Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Walking with Mom

I live in the big city of Chicago in a very pretty neighborhood with a large park a few blocks away from our house. Before I came along mom walked a lot for exercise. Once it would start to get light out she would head to the park and back home before work, over two miles. But she was always sad when she got home because she would see everyone walking their dogs. She got lonely walking all by herself almost every morning and loved seeing all the dogs enjoying the park. She wanted her own dog to walk to the park with her. After I came along Mom couldn't wait to take me for a walk. Well, let me tell you it was not as easy as it looks! She hadn't walked a dog in years and I had never worn a leash so what a disaster! First, mom seemed to look over the "hound" part of my breed as I have to smell every leaf, twig or blade of grass, so things went pretty slow. Then there was the pulling, I can be a bit stubborn, I would want to go one way, she would want to go the other. It didn't take too many tries before she came home and asked dad to order a leash from Caesar Millan's web site, like she had seen on his The Dog Whisperer TV show. Once they got the slip leash on me things got a little easier for mom, but I wasn't happy at all!

This is me on one of my first walks to the little park by our house. Mom made me wear a sweater then, I would get excited seeing a sweater knowing I would go for a walk. I really hate wearing them now! Then came time for my first walk to the big park! I was so excited all the smells! Mom claims I never even saw the park the first few times we went there because my nose was to the ground all the time. Then one day I looked up and "wow" look at this place, grass and trees for as far as I could see! I started to meet other dogs and everyone thought I was so cute! Mom continued to try out a few different leashes on me, all a big mistake though. There was the retractable leash, not recommended for training at all! Then there were really long leashes so that I could run around some which just got tangled up on everything. First, she would walk me to the park with the slip leash just to get me there, then change leashes. That's how I completely slipped out of my harness one of my first days at the park and went running off. Mom about had a heart attack. I am very friendly so when I stopped to say "hi" to someone he grabbed me. Whew, lucky mom, she wouldn't have been able to come home without me, dad would have been furious! So that's how we got started going on walks to Portage Park. Things changed a lot for me a few months later though. Mom, Dad and me went to puppy training at the shelter I was adopted from and the trainer believed in the pinch collar. I have had to wear one ever since because I want to pull a lot and go where I want to go. But isn't that all about being a Doxie?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Training Days

Let me just say there were some adjustments made in the household after I arrived! Mom had never raised a puppy on her own before but had dogs growing up. Dad seemed to be the experienced one in puppy training. Before leaving the shelter they had to watch a video on potty and crate training. Mom confesses to being a bit naive thinking I would sleep through the night and not mess in my crate and bark to let everyone know about it. Dad took care of everything the first few nights until I got the hang of things.  Mom got really good at watching me start to sniff around the floor when she would grab me and run down the stairs to outside. Oh, did I mention we lived on the second floor? Technically two and a half flights of stairs each way every time I had to potty. Then there were the PRIs (puppy related injuries) banging chins, you name it, it happend to poor mom.  One day dad was sitting in the chair off the kitchen when I let him know I wanted up there. So I got picked up and held and cuddled while mom was screaming "No, she's in training!" She then came to the conclusion that I had become a bit spoiled in the shelter while being cared for. For the next several months I was kept in the kitchen with a puppy gate separating me from the front of the house. So I proceeded to destroy everything in sight. Mom again confesses to being naive when it comes to the chewing. She thought I would stop tearing things up once the puppy teeth were gone (note to readers still chewing two years later). Here is a list of my crimes during my kitchen days:

  • Inherited cat bed with zipper covering
  • Gym bag on floor
  • Storage basket on floor
  • Vintage kitchen wallpaper (mom would come out of the bathroom to find a mess)
  • Bathroom rug(s)
  • Shoes, shoes, shoes, and the tips off of the laces were my speciality
  • Original oak woodwork
  • Corner of island kitchen cabinet
  • All toys except rubber Kong
I'll finish the list when I write next about being allowed in the front rooms! Thanks for reading! Love, Dolly.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My First Blog!

Hi! I am Dolly a dachshund mix. Mom is glad that they call our breed Doxie because she has a hard time spelling dachshund. She adopted me from a shelter in Niles, IL called Wright-Way Rescue. She had never heard of the shelter when she found me on Petfinder.com. She was in mourning after her last cat Herb had just passed. She had wanted a dog for the last two years after losing her job when the economy tanked in 2008 desiring more companionship than an elderly cat. So she typed in her zip code and there I was! Me and my four litter mates, my name was Zola then and I was six weeks old.  Wright-Way Rescue operated differently than most shelters, in fact, they just had a write up on cesarsway.com WrightWayRescue.net. She was able to "reserve" me for a meet and greet when I made it to Niles and could be adopted. But there were a lot of complications. Wright-Way rescued my litter from a "humane" society shelter and we were in very poor condition and pretty sickly. It took us seven weeks before we could be adopted! But mom waited and she was so glad she did! When she saw me for the first time right away she said "Look how big her feet are!" Well, us Doxie's are known to have bigger front feet than back so she was pretty sure I wasn't going to be a HUGE dog. She loved my brown brindling on my face and paws and thought I was really cute. So her and Dad said we would take her right away and didn't even wait to get to know me. Which is good because I was very distracted with everything going on and didn't make the greatest first impression in the personality department,  As she cuddled me in her arms on the way home from the shelter she told Dad that she wanted to name me Dolly and that was that! Please stay tuned for the next installment of my new life! Love, Dolly.