Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, August 28, 2006

Adler at Bath Time

Ever see a dog who walks around or jumps over puddles or one who can’t stand going out in the rain? Well, if you do then you know Adler and you can just imagine what she’s like when we try to give her a bath.

In fact, after her last bath, we vowed that we will never give Adler a bath at home again.

After trying to coax her into our bedroom bathroom with treats and then putting on her leash and trying to walk her into the bathroom, she decided she’d rather be choked than get wet. Of course I don’t like seeing my dog in any type of pain even if she was faking it, so we gave up on the leash and let her roam around a bit. We thought she’d forget about bath time, but it still took us another 20 minutes with us pushing and pulling her into the bathroom. Once she’s in though, she’s okay despite the heavy breathing and shaking.

We know that she hates it and vowed to never wash her again…at least in our house because it was too traumatic for us and her, but it was really what she did when she got home from vacation that had us confirm our commitment to let someone else do the washing. You see we bathed Adler the night before we left for vacation and when we returned home a week later she refused to go into our bedroom even if we were in there. We couldn’t figure out why she was so scared and then Tom remembered the night before we left that we traumatized her in our room by giving her a bath. Needless to say, she finally did come into our room, but it was only after we turned off the lights and were in bed and she was sure there was no way we were going to get up and throw her in the tub. So much for dogs not having a long term memory!

I guess it was destiny too because the week we got home, a new pet bathing and grooming place, Clean Dog, opened right around the corner. She’ll be trying out that place for her next bath.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Adler's New Tricks

Since we were on vacation for a week, we thought we'd teach Adler some new tricks. She's a quick learner and halfway through the week she caught on to her new tricks and was doing them automatically - well maybe not the first trick, but surely the second.

First Trick: We asked our friend, Perry, to teach her how to bark on command. Adler isn't much of a barker which is good considering we live in a condo building and I'm not sure our neighbors would like it if she was. But, we wanted hear her deep, scary bark occasionally to make sure she hadn't lost the use of her vocal cords. Anyway, according to Perry the trick for making her bark has to do with eye contact and of course her understanding the command "speak." She mastered this in about four days although you can tell she doesn't like to do it. Now, she's given in to first trying to appease us with a small bark that sounds more like a rush of air coming from her mouth before bellowing out her deep throaty bark that is sure to scare away a few prowlers.

Second Trick: This is one that Tom and I had taught her when she was just a little puppy and at that time she did it pretty well, however, since we hadn't practiced it in the last year and because she had grown considerably bigger, she wasn't sure what "rollover" meant or even how to get her big body going in one direction. Now, with just a treat in my hand, I can say, "Adler, sit!". She then proceeds to sit, lay down and then automatically roll over - all 80 pounds of her - this all without so much as the "rollover" command. Perhaps we practiced that one a bit too much!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Adler Falls in Pool

Yup, you read it right. Our dog who hates the water fell into the swimming pool of the beach house we rented with some friends in Union Pier, Mich. One minute she was prancing around the perimeter of the pool trying to figure out how she was going to play with our friend Perry who was in the middle of the pool and the next minute she was putting her paws on the small, very slippery tile ledge on the deep side of the pool and plunging head first into the water. Good thing Perry was nearby and pulled her head above the water by the scruff of her neck so that she could hang on to the side and doggie paddle. I was surprised, she didn't freak out as much as I thought she would. I was also surprised I didn't. Tom and I just hoisted our 80-pound dog over the side of the pool and laughed at her. The downside of all this is that we didn't have her collar on to help get her out of the pool. We had just taken it off because it was full of sand from Adler's morning romp on the beach. The picture above is literally minutes after she was rescued.

Lots of other good Adler stories from our vacation so stay tuned for my next post about her new tricks learned on vacation with the attention of our six friends and Perry's training abilities.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pets Die Too Soon 2

Opening your heart up to love an animal means that you will have years of joy, but also hours and sometimes days or weeks of heartache. Is it worth the pain? In the end, I think no, because they can never live as long as we do and we must endure losing something we love so much. But then you reflect on the years of great memories that you have had with your pet and you do believe it's worth it. Sometimes you even get another animal to help fill that void that comes from being loved by something so unconditionally.

In an earlier post, I comment on the day my friend had to put down her beloved dog. Today, my parents have to do the same to my 20-year-old cat, Casey. We got Casey when I was 12 years old. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was August 1st. My brothers were away in Boston visiting relatives, my parents had just picked me up from camp and informed me that we had a new addition to our family. A Mancoon cat, whom I named Casey. They brought her home to keep our older Calico cat, Ashley, company.

Anyway, today, there will be a lot of things I will be remembering about Casey - how she licked my ears when I would lay on the floor watching tv; how she used to sleep on my bed all the time when I was a kid; how she loved attention and would push her butt up in the air when you pet her; and how her meow sounded like a child crying. But most of all, today marks the end of my childhood pets. Casey was the last one in a long line - Bozo, Ashley, Casey and Bailey.

I thank them for everything they taught me about being responsible, loyal and loving something with all your heart. Adler gets to benefit from that now.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Adler's Real Competition Arrives in January

Come January, Adler will have some company....or it could be some competition for our attention. No, we're not bringing home another Bernese Mountain Dog or a little kitty (which I'm still lobbying for) - we're expecting a baby.

This means, Adler doesn't get pushed to the side, but she will have to learn to share our attention and affections. Of course, I made Tom promise that we will still give Adler as many walks and as much attention as we do now and I'm already worrying about who will come over to let her out when I am in labor -- even envisioning myself telling Tom to go home and take Adler out at some point.

I hope Adler won't be jealous and that she'll be protective and careful around the little tyke. I hope they'll be the best of friends. And, I hope too that our kid is as cute as Adler or else next summer, we'll be walking with Adler and the kid in the stroller and someone, per usual, will come up to us and remark what a great looking dog we have, and then say nothing about our kid.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Adler in her Fort

Today Adler is enjoying hanging out in her fort, which I referred to in my previous post.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Where's Adler?

Usually when we come home our usually over-excited puppy is right there at the door to greet us. Lately though, when we've come home - nothing. Adler is just getting up from a deep slumber somewhere where she doesn't even hear us coming up the stairs. We did catch her a few times, just coming out of our second bedroom. We couldn't figure out where she was sleeping in that room especially since it tends to get hot in there in the middle of the day.

The bed wasn't messed up so she wasn't sleeping on the bed and the rest of the area in there was in the direct sunlight. Turns out Tom caught her when he was home working one day. Go figure she was stuffing her 80-pound body between the wall and the bed. Can't be comfortable, but somehow she seems to like it.