Tag Archives: Living with dog

Nia, pt 2

On the fourth of this month, I took Clara and Nia for a walk, hoping that a pack walk would clear the tension. Hey, I’m not 100% for Cesar Millan, but some of his tactics work. The pack walked helped Nia and Luna. Why wouldn’t it help Clara and Nia.

I kept them from fighting, most of the time. Sometimes, they even walked side by side and didn’t even cast a glance at each other. I’d correct Nia when she thought about biting Clara’s backside. It was going smoothly. Once at the park, I realized that Clara shook anytime Nia was near her. I also noticed that Nia waited until Clara’s back was turned before thinking about attacking. That’s why Clara attacked Nia sometimes, to keep from being bitten from behind. Nia couldn’t take Clara head on and went the coward’s route.

We walked home. The girls got into a fight. I just ran them. They couldn’t fight and keep up at the same time. Then I saw them, two men close to my age getting out of a car. One asked me if they were Shih Tzu; asked me if I had puppies. I said “no,” but turned aside to talk to them. During the course of the conversation, I explained that I was looking for a new home for Nia. It just popped out.

He was more than happy to take the dog. If only he could convince the mom. She declined at first, but relented. The family had Shih Tzu in the past and apparently Nia looked like one that a family member had. The mom said  she’d give it a week. I went home with Clara.

Nia escaped two or three times that day, there were small gaps in the fence that looked impossible for any dog larger than a Chihuahua to get through, but Nia got through, and came back to my house. The new owner was distraught. I explained to him that the same thing happened to me when I first got Nia. I told him to give her time. By the next day they were bonded and he thanked me for giving him the dog.

I found out that his mom fell in love with her. His mom works at night and sleeps during the day. Nia sleeps with her. It was perfect, except Nia kept escaping and coming back here to make sure I didn’t forget about her. It had become a game. I think we got the escaping problem under control.

Nia is a different dog there than she was here and at her former house. Here (and at her former home), she paced the house, looking to get into trouble; to get to one of the other dogs. He told me she doesn’t pace much at their house. That was when it was confirmed that Nia needed to be an only dog. Or at least an only female dog.

I feel guilty on so many levels. I feel guilty that I had to get rid of Nia. I feel guilty because I didn’t realize that Nia had special needs (and might have a touch of OCD).

At the same time, I am so glad that Nia found a place where she can be the center of attention and not feel like she’s competing with another dog. Plus, she lives down the street, so I get to see her quite often. I’m glad that Clara has gone back to her easy-going self. I’m glad that both dogs are happy. because that’s what I really wanted in the end.

So, now I have five dogs again. My house is quiet; the tension is gone. Everything has gone back to normal or as normal as a multi-dog household can be. I can’t complain…

So until next time, listen to your heart, snooze all day in that patch of sunshine.

 


Gangs of Dog Lovers

After mentioning that I had Shih Tzu, a classmate said that she didn’t like Shih Tzu as they were too yappy (or something like that). My Shih Tzu are anything, but yappy…that is unless they want something and then they make this annoying sound that is difficult to ignore especially since they can keep this up for at least an hour. I told her that my little dogs weren’t evil, but then she confessed that she simply didn’t like small dogs (with the exception of Jack Russell Terriers and Rat Terriers (she had a mix between these two).

This conversation made me realize that there are approximately four main gangs/classes of dog owners/lovers and it seems like rivalry between the different gangs of dog owners is almost as fierce as the rivalry between dog owners/lovers and cat owners/lovers.

Gang 1: Big dogs only. Nothing smaller than 50 pounds…if that small.

Gang 2: Big dogs, but smaller “non-yappy” dogs such as Jack Russell Terriers and the like are allowed. This gang is possibly a splinter group of Gang 1.

Gang 3: Small dogs only. Nothing larger than a Cocker Spaniel is allowed, but most of these owners/lovers specialize in toy dogs.

Gang 4: All dogs. The members of this gang often have to explain their love for small dogs to Gangs 1 & 2 and their love for large dogs to Gang 3. I used to belong to Gang 3 until I got Buddy. Now I’m happy with my membership in Gang 4.

I’m sure there are other, more specialized gangs, but I don’t know whether to consider them splinter gangs or give them full gang status. What do you think? What gang do you belong to?


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.


Day 26: Busy Day

Wow, I got a lot accomplished today! It may not seem much to most people, but for me it was a whole lot. I did four loads of laundry, did some more organizing of my craft/office area, got some shopping done, and helped a friend write an A worthy paper.

Now I’m tired, but so happy. It feels so good to have the energy to get things done and be exhausted at the end of the day, not because of my depression, but because I was able to do something.

My friend paid me for helping with his paper, so tomorrow I’m going to splurge at Hobby Lobby and get some new crafting items. The ever practical side of me said that I needed to save the money for something…maybe getting something for the dogs rather than myself. The other part of me told that practical side that my life revolves around my dogs, pretty much any extra money goes into making their lives more comfortable, today I even bought them some flea and tick shampoo, house spray, and drops. No, this money is for me to splurge on me. Granted, I probably will have some money left over and I’ll probably buy the dogs some treats or a toy or something. What can I say? My life revolves around them.

Practical side then tells me that I should put it toward my medical bills. The other side then responds to forget the medical bills. It’s not that often that I have cash to blow and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to blow it on crafting supplies.

I think tomorrow is going to be an even better day than today.

Yep, the tide is out and it feels great.

The only unfortunate thing today was Buddy and I didn’t get our walk. A storm rolled in and it was raining, lightning, and thundering by the time our walk time came around. Buddy didn’t seem to mind too much. He’d been out back most of the day running and playing with the other dogs. In fact when I brought the dogs in, all of them came inside and went to sleep. They must have been having fun chasing squirrels. Oh to be a dog; such a simple life.

Well, I’m going to call it a night. An exciting day is ahead of me. Though I may not actually write tomorrow, I’ll post pictures of my haul, or a video. It depends on how adventurous I feel.

Until next time, even though you might have a busy schedule don’t forget to take time out for yourself.


Day 10: Lesson Learned from a Chow

The day I got Buddy, I immediately told my mom about him. I didn’t tell my dad though. He doesn’t take kindly to me adding more canines to the family, let alone a Chow Chow, one of his least favorite breeds. I’ve talked to him a few times since getting Buddy, but I made sure I never mentioned him.

It wasn’t my intention of telling him this evening, but when he talked about the next time he comes down (most likely next week), I realized I needed to tell my dad. I told him about Buddy before telling him the breed. I made excuses, changed the subject, but my dad was not to be derailed. He asked the breed and I finally had to tell him.

He got upset and I let him vent about Chows. I told him that I understood and that initially I was afraid of Buddy. I asked my dad to give Buddy a chance and my dad said that he would, but he’d probably have something in his hand to defend himself. I accepted that. I then told my dad about how safe I feel with Buddy here. Suddenly, my dad changed and he was grateful for Buddy.

Since I live by myself and my closest relative is still an hour away, my dad had been contemplating getting me a larger dog. When he realized that Buddy was that dog and that Buddy was teaching me to control my anxiety, he decided that Buddy was good for me and vice versa. By the time we ended the call, my dad told me that he could sleep well at night knowing that I’m safe.

It makes me happy to know that my dad went from disliking to approving Buddy. I was also proud of myself. Normally I get on the defensive and sometimes even get upset, but I let my dad get out his prejudices, I acknowledged them, and then countered them without raising my voice or getting irritated.

I also explained to my dad that it wasn’t my intention on getting a Chow. I wanted a Lab, or a Great Pyrenees, or something else that wasn’t on the list of “experienced dog owners only.” I consider myself an experienced dog owner, but I wasn’t sure if I could handle one of these dogs. I wanted to take the easy way out.

Now that I’m looking back, I’ve tried to take the easy way out many times. No necessarily with dogs, but with everyday life. I’ve done things simply because doing what I wanted/needed to do was too difficult. I settled on mediocre not believing that I deserved better.

I didn’t realize it until this writing that bringing Buddy into my home was a daring act for me. Though I’m not fond of Labs, I was willing to settle for a Lab because a Lab is safe. Labs are not known to be mean; they’re family dogs; big cuddle bugs; a relatively easy dog to raise once you get past the puppy stages. Chows, well, they have a reputation. I was raised to hate/be afraid of Chows.

Look at me now. I’m a proud owner of a Chow and I love it.

t makes me wonder though, what other areas in my life do I play it safe? What do I really want to do, but am too afraid to do it? What have I settled for instead of pursing my passion?

These are the things that I would like to do, but am too afraid of doing it: Publishing a book, fulfilling my desire of being a mixed media artist, becoming a dog trainer, starting a YouTube channel, starting my own business, and lastly starting up an ambassador program for misunderstood dog breeds.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do any of those with the exception of publishing a book as I plan to have one out by the end of the year. I guess I feel I should be practical, but I want to take a risk. These may not seem like risks to most people, but for me they are.

So many questions: What if they don’t pan out? What if they do? What if people hate me? What if I become an inspiration? What if…so many what ifs. I won’t know if I don’t try. I want to try, but I’m afraid. Maybe, just maybe, I just need to stop asking questions and just do it. I mean, I’ll never know unless I try, right?

Until next time, live your dreams; no one else can live them for you.