I received a Notice of Complaint today. It came from the law firm of Dewey, Barkum, and Howe and notifies me that a complaint of animal neglect and criminal deprivation has been lodged against me. The plaintiffs in this action are identified as “The House Dogs”.
Everyone likes eating a donut, but have you ever tried wearing one? When Buddy Wingo came here, he was wearing one of those lampshade cone e-collars. That was to keep him from licking or chewing at his many wounds, and it did its job admirably. But it did make life cumbersome.
While he was in intensive care at Cedarwood Animal Hospital, the cone was a bother, but he wasn’t involved in as much activity as he is allowed here, so it was fine.
Shiloh is a good kid and I liked her right off. So when HairyFace decided to start house-training her after being here only a couple of weeks, I gave my approval. As long as he teaches her that inside play is NOT the same as outside play. She likes to sprint and tussle with Julian and Josephine out in the yard. That won’t fly in MY house! But Hairy knows that.
She was eager to get started and often hung out by the back door hoping to be invited inside.
Blondie Bear has been feeling poorly for the past few months: she has the itchies real bad. She’s gone to see Dr. Sandra a couple of times. Dr. Sandra gave HairyFace some medicine for Blondie: that helped the itchies but made her sleepy. Now that the problem is clearing up and Blondie isn’t spending all her time either scratching or sleeping, she is getting to be her spunky self again. And that means she can be trouble for me sometimes. Continue reading Blondie Joins the Fun→
They have doors EVERYWHERE. But doors get in the way of us doggers. Most of the time, we cannot open these doors and must “request” assistance from the Peoples if we are to pass through. So we learn signals to alert the Peoples of our need.
I bark. Just once. Loud and sharp. Blondie Bear scratches on the metal part of the door. We teach these signals to our paduan learner foster dogs, they choose which they prefer. Or … come up with something of their own. Many start out with sitting on the porch staring at the door, willing it to open.
One of the things I do as part of House Dog training with our foster dogs is to teach them to control their food frenzy. The first step is done in the Kibble Treasury.
If the dog gets grabby or goes bucket diving, they get evicted and I’ll dish up kibble behind a closed door for a couple of days. If they can reign in those urges, they get a sample. When they master this, they get a special job to do.
Sometimes he gets dual inspectors:
We feed foster dogs in their crate at first. As they learn to control themselves (so they won’t be shoving the others out of their bowls) they get to eat on a blanket outside of their crate, and eventually on their blanket around the dining table with Cochise, Blondie, and (now) Josephine.
They also learn to get chewies as a group activity. Any growlies or grabbies and it’s back to their “room”.
Food training also includes lessons about NOT standing up to cruise the kitchen counters or the dining room table. Four on the floor, sit on your blanket at the table and wait to be served, and no grabbing anyone else’s food if they are slower than you. When they master those lessons, they get their gold star in food etiquette.
Marie and I discourage the dogs from begging when we all gather to eat a meal. We do that by not hand feeding them scraps from the table. They get their kibbles in their bowls set on their blankets arranged around the table. If we share some of what we’re eating, we put their portion in their bowls.
Today I was engaging in a working lunch at my desk: a warmed up piece of left-over pizza from the weekend. Josie the big-eyed beagle thought that smelled pretty good. All the dogs like “pizza bones”.
Marie and I are a foster home for dogs. We often develop attachments to our charges (the dogs) and have to fight back tears as we send them off to new homes. Some are harder than others, but we’ve learned to deal with that. Well, mostly.
Josephine was especially hard, in part because she is still so timid. She’s come a long ways from the terrified creature we took out of the shelter so she could find some peace and so we could work on her fear of people.
She had a health issue too, which we addressed with our veterinarian. When her treatment was complete and she had settled down to where she could meet new people, we began soliciting for a forever home for her. Continue reading Josephine Goes to Summer Camp→
I was working on a plumbing problem at Mom’s house (which is on a corner of our property) and needed a tool from my shop. Blondie, Cochise and Gator were out in the play yard. As I walked up the shop driveway Gator was shadowing me inside the fence. I got the tool and went back to Mom’s house. When done under her sink I looked out her kitchen window in time to see Gator scampering up the hill toward my house OUTSIDE the play yard fence.
I ran outside and called Gator, who ran back down toward me — until he caught sight of Blondie standing at the end of the Judge’s driveway across the road. Then he took off to join her and they skipped merrily up that driveway together. Continue reading The Gatorgate Incident→
The weatherguessers were saying it was going to get cold. Too cold for Spencer to be outside: he needed to come inside with the rest of us for the night. That is not a problem, but it does mean some rearranging needs to be done. Spencer is a big boy and needs appropriate accommodations.