Saturday, February 25, 2017

Cooper Update

Hello all!  Let's get you up to speed on Cooper, because  honestly there isn't much else going on around here.   

First, he is still alive. 

Since you last saw him, he has had a couple of big adventures.  He went to the vet and is up to 18ish pounds.  All caught up on his vaccinations so that means he started puppy school and I booked him a couple of puppy play dates with furry friends in the neighborhood. 

He was a ROCKSTAR at Puppy School and the teacher used him as her demo dog for all activities. He is very food driven and her dried liver would have made him walk across hot coals.  As it was, he just needed to sit, come when his name was called and practice the "look" command.  He was very interested in the other dogs and people.  There were five other dogs there and I think he was the most social of the bunch.  He was friendly - not aggressive.  I was so pleased.  Never mind that he howled like his tail was stuck in the door the whole way to puppy school and home.  He is not a fan of the car, but we are working on that.  

He is getting at least two (usually three) walks a day.  He is a great walker. 

He killed a small snake in the yard.  

He played with Sandy's two Papillon dogs on Thursday at their house and it went pretty well.  He was much more interested in sniffing out every corner of Sandy's house and backyard than he was in the pups at first.  Then he peed on her floor.  Mortifying.  Then he started playing a little too rough and was getting some growls in return.  It was just what he needed.  For the most part, I thought it was a huge success and was so appreciative of the exposure and experience for him. 

Chip and Coop in the car.  He is getting better! 

He has now mastered "Sit", "Shake", "Down", "Roll over" and we are working on Dead Dog.  He  really likes tricks because he really likes treats! 

This morning he had another play date with a puppy named Reggie.  Reggie is a tiny little thing and Cooper was mostly interested in running him over and trying to pin him.  Reggie spent a lot of time growling at Cooper and eventually the tables turned and Reggie was chasing Cooper.  They were both exhausted.  

Cooper is still a little nippy but getting better. - I have been shooting him with a spray bottle and although he  doesn't hate it, he doesn't love it.  It generally stops his behavior for a few minutes. 

I will end with this adorable video of his ears flapping in the wind.  We are parked up at the high school waiting on Chip and the wind is very breezy!  This cracked me up! 


That is all for now.  Hope your weekend is glorious! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Afternoon Blues

It's Friday!  Woo Hoo! Something so lovely about Friday!  Here is picture of Cooper that looks like it has been altered to make him appear huge.  Sadly, I am not adept at making those kinds of purposeful intentions happen with my iPhone 5 camera.  He is sitting in Chip's lap and Chip is leaning back a little bit, but honestly I just think Cooper is growing at the speed of light.

Also, he looks so angry. Cooper - not Chip.  Sometimes he IS angry.  Actually, between 3 - 7:30 pm on the daily like clockwork, he is totally pissed off.  Not so much the "afternoon blues" but more like possessed by evil spirits.  Not sure what that is about, but I ordered a Caeser Millan book because I need to get his behavior corrected before he is as big as a house.  Let's see what the Dog Whisperer has to say about that and how we can fix it.

I purchased a couple of new cheap dog bath accessories this week that have made an enormous difference in bath time with Cooper.  (Note:  He hates bath time, but must be washed with a medicated shampoo twice weekly to treat some kinda of skin condition he has. So, like it or not, he is spending some time in the tub getting his skin medicated.)  The first life saver I purchased is a hand held shower wand that connects to the faucet.  Much, much easier to rinse him off.  Gentle, quiet and way better than a cup.  You can move it all around and get in all the upside down places.  Game changer.  The other is an industrial strength suction cup with a foam cushioned collar to go around your dogs neck and hold them in place in the tub.  So instead of Cooper clawing at my arms and the side of the tub trying to get out, he is held by the lead in the center of the tub where I can wash and rinse him much more easily.  Yesterday's bath was without any new cuts and scrapes on my hands and arms.  Hooray.  Now if I can just get him to chill and not whine like he is being skinned alive.  He was contained in the tub yesterday and easily rinsed, but he was not happy about it!

In other non-Cooper news.....
  • I changed the background on my Blog.  What do you think?  
  • Work is good.  Sticking to about 5 hours a day.  Feeling useful - doing good stuff.  Can't complain.  Did you hear that?  I can't complain.  About work.  Yea, that's right.  
  • Our new Bible Study is very, very interesting and thought provoking.  I like thought provoking until it starts provoking thoughts that are hard to face.  Doing the work.  Digging in.  Taking heart.  Hopefully, working some things out inside myself. 
  • The weather has been awesome. Spending lots of time out in the yard, cutting back, cleaning out, watching for new growth.  It is the best time of the year. 
  • Where are all the damn leaves coming from?  The trees are bare.  I have been raking leaves for weeks. 
  • Home maintenance. Yuck.  Short list of items that need to be addressed:  Toilet handle broken in master bathroom.  Need trees trimmed away from roof.  Gutter filters washed off of limbs, leaves and debris.  Air filter changed in A/C attic unit along with maintenance.  Softener needs salt. Need to re-caulk some areas on the exterior siding of the house.  It is always something, and usually a lot of things. 
  • I wish I liked watching basketball on TV, but I just don't. In person, it is fantastic.  Sports this time of year is the pits for me. 
That is all I have for now!  I hope your weekend is fantastic! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trash Can and Sushi

Blog titles are the worst. This one is no exception. See if you could have come up with anything better after reading this riveting content.

Chip told me yesterday that using only the letters in our last name (no repeats, no extras) you can spell TRASH CAN.  How in the hell could I have not figured this out before??

We immediately called Harry to fill him in on this stunning family news and he shocked us with some bigger news....Harry tried SUSHI and he LIKED it.  He had salmon and tuna rolls and something with tempura shrimp and thought it was delicious!  WHO IS THIS GUY?  Expanding his food horizons like a boss.

I have resigned myself that Cooper can only behave if I have a bag of chicken in my hand. With the anticipation of a tiny bit of chicken in his future, he is an absolute angel.  Lays down perfectly, looks at you with those sweet eyes, follows commands, pays no mind to people walking by.  I can get through prepping, cooking and eating dinner with him obediently parked on this kitchen rug....although the presence of a broom or rake can definitely break the chicken trance.  Now, make no mistake...the minute (no, the second) the chicken is gone or out of sight, he loses his mind.  He bites feet, shoes, pants, pulls curtains, drags blankets and pillows off the couch, digs holes in the back yard and basically terrorizes the place and the people sharing the place with him.  The chicken trance gives me hope that he can I just need him to want to behave.  Big difference between the two. 

After some research online, I have started putting on his training leash during the day and just letting him drag it around behind him.  I can easily step on the leash to restrict him from jumping, biting, pulling on pants, lunging at ankles by just stepping on the leash.  I try to give him about six or eight inches of slack.  Enough to stand up, but not go anywhere.  He does not like being restricted and fusses quite a bit.  Within a minute he seems to calm down and I step off.  Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 times until he moves on to some other activity, but it does seem to be working.  

I honestly don't remember Astro being so mouthy or aggressive as a puppy.  Chip was only 18 months old when we brought Astro home and I don't remember ever worrying about him biting or snapping at my toddler.  I do recall that Astro responded well to just a stern voice and a harsh look. Cooper gives zero shits about my stern voice or my harsh looks.  He takes it as a challenge and ramps up his barking, snapping, grabbing, lunging to prove he can out harsh me.  I will keep trying new tactics until I find what works for this guy.  May be that I always have a bag of cooked chicken in my pocket.  We shall see.  

Let's just take a moment to look at the amazing growth of a puppy.  These pictures were taken sixteen days apart. 

I think he is on steroids.  

This was taken last night. 
He is 11 weeks old....looking like a grown dog but totally still a baby.

Hope your hump day is without too many humps! 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Cooper Walks Himself

Cooper loves to go for a walk with his leash.  He is not supposed to be around other dogs or in places where other dogs have been because he still needs to finish his vaccinations.  I have been practicing him in the house with his leash and we take a short walk to the mailbox once a day. He is a bit of a scaredy cat, but does much better than I ever imagined he would.  A few treats in my pocket keep him moving forward and close.  Of course, he spends most of the walk thinking he is walking himself.  He proudly struts down the street with his leash in his mouth.  It is adorable. 

He is getting better every day, but gets really crazy with the snapping, lunging, biting in the early evenings.  Especially, if we lay on the floor and play with him.  It just seems to make him think we are inviting him to come at us.  So, we are going to cut out playing with him on the floor in the evenings to see if we can curb that behavior.

In the mornings, he is pretty sweet for playtime with Chip. 

I assume in the mornings he is well rested and fed so he can behave nicely.  In the evenings, he just gets tired and cranky like a toddler and can't control himself.  Time and consistency will help I am sure.  I have to keep reminding myself we have only had him 18 days....even though sometimes it feels like months and months.  It is a marathon! 

In other news....
  • Chip did not make the high school baseball team.  He thought tryouts had gone pretty well but he was definitely nervous.  He found out Wednesday morning about 15 minutes before the school day started and was devastated.  It was a very painful day for him and it was pretty sucky to have to see him walk through that.  He went through Wednesday holding in his emotions, finding the courage to congratulate his friends that did make the team and making me so proud. Heart could literally have burst when he told me he had congratulated the other boys.  I picked him up about an hour early from school on Wednesday and we hit Sonic hard. Ate some junk food and sat in the car shedding some tears, using inappropriate curse words, plotting funny revenge and trying to find some humor in the pain. We talked about it a lot and felt all the hard and awful emotions.  It was the pits.  But today, it hurts less and tomorrow it will hurt even less. Love that kid.