It’s Like She Knows

Snowy is set to go to her forever home tomorrow morning. She may be set but I am not. However, as I told my mom, it’s not like this ending is exactly a shocker. The point of fostering is to get them better and then let them go.

We haven’t done anything terribly different the past few days – work on Friday, work on Saturday, bum time today – but it’s as if Snowy knows she’s leaving us because she’s been extra cuddly.

Quite comfy on Daddy's lap.

Quite comfy on Daddy’s lap.

For the past two months or so, Snowy has gotten into a routine of coming up into our bedroom every night after she’s let out for the last time and crawling right into her dog bed which is on my side of the bed. It’s been working great – she’s with us at night but not with us in our bed and she falls right asleep.

Well, this afternoon I went upstairs to take my normal Sunday afternoon nap and Snowy came upstairs with me, as she usually does. And then she crawled up onto our bed.

Not Snowy's bed.

Not Snowy’s bed.

It’s been months since she tried to get up onto our bed but she hopped right up this afternoon and I absolutely didn’t have the heart to make her get down. We only have her for one more night and I selfishly I wanted her snuggle with me this afternoon. So we took one last nap together. 🙂

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A Christmas Miracle

We survived seven days, four long car rides and 11 hours of driving with two adults, two (gaseous) bullies and a car filled to the brim with gifts! And it was all totally worth it as we had a truly wonderful Christmas in New Jersey with my family and Marty’s.

I’m not going to lie, Marty and I (ok, mostly me) were pretty nervous about spending an entire week on the road with the dogs. Lucy would be fine, I knew, but Snowy is still a bit skittish around new people, not to mention the fact that she still regularly craps and pees on our carpet.

Both dogs far exceeded our expectations! Snowy was so much less skittish, had ZERO accidents and she and Lucy were great buddies on the trip, cuddling together in the car and in their bed.

Bully totem pole.

Bully totem pole.

We started the week in Northern New Jersey with my family.

"Helping" my dad open gifts.

“Helping” my dad open gifts.

Inspecting the loot.

Inspecting the loot.

Even though Lucy was still playing her usual game of “I’m afraid of Grandpa (my dad),” both dogs did great. Snowy was immediately comfortable, well-behaved and did tremendous during our 15-person Christmas dinner at my parents’ house. My aunt practically had a new dog as once she started petting Snowy, Snowy became butter and sat there for a good 10 minutes in pure heaven.

Me and Snowy

Me and Snowy

We hit the road the day after Christmas for Christmas Part II in Southern New Jersey. I have no idea how the dogs’ gas didn’t kill us during the car ride as they had some of the most toxic farts I’ve ever smelled, but we all made it there alive.

Marty has three nieces and a nephew and both his siblings live close to his parents so we got plenty of family time in. Marty’s youngest niece adores the dogs and literally ran Lucy ragged over our two-plus day visit!

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Yup, she took over an entire recliner.

Yup, she took over an entire recliner.

After that visit, we decided to confuse the doggies even further by traveling back to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s 60th 39th birthday on Saturday night. By then the doggies were too tired to do much of anything, let alone crap in the house (ahem, Snowy).

We hit the road Sunday morning for our last 2 1/2 car ride of the week – and year! – and now we’re back relaxing on the couch while Lucy and Snowy snore away.

It was a tiring but fantastic holiday week!

The Stress of Holiday Travel – Part I

Hard to believe, but one week ago Marty, Lucy, Snowy and I were in the midst of our 36 hours of Thanksgiving travel. As I mentioned before, I was pretty stressed out about traveling with Snowy for a whole bunch of reasons. For the past two weeks or so she had reverted back to leaving messes on our carpet pretty much every day. We think it’s due to separation anxiety but the last thing I wanted was to take her to visit families and have her make a mess everywhere.

Plus, she was in heat and we found out that some of the blood spots we were finding on the carpet were due to a small cut on the pad of her paw. Not exactly a great formula for being good house guests.

But, we figured that if separation anxiety was the main cause of her messes then we could keep that under control on the trip since she’d never be left alone.

Travel buddies

Travel buddies

As we were almost at Marty’s parents’ house I realized I’d forgotten to pack carpet cleaner so we made a pit stop to pick some up. I also packed Snowy’s disposable diapers. We hadn’t gotten the reusable ones from S.N.O.R.T. yet and I knew we needed something in case she was ever left alone.

All in all the trip wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. Snowy had zero accidents, slept in the guest room with us and we had minimal need for the carpet cleaner I insisted we stop to buy; there were a few tiny spots from her paws but that was it.

I did put a diaper on her during Thanksgiving dinner so we could eat in peace and not wonder what she was doing in the family room by herself but other than that it was totally manageable.

See, Mom? I'm an angel.

See, Mom? I’m an angel.

We’re a little worried when we take a longer trip over Christmas as we hope to spend upwards of six days in New Jersey visiting friends and family – at some point Snowy will be left alone and that’s when I’m worried her separation anxiety will kick in. Hopefully we’ll have her reusable diapers by then which will ease my mind a bit.

Just a cute picture of Lucy resting on Snowy's paw.

Just a cute picture of Lucy resting on Snowy’s paw.

But, this most recent trip was not nearly as stressful as I’d imagined it would be so I’m optimistic we’ll manage Christmas travel just fine.

36 Hours of Thanks

Phew, what a whirlwind of a Thanksgiving!

Their looks say it all - they are TIRED!

Their looks say it all – they are TIRED!

We left Selinsgrove early Thanksgiving morning and made the 3 1/2 hour trip to South Jersey to spend the day and night with Marty’s family. It was Snowy’s first long roadtrip with us and her first time taking an overnight trip!

As usual, Lucy was in her prime as she loves Marty’s family and Thanksgiving because that means people food!

Overseeing everything!

Overseeing everything!

Snowy was a real trooper. She was understandably freaked out; let’s just say it took a lot of convincing to even get her inside Marty’s parent’s house! And once she was in it took a while for her to settle in. In fact, she wouldn’t even leave her bed to eat dinner so we fed her in bed. Yes, she got served dinner in bed.

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However, once the people food was brought out and she got a few nibbles of turkey she warmed up quite quickly! Marty’s brother also brought over his dog Ramzee later in the evening so the girls got to meet him. Ramzee is old and can’t see or hear but the girls did very well with him!

Lucy and Ramzee

Lucy and Ramzee

By the time company left, we had two incredibly tired (and stuffed!) doggies!

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The next morning Snowy was back to her usual self – she greeted me in the morning with her normal “hoppy” dance (but still insisted on eating breakfast in bed – I think she was just milking us for all she could at that point).

Buuut, just when she was getting comfy we threw her for another loop; early Friday morning we packed up the car and made the two-plus hour trip up to my family in Northern New Jersey to spend the afternoon.

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Stop. Taking. My. Picture.

Stop. Taking. My. Picture.

Yup, still eating in bed.

Yup, still eating in bed.

Lucy is still scared of my dad so of course Snowy then became frightened of my dad but by the end of our visit both were letting him pet them and of course both doggies loved my mom! My mom and I took both dogs for a nice, but cold, walk around our neighborhood and they really enjoyed themselves. My mom is a big walker and if my parents ever get another dog, she wants one she can walk several times a day (we grew up with a chocolate Labrador my mom walked all the time). I tried to showcase how well Snowy walked and how much energy she had to prove she would be a perfect fit for my parents but I don’t think they’re on board. Yet. 🙂

We left my parents’ house around 6:30 and got back home a little after nine last night. As the first picture indicates, both dogs are still exhausted – a Thanksgiving hangover, if you will!

Lots more to write about in regards to the logistics of our trip (let’s just say I was a nervous wreck traveling with two dogs, one of which is in heat and has a propensity to use carpets as her bathroom) but for now, we hope everyone had as fabulous a Thanksgiving as we did!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Seat Hog and Grumpy Dog!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Seat Hog and Grumpy Dog!

We’re Halfway There

Hey, I’m from Jersey…I had to work a Bon Jovi reference in somehow 🙂

Anyway, despite having Snowy for almost three months now, we’re still trying to figure out how to get Snowy housetrained. For a few weeks we were accident-free both at night and during the day, so I thought we’d turned the corner but for the past 10 days, Snowy has reverted to having accidents overnight and while we’re at work.

I do think that her being in heat is partly to blame – she is definitely marking more and I guess she figures if she’s going to mark our carpet she may as well take a crap, too. However, I also think separation anxiety plays a big part, too. While she doesn’t get anxious or whine and pace while either of us gets ready to leave, she really only has accidents when no one is home.

At night, an easy solution would be to have her sleep in our bed to ease the separation anxiety but I will not let any dog sleep in our bed, so this is the solution I came up with:

A dog bed next to a human bed

A dog bed next to a human bed

The first night we tried this setup it took an hour of putting Snowy in her own bed, having her hop up on our bed, me putting her back in her bed, etc., etc. After an hour or so, though, she seemed to get used to the idea that she had her own bed and could be near us at the same time.

The outcome? Accident free nights (so far…)!

As the title of this post states, though, we’re only halfway there. I’m still coming home at lunchtime to messes. We tried a doggie diaper but our little escape artist managed to weasel her way out of the diaper. My hope? The doggie undies we’re getting from S.N.O.R.T. should be much, much harder for her to get off, so we’ll keep those on during the day. I’m optimistic that she’ll keep her undies clean, cementing my belief it is indeed separation anxiety, and eventually we can wean her off them.

Sigh. I’m so sick of pee and poop talk. At least she’s being super cute lately.

It's safe to say Marty is becoming her new favorite.

It’s safe to say Marty is becoming her new favorite.

How it All Went Down

Monday, 8:30 p.m. – Head upstairs to watch TV in bed before going to sleep. Snowy joins me, of course, and spends a half hour literally just lying on my lap. Talk about a heating pad.

Snuggling on MY bed.

Snuggling on MY bed.

9:00 p.m. – Call Marty upstairs as I’m about ready to go to sleep (hey, I have a 5 a.m. wakeup call!); instruct him to lock Snowy in the cage when he comes up to bed later. After many, many nighttime wakeups and Snowy’s persistence in crapping and peeing on the floor in the wee hours of the morning, the cage seems to be the only solution left to try.

9:15 p.m. – Marty says good night, hauls a very sad Snowy downstairs. Bedtime for me!

11:?? – Marty locks Snowy in cage and comes upstairs to go to bed.

Just pretend Butler Blue is Snowy. It's near impossible to lure her into the cage.

Just pretend Butler Blue is Snowy. It’s near impossible to lure her into the cage.

11:45 p.m. – Wake up to incessant barking from Snowy.

11:46 p.m. – Race downstairs to find this:

Yes?

Yes?

and a pile of crap on her bed.

11:47 p.m. – In the midst of our shock, Snowy takes advantage and literally makes a mad dash through the living room and up the stairs (girl’s got some speed). She makes a leaping jump onto our bed before we’ve even made it halfway up the stairs.

11:48 – Marty cleans up, I yell at Snowy, give up and crawl into bed next to her.

In case you missed it in my breakdown of events, Snowy escaped out of a locked cage. I asked Marty this morning if he was positive he locked the crate door and he was pretty sure he did. We’re going to give it one more try tonight. If Little Miss Escape Artist gets out again, I’ve truly lost all hope for a crap-free and pee-free home.

R.I.P. Lucy’s Bed

Lucy is an absolute terror to all things stuffed. And you can include dog beds in that statement, as well.

One of Lucy's many past beds.

One of Lucy’s many past beds.

Besides the papson cushion, every single dog-specific bed we’ve bought, Lucy has destroyed. She chews on them, rips holes in them and then promptly (tries) to eat the stuffing. For that reason, we do not leave any bed (except the cushion) out when we’re not home with Lucy.

And now, it’s time to say good-bye to her latest bed, one we’ve had for a long time only because I hid it upstairs after she ripped open the cushion (which was a separate piece from the frame of the bed itself). I brought the frame of that bed to my parents’ house for Cindy to use and Lucy immediately rekindled her love with that bed.

And her new-found love lasted a whole week before we had to say good-bye, this time for good.

Here’s a short video clip Marty took of Lucy at the onset of her destruction.

Things slowly deteriorated from there…

Taking out her frustrations on the bed?

Taking out her frustrations on the bed?

And just like she's managed to almost completely de-stuff her bed. Or what was left of it.

And just like she’s managed to almost completely de-stuff her bed. Or what was left of it.