We just had a small but sudden earthquake. 3.6 magnitude. This is California after all. I have heard that animals sometimes get restless before earthquakes. Clearly Shelby is not going to be a good early warning system for the ground shaking. Her reaction, depicted above, was to "remain calm." And by that, I mean she kept on sleeping.
(Apparently, she sees ghosts, but doesn't forsee earthquakes.)
The curious pug
As Shelby gets a little older and a bit more confident of her surroundings, new behaviors have emerged. This might be a function of height, but she likes to check out cars driving by the window. Actually, she's quite alert, bordering on nosy.
She's also more vocal. Barking at house noises, and alerting us when someone is at the door. It's not a yappy bark. It's also not a malicious bark. And it doesn't happen very often, so it's kind of cute.
You meet lots of people when you walk a pug. In fact, you pretty much meet whoever your pug wants to meet. On this particular trip, we met some nice Chinese ladies. However there have been other trips were Shelby's taste in company was not so pleasant. I didn't say you always meet nice people :P
Shelby's Vet visit
This was the third and final puppy trip to the vet. Shelby recieved a distemper and rabies shot. We think she was a little distraught, since she didn't eat treats that were offered. Her nose was a little runny, and she seemed a bit tired afterwards, but she was fine once we got home.
We got Frontline and Heartguard from the vet. Heartguard for heartworms. For flea control, we had the choice of Sentinel and Frontline. The vet recommended Frontline saying that it kills fleas and ticks that are on the dog. Sentinel focuses on sterilizing existing fleas and ticks, but doesn't kill them.
Then came a discussion about when is the best time to spay Shelby. Kinda an emotional decision. Shelby would be a great mom, and I know people to give the puppies to, so that each would have a good home. But there's a risk to Shelby's health, and of course there's always the argument that there are plenty of homeless pups, and why bring more into the world. I have heard two different opinions about the right age to spay: before their first period, and after. Shelby's vet recommends spaying before her first period, as it radically reduces the chance of cancer later in life. He did say that some people have noticed a greater incidence of incontinence when a pup is spayed that young, but he still recommends it because incontinence is not lethal, and is easily treatable.
I'm sure lots of people have lot of opinions, and perhaps even vet's differ on the subject. I need some time to digest the information.
Mi casa es su toilet
Shelby peed on the bed. This is the third time she's left a gift on the bed. Everytime it was while I wasn't looking, usually when I leave for just a minute or so. Though the automatic response is to think it's a vindictive poo/pee, after some Web research we've narrowed Shelby's motives to these possibilities.
3. Separation Anxiety
I highly doubt that Shelby has dominance issue.
It could be stress. Shelby usually messes up when someting odd has happened that particular day. For example, a puppy friend visits, or she is left alone for at least 3 hours.
However, I think it's most likely separation anxiety. Right before she pees on the bed, she makes the same little whimper as when I have to leave to run an errand. We are going to try a tip we found on the Internet. Make a suprise bag with goodies, and let Shelby smell it, and givie it to her when we leave. We shall see if this works.
The AKC & poisonous plants
Shelby officially has her papers from the AKC. Apparently she is the daughter of Daisy Lou and Sir Coffee Bean of Newton Court (good grief). As part of the membership, I get a magazine called "Family Dog." Kinda handy. Wish I had it when I first got Shelby. For the most part, we learned everything by reading it elsewhere, or the hard way.
Family Dog has a list of things that are poisonous to puppies. There's a lot. And some are quite common.
Cactus, dumbcane, mistletoe, philodendron, tobacco, poinsetta sap, azalea, daffodil flower bud, honeysuckle, hose chestnut, lily of the valley, morning glory, rhondodendron, rhubarb, skunk cabbage, tulip bulb, and wild mushrooms are poisonous to dogs. This is pretty disturbing since I know some of these plants are very common, but I don't recognize some of them, so I guess it's time to do some Botony research.
Also, I read in Dog Fancy magazine that anti-freeze is extremely poisonous to dogs, and even a little bit can kill. And unfortunately, anti-freeze tastes sweet. Anti-freeze is not typically available in the home, but it is present in some snowglobes, and sometimes in the garage. (It can drip from cars.)
Cleaning with Shelby
I clean a lot more, now that Shelby is around. Since she sweats through her paws, I find little paw prints all over the floor. She's a sloppy drinker, so there's water spots too. She likes to chew her dog litter, so there's bit of that on the floor. Plus she sheds, so regular vacuuming is a must. I figure that anyone who gets a dog and wants to maintain their standard on cleanliness will probably need clean twice as much. Or hire a cleaning service. I think maid services do charge more for pets, but the amount depends on the cleaning service, and how often they clean.
I mentioned earlier that Shelby's favorite chew toy is paper towels. This is what cleaning is like with Shelby around.
The first flea
I found a flea crawling around on Shelby. She promptly got the bath of her life. I basically bathed her until I saw a drowned flea, and I laundered her bedding in hot water. I figure she should wear the puppy flea color for a bit while to kill any flea eggs.
We've considered Advantage and perhaps Flea and Tick drops. If anyone has any feedback on the effectiveness vs. toxicity of each of these flea control methods, please speak up. I want her flea-free, but I don't want her sick because of it.
Two pugs or not two pugs
I have often heard that pugs are better in pairs. They can keep each other company, and it's not twice the work. We were awfully tempted to get Shelby's half-sister because of this.
Shelby's little puppy friend came over to play yesterday for about 5 hours. What ensued was the equivelent of a pug tornado throughout the house. (See photo album for proof.) I think the biggest issue with raising two pugs is that when I find a puddle of pee, I don't know who to scold. Last time her friend visited, Shelby was too excited and forgot she was house trained. I was not amused because she decided to forget, all over my bed. This time was much better, but I don't see how two pugs is not twice the work.
My extended family came over to visit Shelby for the first time this past weekend. They brought lots of treats, including Beggin' Strips (her favorite), Science Diet treats, and liver treats. I heard that pugs can potenitally be gassy, so I've been feeding her chicken and rice wet food combined with kibble. I notice that the more wet food she gets, the stinkier the gas. I also notice that the stinkier liver treats she got this weekend result in more stinkier gas. Fun fun. Seriously though, I read that pugs can be gassy, but it really hasn't been that noticible. I don't think Shelby has a flatulence issue.