a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: June 1994

Wednesday, June 29, 1994

Crates and Remington the Half-way Dog

SUMMARY: No crate for Remington; stopping halfway

Backfill: Oct 22, 2007
Didn't buy a crate, although I've pondered it many times. What we did with sheba way back when was to install a dog run--essentially a wire between 2 trees with a pully and a leash attached, so she had about 30 linear feet by about 6 feet that she could move around in.

Unfortunately one of the trees we used for sheba is no longer there, so we'd have to construct some other way to fasten the other end of the wire. No easy answers anywhere...

Remington is learning ever so slowly. He heels pretty good now--in the driveway! The real world is still FAR too distracting. Obedience class starts July 11 and i can hardly wait. He also has this quirky way of doing things HALFway that I've never seen with any other dog. When he sits, he gets halfway down--and stops. When he lies down, he gets halfway down--and stops. Looks pretty stupid, and I've told him so, but I think he just forgets what he's doing. (REALLY short short-term memory.)

So we keep working.

Monday, June 06, 1994

I Really Hate Dogs

Backfill: Oct 20 '05

I hadn't forgotten how much energy a puppy has--Amber would go and go and go until i thought I'd die, and i got her at 7 weeks or so. And the housebreaking was exhausting.

The thing i had forgotten was that when I got amber i didn't own anything hardly, had no garage or yard (lived in a townhouse) and so although she was sometimes destructive, there was very little for her to get at and it was pretty easy to remove everything except the furniture from her reach.

Now we have so much stuff in the house, the garage (which doesn't have a door), and the yard, that it has nowhere to go except where it already is. There's SO MUCH for him to get into and every time we think we've plugged one leak another appears.

He's fine if i spend a couple of hours with him, making him play HARD, before I leave the house. But I don't always have the time to do that, and then he's got energy left over and I never know what I'll find when i get home.

Or, like saturday night, he was so zonked when we left that he was falling asleep sitting up--but we had dinner and a play, so were gone for 7 hours, (and left early w/out after-play snacks) which was too much time for him alone.

I told him yesterday as he was following me around cheerily watching me pick up from the night before, "Remington, in a year we'll look back on this and laugh."

Then it occurred to me that if it's as long as a year, i'm going to kill myself first.

It is MUCH harder training the dog when it's already 50 lbs. when it arrives! 7-week-olds are so much easier to confine, to move things out of reach, or to barricade against.


Then when i sat down outside, exhausted, to read the paper in the sun, he crawled half onto my lap and snuggled right up to me and sighed contentedly and it was so WONDERFUL to have him there.

I really hate dogs.

Remington...and Sheba...

Backfill: Oct 20 '05
I might take up axe-murdering if that darn dog doesn't
stop tearing my life apart. Grrr...

Did i ever tell you that i hate dogs? And especially puppies?

Sheba has pretty much written him [Remington] off. She's just really too old for
a puppy. She mostly sleeps; they say that dogs sleep 14-16 hours a
day but I think she's got it up to about 22, with breaks for walks
and sometimes eating and visiting the back 40 for important personal
business. Although i'm beginning to suspect that she's really awake
most of the time and keeping an eye on us--and him--just in case we
try to sneak out for a walk without her.

We haven't had the dog-on-the-table trick recently; thought we had
taken care of the what's-on-the-kitchen-counter trick until jim lost
a ham sandwich when he turned his back the other day.

Sheba hates water, hates baths. We went walking down along los gatos
creek yesterday, where the water is kind of green and rancid, and it
was a warm day, and her tongue was hanging out about 40 inches, and
she just plunged right in and stood there looking at us. Not that we
care that her coat is like a sponge and doesn't dry for 3 or 4 hours
and we had to take her home in an upholstered car.

Dogs and dirty water have this magnetic attraction somewhat stronger
than buttered bread and a dirty floor.

Remington has been occasionally pondering our squirrels and
investigating whether it is possible for dogs to climb trees.
However, up until yesterday, his little pea brain figured that once
he couldn't see the squirrel any more (e.g., if it was sitting still
on a branch), that it had ceased to exist in this known universe and
he could go back to pushing his milk carton around on the driveway.

However, today for some reason he has Discovered Squirrels. They don't disappear--they actually are sitting up on the branches and leaping from tree to tree and running across the roof from one side of the house to the other and zipping along the tops of the fences. Quite a glorious discovery! He's been out there for 2 hours, racing madly from one corner of the yard to the other, trying to keep up with them, and, when he loses them momentarily, standing with his nose pointed almost straight up in the air, waiting for them to give another hint as to where they've gone.

I'm not convinced that they aren't leading him on! They sit up on their branches with this little twinkle in their eyes, watching him watch them.

And, in the evil mother tradition, i've been scolding him severely
whenever he's started barking at them. How CAN he communicate with
them if i make him shut up?

Other training is going slowly.