One of my aims in dog ownership was to take two walks a day. Since it looked like snow, I achieved that goal today and took Josie O out for a second walk. Our walks are still short, and very meandering, but I got out of the house twice today, and that’s more than usual. Just looked outside, and snow is swirling down.
Yesterday, Josie O was gnawing away on a beef tendon while Joe and I looked on dotingly. Suddenly she started doing that peanut butter stuck to the roof of the mouth thing.
Me: She must have a piece of tendon stuck on her teeth.
Josie: (spits out little gristly looking thing)
Me: Aren’t you gonna eat it? You worked so hard to chew it off.
Joe: (puts bit of stuff on finger tip, offers it to Josie) Wait a minute, it’s a tooth!
So Josie, who still has some gaps in her mouth arsenal at 10 months, is still cutting teeth.
Hummingbird – heartbeat
Butterfly – ears
Snake – mouth
Frog – mouth
Squirrel – paws
Monkey – face, entire attitude
Mouse – eyes, ears, fur
Bunny – legs, bouncy jumps
Bug – the way she runs around on the floor, looking all small
Worm – butt, as in the way it wiggles
I was upstairs at the computer when I heard Josie O whining downstairs. I ignored her, as usual, but it kept up for longer than usual, so I decided to make sure nothing was wrong. She was standing at the bottom of the stairs with her head stuck in her chipmunk stump toy.
I know I should have taken a picture, but I felt too bad for her. Her ear was sticking out one of the holes and everything. It was really pathetic.
Josie weighed 2 lbs. 10 ozs. mid-morning on our digital postal scale. The weight chart for Chihuahuas projects her at 4 lbs as an adult. I think that was the projection when she was born, too. Apparently these things are pretty accurate.
We took our longest walk yet this morning, around a full block plus a bit. She behaved really well, with only a little random woofing. Didn’t see any other dogs. Sorry I didn’t get a better photo. Am still getting used to everything, and seem to have too few hands.
Yesterday I fed treats jointly to Musette la Plume (cat) and Josie O (Chihuahua puppy), as part of my ongoing work to have the cat get used to the dog. Josie was on the floor, and Musette was on the second step up. After I felt they’d had enough treats, I started petting them, but Josie was in a rambunctious mood and put her front paws on the bottom step, trying to reach the cat. Musette hissed at her – once, twice, and then she bopped the puppy on top of her little head. Honestly, I’ve been waiting for Musette to grow a pair of big-girl titties, to mix a whole bunch of metaphors. Josie yelped once, and not very loudly (she can be a real drama queen). I checked, and saw nary a mark. I do think Musette understands that Josie is a baby, so she must have kept her claws in. Man, she’s fast. I’ve always been in awe of cats’ physical abilities. They’re such perfect predators; right up there with sharks.
Unfortunately, the kitty machismo probably won’t last. It takes a long time for Musette to learn stuff, or possibly she doesn’t want to. She continues to run across the living room to the stairs if Josie is there, unless I’m there to distract/restrain all 2.5 pounds of puppy menace. I’ve moved one of the cat posts next to my desk, so Zetty can look out the window and get the occasional butt scratch instead of occupying my lap. She’s still a very happy cat. She’s especially happy that she gets two wet meals a day, which she didn’t before. Life is a mix of shadows and light, small dogs and canned food.
Josie is doing very well on walks, although for the first time today, she decided the outdoors was overrated and she wanted to go back home. Might have been too chilly, or maybe she smelled something scary, dunno. Yesterday was in the 60s, and we got two walks in. Twice people in cars stopped to talk to me about her and pet her from their windows. She didn’t even have a cute little sweater on, just her harness. We live in a town that mostly owns big dogs, suitable for back country hiking and swimming in the creek, so Josie is a novelty. Me, I wanted a dog suitable for neighborhood strolls and sitting on my table at outdoor coffee shops.
The one word my Chihuahua puppy knows for sure is “kitty.” Musette la Plume exerts a powerful glamour over Josie O, and that started long before I began giving them treats jointly, to make Musette tolerate Josie’s presence.
Things Josie O knows about the cat.
1) She’s the only other furbaby in the house.
2) She’s large and powerful, able to leap onto tall objects, such as the couch.
3) She doesn’t go to the bathroom, at least not where Josie can see.
4) She gets to go outdoors at will.
5) She speaks a foreign language, and has mysterious conversations with the woman.
6) She hates puppies.
I can only imagine their unspoken thoughts toward each other, as Josie stands at the bottom of the stairs and Musette looks down at her.
Josie O: “Hi! Hi! I don’t know what you are, but I want to play with you! Look at me wagging my tail! You can trust me – look at me looking away from you. Now I’m looking back, but I’m wagging my tail even harder! Hi!”
Musette la Plume: “Look at that thrashing tail. And what’s with those eyes? They’re all pupil. She wants to kill me for sure. Oh, she seems small, but the second I let my guard down, she’ll puff up and show her real size, which is probably huge, like a beagle. Well, dream on, dog.”
Both: “Wait…Mom’s coming over…with treats!“
Musette very much in evidence downstairs this morning. I decided to give them both treats while they were on the same level (usually Musette is on the stairs and Josie on the floor. Josie O is so well trained to not come near the cat that I had to really call to get her to come over. I think they were about a foot apart. Musette still a little prone to speeding up when Josie is unoccupied and they’re on the same level, but not much. Step by step (treat by treat), we make progress.
Josie O had a big day yesterday. She took her very first walk. It was morning, around 30 degrees F, so I put her black sweater and parka on and took her outside. Having never been on a real street, she was a little nervous about the occasional car going by, so I picked her up and carried her for a little. Then I put her back down. No more nervousness. She trotted along behind me. Whenever she didn’t make me wait and went in a straight line, I praised her to the skies. We walked about the length of a block, probably.
Yesterday I also gave a friend a ride from the hospital, very near our house, to her house. Joanie visited Josie a few weeks ago and fell in love with her, so she begged that I bring her in the car. So I did. Josie is good about peeing on command on her pad. Basically, I’ve praised her so much for peeing that if I put her on the pad and start praising, she pees. Handy. So she went potty before we left.
Joanie rode in the back so she could sit next to Josie in her car seat. Joanie has a great fenced patio, so Josie got to run around out there when she wasn’t being carried around or sitting in Joanie’s lap. When it was time to go, I took out the smallest of her pads, which I’d brought, and she peed again before we drove home.
I thought sure she’d be really tired for the rest of the day, but after a nap, she was her usual lively self for the rest of the day. Oh, and Joanie took the picture, above, of me and Josie in her kitchen.
In other news, I’m giving a workshop today on High Concept Marketing for your books, through the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I love working with people on that. There will be index cards. Oh, yes, there will be index cards.
Josie woke me up with some squeaking a couple minutes earlier than yesterday – 5:39. I waited until she was quiet, then got up and checked her. Last night, per Nancy’s (her breeder’s) instructions, I made her a sleepshirt out of one of Joe’s orphan socks, and I slept downstairs a second time to make sure she didn’t get tangled in it. She had gotten her arms out and it was around her middle, which is fine. I took it off her, reheated her seed pad, put her back in her pen, and went back to my bed on the couch. She whined for maybe three minutes and then was quiet. I went back to sleep.
Woke up again at 7:22. Joe was stirring upstairs. Josie was totally quiet. I took her out of her pen and got back in bed and snuggled with her for a little, as a reward. Then we played fetch, at which she’s very good.
Nancy instructed me yesterday to use the washable potty pad she’d given me. She said that even thought it was laundered and bleached, it would still have some scent (wow). I had been using disposable pads that were scented with attractant, and Josie didn’t seem to get it. Well, Josie peed twice and pooped, all on the pad. Hallelujah. I’m sure she’ll still have accidents, but I’m still mightily impressed. I praised her to the skies, of course.
She followed me around as I got my breakfast, and I sat on the floor and ate while she played. She also licked my feet, which is like the tiniest foot massage imaginable. I won’t be stopping that behavior anytime soon.
I made a couple of mistakes. First, I got impatient with Musette when she wouldn’t come downstairs after our morning affection time. So I carried her, and got raked on the chest for my troubles. Normally she would never do that, even if she struggled, but all bets are off right now. The other thing was, Josie and I were wandering around downstairs when Musette came back in, and I didn’t pick Josie up. The temptation to see what would happen was so strong (hangs head). Josie saw Musette and gave a surprised little bark, which made Musette trot around the closet area out of sight. That part was fine, but about a minute later Josie went to investigate, and Musette ran. I’m not supposed to let that happen. On the other hand, Josie didn’t really follow her. When I went upstairs later, Musette was super affectionate, like maybe she was saying, “It’s not as bad as I thought!” Later, I got her to come downstairs and past Josie in her pen with a trail of treats down the stairs. Josie didn’t bark, and Musette didn’t run.
I won’t sleep downstairs tonight, although I may get up earlier than usual. Musette will get her regular affection time first thing, and then I’ll go down and eat breakfast and play with Josie. Playing will stimulate her to go to the bathroom and also tire her out. Then I’ll put her in her pen with a chewy and come upstairs to work (she’ll probably nap). That will give me time to hang out with Musette, unless she’s outside, which she is now.
And here I thought having a puppy was going to be hard. It helps that she’s a toy breed, and you can wear her out just by throwing stuff around the living room.
Tomorrow she gets her new-puppy visit at the vet.