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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

dog training

I feel like a proud new mother. Heidi is just the smartest, cutest kid in the world, even though she's a dog. If you don't know who or what I'm talking about, back up a blog or two. It's all here.

It must be a big adjustment for this little sorority dog, to go from two rooms and a little patch of patio at Kappa to the run of the house here, along with an acre to explore. She's already got a pretty good rhythm going in the day time. Something like run, sniff, pee, sniff, sniff, bark, run, poop, sniff, sniff, wrestle with Lucy, eat, sniff, drink, sniff, roll in a dead earthworm, take a nap, repeat. She likes to hang out with me in the studio too, and comes in and out as she pleases, through the cat door that the cat won't use.

It's the night time sleeping thing that needs work. Heidi likes to sleep on the people bed, with the people. And for such a tiny thing, she sure knows how to take up space. We've let her do this in the past, when we were just dog-sitting for a week. But now, realizing that the habits we help create now will stick for years, we see the need to make adjustments.

I bought her a cool little cave bed. She's a burrower, and likes to be covered up, so this is perfect. She also has her favorite blankies, which I suppose will be too hot soon, but for now, it's all snuggly and familiar. The first night, she wouldn't have anything to do with the very wonderful dog bed. She curled up next to me and slept like a baby. I didn't sleep at all though, so the second night we put the dog bed on the foot of our bed, and convinced her to sleep in it. That seemed like a reasonable compromise, so we tried it again last night. But somehow, someone (let's sat Rick) kicked the dog bed off the people bed, and totally freaked out the little dog inside. No way in the world was she going to get back in that thing if we put it back on the bed-cliff. She shot straight for the spot between our pillows, which actually would work OK, except for the fact that even this little, sweet doggie had horrendous Big Dog Farts.

So... I put the dog bed on the floor next to me, and put Heidi in the dog bed. In less than a count of ten, she popped back up onto our bed again. I put her back, and mumbled that I figured I'd have to do this a hundred times or so. But the third time, she started to understand what I wanted, and she stayed put for almost an hour. Then, pop, back between our pillows. I persisted, and so did she, but I think I might be just a touch smarter, and pretty soon, she settled in for the rest of the night. OK, it was a short rest of the night by then, but it was at least three or four hours before something spooked her and she darted out of the room barking like a little doggie alarm clock.

I gave up, and crawled out of bed, groggy as the mother of a brand new baby. Fortunately, my work day looks pretty light, and we're taking tomorrow off. I'm feeling pretty good about the sleep thing. I think we'll have it figured out in another day or two. Today I'll just take care of a little business, and then read some more from my favorite dog training book, "Outwitting Dogs", by Terry Ryan and Kirsten Mortensen. And then, because I've learned that food is the big motivator in dog training, I'm going to make a batch of their favorite cheese-garlic dog treats. Lucy loves them too, and she's being really good about sharing her humans with Heidi. One big happy family. That calls for cookies.


Jean said...

this post is beyond wonderful--now I will read all the others I have been working too hard to get to!!!

Michelle in the UK said...

Lovely to read about your new doggy Kim ! Maybe you could make a bead dangle thingy to hang on her cosy cave bed, so she could gaze at it and fall asleep !! How's Daisy taking to her new doggy edition !?
Hope you get some good sleep soon !!!