It occurred to me today that it’s Tyler’s anniversary for finding his furever home! One year ago today I flew home to Dayton from Phoenix with my little four-pound fluff boy. Since he joined our home…
…his weight has doubled;
…his coat has grown out;
…I’ve puppy-proofed our fence–twice;
…I’ve learned how to use my laptop while fending off helpful paws (see photo, above);
…I’ve found the strength to cope with finding a wet spot on the rug (my fault);
…I’ve grown to appreciate and expect 30 minutes of playtime AFTER I’ve gone to bed;
…I’ve resolved not to feel guilty each time I put him in his crate–every time I put him in his crate;
…I’ve experienced the best of warm feelings watching him charm and bond with my mom;
…and the doggie space in my heart has increased to include this flufferbutt who now rules our home. Bailey would have adored him. I certainly do.
God bless the wonderful people of Small Paws Rescue for matching me up with Tyler. One year later and he continues to be our little sweetheart. And my little stinker.
Tyler had surgery on Thursday. His anal glands were removed.
Tyler has been on and off antibiotics for the past several months because his anal glands keep getting infected. To treat this, our dogtor has to pack the glands with antibiotic ointment. This treatment is not without dangers–for instance, the possibility of tearing the gland opening when the ointment is inserted. So after much discussion and thought, we decided the best thing for Tyler is to remove the glands.
So, he had laser surgery on Thursday and now has 6 tiny stitches around his butt. And his butt had to be shaved. You know those baboons that have the really pink butts? Tyler’s butt looks remarkably like a baboon butt!
I’ve spent the past 3 days (I took Friday off from work) coddling and petting and stroking him. And he’s milked it for all it’s worth. I know he’s milking it because one of our neighbors was over last night and Tyler was totally his normal stinker self, until she left. Then he reverted back to this needy little sorrowful soul who had to be held and loved on. I’m cutting him some slack, though, because I know the stitches are uncomfortable (even though he’s on pain meds) and the fact that his butt is hairless has got to be freaky-feeling.
He’s been in an e-collar, until today, to keep him from chewing on his butt. When I found out he would have surgery, I purchased an e-collar that looks a lot like an inflatable life-preserver. It fits around his neck and keeps him from bending his neck to get to his butt. I even had time to get him used to it before the surgery. I took it off him today–and I know he’s happier without it. But that’s meant I’ve had to watch him like a hawk so that he doesn’t chew on his stitches.
So all the regular household stuff I wanted to get done this weekend has not happened. But at least my dog is happy. Well mostly happy. He’s not going to be totally happy until his hair grows back and his butt is no longer bare. Sucks to have baboon butt.
Tyler and I will graduate from our first clicker class on Saturday. And, let’s be honest here: it’s not Tyler who needs the training.
He’s so stinkin’ cute I have allowed him to get away with pretty much anything he wants to do. And make no mistake, he has me well trained to do his wishes.
I’ve been thinking that we haven’t been doing so well in class–my fault because I’m not spending enough time with him outside of the class room. We’ve been pretty good about a training session first thing in the morning, but the rest of the day is iffy at best.
A couple of days ago, Tyler managed to slip out the front door as I was trying to get in with some packages. Suddenly it was a game of “catch the puppy” on a ginormous playing field and Tyler wanted to use all the available space. He took off like a deer, a bunny rabbit racing down the street to the corner. My heart in my throat (I’ve read that before in trashy novels and never fully appreciated the sentiment until now), I took off after him. He struck a playbow at the corner of the yard next to ours and by the time I was within 10 feet of him he had already taken off through the snow. Within seconds, he had navigated the circumference of my neighbor’s house–and he was obviously having a really good time. He playbowed in front of me, mocking me and my inability to grab him. The moment I started to flex, he took off again up the street to the next house. Where lives, thankfully, a Cairn Terrier named Max whose front yard was decorated with his foot prints, markings, and occasional piles of poop. Tyler was immediately intrigued by all the doggie scents. His attention became scattered. He was no longer focused on me. I stealthily approached him as he sniffed, and was able to snag him like rat stinker he is. He was incredibly pleased with himself. I was sick with the “might have beens.”
In that moment, I vowed that if we accomplished nothing else in clicker class we WOULD accomplish sit/stay.
So yesterday, I was working at my desk and I could hear him scrunching on something he wasn’t supposed to have. I looked at him. He got “that look” on his face and took off to the other room. I followed. I looked at him and said “SIT!” with the hand move I’ve been doing while we practice.
He sat. HE SAT!!!!!
And for one very brief moment he and I were tuned in to each other, a fantastic partnership of training buddies successfully doing what we were supposed to on a plane of consciousness above the common place. Then he got this “oh sh*t what am I doing?!” look in his eye. He didn’t move, but the high-level mind-to-mind partnership of a moment ago was shattered. He allowed me to pull the bits of plastic out of his mouth, and then he ran off to his toys embarrassed that he had cooperated with me to such an extent as to actually sit the moment I ordered it.
We graduate from class on Saturday. I’ve already signed up for the next class.
Tyler got a little shirt for Christmas. Here are some photos of him modeling it. Is this a really cute dog, or what!?
CUTE! CUTE! CUTE!!!!!!
I just wanted to mention that I’m interviewed on the Grouchy Puppy blog today! Wow!
I got a new camera for Christmas this year, and I’m trying to learn how to use it.
(It would help if I read the instructions, but for some reason I seem to think I can figure this out without them. I suspect I will be forced very soon to stick my nose in the booklet–it’s just that it’s soooooooo looooonnnnngggggg!)
We got snowed on yesterday and Tyler seems to have taken the snowfall in stride–“just another day sniffing around for stuff to eat that he shouldn’t.”
As I post these photos, I can hear a rustling out in the living room. Guess who is back up on top of the coffee table…