Friday, September 30, 2011

Birthday (part three) Then and Now

It appears that I'm going to have some time on my hands for the next couple of days. Henry is sleepy and just a tad sweetly pathetic. He is on his double thick cushion in front of Greg's chair with his chew bone at his nose with eyes just barely cracked open to be sure it doesn't move.

Again, Henry at seven weeks (that is one week before we officially get to take him home) and today at six months, home after neutering.

Henry is great company even when feeling groggy after his big day at the vet.  When I reach down to give him a pet and tell him it is all okay, he really seems to take it on trust. Where else can you get that unconditional faith in a human?

Birthday (part two)

While I was waiting for Henry, a young man came in with a very old black and white English Springer Spaniel.  The Springer must have been extremely handsome in his youth but he had a sightless cloudy left eye and a rather large tumor on his neck.  The old boy could not walk and his human carried him.  I'm afraid it was his last trip.  The young man was hiding tears and obviously loved his dog.  That is such a tough trip.  It brought to mind that same trip with Kiln Cat and Katie.

Henry is home!  I called, as instructed, and Dr. T. said he came out of his medicated sleep just fine and could come home today instead of tomorrow morning.  Thank goodness.  I don't think he would have been too happy in a strange environment along with his cone of "no lick" and his itchy tush.  He was pretty quick figuring out his food dish.  It was a long fast and Henry was obviously peckish.  I gave him a half portion in case he has a touchy stomach.

Six Month Birthday

Celebrating his birthday, Henry is at the vets.  Today Dr. T. does the neutering.  Poor clueless Henry.  He gave puppy kisses to everyone in sight.  He is so sweet and I know they will give him the best care. But the thought of him being put under for surgery is pretty sad-making.  To make it worse, they keep him until tomorrow.  The house seems unusually empty with two cats and no Henry.

Last night, Henry had his third puppy class.  He was darling and hopeless.  As soon as we drove into the lot in front of Petsmart, Henry went crazy.  He was so excited about seeing the other dogs he could not contain himself.  Henry wiggled and wagged all the way in an through the store.  Joy! Other dogs! Absolutely pure "wonderful".

We practiced "leave it" and "sit and stay" with equal lack of success.  He does pretty well at home, but in the presence of greatness (other dogs and distractions) he is too distracted for success - but hilarious at the same time. Ah, I would love to have a local dog park.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not Off Leash Yet

Henry is a suburbs dog. There is traffic on our walks and fenced dogs barking "hello" and sometimes "get away". No dog park in Whittier. No dogs running free off leash. My brother Rick lives on a river near the Canadian border. My brother Rog lives at the base of Mt. St. Helens on another river.  Their handsome pups runs off leash, chase deer and rabbits and various other critters.  They frolic at their own speeds - Roger's dog is pretty old and pokey but determined. Running free would be Henry's idea of heaven. Unlike Rick or Roger's dogs, Henry would probably be eaten by the local bear -- but someday, when Henry responds consistently to "come" walking in the forest, off leash, will be a treat! Henry, did you hear that?  "Consistently respond to 'come' and you earn nifty freedom!"  Until then, Henry has a large yard with lots to explore.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Joyous Reunion

What could be more wonderful than the blinding excitement demonstrated by a dog when reunited with his human after a weekend away?  My cats met me at the door.  Meowed once then turned to continue their ablutions.  Henry, on the other hand, wiggled and squirmed and danced in excitement.  Lovely!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Second Puppy Class

Thursday 10 a.m.
Last Thursday the instructor's stated plan was that every puppy will pass the class.  He is a nice young man and I would hate to see him disappointed.  Last week we learned how to make the puppy focus on us and how to teach the pups to sit.  Henry does both when not distracted.

However....if you are a "Psych" fan you saw how easily Gus distracted Shawn with a candy bar.  Put that in the context of Henry getting distracted by a feather falling silently in another room and out of sight.

Henry wants to please so completely....oh, what?  Butterfly, bird, grass, bee, dust, paper scrap ... and of course the universal nemesis ... an interesting smell.

Practice, practice, practice!

Thursday 8 p.m.
Hum ... puppy class was amazing.  Amazing if my dog had been asked to perform jumps and barks and skittering.  Henry was so excited to see all the other dogs.  We practiced in the glass room for awhile then went into the store to reinforce all the lessons Henry had not absorbed.  He was darling.  So excited!  Dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs .... Henry was in heaven. Considering Henry, we did okay.

What we are working on (still):
1. focus (On me.)
2. sit and stay there for at least 30 seconds (Ha, fat chance so far.)
3. walk loose leash (Maybe 3 steps tops without pulling today.)
4. down and hold that for at least 30 seconds (I get his head close to the floor and he gets the treat.  I'll have to try when he is exhausted and wants to go down.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The pup, Henry,  plays tug-a-war with Greg - his human father figure.  There is lot of tug, tug, grrr, grrr, tug going on!  When Greg releases, Henry looks up startled and drops the toy. Henry seems to think that Greg will learn eventually, but it is like potty training, just when the learner seems to get it, the lesson falls apart. 

Marilyn and Kathy visited today.  Marilyn is Henry's favorite.  He can barely contain his excitement when he hears her voice.  He races around the backyard and plunges into his water tub up to his tummy - out again and races around and back to plunge once more. He never does that when we are on our own. He races, but does not plunge. 

What is it that dogs identify in a voice?  Henry only sees Marilyn once a week.  He is too rambunctious for her to pick up - Marilyn is in her 80s and she brings out crazy puppy love in Henry.  Next week I must get a shot of them together.  

Ideas on fumigating the pup would be nice.  What I have read says a bath once a month is about all dog skin will tolerate.  He does smell like a dog, in not a nice way.  Does a change in diet make a change in dog smell?  Smelly or not, he is adorable.  It would just be nice to have the two match in a positive way.  


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Holding My Breath!

Good puppy.  Henry has nearly trained his human. We made it a full Saturday off-leash indoors without making a potty error! Are we good or what?

Another first, Henry jumped up on his favorite spot on my recliner without his step.  Again, Henry the wonder dog.

We practiced our "focus" and "sit" homework from puppy class on our walks today.  He is sitting longer - but is so proud of himself he practically vibrates with delight.  Hilarious.

Huskies vrs. Corn Huskers

11:30 a.m. --  Gone for our morning walk. Have exchanged Henry's new harness. Our work is done until game time.

Henry is so excited!  Today he gets to watch the UW Huskies vrs. the UN Corn Huskers.  He doesn't care about Nebraska, but anything with a dog does get him excited. Hope the mascot barks.  It will make Henry's day.

1:30 p.m. -- Tragedy.  The Huskies didn't travel with their dog.  Henry is bored.  Greg and I are doing okay.    Start of 2nd quarter:  14-10 Huskies. Go Dawgs! As always, when we are ahead, as a Husky fan I am required to feel an impending sense of doom. 4:15 p.m. end of Husky game.  The feeling of impending doom was justified.  Henry is - possibly - mortified.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Arroyo Pescadero

Henry took me on the 15 mile loop in the Whittier Hills!  Okay, okay, I know the map does not say 15  or even 5 miles. However, when a hike is entered into with enthusiasm and you did not read the distance sign and you did not bring water for yourself or your pup you do need to have your head examined.

It was a nice hike and we will do it again.  Lots of hills and switchbacks. Interesting changes in scenery. No one else around. No houses in sight. No traffic noise.

When we made our way out and read the sign,  it said we just managed a two mile loop. It felt much longer -- but maybe that was because Henry wanted to be carried up the hills toward the end of our adventure.

He is currently sleeping the sleep of "Henry - the mighty nature dog."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Puppy Class

Henry and I had our first puppy class.

When the instructor complemented the owners on how well behaved the pups were, Henry jumped up and down - when he mentioned how quiet the dogs were, Henry barked.  When he referred to their manners, Henry sniffed the neighboring dogs bottom.

Henry did fine.  I may need to work on my training techniques a bit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cutie Pie

You and I both know Henry is a cutie pie but you must check out our boy on a skateboard bench.  Shot on the trip south this summer - in Davis I think.  I thought it was a neat way to recycle old boards.  Comfortable seating too.

Henry is a happy traveller.  We drop all the back seats in our Pilot and Henry's crate is tied down at the split of the front seats. He can see and visit with us when he feels like it.

We make a ton more stops than we used to.  Henry can explore and it makes for a more relaxing drive for all of us.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Chuckit!" tool

It used to be easy to toss a ball pretty impressive distances.  In the “use it or …” category, I seem to have lost it.  The “Chuckit!” dog tool is great. 

This is how Henry makes it work:
  1. Human places the ball in the cup part of the springy plastic arm.
  2. Human flings the ball – it does go quite a ways. 
  3. Henry chases the ball – mouths it – plays with it a bit – leaves it and races back to Human. 
  4. Then Human retrieves the ball and we go back to step #1. 
My puppy is so smart! He learned that trick in no time at all. He will still retrieve anything that will not fit in the nifty tool.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Oh Henry!  Potty training.  So, right after my last posting, just one minute on leash but not attached to his human - on the way to the backyard  ...   and a sudden puddle.

The Fussy Eater

Have you read Mrs. Pigglewiggle?  I am having a "Mrs. Pigglewiggle" moment with Henry.

He is a very fussy eater.  He likes to spread his intake out over the whole day and night. One kibble at a time.  I believe he does consume the correct amount - about one and one-fourth cups of Royal Canin Mini Puppy Kibble a day.  He is healthy and perky with that, but spreading out the feeding does not help with the potty training.

To work on the potty training I've done two things:
First:  I've cut feedings down to three times a day and I am adding just less than a teaspoon of yogurt to each feeding. He gobbles the half cup down in seconds.  I take him for his walks fifteen minutes after meals and he usually tends to do his business in the yard as soon as we get back home.
Second: When we are indoors, which is most of the time, I am keeping him either on leash with me (usually by my chair or in the chair) or in his indoor fence with his toys and crate.

We have pretty much eliminated the indoor "accidents" - we will see how that lasts when I eventually take him off leash and have an open fence policy.

My question is this:  is a tablespoon of yogurt a day a problem?  I understand it is on the list of human foods that are okay in moderation, but is that amount okay in an 11# puppy?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bobo - Pepper

Since we are doing some video, Henry may have suggested I also post this video of Pepper - his brother.  He is a handsome fellow and probably very sweet.  However, Henry realizes he has no reason for jealousy.  This comes to you via Deb, Henry's rescue Mom.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Henry and the Small Tomato

Since I am adding - Saturday is such a lovely day and football does not seem to hold my undivided attention- I thought I'd put in a video of one of Henry's first outside excursions. Such food induced joy!  Henry takes playing with his food to a whole new level.  His reaction is like my children were when we went to the ice cream store.  At least half the fun was anticipation.



I have been called to task.  Henry is not the rolly little 8 week old pup you have seen in my first two postings.  He is a hale and hearty 5 month 2 week ball of energy.  I will continue to bring you up to date on my boy - but will also post his current good looks.  

Henry has incredibly soft longish white shag and then a stiffer charcoal wavy short hair underneath.  He claims he can see through his bangs - but I have my doubts.  

On the down side, although Henry never does his business in his crate or house fence, the rest of the house seems to be fair game unless he is right next to me.  We will get there!  He understands what "do your business" means when we head to the yard.

Henry's Humans

My friend Dana is Debbie's niece.  Deb sends Dana puppy photos and we scurry over on the same day to visit.  All those puppies!  Henry offers the most licks but is shy and doesn't tumble with the other puppies as much.  He is a darling little guy who almost fits in one hand.

So Henry comes home with me and meets his Second Human - Second Human agrees that Henry is ..... definitely a dog, and yes.  He stays.

Henry doesn't bark yet.  He is so quiet.  I am sure he is missing his pack of siblings and his mom, but he settles in on the blanket with their scent. From that first night, in his crate next to the bed, Henry manages to make it all night without accidents.  What a guy!  A few little sad sounds are quieted with a couple of fingers in the crate to cuddle with.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Introducing Henry

Born March 31st 2011, Henry is a poodle mix.  His mom is a mini-poodle and his dad is probably a terrier, but the irresponsible so and so left mama pregnant and alone.  Henry is the young man on the right.  Sweet and so tiny.  Deb, his Downey Rescue guardian, told me that of all the pups in the litter, Henry, first named Toulouse, was the most shy.