Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hadley, 'GO TO BED'

This command is so useful both for bed time and for when I'm leaving for work in the morning.  I made sure, though, that I didn't close the pen the first few times she obeyed because I don't want her to think that going to bed automatically means she's getting locked in.  Up until now I'd been locking the pen and then picking her up and putting her in it but I really wanted her to walk in there by herself and be OK with it.  She seems to be.  Cool!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bouncing Off the Walls

She's been driving me crazy...so full of energy that she's bouncing off the walls.  She needs to go for a nice, energy-draining walk but she's technically not supposed to...not until she completes all her shots.  But, I don't think either one of us can survive that long.

So, Brian and I decided to take her out and keep her away from any other dogs (people aren't the danger).  We put on her pretty pink collar and grabbed the matching pink leash that we so lovingly bought and off we go.  C'mon, Hadley, let's go for a walk.  Hadley?  Hadley! 


We gave the slightest tug on the leash and down she went.  All four paws splayed out on the ground.  Splat.  Look, Hadley - chicken!  Splat.  Look, Hadley - cheese!  Splat.  The only way to move her would be to drag her by her delicate little neck.  Damn.

Brian went out and bought her a body harness.  Pink, to match her leash :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Potty Box

Before bringing Hadley home, I'd decided that I was going to train her to use a litter box.  She's a small dog and I wanted to give her the option to go in the house whenever she needed to.  I spoke to lots of small dog owners who told me their dogs go both inside and outside.  I found articles about litter box training a dog and Petco sells the doggie litter boxes.

But now that she's home, I can see that the box I bought is too small.  It's the right size for her weight and dimensions and she can jump into it just fine but there's not enough room for her to do her weird potty circles.  I didn't know she'd need to do weird potty circles.  Hmm.

I did a quick search online and didn't find a larger box so I'm just not going to worry about it right now.  The box is in her pen next to the newspaper so I'm going to let her continue learning to go on the paper and not worry if she avoids the box.  I'll teach that to her later.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Got It!

OK...I've figured out her food likes and dislikes and...it's actually pretty cool.  She loves cheese, of course, and I'm being good about staying away from her yummy cheese cubes.  I don't know if she likes peanut butter but I may never find out because I LOVE peanut butter and I would never, ever stay away from it ;)  She also loves chicken which I guess all dogs do but the cool part is that she eats vegetables.

It would never have occured to me to try except that I read about CKC spaniels liking carrots and bell peppers so I tried and it's true.  Interestingly, she doesn't care for bananas but will accept apples, carrots, broccoli, romaine lettuce and bell peppers.  But her favorite is string beans...she adores them!  It's odd but great.  CKC spaniels have a tendency to become overweight and the breed also suffers from genetic heart defects which makes excess weight particularly dangerous.  I really wanted to keep her healthy and avoid high calorie snacks like cheese and biscuits so her love of produce is awesome!

I'm a bit of a health nut myself so fruits and veggies are high on my list plus I love to cook.  It didn't take Hadley long to figure out that keeping me company in the kitchen while I prepare meals can really pay off and, since the veggies are so low in calories, I don't mind giving them to her.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Elizabeth Taylor

I used to watch Sex and the City but somehow I must have missed the relevant details of Charlotte's prize-winning dog.  But...when I started telling people I was getting a CKC Spaniel, everyone said 'oh, Charlotte's dog, Elizabeth Taylor.'  For some reason I find that really aggravating.

Although...I did go back and look up pictures of the dog on the show and there's one showing her dressed in a Burberry sweater that would look great on my beautiful Hadley.  Oh...good grief...I'm becoming one of those people.  But, I don't care!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hadley, 'DOWN'

I taught her another command.  I found little chicken flavored biscuits that she likes but they still take too long to chew for training purposes so it was back to the cheese.  I may have screwed up, though, because I didn't teach her LIE DOWN, just DOWN.  But...what do I say to get her to stop jumping?  I'll have to come up with another word since DOWN to her now means flat on the ground on her belly with her front paws out.  It's cool when she finally understands something, though :) 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Separation Anxiety

She's got separation anxiety and I've just got anxiety.  When she sees me leaving she cries and yips and I feel just awful.  I don't want her to be miserable...and I don't want her to make noise that my neighbors will complain about.

I bought her more squeaky toys and some busy bones but nothing interests her when she just wants me.  The busy bone is supposed to have a yummy center but she doesn't seem to get it.  Maybe she's too young.  I'll have to look for something else.  Back to the pet supply store...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week by Week

I've decided to take her picture every week to keep a record of how much she's growing.  She was two days shy of 9 weeks when we brought her home.  Today she is exactly 10 weeks old.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hadley, 'SIT'

I taught her to sit.  It was easy.  I told Brian and he doubted me but when he came over yesterday he saw that it was true.  I finally broke down and bought some cheddar cheese cubes to train her with.  I'd tried to avoid it because...well...Hadley's new mommy likes cheese, too ;)

I don't think that's the answer to training, though, because Hadley went nuts when she smelled it and it actually made it more difficult for her to concentrate.  Still...she learned to sit in about 5 or 6 repetitions.  That's nearly German Shepherd speed so maybe she's an extra smart spaniel.  I can't wait to teach her more stuff.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Proactive Move

I live in an apartment building and I was really concerned about Hadley barking or crying loudly during the day and disturbing the neighbors.  But, there's really only one neighbor that would hear her well enough to mind and I'm reasonably friendly with the woman.  I ran into her yesterday and invited her in to meet my new puppy.  She thought Hadley was the cutest thing she'd ever seen and she assured me that she hadn't heard a sound out of her.  Phew.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bath Time

I'd been nervous about giving her a bath and finally worked up the courage.  But, they say a dog can read your emotions and I was obviously not fooling her.  She began to cry and struggled to get away almost immediately and it was all I could do to restrain her.  Then she began to shiver so badly that I was actually afraid for her well-being.  I washed off as much of the soap as I could and rushed to dry her off.  Cradling her in a towel in my arms, I held her for a long time before she stopped shaking.

The next day Brian was over and I described the ordeal.  He has a firmer hand and calmer demeanor and he re-did the bath properly.  She still struggled and complained but must less severely.  Or maybe I was just calmer because my boyfriend was around.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Thought Dogs Ate Pretty Much Anything

I thought it would be exciting to find out what she likes to eat but it's actually pretty frustrating.  I have the ASPCA's list of people foods that are bad for dogs on the refrigerator door but, other than that, it's fair game.  Hadley likes her dry puppy kibble enough to eat it but not enough to overeat it...which I guess is good.  But I bought her these beefy/bacon-ey training treats from the same company and she won't have them.  There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with them, though, because I gave them to a friend and her puppy likes them fine.

So then I bought Hadley some peanut butter flavored biscuits from another well-known maker and she's not that interested in them either.  I'm all excited about teaching her to sit but I can't do that without a food treat.  Frustrating.  I gave her a little piece of chicken from my dinner and she seemed to think that was pretty yummy so I'll go to the store and see what chicken-ey flavored puppy treats they've got.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Potty Puzzle

My new little bundle of cuteness managed to pee on the floor right away.  She went back to pee in the same spot a couple of times so I covered the area with a wee-wee pad.  But...she pushed it out of the way with her nose and peed on the floor.  Hmm...

The breeder used newspaper so my little girl doesn't recognize wee-wee pads.  Oh, what the hell...pads are expensive but yesterday's newspaper is free.  I lined half her pen with newspaper.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Day Back to Work

I was so nervous about leaving her.  Does she have enough food and water...is the AC on low so the apartment won't get too hot...does she have her blanket in case it's too chilly with the AC on...what will she do while I'm gone all day...will she cry?

People told me she will most likely sleep a lot but I was a wreck.  What if she tries to jump the pen and hurts herself...what if she chokes on something and can't breeth.  The day dragged and I was a mess.

Yes...in a perfect world the puppy would be at my feet while I was home all day baking a cake but here in the real world...I have to work...I have to pay for rent and utilities and puppy food...

I left work a little early, jumped in a taxi and raced home...terrified to open the door...terrified of what I might find.  I found a sleeping puppy :)  She woke up when she heard me, though, and her tail started wagging...and she peed on the floor.  We're going to have to work on that...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Afraid of the Vet

I'm afraid of the vet, my puppy isn't.  I was scared she'd hate going to the vet and it would always be a big production.  But, no...she loved the vet.  She loved the vet tech, too.  She allowed herself to be poked and prodded and didn't even make a sound when she was vaccinated.  The, um, anal thermometer got quite a yelp, though :)

I was nervous about the vet's diagnosis.  This breed is prone to all kinds of problems.  Yeah, the breeder guaranteed but...what were we going to do...give her back?  I guess...if there was something really, really wrong but...I've kinda got my heart set on her.

Anyway, all those fears for nothing.  She's perfect...4 lbs., 11 oz...a healthy, well-fed puppy.  She was exhausted afterwards, though, and it made for a great picture!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Morning After

I woke up the day after we brought her home to better weather and my migraine gone.  She slept in her crate near my bed and woke up a couple of times crying during the night.  I'd read you're supposed to put your hand on the crate so they can smell you but considering how new everything was for her I doubt it was any comfort.

She peed in her crate...they're not supposed to do that...but I'm too tired to worry about it.  She'd already peed on the floor a bunch of times last night so, what the hell, I just let her out and she found herself a comfortable spot on Brian's shoes to catch a few more winks.

We've named her...after much discussion :)  Her name is Hadley.  Good girl, Hadley, good girl.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

She's Home! She's Home!

We picked her up today! After all that planning and waiting... the usually beautiful 2 hour drive upstate was a crawl through one accident and road block after another.  The weather was miserable.  I woke up with a migraine.  We stopped at a diner and I wolfed down a greasy burger and fries to try to calm my headache.

I had planned to take lots of pictures of the event but the breeder put the puppy in my arms and everything got all side-tracked.  She's a good breeder, took her time, put all her guarantees and vital information in writing...AKC papers...a cute pink teddy bear blanket as a gift.

Daddy's got some mighty big shoes!
We brought the crate with us but I decided to hold her in my arms in the car.  Mistake.  She was hyper and kept trying to crawl away.  Her nails are long and my sweater is ruined. None of it matters.  She's home.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Time is Dragging

Tick, tock, tick, tock...I feel like an expectant mother.  It'll be another week before we can pick up our puppy and I can hardly stand it.  I keep picturing terrible scenarios where something has gone wrong and she didn't survive.  I can't even imagine what a wreck I'd be if this was a human child.

We went shopping over Memorial Day weekend and her "room" is all ready.  People are making fun of me that it won't stay all neat and clean like that when the puppy actually comes but I don't care.  I've chosen a vet and made her first appointment to start vaccinations.  I've taken some time off work to get her acclimated.  I hope she likes the toys I've picked out for her and the food I've picked out for her.  Is the crate the right size?  Is the pen too close to the air-conditioner?  Will she cry?  Tick tock, tick tock...