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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Winning the doggy lottery

Nothing like a trip to the vet and a trip to the dog park in one day to put things in perspective.

Tippy had a foxtail removed from her snoz today. Waaaay up high in there. Thing was huge, I love how the vet gleefully brought it to me on hemostats while I sat in the waiting room. He also gleefully came to show me how Tippy not only has no eardrum in her left ear, but no ear canal either. Now that two vets in a row confirm she can't hear squat in that ear, I can stop wondering if shes ignoring recalls, since I know her non response has a innocent reason now.

She was xrayed and yet again another stumped vet. Her odd walk still remains a speculation. We did rule a few things out, which is good, and we did learn that her legs are mildly malformed. At this point in my mind, Iam leaning towards a congenital defect.

Chili, Emma and I blew off chores and went to the dog park where the circus music was moderately loud today. There was the guy who anounced over and over that he was going to breed his two JRT, and that the three month old breeder to be was "eager to go!" since he was already mounting her...he then went on to talk about how he only buys the cheapest dog food for them at 47cents a can. I wasn't in the mood so I finally just walked away.

Then there was the terrified dog being bullied by a boxer. The dog would give every available signal to the boxer that it was uninterested, and frightened. The boxer, unfortuately, true to my many experiences with them, continued to treat the frightened dog like a toy. It ran screaming to its owner several times, trying to hide behind him. The owners response....say the dogs name in an irritated tone, then yell 'stop it" all while smacking his dog on the face.

This went on for over twenty minutes. Occasionally the guy would shout to his wife "maybe we should go"... but never bothered to actually "go". I wanted to shake him.

Meanwhile, Em, the spicy one, and I are in the small dog park alone. We watch this drama unfold and I lean over and tell Chili how lucky he is I snapped him up, and not som'one else. He thanked me by bringing me a disected foam ball and digging up som' grass.

We got lots of practice for our reactivity. And he did stellar. Not one outburst. I found that throwing treats at him, rather than have him run back to me, worked pretty well. I have also started simply marking him going up to the dog, and having him run back for the reward. This is different than the old method, of calling him to me, and then marking and rewarding, and I like the new methods results better.

Either way, there will not be a shouting of names and smacking of heads. Lucky dogs .

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