Archive for the ‘Today’s WTF Moment…’ Category

Lazy Saturday   3 comments

Well, Rocky is outside, lying in the grass enjoying the sunshine. I’d post a photo of him, but I can’t leave the breakfast table. “Why?” you ask. 


Because of where Selena prefers to sleep this Lazy Saturday. 

WTF. 

TGIF   1 comment

It’s Friday! Who’s ready for the weekend?! Rocky and Selena that’s who!

Today’s WTF moment brought to you by… Mommy logged off her computer. 

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W.T.F.

Squirrel!   4 comments


They stayed like this for 5 minutes waiting for that nasty squirrel to come back

Caption This   3 comments


This is how Rocky and Selena eat ice cream

(Not So) Silent Sunday   5 comments

The funny thing is, from that angle, Selena can’t even see what’s got Rocky so worked up. She’s just taking her cues from him. 

There’s hope!   5 comments

Welcome to my world

(Rocky is not allowed on top of the chair like that, by the way. It’s a never-ending power play between Rocky and Mommy. And yes, that high-pitched yip you hear in the background is Selena, from her favorite guarding bench in another room)

This is Mommy’s day. All day. Every day. How have they not lost their voices by now?

But there’s hope. Trainer stopped by for another lesson today.

Hope #1: Both dogs quickly settled in their sofas after Trainer arrived. It only took two tries for him to be able to enter the house without being bombarded with dogs.

Hope #2: Rocky did not try to bite Trainer at all. Not once!

Hope #3: Today’s lesson included a refresher for Mommy on “When dogs attack!”. Some of the warning signs are obvious, but others Mommy did not know about.

Hope #4: We will be starting reactivity training at next week’s lesson. Hopefully Miss D’s old pal, Nettie the Scottie, will be our willing “calm dog approaching” so Trainer can teach Mommy what she needs to do. Then later we’ll start attending regular group lessons with other dogs, many of whom Trainer tells us are much worse than these two. I believe it. After all, we have first-hand experience with “much worse” thanks to Miss D.

Hope #5: Trainer and Mommy practiced a few rounds of “Who’s at the door?” That’s where Trainer exits the house, pretends to leave, then comes up and knocks or rings the doorbell, Mommy greets and lets him in. Both dogs did as they were told, just as we’ve been training them to do. There was some initial excitement from Selena (actually, Selena maintained a moderate level of excitement throughout the visit) but they calmed quickly to the point where Trainer could enter and even pet them.

Conclusion:

Training is going well, all things considered. Rocky & Selena both are smart schnauzers and eager to please, if somewhat anxious/reactive to strangers (dogs and humans alike). We’ll get there!

 

Oh and one interesting development. Selena was so anxious/excited when Trainer first arrived that she pooped in her chair. When Mommy sent her back to her chair, Selena ate the poop before settling in. Never seen that happen before. Is that normal?

Sigh   4 comments

What a rotten weekend we had! Well, Rocky & Selena might not think so, but Mommy was very stressed. See, it all started when Rocky bit the neighbor.

Yep, BIT the Neighbor! Who was doing nothing but minding his own business in his own yard, when Rocky went nuts. So to calm him down, the neighbor held his hand up to the fence for Rocky to sniff. Unfortunately, Rocky decided to taste instead. Luckily, the neighbor has dogs of his own and understood the context of the situation and said it was okay. Of course, Mommy thinks it is not okay and has already talked to Trainer about stepping up the lessons to take care of this bad behavior now. After all, what if we’re out walking and a child decides she wants to “pet the doggie”? We could land in serious trouble.

THEN…

Mommy was out walking with Selena, training to “heel” and enjoying a pleasant Sunday afternoon when we encountered a laid-back golden retriever and his owners. Mommy could see this encounter was stressful to Selena, so we tried to move off the sidewalk, create some distance between us and them, until the danger passed. But Selena, thinking this was not enough and the dog must be warned off her sidewalk, decided to slip out of her collar and give chase!

Poor retriever had no idea what was going on! Why is this tiny animal attacking me? It was like a fly or a bee was buzzing around him. It might have been amusing, if not for the sheer terror of possibilities, like Selena running into the street or actually catching the bigger dog. Who knows what she might have done? She certainly had murder in her eyes.

Anyway… the humans were finally able to catch Selena. Mommy promptly tightened her collar and practically dragged her home. This encounter has also been mentioned to Trainer as another example of why learning to “heel” and “come” and “stay” are all well and good, but perhaps we can learn to “not bite” and “not give chase” and “play nice” at the same time. Please.

Needless to say, both Rocky and Selena are grounded. No more walks. We’re continuing our lessons on “heel” indoors. Outside time is limited to going in the backyard, on leash. They don’t even get freedom there to run the fence and bark at the neighbor dogs. Nope. Mommy’s right there with them, holding those leashes, forcing them to stay within a certain radius of her; which radius does not include the mud pit nor the fence.

On the bright side, neither dog reacted when the doorbell rang unexpectedly (twice!) this evening. Mommy has been working on desensitizing them to

  1. the door opening,
  2. the screen door opening,
  3. the doorbell ringing, and
  4. knocking.

At least this aspect of their training is going well! The next step in this desensitization is Mommy exiting through the door and standing right outside, talking to the visitor. AND the biggest step of all, allowing a visitor to enter through the door without attacking. Right now, the dogs take Mommy exiting as their cue to panic and arooo! and run to the door and bark their little heads off. Oh, and Rocky attacks the pants and ankles of any visitor within his reach. Obviously unacceptable.

Still… I think back to Miss D’s first year. Mommy’s long list of “encounters” where Miss D would initially go into bat-$h!t crazy attack mode but she eventually learned how to cope with most of them. Rocky & Selena are further along in their lessons than Miss D was when she first came home. … Or Ever.

I hope that one day I’ll feel confident enough to send these two to doggie day camp. Checkers used to love doggie day camp and would go every week. Miss D never had the opportunity. Mommy simply could not figure out if Miss D even wanted the company of other dogs. Based on the other dogs’ behavior around Miss D, Mommy figured they certainly didn’t want to be in the company of Miss D. It was a lonely existence and one Mommy will always regret.

So I’m drawing up another list of “encounters” for Rocky & Selena.

  1. dogs on leashes
  2. humans encroaching on their personal space
  3. dogs encroaching on their personal space
  4. humans approaching the house
  5. humans entering the house
  6. dogs in play

We’ll see where the year takes us!

The Escape Artist   9 comments

Selena escaped last week.

Don’t let her fool you. She may look adorable, sweet, and tiny, but Selena is far from innocent. She is an Instigator, a Troublemaker with a capital T.

 

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Who, me?

 

While three of the four sides of the backyard are fenced with 6-foot wood picket fencing, the fourth side is simple wire fencing. Two-thirds of that wire fencing is still good. That’s the section installed by the neighbor behind us. The final third of the wire fencing was sloppily installed by the previous owner, as part of the contract when Mommy bought the place ten years ago. How long it’s been breached is anyone’s guess. Miss D was not an escape artist.

 


 

But Selena noticed the hole immediately. Mommy has spent the last month in denial. Procrastinating and pretending neither Selena nor Rocky would want to wander. No, not these two sweet innocents!

But sure enough, the other night Mommy was getting dolled up for dinner out with friends. She let Selena and Rocky out into the back yard, told herself, “They’ll be fine. They haven’t tried to escape once. I don’t have to watch them every minute,” and went back inside to finish getting dressed.

Five minutes later, Mommy calls the dogs in. Here comes Rocky! … Where’s Selena? … WHERE’S SELENA?! …

Mommy could hear her tags jingle-jangle, but she was nowhere to be found. She took her opportunity and escaped through that back fence! SELENA!!!!! SELENA!!!!

Mommy was in a panic! Have you ever tried to find a tiny black dog, at night, in a muddy wooded area, while wearing dress slacks? Finally, Selena came bouncing back into sight, no shame, no remorse. So, happy ending?

Almost. For a truly happy ending, Mommy had to pay a visit to the local hardware store.

  1. 50 feet by 4 feet wire fencing? Check.
  2. Six 6-foot metal T-posts? Check.
  3. T-post driver? Check.
  4. Fencing pliers? Check.
  5. Gloves? Check.
  6. Safety goggles? Check.
  7. Feeling powerful and able to do anything? Check.

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New wire fence for the win! Oh, and the glow-in-the-dark dog collars should arrive next week.

Selena – 1, Mommy – 2

The Bug   3 comments

Today’s WTF moment brought to you by… the Bug.

When I first posted this video to Facebook in 2014, I included this caption “This bug is the most fun, if Deita would just put it down! (And yes, my house is a mess. Have you met Miss D?)”

Miss D loved her treat toys. Well, okay, Miss D loved food. Period. But early on she learned that if she picked the toys up and shook them, she’d get more treats faster than if she rolled the toys along the floor as designed.

This time, however, I distracted her mid-snack with this tiny remote-controlled bug. Her reaction was above and beyond my expectations, though. It started us down the path of searching for appropriately sized remote-control toys: bugs, mice, trucks, cars.

Remote-controlled dog toys were total and complete failures. Have you ever noticed that dog toys are all centered around “fetch” and “chew” and “tug”? And all remote-controlled dog toys are balls. Miss D simply stared at these, as if asking, “WTF am I supposed to do with this?”

But cat toys? Cat toys are the BEST! They center around “hunt” which was Miss D’s favorite game. Sadly, cat toys are made for cats, who hunt by stalking and pouncing. Miss D hunts by stalking, yes. But she also chases, picks things up in her mouth, shakes them, and tosses them across the room. Cat toys are simply not made for this type of play.

The first generation of “the bug” latest two days. We had so much fun, Mommy bought a second generation, which lasted about two minutes. This was going to get expensive.

So we started looking at kids toys. After all, remote-controlled cars are made for little boys who can be even more destructive in their play than dogs. Unfortunately, most remote-controlled cars and trucks are simply too big. Miss D would stalk and chase the one small truck Mommy bought, but she couldn’t pick it up in her mouth the way she wanted to. So truck hunting was almost more frustrating than it was fun. In the end, she figured out a way to pick it up by the wheels. Bye bye truck!

Mommy then found a bigger toy car. It was fun to chase about the room at first, but it was too big and Miss D lost interest quickly. So we went back to cat toys.

The third generation of the bug was actually a “mouse”. It was bigger than the bug and had a little tail with a feather (well, it is a cat toy after all) and lasted about two weeks. The fourth generation was nearly identical to the third and lasted about four months. The secret was that Miss D would pick this one up by the tail to toss it across the room, so the body didn’t get crushed between her jaws like the others. Although, it was nearing the end of its life recently too. The last couple times we brought it out, it could only move forward in circles, and even that was jerky.

Still, if anyone from the cat toy company is watching, we sure would love a doggie version of this bug. One with a body a little more indestructible!

Apologies for the video quality. I shot this with my iPad, but I’m no Scorsese. At 1:31, I finally catch up to Miss D and remotely activated the wheels, which generates the reaction you see.

 

Nasty   Leave a comment

So… We had a nasty storm last night. No rain, but so much wind! We lost power for four hours. Mommy was saying soooo many naughty words!

But when we got out this morning, the tree that was yesterday blocking our view of the hawk is now blocking traffic. Windy! Hope the hawk found a safe place to ride out the storm.

Then, disaster! Miss D spotted an enemy coming toward us. That is, another dog! She went bat-shit crazy, as per usual, tripping Mommy up in the leash. Mommy wrenched her back trying not to fall on Miss D but managed to step on her foot anyway. Ouch! Then the owner and the evil dog came running, to see if we needed help since we both had let out some mighty yells. Poor woman didn’t realize that approaching Miss D would only make the situation worse.

Eventually we got everything straightened out, and everyone continued on our ways. But the rest of the walk was not very pleasant. Mommy was walking so slowly and muttering some very naughty words to Miss D along the way. Something about Miss D trying to kill her, or something like that. And now Mommy won’t share her yummy treats no matter how pathetic Miss D looks! It wasn’t my fault! It was that other dog!

Harrumph. I’m going to go pout in my crate. Mean Mommy.

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