Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The boys are doing very well. As far as the house rules are concerned, both boys have to sit and wait before I let them outside. Guinness is the pushy one, so I make him wait and give Basil the okay to go first. They both know the routine now and I don't have to remind them all the time now.
The food bowl - we no troubles at the food bowl. Basil has his spot and Guinness has his spot. No matter who I feed first, the other doesn't try to make a run for it and eat it.
"Go get it" or "Go find it" and "come" - this is a game that our trainer plays often. Throw a treat within their line of sight and say "go get it" and then have them come back. It's mental exercise, tires them out and reinforces them to "come". I bought Wet Nose treats and they are awesome for this because they are tiny so the boys won't gain weight for having too many treats.
Prissy pants Basil won't lay "down" on his belly if the floor is cold (tile, linoleum). Well guess what? I had an apple and Guinness went right down! I praised him and he got an apple. Guess who went down on his belly on cold tile floor quicker than lightening after that? Yup. Prissy pants Basil.
The door - The door situation is still a work in progress. Basil is still reactive but quiets down after about 3 sets of "bark bark bark bark bark bark" I tell him "quiet!" and he knocks it off. When he's calm, he sits. Then he's allowed to be greeted. It does work. Our trainer Renee suggested that when we expect company we should keep Basil in the kitchen behind the baby gate but Guinness outside and teach him what is expected of him (sitting in his bed far from the door). I was stubborn and thought I should do the reverse since it's Basil I want to train out of this behavior. But Renee was right. It's a lot more manageable esp when people have already arrived to have Guinness out. Then Basil realized quickly that he gets no attention if he doesn't calm down. I want to practice more. I might start with Guinness. He knows what's expected. He goes right to his bed without being asked to. He can be the model for Basil.
Health - Basil had an ear infection a while back and it seems to have finally cleared up and gone away for good. In the past, they tend to linger. He licks his paws at night still even though we changed his food. I think he just does it out of boredom. Ellie Mae's mom tells her to "leave it" and she stops licking compulsively, so I started doing that with Basil and it works. Basil has gained a little weight since he hasn't had as much activity. Guinness is a good weight though. Basil also has a little raisen size wart on his lip that we're getting checked out. Guinness is in good health and has no allergies. Since changing his food to Honest Kitchen Zeal, his poop and digestion seems much better. His gas doesn't smell bad anymore and he doesn't gas as often. He smells good all the time. His booboo is doing a lot better. It's all healed and eventually his fur will grow out.
Otherwise they are happy. WE LOVE THEM! I don't know what I would do without them!!! I just hug them and love them to pieces everyday.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Our trainer Renee Premeza hosts a radio show on WNJC 1360 AM every Thursday from 10:00 to 10:30 AM. On January 20th, she has invited FBRN volunteer Velma W. for an interview to speak on behalf of FBRN to promote awareness and the work that FBRN does for our dogs in need.
To listen to the show, go to WNJC and you can listen from a live feed via the internet or through your iPhone. It's really simple. You don't need to download anything. Just go here and click on "Click here to listen online" on duxstream.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Now that Guinness is part of our family, he needs a Christmas ornament of his own. We went back to Itty Bitty Barkers on etsy which is where we ordered Basil's ornament from. The artist even put a white spot on the back of it's neck.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Maw and paw found a nasty booboo on my neck last week. It started as a bald spot, then scabbed over, then got all nasty and pus was coming from it. Basil tried to help me and lick it, but it hurt.
Maw tied this hanky around my neck to cover my booboo. Doesn't it make me look distinguished?
Maw took me to the vet and they gave me antibiotics. I will be better next week.
Booboo after it was already healing 1 week.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
On Saturday, our trainer Renee came over again along with Ellie Mae and her mom! We worked on the "meet n greet" when a new dog approaches, leash walking and showed Renee how well we sit in our bed while waiting for new people to arrive at the front door.
Ellie (left), Guinness (middle), Basil (right)
Ellie wuvs to pay wif us!
Some things maw learned. When a dog furiend is coming over for a play date, put the boys on leashes and go out into the back yard. We're not allowed to jump all over the fence and get rowdy. Maw has to take the leashes and walk us far far far away from the fence and give the furiend room to come inside. Then let the leashes drag and we're allowed to go sniff and play! Sometimes we get overexcited and need to be called away and have a little break. Then we're allowed to go back to playing.
Guinness must have had a good experience with Ellie because then he had a great play date with our neighbor Carmel the lab the next day! Maw made sure she wore Carmel out a wittle first. He sniffed all throughout our yard and then we came outside. Guinness did play bows and ran around with Carmel. It was a good positive experience for him. Maw felt so proud.
Next: Maw has to do distance work with Basil while in a down/stay.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Maw and paw went for a womantic weeeeekend in New Hope, NJ. They walked around, had ice cream and went shopping. Deyr were wots of stores selling dog stuff.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
We have been good boyz dis yeer. (Well, I have been good anyway ~ Guinness) We would be berry happee if you brought us sum stuff.
- Paws Dog Boots - Keeps our feet protected during the winter with the ice and salt.
Our friend Brutus the frenchie wears them too!
- Look Out Car Seat - We both love car rides and like lookin out the window.
- Sock Monkey Dog Bed - How kewl is dis?!
Oh, and Santa. Please don't forget the treats!
Monday, December 6, 2010
To get into the Christmas spirit, we put on our fancy hats and went out to get a weel Christmas tree.
Guinness and his hat
We helped dad pick out a tree. Pee hits the spot!
Guinness and his first tree. Like his antlers?
We both had antlers on and everyone kept telling us how cute we were. How boring! Can't people come up with something creative?
Breaking out the decorations!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
We had a photoshoot dis mornin' in da big comfy bed. We think we make better sooper pawdels for Mawtha Stewart's fronchie bed sheets. Now dat Basil modeled in NYC and was all over da papers, he thinks he's more sooper dan me, but I'll show him.
Here we are on set. Francesca and Sharkey have nothin' on us!
Who is this minion? There isn't enough room here for the 3 of us!
Where are my green M&M's?!!!
I'll have a tall non-fat fat mocha chocha chai pawtte made with skim...hold the whip!
It's a rough job being a sooper pawdel, but somebodys gotta do it.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Basil's bedding was gettin' a little funky...smellin'...ya know what I mean? So maw swapped it out with some new pillows and maw's pillowcase because it's super comfy and smells like her.
Dude, roll your big ole a$$ outta my crib.
Who you callin' big!? I'll shmush you!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The boys surprise me everyday. We left them in the kitchen while we went out to dinner the other night. When we came home, we noticed they had pulled their beds to the back of the kitchen where the heat was coming from.
If dogs could go to college, my boys would be in BROWN University!!!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Maw is like a carazy pupparazzi. In the last 14 months since she got me, she took over 3,000 photos! Guess I don't blame her. I am awfully cute. She finally got her lazy behind up and cleaned off the memory and cut her pictures down to 816 which you can see here.
Is your maw and paw carazy like ours?
Maw didn't have to work today, so she helped me make Christmas cards for my FBRN friends. I made an extra special one for my foster mawmy because I lub her.
I made 6 extra for me bloggy pals. If you would like one, have your maw email my maw and I'm sure she'll get to it eventually (the lazy maw she is). Deal is; you have to snail mail one back to us too so we can put your card under me and Guinness' Christmas tree this year!
First 6 is a lucky dog.
alee127 at gmail dot com
Friday, November 26, 2010
Basil can be a bully. I feel bad that Guinness gets pushed around. But Guinness isn't stupid that's for sure. Basil was chomping away on the T-bone which tastes like meat. Guinness picked up his squeeky soft toy (the red bone) and paraded it pass Basil. Basil stopped and went to go steal it. After he stole it and dropped the T-bone, Guinness made his move and slipped in there and took the T-bone. In the words of Nelson:
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Renee, our dog trainer visited again yesterday. This meeting was to work on Guinness' guarding issue (guarding of me and my husband when another dog is around) and his lack of manners when greeting another dog. We borrowed our friend Domino the boxer to come over to demonstrate to Renee how Guinness behaves.
We worked with Guinness alone and kept Basil in the kitchen. With harness and leash on, we walked Guinness outside and tried to keep him focused on ME by feeding him treats from my hand one after the other. Just TONS of treats. If he was facing the Domino, turn Guinness' body using the leash and walking in a circle while feeding him treats. Allow Domino to get closer and continue to do the same. Now, walk him in a circle and have Domino follow and tightening the circle a little at a time. Then we did parallel walking where I walked Guinness down the block with Domino walking about 5-6 behind. At the end of the block, we turned and now Guinness is behind Domino. We walked pretty close to Domino so Guinness could get a whiff of him. Then, we went into the backyard and let them run around while dragging their leashes. After a few laps, we introduced Basil into the mix. Guinness did do his chasing off the other dog and giving him a pull on the neck as a warning. Domino has a lot of energy and Basil and Guinness just don't appreciate that. They tried calming him and themselves by ignoring him and eating grass which is a good thing.
In conclusion, my husband and I "just" have to keep play dates short and sweet. Find dogs that are the right match. ie. A lower energy dog and/or a smaller dog. Alternate play time: Bring one dog out for the play date, then put him back inside and bring the other out for play time. Start by doing the greeting outside and do the parallel walking. Keep play dates outdoors. especially when a high energy dog is involved. Never indoors and not in small spaces either. One side of our yard gets very narrow along side of the house. Fence that off so they can't run down that way. This was something I wanted to do anyway so I'm glad someone agreed with me. Pay attention AT ALL TIMES. When you're not watching, fights happen.
The thing I have to get over is that things just aren't the way they "used to be". If it means they need to stay home or that company can't bring their dogs, then that's just how it has to be and I can't put pressure on them.
Other things mentioned that we need to work on:
- Sit/Stay or Down/Stay - I need to firm up the stay part of it. I also have to practice doing it from the outside of the baby gate. The boys do it on carpet, but when it's different they don't respond as well or at all. Put a carpet tile inside the kitchen so it's not cold or slippery.
- Desensitize them from the hat. Hubs put on a new hat yesterday and Basil just freaked out. I'm not sure who started it but they got into a fight over the excitement. Basil was on top of Guinness' back and was pulling on his ear until he yelped. Basil was punished for a minute by putting him the bathroom. Desensitize them individually: Put treats around it. Bend it, fold it, move it around and more TREATS. Put the hat on and remove it immediately: quick off on off on and more treats.
- Again with the crazy barking when guests arrive - keep one dog behind the kitchen, keep the better listening dog outside. Keep feeding treat after treat when the company arrive. Tell him to sit/stay! He must have a job to do. Ask company to go along with the training by ignoring them as well. If he breaks the stay, make him come back and do it again.
- Ideally of course I want to be able to answer the door and have the boyz sitting in their position and not moving an inch without my say so and NOT have to stand there feeding treats to them hoping he won't go crazy. One thing I was doing wrong was I was going from step 0 to step 5. I expected them to stay when I went outside and back in. Instead, I have start small with one step at a time. Work with one of them at a time since one seems to distract the other into breaking the stay.
It's a good thing I have a 4 day weekend to start working on all this.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Let's rewind. Here's a story I never got a chance to tell. Back in February, during the biggest winter storm of 2010 in our area (we're talking collectively 6 feet of snow and ice) we had to rush Basil to ER at midnight.
Our little boy. Look at that snow! Take note of his trim waist.
We spent all morning shoveling the snow. The neighborhood dogs were really happy because they were allowed to run free. However, we didn't shovel out the car because we didn't think we would need to.
While dad shoveled, the neighbor girls invited Basil in. 15 minutes later, dad went to go get him. When he came home, I fed him dinner. Then he drank maybe 20 cups of water (a medium mixing bowl size).
At night, Basil looked really lethargic. He was waddling up the steps. I checked him out and his tummy seemed unusually swollen, but I wasn't sure. Is it normally this way? Did he just need to poop?
I emailed our friend Joan C. (FBRN foster mom and volunteer) and thank god for people like her who check their email at 11pm at night. She told me if we can, we should get him checked out because bloat can be fatal. This was the first time I ever heard about bloat.
Dad threw on some clothes and then had to shovel the car out. The snow was now ice and it's midnight! He drove Basil alone to the animal hospital and I stayed behind in case I had to get help if the car got stuck on the road somewhere.
Immediately, they admitted Basil and took him away from dad :( Of course, the second thing they did was give us the price list for his care. $1600 to keep him over 2 nights. $800 for overnight and $450 for the visit anyway (which includes fluid/meds to make him poo and the late night ER hours). My husband called me and asked what we should do? I asked, Well what's wrong with him? If they tell us what's wrong before we can consider if he needs to be overnight or not. They said they don't know but need to keep him overnight to "monitor him"....
"Monitor him" in vet language is "Charge you $1600 so we can watch him poop."
My husband was all torn and teary eyed. They took Basil away already and he couldn't even see him or say good bye or see if he was scared. Since they couldn't tell us what they thought was wrong with him, I made an executive decision. "Bring him home." I said, it's snowing, cold and he's alone with strangers. There's no way he's going to poo in front of them anyway. So they did what I would have expected in the first place. They gave him the "fluids" (meds) which they injected into the hip area of him and he came home. We were told not to give him any water or food for a day. My poor boy. He came home with not only a big swollen belly but now this fluid pocket on the side of his hip. He looked all Quasimodo-ish.
The next day, we found out that while Basil was over at the neighbor's he ate all of Carmel's dinner. 3 cups of IAMS dog food and 1 cup of dinner at home. That explains it!!! We didn't give him any food or water and yet he pooped 8 times that day. Now, we have to keep an eye out on him when he goes to other people's homes because he goes right for the food bowl!
Whew! Has this ever happened to you? Ever go to ER?