Archives for November 2011

Tweed’s Tail of Woe

I came home the other day to find big chunks of red hair laying around the floor, and a very conspicuous portion of Tweed’s tail missing.  Not his actual fleshy tail, but rather some of the important bit – the floofy part.

Not a very good or exciting photograph, I know … but you can see where he chewed off and pulled out a band of hair all around his tail, about a third of the way down from his butt-end.  The tail itself was all raw and bloody.

After some research, I learned that dogs have a sebaceous gland in this area of the tail that can become blocked, which causes discomfort for the dog.  I scrubbed the area with Hibitane and he’s left it alone ever since.  But his tail looks ridiculous.

Almost as ridiculous as TWooie looks:

But he can look as ridiculous as he wants to, if it’s a result of PLAYING, which is what he decided to do with the other dogs today.

Although it’s no wonder that they hate him, since his play style is undoubtedly incredibly annoying.  I, for example, do not enjoy being bitten in the pants.  I can only assume the other dogs don’t like it either.

He was really feeling his oats today!

He even played with Riddle … I think.

Being playful is definitely preferable to being so stressed out by the Regime Change at home that he shit liquid poop all over the favourite dog bed and the curtains, which is what he did the other day.  I read all of your comments, stories and advice quite carefully and I thank you all for it.  It made me realize a couple of important things:

  1. yelling “knock it off you f*cktards” with my back to the dogs was not actually *dealing* with the problem ;-)
  2. it’s not that bad here at Casa de Food Lady.  After reading some of your stories about dogs trying to kill each other and crate and rotate schedules for years on end, I recognize that some air snapping, the occasional hair pulling and some Mad Teeth™ aren’t really all that serious.

Dexter and TWooie don’t fight – Tweed and Dexter fight more than Twoo and Dex do!  TWooie is, however, a buttface.  He does not resource guard me so much as he resource guards his personal space – if he chooses a dog bed, woe to the dog who comes within 5 feet of it.  If he buries a dead bird or bunny in the field, nobody else can so much as look in that direction.  TWooie has an inflated ‘personal bubble’ which constantly expands and contracts, and I am sure this is part of the problem, as Dex is too busy being INSANE to recognize where TWooie’s outlying boundaries are.  I am also fairly confident that some of the same things that bother ME about Dexter irritate the snot out of TWooie … stuff like “You rubbed your eye whilst typing!  That must mean you are preparing to take us on a 117 mile 3 day hike!  I, Dexter, better leap to my feet and scramble frantically on the laminate toward the front door in preparation!”

And of course, I think there remains the simple fact that TWooie and Dex just don’t like each other very much as – if you will – people.  There are certainly people in this world that I don’t like and would not live with in harmony.  I expect this is true for dogs as well.  I do not understand how sending the WooTWoo golfing every day will resolve anything though :)

I like to watch and understand the shifting dynamics of the resident dog pack though.  For example – everydog fears Piper.  Piper is not a particularly confident dog, nor she is always fair, but if dogs could speak English they would constantly be sputtering “My apologies if I have offended you, Your Grace,” to her at every change they got.  She rarely has to follow through on anything more subtle than a lift lip.  Only Wootie takes liberties with Piper.

That being said, if Tweed has the ball or frisbee, nodog dares to f*ck with him, which includes Piper.  Piper will remove a toy from anyone’s possession if she wants it, but she backs off of Tweed as soon as she sees he’s got it.

Dexter provokes Tweed until Tweed gets angry with him, whereupon they will both fight.  It generally ends with Tweed standing on Dexter’s face and snarling the ugliest face you ever saw.  It does not concern me much, as they also play quite often too.

Dexter and TWooie do not fly at each other every chance they get.  They don’t spend all their time trying to get past me to fight with one another.  They can be outside together without issue, unless Dexter runs too fast, which Makes TWooie Angry.  So in the grand scheme of things, I guess we’re not doing too badly.  But after some thought, and all your helpful observations, I did recognize that it was time to step in and start enforcing some rules around here.

The first rule is that if you start making angry noises or faces, you get removed to a crate.  There was some trial and error involved here, as I learned that putting TWoo in Tweed’s large crate with the super comfy bed was kind of like you punching me in the face and your mum sending you to Club Med for the weekend as “punishment.”  But putting TWooie in Spring’s smaller crate has been very effective at curtailing a good percentage of his rotten behaviour.

The other rule is that The Food Lady will set you up with a primo bed position placed strategically at the doorway between living room and bedroom – and it’s a SUPER AWESOME REALLY COMFY BED.  You can lay there for as long as you want, but as soon as you snark at someone trying to move from room to room, you go back in Spring’s crate.  I realize that some of you might consider this setting TWoo up for failure, but knowing TWoo as I do, it actually sets him up to make a decision to curtail his own behaviour.  Because it’s a clear rule for him – strategic bed is yours if you are good.  Bed is not yours if you are a shithead.  I found it necessary to give him something I could take away in order for him to learn, as the other areas in the house he guards have too much habit and randomness built into them so it was confusing for him to be removed from them suddenly.  We’ll build up to those.

The first time I removed him to a crate for snarking, he screamed and barked and moaned and thrashed and carried on in there like nothing I have ever heard before.  Seems that over time, The Dog Who Didn’t Give A Shit has started giving a shit when socially isolated.

Today he also demonstrated to me that he understands what I’m trying to teach him.  He would go initiate play with Spring  and then he would come check in with me for butt rubs, hugs and praise and cookies before going back for more play.  Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing ?  But I don’t feel like I am – it felt to me like he “got” that being sociable earns him rewards and favour, just as being antisocial earns him isolation.  Or maybe he was just looking for some assurance that his newfound social stylin’s were acceptable.  Either way, I’ll take it!

ZOMG!  I have prattled on for far too long.  You’re probably sick to death of ‘hearing’ me type.  You want some action (photos), like this:

Too bad for you, I don’t really have many.  It’s a beautiful sunny day today, but I’m not psyched about picking up the camera.  I’ll be doing Santa Photos with Jen again this weekend, and I am pretty sure that’ll spill over my photo quota for the week.  Last year we were INSANELY busy and I imagine it won’t be all that different this time either.

You should totally come out and get your dogs/cats/rabbits photos with Santa!

Are you a fan of TWoosday?

Kind of like TWooie’s tail is a FAN of TWoosday?  Get it?  A FAN?

Furry Friday

I wasn’t going to blog today, as I was busy doing some other stuff, but when Spring heard I was slacking, she held the little Riddle hostage.

You’d better post something, or the wee terrier gets it.

Yes, Riddle is STILL WITH ME.  How is this possible?  Who wouldn’t love that scruffy little face and want to take it home immediately?


But in better news, the old lady dog from Animal Control is responding very well to medication and lots of love from her foster mum, Stephanie.  She’s on three different medications for her enlarged heart, the vet clinic staff removed most of her matts, and Stephanie has given her oodles of affection and attention, and Emmylou is rallying right back!

It’s so sad that anyone let her get to this state.  The vet believes her to be around 12 years old.  That’s it!

Around 12 years old:

Around 12 years old:

Isn’t that just crazy to think about?

It’s hard to believe it snowed this time last week.

And today was a beautiful sunny winter day.

The melted snow and rainstorms we had all week left giant puddles everywhere though, much to Mr. Orange’s dismay.

I am getting downright sick of this cat.  This morning he woke me up at 5:30AM by scratching non stop at a kitchen cabinet door for something like 20 straight minutes because he felt like getting into the plastic bags.  When I hollered at him to knock it off, he responded by waking me up an hour later scratching in his litterbox endlessly after using the facilities, until I leaped out of bed and chased him out of the bathroom.  I dislike being woken early on my day off.  And yes, his box was clean, I emptied and scrubbed it late yesterday afternoon.  He’s just a shithead.

When we went for a walk on the acreage this morning, he complained about the wet and puddles CONSTANTLY.  When he doesn’t want to go somewhere, he stops walking and yells a metronome style series of meows.  Today I was so annoyed with him that I didn’t indulge him and just kept walking, and he meowed long and loudly until I was more than an acre away.  He’s a real pain in the ass!  And he’s free to a good home.

Seriously, you can have him.  He’s a nice enough cat, but I really didn’t want a third cat and I especially did not want a third cat that I don’t really like very much.  He was supposed to be a barn cat!  I think he should live at your house instead.  Lock up your plastic bags.

In all seriousness though, who among you has rehomed an animal because it just didn’t work out for you?  And how devastating was it for you?

I’m starting to think, sometimes, that I should rehome TWooie (insert pause for collective gasp of astonishment).  Not because I want to – doG knows I love The TWoo.  But he and Dex are really growing to loathe one another something fierce.  They’ve never gotten on well, and the more mature Dexter gets, the less tolerant TWooie gets.  I’m breaking up more and more growling / Mad Teeth™ / circling matches between them lately, and I’m starting to get to the point where I’m wondering if I should be concerned about leaving them alone together every day.

They don’t fight … yet.  Mostly they don’t fight because Dex knows he’s not supposed to fight with other dogs.  As a result, he gets bullied by TWooie.  And this doesn’t help TWooie learn not to f*ck with Dex.  And I’m worried that one day Dexter will lose his temper – and he’s easily twice as big as TWooie.

Dexter was here first.  TWooie came last.

I feel bad for Dexter because he often doesn’t even come into the room where the rest of us are.  If I don’t babygate the bedroom off limits, he will spend his time up on my bed instead of in the main room with us.  I can’t help but wonder how much the stress of living with a dog who hates him affects Dex.  I just don’t know.

Of course the other problem (besides the fact that I don’t want to part with TWoo) is that giving away TWoo probably means giving away Woo as well, which is unthinkable.  Because they are joined at the hip, those two.

Or should I just put Dex and TWooie in a cage and let them have an Ultimate Death Match?

Can I referee?

Okay, but really … do you have any useful suggestions?  I’d love to hear them.  I’m lucky in that I can take Dexter to work with me if I need to, but jobs and life change all the time, so I don’t want to count on that as being a long term solution in the event they can’t be left alone together.

I don’t want to give up any of my dogs!  We need some ideas.  I am thinking of smearing both of them with peanut butter every day and forcing them to make out until they fall in love.

Can we talk about me now?