Archive for the ‘Dog diaries,cavapoo,jager,dog blog,puppy,name’ Category

Guitar Hero

April 1, 2010

I decided to lay off of the agility training at home. Jäger was doing better at class, and I just didn’t want to overdo it with the training. I wanted him to like it, and pushing him seemed kind of mean. Justin and I had purchased Guitar Hero 5, and after a weekend of getting my butt kicked on easy, I wanted to improve. However, I couldn’t let him know I was practicing, he would consider that cheating. Whatever!

I went home and hooked up the wii and tried to figure out a way to create a new game without erasing the old game. But I’m a not a savvy technical gadget kind of chick, and in my desperation accidently erased all his old scores. Oops, My bad! Oh well, I figured it would at least take him a week to figure out that I had reset it before he becomes upset with me.

And what’s the deal with me being a cheater by practicing.  When I was trying to reset the game, I noticed all the levels were open and all the songs were played and scored 5. That was the total reason why I wanted to reset the stupid game in the first place. I can guarantee that he didn’t play all those levels with me! He was secretly cheating anyways, which if he notices that I reset the game, he can’t really complain. I have him on a technicality!

Being married is fun, because you find little loopholes where you can get away with stuff, and not get in trouble. It’s like being a kid all over again, but you’re not going to be grounded after they find out!

I decided to practice when he had to work night shifts. This would give me time to improve before the weekend when we both had it off. With this bad weather we have been having, we weren’t’ getting out of the house to much anyways and thus made for a good Guitar Hero challenge weekend, that included my favorite Sea Dog Blueberry Ale.

Every night during the week, I would come home, take the dog out for his walk, cook dinner for myself and plug in the game. Man that game is addicting! What I thought would be an hour a day ended up being about 3hrs a day. Jäger grew restless and I swear would know when I was about to get a 5 star and would move in my lap, or move the controller so that I missed a few notes. GRRRR

Than one night, I’m playing along to Kings of Leon, (my favorite song on the game) , and the dog is chewing his bone on my lap. We had come to a comfortable arrangement on how he would lay, and that worked for the most part. But about halfway thru my challenge song, I smell something. It is a terrible smell, that I can’t even describe to you, but it kind of smells like dog butt but it never goes away. I move the dog, because maybe he had the farts or something. But the dog just comes back to my lap. I move him again and miss the note. Damn, Oh well, I continue playing but the smell is getting worse. This time I move him off my lap and keep him off, but there is something wet on my pants. Ok Charity, just finish the song, but I can’t anymore because I’m distracted by the wetness on my lap.

I know he didn’t just pee on me did he! (well I hoped he didn’t )  I unknowingly take my hand and touch the spot, and I don’t know why but I lift my hand to my nose and smell it. I almost puked right there. It was awful, and now what ever it was is on my hand. Oh this is gross, meanwhile the game just booed me off the stage, and now I can concentrate on whatever this is. The best way I can describe the smell is that it kind of smells like belly button funk, dog poop and rotten eggs all rolled into one complex nasty lingering smell.

I know that it’s on me and that even grosses me out more, I start to gag again, and I get up off the couch. My stomach is completely turned upside down. I know I have to take my clothes off and I do, but I can still smell it. I decide that whatever this is will need to be washed off by a shower. I gag again, but I’m struck stupid by the smell and I take my hand to hold up to my mouth so I wouldn’t get any puke if I actually puked on the rug. That was the dumbest thing I could have done, because it was only a second ago that I had dabbed my hand in the wetness to find out what it was. I instantly puke, and am now running to the bathroom with puke in my mouth.

I puked my whole Jack in the box dinner in the toilet. As I’m trying to catch my breath and keep myself from puking I see my dog doing the boot scoot boogie on the carpet. Gag, Gag, puke! I know what it is, it’s his anal sacks! Oh crap, this is gross, puke, puke, gag, gag. I come up for air after about five minutes of hanging over the toilet, but Jäger is right there ready to lick my face. I get in the shower, wash myself thoroughly.

Imagine that scene in the crying game where the guy finds out that the women he loves was really a dude, and he takes a shower and sobs. Yup that we me sobbing with disgust in the shower! I wash off, dry myself, get dressed, and sit back down, but the smell is still so pungent. I look at my dog and I realize that it is on him, and in his fur. This is bad, very bad; I know I have to check him.

I also know I have to wash his butt because I have to remove that smell. As I realize this, I remember a story my Mother in Law told me about her friend who had a dog with the same anal sac problem and how it seemed to protrude out of the butt of the dog. This woman she was talking about was not a lady that would do this herself, no she let professionals deal with it normally, but one day, she gave the dog a bath herself, and had to do it. It’s a disgusting thing about small dogs no one will really talk about. Anyway, the way my mother in law described what her friend told her about what the sac looked like when it was inflamed, had me in tears now from fear.

I know what it is and it’s not inviting me to lift up his tail.  I’m picturing in my head a bulging, raging tumor growing out of his butt, because of the damn story Karen told me.  I gag again, and again, I have to get water first. Ok, I’m ok, I search frantically for the doggie wipes, where are they, oh ok I found them. Good. I look at the dog, and he is wagging his tail. I find myself saying something like “Yeah that must have felt good to you buddy, it must be like holding in a fart too long and finally getting to let loose” He just wags his tail.

Ok, I got to stop talking to the dog and just pick him up and check. I grab him, but him on the table where I can get a good look. I have the baby wipes in hand and lift up his tail. I am not a professional, but he looked ok, no bulging anal sac, just a little bit of wetness on his fur. I grab the wipes, puke in my mouth one last time and just wipe away the smell. It seemed to work, but the truth is if you ever ever smell this smell, you will psychologically smell this forever. You can shower, take a bath, roll down windows, open windows, spray your house, clean your house, whatever, you will still think you smell this smell. It’s like having a nightmare and not being able to wake up. It’s awful.

There are few times when I can look back and say oh that is a funny story, because that smell is in no way funny, but I have at least two, this one, because I can no longer play Guitar Hero without having PTSD and not want to puke, and one while the whole family was trapped in the car. I think you might have read that story already. I still think he did it on purpose, I think I wasn’t giving him enough attention, so he did it. That’s my version of the aforementioned events and I’m sticking to it!! But if dogs could talk, he would probably say, it hurt, I farted, I feel better now.

The worst haircut ever!

March 23, 2010

I’m not much of a do it yourself person. I want things done right, and I’m more than likely going to mess it up if I do it myself. I have no desire to work on projects at home or watch Bob Villa. Nope, that’s why there are professionals to do those type jobs.

When it comes to my dog though, things changed a little bit. This change occurred he was certified as a pet therapy dog. Being a pet therapy dog requires a lot of grooming. After about two months of having him professional groomed, the bill was astronomical. Justin and I were already in a pinch, so I had to figure out a way to do this a lot cheaper.

I ran and bought all the books I could, I bought DVD’s , clippers, five different kinds of scissors,  the shampoos and conditioners.  I read the books, watched the DVDs, and I must admit, I did a pretty good job for a few months. But I made one serious mistake. I bought the cheapest pair of clippers I could. I couldn’t afford the nice ones. They worked for a few month, but started to get really bad about two months ago.

One day it was time to clean him up, and I proceeded to give him a bath, dry him out, cut his nails and when I did the best I could on shaving him. But those cheap clippers were awful, and he was completely uneven all the way around. It was horrendous, but there was nothing I could do to fix him. The worst part about it is a black dog shows all the imperfections in his coat, more so than a blond or white dog would.

Justin got home and saw his poor dog and man did he have a rant for me. I was humbled and I could only explain to him that the clippers sucked. He was dumbfounded. He asked how long it would take to grow back out. I said probably two weeks. He looked at Jäger and just hugged him and said it was all mommies fault. Nice huh? The next few weeks I heard him tell Jäger I gave him a “ghetto cut” or the mom cut. He also suggested that I just get a bowl put it on his head and just cut around the bowl, like some mom’s did to their kids when they cut their kids hair. I think he called it a  poor man’s cut a few times. Oh man, I heard it all in the passing two weeks.

The funniest part of it all, happened a few days later when we went to agility practice. Our instructor Nola saw him and said, “Oh nice hair cut on Jäger, it looks really good” I had that see I told you so look on my face and for the next two weeks . Whenever Justin made a crack about Jägers cut, I would respond, “Well that’s your opinion, Nola liked it”

Well I would like to say it wasn’t that bad but it was pretty bad. It was so bad that when my birthday rolled around, my mother in law and her husband got me a really good pair of clippers. I was happy I got some new clippers, but afraid of what I would do to him. The thought popped in my head, that maybe it wasn’t the clippers, maybe it was me? I was afraid, and I put off cleaning him for an extra week. But he began to smell and I knew the time had come, I had to groom him.

Although I was afraid I groomed him and he turned out to have the best hair cut I have ever given him. He looked so nice, the clippers worked so well that Justin backed off on insulting my dog grooming abilities. In fact he said he looked about as good as Jax did, who that same day that Jäger was cut, was groomed professionally. I had to admit, it was a good cut, and I got my confidence back.

I told you so!

March 16, 2010

I have a bleeding heart for animals. If it was up to me I would save them all and become an animal hoarder. Ok I’m kidding; I like dogs, and tolerate cats. I have two cats actually, one is about 10 years old, and she hates me. She was never my cat; I inherited her when I married my husband. I think she knew this and took an immediate dislike to me, the only thing I can say is that at least she doesn’t pee on anything I own, she only pukes on it. She’s old what can I say.

My other cat, well she is mine, and she adopted me when she was just a teenager. About a week after we decided to keep her, (Ok, so I fed her against my husband’s wishes, but I can’t watch an animal starve) she went into heat. I thought something was wrong with her. She didn’t do anything that I thought a cat would do. I was told they whine a lot, but she didn’t really do that. She rubbed up on people a lot and she looked like she was in pain. I swore she was, and my friend Bill had to ask me if I ever witnessed a cat in heat before. I said no, and leave it to the man slut in our group to know a pussy in heat when he sees one!

I hope none of you are pro choice, because I aborted those kittens as soon as she was done being in heat. The problem was that we had already scheduled the appointment to have her spayed, and had to cancel, because they wouldn’t do the operation while she was in heat. So I decided to pay the extra 50 bucks if they dusted off the old coat hanger. Ok Ok, so that isn’t exactly true, they don’t use coat hangers, but I did pay the extra money to get rid of the unwanted kittens.

This cat was special, she had no tail, and I liked that. She hunted birds and I liked that too. She completely de-birded my backyard in about three weeks. I was so happy because the birds were blue jays and they suck. They are noisy and mean and I can’t stand them. We would go out to mow the lawn and they would dart for your head. Every day for the first couple months we would come home to find a bird on our door step, it was great. Some days I would even find two. Our house was the only house on the block that you couldn’t hear birds chirping. I was probably the only person who could sleep at night too.

We moved from that house a couple months later to a bigger city about an hour and half away. From that point on she was an inside kitty. She lost all her drive to catch anything bigger than a mosquito too. Shoot, we lived in a bird sanctuary, well not really but the wetlands were really close and the birds would constantly fly into our back yard and pool. For the first time in my life I would pay attention to the birds, the geese, the cranes, wild ducks and all the other types of birds that I would see. I never saw such beautiful creatures. The problem was if I thought that Blue Jays were loud, try listening to a pack of geese fly over twice a day. They are so loud. But all these birds were much bigger than my little kitty could take down and she happily accepted the indoor life and adapted well.

This is where my story begins. I wonder if anyone who reads this blog is married or in a long term relationship. If you are than there is nothing worse than being wrong. No one wants to be on the losing end of an argument, and no one ever wants to be proved wrong over and over again.

It started off nice, we moved from the house, to an apartment to save money. The economy tanked and we took a thirty thousand dollar pay cut. That hurt! But we will survive and like any resilient couple, we decided to move into an apartment save some money and buy a house when we could.

We searched all over the area for a decent pet friendly apartment. We wanted one that had large areas of grass for the dog to run around in, not a concrete jungle. We finally found one and moved in around November. The first few days we were way too occupied with unpacking to notice anything, but about a week later I went to take the dog out and noticed that there were little bowls around the building. One in particular was right outside our patio. At first I didn’t think too much about it, but a few days later I heard an incessant whining outside and went to investigate. It was a little kitty cat. She was staring at the empty bowl. As soon as my husband saw what I saw, he looks at me and says”Don’t feed it Charity”

It was so hard not to, but I later found out that some of the other neighbors were feeding it too and filling up the bowls. Then one day it all stopped no more food. The tenants had gotten mad because the cat was hungry and fought another cat for the food. This poor little kitty going hungry in the cold weather. I think I stayed resilient and didn’t feed the cat for maybe two days, then I fed it damn it. But this time I was prepared, and I had a camera. I took the cute little cat’s picture and posted it on my Facebook page. Yup I was going to find this cat a home.

I was actually quite proud at the end of the day because I had successfully found the cat a new home. I was excited and told my husband all about it on our ride home from work. I was expecting a good job, but he said something like “You fed it?” Ok let’s move past that part. He asks when the person is going to come pick up the kitty and that’s when my “I told you so” story really begins. I answered that as soon as I catch it, they’ll be picking it up.

I swear I was expecting feedback, but you could hear a pin drop in the car, he looks at me and says “What are you going to do when you catch it because that cat is not coming in our home” I fought him on this and won, the cat was quarantined to the bathroom once I captured her. I called my friend and she was on her way to pick up the kitty. While I was waiting for her, I brushed her coat out and noticed a flea. Oops, maybe I’ll just keep this to myself, this was the whole reason that Justin didn’t want, now what did he call her, oh yea Skankapotomus in our house. So I did what I thought I could and put all the towels we had down in the bathroom, so that if any flea decides to jump off her they would jump onto the towel and I could just wash them.

I thought I was successful in my endeavor. A month had passed and see nothing bad had happened. I was sitting on my bed pondering my good deed about a month later while I was petting my own cat. But what’s this; she has a rash I think. I felt her more and groomed her a little more only to discover she had a really bad rash. I kept it to myself for about a week and just watched all the animals. They all were scratching and seemed pretty itchy. The first I told you so happened when Justin was petting the dog, he felt some dirt on the dog and told me I needed to wash him. So I did, but what I didn’t tell him was that I found it odd that he was that dirty after I just gave him a bath a few days ago. What the hell is the dog rolling in? I groomed him and while I was I picked a piece of the dirt out of his fur, and went to the internet. I researched fleas, and it said that what I had in my hand was flea poop. OH GROSS!! But the only way to tell is get it wet, so I did, and it turned a color I was hoping it wouldn’t , it turned red, blood red.

Oh just great, at some point my husband is going to figure this out, especially when I have to buy the flea shampoo. Nothing gets past Justin, I think in some way he has some Jewish in him because when we go shopping his favorite line is “Do we really need that” I thought maybe I could bore him and he wouldn’t come with me grocery shopping that week, but he was already bored and a chance to go shopping and torment me seemed more appealing to him.

I created a distraction at the store, and asked him to get something, and while he did, I snuck over to the pet station and started reading the back of the flea shampoos. Will this work on cats too? I wondered when I felt a presence behind me.  I don’t know how long he was standing there, but he finally pipes up, and says, “What’s that in your hand?” I slyly respond, “Shampoo” “What kind of shampoo, you already have three different kinds for the dog, we don’t need any more” But right as he is saying that, he leans down and grabs the shampoo out of my hands. “Charity what the hell is this?” I’ve been found out! My trickiness didn’t work. I had to explain the whole thing to him about all our animals being infested, the carpet is probably infested and we needed to actually buy the frontline for all the animals. The dog had always been protected, but the cats weren’t, they never had any need to be because they never went outside.

Well, folks let’s just say, I’m not sure how many times the phrase “never listen” and “I told you this would happen” came up in our hour long fight. Well I wasn’t exactly fighting, more like being forced to listen to this, because if you ever lost a fight, you know you have to pretend to listen and say things like “I’ll remember that next time” and “I’m sorry that’s how you feel”

I think he scooped up anything on that shelf that could get rid of fleas. We tried on our own, but shit happens and well we had a much worse diagnosis than I thought. You see the cat’s rash was because she was allergic to flea bites. In fact she was kind of our fleamometer. If she still had the rash, we still had the fleas. The war began against the fleas, but the front was not united. It was my mess because I brought the cat into the house, so it was my responsibility to get rid of the fleas.

We went thru so many products, and finally had to call the vet because by this point if I ever do decide to have kids, they will probably be retarded from the amount of chemicals I was using in the house. I was surprised that those little fuckers could still be alive, nothing else was, not even my reproductive system.

The vet sold us this stuff that looks like a hairspray can, and smells horrible. You have to get rid of all the animals, spray it directly on the carpet and vacuum the floor over and over again. The suggested I put a flea collar in the vacuum too.

And here we go with another round of “You never listen to me” phrases as he calls his mom and asks if she can take our animals for the weekend. She did, and I had to move the furniture all by myself. But it wasn’t because he was a douche bag, he had a legitimate reason for not helping, he was working, so the war with the fleas became my problem. I was exhausted by the end of the day, with having to move all the furniture and vacuum and take the animals out of the house. I also got a fogger and decided that I already didn’t’ have a reproductive system, why not go all out and kill these things once and for all!

Our house didn’t smell good when we got back that’s for sure, but we were sure the battle against the fleas was over. Two months of waging war between those little devils. I truly believe that they are a creature of the night, a spawn of Satan!

The good news was the “I told you so” and “You never listen” remarks were starting to fade away. He was getting over it all. Woo hooo! That wasn’t so bad, he only told on me to his mom, sister and my parents and brother. All of them agreed with him and said things like “She was always like that as a kid” That was from my mom. “She always had to learn the hard way” was something my dad muttered, along with something like,” I handed her over to you when you married, thank god!”  My brother just laughed and said “She never listens” Whatever , they are all haters, I like to say I challenged life, if it can’t be done, I’d try it, if it shouldn’t be done, I’d still try it and figure out why it shouldn’t be done.

About a month had passes since our little Bloody Sunday. I like to think that was what the fleas would forever refer to extermination weekend I performed. About that time the dog got sick, really sick and had to go to the vet. The vet looks him over and even pulled out the flea comb, nope nothing on him. Whew I passed that test. Justin was looking at me when she did pull out the flea comb too. Finally there is silence in the room and she is pondering something, she pipes up “did you guys recently have fleas” I hated this question. I wasn’t going to look at him that was my plan, don’t make eye contact. I looked at the floor and said that we did about a month ago.

Oh I see she says and says they have to perform a test on him. Justin swears it was huge and he called it something like the crochet needle. He stares at the dog, and the vet lubes it up. It actually looked like a straw with a loop at the end, but by all accounts, it didn’t look like it would feel comfortable. She jabs it in Jagers ass and Justin looks at me with these beady little eyes. The whole time the dog is burying himself in my arms as if he was hoping this dream would end and we would not remember being butt raped by this little device. I think it was just as traumatic for Justin to watch as it was for the dog. Justin winced and had to look away.

The vet took the samples they needed and in a few minutes return to explain the diagnosis. Apparently Fleas carry worms and when they bite a dog, they pass on the parasite they are carrying. This cat had worms, and the dog had gotten worms from the cat. OH Lovely! I think it was about then that I said something like “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, REALLY? REALLY?” The vet look astonished at my outburst, and she explained some more. I wanted her to shut up, just be quite. I know I get it; it was a bad idea to bring the poor little kitty into our home. I just thought that God had punished me enough, you know, being stricken with swarm of fleas for two months and all. But nope, God had one last punch line he wanted to get in and here it is.

At first Justin was quite, he paid for the bill got the dewormer. I thought Oh good; he is not going to bring it up. That was until we reached the car, then this four month long fight of “I told you so” Peaked. I said some things like “I’m not a cruel person” He said some things, “Not every animal needs to be saved by you” I said “YES THEY DO!, he said, “You need to listen more”, I said “I do listen, it’s that I chose not to do what you said” Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, looking back, I should have just done what I had done previously, but I was tired from all the I told you so’s in the last month. I could no longer stand it. It was time to start defending myself. Well that went over like a turd in a punch bowl. The fight just escalated, and by the time we got home we weren’t speaking to each other.

I think we kept our distance for about 8 hours and we finally had to talk to each other. I thought about it, and decided that I would somehow make this right without having to admit I was wrong. I said something like, “I didn’t know the cat had fleas” He said that was just stupid to say, because the cat lived outside, and of course I knew it had fleas” Ok; he got me on that one. I said that at least I saved an animal’s life, and that was a good thing” He said “I put all our other animals in jeopardy for a skanky cat.” I think I blurted out what any women would have said “SHE’S NOT SKANKY!” as soon as I heard myself defending the virtue of a cat, I decided I lost and sucked it up.

I had to end this fight and the only way I was going to end it was admit I was wrong. I did, but he couldn’t take it, he spent about another hour, explaining to me why I need to listen more. I must admit, that my eyes although staring at him were actually rolled up in my head and I was thinking about what movies I wanted to see. He doesn’t know my “I’m not really paying attention to you look”, because I have perfected it. You see, you just pretend to be paying attention and every few minutes you pick up on a sentence and repeat it back to them. I do this with his golf stories all the time so he thinks I’m actually listening. I just did that after I admitted I was wrong. I figured this way he could finally get the biggest “I told you so” lecture out of the way and we could move on.

Ok the fight is over now, and apparently a few days ago as he was telling me another boring golf story, I used that look.  The next day I get in the car on our way back from work and it’s quite all the way home. I finally ask him why he isn’t talking about anything, golf, football, whatever, he normally has something to say and he finally said, “Because you’re going to give me that look and I know you’re not really listening” Well I guess that’s part of it, I like hearing his voice on the ride home and although I don’t like to topic, I like hearing him. Shit, now I’m actually going to have to pay attention, that’s when he started talking about golf, and I couldn’t help it, my mind wandered and halfway thru his conversation I interrupted him and said,”OH MY god, last week when you were giving me the riot act for the I told you so, you knew the whole time I wasn’t listening” I looked at him, and saw him crack a smile. He laughed out loud and said “Of course I knew, why the hell do you think I’ve been talking about Golf all week long, because you hate it, and I love seeing you squirm and think your fooling me” Go figure, that’s what I get for thinking I outsmarted him.

Crunchy # 2

March 1, 2010

So lets talk about all those toys that Jager wasn’t interested in for the longest time. First I must say that Crunchy went to the light a few weeks ago. He lived a long and slobbered life. He was gutted at the squeaker, and his entrails pulled out. I thought it was time, but Jager pleaded and followed me around the house while I had him in my hands. I gently placed Crunchy in the garbage can that I had while I was cleaning, only to find Jager chewing on the remains a few minutes later.

Than one day while I was battling a war with some pesky fleas, I had to get rid of the animals in order to fog the house. Before I fogged the house, I had to go thru all his old toys and figure out what ones could be washed, and the ones that couldn’t handle the washer had to be tossed. Unfortunately Crunchy was among the fallen soldiers who couldn’t be saved. He was sent to the light along with Hurl a squirrel, and little lamb, baby ducky, and Pete the magic dragon.

I thought that Funky Monkey would make it thru the wash but he was sadly decapitated by the powerful spindle in the washer. Well not totally, so I chanced it with him and pulled all the fuzz out of the toy and put it back in his box once we were able to reoccupy the apartment.

Jager came home with us and as soon as he got in the house, it seemed like he knew something was wrong. He sniffed all the corners of the house, and then went directly to his toy box, He looked at it and proceeded to pull all the toys out of the box. After all the toys were out, he realized that Crunchy wasn’t among the toys and laid down and put his head on the box and continued to stare with his pitiful big brown eyes. It was like he was crying inside. I felt horrible!

Justin and I couldn’t take it, we asked him what was wrong, and he wagged his tail a little bit got up and started searching. He searched for a few days refusing to be entertained with anything else. He was seriously depressed. The only way Justin and I could help him was to actually buy a new skin-eaze. However this task proved hard because they no longer carried them at Petsmart. It was by chance that we saw some and Bed Bath and Beyond and were able to replace Crunchy.

He sniffed it at first then kind of shunned it for a few days. That was until Jax came over for a visit and thought Crunchy#2, now named Squirrely was cool and started to play with it. After that Jager forgot all about his beloved Crunchy.

Crunchy Squirrel

February 24, 2010

In our excitement after we purchased our dog, we ran out to every possible pet store, and I alone think I kept them all in business from the money we were spending on preparing for his arrival. I can only imagine what having a baby is like now. We only had to wait 9 weeks.  I can only imagine how much crap I would have bought if I was having a kid!

We purchased dog food, dog beds, dog toys, skinneeze , kongs, plastic bones, real bones, and get this, a baby life jacket! What the Hell, a life Jacket before we even got him. I think if it looked cute or cool we bought it.

After a certain point my mother in law bought us his first Toy Box. She said he would need it, so we piled up all his toys and bones and put them in the box.

Once he arrived, we tried to get him to play with all the cool stuff we got, but dogs have a mind of their own. None of that was worthy of his attention except one toy, a brown skin-eeze squirrel, that he loved to shake around and play tug with. He would even suck on the legs. It was so disgusting because it became crunch really quick with all his dried slobber. I hated it already. I wanted his toy to die a horrible death, so he would stop bringing it to me.

Seriously, he couldn’t find anything else in that box that he could play with? I mean what’s wrong with the other stuff. Hundreds of dollars in toys and he only wanted this stupid $7.00 toy. GRRRR

But I endured it and knew there would be a day that I would throw that crunchy toy away. As he grew up, the interest in his toys was still random at best, maybe good for a throw or two, but that was it.

But there was one difference now; he thought he had NEW toys. Oh, (sigh) how many shoes did I go thru; probably four pairs during his teething. He also had a new fascination with anything that was mine.  I still haven’t found all my socks that he has hidden either. The one’s he didn’t hide, he ate thru.

Anything that smelled like me was his favorite new toy. At first I thought it was cute and kind of special. He loves me that much to hide my sock under his bed. How cute, but then it got embarrassing when he would bring some intimate item, i.e. underwear from upstairs down and play with it while company was around.

He would go so far as to start taking these “toys” while I was indisposed of like in the shower, so there were several times, that I had to run stark naked out of the shower and chase him all over the house to get the item back. “Stupid Dog” I would mutter under my breath, and I went back upstairs soaking wet with the prize in my hand.

One evening I was taking my shower and the dog did it again, and again, I run after him right out of the shower, barely able to get the towel around me and started chasing after him to find he reported back to my husband with said object. My husband looks at me and says “Did you have a nice shower?”

“NO! OF COURSE NOT!” I REPLY

I look around and see my husband dangling the item in his hand and the dog just sitting by his feet proudly wagging his tail. I swore a few words, grabbed the item out of his hands and started walking back, cold and covered by a damp towel. , and Justin says “Well I guess I shouldn’t mention your shoes than”

“What about my shoes?”

He points to where I normally take my shoes off and I look.  That’s when I saw it, my favorite pair of high heels, except it has no heel and the back part of the shoe has teeth marks in it.

“WHAT THE HELL! Where did the heel go?”

And again I look back at my husband, dangling the heel in his hand

“MOTHER F-ER!” yeah I said it, I don’t like to write and curse, but there is no other word that I can say that I felt at the time. I was cold and wet and still had soap in my hair and was mourning the loss of my beloved shoes.

I look back at my husband with a very dejected look on my face and again the dog is as happy as a clam. All I can hear is “thump, thump, thump” from his tail hitting the couch. To make matters worse, Justin has this huge grin on his face.  “WHAT!!” I Screamed

“You know all you had to do was listen to me when I told you last week to put your clothes in the hamper and your shoes in the closet. It’s not the dog’s fault you keep leaving your stuff for him to play with”

GRRRRR!!! I feel a monstrous fight coming on, he was right, but did he really have to say it? I’m pissed now and grab my heel out of his hand and as I walk away I scream!  I head back up to the shower and the dog wants to follow me, but I don’t want him to, if he gets any closer to me right at this moment, I’m going to spank his little ass, and I don’t train that way.

So I do the next best thing, I grab the baby gate and block his access to the stairs, but it was one of those stupid cheap gates you get at Rite Aid and it didn’t work very well. It’s stuck now and won’t pull apart and as I’m trying to open the gate, the towel falls down and that’s when I hear my husband laughing hysterically in the background.

I look back at him and he is keeping his distance, but he can’t stop laughing at me. I’m so frustrated that I wedge the gate in the spindles of the stairs, pick up my towel, my broken heel, and the undisclosed item he stole and proceed to the bathroom to finish my shower.

I finally get in the shower, but its cold water now because it was left running while I went downstairs to retrieve the item. I’m trying to wash the soap out of my hair, but it’s so cold, and am kind of hopping around in the shower to stay warm. As soon as I get the soap out, I turn the shower off and grab the already damp towel, dry my face and as soon as I open my eyes, I see the dog with another undisclosed item in his mouth. He looks at me and drops the item. WTH! I put the clothes away. I step out of the shower to see the dog was smart enough to know that he could easily grab any item out of our laundry basket. There was a mess on the ground from him pulling on the item and other pieces of clothes falling after he did that.

“What the hell is wrong with your toys?” I desperately ask him

He answers with a “thump, thump, thump “of his tail hitting the ground.

Right then a genius idea goes off, (insert light bulb here) and this was what I did the next time I took a shower, I grabbed his stupid squirrel and watch him like a hawk as goes in for the undisclosed item, but this time I get his attention by squeaking the squeaker, that didn’t quite sound like a squeaker, but more like a balloon with a hole in it. He hears it, perks his head up, looks at me and starts running toward me. (Mind you with undisclosed item still in his mouth)  He dropped the item and grabbed hold of the toy and starts tugging on it. As soon as he does that and he was interested in it, I removed the undisclosed item from underneath him. I looked up and thanked god for giving me the crunchy squirrel to divert his attention to.  And just so you know for the remainder of the shower, he kept his attention on the stupid squirrel too! Crisis averted.

On a side note, I didn’t speak to my husband for a few hours after he laughed at me, but he did the good husband thing and surprised me a few days later with an exact match in size and color to the shoe that Jager ate. That’s a good husband.

The famous crunchy squirrel

Teeter Board Blues

February 23, 2010

May 15th, the date is creeping up on me. It’s important to me because Jäger and I will compete in our first Agility Trial. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of support from my Mother in Law and her husband Jim. I know they will be there because Justin will be competing Jax again. Last time Jax competed he brought home two ribbons. It was fun to watch, but Jäger and I were left on the sidelines, not quite ready to compete.

We just learned he had a luxating patella, and were adjusting our routines and practice times to accommodate his needs. He was doing better out on the field, but he wasn’t consistent yet which was why we had to look on as Jax and Justin competed. I admit it was hard not being part of the action and every time it was Jax’s turn, I would hear a whine from Jäger as he watched his half-brother compete. It was almost heart breaking.

I observed a lot that day and I focused on the obstacle that was going to be our biggest challenge. The teeter board.  The teeter board is a see saw like obstacle,24” from the ground, with a 10” wide by 10’ long board.  When starting on the obstacle, one end is in the air, and as the dog nears the center and moves toward the other side, the board’s pivots down.

Jäger hates the teeter board with every fiber of his being. Every time he gets to the center where the board begins to pivots downward, he lies down with his belly smashed to the top of the board and slowly crawls his way to the end.  When I say slowly, imagine a snail going faster than my dog.   He keeps this position and slowly crawls his way to the treat that is placed ever so close to his face.  He grabs the treat, and inches a few more inches to the next treat holding this position. The whole time he is doing this, Nola and I are encouraging him and holding the board. He is actually not pivoting the board on his own yet, in fact Nola ever so gently pivots it for him and gently places the upward end to the ground. This is horrible.

Agility helps dogs gain confidence and it has helped out for the most part, but this damn board is getting the best of me and him. I guess it’s better that in the fun matches, there are several games to compete in. One is the full agility ring, which includes  13 obstacles, and the dreaded teeter board is one of them. But in gamblers, you can pick your obstacles and hope to gain the most points. This is what we are going to compete in if I can’t get him over his fear and do it quickly.

Sometimes I look at Jax out there and see how fearless he is and I want that for Jäger.

When we first started, he was good on the practice teeter. Than we switched instructors, and he got so much better, and faster, but for the longest time the teeter was never part of our instruction. Now we are in advanced class, and his fear of this is overwhelming and frustrating.

Finally after weeks of practice we were making progress, he was moving forward at a decent speed, and starting to pivot the board on his own.  One day during practice something really bad happened. We were running the obstacle,  and I was hanging a little behind him so he would move forward on his own when he slammed the board down completely. This wouldn’t have been an issue if he was looking straight ahead but because I was behind him, his head was cocked at an angle to make sure I was there. Right then WHAM! The board pivots and slams to the ground! But because his head was at that angle, he didn’t have the right balance and ended up getting tossed right off the board and landed on his side.

Now it’s important to get him right back on that board and show him there is nothing to be afraid of. He needs plenty of praise and treats this time and he began slowly this time, never looking up or at me. He almost instantly starting crawling and it took 5 minutes to complete this obstacle. It was devastating. Why, because now we were in a worse position that we started out in, he was afraid, and it could take months to fix this behavior and get him comfortable on the board.

Add to that one more thing I’ll explain in a second. But I have to go backwards and explain that in the advanced class we work with two teachers. One teacher is Nola and she has been doing this for years. She gets the dog, his fears, and works with him, maybe coddles him a little bit but in general she takes her time with him.

The second trainer is a young man probably younger than me, you know now that I think about it, I have never been told his name, so I’m going to give him one, he looks like a Brian. He’s an experienced handler, but a novice teacher. He hasn’t quite got how to work with both our dogs. He’s harder, and less patient too.

Nola takes her time to go over the course, he kind of walks you thru it once and hopes you get it. He even quizzes you on what you did and why you did something. Sometimes you don’t know why, it just felt right to do it that way I guess.

Ok so back to my problem with Jäger on the teeter board, He’s damaged now and training is going especially slow. The new male teacher is losing his patience with him and he instructs me to grab his collar and kind of force him back on the teeter board. We have to force him over his fears now. It sounded so Caesar Milan like, that I thought it would work.  Jäger wasn’t expecting this, so I grabbed his collar and did this obstacle, just this obstacle three times in a row. I thought to myself. Geez, this should take no time.

The following few weeks, this is what is happening now because of this stupid advice. I’m running Jäger on the course, He’s doing great, he goes over the teeter, over the jump, another jump, thru the tunnel, back over the A frame, thru the Tire all at full speed, he switches over  heads toward the hoop, jump, jump walk it, switch, jump. He looks great, I’m excited, he is doing so well, and the whole time you can see he is enjoying himself. But as we round that last jump he sees it, its right in front of him, he runs toward it, but as soon as he is supposed to go on it he runs left and now, he stays out of arms length. Grabbing his collar is not easy. He dodges the first attempt. I turn toward him back to the obstacle, I call him to come, he comes, but as soon as he see’s my hand, he dodges to the left. We do this dance for about a minute and finally I grab his collar and say sternly “TEETER” he kind of puts his back feet in front and tries to resist, but he knows he can’t and he starts walking on his own.

He finally completes the obstacle, and I walked away with my head down in shame it was the last obstacle to complete the course and that was how we ended it. I think he knew it, we had such a great beginning, but to end the course this way was awful. I try to stay positive, but when you have been working toward something for so long, it’s frustrating. No advice is working, and the teachers can’t help me and him get over this hurdle. It sucks.

I think to myself, OH MY GOD, will you just get better at this already!  Shoot MAY 15th is fast approaching and I want to compete in the full trial, not just gamblers. Damn it. It’s going to take forever to get over this. I kicked the sand up in frustration and a dust cloud started to waft up.

But right when I’m ready to give up,  and I saw the dust cloud, I realized my dog wasn’t by my side, so I looked back and saw him following behind me. He made me smile when I saw him jumping over all the jumps in his way just because he thinks it’s fun, I forgive him right at that moment. I crouch down and wait for his arrival at the last jump. He completes the jump and he comes toward me but he is so happy he is wagging his tail so hard that he actually can’t walk straight. He has a case of the wiggle butts. He was so proud of himself at that moment. As soon as he reaches my arms, I kiss him and hug him and tell him how proud of him I am. He loves me no matter what, and for what’s its worth, I don’t need a medal, I want one, but I don’t need it. I go every week because he loves it. I remembered that and as I’m kissing him and praising him I whisper in his ear “We’ll get it one day buddy, don’t give up on me”

Expressions!

February 18, 2010

Jager was probably about 5 months old when this happened. He was still a little poof ball of fur at the time. It was the beginning of fall, because my parents like to go wine tasting around that time in El Dorado foothills. This time of year the leaves on the trees and bushes turn a vibrant fire color right before they are supposed to fall off. We have gone with my parents every year, and this year was no different.

I have to back up a little bit here, to help you understand. After jager was a few weeks old, we caught him doing the boot scoot boogie on our carpet. I seriously followed him around with a bottle of Petzyme because it’s disgusting to see, and I had a beige white carpet so I didn’t want residue. We let it slide that day and the next morning we let him out to do his business  but he looked so uncomfortable when he had to go poo . He kept moving around the lawn hoping to find a magic spot that would help him out. But as soon as I let him back in the house, it was like he was wiping his butt on the carpet, and again out comes the Petzyme. I had enough of this , so I called Justin when I got to work because by this time he was off work,  and asked him to take Jager to the vet.

Justin called the vet, and got jager in right away. They took him to the back, did something, and handed them to Justin. I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t fully understand what Justin meant when he said it was the most disgusting smell he has ever smelled, and the car ride back he had all the windows down. I guess he was all aired out by the time I got home. I did ask Justin what the Vet said and she explained to us, that in smaller breed dogs, they sometimes have a problem with the anal sacks and need to have the manually expressed. She recommended we find a groomer and make sure this is done at least every 6 weeks, or we were going to end up in the Vet’s office quite a bit.

Now we must fast forward to our wine trip. My dad decided to drive his new truck, and Justin and I were going to take the back seat. Now Justin and I have a crate we normally put Jager in when we drive, but my parents have the halter harness that goes on the dog, and buckles directly into the seatbelt. Jager has never traveled like this before, and as we drove, he became nervous and decided to stretch out and lay across  Justin’s and my lap.

The truck my dad had was a four door duel cab pickup. It still was a compact space to be in even for a roomy truck. My parents were driving so Justin and I are in the backseat. The dog was on the harness in the middle of us. Jager was nervous, he never traveled like this before and so he would layed on Justin with his legs outstretched and panted heavily.  The drive up there was about an hour, and I’d say about three quarters of the way thru, Justin kind of abruptly pushes the dog off him and Jager comes to me and lays down on my lap. Justin didn’t say a word. A few seconds later, he tries to roll the windows down, but the windows had the child proof lock on them. At this point he almost looks like he is going to panic.

He leans over to me and politely asked me to try to roll down my window, and again I try but the damn locks are on it. Right about this time, I turn to Justin and tell him it’s locked. But when I do I see Justins face turning green and right at that moment I take breath, and OH MY GOODNESS, WHAT IS THAT HORRIBLE SMELL?

I looked at Justin and ask him quietly why he hotboxed us?

He looks at me and says in a hushed fighting voice “It’s not me!”

“ If that is not you then who did that?” I respond

It’s not me CHARITY! He says again.

But again I have to breathe, and the smell is starting to overcome us.

“ DAD, DAD, ROLL THE WINDOWS DOWN!” But you have to understand, my dad does nothing quickly. My mom says he has two speeds, snail speed and turtle speed. Which for a moment like this is not good at all.

“ Why?” He asks,

“Cause I need some air, that’s why! ROLL THE WINDOWS DOWN!” I say back to him

The smell is getting worse,

He asks  “Can’t you roll the windows down?”

“No dad, I can’t because you have the stupid child locks on the door or something ROLL THE WINDOWS DOWN AND STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS” I yell back because I was frustrated.

My mom is startled but as she turns her head toward us, she smells the poisonous gas that is slowly killing Justin and I. “STANELY ROLL THE WINDOWNS DOWN!” My mom yells at him

Now my dad has no idea why we are all panicking because he has no sense of smell, but none of us is going to use our last breath trying to explain to him what is going on.

Mom’s plea seemed to be working, but my dad doesn’t quite know where the button was for the child safety lock is, and as he looks, he swerves the truck a little trying to find it but he still hasn’t found it. My mom and I look at each other, and right then you hear the dogs tail thumping against the seat. We both look at him and she says “Did he go to the bathroom?”

“ No Mom, he didn’t, can you just open your window since dad can’t figure this out, please?” I ask

She doesn’t even turn around before the window starts going down. I’m sitting right behind her so I’m trying to squeeze my head thru the little space there is between the front seat and the seat belt but it was enough, fresh air. Ahh. I can think again, so I bring my head back in and as soon as I do my nose is assaulted by the stench again. This time I see my poor husband with no ventilation and he seriously looks ill. If he blows chunks I’m going to, now I’m really in a panic

“DAD! ROLL THE WINDOW DOWN!”  This time, he rolls his window down and Justin did the same thing I did, and we are both trying to force our heads thru that little space so we can get some air.

Now that everyone has practically yelled at my dad, he finally figures out where the window lock is and pushes it. Oh good, thank god relief!  Justin and I quickly open the windows but it’s the back seat and all the rear windows are still child safe, so they only roll halfway down. We are sitting up, with our butts off the seat trying to keep our faces out of the window. We did this for like five minutes. And finally sit back on the seat. The truck had kind of aired out, but that kind of smell sticks to you, and the fabric, and the dog, so it’s still there.

All I could say is , “ What was that?” And he replies, “His anal sacks Charity”  “That’s what it smelled like on the drive home from the Vet?” and Justin looks at me, and says “No, this is so much worse, are we almost there yet?” Dad pull over, find a place to pull over, I think that’s a winery, can you just ….Turn Turn Turn DAD!!”

He makes a sharp left and we all kind of smashed up to one side. My mom would normally have yelled at him for this maneuver, but I think she thought the smell was just as bad. This was about the time that the smell had penetrated my father’s resilient nose, and he says “Oh something smells horrible” YA THINK!

We finally arrived at the first winery, and I’m not even sure if my dad’s vehicle was completely stopped before we all bailed out on it. The dog is still stuck in the seat belt.   We are all bent over, hands on our knees, trying to get our breath back and not vomit. As soon as we can, we all start smelling our clothes, to make sure they didn’t smell like that truck.

We look back at the truck and I couldn’t leave the dog in there.  As I’m getting the dog, I hear the windows going up, and all I could say was “Leave it down dad, leave it down” He then goes into a lecture on car thefts and all this insurance stuff when finally my mom just says, “STANELY LEAVE THE WINDOWS DOWN THERE’S NOT EVEN ANOTHER CAR IN THE PARKING LOT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD”

He did, but  I think we all wished that we had a nose like his that day. We took our time at that winery, having our drinks, airing out the dog and the truck, but I think that smell lasted at least an hour, and the problem with having smelled a smell like that is that you think it’s on you even when you know its not. You can always smell it, or a hint of it. It was the foulest smell I have ever ever ever smelled.

The funny thing was that winery had a sign right before you entered the building and we all laughed because it said. “Children who are unsupervised, will be given candy and a free puppy” How fricking funny, It smelled so bad that I could have left him there next to that sign.

Zoomies in the Agility Ring

February 18, 2010

All Pooped outWhen Karen and I first picked our agility instructor we based our decision on wanting to have fun. After I completed the demo at the Doggie Dash, things changed. The next few weeks we saw little progress in the arena. The instructor kept repeating the same obstacles, and the handlers and dogs were quickly getting bored.

Jax on the A Frame

We started in agility thinking we never wanted to compete, but after the demo, we had dinner and all discussed the possibility of competing. We knew two things, we wanted to compete before the end of the season, and we didn’t have a good enough instructor for this to be possible. I’m not sure if any of you know this but dog agility is actually an event in the Olympics! Unfortunately for us those dogs have to be pure breeds in order to compete.

For us, this dinner was unusual. We were talking about making a change in how we approached the sport. I think actually calling it a sport was an upgrade. But by the end of dinner it was decided. We were going to look for a new instructor.

I mentioned in a story before that there were two types of instructors, and we now needed the technical instructor. The problem is, in a city as big as Sacramento, finding one that was accepting new students was going to be hard. We called around to a few of the ones that liked before and had to get on a wait list. I think it was about a week or two after we did this that we finally got an email to join one of the classes in our area.

The name of the agility center we were accepted in was Performance Dogs in Action. Nola Jones was our instructor and the owner. She was well known in the area, and had competed for decades nationally. She even used to train dogs to perform tricks for TV shows in Hollywood.

Anyhow Nola had 7 Australian Sheppard’s in her own pack. All of them knew how to work the equipment. Nola held classes every day and your skill level determined what day you would have class. All of her dogs would run up and down the gated area outside of the arena, and occasionally if you were leaning on that fence one of the younger dogs would lick your hand and try to sweet talk you out of piece of hot dog.

Nola lived on a ranch that she manned all by herself, she was tough from the inside out. The first time we met the serious group of handlers, we were taken aback. Most of these people are dog snobs. They can’t even imagine that you don’t have a pure bred dog. Oh no, Nola was no exception. She looked at our little guys and said something like oh they are those designer dogs or something huh?” “Yes” we said and  she replied back, “well I guess I’ll see what they can do?” We didn’t know what to think of her at first. She didn’t seem to like our dogs, or us for that matter, but each week, we showed up and each week we got better.

In agility you have to let your dog off leash to complete obstacles. This means that you have to have a really focused dog to let them go, and hope and pray they decide to run back to you, or have a really yummy treat.  If I have chicken or hotdogs, he loves me more than Jax. If I’m using Biljax liver treats, I’m nothing too him.

During the first year of our agility classes, the dogs weren’t always focused, and we had to try to get them together before class to run out some of the excited zoomies they would get around each other. But things didn’t always work out in our favor and there would be days that we would have to go with two fully amped up dogs, and hope they stayed focused on the course instead of each other.

We were at class one day and just completed a succession of jumps.  Jager was pumped up and his confidence showed in his walk. The other students, including his best buddy Jax also completed the same succession of jumps and the vibe in the arena was filled with praise and excitement from the owners and dogs.  He was behaving nicely, so we thought that for the moment we didn’t have a problem.

At this time my husband and I were rotating turns so that we both got a chance to run him on the obstacle course. This was helping us teach him to trust both of us equally and well it’s just a lot of fun to do. Justin’s turn was up and we were going to be working on a new obstacle the A-Frame in this course.

As he was walking up to the start line I saw it, that twitch or glimmer or whatever you want to call it in Jager’s eyes. I know that look well and when I see it, I know he is up to something.  Jager looked back directly at Jax. Both of them connected with eye contact and I’m not sure what they said in doggie language but they said something.  “Oh this is not good” I thought to myself and I motion to Justin to stop. I  then say “Hey, I think you are going to need the leash on this.” Justin responds, ”No, he is fine look at him!” but the whole time, Justin never looked down at him. I thought it was pointless to argue at this moment.  I looked down and Jager is still staring at Jax. “Ok, It’s your call” and Justin and Jager  started the course.

Justin un-hooks the leash and begins the A-frame when ¼ of the way thru the dog hauls ass  over the A-Frame, touches the contact zone and jumps down with excitement and joy.  He then runs full speed ahead at Jax. When they got close enough, Jax rears up filled with joy and anticipation and stands on two legs. The dogs connect at the chest and bump off of each other. They play bow and Jager takes off in another direction.

Jax is so excited that he pulls the leash so hard out of  his owners hand.  Now both the boys are loose in the arena….Great, Just Great. They ran, tumbled, jumped over jumps, thru tunnels and around the arena in circles chasing each other as fast as they could.  It was a circus, and neither Jim or I or even Justin could get the dogs under control. The dogs head for a series of jumps Jax goes first, Jager right behind him.  They jumped all five jumps then headed straight for each other and again at full speed chest bumped each other.

Jax’s dad and I looked at each other and realized that to those two dogs a chest bump was a doggie high five. They were congratulating each other on a good solid run. But what we weren’t expecting was for them to go at it again. Just great! Nola see’s the boys starting the second run and so do we, but we know it’s time to try and catch them. So Jim, Justin and I start running all over the arena trying to corral the dogs into an area that we could catch them but they kept evading us with quick abrupt movements. Finally Nola looks at and says to us, “say Tunnel and point to the tunnel.  Just go with it, they aren’t going to come to you any other way.  She’s almost screaming this at us because they are creating havoc in the other dogs. The energy of the other dogs was now excited and in the background you could hear them starting to bark louder and louder as if to cheer them on.

“Ok Charity, you can do this” I say to myself and run to the tunnel, the dogs are barreling towards me over another set of jumps, and I scream TUNNEL! And point to the obstacle! Oh no, here they come, a quick 90 degree turn and they are facing me and the tunnel. What did I just do, this is horrible. I’m going to get mowed over by two unruly dogs. But just like Nola said, the dogs went straight for the tunnel and at the other end was Jim.  Ha caught you suckers.

They had this face of sadness and surprise as we captured them and leashed them back up. It was almost like they didn’t think we could outsmart them but we did.  Jim and I had the face of triumph, because we finally caught those little buggers.

Now it’s time to face the music, or should I say Nola. We walk back with our heads down expecting to get a loud chewing out in front of our classmates, but as we got closer to her, you could only see a smile on her face. She came up to us and petted both dogs and congratulated us on getting them under control. We were dumbstruck, jaws hanging open, and tried not to make eye contact. I thought to myself, just go with it and don’t bring it up.

From that day on, Nola changed her attitude about our dogs; she loved watching them out on the field. She started being nice to us, and greeted each dog individually when we walked in the arena. There would be days that you would see one complete a jump and the next thing you know you see both of them sprinting over a jump at the same time.  Nothing was as bad as that day though, and now that we knew how to trick them, it became much easier to get them if they went off course. Eventually they stopped doing it all together.

Zoomies

February 17, 2010

I know I have mentioned Jax, Jäger’s best friend in other stories. From the day Jäger arrived, Jax has known him. Jax is a wonderful dog, who has always taken a liking to Jäger. It seemed like he knew that he came from the same breeder the day we got him. Jäger was instantly adopted by Jax, and there was never a foul moment between these two.

Jax has always let Jäger eat his bones, or play with his toys. They have groomed each other and fallen asleep together. At first, Jax was so calm and gentle with him as a puppy, and as he grew up Jax adjusted his play accordingly. Then one day Jäger hit his teenage years, and the competition was on. It seemed like they competed in everything. Who could run to the ball faster, who could play harder, who could get dirtier and of course who’s bone was tastier.

About that time, Karen, Jim, Justin and I went on a vacation and had to board the two boys in a pet friendly hotel. When we returned, the staff was surprisingly sad to see them go. Apparently, they thought the boys were just as fun to watch as we did when they played.

The staff told us that it was like watching two cotton balls roll around in the room together. It never ever became anything but play. The staff said that Jäger and Jax would quit after a few minutes  of play only to walk back by and see Jäger or Jax in the play bow position taunting each other. They would stand there watching as the taunting continued until they would again burst into a round of play. They said our dogs were forever welcome at that pet hotel.  My point is these two loved to play.

Karen and Jim have a really nice backyard, it has green grass, a nice garden area, and the house is nicely adorned with a deck. When the boys are together at Karen and Jims house , you’ll hear a thump thump thump thump as they scamper across the deck trying to chase each other and then you hear the scurry of their feet once they enter  back into the house and try to gain some tracking on the kitchen floor.

In fact I believe they think that the deck, family room, kitchen, dining room, entry way and hall are part of their racetrack. The hallway and deck always being the end and beginning, so once they reach it, they turn around wrestle a minute and haul ass back the other way.

After we witnessed this several times, we all came up with a word “Zoomies” to describe this behavior. Even the agility trainers have caught on to the word and use it to describe them on some unruly days. But these two are thick as thieves together. I don’t think Jäger has met a dog he likes as much as Jax, and I am almost confident of saying the same thing about Jax. They are best friends forever. And as a teenager, you could always count on your best friend to help you get in to trouble.

It was the beginning of October, and Jäger wasn’t even a year old. Justin and I were leaving on a trip for our anniversary and Karen and Jim offered to dog watch Jäger while we were out of town that week. We agreed and dropped off our dog at their house. This particular year, the rains came early in October, and the garden in the back became very muddy. But this still wouldn’t stop the boys from playing like they do.

About halfway thru our trip, we received an email from Karen along with a story and two photos attached. She was telling us that the boys did their normal race track run. I mean this is so normal for them that you almost stop paying attention to what they are doing. They then went off course and enjoyed playing outside for the next few minutes when it grew quite. Jim became concerned because just like with little kids, when you can’t hear them, something’s gone awry.

Jim decides that it’s about time to check on them, he rounds the corner to the family room and ….no dogs, so he proceeds toward the sliding glass door, and still no dogs, he enters the backyard  and finally catches them romping around in the garden area that was muddied due to the rain. As soon as these two dogs saw Jim, they came running toward him, with this look of pride and extreme happiness. What Jim wasn’t expecting was how much mud they had on them. It’s much easier to tell on Jax, because his feet are black when they should be blonde! I love looking at his mouth area too, because it looks like they were eating mud cakes!  Karen thought that this was hilarious and decided to take a picture of them and their mess with the pathetic look on their faces. It was priceless! I still am glad that I wasn’t the one who had to hose them off. Shoot if it was me, I probably would have tried to have them go upstairs directly to the bathroom for a shower!

That was so much Fun!

I thought you meant mud bath!

,

The Poo Poo Room

February 16, 2010

When we first moved up to Sacramento, the economy was booming and Justin and I flourished at our jobs. We were making good money, and so when we made the move, we rented a beautiful 2 story home with a large back yard and pool. Unfortunately the economy tanked and toward the end of summer in 2009 it forced us to reevaluate where we were living. My job was suffering because I work in a construction related industry; We had to make the decision to move to a smaller place in order to survive the trying times.

Justin’s sister and her husband had asked us to go on a cruise before we made the decision to move, so we were locked into going on the cruise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad we did, and am so thankful for the kindness they bestowed on us by allowing us to go on the cruise with them.  But we had to get out of that house quick before we got in over our heads. We quickly found a much more affordable place to stay and put in our 30 day notice.

The next four weeks were hectic , because we only had four weeks to move, and the first two weeks of that were spent packing, coordinating the garage sale and selling our stuff on Craigs list. The third week we were on our cruise, and the final week , was to finish packing, and cleaning and completing any repairs that needed to be made. We would have so many people in and out of our house that week, from repair men to cleaning company, and family. It was a crazy week.

Well Mexico was fun and all four of us had a wonderful time together.  But the week after we returned we had to pack our stuff up and get the heck out of the house. Jager had spent the week we were on the cruise  with his buddy Jax . Justin’s mom Karen and her husband Jim were dog watching him for us while we were away.

Justin and I have known since Jager was a little pup, that he has a sensitive stomach.  He is just so in tune with us that he is aware of what is going on around him. If we are stressed out, he picks up on it and won’t eat. If we disrupt his schedule, he picks up on and gets a case of diarrhea. And man what a mess that is to clean. This month was no different than the two times before. Something major was going on in our lives, and I guess we just didn’t think about how the little dude was taking it. I guess it didn’t help that he was being passed from house to house that month, while the inspections and repairs were being made.

During the day Jager is secluded to a small area in the Laundry room. We picked this place because it was the perfect size for him to stay in. It had his water for the day and a bed. The garage door entered into this room, so when we walked in we would normally pet him and let him out. Now mind you that I have had to clean up all other stomach disasters when Jager got sensitive. We had to put him on a special diet, keep him hydrated, but all other times, the vet has said nothing is wrong, he is just well “sensitive” I guess I believe that because something was always going on with us, when he would have these episodes. Believe me this is not a pleasant site to see first thing when you walk in the door, but the smell alone will assault your nose and send you over the edge right there.

This time was different, because it was Justin that had walked into the room first. You see in the past, I was the one arriving home before my husband, but this week he had gotten off early to take care of stuff around the house.

I had always made sure to clean up the mess before he got home, but this time I was the one at work. I get the call and a frantic husband is on the phone. Justin says “Oh no  Jager is (gag) is (gag) sick” of course my response is “What do you mean sick? And he responds “There is SHIT everywhere, on his paws, in his fur, on his (gag, gag, gag) Hold on for a second” and while I hold I can hear him trying to get control of his breathing. He is breathing in full deep breaths, and gagging on the way out. A few more seconds of this and he gets back on the phone…”Oh we have to (gag) … we need to (gag) takehimtothevet” Yes he kind of just blurted it out like that , really fast and really not trying to breath. All the meanwhile, every time he gags, I’m in my office, with a bright red face trying not to laugh. Tears start pouring down my cheeks as he spends the next few minutes telling me what he walked into. And again every time he gags, I hold the phone away from my face silently laughing my ass off.

Seriously, he didn’t care when I had to clean the mess. He didn’t shed one tear from me as I choked on my own vomit trying not to add to the mess. But now, it’s different, he is in the middle of this shit adorned room, and yes, I enjoyed it very much. At one point I couldn’t even talk to him, I was laughing so hard. I know that if he knew that I was laughing at his reaction a big fight would ensue. So I kept my answers short and brief. But my coworkers in the office would walk by my cubicle and see me jerking back and fourth, face bright red, smiling and tears pouring down my face. It was the kind of laughter that is contagious. The kind that people hang around and want to know what is so funny.

During this whole time I keep thinking omg, what if we have kids, is he going to vomit when he sees poo? How serious is the poo-vomit reflex in him? I finally get him off the phone, and let out the loudest laugh that I can, it was so contained talking to him, that now I’m hyperventilating because I’m laughing so hard. I can’t even formulate words at this point. It was such sweet revenge.

Well I was concerned about my dog and yes we did take him to the Vet. And yes, the smell by that time was pretty rank. But again, I still wanted to laugh when I found out that he called in re-enforcements….His mom.

He swore up and down that there was blood in the poo, and she was pretty panicked too by the time she got there. And in his defense, the smell alone was so bad that it took the rest of the evening to air out our house. I have to say that his mother is probably the best mother and for me mother in law that one could ever have. When she saw how panicked Justin was, she insisted that we get him to the vet and helped him figure out what Vet to take him too.  Sometimes it’s like she cares about our dog like he is her grandchild. She was so nice that day that she drove my worried husband and the puppy to the vet before I got home; I actually had to meet them there.

It was a pitiful site to see you dog covered in his own poo.  Still with him being such a mess, he wagged his tail endlessly and wanted love from everyone in the room. Of course no one wanted to pet him, he was dirty and smelly and I swear that Justin had a hard time looking at him completely. I think he just picked a safe spot on him to stare at and kept his eyes on that the whole time. But that didn’t matter to Jager at all, because all the people he loved were standing in the office of the emergency vet.

It almost felt like a soap opera. You know the scene, where someone is gravely ill and the room is filled with family and even extended family. Than in walks the Dr and looks around and begins his examination with everyone still standing in the room.  At one point the Dr is starting to get confused, because he is not sure who is who, or even who he should address. Finally he says this must be one of the most loved dogs he has ever examined.

The vet did his exam and finally says that everything is perfectly fine with him. I like to say he had an irritated anus! All kidding aside, he had colitis. The Vet said his stomach is sensitive and all that stress was wearing on my dog. He gave us some antibiotics just in case, and we had to give them to him for about a week.

Still, when we got home, I noticed another smell on top of it all, something pungent, over the smell of poo. And I finally asked Justin, what happened after he got of the phone. Apparently he didn’t have as good of control over his stomach either and as he tried to clean the mess up, he really did vomit on top of the shit. Now I just can’t control myself and the memory of him trying to describe the mess to me floods back. Yup a fight ensued, I was insensitive, I didn’t understand.  I just couldn’t help it, I was on the floor laughing so hard it took me 10 minutes to stop.  I just kept thinking of him having to really clean that mess up after he threw up on it.

What’s even funnier to me is that Justin remembers everything, I mean where the poo was, how it was on the pillow, and finally the smell.  Yes, I find it really funny that he has a scent recall part of his memory.  He can’t even talk about what happened without starting to gag. I think this experience has given him PTSD (Poo traumatic stress disorder), but  it’s the funniest thing ever!!


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