Archive for February, 2010

Puppy’s first night

February 28, 2010

Puppy slept through the first night in a crate next to my bed. A few sessions of whining/crying but nothing at all like Amelia’s 8-hour screamfest on her first night with me. Amelia was on the bed and hovered over the pup’s crate a few times. Joey spent the night in a dog bed across the room. He’s still sulking.

Woke up, put Amelia in her crate and puppy in the ex-pen in the kitchen. He pottied in the litter (thank you Toni, thank you thank you) and is now wandering around, finding toys, harassing the older dogs and generally exploring. Now he’s sitting on my lap and being all brindle and cute!

He’s more interested in the other dogs than he is in me. He’s played with me a few times, but mostly he hangs artound Amelia’s crate. Her growls don’t seem to disturb him at all, he makes very appropriate signals at her, and I think it’s going to work out. I just don’t want her to flatten him and scare him. So far so good. He seems to be a very confident puppy.

I did notice he was much more tentative on the carpet than on the linoleum, guess it’s a new experience for him. But he adapted very quickly. That’s the problem with an apartment, there’s carpeting everywhere. And he’s much more likely to cry and yell in the ex-pen than in the crate. Oh well, I’ve got a week to get him used to it before I have to go back to work and leave him in it all day.

This afternoon he’ll come to freestyle with us and get to meet some new people and dogs. Photos tonight!



February 28, 2010

I picked up the new puppy today. Turned out to be a different puppy from the one we’d picked for me a couple of weeks ago, but it’s still a brindle male and it’s all good. He’s got an adorable blaze and a nice personality. Very laid back and accepting of new/strange stuff. He cried a little in the car coming home, then settled down. We did have an accident in the crate, but hey, he’s a puppy! Amelia and Joey rode along with me. They are not impressed. Puppy’s first lesson: don’t try to nurse off the male dog. He doesn’t like it. But it was very funny!

In the ex-pen, which basically fills my small kitchen

For a while, it’s going to be pretty tight around here. The only non-carpeted part of my apartment is the kitchen, so that’s where the pup’s going to have to be. He was reasonably quiet, a little crying but not too bad. Then I fed everyone, and let the puppy wander around the apartment while Amelia was crated. That’s when we discovered that male dogs do not nurse puppies. Joey is still insulted.


Now he’s snoozing in a crate next to the couch. Amelia is sitting on the couch doing her vulture imitation. Joey is still sulking.

His registered name is Wakan Patriot Dream. Call name, Professor. He’s named after Professor Radcliff Emerson, from the Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody books. I’ve already had a Peabody, an Amelia, and an Emerson. The Professor also ties in to the Harry Potter books, which I’m quite fond of.

Does anything on earth sleep as hard as a puppy?????

A Joey breakthrough

February 26, 2010

I introduced Joey to the balance disk a few days ago, and tried it with him again tonight. Last time, all I got from him was a very delicate paw touch to it. But, tonight, he put both front feet on it and stood there! Many c/t, lots of cheese and a few bits of sausage. Joey thinks this is easy! and fun.

I don’t think he’d like the egg very much, I think it would frighten him. Amelia is very confident about bailing off if she loses her balance; this is from her agility training. She was taught early how to bail off a teeter if necessary, so she knows what she’s doing. Every time she’s bailed off the egg, she’s jumped right back on. We’re working now on turning on the egg. That’s hard!

And Saturday, the puppy comes! talk about hard!

Hooray for the egg!

February 22, 2010

Yesterday Amelia and I went to our Sunday freestyle gathering. For various reasons (snow, competitions in the building, etc.) we haven’t met for the last three weeks. Everyone commented on how good Amelia is looking–svelte and muscular. The only thing that’s changed is her balance egg. We do 3-5 minutes a day, 5 or 6 days a week. She’s still getting the same amount of food, the same (or actually, more limited because of the snow) exercise, the same amount of training and treats. So life with the egg is a good thing, I guess! Now I should get one for myself….

Joey at the vet

February 16, 2010

Just his usual six-month check up with his ophthalmologist. Joey has very bad eyes. He had uveitis, which left him totally blind. He also has cataracts. He doesn’t have glaucoma, which is good, as that is a painful disease which would probably have caused him to lose one or both eyes. Because of his problems, his eyes are atrophying, and a couple of months ago he started having a lot of discharge around his left eye. The skin next to the eye was turning inward, so the hair was touching the eyeball, which was causing irritation. Dr. Caruso put him on some thick eyedrops, three times a day, and that really turned things around. He’s been doing great, but he does need to be checked up on.

At least, that’s my opionion, and Dr. Caruso’s, too. Joey thinks this is totally unneccessary harassment of a perfectly nice dog. Joey wears a muzzle at the vet’s (any vet’s, for any treatment) because Joey doesn’t like surprises, he doesn’t like strangers, and he certainly doesn’t like strangers touching him. Fortunately, he had muzzle tolerance pre-installed, from his straight-racing days. Straight-racers wear basket muzzles, and it’s worth it to them because the muzzle means they GET TO RUN! and that’s a good thing. So it transfers over to the veterinary muzzles pretty well. I think all dogs should be desensitized to a muzzle. You never know; even the nicest dog will snap if it’s in pain. And after something has happened it’s a little late to start a desensitization program.

Joey’s very funny on the table. He started out protesting a lot, but he’s gotten used enough to the procedures that he just keeps up a funny little rumble-y growl. Just enough to let us all know he’s not happy. I spray cheese from a can down him almost the whole time we’re at the vet; he likes him some cheese, and it makes up for having to put up with other dogs and strange people. Dr. Caruso even gave him some cheese after his exam, through the muzzle. Another advantage of squeeze cheese!

He’s doing so well she’s cut his meds way back; he gets pred. eyedrops twice a week, and the GenTeal drops twice a day. A far cry from his first visit, when he came home with three different eye drops that he had to have a total of eight times a day! Thank the lord for canned cheese! He’ll put up with an awful lot for a big splurge of cheese.

Amelia and the egg, again

February 11, 2010

I am so bored by being trapped inside with the snow that I’m actually learning some of the features of my camera, like time delay, and unpacked the tripod. So I got a couple of better photos of Amelia and her famous egg:

Luring Amelia onto her egg

She's all about the cookies

More snow photos

February 11, 2010

The view outside

┬áThis is the view from the front door of my apartment building. That humungous pile of snow around the tree straight ahead is not covering a car, it’s what they piled up from the last snowstorm. The good news is, it’s pretty much screening my car, so I didn’t have to do much shoveling at all.


This tree is right outside my kitchen window. The squirrels like to tease Amelia, but today this guy doesn’t look like he wants to do anything but get indoors somewhere. And Amelia was sure not in the mood to go out after him!

This bizarre icicle has formed on a (thin) branch of the tree outside my kitchen. I’ve never seen an icicle like this before.


He’s had his walk and his breakfast, and this is all I saw of him for the rest of the day. Equatorial Africa was never like this!


Just an (unfurled) curly little tail, that’s all that’s peeking out from under the comforter.

Joey’s learning a new skill

February 10, 2010

I’m trying to teach Joey to back up. Joey is very, very sweet, but not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I’m touching his chest (ok, I’m pushing on his chest) to get him to back up. Clicking every time a hind leg moves. Joey is clueless, but is liking the cheese and sausage treats. So I lured him a couple of times, and he backed up much more willingly (no opposition reflex) but I don’t think he really knows why I’m clicking and treating. I don’t want to get stuck on luring, he is very adept at following a treat with his nose but I don’t think any brain cells are involved at all.

Amelia and the egg

February 10, 2010

I tried something new tonight. I moved the egg away from the box, so Amelia had to climb up on it, and it moved a bit more, even though I was holding it semi-still. She really had to work at balancing, but didn’t seem at all disturbed. She bailed a couple of times, which was fine; I certainly don’t want her to feel trapped.

She seemed to be working much harder, so hopefully this will make up for the lack of long walks. It’s snowing again here. Yuck.


February 9, 2010

Amelia doesn’t have a donut; she has an egg. I was thinking of ordering the donut, but thought the egg might be more versatile. I don’t know why I keep calling it a donut.