Monday, March 23, 2015

First Sleepover with Levi and Liam

When Uncle Zack and Aunt 'Manda asked if  Levi and Liam could spend the night with us, Grandma wondered if I would misbehave.  Grandpa didn't seem very concerned. 

He never does.

So a slumber party happened!

After a little while of jumping and chasing and squealing, we all settled down.  Grandma kept telling me that I was a good girl.  And I was!  I didn't scratch or nip anyone. 

Even when Liam laid his head on my side for a short rest, I didn't move.  Not even a lick!

After we put on our jammies we watched TV...



And did this ...



I watched the boys play some more...



Liam read to us...


And we just sorta hung out...


I was ready to go to sleep before Levi and Liam were.  They were so wiggly that I finally gave up sleeping on the couch and got into my own bed.



(Grandma apologizes for the poor quality of the photos.  She hasn't learned how to adjust the settings on her camera yet.)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's Not Just Fun and Games

I am a lot like other puppies.  I sleep A LOT...


And also like other puppies I'm very playful and full of energy. 

But there are 2 things that make me different from other puppies.

#1  I didn't have a very good start in life.  Good manners for family life start with a mannerly dog mom and healthy litter mates. 

Dog moms teach us about being clean and tidy, and about following the leader.  If I was born in a puppy mill then chances are my dog mom wasn't able to keep our cage clean, and she probably didn't have any clue how to be a leader.  Puppy mill dog moms are often unhealthy physically, but also mentally because they aren't part of a pack, among other reasons.    Even if I wasn't born in a puppy mill,  I was taken away from my dog mom too young and placed with a family who didn't teach me those very important early lessons.  The earlier a puppy is taken from his/her litter, the more important it is to be with a family who knows how to teach manners.

#2  I am a pit bull.  Bully breed puppies are very, very strong so even our play can be dangerous.  And because it is in our DNA to escalate the intensity of our play, we get awfully carried away and end up hurting others.  Even our paws can do a lot of damage.  Poor Grandma had a lot of bruises on her arms and legs for the first couple weeks that I was here. 

Sorry, Grandma! 

Grandma knew all this before I arrived (she did a lot of homework!) so she found a really nice lady nearby who knows a lot about training people to teach good family manners to dogs.  Her name is Amanda and she is the owner of Smart Pups.



So Amanda shows Grandma what to do and Grandma and I work on our lessons every single day.  The lessons aren't just for tricks to show people (that's fun, too!) but also to help me calm myself and pay attention to my leader. 

And Grandma is definitely the leader.  No more bruises for Grandma!

Sit, Down, Stay, Drop it, Leave it, Come, Wait, Touch, and loose-leash walking are some of the things we are working on.

I'm really smart so I've learned how to combine commands and do stuff like this in just 2 short weeks of training...



This might look like it is a fun trick, but it is so much more.  I have to remember Down, Stay, Leave it, and Wait all at the same time!  I held this pose for about a minute before I was given the "okay" to eat.  That is amazing for a food motivated dog!  Also more than a trick, it teaches me not to steal anyone else's food or counter surf.  Not only are they rude, but they can be dangerous if I steal food that is poisonous for dogs. 

Learning how to focus on my leader when there are distractions is a big deal for a hyper puppy!

It helps me be able to live politely and gently with humans.   That is important for every dog, but especially for powerhouse dogs like me!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hello, Halo!...

When I came to live with the grandparents I left behind my dog friends Odin and Riversong.  And since playing with other dogs is important work for puppies, Mom said I needed to make new friends. 

I wasn't going to be friends with Grandma and Grandpa's dogs ("We Can't Be Friends" HERE).

So what's a sturdy, powerful gal to do?

Find an even sturdier, more powerful pal, that's what! 

Grandma's friend, Christy, has a dog that is just perfect for me!  Her name is Halo. 

Halo is a pit bull/lab/husky mix and is about 6 months older than I am.  And she has better play manners than I do! 

Things started out really well.  We met outside on Halo's deck using the traditional dog greeting...


I pretended to be submissive, but I was really just afraid...


And then I started getting a little rowdy...


Halo is smart enough to know what is strong dog play and what is aggression, so she let me get away with my shenanigans. 

We went inside where we continued our romping.  Halo was very interested in my incision from where I had been spayed.  Her Mom is taking her to be spayed soon so she wanted to know what to expect, I guess.



It didn't take long for me to get a little out of hand.  Halo snapped me back into place with a sharp bark and a swift nip.  I calmed right down and really felt much better for it.


We moved to another room but thought it best to be calmer now.  Halo was a good hostess and shared her bone.  I sure hope she wasn't wanting it back because, well, I ate it.



Eventually she found another bone and we chewed together just like we were longtime friends...


Thanks for the play date, Halo!  I sure hope we can do it again real soon!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We Can't Be Friends

I was too excited when I got to Grandma and Grandpa's house when I found out that there were other dogs who lived there.  But that excitement didn't last very long. 

Maggie and Penny were little old ladies who didn't play.  They hated me.  I could just tell.  Something in the way they snarled their lips and snapped.

I didn't blame them, though.  They were only protecting themselves.  One swat of my paw could crush them.  And I'm not even going to think about what my jaws could do!

Even now that Maggie is gone, Penny wants nothing to do with me.  She's not THAT lonely!

So how do we live in the same house and never play together?

Penny has her own space (a children's play yard) and I have a crate.  And when we are relaxing with the grandparents on the couch, Grandpa is always between us.


 

I need a much sturdier playmate!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Meet My Buddy Wallace...



Mom loves pigs so when she and I met, one of the first things she bought me was a pig of my own.  We named him Wallace, and he and I became fast friends.  We play together all the time!  No matter how rough I play with him, he just giggles and giggles. 

Sometimes when he giggles a lot, Grandma says "I hate squeaky toys!" 

Wallace doesn't leave the house but he is with me almost all the time at home.

He waits for me in my bed...



He works out in the gym with Grandma and me.  He is terribly out of shape...



He waits for me by the door when I go outside to go potty...




He thought he would try to help me out with pad training.  I don't think he was doing it right...

 
 
I don't mind sharing Wallace.  I even let Liam play with him.  Liam thought that biting Wallace looked pretty fun so he gave it a try.  I'm not exactly sure, but I don't think he liked it.  He made some icky sounds and said "NASTY!"  He didn't want to put his tongue back in his mouth until Grandpa helped him wash it off.  Weird kid...
 
 
 
There was one time when I thought Wallace needed a drink...
 

 
 
He was a little stinky so I left him there to take a bath...


Sometimes he gets really stinky.  Mom and Grandma have each put him in the trash can.  Somehow he comes back all shiny, like he is new, and it is always after they've been to Walmart.  

How amazing is THAT?!?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Burning Up My Energy... (Video, DIY Flirt Pole)


I have a lot of crazy energy.  It is not unusual for me to tear around the living room at turbo-speed or to grab a rope toy and dance a whirling dervish. 

Hey!  When you live with people who play Spider Solitaire for fun, a terrier's gotta do what a terrier's gotta do!

And since I can get a whole lot rough (ruff?) when I play with people, Grandma did an online search of ways to help me burn some energy. What is a google?!?

She found this thing called a flirt stick.  Grandpa says it looks like a horse lunge to him.  These people use words that mean NOTHING to me! 

Anyway,  the grandparents went to Lowe's and the Dollar Tree to pick of a few things.



1/2-inch PVC pipe, about 4 feet
Duct Tape
Nylon Rope (thin enough to fit through the pipe) about 12 feet
Dog Toy



Slide the rope through the pipe and tie a knot, leaving an 8-inch tail.  This will become part of the handle.



Tie a knot at the other end of the PVC.  This will keep the rope from sliding back through.




Find the start of the Duct Tape.  This is harder than it looks!




Fold the short tail up and back on itself and begin taping it down.  You can stop here, but if you want it pretty (and I do want it pretty), continue to wrap the tape all the way to the end of the pipe.



Tie the toy tightly to the end of the rope.  You may need to adjust this depending on the length of your dog's leash.

And this is how you use it...

video


I love, love, love playing with the flirt pole!  Liam calls it my butterfly.  Whatever it's called, it is fun!  We have a friend who trains dogs for a living and she thinks this is a fantastic thing for me to do.  Not only does it help me burn off energy, it engages my brain. 

And when you are a very smart dog you MUST engage your brain.  Smart, bored dogs can become very destructive.

I still have a lot of energy but this can tire me out enough that I can concentrate better when we practice our calm commands.  The calm commands may be more boring but they are the ones that get me treats.  I'll do just about anything for a treat.  Except get in my crate. 

I'm way too smart for that trick!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meeting the Family...

Mom's brother came to meet me and I guess I made a good impression because he came back with some more people a couple days later.  Of course he liked me because I did a few tricks and stayed pretty calm. 

And then there is the fact that I'm totally cute!

Meeting people can go either way, though, because, as Grandma and Grandpa tell me, I need to learn to be gentle.  But sometimes I forget and do things like jump, scratch, and nip while I'm playing.  I am a puppy so I will eventually learn.

Hopefully.

So Uncle Zack, Aunt 'Manda, Levi, and Liam came for a visit.  I liked them immediately!

Levi took control right away...



Liam took a little more time to warm up, but he eventually took his turn playing with me...



Everyone played with me!!!



We ran and jumped and got a little wild.  Grandma wasn't very comfortable with all that so she was glad when Levi and Liam decided that we should all take a nap together.

In my bed.

We tried and tried to make everyone fit, but it just wasn't working out.  I think it was because of Wallace, my pet pig.  He is such a bed hog!



All good things must come to an end.  The boys didn't want to leave but it was time.  I was getting way too wild.  I scratched Levi's face and nipped Liam on the back.  I shouldn't have done that. 

They invited me to their birthday party, though, so I guess all is forgiven.  But I wasn't allowed to go. 

Something about "manners" and "opportunities to reconsider my actions" was mentioned.

There are just so many things to learn!!