Sunday, November 13th, 2011

I Got You, Babe

Today marks three years since I brought Cupid home from the humane society. I’ve already posted the story about how I got him. What I didn’t tell you was the week of panic I experienced about bringing him home. I was not prepared for a dog. I had none of the things dog owners need: collar, leash, food and water bowls (plus the food itself!), toys, and so on. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, something most dog trainers/owners recommend against. I don’t recommend it either. A friend did come with me to buy what I needed, so I went home with the basics.

Voila! First-time dog owner. It was still one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

More than once, I that friend and asked her to talk me down the ledge. Am I going to damage him if he sleeps in the downstairs bathroom away from me? How long will he whine when he’s down there? The questions were endless, and she patiently answered every one of them. I am beyond grateful.

Above all, I was aware that there was this living creature who depended on me for food, shelter, exercise, and love. About day four or so after bringing Cupid home, I started feeling less fearful about the whole thing. The biggest thing I had going for me was that although I knew I didn’t know much about dogs, I wanted to learn. I read books, visited dog forums, and enrolled in a dog training class.

Cupid and I have done a lot of things together since then. He no longer sleeps in the downstairs bathroom. I still visit dog forums and read up on things. I am happy to have this boy in my life.

Do you somehow celebrate the day you brought your dog home? Please share in the comments.

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The Tail Tells a Tale

One thing I’ve discovered with my shy dog, Cupid, is that I can learn a lot about how he’s feeling by looking at his tail. His typical, contented tail position is this.

When his tail looks like this, he is comfortable and confident.

Then there’s this . . .

When his tail is tucked like this, he’s saying, “I’m not comfortable where I am.” I have seen his tail in this position when we go to unfamiliar places. Sometimes he warms up enough to raise his tail. Other times he doesn’t. It makes me especially sad when his tail is tucked and he is crouching close to the ground. In that case, I try to get him out of there as soon as I can.

It’s true. The tail tells a tale.

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A Bit Batty

Going on the theory that it’s better late than never, I am pleased to finally share this year’s Halloween photo of me and the boys.

For 2011, we were a vampire and two bats. Love these boys.

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Stuffing and Destuffing

Do your dogs like soft toys? If so, this . . .

. . . might look familiar. It’s the stuffing from one of the boys’ favorite toys: the bee.

It’s been destuffed and it’s missing a wing, but I don’t have the heart to throw it out. Cupid loves playing fetch with it and will often go pick it up, bring it to me, and drop it in my lap. Or sometimes he’ll just sit with it like this (although another favorite, the duck, is shown in this photo).

Clayton, on the other hand, loves stealing it away from Cupid, then taunting Cue with the fact that he (Clay) has it now. Really, he’s developed this process to an art form.

So my task during the next little while is to restuff the bee and sew it closed again, allowing the boys the treat of destuffing it again another day.

What soft toys do your dogs enjoy?

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Friday, October 28th, 2011

Poodle Pumpkins

Here are the boys in last year’s Halloween costume.

It’s  not the best picture in the world, but I adored seeing my boys as little pumpkins.

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Thursday, October 27th, 2011

That Time of Year

It’s that time of year again. Don’t get me wrong: I love autumn. It’s my favorite season. But it also means I am pulling out the head lamp to go on walks with the boys. The head lamp is a marvelous invention. Right now I use it on our last walk of the day. As winter comes, I will use it for at least two of our four daily walks.

Do you walk your dogs when it’s dark? If so, do you use a head lamp?

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Friday, October 21st, 2011

Hellhound

Since Halloween is coming, I thought it best to do a retrospective of the boys’ Halloween costumes. In 2009, I dressed up the boys as little devils and said they were my hellhounds.

Cupid doesn’t look too happy about wearing the costume, but he was stinking cute. :)

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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Not a Morning Person

To say that I am not a morning person is an understatement. Left to my own devices, I would sleep in until 10:00 AM. Of course, I am not generally able to do this as I do have a day job. But sleeping in has taken a whole new definition since becoming a first-time dog owner.

Dogs have their own clocks and they run on them. My dogs get up at 7:00 AM no matter how late they get to bed. Of course, they also sleep a good portion of the day as well . . .


Time for an afternoon nap.


Just settling in.

However much sleep the boys get, they get up at 7:00, so I get up at 7:00. That’s when we go for our first walk of the day. These days sleeping in means I don’t get up until 7:30 or 8:00.

It’s not ideal. I would prefer to get more sleep in the mornings (especially on weekends), but small dogs have small bladders, so we start the day early. Turns out I’m a night person who is on a morning schedule by necessity. As long as it’s for the dogs, I don’t mind too much.

What time do your dogs get up in the morning?

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Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

An important thing to remember as you train your dog is that they need to be trained to follow cues everywhere you go. It’s one thing for a dog to learn to sit in your living room, but he needs to learn it in other rooms of the house, with distractions, outside, and so on.

Start simple, in a place where your dog spends a lot of time. Once he’s good at the cue (such as sit), try it in a different room. Or in the same room but with distractions. Continue on from there.

 

Anywhere you go, practice, practice, practice.

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Monday, October 17th, 2011

A Dog by Any Other Name

It’s funny. We teach dogs to respond to their names, and then we give them loads of different names. I may be a first-time dog owner, but I did this instinctively. :) My boys have a ridiculous number of nicknames. Cupid also goes by:

  • Cue
  • Cue-man
  • Curly Cue
  • My Lhasa boy
  • Lhasapoo
  • Coopid (this one is reserved for my niece)


The Cue-man

Then there’s Clayton, who is also:

  • Clay
  • Little poodle
  • My poodle
  • My boy
  • Fluff ball
  • Fluff boy
  • Pood (this one is reserved for my niece)

?
Fluff Boy when he was especially fluffy

And these are just the first names that spring to mind. If I spent a lot of time thinking about it, I’m sure I’d come up with more names.

Do your dogs have nicknames? What are they?

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