Friday, December 16, 2011

More Puppy Fun

Joe likes bully sticks! They are good for his sore little teething gums. I noticed blood on his chewed up bully at one point this morning -- Poor little dude. I don't think any teeth have fallen out since he arrived. If I find any, do you suppose I should save them for his new owner's scrapbook? :o) I still have Secret's teeth somewhere. Heck, I still have my horse's tooth that I found in his feed bucket years ago, and I don't even have the horse anymore.

I'm still enjoying my puppy fix, in case you couldn't tell. Today marks the end of Joe's first week with us and it's been loads of fun. He's still the best puppy on the planet, although he's definitely getting a bit more energetic than he was when he first arrived. I figure that's just part of the settling in process and his personality is starting to come out.

Today the wee man actually seems a little tuckered out. I suppose that's what happens when you play like a crazy man the night before and then don't get a nap in the morning because you are busy chewing your bully stick. He still romped & played on our noon-time walk today, but he spent more time walking next to me and we didn't have a repeat of yesterday's hilarious puppy zoomies. It was so cute -- It was towards the end of our walk when he bolted about 50' forward and then just started to zoom in circles ahead of us on the trail before pouncing into the tall weeds. Gotta love puppies.

I tried to get a shot of Joe running in the yard this morning, but this is what I got. He's kind of fast. ;o)

We made progress with the clicker last night! I was correct in guessing that Joe would do better having the food delivered directly to his mouth vs. finding a tossed treat in front of him. His focus was world's better in this last session and he seemed to really be getting a grasp of the game. In addition, I was able to have the food bowl right out in plain sight and he left it alone! I didn't have to hide it in my lap anymore, so that was major progress as well.

While a good deal of progress was certainly made, we still aren't finished. Secret's first inclination is to touch EVERYTHING with her feet. She's just always been that way. Joe, on the other hand, is very much a nose targeting kind of guy. He was nose bumping the touch light like nobody's business last night and he seemed to truly understand that was the mission. I tried to wait him out at one point to see if he would escalate the behavior to using his feet, but he got frustrated and quit (ie: lay down). We did have a few successful attempts where he started to move forward, but then he'd go back to nose touching again. That's okay, I ended on that because it's still a lot further than we got in the last session!

One thing I always find difficult with the young ones is figuring out how much to feed them. I remember how hard it was to find a balance with Secret that wouldn't give her runny stool (ie: too much) or starve her (too little). Add to that, the fact that I am delivering kibble out of the treat pouch all day long makes it even harder to nail down. Right now I'm giving Joe 1/2 cup for breakfast & dinner, using 1/2 cup in our clicker session and probably handing out a good 1/4 to 1/2 cup in random treats throughout the day. He's been remarkably "regular" this whole time, but yesterday I must have fed a few too many treats because he was having minor poo issues. So... Fewer random treats, I guess.

I'm probably just overly sensitive to the poo issues because Kaiser developed a raging case of "colitis" (I use the quotes because that's the only technical term I can think of for horrible diarrhea and vomiting) on Monday and only today had his first solid bowel movement (with the help of metronidozole and pumpkin). I made sure to have a good stock of carpet cleaner on hand when the puppy came, but so far I've only used it for Kaiser's accidents....

Anyhow, I have no idea why I went off on that side track. Speaking of Kaiser, he's still being a rotten turd to Joe, but there have been huge improvements. This morning, for example, the two were actually laying right next to each other chewing on their bully sticks.

Kaiser is all fluff, more or less -- and Joe just has to stop letting Kaiser bully him. I think I found out how that is going to happen -- Toys!

Kaiser is the play police and tries to stop Joe from having any fun -- But last night we were throwing tennis balls and Joe is SO in love with them that he would just plow right through Kaiser when Kaiser would try to stop him. Eventually Kaiser just stopped being so rude and Joe was able to have his fun.

Joe is doing well in learning to play around the other dogs -- as in, this is my ball, that is your ball. Well, until one of the dogs drops a ball at my feet, then that is Joe's ball, too. Thankfully my dogs know they'll get it back when I throw it, so they didn't care -- And Joe would always find his own ball again after I threw one of the others. He is a natural at fetch. He pretty much always brings the ball back, although he will often forget to drop it and take off after one of the other dogs when they go out for their ball. Oh well, that's fun, too. :o)

We were actually able to play for quite a while last night with Joe staying focused the whole time. I figured I owed him a longer session because it was his first time being left home alone at my house (well, with the other dogs, too) because I had to work at the shelter. He seemed like he did absolutely fine, though. He's so good in a crate.

Which is good, because he'll be in it a lot this weekend. I'm working the 8:30 - 5:00 shift both days at CRHS, so he'll be crated all day save a break when my parents come tomorrow and my cousin on Sunday. I realize millions of people do it all the time, but I always feel bad the first time I leave them.... Oh well, he'll get introduced to the frozen Kong for the first time and I bet he'll love it!

Everyone is crashed right now, which is good. They need to rest up because it sounds like Rascal is coming over for a play date after work. I think Joe & Rascal should get along quite well! Secret will be happy to see him, too, I'm sure -- They haven't been over for some time.

We have a vet appointment at 8:30 on Monday for Secret's annual wellness visit and to get Joe's staples out. They look really good now, so I figure that should (hopefully) be a non-event.

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