Friday, April 22, 2011

Playing with video

Here is a perfect example of what Fred does after he comes in from doing "big" business. He's so proud, as am I!

 I actually managed to shorten this up by half, it got a bit boring At one point while editing, I managed to replay in fast forward, now that was funny (of course I have no idea how I did it). For me, this is huge. Still trying to better understand my camera, now that I have done this, hopefully I can capture more of Fred's silliness. Fred is very difficult to film stills on. He rarely holds a position long enough for me to get the essence of the shot. So, hopefully these will get better as I go along.

As I post these videos, your feed-back is greatly appreciated, I want it to be as entertaining as possible, so don't be shy about it' ;-).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednessday

Fred has no idea his lip is stuck like that...none, zero, zip, totally clueless.

The is what Fred thinks he looks like up top there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fred Masters The Stairs

Fred was getting pretty good at going up the stairs, it was a pretty good effort for him, but he could do it. Going down however, was a different story. Gravity really comes into play here. I would let him try, he was a pretty determined little guy, I didn't have much of a choice. More than once though, he would get about two steps into it, then things would start to get to going pretty fast and down he'd go...thu thump, thu thump, thu thump. Sometimes head over butt, sometimes sideways. It was tough to watch. But, thankfully, at the bottom, he would shake himself off, and mosey on about this business. We never had any serious injury while mastering this very important step in his life. The little guy would never stop trying, his tenacity was strong. Thank goodness puppies are pretty rubbery or I don't think they would ever survive the first few months. It was pretty fun watching him go up, one-at-a-time and very deliberate. I  would always go first when it was time go up to bed and he would follow after me. It would take a lot of encouragement to get him up but he could do it. When I didn't coax him, he would still work hard and appear in my room after a bit with a very proud look on his face, Big Boy!  Now days, he waits until I'm almost to the top stair, not sure why, maybe he wants to make sure I make it up OK, then ziiiiiip! He's at the top waiting for me. Maybe it's a race, not sure, it's fun though.
I was still carrying him football style down the stairs most of the time, I couldn't bear watching that tumble every day. One morning, he got ahead of me and went down all by himself!  No tumbling, just right down the stairs, I was so excited I woke up my daughter, she was "thrilled" for Fred. Well, I thought it was fantastic! A huge mile stone! I think Fred thought so too. I swear, it was the funniest thing to watch his little butt waggle as he went down. Sometimes, he would get going a little fast and lose track of his feet and a tumbling he would go. He would be irritated at himself when that happened, I'd stroke his ego and he'd be fine. Even now, every once in a while, his count gets a little "off"  and down he'll go! Now it just puts me in hysterics, I shake my head, he shakes his whole body, looks back at the stairs, like it was the stairs fault not his.(It's like watching a grown up trip and stumble and pretend it didn't happen.) And then we go about our day. It's good to start the day with a good chuckle.
Pretty intimidating if you're only 6" high.
Fred was "helping" me get the shot right.  :-)
I think...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fred and Buddy Meet

I figured it was time. I had very mixed feelings about this. I didn't want Buddy to feel like he'd been replaced or was going to be loved any less. This was HIS home, HIS kingdom, he was the ruler of this domain. I had to do it, he already knew something was up, he was marching around the yard, and acting pretty perturbed. So I let him in. Fred was real happy to see Buddy, he wobbled right up to Buddy, with no hesitation. Oh god, the cat could really do serious damage to those eyes, cripes in one swat, he could send little Freddy flying and fleeing for his life, but he didn't. Remembering, Freddy is about the size of a gerbil. He just sat there, semi aloof about the little guy, looking at Fred, glaring at me. He was mad at me, to say the least, I expected that. I gave him a lot of pets, scratched him in his favorite spots, and he graciously "allowed" me to do this. He let Fred snort about him, he even gave Fred a sniff or two, he actually seemed ambiguous to the fact the we had a new, permanent member of the family. Phew! That went better than I thought! He would occasionally give Fred a devilish swat as he wobbled by, of course Fred would tip over, then he would just get up and go about his way, whichever way he was pointed when he finally righted himself (kinda like a wind up toy). I'm still keeping a close eye on things, but I felt pretty good about the whole meet and greet. Buddy eventually laid down with his paws tucked under, eyes at half mast, my world was good.
Mr. "Happy Pants" 
Then Buddy stood up, stretched a nice long stretch and proceeded to walk over to the corner of the front stair landing, turned around, and with his butt to the wall, started peeing! Not just a little, oh no, this was going to be a good one! This one was going to make a statement! Of course all the while, I'm frantic, waving my arms, yelling, trying to get up quickly to stop this madness, he just kept right on going, all the while, glaring at me. Buddy has never, ever gone in the house ever.  Well I got the point alright, loud and clear. I quickly picked the cat up and very firmly marched him to the back door and let him out! God I was mad. How could he do such a thing! Now I've lost track of Fred, oh cripes. I quickly found him, he was just minding his own business, I'm not even sure he noticed the commotion. So...I spent the better half of that night blotting cat urine off the carpet, baseboards and walls, got out the carpet cleaner and the Zero Odor (again, good product) taking deep breaths, getting a grip. I finally got the mess cleaned up and went back to my adorable dog.
So, that is how my perfect indoor/outdoor cat became a permanent outside cat, I can't trust him now. He's got a pretty good set up outside, nice waterproof box with old clothes in it, food and fresh water way up high, he likes it (Thanks Sis!).  He doesn't even try to come inside, not interested. I'll share pictures of his little nest at a later time. (too dark right now)
Today, Fred and Buddy are best pals, they play and box and romp around together, outside of course. Then Fred comes in, Buddy always tries to trip him when he jumps up the step to enter the house, happens all the time. I can handle that, and Fred seems to expect it. He will always be the youngest of the pack.  :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crate Training Time

Yep, I decided even before I brought Freddy home, that he was going to be a "crate trained" dog. I know there are many opinions on this, and believe me I've heard them. I've read the pros and cons, and from my research I decided that the crate was the way to go for me. It started the very first night. Before anyone starts to feel too sorry for Fred, let me explain. I was never going to leave him in a crate all by himself in another room, where I couldn't hear him, and my house is plenty big for that. No, if I was up and about, Fred was up and about with me. I started out by using a very nice cat carrier. There was plenty of room for Fred to move around a bit and still be cozy enough for him to be able to keep himself warm. I also put in a baby blanket left over from the kids, and a small remnant of a jammie top of mine that I found, we snuggled with that, long before bedtime. Like I said, I'm a planner. I also left the crate in the middle of the main room we were in before we got home, so in his little mind it was part of the room, not a scary unknown thing. He'd wobble in and out throughout the evening, snooping about his surroundings and it was not evil or scary. Well now it was time for bed, so I took the crate upstairs to my room, then Freddy and I went outside to do the last days business and up to bed. He had to be carried up and down the stairs, I carried him like a little Nerf football with one hand so I could still use the railing, that went on for some time. The day he made it down the stairs on his own was a very big day! (another post) I got ready for bed and then put Fred in his "room" that's what I called it going forward, I had the door facing me and it was about 6 inches from my face so he could still hear, smell and see me. Trust me, I really wanted to hold him all night, but I was terrified I might smash him in my sleep, so the crate was really the safest place for him. He didn't put up much of a fuss at all, and quieted down and went to sleep pretty fast, right by my face. I could hear him breathing and snoring a little.  If he woke up or stirred, I knew he would need to go out, and I didn't want an accident in his room, so I basically stayed up all night waiting for Fred to stir so I could get up and rush him outside. Long story short, Fred got a much better nights sleep than I did. I turns out, I didn't need to worry about Fred waking me in time. He let me know quite loudly, nobody could sleep through that noise. He was soon sleeping all night and it was just a race in the morning to get my robe on to rush him down stairs and outside just in the nick of time. Sometimes we didn't quite make it though, and I got wet, but for the most part we settled into our routine pretty quickly.
There were occasions when I had to put him in his room when I could not keep an eye on him, showers, trips to the store, things like that. I never left him in there for any length of time so it was a positive experience for him, and a lot of fun and praises when he came out of his room.  If I asked him to go into his room, he would just walk in, turn around fix his bedding and lay down, no biggie. I never left him in there if I was home. And I Never Ever put him in there for punishment, it was his safe place.
One week-end, a friend and I went to the beach with Fred, he had finally had all of his shots and he was all protected from the evil puppy germs and I could now take him out it public, finally! I couldn't wait to show him the beach and all the fun things to do there. I was not disappointed and neither was Freddy, when we finally hit the beach I took him off of his leash and just like that, he tucked his tail, pulled back his ears and he was off like a shot! He was running so fast, chasing little shorebirds, grabbing crud as he went by, just zooming around, I think I could actually see him smiling, he loved it! He worried me a few times when he got too close to the water, but he always turned around, tucked tail and dashed towards me. What a blast! For a little guy, he really had some wheels, I tried to film him, but I couldn't keep him in view, I wanted to watch him all the time instead. We had a great day!
The next morning, I hurried Fred outside to take care of business, and decided to get some breakfast. I put Fred in his room and off we went. We ate pretty quickly, I was worried about Fred, being in a strange place and such, and as it turns out with good reason. When we got closer to the room, I could hear a vacuum, I realized the vacuuming was coming from our room, now I felt really bad for Fred, he doesn't really appreciate the vacuum at home. I rushed in just as the cleaning lady was finishing up and ran over to Fred's room, well, the lady was absolutely beside herself. She had been cleaning in there for a while, cleaning the bathroom and dusting and what not, before she even turned on the vacuum and she had no idea Fred was in the little crate. He didn't make a peep! I grabbed him up, his eyes were about to pop out of his head, he was terrified. The nice cleaning lady pet him and gave him love and it didn't take long for Fred to recover from his little trauma. We went down to the beach and all was soon forgotten, what a trooper!
There are still times now, when Fred has to go into his room, but those times are fewer and fewer now, he stills check it out now and again, and is still fine with it, but now I pretty much take him everywhere with me. I'm glad I crate trained him.
 This is a bigger one, but it's still cozy for Fred.
I was trying show the size of it here, but it didn't come out quite right, Fred can still turned around and get comfortable in there. He's modeling for me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fred's Forever Home

Little Freddy and I made it home safe and sound, and everything felt right. I was still experiencing some anxiety, but for me, that's my norm. I'm glad I'm a planner. I had purchased or had on hand everything this little guy could wish for. Probably more, I'm ok with that. I had managed to get Buddy (cat) outside prior to getting Fred, I was not ready for a meet and greet quite yet. Buddy is the Master of his domain and it wasn't time for his...let's just say, shenanigans. I got busy showing Fred around the house, bedrooms, bathrooms and such, not really sure if he cared really, actually I think he was sleeping, but I felt good about it.
It was a very nice day so I decided to take Fred outside and let him get to know his surroundings. Also, I wasn't sure when he peed last, and I didn't want to have an accident indoors yet. We stayed out for quite some time, he napped, looked around, peed (good dog) wandered about the yard. He was so little that even slightest change in the grass would send him tumbling over, but it got hysterical.

I swear the little guy had tenacity, out of nowhere he'd be down, on his side, bewildered for sec, then he'd hoist himself onto all fours and go about his navigating. It was like he never went down, just part of his day. Wobble flop, back up and so on, sometimes it would take quite an effort to get himself righted again, hard to watch too, but he manged. God it was cute, I tried to keep my laughing to a minimum, he was really working hard just to stay upright, and this was serious business for him.

Finally, it was time to come in, I figured I had about twenty minutes after he ate before we would go back out, timing is everything. Sure enough, 20 mins. I took him out and we had bathroom success! I clapped and praised, and I am positive he had no idea why I was acting that way, I don't think he even knew he had peed. There would still be a little time before he could put 2 and 2 together, so for the most part I was the one that was "potty trained". At this point he couldn't even step down the one little step to go outside it must've seemed like a cliff to him, I had to help him. This little googly eyed, smoosh faced manatee like creature truly needed my assistance for everything, and I loved it! The toilet training went well, he's a smart little guy and he didn't really want to "go" in the house. My problem was that when he needed to go out, he would walk to the back door out of my sight and wait quietly, like I said earlier, he's not a barker, I needed to pay attention when he left the room. He still does that to this day, except now he can hold it, until I finally realize he's not around me. I have thought about a bell on a rope or one of those dingers you use at reception areas to get the clerks attention, I've seen other dogs that are trained that way, it's not hard, but for cripes sake, he could bark a little and I'm not a mind reader. So most of the cleanups were at the door, a little spray of carpet cleaner and a another spritz of Zero Odor (good product), and all was well. I couldn't get mad at him, he did everything right.  Speaking of getting mad at Fred, it's impossible, and really for the most part, unnecessary. I have never spanked him or used a newspaper on him or anything. I may have given him a finger flick for the worst of infractions, even that was usually not needed. All I had to do to correct his behavior was say a firm "NO' and look at him with a disappointed look on my face, and maybe a deep exaggerated "harrumph" like snort, and he was soooo sorry, my gosh, the eyes would get huge, he'd sit down fast and then...THE LOOK OF REMORSE. Holy crap, that look could melt cold steel. It was extremely hard for me to keep MY look while he was giving me HIS look. It was very much like the blinking game you played as kids except here, the first one to break their look lost. I always lost, I dare anyone to try not to break into a smile after seeing the "look" from Fred. I still lose at that game, but my point is always made and understood. He was a breeze to train right from wrong. I am still trying to find new things to teach him besides parlor tricks, but those will have to wait for another post for now.
It's been a big day for little Freddy, that milk bone by his paws is the smallest one they make.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The day Fred arrived

It was Mothers Day 2008, I really didn't think I wanted or for that matter needed another dog especially not a little dog. Quite a few months prior to "Fred's arrival" I had to put my beloved golden mix to sleep, an agonizing decision to say the least and it pretty much took the wind out of my sails. I still had my cat Buddy and I was fine with that. Well my friend kept talking about Bostons, and how great they were and how fun and blah blah blah. I started thinking about another dog, and seriously studied up on these little Boston Terriers, the word terrier alone bugged me. I pictured a little yapping dog, and I really don't appreciate that kind of dog, especially not in my neighborhood, and I didn't want to be the one owning one. Well it turns out Bostons aren't barkers, far from it, Fred's bark is kind of like a snort grunt sneeze combination, he actually startles himself when one sneeks out makes me jump too, and he is certainly no watch dog. He will let me know if someones at the door or to something that may need my attention but that's it. He will not be the one to actually check. Apparently that's my job, and that's fine I didn't want a watch dog. Anyway, the more I read the more I started to actually think about getting one. So I started looking around for breeders in my area, which are few and far between in the Pacific Northwest. I called on one that was about a 45 minute drive from my home, they were very nice people, they were more interested in me it seemed than I was about them, which is a good thing, I knew just from our conversation, that these babies were extremely loved the day there born. So we made arrangements to meet and the next thing I know I'm at the pet store getting the necessary accoutrement's, you know food, bowls toys, more toys, clothes a few more toys and so on and so forth. Now I had the goods, all I needed was the puppy, they had a mix of girls and boys and I had said that I would prefer a boy, I wasn't in to the whole breeding thing at all, I just wanted a companion. The owner and I met at a neutral area that was easy to find for both (McDonald's) and she brought out two little itty bitty guys, wriggling around in a box with blankies. We let them out on a grassy area to get a feel for the personalities, one of them marched right up to me then romped around and played with various invisible objects, the other one was a little bit more cautious, he finally came over to me, crawled into my lap and looked up at me, well that did it, I was in love. Decision made, she signed off on the various paperwork, yes he's papered, but I never registered him, I really didn't see the point, I was going to have him fixed. If I would have registered him his name would have been...drum roll please, Prince Alfred Maxmillion Martin Hauser, we will call him Fred going forward. So with dog in lap I drove home, grinning from ear to ear about this cute little miniature manatee. Once again, I was a dog owner and I was terrified by that. Thinking back on that day, I realize it was probably the best thing I could have ever done.