Tuesday, January 03, 2012

SALLY IN FROM THE COLD

The promised temperature for last night was around 20 degrees above zero.
There was also a wind promised to go with it, yielding wind chills in the low teens.
Although Sally the Dog is equipped with a substantial fur coat, I am not sure if she is properly equipped at her still-tender age of 9 weeks or so to be comfortable in that degree of cold.
She has a dog house to allow her to get out of the wind, and she uses it from time to time.
But her doting Alpha worries about her betimes.

So, I allowed her to spend the night in the house with me (she is barking in her sleep as I write this).
I knew that keeping her inside entailed some potty still-in-training risks.
But (sorry) I have become less stressed about her transgressions.
(Beep) happens, as the saying goes, and I have resigned myself to deal with the residue of her semi-incontinence.

She and I are making progress in this area.
I try to let her out at least once per hour.
And I tell her “go pee”, to which she almost immediately walks off a few steps and squats.
I tell her what a good dog she is and we go back into the house.
In the past week we have had only two Transgressions of the Tradition of the Elders and both of those incidents took place in the same evening when I was just a bit too casual with my invitations to go outside.
In both cases, I missed taking her out in time by just a few seconds.

Monday evening also brought a capitulation on my part, of a sort.
This involved Sally's incessant biting of my hands (and nearly everything in reach) while playing.
I put on a pair of leather gloves and played with her for a while.
This was not rough play.
I generally allow her to determine the level of aggression in our playing.
On my part, the play involved just petting and rubbing her fur on her back, sides, head, ears, neck, chest and tummy.
And with the gloves on, I did not have to say “no” nearly as much.

At the risk of “teaching” her that biting hands is “okay”, I was able to let her chew on my hands with no injury. (my hope is she will simply grow out of the biting phase in a few months)
Interestingly, even though she could gnaw on me with near-impunity, I could feel that she still was biting me with restrained pressure.
And we played this game much longer than would have been possible if my hands had been unprotected. (nearly an hour...?)
And her play was mostly non-aggressive.
Most of the time, while I was sitting on the floor, she was play-biting and flopping around, rolling onto her back, climbing over my legs only to flop over on her back again.
Very submissive play.

A little after 4 AM, I heard Sally stir from under my bed (where she slept most of the night), and I got up to allow her to go outside.
She went out - while I stayed inside and watched her through the window – and did her business, then I invited her back inside.

I had about another hour of sleep before it was time to get up and begin the day's activities, so I went back to bed and dozed.
She, too, laid down again and slept.

But somehow she slipped out of the bedroom and tended to her biological needs as best she could.
When I got up “officially” at five, I discovered the evidence of her activities.
There on the kitchen floor was the biggest pile of poo I have ever seen produced by Sally the Dog.
No doubt an indicator of things to come.
There was a second gift out in the storage room of less impressive proportions.
I picked them each up with a blue bag and cleaned the affected areas.

In the interest of science, I weighed the two blue-bagged piles.
Her normal droppings weigh about 34 grams.
The Yetti pile in the kitchen weighed 128 grams.
That is almost four times as large. (3.75 actually)


I let Sally out, then I went for my usual Tuesday morning pre-sunrise walk.
I dressed appropriately for the cold, windy environment and my choices proved sufficient for the task.
The only area that got cold was my nose/eyebrows, which were unprotected from the wind.

I have to work today so my time with Sally the Dog will be limited.
But the weather is much less accommodating than it was yesterday.
We will have to adapt to the new imperitives.
.

2 comments:

~ NappyMama ~ said...

you WEIGHED her poop? Wow. I'm a curious person but I guess I'm not THAT curious. LOL

And you KNOW you're spoiling her right? She's going to start calling you "Beta" if you're not careful.

Also, that same cold night ours were outside and were fine. They didn't even sleep in their house, and in fact slept in the exact same spot which happens to receive the brunt of the cold wind (in front of the kitchen window). Apparently they didn't mind it too much.

Remember it's a lot colder where their breed originates from... snowy mountains with howling winds much colder than mild-Alabamas.

Paw said...

The poo was already captured in blue bags.
I believe in the scientific method, sorry.
I realize that my concern for her warmth could lead to spoilage, but she took the initiative the third night.
I left it up to her to come in from a potty break and spend the evening or stay outside.
When I invited her back in, she just sat on the patio and looked at me.
I knew then that she was done with sleeping under my bed.
Now she only comes in to eat and play with me for a while (hour?) then she stays outside all day and all night.