Posts Tagged ‘Training’

Close Call!

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

gate doorWe try so hard to be sure the bulldogs are kept apart – literally – from our other two older dogs.  There is a gate in the hall, complete with a little door so that our golden girls, Rosie and Daisy, can come through.  Most days, my flower pups (get it…Rosie, Daisy) spend the day napping on down and fleece in our back bedroom.  Unfortunately there is no outside access, so the daily potty routine needs to be maintained.  In order to let the older girls out, we need to put the bullies in their beds and distract them with a bone or toy.  When they are safely stowed, we unlock the little door in the hall gate and call the others out to the backyard.  Once potty time is complete, they waddle back to their cozy nap spots and we lock the gate.  Next we remove the yummy treat from each bully, but make them stay in their beds for another 5-10 minutes.  If we let them out immediately, Zo goes over to Abby’s bed to investigate any leftover crumbs or smells.  Abby will rush to the gate to catch a glimpse of the other two as they round the corner.  The best defense is avoidance.

zoey devil graphicThis routine is tedious and a constant reminder that our pack is divided.  Plus it is a pain in the ass to climb over the gate every time we go to the back of the house.  Unfortunately we are stuck with it for the immediate future.  If it were not for the gate, Zoey would find her way to the old dog turf and have her own personal rampage.  The little Devil.

Imagine my horror when I come home to find out Zozo was found napping back on our bed.  My first thought is for the safety of Rosie and Daisy.  Remember that Zoey eats other dogs these days.  We have barely caught up with the vet bills for the UC Davis specialists (think the cost of a Hawaiian vacation – cha-ching.)   I’m sure Jen was concerned at the time, but by the time I arrived home she was all smiles.  She seemed almost happy that Zo got into forbidden territory.  When I asked her what the hell was so amusing, she said that she found Zoey sleeping up on our bed while Rosie and Daisy were down in their snuggly beds.  WTF?  WHO left the gate opened and put my old girls in harm’s way?  WHAT on earth caused this lapse in judgment? WHEN did Zo get through and how long has she been in there?  WHERE were the humans who are supposed to prevent these scenarios? WHY did she not care about Rosie letting out little barks at her? Finally, HOW did Zoey get up to the top of the bed?

Once I calmed down and checked my girls for lacerations and torn flesh, I was able to stop and listen to why Jen was so happy.  While it could have been catastrophic, in the end Zoey did not dine on my other two old ladies.  Is this a good sign?  Certainly not a reliable one in my opinion.  I bet Zo was busy scouring the nightstands for cough drops, used Q-tips, or ear buds to chew.

abby angel graphic

All the while my sweet Angel Abby was minding her own business in the appropriate part of the house…

HDTV – is it worth it?

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Any time we went  into a big box store and see the wall of giant TVs, I often wondered if all the hype about HDTV is true.  Is the picture more crisp and clear?  Does it feel real?  You might be wondering what this has to do with Abby & Zoey…

sleeping with ricky webI have mentioned before that the little dumplings are certainly sofa snugglers.  Any time we sit down to watch something, they are both up on the couch in no time.  Usually they gravitate towards our laps – but that is now something they have to “work” for and be invited, Zoey first.  If there are no humans to snuggle with, they have been known to snuggle with our cat Ricky.  sleeping with Daisy webThey even shared the couch with Daisy, before they turned into anti-social monsters.  More times than I can count we have put sleeping (and snoring in Zo’s case) dogs to bed at night from the couch.  It is sort of like carrying a sleeping child to bed when they fall asleep elsewhere.  They are heavy and groggy and would much prefer to stay on the warm fleece covered couch.

 

me or the dog tvWe sat down recently to watch our new favorite Animal Planet show – It’s Me or the Dog.  The trainer and show were recommended to us by our UC Davis experts as a resource and training model.  Victoria Stilwell has some very solid and logical approaches to dog training which we are incorporating into the daily routine.  The episode we turned on was one about a multi-dog house with fighting bulldogs.  Thought it would be right up our alley.  In the introductory video segment it showed a Frenchie and an English bully fighting.  Believe me, the picture was crisp and clear and our dogs felt it was very real!

me or the dog packZo was off the couch first lunging at the (expensive) TV to attack the fighting bulldogs.  Abby followed closely thereafter, just as worked up.  The problem with this is that the little dumplings will turn their focus on each other – because the TV does not fight back.

Snuggle time was certainly over and we put them to bed in their kennels.  We were able to go back and watch the episode, but we had to keep the volume very low so they would not get riled up from the other room.

I don’t know about you, but I think there is definitely something wrong with this picture when I have to listen to MY television really softly so THEY do not react.

So yes, the HDTV is very realistic.  Abby & Zozo never went after the television before the high def.

me or the dog bookMore on Victoria Stilwell and her show at these sites:  www.positively.com  and http://animal.discovery.com/tv/its-me-or-dog/