Sleep Like A Dog

Sadie had a great January!  The weather has been unseasonably warm and Sadie has enjoyed lots of long walks and backyard play sessions.

Sadie visited the Vet to get blood drawn to renew her heartworm medication.  She is not yet full-grown, but weighed in at a very fit 30 pounds.  The Vet said she was doing great!  We celebrated with a new collar and of course, more bones!  😉

We are still working on the proper greetings (aka no jumping) and ALWAYS coming when called, but her obedience is going well.

Sadie also hit a mini-milestone… drum roll please…

She no longer sleeps in her cage at night!!  Sadie loves the new sleeping arrangement.

I bought her a new bed with sides for her head.  It sits where her cage was, next to our bed.  She spends most of the night in her bed and usually jumps up on our bed for an early morning snuggle.  I get a cold nose wake-up call when it’s breakfast time.  🙂

Her old bed was moved into the office.  She usually keeps us company when we work on the computer.

She still has a cage in our family room that she goes into when we leave the house.  We haven’t started letting her have run of the house, yet…

Sadie has some exciting plans for February… we’ll keep you all updated.  Have a good week!

No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.  ~Carrie Snow

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Caught On Tape!

Yesterday was a glorious day!  The weather was amazing and I think we’ve ended the separation stress!

I started out the morning with a play session inside and then we went on a 45 minute walk.

We played a little more in the backyard when we returned home.  Sadie was tired and went into her crate when we got back in the house.  I closed the door and watched a little TV while she fell asleep.  I got up and moved around the house doing some chores.  I also made lunch and ate it!  She watched me, but didn’t cry.  She eventually went back to sleep.  I went upstairs and stayed out of sight for 30 minutes.  Totally quiet downstairs.  She slept.

I let her out and fed her lunch.  We went outside a had a very small play/potty session.  I decided to make a quick trip to the dry cleaners.  I put her in her crate and set up the video camera.  I left the house the way I always do, but I did not shut the garage door.

When I returned 15 minutes later…. quiet.  I found a sleeping dog that was looking at me like, oh, your home?!

I eagerly rewound the tape (yep, tape… our video camera is 10 years old… we never use it!  I had to tape over a Vegas trip because where do I find VHS mini-tapes!  LOL!)  and watched the video…. Sadie slept the entire time, no whining, no crying.  🙂

A friend came over for a visit in the afternoon, and it was a good day for ice cream, so I put Sadie back into her crate and I set the video recorder again.  We were gone for 30 minutes.  This time I went out the front door.  She was quiet when I left and quiet when I returned.  The video evidence… a sleeping dog!  🙂

Around 4pm, Sadie and I wanted to enjoy the glorious weather and went on another 45 minute walk.  Sadie loved the walk and met a number of children who LOVED her!  It was funny to walk by people who didn’t acknowledge Sadie… she looked offended that they didn’t pet her and tell her she was beautiful!  Upon our return to the backyard, Sadie “played” with her neighbor friends through the fence.  We have plans to play in one yard, soon!

I decided to put Sadie in her crate one last time.  I went to the gym for 45 minutes.  Video tape recording.  This time I went out the garage door and closed the door.

She was just waking up when I walked in the door.  Very calm.  Video evidence…. 45 minutes of sleeping.  No crying, no whining!  🙂

I was on cloud nine yesterday and slept so much better… it was like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders!  I’m not sure what made the change.  I did increase the walk from 30 to 45 minutes.  I did make her crate VERY comfortable.  It used to have just a towel, but when she slept better upstairs on the big comfy dog bed, I decided to put a pillow in her downstairs crate, too.  Maybe it just clicked with her that we do return.  I’m going to continue to tape while I’m out this week, just to make sure yesterday wasn’t a fluke day.  And the 45 minute walks will continue, too!  🙂  It’s supposed to be 76 degrees today… so, we’re off to spend the day outdoors!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

 

Optimism

Yesterday morning we woke up after a good night’s sleep to discover that the left side of Sadie’s face was swollen.

It continued to swell during the morning.  It was very tender to the touch, too.  By the time we went to the scheduled vet appointment, she looked more like a pit bull puppy, not a springer!

She slept a lot during the day, but she ate normally and played in the snow.  Yes, snow!  Don’t worry, it is melting as I type and it will be 70 on Thursday!  Ha!

After the morning snow play, we went inside and I gave Sadie half a frozen banana.

She loved it!  Yum-O!

The vet appointment went well.  She weighs 10 pounds!  She received her scheduled vaccination shot and got a much-needed evaluation on her facial swelling.  The vet said it looked like muscle swelling only, not bone damage.  He said she may have gotten her muzzle stuck between the crate bars or it was due to the chewing and biting the crate cover.  He gave her a shot to help with the discomfort and swelling.  He also gave me a few pills to give her over the next 3 days.  He said to monitor the swelling, and that it should go down in 24 – 48 hours.  I am happy to report it is 90% better this morning!  Exhale.

He told me to continue with crating her when we leave.  He agreed the cover may have made her more upset than being able to see the entire room.  He suggested we set up a video recorder to tape what she does while we are gone.  We need to determine if she screams the entire time we are gone versus intermittently.  I am going to set up our old-school video recorder and see what happens.  More to come…

Sadie is on the mend and I am hopeful this will work itself out.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It has been a roller-coaster of a weekend.  I didn’t post yesterday because the weather was so beautiful that I spent the day playing with Sadie.  Love the blog, but the blog is nothing without spending time with our lady!  🙂

The Good

Potty training is going so well!  Sadie is ringing the bells to potty and rarely rings just to play.  We have been accident free for days, maybe even a week!

Sleeping at night is so much better, too!  Sadie is sleeping well in her crate and will respond to my sleep command if she tries to wake too early.  I usually hate Spring Forward (day light savings) because you lose a very precious hour of sleep.  Not this year!  It tricked Sadie into thinking it was 5am when it was now 6 am!  I have big plans for 6:45am tomorrow!  🙂

Walking on the leash is going very well.  Sadie loves it and with the gorgeous weather, we take 2 or 3 walks a day!  As her confidence builds, she is surging ahead and I see pulling in her future.  I’ll have to get on the training for nice leash walking soon.

I just registered Sadie for puppy school, it starts in a few weeks.   Lots of training to come.

The Bad & Ugly

Sadie is not doing well when we leave.  She has some pretty intense separation issues.  It doesn’t have anything to do with the crate.  I have done everything you are supposed to do to get your dog to like being in a crate.

It is comfortable.  It has toys.  I put this cover over the crate to make it den-like.  I feed her food inside the crate.  She gets treats for going into the crate.  She gets treats for being quite in the crate.  It is not the crate.  She likes the crate.  She’ll go inside the crate while we are home, she sleeps well in the crate.  She HATES being alone.

I left her for 2 hours today to go and train for the half-marathon.  Before I left, we went on a walk and played in the backyard with the frisbee and tennis ball.  She was tired.  When I left, the crate looked like the picture above.  I left the TV on, playing classical music.  I left her with a Kong stuffed with a Kong bone.

When I got home, I decided to sneak into the house through the front door.  I parked in the driveway and immediately heard Sadie crying!  Oh, boy.  I pulled into the garage and braced myself for what to expect.

Sadie had chewed up the crate cover.  She untied some of the ties and destroyed other areas.  Not sure if you can tell, but there was a little blood on the fabric from her chewing… she lost 2 baby teeth in the process!  She peed a little in the crate and turned over her bedding.  She ate the treat, but only until it got difficult to get more.  Once the piece sticking out of the Kong was gone, she gave up.  It should have kept her busy for a while, but she didn’t keep at it.  She had drooled a ton!

When I let her out, she ran straight to the water bowl and then we went outside.  After a hello and play session, we went upstairs for me to take a shower.  Sadie was so exhausted, she walked into her crate and went to sleep!

After the shower & lunch, she went back into the family room crate and finished her treat.  I let her, so the crate continues to have good associations.  Now she is sleeping inside THE crate, minus the cover.

I’m at a loss.  We have a vet appointment tomorrow for Sadie’s next round of vaccines.  I’m going to talk to him.  I don’t want to feel trapped at home and I do not want Sadie stressed out for hours while we are gone.  I am thinking about letting her have the family room while we are gone to see if that is better.  Marcus thinks that is a bad idea… he repeats, “it’s not the crate, it’s the separation”.  He said she’ll destroy our family room if we leave her out to roam.  I think he may be right, but what next?

I’d give you a ‘Fistful of Dollars’ to solve this problem!  🙂

Wanna Go For A Walk!?!

Yesterday I was losing the stick eating battle.  Sadie was more interested in eating sticks than playing with the frisbee or tennis ball.  Not only is that a dangerous habit, but it wasn’t burning off her energy.  I had big plans for her crate training and a better nights sleep, so exercise was a priority.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to put the frisbee in her mouth and see if she would walk on her leash down a few houses.

As you can see, Sadie was excited for this new adventure.

She actually dropped the frisbee after a few houses, but did not pick up anything to replace it.  She was really into the walk, so we continued down the street.  She walks really well on a leash.  She does not pull or lag behind, we walked at a good pace with her crossing a little in front of me.  A great starting point. We ended up walking a square block.

When we returned home, I put Sadie in her crate for a crate training session.  I stuffed her Kong with a slice of frozen banana.  She loved it, and it was a pretty successful session.

We went on two more walks that day with another crate training session in between.

A reward for being quite, I gave Sadie a piece of sweet potato jerky.  She really liked the treat.

I fed Sadie both lunch and dinner in her crate.  We are making good progress.

We were both exhausted around 9pm last night and headed up to bed.  The comfy bed in the full-sized crate went very well last night.  She was a sound sleeper for 4 solid hours.  I actually woke up at 1 am and decided to take her potty, worried about how large the crate was.  She was asleep.  She went potty and I offered her water and she went right back to sleep.  She did wake up at 2:30am.  I took her out because I gave her water… not going to do that tonight.  🙂  She went back to sleep, but woke up around 3am.  I decided (right then and there) that I was training her, she was not going to train me. I knew she really didn’t have to potty and I was comfortable that she is doing well in her crate and responds to my commands.  I told her no and to go to bed.  She did!  She tried to wake me up again a few more times, but quickly responded to my no commands.  At 4:45 she woke me up and I knew she wanted breakfast.  I was laying in bed, thinking, if I don’t nip this in the bud, she’ll push breakfast to 3am!  🙂

I took her potty at 4:45 and put her back to sleep.  She didn’t love it, but went to sleep.  This lasted until 5:15.  Still too early for me.  I told her no, she cried a little, but went back to sleep.  I woke up around 5:45 and decided to wake her up.  I wanted to get up on my terms, not her cries, so I didn’t want to push my luck.

I know this sounds dreadful, but it was actually a very positive night.  I feel more rested today and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I should mention that although Marcus didn’t say anything this morning about the crying, he did turn up the white noise machine at 4:45.  🙂

The weather is supposed to be 60 and sunny today, so Sadie and I are headed out for a nice, long walk.

Puppyhood Struggles

Yesterday was a soggy and sloppy play day.

I love spring, but I’d like it more if the ground was dry.  🙂

Sadie had a few very fun and muddy play sessions in the back yard.  Giving her a bath seemed like a waste, since she would just get dirty a few hours later.  I used this old towel to clean her up and some puppy bath wipes on her paws.  They are sort of like baby wipes, but formulated for dogs.  They get the job done for days like today.  Sadie is very agreeable to being towel dried, you just have to watch the need to chew.  I usually put a toy in her mouth and it makes for faster work!  She is very compliant with being on her back, letting me play with her ears and feet!

I went to the pet store yesterday and bought a puppy Nylabone and a traditional puppy Kong for Sadie.  The Nylabone went over very well for the first 15 minutes.  It was the shiny, new toy.  🙂  Then it faded into the back ground.  I was hoping it would be loved like the rawhide.  Not quite.

I bought the Kong for a longer treat while she is crated when I run errands.  I filled it with peanut butter and put it in the freezer.  We gave her the Kong while we went to the gym last night.  I made a few “first-timer” mistakes.  Go figure.  🙂

I wanted it to be a special treat associated with the crate, so I waited until right before we left to give it to her.  I tossed it in the crate and she jumped in and we were off.

When we returned, it was clear that she did enjoy it for a while.  She licked it half way down.  Her bedding (towels) was overturned, which tells me she did some crying and digging after she lost interest in the Kong.

My mistake was in not teaching Sadie how to use the Kong.  I read about that this morning in searching about Kong stuffing ideas.  But, it turns out that was a bit of a blessing.  You shouldn’t fill the Kong with just peanut butter because that amount of peanut butter can give them a tummy ache.  This morning I played with Sadie and the Kong to get her interested and to show her how to chew it and squeeze the yummy stuff out the end.

I am going to try again today with a new stuffing recipe.  I plan to put her dry food (lunch) in the Kong and “seal” it with some mashed banana.

I am hoping, with a daily routine of me leaving, she will get more comfortable being alone (and learn we will come back).  Daisy loved the “oh, they’re leaving” treats.  Hopefully, Sadie will too.

Our sleeping schedule is still a little off.  She goes to sleep great and sleeps for a few hours.  Then a potty break, no problems there.  The problem is that she gets up every hour or so starting around 3 am.  I know she doesn’t need to potty, but I take her outside, she will go pee, and then right back into the crate.  I think she just wants to be with us. I am torn with letting her cry at 3 am.  I don’t want to ignore potty cries and if I don’t let her do anything else, I’m hoping she will outgrow this phase – sooner, rather than later.  But, part of me thinks she likes the contact with me.  I should let her cry, but Marcus has to actually function at work the next day… so I try to get her to quiet down.  I think Friday will be the night I see what happens when I let her cry it out.  If she keeps us up, at least it’ll be a Saturday that we are exhausted.  Who am I kidding, I am exhausted!  🙂

She has been running into the family room and laying in her plush dog bed when we first get back into the house from the early am potty breaks.  I’m going to try to put that in her crate to sleep on tonight.  It’s a long shot, but maybe she’ll be more comfortable and let me sleep.  🙂

The catch is that the divider needs to come out of the crate to fit the bed.  She is not peeing in her crate, so fingers crossed it stays that way!

It’s funny how you block out the puppyhood struggles once your dog turns into an adult.  I need sleep!

Sadie hopes your day is ‘rawhide’ good!

Playing in the Rain

What a fantastic Friday!  Sadie has made some great progress in the last 24 hours.

I left the house for 2 separate errand trips and left Sadie in her crate with different treats to keep her busy.

Trip #1 was to the boring dry cleaner & grocery shopping.  I left Sadie for just under an hour with a Kong puppy bone.  The ends were filled with peanut butter.  I put the bone in the freezer to harden up the peanut butter.  It is a trick to make the treat last longer.  I know she loves it, but it makes a mess.  I had to wash the crate blanket when I got home, it had peanut butter spread on it.  Maybe because I filled both ends?  Another tip about this treat – I bought a natural peanut butter made by Jiff that is low sodium with no additional weird ingredients.  It was half the price of the Kong peanut butter and all natural.

http://astore.amazon.com/taiwag00-20

Trip #2 was to the bank and Target!  Love Target!!!  I had to return the 2nd crate I bought there, it was too small for a full-grown Sadie.  I found a better quality crate that was the correct size plus free shipping from Amazon.  A no brainer.  This time I left Sadie with her chewy.  I only give it to her in her crate so it is special.

Sadie did better in her crate each time I left.  Both trips she was crying a little when I returned, but it was not out of control.

As soon as I put the new crate together in our bedroom, Sadie went in and fell asleep.  I was tired too, so I shut her door and laid down on the bed.  It took me awhile to turn off my brain, so by the time I was drifting off, she woke up.  But, she is really taking to the crates.  I am very glad we have one on each floor of our house.

I put Sadie in her crate while I made dinner.  She did great.  I let her out while I made a special treat for Marcus.  In Canada, near our cottage, they are called Chelsea Rolls, in the States we call them sticky buns or cinnamon rolls.

Sadie has been doing well letting us know when she needs to go potty, so I wanted to let her play in our family room while I was in the kitchen.  But, she loves to go upstairs and wander around and play, so I needed to gate off the living room and close the kitchen door to prevent her having access to the stairs.

She played for a while in the family room and I even saw her sitting in her crate.  Then she started bringing her toys into the kitchen to play.

Eventually she got tired and curled up next to my feet and went to sleep.

She was out cold… I wanted to empty the dishwasher, but I didn’t have the heart to move her.  Ok, I didn’t really want to empty the dishwasher.  🙂

A severe thunder-storm rolled into town after dinner that brought torrential down pours, lightning and thunder.  Sadie did not have a problem with any of it.  I was standing outside with her, waiting for the after dinner potty to happen, in the crazy elements and she was acting like it was no big deal.  She had no sense of urgency… prancing, sniffing and of course picking up sticks with her mouth!  🙂

And, how did sleeping during the night go?  Fan-freaking-tastic!!  Can you hear the angels singing?  LOL!

Sadie went into her crate at 10pm with NO crying.  (I went to the gym after dinner and ran 4.5 miles and proceeded to drink a lot of water.)  I actually woke up at 12:30am thinking ‘oh great, Sadie is still sleeping and I have to go to the bathroom!’  🙂

We went out at 12:30am and she went right back to sleep.  She woke up at 4:30am for another potty and then went right back to sleep.  She did get up at 5:15 for breakfast, but I’m hoping daylight savings will push that to 6ish soon!  🙂