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mbc1963

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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. Thanks for the info! I have been looking for chicken and turkey backs and necks. It seems as though I find them in my local grocery once every couple months, and then they disappear for a long time. (When I had Buddy, I would buy them up and freeze them... but I literally haven't seen any in the three months I've had Cricket!)
  2. Buddy loved cuddles in the morning when we first woke up; Cricket does, too. The rest of the day? Meh. Take it or leave it.
  3. Hi, I used to give Buddy a frozen marrow bone every week or so, as a treat. This new dog, Cricket - I'm giving her a lot more. She loves to be in the yard, and it's nice to have her in the yard, but she digs holes if she doesn't have something to entertain her. So, I've been giving her a marrow bone maybe 3-4 times a week. It lets her be outside, and gives me an hour or so to rest after work before I do a big hike with her. Her teeth look cleaner and whiter already (it's been about a month of this). But I'm worried she might be getting too many calories or too much fat from the marrow. The stores used to have nice long bones cut into 1-2" thick slices, but now all the butchers seem to have is longer ones - maybe 3 - 5" long. I'm also worried about too much wear and tear on the teeth and gums. How often do you folks feed marrow bones as treats, in supplement to the regular food? If I feed Cricket a longish one, should I skip dinner that night? She's a wee thing - 20 pounds or so - and in very good physical shape, runs a lot, and doesn't seem to be inclined to pack on weight. I can still see her ribs when she inhales deeply.
  4. Good news! I wouldn't let down your guard completely, just because things like food and toys can set up a different, non-neutral dynamic. But it sounds like they're on their way to working it out. I'm a bit envious - tired dogs are so much easier than wired dogs.
  5. That is a fabulous write-up! The dog is clearly well-known and appreciated! And he's beautiful!
  6. BINGO! As I said, my old boy was reactive. He was probably reactive by nature, but had also been a street dog for a couple years before being brought to rescue. I largely managed this after I figured him out by yelling, "He's not friendly" and hoping the other owners had enough control that they could leash their dogs. Sometimes not - young labs were the WORST. Several times before I knew him very well, I watched Buddy do the exact thing you're describing: flip another (usually younger and energetic) dog, and then stand over him, growling and staring. Seemed like an eternity, but it was probably 30 seconds. The thing I was amazed by was the precision and purpose of this body language. Buddy didn't lay teeth on the other dog - he didn't NEED to. He was giving the other dog a "come to Jesus" moment that told him "Don't ever get in my face like that again." It never escalated; always ended the same way, with a release. Kind of like a cop letting me off with a warning after I did 50 in a 35 mph zone. My sister got two puppies when Buddy was sevenish. The smaller one learned Buddy's more subtle cues while we walked on leash. The larger one could never learn - she thought Buddy was SO COOL and just wanted to be in his face. Finally, we let them off leash in a big field, and the bigger pup got in Buddy's business, and he flipped her and yelled at her. She never pestered him again after that. Peace reigned in our little group. So, you are exactly right in that the submissive dog is waiting for the other dog to release him. This falls on some point in the "normal dog body language" continuum, and dogs understand it perfectly. I would never reach in to break this up, because I knew Buddy wasn't going to bite, but I was afraid that the addition of another body into the tense situation might make it worse. This is not meant to be a summary of how bad my old dog was - I'm getting retroactive anxiety just reliving those moments! - but a clarification that what looks horrifying to us humans is purposeful and laser-sharp in its meaning to dogs. It was interesting to me, seeing a dog whose formative years were lived among loose DOGS, not humans. He definitely had different rule book from the one issues to the pampered pets in my neighborhood.
  7. My old boy Buddy would absolutely NOT tolerate a stare. To the point that early on, there was a nice man who was helping me desensitize him. We used to laugh, because if the man looked away, Buddy was fine. As soon as the man turned his eyes on the dog, Buddy would growl. It was a perfectly functional switch. He eventually got OK with stares from humans he loved. Dog stares? Never. (Mind you, he was quite reactive his whole life. But I learned to manage his dog interactions very carefully.) I think about this when I'm walking down the street and I get one of those "hard stares" from a young child. It's really off-putting and unsettling, seeing another human stare you down, even when they're three. They simply don't know the rules of politeness yet.
  8. While we're posting ear pictures... My neighbors have a dog who is possibly the coolest looking dog I've ever seen. He's allegedly a French Bulldog Jack Russell Mix. But this one... the EARS!!
  9. I think there's almost 100% certainty that she's all terrier and no border collie, despite her original rescue label. But... that EAR! It kills me!
  10. I'm also sorry to hear this! I do wonder whether genetic aggression could still be tied to thyroid or other biochem issues. Those might be genetic as well. just a thought. Best wishes in your exploring your options.
  11. LOL... I decided I would cave on that, because I'm a soft-hearted wimp. But she's been choosing to sleep on the couch or more often inside her open crate, and NOT get on the bed with me. (She does like to lie on the couch where I usually sit, though... so I think she likes being near my scent.) My father's old dog started life as a shoe-chewer, then gradually just chewed insoles, and then later would simply remove the insoles from our shoes and move them around the house.
  12. I've been leaving my new girl uncrated the last few days when I worked; she's done fine. (Near as I can tell, she sleeps on the couch all day.) Today I had to go back to work to participate in "Back to School Night" where I teach. I decided to leave Cricket out of the crate since I'd only be gone a couple hours and it was very hot. (She likes to lie on the wood floor.) When I got home, I went to put my walking shoes on to take her out for a last loop, but couldn't find my shoes anywhere. I finally looked in the bedroom. There were FOUR pairs of shoes on my bed (insoles chewed out of the Converse, fuzzy slippers turned inside out), along with the extra leash and (??) my guitar strap. I guess that'll teach me to leave the house in the evening!
  13. Fabulous for Chance! Good luck. Has anyone else ever read the book "Mostly Bob?" A fabulous story of a dog-neighbor who clearly runs a campaign to switch homes and move in with the author of the book. And succeeds. It's amazing. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1092749.Mostly_Bob
  14. I took Cricket back to that park yesterday, very early in the morning (in hope it would be more solitary). We stepped far off the path a couple times, which usually cues other owners into the fact that we don't want to meet their dogs. One big dog came trotting up, and the owner (too far to do anything) called, "He's friendly!" I picked Cricket up and said, "She doesn't know that!" The owner apologized. I ran into the big black pyrenees/flat coat mixes, too, and picked her up. That one dog is VERY big! The owner was all, "He just wants to play!" I said, "Well, she's very frightened!" Again, embarrassed apologies. My dog is pretty good if she can meet a dog slowly, on leash. She'll relax. But if she's on leash and they're not, she gets fearful and tries to run away, which triggers the other dogs to chase her around me, and things get stupid really quickly as I get tangled in the leash and I'm trying to manage my dog plus one (or two or three) others. I want to help my dog desensitize to meeting other dogs, and NOT pick her up like that... but I also really don't want her to practice and reinforce the "dogs=fear=running" behavior. I think I'm going to get some cards printed showing the big dogs surrounding a tiny or fearful dog on leash, and then showing the HUMAN equivalent of that scenario: a 92-pound middle school student surrounded by a college football team. All the linebackers are poking and teasing the kid, just "being friendly." What amazes me is that the owners really have no control over their dogs AT ALL, once they spot another dog and start approaching. They generally stand there calling their dogs' names, louder and louder, as their dogs completely ignore them and continue doing whatever they were doing before. It would be more helpful if they'd run away quickly, calling their dogs; at least the dogs would likely follow them. (Shameful note: the first dog who came at us yesteday - barking and charging! - was a border collie. His owner said, "He's not aggressive; he's just doing his border collie thing." Oh, I could have given her a lecture about how border collies act!) I think I'm going to just get all assertive, and speak some truth to these people, even if they see me in the future and think, "Here comes that female dog!"
  15. Grrrr. I have written SO MANY posts about my old reactive BC Buddy, and the stupidity of owners calling, "My dog is friendly" as their big, idiot lab charged at Buddy. Setting me up to be leashed in the middle of a dog fight, or their own dog to get a punctured ear. Last weekend I was walking my new dog Cricket in a local wooded park. The rules of the park are posted at every entrance: dogs are to be under control of owners at all time, and should be leashed when approaching others. Because even if your dog is friendly, OTHER PEOPLE MIGHT NOT WANT TO BE APPROACHED BY THEM. So, I'm taking my TWENTY-POUND dog for a loop of the woods. Two women approach with big chow-types. "Could you leash your dogs please?" "Oh, OK." Followed by the "They're actually friendly," and I reply, "Mine is terrified of dogs rushing at her. But if they meet slowly, she's fine." They watch the dog as she attempts to flee their dogs, and say, "Oh, I can see how she is. Yes, let's let them meet slowly." All is nice and sweet, dogs are all fine, taking treats and sitting together. But right up the path come three women with three Pyrenees/flat-coat-retriever sized dogs between them. I call, "Could you leash your dogs, please?" They don't hear me. So, I pick Cricket up and walk on. As the dogs pass us, one stares at my dog in my arms and starts growling at me. I say, "No. No growling." The dogs move on, and I'm contentedly away from them. But, as the very large dogs meet the chow-type dogs, back where I was, I hear a massive dog fight break out - owners shouting, dogs obviously going at each other. Probably took two minutes for them to break it up. Later! Other side of the same park. The big black dogs running far ahead of their oblivious owners are passing me again. I actually had to walk off the path, into poison ivy, to get far enough away that the lead black dog won't pick up our sense and come charging at us. Down the path, I run into another woman with a small dog. We start to complain about how the little dogs don't have any CLUE that the big dogs are friendly, and how they get terrified being surrounded by a pack of big dogs. Then ANOTHER small dog owner joins us, comments that we are the only people with leashed dogs in the park. GRR! We had all had the exact same experience with the stupid gang of black dogs. It is SO FRUSTRATING how people think their dogs' fun trumps the rights of all the other dog owners. If you want to let your dog off leash, do it. IF you have a good recall and IF you really have control of your dog. Which those types never do!
  16. I'm not a huge fan of having a dog in my bed. I like my bed clean, smelling like summer breezes. I let Buddy in, because thunder terrified him, and the only way I could get any rest was to ease his barking panic by resting my hand on him. With this new dog Cricket, I have been strong. She hasn't been invited up. She sleeps on the couch or in her crate. (Crate if there's a critter outside and she's scared. She will "kennel up" herself for reassurance.) But last night! At 1:30, something spooked her bad. She jumped off the couch and ran into my bedroom and jumped right into the bed, then proceeded to be her cutest possible self: rolling over, giving me her belly, snuggling right up against my side for comfort from whatever had frightened her. And looking so damned pleased with this new arrangement. I got her off the bed and went to the bathroom, only to return to the bedroom and find her curled up in a ball, right in the middle of my pillow. This is a tough opponent, my friends. Only time will tell who will win this battle.
  17. So sorry to hear this! She was dearly loved, and as shown by the photos, loving.
  18. Sorry... just saw your request to know how to save a search on eBay. I just did a search for that book, which did not show up as available. But right at the top of the results page, there's a link to click for "follow this search." I think if you sign in to eBay with your account, it will let you keep that search in records, so when a book comes available, it will notify you. (It used to be called "saved searches" but I think it works the same way.) Good luck!
  19. So sorry to hear this! You haven't been with him nearly long enough. Good wishes for a stable future.
  20. She's good, thanks for asking. The original age estimate was 5 years, but based on her interactions with my sister's dogs, zoomie speed and occasional bouts of frustrated yapping when she doesn't get her way, I'm guessing she's more like 1 or 2. She was definitely a teenage mother. She's starting to be willing to meet other dogs face-to-face, as long as they're not tugging to get at her. As far as I can tell, she never reacts aggressively to dogs - she just backs away as much as she can. It's a whole nother world, having a dog who can be bumped into and touched by dogs and people without being reactive. It's going to take me some time to get used to this more normal way of existing.
  21. I have had my new dog just about two months now. She came out of a hoarding case in the south; the owner had 50 dogs on the property when he was evicted and animal control took them. So, i don't think she had a background particularly rich in human interaction or language and commands. She was with a good foster home for several weeks before I got her, but even in that home she was among many foster dogs. In the 8 weeks I've had her, I'm AMAZED at how much she has come to understand - especially the normal daily language (verbal and body) interactions humans have with their dogs. I wanted to write this as a marker, to take note of the incredibly steep learning curve she's had. From knowing almost no human interaction, she now knows and very clearly understands; Sit Lie down Stay Go for a walk Go out in the yard Supper Ride in the car Get in the back (car) Raccoon (toy) Blue (toy) Give Come Let's go Jacques (the bird we're watching) Kitty Bird Squirrel Up Bone Kennel up Zoomies Almost more than the actual words, though, I've been so amazed at the quick ability to learn "the ropes:" the patterns of our daily lives. I take a shower before bed every night, and then have Cricket kennel up. It took her maybe only 3 or 4 days before she would run to the crate when she heard me get out of the shower. (She's anticipating treats.) The morning pattern is greetings/cuddles on the couch/go out in the yard/get breakfast. Again, 3 or 4 reps and she had the whole pattern down. Shoes out? Better run to the front door because we're going somewhere. She's running into the store? I can jump in the front seat of the car, but I'd better jump back into the rear when I hear the "unlock" beeps. Going for a walk? We'd better go to the convenience store where they give dog treats, and we'd better stop again at Brian's house to get more treats. I've always known that dogs have an amazing ability to learn and understand us and our patterns. My old boy Buddy had a vocabulary of hundreds. I guess I've never fully processed how very fast their brains can acquire this vocabulary and understanding of how we operate. Go dogs!
  22. Buddy got sprayed once, top of his head, not near his eyes, and I used the skunk remedy above. It completely removed the odor - five hours after the spraying, I had him at the flea market and no one could smell skunk on him. The other time he got sprayed, it was all over his face, so I couldn't really drench the fur where it needed drenching and YES, we still got a whiff of odor every time he got wet... right up until his next shed. I think a lot of the success has to do with whether the oil from the skunk has time to absorb into the dog's fur. The Dawn does a good job of emusifying the oil so it can be rinsed away; the H2O2 and baking soda actually cause a chemical reaction that splits the scent molecule into molecules that don't smell. Another note: the time I used this stuff quick and effectively, the peroxide did bleach the hair near Buddy's ears. The black was reddish, gain until he shed that coat and grew a new one. My neighbor's dog had the same "highlights" that year.
  23. I was sitting in my yard when I heard a high, loud scream from the yard two houses away. Then I heard absolutely panicked screaming from my neighbor and her son-in-law, who live in the house. They were shouting the name of their large dog, Lola. Shouting it in absolute panic: LOLA! Get away! Lola NO! LOLA OFF! Screaming like you don't hear coming from adults except in footage of terrible news events. I pictured Lola attacking a small child who was visiting. The screaming continued. I ran over to see if there was anything I could do: watch the other dog, watch the children if necessary. Only it wasn't a small child Lola was clamped onto. It was a skunk. She was shaking it and tossing it like a rag doll. Ultimately, they got Lola away from the skunk. The skunk is alive and circling their back yard right now, looking for an escape route. I smell because I stood in the general vicinity of the dog for five minutes. My clothes are in the wash. Lola, unfortunately, is foaming wildly at the mouth and much chagrined at her fate. She is being soaked and bathed in skunk remedy. This stuff really works, if you get it on immediately and let it sit for a good long while. http://home.earthlink.net/~skunkremedy/home/sk00001.htm And that concludes the annual late-August broadcast of the skunk remedy public service announcement.
  24. I agree about trust, and also about the other dog thing. I looked at a lot of rescue websites and a lot of dogs this year, and many rescues will only rehome fearful or timid dogs into homes with another "balanced" dog, because the second dog is so good at building the confidence of the shy one. Play also seems to help. My new girl was "perfect" for about five weeks. She wouldn't touch anything in the house, wouldn't play with the toys, would only walk with me and lie on the couch or in her crate. Five weeks in, she had gotten over her timidity enough to play with a squeaky toy, and that seems to have opened the dam. She's playing with toys and with me now. (And getting a bit of an attitude - so be careful what you wish for!) I'm also taking her to a safe open space a lot to let her run off leash. There's something about this that's helping her confidence, too - she really loves darting off to explore, and then coming back to find me still there.
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