Week One Comes to a Close

August 2, 2013

A.J. was up at 6 AM today, but when I took him out he just laid down on the patio. So we went back in and slept until 7:00. At 7:00 we got up and went for a short walk. Then we came in and I read the paper and ate breakfast while Greg went for a bike ride.

Everyone who’s spent any time around children knows that when things get quiet you should worry. The same rule applies to dogs. I was sitting at the kitchen table when it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn’t see or hear A.J. Uh oh.  I found him upstairs. Upstairs is where the bonus room is, with bookshelves, my desk, and a seating and TV area. I found pillow fuzz on the futon; A.J. had been chewing on one of the sofa pillows. That’s when I noticed that he’d also been chewing on the window blinds up there. I don’t know if he did that this morning or if I just missed it yesterday. Regardless, the blinds are in pieces.

I spent about an hour upstairs trying to work on some projects while A.J. explored. After over and over again telling him “No” and “Leave it,” I ran downstairs to get one of his toys. He played with his toy most of the rest of the time we were up there, with only a couple more “Leave its.” He had never been told what he could and couldn’t do up there, so we needed to get a start on that. But convincing him he really can’t touch anything in that room is going to take some time. So, a little later in the day Greg stayed home working and keeping an eye on A.J. while I ran to the store to find a baby gate to block off the stairs.

While I was at the store I got A.J. a new toy for outside to replace the rope toy he destroyed. This one is a little more heavy duty. He really liked it. It was most likely a coincidence, but I like to think my redirecting him is paying off. He started digging in the yard, I told him “No,” and he ran over and grabbed his new toy and spent a long time gnawing on it.

We put the baby gate up, A.J. in and out of my way the whole time. A little later I heard him run up the stairs and bump the gate. He turned and saw me looking at him and came running back down. If he really wants past it he can knock it down, it will be easier than getting out of his crate was. Hopefully he doesn’t want past the gate as badly as he wanted out of his crate.

We left him alone again to run to the store. When we got back my watch was on the stairs landing. He’d obviously brought it as far as the gate and then left it there. It wasn’t chewed or broken, so that was good, and the gate was still in place. Everything else seemed to be intact. Let’s hope this continues to work.

We had a good training session. I really need to start doing that twice a day, he needs a lot of work. The other thing he’s going to need a lot of work on is grooming. I tried again tonight to brush him, and he still freaked out. It took a long time to get him to stay away from the brush. He desperately needs a bath and brushing, I have no idea how we’re going to accomplish that. I called a groomer, hopefully she can help. She hasn’t called back yet.

We went for a good walk this evening, just under two miles. He hasn’t coughed at all since we’ve been back, so I think continuing to up his exercise is fine now. He really is a pretty energetic little guy. We’ll go for a walk, and on the way home he seems tired, but then we get in the house and he immediately grabs a toy and starts running around and chewing on the toy. Longer walks will be good, and more training sessions.