Merlin's Monthly Diary

Year Two

February 19, 2002

This month wasn't a great one. It started off okay. Mommy bought a
book of dog tricks and made a list of tricks she is going to teach me to do.
We also went to the dogpark two more weeks in a row and then, the day
after the second visit, I got sick. I started drooling at about 11 am and
kept drooling all day long. Mommy checked my teeth, and my throat. She
didn't see anything wrong and couldn't figure out what was going on so she
called the emergency vet (it was a Sunday). They said that maybe I ate
something that tasted bad and Mommy should give me lots of water and
stuff. Mommy did, but it didn't help. She even gave me some extra treats
and some chicken broth, but I kept drooling. By 9 at night I was still
drooling and now I was all curled up and whimpering or bothering Mommy
for things that I didn't want. I'd ask to go out, but then refuse to go out
when she opened the door. I asked to be pet, but moved away when she
touched me. Finally, I just started whining and poking her so she took me
to the emergency vet.

I'd never been to this vet before and I was very excited to see that they
had a counter with a girl behind it. Maybe she hands out treats, you never
know, so I jumped up on the counter and drooled on everything on her
desk. She agreed that I was drooling way too much and so Mommy and I
went into a back room. The girl listened to my heart and said it was going
rather fast and I seemed anxious to her too. Then she said, "Let's take
his temperature." and she tried to stick this thing up my butt. Well, NO
THANK YOU!! I jumped out of the way and ran into a corner. Mommy got
me out and held on to me and the girl tried again. NOPE! I got away.
They called in an aide and she tried to hold me down. NO WAY!! I got my
front paws on her head and jumped over her back. The girl said, "Well, let
me get the vet." and she went into a back room. The vet came out and she
listened to my heart and said it was a little fast, probably because I was
anxious. Then she checked my tummy and glands and teeth and throat and
ears. She said that they all looked fine. Then she said, "Well lets see if I
can take his temperature." She picked up that stick thing and I ran and
put my back end by the door. Then she called in the first girl. When I saw
her I ran to the corner and sat down. They didn't seem to get the
message that I wasn't going to have something stuck up my butt. The girl
tried to pin me to the wall and I started screaming and then I tried to bite
the vet. Mommy was shocked. The vet decided I didn't need my
temperature taken. She told Mommy that she didn't know what was
wrong. That it seemed like I might have eaten something like chocolate or
a medication of some kind, but Mommy keeps her medicines in a cabinet
that I can't get into and there was no chocolate in the house. The vet said
that the only thing she could do was to tell Mommy to check on me every 2
or 3 hours during the night to make sure that I didn't get worse. Then
Mommy paid $78 and we went home. I felt a little better the next day
and about 5 days later I felt fine.

The day after I felt fine, Mommy started to feel sick. The next day she
woke up and found that she had drooled all over her pillow in the middle of
the night. She had a runny nose and fever and stuff. She was sick for
about a week. That was kind of fun because she stayed home with me, but
it was also kind of boring because she just wanted to sleep and stuff and I
wanted to play. She got kind of grumpy when I would jump on her tummy
and wake her up to see if she wanted to play get the underwear and
stuff. She said she let me sleep when I didn't feel good and I should let
her sleep now. Nope. Anyway, when she started feeling better she said I
owe her $78 in cookies because I had caught a cold and had acted like I
was dying. I couldn't help it. I didn't feel well, and I tend to be a worry
wart. How was I to know I WASN'T dying?

 

March 19, 2002

Well, I have to admit, I haven't been very good this month. After Mommy
got sick last month and stayed home all that time I got kind of spoiled.
When Mommy went back to work, I decided to pee or poop in the house
again. I made sure to pee or poop at least twice a week. Mommy made an
appointment with the vet for me to make sure there was nothing wrong with
me. The vet said I was fine, and she and Mommy agreed I had probably
developed separation anxiety. The vet suggested that Mommy put me on
drugs to make it easier for me to think when I get anxious, but Mommy
didn't want to do that right away. Instead Mommy decided to study me a
bit. The vet gave her some pamphlets about separation anxiety and we
went home (after I got my kennel cough snort--I'm going to take a CGC
prep course in May so I should have lots to tell then!--and lyme shot).

Mommy read the pamphlets and realized that I no longer had any of the
separation anxiety symptoms except for the peeing and pooping part. So
she set up a tape recorder to see what I did after she left. When she
came home and listened to the tape my secret was out! I ate my treats,
played with my toys, slept and peed and pooped in the house. I NEVER
whined or paced. Then Mommy borrowed a video camera from Grandma
and Grandpa so she could see what I was doing, just in case she missed
something. Now she has a nice tape of me eating my treats, playing with
my toys, napping and pooping right in front of the camera. Mommy plans to
call the vet in a few days and tell her that I DON'T have separation
anxiety and to see what she suggests. I don't like this camera stuff.

 

April 23, 2002

The Housebreaking War Continues

Don't tell Mommy, but I think she may be winning. After she discovered
that I didn't have separation anxiety she called the vet and talked to her.
The vet agreed that what Mommy described was not separation anxiety,
but was rather some kind of "magical thinking." See, I wanted to be
outside and my logic went like this:

1. I want to be outside.
2. If I pee or poop in the house, Mommy gets mad and she puts me outside
until she cools off.
3. Therefore, if I pee or poop in the house, I will get to go outside.

It worked too, although I expected to get to go out right away after I
went potty in the house (You can see it on the video tape. I see something
outside. I try to open the door. I won't open. I poop. I go back to the
door and see if it will open now). But, see, when Mommy came home I got
to go outside for hours. It was great. The vet said I was the "ultimate
button pusher" and then when Mommy asked her what she should do the
vet said, "I have NO idea. Isn't it terrible when your dog is smarter than
both you and your vet?"

So Mommy decided to go back to basic housebreaking 101, but to up the
rewards and punishments. So, if I am good, and I poop outside, I get a
treat. If I'm good while Mommy is gone I get to go for a VERY LONG
after work walk and have some sit out in the backyard time too.
Sometimes I get a carrot too. Sometimes I even get to go to the
dogpark! If I am bad, and poop or pee inside, I get locked in my room and
I only get 3 short 5 minute outside times and NO Mommy time. The first
week of this training I pooped inside. I spent 1/2 the night alone in my
room. A few days later I peed in the house. I got locked in my room until
bedtime. Then, the day before Easter I peed in the house because I was
too lazy to walk to the back door with Mommy. I got locked in my room
for the entire night and didn't even get to come out at bedtime! I was
VERY upset. I barked and cried, but Mommy said nobody out stubborns
her. I was only saved from a whole night alone in the dark by Mommy
getting a phone call at 2 a.m. from some drunk. She said that as long as
she was awake she'd let me out, but I didn't get to sleep on the bed with
her. I haven't peed or pooped in the house since. So, as I said, it looks
like Mommy may be winning, but don't tell her. I want to keep her on her
toes.


May 21, 2002

Well, Mommy won the housebreaking wars. I haven't peed or pooped in
the house for a month. Personally, I think Mommy cheated. See, at the
end of April I decided I wanted to poop in the house, so, when Mommy and
I went for our walk, I considered pooping, but then I held it in so I would
be able to poop after Mommy left. Mommy got really mad and she pulled
my crate out of storage. I was VERY SHOCKED to see it out. Mommy set
it up in the basement and made me get in it. Now, when I was little I liked
to poop in my crate and then sleep in the poop, but now that I am big I
realized that this would not be much fun. So I had to hold it ALL DAY.
When Mommy came home and saw that I hadn't pooped in my crate she
was VERY happy and she took me to the dogpark. That is when I realized
that I like it better when Mommy is happy, so I haven't peed or pooped in
the house since.

The other big thing this month is that Mommy and I have started our CGC
prep course. I love going to class. The night of the first class, when we
got two turns away from the school, I started yelling at Mommy to hurry
up and get there. Mommy was surprised because it had been over a year
since we had been in a class there, but I knew where we were going and
that the ladies with the good treats would be there. I was so happy to see
everyone at the school that I tried to jump onto the counter when Mommy
was checking us in. The lady with the best treats said, "Ah, Merlin...I
remember Merlin."

I'm not sure what the purpose of this class is because we are learning all
sorts of silly things. Like I am supposed to SIT! when the lady with the
treats comes to say hi. (I am not supposed to jump on her and lick her
face and try to take the treats out of her pocket) I am supposed to SIT!
while Mommy talks to another person with a dog (But the dog and I are
not supposed to talk. ) I am supposed to SIT! while the trainer guy brushes
me and looks in my ears and holds my feet. (But Mommy brushes me while
I stand because I am so tall it is easier that way) I am supposed to SIT!
while the trainer guy holds my leash and Mommy hides for 3 minutes. (Do
they really think that I don't know that Mommy hasn't really gone
anywhere?) I am supposed to SIT! and WAIT! while Mommy walks across
the room and then I am supposed to COME! and SIT! (I am not supposed to
COME! and slam into Mommy's legs.) I am supposed to HEEL! while Mommy
and I walk among all the other people and their dogs. (But again, us dogs
are not allowed to talk to each other) The best part of this class though
is that we get to do something called "jumps" every other week. I LOVE
JUMPS! They are such fun, but the trainer guy laughs at me because I
jump straight up in the air with all four legs at the same time and somehow
make it over the jump. He says dogs are supposed to jump FRONT FEET
then BACK FEET not all four feet at the same time. Oh well.
If you want to see what I have to do to pass my CGC test at the end of
next month, click here (but don't forget to come back).

 

June 25, 2002

This was a month of achievements.  First off, Mommy and I went to Wisconsin and I DID NOT pee in the house.  I also quit playing with my doggie cousins when my doggie cousins wanted to quit.  Then, Mommy gave me the basement again and I have not peed or pooped down there and I also have not slaughtered any stuffed animals.  And finally, just to show Mommy how little she is in control, I PASSED MY CGC TEST!!!

Mommy was SO SHOCKED.  See, for classes 4, 5, 6 and 7 I decided that I had had enough of this class business and I goofed off EVERY TIME.  In class 4 I knocked over some equipment and tried to hump my girlfriend Rita.  Then in class 5 I decided that I was tired of sitting on command and went on strike.  Mommy would say, "SIT!" and I would stare off into space and act like I never heard her.  Class 6 was mostly spent lying on my back and chewing the leash.  For class 7 I was SO ROTTEN goody-goody Sassy the rottweiler's mom told Mommy not to worry if I did everything wrong at the test because, "even those of us who have been showing for years come home occasionally with a NQ." (not qualified).

We practiced sit-stays at the dog park in the training area with all the distractions around me.  We practiced saying hi to all the neighbors and having me sit during it, and the weekend before the test Mommy and I went to and art fair and walked it for an hour to practice walking in crowds.  After we were done Mommy said, "I still don't think you will get your CGC but I am very proud of you because you did the fair SO WELL."

We went into the test and Mommy said, "If you pass three of the tests I will be happy.  If you pass half of them I will be astounded.  If you pass them all I will buy you a cheeseburger."  Well, how could I turn that down?   I was supposed to be number 4 to be tested, but the tester called 5 instead because she had seen who 4 was and wanted to do 5 first because she thought HE had a chance of passing.  So Mommy and I got to watch goody-goody Sassy FAIL!!!  HA!!!  Sassy jumped all over the tester for Acceptance of Stranger and for Walking in Crowds.  Her mommy didn't even bother taking the rest of the tests and left.  When I finally got called MOMMY BLEW IT!  We did Acceptance of Stranger first and she held my leash in the wrong hand because she forgot she needed to shake hands and when she switched the leash I stood up.  The tester said she got two tries (which was lucky for Mommy) and on the second try it all went well.  I needed a second try for Appearence and Grooming because I licked the tester when she was looking at my paws.  I didn't stand up, I just licked her.  I needed a second try at Out for a Walk because they told me to turn left, but the refreshment table was about 2 feet in front of me at the time so I figured forward was a better direction.  I also needed a second try for Acceptance of Another Dog because they matched me up with a dog who wasn't in our class (he had just come for the test) and he was DOG AGRESSIVE.  The other dog glared and rumbled at me and I stood up and moved away from him.  The tester said, "As much as I hate to say it, do that again."  We did it again and this time Mommy stood as far from the other dog as possible and I did fine.  All the other tests I passed on my FIRST TRY.  Our trainer was so surprised that after the first six tests were done he came over and checked to see if I was REALLY me and not some ringer that Mommy brought in for the test.

When the testing was over, and we had our certificate, I jumped on our trainer's lap.  By the way, I got my cheeseburger.

Click here to see my CGC certificate.
Click here to see my CGC test sheet.
 

 

July 23, 2002

Well, I guess that good dog thing actually stuck.  I've been a good boy this month.  Mommy has given me run of the house for as long as three hours while she's been gone and I haven't gotten into ANY trouble.  She also has let me have run of the house while she is asleep and I have been mostly good.  I only ate one pair of underwear about a week ago.  Mommy is beginning to wonder if I am sick I've been such a good boy.  Maybe it is the heat around here.  It has been SO VERY HOT that I really don't want to do much.  Sometimes I don't even want to eat.  After having lived with Boo, Mommy has trouble with the idea that a dog could just choose not to eat even if he is feeling okay.  She says if I keep this good dog stuff up I will probably have run of the house all the time by fall and she will get to have a dining room again.

Other than being hot and good, only one exciting thing happened this month.  Mommy has been really busy, so no trips or stuff.  Therefore,  I've gotten to go to the dogpark a lot.  The other day when I was there we stayed until closing.  Then just as Mommy was trying to leave I saw a chihuahua and I ran up to say hello.  The chi got scared and ran.  I LOVE playing chase so I chased.  The chi got so scared he RAN UNDER THE GATE of the dog park and out into the parking lot.  Mommy jumped the fence and tried to get him, but he was very shy.  Other people were yelling for his owner to come, but she was REALLY slow to react.  By the time she got to the parking lot Kitty (the chi) was heading for the road.  Kitty ended up running down a very busy road at sunset with his owner chasing him.  I was worried that Mommy was going to leave without me so I was trying to find a way out of the park when Mommy came back in, but rather than pay attention to me, she ended up riding herd on the woman's other chi (who was trying to run under the gate too) and the woman's four greyhounds who were running along the fence trying to find a good place to jump over.  The lady finally got Kitty and everyone was very happy to see him, and Mommy said she was very sorry I had chased him under the gate in the first place, but other people said it wasn't Mommy's fault.  Mommy still said it was my fault though and I was a bad doggie to scare Kitty so bad.

Oh!  I almost forgot!  Mommy took me to see the fireworks on the 4th of July.  It was lots of fun.  We sat on a blanket and some people came and sat by us.  Their kids didn't have their CGCs because they were VERY poorly behaved.  Some even teased me until Mommy said, "If he pops that Scooby Doo toy, I am not buying you a new one." and "I do not want him to eat what is in that glowstick so stop waving it in his face."  Then their parents kind of controlled them.  On the other side of us there were some nice people who couldn't believe that Mommy had taken A DOG to the fireworks.  They were afraid I would be scared.  I wasn't.  I LOVE FIREWORKS.  I like to watch them, but I don't like the ones that just flash and make a big boom.  When those would go off I would glare at Mommy because I know it was her fault the boring fireworks were being displayed.  I like the nice colorful ones.  I watched about 1/2 the show and then I fell asleep.  After the first few fireworks went off the nice people next to me said, "Wow!  He REALLY DOES watch the fireworks.  I've never seen a dog who watches them before."

 

August 20, 2002

This month Mommy and I went to Grandma and Grandpa's place in Wisconsin.  Boy was it fun!  I got to swim and roll in things and chase chipmunks and squirrels and ducks and stuff.  One day I was in the house and a chipmunk came right up to the glass doors that are on one side of the house.  I got so excited I started barking and pounding on the glass.  Mommy opened the back door and tried to get me to come to her to go outside and chase the chipmunk, but my brain kind of turns off when I see the little ratty things and I wouldn't let it out of my sight.  It ran along the glass and I chased it.  All of a sudden I realized that the chipmunk could keep going beyond the house, but I was going to run into the wall!  I tried to stop, but I spun out (Mommy says I am the only dog she has ever seen who literally spins out) and I slammed sideways into the stereo speaker.  I was very lucky that it was so close to the wall because it didn't tip over and even the little china loons and glass duck lamp didn't fall off.

Another day Mommy was swimming and I was swimming with her when I heard a car.  I like cars up there because interesting people come in cars.  I left the water and ran through the woods to the neighbor's house.  It was their car.  They were leaving so I chased them.  They kept honking at me so I didn't hear Mommy yelling and whistling for me as she ran through the woods in her bare feet and swimsuit (if I keep saying that maybe Mommy will believe it eventually).  After I had chased the car a down the road a bit I decided to come back to Mommy.  Mommy looked silly running up the neighbor's driveway in her swimsuit with her bare feet covered with leaf litter and stuff.  Mommy grabbed me and SPANKED me.  Bad Mommy.  She said she was sorry later, but we were still mad at each other for most of the rest of that day.

The next morning I got Mommy up about 6:30 and told her I had to go out.  What I really had to do was chase the deer I had seen from our bedroom window.  I chased them until they pooped and then I stopped to roll in the poop.  Mommy came chasing after me through the woods again.  This time she was barefoot and in her bathrobe.  When she caught me I rubbed deer poop off on her robe.  Boy was she mad!  After that she made me stay on my leash for most of the rest of the vacation, but sometimes I would be so good that she would let me off and then I would chase after cars I heard or ducks I saw or deer or chipmunks or squirrels...

It was a FUN vacation.  When we got home I slept for one whole day and then I moped for the second day.  The third day Mommy took me to the dogpark and I remembered that being home could be fun too, so I stopped moping.

 

September 24, 2002

I discovered this month that there are FISH in the lake by our house.  Why didn't anyone tell me about this before??!!  I have NEVER discovered anything so fun, except maybe squirrels and the dogpark!  Now, every chance I get I try to convince Mommy to take me to the lake.  There are BIG fish, which I don't see very often, middle sized fish and little fish that Mommy says are called minnows.  I like the little fish the best.  They swim in big packs and are SO MUCH FUN TO CHASE. 

At first I would just run maddly through the water hoping to catch a fish, but now I am more careful.  I stand really still in the shallows.  I don't move anything (except my tail which seems to have a mind of its own) and I watch for the fish.  When I spot them then I LEAP at them.  Mommy says I am never going to catch them if I keep leading with my feet, but I'm not sure about that.  Even if I don't catch them it is still fun to jump at them because when you jump into the middle of a bunch of minnows they all swim in different directions and then you can run maddly through the water after them.  Sometime I try to bite them, but they are always deeper than I expect and all I seem to get is ears full of water.  But I figure practice makes perfect and so I plan to practice until I catch myself a fish.

Mommy took me to the lake the other day to chase the fish and said that I could stay there until I got tired of the game.  An hour and a half later she took it back and made me go home.  She didn't realize that I never get tired of chasing fish, but she got tired of pacing back and forth on the beach.  She says that maybe next time she will take my 100 foot training leash and a chair and a book so that I can fish all morning if I want.  I hope she does.  I want to CATCH some of those minnows!

 

October 22, 2002

This month Mommy and I went back up to Wisconsin.  Everyone was supposed to go up to help clean up from the summer, but her brothers all went up early and did all the work.  Since Mommy couldn't get off on the new weekend and already had the other weekend off, we went up and had fun.  One of the things we did was went into town and saw this very strange custom where the townspeople cook roastbeefs in front of their stores and then they dress themselves and their beefs up and parade through town.  (Check my page in the future for photos.  Mommy is such a slow photo taker it will be a while before they are out of the camera) Mommy wondered what I would do with all the meat around me, but I was very good and didn't try to take any of it.  If I hadn't been wearing my headcollar it might have been a different story. 

The BIG NEWS of the month though is that I have gotten COMPLETE RUN OF THE HOUSE and I have been VERY GOOD.  I've been so good in fact that Mommy spent last weekend cleaning up my room and stuff and putting away all the babygates and my cage.  I was downstairs with Mommy when she pulled the cage out from by the boiler and boy was I shocked.  I smiled at her and ran upstairs because I thought she was going to try to put me in it.  I HATE that cage.  I don't care what they say about dogs liking cages because they are a spot of their own and all that.  My spot is on Mommy's bed thank you very much!  Mommy kept calling me and saying, "Look! I'm putting it in the box!  I'm putting the box in the storage closet!" but I didn't really believe her.  I still haven't gone back down into the basement, just in case.  Mommy says the next big job is repairing the door frames that I ate before I became a GOOD DOG.

Finally this month my dogpark visits have had to change from evenings to weekends because it gets dark too soon.  I miss going at night and Mommy isn't very happy about some of the bad dog things I have been learning from the weekend dogs.  She says they seem to be a lower class of dog than we are used to.  They tend to guard their toys and food and water and they fight a lot.  I even got into some fights myself.  One dog attacked me because his Mommy gave me a treat, and then the other day I took offense when a pit bull puppy jumped on me and I snapped at him and he snapped back and the next thing you know we were kind of scuffling and Mommy and the pit bull's owner had to separate us.  Then while Mommy was holding me I actually snapped at two other doggies.  Mommy says she knows I was over tired and over excited, but it was no excuse and I had to go home and now Mommy says no more dog park for at least one week.  Obedience instead.  **SIGH**

November 19, 2002

Well, this month Mommy did that weird thing where she walks around the house and fiddles with all the clocks and then she starts coming home from work an HOUR LATE each night.  This year, however, I DID NOT pee or poop or throw up even once!  Mommy says I am turning into such a grown up dog.

This month also that Halloween thing came again.  Mommy made me wear devil horns to answer the door.  I didn't mind because I get treats if I do it right, and I did it right almost every time.  Everyone liked me except one little boy who was dressed as a puppy and who was AFRAID OF DOGS!  Why was he dressed like a puppy then?  Mommy thinks maybe they were trying to work him through his dog phobia or else he wanted to dress as something REALLY scary!  I greeted almost everyone perfectly and I didn't try to stick my head into anyone's candy bag and take their candy either.  The only kid that I attacked was one who was wearing a stuffed animal on her head, so could you really blame me?  (Read my
Bad Dog story for the whole tale)

Finally, Mommy let me go back to the dogpark, but only on weekday mornings.  I was good for the whole month until THIS MORNING when I decided to fight with a German shepherd for absolutely no reason.  Mommy couldn't catch me.  (I am fast and strong and slippery so there is no stopping me unless you manage to grab both my tail and a leg at the same time and that is hard to do when you have to do it in the middle of a dog fight!)  The German shepherd had to be dragged out of the park with me going after him the whole time before I calmed down.  BOY WAS MOMMY MAD!!  She actually hollered at me and said all sorts of bad words and swatted me AND did a muzzle squeeze and head shake (she's NEVER done that before!  I was shocked let me tell you.) in front of all the other dog owners!  She really lost her temper.  I don't know why she gets so mad.  I am only having fun.  I wag my tail the whole time I am fighting and I never actually BITE the other dog I just make all the noise and snap my teeth.  The other dog never actually bitesme either because I am too fast.  Mommy says it may be a game for me, but it isn't for the other dog or the owners and I am not going back to the dogpark until probably NEXT YEAR because I have to REALLY work on my manners.  So still more obedience and Mommy says "NO MORE SPOILING because you are the OMEGA DOG not the alpha!!"  Something tells me I may have gone too far today.

 

December 23, 2002

This was a busy month.  First off, Mommy kept her word and I didn't get to go to the dog park AT ALL this month.  Mean Mommy.  I have been getting wilder and wilder just to show her how badly I need to RUN, but it hasn't helped.  Mommy was also keeping her word about lots of obedience work until I found a way out of it this month.  I ate something toxic and had an allergic reaction to it.  The whole left side of my head swelled up and my left eye swelled closed.   Mommy took me to the emergency vet who said it looked like I'd been bitten by something and said, "Save your money.  Go buy Benadryl and give him that rather than get him a shot of the same stuff."  So Mommy did and the swelling went down.  The vet had said if I looked okay the next day Mommy shouldn't do anything.  I looked fine, so she didn't, but when she got home from work my whole nose was swelled up to twice its size!  Mommy said I looked like somebody called ALF.  Mommy got me a vet appointment for the next day, but by the time we got there my nose wasn't swollen anymore, but it was all covered in bumps and was itchy.  The vet said I had hives and I had to take Benadryl for almost a week!  They think I may have eaten a spider or centipede, but I'm not telling what it was.  The only lasting effect of the reaction was that the hair fell out around my eye and it hasn't grown back yet.  Mommy says she will talk to the vet about it when I go for my checkup in a couple weeks.

While my nose was still itchy, Mommy packed all our stuff up and we went to Grandma and Grandpa's place in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  I had fun and was very good.  I only got in trouble once (read
my Bad Dog story ).  My doggie cousin Fred came by one day, and I kept giving him what Mommy calls "the devil eyes" because Fred is really big and big dogs make me nervous 'cause of the dog park problems, but we didn't have any arguments and I even tried to get him to play with me a couple times.  He's kind of old, so he didn't want to.  One other thing I did at Thanksgiving was head-butt my human cousin really hard right under the eye.  Everyone (except Mommy who has been head-butted by me before) thought he was going to get a black eye, but he only had a red spot under his eye for a day.

Also, this month Mommy took me to visit our old neighbor.  He lives in an assisted care place now so I don't get any treats at the fence anymore.  I kept trying to get him to come give me treats and Mommy kept telling me he wasn't there, but since I wouldn't believe her she took me to his new place.  He has a GREAT ROOM you can see a dog park from his window!!  I kept whining and trying to get Mommy to take me there, but she wouldn't.  My neighbor was happy to see me and even though he had told Mommy he didn't want me to come see him, after the visit he said, "I'll have to get some treats." and then he said, "You can bring my friend by whenever you want." so Mommy says we will go back there and MAYBE if I am GOOD we will go to the dog park too.  By the way, new neighbors are at the house now.  They haven't moved in yet, but they sure are making a lot of noise.  Mommy says they are gutting the house and redoing it.  We don't know if they are going to move in or if they are going to resell the place when they are done, so Mommy says, "No fence begging!"  I haven't listened, but the new people don't seem to understand that they are supposed to give me treats.  I hope they move in so I can train them.

Finally this month Mommy took me to see someone named Santa Paws and get my photo taken.  We went to the pet store and instead of going right to the toy area we went to a back corner where this guy dressed in red stuffed animal fur was.  He has this long white beard and he smelled like lots of other doggies and cats and hamsters and ferrets and all sorts of animals.  Mommy had me jump up on the platform he was sitting on.  I did it, but when Mommy stepped back I got scared and jumped off.  We repeated this a whole bunch of times until the elf who was taking the picture suggested that Mommy hide on the floor behind Santa and hold my leash.  When I knew Mommy wasn't leaving I settled down right away and they got a good photo of Santa and me.  Mommy made it into our holiday card. 
Click here to see it. Write to you next year!

 

January 21, 2003

Well another busy month.  This month that Christmas thing happened again.  Mommy and I went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas Eve.  One of Mommy's brothers was there.  I kept licking him all over the face.  Grandma and Grandpa had a TREE in the house.  I was very good and didn't take any of the ornaments off, and I didn't water the tree, and I didn't lop off any of the branches.  I did try to get to the back of the tree where my presents were, but Mommy wouldn't let me.  Mommy says maybe next year we can have a tree in our house too!  Some other relatives came over for Christmas Eve and I was very good.  I didn't get into any trouble, except trying a couple times to eat the hors d'oeuvres.  I even showed off my tricks (
Click here to see my list of tricks I can do ).  Mommy and I slept over that night.  I was okay, but I would have prefered a double bed.  Mommy takes up too much room in the twin bed.

The next day we opened our presents.  I got a REAL bone from the butcher, a squeakie stuffed pacifier and a cow that goes "MOOOO!" when you bite it.  I chewed the cow's horns off right away.  Grandma thought that was terrible, but Mommy doesn't mind.  Then one of Mommy's other brothers and his family came with their dog, Missy.  Missy is a Portugese water dog and still a puppy.  She wanted to play and she chased me around.  I played with her some, but I know that running games are OUTSIDE games so I didn't play as hard as I would have if we were outside.  She also jumped up on Grandma's bed and bedroom chairs (which is a no-no and I told her so!) so we ended up having to stay in the kitchen and front hall only.   Missy wanted the rolls that were rising on the counter.  I wanted the rolls on the counter too, but I saw Mommy had put a mousetrap by them so I told Missy not to touch them.  When everyone was in the other room opening presents, Missy jumped up to get the rolls and set the mousetrap off.  Mommy heard the SNAP! and came to see who got got.  Missy was looking startled and surprised by the mousetrap and I was dancing around the room wagging my tail and LAUGHING at Missy.  I told her not to touch the rolls!  HA HA HA!!

Missy and I got more presents too after all the people had finished with theirs.  I got a giant tennis ball (I've lost it somewhere in our house) and a rawhide bone from Missy.  I also got a rubber squeakie dog, some chewy milkbones and a big rubber squeakie bone from my Auntie Naomi (from Mommy's work), and some carob yogurt drops from Santa Paws.  I gave Missy a dead-fowl quail.  Missy didn't know what it was and dropped it so I stole it and when she tried to get it back I growled at her.  So Mommy took it away.  Christmas sure is fun.

This month I also went to the vet for shots.  It took two people to hold me down so a third person could take blood for my heartworm test.  Mommy says I really need to learn to relax at the vet's.   The vet says my hair around my eye should grow back with my spring shed and I am a perfect dog, physically.

Mommy let me go back to the dog park this month.  YAY!!  I have been good, but I have to drag my leash around so Mommy can catch me and we go somewhere high or fenced when we see German shepherds and I get treatstreatstreatstreats for looking at them and not getting bristly.  I did snap at a dog who tried to join a chase game I was having with another dog, so Mommy took me home and said we have to work on "dogs coming up behind me" (that is how the shepherd came at me and made me paranoid), but Mommy thinks I am improving.  She says she'll take me to the park by my neighbor's new place next time to see if a different location helps.

I got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa a second time this month because Mommy went to a wedding and didn't want to worry about me having to go out and stuff.  I hardly worried this time.  I only threw up a little after Mommy left and I didn't pee or poop in the house at all.  In fact, when Mommy came to get me I was sleeping on the bed we had slept in on Christmas Eve.  Mommy was very proud of me.

And, last but not least, I celebrated my second aniversary with Mommy on January 19th.  Mommy bought me another bone (from the grocery store) but when she unwrapped it it was spoiled.  It was so disgusting that when I sniffed a drop of blood that had fallen on the floor it made ME gag, and I play with road kill!  Mommy took it back to the store and told them to check their freezer.  So, I got a bully stick instead and that night Mommy bought me a double cheese burger and fries.  MMMM.

Happy New Year!

 

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