Archive for March, 2011

Elementary

I am feeling supremely unmotivated to blog, for a wide variety of reasons. It seems this would lead to not blogging, and yet there is a part of me nagging me to blog anyway. As if I need internal arguments to help make life more aggravating.

Puppy class went well. I chose the class based on location, schedule, and the fact I hadn’t heard anything bad about the place. I am very pleased that happenstance led us there. I think they have a good program.

The biggest challenge I am currently facing with Watson is housebreaking. This is no surprise, since at this age, that is the biggest challenge for most families raising puppies. What is slightly different, for me, is the nature of the challenge I am facing. Overall, he is doing pretty well. Now, mind you, I believe that training the average dog is 60% training the humans, and 40% training the dog. We are all doing okay. The problem I am encountering is one I’ve never had before. It isn’t a full blown problem yet, just one I see looming. Developing a substrate preference is a big part of successful or difficult housebreaking, and Watson has definitely formed a substrate preference. Unfortunately, his preferred substrate is vanishing a bit more with each passing day.

Yep. He is strongly inclined to potty on snow. This makes sense. His early “go potty” “good dog” training has all been on snow, since the whole yard was snow. As the snow is shrinking away, he is clearly moving away from the areas where he used to go to the bathroom, and going where there is still snow. Yes, I know how to work on this, but any further challenge during this particular time in house training is annoying, even when you know how to address it, and that it must be addressed.

He remains adorable.

Introducing Watson

Handsome Boy

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Blah Blah Blah Weather, Blah Blah Blah Dogs

I’m afraid winter is over. I really dislike spring here, at least early spring. I am expecting this one to be particularly unpleasant, since we had record breaking snowfall this winter. Things turn into such a gross, shoe sucking, muddy mess. Flooding closes some bridges and fucks up traffic. I have to clean muddy paw prints off of the floor daily, and there are still muddy paw prints on the floor. Yes, little pretty hints of greens start to appear, but all surrounded by dirty. The streets are gross from the salt and gravel dumped on them all winter. Basically I find it all very esthetically unpleasant and generally tiresome. If I didn’t have dogs, it wouldn’t probably bother me less.

The "creek" in our backyard.

This photo is taken from my living room window. That “creek” is from the sump pump working overtime to keep our basement from flooding. The non-snow area down at the base of the trees is the low spot in the yard. It is a complete swamp. It is gross and dirty, but hey, at least it doesn’t have mosquitoes growing in it… yet. That comes later.

Our snow last week was so amazing. Not just a few dumb flakes, but a real full on snowfall, that accumulated a good six inches, more in some areas. I was so happy to see it falling, as I had already begun to fear that there would be no more snow. The day was pretty warm, and I spent a lot of time playing out in the snow with Indy and Watson. It was a very good day for Indy. I do my best to take the time to really enjoy and appreciate her good days. Overall, she is in amazing shape considering her age, but most of her days are just… days. Hey, I am glad they are not bad days. Still, the good days are very special, and she clearly loves winter, the cold appears to ease some of the inflammations that slow her down.

There are a couple upcoming predicted snow falls, but I don’t expect them to be significant. The days are warm enough it will probably only happen at night, although if enough is falling, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night to take Indy out.

Indy went to see the vet this week, which was a bit of a fail, so I have no real news to report. Just before I arrived, some yahoo ran their car into a transformer box thing and took out all the power in the area. Indy couldn’t even be weighed, much less have blood tested. The vet looked at her in the lobby, because the exam rooms didn’t have any light. Clearly, we’ll need to follow up to get a better picture of her health. Her eyes are still in pretty good shape, no sign of glaucoma or cataracts. She does have nuclear sclerosis, which she has had for a while. The vet mentioned that her night vision probably wasn’t as good, which I agreed with immediately. We’ve actually been leaving a light on for her at night for the past 10 months or so after noticing that her confidence walking around in the dark seemed to be fading.

To continue the fail of vet visit day, my planned trip to take her in for grooming and a “you wash” kind of place was derailed because the place had to close early for some repairs. We’ll try again on Monday.

Tonight Watson goes to his first puppy kindergarten class. I’m very comfortable with puppy raising and dog training, but group classes are a really good way to make sure they learn to behave with distractions. It is cheaper to go do self training sessions at a dog park, but have you seen the way some people (and therefor their dogs) behave at dog parks? Ugh. At least at a group class there is a minimum of one human per dog, plus an instructor, and there is some vague sense that everyone there is hoping for a well behaved dog. I’ll be letting the kid take the class with Watson, as she was very young the last time we raised a puppy. It will be good for her (and Watson) if she is much more involved with his training.

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Happy Tails

Our Fosters from Ms Tori on Vimeo.

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Eleven

Apparently I could only make it to number 11 before having a failed foster.

Welcome to the family, baby boy.

I think we’ll be calling him Watson.

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Sitting and Thinking

So, yesterday I teased that I had other news that was too big to just tack on the bottom of that post.

It wasn’t really a sweeps week “to be continued” type of tease. I just have all this shit on my mind, but my mind hasn’t finished chewing on it yet. I know some of what it means, but I don’t know all of what it means.

So, here you get a little glimpse into my life, mid thought process.

I am typing this while sitting at the dining room table. At my feet, Indy is asleep. This is usual. She is asleep at my feet a large portion of the time that I am on my computer.

Far less usual, and quite unexpectedly, there is a puppy asleep at my feet too.

Webster.

Webster is back. For reasons which are totally understandable, and I agree with and support, but are not my reasons to tell. The family who had hoped to adopt Webster, has decided it isn’t what is best for him. He was with them for a week and they all had a wonderful time, but they came to a very difficult decision. They are doing what they think is best for the dog, which I totally respect.

He left on a Sunday, and came back on the following Sunday. They were willing to foster him, but I wanted him back. I put this much in. I’d like to see it through to all three orphans finding their forever homes.

It is time to figure out what “I might have wanted to keep him” means, now that it is an option.

I am certain there are other families out there who would love him just as much as we do. I am certain there are no other families out there who would love him more. I knew both of those things about Bear too. There is more to it than that, as I so difficultly had to stand by when letting Bear leave. I must ask myself, “Is there somebody that is better for him due to practical life circumstances?” and “How exactly does he impact the lives of the pets we are already committed to?” Most of all, I need to make sure that I don’t let the pangs of regret I feel for “having” to let Bear go, allow me to lie to myself about these answers. It would be easy to trick myself, just so that I can avoid a difficult goodbye.

That is where I am at today, with a puppy curled up at my feet, right next to Indy.

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