April 19, 2009

You can lead a dog to her food dish...

....but you can't make her eat!
Aly totally has my number. This dog will soon be running the entire house. Some might say that she already does. First of all, let me tell you that David has always been against having dogs (or cats or anything furry and four-legged) in the house, much less on the furniture.
"Animals do not belong in the house!"
Shortly after we were married, David agreed to let me have a couple of cats. They were to be outdoors, but started out having to be indoors after they were fixed. Since he was outnumbered, the cats ended up being indoor/outdoor. We even went out and bought a cat door so they could come and go as they pleased. The day we bought the door, one of the cats came up missing. She never came back. The other cat, Shadow, stayed around for nearly six years. Last spring, David found him dead on the back of the property. It could have been anything that killed him. Living out in the 'sticks' affords us the luxury of seeing opossums, skunks, coyotes, many different kind of snakes, etc. He could have eaten a rat that our neighbor had poisoned with D-Con.
While we still had Shadow, David made that deal with 6YO (then 4YO) about getting her a cat if she finished out her soccer season. Totally his idea, too...that's one fight I wouldn't dare have started! She ended up loving soccer, stayed on the field and followed her coach's orders for every game and everything. That's how we got 'Soccer the Wonder Cat.' He was such a great cat. I say 'was' since he ended up missing at the beginning of this year. Given his easy-going nature and, therefore, lack of survival skills, we can only assume he turned into coyote food. I still ache if I really let myself think about it. We had just promised to get 13YO a cat around her birthday, bringing us back up to being a two-cat family.
Since cats don't seem to do well out here for long and we have NO IDEA how we'd keep one in the house full-time, David thought it best that we give up the idea of having a pet cat for awhile.
We got Lily last summer. Against David's better judgement, she was also allowed to be an inside dog. She fits herself through the cat door and everything! After Soccer came up missing, Lily started acting strange. I think she really did need something else to play with besides her human family.
That's when David got the 'Boxer Ache.' He missed Hogan. So did I. While there will never be another Hogan, he actually possessed a lot of qualities that Boxers are known for. Another Boxer was just the ticket for our family. It was already decided that the new dog would live in the house, something that was important to me. You see, we never really knew how great of a dog Hogan was until we let him in the house his last couple of years of life.
Enter Aly.
Aly is so cute it hurts. She is smart, already sitting on command. (But only for me, which totally frustrates David! HAHAHAHAHA!!!) Even more, Aly has David completely wrapped around her paw, along with the rest of us! She can walk over to the recliner, motion toward it with one paw, either let out a whimper or a sigh, and one of us will immediately lift her up into the chair.
Her highness wants to nap her her chair now...
What cracks me up is that she even does that in our bed. And David grants her every wish. Mister 'kids and dogs don't belong in our bed' now wishes they made a bigger bed than our California King sized bed so that we will all fit more comfortably on Sunday mornings when the kids and dog get bigger. Granted, Aly still sleeps in her crate during the night. She will continue to spend her nights there until she is completely housebroken and past any destructive, rebellious teenage behavior phases we are bound to go through. She doesn't even usually cry when we put her to bed for the night or anything. Around 6:00 am, she starts to stir and bark. She is ready to be out. One of us takes her outside to relieve herself, then we bring her into our bed. And she curls up with us until it is time for us to get up.
So, we pretty much have the nighttime routine down. We all seem happy, for the most part, with our sleeping arrangements. Which brings me to her eating habits: I don't think she eats enough! I offer her softened dry food three to four times a day. I even started mixing like a tablespoon or so of canned food into it, to make it more appealing. She has fresh water and dry food available all the time. I even watch her to make sure she is eating and that Lily isn't moving in on her meal. Once or twice out of the three or four times I offer her food, she is interested. The rest of the time, she sniffs it and walks away. She will eat treats most of the time, but I cannot fill her up on treats alone!
Her energy levels are amazing. She's still young and still naps quite frequently, but the time she is awake is more and more everyday. When she plays, she plays hard. When she sleeps, she sleeps hard. I just wish she tried a little harder at eating. I don't like seeing my puppy's ribs, even though Boxers are known for being lean.
I feel like I have a newborn baby all over again. When she's awake, I'm always watching her, making sure she's okay. When she's asleep, I worry.
Does this never end?


Jessie said...

I love boxers. They're obnoxious so I'll never own one but my mother in law's Presley learned all the commands from her right quick but wouldnt take them from my father in law. He yells at the dog and locks him in his crate to control him though, so maybe he doesnt know what he's doing.

Leann I Am said...

I love obnoxious. The more I read about boxers, the more I'm learning that you can't just yell at them and lock them somewhere. They're too thick-skulled to learn anything that way. Positive reinforcement is the best thing. I plan to buy a clicker to train her with....if the store I go to ever gets them back in stock!

She definitely knows how to make us her 'staff,' though!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

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