This afternoon I got the deck ready for The Little Guy. Some of you might remember that I started a project a long time ago when Ali was pulling Houdini's on me. He had found a way to get off the deck and would take off into the woods for an hour or several, scaring the peewaddling out of me. So I bought some chicken wire to put on the inside of the uprights. It turned out that he was actually squeezing between some uprights that were loose, so I checked them all and fixed the ones that needed it. I had put the wire on about 1/3 of the deck, the part where he was escaping, just to be sure.
Then today I was considering taking our newest family member to the deck for some R & R, but I was nervous about it because he is enough smaller than the others that I was afraid he might fall. One end of the deck is just a couple feet off the ground. That's where Ali was getting out. It's secure. But the part of the deck that is not wee-doggy safe is about 12 or 14 feet above the ground! If he didn't realize the height and decided to slide out .... well, I don't even want to think about it. So I finished the job today.
The bonus is that I can now take toys out for them and not worry about them falling off the deck. I threw a ball for Ali today, and he loved chasing up and down the deck! Little Doofus liked running after Ali, too, but I haven't been able to get him to chase a ball or toy on his own.
Little Lightening was moving fast!
He seemed to be wondering what was out there. China was looking for the most comfortable spot to rest.
Ali said OK, that's enough. Whew! Damn I'm gettin' old!
Little One seemed to enjoy his time out there. He wasn't sure about it all, but he laid down and rested several times, and was relatively relaxed. He almost came in without being carried, but he wasn't sure about the door and me all in one place at one time!
I watered my yuccas, Spanish broom, and fountain grass today, and all the plants on the deck. Squirt Blossom couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing. He was curious, but kept his distance. Or maybe he was keeping distance from me! He still is wary. Right now he is curled up on the bed a foot away from me, but if I leave the bed, he's not so sure about me.
Last night he left the bed for a while and I heard him slurping water. Good!!! And he ate the food I left for him. I'll be glad when he gets relaxed enough to enjoy the simple things of life ... like eating and drinking without hiding.
My other biggest concern with him is that he dribbles. When I try to pick him up, most times he dribbles, and especially when he is on the floor. I try to not "chase" him. That makes it worse, but to get him outside, I have to carry him. I'm going to have to shampoo my carpet when this is over! Meanwhile, I'm buying a gallon jug of Nature's Miracle at the vet's tomorrow. Maybe two!
I'm reading about training a shelter dog, which has almost always been subjected to abuse of some kind. Everything I read says it is essential to use a training collar and leash to help them learn what is expected. The reason they act timid is because they are confused about what is expected of them. That makes sense, but I'm struggling with it, too. I'm going to talk to the vet tomorrow for reassurance. You know how it is, I know something is right, but I want to hear it from the professional.
I noticed some spots all over him today, and when I looked closely, they were ticks!! I must have pulled 20 or 30 off him! The groomer mentioned to me that he has "sand fleas," and said that she sprayed him lightly with insecticide. She said she just sort of scratched the fleas off. I didn't think about it, although I saw some specks on his legs. Well, when those specks filled up with blood, they were huge! When I squashed these things, ick, blood everywhere! I didn't want to start flea/tick treatment until we see the vet tomorrow. Now I wish I had! I've checked A & C, and I don't find any on them, but I'll stay on it.
Hmmmm. I'm beginning to be really glad I didn't bring three dogs home at once. Go figure!