Road Apples

“How about dem apples?!?”

Har. Har. Moo has decided they are delectable.  We went on the group hike today out at the Latta Plantation where there is an equestrian center who also uses the trails (this is also the same park/nature preserve that houses the Carolina Raptor Center). Moo discovered road apples. There wasn’t much to worry about in regards to aggression to the other dogs today because she was too side-tracked with trying to snarf them up as we walked along.

She did meet her first horse, ever, on the trail. That caused a ruckus with several of the pooches. Moo was beside herself – good experience for her, but I definitely need to expose her to more unusual/different situations.

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Halloween

We don’t do Halloween at my house for many reasons. Mostly, though, it is because of the dogs. They get way too worked up with the little people ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door all night. And then there is Moo. She cannot be trusted not to steal candy off of shelves, counters, tables, etc. (That, and I just don’t need the candy around the house…I have no will power.)

This year a friend wanted to come hang out at my house where there are far fewer trick-or-treaters to do Halloween. I said sure not really thinking about it. When she arrived with several bags of candy, we set them on the dining room table while going back out to let Sadie go potty and to talk to the neighbors for a few minutes. Moo was left inside, unsupervised. Bad, bad, bad move on my part. _I_ should know better.

By the time we got back in the house, Moo had eaten a quarter of a bag of Kit Kats…wrappers and all. Thankfully, the total chocolate intake on that isn’t as much as it sounds and it is milk chocolate. Vet said she should be fine. This morning she barfed up a wad of wrappers, so hopefully those are all out of her system. *sigh* I hate leaving her at the kennel, but at least I know there will be people around to keep an eye on her (which really is the point of taking her there anyway).

With that little story, I am off to finish packing…I’m headed to central VA this week. I’m driving which should be pretty this time of year. Hopefully, I’ll have some photos to share.

Animal Quanadries

CATS

This morning I am cleaning up more cat pee. This time, though, it is a small amount…DG keeps peeing on the dog bed. when she was in for her last kitten series check-up I had them also check to see if she had a UTI. Nope. No problems there (which is good, don’t get me wrong). So what to do about the inappropriate peeing?

I think I’ve figured out the problem – the dog beds have cedar chips in them to help repel bugs and doggy odors…the new cat litter I bought is natural “green” stuff that smells like…cedar. I think pine is what the bag actually says, but it smells like outdoor evergreens. And thus, the itty bitty kitty thinks she has a litter box all her own in my bedroom.

Thankfully the covers are water repellant so the pillow is (so far) unscathed. And I have an extra cover from an old bed, so I’ve rotated them through the wash. But I don’t know what to do to deter her from wetting the dog bed. Sadie sleeps there (when it is dry) so I don’t want to take it away. I may have to see if I can find some beds without the chips in them…but I’d rather not. These beds are very, very nice – and very, very inexpensive at Costco ($20 for a large dog bed, everywhere else they run closer to $40 or $50).

Any suggestions?

DOGS

It really isn’t a quandary with the dog…more general frustration. Moo enrolled in Off Leash Dog Training last June. And while overall it has been hugely beneficial to her outside the home, it hasn’t changed any of her behavior in the home when I am not there to monitor it. She still shreds toilet paper, steals things off desks and counters, and in general isn’t trusted loose in the house. That isn’t such a huge deal – she can go in her crate, I just wish she didn’t have to.

The frustrating thing is that most of the group sessions which are held at various parks in the area, end up getting cancelled or changed to days/times when we cannot attend. The most recent example of this was the Sunday group class last week – couldn’t find them due to lack of directions on where the actual meet was. This week I finally got specific instructions but they’ve changed it (last night, mind you) from a lesson to a group hike. And while that would be fun, a) it isn’t what I signed up for and b) we kind of overdid it playing ball in the yard this week and her knee isn’t up for a hike, however, we really could have used the lesson since we couldn’t make the one on Saturday.

I like the people who do the training (though, the girl, whom I was least impressed with, but worked the most with is no longer there). The guy who owns the business is fabulous with both people and dogs. The problem there is he is trying to grow and expand and isn’t getting the base business well enough established first. Everything is very fly-by-night. Not that the business will suddenly not be there, but that nothing is well-organized or communicated to the customers. Right now the business is down to the owner and one trainer to hold all the group and individual sessions. The owner has also gotten himself a segment on the local morning news show. He is trying to organize attending home shows, seminars, and other community events and fundraisers. And unless your dog has serious aggression issues, I feel it is nearly impossible to grab anyone’s attention long enough to ask questions or get specific help at any of the group classes.

I think next week I am going to try to get Moo scheduled for a one-on-one session at their facility so we can get the needed face time. I don’t have serious problems and the questions I have I am sure are easy fixes, I just need someone to show me how to work on them. And I am going to ask about having a one-on-one session here at the house. I need help with the dogs at the door. I am sure getting it scheduled is going to be a pain due to the lack of man-power, but I am going to keep trying until it happens.

*whew* Thanks for letting me vent…this stuff (especially the dog training stuff) has swirled around in my head now for a while. I paid a very pretty penny for the training and though Moo’s progress has been good, right now I would not recommend this particular company it to anyone because the program it isn’t worth what I paid. The other part of me sees the potential in this program and if I had the time, would love to offer my services (for a price) to help with the office/organizational part of things to help get them to where they should and could be. But that isn’t going to happen in this life time.

P.S. I suppose I should also add that my training frustrations aren’t just with the training program…I am also frustrated that things have worked out such that I seem to be the only one involved in Moo’s training. The whole point of the training was to get her to a place where she could stay at Neil’s house without totally disrupting his household to save me money on kennel costs when I travel, but that hasn’t happened. So not only have I shelled out for the training, but I am still shelling out for the kennel. *sigh*

My Morning

4:43am – Moo starts whining
4:45am – Moo starts jabbing me with her nose while still whining
5:00am – I finally give up and get up (Sadie subsequently starts jabbing me with her nose)
5:03am – Make coffee
5:05am – Clean up dirt strewn all over kitchen from potted plant (for the first time)
5:10am – Take dogs outside
5:15am – Decide to skip coffee and try to go back to bed for a while
6:00am – More nose jabbing and whining – this time both of them are at it. I think a cat was standing on me too.
6:15am – Clean up dirt strewn all over kitchen (redux)
6:20am – Dogs out…again
6:30am – Wash dog bed cover – someone peed on it (I think dog…didn’t smell like cat)
6:35am – Go upstairs due to overwhelming stench of cat pee smell coming from that direction (bonus room is upstairs through the laundry room)
6:40am – Haul carpet cleaner upstairs and shampoo offending area
7:00am – Sop up water from water dish that was dumped all over kitchen
7:15am – Swap out laundry…dog bed cover to dryer, towels from water mess to washer
7:30am – Re-shampoo carpet because someone has already re-peed on area

It is now 10:36am – Since 7:30am I have: shampooed the upstairs carpet corner twice more (one more re-pee incident); finally found the cat-door cover and blocked their access while moving a litter box and food dish downstairs; cleaned up dirt from the potted plant three more times while also trying to cover it with tin foil, plastic wrap, and now cardboard; soaked the cat-peed carpet area with odor-remover enzyme stuff and put two fans up there, one blowing on the area to help dry it, the other aimed out the open window to (hopefully) waft the stench out of the house and not down the stairwell into the laundry room; done two more loads of towels and a load of additional dog blankets; only managed to have one cup of coffee; cleaned up shredded toilet paper that Moo spread all over the hallway and dining room; and chased Bonnie across the backyard and partway down the hill before finally catching her (lost a flip-flop in the process) after she darted out the back door when I went to take Moo outside (again).

I am grumpy. I am tired. I have a massive headache from inhaling cat pee fumes, carpet shampoo scent, and enzyme smells. And now I have a ton of work to get done (like actual business work).

P.S. This afternoon both dogs are headed to the vet…I think one (or both) of them has a UTI. I’m pretty sure the cats were just being ornery.

Itty Bitty Kitty

I think Danger Girl doubled in size the two days I was away this week! She can no longer squeeze into the desk cabinet via the air vent in the back. She is hitting the “insane kitty” stage…racing around like she’s lost her little mind; attacking everything (real or imagined). She attacked my toes around 3am. She’s cute, but the next few months will be sleep deprived, I think.

Everyone else is adjusting well. Except for Bonnie. Her new mission in life is to get outside (and I think away). Thankfully, so far it seems she just runs out to take a turn around the house and come back in the opposite door. While she is inside, though, she is good with the kitty.

No photos for this entry…I’ve been slacking lately. And also still need to get the photos from my trip home sorted and posted. Maybe I’ll get to that this afternoon. For now, soon, I will be going into town to get my hairs did.

The Adventure of Danger Girl

Meet Danger Girl. The newest addition to my furry menagerie. I rescued her yesterday evening after almost running her over on my way home from the grocery store. She had come tumbling out from under the car in front of me – it seems they managed to straddle her and it sent her rolling, but they didn’t actually hit her. *whew!*

Danger Girl

I slammed on the brakes and pulled over to go find her. She was in the ditch on the side of the road dazed and obviously terrified. I looked around for signs or sounds of a mommy kitty or siblings but didn’t find any. The road runs in front of the Freightliner factory near where I live so it isn’t a residential area. The poor kitty was infested with fleas and filthy; I brought her home with me.

This morning I took her into the vet to make sure everything was OK. The feline leukemia and AIDS tests came back negative (YAY!) and aside from a slight fever, ear mites, and fleas, she seems just fine. The vet estimates her at six to seven weeks old. Not really old enough to be away from mom yet, but definitely not old enough (they never are!) to be on her own on a busy road. The vet gave her a bath and a magic flea pill (not sure what the stuff is, but it killed all the fleas in about 30 minutes) and gave me some kitten Revolution to put on her in a couple of days that will take care of the mites and any remaining flea problems. She was also dewormed. Because of the fever we had to wait on vaccinations – she goes back in first thing Monday for the first round of those.

She is sweet as pie…Neil found her purr switch last night and man is it a loud one! She is feeling better after her bath and is taking lots of naps. The other cats are miffed that there is a newcomer in the house and are off sulking somewhere. Sadie has been guarding the bathroom where she is currently staying and is so sweet with her whenever she comes close (there is a baby gate up in the doorway now that I know she is safe to have around the other cats). Moo has no idea what to make of the tiny thing in the bathroom and I think wants to play with her like a toy.

Sleepy DG

DG knows how to use a litter box, ate some kitten chow last night, and slept in the kitty bed I put down for her. And today, after she had her bath up at the vet’s office, she also started washing herself. She must have been around mom at least long enough to learn the basics.

Leo Comes to Visit (a real post)

Leo came over for another play date the other day – his parents had to work and since he is still a baby I went over to let him out mid-day. He loves being around the other dogs so I brought him over for a bit for some romping (it’s good for the big dogs to have him here too).

King of the Castle

He also loves getting on the couch here. I think it is because then he’s at eye-level with the other dogs. Though there was plenty of random racing around the place too. On one lap through the house he discovered one of my stuffed rabbits in the guest room. I think his hunting nature took over because he grabbed that thing and raced around with it. He wouldn’t let it go!

Nature vs Nurture?
(Sorry for the noisy photo – it has been a while since I’ve used the point-and-shoot. I was struggling with the settings.)

Moo doesn’t know what to make of Leo (he is a spazz) so she usually retreats to her crate or to one of her “place” spots. When she does, she can’t figure out why the puppy still comes over to bother her.

Who are you?

However, dogs will be dogs and Leo really wanted to make sure she was who she was…or whatever it is that dogs are doing when they sniff each other.

Overall, a good time was had by everyone (I think) and maybe next time I will get better photos of the antics.