Tag Archives: Life with animals

Yappy Hour

Last Thursday wasn’t a good day for me, so after school I fed the dogs and crashed. My alarm went off announcing Yappy Hour, an event that I had programed into my phone earlier last week. I didn’t want to go. I was tired, cranky, and didn’t want to face a bunch of people. Still, I told myself that it might be fun, but if it wasn’t I could always leave and not bother going back to it the last two Thursdays of this month.

So, I dragged myself out of bed, put on “going out” clothes, grabbed Haley, and we drove across town to the dog park. On the way there, I told Haley that I wasn’t sure what the event would be like and that if she didn’t like being there, all she had to do was bark. She looked at me as if she knew what I was saying.

We arrived at the dog park and the event was smaller than I anticipated. I expected something huge, but it was a nice, personable event. The dogs were polite and playing together. It wouldn’t hurt to stay a few minutes.

We arrived at the same time as a couple German Shepherds. A dog barked at the gate. I tried to get Haley to go inside without letting the dog out. Being a princess, Haley feels that the gate or door has to be wide open before she can pass over the threshold. I pushed her through the small gap and tried to squeeze through, but the dog got out. The owner came and retrieved the dog and I walked away with Haley.

Most of the dogs there were big, but there were a handful of small dogs. Haley isn’t prone to interact with other dogs and sniffed around the tables because she knew that there was food on them.

After getting a dog biscuit and polishing it off, she went in search of another place with treats. Then she disappeared behind another table. I thought she was underneath the table, but when I searched for her, I found that she had made herself comfortable in a lady’s chair. The lady was one of the dog trainers and Haley used her charming skills to get several treats from her, even convincing her that the treats needed to be broken up into smaller pieces and hand fed. I just shook my head.

My neighbor’s mom’s dog was there. His name is Tito and he’s a four month old Shih Tzu-Chihuahua and a bundle of energy, never sitting still long enough for a pet. Despite being the same age as the Golden Retriever puppy, Tito quickly became the darling of the dog park, probably because he was so tiny and lightning fast.

There were drawings for prizes and even a trick contest. I thought about entering Haley into the contest, but I felt that her shake and speak were basic tricks. In hindsight, I think Haley would have done just fine. Several of the dogs were distracted and didn’t perform as well as they normally did when they were at home.

The contest winner was the most adorable black and white Pomeranian named Flower. I wasn’t surprised. Her cuteness alone would have won the contest.

Shortly after the contest, it was time to go. An hour and a half had passed that quickly? So much for staying only a couple minutes and leaving.

As we left, I called my mom and told her about how Haley had taken over the lady’s chair and somehow convinced her to dote on Haley. We agreed that it’s typical Haley behavior.

I plan on going back again this Thursday. This time I’m going to take Clara and Molly. I thought about taking all three Shih Tzus, but I decided that I didn’t want to try to keep an eye on three dogs. I just need to bathe them and give them haircuts, or at the very least trim the hair back from their eyes.

I hope this week will be just as much fun as last week. Or at least as relaxing as it was. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time, drag your human to the next doggy event. It will be good for them.

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End of My Rope

I regret this morning. I regret not catching Clara soon enough. I regret dumping water on my dogs. I regret causing them any discomfort.

I regret ever bringing Nia into this house.

Back in December, Nia decided that she hates Clara. I hoped that it would go away with time, but it hasn’t. Things have escalated to the point that Clara no longer is defensive; she’s offensive; attacking Nia before Nia has a chance to attack her. Most of the time it is nothing serious, but sometimes it is.

This morning wasn’t serious, but it made me wonder. Will I ever have the peaceful house that I used to? Does the fact that I’m no longer on my depression/bipolar medicine have any bearing on my dogs’ behavior? Does Nia have a neurological issue which accounts for her constant pacing?

When Nia came to live with me, I realized that she had a bunch of restless energy. She was possessive of toys (something I’ve since worked with her on), she peed whenever someone wanted to pet her (yet another thing I’ve worked with her on), and she paces, never settling down; never relaxing.

She feels the need to keep moving. She doesn’t like being in laps. Human beings are just creatures that make her life easier. They throw the ball and feed her, but other than that Nia has no use for people. She constantly chews; toys stand no chance against her and if she can’t destroy a toy, she won’t have anything to do with it. She also doesn’t like if anyone else has a toy. She’ll gather all of the toys in one spot and lay on them, keeping everyone away from the toys.

As I write this, I’m beginning to wonder if Nia suffers from OCD. That might explain some of her behavior. That might even explain all of her behavior, except why she doesn’t like Clara, unless Clara did something to Nia.

Sigh.

I don’t want to get rid of Nia. I’m her third home. I know why her second home had to get rid of her, but I’m beginning to wonder if her behavior is why Nia was rehomed the first time. I don’t want to give up on Nia, but I have to ask myself, where do I draw the line? This morning’s fight didn’t even result in anything bad. It was actually more noise than anything else.

New action plan(s). 1) Determine if Nia has OCD or not. If she doesn’t, then we’ll go from there. If she does, determine what needs to be done. 2) Instead of keeping the girls in a rotation (Nia inside, Clara outside and reverse) put them in crates and keep them with me rewarding them when they’re quiet and being nice to each other. 3) Now that the weather is getting warmer, start taking them for walks/runs together. Preferably runs because that would keep them from fighting. 4) Resume Mommy-Puppy time where each dog gets undivided attention from me for about fifteen or twenty minutes.

Let’s see…this is the middle of February, I’ll give this until April 1 to see if there are any positive results. Who knows, maybe it was just a weather related thing and now that we’re having 60, 70, and 80 degree weather things might mellow out on their own. Wish me luck.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions, please let me know. I need all the help I can get. Also, if you’ve had this problem before, tell me about it.

Until next time please lay down…you’re making me nervous.


The Good Dog

A couple of my friends dropped in on me while I was out. Well they hadn’t arrived, but were on their way. I was about a half block away from my house when one texted me and asked me if they could go in. I told them that my front door was locked. I almost suggested that they go in through the back door because I keep that door unlocked as Buddy is in the backyard and I know that he’ll protect his back yard.

I didn’t get to tell them this on the phone because I pulled into my driveway. I did tell them in person that I sometimes leave my backdoor unlocked, but Buddy is back there. One friend said that he wasn’t scared. The other friend is petrified of Buddy after he tormented her the last time she was here. I explained to my male friend that while Buddy is sweet when I’m around, chances of him being kind to someone when I’m not around is slim. After all, the Chow Chow’s original purpose was an all-purpose dog, including protection. I know for a fact that Buddy wouldn’t let another person in this house if I didn’t give the approval.

My male friend still didn’t seem phased. Maybe one day he’ll just have to learn. Of course by that time I’ll probably lock the back door and it has nothing to do with me being afraid that people will get in the house. My back door doesn’t always latch and I fear that the dogs will one day push on the back door and it will pop open meaning that I’ll have six rambunctious dogs running through my two-story house. I don’t even want to imagine the trouble they’d get into.

*******

Yesterday, while out with Clara, I talked to my neighbor and his friend. We got onto the subject of whether a Chow would kill a Pit or the other way around. My neighbor vouched for the Pit and I agreed, and not because Pits have lock-jaws. It’s just the purpose of the breeds.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Pits and I don’t believe that Pits are killers. I am a strong believer that it is how a dog is raised that truly makes a dog’s personality. However, I am also a strong believer that the selection of certain traits can and does play a role as well.

Anyway, what made me decide that a Pit could kill a Chow is simply due to what each breed’s original purpose. Pits, being Terriers, were bred to hunt and kill vermin. This trait can be seen in any terrier from the Airedale to the Yorkie. You then take that instinct and teach it what to hunt and that dog will hunt it.

Chows being guardians will only attack if they have to and kill if it is needed. Otherwise, if they can get their point through with a nasty look or a growl, then no need to fight.

So you have two dogs that have two different purposes. Mix that with the fact that I’ve heard stories about my neighbor’s Pits (some are described as mean, they’re not socialized, they don’t get regular exercise, and so on). With volatile conditions such as those, a Chow, a socialized Pit, a small dog, etc really doesn’t stand a chance.

Mind you, I’ve never met these dogs. They don’t/can’t walk their dogs for…reasons. I’ve heard stories of one of their unneutered males attacking another male and sending it to the vet and while the family was gone, that same male attacked and killed the puppies of that other male and I think even harmed the mother dog. Yesterday they also talked about giving up one of their females because she was mean and the guy who took in that female also had to get rid of her due to that. They didn’t speak with regret, but more like awe; like they found it amusing that she was aggressive.

The female dog of the household is pregnant again. She had puppies earlier this summer and now more puppies are due. Apparently they had a difficult time getting rid of the last litter, now they have another litter to deal with. My neighbor described her as a “ho.” Really?

It’s none of my business. They’re his dogs, not mine. Still, I worry about the dogs. I worry about what’s going on behind those doors. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I’ve been wrong before. I hope I’m wrong now.

Until next time, keep socializing.


Awaking from Hibernation

Hey Everyone. I know it has been a while. Last month my seizures started up again and I had to get back on seizure medication. If you haven’t been on seizure medicine, it makes you sleepy until your body gets used to it. Basically, last month when I wasn’t in class I was sleeping, ie I slept the month of September away.

Other than a couple seizures, everything has been going very well. Class is fun. This past week we’ve been working on logos for our businesses. I’ve learned how to draw and redraw using Adobe Illustrator. I try to challenge myself by making the things I draw and the things I redraw more and more complicated. My only wish was that I had the money to get Illustrator on my computer at home. Unfortunately, hospital bills are the priority. However, I only have 8-12 months left on the various bills so that’s exciting.

As for the pups, they’ve never been better. I think Buddy is enjoying this cooler weather. The girls don’t seem to mind it either. That is except Haley, but she’s a momma’s baby and knows that if she shivers I’ll take pity on her and bring her inside. Spoiled brat.

Going back to Illustrator, I want to get good enough so that I can create my own comic strip or graphic novel type thing. It would be about dogs–naturally. I have a lot of ideas, but I have to get better to materialize these ideas. Maybe by Christmas break…

Fall Break was Thursday and Friday of last week. I hung out with a couple of my friends on Thursday and relaxed on Friday. Today, I’m just watching YouTube videos because I can’t think of anything else I really want to do.

Part of me wants to do a mini album. But about what? This is my problem. I have to thoroughly think a project out before I can start on it. It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes it is annoying. Sometimes I just want to do a random project and have no clue what I’m doing until I’m done. It’s just not in my personality. I need to step out of my creative comfort zone…one day…just not right now.

Well that’s about it. I’ll try to blog more often now that I’m awake more often.

Until next time…don’t let your sleeping owners lie.


Buddy’s Little Adventure

Yesterday I was bored and wanted to get out of the house so I loaded Buddy in my car and we went to PetSmart. I was apprehensive. Buddy was good in most situations, but I wasn’t sure how he’d handle being with other animals in such a confined place. I kept telling myself to trust my dog. He trusted that I wouldn’t take him anywhere dangerous, so why couldn’t I trust him to behave?

We arrived at PetSmart at the same time a guy arrived with his Great Dane. Though she was huge, I got the impression that she was still young, probably around Buddy’s age. While the guy struggled with walking his dog to the store, I waited and put Buddy in a sit until he calmed down. Only then did we go inside.

I love walking into places with Buddy. There’s a certain awe that happens when he appears. He’s this big, fluffy, teddy bear that no one can resist. To this day I have trouble resisting Buddy even though I live with him.

As we walked down the narrow aisle we walked toward the guy with the Great Dane. He pushed a shopping cart and tried to keep his dog from getting too excited. To keep the two dogs from meeting in an excited state, I did us both a favor and ducked down the leash and collar aisle. Actually, that’s where I needed to be as I wanted to see what size harness to get Buddy. In a few months I plan on teaching Buddy how to pull a wagon and I need to find the right harness for the job.

Buddy sort of allowed me to put the harness on. He made it difficult and made me work for it. The medium harness fit beautiful and I put it away. Two ladies came down the aisle and Buddy had to go greet them. I allowed him and we talked for a little bit about dogs. Then Buddy and I went our way.

The groomers saw Buddy and I talked with them for quite some time. One of the groomers requested that I bring Buddy to her so she could make him look really nice. She gave me the prices: $70-90 depending on the package. A little rich for my blood especially right now. She told me what she’d do to make him look like a bear. Now that she told me, and since I have some of same tools groomers use, I’m going to what she said she was going to do and I don’t have to pay a cent.

If only I had a grooming table though. If only I had a high velocity blow dryer. Oh well, I’ll work with what I have. But I digress.

After paying for three boxes of dog treats, I loaded Buddy up and we went to the dog park. No one was there and I didn’t expect anyone to be. I was glad. That meant that Buddy and I had the park to ourselves. So I let Buddy loose at the park and encouraged him to run and run, and run. He had a lot of fun marking here and there. His tongue hung out the side of his mouth as he ran.

We stayed there about fifteen or twenty minutes and I caught Buddy, led him to the drinking fountain and let him drink. When he was done, we went home. He was exhausted which is how I like my Chow.

At home, he lazed most of the evening. My girls were restless though, probably because of the weather. It took them longer to settle down, but when they did I didn’t hear a peep out of any of the dogs until this morning.

I need to start taking the girls on outings again. I stopped because Luna gets carsick. Once I’ve taught Buddy to pull a wagon, I plan on teaching the girls to ride in it. Wouldn’t that be a sight?

I have to say that Buddy did very well in public. He wanted to play with the other dogs, but he listened to me. He acted very charming. Typical Buddy–ornery when it is just me, but as sweet as he can be when other people are around. That’s my boy!

Until next time, run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I have four legs and you only have two.


Beware of the Grass Monsters

While pulling weeds, this is what I saw when I turned around.

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Paw of Thrones

Today on Paw of Thrones…

With Princess Haley on the mend, Queen Siedra has insisted that Haley spend more time with the younger princess and the young prince to return order to the royal puppies as Princess Nia has taken the absence of Princess Haley as an opportunity to dominate over her younger siblings.

Over the past month, Princess Nia–using Prince Buddy as her henchpup–has terrorized Princess Luna to the point that anytime Prince Buddy is around, Princess Luna yelps and cries even if Prince Buddy isn’t even looking at her.

Oddly enough, these events only happen when Queen Siedra is present and our beloved queen is questioning why? Is Princess Luna seeking attention by provoking Prince Buddy? Is Princess Nia trying to impress the queen in order to be considered the heir to the pupdom instead of Princess Haley? Possibly yes to the first, but most likely not to the second. Princess Haley keeps all of her younger siblings in check and Princess Nia respects her older sister as she knows that Princess Haley could easily beat her up, sending Princess  Nia to the bottom of the heirarchy.

As for Prince Buddy, he’s searching for a place in the family. Being the only male in this matriarchial family has been an adjustment for him. Princess Nia took him in under her paw and her percieved kindness has created a bond between the two royal pups, making Buddy willing to do Nia’s bidding, even if it means tormenting his older, but smaller, siblings. To him it’s all a game. To Princess Nia it is all part of her plan of keeping her younger siblings down.

Queen Siedra has decided that enough is enough and bonds must be broken. Today, she started the process of breaking the bond between Princess Nia and Prince Buddy, and forming a new bond between Princess Luna and Prince Buddy by making sure that Princess Nia spends as little time with Prince Buddy when not under the watchful eye of Princess Haley or the queen herself.

Since Prince Buddy is still young and impressionable, the queen has decided that Princess Luna will start joining the queen and the prince on their royal evening walk so that the prince will associate Princess Luna with good things happening. It is the queen’s hope that this little shift will knock Princess Nia off of whatever pedestal she put herself on and make her realize that she cannot use her brother as an instrument.

It is also the queen’s hope that this shift does not backfire and create a strong bond between Prince Buddy and Princess Luna enabling Princess Luna to assume Princess Nia’s tryanical reign. Fortunately, the Prince Buddy respects Princess Molly and the queen knows that Molly is safe. As for tiny Princess Clara, she mostly ignores Prince Buddy and makes sure she doesn’t have to interact with him on a regular basis. However, Princess Nia could be in danger if Princess Luna decides to enact revenge. This would mean that Prince Buddy will be caught between his two sisters who will probably use him as pawn in their grudge match.

If this happens, Queen Siedra will be forced to show the puppies that there is only one ruler in this pawdom and until they realize this: treats will be withheld.

Until next time…what well known (or not so well known) TV show is your family a spoof of?

SIDENOTE: I’ve never actually seen or read Game of Thrones, but I do know a little bit about it. I figured that it would be fun to do my own little spoof of it. Hope you liked it.