A bad day turns good!

My sleep is so out of whack atm and I really can’t work out why!

I have to fight for every bit of sleep as my body constantly tells me I’m awake, I usually sleep for 4 hours, lay in bed refusing to wake up for an hour or so, then manage another few. I’m panicking about it triggering a manic episode, but so far I think I’m okay.

Last night I got six hours of very broken sleep, and I woke up in the MOST foul mood.

I was up for a few hours and had a cluster of half a dozen simple partial seizures, after which I felt exhausted. I went back to bed, slept a few extra hours, and woke up feeling *great*!

Damn it body, why can’t you ever just work? 😛

Feeling good, we walked the other three dogs and then headed out with Mojo to the pub!

Taking Mojo places is such a different experience to taking Sasha to busy places. With Sasha you must hugely plan ahead, be prepared to tell people to back away from her, and always be scouring ahead for things she may be afraid of. With Mojo you don’t have to worry; you get to enjoy him enjoying himself, and if by fluke anything did go wrong, he can be picked up!

He was SUPER at the pub 🙂

Next door are the two aggressive Labs by the play park. Them and the Terrier were barking just after we arrived. We were on the other side of the wall to them, but the barking was still clearly audible. Guess who didn’t react to them AT ALL?! I was so damn impressed!

I managed to fish out my phone and catch some barking on video:

Mojo claimed the beer garden as his own and enjoyed bombing about.

As we ate he sat by me on the bench and, for a young Terrier puppy, showed amazingly good impulse control. He was rewarded every 5-20 seconds.

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He found lots of treasures (an old shoelace, a stick, and some litter!), and he offered a ton of sits! He didn’t have to be on lead once 🙂

Apple crumble!

At some point a group of four adults and a very young toddler (I wouldn’t guess he was even 3 yet) came to the veranda where we were sat. They were loudly telling their kid about the “doggy” he would get to play with, and I was like FUCK THAT…what parent tells their toddler, who they’re letting walk significantly far ahead, to GO GREET AN UNKNOWN DOG?!?

Hell no.

So I scooped Mojo up, and we began gathering our drinks etc to go sit somewhere else, because they were clearly stoopid. The veranda is very small and them being there would have ruined the meal. Thankfully they weren’t eating, they’d climbed up to look at the view and left within a few minutes.

On our way back home we did a little confidence building in the play park. This thing spins! 🙂

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Puppy reactivity & seaside trip!

Mojo is this awesome dog who has been a dream to socialise and train, other than one thing…

He HATES other dogs :/

This goes way beyond normal puppy unease, and is true fear. I can only imagine it’s due to his first home, as there was definitely at least one other dog in the house with him, and the dog/s were completely unsupervised (hence why he came to us, because he was having continuous accidents and things were been destroyed!).

Mojo is doing heaps better with other dogs after weeks of training, but at 15 weeks old he still can’t meet an unknown dog as he’s too scared.

If I know the dog won’t run over to him (maybe the other dog is on lead, or only interested in fetch) Mojo can be on the ground, and we will work on LAT, engage disengage, and general confidence boosting behaviour.

If there is a dog within about 8 feet, Mojo will climb onto my lap for safety. He might do little huffs, but usually he’s happy to sit and watch as I feed treats.

Anything closer than 4ft is in the danger zone. Mojo will back off my lap, growl, and try move away from the dog.

Previously he barked at all dogs, regardless of distance, and trembled. So progress has certainly been made. I can now carry him whilst other dogs are by my feet, and he will do engage disengage. It’s VERY rare he barks in my arms now, unless the other dog is reacting.

The main issue is that he’s 15 weeks old as of this Monday, and not met any strange dogs. I struggled with the idea of ‘throwing him in at the deep end’ and forcing him to meet dogs on walks before his socialisation window closed, but let’s be honest, flooding would just set him up for further failure and much future fear.

So I guess we’ll go slow and steady, and I’ll accept that he will most likely always be reactive, may never be able to meet unknown dogs well, but we can get him more confident around dogs and show him they’re not scary.

If there were ANY decent puppy/training classes nearby, I would give that a shot. Classes can actually be great for reactive dogs as long as they’re well planned, and it could really help him…unfortunately the classes near to us are TERRIBLE. About as bad as it gets. And I’ve not found good classes within 30 miles.

So I can’t go that route and I also don’t know anybody who has a dog that would be good to train around, and even if I did I doubt the owner would understand / help.

Just yesterday there was an interfering old busybody walking two dogs on the beach, one ‘not very nice’ and one supposedly friendly.

After I explained Mojo was a rescue and scared of dogs, she asked “Shall I hold my dog’s bum up to your dog so he can smell it?” (this as Mojo is backing off my lap growling at her dog a few feet away).

Me: *trying to hide a smile at this idea* No thanks, he’s fine just watching for now. He’s learning dogs aren’t scary, so we can’t throw too much at him.

Woman: It’s best if you don’t baby him though, you know. Isn’t it? You can’t treat him like a baby.

Me: (silently) Oh she’s one of those morons. Well, time to completely ignore her

Woman: It’s probably best if you just put him on the ground, stand up, and just ignore him. That’ll be the best for him. So he learns his place. You should probably do that.

Me: *continues to not even look at her whilst reassuring and treating Mojo, who’s doing really well* XD

Eventually she walked off. What an idiot.

Other than that, and some people stupidly interacting with Mojo (saying “oh naughty me, I’m distracting you from training aren’t I!” and reaching for his head when Mojo was focusing on me, a woman who grabbed at his head as she walked past and just carried on walking, etc etc) we had a really nice day 🙂

Train ride on the way there!

Yay seaside 😀

Mojo’s first experience of a proper beach – of course he loved it!!

So much to sniff, so many new things to experience! Seaweed was a huge hit 😀

We walked along the beach and all of a sudden this end-of-the-world siren started. It was SO LOUD!! We were all a little bit freaked, I scooped Mojo up and cuddled him, he was dealing well with it, nobody else seemed panicked…turns out it was to announce the bloody tide coming in!! Really?!

It was at this point we met the stupid woman with the two Lhasa’s. Once they’d gone there was a Lab playing fetch ahead, clearly with no interest in me or Mojo, and so I sat the little guy down and we did some engage disengage.

We couldn’t get a photo fast enough to get the Lab in it (two throws of a ball from the slipway was apparently enough for the dog, then it was back into the car), but you can see Mojo volunteering focus and the edge of the slipway where the Lab was running from!

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After beach fun and saying hello to some people, we carried Mojo around a few shops and then we sat outside whilst my partner ran in to get some drinks and some fish and chips. We found half of a bird’s egg that had hatched, and Mojo decided it was very nice to chew on and mostly eat 😛

We then pootled back to the train station, and just behind there’s two picnic benches so we sat and ate our grub!

Before eating:

After I’d finished eating hahaha!

Working on him tucking out the way in small spaces 😀 ❤

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One quick pootle as my partner drank his cider…

…then it was time to sleep all the way home 🙂

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I was utterly out of spoons after this trip. The rest of the night was spent feeling crummy and napping 😛

I had someone comment on FB asking why Mojo was the only one who got the seaside trip, so though I may as well preempt that and explain here too!

Sasha is too fearful; she couldn’t manage the train journeys and wouldn’t enjoy walking through the small town. Kasper is slightly too nervy, but also just too wild and frantic. And Tolly would get tired very quickly, doesn’t like riding trains or buses, and missed out on so much socialisation it would all be a bit much for her.

 

 

Mojo is a bloody legend

This dog is motivating me so much!!

Having Sasha as a puppy (and an adolescent hahaha!) who doesn’t want to train or play has been really tough on me. I struggled, and I do still struggle. She just is not a dog that thrives on training, and she’s not a “me” dog at all.

Enter Mojo, this highly food motivated pup who loves nothing more than interacting with me and learning new things…THIS IS THE DOG OF MY DREAMS!!!!

The difference between Mojo and Sasha is night and day, and I also feel huge relief and faith restored in my ability as a dog trainer haha! I say that jokily, but it’s true. Dog training is one of the few hobbies I am still well enough to do, and Sasha made me lose a lot of confidence…then along comes a loves-to-learn mutt puppy, and we click instantly!

I taught him ‘pressure’ 🙂

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Every outing with him is so fab I want to post about it, so you’ll have to excuse all these training posts 😉

Today we walked up through town to the canal. On the way up we did some loose lead walking, and then two Labradors started barking at Mojo from a car about 8ft ahead of us.

Mojo is reactive to dogs and dogs barking. At 9 weeks old he would start yappy-screaming every time he heard or saw a dog, and I’ve worked hard on this for the last 5 weeks. He’s gotten so much better, to the point where he did wonderful engage disengage and didn’t react to these two at all 🙂

Our first stop was the canal; this was to further work on confidence around other dogs, maybe say hi to some, and to experience new things.

Unfortunately Mojo was KNACKERED due to having one of his whingey “I don’t need to sleep” nights, and so after literally two minutes walking he insisted on being carried 😛

He did see some dogs from my arms though, and was curious and not at all reactive, which was awesome to see!

After leaving the canal we went to the supermarket, and I expected Mojo to sleep whilst my partner went and grabbed some shopping – but nope! To Mojo, the supermarket = training, and he wanted to work!

He did some absolutely fantastic training, he offered so much focus, so many sits! He even ignored people that walked LESS THAN A FOOT FROM HIM and cooed at him, and he *still* chose to train rather than go say hi!! As you can see the lead was slack, I didn’t stop him at all, it was *his* choice 😀

A few times when I released him to go say hi, he would rush over all giddy and waggy-tailed, say hi and then hurry back to sit again hahaha!

Great day for socialisation though. On the canal he saw ducks for the first time, watched other dogs, and saw a barge go past. Outside the supermarket he focused around people of all ages and trolleys, and he got to greet half a dozen new people 🙂

And from a wet walk yesterday – note, it wasn’t raining, the grass was just wet!!!

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And finally, a video of a giant puppy (Sasha) playing with a tiny puppy (Mojo)!

Training days – nails & socialisation

We’ve had some great training successes recently 🙂

Firstly, KASPER’S NAILS ARE AT A NORMAL LENGTH!!

Up until he was about three, Kasper kept his nails short on walks, but as we had to tone his walks down, they grew longer. I spent a lot of time with Boo doing crucial training (fears, recall, resource guarding etc), so nails fell out of the picture.

When I did get around to working on handling, as with everything I had to take it extremely slowly. Kasper had a huge fear of having his feet touched, and it took over two years to get to the point where I could use a clipper on them.

But now here we are, not only can I comfortably use a clipper AND a dremel on Kasper’s nails, but I’m able to do sessions long/often enough that we’re pushing back the length 😀 😀 😀

Finally, his nails are at a length where vets and most dog owners wouldn’t even glance at them! I still want to get a decent amount off them, obviously, but they look SO MUCH BETTER than they ever have these last three years!

This was his right foot after yesterday’s session, before I trimmed them further

And his left paw after today’s session!!

Yay Boo!

As for Mojo, he excelled a trip to the supermarket yesterday and it was HEAVING!!

We worked on loose lead walking, focus, and exposure to crowds, trolleys, kids, all sorts! He was really wonderful, he reacted once to some annoying brat running about making truly bizarre growly noises, but other than that he was as close to perfect as he could have been 🙂

An adventure for all!

My seizures are much improved to what they once were.

Whilst I still have clusters, odd behaviour, fogginess, constant memory loss etc, I now only have 9-12 seizures a day on average (although this last week it’s been even lower, about 6!!). My highest recorded seizure count for the day in the past three weeks was 15; 6 months ago I was averaging 20-25 seizures a day, and my highest on record was 35!!

CBD oil works guys 😉

Anyway. Because I’m doing so much better, today we decided to go into town. My anxiety was going to be sky high because I haven’t done something like that in so long, so we took Mojo with us (I always do so much better when I have a dog to focus on, and Sasha’s way too fearful to manage anything like that).

Omg guys Mojo was INCREDIBLE!!!

Throughout the whole day he had one moment of unease, which was when the train was pulling in – it was moving at snail’s pace, as they always do in this area, and it was screeching the entire way.

Other than that he was totally at ease on the train itself (his first train ride!), in a heaving city centre, being carried around a pet shop, then walking back and getting the bus home. He is AMAZING 😀

Train

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Loose lead walking around a city, curiously sniffing everything, no fear of the crowds or noise…he called away from things every time I asked, and held sit stays no problem as people walked past!

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Wandering past the castle

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We made it to the pet shop on the outskirts of the city and had great fun perusing the pets and choosing a new kidlet. I was torn between one of two snakes (Kenyan Sand Boas, which I’ve fallen madly in love with recently, or an African House Snake) OR a Syrian hamster.

In the end we opted for the Kenyan Sand Boa, because she was just too cute 🙂

I’m gonna do a ‘herp’ post soon because we have some lovely herps atm (reptiles/amphibians), so I’ll deviate from dogs for a day.

After the shop it was another walk back through the city centre and then waiting in a PACKED bus station. I’m talking hundreds of people, and Mojo just slept in my arms hahaha!!

And his first bus ride took us right back to our house 🙂

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I don’t know many 14 week old puppies that would do so well. None of my other pups have been so robust or able to focus around such busyness, so that was really cool to see, and Sasha couldn’t cope with half of that now hahaha!!

He was pooped for a good few hours afterwards 😉

And this was a fab day for me as well as Mojo; my first train ride in about 6 months, and my first time into the city in 12-18+ months. I had two small seizures, but everything else was managed successfully. Woop!

Rainy days

Today has been a crummy day, and the weather matched!

This morning we headed out on a walk with Sasha and Mojie, with Mojo in the Ruffwear Webmaster harness. He was uneasy with this at first because of the dangling straps at the side, but then I realised there were loops where you could hook them and he was fine afterwards.

He looked adorable in it!

Unfortunately the weather was so grim he had to get taken back early, but we had a decent walk with Sasha.

We had to break through a wall of cows

Sasha was really good walking past a large number of cows in close proximity though.

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I had a bad episode of rage today. It prompted my partner to look into ‘seizure rage’, and he discovered that that’s not actually what I seem to have, but in fact it fits exactly to Episodic Dyscontrol Syndrome. This ties into seizures, and is where the person is powerless to uncontrollable rage. They tend to throw things and lash out violently, and afterwards (because it’s not who they are at all) the sufferer is often crippled with guilt. This is very much me!

EDS tends to be directed at one significant person, and the episodes are triggered by something that might be mildly annoying but the reaction seems to be way OTT. Seizure rage is anger at a much lesser extent, and isn’t usually directed at anyone in particular.

Sasha was amazing during the episode today BTW. It was truly exceptional.

When I was laying down yelling at my partner, she came and nose booped me, then lay next to me staring at me. When I stood up and was lashing out, Sasha jumped up at me to ask for attention / play, then did an auto block (standing in front of me) – this is hugely helpful, it gets my focus off my partner and I’m able to focus on giving Sasha love.

When I turned on my partner again, Sasha left the block to jump at me, before again moving into a block. It was honestly AMAZING.

After the episode was over I was exhausted. That’s when my partner did some research into seizure rage, and we discovered EDS.

We did some training – enjoy Mojo’s cute but fairly pointless trick!

Spud came out and wrestled. Everyone enjoyed puzzle feeders. We played some more.

This evening I tried Spud’s old coat on Mojo (she was wearing this right up until her accident at 5 months) and it fits him! At 14 weeks I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be wearing it, but we’ll see.

This is the only harness he wears totally happily on lead out on walks. The EzyDog, step in and his collar all result in frequent stops and mad itching, and the Ruffwear to a lesser extent. This bomber jacket also meant that he was happier out in the wind and the rain 🙂

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Plus, as ever, it was cuteness overload 😉

Once we got back there was time for a little more puppy play / madness / cuteness…

And then it was time for everyone to sleep.

2.5 weeks after surgery

Tolly now has a bare nub 😀

She’s even growing adorable ginger peach fuzz over her stump already hahaha!

Please ignore those sad puppy dog eyes. She *really* wanted to go play with her big sister and I was making her pose for nub photos XD ❤

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Wrestling with Mojo this morning

Look at that little nub go!!! XD

I was kinda worried how I would feel, seeing it bare 24/7. I thought I’d be grossed out, or sad every time I saw it…I actually find that little stump adorable, because it’s a part of Tolly! And seeing it wobble about is so cute!! ❤

You honestly wouldn’t believe how smoothe her recovery has been. She is incredibly agile already, and we can see her stamina improving.

She didn’t actually need me to hold the buffalo horn here, I was just doing it so that we had a better shot of her nub!