Saturday, May 15, 2004

There's a far side that has a biscuit balanced on a dog's nose, and the dog is thinking "this time I'm going to kill him."

Well, Ela saw that and tried it, and it worked! Once. Now Mojo refuses to do it, and just nipped her leg. Oh well...

Friday, May 14, 2004

The skin on Mojo's tummy used to be pink, but is turning/has turned purply. Wonder what that means?

He's separating the blue and eukanuba again when he eats. Just a food transition thing? He does eat the blue when the eukanuba is gone, so it's not as if he doesn't like it. Hmmm.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

We officially started his transition to blue buffalo dog food tonight. We used the "lamb and rice" formula instead of the "chicken and rice" one. We felt that he'd rather eat the Eukanuba than the Blue chicken, and he likes meat/lamb, so why not?

When we got home, he actually was marginally more excited to see us than to see the bag of dog food, which was a good sign (for the food).

We put half blue and half eukanuba. He ate almost all of it, and has been a ball of energy since around 10:15pm. He's acting as if he just ate a big bowl full of treats, which I suppose he we'll stick with this for a while and see what happens. We should really be transitioning the food a bit more slowly than half-and-half, so tomorrow we'll start with 25% blue and work our way up.

Mojo seems to have had an unusually large number of poops least 4 or 5. He only ate the blue at around 8 or 9pm. Maybe the hot dog earlier today threw his system out of whack. But those anal glands sure are expressing, as they say. They have a sharp odor that's a bit like the sharpness of skunks...and with the general smell of dog poo. I wonder if the anal glands were removed if dog poo would smell? Mojo's didn't seem to when his glands were blocked (or weren't expressing).

I can't believe I actually pay attention to this stuff. Sigh. Well, off to bed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Mojo seems to have developed a fondness for pens. We've moved to a hard 'no bite' environment, so I guess he has to chew on something. Every bite or nip gets a "no bite" and a stoppage of activity. It's surprisingly hard to do.

He really likes pens with that rubbery plastic grip near the tip. He's torn off one of them, and is working on another one. So much for that sample pen I got :(

Something that's been bugging us for a few weeks is Mojo's ribcage - specifically the last rib on each side seems kinda big. We'll ask the vet about it tomorrow, and see what they say.

Oh, a funny thing. blue buffalo dog food is free after rebate at petsmart, so I figured it'd be a good time to switch from eukanuba. We took some of the blue that we have and mixed it in with his eukanuba. You're supposed to do that when switching foods so his stomach adjusts...and so he doesn't get diarrhea, something you don't want with a white, fluffy, long-haired dog.

Well we came back from some errands, and Mojo had separated out the blue and eaten all his Eukanuba. How about that? Oh no! We'll never be able to switch! But after a few hours he ate all the blue too. We'll see what effect it has on his digestion by seeing what comes out of him later (ick).

It's also time for his next visit to the vet tomorrow - yet more shots are coming. I think this may be the third round of four?

Well, Ela practiced "leave it" today. "Leave it" means "don't bother messing with whatever that thing is." It's supposed to be for when you want your dog to leave something alone, like a pill or some unsavory whatever you and your dog may be walking next to.

So to do this, you first embed the command by dropping something yummy on the floor, and pushing your dog away saying "leave it" until they stop trying to get to it. When they sit there calmly, you "good dog" and treat them.

We tried it with a hot dog as the "leave it" thing, because it's probably the item Mojo likes the most (besides beef ribs). I pulled a half an inch or so off one of the hot dogs to use. Yep, that's from the same pack of hot dogs we bought almost two months ago...and it still smelled OK. That's the power of chemistry...or chemicals...or preservatives.

Anyway, he did it! We dropped the hot dog, Mojo went for it, then we told Mojo to "leave it" (while brushing him back), and he did. He just sat there, staring at the hot dog from around 4 of 5 inches away. Unbelievable. We even walked away from him, just to see if he'd go for it while we weren't looking.

So Ela gave him a treat, and retrieved the hot dog chunk. Then she turned, and when she turned Mojo snagged the hot dog from her fingers and swallowed it whole. Whoa, quick! Mojo sat there looking like he just ate something yummy, which he did.

We did it again with another hot dog chunk and Mojo was so excited. "Oh boy, I get more hot dog!" This time we took the hot dog away and secured it, and he was totally put out. he looked at us, as if to say "hey, I'm supposed to get the hot dog now!"

On a walk later, he seemed to respond better to the "leave it" command than to the "this way" or "over here", two commands that basically tell him "follow me".

Puppy class graduation is next week, which is sort of sad. Mojo's done so well, and he'll miss playing with his dog friend. Next is the advanced class, but we're not quite sure what that's about yet. We'll see...

Mojo's fine now, all his excretory issues seem to be gone. Go figure.

Yesterday was puppy class, and it was really neat to see Mojo playing with the other dogs (or well, dog, since Mojo is still kinda intimidated by the bigger dogs). Riley's owner (the other dog) noticed that Mojo didn't roll over on his back all day. Guess all that time with everyone made Mojo into a more dominant-like dog? At the end, though, Mojo rolled over for Riley, which was kind of neat. Mojo was bugging Riley all the time, and barking at the bigger dogs. One of the owners said there was a dog playtime over in Hillsboro on Thursdays, so we might head over there so Mojo can play/interact with other dogs.

Oh, he weighed in at 7.2 lbs last night. At 7lbs 3oz, that means he's gaining around an ounce a day. We met a havanese owner in the airport on the way home, and her hav is 16lbs(!). That means Mojo might be growing for another 3 or 4 months, if he stops at 13 lbs.

Mojo slept most of the day yesterday. It's kind of grey, cold, and damp here, so maybe he's got SAD. He's well on his way to sleeping all day today, too. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Here's a photo gallery from the trip..

Under the seat in front of us...

Our first run on the beach at Hilton Head.

Mojo the torpedo, hurtling down the beach at full speed.

Just relaxing.

Mojo went into the ocean!

Mojo quickly came out of the ocean!

Wet from the middle of his body down. He looks like he's melting!

He also jumped into the tidal pool.

He took the time to take a nap while drying off.

He's digging a hole...

He's still digging the hole...

Wow, that was fun!

And it's time for a bath!

Just napping in the villa.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Hmm. Maybe it was jet-lag, but Mojo seems to be fine now. He's excreting in the appropriate spots, and is playing games with us. We did a bunch of hide-and-seek this evening, and did a whole lot of fetching. One thing someone online said was to get a good 'drop it', it's better to play fetch. You throw one item (in this case a sock), he brings it back, then you tell him to drop it. If he drops it then you throw it (or something else). If not, then the game stops. The problem with Mojo's 'drop it' has been that he doesn't drop it quickly; he kind of waits for you to take it out of his mouth, then lets you remove it...eventually. This method is much better at getting a quick drop.

Also, I discovered that anal glands really do contribute to the odor of dog poop. Mojo's poo really stank, much more than usual. When his anal glands aren't "expressing", his poo doesn't have a lot of odor. When they are, well, phew!

Updates from the trip follow:

Mojo travels well. He went right into the sherpa bag, and slept during the flight out and back. We were paranoid about him doing something exciting in the bag (barking, whining, pee, poo), but...he just slept. We armed ourselves with lots of stuff: dingos, a lamb bone, chew toys, those edibly nylabones, but in the end he just fell asleep. Go figure. We did bring a whole bunch of the pee pads, which was a wise move.

We discovered you can use travel vouchers for your pet's fare, which was a nice surprise. The ticket agent checked, and discovered that yes indeed, it would work. Then he spent the next 30 minutes trying to reissue a $20 credit from the $100 voucher. Apparently we discovered a bug in the American system: there's no refund ability on that screen. So he did a bunch of stuff, and the $100 voucher became an $80 voucher, and he gave us a $20 voucher in return. Whatever.

Anyhow, Ela discovered that if you're discreet, you can let your pet out of the Sherpa in the airport. On the way there, we let him out in the admirals' a secluded corner. On the way back, we went to their cube farm and took over the back row of cubes. Also, the family bathrooms are great places to pull out the pads and get Mojo to go potty.

So...about the trip. It was fun! Mojo was a real hit, as expected. The resort didn't allow pets, so we had to sneak Mojo in and pray that his barks weren't -that- loud. And they weren't. How about that? Judicious usage of bags kept his presence relatively unknown, and his lack of barking helped too. As always, if you annoy your neighbors you're doomed, but if you keep a low profile you can get away with anything.

So...what did Mojo do? Everything! He got to meet everyone, and got to play all day long. We took him out on the beach and ran back and forth. He trotted into the surf and jumped into tide pools, getting soaked in the process. He learned to dig in the sand, something he's never really been able to do. The best thing was he was surrounded by people almost all day long, and there was almost always someone to play with.

At first, when Ela & I left him with everyone he'd just sleep. But by the 2nd or 3rd day everyone had gotten used to him (or maybe he'd gotten used to everyone) and he was playing with them a lot. Our nephews learned how to walk him, and even our nieces learned the basics. Everyone got to meet the dog they'd been reading about for weeks.

For our last night there we had beef ribs for dinner, so as a big treat we gave him a beef rib. Wow, he really, really, really liked it. It's amazing that a dog could know how good something is even when they've never had anything like it. When Mojo smelled the rib coming down he was so excited. Excited like a big yummy treat was coming down from the sky with his name on it. Amazing. He stripped the rest of the meat off the bone in around 20 minutes, and he was chewing the bone like crazy. He was in dog heaven.

He got bigger...twice. He had lots of baths, and we discovered that if we just wash him off with water his coat feels pretty OK. Not as nice as a shampoo/conditioner, but nice.

Pictures are coming, and I'll post stuff about the week as I remember it.

The update will take a bit longer than I thought...

Anyway, it seems that Mojo's lost a lot of the behavioral training over the last week. Last night, he pooped on the carpet in our bedroom...a first. Then today sometime he pooped in our office. He's also peed on the carpet downstairs at least once (Ela caught him). Jet lag? Lack of attention, relative to the amount he had last week?

As it is, he slept in his crate last night, with the door closed, for the first time in months. As a preventative measure all the bath mats in our bathroom were wiped down with the vinegar/water mix, and there were two pads in the other bathroom. Who knows what'll happen tonight?

Sunday, May 09, 2004

We've been on vacation, so I haven't posted in a while. It'll take a day or two to get back into the swing of things, but overall Mojo was great on the trip. He slept on the way there (PDX->JAX), and has slept most of the way back. The nieces/nephews/parents/siblings loved him, & he loved them. He got to do a whole bunch of new things, and seems no worse for wear, really.

Right now we're in the admirals' club, and Mojo's sleeping on the desk beside me, and Ela's in the next cubby over. I'll post later or tomorrow the high points of the trip...

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