a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Collie Ears and Freedom

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Collie Ears and Freedom

Omigawd, the collie's ears are both starting to stand up like collie ears! It was only yesterday that one of them started; today they're both visibly doing so when at full attention. It's that quick! I don't know whether they'll go fully erect; I'm guessing probably not, but who knows.

Puppy has gained a lot of liberty this week in part because I just don't have the time to puppysit while working on an intense project and she needs a lot more activity than I can give her at the moment.

I've been working up to it--have a large furry pet mat (3x3?) that I put on the floor outside the x-pen, enclosed on 3 sides by desk, x-pen, wall, and have been letting her play there or lie there and chew on a rawhide or whatever, as long as she stays in that area. She seemed to like it quite a bit because it had the feeling of being free with one open side (the side in which I sit in my office chair, so it's not all that free).

One thing I boldly did yesterday afternoon: Unfolded the x-pen into a fence across half of my office and removed the plastic from underneath, so now she has an area about 5 feet by 10 feet, in which she can actually run back and forth in little spurts and fling toys around without immediately crashing into the 4x4 assembled x-pen walls. (Plus I've always had a crate or bed inside, which really cramped the space. The crate came out over a week ago when she started climbing on top and going out over the x-pen.)

I decided to watch very closely for potty-like behavior--but even so, one of the thousands of times I turned around within the first couple of hours, there was a puddle on my fireplace hearth, and I hadn't seen or heard any change in activity that would have alerted me. The problem with me always controlling when she goes out (because she's confined) might be that she's not learning a way to tell *me* when *she* needs to go out.

So I had to mop that up and pour enzyme cleaner all over that--I hope that removes any and all lingering organic matter and odor from the brick that it was absorbed into. Sigh. Not sure whether that was better than on my unprotected carpet...

I've been letting her wander loose a bunch, too. Jake is mostly good around her and anyway he likes to lie near me or under the desk, so I can keep an eye on him when the puppy is around and the cold war tensions get higher. It's exhausting, trying to keep an eye on her, though. She definitely still gets into things that puppies shouldn't get into.

It's amazing how well, though, she responds to "Not for dogs!" (I just have to be there to point that out; this is the main reason why she's not unsupervised.)

She's had diarrhea off and on the last 3 or 4 days. I don't know whether it's the rawhide that she chews on almost incessantly (can't get her to chew on anything else for more than a minute or so), or the orange peels and rotten orange bits that she picks up in the yard--although I don't think that's it--or something worse. Then the stool is normal a couple or 3 times, then diarrhea again.

What's a mother to do?

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