Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sleepy Puppy

I’ve never had kids so I’m pretty uninformed on the subject of child rearing, but I’m going to make an observation and hopefully not piss off any parents who may be reading this: it seems like having a puppy is a lot like having a baby. Many of the complaints I have about raising a puppy sound very similar to the complaints I hear from the few parents I know. Things like, “He won’t sleep more than 5 minutes at a time, I feel like a caffeine fueled zombie,” or “He’s such a picky eater, and is he supposed to throw up this much?” (although the finicky eating habits may be unique to Forest, most of the dogs I know will eat anything) and “Dear God, breath thru your mouth, he just pooped pure evil.”
Luckily, Forest is a big fan of naps. After constantly checking on the puppy every 30 seconds for over a month to make sure he wasn’t peeing, pooping, chewing, scratching, choking, falling or running away, we can finally ignore him for a half hour or even –gasp!- an hour at a time. I’ve searched thru my extensive photo collection and picked out some of the cutest “holy shit, he’s finally quiet and not moving” moments to share with you.
Sometimes Forest finds the oddest places to sleep.
Like on the step of a sliding glass door…

…on my shoes…

…on a chair leg...

…or in a gym bag.

Forest has a habit of sneaking under chairs for a nap. We’ve had many “Crap, where the hell is the- oh he’s under my chair again” moments.

He’s not ashamed to show off the goods (while he still has them).

Looks like Forest figured out what a pillow is used for.

I love this picture. Forest laid down first, the rest of the guys soon followed. Awww.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fuzzy Photo of the Day

The University of Iowa Hawkeyes play the Iowa State Cyclones today. Forest is rooting for the Hawkeyes!

"If the Hawkeyes don’t win, I’m going to find some Cyclone lawns to poop on."


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forest’s New Haircut

When I was a kid, my family had a wonderful chocolate lab named Pike. He had very short hair and a terrible shedding problem (he was one of those dogs who would reward you with a handful of dog hair when petted, yuck). As far as I can remember, he never needed a haircut and had the same hair length his entire life.

Since Goldendoodles are hybrids, their coats can vary between litters and even littermates. The Goldendoodle breeder who gave us Forest has this information posted on their website:

wool - very curly coat like a poodle. This type of coat requires some brushing and grooming.
fleece - wavy to loose curls. This type of coat doesn't require much grooming besides an occasional brushing and snip with scissors.
hair - straight and flat to wispy and moderately long. This coat doesn't require any grooming besides an occasional brush.

Forest’s puppy fur looks like fleece; the hair is wavy and thankfully doesn’t need to be brushed very often. Forest won’t fuss when we have to pull poop out of the hair around his anus but squirms when we gently brush him, he’s such a weird dog.

Based on his current coat type, I knew Forest would need haircuts every now and then, but I wasn’t expecting his hair to grow as fast as a Chia pet (or as fast as a Chia pet is supposed to grow, I could never get those things to work correctly, my Scooby Doo head always had a bald patch).

When Forest’s hair gets long, Nick will refer to him as the Ewok.

I can kinda see the resemblance.

We wanted Forest to look spiffy for Labor Day weekend, so he got a haircut right before we left town.

I don’t think they cut the hair on his ears or tail, so his ears now look like pigtails to me :)

Looks good little guy!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Puppy Class

I’ve found dog-training books to be a tad disappointing. I’ll read the directions and study any pictures or illustrations that may be included, and think “Oh yeah, no problem. Man, it’s all pretty simple when you think about it. I probably won’t even need this book.” Then Reality, dressed as a puppy, shows up and says “Oh hell no, it ain’t going to be that easy” and proceeds to pee on my kitchen floor. In other words, Forest doesn’t act or respond like the book says he should.

We found a few helpful dog-training videos online, but the editing, or lack of, can make them difficult to follow. Sometimes it’s hard to see hand commands or body language because the video is shot too close or too far away. Some videos make the whole process look way too easy - here we see a disobedient dog, the trainer gives a few commands, video star-wipe effect, and now we see an obedient dog. Not helpful.

We decided that Forest wasn’t dumb (although I’ll admit he sometimes has his “duh” moments) he just wasn’t learning new tricks because we weren’t training him correctly. For example, one book said you could teach a dog to sit by gently pushing his butt down to the ground while saying the command “sit,” but we later learned that this puts unnecessary pressure on the hips and knees and could cause joint problems. We decided to enroll Forest in an obedience class and not attempt to teach him anything (except potty training) until the class showed us the correct training method.

So, Forest had his first puppy class a week ago today. We spent most of the time covering a few simple commands and letting the dogs get to know each other. Forest stood out in three aspects: he barked the most, he was the only dog in the class who didn’t already know the command “sit,” and the other “students” preferred to hump him more than any other dog in the class (the dog’s owners would get all embarrassed and apologize but I assured them that it was fine and it didn’t seem like Forest minded much anyways).

At the end of the class, the instructor gave us a list of commands to practice with our dog every day. I had every intention to follow her directions, but last week was hella busy. We had to pack everything up for the holiday weekend, and then we spent way too much time in the car driving to Iowa. It was impossible to get Forest to focus on training at the Iowa cabin, not when there were other dogs to play with, leaves to eat, grass to roll in and sand to dig. Then we spent more time in the car driving back from Iowa, and of course, unpacking. So last night I was thinking about how we could cram a bunch of training into the next 48 hours so perhaps Forest would be somewhat prepared for class. And suddenly it occurred to me that damn it, 3 day weekend means it’s Monday, not Sunday, so actually I had less than 24 hours. Not good. Flashback to my college years when I forgot to do my homework or study for test, but this time I couldn’t pull an all-nighter and catch-up.

Forest, I promise to be more diligent about consistently practicing your commands. We’ll study every day buddy, I swear. Until then, any chance you can learn “sit” in the next 2 hours?


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Super Puppy!

Forest lies like this all the time and it cracks me up. We call it his superman pose...

...or Swiffer impersonation.

Silly puppy.