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
Kenai trying to figure out what happened to his terrain, 14 mo old
We seriously dodged a big ol bullet, here at our house. Monday night the freezing rain began, and I was praying there wouldn’t be a repeat of the deadly ice storms of 06 and 08. I was worried how we were going to get the boys out for potty, how many times I’d tenderize my rump roast… Tuesday morning I went after the deck/sidewalk and managed to smash away about 3/4″ of sheet ice.
Figuring out how I was going to do that every couple hours without winding up in bed for a month suddenly became moot: it changed from freezing rain to sleet! Sleet can be shoveled off, snow can be plowed, but there isn’t a darn blessed thing you can do about freezing rain. South of us they got hammered, almost 2″ of ice on everything. But I thanked God with all variations of gratefulness for the sleet.
Getting the boys out wasn’t easy, I didn’t even try crossing the driveway until enough sleet had accumulated to give us traction. Kenai didn’t like “going” in the yard next to the back door deck. Once there was at least some relative traction, we made yak tracks to the field. He’d held the #2 until we got there, not doing more than a piddle for 24 hours. Picky where he poo I guess, silly boy.
The sleet kept coming all day, and Kenai actually had a good easy time following the trails of rabbits et all. He put his nose to the ground and sniffed his way around the garage and back to the door. Seems the scent trails are easier for him to follow in the frozen precip, that or he prefers the combo of scent and sight.
Anyway, I salted and shoveled when the deck and sidewalk were covered with 1/4 of sleet all day too. Then about 7 pm, the sleet blessedly changed to snow. Even better–I quit shoveling. We can walk in snow. Today I hurt, of course. Uhg. But I’m avoiding the tylenol if at all possible. I’m just immensely grateful it wasn’t all freezing rain.
Kenai is excited. This is his first real accumulation of snow; his first froze toes, snowball chasing, drift pouncing, snow on the nose event. He’s making the most of it, doing his polar bear pounce all over the place. He’s had one kennel playtime already this morning. His front leg is tender, though, after having it jam to the ground when the ice gave way over a depression in the ground.
He gimped for a minute or two, and hasn’t slowed down on his own. So I’ll have to limit the romping today. We won’t get above freezing for at least 2 more days, so he’ll have plenty of polar bear fun this entire week.
platypus lips! funny boy having fun, now 14 mo old
The past few posts I’ve wobbled about with a certain amount of self-doubt, of what I didn’t know when it comes to training a service dog. There was some insecurity, I guess, and some rational questioning of if I could get Kenai to where I wanted him as an SD entirely by myself.
Once I decided to quit with the feelings of not quite being up to par, I could objectively look at things. Mild dissatisfaction with what we’ve not accomplished together aside, the fact is that there is so much work left to do, and I’m tired. I’ve reached a sort of impasse with my body, currently in a slump. It won’t do what I demand of it.
As a BTW, things most people don’t pay attention to in fact require considerable energy. That “calm and assertive” energy so much talked about when working with dogs is actually tiring to maintain when it’s not your normal, personal energy. Mine is softer, and yes, weaker. So conjuring up a confident, head up and strong walk can be done when you have chronic fatigue, but keeping it up is the battle.
That’s hard to explain, hard for folks without CFS to really grasp. The best analogy I can come up with is having a case of mono for 40 years… I can chuckle about it, but it’s a major interference. Until you have to deal with a serious depletion of your strength, you don’t realize how much energy is expended without notice just going about an ordinary task.
My best efforts to alter Kenai’s excitement triggers have had mixed success. Mostly I believe because of my flagging strength. He’s at an age when there’s enough maturity for him to have more self-control than a puppy, and I’d like to take advantage of that. Yeah, teenage dunderhead stuff is present, but an adolescent has more ability to calm himself than a puppy does.
So I would feel better having a hands on resource to guide me. I’m not expecting Kenai to suddenly be all perfect, not by any means. He is still a youngster, still has a solid year of growing up to do. I just want to rebuild his public obedience, and that means I have to deal with his excitement around dogs and people showing interest in him, as well as his nervousness at times. He can’t go on refusing elevators, and pulling on the harness.
The training, no matter how much you do, doesn’t show when a young dog is uncomfortable.
After some thought and prayer, I’ve contacted the only other professional SD trainer in the area, (other than the ones we started out with and it didn’t go well). They are used to Danes as SDs, low and behold, they love them. They are also positive reinforcement advocates, and regularly train teams for anxiety alerts. They’ve trained Great Danes for anxiety alert as well as mobility.
I probably won’t work at all right now with the anxiety and asthma alerting, since Kenai’s slightly gone off that in his current teenage stage. What I really want him for is mobility, and that’s the important focus. How good it is to perhaps have found a trainer who actually understands how to work with people with anxiety issues.
Now all we have to do is dig out! It will be at least the weekend before we see anything outside of this yard. I won’t complain, though, knowing just how fortunate I am compared to nearby counties who got pounded. Thousands are out of power, the roads are terrible. But back in 06 we were a cat-2 disaster area. We had national guard here for that storm, and some 40,000 people were out of power for 2 weeks or more.
I managed to finally get a pic in mid-shake!
Gotcha! I’ve been trying the better part of a year to get a shot of Kenai in mid shake. He doesn’t do it often, unlike some dogs. I’ve known dogs who shook so often and hard it made ya wonder how they manage not to shake themselves clean out of their own hide. Kenai’s not a big shaker. Guess it would disturb his man-dignity or something.
Hilarious, isn’t it?
Can’t come up with a catchy nickname for that. I don’t even know what to compare that to. Sorta moose like but not, sorta has cow horns, but not…the lips look like he’s got a Groucho mustache. What the giggle do ya call that? “How Now Brown Cow with a Groucho Mustache”? Flubber Puppy? Suggestions, anyone?
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on January 28, 2009
Our first ice storm of the season has set in, and that brings Kenai’s blog back to where we started a year ago! This week last year I decided on buying a pup from his breeder, and his 1 year birthday is 17 days away. He gone from still gestating to this big hunk of manly love in one year, Dane that he is.
We’re settled in for the storm, having had more practice than we wanted last winter at doing without power in subzero weather. It could be worse. But getting BB to walk the deck to go potty is a bit of a job: we have to put a rug down over snow et all for him to walk across. Guess he thinks he’s walking the plank or something. Pirate puppy scared of slippery. Lucky for him big bro and I are up first, and we clear off the deck for his timid soul.
I’ve been loafing, and Kenai’s on restricted exercise for a few days, so Brown is bored and whiney. It takes a while for my FMS/CFS to adjust to the change of seasons. Cold is bad; it hurts. Winter also messes with my inner ears, so it’s the weeble wobble season for me. Weeble this way, wobble that way time.
I’ve really got to order a harness with the genuinely bad cold coming in January and February. I’m afraid to predict how he’ll handle the change of equipment: if I say he’ll do fine, he’ll object just to be contrary! Ha!
The rhino’s snow shoe paws are coming in handy for him, providing exceptionally good traction in the latest slippery conditions. Kenai hardly slows down, while I’m saying “hey, what’s the rush?”. He just gives me that what’s-your-deal expression and waits for me to catch up. Brat. Remember boy, who’s still growing into his ears…
Nah, my special K is an awfully good fella, tolerant and good natured. He and BB have been getting along much better overall. We had a spaz day Sunday since Mom hadn’t exercised BB for 4 days–Beebs goes stir crazy and drives everyone nuts when that happens. Kenai gets frustrated and waylays little bro unless I’m right on top of things.
But that was the first day in a long time that we had to keep vigilant. Most days now, Kenai and I can cook breakfast or walk around the kitchen and BB keeps a polite distance. He knows now too that the red euro leash means his brother’s working and has to be left alone. We’re far from not needing the living room barrier but it’s getting easier to have them loose in the same room together.
That’s at home when all is quiet. Someone comes and the circus ensues until the law is laid down. Hopefully Kenai the old-fashioned hunting and guarding dog will go back to noticing, barking once, then hushing up when told. I’ll probably have to wait for a) adolescence to wear off, and b) the snip that ends his manliness.
I know there’s an almost militant attitude about neutering, especially service dogs, but Kenai will have his pecan until he’s done growing. The lack of sexual hormones in males affects their growth rate, bone density, and musculature. In smaller breeds it’s not so obvious as to be an issue. But you put faster growth, thinner bones, and less muscle on the scale of a Great Dane, and the differences can be startling.
Speeding up the rate of bone growth, which neutering does to Danes, can be risky if a dog is prone to growth problems. Kenai doesn’t need to be tall and svelte: he’s a working dog. Weight bearing, counter balancing, haul his momma up the stairs Kenai will need all the heavy duty bone and muscle his genes can give him. Not for the “big dog” syndrome, but to protect his body from the rigors of his career.
Friday Kenai poked himself in the eye with a stick he was tossing around, so he has to have drops in his eye. That’s the reason for restricted exercise: not getting the blood pressure up too high. He’ll hold still for his ears cleaned, nails trimmed, body washed, feet wiped, bottom cleaned up (if a stool is loose), legs rubbed, but he has a hang up about his teeth and eyes. Next pup gets them messed with from day one.
This pup gets told once, then catches a scolding until he cuts the silliness. (Big sigh, puppy pout, goshes not-nice expression). When the vet wanted to check the cornea, Kenai swatted him and gave him his head back, I-don’t-want-to expression.
Once Doc was done chuckling at the funny face he was getting, Kenai got his drops and black light treatment anyway. The man is used to our Danes after all these years…His eye is fine, just busted some capillaries. The drops will heal it, but we’ll add eye checks to his routine physical now just in case.
Such is the mundane in our life together. We have our routines, our nap times, and plenty of fun too. And with the tree going up today, a whole new set of experiences is in store for my guy. Now that there’s 10 days to X-mas, I’ve got to get the baking and decorating going. Maybe that will spark a little holiday sparkle in me, huh?
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year too.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on December 15, 2008