Friday, October 30, 2009

Puddle-Hoppin' in my Raincoat

I just went for a morning walk with my mom and my old/new rain jacket that I finally consented to wear without the hood.  (I must be growing up, although the hood would have been absolutely over the top .... I can't see a thing, even without it on.)  It was our puddle walk.  This is the game.  We do it every Friday morning.  If it's wet outside, we look for puddles, deep puddles along the curbs,  and believe me, there are PLENTY of puddles in Chicago right now.  Deep puddles with leaves floating in them.  The leaves are the color of my yellow rain jacket.  When we see a puddle, mom cries out "DUNKIE!  PUDDLE!!!" and into it we both jump and splash one another.  Then I stick my nose and face into it to see how deep it is and to see if anything interesting lies below the surface.  Mom has rainboots.  Then I found something smelly to roll in.  My mom said "ha, ha!  The joke is on you, Dunk.  It's only on your jacket and I can wipe it off."  Darn!!!  I wish we had a picture of it to share.  Bits of black and white peeking out of bright yellow against bright yellowing leaves on the ground.   Priceless. You can see the picture of me before I decided that I would tolerate a raincoat as long as I didn't have to wear a hood.  I was still a youngster then.  But now I LOVE the rain (as long as it doesn't pour buckets or doesn't involve a bath). 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's the big deal about puppy socialization?

My mom and dad were told that I needed to meet 100 people and 100 dogs by the time I was 12 weeks old.  That's a heck of a lot of people and a heck of a lot of dogs, especially when you don't have your rabies vaccine yet.  They took me to a puppy training class where I was a scaled down version of Marlee and Me.  I was so excited to see other dogs that I almost choked myself on my leash to get to them.  My mom eventually had to sit in a chair and step on my leash so I could only move from a sit to a down position.  Why was she bringing me to this place if I couldn't play?  What's a youngster to do?  She struggled through the class but no certificate for me.  I misbehaved grandly; the trainer said that it was because I was a terrier (I guess that terriers don't listen too well), but she must have not done her homework because anyone who knows anything certainly knows that Tibetan Terriers are NOT terriers.  In fact, we are non-sporting dogs.  FINALLY, the class was over.  I missed my new buddies but didn't miss the teacher.  Then came puppy socialization at a local PetCo.  A lot of HUGE puppies (and actually some adult dogs, shame on them) in one very small room.  We went 2 Saturdays a month.  I was terrified at first and tried to pretend I wasn't there by hiding against a wall or behind people's legs.  But they wouldn't let me and kept on putting me in the middle of the room.  Eventually I got used to it, but when things got too rough, I would hide under the playground equipment.  Can you see me in the back corner?  A little terrified bundle of black and white, not knowing what to do?  Unfotunately for my owners, I over-learned the socialization part to the point of .... the heck with obedience, I want to play! 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

To Obey or Not Obey

Obedience has always been an issue for me.  While I'm not a snarler or a growler, my disobedience is more in the form of Ghandi's Civil Disobedience .... like .... who me?  do what?  see what?  where's the treat?  what's over there seems more fun than what I'm doing right now.  you want me to do what?  why?  I prefer to gaze about, troll the ground for interesting things, pretend (note the pretend) to be dumb (which I most certainly am not), look longingly at other owners hoping that they will give me THEIR treats (believe me, with my eyes it often works), or make little yips.  Despite my regression, I originally was very very good at obedience.  Because my first trainer, whom I actually love and continue to love (not my mom or dad by the way), totally gets me.  I'm under her spell.  When she says "drop it," I drop whatever on a dime.  The other day, I was at work with my dad at his factory and there were some baby mice running around.  At first I didn't notice them, but finally I did.  I picked one up in my mouth.  It squirmed and I didn't know what to do with it, wriggling away, and Kim (my goddess of training) said, "Dunk, drop it," and I did and they took it outside and let it go.  When SHE trained me, I listened and learned.  Then came the rest of it and the question became:  To Obey or not Obey and that has been the theme of my life.  My mom takes me to Rally Obedience now.  We both suck at it.  We both have ADHD.  She can't find her way around signs to save her life and I'd rather be looking around at other things than her.  But I do have the certificate of basic training when I was about 4 months old with my mom and Dad.  And I did pass my Canine Good Citizen Test, although it was probably a pity pass when I was 8 months old.  Thank you, Kim.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My First Weeks at my new home ....

Well, the first thing I did after crying for my lost mom and siblings for the 2 hour ride home was to go into my new home and poop on the rug.  A good beginning.  My new parents had everything for me.  And I was loved, especially by my dad who slept in the family room with me for the first 6 weeks taking me out to pee or poo every two hours until I was sleeping through the night.  And I went to him every day to work, which was very scary at first.  Riding in a car .... in a crate.  I hollered and hollered but it didn't do any good.  But there was a nice lady at work who eventually taught me everything I learned, who thought I was very smart, and would share her breakfast with me.  Another person under my spell.  Can you see how I've trained my dad even though I was a youngster?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My mom didn't want me .....

It's true!  My mom and dad discussed the issue long and hard before contacting my real mom, the breeder.  My mom had had multiple cats her whole adult life.  Her last cat had died the year before and finally she was pet free, worry free.  But then she went to a benefit and had one too many glasses of wine and bid on a golden lab, a beautiful 12 week old puppy sleeping soundly in the arms of someone else.  Unbenownst to her, my dad had gone to find her to look at the puppy.  But she didn't bid high enough.  Ha, ha!  The door opened, although ever so slightly.  The discussions began, and continued, and continued.  Mom finally relented after dad said she could choose the breed.  He really, really, really wanted me (or someone like me).  My mom said that she didn't spend as much time discussing having children.  She and her then husband just 'thought it might be time to start' and BAM, she was pregnant with Ben.  And then Jeremy.  But with me, there was a long, long discussion.  Dad promised that all mom would have to do is play with me, that is .... if she wanted.  So at last she relented and they contacted my breeder.  Just look at me!  I'm six weeks old and still with my home family and running in their back yard.  How could anyone resist me?  Aren't I cute?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Tales of Wigglebutt Duncan, a Tibetan Terror

To anyone out there in the real world who even cares, my name is really Cedar C Dancin' Duncan. My real name, however, is Wiggle Butt Duncan. The highly esteemed American Kennel Club in their exclusive wisdom, deemed "wiggle butt" or rather "butt" as defamatory to a dog or rather to a dog breed and my owners frantically tried to come up with a name that described me as well. Alas, they failed. I don't think that the American Kennel Club has the slightest sense of humor, perhaps not even a knowledge of how dogs can wag not only their tails but also their butts and their whole bodies. So I have a pseudonym, which is my real name, which of course I think is far more descriptive of me. My blog is my life and my observations of life from the perspective of a now adolescent 20 month old neutered Tibetan Terrier who looks into the mirror and sees a mastiff although I weigh only 25.5 pounds.

My mom owner has a problem naming things, like dogs, cats, and babies. She tells the story of when she was pregnant with Jeremy, her younger son, she had expected a daughter and was surprised to have a son. She was unprepared to name a boy and refused to do so in the hospital despite the repeated entreaties by the nursing staff to do so in order to prepare the birth certificate. It took 4 days. Abigail became Jeremy. Enough said. Naming the cats were another problem. With me, she became superstitious and said that the breeder's name was good enough, especially after her rejection by the AKC. So, my question is: What's in a name?