Hugs and Tushie Rubs…by Lisa Harmon

Everyone knows I can do a sit stay. Would ya get the gunk out of my eyes and let me have a drink, now? It’s humid out here…Kenai 21 wks

Cruddy day for us, yesterday in puppydom. We had to sit out a tornadic storm Thursday night, so the four pack was together on the couch until 3 am. Then I stole BB’s twin mattress next to the couch and crashed until 5 am. Hard on the system… the weird night time accomodations seemed to throw the pups off schedule too. Danes generally get bent out of shape when their routine is disturbed.

Being sick to my stomach Thursday, and the sleepless night that followed beat me up pretty bad: I’m hurting and very very tired despite not doing much of anything Friday. Kenai’s sore legs are bothering him too, so he got a nice long puppy massage. He’s losing some of the extra insulation, and the ribs are starting to come into view again. But the cut in kibble is bothering his tummy when paired with some new training treats. Sorry kid, my fault.

And wouldn’t ya know it’s the weekend again…another wild and stressful weekend will hit about 8 am today. My 2 year old neice was sleeping when Mike brought her last night, and he kept her downstairs asleep all evening. So we got a small reprieve. But she has an ear infection, so today is likely to be filled with screaming and fussing. Bless her heart, I had tubes in my ears when I was her age from all the ear infections. Poor baby, it’s miserable.

I don’t know that I’m up for it, though. Could I have a couple more Wednesdays? I’d even take a Tuesday or two. Bah, humbug. Well, brighten up Harmon, and deal with it. Positive attitudes go alot farther in reducing the stress, right?

I know better than to make plans for what kind of day I want, until Kenai’s been awake and I get some idea of what mood he’s in… When you want a quiet day, puppies invariably give you a crazy one. When you feel like having fun, they’re sleepy and lazy. They do have a way of making you change gears.

Kenai’s gummy bear nickname is about over, since I can at least see all his big boy teeth above the gums now. Have to find another new one to laugh about. Swatty snot? He’s gotten awfully fast with those feet…reminds me, I need to teach him “no feet” commands, so he doesn’t lay one on Emily.

Yesterday’s outdoor play wasn’t much fun, since it we dodged outside between rain storms. I was really suprised that he didn’t want to come in when the thunder and light rain started. I had to make him because of lightening, but getting him to stop the runaway game took awhile. He really didn’t want to come in.

Having the little bitty leashed practice sessions before tuning him loose seems to have taught the idea that paying attention outside is important too. He has made a game of coming when I call him, looking up and having a good hard rocket run towards me while the clicker goes off. He’ll run past, then turn and get his clicks on the way back, followed by hugs and tushie rubs as a reward. Then it’s off to explore some more.

He likes that come and go game! I like seeing his eyes all bright, even if they do have allergy gunk in them. (Pollen counts are high). He was awfully bored yesterday, only getting the one short play time in. He’s got a tired “mom”, and I wasn’t up to much fun, with all the rain. He whined some but what can ya do? I just gave him rubs and we made supper together.

I’m working on a new page about doggie phobias, like the storm we had last night. It’s not quite ready, but I’m getting there so check back. I can’t seem to sit and work on the computer for extended times without setting off a migraine since I cut my Lyrica dose. Patience with puppies, patience with me…

I’ve also been needing the cane more lately, darn it. It’s a pain to mess with when you have a leash and a puppy and a clicker and a treat bag. I need a third hand. Or to lose the cane. Usually it’s the cane, since I haven’t grown appendages! Sometimes a third eye would come in handy, too. Part of having a service dog, though, is learning how to juggle your stuff AND theirs.

But there’s progress on the pool front, finally. It’s been sandblasted, so that part is done. Now if we could get some rainless, not humid weather for pouring the concrete steps! Can’t pour concrete in a thunderstorm. Or paint it for that matter. We’ve gone with a medium blue so it looks all deep and refreshing when you’re starting to melt in the sun. I’m no candybar, but I do tend to wilt…

Chelsea the Dane’s blog had a 7 item list of good dog owner habits that I really liked. It’s rather inspired me to play around with one of my own. I think I’ll get one fleshed out and maybe make a page of that too. I know patience has to be on it. Awareness too, of your own emotional state. My blahs go straight down into Kenai’s observant eyes, in no time flat (flat…pardon the pun).

Respect? Yeah, ya have to respect what a dog is capable of and isn’t. Maybe acceptance is a better word. They will try their best for you, even if it isn’t what they really want to do.  Joy is a biggie on that list. Dogs are such joyous creatures. They run like the wind and play with a rock and repeat whatever makes you laugh because joy is the stuff of puppy life. Any excuse to have fun will do! Take it away from them, and you’ve lost something vital.

Well, it needs work so I won’t bore you, trying to drag along with the slower circuits of my brain after a rough few days!

One of the funniest things dogs do is what I call “snooting through the carpet”. They put their nose flat down and do these short little bursts of sniffing. I’ve always wondered why. Looking for a snack? Checking out what was there? Maybe some pot roast hit the floor there? Who knows…

The transition back to a four pack has not gone too well for the boys. I believe we have a problem developing. Twice now, while I was making Kenai’s food, when BB came in the kitchen, Kenai growled and snapped at him. I will immediately correct, and it’s a seriously dominant correction. Then I make Kenai down stay until I put his food down. Hasn’t helped.

Where the devil did that come from?! I can pick up his food and he backs away, Mom can, heck even 2 year old Emily can. But BB gets the growl. Dammit, I don’t like that. And I don’t like that BB is fiercely protective of toys and Mom. Kenai can’t go up to her without BB swinging around snarling. Then Kenai brings out the teeth in return.  

So we have a spitting match going on again between our two males. I’m not entirely sure how to proceed about it. We had a pair of male littermates once, but Shabah never cared about who was top dog. Right now, both the boys want to be top puppy. I’m just glad they aren’t females, because those disputes can get really bloody, as I’ve been told.  

There are 3 camps of thought I’ve encountered about squabbling dogs: one is to just let them fight it out. Not allowed at my house. Another is to decide which of the two I will let have status over the other. Uh-uh, don’t like that either. The third is to clamp down on both of them, and teach them that nothing is “theirs”, it’s all mine, and I can give it to whomever I wish.

The last one suits me better. Not because I’m a queen bitch type, but because it creates a pair of submissive dogs (in theory), rather than a submissive and a partly dominant dog. Question is how, and which of the puppies is setting off the whole business, or is it both?

I’m leaning towards BB being the instigator. I can walk Kenai past him without reacting to the snapping and wildness. Unless teeth hit flesh, then Kenai has to be hauled off before he does damage. BB seems to be a bit wild at times. I think he’s bored, and needs more exercise, but that’s not up to me to get done.

He was possessive long before Kenai got nasty about his food. I love BB and I make Kenai back off and wait while I work on BB’s leg for his PT or just give him attention. The more I think back, the more I realize Mom hasn’t done the same to BB: she doesn’t approach Kenai much since BB’s been home, and he misses her. He looks over at her alot, and when BB’s in the expen he wants to go and sit next to her.

Last night I mentioned it, and she gave him some attention while Beebs was in his expen. Kenai soaked it up, and was really happy for the hug and a smooch. He got so happy he started playing with a crackle toy!

I’ll be asking around for suggestions, and would love ideas from you readers. My plan of attack is to bring a screaching halt to BB’s possessiveness of Mom, but that’s not up to me. Mom has to do that. I want Kenai to get the idea that if another dog is directing crap his way, a human deals with it while he doesn’t react. He can’t react to other dogs as an SD. And BB needs to get the idea that Mom isn’t “his”.

This food guarding of Kenai’s is coming to an end, too!  

So you can guess how tense the two brown babies are with each other right now.  Wouldn’t it be nice for them if they could be brothers without being buttheads? Just hanging out peaceful like, and chillin’?

I think Kenai being an “only child” while BB was gone, and BB getting so much individual attention at the hospital is was re-started this nonsense. We had it settled after an intense bout when they were younger. Here we go again! I was really hoping to put off the dominance nonsense until they were closer to pueberty, but appearantly not.

Well, I’ve got to go empty the junk my brother piled in my truck last month and left, so I can get it inspected. I didn’t realize my tags were expired, so that’s first thing Monday. I have to get tags so I can get my big mower on the trailer and up to be fixed. Mike bent up my blades using it in the feild after I asked him not to. I know where the holes and high spots are, but he did what he wanted and now I have to scrape up the money to fix it.

I gotta cut the grass soon! It’s knee high again, with all the rain we’ve had. Pretty soon the snakes will be getting into it, and that could be a problem. So ya’ll have a good weekend, and I’ll blabber some more later.

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