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What It Is
This page is full of subject matter about my relationship with my two dogs Piano Dog Boner now passed into the spirit world and Piano Dog Mo who is with me now. I am sharing my process of writing a book so everthing you read here is as raw as it gets. I'll need to revise it many times before it turns into something I can publish, I am sure. I want to show the process. I'm out to connect with the greatest publishing, distribution and marketing! I am learning and do not make any claim that what I write is correct. It may be as wrong, off the mark and as dysfunctional as it gets. This is my process for better or worse, hopefully better. My purpose is to learn and share it all.
The dog did some serious damage. This is a major challenge of responsibility for me. He chewed through my $250 GPS, a Netflix disc and all the mail that was on the dashboard of the truck while I was inside the park lodge working on the internet. I have a tendency to add on... three piano keys broke today but that has nothing whatsoever to do with the dog and what he did. THe Traveling Piano is taking a beating from the weather. I am now replacing equipment every year. Planned obsolescence along with less quality product being offered is a problem. Anyway, I will not create more than what is. Mo has sat in the truck and waited for me hundreds of times. He chewed up a picture frame of Bo and another piece of paper that had been in the truck a few weeks ago. After almost a half year of no chewing incidents, this happens. I thought about making him wait outside the cab on a leash for me to teach/punish but then realized it is not about being inside the cab it is about chewing up property that does not belong to him. I had wanted to put a bone in the truck with a toy in case this ever might happen again but forgot to do that. Last time, this happened before we went for exercise. This time I had him out for a really good off leash run for about an hour beforehand. I want to understand. He might have been hungry or needed to act on prey from hunting/running in the woods, he might have been pissed off that I left him in the truck, maybe he was so stimulated from the exercise he was overwhelmed and needed to act out. God, how I dislike the need to understand. Once I understand then I love that. I'll never fully understand this situation. It is very difficult for me to punish him, consequences do not affect this dog he is the most stubborn life experience/relationship I have dealt with to date. It took two years before Piano Dog Boner and I worked everything out. This dog has yet to be in my life for six months. He has been doing great. It is very frustrating, his bobbed tail. It makes communication difficult. His eyes are almost impossible to read. He has a look that makes me melt. My dog has one response to anger and that it total passivity. He will just go away or become one hundred percent physically and mentally passive. This dog is ultra sensitive and has an intense intelligence that is equaled with stubbornness. This concerns me. There does not seem to be a time line in his development. Nothing can give me more trouble for myself then the fear inside a feeling of not being in control. But hey, that is one of the perspectives of this journey... the letting go of control!
Mo being the second dog in my life is a very different and interesting experience for me. At this stage in my life I am a kinder, gentler more giving person and have more patience and tolerance than when Bo the first dog entered into my life. The experience of having lost my first dog plays strongly in relating to Mo because I was very devoted and had total respect and love for Bo. Having had those feelings with a special relationship, an object of affection and that missing from my life for the period of time that I was alone with no dog... that has a tendency to affect my new relationship. Loss for me has associations of abandonment and guilt as well as over compensation when it comes to feeling any relief or gratitude at having found once again. Bottom line, I have a tendency to spoil Mo. Throughout my last years with Bo I adjusted myself more and more as time went along to his needs and wants. He had earned everything I had to give and was mature and responsible enough to handle my all. Mo is still young and there time needed to allow him to mature and understand boundaries and limits, a domesticated life. For example, when Mo is laying at the foot of my recliner and I need to go to the bathroom his comfort cannot be more important than my need. As a result of habits developed through the last years with Bo I have a tendency to think about his comfort first. When Mo does not do his duty outside, he does not want to or plays dumb, does not need to, is too focused on outside scents or distractions, etc... he must abide by the consequences of being on leash inside. There is no chance that I am going to allow him to take a dump on the rug when he feels like he has the need while being responsible to also accept that I won't be able to enjoy his being close to me and lay in my lap. Also, I cannot give him the constant validation of being a "good boy" which I enjoy doing and then there is the need to validate for myself that I am not punishing him which creates guilt for me. I must be responsible so that he can learn responsibility.
Mo outstared me with affection last night. How crazy is that? He was in my arms about two feet from my face and we were eyeball to eyeball. So strange is this relationship. The depth of bond in spirit is totally unreal. The depth of our relating as human to dog, dog to human and dealing with the differences... that needs to grow through time. Unquestionably I made the right decision accepting him into my life. It is not easy at times. What would be easy is for me to become self absorbed and distracted with relationships of a material nature. Caring about and for something outside of me takes work. Mo keeps me grounded and connected to reality. I found a major difference between Mo and Bo. When I became over affectionate with Bo he would turn it into play. When I become over affectionate with Mo he ends up trying to "top dog" me. This is frustrating but necessary as it is obvious I have more work to do in this area of my life. These are the times that Mo tests his boundaries and limits concerning marking, becoming over aggressive in play, deciding not to take a shit before we go to bed (whereas he spends the night in his crate) or obey in general. When unresponsive he has a way, it does not feel stubborn because it is not a reaction but... he is very strong with what he wants. If I want Mo to do something and it is not his impulse to respond... forget it. In the beginning I taught him to lay down for a treat. If he doesn't want to lay down he won't do it even if a piece of steak is in the offing for encouragement. br>
Another difference between dogs. Boner's favorite thing to do was mark. As we walked or he ran in the woods he would measure out his droppings to make as many as possible dropping tootsie roll size segments of poop everywhere. Mo has hound dog in him. (god help me) His favorite thing to do is to hunt out and explore different scents. We were walking up the road last night in the park about dusk. Mo was off leash. I saw deer crossing the road up ahead. I called Mo back before he saw them and decided what to do. They had gone so I proceeded forward with Mo off leash. I thought, "this is all trial and error and I must allow for the education if I want a dog that can be off leash. This was a first, where I knew he would probably get a strong scent. Well, it was just as people told me. There was no thought, not hesitation, no control the moment he connected with the scent his instincts took over completely and off deep into the woods he ran with the scent. My first instinct, don't panic. Then I began to call him so he would not get lost, then I began thinking options and "damm, this is happening as it is getting dark." I originally started to walk into the woods after him but then thought, "He will only go into the woods deeper if I follow him. I have no option but to return to the road because that is where he knows he last left me. As I began to walk back I saw him milling around near me but still... he was on the prowl and ready to run anywhere his nose lead him. Once I got ahold of him I did not punish but I did put him on the leash and walked him directly next to my side which he did not resist. This told me he knew what was going on. I took hold of his head, looked him straight in the eyes and said, "you cannot run away like that, it is bad, do not do it again." I had to be clear and direct and made sure he knew I was not happy. Onward... I must allow for mistakes and what might be interrupted as danger. Trust and faith I keep close. There is more at work in this relationship than my control and training. The dog is not stupid. He knows the basic direction from which he ran away. He certainly knows my scent. He does not want to leave me, he wants to stay connected and is responsible to his pack (me). He has been conditioned to be with me all the time so once he realizes I am not there he will instinctively want to reconnect. He wants to return to find out if I have the scent so he can get on it with me. I must allow for all that. If he learns he is going to get punished for returning... well that is a no brainer. I used to brag that I never had to train Bo but that was because as a pup I pretty much beat him into submission. There were no other tools in my repertoire but fear. (thats a story I've written about on another page) With Mo I now have the tools to respect responsibly in a way that has no violence. I am more realistic and capable in achieving the same results of total relational harmony that I had with Boner. With Mo there is no way around the fact that I must train. I really don't like the idea of behavioral conditioning and training for relationships but must accept that it is an aspect of life that feels necessary now. Maybe its a cop out... it is what it is and better than using fear.
This dog fills me with joy every day of my life. In the past when people would say stuff like this I would say, "get over it" but now I understand and believe. This is only because I have experienced it for myself. Mo's teeth chatter when he is cold! Today I learned another walking trick. I hold the leash in my left hand, he walks on the front, the leash wraps around the back of my legs. As I walk if he is not in step the leash pulls on him. That does not happen when I am holding the leash in my hands. In fact my almost yanking his head off does not stop him from pulling. I'm not sure whether he is being careful not to pull me down, does not want to trip over my feet or walks normal because he is constantly reminded of his limitations without choice. No matter what, it works!
This is a duplicate post. I also have it on my blog. Mo ingested rat poison today. I was moving things around in the cellar where I am staying and caught him in the act. In not knowing wether he ingested any or maybe yesterday also he might have because he was running loose in the area... I took him to the emergency clinic. The regular vet was not open because it is Sunday. First, I created forced vomiting by giving him a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. I found out that rat poison kills by keeping blood from clotting. This leads to bleeding to death from the inside out. The poison is cumulative so if Mo eats any again in the years to come... if he takes it again it will continually to add to the effects from the past. It takes a pound of rat poison over a lifetime to kill a dog in the end. I don't think I will be using rat poison to kill rats. If I am going to kill them it will be by an instantaneous method something a little less torturous. At the hospital they ingested Mo with a large amount of charcoal and now he will take a vitamin K tablet everyday for the next month. Vitamin K is an antidote.
I am finding that the health system for animals has become more inappropriate concerning costs than it is for humans. People have found a way to soak money into creating big expensive looking animal hospitals and then set up a pricing fixing structure so that no matter where you go its the same price... and then once in the door they piece meal the services out the ass. No emergency price shopping to be done. To walk in the door the charge... $90. This sounds better than a $100, eh? ...not! The cost is argued as being... a connivence cost. Ha, an emergency life or death connivence. For the emergency solution all expendable medical options are given. There are no suggestions under the guise of "we don't want anything to look like we are twisting your arm." This is bullshit because the feeling delivered is, "you better cover your ass with as much money as you have to spend." The more scared the owner the more money for the hospital... don't take any chances people. Take all the options? What ever happened to medical suggestions when a lay person has no idea? Rules, regulations, laws, fear, money, insurance... thats what happened. For Mo, I took two of the three options. Simple charcoal liquid, $41 bucks. A months supply of Vitamin K (24 tablets) $39.80... a friggin' rip off. Almost $2 bucks a vitamin pill? I suppose they justify the cost with the beautifully wood finished walnut grain bench I sat waiting on for an hour while watching a football game on a huge flat screen, high-def television screen. The regular vet charges $28 bucks for the same vitamin and online $2.39 (200 tablets)!!! They make money off of peoples first time learning experieinces. Had I know I would have purchased a few days worth only and then got the rest someplace else. It is not worth returning as the place is an hour and a half drive away. What are people without money who have no means to shop online to do? Later I learned that farm and tractor stores are the places to by animal meds and probably vitamins also at reasonable prices. I considered myself fortunate when comparing my situation to the guy next to me. His puppy had just broke its leg and needed surgery. The surgery price was $3,500 alone. Thats along with the hospital visit, meds, in-house over night and other peripheral costs. Sad, disappointing, disgusting... an opulent presentation, unconscious greed (hopefully unconscious) this business has the feel of a developing insurance industry's force feeding, new ways to make a buck. Where would I find $5000 bucks to fix the broken leg of my dog? What is financial worth of my animal? As I have taken into my life stewardship of this dog... now is the time for me to make decisions on what to do if anything in future if a serious emergency comes up. Answer... live in the moment, have trust and faith all the while keeping an awareness of possible solutions without inundated myself with it all. Knowledge and money account for a lot but nothing compares with the ability of spirit for survival on all levels. One thing is for sure. I will certainly not be going to go over to the dark side (insurance), no matter what.
I haven't had much interest in writing here lately but some thoughts have crossed my mind so... on the subject of peeing, I realize beagles tend to have a problem in that area... whatever, bottom line is that I am realizing that I must adjust myself more to Mo's peeing needs than have him adjust to my schedule as Bo did. Mo does not know how to tell me when he needs to go out and pee and I don't have the interest in taking the time, thought and interest in teaching him so... I take him out more often and that seems to be working. Boner I would just let out the door he would do his business and come back. (he was used to a fenced in back yard) Mo, I must take him out on a leash into the woods because he will run and explore at his leisure. Thank God he has been doing his duty right away because it has been cold out! If he does not he knows he will go back into his cage inside. I am careful when playing and the top dog issue comes forefront concerning his getting excited in the house and pee. I don't play with him until right after he has been outside to do whatever there is to do. I must keep a vigilant eye and memory when he drinks a lot of water... take him out after an hour. He goes three times a day unless he has a strong drink then often four times. Its an aggravation to deal with all this but I accept that it goes with the commitment. I would not be doing it if it wasn't worth it.
Another aggravation... I actually accept it as a learning lesson. Hopefully this will change as he gets older but for now I cannot let my guard down with this dog concerning my being the alpha in the relationship. Believe me, he wants to be alpha... all the time and the second I loosen the reins he moves in. He will take over the bed, he will mark, I have a tendency to foresake my comfort for his and then he will take advantage of that and why not? ... but thats not the way it will work for this relationship.
When walking there are three scenarios... he is running loose... he is loose on leash... he is walking calmly beside me on leash... walking calmly beside me off leash? Hahahaha.... not. He's still a puppy and all he wants to do is play, run, eat, jump, explore, hunt, sniff like a hound dog and socialize with everything. I have not been consistent with the walking issue and he has pulled me non-stop for over an hour at a time. Solution! The leash gets caught between his legs, it falls directly across his underbelly verses across the top of his back. It must rub him the wrong way and in a bad spot (genitals) because he behaves much better with the leash running through him. Most dogs would have difficulty walking this way because it creates a hobble from the left to right leg but... this is how he walks anyway, as a bulldog walks! Mo is a bull dog beagle mix. When I get tired of his pulling me or needing to watch his jumping, sniffing and running from side to side on-leash... I just put the leash down his middle. It works!
I became majorly pissed off last night when he pissed hardcore next to my head on the carpet as I was laying on the floor. From past experiences I am now fairly certain this was an act of dominance. I had let down my guard in rough housing with him and playing in a way that was being overly trustworthy. Every time I run around the house with him or wrestle he turns into a pissing act of dominance. It bothers me to think I cannot play with him like this. It is one of the ways for me to give him exercise when we cannot go outside. When he does stuff like this I go into a... "get rid of this dog" mode until I realize I made a commitment. Sometimes I do not feel bonded with this dog but then again the relationship is less than three months old. We are bonded... just not in perfect harmony... yet.
Mo does want to please me and does love me. There is no question. It is when I question... that is a problem. All the doubt is within me. I am lacking trust when I doubt. Mo is a dog. Neutral observation is always a better
Mo is a dog. He is going to test boundaries and limits. This is good. I do not want a mindless, zombie, boring dog that has no mind of its own. I understand this but still, I must constantly remind myself because I tend to get lost in the moment of whatever I am thinking or feeling. Like when Mo takes dump in the house. My thinking goes to "damm, oh shit, stinking dog etc..." I need to think, "he's a dog, it is all about dog behavior, attitude, habit etc..." I'm the one who teaches all domestication to him so I am the one who needs to change when he does something I don't want him to do.
When Mo is sitting on the chair I enjoy going over to him to say hi. I sit on the ground next to him, pet him with some reassurance and love, be on his level but... we are still in the early stages I guess... of establishing who is top dog so this type of behavior is not a good idea. Same goes for laying on the floor and putting him on top of me me, on my tummy. Top dogs do not let other dogs lay on top of them. This is the way it is. Damm... I want an equal partner.
What I am going to say is not my imagination. I say it the way it is. I observe as much as possible. Mo has been shivering. I cannot tell if it is nerves, a cold or something else. I know the ground at night is cold for sleeping but dogs live outdoors and Mo did so for his first five months. I put a down comforter on the the recliner and he laid on it... still shaking. I waited because he had a startling start to the morning with people coming to the place where we are staying, construction workers. Finally I called the vet because I had concern over giving him a chemical bath the other day for a mite problem under his skin. The vet said to call him in the late afternoon and if he was still shivering to bring him in. After the phone call the dog stopped shivering. My deduction was that he was shivering over bad nerves... the jolt he had on waking up, also he was fighting his instincts to behave with all the activity going on (he knows I will become angry and he will end up in the cage if he runs around jumping on people, exploring things he should not be getting into and going into rooms where he is not allowed but most importantly I think the shivering was over "My nerves" he was picking up on my energy. My energy is very intense, Mo is a very sensitive dog. After having called the vet I felt relieved and the dog stopped shivering.
I had to give Mo a chemical bath, a dip. I am wondering if it has affected his system. He has mites under the skin that chews and eats the roots of his hair follicles. I am wondering if this is why he has been shedding so much. It has caused patches of baldness on his skin. I tried a medical collar for over three weeks that did not work. He presently cannot handle the cold (probably because of the hair loss) If he cannot handle the cold... that greatly restricts the how's, when and where ability to work with the Traveling Piano.
The "new dog" infatuation period is over. The reality of a different relationship from what I had with Piano Dog Boner is setting in. I have a hunting hound dog on my hands. We have been staying in the woods. This makes it difficult for training purposes. We have been running in the woods. It would have been better for Mo to learn how to act in a city first. If he learned how to poop in specific areas, walk on a sidewalk and learn street boundaries, walk normal, be with people, etc... Being in the woods naturally, all he wants to do is dart, sniff, run wild and hunt, explore anything eatable... and mark all territory.
I have been feeling very good about my responding to unfavorable behavior from Mo. He has been off leash in the woods many times now. As he develops and his interests become stronger with hunting and he learns he can test me with boundaries and limits... well, he ran off deep into the woods and I did not become frantic. I simply practiced being calm and open minded as to what to do as well as with the fact that he would return. I did not allow unwanted thoughts to take over. He did in fact return and I got down to his level with a treat and put the leash on him. He knew he had gone too far. I told him calmly and we continued on our way. Me respond calmly???!!! Not project fear in not having control??? Turning the situation into Play??? Last night he was pissed off that I had left him in the cab for a second time and it was too long. He escaped when I open the door. It was pitch black outside. My only thought was at how inconvenient it would be for me to go and look for him and get him. I knew he was not gone forever. he's not stupid. He knew where the truck was and the area we were in. The bottom line... I have been turning all the demands, commands, behavior, limits, boundaries necessary... not into consequences, reprimands or punishments but into playful ways.
Things have been going well with Mo. Actually they have been excellent but I think that is because I have not let down my guard with the discipline and training. Actually there is a better way of looking at it. Instead of "let down my guard" I can say "been consistent." I have a major tendency to let the ways I've have been doing things fade away. Very much, I want to say, "ok, now he's trained, no need to do that anymore." Ha, big mistake. Remember Danny, "he's still a puppy, he's been with you less than two months, it has not been a week since the last pee in the cabin." So... when I take him out in the morning, he pees and if he does not shit he stays on the leash in the cabin which is tied to the kitchen table until I take him out again and he shits. He can comfortably reach his food and water, toys, the rug (to lay on), the door (if he wants to show me its time) and the chair to lay on with me as I do my work. He does not have run of the house. I say to myself, "if he isn't on the leash he will stay in the area anyway." Thats most likely not true and it doesn't matter... it is about the consistency. I say, "he will get used to this structure and I'll have to do this the rest of his life." The fact is that I need not worry, things will work themselves out... I'll switch up what I'm doing and try something different or he will learn to wait before until we go out again. Also, he's learning to stay with me in the same area for periods of time. (when visiting in friends houses he will need to stay with me like this and not roam around."
During the last year of Boner's life I adjusted myself and compromised my needs and desires big time for his needs. I wanted the transition for both of us to be smooth. Bo became understandably very needy. I responded to him as much as I could to the point of mciro observation to be ready for whatever and when needed. I gave myself to him in many ways. Now with Mo... I need to be conscious almost full circle. He needs to adjust to my life. I do not adjust to the dogs life. Of course there is compromise. As steward, I decide on those compromises. He does not have stewardship of me I have it of him. I would love to think that he does not need training that he will just fall into place naturally, that no discipline will be needed, no sterness, laying down the law, etc... Ha, Sweet Dreams! For a long time in my life I tried to tell myself there was nothing fundamentally different between male an female. Now, I can see there in fact is. I must be the alpha dog, the human and realize also that I am male with a male in this relationship. Dogs with woman owners, male humans with female dogs... male humans with male dogs (us), I can see where there may be a difference.
More Potty Crap and New Winning Issues
Oh, it has been at least a week maybe two... Mo peeded on the floor in a random spot. He had just peed outside a half hour before. We were playing rough and at some point he went behind the chair and put down a shot of pee into the floor. It was not necessary, he is not sick, I am more than fairly certain it was an act of dominance. The stubbornness of both his inbreed breeds contributed (rationalization). At this point "why" really does not matter. We had come inside from our last time from our last pee and shit for the night. He had done both. When I found out he had peed on the rug, I looked at him with distain and said nothing. He came and jumped up onto the chair next to the spot almost certainly to assert his claim. I pushed him off immediately. He knew what he did, no question about that. I told him to go into his cage and after a few moments of thought, he did. When going to bed I moved his cage away from view to communicate displeasure. Bottom line... he cannot pee or shit in the house if he is to live with me. The place is very small. The time is now entering winter so I cannot open the windows. We will be staying here for a few more weeks. The air is unhealthy in the cabin as it is and smells linger for days. Mold and crud develop easily but most importantly I am very sensitive and become sick with unhealthy air. I am in fact allergic to dogs and cats. I sleep with both an air filter and cleaner working full force.
So... what to do? I spent time being quiet to keep out the drama and over reacting. I want to keep fear and paranoia out of the picture in dealing with the future. Is he going to be a pain in the ass, not being trainable? Anger as a result of fear is not acceptable for me. I do not want his cage to become an undesirable place for him but it will become his "place" for the next two days. Mo will not have free run of the house. I'll walk him for a length of time three times a day and do my best not to show displeasure... be and act as "it is what it is." I may take him out of the cage to hold him for periods of time if... it looks like he needs physical holding (because there is a lot of that in our relationship) I do not want to attaching feelings of consequence, control, manipulation or fear. I'll interact with him with play... outside. He needs to learn the consequence part of this situation in his own time, in his own way, for himself. He needs to figure it out from within himself. Mo has made the decision not tp pee or shit in his den because he does not like it and now he must learn to feel the same way about his home. I have given him enough communication and the tools. It is time to let go of everything now (especially thinking about it) and just followthrough so I don't obsess on the situation. Letting go is very difficult. I may be more uncomfortable than him with this situation. I want him to be with me in the way I want him to be with me... in all the good ways all the time. Simply continuing with all the good ways will not help the situation. They will reinforce the same old same old. My job is to readjust the good. Be a responsible parent. It is not all about me and my pleasure. This issue is the same as with food. I would love and enjoy giving him scraps and junk food but my dogs health is not about my enjoyment. He would love junk food too, but what is more important? My responsible stewardship... his health as in being in shape verses fat, having a healthy working digestive system, longevity with life... The way we have been living together is immensely enjoyable. We have been laying in the chair together while I work, I enjoy watching him run around the house playing with his toys and having a good time. I use play and emotional neediness hugging interactions with him often for myself as a break from work. I love and get validation and comfort from not having to worry about disciplining or training him, etc... I must remember... I have had him for less than two months. Mo is a dog first and foremost. He is not to be treated like a person. That would be disrespectful. He cannot not run my life in any way. I must be top dog, the alpha. I am responsible for our partnership. Mo is a dog. Now I must let go of all of this and move forward with my life along with Mo in it... responsibly.
Winning has started when Mo wants something and it can be very irritating. I began to try to embarrass him out of it by mirroring the activity, winning back, using that as a distraction. Everytime he does it I do it back irritatingly. This worked with several behaviors that piano dog Bo had developed. What seems to work better is to simply and firmly say "no" in the moment... immediately... as a distraction every time he takes a breath to start and as often as it takes for him to stop. But, I am finding out that Mo is a very stubborn dog. Maybe he is simply testing, feeling his oats, acting like a teenager coming of age. I am sure that is it. Bottom line, I must stay consistent and not get angry... stay the course, be consistent, flexible and aware that we are in training together. The mirroring turned into the snap "no's which turned into loud "shut ups." Ha... I'll just keep trying new things but then again it is all about consistency. He cannot be winning when I leave him in to take care of business when we are traveling. The winning is not about insecurity as much as habit and asserting his desire. The winning is definitely his substitution for barking... which is also creeping into the relationship.
The cage training of Mo is excruciating for me. I hate the fact that he needs training because that is work for me. It takes effort. I hate the fact that I need to deal with his displeasure and resistance. So much for the ideal situation. The infatuation period of life... ha, what an illusion. I hate the fact that everything is not perfect and that Mo is not one hundred percent of the time with me for my gratification in whatever way I desire. To deal with the present situation I was going to keep him in the cage for two days. Bring him out for three long walks each day. The training lasted one day. I think I made whatever point possible with one day. We are house training... we are separation anxiety training (for both of us) and... there is a little bit of alpha training going on. I will put him in the cage after dinner tonight around six pm. He tends to pee on the floor at night time. I'll take him outside maybe for one more walk and to pee before we both go to bed. Each night I will put him in a little later after dinner and we shall see if this works. I keep telling myself, "he's a dog" "give it time it has not been two months yet" "he's still a puppy" "stay in charge you are the adult, parent, alpha" "don't obsess in thinking about this" "respect, love, fun, friendship."
A friend asked me, "What don't you like about Mo?" He was feeling a bit like I was denying some negative aspects that I might need some help with some levity. I really had to think about it. I said, 'well, I can't do a lot of things I would like to do with the responsibility of having him. But then again that was a clear decision i had made and I am used to compromise from Bo. All relationships deal with compromise. The fact is that if there is something I want to do bad enough arrangements can always. Mo sheds which drives me crazy. I still have to always think about his house training as I don't know how to teach him to let me know when he needs to go outside and do his duty. Thinking about that drains my energy. He has a scar on his head and medical stuff to deal with (all which will most likely pass)... damm he is not perfect looking and that is what I don't like about him! Ha... there really isn't anything about this dog that I don't like because I am happily willing to deal with what is necessary in having him. His intelligence, intuitiveness, playfulness, willingness, affectionate nature, warmth, hugginess... ok, he could listen to my commands better and he wines.
Accidents... Piddle and Poop - Shit and Pee - Potty Training
I feel a little messy. Mo kept jumping in and out of bed last night while I was trying to sleep. I remember it irritating me. He was trying to tell me that he had to go to the bathroom but I was too out of it, not thinking correctly. Clarity began as the smell of diarrhea wafted into the room. We are staying in a small cabin so it did not take long to realize the trouble. It is not like I can open the windows because I am in the woods and... it is freezing outside. I put him on his leash, walked him up to his poop... he knew what was going on and I knew what had happened, he had no control, he had tried to deal with it. I walked him to the front door and let him outside to remind him where to go and just in case he needed to do more. While he was outside, I cleaned up the mess with napkins and apple vinegar. It was on the rug. I used a brush for the stain and all signs of what had happened disappeared except for the smell in the air. I went back outside hoping he would be hanging around wanting back in. He had forged into the woods needing to poop again. I was glad he was doing the right thing... but he was still in the wrong place... too far away fro the cabin.
I should have put him on the long leash when I let him out. All week I have been teaching him to poop close to the cabin and not deep into the woods because... in the woods after he has done his duty he gets distracted and starts sniffing around for stuff to play with and to eat. This is the type of activity that causes him to get sick and have smelly poop in the first place. Bugs, tics and other varmints can get to him in the woods. When off leash Mo takes his time and each time takes longer and longer... which leads to hunting which leads to chasing which leads to places where no dogs should go. He does not know the area well enough for me to feel safe that he will not get lost or get entangled with a vicious neighbor dog. A domesticated life is still new for Mo. One more reason I do not want him to roam... it is getting cold and I don't want to put my clothes on and take him out on the leash every morning, noon and night when its freezing. "Mo, go out, do your thing on your own and get back in immediately." I am hoping for the best as soon as possible.
Ok, Mo is on the loose. In thinking of what to do to get him back in as soon as possible... I went and opened the back door being careful to not create a chase or any resistance. I called and clapped for him (useless) and then began walking the property calmly. (in my underwear mind you, I was still half asleep) He had circled the cabin and was back on the front deck looking to get back in. Good thing I caught this because he would have left to go around back again... looking to get in. A circle game would have happened. The poop in the cabin mistake and then letting him find his own spot deep in the woods, in his own time... inconsistencies from the goal to potty outside off leash and then get back inside right away. It is too early in the game to let him off leash to potty. He needs to learn boundaries first. I hope the trail and error we are going through does not destroy or make the training last forever. Once back inside, I put Mo-Mo in his crate because I needed to get some sleep. There was no chance I was going to take any more poop in the cabin. He whined for just a minute and then went to sleep.
Later, Mo is laying on the recliner with me. He jumped off, went to the door and gave a small, tiny whine before walking into the back room. With a spirit of not taking any chances I took him outside immediately. Good timing, good call. He definitely has diarrhea. My neighbor shouted over that her dog got loose and asked for me to keep an eye out. While doing my work I saw the dog outside my window. I went out and tried to use liver treats to coax it close so I could grab on to the end of the broken leash. When I saw it was not working I went and got Mo to entice some play between them. I wanted to distract the dog while I grabbed the leash end. The sight of Mo scared the dog away. I was left with a handful of Mo's liver treats laying all over the ground in the area where I have been trying to train him to shit for a week. What an idiot! Needless to say my thinking is a bit discombobulated today.
Onward... last night Mo piddled on his new fluffy bed that I had purchased for him. He does not seem to want to use it. I don't think that was the reason he piddled on it although it is a possibility. It was a first and very unusual. He had never peed in the cabin, no accidents and it has been a month. He could have ran to the door or whined to let me know he had to go out and had done that several times before but... he did not. He had recently let loose while running free in a field. I was laying on the floor in the next room watching him. The room was dark and I remember thinking, "it looks like he is peeing in there but it couldn't be." He did it right in front of me while I watched. When I found out I went into automatic mode... put the leash on him, calmly took him over to it and said, "I can't believe you did this, it is bad." After that I walked him to the door and then outside. Of course he was already emptied out so I just brought him back inside. After putting the bed in the crate I put him inside it with it for the night. (there was half a dry crate to sleep in) I had no need to over indulge myself with a scouring face, reprimands, threats or the "beating of a dead horse." The "beating of a dead horse" is a specialty of mine. It is what it is, it was what it was... we both knew it.
The lack of drama was huge but still, internally... the Shock, the Disappointment of him not Caring about ME, the Fear of having an Untrainable Animal, All the Work with him that is ahead of me... "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! In the morning I actually woke up feeling sick, a type of sick that comes from bad nerves. Why did he pee last night? I thought of six possibilities. 1. I'm feeling crazy and maybe I am transferring that energy onto him. 2. A few hours before, Mo had a free range run for the first time in a field where wildlife especially deer run rampant. His sense of smell experience, territory, other creatures most certainly soared. 3. In the cabin where we are staying may have a mouse in it. There is always one at this time of year and earlier in the night I had watched him sniffing around in corners and in the air which made me think about it. There are also cats roaming outside and the neighbors dogs keep sneaking over to mark everywhere. Has his marking instincts taken over? (never the less, not acceptable) 4. I had been ultra emotional with talk and a petting session just moments before. Did this result in an instinctual act to dominate and top dog me? 5. He sees me use the bathroom, maybe he wants his own room and thinks he should be able to mark in the house also. 6. Maybe he just became mindless and did not think or care.
People have often accused me in my younger years of over analyzing. Sometimes I would get caught in analyzing but I do not consider the idea of over analyzing. I have been guilty of getting caught in caught in analyzing and the result has been to ruminate. (get stuck in my thoughts) My analyzing manifests through questioning, exploring possibilities, seeking to understand. Some people analyze a lot, some a little, and others not at all for various different reasons. I have always done it for survival. It has made me who I am. All my accomplishments in life have manifested through my abundance of self analysis. I would say it has worked very well for me. The Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration is just one result created through a life of self analysis.
Back to Mo. I am being careful to be clear on what I was doing and why. I have a dog that has a past of insecurity, a rough beginning. I think he was taken from his mother too early, had his tail cut off and then was put into a pet store situation, purchased and then given up for adoption, had his balls cut off and then lived outside where he was abused by older dogs all in his first seven months. His temperament is naturally sensitive. Consistency with nurturing, trust and patience will move Mo into a healthy adulthood. I realize this will be a process. I do not want to create confusion by using separation, creating an uncomfortable environment or threaten his feelings of security so... as I put him into the crate tonight while asked myself three questions. 1. Am I doing this to punish him? 2. Am I doing this to be responsible and create healthy boundaries and limits? 3. Am I doing this to get a good nights sleep? (I have been letting him sleep in bed with me at night and both of us are toss and turners...) The answer... number 2. Now I leave this writing and the situation of his peeing on the floor. Did what happened matter? Not now it doesn't.
Ok, its nighttime the next night and Mo peed again but in a different room than last night. After some hard play he ran behind the chair and did it quick hard and fast. This is the second day in a row and he knows what he is doing. He knows it is wrong. After a month, what is going on? Stuff like this can really kill an infatuation. The feeling of losing control can creep into my life very easily and then watch out... He had peed outside only two hours before. Is a mouse in the house? I set nine traps. Is he marking his territory? Maybe he is testing me as to who is top dog. Maybe he is just being a jerk. In two days he turns eight months old and that means he is entering adolescence. In any case, stuff like this makes me crazy. The first thing I did was take a deep breath. After that I started to call friends until I got hold of someone to help get rid of drama I began to create. Everything is trial and error. I am afraid of repeating past mistakes with Boner. Once again, I dragged Mo on the leash over to the pee and very strongly said no. We went outside, he did nothing and then I put him in his crate for a timeout. (for me). I know he is testing me along with whatever else is happening. This is good and natural. The question is can I stand up to the test and be the leader... the alpha dog without using fear, intimidation, over control and manipulation that will not work in the end. Been through that, done that with Piano Dog Boner. I must remember... Mo is a dog, respect him as an animal. Do what I need to do in order to stay sane so that I can lead. He was going to sleep in his crate again tonight. I took him outside beforehand and he both poop and peed so... good boy, into the bed.
Ongoing... Mo peed but did not shit when I took him outside before bed. I know he did not have the need to go but never the less I felt consistency was in order. He slept in his cage verses in bed with me. I made sure not to approach the situation as punishment or a consequence. It was what it was. Sometimes Mo sleeps in his cage (den). It is very important for two reasons. If he ever needs to be caged for a travel situation it would mean that we would be separated for a time. That might be difficult for him. I want to create a safe and familiar environment from the start, something like his cage at home. Secondly, the last time we slept separate, "I" felt separation anxiety issues. This is even though I have yet to get a good nights sleep when he is in bed with me.
Damm, he peed again in the house. I was watching him like a hawk, I knew it was time, I knew he had to go... I had expected that after a month of consistent training he would give me a signal. He needs to do this, he did neither, he went into his favorite "pee room" and began to unload. I ran over with my alpha dog growling, gave him a three quick whacks on the back while he was peeing, yelled "no" and threw him outside on the leash to finish where he knows he should have begun. Each time he messes up in the cabin (three now) I get stronger with how I handle it. What I want to do in the future is just stay consistent. I will try to repeat exactly the same level of intensity concerning my response. Mo must either learn to hold it in, or figure out how to tell me when he needs to go outside. Letting loose inside is not acceptable. I need to stay patient and not over do the reprimanding. Don't want to focus on how great the potty issue "was" going. Damm! I do not want to be obsessing on the future with avoiding accidents. I am working very diligently to have awareness not to create resistance. What happened to my miraculously potty trained dog? Forget it, think about and deal in the present.
Who needs training here? The dog has always jumped up on people. I kinda like it for me. It has not bothered other dog people friends but then... for the majority of people we will meet... strangers, older people who can be knocked down, young apprehensive children... I must teach Mo to not jump on people, any people... even me, period. It is a decision. This means work but less work than teaching him who it is OK to jump on and who not to jump on. When I get out of my chair MO jumps on to take the spot. I used to just gently push him to the side. Do I want to do this every time? It is my chair. He can use the other chair, the sofa, the floor or come up onto my lap after I sit down. My chair, my chair... After three times of just sitting down on top of him he got the message. Now, I need to stay consistent. When I come over to the chair I say "off" but should I create the need for myself to say that? No. No if's, and's or but's... I need to get clearer with my decision, boundaries, limits and stick with them.
Giving Mo small tastes of the food while I am eating... plain stupid. In the car when I get fast food we are in close quarters. I know it is difficult for him. Always I say, "this is it, no more." I give a french fry or a taste of whatever. He always gets treat and then I tell him to leave me alone. He does because he has no choice and this is good. I'll be sitting in my recliner eating. Mo will jump up to lay with me while I am eating. Sometimes I think, "ahh, no big deal." Stupid, stupid, stupid... He is a dog and will work me for every micro inch and inconsistency of thought and behavior. If he is not trying to get the food he is thinking about how to. There can be no sometimes... Sometimes = Mixed Message. The dog will always "work" mixed messages especially at the most troublesome of times. I seem to like the idea of him watching me eat a foot from my face without trying to take some. I can kid myself in saying, "oh he is such a good dog, behaved, knows boundaries and limits, is respectful etc... He's thinking, "how do I work this, not this time but maybe next time, hmm..., etc..." He will not stop trying. I know this as sure as I know I am alive. Maybe that is why I seem to like the idea. The behavior mirrors my life desire to keep "trying."
He will sit and gnaw on my pant leg or something else of value. I will think ahh, its not serious... he's doing no harm which may be true but what am I teaching him for when I am not around? Gnaw for a few minutes may not create any harm but a few hours of doing it coupled with frustration and boredom in being left alone... and whom will I blame when he destroys something of value?
I forgot how much work a "new" dog is. Do I want him to be tame to know and practice boundaries and limits? There is no choice. Can he be a wild animal living in a domesticated life? No. He has no choice as I have no choice. If I don't want him to run away I will have to spend the energy to teach him the how not to and why not to. If I want Mo to obey me... which he must do for us to get along together... because I am not interested in becoming a wild animal with him... I must spend the time and energy, the patience, tolerance and all the rest... and be careful not to become obsessed with the process. Ugh! The last thing I want to do is to start anticipating trouble always being on the lookout for it, trying to head it off. I in fact create trouble this way. It can become all I see and think about. Note: must remember trust, have faith, allow mistakes... trial and error... balance... fun.
I think the key word is "enjoy" ... to enjoy the relationship building process... investment. Just like with a human. People complain that their companions have no time for them, do not spend time doing what they enjoy doing, cut corners and use half measures to keep the relationships rolling. Went I took stewardship of Mo I accepted the responsibility to create a full, functional and progressive relationship that will grow for as long as we are together. I remember asking myself... what will be more important for me in life my journey or a dog. I choose dog, so be it... the priority of my life. Give it time.
I took Mo to the vet today and after that most of the day was spent feeling numb while thinking about what is ahead for me with my life and this journey. Acclimating myself to a new dog once again is a challenge. The relationship experience is full of progressions and regressions. It will be until the partnership is worked out. Mo does things just because he wants to and... to be mindful of what I want... comes and goes sometimes on a whim. My challenge is to flow with consistency, responsibility and patience... first for myself. I adjust all situations according to my level of sanity... to keep it. His time outs in the cage and on leash are first and foremost... for me.
There is also dog training to be done. This hound dog is a chaser. He saw his first rabbit in the dark while in the cab last night and almost went through the roof with a knee jerk reaction. When we leave to drive anywhere, as tree leaves fly off the windshield, he once again almost flies through the roof. While walking when a vehicle passes us... major knee jerk instinctual reaction to chase. On a lighter note, we were playing "catch me" around the cabin where we are staying and he learned the "hide and seek" game. How did that happen? I only hide from him once for only a moment in the past while playing.
Everyone tells me their dog opinions, nutritional information, tricks on and on how to raise and be with a dog. I have found that there are as many ways as there are relationships. Everyone has their own unique personal experience in doing things. Dogs adjust to that. What works for one person may not work for the another. Every relationship has unique qualities. It is in the differences, this where the answers to my successful dog owner partnership can be found. Does this sound crazy? Substitute the word "difference" for "uniqueness" ...in comparison to other relationships. This is what I learned from having a fifteen and a half year relationship with piano dog Boner. Yet I still ask people, "what do you do, what can be done, how do you do this, what is the answer to...?" Most of the time none of the information is useful, helpful or I already know the answer for myself. My sense of insecurity, lack of confidence, doubt, need for authority validation or reassurance sometimes keeps me from finding my own answers or accepting what I already know. Still after all these years a part of me wants to be told what to do. I remember paying for a dog training session many years ago when Bo first came into my life. The guy said never look a dog straight in the eyes as it is a sign of aggression and they will attack. I paid twenty bucks to hear that piece of misdirected, out of context information and thought about it through the years as Boner and I intently gazed into each others eyes with love for long lengths of time. In the same session, "if you want to keep your dog off the couch, put pennies in an empty tin can on the cushion, when the dog jumps up the sound will scare it back down." I thought, "What an idiot idea... Piano Dog Boner sits with me under fireworks to enjoy them on the 4th of July!" Everything is relative to experience, environment and many other factors.
Irritating Dog People
There is movement in this world to destroy the dog population, the nature and individuality of dogs. It is being done by ignorant people who are so lacking in ability to relate to other people their own species, that they want their dogs to become surrogate people. One example I met a woman around my age while taking a walk with Mo. She had a very healthy behaved dog so I started to ask her questions to see what I could learn. She was giving me some very interesting information relating to nutrition and preventive vaccines. Everyone seems to have a different opinion when it comes to these issues. I began to think her way until she began to give advice concerning the physical growth of a dog... how its bones, tissues and muscles mature. She says, "don't let him jump, run, walk long distances or do any vigorous exercise until he is at least eighteen months old. He needs to be physically developed enough to handle it." I almost began to take that into my head but I stopped. I thought," What, is this lady fucking crazy??? He's a dog not a child and the only reason a child does not run and jump on a large scale is because a child develops differently. I took Mo out to a field and let him explore off leash. He tore off at like eighty miles an hour and loved every minute of it. Dogs know their limitations and develop naturally. I believe they should have the freedom to learn on their own terms as much as possible and naturally through trial and error with as little interference from human friends as possible.
Let dogs be dogs. Allow them... empower them to embrace the human race not by obliterating their character traits, instincts and nature... everything about them that is different from us. I believe in celebrating the differences and our ability to relate along side of them, with them. Like Hitler... he wanted to create a super race of people that were all the same to act and be the way he wanted them to be. Do we want that for our dogs? Ha. I am just being silly but really... There is a difference between domesticating a dog and trying to make a dog human.
The subject of Interference (from other people) really pushes a red hot bad button for me. Most of it comes from an overbearing, fear based nurturing expressed by people who have a lack of control over their own lives. For example: I have begun to work towards Mo's staying in the truck with the window open while I leave to do errands. I want him to feel safe by himself, to wait for me... protect the truck. He has jumped out on several occasions. My work is to stay calm and to allow a learning curve through trial and error. One might say that any error could end the dogs life. I weigh my options responsibly as to when, where and how we practice to minimize any risks of danger and harm.
Unfortunately, their are people who have no boundaries and limits, have no ability to respond and can only react. They can cause all the danger and harm that can exist. When they interfere with Mo and my learning process I try to incorporate them into the learning lesson but it ain't easy! Onward with the truck, waiting, open window lesson. I would like to have Mo bark the shit out of anyone who comes near the truck. A normal dog would do this because it is a "den." My dog must relate to people without scaring them so... no barking. The nature of our work is fun, friendship and respect. Their can be no threatening, scaring, biting, or aggressive acts.
Today, I parked the truck by a curb and left to cross the street while Mo waiting in the truck. A lady sitting with her husband at a table on the other side of the street had a knee jerk, selfish, savior reaction. To her I am sure it was a nurturing, protective, caring... knee jerk reaction. "Oh my God, he's going to jump out, oh no, oh my God, get him..." I asked her not to interfere with my training and told her that she was destroying his learning process. She was distracting him and giving him bad ideas with excitement. After I calmed her down I refocused and tried again by walking behind a wall where I could watch and see Mo... but he could not see me. He put his paws on the ledge to jump, I was carefully watching to catch the moment and the damm women got up to run over to him once again to save him from whatever... When she saw me she said, "Oh, I didn't know you were there." I thought, "You need more training than the dog does.." I told her to stop interfering with my dog and our relationship and anyone else's for that matter. When people interject their own personal fears into my life it really pisses me off!
He's a Dog, I'm a Person
I was thinking and feeling that my dog is Supernatural until... he took a dump for the second time in the cabin. Reality check...
I want to be very careful not to create an unhealthy attachment to my dog. He helps me with this issue, there is no question about it. When I become overly saturated in the moment he pushes me away. If I continue, he tries to become the alpha dog... tests me in some way. I end up having to punish him for whatever test and... who's fault was it? Boner learned to turn my overbearing, sappy emotional moments into play. This is all about personal relationship. I am finding throughout the day when I become physically over emotional with Mo... I pull myself back and almost give him a man-ly slap or punch as in, "Hey, whats happenin' buddy" and detach a little. Ha, sounds stupid... it is what it is and it works for me.
Creating Fun Things To Do Together
I want to take a trip to the beach with friends so we all can jump into the water together. If we do it Mo will follow for sure. I hope he will not be too old to take the plunge later in life... by the time we get to the beach in about a year. Then again if I build dare devil character and behavior into him in other ways... or should I call it confidence?
A few things I keep in mind while walking. Choose a side for Mo to walk on... the right or left. Stick to it and stay loyal to it. Mo, as a hound dog. He wants to dart all over the place. He does not need for me to confuse him by changing which side he walks on according to my whim, when we go out. Creating a structure for myself concerning our work together is more necessary for me than Mo. It is necessary for both of us but must start with me. I am careful not to play games when walking. Are we walking or are we playing? Consistency... we walk on the side of the road. If something happens and Mo gets lost do I want him running through the streets say at night... in the middle of the road? He will walk(or run) where he feels safe, where he is used to walking. I hold the leash out with my arm full length so he walks beside me. Otherwise I am tripping over him because he wants to walk in front. Who's the boss? If he persists in trying to walk in front I just take the plunge and allow myself to trip over him. He gets the message.
Illness, Diseases, Ear Mites, Sarcoptic Mange, Whipworms, Bad Dog Food
The doctor gave me medicine and I was to give Mo 8CC's a day for three days whatever that means. I needed to use a syringe... an 8CC dosage would be two and a half syringe fills. My dyslexia kicked in and I ended up giving him one syringe fill for two and a half days. Now we must start over.
Mo has ear mites and I needed to get some medicine drops for his ears. I went to a local vet. The doctor was not in, out for a week. I needed to make an appointment to get the medicine. The woman asked if I was a client. I told them there would be no chance of my becoming a client if they didn't help my dog. It was all about the money... I dove to the next town and got the medicine. All they needed was a name and address. During the first week I remember thinking, "he does not hear well I guess it must be the breed." I hope he doesn't have permanent hearing issues as a result of these mites. Funny thing, I was watching him flap his ears from side to side all the time and thought,"he must like doing that for fun, must be a trait of beagle, if I had ears like that I'd probably flap them for no reason too." Hahaha! ... The mites were driving him crazy. I did not have a clue. Good thing I am not left with just my thoughts alone to get through this life. I learned that the old flea and tick medicine I had been using does not work with ticks from the hills here in West Virginia. Thats probably how Piano Dog Boner came down with Lyme disease. I need to use a stronger medicine. And then there's Provo a disease I need to watch for if I go down south with Mo. Heartworm etc.. etc.. etc... I refuse to become over concerned about all these diseases but I do want to keep aware. Different diseases in different parts of the country?
After a week Mo still has ear mites which means another ten days of drops in his ears. He also has a bizarre type of mange that shows with bare spots from hair falling out. It is called Sarcoptic Mange a rare condition where mites borrowed beneath his skin and feed on the roots of his hair follicles. Lastly, he has another bizarre parasite... worms in his intestines, Whipworms! I was told he probably had them when I first got him. The weird part. I cannot allow Mo to shit in the same spots where he has already gone. The worms eggs are in his shit and if he eats his own poop or anything nearby on the ground, or steps in it or anything... the ground stays contaminated with the eggs for up to a year and this is how they renter his system... from the ground. Since he has already shit everywhere, this is problem... especially for in the early mornings, at night and when it rains or snows. I'm going to go out and walk him a mile away to do his business? Never the less, we won't be traveling anywhere until these issues are worked out.
Raising a dog in the woods verses suburbia is a lot more difficult concerning diseases. Different parts of the country deal with different diseases. I am finding new ones all the time.
Mo woke me up heaving. He was throwing up. Piano Dog Boner used to do this every once in a while but today was the first time for Mo. Was it nerves? Is he sick? I was watching his breathing while trying to be practical and keep any drama at bay. A conscious need to just observe as best as I could, not jump to conclusions, think about options and not dwell on anything specific was in order. I was thinking about how yesterday I returned Mo's dog food to the store after I had heard the company recalled it. The food was supposed to be the newest, best, nutritious and of course it was the most expensive dog food... named Blue Buffalo. The store assured me that it was not the batch I had purchased but I was not taking any chances. They had said over the years almost all the dog varieties have had recalls because of bad food... like I was supposed to accept this fact. That really pissed me off! There is no excuse for the manufacturers and... it is obvious where distributer loyalties lay. Anyway, I should have kept some of his original food (I did not) so that I could gradually switch brands. More diarrhea and digestive uncomfortably may be lurking on the horizon for my new buddy. I tell people who are fanatical about having dogs neutered when they start pushing the issue... "go after and pressure the dog food companies and breeders that are creating dogs that end up with fragile bones structures and sensitive immune systems... dogs that will suffer from diseases throughout life and die after costing you and me ten's of thousands of dollars in veterinary bills." Dealing with todays world of undependable and irresponsible dog products can be maddening. I learned that the frontline flea and tick medicine I was using, the company was forced to acknowledge it does not keep fleas and ticks from biting the dog only from multiplying on them and... it does not protect from Lyme disease here in West Virginia where we are presently staying. I had piano dog Boner on this medication for years and Lyme disease was one of the problems he had when he died.
The idea of sticking anything... into any orifice of my dog... I do not enjoy the idea, not at all but... in the course of a life time I do not think it is avoidable. The same thing goes for grooming. I was traumatized by my first and only attempt to trim Boner's toenails when he was a young pup. He would get an emotional hard on with my attempting to trim them but then with the first clip I drew blood. Bo screamed, gave me a major look of "you hurt me" and that was the end of that. There was no way for the rest of his life that he was going to let me near those toes. We adapted to a walking cement sidewalk routine and it worked well for us. Now, with Mo... I look at his long toe nails at such a young age in rural country with no sidewalks to be found... I look with a blank stare. I just can't go there. In the first month I have been sticking gooey drops into his ears for mites. I pulling out stitched sutras from his being neutered and have squirted pasty liquid into the back of his throat to de-worm him... ugh, ugh, ugh! I would like to ask or let someone else to the job but I feel I should take responsibility and "be a man" and look at it as an opportunity, a responsibility to show my stewardship and true care, a chance to practice my confidence as the alpha in our relationship. Bathing was never a problem for Bo and the same goes for Mo. Its all about talking them through it and making everything enjoyable, nice, slow and easy. They both love baths. I began with Boner by getting into the tub with him and then we showered off together. Mo was fine on his own for the first time. They both saw me shower all the time so it is an activity they also want to be part of. I used to shave Boner twice a year. He ultra loved that. As for myself... I would draw deep breaths, take several breaks, try not to sweat (because the hair would stick all over me) and be ever so careful not to create another toe nail clipping episode. When I shaved Boner I talked him through to the finish but the talking was really for me.
Purpose In Having Stewardship of a Dog
I found some clarity and now must get honest about it. This is not easy. It is fun for me to create drama, mystic, wonder and all that but it is also fun to just be real. I've been telling people I had no plans to get another dog. I would never have had a new dog in a million years, piano dog Boner was the dog of my dreams. He was in my minds eye since age five and did not manifest until almost forty, he was everything I ever dreamed of and more, beyond my wildest imagination. (true) With every opportunity I would say that out loud that I only wanted one dog for my life and I had him now I want to do things I could not do with a dog in my life. This is all true but... at the same time I also said I will keep an open mind about the idea of a new dog all the while playing those words down big time.
After about a month I found myself in a dog pound just milling around looking at dogs. I told myself I did not want one I was just looking for a "dog fix." I remember being there thinking and feeling those thoughts but also while having an open mind and thinking, "there are no dogs here that could possibly work anyway." Who was I kidding? Throughout the following months I visited several pounds for a "dog fix." I would "pine" over puppies I came across and other peoples dogs all the while secretly telling myself I could not have one and creating as many reasons as I could think of not to have one. I was secretly loving the romanticism of... the process that was going on. While driving on the road at different times I came across about five strays running lost and tried to get them into the truck. Oh yea, if a dog was real needy and wanted me what choice would I have? That would be beyond my control, hahaha. On the way back East I stopped at a dog pound and found the dog needing the most attention and then took him for a walk!
The bottom line... I never stopped wanting to have a dog in my life. I began looking for a new partner almost immediately. Yes... Mo and I found each other, maybe we were even looking for each other but there was more than God's work or supernatural, mystical workings going on... I helped! I think I may not have wanted to see it consciously because that would have sent a contradictory message to the thought, believe and value systems instilled in ma' brain. I had a "special" relationship with Boner and one was enough... one on one for ever and ever... don't be greedy... moving into another relationship would de-value the past, respect level of what had been created.
In the end I thought, would having a new dog be selfish, needy, natural or simply, "it is what it is." I had to go through the process of, "what am I allowed to have for my life." Allowing myself whatever I want for my life is awesome! Let me tell you, to reach this level took a lot of work in letting go of all ideas and fears as well as now constantly working on the art of choices and decisions. I gave myself just the right amount of time to finish grieving Bo and move forward with Mo. Everything happens in time as it should. I would just like to become more conscious of everything and do it with more confidence... learn to talk less out of the side of my mouth and more directly throughout the process.
Deciding to Have or Not to Have
Carefully I step, slowly, thoughtfully I move... Today I spent time with a dog named "Mo" we took the Traveling Piano down by a river access area in Cherry Run, West Virginia. After going for a walk and his hearing music for the first time a guy named Crazy River John came over and talked with us. "Mo"... is a five month old Beagle, English Bulldog mix wanting an owner who can give him more attention than he is presently getting. NOT that we are going to partner... I am just exploring, experimenting... getting a feel. So I have been dealing with an emptiness that existed before Piano Dog Boner came into my life. Part of me says, "learn to live with just yourself." Another part of me says, "why, I don't have to if I don't want to." Lots of people go through life with partners, marriages, pets, etc... Ha. If I ever took stewardship of another dog it would be a courageous move for my life. It was bred into me that having another partner would diminish my love and the relationship I had with Boner. I know this is not true but never the less... While we hung out, my commitment issues were rearing their heads big time. They were manifesting with thoughts such as...as "Mo" sat next to me in the truck, "damm, he's taking the space where I just throw all my stuff while traveling, he is shedding MORE than Bo, where is his tail he has no damm tail... his nuts, look at those two little black things... disgusting!" Realty... this dog is a major cutie.. a complete lover, attentive, gentle, expressive, I think he may be very smart, wants to please, doesn't bark like crazy, is happy, happy, happy and loves people!
Teaching and Lessons Learned
My dog does not know what "wrong" is or means unless I teach that to him. If my dog knows no wrong why would I want to teach him that? The intent behind "wrong" is bad. If he knows no bad why would I want to teach him bad? Error, mistakes exist but... they comes from ignorance. I must not be ignorant and teach Mo what I need from him, what is necessary. If he messes up I am the responsible one. He's a dog! :) The only reason I can think of to teach wrong is to create fear to get what I want. Fear is wrong... a cop out, controlling, manipulative and comes from a place of irresponsible laziness.
I get down on floor level a couple times a day to play with Mo or to just simply say hello. I use the opportunity every time to teach him to come to me and he always does because he always wants to play and connect. The other day I went to talk to a neighbor and he went to bolt into the neighbors yard to see a couple of viscous dogs that live there. I immediately fell to the ground, called to him like I wanted to play, he thought about it for a split second and then came running. I made it all about fun. Today we were walking in the woods. He saw people, kids and then realized there was a dog... I never saw a dog bolt so fast. Danny... to the ground, get attention, call but not too many times, send signals to play... his play energy was redirected and he came a running so I could put his leash on. Many people have been warning me about Mo being a hound dog... his hunting instincts will control him. This is simply not true but still, now every time I need for him to come when I call, I must consciously detach from the fearful idea that neither of us will have control. People put unproductive thoughts into their dogs and friends and then the dogs and friends often take them on and make them factually real. When I think about something strongly or long enough my experience has been... I can be fairly certain the thought will manifest and come to life... good or bad.
As Mo has become amazingly acclimated so quickly into a domesticated life it feels sometimes like he is Bo. It is like when someone looses a relationship, finds a new partner and mistakenly calls the second partner by the first partners name. I want to be very careful not to confuse who is who, compare, want to replicate the same relationship I had before. Individuality is the name of the game. Around friends and family I keep calling Mo... Bo.
I don't look for this stuff (what I am going to write about) but when it happens why ignore it? This has no bearing on the present moment except for the experience of wonder and interest. I use it as a validation that more is happening here with this earthly visit than I can comprehend. It helps me go with the flow. I have thought at times that piano dog Boner might have been a spirit specifically come here to earth for me and to be with me possibly a reincarnation of someone or everyone I have loved and who has ever passed on. Mind you this is not stuff I live my life dwelling about... but why push it out of my mind when it enters? I believe there is no harm indulging in informed, conscious exploration.
I have reincarnated feelings, thoughts and observations about piano dog Mo. Not that he is specifically piano dog Boner, maybe the spirit or spirits of. I am not looking to replicate or carry on my best buddy Boner... I want to just ask you to believe me with this. The way Mo came into my life, the way everything fits so naturally from the start... his being not even seven months old with knowing how to act, behave innately concerning my needs... I am aware that fifteen and a half years of wisdom, experience and behavior from my being with piano dog Boner helps tremendously but still there is something much deeper going on. Mo was born three days after Bo died.
I am talking about the amount of love, desire, interest, intensity, and creative care in relating to Boner and my relationship not physically but through thoughts, feelings and emotions... that all grew everyday and every moment with piano dog Boner until the second he died. With piano dog Mo it all seems to have picked up from that very last moment with Bo and is now carrying onward through time in the same ways.
I realize that we are a mirror for each other but... Bo was and Mo are individual mirrors. I am I am clear about that. What I am speaking about is the substance of trust, faith, spirit and soul. Anyway, isn't it fun that my new dogs name is Mo. I did not name him. Piano dog Boner's name was Bo for short. When Mo first met me he peed on me. (big issue with piano dog Boner) I embraced the fact as "it is what it is." He peed one more time, the first time in the truck and took one dump in the house... the end for a long time. He just knows what to do, where and when to do it. There was no question about an initial intense, energized, eye to eye connection we had between us. It was only a moment in time but I was conscious of it when it happened, we bonded instantly and permanently. The exact same experience happened when he stood on top of the piano for the first time and looked down at my hands to watch me create music. He froze for a moment with intense eye connection to my hands playing on the keys. What inspired me to write this today? Boner had a strange wild long hair above his right eyebrow that many people commented on. I just noticed that Mo has the same wild hair above his right eyebrow. Hahaha... I experience that as interesting fun. It might all be silliness... but still, its fun.
I was having a rough day a few days ago. My mind was scattered, frustrated... impatience lurked everywhere. The dog was having impulses of naughtiness all day long this is what I was thinking and feeling ...until I realized that I was constantly "projecting" negative behavior from him. For example I was thinking, "he is trying to cause trouble by getting my attention." Ha... let me write that again, "he was trying to get my attention by causing trouble." He was just being normally playful. Maybe it was to get attention! On good days I always welcome that. Today it was all about me, too much about me. I was creating... over anticipating without warrant any possible problems that might arise. I was thinking that I wanted to head off any more hassles for the day but the fact... I was creating them with too much focus their avoiding them or their actually happening. When Mo had wondered too far away off leash in the morning I got a little pissed off about that one little incident... I added it to my day of discontent that had already began. I woke up grumpy because I did not have enough sleep and then began to project a day full of dealing with crap.
Being On A Leash
Mo-Mo understands clearly when he is on the leash. His roaming options are limited. This is good but I want to get rid of the leash. I must remind myself that the training period is just beginning and it will take time. At the same time I do not want to spend every minute of the day training him. There is a voice in my head that is constant... "do what you need to do with fun, calm friendship and respect! He has been going out on his own without me or his leash to do his duty both at night and first thing in the morning. Each time, it takes longer for him to return and he goes away farther. I suppose I will need to pull the reins back in... put him back on the leash and personally walk him until he "gets it" concerning property boundaries and also to get the job back done faster. (cold weather is coming) Trial and error is the name of the game. The first thing I do when I see he is not listening is remind myself to stay calm. "He likes me and so he will return, he can see the cabin (den), he knows I am around." Calmly, a little frustrated and inconvenienced, I went to get the leash just in case I needed it while... reminding myself not to show anger, a demanding nature, try to take control. (ha,ha... he's on the loose there is no control to take) When he came back I lightly did not act appreciative or happy. (I suppose I need more practice, he must always know that I am happy to see him when he returns) When I fed him he ate like he was very hungry and finished the entire bowl which is unusual. Did he take so long because he was hungry? Maybe his instincts were driving him to simple forge some food outdoors verses the processed food he gets everyday.
October 05, 2010
I am enjoying a very playful and considerate dog. He loves people, especially children. Mo super, super loves other dogs. My having freaked out Piano Dog Boner's ability to trust in other dogs his entire life because I took had taken him to a dog park when he was too young (all the dogs pounced on him to play and he became terrified) ...it is a relief not to repeat my mistake for a second time. I sense that Mo will stay a pack animal to and with other dogs first and foremost for his entire life no matter how domesticated he becomes.
October 04, 2010
Once I walk Mo on a leash a few times around the periphery of any new or strange property, I can let him off the leash each time to do his business. I stand by the door like I am going to go inside so he disappears for only brief amounts of time and does not waste time because he doesn't want me to leave without him. That may change as re gains confidence but I'm enjoying it while it lasts. I purchased a few bullies for Mo to chew on today. Bullies are the newest rage, healthier than rawhide, they are sticks made from the penis of a bull!
October 03, 2010
Occupies himself with play... a chew toy, squeeze ball and another small stuffed chew toy toy. He is getting to the stage where he will chew everything and anything, the furniture, clothes, dig the rug apart... what is it about dogs and shoes? I constantly redirect him not with a reprimand but without any thought, maybe a slight feeling of relief... like, "your relieved to find something like your toy." If I act like, "your fun and cute you little bad boy" that translates into continued play and encourages the activity. If I act demanding that creates resistance. I act like, as a matter of fact, "come, lets go, lets play, were going", etc... He has been playing with up to three young kids at a time, flailing and jumping all around him, running taunting, screaming acting spastic. Mo has been curious about it all but also is loving it!
October 02, 2010
We have been on a whirlwind tour of visiting friends, introducing... it has been giving me a tremendous amount of joy to experience how people are happy for my new relationship with Mo. Even more, how Mo becomes acclimated to new environments, dogs and people immediately. I'm loving his first time experience in every way with everything. I've been learning that some nights before we go to bed he just does not need to poop, period. He holds whatever in for the next day. I am careful not to create pressure for him to go and to also drive myself crazy waiting and hoping. If he can... he will. Trust from me comes into that picture. The fact that he pees if only a little bit before we go to bed helps show that he does doo what he can doo :) He loves to play with other dogs... wrestle, top, dominate, hold in freeze mode, hug, he uses humor with his play. It is interesting that sometimes when he gets very tired during the day an impulse arises from me wondering if he might be sick and then I get real with the fact that he is getting stimulated to the hilt these days and needs to shut down often.
October 01, 2010
Mo... when this guy falls into a deep sleep it is really deep! I could almost pick him up off the ground and drop him to the floor... he would not wake up. When sleeping through the night he is now feeling his way from sleeping a little on his new bed mattress, to jumping up on the bed to sleep with me and then back to get some space for himself on the mattress. I like the way it is going. He has barked maybe five yelps in the last week? Thank God he is not a barker by nature. I almost created a begging monster. Every time I have eaten he comes over to check things out and then goes and lays down... he leaves me alone. One day in the kitchen I gave him a small piece of pepperoni. That was a big mistake. Every following time a pepperoni smell appeared he was on top of it. Every time I sat down to eat he began to be all over me to see what else, whatever new food he could get. He began to beg incessantly. I learned my lesson immediately. If I gave him any attention with something like, "no, go lay down, go away" that only fueled the request. I now completely ignored him while eating. With each time he gradually realized little by little, more and more... to just leave me alone. It is all about boundaries and limits.
I would never have imagined a dog could cuddle and spoon and Mo can. He gives me full body hugs with his upper tow legs wrapping around me like arms. I am not exaggerating. He instigates the hugs like he knows what he is doing and wants. He now jumps into the bed to sleep with me. I'm not sure I want this because I am a toss and turner and need lots of room. He would like to sleep out on the sofa but I don't trust him yet. Last night before I closed the bedroom door he tried to escape to the couch three times. The last time I grabbed his hind legs and dragged him back into the room while he lay dead weight with his paws splayed out. It was a video moment for sure, very funny. He jumped on my lap this afternoon while I was resting in the chair and we fell asleep together. He was cradled in my arms on his back like a baby. He was neutered over a week ago and he allowed me to take out his stitches without moving at all. I had to pull the stringed stitches up to snip them. How trusting can an animal be? He is completely secure with my handling his entire body in anyway that I want, loves it, no part is off limits.
It seems almost as though he knows things beyond his dog instincts with a remembering curiosity. Today he watched a movie on the television set for a good five minutes in three different intervals. I was almost hesitant in letting him see it because the movie was violent. It brought back memories of when Boner and I witnessed a drive-by shooting. The driver of a vehicle in front of us was killed in center city Philadelphia some years back. Bo changed forever on that day. Where he had once sat with me any fireworks after seeing that incident he gradually became more sensitive as the years passed to the point of freaking out if a kid threw a toy snap on the ground. Mo... is very interested in sound. He makes music with intent as he chews on his squeeze toy. Today I whistled while he sat in my lap and his head, ears and eyes were amazing to watch as he responded differently to every nuance. When he heard the stereo for the first time he freaked. He sat listening to the speakers with amazing interest, he hears sound very directionally.
This morning it was pouring rain. I had to take the dog out thinking, "please Mo... pee and shit right away. (he had done that last time when it rained) He did pee within a reasonable amount of time but no shit. I figured, "he's already wet, might as well walk it out of him." (did I ever mention that I am allergic to dogs, especially wet dogs and cats?) An hour later still walking... no shit, a soaked dog and without having had my morning coffee. If he had no need to go to the bathroom, I had hoped he would at least try. In any case, Mo wasn't going to be running around in the cabin a loose wet dog that has not done his "duty." I tied his leash to the kitchen table, fed him, let him whine and have a baby tantrum. It was a big baby tantrum. He flailed himself around like crazy while trying to tear everything apart. I removed all items he might destroy within his reach and sat where I could watch when he went to chew on the table leg, nearby electric wire or dig and claw the carpet and door to pieces. With six feet to move around, his water and toys were within reach. I put a blanket down because he began to shiver, the floor was too cold for him. After about five minutes he calmed down. With a full belly of food and an hour walk in him, I knew he would have no problem taking a nap. After four hours I took him outside again. He pooped and afterwards turned towards me, froze and gave me a definite look of, "is this what you wanted me to do?" I immediately yelled "yes, good boy" and then he came running to get back in the house and out of the rain. Need to find a blow dryer for when his hair gets wet.
The most important thing for me with the situation I had this morning is to accept it as, "it is what it is." and not attached or project any thoughts into or along with it. I want to deal with each situation uniquely and rationally and not insert MY dysfunctional thinking into the training process... especially emotions, feelings, intents and desires that are not true and do not reflect my true sprit. There had been a lot of thoughts that had nothing to do with me bred into me by family, society and schools throughout my formative years. In the past I would have applied only what I knew to every situation. Old, dysfunctional untrue thoughts of motive and intent concerning my actions and behavior I would have attributed to Mo... which would have in fact created a mirror of the same dysfunctional untrue thoughts, motives and intent concerning the actions and behavior of my dog. I know this is true because it happened with Boner. Hopefully I learned my lessons.
Mo needs to figure out what is needed and what to do with my using all the encouragement, compassion, patience and direction I can muster. A sense of fun along with needed sternness at times must be part of my dogs life. The act of simply restricting him to the kitchen for a few hours would have been identified in the past with pressure, fear, consequences, control, retaliation, frustration, fear, anger, retribution, revenge, fear, an eye for an eye... The type of obedience that was taught to me during my formative years had nothing to do with healthy boundaries and limits. I had no practice with response-able-ity. Everything was about re-act-ing to and with fear. None of this has anything to do with love. Love I have always had. The relating I am speaking of has to do with respect. Through my fifteen and a half years with Piano Dog Boner, Bo helped me big time in discovering the truth about myself, who I really am, what I want to be like. Bo helped me find a new way to approach life, respect being the operative word, the how to live with other beings a way that establishes healthy boundaries and limits... and appropriate relationship.
So... this dog Mo and I are spending some time together. The ride out of his place and into town to visit some friends was bumpy and the road was curvy for quite awhile. Maybe thats why he peed all over the truck seat. The seat acted like a baby diaper for him. I could not figure out why my cell phone did not work that night. I went to change the battery and it was all wet inside. Mo had filled the bag that holds my wallet, phone, camera etc... with pee! He was sitting with his ass up against me I thought, "cute" having no idea he was peeing on me because the seat, floor an all my stuff was already soaked. I do not think he could help it. We spent a long time in Berkeley Springs with friends on the street. For the entire second half of the ride back to the cabin he held tight until we got out of the truck and then... he let loose on the ground, lucky me. Back at the cabin he was great until he began to dump big time on the floor rug. His cage was almost set up... too late. I don't know if I am going to be able to deal with this process of training a dog again right now in my life and while traveling on the road? He certainly has been a lover... kind and gentle all day. He's been farting a lot, really bad stuff. I think he has fleas... needs a bath. What the hell am I doing?
This dog named "Mo", having him with me... the process has been consuming my life. The thoughts surrounding his being in my life are draining me emotionally. He found the sofa; he's no dummy, took to it immediately. He waited till I took him outside today and did both number "1" and number "2". Good Boy! We went for our first walk. It was short but I was so exhausted I just laid in bed for most of the afternoon afterwards while telling myself, "your allowed to do this." The dog and I are a perfect match no question about it. I am not so sure about the timing for my life. I really want to do some things I have not been able to do with a dog in my life. Like right now, I need to go get my drivers license photo but can't leave the dog in the truck because he's not trained. I'd like to go and see three movies in a row. That can't happen without a lot of working around the needs and responsibilities. At the same time there is something to be said for having accountability and commitment, to have intimacy with another living being in my life.
Friends gave me their dog cage. To travel with Mo I would need a smaller one to fit in the Traveling Piano tuck but... when I saw how Mo rests and sleeps... no way, he needs a large cage. This guy likes to stretch out to the hilt. He sleeps on his back, head tilted to the side and with all four legs splayed out to the sides flat to the floor, way funny and way cute. What am I to do? I gave him a bath. He could not have been more cooperative. While petting and rubbing him today I was thinking, "are you ever going to get tired of this." I mean, its constant. Towards dusk we took the Traveling Piano to the park. After a walk up the mountain Mo jumped into the back of the truck on his own. I put him on top the piano... he stayed for a short bit but was not too sure about being up their so I let him stay in the truck bed where he was very comfortable. I was very careful to be easy and gentle with the music because he is not used to it. I played like I would for a child specifically noticing that his entire "being" froze once I began to play, just for a few moments. He intently became memorized watching my fingers move taking the experience in and then moved on to be interested in something else.
I am having already having an amazing life experience with Mo my new buddy. When I left Montana I knew the time was right. Nothing told me that, I just knew it. The winter snows began immediately after I left. I would have been stuck. When the Canada boarder entry got boggled up and the need to drive back east came into the picture I knew it was right and meant to be. Nothing told me that. I just knew it... totally, I could not feel more sure. I felt strongly about stopping in West Virginia verses going straight to Pennsylvania. Once I returned a chain of events happened which led to a woman coming up to me saying she had a dog, a pup that needed a home and she just knew we were to be together, a perfect fit. "Yea right," I thought, "She's trying to get rid of a dog." Even though, I did not negate the spiritual environment... connection I felt from the conversational exchange. Feeling my way with the situation, total open mindedness, open to opportunity, ability to flow back and forth between changing my mind, examining my motives, intent, needs, wants and priorities for example... "what is more important, intimacy in relation with the journey or intimacy in relation to a human or dog. It certainly does not look like I will have a human partner ever at this stage of the game (although I'm open) so another dog? I have been actively seeking dog fixes like stopping at human centers to look at them and I took a dogs for a walk once so... if a dog comes into my life and feels good should I say no its not the right time to train a dog while traveling on the road?
This is day five with Mo. Wow, this dog could not be more cooperative! A fast learner, he had never played with a human before and it was so funny to watch him develop a "tug of war" game with his toy. I was concerned this dog might be too docile for me. Forget that concern. I awakened the animal in him. Now when walking he is going crazy wanting to hunt, when playing I must tech him to calm down and be more careful. I have never experienced a dog so comfortable in his body. He is like a young kid exploring himself loving to stretch, use, physically feel, be felt. I opened the truck door for him to jump in. He hesitated and went to take a pee first. Already he knew not to go into the truck and pee again! I had to run into a store... what to do, what to do... with the temperature in the nineties I could not roll up the windows. I figured I would leave the leash on him and tie it to the outside window in case he jumped out, that way he would land on the ground with some room to move around. As I opened the door the leash wrapped itself around the stick shift by accident. I left it there and he ended up having just enough room to put his paws on the door ledge to look out for me and it also gave him full range inside the truck. How perfect was that? He waited for me no problem, no wining or barking, it was fantastic. I thought, "see how things can work out."! What a journey... music and otherwise!!!
It is official!!! The Traveling Piano Man has partnered with Hound Dog named "MO" a five month old Beagle-English Bull Dog Mix... a Miracle! I am very blessed. I can have the opportunity to love completely more than once in this world... experience the same love to give and share over and over again and accept in return. I took Mo around to old haunts and introduced him to friends. He sat on the piano for the first time with the Traveling Piano in full operation mode. Everyone was amazed. He was so good, so natural, so at home. I am having so much fun, so grateful. September 26, 2010
I want to share Mo's puppyness with the world. He was exhausted last night after his first day with the Traveling Piano. Already coming into his own... when we got back to the cabin he was like, "I just wanna be left alone for awhile, enough of people petting me and giving me attention and wanting attention back without a break for hours on end". Mo has interacted with two dogs so far... a huge chocolate lab and a huge long haired poodle mix named Marley, my friend Dawns dog. Mo was not shy at all. He was all over them like a puppy should be and trying to mount them from the side to show his ability to be dominant... at five months old. Fortunately, these were easy going dogs. Later he laid in my arms and I watched his eyes roll into the back of his head, he was so relaxed with me. I love when that happens.
A lot of time is being spent with Mo. I'm giving myself this time, allowing it so he can learn quickly to feel secure and trust me. Mo must learn what to do, how to be with me personally and in the world. In just eight hours time, Mo has learned to chase trucks, guinea hens, people, dig deep for ants and chew up anything and everything. Mo now sleeps at night outside his cage and in the room with me, after six nights. Last night he went into the cage to sleep. Probably because he had a choice. He is used to being in there. It is a den for him. I keep the door open. When he wakes up in the mornings he jumps into bed with me to get me going, ugh... although part of me wants this. Mo makes for a great alarm clock.
There has been three small instances of resistance from Mo to date. I am realizing how I create them for and in him. I am responsible. Mo, in a self centered mode of play, wild abandonment, wanting attention or any other agenda will go and for example... pull a towel out of the bathroom and into the living room to chew apart. I will say, "no" and put it back. He will go again and get it with or without me around and as soon as I see... I will repeat my actions and commands stronger. "Stronger" is the key word... If Mo is not in a mode to listen and obey... my "Stronger" just creates "Stronger" in him... Stronger resistance to my command and desire for obedience. A cycle of stronger and stronger resistance begins to grow in both of us... not good. The solution was to redirect his energy and play with him for just a few minutes chasing him around the room. After I helped him to release some energy with a spirit of fun, friendship and respect (this journeys mission)... he jumped up on the sofa and gave me a break to write this blog.
My past thinking... "if I give him any positive attention when he does something wrong or something that I don't want him to do... he will begin to always do something wrong or what I don't want him to do to get attention." This is not true, it is not fact. The key word is "Redirect" with positive attention. I must catch him in the act of doing whatever is undesirable... and then have some patience, take just a few minutes to show him something better. Consistency is everything. If I show him negative energy he will create negative energy. If I resist his behavior he will resist my behavior. If I show him "my kind of play" he will show me "my kind of play". If I show him positive energy he will create positive energy, a positive response. Of course if I am lacking in patience then I just put him on his leash or in his cage for a time out. When I need to take a shower and don't want him loose and getting into everything I just pull up the bathroom rug, bring him into the bathroom with me and close the door have him wait until I am done and can keep a better eye on him.
Mo waiting for me in the truck today with the window open while I did errands in different stores. What a great guy! He sat on the Traveling Piano for the fourth day. As I upload and do my internet work wherever... the ground has been too cold for Mo to lay on. Now I take his rug from on top of the piano and he uses it on the ground next to me while I work. He gets cold easy and its not even cold out!