Saturday, January 26, 2002

New Dog Day 5

Backfill: Nov 16 '03 I had a Bay Team meeting in Hayward at an IHOP, so I couldn't take the dogs. Realized I had never asked Gina how long Pika (I think I still like that the best, after trying Agate for a day & Kai/Coy for a while) could stay in the crate. She did #1 and #2 when I first got up, 6:30 a.m. Gave them breakfast just before I left at 8:15, and she did #1 again. I hope it'll be 45 mins to drive up, 1 hr board mtg, 1.5 hrs regular meeting, 45 minutes to drive back, half an hour to see Jim's new house, for 4.5 hours.

But the meetings aren't over til 12:10 (now 40 minutes behind schedule), and when I get to Jim's old place, he wanted to load up some stuff to move to his new place, and he has helped me so much in the last year that I didn't want to say no. By the time stuff was loaded, it was 2:15, so it's been 6 hrs already and 30 minute drive to my house still. So I went straight home--she was fine, but she peed within seconds after hitting the grass--a lot--and pooped shortly thereafter. So 6.5 hours is doable but probably not a kind thing & something I'd rather not do except under dire circumstances.

Took all 3 dogs with me back to Jim's new place. Because the van was filled with Jim's boxes, I put her in the front seat with an extra dog harness/seatbelt--and she was fine. Didn't fight it at all; mostly lay down on the seat, although she sat up & watched thru the window for a little while with rapt attention.

She was delighted to make Jim's acquaintance. The dogs explored all over the 2-story condo while I got the tour & jim unloaded his stuff. Jake & Rem kept jumping back into their seats in the car, maybe hoping we could make a quick getaway while the girl was still in the house somewhere. (But they love going places anyway, so maybe it was just coincidence--and the car isn't often in the garage where they can get at it easily.)

She picks up everything that's on the floor. I was concerned about that, of course, because I remember Remington picking up everything (gravel, fuzz, shoes, whatever) and right now I have stuff all over the place. And she's fast--I've been trying to let her wander loose while I'm doing stuff that doesn't require my rapt attention, and she's never out of my sight long and I can hear her moving around, but then I'll find a magazine or a ruler or something that was in one of my "still moving in" piles moved somewhere else. So I certainly can't leav her alone in the house unattended yet while I'm gone.

Measured her, she's roughly 22" at the shoulder. Still 2" shorter than Rem, but it's possible she could grow more.

I decided I'd start trying to teach her some tricks. Either someone has already taught her "shake" and "crawl," or she's one of the most annoyingly fast dogs I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Even Rem, who learned so fast it blew me away, wasn't this fast. I'll have to remember to ask Gina about tricks.

Whenever she wasn't in the crate the rest of the afternoon & evening, she never settled down, just walked around & around & picked things up & played with a toy or a bone for 20 seconds & went on to something else. I'm hoping that's only because she was in the crate for so long earlier in the day. I played with her til she looked like she wanted to quit at least 3 times. That's a lot of work for me! Jake will play forever, but he's always been primarily interested in chasing something & bringing it back, which requires time but not a lot of effort on my part. And when I'm not playing with him, he'll find a bone and chew on it for hours. (Or lick his paws obsessively--not something I encourage, but I suppose gnawing on a bone gets old after a while.) So maybe she's a little young to stay focused one one thing like that.

The first couple of days she'd go to her crate & get the big rawhide bone that Gina provided and gnaw on that for a while, but today she didn't seem that interested. Jake has been sneaking in while he thought none of us were looking & stealing it to gnaw on for a while himself. She'll still chew on it when she's confined.

Rem's the one who won't play when she's around. Two days ago he had his favorite giant squirrel out, and got tired of playing with it (typical) but was lying in the living room with his front feet kind of on it. Pika decided she wanted it and kept going in his direction & looking hopefully at it, despite that I kept pulling her away & trying to distract her with a furry crab. When she actually stuck her nose down in there, he snarled at her. I pulled her away again, but then Rem slunk away from the squirrel and he hasn't been willing to play with it since, whehter she's there or not. But he will play with other toys when she's in her crate (but not when she's loose, even if she's kept out of the room with a baby gate).

She's still occasionally shaking her head like an ear is bothering her. Can't tell which. I used ear cleaner Friday afternoon (or was it earlier today? things are starting to run together--), which she mostly sat still for, for which I'm grateful. But it doesn't seem to have helped. Now I have to wait til Monday to call my vet.

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