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Everything posted by Lunar

  1. To be honest, I think most of the reason I don't stop by very often is that I just don't have time for the dogs much anymore. I used to be so much more... involved. Especially with Oreo. And now I feel much more like just a dog owner than one of those "dog people" (granted, one who will go OFF on people about rescues vs. bad breeders and spaying/neutering pets and proper vet care). I do feel terribly guilty about it sometimes, but I know Zoe at least really doesn't mind if I'm not very active. Zeeke cares, but he always cares, and there's not much we can do about that besides finally finish the VERY EXPENSIVE FENCE we're halfway done paying for. (No, the fence isn't done yet, and wont' be until spring. GRRR.) Zoe makes me a lazy dog owner. All she needs is a few minutes a day of lovin and she's happy. Some days I wish I had a "real" dog to train and really work with. But then I look at my disaster of a house that still isn't cleaned and realize I don't have time for it anyways. LOL Life certainly would be boring without them, though. I kind of appreciate the havoc they create in my life... the unexpected joys (and messes). BTW, I don't think I mentioned.... Oreo is still going strong at 14 1/2, living with my dad and family. She's going deaf and is certainly a lot slower than she used to be, she's mellowed out a ton too - I really noticed a difference this April when I last visited. It was kind of shocking to see her look... old. But she's healthy and chipper and enjoying life tremendously. I miss my girl. As much as I love our pets, they're not Oreo and never will be.
  2. For whatever reason I felt the urge today to pop in and let everyone know that everything is still going well with Zoe and Zeeke in this household. Unfortunately neither one will ever be without their issues, and neither my husband nor I will ever be professional dog trainers (LOL!), but within our household everything seems to be getting along just fine. Zeeke, the shepherd who has butted heads with me since we got him, has slowly softened considerably towards me and now my biggest problem is that he greets me with such enthusiasm that he almost knocks me over. We're still working on that. But his attitude has improved a lot! After 5 years living here he is finally allowed to sleep on the bed, and for whatever reason he snuggles up to me instead of the hubby, rolls on his back and makes the most pathetic moaning sounds. He is unfortunately still obsessed with the cats. We manage that with gates and closed doors. He is not aggressive towards cats, thankfully, but he loves them. So much that he wants to play with them. All. The. Time. The cats are not amused by him in the least and really wish he would drop off the planet. Zeeke is by far my husband's dog... while he has grown to like me, he ADORES his daddy, and everything is right with the world as long as he is at my husband's side. My little Zoe girl is somewhat stalled in her progress, mainly because we don't have people over very often and I don't have the energy for bringing her places and forcing the issue. She's still terrified of strangers, but given how we live (quietly, with just DH and I most of the time), it doesn't affect much. She is such a JOYFUL dog. She loves her family - including us two humans, Zeeke, and the cats. She loves her toys, loves her food, loves staring out the window. She's a very low-maintenance dog; even after all day of us being at work, I can come home and sack out on my recliner and watch TV and she just happily plays by herself with a toy. Just don't forget her dinner time, it's one of the very few times she will bark. Training her is more often than not a test of patience, because she is so jumpy and flighty. She wants so much to do what you want her to, but her memory is about 2 seconds long, I swear. I am currently fostering a feral kitten, which has been a joy. He's turned into quite a lovebug with me (but is still really not sure of the husband!). Zoe is helping me de-sensitize him to dogs. The kitten started out hissing and spitting at her, but at this point is more confused than anything... she looks like a dog, smells like a dog, but doesn't ACT like a dog. She of course is nervous by the kitten, because mommy it HISSED at me! Sometimes I catch the kitten just sitting a couple feet away, studying her, while she stares at the ceiling, the wall, that smudge of dirt on the couch... Zoe attempting to sleep in one of the cat beds
  3. Thanks, all. It's funny how many of us have dogs like this. It's definitely not a need. We do have company over only once in a while, and both dogs are crated for the duration (Zoe because of her paranoia, Zeeke because he's very overwhelming for non-dog people). The rest of the time it's just us and our acre. She actually does pretty well on walks now, which is awesome - she used to try bolting at every car that went by (which aren't very frequent around my house, but still, it happens)... her tail is now up instead of tucked, and she actually seems to enjoy herself. So socializing her is almost certainly for me, not for her well-being. She's a happy, well-adjusted dog in our household. I would *like* to see her expand her horizons... but certainly not a requirement in any way, not for the way we live.
  4. That is a fantastic idea.... I'll have to keep the video camera close at hand, but it picks up sound really well!
  5. I did poke my head into the Health forum to ask a question, but figured I ought to at least say hi here and relate a story. To be fair I have not been working with Zoe at all. I've felt a little guilty about that, but in our day to day lives at home she's fine, so getting her to expand her horizons isn't exactly a necessity, especially this year with all that I am dealing with. I work at a cat sanctuary, and we now have adoption clinics in a local pet supply store every saturday. They can be quite boring. Lots of dogs come to visit, and so one day I thought, I have four pets... I should bring one of them with me! That would be fun! Sadly, the friendly cat was not at all amused with the harness idea. (Actually, he keeled over onto his side like I'd shot him, and refused to move for several minutes. Considering I was short on time I decided to just let him be and work on that issue later.) So I leashed up Zoe. Socialization and all, right? She wasn't thrilled about the car, but got in it. She even followed me into the store willingly, though not without complaint. But she left a trail of poop all the way to the cat enclosure... little nuggets. I had to keep doubling back to pick it up. At the cat enclosure she stuffed herself under a chair, where she calmed down slightly. A dog trainer came over to say hi to her (there are some training rings right beside the enclosure), tried to give her a little treat. Zoe would have none of it. (The trainer also told me that Zoe is definitely mostly Sheltie. Obviously because of her sable color. Despite the fact that her face looks NOTHING like a sheltie. Right then.) I finally just left her there under the chair while I talked to people about the cats and processed some adoptions. People would walk by and do a double-take, look around and say, "There's a dog there!" I'd glance over and just say, "Yes, that's mine. Please don't try to pet her." And there she layed for the rest of the time. She actually did sidle up to my boss a couple of times when I was not close by and there were some loud noises, since my boss was quiet and not looking at her or trying to touch her. I guess that's something. I took her two weeks in a row, then felt so bad for her I haven't taken her back. Granted it doesn't create any lasting impact.... I swear, this dog has an attention span of about .2 seconds. I think mostly I'm just sad that, first of all, I do not have a dog that I can take out in public without being managed and handled. And second of all I'm sad that no one gets to see the real Zoe. They see how beautiful she is, but they don't get to see her vibrant personality. She is just so funny and sweet and loving... and all anyone else sees is a terrified creature shaking in the corner. Also, I have to say that I am rather tired of strangers telling me that she MUST have been abused. *sigh* I know she wasn't. There's just some wiring a little off in her little noggin. I know I should probably work with her more. But there are many days when I look at her bright, happy self and wonder if it's really worth it. Maybe she's just meant to be a housedog.
  6. I have this suspicion that it's just her being an idiot... but I've been wrong before. I guess it's time for that yearly vet visit, sooner rather than later! Oh she'll love me for that. (And I will NEVER get her to do it for the vet.... I don't think I could even get her to drink or eat anything at the vet's. I can, however, get her to poop at the vet's... that's never a problem! Oy.)
  7. I know I haven't been around in a long time... I've been working full-time and volunteering and my mind is not really on the pets lately (though I happen to have three of the four piled on me at the moment). But I have a question and thought, now where is the best place to ask that... For the past few weeks/months (not sure how long) Zoe has been doing this very weird cough. It's not a kennel-cough kind of cough... it's a very wet inhaling, gasping cough. It's usually after she drinks water, though not necessarily right away. The first while I just wrote it off as her choking on the water, but it happens every day now. Either she's an idiot (always a possibility - she is my blondie), or there's something that needs to be reconsidered here. Has anyone encountered this before, anyone know what I'm talking about? I think it's almost time for her yearly checkup so I'll certainly mention it there... just curious as to what the heck it is.
  8. Just wanted to bump this up to say my husband has finally realized that it IS Zoe in charge. This morning Zeeke was playing with an empty pop bottle and she walks over, snarls, nips him on the cheek to chase him off, and takes it. Hubby just stared and I pointed out with a, "See? She's in charge." He sullenly agreed that's what it looked like. (But he said, "But he could totally squash her!!" He's perplexed.) Ha.
  9. Oh, your poor dog. I'm sorry. People need to clue in that cats should not be roaming the streets any more than dogs should be, and an aggressive cat is just as much the owner's issue as an aggressive dog. It really drives me crazy, the attitude of "eh, it's a cat, what can you do." And yeah, I've seen a cat stalk a dog before.
  10. Thanks for that. Zeeke truly is hubby's dog so I let him deal with most of it. Zoe's my focus... working with her many quirks. (Somedays I long for the days when I had a relatively "normal" dog.) I wanted to add that I told my hubby all your theories and he of course does NOT agree with the theory that Zoe is the true alpha. No, HIS DOG, the big german shepherd, is the alpha. She's just scared.
  11. I think it's a symtom of the far-too-common occurrence of people who have no clue what they are talking about, but are SURE they are right. It pops up everywhere. "Oh no, I KNOW that..." Like with computers... I've been working with computers for years, too 4 years of college, etc, but I still get family members arguing with me because they know better. Yeah, whatever. I just shrug it off to arrogance and ignorance and don't always have the energy to argue when it's obvious they aren't listening. People always tell me Zoe is a Sheltie mix. I just say, "Could be." Even though it's obvious to me she has no sheltie look about her at all.
  12. I think the theory of his chaos stressing her out is probably closest. I can certainly understand how him being off-kilter would send her into a tizzy. She is easily stressed, that's for sure. (She just tends to react to stress by hiding, not fighting!) You're totally right about that, and I'm probably a horrible dog owner for this, but... Zeeke has so many behavior issues I reached a point where I more or less throw my hands in the air about "minor" things. Ie, we work on his constant barking out the window, and let the vacuum thing slide because it only happens once a week. Maybe me and the breed (GSD) just do not mesh (okay, well, I already knew that), but it takes FOR-EVER to get him to modify his behavior. He's freaking stubborn, and especially right now in my life I just don't have the patience to sit and work with him for hours. Oh, and no we never played with him and the vac when he was a pup.... we adopted him at a year old, with many bad behaviors already in place. And until we got the shop vac we didn't vacuum much (hardwood), we swept... but the few times we did bring out a vacuum, same deal, he flipped out. And we were never very impressed. As to the question "does anyone vacuum their dog".... yep! Oreo! She's hysterical. My dad sometimes vacuums her with the canister vac. She doesn't care. But if you say, "Oreo, get it!" or "Grrr!" or "Help, help!" then she heroically jumps to her feet and attacks the mean vacuum hose. Until you tell her it's all done, and she goes back to sleeping. Gosh I love that dog. LOL!
  13. Personally I only wash them if they stink, which isn't very often. I do wish Zeeke would get bathed more often, because for some reason his fur gets a really oily feel to it that drives me nuts. But that's my problem, not his, and he's too difficult to get into the bathtub unless we REALLY need to...
  14. I wish I could figure them out. There have been occasions when I've wondered if Zoe was really the dominant one under the surface, but she looks to him and follows him around all the time. But it's like she just has this line in the sand that says DO NOT CROSS. And the weirdest thing is that when she flips her lid at him he backs down. Hmm, you know, when he's pushing her around she lets him... unless he bites a little too hard or something, then she loses it and snarls and bites his cheek. Maybe there is something to the idea that she's the one who's really in charge. SO weird. Not like it changes anything... I let them solve their own little issues unless it escalates (which is extremely rare). They have their own little understanding and it keeps the peace. But boy do I ever wish I knew what went through their little doggy heads.
  15. Brief intro for those who don't know: Zoe is the submissive, tends to be quite timid, generally lets Zeeke do whatever he wants with her (including pinning her to the ground, chewing on her head, sticking his head between her legs, etc). She's skittish about strangers, but generally very easy-going. Zeeke is a german shepherd. He's dominant without being aggressive. He definitely lets Zoe know he's in charge, and she happily follows his lead. Introduce the vacuum cleaner into the mix and all hell breaks loose, and I am just stumped by it. Oh, and we use a big, very loud shop vac (only thing that cleans all the fur off the hardwood). Zeeke does NOT like the vacuum cleaner. I don't know if it's the noise, or the air, or what, but every time you TOUCH the vacuum he starts getting hysterical. I generally put him in his crate and close the bedroom door when I'm cleaning, and even then I can hear him barking uncontrollably. If I try vacuuming anywhere near him he will attack the vacuum cleaner... and/or run away. It's like he gets frozen in indecision. He wants to get out of the way, but wants to beat it down, too. Zoe doesn't really mind the vacuum cleaner. (I know, WTF? She's afraid of EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN except the one thing you'd expect a dog to be afraid of? I don't get it.) I can vacuum around her and she will move out of its way, but not in any hurry. The weird, crazy part is that when Zeeke is loose and he attacks the vacuum cleaner, Zoe flips out on him. She gets in between him and the vacuum and does what I would consider to be a dominance thing... very loud, very vocal growling, and nipping him on the nose/cheek in order to get him to back off. (She also does this if he harasses the cats near her, especially if they're on the bed.) Yesterday I was a little concerned about Zeeke, because it appeared she got him pretty good on the nose (no blood, no puncture wound, just a Zeeke who looked pretty downtrodden). I obviously separated them after that and made sure they weren't near the vacuum. The solution is obvious: don't let Zeeke loose around the vacuum. But I'm still completely perplexed by it. Why on earth would Zoe be reprimanding him for it? Is she just getting stressed about by the alpha dog freaking out? Is she reacting to us constantly telling him NO, STOP IT? Is she just possessive of the vacuum? Has me stumped. Never do I see Zoe get anywhere close to that aggressive. And it's just plain WEIRD how Zeeke submits to her in that situation.
  16. Oh Donna, I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your Tikki.
  17. OMG those statues are too funny. And Ghengis Kahn? That is hysterical! Zoe is afraid of everything - and I mean everything - so no funny statue stories from me!
  18. Awwwww, that is so sweet!!!
  19. I'm going to pass this on to my brother.... he's planning on getting another rotti pup.
  20. Gorgeous dogs. I sure hope your Kali lives to see a very old age.
  21. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sounds like she was a wonderful girl.
  22. Congratulations! I too am wondering exactly how to handle the introduction with the dogs. I can only assume Zeeke will be frustrated and jealous, because he really hates anyone getting attention but him. We have two dogs with very opposite personalities to deal with though... I figure it would be easier if there was just one! I've been very thankful that my doggies stay children, even as adults. I'm really starting to panic, thinking about raising a human teenager. Someone save me!
  23. Oreo always had an obsession with eating soap bars. We learned to put it on a higher shelf. She never suffered any ill effects, not even an upset tummy or throwing up.
  24. I'm learning this. Every time we've ended up at the vet (with Zeeke, it's not infrequent - nor cheap) the vets have said, "Sounds normal for a Shepherd..." Hubby just says, "None of my other shepherds had X!" and I have to point out to him that he had mixed breeds. (Of course his GSD/Lab mix had HORRIBLE hips as well.) I am simply not used to this! Oreo barely had a cold all her life, and at nearly 13 years old she's still in wonderful health. Zoe got diarrhea once. Zeeke? Ummmm. He pukes near daily (froth), ANY deviation in his feeding results in diarrhea for a day, he gets sick in the car, he has bad hip displasia (which thankfully we do not see any outward evidence of anymore), he's had skin problems.... OMG. It's insane! And I just know hubby will want another GSD when he passes on.
  25. Oh great, I love hearing that GSDs are prone to more issues. Guess it's a trip to the vet for us. Thanks everyone!
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