Monday, June 4, 2007

Ah, Crack

The consensus is in: dark text on a light background makes aging (ever gracefully!) eyes happy. I am also feeling to lazy to mess with html for now, so this template will have to do for now.

This weekend was quiet. A. went to Powell, Wyoming to help his sister and her family move the rest of their furniture and belongings up to Billings, Montana. Due to work contracts, she and her husband have been living separately for a couple of months now and she's had the kids, (4 years and 1 year). Needless to say, the whole family is so happy to be back under one roof! Although A. was less than thrilled to be moving furniture, he was happy to see his family. I wished I was up there; I really enjoy spending time with his family. (How fortunate am I?!?!) But with gas prices as they are ($3.20/gallon!!!) I thought it best to stay home. My little Civic would not have been too helpful, anyway.

So, instead, I had a mini decluttering session in the kitchen, mowed and watered the front yard and cleaned up dog poop. I even got a couple of hours of thesis work in. Fun stuff! And I bonded with the dogs. Big time.

I spent some time over the weekend training the doggies to wear Gentle Leader halters. We've been using them for a while, and at first, everything was great. These halters are amazing; they stopped the dogs from pulling me on our walks immediately. A miracle!! I could walk both dogs at the same time, instead of one at a time. Wahoo!! At first, the pups did great with the halters. Then, seemingly out of the blue, they started throwing fits about a half a mile into the walk, leaving the remaining quarter mile to a struggle. Belle will throw a straight up TANTRUM. The little shit. She never acts so undignified. It is disconcerting. Now, it has become a challenge just to get them to wear the damn things.

So, we are starting over.

I am planning on spending the next couple of weeks just getting them used to wearing the halters again. I've used the click and treat method to train them on some other behavior issues, and have generally been met with success. Buster takes to this method particularly well. I mean, there is food involved. And the possibility of more food. And lots of pets. So much affirmation that yes, indeed, we love him. Awesome.

Belle resists a bit and takes a little while longer to train. She is smarter than A. and I combined, so I really think it injures her pride that she is being trained. By humans. And by such silly humans as A. and I at that.

So, to help move this process along and keep Belle on board, I decided to chop up cooked hot dogs as special treats for these particular training sessions. I had a feeling these would be an even bigger hit than popcorn, their other human-food treat.

Did you know that for dogs, chopped up hot dogs are the equivalent of CRACK?

Buster shakes in anticipation for his next treat. Shakes. I wish I was exaggerating. Belle no longer has any pride. She is the epitome of the ever-attentive student. She won't leave my side for twenty minutes after we've wrapped up our training session, just in case there is another treat.

I may have started these dogs down a slippery slope. I wonder when we grill hot dogs if their cute little heads will explode?


  1. That's hilarious, the shivering. It took Monk a YEAR to learn to walk on the prong collar. We never found a harness that fit his freakishly deep chest properly. I hope they continue to behave. Every dog I've known has acted like hot dogs are crack, so maybe you're on to something. :)

  2. Rowen has only had a hotdog once, and she threw it up, so no more hotdogs for her.

    I feel your pain on the walking. Good luck with the training! I got Rowen a no-pull harness that seems to work better than most. But I have the one dog in the world who absolutely hates to go on walks (at least any walks that involve a leash).


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