A blog about my life with dogs.......

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Street dogs film and the foot bath battle

A film to watch for....Street Dogs of South Central.

     Captain has made some strides in raw eating this week. He chewed on a lamb bone in the yard, and he ate salmon which was served in a 5 inch long chunk! The salmon he first knocked around, and then ate some but didn't finish it all. After 20 minutes in his crate with the salmon I took it away and fed it to Comet. The next meal was also salmon and this time he gobbled it up! The lamb bone he jumped at the chance to get into his mouth, but then wasn't sure what to do with it. He held it for a minute, then dropped it. Then walked around to see what the other dogs were doing with their bones. Below is a picture of him watching Bugsy chew on his bone. Can you just see the thought bubble above his head....
"So that is how this is done. I see."
Captain looks over at Bugsy chewing on his bone. I have a theory that he is learning by Bugsy and Comets example.
Captain gives the bone a try as Bugsy chews away on his lamb 'trotter'
'Tilda update!
I hear Ms. Matilda was recently spayed and is currently wearing the "cone of shame".
Geez! She sure is cute, isn't' she?
     Captain and I took a walk around the block just the two of us, and half way around he laid down. I coaxed and coaxed but he was done. So I carried (yes, yes I carried my dog. This is a new Jeni/dog relationship!) Captain the half block home. Naturally some neighbors slowed there truck while passing by to yell "Now, that does NOT count as walking the dog!". All in good fun. We both had a laugh and I certainly hope neither of their two dogs ever decide to quit while walking with them as these particular neighbors have a very large German Shepard Dog and a Great Dane.

     Peke N Chin told me that Captain had a reputation for being a bit of a wonderer. So until this week I hadn't attempted to do things off leash outdoors whatsoever . However, this week, after much time with him on leash and him never showing particular interest in leaving my side, I have begun to do off leash work with him. First I (with treats in hand) let him walk with me from the front door to the cars  few times. Success! Then I walked out to the back yard (which is not entirely fenced) with Captain. He learned quickly that staying right next to me and looking up at me got him bits of roasted chicken. He never so much as peed on a bush he was so focused on me! We have done this 4 times now, once with me pulling some weeds between treats, and twice with Comet along with us on leash. Each time his focus stayed with me. I'm one proud pekingese person. They, pekingese, are notoriously difficult to train, says the literature.

     "What made you go from big dogs to little dogs?" One neighbor asked me. Oh, I've got all sorts of reasons, such as: this particular dog was just the perfect fit for me(and Bugsy, Comet, Quimby and Purr-C too). Captain eats a whole lot less than Comet, so I could argue for cost effectiveness. I have two high drive, high energy dogs who, being herding dogs, like to bark....and although I was very tempted to adopt an Aussie, Sheltie, Border Collie, English Shepard ( I could go on) it did not seem wise to push the pack further into a reactive bark at anything that moves, high drive, high energy, flurry of flying fur. Now if I lived on a farm and had sheep to herd this would be a different story, but I live in a sort of rural, country-suburb hybrid. I do not have sheep but I do have neighbors.

     I also considered hunting breeds, maybe a bird dog. Oh English Setters, you are so handsome a breed of dog!. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has also long been on my list of dogs I simply must have in my lifetime. But as much as I yearn for my Aussie to herd, I would yearn for my Setter or Griffon to hunt and until I learn to shoot a gun and hunt something, maybe those dog breeds would be putting the cart before the horse? Future hunter or not, these breeds have plenty of energy and I'm not sure I'm ready to add that much size AND  'spirit' to the pack at this time.

   You have read the many goings on of this dreaming blogger and all the breeds I fancy. When I was on my search for the right dog for me I kept an open mind big dog, medium dog, small dog it didn't really matter. What I missed when Harry passed was that clam center asleep on the couch. A dog who might bark and become aroused at this or that, but not at everything. A dog who might be lazy enough to enjoy being by my side outside even if I was not moving. Captain has all the qualities I searched for. Captain is no Harry, but I did not look to replace him! No dog ever could! Still Captain has filled an open spot on the couch and a lazy piece of my heart. I love him more every dog gone day. <3

     Comet has dealt with me putting drops in his ears, and on his paw twice daily for a week now. Poor guy, when he sees the medicine dropper he walks quickly away and plops in a pile on the floor. The first vinegar/water foot bath went terribly. I should have known to positively reinforce him through-out the steps instead of putting the pot of water and vinegar on the floor and then bringing him to it. He pulled away and fought me. Me stubbornly trying to get him to hold still and Comet probably thinking something like "what the $*#%!".  Poor guy, what the heck was I thinking? Man handling him into a foot bath like I don't know how to handle dogs? Day 2 I brought out the roasted chicken, placed the footbath on a towel and put the other animals out of the area. It took a minute or two for him to come near the "evil pot of doom foot bath", but once he realized it was me, his loving, chicken treating person and not the evil footbath forcer he came over and reluctantly let me handle his foot, chicken, place his foot in the footbath, chicken, chicken chicken, then I petted him and waited a few seconds, chicken, petting, waiting, chicken, "goodboy" petting,waiting, chicken, and on and on for a few minutes as his foot soaked. The rest of the weeks baths went easily and with some but less chicken. The last bath putting Bugsy and Captain outside backfired because the neighbors were playing a rousing game of fetch and Bugsy could not contain himself. I brought the two of them in and Comet stayed in position, chicken, Bugsy "down" chicken, Captain "cabin" (cabin is code for crate) chicken, and so it went the entire footbath. Oh what fun! I'm glad it's done. :)

Oh! I keep forgetting! Captains previous people, his loving foster home, have a face book page for him and  are still keeping it up(at least so far.)Check it out and Feel free to friend him! Lisa, Captains foster mom, clearing has skillz with the pics! To avoid confusion I will share the knowledge that before he was with me Captain went by the name Ben. I still find myself calling him Captain Ben now and then, but honestly more often than not, I call him "Cappy"

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