Archive for the ‘schnauzer’ Tag

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!

Inspire your heart with StuART Blog Hop   3 comments

Ranger from The Adventures of Ranger is hosting a blog hop in loving memory of Stuart from The Scottie Chronicles. Isn’t that a cool idea? So we had to join! Since Mommy doesn’t have photoshop and doesn’t really know how to play around with her photos much, we’re creating our own StuART by posting some artistic selfies.

Version 2
Waiting…

Here’s a photo of our sweet Miss D, from way back in the early days of 2010 when she first joined the family. I must admit to shedding a few many tears while searching for the perfect artwork. I like to think Miss D is waiting and watching out the window for us now. In between running and playing in God’s dog park, of course!

IMG_0581

What’s over here? Let’s go!

 And here’s one of Rocky and Selena, for once in agreement instead of fighting over which direction to yank Mommy on the leash. It was a terrible photo, but with a little editing, it makes a great work of StuART don’t ya think?

Thanks, Ranger, for such a lovely idea! Truly inspired 🙂

StuART badge

Foto Friday   5 comments

A few great photos taken while Rocky & Selena were visiting the “Grans-Spa” last Wednesday.

Credit: Norm Ritter

If you look closely, you’ll see Miss D’s photo tote bag in the background during nap time!

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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News!   12 comments

It shouldn’t be a surprise to any of our dear readers that Mommy has been tentatively searching for new dogs. Not to replace Miss D, because she’s irreplaceable. But grief is different for everyone and Mommy’s has been all-consuming. It’s too quiet! There’s no friendly face popping up in the window when I come home. I dropped Cheerios on the floor and there was no one there to lick it up! But I helped my friend walk her three scotties a few days ago and that was wonderful!

I’ve been holding back, waiting. I could take home a dog from the local shelter today. What about this one? Or maybe that one? No. “Maybe” means it’s not right. It’s too soon. 

So I closed the computer and wrote my wish list

  1. Schnauzer of course
  2. Not too old but not too young either
  3. A bonded pair, or two individual who are friendly
  4. Not from an abusive situation (Miss D was and it takes a lot of patience to earn trust)
  5. Low maintenance, no special needs

Miss D, you know I love you. But you know you were high maintenance. Fear of loud noises, new objects, strangers, physical disability, cushings, prescriptive diet. I’m ready for some low maintenance doggie loving. 

Remember when I said it’s too soon? Well, when your wish list is personified, dipped in fur and dropped in your lap, you don’t hesitate. You grab it and hold on tight!

So, I’d like you to meet my new roommates: Selena and Rocky. She’s 6, he’s 4, she’s his mom and the Instigator of any Troublemaking. She’s little at 11 pounds. Checkers old things fit her perfectly. He’s a big boy at 19 pounds. Miss Deita’s things fit him. So turns out I already had two of everything!

The three of us are going to get better acquainted.

   
That’s Selena on the left. Rocky on the right. 

   

Posted December 4, 2015 by iloveschnauzers in A day in the life, Schnauzers

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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.

 

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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