Sleepy Sunday

Such a sweet sight – you can’t really see Ducky’s face because her head is right next to Radar’s back.

We had a stressful day yesterday. After two full days of almost perfect behavior around her Uncle Doug, yesterday Ducky was grumpy and vociferous all day. Yet, she didn’t take it out on Radar like she used to do to poor Shadow at times. She even let him chew on her Nylabones. She never let Shadow do that.

Anyway, her loud grumpiness made hubby grumpier, and his louder grumpiness made me “testy“. Not a good day. My brother – bless him! – stayed in my office most of the day working on my computer. Smart man!!

Anyway, Ducky woke hubby and me before 5 am this morning – barking, crying, and whining – not really surprising considering she doesn’t like being closed in her crate, especially if I’m not nearby. But she had slept quietly in her crate all of the two nights before. I came out to the living room to calm her down, but five minutes later she was complaining again. So I grabbed my pillows and a blanket and came out to sleep on the couch. But even opening the crate didn’t settle the little princess. And I just gave up on the idea of going back to sleep. I got dressed, grabbed my jacket and the flashlight, and took her out to the back yard. She did her business and we came back inside. But she still wouldn’t settle down. And Radar started getting “antsy” in his crate, so I opened his crate too. Then we all made two more trips out to the yard (about ten minutes apart).

Finally! Peace and quiet, and an end to Ducky’s earlier restlessness. I was – of course – wide awake after three trips out to the sloppy, rain-saturated, back yard; but my dogs settled down in close proximity to each other. It was when I looked up from my reading – I was catching up on some blog posts – that I saw the image I captured in the first photo. Now look at them.

And here I sit, still over-tired, groggy, and on my second cup of coffee. I’m going to have to keep a watchful eye on Ducky today. Normally she’s not grumpy, just demanding. If she’s back to her normal self today, I won’t worry; but if she’s grumpy again, I’ll call the vet tomorrow morning. When this little girl is grumpy, it’s normally something physical making her that way. And hubby’s impatience doesn’t help, either. Maybe she just needs more “Mom and Me” time.

Oh well, the sun is trying to come out from between the clouds, so maybe we’ll have a brighter day. Happy Sunday Everyone!

Just Catching Up

Hi Everyone! We’ve been busy around here between Ducky and the bees, doctor appointments, and a ten-day visit from my brother.

I’ve been focusing on Ducky’s behavior – specifically her reactions to hubby – for quite some time now with help from my friend, Janet Finlay, who owns the Canine Confidence Academy (based in the UK). Janet’s website provides so many resources and courses for guardians of reactive dogs that I haven’t had a chance to peruse them all even after more than a few years as a member. I had actually signed up for and started her original course – Your End of the Lead – several years ago and it really helped me help Ducky; but as happens from time to time, life got in the way and I had to switch some priorities around for a while.

Janet has also written a book, Your End of the Lead, which is a condensed version of her original course by the same name, with some additional newer material as well. It’s well worth the read, in my opinion, and is available on Amazon, Dogwise, and another site I can’t remember at the moment. And there are also some closed Facebook groups and a forum you can join once you become a member of the club.

Just so y’all know – Janet is NOT paying me to review her website or book. I’m sharing the information with you because I believe in Janet’s approach to training/working with reactive dogs and helping the humans who live with and love them. I believe in them because using her approach has helped me to help Ducky.  (I don’t have any affiliate relationships with Amazon or Dogwise, or the third publisher, either, so I’ll make absolutely no money by promoting anything.)

Ducky is still somewhat reactive to strangers – especially here at home – but she was much more relaxed during my brother’s last visit than she has ever been.

Anyway, this past weekend found us reflecting on two anniversaries – Saturday (the 24th) was Callie’s 4th anniversary in Heaven; and Sunday (the 25th) was Shadow’s half-year anniversary being reunited with Callie. It was tough on me, emotionally; but I am thankful that my Golden Girls blessed hubby and me (and Ducky, too!) with so much unconditional love and so many wonderful memories. I’m also thankful that I was able to share their lives with you all for so many years. And, the reflection made me realize that I truly am ready to add another Golden Retriever to our family. We recently submitted an adoption application to our local breed rescue group, so please start sending us some really good vibes to help us get approved.

Well, that about sums up our lives for the past several weeks. Ducky’s doing great – watching a squirrel on the trunk of the oak tree at this moment – and enjoying life. She loves having all our attention; but she misses her sisters/favorite playmates.

Play with me, Mom! I want attention!

 

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Thoughts On A Rainy Day

With all the rain in our forecast today it seems a good one to think “out loud”.

First of all, I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and had a safe and happy New Year’s Eve/Day!

We enjoyed the company of my only sibling – my older brother – from the 19th to the 28th of December. Poor Ducky was stressed-out a good part of the time. She just doesn’t like “strangers” in her house, especially men who are taller than me. All in all though, she did okay. Our house does not lend itself to containment at all, so we kept her harnessed and leashed.

The day after Christmas we left the dogs on their own in the house for a few hours while we spent time meeting up with hubby’s brother and sister-in-law. I made the mistake of not getting a pet sitter to let the girls outside for a break….

When we arrived home, I immediately leashed Ducky and took the dogs out to the backyard while hubby and bro put up their jackets. It was then that hubby found the consequence of Ducky’s boredom….

Several of our Christmas packages had been chewed on, and the contents of one was totally gone. Nine tiny pieces of dark-chocolate candy that bro had brought home from his trip to Costa Rica. I felt like such a jerk! Lesson learned the expensive way….

Hubby, the dogs, and I spent the next two hours at the vet’s. First Ducky, and then Shadow, were treated to prevent chocolate poisoning. I won’t go into detail, so suffice it to say all is well.

Now, I know that before Christmas I had promised y’all a “Part 2” post about the change in the dogs’ food. Well, it’s not even in the draft stage yet; but I’ll get it done eventually. For now, though, it’s time to get some lunch and finish reading the book I started right after Thanksgiving.

The dogs are enjoying a nap and allowing me some much-needed peace and quiet.

Back to The Ducky Diary

My brother spent most of this past week with us and Ducky was not happy about it.

I met Doug at the airport on Saturday afternoon (8/19) and from the time we got back here to the house until he left on Wednesday afternoon to visit with a friend in Asheville, Ducky was in snark mode. At least toward her uncle. So much so that we had to keep her on a leash the whole time she was in the house. (Well, except during the night while she slept in her crate.)

Thank goodness for doggie daycare! She spent most of the day there on Monday and Tuesday. At least she was able to relax and enjoy the company of her doggie and other human friends for a while each day. 

Since Doug was going home yesterday (Friday) after returning from Asheville, I felt Ducky would be better off at daycare (again) for even just the few hours her uncle was in the house. 

It worked out nicely, actually, because her daycare facility is not that much out of the way coming home from the airport.

I chuckled a bit on Wednesday afternoon because as soon as Doug left for Asheville, Ducky spent a good 10 minutes running around the house looking for him. She knew his scent but couldn’t find him. She finally gave up and went back to nap on her bed. 

When I picked her up at daycare yesterday, she sniffed the air in the car for a moment. Satisfied that Uncle Doug wasn’t hiding anywhere, she laid down on the back seat and slept all the way home. By the time we arrived at the house, she seemed satisfied that the tall stranger wasn’t here any more. She played out in the yard with Shadow for a bit and then took a nap in her bed.

Doug’s dog isn’t comfortable with strangers, either, so he understands what it’s like to have a human-reactive dog. I’m grateful for that understanding. Especially when I’m feeling ready to wring Ducky’s neck for being such a noisy brat.

Having said all that, I know what I need to do. Sort of. First step is writing it all down, like an outline. (Maybe in The Ducky Diary. Better yet in the Training Notebook that I haven’t started using yet.) When I get that done, I’ll figure out Step Two: Implementation.

Have a great weekend, dear readers. And those of you threatened by Harvey, please stay safe. We’re sending out positive energy and thoughts to all of you.

Back To Normal?

Back to normal? What IS “normal” anyway? For us, it’s Ducky spending only two days a week at daycare, not six. For us, it’s Ducky being a little loud and demanding at times but not stressed out. And it’s Shadow being mellow, except when hubby yells at Ducky. (There’s no getting through to some people at times.)

And for Shadow, Ducky, and me, normal is spending sunny days out in the back yard. Hubby prefers to spend his days watching the news or reading while music is playing so loud that it gives me a headache. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Not much was normal around here while my brother was visiting. Ducky was stressed out because there was a “stranger” in her house. And Shadow was stressed out because Ducky was stressed out.

Daycare was a blessing for Ducky – it gave her several hours during six of the seven days her Uncle Doug was here to relax and play with her doggie friends. And it was a blessing for Shadow and us uprights. The rest of the time she was fine as long as Doug was sitting quietly somewhere in the house.


But I had to keep her on her leash except when she was in her crate.

On the way home from daycare the night before Doug was going back home, we had a terrifying hail storm during the last mile plus of our ride home. The hail was smaller than a quarter, but it was coming down fast and furious. And there was no place to pull over. I had no choice but to keep going. So I kept going. About five miles an hour with about ten car lengths between me and the car in front of me. And behind me. Ducky hunkered down in the back seat and curled up into a little black ball. We pulled into the driveway; and as I turned off the engine, I looked up at the sky and thanked God and the universe for getting us home safely. I coaxed Ducky into my lap and we sat there – both of us shaking – until the hail stopped. Hubby opened the front door and I carried Ducky into the house. My insides finally stopped shaking a few days later. Ducky is finally past her uncertainty about the car.

Anyway, around the house things are back to normal. Ducky is our little “wild child” again. And Shadow is back to eating her normal amount of food. And, as long as it’s not too cold and windy, the girls and I spend our days in the yard. Thankfully, Spring has sprung around here.

Thanks to our hosts of the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog Hop, Jodi of Heart Like A Dog and Linda of 2 Brown Dawgs!

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