Friday, June 29, 2012

Every Day I'm Snorkelin'

I received an email from my dad about K9 Navy SEALs. These dogs are highly trained; they can parachute out of a plane and repel out of a helicopter. He ended the email asking if this was something Tiny could do.

My response: Are you kidding?! Tiny Dog is afraid of the doorbell. And after seeing how spastic she was when she fell off of the sofa, I don't think parachuting is in her future. 

My mother’s response: Yes, just think about her face-planting from 30,000 feet.

It’s true, she sometimes forgets she has legs. Like the other night when she jumped off the sofa to grab a toy I was holding, forgot she had legs, and landed on her face. In hindsight, funny, at the time, scary.

The ironic part is that just the other day I made the comment to my brother that I think she was in the Navy in a past life. Here’s why: she loves small spaces, so she would do really well on a submarine, and she loves to snorkel for ice in the baby pool. I know, 2 reasons, not a ton of evidence. You’re right, she probably wanted to be in the Navy but wasn’t coordinated enough to pass the physical. 

I tried to capture her on video snorkeling, but by the time she realized that there was ice in the pool it had melted for the most part. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June Bugs

I’ve discovered the ultimate dog toy, but it only comes out at night, in the summer. June Bugs. Unfortunately June bug hunting time only lasted about a week. It appears that Tiny Dog as eradicated the entire June bug population in the back yard. Sorry, Tiny Dog, there is always next year. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I want to hear the crowd chant my name!

House breaking is hard. You think you are doing everything right until you realize that you dog fake pees just to hear you chant her name.

We were doing so well – about 1 accident a day in the house and none at night. This seemed pretty good, then all of a sudden it’s Tiny -5, House- 0. How is it possible that she just peed outside 20 minutes ago and yet had what looks like an entire gallon to empty on the floor? Where does she store all of that?!

There is one of two things going on here:

  • She has self-esteem issues which are resulting in her fake peeing, just to hear me say, “Good girl, Tiny!” Maybe she was traumatized after being the last in the litter picked and needs the ego boost.
  • She is too smart for her own good. Tiny Dog loves paper towels. Whenever I clean up her mess, I have to fend her off in the process. All she wants to do is attacked the wad of paper towels and rip it to shreds. Maybe she has figured out that one of her favorite “toys” only comes out when she pees in the house.

Either way, this is going to be a long process. At least it’s hardwood, right? 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Princess and the Pea

I don’t know what breeds like to nest, but Tiny Dog is a nester. It’s rare that she sleeps on a soft surface without first fluffing it to her liking. She will sometimes fluff for several minutes until it is perfect. She might actually be a little OCD now that I think about it. 

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!

I adopted a truly spastic dog, which means we took our first “non-check-up” trip to the vet yesterday. Tiny Dog started limping a little on Friday evening and then it grew worse over the weekend. It did not, however, slow her down enough to prevent her from batdogging Lil Dog.

I figured it was just a pulled muscle or something of that nature, but wanted to be sure. So off to the vet we went. Tiny’s vet is wonderful. The entire staff at VCA Airline Animal Hospital is wonderful. Tiny loves on everyone there, eats delicious treats, and gets to meet new dogs. She loves the vet. Maybe this is why she forgot she was injured.

Sure enough, the vet started loving on her and that limp she acquired over the weekend vanished. The vet gently manhandled the leg in question and not a single yelp, whine, or wiggle appeared.

There is only one explanation for the limp, my dog thought it would give her street cred in her pursuit of becoming a gangsta. And after she smashed a potted plant this morning, Office Space style, she earned herself the new street name, T-Dog. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

All You Need is Love

Sometimes we all need a good hug or a good snuggle. I like to give hugs and I like to receive hugs. I think this has rubbed off on my dog. Aimee does not like to give hugs nor does she like to receive them, I think this has rubbed off on her dog.

Every afternoon, around doggy naptime, Tiny tries to curl-up either in bed with Lil Dog or next to Lil Dog. It’s cute and sweet but it’s also heart breaking. Lil Dog wants nothing to do with Tiny Dog. I guess I can’t blame her considering every night and morning Tiny Dog goes into Bat Dog mode and launches herself, mouth open, at Lil Dog. I guess I wouldn’t want to curl-up with someone who spent more time chewing on me than anything else.

So Tiny slowly steps in the bed and sits down. Lil Dog then bolts. Tiny looks sad. Tiny gets over it and stretches out in the big bed that she now has all to herself. Come to think of it, maybe this is all just an evil plot to take over Lil Dog’s bed…

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Trapped in a Net

Remember that time that Tiny Dog got trapped in a net? No? I wish you could have seen it, it was hilarious.

Tiny Dog loves to chew on plants, well really, she loves to put everything in her mouth. We have a little song about her and it goes like this: my name is Tiny and I am special, I like to put everything in my mouth that comes in contact with my face.

We have a small veggie and berry garden in the backyard and had noticed that the strawberry bush was no longer producing strawberries, or so we thought. That was until I one day busted Tiny Dog rolling in the strawberry bush eating the new strawberries that were coming out.

So we put a few stakes in the ground and strung some wild life netting over it. Problem solved, right? Oh, we were so na├»ve. It worked for a few days, until TD saw me lift the net up to pick some strawberries. Clearly this dog is smarter than I give her credit for. It was like a light bulb went off in her head, “I can’t go over it, I can’t go through it, I can’t go around it, but I can go UNDER it!”

She started small by sticking her nose under it and reaching for the leaves. Then she got a bit braver and took a running start and dove under it. Now she was inside but she was trapped. The look of sheer panic was comical. And before you get all, “that is so cruel, I can’t believe you left your dog trapped in a net” on me. Don’t worry, this whole thing happened too fast for me to grab my camera help her out of there.

She started bucking like a bronco until she bucked herself right out there, only to be smacked on the butt by one of the stakes holding it in the ground. Boy did she look surprised! She turned around, bit the net for good measure and then took off across the yard!

Sometimes you have to learn a lesson the hard way, and sometimes the hard way is getting trapped in a net. I figured this would finally be the lesson she needed to leave the plants alone. Wrong, I just dragged her out of there a few minutes ago. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Doggie Suicide Watch

I had to place Lil Dog on doggie suicide watch. She just seemed really sad for a while. Her daily routine had been completely disrupted and she thought her Paw Paw abandoned her.

Lil Dog used to have a daily routine that went something like this:
  •  Sleep in until mom makes me wake up
  • Get in the car and go to Maw Maw and Paw Paw’s house
  • Potty
  • Curl up and sleep for the rest of the day
  • Wake up and eat if I get hungry
  • Hang out with Maw Maw and Paw Paw when they get home from work
  • Indulge in some people food before I settle for dog food
  • Get picked-up by mom and go home for the evening

Her new routine goes something like this:
  • Wake up at 6am
  • Be terrorized by Tiny Dog
  • Eat/fend off Tiny Dog
  • “Walk” aka the death march
  •  Be terrorized by Tiny Dog
  • Nap, but not in my own bed because Tiny Dog stole it
  • Wake-up when Tiny Dog pounces on me
  • Runaway from Tiny Dog
  • Squeeze in a short nap
  • Greet mom at the door when she gets home from work
  • Be terrorized by Tiny Dog
  • Eat/fend off Tiny Dog
  • Death march again
  • Finally accept that playing with Tiny Dog is the only option and knock over furniture in the process
  • Laugh when Tiny Dog gets put in her kennel
  • Sleep

Lil Dog pouting that Tiny Dog stole her bed.

To make matters worse, right after I got Tiny Dog, Maw Maw and Paw Paw left town for a week, so Lil Dog’s routine was not only thrown off but I’m fairly certain she thought they had abandoned her because Tiny Dog came into the picture.

This was the moment she realized she had been abandoned. Fairly certain she was thinking, “Is this really my life now? What did I do wrong? Why don’t they love me anymore?”

Fortunately, they are back now. Lil Dog is working her way out of her funk and starting to accept that Tiny Dog is here to stay. She is also learning that when Tiny attacks, tricking her into a good ole fashion game of tug of war keeps Tiny from chewing on her. This means she is either remembering how to play like a normal dog or figures this is the lesser of two evils even if she doesn’t like it.

The Honeymoon Period is Over

So what do you do when your sweet, loving puppy finally adjusts to her new home and starts terrorizing all living beings in the house?

You spend hours on the internet reading dog training articles, hunting for the perfect dog training book, and watching youtube dog training videos. You also give your dog nicknames like Tiny Terror, Tiny Devil, and Tiny Diablo.

There is a reason puppies are cute, no one would keep them if they weren’t. There is also a reason that the SPCA has a 14-day return policy, a lot of people don’t understand how much work a puppy can be. Puppies don’t understand what we are saying and they don’t know anything. You have to teach them everything. What does everything include?

  1. Other dogs and humans are not chew toys
  2. Don’t eat the slugs
  3. Don’t eat wasps or bees either
  4. Go ahead and eat the June bugs
  5. Just because something is on the ground, and this includes my shoes when they are on my feet, does not mean it is a chew toy.
  6. If Lil Dog is chewing on her bone, which is identical to the bone you are chewing on, it is not OK to drop yours and steal hers. You were perfectly fine with yours until you saw that she had something.
  7. Eating the strawberries off of the bush is not fair to the rest of us. You need to learn to share. And while we’re on the topic, please don’t roll on top of the bush when you eat the strawberries either.
  8. Playing tug of war with the plants in the vegetable garden is not acceptable.
  9. Kids should not be feared, they just want to love on you.
  10. Car rides are fun
  11. Hiding under the couch when the doorbell rings is not typical big-dog behavior
  12. Don’t lie in the grass in the rain and claim you don’t like baths. I’m onto you.
  13. Don’t eat the dirt out of the potted plants
  14. Not everyone who comes over is going to think it’s cute when you lick the condensation off of their mardi gras cup
  15. Don’t untie my shoes if you can’t retie them
  16.  Your ID tags are not a chew toy you just happen to carry on you at all times
  17. Swinging from the curtains is not OK.
  18. Rugs are not the same thing as grass.
  19. Pottying outside, in the grass, makes everyone happy. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You did WHAT to the dog?

Every time someone sees Tiny Dog, they ask me what she is.  She’s a mutt from the pound and their guess is as good as mine. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m over it and want to know, so I ordered a Mixed Breed Identification Kit from Wisdom Panel. The kit came with a couple of swabs to swab her cheek. You then send it off and in three weeks receive the results.

Have you ever tried to swab the inside of a dog’s cheek? It’s like trying to bathe a cat. Once it was done, I shot Aimee an email to let her know “I swabbed Tiny and dropped it in the mail.” This was the reply I got back:

I just read that and I thought it said, ‘I stabbed Tiny and put her in the mail,’ and I was a bit horrified.”

Sure she drive me nuts, and no Tiny and I were not on speaking terms last night, but I still love the little terror.

So what are your guesses as to what she is?

I thought we were just going to "look" at the puppies?

Aimee and I ventured out to the Orleans Parish SPCA on the Westbank. Why the Westbank? It’s the only pound open on Sundays and it was a Sunday. Aimee thought we were just going to look, but I was determined to bring home a dog. Never mind that the house and yard had not been puppy proofed or that we didn’t have a collar, leash, puppy food or dog bed at home, I had seen the Sarah MaClachlan SPCA commercial one too many times and was determined to save a dog.

We walked into the puppy area and Aimee quickly pointed out that all of the puppies were too big to take home to Lil Dog except for two. They were littermates and wrestling in their kennel, this should have been my first clue as to what I was about to get into. The volunteer informed us that one was already on hold to be adopted. That left one lone dog in the entire place that met the puppy and female criteria. She was essentially the default puppy. We took the default puppy outside and she was sweet and playful, so I said, “Ok, let’s get her.” To this day, I still do not know why Aimee said OK to that. This dog is a Heinz 57 with lord knows what in her. But it was clear that she probably has some lab in her and the last time I checked, labs were not medium-sized dogs.

So I took home this sweet, scared, tiny 10 lb puppy who was black with two white back paws, a white chest, and a tiny white soul patch. We didn’t have a name for her, so we just called her Tiny Dog to differentiate her from Lil Dog.

The first stop was my parents’ house to introduce Tiny Dog to my dad and their 11 year old Irish Setter, Lady. Tiny Dog was sweet and lovey but was fascinated by Lady’s long fur. Lady, however is old and a bit crotchety and had no problem letting Tiny Dog that that was not going to fly. So she backed off. This was a good sign! We left there full hope that Lil Dog would be able to do the same thing.

Lady - see the grey? That's means she's old and wise/crotchety

Lil Dog did not. It’s been a few weeks and all of those reasons to get a puppy have gone out the window.

  • Lil Dog does not have a motherly bone in her body and wants nothing to do with Tiny Dog.
  • Lil Dog does not have a dominant bone in her body and is always on the run from Tiny Dog.
  • Tiny Dog likes to dive at Lil Dog with her mouth open and bite her. So much for not adopting a full-grown dog because it might eat Lil Dog. Looks like Tiny Dog needs to be fed more.

This is going to be a challenge. 

Lil Dog and Tiny Dog 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why wouldn't anyone get a dog?

I love all animals, but I LOVE dogs. There is no better welcome home than the welcome of a dog so excited to see you that you would swear you were made entirely of bacon. A dog will love you unconditionally, even when you fuss at him for eating you favorite shoe or absconding with the mate of every pair of socks you own, he always comes back for more. You are his best friend and his master.

The decision to get a dog was a no-brainer. I grew-up with dogs, big dogs – German Shepherds and Irish Setters. I can remember palling around with our first German Shepard, Bizmark. I used him as a pillow when I napped; I stole Milkbones and split them with him. He was my best friend as a tot. I was not born yet when he was a puppy, but I have heard the horror stories. So after Biz, my parents only adopted adult dogs. When I made my decision to adopt, I wanted a big, full-grown dog. It’s funny how what we want and what we get are often polar opposites.

Let me back up a minute. I live with Aimee, who already has a dog, well, it’s actually more of a human-dog. Presley, a 6-year old, 35lb, female puggle, is the ruler of the roost. She’s a good dog, who at times forgets she is a dog. She has several nicknames – Little (Lil) Dog, Hamster, Fat Dog, Fat Hamster and Pres.  She gets a bit stir crazy if she goes more than a day without taking a car ride somewhere, she will withhold from eating her dog food at home to save room in case she goes to her Maw Maw and Paw Paw’s and there are goodies (you know, bacon, eggs, pancakes, and other typical doggie brunch food) waiting for her. At the dog park, Pres prefers to walk laps around the track with her humans more than playing and socializing with other dogs.

Presley aka Lil Dog

When getting a dog, I had to take Presley into consideration. Pres doesn’t love other dogs, but she isn’t aggressive towards them. She just takes a bit to warm up to them. This brings me to the decision to get a puppy. There were three main reasons:

  1. According to Aimee, Pres would be more inclined to bond with a puppy than another dog. Pres may take to a puppy as a mother given its young age. - I laughed out loud at this one, there is not a motherly bone in Presley’s body.
  2.  A puppy is smaller than Pres. If the puppy gets out of line, Pres can quickly establish herself as pack leader and assert what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior to the puppy. – Ok fair enough, can’t argue with the size issue.
  3. A full-grown rescue could have lingering issues we do not know about that result in Presley doing something that sets off new dog and causes new dog to eat Lil Dog. – Once again, hard to argue with.

As I mentioned before, I had heard horror stories about Biz as a puppy, but if I wanted a dog, it had to be a puppy. I was reassured by others who had gotten their dogs as puppies. They told me that you bond so much better with a dog when you help shape who he is.

Well, let me tell you something, living with a puppy and living with a dog are NOT the same thing. That’s why I’m writing this blog, to share the adventures of raising a Tiny Dog.