a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Squirrels, Rawhides, and Cute Puppies--or not

Friday, November 04, 2005

Squirrels, Rawhides, and Cute Puppies--or not

  • Squirrels: Remington loved to chase squirrels. Tika loves to chase squirrels. Jake has always been interested in them but not obsessive. When I go for a walk with him, he'll speed up a bit until he's putting pressure on the leash, but he won't go wild like Remington did or Tika does. During yesterday's walk, for example, while he was stopped to Do His Business, an S-word ran across the street not too far from him. He watched it, his ears perked up, but he finished the task at hand and continued walking cheerily with me.

    With Remington, I found it to be quite entertaining to associate the word "squirrel" with the animal. It was easy to do. I just used it a lot while he was chasing them. ("Is that a squirrel?" "There's a squirrel!" "It's Mr. Squirrel!" and so on.) So I could always get him to perk up his ears, say for a good photo, by saying "Where's Mr. Squirrel?" or, more familiarly, "Squirrel!" It was a handy trick.

    With Tika, the last thing I want is to get her more excited about something.

    Boost seems to have no interest in squirrels at all, although she watches Tika intently as the older Merle Girl dashes madly after an S-word racing along the top of the fence.

  • The $3 rawhide vs the 60-cent rawhide. And an inbetweenie.
    Rawhide bones:My, what an expensive habit. The tiniest pressed-rawhide chews, which the dogs all seem to prefer to the really cheap rawhides, cost about 60 cents each plus tax at Pet Club. Dogs will go through $2 worth of chews in 5 minutes and then go looking for trouble again. The largest size that I'll get for the dogs runs about $3 at Pet Club, something like $6 at PetCo!

    Tika has sometimes preferred to bury the rawhide, not praise it, then steal one from one of the other dogs. (Et two, Brute dog?) Boost has apparrently also taken this as a general strategy. Sometimes it stays buried for only 10 or 15 minutes, then she can't stand the anticipation any longer and reappears with it to chew it up.

    I don't think I'll get the largest ones for them any more. In theory they last longer. But none of them seem to enjoy chewing them all that much. I gave each of them a large one two days ago. Boost buried hers. Tika just set hers down on the floor and lay near it for a couple of hours before deciding to give it a gnaw. Boost's reappeared eventually but she didn't chew on it. Jake just guarded his.

    The one that Tika chewed on tired her out after a while. Then Jake took it over and chewed for a while. Then Boost took over and chewed for a while. And so on until it was eventually gone, much much later in the day. But as for the other two bones—two days later, and now Jake's still guarding them both. No one else seems to care.

    Jake doesn't often chew rawhides any more unless one of the other dogs has started it, in which case he might chew obsessively for hours. But mostly he just carries them around and growls constantly at Boost whenever she makes the mistake of being in the same room, or, say, turns her head in Jake's general direction so he can growl "stop looking at me!"

  • Cute puppies? OK, who said puppies are cute? Step over here and say that after reaching down to give the pup a nice pet and have your hand hit a big patch of something sticky. And then have to clean the puppy of dog excrement for the second time in three days. Yes, indeed, I think my months of prayers have been answered—Boost has finally stopped eating Tika's poop. Yes, both wedneday and today I had to clean up large flattened pieces of TP from the yard. Gleah.

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