Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fun & excitement basset style!

Last night Linus & Einstein played together. They've been trying to play for awhile. The problem always is that Einstein starts barking because he's excited & then Linus gets scared & runs for safety (love seat, couch, behind Mom, behind Dad). Einstein then stands and barks at him trying to get him to play thus scaring him further.

When Puddles was here, she would get scared of Einstein even before the barking because of his size. She & Linus would chase after the same toy together but eventually Einstein would want to join in. Puddles would get scared & start barking. Einstein would get annoyed & start barking. Linus would run & hide.

Last night Einstein was chasing Linus. They ran back & forth at a rather shocking speed considering that they're basset hounds. They ran from the back door to the front door & back again. At one point, Linus ran right out the dog door with Einstein hot on his heels. It was pretty funny & good to see. Linus gave all appearances of playing & not being scared. Eventually though Einstein started to bark & so Linus jumped up next to me on the couch. Chris grabbed a toy & tossed it. Linus launched himself from the arm of the couch & took off after it with Einstein hot on his heels. He ran back with the toy & Chris tossed it again. Unfortunately, Einstein started barking again & back up on the couch went Linus. He would take off after the toy a few more times before he decided that wasn't fun anymore with Einstein barking at him.

But it was actual playing! Einstein's been trying to play with Linus since he got here. Linus is such a submissive Zeta dog that he would just get scared. When Einstein started going Alpha on him for no apparent reason at random times, that really didn't help. We seem to have the Alpha thing under control. Einstein really isn't an Alpha type personality so when Chris & I started working on reminding him that we were in charge using some of the techniques in Cesar's book, it didn't take long for him to respond.

Yay! Linus is playing!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Long time no blog

Things have been a bit crazy. We finally got our carpet in. After we got that done, we started dragging in the computer stuff & sorting through it all. We threw out a lot, put some in the donate pile, and we have a lot to keep. When we go back through that, we may pull some of it out to add to the donate pile.
A good trip to IKEA resulted in a very overloaded Outback. We've started putting one of the cabinets together. Linus & Einstein both needed to come in and help. Bassets & power tools, not a good mix so Chris did the assembly while I passed him parts & kept the dogs safe.

We've also been helping some friends pack for their move. Everyone pray or cross your fingers or whatever your personal preference is that everything works out with their current prospective new house.
As a result of this, their sweet little rat terrier, Puddles, is staying with us. It's kinda funny watching Puddles & Linus try to run away from each other. It's a contest as to who is more scared. Tonight is flying night but we're going to leave Puddles at home. It'll give her a chance to get settled in plus I'm not sure how well she'll be able to handle the heat. Then there's the danger of her getting squished under 2 bassets in the back seat.
She's a good dog. It'll be fun having her here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Linus, the barking seal

Linus & I had some snuggle time on the couch. He seems to have calmed down.

We call him the barking seal because that's what his bark sounds like. It's pretty cute. Einstein's deep bark with Linus' higher pitched bark. He's cute.

Linus has been getting braver. He's not afraid to drink from the main dog bowl which has a 2-liter bottle feeding it which makes a burping noise. He used to be afraid of it so we had to have a regular water bowl for him.

We have to sit both food bowls out in the living room but that's because of Einstein. He would completely block access to the kitchen so Linus couldn't get the food. Linus would get hungry enough that he'd start whining. So, with both bowls in the living room I can keep the food dominance under control.

Otherwise they get along fine. They'll lay together. Linus likes to lick Einstein. Do dogs have grooming rituals? Einstein doesn't seem to care & they are cute.

Linus didn't eat my phone!

We had a fun afternoon at the McLarens' playing games & chatting. It hit me that I had left my cell phone down where Linus could get it. After Mom's cell phone with artistic teeth marks, I was concerned about mine. It was a happy surprise to find it untouched. Yay!

He is a sweetheart despite his tendency to destroy phone books & PS2 controllers.
In honor of the holiday, Chris decided that Linus didn't need to go on a walk today. You'd think he'd be a happy dog but instead he's whining & pacing. So I'll blog about more Linus later.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Linus:2 PS2:0

Linus decided to start destroying things again. His first victims were an old Otterbox for my iPod that he hauled out of the basket where I keep chargers & other electronics related stuff. He chewed the circle that covered the click wheel out. He also chewed on one of Chris' PS2 controllers. At least the Otterbox was a broken one. The PS2 controller was actually working.

So, I picked up another big plastic tub. Clearly more stuff needed to be protected & my computer desk was already covered with so much stuff that I couldn't use the computer. So big tub was plopped onto the old big tub and filled with all kinds of stuff to protect them from the chewy dog.

Unfortunately, when we went to Spamalot we forgot to put the other PS2 controller in the tub & he ate it while we were gone. Yes, we were gone a long time. But! We gave them really cool edible Nylabones that they do actually like. Plus we filled each of the "treat" balls full of 1 cup (1/2 of their dinner) of food each. Plus the usual doggy amusements (toys, each other, the dog door, ...)

So we picked up a used controller at the Game Exchange on Main Street. It currently resides in the tub. We also had to pick up a new PS2 memory card as the ones he already had have disappeared into the disaster area that is our house.

We did get our carpet in, sort of. The guy who had written up the order wrote down the wrong names for 2 of the colors. So we got our center blue color & 2 green shades. So we're waiting 7-10 days for the correct shades of blue to come in. Annoyingly since it's the middle color & not one of the corners, we can't do anything with the carpet tiles we have. sigh

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dogs & paint

We painted the computer room this weekend! Pictures are here. This is our first home improvement project. Wow! We're very lazy. ;-)
I had to go back over the baseboards & the windowsill today. The paint is fairly white while wet & with the fading sunlight I missed a bunch of spots. It dries darker so I got in & touched everything up before we lost the light again.

Of course, we had doggy supervision. Einstein's painted self is also on the picture page. Linus was in the room just as much but managed to not get painted. The dogs were pretty bored. Linus started cruising the coffee table. Einstein tried guarding the food. Nobody liked their treats. I finally dug out the toys that you put food & treats inside & then they have to roll them around to get it out. One is a orange rubber ball that gives up it's treats fairly easily. Einstein latched onto that one & was pushing it all over. The other is hard plastic & looks like a blue six-sided die. This one is harder since it's square & sometimes it has to be flipped a couple of times to get the food out. We bought this a long time ago for Darwin. He was unamused. He wound up smacking it off the wall as hard as he could. We put it up & didn't bring it back down for a long time. These toys did help keep the guys entertained. Once we got down to just the baseboards, Chris took them both for a walk.

This morning Linus wanted to play so I threw dogny (stuffed floppy dog with squeakers) and he took off after it. After a couple of tosses, Einstein decided he wanted to play too. He would chase Linus who was chasing dogny. Linus didn't seem to care much. As Einstein played, he got wound up & started barking. Well, barking is just too scary for Linus so he jumped up on the couch. Einstein put his front paws on the couch & barked right in his face. Linus cowered but refused to get up & play. I finally had to distract Einstein. Linus is getting braver all the time so I'm sure that they'll start playing together eventually.

Linus' foster parents came by today. We led them through the maze of stuff into the relatively clean living room. Linus didn't seem to remember them at first & ran out the dog door. We did get him back inside eventually. He laid on the couch & let them pet him. I think Linus recognized them a bit since he did stay & let them pet him. They were so excited to see him. They had an adopt a pet yesterday that his sister Lucy was at. Adopting a rescue dog is definitely more work but the rewards are so great. It's been wonderful watching Linus come out of his shell. Have we been frustrated & down right angry at times? Heck Yah! Especially at 5 am. He's worth all of it though. He's such a sweetie, full of love & bounciness. Lucy is a bit more shy than Linus is but I'm sure that she's worth the work just as much as Linus is. So, anybody want a basset hound to love? Just give them a call or e-mail and ask about Lucy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Linus playing!

He's finally loosening up enough to play some. He's still a bit leery about playing with Einstein because Einstein barks when he gets excited. However, he's playing with Chris. I've tried but he seems to be more interested in getting me to pet him rather than play with him.

I put a bunch of photos, including a movie clip of him playing with his platypus, over on the .Mac site here. Let me know if the movie doesn't play for you.

I removed the old Linus photos from the Flickr site. I'm going to be using it for a cool new knitting community over at Ravelry but this is the non-yarn site so I won't bore you with it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Something FINALLY went right today

After an exhausting mentally fatiguing day at work, I came home to 2 happy bouncing dogs. After taking down the gate, I could see into the living room and saw that Linus had NOT chewed on anything! Whoo Hoo!
Einstein did a chewie dance lite (not the full blown chewie dance) with the basted rawhide braid that I left (they each got 1).
Linus did later on in the evening decide to chew up some purple post-its. No, I didn't catch him in the act. I was too tired.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What did Linus eat today?

I gave Linus a liver flavored Nylabone when I left this morning. Einstein got an unflavored one & a dog treat. Linus was supposed to take the hint & chew on his bone.

As you can see, this wasn't what he chewed on. They were strewn around on the floor. I grouped them together so I could just show the one picture.

He also did some exploring.

Usually destructive chewing is caused by bored dogs. OK, we both work but I only work part time. He has a dog door. He has Einstein. He has 2 overflowing baskets full of dog toys of all types: stuffed ones, rubber ones, chewy ones, rawhides, fleecy, squeaky, soft, textured, and so on.


What's in a name?

We have renamed the dogs. You know how parents will call one child by another child's name? Well, we did our own variation on that. We've been calling them both Linestein. It's pretty funny. Einstein responds to it but I think he's used to us calling him all kinds of silly names. Linus hasn't much but then he doesn't always respond to Linus either. It depends upon his state of fraidiness.

Linus has definitely figure this walk thing out. When we start putting on our shoes & Einstein does his happy-barky-I'm-going-on-a-walk dance, he runs & hides under the kitchen table. When we get home, he throws on the brakes just inside the door so we can take the gentle leader off.
He has really been having a rough time on walks lately. I think it's because it's summer (kids are out of school) & it hasn't gotten really hot yet so everyone is out playing, gardening, mowing, talking, hanging out, the usual stuff. Linus does not like any of this. His walks have gotten shorter because he's been getting so freaked out. He needs the walks but we don't want him to have a nervous breakdown either. One of us will take him home while the other takes Einstein on a much longer walk which he seems to enjoy a lot.

Einstein is not happy with the gates. He's used to having the complete run of the place while we're gone. He sat in the entryway & wouldn't move until I came to get him yesterday. This morning he was in the living room. Once we get the computer room back to normal, Linus should be able to go more places but if he keeps up his chewing we may just leave the gates up.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Destructive rampage of the Linus dog

I stopped at Home Depot on the way home to buy paint. Evidently Linus didn't appreciate it.
Once I got past the happy bouncy dogs, I got to see the living room.

He had lots of fun with my photo paper.

That's my knitting lamp on the floor behind the little rascals head.
He apparently is not a fan of KSU pencils.
I use (used) the dental floss for lifelines in my knitting.

He apparently thought that the platypus looked better wrapped up in my dental floss.

In truth, nothing a value was destroyed. He had just been being so good.

picture site? what picture site?

I tried to fix the URL problems with the photo site on .mac. Instead I seem to have made it impossible for me to even get to. sigh.
I'll let you know when I find it and set up a correct link in the sidebar.

It's case sensitive! Who would have thought that?
Here's the link:
I still need to get a few people to test it for me.

A good recovery

Linus did eventually crawl out from under the kitchen table. He was still acting a bit skittish but was hanging out in the living room. When I heard Chris start to unlock the front door, I thought "Uh Oh! He'll run back under the table.". Instead Linus raced Einstein to say hi like has been usual for the last week or so. When Chris came in to sit on the couch, Linus ran over and grabbed his platypus & brought it over to me. He was so cute! I, of course, did not have a camera ready.

Chris said that the blanket over Linus' crate seems to be helping. He's cried a bit when he wakes up but then quiets back down. Hopefully this will become a habit.

The walk went better last night. The night before pegged Linus' freak-o-meter. Chris took him home early and had to struggle with him the whole way. Last night, Linus did much better. No outright freaking. His anxiety was clearing rising along the way but not nearly as bad as the previous night - there were lots of people & kids out that night.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Scary Day for Linus

Our exterminator came by today. He's a really nice guy who loves dogs. Einstein is always thrilled since he knows he'll get attention.
Linus was not so thrilled. Our exterminator walked over to pet Linus before I could ask him not to. Linus leaped over the arm of the loveseat & somehow shoved his head into the doggie door before his legs hit the ground. His front paws landed on the window sill & he was pulling himself through before his hind legs hit the ground. He was one scared acrobatic dog.

He's under the kitchen table right now. I tried coaxing him out once but then remembered I needed to relock the gate. I came back inside just as Linus walked out of the kitchen. He fled in terror of the opening door back under the kitchen table. Poor little guy. :-(

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Linus & home repair

Look! Evidence that Linus is playing! He rummaged through the toy pile until he found a bone he liked. As soon as I got the camera, he stopped.

The stuffed platypus from Ty is his favorite toy. We frequently have to retrieve it from the backyard. One day Chris picked up in the yard & tried to get Linus to play with him. Linus refused & later snuck out to bury the platypus under the photinias. Chris recovered him & has decided that playing with it in the backyard isn't a good idea.

He has come out of his shell so much. He's happy & hyper. He's all wriggly whenever he sees us. He's started jumping on us & on Einstein to get to the front of the petting line. We've decided that we're not going to do what Cesar would & insist he be calm and submissive before we give him affection. He's not used to getting it or wanting it. However, the jumping has to go especially since he does it while we're walking and/or carrying things. He's so happy & such a sweetie. He is umimpressed with the Nylabones a friend recommended to us. The one he dug out of the toy basket was one of those freeze-dried real bones. If he continues to chew on it, we'll get him some more. Anyone want some Nylabones? Einstein's never cared for them either.

Any ideas on how to stop Linus' whining in the morning? We think he's just waking up & wants out. I got up with him this morning at 6 (which is late for Linus) so Chris could sleep in. On the theory that maybe he's waking up to the sunlight we're going to toss a blanket over his crate tonight. Cross your fingers for us. I did do some more research on barking collars. It looks like that ones that the dog sets off himself have maybe a 30% success rate. Collars that are activated by remotes are the best when combined with verbal training. Would you believe that it is extremely cheaper to buy a collar to shock your dog than another more humane way (noise and/or vibration)? We're going to keep working on it but I was grouchy enough this morning that researching it was therapeutic.

Kyanos came down some this morning. Linus responded well to verbal warnings to leave her alone. He watched her very intently while Einstein fell asleep. So things are going good on the Linus/Kyanos interaction front. I was doing some knitting & Linus decided to help out by jumping up on top of my laceweight cashmere/silk blend strung with beads. Everything was saved & Linus curled up in the now clear spot beside me. Linus has also taken to hopping up in Einstein's papa san. So far Einstein is allowing it. We'll see how long that lasts.

We actually started working on the master bathroom today. We'll finish up tomorrow.
Photos are over here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Who needs sleep?

Linus woke both of us up this morning. Chris tried to sleep in until 5:30 (whoo hoo!) but Linus woke up earlier. Linus started whining, then a few barks, a howl, and back to whining as he built himself up each time getting more & more frantic.

He seems to not mind his crate. He runs into it easily enough at bedtime. He's learned "cookie" from Mom & crunches happily on the one we give him when we close the door. He's fine during the night. It's that early am wake up.

When we moved his crate, Chris smelled urine so part of it might be that. However, the smell wasn't that strong (after changing Darwin's blankets every day, you get the hang of estimating volume based on smell). Some mornings Chris says he runs for his water dish. Other times, he wants attention & sometimes he runs outside. I think he just wakes up then & won't sit quietly like Einstein does. He's awake, he wants everyone awake.

We looked at bark deterrent collars at Petsmart - just the ones that emit a high pitched noise - no shocks! The problem is that since he mostly cries, will it work? It says it has adjustable settings to tune it to your dog's bark.


I'm tired which means not thinking very clearly. He's such a sweetie. When I was reading my book last night, I pulled him from the foot of the couch up to sprawl between my legs. He stretched out & stayed. He wanted his chin scritched. He'd lift his head & look at me with those sweet brown eyes. He's such a sweetie.

He just needs to stop waking us up!

Well, breakfast & work are waiting.

Ideas & suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm a bad blogger

Stuff has been happening & I haven't been blogging about it. So here's a little catch up.

I got the living room cleaned out, so today was the first day that Linus was left to wander freely around the kitchen & living room as well as having outdoor access while I was at work. Pictures are up on the .Mac photo page for anyone who doesn't believe that I did finally clean up all of the stuff that's been accumulating on the bar for over a decade. And no I didn't just stuff it all into Chris's cubby. I actually threw a bunch of stuff away!

Linus & Einstein were very happy to see me & jumping up and down on the other side of the gate. When I took it down, I was overwhelmed with dogginess. The amazing thing is that Linus joined in on some of the craziness. I was sitting on the floor with 2 bassets wriggling & competing for petting. Then when I was wrestling Einstein around, Linus would dart from the couch or love seat and push his way into it. I made the same excited fussing noises for Linus that I had been for Einstein but dialed the rough housing way back. He looked like he was having fun and then he would dart back to safety waiting for another opportunity. It ended with me sitting on the floor giving each dog ear scrunchies until my fingers got stiff. It was really great to see Linus play like that.

As for the great crate moving that happened yesterday, we did move Linus' crate into the kitchen & we swiped Mom's clock/radio/alarm & set it to a talk radio station. Linus pitched a fit for about 30 minutes (maybe he doesn't like Christian talk radio, maybe we should try KERA tonight ) when we put him to bed but then he settled down. I haven't asked Chris if Linus woke him up this morning or not. Chris took the van so he got up at 5 am anyway. He might have woke Linus up.

Chris bought a ball at Petsmart. He really wants a dog that will play fetch. We bought some training treats. Chris tried tossing the ball & only wound up scaring Linus back inside. So, we got the ball & the treats & sat down with Einstein. We did the touch trick he learned in agility and soon he was pushing at the ball. We tried rolling it between us & saying "touch" but that didn't work but it's a start.

He was great at flight night on Tuesday. We had two long walks - I was just in a walking kind of mood & I had brought my iPod. He walked great! Of course, there wasn't anything around to scare Linus except a brief buzz by a bicyclist. Walking around the neighborhood last night didn't go so well. There were lots & lots of people out. He & I turned back home at the "Corky Memorial Loop" since he was so frantic. Chris & Einstein continued on for awhile. Linus really hates the Gentle Leader. I had been hoping that he would get used to it. I kept remembering how Darwin was afraid of the choke collar (thanks to a bad puppy kindergarten teacher who hated beagles [yes, she did say that]) but came to associate it with walks. Then I realized that Darwin had loved walks, walks were 2nd to food but above everything else. Linus is afraid of walks so I guess we'll just have to deal with life as it is. Chris & I are trying to look at our schedules together to see if we can both sign up for dog obedience classes at Petsmart. Linus needs it & the 3 of us could use a refresher course.

Well, I should be fixing dinner & reading my book for my summer study that starts tomorrow so I'll sign off.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nap Time!

I had a fun weekend out with the gals, staying up late, & eating way too much junk food.
The inevitable happened & I crashed when I got home on Sunday. Chris needed to run some errands so Linus got to join us for his first Nap Time.
Nap Time started because I couldn't sleep on the couch anymore without my joints waking me up in screaming pain.
When Chris got home, he found out that someone had joined us.

Kyanos must have decided that Linus was safe. You may also have noticed that the boys swapped sides of the bed at some point.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Backyard Discoveries

I found a small bundle of Mom's red yarn in the backyard last night.

Today he managed to take an entire box of kleenex out back to munch on.

I bought 2 dog gates today to try to keep Linus out of the water heater mess.
See the .Mac photo site for pictures.

What Linus did during our vacation

Mom kept us up to date with his antics via e-mail. So, here are the Linus Files from vacation. All were written by Mom.

The Linus Files

May 25

All is calm here. He cried really hard for 20 minutes last night and then went to sleep. He's getting braver as he got on Einstein's seat by front window yesterday- briefly. He's turned into a closet chewer. Got into a box of Kleenex yesterday. Later he got one of my gel pens while I was fixing dinner and chewed up the cap. He's a sneaky little devil. Everyone got walks yesterday morning but not last night as it rained. Have fun.

May 26

Yes, Linus's nose and ears are still attached to his body- but barely. First of all whiny butt started squealing at 6 AM. Last night he whooped for 20 minutes and then went to sleep so I opened the bedroom door for Kyanos to explore. I finally got up at 6:30 and released the hounds of hell. Champ and Einstein were laying in their crates as if to say "what is his problem." They all zoomed outside. I got up to go warm me some blueberry bread. Came back to find Linus chewing on something and wondered what. I soon found out as I pulled my cell phone out of his mouth. He took it off the coffee table and drug it up on love seat. Little (ha!) teeth marks in the metal casing and antennae. I looked over and saw him chewing something else- my cell phone clip. The twerp!!! He's getting real brave and following me up stairs and checking on me in the up stairs bathroom. I'm going to start putting up the TV remotes. Yesterday they were in the floor and I don't know if he accidentally knocked them off or I caught him before the chewathon began. Einstein and Champ say that's why I love them best.

May 26: 2nd message

Subject line: Dead Meat

Are you really sure you want Linus to be here when you get home? Don't you think he really should go on a walkabout as the Aussies say? Just kidding. I was knitting with your wooden needles. (I had just tried to take out a dog's teeth marks from the needles just minutes before.) I knitted three rows and decided to go get my steak out to marinate. Big mistake. Something told me to go back immediately. He had drug the yarn and one needle over to the love seat for a little snack. I quickly grabbed it and put it up. He's now looking at me with big soulful eyes as if to say, "lies, all lies granny."

May 26: 3rd message

He's still alive and in one piece. He got the straight wooden needles I borrowed. I think the phone is ok- just lots of artistic teeth marks. He's a chewer for sure.

May 28
Subject Line: fun, fun, fun

They came; they visited [My brother & his family]; Linus freaked. They got in around 4:30 PM. Puppies spent the time outdoors as it wasn't raining. Poor Linus was so freaked that he didn't want to come in after everyone went to bed. I finally chased him out of bushes. Hey, I forgot to tell you something.When I grab the 3 cookies and tell them it's bedtime, Linus is the first to race to his crate. He starts to immediately crunch his cookie. See, we're making progress and he's not scared of me at all- just new people. Walks have not gone so well as any noise really freaks him. I think obedience class will really help. Einstein and Champ are walking real well in tandem now that I put both on a 4 foot range leash. They don't tangle and try to trip me so much.

May 28: 2nd message
Subject line: Life is normal

Just wanted to let you know that the McCann's got gone around 7 AM. Linus has now been running in and out of yard as usual. He's busy snooping, chewing and being his usual inquisitive self. He seems to love to lean forward from love seat to sniff my hair as I'm reading or watching TV. Funny.

May 29

Linus ate 2 cups yesterday in morning and evening plus this morning. I'm still serving it to him on couch and Champ looks at me like I'm nuts. Einstein played Top Dog yesterday morning. The dogs didn't eat much Sunday night after company went to bed. Einstein finished his breakfast, tried to eat Champ alive to chase him off and then polished off Champ's breakfast. Linus was on couch saying got to eat fast, got to eat fast. Champ hid under the table. Funny as he doesn't usually get his butt kicked. Took him down a peg but no blood spilled.

Linus is very inquisitive. I'll be reading or watching tv. He wanders off and goes up stairs. Comes belting back down when I wander out. He loves to drag Champ's small blankets out of his crate. He only does it to Champ. Sneaks pencils off tables to chew and loves socks. Sudden movements still startle him and he takes off when he's in the house.

As you can see "Granny" had lots of fun with the dogs while we were on vacation. And I haven't even started on the adventures of the water heater.

My addition to the chewing spree is this:
I was trying to thread beads onto some yarn to knit a scarf with. I was sitting on the floor with the only empty flat spot in the house - a cookie sheet that I got out of the cabinet. They're the tiny seed beads. Really tiny. Linus decided he wanted attention and kept squirming onto my
lap. I rearranged things for him so he could sprawl. I could still work with his head in my lap so I let him stay. Well, being a dog, he wanted 100% of my attention and kept trying to crawl onto the cookie sheet to lay down on the beads. After a bit of shoving, he decided to see what was so fascinating about those little colored things. The next thing I know, his head moves & he "tastes" them. Beads fly everywhere as he slurps his tongue back into his mouth. I scrambled & rolled him over onto his back & started retrieving my beads. Do you know how many folds & pockets of skin that are in a basset's mouth. Unfortunately, I do know now & it's a heck of a lot. They looked pretty silly laying up against his white teeth. I finally got all of them that I can see, release Linus (who actually didn't mind my getting them back) & went back to work, he hopped up on the love seat. He hopped down again awhile later & wandered off. In the oblivious zone I was in I forgot about what he had already done. So when Mom fed the dogs I hopped up & brought Linus' food bowl to him & them helped Mom with some stuff. I looked back and saw Linus with an empty food bowl & a string hanging out of his mouse. I ran over & sure enough, it was my yarn. The yarn with all of the beads on it. He had swallowed 12 inches or more of a laceweight cashmere/silk yarn with a short twisted wire beading needle & a bunch of beads. I pulled and it came sliding back out. Linus was fine due to the tiny size & extreme bendability of the needle. My beads are up off the floor now. Yes, I am a slow learner.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

We're back!

It'll be a few days but I have Linus stories from Mom to add.

He's so much braver than when we went on vacation!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Who's loveseat is it anyway?

Life has been a tad stressful & chaotic lately.
No sooner had my brother & his family departed for their cruise but my Mom arrived with her dog, Champ. We introduced Champ & Linus to each other in our backyard. The intros seemed to go fine. Linus was intimidated a bit but he didn't run off in terror either. He even let Mom pet him.
The 3 dogs seem to be cohabitating nicely. Einstein & Champ have always gotten along (unless there are chewies involved). They love to play & run. At my Mom's house there's enough space for them to get up to a good speed as they tear down the hallway & see if they can turn instead of slamming into the door. We don't have very good running space at home but they certainly do try to make the most of it. Linus just hunkered down on the loveseat & tried to ignore the crazed dogs barking & running around having a great time.
The biggest source of contention is the loveseat. This piece of furniture doesn't really get used by Chris & I. Usually it's the dumping spot for pillows or afghans while we use the couch. So, when my Mom comes down to visit, she clears it off & sets up there. She can see the TV, have access to a lamp, put her feet up, and sit and chat & knit with me over on the couch. Well, Linus decided that the loveseat was his. Now that he's feeling more confident instead of running for his cave, he'll run for the loveseat. He was unamused when my Mom plopped down there. She was less amused when he jumped up after she left & sat on her yarn. I have a feeling it's going to be a source of contention until we leave on vacation. At that point, Mom will probably move over to the couch & let Linus have the loveseat. He's a silly dog.
Mom's been taking him for walks & taking him into the backyard on the 12 foot lead. He's starting to used to her. Tonight we'll have her let Linus in the backyard without the lead & then see if he'll come inside for her or if he hides in the photinas. She walks Einstein & Champ together & them comes home and takes Linus out by himself. She says he does a lot better when walked on his own instead of tandem with Einstein. I'm sure that's true. She's also getting Einstein back into shape. We'd gotten fairly sloppy about his walking habits. When Mom walks, she power walks & expects the dogs to keep up. No sniffing or snuffling or marking everything just walking at a good clip. Einstein's not happy but he's learning to keep up. He's also being reminded that pulling is a bad thing.
Heck, Chris & I are hoping that when we get home Mom will have both dogs leash trained & Linus won't cry all night. ;-)
Actually I am going to sign up Linus for beginning obedience when we get back. If Chris's schedule allows, we're also going to take Einstein for a refresher course. Needless to say, Chris & I both need refresher courses too. We're both very committed to helping Linus become a well behaved & happy dog. He'll never be the people dog that Einstein is but that's OK. Heck, I've been shy all of my life & I'm pretty happy so I think Linus can be happy even though he's got some social fears. He'll get there.
We're starting to see glimpses of his personality. He got one of the branches that Chris trimmed off the tree, hauled across the yard, and then sat down and started chewing on it. That's not anything that Einstein or Darwin have done. He steals socks and my wrist braces, again unique to Linus. He's a sweetie.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Chris and I finally had time to unpack the bag with Panda. We'd put the cards we'd received in there. They'll be put in her photo album. There was also a votive candle but it's scented so Mom will get it.

The box is very nice. It has nice simple lines with a photo area on the front. I'm not sure if I'll put her photo there or just leave the sunset one it came with there. It has her name on a brass plaque on the front. Unlike Darwin's (which has a lock & keys), Panda's box is sealed. We don't plan on ever opening either one so that's a plus in our book.

She and Darwin are up on the mantle. I never thought I'd do something like that. However, the mantel (along with some "pretties" that rotate) has a framed copy of our wedding invitation, a Waterford cat & a cross, along with a Tibetan singing bowl so I think they fit in.

We have a print of St. Francis surrounded by animals done by Lucy A. Synk (picture is shown is this article)hanging on the wall upstairs. I saw it at her booth at the KC Ren Faire years ago and knew exactly where to put it. I used it as the center of a shrine to my cat, Ches, who died way too young. We're planning on adding photos of Panda & Darwin - along with the cast of his pawprint - beside the print.

Visitors are scary

My brother (Ray), his wife, & their daughter E (my niece) stopped by for the night. They're on their way to a cruise farther south in TX. We had a nice dinner & then E got to run around in the playground for awhile.
The playground is in a park within walking distance of her house. Unfortunately, too many people think that a park means they can let their dogs poop everywhere & not pick it up. We had to keep E on the sidewalks because of all of the piles. She'd been in the car all day & needed to run and play.
She seemed to like the enclosed slides the best. The short one was a straight slide down. The taller one had twists in it and wasn't very slippery. She came down the first couple of times dragging herself forward with her feet. The last time she somehow walked/crouched down the slide.

We had a problem with the dogs. They don't have pets so she's not used to them. Einstein was inside when we got home so I grabbed his collar to put him outside. He loves people so he wanted to wait for the new people to come in so he could say hi. I thought I had him out the door but he got away & ran for the entryway and the front door. E had just been sat on the ground & she saw a 55 lb basset hound charging toward her. Needless to say she was scared. Einstein didn't touch her and I got him outside. Linus shot from his crate to his cave. E actually went through his cave a couple of times and never noticed him. Linus just looked at her with huge eyes and tried to make himself into an even smaller ball.

Chris & my brother took both boys for a quick spin to wear them out a little. Chris said Linus was hard to deal with because he was so scared of the new person walking with him. He retreated back to his cave & didn't move until bedtime. When we let Einstein in, we left him on the leash.

Ray likes dogs so Einstein did get some attention after E went to bed. He wasn't totally neglected.

Happily Linus decided not to cry last night. I wonder if leaving a radio playing downstairs (music or talk?) would help him. Ideas?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cleaning is tiring

Especially when your new dog decides to cry most of the night.

Who needs sleep anyway?

Linus' foster mom warned us that he always woke up at 4:30 am. We haven't been having that problem until 2 nights ago. I think it hasn't been a problem before due to Chris' rotten hours. He wasn't getting home until almost midnight. He'd let the dogs out & even take them on a walk before he'd go to sleep.
Yesterday he woke Chris up at 4:30. He went down & let them outside to do their business and then left them loose inside. Imagine my surprise when I walked out of the bedroom (containing a sleeping husband) and saw Einstein waiting for me in the hall.

Last night, Linus decided to get an early start. He started crying as soon as we went to bed. He even started to get a bit hysterical. We shut the bedroom door & tried to ignore it. Any response, negative or positive, would just reinforced the behavior so we worked at ignoring it. Surprisingly we did get to sleep.
Linus went off a couple of more times during the night and way too early in the morning.
Who needs sleep anyway?

This is all part of having a new dog. We'd love to say it's because of his background but Darwin & Einstein both did this. Darwin couldn't be in his crate at all so we wound up blocking off our tiny kitchen in the apartment & letting him sleep there (with lots of newspapers for accidents). Einstein had massive separation anxiety and would cry almost all night. Shouldn't dogs get hoarse after awhile?
So, we just have to hang in for a few more days until Mom arrives & we run away on vacation.

Linus is showing himself to be a fairly needy dog. If I'm in the computer room (which is out of sight for him from the love seat), I hear pitiful crying. If I talk to him, he'll eventually calm down. It never seems to occur to him that he can come looking for me. I'm sure that will come with time. The up side to this is a dog who lays down on the couch next to you and puts his head in your lap. Or one who wants to snuggle with Chris so much that he wriggles onto the remaining loveseat space & depends on Chris to keep him from falling off. Or one who is bouncy with joy when you come downstairs in the morning. He's worth it.
Last night he did cruise around the downstairs. I asked him if he needed to go potty & he headed for the back door. He took care of his business outside. He did wander around the house some more after he came back in. He rang the bells earlier in the day when he needed to pee. This time he needed to poop & he didn't ring the bells. Something to remember.

Well, time for breakfast & cleaning.

Friday, May 18, 2007


The light in the refrigerator just burned out. We don't really need to see our food do we?
Good! I didn't think so.
On to the yarn!

We walked

It was very scary. There was the mother & her daughter sitting in their yard with their big barking (but staying on his side of the street) dog. There were the (big?) scary sounding dogs on the other side of the fence. They apparently smelled good since Einstein wanted to stop & sniff while Linus wanted to run. Then there were the 2 couples leaving a house. That was very stressful. For me! Linus was bucking & trying to run while Einstein was trying to drag me back so he could say hi. We survived that. We eventually ran into 2 girls who were on our side of the street & were Einstein groupies. Linus hid behind me while Einstein did his happy wriggle dance of joy for the girls. We eventually made it the last 3 houses to ours & staggered inside. OK. I was the one staggering. Linus was running. Einstein was dragging his heels.

The head collar is a big help. I was able to keep Linus at my side most of the walk. I now understand why horses rear after watching Linus doing a pretty good imitation several times. The song about "Walking in the Light of God" popped into my head. So the last half of the walk I was singing that. I'm sure I was butchering both the tune & the lyrics but it helped me stay calm while Linus was pitching a fit & falling in it and dragging Einstein along behind me. Einstein needs some leash walking refreshers too.
Let's see we did lots of:
We are walking in the Light of God...
We are waiting in the Light of God.....
then there was We are turning in the Light of God.....
or We are stopping in the Light of God.....
I'm sure people thought I was a tone deaf Christian nut job who couldn't control her dogs. Everything but the Christian and the nut job part aren't true, of course. (I didn't say I could carry a tune. I said it was true that I wasn't tone deaf.)

We are home now. Linus has pawed at his head (I took the leash & collar off when we came inside.) & rubbed it furiously against the floor & the loveseat. He's laying in front of the loveseat panting very very hard. Einstein is probably off laying on the cool tile.

I should be cleaning. Instead I'm going to do some knitting, weigh some yarn, and watch Stargate Atlantis. Then I'll clean some more.


Linus just rang the bells to go out. I hooked him up to his lead (the whole walking over to him & grabbing the lead made him cringe a bit) & let him out. I let him walk out on his own. He did have a 12 lead dragging behind him to help me drag him out of the photinas if needed. Einstein followed. I waited on the patio. Linus walked around, peed, missed the lead, walked back over when I called him, & went inside. Yay! Progress!

OK. This was his 2nd try. He'd rung the bells a little earlier but when I walked over to grabbed the lead he ducked & ran over to the loveseat & jumped up. He got it on the 2nd try though!

I faxed over Linus' medical record that I had stupidly left at home yesterday. Dr. Slough called & confirmed that Linus was indeed up to date on everything.
Linus has been a real sweetie about his ears. He lets me put the medicine without any problems. Even wash his ears. I'm sure as he gets less scared that this will change but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

I don't know if it's just Linus' nature or if it's because he's still timid & shy. He's a very low energy basset. As in, he sleeps on the furniture all day. OK, you say, he's a basset! Einstein is 4 years older & has way more energy. I'm sure that in a flat out run that Linus would beat him. Other than that, he's pretty much a snail to Einstein's turtle.

Just another day

I got home & dumped some groceries in the entryway along with my books & bag. Linus shot out of his crate as per usual. He actually sat at the back door & let me put the lead on him instead of cringing away. Einstein shot inside while Linus & I headed out. I kept thinking that I had forgotten something. Linus finished his business & we came back in. I heard something in the entryway & remembered the groceries. I ran in & discovered Einstein with his head buried in my bag of potato chips. I had Darwin flashbacks & almost started laughing. :-) No pictures I'm afraid.

One thing I've noticed about bassets is their need to make trails. Our beagle, Darwin, never made any trails. They only started to appear after Einstein arrived. Linus saw the trails & is following along.

Linus received a card in the mail. It was from his Granny McCann welcoming him into the family.

Well, enough fun & photos. Time to get to cleaning the house for the relatives that will be swarming in soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Life has been eventful

Yesterday was Flying Night.

The plan had been to leave Linus at home. Going out to the field would be a big much for him plus it would give my joints & Einstein a break. Unfortunately I didn’t get home until ½ hour before we had to leave. So, Linus came with us.

I had stopped at Petsmart on the way home & bought a Gentle Leader head collar. I LOVE THIS COLLAR!!!!!! Linus can’t drag & pull on the leash all the time. (see photo)

It’s easier for me to correct his behavior through the leash. My joints love this collar too.

He got in the car easily by jumping up once he saw Einstein get in. He was fine during the drive. He was not happy when we got to the field & we met our 3 friends. The noise of the electric motors didn’t seem to bother him as much as the people.
We went on a short walk while Chris unloaded the car (Sneaky of me.). He tried to lunge & discovered the new collar. He did not like it. He would walk & pull, get a tug on the leash, and then shake his head or paw at the collar or try to rub it off in the grass. He did get the nose loop pushed up over his eyes. The fitting video said to keep it loose enough that it could reach the fleshy part of his nose. Basset hounds have a very long nose so evidently it needed to be tightened a bit.
The collar itself doesn’t bother him. He was good as gold while I fitted it on him. He ate some food & got something to drink while he was wearing it. He just doesn’t like it pulling on him.
We got to the relaxed stage of the walk a lot quicker. Einstein was on his flexi. He seemed to enjoy zooming out past Linus. Linus didn’t seem to like it as much. After a short spin we were back at the field.
Linus let everyone pet him. Bruce made sure that Einstein didn’t feel slighted by petting him first. Einstein pretty much has everyone trained that they have to come over & pet him. Glen liked the fact that Linus didn’t try to give him kisses like Einstein does.
Linus was pretty scared so I pulled him up onto my lap. Einstein showed his superiority by jumping up on the table & hanging over my shoulder.

I’m sure that violates all kinds of things in Cesar’s book but I don’t really care. Einstein is not a domineering dog. We call him our Zeta dog. Since he’s been showing Linus that he’s the top dog, we started calling him our Alpha Zeta dog.

A guy came by to talk & fussed over Einstein for several minutes. Einstein was thrilled. Linus thought about jumping off my lap & hiding under the table.

I even got to fly. Chris got my plane in the air.

Then I handed him Linus’ leash & he handed me the transmitter. I had a great flight. Chris sat on the ground with Linus. He wound up pulling him into his lap. Linus’ poor little heart was beating really fast. He did great though. A lot better than I thought he would.

He conked out on Einstein’s back for the trip back. Einstein didn’t seem to mind.

Hopefully that will continue to be the case. With Einstein & Darwin, Darwin didn’t like Einstein to be that close to him. We joked that Darwin was saying “Mom! Dad! He’s touching me! Make him stop! He’s touching me!” like a little kid. We had to make room for Einstein on the back seat & then make a place for Darwin to crawl onto in the back to get away from him.

On to today.
Chris got up first this morning. When I came downstairs, Linus was on the couch. I heard whining & looked to see Linus hopping up to catch sight of me over the back of the couch. He’d whine when he saw me. It was really cute. I went & sat next to him and he shoved his head into my lap. He’s such a sweetie dog.

The morning walk went so much better with the head collar. He’s starting to get more used to it. He also is walking with his head up more. A neighbor & his dog scared him but his reaction is getting less & less extreme.

This afternoon was his first appt at Angel Vet. Like a complete doofus, I left the sheet with all of the detailed list of medical care that he had received from the Flower Mound Humane Society on the coffee table. Duh! I’ll fax it to them tomorrow. He was pretty scared. I kept him on my lap while we waited. When he had to be weighed he curled up in the corner of the big scale trying to hide. Everyone at the vet thought he was sweet & cute. They’re always so nice and understanding. Almost everyone asked how I was doing since Panda had died. They’re great people. If you need a vet, this is the best place!

Dr. Slough (Panda’s vet) saw Linus. He said that Linus was in great shape. He did have a yeast infection in his ears (Yes Mom - he needs ear drops twice a day! Aren't you thrilled?) but that’s common to bassets. I clean Einstein’s every week to prevent that. He had lost 7 lbs since the FMHS had weighed him. Dr. Slough was surprised at that & had him reweighed but it was still 40 lbs. He said that Linus was at a good weight so he doesn’t need that much fattening up. He encouraged me to bring Linus’ food out where he is to encourage him to eat. I probably don’t need to shove it under his nose like I have been but within sight would be good. Dr Slough was kind enough to visit with me about Panda and we had a nice chat about the medical advances for renal failure in cats & dogs. I checked out & paid & started to leave. I had another Duh! Moment and turned around to get him microchipped. That was the #1 reason I had taken him in today. Duh! The #2 reason was so that he would have been seen at Angel Vet in case Mom needed to take him in while we were gone. So, he’s microchipped. (They checked to see if he already had one but he didn’t.) After all of the money I dropped there (6 months of Interceptor & Frontline plus the ear infection medicine & the chip), he’s officially a Vanderbilt. He’s stuck with us now.
He kept climbing into this little alcove by the checkout desk that held 3 safety cones for when they mop the floor. He was so cute. I know he was really scared though but that was the last thing before we left.

Once we get the rabies certificate, I’ll get his city license so he’ll be a legal resident.

He’s crashed on the love seat resting up from his stressful day.

No time for detailed posting

It's that annoying work thing. :-)

Check out the link to the .mac photo page. Once there click on "Flying Night" at the top of the page & look at sweet puppy photos.
Posting later.


PS: The flickr badge will go away sometime after vacation & all photos will be on the .mac site.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Help from Mom

I sent my mom a pitiful e-mail:
I'm tired & I'm sore. I fell of the Dog Whisperer band wagon big time. In my defense, it's hard to think straight at 1 am. If he does the crying all night thing again tonight, I'm just shutting the door. I was responding to "oh the poor scared sweet puppy" instead of to the dog that was keep Chris & I awake. I shall not do that again.
I lost my temper on the walk. -see blog

Mom replied:
New mommies are allowed even after reading all the technical manuals. He's trying to bamboozle you and it worked. Closed doors and ear plugs help also. xoxoo

Moms are great!

Survived another walk

The first half was very nice. A nice cool breeze. Linus wasn't constantly pulling on the leash & he was sniffing around with Einstein. This is going to be a nice relaxing walk, I thought to myself.

About halfway around we came across some people taking tools out of a pickup. Very scary. Then someone in the front yard talking on a cell phone. Even scarier.

When I'd let him walk, Linus would take off in a run. Not kidding. A full out run. For the first time, I lost my temper. He hit the end of the leash in a dead run again and I stepped back & pulled. His front legs came off the ground & he spun around. I used to be able to completely flip Darwin when he was pulling too hard too often on the leash. I didn't pull that hard on Linus. I didn't want to terrify him just try to break that cycle in his brain: wait (because I have to), yay! Run!, nuts! I'll wait again, run, wait, run, wait, ... I was going for wait, run, yank! Wha' happened?

I love Linus. I love Einstein. This is killing my joints.

Ooops! Go look here for photos

My flickr account has an upload limit unless I upgrade to a paid account. Like that's going to happen.
So, I was able to set up a separate site on .Mac with iWeb. so, go here for the cute puppy photos. It's a really long URL & it'll probably change each time I upload to it so I'll keep the link in the sidebar up to date.
Let me know if this works or not.

Fun with the camera

We took a few staged photos last nights. Here are a couple. Go check the flickr site for more.

Last night

I had a nice talk with Linus' foster mom and he's ours! Yay!

Sooooooo, around midnight last night both Chris & I were wondering if maybe we should change our mind. (we wouldn't but it sounded good at midnight, 2 am, ...)
Linus was crying. Chris got up & took him out. He cried again. I got up & took him out. He cried again. I went back down & managed to stay awake for almost an hour. Linus was almost hyper (for him). He was sniffing around the living room. I called him back down from halfway up the stairs. He'd want attention & then go back to sniffing. He settled down eventually. I put them to bed. He started crying again. At Chris' suggestion, I closed the bedroom door which muffled the whining so we could get to sleep.
I have no idea why. I refilled his bowl last night & he polished it off so maybe his tummy hurt? I don't think he pooped but he doesn't always. His evening walk was 1 short walk. He doesn't like his crate? I don't know.
Sooo, I pushed my alarm back from 6:30 but I'm still tired. Chris let him out in the yard without hooking him to the lead & he came in on his own. That's good.
I just came downstairs & Einstein was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. I sat down & started petting him when Linus came running up & shoved his head at me. I petted him while being surprised & then he ran back to the couch. So, maybe he's starting to feel better about us & the house. I don't know.
I love the little guy but I need sleep! So, does Chris!
Longer walk tonight. Cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's becoming official

I left a message with Linus' foster parents yesterday saying that we had decided to keep him. He's a sweetie. Einstein agreed to let him stay since Linus hasn't tried to steal Einstein's papa san. ;-)

Linus has an appt with Angel Vet. He's neutered & his shots are all up to date so it's mostly just to let them meet Linus, get his heartworm & anti-flea meds, and get him microchipped. As soon as we get his rabies certificate, we'll get his Flower Mound city tag. Then he'll be all legal and all ours.

Welcome to the family Linus! You'll never have to worry about finding a new one ever again. We keep our kidz, we take care of our kidz, and we love our kidz. Your a Vanderbilt!

Monday, May 14, 2007

One paw on the brake, One paw on the gas

That seems to be the way that Linus "walks". It's all stop (when I've made him stop) or full out until I make him stop again. After trying to get him to "Hold" unsuccessfully, I decided to take a page out of Linus' book. When he steps on his leash, he stops. He doesn't understand what's happened.
Sooooo, when he sped up, I slowed down and the leash tightened. He'd strain and I'd slow even more. Einstein loved this. He got to sniff & mosey & generally take his time. When Linus would stop pulling and slow down, I'd speed up a little and we'd all walk along. Until Linus would decide to speed up again. I didn't yell "hold" or "wait". I didn't jerk or tug on the leash. Linus looked back a couple of times but must have decided it wasn't me because he stopped looking. Which was the idea. I don't want to turn our walks into a bad thing in his mind. If his little puppy brain starts to associate straining on the leash (& gagging himself) with something he's doing and stops, then that's the whole idea.
The almost sea-sickness inducing lurching (fast, slow, fast, slow) reminded me of flying my R/C plane. I'm still getting the hang of it so sometimes I'll start porpoising. I'll start to dive a little, over correct & nose up too much, over correct & I'll dive a live. Get the idea?
Same thing with Linus. Surge up in speed, slow down in speed, surge up, surge down. Eventually he started to figure things out, get a little tired, and his speed leveled out some. We had a nice stroll after that. We heard some birds (Yes, I heard them. I need my full attention on Linus so the iPod stays at home.), they sniffed some bushes, everybody had a nice time.
No scary things happened until almost the end of the walk. We had a jogger on the other side of the road. A cat yowling. Each time he looked up, slowed down, and then went on.
Right now he's sacked out on the love seat resting up for bedtime. ;-)

Uh Oh! Does Linus like yarn too much?

I sat down next to Linus on the couch & pulled out my yarn for my scribble lace scarf. I got up to get something & came back to find Linus licking my lace weight baby alpaca yarn. I took it away & sat down and he started shoving his nose into my project bag.
I'm assuming that he was just checking out a new smell & taste. Hopefully he's not taking a page from Maggie's book.
I'm not too worried about it. Especially since he's chewing away on his pig ear & ignoring the yarn. But I had to take the staged photo below.

Linus was bad

I sent his foster mom an e-mail and then came back in the living room. Linus was up on the couch next to a tissue box that I'd left there. He'd pulled a sheet out and was tearing it up very cautiously and quietly. It was cute!
I just took the tissue & the tissue box away from him. He must be feeling at home if he's willing to start pushing a little.


It finally happened. Linus knocked me off my feet.
We were going for a "quick" walk this morning. Linus did his business so I decided to turn around & head back the way we came.
I'm not 100% sure how it happened but the next thing I knew I was falling over Linus & heading for the sidewalk. Somehow I managed to drop & miss landing on the newly filled Dispoz-A-Scoop bag. I hit the sidewalk & rolled to grab a hold of the leashes that I'd dropped.
Link Linus was cringing and not moving while Einstein was checking out the scenery.
No injuries. Linus did try a few more times on the way back to the house for a repeat performance but failed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Meeting of the Pack

The newest pack member, Linus, finally got to meet the oldest (& smallest) pack member, Kyanos.
Kyanos came down to see where I was. She announced herself and Linus woke up. She strolled up and Linus lifted his head & they spotted each other. Kyanos looked straight at him and then proceeded to ignore him. Linus kept looking at her & then looking away. Kyanos hopped up on the couch & eventually left.
Nothing exciting.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Walking & other stressful activities

Linus is afraid of lawn mowers. How did I figure this out? We left for our walk ( I even tried going out the door first.) & Linus went absolutely berserk when he heard our neighbor mowing his lawn. He flailed around like a 47 lb fish at the end of a line. He tried to run into the house, away from the house, into the wall, back into the house. I managed to finally get the door closed & locked with all 3 of us on the outside. It was a lot easier to focus on Linus then. I headed off down the street away from the noise. He was freaking out, yanking hard on the leash, and running as much as I would let him. I yanked him to a stop "Wait" and fought him until he stopped moving with the collar loose. He was breathing really hard & fast & shivering. I waited until he stopped shaking & then we started walking again. It was hard to resist the urge to pet & fuss over him, kneel down & give him a hug but Cesar says that sort of thing just reinforces the panic reflex. So on we went.

A car pulled into a driveway & 3 people got out. Nutso time again. I kept pulling him over beside me. No orders to Wait or Sit, just using the leash to tell him to get back beside me. Again I resisted the comforting urge. I stayed there until they'd gone into their house. Linus relaxed and off we went again. Turning onto the next street I heard another lawn mower in the distance. Guess what? Everybody and their uncle mows their lawn at dusk. It made for a stressful but productive walk.

Throughout all of this Einstein walked behind me. Usually he charges ahead but I guess he wanted some distance between himself & a panicked Linus. Can't say as I blamed him. I made Linus "Wait" whenever Einstein wanted to smell something. Linus was still tense & breathing hard.

Another car with people & another mower came & went with less anxiety than before. I guess Cesar knows what he's talking about.

Surprisingly the 2 motorcycles that went by didn't even faze him. Having been an outside dog, I would have thought that he'd heard mowers all the time. I guess not. It'll be interesting the first time Chris had to mow or I have to vacuum.

During this, I told Linus to Wait twice when he was making for the street & he actually stopped! I was impressed.

We got to another house with a couple & a little boy getting out of their truck. Linus started freaking. Then he noticed the 2 girls riding their bikes in the street & freaked some more. I stopped & started reigning Linus in like I had been doing the rest of the walk. I looked back & saw that Einstein was at the end of his leash wagging his tail at the little boy who clearly wanted to pet him. I thought for a moment & said that it was OK if he wanted to pet Einstein and then started to get a better hold so that he wouldn't knock the kid over. All this time Linus is going nuts on the end of the leash. He ran every which way including between my legs at one point. The lady commented that I had my hands full. I told her were Linus had come from and that he was afraid of people so he really shouldn't be petted but that Einstein loved it. Einstein put on his charming cutie routine & received pets from the adults and squeals of joy from the boy. The girls stopped so I repeated what I had told the woman. You know, about don't pet the freaking out terrified dog but you can pet the happy nice one? sigh. Linus had started to wear himself out and was leaning up against the back of my legs. I saw something & turned around just in time to see one of the girls petting him and darting back. I was too tired to be mad but she's lucky that Linus isn't the type to bite when scared. She may not be so lucky the next time an owner says no & she doesn't listen. I had my hands too full to talk to her about it. The little boy finally screwed up his courage and petted Einstein. He and Einstein were both thrilled. A minivan stopped in the middle of the street and a guy I recognized from our walks asked about the second basset hound. Linus was almost beyond additional freaking by now but he did feel honor bound to try a little.

On we went. I was ready to agree with Linus and head for home. Unfortunately, he hadn't done his business yet. Plus this was good for him. The rest of the walk was fairly downhill, terrorizingly speaking. He actually started walking with some slack in the leash (I'd given up on that and had focused on keeping him calm.). He did both of his jobs & even decided that he needed a brief lay down under a tree. He got up readily when I asked him. The girls came back around on the sidewalk this time (I still don't get that. Bikes are for the street. Sidewalks are for walking. But then I don't get people walking down the middle of the street pushing a baby stroller either.) and I pulled the guys out of the way. Linus didn't put up a fuss. He even stopped to wait at the next street corner even though I'd forgotten to tell him. He tensed up when we got back to the house but the mower had been put away so we made it inside without any problems.

He's plopped in his cave but I think he earned it.

Well, I think I'm going to go look for some yarn to try some Scribble Lace with. I think we all earned a break. Guess I'm not such a bad pack leader after all.

Who's really the pack leader in this house?

I got to the section in Cesar's Way called "Who's Top Dog in Your House".
Here are the questions:

Does Einstein jump on us when we come home?
Sometimes. Ummm.... OK he usually does if he's been left inside the house. Not so much if we left him outside. But yes, he does that to both of us.

Does Einstein go out of the door first when going on walks? (Or anywhere else that involves a leash & a door)
Yes. Always, with both of us. You mean it's not because he's so excited about his walks?

Does Einstein bark at you to get something and then you do it?
Walk? Ummm... Generally yes, not every time though!
Play? Yes

Does Einstein wake you up early in the morning because...
He needs a drink? Yes
He needs to go potty? Yes
Just plain wants out? Yes
Do you let him...
Drink? yes, we're already awake, why not?
Potty? definitely - who wants to clean up accidents in the crate?
Wants out? Once we realize that, No. He goes back in the crate.

Anything else he makes you do?
Ummm... Does leaving the papa san in the living even though it's in our way but he likes it so we left it count? Yeah, I guess it would.
Ummm... Oh, does buying a dog pillow for every room where we tend to spend time in because he won't hang out with us otherwise count? He just doesn't like laying on non-cushy stuff. Oops! I think that counts.

Not looking good for us.
It looks like Einstein wins.
He's surprised that there's any doubt.

For the record, Panda could beat him up with 1 declawed paw tied behind her back.

He's getting more comfortable

I woke up from my nap to see Linus on the love seat. He must have jumped up sometime during my nap on his own. He wagged his tail when he saw I was awake & came down to the end of the love seat nearest me & stuck his head out. I already had one hand scratching Einstein's chin but I reached out to scratch Linus' too. He preferred licking my hand. Then he stretched back out.
I just got up and on the computer. Linus jumped down from the love seat and up onto the couch. I even looked at him and he still stayed.
I think he's starting to settle in.

Looks like I'll be calling Monday to tell them that we'll keep him.
Not that I had any doubt. I'm a marshmallow.

The ever changing cave

I've been modifying Linus' "cave".
This was how it started out. Well, I gave him the blue pillow so it's not technically exactly the same. He used to curl up where the pillow is but this was taken after he was attacked by my PDA cables so he decided to hide more.

I removed the video game chairs so he would have less to hide behind. He still kept hiding behind the post. As you can see, we've decided the "no food when you're in your cave" rule is just leading to a basset that doesn't eat more often than a basset who comes out and eats.
So now, he doesn't get treats in his cave. We're such harsh parents.

This is how it looks now.
I removed the cat stand after having to drag him out from behind it one too many times. (Yes Mom, you can put it & the lamp back when you come down. Or you could just sit on the couch & use that lamp.)
I was considering placing our large rectangular laundry basket (upside down of course) in there. It would almost completely fill the space.
3 reasons why that probably won't happen:
1) I'd have to fold all of the laundry that's in it. Who wants to do that?
2) He discovered the kitchen table & chairs. Pulling him out from under that twice was a royal pain in the putauski. His cave is much more accessible.
3) Everyone needs a safe place to retreat to. I just make it a point to drag him out (No Chris, I'm not picking him up anymore) & force him to be with his new pack.

Well, time for me to join the napping dogs.

Next blog post: Who's really the pack leader in this house? Or maybe the toe-up sock KAL

Catching up

I think Linus is starting to adjust to us. I had him on the lead in the backyard yesterday when Chris came home. When he stepped out into the yard, Einstein (of course) ran straight over with his usual excitement. No surprise there. But! Linus looked at him, started wagging his tail, and walked over to see Chris!
After the greetings were over, I let Linus off the lead since we now had 2 people to retrieve him from the photinias. When we brought him in an hour or so later, he ran in on his own. We'd been trying †o catch him but finally he decided to run for the door instead of back into the photinias. He went in & hid on the far side of the couch.
We had enforced pack time yesterday. Linus was drug out of his cave & forced to lie on the couch next to me. I didn't mess with him & he didn't mess with me when I ate my lunch there. Surprisingly no dog fights broke out either. I gave them both Busy Bones and then headed over to the computer.
Small steps.

Friday, May 11, 2007

He wagged his tail!!!!

I let Linus out of his crate first &, as usual, he ran for his cave. When I went to hook him up to the lead, he sat up, pushed his head toward me, AND STARTED WAGGING HIS TAIL!!!!!!!!!
I petted him, praised him, and then hooked him up & the 3 of us headed outside. Linus moved out into the yard without the hesitation that he's previously shown. He went & did his business. Then walked back to me with his tail straight out & WAGGING!!!!! I fussed over him some more.

Back inside we went. Time to get breakfast for the dogs ready. Linus jumped up and followed me into the kitchen! He stood by his water & food bowl with his tail wagging while I poured food into his bowl. I put a handful of Linus' food into Einstein's food. Everything was going so well until our "Alpha" "Zeta" dog decided to assert himself and chased Linus out of the kitchen. Linus is now in his "cave". I know that it's a dog thing & that Einstein was probably fairly jealous this morning but still...

One thing I picked up from Cesar's book is that I was misinterpreting Linus' body language on the walk. Head erect, tail straight up, walking tall & proud is typical alpha dog behaviour which is how Einstein is on a walk. Head down, tail down (though it can still wag) is typical submissive/pack follower behaviour. When he was wagging his tail at me in the backyard it was straight out, not up. Interesting.

Here's Chris' dog story for the morning. I had left for work and he was still here.

I was lazing around in bed and heard the far off sounds of a dog fight. Not too vicious, but yelping/whining/etc. This is really a good thing as it means Linus is feeling more comfortable and pushing some boundaries a little.

I also saw a little bit of Linus flippy tail when I first said hello to him this morning. Three obvious flips.

I went to get him from the cave for a walk this morning (easier to get potties done that way than the back yard) and didn't have to drag him for 3 feet before he started walking. The walk in full daylight was a little scarier for him than last nights walk in the dark.

Same thing happened with going to bed. Just had to drag him to get him started then trotted along while I held his collar.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Note to self:

Don't let Linus run loose in the backyard unless Chris is home. You can't catch him yourself. Not even with Einstein's "help". You have lots of scratches & mud to remind you about this.

Linus is now in the house. He had some required pack time on the pillow for awhile. When we left, he ran into his crate & then turned around and ran back into his cave.

Sniper dogs in the bushes!

OK. He's not a sniper but he is keeping the door under surveillance.

Yeah, it's a bad photo but keep in mind that it was taken from inside the house to the bushes. The lighting change made me surprised that it came out at all. I'm not at all surprised that the nose & eyes that I see keeping watch on the door are a fuzzy brown blob. Hence the addition of the arrow.
I thought about labeling everything else in the photo but that would have just been too silly.

Time to leave the computer so he doesn't think that I'm watching him!


'Fraidy dogs & sleepy Moms

I let Linus out without a leash into the backyard. He cruised around the yard with Einstein, actually checking things out instead of slinking along on the lead. In other words, he was being a dog.

After leaving the door open, he has come in a few times. The first time he went to his cave & then shot out the door when I was closing it so I shut it on him. He booked for the photinias and I felt bad.
Later, I had laid down on the couch & was talking on the phone to Chris. A basset walked in front of the couch so I reached out and ran my hand down his back. There was a startled jump & then fast movement. When I sat up, Einstein was nowhere around & Linus was running for the photinias. Pretty funny.

Now I just need to get him inside so his very sleepy new "mom" can take a nap or I won't be up to walks later.

Addition about 2 hours later:
I tried the leash in the photinia's but he would just run around outside the bushes. So I gave up. I grabbed the foam we had, the big red round labyrinth pillow, and the downstairs nap pillow & took a nap on the bench outside. I slept for about 2 hours. Yay! I'm not even achy which is a pleasant surprise.
I left the door open. I just saw his head trying to see over the arm of the couch. Then I heard very quiet whines. I called him inside but I don't think he came. Poor little guy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Are you sure I have to stay here?

Well, after the great afternoon walk, both dogs fell asleep. Einstein in his papa san & Linus in his cave. After the naps, we made a successful potty excursion (I really wish I didn't know this much about their wast elimination.).
After coming inside, Linus made a dash for his cave & curled around the post. I stared down at him. I remembered waiting all day yesterday & letting him explore at his own pace. I told myself that it was time to let that repeat itself. The heck with it! He was going to hang out with his pack whether he wanted to or not, gosh darn it!

I pulled him out of his cave & carried him around in front of the couch. I sat on the floor & kept blocking him from running back in. He could have gone any other direction. Even running around the coffee table, behind the couch, & back into his cave but he kept trying to run through the gap & I kept blocking him. I just stuck my leg out in front of him. No yelling. No shoving. Just the leg blocking the opening. He finally crouched down so I reached past him & grabbed the pillow & pushed the front half of him onto the pillow.

He eventually gave up & fell asleep. Cute photos over on flickr.

I gave both guys a Greenie when they woke up again. Watching Linus struggle to eat it & thinking about the way that he is on walks, I realized that lack of people socialization meant more than just being afraid of people. He didn't know how to hold the Greenie with his paws like Einstein did. He kept shoving the Greenie against the love seat & shoving it with his nose until it wound up in his mouth. It was fairly pitiful to watch but I also saw him working at figuring out how to do it. Instead of giving up in frustration like I probably would have, he just kept working at it until he finished it. Einstein had long since inhaled his & was hanging out in the front window watching the world go by.
Linus also keeps stepping on his leash. He'll stop & look at me, I'll make approving noises and he'll keep walking. If he's stepped on it with his front paw, then he's stuck because he doesn't realize that it's his paw keeping him firmly in place. All he needs to do is pick up his foot but he doesn't know that & freezes in places out of confusion.

Einstein learned these because he got lots of walks & lots of treats when he was a very young scamp. All of this helped bond us together & make him happy to see people, treats, & leashes. I do the happy bounce up & down squealing thing with Einstein because he's happy to see me. He jumps & dances & barks & sometimes runs and grabs a chewie to show me because he's happy to see me. While we were exchanging this rite of completely happy silliness, Linus (who had been in the front of his crate when I opened the door) retreated to the back of his crate & didn't want to come out when I opened the door. If I hadn't reacted that way, Einstein would have reacted negatively. Linus reacted negatively because I did that.

These are very different boys we have. That's OK. There's a lot of love & happy silliness in the Vanderbilt household & we're more than happy to teach new pack members. Hopefully without scaring the crud out of him.

Today feels like a two steps forward & one step back kinda day. :-)