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About Aussie_Dog

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 08/10/1987

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    Central Alberta, Canada
  1. Our local Petland recently adopted this strategy (good for them!). Only thing is, I work at Petsmart and at least once every week, someone will come in and ask where the puppies are. Once in a blue moon, when told that we do not sell puppies, they respond "Why not?" Last week, I couldn't help but notice a surge in the amount of people who came in looking for puppies. Guess they went to Petland, noticed they didn't have puppies, and went to the 2nd big-chain store, thinking that was the one that had the puppies. They look shocked when we tell them we don't sell puppies, never have. A young couple came in, wandered, came back to the front registers and asked me where the puppies were. When I told them the same token answer, they looked stunned. "We need a puppy!" Then they left. I'm still processing that answer. I gotta say, I had hope for this little city, and then I started working here and realized how hopeless much of our citizens are. Half the animals are intact, poorly-trained messes, and the owners don't have a single clue in their heads. I could chalk that up to plain ignorance/lack of knowledge, but for the constant battering of "Where are your puppies?" And people coming in wanting to put up posters for their "Puppies for Sale!" (we only have a board for lost/found), or just plain chattering away about the litters they've had. One lady seemed nice, but was talking about breeding her dog, and had been told that it was healthier to let her go through her first heat first. Apparently I have a thing against most things of a breeding nature, lol
  2. I'm not even entirely sure it actually hurts. It's the fact that his center of gravity slipped from under him. We're talking about a dog who's afraid of heights, won't allow himself to be carried, and absolutely refuses to step over anything he can look down under (such as a bridge with slats wide spaces. Though if I hurry him, he doesn't get a chance to look down and will cross it just fine). When he sees a cat, his balance is fine and he doesn't slip (most of the time); I think the reason he slips is because his feet are scrabbling and not getting enough traction, and that's brought on by the stress of thinking about the silly floor. When he sees the cat, his brain clicks into herding mode, and he's much calmer and better balanced. But if he's panicky or worried or tense, he's more likely to slip. The blankets cover the shiny floor, but I think he also understands the blanket gives him extra traction (random memory: he's not a huge fan of ice either; this past winter I really noticed how he goes AROUND ice, preferring to walk on the grassy/snowy parts next to the sidewalk. He'll walk over ice if you tell him to, but when given him the choice?... Not that I blame him; myself and Ice are notorious enemies and I prefer to walk around as well). If he comes across a blanket that slips around a bit, he's a little more reluctant to step over it. Floor mats and hall rugs are TOTALLY working great for this reason. On the other topic, we have a few holistic pet stores here too, and my favorite is Tail Blazers. The owner met Jake a month after the store opened, and a month later when I brought him by again, she recognized him and even remembered his name. Whenever I'd head out there without him, she'd ask about him. He hasn't been by there in a couple years (I'm getting him back in shape for the trip, which'll be by bike), but she still often asks how he's doing. As a bonus, she reacts to him the proper way, like any knowledgeable dog owner would. Doesn't fly straight to him, arms flailing around, squealing and feeding him treats. Calm, sweet, and makes him at least sit before giving him a treat. And she lives on a farm, with sheep, and dogs of her own. The one time I brought Jake to the other place (Global Pet Foods; there's two locations here), they didn't seem to care at all, and it just seemed more higher-business, less about the animals. But that's just me. I don't like to be pampered or bugged while out at a store, but I'll admit it, I love getting attention regarding my animals. If you ignore my buddy, on the other hand... Well, if you don't want to meet him, that's fine, but at least acknowledge him, ask his name or age or something. Am I the only one who feels like that?
  3. My own dog (also called Jake!) has this same issue, which cropped up a few years ago. He has this weird thing about walking across the linoleum floor in the basement. He thinks too much about it, and thus can't get the courage to just WALK across it. He'll keep putting a paw out, lean forward a bit, then whimper and back up to circle and come back to try again. But if he's distracted, like lets say one of the cats has thrown something down the stairs, Jake will focus on that and he'll jog right over the floor with no problem. All he's thinking about is the naughty kitty who needs to be stared at. The worst part, that does NOT help, is when Jake finally gets the courage, he BOLTS forward into a run. He immediately has to turn towards the hallway, and he always slips onto his hip. This is a dog that thinks he's going to die if he doesn't have all four feet beneath him, so his self-confidence takes a crash along with his hip. But oftentimes, when he bolts forward into a run, he almost immediately slows down into a jog with a look on his face like he knows he's acting like a doofus, that this "scary" floor isn't actually that scary anyway. It's the moment when he's looking at the expanse of shiny floor and knows he's going to have to step over it that he loses confidence and has to work himself up over it. I'm not sure exactly why this problem cropped up, or how to solve it, but we lay down towels or, as of a week ago, long hallway rugs for him to step over, and he doesn't have a problem. He'll even step on the floor on either side, all over the room. Until, that is, he's playing with his ball and it rolls away over the floor and all of a sudden, he can't muster the courage to walk over it to retrieve his ball. I think it's when he knows he has to walk over it that his courage fails him. When there's no pressure, nothing to "fetch" or do, he's not thinking about the floor and he can walk over it just fine. I just had to reply because I haven't heard of another dog doing this, and yours sounds almost exactly like mine (even the name, lol). The problem only exists in the basement, he's perfectly fine upstairs (the kitchen up there has the exact same linoleum as the floor down here; the basement, though, is cold so that might be another factor). He hasn't been to Petsmart in a few years, so I don't know what his reaction to those floors would be, but I have suspicions. He gets nervous in that kind of environment anyway (it's loud and sensory overload in smells and sounds). I would get pissed off if someone just took it upon themselves to "train" Jake out of it while at the store. Jake's a sensitive package: one wrong move and you have to start over again. Plus, I can't guarantee that the person who just nudged his butt won't get bit, or at least growled at. I can nudge him, not that it does anything (except give him the impression that walking across the floor is REALLY REALLY important, which makes it even more difficult for him to get over it). But a stranger is free game. And in the process, Jake will shut down and just plant his butt and won't make a single effort anymore. He'll just stare at the stranger, just waiting for her to "attack" him again. His brain went from thinking about the effort and attempts to crossing over the scary floor, to protecting himself from the scary stranger that just "shoved" him towards the scary floor. As an aside, Jake is a well-rounded, well-trained, perfectly normal guy, but moments like these give the impression that he's an under-socialized, volatile creature owned by a clueless nut. Which is embarrassing.
  4. I *heart* the Flexi. My first one was purchased when we got Jake as a pup, and it finally died 6 years later (after being well-abused, I might add, by both me and Jake himself). It was well-chewed from when Jake was teething, and the casing was cracked, and add that with the fact that the thumb-pushing button was chewed, you sometimes had to assert sideways pressure when putting the button, but overall, it still worked fantastic. I cried when the rope finally snapped in a weak, worn-out spot. I couldn't bear to throw it out for at least a week or two. Then I bought a retractable on Ebay, and it wasn't a Flexi. Took it out on a walk when it arrived, and almost junked it within 30 minutes. It refused to actually retract, so there were moments when I was just standing there, Jake sitting next to me, as I manually reeled 25' of rope back in. I still kept it, but only as a fully-extended leash for the cats when I'd take them outside. Just pull the rope out to the max, then lock it and hang the handle to a tree branch and sit back and watch the cats have fun. The next Flexi came from Petsmart, and it's still going great after a couple of years. I'm seeing new value in it's uses since Jake is now getting older and I'm giving him more steady exercise through bike-riding, and it's safer using the Flexi. A couple of weeks ago, he got thrown forward when he abruptly stopped to sniff something, and he ended up with a sore leg. With a Flexi, there's a more flexible reaction-time, so that I can stop the bike before Jake gets yanked off balance and risking throwing his joints out of wack.
  5. Jake wears his half the time. Sometimes I leave it on after a walk, sometimes I take it off just so we can both enjoy that super neck scratching, sometimes I take it off just so one of my cats, Willow, can have the catnip effect (she goes batty, rolling around on his collars) Jake's my only dog, though, and he's quiet and mellow so I don't worry about him getting into trouble over his collar.
  6. Big rubber balls that bounce are Jake's favorite, but if it makes a sound, even better! It can't be a squeaky sound, since it seems to give him the willies, but if it makes a squawking sound, or a quack, then he'll be all over it with love. If that's the main sound that comes out of it, then he won't even mind if it makes a shrill squeaking sound. He might even initiate the squeak. I'm finding that I can tell his mood by how he uses the ball. If I'm playing with the cats in the cat tree, I'll hear him stampeding around and huffing and puffing and trying to get my attention instead, and then I'll hear really shrill SQUAWWWWK! SCREEEEEK! PFFFFFFFTTTT!" really fast. That ball is a holy ball of annoyingness, because it's loud, it makes boinging sounds when it bounces, Jake sounds like he's dying when he's chewing it (it makes sounds that resemble farting and burping and slurping). But he loves it, therefore I love it. Those "on a whim" toys that you buy are the best. I believe I was at the store just to get some cat food, when I came across this ball and gave it the obligatory squeak (see if it was the right sound for Jake). It was, plus it was the proper size (the bigger the better!), so I bought it. And it immediately became his favorite toy. He's communicating through that toy, letting us know his moods or how agitated he is by the tone of the squeaks, lol It's a JW iSqueak ball, and it appears to be made by the makers of the Cuz ball (another ball Jake loved, and right now it's lost somewhere and it can't find it's way back because Jake ate it's legs off)
  7. By this, do you mean with the back legs scratching the ear, or any leg? 'Cause Jake frequently uses his front paws to sort of swipe behind his ears. Sometimes he licks his feet before swiping his ear, so since I can't figure out why he scratches his head like that, I just figured he's being cat-like, as I know some dogs are. Now I wonder. It would make sense for it to be a calming signal, since when we notice him and start cooing (which makes him uncomfortable) he'll just swipe faster. He rarely does it while standing (once in a while, he'll stop in the middle of walking and swipe at his ear once or twice with a paw), mostly he'll be stretched out on his side and start using both front legs to swipe his ears. It's adorable, but confusing as heck. He's a sensitive, uneasy dog naturally, so there's a lot of calming signals I recognize from him.
  8. I leave the paws a furry mess, but I'll trim in the winter if I feel they're too shaggy. If Jake goes out to pee and stops every few strides to chew his feet, then I bring out some trusty scissors upon his return.
  9. Jake, too, sleeps wherever he drops, with no apparent preference to floor type (if anything, he prefers tile or wood over carpet, for the coolness I guess). But he's getting older (turned 10 this year), and has the occasional bout of arthritis (he's all but fine now, after spending a year on glucosamine, but once in a while he'll wake up a wee bit stiff in his bad leg). And for being 10 years old, he'd never had a proper dog bed (usually blankets and straw in his doghouse when he lived outside, and thick blankets in his crate when he moved inside). He LOVED the cat beds, though, and would always try so hard to curl up in them, and even curled up in an old wicker "baby basket" (I don't know if that's what it is, but it looks like it) for a while. So I finally got him an orthopedic dog bed and he FELL IN LOVE. Wouldn't leave it for a week. He still uses it, but he alternates between it and his crate (which, at the moment, doesn't have any blankets in it, for Jake pulled them out in a fit of playfulness). It is summer, though, and very hot lately, so that's most likely why he's using the bare crate more often. The cats love the ortho bed too, but only Molly takes it over since the other two are a little fearful of treading Jake's domain. But he still liked curling up in the cat beds (round things with "walls"), so I got him his own for his birthday, and he loved that one too. This one stays upstairs in the living room, and someone threw a pillow and one of his blankets in there, so now when he runs into it and curls up, he props his head up on the pillow or the wall and stares out at the world around him. He seems to like having a bed that actually fits him for once, not something that digs into his ribs or bladder, lol.
  10. Jake stands 24" and lands anywhere between 55lbs and 60lbs, depending on the season.
  11. This is my favorite video from dogster, about a dog and his Cuz http://www.dogster.com/video/48290/Toy_from_hell Jake has one too, a green good Cuz. It took a while (I think a few months) but it no longer has feet. The angels in Jake's world rejoiced the day he finally managed that. I tell you, though, I nearly lost my lunch several times because of the slurping, squeaking noise of his teeth trying to get a good grip on the feet. Ugh. But now it's just a ball with two little nubbins where the feet used to be, and since the squeaking (haha, death cry) is still intact, he still loves it. He doesn't make it squeak, though, as it freaks him out, but he LOVES the sound it makes when it bounces. Boing boing boing!
  12. So a virus killed our computer, so to speak, which forced us to completely wipe everything. So far, I've only found 3 forums that I used to frequent (the latest one I only found yesterday), but it's the Aussie forum that's really driving me nuts. The Aussie forum and this BC forum where the two that I'd frequent the most, of the list of forums in my Favorites list, anyway. So it's driving me nuts, I KNEW I should have written down the links, but I didn't, and now I'm paying for it. But I know there are other fellow Aussie-board posters here, so I'm hoping someone can PM or email the link to me if they can't post it on the forum (spamming issues or something) I can't really remember anything useful about the Aussie forum, except that I think the name starts with an M, or maybe an A? And there's a Riven there. Other than that, nothing useful to help others understand WHAT forum I'm talking about, lol
  13. Jake hasn't been able to sit pretty for a long time now, but I don't think that's unexpected: he's 9 years old now, and arthritis began kicking in at age 6 (fortunately it seems to be well controlled now). And when he was 7, he tore his ACL and had surgery for that. It was around 6 or 7 that we noticed he was sitting "on his hip" instead of having both legs under him, but I just took that as an age-related thing. He can't do beg anymore either, unless you hold out your arm and he can prop his front legs over it. And heck, he deserves to sit however he wants nowadays, plus it just looks so cute when he does it (sometimes the "floppy" leg sticks right out, or it'll be tucked in and his "thigh" will flop outwards) But I guess that if Jake were younger, I'd be worried too.
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