Monday, July 30, 2012

My Dog Trained with Mr. Miyagi

Lil Dog recently decided that she no longer likes her pricey dog food and instead wants to eat Tiny's puppy food. Can't say I blame her considering she is on weight control food, but it's also completely counter productive to her weight loss regiment for her to be eating puppy food. 

Lil Dog was not food aggressive when Tiny first appeared on the scene. The only trouble spot was the Kong. It was filled with delicious treats so if Tiny walked away, Lil Dog seized the opportunity to take it over. When Tiny would return to the Kong, she was greeted with a snarl and nip. This was easily fixed, Tiny gets the Kong when she is in the kennel or Lil Dog is not around. 

Unfortunately, the food aggression has now spilled over to Lil Dog scarfing down Tiny's food so fast she chokes while body blocking/snarling/nipping at Tiny when she tries to eat her own food. Tiny has decided to take matters into her own hands paws to address both this and Lil Dog's Kong behavior. 

Tiny has learned that she does not enjoy being snarled at and nipped at, so her latest approach is to walk past Lil Dog, lift her back leg (similar to when a boy dog lifts his leg to pee), and slowly karate kick Lil Dog in the face to move her out of the food bowl. It's brilliant. If she is going to get bit, it's on the leg not in the face, and it more or less accomplishes her goal. Plus it's insanely funny to witness. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Dog is a Beast

I’ve switched to dollar store toys, because my dog is a beast.
Tiny and Lil Dog were hanging out with me while I worked. Tiny was being unusually good. I turned around to check on here and discovered why she was being unusually good.

It used to look like this:

More evidence my dog is a beast:
Her water dish outside is a very large Pyrex mixing bowl. It’s the only dish in the house that is too heavy for her to pick-up and walk around with.
The 2 Dura Chew bones had to be tossed because she is now eating some of the nubs off of the bones (these nubs are not supposed to come off and they are not edible).
She chewed through her harness – she is now rocking a dollar store harness since this has become a habit. The new harness is blue and reflective (I tend to lose her in the yard at night). The blue harness and pink collar throw people off. I just tell them she is gender-creative.
Her leather leash, which I bought for its durability since my parents have had the same leather leash since the 70’s, now looks like this:

Fortunately, these are the things she chews on, not the furniture, baseboards, or sheetrock. Oh, but she did eat the old cable line that used to run to the house. I guess it’s a good thing we switched service providers.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Boredom means trouble

This rain has GOT TO GO! The less outside playtime Tiny Dog gets, the more personalities she develops. My goal is to get my multi-personality dog down to two personalities. One for tired and sweet and one for awake and happy. The other personalities she is currently working are: batdog, chupacabra, and s*&#head. The more exercise she gets the better behaved she is, this is not breaking news. Every dog owner knows this.
But it’s July and it’s the South, which means rain and lots of it. The problem with July rain is that it’s not just rain. It’s a torrential downpour served with a heaping side of thunder. Tiny doesn’t mind the rain, she’ll run around the yard completely oblivious to it. That is until the thunder starts. And as you saw in the Thunder Buddies post, Tiny will have no part of that.
So this leaves me with a 4 month old puppy with a lot of energy in a 900 sq. ft house. I was hoping to take Tiny to the dog park this weekend for her first visit, but as I sit here typing this, while listening to the rumble of thunder outside, it’s not looking so promising. The forecast calls for rain, rain, and more rain. And Facebook is telling me that downtown is flooded already, lovely. WOMP WOMP WOMP.
So activities for the day have consisted of this:
  • Chased Tiny off the couch twice
  • Fussed at her for bat dogging 15 times
  • Removed my flip flop from her mouth 3 times
  • Stopped her from eating the carpet once
  • Told her to stop barking at the guitar because it was not her enemy

The day is only half over and my little batdog has a lot of energy left. If anyone has any tips for indoor entertainment for puppies, I am all ears.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life as a service dog is out of the question

Aimee managed to break her foot while sitting down. True story, she really is that talented. This means that she either hobbles around the house on crutches or rolls around in the wheelchair. This has made me realize that Tiny Dog will never be a service dog.
Why, you ask? Because:
1.    She has managed to get rolled over by the wheelchair.
2.    She stole a picture frame off the shelf and Aimee had to chase her around on crutches to get it back. Tiny Dog loved this new game.
3.    Aimee left her dinner on the coffee table and when she returned from getting a drink, Tiny had eaten half of it.
4.    Tiny is afraid of crutches which works well when you need Tiny Dog to stop bat dogging Lil Dog. Just shake the crutch at her and she runs away.
5.    Tiny Dog likes to jump on Aimee’s broken foot and try and eat her boot.
The only sign that there may be hope is that Aimee dropped something on the ground and Tiny was standing next to her when she did it. Aimee told Tiny to pick it up and give it to her and she did! Granted, she probably picked it up to chew on it, but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Dog-Friendly Work Environment

I’m on the hunt for a job. I currently work remotely for a company located far, far away which means I get to spend lots of time with the dogs. Lots of time. I am looking for something local that requires me to put on real clothes and leave the house every morning.
Part of the reason I got Tiny Dog is that I AM working from home, so I can let her out during the day, meaning she doesn’t have to be crated all day and hold her 4 month old bladder for 9 hours. So as I am hunting for a job, Aimee has asked me more than once, “So when you get a real job, what are you going to do with Tiny?” Excellent question.
One of the companies I applied to is a “dog friendly” environment. Initially, I was really excited. I could potentially bring Tiny Dog to work with me! Then I thought about what a day in the office with Tiny Dog would look like. I think it would go something like this:
8:00 am – Tiny greets everyone in the office.
8:15 am  - Tiny gets committed to puppy jail in my cube.
8:16 am – Tiny tries to eat my computer wires.
8:17 am – Tiny tries to eat my chair.
8:18 am – Tiny tries to eat my purse.
8:19 am – Tiny gives up and lays down.
8:22 am – I realize that Tiny is not quiet because she is being good but instead because she is eating my shoes that I kicked-off while I work.
8:23 am – I put my shoes on top of my desk.
8:30 am – I have a meeting, so I leave Tiny in puppy jail in my cube .
9 am – I return from my meeting to discover Tiny has busted out of puppy jail, broken into someone else’s cube, eaten an entire pile of files, and peed on the floor.
9:03 am – I find TD passed out for her morning nap under someone else’s desk.
11 am – Tiny wakes up from her nap and realizes there are other dogs in the office. She bat dogs all of them.
11:05 am – I have to leave work early because Tiny has been banned from the office on her first day.
Dog-friendly or not, I don’t think Tiny would succeed in an office setting. At least not yet. Maybe when there is a little less chupacabra in her, but right now, it’s just a recipe for trouble. So what AM I going to do with Tiny when I get a real job? I guess she’ll hang out outside. There is no place she loves more than the backyard. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Job for Tiny Dog

I was thinking about how Tiny Dog needs a job, which led to this conversation with my friend Winnie:

Me: I wish I could teach Tiny to cook

Winnie:  You would get disgusting food every day like shoes and torn up garden plants

Me:  Flip flops 

Winnie:  Maybe a part of Presley

Me:  Ripped up toys, a tuft of hair. Yeah, I guess it's not the best idea

 Winnie:  Maybe not the best, but definitely the most entertaining.

I guess I could just let both of the dogs do the dishes. Surely they can handle the pre-washing. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Dog is Afraid of Her Own Shadow

Tiny is a weenie. I’m not referring to the thunder buddies post and how she likes to curl up in a ball and sleep to escape the thunder. I am talking about her inability to function like a normal dog when there are loud noises or large moving objects.
Ex 1:
The doorbell rings. Lil Dog races to the door and barks her head off. Tiny Dog jumps up, hops in a circle for a moment trying to figure out what is going on and determine the source of the noise, realizes she doesn’t know where the noise is coming from, runs to the side of the couch opposite the door and Lil Dog, puts her front two paws on the couch and cautiously peeks over the couch.
Ex 2:
We’re walking down the street and Tiny sees a car coming. She bolts to the grass and lies down.
Ex 3:
We’re on a walk and Tiny didn’t see the car coming (not sure how a car sneaks up on you, but whatever) and gets startled. She tries to wiggle out of her harness but can’t. So she sits down and nervously looks over her shoulder.
Ex 4:
Lil Dog and Tiny Dog are hanging out in the backyard. The cable man arrives for the next door neighbors. Lil Dog barks her head off. Tiny repeats her doorbell act but this time hides by the back door and peaks around the corner to see what the fuss is about.
Ex 5:
Tiny Dog is batdogging Lil Dog. How to you stop her? You get her attention by making a loud noise of your choice. She gets confused, runs away, and then runs back to you for protection.
Ex 6:
You are watching a moving with surround sound. A car chase scene comes on and Tiny Dog bolts from where she was sleeping and runs a lap around the house in sheer panic. She makes her way back to you, hops in your lap, and buries her head out of fear.
Tiny dog is not going to be a small dog and is already bigger than Lil Dog. She’ll be tall and lanky and about as coordinated as that tall kid in gym who hadn’t quite figured out how to make all of his long appendages work in sync. However, I doubt that she will ever stop hiding behind Lil Dog. At the first sign of “danger,” she darts to the nearest human or Lil Dog. If someone tried to break into the backyard, Lil Dog would go nuts while Tiny Dog raced to the intruder to seek cover from whatever threat caused Lil Dog to bark. Yeah, she’ll never be a guard dog. I guess her career as a member of the K9 SEAL team is over before it starts. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Dog is Not a Genius

Apparently, a handful of the breeds that make-up Tiny Dog need a job to keep them busy and stimulate them so that they stay out of trouble. In an effort to give Tiny a little more mental stimulation and wear her out, I got her a kong genius. Well, Tiny is not a genius.

My line of reasoning for the purchase was that the regular kong didn’t entertain her for more than a few minutes and it didn’t make her “work” for treats. She just licked the goo out of it and when her tongue could no longer reach, she gave up. So the genius kong seemed like a genius idea. There are slits in the side that you stuff treats into and the dog has to work to get the treats out. It really makes them think or it just frustrates them and makes them mad. Either way, I figured it would keep her busy.
I put a few treats on the inside at 8:21 pm. At 8:24 pm, she was over it. Really? She got fed up and walked away. So I tried to pull some of the treats partially out so that she could work on them and actually receive a reward. I began to understand why Tiny gave-up in frustration and abandoned the tasty treats. Holy crap, it’s hard to get the treats out. I tried to shake them out of the top, tried to squeeze my little fingers into the slits and retrieve them, but no dice. 
I gave up and put some kibble in it that was small enough to come out of the top if she figured out how to turn it upside down. This seemed to work for a while.
So as it turns out Tiny Dog is not a genius, but apparently neither am I by the Kong standards, so I can’t judge. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Chupacabra

It’s been a rough week. Tiny Dog is clearly not burning off enough energy, which means she turns into a holy terror. The most commonly heard phrase around the house this week has been, “Keep it up Tiny and you’ll be a Sarah MaClachlan dog again.” Obviously it’s an empty threat, which is probably part of the problem. She’s on to me.

Do you remember the cartoons that would have a character pondering what to do and a little angel would appear over one shoulder and a devil over the other? With Tiny, the devil seems to win, a lot. As in, the devil probably sold tickets to the fight and showed that angel no mercy.

I swear this dog has multiple personalities. One minute she is sweet and lovey and snuggling with you. The next she launches herself onto to Lil Dog and hangs from her jowls. Or one minute you are petting her and the next she is biting the crap out of you. You can see it in her eyes the moment the ref calls the match and declares the devil the winner. This is when she becomes the chupacabra.

I’m relieved that Tiny Dog will have her last round of shots on Monday. Our first stop after the vet will be the dog park. Hopefully she will burn off some energy and put the chupacabra to rest.

Anyone else have a dog that seems torn between good and evil?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thunder Buddies for Life

Have you seen the movie Ted? No? Go see it. For those who are not cool enough to be in the know, let me introduce you to Ted and John. They’re thunder buddies for life:
WARNING: Don’t watch this in the office unless you have headphones, there are explicit lyrics.

99 out of 100 times Lil dog avoids Tiny Dog like the plague. For some reason, she does not enjoy being Tiny’s chew toy. Go figure. But 1 out of 100 times, she lets her thunder buddy for life curl up with her. You see, Lil Dog has PTTS (Post Traumatic Tree Syndrome). Last year, there was a horrible storm and possibly small tornado that knocked a huge tree onto the house. I’m told it sounded like an explosion, part of the ceiling came down, and there was water pouring in. Aimee and Lil Dog tried to escape but the back yard was flooded, the front was blocked by the tree, and wind was blowing so hard they could hardly move. They sought refuge in the utility room and dialed 911. Needless to say, Lil Dog has some unresolved issues with big thunder storms; she panics and tries to herd everyone out of the house.

Tiny on the other hand, has no excuse. She is just a weenie. Unfortunately, the two pups do not have an awesome thunder buddies for life song. Instead, they just lay there and look cute. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Danananananana Dananananananana Bat Dog!

Sometimes even a dog needs a timeout. When little kids get tired, they can get cranky, fussy, and a little wild. Apparently the same holds true for puppies. When the clock strikes 9pm, Tiny Dog goes into what we like to refer to as Bat Dog mode. Bat Dog mode goes something like this:
  • Tiny Dog gets a wild look in her eye
  • Tiny Dog crouches down
  • Tiny Dog launches herself at Lil Dog, all four legs out, sugar glider style, ears flapping in the breeze and mouth open
  • Tiny Dog lands on Lil Dog, who is always surprised even when she sees it coming

This process repeats itself until Lil Dog is so riled up that the two of them are causing more commotion than free beer on a college campus.

The bigger Tiny Dog gets, the more trouble this is. In fact, she just jumped off the bench and bat-dogged Lil Dog. She smacked her face on the ground in the process but didn’t seem too phased. Probably because she runs into stuff all of the time. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Drum Roll Please......

The results from Tiny Dog’s DNA test are back. It’s confirmed, she’s a total mutt. Seriously, what dog has both miniature poodle and bull mastiff in it? Tiny Dog, that’s who.
The results arrived vie a fancy shmancy PDF with a family tree. At the great grandparent level she is Bull mastiff, Whippet, and Keeshun. This means she is 12.5% of each of these.
There were a few other matches, but there were not as strong of a match contributing to her make-up. They are:
You can definitely see the whippet and two terriers in her and her personality. I don’t see any mastiff or poodle, but that is not going to stop me from telling people she is a mini mastidoodle when they ask me what she is. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life Lessons

I have learned a lot since getting Tiny Dog. Having a puppy is full of invaluable life lessons. I thought I would share a few:

  • When you get a second dog, the amount of hair in the house does not double, it quadruples. I am not sure how this happens, but I can only assume it is either science or magic.
  • Old dogs can be taught new tricks. Lil Dog has learned the command to lie down, granted this is probably only because she sees that Tiny Dog gets treats when she does it.
  • Wildlife netting is not sufficient to keep out puppies.
  • The phrase “What are you eating/chewing on?” is my new go-to.
  • I now find silence unsettling if both dogs are not within my line-of-sight.
  • A puppy can grow from the time you leave for the grocery to the time you get back. Once again, this is either science or magic.
  • Puppies are very durable, like Tupperware. If they land on their face, chances are they will shake it off.
  • When you get a puppy, you no longer leave your shoes on the floor. You put them on top of furniture instead.
  • When you get a puppy, you no longer leave the remote control on the coffee table where the puppy can reach it.
  • When you get a puppy, “sleeping in” means the puppy slept past her usual wake-up time of 6am.
  • Getting a puppy can cause you to question your ability to ever raise a child and have it survive the first few years of its life.
  • It is likely that your puppy will be super sweet and adorable when she meets new people but be a holy terror when you are alone with her. I am convinced this is a secret puppy pact that they all make…be really cute in public so everyone finds a home, then you can do whatever the hell you want! MUAHAHAHA!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Who me?

ter·ror noun \ˈter-ər, ˈte-rər\ : The feeling you get the moment you realize your puppy has been quiet for several minutes and you have no idea where she is.
I am stricken with total panic at least once a day. Not because I am worried that she is ok, I know she is fine. The question is, is the house ok, is my stuff ok? What did she pee on? What is she chewing on? What did she tear open and pull the stuffing out of this time?
Fortunately, 9 time out of 10 times I find her here:

Tiny Dog in her favorite nap spot that is quickly becoming harder to access
Asleep under the couch. Oh, Tiny Dog, enjoy it while you can. You’re not going to fit under there much longer.
And that other 10% of the time? See for yourself:
Sad, sad bell pepper
This bell pepper and bell pepper plant were previously residents of the veggie garden until Tiny Dog discovered them and thought they should be relocated. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Coaster or no coaster, you shouldn't leave your drink on the table.

Do not leave your drink unattended. Do not leave anything unattended for that matter.

Tiny Dog is very curious. When I eat dinner at the table, she jumps up and places her front two paws in my lap, not because she wants my food, but because she wants to see what is going on. She routinely patrols the house and hops up with just her front to paws onto chairs, the table, the sofa, and even the toilette to check to see if she is missing anything that is above her line of site.

This was cute and funny, until she developed a love for drinks, cups, and bottles. More than once I have caught her in my iced coffee or heard Aimee yelling, “No, Tiny, No! That’s MY coke!” The dog loves a good Coca Cola Classic just as much at the next person, but she also loves anything cold – condensation on your cup and ice. When I catch her with her head in a cup of water or an iced coffee, it isn’t the drink she is after, but the ice in it. If I put ice in her water bowl she scubas for every last piece. She emerges, beard dripping wet, and enlists the closest person to be her towel.

She also L-O-V-E-S bottles and this is entirely my fault. I had an empty one liter that I remove the label, cap, and plastic ring from. I thought she might like to chase it around the yard. The bottle was just barely too big for her to get her mouth to get around it so it would slip out and shoot across the yard. Finally, a toy that played back! I thought I was so clever, until she started trying to steal water bottles from me.

Lesson learned. If you are going to introduce everyday items as a toy to your puppy, be prepared for her to think that whenever she sees one, it belongs to her and not you.