Saturday, November 24, 2007

Around in Circles

I've run out of places to migrate the crates to in the house (for variety). I guess I'll move the kids back to the bedroom for a bit, I need them out of the kitchen. I thought about splitting the crates up in different rooms.

I decided against it for a couple of reasons; I don't think it's efficient during night time potty runs and I think the pack mentality is maintained by sleeping in one space.

Pack mentality is good for the dog's well being and it is the lazy girls way of training new members the basics like pee pee outside, go to your crate when told, sleep all night if at all possible....

After our little Fancy passed away, Dottie was an only dog for some time. She and I both became neurotic as hell, dependent on each other for our every emotional need. I see the pack as a way of perpetuating our relationship, dogs she has taught will teach other dogs, and so on. It's nice to have that continuity.

And, I truly believe dogs give each other something that we humans can't quite duplicate. I feel sad for "only dogs" who never get to socialize with other dogs. My Mom believed Dolly didn't like other dogs, but I think she just didn't have the social skills to get along with them.

Greta is slowly taking over leadership in the yard, barking at the door to be let in, defending the borders, etc. She's doing it in such a way that she's still "supporting" Dottie, there have been no fights or attempted coupe De tats such as Prissy tried to stage earlier this year.

Who would have thought that in less than a year she would go from wounded frightened little dog to leader of the pack?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In the Tub

We have biozones in the house tonight. Greta and Cody like it cold, I like it medium, the little ones like it HOT. Bitty wants to sleep with Dottie (for the warmth) and Prissy is jealous. So finally, I put a blanket in the bathtub and put the three black and white units in there. The bathroom is tiny, has it's own vent, and is the warmest room in the entire house.

This may be a good solution for the entire winter-last year was tough because someone was always uncomfortable.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bragging-Baldface Unabashed Bragging

The tree guy came last night and the kids were out in the yard. With some refusal (on Cody's part) my four dogs "loaded" into the round pen. I've never attempted that when there was a stranger in the yard. Tree Man was nice and didn't talk while I worked with Cody a bit.

Bitty won't load with the other dogs-she has her own smaller pen, but she wasn't barking so I didn't work with her. Tree Man might not have been that patient.

Now, it's not a huge deal-but it does show that I have decent control over my pack.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ok, I'm thinking about removing the lovely old sycamore. Limbs are falling, big ones, and I have small dogs and my neighbors have windows. I love that old tree, but there are liability and grown up issues to consider. AND, since the electric company hacked it, it is shedding more limbs-they may have done the poor thing in.

More sun, maybe a garden. It's something to think about.

Even more blasphemous, I am thinking of taking out the pear tree. That really provided a health hazard last year after I got tired of picking pears. They fermented and drew flies. I'm sure there were squirrels and mice involved too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pork chops

Bitty is getting on the wavelength with the handouts. I called the dogs to the gate, faked them out and then toss her a bit (of pork chop)and she runs with it before they know she has it. My guys other guys aren't agressive, but four of them overwhelm her. If we are doing a sitting exercise, she can cope with that.

It's a fine line. I make sure to encourage her to join us, but I don't go up and cuddle her or give her special attention (at that time). The fringes of the pack seems her place, but she appears to be content.

I've noticed even during lap time, she'll happily stay in the lap as long as she's being petted, and when that's over, she goes off to lie down.

Today I have a special can of salmon dog food for them-got it as in my birthday package from Mom. She knows the way to my heart is through my dog's stomach!