Category Archives: Dogs

Every dog is a new challange

Every dog is different. Siblings from a litter will still have their own quirks. My first true dogs (not counting my Yorkshire Terrier that hated me), Rakunna and Ceasar were Great Pyrenees and siblings. They were very similar in temperament. Sweet, intelligent, and calm. Ceasar was a thief. He’d steal food from counter tops. We had to hid things on top of the refrigerator. After one failed attempt, Rakunna gave up that lifestyle.

Over the years as I’ve matured, made mistakes, had successes, and science has progressed, as has my dog raising. Yet, life is not static and I have never been able to raise two dogs in identical situations. I’ve moved. My work schedules have changed. My social life has changed. Nyx, for instance, was raised on a mountain with ten acres of land. She had few chances to see daily things like cars and people walking down the sidewalk. Nox on the other hand, moved  five times over a decade and was with me through my twenties and the changing jobs and schedules, cars, and lifestyle. While my training efforts were similar the environments were different.

Intuition has his own set of unique aspects of environment. My mother now lives with me. She retired a few years ago and came to hang out. She never left. Fortunately, we like her and it helps us meet life goals of travelling. It also means that Intuition has never had to tolerate erratic schedules and long days in his crate as all of my other dogs have.

This has created an interesting problem. Intuition does not know how to calm down and sleep or be still unless he is in his crate. Some of this is his personality. The rest is because he has never had to face twelve hour stretches alone. He has had a few here and there when everyone’s schedule desyncs, but I suspect it has been two. My mother even plans her trips around my work schedule to decrease the stress on the pets. This includes that ancient rickety kitties that eat four times a day now.

Inty struggles with the television. We just don’t use our television much anymore. Our computers satisfy our needs. We’ve also moved away from consoles over the years, perfecting the ability to multitask on our desktops.

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That leads to barking at StarTrek. He calms down but the first reaction is growling and barking at the strangers he can both hear and see.

That also connects to our other problem. He doesn’t know how to lay down and do anything. Some of that may come from our couchless lifestyle. We have one couch and it is currently acting as a backup desk for stuff of my husbands. His HTC Vive box is there as is a motorcycle helmet he is trying to get a bluetooth speaker installed on. He also cleaned off his desk last year and never moved the box of stuff he cleaned off. He stares at the couch sometimes and says that it’d be nice to use it. I mention that everything on it belongs to him. To be fair, even if he were to move his stuff off of it, the couch is two individual seats and not a single spread couch. We used to have one and got rid of it due to lack of need.

All of that means Inty has never spent time lounging with us on the couch. He has never spent time physically lounging with us until now and he has absolutely no idea what to do.

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He is a cuddly dog. The thing is that he expects for there to be something else to do after he has cuddled us. Instead, we wanted him to just stay laying down with us. He was very confused and it led to a restless night for all of us and some very bruised legs as we introduced him to the concept of sleeping in the bed.

Normally, I’d have introduced this around six months, once he was potty trained. Inty proved to be a challenge in hat respect. His destructive chewing was relentless at that point. If he had something with fabric in it, he ate it. Even his beds are all deeply scarred.

His chewing has improved but it has taken longer then I expected for him to calm down and for the girls to start tolerating him. I’ve also never had dogs hate a puppy with such an intense passion as Sage and Autumn has expressed with Intuition. I blame that on not having a strong personality like Nyx or Nox around to correct him early. Autumn is a very concerned dog and Sage has reached grumpy old lady status. Intuition is bold, headstrong, and obnoxious in his size and youth. The girls loathe him and often look at me with a sigh, wondering why I hate them so to bring this hyper, licking, thing into their lives.

Still… last night was a good test. While I am far from rested, he did manage to get a few hours of sleep and the bed is whole. I tried to get him to lay with me this morning but he was more interesting in licking the comforter where Autumn had been.

I’ve never had to teach a dog to settle down and snooze in comfort. I do hope it will be one of the easier challenges to overcome.

 

Twelve months of Intuition

I realized it was Inty’s birthday while I was at work. I sighed a bit. There went the whole idea to take pictures on the exact day. I need sunlight to capture him and sunlight was not something I was going to see for a while longer.

But, finally after having slept the amount of a normal person, I woke to a bright and sunny day. Sixty-one degrees (16) felt warm today. My mother gave Inty a bath the previous day so he was glossy.

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He looks majestic. I’m not happy with his shoulders in this picture. However, notice he is looking up. That is because he was barking at the decks on each side of us. The community’s landscaping company is mowing and trimming bushes. He blames all of it on the Rottweiler that used to live next door. He has not accepted that he is no longer there and it has been six months since he saw him.

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He looks up and barks and barks and barks. He is such a mouthy thing.

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He looks quite the monster does not he? But he is not in fact scared nor are his ears back. I just caught him mid bark.

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Quite the change over time. Who knew he’d grow up to be such a bodacious jerk? Right now we are still working on him learning how to slow down. It isn’t going well. But he is young still. Twelve months makes him a young adult but it does not make him grown.

We will get there. Probably with both of us still sane.

Fall Cleaning

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Intuition kept me company as I started in on the fall cleaning. He has learned to jump onto the bed but not off of it. We keep non-slip bath mats by the bottom half of the bed for the dogs to use as landing and launch pads. It is amusing because our cleaners move them to a more normal position by where your feet would go. We always move them back because they are for the dogs. Our bed is high and the floors are hard and smooth. After a few to many slips and falls we installed the mats for safety.

I decided today that I wanted to clean my room. I need to arrange my yarn into something a bit more coherent. My room easily becomes a mess. I hate folding and laundry so it all piles up. This is our third bedroom and it functions as a craft room, bedding storage room, and my closet. It is not a large room and quickly becomes overwhelmed if I don’t keep up with it.

Throwing things away has been on my mind. My mother and I are about to start a major house cleaning project for her house. It is full of clutter and stuff she was to depressed to deal with. Now that we need to sell it, everything must go.

Our plans to move in 2 or so years makes me eye things such as my own clutter.  This helped to spur me upstairs with several trash bags and a mission to throw it out, even if it is in good condition. We have few charities around here that take old and worn things. I’m tired of trying to find things a home. Today, it was to the trash.

I had some things that didn’t fit, things I found uncomfortable, and clothing that has been in the closet untouched for five years. I threw it away, I cleaned the build up of clutter, boxes, packing material, and such. Over the course of the morning I hauled five bags of trash out to the curb for the trash to pick up that afternoon.

I was at my desk when the trash came. I watched as they took away my bags and then I noticed one of the guys open a bag. He pulled out a pair of shoes I had thrown away, box and all. They were pretty shoes, but they didn’t fit my wide feet as I wanted. I had tried to force it and gave up wondering why I was hurting my feet. He took these shoes and then opened the other shoe boxes and unloaded them. He also grabbed two dresses and took it all up to the front of the truck. Then they continued on.

To the web I went and a few searches later I discovered that this is normal. Now, I am familiar with people going through stuff at the curb as well as free items being left. I was just not prepared for them to open the trash bags. Knowing it happens and seeing it happen to my (ex)stuff  left me feeling a big strange, but I hope that they can be more productive with them then I have been.

 

Ten Months a Puppy

It seems fashionable these days to record everything. I am quite bad it. Similar to selfies, recording myself has little appeal. I always look weird, pale, and bloated on camera. My voice sounds odd. I look like a frog. It is quite unappealing. Still. Some things translate better through video media and randomly, I found myself deciding to record an instant of Inty being good.

Drop. It is a simple command but complex in its reach. I want him to release what is in his mouth. This means to my hand or onto the floor. We have the hand part down but getting him to just spit out what is in his mouth is slower going.

Teaching a dog to let go of what is in their mouth is a major tool. From them picking up something dangerous to using it with a dog that has possessive tendencies it is a powerful tool that should be taught with trust.

I start with trading. I have a treat. He can’t fit the treat and the toy at the same time. As the toy is released, I use drop, and let him have the treat. Its a slow process. He wants to retain his toy. The lure of the treat makes it worth it. I also give the toy back OR if it is something that needs to be taken from him, I trade up for another toy or a chew treat like a bully stick. The goal is for him to never lose value in releasing what is in his mouth.

Eventually, we don’t have to trade anymore. At the start, it is fairly important. Dogs function on a, “What is in it for me?” mentality. You have to show them what that is. Depending on training styles it can be a treat, attention, a privilege. Negative reinforcement functions on this same level. What is in it for them is a lack of discomfort.

Training has a secondary function of improving a dogs confidence in their life and world. If I only take from him, he will lose confidence. He will believe he loses things and this can lead to possessive behavior. The path of possessive behavior is the path that leads to things like food aggression. Trading helps a dog not ‘lose’ in the transaction and this can help a dog with possessive tendencies or behavior develop confidence that their interaction with you will not cause them to lose anything.

Inty however, has a bold and confident personality without a bit of possessiveness. Drop has been easier to teach then lay down. Lay down he knows. He has known it since his second week home. He just hates it because laying down is being still and he is still not comfortable with being still.

I could force more on him, but he is young yet. In five days he will hit his 10th month. For a large dog, that is still a baby.

 

Trials and Tribulations

This is one of the first times that I have had several friends with puppies at the same time I have a puppy. It helps tremendously when I find myself with one hand on my hip and the other over my eyes.

Tonight, Inty had finished his bully stick in record time and vanished into the kitchen. I didn’t hear him and when I called him, he peeked around the kitchen island holding a cucumber by its stem.

My biggest lemon cucumber of the season. I noticed it this afternoon and snatched it off the plant. It is larger then I like to let them get.

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It was thankfully unharmed. I sent him to his crate for the evening. He stole this cucumber off of the counter and counter surfing is not to be tolerated.

Ahh, puppies. He is in the most obnoxious phase yet. He is not as small and cute as he was when he was a baby. He is large, obnoxious, and utterly sweet. He is moving from cute to beautiful. But, he is still so young. So very, very young.

 

Intuition at Nine Months

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There are moments when he looks like an adult. He is as large as one. His first birthday is approaching. But then, we have moments like earlier today when he got a bath. I stood up and walked out of the bathroom, expecting him to follow. Instead, he started to cry. I walked back in and he had one foot on the edge of the tub and looked so overwhelmed. I had forgotten that he has only had a handful of baths so far and he still finds the bathtub slippery and scary, even with the tub mat that I added.

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Perhaps this will show his dorkiness a bit more.  “Why are you over there?” he asks. Sometimes I wonder if he cares that I am there. Then he is separated from me and his concern becomes apparent. I’m taken for granted only when he can come and go as he pleases.

He is still not calm. When we were trying to take pictures two bulldogs walked by. I grabbed his collar as he exploded into a screaming, roaring, bouncing, lunging disaster. I could only sigh in embarrassment and hold on as he looked like a dog aggressive demon.

“He is only nine months old,” I told them. “He is also very friendly. It just looks like he is insane. He want’s to play.”

They let their dogs approach and he threw himself down and sniffed faces, wagged, wrapped himself into a pretzel of sweetness and begged them to play. Calmer but not calm. Not indifferent. One day he may be. But right now, dogs are the most exciting thing in his world.

Nine months is a tough time. They are puppies in dog bodies. They know a lot but not enough. There is poor decision making and little self control. Even going potty can be an exercise in frustration as concentration on the deed is rare.

Puppies are hard. I’ve finally had to crate Inty after his last foray into trying to get to the girls to harass them. Any attention is positive attention for him and that includes the girls screaming at him and biting him.

 

Raising Puppy

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The attempt to take a comparison picture looks like a forced perspective. It is not. Intuition is much, much larger than Autumn. We are ordering him a bigger crate. A much bigger crate. He is cramped and uncomfortable in the crate size that has done me justice for the last seventeen years.

Times change.

At almost eight and a half months old, Intuition is well into his teenage phase.  He is busy, hyper, unable to settle. He bothers things, pokes things, wants to mouth and eat everything. Every command is pondered. Things must be worth his while. Anything that is not what he wants equates to the end of the world. Crying wakes me up most mornings. Barking accompanies us when we go outside in the backyard. His eyes roll back in his head and sanity dribbles out of his ears every time he gets free access to Autumn and Sage.

He is an utter terror. This too shall pass.

Nine months is when a lot of puppies get re-homed. It is for reasons like this. He does not look like a puppy in that picture. Yet, I can see all the signs that he is. He is strong but not muscular. His chest is still coming in. his eyes are still slightly rounded and puppy soft.

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It is easy to forget how young he is. But, you cannot. Otherwise it is frustrating. That is why, after he tried to steal my crossstich pattern I put everything down and at 2200 hours took him out on a walk until he slowed down. It is hot this July. Today was around 97(36c) and when we stepped out the door it was a cool 85(29c). The heat smothered my mortification and I wore a pair of gym shorts to compliment my t-shirt. My hair was clamped to the top of my head and we went to hit some local PokeStops until I had taken the edge off of him.

I could brag about what a good owner I am. How I take my dog out late due to the weather. But, I’m not wonderful for it. I’m just doing what needs to be done to keep some basic level of sanity in my home. If the puppy has energy to burn it must be burned. It is part of what you sign up for and sometimes it sucks.

When people see me with my dogs they sometimes tell me what a great mother I would be. I can but shake my head. I’d not be a good mother. I find the entire process irritating. I want little more then to sit in the quiet and crossstich this fascinating pattern. I don’t want to sweat in the middle of the night while fighting a rampaging, hyperactive creature.

But, things often do not go as we wish.

Another night. Another walk. We came back and he settled down. He drank water and came and slobbered over my arms, legs, and shorts. After that was done, he laid down for about five entire minutes. Then, I messed up by deciding to wash the slobber from my arms and legs. That got him back up as he followed me into the kitchen.

For all of his horror, Inty is also becoming more affectionate. He follows me around. He leans against me as a matter of normality. I love the Doberman lean. He often wants one of my free hands and delivers a steady stream of kisses and nuzzles. With my hands freshly washed, he immediately wanted them again. Some more slobber, kisses, and cuddles later he decided to start poking Sabrina.

Sabrina is one of my husbands two old, rickitey kitties. At seventeen she is foul tempered. She was never nice however and age has just refined it. Intuition pokes her. She growls and hisses and swats. He dodges, ducks, and comes back in to nudge her again. Hiss, spit, swat. Dodge, poke, hiss swat, dodge… until I snatched him up and put him in his crate. With a cookie.

He ate his cookie and passed out because he was exhausted but he cannot turn off.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. He is the first dog in a long time I’ve not been able to bring to sleep with me at this age. I don’t trust his mouth any further then I can see it. His propensity for eating anything he can fit in his mouth is amazing. We go through cow hooves, toys, and bully sticks at a tremendous rate in an effort to keep those jaws focused productively.

But that is raising puppies. It is sometimes great and often awful and very, very exhausting.

I have no idea how people manage children.

Intuition at 7 months

Tomorrow will be Inty’s 7 month mark. How he has grown.

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We weighed him on Wednesday and he was 68 pounds.

I’ve had his ears down for two weeks and they are still standing without any problems.

I am glad that I skipped the last puppy class instead of having an hour of humiliation. He is doing very well working with me on a slip collar. We’re just going to have to wait until he is not obsessed with other dogs.

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I hate taking pictures of the dogs that have me in them because it reminds me of how fat I am. As if to just shove a knife into that discomfort, I always have my head down looking at the dog. This allows me to look like a frog. I hate pictures. Hate, hate, hate, hate them. Of me. Inty photographs well.

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I need to get my husband to take his shots a bit lower to balance the dog better.

Earlier today, while dealing with him, I was thinking about Nox. Nox was my GSD (German Shepherd Dog) and he was born in the September of 2001. He was my 4th dog and the first one that I got for myself. Nox was a handful. He was not mild mannered like the Pyreneese. He nipped, he jumped, he was an asshole, annd he wanted his way. We went through a lot and by the time he was eight or nine months old he was an amazing dog.

Inty is that type of dog. It is not the same as Nyx, who was focused on me to an almost unhealthy level from the first day. Inty just needs to grow up. He still wants to do things like eat random wads of hair and he believes that the cats swatting and hissing at him is amazing!

He is young. I need to remember that every time he frustrates me or I chase him down to drag something out of his mouth. Youth passes.

A Puppy Spring

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“Can we leave Sherlock up here while you go potty?”

Inty trotted past me with Sherlock in his mouth and down the basement steps. That means no. I could have argued and given him an actual command. Instead, I used it as an opportunity to encourage him to continue to carry his toys and not abandon them around the house. Sherlock does not have much longer for this world. His lapels are being consumed at a furious rate and his soft, body with its weird noise maker will soon follow. I’ll let him travel a bit before then. At the backdoor, after a pause, he released Sherlock on a ‘drop’ command and went outside.

Outside, the first thing that must happen is barking. Bark, bark, bark, he goes, head back and in the air as he trots out with a high step. He is listening for the mowers, smelling for the neighbors, and looking for the Rottie puppy next door who often stands on his deck and looks down at Inty.

Sure in his command of things, he trots around and sniffs. He was out only two hours ago but the world has changed. I watered and did things with the plants. The girls have been outside as well. He needs to check up on our tiny patch of backyard. But, Intuition is well trained when it comes to potty breaks. He quickly squats and releases poo into the wild. Then, head and tail up he charges back to the house to come inside.

“Go potty potty,” I say in as fim a tone as one can in that situation. He swerves into a circle and trots around. He smells where he just pooped as I roll my eyes. He then squats and pees. This time he is allowed back in and given his reward cookie as well.

A dozen times a day we do this. He does not poop every time. I do demand that he pee each time he goes outside. It is a far cry from rushing him out every thirty minutes as we did in the first weeks. He is in all intents and purposes, potty trained. The last three accidents he has had in the house have each been the result of my mother or husband letting the other dogs out first. Puppies cannot wait and each time I’ve been frustrated at the lapse. Sadly, we cannot have him out with the girls yet. He can’t leave them alone and focus on using the bathroom.

Now, we just have to let him get a bit older and wiser.

Would he only show this side in training class. The well balanced side that shows he has been taken care of. Instead, there he rages and bounces unable to keep his feet to the floor or his nose from anything. Everything is exciting. The dogs, the ground, the walls, the other rings, the trainers, the leash, the sky, and life in general is just to much for him to stand.

A weigh in at the vet puts him at 63 pounds. That is on track for the pound a week he is gaining. I’d not want him heavier and some would feel he is to heavy because he is not skinny. Inty has never had a skinny, gangly phase. He is at his lankiest right now but even that has a lot of substance. He weighs as much as Autumn but he is taller.

And he is only six and a half months old.

Class yesterday went better. Not well. He cannot walk. He can only run, charge, and cause me two exhausted arms. I keep him on the edge of the class and we try to focus. He is not overwhelmed. He is over stimulated. Many dogs are overwhelmed and they fall back on their owners to support them. Inty sees me as a barrier towards solving his curiosity and satisfying his desires.

As we walked over to work on the restrained recall, I heard one of the instructors saying that they had expected him to go wild and visit with other dogs. Instead, his recall is perfect. This time, he proved again that I DO work with him. The recall is toy focused. The puppy before had to be given treats before she’d run to her person for a cookie. They have you show the treat and run away looking behind you and calling the dog.

I made it two steps and Inty snapped out of the handlers arms like a racehorse at the start. She almost lost her balance as she lost the dog. He was so thrilled. Running with mom! We went for our second try and she scolded me for showing him the toy to soon. I stared at her. But I was not to lure him with the toy until I was away.

Okay, I took off at a sprint and he snapped free again charging at my side.

Later, when trying to convince him to try the tunnel, they called my husband over to hold him. That went better. I expect he will be called in to restrain Inty in the future. The ladies don’t have the strength for 60 pounds of exuberant doberman.

He likes them. He likes most people he meets. He is not digressive. But, as one of the mother’s watching her daughter said to my husband, “If that came at me I’d not ponder or even think that he might only be six months old.”

Having a dog like a Doberman is a responsibility. Not just for the potential of the dog but for public perception. Lord knows I hate public perception. You are judged for your clothing, your makeup, your hair, and your job. I was reading a story about a lady who had to defend her diamond engagement ring from people. They wanted her to upgrade to a larger stone so that people could see she was successful.

We are built to nonjudgmental. It is a survival trait. People don’t see the dog that begs to get into my lap with no understanding of his size every time I sit at my computer. They see the large, predator.  One, who will hopefully stop losing his mind at class.

I can’t see putting him into any type of obedience class. We’re going to have to and I’m going to have to crack down and work on his public behavior. We have to get over this hump.

 

Puppy Class 2 and 3

The second puppy class went well. I forgot to finish writing about it but it was mostly, “Wow. He calmed down and started to get it. He performed wonderfully.”

Puppy class 3 hit and I had a sinking feeling. I always do with him. He is rapidly showing me that he is not the type of dog that is going to be able to work young. He is also to smart to not be forced to work on the basics. But, class isn’t exciting for me. I’m not looking forward to it. Instead, I roll my shoulders and pray I’ll make it through.

It doesn’t help that my work schedule isn’t really one that fits having things to do every week. Yesterday for example, I had to be up at seven to get to work by eight. I left at six and was tired before I even got home. But, I work 12 hour days. So the day before I worked 10-10 as normal.  Inty is normally in bed by 10. We’ve been trying to have him up later and he just turns into a raging jerk.

The problem is the puppy has not developed an off yet. These come at various times. Some puppies learn them for reward based reasons. Most dogs learn them as they age. Some learn them later then others. Inty has no off button unless you put him in his crate. He will immediately pass out almost every time. But, he cannot do this for himself. We’ve been encouraging it with high reward chew toys but anything and everything breaks him out of his calm.

He is a very busy dog.

Cue the third training session. Getting there went well. My husband is back from his trip so came with me. Inty drooled but did not get car sick. We’re doing good. We got there and while he is still a bit barky and excited upon seeing other dogs, he is calming down faster. Maybe we will be okay.

Go inside.

He loses his shit. I have him by the collar. He has leaned to duck his head so that the collar slides down his throat and doesn’t bug him. He will not walk. Hes leaping forward and hopping like a frog. You’d think I was choking him by his collar but I was holding it at normal height.

I frankly, drag him across the room to an empty area. He then spends the entire start of the class trying to lunge for the other dogs. There is no aggression. He wants to play with them.

And that is mostly the entire class. He wants to play with the other dogs. He wants to jump on people. He does not want to look at stupid things on the floor and touch them. He just runs over them or kicks them out the way. He wants to play, play, play, play, play and not with me. I’m boring. He has me all the time. He wants those other dogs. PLAY PLAY PLAY.

But this isn’t a play class. I’ve reached the point where a slack lead means he goes for another dog. Treats are not but so interesting. They are nice. He likes treats. And he is hungry. So he just bites my hand. Then tries to play with another dog.

“Have you thought of a no jump harness or head collar?” They ask me.

No. Because I don’t like ether tool. The head harnesses I hate. The no jump harness is a danger waiting to happen. Nether will teach him the one thing that he has to learn. To do what I say on a regular collar.

You see, I’m cursed with a smart dog. He understands the collar. He understands that he cannot do things on one collar vs another. He will behave like a dream because he HAS to. But we cannot always use this tool and I want him to behave because he is supposed to.

And he is six months old. A six month old dog is not mature. Not even a little bit. In fact, this is the exact age I didn’t want to bring him to class. 4-5 months, the class I didn’t get into, would have been perfect for foundations. Then keep him out till eight or nine.

Instead, he is in class during one of the worst periods he could be. His teeth are in but not settled. His hormones are starting to kick on. That doesn’t make him sexual. It makes him notice more things. The flooring at the school is more interesting then me for instance.

Did I mention he keeps trying to kill himself? It has become a battle to stop him from finding the most random things and consuming them. He figured out how to shred his rope toy with his incisors and ate the entire end. That produced vomiting until it all came up. I think he ate plastic the other day but he swallows it down so fast. He also get my slipper sick, buzzed it in half, and I wound up dragging it out of his throat.

He will eat cardboard. He will eat dirt. I’m not sure I’ve had one that was this mouthy. Nox nipped. Inty just wants everything in his mouth and he wants to eat.

That’s the other thing. He is growing and growing and growing. His weight is good. Dare I say hes a touch to heavy? But he could use more. He’d like more.  He doesn’t understand that if he grows to fast it will be devastating for his body.

Because, he is six months old. Nothing changes that but time. And while, halfway through the class I was fighting back sobs of embarrassment while his behavior escalated, I still know he is six months old. And as upsetting as I find it, it won’t be forever.

But, I’m tired. I’m tired of waking up in the morning to his screaming because hes awake and its time to do stuff. Autumn just lays on the bed and stares at us as if it confuses her too. It looks like I won the battle about what time we wake up. For a week he started to get up earlier and earlier and start screaming and barking. I ignored him and he never had an accident and after a solid week of cutting an hour out of my sleep, he stopped.

I enjoy dogs. He is a bigger challenge then most I have had. I’m not going to say there are not hard times and exhausting times. I don’t want to get rid of him or give him up. But he is not an easy dog. Oh, he is house broken. Hes good with the cats. He is a sweet dog. He catches on quickly. He isn’t even that destructive. But he has made me doubt myself. The test of wills is on going. Until I convince this dog that the only way forward is through me, we’re going to be at this.

The funny thing is that I think we’ve created this monster by doing the right thing. My mom’s home with him all day. He gets a steady stream of attention and interaction. Most of my other dogs have had to deal with my work schedule from a young age. I actually think that it has made us, the people and the attention we bring, cheap. He wants to play with other dogs more then he wants to please people.

But, phases. I’m convincing myself of that anyway.