Friday, April 17, 2015

On a Sunday Afternoon...

When Grandma and Grandpa walked out the door to go to church, I was already ready for them to be home.

I do not like to be left at home when they go places so  I use passive resistance when it is time to go into the crate.

Especially when they are in a hurry!

Yup.  I pretend to be asleep.  And if that doesn't work, I pretend that I am unable to get off the couch by myself.  And if that doesn't work, I try to convince them not to leave me by planting myself near one of the doors and look hopefully at them.

They're not buying it!

So, yeah, I like when they come home.

On this particular Sunday afternoon, Grandma and Grandpa brought home a surprise.

Levi and Liam!  Yay!

We played outside.  Liam and I played together mostly.  Levi was busy doing his own thing!

So Liam took me for a walk...



He fed me "landy-lines"...



I thanked him...




He took me for another walk...



Then I took him for one...



And here is Levi...



Then it was time for the boys to go home.  Grandma wanted a picture of the three amigos.  She had trouble getting us all to smile...


 
 
Still not...
 



Nope...



Almost...



Nope again...



FINALLY!!!!!!...


And then there was just me.  My spot is between the car seats, but I wanted a better view so I took Liam's spot...




I sure do like those boys!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Doggie Daycare...

I heard them talking about going to a kennel.  I didn't know what a kennel was so I just assumed it didn't concern me.  All I really knew was we were going somewhere way too early.

I am NOT a morning person. 

I don't want to go for walks in the morning.  I don't want to practice commands in the morning.  And I certainly don't want to sit pretty to have my picture taken in the morning.

Oh, I like getting out of my crate at 5am when the alarm goes off so that I can perform some basic body functions, but then I want to be left alone to stretch out on the couch and sleep for a few more hours.  And please don't ask me to eat my breakfast before 8:30.  I'm just not that into it.

So why were we leaving the house at 8:00?

Doggie Daycare, that's why!

And why does Grandma have that stupid camera on her face at the crack of dawn?  Ugh!

Okay.  Okay.  I know 8am isn't the crack of dawn, but you get my point.  It was just too early for all that mess!

Despite my cranky mood, Grandma did get a good picture of me as I headed to the car...

No, I'm not happy in this picture but it is better than what I mostly felt like...




I really like going for car rides but I just couldn't get myself to wake up.  Yawn...



So why was I going to Doggie Daycare in the first place?  As Grandma explains it, the lady at Otter Tail Pet Resort requires that certain breeds of dog come and play for a day before they are accepted for an overnight stay. 

Grandma assumed that it was to check to see if I would be aggressive.  But Ms. Karen said  "Nope.  Aggressiveness we can handle (within reason).  It is the anxiety we need to look at.  I've never had a pit bull that didn't have some degree of separation anxiety.  If a dog can't relax when it is time to be in the kennel, they cannot stay with us overnight.  The constant barking stirs up the other dogs and we just can't allow that.  We wear them out as much as we possibly can so that they will be ready for a rest time, but some dogs just have so much anxiety that we can't exhaust them enough."

Grandma and Grandpa really like Otter Tail so they were hoping I would be a polite, quiet guest.

I had a blast!  I ran and ran and ran, and I played and played and played.  I even picked out my favorite playmate, a beagle.  I never did get his name.

Who needs names when a sniff can tell you most of what you need to know?  Am I right?

When they came to pick me up, Ms. Karen greeted Grandma and Grandpa outside the front door.  They were pretty sure it wasn't a good sign.  When Ms. Karen said "The good news is...", they knew it wasn't a good sign. 

So Ms. Karen explained to them that I was a model guest... until it was crate time.  The word "incessant" was used.  I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it didn't sound like a happy word.   She said "If Cheesecake weren't such a great dog, we would ask that you not bring her back to us.  But she is a WONDERFUL dog.  She is fun and smart and cute and loving.  So we are going to work something out."

She suggested Prozac and Valium. 

So I am going back for Doggie Daycare a couple more times before Grandma and Grandpa want me to stay overnight.  In the meantime Grandma is going to work even harder on getting me to be calm in my crate at home. 

I usually like homework.  I get treats for doing homework!  But this "Calm in the Crate" thing really gets on my nerves. 

Ms. Karen, if you are reading this... If I didn't like you and that beagle so much, I wouldn't be back.  But since you are so wonderful and kind and loving, I'm willing to work on it!

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?!?