Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Toby went to live with my mom and sisters on Monday.

It was hard. His little fluff ball face is so missed. He was just this big white cuddle dog. But at least I know he's safe and he can relax. I want him to be happy.... My sister sent me a picture of him ripping apart a stuffed animal. He hasn't played with a stuffed animal in forever here... I'm happy for him!

Peaches has relaxed too. She is a bit different. She is definitely calmer and less clingy. I've been doing things around the house today and she no longer follows me around. I can go upstairs and she isn't waiting at the baby-gate freaking out for me to come back.

She is SO happy to be back to sleeping on the couch, she plops herself down next to Jer in front of the tv and can relax. Before, she'd be sitting tensed up, on the leash, staring at Toby. She still needs a lot of work. She does have jealousy issues, especially with toys. But that is much easier to deal with than rage issues with Toby.

She has been playing well with Wilbur and Porkchop. I was worried how Wilbur would do without Toby. Toby has been his buddy since day 1. But he seems to be dealing ok. I'm thinking about getting him a crate so that he can be in the crate along side Peaches and Porkchop when we're not home. He has always liked a crate, but being the golden child, there was never a need for him to be in one.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making It Work

We are trying to find ways to make this do-able. Toby is still living with us. I want to keep him here till his leg heals. But he's been spending a few days at my mom's house to kind of get him used to being over there too. He loves my mom but I'm worried he's going to go drive her crazy too!! lol...

For now, we have a sort of system that kind of works. Its not perfect but at least Peaches isn't in her crate most of the day now. I have managed to figure out how to get a baby gate in between the couches. I also barricade the way out so she can't simple jump over the gate. I sit at a bar table that is directly by the baby gate armed with a spray bottle. Peaches does NOT like the water spray bottle. So I will leave Peaches loose in there with Porkchop and Wilbur to play and sit on the other side with Toby. Like I said, not a perfect system but more doable. She's been very good with it. If I get up from the table though I need to leash her and take her with. So she takes trips with me if I have to step away for even a second, she goes with me.

I've noticed some improvements with her tantrums in the crate.

She has been handling herself a bit better. I think moving her crate to sleep upstairs was a good decision. I put a fluffy pillow in there for her and she's not super pissed off at me anymore. We make a point to put her to bed. I think we are making slow but good progress. She gets so excited when I let her out of the crate she literally bounces between the two couches. Today Porkchop got a static shock from her because she was bouncing so much she must have charged herself up and when Porkchop came over to sniff her I saw the spark and his ears went FAR back!! I don't think he was thrilled.

Toby is still Toby. No amount of ignoring him affects his stubborn streak. But I will say that his wound is healing beautifully and I'd say he's almost 100% healed by now. Good thing too... he needs to get groomed!!! I've left the cone off of him for the past few days and he's handled it great. No bitting or licking at the area at all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Peaches still wants to kill Toby 100% of the time.  But we are getting better. Porkchop and Wilbur are getting better at accommodating their sister. I've been able to gate her off with them in the family room, while Toby and I hang out in the kitchen. The rooms are joined together but I put a baby gate between the couches and that keeps them contained! Of course they'd prefer me in there with them but at least Peach isn't leashed and can run around and wrestle. 

Peaches herself is being a good girl too. She listens so much better on that leash. She will sit with healing now fairly consistently and when we take her out we have to go through two sets of doors in our sun room to get to the yard and she has definitely shown some extinction of behavior when going outside. Before she would almost go THROUGH the doors. Now we make her wait for the command and she will sit. She is still impatient and will try to bolt a few times (we like to make her wait some time... ) but when before it'd be 20 times she tries 2-3 times and always looks at me for the "lets go... " which I find reassuring that she's looking to me for guidance. 

Unfortunately one thing we were talking about is the possibility of Toby going to live with my mom and sisters. He loves them so much. He grew up in that house. He's very familiar and loves it there. I know he'd miss me. He's glued to my side 100% of the time now. But he would be surrounded by people who love him too. This would allow us to work with Peaches more. We can't take her away from the group because Toby will lead them in a barking frenzy. 
I don't know if I mentioned this but last week I tried to leave Toby downstairs while I took Peach upstairs to nap after work. Toby barked, non stop, for two hours. I couldn't take it anymore. Jer went downstairs after this shower and thank god because I wouldn't have gotten ANY sleep!! I think training Toby would be harder than training Peaches. Toby doesn't care. He isn't motivated by much. He doesn't care what you think of him. He doesn't pride himself on being smart. He is all about #1- himself. He doesn't come when called, he doesn't kiss your ass, he doesn't try to impress you... he is like a cat. He wants what he wants and when you don't give it to him he will press the issue till you do. 

Maybe without him in the house we will be able to unspoil Peaches some more. We would definitely be able to work with her on a one to one basis more than we are now. 

Time to brag about the love of my life now... Porkchop! That dog kills me.... he is learning by association. I watch Jer working with Peaches on her leash and Porkchop is walking behind them. Sitting when Jer stops with Peaches and moving when he starts moving. He sits and waits at the door like a champ. He is precious. It's nice because there is NO way I'd be able to teach Peaches these behaviors without having her on a leash. But Porkchop is learning without the leash! This is why he's my dream dog. I just need to work on his jumping on people now. That'd make him PERFECT :)

I feel bad leaving Wilbur out of the post. Wilbur is consistent. He's just a good dog. He does what is asked and needed. He continues to be a great playmate for Peaches. He continues to my trusty companion and he is what having a dog is all about. Just a great little friend. I could never say anything negative about my Wilbur. He can do no wrong. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Peaches, passed out!

Just as I finished posting, little monster plopped down under the table

Bulldog day!!

I worked the past 3 nights at the hospital so Jer was on doggie duty. No major happenings to report and no changes.

Peaches got a break today from all the Toby stress today. She has been pretty confined and limited all week and since I'm off today, I dropped Toby off at my mom's house and we're having a bulldog day!! Just Peaches, Porkchop, and Wilbur!! She was sooooooo happy when I let her out of her crate this morning. She was zooming around the house! We went upstairs to snuggle and she was just jumping out of her skin, rolling in the bed and making her happy bulldog noises. We slept for 4 hours and now I'm attempting to function on only 4 hours of sleep. We ran downstairs and had a few tense moments. The doorbell rang (note... my UPS man KNOWS not to ring the doorbell... USPS ALWAYS does... that man is sweet but is KILLING ME!!) That's usually a high stress time and often when Toby would get attacked. I was worried that Peaches would react on one of her other brothers but she handled herself great!! Barking of course and propped up on the baby gate seeing what the evil that rang the doorbell was but no aggression towards her brothers.

And now she's back to playing and wrestling with them. They have missed her!! They keep running up to her with their butts in the air and stomping their paws to get her to chase them and she obliges and they run like a pack of wild beasts through the house, tongues hanging out and big bulldog smiles on their faces. She needed a day like this...

I love my dogs, I wish we could always have this peace.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Having a mentally challenged dog is hard....

Peaches is really not liking the new rules. She is reactive as ever. 100% of her time is spent focused on Toby and how to kill him. We are constantly trying to avoid fights. I have to tether her to me so close that we're almost walking in unison.

When Jer isn't home its even harder.
Right now, Toby is in the crate- GROWLING. I don't know why he is growling. Peaches is sitting next to me, staring at him. But she's leashed. He's crated. I know they are safe. I don't care.

I have a water spray bottle next to me. When Peach lunges, I spray and correct. I've had to do it maybe 3-4 times. Now she's just sitting here. Staring, panting, obviously anxious.

I talked to Peggy today about the recent happenings and she says it could be a good thing. Peaches realizes the rules are changed and she's upset. Therefore she's reacting more. It's exhausting.

Last night we were watching tv. Wilbur and Peaches were on my couch. Jer Toby and Porkchop were on his. Everyone was asleep. Except Peaches, who sat next to me (leased to me of course) and started at Toby the ENTIRE time. One slip and she would have jumped to the other couch to get him.

We are going to start a new bed time routine. We are going to get her a new crate for the upstairs... give her a little cuddle time first and then put her to bed in the crate. Then bring the other dogs upstairs. We'll see how it goes. I know she feels absolutely ostracized.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


So Jer got home from work early and it seems that Peaches is more reactive with him home. She even snapped at poor Porkchop who is very confused about the new rules and happening at our house. He walks around with this bamboozled look on its face. He sticks his butt in my face waiting for me to scratch it and looks at me with utter sadness when I can't pet him because sitting his butt in my face is NOT a green light signal.

Peaches does not like it when Toby is leashed too. She keeps freaking out when me and Toby leave the room... I think she thinks I'm taking Toby on a walk. I can't wait till the leash finally becomes normal.

On the plus side, Toby's wound looks better. It's definitely healing. This means that no ($600) surgery is needed and we'll be able to take that damn cone off soon. That might help calm her down a bit too, she hates that cone.

Thank god I'm not a single mom

My boyfriend and I work different shifts. I work 12 hours shifts 3 nights a week at the hospital and he works a typical 9-5 during the week. This makes it hard to be the puppy police. I do not want to keep Peaches in her crate the entire time he's not home. But it's hard to manage otherwise.

Toby has never been crated because of his separation anxiety. I wish I could crate him so Peaches could get free reign with her brothers. She really misses running and playing with them. On top of it all, Toby is ALWAYS glued to my side anyway. If I'm at the kitchen table, he is laying under it. If I'm on the couch, he's on a pillow next to me. He sleeps like a cat above my head on a pillow at night (this part has been really fun with the cone... ). This dog doesn't like to be more than 5 feet away from me. Which makes it extremely hard on Peaches. So I think the  consensus might be that we need to try to crate Toby again.

I feel the headache forming already :(

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tethered and bored

We borrowed wilburs bed to make it bearable

Lesson 1

We are tethered. Peaches is bored, we are studying for my Epidemiology exam.

Last night I let Toby demand when to be let out. Jer reminded me of my failure. Today I will be more firm in my last call for potty demands. I made our noisy can but haven't had a chance to test it out yet. Maybe later after class...

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Crew

We are starting this blog to chronicle our training process. Before we begin that I'm going to introduce the furballs:
Toby is 6 years old. He is a Bichon mix. I adopted him from the shelter as a puppy. He is my social butterfly. He loves everyone. He is the white fluffy love machine. He loves my parrots and walks. He can spend all day in the bird room. He can be anxious and therefore I'm usually in his sight. He is very stubborn and doesn't give in.

Wilbur is also 6 years old. He's a Boston Terrier and what I call, my golden child. He is mild and timid. He loves car rides and sun bathing. He gives great kisses. He listens and responds the quickest to training. Wilbur just wants to be loved. He used to be very shy but has come out of his shell in the last few years.  He is my little sweet boy. I'll be honest, Wilbur can do no wrong. I probably shouldn't say that, but it's true.

Porkchop, is a 5 year old English Bulldog/Boston Terrier. Porkchop "was" Jer's dog before we moved in together. While Wilbur is the golden child, Porkchop is the love of my life. We have a bond that is special. He walks me out when I go to work.  If I'm watching/reading something that makes me cry... Porkchop is right there with me comforting me. He makes me laugh when I need to, he sits quietly when he senses I'm tense. He lays next to the exercise bike. His face melts my heart. His little motorboat tail makes me smile. He is my dream dog. He's not perfect... he's 51 pound of power and can be a bit overwhelming. He's an enthusiastic linebacker.

Peaches is a happy go lucky 3 year old French Bulldog. She's spunky with the sweetest smile. She is a little tomboy. She loves to run and play and is a rough and tumble kind of girl. She is daddy's girl. She loves to nap on the couch. She wins everyone over with her cuteness. However, Peach is our problem child. She attacks Toby. She has never been best friends with Toby but the aggression has escalated to the point where last weekend she cut his leg open. Toby is now in a cone and some time to heal.

We decided a while ago to take Peaches to a behaviorist. We are unable to fix the problem on our own. We need help to find a way to make our doggie family work. It's not going to be easy.
I know personally,  I reinforce a lot of the bad behaviors. I always give in the Toby and his doggie demands. I know I baby him. I know I spoil Peaches and reinforce her bad behaviors. I know I could be more firm with all of them. I love my dogs. They bring me more joy than you can imagine. They are my furry kids and I will do what it takes.

I know I am going to have a harder time with this than Jer. I know that already. I am not their fearless leader. I need to work on that.