Angie's Adventures

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power tools and a major step forward

October 8th 2012 5:57 am
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This week Angie actually asked for and accepted attention from one of the neighbors. She also let the two tween-age girls in the neighborhood love on her for several minutes. She has, for some reason, decided to be less skittish this week around familiar strangers. It is strange but welcome.

In other news, Angie is not afraid or bothered by power tools. While I was using the table saw to cut up some boards, she laid on a dog bed in that same end of the basement and simply watched. At other times as I cut boards, she wrestled furiously with Yuki (who loves power tools with a love that is fierce and strange and slightly dangerous). I required close supervision while removing the carpeting and padding in the dining room, but even that seemed curious but not disturbing to her. The new floor going down is also a source of curiosity but not distress.

It seems odd that so much else can make her shy but construction is fine.

The other excitement for the week, in regards to Angie, is that she actually is playing with me now. We had a great game of chase in the front yard, with her tail up and her ears eager. I chased her and she chased me. This is the first she has played with me, so it is another big step forward in her relationship with humans. Hooray, Angie-girl.

 

boomerang

September 15th 2012 3:15 pm
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Angie left us almost two months ago to go to a rescue group in PA. She was quickly adopted and seemed to have found a good home, until the adopters' circumstances changed and she had to be returned. I am not sure what the whole situation is, but she came back to me this afternoon.

She was so happy to see me, more than eager to jump into my car with Claire and Yuki and ride home with us. Once here, she and my two enjoyed a quick chase session around the front yard before heading inside. She checked out the house and went through the dog door onto the deck to chill out in the sunshine. She and Yuki have been wrestling and thoroughly enjoying each other's company.

I am now so conflicted. She clearly thinks that she belongs here with us. Yuki seems to agree, though Claire has not yet made her opinion clear. I do love her but I cannot afford a third dog. Financially, I just cannot do it. But I hate to think of her just bouncing around or not finding the home she needs.

 

walk in town

July 14th 2012 5:04 pm
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Today I took Angie into town for a walk. While she was a little skittish with all the automobile traffic, she did pretty well in the unfamiliar situation. So well, in fact, that I took her into my building at work. She was very calm and well-behaved while I chatted with a large and loud colleague of mine. She'd never met him before so I was very pleased she did not act skittish or scared at all.

Perhaps tomorrow we will take another walk in town. It is easier when there are only 2 dogs to walk.

 

another first

July 7th 2012 6:54 pm
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Today Angie asked to be let outside. I cannot express how exciting this is, given that a) normally the dogs have a doggie door and b) I have not even begun to think of training this. I have been working more on a schedule than getting her to tell me when she wants out, so this was very exciting.

 

proud foster mom

July 6th 2012 8:55 am
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Sometimes Angie does me proud. Today while I was cleaning up storm damage in my yard, my two decided to stay inside while Angie kept me company outside. After cleaning up all that was inside the fence, I went outside the fence to continue cleaning. Angie accompanied me. When I started working in the corner of the yard nearest the yappy dogs' fence, Angie went over to investigate their yard (really, just a few yards away from me). All four of the yappy dogs came out and started barking their fool heads off. Angie retreated to just behind me, barked a few times and then, at my command, quit barking and merely watched them. It took 5 minutes for their owner to get them inside and quiet, while Angie quieted in 5 barks. Throughout the morning, those dogs would be let back outside and bark obsessively, while Angie merely watched.

She also seems to have begun to grasp the treeline as our property line. I have been gently correcting her and calling her back when she steps through the treeline and praising/rewarding when she returns to our yard. Today she crossed that line only twice in the 3 hours we were outside - not bad for a dog that did not seem to understand that talking meant something when I first got her. She is so smart.

 

Happy 4th of July

July 4th 2012 8:02 pm
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As it turns out, fireworks do not faze Angie. Even better, when my dinner party got to be too much for her, she voluntarily removed herself to my bedroom and hung out there until she was ready to face the people again. On the whole she did very well.

 

vacation

June 26th 2012 6:52 pm
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While I was away on vacation, Angie stayed for several days with another family. According to the mother, Angie did great with the children and their other dogs, after taking the better part of the day to warm up to them. She faired less well at the humane society, where they reported that she shied away from the workers and constantly paced. I am not surprised about that as she does not deal well with confinement.

When I picked her up from the humane society, Angie literally threw herself into my arms. She has been a little more clingy than usual and not just to me but also to my dogs. Yuki loves her and has enjoyed having his playmate back but Claire had to lay down the law yesterday to regain her personal space. Angie took the disciplining well. I found it funny that immediately after the confrontation, both girls climbed into my lap for cuddles and somehow, both were fine with their proximity to one another.

Angie still struggles in the bath. It is not her favorite thing, though she quickly forgave me for subjecting her to the water.

In other Angie-related news, we picked up a friend before heading out hiking this evening. Angie did great having a stranger in the car and on the hike with us. She even gave my friend a few puppy kisses when we got out of the car. It was a long hike for her, since she is not in as good condition as my pups, but she did great. She stuck with us, checked in regularly, and came to my whistle or call every time. She clearly loves being out hiking, especially off-leash.

Based on how well she is doing, the rescue is planning to start advertising her more and hopefully we will find this great little girl a forever home.

 

holy cow, easy!

June 6th 2012 5:27 pm
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Today I dubbed nail trim day. I hadn't tried to trim Angie's nails yet since she came and a month of nail growth is a bit much in my house (yes, I'm obsessive about nail trimming). I started by trimming Claire and Yuki's nails, as they are reasonably good about getting their nails trimmed and I thought this might reinforce the idea that getting your nails trimmed is not a horribly painful way to die. I worked long and hard with Claire to convince her of this idea, though Yuki was always rather strangely fond of getting his pedicure (he also likes baths and being groomed, so he's just weird).

For Angie's first nail trim, I prepped by gathering together her favorite toys, some treats, the leash and the martingale collar. I got all this together before trimming the other dogs' nails and was reasonably pleased that she watched the proceedings by flopping down on the ground right next to me. When I turned to start her nails, I prepped myself for her to fight, to jump, to react negatively in a variety of ways. What I was not prepared for was the behavior Angie actually gave me: she simply laid there while I trimmed a nail. I treated immediately and she rolled the treat around in her mouth while I trimmed 3 more nails. I treated her again and got absolutely no resistance while I trimmed another 4 nails.

I have never exerted myself so little to trim a dog's nails! On the plus side, too, all but one of her nails is clear, and they cut like butter. I hope her forever family appreciates how wonderful she is for nail trims!

 

training progress

June 4th 2012 7:01 pm
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I am happy to report that Angie definitely knows her name and is coming when called. Today while hiking she came every time I called her, regardless of what was going on around her. In the past, she's followed Yuki to me, but I made certain to call her when they were not close together and not to call him. I am very pleased with this progress. In the house, she does not always come when called but she is still worried at times that I am going to put her in the crate, so I am not pushing that issue too much.

She is learning what is and is not a dog toy. She is exhibiting a new behavior of trying to pick up various things and chew on them. She seems to like decks of cards and plastic lids from bottles. She clearly has figured out that anything in the dog toy basket is fair game, but the items not in the basket are still unknown for her. More than once this week I have caught her with an item, waiting for my attention before starting to chew on it, almost like she's testing the waters and trying to figure out the rules.

The other nice bit of progress I can report is that Angie now knows which food bowl is hers. This is making dinner time much more pleasant, as she no longer tries to steal food from Claire or Yuki.

On a related note, that I have not mentioned before, she has an extremely soft mouth, particularly when taking treats.

 

first dinner party and first swim

May 25th 2012 1:05 pm
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Tuesday Angie attended her first dinner party, on the deck at my house. While she barked at the first several guests to arrive, she quickly quit that behavior. Whether it was because my dogs were so happy to see each person or simply because she got tired of barking that much, I do not know, but I was pleased to see her quickly adjust to having people moving around the house and deck. I instructed every one to just ignore her and that probably helped her to feel more comfortable. I was pleased by her behavior overall, though she did momentarily freak out at one friend and even darted in to nip at her (no harm, no foul, just a lot of barking). By the end of the evening, she was simply laying in the midst of a group of people, relaxed but not quite asleep. She had plenty of space to go where people would not go (my room or under the deck, which is her favorite place to escape me when she thinks I am trying to crate her).

Thursday, after Claire-dog's vet appointment, I took the dogs to a local pond for a swim, to give Claire's knee a low impact workout. Yuki and Angie were playing in the open field near the pond while Claire enjoyed herself in the water. Angie saw a preoccupied Claire and leaped in for a play attack, only to find herself in water over her head. Clearly, Angie does not know how to swim, as she spent a bit floundering around and finally splashed her way to the shore. She refused to go near the pond again. We'll see what happens with more frequent visits to the pond, but I doubt she'll be a swimmer.

Claire's knee is healed enough that we have resumed walking around the neighborhood and despite the two week vacation from walking, Angie continues to walk well on leash. Interestingly, she also presented herself to me for a harness this morning, just like Claire and Yuki do.

She still does not quite understand to come when called, though she will look at me when I say her name. She also comes any time Yuki does, so I do have a reliable way to get her back to me when I want her near.

 
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