A.J. Finds Bananas

March 29, 2014

Today, like a lot of days this winter, was rainy and windy all day. We left A.J. alone for a few hours while we ran errands. When we got back I could tell he’d been counter surfing because there was another big long scratch along the side of the cabinets. But he wasn’t able to reach anything.

We went out again later to go out to dinner. We were only gone about an hour. This time A.J. managed to find something on the counter he could reach: bananas. The interesting thing is that he didn’t eat them or even chew them up. Either we got home just after he’d dragged them into the living room, or he decided the outside of the banana was so bad it didn’t make sense to try to get to the inside.

New Year’s Eve 2013

December 31, 2013

The last day of the year. It’s been kind of a rough year for A.J. So, he decided to end it on a fitting note.

This morning a hawk landed on our back fence with its breakfast, another bird. A.J. saw it and went nuts. I didn’t want him to run out and scare the hawk away, in part because I didn’t want the hawk to drop the dead bird into our yard. So I distracted A.J. by playing tug with him, then I got out the turkey dogs and worked with him until the hawk flew away. The really good thing Continue reading “New Year’s Eve 2013”

The Lowest Point

Note: We’ve reached the ultimate low point in our journey. This journal entry is a tough one, but I’m sharing it because it’s part of the story. Like everything in life, adopting a pet can have plenty of ups and downs. We’re about to experience a big “down.” Ready or not, here it is:

November 27, 2013

A.J. could bite me and hurt me very badly. Today is the first day that thought has seriously entered my mind as a clear reality.

Note, July 17, 2015: As we’ll see as our journal entries progress, it’s unlikely A.J. ever would have bitten me. I was just frustrated at not being able to communicate with him. I also in the past had worked with rescue dogs and I had experienced dog bites from dogs who were as frustrated and in need of exercise as A.J. was around this time. With that said, on with the story… Continue reading “The Lowest Point”

My Day Off

November 16, 2013

Note: If you’ve been reading any of these past posts, you might have realized by now that taking care of A.J. is exhausting. He needs a ton of exercise, but because of his leash aggression issues every walk is a huge and stressful chore. So on this day, I decided to take the day off from being A.J.’s dog mom. This is how it went:

We woke up to snow covering the ground. It turns out A.J. loves the snow. He went outside and sniffed around the edge of the snow on the patio, then the next thing I know he’s tearing around the yard. He dug his Kong out of the snow and ran around the yard with it in his mouth.

I did some volunteer work in the morning, so I fed A.J. early and left. Greg stayed home, and told me later A.J. was pretty needy and demanding all morning. I got home around lunchtime and A.J. was more than ready to get out. I mentioned that I needed a day off and Greg said “I’ll take him out.” Continue reading “My Day Off”

Still Lots of Issues

November 14, 2013

Since A.J. has had kennel cough and hasn’t been able to go to day camp we’ve been going to the park every day this week. We had quite the adventure yesterday. We got into the park and stopped. I had him sit, and I switched the leash from his harness to his collar. I stood up and said “Look at me.” A.J. looked right at me. I said “OK!” Next thing I know I’m skidding across the grass landing face-first, and A.J. is running free through the park. Continue reading “Still Lots of Issues”

Crate Training Take 2

November 2, 2013

I’ve been crate-training A.J. for about the last month. It’s been very slow. He behaves more like a wild dog; he doesn’t even like to be in the house, let alone shut in a crate. And our first foray into the crate wound up with a bent-up crate and a dog outside the crate chewing up everything in sight. But we got a new crate, a different kind this time, and I’m trying again. Continue reading “Crate Training Take 2”

The Cone Only Works When Its On

August 25, 2013

On the plus side, A.J. was home alone for five hours today and was perfectly fine. On the minus side, I took the cone off so he could eat easier and didn’t put in back on right away. He scratched all his scabs off and was bleeding pretty badly. I had to wash it out with soap, rinse it off, then stop the bleeding. The cone is back on, we’re starting all over again. Sigh.

He did a little better with a couple of dogs on our evening walk. One he cried and barked at but he didn’t erupt and pull, and he immediately looked to me for a treat when we moved a little bit away. Hopefully he’s not starting to associate his acting like an idiot with getting a treat.