Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Claire Update

Some of you have asked how Claire is. The short answer is that she's fine as frog hair. And thanks for asking.

A more detailed answer:

House training--She hasn't had one accident in the house. An added bonus is that she refuses to poop in our yard. Don't worry, I pick up the cable she lays in other places. Our neighbor Mindy has a fenced in yard where she lets Claire play sometimes when Claire wants to give the business to a rag ball her friend Sally gave her. I think Mindy is growing Exlax in her lawn. I automatically take "pick up bags" when we go to Mindy's because the first thing Claire does there is poop. She will pee in our yard though, and she now only goes in the five square feet of grass I don't care about (near the compost pile).

Walks--Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer (cue angel chorus) says mastering the walk is the most important thing we can do for Claire. Long walks are sort of a dog's job. It is the best op for her to learn we are the pack leaders (and not her). Evidently, for dogs, walking=migrating to food, kind of a dog's reason for living (I was dissappointed to learn I wasn't reason enough). SO, we walk--45 minutes, once in the a.m. and once when we get home. She's pretty good at walking next to us, not in front of us (that took some doing). When she gets home, she gets food. Then we can play and relax. Migrate, eat, celebrate, then rest. Its a forumla, but it works.

Evidently dogs start getting the crazies if walks aren't long enough. We noticed Claire was kind of horsey on her walks. Then we read from the Book of Cesar that Claire needs to sit in a calm submissive state by the door before we go out and we need to go out before her. Same coming back in. The pack leader always goes first. A small thing, but boy did it make a difference. That and channeling our inner Oprah--something about acting with calm assertive energy makes a difference. We are working on saying less, and asserting energy more.

Health: No more cough. Eye infection she got at the Humane Society is cleared up. A few fleas.

Things we're working on:

Not jumping on visitors. She's getting better. The worst she does now is stand up in front of people. Some people think it's cute, but jumping on people (like pulling on the leash) is actually a sign of dominance so we don't allow it.

Hand signals. She's getting pretty good at sitting and staying with just hand signals.

Cats are not for chasing. If she ever hopes to visit her Grandma in Arkansas, she better learn this one.

No begging at the table. She's pretty good for us, but we've noticed that when company comes for dinner she puts on a show.

Coming when called. Works in the house, but outside she is easily distracted by squirrels, leaves, and soft grass.

Things we love about her:

She really is a sweetie. She is quiet and respectful, but she has a good sense of herself. I had her in a doggy bakery the other day. (I can't believe I just wrote that. Feel free to laugh and/or sneer. There was a time when I would have.) When surrounded by a full grown St. Bernard, a Doberman, and a very large Pit Bull, she just wandered into the group like she was one of the gang, sniffing butts with the best of 'em.

She doesn't wake us up in the morning. She gets up when we do.

Sometimes she walks up the stairs backwards when she gets ahead of us but still wants to make sure we are coming up.

She loves fruits and vegetables. Watermelon and plum tomatoes are her favorite treat for doing tricks. She's also a big fan of ice cubes.

Sorry I don't have more pictures (I can't find our camera.). She got her photo taken at a photographer's studio recently. I'm going to see if the artist will let me put it on the internet.


Anonymous Sally said...

Love the Claire update! I'm really glad she likes the ball. I heard the Greenie bones made her hyper, sorry!! We had a weird thing happen with Oscar and Simon this week. My husband Carl bought a new air freshner that automatically sprays every so often, it terrifed the cats. They wouldn't even come downstairs to eat. I think they thought it was another animal. I'm glad we figured it out. They weren't acting normal at all. Cesar needs to do a cat book.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

I don't think the Greenies have made her hyper. I actually have been saving them for a special treat. Did John give her one that I don't know about maybe? Did I give her one that I forgot about? Scary.

How funny that the cats don't like the room deoderizer (not for them I'm sure). Let me know if they warm up to it.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

I thought that David told me they made her go crazy, maybe I was wrong. The air freshner went out to the garage, I can't have my "babies" scared in their own home.

12:07 PM  

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