Saturday, January 2, 2010

Updates: Vacuumn, Blankie, Heat & Kisses

Some new things we discovered about life with Basil:

  • The vacuumn! He's obviously unsure about the vacuumn and we know many dogs who are afraid of it. He's nervous and tried to attack the vacuum once. We don't want to encourage this behavior but we do need him to get used to it because I love/need to vacuumn. First, I left the vacuumn running for a while as white noise for him to get used to it. Then I turned it off but left it in the middle of the living room for a day. He played next to it and gave him treats but he was still avoiding it like the plague! He feels threatened when the vacuumn is going back and forth TOWARDS him. So now I vacuumn and make my way across the room walking backwards with my back to him instead of going forward across the room. He feels far less threatened with me between him and the vacuumn. Yesterday, he went up to it when it was on and tapped it with his paws like he's going to grab his toy or something. So I stopped moving it and let him sniff and test it. He's still very alert when the vacuumn is on, but at least it's progress.
  • He's been sleeping in bed with us for 2 weeks now and he's getting "better" - less snoring, no licking in bed and he's found a comfy spot to sleep that doesn't bother us...too much.
  • He sleeps against me most of the time. He lays with his butt on the pillow and his head in my neck and shoulder right up against my cheek.
  • He still loves our peach silk comforter and we've found him going underneath it in the middle of the night! We wake up in a panic like "Where did he go? Did we smother him?" We find him rolled up like a doggie burrito making the comforter into a sorta cave for himself.
  • He likes to bury his face when he sleeps which makes me nervous because of their snouts.
  • We found that he'll stop whatever he's doing to go lay in front of the register when the heat turns on in the house. He'll lay on his side and fall asleep.
  • He knows when we're leaving to go out. I put on lotion with a fragrance so he knows I'm gettin' pretty to go out without him. I read that it also acts as assurance that I'll come back as well.
  • We gave him a new water bowl. It's a deep mixing bowl and he seems to like that more when he was at Maui's house. He can drink more easily and water doesn't splash everywhere.
  • I'm teaching him to "heel" and to walk beside me at all times. I read it should take only 15 mins a day to train him to do this. It's been frustrating but by the 3rd day he was getting it. I used little salmon treats and I have to have his full attention. At times, there have been too many cars and children around. I'm thinking of changing up our route so he doesn't "know" where we are going so he has to follow me instead of leading.
  • We found out that if Keith and I are laying on the couch together he stops and has to get in between us and licks both of us and must be involved with "the play". The same way he was when all the foster dogs were here with Debbie. If one dog ran to Debbie for attention, they would all go up for attention. So now we'll tease him and sit together and hug and make kissy noises and he'll jump right up and do the same!
  • He wasn't very happy during new year's. The fireworks and loud noises really scared him. He was nervous and shaking! For the past 2 days, he's been on edge. Any noise like the paper bags, garbage, etc. he's jumping up and barking. We've put music on and we've been commanding him to not bark (the way we do in the car) so hopefully he'll get over this phase.

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