Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More News On The Patient

Sorry for the delay in news, Theo is a handful! In short, he's home. We picked him up Monday evening, and he's doing fine...for the most part. This is an experience that I think will be with all of us and never quite leave.

I'll start with the medical stuff. After all those expensive tests, the vet didn't really tell me anything worth hearing in terms of what was wrong with him. It was either a virus, bacteria, or something toxic he ate. Next time I'll give him some pepto-bismol right off the bat and wait on going to the vet. I was very unimpressed with the whole experience, but I'm glad that Theo came out of it mostly fine. They had to shave him! Hehe, ok, I'm being dramatic. But they did have to shave a small patch of fur on his foot for the IV. It makes him look very pathetic.

Now that he's home, he's doing well. I was given this disgusting Science Diet wet food called I/R, which is supposedly easy for him to digest. I don't know if I believe it, since he's gotten some horrible-smelling gas from it. I've started on weening him off of the sh*t today. I was told to feed him only 1-2TB, 3 times per day. So little! His energy level is great considering how little we're feeding him, and his appetite is almost too healthy. Hehe. He actually jumped up on the couch for the first time (usually he just haunches up on his front paws and cries) trying to get at my food. I'm not supposed to take him on walks or anything for a few days, so it's a good thing I'm not feeding him too much or his energy level would be unbearable, all couped up in the house. He's almost back to when I first got him. He plays hard for a few minutes, and then he just crashes and sleeps for an hour.

In almost all cases he's back to normal, but there's definitely some things that are different now. He has a new-found abandonment issue. Whenever Chris or I leave the room, he freaks, and when we leave the house all together, he goes ballistic! He thinks we're leaving him and never coming back. The first night home he never strayed more than 5 feet from me. For Theo, that's very strange. He's usually fine with doing his own thing, as long as he can see me. But now it's such a heart-breaking chore to go to work in the morning! It doesn't help that we can't give him any treats. Usually we give him a biscuit to munch on while we leave, so there's no stress because he's too busy enjoying his treat to notice or care. But now we can't give him anything, and I'm afraid that all his good manners will soon go out the window. I think I'll try incorporating treats back in tomorrow.

Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be out of the woods yet. He hasn't thrown up or had diarrhea since Sunday afternoon. But ever since I got him home Monday evening, he hasn't pooped either. Not a single poop. I know that I'm also feeding him less, but a day and a half is a long time to go with no poop. If he doesn't go by this afternoon, I'll have to call the vet again.

Please poop Theo!

So my advice to all dog owners out there is this. Always have some pepto-bismol on hand. If your dog starts throwing up and pooping everywhere, try a little of the pink stuff first. If he gets better, cool. If he gets worse or doesn't improve, go ahead and take him to the vet. That's what I plan to do next time.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We've Been Honored!

Theo, wake up! We've been honored!

It's not a Webby award, but it still feels amazing to have someone appreciate your blog. Ivy posted some of her own blog awards on her blog, and was kind enough to include my own dog blog. She said that the blogs she chose "enrich her life". What a great compliment! Here's what she said about my blog:

One of the most dedicated dog person I've ever met (in person or cyberspace)! We share the common thread as being first time dog owners, and there I thought that we're fairly responsible dog owners, but JuLo totally put us to shame! Her blog shares all the technicalities as well as emotional ups-&-downs of being a dog owner, must read for dog lovers (especially if you're newbie).

Thanks Ivy!!!

She encouraged the people she named to pass the love along and name some blogs they also admire and enjoy. Technically, it's supposed to be 5 blogs, but I'll just list out the ones I like, and we'll see where we end up.

1. I'll start off by blatantly breaking the rules and mentioning the blog that mentioned me: The Senakams. This blog has always been a fun read for me because Ivy, her husband, and her Corgi, Bryson are always out doing something. They'll go to Napa for the weekend, they'll go on road trips to Texas, or they'll just go to a beach nearby. Anywhere they go there's always tons of beautiful pictures and a very happy dog along for the ride. And of course, that's not even mentioning the other great stuff on her blog, like her craft habit (I love seeing her new paper creations). Before I got Theo, Ivy's blog really helped me realize just how integrated into my life a dog could become. I looked forward to taking Theo on trips or going to the park or trying out different kinds of activities like herding and agility. She said that I put her to shame with my dogsessiveness, but her blog was actually an inspiration for this blog. So thanks Ivy!

2. The other inspiration for this blog is Amanda's a day in the life of our pugs. Amanda obviously cares for her girls, Meimei and Miko, just like I care for Theo. My favorite posts are the ones on their quirks, like how Miko is a chicken and runs for the hills while Meimei will stay and fight the evil giant gorilla (King Kong) on the tv screen. Or how Miko (it was Miko, right?) likes to compulsively lick after she eats. Cute! She also periodically does fun segments like "Ask Meimei and Miko" and "Memory Mondays". And best of all, her blog is positively littered with the most adorable pictures of her pugs. Miko as a puppy was just too cute! Amanda also is very concerned with the health of her girls. I learned a lot about what holistic veterinary medicine was from her blog. It's so heartening to see people not settle for "good enough" when it comes to the care of their dogs.

3. Not that I'm biased or anything, but my sister's new food blog, Onward Eaters is awesome. I've always thought she was a great writer, and I can definitely attest that she has an excellent palette as well. I've told her she needs to come to my city and do a bunch of food reviews so I'll know where I should eat. Hehe. Love of food is definitely something we share, and I can't wait to read about the different restaurants she comes across in her travels.

4. I'm going to combine two blogs that I like for the same reason: Angry Chicken and Posie Gets Cozy. The women who write these blogs are regular Martha Stewarts. They cook and bake amazing, delicious-looking food, they make beautiful crafty things, and they both decorate their blogs their gorgeous pictures of all their endeavors. They definitely inspire me to want to take up sewing again, learn to cook, learn to knit, and just be the crafty self I used to be before I "grew up". Ms. Posie, Alicia Paulson, has a craft room that I drool over. She also has an adorable Cardigan named Clover (the cutest name!), who got quite a lot of face time when she was a pup. Ms. Chicken, Amy Karol, has three children she cooks and sews absolutely adorable clothes for. She also makes some of the yummiest-looking baked goods and usually shares the recipe!

5. A different choice from the rest, Mike's In It But Not Of It. Mike's blog, especially lately, is a hilarious and extremely sarcastic account of his work escapades. I've made a few posts myself about my idiot co-workers on my non-dog blog, so I can definitely relate, but he writes them, of course, much better than I do. Anyone who wants a good chuckle should check it out.

6. I'm going to copy Ivy and give a shout out to Lynn's Craft Stew. Lynn got her adorable Corgi pup, Lucy (isn't she cute?!), just a couple weeks before I brought home Theo. We've been able to share our experiences together and it's been great fun. Also, Lynn is one of the people who inspired me to learn to knit (I want to make one of these gorgeous babies!). She even guided me to great resources to use while learning, like ravelry and books.

7. My final award I want to give to Jenna at Corgi Pants. She's in the Corgi and craft club as well! Her Corgi, Sully, is adorable and often shows up in her posts. Jenna often gives great recipes for dog treats (and people treats too! Mmmm...wassail punch...) and other fun doggie ideas. I still want to make Theo a dog tie! Not to mention she knows a ton about Corgis and dog training. Shoot her an email if you ever have a question on dogs!

Now the rules are that all the blogs I've name are supposed to name their 5 blog awards as well (yeah, because I stuck to that number so well, hehe), so go off and find some blogs that inspire you and bring you joy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Update On The Patient

I'm told that Theo did very well at the ER yesterday. No vomiting or diarrhea, though he was only on fluids, so it's not like they really gave him anything to pass through his system. They finally fed him around 11pm, and he was able to keep it down. Yay! They discharged him this morning, but said that he needed more observation and suggested I transfer him to my normal vet. So off to the normal vet I went. They admitted him and said I would be able to pick him up tonight. *sigh* Now I just have to wait. Hopefully he'll go the rest of the day with no vomiting or diarrhea and this business will be done. Cross your fingers!

Theo experienced the e-collar for the first time this morning, and oh man, I wish I had brought my camera! He looked so pathetic! He kept trying to sniff the ground, and as he would lower his head, the collar would get caught on the ground and his body would come to a grinding halt. Too funny. He also couldn't walk through doorways very well because, again, the collar would get stuck. He ended up getting so frustrated that he just refused to walk at all! But with a little coaxing I was able to get him from point A to point B. He was still crying a lot, so he didn't seem very improved to me. Hopefully another day at the vet's office will be just what he needs. But I have to say, it was quite heart-wrenching watching they vet technician walking away with my Theo. He looked back at me with a look on his face that said "don't let them take me away again!" Poor guy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

They Took My Baby!

Right now my Theo is in the doggie hospital! We're not exactly sure what's wrong with him yet, but it all started yesterday. He threw up in the morning. I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure what it looked like because he had eaten it back up before I even knew he had done it. Gross! But I figured he had just eaten his breakfast too fast, no big deal. He was fine while we were at the dog park and during lunch, but then on our way back home he puked...all over the car. Gross! I should also add that he had been crying pretty much all morning. When we were at the park and he was distracted by other dogs and people he was fine, but before and after he was definitely doing more than his usual share of being a cry baby. I couldn't understand why, but I wasn't all that surprised when he threw up. Unfortunately, it didn't stop there.

After we got home I took him outside where he had (warning: the rest of this post is not for the squeamish) the soupiest diarrhea I have ever seen. It was like his butt was a melted milk chocolate dispenser. Next I figured we needed to settle his stomach, so I tried giving him some pumpkin. He wouldn't eat it. I even put a little on my finger and held it right up to his mouth: no go. That's when I knew something was really wrong. He's always hungry! Then he started to throw up again. I called the ER vet and they said to go ahead and bring him in.

Now yesterday was just "one of those days" kind of days. Everything that could go wrong did. Right when all this was going on, Husband also discovered that our kitchen sink was leaking water everywhere. Lovely! Go big or go home, I guess.

So I packed Theo into the car and hurried over to the vet while Husband stayed behind to deal with the cleanup (heh, sucker!). I wasn't very impressed with the vet (He kept saying "we" when talking about Theo, such as "We're not feeling well, our stomach is upset." It was creepy.), but there's limited options on the weekend. The vet told me the full list of all the possibilities and then asked me which I would like to do. Well how the heck do I know? I'm not the one with a degree! I basically told him that I didn't want to run all those tests if he didn't think they were necessary, since the only symptoms he had were loose stools and vomiting (he didn't find anything unusual in the exam). So they gave him some fluids, some medicine for the vomiting, and gave me some medicine to give him for the diarrhea. And $168(!) later we were on our way home. Nothing much to report on yesterday after that. He pretty much just slept the whole day (pictured), and late last night I fed him some boiled chicken, which he was able to keep down.

Then this morning we woke up like normal and I fed him some chicken and rice, which was the doctor's orders. His attitude and appetite were good, but he was still crying quite a bit. He tried to poop a few times and nothing came out. Then finally something did come out, but it wasn't poop. It was blood. Not a bloody stool, just blood. I didn't waste any time calling the vet again. He said that even though it was scary, blood wasn't anything to be worried about unless there were other symptoms, like more vomiting, and that I should give him some pepto-bismol. While I was out at the store he threw up. Ugh! So back to the ER we went.

This time we all agreed to run the gambit of tests (most of which involved shoving something up his already sore bum, but guy). Theo was even good enough to demonstrate what his vomit looked like to the doctor: yellow and foamy. Gross! The test for parasites and parvo came back negative (he has his vaccinations, but the vet still wanted to rule it out), and the doctor told us we needed to leave our Theo with them for more tests. They took my puppy! And $630(!!!) later, Husband and I were on our way home with one less member than we had entered with.

We've since heard that the xrays showed no bowel obstruction, and his lab work came back normal. Hopefully this means he doesn't require surgery, but it also means there's still nothing tangible that's wrong with him. At this point it looks like he just has some major gastrointestinal irritation, and Theo just needs to get the better of it already! Hopefully an afternoon of fluids and rest (which is exactly what he had yesterday) will make him all better. I don't like my Theo being sick like this one bit! I'll keep you posted on his progress.

PS: Due to all this hoopla, I wasn't able to post things in the correct order. Theo went to his first Corgi meetup yesterday before he got all sick, so I'll be doing a post on that later as well.

PPS: Tons of new pictures up on flickr. Check 'em out!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Video Of The Week 17: Theo's First Snow

Here's a video of Theo's first experience with snow. He thought it was a giant mound of crushed it, and was munching away.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Extracurricular Activities

As Theo gets older, I'm starting to think more and more about the activities and classes I want to do with him. I definitely want to try a little bit of everything. So far the obedience classes are going great, and both Theo and I have a ball every week. He's finished puppy kindergarten, and after puppy elementary, there's still basic obedience (the trainer might suggest we skip this if Theo excels in puppy elementary), and intermediate obedience, in which Theo will (*hopefully!*) earn his CGC. Plus, the trainer also teaches classes in agility (2 classes!) and rally (3 classes!). So far all of those classes sound like fun to me! And there's also just regular "pay and play" classes as well, which is just straight socialization. Hey, it's better than the dog park.

Another activity I've been looking into is herding. Theo is so bossy, I think he would really take to it. I looked around my area and there's a place that does herding instinct testing and lessons (if the instinct is there, of course) that's only just a few minutes away. What luck! I think the real trick will be whether he can get over his fear of the animals he's supposed to herd. The herding itself he'll probably be fine with, but he's such a chicken! Theo would be interested in the sheep/cattle/ducks, but if he were tested today, he would probably eye them from behind the safety of my ankles! Hehe.

What about you guys? Have you done any classes with your dog? Obedience, agility, rally, herding, etc.? Are there any fun activities I'm blatantly missing here?

Leaps And Bounds

That's the kind of progress that Theo has made in his training. He had his first Puppy Elementary class last night, and he did wonderfully. First off, the class was full of dogs 3 times Theo's size. The one dog (yeap, only one) that was his size also happened to be vicious and mean. I thought Theo would react the same way he did when our puppy kindergarten class was full of hyper, large dogs: run, hide, and cry. But he didn't! He actually played with them! I am so proud of him. At one point he had a golden retriever pinned to the ground, playfully going for the jugular. My little ferocious beast! I still can't believe it, but he was keeping up with a golden, a lab mix, a pointer (a HUGE one!), and a vizla!

Then when it was time for our basic obedience, Theo again was much improved from the last class. He'll now do "down" without a food lure (though he still requires a hand lure, I'm working on just the verbal command now). He'll do down stay right up until the point when I start walking back to him. And he was walking great on his leash. He didn't pull, and even better, he didn't get distracted by wanting to play with the other dogs. It was like night and day from puppy kindergarten!

And finally, we played with some agility/other equipment. He walked up and down stairs, up and down a ramp, through a small tunnel under the stairs, he jumped over a bar set off the ground, and he learned how to sit-stay in a "doggy tent". It was obvious that he was having a total blast the whole time, which was the real reward.

I hope this isn't a fluke and Theo is this great every week. I don't know what brought on such vast and speedy improvement, but I'll take it! I'd like to think that all the training and socialization I've busted my butt to get him is really paying off. I take some time every day (usually several times a day) to have a fun, rambunctious (but biting-free) play session with him. He's like a baby! I make funny noises and faces at him, I blow air on his tummy, and I give him lots of scratches and belly rubs. I wonder if this, plus making sure he continually meets new dogs (from the neighborhood, dog park, Brownie, etc.) has helped him overcome his nervousness around other dogs. I'd like to think so!

PS: Man, my blog is boring lately with no pictures! I can't wait until Husband finally gets home tonight with my laptop. I imagine our first greetings will go something like this: "Hi honey, welcome home. Now gimme my laptop!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Weekend Shenanigans

Well the last few days were eventful indeed!

First off, I already mentioned the snow, but I've got to make another mention to how cute Theo was when he first hit that batch of snow. It was the cutest thing ever! I can't wait to post the video when I get my laptop back.

Next, my parents and their house. Theo pretty much made himself at home right away. Though instead of using his bed as "his place", he used the entire rug that sits in their great room. It was hilarious. All of his toys ended up under the coffee table at one point or another. It was hard to give him a treat (doggie matzo balls, courtesy of a family friend), but coax him away from trying to go eat it on the rug! Hehe. He loved their backyard so much that it was hard to get him to come back inside! They have an acre of land, and it's chalk full of quail, nightingales, frogs (thanks to the next door neighbor's son), and delicious bunny poop! It was so great to watch him have the space to really run around and having the time of his life.

When we first arrived a neighborhood dog (not sure whose) came over to welcome Theo to the neighborhood. I instantly liked this dog when I saw that he was willing to "puppy play" with Theo, rather than just trying to sniff his junk or growl/snap at him like a grumpy old man. The backyard would have been even better if it were a little warmer. It's no fun standing out in the cold, even if your dog is having a ball. Plus, there was one time he took off after a quail and I had to go chasing after him and bring him back because he wouldn't come when I called. Bad dog! I can also attest that the best way to get your dog to come (when s/he's decided to forget what the command "come" means) is to look your dog directly in the eyes, give a playful nod of the head, and then run the other way. Works every time!

Then, Theo met the family. He was such a charmer! My Uncle especially was enamored with him and wanted to arrange a meeting between their dachshund, Brownie, and Theo. More on that later. My two youngest cousins had a lot of fun giving him his toys. One of them was very brave and liked it when Theo jumped on his head to say hello, the other was scared of him unless she was up on a chair where he couldn't get her, and then she liked him a lot. My cousin's baby daughter was totally terrified of him. She was the only person who didn't say hello to him, so of course, he spent the better part of the evening trying to greet her, which she viewed as a hostile threat, usually proceeding to cry at the top of her lungs. And of course, kids being kids, at the very end of the evening she, deciding he looked more like the Easter Bunny and less like Cerberus, came over and gave him a few nice pats on the back before walking away. There, drama averted.

The next day we took Theo over to my Aunt and Uncle's cabin in Tahoe to meet Brownie. Brownie is an ill-tempered mini-dachshund whom I fully expected to want nothing to do with Theo, and I was right. First thing after Theo walked in the front door was greet Brownie. It started off well, there was lots of sniffing, until Theo playfully jumped on her head (he does this with everyone he's playing with, dogs and people alike, I've noticed). Big no no. She growled and snapped and Theo ran for my ankles squealing like a dying pig. I separated them, and took Theo outside to eat some snow while Brownie mellowed. My Aunt suggested we take them both for a walk together, and it ended up being a great idea. They got to sniff eat other on mutual territory, and Brownie was able to get a sense of Theo's playfulness without being so surprised by it. When they got back in the house I made sure they stayed separated. Theo stuck by me and Brownie stuck by the sunny window, and even made sure to take the long way around me when she went to the kitchen to beg for leftover turkey.

We also took Theo to the Sparks Marina. It is so beautiful there! The wind ended up cutting our walk (and enjoyment! boo!) short, but I would definitely love to go back there when the weather is better. Theo enjoyed all the people and dogs, but his favorite part was when we stopped in the doggie bakery. He got to meet a very nice and patient dog, smell delicious smells, and eat some yummy venison and chicken treats!

Overall I would say that Reno is a very dog-friendly city when the weather permits (this weekend it didn't really). I would love to go back with him in the summer or fall when it tends to be sunnier. I'm glad that my parents welcomed him into their home. It was a really fun time. I can't wait until our next traveling adventure! Right now it's looking like Mendocino in August (*squeal!*), Husband's schedule permitting (it may not permit! boo!).

Settled Back In

Well we're back home. We drove back yesterday and this time the trip was only 10.5 hours, which was mostly due to the fact that Theo was amazing. He slept pretty much the entire way. When we stopped for gas or lunch or a snack he would wake up, go out to pee, run around a bit, then fall right back to sleep when we were back in the car. For the last few hours he just slept in my lap. It was the cutest thing ever! I am so happy that this trip worked out so well for us, and I'm glad to know that Theo can handle windy roads better than I can (I get car sick...ugh). But most of all, I'm glad to be back home.

Don't get me wrong, Reno was awesome for both me and Theo. But he's not 100% house trained yet, and while Theo did very well on that front at my parent's house (and I won't say more for fear of incriminating myself (and fear of incriminating others who have sworn me to secrecy)), it was hard to really relax when I had to watch his every move to make sure there were no accidents (there was one at my Aunt's cabin in Tahoe! Oops!). I'm glad to know that in future visits it should be easier. I was ready to go home just because I was ready to be in a place where it's not the end of the world if he pees.

I'll make a separate post for our weekend shenanigans because there's quite a bit to say. Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

We Made It!

Well it was a long drive (12 hours with all the stops!), but we made it, and it was actually a nice trip. We drove up through the mountains and it was just a gorgeous drive. Theo was a dream (not even a hint of car sickness!). Thankfully we were able to fit his huge crate in the care with no problem. When he was in the crate and tired, he slept. But when he was awake, he cried and cried and acted like we had locked him up in prison. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I gave in. Amidst Theo's crying, I gave in and let him out of his crate and into my lap. Bad julo! Hehe. But as soon as he was out of his crate, he was back to being his quite, mellow self. His favorite place to sleep was the center console between the two front seats. He would lay down on it, put his head down behind it (at a 90 degree angle from his body) and go to sleep. I don't understand how we sleeps in some of the positions he does. Hehe.

On our travels he saw and experienced lots of new things. He saw ducks, he saw ducks doing it (I'm traumatized, it was very violent), and most notably, he saw snow! I've been feeding him a lot of crushed ice lately to sooth his gums from the teething, so when he saw the snow he thought it just a huge mound of crushed ice. He jumped right in and started chomping away. It was adorable! I have some pictures and video to share later.

So it looks like, for the most part, Theo is a pro at long drives. Yay!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Leaving Tomorrow

Tomorrow we leave for that trip to Reno I mentioned before. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for what a task it will most likely be. I made my list of things I need to make sure to do/bring tomorrow, and checked it twice.

To Do:
move car seat cover to Prius
make Theo's breakfast and lunch

It's all there. I couldn't believe how long the list ended up being! I hope it all fits into our Prius (they have tiny trunks, ya know)! Puppies really are like babies in the sense that there's just a lot of "stuff" you have to bring everywhere.

Theo's record of enjoying car rides is not great. It usually involves squirming (pictured), crying, panicking, and a whole lot of barking. Deafening barking. I've learned over the last few weeks that it's not being in the car that bothers him per se. At first I thought his problem was with being banished to the back seat, away from his humans and away from their attention. But now I think his main problem is with the restraint. If we don't buckle him into the harness, he's fine in the back seat. Hehe. But safety is first, so he'll just have to get over it. The plan is to shove his crate into the back seat, so he can chill in his crate unrestrained, but he'll still be safe. Of course, since his crate is huge (I'm still bitter they don't make crates for long-backed, short-legged dogs), that will depend entirely on whether it'll fit in the car. Cross your fingers!

This is going to be an all day car ride, so obviously the trip will go better for all parties the shorter it is. In that spirit, I'm going to try and get us all packed and ready to leave by 4am tomorrow morning so we can get past the areas that tend to be more congested during the later morning hours. Also, my mom made mention of possibly making some macaroni salad for dinner tomorrow night (one of my all time favorite *mom* foods, it's delish), so I want to make sure we're there in time for dinner. You know you're leaving too early when Starbucks won't even be open yet. Oiy.

I'm pretty nervous about the trip, just because the longest car ride we've had with Theo so far has been about 30 minutes. I'm *hoping* he'll end up sleeping most of the way, but if he's unhappy and in the mood to bark, it's going to get very hellish, very fast.

Cross your fingers for me, feel free to leave me any tips you might have for the journey, and I hope everyone has a happy passover! I may not blog much (if at all) while I'm gone, but hopefully when I get back my camera will be full of cute pictures of Theo!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In All His Glory

Here's a picture of my little graduate. See the certificate? I'm so proud of him! He was totally pooped when I took this picture, which is probably the only reason I was able to take it! Normally he won't sit still long enough. As it was, it look a couple of tries because he moved whenever I propped the certificate against him. Hehe.

I have a few more pictures, but I've already exceeded my max uploading capacity for the month on Flickr. Boo! I've been thinking of upgrading to pro and actually paying for it. Eep! I noticed a lot of you have pro accounts. Do you think it's worth the $25/year?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Made It To The Dog Park

So Saturday evening I was finally able to get to the dog park, and I have some bad and good things to report. I'll start with the bad, since it happened in the very beginning of the visit, so we'll just get it out of the way. Theo was attacked. He's fine, and it probably sounded worse than it was due to the fact that he's a total chicken sh*t. There were two dogs that looked to me like Min Pins. They were totally obese (their mid-section was about twice as wide as their head. I kid you not, it looked disgusting), which I should have taken as a sign of an over-indulgent owner. I was sitting on the bench while Theo explored the area around it (he never strayed far from me, what a good boy) when all of a sudden I heard dogs growling and my little Theo squealing like he was being murdered slowly. My poor baby! I ran over to see the two Min Pins, teeth bared, standing over Theo, who was fully in the submissive position, crying for the dogs to leave him alone. I was terrified for my little boy. I saw the owner come over too, but she made no moves to stop her dogs, she just called to them in a lazy, disappointed tone, as if they do this all the time, so of course they didn't listen and kept on snapping at Theo. Now I've never broken up a dog fight, and I wasn't sure what to do. I had my "chuck-it" stick, so I plowed it down in between them, trying to use it to pull the other dog off Theo without getting my hands in there. Luckily, there was a fearless woman who thought it was her dog being bullied, so she pulled one of them off right away. Looking back, that's just what I should have done, and next time I'll know to just get right in it and break it up. Ain't no bullies gonna bite up my little puppy!

After the dogs were off of him, Theo bolted to a distance he felt safe, then sat down and pouted. I scooped him up in my protective arms, gave him a bunch of reassuring kisses, and then inspected him for wounds. There were none, as I figured. They were just being bullies and Theo was just being a scaredy-cat. The owner of the fat bullies (can you tell I don't like them now?) at least had the decency to ask if Theo was ok, and then promptly left the park. Good riddance.

After that Theo stayed very close to me. He was scared for awhile, but luckily the other dogs there were all sweethearts, who left him alone, or politely sniffed him. After a few minutes he got over "the incident" and was himself again. There ended up being like four Pugs there at once, and they were all soooo cute! It was super hot, so they were grunting away. Most people seem to think Pugs are ugly and sound gross because of their breathing, but I think it's endearing and I think they're just the cutest! There were some other dogs, but only pugs seemed interested in Theo, and he let them sniff him very calmly, and even sniffed a few butts himself!

Now the way my dog park is sectioned off there is a small dogs area (under 30 pounds), a large dog area (over 30 pounds), and an all dogs area. The large dog area was empty. All the large dog-owning butt heads went into the all dog area! Sure, I can't really fault them for that, but they also happened to be playing very rough. Whenever a new dog would enter, a handful of huge dogs would come bounding up, barking. At one point there was blood on a bunch of the dogs, though they couldn't figure out who the bleeder was. With all that going on I stayed far away from that pen. But Mouth showed up with his three dogs (2 small and 1 large), and we wanted to all play together. So we took over the large dog pen. It was totally empty, so it was great. The 4 dogs got to play together without other psycho dogs picking on them. A few more dogs came in, but they ended up being very friendly (I kept Theo close until I was sure), so we had a wonderful time. Since it was mostly empty I was able to run around the pen without 20 dogs chasing after me, and Theo got to get some herding out of his system for the day.

And by the way, Theo was totally the star of the small dog pen! Almost every person who came in went straight to Theo and asked what breed he was, hold old he was, what his name was. They squatted down to his level and gave him lots of love. That was definitely the part he loved the most. That dog is definitely a charmer!

I think Jenna's advice and apprehension of dog parks came in handy (thanks Jenna!). I still want a place to run him around off-leash, and to interact with people, and a few nice dogs. I've decided that the dog park might be a nice thing once or twice a week, during non-peak hours. If I go early in the morning or late at night when not a lot of other people are there, I think that's when it'll be best. Saturday afternoon (actually it was early evening, but it was really hot, so I think people came after it cooled down) was just too crazy for us. But a time when we can run around and interact with a few others will be beneficial, I think.

The Graduate

This past Saturday Theo graduated from his puppy kindergarten class. Yay! Congrats to Theo! I would say that his last day of class displayed his mastery of sits, downs, walking loosely on the leash, and that sort of thing, but we didn't actually end up doing much obedience this class. The trainer called it "a lazy day" and we spent most of the hour just letting the puppies play. I will say that his last day of class he showed his vast improvement in playing with other puppies! He never ran and hid from the other dogs, and he spent a good portion of the time jumping on heads and gnawing on ears. The trainer even noted that he had come a long way and she thought he was ready for puppy elementary. I have to agree!

I've said in the past that I can't recommend obedience classes enough, and here's another reason. The trainer spent some time at the end of class to recommend some dog-friendly places to eat in the area. She said it was a beautiful day and we should sit outside with our pups and eat some lunch. Well that sounded like a wonderful idea to me, so I tried one of the places she recommended. This place had outside seating with lots of nice shade, and very friendly service. They even brought out a bowl of ice water for Theo! The food was delicious, and I ended up having a nice relaxing hour, reading my book and petting my dog in between bites of delicious food. I always like finding new places with good food (I eat out so much I tend to get tired of the places I know), so I'd say Saturday was a success!

For finishing his training Theo got a certificate of completion, a notice saying that we get $10 off the next obedience class, and a new leash!

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Space

Last weekend I got Theo a bigger crate. The first crate we bought was pretty small because I was afraid if he had too much space, it would hinder his house training. I know I could have just bought a wire crate and used a divider, but I like the plastic kind. Well, of course, he's been growing like a...what grows fast? A sprout? Anyway, I noticed last week that he was looking pretty cramped in his crate, and I think it was affecting his sleep. He could still stand up and turn around, but he couldn't really stretch out. Poor guy. So first chance I got, I went to the store to get his "more permanent" crate (pictured, right).

I asked around on the Corgi forums, and people said that 30" (deep) is usually big enough, but 36" for sure lets them stretch out in their "superman" position. So I went to the store planning to buy a 36" deep crate. OMFG, a 36" crate is HUGE! I was dubious if I would even be able to fit it in my car. Instead I ended up getting a 32" crate. I figure it should still be big enough for him long term, and if he ever gets big enough to get cramped in there, I can just get the larger size then.

I think my plan is to always have two crates from now on anyways. When I just had the one small one I carted it around between his pen, the kitchen, and outside our bedroom, since I try and always give him access to his "main bed". It got to be quite a pain, and I'm glad to have established the new, large crate permanently upstairs, where it'll stay for good. I still use the old crate downstairs. I still feed him in it, and he still sleep in it in his pen, since there's still enough room for him with the crate door open. When he finally grows out of the smaller one, then I'll worry about getting that 36" crate...but I still don't know how I would fit it in my car. lol! It wouldn't be so bad if all crates weren't proportioned for dogs with longer legs. If only I could find a crate that was the height and width of a medium-large crate with the depth of an extra large crate! Arg! Corgi prejudice strikes again!

And I have to say, that first night he slept in his new, larger diggs? He loved it! Last week he would cry a lot before finally settling down and going to sleep. This week he happily jumps right in and conks right out. Last week when he would wake up, he would cry to be let out of his crate. This week he's fine just chilling until my alarm going off for the 5th time finally wakes me up. And, of course, he hasn't had a single accident, even though he's got more than enough room to make himself a little pee spot. Phew!

It feels good knowing he's more comfortable and I wish I had realized it sooner! If your puppy is looking a little cramped in his crate, go ahead and upgrade him a size or two. You'll notice the difference right away.

Foiled Again!

As I said in the comments of my last post, I tried to take Theo to the dog park, finally, yesterday (I tried to take him the day before, but I got caught up at work at the last minute. Boo!), but when I drove past it on my way home, I saw it was closed. Foiled again!

This is why I love the internet. I just checked the park's website, and the dog park is closed yesterday and today due to "refertilization and aeration of the pens". Ack! Don't they know I'm trying to take Theo for his first dog park visit here!? Maybe it's a sign. Hehe. I was planning on meeting Mouth this weekend with his dogs there. I was hoping to take him before that to get him used to the park, but too bad for that idea.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Ok, I know this isn't something that everyone wants to read about, but it's a milestone in my puppy's development, so here we go. Theo has been getting erections. Ewwwww! This is one of the reasons I was apprehensive about getting a male. I didn't want to have to deal with all his boy parts and boy issues. Hehe.

I was actually surprised it started happening so early, but I asked the vet about it, and he said it was totally normal. At first glance it looked like he was bleeding. I started to freak out for half a second before realizing what the blood-red out of the corner of my eye actually was. Haha!

My little puppy is becoming a dog! It's too soon!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


As I said yesterday, Theo got his last set of shots. Well he didn't react the best to them this time around, poor thing. Yesterday when I went home at lunchtime to feed him, he was acting very lethargic (which is normal). Normally the garage door wakes him up, but yesterday he was so conked out, he didn't stir until I started talking to him after I had gotten in the house. Normally he'll put his front paws up on the pen to let me know he wants to say hello to me, but yesterday he only pawed at the floor a little bit.

When I went to pick him up, he squealed in pain like I've never heard him squeal before. Man, hearing a puppy in pain is absolutely the worst sound in the world. I immediately stopped. I hadn't actually lifted him off the ground, I had only put some pressure on his chest and butt. I leaned over again and put pressure on his chest again. He squealed again! Ack! My poor puppy! This time I just lifted the pen so he could crawl out under the bottom. I very gingerly pulled him into my lap, turned him onto his back, and inspected his underside and chest area. He seemed uncomfortable, but ok. Gently putting pressure there didn't cause him pain anymore. Phew!

When I took him outside I noticed that there was a little bit of a different rhythm to his gait. He was slightly limping. That was the last straw. I called the vet's office and told them he was extremely sore. The vet asked where he was sore, and when I told them, they said that was where he was given the shot. Phew! It makes sense then! I asked if it was normal for him to be sore where he had received the shot, and they said yes (though I guess most dogs don't experience it). Phew!

It was a bit of a scare, but I'm glad I was able to discern what the problem was. When I got home from work at the end of the day he was totally fine. No limping, no pain, no lethargy! It can be so hard not being able to ask him what is bothering him. Heh.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Theo Is A Daily Puppy...Kinda

Have you checked out the Daily Puppy yet today? They just updated their site so now you can make a profile for your dog, upload photos, and have a dogster-like time of it. I would post the link to see Theodore's page (I think it's this), or tell you to go and find his page there, but I can't for the life of me find out how to search for another dog. Am I missing something? How do you actually find other dogs and add them as friends or favorites? I was all set to recommend this new and awesome (in theory) development, but obviously they still have some major usage issues to work out. Lame. Is there a smart person out there who can direct me?

Dog Park Here We Come

This morning Theo received his last set of his main vaccinations (minus rabies). Yay! I can now take Theo to dog parks and dog beaches and other places where he can roam free with his kind. Now the dog/dog socialization can really take place. He'll probably be a bit lethargic today from the shots, but I'll definitely try and take him to the dog park by my house tomorrow. I'm very excited! I hope he plays nicely with the other dogs...or rather, I hope the other dogs place nicely with him! He is a 'fraidy-dog after all.

In other Theo news, and this should teach me never to brag about how good he is again, Theo learned to chew on the wall this weekend. While I was in the room, no less! The nerve! Theo likes to chew his bed. I'd prefer he chew his toys, but I'll take it over my hands or something worse: the walls. And when he chews his bed, he likes to drag it all over the room. So there he was, chewing on his bed like a good little puppy. A few minutes later, after he had started playing with something else, I went to move his bed back to its normal spot. That's when I saw it. He had chewed up the baseboard that was next to where his bed had been! Ack! At some point he moved his chewing from his bed to the wall and I was none the wiser! What a tricky, tricky boy. Bad dog!

I sprayed half a bottle of bitter apple on the spot (which now looks terrible, since he chewed off the paint), and now I can only pray that it's a one time offense. So far he hasn't gone back for more, thank goodness. I'll just have to start watching him more closely. *sigh*

Friday, April 4, 2008

My Butt Is Less Lazy

I finally uploaded new pictures of Theo! I say new, but some of these are from about 4 weeks ago, so you'll definitely see a size range in them. Hehe. He's gotten so big, but I think he's growing into his body beautifully. Now if only I could get a descent picture of him! I guess it's time to see how we'll I've taught him "stay".

Today someone asked me if he was a miniature Corgi. LOL! I wish there was a breed of Corgi that stayed this small and cute forever...of course, not if it means they have puppy energy all their lives! I'm growing old, fast here!

Also, in more Theo news, last night was the first night that he woke up in the middle of the night refreshed and ready to play. Well, technically Husband woke him 4 in the morning, but after he was awakened, he wouldn't go back to sleep! He kept crying and barking and crying some more. Finally after I let him out of his crate, gently laid him down and told him to relax (which he didn't), and put him back in his crate, he fell back asleep (after 5 more minutes of crying). I hope this is an experience I won't repeat again at least until I have kids.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What A Star

Not to brag...too much anyway...but Theo is just the star of my neighborhood lately. Every time we pass someone on our walks, they always tell me how pretty he is; several people have told me he's the cutest Corgi they've ever seen; and one person told me he's her new favorite dog...and she has three of her own! I know it's just his puppy cuteness, but I still love it that other people recognize his total adorableness too.

You'd think this post would be followed by my saying that's there's a bunch of brand spankin' new pictures up on flickr. But I'm lame and still haven't uploaded them. Boo on me! I still can't ever get him to hold still long enough to take a picture though! I'll upload what I've taken over the last few weeks this weekend, hopefully. *sigh*

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Meet The Grandparents

Last weekend Theo got to meet "grandma and grandpa"! Hehe. Oh man did my parents love it when I called them that! (that's sarcasm by the way...)

Theo had a ball. He got so much love and attention from new people, which is his absolute favorite thing. And my parents were quite smitten with him as well, I think. I should have guests more often, since Theo is always on his best behavior. He barked, he played, he chewed, he snoozed. It was a fun weekend. He even made me look good in puppy class again! He actually played a little with the other puppies (after 5 weeks, he's finally somewhat comfortable with the puppies he's seen every week), and the trainer used him to demonstrate a "sit-stay". He did pretty well in the beginning, but he just couldn't keep his butt planted to the ground any longer with a lamb treat being waved in his face. Hehe.

I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but next month I'm driving with Theo up to Reno for Passover. He'll get to meet the whole family, which is great, but it also means he's got to suffer through an all-day car ride. Since we're going through the mountains, I'm guessing it'll take at least 10 hours. I'm a little apprehensive about such a long drive with him, but I really want to take him with me. I figure if we have to stop and spend the night along the way, it's not the end of the world.

Since the most he's ridden in the car so far is to the vet and puppy class (only about 10 miles), I decided to take him with me to the airport to pick up my parents (it's more like 30 miles, each way). It was an interesting trip. First off, I have a car harness for Theo. He hates it because he's trapped in the back seat when all he wants is to be close to me. Awww, how cute! The car harness is actually too big for him because we didn't want to buy one when he was a puppy and one again when he was grown (they're expensive!). We rigged it so that it fits him most of the time, but sometimes he's magically able to squeeze out of it...the little devil! So as I was driving down the freeway I saw a puppy prop up on the back of my seat in the rear view mirror. I glanced back and see Theo looking happy to be free of the restraint and triumphant over his escape. Somehow I was able to get him into my lap without Theo hurting himself and without killing everyone around me. I was a little apprehensive about driving with a dog in my lap, but once there Theo actually stayed put very well. (I know, I know, bad julo for driving on the freeway with a dog in my lap!)

Once we got to the airport Theo was all over the place. There were planes taking off and so much hustle and bustle! Once I picked him up and we got inside, we was fine. As I was checking on my parents' flight, a woman who works for a cruise line came up to me and started doting on Theo, which of course he loved. She started with how beautiful his marking are and then went on and on about how I should show him and how I should breed him and telling me that I'll regret it if I have him neutered. It was very odd and very forward. I told her I didn't know anything about showing dogs and I definitely didn't know anything about breeding puppies. But she still, in a very friendly manner, told me he was meant for breeding. She didn't convince me of anything except that she had paid Theodore a very nice compliment. :)

If you want a good way to socialize your puppy, take him to the airport! There's not a huge amount of dog traffic, but there are tons of people and of course, dogs are allowed. There were just a ton of people who wanted to pet him or feed him a cookie or just tell me that they thought he was beautiful. And Theo just stayed in my arms without struggling or whining. He did great.

The plan for every weekend until I leave for Reno is to take Theo on a nice long car ride to get him more used to it. He's never gotten car sick, so I don't think that'll be an issue (I'd probably get car sick before he did!). I think the biggest problem will be getting him used to being restrained. Once he gets used to that, I'm guessing he'll just sleep most of the trip (*fingers crossed!!!*). Also, since we're taking his crate with us, we'll probably just keep him in there for at least part of the drive, and I know he's ok in there. It should be interesting!