Growling & Barking

We found a baseball in the park yesterday which he was extremely possessive over. Lots of mean growling, and lately he has been doing a lot more barking, particularly in the backyard with his (favourite orange) ball. He barks if you don’t come get it and throw it, but he barks if you approach it, and darts in and barks if you reach for it, as if to nip. It is rather alarming, not to mention the barking just feels insulting as I can’t do anything right. So yesterday and today I have just been approaching him with it and offering treats, giving him treats for putting it down, etc. Normally if he put it down, I would grab it and throw it, but now I am feeding and then backing away and encouraging him to get the ball back himself. I suspect he might be frustrated because it is more difficult to take possession of the ball while wearing the cone, and since he can’t pick it up, he vocalizes.

Other reasons he may be vocalizing more in general:

– excess energy because he can’t/won’t do anything with the cone on

– more opportunities here (backyard) to practice this behaviour with no bad consequences

– rewarded with attention, food, or being let in to the house

I am trying to prevent him from getting upset enough (i.e. when left alone) to whine or bark, but sometimes I fail and he begins. I can (miserably, all the while beating myself up) wait him out, but the other occupants of the house cannot, and they either call him away for attention (thus rewarding it) or shoo him (also rewarding it because dogs do not understand words, only attention).

Problems dog. God forbid, however, that I express any of my misgivings or grievances regarding this dog, lest I be punished with “told you so”s until I am plastered in them, unable to move or think.

Energy

At various points today, PNUT has been a flaming bouncing ball of energy. He has also been more vocal in general lately. I am not a fan of this. Right now he is whining and staring at me from his “bedroom” aka the bathroom, as he does every night since getting the cone. I’m not quite sure how to reward quiet, since he is normally quiet, and the only way I can reward him is if I go over there, but if I went over there, he would stop whining anyway.

*20 minutes later*

I told him to go into his crate, and stay, as I went to retrieve some freeze dried sweet potato chips. I rewarded him immediately upon returning because he had stayed and not vocalized; I then continued rewarding him at short but random intervals as he remained quiet, as well as rewarding for relaxed behaviours such as lying down, putting down his head, and turning away from me. For fear that he may actually be expressing a need to pee and not just dissatisfaction with his location, we then left the room to go outside. Of course, he did not pee. He spent maybe 10 seconds sniffing the grass and then sat at the doorway. Now he is begging for food from my sister. This allows me to sit quietly and not half focus on clicking and treating every few seconds.

I have to put in a conscious effort to use short sentences. When I reread what I have typed, it seems like a lot of non sequiturs. Feel free to leave comments on my writing style; I used to love semi colons until a TA in a music course made me get rid of every single one in my 10 page essay and exclaimed “Ugh, what’s up with all the semi-colons everywhere! You kids these days are obsessed with them!”. Hmph, I thought. I like them. Also, I used to produce a sewing blog, and I loved the writing I did for it. It was so…advanced, yet humourous. It makes me look like a simpleton here in comparison.

On the topic of energy, I like to live on the edge and plug in my laptop to charge at the very last second when it gives me the about to die warning. Because I don’t have enough stress in my life.

Moving on, Peanut dragged his rear on the ground today and his scab rubbed off, leaving a red raw wound which hopefully will heal nicely and not be half skin and half dirt/grass as his previous scab was. I just realized the chlorhexidine label recommends only using it for 7 days. The painkillers were also provided for 7 days. My personal almost entirely uneducated opinion is that he needed at most 4 days of painkiller, but the chlorhexidine should continue to be applied for more than 7 days. I simply can’t wait until he is back to normal!

Speaking of normal, he had the cone off for half an hour this morning (don’t fret dear readers, he was being held to prevent wound access) and spent the entire time licking his legs and paws. This is an activity consistent with the diagnosis of a food allergy, which was suggested by the vet in response to his anal sac abscess. I never considered his licking particularly abnormal before, but now that I think about it, he does spend a significant amount of time licking himself. The book “Dog Food Logic”* suggests that beef, soy, and dairy are the most common allergens for dogs. Time for more research!

Oh yes, this post was to be about nutnut’s energy level. Yes, today I was trying to plan my course schedule for next term when I was lovingly attacked by a jumping, spinning, and panting dog who would not leave me alone! I’m not sure where his sudden burst of glee originated, but it merited immediate attention in the form of a nice walk. He continued to be jumpy and stretchy and loving all day.

And we saw a skunk in the neighbourhood for the second day in a row! Or, to be specific, I saw it and pnut did not. Thankfully. Also an Eagle in the field, with crows dive bombing it and cawing like mad! As pnut and I entered the park, the grand and majestic Eagle took off with a carcass firmly gripped in its claws. Good riddance! I have heard stories of Eagles (do I need to be capitalizing “Eagle”? whatever) stealing small dogs for lunchtime snacks, and I like my small dog please and thank you very much.

Getting away from scary ol' P-NUT as fast as he can

Getting away from scary ol’ P-NUT as fast as he can

* “Dog Food Logic : Making Smart Decisions for Your Dog in an Age of Too Many Choices” by Linda P. Case, M.S., published by Dogwise. I purchased a copy for myself and one for a friend after reading this review by Eileen of eileenanddogs. She runs a fantastic blog and highly recommends the book (God forbid I think for myself)!