Sunday, March 18, 2012

[014] 4 month update :)

Rufus will be 4 months old on this coming Wednesday, the 21st. :) That means he'll officially be 17 weeks old, and he'll have been with us for 9 whole weeks!!

We've had some really exciting times with our "little monster" lately - and a bunch of firsts!

We have a few areas by our house that have fenced in areas specifically for off-leash dogs. Being a member of, I've heard my share of horror stories with regards to letting your furbaby play in one of those. For one thing, you have no clue if those dogs playing in there are up-to-date on vaccinations. For another, you have no idea if those dogs are well socialized around other humans/dogs (although you would hope they would be).

We don't have a fenced in yard, so Rufus can only be off-leash in the house. Because of that, and the fact that he plays so well with all the other puppies in his puppy kindergarten class, and because the weather was SO gorgeous last Sunday, we decided that we could give the dog park a try. The one we chose to go to was in a large park area, full of trails (and even a secret waterfall!), so our plan was to scope out the other dogs/owners, and worst case, just bring Rufus on the trails to walk instead of letting him into that fenced in area.

Rufus was so excited to go play with brand new puppies! Once we got to the park, we parked and Rufus met some new friends on the trail up to the dog run. Boooy was that dog run packed!!! Big dogs, small dogs, from yorkies to goldens and everything in between!

MOMMA!! I wanna go in!!
Patiently, we waited for our turn to enter the dog run, with momma and daddy watching the other dogs very carefully to see if any was behaving crazily, or starting fights. When it was our turn, we walked Rufus in, and kept him near us on the leash - letting him sniff and be sniffed by the other doggies :) Soon, Rufus was comfortable enough to be off-leash and we watched very carefully as he ran around with all the big dogs. At one point, he ran back to us to sit, and was very much loved by the owner of a pit bull that we were talking to. Suddenly, a huge, aggressive English Bull Terrier tackled Rufus from behind and it turned into an all out melee. All the big dogs rushed in to sniff and see what was going on, owners hot on their heels to pull the dogs away, the whole while Rufus was yelping, practically screaming really. Mike was already there picking him up and pushing the terrier away, but the damage was done. Poor Rufus was still yelping and crying as Mike carried him over to me, and we walked to the emptier part of the dog run. Rufus seemed upset, and wouldn't even play with the Yorkie and all the concerned doggie mommas and daddys that came over to find out if he was okay. The owners of the bull terriers gathered up their two and left, without so much as a second glance our way. It was when we put water out for Rufus to drink that Mike noticed that Rufus' mouth was bleeding. Turns out that during the altercation, whether it was an accident or not, Rufus' bottom right canine puppy tooth had been ripped out. Panic ensues. I'm ready to chase down the owners of the terriers and tell them off, and I'm sobbing my eyes out feeling like the worst puppy parent in the world, because I KNEW better. Mike was so incredibly angry as well, but we knew the first thing we really had to do was get Rufus to the vet ASAP to make sure that no other damage was done and to ask what to do about this missing tooth situation.

Poor Rufus. :( Usually he gets all riled up on car rides, but he laid quietly in momma's lap the whole way to the emergency animal hospital. We were admitted right away and Rufus was fully looked over. The good news? He's close to 4 months old and his baby teeth are going to start coming out soon anyway, so it was probably loose. Also, the damage could have been much worse and it wasn't. Rufus, aside from being shaken up, was fine. The only bad news was that if the root of his canine didn't come all the way out, we could have an infection on our hands later on. We watched him closely for 24 hours and he seems okay though, so we're not too worried about that right now. It was a scary experience for us all, but Rufus went right up to other dogs later on that night and that week, and played just fine in puppy kindergarten today. I was worried that it would prevent him from wanting to be friendly with other dogs ever again :(

There were more firsts this week though - the good kind!

One of them was that Rufus jumped up onto the couch on his own, PLUS, he wanted to snuggle and chew on his bone. He hasn't ever been this calm before - so we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of his crazy puppy need to chew everything/everyone, and need to be constantly entertained by momma or daddy.

The second one was that Rufus has learned DOWN

He's so dramatic about his DOWN command! When we tell him down, he flops down, as loudly as possible, as if to say, "LOOK I IS DEFINITELY DOWN! Treat here plz!" We're having lots and LOTS of trouble with LEAVE IT, especially if we're in the house practicing. If we're outside on a walk, he has no trouble when we say "AAAANT, LEAVE IT" and keep walking. Then he just keeps walking with us and changes his focus to something else. In the house though, if something drops on the floor that he shouldn't have, he'll be as sneaky as anything to try to get it. So far, we've been insanely careful about not having chocolate, or onion, or avocado anywhere near him (those are the three we have on a pretty regular basis in the house), so it hasn't been an issue in terms of anything being life threatening, but if we drop a paper towel he will go RIGHT for it.

Is all clear!

Rufus continues to be the neighborhood Sir Ham, and watch dog. When we go out, at least three times a potty break, he sits his butt down on the lawn, sniffs the air, and looks up and down the street. Not a car goes by that he doesn't sit and watch until he can't see it anymore. Also, on walks, he wants to meet anyone and everyone and is a sucker for attention. He will pull so hard and so fast that sometimes he nearly jerks my arm out of the socket (okay, that's not totally true, but Rufus will hear this and he'll want to know momma thinks he's a big strong boy). Luckily, everyone in the neighborhood loves him. We even have a family up the street whose kids wait to see Rufus every morning!

Watching daddy work

And finally, in new developments, Rufus has finally calmed down enough where Mike deems it safe to finally let Rufus into his office when he is working.

One of our biggest hurdles and things we needed to adjust to was that Mike was used to working from home at least two days a week. With Rufus being a rambunctious, LOUD puppy though, not much work was getting done, so now Mike goes into work every day of the week. He hates this arrangement, but his work has to get done. Rufus will bark and bark and bark if he knows you're home and not paying attention to him, and he hadn't fully graduated to sitting quietly and chewing his bone/bully stick yet. This past week though, all of that has seemed to start to take a turn towards the better (and more CALM!)

That's all the time I have to update for today, so I'll leave you all with one more picture of King Rufus to say goodbye :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

[011] 3 month milestones

Oh my, it's certainly been awhile since I've been able to post an update about Rufus. To make it up, I'll have to be extra sure to post some adorable pictures of him that I've been taking over the weekend.

At just shy of 15 weeks, Rufus and our "family" have definitely made leaps and bounds in understanding eachother - although we're still not perfect or comfortable yet! I can't believe we've had our "little monster" (as he is affectionately known around our house) for close to 7 weeks now!

Exciting new developments: with his parvo vaccinations complete, we've been able to take Rufus out for long walks around the neighborhood - and it seems that our little guy likes to run - which is great for Daddy, since he's the runner in the family. While there's still a lot of tug-of-war going on with the leash when Rufus wants to wander into the middle of the street, it's getting less and less.

Second - we finally started puppy kindergarten at our local PetSmart! We went into the store and met our trainer, Shelby, who's got 4 dogs at home of varying shapes and sizes, and promptly decided that she was qualified to train Rufus (the fact that she has a daschund and is biased towards low-riders went in her favor ;) ). We had our first class last Sunday and Rufus was joined by 3 other puppies that we hope will become his friends - Leiba, Bella, and London. Rufus was struttin' his stuff and getting plenty of attention - he's the only male in our class ;). Leiba is a gorgeous, extremely sweet pit bull, Bella is (I think) some kind of maltese, and London is a tiny little Yorkie. Rufus was a bit scared of the other dogs at first, but quickly he was romping and playing, and getting into all sorts of trouble! He's still afraid of Leiba though - I think even though he thinks he's a big dog in a small body, he's not sure if his big dog is as big as Leiba! We learned "Look at me" and "Sit" in class, and I was very impressed with how well Rufus listened and obeyed. We are still having some trouble with him at home, but having "look at me" as a mantra to fall back on has helped immensely! For homework we were supposed to practice giving the "look at me"