Dog Pool Cam!
All the pools in Austin! Pool one: Barton Springs.

I am a mixed bag.

It's hot, which is no surprise, given that it's August in Texas, but we've reached the part of summer where the heat seems to have mass. It presses on you and makes even the most fun activities seem burdensome. So aside from swimming and walking the dogs in the dead of night, I've been spending most of my time indoors. That means mosaic projects and dog training. 

The mosaic project is...not going very well right now. I am tiling the other half of the cinderblock to play around with different colors of grout and try to cultivate a looser style of tile laying. But I used a different kind of mortar than I usually do. I don't know if I mixed it wrong or it just sucks or what, but the tiles, set days before, started sloughing off when I taped them off for grouting.


Well, damn it.

This has happened to me before, but that time it was immediately apparent that the surface I was using was too smooth for anything to adhere. That's not at all the case here, so I don't know. I just know I'm never using that stuff again. 

Now I have to scrape all that white crap off and start over again. Luckily this is just a test block, so I was able to tell myself I gained some valuable insight instead of restraining myself from flinging a half-tiled cinder block through the window.

My irritation was also tempered by a big success on the dog-training front. 


Right? Right? This was a tricky one to teach. Although eager for treats and praise, √úter is not the brightest star in the galaxy, and I had to sort of reverse engineer the command by anticipating when he was going to actually bark, telling him to bark, and then treating the hell out of him when he did actually bark.

We've been working on this since May and it was just this weekend that I got him to think barking is my idea, not his. Now I need to figure out how to use the command to modulate his barking, which should be a lot easier. 

Will this help us control the crazy, scary, pit-of-hell barking that he uses to discomfit visitors and strange dogs alike? Oh, man, I hope so. I really like my dog, but his manners kind of stink.  I want everyone else to know how great he is too. 


I taught my dog "Ok thanks!" for door barking. He barks once or twice then OK thanks and comes back to me. Of course I was standing right next to him the first few...thousand times but it works pretty well now if we keep it tuned up!

Who's a good boy? √úter's a good boy!

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