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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

We're back from a 3-mile, 1-hour walk. Bella's energy matches Spike's since we've been feeding raw. Some mornings I wish dogs didn't need walking! Last week, I was moaning about it while leaving my 6 - 7.30am exercise class. "Oh, I'm already sore, and now I have to go home and walk the dogs!" (We walk 1.5 - 3 miles every morning. Photo: noses facing)

"What!" said the teacher. "You're walking after this? I'm not working you hard enough... Now you know why I have a cat." HA HA Wouldn't trade that "we-hafta-walk-doggies" for 10 cats!

The dog full-raincoats arrived from DINODirect a few days ago. Spike ran away the first time I tried to get his hind legs in. Bella immediately lay down with the hood almost over her eyes and wouldn't move. They got the hang of it once we were walking. They were cleaner and drier than usual after our trek in the pelting rain.

Christmas Eve, Bella was not happy with my brother's Russel Terrier Jack, who came for a visit. Bella growled and retreated everytime he came near, refusing to play. I finally put her into her crate at supper and she felt safe. Spike and the very relaxed Jack got along just fine.

Spike was everyone's friend, including 2-yr old Maurin, who loves dogs but is rough with them. Spike tolerated Maurin tugging and petting him at the Christmas Eve party and moved away when he'd had enough. Bella lay down and growled quietly when he pulled her ear. I don't blame her, but quickly took Maurin away, and kept my eye on him. He's too pesky and persistent for little dogs. It's Bella's house and she respects people... but Maurin's mom was not making him mind. Bella is very snuggly, so kind people are all her friends! That said, she may not growl at anyone. "Flee!"-ing like Spike, is better.

Bella is still not secure around other dogs. Last week she broke her leash on our walk, straining to go after a pair of Akitas. I don't know who was more surprised, the Akitas - that a little yapper would take them on - or Bella, at breaking loose to run up to them. I picked her off their heels, scolded her, and fixed the leash. The Akita owner was NOT happy with us. The last few days, we've worked hard on not letting Bella fix her attention when dogs approach, and she's doing better.

We've also gone to dog parks a few times so Bella can meet various canines for socialization. With school and Christmas, it had been a while. W and I took the dogs to Warren Magnusen Dog Park late in the afternoon yesterday. It was dusk, a sleepy time that felt more like 8pm than 4.30pm. Hoards of people and their dogs were walking the trails and playing along Lake Washington. Our doggies were fine: they straggled behind or darted ahead, but always kept an eye out and came back for a treat or to check on us.

Bella surprised us. She is an amazing sprinter! All the walking, jogging, and her improved appetite has unleashed a very fast, fit, bouncy poodle. She raced past Spike several times, going far ahead of us, unlike the 'fraidy-dog she sometimes exhibits. She bounded through the grass along the trails more deer than dog, giving us a good laugh as Spike trotted along nearby. Neither of them were tired when we were done. They sprang into their car-boosters (CL finds), then wrestled toys and played for hours after we got home.

Spike had another poop incident, which W found in the hall upstairs. I let the dogs outside every 2-3 hours, but for some reason Spike can't grasp that I'd like to know when he needs to go outside OR he should hold it until the next time he is let out. He never messes his crate, so I know he can wait.

Ah, most of the time, GOOD doggies.


  1. They look so cute in their little rain coats. When they are lying down they look like they are in sleeping bags. When out toy poodle Dixie was a pup toilet training took ages. She always would go outside for a poo but just didn't seem to catch on for a long time that outside was for weeing also.

  2. Yeah, they are sweet dogs. We are enjoying them so much. Bella used to be very quick at potty when we got her, but has become accustomed to walking and taking her sweet time, like Spike. Argh. Oh well, guess they train each other too.