Monday, 28 February 2011

Dog shape cookies and Pupdates

Dog themed cookie cutters are so hard to find in the Philippines~ imagine my joy when I spotted them in the mall recently. So today, I took a break from being a  wannabee dog whisperer, and made cookies for the humans. The fun part was applying the icing because I can make these doggies wear fancy clothes and collars. I felt like a little girl playing with barbie!

By the way, my obsession  passion for baking has been taken to whole new level with this:

(I am deliriously happy that I don't really mind if this is the Animal Doctor's post valentine and advance birthday gift  to me LOL. Thank you, AD!)

Bambi and Trudis, together for the first time since their fight. I made them wear a piece of my clothing based on a theory that if the  weaker dog smells like his owner, his aggressor might be influenced not to attack him   (from this very nice article,  Managing A Multiple Dog Household by Melinda Johnson).
Well, its been three weeks since the mad fight among our dogs. With the reforms made in our multiple dog household, I was anxious to test if the warring pairs could be reintegrated as one pack. My dogs lived peacefully along side each other for nearly three years. It breaks my heart to think that they will become enemies for life (A.D is worried of breaking his wallet too, because the dog pad will have to be transformed into a duplex ).

For  the first time since the mayhem, I let them out all together in the run.  I threatened to go ballistic the moment I catch one of them challenging the other. Trudis only managed to snob Bambi,  while Moy and Jappy appeared nonchalant.

Unfortunately, my  bouyed up spirit quickly sank to the pits of hopelessness when Jappy and Moy attacked each other on our second session. I almost got bitten trying to pry two very angry dogs apart!  Jed and Abby warned us about this. It was wishful thinking on my part to expect the dogs to forgive and forget. I have to remember that my babies are animals;  the inner workings of their minds totally unpredictable. Rather than risking further injury or death among our pets, the Animal Doc and I decided to separate the dogs for good. Jappy and Bambi on one side; Moymoy, Trudis and Woody on the other. I will have to make sure that the resulting pack order in each of these groups is strictly maintained. Scarlet stays inside the house and will be allowed supervised playtimes with the rest of the dogs.

I feel compelled to leave you with a bit of good news about the dogs: Trudis has gained weight! She's put on two kilos since I gave her papaya enzymes bought from a health store!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Changes



"The challenge is to be prepared for the upheavals in our midst.
There  are things that some of us set aside for another day~ choosing the right insurance, getting a burial plan, making a last will that contains a provision for our dogs~ simply because we  are caught up living in the moment."


I am happy to announce that our little Scarlet has resumed her morning walks  on board  her trusty  wheelchair~  this time with a new handler. It’s been a month since the sudden demise of her Kuya Lowie, the Animal Doctor’s assistant who took on the extra responsibility of helping care for our special needs dog.

Several  unfortunate events hit us one after the other at the start of this year. They happened without warning, as if a rug was pulled under our feet.   This served as a painful reminder how temporary everything in life is. The relative peace and content that one enjoys  on a day to day can be shattered without notice. The challenge is to be prepared for these upheavals in our midst, and to be able to accept them once they rear their ugly head.  

There  are things that some of us set aside for another day~ choosing the right insurance, getting a burial plan, making a last will that contains a provision for our dogs~ simply because we  are caught up living in the moment. That  our tranquil existence  can be disrupted is a possibility in the far, far away   future.

Then something happens making us realize the only constant in this world is change.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

SIT!

STAY!
After identifying the possible causes of our dogs' violent fights,  I managed to regain control of the situation, and immediately came up with a game plan. I've read about dogs ganging up on another member of the pack~ a nightmare I never want to happen.

1.Separated  the  two pairs fighting each other-  The dogs are very comfortable in their spacious doggy pad/house, which is why I'm not happy tranferring two dogs  in a separate kennel. Their playtime outside has also been shortened  because they have to be let out in groups now. I had to do this because I myself wasnt confident of my ability to stop them if they go at each other's throat again. Scary

2. Dogs are fed one at a time outside  and in order of their pack hierarchy.- I saw the problem in feeding our dog altogether: a) it did not reinforce pack order b) it made them competitive/combative with their food ( which was aggravated when I put them on a diet).

3. Basic obedience training, revisited-  I figured I can quell the first signs  of power struggles/aggression among my dogs,  if they would listen to me in the first place. Thing is, I may have spoiled the dogs, and now they are convinced there's nothing they can  do to make me love them less.  I do  not subscribe to the use of force, so   I just use the "nothing in life is free" method to restore my leadership in the pack. I make them "work" for things that I used to give them freely, like meals, treats, and affection. Moy attended obedience training before so I just had to refresh him; the rest of the dogs learned quickly, including Jappy, who is an old dog.

I dont know how many weeks or months it will take before I'd be confident to reintegrate the dogs,   if that is still  possible.  But most of you are probably wondering if the reforms I've made have had any effect so far.  I will post about that next time.

Our Dogs in Iloilo City