Cheese & Hot Dogs

I’m not sure why I was so brain dead the first couple of days when I had to clean dog’s wounds and didn’t use food at all. I mean, he may never like it, but it can at least be a little more tolerable when yummies¬†are involved! So today I grabbed the hot dogs and stuffed a couple in his face when I had a spare hand. My kind Mother holds him every day for the cleaning (terrible that he has to be forcibly restrained, I know ūüė¶ ) and this morning he scratched her arms up good in his efforts to escape. But by the evening cleaning, he was much calmer about it. That is only three short trials using food, after two days of not, and already results are obvious! Note to self: don’t be a dummy; use food!

But where does the cheese come in? Every time he gets his 3 half pills of antibiotic, which is twice a day, I wrap each half in a bit of cheese. Yum! Cheese! And what a perfect time to train, when he is already getting delicious cheese. So yesterday and today, when I have given him the cheese in private, I preceded it with a tissue near the cone in order to counter condition to paper near his face. However, when other people were around, I felt terribly stupid doing so. Instead I settled for saying his name. In conclusion, I did not do what I said I was going to, which was do sessions to counter condition him to tissues near the cone. I felt an odd sense of responsibility, like I ought to do what I wrote on my blog that I was going to do. Really though, who is keeping track?! Obligation to a blog is not a source of stress I need to add to my life.

In happy news, the dog took a couple of cheerful walks today, finally pooped, and had a great time trying to get his ball while wearing the cone. It was so funny! He gets the ball between his paws, but can’t reach it with his mouth. He ends up trying to bite it through the cone, or pawing it until it is batted away and then runs and pounces on it. Endless hours of entertainment and I didn’t even have to chase him around to steal the ball! * And when I took him out for the first walk, he was so cheery, he practically bounced along the street! We ran into my Dad at the park (who was literally running). We had seen him maybe 5 minutes prior but Peanut jumped right up on him in a joyful greeting stretch. What a cutie.

In 100% not dog news, I painted a postcard today. I am proud.

*If I wanted to/was smart, I could use clicker training/shaping/positive reinforcement to teach him to bring me the ball and drop it at my feet or in my hand. I prefer to suffer.



36 hours without peeing?!

To the best of my knowledge, a solid 36 hours have now passed since pnutbuttercakes last expelled any of the contents of his bladder. I find this hard to believe, and expect that him having peed in the night, or somewhere without my noticing, must be far more likely. In an case, I do hope that he pees soon.

He has attempted to bite me* three times now when I had a paper product near his face while it was trapped in the cone. This is surprising, given that he normally has no problems with these items. In fact, he, like many other dogs, quite enjoys eating tissues, dirty or clean. Why in the world would you let this happen three times?! you ask. Why didn’t you stop and counter condition after the first time, or if not then, for pete’s sake after the second, surely it was obvious then! you exclaim. Well, d’oh. I don’t know. I was feeling tough love I guess, but there is no excuse for exposing him to something so upsetting. He has never snapped at me, not since the very first day that I met him.

I find myself frustrated and hurt when he squirms, jumps away, or snaps at me. I should know that (in some cases, not this tissue situation) causing him discomfort is unavoidable, though it can and should be mitigated if at all possible with cheese and other edible delights. And I most certainly should not have continued to shove tissues in his face. What was I thinking?! How awful. It certainly makes me thankful though, that I opted to muzzle him in the vet’s office.

Tomorrow I will counter conditioning him to having tissues and paper towels near his face and used on the cone. I expect this to take one day. However, I recognize more and more lately the importance of proceeding very slowly and staying where the dog is comfortable. I notice that he really does proceed faster when I proceed slower (clear as mud, I know). Therefore, I will keep him below threshold; that is, I will keep the scary paper products far enough away that he does not feel panicked or threatened at any point. If he snaps, I am far far too close.

Overall, taking care of this sick dog who probably feels like bleep is making me similarly feel like bleep. It is draining and so upsetting. I hate to see him in pain, I hate to cause him pain, and I greatly dislike keeping an eagle eye on the location of his rear end to make sure a blanket is between it and any other surface. I must work hard to have patience and empathy; it is all too easy to respond in anger.

Oh, also? He can push the collar down is neck by bashing into walls or the ground, and then reach his bum to lick it. These e-collars are appallingly ineffective.


* I say “attempted to” loosely, because if he wanted to bite me, he would bite me. What he was really doing was warning me that if I continue, he might bite.