Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tales of Summer


I'm afraid I've neglected the blog spot this summer. A lot has happened with Zeke still here at Greenwood and Sammy still at Travis County.
We had a play date with Dakota who nearly killed a chicken. Zeke did not encourage the assault, but didn't really try and talk Dakota out of it either. It turned out that the only thing lost was a few feathers. The hen recovered to lay an egg by noon.
A few weeks ago, I took Zeke to an outdoor concert in a park. He was a little high strung, but settled in for the first set next to my lawn chair. During the intermission, I took Zeke to go busy away from the crowd. On the way back to my chair, another dog lunged at him and bit him on the face. It was a complete surprise to both of us. All the dogs had been so quiet and well behaved during the concert. I screamed horrible things at the owner of the aggressive dog who was blaming me for the assault. He said I simply walked too close to his dog and therefore needed to accept responsibility. The security workers came over and asked my to return to my seat. I said only if they made him leave, so they did. I think they took him to the other side of the stage or behind the stage, because I never saw him again. Zeke was treated and released from the vet the next morning. The punctures have healed nicely and the hair is growing back now. It might be white hair, but it is growing back.
Zeke has developed a very good respect for snakes at Greenwood. He watched our little dachshund, Dixie, get bit in the face by one the other night as we were coming in from our walk. She stopped to take a sniff of the three-foot garter snake and it struck her right in the sniffer. She flung her head and the snake flew about six feet and landed on the sidewalk. Zeke and Dixie avoided the sidewalk for a couple of days.
Last night, I went to close the chicken coop and there was a seven-foot gopher snake entwined among the hens' feet. I took a deep breath and grabbed his tail. The hens jumped up as I pulled the rascal free from the roost. I drug him backwards for over a hundred yards, the entire time, yelling at Zeke and Dixie to leave it. Dixie went and hid somewhere. Zeke stayed with me, but kept a safe distance. The snake kept striking at us, but we managed to make it to the carport where there was a metal trashcan with a lid, which I used to contain him. After I stopped shaking, I drove him to his new home and turned him loose. He jumped at me one more time when I was releasing him. He just had to have the last word. The funny thing about Zeke is that he still thinks the snake is in the metal trashcan. He is keeping an eye on it.Tonight, I took Zeke for training at a beach volleyball game. It was a typical Zeke rodeo when we arrived. He was sure we were at the dog park and I was about to turn him loose on the game in the sand pit. After a few stern corrections, I found a place to sit and just worked on obedience with Zeke. He got the message after about 20 minutes of leaping after the ball and nearly pulling me off my chair a few times. I was very pleased with his progress and made a video. Oh, four of the players were family relations, so that added an extra element of excitement to the experience. Enjoy the video.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Zeke is graduating soon!

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This stillness with the children was not possible when Zeke started at Greenwood. He was rowdy and impulsive. He has really got himself under control now. He still gets excited in new public places, but it passes after about 5 or 10 minutes of obedience drills. He is really a fun dog and the kids just love him.

I think the most difficult situations we face in public involve other dogs. A lot depends on the behavior of the other dog and their owner. Sometimes we walk by in good form and other times it turns into a huge battle. Zeke gets so excited about pet stores that we need 45 minutes of obedience work outside before we can ever get to the door.

I've had some concern about him needing frequent potty breaks. He is eating 5 cups of food a day and having up to one poop per cup. During a busy day, he may break poo every 4 hours. With excitement, maybe two or three hours. He made it through a movie in the theater last night, but he was clearly uncomfortable the last half hour. At that point, it had been about 3 hours since the last poo. He cleared the building and I got the vest off, so I consider it a success walk. He just has a lot of poo. Hopefully, his metabolism will slow down and he will get by on less food when he is older. I am so happy to see some weight on him. He is looking pretty normal. I think he neck has grown two inches in the last month. Just what we needed...more neck.

We are planning Zeke's crossing over ceremony. He will walk over the bridge and receive his harness around the end of June. You are welcome to join us. Just let me know if you are interested so I can send you details.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eeyore's Birthday Party!

Zeke is such a fun dog to work with. (Sandy, close this browser now.) He still has some growing up to do. (Sandy, really, close the browser) I think some of the problems will get worked out in his head when he is older. I took him to Eeyore's Picnic at Pease Park on Saturday, and it was a near disaster. Too much Tigger energy. Zeke was very pulley and high strung about all the dogs and loud P.A. and rock bands. I removed the vest...sort of had a bad feeling about the situation. I wanted to leave, but had to pee too bad, so I headed for "potty row." The potties were far from the bus stop, so it took some work to get there. We waited in line for a handicap accessible potty for 45 minutes (almost no waiting at the regular potties). During the wait, Zeke got relaxed. I was feeling more confident, so I headed deeper into the festival. We did some “leave it” work by the basketball court. Zeke gave in and settled once again. We went on toward a field where I hoped to find a place to "busy" Zeke. He seemed to be enjoying himself at first, but then he got scared of a woman in a costume. She had a chicken head and feathers tied to her ass. He was very confused...almost took a bite at the feathers. Then the drums started nearby and there was a bad, smelly rag in a bucket on a stroller going by and so he started running backwards, pulling hard to escape, crashed into a woman sitting on a picnic blanket, did some sort of a mid air twist and completely broke free from me. If I had hung on, I might have caused injury to the woman that was sort of under him at that point. He took off running through the crowd. I gave chase. Lost sight of him for about 30 seconds when I found him wrestling with a pack of strong, shirtless men over a big red Frisbee. It took them long enough to make Zeke lose his grip that I was able to grab the leash. Of course when they threw the Frisbee, I lost Zeke again. He got the Frisbee again. By now, the big, shirtless menwere really annoyed with me and my lack of control over my dog. I really was trying to get him away from there, but I was just beat. I finally got him headed in the right direction and seemed to have control, when the red Frisbee landed right between his front feet. That was not my fault, but the fight began again. I was having Frankie flashbacks. I managed to get Zeke over to the shade and park him in "down." We rested and drank water next to where the horses were tied up. There was also a uniformed police officer standing there. Zeke settled down and I rested my hands. After half an hour or so, we started back toward the shuttle buses. He really had lost his mind by that point. I installed a little power steering and just choke held him all the way to the bus.. We were turned away from two busses that were handicap accessible...both Durham drivers said no dogs...no dogs of any kind. Don’t care what kind of dog, no dogs. They both said I had to take the regular type bus because special needs kids used these buses and they might have allergies to dogs. (Never mind that they may have their own assistance dogs) I was not going to win the argument, so I just took the regular bus. The ride back to the garage was perfectly pleasant although Zeke was squished. He was not bothered by it at all. Just happy to leave the weird scary people that don't want to share toys. (sorry no photos of this training walk)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Friends for Zeke




Zeke is enjoying life at Greenwood. He can walk freely among the chickens now and not get their feathers ruffled. He is calm around the children, but needs work on ball distraction. He's busted some balls and just can't seem to stop himself. This morning, he tried to make friends with a checkered garter snake.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Zeke at Mighty Texas Dog Walk












The movies tell the tale. Zeke was super excited about the Mighty Texas Dog Walk. We don't have any pictures of us by the vendors because he nearly knocked over a tent, busted into a box of dog food and had a mouthful before I could drag him away. The lady with the dog food sample gave me several sample bags since Zeke obviously loved the stuff. I have a hard time stopping him when he goes toward another dog. Did my best, but Zeke is mean pulling machine. It took a while, but I think I made some progress with him. After the walk we went to Threadgill's for lunch and Zeke took a nice long nap. Enjoy the show.






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Friday, April 10, 2009

Zeke at Petco

I SMELL PUPPIES. DO YOU SEE THE PUPPIES? HUH, DO YOU SEE THE PUPPIES? THERE’S PUPPIES OVER THERE, DO YOU SEE THE PUPPIES? WANNA PLAY WITH THE PUPPIES, HUH? CAN WE? CAN WE PLAY WITH THE PUPPIES? SEE THE PUPPIES? I SEE PUPPIES? MUST GET TO PUPPIES. PLAY WITH PUPPIES. CAN WE PLAY WITH PUPPIES? I SEE PUPPIES. SEE THE PUPPIES? CAN WE GO THE STORE? I SMELL GOOD THINGS IN THE STORE. SMELL THE GOOD STORE? REALLY GOOD SMELLS. OH MY GOD! THERE IS A FURRY THING. SEE THE FURRY THING. SEE THE FURRY THING. I CAN’T SMELL FURRY THING. MUST SMELL FURRY THING. OH MY GOD THE FURRY THING MOVED. DID YOU SEE IT MOVE? DID YOU SEE THE FURRY THING MOVE? CAN’T SMELL FURRY THING. OH MY GOD ANOTHER FURRY THING.LITTLE FURRY THING. OH MY GOD THE FURRY THING MOVED FAST. SEE THE FURRY THING. CAN’T SMELL FURRY THING. WHAT’S THAT? OH MY GOD IT SMELLS SO GOOD. CAN YOU SMELL THAT? IT’S FISH IN THOSE LITTLE CANS. I CAN SMELL FISH. IT SMELLS SO GOOD OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT? TOYS TOYS OHMY GOD SO MANY TOYS. CAN YOU THROW IT? PLEASE THROW THE TOY. SO MANY TOYS. WHAT’S THAT? OH MY GOD IT’S A HOOF, MUST EAT THE HOOF, OH GOOD, SHE IS THROWING THE HOOF, NO NOT THAT, DO N’T PUT IT BACK. THROW THE HOOF. NO, I’LL EAT THE HOOF. OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT BONE. IT’S HUGE, IT SMELLS SO GOOD MUST EAT THE BONE. THROW THE BONE THROWTHE BONE. NO LET’S EAT THE BONE. WHAT’S THAT, OH MY GOD IT’S A PLASIC THINGY THAT SQUEAKS. THROW THE THINGY. I’LL GET IT . NO, DON’T THROW IT, I’LL EAT THE THINGY. OH MY GOD IT’S SO LOUD. MUST KILL THE SQUEAK. IT’S TOO LOUD. I LOVE THIS STORE. OH WHAT’S THAT. IT SMELLS SO GOOD. CAN WE EAT IT, NO OK OK MUST NOT EAT THAT. LET’S GO OVER HERE THERE ARE FURRY THINGS. SEE THE FURRY THING? THROW THE FURRY THING, EAT THE FURRY THING. OH MY GOD DOG FOOD DOG FOOD DOG FOOD DOG FOOD. CAT FOOD CAT FOOD CAT FOOD. WHAT’S THAT. DON’T LIKE THAT SMELL. WHAT’S THAT OH MY GOD DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT IT. THIS WAY THIS WAY THIS WAY. NO, NOT THAT WAY, THIS WAY, THIS WAY. OH THE SMELLS ARE GOOD HERE. CAN WE EAT IT? NO MUST NOT EAT IT. OH, I CAN EAT THIS. NO, MUST NOT EAT THAT. THIS WAY, GO THIS WAY. BACK TO FURRY THING. IT MOVES, OH MY GOD THE FURRY THING MOVED AGAIN. CAN YOU GET HIM OUT FOR ME. HE WANT S TO PLAY WITH ME. THROW THE FURRY THING. OH THERE IS THE FISH IN THE CAN AGAIN. I LOVE THAT SMELL. CAN I EAT IT? NO MUST NOT EAT FISH IN THE CAN. WHAT’S THAT? WOW OH WOW. WHAT’S THAT MUST SMELL THAT . WOW OW WOW I LOVE THIS STORE. FOOD ON THE COUNTER. I CAN GET THAT FOR YOU. OH NO, MUST NOT JUMP ON COUNTER. FOOD ON THE SHELF. NO WRAPPER OR BOX. I CAN EAT THAT. OH THAT IS SO GOOD. NO MUST NOT EAT FOOD ON SHELF. PUPPIES I SEE PUPPIES OH MY GOD MUST PLAY WITH PUPPIES. THIS WAY TO PUPPIES. NO MUST NOT PLAY WITH PUPPIES. RUN TO PUPPIES IF I RUN FAST, CAN PLAY FAST AND PLAY WITH PUPPIES. NO CAN’T RUN TO PUPPIES. OH MY GOD THERE ARE BARKING PUPPIES. THIS WAY THIS WAY THIS WAY TO PUPPIES. FIND THE BUS. MUST FIND THE BUS. NEED TO GET IN THE BUS. LOVE THE PUPPIES. BYE PUPPIES. BYE GOOD STORE.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"OFF!"

Zeke is doing well. He has stopped pulling during our walks. I'm letting him get about 18 inches ahead of the ideal position and he holds it there with no lease tension. He was really making me sore in my arms, shoulders and lower back...all much better today.
As far as Greenwood is concerned, he is very sweet and easy around the children. He occasionally licks a kid in the face causing them to fall over or bang their head on something when they turn away from him. They are learning as much as is he. My clients are being great about ignoring him. He has pretty much given up on greeting anyone and just comes to me for a treat when we have new arrivals.
After work today, I took a few minutes off in the hammock while he and Dixie sniffed the field of rye grass. Roel arrived and Zeke got so excited that he jumped over the hammock. One rear foot grazed my face, knocking my glasses off, but no serious injury. I really didn't see that coming. What a show off.
When we went back inside, I decided to catch the news on the radio, so I stretched out on my bed and Zeke decided unexpectedly to join me. I didn't see that coming either. I had Roel video the resolution. Zeke is very cute and stubborn, but I finally convinced him to get off my bed.
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