Thursday, February 27, 2014

Graduation Day

Na'ilah completed her first obedience class today--one class a week for six weeks.  
Na'ilah with her diploma and proud owner

Here we are with her diploma.

She can now sit, down, stay, wait, etc.  She already could heel pretty well.

She can even do "Leave it!" under certain conditions.  She can leave a treat on the floor when it is placed in front of her, but if there's a squirrel in a tree, no amount of "Leave it!" will work.  Yet.  

I'm supposed to be able to train her to leave even squirrels and cats.  This skill would be useful and could even save us thousands of dollars.

The course was taught by Dorna Sakurai, owner of Pawsitive Feedback Training.  I highly recommend it.

For months, it seemed impossible to train Na'ilah to sit because she had a painful venereal tumor.  Now that the tumor has been removed by chemo and radiation therapy, sitting is not painful, but she still has the habit of sitting to one side of her rump and sits down slowly. 

Stormy, on the other hand, is so close to the ground (being a corgi) that sitting is quick and easy.  

The bebes Na'ilah carries in her hip may be another reason for sitting down carefully, not quickly.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Na'ilah, you have betrayed me.  

I trusted you.  I made excuses for you.

I gave you too much space in my heart.

This morning I get up to find the following note from Roz:

Yeah so I turned my back ~20 seconds last nite with the gate down & Na'ilah peed on the new rug.  It is outside having been doused with Nature's Miracle (could probably use more).  I'll try to deal with it tomorrow when I get up.  Sorry,  --Roz 

Two days ago there was a Na'ilah-sized wet area on the living room rug, 9 ft. x 6 ft.  The first time ever, but Gracie and Stormy had pee'd on the rug, so it was a lost cause.  Several times before I had had it cleaned and treated for pet odor at $100 a crack. 

The last time I had bought a new area rug, which I kept in the garage for just such an occasion as this.  Out with the old, in with the new. 

From August through December, Na'ilah had never emptied her bladder in the house.  She seemed to know she was on probation.

Gracie Giselle, the chihuahua, lives indoors and regularly makes small mistakes all over the house, though she uses pee pads 90% of the time.

Stormy, the corgi, regularly pees anywhere she smells Gracie's urine.  It's probably a reflex action without much frontal cortex involvement. (Do dogs have a frontal cortex?)

Outdoors, Na'ilah and Stormy immediately copy each other on the exact spot the other has used, but Na'ilah never did this indoors until lately.

Since January, on three occasions we have found pee pads so soaked that Na'ilah had to have used them. They're only 22 inches x 22 inches, so her cup or two of urine always runs off onto the floor.

Nevertheless, all was forgiven: she had desperately searched for the right place to do this and had succeeded.

Using the brand new rug as her bathroom, however, changes everything.  It feels like a personal assault.

I don't want this dog.  Why did I add another dog to my life?  What was I thinking?

I can live with the cost of cancer treatment and the cost of surgery for the cat she bit, but her choice to unload urine on the brand-new living room rug suddenly moves me past some internal limit of tolerance.

I won't drive her to the animal shelter, but I find myself detached.  

Food, shelter, but no love.