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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Dear Friends,

I see that Duke has updated you on our family life over the last few weeks. The new crate has indeed been ordered and will ship to us sometime right after January 1st.

For some reason, Duke’s anxiety levels have crested in a self destructive way. We don’t want to have to start tranquilizing him every time we leave the house. So we have opted for this super-duper crate because we know that it’s necessary for us to crate train Duke all over again and we can’t safely do that with a crate that has already been busted.

We want the new crate to feel like a haven for him when he hears thunder and gunshots or when our grandchildren are running shrieking through the house. So we’ll go back to all the techniques that are useful when someone is crate training a puppy. There will be a sturdy toy in the crate, a comfy pad, and a knuckle bone for him to chew on. There will also be a heavy towel over the crate so that it will feel like a little cave for him. He will only have the knuckle bone when he is in the crate. And we’ll begin by putting him in it while we are at home, for perhaps 15 minutes at a time. We’ll do that a couple of times a day and gradually work up to longer periods. After he is comfortable in his haven for about an hour while we are at home, we’ll move to going outside for an hour so that he can hear us. Finally, we’ll begin leaving him in the crate while we are gone for thirty minute increments and gradually lengthen the time.

Today, after a nice big breakfast, Duke elected to go into his busted crate on his own when Maggie and Buddy went into theirs. He wasn’t interested in coming out when I picked up my keys, so I left him there. I’ll go home at lunch to check on him and will probably bring him back to work with me.

I wanted you to know that there is a training plan for this new crate, and that Duke won’t be just locked in and left to fret. And it’s a win-win for Maggie and Buddy too, because of course, Mom & Dad would never give one Hooligan a knuckle bone without making sure that the others have their own too!

We'll be okay, I promise. XOXOXOXOXOX and Woofs & Licks!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We're All All Right!

Some of you have written to check on us because we haven’t blogged for awhile. Thank you for doing that, it made Mom feel very smiley. I will try to explain and make a long tail short. Around Thanksgiving time, Mom had what her doctor calls a cardiac event. SHE IS FINE NOW! But things at our house were kind of odd for awhile. She got tested for some stuff I can’t spell and the doctor gave her some perreskripshuns to take that are sposed to help her feel better. She will go back to the doctor next month for a follow up visit.

And besides that, you remember about the shooters on our road and how scared I got and bloodied my nose? It happened again around the first of December. And, more bad news. I wish I didn’t have to tell you that I tore up my crate about a week ago during a bad thunderstorm while my folks were at work. Mom cried again and Dad said I must’ve had a real bad panic attack.

my crate after I attacked it

Mom decided that something must be bothering me and when a stressful situation comes up, my anxiety level just goes out of control. She was worried that I was sick. So she took me to the veterinarian and asked him to do a complete blood work up on me. He did that and he checked my back and my hips and my toes and my ears and my eyes and everything he could think to check. The good news is that my blood test results came back normal. The not so good news is that now my Dad says they are clueless about what the underlying problem is.

It’s pretty simple to me, though. When I am with Mom, I am happy. So she brings me to work pretty much every day now. Dad says this is not a long term solution. (I don’t see why not.) He has ordered a super-duper rugged crate that is “welded everywhere metal touches metal” (like a tiger cage, Mom says). It weighs 125 pounds and will take two weeks to get here. Dad told me it cost a whole lotta money. This is what it will look like when it gets to my house.

Mom says it looks like it could transport a wild animal.

Dad is not happy about the money. Mom is not happy about my stress. I am perfectly happy here at work with Mom, on the bed with Mom, in the kitchen with Mom, in the car with Mom, watching tv with Mom… and I am not all sure I will be perfectly happy in the heavy crate. I think Mom needs me to continue coming to work with her, especially until hunting season is over and the weather gets better. Don’t you?

We will let you know the rest of the story as it happens.
Thanks for caring about us!

perfectly happy at work on my new bed