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Tag Archives: dogs

Your Forever Pup

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I want one of these, mostly to see how they manage to capture the essence of May’s ears.

I don’t know who is cuter.

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Training the Tough Stuff: Part 3

Class has been over for several weeks now. I miss it and Maybelle probably does as well. I admit, I just like dog training. I’m sure part of it is that it’s a good outlet for my inner control freak tendencies. But there’s also something cool about learning how your dog thinks and seeing it respond.

During the second to last class she had a good day with the trainer’s new dog. He’d come to class once before but May wouldn’t let him get close at all without popping off. She was willing to accept him by the second class though, and we parallel walked without much trouble. I thought this was especially interesting because I suspect he is just the kind of dog she tries to bully–a submissive male.

On our last day we were meandering through the park, and the only other dog still left in class was up ahead of us. When class first began this huge mastiff mix wouldn’t get anywhere near the rest of class. She was so dog reactive — and so strong — it took two people to control her. But on the last day she was maybe 30 feet ahead of us, and barely noticed we were there. But at one point she started to strain against the end of her leash, which set Maybelle off into a brief barking fit. Nothing major but she definitely wanted to let the dog know she had her eye on her.

The trainer said, “Out of control dogs are definitely a  trigger for her.”  Read the rest of this entry

Ira Glass’s Dog

Apparently, mild-mannered This American Life host Ira Glass owns an attack dog, and you can hear all about it on this episode.

It’s a humorous story, though one that seems all too familiar. We’re talking about owners who go to great lengths to give their dogs the best care possible — in this case, that means importing kangaroo meat for the dog’s food — but probably causing the dog great anxiety in the meantime.

Piney, the Glass’s adopted pitbull, has a number of health issues as well as behavioral issues. He’s a fear biter and has auto-immune issues, and basically sounds like a neurotic mess. And whenever I hear about a dog like this — an anxious dog — I assume the owners are behind it. In this case, they got Piney as a puppy.  Read the rest of this entry

Is My Dog Seeing Ghosts, Sleep Walking, or Having a Seizure?

I made this video a couple weeks ago after Maybelle experienced another one of her weird late-night “episodes.” Today I brought the video to the vet with us, but we still aren’t sure what’s going on. I’m supposed to keep a log of these episodes, which are pretty infrequent (once every three months or so). My vet — who I love — had one other suggestion for me. If we determine that she’s not having small seizures — or can’t figure out what’s going on — that perhaps we should see an “animal communicator.” Apparently she’s got a couple she trusts and now I just kind of want to go anyway…

Anyway, has anyone ever seen something like this? It fits some of the “small seizure” criteria, but I’m still kind of hoping for ghosts.

Your Herding Breed & the MDR1 Gene

The last time I gave Maybelle her dose of Revolution I swear she had a weird reaction. When we were going to bed that night she got up on her couch and started panting heavily (it was October in Connecticut, there was no reason for this). She looked very…strange… I sat there and pet her for a minute while she relaxed but the next day I started doing some homework and I started learning about problems many herding breeds have with certain drugs thanks to mutated MDR1 genes.  Read the rest of this entry

Training the Tough Stuff: Part 2

Just a cattle dog and h er Cabbage Patch kid.

Maybelle and I have been to six out of eight classes now, and we’ve had some mixed (and interesting results). By the third class or so, May was all but ignoring her pitbull buddy. The other owner and I were able to walk past each other without a problem, and eventually we even stopped, asked the dogs to sit and stay while we shook hands and then continued on.

Success!!

But then the pitbull graduated, and we had to start from scratch. There are only two other dogs in class at the moment, and they both have dog reactivity issues as well — and aren’t necessarily friendly. So we can’t really practice with them. The trainer brought her dog, but he was new to her, and for whatever reason, Maybelle was not loving him.  Read the rest of this entry

Feed Jake

This song is ridiculous… but it also makes me cry every time I hear it.