Hum, there’s something rustling in the grass over there. Kenai 14 mo old
Well I think the boy is starting to feel better. He’s 12 days into his antibiotics, 18 days to go, and he’s starting to perk up, bulk up, and settle down. You can see he’s adding a bit of muscle again, which I rewarded with lots of outside time in the 60F weather.
Having something wonky with our septic tank and my truck battery turning up dead meant we’ve had people coming to the house. And Kenai handled it just purty darn well! He still goes nuts when he sees a vehicle pull up, but once his gentle leader is on and he’s outside with me, he behaves nicely.
A little shy just yet, and uncomfortable with the loud tow truck, but I was really encouraged to see him not scared of his own shadow! The startles get him sometimes outside, once by the sound of me putting my coat hood up when he was absorbed in a scent. It’s not as often, though, and his recovery from a startle is faster.
My fingers and toes are crossed that the big brown boy will soon be back to himself! It can’t come soon enough.
The couple days of nice warm weather got us outside more than usual, wandering the field, finding the crocus in bloom, and wishing the peach trees weren’t budding just yet. We were out alot more, and it turned out to be too much.
Foolish me found myself with a bad case of muscle weakness yesterday, and since I couldn’t take Kenai into the repair shop about my truck (he’s too jumpy yet), I had to dust off the cane and con Mom into going with me. We have to pick it up sometime today, so I can get the tags renewed before March. Yep, I put it off too long.
I’m waiting for the trainers to call and set our next meeting date. This time she’s coming to the house. We’re opening a second front in our battle with the Brother’s Grin misbehaviors. I’m sick of planning around how to keep the two knuckleheads under control together.
Just getting out the door with Kenai is a pain, since BB is a pest. Loving, wanting fun, looking for play, but an absolute pest. This goofiness needs to stop so they don’t have to be seperated by a barrier when I’m too tired to put up with sending the middleweights to their corners. It’s 70% BB’s bad manners, and 30% Kenai’s rumpus or irritation.
The only hitch is how dedicated is Mom to the effort, since 70% of the problem is with her and BB. I’ve let it go on this long because I will NOT do all the work of settling BB’s hash on top of warning Kenai to mind his p’s and q’s. I lack the phyical energy and endurance. Sucks but such is life, and so the problem has not been solved.
Mom has to step up and deal with her own dog effectively, consistently, regardless of what she’s doing or wants. Up to now, she hasn’t been willing, and tried to dump all of BB’s training and behavior modification off on me. That can’t go on if she wants to get rid of the x-pen. I won’t pick up her slack on this, with all I have on my plate.
Anyway, Kenai should get his photo ID as a service dog when the trainer comes. It will be good to be doing something about his training, even if it’s just settling things at home, and helping him calm himself in public. A little forward motion will be good. It’s not like there is any shortage of things to work on! And having some help will take a load off of me.
We may not be intensively task training, but that’s fine. There’s loose ends, like the relationship of the brothers, and Kenai’s overly alert behavior at home. A service dog, even just an SD candidate, is still a companion first. We have to be able to enjoy them at home too. Home life carries over into public life, just like it does for us humans.
This pic turned up on my camera, and gave me a good chuckle. It’s the boy-bottom-stretch from the front this time.
“Will you quit with the camera, ma, and get in bed? I want to take a nap.”
One thing that can be said for Kenai is he rarely doesn’t know what he wants! It’s better when it lines up with what I want. Like naps. Those soft jowels and smoochable lips are the best sleeping pills. A big warm body right next to you, hogging the bed and shedding sleepy bugs is lovely.
Napping with a near-grown Great Dane is an art. Particularly if they’re on the bed first. Left to themselves, every single Dane I’ve had prefered to sleep horizontally across the bed, leaving me the top 2 feet and not enough covers. Even in Mom’s king sized bed. I swear they stretch on purpose.
Some of them I just told to move, and they’d scoot until we could settle ourselves comfortably. Some had to be tricked into giving me a place for my legs by a quickie game of blankie monster, and a couple were willing to wait until I was in bed to get comfie around me. Kenai has to be gradually encouraged to ooch over.
Poke at him with your foot and one of two things will happen: 1) he nibbles your toes and pulls what little you have of the blanket away, or 2) he gets off the bed and won’t come back. Stinker. Since I want him on the bed with me, leaning that warm body on my sore muscles to relax away some of the discomfort, getting off the bed is losing the game. So is being crunched up against the headboard with half my parts in the breeze.
Scooting Kenai involves a subtle crowding proceedure. I get my legs where they are barely touching him and wait. He’ll shift so less of his rump is touching. (Is he allergic to girl cooties?) Then I wait for him to get half snoozy again. Touch and wait. Shift and wait. This goes on until I can at least straighten the cramping legs and get comfie my own self.
Sometimes it goes wrong, though. These guys do the Dane-push, using their feet in a pretend gotta-stretch to apply enough pressure to move you. The wise wait this out unless they are on the floor. Sometimes, it’s the Dane Rump-Roll, where they roll over and smash your head into the mattress under the poundage, or cut off your oxygen supply.
The Push and Rump-Roll tactics usually work for the dog that outweighs you, but not always. I’ve been known to tickle toes until paws are pulled away, and I’ve goosed and nibbled pup parts until I can breathe again. But Kenai will get off the bed if I use such overt methods, and I lose the game. Double stinker.
So I’m stuck with crowd-him bed games, and losing some of the time. That’s okay, though, since I win most of the time. The batting average will improve with practice. Since we practice every day, hopefully by next year we’ll have our getting arranged proceedures worked out.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on February 26, 2009
What’s a guy gotta do around here to have some fun? Kenai vibes, 14 mo old
Whoa, it’s been a few days since our last post! I don’t usually go so long. Apologies, and sorrys. I’ve been doing a lot of internet research, and pup-sitting of the Brother’s Grin. I have just enough veterinary research in my head for the brains to turn watery…
Mom’s been sick so there’s been ample time to sit in the living room with the two, and keep them quiet. I’ve slipped in the puppy exercise department too, which is thoroughly unsustainable. They don’t get their outside play time, they get squirrelly as the boy energy starts building up.
The first week of their tylan antibiotic has had mixed results: they’re showing improvement in the coat, and neither has lost weight/muscle mass despite stopping their amino acid supplement. Of course, there are 3 weeks to go so I’m not making any judgements just yet. I’m cautiously hopeful. How’s that for wishy washy?
Kenai’s been on two car rides, but I didn’t take him in with me. I don’t have the heart to force him when he’s so freaky nervous. If it was just a funky phase, he’d be strapped up and put to work, but I really believe this is physical. It appeared with the SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and continued to worsen despite fear re-conditioning exercises. It’s like he can’t help it.
So Boy is hanging out at home for the most part. I’ll see what’s up with him next week, after another few days of antibiotics. This fearfulness of everything is so not like him, and it was so sudden and deep seated that there has to be a causal link with SIBO. Until I know what’s what, I don’t want to risk making our outings a trauma that will become associative habit.
We’ve kept our pre-meal obedience practices at home going, usually just once a day. I include BB at times for some competitive sharpness out of them both. A little variety never hurts when a dog has a tendency to get bored fast. It’s especially good for BB, who could really use some practice at thinking when he’s excited.
Bump and Wiggle boy pegs the happy dodo meter when something exites him, in an entirely different way than his brother. Whereas Kenai goes native, living through his nose, BB morphs into flubber, bouncing off the walls with his head on a swivel.
Teaching him to focus is still vastly easier than teaching Kenai though! Beebs actually wants something provided to focus on so he can settle down, but Kenai provides something for himself: instincts. Oy. These two couldn’t be more different if they tried. Sniffie boy and flubber puppy.
They’ve had a couple run-with-me times, and BB has discovered he can run a circle around the miscanthus grass (right behind him in the pic) before gallopolling back along the fence. He’s such a funny boy, full of goofy and grins.
The worst thing has happened: Kenai’s out of new bones to obliterate. Ach! Uhg! Woof! They won’t touch nylabones, and I don’t want to give them rawhide all the time. Even good quality hide can make a tummy full of yeasties and beasties worse. Until the GI critters are under control, the boy critters are out of bones. Aren’t I cruel?
Bully sticks are appetizers, and Kenai can take a 36″ bully down in an hour. They’re too expensive to make a staple of their chewing habits. This all means I cannot fudge on their exercise for a while–they’ve got to have a way to burn off energy and frustration, and if they can’t do it chewing, they have to do it running.
Home-boy has become quite the cuddler and momma’s boy. I haven’t had this much snuggle since my last boyfriend Taj! Not that I mind, it’s just bizzare to hear Kenai whine at me for his love-me time. We’re nuzzling faces, leaning snoozes, hugging, massaging…he can’t get enough. Guess I’ll have to suffer through, huh? *grin*
Well, me and love lumps have a Sunday of hangin ahead of us, and a run in the kennel. Perhaps my legs will hold out for a satisfying wander in the field. That would be awfully nice for him, out in the sunshine and fresh air.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on February 22, 2009
Now that’s a pic that does him justice…Kenai 14 mo old
Every once in a while, if I take enough pics, I’ll get a really beautiful shot of Kenai. This is one of them. I’m no photographer, so it’s a thrill to capture the moment just right. There’s my gorgeous guy, in a soft mood and wondering why those other silly dogs are disturbing his beauty sleep with all that noise.
We haven’t been doing much since the last post, outside of our obedience practices at home. Bless his heart, he’s been all worried about me; a really nasty migraine swamped me and wouldn’t go away. I’m really out of it between the migraine and the meds, so he’s tried his best to contain the boy energy.
His play’s been limited, and it’s starting to squirt out sideways, so today he must get outside for a romp and wander. We have to go to Walgreens, (oh the $60 co-pay), and at least do the drive through at the bank if it’s open. The ever scary post office is also on the docket. Since I’m not in top confidence, we’ll do the drive up drop box and give the sweet guy a pass on his nemesis.
That’s alot for a bad day. I’ve gotten a pot of stew on, so cooking for the two-leg foks is pretty much eliminated. Contrary to what she might think, Mom is a big girl and can cook breakfast for herself! Running the sweeper will have to wait for a better day, and so will the bath. I washed my hair at least, so I don’t go out in public looking like an oil slick!
We’ve introduced a mat for Kenai, actually his original crate mat. He got so happy when he saw it, that he rolled around on it and played with it. Memories from the tiny toddles days? It’s absurdly too small, but he loves it. The proportions are similar to a rhino in a crib, but his young boy heart is glad to have it back.
I’ve been putting it where he normally lays down (couch, sliding door, living room bed), and made “on your mat” an obedience command.All our pre-meal practices are revolving around the mat now. It’s where he waits before “come”, and where we wind up after “stacked” commands like “come/down/okay”.
I move it all over the place, too, so he really gets the association with the mat. It isn’t solid yet, since the treat takes more attention than where he drops his lovely bum. But he’s getting it. We’ve yet to take it out in public, and I’m still waiting to hear from our new trainers. The next meeting will be the blue mat debut.
Mat work is a great technique, creating a mobile “home base”, and a familiar place to relax anywhere. With luck, it will make down/stays in strange places less nerve-wracking for him, while he’s still got a bad case of nerves. Not feeling better yet.
Kenai has returned to another little boy habit that I thought was worn off: the boy bottom stretch. He slides his front end on a bed, leaving his rump off and stretching his legs out behind him. Ohhh feels good, ma…
He stays like this for awhile, then gets one knee up and rolls his toffee tush up onto the bed. He really likes having his massage in this position–circles down the back, up and down the legs.
If I slide on the bed with him, we have head rubbing, face smushing, ear scratching, and eventually rolling onto his back for tummy time.
Doesn’t matter how big they are, they are still “little” at times! BB goes back to silly puppy, but Kenai goes all sweet and soft, per his gentle spirit. That’s my boy.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on February 14, 2009
Aww, a boy needs his nap. Kenai 14 mo old
Tuesday was a tough day for my toffee toots. I had this wonderful plan for our outing, complete with dusting off the old clicker he likes so much. The goodie bag came out, the tiny bits of lamb, hamburger, and venison were cooked, and all a boy’s favorite treats. He was trotting around the kitchen like a happy boy that couldn’t wait.
We found a quiet parking lot to stroll about in, and the plan died a horrible death right off the bat. Everything spooked him, and I mean everything. He was so involved in what was around him, he wouldn’t even notice the lamb treats. He ignored the peanut butter even.
So I dropped the idea of treats and thought we’d just slide into a clicker-reinforced groove. Usually once we work out the initial excitement, Kenai will get more focused on what we’re doing. He hasn’t relaxed that way in a while, but it seems to take the edge off his nervousness once he’s been in a place for awhile. And he LOVES his clicker.
Not this time. After 20 minutes, we went back to the car. A stop at the puppy store I thought might happy him up some. He had moments of happy, playing some with a fuzzy toy, and sniffing about. When his lovely lady friend petted him, he wagged his tail. Still he hung out in the corner by the door, wanting to go home.
Not even the puppy store was fun for him, and he kept going to the door, wanting out. Thinking he needed to piddle, I took him out and he just sat himself down by the car. He wanted to go home. I let him lay down on the seat and wait while I finished talking to the owner inside.
He doesn’t feel good, poor baby, and the vet has given us some antibiotics, so hopefully he’ll start perking back up soon. He wants to go places, but once he gets there he wants to go home again, silly guy. He wants to do his obedience practices too, but wears down fairly quick after just 10 or 15 minutes. I think he doesn’t know what he wants, he just doesn’t feel good.
We had some snoozy snuggle time when we got home, and he had a happy run outside in the kennel with his brother. When Beebs went back inside, Kenai had a good time sniffing his way through the field, so the wet grass washed his muddy feet for me.
Well, troubles aside, the Brothers Grin are loved, and have all kinds of attention. My snoozy baby gets his cuddles when he tolerates it, and gets to lay his head on my lap whenever he wants. He gets to nap on Mom’s bed, his favorite in the house, and even gets to pick out his toys at the puppy stores.
We have tummy times, and toy times, and outside times, and messin-with-sasquatch times. Brown and I even “hold hands”: he likes to have his feet held and massaged before his naps. He also enjoys blankie-monster games when we’re laying down (that blankie monster gets his nose and his toes…swat!)
Cross our paws Kenai will go back to his confident nature when he’s rid of all the bad bacteria and feels better. I’m looking forward to the day I get my “boyfriend” back. That’ll be gobs of fun, and I’ll enjoy every last second of it.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on February 11, 2009
Kenai enjoying the sunshine, 14 mo old
Our meeting with the trainers Friday was encouraging, for me at least. Yay! We mostly talked, while Kenai acted the nervous nelly. I waited for them outside without his vest so they could meet properly, and I thought he was going to crawl out of his skin when a truck’s air brakes released. The trainer’s husband’s walker made him nervous too.
Kenai was spooky, wouldn’t stay down inside the restaurant..I didn’t like it, and would have taken him back to the car, but the trainer wanted to let him settle himself, and just ignored most of it. Their approach is to let the dog work through it, I think. Susanne has a very calm and reassuring air about her, that Kenai took to immediately. I wasn’t surprised he did his downs et all for her better.
The gotta-act-right drilled into me was nervous about Kenai’s not staying down and relaxing. Maybe I am too concerned about possibly being asked to leave a place? Perhaps I’ve just heard too much “owner trained dogs are terrible”, and have semi-consciously set out to prove them wrong. (We will someday, ya know.)
This Steak and Shake is very used to Susanne and Steve bringing their SDit in, and it was a peculiar relief to not have to worry about it. A whole bag of access concerns about taking Kenai places like Wal-mart just moved off my back to Susanne’s, and I actually almost felt the weight lift.
I went through the command and task list they gave us when we got home, and turned it into a detailed eval of where Kenai is right now. It’s on a page under his training progress. I also made a list of tasks I’d like him to learn in the future, and places I want to be able to go again someday.
Like a craft fair. The milling crowds, noise, and tight quarters can be disorienting to me, eventually messing with my balance, and making me tired. But the big fat funnel cakes are calling! Maybe soon Kenai can walk me around, keep me from wobbling, shield me from the pushy bumper people, and guide me back to my car when I want to go home.
Oh, and going to church again! The sound systems are the problem. Even in tiny little places, they have sound systems for some reason. To be cool for the teenagers I guess, or for those who are hard of hearing. But the volume is always too loud for someone as sensitive to noise as I am, and after an hour, I wouldn’t be able to find my way to the bathroom to throw up. Meniere’s disease and migraines strike again.
If I could find a little old country church that realizes small spaces don’t need amplifiers, me and Brown would learn to handle the running kids, up and down for singing, and parking his lovely big bum out of the usher’s way. I miss church. I would be put out with the big little guy if he disrupted my warbling!
Wishful future stuff aside, I was amazed at just how much Kenai had learned. Yeah, he’s slid off the reliable teeter-totter for the moment, but he knows and is in various states of solid on nearly 30 commands and tasks. The last ten mostly have to wait until he’s done growing. This here kindergarden level obedience teacher (me) has managed by grace and books to get us into college level work. Wow.
Told ya the meeting was encouraging!
So we’re ready to hit the road again, with direction along our learning path. The subtitle I choose last February for this blog is “my wandering way into training my own service dog”, and it was slightly prophetic, huh? Wander, ouuups, dust off and march has been the cadence.
That’s okay, though. There’s something spiritual about a disabled person who finds the courage to switch into “I can”, the love not to give up, and the hope to think about the future as better. All that would be missed in many ways were I to have taken a program dog when it was possible for me to train my own service dog.
No, not ‘dissing program dogs. I’m just thinking about what training Kenai’s done for me as a person with limitations; not just pulling me into considering what I can do and how to do it, but the fact that I’m doing for myself what I can do myself.
There are many people who simply couldn’t do all this, and there’s nothing wrong with that either. That’s why SD training programs are so important. I just wish more programs had owner training side programs, for those of us who can, but need the experts to guide us a little. It would seriously shorten the waiting lists for service dogs.
Anyway, owner training has been a huge paradigm shift for me, and it’s what I needed.
So I’m back to being secure in our future together, and have gotten ready to get to work with some help. Strange, so many others have said they too hit a patch of doubt when their dogs hit adolescence. Part of the process I suppose. I bet the dogs get tired of us humans and our flubs about this time too! Grin.
Kenai was a bit “hung over” for a couple days, from the big hour long scare he endured. But he got a chance to make himself all muddy running in the kennel with BB outside it, a boy fun thing. He’s tall enough there usually isn’t too much splatter on the undercarriage, but those giant snow-shoe paws spread out when he runs–they were packed with clods of sticky clay.
Good thing he’s used to getting his feet cleaned, ’cause it took awhile. His brother BB just nearly needed hosing down, the silly little wump. His butt slopes like a German Shepherd so everything from the shoulders back was a mess. Had a big grin on his slobbery face, though. He was happy boy, and snored later to prove it.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on February 8, 2009
Kenai watching all the goings on inside the grocery, 14 mo
Well I think our housebound streak is coming to an end! We managed to get out just twice in 10 days, so there wasn’t exactly tons to talk about this week. Monday we made it to the grocery and back before the gravel driveway refroze, and Kenai continued the nervous streak.
We let Mom do the shopping while he and I just walked around. As long as we kept moving, he handled the heavy duty busy bustle. His head was on a swivel, and he pulled too much, but there wasn’t whining and funky side-stepping. I’m looking forward to the day my old Sir Kenai the Calm comes back to me! That should hopefully start today.
We meet with our new trainers this morning, and it will be a big challenge for the wee wumps. We’re meeting in a restaurant, a new place for him, with new people, and one of them uses a walker. None of that used to bother him, though lately everything seems to disturb his composure. I am hoping that he won’t be a butt, since I want them to see his potential.
This afternoon we also have a vet visit. He needs some blood tests et all, and we missed his weekly weigh in Tuesday because of the ice. There won’t be nap time today, from the way things are shaping up. Ooo, let’s hope the legs hold out. My legs, that is. His are pretty good in the stamina department.
2-3 times a day now, right before he eats, we run a fast paced gambit of obedience commands, sometimes with BB and sometimes without him. We started Tuesday with the usual stuff: sit, down, stay, wait, come, and heel. Wednesday he got sharper and sharper, so I reintroduced targeting: on the bed, on the couch. He knows them as casual phrases, but not really as part of his obedience work, if that makes sense.
Targeting is sorta simple and sorta not. The idea is to teach him to be able to target a selected spot, say the spot right next to the cafe booth, plop on it and not give me any fuss about getting his majestic rump settled. It’s also useful for when I want to mess with BB, since I can send big man K somewhere and expect him to wait for his turn. He’s pretty good about that.
Teaching him to target my hand when someone approaches us, or shows interest in him, will automatically turn his attention to me and alert me to what I’m not noticing. That should solve the furry half my meet-n-greet situations, anyway. Can’t do much about people, except give off vibes. Vibes are a trick I learned from Kenai, the boy vibe king: I can tell with my back turned when he’s lost his ball under the couch…
Since he was so sharp Wednesday, I started giving him the commands Thursday from across the room, and using hand signals again. Yippee, boy likes it! At home, anyway. When his interest flags in treats, I switch to his bones…sneaky me. Age and treachery overcomes youth and vigor!
Today I started “stacking”: wait followed by walking away then a down, or come interrupted by stop etc. All commands he knows, just suddenly in a new order, or put together in new ways. I could hear the wheels turning in his head, and hanged if he didn’t hit everything dead on first try. The second time I used a repeated stack, BAM! Sharp and sure. That’s my boy.
I’m tellin ya, the boy thinks. Kenai can problem solve like no dog I’ve ever seen, and I’ve had some dandy dogs. The sheer brain power is there, and beneath all the current ninny nerves is a tremendously solid assistance dog. I’ve seen magic in this boy, we’re just having trouble making the magic the rule rather than the exception. We’ll get there.
Since any food he gets that don’t have enzymes goes through and comes out as diarrhea, treating/practicing at any opportunity throughout the day is tricky business. I can give him an enzyme tablet if I know there’s going to be lots of treats, but if I give him too much enzyme to the amount of food, he will also get diarrhea.
Until I get that figured out, we’ve restricted our practice to just before he eats. I had him weaned off treats many months ago, but I’ve needed to return to them for motivation and positive association. Especially with the introduction of the harness. Today we began having the obedience practice in harness halfway through, and he was more hesitant. I can’t treat in public though, at least not inside a place because of the slobber factor.
It’s a little frustrating in a detatched sort of princliple way, this start-over with Kenai. There’s lots of reasons for it, some of them being health issues, so I accept that we’d need to begin at the beginning again. I just don’t really understand why he’s been such a nervous nelly. He’s not himself, so to speak, and I can’t pin point a reason.
That’s something we’ll be figuring out today, with the trainers, and the vet. Hopefully there’s just some little big key that hasn’t fallen into place, be it training approach or nutritional. It could be something as simple as a b-12 deficiency, ya know? That’s easily remedied. So I’m hopeful my love will return to his king of cool personality soon.
When we stroll into a restaurant or busy store or doctor’s office, Kenai lays his beautiful bum down and takes a snooze again, I’ll be doing the happy dance. I’ll try not to set off the New Madrid fault line, but we’ll have earned a good earthquake if we get one! There will be plenty left to work on after that, but you’ll find a blog post here entitled “My Boyfriend’s BACK”.
Once we’re back to where we were before his health problems started, the list of work on it will start growing: fire alarms, assistance tasks, playtime recall, ignoring other dogs, stranger’s houses, college campus…the stuff required of service dogs is a monstrous big list.
Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. (Not like I ever do that). We’ll see what comes of today.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on February 6, 2009
Kenai alert and ready for run-with-me-fun, 14 mo old
Kenai and those beautiful ears…they’re like his own portable radar instillation. He hears everything. (Sometimes I wonder if he’s actually getting messages from outer space). The snow is boy fun, no question. His jolly ball gets a polar bear pounce, snowballs get smashed with a snow-shoe paw, zoomies zoom so hard he has to go back for this fur…snow is definitely boy fun. And all the better with little bro to romp on the outside of the kennel.
This pic from Friday, he hears the magic sound: the galloping of littermate BB, put out the door for some exercise. The sound of BB coming is impossible not to recognize, 3 1/2 legs flailing away in as close to a gallop as his handicapped bent bottom can get. Beebs, Beebs, the funniest living comic strip ever can’t wait for the run-with-me-fun time!
How could ya not laugh at that face? He just learned snowballs disintegrate when you try to catch them, and he’s backtalking about it! Snows on the nose! Since everything is a game to little brother, we had to do it again…
Friday was a good play day, and Friday night was a quiet one, all the doggie endorphins given them contented snores and stretches. Saturday, my sniffles and sneezes became wheezes and hacks. There was just a short outside time, and lots of trying to nap with no success.
Kenai dutifully hung out, having a sudden problem with reflux in the afternoon. He didn’t feel too much like romping about after that set in. Bless his heart, I don’t know why it appeared. We did some hugging, some puppy massage, and just had ourselves a together day to make it better.
Even BB felt sorry for big bro, not pestering or nipping at him as usual. He stuck his head over a couple times for a sniff and a gentle lick, paybacks for the gentle guarding and good wishing Kenai does when he don’t feel spiffy. They are each other’s chief tormentors, and fuzzy get well cards too. Brothers.
We had just enough melting over the weekend to make the driveway a sheet of ice Saturday night, so Kenai had the stress of not wanting to “go” in the side yard but having no choice. No way was I trying to cross over to the field, 30 yards of hockey rink skidding. He couldn’t hold it any more by Sunday morning, and went in the side yard. I remember being adamant they couldn’t do that when they were puppies. He remembers too.
It’s been a dull time, stuck in the house since Tuesday. Kenai had a big outing day last Monday, and I think it will be next Monday before we get out again. The road up to the highway is almost 1/4 mile uphill, shaded by trees, with 3 nasty corners. It’s a treacherous thing in the winter, our drive.
But Monday, Lord willing we get out, one required stop is the grocery: we need ground beef in the worst way. We’ll be cutting it close, I’m afraid. Any other stops aren’t yet decided on, and I’m hoping to hear from our new SD trainer today, so we might be able to meet Monday. It will be a relief to having another set of eyes and hands on Kenai, evaluating what he and I need to work on (and how to do it).
I finally applied for SSI benefits, going through the application, the work history, and medical history online. It took 3 durn hours, too. Trying to remember past doctor’s names, looking up addresses and the like is what took so long. It’s been six years. Asking someone with a fibro fog to recall doctor’s names and test results 6 years back is like asking a 3rd grader to take an ACT college entrance exam: my results are no doubt frumpy.
But I did it. Soon as I get the automatic denial letter, I call the lawyer back, and let him do all the paper gathering and blood sweating. I don’t have the courage or clarity to swim through all the goverment goofiness. Thankfully, someone else will do that for me. Someone with a brain that actually works!
Having a cold, I’ve been infernally idle, not taking advantage of our home time to practice. The ol blahs got me, poor Kenai. I’ve got all this time, and could be using it to work on his downs in tight spots, holding his heel as I move about, and doing practices in his harness. He’d be happy for the treats, and something interesting to do besides watch me try to nap when I can’t breathe!
We need outta here for awhile, for our mental stimulation. Cross the fingers and paws we make it Monday!
I read a blog that had 5 things their dog does that they laugh at but shouldn’t. BB could triple the list of 5 easy. Kenai is less obvious about his funnies. I actually have to think about his “bad” stuff that’s funny!
“Sasquatch time”–noisy boy backtalking, play barking, and foot stomping with Mom in the master bath. He runs across the bed to get there and wait for his sassy mouth play. As long as there isn’t vocalizing in public or at strangers, I guess it’s okay.
“Couch-ate-my-ball game”–he pile drives toys under the cushions, stuffs his head down there to find them, and digs at them until he’s pulled the cover loose. Beating up the soft furnishings probably isn’t a good thing to teach a Dane, but it’s hysterical to watch.
“Trick-you-taunt-you”–he tricks his brother out of a toy, pretending like he wants to play, then trotting off teasing BB with the stolen trophy. He’ll taunt him until Beebs cries and yowls. Meanie.
“Come-means-go”–this is bad. Very bad. I don’t like it at all. But he give you that squirrelly face, ears all wonky and attitude…the icky boy face is funny. Still, I refuse to play that way, and walk off leaving him. Sometimes it works.
I know, only four, but really that’s all he does that’s “bad” but funny. His other “bad” stuff isn’t funny, and thankfully the regulars are limited to two. Whining is not nice, and I’d love to break the insecure that causes it. That’s on the fix-it list. The other is the feet. He has never completely stopped with the swatting. It’s not as frequent, but he always gets in trouble for it.
Pretty good, being able to come up short on the not-good companion list. Kenai’s really the most naturally well behaved boy I’ve ever had. Got lucky with him, got very berry lucky. He’s a good boy, with a shorter “bad” list than mine. Bless him, my baby love.
Kenai the bed bug, all of 10 weeks old
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on February 1, 2009