THR is a "go"

I finally got the news last week that Jazz is a "go" for a total hip replacement. The only delay is in making sure the surgical hospital has the correct sized "machine" for the procedure. Jazz's x-ray will be sent in so they can take measurements to determine whether they have the correct equipment or need to rent one.

I am planning/hoping Jazz can undergo the surgery around mid-June. By the time she gets beyond the threat if infection, I'll be able to take her swimming to aid in rehabilitating her new hip.


Attention. An Introduction

With our beloved fur-friends there is not only a language barrier, there is also a species barrier. As the superior species, it is our job to reach out and bridge these barriers in order to form a bond with what will become a pet partner and team member. Establishing this connection and bond is not only rewarding for the handler, it is the cornerstone to all the things you'll teach the dog, the foundation to all the experiences you'll share.

In the dog world, eye contact is a dominant gesture. In our world, it is a form of communication and attention. We can teach our dog that eye contact has many meanings coming from a human. This can be taught at any stage of training and at any age. During any snuggle session with your dog, praise any eye contact the dog initiates with a generous amount of love and affection. Looking at you should always be rewarded. This is what I term as “soft eye contact” as your facial expression is soft, relaxed and pleasant, as well as your voice. Your energy calm and inviting.

Jazz showing good, confident attention.


Dogs and Vacuums

I recently answered a question on why dogs never seem to appreciate (or get used to) the dreaded vacuum cleaner. My answer seems to have struck a cord, and I'd like to share it:

Many years ago, I wondered why my dogs never seem to "get it" when it comes to running the vacuum cleaner. Although none of mine have ever attacked it, they never seem to learn to just stay in one spot and let you go about your work. I really wanted to know why this was. I starting observing my dogs when I vacuum, and I swear I've been "doing my time" on this subject while vacuuming for over 10 years, and I think I've got it.

It's obvious that the vacuum is big and it's loud. What's odd to the dog is that and you (the alpha pack member) are following this thing around hypnotically! You're calm as a cucumber following this creature around and it's really weird to your dog. In the pack hierarchy, a subordinate dog follows a more dominant dog (in every sense of the word). You are the dominant member of the pack. So, in this situation you should be acting dominant to this creature (the vacuum), but instead, you're following it around obediently while is screaming and spewing an offensive odor! This whole scenario makes absolutely no sense to your dog. This stinky, screaming creature sits in a closet, ignored, and you take it out and follow it like it's a God every now and then. And, it stinks. And, you don't seem to mind!

Your dog picks a safe place where he can observe this odd behavior of yours. Every time he does this, you eventually come around to where he is and sick this loud & annoying thing on him!


So, the dog moves to a new area, one that still smells right. An area that hasn't been run over by that thing! A *new* safe place where he can continue checking out your odd behavior. And there you come at him again with that vacuum!

This continues throughout the whole house - because he keeps moving to an area where it still "smells right". Sometimes a dog will eventually figure out that the vacuumed carpet is okay and learn to move over to the vacuumed side earlier in the process. But they still have to watch you follow this annoying thing around.......because........It's just too weird!

For the dog who attacks the vacuum, it's very clear to them that if you're not going to be the proper Alpha pack member and attack this thing, protecting everyone from it..... well, he'll be the hero and do it for you. Silly humans.

Now, the whole word knows what I'm thinking about while vacuuming.


Post Surgery

Not Jazz. Me! I had a bicycle accident last August. This was to repair a torn ligament in my left thumb from that accident. I had the surgery on April 1st. So this is "day two". The swelling is down as I'm able to wiggle my thumb a tiny bit, which is all it takes for it to hurt quite a bit!

As painful as it is, it's a welcome "good hurt" instead of the nagging mild ache of something broken and no longer working.

Jazz wasn't pleased with me the day of surgery. The odd odor of my wrapped hand/wrist bothered her. I'm sure it had that "hospital" chemical odor to it, which I would imagine her not liking very much as she really dislikes hand sanitizer. So, she was thrilled to have me come home but wasn't very snuggly. Snif.

Yesterday about mid-day I was sitting at the computer when Jazz came over, sat at my chair, looked up at me and wagged her tail vigorously. She had come around! I invited her into my lap where she lept quickly and threw her body against me. Someone was making up for lost time and it seemed to officially be "snuggle time".

After an afternoon of snuggling on the couch, she seems to have returned to being her old self. I guess that makes me okay! My follow up appointment is on the 10th. I expect the stitches to come out then.