Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A funny Mojo thing happened tonight.

We have these rawhide chews (dingo) that we give to Mojo to keep him busy. Well they're sort of not edible, even though he eats them. I guess that's kind of bad.

Anyway, I gave him one, and he proceeded to soften it (via chewing and saliva). He then ate half of it by the time I noticed. Whoa! My first thought was to get it away from him.

At the first 'drop it' Mojo skittered away, carrying the rest of the dingo. Oh no! I went and got one of the treats from the show. I got the tripe, because he likes that a lot. I tried to substitute it for the rawhide. I said 'down' while holding the dried tripe in front of him. I could see the wheels turning in his head. Big ball of chewy rawhide in my mouth? Or a small cube of tripe in front of my face? Tripe? Rawhide? Obey? Chew?

The first thing he did was try and snatch the tripe. Nope, I was too fast for him. Then he ran a few feet away (where I couldn't reach him) and dropped the ball of rawhide, then quickly picked it up again and ran a few more feet away. Hah! He technically obeyed, but in a way that I couldn't get the rawhide away from him! What a cagey dog!

I had to arm myself with a treat that he liked. The tripe just wasn't enough. I went back into our treat collection and got a little jerky square. With tripe in my left hand and jerky in my right, I approached Mojo and told him to 'drop.' He did, then snarfed the jerky. Success! I guess that's a win-win for both of us. He got a yummy chunk of jerky and I got a slimy, wet ball of chewed rawhide.

He got the tripe later, because we showed him the tunnel we built. Ever since we saw the dog agility at a dog show (there was one earlier this year) I've been fascinated by it...especially the dog tunnel. During the trials dogs would without fail run through the tunnel twice. The first time as part of the course, the second just because it was fun. I've heard that dogs really love running through tunnels. So at Home Depot today I got some lumber and made a simple tunnel out of three 6' boards.

At first, Mojo was pretty weirded out by it, and wouldn't go into it at all. By the end of the night (after the rawhide incident) he was running through it like crazy. It probably helped that we gave him treats every time he ran through it. But it really seemed like the treats were secondary to him. Just running through the tunnel was exhilarating. Maybe Mojo'll be an agility dog when he gets older?

We have puppy class tomorrow, so we'll see if Mojo knows how to play with dogs. We're optimistic, since he now play-barked with a dog at the show last weekend. He also did the same thing with this massage thing we have (the homedics back massager). It was very strange, watching Mojo bark at and run around a back massager.

He'll be 12 weeks thursday. We put the second dose of Revolution on him this morning, and he slept a lot of the afternoon. Guess he gets tired out by meds?

We also realized that the disposable pads might be better than the pooch pads. The pooch pads are a great idea, but they're like cloth diapers for babies; they're good in theory, but in practice it's really aggravating to clean the damn things all the time. Plus, you can get 100 disposable pads for $18, which comes out to around 50 days of pads for the price of a pooch pad 2-pack. A 2-pack isn't enough, because if he poos on one it's over for that pad until you wash it. Sigh.

We'll also see about switching to Innova once we're done with our 20-lb bag of Eukanuba. The marketing on premium dog foods is just too powerful to resist. The woman at the show was so passionate about her dog food company (Innova) that it compelled us (or, well, me) to switch...or at least to consider switching.

One benefit might be that Mojo lives longer. One brand of premium dog food (hund 'n flocken) was developed to extend the lives of great danes in the US, who live an average of 4 years less than great danes in Germany. That's a powerful marketing message, so we'll be giving their propaganda to the woman in puppy class with a great dane.

Oh, and Mojo's poo firmed up and we're still feeding him Innova as treats, so I guess the smelly treats are the culprit. Funny that he didn't have that reaction with the smelly dog food (we used them as treats too). The vendor in question had smelly food, one in a food version (Mojo liked it) and one in a treat version (Mojo liked it, but caused soft poo [stools]). Maybe we'll donate the treat version to someone in class?

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