Thursday, February 28, 2013

Puppy School Week 2

This week in class we learned that Rocket is much better at greeting randoms wandering around downtown than he is at greeting the instructor, and that Rocket can sit on command and politely greet anyone, anywhere that is not the classroom I'm not sure that the instructor would be satisfiedto hear that  while he bounced around like a top with her, he successfully met street people and assorted crazys and did so with great grace.

Its  all absolutely frustrating as hell, pretty much everything obedience related is frustrating as hell. Now I know why I paid the one -on-one-in-my-home guy so much, its  much better atmosphere for learning. Group class is chaotic and the atmosphere could not be less conductive for learning. I almost think it would be better to have just the people attend the class and get detailed instructions for homework and do all the actual training that way.

Its good for the dogs though, to be around other dogs and people and its also nice to see that the other dogs are just as wild as Rocket is, it gives me comfort me while I'm frustrated as hell. Yay! The other dogs can't do this either! Wooo!

We also learned that shockingly, Rocket doesn't have a problem walking on textures - they could have just asked, the dog intentionally walks on metal vents in the street, I'm pretty sure he's not going to have a big problem with bubble wrap and aluminum foil.

It also became apparent that I have zero hand eye control and it is not possible for me to lead the dog through a exercise and give treats and work a clicker all at the same time. Its not going to happen. I can click  and leader I can give treats and lead but I can't do them all at once. I vote for abandoning the clicker. I don't think I'm going to win that one.

This week  for homework we are going to work on "leave it". Rocket needs this exercise and I'm looking forward to working on it. I really need him to "leave" stuff pretty frequently and it would be great if he could do this on command. We are also going to drill sit/down/sit, AKA puppy "sit ups" and go-to-your-spot. At least some of these will get worked on. Some of them will not, thus far we have managed to ignore the whole "go to your spot" drill pretty uniformly. Because its stupid and his "spot" is his crate anyway, he knows "crate up", and I'm satisfied with that. God, I'm a bad student.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Three steps backward.

And how was your evening?

I shrieked at him at the time and chased him down, but I still can't keep myself from being the tiniest bit proud of him. And then I remember how many hours we've spent the week drilling "down" over and over and over and I reflect on the fact that all he seems to have taken away from this exercise is that my fingers taste almost better than the then treats I present every time he deigns to more or less "downs" after I've begged him to. I think the biggest problem with "down" is that as a climber, he has heard it so many times before that he just really doesn't understand why I want him "down" when he is not "up" . We are working on substituting "off" or of the situation presents itself (see above)  garbled shrieking  as an alternative.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Garden 2013 3

And back to me

Saturday it rained all day and I watched TV. I finally dragged myself up from the chaise and did some laundry and felt very useful. Saturday morning Broskey and Nephy came over put up my shelf.

Finally, a purpose! My book shelf needed books! I have books! It was time to put books on my shelf! But. Books can't stand up by themselves. I had to run an errand, I hate shopping!  At Office Depot, they only had three different sizes and five different styles! How am I supposed to make an informed decision?

And then I looked at the prices.

And suddenly I had a real affinity for basic black. Once home I began to over think how to organize my books. I settled on "basic cook book", "cooking with tool" and "cooking with meat choice", as design decisions go, its not as pretty as it could have been had I gone with size and color and page length - but, I can see what I have and now I know I have two Scandinavian cookbooks. Most people don't need a single scandinavian cook book but I don't need two. Clearly, I am very awesome.

I also noted, now that I can finally see my cookbooks, that I have both the Escoffier Cookbook as well as the Road Kill cookbook. What range! Sadly, I haven't made anything on either because I can't get my hands on squished squirrel or shrimp stock.

And that was Saturday.

Sunday it stopped raining and I stopped watching TV and started working. I finsihed my laundry and then I turned to the outside. I have really wanted to get my potatoes in the ground and I have been thwarted for weeks. I also had over thinking issues involved with what and how much of what to plant. I bought a handful of lovely spuds at my favorite high-end nursery, I bought only what I wanted and got some very nice spuds. I had been waiting for that store to get in more stock and if I had really been in the mood to go on in the rain on Saturday, I might have got a handful of high quality Yukon golds from them. Instead I went to Wallyworld in the sunshine and bought a lot of Yukon's for  very little.

I had not wanted to end up with "a lot" and that's why I had favored my local nursery. My local nursery is religious and not open on Sundays. I changed my mind about "a lot" and changed my thinking. I like yukon's and so do many people I know. If I end up with more than I can use, well, I can give them away. Which is a win.

I was going to buy dirt for this planting but I noticed that I have this whole yard and in my yard is dirt, lovely, freshly rained on, full of wormy goodness, free dirt. I made quite a little bit of trench when filling my containers. I ran out of container before I ran out of yukon's. My trench was no longer a tripping hazard or a nascent pond! It was a perfect home for my yukon's!

From left to right, Kennebec's, new reds and two yukons. The Kennebecs are a late season spud, they won't be ready to go for another one hundred days. The new reds are sixty-five to eight-five days, an early season, and finally the yukons and eighty-five to ninty day, mid season harvest.

I am now experimenting with old school farming.

I planted my vegetable scraps with the spuds and then after I filled it in, scattered a lot of  grass clippings over it to act as fertilizer and to keep everything warm.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Oscar (tm) results

Best Supporting Actor  - Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Animated Short Film -  Paperman
Best Animated Feature -  Brave
Best Cinematography - Life of Pi
Best Achievement in Visual Effects - Life of Pi
Costume Design - Anna Karenina
Best Makeup/Hairstyling - Les Miserables

Honoring 50 Years of James Bond.

Best Live Action Short Film -  Curfew
Best Documentory Short -  Innocente
Best Documentory Feature - Searching for Sugarman
Best Foreign Language Film - Amour, Austria

Honoring Movie Musicals (modern)

Best Sound Mixing - Les Miserables
Best Sound Editing - Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall (tie)

Best Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Film Editing - Argo
Production Design - Lincoln

Best Original Score - Life of Pi
Best Original Song - Adelle Atkins, Paul Hepworth, Skyfall

Best Adapted Screenplay - Chris Terrio, Argo
Best Original Screenplay - Quentin Taratino, Django Unchained
Best Director - Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Best Actress - Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Actor - Daniel Day Lewis,  Lincoln
Best Picture - Argo

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Potty trained at birth

Changing Spaces

After doing a brief survey of the other dogs at puppy school about the status of their potty training, I decided unilaterally to move Rocket from his lux dog palace back to his cramped efficiency.

Rocket was wetting his palace every day at least once and often twice and at seven months old, this needs to stop. I am tired of the odor and the laundry and the pee. We've been doing this since he was eight weeks old and the whole thing has been going on for too long and its more than time for me to do something about this. I know he can do it, its time to stop finding reasons to blame myself for each incident and start making him feel as bad as I have. Its time to share the joy and being him into the conversation.

Enter the little box. Dogs allegedly do not like sleeping in their own waste  - Rocket on the other hand, never seemed to mind bunking with his - and they sell special crates that come with an adjustable wall that allows you to shrink and expand the space accordingly. When you are in active potty training mode the puppy has almost no room at all and simply does not have the room to relive himself. As he gets better and better at holding it, you expand his space until he has become trained and ultimately, has the whole crate to enjoy.

He was getting very good at  wandering to the front of the enormous crate and relieving himself and then happily tippy-toeing back to his bedding to make himself comfortable. I want him to be comfortable without creating his own moats.

Clearly the palace was too big. And pretentious, his own moat? really? He is a pure breed but I think he needs to back away from the attitude. To be honest, as nice as it was that he was comfortable and happy in the palace, I think I would be more comfortable and happy if he would become potty trained and since I am the biped, I trump.

Small houses are gaining in favor after all, smaller is better and greener and  easier all the way around. I tried to explain this to him that first night but he didn't want to hear it

Enter the Efficiency. Its very-small, not tiny, but its not what he had become used to, but once he becomes continent, he can have his cushy lifestyle back.

Today on his first day back at the efficiency he was dry all day. I fear this is because he slept all day because he was exhausted after barking all night. I seriously started rethinking my unilateral decision making after he barked for an hour after we went to bed and then when he barked for another hour after he woke up at 2:05AM at go out - A win, really because instead of peeing his box, he told me he wanted to go out, but peeing the box at night hadn't really been our problem in a very long time. I think he decided if we were going to go backwards, we going to use the way back machine to get there. But. He was dry in the morning and when I came home for lunch and when I came home after work.

I'm going to keep him in the efficiency for a month and then we'll re-evaluate.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dog School, Week 1

What we learned in Dog School - My dog has no "down"! My dog has no down and I am not agile enough to work the clicker, feed treats and lead the dog simultaneously.I suck.

Rocket likes hot dogs. A lot.

This week we will work hard on mastering "down", going to his "place" and we will drill on The Target. I will grow a third arm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

School Days...

I think I'm going to sign Rocket up for some sort of doggy community service project. On our walk today we were told not less then four times what a gorgeous dog he is, which is lovely  and correct, and I thanked every one of those very  observant people for their kind words but, I do think all the  adoration is going to his head.

I think doggy school is going to be a reality check for us both. Its one thing to be pretty, its quite another thing to be smart and I have a feeling the other dogs in the class are going to be smart dogs. When I was at orientation last week the other people all ready knew the instructor and had really good questions and took notes and  had dogs that had already been through classes. I didn't mention he had been tutored at home ( he also speaks french and plays the piano)  and I should have asked if his Puppy Pre-School course counted towards graduation!

But really it doesn't matter. If any of the dogs were really outstanding they wouldn't be in this class anyway, they would have tested out of a mere puppy class and be taking Canine Good Citizen class - the gold standard in dog obedience.

CGC  class is the under grad of dog training. Once your dog has successfully completed it, they can go on to any number of different dog fields such as Therapy Dog, Competitive Obedience, Search and Rescue, Agility,  tracking and any of a dozen of other "jobs" available for your dog.

I decided to go look up what is required of a dog to get CGC  and I was a little surprised. No tricks, no hard core self control, no math... most of it is behaviors that Rocket all ready on the way to displaying all the time. Some we would have to work on but all and all, its no really what I thought it was. I looked at what they test for and what the class covers and it just seemed to come down to Is your dog an asshole? Are you not sure? Take this class and unassholefy your dog". At the end your dog takes the test with you and  you both get a certificate.

I wonder if its like a driving test, if you can just keep retaking it until you pass? Because Rocket is really, really pretty...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Going crazy

I got the idea that the reason I keep losing things in the house is that the house is hungry, so I fed it the dogs' pinch collar.  I didn't realize I had given it the collar until I got the idea that Rocket needed a walk. I took him for a walk because I don't keep veterinary quality tranquilizers in the house. Yet.

I do not enjoy taking Rocket for a walk without his pinch collar. Rocket does not enjoy walking without his pinch collar because he does not like being forced to sit! every time he thinks he knows where we're going and I know he doesn't like the tone of my voice as the walk progresses.  I can make him see the  folly of his ways much more gently and using a much more soothing tone of voice when he is wearing the pinch collar, otherwise, it requires some force and I am not a forceful person and I really do not enjoy being driven to shrieking at him in public. Its bad enough inside the house without witnesses, but  raise your voice to a puppy on the street and even the street crazies look at you like you're a wacko.

Speaking of wacko behavior. On our walk I decided that this whole house eating my stuff thing is not working out for me. I remembered years ago in the theatre, there was a theory that if you lost something on the stage ( a potential huge problem), that after you have exhausted your options, you should ask for it back. So I did. I stood in my living room and  apologized for whatever it was I did and asked for my stuff back. When I looked up my collar was on the floor. Ta Da.

And how was your day : I came home for lunch today and found a puddle in the puppy's crate that was so large and deep that he got precious about walking around it. I blame us both for this. I gave him too much water for breakfast, I was getting better know how much was too much with his old water bowl, I broke the old water bowl and now I'm starting over again. Tomorrow I'm going to use a smaller bowl.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lost and Found

I failed on my mission. I looked for some things that in the end I did not find, but I do now know what is under ever piece of furniture I own. There were far fewer dead things than I had imagined.

I did get a few projects done I wasn't planning on doing. My kitchen junk drawers are organized and I got rid of a lot of stiff, I then moved on to the hot pad drawer and found a cookbook I knew was somewhere but I wasn't sure exactly where and I also found a very nice hammer that I can't imagine what it was doing on my bookshelf I found something! I felt like a search and rescue dog that hadn't rescued anyone in a while. Yay for validation.

Later, I needed it to do an emergency fix an old chair that needed to be hammered back together - Rocket can still sit in my lap, but if we're going to do that, we need to use a better chair.  But what I was looking for all weekend, was not there. I am going with the idea that during a prior clean up, all of it somehow got thrown away and are now gone. Moving on. Pissed at self, concerned about blow back, does Netflix send guys to break your knees? Will I be able to file my taxes? I did not have a good weekend.

I need to focus on what I have not thrown away. I went through my junk drawers and now I have a much more organized junk drawers. I decided after finding out what I had there, that most of it does not need to be in the kitchen, I decided that a future office desk will need drawers to store all my crayons and rulers and ear plugs. I am also going to move my big spoons and whisks from a container on the shelf to those drawers, its cleaner and less cluttered and I all ready have very little counter space. Also at some point in the future, I am fully expecting my shelf to be installed and that will allow me to move my cooks books off the counter and out of my way. It will make them easier to access and also kind of a decorative touch.

I also reorganized my long term storage cabinet and thinned the magnet herd on my refrigerator.

Did I mention it snowed all day Saturday? All. Day. Can you tell now that it snowed for a good twenty-four hours? No, not at all. Its weird and off putting.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Schooling Him.

If everything they told me at Puppy School orientation is accurate nd based on "truth", in six weeks I'll have the world's perfect dog. He will come when called, he will sit when told and he will stay there until I release him. He will go to his "place" and he will like it.

He will no longer pull  on the leash, finally after more than a decade of continuous use, allowing me to retire the geriatric pinch collar for good and the only jumping he'll have any interest in will be on the agility field.

He will be the ideal house guest as well as greeting all guests, two and four legged, with all the grace of a British butler.  He will be an artist rendition of dog. The Platonic ideal canine.

And all this will take is 127,000 dog treats , hours and hours of training and carpel tunnel baiting clickering.

It will be fun. Funish.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


About today's entry, well, between a longer than planned walk and then some errands and way, way too much to watch on TV (Obama is my President! Woo!, the dog show - I have to represent the Weims! and that ass-wipe in California  and his never ending story, I do hope he sucked smoke and died alone as I would hate for him to escape the drag net to murder more people or get blown up in a blaze of sexy fame.

...and did I mention Rocket ate his bed? Yay, I just had a lot going on.

Wednesday night is Dog School orientation, and I might get back too late, so yeah. Totally see you Friday! I hope Thursday but you know.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How my garden will grow

Progress is being made!

What you are seeing peeking out from the top of the picture in plastic bags, are two potato varieties - Kennebec and red. I'm going to also plant Yukon golds and maybe all blue but if I saw a variety that was good for use as a baking potatoes I would substitute that for the all blues.

My corn is there along with two different kinds of sunflowers, one big and one really big, perhaps a little bigger than I had anticipated growing,  the American Giant Hybrid grows up to 16 feet tall! My other variety grows  edible seeds. This plant will "only" get six to eight feet tall. The piker. I hope they grow in my yard, I grew a Mexican Sunflower last year and it seemed mostly happy, it didn't get very big but it was woody as all hell and the flowers were small but it was a nice plant. I am hopeing for a lot of nice sunflower plants this year.

I should have picked up my green beans, blue lake, while I was there but I was blinded by the sunflowers. I ordered a nice big sauce tomato from Burpee, but I'm going to need some slicers as well. I'm going to get the rest of my tomatoes and peppers and watermelon plants from local sources. This years melons are going to be oblong and larger than the ones from last year - a mistake by the dealer and an all around not great melon. There will also be no peas this year.

But there will be corn! It supposed to be not hard to grow and the variety I'm going to plant are designed to be grown in containers and they will grow along with the potatoes. I think the melons will grow around the base of the containers. The green beans are going to be grown for the first time outside the  traditional garden and instead I am going to use a  contraption in the yard to grow them because the trellis throw too much shade on the rest of the garden and hold back the other plants. The contraption itself looks like a smaller May Pole and I look forward to seeing how it works. I'm used to getting a big yield and I hope this new lay out is just as productive.

April 15th, AKA, Planting Day is 9 weeks away! There is so much to do! I need to get potting soil for the potatoes and corn, new dirt for the garden! I need to till everywhere I'm going to have plants! get my weed barrier,  the little plastic jobbers that hold the barrier down , my plants... of course the drip hoses and the timer. I don't have much time!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Prince and the Pee

I am a bad dog person! The dog got only one walk all weekend and it was late Sunday night and it was short! I id found out though that a ride in the car also takes a lot out of him.

We didn't go on any walks but he did join me on many, many, many errands in the car and he spent a lot of time in parking lots protecting the car and as it turns out, this takes a lot out of him. I don't know how looking out the window tires him out, but I think it has a lot to do with amount of time he spends actually being awake and alert. If I had left him at home he might have spent five minutes barking before he curled up and slept until I got home. If I had run all of the errands without him, he would have gone back to bed five or six times both days, instead of he was forced to remain alert for almost the entire day. Score!

Who knew?

He was sound asleep by mid-evening and was really annoyed at 10:15pm when I took him out for his last pee. he probably would have been dry Sunday morning if I had been more disciplined and gotten up at 5am and taken him out like I was supposed to. Instead of me waking him up , he woke me up at 7:30am because he had wet his crate and he wanted me to clean it up for him. I think I'm going to stop with the newspaper beause it doesn't seem to do much except make the area harder to clean up and it would be easier to just sop up the puddle of piddle and spray the area down and move on.

His crate has "areas" now, its probably too big for him if he can both wet the box and escape from it. He also now has a bed instead of bedding. I shopped  traditional dog beds but they were all really expensive and looked like he would destroy them immediately or they were really cheap and they looked like he would destroy them immediately.

I needed bed options, I knew going in that I was not going with a traditional dog bed - Daisy never had one either but she was fine with a nest of  layers and layers of repurposed bed sheets and later with a huge couch cushion and still later, the futon.  She did eat several dog beds in her early days, most notably, a crib mattress. I  want to think I have learned from the experience and I want to be smarter this time around, at least I am going to start off cheaper than a crib mattress.

Rocket would eat a cheap dog bed or pee it to death. A crib mattress is a really, really good idea! And I already know he he feels about repurposed bedding - he feels it very easy to shred. I do not want him to sleep on a hard floor, it seems cruel and unfair no matter what the literature tells me about what a puppy needs or wants bedding-wise "Needs : a warm, dry place to sleep" Wants - "To sleep on your bed, I hope you have water wings" . I needed a middle ground.

My first choice was very high end bath mats but I discovered they all they featured the word "ABSORBENT" in big letters on the labels and that rendered them a no go. Then I discovered out door furniture  cushions. They are not absorbent and are even somewhat water proof, are made for rough use, and even better, they are soft and cushy! The ideal puppy bed!

So far, two nights in, so good. Hopefully he will sleep more soundly and longer now that he has a bed, one that hopefully, he won't make into a chew toy.

 Can dogs catch  "the elevensies" from cats? Rocket all ready caught "Standing on the kitchen tableies" from the kitty. Is my dog catching "Cat" from the kitty?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Kitty's first selfy!

Rise and Shine

Note to self : If you don't want the puppy to get his second wind at 9pm, don't let him spend most of the evening catching his breath.

Napping is so cute when he's napping. And then he wakes up. Racing around is so not cute, its so racing and arounding and  wide awake. Much more awake than he seems usually.  He's still cute but he's so much more into jumping on my furniture when he's super  awake. He hasn't figured out how to open the doors I try to close while he's  so awakey but I'm sure he'll get there.

Fortunately, he isn't awake for long, this phase is short lived. He runs some wind sprints and he's ready for bed again by 10pm and ready to go again by 5am. Daisy was so easy! She woke up when I woke her up, she went back to bed when I put her back to bed and she just went back to bed. Period. No barking no whining no trashing her box . So easy.

Sigh. A grown dog is just so much easier than a puppy. No one mentions that when they talk about puppies! They don't talk about how much work they are, they just focus on the cuteness and sweetness and the fluffiness - Which is a big part of the story but its not the only part of the story. But if the general puppy buying public knew what they were getting into... Well, it would not be good for puppies over all. if you knew how much work they were, no one would ever get a puppy and if you don't go through the work of a puppy you never get the comfort  and comparable ease of the eventual adult dog.

The adult dog bonds to you because you do work so hard with them while they're a puppy! I mean if it was easy, how would you learn about each other? How would you even recognise how good you have it?  So, I'm going to try to remember that these are the good old days.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I've eaten so many Girl Scout cookies over the past two days that I crave something that isn't a GSC! Who knew that was even possible? I am bored of Thin Mints!

My world is askew.

I received my class registration for Rockets' Obedience class.  I have filled out less paper work with fewer details with a new internist.   They need to know how many hours a week I spend training the dog! If I was spending hours a week training the dog I wouldn't need to go to dog school! They asked what commands the dog knows, which ones he responds to and what still needs work. Again, if I could teach him commands and if he responded to those commands, why am I sending him to school?

The next set of questions were about Behavior problems. Destructive? Jumping? High Energy level? Digs? Chews? Growls? Bites? Mouthy? Flip-Flop changes in temperament?  Um. He's a puppy?

On the upside, he doesn't actually have many of the real problem behaviors and thus far he hasn't manifested any of the fears and he is not at all aggressive to anyone men, women, children or other animals. He cooperated at the vets office all three times he's been there, but then he was very small and didn't have much choice and he really wasn't asked to participate.

A few of the questions made me sad because they made me think of Daisy and I really wished I knew about classes like the  "Fearful Fido's" class this school offers and how they could have helped her so much and made her quality of life so much better than it was. My poor Daisy.

The questionnaire did make me feel better about Rocket and his development, mostly because there were no questions about toilet training or how long we've been working on it or how slowly its going or how frustrated I am with the whole thing. They didn't ask about his chew toy habit or his weirdness about bedding or that he's afraid of water.  So they'll know he's not likely to lunge at the other dogs and that he knows "sit" but he doesn't know about sitting in his "place", and  they'll know he doesn't jump but not that he only stopped jumping when he had enough of getting kneed in the chest, they'll know to the best of my knowledge that he's not scared of thunder, but not that he has never actually heard thunder.

There was only so much space on the form.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting ready

Well. Wednesday. Great. I did get one thing accomplished today : Rocket is getting his bordetella shot Saturday morning so he will be completely ready to go for his first class on the twentieth. He doesn't have to have it according to the paperwork I've gotten from the class, but there will be other dogs there and its a cheap insurance policy. The vets office promised I won't even have to see a the doctor, we'll just show up  Saturday morning and they'll take care of it in the lobby.

I saw a lot of back and forth on the shot when I went looking online. I got it a few times for Daisy while we were using the dog park a lot or before boarding, but it wasn't something I got just to get it as a prophylactic as its only good for six months it didn't seem worth it and we skipped it most of the time.

It protects the dog against getting a doggy chest cold and  is more or less equivalent to getting a doggy flu shot, its either going to protect you or its not, because not all bordetella virusi are created equally. And if your dog does get it, while it sounds bad when the the dog is hacking and gagging, its rarely a serious problem.

But, better safe than sorry. I have to pick up his vaccination record anyway.

I am also hopeing to make it out to the breeders this weekend. We haven't seen them in months and they want to see Rocket in person. They are such nice people and have a lot of land for Rocket to run on and his sisters are there and I really want to see how he measures up. I'm pretty sure he is smaller and lighter than they are, clearly he is his Daddy's boy all the way.

I think his size will make him a better agility dog though - lighter, quicker, more ballerina like all around. I'm not sure that "being a ballerina" something you see in agility literature, but it should be! I do know that small size and weight is desirable for a dog meant for hunting as it allows them to get into smaller spaces and through the underbrush easier and more quietly. So lets hear it for Romeo! Daddy Dog extraordinaire!

But first we have to work on "stay" and "down". Puppy steps.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bang, bang, banging my head.

What I need to know is why the puppy will not wet on newspaper but will happily wet on bedding. I don't get it.

I moved not-so-small-anymore dog from his toddler bed into his big boy bed. I decided to make the move after he was dry in his crate for several days and it seemed like a good time to move him into a bigger crate with more amenities. Those amenities being a padded floor and his own carpet. I knew better than to put traditional bedding in the crate as experience as taught me that destroys such trifles, I have also read that puppies don't really appreciate bedding and are are more likely to turn it into confetti than cuddle up with it.

I thought I was being smart. I was not. His first volley against the tyranny traditional comfortable environment was to continually roll up the carpet at the front of the crate. I was beginning to wonder where I could buy carpet tape or if what I really wanted to do was super glue it down - a faster and cheaper option as I have super glue on site all ready.

This was for not because apparently before he rolled up his carpet he peed on it. Thoroughly.

So. I removed the remnant and threw it away, I didn't have time for the pain or the carpet cleaning regiment. I put paper back down in the box and shockingly, he hasn't wet on it.  This was the moment I discovered another reason for the carpet - the crate floor makes noise, creaks and pops and clicks when it is not padded. Terrific.

He also won't let me cover the crate with fabric ( he pulls it through the bars and rips and tears it). The crate is a proper cage vs. the egg crate style box he has used since I brought him home, a solid block while his new crate is open on all sides. I like that its more open and he can see his environment and be a part of it  and that's great, but it makes me cold and since he doesn't know how to use bedding,  there isn't anything  to offer some protection from the chill air.

If he were like Daisy, and able to for years, sleep happily and DRY in a cocoon of bedding in the crate and than later, sleep in the room on the futon, I could wrap him in a flannel sheet and he would be fine, but he can't do that yet and he thus far is not happy about being in the room by himself - something he communicates by wetting the floor if he's alone for more than five minutes and prior to wetting the floor he scratches the hell out of the door - no baby gate for him because he learned how to knock it down while still a very small puppy.

I don't know what I did to him to make him this disturbed.

One of my friends at work suggested after hearing me castigate myself for the dogs slow training progress, that I just don't come home for lunch anymore. The thinking being that what I don't know won't make me crazy.  I think I'm going to try it out - I come home religiously, we wets the bed, I don't come home, he wets the bed. He's going to wet the bed if I come home or not. Sigh.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yay Monday!!

My Girl Scout Cookie order arrived as the Puppy Bowl kicked off. Regular entries will resume after I wake up from my sugar coma.

Oh, to add to the sweetness?  HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY AUSTIN !!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Mr. Peabody didn't need chew toys

When Rocket was a very little guy, before I ever brought him home, I bought him toys. Many of the toys I bought him were Educational Toys - beause I wanted play to be an enriching experience and everything I read said that if you made play "challenging" they would play longer and better and never, ever, ever bark  mindlessly for hours on end or destroy things. Ever. These toys are called "genis toys" or "treat puzzles", because your dog has it in him to cure cancer and has the patience to really sit and work at something for hours.


Most of these toys were way too big and unwieldy for my leetle baby puppah so they went either unused or ignored. Its tough to play with a rubber tree branch when it is both larger than you and out weighs you by three pounds. Puppies are also known non-geniuses. Sad but true, they make them cute so you don't notice what complete idiots they are.

Well, times and dog body mass change. Today Young Rocket can enjoy a good challenge for three to five minutes at a time and he now outweighs  his toys. I noticed this and put some of his treats into the most handy of the genius toys and waited.

He thought it was fun, it had a good beat and he could dance to it. He could not however get those cookies out and that made him sad or hungry or frustrated enough to destroy a lesser plastic toy. Regardless, he was distracted and that is a good thing

Tonight while I was watching the last 30 Rock ever (SOB!) I noticed that he was chewing something. It doesn't matter how recently you vacuum your floor, your puppy will find something either poisonous or small enough to choke on or both. I pried his jaws open and did a sweep and came up with nothing buy dog spit. Lovely. It was then I saw on the floor a cookie! He had solved the Treat Puzzle! Rocket is a genius!

Rocket has sharp teeth!  It wasn't solved, it was mangled!

Why yes, the picture quality is atrocious! Thank you for noticing. Its a chew toy, get over it. He still has two Genius Toys on the bench and on he still can't get into, its round, so its really hard for him to properly get a grip on because he should be able to crack it open  pretty easily now that he figured out the first one. Maybe if he was a real genius I would have to worry about this eventuality, but since all it takes to give him a "new" toy is to hide one of his old ones for a couple of days, I won't start saving for Doggy College just yet.