Tag Archives: Pets

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.


Buddy’s Thoughts

I wrote this short piece while waiting for a friend of mine to pick me up. Buddy was inside barking at me. He hates when he’s left behind. Anyway, I wrote this from Buddy’s point of view.

I don’t want you leaving without me.

I cannot protect you if we’re apart.

What if something happens to you?

I know how much you rely on me;

On my strength.

I know how much it hurts for you to leave me.

I know how happy you are when you return.

I can feel it in your touch.

I can smell it on your skin.

The outside world scares you.

Let me go with you.

No one will hurt you with me around.

You and I are one.

Never leave me because I will never leave you…

Unless I see a squirrel then all bets are off.

 

Until next time, keep the squirrels out of your yard and your humans in.


Day 15: Putting Myself On a Schedule

It was so hot today that the dogs and I slept on and off until four this afternoon. Buddy and I didn’t get to go on our walk until close to nine and even then it was still very hot. The humidity isn’t helping either. Summer has arrived in Oklahoma even though it doesn’t officially begin until next week.

Hotter days means higher electricity which means that if I need to do any work in the house, it will have to take place early in the morning or in the evening. The afternoons will be spent resting, playing computer games, writing, scrapbooking, or anything else that doesn’t require much movement.

All of this means I have to put myself on a schedule. I need to go to bed at a reasonable time (I usually call it a night at 3 in the morning) so that I can get up at a decent time to take Buddy for a walk before it gets too hot. Needless to say, I’m not fond of this new schedule because I am a night owl and I love being a night owl. Plus, if I go to bed too early, then I’m wide awake at four or five in the morning and I can’t go back to sleep. Then again, I can always walk Buddy that early and when we got back we could go back to sleep. It’s an idea.

Also, I need to figure out a way to make some extra pocket change and I need to get my lawn sprayed for pests and weeds (but I think I covered that a few days ago). So much to do, so little motivation.

On a lighter note, the dogs and rats are doing well. Buddy has learned that he is not allowed to bother the rats despite the fact that they intentionally provoke him. I keep a spray bottle around to spray the dogs when they’re doing something I don’t want them to do. Everyone, but Molly, avoids the spray bottle. Molly loves water, so it’s difficult to correct her in the rare case that she misbehaves. It’s mostly for the baby gate jumpers. Anyway, Buddy will sometimes attack the rats’ cage in order to get to them. I’ve only had to spritz him once or twice. Now, all I have to do is pick up the water bottle and he backs away from the cage. He really is the best behaved one out of my group.

I apologize for the past few posts being only pictures, I’ve been dealing with some depression and anxiety. The anxiety isn’t as bad, but the depression is still hanging out with me. I guess as long as it doesn’t try to smother me I won’t fight it. I just feel empty though; not happy, not sad, just here. I know that it will go away, but it sure is annoying while it is here.

One consolation is that Buddy lets me hug him and even rest my head on his back. He makes everything better. He certainly is my teddy bear.

Until next time, don’t let the summer heat get you down and if you’re not experiencing this horrible heat, don’t brag.


Confession: We Have the Potential for Becoming Animal Hoarders

Yikes,

Right now living with us are two dogs and two cats soon to be three dogs and three cats. I’m the one who likes the dogs and my husband is the one who likes cats. Together we are two people who will probably be on TV one day for animal hoarding.

On our way to the animal shelter my husband and I talked about this. He said that neither one of us had a terrible experience to make us become “hoarders.” Though I’ve never had a traumatic childhood experience, dogs have always been there for me. They help me get out of bed when I’m having a major depression episode. They chill with me since now I’ve become a temporary house wife…and so on.

Honestly, I feel that if we’re able to afford these two new additions (which we are, I’ve already figured them into our budget) then I don’t think we’re animal hoarders yet. Besides, the city we live in has pet limits within the city limits and we’re not going to go over the limit…by much. 🙂

On a lighter note, my shy Blue Heeler had a breakthrough today. She and my Shih Tzu almost played today. She’s never even attempted to play with one of my other dogs before today. It was cute watching them play bow to each other…then they became dignified again and went about their business.

Sorry this is a short post. I’m a bit distracted. We’re watching a youtube video about how to make homemade apple cider. It’s a little late to think about apple cider. For the most part, the days here in central Oklahoma are getting warmer. Of course the evenings are still kind of cool…but I need to finish up my cider pouches before I even begin to decide to make homemade cider…not that I really want to appear that domestic, but it would sure be fun when winter rolls around again. Until then, I think I’ll make some ice tea, or lemonade, or…any other favored summer beverage.