"Not My Dog": Tales from Puppy Raising

Monday, November 27, 2006

Have they met Murphy?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mortification in Aisle 5

Normally, I don't work Murphy when Andrew is with me. It's hard enough wrangling one of them alone.
But today, we spontaneously decided to pop in to Pet Quarters to give Murphy some dog distraction work while we were out running errands. (Murphy came along for the car ride.)
Almost immediately, we saw a fluffy small dog. When it spotted Murph, it began yapping excitedly as it strained to get off its leash.
To his credit, Murphy sat, looked and maintained a sit/stay without seeming rattled at all.
"Mommy," Andrew exclaimed, "Murphy is being so good!"
I beamed.
"But that little doggy over there is being very, very bad!" Andrew continued, in a voice that would carry across football fields.
GEB really needs to come up with a command for "Flee!" Which we did.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Entirely too smart for his own good

As I was getting Andrew out of bed this morning, we heard a thump and a clatter and Socks came streaking up the stairs in full hissing/poofed mode.
Seems that Murphy had somehow managed to get himself out of his crate, and was prancing about, looking quite full of himself. I'm guessing that I must not have latched through both loops and he might have used his nose to nudge it open. It appears he went to the laundry room and ate the cat food before starting up the stairs. I'm sure he wasn't out long, as I don't see how he could contain the exuberance too long.
I couldn't really be mad. My mistake, and as I said, if dogs do have emotions, he was quite proud of himself.
I'd say it's about time for him to go to New York. He's getting too smart to handle.

Other miscellany ....
He had his last sleepover with Nina. We knew he'd be crated almost all day with us going to Boston to pick up Ben, and she wanted to see him again, anyway. She really thinks he will pass IFT.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's a dog, dog world

Murphy and I went to Skowhegan today to help Carol staff a GEB booth at the Pet Expo, aka, "All Things Dog". I was a little worried about how he'd represent the program as our "senior statesman" puppy, but he did great.
We had to run a gauntlet of border collies doing agility and yapping Shelties to make it to the booth, but once we got there and he got to collect himself behind a table, he settled in just fine. we were there 2 1/2 hours, with him in jacket, and people raved over how well-behaved, quiet, and handsome he was. He, of course, was in fine form, basking in the attention.
Best of all, Carol said he was doing great and said that she thought he'll pass IFT.
Of course, I spent the whole day talking to dog lovers who said they'd love to raise ... but how in the world could they ever give him up? I hope I gave them good answers with the cheerleader smile.

Carol putting Murphy through his paces.

Murphy in the car. He was sound asleep and snoring on the floorboard within 20 minutes of leaving. Thinking is hard work!

Friday, November 10, 2006

New picture

Taken earlier this week ... what a face!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Keeping things interesting

I swear that pup knows I'm about to go all schmaltzy on him, and he's obligingly thrown in a whole new behavior to deal with: barking.

Yes, ignore the pooch and now he will plant and muster his newly deep voice and bark for attention. This is not nice (although I should stress that it's more of an occasional annoyance than a full-blown crisis).

I thought at first that he was doing this because I'd been away at a seminar in DC, and he was a bit clingy when I got back -- as opposed to say, Andrew, my flesh and blood, who merely said, 'Oh, Mom's back.'

But nope, I'm thinking that Murphy just has an innate sense of how to keep things interesting, and how to not let me ever get too confident or too zen.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Eval report

I'm posting an example of the kind of report we get after evals ... with my translations in italics after.

Puppy Evaluation Report By : BessieSheehan Canine Development Center Guiding Eyes for the Blind
Breed/Color/Sex: LBM
DOB: 9/15/2005 www.cdc.guidingeyes..org
Sire: Farrell Dam: Wella
Eval Date: 10/21/2006

Overall score: sniffs , vocal, and scratches when unsure, does better with repeated exposures,Wiggly w/ body handling

Confidence:UP came right up to all 3 x , tight and tense in traffic, (I'm not sure I agree with Bessie here), emptied on walk, (when in doubt, Murphy poops) grates fine, regular stairs fine, OB stairs rushes initially

Noise : good reaction to dumpster banging (One would hope with all the work I've done on that!)
Control factor: needs an attentive handler--scavenges when walking (Translation: In a home with a 5-yr-old, Murph gets more crumbs of real food than he should, and he's looking for it)

Dog reaction: Vocalizing whiney when unsure

Energy: higher energy when the activity and distraction is high

Distraction: high distraction to stuffed dog-- hard to refocus back to midline (Translation: He mauled Fred the stuffed dog quite gleefully)

Has it really been a year?

I was looking for another file and stumbled across this picture on my computer. Wow!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

6 weeks and counting

Word comes from GEB today that Murphy and his brother Maddox are going to New York on Dec. 9. They'll have their IFT test on Dec. 14.

In other words, six more weeks.

I'd write more, but I'm kind of choked up. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I knew this was coming.

I should note that I just got back from a business trip and Murphy missed me more than Andrew did.