Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Big Bark, Little Dog

In Big dogs, Looking for friends, Loud barks, Training on January 30, 2011 at 8:19 am

I am not shy and don’t need some silly challenge to meet people. I, in fact, am ready and eager for new friends. As you can hear by my loud bark, I am inviting all dogs and people in the neighborhood to come over to play. I used to bark at the trains, but they never stop in their tracks. I quit, but once when a train blasted its horn, I howled to cancel out the sound drumming in my ears.

But when it comes to big dogs, I’m a little scared. If we’re on walks, Shelley has to pull me by my leash or pick me up, because I dig in my paws and won’t go forward. I don’t consider this not wanting to meet big dogs a matter of being shy. It’s self preservation.

In doggie training class on Saturday, what apparently is graduation day, someone said, “Zoey has a big bark for such a little dog.”

I had made lots of noise when a big dog had rolled on her back and scooted up to me in submission. I wanted her to go away. Even with my extra large bark, I do realize I am on the small end.

In the class, we did a race to use all of the new skills we’ve learned over the last seven weeks. I came in last place. Next came the proud parent photos. I overheard Shelley ask if I could still get my photo taken with this dog-size graduation cap even though we’re retaking the class.

We’re retaking the class? I have to go through all of this torture again? I’m always heading to the door or looking out the window, wanting to be in a better place. I don’t want to learn how to be a good dog. I want to just be me. Super Cute Zoey!

No Thanks to Big Dogs

In Looking for friends, Training for treats, Wanting My Own Rules on January 23, 2011 at 8:57 am

I don’t want to meet big dogs, but Shelley thinks I should go through this dog training class that has three big dogs and me in it.

One of the dogs, Sparky, a black-spotted mixed breed, rolled on her belly and inched toward me while I sat on a big-dog bed. We were practicing going to our spot or place when told to Park It, such as when guests visit us, I mean our pet parents.

I snarled and snapped at Sparky when she got too close to my snout.

“Naughty girl!” Shelley yelled and gave me a light spanking on my behind so I would understand the extent of my poor behavior.

Instead, she got in big trouble.

The trainer lectured Shelley on conducting hands-off discipline. The trainer said if Shelley had smacked my face, she would have been kicked out of the class. I’ve wanted to leave from day 1 of the class. I’m always heading to the door, unless I’m working it for the treats or taking a nap.

“I only hit her lightly to give her the message,” Shelley said.

The trainer said positive reinforcement works, but not punishment, which would make me afraid of my owner. I must say I’m not afraid of Shelley. My fear is of the big dogs. They need to be disciplined to wait me out until I’m ready to say “hi.” It takes me awhile to get over my fear over their size. I get the big dog bed and a big dog bark, but I still feel little.

In other words, I want friends my own size.

Wanting My Way

In Chasing smells, Going on walks, Learning commands, Looking for friends, Training for treats, Wanting My Own Rules on January 16, 2011 at 8:38 am

I am in this training class where I am learning how to go on walks. I don’t want to be in the class, so I either have my eye on the door, or I look out the window into the store for potential friends. To do this, I turn my back on the rest of the class.

The suck-y thing about this is Shelley bribes me with food to sit, stay, go to my bed and lie down until she says, “All done.” I want the food, and being a smart dog and all, I figure out what Shelley wants from me and do it. I don’t always get it the first time, or I get distracted by sights, sounds and especially smells. Even so, I catch on, just for the sake of my treat.

As for going on walks, I am in control. If I don’t want to walk, I dig in my heels and push out my forepaws, and Shelley ends up pulling me. She’s pulled me for two or three blocks at a time. I overheard her tell her mom that the trainer who teaches our class said I won’t get hurt. Pulling me is one way to get me to do what she wants. I don’t think so.

I’d rather walk when I want to walk. This is how I take walks: sniff every little smell in a one-foot radius, and then go onto the next foot. Back track. Walk in circles. Run. Walk. Stop. I’m not a mover and a shaker. I’m about stopping and smelling the smells, or the roses as you humans put it.

Dogs Don’t Make Excuses

In A keen barker, Back yard princess, Dog communication, Looking for friends, New Year's Resolutions, Wanting My Own Rules on January 9, 2011 at 8:40 am

 I don’t make excuses when I resolve to do something. I just do it.

It’s snowing today, and of course, I had to explore the backyard. Shelley is visiting her mom this weekend – her mom is the one with the backyard.

By the way, Shelley is making a pattern of the Mom visits. First, she takes me to these dreadful training classes where I’m learning how to heel and do tricks. I don’t like being told what to do, but I do like the treats, so I feel a real conflict of interest going on. And then when I hear the clapping, cheering and “good girl” comments, I forget that I am determined to be my own dog.

As you know, I have some resolutions, but I am keeping mine. I’m not blaming the snow. I do what I can for treats, more play time and, this one is easy, to retain my cuteness. I am looking for friends, preferably of the dog variety, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I just haven’t met anybody yet.

Back to my story – I went in and out of the house today because I wanted to both play in the snow and be inside where it is warm and nice and people pay attention to me. I went outside and ran along the fence, barking up a storm, inviting the dogs in the neighborhood to join in for a chat. It’s called the dog version of social networking.

As I ran, I collected mini snowballs on my fur and got a snow bonnet from sniffing the ground. Fine, so I was a dog snowman. Whatever. But Shelley took out the dreaded bathroom towel to wipe me down and pull off the snowballs.

Ouch! I snapped at her.

She said, “Look at me,” and I did. She shook her finger at me, and said that I was a bad girl. I snapped as she pulled off more snowballs, and I got a timeout.

After my punishment, I went back outside, came in and snapped about the whole towel thing, and then got the time out two more times. I don’t blame the snow for anything. I just do what comes naturally, that is play, run and bark.

But I guess I learned a lesson. If I am to be a cute girl, snapping doesn’t certainly fit it with that bad girl image I’m really not interested in maintaining.

Digging Up Resolutions

In All About Me, Holidays, New Year's Resolutions, What's important on January 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

It’s a new year, and I’ve just turned two. I don’t know what Shelley is going on and on about with the whole platform discussion. Mine is that I’m cute and am seeking friends.

I have a few New Year’s Resolutions. I wonder if Shelley has any. I think she should resolve to spend more time with me, give me more treats and take me to fun places with lots of dogs and people who think I’m the cutest.

Anyway, here are my resolutions:

  • Do whatever I need to for more treats, even if I have to fudge.
  • Do whatever I need to for more play time.
  • Find friends in addition to Sophie, a golden retriever. (I need Shelley’s help on this because she keeps me indoors when she’s at work, and that is not good for a social butterfly like me).
  • Retain my cuteness.