Vito's 1 Month Chip

Yesterday marked 1 month since's Vito's last car ride with anxiety.  I don't think he has ever gone so long before without a panic attack in the car!  That's approximately 56 calm and relaxed rides.

Vito started Sertraline (Zoloft) in June when we stopped Amitriptyline and started his current dose in July.  He also is still getting Clonidine and Clorazepate twice daily.  It seems odd that for 5 months on the new drug he was pretty set on about 50% morning car rides panic inducing, especially if the car was facing the wrong way, or he had to get in the "wrong" side of the car since the sliding door wasn't working or...  and then suddenly the anxiety stopped.  This past month Vito has also been notably calmer in other situations.  No frantic pacing and insane arousal when visiting relatives.   Calm at the vet's office (although not his appointment, but still usually panic inducing).  Relaxed and seeking attention at his chiropractic appointment.  Able to be crated in a soft crate that wasn't his when I panicked and couldn't find Vito's at the club.  Many good things

We've certainly had other anxiety provoking events in this past month but I will enjoy the calmer Vito while I can.  If past experience provides any insight than this new hope won't last too long.


Drama Queen

Girls.  For the most part Zumi doesn't care if she's being yelled at to drop something, to stop wrestling with the cat, biting faces, etc.  And then every now and then Zumi will act like she's just been traumatized for life and will sulk around in the most dramatic way possible.

Crate training continues to go well though.  And this morning she finally ate her breakfast for the 2nd day in a row!  I will attempt increasing it to the size of her lunch and dinner tomorrow morning to see if she can eat more than 20 kibbles in the morning.  Life is just too exciting sometimes to stop and eat.

She can make her leap onto the couch starting this last week.  A whole week and half earlier than Py and much more petite at only 10lbs at the 9wk mark.  Several times though she has discovered how to get underneath the recliner loveseat from the back and then gets stuck under it.  Somehow turning around in that tiny space either hasn't occurred to her or there's not enough space.  We very carefully extend the couch legs out to free her and then she acts insulted.

Vito really is the best.  I let him yell at the puppies when appropriate, which is often.  But on the couch he mostly just gives an evil face and then sighs and closes his eyes to any puppy.

Her favorite toy this week.

And some great news is that Pyra got adopted by a family with 2 other tollers and will get to teach a young girl all about training!


UKI Agility Trial

The dogs headed down for a UKI agility trial on Saturday.  I LOVE UKI but debated for awhile about entering due to the location.  Vito handles the footing OK but Lance has stuttered worse on the turf than at other surfaces.  I decided to just enter Lance in 2 runs so that if I needed to pull him after the first run I wouldn't be out too much money and plus he only needed 1 jumpers leg to get his Senior Agility title, ISDs.  I also just wanted to run my poor corgi in some agility trials this year!

It turned out that Lance handled the footing a thousand times better than the last trial!  Still some stuttering but not much worse than he can be at other locations.  For the most part the stuttering wasn't pretty but he didn't slow down a ton.  He ended up qualifying in both speed stakes and jumpers and can move up to championship now in everything but speedstakes.  Speedstakes has a bit less stuttering so this is his slightly worse jumpers run:

Vito was entered in 4 runs and since you can declare any run not for competition  and bring a toy on course I was going to leave the decision on what runs to utilize the toy based on how he warmed up for each run.
Vito was LOUD.  Very happy Toller and ran decently fast for both speed stakes and jumpers.  Not toy used!  He did knock a bar in speed stakes though and in a moment of forgetting how I was goign to handle a sequence I pulled him off a jump there too.  But happy Toller.  For Gamblers I decided that I didn't want to waste the opportunity to have a toy at a trial so I warmed up with his magical Chuck it, put it on the side as usual, and then surprised him with a bonus ball in my pocket.  Super Happy Toller kicked it into overdrive after that first reward!!!  (Oh and bonus points for hitting the judge after a jump and not worrying at all!)

Agility (standard) was his last run and it was my favorite of the day.  Maybe because he had just gotten a toy in the ring on the gamblers run before, but he did an amazing job.  A delay at the start meant lots and lots and lots of Toller Screaming.
Yay for Toller!  And look how much prettier our dogwalks can be when he's running fast!

As for the Duck, Zumi learned all about trial days.  She was amazing quiet in crate all day, played nicely for me on toys, met lots of people and bit lots of faces, and started thinking that maybe other dogs can be fun.  It surprises me how confident she is with greeting people but with dogs she is fine just sniffing and saying hi but if they want to play she is not so sure.  Actually for me that might be a good thing as long as she doesn't get nervous or reactive with dogs!


Zumi 8wks

It's been a long first week with Zumi.  But other than the whole crate training chaos she's been a super fun puppy.  Very zoom zoom.  Not as confident about the world as Pyra was, but I have no doubt we will get there.

Still not so food motivated.  Zumi prefers being on the go and can't be bothered to finish her meals.  But she is cooperating for a little bit of meal training.  Mainly working on crate games, pivoting, fold back downs, and hand nudges.

Outside of meals I'm trying to show Zumi that body handling isn't torture.  Not a fan of upside down puppy and leg stretches.  She is pretty cuddly but no where near the level of Py or the labradors.  As long as Zumi is on the couch she is content to sprawl out wherever.  This picture makes her look huge, but she's only 8.5lbs!

I do believe she has now taken a nap with every member of the household.  
Vito just closes his eyes and pretends the puppy isn't there.

Lance will play with her but the cuddling was on accident.  Actually it's super rare that he was even on my couch to begin with, vs having his own space on the dog couch.

The cat just didn't move.



Today a great battle was won in Zumi's crate training face off.  This week the tide started to turn as Zumi spent her days in an xpen with a brave doggy volunteer.  Still many, many tantrums but anxiety about being left was lessening.

At the obedience club I hauled in the xpen and moved her and Gracie back and forth across the building as I moved from obedience to agility and back to obedience.  It was exhausting but quiet-ish, especially if she could see me.

At work on Friday Zumi was alone for the first time.  No doggy friend was available to sacrifice.  Massive tantrum.  I was frustrated and didn't know what to do with her as while co-workers were being very patient all week they couldn't have screaming all day.  I over reacted a bit in my frustration, but after a stern talking to and being tossed into the wire crate next to my desk, Zumi seemed to realize the gravity of the situation and shut up.  Throughout the remainder of the day only a few verbal reminders were needed and the tantrums were down to whispers.  No panicking.  Victory was mine.

I know we still have a ways to go with Zumi's crate manners, but I think the war is starting to be won.  Thank God.


Goodbye again

Gracie's new mom came to town the past two days to start working with her.  On their first day working together Gracie alerted her mom to a low blood sugar at Target!  Good girl!!!

Because she lives a few hours away, their training is done slightly different than teams that are in the Twin Cities.  Training was done for a few hours for each of the 2 days she was in town and then Gracie went home with her mom today.  The remainder of their training will be done with the help of a local obedience trainer in their town working closely with one of our trainers.  Based on what I saw from them I'm thinking it will go well!  And maybe I'll get to see Gracie in the agility ring a year from now as her mom seems excited about taking some agility classes once they're certified!


Crate Training

I'm trying not to compare Zumi with Pyra but I've already called her Py like 20 times in the 4 days.  
Really though she is quite different from little Py from the way she moves to her attitude.

Zumi really does love to zoom.  And bite.  Lots of biting.  And apparently thinks she is a sheltie as there has been lots of tugging on my pants as I walk.  

Crate training still sucks.  Massive screaming and once she starts she will not stop on her own no matter how long you ignore her.  Fingers in the kennel are helping a bit and if Zumi's somewhat tired she will try and curl up against the bars to trap your hand in.  Very sensitive to any attempts to escape your hand.  She does best of course if she's super tired and you sit right outside her crate as she goes back to bed.

Work today could have been a disaster if it weren't for 2 amazing other trainers that happened to both be there and at their desks way more than I'm able to be at mine.  Zumi was able to stay out with them in our cubicle/hall area and only was crated for 2 brief naps in which she had already fallen asleep on a lap.  During the later part of the day, after an unsuccessful crate nap attempt in the office, I tried putting her in a crate in an isolated room where she could scream her head off without disturbing others too much.  Scream she did.  Just 15min later I went in to grab something and she was just trembling as she screeched.  Flashbacks of Puppy Vito.

I sat on the floor with fingers in the bar for several minutes  and while I didn't get her completely quiet she did stop trembling.  Plan B was devised and put into action.  Zumi went back to hang out freely in the cubicle area while I set up an X-pen immediately outside the hall with her open crate, toys, and a sacrificial doggy friend.  There was only an hour left of work by the time I got her settled in and she was already exhausted.  But Plan B was successful with only a mild tantrum.

Fingers are crossed that Zumi will both improve her crate manners quickly and that the X-pen setup works this week as I don't think she will have the option of cuddling with a person the rest of the week.  And on Wednesday she has to go to the obedience club while I teach classes.
I'm not worried about Zumi yet.  She's very young and she's only had a few days of being on her own to practice this type of stuff.  But it's hard not to think of puppy Vito and his issues.  Zumi is the most anxious I've seen with the puppies I've fostered vs frustration.


And back to 4

Surprise!  I went to pick up Gracie from her client on Saturday, 1 day after puppy pickup.  Gracie was doing well but needs a new client.  Her mom underestimated the time and training involved in dog ownership, especially that of a service dog.  So Gracie's back!  The good news is that the decision was made relatively soon into their partnership and the great news is that there is already a new person in mind for Gracie!  Her new person even has interest in doing agility :)
My boomerang.

Gracie is due to meet her partner next week and if all goes well I won't have her for very long.
I think Gracie just wanted to give a proper Labrador welcome to Zumi like she was able to do for Pyra!

Gracie was so happy to be back and get to run!

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