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Ninja Dog Rehab

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Long Time, Big Changes

February 28th 2015 10:17 am
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It's been an insanely long time since the last post...and there's a lot of news.
First off, Cairo is no longer on Prozac. She's made an insane amount of progress in the last few months, and is now on an all natural calming aid (Holistic Animal Care's Calm and Relax).

Secondly, Cairo has not gotten car sick in over six months! She's even made it through a 4 hour road trip!

She's much more vocal now (maybe a side effect of not being on the meds?), much more playful, still a little jumpy but her recovery time is never any more than a few minutes.

She's still pretty bad with thunderstorms, but we're working on that now that everything else is going so much better.

She's much more accepting of people, will let strangers (most) pet her, and will approach people who are sitting still (even with things like hats and sunglasses on).

Duke is still a part of our family, although not living with us at the moment.

Lastly, Cairo has finally put on weight and is maintaining it (she is now a solid 48lbs, after switching her to a diet that includes a few ounces of raw food a day).

Things are going pretty well for Thundermutt. =)


Genius Ninja Dog

May 15th 2014 2:08 pm
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Mom keeps telling me how smart I am and how proud she is of me. I didn't do much, I just gave her my paw when she asked. I don't see what the big deal is. Now, I know the following commands: sit, down, leave it, drop it, sit up, roll over, wait, and paw. Nothing huge, but mom is blown away. She grew up with Huskies, and they're smart...but they like to do things on their own terms most of the time. Duke and Laika are like that too. She said something about getting a book to teach me all kinds of cool tricks over the summer to help me with my confidence. Her logic is that if I can do awesome things when it's just her, when I know them really well then I can be awesome anywhere. I think this summer will be fun. We'll go swimming, roller blading, and I even get to learn cool new tricks now. We'll be beyond ready for an agility class in the fall. =)


The Progress Train Keeps Chugging Along

April 30th 2014 7:14 pm
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I had to really push mom to post for me today. It's been far too long and I have a lot of news!

The most important story is about my trip to the beach. This time, it wasn't the dog beach, but I still did great! Mom took me to a human beach, it was kind of boring because I didn't have any other dogs to play with and I had to stay on leash and Duke's such a baby about getting wet that he was no fun. He really isn't a beach dog. Once mom and I went swimming it was all worth it. I let a nice couple pet me, and I introduced myself instead of doing what I usually do(sitting behind mom and hoping they don't see me).

After the beach mom and her boyfriend took Duke and I out to dinner with them. Again, there were no other dogs there but I got a nice cold bowl of water to myself and mom's boyfriend slipped me some of his vegetables when he thought mom wasn't looking. I was definitely nervous at first, but I realized it wasn't so bad.

After that day, I've been on top of the world. I've been holding my ears and tail up for all of our walks, and even trying to conquer little fears that I've been afraid to work on before. For example, I absolutely HATE pickup trucks with anything sticking out of the back(I don't care if it's parked, that stuff could fall at any moment), but today mom and I walked by one three times. The first time I wanted to be nowhere near it, but mom told me to try because it was okay so we went by it again and I was still kind of nervous, but the third time I walked right by it and didn't even look at it twice. I've been doing that a lot lately.

I'm excited for the summer because mom and I are going to start doing some really awesome stuff. I've gotten the okay to go in the pool, so we're buying a lifejacket for me so I can hop in with mom and Laika. Even better! Mom's going to start rollerblading with me(maybe, I don't know how I feel about the noise just yet). Hopefully, we finally get into an agility class like mom's been promising forever.

Now the sad news:
I only have a little over a month left with Duke. He's been my big brother, and my best friend through a lot of scary stuff and I'm going to miss him like you wouldn't believe. Mom says it's for the best, and she's going to miss him too...but he's going to live in Georgia somewhere where he has a lot of space all of the time to run around as he pleases. He really does hate being indoors. She also said he'll get to see something called snow, maybe I'll get to go visit him and see it too one day.



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.

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