Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Perspective & Improvements on the Christmas Dog, Cash

          Yesterday we took Cash to meet our vet at Magic Valley Veterinary Hospital.  The visit went very well!  Cash was his usual curious, happy puppy self for the exam.  He willing let the vet thoroughly look him over.  The only problem we had was Cash had a really hard time holding still when Dr. L was trying to listen to his heart; the stethoscope was so fascinating!  Cash kept trying to twist around to examine the new object.  It was very funny to watch.  The vet agreed he is about 11 months old and gave him a clean bill of health, other than being about 15 lbs underweight.  Cash currently weighs 59 lbs and will round out around 75 lbs.  We were able to micro-chip him and inquired about his back dewclaws.  Since he is far past infancy we will not be removing them.  When we take him hiking we will just use RuffWear booties to protect the dewclaws from bramble.  Last, he has an appointment for the 11th for his neuter (yeah!).
Cash with his male buddy, Rodrigo

I'm so sleepy, I think I'll snooze in the water dish

Kevin and I both think Cash is one of the most inquisitive dogs we have ever met.  Any new object or item he finds needs to be thoroughly sniffed and explored.   He saw his first rocking horse Sunday.  It was great to watch him!  He froze, then slowly moved closer.  He finally moved up to the horse and nudged it.   When the rocking horse moved he got very excited and bounced a little.  He kept looking over at me as if to ask if I had ever seen such a thing.  His joy of exploration is infectious.  Everyday items become an adventure when viewed through Cash’s eyes.   
Cash is still opening up with our pack and finding his place.  He loves to play with Miley and his foster cousins Lilo and Sassy.  Tug of war with toys and wrestling are two of his favorite games.  We bought the dogs Snoopy tugs which lasted 24 hours.  They played nonstop over an afternoon until all that was left of Snoopy were little white bits of fluff, too small to play with any longer.  
Miley (3 year old lab) & Cash with the Snoopy toy

Cash & Miley relaxing in the aftermath of the Snoopy carnage

Cash’s indoor behavior is improving at a rapid rate, too!  The first evening Cash did not understand that dogs’ feet should not be on counters and tables, especially when food is out.  He quickly learned that treats only come to him when he sits patiently.  He no longer does this if we are in the room, but will still take advantage of counter cruising if we leave the room.  We are continuing to work with him, but are happy with his improvement.  Here are some pictures from day one of Cash “problem solving.”  
Problem solving...
Dang!  I found the bag of cat food, but I am busted...
 Thankfully it only happened the once, and now makes a funny story!  Cash was hungry and set out to feed himself.  We had a bag of of cat food on the top of the refrigerator.  He figured out that the rolling cart would get him close enough to the top of the refrigerator that he could climb on up and eat.  The last picture was taken just after he tried to jump the rest of the way up, we yelled no, and he realized we were watching him.  I think this poem sums up the difference between how we think and how dogs think.  Was it inappropriate that Cash stood on the table, yes from our perspective, but he is a dog, so not for him.  Enjoy:

Christmas Dog by Shel Silverstein

Tonight’s my first night as a watchdog,
And here it is Christmas Eve.
The children are sleepin’ all cozy upstairs,
While I’m guardin’ the stockin’s and tree.

What’s that now--footsteps on the rooftop?
Could it be a cat or a mouse?
Who’s this down the chimney?
A thief with a beard--
And a big sack for robbin’ the house?

I’m barkin’ I’m growlin’ I’m bittin’ his butt.
He howls and jumps back in his sleigh.
I scare his strange horses, they leap in the air.
I’ve frightened the whole bunch away.

Now the house is all peaceful and quiet again,
The stockin’s are safe as can be.
Won’t the kiddies be glad when they wake up tomorrow
And see how I’ve guarded the tree.

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