Puppy Class: Week Six

Just one more week left of puppy school!

Lucy made her triumphant return to class last night after missing last week due to her surgeries. She was ecstatic to be there! I wish I had someone there to take photos because she is hilarious with her energy and enthusiasm. She also chose to spend any time the owners were receiving instructions sniffing around the edges of the classroom looking for any small scrap of a treat, making it sound like we had a pig searching for truffles in the class. Elegant she is not.

We learned a few new behaviors this week, including “leave it.” Not Lucy’s strong point so we have lots of work to do. Next week there is a competition with prizes for the puppies who do well with each behavior. I am all for freebies, so this week Lucy and I will be training hard. The down side to all the training is that Lucy only obeys when she is certain I have a treat in my hand; no wonder I have a fat dog.

And this was pretty much her reaction when I told her we were going to practice later today:

“No treats, no practice.”

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Today, two pictures that show how in some ways Lucy still looks like a teeny, tiny puppy and in other ways she does….not.

I snapped the photo below on my way out the door for work; she looks so tiny on the couch!

She doesn’t even take up one whole cushion!

And yet somehow when I want to sit on the couch, she finds a way to take up nearly the entire sofa…

No room for you!

(and yes, the photos were taken on the same day, 10 hours apart!)

Keep in mind the latter picture tells more of the truth. She was too fat to fit into the Halloween costume I bought her 😦

The Many Tongues of Lucy

I’d say at least 50% of the time Lucy’s got her tongue sticking out of her mouth. No idea why, but it’s almost always out. Below are the many tongues of Lucy…

The “what are you look at?” tongue

The “I’m hungover” tongue

The “I’m bored” tongue

The “I only look like I’m asleep” tongue

The “I’m really asleep this time” tongue

Keep in mind snoring accompanies nearly all of these tongue faces (asleep or not) so it’s really quite entertaining to bum with Lucy on the couch (Yes, the couch. I am a pushover).

Best Twelve Bucks Ever

Lucy has an obsession with her stuffed pink elephant (which is really pink elephant #2). I got her first one (and her second, and soon to be third…) at Petsmart for something like $12 and it’s the best $12 I’ve spent in a while. She chews on it, she plays tug with it, she plays fetch with it. She shakes it around, tosses it across the room and brings it into her bed with her. She even spends an inordinate amount of time licking it.

“What?”

She gives rides to her elephant.

Best buds

Giving it the smell test. Nope, still smells new…not good.

Squishy face

And even a cone can’t keep her away from her beloved elephant.

Reunited, at long last.

Recovery (and Alien Poop)

Lucy’s recovery has been shockingly smooth. She does not like the cone but has managed to (awkwardly) navigate around the apartment and outside with it. The best is watching her drink water out of the bowl – her cone covers the entire the bowl like a lampshade!

She sleeps pretty well with it on (and even manages to get up on the couch with it on and sleep there – not happy about that). Here’s a shot of her all stretched out, on the floor for once, and you can see her stitches look great.

All stapled up!

So cute with her cone on, tongue out, and legs crossed:

Paws crossed like a little lady (for once!)

However, one unexpected and gross part of her recovery was the alien poop she squeezed out a day or two after her surgery. Words cannot describe it. Marty wanted me to take a picture of it but I thought I’d spare everyone. Let’s just say it looked like a large, black, fake turd. It was shiny, large, really squishy and had not changed shape or appearance after two days out in the grass (we kept it there as a science experiment to see if it would change. It did not). Thank god that only lasted a day or two and I’m going to chalk it up to the meds, not our fantastically strange dog.

A Couch Dog

A couch dog is NOT what Lucy was supposed to be. Growing up, none of our dogs were ever, ever allowed on the couch or even upstairs for that matter. For some reason I don’t remember it ever even being an issue; maybe it was my dad’s death stare or some really good training, but our dogs never got on the couch.

It was (and is) my full intention that Lucy would be the same. There was no reason for her to be on the couch; we play with her plenty on the floor and she has her own (semi-expensive) bed that she seemed to adore. Plus, if we allowed her on the couch then essentially she’d have access to all areas of our apartment. Dogs want to be physically elevated to the same level as the pack leaders (which in an ideal world are me and Marty) so in order to maintain our status as “pack leaders,” she shouldn’t be allowed on the couch.

However, Lucy finally got the “ups” (to quote Marty) to propel herself onto the couch. Every time she did so, I lifted her back onto the ground. Things started shifting right before her surgeries, though.

Example #1: Marty giving her extra hugs on the couch the night before surgery

Being a princess and getting hugs and snuggles on the couch

Example #2: This was the sight I was greeted with when walking into the apartment after work one day:

Exploring her new surroundings

 

Example #3: This is the scene I walked into after a late night at work:

Dead asleep, even in the cone of shame.

(Please note the fact that Marty is doing nothing to remove her from the couch and has in fact laid out a towel for her).

Lucy now rules our apartment, and especially Marty 🙂

Lucy’s Home!

Monday morning Lucy went into surgery for what turned into four surgical procedures. They were all necessary; the doctor spayed her, fixed her cherry eye and did two procedures to help her breathe better for the longterm.

The vet called around lunchtime on Monday to say the surgeries were over and Lucy was in recovery and doing well. He said that assuming she’d be able to keep food down, I could take her home on Tuesday.

He called again early Tuesday morning and said Lucy was good to go, so I hopped in the car and went to pick up the social butterfly of the surgeon’s office. The nurses there did NOT want her to leave. They kept asking if I had to take her back 🙂

I think she was happy to see me but was pretty groggy and out of it. This was her for pretty much the whole car ride home..

Not a happy camper.

Overall she looks a LOT better than I expected. You can barely tell her eye had surgery, her nose looks great and she’s moving without any restrictions at all. The only problem is that she cannot seem to walk without ramming her head into the ground because of the “cone of shame” she’s forced to wear for two weeks. I feel horribly for her but you can’t help but giggle just a little bit at a dog in a cone.

A floating head with no body!

I think she’s thirsty so I’ve been giving her water out of a water bottle (the cone makes it rather difficult to drink out of a bowl) but it gets kind of messy…

Licking up the remnants of the water I made a mess with while trying to give her a drink.

She also has not quite gotten the hang of moving around with the cone.

“I’m stuck and I can’t get out!”

Fortunately she’s figured out a way to gnaw on her beloved pink elephant.

Glad to be back at home with her toys!

 

A Social Butterfly

We had to drop Lucy off at the veterinary surgeon on Sunday night. The vet’s office is nearly an hour and a half away and she needed to be there by 7 a.m. on Monday so they said we could drop her off the night before to avoid an extra-early morning on Monday.

On Saturday night (and well into Sunday), I gave her extra hugs and walks. Surgery for bulldogs is risky so while I’m sure she’ll be just fine, I was (am), a little nervous. However, someone went above and beyond simply a few extra hugs and kisses.

Keep in mind, house rule is that Lucy is not allowed on the couch.

So, late Sunday evening we made the trek to Plains, Pa. to drop her off at the vet. Lucy, of course, had no idea where we were going and why, but she loves car rides so it was an easy trip. Once we got there, we had a bit of a wait and Lucy got a bit anxious because no one was paying attention to her (besides us, but apparently we don’t count). She started pulling on the leash, whining and pacing to get some attention.

Some restraint was necessary to keep Lucy from lunging at every person that walked by.

She was clearly getting tired of the wait…

“What’s the deal with all this standing around?”

Finally it was Lucy’s turn and all the nurses came out to fawn over Lucy. Her butt didn’t stop wiggling as the nurses took turns petting her and lavishing her with attention. In fact, at one point one of the nurses called her a “social butterfly.” And just like that they took her away down the hall and she was gone 😦

The vet called me early this morning to let me know Lucy was first up for surgery today and that she was doing great. He said she wouldn’t stop giving everyone kisses and that she was so happy she wouldn’t even stay still long enough for him to give her a quick exam!

Crossing my fingers that in a few hours I get a call that everyone went extremely well and I can pick up a healthy Lucy tomorrow!

Puppy Class: Week Four

Last night was our fourth week of puppy school and it was another fun and productive night! For the beginning of class we worked on what we learned last week but added in a bit more loose leash walking. Basically the dogs learn where they are supposed to walk in relation to your body by luring them with treats. It’s really easy when all they’re doing is following a treat around!

Lucy does get a bit distracted by the other dogs, though, and got herself so excited that at one point she puked, so that was fun. She does that semi-frequently, though, so while everyone else may have been horrified, it’s pretty routine for us 🙂

Then we moved on to entirely new drills like “drop it,” something  Lucy did not pick up on at ALL during class. We were supposed to swap out one treat (a  rawhide) for another so when she dropped the first treat for the second she was rewarded. Yeah, well, she didn’t want to drop the rawhide which made it rather difficult to praise her for dropping something she wouldn’t drop. Ah well, I guess we have a lot of practicing to do this week.

And for some reason despite a full hour of drills and socializing, Lucy comes home still full of energy! For at least the next hour she’s running around, playing with her toys and jumping all over Marty while I’m dead on the couch.  Finally she finds a place to crash…UNDER her bed.

Of course, why would she actually want to sleep IN the $50 bed I bought her.

Lucy’s Mornings

Our mornings are generally the same, even on the weekends. Wake up at the ass-crack of dawn, workout, feed Lucy, go to work. So here is a pictorial look at how Lucy spends her mornings.

Dead asleep while I workout

Sometimes she gets a bit antsy waiting for me to finish up so she frequently occupies herself by doing this:

There is a dog under there

After I’m done working out, it’s playtime.

One of her three tennis balls (spoiled dog)

Then she moves onto her pink elephant.

Pink elephant #2

Playtime doesn’t last too long, however, because pretty soon she’s giving me the look of “feed me, dammit.”

Hungry dog

After she eats, which takes all of 60 seconds, I head upstairs to get ready for work and this is what I come downstairs to…

“Can I help you?”

After I drag her butt out the door one last time to do her business, that’s pretty much where she stays until lunchtime. Rough life.