Friday, February 10, 2017

Afternoon Blues

It's Friday!  Woo Hoo! Something so lovely about Friday!  Here is picture of Cooper that looks like it has been altered to make him appear huge.  Sadly, I am not adept at making those kinds of purposeful intentions happen with my iPhone 5 camera.  He is sitting in Chip's lap and Chip is leaning back a little bit, but honestly I just think Cooper is growing at the speed of light.

Also, he looks so angry. Cooper - not Chip.  Sometimes he IS angry.  Actually, between 3 - 7:30 pm on the daily like clockwork, he is totally pissed off.  Not so much the "afternoon blues" but more like possessed by evil spirits.  Not sure what that is about, but I ordered a Caeser Millan book because I need to get his behavior corrected before he is as big as a house.  Let's see what the Dog Whisperer has to say about that and how we can fix it.

I purchased a couple of new cheap dog bath accessories this week that have made an enormous difference in bath time with Cooper.  (Note:  He hates bath time, but must be washed with a medicated shampoo twice weekly to treat some kinda of skin condition he has. So, like it or not, he is spending some time in the tub getting his skin medicated.)  The first life saver I purchased is a hand held shower wand that connects to the faucet.  Much, much easier to rinse him off.  Gentle, quiet and way better than a cup.  You can move it all around and get in all the upside down places.  Game changer.  The other is an industrial strength suction cup with a foam cushioned collar to go around your dogs neck and hold them in place in the tub.  So instead of Cooper clawing at my arms and the side of the tub trying to get out, he is held by the lead in the center of the tub where I can wash and rinse him much more easily.  Yesterday's bath was without any new cuts and scrapes on my hands and arms.  Hooray.  Now if I can just get him to chill and not whine like he is being skinned alive.  He was contained in the tub yesterday and easily rinsed, but he was not happy about it!

In other non-Cooper news.....
  • I changed the background on my Blog.  What do you think?  
  • Work is good.  Sticking to about 5 hours a day.  Feeling useful - doing good stuff.  Can't complain.  Did you hear that?  I can't complain.  About work.  Yea, that's right.  
  • Our new Bible Study is very, very interesting and thought provoking.  I like thought provoking until it starts provoking thoughts that are hard to face.  Doing the work.  Digging in.  Taking heart.  Hopefully, working some things out inside myself. 
  • The weather has been awesome. Spending lots of time out in the yard, cutting back, cleaning out, watching for new growth.  It is the best time of the year. 
  • Where are all the damn leaves coming from?  The trees are bare.  I have been raking leaves for weeks. 
  • Home maintenance. Yuck.  Short list of items that need to be addressed:  Toilet handle broken in master bathroom.  Need trees trimmed away from roof.  Gutter filters washed off of limbs, leaves and debris.  Air filter changed in A/C attic unit along with maintenance.  Softener needs salt. Need to re-caulk some areas on the exterior siding of the house.  It is always something, and usually a lot of things. 
  • I wish I liked watching basketball on TV, but I just don't. In person, it is fantastic.  Sports this time of year is the pits for me. 
That is all I have for now!  I hope your weekend is fantastic! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trash Can and Sushi

Blog titles are the worst. This one is no exception. See if you could have come up with anything better after reading this riveting content.

Chip told me yesterday that using only the letters in our last name (no repeats, no extras) you can spell TRASH CAN.  How in the hell could I have not figured this out before??

We immediately called Harry to fill him in on this stunning family news and he shocked us with some bigger news....Harry tried SUSHI and he LIKED it.  He had salmon and tuna rolls and something with tempura shrimp and thought it was delicious!  WHO IS THIS GUY?  Expanding his food horizons like a boss.

I have resigned myself that Cooper can only behave if I have a bag of chicken in my hand. With the anticipation of a tiny bit of chicken in his future, he is an absolute angel.  Lays down perfectly, looks at you with those sweet eyes, follows commands, pays no mind to people walking by.  I can get through prepping, cooking and eating dinner with him obediently parked on this kitchen rug....although the presence of a broom or rake can definitely break the chicken trance.  Now, make no mistake...the minute (no, the second) the chicken is gone or out of sight, he loses his mind.  He bites feet, shoes, pants, pulls curtains, drags blankets and pillows off the couch, digs holes in the back yard and basically terrorizes the place and the people sharing the place with him.  The chicken trance gives me hope that he can I just need him to want to behave.  Big difference between the two. 

After some research online, I have started putting on his training leash during the day and just letting him drag it around behind him.  I can easily step on the leash to restrict him from jumping, biting, pulling on pants, lunging at ankles by just stepping on the leash.  I try to give him about six or eight inches of slack.  Enough to stand up, but not go anywhere.  He does not like being restricted and fusses quite a bit.  Within a minute he seems to calm down and I step off.  Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 times until he moves on to some other activity, but it does seem to be working.  

I honestly don't remember Astro being so mouthy or aggressive as a puppy.  Chip was only 18 months old when we brought Astro home and I don't remember ever worrying about him biting or snapping at my toddler.  I do recall that Astro responded well to just a stern voice and a harsh look. Cooper gives zero shits about my stern voice or my harsh looks.  He takes it as a challenge and ramps up his barking, snapping, grabbing, lunging to prove he can out harsh me.  I will keep trying new tactics until I find what works for this guy.  May be that I always have a bag of cooked chicken in my pocket.  We shall see.  

Let's just take a moment to look at the amazing growth of a puppy.  These pictures were taken sixteen days apart. 

I think he is on steroids.  

This was taken last night. 
He is 11 weeks old....looking like a grown dog but totally still a baby.

Hope your hump day is without too many humps! 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Cooper Walks Himself

Cooper loves to go for a walk with his leash.  He is not supposed to be around other dogs or in places where other dogs have been because he still needs to finish his vaccinations.  I have been practicing him in the house with his leash and we take a short walk to the mailbox once a day. He is a bit of a scaredy cat, but does much better than I ever imagined he would.  A few treats in my pocket keep him moving forward and close.  Of course, he spends most of the walk thinking he is walking himself.  He proudly struts down the street with his leash in his mouth.  It is adorable. 

He is getting better every day, but gets really crazy with the snapping, lunging, biting in the early evenings.  Especially, if we lay on the floor and play with him.  It just seems to make him think we are inviting him to come at us.  So, we are going to cut out playing with him on the floor in the evenings to see if we can curb that behavior.

In the mornings, he is pretty sweet for playtime with Chip. 

I assume in the mornings he is well rested and fed so he can behave nicely.  In the evenings, he just gets tired and cranky like a toddler and can't control himself.  Time and consistency will help I am sure.  I have to keep reminding myself we have only had him 18 days....even though sometimes it feels like months and months.  It is a marathon! 

In other news....
  • Chip did not make the high school baseball team.  He thought tryouts had gone pretty well but he was definitely nervous.  He found out Wednesday morning about 15 minutes before the school day started and was devastated.  It was a very painful day for him and it was pretty sucky to have to see him walk through that.  He went through Wednesday holding in his emotions, finding the courage to congratulate his friends that did make the team and making me so proud. Heart could literally have burst when he told me he had congratulated the other boys.  I picked him up about an hour early from school on Wednesday and we hit Sonic hard. Ate some junk food and sat in the car shedding some tears, using inappropriate curse words, plotting funny revenge and trying to find some humor in the pain. We talked about it a lot and felt all the hard and awful emotions.  It was the pits.  But today, it hurts less and tomorrow it will hurt even less. Love that kid.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Stalker

This little baby.  


Don't let the adorable little fuzzy body fool you. 

Or the darling little sleepy face. 

He is a killer.  
He has killed a rake.  
He killed a broom.  
He killed a frisbee.  
Now he is killing laundry!  

Born predator, I tell you  

Just kidding.  He isn't a killer.  He is more of a stalker. 

I introduced him to the kong.  
A kong filled with banana, carrots and chicken.  He was obsessed!  
Got at least a solid 45 minutes out of him working on that thing!  

In addition to being a stalker, he is a leaf eater, hole digger and a cat napper.  

He snoozes a lot. 

Look at this pose!  

He is very smart.  He has mastered "sit" "shake" "down" and now we are moving on to "roll over".  Roll over isn't practical, but it is fun!  

I have also been working with him on the leash.  
We walk around the house and a little bit down the cul-de-sac.  
He is doing pretty well.  

Here he is in action.


This morning was his first bath.  It was with medicated shampoo.  He was not impressed.  I was soaping him down and Chip was funneling him bits of chicken to make the bath something yummy and good.  He was taking the chicken but also whining and clawing to get out of the tub at the same time.  I was hoping the "where is the chicken" side of his brain would take over the "holy crap, why are you trying to drown me" side of his brain.  It didn't work.  Good news is we get to do it again on Wednesday!  Two days a week until further notice! 

Hope your weekend is better than great! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hot Mess

Hot mess. 

Checking himself out in the mirror.  
He was actually sitting on the top step and just gazing at himself, but by the time I grabbed the camera he was on the move.  

I introduced "down" yesterday and he has dang near already picked it up.  He really is smart - although the biting is still an issue.  It is waning, but this boy is mouthy.  One method we have read to curb the biting is to bark or yip loudly when they bite too hard and hurt you.  Chip barks more than a beagle.  Not sure if it is working, but we are all about being persistent that biting is a big, fat NO! 

I am going to try to video tape him "shaking" today.  So exciting, right? 
 Just a tickler to keep you coming back for more.  

In other news....
  • I made tostones for the first time yesterday along with a yummy, delicious, fresh, bright, spicy bowl of Mean Green Sauce.  EXCELLENT!  Plantains?  Who even knew what to do with them?  I could seriously eat gobs, gobs, and gobs of these!  And they are Whole30 compliant! Hooray!  Most definitely a great Super Bowl snack!   Try them! 

  • Chip has a cold.  Or allergies.  Or something that comes with a stuffy nose.  Didn't he just have a cold?  I swear he did.  
  • Today is going to be a busy one with work and some meetings this evening.  And puppy watching.  Lots and lots of puppy monitoring!  Let's hope today is a sleepy day...and I mean for the puppy - not for me!  
Have a great Hump Day!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cooper Goes to the Vet

It is starting to feel like I am writing a blog for seven year old girls that love puppies...."The Adventures of Cooper". Well, except the part where I cuss like a sailor and that doesn't seem appropriate at all for seven year old girls.  I will just continue to assume that my four regular readers do want to hear about the latest on Cooper and/or are grown humans that can open and shut this window with the click of a button if they don't!   SIDE NOTE:  Bob and Lana, I do expect you to read about the antics of your grand dog and call me and tell me how precious he is...that is a given!

I took the little furball to his first official vet appointment yesterday morning.  He walked in there all proud in his little collar and leash.  I wish I would have taken his picture.  It was like the first day of school.  He doesn't know yet about the nail clipping, shots and temperature check in the butt when you visit this building.  He will learn.

He weighed in at 10 pounds, which means he put on about three pounds in the last six days.  The vet thinks he is a Catahoula mix and will be about 50+ pounds or so when full grown.  Still too early to tell for sure since we don't know what exactly he is mixed with.  She said by the time we go back in three weeks for his next round of shots, he will probably double in size.  So, he actually is growing in front of my eyes!

Not sure I would have picked a Catahoula breed as they are apparently hunting dogs that need a job.  I don't have a job for a dog, except lay at my feet and love me, so now we will have to come up with one.  I can tell you that he is smart as a whip.  Really.  He has mastered come and sit.  Yesterday he nailed shake every time I asked him to shake.  While I was cooking dinner, he actually sat right beside me and kept trying to shake to show me how smart he was.  He would raise one paw and then the other like, "Look mom, I can do both paws!"   It looked like he was waving to me.  We are going to try down next!  Keep exercising his mind and his body!  He can't go on walks, to parks or have any play dates for another six weeks or so until he gets through his next two rounds of booster shots.  Then we will start on leash training.  That should be fun.

The biting is getting better, thank goodness.  My poor hands can't take much more.   This morning, in fact, he cozied up in Chip's lap instead of trying to bite his feet, legs, arms, hands, face, ears, shirt, shorts.  It was picture worthy!  Good boy!

Unfortunately, he has a skin condition with a super long complicated name and starting this weekend I have to give him two baths a week with medicated shampoo.  The shampoo has to stay on him for at least 10 minutes.  The shampoo also discolors clothes and towels so it sounds like it will be a shit show.  How in the world am I going to keep a puppy calm, while wet and sudsy for ten minutes?  Pray for me.

Yesterday, while Cooper was outside raking leaves with me I was kind of overcome with memories of my boy Astro.  He was such a great dog.  I miss him.  I have high hopes that Cooper will be just as awesome and I hope Astro is happy we have another dog in the house to love.

I must sign off for now!  I am going to read with my little friends this morning! One of my favorite times of the week!

Hope your week is going great and their are no medicated baths in your near future!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Monday

Hey all!  I hope your weekend was great.  Mine was pretty slow, but I enjoy pretty slow.  I need to hit work pretty hard this week to move some projects along.  Let me give you a cliff notes version of the weekend and a few puppy pictures for Cooper's Fan Club.
  • It was terrifically windy here on 40 mile an hour winds whipping around all day. It was odd.  
  • I watched a couple of new shows on Netflix that I thought were terrific...The Crown and House of Cards.  Highly recommend both. 
  • Today is Day 8 of my Whole30.  Feeling pretty good....but damn the dishes!  So many dishes when you cook every single meal.  
  • Ten For Him, the giving group I am in, met last night to kick off the 2017 season!  We heard two stories of people who have endured real hardship.  One woman had been taking care of her completely incapacitated husband, who suffered from a stroke nine years ago that left him unable to care for himself.  He couldn't even speak.  That same sweet woman then got cancer and within a year she was gone.  Her children have to deal with the loss of their mom and take up the care of their father.  So Hard.  Another story was a terrifying story about a woman who gave birth to a baby and then after delivery suffered a major medical event (aneurysm or heart attack) that damaged her heart so bad she required a heart transplant.  Talk about a horrible situation to have a sweet new baby and a heart that can't sustain you. The baby just turned a year old and the mom got a new heart!  Really puts life,  and the size of your problems and struggles into perspective. 
  • I deleted the Facebook app from my phone.  People are being so awful to each other over the election.  I am over it. 
  • After about three days, Cooper has finally picked up "Shake".  Woo Hoo!  I will give his little brain a little time to rest and practice and then we are adding in "Down". 
  • Cooper's first vet appointment is today at 10:30.  Hope he doesn't bite the vet. 
  • He killed a branch.  He also killed a frisbee, but I don't have a picture. 

  • He slept a TON on Saturday.  I mean a serious TON.  He probably 18 hours of the day.  He was exhausted. He must be growing. 

That's it for me.  Hope your Monday is kind.  Find someone to be extra nice to.  We could all use a little extra nice!