I’ve been putting off a new post here. I am ashamed.
So Thanksgiving has come and gone. I had planned a post right after the holiday, but what happened over the holiday made me too embarrassed to post.
Wilfred had a great holiday break. He loved that both Hubby and I were home for 4 whole days and we spent almost every moment with him. We got to go to the park, something we’ve been missing since daylight savings changed, we had 3 wonderful play sessions with Jack, even started to bring Pheonix (Pheeny) into the mix. She’s not so sure, but is thinking about joining in with the boys.
We also learned some things. In the time I’ve known my Willie he’s not been a resource guarder. The most he’d ever do is a little freeze and then relax.
Thanksgiving night after we’d returned from the relatives I gave will a new pork femur (he loves his pork femurs) and we sat down to watch Punkin Chunkin (if you don’t know it check it out, loads of fun http://www.punkinchunkin.com/ )
I was paying more attention to the show then to Will, he’s always good with his bones so I thought nothing of it. During a commercial break I looked down to see a long nasty tangle of hair coming out of Will’s mouth. Like any good owner I didn’t want him eating hair since it can’t be digested and can cause blockages or twist around in the bowels. So I reached down to remove the hair. Wilfred bit me. I was shocked. What I hadn’t realized since I wasn’t really paying attention to him is that he had a small piece of the bone entirely in his mouth. As soon as it happened Will dropped the piece of bone and came to lay his head in my lap. It was a small bite, about a cm long gash on my index finger that made it almost all the way through the skin. Bled like mad. After I came back in from cleaning the wound and bandaging it Will climbed up on the couch and spent the next hour snuggled as close as he could get to me. I’m putting my thoughts in his head, but I really do think he was saying “Sorry”
At this point the wound has healed, but is still bandaged because I have a subconscious habit of picking at anything out of the ordinary (doctors hate me when I have to get stitches)
Then on Thursday Dec 8th Wilfred got sick. Hubby called me at work (he gets home 2 hours before I do) to tell me that Will had vomited twice. He vomited 3 more times before I got home. It was nasty, and a decent amount made it out of his crate and onto the carpet under it. I washed his crate mat 3 times before I even put it in the dryer in order to get all the vomit out of it. His membranes were pale, but he acted as if nothing was wrong. Then when I took him out to potty he had water consistency stool. We have no idea what happened. He was fine when I pottied him before work and at 11:30 when MIL pottied him. By 2:00 when Hubby got home he was vomiting badly. By the next day he was OK though. Had a normal stool when I pottied him in the morning and again at 11:30. We even went for a training session at The Behavior Clinic http://www.thebehaviorclinic.com/ . That was mainly for my benefit. It was a Trainer Click In. A time for Positive Reinforcement trainers (and those in training) to get together, exchange ideas, and work on our own dogs in a group setting without old schoolers telling us to use positive punishment or similar.
Wilfred did surprisingly well all things considered. We were in a new place, with lots of new people and lots of new dogs. We made it in the door and he never once switched from his “where are we, is/are it/they dangerous” into his aggressive “get it away from me” though he was bouncing everywhere and was too far strung to pay attention to any one thing for more than half a second. But no growling, no real barking, and he did keep coming back for contact with me.
He’s also doing much better with one of our cats. Shearaha has decided that he’s no big deal and Will will call off of her right away. Kearith on the other hand still thinks Wilfred’s the devil incarnate and runs like made engaging his prey drive. We’ve also come to realize that Kearith has been peeing behind the couch for a while. Likely since we brought Wilfred home. Something that I’m hoping will stop once we get moved into the new place. There the kitties and the birds will have their own room that is completely off-limits to Wilfred. I hope that with the litter box there and the Feliway diffuser I’m putting in the room Kearith’s anxiety will decrease and she’ll start using the box again.
Will is up to 10 minutes with his muzzle all the way on, but on the loosest setting. We’re going to start working on tightening it down now, one notch at a time until we’re at the correct fit. We’ve started sitting to have him go in and out of doors, and occasionally on walks. Before he just had to keep a loose lead, now I’m asking him to pay more attention. We don’t get to keep moving until he does the requested behavior. He’s got a very well generalized “sit” so that’s where we’re starting.