Because you asked for it

OK, at least somebody asked for it, and the rest of you will be thus subjected. Eventually, I’ll install Blubrrypress on here so I can upload as podcasts with embedded players and all that happy crappy, but not today.

First, from this huge long file I have no idea what all is on it, is some representative crate yowling. Now take this and multiply the time by lots and you’ll have an idea. Mind you, she got a lot better throughout the day, as, having some other chores to do, Hilda was in the crate a fair bit today and started to get quieter over all in there, but when she has a mind to make some noise, she can really make some noise.

Then comes the fun bit, and I know you were waiting for the fun bit. Lots of racket from all three, but mostly Fiona and Leno. See if you can pick out which grumbling is Hilda. Hint: Most of the barking that isn’t Leno is also not Hilda.

Finally, one of the cats, probably Abigail, has gotten Hilda’s attention. That one’s fresh from this morning.

Enjoy 🙂

Slow And Steady Progress

There’s really not a lot to report. Hilda actually took me to the back door to go out this afternoon, and she’s parking fairly reliably outside. She still makes a considerable racket when she’s put in the crate, although eventually, and by eventually I mean anything from 10 minutes to a half hour, she’ll quiet down, at least for a little while. Today she enjoyed a midday nap, which was helpful. I waited for her to fall asleep, then put her in the crate. Of course, she tried valiantly to stay awake and bark and yowl her displeasure, but eventually, sleep won. Tossing in a couple treats a couple times when she was quiet also may have helped. I’m not entirely sure. I’ve never heard a dog whine while eating at the same time, but Hilda will, if she’s eating in the crate. It appears, then, that food isn’t enough of a motivator as compared to not being within easy reach of me or, well, whatever it is she wants to be in easy reach of. Probably me. She still follows me if I walk off without her leash. There are definite teeth marks in this leash, too. This is the leash I got with Chet, so it’s been around the block a little bit.

The really great news is that I can sleep through the night, or mostly through. She quieted down nicely, and woke me up around 2:30 in the morning to go out to park. This she did in fairly short order, and we went back to sleep for a while.

A couple people have asked for audio. I have some. I finally have a recording of Leno’s bark. Much of the barking in the recordings that will show up eventually is Fiona, some Leno, and some Hilda. Lots of Fiona.

There was one tiny mishap early this afternoon. Hilda got her tail closed in the back door. Guess she wasn’t all the way out the door. No worries, I checked her tail, and it seems to be all in one piece, no breaks, no swelling, no squashed tail bits, and it doesn’t seem to bother her after the first few minutes. I’ll keep an eye on it anyway.

Vet Visit

Well, off to the vet we went. She got a clean bill of health, her nine week shots (a few days early), scheduled for her three month shots. We talked about spaying, and Dr. P. agrees that spaying at closer to a year old is probably best. So that’s my plan.

As for weight, Sharon estimated around 8 pounds. I thought that seemed a bit light, and thought more like 10. It turns out we were both light. She’s 13 pounds, 12 ounces.

She’s also beautiful. I got several unsolicited compliments on her. As well as someone asking about certifying a service dog. I was sure to stress that there was no such thing, but that the dog had to be trained to specifically do tasks to mitigate a disability. No, its mere calming presence to help your agoraphobia is not enough. And, sorry, I have no clue what task you can teach a three pound (at maturity) dog. Can you even call that a dog?

She’s got brains and beauty. She really is starting to pick up on sit, and maybe even down. she walks on leash, and when we’re out in the back, she pulls to get back in. Steps right out in front. I think guiding isn’t going to be a problem when the time comes.

Today, along with the vet people, she met someone who came to finish up with getting Alena on a county program. I had to run across the room for something, dropped her leash as she was just lying there, and walked off. And do you know, she followed me? All on her own.

I’ve also never met a more cooperative pup. Seriously, I can do anything with this dog. Tickle her toes, wiggle her ears, stick my fingers in her mouth, whatever, she doesn’t care. Also not at all possessive of food or toys. No problem with loud, sudden noises either. Dropped a metal feed pan on the floor, not a peep. There was, I forget what it was, but it was a sound, while she was asleep, there was this sound, she startled a bit, then recovered as if nothing had happened. Yep. I think this dog has, and will have, nerves of steel.

We’ve also had nice long quiet spells in the crate, after initial yowling. And lots of parks outside. All good.

Not Much Today

We are seeing slow and steady improvement with the crate racket. When I went to the drugstore yesterday, Hilda was carrying on as usual. Note: Erie weather and Erie people, y’all suck. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe what we had to do just to get across some streets. Like mid block crossings at driveways walking in the gutter with all the melted crap as cars whizzed by, unbelievable. Anyway, when we got back (being Leno and I), the house was quiet. Thinking Alena was still in the living room, I said, “Oh, I see Hilda’s calmed down.” Which started her right back up again. Proof positive that she’s just trying to get my attention and express her displeasure to me about her unfortunate plight.

In other steps forward, Hilda did at least one, possibly more #2’s outside, none inside. The bad news is that she peed in the downstairs crate a couple times. I count this as my failing, cleaned it up (that crate is dead easy), and on we went.

Only a little complaining at night now, which is great! And that, mostly if i leave the room for any reason. Like to go down the hall to the restroom.

Just more with introduction if sit/down as before, and she’s doing great there. She’s getting more insistent on the chewing, and I’m learning to yowl most pitifully.

Leno, on the other hand, is perhaps a little jealous, or perhaps just opportunistic. At Hilda’s dinner, which was after his this time, I had found that she peed in the crate when I opened it to put her food in. Just to be sure, I put the bowl down to check, and in dived a dog and snapped up a pretty good mouthful of puppy food. I thought it was maybe Fiona, but Fiona was tied up, and I didn’t really catch who it was, because the second I hollered at the miscreant, s/he ran off. If not Fiona, that leaves just the one suspect. Not long after that, he found the kong I left for Hilda that had puppy food in it, to keep her entertained (she ignored it), and, well, he’s a lab. What can I say? He didn’t get it all, but he did get some.

Today, we visit the vet, and we will find out what her weight is, among other things.

Nearly forgot. We also worked more with having her around and eventually lying near my chair on leash. That’s going pretty nicely as well. She also met Mr. Chinese Food Guy with no discernible reaction.

Yesterday and this morning

In case you were wondering, the answer to “How long can a puppy bark and howl?” is “Half the bloody freakin’ night”.

At least I think she’s starting to relax and figure out she lives here, anyway. She’s now following along with me on leash with only little encouragement.

Anyway, putting all three of the dogs in the crate together yesterday morning seems to have helped with Hilda’s barking a little, but that was because Leno and Fiona were barking instead. Yes, Leno. Mr. Barks Once a month whether he needs to or not is now barking at the puppy. Even more this morning. I think he’s telling her, “Back off, junior.”

Anyway, I tried something with the crate, both downstairs and the second half of the night after I moved the crate to next to my bed. As I slipped on some ice yesterday and was a little sore from that, I didn’t really think lying on the floor again would be a good idea. Anyway, string cheese. I didn’t have proper training treats, I will have tomorrow, so I used tiny pieces of string cheese. When she was quiet, or remained quiet for a while, i fed her tiny pieces of string cheese through the closed crate door. Now, she seems to be mostly fine if I’m within string cheese distance. I reckon this is progress. BTW, it isn’t just the crate. It’s also tie down. I had to put her on tie down to clean up when she peed in the big communal crate this morning. At least that’s easy to clean, but she peed in there yesterday while I was feeding and parking Leno, and Alena cleaned but did not spray the crate floor. So this morning, she walked in and peed before I could stop her. So had to put her on a tie down to go get paper towels and clean it up, and she made her usual ruckus. It might be that she doesn’t like me getting too far away. It might be she doesn’t like being confined, although I think it’s more the former than the latter, since she only barks and howls like that when confined *and* she perceives I’m somehow out of reach. If she’s frustrated at not being able to go further than the end of the leash, she whines and grumbles a bit, but that’s it.

I also yesterday made the mistake of letting her off leash to play with a ball. I think she wasn’t quite comfortable getting it into her mouth, because she ran after it, then ran back to me without it. Then when I threw it again, she ran off and took a dump in a couple places. Which got cleaned up of course.

Yesterday and this morning, we started to introduce “sit” and “down”. Just with a lure of a toy. Down got at least introduced this morning, when she just plopped down to get the toy as I moved it. I think she’ll pick up on both just fine.

We also started to introduce lying down by my chair at the table, just by putting her on a short leash and stepping on the leash. No big deal there, except maybe this morning she’s a bit more wound up.

We’re also trying to get her to not bite on things. Mostly nothings like me. Mostly by yowling in pain and then giving her a bone or other chew. Or, in the case of the leash, carpet, whatever, taking it away and then giving her an appropriate thing to chew.

She actually rolled over for a belly rub this morning.

One thing they don’t tell you in the books is how you’re supposed to deal with the following two mutually exclusive things.

Thing #1: Always keep your puppy attached to you, in a confined small area, or in a crate.

Thing #2: While crate training, start with short sessions and work your way up to longer ones.

OK, I can do thing #2 I reckon. But during the times I can’t have her attached or with me, then what? Because you can’t just wait to stick her in the crate until you can have a nice controlled set of short sessions.

I’m glad, or at least hopeful, that puppies are resilient. Because I’m sure I’ll get something wrong and have to fix it later.