Friday, September 26, 2008

Gir Graduates from Beginners Training

This past Wednesday night, our cute dog (I guess he's not really a puppy anymore) graduated from his first training class! It was an eight week class that taught him some tricks like sit, stay, shake, and down, and also taught the "puppy parents" how to understand our dog's behaviors better and what to do about them. Our main goal and concern for Gir is his socialization. Chris and I adopted Gir about 2 years ago from a shelter in South Carolina when he was about 6 month old (and SOOO cute). The people who ran the rescue center told us that he and his siblings had been found in a cardboard box abandoned (I still can't understand who would want to abandon such cute and
innocent puppies) and we discovered that Gir, understandably, had some issues with new people and places. We have been working on trying to help him socialize, but with little success, so, we thought that we'd try training. Our trainer Robyn was amazing and really helped us with Gir. There was one other dog in the class, a seven month old boxer named Hinkley. For the first couple of weeks, Gir wouldn't let Robyn or Hinkley near him, but the last couple of weeks he really started to improve. He would let Robyn sit next to him and pet him and even began taking food out of her hand. He also began letting Hinkley smell him and once in a while, he tried to play. Even though Gir has made some progress, he still has a long way to go, and hopefully the intermediate class (which we signed him up for) will help him out even more. On the graduation day, he got to wear a little cap (as did Chris, luckily they only had one, so I didn't have to wear one) and he got a diploma. It was so cute! I highly recommend training for anyone with a dog that has some difficulties!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vanessa's Top 10...

I've been going through a rough patch lately, so, i've come up with a list of my Top 10 Things that i'm greatful for. Here they are:

10. Ice Cream- it makes any bad day way better!
9. Being creative-helps keep my mind occupied.
8. My health-it would be much worse if I had bad health.
7. Books-help me forget my worries and let my imagination grow.
6. Dates-time with the hubby is always wonderful.
5. Being a member of the church-what a blessing!
4. Friends-always there to cheer me up.
3.The beauty of the world around us-we are so blessed to live in such a beautiful world.
2. My family-they are always there for me when I most need them.
1. Chris-my world, my life, my love.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


This weekend, Chris and I tried something adventurous! We took a class (through the University of Utah) on canyoneering. It was soooo much fun! Thursday morning, we met our class and than drove down to Southern Utah (near Lake Powell) where we set up our camp and got our equipment. When everyone was settled, we packed up our backpacks and went to our first canyon. We first had to hike for about 15 minutes before we got to the entrance of the first canyon and than we repelled in. The first repel was pretty scary because I hadn't done one in a couple of years (since Girls Camp) and it looked a long way down, but I summoned the courage and went down (which was pretty fun once you got over the edge). We than continued in the canyon for another two hours or so, traveling on the side of the canyon walls, repelling down long drops, and going where no human should rightfully go. The biggest annoyance was that our class was pretty large (about 15 people or so) and it took a while for everyone to repel. The only person to get hurt during the canyon was a guy who though the bottom of a particular area was closer and jumped off the walls and sprained his ankle. Luckily he did this close to the end of the canyon, and it wasn't too hard to get him out. Needless to say, he didn't join us on the next canyon.
The first day was so much fun and Chris and I escaped with only minor scratches and bruises. When we finished the canyon we headed back to our campsite and ate a wonderful backpacking dinner of chicken and rice. Our class than had some discussions about the canyon we had just been in and what we should think about when we are canyoneering. In other words, our instructor told us all the ways we could either get injured or die while canyoneering (which was a lot)! It scared me a little, but not enough to stop me from going on the next canyon in the morning. The next day was a beautiful day in southern Utah, and we did a two hour (or so) hike to find the entrance to the next canyon. The hike itself nearly did me in. We had to climb up sandstone cliffs and walk through the desert. By the time we found the canyon I was pretty thankful for some water and a chance to rest before we started out again. A couple of my classmates decided not to try this canyon, so, our numbers were a little reduced but not by much. From the beginning, the second canyon was much harder. Instead of easy repels off straight canyon walls, all of the repels were down narrow channels that I could barely fit through. There were also a lot more deep drops and very technical area's. Our instructors also warned us that this canyon was known to have water in it and that we might have to swim for a part of it. What! Swim!! That made me panic a little bit, but luckily all was dry and I didn't have to worry. In this canyon, there were a lot more narrow parts where we had to walk sideways in order to fit, and most of the time we had to spread out over the canyon walls to get anywhere (which I did NOT like to do). Also, our group spread out more, so that the instructor was not always near at hand to help out in a tight spot, and without Chris there to guide me and show me where to put my feet, I think that I would still be stuck in the canyons without a way out. Another thing about the canyon was that one moment, you would be sweating because it was sooo hot, and the next minute, you would be in the shade and would freeze! I wish that there was just one constant temperature. Well, we made it out of the canyon still intact (although I cut up my hands pretty good from the ropes, and I have a lot of bruises) and we really enjoyed ourselves. Canyoneering is a very dangerous sport where if you are not careful you could easily get killed (as our instructor liked to remind us constantly) and I would advise that if you ever wanted to try, go with some expert guides and be careful! here are some more pictures of our trip! Enjoy.

Awkward looking hug! Its because of all the gear we have ;)

I was so tired and sore when I finished this canyon. The group was allowed to do another night canyoneering trip, but both Chris and I were far too tired to try.