Hiker has been waking me up around 4:30 am every morning and I keep thinking that she needs to go potty. So we do the routine of me getting up, going to the sliding door, unlocking everything and opening the door, only to have her sit there and stare at me like “what”? Then she turns around, heads back for the bedroom, jumps up on the bed and goes to sleep. What the heck is that all about? Because of this, I've been going to bed a lot earlier and going to sleep very quickly. Took her for a 1 mile walk this morning. I had heard on the morning news that it was raining hard over in Oxnard and Ventura and that it was headed this way, so I figured we'd better get a quick walk in before it got here. It started raining around 11:15. I took a baby step today. The afternoon before Ben went into the hospital for his emergency surgery, he was wearing his zip up Adidas sweat shirt. He wore it all the time. He had taken it off and laid it across the back of his easy chair and when we headed for the hospital, he did not pick it up to put it on so there it stayed. I had not moved that sweat shirt since that day (Feb. 28, 2011). Several times I would put my hand on it or I'd bend down to smell it, but it stayed there all that time. This morning I decided it was time to hang it back in the entry closet. Don't know how long it will stay there until I decide to give it to charity or whatever, but I felt it was time. Today was Hiker's "graduation" from her training classes, at which in my opinion, she failed. Actually they don't really give you much for the money, just tell you the basics and then we are supposed to come home and work with the dog. But when the dog is as stubborn and independent as Hiker, you don't get very far with the lessons. Hiker is not stupid. She knows how to do things and she knows when she has done something bad, but she just does not want to do what I tell her to most of the time. Probably my fault that I'm not more forceful with her, but then she gets scared and cowers like I'm going to hit her and when she get scared, she also pees. Anyway, each dog at the graduation had to do a certain “final exam”. We were given the task by the trainer. We didn't know what it was going to be. Hiker had to “sit and stay” for 30 seconds. I thought “oh no....she doesn't do this one all that well”, but she passed with flying colors! Sure surprised me. The trainer was trying to “pressure” all of us into signing up for the Intermediate Training Class which starts December 10th. She kept telling us that we got $10 off the total price, but all of us told her we'd have to let her know. I don't intend on signing her up for another class because I don't feel it's worth the money. If I ever really wanted to get her totally trained, I think I'd hire a professional trainer to do it for me.