Christmas has been weird this year.
We were festive before Halloween and through to November, but then things turned nasty-hard and we completely forgot that it was Christmas. Things have picked up slightly this past week or two, so we’ve finally started oping our advents 😀
Rey’s first ever advent chocolate 🙂
Because we have no idea how we’ll be doing one day from the next we’re celebrating and enjoying Christmas whenever we can, and this year we’ve decided to have several ‘mini Christmases’.
Basically if a day is going well, we’ll open a present or two and be super festive…because imagine if we held off Christmas until the 25th and then my mood was pants and everyone was stressed and miserable?! Plus I like the idea of celebrating Christmas five times instead of just once a year 😉
Now that Christmas isn’t so definite (there’s no rush to get gifts in by the 25th when you might not be celebrating Christmas then!) I’ve been leisurely finishing off shopping for the pups.
So far they have:
- A three bird Christmas dinner in a can
- a giant stuffed present for Raiden (it was the size of Rey when we bought it, I bet he’s twice the size of it now!)
- a stuffed small gingerbread man toy, probably for one of the adult pups to shred
And still to buy we have:
- A Mighty Mutts tough rubber ball (I think you can use it as a Kong style toy too and put kibble / treats / PB in it)
- A Boomer Snack Ball – another treat dispensing toy, similar to a few other puzzle feeders we have
- A Tux toy, which is like a really wobbly and oddly shaped Kong!
- I asked my Grandparents for a small and large Toppl as my presents this year. They can be fixed together and look like a really fun food dispensing toy!
- And we still need to buy the generic cheap “here dogs destroy these” toys and a dozen packets of treats 😀
**edit because I am an idiot and forgot to share something awesome**
Okay, so a few times a day we put Zoey in the kitchen (with her arsenal of food toys and chews) so we can have one-on-one time working with Rey in the living room…plus I think it’s just nice to leave Zoey somewhere else so she can further get used to being alone.
Anyway she was in the kitchen for over an hour yesterday because I was doing more intensive training with Raiden on and off (choosing to stay in his crate, with the hopes of teaching him ‘stay’, and also trying to reward him for calm behaviour in the hope of having him settle out of his crate!).
We could easily see Zoey through the net curtain on the kitchen door, and she did her usual:
–> 30 minutes emptying Kongs and kibble from the puzzle feeders
–> 10 minutes of anxiety, ie. sitting doing nothing and looking stressed
–> Then she reoriented herself, climbed onto the footstool and STARTED CHEWING HER NYLABONE!!!
Aaaagh! Okay, so it might not seem like a big deal at all to anybody else, but she actually calmed herself down and re-settled after being anxious – as far as we know this has not happened at all yet, although I guess as the recording programme broke so much it could have without us knowing.
Knowing Zoey *can* calm herself, and that she isn’t so stressed that she can’t settle and enjoy a chew toy, makes me feel so much better. In the next few days we’re going to up the amount of time she is left in our bedroom to see if she can do the same thing there!
Finally I’m posting some pics of our three gerbil boys to show a lovely blog I found written by two gerbils who look very similar to my Ed!
Ed’s our little runty boy and is bullied by the other two – not that he seems to mind. He just stands there and squeaks every now and then as he gets humped!!
And here’s Murphy, who’s a Burmese. Murphy’s quite lazy and very confident. When it’s feeding time instead of trying to find the food alongside his brothers Murphy will run out the open door and hop around our bathroom 🙂
And then we have Kenny!
Kenny is quite a simple boy…we often see him climb to the very top of the cage and chew the uppermost bars, even when we have just put exciting new toys in to chew! He’s also the gerbil who will dig in the corner of the cage, at the plastic, and not in the deep substrate box provided…ah well, so long as he’s happy!!