Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Christmas Dog

I pulled out Guinness's Christmas stuffed animals and jingle bell collar.  Toby seems to like the collar, and he immediately claimed the toys. The reindeer which sings "Rudolph" was the first he picked up.  Then he checked out the others and started chewing/tearing some of them apart -- pulling out the stuffing and the noise makers.  He loves his stuffed animals, but also delights in removing the stuffing, leaving only a rag.  But he still enjoys the rag.  I didn't want him to ruin the reindeer, so I hid it before I left for the evening.  Now, several days later, the reindeer is still intact and his favorite one!  He squeezes it to make the song play and prances around proudly with the reindeer in his mouth. Sometimes he places his toys in one area.  A couple of days ago, he placed all his Christmas toys near the tree and lay down on top of them!  I guess, he thinks he is as cute as his toys (which he is!).  Then yesterday, he had them all in a line, then lay down beside them. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Toby's Loose Leash Walking Lessons

Toby is doing quite well.  Learning is not as fast as with "cruel" equipment (choke chains and pinch collars), but it is working!  We still have a way to go.  Since I am having difficulty with him charging ahead as soon as he gets his treat, his teacher had me take only one step, mark (which means to say "yes" or use a clicker.  I am NOT a clicker person.  ha!), then treat.  It worked VERY well.  Of course this cannot go on forever, but it is a great step forward in the right direction (pun intended).   

In this lesson, the new skill his teacher taught/tricked him into, was to walk past a closed bag of treats multiple times without him trying to get it.  As a reward for being a good boy each time, he got a handful of the treats out of the bag!  The final exercise was for a handful of treats to be on the sidewalk.  And he walked past them!!!  When I took the leash, he performed perfectly for me as well!  :) 

We did this exercise at home last night inside the house.  But I didn't start with the bag; I started with a handful of treats on the floor.  That was a bit too much to expect.  ha!  Though, the second time we did it, he was successful in completing the exercise!!!  Woo Hoo!!!

His teacher thinks he is both very smart and a handsome boy.  Both are true!!  She also frequently comments on how well bonded he is with me.  Like me wanting to be a princess, he is fitting into princely shoes. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Backyard Friend

Toby has found a friend in our backyard.  His name is Toad.  I have been trying to keep him away from Toad, but Toby is VERY strong.  He has found him at various places in our backyard garden.  So, every time outside, he goes to those places to see if Toad is there.  This morning, I saw that he was interacting with something at the base of the fence where it winds beside the house.  Of course, it was Toad, but I noted something that surprised me!  Toad was NOT trying to get away from Toby.  Toad was enjoying this association as well.  But Toby does tend to get a little aggressive making me fear for Toad.  When Toby put a paw on him, Toad lept TOWARDS Toby, not away!  Then he went beyond Toby and under the fence.  I think Toad is enjoying this interaction with a monster! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Toby is the Ultimate Christian

I took Toby to the vet for a pawdicure. As I sat in the waiting room, a couple came in with their cat in a carrier.  She was singing, but the parents said she was crying.  When Toby returned, he was curious to see the kitten. He dragged me to her crate, and the parents were fine with him checking her out as she lives with dogs and was not afraid.  In fact, she stopped crying!  Toby was enamored!!!  We were all shocked he was so gentle.  He helped to calm the cat's fears.  Everyone watching this scenario said I must get a cat for him!! 

Don’t you think Toby fulfilled Colossians 3:12-14  "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony"?

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Is Toby Becoming a Bad Boy?

A few days ago, Kevin and I returned home to discover Toby had eaten a food item which had been inadvertently left on the counter.  He had never done anything like that before, but it let me know food is not safe on the counter! 

Yesterday, Kevin informed me he did not want the dried apricots he saw at the grocery story recently.  The reason was, at first, due to his his loose tooth which is now an empty hole.  I left them on the counter to dispose of later.  Before later came, we entered the back door and found a plastic container on the floor with the lid chewed.  It was the apricot container.  They were a nice treat for the boy (yet they were not offered to him). 

Items which cannot be safely washed in the dishwasher, I leave beside the kitchen sink to wash by hand.  We came home today to find he had Tupperware from the counter on the floor and the lid of one piece chewed.  Then this evening we walked into a MESS!!!  He had taken a few pieces of Tupperware from the counter, ruined all of the lids, had opened the door under the sink which has a towel rack.  The rack keeps the door slightly (and I mean slightly) ajar.  Only cleaning supplies are in there, but the other side has the trash bag.  He had pulled out the trash bag out through the towel door, and spread the ripped up trash all over the floor.  No major loss (except the Tupperware lids) or damage, but annoying to have to clean up the mess!  He was scolded he as a "bad boy." 

Before the rest of the story is told, the reader needs to know how much Toby likes ice cream.  Whenever I get ice cream out, he receives a scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt in his bowl.  He is required to sit and wait until I tell him he may devour his treat.  It is amazing when he knows I am going to the freezer for ice cream and not for something else!  He comes running from the far corner of the house when he detects I am getting out ice cream.  I have yet to figure out HOW he knows!  But he KNOWS!!!  Now that Kevin is here, Kevin asks for ice cream (3 scoops!) almost every night!

Once the mess was cleaned up tonight, Kevin was ready for ice cream.  Toby was totally expecting to get his share first, as usual.  But I told him he was a bad boy and could not have any.  He seemed to accept the reprimand and lay down on the floor without any further fuss! 

But I am worried about our future. . .   The towel rack is repositioned on a cupboard door with only baking dishes inside. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Toby's First Naughtiness

My grandson is with me for several weeks, and he has made friends with all the neighbor children.  Sisters, ages 5 and 7, from across the street came to our house to play with him.  The 5 year old had stitches taken out that day.  As a reward for her pain, her mother gave her a cute pedicure.  She wore her adorable jeweled flip-flops and left them at my front door. 

To this point, Toby has done NOTHING naughty.  He pulls the stuffing out of his toys, but that is it.  I found him chewing on Rin's adorable sandal.  Ruined.  :\  He thought they were pretty too.  He has access to our shoes as well, but we have none as adorable as Rin's! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Reach of Feminine Influence Through Generations of Males

Our first dog, at least 30 years ago, was a female cockatoo - Blackberry Heather Walsh, because she looked like a blackberry as a puppy.  Before she was one year old, her color changed to silver -- like black hair highlighted with while.  Greg, then 3, said, "We should have named her Silverware!"  He was to write a story about his family at Christmastime.  As a preschooler, he told his teachers what to write.  He had his own way of talking.  The only thing they could make out of how he said our dog's name was "Blackberry Has a."  BTW, Heather would have been Greg's name if he had been a girl.

She lived to age 13.  During that time, we purchased a boxer -- Andrew Rockford Frederick Walsh; Andrew after Grant's company St. Andrew's, Rockford after the boxer Rocky, and Frederick after Grant's Uncle Fred who was a boxer.  Andy could say his name!!!  "Rooo - rooo - rooo."  Blackberry taught Andy many things.  He learned to squat to urinate.  He never lifted his leg.  Andy only lived to age 5, as he developed cancer.

That Christmas, Blackberry was elderly and not doing well, so we decided to add another dog to the family before we lost her.  We found Hershey, a chocolate lab, through a newspaper ad for puppies. We were naive and didn't realize it was a puppy mill!  After Hershey survived a Marley-style puppyhood (or maybe I should say -- WE survived his Marley-style puppyhood!!!), he became a gentleman and a scholar.  Since Blackberry was his teacher, he also equated.  We lost Blackberry after having Hershey for only a month, but he learned his lessons well.

When Hershey was 10, we decided he needed a companion and bought a full bred chocolate lab -- Guinness.  Goofy Guinness.   He kept us laughing.  Hershey was an excellent teacher!  He taught Guinness (or tried to teach him) how to heel.  Guinness never did learn to be a perfect heeler.  Whereas, Hershey could be off leash!  Hershey taught Guinness to squat also.  Guinness did lift his leg a time or two in the park as an adult.  We lost Guinness last September with no dog overlapping his lifespan.  Because we our first dog was a girl, our next three males squared to go potty!!!!

Now I have Toby (Toblerone), another chocolate lab.  He ONLY lifts his leg.    

Coyote IN My Laundry Room!!!!

Of all nights for Toby to not be at home!!!!  He is at his foster mother's for a sleepover. 

I just had a VERY scary thing happen!!! Both of my garage door openers have decided to not work at the same time. It was 12:50am. I stood in my laundry room putting in a new battery in each and trying them out. The garage door worked with the new batteries. I opened the laundry room door to the garage as I was doing this, and a wet, scraggly looking "dog" walked into my laundry room!!!! I screamed, and it backed into my garage. I shut the laundry room door, but then didn't want to close that dog (or was it a coyote??? The hair was short, so maybe not a coyote.) inside my garage. Grabbed a flashlight, turned on the garage light, and went out to make sure the dog was gone. He was no where in sight. Then I thought, if it was a dog, maybe I should have been kinder . . . ???

Oh, my. . . I just looked up photos of coyotes. I did not see his tail, but this certainly looked like him!!!