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Claire 05-16-2011 06:11 AM

Thought you might like an update. Rosebud is turning into a great pet. I still haven't had the nerve to buy her a new crate, so someone might turn me in for doggie abuse for the size of her crate (not really). The issues I thought would be problems just haven't. Her inside accidents have been so minimal as to be not a problem. I bought new kitchen rugs last week and she peed on one, the only "accident" (like THAT was an accident, I think just marking her territory)(also made me realize what a good buy the rug was! Cleaned like a dream). I need to find a bell for her, but generally she sits in front of one of us and stares us down when she needs to go out!

The next test will be when we start to air condition. We do not have central, so to keep the bedroom cool enough to sleep in we have to close the door. We usually don't run the window a/c unit downstairs at night, but that will be too hot for where we have her crate.

Our big deal has been that she wants to dig up anything I plant. Lots of chicken wire is going into this year's garden!

Because I write an occasional column for our local small town weekly paper, she's become a bit of a small-town celebrity, with people stopping me and asking how she's doing. I poured my heart out in one column about her, and got a lot of support and help.

I love it that my main mail carrier said, "So you named your dog after a sled?" Only one other person in town "got" it!

We now have our routines. I tend to wake very early (yes, insomnia). I put her out, be it 3 a.m. or 7 a.m. or any time in between. Give her a bit of love and a treat, then she runs up and jumps into bed with my husband. We live near a church that has bells that chime at 8 a.m. 6 days/wk. That's her signal to have breakfast. She watches husband dress, etc., then he feeds her. This has been a big discipline thing, and it is perfect. She has to sit while he pours her a bowl of food. Then she runs up to where I am usually sitting, reading a book, and asks for attention. Belly rubs, etc. Then a big burp, and it's time to go out and run and potty.

I cannot reinforce enough the advice given to me here and other places about walking her sorry ass off. I have a yard she can, and does, run in insanely. But the bond and discipline of walking on a leash cannot be under-estimated. We bought a no-choke collar from Orvis, and she sees it and sits and helps you put it on. Unless it is raining, she gets a minimum of one walk a day.

Hey, it keeps us on our toes as well.

Thanks for all the help with her. If I knew how to post a photo I would. She looks like a small German Short Hair Pointer.

Selkie 05-16-2011 06:39 AM

I think it's wonderful you have a shelter dog and that it's working out for you, turning Rosebud into a behaved member of your family.

I also have a shelter dog, Freckles, a special needs dog. He and seven of his littermates were dumped along the roadside when he was about 8 weeks old when I got him. He's now a little over one year old. Freckles is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel... and he's deaf.

We have a vocabulary of nine (9) hand signals (words) that allow me to communicate any of the necessary commands and ideas we regularly encounter, and he has three words he uses to talk to me.

He's a great companion, but can still be a brat at times just as any dog can. The difference from many other dogs is that being deaf he's more visually attentive.

Anyway, my only suggestion to you is train Rosebud to have good manners. They will make her all the more pleasant to have around.

Claire 05-16-2011 01:55 PM

Selkie, I was quite surprised when I realized one of my previous dogs (a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix) was totally deaf (old age). Simply because I didn't realize how much I use my hands when talking to my animals. I really didn't know she was deaf until something happened and I told hubby I don't think she can hear us. Nope. To some degree she was following her daughter who was responding to my calls, but then I realized that I point and wave, etc, quite a bit. Knowing that elderly dogs do lose their hearing, I'm making a point of doing it with Rosebud.

Another hint for others that I just did by accident (?) was that she started shedding like crazy. My previous animals weren't real big shedders. So I went and bought a brush for the purpose. Started by just running it over her once or twice when she jumps up on me. Then yesterday I took her out for a full body brushing. In the first two or three swipes (very gentle) she tried to nip the brush. I just let her gnaw on it a bit. By this morning, a nice, sunny, if cool, day, I picked her up (she really doesn't like to be picked up) and started brushing her. It was her second day of a full brushing and well, she's my love. I cannot believe how much brushing her calms her. So it is going to be a part of our routine for awhile. I've never had a dog or cat that really needed to be brushed, and was sure she'd hate it, and she loves it. Her hyper behavior just goes away with a little brushing. Whoa! Can it get any easier than that?

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