Tag Archives: dog

A Hiking He Will Go

A friend of mine runs a dog hiking business.  At one point in time she also did dog sitting and maybe still does, but the hiking is the really cool part.  I mean isn’t that cool?  She hikes packs of dogs (I’m talking about 8 dogs every day!) Monday through Friday on different trails all over the valley.  I saw some pictures she’d posted on Facebook one day and asked her if she ever hiked smaller dogs. Her reply was that she hikes small dogs all the time and they love it.  Of course they love it; they get to explore and hike off leash with a bunch of their buddies!

So anyway, we started chatting about Jack and she said she would love to take him on a hike and see how he does.  And you know how he did?  He did freaking awesome!  Rob told me to try not to “shoot anxiety out my forehead” when she was on her way over.  Which I didn’t really think was very nice, but it’s true and funny, so I said I’d do my best.  I pretty much instantly felt calm when she came in though. She’s been doing this for years and has worked with a few dogs with similar issues, so I trust her 100%.

They saw a few other hikers on the trail and Aimee simply told them that Jack was still learning and to not reach down (sudden movements towards him or reaching down when he hasn’t warmed up to you have been triggers for him in the past). The results?  “He was a rockstar.”  Those were her words, hence the quotation marks.

Jack is now hiking three days a week and loving it.  He is beyond exhausted when he gets home, but I honestly see a mellowing in him and feel really hopeful that he’ll continue to progress.  He’s already come so far, and this is just one more step in the right direction.  One day when I feel he’s ready, we may just take on another dog so he can have a buddy.  We may, I reiterate.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Trucking along!

Trucking along!

 

Taking a little break in the shade.  I know he's panting, but doesn't that look like a giant grin?!

Taking a little break in the shade. I know he’s panting, but doesn’t that look like a giant grin?!

Cooling off in the water.

Cooling off in the water.

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Poop Talk

At our house we talk about poop.  Some people are very private about stuff like that, but Rob and I are all like, “How was your poop this morning?”  We talk about the quality of our poop and our dog’s poop; if he pooped, what he pooped on and if it was a decent poop.  Jack, the dog, not Rob.  Having a good quality bowel movement everyday is important.  For everyone.  You can google it if you don’t believe me.

When Jack doesn’t drop a turd on a walk we’re all concerned.  Rob will come home and look all worried as he says, “Well, that was weird.  He didn’t poop.”  On his afternoon walk it’s common for him to do what we like to call a “double pooper.” Meaning he goes twice.  And listen, the second one is never good.  It’s always a runny mess.

Today, Jack tried to wrap up his poop before he was actually done which means that a couple of extra pieces dropped out after he had left the squatting position.  And do you know what he did when he saw those little nuggets drop out onto the sidewalk? He ate them.  He seriously ate them.  I seriously threw up in my mouth. Unfortunately, there was yet another turd that hadn’t made its way to the ground. Instead it had become what we refer to as a “dangler.”  It was stuck in his butt beard.  It’s more of a butt mustache, really, but the point is that there was a piece of crap stuck in it.  He just kept sitting down and looking at me, and I was like, “What am I supposed to do?”

Because I am a good mom though, I tried to use the end of the poop bag to brush it off.  It worked eventually, but I did not like doing it. The little dude needs to make a clean break next time.  I am not interested in cleaning up butt mustache danglers.

Now, seeing Jack poop is a daily thing.  The cat, however, that’s a much more private matter.  I mean I clean up all of her poop out of the litter box several days a week, but I don’t watch her in the act.  The other day I walked in on her in her litter box and I honestly apologized.  It was so awkward that I was like, “Oh, sorry.  I didn’t know you were in here.”  Cats are different about stuff like that, I just know it.

Chicken Bone Graveyard

I walk Jack every afternoon, and I’m used to him finding little treasures along the way.  Mainly other dogs’ turds and the occasional Dorito.  There is this one house we often pass along one of our routes that produces something really special though. Chicken bones.  Yep, chicken bones.  Not like one time we saw one chicken bone there.  Jack has sniffed out multiple chicken bones at this house.  I was telling this to Rob and Em the other day and Em was like, “Yeah, I know which house you’re talking about.  He found a chicken bone there once when I walked him.”

Chicken bones and dogs don’t mix so I’m always yanking him away right before he snatches it up in his mouth.  But I’m just really confused about why there are always these bones in the front of someone’s yard.  First, they obviously have a chicken wing addiction.  Second, they have decided that their front pine tree is the perfect place to discard of the bones.  There’s something strangely eerie about it, really.

I think it’s time I organize an undercover investigation.  That or we just set up some cameras one night and wing it.  No pun intended.

Home is Where the… Stress is?

First, let me say that it was really great waking up yesterday morning knowing that I didn’t have to fly anywhere.  For five weeks I jumped on a plane every Monday. Small planes, big planes, late planes, smelly planes.  I’ve seen them all.  I’ve also witnessed very upset people missing those planes.  In Erie, Pennsylvania, I witnessed a guy drop several f-bombs to himself (loudly, I might add) after missing his flight.  It was very dramatic, so I figured he must really need to get home.  Two minutes later though he made a phone call to his wife explaining that he wasn’t going to get home in time for the Bingo game.  Holy shit dude, BINGO?!  I just don’t know that a Bingo game is worth so many f-bombs.  I could be wrong though.

I also witnessed a lady in the Detroit airport sprinting to her gate.  The gate where the door had already been closed.  She proceeded to run to the door shaking it and yelling, “Nooooo!”  I felt very sad and also a little embarrassed for her.

I’m happy to have a month where I board zero planes.  Because honestly, I prefer to be home.  Not that my home is stress-free.  Mainly because I’m a stress case.  Yes, I am, by nature, a worrier.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I worry about what’s happened in the past, I worry about what might happen in the future, and I worry about not enjoying the present moment.  I’m working on it though.  I have to do it for my own sanity and the sanity and happiness of Jack.  You remember him? The fear aggressor dog?  He’s made a lot of progress, but we both have a ways to go.

In fact, maybe now is a good time to solicit volunteers for Jack’s socialization process. We’re looking for people who would like to come to our house (dinner, snacks and/or drinks provided) and meet Jack.  If you’re male, we really want you.  If you’re female, he’ll like you, but you’re welcome as well.  When you come over, we’ll ask that there is no touch, no talk and no eye contact with Jack until he has had a chance to smell you and we know that he is comfortable.  We need calm individuals who will not sue should anything go awry.

Also, if you have a well-balanced dog, we need you too!  Jack loves my sister’s dog and they play very well together, but he needs to get over his reaction to other dogs on walks.  If  your dog is a well-behaved dog, we would love for you to come on some walks with us.  Dave and Georgia, I’m looking at you right now.  I know you have that really cool dog Chaser… Think about it.

Ok, enough of the solicitation blog.  Again though, if you feel like you might be able and willing to help, I’m sure karma will return the favor.  Or God.  Or Buddha. Whatever you believe, I’m almost positive you will be rewarded appropriately.  That and you’ll get a huge warm fuzzy.  And who doesn’t love those?

The Daily – Hopeful

Remember how I mentioned Jack is kind of a fearful dog and has taken little nips at people when he’s scared?  Well, we are really trying to do all we can to train him and take away the emotional response.  Today my brother-in-law and one of his employees came over because his employee is repairing and painting our deck for us this weekend.  Anyway, Jack was barking up a storm when he heard them on the deck.  So, I calmed his down (had him sit and gave him a treat), put him on his leash and we ventured out.  And he was a rockstar!  I had the guys give him treats and I praised the shit out of him for being so good.  He just smelled them and then wanted to be their best friend.  I know we have a ways to go, but I feel so hopeful.

Good boy Jack, good boy!

The Daily – Looks Can Be Deceiving

Do not be deceived by this image of Jack.  Yes, he is a Mama’s boy, but he does not want anyone to know that.  In fact, he would be really pissed if he knew I was publishing this vulnerable picture of him.  He wants you to know that despite his size, he is tough and has no problem lunging at your leg if he needs to.

Unleashing the Danger

We bought Jack one of those flexi retractable leashes so that we can practice having him come back to us in a wide open space.  One day, fingers crossed, we’re hoping to be able to take him off his leash completely without him a) running away or b) attacking some stranger.  So last Sunday we decided to try it out.  I took it out of the package and noticed the pamphlet titled ‘special precautions & directions.’  I thought I better peruse it in case there were any important safety tips.  Holy shit, that is one scary leash!  For example, this particular leash can totally cause finger amputations.  One of my favorite lines in the pamphlet is, “If you want to further reduce the risk of finger amputations and fractures, you can take off any rings and wear sturdy gloves.”  IF you want to???  Is there anyone that doesn’t want to avoid finger amputation?  Jesus Christ.  They’re like, if you care at all about your digits, lose the jewelry.  If you don’t really give a shit about your fingers, wear all the bling you want.

Obviously I had Rob hold the leash.  What, I am not losing a finger over this!  Plus in addition to finger loss, you can also suffer “serious eye damage, broken teeth, cuts and bruises.”  That’s right.  The leash or collar might break and the cord and hook can snap back with enough force to cause you to look like someone from the demolition derby.  I did not sign up for this when I adopted a dog.  Don’t be surprised if you see me with woodshop glasses and three pairs of gloves on next time I’m out walking Jack.