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!