Monday, September 28, 2009

Various Updates from the Dog World

Have you heard the blue-green algae alerts yet? In case you haven't, read warnings for duck-hunters who use dogs. This stuff isn't good for the people or the ducks, either -- in fact, I'd worry about eating a duck who'd been dabbling in this stuff. Environmentalists aren't just tree-hugging fanatics. They're also people who like to take their dogs and children swimming, or who are keen to breathe in spite of living beside a pond.

Anyway. On a lighter note, a great deal can be said of my recent dog-training with a single sentence. "I've been eating all the string cheese myself." Dustin has had a little rally training, Bruce a little training in manners and socialization, and that's about it. I did take Dustin with me to a dog show this weekend so he could re-learn what that was all about. Last time we went to one, he spent all his time flirting with the sable girls, since this was about two months after Sunny died and we both were still thinking of her a lot. This time, he flirted with ALL the girls. However, I think the small working-lines sable was still his pick for first-in-harem. He seemed quite disappointed when we left without a single one of all those pretty bitches, and snoodled around the car twice to make sure I hadn't stashed one in the glove compartment. OFA first, I told him.

After his last bath, a couple of weeks ago, we did practice stacking in the driveway. His head's a bit too far to his right, there in the picture, as I bait him with a stick, but he's being pretty good -- especially for a dog with no leash or collar and a great deal of desire to grab that match-sized piece of wood. With some attention work, so he'll be that good somewhere other than the driveway, he'll be ready to go get some rally titles. Right now, though, he still has to learn that "sit" means "sit" regardless of environment. Either that or I have to start hosting AKC obedience events in my living room.

Bruce has not outgrown his "skitzies," as Mary Adelman knowledgeably calls them. I still worry that they are genetic and the reason his mother is/was feral. I did tote him downtown the other day to watch people go by. He fear-growled very little, but spent the whole trip with his tail clamped between his legs even though nobody came within ten feet of us. I should add this isn't a fear of everything. He was standing on the sort of wire grate that most dogs won't go near, not at all fazed by the funny footing. He'll jump things that are far too big for him just because he sees Dustin (twice his size) do it too. He's just terrified of people. Perhaps a few dozen more trips to places where nobody hurts him, and most people try to give him goodies, will help. Perhaps not. I don't know what we do if he gets worse instead of better and turns out to be a total fear-biter.

And yes, I do know the civically-responsible answer to that, but we've become rather fond of the little fellow. At home with his familiar people, he's a perfect love.

1 comment:

  1. If he is not kept in the civitas, no need to be civically responsible, right? That's my story...

    Ours is afraid of everyone, but I do see improvement. Today she paused on the staircase before going up to hide in my room when a provider came by. It must be a continual challenge to her that we have no less than 7, and often more, non-resident invaders each week. She has gotten used to the nurse and no longer seems scared of her. We are working on the PT and the OT. For some reason she is very uncomfortable with my parents, and I think it is because she may sense that my mom is not 100 percent comfortable with dogs because she was bitten as a small child. When I told her this, she made a real effort to be more outgoing with the doggie, so we will see how that goes.

    She does not ever snap, though (Dog, not mom. Mom does occassionlly snap.) In fact, yesterday I heard the first real growl. We were at MIL's with her, and I have a suspicion that she stuck her head under the bed where the cat was hiding and had a less than totally amicable exchange with said cat. Understandable - under the bed is fine here...

    Now to find what to smear on the boy so she will kiss him. Several suggested alternatives have already been tried and failed, although she does like dancing with him...