Archive for the ‘WTF’ 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

One week in…   3 comments

I had forgotten what it’s like to have a dog without mobility issues. When I went to pick up these two crazies, I put Selena in the car then went to grab Rocky. Meanwhile, Selena jumped out… I forgot! Miss D hated the car and couldn’t get in or out of the seat on her own. I’d lift her into the seat and she’d scooch her butt into the seat and park there. Nothing could move her.

Rocky sat contentedly in the back seat, with his seatbelt on. Selena wiggled out of her seatbelt early on and spent the entire ride home exploring the car. Under the rear seat, on top of Rocky, straddling the front and back seats, the front passenger seat, whoops! Red Light… under the front passenger seat, back to the rear seat… She wanted to sit in my lap, but I do not drive with a dog in my lap and was having none of that, young lady! Thank you very much. phew! She’s gonna be a handful!

Selena is obsessed with squeaky toys. Rocky enjoys them too, but mostly nudges them with his nose rather than picking them up in his mouth. Except for one. It’s a mushroom. Small. Soft. Squeaky. He really likes that one. Selena likes them all. And she wants them all! Especially whichever one Rocky currently has…

One squeak and I’ve got the attention of both of them, wherever in the house they are! Miss D (and Checkers before her) was never really into toys, except for the remote controlled ones. She didn’t like the squeak. It was a noise and noises are scary! Sometimes she’d play with a couple favorites. She also liked the mushroom. And the hedgehogs. I think it was the wiry “fur” on the hedgehogs she liked. And a crab. She took all the stuffing out of the crab and near the end, she’d simply carry that crab around the house, taking it with her wherever she went.

And BALLS! OMD, Selena LOVES balls! Well, I should say tennis balls, because she has no interest in the smaller rubber ball. Rocky will chase them too, but he mostly does it because Selena is and invariably will let her take it.

Miss D chased a tennis ball once. Then she realized it wasn’t food and lost interest. Forever after, if I threw that ball, she’d just look at it then look at me, as if it say, “Why’d you throw that away? You don’t expect me to get it, do you?”

These two are also more cuddly than Checkers or Deita ever were. Miss D would follow me from room to room, but was content to keep me in her sight. Selena loves to be touched and will often bump your hand with her nose or bury her ears into your chest to get you to pet her. Rocky is less subtle. He simply lies down across your lap or stands on your lap with his front paws on your shoulders and leans in, like a hug. OR, when Selena took the prime spot next to Mommy, Rocky simply climbed onto the back of the sofa and wrapped himself around Mommy’s shoulders, like a really heavy scarf. Every night this week, I have slept in a schnauzer sandwich. One dog on either side bumped up against my body.

One thing these two have in common with Miss D. They are vocal! They love to tell me what’s going on. And once they get going, soon talking turns to singing. I swear, there must be some Beagle in Rocky’s family tree. That boy can HOWL.

In just the last couple of days, they’ve learned “shush!”. I started to use the standard “quiet!” command, but in the heat of the moment I find myself saying “shush!” so “shush!” it became. Oh, well. Whatever works, right? They know “sit”, “stay”, “no”, “down”, “drop it”, “off” and “come”. Though they tend to ignore “come” unless they happen to be coming anyway.

Selena reacts to other dogs the way Miss D did. Not to the same extent, and it’s much easier to distract her and get her to refocus on whatever it was we were doing before the dog distracted her. Rocky reacts vocally, but he doesn’t have the same intensity nor the snarl/lunge thing. I plan to call a trainer later this month and nip this thing in the bud before it reaches Miss D levels.

Today, I took each dog on a separate walk through the neighborhood to see how they do on their own. They seem to know the basics of “heel” but Rocky is a puller and Selena wants to wander. Too bad I’m not running anymore. I think Rocky would enjoy it. He wants to go at a pretty fast clip. Poor Selena. When I walk them both together, Rocky is constantly pulling to go faster, and Selena is running on her little legs trying to keep up. I think they both enjoyed their one-on-one time with Mommy today.

A few photos from our first week together.

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How to eat a Blueberry   3 comments

Mommy’s favorite video of Miss D for all time: how to eat a Blueberry by Miss Deita.

Step 1. Circle the Blueberry, being wary of its propensity to jump out and attack you when you least expect it. Circle that Blueberry several times, but don’t let it know you’re interested. Act nonchalant. You want to catch it unawares.

Step 2. draw the Blueberry close. Watch out! Don’t let it escape!

Step 3. Shake that Blueberry for all you’re worth. Kill that sucker!

Step 4. Enjoy!

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