Saturday, October 6, 2007

Graduation

Well, he graduated from Puppy Class today. Moving on up to Intermediate (or maybe the Azalea Training Club class... not sure yet).

Here are some pictures. It was pretty nice. They got goody bags stuffed with treats and toys and they had recess for nearly the whole time. He was the ONLY dog that tried eating his graduation cap. Silly dog.




Friday, October 5, 2007

Back to normal

Chewing up the house, chasing the kitty, counter surfing, and being a general demon. Yep. Loki's back.

Changed

He's a depressed dog... he won't run around, chase the cat, wag his tail, lick my hand or any of that stuff. Man... what'd I do to my puppy...?

Out of surgery

Well, just as I expected, Loki didn't have van Willebrand. He's out of surgery now, and he's waking up well enough that I can pick him up at 2:30, instead of the estimated 3:30-5:30 range. Thank god...

Just dropped him off

Well, this morning, I got a nice greeting while waking up. I asked Jason to get Loki ready for the vet's office while rolling out of bed. Two seconds later, there was a panting and wagging tail Vizsla nosing my hand. I screamed. I don't know why. It was probably way too early in the morning to see a big giant puppy standing by me.

Anyway, he followed me from point A to point B as I got dressed and ready, then I started whining about taking him to be neutered. Jason has always been against it. I just don't want Loki to be an illegitimate baby-daddy (or deal with the aggression.. the running away.. etc.) But I couldn't do it this morning. I just felt so guilty, and the worst part is that he had no idea what was to come. He walked into Petsmart happily (or more like dragged me in... I'm still working on the pulling issue with him. Still not perfected) and greeted the ladies at the desk.

But yeah. I left him there. They tried to convince me I needed three tests or whatever to test for van Wildebrand. One was $20, one was $40, and the other was $200. I know our pup doesn't have van Wildebrand - first, he's had his dew paws removed, his tail docked, has gotten open cuts many times from the kitty, and has played too rough with Jason to the point where he somehow cut his gum and was bleeding. Each time, he was fine - he didn't die. Now, I agreed to pay for the $20 test as a precaution. But, there's no way I'm spending $260 to test for the same thing over and over. The first test would be that they'd draw blood and see how long it took to clot over. The second was that they'd draw blood from the gum, and the final one would be a full blood panel to be sent to a lab. If they find problems with the first one, then sure, I'll send away for the blood panel. But again. Not testing 3 times for the same thing... I love this pup, but there's better things to spend money on.

That's one of the things I hate about Banfield. They try to sell you more products than you need. Whether it's prescription medicine (we went through three different medicines with Loki's upset stomach... and not once did they take take a fecal sample/test until I told him that we found worms in his feces. If they did, they would've found his worms sooner than I found them, and I wouldn't have had to buy those first two medicines. Oh. The fecal test? It's free in my plan. Of course it makes sense to pursue the costliest options first. Making the owner pay for a plethora of prescription medicines just to test them out.) or prescription food. I was never once advised that I could feed Loki chicken and rice instead of the I/D food. I went online and sought advice for that. The chicken and rice worked so much better than the I/D.

I'd definitely recommend Banfield if you're not one of those owners that worry too much about your pet's illnesses - if you just want the normal spaying/neutering and puppy shots. But in terms of ripping you off for anything not covered by your plan, they won't hesitate.

I'm definitely just getting him on a regular pet health insurance plan as soon as our Banfield plan expires. Unfortunately, that won't be until next year.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Neutering

Well, Loki gets neutered tomorrow. Poor guy has no idea what's coming. At least he graduates puppy class on Saturday, and gets to make new friends at a new puppy class on Tuesday though. I just hope he feels well enough to go to both...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Someone's in HUGE trouble

So. I just went to wash my hand. Loki followed me. He then walked away, and I ignored him because I thought he just went to chase the cat or something. No such luck. I found him standing on top of the coffee table eating ALL THE HAMBURGERS. Good thing I separate his training dish from the rest of the prepared treats!!!

Some pictures

Loki sleeping as a teeny tiny puppy.

Look how little he was...

He was definitely a sleepy pup.

The start of a very unhealthy relationship between Pong ^2 and Loki.

He can sit still long enough while awake for me to take a picture!

Is it time to play yettt?

CHEEEEEESE

Mouth open.

"Okay, I can be serious."

Haha, look at the cat's shifty eyes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The hamburgers

Loki didn't do anything really interesting today, but Jason and I nearly burned the house down trying to grill hamburgers indoors. As a result, I had to play tag with the animals, herding Loki out to the backyard where he'd have fresh air, and the kitty to our bedroom behind closed door. In the process, the animals switched place, with the kitten attempting to scale the fence in a break for freedom, and Loki running out of the bedroom with my underwear in his mouth.

Finally, I got the two of them to their respective places, we finished grilling the hamburgers, and cut up a few pattys to use as training treats.

Human food, I know, is horrible for animals. But it seems to work so much more effectively than any treat he's ever had, and it's not as if we overfeed him. Even if he's getting more calories than he needs in a day, he's so active that those calories burn right off, and he stays the nice, muscular, lean doggie he always has been. The chicken breast isn't that bad since he only gets about five 1/2 inch chunks a day (not even half a breast), but the hamburgers might be. I'll make sure to note any changes in his behavior, exercise, weight, and fitness. His primary diet is still doggie chow, and we substitute the meat for his treats.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The dog ate my homework

I know he's a puppy and all, but imagine how pissed off I was today when Loki took off running through my house with all my class notes from the beginning of the semester to now (for the only class that really matters right now... the one with a 10 page paper due at 8 am tomorrow), tripping over the papers, ripping them, and chewing them to little bits.

I couldn't get him to stop. Not even with the chicken. He was having way too much fun, and I was about ready to cry by the time I caught onto him and convinced him to drop the papers. I still am ready to cry. You try writing a 10 page paper heavily based on class notes from memory.

The evil being is currently sitting in his cage doing a bit of interior decorating with the towels I just gave him, and chewing up his bone. Odd. He's recently begun eating his rawhide bones. I think I need to get him smaller ones otherwise the bigger ones will collect lots of bacteria and viruses.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Off-lead training

Last night, Jason and I had chicken alfredo for dinner with lots of leftover chicken. Since the chicken didn't touch the sauce, and was simply grilled, we decided to cut up the rest and save it for the dog. I figured that such a great treat would work much better than anything else for off-lead training.

Since Loki is a sporting dog, he tends to stay close to me, unless I command him to leave. However, when something catches his attention such as another dog, an interesting smell, or a giant pile of dirt, I can't for the life of me get him to return. Yesterday, I reinforced Loki's "come here" command with a high pitched smooching noise at the end by sitting on the couch and letting Loki roam around the house. Today, nervously, I took Loki to the giant field in the backyard and let him roam. He was doing good at first. Didn't want to wander far from me. However, as he grew more confident in his environment, he started roaming away.

I learned today just how fast our dog runs, and how clumsy he is at times. Our dog might as well be a greyhound in my opinion. The only problem is that he has no idea how to stop. He'd prefer running straight into my legs as a way to stop. I had to nearly fend him off by turning on my side and holding up my leg at an angle.

Basically, for about an hour today, I let Loki off-lead and paid him no attention until he left my side. Once he did, I'd call him at random intervals (usually when he was about to get himself in trouble by wandering into someone else's yard or something). It'd be the same command as yesterday, the "come here Loki" with a smooch at the end.

It worked GREAT. When other dogs came around, he'd make a beeline for them, but the second I called him back, he'd turn around. If he was currently sniffing something, he'd also come back. He found a great big pile of freshly dug dirt in the yard, so he spent most his time playing around and digging in that, but the second I called, he'd leave it.

He was exhausted by the time I took him in (also VERY dirty). But hey I learned today that this dog has lots of potential for training.

Loki's Big Day

So yesterday, we decided to go to a dog day that the county's park services was offering. It wasn't what I expected it to be, but Loki ended up making a few new friends, and Jason and I both got great advice regarding puppies and Vizslas.

I can't really remember all the dogs that Loki sniffed, but I can remember a few. There was this giant slobbery Great Dane that Loki went after as soon as we got to the park. He ended up sniffing a few Dobermans that were being shown as guard dogs too. A guy with a Weimaraner came over to pet Loki, so we took Loki back to meet the Weim, but then we got distracted by a full grown Vizsla, which Loki had lots of fun playing with. Finally, it was time to go, but before we left, Loki met a big giant black dog (I forgot the name of it, but it was 200 pounds) and stared up a few Dachshunds. We stayed for two hours and let Loki just play around. Then, we had puppy class to go to.

He couldn't concentrate at all during puppy class. I couldn't even get him to do a simple sit down stay. The trainer blamed the treats we were giving him, so she gave us some of her's. That seemed to do the trick. At the end of class, Loki and the two Boxers had recess. It was great seeing the three of them tumble around and play fight. Loki was smart - he stayed low and went for the neck.

After puppy class, we went to a car show to see Jason's Ssgt's car. Pretty cool - Loki managed to meet a Pekingese and a Chesapeake Bay Retriever while there. Had to hold him for most the show to ensure that he didn't go scratching any cars. After the first 5 minutes of holding him, I realized that holding a squirming 30 pound puppy was just not going to happen. So, I handed him over to Jason, and let him take over.

Loki fell asleep in the car on the way back and when he got home, he just sort of paced around, before I put him in his kennel to sleep. He then passed out for 4 hours before dinner time.