Thursday, September 27, 2007

A new kind of peace - a long post, but am just thinking

Maddox's mum here. I decided to write the post tonight first to thank everyone for helping me so much first with Maddox, and then with Shelby. Saturday it will be two weeks since she started living with us. It has has its ups and downs and violent moments (mostly thanks to pesky puppy boy. Any impressions of his toughness are appreciated.) Here's a video from tonight's play session in the kitchen. Okay, it is below. Dang it.

After awhile, I separated them. Shelby still has the stitches and I don't want those ripped out on accident. She's done great with those, has been leaving them alone completely. The incision looks nicely healed, and I am sure she will get a clean bill of health on Saturday. I swear she is already putting on weight.

Maddox gets neutered Tuesday. I had debated about when, not if, to do this, and have decided that now is the time. I know there is a lot of discussion on when it is the right time to do this, so any thoughts on the matter are appreciated. Everyone has a different opinion, I know. I posted a note to Sibernet-L too about the matter though of course it is ultimately my decision as to when.

Been reading an awful lot about nutrition, and feeding dogs, coming up with what works best for my pack. I've developed a ritual for breakfast and lunch. Really for the whole day.

Who needs an alarm clock with a pup like Maddox? While Claire sleeps next to me most of the night, Maddox and Scotty sleep on the floor. Around 5:45 a.m., I am awoken by a puppy with a full bladder and lots of licks and kisses and snuggles. It is an amazingly sweet time, pleases me enormously how loving he is. And, how regular he is with this part of our ritual. I get up, toss the three outside, leave the door open a bit, then crawl into bed until 6:30. Get up and go get Shelby, toss HER out just with Maddox, then go back to bed. No... just kidding. I usually start to struggle awake. While the two wild ones are outside, I get breakfast ready for the dogs, put Shelby's upstairs, and then shower, THEN let the others inside. When we leave, Maddox and Shelby go to their crates with their food, and the two Springers to the back room.

In the evenings, the ritual is pretty much the same. Everyone outside, I take Shelby's food upstairs, let everyone in, Shelby goes upstairs to her crate, then I feed the other three. I have not tested the waters re: food aggression, and don't intend to anytime soon. I prefer feeding her and Maddox in their crates--Scotty is a food stealer, always thinks he is starving, so this makes sure the Sibes get what they need.

I started adding hot water to the dry food and it seems to be a real hit. Canidae itself is a HUGE hit. I shake my head that Shelby just didn't like the barking at the moon. I may try her again on it, adding some of it, but the canned Innova Evo is adored. Scotty especially seems to like that even though he only gets a spoonful. I think he likes the softer meal because of his teeth. I had absolutely no problem switching everyone to the Canidae. No tummy problems, no diarrhea, nothing. It went flawlessly. But now I have this very expensive Barking at the Moon sitting in my kitchen.

I swear that Shelby is already gaining.

So, there's been some adjustment that had to be made by adding the fourth dog, but it hasn't been that bad at all. Moving her crate upstairs and keeping her separate at night from the others keeps the peace. The only other problem I've had with her was with the toy I gave her. She went ballistic when Maddox tried to play with it, and I took the toy away. No other toy seems to be a problem, maybe because the others have the scent of everyone on them. I don't know. But out of sight out of mind seems to work in this case. Too bad as it is a very cool toy.

Tonight I sat in the kitchen with the dogs and just watched them. It really is fascinating to observe how they move around each other, interact, and interact with me. I admit I still do not trust Shelby 100% like I do the others, so I got up on the counter to watch. I know that we are still in the process of establishing ranks in the house.

Scotty, the goof, is pretty obviously bottom of the totem pole in the house. He is still quite fascinated with Shelby. She seems to like him just fine, and they get along well. He is not an aggressive boy though he does try to dominate--to no avail. He is always the outsider with Claire and Maddox when they play, but Shelby seems quite interested with playing directly with him. He just doesn't seem to know how to handle that! Maddox always dives in and breaks up the fun. Silly puppy.

All problems between Claire and Shelby do seem to be pretty well resolved. No one seems to be messing with Claire. She sits off to the side, regal and aloof. There has not been any snarling from Shelby now that she feels better. I've been doing some things different with the dogs all around, like how I treat them when they are around me, the noises I make, even the way I pet them, and when. I no longer give any treats--at least not now--of the food kind. It all seems to be coming together, at least for now. As Maddox grows and Shelby gets stronger, I know things will change, and Maddox is giving some interesting signs already of wanting to be dominate over Shelby. He is a very strong little fellow (but my baby).

Anyway, here's the video from the kitchen. I tried to put it up THERE (points up) but don't seem to know how. LOL.



Tucker said...

Yes, try sneaking BATM in with other stuff. Like the canned Evo.

The only thing I've never eaten when it was in with wet, stinky stuff was a ground-up pill that was TOOO bitter.

Human Assistant agrees that the BATM is expensive. So try hard to find ways to use it!

Tucker said...

And keep up the good work with the balancing act! Four doggies is a lot of combinations of personalities to blend together!

-- The Mullin Clan's Mommy -- said...

Oh & I thought I had a handful with just 2 males!! Canidae has worked great with Juneau. Cosmos doesn't like straight dry food. So, I mix 1/3 can of the Canidae with it. He can go several days without eating. I have been bribing him with a little BBQ sliced chicken. Cheese didn't motivate him to eat his food.
We'll probably neuter Juneau end of Oct. or early Nov. (waiting until after my surgery on Oct. 2). Juneau constantly bugs Cosmos. Won't leave him alone. Cosi has a very laid back attitude. Even lets Juneau take his toys away from him. Both of them are such a joy to be with. I love just watching them play & how they interact together.

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

You are really going at it with Shelby! Looks like you are really giving her a workout.


Bama said...

We all agree, it looks like Shelby is gaining weight and filling out nicely. We're glad she's starting to warm up to the others and come out of her shell a bit, too. Maddox, she'll be chasin you round the yard playing rowdy husky games in no time! You better be nice to her though, she's still bigger than you!
Bama & the RHP
BTW, we think 4 is the perfect number of furry masters in the house, just ask the AO4!

Jer said...

I'm so lucky that my two big puppies (60 and 46 pounds respectively) love plain old Purina Puppy Chow. Makes life a lot easier for me. All three of us enjoy reading Maddox's blog. Jer

-- The Mullin Clan's Mommy -- said...

Psssst Maddox,
I asked Cosmos about this neutering thing that will be done to you. He looked at me, laughed, & said, "Just wait, you'll find out, ha-woo!" It sounds ouchy! Yur going to hafta let me know since you'll have it done before me.
Talk to you soon,

Holly said...

Mom said that is how Abby and Samuel use to play when Sam was a puppy and Abby was the adult! Totally typical!


Maddox said...

Thanks everyone! I have been going a bit crazy, what with adding Shelbykins to the mix, so haven't been back to check properly.

I guess I better do another post to say Hey.