Harry Barker and the Furever Home

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I THINK I GOTS A BROTHER.....

November 3rd 2007 7:59 pm
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Well, kind of. He technically isn't my brother. He belongs to my grandma and grandpa. (Is that my uncle?) He came home with them today. His name is Louie and he will soon have a new profile on Dogster....when I recover a bit from meeting him.

Don't get me wrong, Louie is a swell guy, and all.....but, I'm just not too sure about this whole thing.

First, nobody consulted me. Yeah, I mean, they took me to meet him at the shelter the other week, but I just thought I was making a new friend. I didn't know he was gonna be coming HOME to my grandparent's house, for crying out loud!

Secondly, he's about seven months old. Tell me honestly....was I that obnoxious when I was that age?! Sure hope not. I had to correct him several times when he tried to stand on me. Sheesh.

On the whole, he's not that bad. I mean, I had fun with him.

He likes playing with my stuff. I didn't think that was too cool. I mean, who comes over and takes another dude's orange ball and takes off with it? A puppy, that's who. Sigh.

Also, I'm confused since everyone kept asking him to sit and stay and stuff and I guess I'm just too good for my own well being. I kept doing everything they asked while the other guy did nothing right and got all the attention. That kinda sucked.

Well, I'll update you guys on the situation next time I see him. Maybe he'll have matured a bit by tomorrow.....

 

I CAN COUNT! AND, TODAY I AM TWO!!!!

October 15th 2007 8:01 am
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I can count! I sure can! I know how many treats my mom has in her hand versus how many she's given me. My mom says she is very proud of me!

So, today when my mom gave me my morning treats, she also said, "Look, Jack, you are THIS MANY old today!"

Yep, I am TWO years old today. My mom and daddy can't believe I am already THIS old. They say it seems like just yesterday that I was an 11 pound ball of fur with eyes and only 2 1/2 months old.

Whatever. All I know is, here I am now...all 28.6 (went to the vet recently) pounds of me, a two year old big kid!

Happy Birthday to all you other pups out there, too! I noticed on the Birthday stroll that there are 1,095 of us who are celebrating today...that's a lot of doggie parties.

I'll give a full report on the party (PARTY?! PARTY!? Did someone say party? Yeah, yeah, yeah....) later on in the week.


Arooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Jack's Back with Doggie 101!!

October 2nd 2007 6:32 pm
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Thanks to all the furkids who sent their kind comments about my new diary entry about housetraining!

I'm back to talk about Leash Walking, today, as promised. Let's get started!!

EQUIPMENT

Us dogs should always wear a collar with our Iicense, contact info and vaccination tags. I call this the essential, or every day, collar. Collars of any type should be tight enough to not easily slip over the dog's head, but loose enough that two fingers can slide easily between the dog's neck and the collar. Don't forget that growing puppies often need collar changes, and adjust them accordingly, peeps.

Most peeps don't realize that this essential, every day collar can (and probably should) be different than what we're led by.

There are many different types of collars and leads to choose from, and you'll want to make sure that your parents get the right combination for you.

There are harnesses, which are ideal for very small dogs, or puppies, who should never be led by their delicate necks. Harnesses come in all sizes, and also some different shapes. There are gentle leaders, true harnesses and also halters, which take the pressure off the dog's neck and also prevent pulling by how they are positioned when the leash is attached.

Make sure your mom or dad pick out a leash that has a loop at their end and a sturdy metal clasp on the "you" end. Nylon is excellent, but so are latigo leather and even some sturdy natural cotton fiber leads. Make sure that the leash is not too heavy for you; if you are small or a youngster, a thinner, lighter lead is ideal.

For dogs who pull a LOT, there are pinch or prong collars or choke chains. Personally, my mom and I would only recommend prong collars for those who are advanced dog owners. Peeps should also try the collar once on your arm or leg with the lead attached to get an idea of what it feels like on your furry little neck when the lead is pulled or tightened. Again, tell your peeps that if they HAVE to use these collars, don't let them even THINK about touching you with one until you're at least a year old.

I would not recommend choke collars at all. They actually interfere with the training and a gentle leader, harness or pinch collar are all options to choose before the choke collar simply for the fact that the majority of people out there use it incorrectly, even when they think they know what they are doing. (Peeps, huh? Gotta love 'em....) These types of collars are suspect in neck arthritis later in life and also damage to the trachea, which can actually be fatal. Shudder.

HEEL!

Once your 'rents have chosen the correct lead and harness or collar for you, its time to hit the streets!

Pulling is one of the main complaints people have about their dogs while on leash. (Man, they just don't get how exciting it is to be outside, do they?)

Pulling can be greatly minimized by teaching a dog to heel. The heel command is fairly basic and can be mastered by most dogs (when properly and consistently taught - yes, I'm talkin' to YOU humans!) within a few days.

When the dog pulls on the leash, GENTLY say heel and GENTLY tug back the lead until the dog is in line with the human's legs. Now, people, you don't have to yank on the leash or yell. We hear you, okay? Remember how we can hear much better than you? Okay....

When the dog comes back or slows down, the dog gets rewarded (that's the part we like) and learns that she wants to stick with the person cause good stuff happens there. If a dog isn't heeling right away, simply tug the lead back after a "heel" command has been ignored so that the dog gets the connection between what you are saying and what you want from the dog. Remember, as with any training or communication with us dogs, we respond to body language as cues better than we do spoken words. Think about how often we use body language to teach each other or communicate. People, you gotta start thinkin' like a DOG!

If you have a stubborn dog, ask the dog to sit or stay for a moment before continuing. Hearing heel, ignoring the command and then having to sit before continuing will eventually sink in.

Another good way to keep your dog at your side, instead of pulling you into things is to keep cookies in the dog's face, and reward him when he stays by you, even through a sharp turn. Simply practicing sharp turns while using the heel command can help keep the dog near your legs if you give out the cookies generously. Eventually, your enthusiastic praise is a good substitute for the cookies.

PRAISE THE DOG!

I never get how people only talk to their dog when he's doin' something they DON''T like. How on earth is he supposed to learn what you want if you never tell him when he's doing it right?

Don't forget to keep saying "Good Dog" and repeating the heel command EVEN AFTER you've praised the dog for heeling properly. We can sometimes forget that we've done good and go right back into the behavior you don't like.


WHY WALKIES?

Dogs love walks. Period. We love to walk around the block, even if we've been there a gazillion times. Why? Because it is our hood, man, and we like to see what's goin' out out there! Also, we like hanging with you, since you're so freaking cooooool! I believe you people call that bonding.

Even dogs who play with each other all day long need walks. It is great mental and physical exercise for us and we'll be much happier if we get at least a couple of walks a day. So will you. I didn't mean to mention it, but you know that spare tire you've been complaining about.......

Also, peeps, keep in mind that when YOU take us on walkies and YOU are hte leader, it just drives home how great you are and how much we respect you and wanna dog what you ask from us. Really!

We count on you to show us a good time, keep us trim and fit and help us enjoy life while patrolling our neighborhood for crimefighting opportunities. Don't let us down, man!

 

Jack's Doggie 101

September 21st 2007 12:49 pm
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So, I'm a pretty well-behaved guy, especially for a terrorier. I don't really do anything too bad, unless you count getting a LITTLE too excited when I see a fellow canine nearby (I'm workin' on it, but I think you hear me knocking, if you know what I mean!) and then there was Burritogate.....where was I?

Oh, yeah, I thought I'd start a new diary series to help the less experiened doggies and new owners with the basics of doggie training. My goal is to help out any fellow pups with the (ahem) immense experience I've gained over nearly two years I've been around.

So, without further delay, let's kick off Jack's Doggie 101: Lesson 1 Houstraining Without a Crate!

Housetraining can range from a mild inconvenience to a full blown war, depending on the dog and the human involved in the training. But, as we dogs have known for years, when it comes to ANY aspect of training us canines, it is the HUMANS that make the most mistakes. Wag, wag, wag.

INSTINCT: What on Earth are we THINKING?

Our birth mamas teach us where and when to go, using lots of different techniques, most of which are NOT verbal. That's where the humans mess up. Us dogs are all about the body language, people. We got no idea what you're trying to say to us! Trouble is, not many of us get to stay with our moms long enough to be trained.

Somewhere around the time we are a few weeks old, it occurs to us that it might not be a great idea to....sorry to be indelicate....poop where we eat (or sleep, for that matter.)

Unless we have someone there to help us out with this concept, we just can't help ourselves. As puppies, we just gotta GO. A lot. And then some more.

Our bladders don't mature until we are almost a year old, so our parents have to be vigilant and not rely on us being able to hold it as well as our adult counterparts.

As a general rule, puppies that are a couple of months old need to be taken outside about every 45 minutes to an hour to pee or poop, just in case. More so if we've been running around excitedly, eaten, had water or even had a slight scare. It all goes through pretty quickly.

WHERE YOUR PEEPS COME IN: Training Your Parents

The first rule of housetraining is that YOU can't make a mistake. (Duh, you're a dog...you're not being BAD, you're being a DOG.) Only your humans can make mistakes. It is 100% up to them to help you succeed. The number two rule (heheheheh) is that your parents should NEVER yell at you, rub your nose in an accident or hit you if you have an accident. They will have to deal with a visit from my mom if I hear about any of this sort of behavior. She will give your parents "the look" and they will fall over on their backs and turn to stone.

First, have your peeps keep you in a roped off area of the house that they won't feel horrible about you pooping or peeing in. The kitchen is great and baby gates or wood can be used to block off the entrances. You will live in this area until you can be trusted.

Next, have them take you out to the same corner of the backyard each time and give you a command word or phrase like, 'Business' or 'Do it' or 'Cupcake.' The more bizarre the word, the less likely you are to hear it in any other context and think they are asking you to do it! Now, this is the good part....have them give you a treat and go crazy telling you how good you are each time you go where you're supposed to.

Within a few days, you should be getting the idea that when you're taken to this place and you hear this word, you gotta go. AND, you get some cookies and some good lovin'!

Please don't let your peeps use paper training or pad training. This contradicts the whole poop area/live area concept and once you mess with that, chances are you'll be confused about where to go for life.


SIGNS

Unbeknownst to the peeps, we give so MANY signs when we gotta go. Tell your peeps that keeping and eye out for signs is the number one way to speed up the training and have less accidents. Signs include: circling, sniffing, wandering or stopping playing to look around. As soon as a sign presents itself, your parents should take you to the potty place and give the command.

ACCIDENTS

Accidents happen. No getting around that. But, remember that once you've taught the peeps your SIGNS, its all about them. It is their responsibilty to look for those signs, even if you've just gone potty five minutes beforehand. From here on out, if there's an accident, its not your fault, its theirs!

If they catch you having an accident, your parents should stop you with a firm, "No" but no yelling. They should pick you up, even if in midstream, then take you to the place you are supposed to go and put you there with the command word.

A special note for humans: This is no time for anger. Anger and yelling only make our furry little heads spin with confusion and the last thing you want is a dog that equates fear with poop. Calm is the order of the day.

If you have an accident and it is discovered later on, tell your peeps the ONLY way to handle this is to discreetly clean it up/dispose of it without involving you. Most of us furkids are not intelligent enough to figure out what you are disapproving of , even five minutes later. If some peeps think that we know, its just that we are reading your upset body language and we know you're mad, if not why.

If you do sleep in a crate at night, make sure your peeps CARRY you from the crate to the backyard each morning until you can be trusted. This eliminates accidents.

Have your peeps keep some enzyme based carpet cleaner on hand for accidents. Not only will it sanitize the area, but it will probably keep you from getting confused about where to go since it destroys the odor from the accident.

After you've mastered the kitchen, have the peeps introduce each room in the house to you, slowly. You should be allowed in for ten minutes or so when you've just gone potty. That way, accidents aren't as likely. The goal here is to get you to see the whole house as your den, and not just the kitchen. If there is a room that is off limits to you in the house, that's fine. But, make sure you tell the peeps that until you're an adult, make sure you can't get in there or there could be TROUBLE.

If, after a few weeks go by without accidents, there suddenly is one, have your peeps go straight back to step one as if you've never been housetrained before.

Some dogs (like ME) can pick up on it within a couple of days and be housetrained within a week . Just like human potty training, the key is parental consistency and vigilance.

Good luck with the housetraining, and feel free to email me with any questions on how I managed to be a card carrying member of the accident free club!

Next week in Doggie 101: How to Walk on a Leash!

 

BIRTHDAYS AND NEW FRIENDS!!

September 20th 2007 9:17 am
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So, its been quite a wild ride since my last diary entry.

I've made some new friends in my grandma and granpaw's backyard. They look like a cross between squirrels and chipmunks. They appear to be babies. I call them Squirmunks. They are very small, and I COULD pop 'em in my mouth, if I wanted, but I choose to PLAY with them and OBSERVE them, instead.

That's just the kind of guy I am.

Anyhoo, I first discovered them a few weeks back, but recently I was actually able to make contact with a brave one who was just as curious about me as I was about it, according to my mom. There were three babies scurrying around the backyard and they were exploring and playing and checking stuff out. My mom let me outside to say hi and one of them came up to me and we went nose to nose. Mom says she wishes she'd had a camera so she could show all you dogster guys how cute the encounter was. Whatever. All I know is that thing smelled like rodent and rosemary, which I suspect they've been eating from the garden. Pretty cute, too, though, I have to admit. Too bad he eventually ran away....I wanted to PLAY. PLAY, PLAY, PLAY, PLAAAAAY!

Don't feel sorry for me, though, folks, cause I go to play, recently.

My friend Little Jack (a maltese) turned three last weekend and we went to a remote park where we had an off leash birthday PARTY!!!!! PARRRRTTTYYYY!

As you may know, if you read my diary entries on a regular basis, there's nothing I love more than a PARRRTTTYYY. Except, maybe a DOG PARRRRTTYYYY!

There were lots of humans there and five dogs. We played, and played and played and there were lots of Treats. Treats!!!! Party. Playing.....treaaaats!

Anyone know when the next party is????

 

Tag....You're It?

August 21st 2007 2:51 pm
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Got Brussels Sprout?

Heh, heh, heh! I've been tagged by my friend, Scout!

For those of you who are here because I passed on a juicy brussels sprout to you, Here are The Rules: tag three of your pals and write why they deserve to be love tagged! Direct them to your diary for the rules.

Tully - My girl Tully is not only super-sweet and a very good girl, she's a NATURAL BEAUTY. Look at that face! I picked Tully to tag since I think she can actually catch me once we start runnin', but also to honor how far she's come since she started living with her sis Scout and her furever mommy and daddy. She's a very brave girl with an unbreakable spirit AND she knows how to have fun (finally!) Here's to you, Tully!

Cooper - Cooper has been through a Ruff time lately since losing his bro, Jake. Cooper is not only one of the CUTEST WFTers EVER(!!!) but he's a very sweet, good natured and well-behaved pupster. Hey, Coop, you're the best terrier friend a guy could have!

Elyas Manchera -Look at that face! My buddy Eli is not only handsome, but one smart cookie. Did someone say COOKIE?!!!!! We both gots long leggies and "stormtrooper butts." Separated at birth???

Well, let the games begin! I'm going to the doggie park to get a head start for the tagging. Game on!!!!!

Aroooooooo!

The Jackster

 

LITTLE TERRIER GUY EATS A BURRITO

July 26th 2007 7:31 pm
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A chicken burrito. Let me tell you, folks, a whole, new world has been recently opened up before my beady little eyes. That world is the magical, mysterious world of people food. More Specifically, Mexican Food. More specifically, Chicken Burritos.

See, before I was just a dog food kind of guy. Sure, I got some treats, but they were all "good" stuff, like peas, apple and potato. Once in a while, boiled chicken or turkey. Cooked, unseasoned pasta was in heavy rotation in my bowl alongside the usual puppy food. But, never, NEVER did I dream that people food could be so......GLORIOUS!

It was a non-eventful night. The only slightly different thing was that my mother and father were sitting in the living room having their dinner instead of the kitchen table, as per usual. So, I was naturally in there with them, lounging on the floor. I wasn't coffee table surfing or anything. I didn't even know what that was.....yet.

Mom took a phone call and wrapped up 1/2 of her giant, charbroiled chicken, rice and bean and cheese and.....um, burrito. And, then, just like that, she went upstairs and Dad went into the other room.

There I was with the massive thing, staring at me. I was very concerned that something was going to happen and I was going to get in trouble. I had a sinking feeling that this was to be a definitive moment in my life. I heard someone, as if from a great distance, call my name. I shook my head. It couldn't be. The burrito was actually talking to me. It said, "Jack! Jaaaack. Go ahead, its okay. You want to. You know it makes sense....they left it here for you. It would be RUDE not to eat it before they come back into the living room. "

Gingerly, I approached the strange looking thing which lurked, tantilizingly at the Little Terrier Guy Horizon Line. It was wrapped in some shiny silver stuff, which I gingerly parted with my teeth and freed the savory item within.

There was some sort of rubbery outer layer, which I unrolled on the carpet. I think that was called a tortilla. I was just interested in the insides, which I made quick work of.

My mom came running when she heard Dad shouting, "No, No, Jack!" But, then it was too late. I tried to show them how good I was to have eaten the special treat they left for me, but they weren't too happy. Mom didn't say anything other than, "Oh, Jaaacckkk...." and I turned to stone, fell on my back and put my tail between my legs. I tried my best to look sincerely (and pathetically, cutely) remorseful for eating her dinner, but I think it didn't help that I was licking the rice from my beard as I apologized.

My mom and dad are really cool, though, and I really wasn't in much trouble. They gave me the silent treatment for 10 minutes or so, until I couldn't remember what it was that I was upset about.

My lesson that night was that its not nice to eat someone else's dinner, even if the dinner tells you that you should.

Also, I could have eaten the tortilla, too. Next time.....er, did I say that out loud?

So, to recap:

Jack Bad.

Burritos Good.

Burritos Very, Very Good.

 

Little Terrier Guy

July 1st 2007 10:42 pm
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Hi!

I'm BAAAACK! I have been on a summer hiatus, much like your favorite tv shows. But, I'm back to say hi to all my friends and fans.

Things are good. Things are actually VERY good. I'm still getting two meals a day and lots of treats. I'm still having F.U.N. almost every single day. Life is good.

Of course, I do have some complaints.

I'd like to be able to be at the beach, offleash every day, for at least seven hours. Mom thinks, "not so much, Hairy One."

I'd also like mom to let me feed myself from the people section of the fridge. Mom says, "not a chance, Puppy Stuff."

I would like to make sure the neigborhood knows when the UPS guy comes to try and kill us, but my dad says, "stop that, Toughster."

I'd like to invite all the neighborhood dogs over for a sleep-over at my place. My mom and dad say, "Um. How about......NO."

I'd like to visit my RaRas EVERY DAY. They say, "Okay." So, I guess I get my way, SOME of the time.

I have a new summer hairstyle. It is called Shorn Like A Baby Sheep and its all the rage in Europe. My mom actually requested it from Auntie Sue, the lady who cuts my hair.

I don't like my hair bein' messed with, too much. I gotz to have my Mojo, if you know what I mean. A guy has to have good hair. Especially a Little Terrier Guy. That's what people call me. I've heard that a lot, lately. In fact, even though I tell my name outloud to anyone I meet, I still get addressed as Little Terrier Guy. Strangers call me Little Terrier Guy. What the heck does that MEAN?

I'm 28 pounds for crying out loud. That's HUGE. And, I'm not a "guy." I'm a MAN. Got hair on my chest, a moustache and everything.

Oh, well, I guess a GUY's gotta count his blessings and not focus on the negative. Even a Little Terrier Guy.

So, here's wishing all you pups and pup-ettes a grand summertime. Be sure to smell the freshly cut grass, roll in it too, if the mood strikes. For those of you with kids you're in charge of, enjoy that they are home more during summertime. Enjoy the little bits of tasty goodness that fall off that grill.
Enjoy the sunshine and the warmth and the blue skies. Enjoy your moms and dads and butterflies and bees and ice cream (get them to give you the very bottom of the cone, as long as its not chocolate!)

Watch out for fleas. Don't stay out in the sun too long. Don't let mom and dad put you in the car for more than a couple of minutes unattended. Make sure you have enough water and shade if you have to stay outside while mom and dad are at work. And, make sure you have FUN EVERY DAY!

Love,
The Little Terrier Guy

 

I hate goodbyes...

May 26th 2007 11:35 pm
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My friend Jake went to the Rainbow Bridge this week.

Those of you who knew Jake knew what a character he was and all the crazy adventures he had with his fur-brother Cooper. They were quite a team!

My furry little heart goes out to Cooper and to his mom and human family, too. I'm going to miss getting bark mails from Jake.

What I learned about Jake in the relatively short time I knew him was:

He was a trooper....he didn't let feeling bad get in his way of having a good time with Cooper and his family.

He was smart as a whip.....his bark mails never even had any typos. What a guy!

He was a dog's dog. Dignity and style, all the way, baby.

He had a great sense of humor. His adventures with Cooper were classic and so funny.

His mommy was absolutely crazy about him. (I think it was mutual.)

He loved hanging out on the verandah with Cooper.

He was the kind of dog I want to grow up to be like....a dignified gentleman with a gleam in his eye.

Those of you who knew him, too, should visit his page and leave him a star or rosette in honor of his wonderful life.

I hate goodbyes. But, I sure am glad I got to know Jake. He was an amazing dog. Until we meet again, my friend......

 

But, I'm already wearing three tags.........

May 24th 2007 10:49 pm
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I seem to remember that someone once commented that it was too bad I didn't "come with a tag" when I first came home with my mommy and daddy. So, what is a tag, anyhoo? My friend Scout has given me a tag, and I suppose I'll play along.

(Scout, can I get a cookie out of this tag thing?)

Here's the scoop:

Here are the rules of the game!

Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. Dogs who are tagged, need to post in their Diary the rules & their 7 pawsome facts. Then choose 7 dogs to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to bark them a pmail that they have been tagged and to read your Diary, or, send them a fun Rosette announcing they've been Tagged!

The Top Seven Reasons the Jackster Rocks

7) His front paw nails are all black, but he has alternate pink, black and clear nails on his back paws.

6) His favorite thing ON THIS EARTH is for someone to chase him while he has a ball/bone/leaf/rock/anything in his mouth.

5) He once had a whisker that was over 4.5 inches long.

4) He "talks" all day long, sometimes muttering to himself as he walks around the house. He has a new squeak, squawk or chortle every day.

3) If he wants someone to pick him up, he sits on his haunches, lifts his arms up as high as they will go.....and waits.

2) He graduated at the top of his puppy class with his best friend, Bentley. His mom says, 'He did everything perfectly on his final exam!'

And, the number one reason the Jackster rocks is....

1) He loves to put on perfume. His mom takes the fragrance strips out of magazines, gives them to Jack and he "puts the perfume on" by rolling around like crazy and rubbing himself all over the strip until he's exhausted....and smells good.

Jack is tagging:

1) Honey Bun
2) Tristan
3) Rudy
4)Tully (tell your sneaky sister!)
5)Mo Cuishle
6) Penny Lane
7) Zoe

 
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