Archive for September 25, 2013

Temecula Winery Tour

A couple of months ago I was lucky to spot a Groupon for a tour of Temecula wineries. This one stood out in that it was a horse drawn trolley tour, which really sounded like a wonderful way to spend the day. Hubby has talked about doing a winery tour for some time and with his birthday approaching I thought it would be a fabulous way for him to celebrate. Since I am not a wine fan I would be the designated driver. The perk for me, tho, was that I would have some gorgeous scenery to shoot pictures of.

I emailed and received a quick reply confirming our reservation. It also included where we would be picked up, the wineries we would be visiting and how long the tour would take.

We drove down, arriving a little early. As we waited a several other people joined us in our wait. The hostess, Marika, arrived at the scheduled time and gave us a brief run down on the cost if we wished to participate in the wine tastings, how long we would have at each stop and even her favorite stops and wines. We purchased the discounted wine tastings and very soon the trolley arrived and we clip clopped off on our tour.

The horse drawn trolley arrived.

The horse drawn trolley arrived.

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Mark, our host and driver

Mark, our host and driver

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Mathew

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We look forward to trying the B&B when it opens

We look forward to trying the B&B when it opens

grapes

Our dinner, hand tossed pizza.

Our dinner, hand tossed pizza.

Barrel

Flower

rainfall Torrential rainfall on our way home caused some flooding[/caption]

We wrapped up our tour at Lorimar Winery where they served the best hand tossed pizza. It took us back to our dating days and The Tavern, a little pizza place we went to often.

This was a wonderful way to spend our Saturday. We came home with several bottles of wine, glasses from the tastings and a few goodies I picked up in the gift shops. We definitely plan to do it again, hopefully staying at the Bed and Breakfast after it opens.

A New Chapter Starts

I finally took the leap and am now immersed in schoolwork, studying canine behavior. Most folks know that we have Great Danes. They are our wonderful, loving, 4-legged offspring. Our first two arrived from their breeders with good health and we promptly took them to obedience school and socialized where we could living in a non-dog friendly community.

Our good fortune ended when we brought Jinkies home from the breeder. She was different. Something always seemed to hurt, she would limp and then get better. Everything we fed her went straight thru. Our vet finally referred us to an ortho vet, Dr Huber, who saved her leg and her life. She had folding fractures in her front legs and a broken growth plate in her back leg causing both legs to start to twist. He performed a radical surgery on her, having to use fat from her abdomen to replace where the bone section was taken out. Then she went on a special diet to try and make up for the lack of nutrition (probably early weaning) in her first weeks. 2056_47853416691_3551_n

At 12 weeks she was in rehab and recovery. She had to be carried to and from the outside (if you know the breed you know that by 4 months she weighed 60 pounds…not easy to carry). She could not interact with other dogs, even ours, due to the risk of causing a catastrophic injury. Her entire life when not outside on a 4’ leash or at the vet’s was in a 10 x 10 room.

All this isolation created a dog who was extremely fearful and a resource guarder. By the time she received the all clear for us to integrate her into our pack she was a nightmare. She would attack the other dogs over dinner, treats or toys . Anything was fair game. She was terrified of brooms, vacuums, hats, dusters….you name it.

Thru a lot of research, the leadership of a great training mentor and a lot of prayer Jinkies has blossomed into a loving, well socialized dog. She still reacts fearfully in many circumstances but you would never know what she had to come thru in order to get to where she is now. And it led me into obedience training, even getting my AKC CGC Evaluator certification.
Desi Comes Home
The next dane we brought home was from a rescue. He was 6 months old and had been crated 24/7. As loving as he was and as sad as he was, he had a lot of issues that we had to work thru. He had developed a crate mentality that would let him urinate or defecate right where he slept. We were told by the vet this behavior probably would not change. If we were out of his sight he destroyed anything and everything he could until we arrived home. Many times this caused injury to him. That was what made the decision for us to put him on an anti-anxiety medicine while we trained as well. After a 3 month regimen he was able to wean off. He still has some sep anxiety but he can crate himself without losing his mind, he is no longer fearful of older women, he has learned to calm himself down rather than spinning out of control.

After dealing with these two danes that needed so much more than most families would have had the time or resources to deal with, I wanted to get into the behavior end of training. To me this is very important when dealing with rescues and abused dogs that need special help, beyond just the sits and stays.

So busy I am. I’ve started my studies. I will be immersing myself in the world of canine behavior. I’ll be doing an externship with a local shelter and then an internship with a local behavior trainer. I am blessed to have these resources for learning how to help the critters that steal my heart and the humans who take on the commitment of repairing these damaged souls.