Ninja Dog Rehab

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February 15th 2014 4:07 pm
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Dogster Community is staying open!

Mom's been keeping my diary on her computer since the news that the community sections would be leaving, but here are some of my updates:

Last weekend mom took Duke and I to her(she works at a ropes course with a really big property and we're allowed to go on staff only days). It was awesome! I made it there and back again without getting sick and without taking any Dramamine. I did get a little nervous and drooly once on the way there, but I remembered that nothing bad happens in the car so I relaxed enough to sit up and stare out of the window for a little.

We ran around out there and I saw the BIGGEST squirrel ever. Mom says it's a fox squirrel. Naturally, I had to chase it. I would have climbed right up that tree after it if mom hadn't called me back. Duke wasn't as interested.

This week mom's boyfriend visited again. I love him, mom's sister jokes that I'm trying to steal him from her. He and mom took Duke and I to the dog park yesterday. This is the first time I've been there in a while, but I was excited to show Duke around.

Mom got several compliments on how friendly I was. She just nodded. No one believed that I used to never go up to strangers because everyone(and I mean everyone) was my friend yesterday. I love the dog park! Duke likes it too...but mom's gotten so used to me staying out of puddles that she forgot that he likes to roll in them. We both got baths yesterday thanks to him. >.<

The visit to mom's parents's house a couple of weeks ago went really well. I've never really had a problem with mom's dad as long as he doesn't move too suddenly around me(he's a tall man, so it scares me before I can remember that he's a good person). I've always been kind of wary of mom's mom though, but this time while mom was away on her trip, she got a call from her mom telling her that I'd actually taken some fish directly from her hand. Before, mom's mom would have to give Laika and Duke their fish, then toss mine under my table and keep the other two away until I'd eaten it, but this time I decided to give taking it a shot. The other two do it, so it couldn't be so bad, right? It wasn't. I'll go to mom's mom every other time she calls me now. Mom prefers that over how I used to be...which was getting up and running to another room whenever I so much as suspected her mom was home.

Progress is always happening, and mom's really proud.



January 8th 2014 8:06 pm
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A LOT has happened since my last entry(and it was less than a week ago!).

Lately, mom's been on the fence about rehoming Duke. He stayed with her parents(because he's the family dog) while Laika and I moved with mom when she went back to school(because we've claimed her as ours). Unfortunately, mom's parents were a lot busier than they'd expected and poor Duke never got to do anything fun like walks or the dog park. They did take him to daycare, but he doesn't do much unless he has me to play with(or to bug, depending on his mood).

He spent a lot of time alone in the house, or in the yard and was starting to dig and get out of the yard more often than he used to. Mom felt bad, so she thought maybe letting him live with us in place of Laika until she finishes school for the semester would be good for him. We don't have a lot of space in mom's apartment, but we get TONS of exercise.

Mom decided that if that didn't work, she'd just have to find Duke another home because it would be what's best for him.

The first night was awful. Duke wouldn't stop pacing, or panting, or whining. The second night mom thought he'd like the living room to himself, but he made even more noise.

Yesterday, mom noticed him scratching a lot, checked him and gross: fleas! (turns out no one had given him his December flea prevention like mom thought). She jumped right into action and gave him a flea bath but he put up such a big fight about it(even tried to bite mom once, which he's never done) that she didn't think she'd be able to handle him much longer. She hates using force, but lately Duke will only respond to it. She decided yesterday, that he would be happier with someone else.

Mom thinks I had a nice long talk with Duke today, because when she got home from class, he was on his best behavior and he still is. He isn't pulling on our walks anymore, he isn't as impatient when she's getting us ready for walks, and he's listening to her again.

She thought, maybe it would still be best for him to find another home...but then she thought about how much he means to me.

With Duke around, I'm braver. I keep my tail up for our whole walk, little noises don't spook me, and for the big ones I just hide between Duke and mom. I love Laika, but she's 16 pounds and I'm 48, I know realistically she can't save me from the big scary things(even if she acts like she can). There's a play area in mom's complex, that I never play in but with Duke around it's my new favorite place.

Mom thinks she can definitely put up with Duke's more stubborn moments(and train him out of them) if it means that I'll keep doing so well.

Laika is happy with mom's parents, and they're happy with her because she's not as much of a handful as Duke. They have to almost force her outside for a walk because she'd rather sleep in, but Duke would pester them at any sign that they were going out.

So really, everyone wins.

Laika gets to be the only dog again(until Duke and I come back with mom at the end of the semester), I get my best friend/confidence buddy, and Duke gets more attention and exercise than he has in a while.

I think, with the two of us together, I'll pick up on his fearlessness, and he'll pick up on my manners. =)


And the Progress Keeps Coming

January 3rd 2014 3:03 pm
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It's been really busy lately(something about holidays?) but mom says I've been handling everything so much better than I did this time last year.

Christmas day, despite the fact that mom's whole family was over and her sister's little humans were loud and moving all of the time, I sat calmly under the table and watched them opening presents(the loudest, motion involving behavior of the day). When more family showed up, it caught me off guard and mom had to take me inside to let me calm down, but when I went back out I watched everyone and even let mom's younger cousin pet me!

On New Year's eve, mom's parent's new neighbors set off fireworks. We weren't really expecting that because usually it's pretty calm because everyone waits for the 4th of July. Mom was really calm, put my Thundershirt and my Thundercap on and gave me a little ultracalm treat, then she set up some music in her room and left me to relax in my crate. And I did! No pacing, no whining. I just relaxed and listened to the music.

When I could finally go back to work with mom(yesterday), I had a blast! I found a dog my size with tons of energy and the two of us played all morning. I even showed some of mom's coworkers my tricks! Even better, I only jumped out of the play yards once to follow mom and when she told me to stay put, I did. Her coworkers think I'm a genius. I was laying down on my back with my legs open and one told me to be a lady, so I rolled right over and crossed my paws. They told mom because they were shocked. She just shrugged and said it's because I'm a smart dog. A very silly, smart dog.

I got a new Martingale and I love it!(so does everyone else that's seen it)

Mom's leaving me with her parents for a few weeks...I'm a little nervous. I think mom is too. She knows I'll be fine though, she knows I'm in good, understanding hands. She also knows it gives me a chance to bond with her parents. I'm fine with her dad...but I guess now I'll have a chance to get to know her mom too.


December 23rd 2013 4:22 pm
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Mom got this weird new thing for me. It's called a Thunder Cap, so far I like it. It blocks a lot of the big detailed stuff that kind of overloads me sometimes. It makes car rides a lot less scary. So much so that I can even take a nap when mom drives me short distances. We've only practiced on our way to her job and around the neighborhood, so never more than fifteen minutes. We're going to build up to longer rides.

We've started hanging out in the car, without it on, just sitting there...
I thought mom was crazy but the car is getting less scary.

We're at her parents house again, which means I get to play with Duke. Even better, mom says Duke is going home with us when we leave and Laika is going to stay here. He isn't getting enough exercise living here and he's starting to get a little stir crazy. Mom's parents don't have time for him, and she doesn't want him to have to be rehomed because of something that isn't his fault. Laika is much lower maintenance, so she's going to stay with mom's look alike since mom can only have two dogs in her apartment.

We're going to have so much fun! The dog park together, the beach(maybe), going to the big field near mom's other job and daycare. It's going to be great. I get a little braver with Duke around since he's so fearless.


Thanksgiving: My Worst Nightmare

December 5th 2013 1:54 pm
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Mom did something really awful to me last week: we went back to her parents' house.

Don't get me wrong, I did live there for a few months so I'm okay with was just the timing. Mom's sister's kids were there almost the whole time. They're so incredibly LOUD. Even worse, mom's parents(who I for the most part am okay with) have to be loud too. I really hate that.

Once the kids were gone, everything was fine though. I do like mom's dad. I listen to him when he asks me to sit, I'll come if he calls me, and I'll even let him pet me. I won't ever bring the ball back in a game of fetch though. I also don't like it when he moves suddenly. He's very tall and it scares me.

Mom's mom...she's another story. She scared the bejeezus out of me when mom first brought me home. She's just so overbearingly nice. She always says hi to me and tries to talk to me and give me treats and touch me. I really don't like the attention. Mom finally explained to her in a way she understood that leaving me completely alone is much better than trying to make friends with me. It doesn't hurt my feelings, I don't feel neglected. It's what I prefer. It worked and mom's mom completely ignored me the last two days...when she's sitting and quiet she's not so bad. I guess I could give her a chance.

On top of all of the commotion, mom made me go for two really long car rides. I really don't like them. Mom thinks she's figured out what bugs me about them: all of the other cars. When she noticed, she laughed and told me that we have that in common. She's buying me a calming cap for car rides so that I can't see more than outlines outside of the windows. She's hoping that will help since I also usually do better on night drives. I guess we'll see when we drive back for the next holiday.

But, as bad as it all was I was really excited to see Duke again. He's gotten kind of chubby so he's much slower than me now when we play.

Mom says work was super busy that week, so I couldn't go in with her(she still helps at the daycare/kennel over holidays), but next time I get to go in and wow everyone with how much braver I've gotten. =)


At the Park, Everyone's A Friend

November 22nd 2013 3:31 pm
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Mom is really happy that she found our park. The old one was okay, but kind of far and the other dogs were too unpredictable.

This new one is fantastic. From the two visits we've had mom's learned the following:
1. Virtually the same dogs are there every Friday.
2. Most of the owners understand dog languages, and don't get defensive when us dogs give each other warnings.(some people at the old park would get uncomfortable)
3. All of the people know all of the dogs by name(each other...maybe).
4. The big dog side is perfectly okay for Laika. If she wants to play, the other dogs will be gentle with her and if she doesn't, they won't bother her.
5. I am everyone's best friend there.

That last observation really made mom happy today. My new friend Vader's dad was petting a couple of the other dogs and I butted right in between them so I could get the attention. Mom says that's something I learned from Laika.

It really shocked her. Not only had I demanded the attention, it was from a man I'd never met before. I'm usually friendly with ladies, and I kind of ignore then men. Today everyone was fair game. One new friend and his mom tried to teach me how to catch a frisbee. I still don't really understand it, but I'm happy to chase it.

I'm really happy mom's making this a weekly trip. Now all we need to work on is not getting sick in the car.


We Found a Park!

November 15th 2013 7:41 am
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Today, I had to go to the vet. I don't really like the vet, and even worse this one was a new one since we just moved. I really didn't like that.

Mom knew I wouldn't be happy, so we did everything at my pace. We went for a run this morning, we got to the vet early so I could walk in when I was ready, and everything went pretty smoothly.

I'm still really shakey at the vet, but for the first time ever I actually stopped for a few minutes towards the end. Mom was really proud.

She found a park a while ago that she's meant to take Laika and I too, and since it was on the way home she decided to stop there and check it out as my reward.

She didn't think I'd want to go in, but we did and it was awesome! I'm still mom's little velcro dog(I ran after the other dogs for a few seconds and then ran right back to mom's side a few times). After a few minutes, I was okay on my own. I wandered around, played chase with the other dogs, and even better: I went over and said hi to all of the other owners. Mom was so happy for me. I especially liked one lady mom was talking to, I let her pet me for a while. I never do that. Normally when mom's talking, I sit next to her and whine.

Mom said that since I did so well, and since the park is nice and Laika would be okay to go with us, we're going to start going every week.


Still Waiting

November 2nd 2013 7:22 am
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Mom's gotten over how annoyed she was with the whole medication situation. A few days after finding out the prescription was wrong, when my pills still hadn't arrived mom called to find out what was going on. Apparently, the prescription was right but because it didn't match my old one the online pharmacy had to call the vet and make sure, so my real new prescription is on it's way(or at least that's what they told mom). With something like this, it's a little frustrating that there were multiple vets at our old vet. One would tell her one thing, and another would tell her something else because the one she needed to talk to was never available when she called. Maybe if my doctor had been there mom would have found out that there was nothing wrong(apart from the delay) much earlier.

That being said, it's been four days since I had my last pill and it's starting to show. Mom had almost forgotten why I was on the medication in the first place: separation anxiety. It's done wonders for my general anxiety that she's been focusing on that. These past few days though, if mom so much as leaves a room I'm right on her tail. If she closes a door behind her, I sit outside and whine just in case she's never coming back. You know, so she remembers I'm there and takes me with her.

I haven't done this in months, so mom says as soon as my new pills get here, were working on separation. They should be here today, so we start that training this week.


So Far, So Good

October 23rd 2013 12:04 pm
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Mom got some slightly irritating news this weekend when she saw my new prescription. Turns out, it wasn't new at all. A different vet wrote the prescription and hadn't gotten the memo that I was getting a lower dosage. This is all hard for mom to check since it's our old vet, meaning mom's dad picked up the prescription, sent it to the online pharmacy and mom didn't learn what had happened until it she saw the invoice.

She was really upset for a few minutes, then called and talked to the old vet who suggested alternating the days I take my medication. So instead of 15mg, I would go down to 10mg a day. Mom was kind of hesitant, but the vet assured her that if I didn't respond well she could always put me back on 20mg every day.

So we've been trying every other day since the 21st(meaning, the 21st and today were pill free days).

Mom's super proud. I had my tail up our whole walk this morning, didn't jump at most of my usual scary noises(except the speed bumps, those got me today), and I've been curious about everything today.

On our evening walk, a lady with a Shih Tzu and a Pomeranian asked mom if her dogs could say hi. Her Shih Tzu sniffed Laika for a second and went right up to me. She must have been just a little bigger than my head. She wanted to play. Instead of sniffing her, I went right up to her owner to say hi. The traffic didn't scare me, I only jumped once at a car going over a speed bump, I stopped to watch little kids running around(instead of trying to drag mom and Laika away as quickly as possible), and I even got to track a couple of squirrels. Today was definitely a good day.

It's still the beginning, so we'll see how things go.



October 19th 2013 9:24 am
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Six months ago, mom tried to take me to a pet store to see how I would handle it. I didn't. I took one step out of her car, looked back up at her and hopped right back in.

Today, we tried it again in honor of my new medication dosage that I start next week. Guess what! Not only did I make it out of the parking lot, but I went through the scary automatic doors(they did surprise me though) and into the store. I was really nervous at first, but as soon as I saw all of the toys and met a nice lady who worked there I was better. Mom let me lead her around for a little bit, but I kept circling back to the rawhide aisle. Mom took it as a sign and I left with a hoof bone and a new squeaky plush. I was a little shaky the whole time, but I was there. Mom couldn't be more proud of me. I know this because she hasn't stopped telling me since we got back into the car to head home. We even got a little Halloween picture taken while I was there. I do look a little scared, but what do you expect? I did just get used to mom's camera after all.

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