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 πŸ™‚

Train ride on the way there!

Yay seaside πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ˜€ ❀

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One quick pootle as my partner drank his cider…

…then it was time to sleep all the way home πŸ™‚

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

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.

 

 

Tolly update, crate rest is over!

Keeping it short because I’ve been horribly ill from the moment I got up today.

Toller finally had her vet appt this afternoon and we got the best news ever, crate rest is over!

The vet said that Toller has recovered faster than any of them could have anticipated, and even from her vet appt a few weeks ago Toller has made more progress than expected. The vet said that Toller can now be put on the ground in the house for several minute bursts, then held for a while, and put down again.

Obviously she’s not to run madly or jump on and off furniture, but this will be huge for her πŸ™‚

It goes without saying we are very happy. Can’t wait until I’m well enough to play and interact with her on the floor.

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Oh and here is a cute video from yesterday, I think…we discovered she loves the spray bottle!!

A huge fun sunny hike!

**quick update**

Kasper stays. There’s no way we can rehome him, so we’re just going to have to find a routine that keeps everyone stimulated, tired and happy, whilst keeping Kasper separate from Tolly and Charley, and Toller separate from everyone XD

But I’m sure we can do it. We just need to adjust.

**/update**

Had a perfect walk with Sasha yesterdayΒ πŸ™‚

Also I’m considering suspending her out-the-house training, and focusing on at-home tasks for now. I’m too ill to train her outside the house, and it’s making me despair and really beat myself up. Going out purely to train her with the world, then getting seizures and crying because I’ve let her down and I’m never going to be able to manage it is stupid, especially when I actually don’t go ANYWHERE that Sasha couldn’t come as a pet.

So we’ll continue to improve tasks at home, but outdoors intense training will take a huge step back. I think we’ll both appreciate this! The tasks she performs at home are (these are tasks she already knows, not ones I want her to learn!):

  • Seizure alert
  • Seizure response (lying down in front of me so I can fall onto her)
  • Stim interruption
  • Panic alert
  • Interrupting when I’m accidentally finger twiddling, which often results in dislocations (this is caused by panic, psychosis, or even happens in some seizures!)

Yesterday we had our first official ‘no longer having to worry about training walk’, and it was GREAT because I had some seizures, and I didn’t have to feel like I’d ruined anything πŸ™‚

It made a huge bloody difference and was honestly one of our happiest walks!

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I think this is my favourite photo of me ever!

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Sasha was having SUCH A GOOD TIME zooming and splashing in the puddles, it was adorable! This video is possibly the best thing since sliced bread πŸ™‚

Someone got ever so slightly muddy XD

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And this is a perfect example of the goal with loose lead walking; the lead sits in a lovely ‘J’ shape (or reverse, whatever!)

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And I seem to be entering a more extreme hypomanic / leading-to-manic episode.

I’ve had a week battling insomnia and getting little sleep every night, well last night 5am came and went and I was still wide awake. It was then me and my partner both realised that it was the approach of summer causing this; lighter days ALWAYS trigger manic episodes, without fail, and there’s nothing I can bloody do about it.

5am me; incredibly bored, wide awake, with an exhausted body!

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Kasper’s 6th Gotcha: phase 1

My neck was causing pain all night so I didn’t sleep well, I finally woke at 6am with an agonising neck and a migraine.

My partner looked after me so well and fed me pain pills and gave me a massage, and a few hours later the pain had gone but I was having seizures…ugh!!

As soon as I was able to get out of bed we headed out on Kasper’s Gotcha walk, as I didn’t want to be too ill to manage it later. I’m actually really glad we headed out early, because it’s really warm out already and it was 8.30am – it’s gonna be a scorcher!

We took Kasper on one of his favourite walks and he had a ball – he was SO HAPPY!!! He really did have a blast and it made me so grateful we pushed through some pain and got him out πŸ™‚

Photos!

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Start of the walk – serious face and closed mouth!

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“Mum, I have to do TRAINING on my GOTCHA DAY?!”

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We made it to the beach!

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Yay, HAPPY DOG! ^__^

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It’s fine, that’s definitely not salt water you lummox…

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I LOVE THIS PHOTO!!!!

Walk fun!

Sasha makes an appearance here too! She’s getting better at walking nicely even with her biggest bro πŸ™‚

And back home, chilling. He still has paint in his ear hair XD

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Phase 2 will be lots of homemade treats and his one shop bought gift, which I was able to buy on Prime yesterday and it’s coming today!!

It’s a Busy Buddy Troog, and the medium cost just Β£8 with next day delivery. I trawled through lots of puzzle feeders and this one looks really cool! I think he’s gonna love it πŸ™‚

Lookit my flock!

Nope not chickens, just more button quail πŸ˜€

Ellie has been on her own for a few weeksΒ now, and seeing as we had no Chickadee that she could live with, it was time to bring in some new birds.

Usually I’d put the newbies through a 3 week quarantine, but Ellie’s not coping well alone at all and I know she’s healthy, so she’s not gonna pass anything onto the new quail – if they give her something, so be it, but I don’t think she’d survive another 3 weeks alone.

The trio we picked up consist of one beautiful dark boy with a white bib, that we have named Mo, and two beautiful girls that look like a mille fleur chicken – we have creatively named them Speckles and Freckles XD

I kind of didn’t know what to expect with introductions. The closest I’ve ever experienced is chicken intro’s, which are brutal, so naturally I was expecting some squabbling…but nope, these girls are totally chilled with each other and I haven’t seen so much as one single peck.

Well, at least not aggressively πŸ˜‰

The difference in Eleonor already is amazing.

Before all she would do was pace, and if you went near her cage she would shoot into her box or flap in a panic. She called for other quail about half a dozen times a day, and it was all rather tragic!

Quail are incredibly hard to find in this area, so we *really* lucked out finding these three at our local-ish pet shop πŸ™‚

Ellie moved from an 80cm rat cage into the 100cm Zoozone 2 cage, so her and her pals have more room. I am way happier with my little flock than I thought I would be, it’s so nice to watch their activities and see Ellie integrated into a family again!

Also, one of the newbies already laid! ^__^

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The girls have an announcement…

…they are getting a second big brother!

Kasper would announce this too, only he’s eating and let’s be honest he’s not excited anyway bwahaha πŸ™‚

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We think we found our dog!

We were actually talking to a Border Collie breeder, and were going to visit the last available boy in the litter and maybe reserve him (the litter was 3 weeks old) when we saw a dog up for adoption and something just clicked.

Charley is a 6 month old crossbreed and is about 1 week older than Sasha. He is described as lively, fun-loving, loves his cuddles and just sounds like a really great dog that will fit in well. He sounds like he will be the perfect hiking buddy and, with him to excite her, I’m hoping Sasha will start going crazy and playing on walks too!

Charley’s breed mix seems to be Border Collie, Labrador and some sort of bull breed. I’m hoping for some of that Collie energy and some Labrador food motivation to make training super fun!

You probably want to see a photo of the little dude, right? πŸ˜‰

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What a doll! ❀ If all goes to plan, this little lummox will be coming home TOMORROW!!!

We’ve been talking with his carers all day and have just been waiting for our friend to get in touch so we can figure out when he could drive my partner over (as Charley is several hours away from us), and he has no problem doing it tomorrow πŸ˜€

Our friend is so majorly excited too haha. He has fallen in love with Charley and his favourite thing is how muchΒ he looks like different breeds in different photos hehe.

Oh me and my partner are so excited!!!

The smallest of poultry!

I think?!

Let me introduce to you two new family members, Bates and Eleonor!

Bates on the left is a male (you can tell as he has a bib and red feathers near his bottom), and Eleonor is a female. Interestingly females aren’t always ‘dull’ colours, and can be just as beautiful as the males.

These two are Button / Chinese Painted Quail, which are the smallest variety of quail. They are so small that a pair can easily be kept in a 60cm hamster cage!!

Their previous owner could no longer keep them due to allergies, so we jumped at adopting them because…QUAIL!! We put them in a Critter’s Choice cage overnight…

(Do you see Eleonor bottom right?! πŸ˜€ What we love about Ellie is that she looks just like a mini version of a Japanese quail!!)

…and then today we shuffled lots of pets about so that the quail could have the biggest cage possible. This involved moving Satsu, our cornsnake, into the 80cm RUB our four female mice were in, moving the quail into the vivarium, and the mice into the Critter’s Choice!

Satsu’s new home:

Sia, Nia, Boomer and Carmella’s new home:

Then it was time to remove a pane of glass from the vivarium, and cut apart on old Kios hamster cage. We used the wire from the cage roof to cover the gap left in the vivarium, and now we have a perfect little quail cage with good air flow πŸ˜€

They love it so far and it’s so much fun watching them!

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I made them a little wooden shack-thing out of popsicle sticks and apple tree branches…much to my delight they both love it!

Welcome to the family little ones, thank you for making my heart happy πŸ™‚