We're trying a new brand of litter. I like this litter better primarily because it doesn't crumble. It's a lot easier to scoop out of the box. Shelby likes this litter better too....for eating. It's the trouble with paper-based litter. Shelby loves chewing on paper. Correcting this behavior is going to require some digilence on our part. She seems to be getting the message that eating her litter is inappropriate, but that doesn't mean she won't try to sneak a bit while we're not looking.
The gift of gag
I read once in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, that what separates us from the animals is not our ability to accessorize, but our ability to gag. Animals don't seem to have a concept of grossness. And Shelby is no exception. Shelby is a dog, with simple dog desires, and disgusting dog manners. Here's a little video of part of her morning routine. She scratches her ear with her back foot, sniffs the earwax, and then licks it off her paw. Yum.
I wonder if a dog inspired Bertie Bott's every flavor beans? Bertie's flavors include Earwax, as well as Soap, Earthworm, Dirt, Black Pepper, Sardine, Booger, Grass and even Vomit. Yum. Shelby's favorite.
What pugs put up with
I've finally lost it. I was taking sewing classes last spring, and haven't touched the sewing machine since classes ended in June. Recently, I decided I needed a brush up on my sewing skills. Steven was boycotting any sewing projects that involve him, and Shelby was always sitting at my feet. One thing led to another, and here we have photographic evidence of Shelby falling victim to one of my sewing experiments.
I think this just looks terrible on her. She looks like she's wearing a muu muu.
Steven however, was extremely amused, and had nothing but nice things to say about Shelby's dress. He said she looks like Donna Reed, and danced with her. However, he does maintain his boycott of sewing projects.
For anyone who is interested in sewing dog clothes, click the link below for more information.
I used Simplicity pattern number 9884, which includes pattern sizes to fit a dog up to 21.5inches in girth. The pattern includes 6 costume designs.
I made no modifications to the dress in the photos, which explains the poor fit. I think Shelby needs an inch more fabric behind her neck, a slightly smaller chest measurement, and some excess fabric removed from the armhole.
The greatest challenge for me is to figure out how to keep the clothing from sliding down her back everytime she sits down. The grain of her fur keeps the dress from coming back to rest at the base of her neck. Perhaps a silky lining is the answer, but that's more effort that I'm willing to invest right now.
We had a cold spell last week. Most people would laugh at 40ºF being cold, but I live in California, and for us, that's cold. I had the space heater on. I pulled Shelby away from it several times, but she kept coming back to it. I guess Shelby thinks 40º is cold too.
On the way home from work, I dropped by the local dog store, DogWyld. They are a pet boutique which just opened in downtown Pleasanton. The owner, Sabyl Myers, formerly worked at a vet's office, and is really nice. She showed me the new Irish knit sweaters that just came in. I bought it and put it on Shelby. Steven couldn't stop laughing.
Yesterday, my cousin gave Shelby a dog toothbrush. I read that dogs should have their teeth brushed at least once a week, and that chewing is no substitute for brushing. Darn. The last thing I wanted was another grooming routine that Shelby hates as much as nail clipping. Thus far, it's working out pretty well. Shelby enjoys it, since she thinks its a chew toy.
Transgressions on the bed
1. This was Shelby's preferred place of pee when she couldn't be with us. Most likely, one of use would be in the bathroom, getting ready for bed, and Shelby would hop on the bed and relieve herself. I tell you that there is only one thing more miserable than finding a puddle of pee on the bed...
2. And that would be a pile of poop. It's a very surreal image. Surely, there must be some kind of mistake. Number 2 in the photo indicates where Shelby has pooped on the bed. (Thankfully, not this particular bed.) This brings me to the reason that puppies are cute: they need to be. Because her cuteness was the only thing that saved her that night, while I was washing poop off my sheets at 11pm. Grrrrrr.
It may be a combination of separation anxiety and the need for attention that has in the past, made Shelby think it was a good idea to use our bed as a toilet. She was a much younger pug then, and could claim ignorance, or poor instructors (that would be us). We always had to ask ourselves, what we could've done to prevent it. Nowadays, it has become clear that Shelby is capable of intentionally "making a political statement." This brings us to point 3.
3. This is where Shelby sits when she feels she is being ignored. Right on the pillow. Luckily, no toilet activities have ocurred here, but there's nothing like the fresh scent of pug butt right where you lay your head, eh? Call it a sign of protest and perhaps disrespect.
So what's the core message here?
First, that Shelby is no longer allowed in the bedroom unsupervised. It has been many months since her last accident, but we just don't want to take any chances.
Secondly, that clean freaks, and those with expensive furniture, should consider raising a puppy with great care. (Although I must admit, that I may fall into the clean freak category, and through necessity, I got over it.)
Do dogs dream?
It sure seems like it. Steven and I have noticed a lot of paw twitching, and occasional woofing while she sleeps. When Shelby first came home, she would make sucking noises, as if she was nursing, while she slept.
I've mentioned earlier that Shelby sometimes sleeps with her eyes open. I finally caught it on video. Shelby's eyes are darting around. Assuming that dogs are like humans in this regard, Shelby must be dreaming. Click here to see the creepy video.
A bold sense of entitlement
Shelby was well behaved throughout dinner at my parents, and then this happened. We were all enjoying mom's homemade sorbet, and Shelby decided she wanted some too. I can only think that this pug is constantly weighing the consequences of her actions, and decided that for a lick of sorbet, it would be worth the repercussions. Normally, she would be scolded, but it was such a brazen attempt, I nearly blew sorbet through my nose.
Let's go for a ride
It's very rare that a car ride has ever resulted in a bad experience for Shelby. Consequently, she loves car rides, but it was not always this way. She used to whimper and whine a lot while in the car, because we wouldn't let her sit in our lap, or look out the driver side window. I love Shelby, but unless she was restrained, she is a total distraction while driving. Now, she loves it, even when we keep her in the back seat. Here she is with the wind in her face on our way to dinner at my parents house.
Playing with the big dogs
We had heard that pug can sometimes get barky around large dogs. The last thing I wanted while walking Shelby, is for her to pick fights with big dogs. To prevent this, we socialized Shelby with larger dogs when she was 3-4 months old. Because her vaccinations were complete at the time, she needed to be socialized in a safe environment. I asked some friends with friendly, vaccinated, larger dogs to help socialize her. It seems to have paid off. Shelby likes big dogs. Here she is playing with Fritz, a 2 year old Golden Retriever.