Day 4

Today was Pax’s turn at the vet. We got a “senior” package for him this year that included x-rays and a teeth cleaning. Since I’m home on vacation, I figured this was a good time to get that done.

His teeth and x-rays were terrific, but they found a couple of weird things. First, he had infections in both ears. Now, before you think I’m a horrible pet parent, he showed ZERO sign. No scratching, head shaking, sensitivity — not even a weird smell in his ears (and yes, I do check). Not only were his ears infected, but they were impacted with hair! Icky. They did a deep cleaning and said he never showed any signs (head shaking, sensitivty, etc.) even after that!

Second, when they went in to clean his teeth, they found two long gouges in his tongue — also impacted with hair. How gross is that? The vet said that he probably cut his tongue on a bone or a sharp chewy, and then got hair stuck in it when licking himself. He grooms himself a lot, so I can totally see that. Still… oogie.

He’s home now, and sleeping. He hasn’t eaten yet or showed interest in anything except sleeping. Poor guy.

River had a hard day too. He fell on his head — twice! Let’s not go into these bad parenting moments. Sigh. (He’s fine.)

His day wasn’t a total loss though. With Pax at the vet, River finally got some quality time with Pflouff. They’re not playing, exactly, but there’s definite positive interaction. Lots of it, actually. Wish I had pictures, but I drained the camera battery last night.

The only problem is that Pflouff plays really rough, so I kept having to shut her down (by cautioning “gentle”). Her play style is very physical — lots of body slams, jumping and punching with the feet. She jumped at River twice and scared him. He’s just not up for that kind of play yet. She outweighs him… just a little bit. 😉

What did we train today? Mmmm… mostly I did sessions with the target from the Manners Minder. I LOVE that target. Being able to send him out to a target will be critical in teaching him handling for blinds in field work, so I wanted to get a jump on it. I also did a few reps of sit in heel position, some informal puppy recalls, and a few puppy retrieves with stuffed toys.

Housebreaking is going fabulously. Really, really well. (I have to get my brags now, because next week when I have to go back to work, all this early work will go to hell in a handbasket.) We have a VERY high success rate outside. Whenever I see him get distracted and start sniffing, I scoop him up and carry him outside. The only mistakes have come when I’m distracted — hence the reason things will go badly beginning next week! A couple of times he has even gone to the door to let me know he’s thinking about going outside. Good boy!

To be clear, though, at this point, he is NOT housebroken, and the success is due much more to my vigilence than his bladder control. He is learning to hold it, but that’s a relatively new conscious capability for him, and it will be a while before he gets it all figured out. In the meantime, it will be up to me to ensure he experiences success outside, not inside.

Sorry I don’t have any pictures today. Hopefully I can get a picture of the dogs together tomorrow. I’d like to get some video too. Wonder if my camera is charged up…?

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