Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stuff (musings, really)

Posts have been erratic these past days and probably will be for the next week as well. And The Daily Bear is also woefully behind.

There have been photos taken of Bear. I have not had a chance to sift through them. There aren't many though. I've been having scattered difficulties with the computer this past week and running the resource-hog Photoshop hasn't seemed like a great idea.

We've also been battling time issues as well as big viruses. So everything has been a supreme effort.

This next week Mensa Boy goes out of town and I'll be counting down the final days to the Fall into Fun Festival here in our community. The event benefits the new library and, as the library board rep for our area, I have had to be involved in the planning.

So there are all my excuses. Huh.

The Bear has definitely been a joy and a pain. Mostly a joy. (Actually, I guess not even a pain on the dark moments as much as he provides for us a moments of reflection on our failings as a pack, that we are unable to keep track of him closely enough to keep him from depositing gifts on our music and dining room carpets.)

And so today I bought baby gates. Did I buy baby gates! Three of them to go with the one we already have. The layout of our house is such that it is not possible to contain the dog on just the tile floor. We did go into this knowing full well that we needed new carpeting throughout the house and that it might happen next year. Still and all, we'd like to keep the spots down a bit.

And so we've cut off all his access to the entire upstairs, the foyer, music room (if we were truly sophisticated it would be our formal living room, but we aren't formal, so we've just stuffed lots of guitars and amps and a piano and a trombone into that room and declared it our music room which, now that I think about it sounds even more pretentious than formal living room. hmph), and dining room (even that is really a misnomer for this family. There is no real dining room furniture in there. I mean, there is a table and chairs and they are, I guess, for all intents and purposes, for dining. But they aren't much to look at. And so the table is piled with MB's youth group projects and the guy's school books and stuff and on many of the chairs on any a given day or hour there are dirty socks. I don't know why. I rail about it periodically...the socks...only to be soothed for a few days and then back to dirty socks, which of course don't get washed on time and then we have the whole "I have to go to school and I have no socks" thing.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. The gates and the sequestering. And so Bear has access to the family room, kitchen, office and bathroom (because we can't shut the door, otherwise we will always think someone is in there, which would mean having to go upstairs to one of the other biffys, leaving Bear down here unattended. And no. We can't just learn anything new like to lock the door when we are in there, or tap on it when it is closed.)

So this is our new plan and someone is always down here with Bear and we are all teaching ourselves to always know where he is.

Bear is definitely a "pack" dog. Not really a "prey" dog. He just likes hanging with his peeps. He figures I'm the leader and all the guys are his brothers. Including MB. (That reminds me of a funny story: my friend Chris has a 4-year old daughter, Sammy. She keeps talking about my "brothers." I have one brother and I try to answer her questions about him, but I've never understood why she's had this fixation about my brother! Until the other day when she was here and she pointed up the back stairs to the bonus room and asked if my brothers were up there! Yup. She thought my boys were my brothers. Funny.)

Back to Bear. He's learning about going outside. He also does "Sit" pretty well. And he's quite good at "Come." (If he's not distracted by something else BIG. Like mockingbirds. He really is disturbed by our mockingbird. I don't blame him. So am I.) He also will do "Down" if we are on carpet. But not on pavement or the tile. Soya would never do that then, either. I should find out if we are to expect dogs to do "down" on hard surfaces. I imagine we are. And today I took him around the block with his VERA BRADLEY leash on (a gift from his doting Aunt Tambri) and we worked on "heel." We'll do that a lot. I'd like to have him know he can roam with the extendable leash attached to the "dead" ring on his collar. And heel with the short leash attached to his "live" ring on his collar. Soya did that.

So he's pretty smart. Kind of. I'm not going to brag on him, though. I don't want to be one of THOSE people. He is a dog. Not a person.

We've got him not begging at the table. We just shoved him away for the first few meals and he gave up and laid down. Now he doesn't even try. And he does not cry in his kennel at night. He was starting up the yipping if he heard a toilet flush upstairs, (causing us to tiptoe around in the middle of the night, nearly dying of thirst and not flushing toilets for fear of waking him up) but he'd settle down after a few minutes. Now in the last couple of nights I've been flushing away. I still don't have the nerve to come down and get a drink though. Maybe soon.

He does have a funny kennel yip. He doesn't bark. It sounds exactly like the squeak you get when you hit the gym floor with your tennis shoes. He will bark, though. At the mockingbirds. That's it. Not a lot. He doesn't react to the doorbell at all. I hope he doesn't start.

I am still expecting him to start with the terrible stuff. So far he's eaten the comb off my doorstop chicken, but nothing else. I have a photo of it. But posting that will have to wait.

Well, I think I've prattled on long enough. I've basically been just trying to stay awake until 10 so that hopefully I'll sleep all night.


Tracey said...

Rover and Spot don't like to sit on hard floors, because they can't grip so their front paws end up sliding out from under them. It's actually kind of funny to watch. They've never had a problem lying down on them, though I'm guessing it's because that's where their food has been their whole lives.

Anonymous said...

Your puppy struggles sound very familiar. I can definitely sympathize. I finally got around to viewing your Daily Bear photos. The two action shots are SO funny! Hilarious, but totally adorable, in a WILD sort of way. They remind me of those old Mighty Dog commercials. Now I know where to look when I need a smile or two. :)