October 25, 2013

Playing Catch-Up

Kas has now been at home for 4 weeks--hard to believe--the time is just flying by. Our honeymoon lasted a full 48 hours before he started to feel comfortable enough to express the naughty little side of his personality. Coffee grounds on the couch were only the first quirky clues about who he truly is...

On the upside, he and Poppy are becoming inseparable mates. Wrestling and playing starts when the sun comes up. Thump, bump, scramble, thump, bump... The only time the pair seems to quiet down is at bedtime. Lights-out seems to be universal signal for quiet, thank goodness!

Their sleeping habits are sometimes sweet and sometimes quite amusing.

Once in a while, Jimmy gets into the mix, although he firmly insists on remaining outside the puppy pile.

I was tickled to note Kasbah got his very own post on Bad Rap's blog last week. Thanks, Donna!

We continue attending the weekly Pit Ed classes in Berkeley which has it's ups and downs. This past week it was mostly down. The big guy just refused to cooperate throughout most of class time. Lying down on the job was the order of the day until Donna took his leash after class and brought out the smelly salmon treats Kasbah seems to relish. Up he came and performed like it was no big deal. Huh?

So, of course, my first thought was "Am I doing something wrong? Where's the bond that was supposed to be developing between us? Does he love Donna and Tim more than he loves me?" Over-thinking and self-doubting again?  Guilty on all counts.

October 19, 2013

Adjustment, Adjustment, Adjustment

September 30

I still had a dilemma about leaving Kasbah at home while I went to work. The big crate's screws were missing and the tie-down I installed for Poppy last year allowed him access (read: chew opportunity) to the couch. What to do? Take him to work, of course. Pops and Jim were not happy to be left behind but 3 dogs in the office were more than I could reasonably manage and still get any work done. He was a very good boy until the end of the day when he barked at my boss.

Donna from Bad Rap supplied the answer to my problem -- zip ties!  (What would the world be like without duct tape and zip ties?) The crate was complete and in went Kas for the night with a tasty bribe, and no accidents the following morning.

Of course, Kasbah found another, better way to be naughty.

October 12, 2013

Big Baby Steps...

September 21

Class day! Oh, phooey. The sky was gray and it was pouring rain at 9:00 a.m. in Richmond. Pit Ed class started in an hour and a half. A quick email exchange confirmed that class would be held under an overpass because so many folks had come out to attend. No matter. I like the rain, so the gear got packed up and off I went to work a dog that I'd only met the day before.

Outside of balking at wind-driven rain and biting at his leash, my experience with Kasbah was pretty positive. His antics at the Barn have won him a place in the hearts of both staff and volunteers. The class instructor shared a story about Kas having stolen her cell phone and running around the barn yard playing "keep away." Really? Oh, my... what did he have in store for me?

Next step: home visit.

September 28

Today is the day I'll be bringing Kasbah home! I spent the week tidying up (read: removing all items from reachable surfaces that could be tempting chew toys), cleaning the back yard, and washing bedding so everything would be ready for my house guest.

Kas did well at class with only a slight distraction which was entirely my fault--locked my keys in the car. (Oh, how embarrassing!) A nice man from the Toyota collision repair center rescued me and Pops, Kas and I went back to class and then was time to go home...

The backyard was our first stop out of the car.

Kas spent a good while checking out the surrounds, sniffing every where, and played with Poppy for a long time as Jimmy refereed.

So far, so good. Now for the house...

October 06, 2013

Three dogs... Again!

This past summer, I lost a good friend. He was a 70 pound, chocolate and cinnamon brindled, mixed breed dog named CJ. Though he was only with me for a year, his passing left a huge energy sink in my life and home. Three weeks later, Oliver, my beloved cat died unexpectedly... Heartbroken doesn't even come close to describing the grief and emptiness I felt in the ensuing months.

My heart yearned for Oliver's soft, furry body curled up on my lap, the way his purr started with the slightest touch, how he hijacked the dogs' beds, and the signature meow which earned him the title of "charming loud mouth." Finding another cat who touched me in the same way Oliver did would take time and, since I waited 17 years for him to come into  my life, I could wait a little longer for a purr-buddy. Focusing on my dogs would keep me plenty busy in the meantime.

Kasbah, the clown on left, Bonnie on right.
Well, life is weird. It takes unexpected twists and turns you can't anticipate.  Sometimes something as benign as a photograph is responsible for catalyzing changes in the way you feel and think, and that's what this image did to my (ahem) firm decision to keep a 2 dog family.

A little back story first: I became a fan and supporter of Bad Rap when I became Poppy's guardian two years ago. Thanks to the resources on their web site and their Pit Ed classes, I've learned a lot about being a better dog handler and guardian. I "liked" the Bad Rap page on Facebook and peruse their orphan gallery every so often to see the new dogs they're working with and congratulate them on successful adoptions. Occasionally a cute face or goofy posture piques my curiosity and I take a closer look. Yum Yum. Olive. Diamond. Star. Smudge. Harley Quinn. Harpo Barx... Many dogs -- all beautiful, unique, lovable, and adorable pups but no heart string-pulling until I saw Kasbah on their FB page.