Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oji Update

Oji, our new dog, continues to be a wonderful addition to our family. He's just the perfect dog for us.

Over the past two weeks that we've had him, his personality has emerged as a laid back pup, with occasional outbursts of exuberance. We're still not encouraging those, as he's still working through the heartworm treatment. One more dose, and he's all done, though. We'll give him a couple of days afterward before we start getting too active with him, such as running or taking him on long walks. So far, we've been content to let him out in the backyard for short periods, and take him on a quick loop around the block.

When he gets excited, he gets down in the puppy pose, front legs outstretched, and his butt in the air. He's really cute when he gets like that, and if you start grabbing at his feet, he'll try to gently nip at you. We're working on disassociating biting with play, though.

He still sits and lays down on command, and we're working on shaking hands. He sometimes gets it, but most times doesn't. We've also put up some jingle bells by the back door, and are working with him to nudge them when he wants to go out. We think he's getting the hang of that, as he's jingled a few times, apparently on purpose. Maybe, though, he's just training us.

The only "bad' behavior, and I hesitate to call it truly "bad," is that he doesn't really enjoy going in his crate so much. We've been putting him in it while we go to work, and making a point to come home for lunch to let him out for a half hour or so. Well, he knows when it looks like we're getting ready to leave, and doesn't fall for the "Come here, Oji! I have a treat for you!" any more. He'll head for the front door, and when I try to lead him back to the crate, he'll sit, and dig in his heels to resist being moved. He has to be nudged at least a bit to get into the crate, and bribed with a treat or two. Once he's in, he's fine. And of course, he's happy to get out when we come home.

Friday after lunch, we were running a bit late, so we took a chance and left him out. Fearing the worst upon our arrival home, we were pleasantly surprised to find nothing amiss. He was waiting at the front door for us, and was super excited to see us, but there was no damage, poops, chewed shoes, or anything else wrong with the house.

He did get out the front door yesterday as we were checking the mail, and wandered next door for a sniff. He was waiting for me though, as I came up with his leash, and brought him back home.

His daily routine while we are home is to follow us around and just lay at our feet wherever we are. He's just under the desk as I type this now. He still doesn't bark much, though sometimes he does in his dreams. We'll wake up to quiet "Woof! Woof!" and look over to see him kicking and apparently chasing something in his sleep. It's cute. The other day, I did catch him barking at the neighbor dog (an annoying dalmatian) though; and I was so proud the day that he exerted his masculinity by peeing on the fence in the exact spot where the dalmatian was on the other side, and then kicking dirt at him. That's my boy!

Mostly, he sits in front of the window and watches the world go by. He'll whine a little bit when the neighbors' dogs (2 Yorkies, 1 Chihuahuas, a Vizsla, and a Lab) are out, but that's about it. We're looking forward to him being healthy enough to get out and play with them...they're nice dogs (well, the bigger ones anyway).

So, he's settling in, and feeling more and more at home every day. He's just the best dog...affectionate, obedient (mostly), quiet, calm, and absolutely adorable. Who couldn't love this face?

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