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11.13.12 A Lesson In How Not To Train Your Dog


So the girls and I were out at the school yard running around.  I wanted you could see the joy that Louise has when in an open field with no scary other humans or animals to distract her.  I tried to capture a moment on video.  Then as I was looking at the video, I realized the probably everything I did was reinforcing the wrong things.  For example. I call the dogs to me.  They start to come but they don’t get all the way there.  So I call them again, repeatedly.  This is wrong, right?  I should be able to call them once, and if they loved me listened to me, they would be right in front of me in a good sit position until I released them. But NOOOOO!, I gave them treats anyway and reinforced the, wishy washy behavior.  Then, when I released them, I kept talking. 

(Note to Mommy trainer:  Stop talking so much because you confuse them.  Only treat when they really do what you asked.) 

We were having the best run when a boy on an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) came loudly and speedily into the school yard and scared us.  Thereby stopping our freedom and also causing Louise to go back into the fearful place.  What is an ATV doing in the neighborhood anyway?  Are they even allowed in such a populated area?  After we regained our composure (Louise on leash), the noisy monster left, we walked home happy and tired.  I do hope you like the little Non-Training Video, especially listen to the smacking sound when Sofie takes the cookie. 

(Another Note to Mommy trainer: Tired dogs are happy dogs (or something like that).  They had fun and that is important.)

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
14 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Dogs

 

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3.13.12 The Cat Dance

Sofie on the floor & Kitty in the dog bed

Sofie & Kitty

I do not know who decided that dogs and cats could not be friends.  Miss Constance Kitty has always loved the dogs.  She was wild about Squash and now she sticks to Sofie like glue.  Sofie and Nine, the kitten, have become really good friends too since he joined us (Little Stella kitten is somewhat shy and gives the dogs a good scratch and hiss still on occasion).  Louise tolerates the cats but doesn’t really want to play with them.  They tolerate her too.

The only dogs that my cats know are the residents.  None of my cats go outside, so they do not know ‘outside’ dogs, and it is rare we have a guest dog inside because of…. well… having 5 cats. We have a strict, “dogs not chasing cats” rule around here, which works 90% of the time, but it doesn’t work at all with strange dogs.

I find it interesting that Louise & Sofie meet many a neighborhood cat when we are walking but that they clearly do not relate the fact that their friends at home are the same species as these furry things behind the trees.  I think they think they are just another kind of squirrel.

Sofie & Nine playing

(Just an aside: As I am sitting her blogging this with Sofie and Louise under the desk, Muffin just came in the office and Sofie started to charge him.  Noel was already on my desk so there was a little fur flying for a moment… so we still do get a little tet-a-tet here at the zoo from time to time.)  Anyway….  they all (sort of) know their place and they all seem to work it out.  I know that many a dog would kill a cat if it had the chance and we have had some trouble fostering dogs because of that .  You just can’t allow the dogs to chase or get aggressive from the start with the cats or it won’t work.  Around here it does work and I really enjoy seeing the dance that the cats do with the dogs.  I remember years ago my Alice cat doing that with Nikki dog, Kitty did the dance with Squash E Bear, and now both Kitty and Nine do the dance with Sofie.    A long tradition of Cats loving dogs and doing that rub in the dog’s face dance thing that cats do.  Just another dogdaz morning at the zoo. ❤

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Cats, Dogs

 

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2.5.12 6:16: We love rawhide, is that OK?

Lulu & Bone

I have been told that beef rawhide is not good for dogs. But they love it! Also,I have not found anything that keeps them as entertained and happy as a nice new rawhide bone.  I try to limit the size and the consumption of them to once a week so that it does not build up in their stomachs (or whatever that is about).  I also try to find bones that are ‘Made in USA,’ because I heard they are better than China or Mexico beef hide, but they are not easy to find around here. I admit that I get the best I can when I can but it is not always perfect. For some reason, my dogs don’t really like old rawhide.  It needs to be fresh out of the package.  The old stuff (the ends or the chunks I take away for another day) does not seem to hold the same intense enjoyment.  Basically, the don’t even take it from me when offered (Pooh, give us something good!)

Bone & Sofie

Let me ask your advice:

  • Should dogs have beef raw hide bones?
  • If so, how often?  Does it matter?
  • Can it really hurt them inside?
  • What’s a good alternative that you have found?

I love my dogs and would never ever ever want to hurt them, sometimes I just feel dumb when it comes to food choices and toys.  Just another dogdaz morning at the zoo. ❤

 
10 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Dogs

 

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2.4.12 6:36 Welcome to the Zoo: Unnamed Baby Girl & Nine

not-yet-named Baby Girl

I would like to introduce you to the 2 newest members of the zoo.  Drum roll please!!!!!

Here is our not-yet-named 5 month old baby girl.  I never had a brown tabby before.  She talked the whole way home and does not appear to be afraid of anything.

And here is our other newest member, ‘Nine.’  I named him that because he is the ninth cat to reside in this house.  The family is starting to give me grief and rethink his name, but I like it.  Nine appears to be about 1 year old.  Right now he is a little overwhelmed and is hiding under the couch in the safe room.

Nine

This brings our cat count back up to 5.  We are so excited.  Right now they will have to stay in separate space for about 2 weeks, until we are sure they are not sick or carrying anything we do not want the others to catch.  The dogs and Miss Kitty are already waiting at the closed door of the safe room because they know something different is behind it.  I do hope they are fine and that the vet gives them a 100% rating.

Our hope is that these new babies will be cuddlers and help fill the void from the passing of Cuddles and Zackary earlier this year.  The 3 older cats are just not lap warmers and we really miss that.

Welcome home our little rescues.  They are from Last Chance Rescue through the PetSmart Charities.  And I want to give a shout out to Peggy, who made the whole adoption thing the easiest we have ever had (and we have had many).

Not just another DogDaz at the zoo – it’s a CATDAZ!  ❤

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Cats

 

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Saturday’s Sylvia

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Animals

 

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Noel Taking A Real Cat Nap

Noel Taking a Real Cat Nap

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Cats

 

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Mommy! Hold me!

Source: gfnuts

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Cats

 

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2.3.12 6:01: How long is a dog day?

Sofie waiting on the step

Sofie keeps an eye on the front door waiting for me to come home.  She likes to watch the world go by from this vantage points (and she has also figured out that it is an effective blocking strategy so that the cats can not get up the stairs). I think it is interesting how dogs react when their humans return whether from a 20 minute trip to the grocery store or a 5 day trip out of town.  My dogs greet me with great joy and the feeling that I am the most important human in the world.  Sometimes I wonder how dogs perceive time.  They appear to have a rhythm to the moon cycles but do they perceive time as the period between sleep?  Is a day maybe one feeding to the next?  If a human has gone away is the day over when the human returns (no matter what the length)?  How long is a dog day?  Just another DogDaz morning back home with my zoo ❤

 
10 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Dogs

 

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Friday’s Baby Panda

Researchers dressed in panda costumes put a panda cub into a basket before transferring it to a new living environment. Source: blogs.reuters.com

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Animals

 

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2.2.12 5:54: Puppies!

hippiesandgypsies:

Nikkolette (look alike from the internet)

Still traveling, so today I thought I would focus on my puppies.  Baby animals are sooooo cute.  Sometimes I wish they would stay little forever.

Nikkolette (aka Nikki), my buff Cocker Spaniel, was 8 weeks old when she came to live with me.  She was the first dog I ever got on my own and the youngest puppy I ever had.  That was a real experience. I learned a lot about dog care and about getting up in the middle of night (I recommend you think twice when you live on the second floor of an apartment building and have to take a puppy out to pee several times a night).  I remember in the middle of one cold New England night, carrying her down the indoor stairs (I think there were about 20 steps to my apartment) and falling down most of them with the puppy in my arms.  Not a scratch on her, but boy did I hurt in the morning.  Ah, puppies.  Nikki was an easy going and sweet dog.  Except for the time that the cats (Alice and Gertrude were kittens then) knocked a plate of brownies off the counter for Nikki to enjoy (and proceed to get sick all over the house) while I was out. In general with Nikki there was very little puppy damage. She shared her life with me until she was 18 years old.

Puppy Lulu

Louise (aka Lulu Belle) was about 5 or 6 months old when she came to me.  I still had to potty train her but she was a fast learner.  She was mistreated in her early days (she had a flea collar embedded in her neck, was covered with dry mange, and was afraid of everything when she was rescued) but she was the cutest thing,  It did not take her long to learn that she was safe here and no one was ever going to mistreat her again. Louise is a really smart dog and I enjoy watching her figure out things.  Her puppy time went quickly and I only lost my favorite boots and a 12 roll case of toilet tissue to her puppiness.  Lulu is 2 1/2 years old now, but in many ways, she still has a lot of puppy in her.
The current puppy, Sofie Bear, turned 1 in November.  We rescued her at about 12 or 14 weeks.  I always wonder why a puppy ends up in a kill shelter, but I guess we will never know.  From the way that Sofie acts, I think she may have run wild until she was brought into the shelter.  If it was up to her she would still run wild today.  Sofie is the most strong willed little bit that has ever come my way.  She loves to carry around my slippers when ever she can and has a real affinity to chewing on things she shouldn’t.

Sofie Day 1

Ah! Puppies…..

Just another DogDaz morning from the road ❤

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Dogs

 

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