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Pet People

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Minnie's Visit by Skeeter

I want to share how the visit with the Saints sister dog Minnie went over Thanksgiving. We were a bit apprehensive about having such a large dog in the house with our girls. Lobo the Sheppard/Lab mix spent a weekend in the house one time and he is much larger then Minnie so we figured if they could handle him, surely they could handle Minnie.

The plan was going to be to set her kennel up in Mom and Dad B’s bedroom upstairs. They informed us that they do not allow Minnie in the bedroom with them and they feared this would condition her so they asked if Minnie and her kennel could stay in the sunroom. The other reasoning was due to her kennel being used as a place of “Time Out” when she is bad. If the kennel were all the way upstairs, she would forget her bad deed by the time we got her into the kennel. Yep, they were right so we set up the kennel in the sunroom.

I was a bit worried as to how the girls would take this as the sunroom is their favorite room in the house. They sit at the windows by the hour Bird, Squirrel and Deer watching! But when in our house, the guest’s come first!

Minnie was very timid and barked at our every move that first day. I could see a lessoning in her barking at me within a few hours though. She was still barking badly when the Saint would make a move. We decided that a male figure must have done something to her when she was a young pup.

By day 2 the Saint was spending a lot of time with her. He would walk her and she would allow him to rub her while outside the house. Was strange but she would allow us to rub her outside but once inside, she became timid again and would not allow us to touch her and the barking bit would start…?...

Minnie met Zip-Zip but she was too big and rough for him so they would just sniff butts then he would go about his normal routine of running the deer trails in the woods. We could see the sadness in Minnie’s face as he would trot off and not play with her.

By day 3, the Saint took her out of her kennel for her morning walk before Mom and Dad B woke up! She was now butter in our hands! By nightfall, she was letting us play ball with her in the sunroom! We gave her a plastic crab toy that the girls never play with and that became her new favorite toy until she started eating the legs off the thing! Then we took it away from her because she did not need to be eating plastic! She rolled in the leaves when the Saint took her for a walk. I missed this fun but they snapped pictures of her playing in the leaves. The Saint and I were ecstatic that she finally loved us!

The girls did well and did not bother her at all. They pretty much stayed away from the sunroom while Minnie was in the house. Sheba would snoop around when Minnie was outside then run into a safe place when she returned inside. Our sunroom was an add-on to the house (by the previous homeowners) so the windows from the dining room open into the sunroom. We keep them open to keep the sunroom climate controlled as they did not install AC/Heat vents into the sunroom. Sheba would jump into the window and sit on the back of the couch behind the Saint and watch Minnie from above. She was brave enough to jump up on her Monkey tree to the top level also. Minnie wanted to play with her but she was smart enough to know that Minnie would be too rough with her so she kept her distance.

Cheetah of course stayed under the bed covers in our bedroom the entire time they were here. She would creep out at night and snoop around and even made a morning appearance or two until we got too loud with laughter at which point, back under the covers she would go! She did not drive us crazy at bed time with her “play with me” meow screams like she is known to do with company in the house but she did make a few laps around the bed walking all over us as we slept (or trying to) around 5:30 each morning!

We spent most of our time inside staying in the sunroom with Minnie and also eating at the small table in there. But for Thanksgiving Day dinner, we ate in the dining room. That was the first time we had all been into another room without Minnie and she wanted to join the party so badly that she jumped up onto the couch and was peering into the dining room through the open windows with her paws hanging over the window ceil! It was so cute how she joined us but Mom B got really upset at her being on a couch as that is a No-No in their house! So we had to remove her not just that one time but several times before she realized she was not allowed to do that. We did not care as our girls are allowed on the couch but we had to abide by Mommy’s rule therefore, we forbid her on the couch.

All together it was a nice experience for us as well as Minnie. Mom and Dad B will be dropping her off to spend 9 days with us just after Christmas as they head to Texas to welcome in the New Year! It will be interesting to see how Minnie reacts to us after a month away……

posted by Skeeter at 11/28/2007 10:24:00 AM


Blogger Sandy said...

How wonderful! Minnie has come such a long way since you first posted about her! Sounds like a perfect Thanksgiving. She sounds just like Hines was at first--barking at everyone. He's so much better now the little Squirt. It makes you wonder what happened to the poor things before they found good homes!

I love the pictures, especially the one of Minnie in the leaves. She looks so happy. Now that she's feeling more secure, I'm sure she'll just keep blossoming!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I am sorry the posting was soooo long but I had a lot to say about her. We were indeed happy with our progress with her! And a big thanks goes out to all which gave us suggestions such as ignore her. It broke our hearts when she barked at us but we ignored her and in the end it seem to work and we became friends! It was tough on us to ignore her though. We told mom and dad to continue to take her around people so she gets even better with time.

Now the negative...
I am still getting up dang dog hair! At least it is black so I can give some of the blame to the girls! ha ha What’s a few more hairs right????

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Ooh, Skeeter, I caught one comment that bothers me. You say that they use Minnie's kennel as a place of "time out" when she is bad. Then, they make her sleep there?? Skeeter, that may be part of the reason that she is having so many behavioral issues. When she goes in there at night, she may be connecting that to her punishment, and doesn't understand why she is forced to stay there all night.

You can't use the kennel for both things. It either needs to be her safe place that she spends the night, OR the place she goes when she is bad. She doesn't know the difference, so to her, it is all punishment. Mom and Dad B need to rethink this!!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I agree Stacey. The kennel should be the dog's safe place or den, where they go for comfort. Usually, when a dog is crate trained they end up liking it and go there when they want to take a nap or whatever.

I never really heard of a "time out" place for dogs. Kids get sent to their room, but they have a different undestanding.

Skeeter, get right on that! LOL

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

Nice story Skeeter and great pictures! I agree, you have LOTS of leaves and it surely looks like the dog is loving them. Did you bring some in the house for the kitties? That is a pretty dog.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 6:15:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Stacey and Sandy, Calm down....
At home when Minnie is bad they have a place in the house the she goes to for "Time Out" Since she did not have that place in our house, if she got too rambunctious, they would put her in the kennel for all of about 10 minutes to basically calm her down. She only went into “Doggie Jail” as I called it one time while here. I personally would have taken a different approach but it did seem to work as Minnie did calm down within minutes of being put into the kennel.

That dog is far from traumatized with her kennel. She loves her kennel and calmly goes into it each night to sleep. They are only going to kennel sleep her until she is out of the puppy stage and will not eat up the furniture in the house or attack Missy the cat, then she will have her big fluffy doggie bed to sleep on at night... She is a very spoilt dog and the Saint and I had to laugh at how Mom B treats her as if she were human considering how she use to laugh at us for acting as though our animals were human... Now she finally understands us and calls herself Mama to Minnie.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 8:06:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Okay, I'm all calm now!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 8:35:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

NOT CALM! A kennel can not be used as both no matter what. Please do not do this when she is with you. If she is getting to excited, take her for a walk and give her more excersize. Turn her behavior into something positive. Regardless of why it's being done, she will not understand the difference.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

EXACTLY! Thank you Adrienne for your voice of reason. I agree completely. Skeeter, you must listen to us experienced DOG people on this one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

READ my comments girls! I quote, "I personally would have taken a different approach" Dont worry yourselves, Minnie will be fine with us! I have some experience with dogs and with my and the Saints common sense where animals are concerned, we are with the game here… We know a bit more about dogs then Mom and Dad B do and we are trying hard to explain the things we do know to them but sometime parents do not want their kids telling them what to do so we have to be careful how we "suggest" things to them. It is their dog and not ours so we can only do and say so much without stepping on toes!

When she is with us, we will keep her so busy with activities; she will not have time to get rambunctious with us and we will never use her Safe Place as time out nor will she have time out with us. She will not have time for Time outs!

If it were not for Mom and Dad B, Minnie would still be living her life in a cage all dirty and smelly. She is a happy dog and is enjoying her life and learning more every day. Mom and Dad B have never been around a Puppy and I think they were expecting Minnie to be a grown Dog from day one! Not so but they are learning right along with Minnie from day to day. I will let them know about the way y’all feel on the topic though and thanks for your concern and in pointing this out to us but the Saint and I have already talked about it from the time they put her in the kennel that day and we know she should not have been put in there, but what can we do, she is not our dog!

Thursday, November 29, 2007 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Just received an email from Mom B saying that they did not put Minnie in her kennel to sleep last night! Said she slept on her doggie bed and Dad B covered her up with their best Afghan and she slept like an angel and did not mess one thing up! That is progress.....

Now the issue you maybe can help with....
She likes to chase Missy the cat and Missy is a docile quiet cat that does not want Minnie messing with her. She is declawed so her hitting Minnie would not help. They keep a baby gate set up in the hallway so Missy can jump it and escape Minnie so poor Missy spends a lot of time in the back of the house instead of being part of the family like she was until Minnie showed up… Sniff, sniff, poor Missy baby….
How do they scold Minnie when she takes off after Missy? They tried a water bottle but Minnie just shakes the water off and continues to chase Missy. Now they are trying a can with some penny’s in it. They shake it and it makes a noise that seems to stop Minnie. Is that okay or what do y’all suggest for that one???

The reason they do not allow Minnie in the bedroom with them at night is… Missy sleeps with them and since she and Minnie do not get along well with each other, they allow Missy to have the luxury of sleeping with them and not Minnie. I am hoping that in time Minnie will leave her alone and they all can sleep in the bedroom together, Any suggestions on that one????

I really don’t think that Mom and Dad B thought this (adding a dog to their family) through. I know the poor pitiful puppy won Mom B’s heart over so this was not a planned out chapter in their life but they are doing the best they can for her and I must admire them for that….

Thursday, November 29, 2007 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Skeeter, I have good thoughts for Minnie and the cat. Call me and we'll discuss.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 4:52:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

When I get a chance, I will call. Have been busy hunting for Santa lately but soon I will find him and all will settle down for me....

Friday, November 30, 2007 9:45:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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