The dogs are living their best life ever!
Someone is always home to give them attention.
There are multiple opportunities for snacks in the kitchen with everyone taking their lunchbreaks at different times.
We all spend lots of time on the front porch, waving at friends and watching people walk by.
With everyone at home, crate time is minimal and play time in the yard is available all day long.
During normal times (it’s almost hard to remember what those times were like), I was the one who was home the most. I’m the one in charge and I feel like I know my dogs really well, but with all of this concentrated time together with more family members added in, I’ve learned even more about each of them.
Nicknames include: Winsor, Winderella, Big Winn, Winn Winn, Pushy McPush, Chompadile and Kissyface
Winn. What can I say about Winn except that she is constantly looking to do something that will bring her a treat. (When she’s not passed out on the cool tile of course.)
Winn learned to bring in the paper just a few weeks after we brought her home, and as she’s gotten bigger and stronger she brings in lots of other things as well. When she hears the car pull into the alley, she charges outside to help. She loves to bring in groceries and shopping bags.
Everytime one of us goes out to the front porch, Winn is right on our heels looking for packages or mail. There have been a lot more deliveries since the Stay at Home orders were activated and Winn is thrilled about that! If we don’t open them right away, she will grab one that might be laying around and bring it to me again, looking for a treat. This also includes empty mailers and boxes, packing material and anything that might be in a plastic bag.
She developed a new habit as soon as my husband and I would sit down for dinner. We have never fed from the table, and never will, but she decided it was worth a try to push that boundary. Immediately after we sit down, we will hear her rummaging and then she will appear with something in her mouth. If she can’t find a piece of mail, paper, wrapper or a catalog, she’ll bring something else. When she started bringing me shoes, I had enough of this new habit and started putting her in her crate when we ate. After two nights in the crate she got the hint and left us alone….for a few days. Now if she brings something while we are eating, I take the item, say thank you and direct her to her crate with the door open. She lies in there for a few minutes and then will leave and go to her napping spot in the other room.
After realizing she won’t get anywhere with us while we are eating, she has recently started bringing us a toy when she thinks we are finished and might be ready to clear the table. Since this is water season and I hope to start water training soon, she’s been playing with her bumper and that’s currently her toy of choice to retrieve. I really can’t turn her down when she sits there looking so cute as she patiently waits for us to throw it. That’s the signal that we are done with dinner and she might get a little reward (recently she got some tortilla bites which she thought were abosolutely delicious).Winn makes me smile. She is so affectionate and will suddenly charge at me and climb all over me. She likes to kiss my face, and she usually does this when she wants to go outside, but first I have to get her off of me so I can get up and let her out! She loves food, any food, but she also knows that everyone gets a bite so she is (somewhat) patient when I give Maisie and Chocolate a nibble of whatever Winn is getting. Maisie is very picky so if she takes too long sniffing the offering, Winn is happy to take it off of my hands.
Winn doesn’t like it when I’m on the phone, or working on my laptop. I have to be quick when her big head comes at me because she will flop it down on the keyboard. She wants my attention immediately, and she will do whatever necessary to get it!
Winn is my working girl and we have had so much fun together learning new tricks and skills. We haven’t been to our Rally and Obedience training class since February, nor have we done any water training yet but I hope to get back to it soon. Safety is the priority but we could both use a change of scenery and I really miss training with other dogs and handlers.
Nicknames include: Maisiepie, Maizelda, Tiptoe, Miss Princess, Snugglepuss and Fussypants
I’ve always said Maisie is like Mary Poppins, she’s practically perfect in every way.
She is so sweet, so gentle, so eager to please. She understands and reacts to human emotions so much more deeply than any other dog I’ve had. She instinctually knows when someone is sad and needs comfort, when someone is frail and she needs to be extra gentle, when someone is fearful or shy and she needs to be still and patient while they approach.
Maisie is also a Nanny dog. She will become alarmed and scold when kids are running, people are yelling, or someone is being disruptive. This pertains to people she sees both in real life and on the TV. We have a very hard time watching TV when Maisie is in the room. After seven years, this is my biggest training fail because she still barks at the TV and we still correct. Every. Single. Day.
Maisie and I have volunteered with a reading program for kids in Chicago Public Schools. Maisie is a natural with the kids and is very popular when we show up in the classroom. She also takes her hall monitor duties very seriously and will tell kids to slow down if they even think about running. I work very hard to spot her warning signs before she lets out a bark, but every now and then I’m not quick enough and she lets them know when they are being too loud and fast in the hallway. We both miss seeing the kids and having them read to us.
I’ve mentioned that Maisie is a fussy eater. She doesn’t like green vegetables, strong smelling cheese or things that feel slimy. Sometimes she will eat a banana, but if it’s too ripe, she will spit it out. Sometimes she will eat a tomato, after Winn has inhaled a piece, but often times she will spit it out and Winn will swoop in and gobble it up. She doesn’t like ice, but she loves “ice cream”. I mix yogurt and different flavors together and freeze in silicone molds. Maisie sits by the freezer every night waiting for her bedtime ice cream treat. Maisie loves all meat, chicken and most fish. Sometimes she will eat shrimp, sometimes she will spit it out depending on if she thinks the texture feels wierd that day. Winn is happy to clean up the floor for her.
Maisie does not like a water bowl with floaties in it. Winn leaves floaties everytime she takes a drink. Maisie will go up to the water bowl, dip her nose in about 1/8 inch, and turn and walk away if she doesn’t think the water is fresh enough. If she’s really thirsty, she will sit by the bowl and stare at one of us until we change the water. Now that so many people are home, she’s gotten really bold and started flipping the bowl when she would like it to be fresh. When the bowl with the fresh water arrives, we try to give Maisie first dibs but Winn almost always comes rushing over and sticks her big head in while Maisie is drinking. These two girls are a lot of work, just in very different ways!
Nicknames include: Chockie, Choco Taco, Buddy and Needle Nose (given more time together, more names will evolve)
Chocolate is doing really well. He has adapted to our house and family remarkably fast. He seems to be more at ease and his barking has decreased by a huge amount.
He still sneaks up on me, but I’m getting better about checking behind me when I move around to see if he’s there. I’m not running into him quite as often but I’m still amazed by his ability to move around so quietly.
He has accepted us as his new flock to watch over, and I think that’s really sweet. He spends most of his time keeping tabs on me, I’m the one who feeds him but he does flit around the house checking up on my mom, husband and son.
Chocolate is a pill spitter. He will eat any food I offer him, but pills, chewable or not, forget it. I’ve had to wrap his meds multipe times in diffent things. Peanut butter was good at first, but now he knows that trick and won’t touch it. Bread doesn’t work at all but turkey and ham are acceptable. For now, at least.
He’s a quirky little dog, but I find him entertaining the more I get to know him. He likes to learn new things, maybe when things get a little more normal we will try taking a class together.
Have you noticed new behaviors from your dogs recently? How have they responded to the Corona lifestyle changes?