New Home, Day 5

July 30, 2013

A.J. was up periodically throughout the night again, but he wasn’t coughing. I’d wake up occasionally wondering where he was, but he didn’t seem to be doing any damage. Around 4 AM he came over and I petted him for a little while. At 6:00 he was up. Greg got up and let him out. He tried to go back to bed when he came back in, but A.J. put his paws up on the bed and started pestering him, so he got up with him. Greg had fed him and was crashed on the couch when I got up at 7:30. A.J. was coughing a lot again, but I gave him his pills and he got much better. He got very energetic again and started running around with his toy.

Today we wound up playing the in and out game. I want him to know that when he nudges the blinds on the door I’ll let him out. He started running over with his toy nudging at the blinds. I’d take the toy away and let him out. He didn’t want to be out by himself and without his toy, so he wanted in right away. So I let him in. Then he’d pick up the toy and nudge the blinds. We did this several times before he figured out I wasn’t going out to play with him and he gave up.

We left him in the crate again today, for about an hour. This time I left him with a Kong filled with peanut butter and MilkBone pieces. He was busy with it when we left, and when Greg came home and let him out A.J. brought the Kong out with him. He had spilled all his water, but hopefully he’ll start to mind his crate a little less. Greg did say when he let him out A.J. came tearing out into the living room and slid his way around the hardwood floors. I’d like the exit to be a lot calmer than that. Tomorrow I’ll be gone all morning doing my volunteer work, so A.J. will have to go into the crate twice: once when we leave to ride our bikes into town, and again when Greg comes back to join me for lunch when my volunteer shift is over. We’ll see how he does.

Later in the evening Greg and I went for a walk. A.J. is still recovering from his kennel cough so he couldn’t come with us. We decided to leave him outside and see if he tried to escape. We were gone about 30 minutes, and when we came home he was curled up on the patio; he’d most likely been sleeping while we were gone. Hopefully at some point we’ll be able to leave him out there when we leave and be confident he won’t try to get out. When we got back from our walk we took him for a very short walk around the block. He walks pretty nicely, someone did put some work into training him.

We had a little bit of a problem with brushing this afternoon. I decided to try brushing him, and when I got to his back end around his tail, he turned around and grabbed my hand in his mouth. He got an immediate and very stern “NO.” I gently touched that area again, and he mouthed my hand again. Another immediate and sterner “NO!” After that I just barely touched the area with the brush and my hand. He then just walked away. So I got the slip lead and brought him back. I once again very gently touched the sensitive area, and he tolerated it this time. Then I brushed him tummy and we ended on a happy note. I don’t know if he’s just afraid this area is going to hurt or if there’s something wrong where it really does hurt, but I need to be very gentle with him and work with him. Hurt or no hurt, he’s absolutely not allowed to mouth anyone like that.

When I went in at night to take a shower, I thought I heard something outside the bathroom so I barely cracked the door open to see if he’d jumped on the bed. I peeked through the crack and was relieved not to see him on the bed. Then I looked down and realized he was sitting right in front of the door staring at me, starting to get all wiggly. So I had to open the door and pet him and tell him what a good boy he was. Then I could go take my shower.

That was a short-lived victory. He was on the bed when I went into the bedroom to go to bed. It only took one try tonight to keep him off.