I bought the dogs new toys yesterday. I found a Kong that squeaks and figured, Kong’s are pretty indestructible. So why not give it a try? There was a red stick (seen here). And a green bone (seen here).
They were SO happy to see new toys. Who wouldn’t be. It lasted less than an hour.
First, the stick was the one everyone wanted. Then Annabelle took over the bone, so of course Solo wanted that as well. And within 45 minutes, the green bone squeaked no more.
After that, Solo was very territorial about the stick and wouldn’t let Annabelle play with it. And kept taking it away from her. So now, I am hiding the stick to eliminate any issues.
I should submit some of the photo’s and stories to the Kong Company and see if we can get these two set up as toy testers!!!!
Up till yesterday, my review of the Thundershirt (see original post here) was going to be a strong review of how the shirt is a thunderstorm deterrent. Every time we had a storm right on top of us, I would put the Thundershirts on the dogs and the storm would magically disappear. I thought it was pretty cool, the way it could control the weather like that.
Until yesterday. A massive hurricane managed to miss us completely and yet a small thunderstorm popped up yesterday and gave us some much needed rain. I put the shirts on the dogs. Solo climbed right back on the couch and continued his nap. He is not completely freaked by storms however, until Annabelle freaks out.
Annabelle, rocking her shirt the way only she can, climbed up on the couch and lay down. This is an improvement in several ways. Normally, she would begin by pacing around the house, looking scared. Next comes the panting. Then she would typically find a hiding spot. Downstairs, that means by the bathroom door or in the kitchen. Upstairs is in front of my dresser. So the fact that she stayed on the couch seems to be some level of improvement. She did still have a look of mild fear about her, but wasn’t panting, pacing or hiding.
I will continue to try the shirts whenever a storm present itself. And, according to the materials that came with it, once in a while for no reason at all. This is to ensure that the dogs don’t associate wearing the shirts with the storms. And Michael, always loving my out-there purchases, did comment that no matter what they did for the anxiety, they would make EXCELLENT shirts to keep them warm on their cold, winter walks.
I recorded about 3o seconds of Solo’s 30 minute tantrum yesterday. But when I tried to post it, it wouldn’t go. And you should all thank me. Because even 30 seconds can seem like a lifetime. He wanted his play buddy, he wanted attention, he wanted my seat. Eventually he wore himself out. But it is hard to stay mad at a face like this.
Today is a whole new day. Obviously, the morning walk is not always the best indicator of how the overall day is going to go. He is still asleep on the couch. I walked both dogs around 2pm, just in time to beat the school buses. And he still pitched a fit. But it was at 6:15 instead of 4:15.
At least he ate breakfast and dinner. I think I will spend some time looking for new dog toys and games while I am doing my volunteer cat duty at PetsMart tonight.
This morning I posted about Solo and his fits, tantrums and rants. He is a very vocal dog and uses his voice to try and get what he wants. One of, actually THE key issue with Solo is a lack of consistency from his parents and even Annabelle. We were told to ignore his whining and barking and he would learn that he doesn’t get what he wants when he does that. I ignore. Michael does not. And since Solo doesn’t distinguish between negative and positive attention, Michael scolding him or yelling at him is still the attention he was looking for.
Annabelle is even worse. When I am ignoring Solo, she jumps off the couch (yes, the couch, don’t get me started) and brings him a toy or plays with him. So, it is hard to train the dog, even harder to train Michael and Solo gets mixed messages. But when I yell at him, he knows it is serious and stops whatever he is doing.
As I am typing this, Solo is taking a nap. And while he is the vocal one, Annabelle seeks what she wants in different ways. She barks some. Not nearly like Solo. But as I look up from my computer, I see this. And she didn’t make a sound…..
Every morning Michael takes the dogs for a walk. They leave around 7:15 and get back by 7:30. I sit in my office, quietly reading and typing, waiting for the key indicator of how the day is going to go. Some days, they leave and the door reopens after just a few minutes, a dog comes through and the door shuts again. That would be Solo getting kicked off his walk. Usually because the neighbors cat is out. This would be a BAD sign. Other days, they come back, I hear SIT and they both get treats. This is a GOOD sign.
Solo is a Black and Tan Coonhound (maybe some Rottie in there), which means he is a perpetually 2-yr old. Tantrums, fits, meltdowns, the whole bit. On a good day, these don’t start until about 4pm. And then it is just a waiting game until Michael the play buddy gets home. With the kids back in school, I can take the dogs for a walk around 2pm (just barely miss the school buses) and sometimes the fits will hold off until play buddy gets home. On a bad day, they start right after lunch. And then, it is me or him. One of us is going out the front door.
Walks, running an errand, a trip to Starbucks, they all do the trick. Just a quick break from the fit that Solo can work himself into. Even Annabelle needs a break sometimes. She will bring him a toy, chase him off the couch. Once in a while, I even throw them in the car and take them for a ride. But I don’t want to make a habit of rewarding his bad behavior with a car ride.
Today, the grade is good. They came home and both got treats. Let’s see how long it lasts.