Friday, January 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home

In case anyone had any doubt, Basil has certainly made himself at home with us. He's out of his shell completely now. Even a little spoiled I would say. We give him free reign because he's so mild mannered that we think it's ok. We do give him the structure he needs just in case. He don't want to completely spoil him, but he's certainly comfortable with us.

Brindle Dog Print

I have been on the look out for french bull dog wall art. There's a lot out there for Boston Terriers, but not as much for frenchies. I ran across this print while searching for furniture at Ballard Designs. They have a quite a few different dog breed prints available for $119-$149. That's pricey! I would rather just get another dog or donate the $ to FBRN.

from Ballard Designs - Brindle Dog Print

No Barking - Success!

It's been a while since I have worked with Basil on not barking while in the car. The other morning, we were getting coffee at our usual watering hole when I implemented some advice from Cesar Milan's dog psychology.
  • Remain calm and assertive. Clear your mind. Don't feel nervousness or anxiety.
  • Anticipate the reaction and prevent it before it escalates.
  • Keep him in check the whole time. Stay on it. Follow through.
So before Basil could start, I just kept an eye on him and as he eyed people down (with the anticipation to bark) I broke his concentration by making the "tsch" sound and a firm touch with two fingers to the shoulder. I gestured for him lay back down in his dog bed in the back of the car. He listened and was obedient the whole time. No barking what so ever! He did start growling and that's when he got the fingers. I was so shocked. There were a lot of men walking near the car including an SUV which seems to get him upset. He didn't bark at any of them.

In addition, Basil has been really good reading my body language and hand gestures. The hand gestures (commands) are really useful for me because my voice isn't deep like Keith's. When I say things, he doesn't listen so much. He does react to my hand gestures though. He and I have also been walking a lot and he definitely knows he suppose to walk next to me now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eggs and Basil

I would not, could not, in a box.
I could not, would not, with a fox.
I will not eat them with a mouse.
I will not eat them in a house.
I will not eat them here or there.
I will not eat them anywhere.
I do not eat cooked eggs and ham (not).
I do not like them, Basil-I-am.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Words

I feel like one of those mom bloggers who record every new word their human rugrat learns that month. Basil has actually learned some new words.

"Treat" - You would be a fool not to learn this word. I don't encourage the use of this word just because I don't want him to go stir crazy every time he hears it, but I realized Keith has been using it every time he gives him a treat. Since I've been trying to teach him "Heel" or "Wait", it seems like "treat" works better to get him to stop and come back to me!

"Mommy" - The wonderful, the ever so patient trainer, the all nurturing, best tummy rubber, bottom wiping, tasty pear giving, face fold wiping, fish feeding, eye boogie cleaner, the goddess that is Anita.

"Daddy" - The guy who tries to make me catch a frisbe.

"Kisses" - We think he knows this. He does it when we say it.

"Toy" vs "Bone" - He knows the difference. Whichever word I use, that's the thing he brings me.

"Go for a ride?" - He loves car rides so he gets excited and goes right to the passenger side of the car. He's so smart!

"Go for a walk?" - Same with walk but he already knew "Walk".

"Wanna go pick up Mommy?" - Sometimes Keith picks me up from the train station in his car. He knows he's getting a ride out of the deal. How smart!

"Heats on!" - We're teaching him this now since he loves to lay next to the register when the heat kicks on.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back to Work!

Basil is really the toughest manager I ever had to work for. He's always standing over us and cracking the whip. Man, I never want to tick him off!

This is what we're up to. To keep Basil distracted, we've given him a hove that his foster mom gave us. That keeps him busy while we are doing dusty, noisy things that we don't want him to inhale. We keep the place vacuumed at all times so that he doesn't ingest anything.

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.