In case you haven’t noticed, Little Cooper has his own FB page now. hehehe
I talk about him so much I figured he deserved his own page of love. In the short 6+ months he’s been with me he has become a neighborhood staple. He has a contingent of fans that always stop to hug and pet him when he is out and about. Many of the locals know him by name and comment every time they see him. Not to mention, the crews at the local Starbucks & Walgreens always ask about him when he isn’t with me. lol With love like that he needs a place to be worshipped. lolol
Cooper has flourished under our love and attentions. His weight has reached healthy levels. His potty training is under control and his behavior has improved greatly. He get’s time off the leash now when we are out and about, when I feel it’s safe. He knows to stay with me. He knows to stop at curbs.1
I’m still working on his socializing skills. He isn’t mean but he always wants to establish dominance with other dogs by humping them. This leads to friction, so to speak. lol Now that I know, I watch him and intervene before he gets to that point. He gets trips to the local dog-park about once a week and he does well. He even recognizes a few dogs now that tend to be there around the same times. He seems mostly bored with other dogs now though. lol
At home, he loves to sleep in all kinds of strange positions. He’ll actually sleep on his back laying up against the sofa sometimes. It cracks me up every time too. When he attempts to scratch his face, he’ll do summersaults on the floor. He loves to run and roll-over every morning like clockwork after he’s been fed. Thankfully, his heavy chewing is relegated to toys. I’ve yet to have any problems with him chewing wires, shoes, etc. We used to let him sleep on the sofa at night but he started getting territorial of it so we’ve had to curb that privilege for awhile. He’ll eventually get special times on the couch but only when a certain blanket is laid out as a signal.
On the down side, he has a particular aversion to strange noises. Especially high-pitched beeps, loud trolly noises, and high-base rumbles. He gets very worked up and will go into a panic, even at home. In public I have to make sure to hold him around the trolly cars as he’ll bolt even if he’s on his leash. Ironic because he tolerates the underground LRV’s pretty well. We ride MUNI pretty often and he enjoys it. There must be a distinct pitch from the trolly cars that he doesn’t like. Don’t even get me started on skateboards, strollers, garbage cans, etc. His jumping on people from excitement is improving as well. He still has to be reminded at times but it seems to be less and less. I think in part because he gets so much attention he doesn’t feel neglected anymore.
While he has mostly solid white fur, his skin is covered in spots. Recently, we’ve noticed the faintest beginnings of brown spots on his fur. I have the feeling he won’t stay solid white too much longer. I won’t mind but I’ll miss it a little as it garners him a lot of extra attention, which he loves. lol
While we don’t know his official birthday, he was roughly 17 months when we picked him up so June 22 will be his official two year birthday for us.
He’ll get his first trip back to the vet since coming to join us. I’m a little nervous about taking him back to the vet as I wonder if he associates that with his previous abandonment. I discovered the Petfood Express store we go to all the time has a veterinary service that comes every saturday to do shots. He likes going there and it isn’t overly expensive. I just don’t want him to suffer any undue anxiety by thinking he is being left again.2 He is growing into a very happy, well-adjusted doggie.
Anyway, the lord Cooper will occasionally pop in here to do guest posts like Spike did. He’ll probably have something funny or dastardly to say regarding his plan for world domination.
DINO is an acronym for Dogs In Need Of Space. I was reading an article a while back from a well-known dog-walker, who is also a blogger, weighing in on the subject. The article went a little viral and was reported on by the local Examiner. I guess I was on the fence because some of the rants I could agree with, others I couldn’t.
The first point I agreed with. Regardless of how cute, cuddly, or adorable an animal looks you should never just assume it is docile and approach it as such. Even if you own a dog(s), you should still check with a strange dog’s owner first. If you don’t check, don’t get your knickers in a twist when the dog snaps at you, or worse, bites your dumb ass for trying to pet it. Dogs can react, sometimes violently, when they feel threatened. Case and point, Spike was a very docile lovable animal. I never saw him snap at anyone until a nasty smelling homeless guy tried to pet him unannounced once day. Spike reared around, bared his teeth, and snapped at him. He clearly wasn’t trying to bite as much as send a message. I was surprised as the guy was. I then snapped at the guy and told him to stay his stinking ass away from my dog and he should never try to pet a strange dog. He reeked from like 4 feet away. I had to scold Spike as well because he couldn’t be allowed to do that but inside I was tickled pink. lol The point is that even the most docile breeds have their bad days or bad dogs, not to mention you have no idea how well (or not) the animal has been treated/trained.
From my own experiences, the worst DINO’s are often the ones where the owner encourages its bad behavior because he/she thinks it’s cute. Dogs can have varied temperments based on their breed as well as upbringing. With a wealth of info at your fingertips via a quick Google search, it is silly not to spend a modicum of time learning about your dog. The biggest mistake I see is when owners project their own thinking onto their dog. Dogs think like dogs not humans. No matter how cute they are, a dog will often try to establish dominance and/or protect what they perceive as their space and/or owner. While the owner might think this is admirable, he/she is setting the dog up for a lifetime of confrontation and problems. The dog should be taught it is not the pack leader and must abide by the rules. The more this is reinforced the happier it and you will be.
As a responsible dog owner, you have to also know the limits of your dog. If your dog is not friendly to humans or other dogs, do not put the dog in situations where it is forced to react. While this is not always avoidable, it can be anticipated and handled w/o a lot of fuss. And here is where I diverge from the article author’s point of view. The author implied everyone should know not all dogs are friendly. I disagree. As mentioned above, you should use a little common sense when approaching a strange animal, but not everyone has experience w/pets. Some people grow up w/o ever having had any pets. Always assumming others know to ask first is not a realistic expectation, especially if your dog is a DINO. Right or wrong etiquette wise, under the law if your dog attacks someone, you are liable under both civil and criminal statutes. And for [insert deity of choice here] sake, don’t tie it up and leave it alone in public spaces if it is the least bit aggressive. As its owner, you can be charged with a crime if the dog does damage to public property or worse, bites someone. Even if the bite doesn’t break the skin, the dog could be removed from your care, permanently in a worst case scenario. (And yes, in my line of work I’ve seen it happen.)
Another example of stupidity is when owners drag their dogs everywhere, including indoor spaces, and proceed to get their knickers in a twist when people naturally want to pet their dog. As an example, a guy used to bring his puppy into Bearbucks1 in the gaborhood every day. The puppy was cute/cuddly and very friendly. The owner would get annoyed at everyone who tried to pet his dog. He even had the nerve to bring a note one day and post it next to the dog while it was sitting out looking for attention. Even worse, he would complain to the employees about it! They finally got tired of his perpetual whining and asked him not to bring the dog back inside. The moral: If you put your dog in a situation where he is surrounded by people, you are an idiot for thinking no one will want to pet him.
When people act out like this they also abuse a business’s trust in them to manage their dog indoors. This makes it hard for all pet owners. A little common sense goes along way. On a side rant, if a business asks you not to bring your dog in, be respectful and don’t bring it in. Your thoughts on the matter are irrelevant as it is not your business. They have every right to not allow pets. Just like you have the option to not do business there. Throwing a fit and being a bully just makes you look like an ass.
As for Cooper, he is a very friendly dog, even too friendly. He will go up to virtually anyone for attention. Being a puppy and still learning rules, he can get very rambunctious.2 That being said, even in his short time with me he is learning what is acceptable and not. I want him to grow up to be a friendly, happy, and well-behaved doggie. When encountering other dogs Cooper immediately wants to play and will make a bee-line for the other dog. I ask other dog owners before he gets too close to see how they feel. If their dog is friendly, we let them interact. If not, we do not. It’s as simple as that. So far, Cooper hasn’t shown much of an aggressive side. Well, let me rephrase that. He doesn’t try to start trouble with other dogs and most often even when another dog becomes aggressive, he just looks on. He certainly seems able to defend himself but I wouldn’t call that aggressive.
As for other people, while I don’t mind people petting Cooper, I try to encourage folks to ask first. I certainly don’t get pissy about it if they don’t, especially if he is inside a public place with me. I find a polite encouragement goes along way though. I guess the moral here is both sides should exercise a little common sense but neither should assume the other knows the rules. Ironic how that could apply to a variety of other scenarios. lol
So I’m still having issues w/my xmlrpc file on the server it seems. My last post uploaded w/o the attached picture so I deleted it. Of course, I forgot that some of you are signed up for automatic notifications when I update. Ooops!
Anyway, here is the previous mentioned pic along with a couple others. Little Cooper is growing like a weed and isn’t so little anymore. hehehe I guess I don’t have to worry about his previous issues stunting his growth.
Here he is curled up sleeping right on top of me. He’ll sometimes lay his head or legs next to me but rarely does he crawl up on top of me and just camp out. lol
Here he is laying next to me on the bed while I’m watching reruns of Farscape on Netflix.
And here he is just sleeping up a storm on the sofa. lol
It might seem trivial but I’ve been so proud of little Cooper over the last couple weeks. We’ve been having issues with his potty training over the last couple months. He would often pee (and sometimes pooh) on the carpet when we weren’t around. We crate him at night and when we aren’t home to help curb his "accidents." Most dogs won’t pee where the sleep or in a confined space except as a last resort. Well, little Cooper just pees anyway and then stands in it till we get up and let him out. Naturally, not a pleasant experience. He tried barking a few times but after some "negative" reinforcement, he knocked that off. lol
Anyway, he has been doing really well lately. He hasn’t had a single episode in almost 2 weeks now. Even better, the other day I couldn’t get home from work on my lunch until several hours after his usual break.1 Of course, I’m freaked out that he would pee in his crate and I’d have to clean not only his crate but him when I get home. Imagine my surprise to find he held onto it like a good little trooper. Normally, when I come home on lunch I play with him and give him love’en. I took him out right away this time. I could tell he really had to go because he will usually wait at the top of each stairwell (en route to the backyard) for me to catch up. This time he ran all the way to the bottom and waited for me to get there. Needless to say, he did his business and life went on.
Anyway, I’ve been so proud of him. I’m cautiously optimistic that he is on the path to being a well house-trained doggie. We’ve been letting him out of the cage more and more at a time to test the waters. It’s too soon to know for sure but so far so good.
So 2011 is over and I couldn’t be happier to see it go. I was off from work this year for NYE, thankfully. My NYE consisted of sushi early enough to avoid the crowds and cheesy/funny kung-fu movies on the TV with Cooper passed out next to me. I caught the ball-drop on Tivo.
It was an absolute shitty year for me personally and I’m more than ready for 2012, our last year together.1 It’s been one shitstorm after another this year: the relationship ending, pay cuts at work, Spike getting sick and then later having to be put to sleep, and not to mention my debt. I’m hopeful 2012 will be better for me. I’d never say it can’t get worse but I sure hope not. lol
My only resolution this year is to focus on getting my life back together. I’m faced with some difficult choices in the next couple months. As mentioned, I have a few blog posts backed up from the WordPress snafu. Once those roll out, the blog might go dark for a few weeks until I get things sorted. It all depends on how things go.
The one bright spot in 2011 was the arrival of little Cooper. He brings me joy every day. Speaking of, he has also settled in quite well to his new home. One has only to observe the changes in his behavior to know he is happy and content. He is still having potty episodes but they are getting farther and farther apart.2 Of course, he still farts like a demon that’s been gang-banged by a stink bomb. Seriously, I’m surprised the paint isn’t pealing yet. heehee Regardless, I love him.
On a side rant, it is amazing how much joy and contentment an animal can bring to one’s life. Growing up the way I did, I tend to be very independent. But I tell you this, having an animal with such unconditional love and faith in me is very rewarding. And, I honestly think if he were not around I would have slipped back into depression over the current state of things.
Anyway, here’s to our last year together. I hope everyone had a pleasant and safe holiday season. Best wishes to you all in 2012! And as I am sometimes fond of saying, ‘hope springs eternal!‘
In case you’ve been living under a rock, encased in a food coma from Thanksgiving, or just happened to miss it, I got a new doggie last week!
Meet little Cooper (aka Roman). I ask you, how could you not love that face? He is 16 months old and a rescue. His name was originally Norman but that was so boring (for a dog). We decided to try a few names out and find one that fit. Roman was my first choice and Apple guy came up with Rio or Cooper. Well, the doggie seems to be responding to Cooper so looks like we’ll be going with that. I’m not sure if it’s the phonetics or strong consonant sounds but he does seem to like it.
I was vocally apprehensive about getting another dog. Apple guy had expressed an interest in getting another one a few times. I was slowly coming around. Frankly, I think he also got tired of me bursting into tears every time I saw a bulldog on the street. He put in the application to rescue Cooper and as luck would have it, we got him. At the time he did it, I was still a bit undecided over the idea. That being said, it got stuck in my craw like a piece of gravel. As they days went by it became all I could think of. I kept asking every other day if he’d heard anything. Finally, impatience got the best of me and I emailed the rescue site. To my delight, they replied back the same evening with the news he was still available and we just needed to pick a time to come see him.
We drove up to Folsom, CA to meet him and it was truly love at first sight. He came bouncing into the room so full of energy and excitement my heart just melted. Up until that moment, I was still apprehensive about getting a new dog. Even months later, I still can’t talk about Spike for more than few minutes without tearing up and getting profoundly sad. I still miss him very much and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him in some fashion. He was only in my life for a short time but had such a profound effect on me. Surprisingly, I don’t feel guilty like I thought I would. Even with the new pup, I still remember and miss Spike. He is not forgotten nor replaced in my heart. I’m happy to know I can love a new doggie w/o forgetting him.
So little Cooper was an owner-surrender. We didn’t get a whole lot of details on why the previous owner gave him up. They did mention he came to them a little malnourished. He was also shedding a tad more hair than he should be. Otherwise, he was in good condition. He is adapting quickly to his new home and already seems happy. He is a little ball of energy to say the least! I mean it, he bounces around like a ping-pong ball. lol I think he has some separation-anxiety from being left alone a lot. He constantly follows us around. It could just be that he hasn’t any stability in his life or a little of both. Either way, we’ve been giving him lots of lovin’ and attention.
Apple guy jokes that he is the bad parent because he is often more strict with him than I am. I’ll admit I don’t like being harsh with him but I do put my foot down when the need warrants it. He might learn slower my way but I still think he’ll learn. Both of us have been making sure to reward good behavior and admonish bad behavior. He’s only had 1 potty accident so far. This weekend I’m going out bedding shopping, one for the living room and one for the bedroom. That way he can choose where he likes to sleep. While we have been letting him lay on the couch, I won’t let him in the bed. He still sheds quite a bit. I’ll deal with doggie hair anywhere except the bed. Plus, he needs his own little spot to call his own.
So there you have it. For all my rants, I’m happy to have him. He will have a happy life and most definitely be loved.