.S. don’t worry, I’ve been drinking tons of water.

Thanks for reading.

Shut Out That Negativity

So, I’d say I’m officially back from my internet break. I really missed blogging, and now that I’m back, I have so many fresh ideas to blog about.

After being offline for a while (no WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, etc) I learned to do other things that I loved like photography/videography, cooking, meditating, enjoying nature, and being positive.

I noticed this only when I got back, but the internet can be so negative. YouTube is stuffed full with hate comments, everybody is complaining about the celebrity they hate, people are being murdered left and right on the news and I must say, the internet has been a really depressing place.

After learning this, I wanted to reach out to you. Make the internet a better place. Radiate positive vibes. Talk about things that make you smile. Encourage people to live in the moment and to enjoy life. Just go outside and breathe. There are so many things in life to love. This world that we live in is a beautiful thing. We humans just need to realize that. I know that humans will never get along, but can’t we just try? If you do, then you know that at least YOU aren’t the one contributing to hatred and negativity.

I’m proud of my sudden maturity these last few months, and some of the posts in the past that I have written are just so… negative. I won’t delete them, because they are memories and they show me growing as a person, but I will continue to grow. I hope you are with me on this. I hope we can work together.

So, I decided to write a post of a simple 10 things that make me happy. I highly encourage you to do the same, and if you read this, comment below (or even write a post) about 10 things that make you happy. I’d absolutely LOVE to read them. 🙂

 

  1. Nature. This one is a no brainer if you know me. When I’m in nature, I’m truly myself. I don’t feel the stress and negativity of modern city life. I feel serene and in the moment.
  2. Animals. Animals never cease to make me smile. They make me love the earth and all that it holds. They show me that life can be innocent and beautiful.
  3. Video games. They let me fill a role in a fantasy world where I can just escape. Whether I am kicking butt while being the intelligent Lara Croft or talking to Cortana in Halo, I am having fun.
  4. Anime. I have been an anime lover for only 2 years but it feels like a long time. When I watch anime I feel like I’m being immersed into a whole new culture. I learn a lot and laugh a lot as well.
  5. Sunny days. Now that it’s summer, I’m going to see a lot of these, which is so great.
  6. Chai tea. Simple, but magical.
  7. Cooking. Making things with my own two hands and then enjoying them is such a great feeling.
  8. YouTube. There are so many YouTubers that radiate so much positivity, and they make me smile.
  9. Hiking. Where I live, it is so beautiful and full of forests.
  10. Helping others. These aren’t in order, but helping others and seeing them thrive just makes me know my purpose in this world.

Thank you very much for reading. I can’t wait to read yours. 🙂

Volunteering at Animal Sanctuaries

So as most of you know, I am vegan. Not plant-based (vegan DIET,) but vegan. I have nothing to do with the exploitation and torture of animals. (No animal meat or products, as well as no animal clothing like wool, leather, or fur, and no products that are tested on animals.)

I feel like part of the vegan journey involves meeting some of the animals you save daily and helping them and their caretakers. That is why I decided to volunteer at some farm sanctuaries. The first one I went to was located in Silverton, Oregon.

It was a little bit of a drive as I live in Portland, but it was well worth it.

So, me, my mother, and sister drove all the way there, and embarrassingly, we were a bit late. (My mother is slow at getting ready…) The owner welcomed us kindly and showed us around. The farm must have been more than 20 acres. It was beautiful. They had over 10 goats, many chickens and roosters, turkeys, cows, a cat, and ducks.

My family started off helping muck out the stables and replacing the floor with fresh hay. It was a little difficult for me because I have bad allergies, but it was so worth it to see how happy the ducks were when they got to go into their new and clean room. I also collected the duck eggs from the ground and we placed them into a bucket. I will state here that I’m not sure if they sold the eggs or threw them away, but from the looks of it, I think they were selling them. While I am in love with this sanctuary, as a vegan, I will state that I do not support that. Not just because it’s “cruel to the ducks” but because it is cruel to the consumers. Eggs, as most people know by now, are not healthy, in fact they contribute to obesity and heart disease because of the high amount of cholesterol.With that being said, I do not support the selling of eggs, especially if this is a vegan sanctuary. (The animals were saved from the meat, dairy, and egg industry, and the owners are vegan.)

After that, I washed some feed bowls, and then we were free to pet and play with the animals. It was incredible being so close to the animals. I just felt such a connection as a vegan. I felt so proud to say that I am helping these animals, and that because of vegans, animals are cared about, and worth something.

I also got to be about 3 inches away from a turkey that was supposed to be for Thanksgiving dinner. It saddened me because seeing him in person was so touching. He was absolutely beautiful, and the fact that somebody wanted to harm him was beyond cruel. They kept making a “thumping” noise in their throats to get my attention. It was adorable.

Lastly, my favorite part of the visit happened. I told one of the owners that I read on their website that they have cows and a bull. I politely asked if I may see them, because my absolute favorite animals are cows. She said, “Of course! Just call Hershey’s name, and he will probably come to you.” We walked over to the cow pasture, and there he was. I was so happy to see him. Hershey was rescued from the dairy industry. He was ripped away from his mother at birth so that humans can drink his mother’s milk, and he was to be sold for veal. Luckily, a kind-hearted soul purchased him for $7.50 and sent him to the farm sanctuary. Hearing his story, and seeing him in person really changed me. I was so proud to be vegan in that moment. He slowly walked over to us after some coaxing, and we fed him some hay from his trough. Hershey had the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen. I was so happy.

I went home feeling positive and proud to be vegan.

The next week, I decided that I wanted to check out another animal sanctuary in Oregon because it was so much fun. I found another one located closer this time, in Newburg, Oregon. I RSVPed and went there the very next day. I was, once again, amazed at the beauty of the countryside. It was around 30 acres, which was so great. This sanctuary had goats, cows, chickens, turkeys, geese, alpacas, a peacock, and some sheep. We arrived, and it was a bit hot that day. We were greeted by a very kind woman, and she showed us how to rinse and wash the feed bowls and pools for the geese. After doing that for 30-45 minutes (in the extreme heat might I add) we were free to pet and socialize with the animals. Of course, I had to go see the cows. My sister and I walked over, and we were greeted by some beautiful bulls and a few cows. They were all right in front of us, eating at their trough. I grabbed some food and started feeding them, and I pet them. They were so sweet. I must have spent 20 minutes just petting them when I realized I was the only one there. I bid farewell to the cows (reluctantly) and then walked over to where my sister was petting the goats. On the way there, I saw silky chickens for the first time. And they were beautiful! After socializing with the animals for a while, we finally went home.

Today I was supposed to go back to the Newburg sanctuary, but I had a ton of work to do so I decided to stay home. My sister and mother are there having fun while I write this.

In the end, I found new meanings to my life, and the joy that I felt seeing and helping these animals cannot be explained, although I tried. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or willing to learn, I highly recommend you look up a local sanctuary. You definitely won’t regret it.

Thank you for reading.