Archive for April, 2009

Nicolas is Becoming a Dog!

April 22, 2009

We have had little Nicolas for two months now and he’s been a joy for the most part.    In the last couple of weeks he has actually started to initiate play with our Min Pin, and even a little with the cat.  Okay, so the cat doesn’t really return the favor, but he makes a good effort.   Actually, she often chases him off mostly, but he’s a persistent little dog.  He’ll go into a play bow, then he’ll grrr and turn his head sideways and look all happy and excited.  Its really too cute to see him act that way now.  I’m trying to get a video of it.

He still hasn’t discovered the joy that is a good toy.  Marie shakes her stuffed gorilla at him and tosses it his way now and again, but he just doesn’t understand.  Or maybe he’s just not down with swapping slobber with another dog that way.  Who knows.

I took Nicolas to the Phoenix Pride Festival this past weekend, as RESCUE had a booth there.  He did quite well considering we spent two long afternoons there in the heat with all the strangers and the big dogs.  Nicolas is not a fan of the big dogs.  Easy enough to handle though, if I just turn him to face away from them, he stops with the barking.    He’s just letting them know that “I’m tiny but I’m tough! Ruff!”   He met lots of people and did his best to look sad and cute.  Hopefully it will bring in a few application for our little man.

He’s pretty much housebroken, but as we don’t have a doggie door, sometimes we don’t catch his subtle “I need to go potty now” signs and he’ll leave us a little present somewhere in the house.  But for the most part, he’s doing well in that department.   We have discovered though that Little Man does not enjoy being crated.  Our Min Pin prefers the crate and will spend hours in there on her own without us putting her in.  Its her safe space.  But not so with Mr. Nicolas.

We tried him out first in a smaller crate, one appropriate to his size.  He was so upset by the whole thing that he ripped off three toenails by pawing at his crate door.   Our solution was to up his crate size and put plexi-glass over the majority of the gate door, leaving room at top for air flow.   And that seemed to work for a week or so.   But the drama kicked it up a notch and he started to make himself sick over it, vomiting on a daily basis when crated.

So now, Nicolas gets to sleep in the laundry room, with lights on during the day, and jazz music playing softly on the radio.  He gets the giant 3 ft x 3 ft furry pillow and one of my t-shirts to keep him cozy.  He’s doing really well in there, no accidents and no vomiting.  And he still has the remaining toe nails intact, as well.    Its less than ideal, and required purchasing yet another baby gate (we should buy stock in those things I’m telling you), but it works and he’s a happier and healthier little chihuahua.

We’re still not getting very far with basic commands with him, but he does well on leash if Marie is walking with us (he seems to try to do what she does and act like her on leash, he’d really benefit from a doggie mentor in his new home).   But we’ll keep working with him.

Nicolas has been such a joy to have around and he’s just so darn cute I almost can’t stand it. 😀   We hope his forever home finds him soon, but until then, we get to enjoy this goofy little lovable pup.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you at the dog park!

Obama Family Dog…sigh

April 13, 2009

I know I’m not the first to blog about this, but I feel a need to express myself here.  This is not a political statement or a bashing of our president.  Its just my own personal opinion on a matter very near and dear to my heart.


Well, the Obama’s finally have a dog.  And its NOT a rescue dog.  I’m not 100% sure how I feel yet, but I know I’m not happy and glowing.

I know there was the complications of a child with allergies.  But the fact that they were so adamant about adopting and then end up with a puppy from a breeder?  Now, I’m sure it was indeed a reputable breeder, and not a puppy mill situation.  And I’m all for going the reputable route if you must have a specific breed for some reason. I understand it was a gift, but I’m sure it wasn’t an unexpected gift.  But this saddens me a bit.

First of all, they aren’t “adopting” a dog in need (according to an article I read, they are making a donation instead…that’s something I suppose).

Second, it will cause a rise in popularity of a breed that is not for everyone and that needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.   This means that later this year, we’re likely to see more PWD being turned into shelters than we’ve ever seen before (PWD are pretty rare on the shelter scene, hence the Obama’s having trouble finding a rescue in need of their help I suppose), because people will want one and will then find out it is more dog than they can handle or have time/money for.

It sets a precedent though, and one that bothers me.    I had high hopes that having a rescue dog in the White House would help to bring a greater focus to the plight of homeless animals in this country and to the importance of helping your local shelters.  Especially during these tough times, when so many are finding themselves losing jobs and homes, and not being able to continue caring for animals.  Many end up taking the family pets to the pound because they have no other options left.  Now that focus will be on a pure-bred dog, and the plight of the unwanted will be pushed back from the scene, overshadowed by photos of an adorable curly haired pup and his human family.    I feel like an opportunity for creating some real change is being lost here.  The First Family is an influential force on American Society, one with the power to help “popularize” social change.  Look at Michelle’s garden, which I’m sure has inspired many to do the same and think even just a little about creating some sustainability in their lives.  By adopting a rescue dog, the family could have really brought the problem of homeless animals to the forefront and helped to encourage others to look to their local shelters rather than breeders when looking to add a furry family member.

Sigh.

Maybe they will redeem themselves, and in addition to making a donation, maybe we’ll hear about them actually putting in some volunteer time with an area shelter, since they couldn’t adopt…. Obama did after all make a call for service.

Stepping down off soap box now, and going off to hug my own pound pup and foster dog.

Thanks for reading.  See you at the dog park.