50 for 50 #2 – Tarantula

Today I did my second thing to celebrate my 50th year. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was going to choose to do this week but as I looked at my idea list, the second thing I had listed way sugar cane fields and cane spiders. Behind our house in Hawaii was a big sugar cane field. And before they could harvest the sugar cane they have to burn the fields. And when they burn the field these big hairy spiders come out and would get in our yard and in our play house. I had a vague idea of trying to find some actual sugar cane to eat but then I got some inspiration. How about finding a tarantula and hold it!
I don’t have an actual phobia of spiders but I do have some fear issues with them. If I’m alone I can deal with a spider in the house but it is hard. If Bill is home I always have him come and take care of a spider. The worst though is my spider dreams. From time to time I have a very vivid dream of a spider in my bed with me. I wake up (sort of) and have to turn on the lights and pull back all the covers and make sure their is no spider. I can’t see at all well without glasses or contacts and so I usually in list Bill to help me, tell him to check very carefully. About this time I finish waking up and realize it was just a dream and there is no spider or spiders to be found. Finally the light goes back out and we drift back to sleep.
So this afternoon Bill wanted to run an errand and we used his phone to see if there was a pet store in the area. We found one just three miles down the road that sounded like a possibility. We found Living Safari to be a very interesting pet store. They have lots of lizards, snakes and other reptiles. Eventually we were directed to their tarantulas and I explained to a very helpful employee what I wanted to do. She pick their most docile variety, a rose-hair from South America. She said that it was important to not move while I was hold the tarantula and if she (the tarantula) moved quickly not to panic and drop her or she might be killed by the impact. But she was a perfect tarantula and she hardly moved around at all which I really appreciated. Bill to photos and I’ll get them posted very soon. While I chatted with the employee learning lots of things about tarantulas.
I don’t know if the experience will change my feelings about spiders but I’m glad I did it. It wasn’t too scary and It was fun to do something very different to celebrate my 50th year.

Utah State Fair

Waffle and the sheep

The Utah State Fair was our outing today. This was Casey’s second time to the State Fair as we took her and Banta last year. She handled everything very well but couldn’t care less about the animals. Waffle was a different story. She found the animals very interesting and some of them were equally intrigued by her too. She did great with them and remained very calm. The rest of the fair was a different matter. Waffle had several panic attacks where she would bolt to the end of the leash with her tail between her legs and spin around when she got to the end. We couldn’t pinpoint what was scaring her but after a few moments of having her just stand quietly she would be ready to move on. Our best guess is that it was some kind of sound she was reacting to. We didn’t stay too long after Waffle started having trouble because it was clear that she had had enough.

Swiss Days Outing

We packed up the girls this morning and drove up to Heber Valley to attend Swiss Days. I thought it would be a good opportunity to experience some new things. We park at an area they had set up in a field and rode a shuttle bus to the festivities. There were so many people it was amazing. We brought Apex here a couple of years ago but it wasn’t nearly this crowded. Casey did great but Waffle had a couple of fear reactions. One was walking by the bus. But mostly she did just fine.

Freedom Day

Casey resting her head on Bill’s knee

Waffle resting her head on Casey

We got permission for Casey to be out and about one day early so she could attend a multi-club puppy meeting with our CFR today at the Career and Technology Center. It was so nice to be able to take booth girls out. Lindsey said that she needed to have a bath first to help her not smell so interesting to any intact males. Casey got to meet her brother Crosby after the meeting. As we were chatting with his raisers we found out that Crosby is an ear sucker just like Casey. Isn’t that funny. We talked to Barb about Waffles fear reactions and got permission to start her on food protocol. I’m so glad, I think this will help her immensely.

Relieving Challenges

We had a bit of a breakthrough with relieving today. Yesterday afternoon through this morning Casey did almost half of her relieving in the house. Most of the time I took her outside to our traditional relieving area on the drive way she showed no interest in relieving. She didn’t have any accidents on the carpet so the clean-up was easy. Today it occurred to me what the problem might be. Yesterday on one of her first trips to the relieving area a big souped up pick-up truck roared by and scared Casey. She didn’t seem to be over-reacting to cars going by now but my Dad commented that she seemed a little nervous out there and she never really relaxed. The clincher was when I finally took her inside and put her in the x-pen she promptly squatted and peed! So after discussing it with Bill we decided to move Casey’s relieving area to the backyard. It has worked wonders. She has relieved every time we have taken her out now and only had one accident. That was when she paused for a moment while playing tug with my Dad. Yahoo! It is a relief to have that back on track.