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.
It was New Years day but it was also a Sunday so, as we always do on Sunday, we secured the dogs and went off to church. With travel there and back, Sunday school and the worship service we are gone about three hours.
For Blondie Bear and Cochise, that is no problem: they are tankers and can hold their bladders for a full day if they must. Like when it rains. They HATE going out in a hard rain. But for Tinker, three hours is quite a while and he will be dancing around and running for the back door as soon as we come in the front door. He IS reliable, he’s just uncomfortable at that point.
So all the dogs got a time in the yard while Marie and I took care of some things around the house. Then we readied to go to my Mom’s house to visit with my half-brother and his family, who had driven in from Nebraska the night before for a Christmas celebration with Mom and her grand-daughters.
We thought about securing the dogs again, but it was no longer raining, it was not especially cold, and Mom’s house is actually on our property, just outside the dog fence. They can keep tabs on us if they are in the yard. At the very least they like to bark at us in warning about the dangers of willingly entering a home where not one but TWO cats live. Continue reading “Tinker’s Revenge”
Cochise and Blondie Bear are permanent residents. Tinker, Jasmine and Gator are foster dogs. We offer multiple dog beds but who sleeps on what can be kind of fluid during the day and evening. Everyone is okay with that.
In the living room are a pair of beds made from a donated futon pad. These are favored when Marie and I are in the living room or kitchen, and are big enough that they can be shared when necessary.
In many homes Christmas morning is met with the squeals and giggles of children tearing wrapping paper to discover what treasures hide within. At our house it’s a little … different.
When Marie and I got home from church we walked down to my Mom’s house where we met up with my brother and sister-in-law who drove in from South Carolina for Christmas lunch. She runs a restaurant and brought the food. A tasty meal and a good visit with family we don’t get to see often.
Then Marie and I returned to our house to open presents with The Kids. There was no wrapping paper on their gifts (much of that is toxic if eaten), but they didn’t mind. Wrapping paper just confuses them.
The squeaker squirrel was a special gift intended for Tinker (because he does SO love squeaker toys) so we rescued it from Jazzy before she could do it harm and gave it to Tinker. It instantly became his favorite toy! Continue reading “Christmas in the Dog House”
He lived with a family before, but they weren’t around enough to suit Gator. Gator is also a pit bull. That term strikes fear into some people, but that is due to misinformation. In fact that term isn’t even a breed of dog: just a label hung on any dog with a short, muscular build and blocky head. Through this, and breed specific legislation, much harm is done in the name of ignorance. The proper name for this dog is Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and they are historically superb family dogs. At one time they were called Nanny Dogs, not Pit Bull, and were the favored choice as a companion animal for a family’s children. But I digress.
Being a Staffie, Gator needs a lot of attention and affection. He is happy to give the same, as well. He apparently wasn’t getting that where he was living and be broke out of his fencing and went adventuring. Continue reading “Gator the Adventurous Pibble”
It was a couple of nights before Tinker got his HW treatment. NiceLady was looking for Tinker. He was not in his usual spot in the hallway. She checked the snuggle beds in the bedroom, she checked in the den, she checked the futon beds in the picture box watching room, she checked the blankets around the eating table.
She turned on a lamp … there he was! Too well camouflaged to see in the semi-dark.
In our house we have a “no dogs on the people furniture” rule. It’s only fair: they have a sofa, a chair and a bed. We have like 6 snuggle beds and an assortment of blankets scattered around the house.