a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: New Dog Day 4

Friday, January 25, 2002

New Dog Day 4

Backfill: Nov 16 '03She figured out how to use the dog door. Dang. I let her wander loose while I was eating breakfast. She took every bone & all the toys (but none of the tennis balls--curious--) out of the toy basket, played with each a bit, wandered around & around, finally stuck her nose cautiously thru the dog door to sniff, smelled something interesting, and just walked thru. Coming back thru, she changed her mind halfway and got kinda caught, so I thought that might have scared her into not using it, but no such luck. So now I do have to keep her in her crate when I can't watch her to avoid developing bad habits in the back yard.

That first time out the door, I waited a minute or 2 to see whether she'd come back in. She didn't, but she did bark at something. When I dashed out to the backyard, in just that minute or 2 she had found a piece of foam rubber packing material & chewed it to tiny pieces on the lawn. Puppies! Yikes.

She really laid into the yard guys when they came in this morning. Pretty scary--she was barking with every ounce of energy & warning in her body, and they were understandably worried. I went right up to them, shook their hands, and fortunately they're friendly to dogs so she sniffed them cautiously at first, but then accepted that they were there. I need to remember this for Friday mornings, at least for a while-- I hadn't intended for her to be out--I left her in the house & went out with the other dogs when I heard them arrive--hadn't yet confirmed that she really understood the doggie door, but apparently she did because she was right behind me.

Still don't know what to do about a name. Thinking about Gina's comment about getting Sav. a tutu because of how she stands up on her hind legs, I started looking up ballet terms & people. "Tutu" is too froofy; "toot" seems just silly. Can't find any terms or names that are short & sharp. Found name of recent star ballerina, Lucia something, and a more italian-sounding LOOTCHah seemed good at first, but as the day wears on & I try it out more, I like it less and less. I don't even know how I'd spell it--Lucca? Lutcha? neh--

She's barking more at more things today. Aiks. Need to get a couple more small spray bottles for bitter apple so I've got one at hand in various places. Don't really want to carry one around in my pocket, although I might have to if it gets too bad.

Tried going to the park off Cottle this morning. Thought I'd toss the frisbee for jake, let Rem run, & practice with Sav. on her gentle leader with treats. Disaster. After trying to walk with her on the lead, giving her goodies, keep her from getting tangled or pulling, trying to pick up jake's frisbee & throw it, keep her away from jake & the frisbee---I ended up just standing still in one place. She leaped for the frisbee once when jake was bringing it back, and a very brief fight ensued--not sure whether she'd have backed off quicker if I hadn't been tangled in the leash & her with her Gentle Leader on-- Rem wasn't Coming at all until the 2nd or 3rd try--he's marginal, I know it, but this seemed espeically bad. She wanted to grab or chase the frisbee every time I tried throwing it for Jake, and Jake kept wandering off & dropping the frisbee in random places while I tried to get her untangled & give her some goodies & practice, so altogether it was not a good thing. So I guess if I do the park again, she'll just have to stay in the crate in the car, at least until she's got more training under her belt.

Can't practice rachel's recall very well until I've picked a name for her, 'cause it uses the dog's name heavily. Arg.

She's barking even more at things today.

Jake is willing to chase a squeaky almost all the time now, although he still gets turned off suddenly if she makes the wrong kind fo move. Actually plaed with both him & her simultaneously in the yard & in the house briefly today. Rem didn't attempt upsidedowndog this morning, but he seems to be relaxing more and more. Although both he & Jake have been sleeping really close to me at my desk rather than in their bed & chair (except in the a.m. while I'm having breakfast, Rem dozes in his bed, which is what he usually does, and doesn't seem too bothered that it's next to her x-pen (with the "wall" in-between)).

Tried some really simple agility during playtime today. Set the bars on a couple of jumps first at an angle at 8" on one side, and threw the ball over them. She did fine, so I set them evenly at 8". She knocked them maybe twice, but i was starting her really close to the jumps, too, so she might not have had room. She never even looked twice at them. (I've been throwing the ball thru the uprights with no bars for 3 days; don't know whether that made any difference.) Also squished one tunnel down to about 4' long, lined her up, threw the ball thru, and she went right after it. Never hesitated or tried to go around at all, and I must've had her at least a foot or 2 back from the opening to give me room to throw the ball. This could be good.

I've ordered that adjustable base for my teeter totter that I wanted originally when jim just ordered a standard base. So now I can work with her and remington at the same time with lowered teeter. That had been working well in the old yard with a board over a log for Rem; he was really starting to run and slam it down, but then I moved out & that was over a year ago, and he's just as slow now on the regular teeter as before.

It's now 4:30 PM and I've done 0 hours of billable work all day. Somehow her addition to the household sucks up hours every which way. Still waffling on whether to hang onto her. She is a big girl, but light boned. She's a cuddler, but oh that bark--

6:00 just talked to Gina. I've been thinking about "Agate" as a name or going back to Pika despite Gail & Derede. Had put "Coyote," or "Coy" (pronoounced Ki) for short, on my list of possibilities. Now Gina says (without me telling her about Coyote first) that she'd been thinking about Kai, which is Hawaiian for ocean, which would be good for a blue merle. Sounds just like "Coy" in coyote. Hm.

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