Friday, January 8, 2010

Anna Tolien? I think I went out with her once.

The wife and I have determined for ourselves that our puppy Moose (at right) is not a "damn little chow chow" as has been suggested. The chow features have failed to manifest, beyond a slight spotting at the tip of his tongue. However, we've still been doubtful as to his alleged status as a Leonberger/St. Bernard mix. While he has some Leonberger features, he also has some definite German shepherdy features too, though his flopped forward ears would seem to indicate he wasn't full blooded German shepherd.

At some point while watching TV, a breed of dog called an Anatolian Shepherd flashed across our screen and it struck us that it looked an awful lot like an adult version of Moose might. We quickly dashed to the innanet and looked it up.

Check it.

This is a picture from an Anatolian site. Same black face, same coloration, same curly tail, same love of sticks. The more we read, the more this breed (or a mixture therewith) was the better fit for Moose's ancestry. And from everything we've been reading, like Leonbergers, Anatolian Shepherds are supposed to be great dogs, not to mention exceptional guard dogs. They're also about as enormous as Leonbergers, which makes the wife happy, and with no drooling to speak of, which makes me happy.

Meanwhile, he's really come a long way as far as his potty training is concerned. I think we had at least three consecutive weeks without any piddling in the house and only one or two poop incidents. Mostly, when he needs to go, he either goes to the back door and looks at us until we notice him there, or he comes and finds us and barks at us until we ask him if he needs to go potty at which point he barks louder and/or tries to bite us in the face. The later is discouraged, the former encouraged. However, his efforts don't always work so well when we're asleep.

We've been encouraging both dogs to stay off of our bed. This is not easy, because they LOVE our bed and are fond of sleeping in it with us, if they can get away with it. However, beyond the matter of shedded dog hair and stank residue in the bed, there's the matter of massive and soon to be massive dogs hogging up all the leg room in our bed while we're trying to sleep. We could banish Sadie from the bed fairly well, but without a working crate (due to the fact that Moose destroyed the zipper in his "nite nite" collapsible crate) it was more difficult to keep moose out of it.

So not long after Christmas, we bought them both dog beds stuffed with recycled memory foam shredding. These we've stationed beside our bed and have been enforcing their use. So far this has worked surprisingly well. And the timing of Moose's potty training success finally kicking in around the same time was good. This way, we could sleep through the night with the dogs on their beds and didn't have to worry about puddles in the morning.

Two nights ago, Moose drank a lot of water before bed. At some point in the wee hours, he woke up, had to go potty and began trying to wake one of us up to let him out. Unfortunately, we were solidly asleep and the first we heard of any of this activity was when Sadie snarled after Moose crawled too close to her bed. We snuggled in and were on our way back to sleep when I heard a disturbing sound.

"Why do I hear running water?" I said. And, sure enough, it sounded exactly as if someone had left a faucet on in a steady pour. Immediately, we both thought of the pipes. With night time temps hovering between zero and ten for the past few days, it wasn't inconceivable that we'd had a pipe burst. I thought, Oh, please, let it just be Moosey peeing on the floor.

I leaned up and looked over the edge of the bed. In the low light from the night light in the hall, I could see Moose's little brown body directly beside the bed.

"Moose? Are you pottying on the floor?" I asked him. As I swung my legs out of the bed, Moose turned of his "faucet" and hauled ass for the back door. I followed and let him outside then went back to clean up the mess. I couldn't even be mad at him, because I knew he had probably tried to wake us up before succumbing to the pressure. And from the amount on the floor, his bladder had probably been at capacity.

We're pretty sure this was a one off event. Mostly, he's been sleeping through the night, so we think the days of having to get up with him three times are, at last, done.

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