Archive for the ‘instinct’ Category

You Never Forget a Face

We adopted Ava-roo from the very good-hearted people at the New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue.  The rescue holds an annual fundraiser call the Shih Tzu Shuffle, a picnic where alumni and their humans come visit and maybe adopt another doggie.    Ava-roo and Gracie were so excited about seeing so many like-minded doggies.  Ranger and Teddy were there.  The 3 and 1/4 Club lives again!

But the highlight of the Shuffle was when Miss Bernadette and Ava-roo reunited.  Miss Bernadette was Ava’s foster mom.  The following video was very spontaneous.  I was asking Bernadette if we could get a picture with her and Ava before we left.  As we were talking, Ava went over and greeted Bernadette.  It was very sweet.

Love and charity is never forgotten.  I’m just sorry the video is so short.

Gracie tries to Play with Ava

Ava still doesn’t have the play thing going… this was taken in June.

Pedigree Commercial

Three or four weeks ago I saw this commercial.  It ends with

don’t pity a shelter dog, adopt one.

I said, “okay” and promptly went to petfinder.com, which eventually led us to Ava.

The Three and One Quarter Club

We’ve had Ava for two weeks now.  She is making strides with a few things. Gracie and Ava seem to be getting along.  I see Gracie trying to engage Ava in play a lot. Ave doesn’t bite, but she doesn’t hiss at Gracie (that much).  They really seem to be amiable.

Yesterday we went to my friend Lisa’s house.  Her two shih tzus are good friends of Gracie.  They play and really enjoy each other’s company.  Usually when we bring Gracie to see Teddy and Ranger, we’ll leave the dogs and go out to dinner.  We decided four dogs in one house is just too too much, so Dave cooked.

 It was a beautiful day yesterday and Lisa has a beautiful fenced backyard where doggies can run free.  And they did.  But first doggies wanted to make sure we weren’t leaving.  (We weren’t, I promise.)

I wouldn’t say Ava was part of the pack.  She was an observer of the pack.  Gracie, who doesn’t seem to know how to play outside, was definitely part of the pack… she just wouldn’t chase toys outside.  She’s all about the squeak, as discussed earlier, just not outside.

When we got inside, after dinner, we went downstairs. Ava promptly (okay with prompts) went down the stairs all by herself.  The other doggies were playing at our feet, but Ava is an observer and sat outside / behind the furniture.  Lisa, who fell in love with Ava, went to look for her and she wasn’t downstairs.  Where did this dog go?  Upstairs!  Can you believe it?  She went upstairs.  And did so two or three other times.  At first I thought she went up to sit at the door because she wanted to go out.  But no it wasn’t that.  She liked looking outside.  Crazy dog. Who Can Climb Stairs!!!  (Lisa has like six or seven stairs–half the stairs we do…it probably isn’t nearly as scary for her.)

Gracie and the boys had some good play time, chasing each other like doggies who can play together are supposed to do.  But at one point, Gracie lashed out at Ranger.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  It was like she was going for his neck.  <sigh>.  So Gracie was made to heel for a bit.  Lisa thought it was because Ranger was on the ottoman, a place she was enjoying.  But as Lisa said to Gracie, Ranger is allowed on the ottoman.  So Ranger was put back on the ottoman.  I’ve never seen a more nervous look on a dog.  We praised him and told him how brave he was.  Again, a little more aggression–is that the poodle in her?  Finally, we made Gracie apologize to Ranger… sniffing, sitting together, etc.

When we left, none of the doggies wanted us to go.  We got home and it was time for bed.  I wanted Ava to try our stairs.  I put her front paws on the first riser then her back paws, repeat, rest and try again.  Finally, about the last six risers, she did it on her own.  Way to have the confidence Ava.

The Three and one-quarter Shih Tzu visit was mostly a success.  Something we will definitely do again. It’s good for Ava to be around other doggies.

As I sit here writing this, Ava is on her back, getting a good scratch and Gracie is sitting head to head with Ava in play position.  Nothing is coming of it, but Ava is pretty vulnerable and letting Gracie near her.  Good doggies.

Our First Week with Two Dogs

Just when you need it, the video camera decided not to work.  But let me tell you about our week.  Lisa suggested we try walking the dogs together, so I did with the split lead — two doggies on one leash– and with great success.  I did notice that Ava isn’t a real walker… but Gracie was very patient with her and waited — but not too much.  Ava was walking at quite a clip.  On Saturday night,  we bought a harness for Ava to use in the car.  At Petsmart, the dogs shared a shopping cart, enjoying the sights.  I think the shared walk really helped them.

Sunday, we took Gracie and Ava to my mom’s for Mother’s Day.  Ava was loved by all — and she was milking it, taking all the laps offered her.  Gracie was pleased as punch to share her backseat with Ava.

One of the tricks we do with Gracie is have her “show me”… Show me what you want,  show me poppa, show me momma, show me Grandma Dee.  Then Gracie will go with great gusto to said thing and if it’s a person, she’ll touch it with her paws or nose.  On Tuesday I asked Gracie to show me Ava.  She ran down the stairs, ran to Ava and stopped her.  Good girl, Gracie.    Tuesday night, Ava was pretty tired — all that walking on those little legs — and was curled up on her pillow.  I don’t know what Gracie was doing, but she got close to Ava.  Ava did not like this, and hissed at Gracie as if she were a cat.  I told Gracie to come by me, which she did.  It happened again when Ava was on Dave’s lap.  Gracie went by to sniff her.  Ava hissed again.  We praised Gracie for not hurting Ava and let Ava know we do not tolerate that behavior by taking her off Dave’s lap.

By Wednesday, doggies were sitting on the same pillow (I didn’t see it, but Dave said so).  But Wednesday night held its own dramas.  We had a wicked bad thunderstorm. Gracie is miserable.  She pants, her skin/fur is hot and she shakes–a lot.  We don’t Ooo and Ahh over her when she is like this, rather tell her she’ll be okay.  Ava gets nervous but we didn’t have evidence of anything like Gracie’s issues.  By the time it was 4 a.m., both doggies were a wreck.  I held Gracie down all night long and she ended up on my pillows just above my head.  Dave had Ava duty. I think she was trying to get close to Gracie, but it was too late and I was too tired.    All in all, the two sisters seem to be doing well they even finish they’re #1’s at the same time.  Synchronized.

In the last week, this is what I’ve observed about Ava:

  • Ava doesn’t sit, stand, or come when called
  • Ava doesn’t climb stairs
  • when you want to pick her up and she doesn’t want it, Ava slumps
  • Ava sits on her pillow all day and sleeps
  • Ava doesn’t know how to play with other dogs
  • Ava doesn’t do well with children

and Ava is potty trained!

All this says to me that the people who owned Ava when she was a puppy seemed to think she was a toy.  She didn’t need to do anything, she wasn’t socialized with other dogs — she wasn’t allowed to be the best doggie she can be.  That makes me angry and it makes me sad for both Ava and Gracie.  I know shih tzus.  One of the smartest dogs I know is a shih tzu and they have the ability to learn and learn quickly.  So, for now we’re letting Ava be Ava.  But there will come a time that Ava will be held accountable for that list.  Slowly but surely, she can be a better doggie!

Snow Day!

Gracie adores the snow. This is from mid-January.  It was a beautiful day and Gracie needed some fun outside.  We spent 30 minutes using and abusing the lawns of our gracious neighbors.  You’ll see her sniffing and smelling–she’s on the hunt for some bunnies. 

Some Hints
I think it takes a while for the videos to load... they're HD format and are pretty big files. If you click on the arrow and then immediately click the pause button. This allows the video to load. Once there is more grey line than black line, you should be able to press the play button. Enjoy.