Saturday, April 10, 2004

Pictures from today's trip to the beach...and subsequent bath!

Ready to run...

We ran up and down the beach...then he just wanted to be carried around.

He got sand his eyes, hair, paws, and even barfed on his foot. So it was bath time. And as you thought, he's mostly all hair.

This time we were ready. He looks amazing, really.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Mojo with his booty.

Deep dog thoughts in progress...

An fyi, the shampoo & conditioner we used on Mojo was "Crown Royale." It was recommended by our breeder, and seems fine. We got the concentrate version, which should last us around 5 years.

Funny how all these little things pop up the later it gets. It's getting kind of warm here, maybe low 70s. I took Mojo out to get the mail. We usually go out, he walks, then runs back & forth on the lawn next to the mailboxes. Today, he couldn't really do it that well. He was too hot!

He was panting at the park last weekend, but it didn't stop him. It might have been a bit cooler, too. Today he was panting after the first play session. We walked around the pool, and even there he was panting and kind of pooped. I thought he was a hot-weather dog!

Other things today: Mojo's been upstairs in the office with us all day. When we go downstairs, sometimes he wants to follow along.

One time, Ela told him to "down" at the top of the stairs and wait. "Down" is "lie down." Mojo looked at her, she did the hand motions for it, then Mojo grunted and gave her this look like "jeez, yeah, alright" then lay down. Time to teach him better tricks?

It's really funny how he grunts when he goes down the stairs, like he's girding himself for the journey. He is, in a way; there are 20 stairs, and each one is as tall as he is. He'd never be able to go down hardwood stairs using his current technique, because he'd slide off. Hmm.

We'll be getting a pet bag tomorrow sometime. One bummer with a dog is it's hard to go places, because most places don't allow pets. But put your pet in a bag, and suddenly it's OK. It's a "get into stores with your pet" card. Plus, we're heading to the coast this weekend, and we want to drag him along with us. Back to Petsmart...

After his bath, Mojo's coat was kinda thin - the way hair is when you don't put conditioner on it. We thought it was because we didn't leave the conditioner on for long enough.

Well this afternoon Mojo's hair was silk-like in its consistency, which might be why they're incorrectly known as the Havana Silk Dog.Those dogs are different, yet strangely similar, to the Havanese. It's weird, but the origin of the Havanese are already lost to myths, legends, and confusion. Cubans apparently aren't big on history, or at least dog history. I suppose nobody back then really paid attention to where their dogs came from, or which dog bred with which dog, etc. In old Cuba, it was probably just a fuzzy white dog that bred with Roberto's dog.

As an axample, one of our books, "Havanese: A comprehensive guide to owning and caring for your dog," has a long history section which is mostly different than the one in Goodale's book, "Havanese."

The latter is the canon in the US due to the fact that the author single-handedly introduced the Havanese to the AKC and was the original US breeder for them. Which one is right? Who knows. The current history (Goodale's) seems a bit too Havanese-promoting. An example: "The Havanese became popular as a status symbol for the wealthy residents of the island of Cuba." Sounds like marketing to me. They might as well say "lapdogs to the royalty of europe for millenia," or "be an aristocrat - buy a Havanese."

Mojo seems a bit too smart to be a lapdog. A circus dog, yes, but he's got to much energy for a senorita. Then again, you never know.

Anyhow, the important questions are things like: after you wash your Havanese, the hair gets kind of bushy...bushy enough so you can't see its eyes. How do you trim the hair so your dog has unobstructed vision? Is his vision obstructed by his hair? Is it OK to get dog shampoo in his eyes? Are those tear stains permanent, or is that the hair color?

One thing we found out during today's bath is he'd rather stand in warm water while bathing, presumably because it keeps him warmer. He also isn't afraid of the hair dryer anymore, which makes drying him much easier.

For all of you with iTunes installed, here's Mojo's namesake:

Got My Mojo Working, 1956 Single Version

There are actually a whole bunch of versions of it out there. Just search for "mojo working." The jimmy smith one is pretty good.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Yep, he took a bath today.

He looks better, and the shampoo didn't puff him out...

Mojo took it well, but wasn't that happy about being bathed, as the following picture shows.

Nothing much today, really. Mojo seems to have excreted his body weight in poo. I've realized that Mojo's bathroom habits form a big part of this blog, and it reminds me of something that Mark Twain once said: "Americans only care about two things: astrology and their bowels." We've got the second one taken care of here, that's for sure.

Mom & Dad got to see him on iChat, which was pretty neat.

Hmm, only other thing is we got the dog shampoo in, so it'll be time for a bath soon. It's some kind of dog shampoo, and it smells exactly like the johnson's baby shampoo (blue bottle). It's lime-green, and it's shampoo #3. The number is how thick the hair gets after shampooing? So shampoo #1 is normal, and I think shampoo #3 is "afro". He looks like a rabbit now when he runs through the grass. After the bath (and conditioner, yes, there's a conditioner too) he might look like a cotton tumbleweed.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

We went to puppy class yesterday. It was fun! Mojo knew most of the commands already so that part wasn't that useful. What was great was he got to play with other dogs for the first time. At first, he was pretty timid; he liked the people more than the dogs. With new people, he'd go right up to them, tail wagging. With dogs, he'd kind of shy away.

Still, he started doing normal things with dogs by the end of the class. He was doing the play bows, barking, hopping around, those sort of "hi, I'm a dog" actions. First he was Riley, a shiatsu-lhasa mix. After a slow start, he started playing a bit. By the end he even was playing with Hamlet, the big great dane puppy.

Plus, Mojo charmed the staff, the rest of the class, and the random petsmart passer-bys. Every time the teacher wanted to demo some command or technique, Mojo would run towards her going "me! me! me!" Or maybe it was "more treats! more treats!" At the end, when he was trying to play with the great dane, customers were just standing there, watching, asking about him. At that point he was bouncing around, barking, and sort of hopping around the great dane.

Neat! I guess it's true what they say, the most important part of the class is dog socialization. Maybe next week he'll get with the black lab, who was kind of hyper and out of control.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

A shot from tonight...

Monday, April 05, 2004

Oh yeah, Ela finally got him to "down" without food tonight! How about that?

He likes greenies, the green 'healthy' treats. Pput a hot dog or sausage in front of Mojo and it's obvious that the greenies are just OK. Nothing motivates like hot dogs.

It's been 15 days since we got Mojo. It seems like he's been with us for so long, and it's only been two weeks. These older pictures were dug out of Ela's emails.

This is when he was really, really small.

This is March 9, less than a month ago!

March 19. He's looking more like himself now:

Oh yeah, one last weirdness: ever since we switched to the disposable pads from the litter, Mojo now sits down to pee. He'll just sit down on the pad and do his thing. Very strange.

Ela got some toothpaste, and is now brushing his teeth daily.

We trimmed the hair from around his eyes, since it's starting to block his vision. That was Friday, I think?

We also trimmed the hair on his butt, because poo started getting stuck to it. Yuck. That was a handy tip from the breeder that we should have followed from the beginning.

A bummer thing is when Mojo gets older his puppy coat'll change to a normal coat. We kind of like the puppy coat.

We met another havanese while walking today. He's in the complex next door. Funny, one thing I've noticed is when you meet someone else with a dog you ask the dog's name, but you don't necessarily ask the person's name. I now know 2 of my neighbors' dogs name, but have no idea what the person's name is. For the record, the dogs are Sam (the havanese) and Bo (Beau?). I also know the name of the woman at the driving range's dog: Riley.

This is something that happened either sunday (4/4) or saturday (4/3): Mojo finally figured out how to go down stairs! We showed him a few times, but he always jumped off the lower stairs. That would obviously be bad if he was somewhere near the top of a staircase. But he can now climb down in a controlled manner!

He does have trouble with the stairs at home, because they're a bit too small for him (his margin of error needs to be pretty large not to tumble down). Outside, though, the stairs are more his size. At the park he was going up and down the stairs like he's been doing it forever. Yeah!

So far, he can go up and down stairs, and knows his name, sit, stand (only with a treat), down (sometimes), drop, come here, let's go, uh-uh, tummy rub, up, bring (kind of), outside, run (maybe), good dog, 'no bite', and 'go potty'. Of course, he knows 'no,' as does every dog. We're working on 'speak' and trying to get him more consistent on 'down'. He doesn't really know heel, though we repeat it a lot when we walk.

He knows the name of some of his toys, too. "The bone" is the rawhide bone...any of them. 'rope' is a rope pull toy. 'booda' is the blue booda.

I think he finally figured out the "back in a bit," since he was OK when we went out - but it definitely needs more work. We just started with "go to bed," so he doesn't really recognize it yet.

Oh, Mojo's gotten better at housebreaking. He has an accident every other day now. I'm not sure if they're really accidents.

We also got a squirt bottle, for "discipline at a distance." It works! I think he sort of understands what's happening, because first he hears the squirt bottle then he gets wet. He hasn't figured out that we're squeezing the trigger. But it has stopped him from assaulting Ela's slippers.

We got our washable puppy pads on Friday, but haven't tried them yet. The disposable pads really are working.

Here are some more pictures of the Mojo:


Here's Mojo in his crate. The blue thing is his booda.

Pictures from the park!

Saturday wasn't any big deal. I realized that unlike normal working couples who leave their dogs during the week and spend time with them over the weekend, we leave our dog at home over the weekend and spend time with him over the week. How about that?

Nothing of note Saturday. We're starting get him used to us going away for a while, which sort of worked today (sunday). We went to lunch, and when we came barking. Huh. It seems like if he sees us leave he behaves better than if we leave while he's asleep.

Today we took him around with us in the car. We went over to one of the parks here and he got to walk around and meet a bunch of the park-goers. Then we found some open space and ran him until he was tired and panting. He got hissed at by big white ducks, and handled all of that fine. He likes people more now; he'll get excited and his tail will start waggling back and forth and all. We took him to a driving range, and he sat patiently while Ela and I thwacked balls. A trip to Lowe's was a bit nerve racking for him, because he was in the cart. Amazingly enough nobody noticed the small white dog in our shopping cart.

A funny thing that we found out is he loves air conditioning. When the AC in the car is on, he'll stick his face right into the stream of air and start biting the air. It's really funny, and he got really annoyed at us whenever we stopped...because the AC would turn off! So he'd be hot, lying there in front of the cold air, and suddenly it would stop. He'd be like "hey, turn that back on!" Silly dog.

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